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Making of America
University of Michigan Digital Library

Books On-Line relating to the First Transcontinental Railroad
Search for on-line books available to actually see on the Internet.

Click title to view pages in a book or find other books on the same subject:
  1. Bowles, Samuel.  The Pacific railroad–open. How to go: what to see. Boston, Fields, Osgood & Co, 1869.
  2. Browne, J. Ross.  Resources of the Pacific slope.  A.S. Taylor, 1869.
  3. Democratic Party (U.S.).  The campaign text book. 1876.
  4. Cronise, Titus Fey. The natural wealth of California. San Francisco, H. H. Hancroft & Co., 1868.
  5. Leslie, Frank (Mrs.)  California. A pleasure trip from Gotham to the Golden gate.  New York, G. W. Carleton & Co., 1877.
  6. Nordhoff, Charles.  California: for health, pleasure, and residence. A book for travellers and settlers.  New York, Harper & Brothers, 1873.[Also available at the Library of Congress]
  7. Pine, George W.  Beyond the West; containing an account of two years' travel in the other half of our great continent far beyond the old West, on the plains, in the Rocky mountains, and picturesque parks of Colorado. Also, characteristic features of New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho ... Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and ... California, the end of the West ... the great continental railroad, together with the ... most wonderful natural scenery in the world ...  Buffalo, N.Y., Baker, Jones & Co., 1873.
  8. Rae, W. Fraser.  Westward by rail: the new route to the East.  New York, D. Appleton & Company, 1871.
  9. Stansbury, Howard.  An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah.  1855. [Note: Two very large maps are found in a scarce second atlas volume or even much less commonly may be bound in at the back of a single volume edition. The superb maps were drawn by J. W. Gunnison and Charles Preuss and engraved by Ackerman: Map of the Great Salt Lake and Adjacent Country; Map of Reconnoissance Between Salt Lake Valley and Fort Levenworth.]
  10. Union Pacific Railroad Company.  Progress of the Union Pacific railroad west from Omaha, Nebraska, across the continent, making, with its connections, an unbroken line from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.  UPRR, New York, 1868.
  11. United States. Army. Corps of Topographical Engineers.  Exploration and survey of the valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah.  Philadelphia, Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1852.
  12. Pacific Railroad Surveys

  13. United States. War Dept.  Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.  A. O. P. Nicholson, Washington, D.C., 1855. ("The Pacific Railroad Surveys" in 12 volumes with maps and colored lithographs.)
    (Table of  Contents Courtesy Library of  Congress;  Book Illustration Courtesy Normand Pichette, Vortex Books.)
      Published by the Federal Government, these reports provide the single most important contemporary source of knowledge for the geography of the West.  Their value is greatly enhanced by approximately 650 plates, maps and tables, many of them hand coloured, depicting scenery, native inhabitants, fossils, archaeology, flora and fauna.  There are for example, 36 hand-colored plates of birds alone.  The result of reconnaissance surveys of possible routes for the Pacific Railroad, the reports represent the first attempt at a comprehensive, systematic geographical exploration of the Western regions, and made possible the first reasonably accurate topographical map of the West. Of the eleven illustrators involved in the various expeditions, the most prominent is John M. Stanley who is represented by more plates than any of the other artists. Quarto, 12 volumes. Description by Peter Harrington.

    Courtesy Jack Petree / Tom McAloon (Ed.) Ingersoll-Rand.

    12.  Williams, Henry T.  The Pacific tourist.  New York, H. T. Williams, 1876.
         (A fabulous railroad guidebook with wonderful engravings!) Click here for contents and engravings.

    Test mode (OCR versions available - uncorrected text).
    Courtesy Making of America, University of Michigan Digital Library.

    Also see the Making of America, Cornell University Digital Library's Historical Magazines Online,
    including Scribner's Magazine Railroad Articles.

    Search 19th Century Journal Articles.

    Information about USA Journals and Newspapers.

    "The Atlantic to the Pacific: What to See, and How to See It." by John Erastus Lester, 1873. Courtesy The Yosemite Web.

    "Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco ... : Ch. 34. Railroad to the Pacific." by Horace Greeley, 1859. Courtesy The Yosemite Web

    CPRR Museum on-line articles and books

    Also see John Mark Ockerbloom's On-Line Books Page at the University of Pennsylvania and Books About California.

    Also see Books-On-Line which includes a list of On-line books about Western U.S. History and Railroad Books.

    Also see Digital Book Index - books online - surveys - railroads - plains - rockies - far west

    Also see California Genealogy and History Books Online

    Also see the Library of Congress:
    "California as I Saw It:" First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900

    Also see additional Central Pacific Railroad related historic books available online via the Google Library Project. [Search]

    Museum Bookshop

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