Alexander Hosack (1736-1796)

Alexander Hosack, Merchant of New York City and former Artillery Sergeant

He was born to tenant farmers on the Bruce estate at Elgin in Morayshire, Scotland. The family's fortunes were said to have been affected by his father's "improvidence" in the bloody aftermath of the Jacobean Uprising. In 1755, Alexander enlisted as a private in the Royal Artillery of the British Army. After serving in Ireland, he was posted (1757) to Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of the invasion force to take New France (Quebec) and as a Sergeant he fought at the Battle of Louisbourg (1758). He was then posted to the Carolinas where he fell ill and was eventually mustered out of service through the patronage of some friends of his grandfather. Arriving in New York, he found work in Isaac Roosevelt's sugar refinery. He prospered and was later described as a woollen and linen draper though during the British occupation of New York (1776-1783) he was an, “un-licensed dealer in liquor in Dey Street”. Nonetheless, he went on to own several properties and was able to afford a good education for all his seven children.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/01/2020 and last updated on 21/01/2020.