About the Jessup family

Excerpt from the Hampden Times, Westfield, Massachusetts, 1876:

The Jessup Family has been associated in a like honorable manner with the history and the early settlement of Long Island. But Mr. Augustus E. Jessup, husband of the esteemed lady whose death has called forth these reminiscences, was, for a considerable portion of his life, a resident of this town, and his name became identified with what was then one of its leading interests. Some notice, therefore, of him and his family seems pertinent to the present occasion. Mr Jessup was also of Puritan descent, being on the mother's side grandson of General Augustus Collins, of Guildford, Connecticut, who after serving during the Revolution, represented his town in the General Assembly of that State for over thirty years. A nephew of this General Augustus Collins, Oliver Wolcott (son of Oliver Wolcott the Signer and Lorraine Collins), was the first Secretary of the Treasury under Washington.

Some facts in the life of Mr. Jessup that have never been made public  from an every way suitable appendage to these reminiscenes. While Mr. Jessup was fitting  for college at the academy in this town, his father, Mr. Edward Jessup, lost his property by speculating in lead mines, and by unprofitable investments in "The Glass Works." The son gave up his college career, and went to Philadelphia, employing himself there in teaching, and at the same time continuing a course of scientific study under the celebrated Judge Cooper, aftewards president of Columbia College, South Carolina. Mr. Jessup was then under twenty, at an age when much depends upon the influence and associations that surround one. At a distance from home, his own master, he was left to choose his own associates, unchecked by parental authority. The young men with whome he was most initmate at that  time, tell the character of the boy, for he was but a boy then. These special friends of his youth, who continued his friends through life, were Alfred Dupont, afterwards of Wilmington, Delaware ; Samuel Morton, afterwards so dinstinguished as a physician and as a man of science, and Benjamin Gerhard, the eminent lawyer.

At the age nineteen Mr. Jessup was made an honorary member of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the youngest honorary member ever admitted into that body. Some of his scientific essays published at that time were reprinted in England, and also translated into the scientific journals of Germany. Not long after this he was sent by the United States Government as scientist to Major Long's expedition over the Rocky Mountains, with the rank and pay of a major in the United States army. Somewhat later his knowledge of chemistry led him to make experimeents in the manufacture of paper, and, in consequence of his success in these experiments, he established his celebrated paper-mills here in Westfield.

The financial crisis of 1837 and 1839 swept away all the fruits of his labor, and once again he found himself starting anew in life. His indomitable energy, however, led him to "try, try again." And now it was that he reaped the most single advantage from his wisdom in the choice of early friends. The Damon to this Pythias was Mr. Alfred Dupont, who came forward in this emergency, and advanced to Mr. Jessup, as capital for renewing  his business, the sum of forty  thousand dollars, refusing to take from him any mortgage, note, bond, or evidence of debt whatever, from the time of lending the money to the time of its return. Mr. Jessup recorded this act in his family bible as something almost without a parallel, and could never refer to it without bringing tears to his eyes.

Mr. Jessup, whith the capital thus placed at his disposal,  established his well-known paper-mills on the Brandywine, near Wilmington, and continued to make his home there until his death, some sixteen years since. His enterprise there was eminently prosperous and realized for himself and his children an ample fortune.



2001 - 2004 Sten Holtermann         Last updated: 01 jun 2007