Click here to Download John Jacob Astor PDF Book by Elbert Hubbard English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 20.
This seems to require a little explanation. Victor Hugo did not have in mind a theological school, nor yet a young ladies’ seminary, nor an English boarding-school, nor a military academy, and least of all a parochial institute. What he was thinking of was a school where people—young and old—were taught to be self-respecting, self-reliant and efficient—to care for themselves, to help bear the burdens of the world.
John Jacob Astor PDF Book by Elbert Hubbard
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To assist themselves by adding to the happiness of others. Victor Hugo fully realized that the only education that serves is the one that increases human efficiency, not the one that retards it. An education for honors, ease, medals, degrees, titles, position—immunity—may tend to exalt the individual ego, but it weakens the race and its gain on the whole is nil.
Men are rich only as they give. He who gives great service, gets great returns. Action and reaction are equal, and the radiatory power of the planets balances their attraction. The love you keep is the love you give away. A bumptious colored person wearing a derby tipped over one eye, and a cigar in his mouth pointing to the northwest, walked into a hardware store and remarked, “Lemme see your razors.”
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The clerk smiled pleasantly and asked, “Do you want a razor to shave with?” “Naw,” said the colored person, “—for social purposes.” An education for social purposes is n’t of any more use than a razor purchased for a like use. An education which merely fits a person to prey on society, and occasionally slash it up, is a predatory preparation for a life of uselessness, and closes no prison.
Rather it opens a prison and takes captive at least one man. The only education that makes free is the one that tends to human efficiency. Teach children to work, play, laugh, fletcherize, study, think, and yet again—work, and we will raze every prison. There is only one prison, and its name is Inefficiency.
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Amid the bastions of this bastile of the brain the guards are Pride, Pretense, Greed, Gluttony, Selfishness. Increase human efficiency and you set the captives free. “The Teutonic tribes have captured the world because of their efficiency,” says Lecky the historian. He then adds that he himself is a Celt. The two statements taken together reveal Lecky to be a man without prejudice.
When the Irish tell the truth about the Dutch the millennium approaches. Should the quibbler arise and say that the Dutch are not Germans, I will reply, true, but the Germans are Dutch—at least they are of Dutch descent. The Germans are great simply because they have the homely and indispensable virtues of prudence, patience and industry.
There is no copyright on these qualities. God can do many things, but so far, He has never been able to make a strong race of people and leave these ingredients out of the formula. As a nation, Holland first developed them so that they became the characteristic of the whole people. It was the slow, steady stream of Hollanders pushing southward that civilized Germany. John Jacob Astor PDF Book
Music as a science was born in Holland. The grandfather of Beethoven was a Dutchman. Gutenberg’s forebears were from Holland. And when the Hollanders had gone clear through Germany, and then traversed Italy, and came back home by way of Venice, they struck the rock of spiritual resources and the waters gushed forth.
Since Rembrandt carried portraiture to the point of perfection, two hundred and fifty years ago, Holland has been a land of artists—and it is so even unto this day. John Jacob Astor was born of a Dutch family that had migrated down to Heidelberg from Antwerp. Through some strange freak of atavism the father of the boy bred back, and was more or less of a stone-age cave-dweller.
He was a butcher by trade, in the little town of Waldorf, a few miles from Heidelberg. A butcher’s business then was to travel around and kill the pet pig, or sheep, or cow that the tender-hearted owners dare not harm. The butcher was a pariah, a sort of unofficial, industrial hangman. John Jacob Astor PDF Book
At the same time he was more or less of a genius, for he climbed steeples, dug wells, and did all kinds of disagreeable jobs that needed to be done, and from which sober and cautious men shrank like unwashed wool. The fur traders there knew Bowne as a very sharp buyer, and so had their quills out on his approach. But young Astor was seemingly indifferent.
His manner was courteous and easy. He got close to his man, and took his pick of the pelts at fair prices. He expended all of his money, and even bought on credit, for there are men who always have credit. Young Astor found Indian nature to be simply human nature. The savage was a man, and courtesy, gentleness and fairly good flute-playing soothed his savage breast.
Astor had beads and blankets, a flute and a smile. The Indians carried his goods by relays and then passed him on with guttural certificates as to character, to other red men, and at last he reached New York without the loss of a pelt or the dampening of his ardor. Bowne was delighted. To young Astor it was nothing. He had in his blood the success corpuscle. John Jacob Astor PDF Book
He might have remained with Bowne and become a partner in the business, but Bowne had business limitations and Astor had n’t. So after a three years’ apprenticeship, Astor knew all that Bowne did and all he himself could imagine besides. So he resigned. In Seventeen Hundred and Eighty-six, John Jacob Astor began business on his own account in a little store on Water Street, New York.
There was one room and a basement. He had saved a few hundred dollars; his brother, the butcher, had loaned him a few hundred more, and Robert Bowne had contributed a bale of skins to be paid for “at thy own price and thy own convenience.” Astor had made friends with the Indians up the Hudson clear to Albany, and they were acting as recruiting agents for him.
