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send us goods, at least to the value of five hundred thousand pounds annually, to pay for their English necessaries; and that would be somewhat better than our being obliged to maintain them at the rate of two hundred thousand pounds a year here at home.
I cannot dismiss this inquiry concerning the proper persons to plant this colony, without observing that the wisdom of the Roman state discharged not only its ungovernable distressed multitude, but also its emeriti, its soldiers, which had served long and well in war, into colonies upon the frontiers of their empire. It was by this policy that they elbowed all the nations round them. Their military hospital went a progress, we can trace its stages northward from the Tyber to the Po, to the Rhone, to the Rhine, to the Thames: the like advances they made on all sides round them, and their soldiers were at least as fond of the estates thus settled on them as ours can be of their pensions.
What I said before in this chapter, with regard to the increasing fund, to arise by reserved lots of gound interspersed among the lands that will be distributed to the planters, will hold good in the same manner in such settlements as might be made at a national expense, so that twenty thousand people, well settled, will raise the value of the reserved lands, in such measure as will bring Great Britain to resemble the present Carolina in one happy instance, viz. that there is not a *beggar, or very poor person in the whole country. Then should we have no going to decay, no complaining in our streets.
Of the present and (probable) future Trade of South Carolina and Georgia.
Rice, Silk, Cotton, Wine, &c.
The present state of South Carolina and its commerce may give us an idea of the condition of the early settlements in the new colony of Georgia. The first essays in trade and husbandry will doubtless be in imitation of their nearest neighbors. We shall therefore consider these colonies together,
* Descr. Abreg. p. 6.
the difference in their air and soil being hardly discernible, and the same traffic being proper for them both.
We are not to imagine that either the present branches of trade in that country, will be perpetual, or that there is not room to introduce others of more importance than any they have bitherto been acquainted with. . Thus it will necessarily fall out that their present exports of lumber and deer skins will decrease, or rather wholly cease when the country grows populous: and this for an obvious reason, the land will be better employed, it will be disafforrested, and no longer left vacant to the growth of great woods, and the sustenance of wild herds of deer. But the very reason why these branches of trade will cease will also be the cause of their taking up others, or improving them to such a degree, as must put these colonies in a condition to vie with the most flourishing countries of Europe and Asia: and that without prejudice to their dependence on Great Britain. We shall by their growth in people and commerce have the navigation and dominion of the ocean established in us more firmly than ever. We shall be their market for great quantities of * raw silk, and perhaps for wine, oil, cotton, drugs, dying-stuffs, and many other lesser commodities. They have already tried the vine and the silk-worm, and have all imaginable encouragement to expect that these will prove most valuable staple commodities to them. And I have been credibly informed, that the Trustees for Georgia furnish proper expenses for a skilful botanist to collect the seeds of drugs and dying-stuffs in other countries in the same climate, in order to cultivate such of them as shall be found to thrive well in Georgia. This gentleman could not be expected to proceed at his own charges, but he is the only person belonging to the management of that trust who does not serve gratis.
The raw silk, which Great Britain and Ireland are able to consume, will employ forty or fifty thousand persons in that country, nor need they be the strongest, or most industrious part of mankind; it must be fa weak hand indeed that cannot earn bread where silk-worms and white mulberry trees are so plenty. Most of the poor in Great Britain, who are maintained by charity, are capable of this, though not of
* Descr. Abreg., p. 13. Archdale's Descr., p. 30. † Archdale's Descr., p. 30.
harder labor: and the planters may be certain of selling their raw silk to the utmost extent of the British demand for that commodity; because a British parliament will not fail to encourage the importation of it from thence, rather than from aliens, that the planters may be able to make large demands upon us for our home commodities : for this will be the consequence of their employing all their people in producing a commodity, which is so far from rivalling, that it will supply a rich manufacture to their mother country.
