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M E RC H AN TS ’ M A G A Z IN E . No. I. JULY, 1 S 3 9. A rt . I .— IN T R O D U C T IO N . I n legal phrase, we would prefer being judged by our acts— and in. commercial parlance, being credited with our performances— to making promises in advance of our publication. But custom having rendered it necessary, on the appearance of a new work, to accompany it with some indication of the plan upon which it will be conducted, and the objects it is intended to subserve, we comply with the requisition. In the first place, as an excuse for its appearance at all, we may say, that such a publication as the present is imperiously demanded by the wants and wishes of the commercial part of the community, and we believe that such a work, conducted upon enlarged and liberal principles, is cal culated to be eminently useful, and will prove highly acceptable, not only to the Merchant, but to all who feel an interest in promoting information on subjects deeply identified with the wealth, the greatness, and the hap piness of our common country. Commerce is not only a business, but a . science, extremely intricate in some of its developments, and calculated to elevate the mind, and enlarge the understanding, when pursued upon legitimate principles, and with high and honorable views. Essentially and practically a trading people, the commerce o f the Uni ted States has been pushed, by the enterprise o f her citizens, to every part of the habitable globe — her ships penetrate every ocean, and her canvass whitens every sea, bringing home the varied productions of every soil and climate, and while rewarding individual enterprise and exertion, adding to the storehouse of general knowledge, and increasing the prosperity of the country. The questions which arise in such extended intercourse with the world, are multifarious and diversified. The knowledge and information neces sary to guide the adventures to a successful termination, is often complex and difficult of solution ; the sources whence it is to be obtained are not always accessible; and operations are often begun in a reckless spirit o f speculation, and end, as might have been anticipated, in defeat, simply VOL. i . — no . i. 2 10 Introduction. because some element necessary to success, or some piece of information essential to the adventure, had, in the ardor of pursuit, been disregarded. One of our prominent objects will be, to raise and elevate the commer cial character— to point out the requisites necessary to form the thorough and accomplished merchant. An expensive education, and a long course o f study, is necessary to form the statesman, the physician, or the com mon law yer; but every clerk seems to think he can at once assume the practical merchant, and spring, ready armed and equipped, into the active business of life, like Minerva from the head of J ov e; forgetful that as pretenders in one case soon sink into oblivion and disgrace, he cannot expect otherwise than loss and discomfiture, if wanting the elementary information necessary to success. W e shall, therefore, from time to time, point out the headlands in the commercial chart, and endeavor to mark the quicksands where oftentimes shipwreck has been made, not only o f property, but of probity, and that high sense of honor, wanting which, however abounding in every thing else, a man may assume the name, and be totally deficient in all that forms the high and honorable merchant. With these views, it will necessarily be inferred that we are the strenuous friends and ardent supporters of the Mercantile Library Asso ciations of this and of our sister cities. Wherever the minds of the young are to be formed, and an incentive given to those who, after the present busy actors in our crowded marts o f commerce are removed, are to occupy their places, they will find us inspiriting them in their career, and doing all in our power to aid the incipient merchant in his high and honorable avocation. W e say high, because commerce is now the most honorable pursuit in which a man of talent and enterprise can engage. Commerce is now the lever of Archimedes; and the fulcrum which he wanted to move the world, is found in the intelligence, enterprise, and wealth of the mer chants and bankers, who now determine the questions of peace or war, and decide the destinies of nations. An adaptation to commercial pur suits does not, in our acceptation of the term, mean the mere accumula tion of dollars and cents, which may be gained without merit, or lost without reproach, by disastrous reverses, which may baffle the most sagacious and well directed operations, and the most skilful combina tions ; not that ingenuity or tact which is directed to overreaching and circumvention, and to which the frank and the honorable oftentimes fall victims; but a profession embracing and requiring more varied know ledge, and general information of the soil, climate, production, and con sumption of other countries — of the history, political complexion, laws, languages, and customs of the world— than is necessary in any other; and honorable, because a merchant, formed on our ideas o f commercial character, would be fitted and qualified to act a part which would not only do himself, but his profession and country, honor. Inseparably connected with commerce, are its handmaidens, agricul ture and manufactures, and we shall endeavor to point out how they mutually assist and sustain each other— Agriculture and manufactures being the circular segment, and commerce, as it were, the keystone of the arch, which renders every thing secure, and wanting which, they would want the incentive to production. With these objects and views, it will be seen that our plan is something like that laid down by Chief Justice Blackstone for himself, in his admi- — 1 Commerce, as cohnected with Civilization. 11 rable commentarie's on the law— with this difference, that ours will require time before it can be fully developed, while his was at once laid before the public perfect and complete. . Every subject that can be interesting or useful to the merchant, will be embraced from time to tim e; for it is our intention to render the Mer chant’s Magazine and Commercial Review a standard work on the sub jects to which it will be devoted, so that it may be referred to with certainty and confidence, for counsel and direction in the various ques tions arising in commercial affairs. Currency, exchanges, banking, commercial and marine law, partnerships, agencies, and statistical in formation, commercial and manufacturing, will have our special atten tion, as well as the domestic trade o f the United States; and we are happy at being enabled to say, with confidence, that we have secured able and talented assistance in the various departments o f our work, and the whole will be under our immediate supervision. W ell written communications will be received with pleasure, and inserted as far as our limits will permit, reserving to ourselves the right of abridging or excluding, as far as circumstances may render it neces sary ; and it will be at all times grateful to us, as proving an interest in our success, to receive communications from practical and scientific men ; for as by the collision of flint and steel light is extracted, so from the intercourse between mind and mind, truth is elicited, an impulse given to examination, and an incentive applied to research, which may produce valuable results— for thought is the germ of action. A rt. II. — C O M M E R C E , A S C O N N E C T E D W IT H T H E PRO G R E S S OF C IV IL IZ A T IO N . [We are satisfied that we cannot present our readers with any thing more acceptable than the following able lecture, read before the “ Mercantile Library Association o f New York,” on the 4th o f December, 1838, by the H o n . D an iel D . B a r n a r d , and furnished by him, at the request o f the Association, for publication in our Magazine. It needs no comment from us, in ushering it into the world; for the subject is so ably treated, and so happily discussed, that it will be read with interest and advantage. W e maybe permitted, however, to remark, that it is peculiarly gratifying to see so many highly gifted minds turning their attention to commercial inquiries, and illus trating the importance o f trade. No nation on earth is as eminently qualified, as the United States, by geographical position, internal resources, the spirit and indomi table enterprise of the people, for running a proud and successful career; and in pro portion to the attention paid to these advantages by those who wield the destinies, and develop the resources o f our young, but giant republic, will be the impulse given to our onward march in wealth and national greatness.] T he subject with which it is proposed to occupy the present hour, is— commerce, as connected with the progress o f civilization. And it is proper, and perhaps necessary, to a right understanding of the sub ject, that I should begin with a word or two o f explanation. What is civilization ? In its ordinary acceptation, it denotes a condition o f society, freed from the rudeness and ignorance o f the savage or barbarous state, instructed in the arts, and practising the rules and customs of regu lar and polished life. I mean this by the word, and I mean something more. Besides the idea which it conveys, of settled homes, and regular employments; of country, and government, and laws; of protection to life, limbs, and liberty; of property, and its securities, and the comforts and 12 Commerce, as connected with Civilization. conveniences which represent and result from property— besides all this, I employ the word, at present, to denote a high degree of social prosperity, abounding in wealth, without which the advance of any people in know ledge, in positive happiness, or in the exercise of the nobler qualities hnd virtues of our nature, will be retarded and uncertain; a high degree of personal refinement; superior cultivation, physical, intellectual, and moral; a superior acquaintance with the art of living generously and well, with all the accommodations thereto, “ the means and appliances to boot;” in short, a condition of dignified enjoyment— of substantial happiness to the human being— such as we know to be within the capabilities of his nature. I suppose that, from the creation, mankind have been tending, on the whole, towards excellence— towards the exaltation of the human charac ter, and the bettering of their earthly condition and prospects. A candid appeal to history, I think, would demonstrate this fact. I suppose that the world has been man’s school of improvement, furnished and fitted with every requisite and means of culture, carefully adapted to his nature, and affording precept upon precept, and lesson upon lesson, of instruction, and varied according to his age and according to his progress. I suppose that men always have been improvable, that they are so now, and probably always will be. And I suppose that they have been actually improved — that they have from the earliest ages made an actual, though not an invariable, advance; and that that advance is not likely to be arrested, but accelerated rather, so long as the means o f improvement on the one hand, and the capability of improvement on the other, are found to remain undiminished or unexhausted. On this topic, I rely upon facts, and I dis card all speculations. I believe what I see, and I make all the past a credible and an accredited witness for the truth. I have no opinions, and I indulge in no conjectures, about the perfectibility of human nature, or o f human happiness. Progression, improvability, is all that I insist upon; and this, I think, rests on the strongest proofs and the clearest demonstra tions. It is demonstrable, I think, as the existence of God is demonstra ble, from the evidences o f design and adaptation. It is shown as a result, in the actual history of the race. And to the deep and contem plative student and observer o f events, it is plainly discernible in the rise and fall of nations, and the wonderful way in which each has been made to serve the cause of human instruction and improvement, in its turn, and then to give place to its legitimate and appointed successor— appointed to carry forward a work to which the other was no longer competent; or perhaps to introduce a new system, or subject, of instruc tion and improvement, of which the other was ignorant, and must for ever have remained so ; and which, so far as we know, could have been introduced in no other manner. O f course, I reject the fanciful and atheistical notion, that nations start into accidental existence, mature, grow old, and then fall into decay, all equally without cause and without consequence. And I have as little faith in the idea entertained by some, that there must needs be, after a general intellectual progress and advance, a general decline, either periodical or otherwise. Such notions are con tradicted by abundant fact and abundant experience. I reject them all. I look back, and I think I discover, bridging the long tract of time, since the morning of man’s existence, a regular graded plain, of gentle and con stant, though not uniform ascent, along and upon which his pathway has been made, and by which, almost without perceiving it, he has reached already— at least, the van of the host has reached — a creditable and com Commerce, as connected with Civilization. 13 manding elevation. And I look forward, through long and misty years to come, and think I discover the same broad plain, stretching away into the mighty future, rising gradually as it runs on, until it is lost in obscu rity, marking the way of man’s onward and upward tread in the sublime and appointed track, whither time and destiny seem to call him. But I have one word more to say on this subject. There is nothing so true and indisputable, that some may not be found to doubt and cavil about it; just as there is nothing so absurd and impossible, that some may not be found to believe it. Happily for the object I have at present in view, it is quite unnecessary that the faith of others, in regard to the progress of civilization, past or to come, should square exactly with my own— should be neither greater nor less than that which I entertain. There is a common ground, on which we may all meet. Nobody doubts — every one admits and understands, that there is a broad distinction be tween the savage, or barbarous state, and the civilized— as between the Romans, in the fifth century, and the Northern hordes that swept over and trampled them down ; and between our own Indian tribes, and the swelling tide of white population, before which they are fast melting away. As little is it doubted by any, that civilization admits of com parison and degrees— that one people may be more or less civilized than another— just as civilization in the East, though once in advance of the rest of the world, is at this day behind the civilization of Europe and America. And there are none, I think, among us, at the present day, who pretend to doubt that a state of civilization is the preferable state for any people, and by the same rule, that the higher the degree o f civilization, the better and the happier. So far, then, we are all agreed, that civilization is a desirable thing, and that it cannot be carried to too high a pitch, any more than it is possible for this people to be too wise, too virtuous, too prosperous, and too happy. It may be admitted, moreover, that we are already highly civilized— and if this was the fourth day of July, instead o f the fourth day of December, we might, without spoiling our present argument, one and all, admit and insist, that the sun never shone on so glorious a country and people be fore, and never would again. So much, I say, we might admit and insist upon, without spoiling our present argument; for still it would be true that, as wise men, it would do us no harm to look a little to the sources of our prosperity and glory;— that if we could do nothing to enhance the advantages of our position, we might, at least, take care that we should not begin to decline prematurely, and, by what we should do, or omit to do, precipitate our own inglorious fall. Every one must be aware, that there exists at this day, as in times past, and in this country, as elsewhere, more or less distrust of commerce — more or less prejudice against commercial operations and commercial men. Ancient Egypt began to be civilized with beginning to be commercial. Her merchants were the first who found their way to the great Indian con tinent, which they did by the way of the Red Sea; and with bringing in the commodities of the East, they brought in also, and diffused, a taste for the arts, and especially for that style of heavy and massive architecture, which finally constituted about all there was of civilization in Egypt, and which, I think, there can be no doubt, was borrowed from the models of Indian architecture then existing, and of which some remarkable specimens still remain. But it did not suit the policy of the political priests of Egypt, to tolerate trade. They desired to encourage agriculture exclusively, and 14 , Commerce as connected with Civilization. they made their restrictive measures effectual, by fortifying their harbors, forbidding strangers to enter, and teaching their own people that the sea, to which their river flowed, was a monster, which only waited an oppor tunity to swallow up bodily their God, the Nile, and leave them a deserted, ruined, and starving people. Now, some o f the prejudices excited against commerce in modern times, have been worthy of this elder example. Napoleon knew well enough where the strength of Samson la y ; but when he wished to render England odious to a nation of soldiers, and make his own continental system acceptable, or at least endurable, he stigmatized the English as a nation of shop-keepers. The expression had its effect; but the catastrophe which Napoleon had the sagacity to dread, and which he endeavored to avoid, was not thereby averted. The shops of England, in that most memorable controversy, eventually proved too powerful for the military genius and resources o f the greatest captain of any age. For to the eye o f the philosophic observer, it must be ap parent, that it was commerce that triumphed on the field o f W aterloo.* That battle would probably never have been fought, much less won, as it was, had it not been for the outpoured and exhaustless resources o f England— resources which clearly had their foundation and their growth in commerce. I shall not deem it necessary, nor would it be discreet, to allude with any particularity whatever to the prejudices with which rival interests sometimes, and mistaken views and opinions always, have, to a greater or less extent, imbued and warped some minds amongst ourselves, in regard to commerce— in regard to its interest, its objects, its real character, and its mighty, but little understood operations and influence. It is no part o f my business or purpose to vindicate the mer cantile interest from any petty aspersions, of which it may, at any time, have been the subject. M y plan, I trust, is a broader and more compre hensive one. I desire to do what little can be done by me, and in so brief an opportunity as this must be, towards placing commerce on its true foundation — towards giving it that position o f importance and high consideration which really belongs to it— especially in the estimation o f mercantile men themselves, the younger and more inexperience!! mem bers of the class particularly. I desire that the first claims of commerce, and of the class o f merchants, shall be understood and felt, at least by themselves, if not by others; for out of this proper appreciation, it is reasonable to hope, that some valuable results, as well to the country and the world, as to themselves, may chance to flow. In short, I desire to show that commerce always has been, that it now is, and always must be, especially and most closely connected with the progress of human improvement— that this is a capital element among the means and in struments of a thorough and complete civilization — and that it is quite within the power, as it is both the interest and the duty, of those having the charge of commerce, either conducting its affairs, or exercising any control over it, to wield the vast influence which naturally belongs to it, in a way to make it productive o f a much greater amount of benefit to themselves, to the country, and to mankind, than could be expected from ordinary, neglected, and accidental results only. And in the first place, a brief recurrence to the well-known records o f the rise and progress o f commerce, will show how exactly it has kept pace * To say nothing of the nature and principal cause of the continued struggle be tween England and. France, — a war for mastery between the Colonial and the Con tinental systems. Commerce, as connected with Civilization. 