He was a bit boastful of the fact that he had taught an Indian to play the flute, and anyway he had sold the savage the instrument for a bale of beaver pelts, with a bearskin thrown in for good measure. It was a musical achievement as well as a commercial one. Having collected several thousand dollars’ worth of furs he shipped them to London and embarked as a passenger in the steerage. John Jacob Astor PDF Book
The trip showed him that ability to sell was quite as necessary as the ability to buy—a point which with all of his shrewdness Bowne had never guessed. In London furs were becoming a fad. Astor sorted and sifted his buyers, as he had his skins. He himself dressed in a suit of fur and thus proved his ability as an advertiser.
He picked his men and charged all the traffic would bear. He took orders, on sample, from the nobility and sundry of the gentry, and thereby cut the middleman. All of the money he received for his skins, he invested in “Indian Goods”—colored cloth, beads, blankets, knives, axes, and musical instruments. His was the first store in New York that carried a stock of musical instruments.
These he sold to savages, and also he supplied the stolid Dutch the best of everything in this particular line from a bazoo to a Stradivarius violin. When he got back to New York, he at once struck out through the wilderness to buy furs of the Indians, or better still, to interest them in bringing furs to him. He knew the value of friendship in trade as no man of the time did. John Jacob Astor PDF Book Download
He 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 according to stipulation with the State of New York, directly, as defendant and Astor and the occupants as plaintiffs. Daniel Webster and Martin Van Buren appeared for the State, and an array of lesser legal lights for Astor.
The case was narrowed down to the plain and simple point that Roger 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 another. Astor won, and as a compromise the State issued him twenty-year bonds bearing six per cent interest.
For the neat sum of five hundred thousand dollars —not that Astor needed the money but finance was to him a game, and he had won. In front of the first A. T. Stewart store there used to be an old woman who sold apples. Regardless of weather, there she sat and mumbled her wares at the passer-by. John Jacob Astor PDF Book Download
She was a combination beggar and merchant, with a blundering wit, a ready tongue and a vocabulary unfit for publication. Her commercial genius is shown in the fact that she secured one good paying customer— Alexander T. Stewart. Stewart grew to believe in her as his spirit of good luck. Once when bargains had been offered at the Stewart store and the old woman was not at her place on the curb.
The merchant-prince sent his carriage for her in hot haste “lest offense be given.” And the day was saved. When the original store was abandoned for the Stewart “Palace” the old apple woman with her box, basket and umbrella were tenderly taken along, too. John Jacob Astor had no such belief in luck omens.
Portents, or mascots as had A. T. Stewart. With him success was a sequence—a result—it was all cause and effect. A. T. Stewart did not trust entirely to luck, for he too, carefully devised and planned. But the difference between the Celtic and Teutonic mind is shown in that Stewart hoped to succeed, while Astor knew that he would. John Jacob Astor PDF Book Download
One was a bit anxious; the other exasperatingly placid. Astor took a deep interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition. He went to Washington to see Lewis, and questioned him at great length about the Northwest. Legend says that he gave the hardy discoverer a thousand dollars, which was a big amount for him to give away.
Once a committee called on him with a subscription list for some worthy charity. Astor subscribed fifty dollars. One of the disappointed committee remarked, “Oh, Mr. Astor, your son William gave us a hundred dollars.” “Yes,” said the old man, “But you must remember that William has a rich father.”
Washington Irving has told the story of Astoria at length. It was the one financial plunge taken by John Jacob Astor. And in spite of the fact that it failed, the whole affair does credit to the prophetic brain of Astor. “This country will see a chain of growing and prosperous cities straight from New York to Astoria, Oregon,” said this man in reply to a doubting questioner. John Jacob Astor PDF Book Download
He laid his plans before Congress, urging a line of army posts, forty 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 United States. Jefferson was interested, but non-committal. Astor exhibited maps of the Great Lakes, and the country beyond.
He argued with a prescience then not possessed by any living man that at the western extremity of Lake Superior would grow up a great city. Yet in Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-six, Duluth was ridiculed by the caustic tongue of Proctor Knott, who asked, “What will become of Duluth when the lumber crop is cut?”
Astor proceeded to say that another great city would grow up at the southern extremity of Lake Michigan. General Dearborn. Secretary of War under Jefferson had just established Fort Dearborn on the present site of Chicago. Astor commended this, and said: “From a fort you get a trading post, and from a trading post you will get a city. John Jacob Astor PDF Book Free
John Jacob Astor was exceptional in his combined love of money and love of books. History was at his tongue’s end, and geography was his plaything. Fitz-Greene Halleck was his private secretary, hired on a basis of literary friendship. Washington Irving was a close friend, too, and first crossed the Atlantic on an Astor pass.
He banked on Washington Irving’s genius, and loaned him money to come and go, and buy a house. Irving was named in Astor’s will as one of the trustees of the Astor Library Fund, and repaid all favors by writing “Astoria.” Astor died, aged eighty-six. It was a natural death, a thing that very seldom occurs.
The machinery all ran down at once. Realizing his lack of book advantages, he left by his will four hundred thousand dollars to found the Astor Library, in order that others might profit where he had lacked. He also left fifty thousand dollars to his native town of Waldorf, a part of which money was used to found an Astor Library there God is surely good. John Jacob Astor PDF Book Free
For if millionaires were immortal, their money would cause them great misery and the swollen fortunes would crowd mankind, not only ‘gainst the wall, but into the sea. Death is the deliverer, for Time checks power and equalizes all things, and gives the new generation a chance.