Name

Thomas Fitzsimmons

Career

Business/Commerce

Occupation 1

maritime merchant

Occupation 2

statesman

Identifier

Philadelphia

Region

NA/Mid-Atlantic region

Era

Maritime Republic (1751-1815)

Born

1741

Died

1811

Source

DAB

Text

... As a youth he went to Philadelphia, where he embarked on a mercantile career. ...he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law under the firm name of George Meade & Company, which carried on extensive mercantile and commercial business, particularly with the West India Islands. FitzSimmons not only warmly espoused the cause of the colonists in the controversy with England but, after the opening of hostilities, raised and commanded a company of militia, which saw service in a number of important campaigns. In addition, he served on the Council of Safety and the Navy Board and took an active part in the construction of fire ships and other military equipment. Near the end of the war, George Meade & Co. contributed �5,000 towards a general subscription for the immediate necessities of the army... In the closing months of the war he labored strenuously (as a Congressman under the Articles of Confederation) to induce the government to pay all the arrears due to the soldiers, since he felt that the meeting of this obligation should precede their demobilization. As a member of the [Constitutional] Convention...he took an avid part in the debates, advocating...the conferring upon Congress of the power to tax imports and exports, and the granting to the House...and the Senate equal authority in the making of treaties.
...he was in accord with practically the entire program of the Federalist party...
...he retired to private life. With the exception of a position on the commission for the liquidation of the claims of British creditors provided for under the Jay Treaty, he held no political offices. ...was opposed to the Establishment of the embargo...
...was for many years president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. In 1805, as a result of obligations incurred by Robert Morris and other business associates, he went into bankruptcy.

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Record ID: 46