. “An Act for the Regulation of Navigation and Commerce,” passed on 23 June, provided
of 1 Aug., all exportation from Massachusetts in British vessels would be prohibited,
importation in British vessels would be restricted to three ports—Boston, Falmouth
Portland, Maine), and Dartmouth (including the port of New Bedford)—where such imports
pay higher duties than those on American ships. The ban on exporting on British ships
be lifted by the governor and council if they learned that the British government
rescinded its recent prohibition of American ships from several ports in the British
Mass., Acts and
, 1784–1785, p. 439–443.
may refer to the British frigate Mercury
Capt. Henry Stanhope, which conducted several transport ships from Nova Scotia to
bring live stock back to the large Loyalist refugee populations at Shelburne and Halifax.
Both the Mercury
and the transports did enter the port of Boston
in mid-July, but local newspapers sternly warned their readers to reject the British
for cargoes as long as they were to be carried away in British vessels. These warnings
apparently prevented the loading of the transports. They may also have contributed
bitter exchange of letters between Capt. Stanhope and Gov. James Bowdoin between 1
August. See the Boston Gazette
, 11 and 18 July; the Independent Ledger
, 11 July; and
Jefferson, 19 Oct.