Great read about Leland Stanford and his rise in business and politics in California; a railroad tycoon, Governor and Senator. Stanford and his wife, Jane, founded Stanford University in 1885. Corrections? The four men’s wealth was many thousands of times as great as that of the average person, so they would rank with today’s wealthiest men, such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. But if one did work on this book, I suggest not employing them on the next one. Leland Stanford was “born in Jeffersonian America, when California seemed as distant as Saturn and when being able to read was less common than dying of tuberculosis or typhoid.” He died in 1893 when the Gilded Age was in full swing, leaving his poorly educated widow ill-prepared to disentangle the confusion of his secretive financial affairs — and responsible to keep his namesake university alive without the means to do so. He was elected as California’s eighth governor when his business partners effectively bought the job for him after he had lost four previous election campaigns by embarrassing margins. Much like his future partners, Leland Stanford remade himself in gold rush California as a shopkeeper. It’s difficult to understand the scale of the theft that Stanford and his partners engineered. He also played a major role in railroad development throughout California and the Southwest. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! He went to an average school till 1836 but for some reasons had to drop out and was then tutored at his home … Leland Stanford Junior University, Stanford, California, was awarded a $30,114,182 cost reimbursement contract for a research project to study the securing of our national internet infrastructure using measurement, control, and verification for closed … And, ironically, he founded Stanford University, the epicenter of Silicon Valley. It wasn’t long after California achieved statehood before pressure began building for a transcontinental railroad that could cut the time to less than a week. Best known as the founder of Stanford University. A Republican, he served as governor of California from 1862 to 1863. This review first appeared on Mal Warwick’s Blog on Books. He was instrumental in the success of the Central Pacific, which was built eastward to join with the Union Pacific at Promontory, Utah, in 1869. He also became active in local politics. It’s puzzling to me that the prestigious University of California Press wouldn’t have hired a proofreader. The Mansion served as the office of three governors during the turbulent 1860’s - Leland Stanford, Fredrick Low and Henry Haight. He founded Stanford University but he and his partners used the railroad monopoly they built as their private property, amassing huge fortunes. Nonprofit newsFree for all, funded by readers, COVID-19: New stay-at-home orders ● Share your story ● By the numbers | Berkeleyside is hiring! Amasa Leland Stanford (March 9, 1824 – June 21, 1893) was an American tycoon, industrialist, politician and founder of Stanford University.Migrating to California from New York at the time of the Gold Rush, he became a successful merchant and wholesaler, and continued to build his business empire. Leland Stanford, is remembered as part of the "Big Four" in financing the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, which included (along with himself) Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. When historians cite the Robber Barons of late-19th-century America, they typically mention Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Omissions? Stanford invested heavily in the plan to build a transcontinental railroad, and, when the Central Pacific Railroad was organized in 1861, he became its president (1861–93). New book paints Leland Stanford as a notorious thief as well as a California governor He founded Stanford University but he and his partners used … Book review: ‘Custer’s Trials’ by T. J. Stiles, New book paints Leland Stanford as a notorious thief as well as a California governor. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Stanford was an odious character whose theft of public resources and victimization of the public was widely recognized for many years. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. (However, he was born in a village near Albany, New York, and practiced law for years in Wisconsin.) Berkeleyside relies on reader support so we can remain free to access for everyone in our community. Leland Stanford, in full Amasa Leland Stanford, (born March 9, 1824, Watervliet, New York, U.S.—died June 21, 1893, Palo Alto, California), American senator from California and one of the builders of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad. Hundreds of Indians “were massacred during Stanford’s time as governor alone.” Yet, as De Wolk reminds us, “he headed one of the most astonishing accomplishments in American history, dwarfing those of Vanderbilt, Carnegie, and Rockefeller.” Perhaps the only comparable American achievements were the Manhattan Project, the construction of the Interstate Highway System, and the Apollo Project — all of which came a century later when the United States was the wealthiest and most powerful nation on Earth. In De Wolk’s estimation, they created “one of the first and most bitterly hated monopolies in U.S. history, outstripping America’s more celebrated robber barons.”