Morgan

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Morgan

Morgan, American family of financiers and philanthropists.

Junius Spencer Morgan, 1813–90, b. West Springfield, Mass., prospered at investment banking. As a boy he became a dry-goods clerk in Boston; later he entered a brokerage house in New York City. He became a partner in mercantile firms in Hartford, Conn., and in Boston and then (1854) went to London to become a partner of George Peabody. Ten years later he assumed entire control of the firm, which became J. S. Morgan & Company. He expanded this international banking enterprise, handling most of the British funds invested in the United States. His syndicate's loan of $50 million to the French government at the time of the Franco-Prussian War was one of the most spectacular transactions of the time.

His son, John Pierpont Morgan, 1837–1913, b. Hartford, Conn., built the family fortunes into a colossal financial and industrial empire. He studied abroad and in 1857 entered the New York City banking house of Duncan, Sherman & Company. Three years later he became the New York agent for his father's firm in London.

On the death of his father (1890) he became sole manager of J. S. Morgan & Company—later (1910) Morgan, Grenfell & Company—of London. J. P. Morgan's ascent to power, however, was accompanied by dramatic financial battles. He wrested control (1869) of the Albany and Susquehanna RR from Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, he led the syndicate that broke the government-financing privileges of Jay Cooke, and he developed a railroad empire by reorganizations and consolidations in all parts of the United States. In the industrial field, Morgan formed (1901) the U.S. Steel Corp., the first billion-dollar corporation in the world. He financed manufacturing and mining and controlled banks, insurance companies, shipping lines, and communications systems. Through his firm came enormous funds from abroad to develop American resources.

He was widely criticized on many occasions for backing the sale of obsolete carbines to the Union and for his gold speculations in the Civil War, for the harsh terms of his loan of gold to the federal government in the 1895 crisis, for his financial dominance in the Panic of 1907, and for bringing on the financial ills of the New York, New Haven & Hartford RR. He was largely deaf to popular criticism. In 1912 he appeared and publicly defended himself before a congressional committee headed by Arsène Pujo, which was investigating the "money trust" and which was aimed particularly at him.

Morgan was an ardent sportsman, and his yacht entered many international races. He was a prominent lay leader in the Episcopal Church. He personally dispensed numerous philanthropies, and he was a renowned art collector. After his death the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which he had been president, received a valuable portion of his collection, which is housed in the Pierpont Morgan wing.

John Pierpont Morgan, 1867–1943, b. Irvington, N.Y., grad. Harvard, 1889, became active head of the house of Morgan when his father died in 1913. The firm was called upon to help finance World War I, and as American agent for Allied countries, the banking house raised huge funds—one issue valued at $500 million—and systematized the purchases of military supplies. In the postwar period it floated securities of foreign governments and corporations reaching $2 billion, at the same time sponsoring over $4 billion of domestic securities. Morgan and his partners actively promoted great mergers after 1922 and controlled numerous nonbanking corporations.

The younger J. P. Morgan resembled his father in his dislike for publicity and in continuing his father's philanthropic policy. In 1920 he gave his London residence to the U.S. government for use as its embassy and later endowed the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City as a research institute in memory of his father. A sister of the younger J. Pierpont Morgan, Anne Morgan, 1873–1952, was devoted to numerous philanthropic and civic organizations and constantly voiced the rights of the American woman.

See biographies of J. P. Morgan (1837–1913) by H. L. Satterlee (1939, repr. 1975), F. L. Allen (1949), and J. Strouse (1999). See also V. Carosso, The Morgans (1987); R. Chernow, House of Morgan (1990).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Morgan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.