Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Scope and Content
The Jay Cooke Collection was donated to the Hayes Presidential Center by Cooke family descendants. Additional material, including the first four journals of the Gibraltar Island Records, are located at the Ohio State University Archives. The Hayes Presidential Center and Ohio State University Archives produced a microfilm that includes all seven volumes of the records. The film is available to researchers at both institutions.
Jay Cooke, son of Ohio Congressman Eleutheros Cooke, was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1821. At the age of eighteen, he entered the private banking house of E.W. Clarke and Co., becoming a partner three years later. In 1861, he opened Jay Cooke and Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly after the First Battle of Bull Run, the federal government realized that large sums of money were necessary to keep a strong army in the field. Cooke's younger brother, Henry, editor of The Ohio State Journal in Columbus, Ohio, was well-acquainted with Salmon P. Chase, the Ohio senator and governor who became Lincoln's first Secretary of the Treasury. Henry Cooke arranged for his brother Jay to accompany Chase to New York where he introduced Chase to the nation's banking community. The institutions privately underwrote the first fifty million dollars of the Union's Civil War effort.
To continue the financing of additional millions to maintain the Union forces, Chase appointed Cooke as the government's sole financial bond agent. Cooke devised a system in which U.S. bonds could be redeemed at six percent interest in gold in not less than five years or more than twenty. He advertised the "five-twenties" in newspapers across the country, offering bonds in denominations as small as fifty dollars. By permitting purchasers to pay on the installment plan, Cooke made it possible for over three million small investors to buy bonds through his firm. By 1864, Cooke was raising money as fast as the war Department could spend it - nearly two million dollars a day. By war's end, Cooke had sold over a billion dollars in bonds for the federal government. Though Cooke received only a small commission on the sale of the government bonds, his Philadelphia banking house flourished as a result of the trust and acclaim garnered through his ability to finance the Civil War. The federal government has used Cooke's bond marketing strategies in all subsequent wars.
After a twenty-year absence, Cooke, an avid fisherman, returned to Sandusky in 1864 to purchase Lake Erie's Gibraltar Island located in the harbor off Put-In-Bay. His brother, Pitt Cooke, oversaw the construction of the fifteen-room, stone summer home that the extended family occupied at least twice each summer for nearly sixty years. Hundreds of guests, soldiers, businessmen, statesmen, and politicians, joined the Cookes during their visits to "Cooke Castle" on Gibraltar. When the family was not occupying the island, Jay Cooke offered his home as a retreat to clergy throughout the Midwest. Cooke recorded details of the family's summer visits in large journals. Eventually, Jay's son, the Reverend Henry E. Cooke, acted as the family historian, and began adding poetry, sketches, humorous anecdotes, and several thousand photographs of three generations of the Cooke family. In 1873, Cooke lost his fortune attempting to finance the Northern Pacific Railroad. Recouping his losses through his silver mine investments, Cooke and the families of his four children: Jay, Jr.; Mrs. Charles D. (Laura E.) Barney; Mrs. John M. (Sarah E.) Butler; and the Rev. Henry E. Cooke resumed their summer visits to Gibraltar. In addition to their Erie Island summer home, Cooke owned fishing lodges in Maine and Pennsylvania, as well as the Ogontz School for girls (previously his Philadelphia residence).
Following Cooke's death, the family's visits became less frequent. Gibraltar passed to Cooke's daughter, Laura Cooke Barney. And, in 1925, Laura Barney sold the island to philanthropist Julius F. Stone. Stone donated the island to The Ohio State University to develop a biology research laboratory and fish hatchery known today as the Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory.
