The town is within the free-trade area of the conventional basin of the Congo river.
From 1835 to 1838 he edited The Reformation, a radically partisan publication, devoted to free trade and the extreme states' rights theory.
The island now has free trade with the United States, and receives into its general revenue fund all customs duties and internal taxes collected in the island.
His Manual of the Law of Scotland (1839) brought him into notice; he joined Sir John Bowring in editing the works of Jeremy Bentham, and for a short time was editor of the Scotsman, which he committed to the cause of free trade.
He sat for a short time (1845-1846) as a member of the Chamber of Deputies, but lost his seat owing to his enthusiastic adoption of the principles of free trade.