Shaw, Nathaniel, Jr.
- Sheldon S. Cohen
Shaw, Nathaniel, Jr. (05 December 1735–15 April 1782), merchant and naval official, was born in New London, Connecticut, the son of Nathaniel Shaw, a ship captain and merchant, and Temperance Harris. He probably received his elementary education at the local town school. There is no record of Shaw’s secondary level training, but it can be assumed that he acquired his knowledge of maritime and business matters on an apprenticeship basis or from working at the trade. In 1758 Shaw married Lucretia Rogers; they had no children. During the 1760s Shaw assumed direction of his father’s extensive mercantile enterprises, which included commerce with England and other continental colonies but centered primarily on West Indian trade. Under his shrewd management, business flourished to such an extent that he was able to provide New London with an imported fire engine and the seaport’s first lighthouse. During this period Shaw became increasingly involved in colonial opposition to Britain’s restrictive trade legislation and royal customs collection. In 1769 he was accused of abetting the sinking of the customs ship ...