THE FINANCIER 
out into the boundless prairies of which he had heard 
so much—Chicago, Fargo, Duluth, Sioux City, places 
then heralded in Philadelphia and the East as coming 
centers of great life—and taking Aileen with him. The 
problem of marriage with her was insoluble unless Mrs. 
Cowperwood should formally agree to give him up—a 
possibility which was not manifest at this time. The 
only thing which he could see for it was for him to take 
Aileen away with him, and to trust to time and absence 
to modify his wife's point of view. 
This particular panic, which was destined to mark a 
notable change in Cowperwood's career, was one of those 
peculiar things which spring naturally out of the optimism 
of the American people and the irrepressible progress of 
the country. It was the result, to be accurate, of the 
prestige and ambition of Jay Cooke, whose early training 
and subsequent success had all been acquired in Philadel- 
phia, and who had since become the foremost financial 
figure of his day. It would be useless to attempt to trace 
here the rise of this man to distinction; it need only be 
said that by suggestions which he made and methods 
which he devised the Union government, in its darkest 
hours, was able to raise the money wherewith to continue 
the struggle against the South. After the Civil War 
this man, who had built up a tremendous banking busi- 
ness in Philadelphia, with great branches in New York and 
Washington, was at a loss for some time for some sig- 
nificant thing to do, some constructive work which would 
be worthy of his genius. The war was over; the only 
thing which remained was the finances of peace, and the 
greatest things in American financial enterprise were those 
related to the construction of transcontinental railway 
lines. The Union Pacific, authorized in 1866, was already 
building; the Northern Pacific and the Southern Pacific 
were already dreams in various pioneer minds. The 
great thing was to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific 
by steel, to bind up the territorially perfected and newt;' 
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