John Jacob Astor


John Jacob Astor, a merchant of New York City celebrated for his accumulation of great wealth, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1763. He visited London and New York, and finally settled in the latter city, where he entered into the fur trade with great success. He afterwards established trading-posts in the northwest as far as the Pacific Ocean, and founded Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, in 1811. Two of his expeditions, however, were disastrous; some of his employes deserted him, and he was opposed by the Northwest (British Fur) Company. He next turned his attention to real estate in New York City, where he made extensive investments, erected a large number of buildings, and reaped enormous profits. The poet Fitz-Greene Halleck was for a long time his private secretary. When Astor died, in 1848, his property was estimated at twenty millions of dollars.

Adapted from The Dictionary of Biography by Charles Morris

Key events during the life of John Jacob Astor:

Birth of John Jacob Astor.
Founded Astoria on the Columbia River.
  Accumulated great wealth.
Death of John Jacob Astor

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
John Jacob Astor  in  Heroes of Progress in America  by  Charles Morris

Image Links

 in Heroes of Progress in America

Short Biography
Fitz-Greene Halleck American poet and secretary of John Jacob Astor.