Vanderbilt Commodores football
The Vanderbilt Commodores football program represents Vanderbilt University in the sport of American football. The Commodores compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the East Division of the Southeastern Conference, they are coached by Derek Mason. Vanderbilt plays their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium, located on the university's Nashville, Tennessee campus. Adopting the nickname the Commodores after the 1897 season, the team has played in 1,250 games over 126 seasons. In that time, six coaches have led the Commodores to a postseason bowl appearance: Art Guepe, Steve Sloan, George MacIntyre, Bobby Johnson, James Franklin and Derek Mason. Four have led them to a conference championship: R. G. Acton, W. H. Watkins, James H. Henry, Dan McGugin. McGugin is the leader in seasons coached and games won, with 198 victories during his thirty years at Vanderbilt, he was awarded two National Championships retroactively by Clyde Berryman. Of the twenty-eight different head coaches who have led the Commodores, McGugin, Ray Morrison, Henry Russell Sanders, Bill Edwards have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The current head coach is Derek Mason. Vanderbilt has been affiliated with the following conferences. Independent SIAA Southern Conference Southeastern Conference Vanderbilt does not claim any national championships, but Berryman QPRS, a major selector in the NCAA Division I FBS Record Book, selected Vanderbilt as champion based on retroactive analysis of the national 1921 and 1922 seasons. Vanderbilt has won thirteen conference championships, with eight won outright. † Co-champions Vanderbilt has been invited to nine bowl games, with the Commodores garnering a record of 4–4–1 in bowl games. Vanderbilt and Tennessee have played 112 times since 1892, Tennessee leads the series 75–32-5; when the rivalry first started Vanderbilt dominated by taking 19 of the first 24 with 3 ties. From 1928 to 2011, Tennessee went 71–9–2 against Vanderbilt, but since 2012, Vanderbilt has won five of the last seven. The largest margin of victory for Vanderbilt was by 76 points in 1918 at Old Dudley Field in Nashville.
The largest defeat was 65 points in 1994 at Vanderbilt Stadium. The longest win streaks for Vanderbilt is from 1901 to 1913; the longest win streak for Tennessee is 22, from 1983 to 2004. Having started in 1893, the Georgia-Vanderbilt football series has been played annually since 1968; the two are divisional opponents in the SEC East. The series, which rotates between Nashville and Athens, stands with Georgia leading 57-20–2. Ole Miss is Vanderbilt's cross-divisional rival in the SEC. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss have played 92 times since 1894. Ole Miss leads the series 51-39-2; the largest margin of victory was by 91 points won by Vanderbilt in 1915. Vanderbilt holds the longest win streaks in the series from 1894 to 1938. Having started in 1896, the Kentucky-Vanderbilt football series has been played annually since 1953; the two are divisional opponents in the SEC East. The series, which rotates between Nashville and Lexington, Kentucky, is led by Kentucky at 44-42–4 with the average score being Vanderbilt 16.9-Kentucky 15.6.
Vanderbilt and the Sewanee Tigers were both founding members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Southern Conference, the Southeastern Conference. It is the oldest of Vanderbilt's rivalries. Vanderbilt leads the series 40–8–4; the largest margin of victory was in 1905 when Vanderbilt won 68–4. Played towards the end of the season on Thanksgiving Day, the two teams have not met again since 1944 and are unlikely to anytime soon as Sewanee plays in NCAA Division III. Traditionally, Vanderbilt has featured differing designs of gold helmets, black jerseys, gold or black pants at home, gold helmets, white jerseys and gold, or white pants on the road. Meanwhile, the traditional alternate uniform saw gold jerseys matched with white pants. During the James Franklin-era, "blackout” alternate uniforms featuring new black helmets, "whiteout" alternate uniforms featuring new white helmets, were unveiled; the team's gold alternate jerseys were re-designed with the addition of black shoulders and a more muted gold color.
