RT Unpublished Material DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 702178005 LA English T1 Letterbook, A1 Plumsted, Robert., YR 1756 AB Letterbook containing retained copies of commercial correspondence between Robert Plumsted, a Quaker ironmonger and merchant in London, and various business associates, including ships captains; merchants and customers in Philadelphia and the West Indies; and Plumsted's own agents. The letterbook opens with a lengthy series in which Plumstead announces the death of his father and his intentions to carry on the business of Thomas Plumsted and Son under his own name. Principal correspondents include William Plumsted of Philadelphia; Elias Bland; Benjamin and William Shoemaker, also of Philadelphia; Abel James of London; and Robert Wilson. Subjects include shipments by Plumsted to the American colonies of ironwork, steel, tools, brass hardware and a variety of consumer goods, including furniture, cloth, books, glass, shoes and, on at least two occasions, birds; prices and quantities of goods received from America, such as wood, ginger, ginsing root, furs, and corn; letters of credit, bills of lading and demands for payment; ships and captains recently arrived in or departed from London; and reports of ship losses. There is at least one mention of a shipment of slaves, as well as more frequent mention of goods destined for trade in West Africa. Plumsted frequently insured cargoes, and the valuations and limitations of the insurance contracts are carefully detailed, as are his replies to American customers who were dissatisfied with prices received for their shipments to London or with the quality or quantity of goods received from England. Also mentioned are sailing and weather conditions; the state of the economy in England; and, in the years 1755 and 1756, rumors of war with the French and of the movement of the British and French fleets. There are occasional references to Plumsted's Quaker faith, his belief in "plain dealing," and his willingness to aid other Quakers in distress. Letters to other Quakers are written in "Quaker language" and use ordinal numbers for the months.