Research article

David Parish, Alexander Baring and the US Loan of 1813: The Role of Nationality and Patriotism in the Transatlantic Mercantile Community in Times of War

  • Sarah Lentz (1Independent researcher, Germany)


The War of 1812 was a very expensive conflict for the United States. In 1813, three foreign-born investors, among them David Parish from Hamburg, Germany, saved the US government from bankruptcy by providing a sixteen-million dollar loan. This article focuses on the reasons why Parish – who strongly opposed the war – agreed to take a major share in the loan. At the same time, it examines the ways in which the Hamburg merchant tried to sell a large share of his US government bonds in Great Britain – America’s wartime enemy. Parish’s actions make it obvious that he promoted the idea of a supranational mercantile community that was not bound by patriotic considerations even during war times. Consequently, it was the British merchant banker Alexander Baring who stood at the core of Parish’s plans to sell US bonds in London. By contrasting Baring’s room for manoeuvre during these financial transactions with that of Parish this article shows that in the British context public expectations of loyalty and patriotism could indeed limit the abilities of local merchants in financing the opponent of war. Thus, the comparison of Parish’s and Baring’s experiences highlights the importance of local factors such as a consolidated public opinion and a strong nation state in setting the limits of the sphere of activity for internationally operating merchants in times of war.

How to Cite: Lentz, S. (2021). David Parish, Alexander Baring and the US Loan of 1813: The Role of Nationality and Patriotism in the Transatlantic Mercantile Community in Times of War. London Journal of Canadian Studies, 28(1).

Rights: Copyright © 2013, Sarah Lentz



Published on
20 Aug 2021
Peer Reviewed


The War of 1812 against Great Britain proved to be a very expensive conflict for the United States. With its traditional sources of revenue severely strained, the US government was forced to turn to its own people to raise funds. This proved to be difficult throughout the duration of the war. Especially in 1813, investors increasingly lost faith in a favourable outcome of the conflict and hesitated to invest money in government bonds. Due to general political disruptions, participation in or opposition to the sixteen-million dollar loan became also a question of patriotism in the eyes of Republicans and Federalists alike.

Under growing financial pressure, the government asked a few large-scale foreign investors for support. The three men who saved the American state from bankruptcy were all of European origin: David Parish from Hamburg, Germany, Johann Jakob (John Jacob) Astor from Walldorf, Germany, and Stephen Girard from Bordeaux, France. For a tolerable commission these men immediately contacted a number of business partners both within the US and across Europe to raise the necessary funds - about ten million dollars.

From the very beginning of his involvement with the US government, David Parish knew that it would be necessary ‘to call in foreign aid’ to provide the United States with said monetary means. 1 He was convinced that it would be possible to raise millions of dollars in Europe - especially in Great Britain - despite the fact that the Napoleonic Wars were ravaging the continent and the former motherland was now America’s enemy in war. One man was always at the core of all the plans Parish developed to sell government bonds in Britain during the war - Alexander Baring. Interestingly, Baring was not only one of the most famous merchant bankers in London, but also a member of the British Parliament.

These facts seem to sustain the thesis that for Baring and Parish as internationally operating merchants and financiers ‘nationality was less important than class’. 2 Historian Sam A. Mustafa has argued for the existence of an international ‘merchant culture’ that accompanied the formation of the mercantile community as ‘a recognizable class: intermarried, socially distinct, financially and politically connected’. 3 As Mustafa suggests, merchants displayed ‘a general scepticism for any ideology that had no practical economic applications’ 4 and oftentimes they only turned patriots when their own interests were at stake.

In contrast to these findings, the key role played by the merchants and financiers Parish, Astor and Girard in saving the US government was hailed by historians throughout the nineteenth century as a great service by three foreign-born patriots ‘distributing the load which no native American dared carry’, 5 because they believed ‘in America and in her future’. 6

The loan of 1813 has, thus far, mainly been studied as an event in US history, neglecting the role that British financiers had in it and its impact on Canada. In general, scholars have come to the conclusion that ‘the sale of war stock to citizens of a hostile nation seems to have been not unusual’ 7 during the era of the Napoleonic Wars ‘when the spirit of nationalism had only begun to shackle men’s thoughts and actions’. 8 According to Ralph W. Hidy, trading with the enemy was also ‘obviously neither so clearly defined nor considered so reprehensible as it became in the twentieth century’. 9 In contrast to this thesis, Alexander Baring - who even functioned at that time as the official European agent of the US government - officially declined to have any share in selling the war bonds in London or in Europe.

Yet if personal gain and self-interest were of paramount importance for the international merchants of the era, why did Alexander Baring, previously the major financier of the United States government, refuse to help during the War of 1812? Moreover, the third principal individual involved in underwriting the sixteen-million dollar loan of 1813, David Parish, had only been living in the United States for a few years when war broke out. Could Parish thus really have been motivated by newfound patriotism in aiding the American government and was Baring likewise operating out of loyalty to Great Britain in refusing to participate?

By applying a transnational perspective, the following paper will examine and compare David Parish’s and Alexander Baring’s roles in the loan of 1813. Their positions are very revealing in regard to the difficult situation in which internationally operating merchants could find themselves in times of war.

David Parish and the War in the United States

The United States were not very well prepared for a war with Great Britain, either on a military or a financial level. For 1813, the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin estimated that the government needed another nineteen million dollars. He therefore obtained permission to raise sixteen million dollars through a second public loan and five million more through treasury notes. 10 Just how desperately this money was needed is illustrated by Gallatin’s famous message to Madison in May 1813 when he warned the President that ‘[w]e have hardly money enough to last till the end of the month.’ 11

Prior to initiating a public subscription Gallatin had tried to convince a few large-scale investors -- among them Parish and Astor -- to take over a part of the loan. However, because peace appeared to be far off, he failed in this attempt and had to turn to the American people for help. Unfortunately, subscriptions went slowly and it seemed unlikely that the government would be able to fill the loan. Luckily for Gallatin the Russian Tsar Alexander I offered to help negotiate a peace agreement between the warring parties. 12 The hope of seeing the war brought to a speedy conclusion helped Gallatin to succeed in gaining the support of Parish, Astor and Girard by offering them liberal terms for taking the bonds. Parish and Girard agreed to take $7,055,800 on a shared account. Astor and his ‘friends in New York’ accepted the sum of $2,056,000. 13 For every certificate of one hundred dollars, they had to pay only 88 dollars, thus receiving a twelve per cent discount. 14

