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Folsom, Nathaniel (18 September 1726–26 May 1790), merchant and soldier, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of Jonathan Folsom and Anna Ladd Foster, farmers. When Folsom was fourteen his father died. He was apprenticed to a trade but later became a merchant and, with two partners, began his own trading firm. He had no formal or academic education....

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Mifflin, Thomas (10 January 1744–20 January 1800), merchant, soldier, and politician, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Mifflin and Elizabeth Bagnell, Quakers. His father, a wealthy merchant, held numerous significant political posts including that of provincial councilor. Thomas graduated from the College of Philadelphia in 1760 and then spent four years learning the merchant trade with William Coleman. After visiting England and France during 1764 and 1765, Mifflin formed a mercantile partnership with his brother George and in March 1767 married Sarah Morris, a cousin. The couple quickly took a prominent place in Philadelphia’s elite social circle. Contemporaries described Mifflin as an affable gentleman and fine sportsman. Elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1768, he actively participated in that organization thereafter....

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Wadsworth, Peleg (25 April 1748–12 November 1829), military officer, politician, and merchant, was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Deacon Peleg Wadsworth and Susanna Sampson. An ancestor, Christopher Wadsworth, was one of the town’s early settlers. Peleg received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1769 and subsequently returned for a master’s degree which he received in 1772. Following his undergraduate studies, he operated a private school in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In 1772 he married Elizabeth Bartlett, a resident of that town and a direct descendant of the ...