“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” —I Timothy 6:10”
Leland Stanford Drives the Golden Spike,
May 10, 1869
ew engineering projects in American history had such immediate far-reaching effects. Prior to the transcontinental railroad, the cost of travelling from Missouri to California cost about $1,000 and took from four to six months. However, after the completion of the 1,776-mile road, a trip cost between $65.00 and $136.00, and a week or so from New York to San Francisco. Few engineering projects in American history were ever completed with more scams, political corruption and payoffs connected to the project, or killed more workers, than the laying of the track for the trans-continental railroad. The completion of the railroad lines generated tremendous celebration, enthusiasm, and repercussions for financial malfeasance, the last of which would characterize the legacy of the Grant administration, soon to be reelected for a second term. The story has been overshadowed by the “reconstruction” of the Southern states following the War Between the States.
The ceremony of the driving of the “Last Spike” at Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869, where the rails of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad were joined