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History of the St Andrew's Society of the State of New York
Biographies: Archibald Gracie

Seventeenth President

Archibald Gracie was a son of William Gracie, of Dumfries, Scotland, and was born on the 25th June, 1755, at Dumfries, and died on the 11th April, 1829, at New York City, aged seventy-three years.

Leaving his native town in 1776, he started in business in Liverpool, and thus came in contact with those returning from the American colonies and the West Indies.

Realizing the opportunities for building up a large importing business in a new land, and having full confidence in the future of the American Colonies, he sailed for New York on the 27th April, 1784.

Shortly after landing in this country he went to Petersburgh, Virginia, and there established himself in business. Finding the small size and inland situation of this Southern town unfavorable for the rapid development of a trading business, Mr. Gracie returned to the City of New York in 1793 to become the head of the firm of Archibald Gracie and Sons, East India Merchants.

Under his energetic and wise management this business venture was crowned with great success and he acquired a large fortune.

He was a close and lifelong friend of Robert Lenox, being constantly associated with him in business and charitable undertakings, and naming him as an executor of his will.

Of a most generous and benevolent spirit, his name constantly appears in charitable organizations of his time, which he materially aided and advanced by his many gifts and contributions. He was one of the subscribers to the Tontine Coffee House, an original incorporator of the Eagle Fire Insurance Company, a Director of the United States Bank, a Director of the Bank of America, Vice-President of the New York Insurance Company, and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce from 1800 to 1825. He became a member of the Saint Andrew’s Society on the 30th November, 1796, and served as President from 1818-1823. Curiously enough, he never was elected to or served in any of the minor offices of the Society.

He married in 1784 Esther Rogers, daughter of Samuel Rogers of Norwalk, Connecticut, and Elizabeth Fitch, and had issue: (1) Margaret, born 31st July, 1786: (2) William, horn 28th November, 1787; (3) Marv; (4) Elizabeth, born 6th September, 1788; (5) Sarah Rogers, born 14th December, 1791; (6) Mary Morrison, born 28th September, 1793; (7) Archibald, Jr., born 17th December, 1795; (8) Robert, born 13th August, 1799; (10) Esther, born 5th May, 1801.

His portrait is reproduced from a miniature by Malbone, now in the possession of Mrs. James J. Higginson, a lineal descendant.

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