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Dr. Hartwell Carver (1789 – April 16, 1875) was an American doctor, businessman, and an early promoter of what would become the Transcontinental Railroad.

Hartwell Carver
54 foot monument to Carver in Mount Hope Cemetery. Paid for by Union Pacific Railroad.
Died(1875-04-16)April 16, 1875
Resting placeMount Hope Cemetery,
Rochester, New York
OccupationDoctor, Businessman
Known forAdvocate for Pacific Railroad

Carver's push for a railroad to connect both coasts of the United States began in 1832 with a proposal that was dismissed by Congress. Over the next several years, Carver wrote a series of articles in the New York Courier and Enquirer about the subject.[1] He participated in the hammering of the Golden Spike that officially joined the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads on May 10, 1869 at Promontory, Utah.[2]

Hartwell Carver was the great-grandson of John Carver, who came over on the Mayflower and was the first governor of Plymouth Colony.[2]

Carver was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York under a 54-foot (16 m) monument erected by the Union Pacific Railroad. The monument is the second tallest in the cemetery.[3] The inscription reads:

"Dr. Carver was the father of the Pacific Railroad; with him originated the thought of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by railroad."[4]


  1. ^ Williams, John Hoyt (1996). A Great and Shining Road: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroad. U of Nebraska Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-8032-9789-0.
  2. ^ a b Doctors in Pittsford, Town of Pittsford, New York website
  3. ^ Henry S. Hebard, Monument Maker, Epitaph Vol. 24 No. 1 Winter 2005
  4. ^ Hartwell Carver, M.D. Obituary, The New York Times, 19 April 1875