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crises will return, unless something more effectual is done to prevent them than has hitherto been attempted.-It remains however to observe, that the whole numbers of imports and exports are little to be relied upon; since cases occur where the value of articles has risen 73 per cent., and the quantity only 2 per cent.; and because the calculations are rendered doubly difficult by the fact that the duties are laid on some articles according to their value, on others according to their quantity, while others again are admitted duty free.
Woollen and cotton goods come mostly from England; silk goods from France; wines from several countries, particularly from France, Portugal, and Spain; figs from Turkey; tea direct from China; coffee from Cuba, St. Domingo, and Brazil.
In several of the states there are many regulations relative to the inspection of articles intended for exportation. They must be serviceable, of good quality, sound, properly measured and packed; and precautions are taken against all frauds in these respects. In Massachusetts* these regulations extend to the quality of the articles, the vessels containing them, and the packing; to marks, stamps, and attestations; and include meat, butter, lard, chocolate, fish, corn, hay, hops, salt, water, powder, wood, nails, oil, paper, leather, ashes, &c.—It is scarcely conceivable how, with such an extensive commerce, all these legal requisitions can be executed.
The legal rate of interest is fixed in most of the states at 6 per cent; it rises however in some of the new states to 10 per cent. Usurious contracts are void, and mostly involve a penalty in addition to the loss of the debt; but nothing is easier or more commont than to evade all regulations respecting the rate of interest.
Note.—In order not to overload the text with figures, I place what follows in a note. According to the Census of 1840, Tucker estimates the value of annual products from
Agriculture at 654 millions of dollars in round numbers.
16 Fisheries 12 Total
52, and in 1838 to 49 millions. In the exports the differences were less considerable. Their total value amounted
in the year 1836, to 128 millions of dollars.
There were employed in
72,119 Preparation of leather of all kinds ..
26,018 Soap and candle manufactories
5,641 Breweries and distilleries .....
12,223 Glass factories
4,726 Printing-offices and binderies..
11,523 Coach, wagon, and agricultural implement making. 21,994 Mills of all kinds ....
60,788 The following is taken from the official report on trade and navigation for the nine months from the 1st of October, 1842, to the 1st of July, 1843: The exports amounted (in round numbers) to.
$84,346,000 among which were domestic articles
6,552,000 Of the former there were exported : in American vessels, to the amount of ..
. 17,685,000 Of the foreign articles there were exported : in American vessels to the value of..
1,606,000 The imports amounted to
.64,753,000 in American vessels
..14,781,000 The tonnage of the whole American shipping amounted to.. 2,158,000 For exportation there are furnished by the fisheries ...
2,112,000 the forests.
.10,919,000 among which are beef, tallow, hides, neat cattle.. 1,092,000 bogs, hams, lard, &c...
1,625,000 &c. tobacco...
. 49,119,000 the manufactories of tobacco..
370,000 distilled liquors
117,000 beer and cider.
47,000 copper and brass
108,000 cotton stuffs.
3,223,000 books and maps.
25,000 combs and buttons.
23,000 &c. Of the $77,793,000 worth of exports there went to England
$45,428,000 to all other countries
.32,364,000 among them to the Hanse towns
2,018,000 Prussia ....
&c. Of the imports there came from England....
$26,141,000 all ihe English possessions
28,978,000 the Hanse towns...
920,000 the French possessions
7,836,000 the Dutch
171,000 Cuba ..
1,191,000 Chief Exports. Chief Imports. Virginia
$1,954,000 $187,000 Pennsylvania 2,071,000 2,760,000 Maryland
14,443,000 31,356,000 Louisiana 26,653,000 8,170,000 The number of tons of vessels leaving and entering port amounted in Savannah to 15,444 New Bedford 100,081 Mobile .16,094 Philadelphia
104,348 Norfolk (Virg.) 17,926
New Orleans 149,409
...618,000 Tea, duty free....
. 13,866,000 subject to duty.
...3,229 Sugar, brown
69,534,000 white (clayed)
.3,919 Wine, champaign
13,638 gallons. red claret in bottle..
.35,317 in cask.
1,820 white French wine in bottle .8,352
in cask 99,478 port in cask..
port in bottle
.8,352 gallons. Spanish wines..
.51,719 German wines in cask
in bottle..... .355
..508,000 In New York, during the tirst six months,
of 1844, The imports amounted to $24,830,000 $38,679,000
CANALS, STEAMBOATS, AND RAILROADS.
No country presents so many favorable opportunities for the establishment of land and water communications as the United States. A great part of the ground is level or offers only gentle declivities; and even the long mountain-ranges of the Alleghanies permit in several places the construction of artificial roads. The lakes and the St. Lawrence furnish most advantageous outlets on the north ; the sea connects the eastern and southern coasts with the whole world; and those great arteries, the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio, are navigable as far up as the dwellings of men are or can be established. Even in the smaller rivers the tide penetrates so deep, or else they have such a slight descent and are so free from impediments, as to be navigated much further and by larger vessels than in most countries of the world.
The inhabitants of the United States have not only made good use of these natural advantages, but have also employed their well known activity and enterprise in forming roads, digging canals, and laying down railways; and in these undertakings they have accomplished more in proportion than any other people. According to the amount of its population, America has 3; times as many canals, and 6 times as many railroads as England ; and 4 times as many canals, and 17 times as many railroads as France.* The advantages hence arising for trade and intercourse are inestimable; besides another circumstance which is of the highest importance, although often overlooked,
* Chevalier, ii. 549.
namely a closer uniting of the several parts of the great republic The canals, steamboats, and railroads clasp it together in their embrace; they have abridged both time and distance; have immeasurably augmented intercourse, as well as the imports, exports, and means of sale; have given value to the worthless timber; and have suddenly brought into the thinly peopled, uncultivated country, the most powerful means of effecting a rapid improvement. They form a mental no less than a physical bond of union,-an additional reproof to the folly which would separate these two tendencies, or even oppose them to each other.
It is impossible, or at least it would here be out of place, to speak of all the canals of Anierica; I shall give some account only of the most important one, which connects the Hudson and New York with Lake Erie. When Gouverneur Morris, De Witt Clinton, and a few others of the same way of thinking, proposed the construction of the Erie Canal, even the daring Jefferson, it is said, regarded the plan as hasty and premature. By far the greater number of persons entertained the same opinion, and the general government refused its participation and support. But all these obstacles could not terrify Morris and Clinton, those great generals of peace, and numbers constantly flocked to their standard. On the 4th of July, 1817, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the great work was begun; and it was finished in eight years and four months, on the 4th of October, 1825, at an expense of 97 millions of dollars. Clinton and his assistants first in peaceful triumph descended the canal, rejoicing at the sight of a free people whose prosperity and unity had been advanced through their exertions. Cheers resounded throughout the towns and villages which they had called into existence, and they were every where received with expressions of the sincerest gratitude and love.t
The canal is 360 miles long, $ rises and falls 692 feet, has 83 locks, and (after its results had exceeded all expectation) has been considerably enlarged and indeed almost rebuilt. The necessity for this enlargement, and the ability to perform it, resulted from the success of the experiment; for if this double scale, exceeding all belief and all powers of execution, had been adopted at first, the whole undertaking, like many others, would have fallen through. The highest estimate which had been made for the first ten years' income from the canal was a million and a half of dollars; it amounted in reality to ten millions, or more than the entire outlay. All the land on both sides of the canal rose in value exceedingly; every where sprang up houses, ham
* Hall, i. 173.
† Natural History of New York, i. 117. † The largest canal in Europe, that of Languedoc, is only about 130 miles long, although it is constructed with greater care.