Newspaper Page Text
John Mm ism, Elbert Hu bbQ Pd I 'C.ht pv ""'3 0BB IN JACOB s it vm born f a Utotl family that I d in I K r ii t d jLB t ggSSggl pysiB I ther of t more or dweller, trade, In li fi n ii butcher's buiioi tone age i uv4 ;i butcher b) own of Waldorf. Heidelberg A tuna iu travel around and kill tbe pal phj or sheep or baarted owm bui her tin official Indua John la.nl est of tour si tbai the tend r dire not harm The parlihi a sort of m III hangman tor whs tlio young ami as many daugb- tn A : i. anil foil. trade of butrber. .la. ot, Aator, tbe John Jacob, naed with bin on his pit ttona Thli foi tw o tbe lad would let the other lo wake did not run away Tbe pastor of thl Chun h took pity 01 had iticb dlaguit trade, ami hired bin gulden ami run ern under lege par tn I rid am OOflll letl tbir can made vices if killing I i reason rn a Hail father tbe hoy ; egpedi- one, ami that tlio ho nil ,i III Win til.' local Lutheran n this hoy. who or Ins father's ii to work in Ins amis . arc of the vlt Jacob grow in i eatate wai to lio whs IT his fa parsonage and land for his sor man must ako up his father'! work of butchering That nlgbl John Jacob walked out of Waldorf i,y tbe wan llgbi of Iba moon, beaded for Antwerp He carried a big red hand kerchief, in which his worldly good a were knotted Ha reached Antwerp in ii week, There ha go) a Job on the doc ks as n laboret Thl tiexi day ho waa promoted to cbecker-oC The captain of ship aakad him to go to London and Bgura up the manifests on the a Hi went " apiaia or the ship recommended him company in London and the boy was olllni up vv i for Tin I bfofr " ' 'IgggggaaajM, '' ' mB'!' JBBBBBBBBnaSI' '" glMlggggggggggg i 1 ' ' ;', j, . - . . el' nS gggggggggagg&'. .JJjgM--idMiC MbbbbbbbbbbwBj ' "''A '. . A ' S'SfA -- Sir ,. A - an the rat.' of u guinea a 1 In Beptember, lTX.;. Oaorga Waihlngton in pea. had I u de. la Inane, so the American! A little later it an given up her American to the alth at ninth line the news to London urrendered In any i i Cornwallli bad forced ind stopped lighting given out that England ilotih s and they were lie. that vent the had Intuitively John Jacob Aslor fell that tbe"neW world" was the place for him lie bought paaaage by a nailing iblp bound for Baltimore, at a coat of nve pounds. He then fastened the pounds In a belt around his waist anil with tin real of bit money after lending two pound! hoiio to his father, with a letter ol hoe bought a dOMU Oarman flutes He had learned to play on this Inalmmeni with urn uld ho an than flel' in y and In meriia he thoiiKht there opening for muah lam and musical Inatrutn John Jacob wai then nearly 10 years of On hoard iblp he met a Gorman, M veal himself, who was h fin trader and had been home nn a vlait. John Jacob played the flute and the German friend told stories of fur trading among tbe Indiana. Young Astors curloalty was eiclied. The Waldorf- Aatoria plan of flute playing was forgotten lie fed on fur trading. Arriving in Baltimore, he was dlaappolnted to lenm that there wire no fur traders then lie started for New York There he found work with n certain lloherl How tie, i Quaker, who bought and sold furs Young Aslor set himself to learn the business every part of it He was always sitting on the doorstep before the owner, carrying a big key to open the warehouse, got around In the morning, He was the last to leave, at night The qualities that make a youth a good scryant are the hash ones for mastership Astor s alertness, will ingness, loyalty and ability tu obey delivered his em ployer over Into his hands Robirl How tie. the good old Quaker. Insisted that Jacob should rail him Hubert, and from hoarding the young man with a nearby war widow who took cheap hoard en, Bowne took young Astor to his own house and raised his pay from l a week to $ii. Bowne had mad.' aii annua trip to Montreal for many years Montreal was the metropolis fur furs Bowni went to Montreal himself bOCBUM he did not know of anyone he COUM trust tn carry the message to (larela Young Astnr had been with BoWBe only a year He poke Imperfect Rngllab, but lie did not drink or gamble and h knew furs anil waa honest. Howne started him off for Canada with n belt full of gold; his only weapon was a Gorman flUtl that he carried In his hand John Jacob Astor as. ended the Hudson river to Al bany and then with pack on his hack struck north, alone, through the forest for Lake f'hainplaln. As he ap proached an Indian aettlonietit lie played his flute. The aborigines showed no disposition tu give I, in, the hook. He hired Indians to paddle him up to the Canadian hor der He reached Montreal The fur traders there knew Bowne ns a very sharp buyer and so had their ipiills out on his approach. Hut young Astor was seemingly Indifferent. His manner