Providing the government with enough funds was a difficult task mainly because of a lack of enthusiasm for the war among the American people who were deeply divided along party lines - Federalists and Republicans. 15 When it became obvious in the winter of 1812 that Washington had to turn to US citizens for a second loan, supporting the government became a political issue of national importance. These funds were necessary to carry on the war and therefore participation or boycott of the loan became a question of patriotism. 16 The Republicans, who supported the war, argued that it was for every true American patriot a ‘performance of his duties to his country’ 17 to take a share in the loan. On the contrary, the Federalists, who opposed the war from the beginning and who were especially strong in New England, were convinced that it was ‘a duty of patriotism to defeat the Government by destroying its credit’. 18 Members of the Federalist party tried to discourage people from investing their money in ‘war bonds’ 19 while they themselves bought British government bonds and tried to smuggle specie across the border to Canada. 20 In return, Republicans condemned them as ‘selfish and unpatriotic politicians’. 21

In regard to the relatively poor outcome of the public subscription, Republicans were shocked that ‘[t]his appeal to the patriotism of the nation proved a lamentable failure’. 22 Therefore, they were quite relieved when the news spread that Parish, Girard and Astor had taken over the major share of the loan. At the same time, according to historian Derek Wilson, Federalists ‘were furious’ and ‘vilified the four foreigners’. 23 The controversy about the loan of 1813 demonstrates tendencies towards a growing sense of nationalism, but also contention surrounding the definition of a true patriot. Andrew W. Robertson has claimed that two imagined communities developed at this time in parallel and maintained ‘antithetical identities’ in this regard. 24

In 1813, David Parish, who was the offspring of a Hamburg family with Scottish origins, entered his seventh year of residency in the United States. His father, John Parish Senior, had worked his way up and accumulated an immense fortune. In the process he had formed connections with the ‘most powerful and important men in Europe and America’. 25

Building on all of these capacities, David Parish succeeded in establishing a reputation of his own. He started a prosperous establishment in Antwerp that drew the attention of the Baring Brothers in London and Hope & Co in Amsterdam. 26 They decided to send Parish to the United States in 1806 as the agent of an international financial syndicate they were forming with other important European financiers. 27 This connection with the two most important merchant bankers of the time was essential for Parish’s future career. Not only did he gain one million dollars from this enterprise, but also important connections with the most influential politicians and businessmen in the young republic. 28

At the end of his duties as Baring’s agent, Parish decided to stay in America, which he perceived, due to the state of war in Europe, to be ‘the only country where a person could look forward to enjoy, for half a century at least, a state of tranquillity and security’. 29 The War of 1812, therefore, came as an unpleasant surprise for Parish. Prior to the outbreak of the war, he had already decided to let go of mercantile enterprises due to the difficult state of commerce as a result of the Napoleonic Wars and different blockades. Instead, the businessman planned to retreat to upstate New York, where he owned 200 acres of land, which he had bought for $363.000 in 1808 as agent for the European syndicate. 30 Parish had received the land as part of his compensation and now informed his friends and business partners: ‘[U]ntil times get better I intend occupying myself with the improvement of my lands in the Back Country’. 31 How did it then happen that only one year later Parish found himself at the core of a several million dollar deal with the US government?

David Parish opposed the War of 1812 throughout its duration as a ‘foolish & iniquitous war’. 32 He did not hold the Republican Administration in great esteem and socialised with Federalists but, at the same time, thought that ‘their Hostility to the Administration sometimes carries them too far’. 33 Still, he repeatedly condemned ‘the Wiseacres at Washington’ 34 and their ‘obnoxious & foolish Laws’ 35 in his letters to his family and close friends. In regard to the loan, Parish had declared on 12 March 1813 that he had ‘no intention of putting [his] name to the list’ 36 but only a few days later he agreed to become a major force in financing the government.

Parish’s official explanation for this change of heart was that he had only agreed to provide the money on condition that the US government would immediately try to negotiate for peace. Therefore, he tried to convince his Federalist friends that he never ‘had the slightest disposition of contributing [his] aid for the prosecution of the present ruinous measures’. 37 However, his correspondence with the government shows that Parish, while demanding a sincere effort ‘to bring this war to a close, as soon as it [could] be done with Honor’ also insisted ‘that in case this [could not] be accomplished, the next congress [would] make the necessary appropriations to carry it on’. 38 Thus, he was truly hoping for a speedy peace but it was not a precondition for his decision to fill the government’s account. If political considerations had no part in his decision to support the government what else could have moved Parish to engage in a business that was considered by many of his Federalist friends as an ‘impiety as well as treachery’? 39

Among the many financial operations in which Parish had a share during his years in the United States, one stands out as marking a real turning point in Parish’s life: the purchase of landed property along the Canadian border. It was more than a simple business deal because Parish decided to make upstate New York his home and to do everything in his power to help develop this region. Even after war broke out he invested ‘immense sums of money’ 40 in the property, building streets, stores and other facilities. As Claudia Schnurmann has argued, Parish tried to live a life in the style of an ‘old world Lord of the Manor’, 41 for instance by having his own splendid country estate built by a French architect. 42

At first Parish was convinced that the war could not last very long. For him more than for others, this was of great importance because his properties were located directly on the shore of the St. Lawrence River, right along the border between Canada and the United States. If the war continued, his settlements, which were in a strategic position for challenging the British control of Upper and Lower Canada, were in danger of becoming the scene of battles. 43 This threat to Parish’s property became a lamentable truth on 4 October 1812 when the British started an attack on Ogdensburg, one of the main settlements on his lands. 44 Even though the American troops, which had arrived only a short time before, and the local militia were able to fight the attackers back, Parish got to feel the danger his holdings were in when he only ‘narrowly escaped being hit’. 45 He was worried about his property and asked the government to place more soldiers at the disposal of securing the Canadian border. Instead, their numbers declined during the winter and the remaining soldiers launched attacks on Canadian territory, provoking their opponents. 46 As a result, Ogdensburg was attacked again on 22 February 1813. This time, the attack was quite successful and the Americans were crowded out. 47 Even though the Canadian soldiers left on the same day, Parish was very concerned about his property, even more so because the British made it clear ‘that the town must not be garrisoned under the penalty of another attack!’ 48 In return, they promised ‘protection and security to the country, provided there [were] no more troops sent to Ogdensburg, to excite the fears of the Canadians’. 49 This was the moment when Parish knew that Ogdensburg was ‘at the complete mercy of the enemy’ 50 and, interestingly enough, as historian Alan Taylor has pointed out, the exact time when he decided to step forward and help the US government by taking an immense share of the sixteen-million dollar loan.