15 •with the rise and progress of civilization — or rather, it will show, I think, that civilization has followed almost uniformly in its train. I have already alluded to the early incipient trade of Egypt, as having lasted just long enough, before its suppression, to introduce, along with the productions of the East, such an acquaintance with learning and the arts, then existing in the East and nowhere else, and so much taste for them, as enabled the Egyptians to maintain, through several centuries— in the midst, however, of an essential barbarism in manners and morals— a de gree of intellectual cultivation, of which no other example was found, at the time, among the western nations. The Egyptians cultivated the natural sciences and architecture, and by colonizing Attica, lent to Greece the torch-light of the knowledge possessed and cultivated by them. The first example of an extended and flourishing commerce was set by the Phmnicians and Tyrians ; and, for a long period, the whole Western World was barbarian, compared with them. They traded with Asia, Africa, and Europe, and with the Islands of the Atlantic. They made territorial discoveries, and obtained a knowledge of geography, of which the Greeks themselves were wholly ignorant at a much later period. They may be said to have invented, rather than improved, ship-building; and they carried the art to some degree of perfection. They discovered the manufacture of glass, and that of woollen cloth; they prepared the inimitable purple dye; and they executed mechanical works in great variety. They built cities, which were enriched by trade, and refined by the arts. They cultivated astronomy; and the invention of letters, and of arithmetic, and their in troduction into Greece, is commonly attributed to them. T hey were not warlike, because their occupations were peaceful; and they extended a peaceful dominion, by colonization and alliances, over a considerable part o f the then known world ; much of it, indeed, known only to themselves, or through themselves. Wherever they went, they carried with them knowledge and the arts. The first notions of civil society in Greece came from them. Asia Minor, several of the principal islands in the Mediterranean, Carthage, and Cadiz, received their first population, and their first impulse towards improvement and knowledge, from this com merce-loving people. The spirit of commerce, and with it, that intellectual activity and enter prise which distinguised the Tyrians, were transmitted to the Cartha ginians. As the Phmnicians had engrossed the trade with India, the Carthaginians struck out boldly into the Atlantic. Passing the gates o f Gades, they pushed their adventures along the coast of Spain, and of Gaul, and finally penetrated to Britain. Nor were the voyages o f this people merely those of trade or private adventure. Voyages for dis covery only were made, and fleets were fitted out for the purpose by the Republic, and at the public charge. That Carthage was a leading state among the ancients in cultivation and civilization, we all know. O f her wealth, her prowess, and her power, let her early conquests, her success ful commercial wars, and her commercial treaties, speak. She was finally crushed beneath the ponderous weight of her great rival; but her over throw was only accomplished after she had been gradually stripped of the best part of her possessions and her property, and reduced to poverty and abjectness, by the interruption and destruction of her trade. A fact which tends to show that both the Phoenicians and Carthaginians had made a creditable advance in civilization, is this: that they were ena bled to establish and maintain their governments under republican forms. And the Carthaginian constitution was very remarkable, for a period so 16 , Commerce as connected with Civilization. early, in one important particular— I mean the complete separation of the civil and military power. It was the union of these that led to the downfall of freedom in Rome. Several of the states o f Greece pursued commerce with considerable success; and her maritime and naval power was respectable, and even formidable. But the Greeks were in no degree distinguished as a com mercial people. Their trade was confined almost entirely to the Medi terranean, and they knew little of the science o f navigation. The truth is, that the Greeks seem to have had committed to them a peculiar trust in regard to civilization. It was time that the human mind should begin to be turned in upon itself, and opportunity afforded it to try the strength and the elegance o f its own powers. It seems to have been put to the Greeks, to show what the human being is capable of, when allowed, under favorable circumstances, to devote himself to the culth%tion o f the intellect and the taste. Hence, they contented themselves with being shut up in almost total ignorance of the earth beyond their own narrow precincts. They despised every other people, and every other language. And they set themselves assiduously, and of course, successfully, to the cultivation of letters, of philosophy, and the fine arts. Their mission was an important, though a limited one, and it was most faithfully executed; but it has been rathgr in opposition to them than through them, against their exclusiveness and through other and very different agencies, that the world has been put in possession of the results and benefits of their labors. If the world had waited for the Greeks them selves to diffuse the light they kindled, it is hard to say when its general illumination, through their means, would have commenced. The Greeks were finally led forth to foreign conquests by Alexander; and it was under him, the great Macedonian hero, and by the force of his wonderful genius, that commerce began a new and splendid reign. It is remarkable that Alexander, whose march through hostile countries was scarcely impeded by his successive victories, was obliged, in bis rapid career, to sit down for seven months before the peaceful city of T y re ; and, finally, made a conquest o f her only after the most incredible exertions. It was, probably, this very resistance on the part o f the Tyrians, with the vast resources which they were enabled to command for their defence, which first led the conqueror to comprehend something o f the superior advan tages of commerce ; and, finally, prepared the way for the foundation of that great commercial emporium, in lower Egypt, which bore his name. The city of Alexandria was founded and located expressly with a view to its commercial advantages. It commanded the trade both of the East and of the West, and it never lost its ascendency, at least not beyond recovery, let what revolutions would come, as the centre and mart of universal trade, until near the close of the fifteenth century, when the Portuguese discovered, perhaps re-discovered, a new route to India, by way of the Cape o f Good Hope. But the city of Alexandria, be it remembered, became as much the cen tre of the arts and the learning o f the world, as it was the seat of com merce and dominion. This was the theatre of the learned labors of the Hellenists; the seat of the celebrated academy and museum, where the greatest scholars of the age lived, studied, and instructed ; and here was collected that celebrated library, designed to preserve and perpetuate the whole body of ancient learning, and embracing the entire circle of Grecian and Roman literature. Elegantice regum cur tuque egregium opus. The next great event in the order of time, to be regarded as affecting the Commerce, as connected with Civilization. 17 condition and advancement o f the race, was the accession o f Rome to uni versal dominion. In all the western world, there was one central empire; every thing else was provincial only. Carthage was a province; Greece was a province; Egypt was a province; all subject to the sway of impe rial Rome. Now, the proud and soldierly citizens of Rome despised com merce. Commerce, navigation, mechanical arts, and, indeed, for a consid erable time, and to a considerable extent, letters themselves, were regard ed by the haughty Roman as fit only to occupy the slave, the freedman, or the provincial. His business was to follow the trade of glorious w ar; the conquest of arms, and to delight himself with bloody pastimes. At a later period, stimulated by the learning and the example of the conquered Greek, the Roman cultivated letters successfully, and he carried one de partment of human learning, the department of law, to a noble and unex ampled perfection. And his haughty disdain of commerce, as a personal employment, did not make him utterly blind to its merits and advantages as a business in the state. Commerce was suffered to remain in original hands; and it was so much the more active and successful, as it was now every where under the control and direction of one central power, and was freed from the injurious restrictions and obstructions to which it had been before subject, from the mutual jealousies and hostilities o f rival states. The city of Rome, as the seat of supreme power, and the capital of uni versal empire, was the grand point and reservoir to which the wealth of the provinces, and the chief profits and productions of all their trade and business, were made to flow. For this purpose, were these countries con quered ; for this purpose, they were made provinces. Commerce increased the importance and the wealth of such o f them as had been, or were, mari time states, and made them, of course, the more desirable and valuable, because richer subjects, to their imperial and plundering masters. Com merce, therefore, was fostered and encouraged by the Romans. They were made richer by it; they were enabled to indulge in a growing taste for the rare luxuries of the East; and they found in it a powerful ally and coadjutor in their great business o f war and conquest. Now, the agency which commerce, during all this period, had in fur thering human improvement, is evident enough. It was the means of establishing and preserving an intercourse between Rome and her pro vinces, and between the various countries themselves subject to Rome, on a footing very different from that which otherwise must have existed. It was an intercourse, in some degree, o f reciprocal advantage; it softened hostile feeling; it caused men to begin to regard each other as friends and brothers, who might be better employed than in robbing and murder ing one another ; it enlarged, at once, the desires and the capacities of men ; it improved their tastes, their manners, and their habits ; and, by opening channels of more easy and general communication, it made an extension and diffusion of knowledge and the arts, and of the light of learning, possible, which was quite impossible without it. But now the time was at hand, when Rome must fall. Her mission had been fulfilled; her work was done, and she must give place to new races of men, who, though at first o f most unpromising appearance, should, in time, take up improvement where she should leave it, and carry it on to a perfection which she was, and must forever have been, incapable of giving it. The first effect of the great Northern inundation, which swept over the Western Empire, was to quench, at once, the light of science, of arts, of letters, and of civilization in Europe. Europe returned to primivol. i.— no. i. 3 ■ ■ 18 Commerce, as connected with Civilization. tive barbarism. Her territory cut tjp and parcelled out into small states, always independent and generally hostile; there was a sudden and utter end of the union and intercourse which had existed under the Roman power. Learning was despised, as leading to effeminacy; and universal ignorance, rudeness, and barbarism prevailed. “ The names o f stranger and of enemy,” says Robertson, “ became once more words of the same import. Customs every where prevailed, and even laws were established, which rendered it disagreeable and dangerous to visit any foreign coun try. Cities, in which alone an extensive commerce can be carried on, were few, inconsiderable, and destitute o f those immunities which pro duce security or excite enterprise. The sciences, on which geography and navigation are founded, were not cultivated. The accounts of an cient improvements and discoveries, contained in the Greek and Roman authors, were neglected or misunderstood. The knowledge of remote regions was lo st; their situation, their commodities, and almost their names, were unknown.” But, after some ages of settled gloom and darkness, symptoms of re vival began to appear; and it is worth remarking, that these symptoms first showed themselves among those tribes of barbarians who had pos sessed themselves of Italy, and were favorably situated to commence ope rations in trade. Commerce had not been at any time wholly neglected in the Greek empire. Constantinople had all the while preserved a taste for the productions of the East, and kept up the intercourse necessary to bring them in, even when compelled to resort to the tedious and difficult route, inland, by way of the Indus, the Oxus, and the Caspian and Euxine seas. These productions were also brought by way of the Persian gulf, and the Euphrates and the Tigris, to several cities on the Syrian coast of the Mediterranean. And the Arabians, in possession of Alexandria, revived and carried on the old trade between that city and India, by the route of the Arabian gulf and the Indian ocean. With all these marts o f trade successively, the Italians established and maintained a commer cial intercourse. They began this intercourse so early as the age o f Charlemagne, and by the time the Crusades commenced, several of their cities had risen to considerable opulence, and already, through the chan nels of their trade, they had communicated to Spain, to France, to the Low Countries, and to England, some valuable ideas of manufactures and arts. The holy war, as it was called, gave a new impulse to the trade and business of the Italian cities; and Venice, particularly, became a powerful state, with great personal wealth, and extensive and valuable territorial possessions. The profits of trade stimulated the Italians to at tempt the production and manufacture of various commodities, for which they found a growing demand in every quarter of Europe. Companies of Lombard merchants were settled in the various kingdoms, under the immediate protection of the governments, and a special suspension made in their behalf of the absurd customs and enactments against strangers, for the purpose of receiving, vending, and distributing the productions o f Italian trade or Italian skill. And it was through these means chiefly that the European nations were first led to value or desire the useful and elegant arts and luxuries of life. Following the efforts and successes o f the Italians, the spirit of trade and enterprise was aroused in the north. The famous Hanseatic League was formed, and became a powerful and formidable association. The eities of the League concerned themselves as well with politics as with trade, and they conducted with equal skill and success the transactions Commerce, as connected with Civilization. 19 of commerce and the operations of war. Between them and the Lom bards, an active correspondence and exchange took place; supplies be came more regular and abundant, and had a more extended and general distribution. In the mean time, a new spirit of industry was excited; manufactures flourished, especially in the Netherlands. Flanders, through her trade in woollens, became populous and opulent. And finally, England, by the wise conduct and policy of Edward III., follow ing the example of Flanders, and aided by Flemish artisans, adopted the manufacture of woollens, and thus, by this simple beginning, set out in a commercial career, which she has since run with unexampled credit, advantage, and success. The effects of the revival and prosecution of trade in Europe, were too plain to be mistaken. It aroused, and liberalized the minds of men. It subdued their mutual animosities. It softened their manners. Laws and governments were greatly modified by it. It fostered the genuine spirit of liberty and personal independence. It stimulated to activity, industry, and enterprise. It produced wealth; and this led, first to indulgence, and the adorning of life, then to ease, leisure, and finally, to study and intel lectual cultivation. The first attempts to revive literature were made in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They were begun in Italy, where trade was begun ; and instruction was first derived from the Greeks at Constantinople, and the Arabians at Alexandria, as commodities had been. And when literature really revived, at a later period, it was still in Italy that her light was kindled; and it is believed, that wherever the illu mination spread in Europe, commerce had preceded it. I need not dwell on subsequent events, marking the grand outline of the modern history of commerce. They are familiar to all. A safe and intelligible path was found on the broad ocean, by the discovery of the mariner’s compass. The Cape of Good Hope was discovered, and passed. A new world was found. “ The 17th century was the period in which the principles were adopt ed, and most of the establishments formed, which have contributed to ad vance the commerce of Europe to its present astonishing height. The interests of nations became better understood than in any former age ; the utility of commerce had become evident to every one, from the wealth and power it had conferred on the states which had encouraged it ; and commercial treaties became frequent between the different nations. Navi gation was improved, new settlements were formed, and many of those before made were rising into importance; manufactures were advancing in many parts of Europe ; shipping was increasing; and the intercourse between distant places, from the accumulation of knowledge and experi ence, becoming more expeditious and secure.” * Since the period just named, commerce has steadily gone on, improv ing, and enlarging, both in Europe and America; while, within the few short years of the present century, it has acquired an actual increase, and a prospective activity and advantage, which give to it a value and an impor tance which have never been felt as belonging to it before. Now in all the progress it has made, in modern as well as in former times, it is impos sible not to see, that the enlightenment and civilization of mankind have made a general and equal advance along with it. It is impossible not to discover that its influence, on the whole, has been as salutary, as it has been powerful and commanding. It is identified every where with im- # Rees’ Cyclopedia. 20 Commerce, as connected with Civilization. provement — improvement in mind and manners — improvement in arts and letters— improvement in knowledge,in morals,in legislation,in laws, in liberty, — and in all this improvement, it has led much more than it has followed ; it has been the pioneer, much more than the fellow and companion of human advancement and civilization. But no adequate justice can be done to the claims and merits o f com merce— to the great influence it has exerted, and is destined to exert, on human affairs,— without a recurrence to some particulars. It is impor tant to understand how commerce operates, and by what instruments and agencies — what results it produces, or is capable o f producing, and by what means it produces them — in order to comprehend, in any fit degree, the Eminent service it has rendered, and may be expected to render, to mankind. The limits of this occasion will not allow me to do more than to glance, in a cursory and hurried manner, at some of these particulars. The direct object o f commerce is the exchange of commodities. O f course, there must be commodities to be exchanged; and the more of them there may be, the more considerable will be the business and the profits o f exchange. Commerce, then, is concerned to favor production, to favor industry, to favor ingenuity and invention. She stands between the class o f the producers and the class of consumers; and her interest is to en courage both production and consumption. T o encourage consumption, she labors to create a taste for commodities ; she persuades her customers, that their comfort will be promoted, and their happiness increased, by the possession of these commodities. In the early periods o f commercial ope rations, whether the object be to sell, or to purchase, intercourse takes place always between those who are in diverse or different states, in re gard to improvement, usually by the visits o f the more civilized to the less civilized. The object is to induce the savage to exchange the skins in which he wraps himself, for the coarse but more comfortable cloths of the merchant — to induce the barbarian to give up his bow and arrow for the rifle, and the rifle in turn for the plough and the sickle. As improve ment goes on, the articles of the trade improve in texture, in value, and in variety; until, finally, nothing is satisfactory short of productions formed o f the most costly and precious materials, and wrought with the most ex quisite skill and workmanship. Wants have been increased with the in crease of supplies, while the ability and means to satisfy them all, if cir cumstances have not been unfavorable, are certain to have increased faster and faster still. Whatever can save or facilitate labor; whatever can gratify the taste or the intellect; whatever can promote comfort, safety, ease, enjoyment, is sought after and had for the asking and paying for. And these very wants, and this very consumption, are indicative of re fined and polished life. But while commerce has been creating all this taste, and all this desire, for the arts, the conveniences, and luxuries of civilized life, she has of necessity put in operation, or encouraged, other agencies o f human im provement, in order to enable her to meet the demands she has thus created. The mechanic, the artisan, the agriculturist, and the manufacturer, have been stimulated to new industry and new effort. Production has increased. Division of labor has taken place. Invention and ingenuity have been at work. The ocean and the earth have been explored for materials. A g riculture has been roused to activity, to give subsistence to labor in other departments. And thus, on the side of production, immense good has been effected. Those who produce are enabled to consume; and the more, the more they produce. As production swells, profits increase; the Commerce, as connected with Civilization. 