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“A Set of Mere Money-Getters”?

July 2024
19min read

Were the great business tycoons of the nineteenth century only that? A distinguished historian says no—most emphatically

For many years critical essayists upon the American businessman, and especially the more implacable assailants of the robber barons, have purred over a verdict once delivered by Charles Francis Adams, Jr., as predatory wildcats might purr over the discovery of a bed of catnip. “As I approach the end,” this elder brother of Henry Adams declared, “I am more than a little puzuled to account for the instances f have seen of business success—money-getting. It conies from a rather low instinct. Certainly, as far as my observation goes, it is rarely met in combination with the finer or more interesting traits of character. 1 have known, and known tolerably well, a good many ‘successful’ men—‘big’ financially—men famous during the last half-century; and a less interesting crowd I do not care to encounter. Not one that I have ever known would I care to meet again, either in this world or in the next; nor is one of them associated in my mind with the idea of humor, thought, or refinement. A set of mere money-getters and traders, they were essentially unattractive and uninteresting.” They showed a special aptitude and great concentration, Adams added; nothing more.

From frequent use, this quotation is now worn smooth as a pebble in a stream bed. Every time a lecturer or essayist wishes to descant on the meanness of business tycoons, he lugs out Adams’ biting statement. It has a special appeal for two reasons. First, nobody can question the fact that its author was an authority upon taste, refinement, and intellectual elevation. All the Adamses were, and particularly the fourth-generation Adamses: Henry, Brooks, and Charles Francis, Jr. When they spoke, no dogs barked. In the second place, Charles Francis had been a businessman himself and really knew the breed. After giving up law, he was for six years head of the Union Pacific Railroad—before being ousted by another businessman. He thus had the honor, as he later ostensibly considered it, of having failed in business. He could speak of “mere money-getters and traders,” of their “low instincts,” their lack of “humor, thought, or refinement,” and their “essentially unattractive and uninteresting” personalities as a man who knew: he had been in the midst of this repellent herd.

It is true that some people might suggest that Charles Francis Adams, Jr., would really have been less mordant about the vulgarity, illiteracy, and dullness of businessmen if he had himself succeeded in their field. He was ejected from the presidency of the Union Pacific by Jay Gould, certainly not a high type of business leader. This must have been rather humiliating, especially as Tay Gould accompanied the ejection with some caustic remarks about Adams’ lack of talent and vision. Hut any such suggestion would be unfair. Adams had great ability—even high intellectual distinction; his books, ranging from his Three Episodes of Massachusettes History to his biography of Richard Henry Dana, amply prove that. Hc was, in fact, one of the abler men of his day—the years between 1875 and 1915—in America.

A more cogent criticism of Adams’ rough and cynical verdict upon businessmen might be ventured: that alter the family’s cross-grained wont, he was rough and cynical about everything and everybody, a veritable Thersites. “I never was sympathetic or popular,” he said of his position as a citizen of Ouincy, Massachusetts, and we have abundant evidence to support the statement. Again, he once wrote his English friend Cecil Spring-Rice: “My dear fellow, I’m a crank; very few human beings can endure to have me near them.…”

But we would be unwise to base any discount of Adams’ statement upon the innate moroseiiess of the Adams tribe. Even a morose man may often hit the nail squarely on the head, and be as right in some diatribes as the cantankerous Thomas Carlyle, or the bumptious H. L. Mencken. Moreover, the critical essayists who quote Adams on businessmen, and who will keep on quoting him, so that his judgment becomes a giand national stereotype about business crassness, will not stop to recall that he made similar remarks about politicians, generals, college professors, writers, lawyers, Negroes, and Abraham Lincoln (about whom he was peculiarly nasty); they will quote him simply as an experienced authority and keen observer, bearing a much-honored name. The attack must either be met directly, or accepted as valid. We must agree that the typical American business leader, the “big” man, was a mere money-getter, a creature of low instincts, without humor, thought, or refinement, and of essentially unattractive and uninteresting personality, or we must prove the opposite.

