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have found are full of farmers, manufacturers, merchants, fishermen, and feamen ;-but no planters. This is precifely the cafe with Britain herself; confequently a rivalry between them muft inevitably take place. This in the article of fisheries we find fully taken place; for the northern colonies have nearly beat us out of the Newfoundland fishery, that great nursery of feamen! infomuch, that the fhare of New England alone exceeds that of Britain. Can any one think from hence, that the trade and navigation of our colonies are worth one groat to this nation?
There is not one branch of commerce carried on by thefe trading fettlements but might just as well be in the hands of the inhabitants of this kingdom, the fupplying the fugar iflands with lumber alone excepted, and that we have already feen is an abfolute trifle. Thus the trading part of the colonies rob this nation of the invaluable treasure of 30,000 feamen, and all the profits of their employment; or in other words, the northern colonies, who contribute nothing either to our riches or our power, deprive us of more than twice the amount of all the navigation we enjoy in confequence of the fugar iflands, the fouthern continental, and tobacco fettlements! The freight of the ftaples of thofe fets of colonies bring us in upwards of a million fterling; that is, the navigation of 12,000 feamen: according to which proportion, we lofe by the rivalry of the northern colonies, in this fingle article, TWO MILLIONS AND AN HALF Sterling!
The hackneyed argument which has been copied from writer to writer, that let the colonies get what they will, it all centers in Britain, will doubtless here be extended; and they will fay, if the northern colonies get fo much money, that money to them is the fame as ftaples to the fouthern ones, and equally laid out in merchandize with Britain. But facts prove the very contrary: the confumption of British commodities in them I have fhewed, cannot be more than to the amount of 108,000l. They export thither in ftaples to the amount of 98,00c 1.; now one of their warmest advo cates above quoted afferts the fisheries of New England alone to be 255,000l. According to this reafoning, they would purchafe of us only for these two articles to the amount of 353,000l. which being more than three times over falfe, fufficiently proves that they may ac quire riches without expending them with Britain.'
His conclufion, with the remarks of that penetrating writer Sir Jofiah Child, feem, at this time, to merit the ferious atten
tion of this nation:
I fhall conclude this inquiry with the remarks of one of the greatest political writers this country has produced; one who faw clearly near a century ago the effect upon our fifheries and trade which thefe northern fettlements had begun to manifeft, and threatened to produce. "If it is the intereft of all trading nations, fays he, principally to encourage navigation, and to promote efpecially thofe trades which employ mo fhipping, than which nothing is more true, nor more regarded by the wife Dutch; then certainly it is the interest of England to discountenance and abate the number of planters at Newfoundland, for if they should increafe, it would in a few years happen to us, in relation to that country, as it has to the fishery at New England, which many years fince was managed by English fhips from the
western ports; but as plantations there increased, fell to be the fole employ ment of people fettled there, and nothing of the trade left the poor old Englishmen but the liberty of carrying now and then, by courtesy and purchase, a fhip load of fish to Bilboa, when their own New England Shipping are better employed, or not at leisure to do it. This kingdom being an ifland, it is our intereft, as well for our preservation as our profit, not only to have many feamen, but to have them as much as may be within call in time of danger. Now, the fishing fhips going out in March, and returning home for England in the month of September early, and there being employed in that trade two hundred and fifty thips, which might carry about ten thousand feamen, fishermen, and fhoremen, as they ufually call the younger perfons who were never be. fore at fea, 1 appeal to the reader, whether fuch a yearly return of fea, men, abiding at home with us all the winter, and spending their money here, which they got in their fummer fishery, were not a great accels of wealth and power to this kingdom, and a ready fupply for his Ma jefty's navy upon all emergencies." He then proceeds to a particular affertion relative to New England, as follows: "That New England is the most prejudicial plantation to this kingdom. I am now to write of a people whofe frugality, induftry, and temperance, and the happiness of whofe laws and inftitution promise to them long life, with a vonderful increase of people, riches, and power: and although no men ought to envy that virtue and wifdom in others, which themfelves either can or will not practife, but rather to commend and admire it, yet I think at is the duty of every good man primarily to refpect the welfare of his native country: and therefore, though I may offend fome, whom I would not willingly difpleafe, I cannot omit, in the progress of this discourse, to take notice of fome particulars wherein Old England fuffers diminution by the growth of thofe colonies fettled in New England." (And then, after fome very fenfible obfervations on the productions of our colonies, he proceeds :)" The people of New England, by virtue of their primitive charters, being not fa ftrictly tied to the obfervation of the laws of this kingdom, do fometimes affume the liberty of trading contrary to the act of navigation, by reafon of which many of our American commodities, especially tobacco, and fome fugar, are tranfported in New England fhipping directly into Spain, and other foreign countries, without being landed in England, or paying any duty to his Majefty, which is not only a lofs to the King, and a prejudice to the navigation of Old England, but alfo a total exclufion of the Old English merchant from the vent of thofe commodities in thofe ports where the New English veffels trade; because their being no custom on thofe commodities in New England, and a great cuftom paid upon them in Old England, it must neceffa rily follow, that the New English merchant will be able to afford his commodity much cheaper at the market than the Old English merchant; and thofe that can fell cheapest will infallibly engrofs the whole trade fooner or later.-Of all the American plantations, his Majefty has none fo apt for the building of fhipping as New England, nor none comparably fo qualified for the breeding of feamen, not only by reafon of that natural induftry of the people, but principally by reason of their cod and mackarel fisheries; and, in my poor opi DoD, THERE IS NOTHING MORE PREJUDICIAL, AND IN PROSPECT
MORE DANGEROUS TO ANY OTHER KINGDOM, THAN THE INCREASE OF SHIPPING IN HER COLONIES, PLANTATIONS, OR PROVINCES."
