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Pacific Steamship Company and Pacific Railroad Meet
(CALIFORNIANA: JAMES WILLIAM DENVER).
Two Autograph Letters Signed, in the hand of William H. Davidge, president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 3 pages and 1 page respectively, 4.5" x 7" and 7.5" x 10", New York; to Congressman Denver. Choice Extremely Fine.

1. October 3, 1856. He wishes Denver congratulations on his marriage, then states his business. " I was in Washington in your absence & saw Genl. Anderson but do not know what he has done, prompted by my talk. A letter which I wrote him a few days since has probably not reached him. I will be glad to receive from you any reflections - as to how my own matter can be promoted or the Rail Road Bill assisted..."

2. July 23, 1857. A proposition he had made has not been accepted - the matter is settled unless "the Department" does something - but he has reported the thing as closed - and is sorry to trouble Denver about all this, but thinks he should know.

By the 1850's, the steamship companies, the railroads, and the United States government were all vitally concerned with speed, and the lack of it, with which news and people traveled between the Coasts. A popular joke of the period, in fact, was that the terms of the western members of Congress might expire before they even reached the District of Columbia - which would certainly be a shame, considering how much money the steamship companies and the railroads would pay them to do their bidding.

(2 items)

The transpacific Pacific Mail Steamship Company carried the first 49ers to California - and, for the next couple decades, the heavily subsidized mail twice-a-month, as well. As a result of this and the high quality of its service - to say nothing of its incredible lobbying - the company became both an important part of the history of the American West and one of the most profitable enterprises of its era. These two letters from the President of the Company to California Congressman Denver - Chairman of the Select Committee on the Pacific Railroad - concern Washington's involvement in the improvement of transportation to the new state of California.

By the 1850's, the steamship companies, the railroads, and the United States government were all vitally concerned with speed, and the lack of it, with which news and people traveled between the Coasts. A popular joke of the period, in fact, was that the terms of the western members of Congress might expire before they even reached the District of Columbia - which would certainly be a shame, considering how much money the steamship companies and the railroads would pay them to do their bidding.
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Item #64814Price: $895.00Add to Cart
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