ACT OF CONGRESS,
JULY 1, 1862
THE ROLLINS BILL for a Pacific Railroad before the Thirtyseventh Congress, Second Session, was entitled: "An Act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean." Its purpose was stated: "to secure to the Government the use of the same for postal, military and other purposes." This became a law July 1, 1862.
Two companies were authorized to build the road: the Union Pacific Railroad Company to build the section from the Missouri River to the eastern boundary of California; the Central Pacific Railroad Company of California to build from the Pacific Coast, at or near San Francisco, or the navigable waters of the Sacramento River, to the eastern boundary of California. Should the Union Pacific reach the eastern boundary of California before the Central Pacific, the Union Pacific was authorized to continue construction in California with the consent of that state. Likewise, if the Central Pacific reached the eastern boundary of Californiabefore the Union Pacific arrived, it was authorized to continue construction through the territories toward the Missouri River until it connected with the Union Pacific.