American Revolutionary Privateer, Merchant, Politician. Born into a wealthy merchant family, he graduated from Harvard College in 1769. Tracy outfitted the first privateer of the Revolution, Yankee Hero, and subsequently sent out 24 privateering cruisers that captured 120 vessels and 2,225 prisoners. He also sent to sea a fleet of 110 merchant vessels, most of which were destroyed or captured during the war. He loaned $167,000 to the Revolutionary government as well as provided supplies to the army from his personal fortune; at one time he was considered the richest man in the rebellious colonies with a personal worth at the time of $4 million. At General Washington's request, Tracy provided all the vessels to transport an army under Benedict Arnold from Newburyport to Maine in an assault on Quebec. A close friend of Thomas Jefferson, after the war he escorted Jefferson and his daughters on board his ship Ceres to France where Jefferson assumed diplomatic duties. Also after the war, Tracy served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. His fortunes dramatically reversed after the war and he spent the last ten years of his life in bankruptcy, but was so esteemed that his creditors never pressed for repayment. He was the son of Newburyport merchant captain Patrick Tracy and Hannah Gookin, and the husband of Mary Lee.
Bio by: Bob on Gallows Hill