I have just returned from up the river, & learn that you have been here during my absence. I regret not having seen you. I fear your success was not great. Please write me how the matter now stands; how much the various towns fall short of their quota: & how much has been subscribed by the respective towns.
What inducements could you offer, by bye speculation in Topeka, or otherwise, to Eastern capitalists, to embark in the St. Joseph & Topeka R. R.? We, of Elwood, can make it some what to their advantage, even tho’ we offer them something at less than the market price.
This suggestion I make in my individual responsibility, without consultation with anyone.
I am well acquainted in Boston, with many of their principal men, & with sufficient authority might accomplish something there. Atchison is trying very hard to get up a road topping St. Jo, & running from Atchison to Santa Fe, via Lecompton or Lawrence; for which, of course they will seek a railroad grant; & unless we get some heavy influential Eastern men in our road, we may be thrown.
Let me hear from you, at your earliest convenience; as I have much to write you, in the meantime, I shall watch the Straws floating on the tide of action.
Yours, with best wishes, Ed. Russell
Elwood is our Post Office now.)