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Rivington, James (1724-1802) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00171 Author/Creator: Rivington, James (1724-1802) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 28 July 1774 Pagination: 2p.+addr.+docket. 30.8 cm. x 19.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Informs Knox that the regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers has embarked from New York to Boston, and that he has recommended them to Knox's shop. Having heard that Hyson tea was scarce in Boston, Rivington indicates that he has sent four chests of it to Knox and asks him to sell it. The tea will be transported by Captain Horsfall of the Fusiliers. Reports that a large shipment of tea and silk has come into New York from the Island of Ascention, where a New York vessell met up with a ship from the East India Company; on the way back to New York, the ship had "found means to elude all Enquiry." The tea is not under duty and is being sent to Boston discretely. Asks if Knox has any problems with this (illegal) trade. Rivington was a bookseller, printer, and journalist who came to America in 1760. He published Rivington's New-York Gazetteer.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Dear Sir
The Royal Regiment of Welch fusileers having yesterday embarked on board the transports for Boston have fallen down our River to proceed on their Voyage. I have ...recommended all the officers to your Shop; you will find them Gentlemen of the most approved integrity and of the nicest punctuality. Understanding that very fine Hyson tea is extremely scarce at Boston, as some gentlemen have lately wrote such accounts hither, I have presumed to send four Chests of exceeding fine Hyson tea, as by the enclosed invoice, which I am informed may be sold for five dollars by the Single pound. I have committed two large black Leather Trunks, which contain them, to the Care of my worthy friend Captain Hoorsfall, of the Royal Welch fusileers, who will order the Trunks to be delivered to you; Now I must beg the favor of you to sell, or order them to be sold to the best advantage; possibly it may be quite out of your way to dispose of them, for which reason I beg you to put them into such hands in the deepest Confidence, as may be able to complete the sale of them as soon as convenient. You will see I advertise this article for sale in my, this days, Gazetteer, for I always joined it to the Booksellers Branch, and, was it compatible with your situation. I apprehend it would be profitable to yourself. You must know that a Considerable quantity of Tea and Silks were lately brought into this port from the Island of Ascention, near the Cape, where one of our advenurers vessells met with an East India Ship, and, luckily for him, found means to elude all Enquiry and land the Cargo in perfect safety [2] in this City. This being a nice affair I must intreat that the utmost Secrecy vigilance and prudence be employed for the Security and early sale of this Article. I hope the sending it will not alarm you, it is not known that [a grain] [of this] is sent to any other person onboard, unless my friend Capt Horsfall should guess at the Contents of the Trunks, but should that be the Case he is so discreet that no Creature will be the wiser. I say if you should be alarmed at this measure pray order the Chests into the Hands of a safe person, one who is accustomed to deal in the article and will be able soon to render it into money at a good price. If you should be utterly opposed to any Concern with it pray give me immediate Notice. I presume I need not assure you that it is utterly free from duty, as the article, under such Circumstances, could not be admitted into this port, for an attempt to introduce it, so charged into this City, would be attended with immediate destruction to the party concerned in the attempt. I shall hope to receive a letter from you by the return of the post, for I fancy the Wentworth Transport will not get to Boston under a fortnight. I have charged the article at the price it cost and hope it will be productive of an handsome profit.
Pray advise me the Price of Good bills of Exchange.
My humble respects wait on Mrs Knox
I am, Dear Sir,
Your much obliged and obedient
Jams Rivington
There will be not freight to pay.
See More

People: Rivington, James, 1724-1802
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Merchants and TradeCommerceBook SellingGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyMilitary HistoryDiet and nutritionMaritimeTextileSmugglingTaxes or TaxationBoston Tea PartyGovernment and CivicsFinanceAfrica

Sub Era: Road to Revolution

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