Born March 9, 1766, in New Castle, Delaware. He was a merchant in Philadelphia, and a vessel owned by him and Joseph Rogers was captured by the French in 1797, making him one of the numerous claimants under the present French Spoliation Claims. In 1794, similar aggressions of England upon American shipping caused a public meeting of merchants and traders to be held at Philadelphia in March, at which Stephen Girard was chairman, and Robert McKean was secretary. At another meeting, March 24th, a board of trustees for the "Algerine fund" was chosen, among whom were Thomas McKean, Thomas Mifflin, George Meade, Robert Mifflin, and Stephen Girard.
Mr. McKean was a member of the First City Troop, being elected April 30, 1794. He was married in the Second Presbyterian Church by Rev. Ashbel Green, April 17, 1794, to Miss Ann Smith, daughter of William Smith and Mary Sammerzel, of the Island of St. Eustatius, where she was born December 4, 1774. A sampler, a map of Europe made by her at the age of thirteen, a beautiful piece of needlework, is signed "Ann Smith, Finished Aug. 14,1787." Robert McKean was appointed an auctioneer for the city of Philadelphia in March 1800, a position he held until February 1801. Mr. McKean died in Philadelphia, June 3, 1802. Mrs. McKean died November 3, 1813.
1) Mary, b. January 8, 1797, Phila. (Mrs. Hoffman)
2) William S., b. (no records in family register or in 1st Presbyterian Church, Phila.); died quite young)
Ann Smith McKean
1774–1813 (m. 1794)