Derek Mason's tenure has seen the team adopt a primary home uniform of black matte helmets, black jerseys and black pants, a primary road uniform of black matte helmets, white jerseys and black pants. Additionally, the team utilizes several alternate combinations including among others a black matte helmet, gold jersey and gold pant set, “traditional” looks featuring gold helmets, an updated version of the “whiteout” alternate from the Franklin-era. Vanderbilt Commodore football personnel have been inducted into the National Football Foundation's National College Football Hall of Fame. Jess Neely played for Vanderbilt from 1920 to 1922. Vanderilt has had seven consensus All-Americans in their history. In 2016, Zach Cunningham became the first unanminous All-American in Vanderbilt's history. Vanderbilt Commodores personnel, including coaches and players, have received recognition from the Southeastern Conference for their performances on the football field. Five Vanderbilt players have been awarded Most Valuable Player, with three of them being awarded over a six year span to Commodores.
One Vanderbilt player has won Offensive Player of the Year honors. Two players have won Freshman of the Year while at Vanderbilt. One Commodore has won Best Blocker, doing so
Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Science
The College of Arts and Science is a liberal arts college at Vanderbilt University located in Nashville, Tennessee. The College confers the Bachelor of Arts degree on undergraduates, and, in conjunction with the Graduate School, the Master of Arts, Master of Science, the Doctor of Philosophy degrees on graduate students; the College occupies nearly 1.1 million square feet in 23 buildings across the Nashville campus. The College provides a liberal-arts-based education; the general requirements of the curriculum are outlined in the AXLE framework. These include courses in Humanities and the Creative Arts, International Cultures and Culture of the United States and Natural Sciences and Behavioral Sciences and three writing courses; the College provides academic resources and funding to several research centers, including the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies.
The most popular majors are economics. The College provides advising for pre-professional tracks, such as pre-med, pre-law, pre-nursing; the College's undergraduate course offerings include majors in African American and Diaspora studies. The College offers graduate degrees in the following: anthropology, biochemistry, biological sciences and physical biology, classical studies, economic development and environmental sciences, English, German, history and critical theories of religion, history of art, Latin American studies, liberal arts and science, mathematics, MHS, philosophy, political science, psychological sciences, sociology and Spanish/Portuguese; the graduate school offers certificate programs in American studies, gender studies, Jewish studies, Latin American studies, MHS. Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Science website A&S Cornerstone
Edward Emerson Barnard
Edward Emerson Barnard was an American astronomer. He was known as E. E. Barnard, was recognized as a gifted observational astronomer, he is best known for his discovery of the high proper motion of Barnard's Star in 1916, named in his honor. Barnard was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to Reuben Barnard and Elizabeth Jane Barnard, had one brother, his father died three months before his birth, so he grew up in an impoverished family and did not receive much in the way of formal education. His first interest was in the field of photography, he became a photographer's assistant at the age of nine, he developed an interest in astronomy. In 1876 he purchased a 5-inch refractor telescope, in 1881 he discovered his first comet, but failed to announce his discovery, he found his second comet the same year and a third in 1882. While he was still working at a photography studio he was married to the English-born woman Rhoda Calvert in 1881. In the 1880s, Hulbert Harrington Warner offered US$200 per discovery of a new comet.
Barnard discovered a total of five, used the money to build a house for himself and his wife. With his name being brought to the attention of amateur astronomers in Nashville, they collectively raised enough money to give Barnard a fellowship to Vanderbilt University, he never graduated from the school, but did receive the only honorary degree Vanderbilt has awarded. He joined the staff of the Lick Observatory in 1887, though he clashed with the director, Edward S. Holden, over access to observing time on the larger instruments and other issues of research and management. Barnard saw the gegenschein in 1882, not aware of earlier papers by Theodor Brorsen and T. W. Backhouse. In 1889 he observed; as he watched Iapetus pass through the space between Saturn's innermost rings and the planet itself, he saw a shadow pass over the moon. Although he did not realize it at the time, he had discovered proof of the "spokes" of Saturn, dark shadows running perpendicular to the circular paths of the rings.
