William Alexander Leidesdorf was the first black millionaire. His wealth was based on assets. Born in the Virgin Islands, Leidesdorf left for New Orleans at a young age and worked in trading. He was a sailor who had made a good living sailing from Louisiana to New York.
One year, he purchased the 106-ton ship he named “Julia Ann” and sailed to San Francisco. He would change the financial structure of the town by building the first steamship, the first shipping warehouse, hotels and horse track on the San Francisco Bay.
Leidesdorf was appointed Vice Consul to Mexico by Consul Thomas Oliver Larkin in 1845, becoming the nation’s first black diplomat. He held a reputation for having the largest home in the city and threw parties for the rich visitors in town.
At age 38, Leidesdorf was stricken with brain fever. He died suddenly. As a highly respected diplomat, he was given the city’s highest honors at his funeral. Flags hung at half-mast from all military barracks and vessels in the port. Guns were fired during the funeral procession. He was buried inside Mission Dolores church, where the most respected individuals were interred.
The Leidesdorf estate had a reported $50,000 in debt on the property. But the land had been the same land that was near a recent gold discovery. Upon further inquiry, gold was discovered on Liedesdorf’s property, worth nearly $1.5 million.
Relatives from all over the country came to inquire about heirs to the Leidesdorf fortune. The Captain of the U.S. Army, Captain Joseph Libby Folsom, traced Leidesdorf’s heritage back to his mother, who was still living in the Virgin Islands. He paid her $75,000 for the title to the estate. Folsom only enjoyed the wealth for a short period of time, as he died at age 38 like Leidesdorf.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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