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Samuel Barrett & Co. (fl. 1777) to unknown

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.617 Author/Creator: Samuel Barrett & Co. (fl. 1777) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Letter Date: 3 March 1777 Pagination: 4 p. ; 20.8 x 33.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses the firm's acquirement of barrels of wines and spirits and the fluctuating price of such goods. Mentions Mr. Hopkins. Reports that in the south ward, these goods "would fetch double the Money as soon as the restraining Bill is repeald (which will be done immediately)." Discusses the importation of rice and flour, and the removal of these goods to the recipient's storehouses (which he calls magazines). In case of an enemy attack on Boston, intends to store goods in ports which may still be free, such as Sherburne, Sudbury, Worcester, or Springfield, Massachusetts. Awaits the recipient's orders to purchase and distribute goods to deputies in the area. Mentions commerce in molasses. Discusses economic strictures passed by the Courts and the potential for losses to merchants. States 'We desire during the War to hold ourselves at large as your Agents to purchase Supplies in the Prudentest Way we are able & under your Directions & Shall make our own particular Business & Interest in all Cases give Way to the public Service." In a post script, recalls that the owner of a privateer sent in beef and pork, which has been stored for the use of ships, based on the advice of Mr. Miller.

Background Information: The New England Restraining Act, passed by England in 1775, required New England colonies to trade exclusively with England and restricted fishing in the North Atlantic.

Full Transcript: [excerpt]
…[2]…Before you go to Head Quarters we should be obliged to you for your Directions as to the Places to which & the Articles which we shall move to your ...Several Magazine in Store Houses in the Country -
In Case of an Attack upon this Town we should think it best to have them at Sherburne Sudbury, Worcester or Springfield~
In Order to expedite the Supplies and to go on with them in Case the Town should be again in the Hands of the Enemy, we should nevertheless put ourselves in a Situation to take the Benefit of obtaining Supplies for the [Strong] from Shore Ports which may still be free - We shall place ourselves one at Sudbury, the other in or near, Sherbourne, the other at Worcester to receive [inserted: from you or the northern Company] & execute, [3] your Orders to purchase & distribute to your Several Deputies as the Situation & Demands of the Army may be & doubt not to make great Savings to the Continent in the Prize Way…
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People: Samuel Barrett & Co., fl. 1777
Hopkins, Mr., fl. 1777
Miller, Mr., fl. 1777

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Merchants and TradeAlcoholFinanceEconomicsLawCommerceDiet and nutritionMilitary HistoryRevolutionary WarGovernment and CivicsPrivateeringMaritimeGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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