These spokes were doubted at first, but confirmed by the spacecraft Voyager 1. In 1892 he made observations of a nova and was the first to notice the gaseous emissions, thus deducing that it was a stellar explosion; the same year he discovered Amalthea, the fifth moon of Jupiter. He was the first to discover a new moon of Jupiter since Galileo Galilei in 1609; this was the last satellite discovered by visual observation. In 1895 he joined the University of Chicago as professor of astronomy. There he was able to use the 40-inch telescope at Yerkes Observatory. Much of his work during this period was taking photographs of the Milky Way. Together with Max Wolf, he discovered that certain dark regions of the galaxy were clouds of gas and dust that obscured the more distant stars in the background. From 1905, his niece Mary R. Calvert worked as his computer; the faint Barnard's Star is named for Edward Barnard after he discovered in 1916 that it had a large proper motion, relative to other stars. This is the second nearest star system to the Sun, second only to the Alpha Centauri system.
He was a pioneering astrophotographer. His Barnard Catalogue lists a series of dark nebulae, known as Barnard objects, giving them numerical designations akin to the Messier catalog, they begin with Barnard 1 and end with Barnard 370. He published his initial list with the 1919 paper in the Astrophysical Journal, "On the Dark Markings of the Sky with a Catalogue of 182 such Objects", he died on February 6, 1923 in Williams Bay and was buried in Nashville. After his death, many examples from his exceptional collection of astronomical photographs were published in 1927 as A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way, this work having been finished by Edwin B. Frost director of Yerkes Observatory, Mary R. Calvert. Between 1881 and 1892, he discovered 15 comets, three of which were periodic, co-discovered two others: C/1881 did not announce C/1881 S1 C/1882 R2 D/1884 O1 C/1885 N1 C/1885 X2 C/1886 T1 Barnard-Hartwig C/1887 B3 C/1887 D1 C/1887 J1 C/1888 U1 C/1888 R1 C/1889 G1 177P/Barnard C/1891 F1 Barnard-Denning C/1891 T1 D/1892 T1 – First comet to be discovered by photography.
The Immortal Fire Within: The Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Biography Edward Emerson Barnard's Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir Portraits of Edward Emerson Barnard from the Lick Observatory Records Digital Archive, UC Santa Cruz Library's Digital Collections
A refracting telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image. The refracting telescope design was used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is used for long focus camera lenses. Although large refracting telescopes were popular in the second half of the 19th century, for most research purposes the refracting telescope has been superseded by the reflecting telescope which allows larger apertures. A refractor's magnification is calculated by dividing the focal length of the objective lens by that of the eyepiece. Refractors were the earliest type of optical telescope; the first practical refracting telescopes appeared in the Netherlands about 1608, were credited to three individuals, Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, spectacle-makers in Middelburg, Jacob Metius of Alkmaar. Galileo Galilei, happening to be in Venice in about the month of May 1609, heard of the invention and constructed a version of his own. Galileo communicated the details of his invention to the public, presented the instrument itself to the Doge Leonardo Donato, sitting in full council.
All refracting telescopes use the same principles. The combination of an objective lens 1 and some type of eyepiece 2 is used to gather more light than the human eye is able to collect on its own, focus it 5, present the viewer with a brighter and magnified virtual image 6; the objective in a refracting telescope bends light. This refraction causes parallel light rays to converge at a focal point; the telescope converts a bundle of parallel rays to make an angle α, with the optical axis to a second parallel bundle with angle β. The ratio β/α is called the angular magnification, it equals the ratio between the retinal image sizes obtained without the telescope. Refracting telescopes can come in many different configurations to correct for image orientation and types of aberration; because the image was formed by the bending of light, or refraction, these telescopes are called refracting telescopes or refractors. The design Galileo Galilei used in 1609 is called a Galilean telescope, it used a divergent eyepiece lens.
