logo of university of south carolina

Records of Abraham Bell and Company (New York City), 1835-1841

Eighteen manuscripts, 1835-1841, of Abraham Bell and Company, wholesale merchants, importers, and cotton brokers based in New York City, document the firm's trading operations in the southern United States. Bell acted as shipping agent for vessels that ran the common triangular itinerary between New York, Charleston (or Mobile), and Europe. The firm shipped goods south from New York, transported cotton to Europe, and traded across the Atlantic with Liverpool, Ireland, or the Mediterranean. They specialized in imported Irish linen.

Bell and Company records have been dispersed into a number of manuscript libraries; the larger holdings are at Duke, Harvard, and the New York Historical Society. The South Caroliniana Library collection consists of business correspondence, portage bills, shipping receipts, and accounts of freight and disbursements. It includes documents relating to a voyage by the ship Sarah Sheafe, Capt. William H. Merry, master, from New York to Charleston and Trieste in 1838 and 1839. The ship's portage bill lists the names of the crew and the freight account records the delivery of 1,060 bales of cotton in Trieste.

The papers include letters from the Charleston merchants John Fisher; L.D. Fordyce and Company; and Higham, Fife, and Company. Also, there are receipts for goods shipped from New York to Charleston; accounts of cotton shipped from North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida; and a portage bill for the voyage of the ship Splendid from New York to Mobile to Liverpool in 1836.

| 1998 Manuscripts Collections | 1998 USCS Program Menu | South Caroliniana Library |

This page copyright (c) 1997-98, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
URL http://www.sc.edu/library/socar/uscs/1998/bell98.html