Слике страница
PDF
ePub

An incident of one of those receptions comes to my mind, which was eminently characteristic. Among the approaching guests, conspicuous from absence of evening costume, was a woman with a baby in her arms. To the rest of us it seemed an impudent intrusion. Most men would have directed the attendants to remove her. Not so with MR. MORGAN. He shook hands with her as graciously as he did with other guests, and as she passed by said to me, "quick, get that baby's name, so that I can make it a life fellow of the Museum." Said I, “That will cost you one thousand dollars." * So much the better” said he. He did not stop before he acted to inquire who that baby was. He took in the situation at a glance, though he had never seen the woman before. She was the wife of one of our new Museum attendants, who knew no better, who was eager to attend the reception and who could not come without bringing her baby with her.

MR. MORGAN never saw all his collections assembled together. Fortunately for America they are all here, but only his pictures, and not all of these, have been unpacked. But I am sure his satisfaction in having them exhibited together would not have been the selfish pleasure of seeing them himself, but the pleasure the sight of them was giving to his fellow countrymen. The son spoke for the father when he said yesterday—“Do not keep my father's pictures at the Museum closed any longer out of respect to his memory. Open the gallery to the public. It is what he would have wished. One of the greatest desires that Mr. MORGAN had this last

year

of his life was that the city would provide for a new wing to the Museum. Not so much that it would make space in which to show his collections, (his were not the only collections that needed showing space) but as an earnest of the city's co-operation with an interest in the great public institution whose welfare he had so much at heart. It was one of the last things he spoke of before he sailed. I wished he could have lived until yesterday when he would bave known that this wish of his bad been fulfilled.

Nor was our Metropolitan Museum the only art institution in which he was interested. He had a broad vision of a great American Academy at Rome, formed by the union of the original Academy with the American School for Classical Study, established high on the Janiculum overlooking the “Eternal City.” That dream he was turning into reality when he was taken away.

His loss to our Museum and to the cause of art would be irreparable except for what, while living, he has done, and what, though dying, his example will inspire others to do.

ADDRESS OF THE HONORABLE SETH LOW, FORMER MAYOR OF

THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

Mr. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.—The members of the Chamber meet here to-day under the shadow of a great loss, but equally under the inspiration of a great career. Those who have preceded me have presented Mr. MORGAN as the massive figure he was in American life. Let me try to point out some of the more intimate characteristics of the man. This Chamber is full of men who recognize Mr. MORGAN's easy primacy in the business affairs of this community and of the country; but how few of us have ever heard him say even a single word in this Chamber ! Verily, he was conspicuously a man of deeds, and not of words ; but when an effort was to be made to put up a building which should belong to the Chamber of Commerce, one of the first to be turned to, as a matter of course, was MR. MORGAN. His response was immediate and generous. Mr. MORGAN was the first man to whom I spoke in connection with the purchase of the new site for Columbia University. His hearty approval of the plan, and his spontaneous offer of $100,000 to carry it out, were an immense encouragement to me. So generally was it known that MR. MORGAN was both public spirited and generous, that his primacy in this regard was as unconsciously recognized as in the financial world. For things appealing to public spirit, it was almost taken for granted that MR. MORGAN would contribute ; and I do not know myself of a single instance in which that expectation was disappointed. In a certain sense, this attitude of his became in a way a touchstone as to the merit of such a proposal. If MR. MORGAN approved of it. he gave; and if he gave, others would give. If, on the other hand, MR. MORGAN was not sufficiently interested to contribute, the supporters of the proposal asked themselves anew whether the project which they had in view really was worth while. The range within which his public spirit and his benevolence might be appealed to was so large, that it may be said of him, in the words of the Roman poet, that “nothing human was alien to him."

As I contemplate Mr. MORGAN's financial career I am impressed by one characteristic that seems to me to be the dominant note through it all. Mr. MorgAN's genius was pre-eminently constructive. There are a great many men in the United States and all over the world, to-day, who are richer because Mr. MORGAN has lived. I doubt if there are any who are poorer.

He accumulated a vast fortune for himself; but he did it by enriching others at the same time. He did not become rich himself by making others poorer. He animated others with confidence and with courage, and in this fine fashion he illustrated that faith that can remove mountains.

The City of New York has recently seen a fine illustration of his quality and his international influence. For two years the city has been carrying on negotiations in regard to the dual subway plan. At the beginning, the MORGAN Firm, with MR. MORGAN's ready approval, agreed to finance the Interborough's needs, assuming a contract with the city to be made, to the extent of $170,000,000. The negotiations dragged along, month after month, always getting a little nearer to the end but often appearing to be on the point of breaking down. In all these critical months, there has been no moment when the withdrawal of this firm from its contingent engagement to finance the Interborough might not have been fatal to the enterprise. Much was said, at times, in the public press that might have provoked their withdrawal; often the progress of negotiations was disappointingly slow; but, with a loyalty not less devoted than that of the city officials, the MORGAN Firm patiently abode the issue, thus securing for the city of their home the happy outcome in which we are all even now rejoicing. So much for MR. Morgan's quality, as illustrated by his banking house. Consider this matter, now, for the light that it throws on MR. MORGAN's international influence. He stated, recently, before the Congressional Committee, that the syndicate participating in this engagement numbered 286. The members of it included many underwriters abroad, as well as at home. England, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Holland and Switzerland were all represented. During these two years of uncertainty the money market has not always been easy. Europe has recently bid nine per cent. for money on this market. And when the consummation was reached the other day and the contracts were signed, the financial sky was by no means so clear as when the negotiations were begun. But of all this the city recked nothing. Its great citizen, through his banking house, had given his word, and the city knew that wbatever else might fail the money would not; for in pledging his own faith he had, in a sense, pledged the faith of the world. This is the manner of man whose loss New York mourns to-day.

