Abraham Dupre

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At the age of 15 Abraham Dupre went to sea with the position of steward. He was soon promoted to second mate and then to first mate while on a man-of-war. He was later captain of a merchant vessel. He served in the British Navy for eight years. After he married he made only a few sea voyages, but worked most of the time at the carpenter and ship building trade until he went to America.


Abraham was born on 5 May 1774, married in 1808 and died on 14 March 1869. He was the son of Abraham Dupre and Jane Le Couteur. His wife Marie Dumaresq was born on 5 June 1787 and died on 12 July 1852. They had eleven children: Abraham, Mary, Jane, Nancy, Eliza, Philip, Susan, Elizabeth, Ellen, Rufus, and one that died young. When Jane, their third child, was just four days old, they left Jersey for America. The crossing took nine weeks.

Abraham Dupre and his family sailed from Le Havre, France in the spring on 1817 to New York (or Philadelphia?) embarking on the Asa Swift Packet, and arriving nine weeks later. The fare for the family was $200. The ship was in command of Major Peirson. Before leaving Europe Abraham deposited the bulk of his money in the London Bank. After landing in the United States, he settled in Chillicothe, Ohio, and then sent an agent in Jersey a power of attorney to draw the money out and send it to him. Instead, the agent drew the money (about $5000) and left for parts unknown.

After losing his money, he built flat boats in the fall and winter, and when the Scioto River got high in the spring, he ran the boats, which were loaded with grain, flour, pork, and so forth, down to New Orleans for a merchant in Chillicothe. He was captain of the cargo and salesman after arriving in New Orleans. He could speak six languages (French, English, Dutch, German, Spanish and Italian) He also sold many cargoes for other merchants and was considered the best salesman in New Orleans from Ohio. He followed this business from 1818 to 1824. That was the years that he purchased a farm in Huntington township (on Little Raccoon Creek), Gallia County, Ohio, near Vinton.

Abraham became a naturalised citizen of the United States of America while living in Chillicothe, after establishing residence for the required number of years. After his naturalisation, his wife and foreign born children also became citizens. When five years of age, Jane Dupre accompanied her father and held his left hand when he took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. At that time, the law required that the oath be taken with the petitioner actually standing (barefoot) on the soil of the United States; therefore, boots had to be removed and the Court held on the Court House lawn.


Abraham was the grandson of Philip Dupre, who was the son of Charles Dupre. Around 1720 Charles and his family left France for Jersey. He owned a farm in France, but the only property his family could take with them was what they could carry, because of the persecution of Protestants in France. They traveled through the countryside by night and hid in the woods during the day until they reached the Channel, where they found a boat. The boat was chained to a rock, but they broke the chain and rowed to Jersey.

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