Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Eckert and Baxter Records, 1814-1816

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, October 2009

Summary Information
Title: Eckert and Baxter records
Creator: Eckert, John Welsh and Baxter, J.
Inclusive dates: 1814-1816
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract: A letterbook of John Welsh Eckert and J. Baxter, British merchants who traded cotton, sugar, cocoa, and other items between the Caribbean and Europe during the War of 1812.
Language: The material is in English and Spanish
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1980. M-1898.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Eckert and Baxter Records, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


John Welsh Eckert and J. Baxter were British citizens living in the port city Cartagena, Colombia, just after the Spanish had regained control of the province. They organized the trading of cotton, sugar, cocoa, and other goods between the Caribbean and Europe.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume documents John Welsh Eckert and J. Baxter's shipping business between 1814 and 1816. The book contains copies of letters written to investors that describe details about shipments of cotton, sugar, cocoa, hides, straw for hats, rum, gold (dust and bars), paint, wooden planks, and, in one letter, Peruvian sheep or llamas, to Cartagena, Cuba, Montego Bay, England, and Europe. They occasionally report on developments between the British and Americans during the War of 1812, since the American embargo of raw cotton to England made it a particularly valuable commodity. The letters mention the prices of goods and the value of cargo. Another issue is the settlement and collection of unpaid debts and disputes, the largest of which was the loss of two ships, one lead by Captain William Purcell, which were captured by Spanish privateers. Much of the business concerned Thomas O'Reilly (a London merchant in Kingston Jamaica), Mr. John Burke, Captain Campbell, and Captain Darby. Ships mentioned include the Ship Annete , the Sloop Chance , the British Sloop Herold , the Brig El Blanco (landing in Montego Bay), and the Brig Caledonia .

Approximately one third of the letters are in Spanish and the rest are in English.

Subject Terms

    • Caledonia (Brig)
    • Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Chance (Sloop)
    • Montego Bay (Jamaica)--Commerce--History.
    • St. James Parish Church (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
    • United States--History--War of 1812.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letter books.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Eckert and Baxter records,  1814-1816 [series]