Author Archives: harryhildreth

The Search for the Brig Mercury


In class we have hit a roadblock, we have been tasked with finding more information on our topics as a whole. This means trying to find more and more about the men we already know so little about. However, we came up with new ways to source our information, by calling upon other historians and library’s. With the search for the Brig Mercury still going on I had run into a rut, I was not sure where to find more information. That’s when I found that the Clemet’s library in Michigan had info on the ship. I began to reach out to them by email showing them my previous Hotlog. This way when they received my email they were able to see what I was researching. They responded promptly with ways we can access their documents on the Brig Mercury. Hopefully with these documents I will be able to dive deeper in to the ties that the Brig Mercury was connected to Suffield men. So far we know that the brig mercury had run for at least 10 years. There is proof of the ship working from the late 70s and late 80s, however we are still unsure how many people worked upon the ship, if they had slaves, and how big of a ship she was. What we do know is that traders from Suffield would ship goods to and from the carrabiean, Thaddeus Leavitt being one of those men.

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However in a recent finding I was able to find that the brig mercury was Owned by Nathaniel Howard, Andrew Hilyer, Josiah Bissel and Thaddeus Leavitt. These men were known as the biggest traders within Suffield. However, this also helped me find information on how Squire Loomis, another Suffield trader, traded his goods. I was able to identify that Squire Loomis would unload and sell his goods right below the town of Suffield. This lead us to believed that he sold his goods near the Enfield Suffield Boarder. Squire Loomis was known as the “Suffield Merchant” within the East India Trade, making frequent trips to the Caribbean. this was mostly able to be done using as well as these sources have proven to be reliable and link up quite well with my other findings.

Works Cited
“Pg15rremington.html.” Pg15rremington.html. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
“Squire Graves Loomis, Sr.” Geni_family_tree. N.p., 08 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Caribbean Ties in Trade: How Can We Learn More about the Brig Mercury?

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Kent Memorial Library

How can we track down more information about the Brig Mercury? Recently we started to move in separate directions on our research. I began researching the different trade routes from Connecticut to the Caribbean slave plantations. By researching this I hope to find more ties to people from Suffield, Connecticut, who used these traders and ships to make a profit from slave plantation owners in the Caribbean. One link I found brought me to the diary of Thaddeus Leavitt. Thaddeus Leavitt would write about incoming trades, daily life, and other small things. Thaddeus Leavitt began using a trading company out of Windsor, which is the next town south of Suffield. He would sell goods like, lumber for barrels, sheep, horses, and sometimes medical supplies. In return he would also receive shipments back from the Caribbean. He would order sugar, molasses and other goods. The ship he hired was named the “Brig Mercury”. It was stationed somewhere along the Connecticut river. It would load and unload its cargo in Hartford, and would then make its trips to the Caribbean. It would also be interesting to find where the ships lands in the Caribbean. There was also another ship named the “Tyrall”. This was the first ship from Connecticut to ship to the Caribbean. Finding who owned, chartered, and captained these ships is very important, as well as finding where all these ships were docked, loaded, and unloaded. These are all important to helping debunk the stereotype that is triangle trading between the colonies. Most people know that the Caribbean sent sugar to England, and England would send Tea to the Colonies, while the Colonies ship supplies to the Caribbean. However it is far deeper than that. Many colonies began trading with the Caribbean and it’s important to find out who from Connecticut traded with them. It will also be interesting to see the network of traders and how they were all connected to each other. However it will be hard to find traders who can be linked back to Suffield. By using the network of traders it will be interesting to track them through the Revolutionary war as well. Trading became a different animal once the Colonies were revolting against England. Some ships even became vessels for the colonists to use against the British. Hopefully, I can find a some information regarding more of these men and their connections to Suffield. 

Source: Source

Hot Log-People of the Past

Graves Loomis’s Grave

Recently we began our research on Slaves in 1774. We as a class have found quite a few articles and sources that have yielded interesting information. I have been focusing on one article in particular, since many people are researching the others. I found a census from 1790 that listed all the slave owners in 1790 in Hartford country. This article will be very important in our search for slaves in Suffield during 1774. By using the names of the people from the 1790 census, we can find information about their friends, family, and occupations. By getting good information on the owners in 1790, it will allow us to look back further to 1774. Already I have begun using some of the names from the census and researching them. One name came up and I found an interesting fact about the man. Squire Graves Loomis was found to be working for the India trading company. This means he would travel up and down the river delivering his goods. This means he probably had his slaves help him. He was a Suffield resident and had a rather large family. By using this man I hope to find some connections to his collogues who also lived in Suffield and neighboring towns. The dock he used to transport his goods would also be very important. It would be great to find out where the dock was located and how many people used it. I believe that a field trip to find the dock would be beneficial, it would show us exactly where the dock was located and how big it was. Hopefully if I keep this up ill find a good link back to 1774. As well as Googling this list it could be helpful to find someone who knows about this man and his history. By finding a good source on him it could lead us back further and give us much more information. There are a few other people I am researching as well. These people both owned 5 slaves, one of which was Ebenezer gay. I have yet to find any real information on them, but I am sure it will surface soon. These men will give us a good insight into the lives of their slaves. By using websites that trace back ancestors and hopefully we can find names of family. This would allow us to link more and more people to create a web of important people who impacted 1774. By using this information we will be able to connect how all these men and their slaves helped and responded to the Boston tea party and freedom. This may have been a small discovery, but I believe that if we can use this source to its potential by using teamwork it could be the biggest help in solving this mystery.