Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Other Grandfather

- Another installment in my series

Stories of the world during the time Winston Churchill lived in it: 1873 to 1965.

Leonard Jerome made his first pile working for his uncle. He became a partner in his law firm in his hometown of Palmyra, New York.

It was a small town but it had one big attraction for Leonard: the Hall sisters. These sisters were Indian looking and rumors were that their grandmother had been raped by an Iroquois. His brother and him both came calling. Leonard fell for Clara. Eventually both brothers married the sisters.

With Clara’s money, Leonard bought the Rochester Daily American. He was restless. He bought a telegraph company, too. In 1850 he quit the law firm, sold the newspaper, and moved the family to Brooklyn.

New York City satisfied Leonard Jerome’s desires. He immersed himself in the nightlife, the gambling, the racing, and the women. He befriended August Belmont, the American representative of the Rothschild banking empire. Clara stayed home and silently suffered.

Leonard could not see why his day life couldn’t be as exciting as his night life. He sold the telegraph company and plunged into the stock market. He sometimes combined business and politics. In the New Haven railroad scandal, he lobbied for and got a bill for railroad reform. This bill enabled him to get out of it a winner. “That damned fellow has figured out how to cash in on honesty!” a competitor cried.

Other Installments of this series (in progress).

No comments:

Post a Comment