Proof in any such matter is difficult to furnish, for reasons which we can best illustrate by imagining a conversation between Mr. Adams and one of the great business chieftains of his day. Any reasonable conversation, founded on a thorough knowledge of the two men, will do, for it will show what a complex problem in human communication is involved. Knowing Afr. Adams’ mind and experience well, and being thoroughly conversant with the mind and experience of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, f may venture to present the sort of dialogue in which the two might well have joined early in the year 1890. Let us say that, waiting for trains in Philadelphia—Adams going east to Boston, Rockefeller going west to Cleveland—they met by chance in the parlor of an exclusive hotel. They would bow to each other.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS [ short but military-looking ]: I have heard much of you. Mr. Rockefeller, from my friend James Ford Rhodes, who thinks you a man of remarkable discernment and power. Did you know that Mr. Rhodes is working on a large history of the Civil War?

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER [ quiet and reserved, but briskly incisive ]: I knew Mr. Rhodes well when lie was in the iron ore and lake shipping business in Cleveland, and admired his abilities. Since he went cast I have not kept in touch with his activities. Is he really wise in taking up history?

MR. ADAMS [ seeing he must try a new tack ]: The year just past. 1889. was one of unusual interest. Everyone will agree that its most important event was the replacement of President Cleveland by President-elect Harrison. For myself, I regard that as unfortunate; I had hoped to see Grover Cleveland carry on his reforms and reduce the tariff.

MR. ROCKEFELLER : I know that you are a mugwump, Mr. Adams. Time will show whether the change is unfortunate. But I do not agree that this was the most important event of the year. For myself, I think that the sudden reappearance of Russia as a tremendous exporter of petroleum, and a rival threatening our American oil industry in half the markets of the world, was the most important event of the year. When I think of her vast extent, her resources, and her concentrated power, I dread Russia.

MR. ADAMS : Russia seems far away to me, and whatever her inroads in the oil market, I think we can leave her to her European neighbors. What I fear is a period of reaction here at home. When I was young, my father was a political reformer, and I knew such men as Charles Sumner and William H. Seward well. Do you take an interest in politics, Mr. Rockefeller?

MR. ROCKEFELLER [ showing irritation ]: The politician I know best is Mark Hanna. He and I were in Cleveland High School together, and we became fast friends. Once, when a bigger boy tried to bully me, Mark was on him like a tiger, and gave him the thrashing of his life. Mark is a practical man, and knows business interests well. But I dare say you would not call him a reformer, Mr. Adams?

MR. ADAMS [ curtly ]: Far from it. A very practical man indeed. [Sees a new tack is needed again.] You must have been in the Cleveland high school about the time I was in a Boston secondary school. I went on to Harvard—a family tradition. And you?

MR. ROCKEFELLER [ crisply ]: Went into business. I wished to go to college, but there was no time and no money—much less family tradition. However, I have given a great deal of attention this last year to establishing a new university.

MR. ADAMS : A new university? Well, the East needs some new universities, well officered, nondenominational, with money behind them.

MR. ROCKEFELLER [ himself curt ]: This will be in the West—Chicago. And it will be Baptist—the Baptist Educational Board is advising me.

MR. ADAMS [ horrified ]: Chicago? And a Baptist backing?

MR. ROCKEFELLER [ decisively ]: Yes, Chicago, out by the stockyards. And Baptist, with a Baptist minister, William Rainey Harper, for president; a truly great educator.

MR. ADAMS [ wearily trying a third tack ]: Do you happen to have read William Dean Howells’ latest novel? I enjoyed his Rise of Silas Lapham . A wonderful picture of one of our business vulgarians [ checks himself ] business leaders, with a special ethical problem.

MR. ROCKEFELLER [ defensively ]: I have scant time for novels, Mr. Adams. In fact, the last novel I read was Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur . A wonderful book; I couldn’t put it down. Is Howells’ as gripping as that?

PORTER [ entering center ]: Your trains are almost due, gentlemen.

ADAMS [ exit right ]: The dullest, most ignorant person I evermet!

ROCKEFELLER [ exit left ]: The slowest, stupidest fellow I’ve seen in years!

As this conversation, or any like it, will reveal, two remarkable men can so totally misunderstand each other that neither sees his companion’s remarkable traits. Who is to say that a man is cultivated, literate, or interesting, until we agree on definitions of cultivation, literacy, and interest? The Nobel prize winner in science at Berkeley may think the Harvard classicist abysmally dull and uneducated; a sports editor of the New York Times may be bored stiff by the prospect of meeting a Chicago sociologist at dinner. What Charles Lamb called “imperfect sympathies” inevitably play a part in assessments of cultivation, or manners.

