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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Report concerning naval stores trade in the colonies
No Author
May 19, 1704
Volume 01, Pages 598-599

[B. P. R. O. Am: and W. Ind: Plant. Ges. No. 601.]
CONSIDERATIONS HUMBLY OFFERED, WHY NAVAL STORES CANNOT BE BROUGHT IN GREAT QUANTITY'S FROM HER MAJESTY'S PLANTATIONS, UNLESS ASSISTANCE BE GIVEN BY THE GOVERNMENT. [19 May 1704.]

1st Planters, proprietors, or Trading people will not make it their business to provide such Goods, nor bring them in the usual way of Trade unless they have a prospect, they shall have sales for them at such rates, as may afford them profit, their cost & Charges considered; if there be no such prospect then they will bring them only when they can be secure of Gaine by some particular contract with the Navy officers or other persons.

2nd This is verified by what has past in relation to Naval Stores from the plantations, Several have offer'd to bring them upon a Contract made, or Charter granted or other advantages, but few or none have been brought as other Comodities to be sold at a Comon Markett Thō it was foreseen above 50 Yeares Since; that it would be dangerous to depend entirely upon the Northern Crownes, for Naval Stores, and was then taken into Consideration Now to be supplied from the Plantations, yet few have been brought, thō in those parts there is great plenty of Timber for building of Ships, and also to produce Pitch, Tarr & Rozin, and a Soil capable to afford hempe.

3ly Upon which it may be concluded that no Methods can be effectuall, for the bringing in, of great quantity's, but such as may give encouragement, to the Trading people, to bring them upon the same foundation, as they bring other Commodities from other parts vizt

Hopes of making proffit, by trading & dealing in them which cannot be, unless these Comodities be eased of the great burthen, which lyes on

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them, by the great wages paid to labouring men on the Plantations, and the high freights given to Ship Masters, for Goods brought from those parts, which being farr above the rates which are paid for the same Sorts of Goods if they come from Norway or the Baltick, deprives the traders of making proffit by these Goods from the Plantations, and gives a priority to those from the North.

4ly The Northern Crownes are our Competitors in this Case, the advantages they have cannot be overcome, by a Charter, in which most of the proposalls that have been made do center, Corporations must have Governours, Directors, book keepers & Agents, the Charges will amount to at least ten per Cent, which must be added to the Cost, and other necessary Charges, and give a Further advantage to our Competitors, by which they will be enabled to undersell our Traders in these Commodities, and yet Subsist & make profit, because they will be eased in these Several Charges & outgoings: Charters cannot remove, nor decrease the Cloggs that lye on this Trade, but rather increase them unless the Swedes & Danes and all others could be excluded from bringing those Goods into England.

Therefore

Unless these Comodities from the North can be Charged with a great Custome, and those from the Plantations be eased from all Custome: or her Majesty be graciously pleased to cause these goods to be brought freight free to the Planters or owners, or to give to them some recompense at a Certain rate per Tunn for what they may bring, as may equallize the Charge of freight.

The Naval Stores from the North will always hinder their being brought from the Plantations, as Comodities in the way of Trade, which only can cause a large importation of them for the use of our Navigation in General, hinder the Exportation of our Coyne to the North and prevent the inconveniencies that may happen, by our dependance upon these Crownes.