CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION: THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA
Series One: The Papers of Jay Cooke (1821-1905) from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Part 4: General Correspondence, May 1870-December 1871
The strength of the Cooke collection lies in the 106 boxes of correspondence it contains. These are a vital source describing politics, finance and metropolitan culture in Civil War and Gilded Age America.
Part 4 covers the period from 1870 to 1871. There is much on life in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia; both gossip and accounts of political intrigues and projects for westward expansion. There are also reports from Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Montana and Oregon. There is material on:
- Progress of The Northern Pacific Railroad;
- Continued buying and selling of land;
- Exploitation of mineral resources and accounts of failed ventures;
- Washington politics;
- The outcome of the New Hampshire state elections in 1872.
The correspondence between Jay, Henry and Pitt Cooke is remarkable. Jay Cooke retained copies of his own correspondence as well as those sent to him, and these now provide a unique historical record of a period in which they wielded considerable power. In addition to their own letters, there are also reports from contacts all over America - from congressmen to newspaper reporters, and from foreign emissaries to land agents.