1790Cod fishing bounties were established by Congress.Economy and Industry

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Report to Congress by Thomas Jefferson on the state of the fishing industry. February 1, 1791.

President George Washington asked Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to investigate how to revive the New England fishing industry following its severe decline during the Revolutionary War. One solution Congress adopted was to pay bounties for catching cod and other fish, thus incentivizing fishermen to invest in new boats and equipment. The bounty program was enhanced several times but also allegedly abused by fishermen who submitted fraudulent claims. Dr. John Moriarty of Gloucester sought to expose this abuse when he advocated for the abolition of the bounty system in 1840. His criticism led to his being ostracized by Gloucester citizens. The bounties were finally rescinded in 1866.

Pringle, James R. History of the Town and City of Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts. City of Gloucester Archives Committee and the Ten Pound Island Book Co., 1997.
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