The Two Friends Outward Manifest, Beverly 1791

An Outward Manifest lists the items that are being transported out of a port for sale somewhere else. This manifest shows that the Two Friends was bringing a cargo of fish, beef, S hooks, hoops, oil, candles, and vegetables to the West Indies.

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.

Related Documents:

Captain’s Orders for the Two Friends, 1791
Account of Sale of Slaves, the Two Friends, 1791
Deposition of the Two Friends first mate Osmon Gage, 1793
Drawing of the Two Friends.

A true MANIFEST of all the Goods, Wares and Merchandize, shipped on board the Sch.1 Two Friends, Nicholas Thorndike, Master, bound for the West Indies

MarksNumbersPackages and ContentsShippersResidence2Consignees3Residence
Ninety-five Casks of Fish
Forty barrels Mackerel
Five barrels Beef
One hundred sixty nine S hooksBrown &BeverlyN ThorndikeBeverly
Thirty four hundred Hoops4Thorndike
Thirty Caskets [Oil]
Fifteen Boxes Spermacetti Candles5
Twenty Four barrels Roots6
One hundred bushels Potatoes
Nicholas Thorndike
Sworn, October 11th 1791
Jos. Hilton, Collector

1 Sch. = ”schooner”
2 Residence = place where they live
3 Consignee = person who is selling the goods
4 Hoops = iron hoops used to hold barrels together, a cooper, or barrel maker, was on board to make barrels for the goods they would ship home
5 Spermaceti candles = candles made from whale oil
6 Roots = probably root vegetables like carrots, turnips, parsnips, etc.


Outward Manifest of the Two Friends (October 11, 1791). National Archives, Waltham, MA.