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Scottish American Industrialists

Robert Gilmor (1748-1822), born in Paisley, was the founder of the East India trade in this country. He also assisted in founding the first bank in Baltimore (the Bank of Maryland), and the Maryland Historical Society. His son Robert (1774-1848) was also prominent in Baltimore business and was President of the Washington Monument Association which laid the foundation for the Washington monument in Baltimore in 1815 and completed it in 1829. Henry Eckford (1775-1832), shipbuilder, was a native of Irvine, Ayrshire. On the outbreak of the War of 1812 he built several ships for the American Government for use on the Great Lakes. In 1820 he was appointed Naval Constructor at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and there built six ships of the line. In 1822 he built the steamer "Robert Fulton," which made the first successful steam voyage to New Orleans and Havana. Angus Neilson Macpherson (1812-76), born at Cluny, Inverness-shire, was builder of the frigate "Ironsides," and designer of the furnaces for heating large plates and the method of affixing them to the sides of the vessel. Donald Mackay (1810-80), born in Nova Scotia, grandson of Donald Mackay of Tain, Ross-shire, established the shipyards at East Boston, and constructed a number of fast sailing ships, and during the Civil War a number of warships for the United States Government. The beauty and speed of his clippers gave him a world wide reputation as a naval constructor. Thomas Dickson (1822-84), President of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Co., was born in Lauder. William Grey Warden (1831-95), born in Pittsburgh of Scottish ancestry, was a pioneer in the refining of petroleum in Pennsylvania, and the controlling spirit in the work of creating the great Atlantic Refinery consolidated with the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in 1874. George Gibson McMurtry (1838-1915), born in Belfast of Scottish descent, steel manufacturer and philanthropist, was "one of the big figures of that small group of men which established the industrial independence of the United States from the European nations of cheap labor." James Edwin Lindsay (1826-1919), lumberman, was descended from Donald Lindsay, who settled in Argyle, New York, in 1739. John McKesson (b. 1807), descended from the McKessons of Argyllshire, was founder of the, wholesale drug firm of McKesson and Robbins; and Alfred B. Scott of the wholesale drug firm of Scott and Bowne was also of Scottish descent. Edmond Urquhart (b. 1834) was one of the pioneers in the creation of the cotton seed oil industry. To Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), born in Dunfermline, "the richest and most free-handed Scot who ever lived," more than anyone else is due the great steel and iron industry of the United States. His innumerable gifts for public libraries, etc., are too well known to need detailing here. To New York alone he gave over five million dollars to establish circulating branches in connection with the New York Public Library. In the development of the steel business of Pittsburgh he was ably seconded by James Scott, George Lauder (his cousin), Robert Pitcairn, Charles Lockhart, and others—all Scots. James McClurg Guffey (b. 1839), oil producer and capitalist, was of Galloway descent. He developed the oil fields of Kansas, Texas, California, West Virginia, and Indian Territory. The town of Guffey, Colorado, is named in his honor. His brother Wesley S. Guffey was also prominent in the oil industry. John Arbuckle (1839-1912), merchant and philanthropist, known in the trade as the "Coffee King," was born in Scotland. Robert Dunlap (b. 1834), hat manufacturer and founder of Dunlap Cable News Company (1891), was of Ulster Scot origin. William Chalk Gouinlock (1844-1914), physician and manufacturer, of Scottish ancestry, was one of the first to establish the salt industry in Western New York (1883), and in 1887 established the first salt-pan west of the Mississippi (at Hutcheson, Kansas). Edward Kerr, born in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, in 1842, was founder of the Laurenceville Bronze Company (1891); and William Mackenzie (1841-1914), born in Glasgow, was founder of the Standard Bleachery at Carlton Hill, New Jersey. Hugh J. Chisholm (1847-1912), capitalist and manufacturer, was of Scottish parentage. James Smith Kirk (1818-86), soap manufacturer in Chicago, was born in Glasgow. George Yule, born in Rathen, Aberdeenshire, in 1824, was distinguished in manufactures. William Chapman Ralston (1826-75), developer of California, was of Scottish ancestry. William Barr (1827-1908), merchant and philanthropist, founder of one of the largest dry goods firms in the Middle West, was born in Lanark. Matthew Baird (1817-77), born in Londonderry of Ulster Scot parentage, a partner in the Baldwin Locomotive Works, in 1865 became sole proprietor besides being a director in several other important corporations. James Douglas Reid (1819-1901), born