Archive:The Whitney Family of Connecticut, page 120

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The Whitney Family of Connecticut

by S. Whitney Phoenix
(New York: 1878)

Transcribed by Robert L. Ward.

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Fifth Generation.
York City married on Thursday evening, 4 Aug. 1803, at Newtown, L. I., by Rev. Nathan Woodhull, pastor of the Presbyterian Church,
Phoenix p0120.jpg
to Harriet Suydam, sister of his brother Henry's wife, dau. of Hendrick and Phoebe (Skidmore) Suydam,1 of Hallett's Cove, L. I., where she was born 1 Sept. 1782. They settled in New York City, dwelling at 4 Stone Street, till 1811; at 25 Pearl Street (north east corner pf Whitehall and Pearl), till 1827; then moved to 7 Bowling Green, corner of State Street, where they died; he, 16 Feb. 1860; she, 12 May 1860. They were buried in the family vault on Ocean Hill, in Greenwood Cemetery--of which beautiful resting-place of the dead he was one of the original incorporators and, throughout his life, a director. The vault is now covered by a mortuary chapel, erected by his executors.

He came to New York City when he was about 18 or 20 years old, with no other advantages than those that always accompany industry, ability, and good conduct; and engaged himself, as a clerk, to the firm of Lawrence and Whitney, shippers, in which his brother Henry was a partner. Showing remarkable energy and intelligence, he was soon sent to the West Indies as supercargo, and, by some fortunate ventures during these voyages, acquired the means of going into business on his own account. In 1800 he formed a copartnership with John Currie, a Scotchman. They carried on a wholesale grocery trade at 15 Coenties Slip, under the name of Currie and Whitney, until 1809, when the partnership was dissolved, apparently by the death of Mr. Currie, leaving Mr. Whitney to continue the business alone, at 19 South St. He dealt principally in brandy and Malaga wine, of which he had almost the monopoly, many stores being filled with his importations of these articles. "At the breaking out of hostilities in 1812, large sums were due to him from commercial houses in the southern States, and, unfortunately, they were in no condition to pay. Cotton, indeed, they had in abundance; but of what use was cotton, when there were no longer any vessels to convey it over the ocean, nor any ports to which it could be sent? But Mr. Whitney thought that cotton, however cheap, was better than nothing. He sent agents to all his southern customers, with instructions to take cotton where they could not get cash; and the merchants of Georgia and Louisiana were, no doubt, delighted at being let off so easily. Having thus secured a very large amount of the almost worthless article, Mr. Whitney sent it to Amelia Island, then under Spanish sway ; and from this place, it was shipped to Europe in neutral vessels. The returns were so satisfactory as to induce repeated investments in the commodity, all of which took the same course. Thus Mr, Whitney, who, at the beginning of that short contest, was almost

1 Some account of their ancestry will be found on the chart opposite this page.
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