The Response to 30 Year Old Andrew Carnegie's Resignation

At age 30, no one knew that Andrew Carnegie would become one of the wealthiest individuals ever. But even then he displayed rare abilities to lead people around him.

That year, in 1865, Carnegie left his position as Superintendent of the Pittsburg Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Upon his resignation, Carnegie’s coworkers sent him the following letter.

This is the type of letter we should all strive to receive from people who work alongside of us.


To Andrew Carnegie, late Superintendent of the Pittsburg Division, Pennsylvania Railroad Company:

Dear Sir: - Your farewell address has been received. It apprised us officially of a severance that we had fervently hoped might have been long delayed. Separations are generally attended with more or less regret, but there are instances where common interests, united for a general purpose, are sensibly affected by the dissolving of ties that have long united them. In your withdrawal from the great work you have so long and ably directed the employees of this company feel that they have lost a warm and sympathizing friend, and one whose mission it has ever been to so unite duty as to make it uniformly agreeable and pleasant to those to whose charge it was committed.

In the long years that have passed we cannot recollect a single incident wherein you have acted inconsiderately or unfairly to any of our number.

The many kindnesses we have received are treasured fondly in our remembrance, and this it is that makes us feel more sensibly the great loss we are about to experience. We cannot permit this severance to pass without manifesting our regard that in some way will keep our recollections of the past vivid in your memory. We beg your acceptance, then, of this watch and silver set, and though its intrinsic worth but poorly expresses the depth of our attachment, we feel that there are moments, when far away, and perhaps in distant lands, it will recall a past connection, and assure you that there are hundreds of hearts whose prayers will follow your footsteps unto the end of time.

We have but to add our earnest wishes that you may return to us, invigorated and refreshed by travel, and that in private life you may find all the enjoyment you may covet.

Please accept our slight testimonial, and also the expression of our heartfelt regrets at the disruption of that intercourse which has so long been a marked period in our every day life.

And now we must say farewell - a little word in itself, that sometimes expresses naught, but we need not assure you that in this instance it is most heartfelt.

We remain your friends.
I.D. McKee,
H.P. Dunbar,
C.L. Green,
WM. M. Ford,
And many others.

Philadelphia, May 3rd, 1865.

Source: [Altoona Tribune: Jun 3, 1865] Newspapers.com <- 7 day free trial


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