Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 3 June 1787

By Admms |

Taylor continued to rail against British trade policy throughout the 1780s. He criticised the 1786 Anglo-French commercial treaty, which liberalised aspects of trade between the two nations, and continued to complain about the difficulty of obtaining plantation supplies and about other perceived shortcomings of the post 1783 Atlantic commercial regime.

[…] I sincerely hope the French treaty will fail, for I think it is the coup de grace to the West India colonies by destroying the sale of rum, and to make our case the harder, the damned colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada, send their lumber to the English islands, sell their cargoes there, receive the money, and then go to the French free ports, and buy molasses, which is imported duty free, and then distilled into rum for their fisheries. thus our staples are ruined on all sides, and a monopoly against us, even in case of a famine, that we cannot gett the articles of bread, such barbarity is not known even in Morocco. […] I do not know any use that can arise to England by opening a free port in the Bahama Islands, they want no lumber from America, have nothing to send there but cotton, pines & turtle, and they may as well open a free port in Nova Zembla, if there were free ports opened here, and in the other sugar colonies for lumber as staves, boards, shingles, plank, joices, ranging timber, corn, rice, flour, staves and all other articles that the cursed northern colonies cannot send […] and for them in return to take rum, we should derive some benefitt from it, but for that reason I do not expect they will do it. […]

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1787/8, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Kingston, 3 June 1787)