John Jacob Astor

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NYPL ID number: 1101660




Alonzo Chappell


Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
The son of a butcher from a small town in southern Germany, Astor emigrated to the United States in 1784, married into a Knickerbocker family, and began business in the fur trade. In the mid-1790s, he turned to the China trade, shipping out otter, beaver, and fox skins and bringing back tea, silk and porcelain. Ten years later, he was building his own ships and was well on his way to becoming a millionaire.


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Alonzo Chappell, “John Jacob Astor,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,