Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure I, 15 October 1784

Enclosure I

Charleston Chamber of Commerce

The Committee appointed to Report on Mr. Jefferson’s Letter Delivered in the following report, which was agreed to, and the President was requested to furnish the Vice president with a Copy to be delivered to Ralph Izard Esqr.

The Committee to whom was referred a Letter from the Honorable Thomas Jefferson Esqr. requesting information relative to the products, Exports, Imports and other Commercial Matters therein Contained, Having taken the same into due Consideration, and obtained such information as they were able to procure (all the Books of the Custom House being carried away by the British) beg leave to offer the following Report to the Chamber of Commerce.

That on an Average for Several years previous to the Late Warr with Great Britain, they find the Annual Products of this State were nearly as follows—

Rice 130,000 Tierces
Indico 500,000 lbs.
Naval Stores 15,000 Barrels
Tobacco 3,000 Hogsheads
Deer Skins 1,500 Ditto
Beef & pork 5,000 Barrels
Indian Corn & pease 20,000 Bushels
Hogshead & pipe Staves 800,000
Sawed & Square Lumber 2,000,000 feet
Cypress Shingles 3,000,000

That in the year 1771 They find the Crop of Rice then made Amounted to 130,500 Tierces Were Shipped from hence as follows—

To Great Britain & for Foreign Markets  73,235 ½
 Portugal  14,439
 Spain   1,760
 Italy     222
 British West India Islands  30,304
 Foreign     975 ½
 Ports on the Continent   9,564

Your Committee are of Opinion that the Annual Products of this State will in a very few Years, be as great as Ever, and that the Article of Tobacco in particular will farr Exceed the Quantity ever made.

By the prohibition lately laid on our Rice to Portugal, and the British proclamation preventing the Transportation of our produce to their Islands (Except in British Bottoms) as well as the opening many Markets for our produce, which were heretofore Restrained Your Committee are of Opinion that the Exports of this Country may Vary, and that they probably will be Shipped to the Several Ports, and in the following Proportions

} 40,000 Tierces to Great Britain
20,000 To Different Ports in France Spain & the Meditera[nean]
50,000 To Holland, Flanders, the Baltic Hambro and Breme[n]
20,000 To the Continent and West Indies
} 250,000 To Great Britain
150,000 To Holland, Flanders, the Baltic, Hambro and Bremen
 10,000 To the Continent
 90,000 To the different Ports in France and the Mediteranian
} 1000 To Great Britain
1000 To Holland, Flanders, the Baltic, Hambro and Bremen
1000 To Different Ports in France
Naval Stores
} 10,000 Barrels to Great Britain
 2,000 To France Spain and the Mediteranian
 3,000 To this Continent and the West Indies
1000 Hhds.
Deer Skins
} 600 Hogsheads to Great Britain
400 To France, Holland, Flanders, Hambro and Bremen

Corn, Peas, Beef and Pork, as well as Lumber of all Sorts (Except a Small part of the Staves) were chiefly Shipped to the West Indies, which is now prohibited to the British Islands, Except in British Bottoms—very Little of said Articles being Shipped to the other Islands, or at most not above one fifth Part of the Lumber.

The Returns generally made for the Exports from this State are as follows—

Dry Goods from Europe
Wines from France, Spain and Portugal
Negroes from the Coast of Africa
Rum, Sugar } From the West Indies
Molasses and Coffee

But your Committee are of opinion that the Exports of this State, will be regulated by the Imports from Each Country.

The Freights from this Port are as follows

To Great Britain for Rice and Naval Stores 50/ to 60/ per Ton

Holland and other European Ports for Ditto 55/ to 65/ per Ton

To all European ports for Indico, half penny to ¾ths per pound

Do. Do. for Tobacco, 30/ to 35/ per Hhd.
Do. Do. for Deer Skins 25/ to 30/ per Do.
 for Ditto in the Hair ¾ths. to 1d. per pound

Your Committee observe that as they are unacquainted with the Burthens, which may be Imposed on our Trade by Foreign Powers, They Cannot point out their Remedies. Yet they must Report that the prohibitions laid [on] our Rice to Portugal, and being restrained from Shipping in our own Bottoms to the British West Indies, are the Greatest Disadvantages, and Burthens, under which our Trade at present Labours.

Extract from the Journals
15th. October 1784
Saml. Legaré;

MS (DLC); in Legaré’s hand.

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