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John Work Garrett

railroad executive , banker

John Work Garrett, American railroad executive, banker.


Garrett, John Work was born on July 31, 1820 in Baltimore. Son of Robert and Elizabeth (Stouffer) Garrett.


Attended Lafayette College (Pennsylvania), 2 years.


Became president B.& O. R.R., 1858 (after stockholders’ challenge to management, which he led). Managed road successfully, improved earnings, freed board of directors from political control. Instrumental in preventing Maryland.

Confederates from taking Washington (District of Columbia) during Civil War. Continued railroad service throughout war, although line twice crossed Confederate territory. Obtained direct routes to Chicago and Pittsburgh, after war, also acquired independent line to New York City.

Arranged for N. German Lloyd line to unload ships at Baltimore, re-establishing city as major seaport. Built B.& O. R.R. into integrated company by having line build its own cars and operate its own express and telegraph companies. Solved problem of rate wars by formation of pools.

Attempted to manipulate state legislature (because of charges of discrimination), 1870’s.


Married Rachel Harrison.

Robert Garrett

Elizabeth (Stouffer) Garrett

Rachel Harrison.