Taylor has called attention to the fact that it was a curious choice for the US military to leave Ogdensburg free from troops for the rest of the war. He argues that this decision could have been decisive for the outcome of the war. 51 Taylor refers to an article written by Lieutenant Colonel George Macdonell in 1848 in which he claims that because of

‘a private political arrangement made (spontaneously) by Lieut.-Colonel Macdonell [the writer himself], on the American shore, that same day [22 February 1813], there never was, from that time forward, during the whole of the remainder of the war, ever stationed at Ogdensburg, or any other part of the St. Lawrence, one single American soldier. This one political measure alone was, therefore, of equal value to a number of victories, which would have become indispensable, if the enemy had continued to occupy the line of the St. Lawrence’. 52

Macdonell assured his readers that he had successfully called ‘the private interests of a very influencial [sic] individual in the states’ into play. 53 It is very likely that this individual was none other than David Parish. If so, as Taylor has concluded, it is highly probable that Parish only succeeded in keeping his property free from American troops by promising to help save the US government from bankruptcy. 54

Revealingly, Parish took further measures to make sure his settlements were safe. He tried everything to maintain good relations with his Canadian neighbours on the other side of the river. Supported by his local agents, he continued to facilitate and encourage illicit trade during the war, providing the enemy with important supplies. If smuggling is perceived as ‘another front in war’, 55 as John Latimer has argued, this was a great offence - even more so, because the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada were barely able to sustain their own needs without goods provided by American smugglers. 56 But Parish did not just provide goods for the enemy; even more importantly, intelligence was passed back and forth across the border. Thus, through Parish and his agents the British were ‘most minutely informed of all movements & preparations throughout the states’. 57 At least one incident is documented in which the financier himself gave ‘such political information as Mr. P. [Parish] might think proper to communicate’ to his friend William Gilkinson, a Canadian merchant, who came to visit him in Ogdensburg. Prior to that, Parish had ‘had access and confidential interviews with those at the head of the United States Government’. 58

The fact that Parish, his agents and the local US residents kept friendly relations with the British did not stay hidden from the public for long. Already three months after the retreat of the US troops, a Republican newspaper characterised the situation in the following way: ‘That treason, treachery and toryism is not confined to the sea-board we deeply regret …. Ogdensburg (N.Y.) is visited daily by British officers, in full uniform, and they are treated with much politeness by the inhabitants’. 59

At least one member of the administration also doubted publicly Parish’s loyalty to the American cause. General Henry Dearborne dared to pose the question ‘how it happened that (…) Mr Parish’s property escaped being plundered by the ennemy [sic], when they [the British] took this place [Ogdensburg]’. 60 Dearborne seems to have been ‘very strongly prejudiced against Ogdensburgh’ 61 and to have been the driving force behind the effort to stop the mail from reaching Ogdensburg. Consequently, post-masters were being instructed ‘to receive no letters from Ogdensburg’ 62 and to deliver no newspapers in an effort to undermine the flow of information across the border.

David Parish did not himself challenge these accusations and tried to maintain a low profile instead. In general, Parish tried to present himself as ‘neutral’. 63 That explains why he asked of his father: ‘[R]efrain from expressing your opinions about Mr. M [probably Madison] - I am sure you are far from wishing to place me in an awkward situation with him & his friends’. 64 This neutrality is also reflected in his other business deals with the US government. Whenever there was a chance of making a bargain with the Republican administration, Parish took it. Consequently, he sold his schooners to the Americans who would use them for warfare, as he knew perfectly well. 65 Furthermore, he tried to sell munitions made from iron ore, which had been found on his property, to the US military. The only reason why this deal was unsuccessful was the threat from the British ‘to burn the Establishment’. 66

Parish’s behaviour in the War of 1812 makes it obvious that, as was the case with Astor and Girard, patriotism was not the main motivation behind his actions. One could argue that Parish might have acted more out of patriotism to his European and, most of all, his Hamburg origins. But while his correspondence shows that he was still emotionally connected with his ‘poor mother land’ 67 and ‘most sincerely participated in their [the citizens of Hamburg’s] late horrid sufferings’ 68 under the Napoleonic occupation of the city, this did not prevent him from supporting a war that weakened Great Britain, which was, at the time, the main opponent of the ‘lawless enemy of mankind’ Napoleon Bonaparte. 69 Accordingly, Great Britain had to wage war on two fronts. 70

David Parish -- A True International Merchant?

David Parish had managed to keep his connections with European friends and business partners alive during the years he had spent in the United States. Even during the War of 1812, when different blockades made communication difficult, he tried everything to maintain his correspondence network, which spanned the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. In David Parish’s letters it becomes obvious that financiers and merchants at that time focused on business without showing much concern for whether their correspondents were members of an allied or enemy nation. The correspondents provided each other with ‘commercial advices & other interesting information’ 71 and exchanged newspapers. Even more intriguing is the fact that Parish provided his most intimate correspondents with ‘war documents received from Washington’. 72 Among these were a new treasury report, news about the election of the new Secretary of the Treasury, copies of letters from the American ambassadors in Geneva during the peace negotiation, and considerations about new taxes and the transfer of the capital away from Washington. 73 Parish did not just send this intelligence to his father and brothers in Great Britain, but also to the merchant banker and politician, Alexander Baring. Parish was still working as a quasi-official agent for Baring Brothers in America and even though Baring was a member of the British Parliament, Parish promised him: ‘[I]f any thing interesting occurs during my stay at Washington you shall hear from me’. 74

Parish’s example suggests that merchants from different nations thought of their correspondents not as individuals with a particular nationality, but as belonging first and foremost to the social group of internationally operating merchants. The relationship between merchants of different nations, slowly built up over the years, proved stronger than temporary conflicts. How little national origin counted, at least in Parish’s thinking, is most impressively illustrated by his involvement in the loan of 1813.

From the very beginning David Parish was convinced that he could count on his European connections in obtaining the necessary funds for the US government. In Parish’s mind this help was most likely to be found in Great Britain, on account of it ‘being known in this Country [Great Britain], that an association of the most respectable Capitalists had stepped forward to supply the wants of Gouvernmt. [the American Government] & that a communication of a pacific Nature was to be made to the British Gouvernmt.’ 75 Parish was thus convinced that he could procure a great part of the required funds from members of the nation’s wartime enemy, Great Britain. Alexander Baring was supposed to play the key role in Parish’s plan. He wrote Baring on 9 April 1813 about his deal with the US government and informed him that ‘we shall probably send a part of the Stock to your House’ assuring him that ‘the arrangement promises a handsome profit’. Parish urged Baring to give him his ideas ‘as to the amount that might be disposed of & the Prices it would probably fetch previous to and after the conclusion of Peace’. 76 Parish was thus sure that even before the war was over, British citizens would be interested in aiding the official enemy by buying American bonds.

