Collis Potter Huntington - Vol. 1

By Cerinda W. Evans | Go to book overview

Chapter XI
UNITED STATES RAILROAD
SURVEYS, 1853-1855
BY THE ACT OF CONGRESS of March 3, 1853, the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, under the direction of the President, was authorized by Congress to employ a portion of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, and such others as he may deem necessary, to make explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.Five routes were mapped out practically along the overland roads of that period as shown on the Ravenstein map in Marcy Prairie Traveler, 1863. The surveys were placed in charge of experienced engineers whose names and brief estimates are given below:
1. Northern route from St. Paul to Vancouver, in charge of Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, with Captain George B. McClellan, USA. Estimates: 1,684 miles of track, cost $130,781,000.
2. Route near the 41st and 42d parallels, Council Bluffs to Benecia, California, in charge of Captain J. E. Fremont with Captain Howard Stansbury and Lieutenant E. B. Beckwith. Estimates: 2,032 miles of track, cost $116,095,000.

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