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gan to cut logwood in the bay of Campeachy in act of parliament, placed among the enumerated 1662, and in 1669 they carried considerable commodities, and could only be shipped directly quantities of that article to Jamaica and to New to Great Britain: but, afterwards, in the year 1730, England. They also entered into a trade with the it was permitted, under certain limitations and reFrench colonists. Of their not paying strict re- strictions, to be shipped directly from Carolina to gard to the British navigation laws, we have any part of Europe south evidence in a proclamation issued by king Charles, În 1703, the Swedes absolutely refused to let the in 1675, " for prohibiting the importation into his English have any pitch or tar, although ready moAmerican plantations of any European merchandise ney was always paid for it, unless England would but what should be laden in England: and for putting permit it all to be brought in Swedish shipping, other branches of those acts into strict execution and at their own price. This induced the British relating to America.” Sir Josiah Child, in his government to offer a bounty of four pounds per discourse on trade, published about the year 1670, ton for pitch and tar, three pounds for rosin or among other charges against the New Englandmen, turpentine, six pounds for hemp, per ton, and one asserts that "they do sometimes assume the liberty pound per ton for all masts, yards, and bowsprits, of trading contrary to the act of navigation, by rea- imported from the English plantations in America. son of which many American commodities, espe. The materials for the production of pitch, tar, and cially tobacco and sugar, are transported in New turpentine, being abundant in America, 6000 barEngland shipping, directly into Spain and other rels of these articles were sent from New England foreign countries, without being landed in England, in one fleet, and great quantities from the southern or paying any duty to his Majesty."
colonies. In 1729, new and more moderate preAs a settlement was not effected in Carolina till miums were granted on these articles. 1663, as the British did not get possession of New The repeated, perhaps we ought to say habitual York and New Jersey till 1664, and as Pennsylva. violations by the Americans of the Navigation Law · nia was not settled till 1682, the British colonial, of 1660, induced the British parliament to attempt policy was matured in all its essential principles, to strengthen that law by another act in 1696, by when the only colonies of any importance on the another in 1707, and by a third in 1742. continent were those of Virginia, Maryland, and About the year 1715, the British colonists in the New England. At this early period do we find West Indies, began to complain of the North Ameri. their commerce of importance enough to excite the cans supplying the Dutch colony of Surinam “with monopolizing spirit of the mother country, and the vast numbers of small horses, and with provisions, people bold enough to break through the restraints fish, &c. In return for which they took molasses, imposed on them by transatlantic policy.
which they made into rum.” This trade was not T'hey prosecuted their various branches of busi- contrary to the spirit of the British trade acts, for ness with great vigour. Tobacco was the great that government had no objection to its subjects staple of the people of Maryland and Virginia. breaking in upon the colonial monopolies of the The New Englandmen had various articles of ex other European powers; but the British West India port. To the West Indies they sent dry codfish, planters continuing their complaints of the trade salt mackerel, beef, pork, bread, beans, flour, peas, with the Dutch, and adding thereto complaints of and other provisions, "to the diminution,” says Sir a similar trade carried on with the French and Josiah Child, of the vent of these commodities Danish colonists, a bill was passed by the House from this kingdom: the great experience of which, of Commons in 1731, to prohibit, under the penalty in our West India plantations, would soon be found of a forfeiture of ship and cargo, the importation in the advantage of the value of our lands in Eng of sugar, rum, and molasses, from the plantations land, were it not for the vast and almost incredible of foreign powers, and to require bonds from the supply these colonies have from New England.” exporters of horses and lumber, that they should To England they sent great masts, furs, and train not carry them to any foreign country. The Brioil: but the greater part of their payments for Eng. tish West Indians asserted that the North Amerilish manufactures were made in sugar, cotton, wool, cans were enabling the colonists of other European tobacco, and the other productions of Virginia and powers to undersell them in the sugar market. The the West Indies.
