A Classification of American Wealth
History and genealogy of the wealthy families of America - Sponsors

 Part 1 : Colonial and Mercantile America  Part 2 : America in the Gilded Age
 Part 3 : America in the Twentieth Century  Encyclopedia of American Wealth

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  Part I-Chapter 3 : Shipping Merchants  > Boston merchants  Previous  1 - 2   Next

   Boston merchant dynasties - the Hancocks  

another rich Boston merchant is remembered through his famous nephew. Thomas Hancock (1703-1764) succeeded Peter Faneuil as Boston's richest merchant. After being indentured to Boston bookseller Samuel Gerrish, Thomas Hancock established himself as a merchant and soon found the trade with whale oil particularly lucrative. Thomas Hancock later traded in many other commodities as he rose to become the wealthiest man in New England. In the 1740's he profited greatly from Britain's war with Spain, supplying the British armies and dabbling in privateering. From the proceeds of his many businesses, Thomas Hancock built himself a sumptuous house on Beacon Hill, which he eventually owned outright. Like Andrew Faneuil, Thomas Hancock was married but childless, which brought him to adopt his nephew John Hancock as his main heir and to make him a business partner


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Shipping Merchants

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Bankers I

Early American Industrialists


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