John Jacob Astor

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John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor portrait by John Wesley Jarvis, circa 1825
Birthday/Birthplace Johann Jakob Astor[a] (1763-07-17)July 17, 1763
Walldorf, Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire
Deceased March 29, 1848(1848-03-29)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting place Trinity Church Cemetery
Lives Where New York City, New York, U.S.
Citizenship German
American
Profession(s) Merchant, businessman, investor, fur trader
Credit for First multi-millionaire businessman in the United States
Net worth $20 million, an Estimated US $590 million in 2016 dollars
Wife/Husband Sarah Cox Todd
(m. 1785; d. 1842)
Kid(s) Magdalena Astor Bentzon Bristed
Sarah Todd Astor
John Jacob Astor Jr.
William Backhouse Astor Sr.
Dorothea Astor Langdon
Henry Astor II
Eliza Astor, Countess von Rumpf
unnamed stillborn son
Parent(s) Johann Jakob Astor
Maria Magdalena Vorfelder
Family See Astor family
Signature

John Jacob Astor , (birth Johann Jakob Astor) (July 17, 1763, Walldorf, Germany – March 29, 1848, New York, United States ), son of a German butcher and the youngest of three brothers. He made his fortune mainly with the trade in animal skins, later with the money from the slaughter of animals from which they obtained their skins to make various products, invested in the real estate business. He also made an important part of his fortune with the opium trade with Asia.

Born in Germany, Astor emigrated to England as a teenager and worked as a musical instrument maker with his older brother George Astor. He moved to the United States after the War of Independence of the United States. He entered the fur trade and built a monopoly, administering a commercial empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada, and then expanded to the western United States and the Pacific coast. Seeing the decline in demand, he left the fur trade in 1830, diversifying by investing in real estate in New York City and later becoming a famous patron of the arts. He was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first billionaire in the United States.

John Jacob Astor’s Biography

Early life

Johann Jakob Astor was born in Walldorf, near Heidelberg, in the old Palatinate. He was the youngest son of Johann Jakob Astor and Maria Magdalena Vorfelder. His three older brothers were George, Henry and Melchior. Astor’s father was a butcher; Johann worked first in his father’s shop and as a seller of dairy products. [citation needed] In 1779, at the age of 16, he moved to London to join his brother George in the work for the piano factory and foundry of an uncle, Astor & amp; Broadwood While there, he learned English and gave his name.

Immigration to the United States

In 1783 or March 1784, [citation needed] Astor emigrated to New York City, just after the end of the American Revolution. There he rented a room for Sarah Cox Todd, a widow, and began to flirt with the daughter of his landlady, also called Sarah Cox Todd, whom he would marry in 1785. His intention was to join his brother Henry, who had established a butcher. shopping there, [citation needed] but a casual meeting with a fur trader on his trip inspired him to also join the fur trade of North America. After working for a while in his brother’s shop, he began buying raw hides for Native Americans, preparing them himself and then selling them in London and other places with great profits. He opened his own leather goods store in New York in the late 1780s and also served as a New York agent in his uncle’s musical instrument business.

Fortune of the fur trade

Astor took advantage of the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States in 1794, which opened new markets in Canada and the Great Lakes region. In London, Astor immediately signed a contract with North West Company, which from Montreal rivaled the commercial interests of Hudson’s Bay Company, which was then based in London. Astor imported skins from Montreal to New York and sent them to Europe. By 1800, he had amassed almost a quarter of a million dollars, and had become one of the leading figures in the fur trade. His agents worked in all areas of the west and were ruthless in the competition. In 1800, following the example of the Empress of China, the first American merchant ship in China, Astor exchanged skins, teas and sandalwood with Canton in China, and benefited greatly from it. However, the United States Embargoment Act of 1807 interrupted Astor’s import / export business because it closed trade with Canada. With the permission of President Thomas Jefferson, Astor established American Fur Company on April 6, 1808. He later formed subsidiaries: Pacific Fur Company and Southwest Fur Company (in which the Canadians had a part) to control the fur trade. in the areas of the Great Lakes and the Columbia River region. Its trading post on the Columbia River at Fort Astoria (established in April 1811) was the first community in the United States on the Pacific coast. He financed the Astor Expedition by land in 1810-12 to reach the outpost. Members of the expedition discovered South Pass, through which hundreds of thousands of settlers in Oregon, Mormon and California passed through the Rocky Mountains. Astor’s fur trading companies were affected during the War of 1812, when the British captured their trading posts. In 1816, he joined the opium smuggling trade. His American Fur Company bought ten tons of Turkish opium, then smuggled the item to Canton in the Macedonia ship package. Astor later abandoned the opium trade of China and sold only to the United Kingdom. Astor’s business recovered in 1817 after the US Congress. UU Approve an aprotectionist law that prohibited foreign traders of furs from the US territories. UU The American Fur Company came to dominate commerce in the area around the Great Lakes. John Jacob Astor had a townhouse on 233 Broadway in Manhattan and a farm in the countryside, Hellgate in the north of New York City. In 1822, Astor established the Robert Stuart House on Mackinac Island as the headquarters of the reorganized American Fur Company, making the island a fur-trading metropolis. A long description based on documents, newspapers, etc. It was given by Washington Irving in his Astoria travel journal. Astor’s commercial connections spread all over the world, and his ships were found in all seas. And he and Sarah moved into a townhouse on Prince Street in Manhattan, New York.

Real estate and retirement

Astor began buying land in New York in 1799 and acquired significant holdings along the coast. After the beginning of the 19th century, aligned with the commercial benefits of China, he became more systematic, ambitious and calculating when investing in real estate in New York. In 1803, he bought a 70-acre farm that extended west of Broadway to the Hudson River between 42nd and 46th Streets. That same year, and the following year, he purchased considerable possessions from Aaron Burr. In the 1830s, Astor foresaw that the next big boom would be the construction of New York, which would soon emerge as one of the best cities in the world Astor withdrew from American Fur Company, as well as all of its other companies , and used the money to buy and develop large tracts of real estate in Manhattan. Astor correctly predicted the rapid growth of New York to the north on the island of Manhattan, and bought more and more land beyond the existing city limits at that time. Astor rarely built on his land, but he rented it to others for rent and its use. After retiring from his business, Astor spent the rest of his life as a patron of the culture. He supported ornithologist John James Audubon in his studies, works of art and travel, and in the presidential campaign of Henry Clay.

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