North Americans, on their part, contended that if In 1690, to the cod and mackerel fisheries which they were deprived of this commerce, they could had been prosecuted from an early period, the not obtain rum and molasses enough for the Indian Americans added the whale fishery. It originated trade and the fisheries, nor specie to pay for British at the island of Nantucket in boats from the shore. manufactures. Their representations were so coIn 1715, six sloops of thir:y-eight tons each, were gent that the bill was dropped in the House of employed in this fishery from that island. For Lords; but the West India planters continuing many years their adventures were confined to the their complaints, to pacify them a bill was passed American coast, but as whales grew scarce here, by parliament in 1733, imposing a duty of ninethey were extended to the Western Islands, and to pence sterling on every gallon of rum imported the Brazils, and at length to the North and South from foreign colonies into the British plantations Seas.
in America, sixpence on every gallon of molasses, About the year 1694, the cultivation of rice was and four shillings on every hundred weight of sugar introduced into South Carolina. It soon became and paneles—to be paid down in ready money by the the staple of that country; and in 1706, was, by an importers before the landing of the same.
This duty on rum was afterwards reduced to six. England to the colonies, of different articles of Eupence, and that on molasses to three-pence a gallon. ropean growth and manufacture. It was enacted It was always very odious to the northern colonists; " that there be not any drawback allowed of any being justly considered by them as sacrificing their part of the rate or duty of the old subsidy on any interests to those of the sagar planter. And it is foreign goods, (except wines), of the growth, prowell known, says Mr Pitkin, that although this duct, or manufacture of Europe, or the East Induty was attempted to be collected in the colonies, dies, exported from this kingdom to the British by officers appointed by the crown, and by severe colonies in America. That no drawback be allegal penalties, yet by smuggling, or some other lowed of any part of any rate or duty upon white way, the payment of it was generally evaded. calicoes or foreign linens."
Under regulations of this kind, modified from As the duties imposed by the act of 1733 were time to time in the details, and observed by the seldom paid, it was resolved to support the new Americans with no great strictness, when regarded commercial regulations by a naval force on the by them as injurious, the trade of the colonists con coast. The consequences of these measures were tinued till the year 1763; grain, salted provisions, so important, that we feel we cannot render a more and other of their most valuable products, being acceptable service to our readers, than by tran. among the non-enumerated articles, they could scribing the statement of Mr Coombe, the conticarry to any part of Europe. In 1705, molasses was nuer of Anderson's History of Commerce, a work added to the list of articles which could be legally which has not been republished in the United exported only to England or British possessions. States. In 1722, beaver, and peltry, and copper ore, were After mentioning the necessity the British minisincluded in the list, which was further extended in ier, Mr Granville, found himself under of increas1729, by the addition of tar, turpentine, masts, yards ing the public revenue, on account of the increase and bowsprits, and in other years, by the addition of the public debt, he says, “ The methods which of pig and bar iron, pot and pearl ashes, whale fins, were now adopted to prevent smuggling, might not hides, and some other commodities.
have been attended with any unpleasant couseIn 1730, among the new articles of import from quences, if they had been confined to the coasts of the colonies into England, were fifty hundred weight Great Britain and Ireland; but by extending them to of hemp, raised in New England and Carolina, and the shores of America, they interrupted a comforty tons of iron, thirty hundred weight of copper merce, which, though not strictly legal, was exore, one hundred and fifty-six quintals of beeswax, tremely advantageous to the colonies. They were, three hundred weight of hemp, and three hundred therefore, in a state of no common discontent on weight of raw silk, produced in Virginia.
account of the acts of the British parliament, which About the year 1741, the Carolinians being de- added to their restraints, when the stamp act apprived of a market for their rice by the wars in peared to heighten their resentment, and raise a Europe, began to cultivate indigo.
