William F. Cody (en.wikipedia.org)
Moral dilemmas frequently arise when investment meets conscience. Given human nature, it is likely that such crises have existed as long as humans have invested money in things unseen. A story from the book Capital Stories about Famous Americans, demonstrates that at least one person came to question such an investment after witnessing one of Buffalo Bill’s famous western exhibitions.
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“Light on the Literary Life”
It is a dose of personal choice, and a quirk of history, that ushered a highly successful American novelist of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries into near obscurity. Winston Churchill authored several best-sellers by 1904, but later chose to pursue other interests. Churchill entered politics, took up painting, and eventually left the public eye. His name provided the quirk of history. His withdraw coincided with a different Winston Churchill’s rise to prominence. Our memory of the British politician turned author is so large that our memory of the American author turned politician is now faint.
The following story features Winston Churchill, the American author. It is one story featured in the book, Capital Stories About Famous Americans.
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With his election as Mayor of New York City in 1903, George B. McClellan, Jr. engaged the inevitable hordes of office-seekers, district leaders, and political donors that customarily assailed newly elected officials. Upon gaining an audience with the mayor, each petitioner retold all they had done to ensure McClellan’s election. Often prideful, and always with great expectation, these wheels of Democrat political machinery demanded their grease.
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After browsing around for quite some time, a particularly obstinate patron at Ben Franklin’s book store refused to accept the price offered by a store clerk. Certain that speaking to the owner would obtain him a better price, the man demanded the clerk summon the proprietor. Franklin’s newspaper operation was located in the bookstore’s backroom, and the patron’s summons dragged Franklin from working at the press. Upon Franklin’s arrival the man asked “What is the lowest price you can take for this book, sir?” In an effort to teach the man to value the time of others, Ben Franklin entered the bargaining session. Continue reading “Capital Stories… Ben Franklin”