COPE, Thomas Pim, 1768-1854

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Thomas Pim Cope (August 26, 1768 - November 22, 1854) was a wealthy and influential Philadelphia merchant. The success of his packet line and other enterprises led to his owning one of the largest mercantile business in America at that time.



Thomas Pim Cope began as an apprentice in his uncle's dry goods store in Philadelphia in 1784. By 1793, he had started his own mercantile business. His first packet ship, the Susquehanna, was commissioned in 1806 for trading with Liverpool and the Orient. This was followed by a large fleet, all identified by a black maltese cross on the mainsail. The success of his various enterprises led to his owning the largest mercantile business in America at the time. At his death, the business was carried on by his sons, Henry and Alfred, trading as H&A Cope. In 1880, it was sold in the face of rising competition from steamships. Thomas Cope's estate was valued at $1,474,000, much of which was left to Henry and Alfred since they were running the business. His diary was published by Eliza Cope Harrison under the title of "Philadelphia Merchant."


  • Stokes, Francis Joseph. Stokes Cope Emlen Evans: Genealogical Charts of Four Closely Associated Germantown Families, 1682-1982. Phila. Pa. 1982.
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