John Mullanphy- First millionaire of American West’s
Immigrants have always desired to become a part of the great American dream. The concept was true even as early as 1793. John Mullanphy(1758-18330) arrived at Philadelphia in 1793 at the age of thirty-five. He had emigrated from France and had an experience of eight years of service with the Irish Brigade.
When North America was getting developed, he traveled across the Atlantic, armed with a strong inner drive to succeed, a soaring ambition to follow, an acute business sense, coupled with soldering experience and the rich French culture. With such a great blend of qualities, he was somewhat ordained to evolve as the first millionaire of the American West.
He primarily settled at Baltimore and later moved to Frankfurt with his wife, Elizabeth and a young kid. Within a very short span of time, Mulanphy’s trading center emerged as the social hub of Kentucky district. In 1804, he moved to St. Louis. This was the year that this former French settlement got officially transformed into an American village.
In order to further his business interests, he moved to Natchez and then again to Baltimore. Mullanphy began to invest in real estate, and his fortunes began to soar, taking his social prestige simultaneously along with it.
Mullanphy’s friends’ circle comprised of the future president of America, Andrew Jackson and his parents. His assistance in defending Baltimore at the battle of New Orleans, acted as an important strategy in his business career. Mullanphy had lent out cotton bales to Jackson for fortifying the rampart, covering a distance of three miles down stream. He had the business acumen to buy the cotton reserve prior to the war and then he shipped them to the Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange amassing seven times profit. This in fact built the foundation of his entrepreneurial empire.
John made St. Louis, located on the Mississippi river his permanent home. Dramatically enough, it also emerged as an important inland port, and a meeting point of immigrants of different cultures who arrived at the American land. John Mullanphy died at the age of seventy-five. The immense fortunes acquired by him were donated in charity during his last years. He also offered land and money for the establishment of churches, schools, hospitals and orphanages.
Money and social power was accompanied by prestige and power. He had one of his daughters married to a general and another to the cousin of Mark Twain. But he was much disappointed to find his son Brian refuse to tread the ready path of success laid out before him.