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Plan for the encouragement of Arts and Manufactures


Monday, March 27, 1775.

The Committee appointed to prepare a plan for the encouragement of Arts and Manufactures, reported the following Resolutions; which, being severally read, were unanimously agreed to.

Whereas, it hath been judged necessary for the preservation of the just rights and liberties of America, firmly to associate against Importations; and as the freedom, happiness, and prosperity of a State greatly depend on providing within itself a supply of articles necessary for subsistence, clothing, and defence; and whereas, it is judged essential, at this critical juncture, to form a proper plan for employing the different inhabitants of this Colony, providing for the poor, and restraining vagrants and other disorderly persons, who are nuisances to every society; a regard for our Country, as well as common prudence, call upon us to encourage Agriculture, Manufactures, economy, and the utmost industry: Therefore, this Convention doth Resolve as follows:

Resolved unanimously, That it be earnestly recommended to the different Magistrates, Vestries and Church wardens throughout this Colony, that they pay a proper attention, and strict regard to the several Acts of Assembly made for the restraint of vagrants and the better employing and maintaining the poor.

Resolved unanimously, That from and after the first day of May next, no person or persons whatever ought to use, in his or their families, unless in case of necessity, and on no account sell to butchers, or kill for market, any Sheep under four years old; and where there is a necessity for using any mutton in his, her, or their families, it is recommended


to kill such only as are least profitable to be kept.

Resolved unanimously, That the setting up and promoting Woollen, Cotton, and Linen Manufactures ought to be encouraged in as many different branches as possible, especially Coating, Flannel, Blankets, Rugs, or Coverlids, Hosiery, and coarse Cloths, both broad and narrow.

Resolved unanimously, That all persons having proper lands for the purpose, ought to cultivate and raise a quantity of Flax, Hemp, and Cotton, sufficient not only for the use of his or her own family, but also to spare to others on moderate terms.

Resolved unanimously, As Salt is a daily and indispensable necessary of life, and the making of it amongst ourselves must be deemed a valuable acquisition, it is therefore recommended that the utmost endeavours be used to establish Salt Works, and that proper encouragement be given to Mr˙ James Tait, who hath made proposals, and offered a scheme to the publick, for so desirable a purpose.

Resolved unanimously, That Saltpetre and Sulphur, being articles of great and necessary use, the making, collecting, and refining them to the utmost extent, be recommended, the Convention being of opinion that it may be done to great advantage.

Resolved unanimously, That the making of Gunpowder be recommended.

Resolved unanimously, That the manufacturing of iron into Nails and Wire, and other necessary articles, be recommended.

Resolved unanimously, That the making of Steel ought to be largely encouraged, as there will be a great demand for this article.

Resolved unanimously, That the making of different kinds of Paper ought to be encouraged; and and as the success of this branch depends on a supply of old Linen and Woollen Rags, the inhabitants of this Colony are desired, in their respective families, to preserve these articles.

Resolved unanimously, That whereas Wool Cormbs, Cotton and Wool Cards, Hemp and Flax Heckles, have been for some time made to advantage in some of the neighbouring Colonies, and are necessary for carrying on Linen and Woollen Manufactures, the establishing such Manufactures be recommended.

Resolved unanimously, That the erecting Fulling Mills and mills for breaking, swingling, and softening Hemp and Flax, and also that the making Grindstones be recommended.

Resolved unanimously, That the brewing Malt Liquors in this Colony would tend to render the consumption of foreign Liquors less necessary. It is therefore recommended that proper attention be given to the cultivation of Hops and Barley.

Resolved unanimously, That it be recommended to all the inhabitants of this Colony, that they use, as the Convention engageth to do, our own Manufactures, and those of other Colonies, in preference to all others.

Resolved unanimously, That for the more speedily and effectually carrying these Resolutions into execution, it be earnestly recommended that Societies be formed in different parts of this Colony; and it is the opinion of this Convention, that proper Premiums ought to be offered in the several Counties and Corporations, to such persons as shall excel in the several branches of Manufactures, and it is recommended to the several Committees of the different Counties and Corporations, to promote and encourage the same to the utmost of their power.

The Members of the Convention then, in order to encourage Mr˙ James Tait, who is about to erect Salt Works, undertook, for their respective Counties, to pay the sum of Ten Pounds to Robert Carter Nicholas, Esquire, for the use of the said James Tait, on or before the 10th day of May next.