What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?
“The Co partnership of JOSEPH and DANIEL WALDO, is mutually dissolv’d.”
When their partnership came to an end in the fall of 1770, Joseph Waldo and Daniel Waldo placed newspaper advertisements “to give Notice to all Persons who have any Demands on said Company, to apply to DANIEL WALDO for Payment.” They also called on “those who are indebted to said Company” to settle accounts “as soon as possible.” That portion of the advertisement was fairly standard, replicating many others that appeared in newspapers throughout the colonies.
The nota bene at the end of the advertisement, however, incorporated a marketing strategy not nearly as common in these routine notices. In this special note, Daniel proclaimed that he “continues the Business as usual.” He pledged that the “Customers of the late Company, and all others, who may Favour him with their Custom may depend on being used in the best Manner.” In the course of their partnership, the Waldos had established a clientele and a reputation among consumers in Boston and beyond. Although the partnership had been “mutually dissolv’d,” Daniel sought to maintain both the clientele and the reputation, inviting existing customers to continue to deal with him and alerting others that the business continued to operate after Joseph’s departure.
That may explain why the advertisement did not include a certain element common to many such notices about partnerships dissolving. The Waldos did not threaten legal action against those who owed debts, unlike others that made it clear that those who did not settle accounts would find themselves in court. Doing so would have impaired Daniel’s attempts to continue friendly relationships with a customer base that he hoped to maintain. After all, he promised continuing and prospective customers that they “may depend on being used in the best Manner.” Daniel focused on customer service as a means of cultivating his business as it entered a new stage without Joseph as a partner.