1-18 of 18 results  for:

  • colonial official x
  • Manufacture and trade x
Clear all

Article

Carter, Robert (1663–04 August 1732), merchant-planter and public official, was born in Lancaster County, Virginia, the son of John Carter, a wealthy merchant-planter and attorney, and Sarah Ludlow. John Carter died in 1669 leaving Robert 1,000 acres and one-third of his personal estate. He also provided that an indentured servant be “bought for him … to teach him his books either in English or Latine according to his capacity.” Later, probably around 1672, he was sent to London by his elder brother John where he spent six years receiving a grammar school education. In London Robert lived with Arthur Bailey, a prosperous merchant, from whom he must have learned about the intricacies of the tobacco trade. Little else is known about his early years, but in 1688 he married Judith Armistead, with whom he had five children. In 1701 he married Elizabeth Landon Willis; this union produced an additional ten children. Five sons and five daughters lived to maturity, and all the sons received an English education. The death of his brother John in 1690, followed shortly by the death of his daughter and half brother, resulted in Carter inheriting the bulk of a large estate that included more than 9,000 acres of land and 115 slaves. Carter, already a man of substance, quickly added to his wealth through planting and mercantile activity, including a significant involvement in the slave trade. He also began to acquire large amounts of land, a process that was aided by the two terms he served as agent (1702–1712, 1719–1732) for the Fairfax family, the proprietors of the Northern Neck. The Northern Neck was that vast area of land between the Rappahannock and the Potomac rivers, stretching to the headwaters of the latter. At Carter’s death it was reported that he left 300,000 acres of land, 1,000 slaves, and £10,000 in cash, and it appears that this estimate was not far off the mark....

Article

Cutt, John (1625–05 April 1681), merchant and colonial administrator, was born in England, the son of Richard Cutt, a Welsh merchant who moved his family to Bristol in Gloucestershire and then sat as a member of Oliver Cromwell’s Parliament in 1654. His mother’s name is unknown. Almost nothing is known of his early years in England, but like nearly all members of his generation he was certainly influenced by the struggle between King Charles and his Parliaments and the English Civil War (1642–1645)....

Article

De Berdt, Dennys (1694–11 April 1770), merchant and colonial agent, was born in London, England, the son of John De Berdt, a trader. Particulars regarding his mother have not survived. Following in his father’s footsteps, De Berdt became a merchant in London, quickly establishing an interest in foreign trade. By 1748 he was deeply involved in the North American trade, and two decades later he admitted still having £50,000 “locked up in America” (Reed Collection). He was long associated with the firm of Wright, Burkitt & Sayre....

Article

De Peyster, Abraham (08 July 1657–02 August 1728), colonial government official and merchant, was born in New Amsterdam, the son of Johannes De Peyster and Cornelia Lubbertse. His father, having settled in New Amsterdam in the early 1650s, created a thriving mercantile business that his son further developed by the early 1680s. While De Peyster began to rise in rank in the militia, he was also called upon in 1684 to become the city assessor and the following year became an alderman. While on a visit to Holland in 1684, De Peyster met and married a cousin, Catherine De Peyster. They had five children that survived to maturity. The province came to depend on De Peyster to supply local officials with monetary loans or food supplies for the militia. His continued inability to speak English did not deter local government agencies from calling on him for assistance whenever necessary....

Article

Habersham, James ( June 1715?–28 August 1775), planter-merchant in colonial Georgia, royal councilor, and acting governor, was born in Beverly, Yorkshire, England, the son of James Habersham, a dyer and innkeeper, and Elizabeth Sission. His mother died when he was seven; subsequently his father apprenticed him to his uncle, Joseph Habersham, a London merchant. From him he mastered the import trade in hides, indigo, and sugar. By the age of twenty-one he had assumed charge of two sugar-refining houses connected with his uncle’s interests. In 1736 Habersham came under the religious influence of ...

Article

Heathcote, Caleb (06 March 1666–01 March 1721), merchant, manor lord, and Anglican activist, was born in Derbyshire, England, the son of Gilbert Heathcote, a trader in hides and iron who served as mayor of Chesterfield, England, and Anne Dickens. While living in England Heathcote became a merchant specializing in trade with New York, where he settled in 1692 after the woman to whom he was betrothed fell in love with his brother Samuel and married him instead....

Article

Higginson, Nathaniel (11 October 1652–31 October 1708), colonial administrator and merchant, was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the son of Sarah Whitfield and John Higginson, a clergyman. Higginson moved with his family to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1659 when his father took over that parish. He graduated from Harvard College in 1670. He had no inclination for the ministry; two years after receiving his master’s degree in 1672 he left for England, where he tutored the children of Lord Wharton, a prominent Dissenting Whig, and worked at the royal mint in the Tower of London....

Article

Hull, John (18 December 1624–30 September 1683), goldsmith, mintmaster, and merchant, was born in Market Hareborough, Leicestershire, England, the son of Robert Hull, a blacksmith, and Elizabeth Storer. He came to Boston with his family in 1635 and was trained as a goldsmith (synonymous with silversmith) by Richard Storer, his half-brother, between about 1639 and 1646....

Article

Johnson, Sir William (1715–11 July 1774), merchant, land speculator, and royal official among the Iroquois Indians, was born in County Meath, Ireland, the son of Christopher Johnson and Anne Warren, members of the gentry. William’s mother provided the family connections that started her son on the way to fortune. Her brother, Vice Admiral ...

