- Black Friday
An attempt by Jay Gould and James Fisk to corner the market in gold and drive up its price depended on preventing the sale of government gold, an arrangement assured through the two men's political influence. When Pres. Ulysses S. Grant heard of the scheme, he ordered the government to sell $4 million in gold, which caused the price to drop and produced a panic selling of other stocks.
* * *▪ United States historyin U.S. history, Sept. 24, 1869, when plummeting gold prices precipitated a securities market panic. The crash was a consequence of an attempt by financier Jay Gould (Gould, Jay) and railway magnate James Fisk (Fisk, James) to corner the gold market and drive up the price. The scheme depended on keeping government gold off the market, which the manipulators arranged through political influence. When Pres. Ulysses S. Grant (Grant, Ulysses S.) finally became aware of the scheme, he ordered $4,000,000 of government gold sold on the market. This broke the corner and, in the ensuing panic, the rest of the market as well. It hurt the economy and the reputation of the Grant administration.
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