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Vincent Otto Nolte.

Fifty years in both hemispheres; [microform] or, Reminiscences of the life of a former merchant. Translated from the German online

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FIFTY YEARS



or



JBOTH HEMISPHEEES



<»•



REMINISCENCES

or THB

LIFE OF A FORMER MERCHANT

By VINCENT NOLTE

TRAM8LATBD FROM THS OSRMAV



An Mrtak dobot ilMr, wkm* HIV tb« foii ■nriln,




REDFIELD

lie AND lit NasSAU-BTREKT; new YORK

o 1854.

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V.X).'^'/^^



> / M



.'iAWASO CHLE6E LIMARV
•Y EXCNANaE



Ta^v^. ?.(=,i^:. tl



BiiTBmsi) MoordiBg to Aot of CongiVM, In tli« jtax Oii« TkoniaBd Eight Hnndnd aad
Fiftyfimr, by J. B. REDFIELD, in th« CleiVaOffiM of th« Distriot Court of th«
Uaitod Statei, for tho Soathora Distriot of Nov Yozlc.



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TO

THE HIGH, AND WELL-BOBN GENTLEBCAN,

MR. ERNEST MERCK,*

i DtPXEIAL AUBimiAV MAJXBTT's OOXIUL-OSICSEAL AT HAMBUmGB, AVD
OOMXAMDXE OF THS DCFBEZAL AUmiAN OftOSE OF LSOrOUH

nr omATxruL AOKVowLSDOMBirr or ms mavt

XVIDKKOn OF FEBNDLT GOOD WIU^



^jitsSmik



MOST KflSPBOTFULLT DEDIOATBD ST

THE AUTHOR.



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CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

BEMIFISOBNOES OF THE AUTHOR'S BOYHOOD AND YOUTH.

Legboro, liiB birth-plaoe, io 1779 — Journey to Hitmbargh, in 1788 — ^Viait to
Leghorn, 1791-1792— Return to Hambtnrgb, in 1792— Professor 0. F. Hipp.
of TabiDJen, has first «nd only instructor — Commeneement of bis meroontile
eareer, in the House of Messrs. Otto Franck sod Co. at Legbom, in 1796 —
Entry of tbe Freneh into Legbom, under Gkoeral Bonaparte, 1796—
General Murat — Major HuUii^— Hie popular representatiyea Garat and
Salioetti — Sojourn at Florence— The villa Pandolfini, in 1797 — ^Return to
Hamliargh — ^Frendi tiieatre in Hamburgh—The eommeroial erisiaat Ham-
bnrgli, in tbe year 1799 — Sojourn at Hambur^^i — ^Altered fiunily oiroum-
■tanees— Determination to leave the pl a ce D qpagture fimm Hamburgfa

iniaoi n

CHAPTER II.

PARIS-NANTSS— AMSTERDAM.

The trial of General Moreau at Pari% aa I aniyed tbera— Stata of opinioD in
that capital-— N^>oleoo*8 first parade as Emperor, on the Placa du Oar-
tfmml — Departure for Kantea — My eniry«into the house of A. M. Labon-
abdre and Trotreaa — Tbe two head partners — My departure fix>m
AnMterdam at the request of P. 0. Labooeb^ head of the firm of Hope
and Gol, in that city— Some notice of the history of that house, and the
ishAraoteristies of its leading partner— The olject of my journey to the
United States and fkrther intentiona— Unexampled business prqjeeta with
the banker, G. J. Ouyrard, in Paris. 42



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vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IIL

