City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Elkanah Watson (1758-1842)
Elkanah Watson (January 22, 1758 – December 5, 1842) was a visionary traveller and writer, agriculturist and canal promoter, banker and businessman. He was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts and died at Port Kent, New York. He worked in Albany, New York for several years, founding the State Bank of Albany. After retiring in 1807 to a farm in Massachusetts, he raised Merino sheep and founded the agricultural fair, first organizing one at Pittsfield.
Based on journals which he had kept since his 20s, Watson started writing his autobiography in 1821. It was completed, edited and published as Men and the Times of the Revolution; or Memoirs of Elkanah Watson (1856) by one of his sons, historian Winslow Cossoul Watson.