Legislative Branch

Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 7 Pacific Railroads

Table of Contents

Chapter 7. Records of the Committee on Commerce and Related Committees, 1816-1968

Records of Committees Relating to Commerce, 1816-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Select and Standing Committees on Pacific Railroads, 1889-1921

7.42 Separate from the activities of and not to be confused with the above committees on railroads was the Select Committee on Pacific Railroads, 1889-93, and its successor standing committee, 1893-1921. The select committee was appointed following an investigation into the finances of the Union Pacific Railroad, which was heavily indebted to the United States Government. Petitions and memorials referred to the committee, 1889-1897 (3 in.), chiefly concern a bill proposing to extend the time for the Union Pacific to repay its bonds that was opposed by chapters of the Farmer's Alliance and other agrarian reform organizations, some of which wanted the railroad to default and forfeit their land grants. Businesses, trade groups, and some State legislatures proposed their own solutions to the railroad's financial problems. Committee papers, 1893-96 (1/4 in.) are not significant. The committee was terminated in 1921 along with other obsolete Senate committees.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-42). By Robert W. Coren, Mary Rephlo, David Kepley, and Charles South. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.