By Edward J. Renehan Jr.

Utilizing formerly unreleased information, 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 recent York relevant, Vanderbilt proven the nation’s first significant built-in rail procedure, linking long island with Boston, Montreal, Chicago, and St. Louis. while, he performed a key function in constructing long island because the monetary middle of the us. whilst he died in 1877, Vanderbilt left a fortune that, in today’s money, may 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 such a lot of his quite a few youngsters and bought a piece of writing rebuke from Mark Twain for his loss of public giving. Commodore sheds startling new gentle on many elements of Vanderbilt’s enterprise and personal lifestyles together with, such a lot particularly, the revelation that complicated level syphilis marred his final years. this is often the definitive biography of a guy whose impression on American lifestyles and trade towers over all who him.</Div>

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Extra info for Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

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7 Vanderbilt commissioned the building of the Swiftsure in 1813, when he was nineteen, in the midst of the war of 1812. The sloop was launched from Belleville, on the Passaic River in New Jersey, that summer. The War of 1812 affected harbor trade significantly. In fact, those waters became complicated even before the start of the declared 30 COMMODORE hostilities between the United States and Britain. As of 1803, and the commencement of the Napoleonic wars, the influence of patrolling British vessels in and around Lower New York Bay had been profound.

This too would become a trademark: the conduct of price wars and the sacrifice of margin in return for full loads and the impoverishment of those who would dare go against him. Profitable War 29 Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s boat did not remain little for long. In short order, the young man deduced what his father had not had the wit to realize over the course of many years: that the shallowdraft periauger was the least likely vessel for navigation across the complicated waters of New York Harbor. Soon Cornelius adopted a wide-beamed centerboard sloop as his craft of choice for the Staten Island/Manhattan run.

He was also to complain nearly just as loudly about the overall quality of the mere three boys. To the troubled Cornelius he would never give any quarter or any charity. And Billy would be merely tolerated until the day his fortunes reversed: the day his brother George, the father’s pronounced and undisputed favorite, died of consumption contracted at the Battle of Shiloh during the Civil War. 40 COMMODORE But all of that contempt and meanness was in the future as Cornelius and Sophia set about making a home, and Cornelius continued to build his business interests.

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