A Galilean telescope, because the design has no intermediary focus, results in a non-inverted and upright image. Galileo's best telescope magnified objects about 30 times; because of flaws in its design, such as the shape of the lens and the narrow field of view, the images were blurry and distorted. Despite these flaws, the telescope was still good enough for Galileo to explore the sky; the Galilean telescope could view the phases of Venus, was able to see craters on the Moon and four moons orbiting Jupiter. Parallel rays of light from a distant object would be brought to a focus in the focal plane of the objective lens; the eyepiece lens renders them parallel once more. Non-parallel rays of light from the object traveling at an angle α1 to the optical axis travel at a larger angle after they passed through the eyepiece; this leads to an increase in the apparent angular size and is responsible for the perceived magnification. The final image is a virtual image, is the same way up as the object.
The Keplerian telescope, invented by Johannes Kepler in 1611, is an improvement on Galileo's design. It uses a convex lens as the eyepiece instead of Galileo's concave one; the advantage of this arrangement is that the rays of light emerging from the eyepiece are converging. This allows for a much wider field of view and greater eye relief, but the image for the viewer is inverted. Higher magnifications can be reached with this design, but to overcome aberrations the simple objective lens needs to have a high f-ratio; the design allows for use of a micrometer at the focal plane. The achromatic refracting lens was invented in 1733 by an English barrister named Chester Moore Hall, although it was independently invented and patented by John Dollond around 1758; the design overcame the need for long focal lengths in refracting telescopes by using an objective made of two pieces of glass with different dispersion,'crown' and'flint glass', to limit the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration.
Each side of each piece is ground and polished, the two pieces are assembled together. Achromatic lenses are corrected to bring two wavelengths into focus in the same plane; the era of the'great refractors' in the 19th century saw large achromatic lenses culminating with the largest achromatic refractor built, the Great Paris Exhibition Telescope of 1900. Apochromatic refractors have objectives built with extra-low dispersion materials, they are designed to bring three wavelengths into focus in the same plane. The residual color error can be up than that of an achromatic lens; such telescopes contain elements of fluorite or special, extra-low dispersion glass in the objective and produce a crisp image, free of chromatic aberration. Due to the special materials needed in the fabrication, apochromatic refractors are more expensive than telescopes of other types with a comparable aperture. Refractors suffer from residual spherical aberration; this affects shorter focal ratios more than longer ones.
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geophysical and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant or Stonehenge. Astronomical observatories are divided into four categories: space-based, ground-based, underground-based. Ground-based observatories, located on the surface of Earth, are used to make observations in the radio and visible light portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Most optical telescopes are housed within a dome or similar structure, to protect the delicate instruments from the elements. Telescope domes have a slit or other opening in the roof that can be opened during observing, closed when the telescope is not in use. In most cases, the entire upper portion of the telescope dome can be rotated to allow the instrument to observe different sections of the night sky. Radio telescopes do not have domes.
For optical telescopes, most ground-based observatories are located far from major centers of population, to avoid the effects of light pollution. The ideal locations for modern observatories are sites that have dark skies, a large percentage of clear nights per year, dry air, are at high elevations. At high elevations, the Earth's atmosphere is thinner, thereby minimizing the effects of atmospheric turbulence and resulting in better astronomical "seeing". Sites that meet the above criteria for modern observatories include the southwestern United States, Canary Islands, the Andes, high mountains in Mexico such as Sierra Negra. A newly emerging site which should be added to this list is Mount Gargash. With an elevation of 3600 m above sea level, it is the home to the Iranian National Observatory and its 3.4m INO340 telescope. Major optical observatories include Mauna Kea Observatory and Kitt Peak National Observatory in the US, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, Paranal Observatory in Chile.
Specific research study performed in 2009 shows that the best possible location for ground-based observatory on Earth is Ridge A — a place in the central part of Eastern Antarctica. This location provides the least atmospheric disturbances and best visibility. Beginning in 1930s, radio telescopes have been built for use in the field of radio astronomy to observe the Universe in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; such an instrument, or collection of instruments, with supporting facilities such as control centres, visitor housing, data reduction centers, and/or maintenance facilities are called radio observatories. Radio observatories are located far from major population centers to avoid electromagnetic interference from radio, TV, other EMI emitting devices, but unlike optical observatories, radio observatories can be placed in valleys for further EMI shielding; some of the world's major radio observatories include the Socorro, in New Mexico, United States, Jodrell Bank in the UK, Arecibo in Puerto Rico, Parkes in New South Wales and Chajnantor in Chile.
