Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Charles Robinson to William Hutchinson

Item Description Bookbag Share

C Robinson Dec 31, 58 Washington Dec 31 1858 Wm. Hutchinson Esq
Dear Sir Your favor of 20 inst. is received. I am glad to find that you have common sense. Those men in Lawrence who are making themselves so busy in casting imputations upon my integrity in regard to the interests of Lawrence have simply my contempt. I know I have never given a living soul any occasion to question my devotion to her interests, & hence I know that these men judge me by what they themselves would do if they could, viz, betray the interests of the town where they lived for their own personal aggrandizement. However, nine tenth of the hullabaloo is merely for political effect. They really do not doubt my integrity in this matter, but they know the people are sensitive upon it, & they think it a fine opportunity to elevate themselves a peg or two by standing on my prostrate body. Let them sweat. Every dog must have his day & it would be unjust to deprive them of theirs. If any person is really serious about a railroad on the South side of the Kansas river, below Lawrence, let
[In the margin of Page 1, is the following text] Will keep you posted on New York Land bill. It is blocked, at present, in Committee. Write often- C. R.
Of course this is not for publication.

Page 2

him go to work & build it. I will not interfere in any way. It will have to be built with Stock Subscriptions alone, & he need not wait for land grants, as there is no land to be granted for such a road. If so, I should like to know where it is. Certainly the Delawares will part with none of their lands for a road that does not go up the north side of the river, - Lawrence & Douglas County may, pass resolutions from now till the judgement day for such a road & it will not interfere with our project, as we are only endeavoring to build such roads as can be built with lands granted for the purpose. There is no man here, either in Congress or out, from Kansas or elsewhere, that has a single thought of a grant of lands for a road on the South side of the river, below Lawrence & no resolutions, communications to the Republicans, or editorial insinuations will put such a thought into their heads. When the Kansas valley railroad co. was chartered, the lands in Johnson county were not disposed of, but now they are, & the project is abandoned by its former friends. But the very fact of its having been abandoned by men of sense, perhaps, is the very reason why some wise people about Lawrence should take it up.
You say you are opposed to granting lands to aid any company now in existence. The people of Kansas want these grants to build railroads with, & nothing else, & they want them made in that way which will secure the best roads in

Page 3

the shortest time. Some Chartered Company must build these roads. Now is it for the interest of the people of Kansas to have all these lands granted, given directly to aid John Doe, & co. to build these roads, so that money can be raised at once, a first class road built, with first class rolling stock & depot buildings; or is it for their interest to give them only one half of the land, giving the other half to 15 or 20 members of the Legislature, as the price of their honor, thus crippling the said John Doe & co. so that they can either not build the road at all, or not until the lapse of years, & then only a sickly road, scarcely able to run? The John Doe & co Chartered before these grants, & who have all the lands granted with which to build the roads, is the same firm, or just as good a firm, as the one that may be chartered after the grants, with only half of the lands, the other half having stuck to the fingers of the members of the Legislature. The members of a Kansas Legislature are as good as the members of any western Legislature, but the above estimate of their course is based upon the history of the northwestern States. Do you want the Kansas roads left in the condition of theirs? Neither built nor likely to be? Give the lands to the Legislature that should go to the company that is to build the roads, & you will have your wish, if you do. Of course the Legislature has the same supervision over these lands in the one case as the other, the only difference being that Congress names the co. in one case without

Page 4

pay, while in the other the Legislature names it after stealing half the land Congress & the people of the territory designed to be used in building the roads. But you ask who is the John Doe & co. who are to be aided to build the road up the Kansas valley? It is the firm under the name & style of the Mo. river & Rocky Mt. Railroad co., & the stock is controlled entirely by free state men, & I am quite positive, a majority of the stock is held by residents of Lawrence township or persons largely interested in the city, & by men who have more interest in the growth of Lawrence than ten carloads of such men as Connley and Thatcher who are making such a fuss about selling out Lawrence. No Border Ruffian has a dollar’s worth of stock in the road so far as I know. The directors of the co. are honorable gentlemen, myself excepted if you please, & have the confidence of both the Republican & Democratic parties; & this is necessary to success, for no grant of land can be got through Congress without both Republican & Democratic votes, neither can the Delaware lands, or any portion of them, be obtained, (without which no road can be built between L. & the Mo river without the approval of the administration. Strike out this company & you get no grants this session, beyond question. It is the only company so organized as to have the confidence of the members of Congress or the railroad public, & the only one that can work effectively for grants or any other purpose, & the co. on which the whole question of grants, in my opinion, will hinge. I cannot give you all my reasons for saying this in one letter, even if it would be judicious to give them at all, but such is my belief.
I am very glad you are disposed to interest yourself in this matter, & shall be as glad to use my influence in such a way that your pecuniary interest shall keep pace with your labors & zeal.
Very Respectfully C. Robinson

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2020 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.