American Silversmiths

John Halstead
Susannah Blanchard
(Abt 1706-Abt 1756)
Benjamin Halstead


Family Links


1. Sarah Treadwell

Benjamin Halstead
  • Born: 17 Feb 1734, Hempstead NY
  • Marriage (1): Sarah Treadwell on 22 Oct 1765 in New York
  • Died: 22 May 1817

  General notes:


  Events in his life were:

  • He was a partner in 1756-1766 with Myer Myers in New York City NY as HALSTED & MYERS. 4

  • Alternate Mark for HALSTEAD & MEYERS

  • Coffee pot by HALSTEAD & MEYERS, c 1765
    Newark Museum of Art

  • Creamer by HALSTEAD & MEYERS, c 1760
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    h: 4 3/4"
  • Advertised in the The New-York Gazette or the Weekly Post-Boy (New York City NY), 10 Nov 1763,
    "Myers & Halsted, Gold Smiths, Have removed to the lower End of King-Street, at the House of Mr. John Bell, Where they continue to make, all kinds of work, in gold and silver, and have to sell, a neat assortment of ready made plate, chased and plain; diamond rings, garnet hoops, and broaches in gold, crystal buttons and earrings, in ditto, silver, ivory, and wood etwees, tooth pick cases, and smelling bottles; cases of silver handled knives and forks, best spare blades for ditto, glasses for silver salts, cut cruets for table equipages, and an assortment of tools, for watch and clock makers."
  • Made freeman of New York City NY, 1764. 4
  • An advertisement appeared in the The New-York Gazette or the Weekly Post-Boy (New York City NY), 16 Aug 1764
    A Premonition to those Gentlemen that may hereafter have an Occasion to employ a Silver-Smith, to beware of that Villain Benjamin Halsted; lest they be bit by him, as I have been.
    Andrew Bowne.
  • Advertised in the New York Gazette, or Weekly Post-Boy (New York City NY), 23 Aug 1764, as goldsmith 4
  • Advertised in the The New-York Gazette or the Weekly Post-Boy (New York City NY), 23 Aug 1764,
    "Having been informed that a defamatory Advertisement, against me signed by one Andrew Bowne, of Shrewsbury, was intended to be published in the Thursday's Gazette; This is to desire the Public not to suffer themselves to be seduced by the Malice of the said Andrew Bowne, but to suspend their Judgement, until, either the Truth, or the Calumny of his Assertion, be properly determined by a due Course of Law; for I am resolved to sue him immediately for Scandal."
  • Advertised in the The New-York Gazette or the Weekly Post-Boy (New York City NY), 6 Sep 1764,
    "The Subscriber finds himself obliged, with infinite Reluctance, to address the Public on Account of a surrilous Advertisement in the New-York Gazette of Thursday last Week, signed by one Andrew Bowne. The Character and Reputation of a Man in Trade, being of the most delicate and tender Nature, any Attempts to stigmatize it, not founded on Facts, or supported by Evidence, will never, I flatter myself, influence the impartial Part of Mankind, before the Truth has been scrutinized in a legal Manner. But, some Time must elapse before this can be done: And as the Audaciousness of the Advertisement may make impressions to my Prejudice, I shall endeavour to remove them, by laying all my Transactions with Bowne, open to the Public; where by it may easily be perceived the Means by which his Brain was so violently heated as to overcome his reason.
    Andrew Bowne, of Shrewsbury, called on me last Summer, telling me Joseph Holmes, of this City, had recommended me to him as an honest Silversmith. He then bespoke a Set of Silver Buttons for a Suit of Clothes. They were made exactly to his Directions; and when he came to fetch them he seemed perfectly pleased with them. Three Weeks afterwards he called on me, and desired I would take them back. I represented to him how unsaleable Things made after another's Whim were; and that before I found a Person of his Taste, Years might elapse. He then offered me a Dollar; which I refusing he grew passionate, and went away in the greatest Anger. On his Return Home, he wrote me the Annexed Letter (No. 1) which I despised, and returned no answer to. Last May he wrote me another (No. 2) in both which he has been very lavish of Names that no honest Man can well brook. I returned him an Answer (No. 3) with a View to pass the Affair into Ridicule; but it had a contrary Effect; and the Advertisement in Question was produced by it.
    Private Affairs, of a trivial and insignificant Nature, are unworthy of the Attention of the Public. But when malicious Defamation is allowed to blast Characters in a public Newspaper, a justification in the same public Manner becomes necessary; This Apology, I hope, will plead my Excuse
  • Advertised in the The New-York Gazette or the Weekly Post-Boy (New York City NY), 25 Sep 1766,
    "Benjamin & Matthias Halsted, Gold and Silver-Smiths, Take this method to acquaint the public, that they have now set up their business in Elizabeth-Town (nearly opposite to Mr. Joseph Jelf's Merchant) where they propose to carry it on in all its branches, as the said Benjamin Halsted, has followed the business some time in New-York, to the satisfaction of his employers, he hopes his former customers there and in the country will not forget him, as he will now obey all orders for work from them and other gentlemen and ladies of the city or country, at the shortest notice and most reasonable prices, with the greatest care and exactness to their intire satisfaction; as we purpose to make work of all qualities (prices accordingly) we hope our employers will not expect the best of work for the meanest prices.
    Any orders for work being left at Mr. Thomas Star Tredwell's, at Burling's-slip, New-York, will come safe to hand; or any gentlemen or ladies wanting work done, that are desirous to see one of us to deliver their orders to, if they will please to leave word at the above Mr. Tredwell's, one or the other will wait on them at a very short notice.
    Said Matthias Halsted has for sale, a few silver-smiths tools, which he will sell cheap for cash, viz. Forging, planishing, hollowing, and bouge hammers, piercing, riffling and common files, fine Turkey oil stone slips, and Bohemia polishing stones, double aqua fortis, corn, half-corn and flour emery, borax and sandever. The above tools, &c. may be had of the above Mr. Tredwell, and likewise a few best steel top thimbles

