Many Hands,
Many Cookie Jars

Carnegie fancied himself an investor extraordinaire, a financier, a broker of deals. He was not a Wall Street gambler or a swindler, but he was swept up in the post–Civil War money fever, the contagion of greed unleashed after four years of horrific bloodshed. His cavalier attitude toward investing was exposed when Carnegie proposed to his friend John “Vandy” Vandevort, “If you could make three thousand dollars would you spend it in a tour through Europe with me?” 1

“Would a duck swim or an Irishman eat potatoes?” Vandy replied. Both Carnegie and he had been reading travel writer Bayard Taylor's Views Afoot; or, Europe Seen with Knapsack and Staff, which inspired them to strike out for the Continent. If culture could be had, a little stock speculation was certainly excusable; and so Carnegie, like an Arabian genie, transformed a few hundred dollars of Vandy's money into a few thousand by investing in oil. Vandy was tall with a trim brown beard and seductive eyes, carried himself in an urbane manner, and relished adventure. The much shorter, plainerlooking Carnegie purposefully selected such suave, handsome friends as Miller and Vandy to offset his own physical shortcomings. Harry Phipps was also invited. Departing for a vacation to last until the next spring on the heels of the Civil War and with so many investments to monitor appeared irresponsible; however, for Carnegie, becoming a well-rounded man of culture added a dimension of power he craved. And as cousin Dod noted, “Carnegie owes a great deal to his habit of traveling. While other men were wallowing in details, he was able to take a wider view.”

Upon arriving in Liverpool in late May 1865, the trio proceeded directly to Dunfermline, where Carnegie introduced his chums to the family. Contrary to the visit three years prior when he found his hometown to be of Lilliputian


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