Export/Import - A detailed Study, 1904 - 1914
Export/Import - A detailed Study, 1904 - 1914

Export & Import: A Detailed Study

We have established, with a reasonable degree of certainty, the composition of exports in the January 16th U. S. Customs' export report. Available public records in the United States, including newspaper accounts and official Government reports, provide an adequately detailed record of gold and silver exports. If the REPUBLIC carried the January 12th, $3,000,000 American Gold Eagle engagement, a comparison of U. S. export records with corresponding French import records should indicate the loss of this engagement; the only marine casualty occurring within the standard delay envelop between this engagement and possible shipment was the loss of the steamship REPUBLIC.

A Detailed Study of United States - France Gold Commerce for the years 1904 through 1914.

Our study of U.S. gold exported to France and gold imported by France, for the period 1904 through 1914, is available online at http://rms-republic.com/repub_data04-14.html. You can save this study (save as an html document), and open the html document with Microsoft's Excel. The study, once opened in Excel, is pre-formatted to print out on 12 pages in landscape format. Of course, the study can also be viewed with your browser.

The primary documents which enabled this Export - Import study were:

U. S. Export Records.

  1. "Statement of United States Gold Coin and Gold Bullion Exported from the Port of New York to Europe During the Fiscal Year Ended..." for each fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th) 1904 through 1915. These annual reports were issued by the Superintendent of the United States Assay Office at New York to the Director of the Mint. The "Statement[s]..." appear in the annual reports of both the Director of the Mint and the Secretary of the Treasury.
  2. "Domestic Exports, by Customs Districts and Countries" for each fiscal year 1904 through 1915. Imports and Exports of manufactured goods and commodities, including gold, were compiled and distributed monthly and annually by the U. S. Bureau of Statistics of the Department of Commerce.
  3. "Exports by Customs Districts and Countries" for each month of the years 1904, 1905, 1909, and 1914.
  4. Weekly U. S. Customs Export Reports. These reports were published in the Monday editions of the Journal of Commerce and described exports for the preceding week ending Saturday. Reports from the Journal of Commerce for all weeks during January through June 1909, and for all weeks in which French gold engagements were reported as exported, between and including the years 1904 and 1914, were utilized in this report.
  5. Various newspaper articles for key engagements in 1904, 1914, and for all French engagements which occurred in 1909.

French Import Records.

  1. "Documents Statistiques Réunis Par L'Administration Des Douanes Sur Le Commerce De La France, Années ...," import and export statistics compiled monthly and annually by the French Customs Administration and distributed by the Ministry of Finance. Reports for each month of the years 1904 through 1914 were utilized in this report.
  2. "Tableau Général Du Commerce Et De La Navigation Année..." for each year 1904 through 1914.

Use of U. S. Export Records.

The "Statement[s] of United States Gold Coin and Gold Bullion..." identifies the specific date,1 amount, destination country, and rate of exchange for each engagement. Unfortunately, the engagements are not separately defined by composition and the totals listed are for combined bars and coin. The bar and coin composition of each engagement can often be determined by a brief examination of the "Recapitulation of Gold Exports to Europe" provided at the bottom of each statement; if one category of gold type in the "Recapitulation..." section were empty, the composition of all other engagements could generally be determined. For example, the 1906 fiscal report [see "Appendix & Data," "U. S. Export Section...II"] indicates that only one engagement to France occurred, $1,004,099, and it is clear from the "Recapitulation..." that this engagement consisted entirely of United States assay office bars. Other examples of composition determination would include:

  1. no gold coin was shipped to France in fiscal 1907.
  2. no gold was shipped to France in 1910.
  3. no gold coin was shipped to France in fiscal 1912.
              ... and so on.



1"date" corresponds to engagement date, not date exported. See: Market Definitions and Information.