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Word Count: 405
Cornelius Vanderbilt Vanderbilt was born to a poor family and quit school at the age of 11 to work for his Father who was a boater When he turned 16 he persuaded his mother to give him a 100 dollar loan for a boat to start his business He opened a transport and freight service Between New York and Staten Island for eighteen cents a trip He repaid the loan with an 1000 dollars Vanderbilt later received a government contract to supply the forts around New York Large profits allowed him to build a schooner and two other vessels for trade Vanderbilt got his name from being the commander of the biggest vessel By 1817 he possessed 9000 dollars Vanderbilt then sold his interests and turned his attention to steamboats in 1818 He operated a ferry between New Brunswick New Jersey and New York City He charged his customers a dollar while others charged four for the same trip After a court decision Vanderbilt received most of the shipping business along the Hudson River In 1829 Vanderbilt went out on his own and entered the competitive service between New York and Peekskill He cut rates so low the competition paid him to move elsewhere He then opened service to Long Island Sound Providence Boston and points in Connecticut He offered the passengers not only comfort but often luxury By the 1840s Vanderbilt was running more than 100 steamboats and his company had more employees than any other company in the United States By the time he was forty His wealth was more than 500000During the gold rush of 1849 the basic route was by Boat to Panama by land across the isthmus and by steamship to the Pacific Coast He offered a route overland
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