T. Jefferson Coolidge

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T. Jefferson Coolidge (1831-1920) was a leading Boston businessman. Born to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, he was a great-grandson of President Thomas Jefferson. Coolidge was educated in private schools in Europe, and graduated from Harvard in 1850. He married the daughter of William Appleton, a leading financier of the New England cotton textile industry. Coolidge was involved in numerous textile mills, and banks. He was manager of the largest textile mill in America, the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester New Hampshire. Coolidge turned his attention to financing the rapidly growing industrial economy, with major interests in textiles banking, railroads, publishing and electricity.[1]

He served as president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. He organized the United Fruit Company, of which his son was president. Coolidge was involved in numerous civic enterprises Boston area, especially the design of the region's park system. A Republican, he was appointed by Benjamin Harrison as ambassador to France in 1892. He was a member of the American delegation to the commission to resolve the Alaska boundary dispute.[2]

Historian Ernest May says Coolidge was, "a prototype member of what today we call the foreign policy establishment."[3]

Further reading

  • Coolidge, Thomas Jefferson. The Autobiography of T. Jefferson Coolidge, 1831-1920 (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923).
  • Gordon, Nancy. "Coolidge, Thomas Jefferson"; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000 . Access Date: Feb 28 2016


  1. Steven C. Topik (2000). Trade and Gunboats: The United States and Brazil in the Age of Empire. Stanford UP. p. 41.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. John N. Ingham, ed. (1983). Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 190. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ernest R. May (1968). American Imperialism: A Speculative Essay. Atheneum. p. 45.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>