Perkins, Col Thomas Handasyd
Perkins, Col. Thomas Handasyd an American merchant, noted for his philanthropic labors, was born in Boston Dec. 15, 1764. He began his commercial life in partnership with his elder brother James, who was a resident of St. Domingo when the insurrection of the blacks occurred, and was compelled to flee for his life. In 1789 he went as supercargo to Batavia and Canton, and obtained a thorough acquaintance with the Oriental trade. The brothers afterwards embarked in the trade to the north-west coast, Canton, and Calcutta, in which they acquired great wealth. Soon after the death of James, in 1822, Colossians Perkins retired from active business. The Perkins family gave over $60,000 to the Boston Athenaeum. He took a prominent part in the erection of the Bunker-hill Monument, and gave his estate in Pearl Street, valued at $40,000, for the use of the Asylum for the Blind. He was also in 1827 the projector of the Quincy Railway, the first in the United States. Subsequently he was much interested in urging forward the completion of the Washington Monument; and was also the largest contributor to the Mercantile Library Association. For many years he represented Boston in both branches of the state legislature. See Drake, Dict. of Amer. Biog. s.v. Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Auth. s.v.