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Sunday, November 8, 2015

A "Work-Around" for the Strict English Laws

There is a letter in Lancaster County from Captain James Burton of New England which reflects the attitude of the merchants trading with Virginia planters. He urges his correspondent, acting as his attorney, to secure a cargo of tobacco, hides, and pork for the market in Barbadoes, to be purchased with commodities already in his hands, and with good which Barton would dispatch in his own ketch, now about to sail for Virginia. While the vessel was absent on the voyage to and from the West Indies, the second destination point, the attorney was to make a further collection of hides, which, with tobacco, was to be shipped directly to Holland.  This measure served as evidence that the merchants of New England openly evaded the injunctions of the Navigation Act.  Source: Records of Lancaster County, vol.1666-1682, p. 440; Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century by Philip Alexander Bruce.

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