Book Williams, Henry. The Pacific Tourist. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Library, 1876. Making of America. Web. 7 June 2016.
In this travel guide, Williams describes the magnificence of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Williams notes that the railroad explored the uncharted West. In 1860, the population of the
West was 619,000. According to this guide, the population doubled by 1870. Williams says that
the labor and research of the Transcontinental Railroad is “beyond expression or terms of
comparison.” Over 40 artists collaborated on the artwork in the guide trying to capture the
beauty of the West. The descriptions and artwork of the West in this guidebook help me
understand the great accomplishment and wonder of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Cartoon "Does Not Such a Meeting Make Amends?" 29 May 1869. Cartoon.Central Pacific Railroad Photographic Museum. N.p., 8 Apr. 2016. Web. 8 June 2016. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper published this cartoon after the completion of the
Transcontinental Railroad. The cartoon depicts two hands representing the Union and Central
Pacific reaching towards each other. Below, Native Americans run in fear. Native American life
was destroyed by the Transcontinental Railroad. The railroad made it easier for white settlers to
explore the West and to take Indian land. The railroad also killed buffalo, the animal
necessary to Native American life and culture. By 1870, Native Americans had been relocated to
ten different reservations. This source helped me understand the fear and hatred the Native
Americans had for the Transcontinental Railroad.
Collections "Westward by Sea: A Maritime Perspective on American Expansion." (1820-1890). Mystic Seaport. Web. 7 June 2016.
This collection of diaries and letters was written by travelers sailing around South America to reach the West coast. From reading these documents, I learned that the trip was filled with disease and often could be deadly. The trip could take up to six months. The Transcontinental Railroad made travel to the West easier and more efficient. This source helped me understand the importance of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Modelski, Andrew. "Railroad Maps of the United States: Original 19th-century Maps in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress." (1828-1900). Library of Congress. Web. 7 June 2016.
Modelski’s collection of railroad maps dates from 1828 to 1900. Early maps show railroads
covering the Eastern portion of the United States. After the completion of the Transcontinental
Railroad, more routes began to stretch out to the West. Looking at this collection of maps helped
me understand how the Transcontinental Railroad helped lead exploration westward.
Journal Dorney, P.S. “A Prophecy Partly Verified.” 1886. Print. Reconstruction and Industrialization. Chicago: William Benton, 1971. Print. Vol. 10 of The Annals of America.
P.S. Dorney’s journal analyzes the discrimination and attacks against the Chinese during
the time of the Transcontinental Railroad. After the completion of the railroad in 1869, Chinese
workers flooded the labor markets on the West Coast. American workers felt threatened by these
Chinese workers. They felt as if they were taking Americans’ jobs because the Chinese would
accept lower pay. They called the working Chinese the “yellow peril.” Whites reacted to the
competition by rioting and resorting to violence. This source helped me understand the nation’s
attitude towards the Chinese after the Transcontinental Railroad.
Legal Acts Chinese Exclusion Act. 1882. “Chinese Exclusion Act.” Our Documents. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law in 1883 by President Chester Arthur. It was an
attempt to solve unemployment for white Americans. The Chinese came to the West to build the
Transcontinental Railroad. Their intelligence in engineering and willingness to accept lower pay
made them preferable to white workers. The Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Chinese from
becoming citizens and stopped Chinese immigration for ten years. This source helped me
understand the discrimination against the Chinese that took place because of the
Geary Act. 1892. “Geary Act.” Our Documents. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
The Geary Act extended the Chinese Exclusion Act for ten more years. In 1902, the barring of
Chinese immigration became permanent. White workers were angry at the Chinese because the
Chinese workers on the Transcontinental Railroad had on America.
Homestead Act. 1862. “Homestead Act.” Our Documents. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jun. 2016.
On May 20, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which exchanged 160
acres of land for 5 years of continuous residence. The Homestead Act created a bigger need for a
transcontinental railroad and angered Native Americans. This source helped me understand the
promises the government made to new settlers in the Midwest.
