Another of New York’s leading men was Daniel Drew. His father died when he was fifteen years of age, and he came to New York to seek his fortune. Resolved to do something, and having nothing better to do, he became a soldier as a substitute for another. Then he took to stock-keeping, and droves of over 2,000 cattle crossed the Alleghanies under his direction. In 1834, he began the steam-boat enterprise. In 1836, he appeared in Wall Street. For eleven years his firm was very celebrated. Mr. Drew was a rapid, bold, and successful operator. His connection with the Erie Railroad, guaranteeing the paper of that company to the amount of a million and a-half of dollars, showed the magnitude of his transactions. In 1857, as treasurer of the company, his own paper, endorsed by Vanderbilt to the amount of a million and a-half of dollars saved the Erie from bankruptcy. During that year, amidst p. 55universal ruin, Mr. Drew’s losses were immense; but he never flinched, met his paper promptly, and said that, during all that crisis, he had not lost one hour’s sleep. In conjunction with Vanderbilt, he relieved the Harlem Road from its floating debt, and replaced it in a prosperous condition.
“It would be unpardonable to forget the great Barnum,” says a New York writer, “one of our most remarkable men. He lives among the millionaires in a costly brown-stone house in Fifth Avenue, corner of Thirty-ninth Street, and is a millionaire himself. He has retired from the details of actual life, though he has the controlling interest of the Barnum and Van Amburgh Museum. He has made and lost several fortunes; but, in the evening of life, he is in possession of wealth, which he expends with great liberality and a genial hospitality. He was born at Bethel, Connecticut, and was trained in a village tavern kept by his father. He had a hopeful buoyant disposition, and was distinguished by his irrepressible love of fun. At the age of fifteen he began life for himself, and married when he was nineteen. As editor of the Herald of Freedom, he obtained an American notoriety. The paper was distinguished for its pith and vigour. Owing to sharp comments on officials, Mr. Barnum was shut up in gaol. On the day of his liberation his friends assembled in great force, with carriages, bands of music, and flags, and carried him home. His first appearance as an exhibitor was in connection with an old negress, Joyce Heth, the reputed nurse of Washington. His next attempt was to obtain possession of Scudder’s American Museum. Barnum had not five dollars in the world, nor did he pay any down. The concern was little better than a corpse ready for burial, yet he bound himself down by terms fearfully stringent, and met all the conditions as they matured. He secured the person of Charles S. Stretton, the celebrated dwarf, and exhibited him. He also secured the services of Jenny land, binding himself to pay her 1,000 dollars a-night for 150 nights, assuming all expenses of every kind. The contract proved an immense pecuniary success. From the days of Joyce Heth, to the present time, Mr. Barnum has always had some speciality connected with his show, which the world pronounces humbug; and Mr. Barnum does not deny that they are so. Among these are the Woolly Horse, the Buffalo Hunt, the Ploughing Elephant, the Segal Mermaid, the p. 56What-is-it, and the Gorilla. But Mr. Barnum claims that, while these special features may not be all that the public expect, every visitor to the exhibition gets the worth of his money ten times over; that his million curiosities and monstrosities, giants, and dwarfs, his menagerie and dramatic entertainments, present a diversified and immense amount of entertainment that cannot be secured anywhere else. A large or red baboon, upon a recent occasion, was exhibited at the Museum. It was advertised as a living gorilla, the only one ever exhibited in America. Mr. Barnum’s agents succeeded in hoodwinking the press to such a degree, that the respectable dailies described the ferocity of this formidable gorilla, whose rage was represented to be so intense, and his strength so fearful, that he was very near tearing to pieces the persons who had brought him from the ship to the Museum. Barnum had not seen the animal; and when he read the account in the Post, he was very much excited, and sent immediately to the men to be careful that no one was harmed. The baboon was about as furious as a small-sized kitten. The story did its work, and crowds came to see the wonderful beast. Among others a professor came from the Smithsonian Institute; he examined the animal, and then desired to see Mr. Barnum. He informed the proprietor that he had read the wonderful accounts of the gorilla, and had come to see him. ‘He is a very fine specimen of the baboon,’ said the professor; ‘but he is no gorilla.’ ‘What’s the reason that he is not a gorilla?’ said Barnum. The professor replied, that ‘ordinary gorillas had no tails.’ ‘I own,’ said the showman, ‘that ordinary gorillas have no tails; but mine has, and that makes the specimen the more remarkable.’ The audacity of the reply completely overwhelmed the professor, and he retired, leaving Mr. Barnum in possession of the field. Mr. Barnum’s rule has been to give all who patronise him the worth of their money, without being particular as to the means by which he attracts the crowds to his exhibitions. His aim has been notoriety. He offered the Atlantic Telegraph Company 5,000 dollars for the privilege of first sending twenty words over the wires. It has not been all sunshine with Mr. Barnum. His imposing villa at Bridgeport was burned to the ground. Anxious to build up East Bridgeport, he became responsible to a manufacturing company, and his fortune was swept away in p. 57an hour; but with wonderful sagacity he relieved himself. As a business man, he has singular executive force, and great capacity. Men who regard Mr. Barnum as a charlatan, who attribute his success to what he calls humbug, clap-trap, exaggerated pictures, and puffing advertisements, will find that the secret of his success did not lie in that direction. Under all his eccentricity, there was a business energy, tact, perseverance, shrewdness, and industry, without which, all his humbugging would have been exerted in vain. From distributing Sear’s Bible, he became lessee of the Vauxhall Saloon; thence a writer of advertisements for an amphitheatre at four dollars a-week; then negotiating, without a dollar, for the Museum, which was utterly worthless; outwitting a corporation who intended to outwit him on the purchase of the Museum over his head; exhibiting a manufactured mermaid which he had bought of a Boston showman; palming off Tom Thumb as eleven years of age when he was but five; showing his woolly horse, and exhibiting his wild buffaloes at Holcken—these, and other small things that Barnum did, are known to the public; but there are other things which the public did not know. Barnum was thoroughly honest, and he kept his business engagements to the letter. He adopted the most rigid economy. Finding a hearty coadjutor in his wife, he put his family on a short allowance, and shared himself in the economy of the household. Six hundred dollars a-year he allowed for the expenses of his family, and his wife resolutely resolved to reduce that sum to 400 dollars. Six months after the purchase of the Museum, the owner came into the ticket-office at noon; Barnum was eating his frugal dinner, which was spread before him. ‘Is this the way you eat your dinner?’ the proprietor inquired. Barnum said, ‘I have not eaten a warm dinner since I bought the Museum, except on the Sabbath, and I intend never to eat another on a week-day till I am out of debt.’ ‘Ah, you are safe, and will pay for the Museum before the year is out,’ replied the owner. In less than a year the Museum was paid for out of the profits of the establishment.”
There are no better rules for business success than those laid down by Mr. Barnum, and which have guided his course. Among them are these—“select the kind of business suited to your temperament and inclination; let your pledged word p. 58ever be sacred; whatever you do, do with all your might; use no description of intoxicating drinks; let hope predominate, but do not be visionary; pursue one thing at a time; do not scatter your powers; engage proper assistance; live within your income, if you almost starve; depend upon yourself, and not upon others.”
Perhaps one of the men who made most money by advertising, was Mr. Barnes, the proprietor of the New York Ledger. The manner was entirely his own. When he startled the public by taking columns of a daily journal, or one entire side, he secured the end he had in view. His method of repeating three or four lines—such as, “Jenny Jones writes only for the Ledger!” or “Read Mrs. Southwort’s new story in the Ledger!”—and this repeated over and over again, till men turned from it in disgust, and did not conceal their ill-temper—was a system of itself. “What is the use,” said a man to Mr. Barnes, “of your taking the whole side of the Herald, and repeating that statement a thousand times?” “Would you have asked me that question,” replied Mr. Barnes, “if I had inserted it but once? I put it in to attract your attention, and to make you ask that question.” This mode of advertising was new, and it excited both astonishment and ridicule. His ruin was predicted over and over again; and when he had thus amassed a fine fortune, it was felt that the position he had secured was the one he aimed at when he was a mere printer’s lad. He sought for no short paths to success; he mastered his trade as a printer patiently and perfectly; he earned his money before he spent it; in New York he was preferred because he did his work better than others; he was truthful, sober, honest, and industrious; if he took a job, he finished it at the time and in the manner agreed upon. He borrowed no money, incurred no debts, and suffered no embarrassments. He was born in the north of Ireland, not far from Londonderry, and was true to the Scotch Presbyterian blood in his veins.