THE BANKER AND GENERAL PURVEYOR* 0. J. OUVRARD

His origin and busineM developmeot — First great speouUtioo— The fiHmdiiig
of his establishment at Paris — His private intimacies lead to acquaintance-
ship with the Director Bans and Brigadier Chief Bonaparte, before the
appointment of the latter to tibe rank of General — ^The rapid rise of Out-
rard, as a goyeinment oontraotor — ^He becomes the Msoeoas of artists —
His princelj liberality — Nicolo Isouard, tibe composei^Oavrard's first
conn^on with the Spanish Goyemment — Immense transactions with the
French Goyemment, with Vanlerberghe aad with Duprei — Onvrard's jour-
nej to Madrid — ^His influence with the Prince of Peace — ^The busmess coo-
tract between King Charles lY. of Spain and OuTrard — Results of this
contract — ^The commercial treaty that sprang from it — Hope d Co. in Am-
sterdam — ^The inconsiderate condemnation of Ouvrard, and frivolous pallim-
tioQ of Napoleon's unjust course towards him by llkiers. in the sixth volume
of his History of tibe Consulate..... 66

CHAPTER IV.

THE MEXICAN BUSINESS OF MESSRS. HOPE A CO.

The basisof the plan kid down in Amsterdam, and its execution in the TTni-
ted 8tates - David Parish of Antwerp iBtmsted with the chief control of
this business, and Mr. A. P. Lestapis, from Hope's counting^iouse, and I,
charged with the two most important branches of the money management ;
the former in Yera Cms, and myself in New Orleans — ^My departure from
Amsterdam for New York — Breaking out of the yellow fever tiiere—
Excursion to Boston — ^Arrival of Hm e^ed General Moreau in New York —
Arrival of David Parish in New York — Final consultations there — ^My ani-
Tal a* New Orteans, on Hm fifst Easter Sunday, 1M6— Sketdi of the stdite
of things in that city — Goveivor Olaibonie— The land speenlaikor John
McDdiough^The lawyer Edward Ltvbgston— My first appearance in New
Orleans, as a business man^Tbe yellow fover, wbidi had spared me in
New York, seizes me here— The Conspiracy of tibe former Yice President
of the United States, Aaron Burr— General Wilkinson— The rencontre of
the American frigate Chesapeake with the British man^f-war Leopard, in
the year 1807— Its influeoos upon my business Telattons— -General eipeeta-
tion of war with England.. ... 71



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OONTBNm tH



CHAPTER V.
DAVID PARISH IN PHILADELPHIA.

The measures adopted hey him— ^ retrospeotiye glioioe at OuTnurd and his
af&in — MismaiwgemcDt the oattural result of Um unlimited oUigatioos he
bad assumed — Cknnplieated relations with the French State Bank, which
thereby finds itself obliged to suspend specie payments— Napoleon*s return
after the peace of Presburg-^Despotio measures, and his arbitrary intei^
ferenoe wiUi Ooyrard's business relations, by which the whole organintioo
is brought to the ground — ^Nspoleon and the bouse of Hope A Go. in Am-
sterdam, who, with becoming dignity, reject his propositions^ and send his
agent, afterwards the Baron Louis> home with a flea in his ear^The French
Consul, Oeneral de Beaigour, in Philadelphia, is obliged to place himself in
the hands of Parish, as Mollien, the Biinister of Finance, is also compelled to
throw himself into the arms of Hope A Oo. — False and oneeided judgment
of Ouyrard by Thiers, whp neyer did, or never would, comprehend Out-
ranfs pontioo as a motshant. 95



CHAPTER VL
FOBOED ABANDONMENT OF VERY IMPORTANT OPERATIONa

My return to Philadelphia — Acquaintance with Robert Fulton at New York
— A glance at his history — ^Ihe trial-trip of the first steamboat Gleroumt
from New York for Albany — Departure for HaTafia,4o call in the goyem-
ment-ezchange of 100,000 piastres — ^Negotiation with the Intendant-Ckne-
ral Roubaud — Bschaoge of these bills for a sin^ one drawn to my order,
and a bill for 946,000 dollars on the yieeroy of Mexico given me,— -the
largest in amount I erer indorsed — I take passage from Havana in the
•MerdMBi;'* bound for Baltimore... 110



CHAPTER Vn.
THE SHIPWRECK.

