Edward Blanchard letter book, 1786-1794

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Content Notes

Letter book consisting of copies of letters sent between July 21, 1786 and September 4, 1794 from Edward Blanchard to more than one hundred ship captains and merchants. The letters discuss details of financial arrangements pertaining to the movement and sale of goods including chocolate, flour, salt, fish, cod and whale oil, pork, canvas duck, rum, bar iron, rice, tobacco, beef, and candles in more than thirty ports in the United States, British Canada, the West Indies, England, and Spain. A number of the letters refer to debts payable to Blanchard and discuss terms of payment in bank notes, goods, and specie. The letters also discuss scarcity of goods and credit as well as insurance of ships against loss and capture.

Biographical Notes

Edward Blanchard operated a general goods store in Boston in partnership with Ebenezer Hancock, brother of John Hancock, from 1764 until 1768. The partners were also involved in shipping ventures, and had a partial stake in the brig Neptune. The business failed in 1768, despite financial assistance from John Hancock. After going bankrupt, Blanchard sailed for London. He returned to Boston in 1770 with new British wares to sell. During the 1780s and 1790s, Blanchard continued to trade internationally in a variety of goods from his home in Boston.