Commodities Between the Several Colonies

in by Warren

To the Gentlemen Selectmen of the Town of Boston

Boston, January 4, 1775


I have the Honor to transmit to you the Copy of an Order of the late provincial Congress with the Doings of the Committee thereon. As one great Design which the Congress had in View was to know what each of the Commodities between the several Colonies might be made, whereby each might be rendered more useful to the other, and less dependent on other States. I make no doubt of your cheerful & speedy performance of the Part allotted to you.

I am, Gentlemen, with the greatest Respect your most obedient humble Servt

Joseph Warren

N.B. Shipbuilding & Iron Ware of all Sorts are to be considered as part of the Manufactures.

Source:  Joseph Warren manuscript letter “To Selectmen of Boston” dated January 1, 1775 in Gratz Collection – Generals of the Revolution: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Commentary:  An initiative of the First Continental Congress was to reinforce a general boycott of British manufactures and imports by encouraging intra-colonial trade across North American provinces. While these measures were primarily intended to relieve Massachusetts and the Town of Boston from the Intolerable Acts, Joseph Warren communicates here to the Patriot-dominated Boston government that the defensive trade and manufacture measures applied to them as well. Warren points out that the idled shipbuilding and iron working businesses should be considered part of the effort.

While not named, the recipients included chief selectman John Scollay.  Scollay was an ardent Patriot, merchant, longtime Boston official, and father of Miss Mercy Scollay (1741-1826).  At the time of Warren’s death six months later Mercy was with widower Warren’s four children as a refugee family in Worcester and considered herself to have been Warren’s fiancee.

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