Pacific Railway Act. 1862. "Pacific Railway Act." Our Documents. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
The Pacific Railway Act was passed during a very controversial time. Abraham Lincoln waited
until after the South had seceded from the Union. He knew that the Southern states would not
agree to the Northern route. The Pacific Railway Act gave the Central Pacific and the Union
Pacific permission to start construction. It also granted the two companies land and money. This
source helped me understand how the Transcontinental Railroad had its start.
Letters "A Glimpse of Mormon Immigrants." Letter. 23 July 1868. American Experience. Web. 7 June 2016.
In this letter written by a Union Pacific railroad worker, the author describes his encounter with Mormon immigrants in Omaha. While the train made a stop in Omaha, the worker saw Mormon immigrants desperate for money. The immigrants were planning on traveling West. According to the author, seeing the poor immigrants helped him realize how the Transcontinental Railroad would improve travel and the possibility of the American dream. This letter helped me understand the positive impact the Transcontinental Railroad had on exploration and immigration.
Stanton, Edwin. Letter to William Sherman. 5 Feb. 1867. Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. Web. 7 June 2016.
In this letter, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton authorizes General Sherman’s order to send troops to protect railroad work crews. Troops were needed to regulate travel and protect the crews from attacking Plains Indians. The Native Americans attacked the work crews to protest the theft of their land by white settlers. This source helped me understand the government’s reaction to the protest of the angry Native Americans.
"East and West: Completion of the Great Line Spanning the Continent." New York Times 11 May 1869: n. pag. New York Times. Web. 5 June 2016.
The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was a monumental moment in American
history. The ceremony of the Golden Spike took place on May 10, 1869. The article described
the excitement as “deafening shouts of the multitude” and said that many New Yorkers were
planning on taking a trip to San Francisco on the new route. This source is primary because it
was published during the celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. This
source helped me understand the excitement over having a quicker route to the West.
"The Great Chief: Red Cloud Meets His White Brethren at Cooper Institute." New York Times 17 Jun. 1870: n. pag. New York Times. Web. 7 June 2016.
After the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, Chief Red Cloud presented this
speech at Cooper Institute. As this article reported, Red Cloud was saddened by the success of
the railroad. He said that all Sioux Indians were sad and angry about being removed from their
homeland. Red Cloud proposed an idea of equality; he asked why the white men had the
superiority to seize Native American land. He also referred to the Declaration of Independence
by stating “all men are created equal.” This source helped me understand the perspective of the
Plains Indians during the time of the Transcontinental Railroad.
"Railroad Celebration East." The Daily Herald 11 May 1869: n. pag. Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. Web. 5 June 2016.
Chicago was full of celebration on May 10, 1869. This newspaper article explains the
celebrations that took place on the day the Transcontinental Railroad was completed. After
Leland Stanford drove in the last spike, the city was decorated with banners and flags. According
to the article, nearly every vehicle in the city participated in a grand parade. This source helped
me understand the momentous impact the Transcontinental Railroad had in the East.
"A Transcontinental Railway." New York Times 16 Dec. 1869: n. pag. New York Times. Web. 5 June 2016.
After completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the railroad industry grew. On December 15,
state. They noticed what a successful impact the Transcontinental Railroad had on trade. The
Railroad made it easier to transport goods to and from the West. After the Transcontinental
Railroad was completed, the number of tracks and routes across the country continued to
increase. This source helped me understand how the Transcontinental Railroad was a known
success and helped create new railroads.
Proposals Judah, Theodore. "A Practical Plan for Building the Pacific Railroad." 1 Jan. 1857. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco. Web. 7 June 2016.
In this proposal, Judah describes the potential of a transcontinental railroad and how he would
plan to build it. Before making his proposal, Theodore Judah and Daniel Strong planned a path
to the West Coast. They mapped a route for their potential railroad. In his plans, Judah proposed
snow sheds to block the tracks from the snow. He also reassured that a path through the Sierra
Nevada range was possible. Judah convinced four investors to help support him by encouraging
the Pacific Railroad that his plans would work. In his proposal, Judah refers to the
Transcontinental Railroad as the “most magnificent project ever conceived.” I used this quote on
my exhibit. This source helped me understand how Judah’s enthusiasm and belief in the project
helped conceive the Transcontinental Railroad.
