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Rebellion Record: Introduction., Volume 1. (ed. Frank Moore), Introduction. (search)
The colonial system of Great Britain before the Revolution forbade the establishment of any other than household manufactures. Soon after the Revolution, cotton mills were erected in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and the infant manufacture was encouraged by State duties on the imported fabric. The raw material was still derived exclusively from the West Indies. Its culture in this country was so extremely limited and so little known, that a small parcel sent from the United States to Liverpool in 1784 was seized at the custom-house there, as an illicit importation of British colonial produce. Even as late as 1794, and by persons so intelligent as the negotiators of Jay's treaty, it was not known that cotton was an article of growth and export from the United States. In the twelfth article of that treaty, as laid before the Senate, Cotton was included with Molasses, Sugar, Coffee, and Cocoa, as articles which American vessels should not be permitted to carry from the islands or