21 elements are set to work, instead of m uscles; machinery comes in sub stitution of labor; wealth abounds ; leisure is gained ; and enjoyment, refinement, and cultivation, follow. This is the process, and this the progress, o f communities under the lead of commerce. Production and commerce, as grand departments of industry, are indeed interests of mutual and reciprocal advantage. But there is that in the spirit o f commerce— in her activity, her daring, her enterprise and energy, which puts her, almost always, on the advance. She it is who points the way, and beckons skill and labor on. It was the class of merchants who caused the manufacture of silk to be undertaken in Italy, and that of sugar in Spain; whence it was transferred to our own side of the Atlantic; and those of woollen and flax, in the Nether lands. Manufactures, as well as natural products, are their stock in trade, the grand capital and basis of all their operations. The establishment of particular manufactures, in particular localities, may sometimes be opposed by portions of the mercantile interest, as when attempted under an unjust application of the restrictive policy. Freedom o f trade is the motto of the class. But, as a whole, the world cannot be too busy with manufac tures— with production— to suit the merchant. As long as a market is left, or can be found, on the face o f the globe, to be supplied, he cries to the producer and the manufacturer for more. He is never satisfied till the world cries enough. A service of incalculable importance which commerce renders to the in terest of production and manufactures, and thence to the cause o f human improvement, is in making a territorial division of labor possible, which would otherwise be impossible. B y the operations o f commerce, every separate country, and each particular section o f every country, is enabled to prosecute, with undivided attention and devotion, the peculiar business for which it is exclusively or best fitted by position, soil, surface, or climate, by the physical and mental condition or genius of its population, or by the prevailing state of production, o f trade, or of markets, in other places and other parts of the world. Through commerce, it becomes possible to de vote one region to the culture of tea, and another to coffee and sugar; for one people to grow cotton, another rice, another wool, and another grain ; for one community to engage in the manufacture of cloth, another o f leath er, and another of iron; for marble to be quarried in this mountain, and coal dug out of that, and gold picked out of the earth that washes down from a third. Indeed, without a territorial division of labor, there would be a narrow and impassable limit, to the personal division of labor. And if it were possible now to conceive of the sudden arrest, from any cause, of the operations and business of commerce— the ceasing o f the now ceaseless flow of commodities from one country to another, and between different parts of the same country— we could not fail to see that pro duction must at once be arrested, and almost entirely cease over the world, and that, of necessity, the world must return to a primitive con dition of simplicity, ignorance, rudeness and barbarism. But as commerce deals with commodities, buys and sells and transports, its constant desire and effort has been, as I have already intimated, to widen and extend the sphere of its active operations. This has led to territorial discovery and to colonization. The direct object has often been to find new commodities and new markets for the uses o f trade; but, from the begin ning, as a general thing, commerce has pursued adventure with a liberal, enlightened, and noble spirit— with a desire to enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge, and spread the light and blessings of religion and civi 22 , Commerce as connected with Civilization. lization over the broad earth. In obedience to a principle wisely planted in our common natures, the first promptings to adventure and discovery, as in the classic expedition to Colchis, have no doubt usually been the desire and the prospect of obtaining possession of the golden fleece. The first anticipation of some direct and substantial reward must usually be found necessary to sustain and encourage adventure, where difficulties and perils are to be encountered more dreadful and appalling than those which were involved in the three memorable labors o f Jason. But, as in the very case o f that bold and skilful navigator and hero, other and loftier motives and aspirations are soon found to jningle themselves with the spirit of gain. The adventurer finds himself engaged in an enterprise which, if successful, must result in incalculable benefits to his country and his kind. His ima gination is kindled. There will be glory as well as gain in the achievement. He becomes fired with that noblest atid strongest of all passions, vWien once it takes possession of the human breast— the desire o f doing some great good to his race — of working out some mighty and glorious result in human affairs; and he expects, as he has a right to expect, that, as it happened to the Argonauts, the time will come, when the very ship in which he sails will shine as a constellation among those bright and light-giving objects which men love to gaze and wonder at, and his name be enrolled with those to which the earth pays a willing tribute o f veneration and praise. The history of discovery and of colonization is nearly identical with the history of commerce; and the march of improvement and civilization has been, by an equal step, in company with discovery and colonization. It is curious to observe how uniformly these important movements have had their origin, or their chief conduct and agency, among commercial nations, or with commercial men. W hen Necho, an Egyptian king, at a very early period, sent out an expedition, with the view of ascertaining, if possible, the form and termination of Africa, he was fain to trust its execution to Phoe nician navigators. It was the Tyrians who founded Carthage and Cadiz. And it was Carthage, in her turn, that sent out Hanno, with sixty ships and many thousands of emigrants, of both sexes, to pass the pillars of Her cules, to seek out new and unheard-of territories, and found new colonies. Rome contented herself with making discoveries on land, and by the march o f her conquering armies; and it was at once, perhaps, a cause and a consequence of the want of commercial enterprise among the Romans, that they religiously believed to the last, with Pliny the naturalist, and the learned and philosophic Cicero at their head, that, of the zones of the earth, two only, namely, the temperate zones, were habitable ; that these two were antipodal, and all the communication between them for ever impassable, by the interposition of a tropical region, which was per petually burnt up with heated vapors and unquenchable flames ! Since the period when extended navigation became possible, by the use of the magnetic needle, discovery and colonization have been almost exclusively in commercial hands. Portugal was a maritime state, and led the way. The Spaniards, the Dutch, and the English, all engaged in these enter prises. The connexion of discovery with commerce is traceable, indeed, in every direction. Americus Yespucius was a native o f Florence, where he was thoroughly instructed in natural philosophy, astronomy, and ge ography— three branches of learning which engrossed attention at the time in Florence, expressly on account of their importance to commerce. John Cabot was a Venetian pilot, of great skill in navigation, and Sebas tian Cabot was his son. Columbus, too, had his origin in commercial Italy. He was a native o f Genoa. So it is with discovery, and attempts Commerce, as connected with Civilization. 23 at discovery, in more modern times. The hand of commerce is in it all. The efforts to break through the ice of the poles, early began, long con tinued, and still persevered in ; and the formidable South-Sea expedi tions of our own times— the resolution to penetrate every sea and every clime— to leave no portion o f the earth unexplored, or unvisited, by the foot of civilized and Christian man,— all this is the work and the mis sion of commerce — comes o f commerce— belongs to commerce— and will finally be accomplished by commerce. But there is another department of human action and enterprise, in which the agency of commerce has been, and must continue to be, exerted with the happiest effect— leading, indeed, to results of the highest inter est, and of the last importance to mankind. I allude to the matter of the improved and improving means and facilities of intercommunication, for transit and for transport, whether by water or by land. I set down, with out hesitation, to the account and credit of commerce, about all that has yet been done, and by anticipation all that may be done, in this sort of improvement; because, without pretending that whatever has been done in this way has always been begun and prosecuted by commerce — yet commercial intercourse has always been the direct object in view — and so it must be in future. The interests of trade are apt to be the first to prompt to these improvements; and, whether that be so or not, all other interests, agriculture, manufactures, mechanic arts, and trades, with ten thousand incidental benefits, are favorably affected and promoted by them, according as trade is advanced through their instrumentality. In speaking of these improvements, I mean to include every thing that affects navigation and transport by sea, or on rivers and canals, or car riage by land. The science of navigation itself, with the various sciences and branches of learning more immediately connected with it— the art of building ships, as well as the art of sailing them— the discovery o f the magnetic needle, made by a navigator— the progress which has been made in the knowledge of meteorology; o f climates, currents, winds, and storms — the discovery and establishment o f channels, harbors, and roadsteads, with the various artificial works relating to them— the method of propel ling vessels by steam, destined, no doubt, to effect new and mighty revolu tions yet in maritime and naval operations— the increased protection af forded to ocean navigation and to trade, not more by an adequate show o f naval force, than bythe prevalenceof sentiments and doctrines at once more humane and more just— the establishment and growth o f commercial tri bunals, conducted on the principles of equity, and the advance which has been made in building up a system of international and commercial law, on the foundations of justice. Add to all this, improved river navigation, the construction and use of canals, road-making on new and improved plans, and finally, the adoption of railways, with the employment of steam-power upon them, for draft and for speed. Here is a most lame and imperfect enu meration of particulars, in regard to which, the agency and the interests of commerce have been exerted and wielded, not for the purposes o f gene ral utility and advantage merely, but for the rapid and substantial advance of the race of men in knowledge and wisdom, in civilization and power. Improvements in the means, securities, and facilities of transports, con sidered in two principal divisions, have reference either to ocean naviga tion, or to carriage by way of the land. In regard to ocean navigation, if any one would understand the progress it has made, and the progress of mankind along with it, for want of a better mode of arriving at the truth, and comprehending the whole of it, he might take a single instance 24 Commerce, as connected with Civilization. or example. Let him look at a ship o f Grecian construction, and com pare it with some specimens o f modern naval architecture. Certainly one of the most celebrated maritime expeditions in the world was that under taken hy the Greeks to Colchis— not, I suppose, by any means, wholly fabulous. The ship in which the adventurers sailed was the Argo, de scribed as magnificent in her proportions, as well as exquisitely finished, and altogether o f such worth as finally to attain the distinction of having her name, as if for a perpetual memorial, written on the heavens among the stars. This stately ship was forced to make a tedious circuit on her return home, after the immediate objects of the voyage had been accom plished ; and it is remarkable, that a part o f this circuit was a journey on solid ground, or over the mountains and valleys that lie between the Dan ube and the Adriatic. O f course, the carrying was equitably divided between the parties to the enterprise. The ship bore the navigators by water, and the navigators bore the ship by land. So, too, one of the most famous naval battles recorded in history was the fight between the Greeks and Persians at Salamis, into which the Greeks brought three hundred and eighty ships— all, of course, mighty men-of-war, but not a deck, nor a quarter of a deck, among them all. “ Look on this picture, and then on this.” Think of the moving mountains o f wood and iron which compose one of our ships o f war of the larger class— the Pennsylvania, for ex ample— her lofty decks, rising tier upon tier— her enormous length— the fearful height between her top-mast and hold— the batteries she car ries, and the army o f men that musters within her walls. Or take an instance from our commercial marine — one of our own beautiful liners, for example— or, if you please, the Great Western, as a specimen of her class, and. typifying the latest triumph of human skill and human power, over those most formidable obstacles, which broad oceans, capricious gales, and raging tempests, have always interposed to the intercourse of distant nations and peoples, and thence to' the progress of mankind in general cultivation and improvement. But not to dwell on this point, and considering navigation as now in the act of approaching all the perfection of which the imagination can conceive it to be capable ; let us recur, for a moment, to the consideration of the subject of internal improvements— of improved facilities for inter course and communication through or by way of the land. The agency of commerce, in this department, has been conspicuous from the beginning. W e have an instance or two, in its early history, to illustrate the promptness with which it lays hold of the idea of inter nal improvements, as essential to the success of its own enterprises. To say nothing of the celebrated canals of ancient Egypt, when Alexander the Great had opened the trade of India to the Greeks, and the Europe ans generally, at the city of Alexandria, to be carried on by way of the sea and the Arabian Gulf, his next concern was to open the same great magazine of supplies, by some convenient route, to his Asiatic subjects, situated about and above the sources of the Tigris and the Euphrates. For this purpose, he commissioned his officer Nearchus, in command of a competent fleet, to explore and examine the coastwise course of navi gation, between the mouth of the Indus and the entrance to the Persian Gulf. One serious obstruction he knew existed in another part of the proposed route, namely, at the mouth of the Euphrates, in the cataracts, so called, which the jealous and narrow-minded Persians, in their time, had caused to be constructed, as an effectual barrier against the approach of strangers to their territory, in that direction. Now this obstruction , Commerce as connected with Civilization. 25 Alexander proposed and was prepared to remove, however difficult— the first example, it is believed, on record, of a plan to free the channel o f a river from impediments to its navigation, whether natural or artificial. This was, comparatively, in the infancy o f the world, as well as of com merce. At a later period, after the race in Europe, which, in the lapse o f time, had grown up to the stature of incipient, though uncouth and awkward manhood, had been struck hack again into mere childishness, ignorant, stupid, and ferocious; and when the first glimmerings o f return ing intelligence and civilization began to appear, another instance occur red of a grand conception for a work of internal improvement. This was the conception of Charlemagne, who, by subduing, and uniting together, under his own sway, a large number of hitherto independent, and jealous, and jarring tribes and nations, prepared the way for a renewal o f the intercourse and commerce between various points and places in Europe, which had existed under the dominion of Rome. T o favor the interests of commerce, and the improvement of his people still more, he formed the magnificent project of opening a direct communication between the Ger man ocean and the Black sea, by uniting the waters of the Danube and the Rhine. Unhappily, the low state of scientific attainment and skill at that day would not allow o f the execution o f the work. It cannot be necessary to allude to other cases o f the like kind, with those just referred to, in ancient or early times, to show what was then the tendency and spirit of commerce ; and this lecture has already been drawn out to too great a length to admit of any thing more than a naked reference to the wonderful progress which works of internal improvement have made, and are making, in modern times, in all the civilized quarters of the globe. The improvement o f natural river channels, and the con struction o f artificial ones; with the more recent device of reticulating the broad surface of extended territories and districts of country with rail roads, are leading to consequences o f which the first and faintest effects only are beginning to be felt; but which, in their ultimate and grand fea tures, have as yet been but most imperfectly imagined. Foreign commerce, from the very necessity of things, is greatly dependent upon, and limited by, domestic and internal trade. And as domestic and internal trade must always depend, for its extent and its prosperity, on means and facilities which can only be afforded by liberal and enlightened systems, and works o f internal improvement; so may these systems and works be deemed secured and guarantied to the world, by the very interests of commerce, as well as by the generous and enterprising spirit which is commonly known to actuate it. What has been already done in this matter in the several countries of Europe, and in the United States— the more commercial com munities among them being always on the lead— is the pledge and earnest o f the efforts and the successes which are certainly to follow. The com mand of Heaven to man, that he should subdue the earth, will never have its answer in complete obedience, till he shall have conquered, and all but annihilated, the spaces that intervene between the seas and the centres of territories and continents, and between the various extremities o f the land, and points of departure and approach, for the population and the business that must swarm and swell upon its surface. That this consummation must sooner or later be realized, it would be most unreasonable to doubt, in the face of all the enterprise, activity, energy, and skill, which so emi nently characterize this age of the world. The human intellect is awa kened and aroused— and nowhere more thoroughly than among ourvol. i. — no. i. 4 26 , Commerce as connected with Civilization. selves— its condition, in general, is becoming freer every day, and with freedom, it gains power— a power which is learning to display itself in acquiring a just dominion over material things, and asserting and vindicat ing a proud superiority and mastery over physical obstructions, difficulties, and disabilities, placed, for obvious and wise reasons, in the plain pathway of his advance towards that point of dignity and excellence, which is clear ly attainable, but only so through severe discipline and patient cultivation. No one, I am sure, can be more sensible than I am, how very limited and imperfect is the view I have presented of the advantages and influence of commerce, and its connexion with the past, and the anticipated progress of civilization. The subject, as all must have seen by this time, is quite too vast and gigantic in its proportions to admit of compression, with any show of justice, within the proper boundaries of a single occasion like the present. There are several considefations of deep interest connected with it, to which no allusion even has been made— while the topics which have been touched upon, have only been touched, not handled. The influence o f commerce, not only as it is the source o f liberal profits, and generally of great aggregate wealth, to the class o f merchants themselves— the use of which is always distinguished by singular generosity; but also as it stimulates to industry and enterprise in the other grand departments of business— opening the way and the only way to wealth in them, by open ing markets to them— by affording them a vent for surplus commodities, without which there would be no surplus production, no profits, and no ac cumulation. The influence o f commerce, in enabling men to congregate in large towns and cities, which otherwise could not possibly be subsisted and sustained, leaving to the fields only such portions of the entire popula tion as are essential to their profitable cultivation, instead of crowding those fields with herds which, without commerce, would occupy only to crop them, as the beasts do, for a present and bare subsistence— enabling men, I say, to congregate in cities, which, with all the vices and impurities that necessarily yet belong to them, always have been, and must be, the chief seats of refinement and civilization in every land where wealth aggregates and centres— where literature, polite learning, and the fine arts flourish — where manners are polished— where intellect is alive and active— where sympathy and benevolence have an ample field for untiring exertion, and in which exertion never tires— where virtue is of vigorous growth, be cause it is obliged to flourish in spite of the tainted atmosphere it dwells in, or die — where morals have a strong cast, because they exist in the very presence of seduction and crim e— and where piety, and faith, and honor, and manhood, and nobleness, and generosity, all put on a positive and res olute bearing and quality, because they are called to occupy their spheres and exercise themselves in the face of the boldest infidelity, and before the sworn enemies of all the orderly, decent, and legal institutions and cus toms of civil society. A ga in ; the influence o f commerce in favor of hu man liberty, as its whole history, if examined, would show, in resisting the exactions, and breaking down the artificial and oppressive distinctions of the feudal system — in demonstrating, as it did in Italy, and in the free cities of Germany, and elsewhere, the power and capacity of men to estab lish and maintain independent communities, to form confederacies, and to govern themselves,— in raising up a new class in society— men who could carve out fortunes for themselves without the sword— men who could command without being born to command— men who were competent to business, to public business, because they were brought up to business— men who showed that there was some value in other things, as well as in , Commerce as connected with Civilization. 