Shipwreck off the coast of Fbrida. on the Carysfort Reef— My sojourn in the
yiUsge of Kaasau on the Ishmd of New ProTidenoe, one of the Bahama
group— Return to tli« United States—Arrival in Pbiladelphw. 126

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▼iii OONTKNTa

CHAPTER VIII.

THE EMBARGO OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE TEAR 1808.

Rupture of commanicatioDs with Mexico ; the first aDd most important causo
-which ioflaenced the iDclepeDdeot position of Parish, and became the source
of his first embarrassments — ^The large purchase of lands on the St. Law-
reoce rirer was one of the next — History of this purchase — Qouvemeur
Morris and Le Ray de Ohaumoot were the originators of Parish's blindneea»
and the first to seU property of sudi diminutiTe yalue — Puish obtains per-
missioD from Gkllatin, the Secretary of State, notwithstanding the embargo,
to dispatch ships in ballast, and bring silver dollars from Mexico— Tlie use
made of lliis favor by John Jacob Astor, of New York — His history — Ste-
phen Girard, in Philadelphia — Girard's history and career — Fracture of my
light leg at Wilmington — I employ the retirement, rendered necessary by
this accident, to strike off the first balance of our great operation 186

CHAPTER IX.'

MY TRIP TO EUROPE IN THE MONTH OF APRIL, 1809.

» Return to Europe in the montii of April, 1809, for the purpose of taking over
the first balance-sheet — Arrival at Falmouth — Stay there, in consequence
of the^Aiien Act — Visit of Mr. John Parish, at Cheltenham — His outward
appearance on the Bathers' promenade — ^My first visit to the House of tlie
Bairings — Ybit to Mr. Henry Hope, the oldest head of the Amsterdam
House — Sir Francis Baring — ^The London firm, Bariog, Brothers and Co.—
First meeting with Mr. Alexander Baring— Journey to Holland, by way of
Helgoland — Journey to Paris — Meeting there with Mr. P. 0. Labouchdre,
who makes me personally acquainted witib Ouvrard — An anecdote of the
lattei^-Tbe pins— New plans of Ouvrard, which are overthrown by the bat-
tle of Wagram and its consequences— Return to Amsterdam, by way of
Brussels — ^My sickness in Amsterdam during the winter — Return to Bfam-
burgh, in the spring of 1810— Family circumstances 164

CHAPTER X.

THE RETURN TO ENGLAND.

Return to England, to* await the arrival of Parish, for the final liquidatiOB d
the great operation — ^This takes place mudi later than was expected, and
the liquidation is not made until June, 1811 — Parish is aceorapanied by ma



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OONTEHTa

to AnAwerp, wbere I await the retak— UniuiuJ profit bj Hm operatio
ICeetiog,in Paris, with Labooehdre, Pariah, and Le Raj GUaumoot; the last
boned with new projeets lor the sale of his lands, never lets Parish oat of
his aghb — ^Rapid glance at the yalue of the lands purchased by Parish — Re-
diMib^d propositioos to homes in - Enrope — I refuse them — Resolution to
return to New Orieans — Preliminary consultations with Mr. Labouchdre,
and then wiUi Mr. Alexander Baring, at London, in relation to my future
estabKshment at New Orieans — ^The selection of a companion and future
partner in buainesB — My departure fifora liyerpool for New York, in Sep-
tember, 1811 — Arrival there — Oontinuation of my journey to New Orieans
Cfverland, and by means of the western navigation — ^The flat-boats I build
and fit up at Pittsburgh — X follow my companion, who had preceded me,
and cross the Alleghany mountains on horseback — My first acquaintance.
Dear the Fulls of the Juniata, with Audubon, who afterwards became so
' edebrated as an ornithologist — My stay at Lexington — Henry Clay— >First
traces of the earthquake, on the way to Louisville, and then in tmtt city —
The earthqiadce comes on, in the night of February 6, 1812, near New Mad-
rid, beside the MissiBsippi — Description of my situation — Oonsequenoes of
the earthquake — Arrival in New Orleans^ in March, 1812 170



CHAPTER XL

NSW ORLEANS.

