Returns and Appraisement


The Customs Service of Philadelphia employed a wide variety of workers to inspect, measure, weigh, gauge, and transport imported goods. After receiving a permit and inspecting a ship’s cargo, these employees issued returns to the collector, certifying that the quantity and description of goods onboard matched the manifest and invoice and that there were no further dutiable articles. This collection contains returns from customs inspectors, gaugers, weighers, surveyors, and measurers. Gaugers were responsible for measuring the amount of liquid in barrels, including molasses, wine, spirits, and honey.