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Losing the ThreadCotton, Liverpool and the American Civil War$
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Jim Powell

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622492

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622492.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

The Brokers and the Broken

The Brokers and the Broken

The nearest truth about Liverpool’s cotton brokers

(p.143) Chapter VII The Brokers and the Broken
Losing the Thread

Jim Powell

Liverpool University Press

This chapter elaborates on the anecdotal evidence of the previous chapter. It includes a study of members of the Liverpool Cotton Brokers’ Association and how they operated. The most powerful factions in Britain’s raw cotton trade were the selling brokers and the bankers. This is corroborated by a study of the B Lists of the customs Bills of Entry for Liverpool, which provide a complete inventory of who received every consignment into the port. All cotton consignments for 1860 and 1864 have been tabulated. Data are produced which show the changes wrought by the civil war to cotton shipments, and which prove that 91 per cent of LCBA members were direct recipients of cotton from Liverpool docks. This is the final blow to the notion that there was a scrupulous dividing line between buying and selling brokers. Almost all cotton brokers were traders, but not necessarily successful ones. The chapter concludes with an account of some of the bankruptcies and suggests that Thomas Ellison knowingly falsified the historical record.

Keywords:   Liverpool Cotton Brokers’ Association, cotton brokers, Bills of Entry, B Lists, bankruptcies, Thomas Ellison

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