"I have been insane on the subject of moneymaking all my life."
Cornelius Vanderbilt was a Robber Baron because, he made his competitors pay subsides to use a certain route as they did in the medieval times.
Cornelius Vanderbilt was an American railroad and steamship builder. He was also a financer, executive and a promoter. Cornelius was a man of endless energy, and his acute business intellect enabled him to outsmart his competitors. He left an estate of almost $100 million.
Vanderbilt was born into a small family and he quit school at age 11, so that he could work with his father in boating. He persuaded his mother to give him a $100 loan for a boat to start his business at the age of 16. For eighteen cents a trip Vanderbilt had a freighting and transporting company from New York City to Staten Island. After the first year of his business he repaid the loan his mother gave him, with an additional $1,000. He had a reputation for his rough manners and his honesty. Later in 1812 Vanderbilt received a government contract to supply the forts around New York. Cornelius built a yacht and two other vessels for costal trade. Being in charge of the largest yacht on the Hudson River gave him the nickname "Commodore". By 1817 he possessed $9,000 in addition to the interest in the sailing vessels.
Well on his way to fame and fortune, Vanderbilt sold his interests and steamboats came to attention in 1818. He went under the employ of Thomas Gibbons, operating a ferry service between New Brunswick, New Jersey and New York City. This was an important link in the New York-Philadelphia freight, mail, and passenger route. Vanderbiltcharged his customers one dollar while other captains charged four dollars for the same trip. Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston claimed that Vanderbilt was breaking the law. Fulton and Livingston sued Gibbons, and the case reached the Supreme Court. heSupreme Court judges nullified the navigation monopoly New York State had...