THE CRITICAL YEAR OF 1873
FROM THE BEGINNING of operation in 1865, and as fast as the line was open for business, the Central Pacific Railroad had been a paying concern and of great value to the people and state of California. When, by its junction with the Union Pacific, the transcontinental line was established, it became of inestimable benefit to the country at large as well as to the State of California.
As one writer expressed it: "Their engines have become in fact the lungs of California. They daily and hourly draw in and send out the life blood of this Commonwealth. They have created more wealth, developed more country, and multiplied our privileges more than every other agency combined."1
The same writer goes on to say that by the sale of bonds and in loans more than $60,000,000 had been drawn from abroad into California to aid in building the Central Pacific and the additional lines then in progress of construction; one extending north through the Sacramento Valley, the other south through the San Joaquin Valley. Most of this money was expended in California and, outside of the vast benefits of the railroad, that money was a great power that added to the permanent wealth of the State.
To show the growth of prosperity in California in the ten years from 1863, when construction of the Central Pacific