Collis Potter Huntington - Vol. 1

By Cerinda W. Evans | Go to book overview

Chapter XXIX
CONTRACT AND
FINANCE COMPANY

THE SUMMIT RIDGE had been crossed at an altitude of 7,042 feet, the Sierras conquered, and on December 13, 1867, the boundary line between California and Nevada was reached.

The construction work to the easterly line of the state had been let to Charles Crocker & Company with the expectation of inducing moneyed men to become partners in the contract without success. When the road was completed to the state line, the company had expended all the United States bonds it had received, all the proceeds of the county bonds, and all of its own bonds it was authorized to issue up to that point, and had a flowing debt of $5,000,000. This was a very serious position to be in when the company was laying its tracks along the Truckee River with its available assets entirely exhausted. The financial pressure was so great that Crocker, foreseeing the situation, had asked for relief.1

Since capitalists would not come in under the unlimited partnership of Crocker and Company, it was thought that a corporation would offer greater inducements. Accordingly, on October 28, 1867, the Contract & Finance Company was formed under the laws of the state of California with a capital stock of $5,000,000, for the purpose of constructing the railroad from the eastern boundary to its junction with the

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