Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Abraham Piersey

In the early history of the colony merchant planters had residences and storehouses in Jamestown while cultivating large estates elsewhere. This was the case with John Chew, Arthur Bayley and Edward Sanderson. However, Abraham Piersey resided on his plantation while maintaining a store at Jamestown until his death in 1628.

"Find your Ancestors on Virginia Pioneers.net"

"Subscribe and view documents"

4 comments:

  1. Abraham Piersey is an ancestor of ours. I've never seen him listed as a store owner. He was (by his own testimony in 1622 in London) "a citizen and dyer of London, but by profession Cape Merchant to the Virginia Company." As Cape Merchant he had the authority to make financial deals to exchange goods for other goods or money for the benefit of the colony and investors. Where did you find information naming him a store owner? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Abraham Piersey is an ancestor of ours. I've never seen him listed as a store owner. He was (by his own testimony in 1622 in London) "a citizen and dyer of London, but by profession Cape Merchant to the Virginia Company." As Cape Merchant he had the authority to make financial deals to exchange goods for other goods or money for the benefit of the colony and investors. Where did you find information naming him a store owner? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Virginia Company invester Abraham Peirsey (Persey, Perseye, Pearsey) of Maidstone in Kent, England, came to Virginia in 1616 on the Susan, the colony's first magazine ship. As Virginia's cape merchant, he was supposed to sell magazine's goods profitably in exchange for tobacco and sassafras, but he also was authorized to trade freely. Peirsey ascorted the Susan back to England and returned the following year on the George, another magazine ship. Afterward he made Virginia his permanent residence. He served as vice-admiral during Deputy Governor Samuel Argall's goverment (1617-1618), and in 1622 he testified about the disposition of Lord Delaware's goods when the Neptune arrived in Jamestown (1) in August 1618. In July 1619 Peirsey participated in the colony's first assembly, representing his position as cape merchant. He sent word to England that many of the commodities he was supposed to sell to the colonist were relatively useless and that plows and other necessities were badly needed.
    In August 1619 Abraham Peirsey accompanied Governor George Yeardley to Old Point Comfort (17), where they traded food for some Africans who had just arrived in a Dutch man-of-war. In November 1619 the Virginia Company rewarded Peirsey for his faithful service by giving him 200 acres. This land became part of the 1,150 acres called Peirseys Toile, which was located on the upper side of the Appomottox River near Swift's Creek and Bermuda Hundred (39). Abraham Peirsey sent to England in March 1620 he was accused of price-gouging and wrongfully detaining the George. One of the men with whom Peirsey had business dealings was John Rolfe of Jamestown. In May 24, 1621, letter, Peirsey said that he had sent Virginia Company Treasurer Sir Edwin Sandys some sturgeon and that the George had gone to Newfoundland for fish. He also dispatched a shipment of tobacco to the Netherlands.
    On March 22, 1622, when the Indians attacked the Peirsey plantation on the Appomattox River, four people were killed. In May 1622 Abraham Peirsey testified against Captain John Martin, whom he accused of harboring debtors at his plantation and drawing arms against the provost marshal. On the other hand, Peirsey himself was accused of selling 10 cows that belonged to the Society of Martin's Hundred. When testifying in England in 1622, he identified himself as a 45-year-old 'citizen and dyer of London but by profession Cape Merchant to the Virginia Company." Abraham Peirsey set sail from England on July 31, 1622, on the James. Afterward, he sent a shipment of Virginia sturgeon to Company officials in England. In 1623 he was one of the men selected to compile information on the Virginia colony, on the king's behalf.

    ReplyDelete
  4. When a census was made of the colony's inhabitants on February 16, 1624, Abraham Peirsey's name was omitted, perhaps because he was not then in Virginia. By that date he had purchased from Sir George Yeardley and his wife, Lady Temperance, the 1,000-acre Flowerdew Hundred (53) plantation and 2,200 acres across the James at Weyanoke (52). Peirsey also had use (and perhaps ownership) of some property in urban Jamestown, the focal point of his mercantile operations. On June 24, 1624, court testimony made reference to Peirsey's storehouse near the fort, and when a muster was taken on January 24, 1625, he was credited with a dwelling, two storehouses, and some livestock. Peirsey, who had been named to the Council of State, when then living in urban Jamestown with his daughters Mary (age 11) and Elizabeth (age 15), and his new wife, Frances Grenville (the widow of Nathaniel West). Four servants were part of the Peirsey household in Jamestown, and an additional 27 servants--including four who were black--were residing on his property at Peirsey's (formerly Flowerdew) Hundred,. Throughout this period Peirsey was identified as the colony's cape merchant. Abraham Peirsey's business dealings resulted in his frequently appearing before the General Court, for he brought suit against those who owed the Company (or him) funds and he was sued by his own creditors. He also was among those called to testify about the personal property attributable to the estates of people slain during the 1622 Indian attack. In May 1625 he was credited with 1,150 on the Appomattox River; 1,000 acres at Flowerdew Hundred; and 2,000 acres at Weyanoke.

    ReplyDelete