was courteous and easy lie got close to his man and took his pick of the pelts at fair prices. He expended all of bis money and even bought on credit, lor there are men who always have credit. Young Aslor found Indian nature to he simply human nature. The savage WBI u man and courtesy, gentleness aad fairly good But! playing soothed his savage breast. Aator had heuds and blankets, a lint, and a smile. Tho Indians carried his goods by relays and then passed him on with guttural certlflcatei as to character to other red men and at last he reached New York without tlio loss of a pelt or the dampening of his ardor. Bowne was delighted. To young Aslor It was noth ing He had In his blood the success corpuscle. He might have remained with Howne and become a Banner In the business, hut Uowne had business limi- In moth, he . ?".e jzstj:- ma tatloni and Aslor hadn't Hence, after a Hiree years' apprenticeship. Astor knew all that BOWM did and all he himself could imaR Ina besides. So he resigned In I7M John Jacob Astor began bUaiBBM on his own account on Watei street. New York Astor had mail, friends with the Indians up the Hud son clear to Alhat v and they were acting as rei rutting agents for him Having collected several thousand dollars' worth of furs, he shipped them to London and embarked as a pas si nger in the si. . rage In London fori were becoming a fad Aator sorted mid sifted hi buyers, as he had his skins lie himself dressed In a suit of fur and thus proved his ability as an advertiser lie picked his men and charged all lb traffic would hear All of the money he received for his skins he Invested In "Indian goods" colored cloth, beads, blanket!, knives, axes and musical Instruments Ills was the llrst store In New York that carried a slock of musical Instruments These he sold to suvag. a and also he supplied the stolid Dutch the best of every thing in this particular Hue, from a baaoo to a Sit. el: varlns When he got buck lo N w Y'ork he at once struck out through the wilderness to buy furs of the Indiana, or, better still, to Interest Hi. -in In bringing furs to him II. knew the value of friendship In trade as no man of the lime did. IT'.ni John Jacob Mtor married Sarah I odd Her r was a Hrevoort and It was brought about by coming 'o Astor to buy furs with which to make ilf a coin Her ability to Judge furs and make them up bronchi v.uing Astor Into "the best Dutch New York society." a i ouibtuatioii that was quite as exclusive th.-n as now This man lace wns a business partnership as w ell as marital, and proved a success In every way. Barah wns a worker, with all the good old Dutch qualities of pa tience, persistence, industry ami economy, when bar husband went on trips she kept store. ('apt Cook had skirted the Pacific coast from Cap Horn to Alaska and had brought to the attention of the fur dealing and fur wearing world the sen otter of thl northern PlciUC. He also gave a psychological pro phetic glimpse of the insidious sealskin sack 111 17M a ship from the PaotfiC brought a hiimli 'd oiler skins to New York The skins were quickly sold to London havers nt exorbitant prices. The nobility wanted sea otter, or "royal American ermine," as they called It The scarcity boomed tha price Ships were quickly fitted out and dispatched Aslor encouraged these expeditions, but at tlrsl In vested no money in then, as he oonatdered them extra blxardoUI." lie was not a speculator. Until the year IKfld Astor Heed over his store In Water street but he then moved lo the plain and modelt house at L':"'. Broadway, OH the site of the old Aslor house. Here lie lived for 18 years The fur business was simple and very profitable In 1100 Astor owned three ships, which he had bought so as absolutely to control his trade Ascertaining that London dealer! were reiblpplBg furs lo China, early in the MBtury he dispatched one of his ships loaded with furs directly to the orient, with explicit written instruc tions to th, captain as to what the cargo should bt -old for. The money wus to he Invested In teas and silks. The ship sailed away and had been gone a year No tidings had OOBM from her. Suddenly a messenger came with the news tha' the ship was In the bay. We can Imagine the Interest of Mr. and Mrs. Aslor as they locked their store and ran to the Battery. Burc mough, It was their ship The profit on this voyage was JTu.OOO Bp 1M0 John Jacob Alto was worth 11,000,000 He began to invest all his surplus money In New York real estate He bought ncreage property In the vicinity of Canal street. Next he bought lllchmoud Hill, the estate of Aaron Iturr. It ('insisted of lt!0 acres Just about Twenty-third street. He paid for the laud a thousand dollars an mm People said Astor was crazy. in ten yean he began to sell lots from the Itlrhmond Hill property at the rate, of J.'