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Historical Materials: People

Historical Materials  »  People  »  Clark, Charles Peter

People

Clark, Charles Peter

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Charles Peter Clark was born in Nashua, New Hampshire on August 11, 1836. He was the son of Peter and Susan Lord Clark, and the nephew of Daniel W. Lord. His parents represented the union of two prominent New England families, the Clarks and the Lords of Kennebunkport, Maine.

As a result of a lengthy ocean voyage from 1852 to 1853, undertaken to improve his health, young Charles acquired a liking for the sea and maritime activity. It was not long until he purchased a small vessel and embarked in the West African trade from Boston, employing a captain while accompanying the vessel as its supercargo. He was part operator of the vessel Antelope, depicted twice by Lane, as a colored lithograph: Steam demi-bark Antelope, 615 tons and later as a painting: Brig Antelope in Boston Harbor. 

In 1857, Charles P. Clark & Co.,was formed. It was a shipping enterprise that operated vessels in the West African trade. (The venture was dissolved on January 26, 1860). For two and one-half years Clark, evidently in partnership with Theodore E. Goodhue, operated the "Antelope," "Clarinda," and "Somers" on the Boston–West Africa route, carrying dry goods, ironware, flour, lard, and even firearms, to Liberia for palm oil and other items. In February 1862, Clark sold the brig "Somers" to William Ropes & Co., but acted as their agent for the vessel until he entered the Union Navy the following October.

Clark was discharged from the service in 1865 and subsequently spent a short time as a merchant in St. Louis, but he soon returned to Boston and became a partner in a shipping firm.

Clark was hired as a clerk for the Boston, Hartford & Erie Railroad, and thus began a career that would, by 1877, bring him to the presidency of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. He retired in 1899 and died two years later while vacationing in Nice, France.

- Information from Mystic Seaport, where Clark's papers are housed.

Citation: "People." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/index.php?type=People§ion=Clark%2C+Charles+Peter (accessed October 20, 2017).
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