This folder contains correspondence relating to Edison's attempt to encourage reciprocal trade in Cuban sugar and Alabama coal in an effort to alleviate local shortages of both. The correspondents include W. M. Clemens, secretary of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce; George E. Crawford, acting mayor of Mobile; Albert C. Danner, president of the Mobile Coal Co.; Edward N. Hurley, chairman of the U.S. Shipping Board; Henry H. Morgan, a U.S. representative in Cuba; railroad freight agent J. S. Taylor; and officials of various shipping companies. Much of the correspondence was carried on by Charles B. Hanford, one of Edison's assistants at Key West, Florida.
Approximately 40 percent of the letters have been selected, including all documents reflecting Edison's personal role in the planning process. The unselected items include correspondence with the owners of private vessels, shipping companies, and commodity dealers, along with the numerous copies of a March 18 form letter explaining that Edison had turned over responsibility for making trade arrangements to the U.S. government. One copy of this letter, sent to the Pensacola Maritime Co., has been selected as a sample. Also unselected is correspondence pertaining to freight rates, markets, hypothetical shipping plans, and other technical matters involving Hanford but not Edison. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.