31 Cornelius Vanderbilt Facts: Read About The American Business magnate | Kidadl


31 Cornelius Vanderbilt Facts: Read About The American Business magnate

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Vanderbilt's birth happened on May 27, 1794, in the Staten Island region of New York.

At the age of 16, Cornelius Vanderbilt started working as a ferryman and eventually became one of the most successful businessmen in America. He was known as The Commodore, and he was a New York business mogul who made his fortune via railways and shipping.

Vanderbilt rose through the ranks of the inland water commerce and invested in the quickly expanding railroad sector, thereby altering the landscape of the United States.

Here are Cornelius Vanderbilt's facts that will give you a better understanding of this remarkable man!

Facts About Cornelius Vanderbilt

Cornelius Vanderbilt, colloquially known as 'Commodore Vanderbilt', was an American business mogul and philanthropist who amassed his fortune through railways and shipping.

Cornelius Vanderbilt was born impoverished, and with only a tolerable education, he utilized determination and talent, went through the ranks of the inland water commerce, and invested in the quickly expanding railroad sector.

He is well recognized for the construction of the New York Central Railroad.

After his last years, Vanderbilt oversaw the building of Grand Central Depot, which is now known as New York City's Grand Central Terminal, a project that provided work for thousands of people who had been unemployed during the Panic of 1873.

Although he was never interested in charity while amassing most of his enormous fortune, he did gift $1 million to Central University in Nashville, Tennessee, later in his life (later named Vanderbilt University).

In his will, he gave $90 million to his son William Henry, $7.5 million to William's four sons, and the comparatively tiny remaining to his second wife and his eight daughters. The Vanderbilt family soon became one of the world's wealthiest and most notable families in the United States.

Cornelius Vanderbilt's Invention And Businesses

Cornelius Vanderbilt was an inventor as well as a businessman. He invented the screw propeller, which is still used on ships today. Cornelius Vanderbilt's businesses were shipping, railroads, and even telegraphy.

In 1810, he borrowed money from his parents to buy his first boat for his own ferry service. He utilized the boat to transport passengers from Staten Island to New York City.

During the Civil War of 1812, he expanded his company to include a small ship that supplied government outposts across New York City.

As the 1861 Civil War broke out, Vanderbilt sought to lend his greatest steamship, named Vanderbilt, to the Union Navy. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, denied it, believing that its operation and upkeep would be too costly for what he believed to be a short war.

The Confederate ironclad Virginia (popularly known as the Merrimack in the North) wreaked havoc on the Union blockading squadron at Hampton Roads, Virginia. So, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and President Abraham Lincoln turned to Vanderbilt for assistance. This time, he was successful in donating the Vanderbilt to the Union navy, outfitting it with a ram, and staffing it with chosen officers.

He received a Congressional Gold Medal for giving the Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt also funded the outfitting of a large expedition to New Orleans. He suffered a great loss when his youngest and favorite son, and heir presumptive, George Washington Vanderbilt, a graduate of the United States Military Academy, grew sick and died without ever seeing war.

Vanderbilt learned about the steamship industry while working for Gibbons (1818–29), and he secured the funds which he would need to launch his own steamboat business in 1829. He launched his company by ferrying freight and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan. Because of his zeal and enthusiasm for his job, he was known as the Commodore—a moniker that he carried with him for the rest of his life.

In the next decade, Vanderbilt acquired dominance of the Hudson River trade by lowering fees and providing unprecedented luxury aboard his ships. His desperate competitors eventually paid him handsomely in exchange for Vanderbilt's permission to relocate his organization. He then focused on the northeastern shore, providing service from Long Island to Providence and Boston. By 1846, the Commodore had amassed a fortune.

When the gold rush in California began in 1849, Vanderbilt transitioned from localized steamboat lines to ocean-going steamships. Many of the migrants to California, as well as nearly all of the gold returning to the East Coast, were transported by steamer to Panama, where mule trains and canoes provided passage over the isthmus. (The Panama Railroad was quickly constructed to allow a speedier passage.)

Vanderbilt envisioned a canal across Nicaragua that would be closer to the United States and would be spanned for the most part by Lake Nicaragua and the San Juan River.

