MARRIAGE AND INVESTING Hetty wasn’t expected to do anything particular but to marry and bring in capital that would then be managed by a male, family member. It was the era when women did not have control of their finances or inheritance. Hetty would shun such an idea and set her path of independence from the start. As was the custom when time came for marriage, her parents handed Hetty $l,200 for gowns and carriages and sent her off to the nation’s financial capital to attract a spouse. Nothing doing, Hetty invested $l, 000 of that money in bonds and from then on she was on a roll, caught up in the web of investing.
GREEN’S HERITAGE Hetty was born, Henrietta Howland Robinson in 1834-1916, and her family was wealthy merchants owning vast fleets of whaling ships in New Bedford, MA. Early on Henrietta (Hetty) cleaved to her father and from the age of six she was reading financial newspapers to him and this is how she learned about stocks and bonds; by thirteen Hetty became the family bookkeeper. At the age of 33, Hetty married Edward Henry Green, a member of a wealthy Vermont family. Ahead of her time, she made him renounce all rights to her money before the wedding on July 11, 1867. The young couple moved to London and there raised a son, Edward Howland Robinson ‘Ned’ Green and daughter Hetty Sylvia Ann Howland Green. When her father died in 1864, Hetty inherited $7.5 million and started a legal campaign to get access to the money she inherited. Against the objections of most of her family , she invested in Civil War bonds.
In Janet Wallach’s book, The Richest Woman in America, Doubleday she says that Hetty was a talented investor who had the bad luck to be born in an era when the guild of Victorian men, shut out a whole class of minds---women’s. Fortunately, not so today, women have scaled the heights of management and proving their mettle and breaking new ground in the financial world.