Tag Archives: Caribbean

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. 

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