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Perhaps the commercial factor did not die; perhaps he only seemed to as the spot light shifted to other actors. At one time he had a hand in most of the world's commerce; indigo, hemp, cotton and iron, sugar, shellac, tobacco, pepper, corn, and rum, these things and many others came into the English ports consigned to the factor for sale. On the outgoing voyage he, or his ubiquitous brother the supercargo, handled the glass beads, the cutlery, fire water and calico designed to bring civilization, at a price, to the customers contacted by the missionary. It was he also who marketed the antelope, beaver and buffalo skins of which the west was despoiled last century, and later the mess-pork, lard, flour, cattle, hides and lumber produced by the pioneer. The factor was an important person in his day. Once, indeed, he was widely discussed in legal literature, but that was some time ago.
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