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German Promotional Pamphlet Promoting Investment in the Northern Pacific

Extremely rare promotional and investors guide published by Jay Cooke & Co., promoting the Northern Pacific Railroad, the second transcontinental railroad.

The Northern Pacific Railroad extends from Lake Michigan to the Pacific, with a second starting point at Duluth on Lake Superior, Jay Cooke's "New Chicago."  The map shown here illustrates the route of the proposed railroad, which was to be the second transcontinental railroad with a Terminus shown north of Seattle and a feeder line extending south to Portland and north to Bellingham.

One of the map's more curious features are the several isothermal lines arcing across the continent, presumably included to indicate the growing seasons of different regions. These isothermals were an aggressive part of the sales pitch for bonds promoted by railroad financier Jay Cooke. The idea was to persuade buyers that the route went through much more temperate climates and therefore, much more productive land, than American investors might otherwise associate with Canada and the Northern Tier of the United States. In short, a "climate warm enough to ripen crops, and secure the comfort of man and beast" was one of the principal "facts" behind "the need, the feasibility, and the assured success of this great enterprise." Jay Cooke & Co., The Northern Pacific Railroad: Its Route, Resources, Progress, and Business, page 4 (1871)

Though the Northern Pacific was chartered in 1864, construction did not begin until 1870, with the assistance of financier Jay Cooke. Cooke's firm would fail within a few years and the Panic of 1873 would bring a complete halt to the project.  The line would not be completed for another decade, until September 8, 1883.

The pamphlet is divided into the following sections:

  • Der neue Nordwesten
  • Die Landschenkung an die Eisenbahn
  • Das Zukünstige Geschäft der Bahn
  • Fortschritte der Bahn
  • Das Amerikanische Deutschland
  • Ingenieurs Bericht
  • Puget Sund
  • Verschiedenes
  • Der Charter und die Hypothek
  • Die Nördliche Pacific Eisenbahn 7-30 Gold Bonds.


The 1871 edition of the pamphlet is apparently unrecorded.

OCLC locates 1 copy of the 1872 edition (Southern Methodist University - DeGolyer Library)

Condition Description
47 pages, plus 1 map.