Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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LEACH, Sheperd, manufacturer, born in Easton, Massachusetts, 30 April, 1778; died there, 19 September, 1882. His father, Abisha Leach, was a member of the "committee of correspondence and safety" in 1775, and afterward served in the Revolutionary army. His business was that of a manufacturer of iron, in which the son was early instructed and by which he became widely known. In 1802 he purchased his father's forge and furnace, and a few years later became the proprietor of the Easton furnaces. He was ambitious to control the iron business in New England, and purchased all the foundries of which he could get possession. In 1823 he was running seven furnaces in Easton besides several in other Massachusetts towns, at, which time and up to the time of his death his operations in the iron trade were probably more extensive than those of any other man in New England. He possessed large wealth, of which he gave liberally to benevolent objects. He was commissioned captain of militia in 1804, colonel in 1816, brigadier-general in 1819, and major-general in 1827, which office he held until his death.
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