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Captains Of Industry Or Men Of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money - Preface

1. Preface

2. David Maydole

3. Ichabod Washburn

4. Elihu Burritt

5. Michael Reynolds

6. Major Robert Pike

7. George Graham

8. John Harrison

9. Peter Faneuil

10. Chauncey Jerome

11. Captain Pierre Laclede Liguest

12. Israel Putnam

13. George Flower

14. Edward Coles

15. Peter H. Burnett

16. Gerrit Smith

17. Peter Force

18. John Bromfield

19. Frederick Tudor

20. Myron Holley

21. The Founders Of Lowell

23. John Smedley

24. Richard Cobden

25. Henry Bessemer

26. John Bright

27. Thomas Edward

28. Robert Dick

29. John Duncan

30. James Lackington

31. Horace Greeley's Start

32. James Gordon Bennett

33. Three John Walters

34. George Hope

35. Sir Henry Cole

36. Charles Summers

37. William B. Astor

38. Peter Cooper

39. Paris Duverney

40. Sir Rowland Hill

41. Marie-Antoine Careme

42. Wonderful Walker

43. Sir Christopher Wren

44. Sir John Rennie

45. Sir Moses Montefiore

46. Marquis Of Worcester

47. An Old Dry-goods Merchant's Recollections


In this volume are presented examples of men who shed lustre upon
ordinary pursuits, either by the superior manner in which they exercised
them or by the noble use they made of the leisure which success in them
usually gives. Such men are the nobility of republics. The American
people were fortunate in having at an early period an ideal man of this
kind in Benjamin Franklin, who, at the age of forty-two, just mid-way in
his life, deliberately relinquished the most profitable business of its
kind in the colonies for the sole purpose of developing electrical
science. In this, as in other respects, his example has had great
influence with his countrymen.

A distinguished author, who lived some years at Newport, has expressed
the opinion that the men who occupy the villas of that emerald isle
exert very little power compared with that of an orator or a writer. To
be, he adds, at the head of a normal school, or to be a professor in a
college, is to have a sway over the destinies of America which reduces
to nothingness the power of successful men of business.

Being myself a member of the fraternity of writers, I suppose I ought to
yield a joyful assent to such remarks. It is flattering to the self-love
of those who drive along Bellevue Avenue in a shabby hired vehicle to be
told that they are personages of much more consequence than the heavy
capitalist who swings by in a resplendent curricle, drawn by two matched
and matchless steeds, in a six-hundred dollar harness. Perhaps they are.
But I advise young men who aspire to serve their generation effectively
not to undervalue the importance of the gentleman in the curricle.

One of the individuals who has figured lately in the society of Newport
is the proprietor of an important newspaper. He is not a writer, nor a
teacher in a normal school, but he wields a considerable power in this
country. Fifty men write for the journal which he conducts, some of whom
write to admiration, for they are animated by a humane and patriotic
spirit. The late lamented Ivory Chamberlain was a writer whose leading
editorials were of national value. But, mark: a telegram of ten words
from that young man at Newport, written with perspiring hand in a pause
of the game of polo, determines without appeal the course of the paper
in any crisis of business or politics.

I do not complain of this arrangement of things. I think it is just; I
know it is unalterable.

It is then of the greatest possible importance that the men who control
during their lifetime, and create endowments when they are dead, should
share the best civilization of their age and country. It is also of the
greatest importance that young men whom nature has fitted to be leaders
should, at the beginning of life, take to the steep and thorny path
which leads at length to mastership.

Most of these chapters were published originally in "The Ledger" of New
York, and a few of them in "The Youths' Companion" of Boston, the
largest two circulations in the country. I have occasionally had reason
to think that they were of some service to young readers, and I may add
that they represent more labor and research than would be naturally
supposed from their brevity. Perhaps in this new form they may reach and
influence the minds of future leaders in the great and growing realm of
business. I should pity any young man who could read the briefest
account of what has been done in manufacturing towns by such men as John
Smedley and Robert Owen without forming a secret resolve to do something
similar if ever he should win the opportunity.


David Maydole, Hammer-Maker 9

Ichabod Washburn, Wire-Maker 18

Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith 27

Michael Reynolds, Engine-Driver 36

Major Robert Pike, Farmer 43

George Graham, Clock-Maker, buried in Westminster Abbey 51

John Harrison, Exquisite Watch-Maker 58

Peter Faneuil, and the Great Hall he built 65

Chauncey Jerome, Yankee Clock-Maker 79

Captain Pierre Laclede Liguest, Pioneer 89

Israel Putnam, Farmer 96

George Flower, Pioneer 104

Edward Coles, Noblest of the Pioneers, and his Great Speech 117

Peter H. Burnett, Banker 126

Gerrit Smith 133

Peter Force, Printer 140

John Bromfield, Merchant 148

Frederick Tudor, Ice Exporter 156

Myron Holley, Market-Gardener 163

The Founders of Lowell 170

Robert Owen, Cotton-Manufacturer 180

John Smedley, Stocking-Manufacturer 188

Richard Cobden, Calico Printer 195

Henry Bessemer 206

John Bright, Manufacturer 212

Thomas Edward, Cobbler and Naturalist 224

Robert Dick, Baker and Naturalist 232

John Duncan, Weaver and Botanist 240

James Lackington, Second-Hand Bookseller 247

Horace Greeley's Start 254

James Gordon Bennett, and how he founded his "Herald" 264

Three John Walters, and their Newspaper 275

George Hope 288

Sir Henry Cole 294

Charles Summers 300

William B. Astor, House-Owner 307

Peter Cooper 313

Paris-Duverney, French Financier 332

Sir Rowland Hill 342

Marie-Antoine Careme, French Cook 349

Wonderful Walker, Parson of all Work 355

Sir Christopher Wren 363

Sir John Rennie, Engineer 372

Sir Moses Montefiore 379

Marquis of Worcester, Inventor of the Steam-Engine 385

An Old Dry-Goods Merchant's Recollections 392

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