Alexander Buchanan Barret

by Edmund Starling, 1886

 

was born in Louisa County, Virginia, on the eighteenth day of March, 1811, and proved to be, in after-life, one of the most successful and notable business men of America. He, with a limited education at the age of fourteen years, left home and found employment in the office of his uncle in Richmond, Virginia, who carried on a large tobacco trade in this country and Europe. In 1833 he was given a partnership, and sent by his uncle to Henderson to take charge of his tobacco interests in that locality. A few years after, this firm was dissolved, Mr. Barret remaining and retaining the business and reputation of the old farm. In 1852 he joined with him his younger brother, John H. Barret, and, in this association, the business continued until his death. He established branch stemmeries at Henderson, Louisville, Owensboro, Cloverport and other points in Kentucky, at Clarksville and in Missouri, and was, in his teme without doubt, the most extensive tobacco merchant in the world, controlling annually many thousands of hogsheads in the markets of England. He was the largest planter in Henderson County, and invested largely and successfully in cotton, and ranked as one of the largest land owners and real estate holders in the whole country. Honor and uprightness were the leading principles by which he ruled his life, and it seems to have been his highest ambition to prove to the world, that they were the surest, as well as the best, means to financial prosperity. At the age of fifty, in New York City, he died June 15th, 1861. His remains were removed to Henderson, where his memory will long live in the hearts of the people. He died the wealthiest citizen Kentucky has ever claimed. He was twice married. His first wife was Miss Juliana Harris, of Louisa County, Virginia, by whom he had two children, Alexander and Virginia. Alexander married in London, England, Miss Emma Allen Chunnock, and some years afterward died. His widow and children are now residents of Washington City; Virginia is the wife of Major Theodore K. Gibbs, son of Ex-Governor Gibbs, of Rhode Island, and resides in the City of New York. Mr. Barret's second wife was Miss Black, of Dublin, Ireland, who died several years since, without issue.
-The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 803-04;

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