Patrick White was a major merchant in Petersburg, Va. From at least August, 1791 through July, 1794, White was in partnership with Conway Whittle of Norfolk, specializing in the trade in grain and flour, but dabbling as well in corn, bread, tobacco, sugar, rum, nails, iron, Irish linen, hemp, and a profusion of other goods that came to hand. In 1794, White, Whittle & Co. dissolved when Whittle established Conway Whittle & Co., in Norfolk. Patrick White continued in trade as Patrick White & Co.
The scope of both of White's operations is impressive, not only in the breadth of goods marketed, but in the numbers of ports with which he traded. Both firms marketed goods not only throughout the state and up and down the eastern seaboard, but in Britain and, to a lesser degree, in other European nations.