Whitney, Asa. "Memorial of Asa Whitney." 17 Jan. 1848. Central Pacific Railroad Photographic Museum. Web. 7 June 2016.
In 1848, Asa Whitney, a dry-goods salesman from the East, asked Congress for permission to
build a railroad from Michigan to the Pacific Coast. He wanted to make trade easier with China
by making an accessible route to the West Coast. In his proposal, Whitney promised to survey
the land, oversee the construction crews, and complete the first ten miles of track at his own
expense. Although his proposals were turned down, Whitney became a public speaker
advocating for a transcontinental railroad. Whitney lived to see the completion of the First
Transcontinental Railroad. This source helped me understand how Asa Whitney helped place the
idea of a transcontinental railroad into the public mind.
Meade, Erwin. “Chinese Immigration: Its Social, Moral, and Political Effect.” Sacramento. 7 Sept. 1877. Speech. Print. Reconstruction and Industrialization. Chicago: William Benton, 1971. Print. Vol. 10 of The Annals of America.
Meade presented his speech to the Social Science Association of America in 1877. Oriental
workers were known as “coolies.” They were neat, patient, hardworking, and did not participate
in labor unions. American workers, however, did not like the “coolies.” Americans thought that
immigration to solve the problem of “coolies.” This speech is a primary source because it was
given during the time of Chinese discrimination after the Transcontinental Railroad. This source
helped me understand why Americans did not like the Chinese.
Secondary Sources Artifacts Golden Spike. This is a replica of the Golden Spike, the last spike in the Transcontinental Railroad. Leland Stanford of the Central Pacific hammered in this spike at the ceremony at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869.
75th Anniversary Transcontinental Railroad Stamps.1944.
These stamps were issued in 1944 for the 75thanniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. I displayed them in front of my exhibit.
Ambrose, Stephen. Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad. New York City: Simon and Schuster, 2000. Print.
The Transcontinental Railroad had thousands of people behind it. President Abraham Lincoln
was one of the biggest supporters of the railroad. In 1862, he signed the Pacific Railway Act,
which approved the new railroad and granted it land and money. Irish and Chinese railroad
workers risked their lives working on the Transcontinental Railroad. Ted Judah and
Daniel Strong surveyed the land across the Sierra Nevada. This book helped me
understand the importance of the people that built the Transcontinental Railroad. It also helped
me understand the incredible feat the Transcontinental Railroad was and the hardships the
railroad workers endured.
Bain, David Haward. Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. New York City: Penguin Group, 1999. Print.
I used a photo of Theodore Judah from this book. Judah was an Eastern Railroad engineer. In
1860, he and Daniel Strong found a path through the Sierra Nevada mountains through the
Donner Pass. He convinced Lincoln that a transcontinental railroad was necessary. He
found four investors to help him start his new railroad company, the Central Pacific. Once the
railroad started construction, the investors and Judah began to argue over money and morals. In
1863, Judah traveled by ship to New York City, and died of yellow fever. This source helped me
understand “Crazy Judah’s” vision for the railroad and how the “Big Four” came to be in control
of the Central Pacific.
Blumberg, Rhoda. Full Steam Ahead: The Race to Build a Transcontinental Railroad. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1996. Print.
The Transcontinental Railroad impacted the civilization of the West. As construction
continued to go West, railroad workers would set up tent cities. Some of these towns would
become permanent. Gamblers, saloon owners, prostitutes, and outlaws followed the tracks and
stopping at each town. These towns were called “Hell on Wheels” towns because of their tough
nature. Cheyenne, Wyoming, was an example of one of the roughest towns. Grenville Dodge,
chief engineer of the Union Pacific, did not like the bad publicity and immorality on his railroad
line and asked for government support. The troops chased out the worst outlaws and within a
year, the town of Cheyenne had a school and a church. This source helped me understand how
the rough “Hells on Wheels” towns became civilized cities.
Borneman, Walter. Rival Rails: The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad. New York City: Random House, 2010. Print.
The Transcontinental Railroad was finished on May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah. The
the “Big Four” controlled the Central Pacific. The Central Pacific had less land to cover but
more difficult terrain to cross. The Union Pacific had the flat lands of the Great Plains but dealt
with Native American attacks and lack of supplies. The Union Pacific reached Utah first and
won the race. This source helped me understand the two rival companies that built the
Burger, James. The Transcontinental Railroad. New York City: Rosen Publishing Group, 2002. Print.
The Central Pacific hired over 7,000 Chinese workers. At first, Charles Crocker did not want to
hire the Chinese. He did not think they were competent enough to do the work. He eventually
gave in because their labor was cheaper, and he was desperate for workers. Instead of being
incapable, the Chinese actually brought many new methods of construction to the railroad. They
would be lowered down over mountainsides in wicker baskets. They would place nitroglycerin
into crevices in the rock, and would be quickly lifted back up. The Chinese were paid less and
were required to bring their own equipment. Even while working, the Chinese kept their
customs. They would drink tea and set up camp according to traditions. This source helped me
understand discrimination against Chinese during the construction of the Transcontinental
Crewe, Sabrina, and Michael Uschan. The Transcontinental Railroad. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2004. Print.
Many white Americans in the mid-1800s believed in “Manifest Destiny,” a coast to coast vision
which led to an attitude of dominance. They believed that they had the right to take over Native
American land and force their beliefs onto them. The Transcontinental Railroad fueled this
belief. The idea behind the Transcontinental Railroad was that the United States would have
control over the entire country, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The Transcontinental Railroad
symbolized white progress. As the Transcontinental Railroad was built, thousands of Native
Americans were forced off their land onto reservations. This source helped me understand the
belief that fueled the Transcontinental Railroad and the harm that it caused.
Dolan, Edward. The Transcontinental Railroad. New York City: Benchmark Books, 2003. Print. Kaleidoscope.
The two railroad companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, raced to finish first. Their
final meeting point was in Promontory, Utah. The Central Pacific hired the quick Chinese
workers to help lay tracks across the Sierra Nevada. The Chinese used their knowledge of
explosives and dynamite to make the work go quicker. The Union Pacific also worked at a quick
pace. Charles Crocker of the Central Pacific wagered Dr. Durant of the Union Pacific ten-
thousand dollars that his crew could lay ten miles of track in one day. However, on April 28,
1869, the Central Pacific workers laid ten miles and fifty-six feet of track in one day, beating
the Union Pacific’s record. The Union Pacific reached Utah first and won the bitter contest.
I also used a primary source cartoon from this book. The cartoon depicts two hands reaching
of joy Americans felt at the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. This source helped me
understand the two opponents in the Transcontinental Railroad race.
Halpern, Monica. Railroad Fever: Building the Transcontinental Railroad 1830-1870. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2003. Print.
Before the Transcontinental Railroad, travel across the United States was much more difficult. A
picture in this book helped me understand this better. The picture depicts a covered wagon
accident as the wagon was trying to cross the mountains. Covered wagons, horseback, and
by foot were the only ways to travel across the United States. Another options was to sail around
the tip of South America. Many would die on these dangerous journeys. This book also helped
me understand the opposition to the Transcontinental Railroad. Stagecoach drivers, canal
owners, and innkeepers all opposed the idea of the new railroad because they would lose
business. This source helped me understand the change the Transcontinental Railroad brought as
it created an easier path across the United States.
Hamen, Susan. Industrial Revolution. Vero Beach: Rourke Publishing, 2010. Print.
The Industrial Revolution created a greater need for Transcontinental Railroad because goods
resources needed to be quickly transported to and from the West. The Industrial Revolution
began in the 1700s in Great Britain and then came to the United States. Industry increased and
more Americans left the farms to work in the factories. This source helped me understand one
reason why the United States needed a Transcontinental Railroad.
