A Peer of Equal with the Robber Barons - But Different from Them All
Under Cassatt's leadership, the Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest corporation in the world. The great accomplishments under his stewardship were the planning and construction of tunnels under the Hudson River to finally bring PRR's trunk line into New York City as well as conceptualizing, developing and starting construction of Penn Station in New York City, considered by many to be the grandest structure ever built in America. Unfortunately, Cassatt died before his Penn Station was completed.
Cassatt opposed the manipulative and oft-times corrupt practices of the Barons and supported regulation when it meant the betterment for all. This did not win him friends among them, which was of no concern to him anyway. However, it did earn their respect - especially because it meant going toe-to-toe with them on issues, and the result was always the same: Cassatt did not back down in face-to-face meetings and always came out on top. This occurred with J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. And this is a person the American public knows next to nothing about. We'll change that with this website.
Another big difference between Cassatt and his corporate giant contemporaries is that he shunned publicity. He did his best to stay out of the spotlight. This is yet another reason why so few people know of Alexander J. Cassatt. The media, of course, published many articles about Cassatt and his Pennsylvania Railroad exploits because he was as well-known at the time as Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt. These articles have been researched and will appear in this website in their original form. There also are narrative audio versions of these articles that will be found in the Mutimedia Library page when this website is fully developed.
Dedicated to Family
It was after Cassatt retired from the Pennsylvania Railroad to dedicate his time to his family and leisure interests that the PRR approached him to return to the railroad and lead it as president. Even during the intense years as president, Cassatt made sure he had time to spend with his children, his grandchildren, and extended family affairs.
Gentleman Farmer and Nationally-Known Horseman
Cassatt's interest in his country estate and his deep interest in quarter-horses was where his heart really lay. For one so powerful in the corporate world of the burgeoning Industrial Age, this may sound odd. However, Alexander Cassatt was not cut from the same cloth as the other powerful corporate titans of the age. The balance he pursued and exhibited in his life was what made him one of the unique leaders in American history.