Extract of a letter from a Mercantile House in Nova Scotia, to their Correspondents in this quarter.
“We sincerely hope that the Duties Government had in contemplation (last year) to impose upon Timber imported into Great Britain and Ireland, from the British North American Provinces, equal to the additional duty imposed on Foreign Timber in 1813 will be further suspended.
“Our[?] commercial system chiefly depends upon the encouragement of the Timber branch ; ships that carry away that article[?] bring us [?] at a low freight, whereby we are enabled to furnish the British West India Islands with an abundant supply of Fish[?], and that on very moderate terms ; but, in the event of Government persisting in imposing the Duty on Timber from hence, that branch of our trade will inevitably revert to the Americans, besides being the ruin of many in this and in the neighbouring Provinces.
“The supposed revenue that would accrue to the mother country, upon trial, will be found delusive ; to prove this, many obvious[?] reasons can be adduced : As the trade now exists, all the Timber extracted from these Colonies to Great Britain and Ireland is paid for in British Manufactures ; the export of so bulky an article as Timber, and the import of so ponderous an article as [?], employs[?] an immense number of British ships ; objects certainly of more real value to the revenue of Britain than any benefit they could possibly derive from direct Duties imposed on the export of Timber from British North America. It cannot be denied that previous to 1813, when the additional Duty was laid on Foreign Timber, they (the Foreigners) were not only the carriers, but would not accept an ounce of British Manufacture in payment for their TImber–no, nothing but you gold[?] which was so much in demand, that 28s. was given for a [?]. Another very cogent reason [?] be advanced in favour of what is commonly denominated the Timber Trade from these Provinces ; it facilitates emigration, and introduces many valuable settlers into this Province, and the Canadas, that would go to the States of America ; and the day is perhaps not so far distant when they would of accessity[?] become our enemies.
“When Great Britain was first involved in war with the eastern countries, from whence the principal supply of Timber was derived, the merchants in that line[?], as well as the ship-masters were not only alarmed, but convinced themselves ruined ! The Baltic is shut[?], what shall we do for Timber, and with our ships? They properly concluded that perhaps the British Provinces could supply them ; they made the experiment, they were not disappointed–but succeeded far beyond their expectations. If therefore, in time of war, Britain has took to her colonies for a supply of such a necessary article as Wood ; it is not reasonable for us to conclude that their interests will not be wholly neglected, when blessed with peace.”
Extract of a Letter, dated Savannah, 25th Nov. 1817
“In the Southern States, this autumn has been the most fatal they have experienced since their colonization. Many thousands have been hurried off to that ” narrow house” destined for all that live. A most malignant fever has prevailed to an alarming extent. In this city, during the last four months, the deaths have been equal to one-eights of the inhabitants left in it ; and in Beaufort (S. Carolina) and in some of the Southern Counties, the morality has exceeded one-sixth!”
Citation: Aberdeen Journal (Aberdeen, United Kingdom), 28 January 1818, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/126.