Mercantile and Business


James Adam (died c.1787) was a merchant in Alexandria. He was also for a time a partner with Robert Adam and Matthew Campbell in the firm of Robert Adam & Co., which purchased GW’s flour. On ... Read More

John Carlyle (1720–1780) of Scotland was a prominent merchant of Alexandria, Va., and one of the founders of that city. He was a partner in the Alexandria firms of Carlyle & Adam and of ... Read More

Fielding Lewis, Sr. (1725-1781), was the son of John and Frances Fielding Lewis, of Warner Hall in Gloucester County. A prominent merchant and burgess, Lewis married GW's sister, Betty ... Read More

Robert Adam (1731–1789) was born in Kilbride, Scotland, migrated to America in the early 1750s, and settled in Alexandria, Va., where he initiated a number of industries, including a tannery and ... Read More

Robert Cary was a merchant who acted for a time as one of GW's agents in London. Cary was a partner in the firm of Robert Cary & Company, the major London merchant house for the Custis ... Read More

John Orr (b. 1726) was a Scottish merchant who settled first in Westmoreland and then in Fairfax County, Virginia. In 1766, Orr carried a cash payment to GW from John Relfe of Philadelphia (see ... Read More

In 1763 GW and several partners including Fielding Lewis and Burwell Bassett formed a company, “Adventurers for Draining the Dismal Swamp,” and the Virginia legislature empowered them to construct ... Read More

In the fall of 1799, the firm Charles Alder & Company shipped two pipes of wine and two boxes of citron to GW. The wine and citron were shipped from Madeira aboard the ship Lavinia, ... Read More

A native of Falmouth, England, Eleazer Oswald (d. 1795) had immigrated to America in 1770, and was apprenticed to John Holt, the printer of the New-York Journal. During the Revolutionary ... Read More

Aitcheson & Parker was a mercantile firm in Norfolk, Va., consisting of William Aitcheson (Aitchison) and James Parker. James Alligood (Allegood) was an agent for the firm.

John Cowper, a merchant in Portsmouth, Virginia, was made the manager at Portsmouth “for receiving and entering subscriptions” to a new Dismal Swamp Company, created in December 1787 by an act of ... Read More

Peterson & Taylor was a firm in Alexandria, Virginia.

The mercantile firm of Andrew Clow & Co. of Manchester, England, operated a store in Philadelphia after the Revolutionary War.  In 1791, the store was located in Philadelphia at 20 South Front ... Read More

The firm of Crosbies & Trafford consisted of William Trafford and John Crosbie, who were merchants in Pool Lane, Liverpool, England. GW shipped tobacco to the firm by the snow Virginian ... Read More

Andrew Ramsay was a merchant in Alexandria. He and William Ramsay were twin sons of Patrick and Elizabeth Ramsay. Andrew was the husband of Catherine Graham Ramsay (d. 1844), daughter of Richard ... Read More

Anthony Bacon & Company was a London firm, one of the partners of which was merchant Anthony Bacon (c.1717–1786). Bacon, who was for a time a storekeeper in Maryland and a master of a tobacco ... Read More

Robert Dinwiddie (1693–1770) was born in Glasgow, Scotland. After a brief career as a merchant in Glasgow, he went to Bermuda where he opened a mercantile and shipping business. In 1721 he was ... Read More

Born in Dorsetshire, England, Thomas Ridout (1754-1829), was a resident of Annapolis, Md., for several years.  In December 1784, GW wrote a letter of introduction on behalf of Ridout, who was ... Read More

Richard Arell (Arrell; Arrol; 1719-1796) of Pennsylvania came to Alexandria, Va., sometime before July 1762 and worked for a time as a merchant, before becoming an innkeeper there. GW frequently ... Read More

Roger Dixon (d. 1772) was a prominent merchant of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

In 1765, GW paid 12 shillings for two bushels of flaxseed for Dixon (see Ledger A, 211).

Printer William Rind (d. 1773) entered into partnership in 1758 with Jonas Green, whom he helped publish the Maryland Gazette (Annapolis). In 1766 Rind established his Virginia ... Read More

John Backhouse was a Liverpool merchant involved in the Virginia trade. In 1762 Backhouse sent salt to GW.  His ship, the Marlborough, William Quinney master, entered the Rappahannock ... Read More

Robert Donaldson was an Alexandria wheat and flour merchant and the business partner of William Hartshorne (1742-1816). He may be the Robert Donaldson who was paid an amount of £14.3.10 in April ... Read More

Hector Ross was a merchant of Colchester, Virginia. GW did a considerable amount of business with him since his establishment served as a store of convenience for clothing and other necessities ... Read More

Brothers Baldwin Mathews Buckner (d. 1778) and John Buckner (d. 1790), both of Gloucester County, Va., were partners in the firm of Baldwin & John Buckner, which engaged in the West Indies ... Read More

Thomas Eden, brother of Maryland governor Robert Eden, owned and commanded the Annapolis, aboard which ship GW dined in May 1773.  Eden also had a trading company by the name of Thomas ... Read More

