Importance of the Colonies to Great Britain
North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Historical Publications Section The Colonial Records Project
Jan-Michael Poff, Editor
Historical Publications Section
4622 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4622
Phone: (919) 733-7442
Fax: (919) 733-1439

Out
of
Print Bookshelf

Last Updated 05/24/00


The Importance of the Colonies to Great Britain.
With Some Hints towards making Improvements to their mutual Advantage: And upon Trade in General.

By John Rutherfurd of North Carolina, Esq;


Introduction

To His Excellency

Text and Tables

Letter I

Letter II

The Manner of Preparing Hemp for the Manufacturers


INTRODUCTION

John Rutherfurd was one of the most important members of the official class in North Carolina during the generation preceding the American Revolution. A Scotchman by birth, he migrated to the colony some time before 1735 and located at Wilmington. There he entered the mercantile business as a clerk in the store of his cousin, James Murray. He prospered and by 1751 he was the head of the firm of Rutherfurd & Co., dealers in lumber and merchandise; later, from 1762 to 1766, he was in partnership with Alexander Duncan. His worldly possessions were increased by his marriage, in 1754, to Frances Johnston, widow of Governor Gabriel Johnston, who had died in 1752. In 1761 he and his wife purchased a plantation of 1,920 acres at Rocky Point, thirty miles northeast of Wilmington, which they named Bowland in honor of his father’s estate in Scotland. Through his marriage Rutherfurd also came into possession of 4,320 acres in Bladen County; in addition he possessed 168 acres at Wilmington. In 1772 all these properties were sacrificed to meet financial obligations incurred in Scotland; but shortly after he was in possession of another estate of 4,000 acres which he named Hunthill, a name also borne by an estate in Scotland owned by his cousin, Henry Rutherfurd. At Hunthill he was the host of Miss Janet Schaw, a Scotchwoman who visited North Carolina in 1775, and she was much impressed by the splendid bounty and the industries of the plantation.1

Rutherfurd was undoubtedly popular and he received political preferment. In 1749, and again in 1751, he was elected Town Commissioner of Wilmington. He found favor with Governor Johnston and was appointed by him in 1751 a member of the Council and Receiver General of Quit Rents. These offices he held, except for a period of suspension, until the collapse of the royal government. Under the administration of Arthur Dobbs, who became Governor of North Carolina in 1754, he met political reverses. The new executive, a stranger knowing little of the traits of the people, irascible in temper, and taking his royal instructions seriously, could not work harmoniously with all members of the official class; and among those who especially antagonized him was Rutherfurd. The two men clashed over the administration of the quit rents. As an official there is no doubt that Rutherfurd was inefficient, and to inefficiency was added insubordination when he refused Dobbs's request for a statement of the quit rent accounts. Thereupon the Governor suspended him from office in 1757. Rutherfurd then went to England and laid his case before the Board of Trade, the result being that he was reinstated in office in 1761. However, his administrative policies and methods showed no improvement, and they must be classed among the causes of the failure of the quit rent system in North Carolina.

With William Tyron, who became governor in 1765, Rutherfurd’s relations were more cordial. He was a member of both expeditions against the Regulators. In the first of these he was made Lieutenant General and in September 1768, Tyron being ill, he assumed command of the troops. He was, moreover, a member of the commission of 1767 to establish the Cherokee Boundary Line, and also of that of 1772 to determine the boundary between the Carolinas. During the controversies which precipitated the Revolution, he was a staunch adherent of the Crown and entered both his sons in the Royal Service, one in the Army and the other in the Navy. He himself remained in North Carolina until the fall of Yorktown and then retired to Charleston. From that place he sailed for England, but died at Cork some time in 1782. His property in North Carolina was confiscated, but after considerable effort restitution was made to his children.

It was in 1761, while he was in England, that Rutherfurd published The Importance of the Colonies to Great Britain, etc. His theme and argument were those of contemporary mercantilism. Much of England's wealth had been destroyed in the continental wars, there was an adverse balance of trade, and specie was being drained abroad. For recuperation and future prosperity a vast increase in manufactures was necessary, and this depended on cheaper raw materials and larger markets. These essentials, he believed, could best be attained by expanding the policy of bounties on colonial raw materials; especially should liberal bounties be offered for colonial hemp, flax, silk, cotton, bar iron, and timber. The immediate results of such a policy would be twofold; commercial independence of foreign nations with respect to raw materials, and an enlarged colonial market for English goods, the latter because the colonists, on account of the bounties, would be able to purchase more from the mother country. But aside from the question of business profits, here also lay the solution of the problem of the future relationship between England and the colonies. Land in America being cheap and skilled labor high, it was logical for the colonists to engage in agriculture and to purchase their manufactured goods from England, but so long as the trade balance was adverse to the colonies, this was impossible on any large scale; and unless the bounty-policy were expanded, the colonists would be compelled to manufacture for themselves, and if that should come to pass there would follow “an end of their dependence.” It should therefore be the cornerstone of British policy to preserve the colonies as an agricultural region, producing raw materials needed by the mother country and also purchasing from England their manufactures. Further to stimulate this end, England should take all the French territory in America east of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, thus opening a vase region for exploitation; capital for that exploitation could be secured from bounties; and as colonial population doubled every twenty years, England would in time receive an unlimited supply of raw materials and acquire vast markets for her goods. And the cost of the bounty policy would be no more than the existing adverse trade balance. Finally, let English production be increased by abolishing imprisonment for petty offenses and substituting work houses in which the offenders shall be engaged in useful manufacture.

Such were the thoughts of John Rutherfurd on questions of imperial trade, reflections stimulated, no doubt, by his own interest as a merchant and also fortified by ample statistics. And the merchant class in the South, it should be remembered, was generally devoted to the status quo in imperial affairs and notable for its loyalty to Great Britain during the Revolution. The pamphlet was endorsed by two anonymous persons in letters signed with the initials J. S. and G. R. To it is appended an essay on the Manner of Preparing Hemp for the Manufacturers, based on the work of the Frenchman, Mercandier, supplemented by a table of distances within the colonies. The entire work is dedicated to the Earl of Halifax (George Dunk), President of the Board of Trade, excepting two short intervals, from October 1748 to March 176l, whose interest in American commerce was such that he was popularly known as the “Father of the Colonies,” and for whom, also, the town of Halifax, N. S., was named.

For data regarding the career of Rutherfurd I am indebted, in addition to the Colonial Records of North Carolina, to invaluable notes in The Journal of a Lady of Quality, being the diary of Janet Schaw, edited by Evangeline Walker Andrews and Professor Charles M. Andrews, of Yale University (New York, 1922). To Professor Andrews I am also indebted for a citation to Rutherfurd’s pamphlet, the original being in the British Museum.


1 Journal of a Lady of Quality, pp. 184, 185, etc.


To His Excellency
The RIGHT HONOURABLE the
EARL of HALLIFAX.

