From CGI member oldmaninthedesert. CGI is RMN's readers forum where oldman is a member.
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As I was reading these two chapters,I could not help thinking about the latest opium problem that we see in the 'headlines' and on the 'news'.Time has done nothing to lessen the tragedy of society and opium.From the beginning it's malignant properties have been known,but that has never stopped unscrupulous men from poisoning their fellow man in the name of capitalism. From Turkey to the Golden Triangle,to the current poppy fields in Afghanistan,a trail of dead bodies in its wake ,opium has been the elite's secret weapon for ages now. Way past time someone went down for all the misery the abuse of the plant has done to society,same thing with the plant in S.America. Both plants in their natural state are benign compared to 'man's science' we find in our streets.If You Think the original Drug Dealing people gave up their part of the goose,that just says you have never been in the street. Why would they?I swear Heroin and Cocaine should be made legal in this country to take every rotten blood soaked last dollar out of the American market and out of their pockets.Prohibition on anything last worked like NEVER, how long a society allows a man made plague to continue as such says much about the leadership and condition of that society.....
[....Thomas Perkins deserves credit for being one of America's first and foremost opium dealers, as well as one of the greatest drug smugglers in history. His amazing fortune places him ahead, in comparable dollars, of even the computer billionaires of the 1990s. Perkins's wealth made him a very influential man in American politics and the power behind the Boston Brahmin class. Old reports state that the first families of Boston were from Salem, which implies they made their fortunes in shipping. What is not often understood is that these first families all made their start in the opium trade. The Appletons, Cabots, Endicotts, Hoopers, Higginsons, Jacksons, Lowells, Lawrences, Phillipses, and Saltonstalls made their money by being related to Thomas Perkins or by riding on the coattails of the mercantile prince.
Not only did these families create wealth, but also they then created industries that survived and prospered for decades to come. One industry was insurance. The Perkinses understood the value of spreading risk; they would often be financed in part by the first families of New England, who wanted their share of the area's most lucrative trade, and in part by insurance.
Marine insurance is regarded as the grandfather of all modern forms of insurance in America, and it got its start in New England insuring cargo from basic commodities to slaves and opium. Connecticut was home to some of America's first insurance companies. Many have survived intact or as parts of larger companies, though few realize their foundation was insuring the drug and slave traders in the early nineteenth century.
Born in 1764, Thomas Perkins decided early that Harvard was not where he would seek his fortune. Instead he apprenticed with shipping merchants and his older brother, James, who was in the Santo DomingoŚNew England part of the triangle trade. Thomas married Sarah Elliot, whose father was a British tobacco trader, and through his new family connections made his start in business aboard one of Elias Derby's ships.
Derby was Salem's most important merchant, and the shipping business made him very rich. Today he is regarded as America's first millionaire and a trailblazer of global commerce. Derby's father started their business importing sugar from the West Indies. Because this was made illegal by Britain's restrictive trade acts, it was a fine sort of revenge that led Derby into privateering against British cargo ships during the Revolution. While many succumbed to the risks, Derby prospered. In the postwar period his ships sailed around the world, and his Grand Turk was the first New England ship to reach the Chinese port of Canton, in 1785. Thomas Perkins sailed as the supercargo, the person responsible for transacting the ship's business, with the ship commanded by Captain James Magee, who was related to Derby's wife.
Perkins was responsible for obtaining a good price for the cargo on board the ship. He would then take the proceeds, in whatever form, and invest them in a suitable cargo to bring home. The trade was not always direct, which made the job of the supercargo even more important. Often the supercargo would receive instructions to buy and sell in any way deemed necessary to ensure the owner's profit. On slave ships the captain and supercargo often conspired to abandon some of the crew in order to increase the share of the profits for those who remained. ...]