John B. Davis

Date Original

1871 June 16


Letter from John B. Davis to Col. A.S. Livermore discussing the advantages of doing business by railroad instead of by boat.


[Page 1] De Valls Bluff Jun 16/71
Col A.S. Livermore
Dear Sir
yours 14th
inst enclosing pass for Smith's + myself
is just rec'd + for which you will
please accept on thansk. I will attend
to the passing of crew as you request
+ will be careful to use it with discretion.
I had a talk with smith Freight
Agt of the S+W RR at Sonesville.
+ he said he would attend to the
Agency at Sonesville + Cincinnatti
without any expense to your road or
to us + that he would confer with
you in regard to a division of rates
I thought he wanted the lion's share
+ therefore referred him to you thinking
you could get better terms out of
him than I could. I also called
on several of the largest merchants
[Page 2] there interested in the Arkansas trade
+ they were all in favor of selling
off their boats + doing all this
business by Rail Road. The fact of
their being disposed to sell their boats
+ the prospect of low water in the Ohio
River soon, makes the S+W RR more
independent than they would be if they
had a prospect of strong competition,
+ I would therefore suggest that it would
be best to make the best terms possible
with them by the 1st of July. Adams
contract with them divided rates as
high as Augusta, West Point + Searcy,
+ Road 4/10 Adams 6/10 to Jacksonport,
Black River Road 1/4 Admas 3/4. I do
not know what his contract was for. LIttle
Rock + upper Arkansas. I think Smith
will give us the same dividend he did
with Adams if it will suit you.
What is the prospect of closing out the
St. Louis + Arkansas boats? The river
is falling fast + we must look for low
[Page 3] water soon when it will hurry us in
case of any extra detention to make
train time on our down highs. In
case of our being behind time can
you authorize your conductors to wait
a short time for us? We will always
in such cases telegraph from Des Arc
how much we will be behind time.
We are getting 9/10 of the travel now
but it is duller than I have ever
known it at this season of the year.
The allen left Jacksonport with one
passenger last monday + we left the
same evening with thirteen. Would be
pleased to hear from you often.
Yours truly
John B. Davis, President

Physical Description



Railroads; Industry; Industrialization

Geographical Area






Resource Type

Small Manuscript Collection


Small manuscript collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter from John B. Davis to Col. A.S. Livermore, Small manuscript collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter from John B. Davis to Col. A.S. Livermore