My only intimate relationship with MR. MORGAN was in the Vestry of St. GEORGE's Church, of which, at the time of his death, he was the Senior Warden. He became a Vestryman in 1868; Junior Warden in 1885 ; and Senior Warden in 1890. You all know how manifold and how great were the affairs with which MR. MORGAN dealt ; but he always had time for Sr. GEORGE's. When he was in the country, I think he never missed a meeting of the V'estry ; and in these meetings he manifested as alert an interest in the welfare of the Parish as he could have shown in the largest enterprise with which he was connected. In a just definition of the word “great,” I am not sure that MR. MORGAN did not think ST. GEORGE's Church, with its manifold ministries to the neighborhood in which it stands, the greatest interest he had. While he always stated his views with candor, he took great pains to make his fellow Vestrymen feel that their views were as well entitled to consideration as his own ; and he always accepted gracefully the decisions of the majority. Mr. MORGAN attained an eminence so high, that I like to think that it was his generous support during many years which has made this great free Church a possibility. I know of nothing which reveals so clearly the essential democracy of the man.

I once heard my father say of a certain firm that they were “ money good.” I asked him what he meant. His reply was “ They have money, but not character. You can sell them for cash as much as you please, but give them no credit.” If Mr. MORGAN could summarize in a word the lesson that he would like his countrymen to learn from his business career, I believe it would be that character is better than riches. That a man should be trustworthy; that is to say, worthy of being trusted, was in his view the thing that counts.

MR. MORGAN, during his long life, did much for Art; much for Science; much for Education ; much for the cause of Religion ; but I doubt if anything that he did, or all that he did, surpasses in value to the American people and to our generation his impressive insistence upon character, as the one fundamental and eternal essential for business success that is worth while.

MINUTE AND RESOLUTIONS PRESENTED BY FRANK A. VANDER

LIP, ESQ., PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CITY BANK.

We have lost a leader. Our country has lost a noble citizen. Other countries too are mourning the passing of a great hearted man, a private citizen whose high character and dominant personality made a world-wide impression, and whose loss has caused world-wide sorrow.

The death of John PIERPONT MORGAN brings us together to-day to give expression to the grief of a whole nation. It is fitting that we should inscribe upon our tablets for posterity a lasting tribute to his name and our reverent and affectionate memory of his character and noble qualities.

The responsibilities of great power rested long upon his shoulders. Rarely, if ever, has a private citizen swayed such power ; but in a true sepse it was not the power of a private citizen,-it was the delegated authority of an international constituency that trusted him, and by their franchises freely selected him as their representative and trustee. He commanded because he was endowed through nobility of character with the right to command. He was strong because he ever saw in power only the opportunity for right doing. He was trusted with vast administration because pre-eminently he recognized fully the high responsibility of trusteeship. He was a leader of men because in bim men saw right-mindedness, purity of purpose, great courage, breadth of vision, wise optimism, and always a relation to his associates and to society that subordinated self-interest and emphasized his desire to be of service.

Let the career of this man, the position he attained, the influence he wielded, stand ever as a refutation of the thought that business is without sentiment. His great power over men had its roots in sympathy. It was a quality of spirit that gave him the power and dominance which he so rightfully maintained. His was not a leadership of cold intellect, but of high character, of inflexible trustworthiness, of broad sympathies, of a desire always to upbuild and develop, and to be of service in the largest measure to his community, to his country, and to many countries,—for he was truly a citizen of the world ; be it, therefore

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York directs that there be placed upon its records its sentiments of deep reverence for the memory of John PIERPONT MORGAN, man of character ; its enduring appreciation of the dominant force for good which he wielded through a long life of masterful endeavor and farreaching accomplishment; and be it further

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be suitably engrossed and sent to the family, and that the entire proceedings of this meeting be compiled in a memorial volume.

The minute and resolutions were unanimously adopted by a standing vote.

The Chamber then adjourned.

Adjourned Meeting, Thursday, April 10, 1913.

An adjourned meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held in the Hall of the Chamber on Thursday, April 10, 1913, at half-past twelve o'clock, P. M.

PRESENT.

John CLAFLIN, President.
JAMES Talcott, Vice-President.
SERENO S. PRATT, Secretary.

And two hundred and thirty-nine other members.

The minutes of the meetings held March 6 and April 3, 1913, were read and approved.

WESTERN FLOOD RELIEF.

THE PRESIDENT.-Gentlemen, since the March meeting of the Chamber, a disastrous flood has inundated the valley of the Ohio, and very great suffering and loss of life have ensued. As soon as it became apparent that the flood would be serious in its consequences the Chamber telegraphed to the Governor of Ohio, asking if he wished us to collect subscriptions. For some reason his reply was delayed for two days, and when received, it read as follows:

« ПретходнаНастави »