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NOTE.

The petition of Paul Pritchard, which was among the first presented to the Congress of the United States, after the adoption of the Constitution, and which is alluded to on page 311, will not be read without interest.

April 13, 1789. TO THE HON. SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA

TIVES IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

The petition of the Shipwrights of the State of South Carolina humbly showeth:

That your petitioners reflect with pleasure that the Constitution of the United States gives the exclusive right of forming treaties and regulating commerce to the General Government of the Union, which can alone equally, safely, and effectually, exercise the same.

From the diminished state of ship-building in America, and the ruinous restrictions to which our vessels are subject in foreign ports; from the distressed condition of our commerce, languishing under the most disgraceful inequalities, its benefits transferred from our own citizens to strangers, who do not, nor ever will, feel those attachments which can alone render a mercantile interest useful to the conntry; and above all, mortified at the daily humiliating sight of our valuable staples lading the vessels and enriching the merchants of Powers who neither have treaties with us nor are friendly to our commerce; with deference and respect, your petitioners humbly entreat the early and earnest attention of your honorable House to these inportant considerations.

Enjoying a country which possesses every thing to make its commerce flourishing and its reputation respectable, there wanted but a supreme energetic system, capable of uniting its efforts and drawing its resources to a point, to render as a great and happy people. This system we trust the wisdom of the General Convention has produced, and the virtue of the people confirmed. Under your able and upright administration of the ample powers it contains, we look forward with pleasing hopes to the period when we shall once more see public credit firmly established, private rights secured, and our citizens enjoying the blessings of a mild and active government.

No more, we trust, shall we lament our trade almost wholly in the possession of foreigners; our vessels excluded from the ports of some nations, and fettered with restrictions in others; or materials, the produce of our country, which should be retained for our own use, exported, and increase the maritime consequence of other powers.

To the wisdom of the General Legislature we look up for a correction of these public evils. The formation of treaties and the regulation of commerce are questions which can be committed with safety to the enlightened councils of the Union alone; it would be as unnecessary, as it would be unbecoming, in us to presume to point out the measures proper to be adopted. It is sufficient for us to join with our Northern brethren in asserting, that we have most severely felt the want of such a navigation act as will place our vessels upon an equality with other nations. To you, who are the only proper guardians of our general rights, we resort with confidence for redress, assured that no means will be left unattempted, to remedy these evils, and to render us respectable abroad and at home.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Signed, in the city of Charleston, this 20 day of April, A. D. 1789, by order of the shipwrights.

Paul PRITCHARD,
JAMES GEORGE, Committee.
DAVID HAMILTON,

It was in response to a similar movement among the ship-owners and shipbuilders in Boston, which seemed to aim at the exclusive protection of the navigating interests, that the Boston mechanics, at the head of whom was Paul Revere, put the following well-remembered interrogatory :-“What difference does it make to us, whether hats, shoes, boots, shirts, handkerchiefs, tin ware, brass ware, cutlery, and every other article, come in British ships, or come in your ships ; since, in whatever ships they come, they take away our means of living ?”

THE IMPRISONMENT

OF

FREE COLORED SEAMEN.

À REPORT MADE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED

STATES, JANUARY 20, 1843.

The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the memorial of Benjamin Rich and others, submit the subjoined report:

The memorial was commended to the most attentive and respectful consideration of the committee, as well by the subjectmatter to which it relates, as by the character of those from whom it comes.

It is signed by more than one hundred and fifty citizens of Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, a large part of whom are very deeply interested in the commerce and navigation of the country, others of whom are eminently distinguished in legal, scientific, or literary pursuits, and all of whom are quite beyond the reach of a suspicion, that they would approach the Legislature of the nation in any cause, in which they did not sincerely believe that important principles or valuable interests were involved. Probably no paper was ever addressed to the Congress of the United States, which represented more of the intelligence, virtue, patriotism, and property also, of the metropolis of New England. In attestation of this statement, the memorial, with its signatures, is appended to this report. : The memorialists appear in the character of citizens of the

United States, adding, also, that many of them are masters and owners of vessels.

credit firmly established, private rights secured, and our citizens enjoying the blessings of a mild and active government.

No more, we trust, shall we lament our trade almost wholly in the possession of foreigners; our vessels excluded from the ports of some nations, and fettered with restrictions in others; or materials, the produce of our country, which should be retained for our own use, exported, and increase the maritime consequence of other powers.

To the wisdom of the General Legislature we look up for a correction of these public evils. The formation of treaties and the regulation of commerce are questions which can be committed with safety to the enlightened councils of the Union alone; it would be as unnecessary, as it would be unbecoming, in us to presume to point out the measures proper to be adopted. It is sufficient for us to join with our Northern brethren in asserting, that we have most severely felt the want of such a navigation act as will place our vessels upon an equality with other nations. To you, who are the only proper guardians of our general rights, we resort with confidence for redress, assured that no means will be left unattempted, to remedy these evils, and to render us respectable abroad and at home.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Signed, in the city of Charleston, this 2d day of April, A. D. 1789, by order of the shipwrights.

Paul PRITCHARD,
JAMES GEORGE, Committee.
David HAMILTON,

It was in response to a similar movement among the ship-owners and shipbuilders in Boston, which seemed to aim at the exclusive protection of the navigating interests, that the Boston mechanics, at the head of whom was Paul Revere, put the following well-remembered interrogatory :-“What difference does it make to us, whether hats, shoes, boots, shirts, handkerchiefs, tin ware, brass ware, cutlery, and every other article, come in British ships, or come in your ships; since, in whatever ships they come, they take away our means of living ?”

THE IMPRISONMENT

OF

FREE COLORED SEAMEN.

A REPORT MADE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED

STATES, JANUARY 20, 1843.

The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the memorial of Benjamin Rich and others, submit the subjoined report:

The memorial was commended to the most attentive and respectful consideration of the committee, as well by the subjectmatter to which it relates, as by the character of those from whom it comes.

It is signed by more than one hundred and fifty citizens of Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, a large part of whom are very deeply interested in the commerce and navigation of the country, others of whom are eminently distinguished in legal, scientific, or literary pursuits, and all of whom are quite beyond the reach of a suspicion, that they would approach the Legislature of the nation in any cause, in which they did not sincerely believe that important principles or valuable interests were involved. Probably no paper was ever addressed to the Congress of the United States, which represented more of the intelligence, virtue, patriotism, and property also, of the metropolis of New England. In attestation of this statement, the memorial, with its signatures, is appended to this report.

The memorialists appear in the character of citizens of the United States, adding, also, that many of them are masters and owners of vessels.

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