Standard History (RRs) of Pittsburgh, Wilson 1898
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In August, 1827, at a meeting of the citizens, Mr. Baldwin delivered an address on the subject of a railroad from Baltimore to Pittsburg. He stated that the Legislature of Maryland had incorporated the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and that he believed that, owing to the importance of Pittsburg, the company might be induced to extend its line to this city, providing the citizens desired it and the Legislature of Pennsylvania would grant it the right. Resolutions presented by him were adopted requesting the Legislature to give the company permission to extend its line to Pittsburg. A committee consisting of Benjamin Bakewell, Walter Forward, Ross Wilkins, John S. Riddle, Charles Shaler, James S. Craft and Michael Allen was appointed to memorialize the Legislature to this effect (Gazette, August, 31, 1827.).
On May 20, 1831, books for the subscription of stock in the Washington and Pittsburg Railroad were announced to be opened in Pittsburg, at the hotel of Nicholas Griffith, on June 23, the books to remain open for six days, $4 to be paid down on each share. The commissioners who signed the call were Thomas H. Baird, Thomas M. T. McKennan, James Ruple, John K. Wilson, Isaac Leet, John Watson, John H. Ewing, Christopher Cowan, William Lea, James Herriott, John McKee, Ross Wilkins and Francis Bailey. This project was soon abandoned.
At a meeting held July 19, 1831, the project of building a railroad from Pittsburg to the Ohio Canal was considered. Benjamin Bakewell was chairman of the meeting and R. N. Havens and Lewis Peterson secretaries. The meeting was adjourned until the evening of the 20th, when resolutions were adopted declaring it to the interests of this city that immediate measures should be taken to ascertain the practicability of the construction of a railroad from Pittsburg via Beaver, the mouth of Little Beaver, thence to the most eligible point on the Ohio Canal. A committee was appointed to investigate the subject and report at a subsequent meeting. They were Benjamin Bakewell, Abishai Way, William Wilkins, Isaac Lightner, R. N. Havens, Samuel Church, O. Metcalf, William Robinson, Jr., Charles Avery, Abner Lacock and Benjamin Hanna.
Strong resolutions were passed by the citizens in December, 1831, in favor of a continuation of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway to this place. The eastern section had just been opened up and its success was so well assured that Pittsburg desired to share the advantages of the new method of conveyance. Michael Allen, Benjamin Bakewell, J. S. Craft, Jacob Forsyth and W. H. Denny were appointed a committee to correspond with the officers of the road.
In January, 1832, the railway from Baltimore to Frederick was in running order. Late in 1833 the Portage Railway in Pennsylvania was so far completed as to permit cars to run its entire length. The Cumberland Valley Railroad was pushed to the front in 1836. In 1836 the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad was eighty-two miles in length.
On July 22, 1836, a railway convention was held at Bedford, the delegates from this city and vicinity being W. W. Fetterman, George A. Cook, William Bell, W. W. Irwin, W. A. Simpson, R. C. Townsend, D. R. McNair, Robert Watson, Samuel Pettigrew, Cornelius Darragh, Benjamin Weaver, Samuel Fahnestock, George Wallace, M. B. Miltenberger, Henry M. Watts and Samuel P. Darlington. Resolutions were passed favoring the proposed railway from Philadelphia to Pittsburg and thence to Lake Erie.
At a public meeting held at Pittsburg, November 13, 1836, on which occasion Mayor Jonas R. McClintock presided, strong resolutions introduced by Cornelius Darragh were passed declaring that immediate measures ought to be adopted by the State to continue the railroad from Philadelphia to Pittsburg; instructing the members of the Assembly from this county to use their best exertions toward securing an appropriation and the necessary surveys therefor; and authorizing the circulation of a memorial to the Assembly for signatures. The memorial recited the difficulties of the past season in securing suitable transportation eastward through the State, the danger that trade would be diverted to New York or Baltimore; that the railroad should be continued on westward from Chambersburg to Pittsburg; that the route should be at once surveyed, etc.
On December 15, 1837, another large railway convention was held here to consider the construction of a road westward from this place. The convention was almost unanimous in favoring the project, Numerous committees were appointed to consider and report on all features of the enterprise. This city was represented by the following delegates: Benjamin Bakewell, Charles Avery, Michael Allen, Josiah King, W. W. Irwin, Alex. Brackenridge, William Bell, S. P. Darlington, John King, Neville B. Craig, T. M. Howe, John D. Davis, William Robinson, Jr., William Ebbs, Samuel Church, M. B. Miltenberger, William Wade, James May, Lewis Peterson, Thomas Hartford, O. Metcalf, Benjamin Darlington, R. C. Townsend, Thomas Bakewell, J. R. McClintock, Thomas Williams, John Lyon, John Shoenberger, Frederick Lorenz, F. G. Bailey and James W. Brown.
In 1837 the Pittsburg and Laughlinsville Railroad, the Pittsburg and Connellsville railroad, the Sunbury, Erie and Pittsburg Railroad, the Pittsburg and Susquehanna Railroad, the Washington and Pittsburg Railroad, the Pittsburg and Beaver Railroad, the Pittsburg, Kittanning and Warren Railroad, and others were either projected or incorporated. The latter was authorized to make slackwater navigation on the Allegheny River.
In February, 1838, a strong memorial, in the preparation of which Pittsburg had borne a prominent part, was sent to the Legislature praying for a continuous railway from Philadelphia via Pittsburg and Beaver to Lake Erie. The object of Pittsburg was to gain and maintain the trade of Ohio, Indiana and the Great Lakes.
In November, 1838, the citizens again considered in detail the construction of the railway from Pittsburg to Chambersburg. At numerous times the continuation of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to this city engrossed public attention. Railway conventions were the order of the day in a dozen different States.
At a large convention held here on May 21, 1838, the city councils were asked to subscribe $1,000,000 to the stock of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, providing the same should be built through Cumberland, Connellsville and down the Youghiogheny and Monongahela rivers to Pittsburg (Advocate, May, 1838).
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Source document: "Standard history of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania" edited by Erasmus Wilson. Chicago : H.R. Cornell & Co., 1898.