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Andrew Carnegie Movingly Eulogizes One of His Chief Competitors, Edward Townsend of Cambrias Steel, in a Letter to Mrs. Townsend

Andrew Carnegie

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Librería en AbeBooks desde: 1 de agosto de 2006

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"I know how poor words are, what a mockery they are, in such crushing momentsÉAll the promises of a far off reunion are no adequate requital for the charred heart we carry in our breast through life after the loved are gone, but you have your sons & grandchildren & your duties in this life & there lies your best hope of being enabled to endure to the end which comes to us all. Truly the circle of those really dear to me grows terribly small."Edward Y. Townsend was born in 1824, and through his acumen rose to become the president of the Cambria Iron Company (later called the Cambria Steel Company) in 1873. Under his leadership the firm took a prominent part in establishing the steel-making process in the United States, increasing the capacity of its works until it became one of the largest producers of steel rails in the country. The Cambria plant became a model for the industry, and it was a forerunner of Bethlehem Steel Company, United States Steel Corporation, and other late 19th and 20th century steel companies.Townsend was a competitor of Andrew Carnegie and his Carnegie Steel Company. However, in the days before the anti-trust laws, competitors could cooperate, allocate territories, and set joint prices, and the two magnates did so. Carnegie and Townsend became more than competitors, they became friends, with the older Townsend making his mark on the younger Carnegie. To underline this, their families shared in this friendship; Carnegie's mother used to send her regards to Mrs. Townsend, while Carnegie addressed Mrs. Townsend in letters as "My Dear Friend." Mrs. Townsend was the former Henrietta M. Troth.The Johntown flood of 1889 damaged a great portion of the Cambria works, and many of Townsend's workmen and their families were swept away. Townsend worked hard to allay the sufferings of the people, but the loss to his business and the deaths of his men, with their wives and children, gave him a shock that injured his health. He developed heart disease and died November 5, 1891 at his country home in Bryn Mawr, Pa.Carnegie was noticed of Townsend's death the very day it occurred, and he sat down immediately and wrote a very moving letter to Mrs. Townsend that not only mourned the loss of her husband but contained his ruminations on death itself and how it was encroaching on his circle of loved ones. Autograph Letter Signed, on his letterhead, November 5, 1891, to Mrs. Townsend. "My Dear Friend, The saddest of messages has just reached me. I know how poor words are, what a mockery they are, in such crushing moments, but still I feel I must say something for I cannot be silent. It is seldom that I am ever forced to express my grief - silence is all best if we can be silent, for nothing but time can reconcile us to what seems so cruel a blow. I never am reconciled; all the promises of a far off reunion are no adequate requital for the charred heart we carry in our breast through life after the loved are gone, but you have your sons & grandchildren & your duties in this life & there lies your best hope of being enabled to endure to the end which comes to us all. Truly the circle of those really dear to me grows terribly small. I had learned in youth to look up to Mr. Townsend as a model man of affairs & in mature years I learned to respect and admire him as a true man in every really relation of life. I had not heard of his illness, and John's message fell upon me as a stunning blow. My Dear Friend, I wish I could do something to soften the blow to you. But alas I have only to say I am so very very sorry for you, and can never be other than your deeply attached friend through life."An extraordinary set of statements, unlike any of Carnegie we've seen on the market before. He was not a follower of religion, as we see in his assertion that the afterlife was not enough to reconcile him to death. We obtained this letter directly from the Townsend descendants. N° de ref. de la librería 9955

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Título: Andrew Carnegie Movingly Eulogizes One of ...

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The Raab Collection buys and sells rare important historical documents, bring to its endeavors a passion not only for the manuscript but the history behind it. We've built important historical collections for institutions and historical enthusiasts. Our pieces have found homes in many major institutions devoted to preserving history.

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