New Orieans — ^My first arrangements— Congress declares war against Eng-
land June 18th, 1812 — David Parish assumes one of the Government loans
on his own responsibility, and thus gives rise to embarrassment m his
affiurs^-The Peace confirmed at Ghent, b December, 1814, happily extri-
tetes him — ^Tropical hurricane at New Orleans, in the fall of 1812 — Frac-
ture of my right arm, in the year 1814 — ^Needless suspension of specie pay-
ments by the New Orleans banks — ^Appcnnted, by the Exchange, a member
of the Committee to examine into the condition of things, and report there-
upon, as firamer of the report— I get into personal difficulty — The origin of
my first dud, with an opponent never known to me or seen by me before—
A business operation in Pensaeola, by way of the two lakes — Borgne
and Pontchartrain, adjacent to New Orleans— The fleetof small craft I take
across them, laden with cotton — I arrive with them m Mobile bay, there
await the resnlt of tiie first bombardment of the fort, and take advantage of
the moment when the English fleet are hauling oSS, after their repulse, to
run into Pensaeola during the night— I am saddled with ft*esh difficulties
hv the Clique of the Bank Cashier, Saul in New Orieans; for instance, in
an afhir with the Marine Paymaster, Shields— Interruption of my quarrel,
by the arrival of the English fleet in the €hilf of Florida 184



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X OOKTENTO.

CHAPTER XIL

JAOKSOFS DEFENCE OF THE CITY OF NEW OELEANa

£Q8 arriTal there on the 1st of December, 1814 — SimaltaDeous arrival of the
Engliflh fleet in the -waten of Floridur— Capture of oar guoboaU by the
English, on the 14tki of December — ^Mareh of our militia battalioos to the
Bayou St John, on Lac Borgne — On the 23d of December, the first intelli-
. gence is received that the British had landed on the plantation of Qeneral
YiUer^— We are ordered to the spot with all the troops under Jackson's
oommaiid — ^The night engagement of December 28d~The burning of our cut-
ter, the Carolina, by an English battery, on Christmas day — The heavy
cannonade on New- Yearns day, 1816 — ^The complete discomfiture of the Bri-
tish force, under General Packenham, on the occasion of its attack on oar
first line, January 8th, 1815— Immensely disproportionate loss of the Eng-
lish — Completioa of the British retreat^ on Janoary 16th •••••• 202



CHAPTER Xm.

RETURN OF OUR SMALL ARMY INTO THE CITY.

The first news of the peace concluded at Ghent, December 24tli, 1814 — Mar-
tial law in New Orleans — Jackson's violent measures — ^The arbitrary course
pursued by him toward myself— Characteristic traits — Source of his hatred
to the National Bank — The peace rejoicings in the city — Present to Mrs.
Jackson — Fitting out of the ship Horatio— Renewal of my quarrel with
Mr. Shields— Efifiect of my publication of the correspondence between him
and myself— Another and unfortunate duel with the son of Mr. Saul — Ar-
rival of intelligence ftom. Paris, announcing Napoleon's entry into that cap-
ital—Prudential arrangements in relation to the cargo of the ship Horatio^
on board of which I finally embark , • . . .. 218



QHAPTER XIV.

JOURNEY TO PRANCE— WATERLOO-PARIS IN THE HANDS
OF THE ALLIES IN 1815.

