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H U N T ’S

M E R C H A N T S ’ M A G A Z IN E .


A r t . I.— T H E E N G L IS H E A S T IN D IA C O M P A N Y .
T he recent collision between the English and Chinese has excited the
greatest interest in this country, and been the cause o f increased attention
to the affairs, situation, and history o f the eastern hemisphere. It is im­
possible to bestow a moment’ s consideration on these topics, without bring­
ing out in bold relief the East India Company ; that most anomalous asso­
ciation, which, as a mere corporation, breathed into being by the will o f
the sovereigns o f England, has marshalled vast armies, under valiant cap­
tains, equipped proud navies, which
“ Like leviathans afloat,
Lay their bulwarks on the brine,”
and under her ocean-warriors braved successfully the battle and the breeze.
T o a sketch o f the rise and progress o f that company, the following pages
are devoted ; to the preparation o f them, the author has devoted some little
time in an examination o f the best authorities. Ho disclaims any merit on
the score o f originality; he presents what he considers useful to those less
favored with opportunities for literary investigation, having endeavored to
unite the facts he has collected into an harmonious whole. His effort has
been, to be severely exact, rather than eloquently descriptive ; to be co­
pious o f fact, not lavish o f fresh thought.
India has been celebrated from the earliest times. On her northern
frontier are the lofty Himmaleh Mountains ; on the south, the o ce a n ;
while those great rivers, the Indus and the Brahmapoutra, constitute her
western and eastern limits. H er territory extends over 1800 miles, from
north to south, and at its greatest breadth from east to west, nearly 1500.
Within these expanded limits are to be found the heat and luxuriance o f a
tropical climate, the intense cold and stunted growth o f the arctic zone,
picturesque hills and rugged mountains, vast plains, continuous deserts,
and, in short, an endless variety o f climate, scenery, fruit, and flower.
Her wealth was supposed to be exhaustless as ocean. Gems, and gold
and silver, it was fancied, were strewed over her broad domain as thick as
the stars which stud the heavens above her fragrant shores.


The English East India Company.

In that voluptuous clime were
“ Naides,
With fruits and flowers from Amalthea’s horn,
And ladies o f the Hesperides, that seemed
Fairer than feigned o f old, or fabled since,
O f fairy damsels met in forest wide
By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore ;
And all the while harmonious airs were heard,
O f chiming strings, or charming pipes, and winds
O f gentlest gale Arabian odors fanned
From their soft wings, and Flora’s earliest smells.”
Is it surprising that the most eager efforts should be made to gain pos­
session o f a land so full o f wonders, and so cov eted ; and whose streams,
like the ancient Pactolus, poured their musical waters over sands o f gold ?
In all times past, the wealth o f the east has been over-estimated by the rest
o f the world, to the grievous affliction o f India, which has been the theatre
o f war, from the fabled conquest o f Bacchus, and the less apochryphal vic­
tories o f Semiramis, Darius, and Alexander, down to the present century.
The passage to the East Indies round the Cape o f Good Hope, was
discovered by the celebrated Portuguese navigator, V asco da Gama, about
the year 1498. The Portuguese were enabled, by the vigor and enter­
prise o f their rulers, to maintain a commercial intercourse with the East In­
dies for a century after the landing o f her distinguished admiral, entirely
and exclusively to themselves. Lisbon became the great mart for the
valuable productions o f the east, where England and Holland usually ob­
tained their supplies o f spices ; though sometimes they were had from her
merchants resident in Antwerp. This practice was kept up until her ports
were closed against British ships, in consequence o f the war declared against
England by Philip II, who, in 1580, conquered Portugal and united it to the
Spanish monarchy. England then received her India supplies from the
Netherlands. Philip, being determined to punish the Netherlands for re­
volting from his allegiance, captured her vessels, even when in the port o f
Lisbon. The consequence was, that the Dutch commenced a direct trade
to India, and England very soon did the same. Such was the foundation
o f those great associations, the East India companies.
It is singular that the Portuguese were able to monopolize the whole
trade with the East Indies, and to pursue their career o f conquest for so
long a period as they did, without interference on the part o f the other Eu­
ropean nations. The rumors in regard to the opulence o f the east, o f its
exhaustless soil, its luxuriant vegetation, its gold, and its various treasures,
were most marvellous and captivating ; the whole land was deemed to be
fair as Eden, and crowned with spicy trees, whose branches were laden
with aromatic productions not less costly than the golden apples o f the Hes­
perides. The ancient Egyptians were supposed to have acquired immense
wealth by their commerce with the e a s t; in later days the Venetians had
prospered by the same traffic; and the states o f Europe had present proof
afforded by Portugal o f the value o f the trade. She retained it, not solely
by the martial efforts o f Alphonso Albuquerque, but by the spiritual despot­
ism o f Francis Xaxier, and his holiness the pope. W hen she entered on
her career o f African discovery, she had the sagacity to obtain from the
pope a bull, securing “ the exclusive right to, and possession of, all coun­
tries occupied by infidels, they either had discovered, or might discover,

The English East India Company.


to the south o f Cape Non, on the west coast o f Africa, in 27° 54' north
In those days the bull o f the pontiff was all-powerful. T o avoid the ap­
pearance o f disregarding it, is said to have been the main reason that E ng­
land, in the reigns o f Henry VIII, Edward V I, and Elizabeth, sought for
a northwest or northeast passage to India. These efforts proving abortive,
(no less than six voyages by the northwest were made in a few years,) and
the reformation having put a death-blow to the power o f a Romish bull,
the merchants o f England considered themselves at liberty to disregard the
vast pretensions-of Portugal, and to establish themselves in a branch o f
com m erce which was lucrative and important.
The first East India Company was the Portuguese. The government
o f Spain, after the union with Portugal, found that the crown could not
carry on a commerce with the east to any advantage, and therefore con­
veyed an exclusive right to it to an association o f Portuguese, in 1587.
This company, after contending with a long series o f difficulties and vexa­
tions, was abolished, in 1640 ; in which year Portugal acquired her inde­
pendence, under John IV .
A few years after the establishment o f the first Portuguese company, the
merchants o f Amsterdam associated together under the name o f the “ Com­
pany o f Remote Parts,” and sent ships to India in 1595. Other associa­
tions for the same purpose were entered into in other parts o f the United
Provinces, which were, in 1602, united into one company by a charter
from the States-general. W ith the lapse o f years, the commerce, territory,
and wealth o f the company increased to a most astonishing ex ten t; its
charter was renewed from time to time by the payment o f vast sums into
the public chest. The wars o f Europe, the indomitable activity o f the
English East India Company, together with the mismanagement and op­
pressive conduct o f the Dutch, conspired to gradually diminish the extent
o f the territory, and with it the power, influence, and importance o f the
once renowned Dutch East India Company.
The attempts o f the English to discover a new route to India having
failed, they resolved, in 1582, to undertake a voyage round the Cape o f
Good H o p e ; which the adventurers were obliged to abandon, getting
short o f provisions. A second attempt, in 1596, was also unfortunate, the
vessels engaged in it having been wrecked on the coast o f Spanish Am e­
rica. In 1577, an expedition started from England, under the command
o f the courageous Francis Drake, supplied with every luxury and convej
nience which the nautical taste and skill o f the age could devise. Drake,
passing through the straits o f Magellan, resolved to cross the great Pacific,
instead o f returning the way he came. He pursued his lonely path with­
out discovering any o f the islands now known in the Pacific, until he reached
the Asiatic coast. Having touched at Ternato, where he was received by
the natives with much kindness and even splendor, he took in a cargo o f
“ Joy is upon the lonely seas,
When Indian forests pour
Forth to the billow and the breeze
Their fragrance from the shore ;
Joy, when the soft air’s glowing sigh
Bears on the breath o f Araby.


The English East India Company.

“ Oh ! welcome are the winds that tell
A wanderer of the deep
Where far away the jasmines dwell,
And where the myrrh-trees weep ;
Bless’d on the sounding surge and foam
Are tidings o f the citron’s home!”
The adventurous commander spread his sails for England by the way o f
the c a p e ; that path which, it will be remembered, was claimed by the
Portuguese as exclusively their own. Touching at the cape, and at Sierra
Leone, he safely arrived at Plymouth in 1580, after a voyage o f nearly
three years, “ exhibiting to the wondering eyes o f the spectators the first
ship in England, and the second in the world, which had circumnavigated
the globe.”
The distinguished honors conferred on Drake, love o f distinction, and
desire o f wealth, stimulated the passion for maritime adventure among all
classes o f the people o f England ; the rich and the noble freely devoted
their property to the equipment o f vessels, and, relinquishing the luxuries o f
home, hazarded their lives in the various naval expeditions o f the times.
Thomas Cavendish, a gentleman o f family and wealth, mortgaged his es­
tate for the purpose o f fitting out a fleet to the East Indies. He, also,
passed through the straits o f Magellan, crossed the Pacific, rounded the
Cape o f Good Hope, and arrived in England in 1588, after an absence o f
over two years, full o f adventure, both romantic and predatory. On the
day o f his arrival he addressed a letter to the chamberlain o f the queen, in
which he writes, “ I navigated to the islands o f Philippines, (these islands
were discovered by Magellan, and were named after Philip II, o f Spain,)
nard upon the coast o f China, o f which country I have brought such intelli­
gence as hath not been heard o f in these parts ; a country, the stateliness
and riches o f which I fear to make report of, lest I should not be credited.
I sailed along the islands o f M oluccas, where, among some o f the heathen
people, I was well entreated, and where our countrymen may have trade
as freely as the Portugals, if they themselves w ill.”
A little earlier than this, there was a trade carried on with the east
by the way o f the Mediterranean ; goods were brought overland to its
eastern shores, and from thence transported to England. This circuitous
traffic becoming a matter o f consequence, an association was formed to
secure its maintenance, called the Levant Company. These and other
expeditions, together with the capture o f a Portuguese currack o f sixteen
hundred tons, filled with spices, silks, gold, porcelain, & c ., being the largest
ship and perhaps one o f the most valuable cargoes then seen in England,
added additional fuel to the already burning desire for eastern adventure
and oriental opulence. Excited by these motives, “ divers merchants”
presented, in 1589, the first application to the government for permission
to send a fleet to India ; but what reception it met with, is unknown, though
the memorial itself is said to be in existence. At length, in 1599, an
association was formed for the purpose o f fitting out ships, and an appli­
cation was made for a charter. A fund o f over £ 3 0,00 0 was subscribed
by individuals in sums varying from £ 1 0 0 to £ 3 0 0 0 , and divided into 101
shares. This project received the approval o f the government, but rea­
sons o f state, growing out o f the treaty then pending with Spain, rendered
it prudent not to hasten the enterprise. The subscribers continued to
press for the royal assent to a voyage, which was granted, though unac­
companied by a charter. It seems that the government was desirous that

The English East India Company.


Sir Edward Michelbourne should be employed by the association and re­
ceive some appointment. Their answer is remarkable for its boldness,
as well as for the singularity o f its reasoning. T h ey say it is their reso­
lution “ not to employ any gentleman in any place o f charge,” and request
“ that they may be allowed to sort theire with men o f their own qualitye,
lest the suspicion o f the employment o f gentlemen being taken hold uppon
by the generalitie, do dryve a great number o f the adventurers to with­
draw their contributions.”
The project was carried on vigorously, and at
last, on the 31st o f December, 1600, a charter was obtained.
This important instrument, the germ from which has grown the strange
and vast power possessed by the East India Company, resembled the usual
acts o f incorporation which were then so frequently granted for the encour­
agement o f trade and com m erce. The associates were made a body poli­
tic by the name o f “ the Governor and Company o f Merchants o f London,
trading to the East Indies.” Their affairs were to be managed by a com ­
mittee o f twenty-four, and a chairman, both to be chosen annually. The
charter was exclusive, and for fifteen years, with the right o f renewal for a
like term, if desired ; it granted the privilege o f trading to all places be­
yond the Cape o f G ood Hope and the straits o f Magellan, excepting those
granted to other associations and such as were already occupied by the sub­
jects o f powers at peace with England ; also the right o f exporting £ 3 0 ,0 0 0
in gold and silver, each voyage, and English goods free from duty for the
four first years ; and to re-export India goods in English ships, with an
exemption o f duty for the whole period o f the charter.
The first fleet o f the East India Company consisted o f four or five ves­
sels, procured and equipped at an expense o f nearly £ 4 0 ,0 0 0 ; about
£3 0 ,0 0 0 was taken in bullion, and about £ 7 ,0 0 0 in goods, consisting o f
cloth, lead, tin, cutlery, glass, quicksilver, & c. The commander was
Captain Lancaster ; he sailed on the 2d o f May, 1601, with letters from
the queen. Although the ardor for foreign com m erce was fervent as
has been described, still there were not wanting those who strenuously
opposed the voyage, as injurious to the best interests o f the country. The
objections resolved themselves into the following heads :
“ 1. The trade to India would exhaust the treasure o f the nation by the
exportation o f bullion.
“ 2. It would consume its mariners by an unhealthy navigation.
“ 3. It would consume its ships by the rapid decay produced in the south­
ern seas.
“ 4. It would hinder the vent o f our cloth, now exported in exchange for
the spices o f the foreign merchants.
“ 5. It was a trade o f which the returns would be very slow.
“ 6. Malice to the Turkey company was the cause o f it, and jealousy
and hatred from the Dutch would be the unhappy effect.
“ 7. It would diminish the queen’s customs by the privilege o f exporting
bullion duty free.”
The fleet went in the first instance to Acheen, in Sumatra, where a
treaty was made with its chief. H ere they took in a lot o f pepper,
and having captured a Portuguese vessel on their way to the Moluccas,
with a cargo sufficient to lade their vessels, they returned to England
in September, 1603, Captain Lancaster having the satisfaction o f knowing
he had made a large profit for his owners.
From that time to 1613 eight voyages were made, in which were in­


The English East India Company.

vested sums varying from £ 7 ,2 0 0 to £ 8 2,00 0 for each voyage, accord­
ing to the number o f ships se n t; the usual number being three or four.
A ll these voyages, except one in 1607, when both the vessels were un­
fortunately lost, turned out exceedingly profitable; the nett profits rarely
falling below 100 per cent, and in general exceeding 200 per cent, on
the capital invested in each voyage. The earliest voyages were to Su­
matra, Java, Amboyna, and other islands in the Indian Ocean, from
which were taken raw silk, indigo, cloves, mace, calicoes, & c. In 1611
they obtained permission to establish factories at Surat and other places
by paying 3^ per cent duty on their merchandise, accompanied by an as­
surance that their factories should not be injured. A firman o f the
emperor to that effect was received in 1612 ; thus was the first English
establishment in that extensive kingdom consented to and ratified by its
Up to the year 1613 the company, instead o f being an association
o f individuals united by a charter, and governed by officers elected by
the corporators in compliance with the requisitions o f a charter, was no­
thing more than a society under certain regulations : each member man­
aged for h im self; he contributed what he pleased to each adventure,
and he, or whoever else o f the society who joined him in it, conducted it
as he and they deemed most conducive to their interests, without the inter­
ference o f the company, but subject to its general rules. This method
o f managing the trade, however advantageous it might be to individuals,
was a diminution o f the power and authority o f the directors and gov­
ernor, and they resolved, in the year 1612, that the capital should be
united, and the trade in future carried on by a joint stock. T h ey did not
create a general fund and then divide it into shares, but the capital was
raised by subscription, some members advancing liberally, while others
paid nothing : the former, o f course, had the ch ief control, and the lat­
ter an impaired influence. T h ey did not subscribe for each adventure,
as before, but the whole amount raised was put into the hands o f the gov­
ernor and directors to be managed as one fund, for the benefit o f all
contributing to it. On these conditions a large sum was subscribed, which
the directors determined to divide into four voyages, to be undertaken in
as many successive years. The result o f these, as compared with the
eight preceding voyages on the old plan, was not favorable to the directors,
for the average profit, instead o f being 171 per cent, was only 8 7 i per
cent on the adventures o f the directors. A second joint-stock was created
in 1617-18, the subscription to which was £1 ,600 ,0 00 . The proprietors
were 954.
The company was now perplexed and occupied by its rivalries with
other nations, and at last actual hostilities broke out between the English
and Dutch ; the former had encountered a formidable commercial rival in
the latter, and an obstacle to their success. The Dutch company had sup­
planted the Portuguese in the spice trade ; for Spain being engaged in her
conquests in America, had neglected the interests o f her subjects in Por­
tugal ; and suffered them to be wrested away by the rich and persevering
Dutch. The English company was determined to appropriate a part of
this lucrative commerce to itself; the Dutch company steadily resisted:
the result was a series o f aggressions, probably on both sides, which be­
cam e so alarming, that the two countries agreed to institute an investiga­
tion as to their respective pretensions, to be followed by some plan for the

The English East India Company.


future regulation o f their eastern claims. A treaty was concluded at L on ­
don in 1619, to superintend the due execution o f which, a Council o f D efence
was constituted. But the arrangement was o f little avail, and inadequate to
its o b je ct; the Dutch renewed their objectionable courses, and finally, the
English members o f the Council o f Defence reported it was impossible to
continue the trade unless the Dutch were checked in their oppressive con­
duct. The anger o f the English was roused to the highest pitch by the
massacre at Am boyna, an incident so well known in the history o f the east.
In 1623, Captain Tow erson and nine Englishmen, nine Japanese and one
Portuguese, were taken at Am boyna, under the charge o f a conspiracy
against the Dutch, tried and executed. The English government were
solicited to obtain redress ; but nothing effectual was done. Then ensued
the civil war in England, during which the affairs o f India were overlooked,
and the Dutch maintained their supremacy, indifferent to all remonstrances,
until the establishment o f the Protectorate.
The operations o f the company about this period w ere comparatively
small, though attended with a profit.
One p roof o f the productiveness o f
their investment is found in the fact, that for years they had exported more
specie than their charter permitted ; they did so, however, by first obtain­
ing liberty from the government, by an annual petition. Th ey now ap­
plied for a general license to export, i f necessary, £ 120,000 ; a favor which
was extended to them in their renewed charter. This amount would
never have been shipped, unless the previous profits justified the pro­
In 1631-32 a third joint-stock was created to the amount o f £ 4 2 0 ,7 0 0 ;
with which several ships were fitted out during that and a few succeeding
seasons. Th ey were now threatened with a new and alarming interrup­
tion o f the quiet enjoyment o f their exclusive privileges by the association
o f a number o f persons under the direction o f Sir W illiam Courten. It
will be remembered, that the charter to the company was a grant from the
crown, not an act o f incorporation passed by parliament; nor had the
grant been ratified by parliam ent: it was supposed, in consequence o f
this, that the exclusive privileges terminated at the deposition o f Charles I.
A t any rate, Charles himself affected to think the grant subject to some
limitation, for in 1635, he was induced to bestow a license upon Courten
and his associates, upon the ground that the company had consulted their
own interest only, without regard to the king’s revenue, and had broken
the condition o f their charter. The company resorted to complaints and pe­
titions against their new competitors, until they prevailed on the king to
withdraw the license given to Courten, on condition that they should raise
a new and large joint-stock. The attempt to create the new stock met with
great difficulties, and only £ 2 2 ,5 0 0 was raised ; this is ascribed to the
want o f confidence in joint-stock operations ; for the fact was now disclosed
that the owners o f the third joint-stock had never been able to get a settle­
ment with the directors; in short, the affairs o f the company were fast
becoming more difficult o f adjustment, and it soon began to feel the want
o f funds. The attempt to raise the new stock was renewed with partial
success : enough was realized for a single voyage, which the company,
for some purpose o f policy, called the First General Voyage. Efforts were
renewed to create the stock, and in 1 6 4 9 -5 0 a memorial was presented on
the subject, in which there was great complaint o f Courten’s association.
His license had not been withdrawn, nor had the company raised the stock,


The English East India Company.

the condition o f its withdrawal; but the expectation that he would be de­
prived o f it, paralyzed his further efforts.
The council o f state proposed a union o f the company and the associa­
tion, which, after some objections, was effected, and a stock formed called
the united joint-stock. The confusion arising from the management o f
these various stocks, owned by different persons, and controlled by different
directors, with the pervading distrust o f the utility o f joint-stock trade, were
the means o f drawing from the Assada merchants, who had reluctantly ac­
quiesced in the plan o f the united joint-stock, a petition that the company
should no longer be conducted on the joint-stock principle, but that the
owners o f the separate funds should manage as they thought best. The
company o f course resisted any change, and made a long array o f argu­
ments against the views o f the Merchant Adventurers, as the petitioners
were somewhat cavalierly called. W hile these matters were yet undisposed
o f by the Protector and council to whom they had been referred, the pro­
prietors o f the united stock, or Merchant Adventurers, obtained liberty
from Cromwell to fit out a fleet for India. This attempt to open the trade
and make it free, enkindled the zeal o f the company for a decision in their
fav or; they represented in a petition in 1656, that the great number o f ships
licensed for voyages to India, had raised the price o f India goods to nearly
50 per cent, and reduced that o f English goods in the same degree. The
council advised Cromwell to continue the exclusive trade and joint stock,
and in 1657 they obtained a renewal o f their charter from him. The op­
erations had been for some years restricted by their narrow means, yet
they had been able to lay the foundations o f Madras and settlements in
B e n g a l; Fort St. George was erected by permission from the native
powers, and in 1653-4 erected into a presidency, as in 1658 was Madras ;
a factory was established at Hooghly, and other important points rendered
A fter the decision above referred to, a union took place between the
company and the Merchant Adventurers, and a new subscription to the
amount o f £ 7 86 ,0 00 was taken in 1658. The new subscribers adjusted
accounts with the owners o f the older stocks, established some judicious
regulations for the future conduct o f their business, and placed all the
factories and presidencies under the President and Council at Surat.
Th eir affairs, however, w ere not particularly prosperous. After Cromwell
had deceased, the company presented to Charles II, on his accession, a
petition for a renewal o f the charter, which he granted in 1661. This in­
strument not only confirmed their privileges, among which was the im ­
portant one obtained about thirty years before o f punishing those in their
em ploy abroad, by martial, as well as municipal law, but conferred the
rights o f making war and peace with any power, not Christian, o f seizing
and sending to England all unlicensed persons within their limits, and o f
exercising judicial powers according to the laws o f England. Still, the
period up to 1668 is called one o f weakness and obscurity ; in which year
the gloom was partially dispersed by the cession o f Bombay to the king,
who received it as part o f the dowry o f the Infanta Catharine, o f Portugal •
by whom it was assigned to the company on certain conditions. Soon
after which, the presidency was removed to Bombay from Surat. It may
be here added, that the salary o f the president was £ 3 0 0 , with a gratuity o f
£200 in lieu o f private trade, per annum.
From the accession o f Bombay, the appearance, at least, o f prosperity

T heE nglisli East India Company.


dawned upon the affairs o f the company, and the appointments and num­
ber o f its ships were on a scale o f enlarged and unprecedented magnifi­
cence. “ In the year 1 6 67 -8 six ships sailed for Surat with goods and
bullion to the value o f £1 3 0 ,0 0 0 ; five ships to St. George with a value
o f £ 7 5 ,0 0 0 ; and five to Bantam, with a stock o f £ 4 0 ,0 0 0 .”
The next
and several succeeding seasons were equally distinguished. That o f 1668,
is memorable on another account o f vast moment in the history o f Indian
affairs; in that year is the first allusion to the article tea in the records
o f the company, in a letter addressed to their agent in Bantam, instructing
him to procure 100 pounds “ the best he can g et.”
T o so humble a be­
ginning is the tea-trade to be tr a c e d ; an event which will ever remain
distinguished in the reign o f the m erry monarch.
In 1681, according to Sir Josiah Child, the company consisted o f 556
members ; they had 36 ships o f from 775 to 1000 tons ; the duties upon
the trade amounted to £ 6 0 ,0 0 0 a year ; the exports to nearly £ 7 0 ,0 0 0 ;
an amount o f trade not so large as was expected, however, and which in
part explains the reason why the officers o f the company, in reply to an
order to provide a large investment, stated that the funds at their disposal
were but £ 8 8 ,2 2 8 ; while their debt was £1 0 0 ,0 0 0 at 9 per cent. Nothing
important occurred to the company from 1675 until 16 83 ; or rather nothing
which requires to be narrated in an article like the present.
The company having suffered in their interest by interlopers, as those
w ere called who ventured to trade upon their individual resources, made
unwearied efforts to suppress them. The opponents o f the company in­
sisted on their natural rights, though they differed in their plans, some o f
them being in favor o f free trade, while others were desirous o f forming a
new company. The house o f commons, partaking o f the more enlighten­
ed and liberal ideas which circulated throughout the land about civil rights,
regarded the company with an averted look, and in 1691 requested the
king to dissolve it, and create a new one. The king, instead o f com ply­
ing, granted them a new charter within two y ears; no doubt, he had not
been converted to the opinion now boldly advanced, that a royal charter,
unconfirmed by parliament, had not the virtue o f restricting the rights o f
the people in favor o f those o f the East India Company. But the house
were determined to maintain their ground, and very soon after, re­
solved, “ that it was the right o f all Englishmen to trade to the East In­
dies, or any part o f the world, unless prohibited by act o f parliament.”
King W illiam reluctantly yielded to their will. The company, and those
in favor o f the new association, tried to bribe the government into a
support o f their several claims, and the new company offering the best
terms to government in the shape o f a loan, a bill was introduced into par­
liament in their favor. In 1698 a charter was granted to the new associ­
ates under the name o f the “ General Society,” with a stock o f £ 2,000, 000,
and allowing each subscriber to trade on his own account. By this strange
and contradictory kind o f legislation, two companies were in being at the
same time, each claiming an exclusive right to the same thing.
The new company were unable to compete successfully with the old
one, and its stock rapidly depreciated in value ; they found it difficult to
collect the subscriptions ; they w ere involved in trouble at home and in
In dia: these adverse events made them willing to seek safety by a union
with the old company. The king proposed i t ; and in 1702, after much
trouble, the two companies were united by indenture under the great seal,
VOL. iv.— no, iv.


The English E ast India Company.

and assumed the name o f The United Company o f Merchants trading to
the East Indies. T h ey could not so far forget their ancient rivalries as
to act harmoniously, but were engaged in intestine broils down to 1707—8,
when the government demanded o f the united company a loan o f £ 1, 200 , 000 ,
without interest; this requisition, by alarming their fears as to offers to
government from any new quarter, as had happened in previous times,
forced them, by a sense o f common danger, to lay aside their quarrel,
and combine for the joint welfare. They agreed to refer their differences
to the arbitration o f the Earl o f Godolphin, the lord high treasurer o f
England. This award was published in 1708 ; under it the affairs o f the
two companies were blended together and adjusted. Their privileges
were continued by an act o f Q ueen Anne till three years notice after the
28th o f March, 1726, and the repayment o f their capital, on condition o f a
loan to the government o f £ 1, 200 , 000 , without interest.
The high disputes between the contending parties, which threatened the
continuance o f the trade, were put to rest by the arbitration o f the Earl o f
Godolphin ; on the basis o f which, a constitution was constructed, that sub­
stantially remains to the present time. A court o f proprietors was created,
o f those who held stock to the amount o f £ 5 0 0 , which regularly assembled
quarterly. The board o f directors was chosen annually by the proprietors,
for one year. The directors held office for one year, unless rechosen ; and
were ineligible i f not possessed o f stock to the amount o f £ 2000 .
In 1712, parliament extended their exclusive privilege o f trade to 1733,
though in opposition to the wishes and petitions o f the mercantile towns,
who were anxious that the trade should be free and open to all. Three
years previous to the time at which the last charter would expire, petitions
were again presented to the legislature, for a modification o f the course and
manner o f trade, which contained a plan for saving o f the public money to
a large amount, and urged the opening o f the trade to the whole country.
It was insisted that the only plausible pretext for the continuance o f an in­
corporated company was, the maintaining o f forts and other buildings o f a
permanent character, requisite to the prosecution o f the trade, and which
could not be maintained by the limited means o f individuals: this end se­
cured, the com m erce with India ought to be kept free to all who should be
disposed to embark in its pursuit. I f the trade were left open to individual
enterprise, and not carried on by the company, the question arises, how
were the proprietors to receive any profit ? This was to be effected by
duties imposed upon the exports and imports ; as there were certain terri­
torial and other duties belonging to the establishments in India, which
would pay their own support, it was computed that the tax upon exports
and imports would pay a dividend to the proprietors o f some five per eent
upon their investment.
This project, which certainly had much in it to make a favorable im­
pression upon the public mind, produced, as might be expected, a highlyexcited opposition to the exclusive claims o f the company ; the press came
out with its powerful voice in favor o f free trade, while petitions to the same
end flowed into the house o f commons from the great mercantile cities o f the
realm. It was urged, in an argument parallel to that used in this country
during the recent contest with the Bank o f the United States, “ that foreign­
ers possessed at least a third part o f the stock o f the East India Com pany;
and one third o f their gain was thus made for the benefit o f other coun­

The English East India Company.


The company defended their rights, to the extent o f their ability, with
all the sophistry likely to characterize such a dispute, and they succeeded
on the floor o f parliament, by contributing £ 200,000 to the service o f the
public. Having thus smoothed the way, the legislature extended their
charter to 1766 ; which extension the company accepted, to avoid contro­
versy, though they contended they had a monopoly in perpetuity by virtue
o f some previous act o f parliament. F rom this time to the year 1744, their
trade moved on in a uniform course. In 1732, they began to make up an­
nual accounts o f the purchase o f their exports and sales o f their im ports;
a practice uninterruptedly continued. In the former year an act passed,
extending their privileges to three years after Lady-day, 1780. This was
accomplished by repeating the bribe to government in the shape o f a pro­
posal to lend it £ 1, 000,000 at three per c e n t; to accomplish which they
obtained authority to borrow that amount by the issue o f bonds.
Previous to the middle o f the eighteenth century, the company was an
association created for the purpose o f trade merely ; the protection they
sought for abroad was that o f the native powers. A s their intercourse with
the east was enlarged, their factories assumed an aspect o f strength more
suited to defensive operations ; they became more and more entangled in
the conflict o f arms to which the nations had resorted, and they more or
less participated in warlike preparations and contests. It is not within the
scope o f this article to do more than advert briefly and occasionally to the
brilliant exploits and hard-fought fields which are so intimately associated
with the increase o f British sway in In dia: the task o f portraying the mili­
tary history o f the company could be accomplished but by long-continued
labor, or the compilation o f well-filled tomes. The purpose now in hand
is to give, in a compressed form, a sketch o f the progress o f the civil and
mercantile interests o f the company, with no further allusions to its warlike
operations, either o f defence or aggression, than may be necessary to the
completion o f such design.
A ll who have turned their thoughts to the east, have heard o f Carnatic;
yet many may be unable to describe its extent, or to define the intimate
connection between the revolution there effected, and the history o f the
“ Carnatic,” says Mills, “ is the name given to a large district o f coun­
try along the coast o f Coromandel, extending from near the river Kistria
to the northern branch o f the Cavery. In extending westward from the
sea, it was distinguished into two parts : the first, including the level coun­
try between the sea and the first range o f mountains, and entitled Carnatic
below the Ghauts; the second, including the table-land between the first
and second range o f mountains, and called Carnatic above the Ghauts. A
corresponding track, extending from the northern branch o f the Cavery to
Cape Cormorin, sometimes also receives the name o f Carnatic; but in that
case it is distinguished by the title o f the Southern Carnatic.” Aurungzebe added Carnatic to his empire, and it formed part o f the subah o f
D eccan. D eccan was divided into great nabobships, one o f which was
Carnatic. The native princes quarrelled in regard to this territory, with
all the exasperation attending a disputed succession; the English and
French, almost o f course, being drawn into the contest. F or several years
they and their native allies were engaged in war, upon the point whether
Mahomet A li should be acknowledged Nabob o f Carnatic ; the French in­
sisting he should be given up, while the English contended that he should


The English East India Company.

be acknowledged. The war raged furiously in India, in despite o f a treaty
o f peace existing between England and France. A t last, a provisional
treaty o f peace was made at Pondicherry, in which there was a stipulation
for the mutual withdrawal o f interference in the affairs o f the native princes.
By this arrangement, the English gained the point in dispute ; for Mahomet
A li was left nabob o f Carnatic, or A rcot. The English, however, were
not yet free from the misery o f w a r ; but were kept busily engaged in its
conduct. Th ey were also annoyed by serious difficulties resulting from
the private trade o f those em ployed by the company, which interfered with
the unquestioned rights o f the native powers. The company endeavored
to rectify the abuses o f their agents in this particular, and also turned their
attention to the subject o f presents made by the natives to their servants,
for improper purposes. The magnitude o f these presents was unexpectedly
great, as appears by the report o f a committee o f the house o f commons.
In 1764, the company resolved that all presents received by their agents,
over a certain amount, be paid over to the company. Passing by the train
o f events that marked the progress o f several years, important as they are
to a perfect knowledge o f the history o f Indian affairs, we arrive at the
year 1766, when the stock o f the company rose to 263 per cent. This
vast appreciation is ascribed to the inflated notions o f the public, engen­
dered by the deceptive accounts o f the agents abroad, and to the acquisi­
tion o f a territory in India o f enormous extent and supposed opulence.
The directors, against their better judgment, at the instance o f the pro­
prietors, were com pelled to declare a dividend o f twelve and a half per
cent, though obliged to borrow the money to make it at an increased rate
o f interest, while encumbered with debt. This great dividend, the increase
o f territory, and the victories o f L ord Clive, attracted the regard, not only
o f the people, but the rulers o f England, to the growing and alarming power
o f the company. The crown took the positions that all territory acquired
by its subjects belonged to the nation, and that neither a corporation or
individuals could exercise the rights o f sovereignty, independent o f the su­
preme power. This was a controversial point which the company were
anxious to elude, and they did so by an arrangement to pay to the govern­
ment £400 ,0 00 per year, for several years, and perform certain other
things, in consideration o f which they were authorized to hold their terri­
torial possessions for five years.
The company was oppressed with debt, and its moneyed affairs were
getting more and more embarrassing. A t length, they were obliged, after
in vain trying to obtain an adequate loan from tbe bank, to inform the
minister o f their necessities, and to solicit the loan o f at least one million.
Such was the lamentable pass to which they arrived, to the disappointment
o f the sanguine hopes o f the proprietors, and the exasperation o f the pub­
lic against the imputed inefficiency and corruption o f the managers and
their agents. The appeal to the minister threw the company into his
power, for it met with a favorable response as to the loan, but clogged
with stipulations for increasing the influence o f the crown. In fact, a com ­
plete revolution was made in their constitution, in spite o f their remon­
strances and most strenuous opposition. In 1773, two acts received the
royal assent: the one in regard to financial r e lie f; the other, to a new
constitution o f the company. By the former, £1 ,400 ,0 00 were to be
loaned them at four per cent, and the claim o f £ 4 00 ,0 00 per year from the
territorial revenue to be withheld until the loan was repaid; until then, no

The English East India Company.


dividend to exceed six per c e n t; they were not to divide' over seven per
cent until their bond debt was reduced to £1 ,500,000 ; after that reduction,
they were to pay to the exchequer three fourths o f the surplus receipts at
home, the other fourth to go the reduction o f the bond debt, or the forma,
tion o f a fund for contingencies. These conditions, in compliance with
which their territorial acquisitions were to be held for the remainder o f the
charter— five years— were considered oppressive and illegal by the com ­
pany ; but they were obliged to submit to the law. The other act raised
the pecuniary qualification o f proprietors, and, what was yet more arbitrary
and odious in their view, vested the government o f Bengal and its terri­
tories in a governor-general and four counsellors, and made the other pre­
sidencies subordinate to it. There was to be a supreme court o f judica­
ture at Calcutta, o f four judges, to be appointed by the crown.
The first governor-general and counsellors were nominated in the act
by parliament, and were to hold their offices for five y e a r s ; after which
the choice was to be made by the directors, subject to the approbation o f
the crown. All correspondence affecting the affairs o f the company was
to be exhibited to the m inistry; no persons in the service were to receive
presents, and the officers above enumerated were excluded from commer­
cial pursuits. These alterations, however well intended for rectifying the
evils supposed to exist in the management at home, and in India, do not
appear to have accomplished those important purposes ; but the limits o f
this article will not permit an attempt at any explanation o f the reason o f
their failure.
In March, 1733, the effects and credits o f the company in England
amounted to nearly £ 8 , 000,000 ; the whole o f their debts exceeded
£ 9 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 ; balance against them about £1,400,000. The whole o f
their effects and credits in India, China, and St. Helena, and on the ocean,
over £6 ,000 ,0 00 . Their debt abroad was over £2,000,000 ; making a
balance in their favor o f nearly £4 ,500 ,0 00 . The whole amount o f their
available property was, in exact figures, £2 ,930 ,5 68 10s. lOd. O f their
capital stock o f £ 4 ,200 ,0 00 , £1,269,431 9s. 2d. was gone. In the report
from which the above is derived, the valuation o f the forts and buildings
abroad is not included, because they are not assets, as composed with debts,
any further than they could be disposed of. From May, 1757, nearly
four millions was expended in forts and buildings. The annual dividends,
from 1744 to 1772, varied from 6 to 12j percent. By one o f the reports
of the committee o f secresy (a body instituted by parliament) it appears
that between 1772 and 1774, the sales at the India House increased from
about two to three millions pounds annually, and their exports had doubled.
In the year 1751, their shipping was 38,441 tons; in 1772, it had increased
to 61,860.
In 1772, W arren Hastings, a name celebrated in the annals o f both
England and India, was appointed by parliament governor-general. He
had served in different capacities and grades, and, from his talents and ex­
perience in the affairs o f the company, was eminently qualified for the distin­
guished station. The new constitution was not to take effect until after the
1st o f August, 1774 ; in the following October, the four counsellors, who
with the governor-general were to form the board o f administration, ar­
rived at Calcutta, and immediately assumed the powers o f government.
From this time the affairs o f India became exceedingly interesting, and
worthy the particular attention o f those fond o f historical research and po­


The English East India Company.

litical investigation. Hastings was, at the outset, opposed by a majority
o f his council, and continued dissensions soon marked the character o f the
new authorities. Hastings was accused o f bribery and other offences, even
by members o f his council, to the total destruction o f all unity o f action
between him and th em ; indeed, he denounced three o f his colleagues as
his accusers on one occasion, and declared that he would not sit at the
board in the character o f a criminal, or acknowledge the members to be
his judges. H e was relieved from the awkward position o f being in the
minority by the death o f Col. Monson, in 1776; the council, including the
governor-general, was then equally divided; the casting vote o f the latter
gave him the supremacy.
A singular incident in the history o f Mr. Hastings, is his resignation, by
an agent, whose authority he denied. W h en laboring under the vexation
o f being controlled in the board, he intrusted certain private affairs to the
care o f Mr. Maclean, a gentleman about to depart for England. Hastings
had been censured by the directors and proprietors for his proceedings
against the Rohillas, and an application to the crown for his removal was
suggested. W hile this measure was in suspense, Mr. Maclean tendered
the resignation o f Mr. Hastings ; a committee investigated his power, af­
firmed that he had such, and the resignation was accepted. His successor
was appointed ; but Hastings refused to surrender his office, on the ground
that Maclean had no authority to act for him on the su bject; his oppo­
nents in the council, rather than risk a civil war, as they stated, agreed to
leave the question to the decision o f the Supreme C ou rt; and they deci­
ded that he had not vacated his office.
There are matters o f far more consequence than the preceding, affect­
ing the character o f Mr. Hastings, and there are others identified with his
administration upon which we cannot d w ell; we can but mention and pass
over some o f th em :— the expedition against Poona, the campaign against
the Mahrattas, the war against the king o f Tanjore, the capture o f Pondi­
cherry, the war with Hyder A li, the taking o f Negapatam and Trincomalee, the efforts o f the Supreme Court to enlarge its authority, the recall o f
the chief-justice, the war against Benares, the understanding between Has­
tings and the nabob o f Oude, and the cruel spoliation o f the Begums.
In 1785, Mr. Hastings resigned his office, and sailed for England. Omit­
ting any comment upon his administration not affecting its financial
character, it may be remarked o f that portion, that it was unsuccessful;
for the revenue o f the Indian government at the termination o f his presi­
dency, did not equal its expenses ; these had been increased during the
thirteen years o f his governm ent; so had the revenue, but not in the same
Burke commenced a movement in the house o f commons, in which he
was ably sustained by Sheridan, and ultimately by Pitt, that resulted in the
impeachment o f Hastings. His trial, which so deeply interested all E n g­
land, and which is celebrated, not only for its seven years’ duration, but
for the galaxy o f genius which it displayed, and the eloquence which it
developed, must be summarily disposed o f in no more lines than Burke
consumed days (and he occupied four) in his opening speech against the
accused. The public sympathies were awakened in behalf o f one who had
for seven long years been under the ignominy o f impeachment; the preju­
dices which existed at its commencement had gradually yielded to kindlier
feelings, and something like public satisfaction was experienced at the

The English East India Company.


verdict o f not guilty. The company gave him a pension o f £ 4 ,0 0 0 a year,
for twenty-eight and a half years, accompanying it with a loan, without in­
terest, for eighteen years, o f £ 5 0 ,0 0 0 , to defray the expenses o f the trial.
W hat a commentary on the prompt justice and cost o f the law !
In 1780, the exports o f the company amounted to £3 8 6 ,1 5 2 o n ly ; be­
ing but one thirty-second part o f the whole foreign trade o f England. The
exports for three years, ending in 1793, o f British produce and manufac­
tures, varied from £9 2 8 ,7 8 3 to £ 1 ,0 3 1 ,2 6 2 . The increase was owing to
the reduction o f the duty on tea, and its consequently increased consump­
tion ; but for this, the amount would not have exceeded that o f 1780.
The charter was renewed in 1781, and in 1793 extended to 1814, on
certain pecuniary conditions favorable to the government. The ministiy
succeeded in carrying into effect the important point, that all despatches
o f the company, before sent to India, should be examined by them, and
that the company should obey their directions in all that pertained to
peace and war, or negotiations with other powers. The discussions upon
the affairs o f the company were o f unusual interest at this period ■ the
several East India Ijills proposed by M r, Dundas, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Pitt,
so far as connected with the history o f those distinguished men, must be too
well remembered to justify minute examination, important as they are to
a full understanding o f the political events o f that interesting epoch in
English history. Mr. Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville, did not press his
bill, because he received no aid from the ministry, to whom he was op­
posed. The king entertained such a vehement aversion to the bill o f M r.
Fox, the object o f which was to abolish the court o f directors and proprie­
tors, and vest the government in seven commissioners appointed by parlia­
ment, that he took the extraordinary course o f informing many o f the peers
he should consider those his enemies who voted for it. It was lost in the
house o f lords— one cause o f its unpopularity being the unnatural coalition
o f F ox and Lord N orth ; and the dissolution o f the ministry followed. Pitt
became minister, and the bill called by his name, was enacted in 1784.
The prominent innovation introduced by it, was the organization o f a board
o f control, composed o f six members o f the privy council, chosen by the
king, o f whom the chancellor o f the exchequer and one o f the principal
secretaries o f state were to be t w o ; one o f these officers was to act as
president. The powers o f the board were very extensive, embracing the
whole civil and military government o f the company. There was also a
board o f directors ; this body, in effect, was the instrument by which the
board o f control carried out the details o f plans adopted by it.
The two
boards, notwithstanding the subordinate character o f one o f them, have
performed their duties with much harmony. The king had the right to
appoint the com m ander-in-chief; the company to appoint the governorgeneral, subject to the concurrence o f the crown. Lord Cornwallis as­
sumed the command in India in 1786, and though the expectations o f suc­
cess formed upon the accession to office o f one so diligent and patriotic
were not fully realized, his benevolence and well-intentioned zeal cannot
be questioned.
Sir John Shore, afterwards L ord Teignmouth, succeeded Cornwallis,
and resigned in 1798. Sir John was appointed because o f his pacific
views and financial knowledge ; his successor, Lord Mornington, was se­
lected because he had recently made a fine speech against Jacobinism,
though there were other and better reasons, o f “ a peculiar nature,” for


The English East India Company.

his appointment, as was mysteriously said at the time. He arrived at
Calcutta in 1798, and almost immediately found himself engaged in war­
like operations against Tippoo Sultan. Seringapatam was taken by a
brilliant assault, Tippoo slain while gallantly fighting in its defence, and
his territory divided.
The administration o f the Marquis W ellesley was signalized by acces­
sions to the British empire in India o f the territories o f Tippoo, and o f the
Mahratta chiefs, the capture o f Delhi, and other tracts o f country. Du­
ring the same period, the revenue was nearly doubled ; but, unfortunately,
the expenses and interest on the debt o f the government increased faster than
the revenue ; so that, in 1805, they amounted to over £1 7,00 0,00 0 ; leav­
ing a deficit o f £2 ,269 ,0 00 . Indeed there was a contraction o f new debts,
and an excess o f expenditure, down to 1812.
In 1805, Lord W ellesley resigned the government to Lord Cornwallis.
The policy o f the former was to enlarge the British power by conquest
and subsidiary alliances, in which he was eminently successful; though
its sagacity and utility were well questioned by the public, and by all those
who saw that it entailed interminable wars upon the company, and was at
variance with the views by which it professed to be governed. It was in
the belief that a pacific line o f conduct could be pursued, and a flowing
treasury be the consequence, that the venerable and infirm Cornwallis was
urged to accept the government. A s might have been anticipated, he
survived but a very few months, and the duties o f the office devolved upon
Sir John Barlow, who expressed his determination to adhere to the policy
o f his predecessor, and abandon all connection with the petty states. H e
in turn was succeeded, in 1807, by Lord Minto, “ a prudent and intelligent
nobleman, who endeavored in his general system to maintain the pacificpolicy recommended by the com pany.”
In 1813, the Marquis o f Has­
tings commenced his administration. He was evidently inclined to revive
the plans and policy o f the Marquis W ellesley ; the fact that the company
selected a military governor, seems to force the belief that they were dis­
satisfied with the mild and peaceful system which had been previously ad­
vocated and tried. In the same year, the charter was renewed, but modi­
fied in its extent by the more liberal notions in regard to free trade, which
then had acquired a vigor and potency not to be resisted. The monopoly
o f the China trade was continued to the company, but they were obliged
to consent to the opening o f the India trade, under certain limitations.
It will strike most persons with surprise, yet it is an admitted truth, that
the company lost by the India trade, though it may have gained some­
thing by its monopoly o f the tea trade ; as was happily remarked, a com ­
pany that maintained armies and retailed tea, that carried a sword in one
hand and a leger in the other, could not trade with success. The com ­
pany, under such circumstances, could not interpose any adequate objec­
tion to taking away their privilege o f trading, when the renewal o f the char­
ter was under discussion in 1832-3.
Accordingly, the act o f W illiam IV,
for continuing the charter to 1854, provided that the company’s trade to
China should cease in 1834, and, o f course, the commercial character o f the
company is now ended. The trade to India, China, and the east generally,
is now for the first time open in E n glan d; the monopoly being removed,
her merchants and statesmen are sanguine in the belief that the trade to
the east will assume a magnitude far exceeding any past calculation.
The new act confers on the East India Company nothing beyond politi­


The English East India Company.

cal powers and duties. A ll the real and personal property belonging tofit
on the twenty-second o f April, 1834, is vested in the crown, to be managed
by the company, subject to all debts, & c ., that exist, or may hereafter be
incurred by competent authority. The debts and liabilities o f the company
are charged on India. The dividend is to he at ten and a half per cent,
to be paid in England, out o f the revenues o f India, and a security fund is
provided for its discharge. The company’ s stock is £ 6, 000 , 000 . The
proprietors, in general court, may pass by-laws. A general court is to be
held in each quarter o f the year, at which no one can be present unless he
own £ 5 0 0 o f stock, & c. In 1825, there were 2,003 proprietors.
A court o f directors, o f twenty-four members, for the despatch o f execu­
tive details, is chosen from the proprietors, each o f whom must own £2000
o f stock. The directors choose annually, from their body, a chairman and
deputy-chairman. The company’ s officers, at home and abroad, are ap­
pointed by the court o f directors. There is also a secret committee, from
the same body, to whom all confidential matters between the board o f con­
trol and the company are referred ; the directions o f the board, as to po­
litical affairs, may be sent to India through the committee, without having
been seen by the other directors. It will be remembered that Pitt pro­
posed the board o f control; the act o f 1834 provided that the company
should act under the supervision o f a board bearing the same name.
In 1814, the first year o f the free trade to India, the exports o f cotton
amounted to 817,000 yards, o f which only about 170,000 yards, valued at
£1 7,77 8, were exported by the company ; from that year, the amount re­
gularly increased, until, as appears by a table showing the progress o f the
trade down to 1832, the yards o f printed cottons exported in that year from
Great Britain to all parts o f the east, except China, reached to 18,291,650.
O f plain cotton, 39,276,511 yards. Their declared value, including lace,
hosiery, and small wares, £1,531,393. O f cotton twist, 4,295,427 pounds;
declared value, £3 09 ,7 19 . The value o f the imports during the same year
was as follows :—
Imports by the East India Company, . . £1 ,107 ,7 87
Private t r a d e , ................................................
Total im ports,..................................... £6 ,337,098
Value o f the exports during the same y e a r :—
By the East India C o m p a n y , ........................ £ 1 49 ,1 93
Private t r a d e , ...................................................... 3,601,093
Total exports to the east, excluding China,



. £3,750,286

Am ong the imports o f that year were 79,090 pieces o f cotton piece-goods,
white calicoes, and muslins; 227,226 pieces o f cotton piece-goods, dyed
cotton, and grasscloths ; also, 35,219,504 pounds o f cotton wool. In the
above is included the private trade.
The territorial charges o f the East India Company during the official
year 1 8 27 -8 w e r e .......................................................................... £26,139,896
Their territorial revenues were . . . . . . . .
Nett charge, or excess o f expenditure over revenue .

VOL. iv.— no. iv.



£3 ,147 ,0 75


The English East India Company.

Abstract View of the Revenues and Charges of India for the years 1831-2, 1832-3,
1833-4, and (by estimate) 1834-5, taken from M’ Culloch’s Com. Viet., Am. ed., 1840.

B en g a l,...............

B o m b a y ,............
o f India,
D eficiency
o f ordinary >




£ 9 ,474 ,0 84

£9 ,487,778





£5 ,445 ,1 00








£1 4,40 5,73 6 £14,219,374 £1 3,68 0,16 5 £1 4,48 7,10 0





B e n g a l,...............

£7 ,5 3 5 ,1 7 0

£7 ,687 ,2 28

£ 7 ,018 ,4 49

B o m b a y ,............




£6 ,7 4 9 ,2 9 3

















Total charges
in India,
Charge on account o f St.
Charge on account o f India,
in England,


Total charges




Surplus o f ordi- >
nary revenue, $

£14,405,736 £14,219,374 £13,680,165 £1 4,48 7,10 0

The debts o f the company, in India, on the 30th April, 1834, amounted
to £3 4,463,483, hearing an interest o f £1 ,754 ,5 45 a year. (Pari, paper,
N o. 380, Sept. 1836.)
In 1830 the army in India consisted o f 170,062 cavalry ; 19,539 artil­
le r y ; 1,084 engineers, with pioneers, & c . : in all, 223,476 men. O f these,
187,068 were natives, and 37,376 Europeans; the latter were divided
between the king’s and the company’s services, in the proportion o f 20,292
to the former, and 17,084 to the latter. The cost o f these establishments
during the same year was £9 ,461 ,9 53 . Efforts at retrenchment and
econom y have since been made, and the army reduced to about 190,000
men. The population o f British India is not accurately known ; the total

The English East India Company.


under British control has been computed at 126,000,000 ; the Europeans,
and those o f European descent, were but 40,000.
The following extract, probably from the pen o f Captain Dalrymple, one
o f the authors o f the history o f British India, comprised in Harper’s Fam ily
Library, gives an accurate account o f the equipments o f the company’s
ships and an insight into the character o f its naval service.
“ The East India Company have now about 50 noble ships o f 1200 tons
burden and upwards, employed in their trade to India and Chipa. Th ey are
manned as follows : 1 captain, 6 officers, 6 midshipmen, 1 surgeon, 1 pur­
ser, & c . : in all, 130.
“ T h ey are always well armed, carrying in time o f peace 20 eighteen
pounders on their main-deck, and 6 thirty-two pound canonnades on the
upper deck. During war the number o f guns is increased to 32. In ad­
dition to great guns, each ship carries 100 muskets, 50 pistols, 50 cutlasses,
and 100 pikes, with all needful ammunition, and a magazine fitted for ac­
tion. The company have two classes o f ships, in their regular service.
The ships o f the first class, eight in number, are the private property o f
the company. In these ships all the appointments are in the gift o f the
East India directors, and promotion is according to seniority. A captain
is allowed to retain the command for five years, when he must retire.
The other class o f ships are let to hire to the company for a certain number
o f voyages by private owners. The captains and officers in these hold the
same rank in the company’s service, as the captains and officers o f the
company’ s own ships, and are subject to the same laws as to qualification,
& c . ; but the appointments o f both captains and officers are in the gift
o f the private owners, and the rule o f seniority is observed. The most ra­
pid promotion which can take place, would be this : one voyage as midship­
man ; one as sixth or fifth officer ; one as third ; one as second or first;
and then captain. The captain, first, second, third, and fourth officers,
each take an oath o f fidelity to the company every voyage. N o person
can be sworn in as fourth officer without producing certificates that he
has performed two voyages to India ; that he is 21 years o f age, & c.
Every officer is examined each time he advances a step. N o person is
permitted to act as a surgeon, who shall not have performed one voyage
in a company’s ship, or served twelve months in this service in hot cli­
mates. The surgeon and his mate must produce certificates from the
royal college o f surgeons and from the company’s physician o f their quali­
fications. The ships are well stored and provisioned. The discipline is
strict, and according to the established system. T h ey always sail on the day
appointed, the orders on this point being rigidly enforced by the com pany.”
In a ship so appointed, a voyage to India must be full o f interest and
pleasure : one can hardly resist the wish to be o f those, who, in the lines
o f Milton,
“ sail
Beyond the Cape o f Hope, and now are past
Mozambic : off at sea, north east winds blow
Sabean odors from the spicy shore
O f Araby the blest; with such delay
W ell pleased, they check their course, and many a league,
Cheer’d with the grateful smell, old ocean smiles.”
Having arrived at the haven where we would be, if properly introduced to
some smooth-headed, hospitable native merchant, we might have an oppor­


The English East India Company.

tunity to cloy the edge o f an appetite sharpened by sea air and salted food,
with a feast similar to that so lusciously described by Holman, in his travels.
“ On dinner being announced, we were conducted to a circular table, and
qach o f us prepared with a pair o f ivory chop-sticks, mounted with silver,
a silver ladle with the handle much carved, a small cup o f soy, a saucer
or stand for the bowls out o f which we were to eat, and an elegant silver
cup richly gilt, with two handles, mounted on a stand o f similar material,
resembling in form an inverted saucer. This cup was used for drinking
suey sung, the wine o f the country, and did not contain more than the qldfashioned Chinese teacup ; but after drinking the health o f one o f the
party, it was usual to turn the inside o f the cup towards him to show that
it was empty. The wine was presented to us boiling hot, and our cups
replenished at every remove. In addition to the above, each European
was supplied with a knife and fork, and some bread. The table was laid
out with eight small dishes, containing articles to whet the appetite, such
as cold dried pork, called chin-chew, grated so fine that it resembled redcolored w o o l; some chips o f dried salt fish and ham ; roast chickens cut
into small pieces shaped like dice ; pig’s tongue ; salt fish, torn into shreds
like flax ; legs o f ducks, cured in the same manner as hams ; and a sallad,
composed o f greens, onions, garlic, salt fish, and eggs mixed up with tea
oil. These delicacies were cold, remaining on the table throughout the
entertainment, and were paid uncommon attention to by the Chinese at
every opportunity afforded them by the removal o f the bowls.
“ The dinner commenced with a large bowl o f birds’ -nest soup, from which
each person helped himself. W e found it very insipid until flavored with
soy, as the necessary condiments o f salt and pepper seem to be wholly
neglected in Chinese cookery. T h e second dish was shark’ s-fin soup,
with balls o f crab, followed by divers others, among which was a vegeta­
ble soup made o f prepared sea-weed from the coast o f Japan. This weed,
which is called tay-choey, resembles, in its dried state, the pith found in the
hollow o f a quill, but, in the soup, its taste is similar to that o f celery ; there
were also in this soup slices o f young bamboo, and roots o f the white
water-lily, each having a peculiar and agreeable flavor. After the soups
came stewed mutton, cut as fine and tender as vermicelli— the gravy deli­
cious. This was followed by roasted pigeons’ -eggs, in a very rich gravy.
W e found it no easy matter, however, to transfer these eggs from the
bowl to our cups by means o f the chop-sticks.
“ The Chinese do not clean or change their chop-sticks during dinner,
but each thrusts his own into every dish, and helps himself throughout the
repast. Th ey also consider it excessively polite to help a foreigner with
their chop-sticks, after having eaten with them themselves from various
dishes. Next came roasted pork, the skin o f which was served up by itself
as a peculiar delicacy, having been fried brown in fat, and cut into squares.
Roast capons followed, and were found exceedingly tender, having been fed
on ground rice. Stewed teal was then served, followed by stewed pigeons,
mushrooms, ducks’ feet, and a numberless variety o f dishes, o f the names
o f many o f which we were o f course ignorant. A t the conclusion, a
large bowl o f rice was served up, as hot as possible, with sundry square
pieces o f salt fish to give it a reliph.”
The following eulogium on the company, by Mr. Mills, which, with some
grains o f allowance, is as true now as when written, will appropriately
close this article, already too much extended:

The Currency.


“ In intention, I know no government, either in past or present times, that
ean be placed equally high with that o f the East India-Company. That if
they have been so little successful in ameliorating the practical operation
o f their government, it has been owing chiefly to the disadvantage o f their
situation, distant a voyage o f several months from the scene o f action, and
to that imperfect knowledge which was common to them with almost all
their countrymen :— that in the highly important point o f servants, or sub­
ordinate agents o f government, there is nothing in the world to be com ­
pared with the East India Company, whose servants, as a body, have not
only exhibited a portion o f talent which forms a contrast with that o f the
ill-chosen instruments o f other governments ; but have, except in some re­
markable instances, as that o f the loan transactions with the nabob o f A rcot, maintained a virtue which, under the temptations o f their situation, is
worthy o f the highest applause.”

A r t . II.— T H E C U R R E N C Y .
T he subject which we propose to discuss in the present article, is one
o f great intricacy and difficulty ; perhaps more so than any other branch
o f political econom y. It is rendered still more intricate in its application
to different countries, because their condition, habits, modes o f doing busi­
ness, and opinions, vary so much. It is, nevertheless, o f vast importance
that it should be properly understood. The derangement o f the currency
affects, more or less, all classes o f society. The man o f business, the
capitalist living on his income, the day laborer, all are interested in a wellregulated currency. This subject, however, is as yet but little understood
in a scientific point o f view. A vast mass o f experience has been collect­
ed in the last thirty years, hut it is yet to be combined and arranged, and
reduced to an harmonious system.
It will not, o f course, be expected that we should enter into an elaborate
and detailed investigation o f this subject; all we shall attempt will be
to sketch an outline. Some o f the views which we shall present, will be
original— whether correct or not we shall leave the reader to judge, not
claiming to be infallible, and willing to be corrected whenever errors are
pointed out. Erroneous views in science and art have often the merit o f
eliciting further investigation; which, in refuting error, leads to the es­
tablishment o f truth.
It must be admitted on all hands that this subject deserves investigation;
an investigation, though, to be conducted with candor, and with a sincere
disposition to arrive at correct conclusions. E very one must feel anxious
that we should hereafter avoid those excessive fluctuations in trade and
business, which at one time seem to elevate us to the highest point o f
prosperity, rendering us giddy in the elevation, and at another, depress us
to the lowest depths o f misery and distress.
The definition we would give o f currency is this : it is that commodity
o f value which circulates through society, and in its circulation is used in
paying for property sold, and in the liquidation o f debts. It is necessary
that this currency should consist o f an article o f value. It must, when
taken, be an equivalent for the property disposed of, and given in lieu o f
it. Self-interest would lead every man, in disposing o f property, to re­
quire something in exchange for it o f an equal value 3 otherwise he would


T he Currency.

not part with his property. Some have fallen into the error o f consider­
ing currency as a mere sign o f value, and not as possessing a value in
itself. Others have run into the opposite extreme, and looked upon mo­
ney as the only wealth o f a nation. T h ey considered that the main ob­
ject o f trade was to increase the amount o f money. This was the preva­
lent opinion at the time the celebrated Law established his mammoth
bank, which blew up with such a tremendous explosion, and buried thou­
sands in its ruins.
It is true that money may be taken by an individual in payment o f a
debt, or for property sold, which he does not think to be worth as much,
intrinsically, as it purports to be, and as it is generally considered to be.
But he will take it only because he knows it is so reputed, and he means
to part with it before the defect in it shall be discovered. This exception,
however, only proves the truth o f the general position. His design is to
part with it soon, and get in lieu o f it what will be an equivalent for the
property he parted with when he originally took it. L et the currency be­
come, in general estimation, less valuable than it purports to be, and it
will at once depreciate accordingly, and will pass for only what it is thought
to be worth.
W e do not think it necessary to treat upon the subject o f barter, which pre­
vails almost universally in the transfer o f property in the primitive stages
o f so c ie ty ; nor do we propose to discus's, or even enumerate, the various
advantages o f the precious metals, as a medium o f exchange. Th ey are
to be found detailed and enlarged upon by every elementary writer on
currency. A good deal o f bartering takes place, even in the advanced
stages o f civilization, especially among the agricultural classes. Bills o f
exchange, too, are em ployed very extensively in the liquidation o f debts ;
and if two persons have mutual claims against each other, they will meet
and settle, letting one demand be offset against the other. But, neverthe­
less, bartering, bills o f exchange, and set-off, are not currency, within the
usual meaning o f that term, or any approved definition. T h ey are means
o f liquidating debts and completing the transfer o f property, which, as far
as they go, will dispense with currency. If a bill o f exchange should be
kept in circulation, in order to pass from hand to hand for the purpose o f
paying debts, it would form a part o f the currency o f the cou n try; but
that is not its office. The occasional transfer o f a bill or a note does not
convert it into currency, any more than the transfer o f a horse, or any
article o f merchandise.
Gold and silver are the universal currency o f the civilized world. But
a new species o f currency has made its appearance in modern times, and
which has, in some countries, been substituted extensively for the precious
metals. W e allude to bank credits, which may properly be termed credit
currency. This is a perfect contrast to the old Spartan currency o f solid
iron. In itself, it is a mere abstraction— a moral entity. It consists merely
o f promises to pay. The provisions o f the Revised Statutes o f N ew Y ork
point to the distinction between the ordinary notes o f individuals and
those notes which are issued for the purpose o f circulating as money, and
which constitute in part the currency o f this country. The issuing o f this
kind o f currency is, in this state, made a franchise; and no person can
keep an office without the authority o f the government for the purpose o f
issuing notes to circulate as money. Y et any individual may give his
note in the course o f his business, and the holder may transfer it.

T he Currency.


The credit currency com es completely within the definition we have
given o f currency. It must be o f value— must circulate, and in its circu­
lation be used and employed in paying for goods sold, and in liquidating
debts. If but valuable in itself, and deemed by the community an ample
equivalent for that which it is designed to pay or satisfy, it will not circu­
late at all, or will circulate at a corresponding depreciation. It must not
be a mere promise to the ear.
Banking business, as now conducted, consists principally in loaning
money by the banks upon promissory notes with one or more endorsers,
and issuing their own notes, in advancing the loan payable on demand, to
circulate through the community as money. Under the operation o f this
system, the paper circulation greatly exceeds the amount o f specie which
the banks have in their vaults. Y et the banks are called, and truly called
specie-paying banks, and their "paper is said to Represent specie. W h y ?
Because persons taking it in payment know that on presenting it at the
counter o f the bank, they will receive gold and silver. But a difficulty
here presents itself. How can these notes be deemed as good as gold and
silver, when it is perfectly well known that they exceed, perhaps, three or
four times the amount o f gold and silver held to meet them, and the whole
amount o f gold and silver in the country ? But, unless they are deemed equal
to the precious metals, they will not circulate, but a run will inevitably take
place upon the bank. This difficulty has led some erroneously to suppose
that bank notes do not increase the market value o f commodities.
A ll these bank notes are not, in the course o f business, presented at the
bank for payment at once. In times o f ordinary confidence they are
scarcely ever presented for payment at all, because paper, being much the
most convenient currency, and answering all the purposes to which cur­
rency can be applied, there is, ordinarily, no use for specie. W h en there
is a demand for specie for exportation, or from any other cause, and a
press upon the banks takes place, they will begin to curtail their discounts
and call in their loans. The debtors to the banks will pay their debts in
their own paper, which will, o f course, reduce their circulation. Reducing
their circulation in this way, they enable themselves to satisfy the calls for
specie made by the holders o f their paper. By thus diminishing their cir­
culation, through the process o f reducing their discounts, they may go on
and liquidate their paper afloat, to any extent. The banks are" therefore
complete specie-paying banks, to all practical purposes, notwithstanding
their physical inability to pay in specie, at any one time, all their paper
afloat, if it should all be poured in suddenly upon them. The only excep­
tion to this general course o f operation is, in case o f a panic, the effects
o f which we shall presently consider.
The subject or material o f currency, whatever it may be, must be valu­
able in itself. It must, in public estimation, be worth as much as it pur­
ports to b e ; otherwise, it will not pass for as much. It will depreciate :
and this depreciation will correspond with the degree o f discredit into which
it falls in public opinion. I f the c.urrency consist o f the precious metals,
it has an intrinsic value ; if o f credit, its value arises from its representing
other property, viz, the specie in the vaults, and the other funds and assets o f
the bank. In the case o f credit currency, there is another and important
consideration affecting its value as currency, which is, that it should be
sustained by assets easily liquidated either in specie or in the notes o f the
bank, and accompanied with a sufficient quantity o f specie on hand, to in­


The Currency.

sure, to the satisfaction o f the public, the ready convertibility o f the paper
into specie. If bank notes are sustained by assets, amply sufficient, but
not thus readily convertible, they will depreciate.
These principles should never be lost sight of. And yet, how often
have they been lost sight o f! T h ey have been lost sight o f by princes when,
by diminishing the quantity o f the precious metals in their coins, they have
attempted to give them an artificial value. Th ey have been lost sight of,
in the case o f credit currency, when credit has been suffered to run riot,
and all sorts o f paper have been discounted, and the circulation increased
without any regard to the quantity o f specie on hand. F or the last ten
years we have abused credit in this country as grossly as Falstaff abused
“ the king’s press.”
The material o f currency, in respect to its being an article o f value, re­
sembles, in some respects, any other species o f property or credit. But the
analogy does not hold entirely. Currency being the medium used in the
transfer o f property and liquidation o f debts, it becomes, in a great degree,
the measure o f value to all other property. Thus, i f there be a given amount
o f currency, and property acquires, in the use o f that currency, a certain
value ; increase the quantity o f that currency, and you enhance the market
value o f all other property. N ot so, with an increase o f any other kind o f
property. Augment, for instance, the quantity o f cultivated land, or pro­
duce, or merchandise ; the currency remaining the same, the market value
o f property, generally, will be reduced, because the currency is relatively
diminished. Currency is used to effect payments. By increasing the pro­
perty and business o f a country, you increase the quantum o f payments to be
made. The currency remaining the same, less o f it can be used in making
payments; and hence, the market value o f property will be reduced. There
is, in this respect, therefore, a wide distinction between money and all other
articles o f property.
But although the increase o f currency will enhance the market value o f
all other property, such enhancement is not in the same ratio. If you double
the amount o f currency in a given time, it will not double the market value
o f other property.
Such is the result o f experience; and this result
is in accordance with sound theory. It is another confirmation o f the
trite maxim— that in political matters, two and two do not always make
A s the currency increases, and property rises, the business habits o f so­
ciety are to be overcom e. T h e disposition to adhere to the settled order
o f things counteracts the change. All that portion o f society who buy a
great deal more than they sell resist the high prices. The increase in
value stimulates production. The increase o f supply gives the buyers
some advantage ; and their inclination to resist a rise in price retards,
and in some measure prevents, the great enhancement o f market value.
Still, however, the operation goes on— prices increase. This stimulates
production, increases the quantity o f property in the country, which is trans­
ferred more freely through the community, and requires an enlargement
o f the circulating medium to preserve the same price. Suppose the cir­
culating medium should, in a given period, be doubled, and in that period
the amount o f property and o f its transfer should be greatly increased so as
to increase the quantum o f payments to be made seventy-five per cent,
the doubling o f the circulating medium would only add twenty-five per
cent to the market value o f property. T h e increase o f currency stimu­

The Currency.



lates the production o f all other property; its decrease depresses and re­
tards it.
These properties, among others o f the circulating medium, render it
peculiarly proper that it should be, to a certain extent, under the control
o f government. Its increase and diminution, its rapid circulation, its
stagnation, have such an important influence on all other property, and
upon the debts and credits o f the community, that it becomes a matter o f
high importance that it should be subjected to a salutary public regulation.
It will not do for government to leave it altogether to itself, or to the ex­
clusive action o f individual caution and enterprise.
That a credit currency, properly regulated, has superior advantages
over a specie currency, is well established by the fact that the credit cur­
rency displaces the other whenever and wherever they are brought into
competition. W h y is this so ? Because the experience o f the commu­
nity leads them to prefer the former to the latter. A striking exemplification
o f this fact occurred in the recent attempt to mix gold with the circulation
o f this country. Through the influence o f party feeling, or o f patriotic
feeling, it was partially kept afloat for a short time. But the glittering
eagle soon retired from the public gaze. In those countries where paper
is used with a large infusion o f the precious metals, provision is made to
exclude paper from circulation, except in large sums. By these means
gold or silver is kept afloat. In Holland, where they have introduced the
bank o f discount in place o f the old system o f deposit merely, about one
half the circulation is paper, the specie currency being preserved in the
way above stated.
Paper money is carried without difficulty. It is easily counted. The
loss by wear and tear o f a specie .currency is all prevented by the use o f
The loss o f specie in the transportation is saved by the use o f paper.
W e are aware o f the usual reply to this consideration, that bills o f exchange
are in extensive use. But still, in the exclusive hard money countries
there is a vast amount o f transportation o f specie. If by some miraculous
operation, or by some vast power o f nature, the waters covering the rivers,
bays, and seas, usually traversed by vessels, should be removed, what an im­
mense quantity o f treasure would be laid bare, to the gaze, and to the ac­
quisition o f an astonished world ! Paper sunk is no loss to the community
at large.
Another advantage o f a paper currency, is its flexibility— its power o f
expanding and contracting from time to time, so as to accommodate itself
to the business wants o f the community. W e allude o f course to a circu­
lation prudently regulated, and not to those violent and sudden expansions
and depressions which carry such desolation in their train. W e refer to
paper based on a due proportion o f specie, and founded on discounts o f
solid business transactions o f short credit. Banks thus conducted will
expand at times when business is rife, and contract when little is doing.
A specie currency cannot thus accommodate itself to the wants o f the com ­
munity ; it will to be sure, to a certain extent, by the importation and
exportation o f specie. But, as a general rule, a sufficient quantity o f the
precious metals must be kept on hand to accommodate the largest business,
and it will lie idle at times when not required.
If the various countries that have been using paper, should abandon that
system and resort to the exclusive specie currency, it would greatly invol . tv.— no. iv.


The Currency.

crease the demand for the precious metals, and render it extremely diffi­
cult to procure a sufficient quantity, especially in young countries that are
deficient in capital. Its general effect would be to diminish prices through­
out the civilized world. In young countries with small capital a paper
currency is peculiarly beneficial. Such a country— for instance, the Uni­
ted States— abounds in wild land ready to be brought into active operation.
In old countries, where capital is superabundant, and with difficulty finds
employment, they can afford to expend a large portion o f it in procuring
the precious metals for circulation. Not so here. W e want all our capi­
tal, and more besides, for other uses. W e abound in two important ele­
ments o f improvement— wild uncultivated land and cultivated mind, ready
to operate, and wanting only that active capital so essential for the purpose.
A paper currency comes to our aid. B y using this cheap currency in
place o f the expensive one, we are able to employ the capital thus disen­
gaged, and to apply it to all the various purposes o f agriculture, commerce,
and manufactures. H ence, that tact for business which strikingly marks
the Am erican character, led our ancestors in the infancy o f our colonial
condition to resort to bills o f credit, issued by their provincial governments,
to supply themselves with a currency which was indispensable, but which
they could not procure in specie in sufficient quantities without a great
sacrifice o f other interests.
Suppose the circulating medium required for this country to be one
hundred millions, and, by the use o f paper, only twenty-five millions o f
specie should be required to sustain that paper. Y ou thereby dispense
with seventy-five millions, which is disengaged, to be applied to other pur­
poses. The interest o f this, added to the expense o f procuring it, and
other incidental losses and expenses, would be equivalent to an annual in­
com e o f five millions.
“ A currency,” says Ricardo, “ is in its most perfect state when it con­
sists wholly o f paper money, but o f paper money o f equal value with the
gold which it professes to represent. The use o f paper instead o f gold
substitutes the cheapest in the place o f the most expensive medium, and
enables the country, without loss to any individual, to exchange all the
gold which it before used for this purpose for raw materials, utensils, and
food, by the use o f which both its wealth and its enjoyments are increased.”
H ere, then, we have a new element o f power for the statesman, con­
sulting the good o f his country, to work with ; a power which, while it is
mighty in its effects, costs but little, if any thing. It is a mental abstrac­
tion— as much a mere creation o f mind as any one o f those ethereal
beings which have been struck o ff by the great master-spirit o f poetry.
But there is this striking difference, however : the Ariel or the Prospero
o f Shakspeare is fit only to act on the stage o f fiction ; but this credit
system, this being o f the statesman, mingles in all the business o f men, dis­
pensing practical benefits through every department o f active life. The
statesman, if wise, will use this element o f power, and not recklessly
throw it away. But it will be the part o f wisdom, at the same time, not
to abuse jt.
A leading statesman o f the last age, who impressed the characteristics
o f his own mind and opinions more strongly oil his countrymen than any
other man, not so much, perhaps, from the power o f his intellect, as from
the peculiar adaptation o f his views to the bent o f the public mind, was at
one time opposed to the credit system, though he lived to alter his views

The Currency.


somewhat upon that subject. H e was led to this opposition by the same
considerations that induced him to oppose commerce. It is well known
that Mr. Jefferson was at one time very much inclined to the opinion that
we ought to adopt the Chinese system, and have no com m erce except what
was brought for us to our own doors. H e was honestly led into these
errors by mistaking the true character o f modern liberty, o f which he was
so great an admirer, and by following out a false analogy between it and
ancient liberty. Those who have been devoted to the study o f Grecian
and Roman republicanism, have often, though erroneously, been induced
to suppose that a nation, to be free, must be poor ; and that the introduc­
tion o f great wealth leads to its downfall. This, to a certain extent, was
true o f those countries ; but modern liberty has its origin and its growth in
wealth. It springs from the increase o f com m erce, which leads to wealth ;
but it is wealth diffused— spread among the lower classes, elevating their
condition, imparting to them a high sense o f character, fitting them indi­
rectly, through the elective franchise, to take part in government. Had
he attended to this distinction, he would have been brought to a different
Having considered the benefits o f a credit currency, we now com e to
the objections made to it by its opponents. They generally condemn it,
on the ground that it promotes speculation and extravagance, and engen­
ders luxury— that it raises prices so high, as unduly to encourage impor­
tation, and to prevent the exportation o f the productions o f a country. But
these objections lie properly against the system when abused, and not
when kept within proper bounds ; and in that view o f them they are very
serious, and entitled to great consideration. The tendency o f great fluc­
tuation in price, is to lead to extravagance at one time, and misery at an­
other. W h ole families are involved in ruin. Immoral practices are re­
sorted to to screen property from the grasp o f creditors, and the griping cap­
italist wrings his usurious gains from the remnants o f fallen fortunes.
W ho does not see that if this country had, for the last ten years, gone on
in a regular course o f progressive industry, the condition o f the business
men and their families, as well as o f the community at large, would have
been in a much preferable condition ? W hat father would wish his son to
engage in trade, if he could believe that the next ten years would witness
the same alternate scenes o f wild extravagance and heart-sinking despon­
dency ?
But before w e condemn the whole banking system, we ought to be sat­
isfied that these evils are owing principally to it, and that the system has,
in itself, such inherent and incurable defects as will inevitably lead to such
results. -If such abuses are inseparable concomitants o f the system, and
cannot be torn from it without uprooting it altogether, the argument from
the abuse against the use is a fair one ; otherwise, not.
On the other hand, we sometimes hear it said that even an inflated cur­
rency does not lead to overtrading and extravagance. It is our design
to combat extravagant views on both sides o f this subject. These reasoners will tell you it is impossible for banks to keep out more o f their paper
circulation than is wanted for the purposes o f business ; and if they issue
more, it will return upon them. But they lose sight o f the fact, that a redun­
dant currency tends to engender business o f every k in d; when very re­
dundant, it has the effect o f a superabundant capital, accumulated in old
countries ; with this difference, however, that the suddenness o f its ap­


The Currency.

