Henry Clews

Henry Clews

American entrepreneur, investment banker
Date of Birth: 14.08.1834
Country: USA

Biography of Henry Clews

Henry Clews was an American entrepreneur, investment banker, and financier, renowned as a Wall Street legend. He was born on August 14, 1834, on a sheep farm in Staffordshire, England, to James Clews, a provincial potter. In 1853, he emigrated to the United States. Clews started his career as a junior clerk in a wool importing company, where he began to understand the laws of the market. By 1857, he had become one of the prominent players on the New York Stock Exchange.

Henry Clews

In 1859, at the age of 25, Clews co-founded the banking firm "Livermore, Clews, and Company". During the Civil War, the firm became the second-largest seller of federal bonds in the country. However, in 1873, the company, along with many of Clews' clients, suffered bankruptcy due to the financial crisis. Despite this setback, Clews returned to business in 1877 by establishing his own company, simply named "Clews and Company", and repaying all his debts.

Aside from his achievements in finance, Clews played a significant role in politics and society. He declined an offer to serve as the Secretary of the Treasury and instead organized the "Committee of 70". This committee helped remove and bring to trial William Marcy Tweed, a corrupt leader of the Democratic Party in New York City. Clews also served as an economic advisor to President Ulysses Grant in Japan.

Clews held conservative political views and opposed the growing labor movement. He married Lucy Madison Worthington, who was a descendant of the fourth President of the United States, James Madison. They had three children, including Elsie Worthington Clews, who later became a renowned anthropologist, sociologist, folklorist, and feminist. Henry Clews Jr., their son, was a prominent artist and sculptor.

Throughout their 50-year marriage, Henry and Lucy were pillars of New York high society, dedicating much of their time to social events. Henry Clews also gained fame for his lectures on various social, political, and economic topics. In 1908, he published the book "Fifty Years in Wall Street", which remains highly sought after. Clews passed away on January 31, 1923, at the age of 88.