.uiM) ,-in acre. Fortunately for his eatate, lit- did not sell much of the land at this price, for It Is this particular dirt thnt makes up that vast property known as "the Astor estate." During the revolutionary war Hoger Morris of Put nam county, N. Y made the mistake of siding with tbe Tories and expressing himself too freely. A mob col lected and Morris and Ills family escaped, taking ship to England. xw rcorfc -flier TBTflitrr BJCIHJIJ c i : mom. lust I Waabingi army, in lets, the foi mally the stale ipi Roger Morris Is known In history as 1 tbe man who mar ni real Mary I'lilllpse r-l3 Mid this lady lives i7 in history because H.J she had the felicity W of having been pro y p. .sed to by (leorge Washington The lady pleaded for time, which the fa ther of his country declined to give A small quarrel fol lowed and (leorge saddled bis horse and rode on his way to faine and fortune urs after this bout With Cupid Gen, (leorge commander in chief "I 'he continental d the linger Morris mansion as headquar icctipantl having lied It was Uiishmgton who ranflacated 'he property and turned it over to of New York as contraband of war The Morris estate of about 10,000 acres was parceled out and sold by the state of New- Y'ork lo settlers It seems, however, that linger Morris bad only a life Interest In the estate and this was a legal polni so fine that It was entirely overlooked In the Joy of ronllscatinn. John Jacob Aslor accidentally ascertained the facts. He was convinced that the heirs could not be robbed of their rights through the acts of a leaseholder, which, legally was the status of linger Morris Astor was a good real estate lawyer himself, hut he referred the point lo the best counsel he could find. They agreed with him Hi next hunted up the heirs und bought their quit claims for $100,00(1. lie then notified the parties who had purchased the land and they In turn made claim upon the state for protection After much legal parleying the case was tried accord ing to stipulation, with the state of New York directly us defendant and Astor and the occupant! as plaintiffs Daniel Webster and Martin Van BuMfl appeared for the slate and an array of lesser legal lights for Astor. The case war narrowed down to the plain and simple point that linger Morris was not the legal owner of the estate and that the rightful heirs could not be made to suffer for the "treason, contumacy and contravention" of an other Astor won and as a compromis. tin state issued him 10-year bonds beating six per cent Interest for the neat sum of $500,000. Astor took a deep Interest In the Lewis acd Clark expedition He went to Washington to see Levis and questioned him at great length about the northweat. Washington Irving has told the story of Asto.la ut length It was the one financial plunge taken by ..'ohn Jacob Aator. And In spite of the fact that It failed the whole affair docs credit to tin- prophetic brain of Astor. "This country will see a chain of growing and pros perous cities straight from New York to Astoria. Ore gon," said this man in reply to a doubling questioner He laid his plans before congress, urging a line of army posts. 40 miles apart, from the western extremity of Lake Superior to the Pacific. 'These forts or army posts will evolve Into cities." said Astor. when he called on Thomas Jefferson, who was then president of the 1'nlted Stales Jefferson was Interested, hut non com mittnl Astor exhibited maps of the great lakes and the country beyond. He urged with a prescience then not possessed by any living man Hint at the western extrem ity of Lake Superior would grow up a great city. Yet In 1870 Duluth was ridiculed by the caustic tongue of Proctor Knott, who asked, "What will become of Duluth when the lumber crop is cut?" Then Astor proceeded to say that another great city would grow up at the southern extremity of Lake Michi gan Gen, Dearborn, secretary of war under Jefferson, bad Just established Fort Dearborn on the present site of Chicago. Aslor commended this and snld. "From a fort you get a trading post and from a trading post you will get a city." He pointed out to Jefferson on his map of the site the Falls of St. Anthony "There you will have a fort sonic day, for, wherever there Is water power there will grow up mills for grinding grain and sawmills as well. This place of power will have to he protected and so you will have there a post, which will eventually be replaced by a el'y." Y'et Fort netting was nearly 50 years In the future and St Pud and Minneapolis wcro dreams undreamed. Jefferson took time to think about it und then wrote Astor: "Your beginning of a city on the western coast Is n groat acquisition and I look forward to a time when our popt-latlon will spreud Itself up and down along the whole