Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Colton Letters

"Widow's Santa Rosa trial revealed much about money, politics" by GAYE LeBARON, © THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, August 11, 2012. (History Article)

"... THE PLAINTIFF was Ellen Colton, a San Francisco resident and widow of David Colton, who had worked for the Central Pacific railroad as a lobbyist in Sacramento. Colton was a close friend of Charles Crocker ... He had been allowed to buy shares ... and when he died, the [CPRR] bought the shares back from his widow. ... Shortly after, Hopkins died ... the worth of his CP shares, were published in the newspapers. Ellen Colton realized that she had received considerably less per share. ... midway through the testimony, Ellen Colton's lawyers dropped a bombshell. ... The Colton Letters, as they became known, clearly showed the methods used by the railroad barons to control state and national politics. Colton and Huntington wrote each other about the huge sums of money paid to legislators, both state and national. They named names. And sums. And what favors were received in exchange. ... " [More]

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