Famous Last Will and Testament Financier Cornelius Vanderbilt

About the last will and testament of famous American financier Cornelius Vanderbilt.


CORNELIUS VANDERBILT, U.S. financier, died 1877

Last Will: Vanderbilt bequeathed most of his $100 million fortune from shipping and railroads to his son William. Three other children, slighted in the will, sued, contending that the old man--given to supernatural visions and commerce with mediums--was insane. Testimony in the two-year court fight alleged that William had paid a spiritualist to "transmit" instructions from his dead mother--a message requesting the senior Vanderbilt to will everything to William. While the court never decided whether the spirits or the money had talked, it ruled that occult beliefs did not prove insanity, so William triumphed and the disgruntled heirs settled out of court.

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