Josiah Quincy I

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Josiah Quincy I
Born 1 April 1710
Braintree, Massachusetts
Died 3 March 1784
Quincy, Massachusetts
Residence Boston, Massachusetts, Braintree, Massachusetts
Education Harvard University
Occupation Merchant
Home town Braintree, Massachusetts
Title Colonel
Spouse(s) Hanna Sturgis, Elizabeth Waldron, Ann Marsh
Children (1)Edmund, Samuel, Hannah, Josiah Quincy II, (2)Elizabeth, (3)Nancy, Francis
Parent(s) Edmund Quincy (1628–1698) and Dorothy Flynt

Born in 1710, Josiah Quincy was the son of Edmund and Dorothy Flynt Quincy. He was named for his grandfather, Rev. Josiah Flynt. After graduating from Harvard in 1728, he returned to Braintree, Massachusetts (Quincy). In 1735 he moved to Boston and engaged in commerce and shipbuilding. He returned to Braintree in 1748. Josiah was an American Patriot and supporter. He wrote to General George Washington about British troop movements and was a friend of Benjamin Franklin.[1]


He was in business with brother Edmund. He and his father traveled in Europe making contacts and contracts to promote the business. When his firm's ship, Bethel, captured the Spanish ship Jesus Maria and Joseph in 1748, he retired from that business and went back to Braintree. He was a local magistrate and a colonel of the Suffolk regiment who made investments. He went to Pennsylvania as a commissioner in 1755 to ask for assistance in a proposed expedition to Crown Point in the French and Indian war. Benjamin Franklin helped him and remained a friend.[2] In retirement, Franklin invested several businesses in Quincy. Franklin assisted his Quincy and Joseph Palmer in several speculative ventures in glass, candle and chocolate making.[3]


He married Hanna Sturgis in 1773. They had: Edmund, Samuel, Hannah, and Josiah. Hanna died in 1755. Josiah married Elizabeth Waldron and they had Elizabeth. He married Ann Marsh after his second wife died and they had Nancy and Frances. Josiah Quincy died in 1784.[4]

Josiah's sons Samuel and Josiah took part in the trial of Captain Thomas Preston for the murders committed at the Boston Massacre. Samuel, who was a Tory, was in charge of the prosecution as the solicitor-general. His younger brother Josiah Quincy II, an outspoken critic of the British and proponent for an American Revolution, and John Adams were the defending counsel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pages 1-17 The life of Josiah Quincy, by Edmund Quincy, Little, Brown and Company Boston 1874 6th Edition
  2. ^ Page 594, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Vol 2, William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908 Boston
  3. ^ Page 178, Where American Independence Began: Quincy, Its famous Group of Patriots by Daniel Munro Wilson, Houghton, Miffin 1902 Quincy
  4. ^ Pages 1-17 The life of Josiah Quincy, by Edmund Quincy, Little, Brown and Company Boston 1874 6th Edition