[Chicago, 1951. ,3,105pp. Contemporary black limp calf, gilt. Minor wear. Near fine. A bound typescript produced in an unknown but certainly very small edition for the directors of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. This rare work contains transcriptions of twenty-five extensive letters, totalling perhaps 35,000 words, written by William Jackson Palmer, treasurer of the railroad company, while he was traveling on the Kansas Pacific Railroad Survey in 1867. An important railway survey that opened vast areas of the west to the public, the goal of the expedition was to determine the best route for extending the Kansas Pacific line from the end of the track in western Kansas to the Pacific coast. The exploring party compared two main routes (along the 35th and 32nd parallels), making note of distances, elevations, settlements, distribution of military troops and Indian tribes, and availability of timber, coal, and other agricultural, mineral, and manufacturing resources of the surveyed territory. These letters include much interesting content on the progress of the survey, describing daily scientific progress, settlements visited, interactions with local officials, and availability and cost of resources, revealing Palmer's evolving thoughts on the comparative merits of different routes. Palmer's original letterbook, from which these transcripts were made, resides at SMU. No copies of this transcript edition (or any other) on OCLC or in the marketplace. OCLC 747998140 (ref). (Inventory #: WRCAM51033)
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