Scope and Content
The collection consists primarily of records and images focusing on the Gibraltar Island visits of the Cooke family from 1865 to 1925. Of special note are the three volumes that document the Cooke family's activities: 1889 to 1905; 1906 to 1914; and 1914 to 1925. They contain over 2000 candid photographs of the family's summer visits to the island. Most of the textual entries and photographs were the work of the Reverend Henry E. Cooke. Complementing these records are two autograph albums that provide the comments and signatures of island visitors from 1865 until 1905 and the financial accounts concerning the island's maintenance. Books, periodicals, bibles, and Oberholtzer's manuscript of the Cooke biography as well as several hundred loose photographs and some of Jay Cooke's personal effects complete the collection. All printed matter and photographs are housed within the collection while Cooke's personal effects have been transferred to the museum. The first four volumes of the Gibraltar Island Records are housed at The Ohio State University Archives in Columbus, Ohio. They are largely written by Jay Cooke and his family. In 1935, James E. Pollard, then Associate Professor of Journalism at The Ohio State University, published the journal entries found in the first four volumes as well as portions of the records appearing in volumes V and VI under the title The Journal of Jay Cooke or the Gibraltar Records, 1865-1905. In August of 1884, Cooke's son, the Rev. Henry E. Cooke, took over the duties of family historian. His record begins in volume IV, recording four of his summer visits. As an amateur photographer, Rev. Cooke supplemented his island essays with an abundance of candid photographs of the family participating in popular nineteenth-century sports and leisure activities. All seven volumes are available on microfilm at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center and The Ohio State University Archives. Book titles listed EAC, LCB, and CDB were once part of the libraries of Elizabeth Allen Cooke, Laura Cooke Barney, and Charles Dennis Barney respectively.
15 linear ft.
Gibraltar Island Records:
Volume V: 1889-1905. Entries by the Rev. Henry E. Cooke; approximately 606 pages and 805 images.
Gibraltar Island Records:
Volume VI: 1906-1914. Entries by the Rev. Henry E. Cooke; approximately 394 pages and 910 images.
Gibraltar Island Records:
Volume VII: 1914-1925. Entries by the Rev. Henry E. Cooke; 251 pages and approximately 642
images. (This volume containes fewer textual entries. Increasingly, photographs dominate the album.)
Gibraltar Island Autograph Albums
1. 1865-1904: Numerous entries by Jay Cooke and visitors' signatures and comments, including Salmon
P. Chase, Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes, William Tecumseh Sherman, John Sherman,
Benjamin F. Butler, J. Haseltine Carstairs, William Fessenden, and E. W. Clark.
2. 1905-1925: Primarily the signatures of family members, but includes that of William Howard Taft.
3. In Memoriam, Jay Cooke, February 16, 1905. Funeral, Memorial, and Commemorative Album of
Box 5 - Books (listed alphabetically by title)
ADDRESS ON CONFIRMATION.
ADDRESS TO CHILDREN. Sunday School (Flyleaf: "Laura E. Cooke, February 1869")
ALCOVE. 1856 (Flyleaf: "Charles Barney from his friend G.S. Corvan") CDB
AMERICA IN MIDPASSAGE, VOLUME III. Charles & Mary R. Beard, 1939
ARE THERE ROMANIZING GERMS IN THE PRAYER-BOOK? Rev. F.S. Rising 1883
BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION. Rev. Phillips Brooks, 1886
BEACON LIGHTS FOR GOD'S MARINERS. Elizabeth N. Little, 1884
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. 1852 ("Mrs. Jay Cooke") EAC
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. 1868 EAC
CANON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. Rev. Benjamin Warfield, 1892
COMBATANTS, AN ALLEGORY. Edward Monro, 1852 (Flyleaf: "Laura Cooke from Jay"). LCB.
(Box 5 continued below)
Box 5 - Books (continued from above)
DAIRYMAN'S DAUGHTER. L. Richmond, 1857 (Flyleaf: "Laura from Mr. Thomas") LCB
DESCRIPTION OF SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS' MUSEUM.
DRAMATIC WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. 1836 (Flyleaf: "Eleutheros Jay Cooke from his
Grandmother, June, 1871)
E. H. HARRIMAN THE LITTLE GIANT OF WALL STREET. H. J. Eckenrode & P. W. Edmunds,
ELEGANT EXTRACTS. 1826 ("Eleutheros Cooke")
ELEGY. Thomas Gray (Flyleaf: "My dear Laura from Uncle Wm. G., February 1861") LCB
Box 6 - Books (oversize)
CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE. Crudens, 1859.)
