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Isaac Low (April 13, 1735, Raritan Landing, New Jersey – July 25, 1791, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom) was an American merchant in New York City. After serving as a tax commissioner for the New York provincial government during the French and Indian War, Low married Margarita Cuyler in 1760, a scion of the powerful Schuyler family, whose brother and father were both mayors of Albany. Their son Isaac became a British army commissary-general. He was a prominent merchant and a large real estate holder in the city of New York.

He was an active speaker against taxation without representation and the chairman of New York City's Committee of Correspondence in 1765. He become chairman of New York City's Committee of Sixty in 1774. Low was named a delegate for New York to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and to New York Provincial Congress the following year. In that same year, he was a founder and the first president of the New York Chamber of Commerce.

Opposed to armed conflict with the British Crown, Low quit the patriot cause after the Declaration of Independence was announced in 1776 and relocated to New Jersey, where he was imprisoned on suspicion of treason by the New Jersey Convention. He was eventually released after George Washington intervened, but after collaboration with the British occupation forces in New York, his property was confiscated after the New York assembly passed a motion of attainder in 1779. Low emigrated to England four years later, where he died in 1791. Although a family tradition holds that his wife joined him in England, probate records hold that she died in Albany in 1802. Contrary to the assertion that Mrs. Low did not join her husband in England: I am currently working with the diaries of Gouverneur Morris for 1794-98 and he mentions a number of times in 1795 and 1796, while in London, that he has seen her. -M. Miller

References

  • Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company (1887-1889); published on the Web by StanKlos.com (1999).

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