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Cape Cod Give And Take, Early Colonial Trade

The fishing trade caught hold in the Massachusetts Colony from the very first (1630-1650). The colony, in September, 1630 petitioned King James I of England “for the preventing of disorderly trade, of fishermen and other interlopers.”

The first fishing ventures from coastal towns of the Colony were made as much for the purpose of obtaining a supply of good food for the colonists as to develop trade. Yet, that very first year, 1630, the colonists were able to send some fish to England. This fish; and that which was later supplied, seems to have been dried and salted for its export. Fish was also exported with a small quantity of furs, to southern France or the ports of the Iberian peninsula. The trade thus became a rather three-cornered traffic.

The ships which cleared for France and near ports sold or exchanged the fish and certain other colonial wares, “staves, sarsaparilla, sumach, etc.,” for wines and olive oil. These were then carried to England. From England, the ships returned across the North Atlantic, bearing emigrants as passengers and a variety of goods and utensils of all kinds.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 07/24/06
Categories: FishingHistory
Keywords: fishing, history, maritime


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