While historians have not come to a final conclusion regarding the reaction of Baring to this offer, it becomes apparent that in Parish’s mind, the interests of Great Britain as a nation state were only slightly intermingled with the personal interests of British merchants. Parish seemed to think that even in times of war their behaviour and, therefore, their investments were not affected by considerations such as loyalty and patriotism. That explains why he decided in July 1813, when his own financial situation proved difficult because of the unexpectedly prolonged state of war, to send $300,000 in government bonds to Baring. He urged the London financier to sell these bonds ‘to the best advantage for my account …. I rely on your friendly exertions to dispose of said Stock as speedily & favorably as possible’. 77 Only after a discussion with Stephen Girard did Parish change his mind and decide that ‘no part of [his] Stock [be] sent to London until further arrangements [were] made for that Purpose’. 78 Because of the state of war, it seems that Parish had to wait several months until he received an answer from Baring. Against his expectations, it was a negative reply. Baring let him and Girard know that ‘[u]nder the present state of our relations I do not think it would be proper for us to take any interest in such transactions nor indeed to promote the European circulation of the new stock’. 79 Even after this rejection of his plan, Parish did not abandon the idea to profit from his connections with Baring Brothers and Hope & Co. During the remaining months of the War of 1812, he tried to interest the US government in financial strategies involving ‘the Houses of my particular friends Messrs. Hope & Co. of Amsterdam & Messrs. Baring of London, who … possess the means of facilitating financial operations of this kind’. 80 Eventually, none of these plans worked out for Parish. Still, it is a curious fact that the financier did not give up the idea of including Baring in one of these proposals, even after the former had told him officially that he was not interested in having any part in it.

Even today researchers have not been able to solve the mystery revolving around the participation of the house of Baring in financing the US government. Whereas Jon Latimer claims that Baring gave money to the US, Ralph W. Hidy and Philip Ziegler are convinced that Baring refused to give direct aid to the US ‘on grounds of principle’. 81 For the second interpretation, most scholars have referred to Vincent Nolte, an employee of Baring Brothers and one of Parish’s agents in the European syndicate. In his memoirs, Nolte portrays Parish in a relatively negative way, scolding him for having tried to draw Baring into his loan business at a time when ‘England was at open war with the United States!’ 82 Nolte states that Parish had tried to send large sums of money in bonds to London, but Baring had declined outright to have any share in the loan and sent the certificates back. 83 Interestingly, in his negative reply to Parish, Baring informed his business partner that financial considerations were of importance for his rejection of Parish’s offer. Baring pointed out that due to unfavorable exchange rates the sale of American bonds might not have been as profitable as the Hamburg merchant was tempted to believe. 84 But a look at the situation of Alexander Baring in London shows that this was not the only reason why the British merchant officially declined to participate in the Loan of 1813.

Alexander Baring and the War of 1812 in Britain

After the end of the American War of Independence, the former mother country plunged into a crisis. Whereas the public had been divided during the war with the American colonies, during the Napoleonic Wars, there was a visible national consolidation. British citizens rallied behind what Maria Fanis has termed ‘loyal patriotism’. 85 In general, this form of patriotism can be characterised as ‘aggressive, anti-cosmopolitan, and particularistic’. 86 The ‘popular enthusiasm for the war’ 87 therefore made it difficult for more moderate voices to be heard. Already in the years preceding the war, the US did not have a good reputation in Great Britain. The press spread ‘the lowest calumnities and grossest absurdities’ about America with the goal ‘to keep alive the most vulgar prejudices’. 88 Only a few people were willing to speak up for the former colonies. One of the most prominent among them was Alexander Baring.

Born in 1774, Baring was the second son of Francis Baring, who was the driving force behind the rapid rise of the house of Baring Brothers, merchant bankers of London, to ‘the highest rank of mercantile eminence in the commerce of the world’. 89 Alexander Baring had received his education and training in Hanover, Amsterdam and in the United States, where he spent six years of his life (1795–1801). 90 Like his father, Alexander Baring was very skilled in the art of ‘making friends among statesmen and privatiers’. 91 As was expected of merchants who wanted to climb up the social ladder, Francis and Alexander Baring took the step into politics. For more than 25 years, Alexander Baring was a member of the Whigs and had a seat in the House of Commons. His opinions were perceived as relatively liberal, especially in regard to trade policy. His belief was that ‘[t]he interference of the hand of power in any shape is scarcely ever beneficial to the merchant’. 92 A contemporary characterised him as ‘the best model of a neutral, unaffected, plain, sensible, well informed, liberal merchant’. 93

Starting in the 1780s, Alexander Baring took an increasing interest in facilitating government loans for different nations. During his extended stay in America he started to provide the US government with monetary funds on a large scale. In 1803, Baring became the official agent of the US government for Europe and thus no one could ever doubt that Baring Brothers was the leading ‘American’ house in London. 94 The biggest financial deal for the house was the facilitation of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. 95

As the official agents of the US government, the Barings saw themselves as the most likely spokesmen for British merchants engaged in trade with the young republic. In 1808, Alexander Baring published a pamphlet consisting of 190 pages in which he defended the reputation of the United States even though he was ‘aware of the general unpopularity of the side I am taking’. 96 During the years prior to the war up until its very end, Baring was repeatedly accused of an ‘undue partiality towards America’. 97 He was also suspected of concealing his pure self-interest by ‘pretending to be actuated by a desire to do good to the people of England’. 98 Analysing the criticism that Baring had to endure during these years, it becomes obvious that he was mainly reproached for his status as a successful internationally operating merchant. Because of this, some of his contemporaries were convinced that he could not be a true patriot. Baring stood in contrast to others ‘who are Britons at heart as well as by birth, who have not placed our money in the American funds, who have resolved to stand by our country to the last’. 99 The house of Baring was reproached for ‘furthering the views of the hostile American government’ by ‘the use of its capital and the sale of American state paper’. 100 The international merchants were thus styled as the symbol of a selfish and unpatriotic mind-set. Philip Ziegler states that there was an on-going discussion during that era as to whether ‘there was a conflict of interest between the mercantile community and the nation as a whole’. 101

Tellingly, the outbreak of the War of 1812 brought Baring Brothers into an uncomfortable situation because they were working for both sides. In this tense atmosphere, in which patriotism and loyalty towards the needs of the nation state were celebrated, Baring as a member of the Whigs - who were opposed to the war all along - was again facing accusations of unpatriotism. 102 Nevertheless, Alexander Baring did not refrain from publicly declaring that his family would fulfil all orders as agents for the US government that were not contradictory to ‘our character as loyal subjects’ 103 and were necessary to ‘support the credit and protect the interest of the United States’. 104 Among these were paying interest to US bond holders, providing for prisoners of war and making money available to the American representatives, among them Albert Gallatin, who had come to Europe to negotiate a peace agreement. But publicly, Baring refused to sell new US government bonds or even accept them as payment.

