Samuel Ayres and Son to Benjamin Franklin Gravely, May 18, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.
The Richmond commission merchant office of Samuel Ayres and Son informed Henry County merchant Benjamin Franklin Gravely on May 18, 1861, of one of the effects of the naval blockade that President Abraham Lincoln had imposed. Lincoln announced on April 19, 1861, a naval blockade of the ports of the states that had seceded from the Union and on April 27 emended it to include Virginia and North Carolina. One consequence Ayers mentioned was that "there will be no more licorice coming here until the end of the War or the raising of the blockade." Licorice was one of the flavoring ingredients that tobacco manufacturers added to their processed tobacco.