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
56,425 railcars put in storage between January 1 and August 20.
This brings the total railcars in storage close to
"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
inducing all 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
first 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 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.
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
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 speculate on town lots at
points on the railroads known beforehand only to the agents of the money
Jay Gould and Jim Fisk are full
partners in ownership of the New York and Erie R.R. holding $23,000,000 of
Jim Fisk is killed holding $11,000,000 in railroad
At the settlement of Jim Fisk's estate his family receives a few
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 railroad.
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.
The Texas 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.
Missouri Pacific is a railroad three hundred miles long, running from St. Louis
to Kansas City.
"It was the decades following
our Civil War that industry began to
We had great railroads to build. The
textile industries were
bursting out of their swaddling-clothes.
All of that called for vast
financing; much of that financing came from abroad.
Jacob Schiff of the
House of Rothschild
came into his own.
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 Andrew
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 Lehman Brothers,
Goldman Sachs, and other
international banks that where 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." -
Jacob Schiff: The
most powerful man in American history
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 -"
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
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
How could 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.
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
"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, Empires Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers and
the Transcontinental Railroad
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