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Rodman, Samuel (11 November 1753–24 December 1835), whaling merchant and Quaker leader, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Thomas Rodman, a ship captain, and Mary Borden. Samuel was apprenticed at the age of thirteen after the death of his father at sea. Remarkably for a young Quaker, whose denomination was attempting at this time to remain apart from other groups, he served his apprenticeship with Abraham Riveira, one of a number of successful Jewish merchants in Newport before independence. There Rodman learned the shipping trade and came into contact with Nantucket whaling merchants ...

Article

Rotch, Joseph (06 March 1704–24 November 1784), whaling merchant, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of William Rotch and Hannah Porter. Rotch moved to Nantucket in 1725 and by 1731 had established himself as a capable ship captain interested in trading ventures. His business standing received a boost when in 1733 he married Love Macy (with whom he would have three children) and thereby entered an alliance with the prominent Macy family, one of the original English families on Nantucket. Rotch’s business expanded over the next two decades as he became a major trader in Nantucket, New England, and the North Atlantic....

Article

Rotch, William (04 December 1734–16 May 1828), whaling merchant and New England Quaker, was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Rotch, a whaling merchant, and Love Macy. William served his apprenticeship with his father’s firm between 1748 and 1755, learning skills that included ship construction, accounting, pricing of products, and competing for new markets. He acquired an intimate knowledge of local, provincial, and international trade in these years during which his father became New England’s leading whaling merchant. In 1754 Rotch married Elizabeth Barney, also of Nantucket. They had six children....

Article

Rotch, William, Jr. (29 November 1759–17 April 1850), whaling merchant and New England Quaker leader, was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, the son of William Rotch, a whaling merchant, and Elizabeth Barney. William Rotch, Jr., belonged to the third generation of the whaling dynasty founded by his grandfather ...

Article

Russell, Joseph (08 October 1719–16 October 1804), merchant, shipowner, and manufacturer, was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Russell II and Mary Tucker, farmers. Russell was raised in an early Dartmouth Quaker family and appears to have been an exemplary Quaker. In 1744 he married Judith Howland, whose family dated back to the earliest Quaker converts in Dartmouth. The couple had eleven children....