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Lowell Institute Lectures

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Hopkins, Mark

born Sept. 3, 1814, Richmond County, Va., U.S.
died March 29, 1878, Yuma, Arizona Territory

U.S. businessman who helped build the Central Pacific (later the Southern Pacific) Railroad and for whom San Francisco's Mark Hopkins Hotel atop Nob Hill was named.

He was brought up in North Carolina. After an unprofitable attempt to mine gold in California in 1851, he began selling groceries and established one of the most prosperous mercantile houses in the state. With three other merchants he planned a transcontinental railroad, and in 1861 they organized the Central Pacific Railroad. In 1869 the main line was completed, meeting the Union Pacific at Promontory, Utah.

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▪ American businessman
born Sept. 3, 1814, Richmond County, Va., U.S.
died March 29, 1878, Yuma, Arizona Territory

      California capitalist who helped build the Central Pacific (Central Pacific Railroad) (later the Southern Pacific) Railroad and for whom San Francisco's Mark Hopkins Hotel atop Nob Hill was named.

      After his birth, his family settled in North Carolina. In 1845 he and his brother Moses left home for Kentucky and, when news of the Gold Rush reached them, moved on to California (May 1851). By the spring of 1852 Hopkins had given up unprofitable gold mining and started a grocery business in Placerville and, the next year, in Sacramento. In 1855 he joined with another Sacramento merchant, Collis P. Huntington, to form Huntington & Hopkins, which became one of the most prosperous mercantile houses in the state. In 1861 the two men were approached by an enterprising engineer, Theodore Dehone Judah, who envisaged a new transcontinental railroad; and in June a company called the Central Pacific Railroad was organized, with Hopkins, Huntington, and fellow merchants Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker as the major directors (the “Big Four”). In 1869 the main line was completed, meeting the Union Pacific at Promontory, Utah; feeder lines were soon added throughout California.

      Hopkins' three partners eventually moved to San Francisco, and he began building a spectacular mansion there (at the site of the present-day Mark Hopkins Hotel). He remained in Sacramento, however, and the house was not completed until after his death. He died about a week after seeking a health cure in the Arizona desert.

      Mark Hopkins, the businessman, was apparently not related to Mark Hopkins, the educator, as sometimes reported. For many years, there was also much confusion of identity between him and another Mark Hopkins (1813–76/77), who was originally from New York state and lived and operated businesses in Sacramento during the same period.

▪ American educator and theologian
born Feb. 4, 1802, Stockbridge, Mass., U.S.
died June 17, 1887, Williamstown, Mass.

      American educator and theologian of whom U.S. President James A. Garfield, a former student, once declared, “I am not willing that this discussion should close without mention of the value of a true teacher. Give me a log hut, with only a simple bench, Mark Hopkins on one end and I on the other, and you may have all the buildings, apparatus, and libraries without him.”

      Hopkins graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., in 1824 and from Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., in 1829. He practiced medicine briefly in New York City, but in 1830 he returned to Williams, where he instructed the senior class in moral philosophy and rhetoric and, from 1836 to 1872, served as president of the college. Although he had no formal training in theology, he was ordained a Congregationalist minister in 1836. His strong religious convictions were reflected in his teachings, which stressed piety and moral values as much as, or even more than, intellectual achievements. He also emphasized self-education, preferring the Socratic method of teaching to more dogmatic or didactic forms, and placed great importance on material prosperity, which he believed should be treated with the responsibility of Christian stewardship. His influence spread beyond the college when a series of lectures he delivered at the Lowell Institute in Boston were published in Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity (1846), Lectures on Moral Science (1862), The Law of Love and Love as a Law (1869), and An Outline Study of Man (1873), all of which went through several editions.

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Источник: Hopkins, Mark

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