Littell's Living Age [Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr.'s copy] No. 1428 - October 21, 1871

Littell, Eliakim ; (editor)

Editorial: Littell & Gay, Boston, 1871
Condición: Very Good Encuadernación de tapa blanda
Librería: Antiquarian Bookshop (Washington, DC, Estados Unidos de America)

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34 pages; An issue of the long-running and successful American magazine 'Littell's Living Age' -- which ran from 1844-1941. Bound volumes of Littell's are comparatively common -- this is a single issue in the original wrappers which contains wood-engraved small representations of twenty contemporary American and British magazines and journals -- (from which 'Littell's Living Age' extracted content every week). The wrappers are intact, but a bit scrappy at the lower edge. But the main interest in this particular issue centers on a tiny yellow printed slip pasted to the cover; this is the original address label, reading: "C Vanderbilt jr / 72 East 34th Street." On the day this magazine arrived in New York City, the sight of this terse, tiny label would have enraged the richest man in America -- Cornelius Vanderbilt [1794-1877]. The elder Cornelius, widely known as "The Commodore," built a huge fortune, first in steamships, and then in railroad companies. His favorite son had been George Washington Vanderbilt, who died before he was twenty-five from tuberculosis after serving for a time in the Union Army during the Civil War. The subscriber to whom this issue of 'Littell's' was sent, was Cornelius Jeremiah Vanderbilt [1830-1882]. The younger Cornelius V, known as as "Corneel," was the second son of the tycoon, and his wife, Sophia Johnson. From the age of eighteen, he suffered from epilepsy, which his tough father viewed as a sign of weakness. "He's a very smart fellow, but he's got a cog out," his father told friends. To toughen-up his 19 year old namesake, Commodore Vanderbilt sent his son out as a working crewman on a ship headed for San Francisco around Cape Horn. Corneel abandoned the ship when he arrived, ran out of money, and and tried to charge his expenses to his father. The Commodore viewed this as a sign of insanity, and had Corneel arrested on his return to New York in November of 1849 and committed to the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum until February 1850 for "dementia." Corneel developed a fondness for gambling, and debts he ran up chasing this pursuit prompted him to use his famous name and genuine charm to borrow money from friends and prominent people, often failing to repay these debts. He particularly relied on loans from Horace Greeley, a long-term friend and editor of the New York Tribune. The Commodore warned his business partners and acquaintances: "There is a crazy fellow running all over the land calling himself my son. If you come into contact with him, don't trust him." The elder Vanderbuilt took legal action to prohibit his son from presenting himself as "Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr." In fact, the Commodore is reported to have said of his troubled second son, "I'd give a hundred dollars not to have named him Cornelius." Once again, the elder Vanderbilt had his son arrested and confined in Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum in January, 1854 -- on the grounds of "confusion" and "loose habits." The younger Cornelius's older brother William Vanderbilt told Corneel they were trying to get him committed to avoid criminal charges for forgery. To which explanation, Corneel is reported to have responded: "I would rather be considered a damn rascal than I would a lunatic." In any event, Corneel's doctor at Bloomingdale told his young involuntary patient -- "I am satisfied that you are no more crazy than I am. You may go home." Two years later, Corneel married an older woman, from Hartford, Connecticut. The elder Vanderbilt made a point of meeting the prospective bride and her parents. The Commodore inquired whether Miss Ellen Williams had jewels or an expensive wardrobe. He seemed pleased to get a response in the negative since, as he predicted, the younger Cornelius would merely purloin them and gamble away the proceeds. Ellen Williams was not easily deterred; she told her father and her prospective father-in-law that "I have a divine mission to save that young man." The Commodore became fond and respectful of Ellen, attende. N° de ref. de la librería 39244

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Littell's Living Age [Cornelius Vanderbilt ...

Editorial: Littell & Gay, Boston

Año de publicación: 1871

Encuadernación: Softcover

Condición del libro:Very Good

Descripción de la librería

At The Antiquarian Book Shop, located in Georgetown - an historic neighborhood of Washington, D.C. - we have been buying, selling & appraising rare, interesting and scholarly books for nearly 30 years. Currently, our catalogued inventory includes about 6,000 books from the sixteenth century through the twentieth century in a variety of subject areas. About a third of our books are published prior to 1900; the rest of our stock comprises collectible, interesting and scholarly books. We have added images of many of the items listed to better convey their quality and condition. If you'd like to see an image of any particular item that is not yet illustrated, please contact us. We can provide professional appraisals and are interested in buying significant collections of books. Contact us for details of fee structure for appraisals. Thank you for considering our offerings.

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