Jay Cooke's Gamble: The Northern Pacific Railroad, the Sioux, and the Panic Of 1873

Overview

In 1869, Jay Cooke, the brilliant but idiosyncratic American banker, decided to finance the Northern Pacific, a transcontinental railroad planned from Duluth, Minnesota, to Seattle. M. John Lubetkin tells how Cooke’s gamble reignited war with the Sioux, rescued George Armstrong Custer from obscurity, created Yellowstone Park, pushed frontier settlement four hundred miles westward, and triggered the Panic of 1873.

Staking his reputation and wealth on the Northern Pacific, Cooke ...

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Norman 2006 Hard Cover New in New jacket 380 pages, frontis, illustrations, maps. "In 1869, Jay Cooke, the brilliant but idiosyncratic American banker, decided to finance the ... Northern Pacific, a transcontinental railroad planned from Duluth, Minnesota, to Seattle. M. John Lubetkin tells how Cooke's gamble reignited war with the Sioux, rescued George Armstrong Custer from obscurity, created Yellowstone Park, pushed frontier settlement four hundred miles westward, and triggered the Panic of 1873. Describes events played out from Wall Street to the Yellowstone and vividly portrays the soldiers, engineers, businessmen, politicians, and Native Americans who tried to build or block the Northern Pacific." New un-read copy. Publisher's price is $29.95. Read more Show Less

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Norman 2006 Hardcover 400 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. TRANSPORTATION. In 1869, Jay Cooke, the brilliant but idiosyncratic American banker, decided to ... finance the Northern Pacific, a transcontinental railroad planned from Duluth, Minnesota, to Seattle. M. John Lubetkin tells how Cooke's gamble reignited war with the Sioux, rescued George Armstrong Custer from obscurity, created Yellowstone Park, pushed frontier settlement four hundred miles westward, and triggered the Panic of 1873. Staking his reputation and wealth on the Northern Pacific, Cooke was soon whipsawed by the railroad's mismanagement, questionable contracts, and construction problems. Financier J. P. Morgan undermined him, and the Cr?dit Mobilier scandal ended congressional support. When railroad surveyors and army escorts ignored Sioux chief Sitting Bull's warning not to enter the Yellowstone Valley, Indian attacks&emdash; combined with alcoholic commanders&emdash; led to embarrassing setbacks on the field, in the natio Read more Show Less

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Jay Cooke's Gamble: The Northern Pacific Railroad, the Sioux, and the Panic of 1873

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Overview

In 1869, Jay Cooke, the brilliant but idiosyncratic American banker, decided to finance the Northern Pacific, a transcontinental railroad planned from Duluth, Minnesota, to Seattle. M. John Lubetkin tells how Cooke’s gamble reignited war with the Sioux, rescued George Armstrong Custer from obscurity, created Yellowstone Park, pushed frontier settlement four hundred miles westward, and triggered the Panic of 1873.

Staking his reputation and wealth on the Northern Pacific, Cooke was soon whipsawed by the railroad’s mismanagement, questionable contracts, and construction problems. Financier J. P. Morgan undermined him, and the Crédit Mobilier scandal ended congressional support. When railroad surveyors and army escorts ignored Sioux chief Sitting Bull’s warning not to enter the Yellowstone Valley, Indian attacks—combined with alcoholic commanders—led to embarrassing setbacks on the field, in the nation’s press, and among investors.

Lubetkin’s suspenseful narrative describes events played out from Wall Street to the Yellowstone and vividly portrays the soldiers, engineers, businessmen, politicians, and Native Americans who tried to build or block the Northern Pacific.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806137407
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2006
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


M. John Lubetkin is a retired cable television executive and the author of Jay Cooke's Gamble: The Northern Pacific Railroad, the Sioux, and the Panic of 1873, winner of the Little Big Horn Associates' John M. Carroll Award (Book of the Year) and a Spur Award for Best Historical Non-fiction from the Western Writers of America.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2011

    Interesting story of the building of the second transcontinental railroad.

    The story of the first transcontinental railroad from Omaha to Sacramento has been well-covered in recent years. This book deals with the building of the second transcontinental track from Lake Superior to Puget Sound. The author highlights the financial and corporate struggles of the Northern Pacific Railroad, but does an especially fine job discussing the travails, dangers, and ultimate success of surveying and laying track across the peat bogs, forests, and wetlands of Minnesota, and rolling prairies of North Dakota and Montana. The survey and construction crews contended with blistering heat, legions of mosquitoes, monstrous thunderstorms and flash floods, hostile Lakota warriors, and alcoholic army officers. A good read for anyone interested in true-life adventures in the American West, especially of a military nature. George Armstrong Custer, Sitting Bull, and Gall are part of this story. Unfortunately, this is not a complete history of the building of the Northern Pacific RR. The construction of the railroad through the Rocky Mountains and Washington State are not covered at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2006

    Adds new information to what was know about Custer, the Indian Wars and the railroads.

    I think 'Jay Cooke's Gamble' is an intriguing, well-written book covering a little known, yet important facet of western history. I was familiar with Custer and the Indian Wars, however, I was unaware of the close tie-in of the railroad business to Custer. Lubetkin's portrayal of Cooke, the entrepreneur, adds texture to this period of history. The diaries and letters from survivors of a Sioux ambush were poignant. Great maps and photographs from the author made the described events more realistic. The Minnesota railroad constrution blunders and boardroom politics were at times tragic. The events, as described, demonstrate that not much has changed in the tense relationship between politics, capitalism and the American ideal of Democracy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

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