Belcher, Andrew , 1646 - 1717

Andrew Belcher was the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Belcher of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He first removed to Connecticut, where he married the daughter of a wealthy Hartford merchant, who had an established trade along the Connecticut River with the Indians. Later he returned to Massachusetts and settled at Charlestown and then to Boston.  Establishing a lucrative international trading business, Belcher became the leading supplier of Connecticut grain and pork.  In this, he was assisted by his son, Jonathan, who would become Massachusetts Governor from 1730-1741.  During Queen Anne’s War he was a major supplier of the garrisons and vessels of war for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and was made commissary-general in 1703.  In that latter capacity, Belcher furnished clothing to Indian messengers and arranged for their transportation.   Known for his expertise on Indian affairs, he helped shape Massachusetts’ frontier policies.  While his critics complained the food he sold for the soldiers was often spoiled, Belcher fell into general disfavor, however, by hoarding food and shipping it out of the colony to the West Indies, during times of serious food shortages.  Michael Batinski, Jonathan Belcher, Colonial Governor (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), 3-11.  John Henry Clifford, The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Vol. 8 (Boston, MA: Wright & Potter Printing Co., 1895), 287, 309.

Born: 
1646
Died: 
October 31, 1717