The First Transcontinental Railroad: Central Pacific, Union Pacific

By John Debo Galloway | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER
The Union Pacific Railroad Company

THE ELECTION of Abraham Lincoln as the sixteenth President of the United States, together with the commencement of the Civil War, brought the subject of a Pacific Railroad clearly before the public and before Congress. Durant's group had already paid the cost of the surveys and had urged that the road be built. It had also been decided by Congress that the road, if built, should be constructed by a private corporation assisted by the government. Politicians of many degrees of ability had their favorite plans, but it was not until March, 1860, when Samuel L. Curtis, representative from Iowa, was named chairman of the Select Committee of Congress, to which all Pacific railroad bills were referred, that a proper law began to take shape. Earlier, the northern route to Ogden had come to the fore, as had a proposal for two roads, one on the central route, favored by a majority of the committee, and one on the 32nd parallel of latitude, the southern route.

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