Allegorical figures of railroading, shipping, trade and the theater - (Fisk) - Brattleboro, VT
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
N 42° 50.726 W 072° 33.308
18T E 699780 N 4746550
Allegorical figures of railroading, trade, shipping, and the theater are on the monument of notorious "Robber Barons" James Fisk Jr in Prospect Hill Cemetery at 94 South Main St. Brattleboro, VT.
Waymark Code: WM16265
Location: Vermont, United States
Date Posted: 04/18/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 1

The marble tomb of James Fisk Jr. is decorated with a tall decorative obelisk which has four life-size allegorical female figures seated at the base. The figures represent railroading, trade, shipping, and the theater. The sculptures were created by Larkin Goldsmith Mead in 1872. The monument was erected May 1874 and dedicated June 5, 1874.

The base of the obelisk is inscribed:

BORN APR 1, 1835
DIED JAN 7, 1872

The tomb has the inscription for his wife:

BORN OCT 10, 1839
DIED FEB 18, 1912

James Fisk Jr. was born in Pownal, VT into a working class family. His father was a salesman. After many unsuccessful jobs followed in his father's foot steps and became a salesman for Jordan Marsh, a Boston dry goods wholesaler.

The Civil War provide Fisk's first opportunity. He sold textiles the US Government use for the manufacture of uniforms. He also was believed to be smuggling cotton from Confederate states through the Union blockade. As the war neared its end, he made a fortune short selling Confederate bonds in the London market.

In 1864, Fisk became a stockbroker with the firm of Daniel Drew. He and Drew successfully manipulated against Cornelius Vanderbilt to gain controlling interest in the Erie Railroad. Along the way he formed an alliance with corrupt New York politician Boss Tweed and bribed lawmakers and judges.

After the Civil War he befriended then president Ulysses Grant. He and Jay Gould launched a scheme to used his friendship with Grant to attempt to corner the market on gold. This lead on September 24, 1869 to the collapse of the gold prices and the resulting panic known as Black Friday.

Fisk never had military experience. But, when he saved the New York 9th Regiment from bankruptcy they thanked him by electing him colonel. He used this position to buy an elaborate uniform and a fleet of fleet of ships. Link

Fisk was shot by Edward Stiles Stokes as a result of a love triangle involving him, Edward Stiles Stokes, and Josie Mansfield. He died the next day at the age of 36.

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