"gold dust", 1785; interdates OED 1705-1879

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Mar 15 00:57:26 UTC 2010

"gold dust", 1785; interdates OED2 sense 1, 1705-1879.

In James Felt, "Annals of Salem", Vol. 2, Second Edition. Salem, 1849.
Letter, unsigned, dated Nov. 12, 1785.  [Instructions from owners of
a slave ship to its captain.]

p. 289:

As the factors on the coast have no laws but of their own making, and
of course such as suit their own convenience, they therefore, like
the Israelites of old, do whatsoever is right in their own eyes; in
consequence of which, you ought to be very careful about receiving
gold dust, and of putting your cargo into any but the best hands, or
if it can be avoided, and the same despatch made, into any hands at
all, on any credit.

p. 290:

We could wish to have as particular information as can be obtained,
respecting the trade in all its branches on the coast; to know if in
any future time, it is probable a load of N. E. Rum could be sold for
bills of exchange on London, or any part of Europe; or for gold dust;
and what despatch in this case might be made.

[This transcription by Felt surely has altered capitalization --
there are too few nouns capitalized for 1785.  I suspect the
manuscript is not extant, and I don't know the authors (ship owners),
recipient (the captain), the name of the ship, or the port.  George
Moore, "Notes on the History of Slavery in Massachusetts", p. 66,
note 2, writes "This vessel was probably the Brig Favorite. Compare
Felt's Salem, II, 287 and 291."  But I do not see how he drew that inference.]


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