Perkins, Thomas (Handasyd)(1764–1854) merchant, philanthropist; born in Boston, Mass. He made his fortune trading in Santo Domingo (1785–92) and China (1792–1838), and was a prominent Federalist state legislator (1805–24). His generous local philanthropy benefited Massachusetts General Hospital, the Boston Athenaeum, and the Perkins Institution for the Blind, renamed for him after a major benefaction in 1833.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.