kind of private displeasure into public remonstrance In 1749, ihe bounty granted to British whaling and general opposition. ships was extended to American whaling ships " A number of armed cutters were stationed under certain limitations. In the same year per- around the coasts of Great Britain, and the most mission was given to import American raw silk rigid orders were issued to the commanders of them into England, free of duty: and in the following to act in the capacity of revenue officers. They year the privilege was extended to pig and bar iron. were enjoined to take the usual customhouse oaths,
In 1764, acts were passed to prohibit the importa- and to observe the regulations prescribed by then. tion of sugar and rum from the foreign colonies Thus was the distinguished character of a British into the American colonies, to lay a duty of one naval officer degraded by the employment of a tide pound two shillings per cent on all foreign clayed waiter, and that active, zealous courage which had sugars imported into the colonies, instead of the old been accustomed to the conquests of an enemy, was duty of five shillings and six-pence, to lay a duty of now to be exerted in opposing a contraband trade, six-pence a pound on foreign indigo, instead of the and to find a reward in the seizure of prohibited old duty of two-pence, on foreign coffee a duty of commodities. two pounds nineteen shillings and nine-pence, on “ The clamour against these measures was loud Madeira wine a duty of seven pounds per ton, on in England: but in America the discontent on the Port and Spanish wines imported into the colonies occasion was little short of outrage. As naval genfrom Great Britain ten shillings per ton, on Asiatic tlemen, the commanders of these vessels were not silks and silk stuffs two shillings sterling a pound, conversant in the duties of revenue collection; they on Asiatic calicoes two shillings six-pence a piece, were, therefore, oftentimes guilty of oppression: on foreign cambrics and French lawns three shil- remedies were indeed at hand in England; but as lings sterling a piece, on coffee exported from the the lords of the admiralty or the treasury could British West Indies to any place but Great Britain alone rectify any errors, check any violence, punish seven shillings sterling per hundred weight, on pi: any injustice, or restore any violated property, it mento ore half-penny sterling per pound. These was always extremely difficult, and in many cases provisions for imposing duties on various articles almost impracticable, for the Americans to obtain when imported into America, were accompanied redress. with others for withdrawing the drawback which " But bad as this evil was, there arose one from had usually been allowed on the exportation from the same source which was still worse. A trade
had been carried on for more than a century between the highest degree to the welfare of those concerned the British and Spanish colonies in the new world, in it. to the great advantage of both, but especially the “ In these benefits the respective mother countries former, as well as of the mother country: the chief had, without doubt, a very large share, though it materials of it being on the side of the British colo- may be impossible to determine which, on the nies, British manufactures, or such of their own whole, had the most. We had enough to engage produce as enabled them to purchase British manu those in power to think it worth connivance, for it factures for their own consumption; and on the part certainly was not strictly according to law, in conof the Spaniards, gold and silver in bullion and coin, sideration of the vast quantity of manufactures it cochineal, and medicinal drugs, besides live stock enabled our American colonies to take from us; and mules; which, in the West India plantations, to and this also, in spite of all the clamours which which places alone these articles were carried, from those concerned in our West India trade and postheir great utility justly deserved to be considered sessions could raise against it, as enabling the of equal importance with the most precious metals. French to undersell them in West India produce at
" This trade did not clash with the spirit of any the foreign markets. This outcry might, indeed, act of parliament made for the regulation of the be found to arise, in a great measure, from another British plantation trade; or, at least with that spirit consideration, which it was not proper for these of trade which universally prevails in our commer- gentlemen to avow, that of their not getting so good cial acts: but it was found to vary sufficiently from a price as otherwise they might expect, for such the letter of the former, to give the new revenue part of their produce as they sold in the markets of officers a plea for doing that from principles of their mother country: and which, considering the duty, which there were no small temptations to do vast demand for it, even to the poor, to whom, from from the more powerful motives of interest. Ac- long babit, it has become one of the chief necessacordingly, they seized, indiscriminately, all the ries of life, it would have savoured of oppression if ships upon that trade, both of subjects and foreign- it had been permitted to advance in price. But, be ers, which the customhouse officers stationed on that as it may, this trade was suffered to be carried shore, either through fear of the inhabitants, a on in the late war between Great Britain and France; more just way of thinking, or a happy ignorance, directly by means of Aags of truce, and indirectly had always permitted to pass unnoticed.
