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Diane Publishing Books
Voyage of the “Frolic”: New England Merchants & the Opium Trade
Thomas N. Layton (au). In 1850 the clipper ship “Frolic,” a sailing ship built for the Asian opium trade, had wrecked on the Mendocino coast, where the Indians salvaged its cargo. Layton unearthed the business records of its owners, A. Heard & Co., which showed that respectable Bostonians had made their fortunes running opium from India to China. Layton describes the political, financial, & logistical aspects of the profitable enterprise before the intro. of steam vessels into the opium trade in 1849. Families of the “Frolic’s” owners preferred to forget the source of their fortunes, but in 1965 divers discovered the remains of the opium clipper, & 134 years after its wreck an archaeologist-anthropologist was inspired to pursue its colorful history. Illustrations.
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