To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for Trade & Plantations
The Memorial and Representation of the Merchants, Traders and Planters in North Carolina Humbly sheweth,
That the Trade of this Province is under great inconveniences from the restrictions they lye under in several Articles of their Trade, which prevents their exporting their produce to advantage and from their being prohibited from importing several Commodities in the Cheapest and most expeditious manner, which is without any beneft to Britain, but rather to its prejudices, for by the dearness of the imports and low price of the Exports by the increase price of freight and loss of time, they have not returns to make to Britain for all the Manufactures and other necessaries they have from thence, which necessarily lessens the Trade to Britain and must as ye province increases in numbers, force the planters to set up manufactures or to be without necessary Clothing, since they can't have returns to pay for the British Manufactures.
That there are several enumerated Commodities which they might export to Ireland, & other parts of Europe to advantage, which now lye upon hands, the price for which they are sold in Britain vizt pitch, Tar, Turpentine, masts, yards and Bowsprits, which might be exported to Ireland, Spain & Portugal or to the Streights to great advantage, who now take these Articles from Norway & the Baltic with ready money.
That the prohibition of taking salt from any part of Europe, except from Britain, to any of the Provinces South of Delawar in Pensilvania and of wine from any part of Europe, except by way of Britain, or from the Azores or Madeira, is also an inconceivable prejudice to the Trade of this Province.
That the great increase of settlements in this Province of late in the Countries at a distance from the sea, has increased the Breeding of Cattle and Hogs, by which means a great Trade might be carried on to the West Indies by Beef and Pork, if they had proper salt for curing and packing the same at the cheapest Hand.
That it is found by experience in this warm climate, that English salt is too mild to preserve beef and pork for any length of time and the salt from the isle of Man, Tortuga or Turks Island, is too strong, which corrodes and destroyes the jucies, so that they are obliged to get the salt from Spain and Portugal by the way of New York and Pensylvania, at a double Freight and much greater expence to cure their beef and Pork to the amount of above 20000 bushels yearly, and are obliged to drive the greatest part to Virginia & Pensilvania at great expence and loss of time, and take goods from thence in return at a great price and disadvantage, by which means all British goods come to this Province at a high advanced price, having no other way of making returns to Britain.
Your Memorialists apprehend that if this restriction were taken off, and they should be allowed to import Portuguese & Spanish wines from thence, they could send Corn, rice, Naval stores, lumber and hides thither and in return bring wines, salt, and gold and silver Bullion or procure bills for Britain for the Ballance in return for their Manufactures, and by their better curing of Beef and Pork, they should have from the West Indies sugar, melasses, rum, cocoa, coffee and some Bullion in return for those and lumber to pay for the manufactures of Britain by taking off also the enumeration of Rice and Indigo, and to allow it to be exported from hence to Ireland, as also pitch, tar, turpentine, masts, yards and Bowsprits they should be able to carry on a Beneficial Trade by having an assortment of goods, to carry with the timber, deals, staves, and other lumber directly to Ireland, and have linens at the best hands, servants and Protestant Planters, which would
That rice being obliged to be carried to Britain before it can be entered in Ireland, prevents entirely the consumption of rice in Ireland by the enhanced price, for a small Quantity can't be carried into Ireland, without loss of ship and cargo, and Indigo becoming dearer in Ireland, by not allowing it to be imported from these Colonies into Ireland, which obliges them to buy French indigo at a higher price to the Disadvantage of these Colonies, and benefit of the French Islands.
Your Memorialists therefore humbly pray that you would take this into your consideration and if approved of that you will advise his Majesty to recommend their case to the consideration of the Parliament of Great Britain or to approve that the several Colonies by their Agents may petition the Parliament to redress those unprofitable limitations and restrictions upon the Colony trade to Great Britain and Ireland, and also to Spain, Portugal and the Streights by the Act of Navigation, and other Acts relative to Trade as they by experience are found to be equally a prejudice to the Trade of Great Britain and the Colonies, and to grant them such relief as to them in their great wisdom shall seem meet.
And your Memorialists shall ever pray