27 lands — that the lord of manors was no better or wiser than the lord of ships, of money, and of merchandise, and that the world might be benefitted quite as much by industry and noble virtues, as by idleness and noble blood— in short, that the world, after all, was not made for kings and bar ons, but for generations of free-born men to dwell in and to enjoy. And again; the influence o f commerce, in favor of the gentle virtues and arts of peace, and against the trade and the calamities o f horrid war, an influ ence which has been felt, first, in teaching men that they may have a bet ter and more profitable occupation, by turning their thoughts to productive industry, and acquiring the means of surrounding themselves with the com forts, conveniences, and luxuries of quiet life; then, in rendering wars o f territorial conquest or personal ambition, at least in countries highly com mercial, difficult if not impossible; then, in showing that negotiation is better than blood in composing disputes, and that treaties and compacts between nations are quite as rational and effectual a way of defining accu rately their mutual rights and obligations, and bringing them to a good un derstanding with each other, as ramparts and bristling cannon, lines of circumvallation, sorties and attacks, the tramp of armies, the shock of battles, the desolation of homes, habitations, and countries; an influence, in short, on the part of commerce, which, as it increases in power and importance, and in an intelligent understanding of its own great interests, and the high er interests of government and society, is more likely than any thing else I am acquainted with, short of the universal sway of the simple and unaffect ed spirit of Christianity, to put an end to all wars — such only excepted, per haps, as may be waged for the only cause that was ever worth fighting for — the independence of nations, and the freedom of mankind. A ll these topics, and others that might be adverted to, which are a part, and an essen tial part, of the subject in hand— all of which, it would be necessary to in vestigate and develop, in order to show how intimately and essentially com merce is connected with the progress o f civilization— all must be passed by with the slight and very unsatisfactory notice of such as have been nam ed and referred to at all. I can do no more, in conclusion, than to commend them all, with the whole subject, to such attention and thought as they may seem to deserve. I think it must be seen, that commerce, while it has done much, very much, already, to benefit the world, is still in commission as the minister and apostle o f other benefits and higher advantages— that there is not an interest in the whole range of life and society to which its influence does not, or may not, reach, in one way or another, and to which it is not, or may not, in some degree, be of essential service. Education, religion, free dom, morality— the diffusion o f wealth— the diffusion of the useful and or namental arts— the diffusion of knowledge— the dissemination of religious light and truth— the extension and cultivation of taste and refinement— a free, happy, and improving personal intercourse between country and city, between different parts of the same country, and between different countries — these things are all of them more or less within the province o f commerce — at least.none of them are wholly beyond its power and influence. Let its influence be felt, then, not as it must be in spite of itself, but as it may be by exerting it. The carrying-trade of the world is in the hands o f commerce; but let her carry as she has done, and more abundantly, other commodities than those which are bought and sold— in her broad beak, let her carry the olive, to drop it among men, wherever there are victors over moral degrada tion to be crowned, or wherever there is strife or contention to be healed; and under her strong white wings, and in the volumes of vapor which she breathes forth, let her bear ample stores o f ripe seeds, like the down which 28 Accumulation, Property, Capital, and Credit. is borne on the wind, to scatter them broadcast wherever she m oves; seeds which shall spring up in green plants, in bud and blossom, in flower and fruit, to feed the growth of improvement in all forms— the growth of virtue and intelligence, of taste and civilization, in all lands. Nor are other departments of life and industry, as all are to participate in the humanizing advantages of a growing and extended commerce, with out a deep interest in its successes and its prosperity. O f course, commerce, as I have said, cannot flourish without their aid. That aid, however, is to be supplied through increased activity and enterprise in their own proper spheres. It is the beautiful order and arrangement of Providence, that those who labor assiduously in their own callings promote in the end the general advantage much more effectually than could be done by any di rect interference with the proper pursuits of others. The prosperity of a community, and its advance in improvement and happiness, are not com mitted exclusively to single hands, or to particular classes. Every profes sion and every employment has its share assigned it in so great a work. Eloquence has its share; instruction ha's its share; invention has its share; literature has its share; and labor, in its thousand forms, has its full share. The same great end is always in view, or it should be, to make men at once wiser and happier. And, though he may not know it, the workman with the hammer, and the smith that smites the anvil, labor effectively— it may be in an humble degree — for this same cause of human advance ment; and the pale student and the learned doctor can do no more, and do no better, than labor for the same cause. No people can become and con tinue refined and intellectual, unless their physical wants and comforts are fully provided for; and hence, the very ditcher himself is no unimportant actor in this universal drama. And, perhaps, there is no one lesson in life more necessary to be learned than this : that men are every where mutually dependent on each other, and so are trades and occupations; that they deserve each other’s respect, however widely separated their spheres o f action, and need each other’s sympathy, confidence, countenance, and support; that all are embarked in the same broad bottom— borne on the same heaving tide— the same bending sky over them all, and the same port and haven forever before them all; that those who work the ship, and those who command— those who tug at the ropes and set the sails, and those who calculate her latitude and hold the tiller, are all, and equally, indispensable to the success o f the voyage; and that the prosperity and the happiness of the whole company will be promoted and secured, just in pro portion as all, in their own proper spheres, shall perform their own proper duties, with resolution, with promptness, and with scrupulous fidelity. A rt. III. — A C C U M U L A T IO N , P R O P E R T Y , C R E D IT . C A P IT A L , AND A n Address, delivered before the Mercantile Library Association, at the Odcon, in Boston, September 13th, 1838. B y E d w a r d E v e r e t t . T he association, the celebration of whose eighteenth anniversary gave occasion to this address, is, we believe, the oldest of the kind in our coun try, though, as might be expected, from the relative extent of the two cities, inferior in its resources and in the number of its members to that which has been so successfully established here. W e cannot allude to these institutions, without expressing our admiration of the spirit and manly , , Accumulation P roperty Capital, and Credit. 29 feeling to which they are indebted for their origin. Their purpose, and it is an elevated one, is to withdraw the members from the influence of the feeling and habits which are the natural result of the routine of all pro fessional pursuits; to illustrate those pursuits by philosophical observation and inquiry; to take up the conduct of education at that stage o f its pro gress where our ordinary guides leave us at our own disposal. In the mer cantile profession the advantages of such institutions are more obvious than in any other; under their influences, the merchant, if he be not numbered among the princes of the earth, may become what is still loftier and better — the intelligent friend of social advancement, the benefactor of his race. W e are persuaded that we cannot better instruct and gratify our read ers, than by transferring to our pages the greater portion o f this admira ble discourse. No intelligent reader in our country would willingly con fess himself unacquainted with the writings of Mr. Everett, nor require any description of the beautiful power by which he illuminates every sub ject that he touches. It is one of the finest characteristics o f his elo quence, that, fervid and lofty as it is, we never see it employed to throw a seductive coloring over extravagant positions or wild theories; the reader is not compelled to condemn what he admires; and if he won ders, it is only at the wide and various learning with which every topic is treated, and. the originality which all assume beneath a master’s hand. In this address Mr. Everett has done that for the science of political economy, which its professors have too generally failed to do; he has shown the direct, immediate, indispensable application of its principles to the ordinary business of life. It will be well for those who have been l.ed to regard this science as unsettled in its principles, and unsatisfactory in its results, to study the illustration which is here given of the impor tance of those principles, in relation equally to the individual, and to the society o f which he is a member. Many of them may be surprised to find that what they have been in the habit o f regarding as fraught with danger, or deserving only of reproach, is but the seeming evil from which good may be educed. In the beginning of the address, the author declares its object to be the discussion of a few of the elementary topics connected with comm erce; in reference to which, there are some prevailing errors, and on which it is important to form correct judgments. These topics are, accumulation, property, capital, and credit; and they are successively treated in a man ner which would be spoiled by an attempt at abbreviation. Certain we are, that no reader will complain of the copiousness of our extracts. X. Some attempts have been made o f late years to institute a comparison between what have been called the producing and the accumulating classes, to the disadvan tage o f the latter. This view I regard as entirely erroneous. Accumulation is as ne cessary to farther production, as production is to accumulation; and especially is ac cumulation the basis o f commerce. If every man produced, from day to day, just so much as was needed for the day’s consumption, there would o f course be nothing to exchange ; in other words, there would be no commerce. Such a state o f things im plies the absence o f all civilization. Some degree of accumulation was the dictate of the earliest necessity; the instinctive struggle o f man to protect himself from the ele ments and from want. He soon found— such is the exuberance o f nature, such the activity of her productive powers, and such the rapid development o f human skill— that a vast deal more might be accumulated than was needed for bare subsistence. This, however, alone, did not create commerce. If all men accumulated equally and accumulated the same things, there would still be no exchanges. But it soon ap peared, it the progress o f social man, that no two individuals had precisely the same tastes, powers, and skill. One excelled in one pursuit, one in another. One was more expert as a huntsman, another as a fisherman ; and all found that, by making a busi •30 Accumulation, Property, Capital, a?id Credit. ness o f some one occupation, they attained a higher degree o f excellence than was practicable, while each one endeavored to do every thing for himself. With this dis covery, commerce began. The Indian, who has made two bows, or dressed two bear skins, exchanges one of them for a bundle of dried fish or a pair of snow-shoes. These exchanges between individuals extend to communities. The tribes on the sea-shore exchange the products o f their fishing for the game or the horses o f the plains and hills. Each barters what it has in excess, for that which it cannot so well produce itself, and which its neighbors possess in abundance. As individuals differ in their capacities, countries differ in soil and climate ; and this difference leads to infinite variety o f fabrics and productions, artificial and natural. Commerce perceives this diversity, and organizes a boundless system of exchanges, the object of which is to sup ply the greatest possible amount o f want and desire, and to effect the widest possible diffusion of useful and convenient products. The extent to which this exchange o f products is carried in highly-civilized countries, is truly wonderful. There are pro bably few individuals in this assembly who took their morning’s meal this day, with out the use o f articles brought from almost every part o f the world. The table on which it was served was made from a tree which grew on the Spanish Main or one o f the West-India islands, and it was covered with a table-cloth from St. Petersburg or Arch angel. The tea was from China; the coffee from Java; the sugar from Cuba or Lou isiana ; the silver spoons from Mexico or Peru ; the cups and saucers from England or France. Each o f these articles was purchased by an exchange of other products — the growth of our own or foreign countries — collected and distributed by a succes sion o f voyages, often to the farthest corners of the globe. Without cultivating a rood o f ground, we taste the richest fruits o f every soil. Without stirring from our fireside, we collect on our tables the growth o f every region. In the midst of winter, we are served with fruits that ripened in a tropical sun ; and struggling monsters are drag ged from the depths of the Pacific ocean to lighten our dwellings. As all commerce rests upon accumulation, so the accumulation o f every individual is made by the exchanges o f commerce to benefit every other. Until he exchanges it, it is o f no actual value to him. The tiller of a hundred fields can eat no more, the proprietor o f a cloth factory can wear no more, and the owner of a coal mine can sit by no hotter a fire, than his neighbors. He must exchange his grain, his cloth, and his coal, for some articles o f their production, or for money, which is the repre sentative o f all other articles, before his accumulation is o f service to him. The sys tem is one o f mutual accommodation. No man can promote his own interest without promoting that o f others. As in the system o f the universe every particle o f matter is attracted by every other particle, and it is not possible that a mote in a sunbeam should be displaced without producing an effect on the orbit o f Saturn, so the minutest excess or defect in the supply o f any one article o f human want, produces an effect — though o f course an insensible one — on the exchanges o f all other articles. In this way, that Providence which educes the harmonious system o f the heavens out o f the adjusted motions and balanced masses of its shining orbs, with equal benevolence and care furnishes to the countless millions of the human family, through an interminable succession of exchanges, the supply o f their diversified and innumerable wants. II. In order to carry on this system of exchanges, it is necessary that the articles accumulated should be safe in the hands of their owners. The laws o f society for the protection o f property were founded upon the early and instinctive observation of this truth. It was perceived, in the dawn of civilization, that the only way in which man could elevate himself from barbarism, and maintain his elevation, Was by being secured in the possession of that which he had saved from daily consumption, this being his resource for a time of sickness, for old age, and for the wants of those de pendent upon him, as well as the fund out o f which, by a system of mutually benefi cial exchanges, each could contribute to the supply o f the wants of his l'ellow-men. To strike at the principle which protects his earnings or his acquisitions, — to destroy the assurance that the field which he has enclosed and planted in his youth will re main for the support o f his advanced years — that the portion o f its fruits which he does not need for immediate consumption will remain a safe deposit, under the pro tection of the public peace — is to destroy the life-spring o f civilization. ' The philoso phy that denounces accumulation, is the philosophy of barbarism. It places man below the condition o f most of the native tribes on this continent. No man will vol untarily sow that another may reap. You may place a man in a paradise of plenty on this condition, but its abundance will ripen and decay unheeded. At this moment, the fairest regions of the earth — Sicily, Turkey, Africa, the loveliest and most fertile portions o f the East, the regions that, in ancient times, after feeding their own nume rous and mighty cities, nourished Home and her armies— are occupied by oppressed and needy races, whom all the smiles o f heaven and the bounties o f the earth cannot Accumulation, Property, Capital, and Credit. 31 tempt to strike a spade into the soil, farther than is requisite for a scanty supply of necessary food. On the contrary, establish the principle that property is safe, that a man is secure in the possession o f his accumulated earnings, and he creates a para dise on a barren heath ; alpine solitudes echo to the lowing of his herds; he builds up his dykes against the ocean, and cultivates a field beneath the level o f its waves, and exposes his life fearlessly in sickly jungles and among ferocious savages. Establish the principle that his property is his own, and he seems almost willing to sport with its safety. He will trust it all in a single vessel, and stand calmly by while she un moors for a voyage o f circumnavigation around the globe. He knows that the sove reignty of his country accompanies it with a sort o f earthly omnipresence, and guards it as vigilantly, in the loneliest island o f the Antarctic sea, as though it were locked in his colfers at home. He is not afraid to send it ou f upon the common pathway o f the ocean, for he knows that the sheltering wings o f the law o f nations will over shadow it there. He sleeps quietly, though all that he has is borne upon six inches o f plank on the bosom o f the unfathomed waters; for even if the tempest should bury it in the deep, he has assured himself against ruin, by the agency o f those institutions which modern civilization has devised for the purpose o f averaging the losses o f indi viduals upon the mass. III. It is usual to give the name o f capital to those accumulations of property which are employed in carrying on the commercial, as w'ell as the other business operations o f the community. The remarks already made will enable us to judge, in some degree, o f the reasonableness of those prejudices, which are occasionally awakened at the sound o f this word. Capital is property which a man has acquired by his industry, or has, under the law o f the land, become possessed of in some other w a y ; and which is invested by him in that form, and employed in that manner, which best suit his edu cation, ability, and taste. No particular amount o f property constitutes capital. In a highly prosperous community, the capital o f one man, like the late Baron Rothschild, at London, or o f Stephen Girard, at Philadelphia, may amount to eight or ten millions ; the capital o f his neighbor may not exceed as many dollars. In fact, one o f these two extraordinary men, and the father o f the other, passed from one extreme to the other in this scale o f prosperity ; and the same law which protected their little pittance at the outset, protected the millions amassed by their perseverance, industry, and talent. Considering capital as the mainspring o f the business operations of civilized society — as that which, diffused in proportionate masses, is the material on which enterprise works, and with which industiy performs its wonders, equally necessary and in the same way necessary for the construction o f a row-boat and an Indiaman, a pair of shoes and a rail-road— I have been at some loss to account for the odium which at times has been attempted to be cast on capitalists, as a class ; and particularly for the contrast in which capital has been placed with labor, to the advantageous employ ment o f which it is absolutely essential. I have supposed that some part o f this prejudice may arise from the traditions of other times, and the institutions o f other countries. The roots o f opinion run deep into the past. The great mass o f property in Europe, at the present day, even in Eng land, is landed property. This property was much of it wrested from its original own ers by the ancestors o f its present possessors, who overran the countries with military violence, and despoiled the inhabitants of their possessions ; or, still worse, compelled them to labor as slaves, on the land they had once owned and tilled as free men. It is impossible that an hereditary bitterness should not have sprung out o f this rela tion, never to be mitigated, particularly where the political institutions of society re main upon a feudal basis. We know from history, that after the Norman invasion, the Saxon peasantry, reduced to slavery, were compelled to wear iron collars about their necks, like dogs, with the names of their masters inscribed upon them. At what subsequent period, from that time to this, has any thing occurred to alleviate the feel ings growing out o f these events ? Such an origin of the great mass o f the property, must place its proprietors in some such relation to the rest o f the community, as that which exists between the Turks and Rayas, in the Ottoman empire, and may have contributed to produce an hereditary hostility on the part o f the poor, toward the rich, among the thousands who know not, historically, the origin of the feeling. It is obvious, that the origin of our political communities, and the organization o f society among us, furnish no basis for a prejudice o f this kind against capital. Wealth, in this country, may be traced back to industry and frugality; the paths which lead to it are open to a ll; the laws which protect it are equal to a ll; and such is the joint operation o f the law' and the customs o f society, that the wheel o f fortune is in con stant revolution, and the poor in one generation furnish the rich of the next. The rich man, who treats poverty with arrogance and contempt, tramples upon the ashes o f his father or his grandfather; the poor man, who nourishes feelings of unkindness 32 Accumulation, Property, Capital, and Credit. and bitterness against wealth, makes war with the prospects o f his children, and the order o f things in which he lives. A moment’s consideration will show the unreasonableness o f a prejudice against capital, for it will show that it is the great instrument of the business movements o f society. Without it, there can be no exercise on a large scale o f the mechanic arts, no manufactures, no private improvements, no public enterprises o f utility, no domes tic exchanges, no foreign commerce. For all these purposes, a twofold use of capital is needed. It is necessary, that a great many persons should have a portion o f capi tal ; as, for instance, that the fisherman should have his boat; the husbandman, his farm, his buildings, his implements o f husbandry, and his cattle; the mechanic, his shop, and his tools ; the merchant, his stock in trade. But these small masses o f capi tal are not alone sufficient for the highest degree o f prosperity. Larger accumula tions are wanted to keep the smaller capitals in steady movement, and to circulate their products. I f manufactures are to flourish, a very great outlay in buildings, fix tures, machinery, and power, is necessary. I f internal intercourse is to diffuse its’ inestimable moral, social, and economical blessings through the land, canals, rail-roads, and steam-boats, are to be constructed at vast expense. To effect these objects, capital must go forth like a mighty genius, bidding the mountains to bow their heads, and the valleys to rise, the crooked places to.be straight, and the rough places plain. If agriculture is to be perfected, costly experiments in husbandry must be instituted by those who are able to advance, and can afiprd to lose the funds which are required for the purpose. Commerce, on a large scale, cannot flourish without resources adequate to the construction o f large vessels, and their outfit for long voyages, and the exchange o f valuable cargoes. The eyes o f the civilized world are intently fixed upon the experi ments now making to navigate the Atlantic by steam. It is said that the Great West ern was built and fitted cut at an expense'of near half a million o f dollars. The suc cess of the experiment will be not more a triumph of genius and o f art, than o f capi tal. The first attempts at the whale-fishery, in Massachusetts, were made from the South Shore and the island o f Nantucket, by persons who went out in small boats, killed their whale, and returned the same day. This limited plan o f operations was suitable for the small demands o f the infant population o f New England. But the whales were soon driven from the coast; the population increased, and the demand for the product o f the fisheries proportionably augmented. It became necessary to apply larger capitals to the business. -Whale ships were now fitted out at considerable ex pense, which pursued this adventurous occupation from Greenland to Brazil. The enterprise thus manifested awoke the admiration o f Europe, and is immortalized in the well known description by Burke. But the business has grown, until the ancient fishing grounds have become the first stations on a modern whaling voyage ; and capitals are now required sufficient to fit out a vessel for an absence o f forty months, and a voyage o f circumnavigation. Fifty thousand dollars are invested in a single vessel; she doubles Cape Horn, ranges from New South Shetland to the coasts o f Japan, cruises in unexplored latitudes, stops for refreshment at islands before undiscovered, and on the basis, perhaps, of the capital o f an individual house, in New Bedford or Nantucket, per forms an exploit which, sixty or seventy years ago, was thought a great object to be effected by the resources of the British government. In this branch of business, a capi tal o f twelve or fifteen million dollars is invested. Its object is to furnish us a cheap and commodious light, for our winter evenings. The capitalist, it is true, desires an adequate interest on his investment; but he can only get this by selling his oil at a price at which the public are able and willing to buy it. The “ overgrown capitalist,” employed in this business, is an overgrown lamplighter. Before he can pocket his six per cent., he has trimmed the lamp o f the cottager, who borrows an hour from evening to complete her day’s labor, and has lighted the taper o f the pale and thought-worn student, who is 11outwatching the bear,” over some ancient volume. In like manner the other great investments of capital — whatever selfish objects their proprietors may have — must, before that object can be attained, have been the means o f supplying the demand o f the people for some great article o f necessity, convenience, or indulgence. This remark applies peculiarly to manufactures carried on by m ichinery. A great capital is invested in this form, though mostly in small amounts. Its owners, no doubt, seek a profitable return; but this they can attain in no other way than by furnishing the community with a manufactured article o f great and extensive use. Strike out o f being the capital invested in manufactures, and you lay upon society the burden of doing by hand all the work which was done by steam and water, by fire and steel; or it must forego the use of the articles manufactured. Each result would in some measure be produced. A much smaller quantity o f manufactured articles would be consumed, that is, the community would be deprived o f comforts they , Accumulation Property, Capital, and Credit. 