Map of Routes for a Pacific
Railroad compiled to accompany the report of the Hon. Jefferson Davis,
Sec. of War in Office of P.R.R. Surveys.
Drawn in 1855, this early work of the Pacific Railroad Surveys reflects both northern and southern proposed western rail routes.
Western railroad expansion was of great concern during the 1850's. Gold had been discovered in California and vast silver reserves were being explored in Nevada. Railroads, which had proven essential in the growth of eastern states, now turned their attention toward connecting the west.
The Pacific Railroad Surveys were conducted under the guidance of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.
Railroad companies lobbied and received large land grants which they could carve their paths through and sell off unused land for additional profit.
The Point No Point and Quinault Treaties were signed in 1855.
The first bridge across the Mississippi River was completed in January of 1855 at, what is now, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This relief map of the western United States was published in 1855 by Gouverneur K. Warren. It shows cities, forts, waterways, and projected railroad route.