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James Fisk


FISK, JAMES (1834-1872), American financier, was born at Bennington (Vt.), on April 1, 1834. He was successively cir cus hand, hotel waiter, pedlar, and dry goods salesman. By his dealing in army contracts during the Civil War, he accumulated a considerable capital. In 1864 he became a stock-broker in New York and was employed by Daniel Drew as a buyer. He aided Drew in his war against Vanderbilt for the control of the Erie railway, and as a result of the compromise that was reached he and Jay Gould became members of the Erie directorate. Subse quently Fisk and Gould obtained control of the road. They carried financial "buccaneering" to extremes, their programme including open alliance with the Tweed "ring," the wholesale bribery of legislatures and the buying of judges. Their attempt to corner the gold market culminated in the fateful "Black Friday" of Sept. 24, 1869. Fisk was shot and killed in New York city by E. S. Stokes, a former business associate, on Jan. 6, 1872.