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Benevolent Patriot: The Life and Times of Henry Rutgers

David J. Fowler

Abstract


After returning home to his despoiled property, Henry Rutgers cautiously rebuilt the family fortune during the economic malaise of the 1780s. He was initially swept into office on the wave of patriotic, anti-loyalist sentiment, but later as an Antifederalist and Jeffersonian Republican he both won and lost elections to the Federalists. Capitalizing on the shrewd economic decisions of his forbears and the burgeoning population of the metropolis, by the 1790s Rutgers was a successful developer, landlord, and entrepreneur, which laid the foundation for his future philanthropic endeavors. He continued to be involved in the affairs of his community, his city, and his state.

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