James Maury

James Maury
In the West Reception Room of Liverpool Town Hall hangs the portrait of James Maury (1746-1840), by Gilbert Stuart Newton (1794-1835). The plaque (pictured below) currently in place states: “James Maury an American merchant came to Liverpool as the World’s first America (sic) Consul. He was appointed by George Washington, having been recommended for the post by his schoolfellow Thomas Jefferson, who also went on to become President of America. James held this position from 1790-1829. After 40 years of public life and residence in Liverpool he returned to Virginia upon his retirement.
I think something more appropriate would read:
James Maury was a trader in slave produced goods, most notably tobacco from his native Virginia. Maury came to Liverpool in 1786 and established himself as a successful merchant and broker in the booming port. Some of the tobacco he imported was sold on to slavers who used it to trade for enslaved people on the African coast. In 1789, Maury applied to become Consul to Liverpool for the fledgling United States and in the following year he was appointed to the post, becoming the first consul appointed in Great Britain. He remained a prominent merchant in the port and served as the first President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Liverpool, 1801-02.
James Maury panel
James Maury portrait