The present medium of our importation of silk will not be the measure hereafter of that branch of trade when the Georgians shall enter into the management of the silk-worm. Great Britain will then be able to sell silk manufactures cheaper than all Europe besides, because the Georgians may grow rich, and yet afford their raw silk for less than half the price that we now pay for that of Piedmont: the peasant of Piedmont, after he has tended the worm, and wound off the silk, pays half of it for the rent of the mulberry trees, and the eggs of the silk-worm: but in Georgia the working hand will have the benefit of all his labor. This is fifty in a hundred, or cent per cent difference in favor of the Georgians, which receives a great addition from another consideration, viz. the Georgian will have his provisions incomparably cheaper than the Piedmontese, because he pays no rent for the land that produces them; he lives upon his own estate. But there is still another reason why Great Britain should quickly and effectually encourage the production of silk in Georgia ; for, in effect, it will cost us nothing
; it will be purchased by the several manufactures of Great Britain, and this, I fear, is not our present case with respect to Piedmont: especially (if as we have been lately told) they have probibited the importation of woollen goods into that principality.
That this little treatise may be the more satisfactory to the reader, I could wish I had been minutely informed of the present state of our silk trade; of the medium value of silk per pound; to what amount it is imported; of its duty, freight, commission and insurance; and lastly, by what returns in commerce it is purchased. I am persuaded, these estimates would afford plentiful matter for observations in favor of this position, viz. that Great Britain ought vigorously to attempt to get this trade into her own hands. I shall however aim at a computation, upon my memory of facts,
which I have heard from those who understand that commerce.
1. Great Britain imports silk from Piedmont, near the yearly value of three hundred thousand pounds.
2. The medium price is about twelve shillings per pound in Piedmont.
3. The duty here is about four shillings per pound.
4. The price of raw silk in London, is generally more than half of the price of the wrought goods in their fullest perfection.
1st Observ. If the Piedmontese paid no rent for the mulberry-tree and silk worm, he might afford silk at six shillings per pound.
2d Observ. If silk were bought in Piedmont at six shillings per pound, and imported duty free, it might be sold in London at seven shillings per pound. For, the commission, insurance and exchange, or interest of money would be but half what they are at present, and there must be some allowance for the interest of the money that was usually applied to pay the duty.
3d Observ. Therefore Great Britain, by encouraging the growth of silk in Georgia, may save above a hundred thousand pound per annum of what she lays out in Piedmont.
4th Observ. The Georgian (without taking the cheapness of his provisions into question) may enable Great Britain to undersell all her rivals in Europe in the silk manufacture in a proportion resembling what follows.
0 14 Raw-silk, one pound weight,
0 , Workmanship,
0 16 0
Total, 1 100
Raw-silk, one pound weight,
0 7 0 0 16 0
Total, 1 3 0
The difference of these is seven pence in thirty, which is near twenty-five pound in an hundred, and is above thirty
The reader is desired to consider these computations as stated by guess. But the same reasoning will
hold in a considerable degree upon the exact state of the several values.
* Rice is another growth of this province that doth not interfere with Great Britain. But we reap their harvests; for when they have sold the rice in a foreign market, they lay out the money in our manufactures to carry home with them. They have already made an handsome progress in Carolina, in cultivating this grain. They have exported above † ten thousand tons of it by weight in a year already, all produced in a few years from so small a quantity as was carried thither in a bag, fit to hold only a hundred pound sterling in silver ; they have sold cargoes of it in Turkey. They have all the world for their market. A market not easily glutted.
The indulgence of the British Legislature to Carolina in this branch of their trade, shows our new Georgians what encouragement they may expect from that august body, as soon as they shall learn the management of the silk-worm. The law for the ease of the rice trade, is alone sufficient to enrich whole provinces : they are now at liberty to proceed in their voyages directly to any part of Europe, south of Cape Fenesterre, or to Asia and Africk before they touch at Great Britain. The difference of the charge of freight is not half the benefit they receive from this act of Parliament; they arrive at the desired ports time enough to forestall the markets of Spain, Portugal, and the Levant. It now frequently happens that cargoes arrive safe, which, as the law stood formerly, would have been lost at sea, by means of the deviation. This new law, in a manner, forces them into the Spanish, Portuguese, and Levant trades, and gives them two returns of commerce instead of one. They may now dis- . pose of their American grain in the first place, and then come laden to Great Britain with the most profitable wares of the countries where they traded ; and lastly, buy for ready money such British manufactures as they have occasion to carry home.
When I speak of the future trade of these happy provinces, I might expatiate upon many valuable branches of it besides the silk and rice; branches which it musti enjoy as
• Descr. Abreg., p. 13.
Ib., p. 7.
# Descr. Abreg. p. 25. 26.