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Bacon, Robert (05 July 1860–29 May 1919), banker, diplomat, and soldier, was born in Jamaica Plain near Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Benjamin Bacon and Emily Crosby Low. Raised in an old Massachusetts family long prominent in business, he was educated at Hopkinson’s School and at Harvard, graduating in 1880. Although his intellectual abilities were considerable, he won attention for his athletic ability, personality, and good looks, as he would throughout life. After graduation he traveled around the world, then joined the banking firm of Lee, Higginson, and Company. In 1883 he became a member of E. Rollins Morse and Brother. That year he married Martha Waldron Cowdin; they were the parents of three sons and a daughter....

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Bowie, Jim (1795– March 1836), popularizer of the bowie knife, speculator, and co-commander of Texan forces at the Alamo, was the son of Rezin Bowie and Elvy Jones; his formal given name was James. Bowie’s birthday and his mother’s name are the subject of dispute. Some sources claim that he was born in 1795, while others believe the correct year was 1796; some claim that his mother’s name was Alvina, perhaps shortened to Elvy, and that the reading of her name as “Jones” from Spanish documents is an erroneous extrapolation from markings that could have been intended as “Jane.” Similarly, some sources state that Bowie was born in Burke County, Georgia, while others opt for Elliot Springs, Tennessee. ...

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Butterfield, Daniel (31 October 1831–17 July 1901), soldier and businessman, was born in Utica, New York, the son of John Butterfield, a businessman, and Malinda Harriet Baker. From his father, president of the Overland Mail and partner in the American Express Company, Butterfield acquired an interest in organizing and administering business corporations. He attended private academies before graduating at eighteen from Union College. Following a brief attempt to study law, he traveled extensively in the South, where he foresaw sectional conflict. In 1857 he married Elizabeth (full name unknown); they had no children. She died in 1877....

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Daniel Butterfield. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1651).

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Chisolm, Alexander Robert (19 November 1834–10 March 1910), soldier and financier, was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of Edward Newfville Chisolm and Mary Elizabeth Hazzard, planters. Orphaned at an early age, he was sent to New York City to be raised by an aunt. In 1852 he quit his studies at Columbia College to return to “Chisolm’s Island,” his family’s ancestral estate sixty miles south of Charleston. Until the outbreak of the Civil War Chisolm administered the coastal plantation, which covered 4,000 acres and employed more than 200 slaves....

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Gilpin, William (04 October 1815–19 January 1894), geopolitician, soldier, and land speculator, was born in New Castle County, Delaware, the son of Joshua Gilpin, a manufacturer of fine paper, and Mary Dilworth. He was educated at home until age thirteen, when he was sent to Settle, England, for preparatory school. Two years later he returned home, and after an examination, he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania as a junior. He received his A.B. in 1833 at the age of eighteen....

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Hambleton, Thomas Edward (17 May 1829–21 September 1906), blockade runner and financier, was born in New Windsor, Maryland, the son of Thomas Edward Hambleton, a dry-goods merchant and entrepreneur, and Sarah Slingluff. His parents moved in 1831 to Baltimore, where Hambleton received his early education before enrolling in St. Mary’s College, from which he graduated in 1849. He then entered into a partnership in Baltimore that manufactured agricultural implements. In 1852 he married Arabella Stansbury, with whom he had three children....

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Hascall, Milo Smith (05 August 1829–30 August 1904), soldier and businessman, was born in Le Roy, New York, the son of Amasa Hascall and Phoebe Ann Smith, farmers. Milo Smith Hascall spent most of his youth on his parents’ farm in New York but eventually moved while still a boy to Goshen, Indiana, where his three brothers lived. In Goshen he taught school and worked in his brother’s store before receiving an appoinment to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Hascall attended West Point from 1848 until he graduated in 1852, ranking fourteenth out of forty-three cadets. He found his first assignment to the peacetime U.S. Army at Fort Adams, Rhode Island, distasteful and boring, resigned his commission in September 1853, and returned to civilian life in Indiana....

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Hunter, David (21 July 1802–02 February 1886), soldier and businessman, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Andrew Hunter, a minister, and Mary Stockton. His maternal grandfather was Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. David entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1818 and graduated with the class of 1822. He served on the American frontier and was stationed at Fort Dearborn, now the city of Chicago, from 1828 until 1831. He married Maria Indiana Kinzie, the daughter of Chicago’s first permanent white resident, John Kinzie. Hunter resigned his army commission in 1836 and pursued business interests, engaging in land speculation in and around Chicago. His efforts in civilian life were not sufficiently rewarding, so he applied for a restoration of his army commission. His application was accepted, and in 1842 he was made a paymaster with the rank of major. For the next eighteen years he served at various frontier posts....

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David Hunter. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1820).