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Tappan, Arthurlocked

(22 May 1786–23 July 1865)
  • Bertram Wyatt-Brown


Tappan, Arthur (22 May 1786–23 July 1865), and Lewis Tappan (23 May 1788–21 June 1873), evangelical reformers and abolitionists, were born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the sons of Benjamin Tappan, Sr., a merchant, and Sarah Homes. Their mother was determined that these youngest sons should become apostles for her orthodox Calvinist faith, and Arthur lived up to her expectations. In 1810 he married Frances Antill. The couple’s offspring included six daughters and two sons, one of whom died an infant. After some years in Canadian commerce, he became one of the richest and most innovative Manhattan merchants during the decade 1825–1835. Breaking long-standing mercantile custom, he sold imported silks to hinterland storekeepers only for cash with low and fixed markup. He expended much of his wealth upon such evangelical causes as the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society, the American Home Missionary Society, the American Temperance Union, the American Sunday School Union, and the American Education Society. He also invested $30,000 in the ...

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