MY LORD,

THESE sheets, relative to the Colonies, are not published so much with a view to let the world know the great advantages that have arisen to these kingdoms from the plantations lately under your Lordship's direction (this being universally known) as for the information of Gentlemen unexperienced in Trade; on whose account are mentioned some general principles of commerce, together with a short view of our trade in general, in order to shew, that if the connection betwixt the landed and commercial interests in Britain with her colonies were made more mutually advantageous by Parliament, in support of your Lordship’s measures, to give all [iv]1 possible encouragement to the colonist to grow, and to our merchants to import, such materials for manufactures as at present cost us vast sums in ready money to foreigners, that it would not only tend greatly to the enrichment of Britain, but in time render us independent of the world in point of trade. With the same view of information is inserted Mons. Mercandier’s easy method of preparing hemp for the use manufacturers. Most humbly submitted by

Your LORDSHIPS

Faithful and obedient Servant,

JOHN RUTHERFURD.


1 The title page is evidently i; p. ii, a blank; and the dedication, iii and iv. W. K. B.


T H E
Importance of the COLONIES
T O
G R E A T   B R I T A I N.

IT must be allowed that this nation cannot subsist as a maritime power without importing materials for manufactures, such as hemp, flax, silk, cotton, pot-ashes, various sorts of dying stuffs, bar iron &c. and that hitherto, in order to obtain such articles in sufficient quantities to supply our manufactures it has cost this nation vast sums yearly in ready money to foreigners, for what is now generally known may be had from our colonies on the continent of North America, on the giving proper encouragement to British merchants to import them.

That for the future, being the growers as well as manufacturers of these valuable articles of commerce within ourselves, we may thereby be enabled not only to save the vast sums that we now yearly pay to foreigners, but also to extend our trade and commerce.

The late czar of Muscovy, who believed that we must have our hemp from him, made a monopoly of it; which, as we are under a necessity [6] of having, ought (in the event of quarrelling with the Russians) to put us on all imaginable care and study how to provide so necessary an article independent of them, lest we should happen to labour under the same necessity as in 1703, for pitch, tar, and turpentine, when the government of Sweden absolutely refused to let us have them for our ready money, otherwise than in their bottoms, at their own prices, and in such quantities as they pleased; as mentioned in a letter from Dr. Robinson (then envoy in Sweden, and afterwards bishop of London) dated at Warsaw, 4th of August 1701, to Sir Charles Hedges, secretary of state, war being then declared with France. This behaviour of the Swedish tar company so raised upon us the price of naval stores, as reduced us to the greatest distress, and induced the British Parliament to grant bounties on naval stores imported from our own colonies, which has been the means of lowering the price thereof to less than one third of what we formerly paid the Swedes.

The remembrance of such conduct in the Swedes (now leagued with the French and Russians) ought to put us on our guard against a like necessity, which, if it should happen, would be of infinite prejudice to us.

By the 3d and 4th Ann, cap. 18. sect. 8. a bounty was granted on naval stores, including hemp, from the first of January 1705 to the first of January 1714; by the 12th Ann, cap. 9. the same was continued to the first of January 1725; and by the 8th Geo. I. cap. 12. sect. I. the bounty of 6 l. per ton on hemp was only continued till the first of January 1741, when the bounty on hemp expired.

[7] As little hemp was imported when the above acts of Parliament were in force for granting a bounty on the importation thereof from the colonies, many imagine that little or none would be imported, should the Parliament again grant a bounty to encourage the importation thereof from the colonies.

The granting a bounty on naval stores has already had its full effect with regard to pitch, tar, and turpentine; and there seems no reason to doubt, but that the renewal of the bounty on the importation of hemp would have the same advantage result from it: for though no great quantities of hemp were exported between 1705 and 1741, yet it must be considered, that many of the colonies were then in their infancy, and others fully employed in cultivating more valuable branches of commerce, such as tobacco, rice, pitch, tar, and turpentine; but since that time the people in our colonies are greatly increased, and in a fair way of making more tobacco (their principal staple) than can be found vent for; and it is well known that some years since the province of South Carolina made as much rice as could be found sale for, and with the other colonies are now in a fair way of making a sufficient quantity of indigo.

When it is considered the many difficulties those who on their first settling in America must have laboured under, to provide themselves with the conveniences of life, it will not be so much wondered at that they should hitherto have been so backward in cultivating hemp, when even at this time in Britain very few are acquainted with the best manner of preparing it for manufactures.

[8] There are gentlemen now in London, who remember to have seen a quantity of hemp imported from Virginia, which by direction from the Lords of the Admiralty was tried in the King’s yards, and found to be as good as any from Russia, or even from Egypt: and since that hemp must be imported, it will certainly be more advantageous to the State to pay money to our own merchants for importing it in our own ships from the colonies, than to pay ready money to strangers for it.

It has been computed, that in the year 1759 about 25,000 tons of hemp were imported from Russia, which (including the duty at the Sound, with the charges) stood the British merchant on board his ship about 18 l. per ton, the amount of which is 45,000 l., sterling, which is much more than the amount of all the manufactures they receive from Great Britain. It has been reckoned for some years past, that we have not paid less to Russia than 500,000 l. sterling in ready money for so much balance in their favour; this may fairly be charged to the article of hemp, which in our present situation as a maritime power, we must have, cost what it will.

In peaceable times the freight of hemp from the Baltic is from 40s. to 45s. per ton, and used to be sold from 18 l. to 22 l. per ton; in war time freight from thence is from 65 s. to 70 s. per ton, and now sold from 24 l. to 28 l. per ton; Does not this look as if they had already risen in their demands upon us? The medium price in peaceable times used to be 20 l. the medium price is now 26 l. 6 l. per ton is too much to be allowed only for the difference betwixt freight and insurance in peace and in war.

[9] The interest of the money now annually paid for hemp, at 5 per cent. will amount to 22,500 l. which for six years, being the time humbly proposed to allow 8 l. per ton bounty on the importation thereof from the colonies, will amount to 135,000 l. and in that time may be supposed to have taken effect.

It is presumed no true lover of his country will think this paying too dear for inducing the people in the colonies to go upon such a product for merchandize, as at present brings into Russia from Britain, and all others trading with them, above one million yearly; and which would not only have the good effect of saving ready money to the nation, and increase a greater demand of manufactures for the colonies, but would also increase our strength as a maritime power.

Upon the conclusion of this war, if Canada and those fine countries at the back of our settlements could be ceded to us, there will indeed be room enough to settle vast multitudes of industrious people (which are the real and true strength of a nation); on proper encouragement they without doubt in time may be able to supply us with all the materials for manufactures so much wanted in Britain, and which yearly cost us vast sums; viz. hemp, flax, silk, cotton, and bar iron; and when we are possessed of such countries from whence we can draw such materials (more valuable in the hands of industrious people than mines of gold and silver) we may then indeed be said to be independent of the world in point of trade.

It has been objected, that in the case of our retaining Canada, &c. the Americans would then be at leisure to manufacture for themselves, and [10] throw off their dependence on their mother country.

In answer; This is an object at too great a distance to be dreaded, and cannot be so easily done as some may imagine, who have not thoroughly considered the connections that must and ought to subsist betwixt Great Britain and her colonies; and how much all of them are independent and jealous of each other; and that where interest of money is high and lands cheap (as it is in general in America) labour will always be dear: and further we can be certain, that so long as the American planter can find vent for the produce of his lands to enable him to purchase British manufactures, it will never occur to him to manufacture, because in every respect it would be contrary to his interest.

