Merchant in Scotland. Moved to America (1767). Settled in Philadelphia (1768).
Became heavily involved in the East India trade. Spent much of the Revolutionary war in Nantes, helping to obtain supplies for the American military.
His correspondence with Franklin and the American Commissioners largely concerned questions of payment and credit.
Born in Tain, County Ross, Scotland. Married in 1768 to Clementina Cruikshank.