33 now en joy; and those used would be produced at greater cost by manual labor. In other words, fewer people would be sustained, and those less comfortably and at great er expense. When we hear persons condemning accumulations o f capital employed in manufactures, we cannot help saying to ourselves, is it possible that any rational man can desire to stop those busy wheels,— to paralyze those iron arms, — to arrest that falling stream, which works while it babbles ? What is your object ? Do you wish wholly to deprive society o f the fruit o f the industry o f these inanimate but un tiring laborers ? Or do you wish to lay on aching human shoulders the burdens which are so lightly borne by these patient metallic giants ? Look at Lowell. Behold the palaces o f her industry side by side with her churches and her school-houses, the long lines o f her shops and warehouses, her streets filled with the comfortable abodes o f an enterprising, industrious, and intelligent population. See her fiery Samsons roaring along her railroad with thirty laden cars in their train. Look at her watery Goliahs, not wielding a weaver’s beam like him o f old, but giving motion to hundreds and thousands o f spindles and looms. Twenty years ago, and two or three poor farms occupied the entire space within the boundaries o f Lowell. Not more visibly, I had almost said not more rapidly, was the palace of Alladin, in the Arabian tales, con structed by the genius o f the lamp, than this noble city of the arts has been built by the genius o f capital. This capital, it is true, seeks a moderate interest on the invest ment ; but it is by furnishing to all who desire it the cheapest garment ever worn by civilized man. To denounce the capital which has been the agent o f this wonderful and beneficent creation, — to wage war with a system which has spread and is spread ing plenty throughout the country, what is it but to play in real life the part o f the ma lignant sorcerer in the same eastern tale, who, potent only for mischief, utters the baleful spell which breaks the charm, heaves the mighty pillars o f the palaee from their foundation, converts the fruitful gardens back to their native sterility, and heaps the abodes of life and happiness with silent and desolate ruins ? It is hardly possible to realize the effects on human comfort o f the application of capital to the arts o f life. W e can fully do this, only by making some inquiry into the mode of living in civilized countries in the middle ages. The following brief notices, from Mr. Hallam’s learned and judicious work, may give us some distinct ideas on the subject. Up to the time o f Queen Elizabeth in England, the houses o f the far mers in that country consisted o f but one story and one room. They had no chimneys. The fire was kindled on a hearth o f clay in the centre, and the smoke found its way out through an aperture in the roof, at the door, and the openings at the side for air and light. The domestic animals — even oxen — were received under the same roof with their owners. Glass windows were unknown, except in a few lordly mansions, and in them they were regarded as movable furniture. When the dukes o f North umberland left Alnwick castle to come to London for the winter, the few glass windows, which formed one o f the luxuries o f the castle, were carefully taken out and laid away, perhaps carried to London, to adorn the city residence. The walls o f good houses were neither wainscoted nor plastered. In the houses of the nobility the nakedness o f the walls was covered by hangings o f coarse cloth. Beds were a rare luxury. A very wealthy individual would have one or two in his house: rugs and skins laid upon the floor were the substitute. Neither books nor pictures formed any part o f the furniture o f a dwelling in the middle ages; as printing and engraving were wholly unknown, and painting but little practised. A few inventories o f furniture, dating from the fif teenth century, are preserved. They afford a striking evidence of the want o f comfort and accommodation in articles accounted by us among the necessaries of life. In the schedule o f the furniture of a Signor Contarini, a rich Venetian merchant living in London in 1481, no chairs nor looking-glasses are named. Carpets were unknown at the same period: their place was supplied by straw and rushes, even in the presence chamber o f the sovereign. Skipton castle, the principal residence o f the Earls of Cumberland, was deemed amply provided in having eight beds, but had neither chairs, glasses, nor carpets. The silver plate o f Mr. Fermor, a wealthy country gentleman at Easton, in the sixteenth century, consisted o f sixteen spoons, and a few goblets and ale-pots. Some valuations o f stock-in-trade in England, from the beginning of the fourteenth century, have been preserved. A carpenter’s consisted of five tools, the whole valued at a shilling; a tanner’s, on the other hand, amounted to near ten pounds, ten times greater than any other, — tanners being at that period the principal tradesmen, as almost all articles o f dress for men were made o f leather. We need but contrast the state o f things in our own time with that which is indi cated in these facts, to perceive the all-important influence on human comfort o f the accumulation of capital, and its employment in the useful arts o f life. As it is out of the question for the government to invest the public funds in the branches o f industry V O L . I. — N O. I . 5 34 , Accumulation P roperty, Capital, and Credit. necessary to supply the customary wants o f men, it follows that this must be done by private resources and enterprise. The necessary consequence is, that the large capi tal required for these operations must be furnished by the contributions o f individu als, each possessing a portion of the stock, or by a single proprietor. It is rather remarkable that the odium, of which all capital in large masses has sometimes been the subject, should be directed more against the former,— namely, joint-stock companies, — than against large individual capitals. This, however, appears to be the fact. Some attempts have been made to organize public sentiment against associated wealth, as it has been called, without reflecting, as it would seem, that these associations are the only means by which persons o f moderate property are enabled to share the profits o f large investments. Were it not for these associations in this country, no pursuit could be carried on, except those within the reach of indi vidual resources; and none but very rich persons would be able to follow those branches of industry, which now diffuse their benefits among persons of moderate for tune. In which part o f this alternative a conformity with the genius o f our political institutions exists, need not be labored. But whether the masses o f capital necessary to carry on the great operations o f trade, are derived from the association of several, or from the exclusive resources o f one, it is plain that the interest of the capital, however formed, is identical with that o f the community. Nobody hoards, — every thing is invested or employed, and, directly or indirectly, is the basis o f business operations. It is true that when one man uses the capital of another, he is expected to pay some thing for this privilege. But there is nothing unjust or unreasonable in this. It is inherent in the idea o f property. It would not be property, if I could take it from you and use it as my own without compensation. That simple word, it is mine, carries with it the whole theory o f property and its rights. If my neighbor has saved his earnings, and built him a house with it, and I ask his leave to go and live in it, I ought in justice to pay him for the use o f his house. If, instead of using his money to build a house in which he permits me to live, he loans me his money, with which I build a house for myself, it is equally just that I should pay him for the use of his money. It is his, not mine. If he allows me to use the fruit o f his labor or skill, I ought to pay him for that use, as I should pay him if he came and wrought for me with his hands. This is the whole doctrine of interest. In a prosperous community, capital can be made to produce a greater return than the rate of interest fixed by law. The merchant who employs the whole of his capital in his own enterprises, and takes all the profit to himself, is commonly regarded as a useful citizen; it would seem un reasonable to look with a prejudiced eye upon the capitalist, who allows all the profits o f the business to accrue to others, asking only legal interest for his money, which ■they have employed. Without, however, pursuing this comparison among different classes of capitalists, let us farther endeavor, by an example, to illustrate the question, whether they ought in any view to be regarded as exerting an unfriendly influence on the labors of the community. Take, for instance, such a case as Mr. Stephen Girard, a great capitalist, who united in his person the merchant and the banker, and who may be spoken o f plainly, as he has passed away— the solitary man— and left no one to be grieved with the freedoms which are taken with his memory. This remarkable person began life without a farthing, and left behind him a property, whose actual value amounted to seven or eight millions of dollars, and this acquired in the latter half of his life. He told me himself, that at the age o f forty, his circumstances were so narrow that he was employed as the commander of his own sloop, engaged in the coasting trade between New York or Philadelphia and New Orleans; adding that on a certain occa sion, he was forty-five days in working his way up from the Balize to the city. Few persons, I believe, enjoyed less personal popularity in the community in which he lived, and to which he bequeathed his princely fortune. Tf this proceeded from defects of personal character, it is a topic which we have no occasion to discuss here. W e are authorized only to speak o f the effect upon the public welfare of the accumulation of such a fortune in one man’s hands. While I am far from saying that it might not have been abused by being made the instrument of a corrupt and dangerous influence in the community, I have never heard that it was so abused by Mr. Girard; and, on general principles, it may perhaps be safely said, that the class of men qualified to amass large fortunes by perseverance and exclusive devotion to business, by frugality and thrift, are not at all likely to apply their wealth to ambitious or corrupt designs. As to the effect in all other points of view, I confess I see nothing but public benefit in such a capital, managed with unrelaxing econom y; one half judiciously employed by the proprietor himself in commerce; the other half loaned to the business commu nity. What better use could have been made o f it? Will it be said, divide it equally Accumulation, Property, Capital, and Credit. 35 among the community; give each individual in the United States a share ? It would have amounted to half a dollar each for man, woman, and child; and, of course, might as well have been sunk in the middle of the sea. Such a distribution would have been another name for annihilation. How many ships would have furled their sails, how many warehouses would have closed their shutters, how many wheels, heavily laden with the products of industry, would have stood still, how many families would have been reduced to want, and without any advantage resulting from the distribution! Let me not be misunderstood. I regard equality of condition and fortune as the happiest state o f society, and those political institutions as immeasurably the wisest and best, which tend to produce it. All laws which have for their object to perpetuate large estates, and transmit them from generation to generation, are at war with the constitu tion of man. Providence has written a statute o f distributions on the face o f nature and the heart o f m a n ; and whenever its provisions are contravened by political en actments, a righteous conjuration to subvert them springs up in the very elements of our being. My proposition is only, that, in a country like this, where the laws forbid hereditary transmission, and encourage equality o f fortune, accumulations of capital, made by industry, enterprise, and prudence, employed in active investments, without ministering to extravagance and luxury, are beneficial to the public. Their possessor becomes, whether he wills it or not, the steward o f others; not merely, as in Mr. Gi rard’s case, because he may destine a colossal fortune after his decease for public objects, but because, while he lives, every dollar o f it must be employed in giving life to industry, and employment to labor. Had Mr. Girard lived in a fashionable part o f the city, in a magnificent house ; had he surrounded himself with a troop o f livered domestics; had he dazzled the passers-by with his splendid equipages, and spread a sumptuous table for his “ dear five hundred friends,” he would no doubt have been a more popular man. But in my apprehension he appears to far greater advantage, as a citizen and a patriot, in his modest dwelling and plain garb; appropriating to his per sonal wants the smallest pittance from his princely income; living to the last in the dark and narrow street in which he made his fortune, and when he died, bequeathing it for the education o f orphan children. For the public, I do not know that he could have done better: of all the men in the world, he probably derived the least enjoyment from his property himself. IV. I have left myself scarce any room to speak on the subject o f credit. The legitimate province o f credit is to facilitate and to clitfuse the use o f capital, and not to create it. I make this remark with care, because views prevail on this subject exag gerated and even false ; which, carried into the banking system, have done infinite mischief. I have no wish whatever to depreciate the importance o f credit. It has done wonders for this country. It has promoted public and private prosperity ; built cities, cleared wildernesses, and bound the remotest parts of the continent together with chains of iron and gold. These are wonders, but not miracles; these effects have been produced not without causes. Trust and confidence are not gold and silver ; they command capital, but they do not create it. A merchant in active business has a capital of twenty thousand dollars; his credit is good; he borrows as much more; but let him not think he has doubled his capital. He has done so only in a very limited sense. He doubles the sum on which for a time he trades; but he has to pay back the borrowed capital with interest; and that, whether his business has been prosperous or adverse. Still, I am not disposed to deny that, with extreme prudence and good management, the benefit to the individual of such an application o f credit is great; and when individuals are benefitted, the public is benefitted. But no capital has been created. Nothing has been added to the pre-existing stock. It was in being— the fruit o f former accumulation. If he had not borrowed it, it might have been used by its owner in some other way. What the public gains, is the supetior activity that is given to business by bringing more persons, with a greater amount and variety o f talent, into action. These benefits, public and private, are not without some counterbalancing risks ; and with the enterprising habits and ardent temperament o f our countrymen, I should deem the formation o f sound and sober views on the subject o f credit, one o f the most desirable portions o f the young merchant’ s education. The eagerness to accumulate wealth by trading on credit is the disease o f the age and country in which we live. Something o f the solidity o f our character and purity o f our name has been sacrificed to it. Let us hope that the recent embarrassments o f the commercial world will have a salutary influence in repressing this eagerness. The merchants o f the country have covered themselves with lasting honor abroad, by the heroic fidelity with which they have, at vast sacrifices, fulfilled their obligations. Let us hope that hereafter they will keep themselves more beyond the reach o f the fluctuations in business and the vicissitudes o f affairs. 36 Accumulation, Property, Capital, and Credit. But it is time to close these general reflections. W e live at a period when the com merce o f the world seems touching a new era ; a development of energies before unconceived. Columbus discovered a new continent; modern art has diminished by one half its distance from the old world. The application of steam to the navigation o f the ocean seems about to put the finishing hand to that system o f accelerated com munication, which began with steamboats along the coast, and canals and railroads piercing the interior. The immediate effect o f this improvement must be a vast increase o f the intensity o f international communication. The ultimate result can be but dimly foreseen. Let us trust that it will give renewed vigor to the march o f civilization; that it will increase the comforts o f those who now enjoy its blessings, — and extend these blessings to the forlorn children o f the human family, who are at present deprived o f them. Whatever may take place in this respect; whether or not the navigation o f the Atlantic ocean by steam vessels is to be generally adopted as the mode of communica tion, commerce, no doubt, in virtue o f other causes o f ascertained and unquestioned operation, is on the eve o f acquiring an activity beyond all previous example. As in all former ages it has been one of the most powerful agents in shaping the destinies o f the human race, it is unquestionably reserved for still higher functions. I confess, that 1 look myself for some great results, to be produced by the new fdrces in motion around us. When we contemplate the past, we see some o f the most important phe nomena in human history intimately— I had almost said mysteriously — connected with commerce. In the very dawn o f civilization, the art o f alphabetical writing sprang up among a commercial people. One can almost imagine that these wonderfully convenient elements were a kind o f short-hand, which the Phoenician merchants, under the spur o f necessity, contrived for keeping their accounts ; for what could they have done with the hieroglyphics o f the Egyptian priesthood, applied to the practical purposes o f a commerce which extended over the known world, and of which we have preserved to us such a curious and instructive description by the prophet Ezekiel ? A thousand years later, and the same commercial race among whom this sublime inven tion had its origin, performed a not less glorious part as the champions o f freedom. When the Macedonian madman commenced his crusade against Asia, the Phoenicians opposed the only vigorous resistance to his march. The Tyrian merchants delayed him longer beneath the walls of their sea-girt city, than Darius' at the head o f all the armies o f the East. In the succeeding centuries, when the dynasties established by Alexander were crumbling, and the Homans in turn took up the march o f universal conquest and dominion, the commercial city o f Carthage,— the daughter o f Tyre,— afforded the most efficient check to their progress. But there was nowhere sufficient security for property in the old world, to form the basis o f a permanent commercial prosperity. In the middle ages, the iron-yoke of the feudal system was broken by commerce. The emancipation of Europe from the detestable sway of the barons, began with the privileges granted to the cities. The wealth acquired in commerce afforded the first counterpoise to that of the feudal chiefs who monopolized the land, and in the space of a century and a half, gave birth to a new civilization. In the west o f Europe, the Hanse towns; in the east, the cities o f Venice, Genoa, the ports of Sicily and Naples, Florence, Pisa, and Leghorn, begin to swarm with active crowds. The Mediterranean, deserted for nearly ten centuries, is covered with vessels. Mer chants from the Adriatic explore the farthest east; silks, spices, gums, gold, are dis tributed from the Italian cities through Europe, and the dawn o f a general revival breaks on the world. Nature, at this juncture, discloses another of those mighty mys teries, which man is permitted from age to age to read in her awful volume. As the fulness o f time approaches for the new world to be found, it is discovered that a piece o f steel may be so prepared, that it will point a steady index to the pole. After it had led the adventurers o f Italy, Spain, and Portugal, to the utmost limits o f the old world, — from Iceland to the South o f Africa, — the immortal Discoverer, with the snows and the sorrows o f near sixty years upon his head, but with the fire of immortal youth in his heart, placed himself under the guidance o f the mysterious pilot, bravely followed its mute direction through the terrors and the dangers o f the unknown sea, and called a new hemisphere into being. It would be easy to connect with this discovery almost all the great events o f modern history, and, still more, all the great movements of modern civilization. Even in the colonization of New-England, although more than almost any other human enterprise the offspring of the religious feeling, commercial adventure opened the way and fur nished the means. As time rolled on, and events hastened to their consummation, com mercial relations suggested the chief topics in the great controversy for liberty. The British Navigation Act was the original foundation of the colonial grievances. There was a constant struggle to break away from the limits o f the monopoly imposed by Commercial Travellers. 