Francis Martin Drexel
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|Francis Martin Drexel|
|Born||April 7, 1792
Dornbirn, Vorarlberg, Austria
|Died||June 5, 1863
|Spouse(s)||Catherine Hookey (m. 1821)|
|Children||Anthony Joseph Drexel
Joseph William Drexel
Francis Anthony Drexel
Francis Martin Drexel (April 7, 1792 – June 5, 1863) was a Philadelphia banker and artist. He was the father of Anthony Joseph Drexel, the founder of Drexel University and the grandfather of Saint Katherine Drexel.
Drexel was born in Dornbirn, in the Austrian Vorarlberg in 1792. In 1803 he was sent to study Italian and the fine arts in a Catholic institution near Turin. When he returned in 1809 he found Austria invaded by the French, and to escape conscription he crossed the border into Switzerland and then went to Paris, France. In 1812 he returned to the Tyrol incognito. Conscription was still in force, so he went to Bern and continued his study of painting. He sailed for the United States in 1817, from Amsterdam, and settled in Philadelphia. After a few years, he went to Peru and Chile, painting portraits, including one of General Simon Bolivar. He visited South America twice, and went to Mexico.
After his permanent settlement in Philadelphia, he founded the banking house of Drexel & Co. in 1837, which became one of the largest banks in the United States. The original business of Drexel & Co. was discounting privately issued bank notes, the value of which was largely dependent on the character of the principal officers of the issuing bank. The exposure to the principals gained from portrait painting is said to have given Drexel inside knowledge.
The Paris firm, Drexel, Harjes & Co., was founded in 1868, and the New York firm, Drexel, Morgan & Co., in 1871.
- Mary Johanna Drexel (1822-1873). Married businessman and philanthropist John D. Lankenau.
- Francis Anthony Drexel (June 20, 1824, Philadelphia-1885). He married Hannah J. Langstroth, and then Emma Mary Bouvier. He was the father of Saint Katharine Drexel.
- Anthony Joseph Drexel (September 13, 1826, Philadelphia-1893). One of the founders of modern finance, he later founded Drexel University.
- Joseph William Drexel (January 24, 1833 – 1888). Married Lucy Wharton (1841–1912); among their children was socialite Elizabeth Wharton Drexel. He retired from banking in 1876, then became trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, trustee of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and director of the Metropolitan Opera house.
- Heloise Drexel (1837-1895). Married James Charles Smith.
- Caroline "Carrie" Drexel (1838-1911). Married stockbroker John Goddard Watmough.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1891). "article name needed". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
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- Rottenberg, Dan (2001). The Man who Made Wall Street: Anthony J. Drexel and the Rise of Modern Finance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 185. ISBN 9780812236262.