Since the mid-20th century, a number of astronomical observatories have been constructed at high altitudes, above 4,000–5,000 m. The largest and most notable of these is the Mauna Kea Observatory, located near the summit of a 4,205 m volcano in Hawaiʻi; the Chacaltaya Astrophysical Observatory in Bolivia, at 5,230 m, was the world's highest permanent astronomical observatory from the time of its construction during the 1940s until 2009. It has now been surpassed by the new University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory, an optical-infrared telescope on a remote 5,640 m mountaintop in the Atacama Desert of Chile; the oldest proto-observatories, in the sense of a private observation post, Wurdi Youang, Australia Zorats Karer, Armenia Loughcrew, Ireland Newgrange, Ireland Stonehenge, Great Britain Quito Astronomical Observatory, located 12 minutes south of the Equator in Quito, Ecuador. Chankillo, Peru El Caracol, Mexico Abu Simbel, Egypt Kokino, Republic of Macedonia Observatory at Rhodes, Greece Goseck circle, Germany Ujjain, India Arkaim, Russia Cheomseongdae, South Korea Angkor Wat, CambodiaThe oldest true observatories, in the sense of a specialized research institute, include: 825 AD: Al-Shammisiyyah observatory, Iraq 869: Mahodayapuram Observatory, India 1259: Maragheh observatory, Iran 1276: Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, China 1420: Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan 1442: Beijing Ancient Observatory, China 1577: Constantinople Observatory of Taqi ad-Din, Turkey 1580: Uraniborg, Denmark 1581: Stjerneborg, Denmark 1642: Panzano Observatory, Italy 1642: Round Tower, Denmark 1633: Leiden Observatory, Netherlands 1667: Paris Observatory, France 1675: Royal Greenwich Observatory, England 1695: Sukharev Tower, Russia 1711: Berlin Observatory, Germany 1724: Jantar Mantar, India 1753: Stockholm Observatory, Sweden 1753: Vilnius University Observatory, Lithuania 1753: Navy Royal Institute and Observatory, Spain 1759: Trieste Observatory, Italy 1757: Macfarlane Observatory, Scotland 1759: Turin Observatory, Italy 1764: Brera Astronomical Observatory, Italy 1765: Mohr Observatory, Indonesia 1774: Vatican Observatory, Vatican 1785: Dunsink Observatory, Ireland 1786: Madras Observatory, India 1789: Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland 1790: Real Observatorio de Madrid, Spain, 1803: National Astronomical Observatory, Bogotá, Colombia.
1811: Tartu Old Observatory, Estonia 1812: Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Italy 1830/1842: Depot of Charts & Instruments
E. Gordon Gee
Elwood Gordon Gee is an American academic and is serving his second term as President of West Virginia University. He has served as the chief executive at several universities in the United States serving at The Ohio State University. Gee had been heading an Ohio State-based think tank following his retirement from Ohio State presidency on July 1, 2013, he retired in response to a series of controversies relating to comments he made, the last of which involved anti-Catholic comments made in jest about the University of Notre Dame. His resignation thus ended his second term as the president. Gee has held more university presidencies than any other American. Prior to his resumption of the presidency of West Virginia University on March 3, 2014, Gee was president of The Ohio State University from 2007 to 2013, chancellor of Vanderbilt University from 2000 to 2007, president of Brown University from 1998 to 2000, of the University of Colorado from 1985 to 1990, of West Virginia University from 1981 to 1985.
Time rated Gee one of the top 10 college presidents in the United States for 2010. Gee was born and grew up in Vernal, Utah, 171 miles east of Salt Lake City, the son of an oil company employee and a school teacher. Raised a Mormon, he served a mission in Italy. Gee is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Gee attended the University of Utah and graduated with a B. A. in history in 1968. After earning a J. D. from Columbia University Law School in 1971 and an Ed. D. from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1972, Gee was named a judicial fellow and staff assistant to the Supreme Court for one year. After clerking for Justice Warren Burger, Gee accepted a position as professor and associate dean at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he became dean and professor at West Virginia University's law school in 1979, president of the university two years later. As president of a university at age 37, he was one of the youngest chief executives in academia at the time. After his time at WVU, Gee moved to the University of Colorado in 1985 to Ohio State University in 1990.
