What do I care about law? Ain't I got the power?
Hi, I’m Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, and I was a self-made entrepreneur, , a great railroad baron, and the wealthiest man in the United States throughout the 19th century. Earlier in my business career, I was probably the greatest shipping tycoon in the United States. My estate is worth 100 million dollars. I was one of the first Americans to learn to construct and operate steamships. When I was 16, I successfully built my own ferry and freight business. I also partnered with Thomas Gibbons to operate a dominant ferry service, in which I made a fortune. Midway through the Civil War, I loaned my largest and fastest ship to the Union Navy to chase down Confederate raiders. Once victory was won in the 1860s, I became aware that the big growth in the future for the transportation industry was not by way of water but by way of rail, and I switched my energies to the railroad business and soon controlled a network of lines that ran from NY to Chicago. I bought existing railroads including the Long Island Railroad, the New York and Harlem Railroad, and the Hudson River Railroad. I focused on improving service and on upgrading capital equipment while maintaining low fares. I gained maximum profits by gaining maximum control of the railroad market. As I once said, "I have been insane on the subject of moneymaking all my life." I marked the beginning of a new class of businessmen, and I strongly believe that our nation needs to continue to compete in the technology race with other nations, as everyone knows how much the steamboat and railroad have helped transform our nation.