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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Report by Arthur Dobbs concerning trade in North Carolina
Dobbs, Arthur, 1689-1765
February 23, 1763
Volume 06, Pages 968-969

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 14. E. 61.]

The Answer of Arthur Dobbs Esqre Governor of North Carolina to two Queries from the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations not before Answered.1


23rd Febry 1763

Quere 3d. What is the present state of the Trade of the Province, the number of shipping belonging thereto, their Tonnage, and the number of seafaring Men, with the respective increase or diminution within ten years last past, and to what causes is the increase or Diminution to be inscribed? Are any Trades, Works or Manufactures set up or about to be set up in the Province under your Government, which are or may prove hurtful to Great Britain? If there are any such how may they be suppressed diverted or restrained.

Answer. In my Answer to the other Queries I informed your Lordships of the Trade of this Province, which is far from being in a flourishing condition. It is carried on as well by Inland carriage from Virginia and South Carolina, as by Shipping to the several Ports. I have not been able to obtain a complete account of the number of shipping etc. owing to the death and removal of Officers. I now subjoin the best account I could procure, and is at a medium of many years, vizt Number of shipping 296 (mostly small) Tonnage 11,862, and seafaring men about 1,500, whereof the proportion of the several ports is as follows,

Ships.
Tons.
Port
Brunswick
90
4830
Beaufort
73
2740
Bath
30
1163
Roanoke
97
3052
Currituck
6
77
296
11862
-------------------- page 969 --------------------

I must observe that the Tonnage as above estimated is deemed about a third short of the real burden of the Vessels, the same being taken from the several registers wherein it is usual not to insert above two thirds of the true Tonnage. I must also observe that the above account comprehends the total number of shipping trading annually to this Province, not above 50 of them being owned here. I do not find any increase or Diminution in the Shipping though from the increase of Inhabitants by Births as well as Migrations from the Northern Colonies it were reasonable to expect it, and am of opinion would have been sensibly increased, if not checked by the present war, and the enlarged Inland Trade from Virginia.

There are no Trades, Works or Manufactures, nor likely to be in this Province, which may prove hurtful to Great Britain.

Quere 4. What Quantity and sorts of British Manufactures do the Inhabitants annually take from hence?

Answer. The British Manufactures imported by shipping into this Province are computed at a Medium of some years past to amount to £28,500 per ann. whereof about a third is brought from Great Britain directly, the rest Coastways from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc. These Manufactures consist of coarse linens, and woolens and all kinds of clothing, hard ware, nails, earthen ware, pewter and tin manufactured, powder and lead, stationery and haberdashery wares, It is not easy to estimate the Quantity brought Inland from Virginia, but from the number of Factors from that Colony dispersed through the Province it must greatly exceed the Import into any of our sea ports. The Quantity from South Carolina by Land is much smaller. These Manufactures are of the same kinds with the above, and too often such as are become unsaleable at the place of their Import

ARTHUR DOBBS.


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1 For the answer to other queries see page 605 ante.



Additional Notes for Electronic Version: This report was enclosed in a letter from Dobbs - See Related Documents.