While in Seattle on business, St. Paul rail tycoon James J. Hill learns that Edward H. Harriman, in New York, is buying up shares of the Northern Pacific Railroad, trying to wrest control of the company from Hill. Hill orders all trains to give right of way to his express train and heads east for New York, making the 1,800-mile trip from Seattle to St. Paul in 45 hours and 50 minutes, 21 hours under the average time. From there Hill continues to New York and thwarts the deal. During the buying frenzy, Northern Pacific shares rise from under $100 to a peak of $1,000 on May 9.
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