I now come to the most illustrious name, as regards money-getters, either in England or America. Mr. George Peabody was something more than a money-hunter, and, in the history of money-making men, deserves the post of honour for his philanthropy. He was born in Massachusetts, and was, essentially, a self-taught and self-made man. After he had learnt, in the district school, how to read and write, having p. 59been four years in a grocer’s score, and having spent another year with his grandfather in rustic life in Vermont, he went to join his brother David, who had set up a drapery or dry-goods store at Newburyport. This was stopped, a few months after, by a fire, which destroyed Peabody’s shop and most of the other houses in the town. Fortunately, at this juncture, an uncle, who had settled in George Town, in the district of Columbia, invited young George to become his commercial assistant; and he stayed with him a couple of years, managing the most part of the business. In May, 1812, during the unhappy war between Great Britain and America, when a British fleet came up the Potomac, this young merchant’s clerk, with others of his time, volunteered into the patriot army, and served a few months in the defence of Port Warburton, as a true citizen soldier. The short war being over, his proved skill and diligence brought him the offer of a partnership in a new concern—it was that of Elisha Riggs, who was about to commence the sale of dry goods throughout the middle States of the union. Riggs found the capital, while Peabody did the work, and the firm at once achieved immense success. Peabody acted as bagsman, and often travelled alone, on horseback, through the western wilds of New York and Pennsylvania, or the plantations of Maryland and Virginia, if not farther, lodging with farmers or gentlemen slave-owners, and so becoming acquainted with every class of people, and every way of living: indeed, so fast did the Southern connection increase, that the house was removed to Baltimore, though its branches were established, seven years later, at Philadelphia and New York. About the year 1830, Mr. Riggs having retired from business, Mr. Peabody found himself at the head of one of the largest mercantile firms in the home-trade of America. But Mr. Peabody had also, by this time, distinguished himself as a man of superior integrity, discretion, and public spirit. “He coveted no political office; he courted the votes of no party; he waited upon no caucus; put his foot down,” says the writer of the account of his life in the “Annual Register,” “upon no platform; but held aloof from the strife of American factions.” His first visit to London was in 1827, whole he was still chief partner in the Baltimore firm. In 1843, he fixed himself here, as merchant and money-broker, with others, by the style of “George Peabody and Co., of Warnford p. 60Court, City.” As one of the three commissioners appointed by the State of Maryland to obtain means for restoring its credit, he refused to be paid for his services; but the State could not do less than vote him their special thanks. To the last he retained his fondness for his native land, and used to celebrate the anniversary of American Independence, on the 4th of July, with a kind of public dinner at the Crystal Palace.
It is as a magnificent giver as well as getter of money that Mr. Peabody has become famous. He knew perfectly well what he was about. He had seen as much of the world as most elderly men of business accustomed to society and travel, and he had come to the conclusion that a man was not made happy by fine houses, and grand equipages, and stately parks, and galleries filled with the choicest productions of art in ancient or modern times, or by the social status which assuredly the possession of money gives. None of these things, he found, made a man happy; though if he had them, and were deprived of them, the loss would make him truly unhappy indeed. Mr. Peabody thought he knew a surer way to the possession of happiness; and that was, by dedicating the wealth he had honourably acquired, to the promotion of the well-being of his less fortunate fellow-men.
Some of his first acts of pecuniary munificence, as was to be expected, had an American bearing. At the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851, he promptly supplied the sum needed to pay for the arrangements of the United States contributions. In the following year he joined Mr. Henry Grinnell, of New York, shipowner, in fitting out the expedition to the Arctic Sea in search of Sir John Franklin. In the same year he bestowed a large donation, since augmented to £100,000, to found a free library and educational institute at Danvers, his native place. In 1857, he revisited his native land, after an absence of twenty years. On this occasion he gave £100,000 to form, at Baltimore, a noble institute devoted to science and art, in conjunction with a free public library. The corner-stone of this building was laid in 1858, and the structure was then completed; but its opening was delayed by the civil war which at that time prevailed. It was not till after the conclusion of the war that it was finally dedicated to the purposes for which it was founded. Mr. Peabody afterwards gave a second £100,000 to the institute.