At Ohio State, Gee married his second wife Constance. He became president of Brown University in 1998. Gee was president of Brown for only two years, his tenure was mired in controversy. According to The Village Voice and The College Hill Independent, one of the university's campus newspapers, Gee was criticized by students and faculty for treating the school like a Wall Street corporation rather than an Ivy League university. Critics pointed to his decisions to sign off on an ambitious brain science program without consulting the faculty, to sell $80 million in bonds for the construction of a biomedical sciences building, to cut the university's popular Charleston String Quartet, which many saw as part of Gee's effort to lead the school away from its close but unprofitable relationship with the arts. Gee left under a storm of criticism in 2000, as members of the Brown community accused him of departing from the school after an uncommonly short tenure because of Vanderbilt University's offer of a corporate-level salary and a tenured teaching position for his wife.
According to a 2003 article by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Gee was the second highest paid university chief executive in the country with a purported total compensation package of more than $1.3 million. Gee's tumultuous tenure at Brown is commemorated annually with the "E. Gordon Gee Lavatory Complex," a collection of portable toilets that appears during Spring Weekend. Gee enjoyed a calm tenure at Vanderbilt compared to Brown, he was well liked by faculty and students, demonstrated by his high student approval ratings. In 2005, when Gee's approval saw a comparatively sharp drop, it still stood at 88.4%. During his tenure, Vanderbilt saw a dramatic increase in student applications— more than 50% in six years—and a rise in the SAT scores of incoming freshmen. Under his tenure, the university completed a $1.25 billion fundraising campaign two years ahead of schedule. A September 2006 Wall Street Journal article detailed that some of Gee's problems at Vanderbilt—including his wife's actions, criticism of the high cost of renovating his home, the couple's lavish spending—had come back to haunt him.
Additionally, Gee's 2002 announcement that the administration was going to rename Confederate Memorial Hall without the word Confederate provoked a series of lawsuits. While Vanderbilt's board expressed some concern about Gee's spending, they strongly endorsed his successful leadership. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, he received a total compensation of over $1.8 million in 2005/6, the highest of any continuing university president in the United States. On March 11, 2003, a student satirical publication at Vanderbilt, The Slant, ran a complete mock-up of The Vanderbilt Hustler, entitled The Vanderbilt Huslter, with the headline "GEE DEAD"; the hoax received some attention including an appearance on the Drudge Report. Gee's office responded to the hoax by releasing a photo of him holding a copy of the Huslter. Despite Gee's good humor about the prank, the ensuing controversy led to the removal of The Slant's sophomore editor-in-chief David Barzelay from his post for inappropriately expropriating the Vanderbilt Hustler's news racks in violation of Vanderbilt Student Communications regulations.
Gee discussed the hoax in his 2003 commencement speech. In September 2003, Gee made national headlines when he eliminated the organized athletic department at Vanderbilt and consolidated its activities under
Cornelius Vanderbilt was an American business magnate and philanthropist who built his wealth in railroads and shipping. Born poor and having only a mediocre education, Vanderbilt worked his way into leadership positions in the inland water trade and invested in the growing railroad industry. Nicknamed "The Commodore", he is known for owning the New York Central Railroad, his biographer says, "He vastly improved and expanded the nation's transportation infrastructure, contributing to a transformation of the geography of the United States. He embraced new technologies and new forms of business organization, used them to compete.... He helped to create the corporate economy that would define the United States into the 21st century." As one of the richest Americans in history and wealthiest figures overall, Vanderbilt was the patriarch of a wealthy, influential family. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. According to historian H. Roger Grant: "Contemporaries, too hated or feared Vanderbilt or at least considered him an unmannered brute.
