Edward Carrington (1775-1843) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. As a young man, he came to Providence, R.I., where he worked as a clerk and supercargo for local merchants Seth Wheaton, Samuel Butler, and Richard Jackson. He resided in Canton, China from 1802 to 1810, serving as American Consul, acting as an agent for other American merchants, and amassing a considerable fortune by trading on his own behalf. The collection documents his mercantile and shipping activities in China, South America and Europe during 1802-1857. It also documents his other business enterprises in the textile industry in Rhode Island with the Hamlet Mill and Manufacturing Company, 1834-1860 and the Blackstone Canal Company, 1823-1831. The collection also contains the personal papers of Edward Carrington, his son Edward II, and Edward II's wife Candace (Dorr) Carrington.