The Autobiography of Jeptha Homer Wade | A Modest American



Jeptha Homer Wade’s autobiography, written as an eighty-eight page letter to his grandson, Jeptha Homer Wade II, provides an intimate overview of the man who was a founder of the Western Union Telegraph company and one of the premier philanthropists in Cleveland, Ohio, in the nineteenth century.

Accompanied by several contemporary introductory essays, this transcription of the original  autobiography traces Wade’s story from his upbringing in the Finger Lakes district of New York to his work in building the first transcontinental telegraph line  — a trajectory that found him rising from jobs as a tanner,  shoemaker, brickmaker, carpenter, and portrait painter, to a builder of financial, civic and philanthropic institutions.   It is an honest, intimate and stunning self-portrait depicting life in a changing America.

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