Family Puigcérda, date unknown

I see that the earlier journals of my family’s exploits have had dates, but such is the nature of trade that I do not plan to add dates to my entries at this time…..

…..The salt trade has been doing fairly well recently. We are selling very well to explorers and settlers going to the New World. This has helped supplement the decrease in demand for our salt in Milan. The word around town is that another pestilence has smitten the city of Milan. There is also talk that our rivals in Venice are suffering from this plague as well, even though we are rivals, I would not wish the plague on anyone. May God save their souls. Today there was an issue at the dock over a merchant coming from Algiers. According to some official record the local magistrate claimed him to be a jew, and not allowed to set foot in our lands. The man appeared to be as much a Turk as any other, but something about his father or fathers father was being discussed. He looked as if he might have been a Spaniard, but his clothes and most certainly his language suggested him a Turk. Talking with my Genoese contact the other evening over some fine Malvasia he picked up while in Constantinople we discussed some of things going on with the Genoese in the grand city. He told me they were trying to keep their foothold in the city and that the Patriarchal Vicar tried banning intermarriage between the Greeks and the Catholics.[1] He remains hopeful that this will curb their power loss, but I am rather skeptical that it will work. Love and money know no bounds. I certainly hope he is right, to lose our position in that city would certainly hurt, especially if these explorations prove fruitless.

[1] Eric R. Dursteler, Venetians in Constantinople. Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the early modern Mediterranean (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2006), 143.


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