[1790 Philadelphia Merchants’ and Importers’ Declaration of Association against European Agents].
Declaration of association signed by 51 Philadelphia merchants or firms against “Agents of European houses trading to this Country…” The merchants state plainly that these agents are “...importing on their own Account, and of receiving by consignment, large quantities of goods, and have also taken orders from persons in the retail business” thus harming “…the Interests of the regular Importers, as well as of the greater part of the Retailers…”
Signatories “mutually associate” and agree to discontinue commissions to those agents. Many of the signers are listed in Clement Biddle’s The Philadelphia Directory of 1791 as merchants, though a few are listed by their trade such as porter, cordwainer, and, in the case of Godfrey Baker & Co., as “stationers and book binders.”
Less than two months after this declaration, Congress chartered the First Bank of the United States to enable Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s plan to create the necessary financial infrastructure to promote domestic and international trade and commerce. The Philadelphia merchants and importers seen here are banding together to protect their economic interests.
Intriguing manuscript documenting economic unease in Federal Philadelphia, then Capital of the United States.
Description: [1790 Philadelphia Merchants’ and Importers’ Declaration of Association against European Agents].
[Philadelphia, December 1790]. pp. Bifolium. 13 x 8 inches. Laid paper with bell and crown watermark (Gravell: BELL.005.1). Expert mends. Folds; some losses at folds; lacking three-quarters of second leaf; good.