Havana, Cuba to Boston Massachusetts: 29-30 May 1835. Envelope or Cover. This three-page stampless folded letter measures 15½” by 9½” unfolded. It is datelined from Havana and addressed to Samuell Gray in Boston, Massachusetts. As noted in the lower left corner, it was privately carried on the ship Leander. Upon arrival in Massachusetts, it received a Salem postmark dated June 13th and a straight-line “SHIP” handstamp. It bears a manuscript “8” rate mark in the upper right; six cents for inland service of under 30 miles (between Salem and Boston) plus a two-cent ship letter fee.
The contents contain a series of three messages from American merchants in Havana bemoaning the state of the “White Sugar” market. At the time, it was a sellers’ market and Cuban planters were happily waiting for the prices they named while the frustrated buyers feared they would have no choice but to pay them as the end of the selling/shipping season was rapidly approaching with no hint of cracks in the sellers’ resolve.
Docketing indicates that Gray, in turn, forwarded the letter to London merchants encouraging them to purchase the sugar noting “White Sugars will be higher with you & in St. Petersburgh & may be worth your attention. They will be short in Cuba.”. Very good. Item #009679