Paul Busti of Milan arrived in America in 1797 by way of Amsterdam.1 As the new chief operations officer for the Holland Land Company, Busti controlled the development of western New York, plus substantial tracts in central New York and northwestern and north central Pennsylvania. The total area of land under Busti's control was roughly equivalent to the present size of his native Lombardy. After 1803, the Holland Land Company extended to Busti nearly free reign over their assets (Evans 1924, 429). Under this responsibility, Busti's decisions influenced the economic, political, cultural, and physical development of these territories, especially the establishment of counties, towns, cities, and reservations of the Seneca Nation. Busti secured legal protection of Company assets and employed the best lawyers of the era in numerous cases. A landmark legal decision in the U.S. Supreme Court was achieved under his authority.2 Busti also oversaw corporate...
Rediscovering Paul Busti (1749–1824)
Paolo Semenza is an ordained priest with a degree in biological sciences and a licentiate in fundamental theology from the Pontificia Università Gregoriana. After two decades in Rome, he returned to Ferrara, Italy, where he grew up, and taught fundamental theology from 2008 to 2016. His research of ancestors led to the discovery of the accounts of the Eredi di Paolo Busti. He is a descendant of Busti's older sister, Giuseppa.
John Everett Jones is an architect living outside Philadelphia. He is a native of Chautauqua County in western New York and arrived at this study of Paul Busti indirectly through his research of early Swedish settlers (1844–65) in the Jamestown, New York, area—an early Swedish community was located in the town of Busti. His research and blogs are posted on jamestownswedes.org
Paolo Semenza, John Everett Jones; Rediscovering Paul Busti (1749–1824). Italian Americana 1 August 2023; XLI (2): 93–120. doi: https://doi.org/10.5406/2327753X.41.2.03
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