First Telegraph Line Across the Continent | Diary of Charles Brown in 1861 | Only Known Source Written About The Day-To-Day Construction Of The First Transcontinental Telegraph Line | Filled With Period Detail

First Telegraph Line Across the Continent | Diary of Charles Brown in 1861 | Only Known Source Written About The Day-To-Day Construction Of The First Transcontinental Telegraph Line | Filled With Period Detail

First Telegraph Line Across the Continent | Diary of Charles Brown in 1861 | Only Known Source Written About The Day-To-Day Construction Of The First Transcontinental Telegraph Line | Filled With Period Detail

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The transcontinental telegraph was a remarkable technological feat that had major consequences for the West and the nation as a whole. Yet relatively little has been written about it.

Recently re-discovered in the Smithsonian Institution collections, this previously unpublished diary is the only known extensive source written about the day-to-day construction of one segment of the first transcontinental telegraph line.

Brown's lively narrative is filled with period detail about individuals, road ranches, attitudes toward Indians, public promotion of the spirit of Manifest Destiny, difficulties facing construction crews, the nature of frontier law enforcement, and even the issues of secession and Civil War.

  • 133 pages 
  • 9 chapters 
  • Published by Nebraska State Historical Society 2011

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