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Allerton, Isaac (1586– February 1659), merchant in the early years of the Plymouth colony, . Little is known of Allerton’s early life, and nothing is known regarding his education and religious orientation. He was a tailor in London at the time that he moved to Leiden, Holland, in 1608. When the Separatist congregation of John Robinson arrived in 1609 Allerton joined the church. In 1611 he married a fellow member, Mary Norris. In 1614 he became a citizen of the Dutch city....

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de Vries, David Pietersen (1593–1655?), merchant adventurer and colonizer, was born in La Rochelle, France, the son of Pieter Jakobszoon de Vries, a ship captain, and a Dutch mother (name unknown). His father was from Hoorn, a northern Dutch province, and his mother from Amsterdam. They moved to La Rochelle in 1584 and back to Hoorn when David was four. He attended Latin school, obtained a knowledge of geography and astronomy, and learned French, Dutch, and English as a result of his family’s contact with the international Calvinist community....

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George, David (1742–1810), lay preacher and African-American émigré to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, lay preacher and African-American émigré to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, was born on a Nottoway River plantation in Essex County, Virginia. His parents, slaves known as John and Judith, were of African origin and had nine children. While a youth David labored in the corn and tobacco fields and witnessed frequent whippings of other slaves, including his mother, who was the master’s cook....

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Shelikhov, Grigorii Ivanovich (1748–20 July 1795), fur trader and founder of the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska, was born in the small southern Russian trading center of Rylsk, Kursk gubernia, the son of Ivan Shelikhov, a merchant. His mother’s name is unknown. In 1772 his father sent him to Siberia to promote family interests and to escape a plague. There in 1774 he became a partner of P. S. Lebedev-Lastochkin, a merchant of Irkutsk engaging in fur-trading ventures in the Kurile and Aleutian islands. Traveling northward down the Lena River to Yakutsk, and from there by the tortuous overland route to the port and maritime fur trade center of Okhotsk, Shelikhov became involved in companies sending out trading vessels and soon concentrated on the Aleutian Island trade. In 1775 he married Natalia Alekseevna Kozhevina; they had six children. In 1778, short of money, Shelikhov became a ...