The monogram I and I A is that of Joseph and Jane Arthur of New York
Philadelphia-born Ebenezer Hazard (1744-1817) married Abigail Arthur in 1783. She was the daughter of Captain Joseph Arthur and his wife, Jane Chevalier, whose initials appear on the base of the Soumaine bowl. Hazard was a businessman, government official, scholar and publisher whose greatest contribution to the nation was the publication of Historical Collections from 1792-1794. This two-volume work became the primary source of historical documents in the following century. Hazard understood the value of historical documents and had the foresight to secure and preserve them.
Hazard also served as the Postmaster of New York City during the Revolution and Postmaster General until 1789 when the Post Office was established by the Constitution. He was an efficient manager, instituting stage-coach delivery to replace the old horse-and-rider method. In his government position, Hazard traveled widely and was able to collect and copy many documents relating to the formation of the Colonies and the young nation. Upon his retirement as Postmaster General, he was employed by Philadelphia's Universal Tontine, later the Insurance Company of North America, and returned to his scholarly pursuits. Although Historical Collections was a financial failure, Hazard's role in safeguarding documents and promoting historical scholarship for future researchers was invaluable (George Pilcher, "Ebenezer Hazard and the Promotion of Historical Scholarship in the Early Republic," Pennsylvania History, January 1989, pp. 3-14).
CAPTION: Abigail Arthur Hazard (1759-1820), by James Sharples