News & Tall Tales. 1800s. Review of the Market 1854-1855
New York Daily Times, January 11, 1855, New York, New York, U.S.A.
Review of the Market
From the San Francisco Shipping List, December 15, 1854
The week which has elapsed since the sailing of the last steamer has been one of very general inactivity in business circles. Everything has been dull, and the aggregate of sales up but a small figure. The demand from the interior continues very light, and the prospects of improvement are much fainter than they appeared a few weeks since. In fact, it is generally conceded that we may now look forward to very quiet times for a considerable time to come.
Since our last, a number of vessels, many of them clipper-ships, have reached port, and the accessions to our stock of general merchandise have been large. Had these goods reached us a month ago, all would have been activity and bustle; but as it is, the effect has been rather to depress than stimulate the market, and in the absence of purchasers, the bulk of the cargoes are going into store. A considerable portion of the merchandise coming to hand, was purchased previous to arrival, and now held for sale but although holders are anxious to place their goods, the (text unintelligible) . . . would have to be made by the importers. The scarcity of money exercises a marked effect on the business community, and the tendency of things is undoubtedly towards lower prices.
The character of the news received by the Golden Age, just come to hand, will not help at all to mend matters here. Freights have advances fall five cents per food in New York, and the number of vessels laid out for San Francisco has been largely fragmented. The tendency seems to be to (unintelligible) to this port, and we very much fear that all the experience of the past year, with its ruinous losses and unwanted . . . will go for naught in the seemingly legitimate desire to gamble in California ventures. We can only say to parties in the East that they must take the circumstances of their folly, if they pursue any such course. They have been warned again and again on the subject, and if they do commence the system of last year, the fault lies at their own doors.
Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America
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