What was John Purdue, founding benefactor of Purdue University, really like? In the most comprehensive biographical study of John Purdue (c. 1802-1876) to date, Purdue's great-great-grandniece describes her travels to the diverse places where Purdue had lived in order to learn about the mysterious relative known in her family as ""Uncle."" Using fresh, unpublished source materials - including Purdue's personal correspondence, business ledgers, and the family oral histories - the author examines Purdue's beginning among illiterate, immigrant, Pennsylvania mountain-hollow folks. The author describes the destitute family's journey into Ohio and Purdue's ascent from local entrepreneur to national figure. Purdue - who was involved in developing the cities of Chicago and New York as well as Lafayette, Indiana - became successful in the mercantile, real estate, banking, manufacturing, railroading, building, and farming sectors, resulting in a business empire that extended across the nation in the mid-1800s. The highly-readable biography is a case study in historic and genealogical ""detective"" work that delves deeply into Purdue's complex psyche. ""Uncle"" challenges a commonly held belief that Purdue was a cold-hearted business mogul. Instead, the author shows Purdue as a human being and as a generous family man with a visionary nature.
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Weight: 562 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
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