"The once pastoral landscape of America, quiet and
undisturbed, was now pierced by the sight and sound of
a mechanical marvel,
the locomotive and its trailing cars.
Wherever tracks were hammered
down, business was sure to follow.
Sometimes whole towns were planned
around a railroad track.
A new social caste system was spreading in the
wake of the railroad.
Now there was a 'right side' and a 'wrong side'
of the tracks.
The right and wrong sides of the
tracks was determined by which way the wind blew the sooty, black engine
smoke." - Leonard Everett Fisher
created a cash shortage.
Railroads had to be built with
When two cities wished to
link themselves with a railroad they issued bonds to the extent of their credit
and they induced all the counties along the line to issue bonds.
these bonds were sold the money power bought them up.
road-bed, or a considerable part of it was completed, the money power would
furnish the iron and rolling stock secured by first mortgage
"I recollect that in 1855 to 1857, one of our cities was
making tremendous efforts to build a railroad reaching toward a great business
After two or three efforts made with
intervals of deep
despondency, over one hundred miles of the road-bed was at last completed;
and one of the most distinguished citizens of the state was sent to London, to
negotiate for the iron for the road.
He came back astounded.
said he found men from all over the world in London on the same business as
himself : all wishing to get iron for railroads, at $10,000 a mile, secured on
first mortgage bonds: and they all got the iron.
He said, "These London
capitalists are sure to get the railroads for the first mortgage bonds; and
no man can foresee the
consequences. It will certainly work a mighty change when these capitalists
get possession of all the land transportation of the world." - L.B.
Ownership of railroads gave to the money power entire
control of the internal traffic of any nation whose railroads they had
Railroad ownership enabled them to make hundreds of millions
of dollars in speculations on town lots at points on the railroads known
beforehand only to the agents of the money power.
Jay Gould and Jim
Fisk are full partners in ownership of the New York and Erie R.R. holding
$23,000,000 of railroad stocks.
Jim Fisk is killed holding $11,000,000
in railroad stock.
At the settlement of Jim Fisk's estate his family
receives a few thousand dollars.
Jay Gould could hardly have been worth
more than his partner, Jim Fisk and yet he went West with forty million dollars
according to the newspapers and bought ten thousand miles of
The Wabash System is one-half of the ten thousand miles of
railroad in the Gould System.
Mr. Gould stated in an interview with a
New York reporter that much the
greater number of the
stockholders of the Wabash System were in Great Britain and only a few in
The rest of the ten thousand miles of the Gould System consists
of the Missouri Pacific, the Missouri Kansas and Texas, the Texas Pacific, and
the Iron Mountain Railroads.
Pacific did not belong to Jay Gould, for its
stockholders have had it
taken out of the Gould System by process of law.
Missouri Kansas and Texas did not belong to him; for its
stockholders also, have
brought suit and withdrawn the railroad from the Gould System .
Gould stated in an interview with a reporter in that he held more stock in the
Missouri Pacific than all his other investments put together.
The Missouri Pacific is a railroad three hundred miles
long, running from St. Louis to Kansas
"It was in the decades following
our Civil War that our industries began
We had great railroads to build.
The oil, mining,
steel, textile industries were bursting out of their
All of that called for vast financing; much of that
financing had to come from abroad.
That meant the
House of Rothschild,
Jacob Schiff came into his own.
He played a very
Jacob Schiff became the patron-saint
of John D. Rockefeller,
EH Harriman, and
Jacob Schiff financed Standard
Oil for John D.
Rockefeller, the Railroad Empire for
EH Harriman, and the
Steel Empire for
Jacob Schiff opened the
doors of the House of
Rothschild to Morgan, Biddle, and Drexel through
Kuhn & Loeb which provided the
financing to build the industrial empires.
At the time of his death
Edward Henry Harriman controlled
the Union Pacific,
Southern Pacific, Saint Joseph
and Grand Island, Illinois Central, Central of Georgia, Pacific Mail Steamship,
and Wells Fargo.