One main rebuttal to be brought against Charles Francis Adams’ indictment is that it revealed in him an unbecoming and even untenable narrowness. Had he been more tolerant, versatile, and curious, he might have found any businessman fascinating. We do not possess much reliable evidence on the question of whether Carnegie, J. P. Morgan, Sr., E. H. Harriman, John D. Rockefeller, or Henry Ford were “sparkling” conversationalists; what evidence we have suggests a quieter adjective. But they certainly had much to say; and if we heard that Mr. John Doe had sat down with one of them for an hour and had a dull time, we could well suspect that the fault lay with John Doe.

Nevertheless, even allowing for Adams’ imperfect sympathies, and for a certain condescension justifiable in a man whose ancestors included two Presidents, whose father had come near nomination for the post, who himself had led a regiment in the Civil War, and who had known almost everybody worth knowing in America and Britain —even allowing for this—the central question remains: Were the great business captains really men of “low instincts,” “mere money-getters and traders,” without “humor, thought, or refinement,” and “essentially unattractive and uninteresting”? We know that Adams thought them unattractive. So, doubtless, did many other people. But on the question of low instincts, submergence in mere money-accumulation, and lack of thought and refinement, more objective tests are available. We need not confine ourselves to subjective judgments.

We open Andrew Carnegie’s Autobiography , a book which the distinguished art historian John C. Van Dyke felt honored to help him polish for publication, and we read his account of the day when his native town of Dunfermline in Scotland conferred its Freedom upon him. It was “the greatest honor I ever received,” he says. And he adds: “I was overwhelmed. Only two signatures upon the roll came between mine and Sir Walter Scott’s, who had been made a Burgess.” Was there no refinement in the man whose eyes filled with tears as he saw his signature stand beside Sir Walter Scott’s? We read further Carnegie’s record of the sequel of his sale of his steel company, and his assumption of the task of disposing of his surplus. He writes: One day my eyes happened to see a line in that most valuable paper, the Scottish-American , in which I had found many gems. This was the line: “The gods send thread for a web begun.”

It seemed almost as if it had been sent directly to me. This sank into my heart, and I resolved to begin at once my first web. True enough, the gods sent thread in the proper form. Dr. J. S. Billings, of the New York Public Libraries, came as their agent, and of dollars, five and a quarter millions went at one stroke for sixty-eight branch libraries, promised for New York City. Twenty more libraries for Brooklyn followed.

My father… had been one of the five pioneers in Dunfermline who combined and gave access to their few books to their less fortunate neighbors. I had followed in his footsteps by giving my native town a library—its foundation stone laid by my mother—so that this public library was really my first gift. It was followed by giving a public library and hall to Allegheny City, our first home in America. President Harrison kindly accompanied me from Washington and opened these buildings. Soon after this, Pittsburgh asked for a library, which was given. This developed, in due course, into a group of buildings embracing a museum, a picture gallery, technical schools, and the Margaret Morrison School for Young Women.

This is noteworthy not for its record of money-giving, which nowadays seems commonplace enough, but for a certain note of refinement in Carnegie’s mention of his debt to the Scottish-American , in his filial devotion to his father’s memory and to his mother, Margaret Morrison, and in his evident pride in association with the great librarian, surgeon, and educator, John Shaw Billings, and with President Harrison. Elsewhere he betrays the same pride in his friendship with the British author and statesman John Morley, for whom he bought Lord Acton’s library; with Matthew Arnold; with “my dear, dear friend, Richard Watson Gilder,” the cultivated editor who wrote a poem that led Carnegie to establish his Hero Fund; and with John Burroughs and Mark Twain. He was proud that when he made up the list of trustees for the Carnegie Institution, headed by John Hay, Elihu Root, and “my old friend,” the reformer-industrialist Abram S. Hewitt, and showed it to Theodore Roosevelt, the President commented: “You could not duplicate it.” Not even Charles Francis Adams would have dared suggest that the men on that list valued Carnegie for his wealth. They valued him for higher reasons, and they found him attractive, interesting, and elevated, as Lord Morley declared years after Carnegie’s death: His extraordinary freshness of spirit easily carried Arnold, Herbert Spencer, myself, and afterwards many others, high over an occasional crudity or haste in judgment such as befalls the best of us in ardent hours. People with a genius for picking up pins made as much as they liked of this: it was wiser to do justice to his spacious feel for the great objects of the world—for knowledge and its spread, invention, light, improvement of social relations, equal chances to the talents, the passion for peace. These are glorious things; a touch of exaggeration in expression is easy to set right.

