Issac McPherson and the Thomas Legare Receipt Book 1767-1774
Thomas Legare acted as a commission merchant in Charleston, South Carolina, in the decade prior to the Revolutionary War. Dealing mostly in the sale of rice and farm produce, he also sold deer skins and other products on commission. On at least two occasions he actd as the middleman in the sale of slaves for local planters.
Legare evidently also served as a supply merchant, purchasing building and construction supplies in bulk and then selling them to local plantation owners. He frequently traded in materials such as tar, turpentine, bricks and shingles.
A volume of receipts kept by Legare between 1767 amd 1774 illustrated the variety of good in which early commission merchants dealt. It also illuminates the economic connections between merchants and planters and among various planters around Charleston, South Carolina. Often receipts reflect the bartering and trading off of debts common in the plantation economy. The receipts also show many of Legare's expenses as a merchant, including the costs of shipping and supplies. Several receipts incluning one for Legare's 1768 twon taxes and a few for clothing, firewood, coal, and carpentry work, offer limited informaiton of Legar's life outside his business affairs.
The bulk of the receipts document the years between 1768 and 1770, with only scant information available on other years. No receipts appear for 1773.
One volume, 1767-1774, containing receipts written by various South"Carolina planters and others to Tomas Legare. The bulk of the receipts are for monies resulting from Legare's sale of planters' crops, mostly rice and produce. Other receips indicate that Legare' acted as a commission agent for other products such as deer skins. Two receipts, 21 November 1768 and 11 January 1770, show that at times Legare sold slaves on commission.
Legare also apparently operated as a supply merchant, buying freights of construction and othermaterials such aa bricks, shingles, tar, and turpentine, and reselling them to planters. He also bought freights of rum and salt for resale.
Other receipts appear-for Legare's business and personal expenses* including coopering and carpentry work, freight charges, barrels, coal, firewood, shoes, and sugar. A 19 December 1768 receipt appears for Legare's town taxes.
The vast majority of the receipts (293 of 308) appear between 1768 and 1770, with 152 appearing in 1768, 96 in 1769, and 45 in 1770. Receipts for these years pertain mostly to the"saie of rice, with a significant number also appearing for the sale of produce. Signatures most often seen on^ receipts are Thomas Ferguson, Henry Ballingal, Charles Elliott, Isaac McPherson, Edward Perry, Joseph Fabian, Joseph Shirving, G. Waddon Bone, Thomas Farr, Edward Wilkinson, and Vardell & Wilkes. Of interest is a 14 April 1768 receipt signed by Abraham Jackson, a free black man, for cash received upon Legare's sale of 5 pounds of rice for. him.
Only three receipts, all three for rice sold, appear for 1767, and are signed by John Rose, Isaac McPherson, and Edward Perry. Nine receipts appear for 1771, mostly documenting final payments Legare made to planters to settle his accounts with them. Settlement receipts are^5 signed by John Baker, Jonathan Fabian, ' Savage Legare, Oalf Russell, Erasmus Audley, and Joseph Dill. Other receipts include one signed by Thomas Ferguson pertaining to the sale of Ferguson's produce; one sigMs«f by James Simpson referring to Legare's purchase of a pair of shoes for his son; and one signed by Downes, Jones, & Company acknowledging payment of freight charges for a shipment of rice.
Two receipts settling final accounts appear for 1772, and are signed by H. Crouch and mark Morris. No receipts appear for 1773. The one receipt for 1774 settles Legare's account with George Kincaid.
(Include) McPherson, Isaac, fl. 1767 - 1770