. “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the British government had rescinded its recent prohibition of American ships from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.
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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015.