CONFIRMATION OR ARE YOU READY TO SERVE CHRIST? Rev. Ashton Oxenden, 1874
CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, VOLUME I. John H. Brown, 1887
Box 7 - Books
ELFRED OR THE BLIND BOY AND HIS PICTURES. (Flyleaf: "Charles Dennis Barney, Sandusky
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE POLYGLOT BIBLE. (2) ( 1. Flyleaf: "Mrs. Jay Cooke, Ogontz, January
1, 1870") EAC and (2. Flyleaf: "Charles D. Barney, January 1, 1877")
EPISCOPALIANS GUIDE. 1885
EXPECTATION CORNE. E. S. Elliot
15TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL NEW ENGLAND SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA. December 1895
FOLLOWING THE LIGHT: A STATEMENT. Rev. George Cummins, 1876
GIFT: A CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS PRESENT FOR 1844. (Flyleaf: "Mrs. E. Allen, Lexington,
GOSPEL IN MANY TONGUES. 1891
HALLELUJAH, BOOK FOR THE SERVICE OF SONG. 1854 LCB
HAMPTON TRADE FOR THE PEOPLE. Sanitary Series No. 11, Duty of Teachers. 1878
HARD MAPLE. 1859. (Flyleaf: "Lollie E. Cooke from Mama, Montreal, Canada") LCB
HER MAJESTY'S TOWER. William Hepworth Dixon. 1869 (Flyleaf: "Laura E. Cooke, Her Own Book,
bought with her own money") LCB
HEROES OF THE REFORMATION. Richard Newton. 1885
HISTORY OF CARNEGIE STEEL COMPANY. J. H. Bridge 1903
HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO. L. C. Aldrich, ed. 1889
HOW WE GOT OUR BIBLE. J. Patterson Smyth
HYMNS FROM THE HYMNAL SET TO NEW TUNES. Rev. H. Cooke, 1906 (3)
ILLUSTRATIONS OF 242 LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS, SOUVENIR OF THE COLUMBIAN
EXPOSITION. American Bible Society, 1893
JENNIE AND THE BIRDS. American Sunday School Union, 1860 LCB
JENNY AND THE INSECTS. American Sunday School Union, Philadelphia, 1857 (Flyleaf: "Laura
Elmira Cooke from Mama, Christmas, 1858") LCB
JOSEPHUS. 1590 (reprint)
JOURNAL OF AN EXPEDITION TO...MADE IN APRIL AND MAY 1870. Wm. R. Moosehall
JOURNEY TO OHIO IN 1810...JOURNAL... Margaret V. Dwight. Max Farrand, ed. 1912
LAWRENCE "MOTHER GOOSE." A DELIGHTFUL EVENING'S MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT.
E.D.K., 1874 (Flyleaf: "Mrs. C. D. Barney, June 4, 1878") LCB
LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES OF S. P. CHASE. J. W. Schuckers, 1874.
