Biography of Henry Clews
Famous American Biographies

HENRY CLEWS, of Wall street fame, was one of the noted old time operators on that famous street, and was also an author of some repute. Mr. Clews was born in Staffordshire, England, August 14, 1840. His father had him educated with the intention of preparing him for the ministry, but on a visit to the United States the young man became interested in a business life, and was allowed to engage as a clerk in the importing house of Wilson G. Hunt & Co., of New York. Here he learned the first principles of business, and when the war broke out in 1861 young Clews saw in the needs of the government an opportunity to reap a golden harvest. He identified himself with the negotiating of loans for the government, and used his powers of pursuasion upon the great money powers to convince them of the stability of the government and the value of its securities. By enthusiasm and patriotic arguments he induced capitalists to invest their money in government securities, often against their judgment, and his sudcess was remarkable. His was one of the leading firms that aided the struggling treasury department in that critical hour, and his reward was great. In addition to the vast wealth it brought, President Lincoln and Secretary Chase both wrote important letters, acknowledging his valued service. In 1873, by the repudiation of the bonded indebtedness of the state of Georgia, Mr. Clewn lost six million dollars which he had invested in those securities. It is said that he is the only man, with one exception, in Wall street, who ever regained great wealth after utter disaster. His "Twenty Eight Years in Wall Street" has been widely read.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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