I had the honor to receive his Majesty's commands communicated to me in your Lordships letter of the 1st of August 1766 delivered by Mr Chief Justice Howard the 23d inst directing me to prepare and as soon as possible transmit to your Lordships in order to be laid before the House of Commons in the next Session a particular and exact account of the several manufactures which have been set up and carried on within this colony since the year 1734 and of the public encouragements that have been given thereto
As I may not exactly distinguish the manufactures of this province, I shall first state them in the common acceptation of them, and afterwards insert the rough materials and produce of the country most of which undergo some degree of manual labor.
There are dispersed over this colony more particularly in the northern and western settlements some spinning wheels and looms for the manufacture of cotton, wool and flax, but no greater quantities of stuffs or coarse cloths are made than will supply the respective families in which they are worked; very few indeed make sufficient for their own wear. I have not heard of a piece of woolen or linnen cloth being ever sold that was the manufacture of this province. It is the usage of some families who from poverty or other circumstances have no looms, to send their woolen and linnen yarn to their neighbours to weave. Sheep are not yet become a staple of this country tho' they thrive well here; the wool therefore being very inconsiderable in quantity, is generally mixed with cotton in manufacture. Cotton grows and flourishes extremely well with us, yet I am told it is not of so long a staple as that of the West Indies. The ship building is not considerable, the largest built vessel not exceeding two hundred tons burden. There are five or six tanners and as many hatters in the province tho' none of them of any note. Mechanicks for the building of houses and making the implements of husbandry are in common with other colonies, tho' in a lesser degree of perfection: the materials for these purposes excepting timber lime and brick are imported from Great Britain or the northern colonies: Within these few years we have fallen into an immediate trade tot.
Tar, Pitch, Turpentine, Spirits of Turpentine, Rosin, Lumber, Shingles, Staves, Deerskins, Raw Hides, Leather, Beef, Pork, Tallow, Corn, Flour, Pease, Rice, Bees Wax, Myrtle Wax, Tobacco, Indigo, Hemp, Hempseed, Flax, Flaxseed.
No encouragement has been given by the legislature of this province to any manufacture since the year 1734, nor is any public sanction given to those I have mentioned; a bounty is indeed given for the exportation of hemp and flax by act of Assembly passed at Wilmington in 1764 entitled, “An Act for the encouraging the culture of hemp and flax and other purposes,” but this may be considered as an encouragement to raise a material for the manufacture of Great Britain