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Resolutions for the encouragement of the culture of Hemp and Flax, the growth of Wool, and the erecting and establishing Manufactories in the Colony


This Committee having taken into consideration the Resolutions and recommendations of the Continental Congress, on the 21st of March last, for promoting the growth of Hemp and Flax, and the increase of Wool, and the erecting and establishing Manufactories in this Colony, agreed upon an essay and recommendations, in the words following, to wit:

In Committee of Safety, Now-York, April 19, 1776.

The Continental Congress have, by Resolve, on the 21st of March last, recommended it to the several Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils or Committees of Safety, and Committees of Correspondence and Inspection, that they exert their utmost endeavours to promote, among other things, the culture of Hemp, Flax, and Cotton, and the growth of Wool in the United Colonies.

It is therefore most earnestly recommended to the inhabitants of this Colony to attend to the following considerations, which, exclusive of the best regard to the publick good, must engage every Farmer, from a just attention to his own private interest, to the increase of the staples of Hemp, Flax, and Wool.

By the restraints which the Parliament of Great Britain have most tyrannically imposed on our commerce, and the danger thence arising on the exportation of Provisions, the husbandman has no inducement to employ his skill and industry in the produce of those articles, beyond the necessity of home consumption. It is therefore evident that the culture of grain must, under our present circumstances, naturally diminish. This diminution ought, from motives both of private interest and publick utility, to be compensated for by the improvement of our lands, in such a way as will most infallibly be attended with great profit to the landholder. As, by the danger to which our exports are exposed, the usual growth of grain will necessarily be discouraged, it will be laudable economy to devote a larger part of our lands than usual to the culture of Hemp and Flax, and the pasturing of Sheep.

The present great scarcity of Linen and Woollen Goods will be increased to a distressing degree by the continuance of arbitrary Parliamentary restraints on our Trade, and prudent Continental restrictions on our imports; the latter of which would, indeed, necessarily fail, were there no other reasons for it than the want of sufficient exports to support them. From this scarcity we may, in a great measure, be relieved, without loss to the publick, and with manifest, profit to the farmer, by improving our lands in such a manner as will furnish both clothing and employment for our inhabitants. Our soil and climate naturally invite us to it; but our necessities, and the prosperity of the husbandman, clearly command it. It is doubtless the most advantageous use to which, in ordinary times, we can apply our lands; but, at this juncture, the advantage will be so highly improved by the enhanced prices of Hemp, Flax, and Wool, that every farmer who neglects to take uncommon pains for the increase of those necessary articles, will be most culpably inattentive to the general weal, and his own private interest. Little, therefore, would need to be said on this head, were we not urged to it by its vast importance. For this reason, this Committee do earnestly recommend it to every farmer in this Colony to exert himself to raise large quantities of Hemp and Flax, and to increase his stock and improve his breed of Sheep. And in order to increase the breed of Sheep, it is earnestly recommended to the inhabitants of this Colony not to kill any Lambs nor any Ewes


under four years old, until further order of the Provincial Congress. And lest any farmers or butchers should be so far lost to all sense of publick virtue as to disregard this recommendation concerning the increase of our flocks of Sheep, it is most ardently recommended to the inhabitants of this City totally to abstain from the purchase of Lamb, and of such Ewe mutton as they shall discover to have been, at the time of killing, under four years old; and are requested to report to this Committee, or the Provincial Congress, all such persons as shall attempt to sell or purchase any Lamb or Mutton contrary to this recommendation.

Ordered, That the foregoing Recommendations be forthwith published in all the publick Newspapers in this Colony.

The Committee adjourned to four o' clock, in the afternoon.