Parish-Rosseel Papers

Parish-Rosseel Papers

Collection Number: 
5
Collection Length: 
38.00ft
Period: 
1807 to 1816
Finding Aid: 

David Parish arrived in America (Philadelphia) in 1805 from Antwerp. In 1807 Gouverneur Morris, a family friend, told Parish of the property in northern New York that was for sale. In 1807, with Joseph Rosseel as his land agent, he began purchasing land in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties. Parish with Rosseel's help proceeded to make Ogdensburg into a main forwarding station on the St. Lawrence River and built sawmills, gristmills and help set up farmers and businesses in the area. He developed the iron and lead industry, opened shipping trade on the St. Lawrence River and brought European sheep for woolen mills. In 1816 Parish returned to Europe and embarked upon extensive financial undertaking and lost his fortune. On April 27, 1826 Parish drowned himself in the Danube, his family then took over and ran the estate in New York. Joseph Rosseel was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1782. In 1807 he came to America as a refugee of the war with a letter of recommendation which he presented to David Parish. He settled in Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County and conducted Parish's business. Rosseel had full power of Attorney for the Parish Family (David, George Sr., George Jr. and Richard) from 1807 until his retirement in 1859 when his son took over the Parish affairs. The collection consists of correspondence, financial papers, legal documents, ledgers, photos, and maps relating to the Parish family. Included is a scrapbook of photos of the Parish family, the Parish estate in Europe and the St. Lawrence property. Also included are lithographs of early North Country scenes done from sketches by artist Salathiel Ellis. The collection was donated to St. Lawrence University in 1968 by Charles Parish of Beamsville, Ontario, Canada.