Bridges to Glory
Carnegie was certain his destiny lay among the lions of Wall Street. During negotiations with George Pullman and the Union Pacific, he had been seduced by New York City, the preeminent financial center in the United States. In late 1867, he decided to move there, to take up residence in a city ruled over by the notorious “Boss” Tweed and his Tammany Hall cronies, as well as Wall Street scoundrels like “Jubilee” Jim Fisk and Jay Gould.
“No large concern could very well get on without being represented there, ” he later wrote, explaining his decision, and he had grand visions of an empire, no doubt. 1 In New York, the streets were awash with money, and there was ample opportunity for him to secure more lucrative contracts for his iron and bridge-building concerns, as well as to capitalize on investment prospects not available in Pittsburgh. The move also made sense for the Carnegie family because it amounted to a divide-and-conquer maneuver, with Tom overseeing affairs in Pittsburgh. Another motivating factor in Carnegie's move was that New York, like London, was alluringly cosmopolitan, had a strong intellectual presence, and offered a plethora of music, opera, and theater, among other arts agreeable to him. Tom, who had finally married Lucy Coleman, took the Homewood house, while Andy, who got to keep Mom, took up residence on lower Broadway in the plush St. Nicholas Hotel, which had greatly impressed him when there for the Union Pacific meetings. He rented an office at 19 Broad Street and a hung a sign on the door: Investments. That said it all, except that a year after his move an episode suggested Carnegie harbored doubts about the direction his life was taking.
Precisely four years after his first crisis of conscience, when he had sought a consular position in Scotland, a second crisis attacked Carnegie. In December 1868, he penned a surprising letter to himself: it was wrought with intro
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Publication information: Book title: Carnegie. Contributors: Peter Krass - Author. Publisher: Wiley. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 96.
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