DescriptionElbridge Gerry Autograph Letter Signed "Elbridge Gerry," one page, 7.25" x 9". Mar[ble] Head, Massachusetts, September 28, 1773. In part, "I am in Want of Money at this Time & suffer an Inconvenience as well as Expence by falling short of your first payment although I sold you Fish...soon after I was obliged to agree for a Cargo of abt 1800...As yr first Payment has overrun a Month, yr last is due a Month sooner...I lost £20 lawful by weighing yr Fish over & have made an indifferent Bargain on yr Whole..." Remnants of an old newspaper article is in blank lower left. Portion missing at left edge has been expertly repaired. Glassine repairs on verso. Uniformly foxed. Very good condition with bold signature and elaborate paraph.
Elbridge Gerry owned a fish exporting merchant house in Marblehead inherited from his father. In the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1772-1775), Gerry served on the Committee of Supplies. Prominent Massachusetts fish merchants were able to convert well-worn trade routes to the West Indies into military supply lines. In July 1775, three months after Lexington and Concord, Gerry and the committee arranged for "One hundred & twenty hogsheads Fish, besides Boards, Shingles" to be shipped on board an unnamed brig from Newburyport to the Windward islands in the West Indies. Merchants from Marblehead, Glouchester, and Beverly delivered the fish to Newburyport "free of Charge." The fish would be traded for military stores. In August, Gerry reported to Washington: "We are in daily Expectation of some Powder from the West Indies, but cannot say what Success our plans will meet with."
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