pearance begets a wildness o f enterprise. It opens up for itself new ave­
nues o f industry, such as bridges, canals, tunnels, railroads, aqueducts,
lighthouses in the skies, and all the schemes o f wealth which cupidity can
I f the system o f paper currency is to prevail, it must be restrained
within proper bounds. I am satisfied there is no inherent defect in it
which places it beyond the power o f control. Experience is the best
teacher in such cases. L et us take two periods in our own h istory: the
first, embracing the time when the first national bank was in operation ;
next, the period beginning with the superintendence o f Mr. Cheves, o f
the second United States Bank, till the removal o f the deposits, forming
together a period o f about thirty years. During all these times there was
no complaint o f a redundant currency. There were occasional fluctua­
tions o f trade, owing to the war made upon our com m erce. N ow , one
would suppose that a system which has worked well for thirty years, can­
not contain within itself any inherent defect. There are two other periods
in which this country has been vexed with great fluctuations in the cur­
ren cy— the first com m encing during the late war, the second with the
warfare between the government and the United States Bank.
It is foreign to our purpose to investigate in detail the causes o f these
evils. Our object is simply to show that they do not indicate any inhe­
rent and irremediable vice in the system o f banking. The late war com ­
menced under unpropitious auspices. The old United States Bank had
just gone down, and about seven millions o f foreign capital invested in it
returned, and was sent out o f the country. N o previous preparation for war
had been made. The government relied upon loans to carry it on, which
were supplied principally with the aid o f the banks in the middle states.
Com merce was in a great measure cut off, and the banks were compelled
to suspend specie payments. The great check upon over-issues being thus
removed, new banks were created in abundance, and the country was
flooded with an irredeemable paper currency. In forming the new banks
the stock was not paid for, but discounts w erejnade for the purpose, and
all sorts o f stock speculation were indulged in. These practices contin­
ued when the second United States Bank was created, and the same per­
nicious course o f banking continued for several years afterwards. W e shall
not stop to enumerate all the various causes which led to an inflated cur­
rency during the last p eriod ; this subject is too much mixed up with the
political excitement o f the day, to be dwelt upon here. There is one topic,
however, that may be adverted to with advantage. The construction of
that splendid work, the Erie Canal, had just awakened the states to the
importance o f internal improvements. Had they entered upon that system
in a spirit o f moderation, it would have been highly beneficial ; but it was
overdone. The confidence o f foreign capitalists furnished a ready supply
o f funds, and a large foreign debt was contracted, amounting to nearly two
millions. The available means obtained in Europe through the sales of
stocks, and the long credits furnished our merchants through the instru­
mentality o f the Anglo-Am erican houses, and the joint-stock banks o f Eng­
land, prevented the natural operation o f foreign exchange in restraining
foreign importations. These exchanges no longer served as a barometer
to indicate the state o f the political atmosphere. N ew banks, too, were
created, to supply the place o f the United States Bank ; when, suddenly,
the latter arose, like a phcenix from its ashes, assuming the aspect o f a

The Currency.


state institution: gold was imported with more honesty o f purpose, per­
haps, than financial skill, to supply the place o f paper; but it served only
as the basis for a still further issue o f paper. The gradual reduction o f
duties which was going on, served also to stimulate importations.
W e here see the operation o f causes which were accidental or factitious,
and not indicating any intrinsic defect in the banking system. Doubtless,
a specie currency would have been operated upon by them to a less extent,
though there have often been very serious fluctuations in a specie currency.
But this consideration rather furnishes an argument in favor o f paper. It
shows that it gives greater facilities for business than specie. A people
like the Anglo-Americans, replete with vigor, intelligence, and enterprise,
are more likely to run into wild speculation than the dull and torpid Cana­
dian. The highblooded and generous steed is more likely to run away
with his rider than the plodding carthorse ; but who would not prefer the
former to the latter ?
W e would suggest the following as proper regulations for the banking
system :—
In the first place, banks should be confined to strict business paper. It
is not our design to attempt to designate the greatest length o f credit dis­
counted paper ought to run. This will vary in different countries, and in
different branches o f business, according to circumstances. A general
principle may be laid down, however, which will furnish the true test; and
that is, not to discount paper on very long credit, got up for the purpose o f
supplying capital as the foundation for business. W hen business is done on
credit, it should be furnished by private capitalists, and loaned in such a
way as not to mix with the currency o f the country. A paper currency,
by furnishing facilities for business, will aid capitalists in making such
loans to those friends in whom they confide ; and in this way alone should
banks furnish any such facilities. That system o f making long loans out
of the ordinary course o f banking, to the directors themselves or their fa­
vorites, to speculate upon, should be entirely broken up. I f the credit as­
sets o f a bank consist o f short business paper, the bank has them under its
control, and can at any time contract its business when occasion requires.
There is, in principle, the same objection to long accommodation paper
that there is to bills o f credit issued by government with a view to furnish
a permanent currency, or to a land bank upon Mr. L aw ’s scheme. The
bank will not have its business sufficiently under its control.
viduals getting these long accommodations will be tempted to indulge in
wild speculations, to the injury o f the bank, and their own ruin. Without
some such effective regulation, we are satisfied all other restrictions will
prove abortive.
In the next place, it is all-important that the rate o f exchange should be
left to operate freely and naturally. So operating, it will guide and regu­
late a paper currency better and more 'effectually than it will a specie cir­
culation ; it being much more sensitive to the withdrawal o f specie. The
long credits furnished to this country by the Anglo-Am erican houses, and
by the vast sales o f Am erican stocks in Europe, kept exchange down, and
stimulated excessive importation and overtrading. Fortunately, this cause
has ceased, and, we may hope, not to be revived. The annual interest to
be paid by this country upon its foreign debt will have the opposite effect.
The paper circulation should bear a certain ratio to the specie in the
vaults o f the banks, so as to secure an adequate amount to meet occasional


The Currency.

runs upon the bank, and to secure specie payments, with the aid o f the
liquidating process which is carried on in emergencies, by contracting dis­
counts. Practice and experience must settle this ratio. The rule o f the
Bank o f England is, to keep on hand an amount o f gold equal to one third
o f its circulation. But that bank supplies all the country banks with their
circulating paper. A less proportion o f specie would answer with us. It
should be remarked, however, that in enforcing this rule, great indulgence
must be allowed. In the case o f sudden withdrawals o f specie from a
bank, from causes not immediately connected with a redundant circulation,
as recently happened in this country, from the demand for specie abroad,
owing to the prospect o f war ; in such a case, if the bank were not allowed
ample time to supply its place gradually, but was compelled suddenly to
contract its discounts, it might cause great and needless distress to its cus­
The profits o f a bank ought to be confined within certain fixed limits.
The solvency o f a bank depends a good deal on the solidity o f the paper it
discounts. I f the profits o f a bank are limited, the directors, instead o f
increasing the quantity indefinitely, will look more to the quality o f their
discounts. W e are aware it. may be said that banking is a species o f trade,
and that trade should be left free. This is true, as a general r u le ; but
here is a striking exception. A business, the pursuit o f which leads to the
manufacturing o f currency, a matter o f public concern, and properly under
public regulation, ought to be left free only so fap as the public good may
require. It is unjust that those institutions which enjoy the privilege o f
making the currency upon which they operate, should enjoy the profits o f
loans made upon it to any extent they choose. Th ey should have a fair
profit out o f their dividends, and the rest should go into the public trea­
A n important advantage from restricting bank profits, would arise from
its tendency to increase bank capital and business without a correspondent
increase in the circulation— a given number o f banks with a certain amount
o f capital, would do less business. O f course, more capital would be required
to do the same business upon a profit o f seven per cent than upon a profit
o f twelve or fourteen per cent. The circulation would be less and the de­
posits increased. In N ew England, where there is a great amount o f
bank capital with moderate profits, the deposits are much greater in pro­
portion to the circulation, than in other sections o f the country, and conse­
quently, they are less affected by a curtailment o f discounts.
Publicity in respect to the state and condition o f banks, and their pro­
ceedings, is all-important. T h e public should be kept fully acquainted
with the condition o f the currency.
I f the currency, in any one year, should greatly exceed that ratio o f in­
crease, over previous years, which the advancing population o f the coun­
try would call for, there is a strong ground for presuming it is in an
inflated state, and high prices, i f they exist, may be ascribed to that
cause. Instead o f indulging in unbounded confidence under such circum­
stances, the public should feel the necessity o f restraint. Banks should
be often examined by commissioners, not at stated intervals, but at times
when not expected, that there may be no note o f preparation— their re­
ports should be published to the world— every statesman and financier,
every merchant, and, indeed, every man o f business should be familiar
with the subject. Political econom y, but more especially in connection

The Currency.


with finance and currency, should be made an essential part o f commer­
cial education, we see a lamentable deficiency on this point.
During the late period o f inflated prosperity, who among us were aware
o f our real condition ? W h o among us saw that, while all appeared pros­
perous, we were in the condition o f a bloated epicure, tottering on the verge
o f apoplexy ? It is within the recollection o f all, that statesmen at that time
were repeatedly congratulating the community upon their high and balmy
It is generally found, when a bank is badly conducted, that a few o f its
leading executive officers and directors have colluded together and depre­
dated upon its funds for their own private benefit. Publicity and jealous
inspection will, in a great measure, guard against this. But another pre­
ventive remedy should be applied. These bank frauds should be made mis­
demeanors, punishable with fine and imprisonment. The perpetrators
are generally enthusiastic in their temperament, fired with the idea o f great
gains to be made out o f some wild adventure. T h ey do not mean eventu­
ally to defraud the bank. Their design is to restore the funds taken, out
o f the anticipated profits, which are floating in their imaginations. But,
when the bubble bursts and their peculations are discovered, there is no­
thing to be got from them, and they escape with impunity. The prospect
o f imprisonment and disgrace will operate on such minds as a powerful
preventive, by awakening them at first to a true sense o f the enormity o f
such conduct. The public interest being deeply affected by this mal-conduct, renders it proper to treat it as a public offence.
That paper currency requires to be put under severe regulations to re­
strain its excess, is an opinion which has becom e very prevalent o f late.
Recent experience has taught us some severe lessons upon that subject.
The great question is, how to regulate it.
W e have twenty-six dif­
ferent state governments, all employed in the manufacturing o f banks,
which, again, are employed in manufacturing a paper currency. W e can­
not suppose that those governments will all agree on some general and
harmonious system o f regulation. N or can we suppose that the greater
part o f them will adopt any system at all. I f some o f the states should
put their bank paper under proper control, their neighbors, in the spirit
o f competition, might shake o ff all control, and flood the adjoining states
with their redundant paper. Still, the more the subject o f currency
comes to be understood, and the importance o f regulation and restriction
is impressed upon the public mind, we may hope for a growing attention to
it, on the part o f our state legislatures.
There is a power o f control in the federal government commensurate
with the whole union, and capable o f producing a uniform result. ' I am
aware that some entertain the opinion that the federal government has no
power over the subject, and, indeed, that it cannot recognise and ought
not to use any but specie, which is called the constitutional currency. The
federal constitution provides that congress shall coin money and regulate
its value, and forbids the states to issue bills o f credit or make any thing but
gold and silver a lawful tender in payment o f debts.
It cannot, we think, be seriously pretended that these general enact­
ments forbid the use o f bank paper, either by the states, or the United
States government. N o other but specie currency can be made by the
states a lawful tender. The creditor is compelled to take specie in payment,
and nothing else. But the voluntary use by the community, as well debtors


The, Currency.

as.creditors, o f paper currency, is not prohibited. The states are prohibited
from issuing bills o f credit. These were well understood at the time to
be paper money emitted by government, such as was used by the old colo­
nial governments, and by the confederation during the revolutionary war.
The objection to it was, that there was no compulsory power o f redemption,
and no principle o f restraint. But this prohibition does not extend to the
United States; and Mr. Jefferson recommended, during the last war, that
the federal government should issue two hundred millions o f exchequer
bills to carry on the war. Three banks were in operation when the con ­
stitution was adopted. If the design had been to prohibit all bank paper,
w hy was it not prohibited along with bills o f credit ? W h y was the pro­
hibition o f bills o f credit confined to the states ? The distinction between
bills o f credit and bank paper is well marked, and has been settled by the
federal judiciary.
That the federal government may regulate the currency by the establish­
ment o f a United States bank, an independent treasury with the specie clause,
or in any other mode their wisdom may devise, we have not the least
doubt. It would be very extraordinary if it had not such a power. It is
a power in its very nature national, and not provincial, requiring to be
uniform and co-extensive with the whole country. It is a power which
has been lodged in every civilized government that was ever formed.
W h y is it that the federal government can regulate navigation ? H ow
did the federal judiciary open the Hudson to the navigation o f steamboats
in favor o f a citizen o f a neighboring state, and in opposition to N ew Y ork
state law ? It was on the ground that the federal government can regu­
late foreign com m erce, and com m erce among the states. N ow , naviga­
tion is not com m erce, but it is an incident o f com m erce, and therefore came
very properly under the head o f commercial regulation. But i f navigation
is the handmaid o f com m erce, currency is its life-blood. L et the cur­
rency be deranged, and com m erce is thrown into utter disorder. Let the
currency, from panic or other causes, be in a great measure withdrawn
from circulation, and com m erce, and all other kinds o f business, will be
paralyzed. Besides, currency is itself an article o f com m erce. Property
belongs to com m erce, when it is taken out o f the hand o f the producer
and becomes the subject o f transfer. But currency is the locomotive power
o f com m erce, in constant motion, as its name imports. I f navigation then
is the legitimate subject o f commercial regulation, currency is four-fold
more so.
Com merce has, in modern times, been the great instrument o f wealth,
civilization, and improvement, among the middle classes o f society. Hence
it has been fostered by all modern governments. N o doubt it has been at
times too much regulated. But at the time our federal constitution was
adopted, all those laws, passed by governments, to encourage or discourage
the importation or exportation o f currency or any species o f merchandise,
to improve navigation, to produce favorable balances o f trade, to increase
or diminish tariffs, were all deemed and treated as commercial regulations.
The language o f the constitution must be taken in the sense in which it
was generally understood at the time.
One ground also in which the constitutionality o f a United States bank
has been placed is, that it will furnish the means to collect the revenue,
and aid the government in all its financial operations. It is a remarkable
fact, that the party originally opposed to the United States Bank was in

The Currency.


power when that bank went down, and, undertaking to carry on the gov­
ernment without one, they became so impressed with its importance, that,
sacrificing all party feeling and party pride on the altar o f their country’s
good, they established the second United States Bank. T h ey were brought
to that result by a course o f painful and dear-bought experience.
Besides, this question o f constitutionality ought to be considered as set­
tled, if any thing in this world can be settled. It has been acted upon for
forty years, recognised, and enforced by every department o f the govern­
ment. A constitution is not given to be a perpetual theme o f debate and
discord. T o be enjoyed, all questions o f difficulty respecting it should be
adjusted ; and when once deliberately adjusted, there should be an end o f
There are two modes, and but two, that have been devised for the regu­
lation o f the currency by the federal government,-—the collection o f the
revenue in specie, and the establishment o f a United States bank.
The independent treasury, with the specie clause, will, if carried into
effect, restrain the excessive issues o f bank paper in times o f prosperity,
when the importations are heavy, and there is a surplus revenue. In such
a case, it will answer the purpose. The experiment, however, is a novel
one, in some respects ; for, although in use in countries whose currency
is principally metallic, it has never been tried in a country where paper
forms its principal circulation.
The following objections appear to exist against this p la n :—
In the first place, it will not furnish a uniform currency. The design
o f it is to furnish no currency at all. In a country like this, where there
is so much traffic o f every kind, and a constant intercommunication kept
up between all the parts, a uniform currency is almost indispensable. W e
want a currency which will enable a person to travel, either for business
or pleasure, from one end o f the Union to the other, with funds which can
be easily carried, and will pass current at par wherever he goes. It is
not pretended that this measure will furnish such a currency.
Its restraining operation will only take place when there is a surplus
revenue ; and then, if fairly carried into effect, it must take place. But
there is sometimes a surplus revenue when there is no excess o f importa­
tions, and when restraint would be worse than superfluous. A t other times,
there may be a deficiency o f revenue when business is too much extended,
and may require, not a check, but encouragement, which it will not receive
from this system. The expenditures o f government vary from year to
year, from a thousand causes, many o f which are not at all connected with
mercantile operations.
A serious objection to the measure is, that it will not work into the
business o f the community like banks properly conducted and checked.
There are seasons when debts due from the south and west are to bo
paid into the Atlantic cities. A t other times payments are to be made the
other way. But the falling due o f revenue bonds may take place at the
wrong tim e; at times when the banks should expand to accommodate the
merchant in making his payments, and they will be prevented from doing
so by the operation o f the sub-treasury. The danger therefore is, that
instead o f regulating, it will derange the currency.
That which is considered to be the greatest recommendation o f this
measure, among its advocates, furnishes, to our mind, the most decisive
objection to it. W e allude to the supposed security which it will furnish to

von. iv.— no. iv.



The Currency.

the government, in times o f great difficulty and embarrassment, for collect­
ing the revenue in specie. There are times o f great fluctuation in business,
when calamity will befall all business operations— not from fault, but mis­
fortune. A t such times it is supposed that it is no part o f government to
aid the community. A ll it has to do is to take care o f itself; to secure
the collection o f its own revenue in specie, and to leave the depreciated
paper for the people. N ow the great primary object o f all government
ought to be, to watch over and promote the best interests o f the people.
In discharge o f this duty, it may, at times, be incumbent upon the govern­
ment to check extravagance, and the tendency to overtrading, so far as
currency is concerned ; but, at other times, it will be equally their duty to
encourage and advance the business o f the community when depressed.
N ow , at such times, by drawing specie, the government must inevitably
increase the difficulties and disasters o f the community ; but, at such times,
it is in the power o f the government to render essential service, and to aid
the operation o f those natural causes that are at work, to effect a cure.
In England, in seventeen hundred and ninety-three, there was a revulsion
in business, caused by overtrading, which threatened a panic and general
distress : the government authorized the issuing o f five millions o f ex­
chequer bills, which gave instant relief.
W hen these revulsions fall back upon a country, the advocate o f the ex­
clusive hard-money system will tell us the best way is, to let it work out
its own cure. There has been, he will say, overtrading— high prices.
Every thing must come down. Let all the specie that can be got be ex ­
ported, to pay the foreign debt. Let those who cannot pay, fail. If a
panic take place, and the specie not exported be hoarded, why, it will not
only multiply, but expedite failures. Prices will become extremely low.
There will be very little, if any importation. W e shall begin to produce,
and export the surplus ; and the country, in time, will start upon a new
career o f prosperity. This is all true. But what misery and wretched­
ness will have been caused, in the mean time, by the operation ! Plow
many families ruined ! H ow many heads o f families sunk, through de­
spair, into an untimely grave ! How many widows and orphans cast upon
the charity o f the world ! The theorist who can delight in the contempla­
tion o f such operations, must first be disrobed o f his humanity, and become
as unfeeling as the military tyrant, who can exult in a victory to which he
has waded through the blood o f a half million o f his subjects.
W hen overtrading has been caused by a redundant currency, high prices
have stimulated importation, and, at the same time, discouraged the expor­
tation o f commodities. The balance o f trade having been rendered unfa­
vorable, and exchange high, specie is exported. If the overtrading has
been very excessive, and specie is exported in large quantities, so as to
create a panic, hoarding will take place, and specie will be drawn off in
such quantities as to stop the banks. But before they come to this crisis,
a suspension by the banks will take place. Here an important question
arises, whether it is better for government to sanction a suspension, or to
allow things to take their course. If a suspension by the banks is not brought
under strict regulation, they will go on discounting on as a large a scale
as ever, flood the country with paper, and, by keeping up high prices, con­
tinue the evils which ought to be remedied. Prices must be brought down,
but not too low. W hen a currency is greatly reduced, it depresses indus­
try, by discouraging debtors, reducing too low the wages o f labor, and di­

The Currency.


minishing profits. The productions o f a country in such a situation will
not command their fair price, for the same reason that agricultural coun­
tries with a small amount o f currency, do not receive as great profits as
countries abounding in currency. W hen prices have risen to an extreme
height, the point to which reduction should be brought is that at which ex­
portation will readily take place, and importation be checked. I f reduced
below that point, the sufferings o f the community will be unnecessarily in­
creased. A rigid econom y is sometimes recommended as an effectual cure,
by those who are led away by a false analogy between individuals and com ­
munities. If all the inhabitants continue to wear their old clothes, and
abandon the comforts they have been accustomed to, mechanics, manufac­
turers, and laborers will be thrown out o f employment. In that condition,
they will in vain practise a rigid econom y to alleviate their sufferings.
The wealthy alone can bear this severe econom y.
If a suspension o f specie payments is sanctioned, but within proper bounds,
to be allowed only for a limited period, and the banks restrained in their dis­
counts, though there must still be much suffering in a community that has
greatly overtraded, it will be mitigated. The late suspension in the state
o f N ew Y ork was conducted on this principle, and was, no doubt, highly
beneficial. N o injustice was done to the foreign creditor. It is better
that the greater part o f the foreign debt should be paid at a future period,
out o f the productions o f the country, than that a very small part should
be paid at once, and the rest wiped o ff by bankruptcy. If banks go on
paying specie till their coffers are exhausted and the community left with­
out a currency, the suffering o f the country will be increased ten-fold.
Now, what would be the condition o f the country if a specie sub-treasury
should be in full operation in such a crisis ? This plan is founded on a
principle which, as it appears to us, is erroneous in theory, and can never
be carried out in practice.
A few further remarks on the subject o f a United States bank will
close this article. W e propose to consider it more particularly in refer­
ence to its influence in regulating the currency. It can do this by re­
straining the excessive issues o f other banks. The circulatirlg notes o f
banks are constantly falling into other banks, where they cease to act as
part o f the circulating medium, and are returned to the bank that issued
them. If the issues o f any one bank are excessive, its notes will thus be
returned upon it in large quantities, and greater in amount than it will
have o f other banks on hand to return for them. Specie will be demand­
ed for the surplus, and the bank will thus be compelled to restrain its is­
sues. The power o f a United States bank thus to check the issues o f
other banks is great, because its credit is great— because its notes com ­
mand an extensive circulation, and are much less liable to be returned.
If well conducted, it will thus, from its commanding position, exercise a
constant control over the excessive issues o f other banks. True, it may
be said that only a comparatively small portion o f the other banks may be
thus brought into contact with i t ; but such as are brought into contact with
it, being checked by it, will in their turn control others, until the whole
mass will be brought under proper regulation and discipline.
This controlling power o f a United States bank is not a mere theory,
but is fully established by experience, and we have pointed out the mode
o f its operation for the purpose o f tracing its regulating power to its true
cause, and showing that it is not owing to any magical influence derived


The Currency.

from the fact o f its being a United States institution. T o produce these
salutary effects, it must itself be regulated and kept within proper bounds.
If a United States bank should hereafter be chartered without such re­
strictive regulations, we shall have no ample security against excessive
circulation, with its concomitants, speculation and overtrading.
If its
own issues should be greatly excessive, it is manifest it will not be able
to control the issues o f other banks. The question has sometimes been
mooted, whether the late overtrading and speculation in this country
would have taken place, if a United States bank had been kept in opera­
tion. A ll opinion upon this subject must be more or less problematical.
W e have already adverted to causes, however, the operation o f which
would have led to overtrading, even with an exclusive specie currency ;
but we have every reason to believe that there would not have been such
an excess o f bank capital, and such utter exemption on the part o f our
banks from all restraints and harmonious combination, if the United States
Bank had continued to be a United States institution.
Another important function o f a United States bank is its furnishing a
uniform currency. This is in a great measure indispensable, and cannot
be otherwise procured, unless we abandon paper altogether. But the idea
that the people o f this country will abandon bank paper and resort to spe­
cie alone, is too visionary to be seriously thought of. L ocal state banks
can give but a local cu rren cy ; there may be occasional combinations in
different sections that will give some relief, by generalizing and extending
the credit o f this local currency to a certain degree, such, for instance, as
the regulation the N ew England banks have com e under with the Suffolk
B an k; but all these must be limited and temporary. W e have adverted
to the advantages o f multiplying local banks, restricted as to profits in re­
spect to the facilities they would furnish to trade : but to enjoy the full
benefit o f the banking system, you must combine with them a central
bank, with the requisite number o f branches, to serve the double purpose
o f checking the local banks, and furnishing a currency that can be used
The benefits flowing from a United States bank, by aiding the govern­
ment in collecting and disbursing the revenue, in negotiating loans, and
in all its moneyed operations, more especially in time o f war or other
great calamity, have been often dwelt upon, and our time will not permit
us to enlarge upon them here. The experience o f these benefits, or rather
o f the want of them, led the party who conducted the last war to change
their views in regard to such an institution, and converted enemies into
warm friends.
In times o f depression consequent upon overtrading and a redundant
currency, an active and enterprising people will recover in two or three
years from the effects o f an unfavorable balance o f trade. If they should
still labor under difficulties, they will arise only from a deranged curren­
cy. Such is our present condition. If our currency were only in a sound
state, we should now be prosperous. The national government, co-opera­
ting with the exertions o f the people, and aided by a bank o f its own,
could soon renovate the currency. The great pressure under which we
have been laboring, need not have lasted over three years. If the na­
tional government had been aided by a United States bank well regulated,
and had co-operated with it, imparting to it its own credit and resources,
all our difficulties would long since have vanished.

Weights and Measures.


W e may conclude with remarking that the use o f paper currency is, and
must continue to be, the fixed and settled policy o f this country. Its
cheapness, its facilities, its flexibility to accommodate itself to the wants
o f the community and the habits o f the people, formed in the course o f a
half century, forbid entirely all attempts to make a change in this particu­
lar. A n y party, or any set o f men, who should endeavor to exclude a pa­
per currency, must totally fail. W e should, then, endeavor to improve,
not abolish the system. That it is capable o f regulation, so as to avoid
in a great measure, its disadvantages, and to secure all its benefits,
we have no doubt. The best efforts o f the best talents o f our country
should be devoted to this all-important object.

A rt. III.— W E IG H T S A N D M E A S U R E S .
C omparison of the weights and measures of the united states and
In every country in which commercial transactions are extensively car­
ried on, the importance o f having weights and measures determined by
some fixed standard is obvious to every rational mind. The confusion and
inconvenience attending the use o f weights and measures o f the same de­
nomination, but o f different magnitudes, was early remarked ; and there is
hardly a country in which efforts have not been made to reduce them to a
uniform system. Numerous acts o f legislatures have been instituted, hav­
ing this object in view, and directing the use o f the same weights and
measures, under very severe penalties. But, owing to the inveteracy o f
ancient and local customs, and the difficulty o f enforcing new regulations,
the statutes have generally had a very limited influence, and the greatest
diversity has continued to prevail, except in lineal measures, the standards
o f which must have been fixed upon at the earliest period, and appear to
have consisted principally o f the parts o f the human body. For ex­
ample, the cubit, or length o f the arm from the elbow to the tip o f
the longest finger ; the fo o t ; the ulna, arm, or yard ; the span ; the digit,
or finger ; the fathom, or space from the extremity o f one hand to that of
the other, when they are both extended in opposite directions ; the pace,
& c. Large spaces were estimated by measures formed out o f multiples
o f the smaller ones ; and sometimes in day’s journeys. But as the size o f
different parts o f the human body vary in different individuals, it became
necessary to select some durable article— as a metallic rod o f the length o f
an ordinary cubit, foot, & c., and to make it a standard with which all
other cubits, feet, & c ., used in mensuration should correspond. These
standards have always been preserved with the greatest care. A t Rome
they were kept in the temple o f Jupiter ; and among the Jews, their cus­
tody was intrusted to the family o f Aaron.
But lineal measures can only be used to determine the magnitude o f solid
bodies ; the magnitude o f bodies in a liquid or fluid state, has to be deter­
mined by what are called measures o f capacity. It is probable that, in the
infancy o f society, shells, or other hollow instruments afforded by nature,
were used as standards. But the inaccuracy o f the conclusions drawn from

Weights and Measures.


referring to them must soon have become obviou s; and it early occurred,
that to obtain an accurate measure o f liquids, nothing more was necessary
than to constitute an artificial one, the dimensions, and consequently the
capacity, o f which should be determined by the lineal measures previously
The determination o f the gravity or weight o f different bodies supposes
the invention o f the balance. Nothing is known o f the steps which led to
the introduction ; but it was used in the remotest antiquity. It seems pro­
bable that, at first, cubes o f some common lineal measure, as a foot, or the
fraction o f a foot, formed o f copper, iron, or some other metal, were used
as standards o f weight. W hen the standard was selected, if it was desired
to ascertain the specific gravity or weight o f every given article, all that
was necessary was to put it into one o f the scales o f the balance ; and as
many cubes, or parts o f cubes, on the other, as might be necessary to coun­
terpoise it.
W eights, however, have been frequently derived from grains o f corn.
H ence in this, and in some countries o f Europe, the lowest denomination
o f weight is a grain ; and 32 o f those grains are directed, by the ancient
statute called Compositio Mensurarum, to compose a pennyweight, w hereof
20 make an ounce, 12 ounces a pound, & c.*




Agreeably to the A ct o f Uniformity, which took effect 1st January, 1826,
with the alterations and modifications that have taken place subsequent to
that period.
M easures of L ength .— H istoiy informs us that, in England, a new,
or rather a revival, standard o f lineal measure was introduced by Henry I.,
who ordered that the ulna or ancient ell, which corresponds to the modern
yard, should be made o f the exact length o f his own arm, and that the other
measures o f length should be based upon it. This standard has been main­
tained, without any sensible variation, and is the identical yard used in the
United States, and is declared, by the A ct 5 G eo. IV ., cap. 74, to be the
standard o f lineal measure in Great Britain.
The clause in the act is as follow s:—
“ From and after the 1st day o f May, 1825, (subsequently extended
“ to the 1st o f January, 1826,) the straight line or the distance between
“ the centres o f the two points in the gold studs in the straight brass rod,
“ now in the custody o f the clerk o f the house o f commons, whereon the
“ words and figures ‘ S tandard Y ard , 1760,’ are engraved, shall be the
“ original and genuine standard o f that measure o f length or lineal exten“ sion called a yard ; and the same straight line or distance between the
“ centres o f the said two points in the said gold studs in the said brass
“ rod, the brass being at the temperature o f 62 degrees by Fahrenheit’s
■“ thermometer, shall be and is hereby denominated the ‘ I mperial Y ard ,’
“ and shall be and is hereby declared to be the unit or only standard mea“ sure o f extension, wherefrom or whereby all other measures o f extension
“ whatsoever, whether the same be lineal, superficial, or solid, shall be
•“ derived, computed, and ascertained ; and that all measures o f length shall
* M ’C u llo c h ’s D ic t io n a r y o f C o m m e r c e — W e i g h t s a n d M e a s u re s .


Weights and Measures.

be taken in parts or multiples or certain proportions o f the said standard
yard ; and that one-third part o f the said standard yard shall be a foot,
and the twelfth part o f such foot shall be an in c h ; and that the pole or
perch in length shall contain five and a half such yards, the furlong 220
such yards, and the mile 1760 such yards.”
As the standards adopted in most countries have been in a great degree
arbitrary, it has long been the opinion o f scientific men, that, to construct a
more perfect system o f weights and measures, some natural and unchange­
able basis should be adopted. The standards that have been usually pro­
posed for this object have been some aliquot part o f the quadrant o f the
meridian, or the length o f a pendulum vibrating seconds in some given
latitude. Hence, the latter has been adopted in the imperial standard yard
o f Great Britain, which, when compared with a pendulum vibrating sec­
onds o f mean time in the latitude o f London, in a vacuum, at the level o f
the sea, is in the proportion o f 36 inches to 39.1393 inches.
Since the passing o f this act, however, some very elaborate and scientific
experiments o f Mr. Francis Baily have shown that errors o f sufficient mo­
ment to be taken into the account, in an inquiry o f this kind, render the
above proportion inaccurate.
The following standard yards, made with great accuracy, give the an­
nexed results:—

General Lambton’s scale, used in India,
- 35.99934
Sir George Shuckburgh’s scale,. . . .
General R a y ’ s s c a l e , .................. 36.00088
Royal Society’s stan dard,............ 36.00135
Ramsden’s b a r , ............................. 36.00249
Its copy, at Marischal College, Aberdeen, - 36.00244
The inch is the shortest lineal measure to which a name is given ; but
subdivisions are used for many purposes. By mechanics it is commonly
divided into eighths. By the officers o f the revenue, and by men o f sci­
ence, it is divided into tenths, hundredths, & c. Form erly it was made to
consist o f twelve parts, called lines, but these have very properly fallen
into disuse.

1 F u r lo n g ,.............................
1 S ta tu te M i l e ,...................
1 L e a g u e ,..............................

... 0.02539954
... 0.30479449 ..... J2 .......1
.... 0.91438348 .. 36 .......3
.. 1.82876696 .......72 .......6
. .. 5.02910914
198 __ 16£
... 20.11643656 ... .792 ....66
201.16436560 ...7920 ...660
1609.31492480 63360 5280
4827.94477440 190080J15840

....... 2
....... 5 1


j Chains.

Feet. Yards.

j Rods.

French Metres.


D enominations.



... .1
,2| ...1
...11 ...4 ...i
110 40 10 \
880 320 80 8 i
2640 960(240 24 3


Besides the above, there are the palm, which equals 3 inches ; the hand,
4 in ch es; the span, 9 inches ; the nail, 2\ inches; the link,
or one-hundredth o f a ch a in ; and the quarter, 4 nails or 9 inches.


Weights and Measures.

1 S . I n c h , . .............. 0 .0 0 0 6 4 5
.............. 0 .0 9 2 9 0 0
1 ‘ ‘ Y a r d ,. .............. 0 .8 3 6 0 9 7
........... 2 5 .2 9 1 9 3 9
......... 4 0 4 .6 7 1 0 2 4
1 “ R o o d ,. . . . . 1 0 1 1 .6 7 7 5 6 0
1 “ A c r e , . . . . . 4 0 4 6 .7 1 0 2 4 0
1 “ M ile ,. 2 5 8 9 8 9 4 .5 5 3 6 0 0

S quare
In ch es.

S quare
F ee t.

................... 1
.............. 1 4 4
..............1 29 6
......... 3 9 2 0 4
......... 6 2 7 2 6 4
... 1 5 6 8 1 6 0
.. . 6 2 7 2 6 4 0

.............. 1
.............. 9
......... 2 72 ^
......... 4 3 5 6 *
.. . 1 0890
... 4 3 5 6 0

S qu are
Y a rd s.

......... 3 0 i
......... 4 84 *
.. . 1 210
.. . 4 8 4 0

......... 1
......... 40
... 160

| A cres.

S q u a r e M e tr e s .

S quare
R oods.

e n o m in ­

a t io n s .

S quare
C h a in s.


S quare
R ods.



... 1
.. . 2 * .. . i
...1 0 ... 4
6 40 0 2 56 0 640 i


D enominations.

Cubic Metres. Cubic Inches. Cubic F t. Cubic Yds.
... 0.000016...





Y a rd , ........................................ ...
T o n o f H e w n T i m b e r ,.. .. ...


................... 1 ...

............ 1728...
........ 4 6 6 5 6 ...
........ 6 9120...
........ 864 0 0 ...
........ 7 25 7 6 ...

......... 1 ...

........ 2 7 ...
........ 4 0 ...
....5 0 ...
........ 4 2 ...

... i .............
... 1.48148
... 1.85185
... 1.55555

M easure of W ood F uel .— W ood fuel is assized in England into skids,
billets, faggots, fall-w ood, and cord-wood. A shid is to be 4 feet long,
and, according as they are marked and notched, their proportions must be
in the girth— viz, if they have but 1 notch, they must be 16 inches in girth ;
i f 2 notches, 23 inches ; if 3 notches, 28 inches ; if 4 notches, 33 inches ;
and if 5 notches, 38 inches in girth. Billets are to be 3 feet long, o f
which there should be three kinds ; viz, a single cask, and a cask o f two ;
the first is 7 inches, the second 10 inches, and the third 14 inches in cir­
cum ference. T h ey are sold by the hundred o f five score. Faggots are
to be 3 feet long, and at the band 24 inches in circum ference, independent
o f the knot o f such faggots, 50 bundles o f which constitute a load. Ba­
vins and spray-wood are sold by the hundred, which are accounted a load.
Cord-wood is the larger class o f fire-wood, and is measured by the cord
or line, w hereof there are two measures ; namely, that o f 14 feet in length,
3 feet in breadth, and 3 feet high. The other is 8 feet in length, 4 feet
in height, and 4 in breadth.
M easures of F orce of G ravity or W eight .— It will be perceived by
com paring the foregoing tables with those in use prior to the passing o f the
A c t o f Uniformity, that no alteration was made in lineal measures, nor
did that act affect the previously existing system o f weights. It was
deemed expedient to preserve T roy W eight, because all the coinage had
been uniformly estimated by it, as well as all medical prescriptions or
formulae under a peculiar subdivision, which the College o f Physicians
was most anxious to preserve. It was resolved, therefore, to continue the
use o f T r o y W eig h t; and also, on account o f the accuracy o f the T roy
standard, to raise the Avoirdupois W eight from this basis. In accordance
with these views, it was enacted—
“ That from and after the 1st day o f May, 1825, the standard brass
“ weight o f one pound T roy W eight, made in the year 1758, now in the
“ custody o f the clerk o f the house o f commons, shall be, and the same is


Weights and Measures.

“ hereby declared to be, the original and genuine standard measure o f
“ weight, and that such brass weight shall be, and is hereby denominated,
“ the Imperial Standard T roy pound, and shall be, and the same is hereby
“ declared to be, the unit or only standard measure o f weight, from which
“ all other weights shall be derived, computed, and ascertained ; and that
“ one-twelfth part o f the said T r o y pound shall be an o u n ce ; and that
“ one-twentieth part o f such ounce shall be a pennyw eight; and that one
“ twenty-fourth part o f such pennyweight shall be a grain ; so that 5760
“ such grains shall be a T roy pound ; and that 7000 such grains shall be,
“ and they are hereby declared to be, a pound Avoirdupois ; and that one“ sixteenth part o f said pound Avoirdupois shall be an ounce Avoirdupois ;
“ and that one-sixteenth part o f such ounce shall be a dram.”

D enominations.

1 P ound,




....... 1.55457
.... 31.09130
... 373.09560



Ounces. Pound

....... 1 ..
.......24.. ....... 1 ..
... 480.. ....... 2 0 ..
... 1 ..
...5760.. ....2 4 0 .. ....... 12.. ....... i

T roy W eight is used in the weighing o f gold, silver, and precious
stones, except diamonds. It is also used in ascertaining the strength o f
spirituous liquors, in philosophical experiments, and in comparing different
weights with each other.
For scientific purposes, the grain only is used ; and sets o f weights are
constructed in decimal progression, from 10,000 grains downwards to
o f a grain.
The T roy pound is equal to the weight o f 22.815 cubic inches o f dis­
tilled water, weighed in air at 62° F ., barometer being at 30 inches.
D iamond W eight.— T he weight o f diamonds is estimated by carats,
each o f which is divided into four grains, and each grain into 16 parts.
The diamond carat weighs 3^ grains T r o y nearly, or 0.20522 French
grammes. The T roy ounce is equal to 151J carats ; and the Avoirdu­
pois ounce, 138 tl carats nearly.
The term carat is also used to express the fineness o f gold, and has a
relative meaning only. Every mass o f alloyed gold is supposed to be
divided into 24 equal parts; thus the standard for British gold coins is 22
carats fine, that is, it consists o f 22 parts o f pure gold, and two parts o f
alloy. W hat is called the new standard, used for watchcases, & c ., is 18
carats fine.

