century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

Benjamin Perkins


Centurion, 1892–1904

Born 30 April 1831 in Boston, Massachusetts

Died 10 October 1904 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Proposed by Edward Patterson, Austen G. Fox, Frederic R. Coudert, Stephen H. Olin, and Henry H. Anderson

Elected 4 June 1892 at age sixty-one

Seconder of:

Century Memorial

Benjamin Perkins was a worthy representative of the type of the cultured American merchant. He was born at Boston and was educated at the well-known Latin School at Salem, Mass. His tastes and inclination were, however, not towards a professional career, and he preferred to engage in commercial pursuits. In his early manhood he became connected with a business house and was sent to the island of Mauritius, where he lived for many years and where he became imbued with “the spirit of the East.” He was proficient in knowledge of oriental art and was a recognized authority on all subjects associated with East Indian, Japanese, and Chinese bronzes, enamels, and porcelains. He had also a considerable acquaintance with oriental literature. On his return to America, he became a member of the firm of S. & W. Welsh, of Philadelphia, whose extensive commercial relations with the East and with South America are well known. He continued a member of that firm for many years, until on leaving it he became President of the Continental Bank of the City of New York. He was connected with charitable institutions and with some of the great corporations in the city of New York and the value of his service to them was great. He was a lover of art and a judicious art critic and the possessor of many valuable paintings. He was genial and kindly and particularly generous to artists. For some years many of his leisure hours were passed in this club house, but latterly his health was feeble and he was seldom here.

Edward Cary
1905 Century Association Yearbook