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Unformatted text preview: e to oratory, and that, if he didn’t want to bore the
Stilhnans and Harrimans and Vanderbilts, he had better limit himself to ﬁfteen
or twenty minutes of polite vaporings and let it go at that.
“Even John Pierpont Morgan, sitting on the right hand of Schwab as became his
imperial dignity, intended to grace the banquet table with his presence only briefly. And so far as the press and public were concerned, the whole affair was of so
little moment that no mention of it found its way into print the next day.
“So the two hosts and their distinguished guests ate their way through the usual
seven or eight courses. There was little conversation and what there was of it was
restrained. Few of the bankers and brokers had met Schwab, whose career had
ﬂowered along the banks of the Monongahela, and none knew him well. But before the evening was over, they-and with them Money Master Morgan - were to be
swept off their feet, and a billion dollar baby, the United States Steel Corporation,
was to be conceived.
“It is perhaps unfortunate, for the sake of history, that no record of Charlie
Schwab’s speech at the dinner ever was made. He repeated some parts of it at a
later date during a similar meeting of Chicago bankers. And still later, when the
Government brought suit to dissolve the Steel Trust, he gave his own version, 51 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH from the witness stand, of the remarks that stimulated Morgan into a frenzy of
“It is probable, however, that it was a `homely’ speech, somewhat ungrammatical
(for the niceties of language never bothered Schwab), full of epigram and threaded with wit. But aside from that it had a galvanic force and effect upon the ﬁve
billions of estimated capital that was represented by the diners. After it was over
and the gathering was still under its spell, although Schwab had talked for ninety
minutes, Morgan led the orator to a recessed window where, dangling their legs
from the high, uncomfortable seat, they talked for an hour more.
“The magic of the Schwab personality had been turned on, full force, but what
was more important and lasting was the full-ﬂedged, clear-cut program he laid
down for the aggrandizement of Steel. Many other men had tried to interest Morgan in slapping together a steel trust after the pattern of the biscuit, wire and
hoop, sugar, rubber, whisky, oil or chewing gum combinations. John W. Gates,
the gambler, had urged it, but Morgan distrusted him. The Moore boys, Bill and
Jim, Chicago stock jobbers who had glued together a match trust and a cracker
corporation, had urged it and failed. Elbert H. Gary, the sanctimonious country lawyer, wanted to foster it, but he wasn’t big enough to be impressive. Until
Schwab’s eloquence took J. P. Morgan to the heights from which he could visualize the solid results of the most daring ﬁnancial undertaking ever conceived, the
project was regarded as a delirious dream of easy-money crackpots.
“The ﬁnancial m...
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- Spring '12