D enominations

1 O u n c e , ..........
1 P o u n d , ...........






....... 1 ..
.......2 0 ..
...4 8 0 ..
..5 7 60 ..

Drams. Ounces. Pound.

. ...1
.......3 .. .1 ..
. . .24 . . . 8 . . .......i . . .
..288 ..9 6 .. . . . 1 2 . . . ... i ..

This weight is essentially the same as T roy W eight, but differently
VOL. iv .— no . iv .


Weights and Measures.

divided. It is chiefly used for medical prescriptions ; but drugs are mostly
bought and sold by Avoirdupois W eight.



Troy Pounds. Drams. Ounces Lbs\ %uar- Cwt.
| ters.

........... 1 .7 7 1 1 5
......... 2 8 .3 3 8 4 3
. . . 4 5 3 .4 1 4 8 0
. . 1 2 6 9 5 .6 1 4 4
1 H u n d r e d W e ig h t ,.. . . 5 0 7 8 2 .4 5 7 6
1 T o n , ............................. 1 0 1 5 6 4 9 .1 5 2 0

.........0 .0 0 4 7 4 7
.........0 .0 7 5 9 5 5
....1 6
......... 1 .2 1 5 2 7 8 . . . 2 5 6
. . .3 4 .0 2 7 7 7 8 .. 7 1 6 8
..1 3 6 .1 1 1 1 1 1
2 7 2 2 .2 2 2 2 2 2 5 73 4 4 0





........... 1
......... 16 . . . 1 .............
. . . 4 4 8 . .2 8 '... 1 . .
.. 1 7 9 2 1 12 . . . 4 . .
3 5 8 4 0 2 2 4 0 1. . 8 0 . .



B y A ct 5 and 6 W ill. IV . cap. 63, all local or customary measures
were abolished under a penalty o f 40s., and all contracts, made after the
passing o f that act, by heaped measure or by the use o f lead or pewter
weights, are null and void. It was enacted that coals shall in all cases
be sold by w eigh t; that, with the exception o f gold, silver, platinum, dia­
monds, and other precious stones, (which may be sold by T roy W eight,)
and drugs, (which may be sold by retail by Apothecaries’ W eigh t,) all
other articles sold by weight shall be sold by Avoirdupois W eigh t only ;
and that a stone shall, in all cases, consist o f 14 lbs. Avoirdupois ; a hun­
dred weight o f 8 such stone, & c . ; but nothing prevents any bargain, sale,
or contract being made by any multiple or aliquot part o f a pound weight.



Pint,.......... . . . l i
.. .2 i
..1 0 '
. .20
C o o m ,......... 320
Q u a r te r , . .



34.659 «
69.319 “
277.274 “
554.548 “
1.28368 ft.
5.1347 “
10.2694 “


<* 1£



.. 0.14198306 . . . 1 . . .
. . 0.56793225 . . . 4 !. . l
.. 1.13586449 . . . 8 ..2 .A
. . 4.54345797 ..3 2 ..8 . .4 i
. . 9.08691594 . .64 16 . .8 2
36.34766376 256 64 32 8
145.39065504 1024256 128 32
290.78131008,2048 512 256 64



1 snosj

D enominations.


Deduced from the Standard Gallon, containing 10 lbs. Avoirdupois o f distilled water,
temperature 62° F.t barometer 30 inches.

4 1
16 4 1
32 8 2 i

The last four denominations are used for dry materials only ; the oth­
ers are employed in measuring liquids.
Flour is sold, nominally, by
measure, but actually by weight, reckoned at 7 lbs. Avoirdupois to a

Compared with Wine and Winchester Measures of the United States.
D e n o m in a t io n s .



B u s h e l ,.....................................
C o o m ,........................................
Q u a r t e r ,...................................




2.40064 1.20032
9.60256 4.80128
76.8205 38.4102
307.282 153.641
614.564 307.282

W 'r
Gallons. Bushels.




Weights and Measures.

For converting old measures into new, and the contrary.


Corn Wine
Measure. Measure. Measure. Meas. Meas. Meas.
T o c o n v e r t o ld m ea s u res
to n e w , m u ltip ly b y
T o c o n v e r t n e w m easu res
to o ld , m u ltip ly b y


N . B .— F o r th e r e d u c tio n o f
versed .


0 .9 6 9 4 3

0 .8 3 3 1 1

1 .0 1 7 0 4

3 .1


a 9

1 .0 3 1 5 3

1 .2 0 0 3 2

0 .9 8 3 2 4

3 1


6 0


b y th e


a b o v e ta b le , th e n u m b e rs m u s t all b e re­

old A le Gallon contained 282 cubic inches.
old W ine Gallon contained 231 cubic inches.
old Winchester Bushel contained 2150.42 cubic inches.
Imperial Bushel contains 2218.192 cubic inches.

* „ * T h e re la tiv e q u a n titie s o f
are d e d u c e d fr o m th e rep o rt o f
F r a n c e , o n th e B ritis h “ A c t o f
q u e n tly p u b lish e d b y th e R o y a l
Annuaire fo r 1 8 2 9 .


th e w e ig h t s a n d m e a s u r e s, a s g iv e n in th e s e ta b le s ,
M . M a t h ie u , to th e R o y a l A c a d e m y o f S c ie n c e s o f
U n ifo r m ity ,” p a ss e d M a y 1 7 th , 1 8 2 4 , a n d w a s s u b se ­
a n d C e n t r a l S o c ie t y o f A g r ic u lt u r e o f P a ris, in th e




The measures o f France have been reduced to a scientific standard
more than forty years. The ancient system presented no uniform ity;
there was no relation between the pied, used as the unit o f the measure
o f length, and the livre as that o f w eig h t; and even although those meas­
ures bore the same denominations in all provinces, they were very differ­
ent in their proportions in particular districts. Similar objections lay
against the system o f weights and measures in England before the intro­
duction o f the “ Imperial Measure.”
Local consumers in France, as
well as in England, did not feel the whole disadvantage which arose from
the variety o f measures in the same country. But those who made large
purchases— merchants, who either sent out their own produce to another
part o f the country, or imported the manufactures o f their distant fellowcountrymen to their own districts— often experienced great difficulties in
converting to their own local standard the quantities expressed according
to another rate. The proportion which one standard bore to another was
not always easily ascertained; and when it was, the calculations to be
made were long and tedious, and could not always give a very accurate
One o f the first objects which engaged the attention o f the General
States in 1788, was to find a remedy for this defect. It was then agreed,
that some principle should be established, on which a new system should
be founded.
It was desirable to find a natural and invariable stan­
dard ; and it may be observed, that mankind, in all ages, have been en­
deavoring to obtain some such result, though they may have proceeded
without adequate scientific knowledge. Without science it is impossible
to find an invariable standard in nature ; for there is such infinite variety
in the individual character o f her productions, that no portions o f animal
or vegetable matter can be found o f equal and unchanging dimensions.


Weights and Measures.

It was therefore the object o f the French to establish, “ as the fundamental
unity o f all measures, a type taken from nature itself, a type as unchange­
able as the globe upon which we dwell,— to prepare a metrical system, o f
which all the parts should be intimately connected, and o f which the mul­
tiples and subdivisions follow a natural progression, which should be sim­
ple, easy to comprehend, and worthy o f the enlightened age in which they
The Academie des Sciences was first requested to determine the length
o f a pendulum, vibrating seconds according to given rules, under certain
circumstances. But this was objected to ; because it was thought that a
result, depending upon the weather and an arbitrary division o f time,
( st ! ¥o ° f a day,) was not susceptible o f the requisite accuracy. It was
then agreed to adopt the ten-millionth part o f the fourth part o f the me­
ridian, or o f the quadrant comprised between the equator and the north
pole, for the unity o f this measure o f length, and to derive all others from
this standard. F or this purpose o f obtaining the value o f the unit, it was
resolved, that an arc o f the meridian should be actually measured. MM.
Mechain and Delambre were appointed to ascertain, with the utmost pre­
cision, the length o f the arc comprised between Dunkirk and Rhodes in
France, a distance o f nearly 550000 toises, or about 570 miles. M. Me­
chain died in Spain from excessive fatigue, in attempting to extend his
labors to Barcelona, a distance much farther than had been required o f
him. The result o f the operations in which these savans were engaged,
was, that a quadrant o f a meridian lying between the equator and the
north pole measured 5130470 toises, and that the ten-millionth part o f
this quantity, which was to form the standard unit, was therefore equal to
443.296 lignes.* The unit o f the measure o f length thus ascertained was
denominated a M etke ; and being established as the legal standard, upon
which all other weights and measures were to be predicated, the Academ y
proceeded to devise a new nomenclature. In order to express the deci­
mal proportion, the following vocabulary o f names was adopted, in which
the terms for multiplying are Greek, and those for dividing are Latin :—
F or multipliers, the word
D eca prefixed, signifies
. 1 0 times.
K ilo
M yria “
10 0 0 0
On the contrary, for divisors, the word
D eci expresses the
10th part.
100 th “
M illi
1000th “
Thus, the decametre expressed 10 m etres; the hectometre 100 metres,
& c . ; and the metre contained 10 decimetres, 100 centimetres, and 1000
Such was the principle o f the new system proposed by the Academ y
o f Sciences, the adoption o f which was enjoined by a law, enacted 19
frimaire, an V III., (D ecem ber 8 , 1799,) when the following measures
w ere established:—
* F r o m th e m e a s u r e m e n t o f L a C a ille a t th e C a p e o f G o o d H o p e , it w a s 4 4 3 .4 4
lig n e s ; fr o m th e c a lc u la t io n s o f A r a g o a n d B io t , 4 4 3 . 3 1 ; a n d fr o m estim a te s m o re re­
c e n t ly g iv e n , 4 4 3 .3 9 lign e s .


Weights and Measures.

Compared with English Imperial Measure.

D e n o m in a t io n s .

.. .

0 .0 0 1

0 .0 1

. . . . 0 .1
............. 1
.............1 0
...1 0 0 0
..1 0 0 0 0



0 .0 3 9 3 7 1
0 .3 9 3 7 0 8
3 .9 3 7 0 7 9
3 9 .3 7 0 7 9
3 9 3 .7 0 7 9
3 9 3 7 0 .7 9
3 9 3 7 0 7 .9

0 .0 0 3 2 8 1
0 .0 3 2 8 0 9
0 .3 2 8 0 9 0
3 .2 8 0 8 9 9
3 2 .8 0 8 9 9
3 2 8 0 .8 9 9
3 2 8 0 8 .9 9

1 T o is e — 1 .9 4 9 0 3 7 m e tr e s.
1 M e tr e = 0 .5 1 3 0 4 7 toises.




Stat. Miles.

0 -0 0 1 0 9 4 0 . 0 0 0 2 0
0 .0 1 0 9 3 6
0 .0 0 1 9 9
0 .1 0 9 3 6 3
0 .0 1 9 8 8
1 .0 9 36 3 3
0 .1 9 8 8 4
1 0 .9 3 6 3 3
1 .9 8 8 4 2
1 0 9 3 .6 3 3 1 9 8 .8 4 2 4
1 0 9 3 6 .3 3 1 9 8 8 .4 2 4

1 T o is e
1 I. F oot =

0 .0 0 0 0 0 0 6
0 .0 0 0 0 0 6 2
0 .0 0 0 0 6 2 1
0 .0 0 0 6 2 1 4
0 .0 0 6 2 1 3 8
0 .6 2 1 3 8 2 2
6 .2 1 3 8 2 1 8

6 .3 9 4 5 9 2 5 9 I . feet.
0 .1 5 6 3 8 2 1 2 toises.


Compared with English Imperial Measure.
Sq. Metres.

D e n o m in a t io n s .

1 Sq.
1 “
1 “
1 “
1 “
1 “
1 “
1 “

Sq. Feet.

Sq. Inches.

M illim e t r e ,............. .. 0 . 0 0 0 0 0 1
C e n t im e t r e ,........... ......... 0 . 0 0 0 1
D e c im e t r e ,............. ............. 0 . 0 1
M e t r e , ......................... ..................... 1
D e c a m e t r e ,.......... ................ 1 0 0
H e c t o m e t r e ,......... ........... 1 0 0 0 0
K i lo m e t r e ,.............. . . . 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
M y r ia m e t r e ,.......... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


0 .0 0 0 0 1 0 7 6 4
0 .0 0 1 0 7 6 4 3 0
0 .1 0 7 6 4 2 9 9 6
1 0 .7 6 4 2 9 9 5 6
1 0 7 6 .4 2 9 9 5 6
1 0 7 6 4 2 .9 9 5 6
1 0 7 6 4 2 9 9 .5 6

0 .0 0 1 5 5 0 0 5 9 1 4
0 .1 5 5 0 0 5 9 1 3 6 6
1 5 .5 0 0 5 9 1 3 6 6 4
1 5 5 0 .0 5 9 1 3 6 6 4
1 5 5 0 0 5 .9 1 3 6 6 4
1 5 5 0 0 5 9 1 .3 6 6 4
1 5 5 0 0 5 9 1 3 6 .6 4

Yards. Sq. M.

0 .0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0

0 .0 0 0 1 1 9 6 0
0 .0 1 1 9 6 0 3 3
1 .1 9 6 0 3 3 2 8
1 1 9 .6 0 3 3 2 8
1 1 9 6 0 .3 3 2 8 0 .0 0 3 9
1 1 9 6 0 3 3 .2 8 0 .3 8 6 1
1 19 6 0 3 3 2 8 . 3 8.6 11


D e n o m in a t io n s .

Sq. Metres. Sq. Yards.

Sq. Rods.


1 .1 9 6 0 3 3 3
1 1 9 .6 0 3 3 3
1 1 9 6 0 .3 3 3

0 .0 3 9 5 3 8 3
3 .9 5 3 8 2 9 0
3 9 5 .3 8 2 9 0

0 .0 0 0 9 8 8 5
0 .0 9 8 8 4 5 7
9 .8 8 4 5 7 2 5

....................... i

................ 1 0 0
1 H e c t a r e ,................................. ........... 1 0 0 0 0

0 .0 0 0 2 4 7 1
0 .0 2 4 7 1 1 4
2 .4 7 1 1 4 3 1


Compared with English Imperial Measure.
D e n o m in a t io n s .

1 C u b ic

Cubic Met.

C e n t im e t r e ,........... . . 0 . 0 0 0 0 0 1
D e c im e t r e ,............. ........... 0 . 0 0 1
M e t r e , ......................... ..................... 1
D e c a m e t r e ,........... ..............1 0 0 0
H e c t o m e t r e ,.......... . . . 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
K ilo m e t r e ,.............. 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Cubic Inches.

Cubic Feet.

0 .0 6 1 0 2 7 0 5 3 3 7 9 4
6 1 .0 2 7 0 5 3 3 7 9 4 3 1
6 1 0 2 7 .0 5 3 3 7 9 4 3 1
6 1 0 2 7 0 5 3 .3 7 9 4 3 1
6 1 0 2 7 0 5 3 3 7 9 .4 3 1

0 .0 0 0 0 3 5 3 1 6 5
0 .0 3 5 3 1 6 5 8 1 8
3 5 .3 1 6 5 8 1 8 1 7
3 5 3 1 6 .5 8 1 8 1 7
3 5 3 1 6 5 8 1 .8 1 7

Cubic Yards.
0 .0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 8
0 .0 0 1 3 0 8 0 2 2
1 .3 0 8 0 2 1 5 4 9
1 3 0 8 .0 2 1 5 4 9
1 3 0 8 0 2 1 .5 4 9

W O O D A N D T IM B E R M E A S U R E .

D e n o m in a t io n s .

Cubic Metres. Cubic Inches. Cubic Feet.


......... 0 .0


0 1


1 D e c is t e r e ,................................................. ................ 0 . 1 . . .
1 S t e r e , ..................................................................

6 1 .0 2 7 0 5 3 4
6 1 0 .2 7 0 5 3 4
6 1 0 2 .7 0 5 3 4
6 1 0 2 7 .0 5 3 4

0 .0 3 5 3 1 7
0 .3 5 3 1 6 6
3 .5 3 1 6 5 8
3 5 .3 1 6 5 8

0 .0 0 2 7 6
0 .0 2 7 5 9
0 .2 7 5 9 1


Weights ancl Measures.

D e n o m in a t io n s .

0 .0 0 0 1
0 .0 0 1

. . 0 .0 1
. . . 0 .1
........... 1



Quarts. Gallons. Bushels.

0 .7 0 4 3 0 9 0 .1 7 6 0 7 7
1 .7 6 0 7 7 3
7 0 .4 3 0 9 4 1 7 .6 0 7 7 3
7 0 4 .3 0 9 4 1 7 6 .0 7 7 3
7 0 4 3 .0 9 4 1 7 6 0 .7 7 3

0 .0 8 8 0 3 9
0 .8 8 0 3 8 7
8 .8 0 3 8 6 7
8 8 .0 3 8 6 7
8 8 0 .3 8 6 7

0 .0 2 2 0 1 0

0 .2 2 0 0 9 7
2 .2 0 0 9 6 7
2 2 .0 0 9 6 7
2 2 0 .0 9 6 7

0 .0 0 2 7 5
0 .0 2 7 5 1
0 .2 7 5 1 2
2 .7 5 1 2 1
2 7 .5 1 2 1


Compared with Wine and Dry Measures o f the United States.
D e n o m in a t io n s .

0 .0 0 0 1


0 .0 0 1


0 .0 1

. . . 0 .1
1 K i l o l i t r e ,....................................... ........... i



0 .8 4 5 3 9 7
8 .4 5 3 9 6 6
8 4 .5 3 9 6 6
8 4 5 .3 9 6 6
8 4 5 3 .9 6 6

0 .2 1 1 3 4 9
2 .1 1 3 4 9 2
2 1 .1 3 4 9 2
2 1 1 .3 4 9 2
2 1 1 3 .4 9 2

Quarts. Gallons.

W ’r

0 .1 0 5 6 7 5
1 .0 5 6 7 4 6
1 0 .5 6 7 4 6
1 0 5 .6 7 4 6
1 0 5 6 .7 4 6

0 .0 0 3 3 0 5
0 .0 3 3 0 4 7
0 .3 3 0 4 6 6
3 .3 0 4 6 6 4
3 3 .0 4 6 6 4

0 .0 2 6 4 1 9
0 .2 6 4 1 8 6
2 .6 4 1 8 6 4
2 6 .4 1 3 6 4
2 6 4 .1 8 6 4


Compared with Troy Weight.
Cubic Metres
o f Water.

D e n o m in a t io n s .

1 D e c ig r a m m e ,............................... ......... 0 .0 0 0 0 0 0 1
1 G r a m m e , ................................................. ............. 0 .0 0 0 0 0 1
1 K i l o g r a m m e ,............................... ..................... 0.0 0 1



1 .5 4 3 8 4
1 5 .4 3 8 4
1 5 4 3 8 .4

0 .0 6 4 3
0 .6 4 3 2
6 4 3 .2 6

Ounces. Pounds.
0 .0 0 3 2 2
0 .0 3 2 1 6
3 2 .1 6 3 2 4

0 .0 0 0 2 7
0 .0 0 2 6 8
2 .6 8 0 2 7


Compared with Avoirdupois Weight.
D e n o m in a t io n s .


D e c a g r a m m e ,...............................
H e c t o g r a m m e , ..........................
K i l o g r a m m e ,................................
M y r ia g r a m m e , ..........................

Cubic Metres
o f Water.


......... 0 . 0 0 0 0 0 1 . . ........... 1
........... 0 . 0 0 0 0 1 . . ......... 1 0
............. 0 .0 0 0 1 . . . . . 1 0 0
................ 0 .0 0 1 . .
..1 0 0 0
................... 0 . 0 1 . . . 1 0 0 0 0

0 .5 6 4 6 0 2 9
5 .6 4 6 0 2 8 8
5 6 .4 6 0 2 8 8
5 6 4 .6 0 2 8 8
5 6 4 6 .0 2 8 8

Ounces. Pounds.
0 .0 3 5 2 8 8
0 .3 5 2 8 7 7
3 .5 2 8 7 6 8
3 5 .2 8 7 6 8
3 5 2 .8 7 6 8

0 .0 0 2 2 1

0 .0 2 2 0 5
0 .2 2 0 5 5
2 .2 0 5 4 8
2 2 .0 5 4 8

The kilogramme is equal in weight to a cubic decimetre o f pure water, at
39.38° F ., or 1 litre o f water o f the same temperature. Hence a cubic
metre o f water contains 1000 litres, and weighs 1000 kilogrammes.
A quintal is 100 kilogrammes, and is equal to 220.548 pounds.
A millier (used for marine tonnage) is 1000 kilogrammes, and is equal
to 2205.48 pounds.
However valuable the simplicity o f the metric system, there has been
great difficulty in making the change universal. Although the agents o f
government and the higher classes in the commercial world soon under­
stood and adopted it, the smaller tradesmen and laborers were unwilling hr
charge their memory with names which sounded so unlike their own ac­
customed language. Hence it was, from these prejudices, that on the 12th
o f February, 1812, a law was passed tolerating the names o f the old measures


Weights and Measures.

in the retail purchase o f g ood s; but at the same time, by a slight modifica­
tion, the values o f those measures were so fixed as to bear certain definite
proportions towards the standards o f the decimal system ; and it was re­
quired that the measures should bear both graduations, that is, the carpen­
ter’s rule should have on one side the metrical divisions, and on the other
those o f the toise and its subdivisions; and the aune, or ell, should bear on
one o f its sides its former divisions o f halves, quarters, eighths, & c ., and on
the other the corresponding metres and centimetres ; in order that both the
purchaser and the dealer might be enabled to convert one measure into the
The old and new systems, thus combined, formed what was called the
System usuel ou transitoire. It was attended with many difficulties at first,
and finally led to almost the exclusive adoption o f the old system, in conse­
quence o f which, a law was passed in July, 1837, interdicting, under a se­
vere penalty, after the 1st o f January, 1840, the use o f all weights and
measures other than those established by the law o f 19 frimaire, an V III.,
constituting the metric system. This law will, undoubtedly, tend to simi­
lar inconveniences, as those which preceded i t ; and ultimately, the French
may give to the metric measures and their decimal subdivisions the ancient
names o f toise, aune, livre, & c., which, probably, never will be eradicated
from their language.




Comprising Antwerp, Holland, Brabant, Flanders, and Luxemburg.

By a law o f 1816, the metric system o f France was adopted throughout
the Netherlands, which went into effect on the 1st o f January, 1820. T h ey
retained the old denominations, with the metrical standards for their bases.
Their names, and corresponding quantities in France, are as follow s:—
M E AS U R E S O F L E N G T H .

M ijle is eq u a l t o .
R oede
E lle
P a lm

1 S tr e e p


1 V lE R K A N T E B U N D E R is e q u a l t o ................................................ . . .
1 V ie r k a n te ro e d e
1 V ie r k a n t e elle
1 V ie r k a n te p a lm
1 V ie r k a n te d u im
1 V ie r k a n te streep




W O O D A N D T IM B E R M E A S U R E .
K u b i c k e e l l e is e q u a l t o ........................................................
K u b ic k e p a lm
K u b ic k e d u im
K u b ic k e streep
T h e term wisse is g iv e n t o a k u bick e. e ile o f fire -w o o d .


M u d d e o r Z a k is e q u a l t o ...................... ................. . _ ..................
S chepel
. . . . . ......................................................
K op
M a a tje
30 madden — 1 last o f m e rch a n d is e . 2 7 madden =

1 h e c to litre .
1 d e ca litre .
1 litre.
1 d e cilitr e .
1 last o f g r a in .


Weights and Measures.

1 V at
is e q u a l t o
1 K an
1 M a a tje
1 V in g e r h o e d e
1 aam = 4 ankers = 8
pintes = 1 8 0 litres.

.......................................................................... 1 h e c to litre .

1 litre.
stechans =


1 d e cilitre .
1 ce n tilitr e .
6 4 stoopen = 1 2 8 mingles

viertels —




1 P o n d is e q u a l t o ......................................................................................
1 Ons
1 Lood
1 W igtje
1 K orrel
T h e last, (u s e d fo r m a r in e to n n a g e ,) is e q u a l t o 2 0 0 0
T h e a p o th e c a r y ’ s n e w p o u n d = 12 ounces = 9 6
3 7 5 grammes = 5 7 8 7 English grains.


1 k ilo g r a m m e .
1 h e c to g r a m m e .
1 d eca gram m e.

1 gramme.
1 d e c ig r a m m e .
k ilo g r a m m e s .


scruples =


grains —







A t the organization o f the federal government, authority was conferred
upon congress to establish a uniform system o f weights and measures.
But, surprising as it may appear, no laws have as yet been enacted by that
body for the perfection o f so important an object. Some measures have
been taken to obtain information on the subject, and able reports have been
made by Messrs. Jefferson, Adams, and Hassler. By an order o f congress,
in June, 1836, a set o f standard weights and measures, similar to those in
use in England anterior to the passing o f the “ A ct o f Uniformity” in May,
1834, have been prepared by Mr. Hassler for the use o f each customhouse,
and for each state. Hence, the old measures o f England, superseded by
the imperial system, with such modifications as local customs or state laws
have ingrafted upon it, may be regarded as the general standard adopted
in this country.
Most o f the states o f the Union have attempted to reduce their standards
o f weights and measures to a uniform system, and numerous laws have
been enacted with that view ; but so far from succeeding in their object,
they have had, in most instances, an opposite effect. There are but few
states in which the proportions o f their measures are required by law to be
the same— lineal, superficial, and cubic measures excepted— although they
may bear the same names ; and owing to the difficulty o f enforcing new
regulations, strong prejudices against any innovation, and a constant influx
o f settlers from one state into another, and from various countries o f Eu­
rope, who bring their own accustomed weights and measures, uniformity
cannot be said to exist in any state o f the Union. In this country, as did
England and France before their new systems were adopted, local con­
sumers do not feel the whole disadvantage o f this confusion ; but merchants
and others, who make large sales or purchases in distant parts o f the coun­
try, often experience serious difficulties in converting to their own local
standards the quantities expressed according to another rate. The pro­
portion which one standard bears to another is not always easily obtained ;
and when it is, the calculations to be made are often long and difficult, and
may not always give an accurate result. It is proposed to resume this
subject in a future number o f this work, and point out several ways wherein
these difficulties may be overcome.
A s the imperial system, and that which preceded it in England, are es-


Weights and Measures.

sentially the same in all weights and measures, except wine, beer, and drymeasures, a repetition o f them is unnecessary. The relative quantities of
wine and dry measures are as follows :—

1 W . G ill, . . .


“ G a llo n ,.
“ H ogsh cd
“ P ip e ,...!
“ T u n ,...

.2 8 f
.5 7 #
.2 3 1
8.4 2 1
1 6 .8 4
3 3 .6 8


. .0 .2 6 1
. .1 .0 4 4
. .2 .0 8 9
.. 8 . 3 5 5
5 2 6 .3 6 7
105 2 .7 3
2 1 0 5 .4 6

1 tie r c e =


. . 0 .1 1 83
. . 0 .4 7 3 2
. . 0 .9 4 6 3
. . 3 .8 7 5 2
2 3 8 .4 6 7 6
4 7 6 .9 3 5 2
9 5 3 .8 7 0 5

4 2 g a llo n s .

0 .0 2 6 0 3
0 .1 0 4 1 4
0 .2 0 8 2 8
0 .8 3 3 1 1
5 2 .4 8 5 9
1 0 4 .97 2
2 0 9 .9 4 4

0 .1 0 7
6.7 6 7
13.5 3
2 7 .0 6

. . .1
. . .4
.. .8
. .3 2
4 03 2
8 06 7

1 p u n ch eon =

. .


W. Galls.




IT .



Weight of
Water at
4 0 ° F.


D enomina­




. . .i
. . .4 . . 1
.5 0 4 .2 5 2 .6 3 1
1008 .5 0 4 126 2
2 0 1 6 1 008 2 5 2 4

. . . 8




8 4 g a llo n s .


Quarters. |









D enominations.


T A B L E O F D R Y O R W IN C H E S T E R M E A S U R E .

0 .1 3 7 6
0 .5 5 0 6
.3 3 .6 0 “
.6 7 .2 0 “
1 .1 0 1 1
5 3 7 .6 0 “
1 .2 4 4 ft. 3 5 .2 3 6 5
C o o m , ......... .4 .9 7 7 “ 1 4 0 .9 4 6
Q u a r te r , . . .9 .9 5 4 “ 2 8 1 .8 9 2
W e y , ........... 4 9 .7 7 0 “ 1 4 0 9 .4 6

1 W ’ r G ill, . .




0 .0 0 3 7 9 0 0 3 6 4 ......... 1
.1 .......
0 .0 1 5 1 5 0 .1 4 5 5
.. . 4
0 .0 3 0 2 9 0 .2 9 0 9 ......... 8 . . . 2 . . ,i
0 .2 4 2 3 6 2 .3 2 7 3 . . .6 4 . .16 . . . 8 . . . i
0 .9 6 9 4 3 9 .3 0 9 2 . .2 5 6 . .6 4 . .3 2 . . .4 1
3 .8 7 7 7 2 3 7 .2 3 6 7 1 024 2 5 6 128 ..16 4
7 .7 5 5 4 4 7 4 .4 7 3 4 2 0 4 8 5 1 2 2 5 6 . . 3 2 8
3 8 .7 7 7 2 3 72 .3 6 7 ,1 0 2 4 0 2 5 6 0 1 280 160 4 0

4 weys =







last — 80 bushels.

The W inchester bushel contains 77.7785 pounds o f pure water, o f the
temperature o f 40° F .

C haracter .— Character is o f infinitely greater value than either talent
or fortune, and, therefore, by a young'm an beginning the world, it ought
to be preferred above every other earthly consideration.
Should you be without capital, a character for honesty, sobriqty, and
industry, will make you master of another man’s purse ; and money pro­
perly used, is a most productive commodity. Should you have powerful
rivals in trade, a character for steadiness and punctuality will procure you
numerous customers— in short, with character and good management you
may accomplish any thing— without these, nothing.
If you are diligent and attentive to your business; strictly honest in all
your dealings; prudent and economical, and punctual in your engagements,
there is no danger o f your being unsuccessful in the world. Y ou may often
hear people talk o f luck, and o f such a man being fortunate, but do you
act as if there was no such thing as luck. R ely upon it, that nine tenths
o f the men who are called “ fortunate,” may, with far greater propriety, be
called prudent.
VOL. IV.--- NO. IV.


Commerce and Resources of Nero Hampshire.

A rt. IV .— O N T H E C O M M E R C E A N D R E S O U R C E S O F N E W
H A M P S H IR E .
The pilgrims, who landed at Plymouth, in the inhospitable winter o f
1620, and those who, following them, but choosing a happier season, com ­
menced the settlement o f Boston in the summer o f 1630, braved the terrors
o f an unknown land, that they might enjoy freedom in the worship o f God.
A deep religious sentiment was at the very foundation o f the early colonies
in Massachusetts, and for more than half a century gave form and direc­
tion to the grow ing commonwealth. Prospects o f worldly gain would seem
scarcely to have entered into the thoughts o f these pilgrims, many o f
whom were sacrificing wealth, and distinction in their native land, to find
a boon more precious to them here. T h ey fled from persecution. They
braved the dangers o f the ocean and the savage wilderness ; and here,
under the shelter o f the forests, beneath the broad canopy o f heaven, where
never Christian man before had knelt in adoration, they bowed around
the altar which they had erected to the living G od. Conscience, duty, and
obedience to the Divine commands, were the ruling motives o f the first
N ot so with all who succeeded them in other N ew England settlements.
The returning ships from the new world, although more than once freighted
with unwelcome tidings o f disaster and death, carried also other intelli­
gence calculated to arouse the public curiosity. The spirit o f adventure
was awakened. Cautious and calculating men, who had laughed at the
“ Description o f N ew England,” given by Captain Smith in 1616, as the
dream o f a visionary, now hunted up the long-forgotten narrative, and be­
gan to read with interest his glowing account o f N ew England. “ O f all
the foure parts o f the world that I have yet seen not inhabited,” says he,
“ could I have but meanes to transport a colonie, I would rather live here
than any w here.”
Men who had hitherto looked upon the passage o f the
Atlantic with dread— men to whom the visions o f the new world had all
been full o f doubt and peril— now sought with eagerness the intelligence
brought by every fresh arrival, and were soon engaged in schemes and
enterprises for now settlements, where fortunes could be realized. The
letters o f the honest pilgrims were full o f encouragement to their friends;
and the publications which appeared from time to time in London, were
calculated to flatter the hopes o f the merchant adventurers. A pamphlet
entitled “ N ew England’s Trials,” appeared in 1 6 2 2 ; “ Levett’s Voyage
to N ew England,” in 1 6 2 4 ; and “ N ew England’ s Plantation,” and
“ The Planter’ s Plea,” appeared in 1630, followed by various others, which
spoke o f the soil, climate, and natural productions o f the country in terms
o f extravagant admiration. A long the rivers and water-courses, which
were described as more noble than any thing o f the kind in the old world,
there were plenty o f beaver and other animals, to tempt the cupidity of
the fur-traders. T h e huntsman could here find game in abundance in
forests which he could call his o w n ; and there were fisheries o ff the coast,
and harbors and bays indenting the shores, such as would equal the proud­
est o f the old world. The forests, too, which had withstood the howling
blasts o f centuries, and whose solitudes had never rung with the wood­
man’s echoes— presented rich sources o f wealth in the unrivalled timber
which they would yield for merchandise and exportation. W ood, who

Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.


wrote an admirable account o f N ew England a few years later, thus poeti­
cally describes the forest trees o f the country:
“ Trees, both in hills and plains, in plenty be,
The long-lived oak, and mournful cypress tree;
Sky-towering pines, and chestnuts coated rough,
The lasting cedar, and the walnut tough;
The rosin-dropping fir, for masts in use ;
The boatmen seek for oars, light, neat grown spruce;
The brittle ash, the ever trembling asps,
The broad-spread elm, whose concave harbors w asps;
The water-spungy alder, good for nought,
Small eldern by the Indian fletchers sought;
The knotty maple, pallid birch, hawthornes,
The horn-bound tree, that to be cloven scorns,
Which from the tender vine oft takes his spouse,
W ho twines embracing arms about his boughs.
Within this Indian orchard fruits be some,
The ruddy cherry, and the jelly plum ;
Snake-murthering hazel, with sweet saxaphrage,
W hose spurns in beer allay hot fever’s rage ;
The dear sumach, with other trees there be,
That are b'oth good to use, and rare to see.” *
It is perfectly natural, that with such accounts before them, the merchants o f London should turn their attention towards this country. The
persecuted pilgrims had opened a path for enterprise and mercantile ad­
venture to follow. The ocean was ere long covered with ships bound for
N ew England.
Am ong the first who entered zealously into the scheme o f making a for­
tune by trading to N ew England, was Captain John Mason. H e was a
merchant o f London, had been engaged in a maritime life, and became
concerned in the fisheries at Newfoundland, o f which he was governor.
Subsequently returning to England, he was appointed one o f the council o f
Plymouth “ for ordering and governing N ew England,” and was chosen
their secretary. H e obtained in 1621, from this council, the extensive
grant o f M arian a , covering all the land lying between Namuskeag,
(Salem,) round Cape Anne, to the Merrimack, and up those rivers to their
heads, and thence across from one to the other ; and in the year follow­
ing, in company with Sir Fernando Gorges, he obtained the grant o f all
the lands between the Merrimack and Sagadahock, and extending back to
the great lakes and the St. Lawrence. T o this tract, which included N ew
Hampshire, he gave the name o f L aconia . Mason and Gorges admitted
into their company several merchants o f London, Bristol, and other com­
mercial towns in E n glan d; and in the spring o f 1623, they sent over
a number o f persons with the view o f establishing a plantation and fishery.
The place which they had fixed upon was the banks o f the river Pascataqua,
the site o f the present flourishing town o f Portsmouth, N ew Hampshire.
Here they commenced operations, erected a dwelling-house, and put up
works for the manufacture o f salt to be used in the preservation o f fish,
which they caught in abundance. T h e salt manufacture and the fish­
eries were, for a time, pursued with great success. Trading with the
natives for furs was also prosecuted by some o f the settlers, whilst others
who followed turned their attention to the cultivation o f the earth.
W o o d ’ s N e w E n g la n d ’ s P r o s p e c t, L o n d o n , 1 63 9 .


Commerce and Resources o f New Hampshire.