Rockefeller had no such genius for friendship as Carnegie; and whereas Carnegie became intimate with authors and statesmen, he was content with the company of ministers, missionaries, educators, and experts in medicine and welfare work. But his parlors on West 54th Street in New York City were filled with them. Rockefeller was far less versatile than Carnegie, but far more gifted in foresight and organizing power; he was much less social and genial, but had a keener sense of humor; he was less an extrovert and individualist, but more efficient in devising co-operative undertakings. He was never for a moment dull or uninteresting to those who approached him cordially, and colorful tributes to his personal gifts were frequent. Not refinement, but something rather better, shines in this passage from his Reminiscences , as he describes the exhilarations of—what? Not of money-getting, but of begging for a cause: When I was but seventeen or eighteen I was elected as a trustee in the church. It was a mission branch, and occasionally I had to hear members who belonged to the main body speak of the mission as though it were not quite as good as the big mother church. This strengthened our resolve to show them that we could paddle our own canoe.

Our first church was not a very grand affair, and there was a mortgage of $2,000 on it which had been a dispiriting influence for years. The holder of the mortgage had long demanded that he should be paid, but somehow even the interest was barely kept up.… The matter came to a head one Sunday morning, when the minister announced from the pulpit that the §2,000 would have to be raised, or we should lose our church building. I therefore found myself at the door of the church as the congregation came and went.

As each member came by, I buttonholed him, and got him to promise to give something toward extinguishing that debt. I pleaded and urged, and almost threatened. As each one promised, I put his name and the amount down in my little book, and continued to solicit from every possible subscriber. The campaign for raising the money which started that morning after church, lasted for several months. It was a great undertaking to raise such a sum of money in small amounts ranging from a few cents to the more magnificent promise of gifts to be paid at the rate of twentyfive or fifty cents a week. The plan absorbed me. I contributed what I could, and my first ambition to earn more money was aroused by this and similar undertakings in which I was constantly engaged.

But at last the $2,000 was all in hand.

Of J. Pierpont Morgan a great deal could be and has been said in criticism; but nobody ever had the hardihood to suggest that he was uninteresting. Nor could anyone who talked with him of his student days at Göttingen, or who watched him preside over the trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or who bid against him for a first edition of Milton’s Lycidas or Shelley’s Epipsychidion , have dared term him uncultivated or unrefined. He could talk as intelligently of French tapestries as of Wall Street. J. P. Morgan, Jr., who augmented his father’s library and dedicated it to research, was an almost equally striking and impressive servant of learning.

Perhaps a greater genius burned in E. H. Harriman; if he exhibited less organizing ability than Rockefeller and less acumen than Carnegie, he had a Napoleonic fire which they lacked. Everyone who has studied the tremendous work he so swiftly accomplished in reorganizing the Illinois Central, the Union Pacific, and other railroads agrees that he brought to his problem an intellectual flash that was unique. He saw all the ramifications of a complex situation in a glance. Californians will not forget how he saved the Imperial Valley when the Colorado River, changing its course and pouring into the Salton basin, threatened its destruction; nor the fact that after the San Francisco earthquake and fire he hauled 224,000 refugees out of the city and brought in 1,600 carloads of supplies without charging a penny.

A man of low instincts, uninteresting and unattractive? The great dream of his later years was an aroundthe-world transportation system, and to that end he tried to achieve partial control of the South Manchuria Railway, and adumbrated a scheme for a 1,200-mile railroad crossing the Gobi Desert by the old caravan route. C. Hart Merriam, then Chief of the United States Biological Survey, tells us that nobody was a more enlightening conversationalist, for his talk “covered an amazing range of subjects, while his active mind showed a philosophic grasp of many of the problems that disturb our political and industrial worlds.” But it is fitting that the warmest praise of Harriman’s constructive energies should have come from a citizen of the state he benefited most, California—from old “John of the Mountains,” the naturalist John Muir. In a little booklet published after Harriman’s death, John Muir, an idealist if one ever lived, wrote that he was a builder .

