Northern Pacific Railroad

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United States  >  Migration  >  Northern Pacific Railroad

The Northern Pacific Railway (reporting mark NP) was a transcontinental railroad that operated across the northern tier of the western United States from Minnesota to the Pacific Coast. It was approved by Congress in 1864 and given nearly 40 million acres (160,000 km2) of land grants, which it used to raise money in Europe for construction. Construction began in 1870 and the main line opened all the way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific when former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in western Montana on Sept. 8, 1883. The railroad had about 6800 miles of track and served a large area, including extensive trackage in the states of Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. In addition the company had international branches to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The main activities were shipping wheat and other farm products, cattle, timber and minerals; bringing in consumer goods, transporting passengers; and selling land. The company was headquartered first in Brainerd, Minnesota, then in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It had a tumultuous financial history, and in 1970 it merged with other lines to form the Burlington Northern Railroad[1]

States Records

There may be records about the migration in these states:

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Eastern Rivers that enter the Mississippi River

The Ohio, Tennessee and Wabash join and then enter the Mississippi's flow. There are trails and now roads that run on both sides of the Mississippi river and these rivers.

  • Ohio River
  • Connecticut River
  • Tennessee River
  • Wabash River
  • Illinois River
  • Red River of the North

Western Rivers that enter the Mississippi River

Farther west (of the Mississippi River) migrants had to follow trails near rivers in order to water their livestock. For example, the Oregon trail followed the Missouri, North Platte, Sweetwater, Snake and Columbia rivers. The Sweetwater flows into the North Platte which flows into the Missouri which then flows into the Mississippi.

  • Missouri River
  • North Platte River
  • Sweetwater River
  • Arkansas River
  • Red River



  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Northern Pacific Railroad " in Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia at (accessed February 20 2013).