No. 4 - Proposal for Sending Tea to Philadelphia

Index: Tea Leaves - A Collection of East India Co. Letters, 1773 


Received from the Hon'ble Mr. Walpole.[27]

As Philadelphia is the capital of one of the most populous and commercial Provinces in North America, and is situated in the center of the middle British Colonies, it is proposed:

That the East India Company should, by the middle of June at farthest, send to Philadelphia at least five hundred chests of black teas, one hundred half chests of green teas,[204] and seventy five half chests of Congou and Souchon teas.

That they should consign these teas to a house of character and fortune in Philadelphia, and direct the proceeds thereof to be remitted hither in bills of exchange or specie.

That previous, however, to the teas being shipped, factors should be appointed in Philadelphia, and the directors of the East India Company should immediately advise them of their intended consignation, and direct them to engage proper warehouses for the reception thereof.

That the factors should be authorized to sell the teas at public auction, (giving notice of the times of the sale in all the North American newspapers, at least one month before hand,) and in such small lots as will be convenient for the country storekeepers to supply themselves with such sales.

That the factors should grant the purchasers the same allowance of tare, tret, discount, &c., as are customary at the company's sales in this city.

That in case the factor should be of opinion, the sales of the tea would be encreased both in quantity and price, by having occasional auctions in Boston and New York, in the manner proposed at Philadelphia; that they should be at liberty to send from time to time to Boston & New York[205] as many chests as they may think necessary for the consumption & commerce of those places, but that the factors, or one of them, should always attend the sales in Boston and New York.

That the East India Company should be at the charge & expence of the warehouse rent in America, the cartage, and the freight of the teas from Philadelphia to Boston & New York, and that the factors should be allowed for receiving and selling the teas, collecting the payment thereof and remitting the same, a commission of 2½ pr cent. on the amount of the sales.

N.B.—It is submitted whether it would not be proper for the directors of the East India Company to send two persons to Philadelphia, who have been accustomed to pack and repack teas at the India House, to the end that they may be employed for that purpose, and in dividing whole chests of black teas into half chests, for the greater accommodation of the country shopkeepers.