Pacific frontage, unconnected with us excepting by ties of blood and common Interest and enjoying, like us, the rights of self govennont." A Company was formed and two expeditions set out for the mouth of the Columbia river, one by land and the other by sen The Inud expedition barely got through alive It was a perilous undertaking, with accidents by flood and Held Hut the route by the water was feasible The town was founded and soon became a center of comm. Trial activity Had Astor been on the ground to take personal charge a city like Seattle would havo bloomed and blossomed on the Pacific 50 years ago There came a grand grab at Astoria and It whs each for himself and tin devil take the hlud' rmosl ; it whs a stampede System and order went by the board Tbe strongest stole the most, as usual, but all got a Utile. And England s gain In crttsani was our loss Astor lost a million dollars by the venture lie smiled calmly and said. "The plan was right, but my men were weak; that is all The gateway to China will be from the northwest Mv plans were right Time will vindi cate my reaaontng.1 When the block on Broadway bounded by Vesey and Han lay streets was cleared of its plain two-story houses, preparatory to building the Astor house, wlso mni shook their bends and said. "It's too far up town " Hut the free 'bus that met all boats solved the diffi culty und gave the cue to hotel men all over the world. Astor was worth ten million, but he took a personal de light In sitting In the lobby of the Astor house und watching the dollars roll Into this palace that his brain had planned Astor was tall, thin and commanding In appearance, He had only one hallucination and that was that lie spoke the Kgllsh language. The accent he possessed at 10 was with him In all Its pristine effulgence at $5, "Nn pody VOUld know I vas u Cherman alnd't It?" he used to say. Y"t where John Jucob wrote it was Baglilb with out a flaw In all of his dealings he was uniquely honorable and upright He paid and he mad" others pay. Ills word whs his bond He was not charitable In the sense of indiscriminate giving. "To give something for nothing is to weaken the giver," was one of his favorite sayings That this altitude protected a miserly spirit it la easy to say. but It is not wholly true In his later yours he carried with him a book containing a record of his poegeealona. He would visit a certain piece of property and then turn to his hook and see what it had cost him ten or twenty years before To realize thnt his pro phetic vision had been correct was to him a great source of satisfaction. His habits were of the best. He went to hed at nine o'clock and whs up before six. At seven be wus at his office He knew enough to eat sparingly and to walk, so he was never sick Millionaires, as a rule, are woefully Ignorant. Dp to a certain sum. they grow with their acquisitions Then they begin m wither at the henrt. The care of n fortune Is u penalty. I advise the gentlo reader to think twice before accumulating ten millions John Jacob Aslor was exceptional In his combined love of money und love of books Fltztireen llulleek wus his private secretary, hired on a basis of literary friendship Washington Irving was a close friend, ton, Astor died, aged M, It was a natural death a thing that very seldom occurs The machinery all ran down lit once. William n. Astnr, the son of John Jacob, was brought up In the financial way he should go He was studious, methodical, ooonecrvatlve, and had the good sense to carry out the wishes of his father. His son, John Jacob Astor, was very much like him. only of more neutral tint. The lime Is now ripe for another genius in tho Aslor family, If William B. Astor lacked the courage and Initiative of his parent he had more culture and spoke Bngliah without an accent. The son of John Jacob Astor. second. Is William Waldorf Astor. who speaks Bag! lab with an Lnglish accent, you know. John Jucob Aslor, besides having the llrst slore for the snle of musical Instrument! In Amerlcu. organized the llrst orchestra of over H! players. He brought over a leader from (i.-rmaany and did much to foster the love of music In the New World Every worthy Maenaenil imagines that he Is a great painter, writer, sculptor or musician, side tracked by cares thrust upon him by unkind fate. John Jacob As tor once told Waablngton Irving that It was only busi ness responsibility thnt prevented his being a novelist; and at other times be declared his intent to take up music as a profession as soon as he had gotten all of his securities properly tied up. And, whether he worked out his dreams or not, there Is no doubt but that they added to his peace, happiness and length of days Happy Is the man who escapes the critics by leaving bis liter ary masterpiece in the ink.