Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
October 15, 1834 Ship Letter to William R. Bowers & Co. in Providence, RI

From Puerto Rico via Newburyport, Massachusetts
Letter is a Synopsis of Market Conditions with Appended Price List

(Scroll Down for  Background Information and Full Text of the Letter)

The Stampless Folded Letter (SFL) above was sent to William R. Bowers & Co. on October 15, 1834 from Puerto Rico. I could not wholly decipher the signature of the writer; as best as I could make out - appears to be: (Barry??) Amendi (Isemi??). There was no information on a William R. Bowers & Co, however there was a William R. Bowers born in Massachusetts in 1810 and living in Providence in 1840 that fits the time period.
The letter traveled by ship from Puerto Rico to Newburyport, Massachusetts where it received the red Newburyport - November 16 CDS and red straight-line Ship marking. The letter was charged at the 10 cent rate set by the Postal Act of April 9, 1816,
(effective May 1, 1816) for inland mail traveling between 30 and 80 miles plus the 2 cent ship fee for a total of 12 cents. Newburyport, MA is about 31 miles northeast of Boston and 70 miles from Providence, RI.

The letter is from a factor in Puerto Rico and lists the current market prices for local goods and produce. It also mentions two other cargos that are currently being unloaded and a third cargo in quarantine. At the end of the letter; the writer appends a list of the prices that the last cargo of produce bought at market.

The Complete Text of the Letter Follows Below:

  Mess Wm R Bowers & Co
                                                                                   P. Rico      15 October 1834

                                                 Gent, Without any of your favors to reply to, the object
of the present is to inform you of the state of the Market for produce, provisions & etc.
                                         There is but very little sugar of good quality now remaining
& none strictly prime, in fact, what little does remain of rather ordinary quality for
which $5 is being asked and the planters are firm at this price -- The approaching
crop of coffee will be short, say not more than half the quantity produced last year.
This is owing to the long drought by which it suffered some time since & to the late
gale by which a considerable quantity was thrown down. -- Coffee will be to market
fully during the coming month, at which time we think the price will be about 11 -
111/2c for the single shelled and 10 to 101/2 c for the double shelled --
                                         The market is at present fairly supplied with American 
provisions, there being two provision cargoes now discharging & one in quarantine
-- We annex you a note of last sale for particulars, but think it doubtful whether same 
rates will be obtained for the cargo in quarantine.
                                                                                  Respectfully We remain,
                                                                                  Yr Obt Svts


  Flour           14
Mackerel     61/4
???? Pork   18
Codfish       41/2
Rice             5
T. / ams       141/2
Butter         151/2
Lard            14
Cheese        15 & 16
Onions        101/4
Potatoes      31/2
Apples         41/2
???? Candles     17 & 171/2
Sperm    is          40
???? Beef           121/2 & 13
Prime is              81/2
No 1   is              10  

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Stampless I
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