The state o f N ew Hampshire has but about eighteen miles o f seacoast,
extending from the Massachusetts line at Salisbury, to the mouth o f the Pa'scatqqua river. The only port o f entry and only harbor belonging to the
state is at Portsmouth. This harbor is one o f the best and most commo­
dious on the whole coast. Protected by the neighboring shores from the
violence o f the northeasterly storms, being land-locked on each side, and
having deep waters, and being kept always open by the strong current of
the Pascataqua, the largest ships may lie here moored in safety.
It will be seen at once, from the natural position o f this state, that it
must always be difficult to ascertain the actual value o f its domestic ex­
ports. N ew Hampshire is seated between two great and growing states,
having no other natural market o f her own than Portsmouth, situated at
one extremity o f the state, and those other inland markets, which the ex­
tension o f her manufactures has created. On the one hand Boston, the
metropolis o f N ew England, invites her trade, and being scarcely
twenty miles farther distant from the agricultural centre o f N ew Hamp­
shire than Portsmouth— a distance which in fact has been practically di­
minished by the navigation o f the Merrimack river, and the opening o f the
railroad from Boston to Nashua, in one direction, and to Haverhill, point­
ing to the interior o f the state, in another— a large proportion o f the agri­
cultural products o f this state find their way to Boston, and go to swell the
aggregate o f the com m erce o f Massachusetts. Newburyport and Salem
formerly enjoyed a considerable trade with New Hampshire in lumber, pot
and pearl ashes, and agricultural produce ; but this trade has declined since
the opening o f the communication by canals and railroads to Boston. On
the other hand, a large portion o f the products o f the northern parts of
N ew Hampshire, either go to Portland for a market, or are freighted down
the Connecticut to Hartford and the intermediate markets on that river.
T o confine the detail o f the com m erce o f this state to the port o f Portsmouth
alone, will therefore give but an imperfect view o f its actual amount and
importance. The difficulty in coming at any accurate result seems al­
ways to have been felt by those who have made the attempt. Governor
Wentworth, when called upon by the British ministry for an account o f the
“ trade, nett produce, and staple commodities” o f the province, in his reply
was obliged to make an exception o f the articles “ carried out by land, it
being impracticable to ascertain their value.”
Immediately on the establishment o f the settlers at Pascataqua, in 1623,
and the erection o f fishhouses there, the immense numbers o f fish swarm­
ing in the neighboring waters, o ff the coast, attracted their attention. A
few years afterwards the little cluster, called the Isles o f Shoals, lying off
the harbor, was selected as a fishing station, and for more than a century
continued to be the point whence numerous vessels were loaded with fish
for the Spanish and other markets. These islands, though constituted of
barren rocks, and lying exposed to the full violence o f the winter storms,
were then considered the best fishing stations on the coast. Winthrop, in
his history, notes the establishment o f the station, and the accidental over­
setting o f “ a fishing shallop at the Isle o f Shoals,” in 1632. On these in­
hospitable rocks the hardy fishermen commenced their settlements, and
the little community numbered at one time from 600 to 1000 souls. The
last census (1840) shows a population o f only 115.
In addition to the fisheries, the fur trade was originally carried on to
some extent in N ew Hampshire. On all the streams o f the interior, the

Commerce and Resources o f New Hampshire.


beaver was plenty, and their skins, taken by the natives in times o f peace,
were brought to Pascataqua, or other places o f trade, and exchanged for
such articles as suited the savage state. Trucking-houses, as they were
called, were established on the Merrimack at different points, as far up as
Concord, whither stores w ere sent and exchanged for peltries.
A third, and for a time a principal source o f traffic, was lumber. The
banks o f the rivers were covered with forest pines, and on the borders o f
all the lakes and streams, and in the valleys throughout the province, were
found excellent timbers for masts and shipbuilding. The early settlers
erected sawmills on the nearest waterfalls, and in the grants o f original
townships, lands were frequently reserved for the encouragement o f those
who would undertake the erection o f mills. Down all the branches o f the
principal rivers connecting with tide waters, the lumber was driven; or,
where such a mode o f conveyance was impracticable, timber for masts,
and the live-oak used in shipbuilding, was conveyed from a great distance
during the winter by teams to the nearest market. W hite and red oak staves
and heading, hoop-poles, ash, and cedar scantling, were also made in great
quantities, and sent to market. Shingles and clapboards, split and shaved
by hand from pine and spruce, were for nearly a hundred years a great
article o f export. The farmers o f the interior were accustomed to employ
the long winter in the manufacture o f shingles and clapboards, which an­
swered the purpose o f a currency, and for which, at stated prices, there
was a never-failing demand. F or a long time lumber and provisions were
received in payment o f taxes, the price being regulated from year to year
by the proper authority. In 1680, the prices were as follows : white-pine
merchantable boards, 30s. per M .; white-oak pipe staves, £ 3 ; red-oak,
3 0 s .; red-oak hhd. staves, 25s. ; Indian corn, 3s. per bushel; wheat 5s.,
and malt, 4s. At this time silver was rated at 6 s. 8d. per ounce.
In nearly all the township grants in N ew Hampshire, all white-pine
trees o f certain dimensions were denominated “ mast trees.” Th ey were
considered to be the property o f the king, and could be cut only for the
use o f the royal navy. A s is usual in such cases, the government con ­
tractors and agents made large fortunes by this traffic in lumber ; while
the hardy laborers, who spent their time in the woods, and were supplied
with food and clothing for themselves and their families, were obliged to
anticipate their earnings, and were thus generally kept in a state o f pov­
erty and dependence.
There was no part o f the country where ship-timber o f the best quality
could be so cheaply procured as in N ew Hampshire. Lord Bellemont,
who, while governor o f N ew Y ork and N ew England, contracted for
ship-loads o f masts, to he sent to England, in a letter dated Boston, 7th
July, 1700, writes to Mr. De Peyster, o f New Y ork, that he has to pay
much more for timber in New Y ork than in New Hampshire.*
From 1660, for nearly a century, Great Britain received the masts for
her navy almost entirely from N ew England, and more were sent from
New Hampshire than from either o f the other colonies. Since the revo­
lution, the lumber trade has been diverted into new channels ; but the ex­
cellence o f N ew Hampshire timber is universally known, from the supe­
* “ X c a n o n ly te ll y o u th a t M r . P a rtrid g e fo r .£ 3 0 0 lo a d e d a ship o f 3 0 0 to n s a t P a sc a t a w a y , a n d th e ship F o r t u n e , (a t N e w Y o r k ) w h ic h is o f b u t 1 3 0 to n s , w ill ta k e a lo a d
th a t w ill c o s t £ 3 0 6


s- 2 d .”


Commerce and Resources o f New Hampshire.

rior strength and durability o f the vessels constructed at Portsmouth. The
timber used in the construction o f the Constitution frigate, the famous
“ Old Ironsides,” was taken from the woods o f Allenstown, on the border
o f the Merrimack, fifty miles from the shipyard. So o f the Indepen­
dence, 74— the Congress, and several other vessels o f war. Ships o f war
were also built at Portsmouth in early times, viz : the Faulkland, o f 54
guns, in 1690 ; the Bedford galley, 32, in 1696 ; the Am erica, o f 40, in
1749 ; the Raleigh, 32, in 1776 ; the Ranger, 18, in 1 7 7 7 ; and a ship
o f 74 guns, called the Am erica, was launched at Portsmouth, November
5th, 1782, and presented to the king o f France, by the congress o f the
United States.
Shipbuilding has always been a considerable branch o f business at Ports­
mouth. Prior to the revolution, European traders came thither to build
ships, which they could do much cheaper than at home, by reason of
the large profit on the goods which they brought out with them. The mer­
chants o f Portsmouth also built numerous ships, o f two and three hundred
tons, for the W est India trade. Most o f these were freighted with lumber,
fish, live-stock, & c ., and having proceeded to the islands, the cargoes were
exchanged for sugars, which w ere taken to England in the same ships, and
there sold for merchandise for the colonies. Other vessels, laden with spars
and timber, proceeded directly for the British ports, and were sold, with
their cargoes, for the same purpose. The coasting trade to the southern
ports was an exchange o f W est India productions for corn, rice, flour, and
naval stores, portions o f which were re-exported to Newfoundland and Nova
Such was the accustomed routine o f navigation prior to the revolution,
by which most o f the profits o f N ew England labor were secured to the
merchants o f England. The foreign trade, properly so considered, o f New
Hampshire, before the revolution, was very inconsiderable. T w o or three
vessels in a year would go to the free ports o f the French and Dutch West
Indies, with cargoes o f lumber, fish-oil, and provisions, and bring home
molasses to be distilled in the only distillery in N ew Hampshire. One
vessel a year, perhaps, would go to the Azores, or the Canaries, with pipe
staves, fish, and provisions, and return with a cargo o f wine, the balance
o f which was paid in cash or bills ; and sometimes a ship, which had been
to England, would get a freight to Lisbon, or Cadiz, and return laden with
salt and fruit. The foreign entrances and clearances at the port o f Ports­
mouth, for nine years preceding 1773, were as fo llo w :—














Such was the sum total o f the foreign com m erce o f N ew Hampshire
prior to the revolution. During the period o f the war, not only this branch
o f trade, but the domestic and lumber trade, w ere suspended; and the peo­
ple were thrown back upon the resources o f agriculture. And it is worth
mentioning, as a fact illustrating the fertility o f the soil and the industry
o f the people, that they not only produced sufficient to sustain themselves
in a period o f war, under all the burdens it imposed, but exported large quan.

Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.


tities o f c o r n ; while, before the revolution, considerable quantities were
n n r ,^ ir r in t in n
imported for necessary consumption.
Corn imported into Portsmouth.




Corn exported from Portsmouth.




There are records existing which go to show that in addition to the exports above mentioned, nearly half as much more was smuggled from New
Hampshire during the revolution, chiefly into N ova Scotia— the country
which, according to Lord Shiffield’s calculation, was to supply the W est
Indies with provisions!
The importance attached to the lumber trade o f N ew Hampshire, in the
beginning o f the eighteenth century, is worthy o f a moment’s considera­
tion. A s early as 1668, the government o f Massachusetts, (which then
included N ew Hampshire,) passed an order reserving for public use all
white-pine trees measuring twenty-four inches in diameter at three feet
from the ground. In the reign o f W illiam III., a surveyor o f the woods
was appointed by the cro w n ; and an order was sent to the Earl o f Bellemont to cause acts to be passed for the preservation o f white-pine trees in
N ew Hampshire, Massachusetts, and N ew Y ork. Under Queen Anne,
the people were forbidden to cut any such trees without leave o f the sur­
veyor, who was ordered to mark all such as were fit for the use o f the
navy, and keep a register o f them. A perpetual struggle was kept up be­
tween the people and the surveyors ; fines were exacted ; mast trees were
purposely destroyed; and the subject was perpetually dwelt upon by the
royal governors in their despatches home. Faction took up the quarrel,
and it was subsequently used as an instrument in colonial intrigues. The
governor who favored or opposed the people, in the matter o f the lumber
trade, was liable to censure or approbation at home. One o f the strong­
est arguments used against Governor Belcher, in the intrigue which caused
his removal from office in 1741, was that he countenanced the people in
their “ wanton and disloyal waste o f the king’s timber.” Many anecdotes
are preserved o f the manner in which the royal “ surveyors o f the woods”
were at that time treated by the Y ankee lumbermen. The law empowered
the surveyors to seize the lumber wherever found, but such was the daring
and resolute character o f these men, that no officer found it an enviabletask to execute the law. Colonel Dunbar, who was surveyor in 1734, and
possessed rather more zeal than courage, undertook to make seizures at
the different sawmills. H e was met by the lumberers at Dover, and
threatened with death if he removed as much as a plank; and at Exeter,
on attempting to seize some boards, he was attacked and severely beaten,
by a party o f lumbermen disguised as Indians.
In those days, as at more recent periods, men undertook to realize for­
tunes by stepping out o f the ordinary channels o f business, and failed o f
success. In the province o f N ew Hampshire, were great numbers o f
pitch-pine trees, unfit for masts, but capable o f yielding tar and turpentine.
A company o f merchants o f Portsmouth, in 1718, undertook to monopolize
the manufacture, and they employed a great many laborers ; but after


Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.

many thousand trees had been prepared for use, such was the hatred o f
monopoly among the backwoodsmen, that a greater portion o f the trees
were secretly destroyed by unknown hands. A law was then passed
making tar, at 20s. per barrel, receivable in payment o f public taxes,
which encouraged the manufacture for a time. But another law being
soon afterwards passed laying a penalty on the injuring o f trees for draw­
ing turpentine, only provoked a wanton spirit o f resistance; the trees were
destroyed; and the manufacture, which for a time was a source o f a con­
siderable profit to the colony, was soon afterwards discontinued altogether.
In the answers to the queries o f the Lords o f Trade and Plantations,
prepared in 1730, the following account o f the trade, & c ., o f N ew Hamp­
shire is given.
“ A ns. 4. The trade o f the province is lumber and fish. The number
o f shipping belonging to the province are five, consisting o f about five hun­
dred tons ; and there are about three or four hundred tons o f other ship­
ping that trade here (annually) not belonging to the province. The sea­
faring men are about forty. The trade is much the same as it hath been
for some years past.
“ 5. The province makes use o f all sorts o f British manufactures,
amounting to about five thousand pounds sterling, annually, in value, which
are had principally from Boston.
“ 6. The trade o f this province to other plantations, is to the Carribbee
islands, whither we send lumber and fish, and receive for it rum, sugar,
molasses, and cotton ; and as to the trade from hence to Europe, it is to
Spain or Portugal, from whence our vessels bring home salt.
“ The natural produce o f the country is timber (o f various kinds, viz,
principally oak, pine, hemlock, ash, beech, and birch) and fish, and they
are the only commodities o f the place. The timber is generally manufac­
tured into beams, plank, knees, boards, clapboards, shingles, and staves,
and sometimes into house frames ; and the value o f those commodities an­
nually exported from hence to Europe and the W est India islands, is about
a thousand pounds sterling. Mem. Besides what is above-mentioned, the
coasting sloops from Boston, carry from hence thither, in fish and timber,
about five thousand pounds per annum.”
A t this period (1730) the population o f the province o f N ew Hampshire,
was about ten thousand ; and a large portion o f their trade then passed
through Massachusetts, as has been the case down to the present day.
It will be seen from the preceding remarks, that comparatively little is
known o f the statistics o f the N ew England colonies prior to the revolu­
tion. N o general account was kept o f the articles o f produce, or o f the
state o f agriculture, manufactures, and com m erce. People were thinly
scattered over a wide space o f country, and mainly occupied in subduing
the forests and procuring the means o f subsistence. The customhouse re­
cords were rarely if ever published, and many o f them were lost. The
returns published in London, in some respects imperfect, present the only
view o f the exports and imports o f N ew England which can be found prior
to 1750. These returns do not designate the commerce o f the separate
colonies, all the N ew England settlements being included in one general
return. The proportion, however, which N ew Hampshire bore, prior to
the revolution, in the com m erce o f the country, was greater than it has
been at any subsequent period, excepting, perhaps, the periods o f the
non-intercourse, embargo, and war. A table o f the exports and imports


Commerce and Resources o f Neiv Hampshire.

o f the N ew England colonics for three years prior to 1700, and different
periods thereafter to 1780, may not be unacceptable :
Exports and Imports o f the New England Colonies.



£ 2 6,28 2


£ 6 8,46 8




£4 8,45 5

• Imports.

£ 3 43 ,6 59

Under the restrictive policy o f England, while the Americans remained
in a colonial state, their great staples could only be carried to the parent
country, and all imports from Europe came through the same channels.
Hence, as will be seen by the tables before given, that during the whole
period from 1697 down to the period o f the revolution, the imports from
the mother country greatly exceeded the exports, and the burden o f the
balance of indebtedness falling mostly on New England, the evils o f such
a state-of things were severely felt. And with a view to secure the de­
pendence o f the colonies, they were entirely prohibited from carrying on
manufactures which would interfere with those o f a similar kind in the
mother country.
After the close o f the revolutionary war, the com m erce o f N ew Hamp­
shire gradually increased until the period when the acts o f non-intercourse, embargo, and other steps preceding the war o f 1812, took place.
During the war a large number o f vessels were laid up, some were lost,
others sold or broken up, and their registers surrendered. On the con ­
clusion o f peace the tonnage o f the port again went up to its former
am ount; the fishing business was resumed, and the carrying and coasting
trade increased. O f the value o f the latter no accurate account can be
given ; but it is very large. F or a few years past the navigation o f Ports­
mouth has increased, and the trade coastwise and to Europe has nearly
The Am erican tonnage employed in the fisheries is almost exclusively
owned in N ew England, and principally in Massachusetts ; the proportion
held by that state, in a series o f twenty years, having been rather more
than four to one, as compared to the whole population ; but the proportion
o f tonnage employed in these pursuits, held by the citizens o f Portsmouth,
the only port in N ew Hampshire, when compared with that o f Boston,
the principal mart o f Massachusetts, is very nearly eq u a l; that for Ports­
mouth being about 4|-f tons to each inhabitant, and that o f Boston being
only about 4||.
F or some years considerable attention has been given to the mackerel
fishery, and also to the whale fishery, by a company formed for that pur­
pose. The quantity o f dried and smoked fish produced in 1839, was
28,257 quintals ; and o f whale and other fish oils, 45,234 gallons.
The following table o f imports and exports, from 1791 to 1839, will
give a tolerably correct view o f the direct commerce o f N ew Hamp­
shire :

vox., iv.—NO.

IV .



Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.

Statement o f the Value o f the Imports and Exports at Portsmouth, from
1791 to 1839.




















Shipbuilding, though less extensively pursued than in some former years,
is carried on to some extent at Portsmouth. The following table exhibits
the number, class, and tonnage o f those built within the last few years :—











i i





Schooners. Total number. Total tonnage.



The value o f the ships and vessels built in 1839, is estimated at
Having thus examined, somewhat at length, the commerce o f New
Hampshire, as connected with its agriculture and domestic trade, a brief
view o f the resources o f the state may not be out o f place here. As be­
fore remarked, N ew Hampshire is favored by nature with but a single


Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.


port, and that is situated in the southeasterly corner o f the state, isolated
in a considerable degree from a larger portion o f the natural trade o f the
interior, which finds its way down the valleys o f the Merrimack to Massa­
chusetts, or o f the Connecticut to Hartford. Neither is N ew Hampshire, by
nature, an agricultural state. The elements o f her early prosperity were
found in the extensive forests o f timber which once covered the state ; and
after those disappeared, in the unsurpassed water-power which exists in every
county o f the state. Doctor Franklin, than whom a more accurate observer
never lived, some years before the revolution remarked, that the great water­
power possessed by this then colony, must in the end form the source o f
its prosperity. The establishment o f the large manufacturing towns o f
Dover, Nashua, N ew Market, & c ., and o f the new manufacturing town at
Amoskeag, which is growing up to be in the end the rival o f its elder sis­
ter, Low ell, attest the wisdom o f his observation.
W herever manufactures spring up into life, there better markets are
created for the farming com m unity; and agriculture, which before drooped,
revives, and its beneficial results are multiplied. The hardy soil o f N ew
Hampshire has been improved and cultivated by as industrious a commu­
nity, perhaps, as ever lived, until the products o f that state, notwithstanding
the disadvantages alluded to, have risen to a relative amount and value
scarcely inferior to those o f any other state. The following tables, which
are prepared from the returns o f the census o f 1840, show at a glance the
nature and extent o f the agricultural products o f N ew Hampshire. A n
estimate o f the value o f these products is added, based upon the average
market prices in that state for a series o f years. It should be borne in
mind, in examining the results here given, that the whole area o f this state
embraces but a little more than six millions o f acres, including the lakes
and ponds, and those vast piles o f mountains which have, not inappro­
priately, given it the name o f the granite state.
Returns o f the polls and rateable estate in N ew Hampshire are made
under the requisition o f the state, once in four years, for the purpose o f
equalizing the proportion o f taxes among the different towns. The returns
made to the legislature in November, 1840, exhibit the following aggre­
gates :—
The number o f rateable polls, or persons liable to be taxed, i
__ . . and entitled to v o t e , ..................................................................$
Estimated value o f real estate, t a x a b l e , .............................. $54,685,026*
Number o f horses, four years old, 39,442 ..............................
3,591 ..............................
otherneat stock,
69,228 ...............................
Amount o f stock in tra d e,............................................................
bank stock and m o n e y , ..........................................
other s t o c k s , ............................................................
Number o f c a r r ia g e s ,..................................................................
* U n d e r th e d ir e c t t a x appraisals m a d e b y a u th o rity o f th e U . S . in 179 8 , 1 8 1 3 , a n d
1 8 1 5 , th e v a lu a tio n o f re a l esta te in N e w H a m p s h ire w a s as f o l l o w s :—
, ,
, ,
179 8 .
1 81 3 .
181 5 .
V alu e o f la n d s, h o u se s , & c ., £ $ 2 3 ) 1 7 5 i 0 4 6 9 3 | $ 3 6 ,9 5 7 ,8 2 5 | $ 3 8 ,7 4 5 ,9 7 4
T h e t o ta l n u m b e r o f d w e llin g h o u se s in N e w H a m p s h ire in 1 7 9 8 , w a s 1 1 ,1 4 2 ,


S T A T E M E N T E X H IB IT IN G T H E P R O D U C T S , R E S O U R C E S , & c ., O F N E W H A M P S H IR E ,
in 1840.

Number o f Horses >
and Mules,
Number o f Neat


Strafford. Merrimack.













274,932 2,749,320





88,298 174,484
156,838 383,145
76,686 135,595
505,376 1,182,492
150,073 368,575
43,813 112,596
142,641 240,426


617,393 1,851,179
121,678 608.390
409,326 409,326
1,286,066 450,123
308,550 231,413
1,061,045 795.809
7,175,894 1,435,178
1,245,466 622,723
509,327 4,074,616
1,070,889 107,088









Number o f Sheep,
Number o f Swine,
Bushels o f Wheat,
83,177 101,526
204,960 150,527
796,647 2,267,309
Pounds o f W ool,
66,448 154,598
Tons o f Hay,
Pounds o f Sugar,
386 188,917
Value ol rroduce of )
$187,482 362,027














59,668 1,580,79' 1,580,791

Commerce and Resources o f New Hampshire.

C O U N T IE S .

Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.


The number o f stores and trading-houses in N ew Hampshire is 1026,
employing a capital o f $ 2 ,3 7 8 ,9 2 2 ; and there are eighteen commercial
houses, engaged in the foreign trade, which employ a capital o f $1,330,600.
There are 435 grain mills, and 3 flouring mills. There are 878 sawmills ;
151 fulling mills ; 17 iron furnaces, and 251 tanneries.
There are 55 cotton manufactories, with $5,529,200 capital invested,
employing'6,886 persons, and producing $4,142,484 value o f goods an­
There are 67 woollen manufactories, having $758,145 capital invested,
employing 893 persons, and producing $2,795,784 value o f cloths an­
There are 13 paper manufactories, 36 printing-offices, 22 book-binderies,
& c., & c.
The value o f home-made, or family goods produced, is $536,137— and
the value o f various other manufactures not mentioned above, is given at
over $ 1, 000,000 annually.
The whole number o f persons engaged in agricultural pursuits in N ew
Hampshire, is 67,935 ; the number engaged in com m erce, 1 3 8 2 ; in the
navigation o f the ocean, lakes, and rivers, 706 ; and in manufactures,
17,706. The total male population in 1840, was 139,326. Total popu­
lation, 284,481. The increase during the last ten years has been but
14,848, which is less than the actual gain o f the manufacturing towns.
The growth o f the manufacturing villages may be seen by the following
data. In 1820, the population o f D over was 2 8 7 1 ; it is now 6458. Dun­
stable (now Nashua) then numbered a population o f 1 1 4 2 ; now 6054.
Somersworth, in 1820, had 841 inhabitants, where there are now 3 2 8 3 ;
New-Market, 1083, where there are now 2746 ; and in Manchester
( Amoskeag,) where, in 1830, there were only 887 inhabitants, there are now
3235. In the same proportion that the growth o f manufactures has been
fostered, has the value o f all the surrounding country been increased. The
farmer has found a better market for his surplus productions and better
prices. His lands have trebled in value, and he has become independent and
wealthy from these causes. H e finds a ready demand for any thing he may
have to sell, in his own neighborhood, often at his own doors. The en­
lightened legislators o f N ew Hampshire have foreseen the advantages o f
protecting the interests o f the manufacturer, as identified with that o f the
agriculturist; and will no doubt continue to extend all proper encourage­
ment to that branch o f industry, as the best means o f ensuring the perma­
nent wealth and prosperity o f the state.
In estimating the natural resources o f N ew Hampshire, its deposits o f
iron and copper, and immense quantities o f granite suited to the purposes
o f building, claim consideration. A geological survey, under the authority
o f the state, is now in progress, conducted by one o f the most skilful geolo­
gists o f N ew England. His examinations have already brought to light
the existence o f several extensive beds o f iron, and a valuable one o f lime­
stone, not hitherto known, which will prove sources o f great profit to the
state. Iron exists in many parts o f the state. The ore which has hitherto
been chiefly worked is at Franconia and Lisbon, in the northerly part o f
the state, and is considered one o f the richest in the United States, yielding
from 60 to 75 per cent. Ores o f copper are found also at Franconia,
W arren, Eaton, and other places, which want only a judicious investment
o f capital and labor to develop their treasures. A very rich mine o f tin


Commerce and Resources of New Hampshire.

ore has been discovered by the state geologist, in the town o f Jackson,
near the foot o f the W hite Mountains, which promises to yield from 30 to
60 per cent in pure worked ore. This is the first workable tin mine that
has been discovered in the United States. In the town o f Eaton, there are
also extensive deposits o f ores o f zinc and lead, mixed in some o f the strata
with veins o f silver, which are worth being wrought.
There is no state which possesses greater quantities o f granite suited to
the purposes o f architecture, than New Hampshire. A t various points on
the very margins or near the banks o f the Merrimack and Connecticut,
are found immense and apparently exhaustless ranges o f this stone. It is
o f the best texture and color, and some o f the quarries are quite free from
those oxides or other mineral properties, which, on exposure to the atmos­
phere, mar the beauty o f much o f the N ew England granite. There is
a single ledge o f granite, remarkable for its extent and the quality o f the
stone, situated in Concord, the capital o f the state, and within 200 rods
o f the Merrimack, which is navigable hence to Boston by way o f the
Middlesex canal. This ledge presents a surface o f massive primitive
granite, o f more than 4000 square rods. The rift o f the stone is very
perfect, smooth, and regular, and splits are easily made to the depth
o f 12 to 20 feet, and o f almost any required length. The face o f this
great ledge, which parts to the southeast, rises at an angle o f about
45° from a plane o f the horizon, to the height o f about 350 feet— and the
entire mass, from all that appears, and its quality has been tested at all
points, is o f the very best description o f building-stone. This is mentioned
merely as a sample o f the building material which abounds in N ew Hamp­
This state, as a government, has no fixed resources. It holds no stock,
and has no income derived from any railroad or canal, or any corporation
whatever, excepting a tax o f one half per cent per annum on the capital
stock o f banks, which is appropriated for the support o f free schools.
The state has no revenue from lands, or auctions, or duties o f any descrip­
tion, if we may except a small fee on civil commissions, all which goes
into the treasury, after deducting the salary ($ 5 0 0 ) o f the secretary o f state.
The government is supported by a direct tax levied upon the people, gener­
ally o f about sixty thousand dollars a year, which covers all the expenses
o f the government, civil, judicial, and miscellaneous. The highest salaried
officer in the state, the chief-justice, receives only $1400 per annum ; and
all the emoluments o f public officers are graduated on the same scale o f
econom y. And yet there are few states in the union, where the laws are
more promptly and fairly administered, or where there is, on the part o f
the government, a more zealous care for the interests, and profound regard
for the will o f the people, than in N ew Hampshire.

THER.— Commerce, as well as life, has its auspicious ebbs and flows
that baffle human sagacity, and defeat the most rational arrangement o f
systems, and all the calculations o f ordinary prudence. Be prepared,
therefore, at all times for commercial revulsions and financial difficulties,
by which thousands have been reduced to beggary, who before had rioted
in opulence, and thought they might bid defiance to misfortune-

Stephen Girard.


A rt. V .— S T E P H E N G IR A R D .
T he moral and intellectual features o f different individuals are generally
as strongly marked as their personal appearance. Each man exhibits a
group o f distinctive traits belonging to the mind or the heart, which,
whether they are the offspring o f some natural tendency, or the result o f
education, enable him to perform his part with greater effect in a particu­
lar circle o f action, connected either with the arts or the sciences, poetry,
philosophy, commerce, or eloquence. W e design to devote this paper to
a sketch o f one who filled a large space in the mercantile history o f our
own country, displaying a character that was original and striking, and
colored by events o f deep interest and importance to those who are en­
gaged in the bustling scenes o f commercial traffic.
Stephen Girard was born on the 24th o f May, 1750, within the environs
o f Bordeaux, in France. O f his parents little is known, excepting that
they were obscure, and moved in the humble walks o f life. During the
early age o f ten or twelve he left his native country, having embarked in a
vessel bound for the W est Indies, in the capacity o f a cabin-boy, without
education, excepting a limited knowledge o f the elements o f reading and
writing. The loss o f his eye at that time, which was made the subject o f
ridicule among his early associates, tended probably to sour his temper,
which appears to have been naturally morose ; and with this physical de­
formity, without pecuniary means or patronage, he was thrown friendless
upon the world. Remaining but a short time in the W est Indies, he soon
sailed from those islands in the service o f a shipmaster, to whom he had
probably bound himself as a cabin-boy and apprentice, and reached the
port o f N ew Y ork. Girard appears to have gained the confidence and at­
tachment o f his employer, and he was successively promoted to the sta­
tion o f mate, and afterwards to the office o f captain o f a small vessel, when
his master left the sea, and in the performance o f its duties he made seve­
ral successful voyages to N ew Orleans. Embarking in adventures which
are customary among those who are engaged in such service, he gradual­
ly collected from time to time small means which furnished him a capital
stock on which to trade, and indeed he soon became part owner o f the
cargo and ship which he commanded between the two places. The cir­
cumstances that induced him first to go to Philadelphia, are not ascertained;
but, in 1769, he is found an obscure trader, unknown, excepting within a
very limited circle, opening his shop in W ater street, o f that city, where
he was regarded merely as a quiet and thrifty man.
A t this time his affections appear to have been interested in the daugh­
ter o f an old caulker, or shipbuilder, who resided in that section o f the
city. The object o f his attachment was Mary, or Polly Lum, as she was
then familiarly called, a damsel who was then but very young, and distin­
guished for her plain comeliness, resided as a servant-girl in the family o f
one o f the citizens. As soon as it was found that affairs were hastening
to a crisis, and Girard harbored serious designs o f making her his wife, a
feeling o f downright opposition was aroused, and he was forbidden an en­
trance to the house. This difficulty was, however, encountered with suc­
cess, and Polly Lum became his wife. The matrimonial alliance thus
formed was attended with any thing but domestic happiness. A want o f
congeniality in their dispositions, a neglect o f duty on her own part, or an


Stephen Girard.

austere and morose temper in himself, appears to have prevented any por­
tion o f domestic bliss, which ended in his application to the legislature o f
Pennsylvania for a divorce. By this marriage there was only one child,
who soon died. Upon his marriage Girard rented a small house in W ater
street, where he continued his pursuits, as sea-captain, ship-owner, and
merchant, according as either kinds o f business appeared to furnish the
greater chances o f profit. During his occasional visits to N ew Y ork, he
very soon became acquainted with David Ramsey, Esq., o f the last named
city, who gave him letters to Isaac Plazlehurst, Esq., o f Philadelphia.
W ith the latter gentleman Girard entered into business, and the partner­
ship purchased two vessels for the purpose o f commencing a trade with
the island o f St. Domingo. These vessels were each armed with one gun,
and set sail for that purpose. The brigs were, however, destined to mis­
fortune, for they were soon captured and sent to Jamaica, a mishap which
soon dissolved the firm. N o distinct traces o f the movements o f Mr. G i­
rard appear from the year 1772 to 1776, but it is highly probable that he
continued in his old business, acting alternately as shipmaster, and mer­
chant, despatching goods to N ew Orleans or St. Domingo, and remain­
ing at home for a time, to settle his accounts and adjust the profits.
The war which soon followed swept the commercial enterprises o f Ste­
phen Girard from the ocean, and induced him to open a small grocery
shop in Water street, that was connected with what might be termed a
bottling establishment, or a place in which his most favorite occupation
was the bottling o f claret and cider ; but on the alleged approach o f the
British to the city o f Philadelphia, about the year 1777, having purchased
a small tract o f land, called Mount H olley, from his old partner, Mr. H azlehurst, on which there was a house, he removed to that place, and contin­
ued his favorite occupation o f bottling the fluids that we have mentioned
for the market, from which he reaped considerable p rofit; for the vicinity
o f his residence was the place o f the American encampment, and the sales
o f his bottled claret and cider to the Am erican soldiers was a source o f no
inconsiderable gain. A t this point he remained until 1779, occasionally
making a voyage to Philadelphia in a boat as his stock required replen­
ishing, or he wished to carry his bottled cider or claret to market, insomuch
that he was frequently called an aquatic pedler; a course o f traffic that he
would doubtless have followed had any chances been proffered to him o f
gain ; for labor o f any sort was to his mind a binding duty, and none that
would yield profit was too humble to be scorned. A t this period his per­
sonal appearance was any thing but prepossessing. Coarse, ungainly,
and rough, his low but sturdy form presented a vulgar aspect, which was
heightened by the dingy and dark shade o f his skin, which was not changed
by the play o f a single passion, and by the loss o f his eye, which caused
him to appear even more forbidding. The appearance o f his person met
with the derision o f some o f his more intimate friends, but he bore their
jeers with unmoved fortitude, preserving in general a taciturn demeanor,
and concealing the burning ambition which at that time must have been
struggling in his breast. Upon the evacuation o f Philadelphia by the
British, in 1779, Girard was found returning to the city and occupying a
range o f frame stores upon the east side o f W ater street, simply attired, and
so perfectly plain in his appearance, that he was accustomed to go by the
name o f “ Old Girard,” in allusion to that fact. A t this period his store
was filled with pieces o f cordage, sails, and old blocks, besides other appa-

Stephen Girard! -


ratus, which were probably to be used in fitting out the ships that at this
time he had probably projected, and that were afterwards destined to dot
the ocean. His profits at this period must have been small, as the com ­
mercial condition o f the country was much depressed, being prostrated by
the British, who had devastated all within their reach.
In 1780, Mr. Girard again entered upon the N ew Orleans and St. D o­
mingo trade, which he prosecuted successfully, and increased his gains to
such an extent that he was enabled to extend his enterprises to a much
broader scale. T w o years afterwards he took a lease o f ten years o f a
range o f brick and frame stores, one o f which he occupied him self; and
the rents being at that time very low, it is obvious that a large amount o f
gain must have been derived from this lease, especially as he had se­
cured the privilege o f renewal for the same period. Indeed, he confesses
himself, that it was this lease which furnished the foundation o f his subse­
quent good fortune.
Soon after this time, Stephen was induced to enter
into partnership with his brother, Captain John Girard, in connection with
a firm which was then prosecuting a very successful com m erce with the
W est Indies. But bickerings soon sprang up between the two brothers,
and these contentions had grown to such bitterness, that, in 1790, it was
deemed prudent to call in an umpire for the adjustment o f the concerns,
with a view to the dissolution o f the partnership ; and the whole amount
o f the fortune o f Stephen, which fell to his share from the concern, was
thirty thousand dollars. The domestic difficulties o f Mr. Girard with his
wife soon ripened to a crisis which attracted the attention o f their most in­
timate friends, and during this year Mary Girard was admitted as an in­
sane patient into the Pennsylvania hospital. H ere she continued until the
year 1815, when she died, having remained in that institution twenty-five
years and one month. On receiving information o f her death, her hus­
band selected the place o f her interment, and requested that as soon as all
the arrangements for her funeral had been completed, he should be called.
At the close o f the day, her coffin was seen moving along the avenue to
the grave, and was there deposited in the manner o f the Friends. Am ong
the group o f mourners was her husband, whose countenance remained un­
changed as monumental bronze, while the funeral obsequies were perform­
ing. H e shed no tear, and after bending over the remains o f his wife, as
if to take a last look, he departed, saying to his companions, in the tone
o f a stoic, as he left the silent spot, “ It is very well,” and thus returned
home. Some reparation was however made for this unfeeling spirit by a
gift to the hospital, about this time, o f three thousand dollars, besides suit­
able presents to the attendants, and also a considerable sum that was
originally granted, including his fee as a member o f the corporation.
From the time o f the dissolution o f his partnership with his brother, the
career o f Girard in the acquisition o f wealth was much brightened, and a
circumstance occurred which was tragic in its circumstances, while it tended
to swell his coffers. Having been engaged at that time in the W est India
trade, and particularly in that o f the island o f St. Domingo, in which port he had
at that time two Vessels, it chanced that during the period o f the well-known
insurrection upon that island these vessels were lying at the wharf. On the
sudden outbreak, the planters, as was natural, rushed to the docks and de­
posited their most valuable treasures in the ships that were there lying, for1
the purpose o f their safety, and returned in order to the securing o f more.
But the result was such as might have been anticipated, for but few claimVOL. iv.— no . tv.


