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The Making of John LedyardEmpire and Ambition in the Life of an Early American Traveler$
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Edward G. Gray

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300110555

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300110555.001.0001

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From Author to Fur Trader

From Author to Fur Trader

(p.101) Chapter VI From Author to Fur Trader
The Making of John Ledyard

Edward G. Gray

Yale University Press

The chapter discusses John Ledyard's entry into business under the patronage of Robert Morris. Sometime during the late spring of 1783 the struggling Ledyard met Morris, a Philadelphia merchant, former member of the Continental Congress, and superintendent of finance for the United States. The controversial Morris was perhaps the most influential financier in the new country, having amassed Philadelphia's largest fortune. His voracious appetite for investment opportunity and his vast financial resources made him one of the very few American merchants who could seriously back a trading venture to the Pacific. The chapter discusses how in Ledyard, Morris had found a worthy supercargo for such a venture. With Morris's patronage, Ledyard became the supercargo for what he described as a great commercial enterprise. The chapter also reveals how in spite of the patronage of Morris, Ledyard's rise to commercial success was delayed by scandal and financial double-dealing.

Keywords:   Robert Morris, Continental Congress, financier, investment, trading venture

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