Friday, 9 September 2016


The death of Mr John Pierpont Morgan, tho American millionaire, which has just taken place, removes one of the greatest organisers of a country in which organisational and combination have been developed to an extent not attempted in any other country, and not thought of by most of the world. Mr Morgan started life as a banker, and that whetted a naturally keen appreciation of the value of money, and extended a somewhat sordid desire to possess great wealth, not for the power that it might give in the direction of helping any public cause, but for the satisfaction that it would yield to his personal ambition. He, therefore, in early life concentrated his forces to achieve an end by which America largely, but falsely, measures the value of a man—to have and control wealth. Such an ambition is legitimate enough as the world goes, but when it extends to the limits of using the public utilities to aid its process, the case presents a different aspect, for then, it is the rise of one man at the cost of many men, since no man at the exercise of his own energies alone can become a multimillionaire, in respect to actually earned profits.
 But Mr Morgan's determination to succeed in a mere money-making sense was not softened by any gentle considerations embodying moral speculation. He was a keen, hard business man from first to last, and he was, like nearly all the millionaires, gifted with that type of mind which centres all ambitions in personal gratification and notoriety. For all that he was a man of strong and almost vivid personality, the basis of whose character was indomitable determination. So much was this developed that it not only caused him to have a "fine conceit of himself," but to regard his direction as being indispensable, and to cause a certain "savage brusqueness" to usurp the place of ordinary courtesy and business civility. It must be remembered that he had both enemies and keen competitors operating against him ; but instead of taking them philosophically, like Rockefeller, he accepted them as an undeserved burden which did not extend any original amiable quality of which he might have been possessed. He heartily and especially hated newspaper men, and he regarded them in the light of a new pest in the world. They have a kind of unfortunate family habit of letting the public know the facts operating against and in favor of the masses. Pierpont Morgan, as a typical class man, thought this unnecessary, and resented its performance. Perhaps he considered that it had a tendency to arrest the easy course of wealth accumulation, and maybe a "newspaper person" had spoiled a deal or two; but, whatever the cause, he regarded them as interfering devils, while Rockefeller always alludes to journalists by calling them his friends and "the boys." Rockefeller knows his indebtedness to the Press, and so does Carnegie; but Pierpont Morgan stood for much the same "Me and God" principle which once actuated the German Emperor, and consequently he regarded himself as self-made, with some improvements on the original design. The power of money he knew to be in the handling and control of it, but the power of profit-making he early saw was not in the mere possession and use of half active money, but in controlling public necessities, either in transport or other directions, by using it to the uttermost limit of its tender and influence. His methods were audacious when viewed from the ordinary business atmosphere. They were portion of the man, and they made his success. He believed, like Napoleon, in "making circumstances." The manufacture is a pleasant business; the results mostly of permanent effect.

Zeehan and Dundas Herald (Tas. : 1890 - 1922), Wednesday 2 April 1913, page 2

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