Box 8 - Books
LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE YOUNG. 1880 LCB
LIFE OF THOMAS HAWLEY CANFIELD. 1889
MARIE ANTOINETTE AND HER SON, AN HISTORICAL NOVEL. Muhlback, 1867. (Flyleaf:
"Laura E. Cooke, Gibraltar, October 14, 1867") LCB
MARY BROWN AT POMPEII. 1856 LCB
MARY OF BETHANY. J. K. Miller, 1891
MERCHANT OF BERLIN, AN HISTORICAL NOVEL. 1867
MILLIONAIRES AND GRUB STREET...CENTURY. J. H. Bridge, 1931
MODERN READER'S BIBLE GENESIS. 1906
MONTHS ILLUSTRATED by Pen and Pencil (Flyleaf: "To Laura Cooke from Uncle Pitt and Aunt Mary,
Christmas 1869") LCB
OLD HOUSE BY THE RIVER. (Flyleaf: "Laura E. Cooke, December 9, 1866"). LCB
ORIENTAL ROMANCE. Thomas Moore, 1811 LCB
ORNAMENTS OF MEMORY, OR BEAUTIES OF HISTORY, ROMANCE, AND POETRY. 1854
(Flyleaf: "To Jay and Lizzie [or Ivy ?] from [?] and Sarah") EAC
Box 9 - Books
OUR SIXTY-SIX SACRED BOOKS. E. W. Rice, 1891
PHARAOHS OF BONDAGE AND EXODUS. C. S. Robinson, 1887
PERCY FAMILY, A VISIT TO IRELAND. Daniel C. Eddy, 1859 (Flyleaf: "Lollie E. Cooke from dear
PERCY FAMILY THROUGH SCOTLAND AND ENGLAND. Daniel C. Eddy, 1860 (Flyleaf: "Lollie
E. Cooke from dear Momma.") LCB
POEMS BY SAMUEL ROGERS. 1843 (Flyleaf: "Elizabeth d. Allen, October 11, 1849") EAC.
POETS AND POETRY OF AMERICA. R. W. Griswold, 1842 EAC
PROPER LESSONS OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH. (Cover: "Laura E. Cooke") LCB
ROMANCE OF THE RAILROAD BUILDER.
ROSARY OF ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIBLE. (Flyleaf: "Laura E. Cooke, December 25, 1861.") LCB
SANTINE. Pisciola LCB
SKIRMISHING. (Flyleaf: "Barney") CDB
SNOWBOUND. John Greenleaf Whittier (Flyleaf: "Charles D. Barney, December 28, 1866.") CDB
SNOWBOUND, A WINTER IDYLL. John Greenleaf Whittier, 1866 LBC
SOCIETY SILHOUETTES. Laura B. Cooke, 1898
STORIES FROM THE ITALIAN POETS. Leigh Hunt, 1846
TASK AND OTHER POEMS. William Cowper, 1843 (Flyleaf: "E. D. Allen, Swington, Kentucky") EAC
TENT ON THE TEACH AND OTHER POEMS. John Greenleaf Whittier, 1867 (Flyleaf: "To poor
injured Lollie from Papa, Friday, March 22, 1867, Ogontz") LCB
TEXT SEARCHING ALMANAC FOR 1899. Ministering Children's League
TUPPER'S PRACTICAL WORKS. 1849 LCB
TWENTY YEARS AMONG THE BULL...WALL STREET. Matthew H. Smith, 1871
WIDOW BEDOTT PAPERS. 1863 LCB
Boxes 10 and 11 - Bibles
BIBLE. 1866 ("Presented to Jay Cooke on the occasion of the dedication of Ogontz...December 21, 1866
by Reverend Robert Parvin" [?])
GEDDES BIBLE. 1792
BIBLE. 1858 Inscribed on cover "Jay Cooke"
BIBLE. James B. Smith Co., Philadelphia. (Flyleaf: 1847 "Rebound January 1919")
HOLY BIBLE. 1865 ("Mrs. Jay Cooke") EAC
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE POLYGOT BIBLE. ("Charles D. Barney, January 1, 1877") CDB
Box 12 - Periodicals
AMERICAN MAGAZINE, 1797
Decade of American Finance by Jay Cooke in NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, November 1902
Jay Cooke Federal Finances in NEW ERA, February 1902
Jay Cooke Speech to the Firelands Historical Society in FIRELANDS PIONEER, December 1, 1900
GODEY'S LADY'S BOOK, January-June 1869
GRAHAM'S LADY'S AND GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, 1844
LADIES COMPANION, 1843 (Flyleaf: "Jay Cooke")
LADIES NATIONAL MAGAZINE, July-December 1843 (Flyleaf: Jay Clarke Cooke, E. D. Cooke,1843")
MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE, September 1900
MISS LESLIE'S MAGAZINE, Volume I
NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE, March, 1898
PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY, January, 1903
