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Titan of finance ushers a bill into law

MORGAN, JOHN PIERPONT. Letter Signed to Gov. Levi P. Morton of New York

New York, March 12, 1895

One page. Engraved stationery of J. P. Morgan & Co., New York. A few wrinkles, but in very good condition. Archivally framed with a portrait of Morgan.

In this letter on J. P. Morgan & Co. letterhead, Morgan writes to his friend financier Levi P. Morton, the governor of New York, and one of Morgan’s principal banking rivals. Morton’s bank was eventually merged into Morgan Guaranty Trust. Morgan writes:

“I enclose a bill in which I am greatly interested. Can you let me know through your Secretary or by wire its present condition and prospects. With much love, Yours always J. Pierpont Morgan.”

J. Pierpont Morgan dominated American finance and business for years, overseeing the formation of General Electric and United States Steel, among many others. Levi P. Morton, whose “banking activities [were] generally regarded as second only to J. P. Morgan” (ANB), was one of the wealthiest men in America. After his term as governor of New York, he formed the Morton Trust Company, which became part of Morgan Guaranty Trust in 1910.

Drexel, Morgan & Co. was renamed J. P. Morgan & Co. in 1895, the year Morgan wrote this letter. The month before writing this letter Morgan famously orchestrated a massive bailout of the U.S. government, stemming the outflow of gold specie from the Treasury and vastly enriching himself in the process.