It has also been objected, that the settling such vast tracts of land would drain Great Britain of its inhabitants, if we are obliged to keep force and garisons there to guard against the incroachments of the French, &c. this would cost both men and treasure; but if no other forts are necessary than to keep the Indians in awe, so far from draining us of our inhabitants, it would be the means of employing more manufacturers in Britain than have heretofore been employed in any one period of time.

It cannot be supposed that any persons in Britain in full employment will leave their native country to endure hardships, in order to make a settlement in America; such as are not fully or usefully employed must either go abroad or starve; such, in England, are useless members of society; if they go abroad to America, whether they are employed by others or for themselves, they in [11] some sort become useful, insomuch as they help to consume the manufactures of their native country at an advanced price; and he must be very worthless indeed, who cannot in that country afford to buy himself clothes; for there is little danger of starving where all sorts of provisions are so cheap, where there are so few people in proportion to the extent thereof. And it is apprehended that nothing will now contribute to the employing great numbers of manufacturers in England than people in America, which way soever they get there, if they are employed in cultivating and sending to Britain such beforementioned valuable materials for manufactures; all which undoubtedly are to be had in America, and for which in return they will gladly take those very materials and others manufactured in Britain.

It is not believed that trade in Britain is upon the decline, but seems rather of late to have greatly increased; which without doubt must be a good deal owing to the great advantages gained over the French: it is however certain, that paper money was never more used in England than at this time, and that we have been much drained of our specie; how this has come to pass is an inquiry of national importance.

The assisting the king of Prussia and supplying our armies in Germany could not alone have this effect; neither can it be owing to money paid amongst ourselves for the fitting out of fleets or armies, or for what is sent to America, which would soon return and circulate amongst us again: it cannot be said to be owing to the state leeches, the stock-jobbers, or the Dutch having so many millions in our funds; for so long as we continue [12] to give higher interest than in Holland, they will not withdraw their money. It must therefore be owing to some other cause that we are so much drained of our specie; and which, in order to find out, it will be necessary to take a general view of the state of our trade with all the world, which will enable us to form some judgment of these affairs: and the better to know what trade is beneficial and what hurtful to the State, in order to regulate the laws, that the nation may be gainers, and not losers, by their foreign trade, it will not be improper to begin with premising some general maxims of trade, which, though the system of policy of foreign nations with whom we trade may change, and occasion our different conduct towards them, yet the fundamental principles of trade will be always the same.

1. That the trade of a country which contributes most to the employment and subsistence of our people is the most valuable.

2. That the trade which lessens most the subsistence of our people is most detrimental to the nation.

3. That we are most enriched by those countries which pay us the greatest sums upon the balance, and most impoverished by those who carry off the greatest balance from us.

4. That the exchange is what will generally in all countries decide where the balance lies.

5. That we ought to take less of the produce and manufactures of other nations, as they decline in the importation of ours; and more of the produce of those countries which increase in their imports of our produce and manufactures.

6. That every country which takes off our finished manufactures, and returns us unwrought ma[13]terials to be manufactured here, contributes so far to the employment and subsistence of our manufacturing those materials.

Let us now examine the state of our foreign trade upon such principles, which will point out to us our truly national interests.

With France—As this country produces most things necessary for life, and stands in need of very little for luxury or convenience (excepting some few things for carrying on their manufactures) is of all other nations the most disadvantageous for the English to trade with; there being a very great balance in their favour, we ought to take from them as little as possible.

With Spain—Formerly the balance in our favour was, very great, but of late they are become more industrious in husbandry and commerce, and are now endeavouring to manufacture their wool. It is said that the balance in our favour for manufactures is very little, in some measure owing to our taking more than ever of their produce, such as wines, oils, fruits, &c. We still continue to receive from them large sums in specie for slaves, which they must have to work their mines.

With Portugal—Till within these few years the balance in our favour was prodigious; but of late, the French and Dutch having interfered, and we continuing to take their wines, oils, &c. the balance still in our favour for manufactures is said to be one million and a half sterling.

With Holland—The balance of trade only is considerably in our favour; but if it is included the millions the Dutch have in our stocks, for which they receive interest, and the exchanges [14] made by the way of Holland as well as Hamburgh to Russia and Sweden, the balance in their favour is considerable.

With Italy—The French have much prejudiced us with them by their woollen manufactures, and the balance is certainly against us: we are at present obliged to take a large quantity of their raw and thrown silks, which they set a high value upon, and are paid for in ready money; which, till we can be otherwise supplied, must be had from them; but certainly we ought to take less of their wine, oil, soap, anchovies, wrought silk, &c.

With Hamburgh, and other parts of Germany—when we were formerly supplied with linens from France the balance was in our favour; but since our laying high duties on French linens, we have been supplied with linens from Germany to a prodigious extent; and though they have been vastly enriched by their trade with us, yet some of the German states (in imitation of the French) have laid high duties, and others have prohibited the exportation of our manufactures. The situation of our foreign trade with linen countries calls loudly upon us to improve and extend the manufacture of home-made linen.

With Denmark and Norway—The balance is greatly against us for naval stores, iron, and timber: it has been observed, that seven eights of what is got from them is paid for in bills of exchange on England.

With Sweden—The balance is greatly in their favour for iron and naval stores; the Swede having high duties on British manufactures, we are obliged to pay them ready money. We have our greatest quantity of iron from Sweden, besides a good deal [15] of tar, pitch, and deal boards; also teas and other goods smuggled from thence, altogether costs Britain not less than 400,000 l. per annum. They take from us a little tobacco, tin, and lead, and of late are also obliged to have their sugars from us.

With Russia—From whence we have iron, hemp, hex, pot-ash, linen cloths, linen yarn, Russia leather, tallow, furs, and rhubarb to a great value; in these articles we deal with them to the extent of about 900,000 l. per annum, in return it is believed they take from us manufactures, at their own prices, to the amount of near 400,000 l. per annum; and the balance of about 500,000 l. we pay in ready money, and to the bargain, as we are intirely dependent on them for hemp, which we must have at any rate, we must be satisfied that they are pleased to let us have it at their own prices and on their own terms, though at the same time we know that the money they receive of us is employed to our prejudice, in enabling them to supplant us in our tobacco trade, and to pay their troops for fighting against our friends and allies.

If any should say, that we ought not at this time to give umbrage to the Russians by our public endeavours to get hemp from America, what construction must they put on the following piece of intelligence from Russia, as mentioned in the public papers? “That some merchants in Russia are “going to attempt a large woollen manufactory “after the manner of our western clothiers.”

With Turkey—Through means of the French this trade is on the decline; and though they have a good deal of bullion from us, this trade is reckoned beneficial, because they export our finished manufactures, and import materials for manufactures.

[16] With Africa—This trade is now in a thriving way, and is very valuable to us, as not only the means of supplying our own colonies with slaves (the produce of whose labours all centers in Britain) but is the occasion of our receiving large sums in specie from the Spaniards.

