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Financier Not Possessed of Vast Wealth of Rockefeller or Carnegie
PUT $60,000,000 IN ART
Lewis Cass Ledyard, His Counsel, Believed to Have Possession of His Will
Mr. Morgan, in Wall Street's estimation, was not possessed of wealth as great as the fortune of John D. Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie. It was said yesterday by bankers who had close relations with Mr. Morgan that outside of his art treasures his personal wealth would hardly exceed $75,000,000, if it amounted to that.

The art collection which Mr. Morgan gathered cost unknown millions. Its value was lately placed at $60,000,000. This would bring Mr. Morgan's  fortune up to something like $135,000,000, but some of those who had been associated with Mr. Morgan put the total of his wealth, including his art treasures, at not more than $100,000,000.

It was pointed out that while Mr. Morgan had made vast sums as head of the country's largest banking house, he had also spent money very freely. His benefactions were large and helped swell to a great figure the amount which he spent. Several of those who discussed the matter yesterday said that Mr. Morgan had not sought to accumulate money. The many millions which he spent in the gathering of objects of art ceased to earn any income. That is an important item, for their value invested in securities might readily have yielded $2,000,000 annually. The yearly addition of this sum to his wealth would have brought his fortune up to a much higher figure.

It was generally assumed yesterday in the financial district that Mr. Morgan's will would be found in the possession of Lewis Cass Ledyard, his personal counsel and one of his most intimate friends. Mr. Ledyard came to New York from Newport last night, but refused to say anything about the will.

Mr. Morgan's wealth, great as it must have been, was not the true measure of his financial power. His influence in the banking world far outran his immediate interests. Among the institutions that have long been known as "Morgan banks" were some in which he was not a Director and in which he held little, if any, stock. The extent of this indirect influence or control may be realized from the fact that,:although he was admittedly the dominant figure in the American banking world and an important factor in European capitals, he was a Director in only one bank, the First National.

Even the wealth represented by his interest in the several banking houses of which he was the head is hard to estimate. In each he had partners, and the proportion of his own interest has never been definitely known to the outside world.  However, it has been understood that some of his New York partners had only a small percentage holding in the business and profits of the firm. The profits of these banking houses have been enormous. Millions were realized from the formation of the United States Steel Corporation and the International Harvester Company alone.

World's Foremost Banker

Mr. Morgan undoubtedly was the foremost individual banking figure in the world. Surpassing him in resources were the Rothschilds alone and they are and have been for generations a family of whom no single member stood out in the class with Mr. Morgan. Their resources are estimated at several hundred millions. In twelve years they loaned nearly $450,000,000 to European Governments. Since 1815 they have raised for Great Britain more than $1,000,000,000; for Austria, $250,000,000; for Prussia, $200,000,000; for Italy nearly $300,000,000; and for Russia nearly $125,000,000. In most of the principal European capitals, however, there are members of the Rothschild family who look after the financial needs of the country, while in the United States Mr. Morgan stood almost alone, towering above men like George F. Baker, whose actual wealth is almost, if not quite, as great as his, and John D. Rockefeller, whose wealth is certainly greater.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2005) MORGAN FORTUNE NEAR $100,000,000 (New York Times, Tuesday 1st April 1913, ref: #4881, published 25 October 2005, generated 20th June 2021 04:07:48 AM); URL :