Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PEREIRE, Jacob Emile, French banker, born in Bordeaux, 3 December, 1800; died in Paris, 6 January, 1875. He was of Hebrew descent. In 1835 he organized a company for the construction of the Paris and Saint Germain railroad, which yielded him an enormous fortune. During the whole of Napoleon III.'s reign he engaged in gigantic speculations, founded the Credit mobilier, and in 1855 the maritime company that was named afterward the Compagnie generale transatlantique, which was the first, French steamship company whose vessels ran regularly between New York and Havre. In association with his brother Isaac he devoted much time to building up trade between France and America. Under their influence lines were established to the West Indies, Mexico, and South America. A steamship, named for them the Pereire, was then the fastest on the Atlantic, and in 1867 made a trip from New York to Havre in eight days and sixteen hours, Emile Pereire was elected to the corps legislatif in 1868, and his brother Isaac in 1863 and 1869. When the Credit mobilier became bankrupt, he voluntarily contributed $16,000,000 to help that institution. A boulevard in Paris is named Pereire. When the brothers died, their fortune was estimated at. $60,000,000.
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