chapter  7
14 Pages

“What a Foe to Love is Business” 1 The New York Years 1849–1863

WithJames R. McGovern

HENRY Poor’s decision to leave Bangor and its legal profession to become the editor and part owner of the American Railroad Journal in New York in 1849 was influenced by several considerations. Law was an overcrowded profession in Bangor and to Henry Poor a crass and morally reprehensible one. At the same time, Bangor’s lumber industry had suffered a mild depression and so his lumber business was no longer an inducement to stay. 2 Besides, Henry Poor was an out and out activist. He could not be happy unless he felt himself engaged in productive work, especially if he also looked upon his activity as serving his fellow man. His brief interest in the ministry as a career underscores this point. By the late 1840’s he had discerned, undoubtedly with the advice of his older brother, railroad entrepreneur, John A. Poor, that social progress would come more through the benefits of technology than the dicta of ministers.