German, and Vanderbilt a descendant of the old Dutch settlers. Both were of obscure parentage, and both hewed their way up from the ranks by sheer force of intellect and will-power. Of course neither deserves for a moment to be classed on the citys roll of honor with men like Hamilton and Jay, or like Cooper and Irving.
Before the days of steamship, railroad, and telegraph, were the days of the fast clippers, whose white wings sped over the ocean up to the time of the Civil War. The New York clippers, like those of Baltimore, were famous for their speed, size, and beauty. Their builders exhausted every expedient to bring them to perfection; and for many years after steamers were built they maintained a nearly equal fight against these formidable rivals. Crack vessels among them repeatedly made the voyage to England in a fortnight. It is a curious fact that the United States, which only rose to power at the very end of the period of sailing-vessels, and which has not been able to hold her own among those nations whose sons go down to the sea in ships, should nevertheless, during the first half of the present century, have brought the art of building, handlingand when necessary, fightingthese same old-time sailing-ships, in all their varieties of man-of-war, privateer, merchantman, and whaler, to the highest point ever attained. The frigates and privateers were perfected during