Salem Impost (August 4, 1801)

This page shows ships coming from Guadaloupe, Granada, and St. Petersburg. (The ship from St. Petersburg is the Friendship! A replica of the Friendship, constructed by the National Park Service can presently be seen in Salem harbor.) These ships carried a large variety of merchandize ; sugar, rum, molasses,coffee candles and hemp for cordage (rope).

Impost books were accounts of vessels entering a port, their port of origin,information about the goods they brought in and, most importantly, the duties (taxes) they paid to the U.S. government on those commodities. Duties could be calculated based on a percentage of the value, or as a direct fee. Salem was a major shipping port during this period and brought in considerable revenue for the country as a whole. These pages show a wide range of countries that were touched by Salem ships, as well as the wealth of luxury and household goods that came through this city. These resources could be used in a variety of ways.

Click here for a reference sheet about the places mentioned in the Salem Imposts: Places referenced in Salem Imposts

Click here to explore the July 1801 and April 1802 Salem Impost Books.


Salem Impost (August 4, 1801). National Archives, Waltham, MA.