April 30, 1755|
|Died||May 9, 1832
|Occupation||Cooper, privateer, shipping magnate, real estate speculator, manufacturer|
|Organization||Brown and Thorndike|
|Net worth||USD $1.8 million at the time of his death (approximately 1/674th of US GNP)|
|Spouse(s)||Mercy Trask, Anna Dodge, Sarah Dana|
Israel Thorndike (1755–1832) was a sailor and merchant, born in Beverly, Massachusetts. He went to sea at an early age, commanded a privateer during the American Revolution, and became active in the early China trade. He was elected to the Massachusetts legislature 13 times. In 1810 he moved to Boston, and his mansion became a center for political and social discourse. Along with Elbridge Gerry, he helped to create the gerrymander. A member of the Federalist Party, he belonged to its Essex Junto.
In 1814 he sailed the 14 gun vessel Hyder Ally from Portland, Maine on a privateering voyage to the East Indies. She had a crew of 30 and carried sixteen guns: 10 18-pounder carronades, two long 18-pounders, and two long 9 pounders. Apparently some of her armament may have come from HMS Boxer. In May, HMS Owen Glendower captured the Hyder Ally off the Nicobars. The American had already taken two prizes, and sent them back to the US, but the Royal Navy later intercepted both and retook them, one at Cape Elizabeth, Maine and the other at Mount Desert Island.
Thorndike is considered to have been the fiftieth wealthiest American of all time (adjusted for inflation), having left an enormous fortune.
- Ellis, James H. (2009) A Ruinous and Unhappy War: New England and the War of 1812. (New York: Algora).
|This article about an American businessperson born in the 1750s is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|