|About the Book|
Kindle version of vintage magazine article originally published in 1874. Contains lots of great info and illustrations seldom seen in the last 140 years.Read excerpt -Nathan Mayer Rothschild far exceeded his father or any of his brothers inMoreKindle version of vintage magazine article originally published in 1874. Contains lots of great info and illustrations seldom seen in the last 140 years.Read excerpt -Nathan Mayer Rothschild far exceeded his father or any of his brothers in commercial genius. His attention was early called to England as an arena for action (he had not then become a partner), and thither he journeyed soon after reaching his majority. He commenced his career in Manchester as a money-lender, with less than $500, the cotton interest being then in its infancy there. Of course, as they say in Britain, he got on. At the end of five years he had $1,000,000 - a rate of interest on his original capital which ought to satisfy the archfiend of pawnbrokers—and with this sum he went to London. So large were his transactions in the metropolis that one of the Jewish grandees of the city, Levi Cohen, selected him as an eligible candidate for the vacancy of son-in-law. Cohen became alarmed after the union on account of Nathans apparently desperate speculations, believing the young man must soon be ruined. The latter calmed the paternal apprehensions, saying, You have given me but one of your daughters, when it would have been an excellent stroke of business if you had given me all your daughters. Then they would have died a great deal richer than they will now.Nathan speedily won his place in the worlds capital. His ventures in the public funds always turned out luckily. He was as bold as astute, entering into competition with the then immensely powerful banking house of Goldsmid, and undertaking what the Barings, Couttses, and Hopes lacked the nerve to engage in. While ancient firms were timid or tottering, he had his first transactions with the government. Wellington, while actively engaged on the Peninsula, in 1810, had made some drafts which the Treasury could not meet, and which the Hebrew banker, anticipating the result of the struggle on the Continent, purchased at a liberal discount, renewed them to the government, and finally redeemed them at par. It was a capital operation in every sense, bringing him into close and confidential re¬lations with the ministry, and vastly enlarging both his opportunities and connections. The government employed him to transmit subsidies to the Continental powers, and he faithfully performed the task. He had the advantage of the earliest and most trust¬worthy intelligence from Frankfort, and was in a position to return it in kind.Before long all ordinary means of communication were insufficient for his rapidly growing enterprise, and he determined to use carrier-pigeons and fast-sailing boats of his own for the transmission of news. Reports in cipher of all important events were tied under the wings of the birds, which were constantly arriving at the London of¬fices, while his agents were crossing the Channel in the stormiest weather under a perilous pressure of canvas. To this day the mail-boats between Boulogne and Folke¬stone follow the course marked out by the London operator for his own craft. Such was his restless energy that not un-frequently he hurried over to the Continent to watch with his own eyes the momentous issues of the time. His faith in the final downfall of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbons had never been shaken.When the wonderful Corsican returned from Elba, and all the armies outside of France marched with secret dread against the one indomitable foe who had beaten them on every field, Rothschild once more traversed the Channel.