|Died||November 4, 1869 74) (aged|
|Resting place||Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts|
|Occupation||Financier, banker, entrepreneur|
|Net worth||US$16 million at the time of his death (approximately 1/556th of US GNP)|
|Parent(s)||Thomas Peabody and Judith Dodge|
George Peabody ( // PEE-bə-dee; February 18, 1795 – November 4, 1869) was an American financier and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as the father of modern philanthropy.
Americans in the United Kingdom or American Britons, includes emigrants from the United States who gain British citizenship, people from the United States who are or have become residents or citizens of the United Kingdom.
Philanthropy means the love of humanity. A conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life", which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social scientific aspect developed in the 20th century. The definition also serves to contrast philanthropy with business endeavors, which are private initiatives for private good, e.g., focusing on material gain, and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, e.g., focusing on provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist.
Born into a poor family in Massachusetts, Peabody went into business in dry goods and later into banking. In 1837 he moved to London (which was then the capital of world finance) where he became the most noted American banker and helped to establish the young country's international credit. Having no son of his own to whom he could pass on his business, Peabody took on Junius Spencer Morgan as a partner in 1854 and their joint business would go on to become J.P. Morgan & Co. after Peabody's 1864 retirement.
Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.
Dry goods is a historic term describing the type of product line a store carries, which differs by region. The term comes from the textile trade, and the shops appear to have spread with the mercantile trade across the British colonial territories as a means of bringing supplies and manufactured goods out to the far-flung settlements and homesteads that were spreading around the globe. Starting in the mid-1700s, these stores began by selling supplies and textiles goods to remote communities, and many customized the products they carried to the area's needs. This continued to be the trend well into the early 1900s, but with the rise of the department stores and catalog sales, the decline of dry goods stores began, and the term has since largely fallen out of use.
Junius Spencer Morgan I was an American banker and financier as well as the father of J. P. Morgan. He founded J. S. Morgan & Co. along with George Peabody.
In his old age, Peabody won worldwide acclaim for his philanthropy. He founded the Peabody Trust in Britain and the Peabody Institute and George Peabody Library in Baltimore, and was responsible for many other charitable initiatives. For his generosity, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and made a Freeman of the City of London, among many other honors.
The Peabody Trust was founded in 1862 as the Peabody Donation Fund and now brands itself simply as Peabody.. It is one of London's oldest and largest housing associations with around 55,000 properties across London and the South East. It is also a community benefit society and urban regeneration agency, a developer with a focus on regeneration, and a provider of an extensive range of community programmes.
The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a conservatory and university-preparatory school in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood of northern Baltimore, Maryland, United States, facing the landmark Washington Monument circle at the southeast corner of North Charles and East Monument Streets.
The George Peabody Library, formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, is the 19th-century focused research library of The Johns Hopkins University. It is located on the Peabody campus at West Mount Vernon Place in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere historic cultural neighborhood north of downtown Baltimore, Maryland, across from the landmark Washington Monument. The collections are available for use by the general public, in keeping with the famous Baltimorean merchant/banker/financier/philanthropist George Peabody's goal to create a library "for the free use of all persons who desire to consult it."
Peabody was born in 1795 in what was then South Danvers (now Peabody), Massachusetts. His family had Puritan ancestors in the state. As one of seven children in a poor family, George suffered some deprivations during his childhood, and was able to attend school for only a few years. He later expressed "I have never forgotten and never can forget the great privations of my early years".These factors influenced his later devotion to both thrift and philanthropy.
Peabody is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 51,251 at the 2010 census, and in 2016 the estimated population was 52,491. Peabody is located in the North Shore region of Massachusetts, and is known for its rich industrial history.
In 1816, he moved to Baltimore, where he made his career and would live for the next 20 years. He established his residence and office in the old Henry Fite House, and became a businessman and financier.
The "Henry Fite House", located on West Baltimore Street, between South Sharp and North Liberty Streets, in Baltimore, Maryland, was the meeting site of the Second Continental Congress from December 20, 1776 until February 22, 1777. Built as an inn and tavern around 1770 in the Georgian architectural style in red brick with white wood trim by Henry Fite (1722–1789), the building became known as "Congress Hall" when it briefly served as the new nation's seat of government in 1776–77. Later, following the Revolutionary War, it became known locally as "Old Congress Hall". The structure was destroyed during the February 7–8, 1904 Great Baltimore Fire, which started nearby.
At that time London, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt were at the center of international banking and finance. As all international transactions were settled in gold or gold certificates, a developing nation like the United States had to rely upon agents and merchant banks to raise capital through relationships with merchant banking houses in Europe. Only they held the quantity of reserves of capital necessary to extend long-term credit to a developing economy like that of the US.
A merchant bank is historically a bank dealing in commercial loans and investment. In modern British usage it is the same as an investment bank. Merchant banks were the first modern banks and evolved from medieval merchants who traded in commodities, particularly cloth merchants. Historically, merchant banks' purpose was to facilitate and/or finance production and trade of commodities, hence the name "merchant". Few banks today restrict their activities to such a narrow scope.
