From the service of Elias Haskett Derby (1739-1799), Salem's preeminent merchant in the late 18th century and probably America's first millionaire. His father, Richard Derby, had risen in the codfish and sugar-based West Indies trade that was the foundation of Salem's 18th century prosperity and was a leading patriot, organizing anti-British resistance in the years before the Revolution. During the war, when American commerical ships were licensed as privateers by the Continental Congress, the Derbys' Grand Turk and Astrea joined over 150 other Salem vessels in harassing the British and capturing much-needed supplies. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended this very lucrative practice, but for men of vision like Elias Haskett Derby, who had inherited the house at his father's death that same year, independence presented fantastic opportunities. The British West Indies now being closed to American ships Derby pursued the riches of the Baltic states and the East Indies. He was already contemplating a voyage to China when his Captain Ingersoll met Samuel Shaw at the Cape of Good Hope, returning to New York from Canton aboard the Empress of China. Derby's Grand Turk soon followed, becoming the first New England ship to reach China. Shortly before the ship's return the hong merchant Pinqua presented to its captain the famous punchbowl inscribed Grand Turk, and it is likely that this porcelain was also loaded aboard at that time. The Grand Turk sailed into Salem harbor in May of 1787 to much fanfare. Howard suggests that this service was perhaps originally intended for the New York ship Hope, then recently at Canton, with Derby's initials added to make it suitable for so notable a character (Howard & Ayers, op. cit., pp. 493-4.). E. H. Derby was a shrewd businessman and manager with innovative financing, trading and warehousing methods, but he never set out to sea himself. From Derby House he could view his warehouses, the E.H. Derby stores where exotic goods from the East were on offer, and Derby Wharf, the heart of Salem's most powerful commercial venture. See Salem, Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail, a publication of the National Park Service in cooperation with the Peabody Museum, 1987.