Customs Records: 1784-1834.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LPR .N4E9C8
Category: New Brunswick
Creator: New Brunswick. Executive Council.
Description: 1 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm

The collection of duties and the prevention of smuggling was the responsibility of the Board of Customs in London since 1672. Its North American operations were modeled on those. In 1767 a separate American Board of Customs was created, with its headquarters at Boston. After the American Revolution the American Board ceased and the rest of British North America were placed under the English Board. In 1786, to raise its own monies, New Brunswick created its own customs office headed by the provincial treasurer and staffed by deputies in various ports. This meant there were now two duty-gathering establishments. Britian had already established a New Brunswick Customs House at Saint John under the general direction of the lieutenant governor of the province and daily controlled by the collector and the comptroller of customs, with the surplus revenue to go to Britain. In 1835, an Act was passed providing for one Customs House in New Brunswick, staffed by Imperial officers, with surplus revenue given to the province. The Provincial Secretary was given responsibility for all Customs House returns. In 1855 Britain relinquished control.

Customs officers' services were also used in relation to other matters such as enforcing the trade laws, in particular the Navigation Laws, which required British goods be carried in British ships, until repealed in 1849; as well as governmental interest in embargo, wrecks, quarantine, and protection of the coast in time of war.

            The microfilm reel contains six boxes of Customs Papers arranged chronologically from 1784-1830. The Papers for the years 1797-1799 and 1802-1806 inclusive, are missing. The records contain the following: memorials and petitions, from both individuals and groups, to the Lieutenant Governor, and replies from the Clerk of the Executive Council; correspondence of the Collector of Customs, chiefly at Saint John, with the Customs House in London, the Admiralty, the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade, and with numerous officials; a list of the Table of Fees taken by the officers of the Customs House at Saint John, 1791, and a copy of the Halifax list of 1769; statements for several years of the Amount of Fees collected at different New Brunswick ports;  several quarterly lists of vessels that entered the Port of Saint John, beginning in 1785, with the master's name, type of vessel and tonnage, when and where registered, port of origin, and the cargo carried;  a Statement of Prosecutions in the Court of Vice-Admiralty for breaches of the Revenue Laws, 1827-1830;  petitions by merchants for compensation for losses, and other correspondence, relating to the Miramichi Fire on 7 October 1825;   and numerous accounts, port documents and correspondence, which collectively provide a wealth of information on the nature of port activities and early trade in New Brunswick.


Box 1, Custom Papers, 1784-1796; 1800; 1801.
Box 2, Custom Papers, 1806-1816.
Box 3, Custom Papers, 1817-1818.
Box 4, Custom Papers, 1819-1824.
Box 5, Custom Papers, 1825-1828
Box 6, Custom Papers, 1826 - 1834; Customs and Miramichi Fire, 1826-1828 1829 1834.            
Originals: The original records are held by the New Brunswick Provincial Archives.
Archival Ref. No.: PANB RG2 RS 8.
Finding Aids:
Electronic Finding Aid Record:

There are two copies of this microfilm reel. The dates which are given in the typed description are not accurate. The records extend until 1834.

These documents were all part of RG 2/RS 8 at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. The original records in RS 8 have been reorganized by the Provincial Archives since this film was produced, and are now part of the provincial secretary's records (RS 23).

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