MORRIS, Robert. Autograph letter signed (''Robt. Morris'') to Messrs. Carey & Tilghman in Baltimore; Philadelphia, 19 November 1788. 1¼ pages, 4to, boldly penned, integral address leaf, small seal tear. In fine condition.
MORRIS, Robert. Autograph letter signed ("Robt. Morris") to Messrs. Carey & Tilghman in Baltimore; Philadelphia, 19 November 1788. 1¼ pages, 4to, boldly penned, integral address leaf, small seal tear. In fine condition.
MORRIS COMPLAINS OF THE SCARCITY OF SPECIE AND STINGY BANK CREDIT. Morris had won a lucrative contract to furnish tobacco to the French Fermiers-Generaux; here, he and his partners discuss the difficulties of overseas trade. "...If it is known that the Heat of a Tobacco Ship's Hold will injure flour I would not by any means risque it... inform yourselves therefore & do as you shall think best for my interests. I know very well that neither [Le] Havre or [sic] Dieppe are pleasant Ports for a sharp ship to go into, but still with great care of attention thousands of ships go in & out of Havre without damage. I will consider of this matter & let you know more of my mind by & by. I hope you have supplied yourselves with what money you wanted either by drafts on me or upon London as mentioned in my last for I cannot get any just now to send you, The Bank don't [sic] like so much Specie going to the Southward & they grow very sparing in their Discounts even for Post Notes...."
Morris refers to one of the most pressing problems for American merchants at this period: the extreme shortage of specie, demanded in international trade, as a result of the drastic depreciation of paper currency (devalued at a rate of 40 to 1). The problem would persist until alleviated by the innovative measures--banking, excise taxes, the establishment of the mint, etc.-- undertaken by Alexander Hamilton beginning in 1790.