37 the mother country. The American navigators could find no walls nor barriers on the face of the deep, and they were determined that paper and parchment should not shut up what God had thrown open. The moment the war of independence was over, the commercial enterprise o f the country went forth like an uncaged eagle, who, having beaten himself almost to madness against the bars o f the prison, rushes out at length to his native element, and exults as he bathes his undazzled eye in the sunbeam, or pillows his breast upon the storm. Our merchants were far from contenting them selves with treading obsequiously in the footsteps even of the great commercial nation from which we are descended. Ten years had not elapsed from the close o f the revo lutionary war, before the infant commerce of America had struck out for herself a cir cuit in some respects broader and bolder than that of England. Besides penetrating the remotest haunts o f the commerce heretofore carried on by the trading nations o f Europe — the recesses of the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and the White seas— she dis played the stars and the stripes in distant oceans, where the Lion and the Lilies never floated. She not only engaged with spirit in the trade with Hindostan and China, which had been thought to be beyond the grasp o f individual capital and enterprise, but she explored new markets on islands and coasts before unapproached by mod ern commerce. Such was the instantaneous expansion o f the youthful commerce of America. The belligerent condition o f Europe for a time favored the enterprise of our merchants ; wealth began to pour into their coffers ; and they immediately took that place in the community to which events and the condition of the country called them. Independ ence found us, in a great measure, destitute o f public establishments ; the eyes o f the people were unconsciously turned to the merchants, as the chief depositories of large masses of disposable wealth; and they promptly stood forth as public benefactors. It may certainly be said without adulation, that the merchants of Massachusetts have sustained this character as honorably as their fellow-citizens in any part of the Union. In all the great enterprises for public improvement, in all our establishments for reli gious, moral, literary, and charitable purposes, the genial patronage of commerce has been steadily felt. Our merchants have indeed been princes, in the pure and only republican sense of the word, in bestowing princely endowments on the public institu tions ; and to him who asks for the monuments of their liberality, we may say, as of the architect o f St. Paul’s, “ Look around you.” In every part o f the old world, except England, the public establishments, the foundations for charity, education, and literary improvement, have been mostly endowed by the sovereign; and costly private edifices are generally the monuments o f an opulence which had its origin in feudal inequality. If displays o f wealth are witnessed in our cities, it is wealth originally obtained by frugality and enterprise ; and o f which a handsome share has been ap propriated to the endowment of those charitable and philanthropic institutions, which are the distinguishing glory o f modern times. The address closes with a series of brilliant and beautiful sketches of the city of Boston, at three different periods o f its h istory, drawn with a graphic power, of which few such examples are elsewhere to he found. It is a reviving spectacle, to see men of distinguished ability turn aside, for a mo ment, from the arduous engagements of political life, to devote their powers to the task of instructing and improving others; and the portion o f this address which we have cited, will abundantly show, that this task has been, in the present instance, executed with admirable talent and success. A r t . IV.— “ C O M M E R C IA L T R A V E L L E R S .” N ot an uninteresting feature o f the internal traffic of Great Britain, is the system commonly styled commercial travelling. This institution, though now in its wane, is still exercised to a very considerable extent throughout the United Kingdom. Almost every commercial house there, of any note, employs one or more agents, whose business it is to travel about the country and procure custom for their principals. The com mercial traveller, (as the agent is denominated,) is generally a young and very shrewd individual, possessing great suavity o f manner, and a re 38 Commercial Travellers. markable ability to suit himself readily to all the varied moods o f his very various customers. Furnished by his principals with choice samples o f their goods, he steps into his chaise or the stage, and with a light heart commences his circuit. It is not considered unusual if nearly a year elapses before he returns to his employers. At each town upon his route, he tarries at the principal inn, where he is sure to find a hearty welcome. After thus ensconcing himself in comfortable quarters, he arranges his samples, and, if it be forenoon, puts them under his arm and issues forth to visit the shopkeepers in the place. Wherever he goes, he is met with cordiality. Like all travellers, he is full of anecdote, and has at his com mand the rarest news of the time. None are more glad to see him than the shopkeepers’ wives and daughters. T o these he imparts the most recent scandal and the latest fashions, and affords them subjects for gos sip until his next visit to the town. T o the tradesman he lauds his sam ples with all the eloquence and ingenuity o f which he is capable, and seldom leaves them without making considerable bargains in behalf o f his principals. He then collects moneys due on former purchases, and, if in convenient shape, forwards the funds, together with his customers’ orders for goods, by mail, to his employers. Nearly the whole of the country trade is managed by the commercial travellers. Each has his list of customers, who recognise his house only in him. O f them his 'principals are comparatively ignorant. T o the dis cretion of the agent, it is left to determine who shall have credit, and to what amount that credit shall extend. B y personal acquaintance with the men with whom he has to deal, and knowing how they stand in their own community, the agent is enabled to do a safer business for his em ployers than they could by correspondence, as practised in the United States. W e, here, do business very loosely in this regard. It is not unfrequent that simple orders on our Northern merchants, from persons at the West, for goods on long credit, are duly honored, and this without the sellers having any security whatever of the ability and good faith o f the purchasers. Some chances and risks are necessarily consequent on trade, but this hap-hazard manner o f giving credit tends to characterize trading as a species of gambling. It may, with truth, be said, that such gross carelessness does not prevail to an extent that would warrant its being called a characteristic of American trade ; still it is a trait, and one that should be eradicated. Actual recklessness in giving credit is not a common fault with us, but a lack of due carefulness certainly is. It should be amended, if we would secure entire stability to the credit system. The error, trivial as it may be considered by some, is a weapon in the hands o f those who are opposed to this best principle o f commerce. Let us not put arms into the hands of our opponents. In lauding the observance o f caution in giving credit, I do not wish to be misunderstood. Caution too often grows into cowardice. I have seen retailers refused credit by wholesale merchants, because they possessed but little capital. The best reputation for business-tact, industry and integrity, (a capital more to be esteemed than one of dollars,) availed them nothing. This fault is to be deprecated quite as much as the other. Honesty and close application to business is, in the aggregate, better surety for the debtor’s faithful discharge of the claims of the creditor, than any capital can be. This is a trifling digression, natural enough, but not to be persisted in. T o return to our subject. As Commercial Travelling has its benefits, so also has it its evils ; and if its merits and demerits are weighed against each other, the first will kick the beam. In the first place, it may be urged, Commercial Travellers. 39 that it is not legitimately the province of the seller to carry his shop to the buyer ; (as in truth he does when he sends to him his salesman and pat terns.) It is reversing the natural order o f things. It tends to demean the seller, and to create an inequality between the parties, honorable to neither. Another objection to this description of agency is, that it invests the agents with undue control. The principals are necessarily obliged to give them free rein, and cannot always check them at discretion. Every travelling agent holds no inconsiderable portion of the funds, as well as the credit and reputation of his house, at his beck, and his slightest derelic tion from the duty which he owes it, must, o f course, influence all these unfavorably. As before stated, the customers know his house only in him, and it would require but little adroitness, on his part, to transfer their pa tronage wherever he listed. This influence is oftentimes abused. The natural, respective powers of principal and agent are confounded, and it is too often the case that the latter is dictator to the former. It is unnecessary to cite other objections to this description o f trade, as it must be evident al ready, that it is a departure from the natural course. It is a diverticle, too, which is injurious to the character of commerce; tending, as it does, to de base it to the same estimation in which it was held in the feudal ages, and to render the name of merchant and trader synonymous with terms of con tempt. In nowise can it be sanctioned by a clear-headed policy, and now that the communication between town and city is made so easy by the means of steam, there is no reason why it should not fall into entire disuse. Notwithstanding this unfavorable opinion of commercial travelling, it is not the purpose of the writer to decry the gentlemen who are the agents. He could not do so with any justice. W ith a few exceptions, they are an intelligent, conscientious, whole-souled company. Generous, conviv ial, and full of anecdote, the mercantile agent is a good companion, and his conversation never fails to make glad and jocund the society of that otherwise dullest of places, an English stage-coach. In his continuous journeying about the country, he has mixed with all classes, and gleaned information of varied kind— humorous and grave, light and substantial. His temperament is mercurial, and he readily adapts himself to the com pany which he is in ; but if there be one place at which he feels more at home than another, that place is at the dinner-table, where he meets his professional fellows. There are generally as many as five or six, and sometimes more than twice that number, o f commercial travellers, in every town, tarrying only so long a time as will suffice them to accomplish their business there. These stop at the same inn, and eat together in a room apart from the ordinary. As the forenoon is devoted exclusively to busi ness, they take their ease after dinner, and linger over their wine. In the evening, some of their customers drop in, a circle is formed, and the wan ing hours are forgotten in the recital o f story and anecdote, the cracking of brittle jests, and the enjoyment of good wine and cigars. As none are more cordially received than the mercantile agents, so are there none who travel with more security. They frequently have considerable sums of money about them when journeying, but instances of robbery being committed upon them are very rare; and this in a country where high waymen have enacted so many feats, admits o f some surprise. One of the very few cases of such felonious depredation, that have come to my knowledge, is one in which a Mr. D ----- - , an agent for a large house in London, connected with the coffee-trade, was the sufferer. The affair was managed very ingeniously on the part of the robber, and is deserving of a brief relation. 40 Commercial Travellers. One cold night, in the January of 1816, the hospitably huge fire-place o f the best room of the best inn in -------,was surrounded by a jovial com pany, composed of commercial travellers and their customers of the town. The air of solid comfort which pervaded the scene was heightened by its contrast with the cheerless aspect of the weather without, and the com placent manner with which each guest quaffed from his mug of flip, and gave a bland reflection to his neighbor’s smile, told that the pleasantness of the situation was not unappreciated. All were overflowing with jest and story, hut the most amusing member of the party was a gentlemanlylooking person, rather smaller than the common size o f men, and frank and open in his address. He gave his name as Morris, and (from remarks thrown out, as if casually, by himself, and from that fact alone, for of those present not one had ever seen him previous to that time) he was supposed to be the agent of a new Liverpool house. There was a rich, racy hu mor, and a power of imitation and description, about the man, allied to a knowledge of the light and dark spots in human nature, which lent to the stories that he told a fascination winning entire attention. Identifying himself for the moment with the character whose deeds and words he was narrating, he would seem at times the artless Scotch lassie, the Yorkshire lout, the rude sailor, the querulous beldame, and the blundering Irishman, &c., changing from one to another with a chameleon-like facility; but his chef d’aiuvre, in this kind of narration, was a story of a finished freebooter, who accomplished much in his line o f business, by first insinuating him self into the confidence of his intended victims in the guise of a gentleman. His personation of the easy impudence of the gentlemen of the road, was characteristic and excellent. W hen he had concluded, however, his “ free booter ” was good-humoredly criticised by the Mr. D-------, (before alluded to,) whose flip had made him flippant. He insisted that Morris had made but a “ tame bird ” o f his hero, instead of a “ roystering, rough-handed, ribald rogue,” as in nature, and swore with a laugh that he could enact the highwayman better himself. Morris rejoined, in the same good-na tured way, that were it not so late, and the calls of Somnus less inviting, he would try a little competition of the kind with him, and let the com pany then present decide which was the better of the two. However, he professed to think that an opportunity might yet occur, as they should probably meet again on the road at some time or another. The company laughed heartily at the joke, and drinking sundry parting toasts, each of which were denominated, as they were given, the very last, retired for the night. Mr. D-------was fain to maintain his equilibrium by accepting the arm of Morris to his bed-room. Before he bade the latter a good night, he had, in drunken bravado, defied all the highwaymen in Christendom, and in confidence pointed out to his new friend a secret pocket in his coat, containing a brace o f small pistols loaded, and a considerable amount of money in gold. In the morning, several o f the travellers departed in their own vehicles. Mr. D-------was to take a seat in a stage, but being invited by Morris to take a seat in his chaise, concluded to go with him, as their routes were alike. During the ride of the first few miles, D-------’s good opinion of his companion suffered no diminution, but it immediately fell below par, when, in a lonesome part of the road, Morris presented a pistol in juxtaposition with his head, and begged leave to borrow the funds then in his possession. The altered mien and determined look o f the man, as well as his own instinctive assurance that he was in earnest, left no doubt in the mind of the poor agent o f the other’s character. He determined, however, not to comply with the rascal’s request, without Nathaniel Bowditch. 41 an effort to save his money for loans more profitable. W ith the pretence of producing the desired funds, he seized one of his pistols from his pocket, and snapped it at the head o f the robber. It flashed, but did not explode. The quondam Morris laughed, and mockingly remarked, as the other grasped at the remaining weapon, that he was obliged to him, but he was sufficiently helped, and that the contents o f his pocket would be equally acceptable, and much more effective, than those o f his pistols, inasmuch as the last were empty ; which was not the case with the pocket, it being well charged with gold. He explained the failure'of the weapons to dis charge, by saying that lest accident should befal the esteemed friend, whom he had the pleasure o f addressing, he had availed himself of the information given him on the evening previous, and drawn the charges from both of the pocket pistols. In effecting this friendly measure, he had noticed, with great satisfaction, that his friend had the wherewithal to make him the loan, which he now desired receiving without delay. As his fingers, he said, were rather tremulous, and the persuader, into the muzzle of which his esteemed friend did him the honor to blink, had a hair-trigger, he begged leave respectfully to suggest the expediency o f a speedy delivery of all his funds. Mr. D-------cursed the other’s impu dence, and with an ill grace gave up his money. He also handed his watch to the robber, but it was returned to him, with a petition that he would keep it in remembrance o f the “ tame bird.” The poor, plucked agent remembered his boasting o f the previous evening, and ground his teeth with vexation. After he had alighted from the chaise, he was asked by his eccentric acquaintance, whether or not he thought it would be neces sary to find referees to decide which was the better highwayman of the two. Before he could answer, the robber was driving at a rapid rate towards the London road, and he was left to pursue his journey on foot. It is need less to state, that poor D-------never again sought to rival a freebooter. A rt. V .— N A T H A N IE L B O W D I T C H * Op all the various branches of intellectual pursuit, that science which explains the system o f the universe, and reveals the mechanism o f the heavens, must always take the lead as the most sublime and marvellous; and the foremost and most successful cultivators of this science will always be classed among the greatest o f men. What, indeed, can be more astonishing, than that a being like one o f us, endowed apparently with no higher or different powers, should be able to obtain so minute and accurate a knowledge o f those distant planets, and be as well ac quainted with their constitution, elements, and laws, as the geologist, the chemist, the botanist, with the appropriate objects of their sciences? Noth ing gives us so exalted an idea o f the power of man, and the extent and reach of his capacities, as his ability to calculate, with unerring precision, the distances of those twinkling orbs, to determine their figures, magni tudes, and velocities, to measure their weight, estimate their relative attractions and disturbing forces, delineate their orbits, register their laws of motion, fix the times o f their revolution, and predict the periods *This brief sketch has been condensed from the Rev. A le x a n d e r Y lent Discourse on the Life and Character o f Dr. Bowditch. von. i. — no. i. 6 oung ' s excel 42 Nathaniel Bowditch. o f their return. T o a common mind, uninstructed in the science, there is nothing that appears so much like divine wisdom. A Galileo, a Kep ler, a Newton, seem to him to belong to another race, a higher order of beings. T hey appear to possess some additional faculties. Nothing can he more certain than the doctrines o f astronomy. T hey rest on impregnable foundations, on the demonstrations o f mathematical evidence, than which nothing, except the evidence o f consciousness, can be more satisfactory and conclusive. It was a science that early en gaged the notice of men, and, to its honor be it spoken, it has always exerted a purifying and elevating influence on its votaries. Indeed, how could it be otherwise ? W h o can look upon those brilliant points, and not fancy them the spangled pavement of a divine abode ? There is virtue as well as poetry and philosophy in them. They shed down a healing and restorative influence upon their worshippers. They are the symbols of endurance and perpetuity. Death has recently deprived our country of one o f its noblest orna ments ; one who confessedly stood atjh e head o f the scientific men o f this western continent. His position as a public man, the various posts and offices he filled, and especially the value of his works to the advance ment of science, the improvement of navigation, and the security of com mercial enterprises, justify the notice which we now propose to take of his life and character. There was much in that life instructive and encouraging, particularly to the young, the friendless, the poor. There was much in that character worthy of eulogy and imitation. N a t h a n ie l B ow ditch was born at Salem, Massachusetts, on the 26th day of March, 1773. He was the fourth child o f Habakkuk and Mary Ingersoll Bowditch. His ancestors, for three generations, had been ship masters, and his father, on retiring from that perilous mode o f hard industry, resumed his original trade o f a cooper, by which he gained a scanty and precarious subsistence for a family of seven children. W hen Nathaniel was two or three years old, his father’s family re moved to the neighboring town o f Danvers, where he attended a dame’s school, and acquired the first simple elements of learning. Even at this early period, he was observed to manifest those peculiar powers and traits of character, by which, in after life, he was distinguished. The sisters of his schoolmistress, who are still living, speak o f him as “ a likely, clever, thoughtful boy, who learnt amazing fast, because his mind was fully given to it; learning came natural to him.” After leaving the dame’s school, the only other instruction he ever received was obtained at the common schools of his native town, which were wholly inadequate to furnish even the groundwork of a respectable education. W e have heard it stated, on the authority of one of his school fellows, that the master of one o f these schools gave young Bowditch, when he was about seven or eight years old, a very difficult sum in arith metic to perform. His scholar went to his desk, and soon afterwards brought up his slate with the question solved. The master, surprised at the sud denness of his return, asked him who had been doing the sum for h im ; and on his answering, “ nobody— I did it myself,” he was disposed to give him a severe chastisement for lying, not believing it possible that he could, o f himself, without any assistance, perform so difficult a question. This indignity, however, he escaped by the interposition of his elder brother. But the advantages of school, such as they were, he was obliged to forego at the early age of ten years, “ his poverty, and not his will, consenting,” that h e might go into his father’s shop and help to support the family. Nathaniel Bowditch. 