Collis Potter Huntington - Vol. 1

By Cerinda W. Evans | Go to book overview
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Chapter XXIII CONSTRUCTION OF THE
CENTRAL PACIFIC
RAILROAD, 1863

GROUND WAS FORMALLY broken for the commencement of the Central Pacific Railroad on January 8, 1863, in the presence of dignitaries of the state and a great gathering of citizens. Two wagons filled with earth and adorned with flags were drawn up near the rostrum. On one of these wagons was a large banner bearing a representation of hands clasped across the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific with the words: "May the bond be eternal."

Charles Crocker as master of ceremonies first introduced Leland Stanford, Governor of California and President of the railroad company, who made a short address. This was followed by a prayer by the Reverend FJ. A. Benton at the close of which Mr. Crocker announced, "The Governor of California will now shovel the first earth for the great Pacific Railroad." Stanford seized the shovel and with great vigor deposited the first earth for the embankment, amid the cheers of the assemblage.

The Honorable A. M. Crane of Alameda, president pro tem of the Senate made the address, closing with these words:

"Then will be celebrated the completion of this greatest, proudest achievement of man. Our sister city of the Bay will develop rapidly, and by the amazing increase of her com

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