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Research data . Dataset . 2021

Jamaican customs data, c. 1800-45

Graham, A; Lavallee, E;
Open Access
Published: 16 Aug 2021
Publisher: University of Oxford
Country: United Kingdom
This database transcribes data on goods exported from, and imported to, the island of Jamaica between circa 1800 and 1845, including data - where available - on the types of items, the ports of destination (for exports) and the ports of receipt (for imports). The data was collected from tables produced by the colonial House of Assembly in Jamaica during this period and published in the Journals of the House of Assembly (for 1800-26) and the Votes of the House of Assembly (for 1827-45). The figures provided in the Journals and Votes represent a contemporary summary of the customs data collected by the Naval Officer and Collector of Customs. Data is also included from several reports made by the assembly concerning earlier imports. Data is missing for the years 1829/30, 1830/1 and 1832/3 when the figures were not reported in the Votes. The data reflects the concerns of the assembly and the planters in it. Exports reported include sugar, rum, coffee, cotton, ginger, pimento and hardwoods. Imports include provisions (such as flour, cornmeal, bread, fish and rice), stores (such as barrel staves, roof shingles, timbers), livestock (horses, cattle, asses, mules) and a wide range of other items. They do not include British and foreign manufactures imported into Jamaica and then re-exported, or commodities imported and exported through the free ports of the island. Unless otherwise noted, years follow the financial year of the island, running from 30 September to 29 September i.e. "1824/5" refers to the period 30 September 1824 to 29 September 1825. Transcription revealed several errors in addition in the original tables, but on the whole was generally accurate. However, commodities and units were not reported consistently, with rum, for example, being reported in barrels, casks, hogsheads, kegs and puncheons. These have been left as they were in the original. Information on the typical volumes and capacities of these containers, and the prices of commodities, can be found in the secondary literature: B.W. Higman, 'Slave population and economy in Jamaica, 1807-34' (UWI Press, 1995) Appendix I 'Weights, measures and values' pp. 235-42.


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