To My Loving Mother

Andrew Carnegie

Letter began in May of the Year 1852

To My Dearest Mother,

Here we are, as you can see, in the midst of this terrible war between the Union and the Confederacy. The only thing keeping me sane is that I’m not the only man who agrees we need a better form of communicating to our soldiers in order to end this turmoil successfully. You should know that I’ve become more and more interested in the steel industry and technological advancements. The cotton gin in 1793 was the spark that led to greater tension between the North and the South, so what’s stopping me from inventing something that can do just the opposite?

I now lead the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps, and I think leaving Scotland was definitely a good decision you made for the family. Here, I have money and great opportunity to thrive, and be a successful businessman. The Civil War going on has definitely been a great motivation for me to bring the economy back up and build back the nation. I apologize for not writing to you for so long, but I have been very busy. I learned of a new steel refining process which can convert huge batches of iron into steel, which is a lot stronger than iron. This caused a great improvement in weapons and ammunition used by the soldiers fighting in both the Union and the Confederacy. I threw my own money into the process and even borrowed to build a new steel plant near Pittsburgh, which I have worked long to keep costs down. My motto is that if you keep the costs down, the profit will take care of itself. (pbs.org) It’s not always easy, and since not everyone can be happy for successful people, I have gotten into some trouble with the law, being accused of hazing. I can not thrive if my workers don’t put as much effort into the work as I do! I bounced back, and continue to grow and expand business. I just recently did al my calculations, and it turns out I produce more steel than all of Great Britain. How about that!

It feels as though a chapter has ended in my life, I have sold my company for $480 million. I am now the richest man in the world. Now retired, I need to give back in order to make me believe all my work has truly been worthwhile. I need to see change, and success from the youth so they can prosper like me, and continue on the legacy. I’ve donated most of my money to building public libraries and higher learning institutions.

I love and greatly miss you, and your warming presence in my life. Forever always,

Andrew Carnegie

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Carnegie_steel_ohio_panorama.jpg

Other sources: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carnegie/peopleevents/pande01.html , http://www.history.com/topics/civil-war-technology , http://www.history.com/topics/andrew-carnegie

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