Peabody first visited England in 1827, seeking to use his firm and his agency to sell American states' bond issues, to raise capital for those states' various programs of "internal improvements" (principally the transportation infrastructure, such as roads, railroads, docks and canals). Over the next decade Peabody made four more trans-Atlantic trips, starting in 1835and establishing a branch office in Liverpool. Later he established the banking firm of "George Peabody & Company" (later stylised as J.S. Morgan & Co. ) in London. In 1837, he took up permanent residence in London, where he lived for the rest of his life.
In the 1840s, the state of Maryland defaulted on its debt and Peabody, having marketed about half of Maryland's securities to individual investors in Europe, became persona non grata around London. The Times of London noted that while Peabody was an "American gentleman of the most unblemished character", the Reform Club had blackballed him for being a citizen of a country that reneged on its debts. At first, Peabody sent letters to scold Baltimore friends about the need for the state to resume interest payment and rewarded reporters with small gratuities for favourable articles about the state.
At last, in 1845 he conspired with Barings to push Maryland into resuming payment by setting up a political slush fund to spread propaganda for debt resumption and elect legislators who would placate their investors. By means of a secret account, the two firms transferred a thousand sterling to Baltimore and even bribed Daniel Webster, the orator and statesman, to make speeches for debt repayment. Their attempts were successful: pro-resumption Whigs were elected and London bankers started to receive payments. Barrings duplicated the same tactics in Pennsylvania. Florida and Mississippi were the most persistent debtors and as such were excluded from Peabody's later philanthropies.
Although Peabody was briefly engaged in 1838 (and later allegedly had a mistress in Brighton, England, who bore him a daughter), he never married.Ron Chernow describes him as "homely", with "a rumpled face ... knobby chin, bulbous nose, side whiskers, and heavy-lidded eyes."
Peabody frequently entertained and provided letters of introduction for American businessmen visiting London, and became known for the Anglo-American dinners he hosted in honor of American diplomats and other worthies, and in celebration of the Fourth of July. In 1851, when the US Congress refused to support the American section at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, Peabody advanced £3000 (then worth $15,000; worth about $300,0000 in 2015 dollars) to improve the exhibit and uphold the reputation of the United States. In 1854, he offended many of his American guests at a Fourth of July dinner when he chose to toast Queen Victoria before US President Franklin Pierce; Pierce's future successor, James Buchanan, then Ambassador to London, left in a huff.At around this time, Peabody began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
In February 1867, on one of several return visits to the United States, and at the height of his financial success, Peabody was suggested by Francis Preston Blair, an old crony of President Andrew Jackson and an active power in the smoldering Democratic Party as a possible Secretary of the Treasury in the cabinet of President Andrew Johnson. At about the same time, Peabody was also mentioned in newspapers as a future presidential candidate. Peabody described the presidential suggestion as a "kind and complimentary reference", but considered that at age 72, he was too old for either office.
While serving as a volunteer in the War of 1812, Peabody met Elisha Riggs, who, in 1814, provided financial backing for what became the wholesale dry goods firm of Riggs, Peabody & Co., specializing in importing dry goods from Britain. Branches were opened in New York and Philadelphia in 1822. Riggs retired in 1829, and the firm became Peabody, Riggs & Co., with the names reversed as Peabody became the senior partner.
Peabody first visited England in 1827 to purchase wares, and to negotiate the sale of American cotton in Lancashire. He subsequently opened a branch office in Liverpool, and British business began to play an increasingly important role in his affairs. He appears to have had some help in establishing himself from Sir William Brown, 1st Baronet, of Richmond Hill and James Brown, sons of another highly-successful Baltimore businessman, the Irishman Alexander Brown (founder of the venerable investment and banking firm of "Alex. Brown & Sons" in 1801), who managed their father's Liverpool office, opened in 1810.
In 1837, Peabody took up residence in London, and the following year, he started a banking business trading on his own account.The banking firm of "George Peabody and Company" was not, however, established until 1851. It was founded to meet the increasing demand for securities issued by the American railroads, and – although Peabody continued to deal in dry goods and other commodities – he increasingly focused his attentions on merchant banking, specializing in financing governments and large companies. The bank rose to become the premier American house in London.
In Peabody's early years in London, American state governments were notorious for defaulting on their debts to British lenders, and as a prominent American financier in London, Peabody often faced scorn for America's poor credit. (On one occasion, he was even blackballed from membership in a gentlemen's club.) Peabody joined forces with Barings Bank to lobby American states for debt repayment, particularly his home state of Maryland. The campaign included printing propaganda and bribing clergy and politicians, most notably Senator Daniel Webster. Peabody made a significant profit when Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other states resumed payments, having previously bought up state bonds at a low cost.Encyclopædia Britannica cites him as having "helped establish U.S. credit abroad."
Peabody took Junius Spencer Morgan (father of J. P. Morgan) into partnership in 1854 to form Peabody, Morgan & Co., and the two financiers worked together until Peabody's retirement in 1864; Morgan had effective control of the business from 1859 on.During the run on the banks of 1857, Peabody had to ask the Bank of England for a loan of £800,000: although rivals tried to force the bank out of business, it managed to emerge with its credit intact.
