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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:766 1786-1794 B639

Edward Blanchard letter book

Scope and Contents

Letter book consisting of copies of letters sent between July 21, 1786 and September 4, 1794 from Edward Blanchard to more than one hundred ship captains and merchants. The letters discuss details of financial arrangements pertaining to the movement and sale of goods including chocolate, flour, salt, fish, cod and whale oil, pork, canvas, duck, rum, bar iron, rice, tobacco, beef, and candles in more than thirty ports in the United States, British Canada, the West Indies, England, and Spain. A number of the letters refer to debts payable to Blanchard and discuss terms of payment in bank notes, goods, and specie. The letters also discuss scarcity of goods and credit as well as insurance of ships against loss and capture.


  • 1786-1794

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.


.25 linear feet (1 volume)

Biographical / Historical

Edward Blanchard operated a general goods store in Boston in partnership with Ebenezer Hancock, brother of John Hancock, from 1764 until 1768. The partners were also involved in shipping ventures, and had a partial stake in the brig Neptune. The business failed in 1768, despite financial assistance from John Hancock. After going bankrupt, Blanchard sailed for London. He returned to Boston in 1770 with new British wares to sell. During the 1780s and 1790s, Blanchard continued to trade internationally in a variety of goods from his home in Boston.

Physical Location


Related Materials

Other records relating to Edward Blanchard are in the Hancock family papers at Baker Library, Harvard Business School; the Hancock Family Papers at Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina; and at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Blanchard, Edward. Edward Blanchard Letter Book, 1786-1794: A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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