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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 14, 1912, Image 11',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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this butcher's boy woke in New
York only a few mornings ago to
find himself the master of a hun-
'dred millions. He also is but 20.
What will' William Vincent
Astor, great-grandson of John
Jacob Astor, "the first," do with
Will he grapple, with it as did
that giant of a century ago with
his, and wrest from it a force to
make his own character stand
forth triumphant? Or will he be
crushed under his hundred mil
lions, which he did not earn?
The first John Jacob Astor -was,
by worldly standards, a great
man. From peddling a string of
sausages he-became the greatest
landlord in Manhattan. From
three flutes and 27 he built the
greatest fortune then in,America.
From the illiteracy of-a peas
ant's boy pn the edge of the Black
i Forest he acquired, by his own
untutored and unremitting ef
fort, a mastery of four languages.
From the-roustabout associations
of a beajter of hides in the back
alleys of New. York he rose in the
social scale until Washington
Irving and'Fitz Greene Halleck,
Henry Clay and AarpnBurr were
his intimates. .
' This Astor'possessed creative
imagination and -executive skifl.
He was the first man to forsee a
system. He commanded a fleet
of vessels such as. was possessed
' by no other man of his time. He
made the government loan him
$8,000,000 without interest and
manipulator who has1 ever lived.
His dealswere made for all time,
and yet they made him fabulous
ly wealthy -in his own life.
And for what didthjs super
man expend his rare and precious
life upon this curious 'sphere of
For one sole object that he
might project into the dim future
a dynasty of Astor blood which
should perpetuate 'this dollar em
pire. That was the ruling pas
sion, the concentrated effort ox
this strangely gifted individual.
He not only built his mammoth
Mrs. Wm. Astor, the founder
of the "400" and its first. "ruler,"
and Vincent's grandmother- '
fortune but he so hedged it about
with legal restrictions that, in de
fiance of our American laws,
which forbid "the indefinite .entail
ing of estates, it has been handed
down from father to Son even uft-T
to the fifth generation, practical
ly intact. In this sly and sinister,
way he took advantage of the.
He was the shredest real estate Jjdemocracy which had .given, him
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