Merchant's Recollections of Old New York Business Men Part IV


John Inness & Company

John Inness & Company, the senior partner of this firm came from Bristol, England. He married a lady who acted as his secretary, transacting most of his business, having a special talent in that line, Jeremiah Thompson, who came from England about sixty years ago, was a member of the Society of Friends and well known for his precision in business. It was said he was more interested in vessels at that time than any other man in the United States. He was a great cotton speculator also. His usual practice was to buy at ninety days' credit. He stood high in mercantile life, being noted for uprightness. He died fifty years ago.

Brigham & Carhart

Of Brigham & Carhart the senior partner died several years ago. The junior partner was president of the New Haven Railroad, and latterly of the Bank of the Republic.

E.D. Hurlbut & Company

E.D. Hurlbut & Company came from New London, Conn., in 1824. There were six brothers, three at one time connected with one firm, having a line of packets between New York and Mobile. They were well known as an accommodating concern in business matters and for honesty and uprightness.

John H. Tallman

John H. Tallman was in the southern commission business, and well known as an owner of a farm in Bloomingdale, a large portion of which now is Central Park. He died over twenty-five years ago, and was known when living for great precision in business.

Wm. W. Todd

Wm. W. Todd, merchant in the salt business, was well known in early life, as a colonel of militis. He was over six feet high. He died at the age of 91, ten years ago. Henry and George Barclay came from England and were in the commission business. The senior partner was well known as British Consul, Barclay street, was named after the family.

Samuel Willets & Company

Samuel Willets & Company were for upward of fifty years engaged in business. They were noted for their honesty and uprightness. Mr. Samuel Willets, who belonged to the Society of Friends, died a year ago, leaving a large amount in charity. At one time he was connected with the American Exchange Bank and vice president of the Housatonic Railroad. Moses Grinnell & Company are familiar at the present day, having been in the shipping business. Mr. Grinnell's brother is well known as fitting out the Grinnell expedition in search of Sir John Franklin.

E.P. & A. Woodruff

E.P. & A. Woodruff, afterward Woodruff & Robinson, have since dissolved and been known as J.P. Robinson & G. C. Robinson, engaged in the salt and fish business, being one of the oldest firms at the present time, Mr. J.P. Robinson is a large real estate owner in Brooklyn, the firm owning wharves, stores, & C., to a large amount.

Wm. Whitlock, Jr.

Wm. Whitlock, Jr., was engaged in the shipping business, owning the Havre line of packets. One of his vessels, the Cadmus, in 1824, had for one of its passengers General Lafayette. Howland & Aspinwall were in the commission business before the war with England. The firm was dissolved two or three years after. The junior partner removed to New Bedford and was elected to Congress from Massachusetts. Mr. Howland was still alive at last accounts, aged 93 years. The firm was considered among our first merchants for their honesty and ability.

Moller & Oppenheimer

Moller & Oppenheimer established the West India commission business, about fifty years ago, having come from Porto Rico. They were largely engaged in the importation of West India Products. They afterward dissolved, and Mr. Moller was taken in partnership with Aymar & Company for a short time, when he withdrew and went to Cincinnati. Masson & Thompson were also in the West India business, nearly fifty years ago, the senior partner being American Consul at Porto Rico; they afterward dissolved and retired from business. B.G. Arnold & Company were largely engaged in the coffee trade and were said to have received over fifteen million dollars in coffee in one year, being thus the largest receivers in the world. The firm still continue business.

John H. Brower & Company

John H. Brower & Company were at one time the largest cotton merchants in the business, from Texas. The junior partner died about two years ago, Samuel Hicks was in the commission business in South street, and well known for his high standing. He owned several vessels in the English trade.

The writer, in his reminiscences, might have spoken of others, but has referred mostly to those who have, more or less, come directly into business relations with him during the last sixty years.


Website: The History
Article Name: Merchant's Recollections of Old New York Business Men Part IV
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


Brooklyn Daily Eagle June 14, 1884
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