Early in 1859 Everett became partner in a firm organized for the purpose of building the Platte County Railroad, in Missouri, and he was appointed Chief Engineer, with complete control of the work and a salary of $3,000 per annum. He expected to make an independent fortune out of the contract, and would undoubtedly have done so, had he lived. His residence now became St. Joseph, Missouri. His employment involved a good deal of travelling, through a beautiful country, and an occasional attendance on the Legislature, as lobby-member, which he found less agreeable than instructive. His worldly prospects were bright. ‘I should not be surprised,’ he wrote, ‘if in two or three years each of us (there are three) should have an annual income of $20,000 or $25,000 from the road.’ His health and strength were in admirable condition; he described himself as ‘strong as an ox, and with vitality enough for a dozen of our young men of Boston.’ When, in the following summer (1860), he made his long-desired two months visit at home, I noticed that, wherever we went, his commanding physique always attracted attention. He was six feet and one inch in height, and weighed two hundred and forty pounds. His motions were slow and steady, and his manners quiet and grave. Such were his conditon and prospects at the outbreak of the Rebellion. The following letter is the first record of his views upon the subject.
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