Biographical / Historical
Isaac Hicks was born in 1767, the son of Samuel and Phebe (Seaman) Hicks in a Quaker farming community on Long Island, New York. A birthright member of Westbury Monthly Meeting, he was part of a prominent and extended Quaker family that included distant cousins primitie artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849) and Quaker minister Elias Hicks (1748-1830). In 1789 he went to New York City to start a career in business, and in 1790 he married Sarah Doughty. They had six children: John D., b 1791;, Robert, b. 1793; Benjamin, b. 1798; Isaac, b. 1802; Elizabeth, b. 1805; and Mary, b. 1807. In 1796, Isaac Hicks established a shipping and commission business. Benefiting from his extended Quaker connections in America and England, he soon became a wealthy ship owner. In 1806, he retired from business, returning to Westbury, Long Island, and became increasingly involved in Quaker concerns.
In 1804, his brother Valentine (1782-1850) married Abigail Hicks, the daughter of Elias Hicks, uniting even more closely a family already tied by kinship and Quaker belief. Elias and Isaac Hicks were both descended from Jacob and Hannah (Carpenter) Hicks, and Edward Hicks, the artist, was descended from Jacob's brothers, Isaac and Thomas. Isaac supported Edward Hicks financially as well as accompanied Elias Hicks on a number of his ministerial travels, including the visits to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1813 and Rhode Island Yearly Meeting in 1816. Isaac Hicks died in 1820.