stacks





1825 The Erie Canal is built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

Upon completion it is the 2nd longest canal in the world (Grand Canal, China).

The Erie Canal, originally running 363 miles from the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo, concentrated wealth in the transporatation hubs of Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and New York City.




Midnight Special

Oil Industry Asks Court to Block Rail Transport Safety Rules

August 20, 2019: Railcars sitting idle climbs to multi-month high

56,425 railcars put in storage between January 1 and August 20.
This brings the total railcars in storage close to 350,000.


"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


"On the outskirts of a little town upon a rise of land that swept back from the railway there was a tidy little cottage of white boards.

To one side of the house there was a garden neatly patterned with plots of growing vegetables, and an arbor for grapes which ripened late in August.

Before the house there were three mighty oaks which sheltered it in their clean and massive shade in summer, and there was a border of gay flowers.

The whole place had an air of tidiness, thrift, and modest comfort.

Every day for more than twenty years, as the train approached this house, the engineer had blown on the whistle, and every day, as soon as she heard this signal, a woman had appeared on the porch of the house and waved.

At first she had a small child clinging to her skirts, now grown to full womanhood every day she came with her mother to the porch and waved.

The engineer had grown old and gray in service.

He had driven his great train across the land ten thousand times.

His own children had grown up, and married.

He had known all the grief, joy, peril and labor a man could know.

He had grown seamed and weathered in his loyal service, and now, schooled by the qualities of faith and courage and humbleness that attended his labor, he had grown old, and had the grandeur and these men have.

The sight of this little house and these two women gave him the most extraordinary momentary happiness he had ever known.

He had seen these women in a thousand lights, a hundred weathers.

He felt for them and for the little house and he resolved that one day, when his years of service should be ended, he would go and find these people and speak at last with them whose lives had been so tied up into his own.

Yes, this was the house he sought, the place he had passed so many times, the destination he had longed for with such happiness.

Now that he had found it, now that he was here, why did his hand falter on the gate; the entrance to this place he loved turned unfamiliar landscape?

Why did he now feel this sense of confusion, doubt and hopelessness?

Three short steps led up to the porch, and he was knocking at the door.

Presently the door opened and a woman stood facing him.

With a sense of bitter loss and grief, he was sorry he had come.

He knew at once this woman who stood there looking at him with anxious concern was the same woman who had waved to him many thousand times.

Her face was harsh, pinched and meager; flesh sagged wearily in sallow folds, small eyes peered at him with timid suspicion and uneasy doubt.

All the warmth and affection that he had read into her gesture, vanished in the moment he saw her and heard her unfriendly tongue." - Thomas Wolfe




Monopolized trade created a cash shortage.

Railroads had to be built with debt.

When two cities wished to link themselves with a railroad they issued bonds to the extent of their credit inducing counties along the line to issue bonds.

When these bonds were sold the Money Power bought them up.

When the road-bed, or a considerable part of it was completed, the money power would furnish the iron and rolling stock secured by mortgage bonds.

"I recollect that in 1855 to 1857, one of our cities was making tremendous efforts to build a railroad reaching toward a great business center.

After two or three efforts with intervals of deep despondency, over one hundred miles of the road-bed was completed; 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.

He 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. Woolfolk

Ownership of railroads gave to the money power entire control of the internal traffic of any nation whose railroads they had mortgaged.

Railroad ownership enabled them to speculate 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 settlement of Jim Fisk's estate his family receives a few thousand dollars.

Jay Gould could hardly have been worth more than his partner, yet Jim Fisk went West with 40 million dollars and bought 10,000 miles of railroad.

The Wabash System is ½ of the 10,000 miles of railroad in the Gould System.

Mr. Gould stated in an interview with a reporter the greater number of the stockholders of the Wabash System were in Great Britain; few in the US.

The 10,000 miles of the Gould System consists of the Missouri Pacific, Missouri Kansas and Texas, Texas Pacific, and the Iron Mountain Railroads.

The Texas Pacific did not belong to Jay Gould, for its stockholders had it taken out of the Gould System by process of law.

The Missouri Kansas and Texas did not belong to him; for its stockholders brought suit and withdrew the railroad from the Gould System.

Jay 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.

Missouri Pacific is 300 miles long, running from St. Louis to Kansas City.

"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 Milken






"It was the decades following our Civil War that industry began to burgeon.

We had great railroads to build.

The oil, mining, steel, textile industries were bursting.

All called for vast financing; much of that financing came from abroad.

Jacob Schiff of the House of Rothschild came into his own.

Jacob Schiff financed Standard Oil for John D. Rockefeller, the Railroad Empire for EH Harriman, and the Steel Empire for Andrew Carnegie.

Jacob Schiff introduced the House of Rothschild to Morgan, Biddle, and Drexel through Kuhn & Loeb providing financing of 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 controlled the banking-fraternity on Wall Street which by then included Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, and other international banks headed by men chosen by the Rothschilds.

That meant control of the nation's money and he was then ready for the giant step - the entrapment of our national money-system." - Myron Fagan

Jacob Schiff: The most powerful man in American history


Pacific Railroad Act of 1862

"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 Sacramento.

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.

The 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.

The 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 Ogburn


Theodore Judah lobbys for passage, Congress passes the act and Lincoln signs it.

At the time the Central Pacific Railroad project began, CP 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 subsidy.

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."

CP Huntingdon insisted that he had made no money out of the Central Pacific.

Commodore Vanderbilt is the manager of a line of steamers running the Isthmus route from New York to San Francisco.

Commodore 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.

How could Commodore Vanderbilt carry his vast operations through, with the one million dollars he was worth when he went into Wall Street?

Commodore Vanderbilt purchased sole ownership of the Harlem railroad.

Commodore 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.

"Damn the people! I do not run my roads for the benefit of the people."- William Henry Vanderbilt

4% bonds deposited in London with John Bidall Martin in Lombard street.

John Bidall Martin gained ownership through foreclosure of the Erie railroad and the Wabash railroad systems.

Most of these first mortgage bonds carried usurous rates - so high that all profits go directly to the bond holders as interest payments.


"A reoccurring pattern of this history involves the willingness of imperial states to prop up private railroad projects amidst volatile global markets.

In doing so, these polities subsidised the domestication and partition of space in a manner conducive to empire." - Manu Karuka, Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers and the Transcontinental Railroad





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