Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Commissioner of Railroads


(Record Group 193)
1861-1907 (bulk 1878-1904)

OVERVIEW OF RECORDS LOCATIONS

Table of Contents

  • 193.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 193.2 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF RAILROADS 1862-1907 (bulk 1878-1904)
  • 193.3 RECORDS OF THE U.S. PACIFIC RAILWAY COMMISSION 1861-87 (bulk 1887)

193.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: In the Department of the Interior by act of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat. 409).

Predecessor Agencies:

  • Secretary of the Treasury (1862-68)
  • Secretary of the Interior (1868-78)
  • Office of the Auditor of Railroad Accounts, Department of the Interior (1878-81)

Functions: Received and examined reports of federally aided railroad companies.

Abolished: Effective June 30, 1904, by act of March 3, 1903 (32 Stat. 1119).

Successor Agencies: Lands and Railroads Division, Department of the Interior.

Finding Aids: Marion M. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Commissioner of Railroads, PI 158 (1964).

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Commissioner of Railroads in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Bureau of Accounts (Treasury), RG 39.
Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, RG 48.
Records of the Bureau of Land Management, RG 49.
Records of the Bureau of the Public Debt, RG 53.
General Records of the Department of the Treasury, RG 56.

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193.2 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF RAILROADS
1862-1907 (bulk 1878-1904)

History: The first Pacific Railroad Act (12 Stat. 489), July 1, 1862, created the Union Pacific Railroad Company and required it and other federally aided railroads to submit annual reports to the Secretary of the Treasury. By an act of June 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 79), reports were directed to be filed with the Secretary of the Interior. Function assigned to Office of the Auditor of Railroad Accounts by the Auditor of Railroad Accounts Act (20 Stat. 169), June 19, 1878. Renamed Commissioner of Railroads, 1881. SEE 193.1.

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1878-1904, with register, 1878- 1901. Letters received, 1878-1904, with registers, 1862-73, 1878- 1904. Annual reports, 1878-1903. Reports relating to subsidized railroads, 1864-1904 (57 ft.). Correspondence and reports received after termination of Commissioner's Office, 1904-7. Notes on inspections of equipment and tracks on the Kansas Pacific and Central Branch Union Pacific Railroads, 1895-97. Scrapbook of clippings, 1879-80.

Subject Access Terms: Central Pacific Railroad Company; Johnston, Joseph E.; Longstreet, James.

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193.3 RECORDS OF THE U.S. PACIFIC RAILWAY COMMISSION
1861-87 (bulk 1887)

History: Created by an act of March 3, 1887 (24 Stat. 488) to consist of three members appointed by President Grover Cleveland. Investigated the affairs of federally aided railroads. Submitted final report, December 1, 1887.

Textual Records: Letters sent and received, April-October 1887. Testimony, April-August 1887. Exhibits, 1861-87. Reference materials, 1875-87.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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