From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/12/1864, p.1, c. 6

Buying in the Markets to Sell Again. – The practice of buying up large quantities of vegetables, fruits, &c., while in and on the way to the two principal markets of this city, to sell again at advanced prices, is one which has hitherto been indulged in to a very great extent by hucksters and small-fry speculators; but it likely, now that the Mayor and clerks of the markets have determined to enforce the ordinance regulating this matter, that a speedy stop will be put to it, and then our citizens may be able to purchase their supplies from first hands at reasonable prices. Yesterday morning Mr. Samuel Ellis, clerk of the First Market, preferred charges against the following parties for committing the offence about referred to, and after hearing of the evidence his Honor made each of them pay fines of twenty dollars, and ordered the confiscation of the articles purchased by them: John W. Murray, charged with purchasing seven bushels of Irish potatoes and offering them for sale again at more than double the amount he paid for them; Lewis Galena, charged with buying two bushels of onions and two bushels of potatoes, with the intention of reselling them in small quantities at an advance on cost, and Thomas Bradford, charged with buying two wagon loads of water and musk melons, which he intended sutlering out among our forces near Richmond. The Mayor, in disposing of these cases, referred to the scarcity of market stuffs brought to the city and the exorbitant prices which have prevailed, and stated that hereafter no excuse on account of ignorance of the requirements of the law on the part of its violators should deter him from imposing the heaviest penalties which can be inflicted. Common humanity, he said, should prompt persons to abstain from this sort of speculation, and, as far as lie in his power, everyone who disregarded the sufferings and necessities of the people in this respect should be made to feel the force of the law. It has been from this evil, as much as any other, that prices have been kept up as they have, and we may reasonable expect a considerable decline in them if this work of reformation is adhered to.

Go to top