William Appleton Edit Profile
He attended schools in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, Francestown, New Hampshire, and Tyngsborough, Massachusetts.
He was a trader, shipowner, and banker, and served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1851 to 1855, and again from 1861 to 1862. At fifteen years of age he started work at a country store in Temple, New Hampshire. Three years later the owner took him into partnership, but a year after that he moved to Boston, Massachusetts.
He worked for a store that bought and sold goods from the West Indies, and went into business for himself in 1807. In 1809, he bought a ship, and made several profitable trading voyages to Europe. After the War of 1812, he expanded his shipping business and became one of the wealthiest men in Boston.
In 1826, he retired from business, but maintained a counting-house. In 1832, he became president of the Boston branch of the Second Bank of the United States, and served until 1836. He was also at one time president of the Provident Institution for Savings.
They engaged in the California hide trade, and in commerce with China. He retired from the company in 1859. He was noted for benevolence toward public causes: he was president of Massachusetts General Hospital, to which he donated $30,000, and made other large donations.
In 1850, Appleton was elected U.S. Representative from Massachusetts's 1st district as a Whig. He was re-elected in 1852, this time from Massachusetts's 5th district, as districts had been redrawn after the 1850 Census. He was defeated for re-election in 1854, and lost again in 1856.
In 1860, he was again elected Representative, as a Constitutional Unionist. He took his seat in 1861, but resigned in September, due to failing health. Appleton died five months after his resignation, on February 15, 1862, in Longwood, Massachusetts.
He was interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Member United States Ho.