The Leaf Department was an important division of the British American Tobacco Company, responsible for securing the supply of quality tobaccos. The company was a 1902 joint venture between James 'Buck' Duke's American Tobacco Company and the UK's Imperial Tobacco Company. The merged firm opened offices in India, Egypt, Malaysia, Belgium, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Shanghai.
Peter Arrington (1869-1916) was a North Carolina attorney who most likely had business dealings with James 'Buck' Duke and later BAT. His relation, Hattie Arrington Gregory, married RH Gregory who became head of the BAT Leaf Department in Shanghai in 1912.