This news story provided an account of a meeting held at Saratoga in Douglas County, Nebraska. Despite the promises made in the summer of 1857 by the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad Company, little progress had been made on the railroad’s construction across Iowa, primarily because of the Panic of 1857. The M & M RR Co., like most other railroads in the country, had been unable to secure all the private funding needed for construction. By the spring of 1858, the people of Council Bluffs and in the surrounding area were increasingly concerned about when they could expect a railroad connection to the East.
- What does this news story suggest about the relationship between communities that supported the railroads and the railroad companies? What expectations did the communities have of the railroad companies?
- Compare this account with the The Council Bluffs Nonpareil editorials of June 6 and June 20, 1857. What did the people of Council Bluffs and Saratoga expect for their communities, and what was their responsibility for achieving those expectations?
Smiley, Robert, "Railroad Meeting at Saratoga," The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, pp. 2, 22 May 1858. Courtesy of Library of Congress