Eighteenth-Century Wine-Growing collection 1782-1783
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Eighteenth-Century Wine-Growing collection contains a set of documents related to a proposed wine-growing enterprise in North America in the late 18th century. A majority of the documents are financial papers presenting calculations based on various aspects of the wine industry. A reference to land from "the 41st to the 35th degrees of northern latitude" suggests that the collection refers to land somewhere between Connecticut and North Carolina. The documents propose a number of possible plans that the business might follow, and provide a picture of the fledgling American wine industry. Calculations reflect the amount and nature of labor and supplies necessary to begin such a venture, and include in one assessment of the "purchase of 10 Stout Negroes," estimated to cost £40 each. In addition to the financial information and proposals, many of the documents contain prose descriptions of expected developments and project actions to be taken several years into the business. Of note is an undated three-page prospectus calling for the United States to begin producing more of its own goods, including wine: "The late happy revolution having placed the United States of North America in a line with the first known powers of the universe, the earliest attention ought to be given to every measure which may promote their utmost improvement in every branch of agriculture and Commerce."