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Erasmus Carver & Son to John Adams

2 May 1785

Sir. Gosport 2nd. May 1785

Having been inform’d of your Appointment either as Minister, or Consul General, from the United States of America in this Kingdom—we take the Liberty, thus early, to tender you our Services and to request to be honored with your Deputation as American Consul or Agent, for this Port & the Counties of Hampshire & Sussex, for which District we already enjoy the Consulship of their Imperial, Danish & Prussian Majesties,  Previous to the Seperation of the two Counties we were materially concern’d in the Trade to the Carolina’s, and were considerable Sufferers from the Cause, which at length, terminated so much to the Honor & Advantage of the States.

The Residence of our Sen r. upwards of thirty Years in the Mercantile Line, at this Port, added to the Conversancy of our Jun[l]r. in several of the European Languages, and our extensive Connections in foreign Parts, will we flatter ourselves enable us to fulfill, the Duties of the Employment to the entire Satisfaction of the Subjects of America and at the same Time we shall esteem ourselves most happy, to merit your Approbation in particular.

Should you be pleased to comply with, this our Request, we shall be further obliged by your taking an early Opportunity of causing it to be known, in the United States, that you have deputed us, to act for you in the beforemention’d District,

We are with Respect / Sir /Your most obedt. hble Servants / Erasmus Carver & son

P.T.O—

[enclosure]

SIR Port of Portsmouth Gosport 7 June 1785

Annexd is Copy of our Respects, addressed to you at, but which we apprehend might not be receiv’d by you, before you left, Paris,—Presuming the commercial Treaty between America & these Kingdoms, is in such Forwardness, that it will now be shortly compleated, we use the Freedom of troubling you again, in Order to communicate to you, some Ideas, that have occurred to us on the Subject,—Formerly a considerable Quantity of American Produce, particularly Tobacco and Rice, was landed at this & some other Ports of the Channel to be cleared for a Market, but it is now intimated to us, that by a Clause, of the depending commercial Treaty, Tobacco, will be permitted to be deposited for Exportation, free of Duties, at the Port of London only, and in Warehouses to be provided by the Crown,—As this Port from it’s centrical Situation and Conveniencies is peculiarly adapted for the receiving and forwarding such Cargoes, we think it should not be deprived of a similar Indulgence— We are also of Opinion, it would be a general Benefit to permit Cargoes of Rice to be landed, in the Ports of the Channel, for being winded, screened and, prepared for Exportation to a Market, (as was formerly done) without Payment of any Duty, it would promote the desireable Effect of making this Country the Centre of American Commerce, and afford Employment to a considerable Number of labouring Poor, it would be beneficial to America, by putting such Cargoes of Rice, in a merchantable Estate, for Want of which the Article is not so saleable abroad, and very heavy Deductions have been made there for Dust, Damage &c—which by such an Arrangement, would be in a great Measure, if not, totally prevented,

We suggested these Hints many Months \since/ to some of our Friends in Charleston, and shall be happy, should you think them the least worth your Attention, as well, as in frequent Opportunities of convincing you, that we are with the utmost Respect—

Sir! / Your most obed hume Servants

Erasmus Carver & son

(MHi: Adams Papers)
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