He fairly reveled in heavy dynamical work and went about it naturally and unweariedly like glaciers making landscapes—cutting canyons through ridges, carrying off hills, laying rails and bridges over lakes and rivers, mountains and plains, making the nation’s ways straight and smooth and safe. He seemed to regard the whole continent as his farm and all the people as partners, stirring millions of workers into useful action, plowing, sowing, irrigating, mining, building cities and factories, farms and homes.…

Ah, yes! defenders of Charles Francis Adams’ muchquoted passage will say; this is all very true of Carnegie and Rockefeller, Morgan and Harriman. They were leaders of consummate talents and strength, moving in the largest sphere of action, stimulated by the most dynamic forces of national life. Naturally they took on bigness. But Adams was thinking of businessmen of secondary and tertiary rank; the Jay Goulds who wrecked railroads, the Collis P. Huntingtons who manipulated legislatures, the William A. Clarks who bought their way into the Senate, the Henry Clay Fricks who ground the face of labor into the dust. Surely all would agree that they were vulgar moneygrubbers, uncultivated, uninteresting, and uninspiring. And in part we must agree. But for every business leader whose career supports Charles Francis Adams’ indictment, it is easy to identify ten of his time who do not.

It is plain that in his own special group of transportation executives, Charles Francis Adams did not know, or at least know well, Daniel Willard of the Baltimore & Ohio. Adams was head of the Union Pacific for six years; Willard was head of his road nearly thirty-two years. He began his career as a laborer on the Vermont Central, and worked his way up. In the First World War he was chairman of the War Industries Board. Near the close of the war, Pershing chose him to reorganize the French railway system. His influence with Congress, unapproached by that of any other railroad president, was largely responsible for the passage of the Transportation Act of 1920. In Baltimore he became chairman of the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the board of the Municipal Art Society. He was one of the Board of Visitors of the Naval Academy. He relaxed with books and music; and, writes President R. W. Brown of the Reading Company, “he always looked more like a college professor than a railroad man. All of us remember the neatness and perfection of his dress—the well-known derby hat and umbrella, and always: books .”

One railroad builder and industrialist of his own era that Adams must have known well was Henry Villard. While he does not mention the man in his memoirs, it was impossible for him not to know Villard. It is not enough to say that Villard completed the Northern Pacific Railroad, anticipated James J. Hill in a massive campaign to stimulate immigration to the Northwest—he established 831 local immigration agents in Great Britain, and 124 on the Continent- and that he later helped organize the Edison General Electric Company. This son-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison became owner of the New York Evening Post and the Nation , giving the editors complete freedom; he paid the debts of the struggling University of Oregon when it was about to go under in 1883, and supported it for two ensuing years of legislative default. He wrote one of the best books of Civil War memoirs; he made important gifts to Harvard and Columbia. Villard, too, was assailed for certain transactions; but it would be preposterous to call this fine champion of many causes in political and social progress narrow, low, unrefined, or uninteresting.

If Adams had been looking for a truly typical businessman of secondary rank in his own transportation field, he might well have lighted upon that fellow Yankee Asa Packer. Leaving a Connecticut farm, Packer arrived at seventeen in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and set to work as a carpenter and joiner. For ten years he lived in a cabin of his own construction so that he could save money to buy a canal boat and begin transporting coal from Mauch Chunk to Philadelphia. He became chief builder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Having made a fortune as president of that line, and having broadened his outlook by sitting in Congress, Judge Packer, as one of the original directors of the Bethlehem Iron Company, was struck by the fact that science was revolutionizing industry. Problems of metallurgy, chemistry, and engineering as well as economics challenged young men to master new complexities of science. To help meet the challenge he established Lehigh University, saw it well launched, and at his death left it nearly all of those accumulations that he did not give to the Episcopal Church.

Among his Massachusetts contemporaries, Adams must have heard all about the Chickerings. The first Chickering, son of a blacksmith, was a shy, retiring man who perfected the iron frame for pianos, made many of the best instruments in the country, and became president of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. His two sons, carrying on the business, were diligent promoters of musical taste in America.


It would be interesting to know just what comment would have been made upon Adams’ assertions by still another son of Massachusetts, who left Amherst College to go to New York: Henry C. Folger. Beginning as a clerk, he rose to be head of Standard Oil of New York. But in college he had been deeply influenced by Emerson, and particularly by Emerson’s “Remarks at the Celebration of the gooth Anniversary of the Birth of William Shakespeare.” He became an enthusiastic student of Shakespeare and an expert on the vast Shakespeare bibliography. Aided by his wife, a Vassar graduate, he began quietly gathering books until he had an almost unrivalled collection of rarities. For obvious reasons, the British knew more about it than the Americans, and placed tremendous pressure on him to give it to Stratford on Avon. No, he declared, he wished to “help make the United States a center for literary study and progress.” In 1928 he quietly announced that he would erect a library for Shakespearean studies in Washington. He then had more than eighty of the aoo-odd existing copies of the First Folio, and some 70,000 volumes besides. This has been called the “most munificent gift ever made for the study of literature,” a statement that can be challenged only by admirers of another public-spirited businessman, the public transit magnate who founded the much more distinguished Henry E. Huntington Library on the Pacific Coast.