43 He was soon, however, transferred as an apprentice to a ship-chandler, and afterwards became a clerk in a large establishment o f the same kind, where he continued until he went to sea, first as clerk, afterwards as super cargo, and finally as master and supercargo jointly. It was whilst he was an apprentice in the ship-chandler’s shop, that he first manifested that strong bent, or what is commonly called an original genius, for mathe matical pursuits. Every moment that he could snatch from the counter, was given to the slate. An old gentleman, who used frequently to visit the shop, said to his wife, one day, on returning home, “ I never go into that shop but I see that boy ciphering and figuring away on his slate, as if his very life depended upon i t ; and if he goes on at this rate, as he has begun, I should not at all wonder if, at last, in the course of time, he should get to be an almanac-maker ! ” — this being, in his view, the sum mit of mathematical attainment. This expectation was speedily fulfilled; for in the year 1788, when he was only fifteen years old, he actually made an almanac for the year 1790, containing all the usual tables, calcula tions of the eclipses, and even the customary predictions of the weather. From his earliest years, he seems to have had an ardent love of read ing, and he has been heard to say that, even when quite young, he read through the whole of Chambers’s Encyclopedia, in two large folio vol umes, without omitting a single article. It was my good fortune, says Mr. Young, some years since, in one of those familiar interviews with him in his own house with which I was favored, to hear him narrate, in detail, a history of his early life ; and I remember, very distinctly, his relating the circumstance which led him to take an interest in the higher branches of mathematical science. He told me, that in the year 1787, when he was fourteen years old, his elder brother, who followed the sea, and was attending an evening school for the purpose of learning navigation, on returning home one evening, in formed him that the master had got a new way of doing sums and working questions ; for, instead of the figures commonly used in arithmetic, he employed the letters of the alphabet. This novelty excited his curiosity, and he questioned his brother very closely about the matter; who, however, did not seem to understand much about the process, and could not tell how the thing was done. But the master, he said, had a book which told all about it. This served to inflame his curiosity; and he asked his brother whether he could not borrow the book o f the master and bring it home, so that he might get a sight at it. (It should be remem bered, that, at this time, mathematical books o f all sorts were scarce in this country. In the present multitude o f elementary works on the sub ject, we can hardly conceive o f the dearth that then prevailed.) The book was obtained. It was the first glance he had ever had at algebra. “ And that night,” said he, “ I did not close my eyes.” He read it, and read it again, and mastered its contents, and copied it out from begin ning to end. Subsequently he got hold of a volume o f the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, which he treated pretty much in the same summary way, making a very full and minute abstract of all the mathematical papers contained in i t ; and this course he pur sued with the whole of that voluminous work. He was too poor at this time to purchase books, and this was the only mode of getting at their results, and having them constantly at hand for consultation. These manuscripts, written in his small, neat hand, and filling several folio and quarto volumes, are now in his library, and, in my opinion, are the most curious and precious part o f that large and valuable collection. 44 Nathaniel Bowditch. He began the study o f the Latin language, by himself, Jan. 4, 1790, when he was seventeen years old. The first Latin book that he under took to read, was Euclid’s Geometry. He afterwards read, and made a complete translation, o f Newton’s Principia; and subsequently acquired the French, Spanish, German, and Italian languages. On the 11th of January, 1795, at the age o f twenty-two, he sailed on his first voyage as captain’s clerk, though nominally second mate o f the sh ip; and continued to follow the sea for nine years, in the capacity of supercargo and captain, till December 25, 1803; making, in all, five voyages, four of which were to the East Indies. On his second voyage, the ship touched at Madeira, where the captain and supercargo were very politely received by Mr. Pintard, the American consul there, to whose house the ship was consigned, and were frequently invited to dine with his family. Mrs. Pintard had heard from another American ship master that the young supercargo was “ a great calculator,” and she felt a curiosity to test his capacities. Accordingly, she said to him one day at dinner, “ Mr. Bowditch, I have a question which I should like to have you answer. Some years since,” naming the time, “ I received a legacy in Ireland. The money was there invested, and remained some time on interest; the amount was subsequently remitted to England, where the interest likewise accumulated; and lately the whole amount has been remitted to me here. What sum ought I to receive ? ” She of course mentioned the precise dates of the several remittances, as she went along. Mr. Bowditch laid down his knife and fork, said it was a little difficult, on account of the difference o f currency and the number of the remit tances ; but squeezing the tips of his fingers, he said, in about two min utes, “ The sum you should receive is £843 15s. 6\d.” “ W ell, Mr. Clerk,” said Mrs. Pintard to the head clerk of the house, an elderly per son, who was esteemed a very skilful accountant, “ you have been figur ing it out for me on paper; has he got it rig h t?” “ Yes, Madam,” said the clerk, taking his long calculation out of his pocket, “ he has got it exactly. And I venture to say, that there is not another man on the island that can do it in two hours.” In the course of these voyages, it was Mr. Bowditch’s practice to interest himself in all the sailors on board, and to take pains to instruct all who could read and write, in the principles of navigation; and he never appeared so happy as when he could inspire the sailor with a proper sense of his individual importance, and of the talents he possess ed, and might call into action. In this he was remarkably successful; and at Salem, it was considered the highest recommendation of a sea man, that he had sailed in the same ship with Mr. Bowditch, and this fact alone was often sufficient to procure for him an officer’s berth. The quiet and leisure o f the long East India voyages, when the ship was lazily sweeping along under the steady impulse o f the trade-winds, afforded him fine opportunities for pursuing his mathematical studies, as well as for indulging his taste for general literature. What he once learned he ever afterwards remembered; and it m aybe mentioned as an instance of the singular tenacity of his memory, that on reading Mr. Prescott’s splendid History o f the Eeign o f Ferdinand and Isabella, he remarked, that many of the incidents in it were quite familiar to him, he having once read the great work of Mariana on the History o f Spain, in the original language, in the course of one of his voyages. The French mathematician, Lacroix, acknowledged to a young American, that he Nathaniel Bowditch. 45 was indebted to Mr. Bowditch for communicating many errors in his works, which he had discovered in these same long India voyages. On the day previous to his sailing on his fourth voyage, in 1799, he was called on by Mr. Edward M. Blunt, then a noted publisher of charts and nautical books at Newburyport, and was requested by him to continue the corrections which he had. previously commenced on John Hamilton Moore’s book on navigation, then in common use on board our vessels. This he consented to d o ; and in performance of his promise he detected such a multitude of errors, that it led Jo the construction of “ The New American Practical Navigator,’’ the first edition o f which he issued in the year 1807 ; a work abounding with the actual results of his own experience, and containing simpler and more expeditious formu las for working the nautical problems. This work has been of immense service to the nautical and commercial interests of this country. Had Dr. Bowditch never done any thing else, he would still, by this single act, have conferred a lasting obligation upon his native land. Just con sider the simple fact, that every vessel that sails from the ports of the United States, from Eastport to New Orleans, is navigated by the rules and tables of his book. And this has been the case nearly ever since its publication, thirty-seven years ago. It is, we are informed, extensively used in the British and French navies. Notwithstanding the competi tion of other English and American works on the subject, the “ Practical Navigator ” has never been superseded. It has kept pace with the pro gress of nautical science, and incorporated all its successive discoveries and results; and the last edition, published in 1837, contains new tables and other improvements, which will probably secure its undivided use by our seamen for years to come. The extraordinary mathematical attainments o f the young sailor soon became known, and secured to him the notice of our most distinguished men, and likewise the deserved, yet wholly unexpected, honors of the first literary institution in the land. In the summer of 1802, his ship lying wind-bound in Boston harbor, he went out to Cambridge to attend the exercises of Commencement D a y ; and whilst standing in one o f the aisles of the church, as the President was announcing the honorary degrees conferred that day, his attention was aroused by hearing his own name called out as a Master of Arts. The annunciation took him wholly by surprise. He has been heard to say, that that was the proud est day of his life ; and that of all the distinctions which he subsequently received from numerous learned and scientific bodies, at home and abroad, (among which may be mentioned his election as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London,) there was not one which afforded him half the pleasure, or which he prized half so highly, as this degree from Harvard. It was, indeed, his first honor, his earliest distinction ; it was not only kindly meant, but timely done ; and it no doubt stimulated him to perseverance in his scientific pursuits. In the year 1806, Mr. Bowditch published his accurate and beautiful chart of the harbors of Salem, Beverly, Marblehead, and Manchester, the survey of which had occupied him during the summers o f the three pre ceding years. So minutely accurate was this chart, that the old pilots said he had found out all their professional secrets, and had put on paper points and bearings which they thought were known only to themselves. On quitting the sea, in 1803, he became the President of a Marine Insurance Company in Salem, the duties o f which he continued to dis 46 Nathaniel Bowditch. charge till the year 1823, when, on the establishment o f the Massachu setts Hospital Life Insurance Company, he was elected to the office o f Actuary, being considered the person best qualified for this highly responsible station, from his habits o f accurate calculation and rigid method, and his inflexible integrity. Immediately on accepting the office, he removed to Boston, at the age of fifty, and there spent the last fifteen years of his life. It scarcely needs to be stated that he discharged the duties of his high trust with the greatest fidelity and skill, and to the entire satisfaction o f the Company. He managed its affairs with the greatest ease, although it was the largest moneyed institution in NewEngland, having a capital equal to ten common banks, and usually hav ing a loan out of upwards of six millions o f dollars. Dr. Bowditch’s fame, as a man of science, rests on his Translation and Commentary on the great work of the French astronomer, La Place, entitled “ Micanique Celeste,” in which that illustrious man undertakes to explain the whole mechanism o f our solar system; to account, on mathematical principles, for all its phenomena, and to reduce all the anomalies in the apparent motions and figures of the planetary bodies to certain definite laws. It is a work of great genius and immense depth, and exceedingly difficult to be comprehended. This arises not merely from the intrinsic difficulty o f the subject, and the medium of proof em ployed being the higher branches of the mathematics,— but chiefly from the circumstance that the author, taking it for granted that the subject would be as plain and easy to others as to himself, very often omits the intermediate steps and connecting links in his demonstration. He jumps over the interval, and grasps the conclusion as by intuition. Dr. Bowditch used to say, “ I never come across one o f La Place’s ‘ Thus it plainly appears,’ without feeling sure that I have got hours of hard study before me to fill up the chasm, and find out and show how it plainly ap pears.” It was in the year 1815, at Salem, that he began this herculean task, and finished it in two years. The Commentary, which exceeds the original in extent, kept pace with the Translation ; but whilst the publi cation was in hand, his alterations and additions were so numerous, that it might almost be considered a new draft of the work. Let it not be said, in disparagement of the labors of Dr. Bowditch, that this was not an original work, but merely a translation. Suppose that it had been so. W hat then? W as it not still a benefaction to this coun try and to Great Britain, thus to bring it within the reach and compass o f the American and English mind ? It is truly said by an old writer, “ So well is he worthy of perpetual fame that bringeth a good work to light, as is he that first did make it, and ought always to be reckoned the second father thereof.” But the fact is, it is more than half an original commentary and exposition, simplifying and elucidating what was before complex and obscure, supplying omissions and deficiencies, fortifying the positions with new proofs, and giving additional weight and efficiency to the old on es; and, above all, recording and digesting the subsequent discoveries and improvements, and bringing down the science to the present time. I have heard it said that La Place, to whom Dr. Bowditch sent a list of errors which he had detected, once remarked, “ I am sure that Dr. Bowditch comprehends my work, for he has not only detected my errors, but has also shown me how I came to fall into them.” The first volume o f the work was published in the year 1829, the second in 1832, and the third in 1834, each volume containing about a Nathaniel Bowditch. 47 thousand quarto pages. The fourth volume was nearly completed at the time of his decease. He persevered to the last in his labors upon it, preparing the copy and reading the proof-sheets in the intervals when he was free from pain. The last time I saw him, says Mr. Young, a few days previous to his death, a proof-sheet was lying on his table, which he said he hoped to be able to read over and correct. The publication of the book proved, as he anticipated, a very expensive undertaking, it being one of the largest works and most difficult of exe cution ever printed in this country, and at the same time one o f the most beautiful specimens of typography. Although it met with more purcha sers than the author ever expected, still the cost was a heavy draught on his income, and an encroachment on his little property. Y et it was cheer fully paid; and besides that, he gladly devoted his time, his talents, and may I not add, his health and his life, to the cause of science and the honor of his native land. That work is his monument. He needs no other. In delineating the character of Dr. Bowditch, it deserves to be men tioned, first o f all, that he was eminently a self-taught and self-made man. He was the instructor o f his own mind, and the builder up o f his own fame and fortunes. Whatever knowledge he possessed,— and we have seen that it was very great,— was o f his own acquiring, the fruit of his solitary studies, with but little, if any, assistance from abroad. Whatever eminence he reached, in science or in life, was the product of his untiring application and unremitting toil. From his youth up, he was a pattern of industry, enterprise, and perseverance, suffering no difficulties to discourage, no disappointments to dishearten him. Dr. Bowditch combined, in a very remarkable degree, qualities and habits of mind, which are usually considered incompatible and hostile. He was a contemplative, recluse student, and, at the same time, an active public man. He lived habitually among the stars, and yet, I doubt not, he seemed to many never to raise his eyes from the earth. He was a profound philosopher, and, at the same time, a shrewd practical man, and one of the most skilful of financiers. Judging from his published works, you would suppose that he could have no taste nor time for business of the world ; and judging from the large concerns which he managed, and the vast funds of which he had the supervision,— involving the most com plex calculations, and the most minute details,— you would say that he could have no taste nor time for study. His example is a conclusive proof and striking illustration o f the fact, that there is no inherent, essential, necessary incompatibility between speculation and practice— that there need be no divorce between philosophy and business. The man most deeply engaged in affairs, need not be cut off from the higher pursuits of intellectual culture; and the scholar need not be incapacitated by his studies from understanding and engaging in the practical details o f com mon life. In fact, they should be blended, in order to make up the full, complete man. Dr. Bowditch was a remarkably domestic man. His affections clus tered around his own fireside, and found their most delightful exercise in his own family. His attachment to home, and to its calm and simple pleasures, was, indeed, one of the most beautiful traits in his character. As Sir Thomas More says of himself, “ he devoted the little time which he could spare from his avocations abroad, to his family, and spent it in little innocent and endearing conversations, with his wife and children; which, though some might think them trifling amusements, he placed AS Nathaniel Bowditch. among the necessary duties and business of life ; it being incumbent on every one to make himself as agreeable as possible to those whom nature has made, or he himself has singled out for, his companions in life.” His time was divided between his office and his house ; and that must have been a strong attraction that could draw him into company. W hen at home, his time was spent in his library, which he loved to have con sidered as the family parlor. B y very early rising, in winter two hours before the light, “ long ere the sound o f any bell awoke men to labor or to devotion,” and in summer, like Milton, “ as oft with the bird that first rouses, or not much tardier,” he was enabled to accomplish much before others were stirring. “ T o these morning studies,” he used to say, “ I am indebted for all my mathematics.” After taking his evening walk, he was again always to be found in the library, pursuing the same attractive studies, but ready and glad, at the entrance of any visiter, to throw aside his book, unbend his mind, and indulge in all the gayeties o f a light-hearted conversation. There was nothing that he seemed to enjoy more than this free inter change o f thought on all subjects of Common interest. At such times, the mathematician, the astronomer, the man of science, disappeared, and he presented himself as the frank, easy, familiar friend. One could hardly believe that this agreeable, fascinating companion, who talked so affably and pleasantly on all the topics of the day, and joined so heartily in the quiet mirth and the loud laugh, could really be the great mathematician who had expounded the mechanism of the heavens, and taken his place, with Newton, and Leibnitz, and La Place, among the great proficients in exact science. T o hear him talk, you would never have suspected that he knew any thing about science, or cared any thing about it. In this respect, he resembled his great Scottish contemporary, who has delighted the whole world by his writings. Y ou might have visited him in that library from one year’s end to another, and yet, if you or some other visiter did not introduce the subject, I venture to say that not one word on mathematics would have crossed his lips. He had no pedantry of any kind. Never did I meet with a scientific or literary man so entirely devoid o f cant and pretension. In conversation, he had the simplicity and playfulness and unaffected manners of a child. His own remarks seemed rather to escape from his mind, than to be produced by it. He laughed heartily, and rubbed his hands, and jumped up, when an obser vation was made that greatly pleased him, because it was natural for him so to do, and he had never been schooled into the conventional pro prieties o f artificial life, nor been accustomed to conceal or stifle any o f the innocent impulses o f his nature. W ho that once enjoyed the privilege of visiting him in that library, can ever forget the scene ? Methinks I see him now, in my mind’s eye, the venerable man, sitting there close by his old-fashioned blazing wood fire, bending over his favorite little desk, looking like one o f the old phi losophers, with his silvery hair, and noble forehead, and beaming eye, and benign countenance; whilst all around him are ranged the depositories of the wisdom and science o f departed sages and philosophers, who seem to look down upon him benignantly from their quiet places, and sponta neously and silently to give forth to him their instructions. On enter ing this, the noblest repository of scientific works in the country, I almost fancy I hear him saying with Heinsius, the keeper of the library at L ey den, “ I no sooner come into my library, than I bolt the door after me, Nathaniel Bowditch. 