American agent for the Continental Congress in Martinique.
Attended the College of Philadelphia, purchased ships, and established European commercial connections all before the age of twenty-two.
Appointed secretary of the Committee of Secret Correspondence (1775), which sent him on a mission to the West Indies. From Martinique, he supplied Franklin and the other commissioners with commercial and military news.
Returned to Europe (1784-85), where he used his connections strengthen the American commercial rights being negotiated by Franklin and John Adams.
Born in Philadelphia. Married in 1780 to Anne Willing in Philadelphia.