Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 694 pages of information about Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made.

CHAPTER I.

Stephen Girard.

The fog in the Delaware—­News of the war—­Alarm of the French skipper—­A narrow escape from capture—­Arrival of Girard in Philadelphia—­Early history of Stephen Girard—­An unhappy childhood—­Goes to sea—­Is licensed to command—­Becomes a trader in Philadelphia—­Marries Mary Lum—­Unfortunate issue of the marriage—­Capture of Philadelphia by the British—­Early commercial life of Stephen Girard—­How he earned his first money, and the use he made of it—­Aid from St. Domingo—­His rigid attention to business—­Thoroughness of his knowledge—­One of his letters of instructions—­His subordinates required to obey orders though they ruin him—­Anecdote of Girard and one of his captains—­His promptness and fidelity in business—­He never breaks his word—­How he lost five hundred dollars—­Buys the old Bank of the United States and becomes a banker—­Cuts down the salaries of his clerks—­Refuses his watchman an overcoat—­Indifference to his employes—­Contrast between his personal and business habits—­His liberality in financial operations—­He subscribes for the entire Government loan in 1814, and enables the United States to carry on the war—­His generosity toward the Government—­The suspension of specie payments—­Financial troubles—­How Girard saved his own notes—­His public spirit—­How he made half a million of dollars on a captured ship—­Personal characteristics—­Why he valued money—­His ambition—­His infidelity—­Causes of the defects of his character—­A favorable view—­Heroic conduct of Stephen Girard during the prevalence of the yellow fever in Philadelphia—­The Good Samaritan—­He practices medicine, and congratulates himself that he has killed none of his patients—­His industry—­Visit of Mr. Baring to Mr. Girard—­A curious reception—­Failing health and death of Stephen Girard—­His will—­His noble bequests—­Establishment of Girard College.

CHAPTER II.

John Jacob Astor.

Legitimate business the field of success—­Reasons for claiming Astor as an American—­Birth and early life—­Religious training—­The village of Waldorf—­Poverty—­The jolly butcher—­Young Astor’s repugnance to his father’s trade—­Unhappy at home—­Loses his mother—­His desire to emigrate to the “New Land”—­Leaves home—­His voyage down the Rhine—­Reaches London and enters the service of his brother—­His efforts to prepare for emigration—­Learns to speak English—­Peace between the United States and Great Britain—­The road to the “New Land” open—­Astor sets out for America—­His first ventures in commerce—­The voyage—­How he proposed to save his Sunday clothes—­Arrival in the Chesapeake—­The ice-blockade—­Astor makes a friend—­The fur trader’s story—­Astor sees the way to fortune—­Reaches New York—­His first situation—­Learning the business—­His method of proceeding—­An example to young men—­His capacity for business operations—­He

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Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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