United States Railroad History Collection, 1840-1930

Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library [Browse]
2 boxes (2 boxes)


Related name
Restrictions note
  • This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
  • This collection has no restrictions.
Biographical/​Historical note
The case of SHARPLESS ET AL. VS. THE MAYOR, ALDERMEN, AND CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA IN 1853 was a proceeding in equity before the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania. It was an attempt to enjoin the city from subscribing to stock in certain railroad companies on the ground that that the laws authorizing such subscripts were unconstitutional.
Summary note
This collection consists of 37 letters written in reply to a questionnaire sent out by the Philadelphia attorneys, Campbell, Reall, Foster, Bright, and Dallas, in regard to the case of SHARPLESS ET AL. VS. THE MAYOR, ALDERMEN, AND CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA IN 1853. These letters of reply contain information for 17 states, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Maine, and Louisiana. The letters give brief but full accounts of the history, legislation, and policy of aid to railroads by local governments in these states up to 1853, the year in which all of the letters are dated. The letters were written by state officials and functionaries and are all in script of the clarity of mid-19th century legal hands. Also, articles of incorporation for the West Virginia railroads Clarksburg, Weston and Glenville Railroad and Transportation Company, Weston and Buckhannon Railroad Company, Weston and Elk River Railroad Company, Weston and West Fork Railroad Company, and Buckhannon River Railroad Company; railroad stock certificates; and scrapbooks containing news clippings relating to the Great Erie Railway War, 1868, and sample railroad tickets for the New York Central Railroad.
Accumulation and frequency of use
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.
Rights and reproductions note
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Source acquisition
Source of acquisition--North, Paul, Jr. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--07/--/53. Accession number--M-53-07.
Cite as
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Railroads - records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Finding aid
Link to PDF finding aid added in fall 2018
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Supplementary Information