Paul Cross Papers

South Caroliniana Library


The Paul Cross (d. 1784) papers span the years 1768 to 1803 and include accounts, lists of goods exchanged for enslaved Africans, inventories, invoices, correspondence, receipts, and a memorandum book. The bulk of the letters written to Cross are from resident merchants, transient traders, and seasoned ship captains affiliated with the port of Liverpool. During the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Liverpudlian merchants invested heavily in West African commerce and consequently, their activity in the transatlantic slave trade increased exponentially. Of special import are the four trade books kept by Cross in the early 1770s as he traded at Cape Mount, the Gallinas River, Isle de Los, and the Sestos River among other coastal settlements. These manuscripts record the quotidian commercial transactions with local traders and inform the nature of barter, credit, pawnship, and dispute settlement on the Upper Guinea Coast. A large number of invoices and receipts associated with Ann Cross’s (d. 1789) business reveal the operation of a Charleston tavern during the tumultuous Revolutionary era.

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