Item #009999 1852 – Letter from a foreman reporting the status of laying track for the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad with a crew of “men not worth a damn.”. E. F. Judkins.

1852 – Letter from a foreman reporting the status of laying track for the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad with a crew of “men not worth a damn.”

Loudonville [Ohio]: 1852. Unbound.

This four-page letter from E. F. Judkins is datelined “Loudonville [Ohio] December 19 1852”. There is no mailing envelope.

In this letter, Judkins, who was apparently the foreman of a track-laying crew for the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad relates the difficulties he is facing and his hope to soon be appointed as a conductor.

“The next week after you left I went to Wooster to get some money to pay the men that were to work for me and Bailey sent me to this place to buy timber. . .. I am at present track laying here and a hard time I have had no boarding places and men not worth a damn and no chance to change off for better but I am in hopes that I shall not be here always for I have something better in view I spoke for a situation on the road when it is finished and the men I spoke to applied to Mr Courtney the present superintendent for a Conductors birth for me and he said I should have it and when I get there if you want to go with me on a train I shall feel it duty bound to give you as good a situation as the next man has Should I get disappointed in that Bailey has offered me work for a year yet and before them all is Mr Stimpson who wanted me to work for him but there must not be any thing said as to that except in private. . .. When I get done laying track I would like to have you out here to start a train with me should fortune smile on me enough to get it and you know sure I am of it. . ..”

The letter also discusses Judkins concerns about leaving his wife and children at home rather than bringing them with him while laying the track through Ohio.

. Very good. Item #009999

The Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad was chartered in two states: Ohio on 24 February 1848 and Pennsylvania on 11 April 1848. It was approved to build a route from Allegheny City. Construction began on Independence Day in 1849, and the line had been extended to Wooster, just east of Loudenville by August of 1852. When it reached Crestline on 11 April 1853, a throughline from New York City to Cincinnati was formed via its connection with the Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati Railroad. The Ohio and Pennsylvania eventually was consolidated with other regional lines to form the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Rail Road which when completed in December, 1859 provided the Pennsylvania Rail Road system dedicated track between New York and Chicago. (For more information, see Wikipedia.)


Price: $150.00

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