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William Douglas





William Douglas, only brother of Euphemia Douglas, wife of William Sloane, was born in Dunfermline. He came to New York early in life, but has not been identified with the business life of the city earlier than 1833 when he was connected with the firm of Thompson & Co. on Spruce Street. In 1836 Thomas McCrindell was a member of this firm, his partners being Orrin Thompson and T. Phelps. McCrindell dropped out that year and the firm continued. No reference has been found that would show that Douglas was a member of the firm, but our Dues Book of 1835 gives his address as Thompson & Co. He probably therefore was a salesman with that house. The tradition in the family is that he represented a Dunfermline linen house. He it was who induced his brother-in-law William Sloane, the founder of the great house of Sloane, to come to New York. In the course of business Mr. Douglas took passage on the ill-fated packet Pennsylvania which was wrecked in the Mersey, January 8, 1839, and he was drowned. The following eulogy appeared in the Morning Courier and Nczi.' York Enquirer of February 26, 1839 :

"We are prompted by the sacred ties of friendship to pay a brief tribute to the memory of one who was lost by the wreck of the packet ship Pennsylvania; we allude to William Douglas, Esq., of this city. Mr. Douglas was a native of Scotland; he came to this country early in life, soon became a partner in one
of the first mercantile houses in New York. Faultless as a companion — a friend, and a husband — generous and manly in all his transactions with others, it may with truth be said, he never made an enemy. Cut down in the prime of existence, the news of his untimely death brought with it no ordinary pangs to the bosoms of a large circle of friends ; and in the heart of one, united to him by the nearest and dearest connexion of life, the melancholy tidings opened a wound, which time itself, with its soothing influence, can never entirely heal. He has gone through death's sleep unto God- — the best of friends, and an honest man."

"He has outsoar'd the shadow of our night;
Envy and calumy, and hate and pain ;
And that unrest which men miscall delight,
Can touch him not and torture not again ;
From the contagion of the world's slow stain
He is secure, and now can never mourn
A heart grown cold, a head grown gray in vain;
Nor when the spirit's self has ceased to bum,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented um."






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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024