History of California
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Hide and Tallow Trade ©Monterey State Historic Park
1820 Jan 1 - 1840

California Hide Trade

California, USA

The California hide trade was a trading system of various products based in cities along the California coastline, operating from the early 1820s to the mid-1840s. In exchange for hides and tallow from cattle owned by California ranchers, sailors from around the globe, often representing corporations, swapped finished goods of all kinds. The trade was the essential constituent of the region’s economy at the time, and encompassed cities extending from Canton to Lima to Boston, and involved many nations including Russia, Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom.