Marie Duncan letters  1919-1921
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Leyland Company account books are two volumes of records for the slave ships Hannah (1789-90) and Jenny (1792-1793), which made trips from Liverpool to Africa, then across the Atlantic to Jamaica and other West Indian Islands. These record the goods (sugar, food, arms, and cloth) and slaves sold in each port, and contain details on seamen's wages and instructions to ship captains for the treatment of slaves.

The first volume documents the 2nd voyage of the Ship Hannah , captained by Charles Wilson (39 pages). The ship sailed from Liverpool on July 3, 1789, to the Calabar River in Africa (present day Nigeria), then to Barbadoes; Dominica; and Kingston, Jamaica; and finally back to Liverpool in December 1790.

The account book opens with directions to the captain, instructing him on the ship's itinerary and what to sell and purchase on the journey. The note also cautioned the captain to treat his crew with humanity and to show the "utmost tenderness to the Negroes" (page 1). The next item is the shipment invoice, which includes food (white barley, corn, rice, peas, beans, beef, salt, and bread), liquor (brandy, port, sherry), china, fabric and clothing (hats, trousers, jackets, silk, cotton, romal and photaes), arms (gunpowder, muskets, French guns, and knives), and purchased items including tobacco, wine, rum, sugar, raisins, cotton, sailcloth, iron, and gunpowder (pages 5-13). Page 15 contains a list of the 30 officers and seamen on board the Hannah , with their names, rank or profession, wages per month, and total pay. Professions included master, mate, carpenter, cooper, steward, surgeon, cook, and seaman. Pages 16-20 contain lists of trader's names along with notes on disbursements and what they purchased. Pages 22-24 cover accounts for the 294 slaves sold at Kingston, Jamaica, with details on the purchasers, prices, and types of slaves sold (privileged men, privileged women, cargo men, cargo women, men boys, women girls, boys, and girls). Finally, pages 25-32 provide information about the total amount of sugar purchased in Jamaica for Thomas Leyland, and the accounts of goods sold to various traders in the West Indies, including William Daggers of Kingston, Jamaica; Barton and Gibbald of Barbados; and Neilson and Heathcote of Dominica.

The second volume documents the first voyage of the Ship Jenny , captained by William Stringer (29 pages). The Jenny left Liverpool on November 27, 1792, and arrived at the Zaire River (Congo) off the coast of Angola on February 18, 1793. They arrived at the port town of Emboma (today Boma, Kongo Central) on February 23, 1793, then at Barbadoes (May 6, 1793), St. Vincent (May 7, 1793), Grenada (May 8, 1793), and finally Kingston, Jamaica (May 18, 1793).

The record keeping for both volumes is similar. The account book opens with an itinerary of the trade mission and instructions for the captain on selling and purchasing cargo (pages 1-3). Following that are the invoice for goods shipped and purchased (page 5-14), a list of the 29 officers and seamen on board (page 15), tradesmen's notes and disbursements (pages 16-20), sales for 250 slaves (pages 21-23), and accounts with Thomas Leyland, who funded the expedition (pages 24-29).

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