CHAPTER XII. BUSINESS IN NEW YORK.

The legitimate business of New York is greater than that of any other place in America. The city being the chief centre of our commerce, offers the greatest advantages of any in the land to persons engaged in trade. Merchants at a distance buy whatever they can here, because they like to visit the place, and can thus unite business with pleasure. Two or three millions of strangers annually visit New York, and while here expend large amounts in purchases. People in other parts of the country attach an additional value to an article because it was purchased in the great city. Besides this, one is apt to find the best article in the market here, as it is but natural that the chief centre of wealth should draw to it the best talent in the arts and trades.

Merchants from the provinces like the liberal and enterprising spirit which characterizes the dealings of New York merchants. They can buy here on better terms than elsewhere, and their relations with the merchants of this city are generally satisfactory and pleasant.

Every thing in New York gives way to business. Private neighborhoods disappear every year, and long lines of magnificent warehouses take the places of the comfortable old mansions of other days. There is now scarcely a respectable neighborhood for residences below Fourth street. The business of the community is steadily advancing up the island. The lower part of the city is being taken up with wholesale and commission houses and manufacturers. The retail men are constantly going up higher. Broadway now has scarcely a residence along its entire length; Washington Square, Waverley and Clinton Places, and even Fifth Avenue below Twenty-third street, are being rapidly invaded by business houses.

Enterprise, energy, and talent, distinguish the business of this city. A man capable of acquiring a fortune can acquire it here more readily than elsewhere, but he must have patience. The world was not made in a day, and fortune comes slowly, but it comes surely to the man who will work faithfully and patiently for it.

                     EXAMPLES.

The Harpers and Appletons, who stand at the head of the book trade in New York, began as poor boys, and worked their way up to fortune slowly and patiently. Cornelius Vanderbilt was a poor boatman. Daniel Drew was a drover. A. T. Stewart an humble, struggling shop-keeper. One of the most noted bank presidents of the city began by blacking a pair of boots. He did his work well. These are noted instances, but there are thousands of merchants in the city doing comfortable businesses, some of whom will be millionaires, who began poor and friendless. They have worked faithfully and patiently, and their lives are examples to all beginners.

                     REAL ESTATE OPERATIONS.

Many capitalists have made their fortunes by successful operations in real estate. This must not be classed with speculations in bonds or stocks. Of course, one may be cheated in buying real estate, as well as in any other purchase; but as a general rule, he who invests his money in houses or lands, gets the full value of it. The rapid growth of the city has increased the value of property in the upper sections at an amazing rate, and has made the fortune of every one who held land in those sections. The Astors, A. T. Stewart, Claflin, Vanderbilt, Drew, and hundreds of others who were wise enough to foresee and believe in the future of New York, have made handsome fortunes on the investments made by them a few years ago.

In 1860 a gentleman purchased a handsome house in a fashionable neighborhood. It was a corner house, and fronted on Fifth Avenue. He paid fifty thousand dollars for it. He spent twenty-five thousand more in furnishing and fitting up. His friends shook their heads at his extravagance. Since then he has resided in the house, and each year his property has increased in value. A few months ago he was offered nearly three hundred thousand dollars for the house and furniture, and refused it, declaring his belief, that in ten years more the property will be worth over half a million.

A farm near the Central Park that could not find a purchaser seven years ago at a few thousands, sold six months since, in building lots, for as many millions.

We might multiply these instances, but the above are sufficient to illustrate this branch of our subject.

Rented property pays handsomely. As much as twenty per cent. on the value, is often received as the rent of a dwelling, and some of the best Broadway stores bring their owners one or two hundred thousand dollars annually. As all rents are paid in advance, and security required for the larger ones, the owner is comparatively safe in his investment.