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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of the Pacific

First Advisor

Ronald N. Limbaugh

Second Committee Member

Donald Grubbs


Few men in the history of American business have been more controversial than Jay Gould. His accomplishments and failures left an indelible mark on United States business life. Although much has been written about Gould's life and business career, no study has related a technical analysis of the Southwestern rail stock price movements to his railroad ventures in the Southwestern United States. It is the purpose of this study to present a historical review of Gould's acquisitions in the southwest and to explore the implications of these ventures on the public and business sectors of the American economy. Utilizing stock price changes, the thesis attempts to explain more fully the relationship of Gould's security trading practices to his Southwestern railroad system. Several technical patterns and interpretations are analyzed and compared for an overall view of his activities. Preliminary investigation by this thesis indicates a high degree of correlation between the stock price changes and Gould's formation of the South-western railroad system. Analysis of the moral implications of Gould's business ventures does not come within the scope of this study.

In organizing the thesis, it was necessary to include only Gould's Southwestern rail activities and his associated railroad investments. Although many of Gould's purchases were simultaneous, the study analyzes each acquisition separately in hope of avoiding confusion.

Sources containing business information on Jay Gould's activities included Railway Review and Railway Gazette, which provide many details on southwestern railroad events. Newspapers such as the St. Louis Evening Chronicle, the Austin Daily Democratic Statesman, and the Denver Tribune were used to portray Gould in view of his contemporaries. Government publications were valuable especially in the areas of public policy and its relationship to the railroads. The Commercial and Financial Chronicle was a valuable tool, as were the leading New York newspapers of the day. Secondary sources were utilized when other information was not available or obtainable.

In the last chapters, the study evaluates a comparable modern railway problem and relates this analysis to Gould and his activities in the Southwest. Hopefully, the result will be a greater understanding of Jay Gould's achievement and failures.





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