Sunday, January 09, 2022

'The Pacific Railroad Bill', Deseret News, April 28, 1869

The Deseret News, Volume 18, Number 12,
Salt Lake City, Wednesday, April 28, 1869.


The citizens of this territory have been aware for many months past, that a great rivalry has existed between the two companies who are building the Pacific Railroad, as to which should finish the longest stretch of road before the two lines meet, causing each company to make almost superhuman efforts to push the work under its direction forward with the utmost dispatch. As of the road near completion this feeling grew in intensity, especially when the grading parties of the two companies began to work side-by-side, and at one time there appeared to be a great probability of both companies running separate lines through the valley north of us from Ogden to the northern shores of the great Salt Lake. This feeling ultimately developed into charges and counter charges being presented before Congress, asserting that the lines were not being built according to the requirements of the law which granted government aid to the builders of the Pacific Railroad. The Union Pacific Company were charged with building an inferior road, with gambling with … Beyond the distance in advance of the completed mine allowed them by law. Charges of a like, if not entirely similar nature, or made against the Central Pacific Company, and Congress was called upon to decide the points at issue.

The most important item, however, in the dispute, the concern the people of this territory, was aware of the joint terminus of the two lines should be located. It was certain to be somewhere in the vicinity of the great Salt Lake, either at Ogden, the promontory, near monument point or even west of that. The Central Pacific had graded to Ogden, and were very anxious that their terminus should be there, as by that means they hoped to secure a large percentage of the Utah trade for California. The majority of those interested in the Union Pacific Road claimed that the termini of the lines should be wherever they met, and as their line has long passed Ogden, they would probably have had the common terminus somewhere on the northern shore of the lake.

Our readers will however see by the bill that we published in our issue of the 20th inst. that Congress has decided that the junction shall be "at or near Ogden," or, in the words of the bill, provided "that the common terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad shall be at or near Ogden, and the Union Pacific Railroad Company shall build and the Central Pacific Railroad Company shall pay for and on the railroad from the terminus aforesaid to a promontory summit, at which rails shall meet and form one continuous line." By which we understand that the Union Pacific Company will have to sell to the Central Pacific all the road that they have built north of Ogden as far as the summit of the promontory, and thereafter they will cease work; whilst the Central Pacific will continue to move eastward until they reach that same point where they will connect and form one continuous line, which line as far east as Ogden shall become the property of the latter company.

For ourselves we deem this legislation eminently wise, not only to quiet the difficulties that have existed between the two lines, but also for the credit of the government, and for the sake of economy. Ogden is certainly the best place for the terminus; its advantages are far greater than any point for many miles on either side of it, and we fully anticipate yet seeing it by far the most Prosperous of any of the cities that line the railroad track and its passage through the Rocky Mountains.

So far as regards the charges that have been brought against these companies, the 4th section of the same bill provides that the Attorney General of the United States, shall make a full investigation of the same; and he is empowered to institute all necessary and proper legal proceedings should he discover the same to be true either before a civil or criminal court, as the necessities of the case demand. Other sections of the bill provide for the appointment of a board of five eminent citizens of the United States to examine and report the condition of the two roads, and also to report the sum they consider it will take to make the rail road "first-class" through its entire length from the Missouri to East western terminus. The president is also authorized to withhold from either company such sums as will be required to make the road "first-class", until all the interests of the United States are secured and the road is declared fully completed from end to end, as required by law.

Courtesy of Stephen A. Goldman Historical Newspapers.

Pages 56-57

Pacific Railroad Bill

Pacific Railroad Bill

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
Statutes at Large, 41st Congress, 2nd Session
Page 121-122 of 1314

Pacific Railroad Bill

Pacific Railroad Bill


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philadelphia Inquirer,
Philadelphia, Wednesday, March 31, 1869

Central Pacific Railroad.

New York, March 30. – The testimony before the Senate Committee goes to show that there has been no issue of government bonds to the Central Pacific Railroad Company. The bonds were issued in accordance with law and the facts, and after the opinion of Attorney General Evarts has been given, to the effect that the Secretary of the Treasury could no longer withhold them, under section 8 of the act of 1864, authorizing the issue of two-thirds the amount of bonds upon completion of the work, in advance of laying of the rails. It is also shown that the Union Pacific Road is far from being completed to Ogden, as alleged. In the Echo and Weber cañons of the Wasatch mountains, 30 miles east of Ogden, there are several miles of temporary track, with grades exceeding 200 feet to the mile, in use, upon which the Union Pacific Railroad company have received the full quota of bonds, Although the road is not built upon the approved line of survey, and two tunnels are still unfinished, one of which will not be completed until April 30 …

9/05/2022 11:07 AM  

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