Drawing of the Schooner Two Friends, Beverly c. 1793
This drawing was for a Customs violation trial to show the “fill line” for the cargo of Two Friends, a vessel from Beverly.
The Two Friends and Slavery
A deposition connected with a customs violation case revealed that the ship’s captain was instructed to buy only as much sugar as the worth of the human chattel he sold in Havana. A quick query to the Beverly Historical Society gave light to Captain’s orders and an “account of slaves” bought and sold between the island of Haiti and Cuba. While the ship brought back to the US only sugar and molasses at the end of its journey, it held enslaved people through the Caribbean. Read the documents linked below to learn more about this relationship between maritime trade in Essex County and slavery. Although slavery had been abolished in Massachusetts by 1791, local merchants continued to operate slave ships outside of the United States.