State of Connecticut
Certificates of Silk Production, 1792-1794

Mss: 173

Historical Note:

The silk industry of Great Britain enjoyed prosperity from its beginning in the seventeenth century. At the urging of manufacturers as well as the British Parliament, raw silk from the colonies was allowed to enter duty free or at reduced fees. In response to this fact, Georgia, the Carolinas, and New England paid premiums and bounties for planting mulberry trees, breeding silkworms, and producing raw silk. Two of the most notable American promoters of this business venture were Dr. Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, and Benjamin Franklin. In spite of the encouragement and favorable financial terms presented to American entrepreneurs, the export of raw silk averaged less than 1,000 pounds at year at its peak.

Scope and Content:

Collection contains twelve bounty claims from individuals residing in Connecticut from 1792-1794. Items contain registration number, date, name of person raising silkworms, amount of silk produced, amount paid, and name of notarizing agent. Names of bounty collectors include Elephalet Dimmick, Elias Chapman, Roger Crane, Captain Isaac Foot, Peter Johnson, Aaron Hall, Major Oziar Marvin, Elihu Rogers, Philip Turner, Mehitable Hall, David Smith, and Captain Thomas Storrs. They lived in Mansfield, Southington, Norwich, Branford, New Haven, Windham, and Ashford.

Provenance: Purchase.

Amount: 1 box

Container List:

B.1f.1Connecticut State bounties/silkworm raising, 1792-1794.