In the end, Vanderbilt was unable to attract sufficient investment to construct the canal. Still, he did establish a steamship line to Nicaragua and the Accessory Transit Company. The goal was to transport commuters across Nicaragua by steamship on the lake and river, with a 12 mi (19 km) carriage road connecting the Pacific port of San Juan del Sur and Virgin Bay on Lake Nicaragua.

Having resigned as president of the Stonington Railroad during the California gold rush, Vanderbilt became involved in several railroads during the 1850s, serving on the boards of directors of the Erie Railway, the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the Hartford and New Haven, and the New York and Harlem railroad.

Vanderbilt took over the Harlem railroad business in a renowned stock market corner in 1863 and was voted president.

Vanderbilt subsequently claimed that he could take this railroad industry, which was widely seen as useless, and turn it into something useful.

When Vanderbilt was in charge of Harlem, he encountered problems with connecting lines. In each case, the conflict culminated in a struggle won by Vanderbilt.

In 1864, Vanderbilt purchased the Hudson River Railroad, 1867, the New York Central Railroad, and in 1869, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway.

Vanderbilt then purchased the Canada Southern.

In 1870, he merged two of his important lines to become the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, one of the first mega-corporations in American history.

In 1840, he initiated a campaign to acquire the most appealing lines, the New York, Providence, and Boston Railroad, also known as the Stonington.

Vanderbilt took over the leadership of the firm in 1847 after driving down the stock price of Stonington by slashing prices on competitor lines. It was the first of several railways he would be in charge of.

Vanderbilt authorized the building of the Grand Central Depot on 42nd Street in Manhattan to begin in 1869. It was completed in 1871 and served as the end of his lines in New York. He sunk the lines on 4th Avenue in a cut that eventually became a tunnel, and Fourth Avenue became Park Avenue. In 1913, the depot was replaced by Grand Central Terminal.

Vanderbilt entered the North America Railway Hall of Fame in 1999 in recognition of his substantial contributions to the railroad industry. He was inducted into the category of Railway Workers & Builders: North America.

The railroad industry is very commonly known to all. Read here to learn all about how it became so grand.

Cornelius Vanderbilt's Education

Cornelius Vanderbilt did not have a formal education.

His mother homeschooled him until he was 11 years old. Cornelius Vanderbilt's father died when he was 11, and Cornelius Vanderbilt had to start working to support his family.

He did his first job as a cabin boy on a ferry boat.

Cornelius Vanderbilt's Family

Cornelius Vanderbilt had a large family. Vanderbilt married twice and had 13 children. His first wife, Sophia, died in 1868. Cornelius Vanderbilt's second wife was Frank Armstrong Crawford. Some of Cornelius Vanderbilt's children were Cornelius Vanderbilt II, William Henry Vanderbilt, and Frederick W. Vanderbilt.

A disagreement with Joseph L. White, a partner in the Accessory Transit Firm, resulted in a commercial war. Vanderbilt forced the company to acquire his ships at an exorbitant price in 1852.

He accompanied his family on a great tour of Europe in early 1853. While he was abroad, White plotted with Vanderbilt's former buddy, Charles Morgan, to betray him and deny him the money due by the Accessory Transit Company.

When Vanderbilt returned to New York from Europe, he responded by establishing a competing steamship line to California, lowering costs until he compelled Morgan and White to pay him back.

Cornelius Vanderbilt died on January 4, 1877, at no. 10 Washington Place, after being confined to his quarters for almost eight months. His death was caused by tiredness resulting from long-term suffering from a combination of chronic diseases.

Vanderbilt's fortune was believed to be worth $100 million at the time of his death at the age of 82. Cornelius Vanderbilt's funeral was held at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City.

Vanderbilt was buried in the Moravian Cemetery in New York on Staten Island in the Vanderbilt family crypt. He was eventually reburied in a tomb built by his son Billy at the same cemetery.

Three of his daughters and son, Cornelius Jeremiah Vanderbilt, challenged the will, claiming that their father was of unsound mind and under the influence of his son Billy and spiritualists with whom he regularly consulted.

The court struggle lasted more than a year and was eventually won by Billy, who raised his siblings' requests and covered their legal bills.

Cornelius Vanderbilt left a lasting legacy. He was one of the richest men in America and helped build some of the most important infrastructures in the country. Cornelius Vanderbilt's name is still known today, almost 150 years after his death.

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