James Fisk, Jr. was born in the hamlet of Pownal, Vermont.
|Washington, D.C. during the Civil War|
|Cartoon of Vanderbilt and Fisk|
|William "Boss" Tweed|
Fisk and Gould created "The Gold Ring" in an attempt to corner the gold market; it culminated in the fateful Black Friday of September 24, 1869. Starting on September 20, Gould and Fisk had started to buy as much gold as they could. Just as they planned, the price went higher. Fisk's and Gould's effort collapsed when President U.S. Grant intervened to halt the Black Friday Panic. Then the price of gold plummeted, and investors scrambled to sell their holdings. Many investors had obtained loans to buy their gold. With no money to repay the loans, they were ruined. Gould escaped disaster by selling his gold before the market began to fall.
|September 24, 1869 - "Black Friday"|
He was known as "Colonel" for being the nominal commander of the 9th New York National Guard Infantry Regiment, although his only experience of military action with this unit was an inglorious role in the Orange Riot of July 12, 1871. The Orange Riots took place in Manhattan in 1870 and 1871, and involved violent conflict between Irish Protestants, called "Orangemen", and Irish Catholics, along with the New York City Police Department and the New York State National Guard.
|The Orange Riot of July 12, 1871|
The riot caused the deaths of over 60 civilians, mostly Irish laborers, and three Guardsmen. Over 150 people were wounded, including 22 militiamen, 20-some policeman injured by thrown missiles and 4 who were shot, but not fatally. About 100 people were arrested.
In a bid for money, Mansfield and Stokes tried to extort money from Fisk by threatening the publication of letters written by Fisk to Mansfield that allegedly proved Fisk's legal wrongdoings. A legal and public relations battle followed, but Fisk refused to pay Mansfield anything.
|Grand Central Hotel, New York City|
|"He Never Went Back on the Poor"|
His coffin lay in state for a day at the Grand Opera House in New York City, the theater that he had owned and managed. More than twenty thousand people passed by to pay their respects and more than a hundred thousand more stood in the street.
|Fisk Monument, Battlebro, Vermont|
At his second trial Stokes was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to be hanged, but the verdict was overturned on appeal.