Anson Green Phelps (1781-1853)

Anson G. Phelps, Merchant, of Phelps, Dodge & Co., New York City

Associated Houses

Coster-Phelps Mansion

Kip's Bay

He was born at Simsbury, Connecticut. He started his career in Hartford, manufacturing saddles that he sold in the south. In 1812, he moved to New York City and established Peck, Phelps & Co., importing metals while exporting cotton to Liverpool, England. In 1833, he reorganized the business and established the Phelps Dodge Company. His partners were his sons-in-law, William Earle Dodge and Daniel James (who oversaw the business in Liverpool) and they were later joined by another son-in-law, James Boulter Stokes. In 1844, he co-founded the industrial town of Ansonia. At about this time, the Phelps Dodge Company were the largest tin-plate traders in the world. Phelps' business empire also extended into banking, property, mining, ironworks, shipping, railroads and timber. On his death, he left a fortune of $2 million. He was also a zealous Christian and a supporter of the American Colonization Society that favored ending slavery and sending African-Americans to Liberia. He donated $50,000 to Liberia College. He was married in 1806 and six of his eight children lived to adulthood. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 22/01/2020 and last updated on 22/01/2020.