1809The town voted against the Embargo Act.Events & Anniversaries, Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry, World Events

A request of the citizens of Gloucester to the selectmen to call a meeting with the purpose of forming a committee that would petition the General Court “to relieve us from the unjust restraints on our Commerce and Fisheries.” Courtesy of the Gloucester City Archives, CC87, Box 31, FF8
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The Embargo Act closed all U.S. ports to export shipping in either U.S. or foreign vessels, and restrictions were placed on imports from Great Britain. It greatly affected the economy of Gloucester, causing much suffering. However, political sentiment was divided in the community, with some supporting the federal government’s position and some quite emphatically opposed. On August 22, the town voted to petition the President to suspend the Act, or at least suspend the act in those sections relating to Spain, Portugal, and their colonies. Just the opposite occurred, with the Federal government enacting harsh enforcement measures that practically shut down the port. To overcome financial losses from the Act’s closure of export markets for salted fish, many of the smaller Gloucester fishing boats were clandestinely outfitted to continue trading in the West Indies on the theory that their 20-ton size would not attract enforcement actions that could result in their seizure and the imposition of substantial fines.

Babson, John James, and Samuel Chandler. History of the Town of Gloucester, Cape Anne, Including the Town of Rockport. Gloucester [Mass.] Procter brothers, 1860, http://archive.org/details/historytownglou00changoog Hurd, D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) ed. History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia, J. W. Lewis & Co., 1888, http://archive.org/details/historyofessexco01hurd. Gloucester City Archives, CC87, Box 31, FF8
A request of the citizens of Gloucester to the selectmen to call a meeting with the purpose of forming a committee that would petition the General Court "to relieve us from the unjust restraints on our Commerce and Fisheries. Courtesy of the Gloucester City Archives, CC87, Box 31, FF8
Hover over image to zoom
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