And prodigy of girards and the philanthropist who

  • No School
  • AA 1
  • 22

This preview shows page 3 - 5 out of 22 pages.

and prodigy of Girard's, and the philanthropist who endowed the Wagner Institute at 17th and Montgomery Avenue in Philadelphia, convinced the public of the inaccuracies and distortions contained in Stephen Simpson's book. In one of Wagner's lectures, given before the Pennsylvania Historical Society in 1882, he said, "Anyone who reads Simpson's biography of Stephen Girard will perceive that the whole account is embittered and venomous and that where ever he could find an opportunity to falsify or pervert he improved it to the utmost. He tortured facts to suit his purpose." Girard lived a simple, frugal life although his vast wealth could have provided him an ostentatious life style. He commented, "My deeds must be my life; when I am dead my actions will speak for me." One hundred sixty years later his actions are still speaking for him. Although he was charitable in life, he was more charitable in death. These are the facts about the man that must be remembered, a man who in life and after death provided for so many people. BORDEAUX, FRANCE Born May 20, 1750, near Bordeaux France, he was the second of ten children but the first son born to Pierre and Anne Odette Lafarque Girard. 4 He was baptized Etienne at St. Seurin, a Roman Catholic Church in Bordeaux. His father Pierre was a sea captain and merchant who had acquired a substantial fortune trading with the West Indies Islands. Louis XV bestowed on Pierre Girard, the Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis for bravery during the 1744 conflict between France and England. 3
Image of page 3

Subscribe to view the full document.

Stephen had an unhappy childhood. Being blind in one eye since birth, or at least early in life, allegedly caused him to be an introvert. There are several versions that explain how he became blind. Some historians claim he was blinded at age eight when a clam shell, thrown into a fire, exploded sending a splinter into the eye. 5 In later life, Girard reported that he never remembered seeing from that eye. Being the oldest boy in the family was a burden and probably the reason his father did not provide him with any formal education. Apparently his only education was that passed to him by his father and mother. George Wilson in his book on Girard, claims he "had proficiency in the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic" when he went to sea. 6 He was only ten years old when he began working in his father's counting house. Stephen's mother, whom he apparently loved dearly, died when he was only 12 years old. THE MARINER The father and son often argued. In 1764, when only 14 years old, Stephen, following in his father's footsteps, went to sea. Pierre arranged an appointment on his ship Pelerin, bound for Saint-Domingue in the French West Indies. The ship's roster listed Stephen as an apprentice pilot 7 and in this capacity he began his study of navigation. His first voyage lasted ten months.
Image of page 4
Image of page 5
  • Fall '19
  • Test, Second Bank of the United States, Stephen Girard, Marie Antoinette Girard

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Ask Expert Tutors You can ask 0 bonus questions You can ask 0 questions (0 expire soon) You can ask 0 questions (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes