Friday, September 21, 2007

John Adams Marchant

The family is an interesting example of Southern middle-class manufacturers. They were of French Huguenot descent, coming to America after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The first authentic lineal ancestor who can be identified was Zorobabel Marchant, the grandfather of John Adams Merchant. The latter's father had operated a boat line between Baltimore and Norfolk, and it was probably by this route that Marchant found his way to Charlottesville sometime prior to 1826. A stern man, full of energy, and a staunch Episcopalian, John Marchant became a dry goods merchant and later a manufacturer. He gained a reputation for integrity and enjoyed the confidence of the business community. Tempering ambition with piety, he labored diligently to carve a niche for himself in the commercial life of the town.--Harry Poindexter



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