Defalcation!  Atlantic Docks, 1848

Defalcation. John Wright, a storage keeper at Atlantic Docks, N.Y. and a defaulter to a considerable amount, left for France in the steamer United States, on her last passage.  One house in New York, it is said, will be a loser by him to the amount of $9000.

Daily Evening Transcript [Boston, MA], June 20, 1848

Swindling - 'Wall street was well troubled yesterday by the announcement that John Wright, a young man employed as a Keeper of a store at Atlantic Docks, had absconded, carrying with him between $20,000 $30,000, which he had swindled from various persons. He had, it appears, a quantity of wheat on storage, and borrowed money on it to a pretty large extent. He also obtained various sums on forged receipts for rye, and with the proceeds of his knavery, absconded. His whereabouts is at present unknown.

Albany Evening Journal, June 19, 1848


Atlantic Docks and its many grain-filled stone warehouses, known as stores, was very new in 1848 when John Wright, so the newspapers of the day reported, made off with a very large sum of money through financial trickery, "knavery" and "defalcation".

In 1848, like today, Wall street, was the United States's financial center.  Grain was big business, and while a lot of money was trading hands in Manhattan, the grain itself was being shipped to, stored and sold from the stores of the Atlantic Docks, and would continue to do so for nearly a century. 

As for the getaway steamer UNITED STATES, one in a long line of different ships with that name, it is not reported that it left from the Atlantic Docks - but it could have.

Date:

1848

Sources:

  • Albany Evening Journal,¬†June 19, 1848

    Daily Evening Transcript [Boston, MA], June 20, 1848

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