August Belmont came to New York in 1837 and acquired a fortune as an agent for the Rothschilds. While his wealth opened the door to fashionable New York society, he was considered an outsider as a result of his Judaic origins. When a committee denied Belmont an invitation to their City Ball, the financier wrote back: "I have been investigating the accounts of you gentlemen on the Street. Either I get an invitation to the Assembly this year, or else the day after the Assembly each of you will be a ruined man." He got his invitation to the ball; unfortunately, no one else showed up.