American Phoenix: How a 19th-Century Entrepreneur Managed Tragedy & Disaster
When tragedy or disaster strikes a one-person
business, he or she may have to cope with the
day-to-day responsibilities of entrepreneurial
In today’s world, experienced business owners
who have grappled with these issues recommend
sending a message via e-mail to inform business clients
or customers, and updating using e-mail or an answering service.
These methods allow one to stay in touch yet maintain distance
in an understandably emotional period.
An inspirational example of how a business owner
survived tragedy is recounted in American Phoenix.
The riveting true story of William Skinner, a poor English
textile worker who immigrated to the U.S. and settled in a
New England town where he gradually built a
successful life as a silk textile manufacturer.
But one morning, in the 1800s, without warning,
a dam broke and flooded the town with 600 million
gallons of water. The entire town was destroyed and
lives were lost. Skinner and his family and surviving
townspeople literally ran for their lives with seconds to spare.
American Phoenix reveals how despite
losing everything William Skinner was
the only manufacturer who eventually
rebuilt his company, which thrived well into the 20th century.
American Phoenix Video… 4 min
C-Span: American Pheonix:
The Remarkable Story of William Skinner…
56 min. https://www.c-span.org/video/?309911-1/american-phoenix
Working Woman Magazine, 2000
Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…