Thaddeus Leavitt – What was his connection to the New London port?


Connecticut Western Reserve – Thaddeus Leavitt was one of the original eight purchasers.

On my previous HOT Log, I researched in detail “Mum Bett” and how she was able to publically gain freedom. Her freedom was made possible because of the Sheffield resolves. This got me thinking about the different classes, and wondering what the higher classes had to do with slavery. Our class then found Thaddeus Leavitt. He was born in 1750, and by 1774 he was a shop owner and entrepreneur in Suffield. His family was very well known. He married Elizabeth King, daughter of Ensign William King and Lucy Hatheway of Suffield. All three of these last names are very prominent in our research toward 1774. While I researched more, my classmate, Tanner, found diaries of Leavitts. That is when I decided to do some detailed research. I found out that he had a great partnership with individuals from Windsor, importing lots of goods from West Indies. He included receipts and whooping cough medicine ingredients and where exactly he imported the goods from. My initial question was if he ever went to the New London port to sell goods. After in depth researching in his diaries, I soon realized that on March 16th 1786 in his 5th diary entry that they were doing business! It reads,“I this day hear that the Brigg Mercury (his boat) has arrived at New London exceeding fine weather – as pleasant and warm as is usual on the 1st of May.”This indicates that he did business there, as well as repeated business. It seems that Brigg Mercury arrived at New London around this time yearly. From his diaries, I seemed to have found out that he owned a boat, Brigg Mercury, and was selling to and receiving goods from the West Indies. Next, I would like to get further in depth with how exactly he is getting the goods.





2 thoughts on “Thaddeus Leavitt – What was his connection to the New London port?

  1. tannerm1516

    This blog post is really interesting as I did not know you were also investigating the King family and their diaries, and our topics overlap. I like how you question where the goods are coming from. I wonder if Harry or Luca has any information that could help you. This is very interesting though and definitely worth further investigating to try and connect many of our topics.


  2. katherinekalill

    Riley, awesome job! Your findings are very interesting. It is really cool how this information all connects. I loved reading about Leavitts’s trading through the New London port, the especially cool part is that you were able to find the specific date that the trading was done in the month of May most likely the same year as his diary entry in 1786. I know you mentioned a few of the things that were traded but do you know of anything else? Can you confirm that the year Leavitts began using the port is in fact 1786, the same year as his diary entry? What specific goods were prominent in trade from the West Indies, isn’t that tea? Does he connect at all to the tea party? To polish this piece I would be a little more specific when discussing what is traded and make those sentences flow together better perhaps because there are so many great ideas involved in this writing. You could also add a second photo. Overall this is an extremely interesting piece, great work!



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