The Colonial Trade of Connecticut

The Colonial Trade of Connecticut

The Colonial Trade of Connecticut

The Colonial Trade of Connecticut

Excerpt

In attempting to determine the exact extent of the colonial trade of Connecticut, the direction of the trade, and the kind of goods transported, the student is greatly hampered by the lack of colonial records. In 1781, Benedict Arnold, in command of British troops, sailed up the Thames river, captured Fort Griswold on the Groton side, and after landing at New London, burned the city. In this fire were destroyed all the customs records of the colony, with the exception of some few in New Haven. This destruction is greatly to be deplored since, for the greater part of the colonial period, New London was the only authorized port of entry for colonial trade and the seat of the only British custom- house in Connecticut. As a result of this disaster, the historian of Connecticut colonial trade, as Miss Caulkins remarked in her History of New London, must be contented with grasping "those gleams and shadows that flit occasionally across the view in the investigation of other subjects."

These gleams and shadows consist mainly of various reports to the board of trade in England, of writings in divers colonial diaries, of the acts of the general court, of the instructions sent to the colonial governors by the board of trade, of the action of the vice-admiralty courts, and of a study of the general British colonial policy in relation to trade with the entire British colonial world.

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