Click here to Download Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book by Andrew Carnegie English having PDF Size 4.7 MB and No of Pages 220.
If the story of any man’s life, truly told, must be interesting, as some sage avers, those of my relatives and immediate friends who have insisted upon having an account of mine may not be unduly disappointed with this result. I may console myself with the assurance that such a story must interest at least a certain number of people who have known me, and that knowledge will encourage me to proceed.
Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book by Andrew Carnegie
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A book of this kind, written years ago by my friend, Judge Mellon, of Pittsburgh, gave me so much pleasure that I am inclined to agree with the wise one whose opinion I have given above; for, certainly, the story which the Judge told has proved a source of infinite satisfaction to his friends, and must continue to influence succeeding generations of his family to live life well.
And not only this; to some beyond his immediate circle it holds rank with their favorite authors. The book contains one essential feature of value—it reveals the man. It was written without any intention of attracting public notice, being designed only for his family. In like manner I intend to tell my story, not as one posturing before the public.
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But as in the midst of my own people and friends, tried and true, to whom I can speak with the utmost freedom, feeling that even trifling incidents may not be wholly destitute of interest for them. To begin, then, I was born in Dunfermline, in the attic of the small one-story house, corner of Moodie Street and Priory Lane.
On the 25th of November, 1835, and, as the saying is, “of poor but honest parents, of good kith and kin.” Dunfermline had long been noted as the center of the damask trade in Scotland. My father, William Carnegie, was a damask weaver, the son of Andrew Carnegie after whom I was named.
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The change from hand-loom to steam-loom weaving was disastrous to our family. My father did not recognize the impending revolution, and was struggling under the old system. His looms sank greatly in value, and it became necessary for that power which never failed in any emergency—my mother—to step forward and endeavor to repair the family fortune.
She opened a small shop in Moodie Street and contributed to the revenues which, though slender, nevertheless at that time sufficed to keep us in comfort and “respectable.” I remember that shortly after this I began to learn what poverty meant. Dreadful days came when my father took the last of his webs to the great manufacturer.
And I saw my mother anxiously awaiting his return to know whether a new web was to be obtained or that a period of idleness was upon us. It was burnt into my heart then that my father, though neither “abject, mean, nor vile,” as Burns has it, had nevertheless to “Beg a brother of the earth To give him leave to toil.” Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book
And then and there came the resolve that I would cure that when I got to be a man. We were not, however, reduced to anything like poverty compared with many of our neighbors. I do not know to what lengths of privation my mother would not have gone that she might see her two boys wearing large white collars, and trimly dressed.
In an incautious moment my parents had promised that I should never be sent to school until I asked leave to go. This promise I afterward learned began to give them considerable uneasiness because as I grew up I showed no disposition to ask. The schoolmaster, Mr. Robert Martin, was applied to and induced to take some notice of me.
He took me upon an excursion one day with some of my companions who attended school, and great relief was experienced by my parents when one day soon afterward I came and asked for permission to go to Mr. Martin’s school. I need not say the permission was duly granted. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book
I had then entered upon my eighth year, which subsequent experience leads me to say is quite early enough for any child to begin attending school. The school was a perfect delight to me, and if anything occurred which prevented my attendance I was unhappy. This happened every now and then because my morning duty was to bring water from the well at the head of Moodie Street.
The supply was scanty and irregular. Sometimes it was not allowed to run until late in the morning and a score of old wives were sitting around, the turn of each having been previously secured through the night by placing a worthless can in the line. This, as might be expected, led to numerous contentions in which I would not be put down even by these venerable old dames.
I earned the reputation of being “an awfu’ laddie.” In this way I probably developed the strain of argumentativeness, or perhaps combativeness, which has always remained with me. In the performance of these duties I was often late for school, but the master, knowing the cause, forgave the lapses. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book
In the same connection I may mention that I had often the shop errands to run after school, so that in looking back upon my life I have the satisfaction of feeling that I became useful to my parents even at the early age of ten. Soon after that the accounts of the various people who dealt with the shop were entrusted to my keeping so that I became acquainted, in a small way, with business affairs even in childhood.
One cause of misery there was, however, in my school experience. The boys nicknamed me “Martin’s pet,” and sometimes called out that dreadful epithet to me as I passed along the street. I did not know all that it meant, but it seemed to me a term of the utmost opprobrium, and I know that it kept me from responding as freely as I should otherwise have done to that excellent teacher.
My only schoolmaster, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude which I regret I never had opportunity to do more than acknowledge before he died. As we drove down the Pends I was standing on the front seat of the coach with Provost Walls, when I heard the first toll of the Abbey bell, tolled in honor of my mother and myself. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book
My knees sank from under me, the tears came rushing before I knew it, and I turned round to tell the Provost that I must give in. For a moment I felt as if I were about to faint. Fortunately I saw that there was no crowd before us for a little distance. I had time to regain control, and biting my lips till they actually bled.
I murmured to myself, “No matter, keep cool, you must go on”; but never can there come to my ears on earth, nor enter so deep into my soul, a sound that shall haunt and subdue me with its sweet, gracious, melting power as that did. By that curfew bell I had been laid in my little couch to sleep the sleep of childish innocence.