Nevertheless, it did not take long before rumours about Baring’s participation in the loan of 1813 were circulating in British newspapers. It was well known that David Parish had been Baring’s agent in the United States for several years and, referring to ‘American Papers’ as sources, one newspaper insisted: ‘The American Government before the 16,000,000 Loan Law passed, was confident of getting the means, and had previously made their bargains with Parish, Baring, and Co. for all that might be wanted’. 105 The supposed participation of a London merchant in financing the wartime enemy caused a chorus of outrage in the British press. 106 On 13 August 1813 The Times complained about British subjects who ‘supply our enemies’ … treasury with dollars, in order to raise soldiers to cut the throats of our countrymen, by land and sea’. 107 Alexander Baring’s name was mentioned repeatedly in connection with the US loan and he was urged to step ‘before the tribunal of newspaper editors’ and stop ‘pretend[ing] to act from the impulse of patriotism’. 108 Ultimately, Baring finally felt the need to declare publicly ‘that I have not, nor that any person connected with me, has negotiated or attempted to negociate [sic] any loan or advance of money for the Government of America since the breaking out of the war with that country’. 109 He stressed the fact that he had even ‘thought it right to refuse to assist in any manner its [the American stock] circulation in Europe, under the present state of the relations between the two countries’. Baring criticised people who would advance ‘accusations of treason, without any thing but their own malice to support them’. 110 Even David Parish heard about the rumours ‘that my friend Mr. Alex Baring, should have been suspected of holding a share with me in the Sixteen Million Loan’. 111 Interestingly enough, Parish saw it as necessary to apologise to Baring: ‘I regret that the concern which I took in the Loan with some of your friends here should have given rise to the unfounded charge of your having facilitated those Transactions, & compelled you to repute it in the public Papers’. 112

Baring Brothers was not the only merchant house that did not want to be mentioned in connection with the US loan. Jacob Barker, an American businessman, who took the major share of the third US government loan in autumn 1813, tried to send stock to London and received the following answer from a London merchant in return:

‘We cannot express to you the pain and trouble of mind your sending to us stock of the new loan (raised by your government for the sole purpose of carrying on a war against this country) has occasioned us. We shall return you the stock as it came, not daring to entrust it to any notary for the regular documents, as it would disclose the affair ….’ 113

As this letter indicates, it seems to have been a great risk for London merchants to sell American stock during the War of 1812. Therefore, it is even more intriguing that David Parish, in the very same letter in which he apologised for having brought Baring troubles, urged the British businessman to inform him if ‘you see a prospect of disposing to advantage of American Stocks in London, I wish you would combine & authorise me to enter into some operation in joint account’. 114 Thus, even in the spring of 1814, Parish had not given up hope that Baring would finally join in his business ventures.

That this optimism was not completely unjustified is illustrated by the fact that Baring - in contrast to his public protestations - accepted at least $200,000 in US government bonds from John Jacob Astor, Parish’s partner in the sixteen million dollar loan of 1813. 115 Baring kept this stock as security for drafts Astor sent to the house of Hope & Co which, interestingly enough, was, according to historian Marten G. Buist, by that time ‘little more than an empty shell’ 116 having been bought up by Baring in 1813 and which ‘had, in a measure, become a branch of the Baring concern’. 117 In consequence, even though Baring decided to sell the stock received from Astor only after the war, he still had - well hidden from the public eye – a share in financing the US government.

Secrecy was, hence, of great importance for such business transactions, especially as, since the late eighteenth century, Baring Brothers had been the main provider of monetary means for the British state. In 1813 alone, Baring took responsibility for providing the British government with £49,000,000. 118 Therefore, the Baring Brothers company was not only morally bound to the British nation, but pragmatically as well. Its work for the British government provided it with big financial gains, as well as prestige. The main difference between the situation in the United States and Great Britain was that the British government was able to choose with whom it wanted to do business from among many mercantile houses. Consequently, Baring was aware that there were competitors. 119 Moreover, as Philip Ziegler argues, due to the great financial risk they were entering into by providing such immense sums, it was essential that the public ‘confidence both in the government and in Barings must remain unshaken’. 120 As a result, it was important that Baring tried hard to maintain the image of the loyal subject by all possible means.

While Alexander Baring put emphasis on his status as a loyal patriot in his home country, as an internationally operating merchant banker, he professed strict neutrality. In his correspondence with Albert Gallatin, he stated that he opposed the ‘senseless war’ 121 and tried everything in his power to bring it to a speedy end. Especially because of his being oftentimes ‘accused here of undue partiality towards America’ he hoped to have ‘credit with you [Gallatin] for a sincere wish to see an end put to so permanent and certain a source of strife’. 122 Openly, he confessed to Gallatin, that ‘[w]e wish for peace … the war has no object; it is expensive; and we want to carry our efforts elsewhere. Our desire of peace, therefore, cannot be doubted, and you may quite rely upon it’. 123 This quotation indicates that Baring took his neutral position seriously. Due to his open statement to Gallatin, he ran the risk of weakening Great Britain’s position in the peace negotiations. True to Ralph Willard Hidy’s general interpretation, he tried to use his great standing in the world of commerce and finance ‘to preserve world peace’. 124 Interestingly, even Parish thought that Baring might have the means to do so, when he asked him: ‘Can you suggest no plan of again bringing the two Countries to treat for Peace, before the next campaign opens?’ 125

Especially due to his position as an international merchant banker Baring had the chance to act as an intermediary between the US and Great Britain. But it was precisely his commitment to this cause which led to criticism because public opinion in Britain expected Baring to display the same unrestrained loyalty to the British cause as any other subject.


The goal of this paper has been to discuss patriotic tendencies in the actions of David Parish and Alexander Baring in regard to their involvement with the US government loan of 1813. As the presented findings suggest, neither Parish nor Baring were acting from pure patriotism but from a complex web of intersecting relationships and motivations. Parish’s involvement with the Americans and the British has revealed that he was mainly concerned with the safety of his lands near the border between the US and Canada. Parish seems to have been chiefly worried because of the large amount of capital he had invested in these properties, yet at the same time his letters prove that he also cared about the region and the safety of its inhabitants. Therefore, one could argue, that Parish acted as a local patriot. As a consequence, the argument of this paper is not that Parish was just a selfish financier but only that to him considerations such as patriotism and allegiance to a specific nation were only of minor concern in financial deals. As Claudia Schnurmann has argued, David Parish and the rest of his family saw themselves as ‘citizens of Hamburg as well as citizens of the world’ 126 and therefore Parish ‘displayed a medley of different identities, loyalties, and mentalities’. 127

A comparison of the activities and attitudes of Alexander Baring and David Parish highlights differences and analogies in this regard. Both men were influenced by their understanding and identity as merchants whose trading business was not confined to national borders. Their behaviour supports Sam A. Mustafa’s theory about a common merchant culture. Whereas Baring seems to have had similar ideas about the secondary importance of nationality, his motives were quite distinct from those of Parish. Baring was the head of an established international merchant house in London and a British politician at the same time. Therefore, his actions reveal an inner tension between his loyalty to Britain and his loyalty to his business network. In both cases, comportment in accordance with the accepted code of honour in one sphere was in opposition to the values demanded in the other. In other words, while his role as loyal patriot called for acting in accordance with the interest of the nation, his role as cross-border merchant and financier asked for neutrality and reliability even in times of war. Therefore, Baring saw himself in a conflict of loyalty between the expectations of his native country and the obligations he felt as an internationally oriented financier and merchant to the US. In consequence, one possible conclusion is that it was easier for foreign merchants, who were living only temporarily in one place, to navigate in critical situations between the lines of the warring factions than for local merchants who were firmly rooted within their home countries.

