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Brown, Alexander (17 November 1764–04 April 1834), founder of an Anglo-American mercantile and financial services firm, was born in Ballymena, Ireland, the son of William Brown and Margaretta Davison. As a young adult he moved to Belfast, where he became involved in the linen trade, reportedly working as an auctioneer on occasion. His brother Stewart left for Baltimore in the mid-1790s, and Alexander followed in 1800. He had married Grace Davison in 1783, and after his arrival in Baltimore he opened a shop that featured linen goods supplied primarily by his in-laws and business associates in Ireland. The mercantile business prospered, and Brown soon widened the scope of his activities. He typified the all-purpose merchant of the early national era (c. 1790–1820), dabbling in various goods and services, including insurance and shipping. When his second son, ...

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Thatcher, Mahlon Daniel (06 December 1839–22 February 1916), merchant and banker, was born in New Buffalo, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry Thatcher, a blacksmith-turned-schoolteacher, and Lydia Ann Albert. After working as a partner in his father’s Pennsylvania store, Mahlon headed west in 1865 to join his brother John Albert, who had opened the first general store in Pueblo, Colorado. Mahlon invested $2,900 in a stock of goods that he brought to the business....