With the East Indies—This trade would be very beneficial, if less bullion and more of finished manufactures were to be exported to the East Indies, and less of their finished manufactures consumed in Britain and the colonies, and more exported to foreigners.

With our American colonies—It has been computed that their trade with Britain and amongst themselves employs near 3000 sail of shipping; that there is exported to them upwards of two millions and half in manufactures, and from Africa is exported to all the colonies to the value of above half a million, more in return is imported, sugars, molasses, cotton, ginger, rum, piemento, mahogany, logwood, rice, indigo, skins, furs, tobacco, train oil, iron and copper ore, naval stores, slaves, ships, &c. And from thence is exported for Lisbon, Madeira, Canaries, Western Islands, and the Streights, wheat, Indian corn, peas, pork, fish, rice, bees-wax, slaves, and ships, &c. and for Germany a considerable quantity of rice. In this manner do they make their returns, with all the bullion they can scrape together, to pay for their yearly supplies of manufactures and slaves, and also for their expenses in Britain, to the extent of what their commodities will fetch at market, above four millions; by which it appears, that besides their employing multitudes in England, they contribute to the national stock at least one million [17] per annum; and if on the one hand the British West India planters had not made a bad use of the great indulgence shewn them, they having in reality gained a vast balance against us, by not only raising the price of sugars upon us, and doing all in their power to keep it up, and by such means prevented our exportation of large quantities of refined sugars, and drove the North Americans to purchase sugars, molasses, and rum from the French; and on the other hand the northern colonies have carried on an unfair trade with both French and Dutch, even directly to and from Holland. Had it not been for such management the balance in favour of Britain would have been more considerable: such conduct will no doubt be one day taken proper notice of by a British Parliament.

From this general view of our trade with foreigners it may be judged, from the before-mentioned plain maxims, what ought to be done towards making our trade beneficial and useful to the State; and that it ought to be done by the legislature appears necessary, because the private interests of individuals lead them to act contrary to the general interests of the community; that it is not to be wondered at, if the best regulations relating to trade met with opposition from those who rather than lose the least prospect of gain, would run the risque of ruining this, perhaps not their native, country.

It has been observed, that there is no difficulty in finding out whether the balance of trade is in our favour or against us with foreign countries, the general exchange will decide this affair; and it behoves the legislature to be watchful that we be gainers, and not losers, by our trade; or in other [18] words, to guard against the sending money out of the country but for necessaries of life, for paying of public debts, for assisting our allies, for purchasing materials for manufactures; these reasons only ought to be any excuse for sending money abroad, which ought as much as possible to be avoided by our taking less of the produce and manufactures of other countries, as they decline in the importation of ours; and by such conduct to do by them as they have done by us, turn the tables upon them.

Though it is believed, that on the whole the balance is very considerably against us, let it be supposed for argument sake that it is even, or if you will, something in our favour: it is however most astonishing that the labour of so many thousands of manufacturers (including all the produce of the land that is exported from Britain) should be sunk without any other real advantage than the maintaining so many labourers and manufacturers; such a situation is much the same as that of a man who has a large estate, and stands indebted for nearly as much as the value of this estate, because that he will not exert himself to raise its value by making improvements.

This war has without doubt cost us large sums; a good deal of what has been spent in Germany will never return to us; and we may be sensible of having lost the use of vast numbers of manufacturers, who as such will never be of future service to us, whatever they may be as soldiers.

Under these circumstances, is it not necessary that we should at least endeavour in regain an equivalent for our lost manufacturers, and money not only to carry on the present, but any future [19] war that may happen in support of our commercial interests? this can no way be done better than by our endeavours to have all materials of manufactures as cheap as possible and independent of foreigners, and by finding vent for our manufactures.

There is no doubt but there may be employed in Britain a greater number of manufacturers than ever at any one time subsisted in it: the increasing the number of manufacturers, the keeping of bullion in the kingdom, and the interest of money at a low rate, are the only methods of adding to the real strength and riches of a kingdom. It is beyond dispute more advantageous, and more natural too, for to have our own provisions consumed amongst us by an increase of manufacturers, than to grant bounties on the exportation thereof to foreigners.

All these advantages may certainly in time be obtained (without draining the kingdom of either men or money) by encouraging the importation of hemp, flax, silk, cotton, and bar iron from the plantations; and timber may also be added, which, (as a bulky commodity of little value can least of all bear the charge of a long voyage) as it would be the means of increasing navigation and saving ready money to the nation, is a valuable article to commerce.

That all the before-mentioned materials are to be had from the colonies, is most certainly true; and that the colonies would be glad to have it in their power to make remittances for the manufactures of Britain, by sending over the very materials for the manufactures they now want, and must have from Britain, so long as lands are to [20] be had cheaper in America than in Britain; or in other words, so long as any part of our vast possessions in America remain unsettled and uncultivated.

We must have materials for manufactures at the cheapest rates, though we should be obliged to pay ready money to foreigners for them, because absolutely necessary for employing our poor and bringing wealth into the kingdom: for example, suppose we import from Holland 100 tons of flax, which cost about 4000 l. this small quantity, at the rate of one hand manufacturing 50 lb. of flax in twelve months, will employ 4000 people one year; and when completely manufactured is at a medium worth 30,000 l. The benefits arising from employing of manufacturers being so obvious, let us next consider how we can obtain materials for manufactures at the easiest rate.

It has been computed that the articles of hemp, flax, and flax-feed does not stand us less per ann. than  _______________________

100000                    

Silk and cotton  ______________________________________

400000                    

Bar iron ____________________________________________

550000                    

Timber, &c. _________________________________________

150000                    

Pot-ash, cochineal, and other dying stuffs, &c.  _______________

200000                    

 

£. 1400000                    

The above articles, necessary to be had in Britain, cost us for the greatest part ready money to foreigners; if for some time is granted a bounty by Parliament for encouragement to import these materials from the colonies, we can by this means obtain any quantity of these materials in return for our manufactures exported to the colonies; this [21] would not only be a great step towards independency on foreigners for such necessary materials as must be had at any rate, but tend greatly to the increase of manufactures to the keeping of bullion in the kingdom, to the lowering of interest, and to the increasing of the value of lands in Britain: and all these benefits may be in time obtained at no greater expence than our advancing of money anually by way of bounty or premium to our own merchants, to the amount of the interest of the ready money annually paid to foreigners for the above materials, to be paid only on the importation of such materials from the colonies, till the design of granting such bounty was effected, by inducing the planters in America to cultivate such articles and the merchants to import them.

It is generally believed that one sixth, if not one fourth, of the white people in the colonies, for want of such encouragement, cannot with the produce of their lands purchase the manufactures of Britain; and for that reason have been obliged to manufacture for themselves, which by all means ought to be prevented, by putting it in their power with the produce of their lands to purchase British manufactures; it being most; certain that in America, where lands are cheap and labour dear, that it must be against their inclinations and contrary to their interests to manufacture.

It becomes therefore the duty of the British legislature to be watchful that the colonies are not laid under the necessity of manufacturing, but are encouraged in raising and importing the beforementioned or any other valuable materials, which, when manufactured in Britain, may bring in foreign treasure.

