United States Senate Committee on the Pacific Railroad

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The Senate Committee on the Pacific Railroad is a defunct committee of the United States Senate. It was first established as a select committee on July 7, 1861, to examine legislation to authorize construction of a transcontinental railroad.

This legislation formed the basis of the Pacific Railway Acts enacted in 1862, which granted a charter to the Union Pacific Railroad Company to construct the first transcontinental railroad in the United States and to provide federal support in the form of land grants and bond subsidies. The committee was made a standing committee on December 22, 1863[1] during the 38th United States Congress to oversee matters related to construction of the railroad. After construction was completed in 1869, the committee decreased in relevance and in 1873 when it was replaced by the Committee on Railroads.[2]

Original Members, 38th Congress[edit]

The standing committee consisted of nine members, each of whom were appointed to the committee on January 6, 1864.[1] The committee's first chairman was Jacob Howard, a Republican from Michigan.


Member State Party
Jacob Howard, Chairman Michigan Republican
Jacob Collamer Vermont Republican
Reverdy Johnson Maryland Union
James Harlan Iowa Republican
Lyman Trumbull Illinois Republican
John Sherman Ohio Republican
Edwin D. Morgan New York Republican
John Conness California Republican
Gratz Brown Missouri Unconditional Union

Chairmen 1863-1873[edit]

References and sources[edit]