in Edinburgh, superintended the construction of many of the most important telegraph lines in the United States and founded and edited the "National Telegraph Review." Theodore Irwin (b. 1827), grain merchant, manufacturer, and bibliophile; and Edward Henry Kellogg (b. 1828), manufacturer of lubricating oils, were of Scottish descent. James Abercrombie Burden (b. 1833), ironmaster and manufacturer, was son of the great Scottish inventor, Henry Burden. William Sloane (d. 1879), came to the United States in 1834 and established the great carpet firm of William Sloane and Sons. The development of the tobacco industry which so enriched Glasgow in the middle of the eighteenth century, drew large numbers of Scots to Virginia as merchants and manufacturers, and, says Slaughter, "it is worthy of note that Scotch families such as the Dunlops, Tennants, Magills, Camerons, etc., are to this day (1879) leaders of the tobacco trade of Petersburg, which has grown so great as to swallow up her sisters, Blandford and Pocahontas, which were merged in one corporation in 1784." David Hunter McAlpin (b. 1816) was one of the largest tobacco manufacturers; and Alexander Cameron, born in 1834 at Grantown-on-Spey, had an extensive share in the tobacco business, with four large branch factories in Australia. Alexander Macdonald (b. 1833), born at Forres, Elginshire, was President of the Standard Oil Company of Kentucky and Director in several other important business enterprises. James Crow, Kentucky pioneer, (c. 1800-1859), born in Scotland and graduated as a physician from Edinburgh University. In 1822 went from Philadelphia to Woodford County, Kentucky, where his knowledge of chemistry enabled him vastly to improve the methods of distilling whiskey, and he became the founder of the great distilling industry of that state. Walter Callender, born in Stirling in 1834, was founder of the firm of Callender, McAuslan, and Troup, of Providence. E.J. Lindsay, born in Dundee in 1838, was manufacturer of agricultural implements in Wisconsin. Alexander Cochrane, born at Barrhead in 1840, was a great chemical manufacturer. Edwin Allen Cruikshank, born in 1843 of Scottish ancestry, was a real estate operator and one of the founders of the Real Estate Exchange in 1883. George Harrison Barbour, born in 1843 of Scottish parentage, was Vice-President and General Manager of the Michigan Stove Company, the largest establishment of the kind in the world. William Marshall, born in Leith in 1848, was founder of the Anglo-American Varnish Company (1890). Robert Means Thompson, born in 1849 of Scottish ancestry, was President of the Orford Copper Company, one of the largest producers of nickel in the world. William James Hogg (b. 1851), carpet manufacturer in Worcester and Auburn, Massachusetts; and Francis Thomas Fletcher Lovejoy, Secretary of the Carnegie Steel Company were of Scottish descent. William Howe McElwain (b. 1867), shoe manufacturer in New England, is of Argyllshire descent; and the Armours of Chicago, descended from James Armour, who came from Ulster c. 1750, claim Scottish ancestry. William Barbour (b. 1847), thread manufacturer, was grandson of a Scot who moved from Paisley, Scotland, to Lisburn, Ireland, in 1768, and in 1784 established what is now the oldest linen thread manufacturing establishment in the world. George A. Clark (1824-73), born in Paisley, established the thread mills at Newark, New Jersey, the business of which was carried on by his brother William (b. 1841), who came to the United States in 1860. The great Coates Thread Mills at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, are a branch of the firm of J. and J. Coates of Paisley. Hugh Chalmers (b. 1873), President of the Chalmers Motor Company, of Detroit, is descended from Thomas Chalmers who came from Scotland early in the nineteenth century. Ramsey Crooks (1786-1859), fur trader, born in Greenock, Scotland; came to America and settled in Wisconsin. In 1809, he entered the service of John Jacob Astor and made, with Donald Mackenzie and Robert Stuart, the memorable 3,500-mile trip to Astoria, on the Pacific Ocean. In 1834, he settled in New York and engaged successfully in business. During his residence at Mackinac Island, Mich., and on his adventurous trips he was a great friend and confidant of the Indians. Black Hawk said he was "The best paleface friend the red men ever had." Mention may also here be made of the Anchor line of Steamships founded by Thomas and John Henderson of Glasgow. The ships of this line began service between Glasgow and New York in 1856. In 1869 they established a North Sea service between Granton, Scotland, and Scandinavian ports and through this channel introduced many thousands of industrious Scandinavian settlers into the United States. In 1870 they established the first direct communication between Italy, southern Europe and the United States, and in 1873 they inaugurated, and were the principal carriers of, the live cattle trade between the United States and Europe.

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