Allaire-Gibbons papers  1822-1963 (bulk 1822-1856)
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James Peter Allaire was born in 1785, and began his working career as a brass founder in New York City around 1813. In 1815, Allaire founded the Allaire Works, the first steam engine factory in New York, and in 1831 founded the Howell Works. He proved to be a successful engineer, and also owned several steamship lines. Among his other accomplishments are his production of the first marine compound engine and the design of New York City's first tenement building. Allaire had two wives: Frances Roe and Calicia Tompkins. Allaire died on May 20, 1858.

Thomas Gibbons was born in Savannah, Georgia, on December 15, 1757. Though many of his family members supported the American Revolution, Gibbons remained a Loyalist during the conflict and was imprisoned until 1787 for his wartime sympathies. Despite his imprisonment, he became a prominent citizen after his release. He won a seat on the Georgia State Assembly, assisted in the drafting of Georgia's 1789 state constitution, and served several terms as mayor of Savannah. In 1811, Gibbons moved to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where he continued to pursue his business interests. In 1817, he formed a steamboat company in partnership with Aaron Ogden. The partnership proved a strained one, and an 1819 suit made by Ogden against Gibbons went to the United States Supreme Court; the ruling dissolved the Livingston-Fulton steamboat monopoly on the east coast and had lasting implications for the interpretation of the Untied States Constitution's interstate commerce clause. Gibbons died in New York City on May 16, 1826. His son, William Gibbons (b. 1794), inherited his father's money and property, and continued to manage his father's steamboat business until 1829. William Gibbons died on December 10, 1852, in New Jersey.