Hayes, Derek. Historical Atlas of the North American Railroad. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010. Print.
After the Transcontinental Railroad, more tracks continued to snake over the West. The
Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869. By 1900, there were nine other
transcontinental railroad routes. Transcontinental Railroads made travel easier and brought more
settlers West. This source provided me with maps of railroads before and after the First
Transcontinental Railroad. This source helped me understand the impact of the First
Houghton, Gillian. The Transcontinental Railroad: A Primary Source History of America's First Coast-to-Coast Railroad. New York City: Rosen Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
I looked at two primary source images from this secondary source including a stamp, two tickets,
and an advertisement. Primary sources from this time period are very important because they
help me understand the excitement and magnificence of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Meltzer, Milton. Hear That Train Whistle Blow!: How the Railroad Changed the World. New York City: Random House, 2004. Print.
The railroad changed the way Native Americans lived. Indians in the Plains used buffalo for
everything. When the Transcontinental Railroad went through their land, the “Iron Horse” scared
away the buffalo. In protest, Native American war parties attacked the train cars and railroad
workers. In an effort to eliminate the buffalo, and ultimately the Plains Native American
population, the railroad hosted buffalo hunts, at which customers could shoot buffalo from the
train. Eventually, most Indians were moved onto reservations. I also used a primary source
cartoon from this book. The cartoon depicts an Indian being dragged and carried away by the
railroad workers. This source helped me understand an unfortunate consequence of the
Sandler, Martin. Iron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation: The Story of the Transcontinental Railroad. Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2015. Print.
The Transcontinental Railroad helped unite the country in a time of trouble. When the railroad
started construction in 1863, the United States was in the middle of the Civil War. A big project
such as the Transcontinental Railroad caused the United States to work together as well as
making the western part of the country more accessible. Although the railroad made the country
feel more united, construction of the Union Pacific was slow during the Civil War. After
surrender on April 9, 1865, Civil War veterans and liberated slaves came to work on the railroad.
An inscription on the Golden Spike summed up the Transcontinental Railroad’s impact on
America. It read, “May God continue the unity of our country as the railroad unites the two great
Oceans of the world.” This source helped me understand how the Transcontinental Railroad was
crucial in reuniting the country after the Civil War. I also got my timeline from this source.
Interviews Fixico, Donald. "Native Americans." American Experience. WGBH Educational Foundation,
2016. Web. 7 June 2016.
Donald Fixico is the Professor of American Indian History and Director of the Center for
Indigenous Nations Studies at the University of Kansas. In this interview, he discusses the Plains
Indians’ lives before and after the Transcontinental Railroad. The foreign presence of the white
settlers dramatically altered the Native American way of life. Before European settlement,
Native Americans lived entirely off the land and respected nature. Fixico noted that the Native
American tribes took great pride in “role and responsibility.” However, when white settlers came
to the West, Native Americans were pushed off their precious land. This territory was needed for
the Transcontinental Railroad and the settlers it would bring. Fixico refers to the
Transcontinental Railroad as a “permanent corridor” that destroyed the buffalo and the Native
American culture. The white settlers also brought diseases to the Native American people. This
interview helped me understand a new perspective of the Transcontinental Railroad and how the
railroad pushed Native Americans away from their homeland. Magazine Historic Railroads1999.National Park Service. Web. 8 June 2016. This magazine, published by the National Park Service, discusses the importance of railroads in
the development of the West. The issue gives credit to the immigrants and veterans who helped
build the Transcontinental Railroad. The author of the introduction noted that the
Transcontinental Railroad fulfilled Manifest Destiny. This source is unique in the way it
describes the railroad as “improving the qualities of life.” While the railroad certainly did
improve travel to the West, the lives of Native Americans were not improved. This magazine
helped me understand a common misconception of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Web Sites "Anti-Chinese USA." Discrimination Against the Chinese in America. N.p., Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
I used a picture of Chinese railroad workers from this web site. Chinese immigrants faced
discrimination while working on the Transcontinental Railroad. They were often given the most
unpleasant jobs. In 1866, a group of fifty Chinese railroad workers were on their way to a
worksite in Idaho City when they were killed by Indians. They were denied the military
protection that was given to whites. They were also paid less and had to bring their own supplies.