[22] This conduct towards our colonies would not only have the effect to increase the consumption of our manufactures, and render us independent of foreigners but would make their dependence advantageous and mutually-agreeable; We should then be said to be independent of all nations in point of trade, which it ought to be our study to carry to its highest point of advancement.

It having been objected concerning the general balance of trade being against us, &c.

The most that has of late been calculated that we yearly receive from Portugal and Spain in bullion does not exceed two millions; there are no other foreign states from whom we receive any considerable balances, supposing the money exported by our East India and Turkey companies to be repaid us by their goods being re-exported. The balances against us with France, Italy, Holland, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany (nor including the money thence on account of this war) cannot amount to less than three millions, which has been gradually increasing upon us, and would have been more severely felt, had it not been for our trade with the colonies.

The West India planters have even gained upon us a balance in their favour of above half, if not three quarters, of a million, by taking the advantage of our excluding foreigners from importing sugars to Britain, to make us pay their own prices. This balance is spent amongst us, and will account for those West Indians residing in England being able to vye with British noblemen in the splendor of their equipages.

[23] Sugar islands are beneficial, as they employ a great deal of shipping, and not only supply us with a sufficiency of an article that is now become a necessary of life, but also for exportation, which either brings in foreign treasure, or what is to the same purpose, saves a great deal of bullion from being sent out of the kingdom. It has long been a general complaint that lands are monopolized in some of our West sugar islands, and that in all of them there are too great numbers of Blacks in proportion to Whites; to this cause it is owing that we sometimes hear of insurrections amongst their slaves, and which has hitherto occasioned a great expence to this government to send troops and fleets for their protection.

As the colonists will not of themselves come under better regulations, it seems necessary that there should be passed an act of Parliament to oblige them to keep on their plantations at least one white man for every five working slaves; this would have the good effect of not only preventing insurrections and securing their properties, but enable them to defend themselves against foreign invasions, consequently make them less burdensome and more beneficial to Britain, by increasing their demand for British manufactures. Some such regulation seems absolutely necessary; for though no set of people have received greater favours from the government than the sugar planters, none in proportion to the greatness of their estates have hitherto contributed so little to the public emolument.

The trade with North America, which has been gradually increasing since their first settlement about 140 years since, the balance whereof is considerably [24] in our favour, and is not only very beneficial at this time, but may be improved to be of more consequence to us than our trade with all foreign states, as formerly mentioned: that this may more plainly appear, and what may reasonably be expected from the keeping possession of all North America to the Eastward of the rivers St. Laurence and Missisippi, if the same should be thought proper to be done by way of recompence for the immense sums spent this war, it is necessary to observe, that in all the twelve English governments on that continent, which are said to contain about 420,000 square miles of land, on which are computed to be settled at least one million of souls (besides blacks and savages) and that they double their number in 25 years, besides accession of strangers, and that their whole exports in the year

1745 amounted to about  ___________________________________

550,000l.               

1755 __________________________________________________

1,770,000l.               

1760 __________________________________________________

2,550,000l.               

It is thought that this trade with our own sugar islands and Africa, and with the Portuguese, Spaniards, and French, amounts to upwards of one million and a half sterling per annum more than is included in the above calculation.

The lands claimed by the French on the bay of Fundy and along the back of our settlements (exclusive of the 420,000 miles of land they allow to belong to the English) all to the Eastward of the rivers St. Laurence and Missisippi, are said to be about 500,000 square miles, include the lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron; and two former said to be about 200 leagues, and the latter about 300 leagues in circumference; which, with the lands adjoining, were sold to the English by the [25] Iroquoise Indians in 1701, and lay them confirmed in 1726 and 1744.

In all that vast extent of country, by the French accounts there were settled near 200,000 souls, and that their trade, which consisted chiefly in furs and peltry from Canada, and rice, indigo, and tobacco from the Missisippi, together with lumber and provisions for their West India islands, did not amount to more than 250,000 l. sterling per annum, besides their fisheries; which article alone was worth to them more than four times that sum annually, as by the following account of their exports taken the year the declaration of this war:

1,149,000 quintals of dried fish.
3,900,000 mud fish.
                    3,117 tons of train oil.

Which, including the freight, the great vent for blankets, cloths, nets, cordage, shallops, brandy, &c. were worth to the French above one million sterling per annum.

Let us now suppose that Great Britian (actually exhausted of a good deal of blood and treasure by this war) should not supply the Americans with either men or money, further than to encourage their own merchants to bring from America such materials for manufactures, as now cost them yearly vast sums in ready money; and that the Americans by natural increase double their number every 25 years; and that their trade should increase at the rate of only 50s. per head per annum; agreeable to that proportion in 75 years there would be eight millions of people in America, and their trade amount to about 20 millions sterling per annum, and increasing so as to be of more consequence to Britain, than with all the world besides, by their [26] growing and importing materials for manufactures, and afterwards consuming their British manufactures, they would make employment for a greater number of manufacturers than ever existed in Britain at any one period of time before the settlement of the colonies.

It is owing to the easiness of finding employment, that induces the lower sort of people to marry, and to the dearness of land and provisions that obliges them to learn trades: this being the case in Britain, Holland, and other places fully settled, their poor in order to get bread must manufacture; when the Americans come to be in the same situation, that their lands (whatever be the extent thereof) are so much improved, that their poor in order to get bread must also manufacture, there will be an end of their dependence. It would therefore be good policy as much as possible to prevent the ingrossing of lands in America in order to raise them on the poor people, who should have lands on easy terms, and in as possible great extent, as the most effectual means to prolong their dependence on their mother country for manufacture; every inducement ought to be thrown in the way of the colonists to make them cultivate and import such materials as are wanted in Britain; they by such conduct, under the administration of prudent governors, would be a happy people, and greatly to their own benefit contribute to promote the interest and welfare of this kingdom.

It is now generally known that the price of our most valuable materials are greatly advanced, and cannot be had at such advanced prices to supply the demands from abroad: this may be said in some measure to be owing to the war's taking off [27] great numbers of our manufacturers, but cannot with justice be said to be intirely owing to our want of people, seeing there are such multitudes of prisoners, servants out of place, highwaymen, robbers, house-breakers, and pickpockets, which must be evident to all who walk the streets of London and other great towns, and who read the daily papers. Such too general licentiousness ought to be put a stop to; and considering the poors rates, at a time when we are so much necessarily burdened with other taxes, and in want of people to carry on an offensive war to advantage, it cannot be deemed unworthy the British legislature to take these affairs into consideration, to prevent any future want of manufacturers and soldiers, which may be accomplish’d by discouraging and punishing those guilty of idleness and immorality, which it is believed may be done by means of public houses of maintenance and correction in all the large towns in Britain; wherein may be kept to labour all the classes of people before-mentioned, in different wards, for keeping the men and women separate; many debtors by this means might be enabled to discharge their small debts, and our streets would then be soon cleared of beggars, prostitutes, and pickpockets, who ought to be sent to the nighest house of correction to wherever they are found. Though it is generally agreed that all wilful murderers should suffer death, it is not so with regard to other felons, who are mostly guilty through necessity brought on by their debaucheries, whom it is thought would suffer severer punishment than that of hanging, if for a considerable time, or for heinous offences during their lives, they were chained and kept to hard labour: this would not only an[28]swer the good purposes of making them useful to the community by the produce of their labours, but they would be a continual terror to others, and out of the way of renewing their crimes. All poors rates should be abolished; and that it be also proposed, that the corporations of the different cities should be impowered to build such houses of maintenance and correction, to appoint such officers, and to find materials of employment, and to dispose of the produce from the labours of those who may be sent thither; and that the officers should be instructed to grant discharges to none, without either good reasons or security for their future better behaviour. If there should be any deficiencies in the funds to be raised from the produce of such labourers, it should be made good by the governor out of a general tax of poundage to be laid for that purpose.

