Adams Papers

To John Adams from John Browne Cutting, 12 October 1788

London 12th. Octr. 1788

My Dear Sir,

The following was the return of the Greenland Fishery on the 17th of June last made here

London Ships Number of Fish Whitby Ships Number of Fish
Broderick 5 Ann & Elizabeth 2
John and Margaret 7 El Falconberg 2
Buttersworth 3 Resolution 2
Leviathan 3 Nautilus 3
Branthall 4 Freelove 1
Mellish 4 Friendship 1
Hannah 1 Sunderland Ships
London 2 Blacket 1
Supply 2 Queen 2
Two Friends 1 Elipse 1
New Castle Ships Hull Ships
Disco Bay 3 Gainsborough 2
Kitty 3 Palliser 1
Kingston 3 Ipswich Ships
Mars 3 Simon 1
Sarah 3 Scotch Ships } 13
Mathew & Thomas 2
Sarda 2
Spencer 2

At no period previous to the last war were there more than one hundred ships employed in this trade; in the year before last 151 ships were employed; and last year 248 the value of whose cargoes amounted to the fourth part of a million. Now let us attend to the account of the southern whale fishery as stated accurately on the 1st of June last. Viz—

London 36 Ships 34 Fish
Whitby 9 19
Hull 9 6
Liverpool 5 4
Leith 3 3 1/2
Montrose 3 8
Borrostoness 2 3
Lynn 2 1

In the year 1785 there were but 18 ships employed in the southern whale fishery, and the amount of their cargoes was estimated at £30,000. Last year 38 ships were employed <[. . .]> the cargoes of which are estimated at more than £100,000. So that in two years the number of ships employed have been more than doubled, and the value of the trade more than trebled. And this year the number of ships employed is upwards of 50, and their cargoes expected to exceed £200,000. On these facts I make no comment.

I have the honor to be with an unavoidable brevity and abruptness; / Your Affectionate Respectful / And Most Obedt. Servt.

John Brown Cutting

MHi: Adams Papers.

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