258 Chapters
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12 Not Quite Dead

Jr., Herbert H. Harwood Indiana University Press ePub

Business historians have told the story of J. P. Morgan’s Corsair victory innumerable times, with varying degrees of accuracy, but few have noted that it quickly went awry and was never consummated in the form intended. As it turned out, the Pennsylvania Railroad was forced to renege on its part of the bargain. Two turbulent and uncertain decades then followed, during which the South Penn became a railroad version of the Undead, poised to emerge from its dank tunnels, re-form, and begin running trains across the mountains, while others tried to keep it bottled up there.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s 1874 charter clearly prohibited single ownership of parallel and competing transportation lines. All the parties to the Morgan agreement knew that, but thought their subterfuge of using the PRR’s Bedford & Bridgeport as the South Penn’s “buyer” would solve the problem. It did not. On August 24 Lewis Cassidy, the state’s attorney general, announced that he was filing for an injunction in Dauphin County Circuit Court in Harrisburg to stop both the South Penn and Beech Creek sales; the next day he did so.

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Medium 9780253347572

4 The Portly Virginia Gentleman

RushJr. Loving Indiana University Press ePub

When they met, Alfred Perlman and James Symes agreed once again that New York Central shareholders would get 40 percent of the new company and that the Pennsylvania’s owners would hold 60 percent. The “new” company actually would be the Pennsylvania Railroad, but it would assume a new name, Penn Central Corp.

The shareholders approved the merger, and the Interstate Commerce Commission began more than a year of hearings in 1962. As the sessions were getting under way, McClellan was starting his job at the Southern Railway. Although he paid scant attention to rail mergers, his bosses cared, and from their vantage point just nine blocks from the ICC’s ornate quarters on Independence Avenue, they watched with concern as the Penn Central argued its case. Symes and Perlman both defended the size of the proposed railroad, Symes reminding the commission that the combined system would be moving fewer cars than the Pennsylvania carried without any disruptions in its heyday, a reassurance that would help shake the Penn Central’s credibility later.

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Medium 9781574414646

6. Traquero Culture

Jeffrey Marcos Garcilazo University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 6

Traquero Culture


his chapter examines cultural relationships among

Mexican railroad workers and their families both at home and on the job. Furthermore, it shows how a Mexican working-class culture evolved to become a distinct railroad-worker culture inextricably tied to work on the railroad, especially track work.1

While the experiences and behaviors of Mexican railroad workers and their families were not uniform, certain cultural aspects such as adaptability and resiliency characterized Mexican working-class culture. Indeed, cultural continuity and change were mutually inclusive processes. Hispanos and Mexican immigrants adjusted themselves to the new conditions of industrial life. Moreover, their contact with Euro-American institutions—especially schools—slowly transformed Hispanos and Mexicans into what I argue was Mexican railroad-worker culture or traquero culture. Traqueros themselves gave shape and meaning to their lives on a daily basis. With picks, shovels, frying pans, and diapers, traqueros (both men and women) built their lives. Along with the thousands of miles of track that they laid and repaired, they also constructed their own world and made it their own. Cultural change came about largely because the Hispano and Mexican immigrants did not control the formal institutions

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8 The Naval Consulting Board and the Great War

William D. Middleton Indiana University Press ePub

By the start of the second decade of the twentieth century it became increasingly apparent that war was coming to Europe. Many in the United States realized that despite its isolationism, the United States would eventually have to join the conflict, and that it was neither militarily nor industrially ready to do so, and that furthermore, if steps weren’t taken to prepare the country, the United States might be “knocked out” before it could even join in the conflict. This concern became increasingly pressing once war actually broke out in August of 1914. Although it would be more than two years before the United States finally declared war on Germany, in April of 1917, preparations began for that eventuality almost immediately once hostilities broke out in Europe. A significant aspect of these preparations, and in fact the first, was the formation of a civilian Naval Consulting Board.

The board was seen at the time of its formation as a radical departure from the navy’s standard mode of operation, but one that was necessary given the navy’s need to cope with “the new conditions of warfare”1 that the European conflict presented as well as the unprecedented threat from submarine warfare. It was the latter, most vividly demonstrated by the torpedoing and sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915, that was the immediate impetus for the formation of the board.

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Medium 9780253356963

12 - Emigrant Travel: A Nation of Nations

John H.Jr. White Indiana University Press ePub

A Nation of Nations

EMIGRATION IS AS NATURAL TO MANKIND AS THE PATH OF THE earth revolving around the sun. Our ancestors have been wandering around the planet since their eviction from the Garden of Eden. They traveled incredible distances on foot or by log rafts. Curiosity drove some to move on just to see what lay beyond the next hill. Hunger was another obvious motivation that drove ancient peoples to explore foreign territory. The emigration to the New World was motivated for similar reasons but also by the desire for personal and religious freedom and a better standard of living. By the Victorian era Europe was becoming overpopulated, and America had a comparatively small population for its land mass. In 1860 the U.S. population was 31 million, or one-tenth of the present population. By 1880 Europe was home to over 300 million people, while the U.S. population was at only 50 million. Table 12.1 shows that many came. Such a table does not demonstrate that only a few were chosen to succeed to any great measure. A number returned to their native land defeated and poorer than when they began their American adventure.

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