Today in Merchant History

Historical Events

  • 1598-05-01 Jacob van Neck's merchant fleet departs for Java
  • 1598-11-25 Jacob Cornelius van Neck's merchant fleet reaches Bantam West-Java on second Dutch expedition to Indonesia
  • 1599-07-19 Jacob van Necks merchant fleet leaves Java
  • 1613-01-24 Amsterdam merchant Hans Bontemantel baptized
  • 1614-10-11 Adriaen Block and 12 Amsterdam merchants petition the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony.
  • 1649-06-01 Russian Tsar Alexis throws English merchants out of Moscow
  • 1666-08-09 Rear Admiral Robert Holmes leads a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships in the Vlie estuary, and pillaging the town of West-Terschelling, an act later known as "Holmes's Bonfire".

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1717-11-28 Blackbeard attacks a French merchant vessel called "La Concorde", which he would capture and rename as the "Queen Anne's Revenge"

Pirate Blackbeard
  • 1717-12-05 Blackbeard ransacks the merchant sloop "Margaret" and keeps her captain, Henry Bostock, prisoner for 8 hours before releasing him. Bostock would later provide the first recorded of Blackbeard's appearance, with specific reference to his "very black beard", providing the source for his name
  • 1771-10-09 The Dutch merchant ship Vrouw Maria sinks near the coast of Finland.
  • 1779-12-31 British fleet beat Dutch Merchant vessels
  • 1792-05-17 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
  • 1804-04-02 Forty merchantmen are wrecked when a convoy led by HMS Apollo runs aground off Portugal.
  • 1853-09-11 1st electric telegraph used - Merchant's Exchange, San Francisco to Pt Lobos, California
  • 1859-10-25 Merchant vessel Royal Charter runs aground at Liverpool, 459 die
  • 1861-01-09 A Union merchant ship, the Star of the West, is fired upon as it tries to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
  • 1864-06-01 Confederate cruiser Georgia sold to a British merchant in Liverpool.
  • 1872-06-18 Woman's Suffrage Convention held at Merchantile Liberty Hall
  • 1903-05-27 Queen Wilhelmina opens Berlages Merchants bureau in Amsterdam
  • 1914-09-02 The US Treasury Department establishes the Bureau of War Risk Insurance to provide up to $5 million worth of insurance for merchant ships and their crews
  • 1914-12-26 The US Government protests British interference with American merchant ships at sea, but this same day the German announce they will treat food as contraband, subject to seizure; this will weaken America's protest
  • 1915-02-10 US President Wilson protests to Britain on the use of US flags on British merchant ships to deceive the Germans
  • 1915-03-25 German U boat torpedoes Neth merchant ship Medea
  • 1915-04-14 Dutch merchant navy ship Katwijk sunk by Germany torpedo
  • 1916-02-11 Germany and Austria-Hungary notify the US that they will sink any armed merchant ships starting on 1 March
  • 1916-02-16 The US rejects the right of Germany and Austria-Hungary to sink armed merchant ships
  • 1916-03-15 Dutch merchant ship Tubantia torpedoed by German submarine & sinks in North Sea
  • 1916-10-07 The German submarine U-53 arrives off Newport, Rhode Island, and sinks 9 British merchant ships in international waters
  • 1917-01-31 Germany notifies US that U-boats will attack neutral merchant ship
  • 1917-03-12 A German submarine sinks an unamred US merchant ship, the 'Algonquin' on the same day that US President Wilson gives executive order to arm US merchant ships
  • 1917-03-20 After the sinking of 3 more American merchant ships, US President Wilson meets with cabinet, who agree that war is inevitable
  • 1928-05-22 US Congress accept Jones-White Merchant Naval Act
  • 1933-07-20 Germany: Two-hundred Jewish merchants are arrested in Nuremberg and paraded through the streets.
  • 1940-01-15 German U-Boot torpedoes Dutch merchant ship Arendskerk (Eagle's Church)
  • 1940-02-14 British merchant vessel fleet is armed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-09-29 1st US merchant ship "Booker T. Washington" commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac), launched at Wilmington Delaware

Education Pioneer Booker T. Washington
Education Pioneer
Booker T. Washington
  • 1941-11-20 German "auxiliary cruiser" (armed merchant raider) Kormoran sinks near Australia
  • 1942-04-11 Distinguished Service Medal for Merchant Marines authorized
  • 1959-07-21 1st nuclear powered merchant ship, NS Savannah, named, Camden NJ
  • 1975-05-12 US merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodian forces
  • 1976-12-15 Oil tanker Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals, spilling 7.6 m million gallons of fuel oil - one of the largest oil spills at sea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-04-23 Wine merchant William Sokolin breaks a bottle of 1787 Ch√Ęteau Margaux, possibly belonging to Thomas Jefferson, worth $500,000 at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson

Famous Birthdays

  • 1459-03-06 Jacob Fugger, German banker/merchant
  • 1502-01-10 Hendrik Niclaes, German/Dutch merchant/cult leader (Children of God)
  • 1515-07-21 St Philippus Nerius, [Philippo Neri], Italian merchant/priest
  • 1535-07-09 Emanuel van Meteren, Southern Neth, merchant/historian
  • 1549-12-01 Johan van der Veeken, merchant/co-founder (VOC)
  • 1636-11-02 Edward Colston, English merchant and philanthropist (d. 1721)
  • 1653-07-05 Thomas Pitt, English merchant and Governor of Madras (d. 1726)
  • 1655-06-26 Jean Deutz, merchant/Amsterdam regent
  • 1660-02-15 Frans Anneessens, Belgian merchant/dean of artisans
  • 1679-03-18 Matthew Decker, English merchant and writer (d. 1759)
  • 1693-02-04 George Lillo, bourgeois English dramatist (London Merchant)
  • 1697-09-06 Willem Gideon Deutz, Amsterdam regent/banker/merchant
  • 1701-03-18 Niclas Sahlgren, Swedish merchant and philanthropist (d. 1776)
  • 1702-03-25 Pieter Teyler Van der Hulst, Dutch silk merchant (Teyler's Museum)
  • 1709-10-25 John Wagenaar, Amsterdam merchant/historian, baptised
  • 1716-01-15 Philip Livingston, American businessman and politician (signed Declaration of Independence)
  • 1719-01-17 William Vernon, American merchant (d. 1806)
  • 1729-05-25 Jean de Neufville, Dutch/US merchant (started 4th English war)
  • 1730-01-14 William Whipple, merchant/judge (Declaration of Independence signer)
  • 1730-01-23 Joseph Hewes, US merchant (Declaration of Independence signer)
  • 1731-04-08 William Williams, US merchant (signed Declaration of Independence)
  • 1734-01-31 Robert Morris, merchant (signed Declaration of Independence)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1737-01-23 John Hancock, merchant/statesman, (1st to sign Declaration of Independence), (d. 1793), [o.s. 1936-01-12]

Statesman John Hancock
John Hancock
  • 1738-12-26 Thomas Nelson, merchant, signer of Declaration of Independence
  • 1739-03-16 George Clymer, US merchant (signed Declaration of Independence, Constitution)
  • 1740-04-18 Francis Baring, banker/merchant
  • 1756-11-04 Anthony van Hoboken, Rotterdam merchant/ship owner
  • 1759-01-17 Paul Cuffe, Mass, merchant/shipbuilder/African American nationalist
  • 1795-01-15 Willem de Clerq, Dutch merchant/man of letters
  • 1795-02-18 George Peabody, South Danvers Mass, merchant/philanthropist
  • 1801-02-07 John Rylands, England, merchant/philanthropist
  • 1812-04-26 Alfred Krupp, German arms merchant
  • 1813-04-14 Junius S Morgan, US, merchant/philanthropist (Metro Museum of Art)
  • 1813-12-10 Zachariah Chandler, US, merchant/politician (found Republican Party)
  • 1838-07-11 John Wanamaker, merchant (Wanamakers Dept Store)
  • 1840-08-28 Alexander Cameron Sim, Scottish merchant (d. 1900)
  • 1845-05-07 Jacob van Stolk Azn, timber merchant/art collector
  • 1849-10-06 Basil Zaharoff, arms dealer, "merchant of death"
  • 1853-07-05 Cecil John Rhodes, South Africa, politician/diamond merchant
  • 1860-09-03 Edward Albert Filene, merchant, established US credit union movement
  • 1867-07-31 Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant and philanthropist (d. 1966)
  • 1871-09-21 Ernst Heldring, Dutch merchant/ship owner/financier
  • 1872-03-11 Abraham van Stolk Jzn, lumber merchant/art collector
  • 1874-12-04 Jean H L Bossard, actor/impresario (Merchant of Venice)
  • 1901-03-02 Willem Bruynzeel, Dutch timber-merchant

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1914-01-31 Jersey Joe Walcott, Merchantville New Jersey, heavyweight boxing champ (1951-52)

World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe
  • 1919-10-03 Boyd Bradfield Upchurch, [John Boyd], US, sci-fi author (IQ Merchant)
  • 1930-10-24 Raj Bagri, Indies/British merchant in metal
  • 1933-04-22 Robin Hutton, merchant banker
  • 1938-09-29 Henry Keswick, British businessman (CEO-Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd)
  • 1942-05-20 Simon Keswick, British financier/merchant (Hong Kong)

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1871-07-21 Suffragette Kate Sheppard (24) weds general merchant Walter Allen Sheppard in Christchurch, New Zealand