Tips, opportunities to make money：money found in kimanis housep. 61In 1862, Mr. Peabody made the magnificent donation of £150,000 for the amelioration of the condition of the poor of London, and the trustees, who were men of mark and position, immediately employed the money in accordance with the noble donor’s wishes, in the erection of model dwellings for working-men. In 1866, he added another £100,000 to the fund; and in 1868, he made a further donation of about fifteen acres of land at Brixton, 5,642 shares in the Hudson’s Bay Company, and £5,405 in cash (altogether another £100,000); thus making the value of his gifts to the poor of London as much as £350,000. By the last will and testament of Mr. Peabody, opened on the day of his funeral, his executors, Sir Curtis Sampson and Sir Charles Reed, were directed to apply a further sum of £150,000 to the Peabody Fund, thus making a sum of half a million sterling so employed.
This extraordinary beneficence, on the part of a private citizen, was acknowledged in Great Britain. The freedom of the City of London was conferred on Mr. Peabody by the corporation. The Queen, not content with offering him either a baronetcy or the Grand Cross of the Bath, which he respectfully declined, wrote him a grateful letter, and invited him to visit her at Windsor. In 1866, just before his second visit to his native country, he received from her the gift of a beautiful miniature portrait of herself, framed in the most costly style, which he deposited in the Peabody Institute at Danvers. The last token of public honour which was rendered to Mr. Peabody before his death, was the uncovering, by the Prince of Wales, of Storey’s fine bronze statue of himself behind the Royal Exchange.
Mr. Peabody remained in his native land three years, during which time he largely increased the amount of his donations, and founded more than one or two important institutions. He gave 2,000,000 dollars for the education of the blacks and whites in the South; 300,000 dollars for museums of American relics at Yale and Harvard Colleges; 50,000 dollars for a free museum at Salem; 25,000 dollars to Bishop McIlxame for Kenyon College; and presented a sum of 230,000 dollars to the State of Maryland. He also expended 100,000 dollars on a memorial church to his mother, and distributed among the members of his family 2,000,000 dollars. In recognition of his many large gifts to public p. 62institutions in America, Mr. Peabody received, in March 1867, a special vote of thanks from the United States. He died in London, at the house of his friend, Six Curtis Sampson, at Eaton Square, in the seventy-filth year of his age. The funeral took place in Westminster Abbey though, in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, the body was afterwards conveyed to America. The coffin-lid bore the following inscription:—
Tips, opportunities to make money：money 8d audio cardi bBorn at Danvers, Massachusetts, February 18th, 1795;
Tips, opportunities to make money：money for nothing mididDied in London, England, November 4th, 1869.
The remains were taken over to America in her Majesty’s turret-ship, the Monarch.
The late Mr. A. T. Stewart, dry-goods merchant of New York, has left a curious monument of his administrative skill in the great Working Women’s Hotel, recently completed in that city. As a large employer of labour, male as well as female, Mr. Stewart became impressed with the difficulty that working-folk have in finding lodgings even in comparatively new cities. In swiftly-growing New York, the constantly increasing demand for business premises has pushed the population higher and higher up the island, until one fashionable street after another has been converted into stores and offices, and people fairly well off have built themselves handsome dwellings further afield. This has been by no means an unprofitable change for house-owners; for the compensation received for a house “down town,” more than suffices to build and furnish a handsome dwelling in that part of the city still devoted to private residences; but to the poorer classes of inhabitants, rapid change and development of this kind have been not a little oppressive. Far more swiftly and suddenly than in London, the working-people have found themselves thrust from the space previously occupied by them, but grown too valuable to be covered by their humble homes. Like their brethren in London, they have either retired to the suburbs and find a tiresome morning and evening journey added to the miseries of life, or have taken refuge in large houses let out in tenements and built expressly for the accommodation of artisan families. Both English and American experiments in this latter direction have been very successful. Practice has taught the proper principle of constructing large p. 63tenement houses as well as artisans’ and labourers’ cottages, and the working family is probably not less commodiously, and is certainly more healthily, lodged than it has been at any preceding period. The single man, too, is cared for; but the single woman has hitherto been under certain disadvantages. It is obvious that a house almost always contains more space than she wants, and costs more money than she can afford; and it is equally clear that in cooking her own meals separately she is wasting time, food, and fuel. Some of these objections might, perhaps, be got over by four or five women clubbing together; but their general feeling has never been strongly manifested in favour of divided rule or responsibility. It is subjecting human nature to a severe test to ask people to “room together,” as it is called in America, the ordinary result being that the temporary “chums” never speak again to each other for the rest of their lives. It was to obviate this strain on human sympathy that Mr. Stewart projected the Working Women’s Hotel, the completion of which he did not live to see.