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Astor, John Jacob, 1763-1848

Merchant; born in Waldorf, Germany, July 17, 1763. Joining his brother, a dealer in musical instruments in London, at the age of sixteen, he remained until he was twenty. when, with a small stock of furs, he began

John Jacob Astor.

business in New York. He built up a vast fur-trade with the Indians, extending his business to the mouth of Columbia River, on the Pacific coast, where he founded the trading station of Astoria in 1811. By this and other operations in trade, and by investments in real estate, he accumulated vast wealth. He bequeathed $400,000 for establishing a library in the city of New York, which for many years was known by his name, and now forms a part of the New York Public Library. He died in New York City, March 29, 1848.

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