This latter opinion is of very great and material confequence, and deferves, in this age, fix times the attention it did in the preceding one, as in all probability the navigation of the northern colonies is fix times increafed. We find that this celebrated politician, who lived fo many years ago, was far enough from looking with an eye of approbation upon their extended trade and fisheries; is it not therefore very strange that fo many writers of this age fhould have given into fuch general and undiftinguishing praise of colonies, and indulged fuch vain and mistaken ideas of the confequence of their navigation and failors! Objects by no means of our commendation, but of our juft jealoufy. Nor can any maxim in the political interefts of this country be clearer than the undoubted mischiefs we have fuffered from thefe northern colonies? fo very far are they from being advantageous to the kingdom! If the following circumftances relative to the power of this country are confidered, these evils will not be thought ideal.
I. They have beat us nearly out of the Newfoundland fishery. II. They employ a great number of feamen in carrying their own products, and the ftaples of the foutherly colonies, directly to European markets, and return home loaded with foreign manufac tures, &c,
III. They have been of great benefit to the French fugar colonies, and much affifted in railing them to the formidable fate they are in at prefent.
IV. They deprive this nation of the regular employment of 30,000 feamen, the very freight occafioned by whom amounts to two millions and an half fterling,"
In the fourth fection of this Effay we have the following enumeration of the defects in the establishment of the colonies:
I. Thefe northern colonies, long after their difadvantageous nature was known, were continually increafed by freth migrations from Europe; which, as I before obferved, ought totally to have been prevented, and fuch migrations have been encouraged only to the beneficial colonies.
II. Notwithstanding these fettlements were found to be fo infinitely inferior in the ftaple productions of cultivation to the more foutherly ones, yet the country, by means of due encouragement, might have fupplied Britain with timber, copper, and iron, and other naval ftores, and perhaps with hemp and flax. But long experience proved, that none of these would be tranfported to Europe without great encouragement. The very great importance of being fupplied from America with thefe (of which more hereafter) ought to have occafioned fuch vigorous encouragement as would have effected the point, whereas the encouragement given to fome of these articles was weak, and ill-judged, and others were not encouraged at all.
III. The great defect in the tobacco colonies, and which has occafioned the decline of those valuable fettlements in comparison to their population is, the want of fresh land for their staple. This they were deprived of by the encroachments of the French before the last
war; and, fince the peace, by the bounds fixed to the colonies by the proclamation of October 7, 1763.
IV. The aforefaid proclamation, in ftraitening the bounds of the colonies, threw vast numbers in the northern ones, as well as in the tobacco ones, into manufactures, fifheries, trade, &c. who would have left thofe colonies, and become the planters of staple commo dities in fertile lands, had fuch been provided for them, of which there is enough in our dominions in North America, but from which that proclamation totally excludes them.
V. Even in the fouthern-continental, and likewife in the tobacco colonies, the inhabitants might make feveral other staples, befides what they at prefent employ themselves upon, to the great profit of Britain; but for want of due encouragement, fuch improvements do not take place. And even the fugar colonies themselves are by no means cultivated in fo complete a manner as they might be; many improvements have been propofed for them, but none executed.
