While Vanderbilt was supporting Van Pelt's ministry,
he was creating our modern business world.
Since 1817 Vanderbilt worked for Thomas Gibbons, managing his large and complicated steamboat business.
In 1823 at age 29, Cornelius' family lived in New Brunswick, NJ where his wife, Sophia, operated a very profitable inn, using the proceeds to feed, clothe and educate their children.
Gibbons and Vanderbilt were fighting against a steamboat monopoly in New York waters. (See newspaper ad, right)
Vanderbilt hired Daniel Webster to argue their case before the Supreme Court, and subsequently appealed his own case against the monopoly to that Court. However, before Vanderbilt could appear, the Court ruled -in March 1824- in Gibbon's favor, saying that states had no power to interfere with interstate commerce. This is still a landmark ruling and is considered the basis for much of the prosperity which the United States has generated.
The Evening Post New York, New York Page 4