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ISAAC, SAMUEL:

Promoter of the Mersey Tunnel, near Liverpool, England; born at Chatham, England, 1812; died in London Nov. 22, 1886. He went to London as a young man, and carried on a large business as an army contractor in Jermyn street, under the firm name of Isaac, Campbell & Co. During the Civil war in America this firm was the largest European supporter of the Southern States, and its ships, laden with military stores and freighted home with cotton, were the most enterprising of blockade-runners; it ultimately failed on the fall of the Confederacy.

After a time Isaac acquired the rights of the promoters of the Mersey Railway, a project which had obtained the sanction of Parliament, but had remained in abeyance owing to the disinclination of capitalists to venture on the task of tunneling the bed of the Mersey. Isaac pushed the scheme into practical development. He himself undertook to build the tunnel, and enlisted the aid of an influential directorate. Fresh powers were obtained from Parliament, money was raised in bonds and shares, and the tunnel was duly opened under the auspices of the Prince of Wales. Isaac's brother Saul Isaac (born at Chatham 1823; died at London Oct. 6, 1903) was connected with him in his commissariat business, and became M.P. for Nottingham from 1874 to 1880.

Bibliography:
  • The Times (London). Nov. 23, 1886;
  • Jew. Chron. and Jew. World. Nov. 26, 1886; Oct. 9, 1903;
  • Diet. Nat. Biog. s.v.
J. G. L.
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