Hartwell Carver

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Hartwell Carver
54 foot monument to Carver in Mount Hope Cemetery. Paid for by Union Pacific Railroad.
Born 1789
Died April 16, 1875(1875-04-16)
Resting place Mount Hope Cemetery,
Rochester, New York
Occupation Doctor, Businessman
Known for Advocate for Pacific Railroad

Dr. Hartwell Carver (1789 – April 16, 1875) was an American doctor, businessman, and an early promoter of what would become the Transcontinental Railroad.

Carver's push for a railroad to connect both coasts of the United States began in 1832 with a proposal that was dismissed by Congress. Over the next several years, Carver wrote a series of articles in the New York Courier and Enquirer about the subject.[1] He participated in the hammering of the Golden Spike that officially joined the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads on May 10, 1869 at Promontory, Utah.[2]

Hartwell Carver was the great-grandson of John Carver, who came over on the Mayflower and was the first governor of Plymouth Colony.[2]

Carver was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York under a 54 foot (16 m) monument erected by the Union Pacific Railroad. The monument is the second tallest in the cemetery.[3] The inscription reads:

"Dr. Carver was the father of the Pacific Railroad; with him originated the thought of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by railroad."[4]


  1. ^ Williams, John Hoyt (1996). A Great and Shining Road: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroad. U of Nebraska Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-8032-9789-0. 
  2. ^ a b Doctors in Pittsford, Town of Pittsford, New York website
  3. ^ Henry S. Hebard, Monument Maker, Epitaph Vol. 24 No. 1 Winter 2005
  4. ^ Hartwell Carver, M.D. Obituary, The New York Times, 19 April 1875