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Letter from James Bowdoin to Richard Caswell
Bowdoin, James, 1726-1790
December 07, 1785
Volume 17, Page 592

-------------------- page 592 --------------------
GOV. JAMES BOWDOIN, OF MASS., TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]

Boston, December 7th, 1785.

Sir:

I had the honor of transmitting to your Excellency in July last a copy of an Act passed by the Legislature of this Commonwealth entitled “an Act for the regulation of Navigation and Commerce.” As some of the regulations and restrictions of that Act extended to Foreigners indiscriminately, and were found in some instances to militate with principles of a friendly reciprocration, the Legislature thought proper to repeal it in part and the repealing Acts enclosed.

The principal intention of the first mentioned Act, being to induce Great Britain to relinquish her Commercial regulations respecting the United States, the Legislature of this State, adopted that Act, in confidence that the other States of the Union would respectively enact a similar one. So far as it respected the subjects of Great Britain I have the pleasure to inform you that the States of New Hampshire and Rhode Island have passed such Acts, and should like Acts be passed by the Legislatures of the other States, it is highly probable that Great Britain would recede from her new regulations she has adopted by way of Experiment, and upon the idea that the thirteen States would not be united in measures, that would effectually counteract them. But I hope and trust she will soon find herself disappointed in that idea, for which purpose I am desired by the Legislature of this Commonwealth to request your Excellency to lay those two Acts before the General Assembly of your State, that they may take such measures on the subject of them as their regard for the general interest of the Union shall dictate.

I beg leave to refer you to my former Letter on the same subject,

and have the honor to be Sir,
Your Excellency's most obedient and humble Servt.,
JAMES BOWDOIN.