James Colles (1788-1883)

James Colles, President of the Bank of the United States, New Orleans

He was born at 42 Pearl Street, New York, and was a first cousin of Abraham Colles, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. He became a prominent merchant trading between New York City, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Morristown, New Jersey. As a young man, he was a clerk in several mercantile firms and represented a New York importer in Canada during the War of 1812. In 1817, in partnership with David I. Rogers, he opened his own trading company in New Orleans and traveled frequently between New York and Louisiana. In 1821, at Baltimore, he married Harriet Augusta Wetmore, daughter of an officer in the British Army, and they had seven children, five of whom (listed above) survived to adulthood. In 1823, he was appointed President and Director of the New Orleans branch of the Bank of the United States, a post he retained until 1835. In 1840, he sold his business and settled at at 35 University Place in New with a country mansion, "The Evergreens" at Morristown, New Jersey. In the 1840s, he and his wife toured Europe and lived for a year in Paris during which time they bought much of the furnishings, china, silver, statuary etc. for their homes in America. 


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 04/05/2021 and last updated on 11/07/2021.