History of America’s One Percent – Episode #12

hogaf-logo-wip2In this podcast series we dive into the long and shadowy history of America’s ruling elite through the works of authors who were either silenced, suppressed, or forgotten, to discover the origins of the 1% and from where their power and wealth was, and still is, extracted.

Each recording will be approx. 1 hour in length to allow for easy consumption of the material.  The narrator will only interrupt the reading to provide insight, spell names, read informative footnotes, or provide definitions for archaic words.

In this episode – Continued reading of History of Great American Fortunes by Gustavus Myers.  Includes Part II, Chapter VII:  The Climax of the Astor Fortune.  William Astor Marries Into The Schermerhorn Clan.  Centralizing Wealth Through Marriage.  Law The Most Valuable Asset Of All.  Astor Manipulates Property Assessments.  The Fourth Generation Of Astors Emerges.  The Parsimonious Habits Of Their Fathers Abandoned.  They Build Opulent Mansions. William Waldorf Astor Gives Up His American Citizenship.  “Reform Movements” Tools Of The Rich.  Proximity Of Palaces To Poverty.

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Click Here for a complete list of episodes in this podcast.
You can also stream the episodes from Archive.org
For more information on the author of this book Click Here.


[1] See Testimony taken before the [New York] Senate Comittee on Cities, 1890, iii : 2312, etc.

[2] Testimony taken before the [New York] Senate Comittee on Cities, 1890, iii : 2314-2315.

[3] As one of many illustrations of the ethics of the propertied class, the appended newspaper dispatch from Newport,
R. I., on Jan. 2, 1903, brings out some significant facts:
“William C. Schermerhorn, whose death is announced in New York, and who was a cousin of Mrs. William Astor, was one of Newport’s pioneer summer residents. He was one of New York’s millionaires, and his Newport villa is situated on Narragansett avenue near Cliffside, opposite the Pinard cottages.
“Mr. Schermerhorn, with Mrs. Astor and ex-Commodore Gerry, of the New York Yacht Club, in order to avoid the inheritance
tax of New York, and to take advantage of Newport’s low tax-rate, obtained in January last through their counsel, Colonel
Samuel R. Honey, a decree declaring their citizenship in Rhode Island. Since that time Mr. Schermerhorn’s residence has been
in this state. In last year’s tax-list he was assessed for $150,000. Mr. Schermerhorn was a member of both the fashionable
clubs on Bellevue avenue, the Newport Casino and the Newport Reading-Room.”

[4] For further details on this point see Chapter ix, Part II.

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