Stephen Girard.

ants ever appeared, the greater part having been m assacred; and the ves­
sels o f Girard were found laden with property o f great value, whose owners
could not be found, after the most liberal advertising. This property, con ­
sisting in value o f about fifty thousand dollars, was transported to Philadel­
phia, and tended to add largely to his already considerable fortune, as the
original owners, consisting o f entire families, had been swept away amid
the pillage and devastation o f that island. In the year 1791, and the sub­
sequent year, Mr. Girard commenced the building o f those beautiful ships
which have ever been the pride o f the city o f Philadelphia, vessels which
soon engaged largely in the trade with Calcutta and China. The names
o f some o f these ships, while they indicate the national prepossessions o f
their owner, also show the early bent o f his mind, being called the Mon­
tesquieu, Helvetius, Voltaire, and Rousseau. At this period the desire o f
fame, the movements o f ambition, seeking money, not from avarice, but as
a means o f power, appear to have taken a firm hold upon his mind, and
amid the abstract musings o f the lone man, regarded with no affection by
a human being, a man whose sympathies appear to have been steeled
against the w orld ; he was doubtless in the cold recesses o f his solitary
heart, even while calculating the interest upon the tenth part o f a cent,
projecting fabrics o f anticipated renown, upon whose walls his own name
would be written in letters o f living and enduring light.
W e now approach a period in the life o f Mr. Girard which tended in
good measure to relieve his character from the imputation o f selfishness
and want o f feeling, that had, to this time, so deeply shaded it. W e al­
lude to the part that he bore in that terrific pestilence, which, it will be re­
membered, in the year 1793, broke out in the city o f Philadelphia, convert­
ing that beautiful metropolis into a foul and disgusting charnel-house. Du­
ring the time to which we refer, the yellow fever had produced ravages
and revolting scenes o f misery which have never been equalled in the
country, and that have been seldom witnessed anywhere. W hole streets
were left tenantless, excepting, perhaps, by the dead bodies o f their
former occupants, that had been forsaken by their friends. The hearse
was the vehicle that was most frequently seen in the streets. The obse­
quies o f an ordinary funeral were denied to those who would, but a short
time previous, have attracted crowds o f mourners to their graves. The in­
dividual who was seen with the badges o f mourning upon his arm was
avoided as the Upas tree, and almost every person was involved in the
fumes o f camphor or tobacco. W hile this pestilence was raging at its
utmost height, an individual, o f low and square stature, was perceived
alighting from a coach which drew up before an hospital where the most
loathsome victims o f this disease had been collected for the purpose of
being attended by medical aid. The man entered this living sepulchre,
and soon returned bearing in his arms a form that appeared to be suffering
in the last stages o f the fever, a being whose countenance was suffused
with that saffron color which seemed to be the certain harbinger o f death.
T h e body was deposited in a coach, and the carriage drove away. The
man who was thus seen performing this act was Stephen Girard. It might
be, and indeed has been said, that, having gone through the seasoning
process in a tropical climate, he was proof against the disease. But
whether that was or was not the case, it does not abate in any measure
the credit which is his due in thus exposing, at least, his life in behalf o f
a fellow-being. And it is a well-attested fact that during the prevalence

Stephen Girard.


o f the disease he continued a constant attendant in the hospital, performing
all those offices which would seem revolting to the most humble menial.
The institution o f the private bank o f Mr. Girard in Philadelphia, that
was originally believed to have been the offspring o f a long and deeply
settled plan, that had been matured in silence and solitude, appears to have
been the result o f a temporary circumstance, which was the opposition that
then prevailed to the old Bank o f the United States. Girard was a firm
friend to that institution, and convinced that a corporation which had been
organized under the advice o f Washington, and which he supposed had
conferred obvious and solid advantages upon the country, should have been
perpetuated. Believing that this bank would be renewed, Mr. Girard, as
early as 1810, transmitted orders to the house o f Messrs. Baring, Brothers
& Co., London, to invest his funds in shares o f the Bank o f the United
States, a transaction which was performed during the following year, by
the purchase o f stock in that hank to the amount o f half a million o f dol­
lars. The house o f the Barings, however, was unable to transmit his
funds periodically, owing to the critical condition o f the Bank o f England,
and their own state verging upon bankruptcy; and it may be perceived
upon what an uncertain foundation his own property rested when we
learn the fact, that this house was indebted to him, in the year 1811, in the
sum o f two hundred thousand pounds sterling. After a time, however,
he succeeded in extricating his funds from that country, partly by invest­
ment in British goods and public stock, and purchased shares o f the Bank
o f the United States, for which he paid one hundred and twenty dollars per
share, with a view to the investment o f his capital in an independent form,
and probably from an ambition to become himself a regulator o f the cur­
rency. Mr. Girard having discovered that he could purchase the old Bank
o f the United States and the cashier’s house at the reduced price o f one
hundred and twenty thousand dollars, being less than one third o f their
original cost, on the 12 th day o f May, 1812, commenced the bank­
ing operations o f the old Girard Bank, with a capital o f one million
and two hundred thousand dollars, which was increased the succeeding year
to one million and three hundred thousand ; the bulk o f the business o f
the old Bank o f the United States, including five millions o f specie, the
funds o f that institution, being deposited in his vaults. Aided by such ac­
cession to his funds, and with the officers o f the old bank retained in his
employ, together with the business which was transferred to his hands from
that institution, the customers o f the old corporation being turned over to him,
Mr. Girard, backed by the valuable assistance o f Mr. Simpson,* his cashier,
who had before been engaged in the former institution, commenced his
operations upon the same principles that had regulated the old body. The
non-renewal o f the charter o f the Bank o f the United States, however, led
to the establishment o f his own.
The organization o f the Girard Bank tended to confer extensive and
solid benefits upon the community. Conducted upon a liberal scale, it was
the policy o f Mr. Girard to grant accommodations to small traders, and
thus to encourage beginners ; while, at the same time, the smaller notes
were preferred to the larger ones. It was obvious that the organization
o f this institution tended to avert the evils that must necessarily have flowed
* T o a w o r k p repared b y a son o f th a t g e n tle m a n , w c arc in d e b te d fo r m o s t o f th e
fa c t s c o n n e c t e d w ith th e life o f M r . G irard,


Stephen Girard.

from the entire suspension o f the circulation o f the funds o f the old institu­
tion ; and whatever o f temporary inconvenience arose from that fact was
soon neutralized by the extraordinary efforts that were made by this able
financier to remedy the evil, and to diffuse abroad the benefits that had flowed
from the old bank. During the commencement o f his banking operations,
Mr. Girard, who had accustomed the institution to the discount o f accom ­
modation paper to a large amount, for auctioneers who practised the advance
o f large loans upon foreign and imported goods, perceiving that losses were
found accruing from such a plan o f proceeding, and that his capital was
engrossed by these auctioneers, soon deemed it prudent to alter his p olicy ;
and in 1816, it was understood that no paper that was merely fictitious was
to be discounted at his bank, and no renewal o f a note was accordingly
allowed. On this change o f his banking plans, his profits augmented, and
but few losses occurred.
The establishment o f this private bank exhibited to the country the novel
spectacle o f a private Am erican banker conducting his institution upon a
large scale, and conferring advantages upon the community nearly as great
as those which had been derived from state or national auspices. And this
bank rendered important service to the government. The fiscal affairs o f
the nation had been thrown into confusion by the dissolution o f the former
bank, and the suspension o f specie payments added to the general embar­
rassment. Y et, while the public credit was shaken to its centre, and the
country was involved in difficulties springing from its exhausted finances
and the expenses o f war, the bank o f Mr. Girard not only received large
subscriptions for loans, but made extensive advances to the government,
which enabled the country to carry on its belligerent enterprises ; loans,
too, which were the spontaneous offspring o f patriotism, as well as o f pru­
dence. This aid appears to have been rendered from time to time, down
to the period o f 1817, when the second national bank superseded his as­
sistance. A circumstance soon occurred, however, which was a source o f no
little discomfiture to the financial arrangements o f his individual institution.
This fact was the suspension o f specie payments by the state banks, resulting
from the Non-intercourse A ct, the dissolution o f the old bank, and the com ­
bined causes tending to produce a derangement o f the currency o f the country.
It was then made a matter o f great doubt with him how he should preserve
the integrity o f his own institution while the other banks were suspending
their payments ; but the credit o f his own bank was effectually secured by
the suggestion o f his cashier, Mr. Simpson, who advised the recalling o f
his own notes by redeeming them with the specie, and by paying out the
notes o f the state banks ; and in this mode, not a single note o f his own
was suffered to be depreciated, and he was thus enabled, in 1817, to concontribute effectually to the restoration o f specie payments.
Meanwhile, an interesting circumstance occurred, which enabled him,
by his bank, in 1813, to accomplish an enterprise which was o f great im­
portance to the city o f Philadelphia, by the increase o f its trade, as well as
to his own funds in its profits, besides the advantages which were furnished
to the government by the duties which accrued to the national treasury.
It happened that his ship, the Montesquieu, was captured at the mouth o f
the river Delaware, as was alleged, by a British frigate, and as this vessel
had an invoice cargo o f two hundred thousand doll ars— consisting o f teas,
nankeens, and silks— from Canton, it was determined by the captors, in
preference to the hazard o f being recaptured by an Am erican ship in their

Stephen Girard.


attempt to carry their prize to a British port, to send a flag o f truce to Mr.
Girard, in order to give him the offer o f a ransom. Applying to his wellstored vaults, the banker drew from it the sum o f ninety-three thousand
dollars in doubloons, which was transmitted to the British commander, and
his vessel was soon seen com ing into port with her rich cargo ; which,
notwithstanding the price o f the ransom, is supposed, by the advance o f the
value o f the freight, to have added a half a million o f dollars to his fortune.
It may be mentioned as an act indicating his patriotism at least, that in
1814, when the credit o f the country was exhausted, the treasury bank­
rupt, the resources o f the nation prostrated, and an invading army was
marching over the land; when, in fact, subscriptions were solicited for
funds to the amount o f five millions o f dollars, upon the inducement o f a large
bonus and an interest o f seven per cent, and only twenty thousand dollars
could be obtained upon that offer for the purpose o f carrying on the war,
Stephen Girard stepped forward and subscribed for the whole am ount;
and that when those who had before rejected the terms, were now anxious
to subscribe, even at a considerable advance from the original subscrip­
tion, these individuals were let in by him upon the same terms.
The agency o f Mr. Girard appears to have been very active in the or­
ganization o f the Bank o f the United States, which was chartered in 1816.
His intimacy with Mr. Dallas, and his success in impressing upon his
mind the frame o f the projected institution, seems to have been admitted,
and that gentleman is stated to have made use o f the frequent expression
o f the French banker, that “ the national authority was requisite for the
establishment o f a sound currency, by the aid o f a national bank.”
friends, indeed, have gone so far as to allege that even the establishment
o f his own private institution was his desire to hold up to the country the
example o f the influence o f such an institution in regulating the currency
o f the nation ; and that, in the capacity o f banker, he acted as a trustee
for the country, designing to unite its influence with that o f the projected
national bank, in order to the accomplishment o f its o b je ct; and even
after the outline o f that institution was formed, and Mr. Girard was chosen
one o f the directors, he made the formal proposition that, if the board
would agree to elect his cashier— Mr. Simpson— the cashier o f the Bank
o f the United States, he would unite his own institution with that, and de­
posit in the new corporation one million o f specie which he held in his
vaults. Even after the bank was regularly organized, and its prosperity
placed upon a solid foundation, Mr. Girard, acting as one o f its directors,
not only impressed its policy with his clear-sighted, far-reaching, and sa­
gacious views, but practised towards it a forbearance and liberality which
marked him as its strong and faithful friend. W h en that institution was
unable, from the pressure o f the times, to pay to him even half the amount
which was his due in specie, he refrained from demanding it, and evinced
himself the firm supporter o f its interests : and when specie payments were
resumed, he recommenced, at the same time, the issuing o f his own notes.
One o f the essential characteristics o f Mr. Girard was his public spirit.
At one time, he freely subscribed one hundred and ten thousand dollars
for the navigation o f the Schuylkill; at another time, he loaned the same
company two hundred and sixty-five thousand eight hundred and fifty.
W hen the credit o f the state o f Pennsylvania was prostrated by what was be­
lieved to have been an injudicious system o f internal improvement, and it was
found expedient for the governor to resort to its metropolis, in order to re-


Stephen Girard.

picnisii its coffers, he made a voluntary loan to Governor Shultz o f one
hundred thousand dollars. So far was his disposition to promote the fiscal
prosperity o f the country manifested, that as late as 1831, when the country
was placed in extreme embarrassment from the scarcity o f money, he per­
ceived the cause in the fact that the balance o f trade was against us to a
considerable extent, and he accordingly drew upon the house o f Baring,
Brothers & Co., for bills o f exchange to the amount o f twelve thousand
pounds sterling, and which he disposed o f to the Bank o f the United States,
at an advance o f ten per c e n t; which draft was followed up by another for
ten thousand, which was disposed o f in like manner to other institutions.
This act tended to reduce the value o f bills, and the rate o f exchange sud­
denly fell. The same spirit which he manifested towards the national cur­
rency he exhibited to the corporation o f Philadelphia, by erecting new
blocks o f buildings, and beautifying and adorning its streets ; less, appa­
rently, from a desire o f profit than from a wish to improve the place which
was his adopted home, and where he had reaped his fortunes. H is sub­
scription o f two hundred thousand dollars to the Dansville and Pottsville
Railroad, in 1831, was an act in keeping with the whole tenor o f his life;
and his subscription o f ten thousand dollars towards the erection o f an ex­
change, all looked to the same result. Thus passed the life o f Stephen
Girard, the financier, the banker, the econ om ist; with a soul devoted to
what most men so ardently seek— the acquisition o f w ealth; expanding
his influence through the whole circle o f mercantile enterprise, and mark­
ing the fiscal system o f the nation with his own broad impression.
Having given the prominent facts connected with his life in chronologi­
cal order, we now propose to draw a brief portraiture o f his character, and
this can be most properly done by a condensed view o f the incidents con­
nected with its history. W e see this man, at first a cabin-boy, embarking
from his native country without money or apparent friends; then a mate
o f a trading vessel, supercargo, and shipmaster; shopkeeper, bottler, a
lessor o f houses, a large m erchant; and lastly, a private banker, having
a control o f millions, and enabled, by his own individual power, to control
the contractions and the expansions o f the money market. It was the
peculiar circumstances which attended his first entrance into life that
colored his subsequent career. In his early voyages before the mast, from
place to place, in the operations o f traffic, his discerning eye clearly per­
ceived the mode in which fortunes were obtained, and in such expeditions
he derived a kind o f experience which determined him at once to enter
upon a mercantile course ; and although without the advantages o f an early
classical education, he had acquired precisely that sort o f information which
empowered him to prosecute this mode o f life the most successfully. And
he commenced, where most wealthy men who have acquired their own
fortunes have begun, namely— with small means.
Contented with the
minute gains o f an obscure retail trader, and willing to perform any labor,
however humble and arduous, by which those gains could be secured, he was determined to be r ic h ; and adopted that system o f business which
would most effectually ensure that result, making it a fixed principle to
practise the most rigid econom y ; to shut his heart against all the bland­
ishments o f life ; to stand to the last farthing, i f that farthing was his due;
to bar out all those impulses which might in small objects take money
from his purse ; to saw down his measure when that measure was too
large ; to plead the statute o f limitations against a just claim, because he

Stephen Girard.


had a right to do so by the la w ; to use men as mere tools to accomplish
his own purposes ; to pay only what he had contracted to pay to his longtried and faithful cashier, who had been the cause o f much o f his good for­
tune ; and when he died in his service, to manifest the most hardened and
unnatural indifference to his death, without making the least provision for
his family, or to express one sentiment o f regret at his loss, or gratitude
for the solid services which he had performed for him.
But the man who would thus violate the ordinary impulses o f a feeling
and generous nature, when large objects connected with his commercial
views were to be obtained, was found foremost in the liberal aids which
were granted for their accomplishment. H e who would haggle and
chaffer for a penny, was willing to bestow thousands for the pecuniary
relief o f fiscal pressure, and while he curtailed the watchman o f his bank
o f his customary dole o f a great-coat on a Christmas-day, he would give
large sums for the furtherance o f the local improvement o f his adopted city
and state. I f we were to specify the prominent point o f his character,
we should mention a feature that would, perhaps, be the last that was sup­
posed to belong to this individual— Ambition ! H e sought money, not
from avarice, but from a desire o f power. Denied the advantages o f
that education which so directly tends to the enlargement, refinement,
and polish o f the mind, he knew that he could not obtain distinction from
this source, and his vulgar person, scarred by the Almighty, while it made
him conscious that he would never be made the subject o f personal respect,
served, perhaps, to give him a misanthropic and morose cast o f mind.
M oney, then, was the only avenue by which he could obtain the eminence
that he coveted, not wealth to be dissipated in rich saloons, and splendid
equipages, and liveried servants bearing his badge— for a carriage and four
would have been little befitting his character— but money to be exercised as
the Archimedian lever by which he could move the fiscal world. The
desire o f this, as the means o f influence, was the master-spirit which con­
quered his soul, and paralyzed all other feelings, and it had grown to such
a strength that sympathy for his kind seldom enlivened the solitude o f his
li Like monumental bronze, unchanged his look—
A soul which pity never touched or shook—
Trained from his lowly cradle to his bier,
The fierce extremes o f good and ill to brook,
Unchanging, fearing but the charge of fear—
A stoic o f the mart, a man without a tear.”
It may be well to draw a brief sketch o f the domestic life and habitudes
o f Mr. Girard, and in the first place we would attempt to portray his
personal appearance. His form was low and square, although muscular,
with feet large, and his entire person and address exhibiting the aspect o f
a rough old sailor. N or was his countenance calculated to alter the im­
pression that would be likely to be produced by the appearance o f his per­
son. A face dark, and colorless, and cold, although deeply marked with
the lines o f thought, indicated a man who had been accustomed to the hard
fare o f life ; and it possessed an iron, or as it has been, perhaps, more
properly designated, a stone-like expression. His “ wall eye” seemed to
add to that air o f general abstraction that was evinced by his general de­
meanor, whether engaged in his domestic offices, or the more active busi­
ness o f his banking operations. But the dull eye which seemed ordinarily


Stephen Girard,

to sleep in its socket, and whose predominant expression was cunning,
sometimes kindled, as if with fire, when any topic adapted to his taste was
pressed upon his attention. His mind appeared to be engaged less upon
the little details o f his business than in projecting those great projects o f
mercantile speculation which tended so directly to swell his coffers, and yet
he was scrupulous in his devotion to all those minute points o f business which
fell within the wide circle o f his enterprises.
But if a ship was to be built,
or a house constructed, or a vessel to be freighted, his presence was seldom
wanting to superintend and direct the most unimportant details. From the
year 1812 he was partially defective in the hearing o f one ear, and as he
could only speak in broken English, and seldom conversed, excepting upon
business, this circumstance threw around his character an air o f even
greater mystery. His ordinary style o f dress was in exact keeping with
his plain and homely traits. Although apparently identified in habits and
feelings with our Am erican institutions, and possessing no prejudice in
favor o f his native country, he constantly wore an old coat cut in the French
style, and remarkable only for its antiquity, generally preserving the same
garment in constant use for four and five years. N or did he maintain a
costly equipage, as would have seemed to be natural for one who had such
large means at his command. A n old chair, distinguished chiefly for its
rickety construction, as well as its age, which he at last caused to be
painted and marked with the letters S. G ., drawn by an indifferent horse,
suited to such a vehicle, was used in his daily journey to the N eck, where
lay his farm, to the laborious cultivation o f which he devoted the greater
portion o f his leisure time. But even here, where it might have been sup­
posed that he would have exercised the ordinary rights o f hospitality, no
friend was welcom ed with a warm greeting. In one instance an acquaint­
ance was invited to witness his improvements, and was shown to a straw­
berry-bed which had been, in the greater part, gleaned o f its contents,
and told that he might gather the fruit in that bed, when the owner took
leave, stating that he must go to work in a neighboring bed. That friend
finding that this tract had been nearly stripped o f its fruit by his prede­
cessors, soon strayed to another tract, which appeared to bear more abun­
dantly, when he was accosted by Mr. Girard— “ I told you,” said he, “ that
you might gather strawberries only in that bed.”
Such was his hospi­
Behind the cold and abstract exterior exhibited by this man in his ordi­
nary intercourse with the world, there raged the most violent passions,
which were lavished liberally upon his old and faithful clerk, Mr. Roberjot.
Yet to his superiors in standing and education he was deferential, and seemed
to lay great stress upon inherited rank. Peculiarly was that feeling ex­
pressed in his respect for Mr, John Quincy Adams, whom he professed to
regard, not only for his high intellectual and moral traits, but from the fact
that he belonged to, what he called, a great and old family, which had
been long identified with the progress o f the government. There seemed,
indeed, to lurk in the character o f this individual, appreciations which the
world could not understand— a deep sagacity, a just discrimination o f
what was right and proper, and a practical knowledge o f the relations o f
things ; and while other men were supposing that his mind was removed
from the objects that surrounded him, he was, in the solitude o f his reflec­
tions, laying up treasures o f knowledge, the result o f observation and ex­
perience, which enabled him to act with that promptitude and success that

Stephen Girard.


made his mercantile judgment almost the certain test o f truth. He belonged, in fact, to that small class o f men whom the world do not under­
stand, and accordingly do not appreciate. Removed in their intellectual
habitudes from the temporary and minute details o f daily life, yet closely
observant o f the facts which surround them, their opinions are not colored
by those o f other men, and their powers are felt only by the results. O f his
opinions, it is easy to form a correct judgment. A citizen o f this coun­
try, and identified with its interests— a countiy, whose liberal institutions
had not only afforded him a home, but provided ample scope for his largest
enterprises, and a basis for his most solid fortunes— it was his interest, as
well as his pride, to foster those institutions by all the aid within his power,
for their welfare was his own. Accordingly, we find him bestowing that
aid upon all those public objects which were within his reach ; and it is,
perhaps, more just to attribute this assistance to a strong desire to promote
the public good, than from a wish to secure a large return for an invest­
ment. His former habitudes o f living had accustomed him to a plain and
frugal scale o f expenditure, and that rigid personal econom y he preserved
through his long life, as much from habit as from principle ; since he knew
that large fortunes were acquired by the ordinary process, only by rigid
commercial exactitude and frugality. Thus while his freights w ere vexing
every sea, and his influence was extending throughout a wide circle o f mer­
cantile action, he was contented to drive his shabby carriage in his homely
garb from his bank to his farm, and it is not unlikely that he took a secret
pride in that contrast which was exhibited between the splendor o f his
wealth, and the almost odious aspect o f his personal appearance and ad­
dress. The religious sentiments which he maintained, and that he was
unwilling to disguise, were o f the school o f Rousseau and Voltaire ; and so
deeply did he venerate their characters, that the marble busts o f these two
scholars were, we believe, the only works o f art that adorned his confined
chamber, and a complete set o f the writings o f the latter author, together
with a few treatises on gardening, were the only volumes which constituted
the library o f his dwelling-house. The respect with which he regarded
the names o f these individuals, we have already seen evinced in the beau­
tiful ships which, from time to time, were despatched by him from the
port o f Philadelphia. H e appears, indeed, to have preserved throughout
life a stoicism in his m erely speculative opinions, which referred all sur­
rounding circumstances to second causes, rather than to their true source.
And in conformity to that spirit was his life : unmindful o f those sterner
moral duties which are inculcated by the precepts o f Christianity, he
neglected them in practice so far as they related to expanded charity, or
that chastity, whose lustre is the dazzling purity o f the drifted snow. Y et
here we find displayed the extremes o f character. A total disbeliever in
the Christian system, he was still willing to bestow large sums upon differ­
ent Christian denominations, bounties which took effect while he was yet
alive. But although he would grant large aids to large objects, he with­
held assistance from deserving subjects o f individual benevolence. N o
man sought his alms with a prospect o f relief, and beggary departed from
his door hungry as when it came.
His doctrine appears to have been this: that the granting o f small sums
to obscure objects, that the opening o f his heart to those appeals which
would naturally be made upon the wealth o f so opulent a man, would have
diminished his chances o f bestowing his bounties upon those important subVOL. iv.— no . iv.


Stephen Girard.

jects which would redound to his name. And it was necessary to under­
stand his peculiar self-will, and the character o f his temper, to obtain aids
at all. The solicitor for aid, who made small demands upon his charity,
was relieved with thousands ; the individual who came before him in the
spirit o f exaction, was put away with nothing. In transactions o f business,
all his affairs were set down to the account o f loss and profit; and in his
dealings with others, the same principle was required to be acted on. Up
before the morning lark, he soundly berated his own workmen who per­
mitted him to gain the precedence in time ; and unceasing labor, which al­
lowed but little relaxation, excepting that which was required by nature,
was the master-genius o f his life. W h en one o f the younger Barings was
in the city o f Philadelphia, but a few years since, he supposed that he
might excite an agreeable surprise to Mr. Girard by informing him o f the
safe arrival o f his ship, the Voltaire, from India. Accordingly, having
engaged a carriage, he proceeded to the farm o f the banker, in Passyunk,
and immediately sought for Mr. Girard. “ W here is Mr. Girard 1” in­
quired the Englishman. “ In the hay-loft,” he was answered. “ Inform
him that I wish to see him,” was no sooner said than the banker, with his
sleeves rolled up, was before him. “ I came to inform you,” said the Eng­
lishman, “ that your ship, the Voltaire, has arrived safely.”
“ I knew
that she would reach port safely,” replied Girard, “ my ships always ar­
rive safe ; she is a good ship. Mr. Baring, you must excuse me ; I am
much engaged in my h a y and he mounted again to his hay-loft.
A life o f such unceasing and severe labor, now protracted to the eightysecond year, could not hold out long. During the previous year, in 1830,
having nearly lost the use o f his eye, he was frequently seen groping in
the vestibule o f his bank, disregarding the assistance o f others, a species
o f temerity which, as it proved, nearly cost him his life ; for, crossing
Second street and Market, a dearborn wagon rapidly drove by, and near­
ly took o ff his ear, and bruised his face, having struck furiously against
his head, and prostrated his person ; an injury which proved serious and
permanent. By this accident the whole o f his right ear was nearly lost,
and his eye, which was before opened but slightly, was entirely shut; and
from that time his flesh was gradually wasted away, and his health de­
clined. Mr. Girard had long regarded death with apparent indifference,
having stated many years previously that it fell within the course o f na­
ture that his life should terminate, even at that period. And this event
was soon to be realized. During the month o f Decem ber he was attacked
with a species o f influenza, which, considering his age, he could hardly
be supposed to withstand. The disease gradually undermined his system
until the 26th o f that month, when he expired, in a back room o f the third
story o f his house in W ater street, having exhibited a life o f perseverance,
labor, econom y, and successful enterprise, o f which there are but few ex­
amples upon record.
But we are furnished with a clear insight into the character o f the man,
from the import o f his will. The question might naturally have been
asked, while this extraordinary individual was living, what could be his
object in accumulating such large masses o f wealth ? It could not have
been the spirit o f the miser, who would grasp his bars o f gold, and if it
w ere practicable, carry them with him into his grave, for he dispensed his
bounties largely to favorite benevolent purposes while living. That testa­
mentary instrument, however, disclosed a l l ; for the bulk o f his fortune o f

Stephen Girard.


many millions was devised precisely for those ends and in that mode which
would seem calculated to confer upon the testator the most extensive and
lasting fame. This solitary, and to the world cold-hearted man, had
an end in view which was not perceived by his contemporaries. The
savings o f years o f toil were to be disposed in bulk upon that community
in the midst o f which he had gathered them, and in gaining for himself a
name. In order to understand directly the principles on which he acted,
we need only to examine the provisions o f his will. Besides several in­
dividual annuities, this “ mariner and merchant,” as he styles himself in
that instrument, gives and bequeaths to the “ contributors to the Pennsylva­
nia hospital,” the sum o f thirty thousand dollars; and to the “ Pennsylva­
nia Institution for the D eaf and Dumb,” twenty thousand.
T o “ the
Comptrollers o f the Public Schools for the city and county o f Philadelphia,”
ten thousand; to the “ Orphans’ Asylum ” o f that city, ten thousand ; to
the “ Society for the Relief o f Distressed Masters o f Ships,” ten thousand;
to the “ Masonic Loan,” twenty thousand ; for the erection o f a public
school, six thousand; to all the captains o f the ships in his employ, having
performed a given service, fifteen hundred dollars each ; to his appren­
tices, each five hundred dollars ; two hundred and eight'thousand French
arpents or acres o f land, with thirty slaves, he bequeathed to the city o f
New Orleans, and the remainder o f his lands in Louisiana, to the corpo­
ration o f Philadelphia. T o the “ Commonwealth o f Pennsylvania” he
gives three hundred thousand dollars, for the purpose o f internal improve­
ments ; and as much as is deemed necessary o f the sum o f two millions
o f dollars, is also devised for the erection o f an orphan college, a founda­
tion o f a peculiar and original structure, besides other bounties o f like
character. In this will he clearly showed what had been the object o f his
long and fixed labor in acquisition. W hile he was forward, with an appa­
rent disregard o f self, to expose his life in behalf o f others in the midst o f
pestilence, to aid the internal improvements o f the country, and to pro­
mote its commercial prosperity by all the means within his power, he yet
had more ambitious designs. He wished to hand himself down to immor­
tality by the only mode that was practicable for a man in his position, and
he accomplished precisely that which was the grand aim o f his life. He
wrote his epitaph in those extensive and magnificent blocks and squares
which adorn the streets o f his adopted city, in the public works and elee­
mosynary establishments o f his adopted state, and erected his own monu­
ment and embodied his own principles in a marble-roofed palace for the
education o f the orphan poor. W e who shall hereafter gaze upon that
splendid edifice, the most perfect model o f architecture in the new world,
will perceive the result o f the singular character o f its founder, and shall
be left in doubt whether, after all, his faults were not overbalanced by his
ultimate munificence.


Mercantile Law Department.

S T A T U T E L A W S R E L A T I N G T O V E S S E L S — R E G IS T E R E D V E S S E L S — O F T I I E T R A N S F E R
O F V E S S E L S — E N R O L L E D V E S S E L S — C O A S T IN G T R A D E — V E S S E L S E N G A G E D I N T H E
F IS H E R IE S , E T C .— P R O C U R IN G G O O D S B Y F A L S E P R E T E N C E S .
S T A T U T E L A W S R E L A T IN G t o V E S S E L S .

The laws relating to the registry of vessels, the transfer of vessels by bill of
sale, the enrolling and licensing o f vessels for the coasting trade and fisheries,
and the bounties payable to vessels employed in the cod fishery, (says the edi­
tor o f the Law Reporter, an able work, published in Boston, and favorably
noticed in a former number o f the Merchants’ Magazine,) are o f immense im­
portance to those engaged in mercantile pursuits, but they are to be found only
by an examination o f the numerous statute laws o f the United States, or in the
voluminous digests of the same. The following summary o f these laws has
been prepared with care, and will, we believe, prove useful to those to whom
the statute regulations are peculiarly applicable, especially to those members
o f the profession more particularly engaged in mercantile la w ; and the sugges­
tions made in relation to some alterations of the laws may, w e venture to hope,
receive attention from those whose duty it is to legislate on this subject.
R E G IS T E R E D V E S S E L S .

Vessels built in the United States, and wholly owned by citizens thereof;
vessels captured in war by such citizens, and condemned as prizes; vessels
adjudged to be forfeited for breach o f the laws of the United States, being wholly
owned by such citizens ; and no others, may be registered. No vessel is en­
titled to registry, or if registered, to the benefits thereof, if owned in whole, or
in part, by any citizen usually residing in a foreign country, during such resi­
dence, unless he be a consul o f the United States, or an agent for, and a part­
ner in, some house of trade or copartnership, consisting o f citizens of, and ac­
tually carrying on trade within, the United States.
A registered vessel which by sale becomes the property of a foreigner, shall
not be entitled to a new register, notwithstanding she may afterwards become
American property. No vessel is entitled to registry, or its benefits, owned by
a non-resident naturalized citizen, if residing for more than one year in the
country from which he originated, or for more than two years in any foreign
country, unless he be a consul, or other public agent of the United States.
A vessel shall be deemed to belong to the port at or near which the managing
owner usually resides; and the name of the vessel, and of the place to which
she belongs, shall be painted on her stern, on a black ground, with white letters
o f not less than three inches in length. The certificate of the master-carpenter
under whose direction the vessel is built, must be produced, prior to registry;
which certificate is sufficient to remove a new vessel from one district to an­
other in the same or an adjoining state, where the owner actually resides, pro­
vided it be with ballast only.
In order to the registry o f a vessel, the owner, or one of the owners, must
make oath to the property o f the vessel, her name, burden, time when and
place where she was built; and that there is no foreigner interested, directly
or indirectly, in such vessel, or the profits thereof; and that the master is a
citizen of the United States. The oath required to be taken by the owner, re­
spects only the legal ownership o f the property; and does not require a disclo­
sure o f any equitable interests vested in citizens o f the United States, but only
a denial that any subject or citizen o f any foreign prince or state is directly or
indirectly interested in the ship, or in the profits thereof. An agent or attorney
may make oath, as agent, in case o f registry, where the owner is fifty miles
distant from the district to which, by virtue o f purchase, the vessel should

Mercantile Law Department.


Steamboats may be registered or licensed in the name of the president or se­
cretary o f an incorporated company, without designating the names o f the per­
sons composing the company; but no part of such vessel can be owned by any
foreigner. Vessels employed wholly in the whale fishery, owned by an incor­
porated company, may be registered as above, so long as they shall be wholly
employed therein.
The issuing of certificates o f record applies only to such vessels as are en­
titled to them by the twentieth section of the act of Dec. 31,1792; that is to
say, to vessels built either by or for foreigners in the United States, and does
not extend to vessels which, having been registered, are sold to a foreigner.
Any vessel entitled to registry, being in a port other than the one at which
the owner usually resides, may be registered at the place where she may be at
the time. And the oath required may be taken before the collector of the place
to which the vessel belongs, or before the collector o f the place in which she
may be. When such vessel shall arrive within the district to which she be­
longs, the register so obtained shall be delivered up to be cancelled, and a per­
manent register granted in lieu thereof.
When a registered vessel is transferred to a foreigner, such transfer shall
be made known by delivering up to a collector of a district, the certificate o f
registry, within seven days after such transfer of property; and if the transfer
shall take place when the vessel is at a foreign port, or at sea, the master of
the vessel shall within eight days after his arrival in any port o f the United
States, deliver up the register to the collector of such district. It is the prac­
tice not to destroy the register after it is cancelled; it is deposited in the regis­
ter’s office, and a duly certified copy is legal evidence.
If the master of a registered vessel be changed, the name o f the new master
is endorsed upon the register, upon his making oath that he is a citizen o f the
United States. If any certificate o f registry or record shall be fraudulently or
knowingly used, for any vessel not then actually entitled to the benefits thereof,
she, with her tackle, &c., shall be forfeited to the United States. An enrolled
or licensed vessel about to proceed on a foreign voyage, must surrender her
enrolment and license, and be duly registered, or she, together with the goods
imported therein, will be liable to seizure and forfeiture. In case o f the loss of
a register, the master of the vessel may make oath to the fact, and obtain a new


When any registered vessel shall, in whole or in part, be transferred to a
citizen, or altered in form or burden, by being lengthened or built upon, or from
one denomination to another by the mode o f rigging, she shall be registered
anew, or cease to be deemed a vessel o f the United States. And in every such
case of transfer, there shall be some instrument in the nature o f a bill o f sale,which shall recite at length such certificate, otherwise such vessel shall not be
so registered anew. And if a vessel shall not be so registered, she shall not be
entitled to the privileges of a vessel of the United States.
If a registered vessel shall be sold in part to resident citizens of the United
States, while at sea, without a bill o f sale reciting the register, and without being
then registered anew, she is not liable with her cargo for higher duties than are
payable by vessels of the United States. The registry acts have not changed
the common law mode in which ships may be transferred; but only take from
any ship not transferred according to those acts, the character o f an American
ship, and deem them alien or foreign ships. By the general maritime law, a
bill of sale is necessary to pass the title of the ship. The inaccurate recital o f
the certificate of registry in the bill of sale, does not avoid the sale, but the ves­
sel is thereby deprived of her American privileges. If a sea vessel be assigned
to a foreigner, the effect is the same; but if it be a coaster, the sale is not thereby
invalidated, but the vessel is subject to forfeiture. A regular bill o f sale o f a
vessel at sea, will transfer the property. And, in general, where there can be
no manual delivery, there should be a delivery o f something as an indkium off


Mercantile Laiv Department.

token. A bill o f sale is the proper title to which the maritime courts look; it is
the universal instrument o f transfer o f vessels ; it is made absolutely necessary
by statute.

Enrolled vessels are those over twenty tons burden, employed in the coast­
ing trade and fisheries; and are licensed annually for the employment or busi­
ness authorized by the tenor o f the license. Vessels enrolled and licensed,
bound on a foreign voyage, may be registered; and enrolled vessels, being in a
port other than the one to which they belong, on the expiration o f the license,
may obtain temporary registry. Vessels under twenty tons burden may be
licensed for the coasting trade or fisheries. A vessel licensed for any employ­
ment, may surrender it at any time within the period for which it was issued.
When the master o f an enrolled vessel is changed, an endorsement must be made
of the new appointment, or the vessel will be liable for the payment o f the fees
of a registered vessel.
All licenses must be renewed within three days after the expiration thereof,
if the vessel be within the district to which she belongs ; if on a voyage, at the
time of expiration, within three days after her first arrival; if sold, in whole, or
in part, the license is vacated. Should a license be lost or destroyed, a new
one may be obtained, on the oath o f the master to the loss, &c. On a transfer
of an enrolled vessel, a new enrolment must be obtained, the requisites for ob­
taining which are similar to those for registered vessels.


The United States is divided into three great districts; the first, between the
eastern limits o f the United States and the southern limits o f Georgia; the
second, to include all districts, &c., between the river Perdido and the western
limits of the United States; and the third, all the ports, &c., between the southern
limits of Georgia and the river Perdido.
Every vessel destined from a district in one state to a district in the same, or
an adjoining state, with foreign merchandise in packages as imported, the value
o f which exceeds four hundred dollars, or with foreign goods in original pack­
ages or otherwise, the aggregate value o f which exceeds eight hundred dollars,
must obtain a clearance. On the -arrival o f every such vessel at the port of
destination, the master must enter the vessel and obtain a permit to unlade his
Vessels sailing with a coasting license, laden with goods wholly of the pro­
duce or manufacture of the United States, are not required to clear, if bound
from one to another port, within either o f the three great districts.
All registered vessels engaged in the coasting trade, are required to clear in
going from one district to any other district; and also upon their arrival in the
other district, to enter, under similar regulations to those vessels under a license.



The cod fishery and the mackerel fishery are each a trade, or employment,
within the true intent and meaning o f the act of 1793, sec. 32. Since the act
o f 1828, ch. 109, the mackerel fishery cannot be lawfully carried on under a
license for the cod fishery.
The 32d section o f the act of February 18, 1793, forfeits a vessel licensed for
the fisheries, if engaged in a business, of whatever nature, and with whatever
object, which is not expressly authorized by the tenor of the license. But ves­
sels licensed for the mackerel fishery are not liable to the forfeiture imposed by
the 5th and 32d sections of the act of February 18,1793, in consequence o f any
such vpssel, whilst so licensed, having been engaged in catching cod or other
fish. But the owner o f such vessel may not receive the bounty allowed to
vessels in the cod fishery. A vessel, to be entitled to the bounty, must be act­
ually employed at sea, in the cod fisheries, a certain specified time, and must
dry cure the fish caught.

Mercantile Law Department.


The fishing season is accounted from the last day of February to the last day
of November; and the following allowances are paid on the last day of De­
cember, annually, to the owner or his agent, of each, vessel that shall be duly
licensed and qualified for the cod fisheries, and that shall have been employed
four months of the fishing season, viz : To every vessel of more than five tons,
and not exceeding thirty tons burden, $3 50 per ton ; above thirty tons burden,
$4 per ton ; above thirty tons, with a crew of not less than ten persons, and
employed three and a half months, $3 50 per ton. The bounty on any one
vessel cannot exceed three hundred and sixty dollars. Vessels of more than
five, and less than twenty tons, must catch and land twelve quintals of fish
per ton, during the season.
The skipper of each fishing vessel must make an agreement with every
fisherman before proceeding on a voyage. By paying monthly wages in money
in lieu of dividing the fish, or the proceeds of the fishing voyage, in the propor­
tions provided for by law, the agreement is violated, and the bounty is forfeited.
The oath o f the master, o f the time the vessel has been actually employed in
the fisheries, is required by an act o f July 29, 1813, sec. 6.
Fishing vessels wrecked may obtain the bounty, in certain cases, by the act
of 1824, ch. 152. Fishing vessels may obtain a license to touch and trade at a
foreign port, under the act o f February 18, 1793. But the mere proceeding to
a foreign port, if within the customary range o f a fishing voyage, is not pro­
ceeding on a foreign voyage, within the meaning of the act. Vessels licensed
to touch and trade at a foreign port, must report and enter, on arrival, under
similar regulations to those of registered vessels engaged in foreign trade. The
bounties granted by law are paid on such vessels only, the officers and threefourths of the crew o f which, shall be proved citizens o f the United States.
The laws relating to the enrolling and licensing o f vessels, as well as those
relating to the registering and recording of them, require, that when a vessel is
sold and transferred, in whole, or in part, her papers shall be given up to be
cancelled, and that she shall be papered anew : that when a vessel employed
in the coasting trade, cod fishery, or mackerel fishery, is at a port other than
the one to which she belongs, whose license has expired, she is required to
surrender the enrolment and license, a “ temporary register,” to enable the
vessel to return to the port of ownership, even should that port be in an adjoining
district, there again to be. enrolled and licensed, in every particular as before the
temporary register was granted: and when an enrolled vessel is at a port
other than the one to which she belongs, and is destined for a foreign port, she
is required to surrender all her papers, and procure a register for the foreign
voyage; and upon her return to the port where she is owned, she is again
subject to the requirements of the enrolment and license acts. This series of
changes may be entirely obviated, and the whole business of registering, record­
ing, and licensing vessels arranged in a simple and concise manner, by the
enactment of a law authorizing all vessels to be registered permanently, whether
engaged in foreign trade, coasting, or fisheries, according to the form now in
use for vessels bound dn a foreign voyage. The several parts or proportions
owned by each individual, ought also to be expressed in the register; and when
a partial transfer o f property is made, it should be endorsed on the register and
the record; and when there is an hypothecation, by bottomry or otherwise, it
should be recorded, to be valid; and thus make the register the real evidence
o f ownership. According to the present system, volumes of records are re­
quired to be kept, at great labor and expense, in consequence of the frequent
and partial changes o f property in vessels, and their changes of employment.
After a vessel is permanently registered, and is to be employed in the coast­
ing trade or fisheries, a license should be given for that particular employment,
to be renewed annually ; and when a vessel is taken from either o f those em­
ployments, to be put into foreign trade, the license should be surrendered, and
a clearance granted to proceed on the voyage, under the original permanent


Mercantile Law Department.

