Jesup Morris Ketchum

(21.06.1830 - 22.01.1908)


American capitalist, philanthropist and philanthropist.

Born in Westport, Connecticut, in a religious Presbyterian family dominated by obedience and Protestant ethics. Fifth of eight children, he spent most of his time in church.

The consequences of the financial crisis of 1837 and the sudden death of a 42-year-old father put the family in a difficult financial situation. In 1838, a mother with children was forced to move, in those years a city with less than 400 thousand inhabitants. After graduating from grade 6, the boy, despite the great desire to study, had to quit school and get a job to support the family. Only at the end of his life will charitable merit give him the opportunity to pursue higher education: a master’s degree from Yale and Columbia Universities, a doctorate in law from Wilhelm College and Princeton University

At the age of 12, Jesup got a job as a messenger at the Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor factory, who built steam locomotives and cotton spinning machines. He quickly advanced in the service and soon was in charge of all the financial operations of the company, followed the shipment of goods to consumers. Responsibilities grew, and the salary remained the same, and Jesup left the position and opened his own business.

His first company, which he created in conjunction with Charles Clark, was engaged in buying equipment from manufacturers and reselling it to railway companies. The following, organized by Jesup together with the Scottish entrepreneur John Kennedy, the company also initially engaged in speculative sales, but gradually shifted to mainly financial activities. Thanks to Jessup's entrepreneurial talents, the company's revenues grew rapidly. Acquaintance with bankers on Wall Street and insider information made it possible to make the right decisions about purchasing shares of railway and commodity companies and profitably participate in insuring them, buying bankrupt railways, reorganizing them and reselling them.

In 1884, Josup, who had grown rich, completely retired and engaged in charitable activities. He became known primarily as one of the founders and third president of the American Museum of Natural History, at the head of which he financed a number of scientific expeditions. The appointment of Jesup as museum president turned out to be a turning point in the fate of this cultural institution: during the 25-year reign of Jesup, his staff increased from 12 to 185 people, the exposition area increased from 5 thousand to 55 thousand square meters. m, the donation fund exceeded $ 1 million. Largely thanks to Jesup, the names of such great scientists as Franz Boas, Henry Osborne, and Barnum Brown became known.

The main tasks of Jesup as president became the popularization of science and the presentation of the exposition in such a way that it would become attractive and understandable to the ordinary man in the street. In addition, Jesup believed that the museum should receive worldwide recognition for its research and scientific work, and the results of this work should be reflected in the respective collections.

New departments were opened, their coordination with existing ones was based on a scientific principle. The increased cost of collections and their diversity have led to a significant increase in the staff of the museum at the expense of researchers and consultants. In particular, in 1901, Jesup invited Henry Osborne to the post of vice president and curator at the new department of paleontology, who later became the next president of the museum. Under the supervision of this specialist in fossil vertebrate, the museum organizes several paleontological expeditions to the states of Wyoming, Montana, the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.Dinosaur seeker Barnum Brown produced for the museum a huge collection of fossil remains of these animals, including in 1902 before this unknown science of a tyrannosaur.

In January 1902, the position of director of the museum was introduced, to which Germá Bumpus, a professor of zoology at Brown University, was appointed. After transferring most of the administrative work to assistants, Jesup himself concentrated on financing expeditions of scientific and museum significance. He financed the polar expeditions of Robert Peary and the expedition to discover the Crocker Land.

At the invitation of Jesup from 1895 to 1905, one of the founders of modern anthropology, Franz Boas, worked in the department of ethnology. Under his leadership and with the personal funding of Jesup, the museum organized a large-scale scientific expedition on the ethnography and linguistics of the peoples of the northwest of North America, the Far East and Eastern Siberia.

Throughout his life, Jessup paid great attention to charity.

In 1861, during the Civil War, he was one of the founders and chief treasurer of the United States Christian Commission, a charitable organization that bought medical equipment, medicine, and religious literature to wounded soldiers. The printing and distribution of Christian literature was organized by the New York City Tract Society, whose president, too, was Jesup. He is known as one of the founders of the youth religious organization YMCA. As president, he headed this organization from 1872 to 1875.

In 1867, Jesup was a member of the trustees of the Five Points House of Industry rehabilitation center, which sheltered orphans from the notorious Five Points district, helped them get an education and find a job. From 1871 until his death, Jesup served as president of this organization.


He died in New York, buried the cemetery of Green-Wood.

Cape the northernmost point of Greenland. Discovered in 1900 and named by an American expedition led by Robert Peary.

A glacier on the west coast of Greenland south of Inglefield Land.


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