We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
While hunting (unsuccessfully) for an online image of Cornelius Vanderbilt's yacht North Star, of which I have seen a painting, I learned that the yacht I was seeking was one owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt 3rd - not the original North Star which was a 270' paddle-wheel yacht built in 1853, and owned by the first Cornelius, aka Commodore Vanderbilt.
I was sidetracked by a brief but excellent bio of Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877). It's quite a life story. The guy was no push-over, and he wasn't much for philanthropy, although he donated a modest 1 million to start Vanderbilt University.
We associate his name with railroads, but he made his fortune in shipping before he took an interest in railroads in the 1860s. This site has a good outline of all of his entrepreneurial ventures.
In his desire to deliver mail to California faster than his competitor, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, he developed a route across Nicaragua instead of Panama and cut two days off the trip. (US mail delivery was entirely contracted out until 1914.)
A brief survey of the history of US mail led me to the Pony Express, officially known as The Central California and Pike's Peak Express Company, which I recalled only functioned for 1 1/2 years, in 1860/61, until the telegraph went through to California.
Drawn back to railroad history, I decided to refresh my memory of the history of the New York Central Railroad (for which Vanderbilt built the still-glorious Grand Central Station in NYC). And there I learned about Erastus Corning's role in the building of the railroads of the eastern US, before Vanderbilt took over.
While tempted to look into the construction of the Albany-Chicago line, instead I followed a path into Erastus Corning's businesses, one of which was the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal Company. The St. Mary's River flows from Lake Superior to Lake Huron, and Corning built the locks (known as the American locks), now part of the Soo Lock system - still among the busiest locks in the world. They even have a webcam. In 3 days, the locks close for the winter.
Hope you enjoyed my ramble. The history of America is not the history of its government leaders - it's the history of its doers. I never found the image I was seeking. OK, back to work.