Austin, Benjamin

Boston merchant and civic leader.

Very active in civic affairs as selectman (1758-67), warden (1761, 1770), overseer of the poor (1767), surveyor of hemp and flax (1775), and town auditor (1775). Member of the committee of inspection. Member of the Massachusetts Council (c. 1774-78). The Austin family was associated with Samuel Adams and other radical patriots, but Austin’s own relations with Adams were somewhat strained.

Married Elizabeth Waldo. Father of Benjamin Austin, Jr., a radical Boston politician, and Jonathan Loring Austin, a political secretary and privateer.