Box 13 - Miscellaneous Records
Folder 1 Gibraltar Island Accounts, 1856-1864
Folder 2 Gibraltar Island Accounts, May-September, 1869
Folder 3 Gibraltar Island Accounts, October-December, 1869
Folder 4 Gibraltar Island Accounts, 1870
Folder 5 Gibraltar Island Accounts, April-September, 1871
Folder 6 Gibraltar Island Accounts, October-December, 1871
Folder 7 Gibraltar Island Accounts, 1872, 1889, undated
Folder 8 Clippings: re: Cooke obituaries
Folder 9 Clippings: loose (removed from Jay Cooke Memorial Album)
Folder 10 Clippings: re: Jay Cooke's death
Folder 11 Clippings: Miscellaneous, re: Jay Cooke
Folder 12 Ogontz School
Folder 13 St. Paul's Church, Cheltenham, PA
Folder 14 Miscellaneous material, re: Jay Cooke's life
Folder 15 Clippings: re: Jay Cooke's Biography
Folder 16 Cheltenham School
Folder 17 Journal of Expedition, April/May, 1870
Folder 18 Handwritten religious notes
Folder 19 Miscellaneous notes and letters
Civil War Bond Circulars
Oberholtzer typescript of Jay Cooke biography.
Oberholtzer manuscript of Jay Cooke biography
THE SOLDIER IN OUR CIVIL WAR, Volumes I and II (oversize)
Box 17 - Photographs
Photograph Albums: Two albums depicting Gibraltar Island scenes, activities, and family members. ca.
Cartes de visite: Seventy-three images, primarily posed portraits of family and friends, ca. 1860-1865.
Albumen prints: Predominantly images of Jay Cooke, family members, and Gibraltar Island scenes ca.
Box 18 - Photographs
Albumen prints: Predominantly images of Jay Cooke, family members, and Gibraltar Island. ca.1885.
Box 19 - Photographs
Oversize images: Twelve photographs, including Jay Cooke, his sons, and possibly his Sunday School Class.
JAY COOKE PERSONAL EFFECTS (Transferred to the Museum)
Gloves: Brown leather, fur lining, snap cuff (Box has penciled notation and stamped 665-9; also sticker 9)
Wallet: Brown leather with "Jay Cooke, 114 So. 3rd St." stamped in gold
Fitted Case: Red leather with "Jay Cooke" stamped in gold. Fitted with small comb, scissors, tweezers,
small knife, and a small manicure tool
Money case: Small, black leather
Slippers: Black, leather with "John Wanamaker, Philadelphia New York" stamped inside
Boots: Black, leather. Low cut, pull-on style with elastic gores and fabric pull tabs
Eyeglass case (?): Dark, alligator, two-piece
Satchel: Black, leather, with broken handle, and engraved "Jay Cooke"
Clock: Small, desk-type with ornate metal case, deep red velvet base (separate from clock)
Finial ornament broken off
Button hook: White handle
Match case: Two-piece, small, dark leather with wooden matches inside
Chess set: Wooden box with green cloth lining. Contains complete set with one broken red pawn and three
mismatched red pawns
Letter holder: Broken, brass disks in stag heads
Fish hooks: Large, metal with sharpened points
String bag: with leather handles
Rings: Brass (8)
Keys: Several appear to be clock keys (6)
Change purse: Half moon shape and of dark leather with zipper closure
Wallet: Leather with calling card holder encased in white box, inscribed "Abm Besthoff & Son" and inked
"Grandfather" (Calling card and newsclipping removed)
Eye glasses: Broken pair (1); Encased from Bonschur & Holmes (2)
Pince-nez: (4); Broken pince-nez (1)
Pince-nez: Cases marked C.A. Longstreth and J.L. Borsch & Co. (3)
Engraving plate: Attached to wooden block and inscribed "Jay Cooke"
Oil painting: Still life of tobacco items, wine bottle, and playing cards; canvas on wooden stretcher; signed
"Alice Porter 83"
Finial: Gold-colored metal