1881 Missouri Kansas & Texas RR Stock Certificate, issued to and signed by Jay Gould. Jay Gould (1836-1892) was one of several infamous 19th century robber-barons. Two incidents earned his place in history. In the first, Gould and his partners, James Fisk and Daniel Drew, contested Cornelius Vanderbilt for control of the Erie Railroad in 1867. Gould and his partners won. They proceeded to plunder the railroad and manipulated stock prices. From 1868-1870, the company sold $5 million in fraudulent stock, leading to litigation that forced Gould out of the company in 1872 and forced him to pay restitution. The second event was Gould's attempt to corner the gold market in 1869. Gould and Fisk figured that the increase in price of gold would increase the price of western wheat, thereby increasing freight business for the Erie railroad. Gould used contacts with President Ulysses S. Grant's brother-in-law, A. H. Corbin, to try to influence the president. Their highly leveraged speculations in gold culminated in the panic of Black Friday, on September 24, 1869, when the price of gold fell from $162 to $135. After being forced out of the Erie Railroad, Gould gained control of the Union Pacific Railroad, withdrawing from it in 1883 after realizing a large profit. He built up what became known as the Gould System of railways including the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, which he purchased in 1880. In 1880 he controlled 10,000 miles of railway, about one-ninth of the railway mileage of the United States at that time. This scripophily certificate is in VF condition with Gould's distinctive signature on the back of certificate.
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