It is generally apprehended that such tax would not amount to half of what is now paid for poors rates: and as much as possible to prevent the further growth of licentiousness, it may be directed, that all boys and girls, wherever found begging, should be sent to such houses, and by the officers bound out to apprenticeship till the age of 21; this would be the means of making them afterwards industrious and serviceable to the public.

It is to be further observed, that supposing there are in Great Britain but 60,000 debtors unable to support themselves in confinement (many of whom have also large families, who become a burden on the parish) of servants out of place, of journeymen and servants who refuse to work for reasonable wages, and of prostitutes, beggars, thieves, robbers, and pickpockets, who at present are a terror [29] to the public; supposing such are sent to houses of maintenance and correction, &c. that one with another they are able to earn 6d. a day, and allowing 300 working days in the year, at that rate the produce of their labour would amount to 450,000 l. sterling per annum; which would be a clear gain to the nation, as it is supposed by some such scheme being put in execution the difference betwixt the present poors rates and the tax to be laid for the above purpose would more than pay all the charges of buildings, and of salaries that must necessarily be paid to the officers who may be appointed to the charge of such houses of maintenance and correction, &c. under the direction of the magistrates in the different towns, and who may be ordered yearly to lay the account of their proceedings before the Parliament.


LETTER I

London, 17, Dec. 1760      

S I R,

I have read the sheets you were pleased to leave at the coffee-house for my perusal, and think the author's observations are well founded, especially with regard to hemp; for if encouragement was given to cultivate and grow that commodity in our American plantations, a few years would shew the great utility and advantage to these kingdoms, and in future prevent the imposition and fraudulent practice of the Russians, more particularly in time of war, when the consumption is large: they know we are intirely dependent upon them; there is no other market to go to; we must have hemp at any price, be it ever so bad, and therefore little trouble is taken either in [30] breaking, cleaning, or assorting; but the various degrees are imported in the same package without distinction, under the denomination of the best break hemp, when in reality not one third part deserves that appellation: they have also got into a method of water packing, so that a cargo comes reeking out of the ship (like hay badly got in) and if it happens to be hurried, or lays any time before it goes to be manufactured, the very heart and substance is decayed and no strength remains.

In 1758 the hemp came bad, in 1759 still worse, and this present year intolerable most of the cargoes I have inspected, and can safely affirm, that the inferior sorts of hemp formerly imported by the names of oulshot and half clean (which used to fetch from 16 l. to 20 l. per ton) had more strength and would have made better cordage than the general of what is now imported as best Petersburgh break hemp, and cannot be purchased under 28 l. or 29 l. per ton; in short, the consumption of that article was never greater, or so bad in quality, as at present.

That hemp will grow in America is certain; there is now a small parcel in town from Pennsylvania, injudiciously-sent hither in a rough rude state, without any art to recommend it, and appears of little value, but upon trial has been found equal, if not superior, in strength to the Petersburgh; and from the experiments that have been already made, it is evident the staple is good, and with proper care and management in the cultivation may in a few years be brought to the highest perfection.

As a maritime power it behoves us to be careful of that valuable article, or the consequence may [31] prove fatal to our shipping: the evil calls loudly for redress, and so long as we are under the necessity of having the whole of our consumption from Russia, we must submit to be thus treated; but if the Legislature should take the affair seriously under consideration, and grant a Bounty for the produce of Hemp in our own plantations, it would at least give a check to the iniquitous practice of the Russians, and in time be a great benefit to these kingdoms. I am,

S I R,                                        
Your most humble Servant,                        
J. S.              


LETTER II.

S I R,

IN obedience to your desire I perused your papers, and beg leave to make the following remarks upon what I presume to know a little of.

First, In regard to the trade carried on with Denmark and Norway there is a regular exchange between Copenhagen and London; that the value of naval stores from Norway is by betts, and not in specie.

2dly, In regard to the trade with Sweden you have not been full enough; there is no copper imported hither from thence; one year with another there is about 30,000 tons of iron sent to Great Britain and Ireland, value about 360,000 l. besides from 20,000 l. to 30,000 l. more in tar, pitch, and deal boards, which is all paid by bills of exchange, exclusive of a considerable smuggling trade from Gottenburgh to the Isle of Man, &c. The Swedes have for many years prohibited all manufactures [32] from this nation, and take from us a very little tobacco, tin, lead, and now indeed they are forced to take sugars, &c. which they used to have from the French.

3dly, As to hemp, your friend has made very just remarks thereon; but I think you ought to Remonstrate still stronger how highly necessary it is to this nation to encourage not only the growth of Hemp and Flax in the colonies, but that also more effectual ways and means may be fallen upon to strike more Bar Iron, seeing the commissioners of the navy have already experienced the goodness of the quality of some iron from Maryland, and equal to the best from Sweden; of which article there is yearly imported,

From Russia from 12 to

15000

tons.

 

Spain about ________

1000

 

 

Sweden ___________

30000

 

 

 

46000

tons.

 

 

12

 

 

 

£. 552000

sterl. per ann.

 

The freight of 16,000 tons at a medium, reckoning betwixt peace able and war times is 50 per ton, that is, 115,000 l. The freight of the same article from the colonies would be about double that sum, that is, 230,000 l.

If this quantity of iron was sent us from our colonies, which in my opinion might be brought about in a few years, if ways and means were once fallen upon to get a good many of the poor distressed miners from Saxony to go to North America as servants, and by their means, with the as[33]sistance of negroes, lower the price of labour in America, which is the only thing wanted; as now in war time labour is dear in Sweden, where iron costs, with all charges, about 12 l. per ton, which formerly in peaceable times used to stand us in but 8 l. per ton.

    London,

I am, S I R, &c.    

29 Dec. 1760.

G. R.


T H E

M A N N E R

Of PREPARING

H E M P

F O R    T H E

MANUFACTURERS.

[34] HEMP is a plant that delights in a warm rich soil of a good depth, and in Lincolnshire in England, where they have been used to cultivate it for these several hundred years, they sow four Winchester bushels to an acre in the first and second week in May (Old Stile) and watch it till it is an inch above ground, to prevent the birds picking up the feed. About the middle of July they pull the male hemp, commonly called the simble or summer hemp; the persons employed to do it go as carefully as they can through the whole land, and pull the summer hemp from the winter or karle hemp, usually pulled about the latter end of September or beginning of October; which is then bundled and placed upright to let the seed dry, and is afterwards threshed upon the hard ground: in this manner they will get about twenty [35] four bushels of seed from an acre of good hemp. The summer and winter hemp, so soon as dry, is put into bed pits filled with water and trod down, then covered with turf about two inches thick, and once a day tended to keep it down; in about twelve or fourteen days it is taken out, and spread to dry on the ground, frequently turning it.