Voyage to France— Waterloo— Paris in the hands of the Allies in 1816—1
am oUiged to run into Havana, on my way to Nantes— First news of the
battle of Waterloo, at sea —Consternation and rage of my Frenob shipmates



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CX)NTENTa xi

— CoD6niialioo of the news by the plot of the Belle-Isle— Arri^ At Fkiin-
boBof— The white flag of the Bonrbona floatiiig over the forts — a seoood
eorroboratioii of Napoleon's Ikll — Vieit to my old ooimtiog-rooin at Kantok
—The Venoa Qallypjgee still in Hs former place-Jouraey to Pane— Pme-
■an ontpoeta at Bkie— Major Keller, into whose hands Napoleoo's ohapeaa
and swcHrd had fallen at Oharleroi — ^Tbe bridge at Tours, and the Grena-
dlere of the Old Ouard on the left bank — Paris — ^DescriptioD of the podtion
of aflkirs — Anecdote of the Doke of WelliogtoD — ^The death of Jfarshal
Key— Beview of the Bna^n Guard, on the BocdeTards, fi-om the Barrier
do Trdiie to the Barrier de TEtoile— The returned English officers from
Orieana at Paris — Knglish and French cooking — ^The American General
Seott at Plarifl — Object of my trip to Europe — Ourrard again Napoleon's
Oommissary-General during ihe Hundred Pays — His description of the
battle <^ Waterloo— Second* return of the Bombons—State of financial
afikirs — ^The remodelling of the Hope establishment at Amsterdam in
1814, and the entry of Mr. Jerome Sillem into it— Financial embarrass-
ments of the Bourbons — Ouvrard's success in the negotiation of the first
loan through the Barings in London, and the Hopes in Amsterdam^ — Pow-
erful aid of the Duke of Wellington — OuTrard, the creator of this mine of
wealth for all conceraed, comes off empty-handed himself S88



CHAPTER XV.

THE BATTLE-FIELD OF WATERLOO^THE OOTTON-MARKET^
FRANCIS BABINGr-EEMODELLIKG OF THE BARINGS' ESTAB-
LISHMENT.

Departure from Paris — Brussels — ^Visit to the Field of Waterloo— Coste,
Napoleon's Guide, becomes mine— A short Tisit to Hambuigh and England,
on my way hack to the United States— Embarkation at Liyerpool- Fit-
cairn, the former American Consul at Hamburgh, with his newly-married
Daughter and 8on-in-Law, are my truyelling Companions — ^The first Heart
oo^uring of the fond wedded pair, upon our arrival at New York — Jour-
ney overland to New Orleans — ^The Scotch Houses in New Orieans — Their
policy on the Ootton Market, and mine^-Trip to Europe in the Summer
of 1819— The Congress at Aiz, in 1818 — Crisis in the Money Market —
Berenbrook, the Dutdk Speculator in Funds — ^Alezander Baring rescues the
Fjuit Money Market fh>m the consequenees of the Crins— Enormous Busi-
ness of my House in New Orleans — ^Its preponderance in the Cotton-Mar-
ket— Arriyal of Mr. Francis Baring, then the Junior, now the Senior Partner
of the LoDdoD House at New Orleans— Sketch of some of that gentleman's
pecdiar OVaitB of Character— Death of Mr. S. C. Holland— RemodelUng
ofihe Baring House— Entry of Mr. Joshua Bates into it ^^0



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Xii OOITTEKTS.

