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Nicholas Brown & Co. to Vanhorn, David; August 5, 1765
Communicating with a slave ship at sea was an uncertain business. Owners often sent letters and instructions on other ships bound for Africa or the West Indies, hoping that they might eventually find their way to their destination. In this letter, dated August 5, 1765, the Brown brothers ask a New York business partner, David Vanhorne, to forward a letter to Esek Hopkins to the island of Barbados, where Hopkins and the Sally are soon expected to arrive. The enclosed letter, presumably instructions to Hopkins on where to dispose of his cargo of enslaved Africans, does not survive. The letter seems never to have reached Hopkins, who put in briefly at Barbados but found no letters or instructions awaiting him. The Sally proceeded on to Antigua, where Hopkins sold the Africans who had survived the passage.