Joseph Webb Junior took over the family business as a shopkeeper and West Indies trader upon the death of his father. Webb’s brother, Samuel, served as Washington’s aide-de-camp, who may have been Webb’s connection to Nathanael Greene.
Webb and his wife, Abigail, were well-known for their elaborate parties and, as a result, their home was nicknamed “Hospitality Hall.” It was in the Webb house in 1781 that Washington and the French General Rochambeau met to plan the Yorktown campaign.
It would be Webb’s association with the Continental Army that would ultimately lead him to financial ruin. He accepted payment for supplying the American Army in Continental money, which was virtually worthless by the end of the war. “Not worth a Continental” was a common saying as the money retained only a thousandth of its initial value. The devalued money unbalanced his accounts and eventually landed Webb in debtor’s prison for 12 years. After his release he had difficulty in finding another job.