MAIL FROM THE FOUNDER OF CHRIST CHURCH CAMBRIDGE, A SCION OF A NOTORIOUS NEW ENGLAND SLAVE-TRADER AND “THE RICHEST MAN IN BOSTON”; A stampless cover sent by the Reverend East Apthorp to the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. East Apthorp.
MAIL FROM THE FOUNDER OF CHRIST CHURCH CAMBRIDGE, A SCION OF A NOTORIOUS NEW ENGLAND SLAVE-TRADER AND “THE RICHEST MAN IN BOSTON”; A stampless cover sent by the Reverend East Apthorp to the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts
MAIL FROM THE FOUNDER OF CHRIST CHURCH CAMBRIDGE, A SCION OF A NOTORIOUS NEW ENGLAND SLAVE-TRADER AND “THE RICHEST MAN IN BOSTON”; A stampless cover sent by the Reverend East Apthorp to the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts

MAIL FROM THE FOUNDER OF CHRIST CHURCH CAMBRIDGE, A SCION OF A NOTORIOUS NEW ENGLAND SLAVE-TRADER AND “THE RICHEST MAN IN BOSTON”; A stampless cover sent by the Reverend East Apthorp to the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts

Mailed from: 1764. Envelope or Cover. This envelope is addressed “To the Reverend Dr. Burton, Secretary / to the Society for the propagation of the Gospel / in Foreign Parts, / in Bartlett’s Building / Holbourn, London.”  It was privately carried to England where it received a circular London Bishop Mark backstamp dated “17 / MR”. No contects, but docketing reads, “No. 3. / New England / A Letter from the Revd. Mr. Apthorp / Missry at Cambridge in the Provence of Massachuset’s Bay / dated Cambridge, Jan. 9. 1764. / Read at a Committee / April 9. 1764”.   . Very good. Item #009634

East Apthrop was the son of Charles Apthorp, “the richest man in Boston” (see Life and letters of Charles Bullfinch. . ..) and “the greatest merchant on this continent” per a 1758 edition of The New Hampshire Gazette.  

Charles Apthorp acquired his wealth from ownership of slave-labor Caribbean sugar plantations and an enormous slave-trading empire that brought thousands of enslaved Africans to British North America where he sold them to work on plantations and in homes all along the eastern seaboard.  He sent his son, East, to England where he received a Master of Arts degree from Jesus College, Cambridge University, and was ordained as an Anglican deacon in 1755 and a priest in 1757.

Subsequently, East was appointed as a missionary by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to serve at Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he founded Christ Church, Cambridge.  East flouted his family’s ill-gotten wealth, flagrantly displaying his extravagant expenditures including a magnificent home that now serves as the Master’s Residence for Harvard University’s Adams House.  An outspoken Tory, East was forced by patriots to relinquish leadership of the church in 1764, after which he fled to England where he lived at Addington Palace, the home of a rich family friend. (For more information about the Apthorps, see the Christ Church Cambridge website, “From Massachusetts to the Minster: Americans in Croydon” online, “Tracking Down Thomas Apthorp. . ..” and “Grizzell Apthorp. . ..” both online at Boston 1775, “Apthorp, East” at An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church online, and Vincent Carretta’s Genius in Bondage. . ..

A silent testament to the slave trade in British North America that subsidized the life-style of incredibly wealthy New England Tories.

Price: $500.00

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