National Archives at Boston

The Impost Book

New England Customs Records

Refer to CaptionSalem Impost Book, 1803

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The Impost Book

The Impost Book is a chronological record of the entries of cargoes of American vessels, listed by ship and importer. The Collector used this record as a way of keeping track of duties collected over various periods of time. On November 7, 1803, an entry was made for Joseph Peabody's cargo on the Ship Mount Vernon.

Impost books provide the most minimal description of the cargo, but are very useful for seeing what ships and cargoes arrived during a period of time. On the same page that the Mount Vernon is shown can be found entries for the Ship George Washington from Sumatra, the Brig Mentor from Corunna, and the Ship Hazard from Calcutta.

After its first voyage, the Ship Mount Vernon continued a similar pattern, usually making one trip each year until 1812, when it disappears from the records of the Salem Collector of Customs. There is also no record of it for 1807. It is possible that the Mount Vernon spent that year abroad, as some Salem ships did, when an embargo was declared prohibiting all foreign trade.

Return Trips of the Ship Mount Vernon

1803: from St. Petersburg, Samuel Endicott, master
1804: from St. Petersburg, Samuel Endicott, master
1805: from St. Petersburg, Samuel Endicott, master
1806: from Leghorn, William Cheever, master (brandy, wine, currants, figs, candles, soap, almonds)
1808: from Bengal, Jacob Lee master (indigo, sugar, candles)
1809: from Havana, Hezekiah Flint, master (coffee, sugar, molasses, merchandise)
1810: from St. Petersburg, Hezekiah Flint, master (hemp, candles, slippers, merchandise)
1811: from Archangel, Thomas Cheever, master (hemp, candles)

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List and full citation for documents in this exhibit
Resources: Documents of Other Salem Ships