Masters & Markoe recordsCreation: 1800-1855 Creation: Majority of material found within 1810-1814
Masters & Markoe was a mercantile house which operated throughout the early nineteenth century. Most of the records date from the period 1810 to 1814 and document the West Indian trade of Markoe & Masters. The collection consists of the business correspondence and accounts records which shows that the firm was primarily involved with the importation of sugar from Santa Cruz (St. Croix). The company also imported molasses, rum, coffee, mahogany, and logwood. There are also personal papers of the firms co-founder, Thomas Masters (1781-1844) and members of his family.
- Creation: 1800-1855
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1810-1814
- Masters & Markoe (Organization)
5.5 Linear Feet
Masters & Markoe was a mercantile house which operated throughout the early nineteenth century. Thomas Masters (1781-1844) was a British merchant who established himself in the United States about 1803. By 1807 he was a clerk in the mercantile house of Pratt & Kintzing. The next year he left to establish his own mercantile house.
During the spring of 1807 he married Isabella Caldwell (1783-1841), the daughter of Samuel Caldwell (1736-1798) and Martha Rownd Caldwell (1747-1824), and by 1810 established a commission business with his brother-in-law Frands Markoe (1774-1848), who was married to Sarah "Sally" Caldwell (1781-1862), another daughter of Samuel Caldwell and Martha Caldwell.
Much of Markoe & Master's business involved the West Indian trade. Severe losses caused by the War of 1812 caused the dissolution of the firm on November 14, 1814. Thomas Masters then associated himself with the New York merchant Divie Bethune (1771-1824).
Though Markoe continued to reside in Philadelphia, the firm operated from New York under Masters' direction. Masters & Markoe then operated in New York from about 1825 until 1836, when the firm became Masters, Markoe & Co. Thomas Masters and Francis Markoe were joined, at different times, by their sons, Samuel Caldwell Masters (1814-1838) and Francis Markoe, Jr. (1801-1871), and by Jeremiah Wilbur (1804-1876), a son-in-law of Masters. The firm of Masters, Markoe & Co. continued until 1846, when it became Markoe, Wilbur & Scott.
Scope and Content
Most of the records date from the period 1810 to 1814 and document the West Indian trade of Markoe & Masters. The collection consists of the business correspondence and accounts records which shows that the firm was primarily involved with the importation of sugar from Santa Cruz (St. Croix). The company also imported molasses, rum, coffee, mahogany, and logwood. There are also personal papers of Thomas Masters and members of his family.
Business correspondence series consists of both inbound and outbound communications. The letters include correspondence between the partners Thomas Masters and Francis Markoe as well as between the firm and prominent New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia merchants. Outbound correspondence of Masters & Markoe are generally drafts of letters in the hand of Thomas Masters. In file of correspondence addressed to Thomas Masters and/or Markoe and Masters, the chief correspondent was Masters' partner, Francis Markoe.
Accounts series includes invoices, bills, receipts and insurance papers. These materials document trade with Germany, France, and the West Indies.
Family corespondence series include letters of Thomas Masters' wife and children dating from 1811 to 1848. There is also a family journal. Thomas Masters' son-in-law Jeremiah Wilbur, helped found the Young Men's Christian Association of New York and the New York Bible Society.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
- Masters, Thomas, 1781-1844 (Person)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Masters & Markoe records
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