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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6


This foot note contained in document ADMS-04-06-02-0080
3. “An Act for the Regulation of Navigation and Commerce,” passed on 23 June, provided that as of 1 Aug., all exportation from Massachusetts in British vessels would be prohibited, and all importation in British vessels would be restricted to three ports—Boston, Falmouth (later Portland, Maine), and Dartmouth (including the port of New Bedford)—where such imports would pay higher duties than those on American ships. The ban on exporting on British ships could be lifted by the governor and council if they learned that the British government had rescinded its recent prohibition of American ships from several ports in the British Empire. Mass., Acts and Laws , 1784–1785, p. 439–443.
JQA may refer to the British frigate Mercury, Capt. Henry Stanhope, which conducted several transport ships from Nova Scotia to Boston 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 appeal 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 to a bitter exchange of letters between Capt. Stanhope and Gov. James Bowdoin between 1 and 4 August. See the Boston Gazette, 11 and 18 July; the Independent Ledger, 11 July; and AA to Thomas Jefferson, 19 Oct., below.