A Charlestown non-importation pact (1769)


In July 1769, a committee in Charlestown, South Carolina passed the following resolutions, pledging to uphold the non-importation of British goods in response to the Townshend duties:


“We, his Majesty’s dutiful and loving subjects, the inhabitants of South Carolina, being sensibly affected with the great prejudice done to Great Britain, and the abject and wretched condition to which the British colonies are reduced by several Acts of Parliament…

Some of the moneys that the colonists usually and cheerfully spend in the purchase of all sorts of goods imported from Great Britain are now, to their great grievance, wrung from them without their consent, or their being represented and applied by the ministry, in prejudice of, and without regard to, the real interest of Great Britain…

We whose names are underwritten do solemnly promise, and agree to and with each other, that until the colonies be restored to their former freedom by the repeal of the said Acts, we will most strictly abide by the following:

1. That we will encourage and promote the use of North American manufactures in general, and those of this province in particular. And any of us who are vendors thereof, do engage to sell and dispose of them at the same rates as heretofore…

2. That we will upon no pretense whatsoever… import into this province any of the manufactures of Great Britain, or any other European or East India goods, either from Great Britain, Holland, or any other place, other than such as may have been shipped in consequence of former orders…

3. That we will use the utmost economy in our persons, horses, and furniture; particularly, that we will give no mourning, or gloves, or scarves at funerals.

4. That from and after January 1st 1770 we will not import, buy or sell any Negroes that shall be brought into this province from Africa…

5. That we will not purchase from, or sell for, any masters of vessels, transient persons, or non-subscribers, any kind of European or East India goods whatever, excepting coals and salt, after the 1st day of November next.

6. That as wines are subject to a heavy duty, we agree not to import any on our account or commission, or purchase from any master of vessel, transient person, or non-subscriber, after the 1st day of January next.

7. Lastly, that we will not purchase any Negroes imported, or any goods or merchandise whatever, from any resident in this province who refuses or neglects to sign this agreement within one month from the date hereof… And every subscriber who shall nor strictly and literally adhere to this agreement, according to the true intent and meaning hereof, ought to be treated with the utmost contempt.”

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