Isadora Cousino: The Richest Woman in the World?

photo of Isadora CousinoIt was claimed that Isadora Cousino was the "richest woman in the world," in the mid-1800s. William Curtis, a traveler from the United States to Chile in the 1860s, interviewed Doña Cousino and described this successful capitalist in admiring terms:

"The Croesus [legendary king of great wealth] of South America is a woman, Doña Isadora Cousino, of Santiago, Chile, and there are few men or women in the world richer than she. There is no end to her money and no limit to her extravagance, and the people call her the Countess of Monte Cristo."

Copyright © The Clio Project 2005

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Photo Credit:
William Eleroy Curtis, The Capitals of Spanish America. NY: Frederick A. Praeger, 1888. Permission of Karna S. Wilgus.