Nathaniel Littleton Savage (1723–1786) was a merchant, planter, and speculator of Northampton County, Virginia. Before the Revolutionary War he served as both a county sheriff and a justice of the ... Read More

The Norfolk, Va., firm of Balfour & Barraud included among its partners merchants James Balfour and Daniel Barraud. GW sold Mount Vernon flour to the firm, though as of 1775, GW had not yet ... Read More

Samuel Galt (c.1700-1761) of Great Britain settled in Elizabeth City County, Virginia. He worked there as a watchmaker as early as 1738. An advertisement in the 9 June 1738 issue of the ... Read More

Smith & Douglass was an Alexandria firm that purchased shad and herring from GW. On 10 May 1786, the firm bought from him 118,280 herrings and 1,342 shad for a total of £43.0.1. In return the ... Read More

Abraham Barnes (died c.1778) resided for many years in St. Mary's County, Maryland. He was a merchant, who held several public offices. Barnes was also engaged for a time in military service, ... Read More

James Gildart was an important merchant in Liverpool, England, who engaged in the tobacco trade and with whom the Custises had had dealings. GW also consigned several hogsheads of his own tobacco ... Read More

James Tarpley was a merchant in Williamsburg, Va., in partnership with different people at various times. He was a partner in the firm of Tarpley & Knox, which operated a store in Williamsburg ... Read More

Philadelphia merchant Clement Biddle (1740-1814) served during the Revolutionary War as commissary general of forage for the Continental army with the rank of colonel, 1777-80, and as ... Read More

Benjamin Grayson (died c.1768) ran a mercantile business in Colchester that he had recently inherited from his father Benjamin Grayson (d. 1757). On 19 Sept. 1764 Grayson was granted a license by ... Read More

Thomas Vowell was an Alexandria wholesale merchant. In 1787 he sold clothes and dry goods at a store on King Street near Royal Street. Vowell had a store on Harper's Wharf in 1790, during which ... Read More

Gerrard (Garrard) Bowling (Bolling), a merchant and planter in Fairfax County, Va., was an inspector of tobacco at one of the public warehouses in Fairfax County.

GW's account with ... Read More

Jonas Green (d. 1767) established the Maryland Gazette in Annapolis in 1745, and William Rind became his partner in 1758. Following Green's death in April 1767, his wife, Anne Catharine ... Read More

Anthony Walke (1692–1768) and his son Anthony Walke, Jr. (1726–1782), were merchants in Norfolk who imported rum and sugar from the West Indies.

Philip Bush (c.1733–1812) was a merchant in Winchester who had an ordinary in the town. Bush sometimes provided supplies for the Virginia Regiment. He also owned Upper Ferry in the 1760s.

Benjamin A. Hamp was a merchant of Alexandria, Virginia. He sold a variety of items at his store, including woolens, linens, hats, glass, saddlery, and jewelry (see Miller, Artisans and ... Read More

Dr. Thomas Walker (1715–1794), a physician, merchant, land speculator, experienced explorer, and storekeeper in Fredericksburg. Walker had extensive landholdings and business interests throughout ... Read More

In 1775, Lund Washington paid £2.2.6 to the account of John Butcher, who had apparently provided GW with "Nots &c." (see Ledger B, 142; see also Lund Washington to GW, 14 Nov. 1775, in ... Read More

John Hunter served for a time as justice of the Elizabeth City County, Va., court and as colonel of the county’s militia. He lived near Hampton, where he was also a merchant. During the French and ... Read More

Joseph Watson (d. 1773) in 1758–59 was a business partner of John Kirkpatrick in Alexandria, Virginia.

Philip Carberry (Carbury) was a merchant and baker in Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1771, GW received payment from Carberry for several barrels of ship stuff that GW sold him (see Ledger A, 340). ... Read More

Josiah Watson and Company was a firm in Alexandria, Virginia.

Josiah Watson was an Englishman who settled in Alexandria, Virginia, about 1773 and established Josiah Watson & Company, tobacco agents. He was also a Fairfax County justice of the peace from ... Read More

Carlyle & Adam was the Alexandria, Va., firm of John Carlyle and Robert Adam. This partnership, which was separate from the one Carlyle had with John Dalton, had been formed in 1764 to deal in ... Read More

Thomas Knox was a merchant in Bristol, England.  In 1757 GW sent eight hogsheads of tobacco to Knox aboard the King of Prussia, for which he showed credit from Knox of £42.2.5 sterling. ... Read More

Wakelin Welch, Sr., was a London merchant and a business partner of Robert Cary, GW’s former London agent. After Cary’s death, Welch and his son Wakelin Welch, Jr., carried on the firm

The Alexandria, Va., retail firm of John Carlyle & John Dalton was established in 1744. The partnership ended upon Dalton's death in 1777.

GW's accounts with the firm show that he did ... Read More

Tobias Lear was a Harvard graduate and native of New Hampshire. In 1786 he became GW’s secretary upon the recommendation of Benjamin Lincoln. He accompanied the president to New York in 1789 and ... Read More

William Wilson (died c.1823) was a native of Scotland. He came to the United States around 1777 and, with his brother James (1767–1805), was a partner in a merchant and shipping firm in Alexandria ... Read More

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