through the Dutch and Danish islands; and after" As the advantage of this commerce was very wards through the Spanish port of Monte Christe, much in favour of Great Britain, the Spanish mon in the island of Hispaniola; till, at last, the vast ad. archy had always opposed it: guarda costas were vantages the French received from it above what commissioned to scour the coasts of her American the English could expect, in consequence of our dominions, and to seize every vessel that approach- having, in a manner, laid siege to their West India ed too near them; a duty which they had exercised islands, determined government to put a stop to it. with such general license, as to provoke the war " In doing this, however, they did not think prowhich broke out in 1739. The British cruizers per to consider it so much in the light of a contraseemed to act at this time with the same spirit in band trade, as in that of a treasonable practice, by destroying this commerce, so that in a short space supplying the enemy with necessaries, without of time it was almost wholly annihilated.
which it would have been impossible for these valu“ This circumstance was to the northern colonies able islands to hold out so long againsi our attempt a deprivation of the most serious nature. This to reduce them. Accordingly, as soon as the con. traffic had long proved the mine from whence they clusion of the war had taken the appellation of drew those supplies of gold and silver that enabled treason from this trade, it returned again to its them to make copious remittances to England, and pristine flourishing condition; and thus it remainto provide a sufficiency of current specie at home. ed, till it sunk beneath ihe same blow with the trade A sudden stop being thus put to such a source of between us and the Spaniards, whose history we advantage, the Americans expressed the injury they have already related. sustained in the harshest terms that a sense of in " This trade not only prevented our North Amejury could inspire. But in spite of all complaints, rican colonies from being drained of their current the ministry continued to proceed in their unfortu cash, by calls of the mother country, but added nate career, and measures equally offensive to the greatly to it, so as to make it in some measure keep inhabitants of the North American colonies conti- pace with their domestic trade, which could not nued to be successively adopted.
but greatly increase in proportion to the remark“ Besides this trade, carried on between the Brit able increase of mankind in that part of the world, ish colonies in general, especially those in the West where the cheapness of the lands determines so Indies, and the Spanish, there had for a long time great a part of the inhabitants to the exercise of the subsisted one equally extensive between the British rural arts, which are known to be favourable to North American colonies in particular, and those population. of the French West Indies, to the great advantage "Though the suppression of that trade which we of both, as it consisted chiefly in such goods as must have just been relating, instead of barely interrupt. otherwise have remained upon the hands of the pos- ing these supplies of the necessaries and conveni. sessors; so that it united, in the strictest sense, all ences of life, which the North American colonies those benefits which liberal minds included in the were before accustomed to receive in return for idea of a well regulated commerce, as tending, in their superfluities and incumbrances, tended visibly,
by obstructing their internal commerce, to deprive Congress shutting every port in the country against them, in a great degree, even of these blessings, British ships. the sources of which lay within themselves; yet a We have thus brought up our commercial hislaw was made in the beginning of the last year tory to the commencement of the revolutionary (1764), which, whilst it rendered legal, in some re war. Many of the incidents which followed the spects, their intercourse with the other European passage of the acts of 1764, we have thought it colonies in the new world, loaded the best part of unnecessary to introduce, as they are related in the it with duties so far above its strength to bear, as popular histories of that period. The facts we to render it contraband 10 all intents and pur have stated are sufficient to show that it was inter. poses.
ference with their trade that roused the Americans “ Warm and spirited remonstrances were sent to to assert the principle, that no body of men had a England on the occasion, by the people of North right to tax them without their own consent. This America. Among other arguments, they alleged ground once taken by them, the evil or the good that such restraints upon their trade were absolutely that the commercial regulations of the mother ruinous, as they tended to put an end to the clearing country might do them, was lost sight of in attenof their lands, and damped the prosecution of their tion to the principle. Various attempts were made fisheries. They also asserted, that unless those fo by the British parliament to conciliate them by reign ports where they deposited the surplus of granting bounties on raw silk, on oak staves, and their corn, and of the provisions of all kinds with on building timber, by taking off some of the rewhich their country abounded, were freely opened strictions on the exportation of rice, and by reto them, they knew not whither to carry them. The ducing the duties on many imported articles to a British islands in the West Indies were not equal nominal amount: but the Americans having once to their consumption, and Great Britain did not asserted the principle, that the British parliament want them: it was absolutely necessary, therefore, had no right to impose any tax or duty upon them, that some places for the disposal of them should be maintained their cause with a spirit which deservpermitted, where they might fetch a reasonable ed and which obtained success. price."
