New York Public Library
Gansevoort/Lansing Collection
Abraham G. Lansing Esqr.
For Mr. Tappan

Dear Brother

Let me introduce to your acquaintance Mr. Arthur Tappan who has married my sister-in-law Frances. He resides in Montreal and is on his way to England. Whatever attention you may think proper to pay to him during his continuance in Albany will be gratefully acknowledged by

Your Affectionate Brother

G.G. Lansing

Oriskany 22nd Sepr 1810

The father of Mary and Frances Antill, Colonel Edward Antill, had been with Montgomery when he was killed in the siege of Quebec City. Antill was sent to brief Congress on Montgomery's death. After he was captured at the Battle of Long Island, Antill's wife, Charlotte Riverin, petitioned Congress to let her enter New York with her children to be with Edward.

Charlotte died in September 1785, a few months after the birth of Frances. Grief-stricken, Edward returned to Canada, leaving Frances with his close friends, the Alexander Hamiltons. No information exists to say what happened to her before her marriage.

TAPPAN, Arthur, educationist, was born in Northampton, Mass., May 22, 1786; son of Benjamin (1747-1831) and Sarah (Homes) 1748-1826) Tappan; grandson of the Rev. Benjamin (1720-1790) and Elizabeth (Marsh) Tappan, and of the Rev. William Homes, of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., whose father, Robert, married Mary, sister of Dr. Benjamin Franklin; great-grandson of Samuel and Abigail (Wigglesworth) Tappan, and great2-grandson of Abraham and Susanna (Taylor) Tappan, who immigrated to America from Yarmouth, England, May 10, 1637, and settled in Essex county, Mass. His father was a gold and silversmith in Northampton for twenty years, when he relinquished it to engage in the dry goods business. Arthur Tappan had four brothers: Benjamin [p.96] (1773-1857) (q.v.); John (1781-1871), president of the American Tract society; Lewis (1788-1873) and David (Harvard, A.B., 1804, died, 1843). He attended the common schools of Northampton, and was apprenticed to a wholesale importing merchant in Boston, 1801-06. In 1806 his employers set him up in the dry goods importing business in Portland, Maine. His partner was Henry D. Sewall, son of Chief-Justice Sewall, and in 1808 they removed the business to Montreal, Canada.

He was married in September, 1810, to Frances, daughter of Col. Edward Antill of the Continental army, and embarked for England to purchase goods. On the outbreak of the war of 1812, Tappan and Sewall refused to take the oath of allegiance, and were obliged to leave the province at a great financial sacrifice. In 1815 he engaged in the importing business in New York city, the firm being Arthur Tappan & Co., but in 1816 the country was so flooded with importations that he began a jobbing business, which he conducted with great success.

He was elected chairman of the American Education society of New York, in 1807; was its president, 1831-33; was associated with his brother Lewis in the founding of the Journal of Commerce, Sept. 1, 1827, and was one of the founders of the American Tract society in 1828. He opposed slavery, and in 1830 paid the fine and costs necessary to liberate William Lloyd Garrison, who was confined in jail at Baltimore; supported the publication of The Liberator, and aided the establishment of the Emancipator in New York city, in March, 1833. He was one of the founders of the New England Anti-Slavery society at Boston, and was chosen first president of the New York city Anti-Slavery society, Oct. 3, 1833. He was president of the American Anti-Slavery society and gave $1000 a month for its maintenance, but in 1840 he resigned on account of the offensive attitude of several of its members toward the church and the Union. He subscribed $15,000 to Lane Theological seminary, and was instrumental in securing Dr. Lyman Beecher as first president of the institution in 1832, but he failed before his payment became due, and his brother John and other relations paid the amount. When he heard of the act of the trustees prohibiting the antislavery discussion in the institution, he presented the dissenting students with $1000 which enabled them to repair to Oberlin seminary, Ohio, in 1835. He gave a professorship and "Tappan Hall" to the college, on condition that it should be conducted on antislavery principles. On Dec. 16, 1835, his store was destroyed by fire, and was immediately rebuilt, but in May, 1837, owing to the financial panic the firm was obliged to suspend operations. In 1849 he purchased a moiety of the establishment known as the mercantile agency, with which he was connected until 1854, and resided at Belleville, N.J., but in 1854 he removed to New Haven, Conn., where he died July 23, 1865.

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