It may be objected that even the great business leaders who founded universities and scattered libraries over the land were not themselves deeply interested in literature, art, or science. Such criticism, however, is not merely shallow, but ignorant. The titans of industry were tremendously busy men, but they used their pitiful leisure time about as well as Presidents and governors did. We may call Collis Huntington’s habit of keeping a five-volume set of George Crabbe’s poems on his desk and reading in it by snatches an eccentricity, but it was the right kind of eccentricity.

Was there any lack of versatility in the zeal with which Leland Stanford established the great university that bears his name? Or maintained and improved extensive vineyards; bred, trained, and ran fine racing horses, meanwhile raising the equine standard for all California; and made himself a pioneer in the use of instantaneous photography to study the movements of his steeds and other animals? As for Andrew Mellon, a harsh critic might dismiss his magnificent art collection, the heart of our National Gallery, as mere ostentation. But not even the neo-muckraker could shrug off his finely creative passion for the beautification of the national capital, his zeal in giving substance to the Burnham-McKim-Olmsted-Saint-Gaudens plan of 1901, and his role in making Washington one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Let history take Charles Francis Adams’ statement about the tycoons, their “low instincts,” lack of “humor, thought, or refinement,” and “essentially unattractive and uninteresting” personalities, fold it in an expired bond of the Union Pacific with a sprig of withered rosemary on top, and bury it—where? Under Asa Packer’s Lehigh University, or John D. Rockefeller’s University of Chicago, or Henry Folger’s Shakespeare Library; anywhere, just so history buries it! The question is not why Adams made these assertions, for he liked in his atrabilious way to flutter the dovecotes. The real puzzle is why so many people, including economists, political scientists, and historians, have accepted and repeated the assertions, converting them into a stereotype. Yet it is perhaps not a puzzle after all. Part of the acceptance has been grounded upon ignorance of the real nature of industrialism in this country, its demands upon ability and character, and its achievements. Altogether too little sound industrial history has been written in readable terms. Then, too, many people are consciously or subconsciously envious of the rich man, and prone to discharge that envy in an attitude of intellectual superiority. They say, quite correctly, that American society is too materialistic, and are hence ready, quite incorrectly, to believe most rich men crassly ignoble. Finally, of course, stereotypes are restful; they save everybody the pain of thinking.

One final observation may have special pertinence. The major industrialists and financiers of the country have sometimes, especially in recent years, played a special role in the shaping of opinion. Far from being mere money-grubbers, they have more and more often been men of large outlook, who profited from their familiarity with the complex forces controlling production, transportation, and investment.

Not only has immersion in large domestic affairs made their judgments and influence valuable, but they have often possessed an international experience that men of lesser range have lacked. Walter Lippmann recently remarked, “For a long time, for most of this century, there has been a large divergence inside the business world and inside the Republican party on questions of provincialism and parochialism as against nationalism and internationalism”; and he added that internationalism is championed by “the bigger industrialists and bankers in the big cities, the businessmen who have had a wider experience at home and abroad.” To some extent this was true of the greater industrialists and financiers of the nineteenth century as well. The issues did not present themselves in the shape they later assumed, but these men tended to bring a world vision into the restricted American sphere. Andrew Carnegie, who endowed the Hague World Court and a foundation for international peace, was an internationalist; so was John D. Rockefeller, whose business was world-wide, who built the New Bodleian Library and restored Rheims Cathedral, and one of whose foundations stamped out yellow fever around the globe; so was J. P. Morgan, who took risks as the Anglo-French financier in the First World War that he would not have taken had he not felt the deepest affection for England and France; and so was Henry Ford, who established manufacturing plants of huge magnitude in Windsor, Ontario, and Dagenham, England, and lesser factories in France and Germany. This aspect of the minds of our “big” industrialists ought not to be overlooked. Many of them saw further in advance of their time than Charles Francis Adams, Jr., did, or than their other critics ever peered.

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