The Union Pacific Railway Company Eastern Division invite you to be PRESENT as per Letter of Mr.Samuel Hallett to celebrate the opening of the First Section of Forty Miles of their Road West from the Missouri River. Union Pacific Railway Co.
The Union Pacific Railway Company Eastern Division invite you to be PRESENT as per Letter of Mr.Samuel Hallett to celebrate the opening of the First Section of Forty Miles of their Road West from the Missouri River.

The Union Pacific Railway Company Eastern Division invite you to be PRESENT as per Letter of Mr.Samuel Hallett to celebrate the opening of the First Section of Forty Miles of their Road West from the Missouri River.

New York: Union Pacific Railway, 1864. Latimer Bros. & Seymour, [lithographers]. Lithograph on card stock with vignette illustration, 5.75” x 8.25”.

A rare and handsome invitation to a celebration of the opening of the first forty miles of the Transcontinental Railroad westward from Omaha.

Appearing at the top is a compressed representation of the entire sweep of the railroad from New York to San Francisco, which snakes between the two cities, crossing a bridge above a waterfall at the center. Numerous vessels ply the waters of both New York Harbor and San Francisco Bay, and two Native Americans appear in the center foreground looking toward the waterfall as a train crosses the bridge.

This invitation was printed for railroad developer Samuel Hallett (1827–1864), the key figure in the construction of the easternmost portion of the Union Pacific. In 1863, Hallett’s firm, in association with John C. Fremont (1813–1890), purchased the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad. The line became the Union Pacific Eastern Division, and in turn the Kansas Pacific Railway. After running out of money, Hallett approached Congress for financial assistance. Fremont withdrew from the enterprise, but Hallett continued the project of constructing the Kansas leg of the railroad. In time, Hallett came into conflict with the chief engineer of the Kansas Pacific, Orlando Talcott, who wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln, accusing Hallett of poor construction of the railroad. The letter was referred to the interior secretary John P. Usher, a close friend of Hallett, who brought it to his attention. Talcott was subsequently assaulted by one of Hallett's brothers in Wyandotte, Kansas, apparently at Hallet’s request. On 27 July 1864, Talcott struck back by shooting Hallett dead in the streets of Wyandotte, delaying the road’s completion to Lawrence, as well as the celebration announced by this invitation. Originally planned for the summer, it was finally held it December.

Worldcat records just one copy, at the Huntington Library.

A rare and early piece of Transcontinental Railroad construction ephemera.

REFERENCES: Rowland, Donald. The Aisle of Pines (May 1989) at crookedlakereview.com; Snell, Joseph W. and Robert W. Richmond. “When the Union and Kansas Pacific Built Through Kansas.” The Kansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXXII, No. 2, pp. 161-186.

CONDITION: Dampstains to margins on right slightly into printed area.

Item #6668

Price: $1,250.00

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