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Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 9: Working for Freedom
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7 Segment 8

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The Homestead Riot
Segment 3
Page 2

He watched the telegraph operators and taught himself Morse code. He learned to decipher the code from the clicking of the telegraph, without reading the tape printer. No one else in Pittsburgh See It Now - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania could do that. He impressed a local railroad owner, and became his assistant at seventeen. He learned about capital—money—and how to use it to get businesses started. He learned to invest money and put it to work. By the time he was thirty-three, he was rich. Then he made a major life decision: he would work for money for two more years; then he would work to help others. He promised this to himself in a written note, adding, Hear It Now - Andrew Carnegie "No idol is more debasing than the worship of money."

Two years later, he must have forgotten that note—or maybe the lure of money was too strong. He kept working hard and getting richer and richer. He got into the steel business. His company was very profitable; it used the best machinery See It Now - Mammoth Steel Shears and kept wages low. Life for his workers was awful. The writer Hamlin Garland See It Now - Hamlin Garland visited a steel town and observed: "The streets were horrible; the buildings poor; the sidewalks full of holes. Everywhere the yellow mud of the streets lay kneaded into sticky masses through which groups of pale, lean men slouched in faded garments." See It Now - Carnegie Furnaces Check The Source - "Homestead and its Perilous Trades": Hamlin Garland's Impressions of a Visit to the Iron Mills

When Carnegie cut salaries at the Homestead steel mill, in Pennsylvania, the workers went on strike See It Now - Boys at the Homestead Steel Plant. Carnegie's manager, Henry Clay Frick See It Now - Henry Clay Frick, refused to talk to the strikers Check The Source - "I Will Kill Frick": Emma Goldman Recounts the Attempt to Assassinate Henry Clay Frick; instead he sent in Pinkerton detectives—men with guns. They used their guns Check The Source - "The Military Versus Labor": From THE ILLUSTRATED AMERICAN. Twenty strikers were killed See It Now - The Homestead Riot. So were four detectives Check The Source - "The Incident of the 6th of July": THE ILLUSTRATED AMERICAN's Account of the Homestead Riot. While this was going on, Andrew Carnegie was vacationing in Scotland. Had he forgotten his origins? If you saw the way he lived you would say yes. He owned a castle in Scotland and houses in America that seemed like palaces. And he justified his immense riches with ideas like these: Hear It Now - Andrew Carnegie "The millionaires are the bees that make the most honey, and contribute most to the hive even after they have gorged themselves."


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Did You Know?
Another important influence on Andrew Carnegie was his Uncle George. George Lauder loved poetry and he read the words of Robert Burns and William Shakespeare to his nephew. When Carnegie got to be rich—very, very rich—he could still recite Shakespeare.


Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?



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