But as the two case studies have suggested there was also a general scepticism in regard to merchants and their alleged patriotism both in the US and in Great Britain. This suggests a period of transition which witnessed a gradual process of the alignment of these interests. However, local factors influenced the form and intensity of the conflict between these two mind-sets. Thus, Alexander Baring’s example has proven that his relationship to the government and public criticism were important factors in shaping his behaviour. As a result, it was indeed difficult to sell US government bonds in London during the War of 1812.

Hence, a consolidated public opinion was of outstanding importance, because it put pressure on the financial actors by denouncing their activities. Thus, an established media could prove to be an instrument of power in national politics, because it provided greater control over the conduct of the financial elite of the country. Consequently, the statement that supplying the enemy with funds was not yet a great offence in the early nineteenth century must be limited. As has been demonstrated by the situation in Britain, an established critical public and a strong nation state were important factors regarding this issue.

Because these two elements were missing in the United States at this time, the situation was quite different for merchants and financiers, as the example of David Parish has shown. In contrast to Baring, Parish was able to follow his own interests relatively unchallenged in America. Though there were critical voices that openly denounced his behaviour, the American public was too divided to put enough pressure on the financier. The general disunity of the American people during the War of 1812 left enough room for resourceful businessmen to move skilfully in between national party lines. Depending upon how one person chose to comport himself, he principally earned, on the one hand, approval and, on the other hand, criticism from the antagonised factions of the Republicans and the Federalists.

In this regard, the nation state is of great importance. Although, the US government very likely knew about Parish’s political orientation, his alliance with the British and the incidents taking place on his property, it was not able to take punitive action. Washington depended too much on Parish’s financial means and had no alternatives other than to minimise the damage and to turn a blind eye to what was going on. The young republic was at odds with itself and not strong enough to enforce the loyalty it expected from its citizens.

The case studies of David Parish and Alexander Baring suggest that while internationally active merchants could indeed create significant room for manoeuvre to pursue their own interests and goals, they were nonetheless not entirely free to act as they pleased. The twin powers of the state and public opinion, on which their businesses ultimately rested, acted to restrain them and to contain their ambitions.