Following this crisis, Peabody began to retire from active business, and in 1864, retired fully (taking with him much of his capital, amounting to over $10,000,000, or £2,000,000). Peabody, Morgan & Co. then took the name J.S. Morgan & Co.. The former UK merchant bank Morgan Grenfell (now part of Deutsche Bank), international universal bank JPMorgan Chase and investment bank Morgan Stanley can all trace their roots to Peabody's bank.
Though thrifty, even miserly with his employees and relatives, Peabody gave generously to public causes.He became the acknowledged father of modern philanthropy, having established the practice later followed by Johns Hopkins, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates. In the United States, his philanthropy largely took the form of educational initiatives. In Britain, it took the form of providing housing for the poor.
In America, Peabody founded and supported numerous institutions in New England, the South, and elsewhere. In 1867–68, he established the Peabody Education Fund with $3.5 million to "encourage the intellectual, moral, and industrial education of the destitute children of the Southern States." His grandest beneficence, however, was to Baltimore, the city in which he achieved his earliest success.
In April 1862, Peabody established the Peabody Donation Fund, which continues to this day as the Peabody Trust, to provide housing of a decent quality for the "artisans and labouring poor of London". The trust's first dwellings, designed by H. A. Darbishire in a Jacobethan style, were opened in Commercial Street, Spitalfields in February 1864.
George Peabody provided benefactions of well over $8 million ($158,000,000 in 2017 dollars ), most of them in his own lifetime. Among the list are:
Peabody died in London on November 4, 1869, aged 74, at the house of his friend Sir Curtis Lampson. At the request of the Dean of Westminster, and with the approval of Queen Victoria, Peabody was given a funeral and temporary grave in Westminster Abbey.
His will provided that he be buried in the town of his birth, Danvers, Massachusetts. Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone arranged for Peabody's remains to be returned to America on HMS Monarch , the newest and largest ship in the Royal Navy, arriving at Portland, Maine, where they were received by US Admiral David Farragut. He was laid to rest in Harmony Grove Cemetery, in Salem, Massachusetts, on February 8, 1870. Peabody's death and the pair of funerals were international news, through the newly completed trans-Atlantic underwater telegraph cable. Hundreds of people participated in the ceremonies and thousands more attended or observed.
Peabody's philanthropy won him many admirers in his old age. He was praised by European luminaries such as Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and author Victor Hugo, and Queen Victoria offered him a baronetcy, which he refused.
In 1854, the Arctic explorer Elisha Kane named the waterway off the north-west coast of Greenland "Peabody Bay", in honor of Peabody, who had funded his expedition. The waterway was later renamed the Kane Basin, but Peabody Bay survives as the name of a smaller bay at the eastern side of the basin.
On July 10, 1862 he was made a Freeman of the City of London, the motion being proposed by Charles Reed in recognition of his financial contribution to London's poor.He became the first of only two Americans (the other being 34th President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower) to receive the award. On March 16, 1867, he was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Harvard University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law by Oxford University. On March 24, 1867, Peabody was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society
Peabody's birthplace, South Danvers, Massachusetts, changed its name in 1868 to the town (now city) of Peabody, in honor of its favorite son. In 1869, the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, was named in his memory. A number of Elementary and High Schools in the United States are named after Peabody.
A statue sculpted by William Wetmore Story stands next to the Royal Exchange in the City of London, unveiled by the Prince of Wales in July 1869: Peabody himself was too unwell to attend the ceremony, and died less than four months later.A replica of the same statue, erected in 1890, stands next to the Peabody Institute, in Mount Vernon Park, part of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1900, Peabody was one of the first 29 honorees to be elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, located on what was then the campus of New York University (and is now that of Bronx Community College), at University Heights, New York.
His birthplace at 205 Washington Street in the City of Peabody is now operated and preserved as the George Peabody House Museum, a museum dedicated to interpreting his life and legacy. There is a blue plaque on the house where he died in London, No. 80 Eaton Square, Belgravia, erected in 1976.
On March 16, 2018, Google honored Peabody with a Google Doodle on the 151st anniversary of Peabody being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.The mural reproduced in the Google Doodle is physically located within the lunchroom of George Peabody Elementary School in San Francisco.
The Georgetown Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C. houses the Peabody Room, named after the original neighborhood Peabody Library founded by Peabody. The Peabody Room contains historical information about the Georgetown neighborhood.
John Pierpont Morgan Sr. was an American financier and banker who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation in the United States of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Even before the Carnegies and Rockefellers became philanthropic legends, there was George Peabody, considered to be the father of modern philanthropy.
George Peabody (1795–1869)—banker, dry goods merchant, and father of modern philanthropy...
George Peabody is considered by some to be the father of modern philanthropy.
After the Civil War he funded the Peabody Education Fund which established public education in the South.
As soon as the ceremony within the church was over the procession formed again, and advanced to a spot near the western entrance, where a temporary grave had been prepared... Here the body was deposited, and will remain until it is transported to America.
By 1867 Peabody had received honours from America and Britain, including being made a Freeman of the City of London, the first American to receive this honour.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about George Peabody .|