What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?
“They would be obliged to the former customers of Legaré & Darquier for a continuance of their favours to them.”
As summer turned to fall in 1768, the partnership of Darquier and Creighton placed an advertisement in the South-Carolina and American General Gazette to promote the merchandise they stocked at their store in Jacksonburgh on the Edisto River, about thirty miles west of Charleston. The partners probably did not anticipate attracting many customers among the residents of South Carolina’s largest city, but all three newspapers published in the colony at the time were printed in Charleston and served both the thriving port and extensive hinterlands that ranged beyond the colony and into Georgia and North Carolina and beyond. Even though notices from merchants and shopkeepers in Charleston surrounded it, Darquier and Creighton intended their advertisement for prospective customers from Jacksonburgh and its environs.
They also expected that their primary audience would possess a familiarity with local entrepreneurs that readers in Charleston might have lacked. That being the case, they concluded their advertisement with a request: “They would be obliged to the former customers of Legaré & Darquier for a continuance of their favours to them.” In other words, Darquier had formed a new partnership with Creighton after dissolving a partnership with Legaré. Having previously established a customer base, Darquier encouraged the former clientele to transfer their business to the store operated by the new partnership rather than shop elsewhere. The notice also alerted other prospective customers who had never patronized Legaré and Darquier but were familiar with their reputation that one of the partners had launched a new enterprise. The request directed to “former customers” also served to inform readers unfamiliar with Legaré and Darquier that the senior partner in the new endeavor had previous experience serving consumers in the area and felt confident enough about that service to anticipate they would give their business to the new partnership. Darquier and Creighton attempted to leverage the experience and reputation of Legaré and Darquier to establish their own clientele, one drawn from that of the former partnership but open to others as well.