That discrimination has even carried over to more recent times. In 1995, Asian Americans were
paid less than whites for the same job. This source helped me understand a mass Chinese
immigration and the discrimination they faced because of the Transcontinental Railroad.
"Chester A. Arthur."The White House. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 June 2016. I used a picture of President Chester Arthur from this source. Arthur signed the Chinese
Exclusion Act in 1882, which banned immigration of Chinese workers. "Chinese Immigrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad." Digital History. N.p., 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Before 1865, the Central Pacific had a shortage of workers. In two years, they had only laid fifty
miles of track. To get through the Sierra Nevada mountains, they needed even more help.
Charles Crocker, head of the Central Pacific, argued that they should hire Chinese immigrants.
He said that the people who built the Great Wall of China could also build a railroad. The
Chinese workers were said to be reliable and hardworking. They saved their money to buy land.
The Central Pacific hired over 7,000 Chinese immigrants to build the railroad. This source
helped me understand the culture of Chinese workers and the impact they had on the
construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
"1849 California Gold Rush." Mountain View Mirror. WordPress, 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
James Wilson first discovered gold in California in 1848. In 1849, people began to flock to
California in the hope to strike it rich. To get there, the prospectors would travel by wagon, ship,
or by foot. A transcontinental railroad was suggested to make travel easier. I used a picture of
gold panners during the Gold Rush from this web site. This source helped me understand how
the rise of population in California made the need for the Transcontinental Railroad greater.
"Golden Spike." National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific No. 1 and the Central Pacific Jupiter met at Promontory
Summit. President of the Central Pacific Leland Stanford hammered in the final spike. After six
years of difficulties and dangerous work, the Transcontinental Railroad was finally finished. The
Final Spike read, “May God continue the unity of our country as the railroad unites the two great
Oceans of the world.” The Transcontinental Railroad was built at a crucial point in history. After
the Civil War, the project united the country with an effort to join the East and the West. This
source helped me understand the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
"Industrial Revolution Research." Industrial Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
The Industrial Revolution is the time period when manufacturing in factories increased. During
this time, more Americans moved to cities to work in factories. Because more goods were being
manufactured, the United States needed a way to easily transport goods and materials to and
from the West. I used two pictures of factories from this web site. This source helped me
understand one reason the United States needed a transcontinental railroad.
"Lee Surrendered." Library of Congress. Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
On April 9, 1865 General Lee of the Confederate Army surrendered to General Grant of the
Union Army after five years of fighting. During this time, the Transcontinental Railroad had
started construction. The Union Pacific had a slow start in 1863, as many workers were soldiers
in the war, and the North and South refused to cooperate. After the Civil War was over, however,
the nation was able to direct its attention to the railroad and reuniting the country. Veterans and
freed slaves came to work on the Union Pacific Railroad. I used a picture of the surrender at
Appomattox from this web site. This source helped me understand how the Union Pacific
recovered from its slow start.
"Library of Western Expansion." Library of Congress. Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Native Americans opposed the Transcontinental Railroad. The trains scared away the buffalo,
and Native Americans were angry that white men were taking over their sacred land. The
Homestead Act of 1862 made the Native Americans even angrier. This law gave 160 acres to
any man who could stay and maintain the land. This land that was “given away” was Indian
territory. Native Americans were relocated onto reservations. Although the Homestead Act
provided a greater need for the Transcontinental Railroad, it disrespected and ruined Indian
culture. I used several pictures of Native American attacks from this source. This source helped
me understand a negative impact the Transcontinental Railroad had on Native Americans.