Copies o f all registers and enrolments issued by the existing laws, must be
transmitted to the register of the treasury, and a duplicate o f each made for the
records of the customhouse. Consequently, when a vessel is registered, en­
rolled, and licensed, and again registered, as often happens within a year, trip­
licate copies at each change are rendered necessary. By the mode suggested,
the labor at the customhouses would be greatly reduced; the records would
at all times show the real bona fide ownership o f vessels; and the mercantile
community would be relieved o f the onerous requirements imposed by every
partial transfer o f their property in vessels, and also those incident to their fre­
quent changes o f employment.
When the laws were in force imposing duties on tonnage o f vessels from
foreign ports, and on vessels going from district to district, under a register, and
on the renewal of every license, the present system was necessary, to collect
the revenue thus accruing; but the act o f May 31, 1830, repeals the tonnage
duties on all American vessels, o f which the officers and two-thirds o f the crew
are citizens o f the United States; therefore the registering and licensing acts,
so complicated and burdensome in their requirements, should be altered, or
amended, to meet the present exigencies o f commerce. The acts upon which
the existing system is based, are those of Dec. 31,1792; Feb. 18,1793; March
2, June 27, 1797; March 2, 1803 ; March 27, 1804; March 3, 1825; and Feb.
11, 1830.
The compiler of the foregoing article proposes to continue the subject in its
connection with the hypothecation o f vessels, loans on bottomry, mortgages, &c.
P R O C U R IN G - G O O D S B Y


Municipal Court, (Boston,) February Term, 1841.— Commonwealth vs. Joseph
S. Curtis.— The defendant, who was a trader, manufacturer, &c., at Hampton,
Conn., stood indicted for purchasing of Messrs. Noyes, Powers, & Co., o f Bos­
ton, in August and September last, goods to the amount o f about $1500 upon
false pretences. The false pretences charged were, that the prisoner stated
that he was in good credit— that his note was good for any amount of mer­
chandise he might want—that it had never been protested for nonpayment—
that he owned shares in a cotton factory, and in a satinet factory, and had un­
incumbered real estate to a large amount, whereas the truth was, that he was not
in good credit—that his note was not good— that it had been protested for non­
payment, &c., every one of his alleged false representations being specifically
negatived. Upon these and similar representations Curtis obtained goods of
various merchants in Boston, to the amount o f nearly $40,000— a considerable
portion o f which he sent to New York and Philadelphia auctions, invoiced at
less than cost; and had the sales forced, on time, got the notes shaved, and
applied the proceeds to his pre-existing liabilities. It appeared in evidence that
his shop in Hampton, where he manufactured German silver ware, was burnt
in October last: and this was the only considerable misfortune he could offer to
account for his insolvency. It did not appear what amount o f property was
in this store at the time o f the fire. It was also shown that his credit was
doubtful, that his note had been protested, and that before, and at the time of
his purchases in Boston, he was greatly harassed by debts, lawsuits, and exe­
The defendant called a number of respectable witnesses, among whom was
Hon. Andrew T. Judson, district judge, to his previous good character for en­
terprise and integrity. The trial occupied three full days, and resulted, after
more than four hours deliberation, in a verdict o f not guilty. There are seven
more indictments pending against him. The opinion is pretty general that it
is next to impossible to procure a conviction under the statute against obtaining,
goods by false pretences.


Nautical Intelligence .



T h e f o llo w in g h a s b een r e c e iv e d a t L l o y d ’ s, fr o m H . F . J ia c k s , E s q ., th e O ld e n b u r g h
C o n s u la te G e n e r a l:— “ U p o n th e I s la n d o f W a n g e r o o g , s itu a te a t th e e x tr e m e w e s t e r n
m o u th o f th e riv er W e s e r , th e n a tu re o f th e n a v ig a b le w a te rs o f th e W e s e r as r e s p e cts
th e d riftin g ic e , s o fa r as th e in fo rm a tio n c a n b e o b ta in e d , w ill b e s ig n a liz e d to th e m a r i­
ners in th e fo llo w in g m a n n e r :— ‘ 1. A b a ll o f a b o u t 4^ fe e t in d iam e te r, p r o je c tin g fr o m
a p ole p la c e d in th e w e s t sid e o f th e g r e a t ch u r c h -s te e p le , a b o u t 2 6 fe e t fr o m th e steep le,
a n d a b ou t 1 25 fe e t a b o v e th e le v e l o f th e s e a , in d ic a te s th a t th ere is still flo a tin g ic e in
the W e s e r ; th a t th e n a v ig a t io n in th e s a m e m u s t b e u n d e rta k e n w it h th e g r e a te s t c ir ­
c u m s p e c tio n ; still, w ith a g o o d w in d , a n d u n d e r fa v o r a b le c ir c u m s t a n c e s , it m a y b e
possible t o re a c h B r e m e r h a v e n o r F e d d e r w a r d e n : if, fo r th e first ca s e the w in d b lo w s b risk ­
ly from E . to N E . , a n d fo r the la tte r b e tw e e n N W . a n d W S W .

2 . T w o b alls o n th e c o n ­

tra ry sid e, h a n g in g o u t p e r p e n d ic u la r ly o n e u n d e r th e o th e r, w it h a n in te rv a l o f s ix fe e t
b e tw e e n t h e m , in d ica te s th a t th e W e s e r is c o n s id e r a b ly b lo c k e d u p b y flo a t in g ic e : the
b ea c on s h ip s h a v e le ft th eir s t a t io n s ; B re m e rh a v e n w ill n o t b e a t t a in a b le ; a n d n a v ig a ­
tion d o w n th e W e s e r m u s t n o t b e a tte m p te d .’

T h e a b o v e n a m e d sig n a ls w ill b e b e st

r e c e iv e d from th e vessels fr o m th e p o in ts in th e c o m p a s s S S E . a n d S W . b y S .”


T rinity H ouse, L ondon, J an. 14.—




N o t i c e is h e r e b y g iv e n , th a t th e lig h th o u se w h ic h

h as b een fo r s o m e tim e p a st in c o u r s e o f e r e c tio n u p o n th e M a p lin S a n d , is n e a rly c o m ­
p le te d

a n d th a t th e lig h t th e re in w ill b e e x h ib ite d fo r th e first tim e o n th e e v e n in g o f

W e d n e s d a y , th e 1 0 th o f F e b r u a r y n e x t ; a t w h ic h tim e th e lig h t, h ith e rto s h o w n o n
b oa r d o f a v es s el m o o r e d o f f th a t S a n d , w ill b e d is c o n tin u e d , a n d th e vessel ta k e n a w a y .
M a rin ers are t o o b s e r v e , th a t th is lig h t h o u s e is e r e c te d u p o n th e so u th e a ste rn p r o je c t in g
part o f th e S a n d , w h e r e it b e c o m e s d r y , o r n e a r ly s o , a t l o w w a te r sp r in g t i d e s ; a n d
t h e y a re p a r tic u la r ly ca u tio n e d a n d e n jo in e d n e v e r , u n d e r a n y c ir c u m s t a n c e s , e ith er b y
n ig h t or b y d a y , to a ttem p t t o cr o s s th e S a n d to th e n o r th w a rd o f th e b u ild in g .

M a r i­

ners are a lso to ob se r v e , th a t in this lig h th o u s e , a fix e d lig h t, c o lo r e d re d , a n d v is ib le in
all d ire ctio n s , w ill b e e x h ib ite d .


Shipping List

J. H erbert,

B y ord er.




S e c r e ta r y .

P O IN T .

o f C a p e T o w n sa y s, th a t th e n e w lig h th o u se to b e e re c te d a t the

N e e d le s P o in t , n ea r th e C a p e o f G o o d H o p e , is t o b e c a lle d th e T o u r de V o lt e m a d e , in
m e m o r y o f a p ilo t w h o liv e d m a n y y e a rs a g o a t C a p e T o w n , a n d g r e a tly d istin gu ish e d
h im s e lf b y his h u m a n e e ffo rts in s a v in g p e o p le fr o m s h ip w re ck .

I t is to s ta n d o n a

sm all h ill 2 7 0 fe e t a b o v e th e le v e l o f th e s e a , a n d w ill c o s t a b o u t £ 1 , 8 0 0 in b u ild in g ,
w ith .£ 1 4 0 p er a n n u m fo r its k e e p in g u p .

I n o r d e r to a v o id la y in g a n y fresh n a v ig a tio n

du es o n vessels p a ss in g th e C a p e , a ca p ita l o f £ 1 0 , 0 0 0 is t o b e ra ised , w h ic h w ill p ro ­
vid e for its p erp etu a l m a in te n a n c e a n d repair.



V ess els b o u n d to T o r q u a y s h o u ld b e c a u t io u s , in r u n n in g in, t o g iv e th e M o le -H e a d a
g ood b erth , as a b a n k o f san d a n d s ton es h a s la te ly b e e n th ro w n u p , e x te n d in g s o m e
20 or 30 fe e t o f f fr o m th e M o le -H e a d , w h ic h w ill b e re m o v e d as s o o n as p o ssib le.— W .

M ulge,

H a rb or-m aster.

V O L . I V . ------N O . I V .



Nautical Intelligence .

A. B. Fannin, collector at the port of Savannah, gives notice to mariners that a lightboat has been moored between Martin’s Industry, S. E. Point, and the North Bank of
Port Royal entrance, and was lighted up on the first night in February, 1841. The
bearings of this light are as follows, viz: N. Point Trench’s Island, NWEN. Ray
Point, NW. by N. Tybee lighthouse, W SW . distant about 18 miles. Depth of water,
6f fathoms at half ebb— shows one bright light, which is elevated about 22 feet above
the surface of the water. Distance from nearest land, about 8 miles.
The following notice, issued by the Admiralty at Genoa, has been received at Lloyd’s
from their agent at that port:—
“ Navigators are advised that from the date of the 15th of January, 1841, and after,
the illumination of the Faro of the ground lantern of this port, which is built on the ex­
tremity of the promontory of St. Beningo, in lat. 44 deg. 24 min. 18 sec. N., long. 6
deg. 34 min. E., will be effected by means of lusticular apparatus of the first order. The
flashes of light and eclipses will succeed each other from minute to minute. The ele­
vation of this light is found at 114 metrical measures above the level of the sea or ordi­
nary tide. Its appearance in clear weather will be visible at the distance of ten marine
leagues. The less brilliant fixed fire, in the intervals between the flashes, will be clearly
distinguished at five marine leagues, and the eclipses will not be total but beyond the
said distance.”



S T E A M -V E S S E L S .

A F r e n c h w r ite r h as r e c e n t ly c o m p ile d a n in te re s tin g s u m m a r y o f a c c id e n t s t o an d
b y B ritish s tea m -vesse ls fo r a series o f y e a rs , fr o m w h ic h a lso m a y b e g a th e re d th e
n u m b e r o f s te a m -v e s se ls p o sse sse d b y th a t c o u n t r y a t d iffe re n t p eriod s.

T h e m aterials

o f this s u m m a r y a re su p p o se d to b e d e r iv e d fr o m rep orts p rep a red s o m e tim e s in c e b y
th e A d m ir a lt y .

T h e sm a ll co m p a s s in w h ic h th e resu lts are here c o m p re s s e d ren ders

th e m w o r th y o f e x t r a c t , a s c o m p r is in g a ll th e p rin c ip a l fa c t s o f a lo n g d o c u m e n t :
I n 1 8 1 7 th ere w e r e 1 4 s te a m -v e s se ls r u n n i n g ; o n e t o o k fire a n d w a s b u r n t ; th e b o il­
ers o f a n o th e r e x p lo d e d ; n in e p e rs o n s p e rish e d in this y e a r.

19 s te a m e r s ; n o a c c id e n t .


2 4 s t e a m e r s ; n o a c c id e n t .

1 82 0 —

3 4 s te a m e r s ; o n e b u r n t ; n o b o d y suffered,


59 s te a m e r s ; n o a c c id e n t .


8 5 s t e a m e r s ; n o a c c id e n t.


101 s te a m e r s ; n o a c c id e n t .

1 82 4 —

1 1 6 s te a m e r s ; th e boilers o f t w o e x p lo d e d ; d e a th s three.

1 82 5 —

1 5 3 s te a m e r s ; o n e w r e c k e d ; t w o , th e C o m e t a n d th e A y r , c a m e in c o llisio n ;

a n d 6 2 p erson s lo s t th e ir lives ; th e b o ile rs o f a n o th e r e x p lo d e d .

2 3 0 s te a m e r s ; o n e b u r n t ; e x p lo s io n o n a n o t h e r ; six sufferers this ye a r.


2 5 5 stea m e rs ; o n e w r e c k e d ; e x p lo s io n o n a n o t h e r ; t w o liv e s lost.


2 7 4 stea m e rs ; t w o w r e c k e d ; o n e b u r n t ; e x p lo s io n o n t w o ; o n e life lost.


2 8 9 s te a m e r s ; th ree w r e c k e d ; e x p lo s io n o n o n e ; s ix liv e s lo st.

1 83 0 —

2 9 8 stea m ers ; th ree w r e c k e d ; e x p lo s io n o n o n e .

th e n u m b e r o f person s o n board n o t p r e c is e ly k n o w n .

T h e F o r ly to ta lly lo st, bu t

T h e o th e r a c c id e n t s d id n o t o c ­

ca s io n a d eath .

3 2 4 stea m ers ; t w o w r e c k e d ; t w o c o l l i s i o n s ; o n e b u r n t ; 1 19 p erson s perished

o n th e R o th s a y C a s tle , n e a r B e au m a ris,


Nautical Intelligence .
1 83 2 —
1 83 3 —

3 5 2 stea m ers ; n o a c c id e n t s .
3 8 7 stea m ers ; six w r e c k e d ; o n e b u rn t, a n d 7 3 d e a th s, w ith o u t in c lu d in g the

E r in , w h ic h w a s lo st, v e s s e l, a n d all o n b o a rd .
1 834—

43U s t e a m e r s ; t w o w r e c k e d ; o n e b u r n t ; a n d o n e e x p lo s io n .

lo st, w it h all on b o a r d , in th e N o r t h S e a , n u m b e r o f su fferers u n k n o w n .

T h e S u p e rb
T h e o th e r

c a s u a lties c a u s e d n o lo s s o f life .

5 0 3 stea m ers ; th re e w r e c k e d ; t w o c a m e in t o c o llis io n ; o n e e x p lo s io n o f b o il­

ers ; 13 liv e s lost.

5 61 stea m ers ; t w o w r e c k e d ; fo u r c o llis io n s ; t w o b u r n t ; o n e e x p lo s io n ; n o

life lost.
1 83 7 —

7 0 7 s t e a m e r s ; t w o w r e c k e d ; fo u r ru n a g a in s t e a c h o th e r ; th re e t o o k fire a n d

b u r n t ; o n e e x p l o s io n ; to ta l v ic t im s 2 9 .
1 83 8 —

7 6 6 stea m ers ; fiv e w r e c k e d ; t w o c o llis io n s ; s ix e x p lo s io n s ; 1 3 2 liv e s lo s t.

T h e to ta l n u m b e r o f liv e s lo st, th e re fo re , is 4 5 6 , n o t in c lu d in g th o s e o n b o a r d the
E r in , F o r ly a n d S u p e rb , w h ic h m a y b e e s tim a te d a t 1 20 m o re .

I t w ill b e r e m a rk e d

th a t, n o t w it h s ta n d in g t w e n t y y e a rs ’ e x p e r ie n c e , th e y e a r 1 8 3 8 w a s th e m o s t disastrou s.
T h e K illa r n e y , N o r t h e r n J a c k , a n d F o rfa rs h ire w e r e lo s t, a n d th e fa m o u s V ic to r ia , e m ­
p lo y e d in tra n s a tla n tic n a v ig a tio n , h a d t w o e x p lo s io n s o f h e r b o ilers.








184 0 .

A r e c o r d o f disa sters a t sea h a s b e e n k e p t a t th e o ffic e o f th e A m e r ic a n S e a m e n ’ s
F r ie n d S o c ie t y , d u r in g th e y e a r p ast, as in fo r m e r y e a rs .
as h a v e resu lted in th e to ta l lo ss o f th e ve s s e l.

S u c h o n l y h a v e b e e n n o te d

T h e g r e a te r p a rt o f th e m w e r e w r e c k ­

e d o n th e c o a s t o f th e U n it e d S ta te s, a n d th e m o s t o f th e m w e r e A m e r ic a n vessels.
T h e fo llo w in g is th e res u lt, d e r iv e d fr o m th e S a ilo rs ’ M a g a z in e fo r J a n u a r y , 1 8 4 0 :
S te a m b o a ts , ...............................................
C la s s u n k n o w n ,.........................................

S h ip s a n d b a r q u e s ,....................................
B r ig s ,................................................................ 120
S c h o o n e r s ,.................................................... 2 3 3
S l o o p s , ............................

T o t a l ,.


5 21

O f th es e th e re w e r e lost t o w a rd s th e c lo s e o f th e y e a r 183 9 , p r in c ip a lly in th e m o n th
o f D e c e m b e r , b u t rep o rte d in this y e a r , 2 1 2 .
L o s t in J a n u a r y ,................................................
F e b r u a r y ,.............................................
M a r c h , ...................................................
A p r i l,.......................................................
M a y , ........................................................
J u n e ,...................... ......... ......................
J u ly ,.........................................................

2 0 L o s t in A u g u s t ,............. ...................................
S e p t e m b e r ,.........................................
O c t o b e r ,................................................
N o v e m b e r ,...........................................
D e c e m b e r , ..........................................
T fin e n o t a s c e r t a in e d ,...................


B y th ese disasters m a n y liv e s w e r e l o s t ; 6 8 4 h a v e b e e n a sc e rta in e d , a n d in re g a r d to
m a n y oth ers, th e c r e w s w e r e m is s in g , a n d in all p r o b a b ility p e ris h e d w it h th e ve s s e l.
A d d e d t o this, 39 v essels h a v e b e e n re p o rte d a s m is s in g d u rin g th e y e a r , w h ic h , in all
p ro b a b ility , w e n t to th e b o tt o m , w ith a ll th eir c r e w s .

T h e s e s ta tis tics ex h ib it in s o m e

fa in t d e g r e e th e perils o f th e s e a , a n d t e a c h us, in m o s t e m p h a tic la n g u a g e , th a t
w h a t w e d o for sailors s h o u ld b e d o n e q u ic k ly -





A letter fr o m M r . P a ss m o re , t h e m a s te r o f th e b a r q u e I d a , w h o h a d fa llen in w ith
ic e b e r g s o n th e o u t w a r d v o y a g e , g iv e s s o m e in te re s tin g fa c t s c o n n e c t e d w it h th is su b­
je c t.

F r o m th is letter it a p pears th a t flo a t in g ic e b e r g s h a v e b een d e t a c h e d fr o m the

m a in b lo c k s , a n d o b s tr u c te d th e n a v ig a tio n o f th a t sea to a d a n g e r o u s e x te n t.


c o m m a n d e r o f th e sh ip w h o la st m a d e the d is c o v e r y w a rn s all shipm asters in th a t r e g io n
to lo o k o u t fo r ic e ; i f a t a n y tim e t h e y a rc s u rro u n d e d b y la r g e flo c k s o f s n o w y p etrels.

Commercial Regulations.







IS L A N D S .

T h e fo llo w in g C o m m e r c ia l R e g u la t io n s h a v e b e e n r e c e iv e d a t th e D e p a r t m e n t o f
S ta te , W a s h in g t o n , fr o m C h a rle s F . W i lk e s , C o m m a n d in g th e U n it e d S ta te s E x p lo r in g
E x p e d i t i o n :—
C o m m e r c ia l R e g u la t io n s m a d e b y t h e K in g s a n d P r in c ip a l C h ie fs o f th e F e e je e gr o u p
o f Is la n d s , a fte r fu ll co n s id e r a tio n in C o u n c il o n th e t e n th d a y o f J u n e , 1 8 4 0 .
A r t ic le 1. A l l fo r e ig n C o n s u ls d u ly a p p o in te d a n d r e c e iv e d in th e F e e je e g r o u p o f
Is la n d s sh a ll b e p r o t e c t e d a n d r e s p e c te d , b o th in th e ir p e rs o n s a n d p r o p e r t y ; a n d all
fo re ig n e rs o b ta in in g th e c o n s e n t o f th e G o v e r n m e n t , a n d c o n fo r m in g t o th e la w s , shall
r e c e iv e th e p r o t e c t io n o f th e K in g s a n d C h ie fs .


A r t ic le 2 . A l l fo r e ig n v e sse ls sh a ll b e r e c e iv e d in to th e p o rts a n d h a rb o rs o f th e F e e j e e s fo r the p u rp ose o f o b ta in in g s u p p lie s a n d fo r c o m m e r c e , a n d w it h th eir o ffice rs an d
c r e w s , so lo n g as t h e y sh a ll c o m p ly w it h th e s e r e g u la tio n s , a n d
p e a c e a b ly , s h a ll r e c e iv e th e p r o t e c t io n o f th e K in g s a n d ch ie fs .

b e h a v e th e m se lv e s

A r t ic le 3 . T h e fu lle s t p r o t e c t io n s h a ll b e g iv e n to a ll fo r e ig n ships a n d v e s s e ls w h ic h
m a y b e w r e c k e d , a n d a n y p ro p e rty s a v e d s h a ll b e ta k e n p ossession o f b y th e m a s te r o f
th e v e s s e l, w h o w ill a llo w a s a lv a g e o r p o r tio n o f th e p r o p e rty s o s a v e d t o th o s e w h o
m a y aid in s a v in g a n d p r o t e c t in g th e s a m e , a n d n o e m b e z z le m e n t w ill b e p e r m itte d u n ­
d er a n y c ir c u m s t a n c e s w h a t e v e r .

T h e e ffe c t s o f all p erson s d e c e a s e d sh all b e g iv e n u p

t o th e c o n s u l o f th e n a tio n t o w h ic h t h e y m a y h a v e b e lo n g e d .
A r t ic le 4 . A n y p e rs o n g u ilt y o f th e c r im e o f m u r d e r u p o n a n y fo r e ig n e r , sh all b e
g iv e n u p w it h o u t d e la y t o th e c o m m a n d e r o f a n y p u b lic v e s s e l o f th e n a tio n to w h ic h
th e d e c e a s e d m a y b e lo n g , u p o n h is d e m a n d in g th e s a m e , o r b e p u n is h e d o n shore.
A r t ic le 5 . E v e r y v e s s e l sh all p a y a p o r t c h a r g e o f th re e d o lla rs fo r a n c h o r a g e to th e
K i n g , b e fo r e sh e w ill b e a llo w e d t o r e c e iv e r e fr e s h m e n ts o n b o a r d , a n d sh a ll p a y for
p ilo t a g e in a n d o u t th e s u m o f s e v e n

dolla rs, b e fo r e sh e le a v e s th e h a r b o r ; a n d p ilo ts

sh a ll b e a p p oin ted , su b je c t t o th e a p p ro v a l o f th e co n su ls .
A r t ic le


. A l l tr a d in g in s piritu ou s liqu o rs, o r la n d in g th e s a m e , is s tr ic tly fo rb id d e n .

A n y p e rs o n o ffe n d in g sh a ll p a y a fin e o f t w e n t y -fiv e d o lla rs , a n d th e v e s s e l to w h ic h h e
b e lo n g s sh a ll r e c e iv e n o m o r e r e fre s h m e n ts .

A n y s p iritu o u s liq u o rs fo u n d o n s h o re

sh a ll b e seiz ed a n d d e stro y e d .
A r t ic le 7. A l l deserters fr o m v e s s e ls w ill b e a p p re h e n d e d , a n d a re w a r d p a id o f e igh t
d olla rs , v iz :— F i v e d o lla rs t o th e p e rs o n w h o a p p re h e n d e d h im , a n d th re e d o lla rs to th e
C h i e f o f th e d istrict in w h ic h h e m a y b e a p p re h e n d e d , o n his d e liv e r y to th e p ro p e r offi­
c e r o f th e ves s el.

N o m a s te r sh a ll r e fu se to r e c e iv e s u c h de se rte r u n der th e p e n a lty

o f t w e n t y -fiv e d ollars.

D e se rte rs ta k e n a fte r th e v e s s e l h a s sa ile d sh all b e d e liv e re d u p

to th e c o n s u l to b e d e a lt w it h as h e m a y t h in k fit.

A n y p e rs o n w h o e n tic e s a n o th e r to

d esert, s e cre te s a deserter, o r in a n y w a y assists h im , sh all b e s u b je c t t o a p e n a lty o f
fiv e d olla rs.
A r t ic le


. A n y s e a m a n re m a in in g o n sh o re a fte r n in e o ’ c l o c k a t n ig h t , sh all b e m a d e

a p rison er o f u n til th e n e x t m o r n in g , w h e n h e sh all b e s e n t o n b o a r d a n d sh a ll p a y a
fin e o f fiv e dollars.
A r t ic le 9 . S h o u ld th e m aste r o f a n y v e s s e l re fu se t o c o m p ly w it h a n y o f th e s e re g u ­
la tio n s , a s ta te m e n t o f th e ca s e sh all b e fu r n ish e d to th e c o n s u l o f th e n a tio n t o w h ic h
h e b e lo n g s , a n d red ress s o u g h t fr o m t h e n c e .


A r t ic le 10. A l l m a g istra te s o r c h ie fs o f d istricts, w h e n v e sse ls o r b o a ts m a y visit, shall
e n fo r c e th e r e g u la tio n s a n d ru les r e la tiv e t o th e a p p re h e n s io n o f d eserters, o r p a y s u c h
a fin e a s the p r in c ip a l c h ie f sh a ll im p o s e .


Commercial Regulations .

A r t ic le 1 1. T h e s e re g u la tio n s sh a ll b e p rin te d , p r o m u lg a te d , a n d a c o p y fu r n ish e d to
th e m aster o f e a c h v e s s e l v is itin g th ese isla n d s.
D o n e in C o u n c il b y t h e p rin c ip a l K in g s a n d C h ie fs o f th e F e e je e G r o u p th is 1 0 th d a y
o f Ju n e, A . D . 1840.
T h e f o llo w in g is a c o p y o f th e in s tr u c tio n s fo r th e c a p ta in s o f ships d e stin e d fo r th e
p ort o f A n t w e r p .
m a is ie r e s

T h e y are d a te d a t B ru s se ls , 3 0 t h J u ly , 1 8 3 9 , a n d s ig n e d



D es-

, M in is te r o f F i n a n c e :

“ 1. T h e first d e c la r a tio n o n e n te r in g fr o m th e s e a m u s t b e m a d e a t th e o ffic e cu s ­
to m h o u s e a t L illo .
“ 2 . T h e said d e c la r a tio n m a y c o n s is t in th e s in g le r e m itta n c e o f th e m a n ife s to o r
bills o f la d in g .
“ 3. I f th e c a p ta in w is h e s t o a v o id g o in g o n s h o re , h e m a y d e liv e r u p h is m a n ife s to
or bills o f la d in g to th e o ffic e r o f th e c u s t o m h o u s e , w h o is a p p o in te d t o p la c e a tte n d a n ts
o n b oa r d o f th e ships.
“ 4 . W h e n th e c a p ta in d o e s n o t g o o n s h o re h e m u s t s ta te u p th e m a n ife s to , o r b y a
separate d e c la r a tio n in w h a t c o n s is t ships stores.
“ 5 . A f t e r th e c u s t o m h o u s e o ffic e r s a re o n b o a r d in s o m e ca s e s, a fte r s e a lin g d o w n
the h a tc h e s , th e c a p ta in m a y p u rsu e his c o u r s e to A n t w e r p .


. A t his d ep a rtu re fr o m A n t w e r p fo r s e a , th e c a p ta in m u s t re m it t o th e c u s t o m ­

h ou se o ffic e r o f L illo th e d o c u m e n t s o f th e c u s t o m h o u s e o f w h ic h h e is bearer.
“ 7 . T h e s e d o c u m e n t s m a y b e d e liv e r e d u p to th e c u s to m h o u s e o ffic e r c h a r g e d to
r e lie v e th e c o n v o y .


. I f , a fter in q u ir y , n o s u s p icio n o f fra u d s h o u ld a rise , th e c a p t a in m a y p u rs u e his

c o u r s e t o th e sea.”





T h e fo llo w in g is a c o p y o f a n o ffic ia l le tte r , r e c e iv e d a t L l o y d ’ s, d a te d “ O ffic e o f
C o m m it te e o f P r iv y C o u n c il o f T r a d e , W h it e h a ll, D e c e m b e r 2 d , 1 8 4 0 —


T h e L o r d s o f t h e C o m m it te e o f P r iv y

C o u n c il fo r T r a d e h a v in g b e e n in ­

fo rm e d th a t B ritish v e s s e ls a r r iv in g a t T r ie s te fr o m R io de J a n e iro , h a v e b e e n p u t to
c o n sid era b le in c o n v e n ie n c e a n d e x p e n se in c o n s e q u e n c e o f th e ir n o t b e in g p r o v id e d w ith
cle a n bills o f h e a lth , I a m d ir e c te d b y th e ir lo rd sh ip s to s ta te to y o u , fo r th e in fo rm a tio n
o f th e m e r c h a n ts tr a d in g w it h A u s tr ia , th a t th e p r o d u c tio n o f c le a n b ills o f h e a lt h is
requ ired a t th e A u s tr ia n p o rts, fr o m all v e s s e ls a rriv in g fr o m a n y p a rt o f A m e r ic a , or
th e W e s t I n d ie s , b e fo re t h e y c a n b e a d m itte d t o fre e p ratiqu e.
I a m , sir, y o u r o b e d ie n t s e rva n t,



R IC O .

V essels fr o m th e U n ite d S ta te s, a rriv in g a t a n y p a rt o f P o r to R i c o w it h o u t a b ill o f
h ea lth fr o m th e p o rt o f th e U n it e d S ta te s fr o m w h ic h t h e y h a v e sailed , (a lth o u g h h a v ­
in g t o u c h e d a t o th e r in te rm e d ia te p o rts,) w ill b e s u b je c t in fu tu r e t o 2 4 h ou rs q u a ra n ­
tin e, a n d th a t d u rin g th e m o n th s o f J u ly , A u g u s t , S e p te m b e r a n d O c to b e r , t h e y w ill b e
s u b je ct t o 2 4 h ou rs q u a ra n tin e , a lth o u g h b r in g in g c le a n b ills o f h e a lth , in d efa u lt.



T h e in terest c o n n e c t e d w it h th e p re s e n t s ta te o f th e t o b a c c o tra d e o f th e U n ite d
S ta tes, in d u c e s u s to p res e n t th e s u c c e e d in g fa c t s re la tin g to this in te re st in G e r m a n y ,
w h ic h w e g a th e r fr o m th e L o n d o n J o u rn a l o f C o m m e r c e .

P re s id e n t V a n B u r e n , in his

m ess a g e to c o n g r e s s , a n n o u n c e s th a t h e h a d d e s p a tc h e d a n a g e n t t o G e r m a n y , w it h a

Statistics o f Coinage.


v ie w t o in cr e a s e th e c o n s u m p tio n o f A m e r ic a n t o b a c c o in th a t c o u n t r y .

M r. D od g e,

w h o w a s fo r m e r ly th e U n it e d S ta te s c o n s u l a t B r e m e n , is, w e b e lie v e , th e a g e n t thus
referred to .

H e is t h o r o u g h ly c o n v e r s a n t w ith th e c o m m e r c ia l s ta te o f G e r m a n y .


a rriv ed a t B e rlin , w e are in fo r m e d , a s th e s ittin g s o f th e d e le g a te s o f th e Z o li V e re in
w e r e c lo s in g , a n d is s u p p osed t o b e fu r n is h e d w ith p o w e r t o a c c e d e t o th e d e m a n d s o f
th e L e a g u e r e s p e c t in g th e te rm s o n w h ic h G e r m a n m a n u fa c tu r e s are t o b e a d m itte d
in t o th e U n ite d S ta te s, in re tu r n fo r a d im in u tio n in G e r m a n y u p o n A m e r ic a n t o b a c c o
a n d o th e r p ro d u c e .




M I N T , i8 4 0 .

O n th e 2 2 d o f J a n u a r y , 1 8 4 1 , th e p re s id e n t tra n s m itte d t o c o n g r e s s a r e p o rt o f the
D ir e c to r o f th e M in t , e x h ib itin g th e o p e ra tio n s o f th a t in s titu tio n d u r in g th e y e a r 1840,
a n d in v itin g th e s p e c ia l a tte n tio n o f c o n g r e s s t o th a t p a rt o f th e d ir e c to r ’ s re p o rt in re­
la tio n t o th e o v e r .v a lu a tio n g iv e n to g o ld in fo r e ig n c o in s , b y th e a c t o f c o n g r e s s o f
J u n e 2 8 , 1 8 3 4 , “ r e g u la tin g th e v a lu e o f c e r ta in fo r e ig n g o ld c o in s w ith in th e U n ite d
S ta te s .”

T h e p res id e n t sta tes th a t a p p lic a tio n s h a v e b e e n fr e q u e n tly m a d e a t th e m in t

f o r co p ie s o f m e d a ls v o t e d a t d iffe re n t tim e s b y c o n g r e s s t o o ffic e r s w h o h a v e distin­
g u is h e d th e m se lv e s in th e w a r o f th e r e v o lu t io n an d in th e la te w a r , th e dies fo r w h ic h
a re d ep o site d in th e m i n t ;— a n d s u b m itte d to c o n g r e s s w h e th e r a u th o rity s h o u ld b e
g iv e n t o th e m in t t o strik e o f f c o p ie s o f th o s e m e d a ls in b ro n z e o r o th e r m e ta l, t o supply
th o s e p erson s m a k in g a p p lica tio n s fo r t h e m , a t a c o s t n o t t o e x c e e d th e a c t u a l exp e n se
o f s trik in g th e m o ff.
W e su b join th e A n n u a l R e p o r t o f th e D ir e c to r o f th e M in t o f th e U n it e d S ta te s at
P h ila d e lp h ia e n t ir e :

M int of the U nited States,
P h ila d e lp h ia , J a n u a r y 2 0 , 1 84 1 .


