MS 114. Literal transcription – misspellings are left intact, xxx denotes illegible word, italicized items are my own comments for clarification. Please note that in some instances, the letter “s” may have been replaced with the letter “f,” as was the custom at that time – TG.
To King & Lowry
Steel Mill in Trenton NJ
Trenton Dec’r 10th 1783 c,
King & Lowry
By your favour of the 26th of Nov’r we find, that our friend John Warder seems to have mistaken our intention in Sending the Steel to London notwithftanding the explicit manner in which you wrote him concerning it
At a t time when all Duties and Impofts on the Trade and Intercourfe between Great Britton & America were Suspended, and conciliatory meafures seemed defirable on both sides, we thought it proper time to send a Sample of American Steel for their tryal in Edge Tools, hoping that on examination it would be found (on that side &of the Atlantick) to be much stronger for thofe purpofes than the best London Steel (as well as it is on this side) and therefore had reafon to expect that it might be confidered as a raw material, to be exchanged for the same Material Manufactured into Hard or Cutlery ware, or any other good Article of Britifh Manufacture, and confequently could not entertain the least Idea of any Duty which at that time it could be subject to-
But our intention of having it Advertized in the most publick London Papers seems to have been omitted, and another mode Adopted, which doth by no means anfwer our expectation, as our defign was not to see how much that individual Ton of Steel would make us xxx Proffitts, but to let the People of England know that we could furnifh them with such Steel, and give them an Opportunity of trying it for themfelves, when we thought it probable some might have taken it in the same manner we did, to be a good Article for the Manufacturers there to have remittances made in, specially from a Country which is always Indebted to them.
Wherefore, we wish the mode of Publifhing it in London might yet be carried into execution as propofed, and if it were practicable should be glad if some of it were tried by the Manufacturers of Shiffield & Birmingham. –
But if it be still subject to thofe Duties & Impofts notwithftanding the suspention of all Barrs to the American Trade, we have no particular mode to recommend but that our friend JohnWarder take such meafures as appear to him moft proper either by Shipping it to any other part of Europe or returning it to Philadelphia-
From your friends
Potts & Downing
P. S. As the Commercial Treaty between Great Britton and America is not finally Adjusted we could wifh the Steel may not be sent away from London too hastily as the incouragement of its Manufacture in this Country is now under the confideration of the Continental Congrefs it is pofsible they may wifh to give some directions refprecting it next Spring-