In the Old South, did cotton factors typically travel to Britain to sell cotton and buy merchandise for their clients?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,434
#21
Yeh, I would think the cotton broker or factor would sell the cotton in New Orleans to the British mill or the exporter. Traveling back and forth to England every year would take a lot of time. I know my relative traveled to Chicago to sell cotton, which was presumably then shipped via the Great Lakes and Erie Canal to Albany and then to New England mills.
 
Oct 2017
97
United States
#22
Would you know whether this applied to the overall plantation systems across the Atlantic side of the New World? Including all the cash crops of the 17th & 18th centuries, being tobacco, sugar, rice, indigo, cotton & mining? Or whether this is exclusive to the 19th century south? Surely it can’t be?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
2,877
Dispargum
#23
Would you know whether this applied to the overall plantation systems across the Atlantic side of the New World? Including all the cash crops of the 17th & 18th centuries, being tobacco, sugar, rice, indigo, cotton & mining? Or whether this is exclusive to the 19th century south? Surely it can’t be?
The most difficult part of the Trans-Atlantic trade was moving money back and forth between Europe and the Americas. As mentioned in previous posts, already in the Middle Ages, European merchants had figured out that it was easier to send bills of lading and other accounting statements back and forth rather than money. This was the birth of modern banking. The banking system that was already working well in Europe was simply replicated to the Trans-Atlantic trade. In post 12 Nemowork mentions that the system was also in place in 18th century British India.

Interesting that you mention mining. Other metals could be traded the same as agricultural commodities, but gold and silver were often minted into coins while still in the New World. The Spanish opened a mint in Mexico as early as 1536. Gold and silver was also sometimes shipped to Europe in bars. (No, not the kind you drink in).
 

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