S ir ,— I have the honor to present, as the annual report required o f me by law, the
following statement o f the operations of the mint and its branches during the past year.
T h e c o in a g e e x e c u t e d a t th e m in t in 1 84 0 a m o u n te d to $ 2 ,2 6 0 ,6 6 7 , com p risin g
$ 1 ,2 0 7 ,4 3 7 in g o ld , $ 1 ,0 2 8 ,6 0 3 in s ilv e r , a n d $ 2 4 ,6 2 7 in c o p p e r c o in s , a n d c o m p o se d
o f 7 ,0 5 3 ,0 8 4 p ie c e s . (S ta t e m e n t A .)
T h e d eposits o f g o ld w ith in th e y e a r a m o u n te d to $ 1 ,2 0 1 ,9 9 8 , o f w h ic h $ 1 7 6 ,7 6 6 w as
d e riv e d fr o m th e m in e s o f th e U n it e d S ta te s.
(S ta te m e n ts B . a n d C .)
T h e d ep osits o f s ilv e r a m o u n te d t o $ 1 ,0 3 3 ,0 7 0 , a n d w e r e d e riv e d p rin c ip a lly from
M e x ic o .
(S ta t e m e n t D .)
B y s u c c e s s iv e im p r o v e m e n ts in th e m a c h in e r y a n d p ro ce s s e s o f th e m in t, in tro d u c e d
d u rin g th e la st fe w y e a rs , its m e a n s fo r e x e c u t in g a la r g e a m o u n t o f c o in a g e h a v e been
g r e a tly in c r e a s e d ; a n d it is m a t t e r o f re g re t, th a t, in c o n s e q u e n c e o f th e dim inished
s u p p ly o f b u llio n , these m e a n s h a v e b e e n o f la te s o in a d e q u a te ly e m p lo y e d . T h e m in t
c o u ld re a d ily h a v e c o in e d t w e lv e m illio n s in th e p a st y e a r , in s te a d o f little m o re than
t w o a n d a q u arter, w it h o u t a n y c o n s id e ra b le a d v a n c e fn its ex p e n se s .
A t th e c lo s e o f th e y e a r , th e p u b lic fu n d s in o u r v a u lts , u n d e r th e la w s a u th orizin g
d ep osits w it h th e m in t fo r th e p u r c h a s e o f m e ta ls fo r c o in a g e , a n d fo r s e c u r in g p rom p t
p a y m e n ts t o d ep osito rs, a m o u n te d t o $ 3 8 9 ,1 9 8 2 5 in g o ld a n d silv e r. T h e a m o u n t
w ith d r a w n d u r in g th e y e a r, o n tre a su ry dra fts, w a s $ 1 5 3 ,9 1 6 7 6 : a n d th e a m ou n t
a d d e d , $ 2 6 ,4 1 7 9 7 .
A t the N e w O r le a n s B r a n c h M in t , th e c o in a g e fo r 1 8 4 0 a m o u n t e d t o $ 9 1 5 ,6 0 0 , c o m ­
p risin g $ 2 1 7 ,5 0 0 in g o ld , a n d $ 6 9 8 ,1 0 0 in s ilv e r c o in s , a n d c o m p o s e d o f 3 ,4 4 6 ,9 0 0
p ie ce s . (S ta t e m e n t E .)
T h e d ep osits fo r c o in a g e d u r in g th e y e a r a m o u n te d t o $ 1 6 4 ,9 2 9 in g o ld , an d
$ 6 6 6 ,6 7 6 in silv er. (S ta t e m e n t F .)
I t g iv e s m e g r e a t s a tis fa c tio n t o s ta te th a t this b r a n c h o f th e m in t h a s e s c a p e d , dur­
in g th e la st season , th e disasters w h ic h h a v e b e fo r e s o s e rio u sly in te rfe re d w ith its effi­
c i e n c y . I t s o p e ra tio n s h a v e g o n e o n th r o u g h o u t th e y e a r ; a n d as it appears to h a v e


Statistics o f Coinage.

m a d e p rom p t a n d fu ll re tu rn s fo r a ll th e b u llio n b r o u g h t to it fo r c o in a g e , it m u s t b e
c o n s id e re d as h a v in g perfo rm e d its fu n c t io n s s u c c e s s fu lly .
T h e B r a n c h M in t at C h a rlo tte r e c e iv e d d u rin g th e y e a r d e p o sits o f g o ld to th e v a lu e
o f $ 1 2 4 ,7 2 6 , e x c lu s iv e o f a fe w sm a ll deposits a t th e e n d o f th e yea r, o f w h ic h the
v a lu e h as n o t b een rep orted .
T h e a m o u n t o f its c o in a g e w a s $ 1 2 7 ,0 5 5 , c o m p o s e d o f
1 8 ,9 9 4 h a lf-e a g le s a n d 1 2 ,8 3 4 q u a rte r-e a gle s.
(S ta te m e n ts E . and F .)
T h e B r a n c h M in t at D a h lo n e g a r e c e iv e d d u rin g the y e a r d eposits o f g o ld to th e va lu e
o f $ 1 2 1 ,8 5 8 , a n d its c o in a g e a m o u n te d to $ 1 2 3 ,3 1 0 , c o m p o s e d o f 2 2 ,8 9 6 h a lf-e a g le s
a n d 3 ,5 3 2 q u a rter-ea gles.
(S ta te m e n ts E . an d F .)
T h e deposits a t th ese m in ts d o n ot d iffe r m a te ria lly from those o f th e t w o p r e c e d in g
yea rs ; n or d oes th ere a ppear, fr o m o th e r e v id e n c e , to h a v e b een a n y co n sid e ra b le c h a n g e ,
d u rin g this p eriod , in th e p r o d u c tio n o f g o ld fro m th e m in es o f th e U n ite d S ta tes.
T h e r e are t w o c ir c u m s t a n c e s w h ic h s e rv e to d im in ish th e a m o u n t o f g o ld c o in a g e a t
ou r m in ts , a n d w h ic h s ee m to m e t o c a ll fo r le g is la tiv e in te rfe re n ce . O n e o f these is
the p riva te c o in a g e k n o w n to b e ca rr ie d o n in th e n e ig h b o r h o o d o f the m in e s to a c o n ­
siderable e x te n t. A s s a y s r e p e a te d ly m a d e a t this m in t s h o w th a t th e c o in s thus fabri­
c a te d are b e lo w th e n o m in a l v a lu e m a r k e d up on t h e m ; y e t t h e y c ir c u la te fr e e ly a t this
v a lu e, a n d th e re fo re it m u s t b e m o r e a d v a n ta g e o u s to th e m in e r to c a rr y his bu llio n to
the p riva te th a n th e p u b lic m in ts . I t se e m s s tr a n g e th a t th e p riv ile g e o f c o in in g c o p ­
p er sh ou ld b e c a r e fu lly co n fin e d b y la w to th e g e n e ra l g o v e r n m e n t ; w h ile that o f c o in ­
in g g o ld a n d silv er, t h o u g h w ith h e ld fr o m th e sta tes, is fr e e ly p e rm itte d to in d ivid u a ls,
w ith th e s in g le res triction th a t t h e y m u s t n o t im ita te the c o in a g e esta b lis h e d b y la w .
T h e s e c o n d c ir c u m s t a n c e a d v e rte d t o , is th e o v e r -v a lu a tio n g iv e n to th e g o ld in fo r ­
eig n c o in s b y th e a c t o f J u n e 2 8 , 183 4 .
T h is a c t s u p p oses th e g o ld c o in s o f G r e a t
B ritain , P o r tu g a l, a n d B ra zil, to b e 2 2 c a r a ts (c o r r e s p o n d in g to 9 1 6 § th o u s a n d th s) fin e—
an a ssu m p tion w h ic h is n o t c o n fir m e d b y o u r assa ys. T h e B ritish g o ld does n o t e x c e e d
9 1 5 £ th ou s a n d th s, a n d is n o t r e c e iv e d a t th e m in t o f F r a n c e a t m o re than 9 15 . T h e
g o ld c o in s o f P o r tu g a l a n d B ra z il v a r y fr o m 9 1 3 ^ to 9 1 4 £ . A l l these co in s , th e re fo re ,
are v ir tu a lly o v e r -v a lu e d b y th e l a w ; fo r w h a t it sta te s as a c o n d itio n , is r e c e iv e d a n d
a c t e d u p o n b y th e p u b lic as a f a c t .
I n d e e d , e v e n i f th e c o in s in q u e stio n w e r e o f the
a ss u m e d sta n d a rd , t h e y w o u ld still b e ra ted to o h ig h , b e ca u s e o u r o w n s ta n d a rd w a s
raised b y th e a c t o f J a n u a ry 1 8, 1 8 3 7 , fr o m 8 9 9 .2 2 5 to 9 00 . I h a v e b e fo re in v ite d a t­
te n tio n t o this s u b je c t in m y a n n u al rep orts, a n d h a v e re s p e c tfu lly r e c o m m e n d e d , as I
a g a in d o , th a t th e a c t in q u e stio n b e re p e a le d . T h is a c t is u n n e ce s sa ry , b e ca u s e the
m in ts o f th e U n ite d S ta te s are a b u n d a n tly s u fficie n t fo r all th e g o ld c o in a g e req u ired
for cir c u la tio n ; it is in c o n v e n ie n t, b e c a u s e th e fo r e ig n c o in s w h ic h it m a k e s a le g a l
ten d e r d o n o t c o r re s p o n d in v a lu e a n d d e n o m in a tio n w ith o u r m o n e y o f a c c o u n t ; a n d
it is e rr on eou s an d im p o litic , b e c a u s e it sta m p s a h ig h e r v a lu e u p o n fo r e ig n g o ld th a n
u p on ou r o w n .
I h a v e th e h o n o r to be, sir, w ith g r e a t re s p e c t, y o u r fa ith fu l s e rv a n t,
R . M . P A T T E R S O N , Director of the Mint.

Statement of the coinage at the Mint of the United States, Philadelphia, in the year
184 0 .

E a g le s ,............... , . . . .
H a lf-e a g le s ,..............
Q u a r te r -e a g le s, . . . .


Whole number
o f pieces.

4 7 ,3 3 8
1 3 7 ,3 8 2
1 8 ,8 5 9


$ 4 7 3 ,3 8 0
6 8 6 ,9 1 0
4 7 ,1 4 7
2 0 3 ,5 7 9

S IL V E R .
D o lla r s ,.............. ........
H a lf-d o lla r s ,..........
Q u a r te r -d o lla r s ,. . . .
D im e s , .............. .
H a lf-d im e s ,............. .

6 1 ,0 0 5
1 ,4 3 5 ,0 0 8
1 8 8 ,1 2 7
1 ,3 5 8 ,5 8 0
1 ,3 4 4 ,0 8 5


$ 1 ,2 0 7 ,4 3 7
6 1,0 05
7 1 7 ,5 0 4
4 7 ,0 3 2
1 3 5 ,8 5 8
6 7 ,2 0 4

4 ,3 8 6 ,8 0 5
C e n t s ,.........................


1 ,0 2 8 ,6 3 0

2 ,4 6 2 ,7 0 0

2 4 ,6 2 7

7 ,0 5 3 ,0 8 4

2 ,2 6 0 ,6 6 7

tSW'ofq' “
2 P a 2.

Statement of the annual amounts of deposits o f gold, for coinage, at the Mint o f the United States and
its branches, from the mines o f the United States.

h > o » a <s
o P arg_ t r £T g p m


M IN T S .


’-*> CP

-a m

s !

' O OP

s ’ 5'

1829 $ 2,500
1830 24,000
1831 26,000
1832 34,000
1833 104,000
1834 62,000
1835 60,400
1836 62,000
1837 52,100
1838 55,000
1839 57,600
1840 38,995

$ 5,000

Total dcposits of U.
S. gold.

Branch at
N. Orleans,

Branch at

Branch at
N. C.

$ 3,500
26,000 $ 212,000
176,000 $ 1,000
$ 1,000
140,000 1,000
216,000 7,000
415,000 3,000
36,000 i ,500
200 127,000 135,700
300 $500
126,836 113,035
104 4,431
124,726 121,858


I t




r£ P







S. Carolina.

N. Carolina.





$ 5,000


t—i ^
t—* 0 3 GO CO
O 0 3 K-* I— * O C£D

h-*03 co rfi. cn


i— ‘ .

O CD t o Wi 03


578,595 2,738,804 352,119 1,911,313 14,3C4 4,931 13,400 378,562 370,593 10,404 6,373,025




Statement of the deposits of gold for coinage at the Mint of the United States, Phila.
delphia, in the year 1840.


2 o o o
% ro 5 5"




V O L . I V . — N O . IV ,

Statement o f the amount o f coinage at the branch mints in the year



S IL V E R .

- “o - ®
pj I- o

dollars. dollars.



P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .

3 1 ,8 2 8 $ 1 2 7 ,0 5 5
1 2 3 ,3 1 0
2 6 ,4 2 8
5 6 ,6 0 0
2 1 7 ,5 0 0

8 5 5 ,1 0 0

4 2 5 ,2 0 0 1 ,1 7 5 ,0 0 0

9 3 5 ,0 0 0 3 ,3 9 0 ,3 0 0 $ 6 9 8 ,1 0 0

7 2 ,2 9 0 4 2 ,5 6 6 1 1 4 ,8 5 6 $ 4 6 7 ,8 6 5

8 5 5 ,1 0 0

4 2 5 ,2 0 0 1 ,1 7 5 ,0 0 0

9 3 5 ,0 0 0 3 ,3 9 0 ,3 0 0 $ 6 9 3 ,1 0 0

H alf Quart. No. of
eagles. eagles. pieces.


P ie c e s . P ie c e s .
1 8 ,9 9 4 1 2 ,8 3 4
2 2 ,8 9 6
3 ,5 3 2
3 0 ,4 0 0 2 6 ,2 0 0

o f pieces. Value.




'0 - 3 g.
O g>

Sr.5* '8rl

“ I


a- <s

a ST


S a

Statement o f the amount o f deposits, for coinage,


the branch mints in the year



U. States
U. States Foreign
coins, old

C h a r lo tt e , N . C ..............................
D a h lo n e g a , G a ...............................


S IL V E R .


Total of Foreign



Total of Gold and


$ 1 2 4 ,7 2 6
1 2 1 ,8 5 8
2 ,8 3 5 $ 1 4 3 ,2 9 7

$ 1 2 4 ,7 2 6
1 2 1 ,8 5 8
$ 1 8 ,4 4 9
1 6 4 ,9 2 9 $ 6 1 9 ,8 5 6

$ 1 2 4 ,7 2 6
1 2 1 ,8 5 8
$ 4 6 ,8 2 0 $ 6 6 6 ,6 7 6
8 3 1 ,6 0 5


$ 2 4 9 ,4 1 9 $ 1 4 3 ,2 9 7

$ 1 8 ,4 4 9 $ 4 1 1 ,5 1 3 $ 6 1 9 ,8 5 6

$ 4 6 ,8 2 0 $ 6 6 6 ,6 7 6 1 ,0 7 8 ,1 8 9

_ G O j\2 J T >
" b i 'n - 'V j 'b i



G O LD.



Statement o f the coinage o f the Mint o f the United States, for each successive period o f ten years, from the commencement o f its operations until
December 3 1 , 1 8 4 0 .
S IL V E R .



1 8 0 0 ....
1 8 1 0 ....
1 8 2 0 ....
1 8 3 0 ....
1 8 4 0 ....

Half eagles.


P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .
2 ,9 1 6
1 9,2 81

9 2 ,7 8 6

6 2 ,4 5 2
5 1 4 ,2 7 2
6 3 3 ,3 0 2
3 6 8 ,1 2 6
2 ,8 9 7 ,7 9 5

2 4 ,9 8 5
9 4 7 ,8 2 8

1 3 4 ,8 4 2
5 9 6 ,6 7 1
6 3 3 ,3 0 2
3 9 3 ,1 1 1
3 ,9 3 8 ,4 0 9

2 2 5 ,3 7 8

4 ,4 7 5 ,9 4 7

9 9 5 ,0 1 0

5 ,6 9 6 ,3 3 5

6 9 ,4 7 4
6 3 ,1 1 8

Number of

G .—



Half dollars.


P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .


1 ,2 5 7 ,4 5 8
1 8 2 ,0 5 9

6 2 ,3 0 5

3 2 7 ,0 6 2
6 ,4 0 1 ,9 7 3
1 1 ,2 9 4 ,8 4 2
3 2 ,0 5 7 ,4 2 6
4 6 ,1 3 2 ,2 5 9

6 ,1 4 6
5 5 4 ,8 9 9
7 2 1 ,8 5 3
5 7 2 ,7 3 1
5 ,3 4 7 ,6 7 3

9 6 ,7 0 6
4 2 3 ,7 6 5
1 ,4 2 9 ,2 6 7
4 ,8 5 6 ,5 1 2
1 0 ,4 6 0 ,0 4 5

$ 2 7 ,1 2 1 ,0 4 0 00

1 ,5 0 1 ,8 2 2

9 6 ,2 1 3 ,5 6 2

7 ,2 0 3 ,3 0 2

1 7 ,2 6 6 ,2 9 5

$ 1 ,0 1 4 ,2 9 0
3 ,2 5 0 ,7 4 2
3 ,1 6 6 ,5 1 0
1 ,9 0 3 ,0 9 2
1 7 ,7 8 6 ,4 0 5


S IL V E R .



Half dimes.

Number of


P ie c e s .
1 80 1
1 82 1


1 8 0 0 ....
1 8 1 0 ....
1 8 2 0 ....
1 8 3 0 ....
1 8 4 0 ....

1 6 5 ,1 7 3
1 0 0 ,3 7 0
2 ,4 7 0 ,0 0 0
1 6 ,6 6 1 ,9 3 5

1 ,8 5 2 ,5 4 5
7 ,6 6 3 ,0 6 6
1 3 ,4 4 5 ,9 6 2
3 9 ,9 5 6 ,6 6 9
7 8 ,6 6 4 ,2 1 7

1 9 ,3 9 7 ,4 7 8

1 4 1 ,5 8 2 ,4 5 9


Half cents.

Number of

P ie c e s .

P ie c e s .


7 ,6 4 4 ,7 0 3
1 2 ,8 3 2 ,8 3 2
1 9 ,0 8 4 ,2 8 7
1 4 ,4 4 6 ,2 2 0
3 3 ,8 2 4 ,6 2 1

5 8 8 ,7 5 9
4 ,5 8 3 ,6 1 4
6 3 ,1 4 0
1 ,3 9 0 ,0 0 0
8 1 5 ,2 0 0

8 ,2 3 3 ,4 6 2
1 7 ,4 1 6 ,4 4 6
1 9 ,1 4 7 ,4 2 7
1 5 ,8 3 6 ,2 2 0
3 4 ,6 3 9 ,8 2 1

$ 5 4 ,1 0 5 ,9 3 1 90

8 7 ,8 3 2 ,6 6 3

7 ,4 4 0 ,7 1 3

9 5 ,2 7 3 ,3 7 6

$ 1 , 4 4 0 ,4 5 4
3 ,5 6 9 ,1 6 5
5 ,9 7 0 ,8 1 0
1 6 ,7 8 1 ,0 4 6
2 6 ,3 4 4 ,4 5 4

Number of



1 0 ,2 2 0 ,8 4 9
2 5 ,6 7 6 ,1 8 3
3 3 ,2 2 6 ,6 9 1
5 6 ,1 8 6 ,0 0 0
1 1 7 ,2 4 2 ,4 3 7

$ 9 1 5 ,5 3 1 19

2 4 2 ,5 5 2 ,1 6 0

$ 7 9 ,3 9 1
1 5 1 ,2 4 6
1 9 1 ,1 5 8
1 5 1 ,4 1 2
3 4 2 ,3 2 2


$ 2 ,5 3 4 ,1 3 6
6 ,9 7 1 ,1 5 4
9 ,3 2 8 ,4 7 9
1 8 ,8 3 5 ,5 5 1
4 4 ,4 7 3 ,1 8 1


$ 8 2 ,1 4 2 * 5 0 3 09

Statistics o f Coinage-.

1 80 1
1 81 1
1 821
1 83 1



Statistic's o f .Coinage.



Recapitulation of deposits tind coinage, at the Mint o f the United States and its
branches, in the yedr 184 0 .
G O LD .


Total of


U. States

S IL V E R .




P h ila d elp h ia , P a ......................... $ 1 7 6 ,7 6 6 $ 1 ,0 2 5 ,2 3 2 $ 1 ,2 0 1 ,9 9 8 $ 1 ,0 3 3 ,0 7 0 $ 2 ,2 3 5 ,0 6 8
1 2 4 ,72 6
1 2 4 ,72 6
1 2 4 ,72 6
C h a rlotte, N . C ..........................
1 2 1 ,85 8
1 2 1 ,8 5 8
1 2 1 ,8 5 8
1 6 4 ,9 2 9
6 6 6 ,6 7 6
8 3 1 ,6 0 5
2 ,8 3 5
1 6 2 ,09 4
N e w O rlea n s, L a .......................
$ 4 2 6 ,1 8 5 $ 1 ,1 8 7 ,3 2 6 $ 1 ,6 1 3 ,5 1 1 $ 1 ,6 9 9 ,7 4 6 $ 3 ,3 1 3 ,2 5 7

H .—


C O IN A G E .
G O LD .


S IL V E R .

P h ila d e lp h ia , P a ...........
C h a rlo tte , N . C ..............
D a h lo n e g a , G a ..............
N e w O r le a n s , L a .........






2 0 3 ,5 7 9
3 1 ,8 2 8
2 6 ,4 2 8
5 6 ,6 0 0

$ 1 ,2 0 7 ,4 3 7 4 ,3 8 6 ,8 0 5 $ 1 ,0 2 8 ,6 0 3 2 ,4 6 2 ,7 0 0 $ 2 4 ,6 2 7
1 2 7 ,0 5 5
1 2 3 ,3 1 0
2 1 7 ,5 0 0 3 ,3 9 0 ,3 0 0
6 9 8 ,1 0 0

3 1 8 ,4 3 5

$ 1 ,6 7 5 ,3 0 2 7 ,7 7 7 ,1 0 5 $ 1 ,7 2 6 ,7 0 3 2 ,4 6 2 ,7 0 0 $ 2 4 ,6 2 7

Recapitulation of the amount of coinage at the Mint of the United States and its
branches, from the commencement of operations to Dec. 21, 1 84 0 .
1 79 3
1 83 8
1 838
1 838

P h ila d elp h ia m in t ,............................................
C h a rlotte b ra n ch m in t ,..................................
D a h lo n e g a b ra n ch m in t ,...............................
N e w O r lea n s b r a n c h m in t ,..........................

Whole coinage
in pieces.

Whole coinage
in value.

2 4 2 ,5 5 2 ,1 7 0
9 4 ,2 4 8
7 9,6 24
6 ,2 5 0 ,9 3 0

$ 8 2 ,1 4 2 ,5 0 3
3 7 3 ,9 8 7
3 5 5 ,1 0 5
1 ,1 8 3 ,0 0 3

2 4 8 ,9 7 6 ,9 7 2

$ 8 4 ,0 5 4 ,5 9 8 59


C o m p la in ts are m a d e in G r e a t B rita in o f th e n u m b e r o f lig h t s o v e re ig n s n o w in cir­
c u la tio n .

O f a p a r c e l o f 1 8 ,0 0 0 la te ly s e n t in to th e B a n k o f E n g la n d , 1 ,0 0 0 w e r e re­

je c t e d as sh ort w e i g h t ; a n d the loss u p o n th e re je c te d p o rtio n w a s fr o m ^ to £ p er ce n t.
I t m a y b e sta ted in gen era l th a t all th e s o v e re ig n s issu ed in the re ig n o f G e o r g e I I I .
are l i g h t ; t h e y are d istin gu ish ed b y h a v in g an e ffig y o f S t. G e o r g e a n d th e D r a g o n o n
th e reverse.

T h o s e o f G e o r g e I V ., w it h th e a rm s o f E n g la n d o n th e re v e rs e , a re g e n ­

era lly o f w e ig h t.


Commercial Statistics.

A Table, showing the comparative arrivals, exports and stocks o f Cotton and Tobacco
at New Orleans, for ten years, commencing lsZ October, to Feb. 1 3 th, 1841.



1 8 4 0 - 4 1 ,...................
1 8 3 9 - 4 0 ,...................
1 8 3 8 - 3 9 ,...................
1 8 3 7 - 3 8 ,...................
1 8 3 6 - 3 7 , .:...............
1 8 3 5 - 3 6 ,...................
1 8 3 4 - 3 5 ,...................
1 8 3 3 - 3 4 ,...................
1 8 3 2 - 3 3 ,...................
1 8 3 1 - 3 2 ,...................




B ales.

B a le s .

B ales.

H hds.

H hds.

H hds.

4 4 7 ,7 0 6
5 0 1 ,49 1
2 3 6 ,8 7 4
3 6 9 ,4 1 2
3 5 8 ,3 8 2
2 7 4 ,4 4 0
3 4 0 ,5 4 5
2 3 7 ,9 4 0
2 4 7 ,7 3 4
1 4 6 ,3 4 0

3 1 3 ,8 0 3
3 9 3 ,5 0 0
1 7 7 ,4 8 5
2 5 6 ,5 9 2
2 6 3 ,5 0 7
1 8 1 ,8 3 0
2 5 3 ,7 0 8
1 7 3 ,4 3 7
1 7 3 ,8 8 3
1 1 5 ,8 8 3

1 6 2 ,63 1
1 2 4 ,2 9 8
1 1 8 ,2 3 2
1 2 8 ,12 2
1 0 3 ,57 7
9 7 ,4 5 2
9 5 ,5 9 3
7 1,9 09
7 6 ,6 2 4
4 4 ,1 5 4

6 ,7 3 4
3 ,2 0 3
6 ,4 6 4
2 ,0 7 9
3 ,0 3 6
3 ,7 9 3
3 ,7 1 3
3 ,0 0 8
1 ,2 2 6

5 ,4 8 3
9 67
2 ,2 0 4
5 ,4 8 7
5 ,4 9 7
3 ,5 3 7
2 ,3 4 2
1 ,5 5 2
4 ,6 5 2
6 ,7 8 7

4 ,4 7 0
1 ,2 4 4
2 ,4 8 8
3 ,8 5 9
7 48
2 ,8 7 8
1,6 1 3


IR E L A N D .



Arrivals. Exports.



A t th e la te m e e tin g o f th e B ritish A s s o c ia tio n , in G la s g o w , M r . L e a th a m , a b a n k e r
in Y o r k s h ir e , m a d e s o m e sta te m e n ts in re g a r d t o th e b ill cir c u la tio n o f G r e a t B rita in
a n d Ire la n d , w h ic h e x c it e d m u c h a tte n tio n , a n d c a u s e d n o little surprise.

A c c o r d in g

t o M r . L e a th a m ’ s s ta te m e n ts , w h o s e e m e d to h a v e ta k e n u n w e a rie d pain s t o g e t a t th e
real fa c ts in th e c a s e , th e fo llo w in g is th e to ta l a m o u n t o f th e b ills in c ir c u la tio n d u rin g
fiv e y e a r s :

..........................................£ 4 0 5 ,4 0 3 ,0 5 1
4 8 5 ,9 4 3 ,4 7 3
........................................ 4 5 5 ,0 8 4 ,4 4 5

1 8 3 8 ..............
£ 4 6 5 ,5 0 4 ,0 4 1
1 8 3 9 ............................................
5 2 8 ,4 9 3 ,8 4 2


......................................... £ 1 0 1 ,3 5 0 ,7 6 2
1 2 1 ,4 8 5 ,8 6 8
1 1 3 ,7 7 1 ,1 1 1

Average amount out at one time.
1 8 3 8 ..............................................£ 1 1 6 ,3 7 6 ,0 0 0
1 8 3 9 ............................................
1 3 2 ,1 2 3 ,4 6 0

A f t e r M r . L e a th a m h a d c o n c lu d e d his re m a rk s , th e c h a irm a n p ro p o s e d th a n k s to M r.
L e a th a m , fo r th e in v a lu a b le sta te m e n ts h e h a d m a d e ; a n d e x p r e ss e d h is asto n ish m e n t
a t th e a m o u n t o f b ill c ir c u la t io n , w h ic h , u p o n e v id e n c e in co n tr o v e r tib le , h e h a d sh o w n
w a s in e x is te n ce .

I t w a s a t h in g o f w h ic h h e h a d n o c o n c e p tio n .



T h e S a n d w ic h Isla n d s co m p r is e e ig h t in h a b ite d isla n d s, b e tw e e n M e d c o a n d C h in a .
H o n o lu lu , th e r e s id e n ce o f th e k in g , h as a fin e h a rb or, a n d is situ a te d in th e fertile
isla n d o f O a h u .

I t h as a p o p u la tio n o f a b o u t 8 ,0 0 0 .

T h e P o ly n e s ia n , p u b lish e d at

H o n o lu lu , o f S e p t. 1 2 th , 1 8 4 0 , co n ta in s s o m e sta tistics o f th e tra d e o f th e islan d .


w h o le a m o u n t o f im p o r ts in to H o n o lu lu fo r th e la st fo u r a n d a h a lf y e a rs , is sta te d at
$ 1 ,5 6 7 ,0 0 0 , o f w h ic h $ 7 4 2 ,0 0 0 in v a lu e w a s fr o m th e U n it e d S ta te s.

T h e v a lu e o f

e x p o r ts o f n a tiv e p r o d u c e in th e s am e p e rio d w a s $ 1 ,3 8 8 ,1 0 0 , o f w h ic h t o th e v a lu e o f
$ 6 5 ,0 0 0 w a s s a n d a l w o o d , $ 5 9 ,5 0 0 b u llo c k h id e s , a n d th e re st g o a t s k in s, salt, sugar,
a n d va riou s o th e r a rticle s.

T h e r e are t e n v e sse ls o w n e d b y resid en ts o f th e islands, o f

a n a g g r e g a te to n n a g e o f 1,3 1 7 to n s , v a lu e d a t $ 6 5 ,5 0 0 .

S e v e n o f th ese vessels are

o w n e d b y c itize n s o f th e U n ite d S ta te s, a n d th ree b y E n g lis h s u b je cts .

Commercial Statistics.
A Table, showing the







of $ 1 , improved at Compound Interest, at the end
of every year from 1 to 32.


P ER C T .

P ER C T .






6 P ER C T .




P ER C T .

8 PER C T.

4 . 66*0957

2. A Table, showing the P resent V alue o/ $ 1, receivable at the end of any given year
from 1 to 21, reckoning Compound Interest.






P ER C T .


P ER C T .



P ER C T .

6 P ER C T .






8 P ER C T .



Commercial Statistics.

3. A Table, showing the A m o u n t o f a n A n n u i t y of $1 per annum, improved at Compound Interest, at the end of each year from 1 to 32.





P ER C T .



P ER C T .







8 P ER C T .

' 4.506112

4. A Table, showing the P resent V alue of an A nnuity of $1 per annum, to continue
for any given number o f years from 1 to 21, reckoning Compound Interest.



P ER C T .



P ER C T .



P ER C T .





P ER C T .


8 P ER C T .



Commercial Statistics.


M u ltip ly th e s u m fo r w h ic h y o u w is h to k n o w th e a m o u n t, o r p re s e n t w o r th ,

b y th e n u m b e r fo u n d u n d e r th e rate p e r c e n t , a n d o p p o site th e g iv e n y e a rs .

P o in t o f f

a g r e e a b ly to the rules o f d e cim a ls , a n d th e p r o d u c t w ill d e n o te th e n u m b e r s o u g h t in
d olla rs, p ou n d s, fr a n c s , & c . , w it h th eir d e c im a l parts.

Example.— W h a t

w ill b e th e a m o u n t, a t th e e n d o f 10 y e a rs, o f a n a n n u ity , re n t, o r

sa la ry o f $ 5 0 0 , p a y a b le a t th e e n d o f e a c h y e a r , i f im p r o v e d a t c o m p o u n d in terest a t

p er c e n t per a n n u m ?
A m o u n t o f a n a n n u ity o f $ 1 fo r 10 y e a r s , a t


p e r c e n t, b y T a b . 3 ,.. ..

1 3 .1 8 0 7 9 5

M u lt ip ly b y a n n u it y ,..................................................................

A m o u n t ,.................................. ............................................. : . .........$ 6 5 9 0 .3 9 7 5 0 0
B E E T -R O O T



I n F r a n c e , say s th e L o n d o n J o u r n a l o f C o m m e r c e , in 1 8 3 7 , th e re w e r e 5 4 2 b e e t-r o o t
s u g a r m a n u fa c to r ie s in o p e ra tio n , a n d 39 in c o n s t r u c tio n .

I t h a s b e e n r e c e n t ly sta ted

in th e p u b lic jo u r n a ls , th a t th e sta tes c o m p o s in g th e G e r m a n C u s to m s ’ U n io n p ossessed ,
in 1 8 3 8 , e ig h ty -s e v e n fa c to r ie s in o p e ra tio n , a n d s ix ty -s ix in c o n s t r u c tio n .
tion o f th e b e e t-s u g a r fa cto rie s a v e ra g e s a b o u t

2 0 0 ,0 0 0

T h e p rod u c­

lbs. e a c h , s o th a t w e m a y r e c k o n

f o r th e 2 0 3 fa cto rie s k n o w n to e x is t in o th e r pa rts o f th e c o n tin e n t b e sid e s F r a n c e ,
4 0 ,6 0 0 ,0 0 0 lbs. o f s u g a r, m a k in g th e t o ta l a n n u a l p r o d u c tio n o f b e e t s u g a r in E u r o p e
a b o u t 1 5 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 lbs.

I t re m a in s to b e o b s e r v e d , th a t in A u s tr ia a n d I t a l y th e b u si­

n ess h a s b een c o m m e n c e d w it h g r e a t z e a l.
in v a r ia b ly in cr ea s ed fr o m

T h e s u g a r m a n u fa c tu r e d in F r a n c e h as

y e a r to y e a r , u n le ss it h a s fa lle n o f f in 1 8 3 8 - 9 , o f w h ic h w e

h a v e n o t y e t th e retu rn s.
18323 it w a s .......... 2 2 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 lbs.
1 8 3 3 - 4 .................................. 3 3 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 “
18345 ....................... 4 4 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 “


6 it w a s .................... 6 6 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 lbs.
7 .............................. 1 0 7 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 “
8 ..............................1 1 2 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 “

R e c e n t ly th e d u ties o n s u g a r im p o r te d fr o m th e F r e n c h co lo n ie s h a v e b e e n r e d u c e d ,
so th a t th e p r o t e c t io n o f th e b e e t s u g a r in F r a n c e , w h ic h u s e d to b e a b o u t 4 £ c e n ts , is
n o w in con sid era b le.
T h e v a lu e o f th is v e g e t a b le h as h a rd ly b e g u n t o b e k n o w n .

W e fin d fro m E n g lis h

jo u r n a ls ju s t r e c e iv e d , th a t th e p u lp o f the b e e t is w o r th fo r pa p er m a k in g ju s t five tim e s
its v a lu e as a n a rtic le o f fo o d .

A M r . R y a n h as o b ta in e d a p a te n t in E n g la n d fo r

m a k in g p a p er o f b e e t-r o o ts a fte r th e j u i c e is e x t r a c t e d a n d c r y s ta liz e d in to s u g a r .


m a n u fa ctu re r s h a v e c o m m e n c e d w it h th e co a rs e st k in d s o f p a p e r a n d p a ste b o ard , a n d
h a v e n o t y e t a tte m p te d a n y fin e w r itin g -p a p e r.

B u t , th u s far, th eir s u c c e s s is c o m p le te .

G o o d p rin tin g -p a p e r is p r o d u c e d o u t o f w h a t rem a in s a fte r th e s a c c h a r in e m a tte r is e x ­
p ressed, a n d t h e y h a v e n o d o u b t th a t th e s a m e a lm o s t w o r th le s s p u lp w ill s o o n fu rn ish
th e fin est w ritin g -p a p er.
I f it be true th a t E u r o p e a lo n e m a n u fa c tu r e s e v e r y y e a r th e im m e n s e a m o u n t o f
1 5 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 lbs. o f b e e t s u g a r, th e re c a n b e n o w a n t o f m a te ria l t o e x p e r im e n t u p o n
to a n in d efin ite e x te n t.
T h e A u g s b u r g G a z e tte m e n tio n s th a t a t th e la te fa ir o f F r a n k fo r t-o n -th e -O d e r , fe a th ­
ers fell t w o thirds in p r ic e , a n d it is k n o w n th a t this fair re g u la te s th e p r ic e o f th a t ar­
t ic le all th r o u g h G e r m a n y .

I t is re m a rk a b le th a t w h ils t G r e a t B rita in a n d F r a n c e are

in u n d a tin g G e r m a n y w ith m e ta llic p e n s , th e la tte r c o u n t r y e x p o r ts a c o n sid e ra b le q u a n ­
t it y o f g o o s e q u ills to th ose t w o co u n trie s.


To Readers and Correspondents.


184 0 .

T h e fo llo w in g is th e o ffic ia l list o f b a n k ru p tcie s in P a ris a n d th e D e p a r tm e n t o f the
S e in e , d u rin g th e p a st y e a r , t o g e th e r w it h th e a m o u n t o f assets a n d d e b t s :—


No. of Bankrupts.

J a n u a r y ,.........................
F e b r u a r y ,...................... ....................................
M a r c h , ......................... ....................................
A p r i l ,...................................................................
M a y , ...................................................................
J u n e , .............................. ....................................
J u l y , ...................................................................
A u g u s t , ......................... ....................................
S e p t e m b e r ,........................................................
O c t o b e r ,............................................................
N o v e m b e r ,.......................................................
D e c e m b e r ,.........................................................







5 ,4 5 0 ,0 0 0 f.
5 ,7 0 4 ,0 0 0
7 ,4 9 4 ,0 4 4
3 ,9 4 1 ,2 2 2
3 ,1 9 7 ,6 4 1
4 ,9 6 9 ,0 3 9
5 ,0 2 6 ,6 9 1
1 ,4 8 4 ,3 6 0
3 ,0 3 8 ,8 8 0
3 ,3 9 9 ,4 1 9
3 ,8 0 3 ,3 0 0
2 ,0 8 7 ,3 2 5

2 ,0 9 5 ,0 0 0 f.
1 ,9 8 7 ,0 0 0
3 ,7 0 9 ,0 0 0
3 ,7 2 7 ,1 9 2
3 ,4 9 0 ,2 1 1
4 ,5 3 5 ,3 2 2
3 ,4 1 7 ,9 3 0
1 ,3 0 3 ,2 1 6
1 ,6 0 5 .4 3 8
3 ,0 5 3 ,6 7 3
2 ,4 8 8 ,1 1 6
1 ,3 8 3 ,7 0 4


T he B ook T rade.— O w in g t o th e pressu re o f c o m m e r c ia l m a tte rs w e h a v e u n a v o id ­
a b ly , in this n u m b e r , o m it t e d th e d e p a rtm e n t d e v o t e d to th e “ b o o k tra d e .”

W e d esign

h er ea fter t o p res en t in this d e p a rtm e n t a co m p r e h e n s iv e v ie w o f all p ro m in e n t n e w
b o o k s , in ord e r to fu rn ish o u r rea d ers g e n e ra l in fo rm a tio n r e s p e c t in g th e m o s t p opular
c u r r e n t literature o f th e d a y .

T h e m a n u fa c tu r e a n d tra d e in b o o k s fo r m n o in c o n s i­

d era b le p a rt o f the, m e r c a n tile in terest o f th e U n ite d S ta te s , a n d it w o u ld s e e m to fa ll
w ith in th e p r o v in c e o f th is jo u r n a l, to e x h ib it e v e r y im p o r ta n t t o p ic in c lu d e d w it h in that
la r g e b r a n c h o f c o m m e r c ia l enterprise.
W e h a v e o n h a n d a n u m b e r o f a rtic le s, s e v e ra l o f w h ic h w ill a p p ear in th e M a y n u m ­
b er, o r a t ou r earliest c o n v e n ie n c e .
1. “ B ritis h N a v ig a t io n A c t , ”

A m o n g th e m a r e :—

b y R e v . C h a rle s W . U p h a m .

2 . “ I m p r is o n m e n t fo r D e b t ,” b y C h a rle s F . D a n ie ls , E sq .
3. “ R em arks on

F r e e T r a d e ,” (a r e p ly to th e a rtic le o f S . G . A r n o ld , E s q ., in the

M a r c h n u m b e r o f th is M a g a z in e ,) b y H o r a c e G r e e ly , E s q .
4 . “ T h e M ississippi S c h e m e ,” b y F r a n c is W h a r t o n , E sq .
5 . “ T h e M e r c h a n t s o f th e T im e o f Q u e e n E liz a b e t h ,” b y T h o m a s W . T u c k e r , E sq .

. “ A m e r ic a n M a n u fa c tu r e s ,” b y J a m e s H . L a n m a n , E s q .

7. “ T h e T h e o r y o f B a n k in g ,” b y a M e r c h a n t o f B o s t o n , & c .
W e w o u ld a lso h ere s ta te th a t w e h a v e s e v e ra l o th e r papers n o w o n h a n d w h ic h are
u n d e r c o n sid e ra tio n .

T h e p la n th a t w e h a d m a r k e d o u t fo r th e e x h ib itio n o f im p ort­

a n t c o m m e r c ia l t o p ic s , th a t h a v e b e e n in this c o u n t r y h e r e to fo re t o o m u c h n e g le c te d ,
w e are a b le to s a y h as b e e n su sta in e d b y a n in te llig e n t po rtio n o f th e c o m m u n it y — an
e n c o u r a g e m e n t w h ic h w ill le a d us to p u rs u e th e s a m e c o u r s e w it h r e n e w e d e n e r g y and
a d d ition a l aids.







T h e B o a r d o f D ir e c to r s o f th e M e r c a n t ile L ib r a r y A s s o c ia tio n o f N e w Y o r k tak e
p leasu re in a c k n o w le d g in g th e re c e ip t o f d o n a tio n s —

O f Books—

F r o m E d w a r d H o d g e s , J . F . E n t z , R o b e r t L . S m it h , J a s p e r C o r n in g ,

J o h n H . R e d fie ld , J o h n J o h n s to n , J . T . R o c k w o o d , A b r a h a m B e ll, W m . S . S . R u ssell,
H o n . A . V a n S a n tv o o r d , J o h n L o in e s , H o n . G . C . V e r p la n c k , T h o s . D . L o w t h e r , C has.
F r a n c is A d a m s , A . S lid e ll M a c k e n z ie , D r . R u p e rs b e r g , R . N e ls o n E a g le , A lb e r t B ris­
b an e.

By order.

R. E. L ockwood, Cor. Sec.