Charles Ross was born in 1772. As a 22 year old, Ross served under Captain Dunlap to quell the Whiskey Rebellion, stirred up by angry farmers, in Western Pennsylvania. These farmers found it more profitable to ship their alcohol, rather than grain, because of a poor transportation network. Federal tax law, at the time, permitted government agents to enter homes and collect whiskey taxes.
In 1792, Congress elected to remove taxes from small stills which satisfied Virginia and North Carolina, but whiskey makers in Pennsylvania refused to pay the tax.
In 1794, President Washington sent troops to stop the rebellion. The “Whiskey Rebellion” was an early testing ground on the use of federal power to enforce a federal law within a state.
Charles Ross' father, John Ross, a merchant of high standing, was also a ship owner trading in India goods. Like his father, Charles became an eminent merchant in the East India trade. He made 6 voyages to China as supercargo and part owner of the Caledonia.
He died in Oct. 1817, aged 45 years, from a disease contracted on shipboard attributable to impure water.
His impressive monument of white marble surmounted by a bronze trophy of arms modeled and cast in Philadelphia was an example of early bronze casting in the city. Today, the bronze components atop the monument are missing, as is the wrought iron fence enclosure ….victims to graveyard vandalism in the 1960’s.