  1. David Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander J. Dallas, Philadelphia, 16 March 1813, David Parish Letter Books (LB), New York Historical Society (NYHS), volume IV, 217. This paper is based on my Master’s thesis. Therefore, my findings in regard to Parish mainly rest upon his letter books in the NYHS. The Parish-Rosseel Papers in the St. Lawrence University Library have not been completely evaluated and, therefore, I rely on the results of other historians in this regard.
  2. Sam A. Mustafa, Merchants and Migrations: German and Americans in Connection, 1776-1835 (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001), 68.
  3. Mustafa, Merchants, 45.
  4. Ibid, 73 and 374.
  5. Henry Adams, History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, The Library of America Edition, 32 (1891; New York: Penguin Putnam, 1986), 45.
  6. Elbert Hubbard, Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Business Men: Stephen Girard, vol. 11 (East Aurora: Roycrofters, 1909), 101. Recently, a few scholars have doubted this interpretation: Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels & Indian Allies (New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010); Kenneth Wiggins Porter, John Jacob Astor: Business Man, volume 1, 2nd Edition (New York, NY: Harvard University Press, 1966), 295 and 303; Axel Madsen, John Jacob Astor: America’s First Multimillionaire (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2001), 2; Kenneth L. Brown, ‘Stephen Girard’s Bank’, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 66 (January 1942): 137-40.
  7. Porter, Astor, 334.
  8. Philip G. and Raymond Jr. Walters, ‘The American Career of David Parish’, The Journal of Economic History, 4 (November 1944): 2, 149.
  9. Ralph Willard Hidy, The House of Baring in American Trade and Finance: English Merchant Bankers at Work, 1763-1861 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1949), 34.
  10. Jon Latimer, 1812: War with America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 129.
  11. Albert Gallatin to James Madison, 5 March 1813, quoted in: Robert Allen Rutland (ed.), The Papers of James Madison, Presidential Series, volume 6 (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1984), 90.
  12. David Stephen Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler (eds.), The War of 1812 (London and Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), 128.
  13. Astor, Philadelphia, to Albert Gallatin, 5 April 1813, quoted in: Walter Lowrie and Matthew St. Claire Clarke (eds.), American State Papers: Documents: Legislative and Executive of the Congress of the United States: From the First Session of the First to the Third Session of the Thirteenth Congress: Inclusive, Commencing March 3, 1789, and Ending March 3, 1815, volume 6 (Washington DC: 1832), 647.
  14. The loan was six per cent for thirteen years.
  15. By using the term ‘Republicans’ this paper refers to the Democratic-Republican Party founded in 1791.
  16. Lisa R. Morales, ‘The Financial History of the War of 1812’, PhD thesis (University of North Texas, 2009), 2.
  17. Jacob Barker, Incidents in the Life of Jacob Barker, of New Orleans, Louisiana: With Facts, his Financial Transactions with the Government, and his Course on Important Political Questions. From 1800 to 1855 (Washington DC: 1855), 42.
  18. Charles Jared Ingersoll, Historical Sketch of the Second War between the United States of America and Great Britain. Declared by Congress, the 18th of June 1812, and Concluded by Peace, the 15th of February 1815 (Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Blanchard, 1849), 21.
  19. Robert A. MacCaughey, Josiah Quincy. 1772-1864. The last Federalist (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974), 80.
  20. Donald R. Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2012) 224.
  21. Benson John Lossing, The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812. Or, Illustrations, by Pen and Pencil, of the History, Biography, Scenery, Relics, and Traditions of the Last War for American Independence (New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 1869), 1008.
  22. Barker, Incidents, 39.
  23. Derek Wilson, The Astors, 1763 - 1992: Landscape with Millionaires (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1993), 41; ‘four foreigners’ because Albert Gallatin is counted as well, being of Swiss origin.
  24. Andrew W. Robertson, ‘“Look on This Picture… And on This!” Nationalism, Localism, and Partisan Images of Otherness in the United States, 1787-1820’, American Historical Review, 106 (October 2001): 4, 1264.
  25. Herbert Lasky, ‘David Parish: A European in American Finance, 1806-1816’, PhD thesis (New York University, 1972), 3.
  26. Richard Ehrenberg, Das Haus Parish: Grosse Vermögen, volume 2 (Jena: Fischer, 1905), 39.
  27. For a more detailed account see: Adrian J. Pearce, ‘The Hope-Barings Contract: Finance and Trade between Europe and the Americas, 1805-1808’, English Historical Review, 74 (2009): 511, 1324–52.
  28. See Walters and Walters, ‘The American Career’, 149–66.
  29. Parish, Philadelphia, to John Parish Sen., Bath, 4 March 1807, LB, NYHS, vol. II, 354.
  30. Lasky, David Parish, 19.
  31. Parish, Philadelphia, to Walter Heller, Washington DC, 13 March 1812, LB, NYHS, vol. III, 196.
  32. Parish, Ogdensburg, to Isaac Todd, Montreal, 10 August 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 373.
  33. Parish, Philadelphia, to John Parish Sen., Bath, 29 March 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 244.
  34. Parish, Philadelphia, to Richard Parish, Hamburg, 8 May 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 297.
  35. Parish, Philadelphia, to C. W. Hare, Boston, 2 April 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 178.
  36. Parish, Philadelphia, to Prime & Ward, New York, 12 March 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 209.
  37. Parish to Harrison Gray Otis, Philadelphia, 12 April 1813, quoted in: John D. Morris, Sword of the Border: Major General Jacobs Jennings Brown. 1775-1828 (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2000), 72.
  38. Parish, Philadelphia, to James Alexander Dallas, Philadelphia, 16 March 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 216–17.
  39. Governor Morris to David Parish, 26 March 1813, quoted in: Anne Cary Morris (ed.), The Diary and Letters of Governor Morris: Minister of the United States to France: Member of the Constitutional Convention, vol. 2, (New York, NY: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1888), 549.
  40. Letter written by unknown person, 21 May 1813, quoted in: Laura M. Hasbrouck, ‘The Pioneer Families and Early Social Customs’, Reminiscences of Ogdensburg. 1749-1907 eds. Swe-Kat-Si-Chapter (Daughters of the American Revolution), (New York, NY: Silver, Burdett 1907), 33.
  41. Claudia Schnurmann, ‘A Scotsman in Hamburg: John Parish and his Commercial Contribution to the American War of Independence, 1776-1783’ in Small is Beautiful? Interlopers and Smaller Trading Nations in the Pre-industrial Period. Proceedings of the XVth World Economic History Congress in Utrecht (Netherlands) 2009, eds. Marcus A. Denzel, Jan de Vries and Philipp Robinson Rössner (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011), 157–76, especially 158.
  42. See William Lahey, ‘The Influence of David Parish on the Development of Trade and Settlement in Northern New York, 1808-1822’, PhD thesis (Syracuse University, 1958).
  43. J. Mackay Hitsman, ‘David Parish and the War of 1812’, Military Affairs, 26 (Winter 1962-1963): 4, 172.
  44. Morris, Sword, 29.
  45. Letter written by unknown person, 20 November 1812, quoted in: Hasbrouck, The Pioneer Families, 28.
  46. Letter written by unknown person, 1 January 1813, quoted in: Ibid, 29; ‘Ogdensburg’, The Republican, 2 (12 February 1813): 45, 2.
  47. D. E. Graves (ed.), ‘Documents, Artefacts and Imagery: War on the Ice: The British Attack on Ogdensburg, 21 February 1813’, The War of 1812 Magazine, 7 (September 2007).
  48. ‘Extract of a Letter from Ogdensburg, dated Feb. 27’, Commercial Advertiser, 16 (8 March 1813): 6422, 3.
  49. ‘Extract of a Letter, received by the Hon. R. Atwater, a Member of the Senate, from his Son, Dated Ogdensburg, Feb. 27’, New York Gazette & General Advertiser, 24 (9 March 1813): 9683, 2.
  50. Parish, Philadelphia, to Joseph Rosseel, Ogdensburg, 29 November 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 52.
  51. Taylor, Civil War, 269.
  52. Philalethes (George R. J. Macdonell), ‘The Last War in Canada’, Coburn’s United Service Magazine and Naval and Military Journal (London 1848): 1, 438.
  53. Macdonell, ‘The Last War’, 433.
  54. Taylor, Civil War, 275–77.
  55. Jon Latimer, ‘Smuggling and Contraband in the War of 1812’, The War of 1812 Magazine, 8 (February 2008).
  56. Reginald C. Stuart, ‘Special Interests and National Authority in Foreign Policy: American-British Provincial Links During the Embargo and the War of 1812’, Diplomatic History, 8 (October 1984) 4, 328.
  57. John Ross to Parish, 27 March 1813, quoted in: Harry F. Landon, ‘British Sympathizers in St. Lawrence County during the War of 1812’, New York History 35 (April 1954): 2, 134.