Article

Mazzei, Philip (25 December 1730–19 March 1816), physician, merchant, and agent of Virginia during the American Revolution, was born Filippo Mazzei in Poggio-a-Caiano, Italy, the son of Domenico Mazzei, a tradesman, and Maria Elisabetta di Guissepe del Conte. He studied medicine in nearby Florence, and in 1755 he joined the practice of a Dr. Salinas in Smyrna, Turkey. By year’s end he took passage for England as a ship’s doctor. Shortly after his arrival in London in 1756, he began an import-export business that enjoyed moderate success for the next sixteen years....

Article

Partridge, Richard (03 December 1681–06 March 1759), merchant and colonial agent, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of William Partridge and Mary Brown. His father was a shipwright and a wealthy merchant engaged in the timber trade who served as treasurer, receiver general, lieutenant governor (1696–1703), and acting governor (1697–1698 and 1700–1702) of New Hampshire. Despite the voluminous amount of Richard Partridge’s correspondence, almost nothing is known of his personal life. He married in England; his grandson, Richard Wells, came to America from England in the mid-eighteenth century and became a prominent Philadelphia merchant....

Article

Richardson, Thomas (10 September 1680–28 April 1761), merchant and Rhode Island treasurer, was born in New York. Richardson’s early life and parentage are uncertain. By the early eighteenth century he had joined the mercantile community in Boston. A Quaker, and perhaps unhappy because of inhospitable conditions in Boston, Richardson moved to Newport, Rhode Island, in 1712. Newport, he thought, would present greater opportunities in the transatlantic, Long Island, and West Indies trades. No doubt the substantial Quaker presence in the vicinity of Newport also attracted him....

Article

Shippen, Edward (1639– August 1712), merchant, religious martyr, and political leader, was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of William Shippen, a prominent landholder, and Mary Nunnes (or Nuns). Although his older brother earned degrees at Oxford and became an Anglican clergyman, Edward in 1668 emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, a wilderness town of about 3,500. In 1671 he married Elizabeth Lybrand; they had eight children during their seventeen years together. Not long after he joined an artillery company, Shippen converted to his wife’s faith and became a member of the Society of Friends....

Article

Steenwyck, Cornelis Jacobsz (?–1685?), colonial merchant and public official, was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Nothing is known of his parents or his youth. He signed his name as van Steenwyck until 1654, and Steenwyck thereafter. He first appears in records of New Amsterdam in 1651, already well established. He rose rapidly to become one of the principal merchants of the city, owning several ships that traded to and from the Netherlands, Virginia, and the Caribbean. He owned property in New Amsterdam, Fort Orange (now Albany), and Fort Casimir (now New Castle, Del.). In 1658 Steenwyck married Margareta de Riemer; they had seven children, none of whom survived to maturity. Steenwyck’s portrait by Jan van Gootten, one of eleven pictures that decorated their elegantly furnished home, is at the New-York Historical Society....

Article

Van Cortlandt, Stephanus (07 May 1643–25 November 1700), merchant and colonial official, was born in New Amsterdam, the son of Oloff Stevensz van Cortlant (Van Cortlandt), New Netherland commissioner of cargoes, and Anneken (Annetje) Loockermans. His father, who had arrived in New Netherland a soldier in the employ of the Dutch West India Company, rose to become one of the colony’s wealthiest merchants. Through a series of fortunate marital alliances, the family secured a position among New Netherland’s elite. Stephanus was educated in the collegiate school of the Dutch Reformed church and in his father’s mercantile business. On 10 September 1671 he married Gertrude Schuyler, daughter of Philip Pieterse Schuyler of Albany. They had eleven children....

Article

van Cortlant, Oloff Stevensz (1610–05 April 1684), merchant and public official, was born in the village of Wijk-bij-Duurstede, near Utrecht, the son of Steven Cornelissz, probably a cooper, and Fijchgen Oloffs. There was no family name until Oloff Stevensz in 1662 began adding van Cortlant (his spelling) or often just Cortlant to his signature. The name derives from a farm owned by the family until 1611. Oloff Stevensz arrived in New Amsterdam in 1638 as a soldier of the West India Company. In 1640 he was appointed commissary of stores and cargoes and began to build his fortune. The following year he purchased his first property, a plantation on Manhattan, and acquired house-and-garden lots in 1645 and 1647. He married Anneken Loockermans, sister of the wealthy and well-connected merchant Govert Loockermans, in 1642....

Article

Vaughan, George (13 April 1676–20 November 1724), merchant and lieutenant governor of New Hampshire, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Major William Vaughan, a Portsmouth merchant, and Margaret Cutt. George grew up in colonial New Hampshire’s most chaotic historical era, when Portsmouth’s frontier settlers were beset with almost constant wars with the French and Indians, proprietary challenges to their land titles, rapid changes in government, and often arbitrary royal officials. As a youth, Vaughan saw his father become wealthy in the timber and fish trades, become embroiled in the proprietary claims of Robert Mason, be both jailed for and the subject of a major land suit ( ...

Article

Wharton, Thomas, Jr. (1735–22 May 1778), merchant and president of Pennsylvania, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Wharton, a saddler who served as county coroner from 1730 to 1737, and Mary Dobbins. He added “Junior” to his name to distinguish himself from his cousin, Thomas Wharton, Sr. (1731–1782). At age twenty Wharton served as apprentice to Reese Meredith, a wealthy Quaker trader, and soon emerged as a successful merchant in his own right. For a while he joined with Anthony Stocker in the firm Stocker & Wharton....