King was born in New York City into a poor Irish family. He was indentured as an apprentice to a jeweler in Manhattan at the age of nine. At the age of 11 he fled the city and stowed away on a ship bound for Mobile, Alabama. Upon discovery, he was adopted by the crew and trained in navigation, becoming a steamboat pilot by the age of sixteen. By 1850 he was a steamboat captain and had formed a steamboat firm with three other partners. This firm achieved “nearly monopolistic” control on the Rio Grande for most of the years between 1850 and 1874, when the partnership dissolved.
Latest posts by Stephen A. Mendel, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- Famous Estates-Champ or Chump? Jane Fonda - September 13, 2019
- Texas Trivia – Name the first of six flags to fly over Texas. - September 6, 2019
- Famous Estates-Champ or Chump? Paul Walker - August 30, 2019