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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NESBITT, John Maxwell, merchant, born in Ireland in 1728 ; died in Philadelphia, 22 January, 1802. He came to this country in early life, settled in Philadelphia, and became one of the chief merchants of that city. He was the paymaster of the Pennsylvania navy from 14 September, 1775, till 1 March, 1778, and treasurer of the Pennsylvania board of war during the Revolution. He enlisted in 1777 in the city troop, with which he served during its campaign in New Jersey, in 1788 was appointed one of the committee to settle the accounts of the council of safety, in 1780 assisted in forming the Pennsylvania bank to supply provisions for the army, subscribed £5,000 to its funds, and was chosen one of its five inspectors. In 1781 he joined with Robert Morris and others in forming the Bank of North America, and he served in its directorship from its organization until 1792, when he became one of the founders of the Insurance company of North America, the oldest fire and marine insurance company in the United States, was chosen its first president, and served four years. He was one of the port-wardens in 1788, and in 1790 an alderman. In 1793 he was one of a committee of merchants to collect information respecting the capture or detention of vessels belonging to citizens of the United States by the cruisers of nations at war, and to lay the same before the president. He was a founder of the Friendly society of St. Patrick (afterward Ancient order of Hibernians) in 1771, of which he was chosen vice-president, and in 1773 president.
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