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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:781 1852-1914 F223

Harris Charles Fahnestock papers


Papers of investment banker Harris C. Fahnestock, 1855-1914, including his partnership in Jay Cooke & Co.


  • Creation: 1855-1914 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

In many cases, Baker Library does not hold the copyright to the materials in its collections. Researchers are responsible for determining copyright status and identifying and contacting any copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish content from collections. Baker Library has included the names of third-party copyright holders at the folder and item level when known.


3 linear feet (6 boxes)

Account books, correspondence and documents from Fahnestock’s years with Jay Cooke, 1862-1877, and with the First National Bank of the City of New York, 1877-1914, as well as from his investments on his own account. There are two journals, 1852-1857, from his Harrisburg period. During his years with Cooke and with Baker, Fahnestock and Garland , which controlled the First National, he corresponded with senators, state officials and businessmen on financial and policy matters, such as the Virginia Deferred Securities matter and the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. His investments involved him in railroads and waterworks, including the Reading Railroad , the Tide Water Company , and the Oregon Steam Navigation Company .

Biographical Note:

Harris C. Fahnestock's long financial career began in his hometown of Harrisburg, Pa., where as a young man he took on major responsibilities in the bank of his uncle, J. W. Weir. In 1862, Jay Cooke invited him to Washington as a partner in Jay Cooke & Co. From there and from New York, Fahnestock participated in that firm's work for the U. S. Treasury and in its other regional and international investment ventures.

After the Jay Cooke & Co. bankruptcy in 1873, Fahnestock joined George F. Baker at the First National Bank of the City of New York as its vice president. He continued as a senior officer there through the next four decades, while holding partnerships and directorates in other business ventures.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Series I. Financial records, 1852-1914
  2. Series II. Legal documents, 1866-1915
  3. Series III. Correspondence, 1858-1914
  4. Series IV. Jay Cooke & Co., 1873-1878
  5. Series V. First National Bank, 1879-1899
  6. Series VI. Virginia Deferred Certificates, 1885-1902
  7. Series VI. Histories and Memorials, 1898-1915

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift 1982 and 1983.

Related Materials

Baker Library also holds the Jay Cooke & Co. records, 1832-1915 (inclusive), 1870-1905 (bulk) which contain material related to the Harris Charles Fahnestock papers.

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Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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