Jacob Gerard Koch (1784?-1830), originally from Holland, was an affluent Philadelphia merchant who imported German linens to the United States from approximately 1796 to 1816. He resided at the northeast corner of Ninth and Market Street and operated his business from a store on the corner of Lombard Alley and Little Water Street. During the War of 1812, Koch reportedly subscribed $5000 for the construction of a frigate to support the American government in its defense. In 1819 Koch moved to Paris, France, with his wife, Jane Griffith Koch. According to the Reminiscences of Charles N. Buck, also a merchant in Philadelphia at the turn of the nineteenth century, controversy ensued concerning the marriage of Koch to Jane Griffith. Before their marriage, she apparently served as his laundry maid. When he fell ill during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1798, she allegedly promised to nurse him back to health if he, in return, would marry her. Buck stated that society regarded Jane Griffith as a “poor, ignorant, ill -tempered, and very homely Irish girl,” and frowned upon Koch’s marriage to her. Koch died on July 2, 1830, in Paris at age seventy.
Account book of Jacob Koch, 1801-1805. The volume includes records of insurance, purchases, sales, and receipts. Koch insured ships traveling to Canton, Calcutta, Liverpool, Amsterdam, and other ports around the world. Goods the firm traded include spices, tea, coffee, wine, muslin and silk.
- Merchants — Pennsylvania — Philadelphia
- Philadelphia (Pa.) — Commerce — China — 19th century
- China — Commerce — China — 19th century
- Account books
- China Trade