Windows into History

nativity churchGarrett E. Winants was one of the richest men in America. Throughout his life he amassed a fortune of around six million dollars, money that he made in shipbuilding and property investments. He chose to spend his money travelling the globe, and he wrote two journals, this being the first, published in 1872.

Winants seems to have been a man who was preoccupied with two main concerns, which he had difficulty reconciling: money and religion. Throughout both of his journals he detailed the costs of every journey he made and every hotel in which he stayed and even some items he purchased. To a man of his means, a billionaire in today’s terms, these costs were completely irrelevant. One could argue that he included these details as useful information for prospective travellers, although five years elapsed between his travels in 1867 and publication of his first journal in 1872. More…

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