The Wilmington & Raleigh Rail Road Company
By James C. Burke.
Softcover, 232 pages, 6x9, 40 photos, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. 2011.
"In 1833, the Wilmington & 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.
"James C. Burke has published articles in North Carolina Geographer and Railroad History. A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, he teaches at Cape Fear Community College and serves on the board of trustees of the Wilmington Railroad Museum."
Table of Contents
I. Weldon, Tollgate of North Carolina 11
II. Early Plans for Railroads in North Carolina 32
III. The Building of a Railroad 60
IV. The Technology: Its Origins and History 79
V. Conflict and Crisis 109
VI. Rail Transportation and Economic Growth 141
Appendix A: The Railroad Land in Wilmington 169
Appendix B: The Depot Site at Wilmington 178
Chapter Notes 189