Thomas Reed to Thomas Robison regarding the Carribean economy and slave market, Sint Eustatius, July 24, 1791

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Description

In this letter to Thomas Robison, his one-time business partner, Thomas Reed sends news from the island of St. Eustatius in the Dutch West Indies. He reports what he has heard about the Eagle (a ship owned in part by Robison) and includes several details of the Caribbean economy in 1791.

Reed hints at a disagreement aboard the Eagle between George Bolland, who is part owner of the ship, and it's captain, Henry Skinner, regarding the shipment of slaves from Africa to the West Indies. Reed adds a post-script warning Robison of a potential conflict between George Bolland and Robison's son-in-law and agent, Thomas Hodges.

Reed's letter contains a wealth of economic advice to Robison. He details the saturated market for slaves in the islands and estimates prices in common Portuguese currency known as Johanneses (or Joes). He sends news that Spain's King Charles IV has just opened Havana, Cuba to foreign merchants, and advises Robison to send his goods there. Reed also mentions the risk of trading on credit to French citizens while their home country experiences the political upheaval of the French Revolution.

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About This Item

  • Title: Thomas Reed to Thomas Robison regarding the Carribean economy and slave market, Sint Eustatius, July 24, 1791
  • Creator: Reed, Thomas
  • Creation Date: 1791-07-24
  • Subject Date: 1791
  • Local Name: Statia
  • Town: Havana
  • Media: Ink on Paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 5, Box 2/7
  • Collection: Robison family papers
  • Object Type: Text

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230
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