I owuld be extremely interested in learning anything about his parents and siblings! Let me share my notes on him, to this date:
TUPMAN, JOHN F. (? - 1823)
Biographical Notes: Tupman’s early life is obscure. He may have been the John Tupman who served as a private in Clarke’s Company, 16th Virginia Militia, which was raised in Spotsylvania County for service in the War of 1812. Walker, History of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4..., p. 81.
In 1819 Tupman went into business with the already-established local grocer (later proprietor of the Eagle Hotel and a brother of Lodge No. 4) James W. Newby. “Notice. I have this day (January 30) taken in Partnership Mr. John F. Tupman. The business, in future, will be conducted under the firm of Newby & Tupman. All those indebted to the subscriber, are requested to settle their respective balance immediately; and those to whom he is indebted, will please call and receive payment. James E. Newby.” And, immediately below that notice, ran this: “Newby & Tupman have on hand, a good assortment of Groceries, which they are determined to dispose of on the most reasonable terms for cash. Cash given for flour, Corn, whiskey, bacon, lard, butter, tallow, flaxseed and feathers.” Virginia Herald, Weds, 3 Feb 1819, p. 3, col. 4:
It appears that the grocery business required that Tupman travel to the Caribbean, and on one such voyage his career came to a disastrous end. Virginia Herald, Sat, 6 Sept 1823, p. 3, col. 1: “Painful Event. The following intelligence informs us of the melancholy death of Captain John F. Tupman and wife, of this town, who, with three of the crew of the schooner Sarah Ann, it will be seen, were drowned on the 26th July last, by the upsetting of a boat. ‘Pensacola [Florida],Aug. 2. Arrived. schooner Sarah Ann, of Fredericksburg, Va., 20 days from Kingston, Jamaica…. The circumstances attending this vessel’s putting in here are truly distressing…. It appears that… [the] said vessel sailed from Kingston, Jamaica on or about the 11th July, for New Orleans… [and] that on the 26th they made the land about eight miles to the westward of the Barrancas and the vessel was brought too in 5 ½ fathoms water, about two miles from the shore, that Capt. Tupman took the boat, having his wife, three men, and one male passenger, named Saml. Davis in her, and intended to land with a view of procuring some refreshments, that when some hundred yards off the beach, a heavy sea broke into the boat and overset her, and of all her crew [of the ship’s boat] Saml. Davis is the only survivor…. The vessel… is owned by Samuel Phillips and Michael Magrath of Fredericksburg, Va.’”
The named owners of the Sarah Ann were both prosperous Fredericksburg merchants and Freemasons, Phillips belonging to Lodge No. 63 and Magrath to Lodge No. 4. One of the surviving members of the crew was E. Eddens, probably related to Captain L. B. Eddens.
Tupman’s wife’s name is not known. It is not clear that he had any surviving offspring.
Listed in Lodge No. 63 Returns: 1821 (EA); 1823 (Died).
Masonic Notes: Tupman was affiliated with Lodge No. 63 from 1821 until his death.
Obituary: None found.
Burial Notes: No information available.