Friday, June 20, 2008

Philanthropic Russell Sage


A Generous Deed Mixed Up a Little With Some Call Loans.

A well known Wall street man told this story at the Windsor hotel:

"Russell Sage summers at Lawrence, N. Y. He goes down every afternoon and returns to New York in the morning. Not far from his home lives a family only about well to do. One summer an aged relative visited this family. She was in poor health, and Mr. Sage had known the family a long time, and when the sick woman came he believed that a daily drive in the cool of the day would benefit her. He purchased a fine victoria and a big bay and sent them to the aged lady with his compliments. It was a gift outright, but the poor soul was too far gone, and she died after a single drive in the fine equipage. Mr. Sage then insisted that the family accept the equipage. Along late in the fall, while members of the family were out for a drive, their victoria was smashed by collision with the carriage of a wealthy resident, and the horse was killed. The family waited a reasonable time to hear from the wealthy resident. No word came. The head of the household then wrote to the wealthy resident, who, by the way, is a man of affairs in New York, and in the letter requested remuneration for the big bay and the victoria. There was no response. As a last resort the family complained to Mr. Sage.

"'Let me handle the case,' said Mr. Sage.

"A few days later the wealthy Lawrence resident came to the head of the household, was profuse in his apologies and ascertained the value of the smashed up rig. Within 48 hours a rig similar in value was sent around. The head of the household, meeting Mr. Sage, asked him how he brought the wealthy resident to terms with such alacrity.

"'Oh, easy enough, easy enough,' repeated Mr. Sage. 'He banks in my bank, the Importers and Traders', and I had his loans called.'" — New York Sun.

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