drawbacks has become a much less simple 
matter than it was at their first institution
Upon the exportation of some foreign 
goods, of which it was expected that the importation 
would greatly exceed what was necessary 
for the home consumption, the whole 
duties are drawn back, without retaining even 
half the old subsidy. Before the revolt of our 
North American colonies, we had the monopoly 
of the tobacco of Maryland and Virginia. We 
imported about ninety-six thousand hogsheads
and the home consumption was not supposed 
to extend fourteen thousand. To facilitate 
the great exportation which was necessary, in 
order to rid us of the rest, the whole duties 
were drawn back, provided the exportation 
took place within three years. 
We still have, though not altogether, yet 
very nearly, the monopoly of the sugars of 
our West Indian islands. If sugars are exported 
within a year, therefore, all the duties
upon importation are drawn back; and if 
exported within three years, all the duties
except half the old subsidy, which still continues 
to be retained upon the exportation of 
the greater part of goods. Though the importation 
of sugar exceeds a good deal what is 
necessary for the home consumption, the excess 
is inconsiderable, in comparison of what 
it used to be in tobacco
Some goods, the particular objects of the 
jealousy of our own manufacturers, are prohibited 
to be imported for home consumption
They may, however, upon paying certain duties
be imported and warehoused for exportation
But upon such exportation no part of 
these duties is drawn back. Our manufacturers 
are unwilling, it seems, that even this 
restricted importation should be encouraged, 
and are afraid lest some part of these goods 
should be stolen out of the warehouse, and 
thus came into competition with their own. 
It is under these regulations only that we can 
import wrought silks, French cambrics and 
lawns, calicoes, painted, printed, stained, or 
dyed, &c. 
We are unwilling even to be the carriers of 
French goods, and choose rather to forego
profit to ourselves than to suffer those whom 
we consider as our enemies to make any profit 
by our means. Not only half the old subsidy
but the second twenty-five per cent. is 
retained upon the exportation of all French 
By the fourth of the rules annexed to the 
old subsidy, the drawback allowed upon the 
exportation of all wines amounted to a great 
deal more than half the duties which were at 
that time paid upon their importation; and it 
seems at that time to have been the object of 
the legislature to give somewhat more than 
ordinary encouragement to the carrying trade 
in wine. Several of the other duties, too, 
which were imposed either at the same time 
or subsequent to the old subsidy, what is called 
the additional duty, the new subsidy, the one-third 
and two-thirds subsidies, the impost 
1692, the tonnage on wine, were allowed to 
be wholly drawn back upon exportation. All 
those duties, however, except the additional 
duty and impost 1692, being paid down in 
ready money upon importation, the interest of 
so large a sum occasioned an expense, which 
made it unreasonable to expect any profitable 
carrying trade in this article. Only a part
therefore of the duty called the impost on 
wine, and no part of the twenty-five pounds 
the ton upon French wines, or of the duties 
imposed in 1745, in 1763, and in 1778, were 
allowed to be drawn back upon exportation
The two imposts of five per cent. imposed in 
1779 and 1781, upon all the former duties of 
customs, being allowed to be wholly drawn 
back upon the exportation of all other goods
were likewise allowed to be drawn back upon 
that of wine. The last duty that has been 
particularly imposed upon wine, that of 1780, 
is allowed to be wholly drawn back; an indulgence 
which, when so many heavy duties 
are retained, most probably could never occasion 
the exportation of a single ton of wine
These rules took place with regard to all 
places of lawful exportation, except the British 
colonies in America
The 15th Charles II, chap. 7, called an act 
for the encouragement of trade, had given 
Great Britain the monopoly of supplying the 
colonies with all the commodities of the growth 
or manufacture of Europe, and consequently 
with wines. In a country of so extensive
coast as our North American and West Indian 
colonies, where our authority was always 
so very slender, and where the inhabitants 
were allowed to carry out in their own ships 
their non-enumerated commodities, at first to 
all parts of Europe, and afterwards to all 
parts of Europe south of Cape Finisterre, it 
is not very probable that this monopoly could 
ever be much respected; and they probably at 
all times found means of bringing back some 
cargo from the countries to which they were 
allowed to carry out one. They seem, however, 
to have found some difficulty in importing 
European wines from the places of 
their growth; and they could not well import 
them from Great Britain, where they 
were loaded with many heavy duties, of which 
a considerable part was not drawn back upon 
exportation. Madeira wine, not being an 
European commodity, could be imported directly 
into America and the West Indies
countries which, in all their non-enumerated 
commodities, enjoyed a free trade to the island 
of Madeira. These circumstances had probably 
introduced that general taste for Madeira 
wine, which our officers found established 
in all our colonies at the commencement