According to the statement of Lord Sheffield, the While the people were in the state of mind pro customs from the 5th of January 1768, when the duced by the restrictions imposed on their trade by board was established, to 1775, when the war bethe acts of 1764, the stamp act was passed, and the gan, amounted to about 290,000l. or about one first of November 1765 fixed on as the day in which million three hundred thousand dollars, in a little it should go into operation. The measures which more than seven years, out of which the expense of were thereupon taken by the inhabitants and the collection was to be deducted. governments of the different colonies belong to the It is difficult, as Mr. Pitkin justly observes, to political history of the country.
ascertain the value of the trade of the colonies preIn the following year the stamp act was repealed: vious to the year 1776. As a very extensive combut the British parliament did not relinquish its merce was carried on without regard to British pretensions to a right to tax the colonies, and regulations, the custom house books do not furnish passed an act “to amend an act for regulating cer a full account. They must, however, be referred tain duties in the British colonies and plantations, to, as the best source of information. Table No. 54 and also duties upon East India goods exported gives the official value in sterling money of the exfrom Great Britain, and for granting other duties ports and imports from each of the colonies, now instead thereof, and for further encouraging, regu- states, for the year 1769. From this it appears that lating, and securing several branches of the trade the exports amounted to £2,852,441, or about thirteen of this kingdom and the British dominions in millions of dollars, and the imports to £2,623,412, or America, as relates to the exportation of non abouttwelve millions of dollars. Of the exports, more enumerated goods from the British colonies in than one half were to Great Britain, a little less America.'
than one fifth to the south of Europe, something This act was not of a character to allay the irri. more than a fourth to the West Indies, and a small tation of the Americans, as it prevented them from amount to Africa. Of the imports, nearly two thirds exporting to any of the countries of Europe north were from Great Britain, and more than one fourth of Cape Finisterre, except England, any of the arti- from the West Indies. The imports from Africa cles before known as non-enumerated commodities. amounted to upwards of $670,000. Those from the
In 1767, an act was passed which imposed du- north of Europe to little more than $340,000. This ties on teas, paper, painters' colours, and glass im was after the restrictive acts were passed by the ported into the British plantations in America. British parliament. In previous years, the propor
In 1770, the duties on paper, painters' colours tion of trade with different countries must have been and glass were repealed: “ but in order to preserve different. the dignity of the legislature, and merely to save The tables of Lord Sheffield, in his “Obseryathe national honour, the duty on tea was tions on American Commerce," taken undoubtedly tinued.”
from the custom-house books, show the value of In 1775, a bill was passed to prohibit all trade the trade between Great Britain and that part of and intercourse with the colonies in actual rebellion: America now the United States, from 1700 to 1780, and in the same year a resolution was passed by to have been as follows:
VOL. XVIII.-PART II.
Exports to. In 1769, the vessels built in the colonies, which £. 8. d.
£. 8. d.
afterwards formed the United States, amounted to From 1700 to 1710, 265,783 0 10 267,205 3 4
1710 to 1720, 392,653 17 11 365,645 6 114 20,000 tons; in 1770, to 20,610 tons; and in 1771, 1720 to 1730, 578,830 16 4 471,342 12 101 to 24,068 tons. In 1772, the number of vessels built 1730 to 1740, 670,128 16 03 660,136 11 11
was 182, the aggregate tonnage of which amounted 1740 to 1750, 708,913 9 64 812,647 13 01 16 1750 to 1760,
to 26,544 tons. 802,691 6 10 1,577,419 14 21 " 1760 to 1770,
1,044,591 17 0 1,763,409 10 3 During the war of the revolution, the foreign “ 1770 to 1780, 743,560 10 10 1,331,206 15 commerce of the United States was very limited in
amount, and conducted at great risk. In 1779, the This is the British official valuation, which, for insurance on specie imported from Europe was most articles, is much below the market valuation. more than 50 per cent. In 1782, the rate of insu.
