A Blupete Biography Page

Tea And Banks, Part 9 to the Life & Works of
Samuel Cunard

Cunard, of course, had other business interests other than just the running of steamships across the Atlantic. An adjunct to this was the British mail contracts. There was his continuing trading activities, which, as we have seen, started out much before Cunard's involvement with steam.

In 1824, by going directly to London and talking face to face with the right people, Cunard landed an exclusive distributorship of the India trade (tea) for North America. In the process, Cunard out-hustled the competition back at Halifax, including Enos Collins. Cunard's Halifax agency for the India trade was profitable; it was a monopoly that carried on until, in 1833, when the British put an end to the East India Company's monopoly on the eastern trade.39

A select group of money lenders, including Samuel Cunard and Enos Collins, established the colony's first bank, the Halifax Banking Company (which evolved into one of the major banks of Canada, Imperial Bank of Canada), also known as Cogswell's Bank, Henry Cogswell being its first president. It advertised its opening on September 3rd, 1825, as a bank of issue and discount. It was a private company which issued notes that could be exchanged for gold or silver.40



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