Copy book of Correspondence between Messrs. Birckhead & Co. (merchants in Rio de Janeiro), Theodore Parker (Birckhead & Co. agent), Andrew Belknap (agent for the Rabaud Brothers), George Richardson (owner of the Brig "Leander", and Josiah Richardson (Leander master). 1840.
Manuscript. Tall quarto (approx. 12.5" x 8").  pages of hand written text.  pages of blank pages. Stitched wraps with written title on front cover. Signed J. Birckhead at bottom of title page. Upper right corner is chip front cover (no loss of content). Handwriting and condition of paper is very good. This narrative covers the transactions and events of the ship "Leander" in 1836 including a controversial business arrangement. Very good. Item #25647
This narrative documents the 1836 voyage of the brig. "Leander" under Captain Richardson, to Rio for a cargo of Coffee, then to Marseilles, France, where it was consigned to Rabaud Brothers. Andrew Belknap was their agent. Beginning May 10, 1836 the letters detail financing, shipping, receiving and disposition of cargo. The ship "Leander" (A 212 ton brig.) carried flour and sugar to Rio. Parker (agent for Birckhead & Co.) shipped ice aboard the ship, paying port charges in exchange for freight costs, and Richardson shipped sperm candles, to be sold by their agent in Rio. Further letters cover cost and logistical concerns for shipping and receiving 500,000 pounds of coffee. Leander departed Boston on May 20, and a detailed invoice and bill of lading for the coffee was forwarded to Rabaud Brothers on July 10, along with a note stating that they had drawn 12,000 pounds sterling from their British agent to finance the venture. The "Leander" and her cargo of coffee departed Rio on July 20, but it turned out the 12,000 pounds sterling was not enough to cover the expense. A second, smaller invoice was issued. The merchants offered ship owner Richardson the option of assuming debt as an investment, and they assured him the profits from the sale of the sperm candles would be forwarded in due time. However, the Leander ran into trouble and the cargo was lost. The letter dated September 25, 1838, makes it apparent that Parker and Birckhead failed to pay their shares. More letters follow from Belknap and Rabaud Bros., demanding payment of 18,244.20 francs from Birckhead & Co. Birckhead claimed they never saw the bill and that the investment was made by Parker.