Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by Edward J. Renehan Jr.

By Edward J. Renehan Jr.

Utilizing formerly unreleased documents, Edward J. Renehan Jr. narrates the compelling lifetime of Cornelius Vanderbilt: willful progenitor of contemporary American enterprise. Vanderbilt made his preliminary fortune construction ferry and load routes for crusing vessels. Then he moved into steamboats and railroads. With the hot York relevant, Vanderbilt validated the nation’s first significant built-in rail process, linking ny with Boston, Montreal, Chicago, and St. Louis. even as, he performed a key function in constructing long island because the monetary heart of the U.S.. whilst he died in 1877, Vanderbilt left a fortune that, in today’s cash, might dwarf that of even invoice Gates. Off Wall road, Vanderbilt was once a hard-drinking egotist and whoremonger with out manners or charity. He disinherited so much of his a variety of little ones and got an article rebuke from Mark Twain for his loss of public giving. Commodore sheds startling new mild on many features of Vanderbilt’s company and personal existence together with, so much significantly, the revelation that complicated degree syphilis marred his final years. this can be the definitive biography of a guy whose impression on American lifestyles and trade towers over all who him.</Div>

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Livingston—President Thomas Jefferson’s minister to France—negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, and ten in July 1804, when Vice President Aaron Burr fatally shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel on the banks of the Hudson at Weehawken, just a few miles to the north of Staten Island. Some months later, black slaves at work enlarging the Brooklyn Navy Yard accidentally unearthed the remains of hundreds of American patriots, all of them having been starved to death on the prison ship Jersey in New York Harbor during the American War of Independence and secretly buried by the British.

Phebe had been adopted as a child by a family friend, a local minister, who raised her in a stable, loving home at Rahway, New Jersey. Six sisters received placement elsewhere, as did a younger brother. “[Phebe] used to tell of the time when, as a young girl, she was walking on Broadway and saw a young stranger whose face attracted her,” recalled a granddaughter, Anna Root, writing in the late 1880s or early 1890s. “Turning to look again she found him glancing back, and presently he wheeled about and coming to her asked if her name was not Phebe Hand.

The sloop, sixty-five feet in length overall, allowed him to sail on days when periaguers could not, to go where periaugers dared not, and to take on considerably more in the way of freight and passengers than the average periauger could ever hold. At the same time, the sloop’s dropped centerboard gave Vanderbilt stability with which to ply the waters of the harbor in all directions at any time of day, regardless of wind and tide. Vanderbilt’s vessel resembled the classic New York Harbor and river sloops described so eloquently after the turn of the century by Hudson rivermen and historians William Verplanck and Moses Collyer.

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