  58. Thomas Pearson to George Prevost, 9 August 1813, quoted in: Mackay, ‘David Parish’, 175.
  59. ‘Treason in Ogdensburg’, The Centinel of Freedom, 17 (25 May 1813): 37, 3.
  60. Nathan Ford, ‘From the Ogdensburgh Palladium: A Note to Gen. Dearborn’, Portland Gazette 15 (29 March 1813): 51, 2.
  61. Parish, Philadelphia, to Nathan Ford, Ogdensburg, 16 July 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 333.
  62. ‘Extract of a Letter, dated Ogdensburgh, 4 May, 1813’, The Evening Post (17 May 1813): 3367, 2.
  63. Parish, Philadelphia, to John Jacob Astor, New York, 25 April 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 263.
  64. Parish, Philadelphia, to John Parish Sen., Bath, 23 May 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 260–1.
  65. Parish, Ogdensburg, to John Parish Sen., Bath, 1 December 1812, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 164.
  66. Parish, Philadelphia, to John Parish Sen., Bath, 08.10.1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 392.
  67. Translated from ‘malheureuse Patrie’, Parish, Philadelphia, to Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, 17 March 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 143.
  68. Parish, Philadelphia, to Charles Parish, Hamburg, 26 March 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 166.
  69. Parish, Philadelphia, to Charles Parish, London, 8 October 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 394.
  70. For more information on Parish and his involvement with the war in Europe, see: Sarah Lentz, ‘[E]ine viel wichtigere Persönlichkeit […] als der Präsident selbst“. David Parish und die Finanzierung der US-Regierung im Krieg von 1812‘, in: Rolf Hammel-Kiesow, Heiko Herold, and Claudia Schnurmann (eds.), Die hanseatisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen seit 1790 (Trier: Porta Alba Verlag, 2017), 35–64.
  71. Parish, Philadelphia, to Thomas Thornely, Liverpool, 8 January 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 96.
  72. Parish, Philadelphia, to Baring Brothers & Co., London, 25 June 1812, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 64.
  73. Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander Baring, London, 2 October 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 369–70; Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander Baring, London, 14 October 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 383.
  74. Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander Baring, London, 25 May 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 317.
  75. Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander J. Dallas, Philadelphia,16 March 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 217.
  76. Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander Baring, London, 9 April 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 247.
  77. Parish, Philadelphia, to Baring Brothers & Co., London, 16 July 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 367–8.
  78. PS of a letter from Parish, Philadelphia, to George Simpson and Stephen Girard, Philadelphia, 16 July 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. IV, 368.
  79. Alexander Baring, London, to Stephen Girard, Philadelphia, 21 August 1813, Stephen Girard Papers (SGP), American Philosophical Society (APS), Incoming Correspondence 1813, No. 322.
  80. Parish, Philadelphia, to James A. Dallas, Philadelphia, 2 May 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 227.
  81. Philip Ziegler, The Sixth Great Power: Barings. 1762-1829 (London: Collins, 1988), 57 and Hidy, House of Baring, 52.
  82. Vincent Nolte, Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres or Reminiscences of the Life of a Former Merchant: Translated From the German (New York, NY: Redfield, 1854), 186.
  83. Ibid, 186. However, Nolte is the only source claiming that Parish indeed sent stock to London, in Parish’s letter books nothing like this is mentioned.
  84. Alexander Baring, London, to Stephen Girard, Philadelphia, 21 August 1813, Stephen Girard Papers (SGP), American Philosophical Society (APS), Incoming Correspondence 1813, No. 322.
  85. Maria Fanis, Secular Morality and International Security: American and British Decisions about War (Ann Arbour, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2011), 14.
  86. David Armitage, ‘A Patriot for Whom? The Afterlives of Bolingbroke’s Patriot King’, Journal of British Studies, 36 (October 1997): 4, 398.
  87. Michael Roberts, ‘The Leadership of the Whig Party in the House of Commons from 1807 to 1815’, English Historical Review, 50 (1935): 620.
  88. Henry Brougham, ‘The Speech of Henry Brougham Esq. before the House of Commons in Support of the Petitions from London, Liverpool and Manchester, against the Orders in Council, 1 April 1808’, Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal, 12 (April 1808): 23, 243.
  89. Nolte, Fifty Years, 158.
  90. ‘The Barings’, Littell’s Living Age 87 (October-December 1865): 31, 124.
  91. Hidy, House of Baring, 48.
  92. Alexander Baring, An Inquiry into the Cause and Consequences of the Orders in Council; and an Examination of the Conduct of Great Britain towards the Neutral Commerce of America (London: J. M. Richardson, 1808), 11.
  93. Quoted in: Hidy, House of Baring, 46.
  94. François Crouzet, ‘A Banker’s View of America: Letters of Alexander Baring. 1795-1801’, in Britain, France and International Commerce. From Louis XIV to Victoria, ed. François Crouzet (Aldershot: Variorum, 1996), 263.
  95. Ziegler, Barings, 72.
  96. Baring, An Inquiry, 28.
  97. Ibid, 9.
  98. William Cobbett, ‘Summary of Politics: Orders in Council’, Cobbett’s Weekly Political Register, XIII (9 March 1808): 12.
  99. Algernon, ‘American States’, Cobbett’s Political Register, XIII (16 April 1808): 16.
  100. Nolte, Fifty Years, 187.
  101. Ziegler, Barings, 52.
  102. Sarah Richardson, ‘Whigs & Tories before 1832’, 20 February 2007, The University of Warwick, Department of History.
  103. Baring Brothers, London, to George Campbell, Washington DC, 18 October 1814, Records of Baring Brothers & Co. 1803-1833 (RBB), Library of Congress (LOC), 270.
  104. Baring Brothers, London, to George Campbell, Washington DC, 9 December 1814, RBB, LOC, 275.
  105. ‘American Papers’, The Hull Packet and Original Weekly Commercial, Literary and General Advertiser (3 August 1813): 1385, 1.
  106. Sun, London, 12-16 August 1813, quoted in: Bradford Perkins, Castlereagh and Adams: England and the United States, 1812-1823 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1964), 28; No Title, The Ipswich Journal (21 August 1813): 4171, 1.
  107. ‘American Loan’, The Times (13 August 1813) 8088, 3.
  108. Sun, London, 12-16 August 1813, quoted in: Perkins, Castlereagh, 28.
  109. Alexander Baring, ‘To the Editor’, The Times, (17 August 1813): 8991, 3.
  110. Ibid.
  111. Parish, Philadelphia, to John Parish Sen., Bath, 27 December 1813, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 104–05.
  112. Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander Baring, London, 14 January 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 111.
  113. Barker, Incidents, 94.
  114. Ibid., 111–112.
  115. Vgl. Porter, Astor, 339 and Hidy, House of Baring, 49.
  116. Marten G. Buist, At Spes non Fracta. Hope & Co. 1770-1815: Merchant Bankers and Diplomats at Work (Den Haag: Nijhoff, 1974), 68.
  117. Nolte, Fifty Years, 262.
  118. The Bankers’ and Merchants’ Almanack for 1814: To be Continued Annually (London: G. Sidney and W. Lewis, 1813), 70.
  119. During the Napoleonic Wars the Rothschild family gained influence by raising money for Great Britain on the European continent.
  120. Ziegler, Barings, 58.
  121. Alexander Baring, London, to Albert Gallatin, Gothenburg, 22 July 1813, quoted in: James Bryce (ed.), A Great Peace Maker: The Diary of James Gallatin: Secretary of Albert Gallatin, 1813-1827 (New York, NY: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1914), 281.
  122. Alexander Baring, London, to Albert Gallatin, Gothenburg, 22 July 1813, ibid, 284.
  123. Alexander Baring, London, to Albert Gallatin, St. Petersburg, 12 October 1813, ibid, 292.
  124. Hidy, House of Baring, 48.
  125. Parish, Philadelphia, to Alexander Baring, London, 14 October 1814, LB, NYHS, vol. V, 384.
  126. Schnurmann, ‘A Scotsman’, 158.
  127. Ibid, 159.

Note on Contributor

Sarah Lentz is a postdoctoral researcher in Early Modern History at the University of Bremen, Germany, and an Associate Junior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Delmenhorst, Germany. She has recently published her award-winning PhD thesis on German opponents of slavery and their involvement in the Atlantic abolitionist movement: ‘Wer helfen kann, der helfe!’ Deutsche SklavereigegnerInnen und die atlantische Abolitionsbewegung, 1780–1860 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020). Other recent publications include: Beyond Exceptionalism: Traces of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Early Modern Germany, 1650, ed. Rebekka von Mallinkrodt, Josef Köstlbauer and Sarah Lentz (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2021).