350 High St Middletown CT United States 06457
The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House is a historic house at 350 High Street in Middletown, Connecticut. It was built in 1828 to a design by the noted architect Ithiel Town, and is described as one of the finest Greek Revival mansions in the northeastern United States. It is further notable for Town's client, Samuel Wadsworth Russell (1789-1862), the founder of Russell & Company, the largest and most important American firm to do business in the China trade in the 19th century. In 1970, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001. It is now owned by Wesleyan University.Description and significanceThis building was erected in 1828 for Samuel Russell (1789–1862). Russell founded the trading firm of Russell & Company in Canton, China after serving there as trading representative of the Providence, Rhode Island firm of Edward Carrington & Company. Between 1818 and 1831 Russell's fortune was made in the illegal yet highly profitable importation of Turkish and Bengal opium into the port of Canton and the exportation of fine teas and silks from there to Europe and the United States. In 1828 when his house was built Russell was in Canton, and his friend Samuel D. Hubbard worked with Mrs. Russell to supervise the building of the house. In 1831 Russell returned to Middletown and his new home where he resided until his death in 1862.