An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859

By Horace Greeley | Go to book overview

XXXIV
A RAILROAD TO THE PACIFIC.

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 1859.

I PROPOSE in this letter to present such considerations as seem to me pertinent and feasible, in favor of the speedy construction of a railroad, connecting at some point our eastern network of railways with the waters of the Pacific ocean.

Let facts be submitted to, and pondered by considerate, reflecting men. There are thousands of usually intelligent citizens, who have decided that a Pacific railroad is a humbug--the fantasy of demagogues and visionaries--without having ever given an hour's earnest consideration to the facts in the case. Let me have a patient hearing while I set forth some of the more material of those facts: and first, in answer to the question, Is there a national need of a railroad from the Missouri to the Pacific? Let us study the records:

The number of passengers arriving at, and departing from San Francisco by water, so far as we have official returns of them, is as follows:

Years. Arrivals. Departures.
1849 91,415 No returns.
1850 36,462 No returns.
1851 27,182 No returns.
1852 66,988 22,946
1853 33,232 30,001
1854 47,531 23,508
1855 29,198 22,898
1856 28,119 22,747
1857 22,990 16,902
Total 381,107 139,002

-368-

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An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xv
  • Preface xvii
  • I. from New York to Kansas. 7
  • Ii. Notes on Kansas. 20
  • Iii. More Notes on Kansas. 35
  • Iv. More of Kansas. 50
  • V. Summing Up on Kansas. 61
  • Vi. on the Plains. 71
  • Vii. the Home of the Buffalo. 80
  • Viii. Last of the Buffalo. 86
  • Ix. the American Desert. 98
  • X Good-Bye to the Desert. 107
  • Xi. the Kansas Gold-Diggings. 115
  • Xii. the Plains--The Mountains. 128
  • Xiii. the Gold in the Rocky Mountains. 139
  • Xiv. "Lo! the Poor Indian!" 149
  • Xv. Western Characters. 157
  • Xvi. from Denver to Laramie. 166
  • Xviii. Laramie to South Pass. 182
  • Xviii. South Pass to Bridger. 190
  • Xix. from Bridger to Salt Lake. 198
  • Xxi. Two Hours with Brigham Young. 209
  • Xxii. the Mormons and Mormonism. 219
  • Xxiii. Salt Lake, and Its Environs. 230
  • Xxiv. the Army in Utah. 245
  • Xxv. Rom Salt Lake to Carson Valley. 258
  • Xxvi. Carson Valley--The Sierra Nevada. 275
  • 1xxvii. California Mines and Mining. 283
  • Xxviii. California--The Yosemite. 295
  • Xxix. California--The Big Trees. 310
  • Xxx. California Physically Considered. 322
  • Xxxi. California-Her Resources. 334
  • Xxxii. California-Summing Up. 344
  • Xxxii. California---Final Gleanings. 361
  • Xxxiv a Railroad to the Pacific. 368
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