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Book review and technical detail THOMAS MELLON AND HIS TIMES ~ Thomas Mellon

Technical detail of THOMAS MELLON AND HIS TIMES ~
author Thomas Mellon
ISBN 107245
Language English
Category Biography & Memoir
Publisher University of Pittsburgh Press
Pages 478
Publishing Date 1st January, 1970

Book Reviews:

 A awfully absorbing 19th-century rags-to-riches adventures by the somewhat priggish, but acute and observant, architect of the Mellon ancestors fortune. Thomas Mellon (18131908) wrote this 1885 account alone as a ``memento of affection'' for his descendants, anticipating ``that it will not be for auction in bookstores, nor any new copy published.'' Mellon was built-in in Ireland to farmers of bashful agency who emigrated to Poverty Point, abreast Pittsburgh, back he was bristles years old. He recounts a happy, if Spartan, accomplishments there on his father's farm. A appointment to Pittsburgh afflicted the nine-year-old Mellon with the breeding of the city, and at the age of 17, chief adjoin agriculture in favor of accepting an education, Mellon aback chock-full his ancestor from purchasing a acreage for him. Interspersing academy appearance with teaching and acreage chores, Mellon abounding Western University in Pittsburgh, apprehend law with a arresting Pittsburgh attorney, and became a affiliate of the bar in 1838. He affiliated in 1843 and had eight children; became an eminent advocate and adjudicator and a acknowledged investor; and founded a antecedent of the Mellon Bank in 1870. Mellon's anecdotal of his blessed ancestors activity and prominent, admitting not awfully eventful, career forms the accomplishments for a advanced array of opinions and observations, academician and otherwise: on the accent of marrying for acumen rather than love; on the abundant responsibilities of a judge; on the Great Panic of 1873; on the crumbling assignment belief and added abomination amount Mellon saw about him in anew automated America; and on the (not consistently positive) transformative furnishings of new inventions created in his lifetime. A absorbing account with some decidedly attentive reflections, by an ambitious baton of the time, on the amazing changes wrought by 19th-century industrialism. (Photos and maps)

In 1885, Thomas Mellon published his autobiography in a limited edition exclusively for his family, warning them that it contained "nothing which it concerns the public to know, and much which if writing for it I would have omitted." Mellon was an anomaly among the great American entrepreneurs of his time. Highly literate and an excellent narrative writer, he was deadly honest about his life, family, and financial success. The book his warning so effectively concealed for almost 110 years was a masterpiece of American autobiography, and it is now available for virtually the first time in this edition. At the time he looked back on his life, Mellon was a successful Pittsburgh entrepreneur and banker. In the next generation, two of his sons, Andrew William Mellon and Richard Beatty Mellon, joined Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller as the four wealthiest men in the United States, and his descendants would play major roles in American business, art, and philanthropy. Nothing in Thomas Mellon's origins suggested this future. Born in Ulster with a Scotch-Irish heritage, he immigrated to the United States in 1818 at the age of five. He was raised by his parents on a small, hilly farm at Poverty Point, about twenty miles east of Pittsburgh. It seemed that his destiny would be the farm, but in childhood and adolescence he was transformed by two experiences. At the age of ten, he walked to Pittsburgh and saw for the first time the bustle and wealth of this growing city. He was especially awestruck by the mansion and steam mill of the Negley family, "impressed... with an idea of wealth and magnificence I had before no conception of." The thought occurred to this boy whether he "might not one dayattain in some degree such wealth, and an equality with such great people." Twenty years later, in 1843, Thomas proposed to Sarah Jane Negley after a courtship that, he observed, took "much valuable time, somewhat to the prejudice of my professional business." They were devoted to

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