Little is known about the early life of Alexander Leckie (also Lackie), except that he married a woman named Margaret and they had at least three children: George (b. 1760), William (b. 1765), and Alexander (b. 1768). All were baptized in Swallow Street Scotch Church in Westminster, London. By the 1790s, father and sons had set up a successful business trading dry goods between England, the United States, and several Caribbean islands. Alexander, Sr., and Alexander, Jr., settled in Portsmouth, Virginia, while George remained in London, and William primarily resided in Kingston, Jamaica. In this way, they were able to oversee the many aspects of the large-scale operation. Alexander Leckie, Sr., intended to return to England in 1800, but died in September, before he could make the voyage. The younger Leckies continued to run the business until at least 1808.