Birthplace: Oneida County, N.Y.
Having begun his career at age 12 in his brother's employ, he eventually bought the store from his brother; and opened his own wholesale grocery in 1826. He became involved in local politics in 1845, and moved to the national scene when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig (1853–57). As his circle of contacts grew, he met Jay Gould, who expanded his mercantile and political interests to include railroads and finance. He eventually moved to New York City to devote himself to the business of finance, in which he is credited with originating “puts and calls” on the stock market (1872). He was active in developing telegraphic communications, and was influential in developing the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company and consolidating it into Western Union.Died: 7/22/1906