Name

Stephen Girard

Career

Business/Commerce

Occupation 1

maritime merchant

Occupation 2

shipowner

Identifier

Philadelphia

Region

NA/Mid-Atlantic region

Era

Maritime Republic (1751-1815)

Born

1750

Died

1831

Source

ANB

Text

Merchant, banker, and philanthropist� At age fourteen [Girard] signed on as a cabin boy for vessels sailing to the West Indies. His first American port of entry was New Orleans. After receiving a license to serve as a ship captain at age twenty-three, Girard was named an officer on a voyage to Port-au-Prince, Saint Domingue (now Haiti), in 1774. He departed the West Indies and set sail for New York with a consignment of sugar and coffee. Rather than returning to France, Girard remained in New York and became an employee of the shipping firm of Thomas Randall & Son. He purchased a half-interest in the ship La Jeune Bab�, and on the return trip from St. Pierre, Martinique, in 1776, Girard encountered rough seas and sailed up the Delaware River to Philadelphia, then the largest American port city; it became his new home port�

From the American Revolution through the War of 1812, a span of three decades, Girard was actively engaged in the foreign trade sector. He initially emphasized trade with the West Indies but later extended his horizons to Europe and Asia. During his lifetime, he owned a total of eighteen ships but never more than six at any time. He named three of his finest vessels after French philosophers: Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire

Related Images

external image head0_stephen_girard_0000.jpg
Image Id: 294

Related Locations

Philadelphia,

Record ID: 49