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 • Essex County
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Jacob Crowninshield
Birth: Mar. 31, 1770
Death: Apr. 15, 1808

US Congressman, Merchant Sea Captain. Elected as a Republican to represent Massachusetts' 2nd District and as an At-Large in the Eighth and two succeeding Congresses, he served from 1803 until his death in office. Crowninshield was born in Salem, Massachusetts, into a prominent seafaring family. His father, George Crowninshield, initiated the first major sea trade in pepper, and after giving his five boys a nautical education he brought them into his expanded shipping business as Crowninshield & Sons. Young Jacob was employed as a merchant captain and charged with trading in the Far East. His most famous exploit was bringing the first live elephant to the United States in 1796. He purchased the two year-old female, which he described as "about the size of a very large ox", in India for $450 and sold her in New York City for $10,000. (The pachyderm toured the country as "Crowninshield's Elephant" until her final public exhibition in 1818). Lacking a robust constitution, he soon abandoned the sea for a career in politics. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1798 and was a member of the State Senate in 1801 before winning his seat in the US House of Representatives. In 1805 President Thomas Jefferson offered Crowninshield the post as Secretary of the Navy and the choice was approved by the Senate, but he never served because of ill health. In his second congressional term he was Chairman of the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures. He died in the Capitol at 38. There is a cenotaph in his memory at Washington DC's Congressional Cemetery. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  George Crowninshield (1734 - 1815)
  Mary Derby Crowinshield (1737 - 1813)
 
 Spouse:
  Sarah Gardner Crowninshield (1773 - 1807)*
 
 Children:
  Sarah Crowninshield Rogers (1800 - 1835)*
 
 Siblings:
  Jacob Crowninshield (1770 - 1808)
  Benjamin Williams Crowninshield (1772 - 1851)*
  Mary Crowninshield (1778 - 1835)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Harmony Grove Cemetery
Salem
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Dec 28, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12807879
Jacob Crowninshield
Added by: Anonymous
 
Jacob Crowninshield
Added by: Bob on Gallows Hill
 
Jacob Crowninshield
Cemetery Photo
Added by: BobBoston
 
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My 2nd cousin 6 times removed.
- Angela Crowningshield Asbra
 Added: Oct. 5, 2014

- Tom Cummings
 Added: Dec. 5, 2012
What a sad life for the elephant.
- Jackie Saulmon Ramirez
 Added: Apr. 13, 2012
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