1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Morgan, John Pierpont

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MORGAN, JOHN PIERPONT (1837- ), American financier and banker, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on the 17th of April 1837, a son of Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-1890), who was a partner of George Peabody and the founder of the house of J. S. Morgan & Co. in London. He was educated at the English High School in Boston and at the University of Göttingen. In 1857-1860 he worked in the New York banking house of Duncan, Sherman & Co.; from 1860 to 1864 was agent and attorney in New York for George Peabody & Co. of London, and afterwards for its successor, J. S. Morgan & Co., of which he became head; in 1864-1871 was a member of the firm of Dabney, Morgan & Co.; and in 1871 he entered the firm of Drexel, Morgan & Co., in which he was associated with Anthony J. Drexel, of Philadelphia, upon whose death in 1893 he became senior partner. In 1895 the firm became J. P. Morgan & Co. Closely associated with Drexel & Co. of Philadelphia, Morgan, Harjes & Co. (successors to Drexel, Harjes & Co.) of Paris, and Morgan, Grenfell & Co. (before 1910 J. S. Morgan & Co.) of London, it became, largely owing to Mr Morgan's ability, one of the most powerful banking houses in the world. It carried through the formation of the United States Steel Corporation (which took over the business of Andrew Carnegie and others), harmonized the coal and railway interests of Pennsylvania, and purchased the Leyland line of steamships and other British lines in 1902, thus effecting an Atlantic shipping “combine” (see Steamship Lines); and it, or the banking houses which it succeeded, reorganized the following railways: Albany & Susquehanna (1869); the Chesapeake & Ohio, and the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis (1888); the Erie and the Reading (1895); the New York & New England (1896); the Northern Pacific (1897); the Baltimore & Ohio (1899), &c.; and in 1895 it supplied the United States government with $62,000,000 in gold to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus of $100,000,000. Mr Pierpont Morgan was a prominent member of the Protestant Episcopal Church; an enthusiastic yachtsman, whose “Columbia” defeated the “Shamrock” in 1899 and 1901 for the “America's” cup; a notable collector of books, pictures, and other art objects, many loaned or given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (of which he was president), and many housed in his London house and in his private library on 36th Street, near Madison Avenue, New York City; and a generous benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University (especially its medical school), the Lying-in Hospital of the city of New York and the New York trade schools.