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Mss:732 1732-1790 B747

Correspondence of Boston and Newport merchants, 1732-1790 (inclusive): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:732 1732-1790 B747
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Correspondence of Boston and Newport merchants,
Date(s): 1732-1790 (inclusive)
Quantity: 1 linear ft. (4 vols.)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection consists of four volumes of collected and bound correspondence of merchants engaged in trade of commodities like spermaceti and whale oil, rum, and molasses in Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island, dated from 1732 to 1790. The bulk of the letters are addressed to Newport merchants Aaron Lopez (1731-1782) and Christopher Champlin (1731-1805) from Boston merchants Henry Lloyd (1705-1795), John Powell, and others.

Provenance:

Source: Boston Public Library, 1930.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 2017
By: Brooke McManus

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.
Materials stored onsite. Please contact histcollref@hbs.edu for more information.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Correspondence of Boston and Newport merchants. Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Biographical Notes:

Christopher Champlin (1731-1805) was a merchant and ship owner in Newport, Rhode Island. He sometimes partnered with his brother, George Champlin (1739-1809), a shipmaster, and traded goods including oatmeal, beans, pork, butter, and molasses with fellow merchants including John Powell of Boston, Massachusetts. Champlin also was a slave trader. In 1764, Champlin and Powell became victualizing agents for the British navy, supplying food and other commodities to ships.
Aaron (born Duarte) Lopez (1731-1782) was a Portuguese-Jewish merchant and ship owner who emigrated to America, settling in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1752. He built a candle factory there, and acquired spermaceti to be used in the manufacture of his products, as well as whale oil and headmatter through Massachusetts merchants like Henry Lloyd (1709-1795). He was also involved in the slave trade. Lopez's ships were subject to interception and capture by the British and American navies during the Revolutionary War, and as a result, his finances deteriorated during conflict.
Henry Lloyd (1709-1795) was a merchant in Boston, Massachusetts, who traded in commodities like wheat, lumber, potash, and animal pelts in New England, the West Indies, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and England. He assisted Newport, Rhode Island, merchant Aaron Lopez (1731-1782) with the acquisition of spermaceti and whale oil from Nantucket and New Bedford whalers like William Rotch (1734-1828).
John Powell was a merchant in Boston, Massachusetts, active from the 1760s to the 1780s, who traded in oatmeal, beans, fish, beef, port, butter, and molasses. He had a business partnership with his brother in the firm of John & William Powell. He traded with merchants including Christopher Champlin (1731-1805), of Newport, Rhode Island.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of four volumes of collected and bound correspondence of merchants engaged in trade of commodities like spermaceti and whale oil, rum, and molasses in Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island, dated from 1732 to 1790. The bulk of the letters are addressed to Newport merchants Aaron Lopez (1731-1782) and Christopher Champlin (1731-1805) from Boston merchants Henry Lloyd (1705-1795), John Powell, and others.
Letters mainly discuss prices current and details regarding the shipment of cargo between Boston and Newport, as well as Europe, the West Indies, and Virginia. Other topics include business disputes, privateering, and impact of the American Revolutionary War on commerce and currency in the Colonies. In addition to letters to Champlin and Lopez, there is a small amount correspondence between other merchants including Stephen M. Greenleaf, John Rowe (1715-1787), and Samuel Vernon.
Each volume contains a twentieth century typed index of correspondents.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Coastwise shipping -- Massachusetts -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Coastwise shipping -- Massachusetts -- 18th century.
Coastwise shipping -- Rhode Island -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Coastwise shipping -- Rhode Island -- 18th century.
Currency question -- United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783.
Export marketing -- New England -- 18th century.
Foreign marketing -- 18th century.
Merchants -- New England -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Merchants -- New England -- 18th century.
Oil industry -- Rhode Island -- 18th century.
Privateering -- West Indies -- 18th century.
Seizure of vessels and cargoes.
Shipping -- New England -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Shipping -- New England -- 18th century.
Slave trade.
Smallpox -- Massachusetts -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Spermaceti.
Transportation.
Whale oil.
Whaling -- Massachusetts -- 18th century.
Women -- Employment -- United States -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Correspondence.
Letter books.
Boston (Mass.) -- Commerce -- Rhode Island -- Newport.
Newport (R.I.) -- Commerce -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Economic aspects.
United States -- History -- French and Indian War, 1754-1763.
Barrett, Samuel.
Brymer, Alexander.
Champlin, Christopher, 1731-1805.
Eaton & Benson
Greenleaf, Stephen M.
Hays, Moses M., 1739-1805.
Higginson, Stephen, 1743-1828.
Jarvis & Russell.
John & William Powell.
Jones, John Coffin, 1750-1829.
Joseph Rotch & Son
Lloyd, Henry, 1709-1795.
Lopez, Aaron, 1731-1782.
Lopez, David, 1750-1812.
Hays, Moses Michael, 1739-1805.
Powell, John.
Powell, William.
Rotch, Francis, 1750-1822.
Rotch, William, 1734-1828.
Rowe, John, 1715-1787.
Russell, Joseph, 1719-1806.
Samuel Barrett and Company.
Smith, Pascal N.
Söderström, Richard.
Vernon, Samuel.

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