Largely consisting of the outgoing correspondence of Central Pacific land agent Robert Lardin Fulton, the material in this
collection provides the context in which data on Southern Pacific and Central Pacific land grant records can be understood.
Additional material in this collection allows for a deeper understanding of the relationships between railroad companies and
the United States government in the late 19th - early 20th Centuries.
Robert Lardin Fulton (1847-1920) began his railroad career as a telegraph operator for the Erie Railroad. In 1868, he worked
as part of the construction team on Union Pacific’s Overland railroad, and after completion he switched employment to the
Central Pacific Railroad Company. On June 15, 1875, Fulton became a field agent for Central Pacific in Placer County, CA,
and was responsible for looking after timber lands along Central Pacific’s lines. Then in 1879, Fulton moved to Nevada, where
his responsibilities increased to setting prices of land for sale by Central Pacific, and collecting rents from tenants of
the land. In 1900, Fulton also became responsible for examinations of land in order to obtain patents for Central Pacific,
and worked on land settlements along Central Pacific’s lines between Colfax, CA and Ogden, UT.
Alongside his work as a land agent, Fulton was also an advocate for various agricultural and irrigation projects in California
and Nevada, and often used the ‘Reno Evening Gazette’, which he owned and edited, to argue the case for such projects. Fulton
worked as a principal agent for U.S. Representative Francis G. Newlands, helping Newlands to obtain land and water rights
for a planned public water system in Nevada. Furthermore, Fulton and Newlands worked together to campaign for the passing
of the National Reclamation Act (1902), which funded many irrigation projects in the Western states, beginning with the Truckee-Carson
Project in 1903.
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the CSRM Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.