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Kate Sheppard

Famous Deaths

  • 0634-08-22 Abd Allah Abu Bekr, Arabic merchant/1st kalief of Islam, dies
  • 1358-07-31 Etienne Marcel, French textile merchant/reformer/Boer leader, dies
  • 1456-11-25 Jacques Coeur, French merchant/banker, dies in battle
  • 1517-01-01 Hermann Vischer, the Younger, German bronze merchant, dies
  • 1525-12-30 Jacob Fugger, German banker/merchant, dies at 66
  • 1559-03-14 Jacques d'Auchy, Walloon baptist merchant, executed
  • 1579-11-21 Thomas Gresham, English merchant and financier
  • 1588-02-10 Joost Sybrantsz Buyck, Amsterdam merchant/regent, dies at about 82
  • 1595-05-26 Philippus Nerius, [Filippo Neri], Italian merchant/saint, dies at 79
  • 1612-01-04 Henry L Spieghel, Dutch merchant/writer, dies at 62
  • 1612-04-18 Emanuel Van Meteren, merchant/historian, dies
  • 1616-08-26 Johan van de Veeken, merchant/co-founder (VOC), dies at 66
  • 1626-01-01 Cornelis Pieterse Hoft, Amsterdam merchant/regent, dies at 68
  • 1629-09-21 John Pieterszoon Coen, merchant/gov-gen of East-Indies, dies at 42
  • 1637-08-13 Dirck J Bas, Dutch merchant/regent/government leader (OIC), dies
  • 1640-12-06 Matthijs Elsevier, Flemish/Dutch book publisher/merchant, dies at 75
  • 1645-08-06 Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, English merchant (b. 1575)
  • 1652-06-24 Andries Bicker, merchant/Amsterdam regent, dies at 65
  • 1652-09-17 Bonaventura Elsevier, book publisher/merchant, dies at about 69
  • 1653-05-10 John Bicker, ship builder/merchant/regent, dies at 61
  • 1654-09-15 Cornelis Bicker, merchant/mayor of Amsterdam, dies at 61
  • 1660-02-15 Klaas Geritsz Compaen, Dutch buccaneer/merchant, dies at 72
  • 1688-06-08 Hans Bontemantel, Amsterdams merchant, buried
  • 1704-01-21 Willem B Schepers, Dutch merchant/ship owner, dies at about 83
  • 1708-09-06 Sir John Morden, English merchant and philanthropist (b. 1623)
  • 1719-09-19 Frans Anneessens, Belgian merchant/lord of the manor, executed at 59
  • 1719-11-19 Jean Deutz, minster of Heemskerk/merchant/Amsterdam regent, dies at 64
  • 1721-10-11 Edward Colston, English merchant and philanthropist (b. 1636)
  • 1722-04-14 Pieter Erberveld, German-Thai merchant on Java, Indonesia. He was accused of plotting a rebellion with the Javanese, tortured and executed at around 62
  • 1747-02-01 Jacobus E J Capitein, Dutch slave/vicar/merchant, dies
  • 1753-07-17 Andre-Joseph Panckoucke, French book publisher/merchant, dies
  • 1757-06-27 Willem Gideon Deutz, Amsterdam regent/banker/merchant, dies at 59
  • 1765-11-30 George Glas, British merchant and adventurer (b. 1725)
  • 1776-03-10 Niclas Sahlgren, Swedish merchant and philanthropist (b. 1701)
  • 1778-06-12 Philip Livingston, American merchant (signed Declaration of Independance), dies at 62
  • 1779-11-10 Joseph Hewes, US merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 49
  • 1785-11-28 William Whipple, merchant/judge/signer (US Declaration of Independence), dies at 55
  • 1786-09-05 Jonas Hanway, English merchant, traveler, and philanthropist (b. 1712)
  • 1787-08-13 Isaac de Pinto, merchant/lender/Dutch States-general, dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1793-10-08 John Hancock, US merchant/statesman (Declaration of Independence), dies at 56

Statesman John Hancock
John Hancock
  • 1797-11-18 Jacques-Alexandre Laffon de Ladebat, French shipbuilder and merchant (b. 1719)
  • 1800-04-18 Pieter Fouquet, art merchant (Atlas of Fouquet), dies
  • 1802-12-31 Francis Lewis, Welsh/US merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 89
  • 1806-12-22 William Vernon, American merchant (b. 1719)
  • 1811-08-02 William Williams, US merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 80
  • 1813-01-23 George Clymer, US merchant (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 73
  • 1814-11-23 Elbridge Gerry, US merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 70
  • 1844-02-04 Willem de Clerq, Dutch merchant/literary, dies at 49
  • 1850-01-14 Anthony van Hoboken, Rotterdam merchant/ship owner, dies at 93

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1891-11-10 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet/arms merchant (Saison en Enfer), dies of a bone cancer at 37

  • 1905-02-20 Jeremiah W. Farnham, American merchant captain
  • 1905-06-13 Tippo-Tip, [Hamed ben Mohammed], Zanzibar merchant, dies at about 67
  • 1917-07-12 Fournier, Swiss/French postage stamp merchant/forger, dies
  • 1931-10-02 Thomas Johnstone Lipton, sportsman/merchant, dies
  • 1940-03-10 Louis de Vries, Dutch actor (Merchant of Venice), dies at 68
  • 1947-01-09 Lambertus Zijl, sculptor (Merchant Exchange-Amsterdam), dies at 80
  • 1954-04-29 Ernst Heldring, Dutch merchant/ship owner/financier, dies at 82
  • 1966-10-18 Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant (Kmart) (b. 1867)