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Welsh, John (09 November 1805–10 April 1886), merchant, civic leader, and minister to Great Britain, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Welsh, a merchant, and Jemima Maris. Although trained by his father, who specialized in trade with the West Indies, Welsh entered the dry goods business and became a partner in the firm of Dulles, Wilcox, & Welsh. In 1829 he married Rebecca B. Miller, with whom he had two children before her death in 1832. In 1838 he married Mary Lowber; they had nine children. After his father died in 1854, Welsh joined his brothers Samuel and William in the family sugar-importing firm. Welsh widened his business interests by investing in and becoming president, for one disastrous year, of the North Pennsylvania Railroad, which in July 1855 began a nineteen-mile run between Philadelphia and Gwynedd. In 1856 a careless conductor caused a collision on a North Pennsylvania excursion train carrying 500 Roman Catholic girls and boys from St. Michael’s parish in Kensington. Thirty-nine children were killed and seventy-two were wounded. Deeply distressed, Welsh contributed $500 to a relief fund and gave up the presidency of the road....