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Mss:781 1832-1915 (1861-1905)

Jay Cooke & Co. Jay Cooke & Co. Records, 1832-1915 (inclusive), 1870-1905 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:781 1832-1915 (1861-1905)
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Jay Cooke & Co. records
Date(s): 1832-1915 (inclusive)
Date(s): 1870-1905 (bulk)
Quantity: 40 linear feet (98 volumes, 100 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Select records of the investment banking house Jay Cooke & Co.

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Jay Cooke & Co. records. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Related Materials

Baker Library also holds the Harris Charles Fahnestock papers, 1855-1914 (inclusive) , which contain material related to the Jay Cooke & Co. records.
Significant collections of Jay Cooke's papers are also held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, and the Rutherford B. Hayes Library in Fremont, Ohio.

Historical Note:

Jay Cooke (1821-1905) founded the investment banking house of Jay Cooke & Co. in Philadelphia in 1861. During the U. S. Civil War Cooke played a leading role in selling government bonds to finance the war effort. The firm failed in 1873 partly because of Cooke's involvement in financing construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The firm of Charles D. Barney and Company, established by Cooke's son-in-law, was the successor firm.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

Material includes miscellaneous letters and agreements of the two banking houses: Jay Cooke & Co. and Charles D. Barney and Company, many of which have to do with Jay Cooke & Co. in bankruptcy. There are manuscripts relating to the Northern Pacific Railroad, numerous smaller railroads, mining enterprises, and land companies, many of which were western investments. Among the best papers in the collection is a lengthy memoir written by Jay Cooke when he was about 75 years old. Agreements constitute one of the most valuable parts of the collection—one particularly, a contract between Jay Cooke and the Northern Pacific Railroad dated 1869, being significant.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Banks and banking -- Pennsylvania.
Investment banking.
Railroads -- United States.
Real estate investment.
Iron industry and trade.
Bills (financial).
Account books.
Capitalists and financiers.
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Cooke, Jay, 1821-1905.
Barney, Charles D.
Butler, John M.
Fahnestock, Harris Charles, 1835-1914.
French, F. O.
Harding, J. Horace, 1863-1929.
Harper, Rice.
Lewis, Edwin M.
Rushton, W.
Thomas, George C.
Brooklyn, Bath and West End Railroad.
Charles D. Barney and Company.
Fuller Brick and Slate Company.
Hunters Run and Slate Belt Railroad.
Jay Cooke & Co.
Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
South Mountain Iron Company.