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"A Letter from T. D. Judah"
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Theodore D. ("Ted") Judah was born in 1826 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After earning a degree at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, he became a railroad engineer, designing railroads around the country. From 1844 on, he worked on a number of projects including the New Haven, Hartford and Springfield Railroad and the Connecticut River Railway. During that last project he met and married Anna Ferona Pierce, the daughter of a Greenfield, Massachusetts, merchant. In 1854 he went to California where he worked on several railroad projects. There he became convinced of the necessity and feasibility of a railroad from California to the east - a transcontinental railroad. The scale of such a project meant that only the federal government could afford to finance it. He became one of the project's biggest promoters, traveling back and forth from California to Washington, DC, to lobby for it. In the summer of 1860, Judah was pleased to find that the Republican party had put a plank in its election platform for full government support for a transcontinental railway. The "letter" referred to in this newspaper piece from December, 1860, refers to a pamphlet Judah had published in November in California. The pamphlet claimed that building the line from Sacramento to Nevada would be short and that it would face "no serious engineering difficulties." Both turned out to be entirely untrue. Judah would get his railroad built and it would be a masterpiece of engineering, as he overcame the serious difficulties of building this long and complicated railroad.
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