VI. Since the late war, Britain laid the trade of the colonies under fome very strict regulations, which certainly cut off many inlets by which they formerly received much Spanish and Portuguese coin. The principle upon which fuch regulations were formed, of fecuring to the mother-country alone all matters of commerce, I have already attempted to prove just and neceffary; but it was a very great omiffion at the fame time not to give the people, who had before been employed in trade, proper methods of maintaining themfelves without it. This was omitted, and the natural confequence was, an immediate and great increase of their manufactures. At the fame time, to circumfcribe their trade, and keep them from fettling and planting the fertile lands unoccupied, that would produce ftaples, and which they even petitioned for, was abfolutely driving them, whether they would or not, to manufactures. The confequential increase is well known.
VII. It has long been a very great defect in the conduct of Britain, to leave the Bahama and Summer Inlands, which are univerfally allowed to be very fertile fpots, the first in all tropical pro ductions, and the laft admirably adapted to vines, in fuch an uncalvated state; and efpecially at a time when thofe productions bear fuch a price in Britain, and her rivals are fo fuperior to her in the poffeffion of Wett Indian territory."
And as it is a very interefting fubject to this kingdom, and at this time under the deliberation of government whether they fhall be carried into execution or not, we fhall lay before our Readers our Author's fentiments concerning the proposed establishments in West Florida, and upon the Ohio; which measure he confiders as the chief remedy of the defects he has fo clearly pointed out, and which require fpeedy and effectual redrefs. Extend the Boundaries of Wft Florida, on the Miffiffippi; and Jettle a new Colony on the Ohio.
Under this head it is, in the first place, neceffary to give the Reader an idea of the fertile tracts of land on thefe rivers; and that the more especially, as I know of no clear and fatisfactory account of them yet published diftinctly, nor any where to be met with, with
out feeking through feveral volumes for it; for which reafons I shall extract from the most authentic defcriptions, a fuccinct account as the foundation of the enfuing reafoning.
We will begin with the fouthward country upon the Miffiffippi, and proceed northward. The colony of West Florida extends from the fea coaft of the gulph of Mexico northwards to the 31ft degree of latitude; that is, pretty near as far as the low country continues; for, about a quarter of a degree further, upon the river, is Manchac, where the high lands begin. From the fea coaft thither, the whole country is either a marfh, or fand, fo white as to be pernicious to the eye-fight, abfolutely barren; and, in unwhole fomenefs, the fink of the earth. But, after you get to Manchac, the fcene is totally different; and from thence to the Ohio, and up that river, far above Fort Pitt, the lands are between 1 and 250 feet higher than the Miffiffippi is in its greatest floods.
The foil on thefe high lands is very good, it is a black light mould about three feet deep on the hills or rifing grounds. This upper earth lies upon a reddish clay, very strong and stiff; the lowest places between thefe hills are of the fame nature, but there the black earth is between five and fix feet deep. The grafs, growing in the hollows, is of the height of a man. All thefe high lands are generally meadows, and forefts of tall trees, with grapes up to the knee.. The tall forests are all hiccory, or all oak, and many walnut trees. "Which fpontaneous productions, fays another writer, are ever a fign of good lands in the fouthern parts of North-America." Thefe high lands likewife produce mulberry-trees, native indigo, tobacco and cotton. The indigo yields more than in the French islands. "Without defpifing, fays another writer, the tobacco which is made in other countries, we may affirm that which grows in the country of the Natchez is even preferable to that of Virginia or St. Domingo." And a third equally well acquainted with this country, fays, "The French in Louisiana made two or three crops upon the fame ground as eafily as we made one. Even rice thrives to great profit there, without being planted in a marsh or fwamp. Vines are fo common, for 500 leagues up the Miffiffippi and on the Ohio, that whatever way you walk, you cannot proceed one hundred fteps without meeting with Laftly, even the very fides of the hills are covered with canes, which in our colonies only grow in the deepest and richest swamps. Confiftent with thefe accounts, is the report of the people fent from Virginia to view these countries in 1742, who afferted they faw more good land on the Miffiffippi and Ohio than was in all our colonies. I have juft run through thefe circumstances to fhew the Reader, by way of contraft, the country we have colonized with what we have not; and characterized the one from the fame authority as the other. The country, as far as the bounds of West Florida extend, is one of the vileft and most unwholefome in the world, in which circumflance the concurrent teftimony of all our officers quartered there, perfectly agrees. But almost as foon as you leave that colony, you enter one of the finest and healthieft in the univerfe, and precifely fuch as
Now the remedy, which I would in this cafe humbly propofe, is an exceeding plain one; only to extend the bounds of the colony of