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The Boss

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

The prevalent business ethics have never permitted the business men to throw any stones at the Jersey City politicians. Mr. Ashley Carrick has summed up a few notable instances:

In 1868 three of America's great empire builders fled from New York City to Jersey City, seeking a sanctuary which they readily obtained. Daniel Drew, Jim Fisk, and Jay Gould, the Erie plunderers, managed to get aboard the Jersey City ferry just ahead of the process-servers. They brought their loot to Taylor's Hotel, which was on Paulus Hook at the river's edge on land reclaimed by the `Associates of the Jersey Company.' They took possession of the hotel with their armed guard of Erie porters, detectives, and thugs, and renamed the hotel `Fort Taylor.' Jim Fisk brazenly stated to the press: `As ambitious young men, we saw that there was no chance for us there [in New York City] to expand, and so we came over here to grow up with the country.... Yes, tell Mr. Greeley from us that we're sorry now that we didn't take his advice sooner – about going West.'

Other industrialists found it expedient to `go West' for one reason or another, and the area around Taylor's Hotel became known as `West Wall Street.' It was there that business went to hold corporation meetings when New Jersey embarked upon a program of selling `liberal' corporation charters. It was there that James B. Dill persuaded a group of powerful Jersey politicians to start the Corporation Trust Company of New Jersey to capitalize on New Jersey's corporation policy. It was there that capital was sent to avoid New York taxes. It is there that `runaway' shops often go today.
(Carrick, op. cit.>


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