Shaw, Nathaniel Jr.

Birth: December 5, 1735 in New London, CT
Death: April 15, 1782 in New London, CT
Affiliation:

Colony of Connecticut

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

Merchant

Residence:

New London, CT (from 1735-12-05 to 1782-04-15)

Marital status:

Married Lucretia Harris Rogers, a young widow, in 1758. They had no children. She died in 1781 while tending to sick sailors in the Shaw Mansion.

Biography:

Nathaniel Shaw Jr. was the son of Captain Nathaniel Shaw, one of the wealthiest merchants in New London. Shaw Jr. took over the family business around 1763, when trade resumed after the Seven Years War. Subsequently, he was faced with the unenviable task of trying to collect debts from Eleazar Wheelock in the late 1760s. The debts in question were incurred by Samson Occom with Captain Shaw in the early to mid 1760s; it is unclear whether Wheelock ever paid them (the apparent absence of an entry in Wheelock’s published accounts suggests that he may not have). Nathaniel Shaw Jr. was an important figure in the Revolution. Along with his father, he organized many of New London’s efforts in the Revolution, and opened the Shaw Mansion to wounded soldiers and to George Washington himself. Furthermore, Shaw Jr. transformed his merchant ships into a privateering corps, and worked vigilantly to collect supplies of gun powder from his trade connections in the French West Indies. He was rewarded with the post of Naval Agent of the Colony of Connecticut in New London, which put him in charge of caring for sick sailors, and organizing privateering. His wife, Lucretia, died in 1781 from a fever she caught while caring for said sailors, and Shaw Jr. himself died one year later from a hunting accident.

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Sources:

Caulkins, F. M. History of New London. Excerpted in, History of New London County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, D. Hamilton Hurd et al ed. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1882. Accessed via http://dunhamwilcox.net/town_hist/nl-chap12.htm 4/23/14. New London County Historical Society. Records and Papers of the New London County Historical Society, Volume III, Part I. New London: The Society, 1906. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Rogers, Ernest E. Connecticut’s Naval Office at New London During the War of the American Revolution. New London: New London County Historical Society, 1933. Accessed via Haithi Trust.