About Thomas Wharton
Thomas Wharton fled to Philadelphia from Scotland after the Seven Years War in 1763. Wharton assumed his mother’s maiden name, Collins, in order to attain anonymity in the Colonies. It seems that as a Scottish militiaman Thomas Wharton Collins found himself on the winning end a dual defending his sister's virtue, however evidently killing someone more popular than himself. Once in the Colonies Thomas was found to be a Tory sympathizer and imprisoned during the Revolutionary War. His wife Mary successfully gained his freedom upon appeal to George Washington. Thomas was released and the family moved to Nova Scotia where Thomas died in 1790 leaving Mary a widow with seven children. Obviously a resourceful woman, somehow Mary made her way to New York where she reared her children. Son William became a postal boat captain and was the first of the family to move to New Orleans. John later followed in 1800 and opened a mercantile store on Magazine Street.