The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Daily Advertiser & Times (Oswego, NY), Nov. 10, 1869

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Reminiscences. - The Syracuse Standard prints a letter from Hon. Thos. Richmond, of Chicago, formerly of Salina, in which he gives some interesting reminiscences of early pioneer life in this part of the world. Among other things he says:

"In 1819 I commenced a small traffic in salt with the Canadas, using only the little accumulation from my labor as capital.

In 1821 I made my first shipment in salt to the lakes, (I think it is this year), using only my small accumulation as capital. I paid five shillings per barrel freight from the works to Oswego. I then contracted with Matthew McNair, of Oswego, to transport it, and me along with it, to Cleveland, Ohio, for one-half of the salt, at Cleveland. I went up lake Erie on the same vessel that the commissioners and men were on, going to settle the Northwestern boundary between the United States and Canada.

Salt was then worth at Cleveland $6.50 to $7 per barrel, but no cash in Ohio, the chartered banks that grew up in and after the war had gone by the board, and little or no sound money found its place. For two months I waited: I only sold at retail enough salt to pay my board and expenses home."

He finally traded his salt for a drove of cattle, drove them to Salt Point, turned them out on the Reservation, and in December slaughtered them, and sold the hides for cash, they being the only portions for which cash would be paid. After the tallow from his beeves was fried out, he got it made up into candles, which he peddled from house to house at a dollar a bunch - five pounds in a bunch. The next spring this round of trade was renewed, and on such humble beginnings did the pioneers base their fortunes.

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Nov. 10, 1869
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Daily Advertiser & Times (Oswego, NY), Nov. 10, 1869