Concept

Alexander Cassatt

Résumé
Alexander Johnston Cassatt (December 8, 1839 – December 28, 1906) was the seventh president of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), serving from June 9, 1899, to December 28, 1906. Alexander Cassatt was born on December 8, 1839, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the eldest of seven children born to Robert Simpson Cassat (later Cassatt), and his wife Katherine Cassatt, the former Katherine Kelso Johnston. The elder Cassatt was a successful stockbroker and land speculator who was descended from the French Huguenot Jacques Cossart, who came to New Amsterdam in 1662. Alexander's younger sister was the impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. Their mother, Katherine, came from a banking family. She was educated and very well read. It was said that of the seven Cassatt children, Alexander most resembled his mother in "appearance and temperament". In 1856, Alexander Cassatt entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to study civil engineering. His senior thesis was entitled "Review of Pressure Turbine." After graduating in the summer of 1859, his father took him to see James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States who was a former neighbor of the family. By the fall of 1860, Cassatt had secured a position as a surveyor or rodman with the Georgia Railroad. By the time the State of Georgia voted to secede from the Union in January 1861, Cassatt had abandoned his work as surveyor on the Dalton-Knoxville line of the Georgia Railroad and returned to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania without seeing any military service during the American Civil War. Frequently referred to as A. J. Cassatt, the great accomplishment under his stewardship was the planning and construction of tunnels under the Hudson River to finally bring PRR's trunk line into New York City. His purchase of a controlling interest in the Long Island Rail Road and the construction of tunnels under the East River created a PRR commuter network on Long Island. Unfortunately, Cassatt died before his grand Pennsylvania Station in New York City was completed.
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