Early Projects and the Railroad Surveys
THE BUILDING of the Pacific Railroad was preceded by the usual discussion that accompanies proposals of this kind. Dreamers, writers, politicians, and promoters precede the practical men who finally take up the project and carry it through to completion. The promotional effort was necessary in order to arouse public interest, inasmuch as an undertaking of the magnitude of the Pacific Railroad could be accomplished only by the assistance of some portion of the public, either as investors or as those who influence the representatives of the people in state or national legislatures.
While it is not possible to determine with certainty who first suggested a railroad to the Pacific coast, there is a definite record of such a proposal being made by a writer in the Emigrant, a weekly newspaper published by Judge S. W. Dexter at Ann Arbor, Michigan. The editorial was probably written by Judge Dexter in the issue of February 6, 1832. After remarking on the probability that the public would consider the idea a visionary