Portrait Gallery

A Book of Americans by Stephen Vincent and Rosemary Benét, 1933.

Daniel Drew


O, Daniel Drew, O, Daniel Drew
I shiver when I think of you!

This sanctimonious old sneak
Pretended to be poor and meek,
But all he cared for, first and last,
Was making money just as fast
As he could get it in his claws,
In spite of justice, right or laws.
He toiled not, neither did he spin,
But how he raked the dollars in!
(The process suffers various changes
But still occurs, on Stock Exchanges,
Where there are things called bulls and bears.
And people sell what isn't theirs
To buy Amalgamated Pup
Because they think it's going up,
And then, with quite a sickly frown,
Find out it's really going down.
They didn't know, but someone knew
And someone got the money, too,
Someone, in fact, like Daniel Drew),
Who, in his time, was known as a
Financial wizard of the day,
And, like a pious basilisk,
With sleek Jay Gould and blithe Jim Fisk,
Made other people's money fly
And sucked the Erie Railroad dry.
They foiled the laws, they bribed the courts,
They watered stock, they squeezed the shorts.
In fact, the various things they did
Make one regret poor Captain Kidd,
Who merely scuttled, robbed and burned
And got the hanging that he earned,
They stole on a much larger scale
And didn't even go to jail,
And, of the whole piratic crew,
The meanest one was Daniel Drew.
Until, at last, I'm glad to say,
Gould put the screws on him one day,
And drained him of his ill-got hoard
And dumped him gaily overboard
To sink or swim at eighty-two.
“I'll die at par cried Daniel Drew.
But, fortunately, died before
He had a chance to steal some more.

Why rake from history's dirt and damp
The memory of this tarnished scamp?
Why, Daniel Drew, why, Daniel Drew,
It makes me ill to think of you,
But there were lots of others, too …
And there are still some others, too ….

Daniel Drew, A Book of Americans by Stephen Vincent and Rosemary Benét, 1933,
Illustrated by Charles Child, Pages 94-96.