Table No. 55 contains an account of the princi- rance, at London, on ships to New York, with conpal articles exported from the North American co- voy, was 15 guineas per cent. With so much vigour lonies, including the islands of Newfoundland, Ba
was the war on the ocean prosecuted, that a statehama, and Bermuda, with their official value and ment was made to parliament, in the year 1778, places of destination for the year 1770. “As little,” that 733 British ships had been taken by the Amesays Mr. Pitkin, “ was exported from the other pro- rican.cruisers, and that though 47 of them had been vinces and the islands, except fish from Newfound- released, and 127 retaken, the loss of the remaining land, the value of the exports from the colonies, now 559 vessels, which were carried into port, appeared, the United States, in that year, must have been at from the best mercantile information, to amount to least three millions sterling, or about thirteen and at least £2,600,000 sterling. The number of Ameri. a half millions of dollars."
can ships captured at that time was said to be 904, It is not easy to ascertain the amount of tonnage which, at the moderate valuation of £2000 for each employed in the trade of the colonies, and particu- ship and cargo, would amount to £1,808,000. larly the amount owned by the colonists themselves. The American fisheries were completely destroy
The author of a work published in London, in ed. A clandestine commerce was, from the com1731, entitled “ The Importance of the British mencement of the war, carried on with Holland, Plantations in America,” estimates the amount of and, toward the end of it, a lucrative trade with the tonnage employed in bringing tobacco from Virgi. Havana : but so much of the labour and the capital nia and Maryland to England at 24,000 tons. “The of the people were diverted from their old channels, trade of these two provinces to all other parts than that there was little surplus produce for foreign Great Britain is,” he adds, “inconsiderable, not markets. What the husbandmen did not consume employing above one thousand tons of shipping to themselves, was insufficient to supply the wants of the sugar islands and in all other trades, on their the contending armies. The prosecution of many own proper account. Yet there is a great number arts and trades was suspended, from the impossi. of vessels that trade to both provinces, of and from bility of obtaining raw materials; and much meat our other continental colonies.'
was spoiled, owing to the want of salt to preserve 66 The Pennsylvanians build about two thousand it. The last mentioned article was, at times, as high tons of shipping yearly for sale, over and above as eight dollars a bushel, and was, on an average, what they employ in their own trade, which may perhaps, as high as three or four dollars. be about six thousand tons more."
The return of peace found the Americans without “ New England employs about 40,000 tons of shipping, and with a reduced commercial capital. shipping in its foreign and coasting trade, and Many of the labouring people had been cut off by above six hundred sail of ships, sloops, &c., about the events of the war, and others had, while in the one half of which shipping trades to Europe. Their army, acquired habits which unfitted them for the fisheries have been reckoned annually to produce pursuits of peace. In many parts of the country, 230,000 quintals of dried fish. By this fishery, and the improvements on the farms had been destroyed. their other commerce, they are said to employ at Through the operation of the continental money, least six thousand seamen. There is, moreover,
and other causes, a new distribution of wealth had their whale fishery, employing about one thousand taken place; a distribution alike unfavourable to three hundred tons of shipping.”
private happiness and public prosperity. UnprinciThis account is very imperfect. When the author pled speculators revelled in luxury; while the honspeaks of New England, he has special reference est and the noble minded, who were the principal to Massachusetts; and we have no account of the victims of the financial systems of the different go. shipping employed in the trades of New York, New vernments, found it difficult to obtain the bare means Jersey, and the Carolinas.
of subsistence. Land speculations and speculations The amount of tonnage entered from January 5, in the soldiers' certificates engaged the attention of 1770, to January 5, 1771, was 331,644, and the many who had money. Time was required by those amount cleared 351,686 tons. This includes the en of the industrious classes who had not been entirely try of the same vessel two or three times, or as of- stripped of their property, to bring their farms into ten as the voyages were repeated in the course of the condition in which they were before the war, or the
year. Although,” says Mr. Pitkin, " the ton- to re-establish themselves in their old avocations. nage, as registered, is generally less than the real Tender-laws and other measures, the plea for which amount, yet the tonnage, as entered and cleared, is was state necessity, had destroyed the confidence of probably much above its real amount.”
men in one another. The effects of the war con