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to get the new machines. This was slave labor. At the time of the Revoduly accomplished by surreptitiously lution negro slavery was in many bringing across the Atlantic parts of quarters not much more favorably machines, or plans; by ingenious regarded than it was in the North. mechanics here reconstructing Eng- Washington, Jefferson, and other lish machines from memory; or by patriot leaders were opposed to it on inventions of native artisans.

principle, and their views ripened In 1786 Hugh Orr of Bridgewater, into plans for emancipation in 1779 Mass., a pioneer in American manu- and 1796; but these came to naught, factures, employed two Scotchmen to although in the States of the Upper build a spinning-jenny and other ma- South many individuals did free their chines patterned after the English slaves. Industrial distress in the and in the following year a cotton slave-holding States and the growing factory was erected in Beverly, Mass., doubt regarding the economic worth and equipped with machinery. Sim- of slave labor were operating to ilar factories were erected in Rhode undermine this institution. Island, New York and Pennsylvania, But contrary influences were operbut the immediate great development ating more strongly and, in the end, of the factory system took place in more effectively. The great invenRhode Island and Massachusetts. tions which had brought about the Samuel Slater, a young English- industrial revolution and the estabman who had acquired a

lishment of the factory system in the plete knowledge of cotton manu- North were powerful factors in defacturing and the machinery used termining labor conditions in the in the industry, came to the United South. The machines for making States in 1789. He was able to cotton fabrics and finally the cotton construct machinery on the English gin, all of which had come into the inplan and in association with Messrs. dustrial field within a few years after Brown and Almy, manufacturers of the close of the war, multiplied many Providence, R. I., he built and equip- times the demand for the cotton ped a small factory in Providence in staple. It is true that this demand 1793. This was the first successful was not dominant until after the next cotton mill in the United States, and century had opened, but the future with it tentatively begun the factory forecast clearly enough to system of labor which was developed thoughtful minds substantially to to amazing proportions in the next affect the labor situation. There century.

could be little doubt that the South In the South the system of free was destined to be the great cottoncontract labor and that of servitude producing section of the country, and was gradually but surely displaced by even then there were those who, look





ing ahead, believed that they could status. Both these new conditions foresee in the near future the pre- persisted for generations and were dominance of the South over the rest determining factors in the economic of the world in this industry. But and political future of the country.* cotton-raising called for negro-slave labor, while at the same time the in- * W. B. Weeden, Economic and Social History

of New England, 1620–1789, vol. ii. (2 vols., Bos. creasing commerce of the country

ton, 1899); Bruce, Economic History of Virginia was developing a large demand for

in the Seventeenth century, (2 vols., New York, tobacco, rice, and other slave-made 1896); Carroll D. Wright, The Industrial Evolu

tion of the United States (New York, 1895); J. staples.

A. Doyle, The English Colonies in America (New Thus it came about that the indus- York, 1882). For white servitude and slavery in trial trend of the Revolutionary

the South, see Johns Hopkins University Studies,

series xiii., nos. vi.-vii., series xiv., nos. iv.-V., period wrought two pronounced and

series xvii., nos. vii.-viii., and series xxii., nos. strikingly different changes in the

iii.-iv. (Baltimore, 1895–96–99–1904); Peter

Kalm, Travels into North America (3 vols., labor conditions of the country. In

London, 1771); Alexander Brown, The Genesis of the North, free labor became concen- the United States, 1605-1616 (2 vols., Boston, trated and less individual. In the

1890); Peter Force, Tracts and Other Papers Re

lating to the Colonies in North America (4 vols., South, slave labor became fixed in its

Washington, 1836-1846).




Illicit and indirect trade — Volume of trade before and after non-importation agreements — Varieties and values

of exports from Northern colonies — Imports and exports of the Southern colonies — Roads and thoroughfares in early colonial times — Growth of merchant marine Clearances of vessels at American ports – Vessels owned in colonies · Aggregate tonnage in American carrying trade- Revenues collected by taxation and imports insignificant — Bills of credit issued by Congress and States Their depreciation – Loan-offices established — Failure of the scheme for national taxation Bank of North America instituted - Foreign loans — Congress vested with power to impose duties — Issues of paper money.

