Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MACALESTER, Charles, merchant, born in Campbelltown, Argyleshire, Scotland, 5 April, 1765; died near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 29 August, 1832. He came to this country in 1786, was naturalized as an American citizen, and settled in Philadelphia. From 1786 till 1804 he commanded vessels, generally acting as supercargo, and soon became an owner of the ships in which he sailed. One of these, the " George Barclay," he navigated with great success against the pirates. At the beginning of the 19th century he built a ship called the "Fanny," which was the fastest sailing merchantman of her time, accomplishing her first voyage from Philadelphia to the Isle of Wight in seventeen days, the most rapid passage then on record. In London he was engaged to make a voyage in this ship to Batavia. In 1804 he relinquished his sea-voyages and devoted himself to mercantile pursuits in Philadelphia, building many fine vessels, which sailed to London, Amsterdam, China, and the East Indies. In 1825 he retired with a competency, and, becoming president of the Insurance company of Philadelphia, redeemed its fortunes, and served efficiently until his death. He was also a director of the Bank of North America. Mr. MacAlester was an ardent Presbyterian, a founder of the Mariner's church, treasurer of the Marine Bible society of Philadelphia, and vice-president of St. Andrew's society, --His son, Charles, merchant, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 17 February, 1798; died there, 9 December, 1873, was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, which he left in 1812 to command a company of forty boys, who worked for two days to assist in making the fortifications on the west side of the Schuylkill. Early in life he engaged in mercantile pursuits, and resided in Cincinnati in 1821-'7. after which he returned to Philadelphia, and retired in 1849. He was president of the Orthopedic hospital, and of the St. Andrew's society. In 1873 he gave a valuable property, consisting of a large building with extensive grounds, for the establishment of a college in Minneapolis, which has been called by the trustees "Macalester college." He has frequently presided at large mass meetings in Philadelphia.
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