Lot 241 of 627:
Letter to W.C. Ralston about San Mateo railroad  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$400 - $600

Letter from attorney John T. Doyle to William C. Ralston, enlisting his aid in the construction of a narrow gauge railroad in San Mateo County

Doyle, John T.

San Francisco


December 20, 1872


Autograph letter signed by John T. Doyle. 13 lines, in ink, on sheet of lined writing paper 25.5x20 cm (10x7¾"). Docketed in pencil at top of letter, apparently in Ralston's hand.

John Thomas Doyle, who for fifty years worked on the "Pious Fund" case as legal counselor for San Francisco Catholic Archbishops Joseph Alemany and Patrick Riordan, was also involved in transportation matters, and served as California State Commissioner of Transportation in 1877-78. Doyle writes to San Francisco banker and financier W.C. Ralston, "I presume you have noticed my project for a narrow gauge R. Road in San Mateo County. I don't want to take up your time with talking over it, but you have interests down there & doubtless have an opinion about it..." Attached to the letter is a contemporary newsclipping reporting on the "San Mateo Railroad Convention," with proposed articles of incorporation, a slate for directors (Doyle and Ralston among them), etc.

Lot Amendments

Old folds and some normal darkening and wear; very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail.  For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.