I must wonder if this new Bio of Leland Stanford, provides any further information about Theodore Judah - the most sincere one of the gang, and as a result, deprived of equal billing with Crocker, Hopkins, Huntington, and Stanford. This Journal review would suggest there is:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-d ... lewebshare
.Theodore Judah, a young man in his early 30s and the only one among the leadership who had any real experience building railroads. Judah’s surveys of the Sierra Nevada led to the discovery of a feasible passage at Donner Pass. It was Judah’s presentation to prospective investors that emboldened the Sacramento shopkeepers to go into the railroad business.
Judah spent time in Washington, D.C., securing congressional staff positions that allowed him to guide into law the first Pacific Railway Act in 1862, giving the exclusive Western franchise to the Central Pacific. When he returned to California, however, he quarreled with the Central Pacific leadership about business practices he regarded as unethical and quickly accepted a buyout. He promptly set off for the East Coast again, but as the transcontinental railroad had yet to be built, he traveled by boat from California to New York via Panama, and in doing so contracted yellow fever. He died one week after arriving in Manhattan, at the age of 37.
Even a longer shot would be mention of the Judah friendship with Jim Beckwurth, who knew of the far more grade advantageous pass over the Sierras now bearing his name and not developed until the Western Pacific was built early last century.