The Scarlet Man: Lord Pepperell
Kittery Naval Museum
He was born at Kittery, June 27th, 1696, and was brought up at the village school, where he learned to read and write; but his knowledge of orthography and grammar as a boy was not equal to his knowledge of business, of land-surveying, geography, and navigation which he picked up by acting as a clerk in his father's office or store.' His education was specially practical: and as a child he saw something of warfare against the neighboring Indian tribes, within a mile or two from his father's residence. He learned his drill, and something too of the art of war, by accompanying his father when he reviewed his men: and at sixteen ‘he bore arms in patrol duty, and in keeping ward and watch.' His elder brother dying, he became, as his father grew old, more and more useful in the management of his business, both ashore and afloat. ‘Associating daily with lumber-men, ship-builders, provision merchants, and the hardy sons of Neptune, he soon became familiar with the rough and rugged aspects of human life, and imbibed its hardier influences both in body and mind.' He now extended his sphere of business, and for some years he and his father were the largest merchants in New England. Their lumber and timber ships floated down the river in gondolas from the head of tide-waters; fish from the Grand Banks and the Shoals poured into their warehouses, and cargoes were sent to the Nest Indies, to Portugal, to the Mediterranean, and England, and each charged at a profit. Often their vessels and cargoes were sold together, which promoted the extension of ship-building, one of the chief sources of their wealth. The timber and carpenters' work were paid for in merchandise and provisions. Naval stores and other goods were procured from the Carolinas in exchange for fish and West Indian and European goods; and cordage, iron, hemp, and fishing tackle from England for vessels and cargoes sold there. Their bankers in London and Plymouth received the proceeds of cargoes and vessels sold in the Mediterranean, England, France, and Portugal, and answered the bills of exchange drawn on them in favor of Boston merchants, to whom they were sold at a great advance, and paid for in such goods as were needed to complete Pepperell's assortment, and in provincial money. This money was expended in real estate, bought at low prices, and which rapidly increased in value. It was by such transactions that the princely fortune of the Pepperells was amassed. The family also made a great addition to their wealth by the purchase of a large tract of land along the Saco river, on which huge factories were afterwards erected, while a great hart of the town of Saco and Scarborough was included in it.
This link leads to a fascinating history of the family.