Jacob Crowninshield

Jacob Crowninshield

Birth
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 15 Apr 1808 (aged 38)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 12807879 · View Source
Suggest Edits

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 Members


Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Jacob Crowninshield?

Current rating:

10 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 28 Dec 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12807879
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jacob Crowninshield (31 Mar 1770–15 Apr 1808), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12807879, citing Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .