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 VIII.

George Peabody.

Birth and parentage—­Early education—­His first lessons in business—­An apprentice in a country store—­Youthful ambition—­A desire for change—­The visit to Post Mills—­Removal to Newburyport—­Reasons for his attachment to that place—­His first patron—­Peabody goes south—­A soldier in the War of 1812-15—­A young merchant—­A change of prospects—­A partner in the house of Riggs & Peabody—­Peabody’s business capacity—­An irregular banker—­His reputation as a business man—­Promising opening of a brilliant career—­Retirement of Mr. Riggs—­Growth of the business—­A branch house in London—­Mr. Peabody saves the credit of the State of Maryland—­Tribute from Edward Everett—­Success in London—­A model American merchant—­Establishment of the house of George Peabody & Co.—­The Fourth of July dinner—­The exhibition of 1851—­Patriotism of Mr. Peabody—­How he saved the United States from humiliation—­Admission of the “London Times”—­Mr. Peabody’s business habits—­His economy—­Adventure with a conductor—­Finds a conscientious hackman—­Personal simplicity—­Visits to the United States—­His munificent donations—­His last visit—­Returns to London and dies—­Honors paid to his memory—­The funeral ceremonies—­His burial at Peabody—­Statement of his donations and bequests—­His example encouraging to the young.

II.  CAPITALISTS.

CHAPTER IX.

Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Staten Island seventy-six years ago—­The establishment of the Staten Island ferry—­Birth of Cornelius Vanderbilt—­His boyhood—­Defective education—­A famous rider—­His early reputation for firmness—­Superintends the removal of a ship’s cargo at the age of twelve—­How he pawned a horse—­Becomes a boatman—­How he bought his boat—­A disastrous voyage—­His life as a boatman—­His economy and industry—­Earns three thousand dollars—­The alarm at Fort Richmond—­Vanderbilt’s perilous voyage for aid for the forts—­His marriage—­His first contract—­How he supplied the harbor defenses—­Builds his first schooner—­His winter voyages—­Becomes a steamboat captain—­His foresight—­Leases the hotel at New Brunswick—­The dangers of navigating the New York waters—­The steamboat war—­How Captain Vanderbilt eluded the sheriff—­Becomes manager of the steamboat line—­Declines an increase of salary—­Only wants to carry his point—­Refuses to buy Mr. Gibbons’s interest in the steamboat company, and builds his own boat—­Narrow escape from ruin—­Final triumph—­Systematic management of his vessels—­How he ruined the “Collins Line”—­The “North Star”—­Becomes a railroad director—­How he foiled a plan to ruin him—­dishonest legislature—­Vanderbilt’s triumph—­His gift to the Government—­His office in New York—­Vanderbilt in business hours—­Personal characteristics—­Love for horses—­His family.

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