James Burke softcover
In 1833, the Wilmington and Raleigh Rail Road Company set out to connect the port city of Wilmington to North Carolina_s capital. When it was done in 1840, after changing its route, the company had completed 161 miles of track--the longest railroad in the world at the time--and provided continuous transportation from the town of Weldon on the Roanoke River to Wilmington and on to Charleston, South Carolina, by steamboat. A marvel of civil engineering by the standards of the day, the railroad constituted a tour de force of organization, finance and political will that risked the fortunes of individuals and the credit of the state. This study chronicles the project from its inception, exploring its impact on subsequent railroad development in North Carolina and its significance within the context of American railroad history as a whole.