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ECV® CHAPTER 1841

HISTRORIANS REPORT

OUTPOST #1841

April 17, 2012

"Railroads - The Big Four"

    If you've heard this before, don't stop me, I don't give a shit. Everyone thinks railroaders were wealthy, but none of them came here with any money. CP Euwing from Connecticut came from a family so poor that their kids were taken away from them. Born in 1821, CP was given to another family when he was nine years old, then at fourteen given to a family for apprenticeship. He worked hard at a mercantile business and was very frugal. By the time he was sixteen years old he bought a horse and cart and went to White Planes, NY and made a deal with the stable owner to keep his horse and cart in the stable. Then he would get up before daylight and travel as far out of town as possible and buy produce on the way back to sell when he got back to town.

    By twenty years old CP owned a freighting business with four horses and wagons and bought the stable where he had been keeping his horses. CP made a deal with the Saratoga Rail Road and would freight stuff between the Saratoga and Pennsylvania rail lines, becoming friends with Thomas Scott of the Pennsylvania Rail Road.

    CP liquidated everything when gold was struck in California, bought shovels, picks, block & tackle and went to Panama, but, had no money to ship his equipment across so he walked twenty trips across the isthmus with equipment on his back and pushing a cart, then shipped the equipment to San Francisco where he made a deal to sell during the day and sleep on it at night - with his pistol. One night a cat or coon jumped on him...

    CP met Mark Hopkins who had a tent and wanted to sell liquor and preach on Sunday. They started a business together and did so well they opened a second store in Placerville selling canvas, tents and clothes, and then, had five outlets. CP Hunnington still wanted to get into the transportation business and he convinced Mark to invest. Mark was nineteen years older, a college theology professor (Ulysses Grant was one of his pupils), a bookkeeper for the town council. He came to California to sell a favored commodity, but, when he got to Sacramento he found eight bars already existed, so, he set up a tent to preach from, but, CP got to him. Mark was a book man, CP was a hustler - "if it aint nailed down or you don't have to pry on it to hard then it's mine." So anything went through his store.

    The first rail road in the state of California: Cp went to New York, bought an engine and a coal car, disassembled it, shipped it around the horn (he could have lost everything going around the treacherous horn route), then reassembled and got enough rails to go from Sacramento to Folsom. Construction took three times longer than originally estimated because every time another strike was discovered the crew would steel shovels and picks in the middle of the night and disappear and pece toviele feat geround.

    CP and Charles Lincoln Wilson went to New York and convinced him to come to California two days after his wedding to build rail roads. Two hundred feet from the center of the track to each side was the rail road right of way and he sold the land on both sides.

    Mark Hopkins and CP became top of the four most wealthy. So, he came to California he changed California.

Reported by,

Brother Don "Peanut Butter" Breeland, well known Historian Extraordinaire