  • Ladle, c 1780-1790
    Private Collection 1
    l: 15 3/8"
  • He worked in 1783-1785 as a gold- and silversmith in Philadelphia PA 4
  • Advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia PA), 1783, as goldsmith 4

  • Advertised in the Pennsylvania Packet, 1 May 1784

    Philadelphia, April 27.

    Eight Dollars Reward.

    Ran-away from the subscriber, a negro man, named John Frances, but commonly called Jack: he is about 40 years of age, five feets ten inches high, [sl]ender built, speaks good English, by trade a goldsmith; he generally affects to be very polite, and it's more than probable he may pass as a freeman. Said negro was carried to New [Y]ork and left in charge of Mr. Ephraim Brasher, goldsmith, from whom he abscounded, and returned to me after skulking about this city for a considerable time: had on when he went away, an old green coat, fustian waistcoat and breeches, a pair of half boots, but may probably changed his dress. All masters of vessels and others are forbid to harbour or carry him off at their peril. Whoever takes up said negro and delivers him to John Le Telier, goldsmith in Market street, or to the subscriber in New York, shall have the above reward, and all reasonable charges paid.

    Benjamin Halsted.

  • He worked in 1786-1814 as a gold- and silversmith in New York City NY
    Listed in the 1786 city directory at 13 Maiden Lane. 4
  • New York City NY, 1786: member of Gold and Silversmiths' Society. 4
  • Advertised in the New York Packet (New York City NY), 8 Jun 1787,
    "Benjamin Halsted, Gold and Silver-Smith, Respectfully acknowledges the favours of his friends and customers, and hereby informs them and the public in general, that he carries on his business as usual, at No. 18, Maiden-lane, where all orders will be duly acknowledged and faithfully executed on the shortest notice.
    N.B. He sells silver tea spoons for one shilling per doz.
    " 4

  • Plateau, c 1790-1795
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    l: 21 1/8"
    w: 17 1/4"
  • Advertised in the Diary or Evening Register (New York City NY), 30 Aug 1794,
    "Thimble Manufactory, Benjamin Halstead Respectfully informs his Friends and the Public in general, that he still continues carrying on the Gold and Silversmith business No. 67 Broad street, he has brought the manufactory of Gold, Silver and Pinchbeck Thimbles with steel top to great perfection and thinks he could make a sufficient quantity to supply the United States. Citizens, consider your interest, and encourage American Manufactures.
    Those imported are of the Slightest kind, I will engage that one of mine, will do more service than 3 of them, and I know by experience, that imported ones of the quality of mine cost 18 shillings per doz. and could not be sold by 25 percent, as low as mine. Every dealer in this article will soon find the advantage of keeping Halsted's Thimbles, and have the satisfaction of knowing that he d"oes his customers justice. Silver and steel Bodkins, tooth and ear picks by the doz. or single.
  • He was a partner in 1799-1809 with Mathias Halstead in New York City NY as BENJAMIN HALSTED & SON, gold- and silversmiths, thimble manufacturers. 4

Benjamin married Sarah Treadwell on 22 Oct 1765 in New York. (Sarah Treadwell was born on 9 Oct 1744 in Elizabethtown NJ and died on 16 Mar 1812.)

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