Philadelphia: 1818. Manuscript. Philadelphia, 29, Aug't, 1818. Two pages 7.75" x 10" . The firm is informing the Captain that an invoice from W. W. Israel of St. Barts and "18 puncheons rum on board the Ship Syren" arrived. This is Winter's rum and the agents are assuming that the Captain wants it sold at landing "at a fair price". "Rums appear to be rather More in demand then they were"... Miller & Van Beuren are also soliciting the Captain to refer other vessels to them. "Should you know of any of the vessels of your place, now out and expected to arrive here we would be much obliged by your procuring letters to be sent here in time to meet their arrival.....". There is also mention of a Captain Reed and the Brig Lydia. An interesting letter of maritime trade content dealing with rum. Read Winter's bio below and it will reveal a sad ironic tale where rum plays a significant role. Very good. Item #14125
The following taken from Parker McCobb Reed, History of Bath and Environs, Sagadahoc County, Maine: 1607-1894 Samuel Winter (1744-1826) was a notable citizen of his day. He was a son of the Reverend Francis Winter, Bath Maine’s first minister. Samuel Winter commenced business life sailing as supercargo in Bath vessels engaged in the West India trade. There were few commission houses at foreign ports in those early times, and young men were sent out in vessels, bound on foreign voyages, to transact the vessel’s business. Eventually, Mr. Winter established himself in commercial business in his native city, trading wholesale chiefly in what was then termed West India goods, such as sugars, molasses, and liquors, and owned a wharf at the upper portion of the town. Those were the days when New England rum was a prime factor in trade. This was made from molasses, and this was a great port for the importation of that article from the West Indies. The lower grades of smaller cost were well adapted to be distilled into rum. Accordingly Mr. Winter established a distillery in Bath. He was having a fair degree of prosperity when he made a large purchase of molasses on speculation, and the price fell while his purchase was on his hands. He saw ruin ahead, and being of a very proud spirit he could not face a failure. He lived a widower, with his two unmarried daughters, in a modest cottage on the north part of Middle Street. One night he sat up after all the others of his household had retired, wrote a note, which he left on the sitting-room table, walked down to his wharf, tied some stones to his feet and jumped into the river. The note told where his body could be found, which it was the next day. His sudden and tragic taking was universally regretted, and the more so as very soon following this event molasses had a sudden rise in the market, which, if he had lived, would have restored his losses. Mr. Winter was an unusually handsome man, tall, straight, and well-proportioned, always well-dressed, of suave manner, marked ability, and a leader in the old Whig party. At one time he was Sheriff of the County, and held other local offices.