Jay Cooke papers
This collection contains correspondence, business and financial records, pamphlets, and a small group of personal papers, including ephemera, photographs, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks. Making up the bulk of the Jay Cooke papers, Series 1 contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of Jay C...
|Collection:||Jay Cooke Papers|
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Processing Information: This collection was processed using the More Product, Less Process model, which aims to make materials accessible to researchers in less time than traditional processing. Please see the microfilm guide for more detailed description about the correspondence.
43.4 Linear feet ; 102 boxes, 30 volumes, 12 flat files
This collection contains correspondence, business and financial records, pamphlets, and a small group of personal papers, including ephemera, photographs, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks.
Making up the bulk of the Jay Cooke papers, Series 1 contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of Jay Cooke, his brothers Henry Cooke and Pitt Cooke, and a smaller amount of third-party correspondence from business partners and other family members. Cooke corresponded with some of the most powerful men of his day, making the correspondence the highlight of the collection. Researchers can trace business deals Cooke made with government officials, and observe behind-the-scenes negotiations and speculation. Correspondents describe major historical events, including the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and the fall of Jay Cooke & Co. The nation's finances and railroads and westward expansion are major themes in the series.
Series 2 contains the business and financial records of Jay Cooke & Co.; J. B. Moorhead and William G. Moorhead (Jay Cooke's brother-in-law and business partner); Northern Pacific Railroad and related affiliates; and assorted records related to the national loans and Treasury bonds.
Series 3 includes primarily newspapers and newspaper clippings, along with miscellaneous ephemera and notes, photographs, and writings. This small series offers additional perspective on Jay Cooke's philanthropic, religious, and family orientation.
Series 1 and 2 are arranged chronologically. Series 3 is arranged roughly by size and then alphabetically by folder title, with photographs arranged together in one box. In Series 1, incoming, outgoing, and third-party correspondence are intermixed. Series 1 was partially microfilmed in 1997, and microfilm reel numbers can be found in the published microfilm guide, which is available at http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/digital_guides/civil_war_and_reconstruction_jay_cooke_series_one_parts_1_to_5/Contents.aspx (accessed June 14, 2010).
The Jay Cooke papers are a rich source of information about the finances of the Union war efforts during the Civil War, the politics of the Union during and after the Civil War, westward expansion and the construction of railroads across the country, and banking and finance during the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Cooke's correspondence documents the work of Jay Cooke & Company and contains communications with many of the era's most powerful politicians and businessmen. Cooke's connection with the Department of the Treasury provides a unique inside view of political decisions, and illustrates Cooke's influence with many leaders in positions of great authority. This collection also contains a small group of personal papers, offering a perspective on Jay Cooke's philanthropic, religious, and family orientation.