In a letter to a Baltimore merchant, the supercargo (or agent) on board the ship wrote

"We have landed the cargo in Chagres for account of Pline & Benoit and as they say the money is all ready for me in Chagres but that I very [much] doubt as I only know of there having four [tho]usand dollars there, the character of these [ge]ntlemen is not exactly what I expected to find. They have deceived both you and myself with regard to the introduction of tobacco it had been prohibited for more than a month before out arrival which they both New before thee left Balto"

This spells impending trouble for all parties, as trust and reputation were the cornerstones of success in an expanding and diversifying merchant community.

The letter is part of MS 2371 at the Maryland Historical Society.  

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