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[63] trade1—saddest concession of freedom—to and from
chap. III.} 1750.
any part of Africa, between Sallee, in South Barbary, and the Cape of Good Hope, was, in 1750, extended to all the subjects of the king of England. But for the labor of free men new shackles were devised.

America abounded in iron ore; its unwrought iron was excluded by a duty from the English market; and its people were rapidly gaining skill at the furnace and the forge. In February,2 1750, the subject engaged the attention of the House of Commons. To check the danger of American rivalry, Charles Townshend was placed at the head of a committee, on which Horatio Walpole, senior, and Robert Nugent, afterwards Lord Clare,—a man of talents, yet not free from ‘bombast and absurdities,’3—were among the associates. After a few days' deliberation, he brought in a bill which permitted American iron, in its rudest forms, to be imported duty free; but now that the nailers in the colonies could afford spikes and large nails cheaper than the English, it forbade the smiths of America to erect any mill for slitting or rolling iron, or any plating forge to work with a tilt-hammer, or any furnace for making steel. ‘The restriction,’ said Penn, ‘is of most dangerous consequence to prevent our making what we want for our own use. . . . . .It is an attack on the rights of the king's subjects in America.’4 William Bollan, the agent of Massachusetts, pleaded its inconsistency with the natural rights of the colonists.5 But while England applauded the restriction, its owners of iron

1 23 Geo. II. c. XXXI. § 1.

2 Journals of Commons, XXV., 979, 986, 993.

3 Walpole's Memoirs of Geo. II., i, 171, and Letters.

4 Douglas: Historical and Political Summary, II., 109.

5 W. Bollan to the Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, 5 April, 1750.

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