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Old ships and ship-building days of Medford. The pepper trade. the names of Medford-built ships are italicized. This trade was started by Salem enterprise almost wholly, and by way of reward Salem became the American, and for a time the world, emporium for pepper. In 1791 the United States exported seven million, five hundred and fifty-nine thousand, two hundred and forty-four pounds-over seven-eighths of the entire northwest Sumatran crop—and a very large portion of this was landed in Salem. Morison. Maritime History of Massachusetts. Among the Medford-built vessels from Salem engaged in this trade were the ships Australia, Carolina, Propontis, and the brig Lucilla. Journals of their voyages to Sumatra are preserved in Salem. Besides the Salem vessels in the pepper trade there were quite a number from Boston, among them the brig Palmer. The brig Palmer, two hundred and seventy-seven tons, was the seventy-third vessel built in Medford and the last of seven built