Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Magazine Ships

In 1616 the Grocer's Company's seven years of monopoly ended and it was compelled to adopt a new method for furnishing the colonists with the different articles to meet their necessities. There was erected the "Society of Particular Adventurers for Traffic with the People of Virginia in Joint Stock". Instead of the supplies being forwarded in the name of the company, they were now sent in the name of the Magazine, to which the members could contribute such sums as they were willing to venture in their individual capacity. It was an association of private persons, among whom were divided the returns in proportion to the amounts which they risked.
The first magazine ship was the "Susan", a vessel of small size, with a cargo of clothing from England. The goods of the vessel were placed in the care of Abraham Piersey as Cape Merchant, both during the voyagle and after Virginia was reached.  The Cape Merchant who came over in the magazine ship was not simply a supercargo; he was also the factor of the subscribers of the joint stock who relied on his integrity and faithfulness in exchanging the articles sent over, at rates agreed to beore hand.
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