Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daniel Guggenheim And Alaska's Natural Resources

(The following article about the Guggenheim Dynasty that has historically owned a portion of the Tribune Company’s Times-Mirror-Newsday division was written before the 2000 merger between the Tribune Company and Times-Mirror-Newsday. It appeared in the March 6, 1991 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly Downtown.)

A year after Meyer Guggenheim’s death in 1905, his son, Daniel Guggenheim, formed “The Alaska Syndicate” in partnership with two other super-rich businessmen, J.P. Morgan and Jacob Schiff. According to The Guggenheims 1848-1988 book:

“Dan Guggenheim’s ambition became nothing less than to control all the natural resources of Alaska.

“Accordingly, the Alaska syndicate which soon came to be known as the `Guggenheim Trust,’ bought Kennecott Mountain and a hundred thousand acres of adjoining territory in the Wrangell chain, bought two hundred miles of railroad right-of-way to the sea, bought seacoast land at Katalla Bay, Valdez, and Cordova, bought the Northwestern Steamship Company, bought Northwestern Commercial, a service company, bought every Alaskan coal mine they could get their hands on, bought endless forests, and, perceiving that ships could transport fish as well as copper, bought, as a sideline, Northwestern Fisheries, the most important fishing and canning industry in the Western United States, Canada, and Alaska, for good measure.”

Within 6 years, the Guggenheim Trust operation in Alaska was producing another $3 million per year in dividends.

(Downtown 3/6/91)

Next: The Guggenheim World War I Profits

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