Texas Legislature, Joint Committee to Investigate the Receivership of the International & Great Northern Railroad:
An Inventory of Joint Committee to Investigate the Receivership of the International & Great Northern Railroad Records at the Texas State Archives, 1891
The Texas Joint Committee to Investigate the Receivership of the International & Great Northern Railroad was created by a concurrent resolution of the 22nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, approved by the Texas House of Representatives on March 30, 1891 and by the Texas Senate on the following day. The resolution called for the investigation of the case of Jay Gould vs. the International & Great Northern (I&GN) Railroad Company and all the proceedings in the case, which included the receivership of the I&GN.
Railroad financier Jay Gould acquired control of the I&GN in 1879 and leased it then to the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad Company, which Gould also controlled. In February 1889, Gould filed suit in the District Court of Smith County, Texas against the I&GN for payment of promissory notes. Creditors and parties that had personal injury lawsuits against the I&GN intervened and made counterclaims. While these suits were pending, the I&GN was put into a receivership that lasted three years.
The duration of the receivership, the complexity of the case, the amounts of money involved and the fact that there were several changes in the receivership administration led to charges of inefficiency and overpayment for their services. The railroads were under intense public scrutiny in Texas at this time. James Stephen Hogg had been elected governor in 1890 on a platform of public regulation of railroads and creation of a Railroad Commission, which was enacted in 1891.
The joint committee held hearings in Galveston from June 10 until July 3, 1891. Committee members were Representatives Alexander C. Brietz, Walter Gresham, and Andrew Todd McKinney; and Senators M.M. Crane and H.M. Garwood. The committee heard oral testimony, which was transcribed, and also examined financial and legal documents submitted to them. Upon completion of the investigation, the committee filed a report with the 22nd Legislature explaining the background of the Gould vs. I&GN Railroad case, how the receivership came about, why it lasted so long, and how it was administered. The committee found no official wrongdoing but did have some critical comments on receiverships in general and made recommendations for legislative action to improve the statutes. Eventually, Gould's claims were satisfied in the courts and the I&GN Railroad was reorganized without a change in name or ownership.
The Texas Joint Committee to Investigate the Receivership of the International & Great Northern Railroad was created to investigate the case of Jay Gould vs. the International & Great Northern (I&GN) Railroad Company and all the proceedings in the case, which included the receivership of the I&GN. Records of the committee consist of a typescript transcription of the oral testimony and financial and legal exhibits filed with the committee during its hearings in 1891. The records are divided into 46 consecutively numbered tri-folded groups of documents totaling 1871 pages. The proceedings of each day of hearings held from June 10 until July 3, 1891 are numbered from one to nineteen, totaling 390 pages. Parts of the receivership records read in evidence are numbered from twenty to forty-four, totaling 1360 pages. Financial statements from the books of the I&GN (number forty-five) total four pages, and the list of attorneys of the receivership, their compensation and duties performed (number forty-six), totals 117 pages. All of these documents appear in the committee's report cited below, published in 1892.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
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Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
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These records are tri-folded and will require humidification and flattening before they can be photocopied.
(Identify the item), Joint Committee to Investigate the Receivership of the International & Great Northern Railroad records, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1988/061
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by an unknown agency during the 20th century. An accession number was assigned on January 20, 1988.
Guide survey information compiled by Paul Beck, December 1987
Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project by Rebecca Romanchuk, February 2012
Detailed Description of the Records