Thomas Jefferson Papers

No. 6: An estimate of the Duties paid by the Proprietors and Navigators of a fishing Vessel of 65 tons and 11 hands

No. 6.

An estimate of the Duties paid by the Proprietors and Navigators of a fishing Vessel of 65 tons and 11 hands.

Duty on Salt  80.25
Rum  14.
Tea   2.54
Sugar   3.3
Molasses    .99
Coarse woolens   7.33
Lines, lead and hooks   2.09
Sail cloth, yearly average   2.5
Cordage, cables do.  20.
Tonnage   3.9
Iron, yearly average   1.
138. divided on 11

Men, is 12.5 dollars per man. But deducting the drawback of the duty on Salt It remains 57.75 dollars on the whole. or 5.25 dollars on each man.

PrC (DLC: TJ Papers, 60: 10439); in Remsen’s hand except for “No. 6.” inserted by TJ at head of text. Dft (DLC: TJ Papers, 234: 41901); in TJ’s hand, with calculations showing that he allotted to the eleven men 76 quintals of salt, 11 gallons of rum, 2 pounds of tea, and 20 pounds of sugar. MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 233: 41647); entirely in TJ’s hand. Tr (DNA: RG 59, Record of Reports of Thomas Jefferson).

Tench Coxe assisted TJ in compiling these figures by furnishing the following document:

“100 bushels of Salt are used in curing 100 barrels of pickled fish, or one bushell per barrel. Duty 12 cents per bushel.

80 bushels of salt are expended in curing 100 Quintals of dried fish, or ⅘ of a bushel per quintal. Duty 12 Cents per bushel.

11 gallons of Rum per season of 8 months for each man, if of New England quality, proposed duty twelve cents per gallon.

2 lb. of Tea, duty 12 cents per lb. or coffee, or chocolate equivalent (per do. of do.) for each man.

20 lb. of sugar per ditto of do. for ditto, duty per lb. i ½ Cents.

3 gallons of Melasses per do. of do. for do. duty 3 cents per gallon.

Coarse woolen cloth, hosiery &c. as purchased by the men, 10 dollars each. Prime-cost 60/ Stg., duty two thirds of a dollar per man.

Lines, lead and hooks 2 ¼ dollars per man duty about 19 cents per man.

Sailcloth for a vessel of 65 Tons-value 150 dollars—duty 7 ½ dollars.

Cordage and Cables per vessel of 65 Tons 2 ½ to 3 Tons, to fit out when new; duty, if imported, 20 dollars per ton. This would be better for the owners of fishing Vessels, than to allow the duty on hemp which is only 54 cents per Cwt. or 10 80/100 Dollars per Ton.

Tonnage 6 cents per ton, once per annum. No other naval duties.

Twine, trivial, in sails only—and it is made here.

Iron for this and many other reasons should be free—duty on the quantity used for a vessel of 65 Tons about six dollars.

There is no poll tax under the laws of the Union, but there is under those of Massachusetts.

A further remark relative to the abolition of the Tonnage of six cents.

It appears by the return of Tonnage for one year made from the Treasury, that the foreign Tonnage alone is 135,000 dollars per annum. The expences of the lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers for 1790 was less than 45,000 dollars or one third of the above sum, including 24,000 granted for the Chesapeak light house, and 1500 dollars for completing that at Portland Head. Whence it is manifest that the six cents on the fishing vessels might be abolished and that these would remain an abundant fund for those purposes” (MS in DLC: TJ Papers, 60: 10483; entirely in Coxe’s hand except for the pencilled note by TJ at foot of text, quoted below; not recorded in SJL but endorsed as received 1 Feb. [1791]).

On the last page of Coxe’s manuscript, TJ, basing his calculations on the statistics set forth in Appendix No. 2 in order to estimate the amount of duties levied on each fisherman on salt and the other items listed in Appendix No. 6, made the following pencilled note: “3,287 men to 19,185 tons gives near 6. ton to a man. 108,600 C 142,050 K [i.e., Quintals] = 250,650 K to 3,287 men is 76 K. to a man. A vessel of 65. tons then has 11 men and takes 836 K.”

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