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Crowninshield, George, Jr. (27 May 1766–26 November 1817), merchant and yachtsman, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of George Crowninshield, a merchant, and Mary Derby. Though never married, he had one daughter, Clarissa (called Clara), whose mother was Elizabeth Rowell. The Crowninshields, among the richest Salem merchant families, gained their wealth through privateering and in the Far Eastern trade for which Salem was famed in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. After studying navigation and going to sea as a captain’s clerk, Crowninshield commanded a ship to the West Indies in 1790 and, according to records, commanded the ...

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Duryea, Harmanus Barkulo (13 December 1863–25 January 1916), sportsman, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Harmanus Barkulo Duryea, a lawyer and politician, and Mary Peters. Having inherited wealth, Duryea would spend his life engaged in a variety of sporting pursuits....

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Stevens, John Cox (24 September 1785–10 June 1857), yachtsman, was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, the son of John Stevens, an attorney and locomotive inventor, and Rachel Cox. Stevens grew up with his ten siblings on the Stevens family estate in Hoboken. After graduating from Columbia College in 1803, Stevens invested in the development of steam-propelled water vessels. In 1809 he married Maria C. Livingston, a member of the wealthy and prominent Livingston family of New Jersey. Stevens and his wife divided their time between the Hoboken property owned by the Stevens family, a mansion in Manhattan, and a large farmhouse on the western end of Long Island. In 1827 he and his brother ...

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Vanderbilt, William Kissam (12 December 1849–22 July 1920), railroad capitalist and sportsman, was born on a farm near New Dorp, Staten Island, New York, the son of William Henry Vanderbilt and Maria Louisa Kissam. He was the grandson of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt. William studied with private tutors and later attended a school in Geneva, Switzerland. At nineteen he was sent to work in New York City as a clerk and bookkeeper under Charles C. Clarke, the treasurer of the Hudson River Railroad, a line his grandfather had controlled since 1865. The Commodore believed that only hard work would keep his grandsons from becoming spoiled. William worked his way up various clerical grades in Clarke’s office....