Letter, 29 Apr. 1817 (Charleston, S.C.), Higham to| Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Front Page 2009 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
Messrs Newton, Gordon, Murdock
& Scott (Madeira)
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2009
Letter, 29 April 1817, from Tho[ma]s Higham (Charleston, S.C.) to Messrs. Newton, Gordon, Murdock & Scott (Madeira Island) informs them that the wine market was sluggish and notes that reduced prices were not inducing orders - "The Market is overstocked, and those who would ship Rice for wine, in common times, are now wisely afraid to venture." Higham also reports, with regret, "that a prejudice has been obtained in favor of Laycockís brand - not that it is better - for the Grocers who imported both declare that yours is equally good - but such is the fact and Time only can do it away." | Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
The letter brings the recipientís attention to a misunderstanding in the firmís handling of an order he had placed the preceding December, then goes on to argue the need to supply only the choicest wine. "...I cannot sufficiently impress on you the necessity if possible of sending out better wine than other Houses at all events fully & in every respect as good." While Higham hoped that they would "excuse my earnestness on the subject," he warns, "take care not to be out done," especially as he had persuaded a number of grocers and wine dealers "to venture a trial, pledging my word that they shall be satisfied - if better wine should come out from any other house, I must abandon all hope of success."
Known for its namesake fortified wine, Madeira and the other islands in the archipelago had returned to Portuguese jurisdiction from Great Britain a mere three years prior to the time that Higham wrote this letter in 1817.