From the River to the Sea: The Untold Story of the Railroad that Made the West

Tuesday June 1

5:30 PM  –  6:30 PM

John Sedgwick in conversation with John L. Larson

In 1869, the first transcontinental railroad had made history by linking East and West. Relying heavily on federal grants, it left an opening for two brash new railroad men, the Civil War hero behind the Rio Grande and the corporate chieftain of the Santa Fe, to build the first transcontinental to make money, bringing to life such out-of-the-way places as San Diego, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Denver, and Los Angeles. Remarkably, it transformed Boston, too. An early railroad hub, Boston was a major financial hub for Western expansion. Backers of that first transcontinental, the Union Pacific, Bostonians also back the Santa Fe in its quest to be the second. Its corporate headquarters were on Boston's Dvonshire Street, and its board drawn from the city's moneyed elite, providing a local angle to this epic story of the greatest railroad war of all time.