Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Presidents’ Day

Here is a drawing-in-progress of Abraham Lincoln for the endpapers of Locomotive, coming in September from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. On July 1, 1862, Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act, which put government support behind the construction of the country’s first transcontinental railroad. (Nods toward this interest and work of Lincoln’s in the recent Spielberg film: a model steam locomotive on the desk in Willie’s room, and a quick bit of conversation between husband and wife about what they’d like to do postwar. “You’ve an itch to travel?” asks Sally Fields. “I’d like that,” says Daniel Day Lewis. “To the West by rail.”) Ground for the railroad was broken in Sacramento on January 8, 1863, 150 years ago last month. 

A closer look at the Pacific Railroad Act is online at the Library of Congress, here

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