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Encyclopedia > Francis Blackwell Forbes

Francis Blackwell Forbes (1839 - 1908) was a China merchant, opium trader and botanist. He and other members of the Forbes family were active in the Opium trade and China trade during the Opium Wars, amassing a large fortune. Due to his family's deep involvement with the opium trade and opium, Forbes developed a lifelong interest in the poppy and other plants, and in Chinese botany in general.

He was the son of James Grant Forbes I and brother of John Murray Forbes. He married Isabel Clarke Forbes and was the father of William Forbes and James Grant Forbes. He is a maternal great-grandfather of 2004 US Presidential candidate John Kerry.

External links

  • Forbes family genealogy (http://hometown.aol.com/wreitwiesn/candidates2004/kerry.html)
  • Forbes family papers at Massachusetts Historical Society (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/newsandmicroforms/microfinder/archel.htm)

Description of papers from website: "A microfilm edition of manuscripts in the collections of the Captain Robert Bennet Forbes House and the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Forbes family was a distinguished nineteenth century Boston commercial family. While their papers are concerned primarily with the China trade in the nineteenth century, the papers also give insight into American social history of the period. About half of the collection is the papers and letterbooks of Robert Bennet Forbes (1804-1889), sea captain, China merchant, ship owner and author. Other major sections are the papers of Francis Blackwell Forbes (1839-1908) and James Murray Forbes (1845-1937), who were also China merchants. In addition, Francis Forbes was a specialist in Chinese botany. Consult the guide to the collection for a biography of the Forbes family, a bibliography of books by or about the Forbes, a description of the collection, and an index to the correspondence."



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