Father and mother, sometimes the one, sometimes the other, had told me as they bent lovingly over me night after night, what that bell said as it tolled. Many good words has that bell spoken to me through their translations. No wrong thing did I do through the day which that voice from all I knew of heaven and the great Father there did not tell me kindly about ere I sank to sleep. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book
Speaking the words so plainly that I knew that the power that moved it had seen all and was not angry, never angry, never, but so very, very sorry. Nor is that bell dumb to me to-day when I hear its voice. It still has its message, and now it sounded to welcome back the exiled mother and son under its precious care again.
The world has not within its power to devise, much less to bestow upon us, such reward as that which the Abbey bell gave when it tolled in our honor. But my brother Tom should have been there also; this was the thought that came. He, too, was beginning to know the wonders of that bell ere we were away to the newer land.
Rousseau wished to die to the strains of sweet music. Could I choose my accompaniment, I could wish to pass into the dim beyond with the tolling of the Abbey bell sounding in my ears, telling me of the race that had been run, and calling me, as it had called the little white-haired child, for the last time— to sleep. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book Download
Among the manifold blessings I have to be thankful for is that neither nurse nor governess was my companion in infancy. No wonder the children of the poor are distinguished for the warmest affection and the closest adherence to family ties and are characterized by a filial regard far stronger than that of those who are mistakenly called more fortunate in life.
They have passed the impressionable years of childhood and youth in constant loving contact with father and mother, to each they are all in all, no third person coming between. The child that has in his father a teacher, companion, and counselor, and whose mother is to him a nurse, seamstress, governess, teacher, companion, heroine, and saint all in one.
Has a heritage to which the child of wealth remains a stranger. There comes a time, although the fond mother cannot see it, when a grown son has to put his arms around his saint and kissing her tenderly try to explain to her that it would be much better were she to let him help her in some ways; that, being out in the world among men and dealing with affairs. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book Download
He sometimes sees changes which it would be desirable to make; that the mode of life delightful for young boys should be changed in some respects and the house made suitable for their friends to enter. Especially should the slaving mother live the life of ease hereafter, reading and visiting more and entertaining dear friends—in short, rising to her proper and deserved position as Her Ladyship.
Of course the change was very hard upon my mother, but she finally recognized the necessity for it, probably realized for the first time that her eldest son was getting on. “Dear Mother,” I pleaded, my arms still around her, “you have done everything for and have been everything to Tom and me, and now do let me do something for you; let us be partners and let us always think what is best for each other.
The time has come for you to play the lady and some of these days you are to ride in your carriage; meanwhile do get that girl in to help you. Tom and I would like this.” The victory was won, and my mother began to go out with us and visit her neighbors. She had not to learn self-possession nor good manners, these were innate. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book Download
And as for education, knowledge, rare good sense, and kindliness, seldom was she to meet her equal. I wrote “never” instead of “seldom” and then struck it out. Nevertheless my private opinion is reserved. Life at Altoona was made more agreeable for me through Mr. Scott’s niece, Miss Rebecca Stewart, who kept house for him.
She played the part of elder sister to me to perfection, especially when Mr. Scott was called to Philadelphia or elsewhere. We were much together, often driving in the afternoons through the woods. The intimacy did not cease for many years, and re-reading some of her letters in 1906 I realized more than ever my indebtedness to her.
She was not much beyond my own age, but always seemed a great deal older. Certainly she was more mature and quite capable of playing the elder sister’s part. It was to her I looked up in those days as the perfect lady. Sorry am I our paths parted so widely in later years. Her daughter married the Earl of Sussex and her home in late years has been abroad. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book Free
July 19, 1909, Mrs. Carnegie and I found my elder-sister friend April last, now in widowhood, in Paris, her sister and also her daughter all well and happy. A great pleasure, indeed. There are no substitutes for the true friends of youth. I was at an age when I thought I could manage anything.
I knew nothing that I would not attempt, but it had never occurred to me that anybody else, much less Mr. Scott, would entertain the idea that I was as yet fit to do anything of the kind proposed. I was only twenty-four years old, but my model then was Lord John Russell, of whom it was said he would take the command of the Channel Fleet to-morrow.
So would Wallace or Bruce. I told Mr. Scott I thought I could. “Well,” he said, “Mr. Potts” (who was then superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division) “is to be promoted to the transportation department in Philadelphia and I recommended you to the president as his successor. He agreed to give you a trial. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie PDF Book Free
What salary do you think you should have?” “Salary,” I said, quite offended; “what do I care for salary? I do not want the salary; I want the position. It is glory enough to go back to the Pittsburgh Division in your former place. You can make my salary just what you please and you need not give me any more than what I am getting now.”
That was sixty-five dollars a month. “You know,” he said, “I received fifteen hundred dollars a year when I was there; and Mr. Potts is receiving eighteen hundred. I think it would be right to start you at fifteen hundred dollars, and after a while if you succeed you will get the eighteen hundred. Would that be satisfactory?”