Vanderbilt’s most ambitious projects lay ahead of him. Development of the Industrial U.S. Reference Library. Apparently well on the way to fame and fortune, in 1818 Vanderbilt sold all his interests and turned his attention to steamboats. . Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, as many called him was born in Port Richmond, Staten Island, New York to Cornelius van Derbilt and Phebe Hand on 27th May 1794. Around that same time, he came to the conclusion that to remain competitive with the other major lines (Pennsylvania and the B&O), he needed to extend his route into Chicago. https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cornelius-vanderbilt, "Cornelius Vanderbilt In the early 1860s he ventured into railroads. The Vanderbilts extended their lines to Chicago by acquiring the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern railroads, the Canadian Southern, and the Michigan Central. By the 1840s, he was the most significant employer in the entire United States with a fleet of 100 steamships to his name. Though the Panama Canal in fact took more than half a century to realize, Vanderbilt managed to sell most of his holdings in the Transit at a considerable profit in 1852, when he took a hiatus from business. . His vessels were stable craft which offered the passenger not only comfort but often luxury. Facts about Entertainment Family and Leisure, Environment - Animals - Geography - Religion - Body - World - Science - Literature - Art US Presidents - United States - America - History, Interesting Facts about World History, Events and Timelines, Interesting Facts about American Presidents, Interesting Facts about Places and Countries, Interesting Facts about Entertainment Family and Leisure, Interesting Facts about Art and Literature. In the first 5 years he is said to have cleared $25 million. Little did they know that the very men who sold them that stock bought it back, along with all the other shares on the market. philanthropy (donations of wealth) with any sort of regularity. Memorable Americans, 1750-1950. 16 Oct. 2020 . Cornelius Vanderbilt was illiterate. "The Vanderbilt Museum." (1749-1838) In fact, during the later years of his life in particular, as the country suffered through growing pains that often resulted in economic chaos, he exerted a stabilizing influence on the nation's finances. "Cornelius Vanderbilt." In the late 1820s Vanderbilt started running two steamboats from New York City to the state capital just to force the dominant line to buy him out, which they did. He was never known for philanthropic activities, his only unsolicited contributions being $50, 000 for the Church of the Strangers in New York City and $1 million to Central University, which then became Vanderbilt University. Cornelius Vanderbilt's grandsons, most notably Frederick William (1856-1938) and William K. II (1849-1920), multiplied their inheritances into vast business and real estate holdings. He built his fortune through freight and passenger boating lines, and later expanded to railroads. New York: Harry N. Abrams Pub., 1989. Retrieved October 16, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vanderbilt-cornelius. Unlike his father, William H. Vanderbilt was a generous patron of the arts and one of the founders of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In a famous incident, he told them But then he decided that the wave of the future was heading in another direction—the railroad. From there, Vanderbilt took his business to the Hudson River market, where he competed directly with the Hudson River Steamboat Association. . He did purchase several other lines and extended his service to Chicago, Illinois. By 1828 Vanderbilt had saved more than $30,000. The “Commodore.” The transaction set a pattern Vanderbilt repeated several times as the scope of his shipping interests expanded: invest in modern, upscale facilities, build profitable lines, and eventually either sell out to or buy out competing lines. As Charles Francis Adams put it, Vanderbilt “involuntarily excites feelings of admiration for himself and alarm for the public. He ended up being one of the wealthiest men in America. In 1818 Vanderbilt tied his fortunes to the new technology transforming shipping when he went to work for Thomas Gibbons operating a steamboat between New Jersey and New York.

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