Crowninshield, George(1766–1817) yachtsman; born in Salem, Mass. Member of a prominent Salem family that prospered as sea captains and merchants, he went to sea as a ship's clerk and then worked in his family's countinghouse. When the family firm dissolved (1815), he retired and pursued an interest in yachting. He built the first American yacht, the Jefferson. He built the more elaborate Cleopatra's Barge and took her on a trip to the Mediterranean, where it gained much attention in foreign ports. He died suddenly after his return from the voyage.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.