Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie

By Andrew Carnegie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI
THE PEACE PALACE AND PITTENCRIEFF

PEACE, at least as between English-speaking peoples,1 must have been early in my thoughts. In 1869, when Britain launched the monster Monarch, then the largest warship known, there was, for some nowforgotten reason, talk of how she could easily compel tribute from our American cities one after the other. Nothing could resist her. I cabled John Bright, then in the British Cabinet (the cable had recently been opened):

"First and best service possible for Monarch, bringing home body Peabody."2

No signature was given. Strange to say, this was done, and thus the Monarch became the messenger of peace, not of destruction. Many years afterwards I met Mr. Bright at a small dinner party in Birmingham and told him I was his young anonymous correspondent. He was surprised that no signature was attached and said his heart was in the act. I am sure it was. He is entitled to all credit.

He was the friend of the Republic when she needed friends during the Civil War. He had always been my favorite living hero in public life as he had been my father's. Denounced as a wild radical at first, he kept

____________________
1
"Let men say what they will, I say that as surely as the sun in the heavens once shone upon Britain and America united, so surely it is one morning to rise, shine upon, and greet again the Reunited States -- the British-American Union." (Quoted in Alderson Andrew Carnegie, The Man and His Work, p. 108. New York, 1909.)
2
George Peabody, the American merchant and philanthropist, who died in London in 1869.

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