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...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Cooke, Jay 1821-1905. (Creator)
Collection:Jay Cooke Papers
Collection Number:0148
Format: Manuscript
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Online Access:Link to finding aid
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LEADER 10505ntc a2200541 u 4500
001 ead-0148
008 180927i18311906xx eng d
040 |e dacs 
041 0 |a eng 
099 |a 0148 
100 1 |a Cooke, Jay  |d 1821-1905.   |e creator 
245 1 |a Jay Cooke papers  |f 1831-1906, undated  |g 1858 - 1874 
300 |a 43.4 Linear feet  |f ; 102 boxes, 30 volumes, 12 flat files  
351 |b This collection is divided into three series: 1. Correspondence, 1843-1906, undated, 31.4 linear feet 2. Business & financial records, 1853-1893, undated, 9.0 linear feet 3. Personal, 1831-1906, undated, 3.0 linear feet 
500 |a 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. 
520 |a 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). 
520 |a 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.  
524 8 |a Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Jay Cooke papers (Collection 148), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
535 1 |a Correspondence (Series 1) dating from 1843-1874 was microfilmed, and is available at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for researcher use. (MFilm Z 6616 .C66 J39 1997) 
540 1 |a This collection is open for research. 
544 |a Cooke, Jay. Collection. (GA-71), Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Cooke, Jay. Papers, 1845-1897. (MS 129), Ohio Historical Society. Fahnestock, Harris Charles. Papers, 1855-1914. (Ms 781 1852-1914 F223), Baker Library, Harvard Business School. Jay Cooke & Co. Records, 1832-1915. (Mss 781 1832-1915 (1861-1905)), Baker Library, Harvard Business School. Northern Pacific Railway Company. Corporate records, 1861-1970. Minnesota Historical Society.  
544 |a Chase, Salmon P. Papers. (Collection 121) Cooke, Jay. Jay Cooke's Memoir. (Call number Gc .7427 C772) Cooke, Jay. Estate ledger, 1905-1923. (Call number Am .90775) Wharton, Thomas I. (Thomas Isaac), 1791-1856. Papers, 1664-1891 (inclusive), 1664, 1812-1891 (bulk). (Collection 710) 
545 |a Jay Cooke was born in Sandusky, Ohio, on August 10, 1821. His father Eleutheros was a well-connected attorney and legislator, and was elected to Congress in 1830. Jay Cooke left the Midwest in the mid-1830s to work at the Philadelphia banking house E.W. Clark & Co., where he rose to become a partner. In 1844, Cooke married Dorthea Elizabeth Allen, with whom he had four children who lived to adulthood. During Cooke's employment at E.W. Clark & Co., that firm helped to finance the Mexican War; Cooke's eventual reputation as the "financier of the Civil War" may have been nurtured under the tutelage at Clark's firm. In January 1861, Cooke and his brother-in-law William G. Moorhead opened Jay Cooke & Co., which would later be Philadelphia's most powerful financial house and a major national company. Cooke & Co. would later open a Washington, D.C., office, under the supervision of Cooke's brother Henry, and a New York office, with Cooke's younger brother Pitt overseeing operations. Cooke's firm gained favor with Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, who asked Jay Cooke & Co. to serve as financial agent for government loans and bonds in September 1861. In March 1862, Cooke was appointed subscription agent for the national loan. In this role, Cooke flourished, creating a successful advertising campaign that coupled print announcements with face-to-face entreaties of traveling agents in the Midwest. The print campaign leaned on patriotic language and helped to convince thousands of citizens to pledge their support to the Union war effort. After President Lincoln's assassination, Cooke used his influence to steady the panic that threatened to shake Wall Street. He purchased bonds with his own capital to help build confidence in the bond market when it seemed likely to fall. Cooke's investments and public efforts to promote the national loan helped to raise around $700 million by the end of the Civil War. Cooke's great success as a subscription agent buoyed his efforts to promote the Northern Pacific Railroad after the Civil War ended. Cooke championed the railroad system, and put a great deal of effort into promoting westward expansion. After the Yellowstone area of Wyoming was discovered by eastern businessmen, Cooke's firm invested advertising dollars into the expansion of the Northern Pacific to Wyoming. They lobbied Congress to develop a national park, which would encourage tourism to this unknown area of the country. Cooke and his brother Henry were instrumental in pressuring legislators to create Yellowstone National Park. They had great hopes when the park was created in 1872. Unfortunately, they continued to incur greater expenses than revenues, and Jay Cooke & Co. found itself facing a rush on its bank on September 18, 1873. The fall of Jay Cooke & Co. created fear in investors and sparked the Panic of 1873. One of the leading bankers of his day, Cooke involved himself in nearly everything from the endowment of churches and charities to the building of railroads and sale of securities. Cooke made a practice of tithing, donating 10 percent of his income to charities before taking home a profit. This did not stop him from amassing a great fortune and purchasing two grand homes: one called Ogontz in Northeast Philadelphia, the other an entire island called Gibraltar in Lake Erie. He leased his Ogontz estate in 1883 to the Chestnut Street Female Seminary, which renamed itself the Ogontz School for Girls. While Cooke lost most of his money in bankruptcy after the fall of Jay Cooke & Co, he regained a significant part of his money in the late nineteenth century, and lived comfortably at the end of his life. He died February 16, 1905, and was interred in Saint Paul's Episcopal Church cemetery in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. 
555 |a Finding Aid Available Online:  
561 1 |a This collection was purchased by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
600 1 7 |a Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland)  |d 1808-1873.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Clark, Edward W.  |d 1828-1904.   |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Cooke , Eleutheros  |d 1787-1864.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Cooke, Henry David  |d 1825-1881   |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Cooke, Pitt  |d b. 1819.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Fahnestock, Harris C. (Harris Charles)  |d 1835-1914.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Fessenden, William Pitt  |d 1806-1869.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Lincoln, Abraham  |d 1809-1865.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a McCulloch, Hugh  |d 1808-1895.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Moorhead, J. B.  |2 NACO Authority File 
600 1 7 |a Moorhead, William G.  |d fl. 1834-1866.  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a E.W. Clarke and Co  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a Jay Cooke & Co  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a Northern Pacific Railway Company  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a United States  |b Dept. of the Treasury  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a Vermont Central Railroad Company  |2 NACO Authority File 
650 0 |a Banking law--United States--History. 
650 0 |a Railroad--Construction. 
651 0 |a United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865. 
651 0 |a United States--Politics and government--1861-1865. 
655 7 |a Correspondence.  |2 Genre Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging 
852 |a The Historical Society of Pennsylvania  |b Jay Cooke Papers  |l 0148 
856 4 2 |y Link to finding aid  |u http://www2.hsp.org/collections/manuscripts/c/Cooke0148.html