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Douglas Pike and Lisabeth G. Svendsgaard

Bunker, Ellsworth (11 May 1894–27 September 1984), businessman and diplomat, was born in Yonkers, New York, the son of George R. Bunker, a founder of the National Sugar Refining Company, and Jean Polhemus Cobb. Bunker was educated in private schools in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and attended Yale University, where he majored in history and economics. After graduating in 1916, he entered the family business as a dockworker. In 1920 he married Harriet Allen Butler, with whom he was to have three children. Bunker advanced quickly in the National Sugar Refining Company and was named a director of the company in 1927. He went on to become secretary, treasurer, president, and chairman of the board, retiring in 1950. He remained a member of the board of directors until 1966....

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Havemeyer, Henry Osborne (18 October 1847–04 December 1907), sugar merchant and investor, was born in New York City, the son of Frederick Christian Havemeyer, Jr., a sugar merchant, and Sarah Osborne Townsend Havemeyer. From childhood on he was known as Harry. By the time of his birth the extended Havemeyer family, whose antecedents, originally from Germany, had emigrated from England in the late eighteenth century, was one of New York's wealthiest and most prominent, making their fortune in sugar refining. A substantial part of that fortune had been made by Harry's father, in partnership with his cousin ...

Article

Kenner, Duncan Farrar (11 February 1813–03 July 1887), businessman and Confederate legislator and diplomat, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest son of William Kenner and Mary Minor Kenner. He was educated by private tutors and in private schools in New Orleans, where his father was a prosperous merchant, planter, and public official. Duncan's mother died at age twenty-seven when he was twenty months old, and his father died when he was eleven. Raised by relatives, Duncan attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he completed his studies in 1831. From the spring of 1832 to the fall of 1834 he traveled and studied in Europe; letters of introduction and social contacts brought him twice to the Austrian court, including a private meeting with Prince Klemens von Metternich, and to a ball for European royalty given by Baron Rothschild....

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Spreckels, Claus (09 July 1828–26 December 1908), manufacturer and capitalist, was born in Lamstedt, Hanover (in present-day Germany), the son of Diedrich Spreckels, and Gesche Baack, farmers. Growing up in relative poverty, he received a meager formal education and often worked for neighboring farmers for little more than bread and board. When revolutionary fervor swept the Germanic states during the 1840s, Spreckels decided to emigrate. After borrowing sufficient funds for steerage passage from a friend, he sailed from Bremen in 1846 and landed in Charleston, South Carolina, with little money and no firm prospects. He soon obtained work in a grocery store and within a few weeks had saved enough to pay off his debt. By working hard and accumulating savings, he was able to purchase the business upon the owner’s retirement, paying off all his debts within a year....

Article

Tulane, Paul (10 May 1801–27 March 1887), merchant and philanthropist, was born in Cherry Valley, near Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Louis Tulane, a lumber merchant, and Marie Tulane (maiden name unknown), who died when Paul was fifteen. His father, a native of France, had relocated with his wife to New Jersey following a 1791 slave insurrection in Santo Domingo (now Haiti) that had claimed the life of several of his relatives. After attending a private school in Princeton and an academy in nearby Somerville, Tulane ended his formal education at age fifteen and became a clerk in the Princeton-based mercantile establishment of Thomas White. Two years later (1818), he set out on a three-year tour of the southern United States in the company of a French cousin. Family position gained him meetings with both ...