Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Atlantic Neptune Part 2 – Item 4

plymouth bay
J.F.W. Des Barres, Chart of Plymouth Bay, 1781
The chief product produced in colonial New England was dried cod. As a result, permanent, residential fishing settlements were established throughout New England in the 17th century, including one at Plymouth, Massachusetts. This 1781 chart illustrates the homesteads, roads, and topography in the vicinity of Plymouth. By the 1770s, the majority of the lower-quality dried cod produced in New England’s offshore banks was being exported to the Caribbean, and served as a main food source for slaves working on sugar plantations. This cost-saving measure, coupled with profits from quality cod exported to Iberia, resulted in an abundance of wealth for New England fish merchants.

 

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