Commerce. As the Revolutionary period approached, the commerce of the colonies began to show more and more the effect of the controversies that were continually going on between Great Britain and her American subjects. But exports and imports fluctuated

as the anti-colonial legislation of the mother country was pressed or relaxed. Colonial resentment against the repressive policy of Great Britain had long before led to smuggling, , which was carried on extensively in the New England and Middle colonies by merchants and others, many

[blocks in formation]

of whom ultimately became the To Maryland and Virginia £669, 422 £614,944

To North and South Caropatriot leaders in the struggle for


300, 925 327,084 independence. Of this smuggling To Georgia

56, 562 58, 341 commerce, which was undoubtedly

Total ...

.£1,026, 909 £1,000, 369 large in amount and which went on almost without break for more than

It will be observed that in the a hundred years, there was naturally little record. But the essential truth

Southern colonies the agreements of the statement that “the colonists were less strictly adhered to than in were a nation of law-breakers; nine

the North. While in the North importenths of the colonial merchants were

tations were reduced more than onesmugglers," *

cannot be denied. half, the reduction in the South was Large imports from England were

trifling — less than 3 per cent. This paid for in reimports or in smuggled

was on account of the predominance goods. Fully one-half the trade be- of the tobacco and cotton raising intween New York and Boston and the

dustries of the South, which made that West Indies was illicit, and Lord largely an importing section with Sheffield estimated that this illicit and

limited ability to supply their home indirect trade to England between

needs from home industry. Within 1700 and 1773 amounted to more than

the next three years the trade from £30,000,000.

Great Britain recovered somewhat, Finally the colonies operated more

being £1,979,416 in value in 1772, openly and by legal methods, in the nearly £475,000 in excess of that of non-importation agreements which

1769, though still below that of 1768 they entered into in 1768. As a result

by over £400,000. And in less than of these measures, the recorded com

four years more it was practically merce with Great Britain was greatly reduced, especially in the North. In

But a considerable trade was mainthe following table is an exhibit of

tained until close upon the breaking the exports from Great Britain before

out of actual hostilities. From 1765 and after these agreements were

to 1775 New England, besides supeffected:

plying her home needs, exported

principally dried codfish, valued at To New England

£430, 807 £223, 696 £100,000; whale and cod oil £127,000; 490, 674 75, 931

pickled mackerel and shad £15,000; To Pennsylvania

204, 976

pickled beef and pork £28,500; masts, £1, 363, 311 £504, 603 boards, staves and shingles £75,000;

ships £49,000; horses and live stock * David A. Wells in Lalor's Cyclopædia of

£37,000; potash £35,000; very little Political Science, vol. i., p. 75.

indeed of agricultural products. Dur

all gone.



To New York

441, 830



ing the same period the principal ex- ports of the two Southern colonies ports of New York were flour and which were depending upon tobacco biscuit valued at £250,000; wheat were still far to the front. Virginia £70,000; Indian corn and other grains and Maryland alone, in 1769, sent out £40,000; salt beef, and other meats exports to the value of £1,040,000 £18,000; flaxseed £14,000; horses and sterling and in the years immediately live stock £17,000; almost entirely following the record was in similarly agricultural products. Pennsylvania large figures, the exports being in showed a record similar to that of

excess of the imports.* New York, her leading exports being biscuit flour valued at £350,000; wheat

Transportation. £100,000; Indian corn

corn and other In the earliest colonial days, transgrains £12,000; salt beef and other portation was a simple proposition, meats £45,000; tongues, butter and for there was practically none of it. cheese £10,000; live stock and horses What little did exist was by water, a £20,000; flaxseed £30,000,— all agri- few vessels coming from European cultural products. The only exports of ports, principally England, to the Pennsylvania that rivaled any of its scattered settlements along the seafood stuffs were deer and other skins board, bringing supplies and return£50,000; lumber in various forms ing with lumber and other colonial £35,000; ships £17,500; copper and products. Now and then a ship was iron £35,000.

sent from one colonial port to another The eminence of New England in for purposes of trade. Inland there colonial commerce, with Boston and was absolutely no transportation or Newport as the leading seaports, need therefor. A trackless waste of continued until well toward the Revolution.

