John Ryle was one of seventeen children born to Peter and Sarah (Brunt) Ryle. Only five of the children lived to maturity - Reuben, William, Sarah, John and Peter Jr.
He was left an orphan at the age of seven years by the death of his mother, his father having died four years before that time. He worked in various silk mills in and about Macclesfield until the year 1839, when, having just obtained his majority, he concluded to gratify his strong desire to seek his fortune in America, and accordingly sailed from Liverpool on 1 March 1839, in the ship Marian bound for New York, where he arrived after a voyage of forty-nine days. Descendants of John Ryle are of the belief that their ancestor sailed to the United States to scope out business for his two brothers, and to see how the silk industry was progressing in America without ever having any intentions of remaining there permanently.
By the time Ryle arrived in America, silk was not manufactured to any great extent in the United States. The mutlicaulis fever was then at its height and America promised to be the silk producing country of the world. One of the most largely interested in this multicaulis speculation was Samuel Whitmarsh of Northampton, Massachusetts. This gentleman had also a small silk mill at the latter place, and thither Mr. Ryle went and obtained employment, his work here, however was short lived for in that same year the multicaulis speculation collapsed, and his employer, Mr. Whitmarsh, was ruined in the crash which followed.
John Ryle then returned to New York and for a short time imported the products of the looms of his brothers in England and carried on business of importing and selling in a small way at the corner of Maiden Lane and William Streets.
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