Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for "North Carolina--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775--Commerce"
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During the 17th century, North American colonial merchants were responsible for conducting coastal trade and assumed all responsibility for shipping, storing, and selling trade goods. While this system fell out of practice during the 18th century in many North American colonies, it remained the primary trade system in Carteret County. The town of Portsmouth is one example of this system. Established in 1754, town residents facilitated handling and transportation of merchant cargoes throughout the Outer Banks. A customs official was stationed in Portsmouth to inspect and tax goods coming in and out of the county.
This article looks at the unique problems encountered by commercial interests in coastal North Carolina during the 18th century utilizing data contained in 1768-1772 British customs returns. This data was overlooked by historian Charles Christopher Crittenden in his 1936 article, 'Commerce of North Carolina, 1763-1789,' leading Combs to challenge Crittenden's conclusions and place his focus on the delicate balance between maritime trade, mercantilism, and economic development.