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Trade Routes and Statistics
In 1817, the United States Congress enacted legislation requiring that all goods transported between American seaports be carried in American owned vessels. The act proved a windfall for shipping concerns in New England, essentially barring foreign interests from participating in what came to be known as the coasting trade. On any given day, throughout Fitz Henry Lane’s lifetime, a myriad of vessels of all shapes and sizes and rigs could be found plying coastal waters carrying every conceivable sort of cargo. From manufactured goods including textiles and furniture, to fresh produce, fish, ice, granite and cotton, ships’ manifests of the antebellum period reveal an endless array of goods on the move.
Foreign Places Whence Vessels Arrived in Principal Customs Districts of Massachusetts, Year Ending June 30, 1857
Vessels are entered only once for a voyage in this table, generally from the last port of call, or from the port where the principal cargo was taken.