Erastus Corning

Erastus Corning

Merchant and Financier, 1794–1872
Irene D. Neu
Founder and first president of the New York Central Railroad, Erastus Corning rose from humble origins—he begin his working life at the age of thirteen as a clerk in a Troy, New York, hardware store—to become one of the wealthiest men of his time. In this skillfully written biography, Irene D. Neu traces Corning's the arc of his life and career as a merchant, manufacturer, railroad promoter, land speculator, financier, and politician—telling, at the same time, the story of American business in the mid-nineteenth century. Neu relates the significant events in Corning's life and addresses in considerable detail his many-faceted enterprises, including the circumstances of his loss of the New York Central to Cornelius Vanderbilt.

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