President Fillmore Arranges to Attend Opening of the Railroad Line from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes

May 8, 1851

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President Fillmore Arranges to Attend Opening of the Railroad Line from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 1062

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      Background

      At the midpoint of the 19th century, nothing was more modern, or marvelous, than the railroad – so when the New York & Erie Railroad linked the lower Hudson Valley with the Great Lakes, it was cause for national celebration. In this letter President Fillmore discusses his, and his family’s, travel arrangements to the gala opening of the railroad line to Dunkirk. He and his entire cabinet, along with other notables of the day, assembled en masse in New York City on May 14th, to ride from the Atlantic shore to Lake Erie.
       
      Fillmore also used the occasion to address the citizens who gathered at every stop,  speaking of the necessity of accepting the Compromise of 1850.


      Autograph Letter Signed, as President, 2 pages, recto and verso, octavo, Washington, May 8, 1851. To "Dear Sir".
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      Washington May 8. '51

      My Dear Sir,

      I have your note of yesterday and in reply would state that my wife, son & daughter will go north with me, but probably to avoid the crowds, will take the cars & go directly through on Monday. They will stop at the Irving House, and I shall stay over at Philadelphia, and would choose to go with my family to the Irving House. I am greatly obliged to you for

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      your kind attention in this matter, and for your proffered arrangements to accommodate my family in going West. I desire as little display & ceremony on my account as possible. The more quiet the better I shall be satisfied.

      I am truly yours

      MILLARD FILLMORE