While Vanderbilt could be a rascal and cunning, he was much more a builder than a wrecker being honorable and hard-working." Cornelius Vanderbilt's great-great-grandfather, Jan Aertson or Aertszoon, was a Dutch farmer from the village of De Bilt in Utrecht, who emigrated to New Amsterdam as an indentured servant in 1650. The Dutch van der was added to Aertson's village name to create "van der Bilt"; this was condensed to Vanderbilt. Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in Staten Island, New York on May 27, 1794 to Cornelius van Derbilt and Phebe Hand, he began working on his father's ferry in New York Harbor as a boy, quitting school at the age of 11. At the age of 16, Vanderbilt decided to start his own ferry service. According to one version of events, he borrowed $100 from his mother to purchase a periauger, which he christened the Swiftsure. However, according to the first account of his life, published in 1853, the periauger belonged to his father and the younger Vanderbilt received half the profit.
He began his business by ferrying freight and passengers on a ferry between Staten Island and Manhattan. Such was his energy and eagerness in his trade that other captains nearby took to calling him The Commodore in jest – a nickname that stuck with him all his life. While many Vanderbilt family members had joined the Episcopal Church, Cornelius Vanderbilt remained a member of the Moravian Church to his death. Along with other members of the Vanderbilt family, he helped erect a local Moravian parish church in his city. On December 19, 1813, at age 19 Vanderbilt married his first cousin, Sophia Johnson, daughter of Nathaniel Johnson and Elizabeth Hand, they moved into a boarding house on Broad Street in Manhattan. They had 13 children together: Phebe in 1814, Ethelinda in 1817, Eliza in 1819, William in 1821, Emily in 1823, Sophia in 1825, Maria in 1827, Frances in 1828, Cornelius Jeremiah in 1830, George in 1832, Mary in 1834, Catherine in 1836, another son named George in 1839. In addition to running his ferry, Vanderbilt bought his brother-in-law John De Forest's schooner Charlotte and traded in food and merchandise in partnership with his father and others.
But on November 24, 1817, a ferry entrepreneur named Thomas Gibbons asked Vanderbilt to captain his steamboat between New Jersey and New York. Although Vanderbilt kept his own businesses running, he became Gibbons's business manager; when Vanderbilt entered his new position, Gibbons was fighting against a steamboat monopoly in New York waters, granted by the New York State Legislature to the politically influential patrician Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton, who had designed the steamboat. Though both Livingston and Fulton had died by the time Vanderbilt started working for Gibbons, the monopoly was held by Livingston's heirs, they had granted a license to Aaron Ogden to run a ferry between New Jersey. Gibbons launched his steamboat venture because of a personal dispute with Ogden, whom he hoped to drive into bankruptcy. To accomplish this, he undercut prices and brought a landmark legal case – Gibbons v. Ogden – to the United States Supreme Court to overturn the monopoly. Working for Gibbons, Vanderbilt learned to operate a complicated business.
He moved with his family to New Brunswick, New Jersey, a stop on Gibbons' line between New York and Philadelphia. There his wife Sophia operated a profitable inn, using the proceeds to feed and educate their children. Vanderbilt proved a quick study in legal matters, representing Gibbons in meetings with lawyers, he went to Washington, D. C. to hire Daniel Webster to argue the case before the Supreme Court. Vanderbilt appealed his own case against the monopoly to the Supreme Court, next on the docket after Gibbons v. Ogden; the Court never heard Vanderbilt's case, because on March 2, 1824, it ruled in Gibbons' favor, saying that states had no power to interfere with interstate commerce. The case is still considered a landmark ruling; the protection of competitive interstate commerce is considered the basis for much of the prosperity which the United States has generated. After Thomas Gibbons died in 1826, Vanderbilt worked for Gibbons' son William until 1829. Though he had always run his own businesses on the side, he now worked for himself.
Step by step, he started lines between the surrounding region. First he took over Gibbons' ferry to New Jersey switched to western Long Island Sound. In 1831, he took over his brother Jacob's line to Peekskill, New York, on the lower H