The Wicked Life of James Poisson

Volume 22 Issue 3, Summer 2016

An Eighteenth-Century Scoundrel in Simsbury

James Poisson was not a nice man. Nor was he an honest man. He was a doctor, a merchant, a shopkeeper, an investor in mills and factories, a land speculator, a financial wheeler-dealer, frequently involved in lawsuits, a defaulter of loans, a liar, a con-man, a wife beater and a counterfeiter. He was also a French Huguenot.

The Poisson name is French – meaning fish. However, in various Connecticut records, it is spelled, Payson, Pyson, Poyson, Pison and frequently, Poison. New England Yankees had problems with French names.

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