When dry, the summer hemp is broke and swingled as flax; it is reckoned a good crop that yields about twenty stone of this sort per acre: A man will break about a stone and a half of this in a day. The winter or karle hemp is pealed and done with more ease, this being the work of children, for which they have 11d. per stone: an acre will yield besides twenty stone of the simble hemp, about sixty stone of winter hemp, which bears a better price than the summer hemp.

It is to be remarked that in warmer climates they must not let the hemp remain near so long in the water. In some places in America, where they have heavy dews and warm weather, they do not put either hemp or flax into water, but only expose it spread upon the ground for some time, frequently turning of it, which has the same effect.

Hemp and flax are great impoverishers of land; in England the former is most generally cultivated on fenny lands; the latter on the best high lands; it has been computed that an acre of flax, including rent, manuring, dressing, &c. costs the farmer near 10 l. per acre. Though it is not intirely owing to the clearness of Land in England but to the climate which prevents our having those plants in greater perfection. In Russia, from whence we have vast quantities of both these valuable materials, they have a great deal of snow in winter, [36] which much enriches their lands; and in summer they have a hot sun and clear air, which is necessary both for growing of the best hemp and flax, and for preparing them for the manufacturers; and in Egypt, which is a warm climate, it is the inundations of the Nile which enriches their lands; but it must be owing to their climate that they have finer flax than they have in Russia.

As there are of the British colonies under the same climate as Egypt, and those parts of Russia from whence we have hemp and flax, it is not doubted but they will produce as good as either of those mentioned places.

In England they pull a great deal of their flax green, which is not only the occasion of their losing the seed, but also of their difficulties in preparing it for the purposes of their manufacturers; whereas in warmer climates they let their flax stand till nearly ripe, and not only save the seed, and with greater ease prepare it for the purposes of manufacturers, but cloth made of such flax is of a finer colour and stronger texture than what is made of green flax.

If in England they let their flax grow till the seed is nearly ripe, it acquires such a harshness as it cannot be easily manufactured into fine cloths: it is believed this might be helped a good deal, if they were to use the fining mills as in Holland, mentioned in the Dublin Society's letter, dated January 17, 1738.

As fruitful lands, warm climates, and good navigation are necessary to have such valuable products for merchandize as hemp and flax, and as all these advantages are to be found in North America; there is no doubt but that, on proper appli[37]cation, the British Parliament will grant encouragement for the growing and importing these valuable materials for manufacturers in and from North America; and to shew the necessity of making such application is the intention of this treatise.

As the manner of preparing hemp for the use of the manufacturers is little understood even in England, for the sake of those who may not have leisure to refer to the original, the following is an extract from a book published by Monsieur Marcandier at Paris, Anno 1758, on that subject.

That gentleman had observed that the common manner of watering hemp only served for the dissolving a tough gum which is natural to this plant, and binds its rind to the stalk, and therefore that the hemp should only be watered in proportion to the quantity and consistency of the gum; for if the hemp remains too long in the water the fibres of the rind or bark, being not enough united, they cannot all be separated from the stalk, nor will the threads be so long as they ought to be, as they will often break with the stalk.

For this reason it is dangerous to leave the hemp too long in the water, and there should be no other space fixed for the time of watering, but what is just sufficient for dissolving as much of this gum as to allow the hemp to be separated from the stalk without waste; it’s probable that five or six days is sufficient for effecting this in France: although the hemp after it has been enough watered to make it fit for breaking or beating, will appear hard, elastic, and not proper for being refined or combed according to the usual method. Mr. Marcandier, by his observations and experiments made under the direction and by the advice of the go[38]vernor, has discovered, an easy method of giving it all the qualities it may require; the first watering, which made it proper for separating the hemp from the stalk, shews that water may again be used with the greatest advantage for separating the fibres from each other without any risque, by dissolving entirely any part of the gum which it might have retained. The preparation may be performed as follows:

After the hemp has been beat it may be bound up in small bundles about a quarter of a hundred each, by a cord tied loosely about the middle to keep them from mixing in the water, after all the bundles are dipped.

The bundles must be put into wooden or stone troughs, in the same manner as thread is put into a vessel to steep, and the trough filled with water, and the hemp left to be soaked and penetrated for so many days as shall be found sufficient for dissolving of whatever gum may have remained in it; three or four days will be found sufficient for this watering: after which all the bundles must be taken out by their bindings, and being twisted, they must be washed in running water to clean them as much as possible from the dirty and gummy water they were taken out of.

When cleaned in this manner, they must be carried to any convenient place and beat upon a board to separate those that remained too entire; this will be done to the greatest advantage, if every one of the bundles be laid upon a firm and solid block of wood, and the cord or binding slipped off it, and must be beat with a piece of wood, such as is used in beating of cloth when it is whitening, till such time as the thickest of the tops and roots [39] are enough divided; but at the same time care must be taken that they be not too much beat, or the fibres will be too much separated, and will not retain sufficient strength to be drawn through the comb: this part of the manoeuvre will be soon acquired from experience.

From what has been said it may be judged, when hemp has been too much watered, the fibres so easily separate, as to save the trouble of beating.

After having finished this part of the separation (which however easy it may be done, is the only part that requires any considerable time) it will be necessary once more to wash every bundle in running water, first holding them by one end, then by the other; and then the use of all these preparations will plainly appear, for all the fibres will then separate of themselves, and the hemp will appear as well dressed as if it had already gone through the combs.

The more rapid and clear the water is, the better will the fibres be separated and whitened; and when it has been cleansed as much as possible by the water, it must be put on poles to drip and dry in the sun; after this the fibres of the hemp will be disengaged like so many threads of silk, and will be cleared, divided, refined, and whitened; because the gum which was the only cause of their coherence and nastiness, and of the different colours we find amongst hemp; is now entirely taken out of it: it even appears from experiments, that the blackest hemp, and that which is commonly least valued, will by this preparation acquire a greater degree of whiteness than any other kind.

[40]After the hemp has been well dried, it may be twisted a little to keep the fibres from mixing, and may then be given to the hemp-dressers to be refined: it will not now require to be combed so long as formerly; and this work which was before so hard as well as dangerous, on account of the dressers drawing into his lungs with his breath the unhealthy dust of the stalk, will now be changed into a very easy and safe labour.

By this means it will not be necessary to contrive mills to save either the dangers or fatigues of dressing; the hemp-dressers will have only an easy stripping of the hemp from the stalk, and the ordinary method of combing to go through; it will be the easier as the hemp is made more soft and pliable to be wrought, and will no longer exhale any dangerous dust, and all waste will be prevented.

