In the course of doing some local (Oregon Coast, US) history research in old newspaper archives, I came across a shipping report of departures and arrivals @ Astoria (Columbia River) for the week of 2-8, Feb.,1853. I noticed that several of the arriving ships are listed as carrying “mehdze” for a number of different recipients. Being unfamiliar with the term, I attempted to look it up.
The ONLY connection I could find in Google was with some character in a recent fantasy game! The Oxford English Dictionary online does not recognize the term and a search of ALL archives on Newspapers.com from 1850–1950 ONLY finds ONE other newspaper mention: an 1870 Phila., PA merchants listing showing one purveyor of “mehdze.”
The sort of blanket use of the term for several cargoes and recipients suggested to me that it might be (have been at that time) an abbreviation or acronym of some kind roughly equaling “misc.” today. But several extensive archives of abbreviations and acronyms online do not list “mehdze.”
So, I’m wondering if, in this large community of merchant mariners, there’s someone who recognizes that term in connection with maritime cargoes (or anything else for that matter!!). Suggestions most welcome!