CHAPTER XVL

THB OOiryERSION OP TH£^ FRENCH FIVE PER OSEIT. RENTEa

My reception in Havre in the Btimmer of 189S-*Jamef La^tte^ the Pane
banker — ^A Sondi^ at his oonntty-aeat— ** MaifQii aur Seine,** a Imner plea-
sure palace of Lotda XIV— Hie Marquis of Lansdowne— SzorbitaDt price
of cotton — ^The general improper eondoct of apeealatpra at HaTre and
Rouen— The only ezoeptioii— A merchantfs morality— Breach of troft of
one of the first houses in Havre» to the bqnry <^ Mr. P. 0« Lahondi^ its
great patroi^— The oomhinatioo of Messra Gropper, Benson d^ (X mmI Rath-
bone, HodgMS ifr Co, to brin^ about a fresh rise in the pcioes of cotton, irhidi
had gone down— An offer made, inTitingme to join inihis project^ which, as
I had foreseen, -prored impracticable — A yisit to Hamburgh, in the winter
of 1828-24— Retinn to Paris— Project of the French Minister of Finance,
the Marquiade Yilldle, lor the oonyetsion of the whdh natiooal d^ into
Ave per cent Rentes— Rivalry of the Vicomte de Chateanbriand, who «ic-
oeeda in defoatuig the scheme^ bat without being aUe to unseat the Mar-
qui»-r-^y this he loses his own place in the ministry— -First acquaintance
with General Lafayette ; his desire, after an interral of forty years, to re-
visit the United States— His embarrassed pecuniary sitaatioD— Suceessfiil
attempt, on my part, to procure the sum of lOO/KH) francs for him — He is
thereby enabled to undertake the desired journey, and starts upon it— Ifiss
Wright, his protegee— The Park Boune, after the failure of VilMle%
scheme— Well-meant but enigmatically-worded advice of Mr. Frauds Bar-
ing, in regard to the five per cent Rente— He finis in his dject to save me
from an important loss .•.•••^•.. 281



CHAPTER XVn.

THE BUSINESS CRISIS OF 1826-e^LAFAYETTB IK HEW
ORLEAlfa

TbA Liverpool Ck)ttoo Market at the close of the year 1824 - Snddeo rise of
prices, in January, 1825— Mancnuvres of the liverpool houses to keep up
the prices — ^Well calculated course of the Scotch house of J. it A. Denis-
toun A Co^ — The speculation mania in New Orleans — ^Arrival of General
La&yette in New Orleans — His receptioD — ^Anecdotes of him— I aocom-
pany him, in the name of the city, as one of its deputies, to Natchea —
State of the CoUonMarket when I arrived in Natehea, $06



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OCHTTEBms. kill

CHAPTER XVni.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE ORISIS OF 1825-26.

BzteMrre pnrdiase of oottoo ibr tbe honse of Orowder, Oloagh A Oo^ in Liv-
erpool — Failure of that house, and the establiehments eonnected with it in
9eir York and OliarlestoD — Inftuenee of the fidlure on the poiition o{ my
house— rrnavoidable suspension of payments — ^The ereditors unanimously
sppomt me Syndic of the Ma$9 — ^Transferral of my power of attorney to
my junior partners— My Toyage to England — Reeeption at Barings'— The
true podtion of aiSdrs, in respect to the Crowder assets— First suoeess in
the suit bronglit against the administrators of the Crowder assets— Ren-
contre in the Birmingham post-ooadi, on my way back to London — A letter
from Mr. Alexander Baring — Coosequenees of the rencontre in the post-
eOMli — FaTorabie isfotf of my hea?y suit in the Court of Chancery — Lord
Sdon ; the last decision but one rendered by him before leaving the Mm
irtry 817

CHAPTER XIX.

THE PRESIDENTUL ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATSa

John Quiocy Adams and Andrew Jackson, the two candidates — Jackson^s lack
of quaiifications for the office — Edward Livingston the first projector and
leader of Jackson's election — Intrigues in bis favor — Unworthy means to
ensure his snceess— Jackson revisits New Orleans, in 1827, as acan<fidate — •
Electioneering manoeuvres — The article in The American, a New York paper
— I am set upon, in my dwelling-bouse, by a couple of his followers — final
departure from New Orleans — Havre — Paris — Fruitless attempts to found
a concern at Harre — Acquaintance with an English banking-house, Daly dc
Co^ in Paris — It leads to the establishment of a concern at Marseilles, as
branch of the house ; Pierre Maillet db Co., at Martinique, together with
Maillet, Cage A Co., at Havre, and Daly <& Ca, at Paris, as sleeping part-



Online LibraryVincent Otto NolteFifty years in both hemispheres; [microform] or, Reminiscences of the life of a former merchant. Translated from the German → online text (page 1 of 47)