The brothers Charles and Alfred Booth became shipowners and traders when their schooner rigged iron hulled steamer Augustine of 1,106 grt sailed from Liverpool on 15th February 1866 for the North Brazilian ports of Para (Belem), seventy five miles from the open sea on the mouth of the Amazon, Ceara (Fortaleza) and Maranham (Sao Luis do Maranhao), the latter port about 450 kilometres southeast of the mouth of the Amazon. The Booth Steamship Co. Ltd. was set up fifteen years later on 24th June 1881, with a service from New York to North Brazilian ports beginning a year later. Outward cargo was generals and machinery, with hardwoods, Brazil nuts, jute, primary tropical products and rubber homeward, and if insufficient homeward cargo offered, a call was made at Galveston in Texas to load cotton.
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