Charles Goore letter book  1774-1783
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Charles Goore letter book (170 pages) contains copies of 295 letters from Goore to other English merchants, members of Parliament, British naval officers, customers, and friends. These letters, dated March 1774 to January 1783, touch on various aspects of trade, including the detrimental effects of the American Revolution on the tobacco trade, his whaling ventures off Greenland, and trading interests in hemp, flag stones, and ironware. Goore discussed difficulties with war ships, effects of the Revolution on prices and trade, the practice of impressment of seamen, and news from the American colonies. He also described the effects of privateering on trade, the slave trade, and technical matters relating to navigation. Several letters concern helping friends who were hurt by the upheaval in America. For instance, he tried to place seamen, formerly in his employment, in the British navy. This letter book provides an interesting perspective of the British side of the Revolution and particularly English merchants' reactions to the conflict.

While the collection primarily consists of business, legal, and political papers, Goore occasionally related information about his family. Of particular interest are 6 letters related to Goore's niece, Jenny Tatlock, whom he placed as an apprentice to Mrs. Ann Carus (pages 15, 19, 28, 93, 144). Goore wrote two stern letters to his niece Ellen Tatlock, who often begged for money because her husband was in prison (pages 82, 97). Goore also wrote to his niece Jenny, advising her not to marry an apprentice painter because she would end up supporting him (page 162). Several letters document Goore's business relationships with women, and a few letters are condolences to widows of his employees.

Other letters of note include:

  • January 25, 1775: describing a crowd in a coffee house waiting to hear the "resolves of Parliament relative to American affairs..."
  • June 13, 1775: revealing his opinions on the tense relationship between Great Britain and the American colonies: "The ax is laid to the root of the tree & it must be cut down or adieu to the colonies. God grant such measures may be taken that his Majesty may bring the Americans to become dutiful subjects."
  • February 5, 1776: describing his early career in the tobacco trade and the effects of the Revolution on Atlantic trading.
  • November 28, 1776: offering news of the war in America concerning generals Burgoyne and Howe.
  • March 14, 1778: reprimanding a neighbor for physically abusing his wife.
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