Collection ID: LMC 1898
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Collection context


The Sharpe mss., 1733-1755, consists of papers from the office of John Sharpe, 1700-1756, London solicitor for the British West Indies, relating to the enforcement of the 1733 Molasses Act.
1 Box
English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Sharpe mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

John Sharpe, 1700-1756, was a prominent London solicitor who served as the agent for the British West Indies from 1733 until his death in 1756. The Molasses Act of 1733, an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, imposed a tax of six pence per gallon on imports of molasses from non-English colonies. Parliament created the act largely at the insistence of large plantation owners in the British West Indies.

Scope and Content:

The Sharpe mss., 1733-1755, consists of papers "from the law office of John Sharpe, legal representative of the 'Sugar Planters and Merchants Trading to and Interested in His Majesty's Sugar Colonies,' relating to the enforcement of the 'Molasses Act' of 1733."

The collection may be divided primarily into two groups: [1] "relating to the proceedings in 1750-1751 before the Board of Trade concerning the virtual nullification by the American colonists of the 'Molasses Act' ... in their trading with the French sugar islands, by means of fraudulent ship clearances, perjurious certificates of origin, trade with the enemy in war time under fraudulent flags of truce, etc."; [2] dealing "with the efforts of the English merchants and planters to obtain remedy for their grievances against the Northern Colonies by the passage of an Act of Parliament which would have totally forbidden dealings in molasses, sugar and rum between them and the French islands."

See Kraus, H.P. From Columbus to Lincoln: Fifty Distinguished Americans ... New York, H.P. Kraus, n.d. (Catalogue 92), no. 34, pp. 48-49. A copy of this is filed with the collection along with "A full description of the 28 manuscripts" (typewritten), cited Ibid., p. 49.

Acquisition information:
Purchase: 1961
Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility)



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[Item], Sharpe mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
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