May 20th. 1860
Yours of 13th inst is at hand. You will find Green Russells report in many of the Kansas papers in the next few days. I shall send you one containing it, as soon as I can lay my hand on it. Enclosed is an account of proceedings last night – The committee appointed are at work, & mean to put the matter through. The War Dept. should be induced if possible to authorize VanVliet to send a force on the route to open it up. There can be no doubt whatever of the superiority of the Smoky Hill route in distance, time & wood over the Platte route. Jones & Cartwright say they will put their trains on the route as soon as our working party has bridged the worst streams.
As to the railroad bill – I hope you will pursue that course in reference to the Atchison & St. Joseph [MS. Illegible] which promises best for the success of the Bill. It is practically of small consequence to us which point gets the road, Atchison or Elwood. It would
perhaps be better that Elwood should get it; but I would let either have it (or give each a road, the two to unite say 30 miles from the Missouri river) to help the whole bill, and strengthen its chances for success.
I am glad to hear that you are watching the Pacific railroad project closely. But do not depend on the passage of a Pacific bill this session – Work for our land grant bill, as that is vastly more likely to succeed than any great bill which will involve such violent and determined opposition from the sections which are disappointed in the routes proposed.
As to the land case – we have taken fresh testimony, and the case will be decided here by the officers at Kickapoo & then go up to Washington. I may then want your aid.
Thomas Ewing Jr
A. J. Isacks Esq
Washington, D. C.