If people choose to use fine combs, the hemp thus prepared will be capable of being refined so, as to equal the finest flax, and will yield a third part of exceeding fine tow; and that which used formerly to be mere trash, and sold to the ropemakers for a trifle, will by this method of dressing be of considerable value; for if it be combed in the same manner as wool, it will yield a fine white soft tow, of which we cannot yet judge to what different purposes it may be used. It may also be drawn out length-ways, and will yield a fine thread to be mixed with silk, cotton, wool, &c. and may furnish subjects for new discoveries in many kinds of manufactures. There are besides many combinations or mixtures that hemp may be used in, which are not yet known. The cloth made of this hemp will not require so long time to [41] be whitened, nor will the thread made of it require so many lyes as are commonly used.

These hints have given rise to another discovery, which is, that the coarsest of the refuse and sweepings of the workhouses contain a substance of considerable value, which is now commonly thrown away or burnt, as its use was not before known; for it only requires to be beat, steeped, and washed in water to be of excellent use in making of paper. The many proofs we have made of this, leaves no doubt of the truth of it: hence we may judge of the value of this discovery.

The causes of our remaining ignorant of this plant has been owing to a bigotted custom, or implicit method of working or preparing of it, without considering that the fibres existed in the plant itself independent of all preparations of art, which could never either form or perfect plant; that all that art could do served only for the more ready taking off the bark and separating of its fibres; or that the rind is only a kind of natural bark which has its fibres joined or connected together by a gummy substance, which must be dissolved or taken off the hemp, and which not only renders it more difficult to dress, but likewise hurts the hemp itself.

After the nature and properties of hemp are sufficiently known, there is no doubt but that the farmers will find this method of dressing of it much to their advantage: and since in this province is reckoned to grow the best of hemp (if they would prepare and dress it by this method) they might assure themselves of a reward for their labour, whether they confine themselves simply to dressing of it, or spinning of it, or of making it into fine [42] stuffs. The governor, as a further encouragement, has promised his favour and protection to all who will cultivate hemp and dress it by this method. He has likewise offered an advantageous price to those who are not able to wait for a market, and will distinguish those who shall contribute to the establishment of a commodity so beneficial to the publick, and likewise who shall carry their manufacture to the greatest perfection. This branch of trade alone is sufficient to enrich the province, provided the women will employ themselves in spinning the hemp into fine threads; and the country people will, for their own advantage (during those seasons they cannot be employed by the farmers) employ themselves in raising and preparing of it; and the more perfect their manufactures are, the more they will be valued and used.

There are many provinces in this kingdom that have been enriched by the establishment of small manufactures of this kind.

The governor further desires all persons of whatever degree to seize so favourable an opportunity of being useful to themselves and to the community, by doing their utmost to inspire into the people a taste of manufactures and trade, which will be doing them infinitely more service than distributing any sum of money amongst them.

The work is common and easy, there is no expence attending it, and it will be of inconceivable advantage; from these first discoveries we may expect more afterwards; and that the different manufactures, in which hemp is used, may by this means acquire a greater sale, as they shall arrive [43] at greater perfection. Dated at Bruges, October 9, 1755.

Thus far Monsieur Marcandier, whose zeal for the prosperity and welfare of his country cannot be too much applauded.

DISTANCES in the English Settlements.

NOVA-SCOTIA is a peninsula separated from Cape-Breton by the gut of Canso, is about 270 miles in length and 60 in breadth; one half whereof is claimed by the French, whom if they had been allowed to keep, or even of the neck of land where they had two forts, one at the head of the bay of Fundy, called Beaujour, now fort Cumberland, the other on bay Vert, by letting in their Indians, they would have ruined that settlement, which is now as valuable to us for carrying on our fisheries, as the island of Breton was to them.—Joining to Nova-Scotia is the bay of Fundy, along which from its head at Chignets to Penobscott, about 240 miles, has been settled by the French, and are very fine lands.—From Penobscott begins our settlement of New Hampshire, at Norridgnock on the head of Kennebeck river.

From Norridgnock

 

    NEW HAMPSHIRE.

 

To Jackonick Falls

31

SCARBOROUGH

13

Richmond

33

Biddeford

7

Brunswick

16

Kennibunk

14

Yarmouth

15

Wills

6

Falmouth

10

York

16

end of page


13

Portsmouth

4

Norridgnock in       }

 

Hempton

19

    New Hampshire }              504

Miles      

Newbury

13

    to New York     }

 

Ipswich

14

New York

 

Salem

14

To Statem Island

8

To Lyn

8

Elizabeth Point

7

 

 

Woodbridge

13

    MASSACHUSETS.

 

 

 

Boston

9

    NEW JERSEY.

 

Dedham

10

Brunswick

[44] Whites

6

 

 

Billards

7

    PENNSYLVANIA.

 

Woodcocks

10

Princiton

15

Providence

15

Trentown

12

French Town

20

Bristol

10

Darby

24

Frankford

15

Pemberton

3

PHILADELPHIA

5

Stonington

10

To Darby

7

 

 

Chester

9

CONNECTICUT GOVERNMENT.

 

Brundewine

14

New London

15

New Castle

6

Sea Brooke

18

Elk River

17

Killingswor

10

Northcust

7

Gilford

10

Susquihannah

9

Brandford

12

Gun-powder Ferry

25

To Newhaven

10

Pelapsco Ferry

20

Willford

10

 

 

Stratford

4

    MARYLAND.

 

Fairfield

8

ANNAPOLIS

30

Norwalk

12

Mount Pleasant

11

Stanford

10

Upper Marlborough

9

Horesineck

7

Port Tobacco

30

Rye

7

Hoe's Ferry

10

New Rochell

4

Southern's Ferry

30

East Chester

4

Arnold's Ferry

36

Kingsbridge

6

Clayborne's Ferry

22

NEW YORK

10

Freencoux

12

end of page


    VIRGINIA.

 

New River

30

WILLIAMSBURGH

16

Wilmington

30

Hog Island

7

Brunswick

15

Isle of Wight }

 

Lockwood Folly

15

Court House }

18

Shallio River

8

Nansmond

20

East end of Long Bay

22

Bennet’s Creek

30

West end of ditto

25

Edenton

30

George Town

30

[45] Over the Sound

8

Santu Ferry

12

Bath Town

45

John Collaus’s

18

Graves Ferry

30

    SOUTH CAROLINA.

 

    NORTH CAROLINA.

 

CHARLES TOWN

30

NEWBERN

2

 

_____

White Oak

20

In all

1369

Charlestown to Savannah, the capital of Georgia, about

100

From thence to the Spanish settlement

130

 

_____

 

1599

The mean breadth of all these settlements are about 280 miles, and together, not including Nova-Scotia, contain about 420,000 square miles.

The chief town in Rhode Island is NEWPORT.—In New Jersey are two capitals; viz. PERTH AMBEY for East Jersey; SALEM for West ditto.

From New York to Albany

175 miles.

Albany to Montreal

248          

 

_____        

New York to Montreal

423 miles.

The principal towns in each of the before-mentioned governments are distinguished by printing them in Small Capitals.



| Out-of-Print Bookshelf | Maps | Newspapers | Picture Gallery | Other Useful Links |Monographs| NC Historical Review | First Editions

North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Colonial Records Project Home Page