* Adam Seybert, Statistical Annals (Philadel. The foreign shipping of

phia, 1878); John Baker Holroyd (Lord Shef. Boston in this period amounted to field), Observations on the Commerce of the nearly 600 clearances every year.

American States (London, 1784); J. P. Brissot,

The Commerce of America with Europe (New Newport had 30 distilleries which

York, 1795); G. L. Beer, Commercial Policy of needed to be fed with molasses from England toward the American Colonies (New

York, 1893); J. McGregor, Commercial Statistics the West Indies, and that meant a

of the United States, in Progress of America large trade. Immediately prior to (London, 1847); J. S. Homans, An Historical the Revolution, Philadelphia became

and Statistical Account of the Foreign Commerce

of the United States (New York, 1857); E. L. the chief port in North America. An

Bogart, Economic History of the United States export trade of more than £700,000 (New York, 1908); P. A. Bruce, Economic His. 52

tory of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (2 annually was carried on in about 400

vols., New York, 1896); W. B. Weeden, Economic vessels, 50 per cent. more than the and Social History of New England, 1620-1789 exports of all the New England ports

(2 vols., Boston, 1890); J. C. Ballagh (ed.),

Economic History, 1607-1865, vol. v. in The South at that time. The imports and ex

in the Building of the Nation (Richmond, 1909).


forest land backed up the narrow from New York City to Boston, and fringe of settlement on the Atlantic seven or eight days by sloop from coast from Nova Scotia to Carolina. New York City to Albany. To the Hardy pioneers who ventured inland time of the Revolution there was to found new settlements blazed their little intercolonial travel or transway through the woods or sometimes portation by land, while in the winter along the Indian paths. They trav- communication even by water was eled on foot and carried their few almost completely cut off. belongings on their backs. Before the The necessity and the convenience middle of the first century they had of transportation by water were early added horses and cattle to their pos- impressed upon the minds of the colsessions, and these were used to trans- onists, and out of this condition grew port the few things that were needed. the large shipbuilding and merchant Rude wagons were built, and with marine, particularly of the Northern these land transportation, slight colonies. Not only was foreign comthough it was, had its beginning. merce thus stimulated, but shipments

Very soon better means of land and trading from colony to colony communication between different were almost entirely by coasters parts of the country were inaugu- along the Atlantic seaboard. Thus rated, but nothing of real conveni- it is that transportation and merchant ence existed until well into the second marine


synonymous century Roads were built, but for terms for the entire colonial period. the most part they were merely town- When the second century had ship affairs. They were more gen- opened nearly all the colonies had a eral and better in the New England merchant marine of considerable size. and Middle colonies than in the South. Beginning with 1704, there were Massachusetts had

very good newspapers which gave shipping thoroughfares from town to town, news — in fact most of the domestic except over the hills, and the old news which they printed was of this Boston road from New York City to character. For the first two decades Boston served its purpose. From of the Eighteenth century, the colNew York City to Albany, on the east umns of The Boston News-Letter bank of the Hudson River, was a must be the main reliance for inforgood post road. In Pennsylvania and mation upon this point. It appears in New Jersey the roads generally from the record of arrivals and clearwere of the most primitive character ances, from New York and Boston and practically impassable in any but particularly, that trading was almost the best weather. It was a two days' entirely with the other colonies, the trip from New York City to Phila- West Indies, Fayal and Madeira, delphia by stage coach, double that Newfoundland and England. Most of


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