Lloyd, Henry, 1709-1795. Henry Lloyd letter book, 1765-1767 (inclusive). Mss:766 1765-1767 L793, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School.

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Biographical Note

Henry Lloyd (1709-1795) was a Loyalist merchant in Boston. He engaged in consignment sales and shipping ventures to Canada, the West Indies, England, and Europe. Among the goods marketed or traded by Lloyd included whalebone, mahogany, lumber, fish, potash, and coffee. After the outbreak of the American Revolution, Henry Lloyd moved to Halifax in 1776. He eventually relocated to London, where he died in 1795 at the age of eighty-six.

Scope and Contents

Copies of correspondence of Boston merchant Henry Lloyd relating to his business ventures and trade in the West Indies and England, dated 1765-1767. Lloyd imported, exported, and sold on commission an assortment of commodities, among them dry goods, oysters, rice, wheat, lumber, potash, whalebone and oil, mahogany, indigo, coffee, cocoa, sugar, molasses, grain, and kettles. Lloyd was also engaged in supplying the British army in Halifax, and there are a number of letters to the agent and victualler, John Freare, as well as Lloyd's nephew, William Smith, employed as agent and paymaster. A letter from Lloyd on April 24, 1765, discusses Smith's accounts with Major John Gorham and other merchants and securing continuance of his appointment. Other correspondents included merchant Charles Ward Apthorp (-1797) and insurance broker Moses M. Hays (1739-1805); shipwright Seth Briggs; Portsmouth, New Hampshire merchants John Wendell (1731-1808), Mark Hunking Wentworth (1709-1785), and Hugh Hall Wentworth (1740?-1774); and New York merchant Lawrence Kortright (-1794). Lloyd maintained correspondence with Rhode Island slave traders Aaron Lopez (1731-1782) and his father-in-law Jacob Rivera, and Nicholas Brown & Co., as well as the firm's New York associate David Vanhorne (-approximately 1775); topics were primarily consignment of spermaceti candles in Boston, sales of pigg iron and anchors, and trade of West Indies goods. He also frequently corresponded with his brother, obstetrician James Lloyd (1728-1810), and nephews regarding both business and family matters. Additional topics of Lloyd's letters were market fluctuations and prices current in Boston, crop failures, protests lodged with the government and court cases related to maritime law, settlement of accounts and debts, purchase and payment of bills and notes, and building and brokering ships, in addition to political news and events, like the repeal of the Stamp Act and the New York City tenant riots in 1766. On March 28, 1765, he writes to Isaac da Costa about the arrival of Jamaica spirits and orange juice Lloyd had ordered through Aaron Lopez and includes prices current for goods like heavy Indian-dressed deer skins, loaf sugar, and South Carolina pork. Letters to Captain Richard Derby and merchant Gideon Sisley dated April 22, 1765, discuss the libel and trial of the sloop Young Moses and hiring defense attorneys. On April 27, 1765, a letter to James Morris about a legal matter to be addressed in a Massachusetts court adds a postscript informing Morris a party of his countrymen who traveled to Hispaniola are "most of them dead" except two who escaped, and the unspecified incident "puts a stop to any more going" the island. On June 17, 1765, Lloyd writes to Joshua Saunders of Newport regarding insurance on the sloop Molly, sailing from the Mosquito Coast to Newport, and North Kingston land Lloyd offered to donate to the Rhode Island government for building a college. A letter to John Nelson, then in the West Indies, on November 2, 1765, relates Lloyd's flagging earnings and family matters. In the fall of 1766, letters to Captain John Hanson concern refitting Lloyd's sloop Little Bob, furnishing items of clothing to a man enslaved by Hanson, and obtaining certificates, in addition to referencing transport of exiled Acadians; a letter to Andrew Campbell, commander of the Little Bob, instructs him to sail to Hispaniola, consign Hanson's cargo to Robert Toulon at Fort Dauphin, and return to Boston with molasses. The volume includes a nineteenth century news clipping with the lyrics to the Ethiopian song "Dearest Mae."

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