sufficient to hinder them from making very 
exorbitant profits. Under so liberal a policy, 
the colonies are enabled both to sell their own 
produce, and to buy the goods of Europe at 
a reasonable price; but since the dissolution 
of the Plymouth company, when our colonies 
were but in their infancy, this has always been 
the policy of England. It has generally, too, 
been that of France, and has been uniformly 
so since the dissolution of what in England is 
commonly called their Mississippi company. 
The profits of the trade, therefore, which 
France and England carry on with their colonies
though no doubt somewhat higher than 
if the competition were free to all other nations
are, however, by no means exorbitant; 
and the price of European goods, accordingly, 
is not extravagantly high in the greater 
part of the colonies of either of those nations
In the exportation of their own surplus produce, 
too, it is only with regard to certain 
commodities that the colonies of Great Britain 
are confined to the market of the mother 
country. These commodities having been 
enumerated in the act of navigation, and in 
some other subsequent acts, have upon that 
account been called enumerated commodities
The rest are called non-enumerated, and may 
be exported directly to other countries, provided 
it is in British or plantation ships, of 
which the owners and three fourths of the mariners 
are British subjects. 
Among the non-enumerated commodities 
are some of the most important productions of 
America and the West Indies, grain of all 
sorts, lumber, salt provisions, fish, sugar, and 
Grain is naturally the first and principal 
object of the culture of all new colonies. By 
allowing them a very extensive market for it, 
the law encourages them to extend this culture 
much beyond the consumption of a thinly 
inhabited country, and thus to provide beforehand 
an ample subsistence for a continually 
increasing population
In a country quite covered with wood, 
where timber consequently is of little or no 
value, the expense of clearing the ground is 
the principal obstacle to improvement. By 
allowing the colonies a very extensive market 
for their lumber, the law endeavours to facilitate 
improvement by raising the price of a 
commodity which would otherwise be of little 
value, and thereby enabling them to make 
some profit of what would otherwise be mere 
In a country neither half peopled nor half 
cultivated, cattle naturally multiply beyond 
the consumption of the inhabitants, and are 
often, upon that account, of little or no value. 
But it is necessary, it has already been 
shown, that the price of cattle should bear a 
certain proportion to that of corn, before the 
greater part of the lands of any country can 
be improved. By allowing to American cattle
in all shapes, dead and alive, a very extensive 
market, the law endeavours to raise 
the value of a commodity, of which the high 
price is so very essential to improvement
The good effects of this liberty, however, must 
be somewhat diminished by the 4th of Geo
III. c. 15, which puts hides and skins among 
the enumerated commodities and thereby tends 
to reduce the value of American cattle
To increase the shipping and naval power 
of Great Britain by the extension of the fisheries 
of our colonies, is an object which the 
legislature seems to have had almost constantly 
in view. Those fisheries, upon this account
have had all the encouragement which freedom 
can give them, and they have flourished 
accordingly. The New England fishery, in 
particular, was, before the late disturbances
one of the most important, perhaps, in the 
world. The whale fishery which, notwithstanding 
an extravagant bounty, is in Great Britain 
carried on to so little purpose, that in the 
opinion of many people (which I do not, however, 
pretend to warrant), the whole produce 
does not much exceed the value of the bounties 
which are annually paid for it, is in New 
England carried on, without any bounty, to a 
very great extent. Fish is one of the principal 
articles with which the North Americans 
trade to Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean
Sugar was originally an enumerated commodity
which could only be exported to Great 
Britain; but in 1731, upon a representation 
of the sugar-planters, its exportation was permitted 
to all parts of the world. The restrictions, 
however, with which this liberty was 
granted, joined to the high price of sugar in 
Great Britain, have rendered it in a great 
measure ineffectual. Great Britain and her 
colonies still continue to be almost the sole 
market for all sugar produced in the British 
plantations. Their consumption increases so 
fast, that, though in consequence of the increasing 
improvement of Jamaica, as well as 
of the ceded islands, the importation of sugar 
has increased very greatly within these twenty 
years, the exportation to foreign countries is 
said to be not much greater than before. 
Rum is a very important article in the trade 
which the Americans carry on to the coast of 
Africa, from which they bring back negro 
slaves in return. 
If the whole surplus produce of America
in grain of all sorts, in salt provisions, and in 
fish, had been put into the enumeration, and 
thereby forced into the market of Great Britain
it would have interfered too much with 
the produce of the industry of our own people. 
It was probably not so much from any 
regard to the interest of America, as from a 
jealousy of this interference, that those important 
commodities have not only been kept 
out of the enumeration, but that the importation 
into Great Britain of all grain, except