"Manifest Destiny." History. The History Channel, 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
I used a quote from this web site about Manifest Destiny, the term used to describe the feeling of
ownership the United States had over the West. Americans wanted to explore the land all the
way to the Pacific Ocean, and they had no concern for the Native Americans already occupying
the land. The Transcontinental Railroad helped fulfill Manifest Destiny by making travel to the
West easier and safer. This source helped me understand the attitude towards the
"Pacific Railway Act." Library of Congress. Library of Congress, 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Private companies were not in favor of financially supporting the Transcontinental Railroad
without federal assistance. Building a railroad from Omaha to Sacramento seemed impossible. In
1862, President Lincoln and Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, which designated the
thirty-second parallel as the railroad route, gave land and money to the cause, and authorized the
building of a telegraph line along the railroad. I used a map of the authorized route of the
Transcontinental Railroad from this source. This source helped me understand that the Pacific
Railway Act and President Lincoln’s support helped the Transcontinental Railroad get its start.
"Pacific Railway Act of 1862: Definition and Summary." Study. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
I used a quote about the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 from this source. Lincoln was afraid
California would secede from the Union or become a slave state. To appease California, he
signed the Pacific Railway Act allowing the Transcontinental Railroad to be built, which
connected California with the rest of the Union. This source helped me understand President
Lincoln’s problem-solving skills.
"Race Relations in the USA." USA on Race. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
The building of the Transcontinental Railroad involved many races of people. The Union Pacific
hired Irish and German immigrants. They were credited with being fast and efficient. They also
hired freed slaves. The ex-slaves were hard workers and would accept lower wages. The Central
Pacific hired mainly Chinese immigrants. The Chinese’ expertise of engineering and their
hardworking attitude helped the Central Pacific lay track through the Sierra Nevada. I used a
picture of Chinese immigrant workers from this web site. This source helped me understand the
exchange of culture that took place during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
"The Route." The Transcontinental Railroad. N.p., 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.
I used a quote about the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 from this source. Before it was passed, the
Western territories had not yet been declared slave states or free states, and a Northern or
Southern route would likely decide. When the South seceded, the North was free to choose a
Northern route. This source helped me understand politics in building the Transcontinental
"Thomas Durant." American Experience. PBS, 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Thomas Durant was originally a doctor but eventually became a railroad businessman. He
started his career as vice president of the Union Pacific by manipulating President Abraham
Lincoln. Lincoln said the start for the eastern part of the railroad would be in Council Bluffs,
Iowa, but Durant moved the location across the Missouri River to Omaha, Nebraska, so he could
avoid the cost of a bridge. Durant wanted to make as much money as possible out of the
Union Pacific. After the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, other leaders of
the Union Pacific wanted to expose Durant for his schemes, but he resigned his position before
they had the chance. I used a picture of Dr. Thomas Durant from this website. This source helped
me understand the dirty business tricks that went with the Transcontinental Railroad.
"The Transcontinental Railroad." History. The History Channel, 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.
I used quotes about the impact the Transcontinental Railroad made on travel. The railroad cut the
journey across the United States from six months to six days. The railroad made travel efficient,
safe, and affordable. These quotes are in silver on my board because they are the most important.
This source helped me understand how the Transcontinental Railroad helped Americans explore
Videos “Heartland.” America: The Story of Us. History Channel, 2010. DVD.
This movie tells the story of America. This episode was about the engineering miracle of the Transcontinental Railroad. The railway workers fought through snow, drought, and mountains. This source helped me understand the difficulties the Transcontinental Railroad encountered. It also helped me understand the perseverance of the railroad workers.
Union Pacific. Dir. Cecil DeMille. 1999. DVD.
Although this movie is fiction, it helped me understand life on the Union Pacific. This story
follows travelers, workers, and engineers on the Transcontinental Railroad. The characters deal
with Native American attacks, “Hell on Wheels” towns, and a train wreck. My favorite thing
about this film was being able to see how the tracks were laid down and how the spikes were
driven in. This movie was made for the 70th Anniversary of the completion of the railroad and