At the turn of the century
Jacob Schiff had a tight control of the entire
banking-fraternity on Wall Street which by then included
Goldman Sachs, and other
international banks that where headed by men chosen by
That meant control of the nation's money and he was then ready for the
giant step - the entrapment of our national money-system." -
"The operations of Vanderbilt, and Gould and others in
Wall Street can only be
accounted for by the fact that they were the agents of the money power and were
supplied with sufficient capital to make their operations an assured success
much like the success that Maxxam enjoyed with the help of
an agent of the money power -" Michael Robert
Pacific Railroad Act of
"The Pacific Railroad Act chartered the Union Pacific
Railroad, and provided for it to build westward from the Missouri River in
Nebraska to a meeting with the Central Pacific reaching eastward from
It also granted the two railroads 10 square miles of
public land (later increased
to twenty) for every mile of track laid, and loans in US bonds of $16,000 to
$48,000 per mile, depending on the topography.
The Union Pacific was
being financed by "Credit Mobilier" headed up by Thomas C. Durant.
engineer designing the railroad gave Thomas C. Durant a price tag of 3 million
dollars for the first 100 miles.
Thomas C. Durant then gave a contract
to Credit Mobilier for 5 million dollars while "holding the engineer only to
the original 3 million dollar specifications."
When the engineer
resigned in protest, Major General Grenville M. Dodge was recruited from the US
Army to replace him.
Greed and corruption continued with a few key
people becoming quite wealthy at the expense of the Union Pacific.
financial wrangling of the Central Pacific was also quite questionable, but
their books were never reviewed.
CP Huntingdon claimed they had been
destroyed when the company disbanded.
The investigators concluded,
nevertheless, that the Big Four had benefitted excessively." - Charlton
Theodore Judah lobbys for passage, Congress passes the act
and Lincoln signs it.
At the time the Central Pacific Railroad project
began, C P Huntingdon is a grocer with limited means in San Francisco.
Theodore Judah, C P Huntingdon, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins build the
Central Pacific Railroad.
The US government aid is only paid when a
stipulated number of miles of railway have been completed: the men in the
company had not the means to do so much work before receiving the government
When CP Huntingdon appeared before a Congressional Committee
and insisted that the Central Pacific railroad was in dire circumstances.
When a member of the Committee asked him if he shared the depressed
financial condition of the road, he paused for a considerable time before
answering with extreme caution, "No: I am said to be rich."
Huntingdon insisted that he had made no money out of the Central
Commodore Vanderbilt is the manager of a line of steamers
running the Isthmus route from New York to San Francisco.
Vanderbilt quit the shipping line, went to Wall Street to speculate in railroad
stocks with one million dollars.
Frequently Commodore Vanderbilt had the
whole of Wall Street against him, but he was always able to put down any
combination that was formed against him.
Commodore Vanderbilt was
constantly opposed by Daniel Drew, who was worth $15,000,000.
Commodore Vanderbilt carry his vast operations through, with the one million
dollars he was worth when he went into
Vanderbilt purchased sole ownership of the Harlem railroad.
Vanderbilt soon afterwards bought the Hudson River railroad, and the New York
Central; and he continued to purchase railroads, until he owned a grand system
extending far into the Northwest.
On Commodore Vanderbilt's death his son, William Henry
Vanderbilt, immediately transferred a controlling interest in the New York
Central System to a syndicate of New York capitalists representing money power
for $50,000,000; which William Henry Vanderbilt at once invested in four per
cent US bonds.
the people! I do not run my roads for the benefit of the people."- William
Those 4% bonds were deposited in London, in the
banking house of John Bidall Martin in Lombard street.
Martin gained ownership through foreclosure of the Erie railroad and the Wabash
Most of these first mortgage bonds carried usurous
rates - so high that all profits go directly to the bond holders as interest
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American social mores and values
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