. However, the inflation multiplier of twenty-seven is misleading. However, the Civil War was well underway in 1862 when President Lincoln signed the legislation approving the massive loans that would make the railroad’s construction possible. Stanford was a U.S. The board administers the invested funds, sets the annual budget and determines policies for operation and control of the university. In becoming a Stanford supplier, keeping up to date with important policy and initiative information for suppliers helps to ensure our mutual success. This article was most recently revised and updated by,, Stanford University - Biography of Leland Stanford, California Museum - Biography of Leland Stanford, National Governors Association - Biography of Amasa Leland Stanford, Philanthropy Roundtable - The Philanthropy Hall of Fame - Biography of Leland Stanford, Leland Stanford - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Leland Stanford - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). This otherwise ordinary man whose principal virtue was persistence was Leland Stanford, the subject of journalist Roland de Wolk’s superb new account of Stanford’s “preposterous career and life,” American Disruptor. Enjoy the best Leland Stanford Quotes at BrainyQuote. 4/26/12 Low-Performing Teachers Have High Costs : Education Next 1/2 Low-Performing Teachers Have High The university was established in 1885 by Leland Stanford Sr., who made his fortune selling provisions to California gold miners; it was named after his son, Leland Stanford Jr. … While governor, Stanford approved millions of dollars in state grants for the construction of a transcontinental railroad line during a period when he was also president of the Central Pacific Railroad. Well, you get the point. Suddenly, the continental United States was made whole. … Edited and operated by students in all three classes of the Law School, SJLBF brings a practical focus to the world of legal scholarship. In fact, as De Wolk emphasizes, railroads were the cutting-edge technology of his time, so, like them, Stanford was a tech entrepreneur. “The Big Four [as they were known] made an estimated $62.6 million ‘surplus’ on transcontinental railroad construction and a similar $55.5 million from the other many railroads they controlled.” By contrast, “the entire annual California state budget in 1886-87 was about $6 million, the total U.S. budget about $312 million.” And in today’s dollars, the $118.1 million the Big Four walked away with would be the equivalent of at least $3.2 billion. Leland Stanford | Cardston, Alberta, Canada | Business Owner at Ironshield Manufacturing | 194 connections | View Leland's homepage, profile, activity, articles Born: 9-Mar-1824 Birthplace: Watervliet, NY Died: 21-Jun-1893 Location of death: Palo Alto, CA Cause of death: unspecified Remains: Buried, Stanford University, Stanford, CA Gender: Male Race or Ethnicity: White Sexual orientation: Straight Occupation: Business, Politician Party Affiliation: Republican Nationality: United States Executive summary: Founder of Stanford University Among its first graduation class, future US President Herbert Hoover. Proposition 40 A key funding piece came in 2002 when California voters approved Proposition 40, a bond act to Yet during his lifetime, Stanford was widely recognized as one of the wealthiest and most reviled of the lot. rehabilitated Stanford residence. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Donate to help us continue to provide you with reliable, independent reporting. Today, at a time when the nation’s population is 330 million and California’s approaches forty million, it’s difficult to grasp the enormity of the challenge Americans faced in knitting together the vast, sparsely populated territory the United States had acquired in the first half of the 19th century. The name Leland Stanford rarely shows up on such lists, perhaps because he lived and identified with the state of California, so far away from Wall Street. His crowning achievement was the completion of the transcontinental railway, a feat financed by the federal government with loans he never repaid. He was born in a middle class family and was amongst the eight children for his parents. The satirist “Ambrose Bierce began calling [him] ‘Stealin Landford.’” Together with his three partners (Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker), he founded — and plundered — the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads, treating the near-monopoly they held on transcontinental transportation as his private property. Leland Stanford’s most ambitious business venture, the western portion of America’s first transcontinental railroad, was racing toward completion at Promontory, Utah. The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford Junior University is located in Stanford, CA, United States and is part of the Colleges & Universities Industry. Roland DeWolk does an excellent job of tracing Stanford’s life, but also putting it into the context of the day. He’s won a number of awards for his journalism. NOW 50% OFF! The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University Under the provisions of the Founding Grant, the Board of Trustees is custodian of the endowment and all the properties of Stanford University. Many died long before reaching the gold fields. They have also lived in Garland, TX and Round Hill, VA. Leland is related to Ryan D Stanford and William J Stanford as well as 3 additional people.