49 excluding ambition, avarice, and all such vices; and, in the very lap of eternity, amidst so many divine souls, I take my seat with so lofty a spirit, and such sweet content, that I pity all the great and rich who know not this happiness.” Dr. Bowditch was a man of unsullied purity, o f rigid integrity, and uncompromising principle. Through life, truth seems to have been at once the great object of his pursuit, and his ruling principle of action. “ F ollow T ruth ,” might have been the motto on his escutcheon. He was himself perfectly transparent. A child could see through him. There was no opaqueness in his heart, any more than in his intellect. It was as clear as crystal, and the rays of moral truth were transmitted through it without being refracted or tinged. In all his intercourse and transactions, he was remarkably frank and candid. He revealed himself entirely. He had no secrets. He kept nothing back, for he had nothing to conceal. He lived openly, and talked freely, of himself, and of his doings, and of every thing that was uppermost in his mind. He never hesitated to speak out *vhat he thought on all subjects, public and private, and he avowed his opinions o f men and things with the utmost freedom and unconcern. It seemed to me that he never had the fear of man before his eyes, and that it never checked, in the least, the free and full utterance of his sentiments. Dr. Bowditch was perfectly fair and just in the estimate which he formed of his own capacities and gifts. He did not, on the one hand, overrate his talents; nor, on the other hand, did he, as some do, with a sort of back-handed humility, purposely undervalue his powers in order to enjoy the pleasure of being contradicted by those about him, and told that he was really a much greater man than he seemed willing to admit. “ People,” said he, “ are very kind and polite, in mentioning me in the same breath with La Place, and blending my name with his. But they mistake both me and him ; we are very different men. I trust I under stand his works, and can supply his deficiencies, and correct his errors, and render his book more intelligible, and record the successive advance ments of the science, and perhaps append some improvements. But La Place was a genius, a discoverer, an inventor ! And yet I think I know as much of mathematics as Playfair.” I have been informed, says Mr. Young, by a gentleman o f Boston, that soon after his return from Europe, a few years since, he happened, in a conversation with Dr. Bowditch, to mention to him incidentally the high estimation in which he and his labors were held by men o f science abroad, and told him that he had often heard his name spoken of in terms of the strongest commendation, by persons in the most elevated walks of society in England. Dr. Bowditch seemed to be sensibly affected by the statement, so that the tears glistened in his eyes. But he immediately remarked that, however flattering such testimonials might be, yet the most grateful tribute of commendation he had ever received, was con tained in a letter from a backwoodsman of the West, who wrote to him to point out an error in his translation o f the Mecanique Celeste. “ It was an actual error,” said he, “ which had escaped my own observation. The simple fact that my work had reached the hands of one on the outer verge of civilization, who could understand and estimate it, was more gratifying to my feelings than the eulogies of men of science, and the commendatory votes o f academies.” He was a singularly modest man. He made no pretensions himself, and there was nothing that he so much despised in others. He was VOL. i. — no . i. 7 50 Nathaniel Bowditch. remarkably simple in all his manners and intercourse with the world. He put on no airs and assumed no superiority on the ground o f his in tellectual attainments, but placed himself on a level with every one with whom he had any concern. He reverenced integrity and truth wherever he found them, in whatever condition in life. He felt and showed no respect for mere wealth or rank. He fearlessly rebuked, to his face, the mean and purse-proud nabob, and “ condescended to men o f low estate.” Dr. Bowditch was a truly conscientious man. He was always true to his moral, as well as intellectual convictions, and followed them whither soever they led. He had great faith in the rectitude of his moral per ceptions, and in the primary decisions of his own judgment and moral sense ; and he carried them forth and acted them out instantly. The word followed the thought, and the deed the feeling, with the rapidity o f lightning. This straight-forwardness and frankness were among the secret causes of the remarkable influence which he confessedly exercised over the minds and judgments of others. By his honesty, as well as by his resoluteness and decision, he was the main-spring of every thing with which he was connected. B y this moral influence, he controlled and swayed all men with whom he was associated. As Ben Johnson says o f Lord Bacon, “ he commanded where he spoke.” Dr. Bowditch was a man o f ardent natural feelings, and of an impetu ous temperaipEttt, - A venerable lady, after her first interview with him, saiiL'^JUijiebJthd£Ahfta>,for he is a live man.” He was strong in his attachment'th men afjd to opinions, and was not easily turned from any cotose o f spechMihn or hction, which he had once satisfied himself was rigl^t, wise, and good. At the same time, he always kept his mind open to evidence arrd-if“you brought before him new facts and arguments, he would reconsider the subject,— deliberately, not hastily,— and the next day, perhaps, would tell you that you were in the right, and that he had altered his mind. He was sometimes quick, warm, and vehement, in expressing his disapprobation of the character or conduct of an individual, particularly if he thought that the person had practised any thing like duplicity or fraud. In such cases, his indignation was absolutely scorch ing and withering. But he never cherished any personal resentments in his bosom. He did not let the sun go down upon his wrath. His anger was like a cloud, which passes over the disk of the moon, and leaves it as mild and clear as before; or, as the judicious Hooker’s was represented to be, “ like a vial of clear water, which, when shook, beads at the top, but instantly subsides, without any soil or sediment of un charitableness.” I will relate an incident illustrative of this remarkable trait in his character. Dr. Bowditch had been preparing a plan of the town of Sa lem, which he intended soon to publish. It had been the fruit of much labor and care. B y some means or other, an individual in the town had surreptitiously got possession of it, and had the audacity to issue propo sals to publish it as his own. This was too much for Dr. Bowditch to bear. He instantly went to the person, and burst out in the following strain : “ Y ou villain ! how dare you do this ? W hat do you mean by it ? If you presume to proceed any farther in this business, I will prose cute you to the utmost extent of the law.” The poor fellow cowered before the storm o f his indignation, and was silent, for his wrath was terrible. Dr. Bowditch went home, and slept on i t ; and the next day, hearing from some authentic source that the man was extremely poor, and had probably been driven by the necessities of his family to commit this Nathaniel Bowditch. 51 audacious plagiarism, his feelings were touched, his heart relented, his anger melted away like wax. He went to him again, and said, “ Sir, you did very wrong, and you know it, to appropriate to your own use and benefit the fruit of my labors. But I understand you are poor, and have a family to support. I feel for you, and will help you. That plan is unfinished, and contains errors that would have disgraced you and me had it been published in the state in which you found it. I ’ll tell you what I will do. I will finish the plan; I will correct the errors; and then you shall publish it for your ow a benefit, and I will head the subscription list with my name.” What a sublime, noble, Christian spirit was there manifested! This was really overcoming evil with good, and pouring coals of fire upon the poor man’s head. The natural feeling of resentment, which God has implanted within all bosoms for our protection against sudden assault and injury, was overruled and conquered by the higher, the sovereign principle of conscience. Dr. Bowditch was very familiar with the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments. He had read the Bible in his childhood, under the eye of a pious mother, and he loved to repeat the sublime and touch ing language of Holy W rit. In his religious views he was a Unitarian. His religion was an inward sentiment, flowing out into the life, and revealing itself in his character and actions. It was at all times, and at all periods of his life, a controlling and sustaining principle. He con fided in the providence and benignity of his Heavenly Father, as re vealed by his blessed Son, our Lord, and had an unshaken trust in the wisdom and rectitude of all the divine appointments. He looked for ward with firm faith to an immortality in <the spiritual world. Such had been the life, and such the character, of this distinguished man ; and such was he to the last, through all the agonies o f a most dis tressing illness. In the midst of health and usefulness, in the full dis charge of the duties of life, and in the full enjoyment of its satisfactions, the summons suddenly comes to him to leave it. And he meets the summons with the utmost equanimity and composure, with the submis sion of a philosopher and with the resignation of a Christian. He cer tainly had much to live for— few have more— but he gave up all with out repining or complaint. He said he should have liked to live a little longer, to complete his great work, and see his younger children grown up and settled in life. “ But I am perfectly happy,” he added, “ and ready to go, and entirely resigned to the will of Providence.” He arranged all his affairs, gave his directions with minuteness, and dictated and signed his last will and testament. W hile his strength permitted, he continued to attend to the necessary affairs of his office, and on the day previous to his death put his name to an important instrument. In the intervals of pain he prepared, as I have already remarked, the remaining copy, and corrected the proof-sheets of the fourth volume o f his great work, the printing o f which was nearly finished at the time of his death. It was gratifying to him to find that his mind was unenfee bled by disease and pain; and one day, after solving one o f the hardest problems in the book, he exclaimed, in his enthusiastic way, “ I feel that I am Nathaniel Bowditch still— only a little weaker.” On the morning of his death, when his sight was very dim, and his voice almost gone, like the patriarch Jacob, he called his children around his bedside, and arranging them in the order o f age, pointed to and addressed each by name, and said, “ Y ou see I can distinguish you all; 52 The State 'o f the Currency. and I now give you all m y parting blessing. The time is come. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.” These were his last words. Soon after this he quietly breathed away his soul, and departed. “ And the end of that man was peace.” Such a death alone was want ing to complete such a life, and crown and seal such a character. He died on the 16th day of March, 1838, having nearly completed his 65th year. He has built his own monument, more enduring than marble ; and in his splendid scientific name, and in his noble character, has bequeathed to his country the richest legacy. The sailor traverses the sea more safely by means o f his labors, and the widow’s and the orphan’s treasure is more securely guarded in consequence of his care. He was the Great Pilot who steered all our ships over the ocean; and though dead, he yet liveth, and speaketh, and acteth, in the recorded wisdom o f his invaluable book. The world has been the wiser and the happier that he has lived in it. He has left an example, as was intimated in the beginning of this Memoir, full of instruction and encouragement to the young, and espe cially to those among them who are struggling with poverty and diffi culties. He has shown them that poverty is no dishonor, and need be no hinderance; and that the greatest obstacles may be surmounted by persevering industry and an indomitable will. A rt. VI. — T H E S T A T E OF T H E C U R R E N C Y . I t is now half a century, since the gfeat impulse given by the organi zation of an efficient system of general government to the commercial energies of the United States, was first communicated. The period of time which has elapsed has been full o f important public events; many o f them by no means favorable to the full development of our prosperity. There have been wars, embargoes, a depreciated paper currency, and an irregular national policy, to contend with, in almost every country with which we have had relations, as well as in our own. Yet, notwithstand ing all these obstacles, the progress of the United States, as a commer cial nation, has been almost uniform. The exports o f the country, which, in 1790, hardly equalled in value the sum of $20,000,000, have gone on increasing until they now amount to $100,000,000, annually. Our popu lation, which, at the former date, scarcely numbered 4,000,000 souls, cannot at the present moment be estimated below 16,000,000; whilst the wealth of the community, if it can be at all measured by the amount o f the currency it sets in motion, must be allowed to have enlarged even in a greater proportion still. All of this immense extension has been carried on under the agency of a system which may emphatically be denominated one of credit. The generation, in active business, has been constantly running in advance o f the means actually possessed in its efforts for improving its condition; and although, occasionally, the effect of pushing the work a little too hard must be admitted to have been for the moment injurious— yet, when we look back upon the field o f action to observe results, when we consider how much has been done, and how few and ill provided were those who had the work to do, we can scarcely fail to wonder that a doubt should exist of the value that credit has been to our community, or an idea should have been suggested that it has been an obstacle to its advance. The State o f the Currency. 53 The passage of time has, however, been attended with important changes in our condition, not less in a positive than a relative point o f view. It has raised us up, a new nation, to take a leading position in the commercial affairs of the world, acting upon principles somewhat peculiar to itself, and not altogether recognised by older and longer es tablished ones. These principles, as they go into operation upon a daily expanding scale, are furnishing new materials for the observation of men, and new results for the science of political economy. It is a peculiarity of our countrymen in all departments of active lifer rarely to take for granted that there is a limit to experiment. They are not satisfied with any instrument in ordinary use, merely because it works well, but must seek to find out whether it cannot be made to work better. This disposi tion has doubtless some occasional inconveniences, particularly in the fact that it often causes experience to be purchased three or four times over— but on the whole, it has advantages more than compensating. The great want in this country, is the want o f power enough to develop its resources. Whatever, then, is found in any degree to serve the purpose of supplying it, whether it is a labor-saving machine, or a good substitute for capital, must be considered as a useful invention. Mistakes may, and no doubt do, often occur, and many contrivances come to be abandoned after experience of their failure to yield the benefits expected of them ; but, on the other hand, others which prove eminently advantageous are retained, and go to enlarge the active resources of the community. Thus has the country gone on, furnishing results often at variance with the rules which abstract notions, drawn from the study o f books, decide to be true, and at the same time a series of facts upon which, at some future moment, new and more sound deductions may be made. In the midst of the progress now referred to, one thing is strikingly observable; and this is, that the subject of money, considered as a science, is acquiring tenfold greater importance in the eyes of the American public, than it has ever heretofore enjoyed. Just in proportion as themotive force becomes greater through the increase of the materials of trade, the exchanges of which are always represented by money, do the results of their movements become more palpable and astonishing to every eye. Strange and unaccountable appearances present themselves to the observation even o f the most experienced, which they desire to explain. And extraordinary dangers are apprehended, to avoid or guard against which, by a recurrence to some safe and well established princi ples of action, always applicable in such contingencies, becomes an im portant object to all. Neither is the study of our financial affairs con fined entirely to this side of the Atlantic. The fluctuations in our cur rency, and the stability of our moneyed institutions, excite interest abroad as well as at home, and are observed almost as narrowly in the banking parlors of London, the great money mart of the world, as they are upon the exchange in our own city. The doors o f those very parlors are now besieged by swarms of applicants from America, for the loan o f no little of their superfluous money, which the States are anxious to apply to the execution of vast schemes o f internal communication. T hey seek for it to fill up valleys and cut down mountains, which thirty years ago would have been regarded as the possible undertaking o f a tenth generation later. When, in 1811, the state of New York was applying, through De Witt Clinton and others, to the General Government at Washington, for a little assistance in executing what was then thought the stupendous work of the Erie Canal, who could have foreseen that in five and twenty ■ 54 The State o f the Currency. years afterwards it would seem a trifle, in comparison with what not merely that state, hut others of not half her size and wealth, were under taking to do? W ho could then have supposed, that she who shrunk from the proposal of applying five millions of dollars to the original plan, would be considering whether eight times that sum was too much to be devoted to the same and similar purposes ? It is the recollection o f such facts as these, which brings to the mind o f foreigners, as well as natives, some thing like a feeble realization of the rapidity with which we advance. The world has given no similar lesson in its history. Strong as the expression may seem, yet it is no great exaggeration after all to say, that time and space, those obstacles to industry, once regarded so impracticable to deal with, stand nearly annihilated before the force o f our experience. Y et it must be allowed that this amazing rapidity is calculated to con fuse and dizzy the head most calmly employed in observing it. W e can take no note of distance but by its lo ss; and as to the scrutiny of every particular wheel or spring that is set in motion, while all are in such con stant action, the attempt is vain and fruitless. Whatever danger there may be in the path, must come, and must be met without any hope to avoid its consequences; for the people of the United States have become so habituated to swiftness-of motion in their career, that they are as little conscious of it as they are of the daily revolution of the globe. W e know not that the result would be greatly different, if they thought more about it. The country is generally considered as destined to furnish illustrations of the practical working of new theories in political economy as well as in government. Things unattempted yet, are the great ends which we would arrive at. And, inasmuch as the success of this policy has hitherto been unexampled, we have no right to presume that it will not continue here after, when more extensively followed out. Our province in America is not to dogmatise about any thing, but to observe ; not to strain and twist facts into an arbitrary theory o f our own, but to let theory be drawn out from the facts by that process of philosophical induction which ascends to a general principle only over the steps formed by the study of particulars. It may be affirmed that there have been three eras in the progress of the United States, in wealth and resources. The first and longest was that during which the organization of the financial system of the coun try took place, and efforts were making to release it from the embarrass ments incurred in establishing its independence. The second period passed in opening the means of internal communication between the States, and in attempts to develop the natural resources which they were believed to contain. The third and last, which is even now barely begun, appears to be likely to establish in its course the new principles by which credit and currency are hereafter to be regulated. Until the expiration o f the charter of the National Bank, in 1836, the system first recom mended by Hamilton, was, with a single brief interruption, that upon which the stability of our circulating medium was made to rest. It was then determined that the objections to a continuance o f this system were too serious to compensate for the advantages it furnished, and accordingly it was suffered to expire by its own limitation. The experiment was at that moment first entered upon, of letting the currency take care o f itself, the ultimate value of which, although it was extremely disastrous in its first consequences to the community, remains still to be tested by the result of a longer continued trial. The first effect of liberating the banks throughout the Union from all idea of central control, was perceived in an expansion o f their issue o f bills to an amount largely upon trebling The State o f the Currency. 55 what it had before been. A rapid rise in price o f all commodities liable to be affected by it, was the consequence, which stimulated gambling speculation. Credit may accelerate the formation of capital, but it can never itself be capital. This idea was not remembered in the hurry to make m oney; and the consequence w'as, that the first application o f the unerring test of exchange with foreign countries, which easily recognise the difference between the two, brought on a convulsion. The hanks suspended the payment of their obligations in cash, and the little gold and silver in circulation instantly disappeared. A ll of these events fol lowed each other with extraordinary rapidity; the fluctuations incident to them were all experienced in turn; the distress which they create was suffered ; and yet here we are, in the year o f our Lord 1839, to all exter nal appearance, recovered from the effect of every injury. Coin has again gone into circulation as money quite as much as it ever did, while the paper bills of the banks still form the great medium for effecting the ex changes of the community, as much, if not more, than they have always done— a convulsion of no ordinary character, in the estimation o f all those who ever studied the subject from books, has actually passed away, if not without leaving its marks upon the fortunes o f numberless private individuals, at least, making no visible alteration in the prosperity of the mass. Prices have not fallen in bringing round the change— the wages o f labor are as high as ever— the returns from industry are as quickly realized— the profits of business do not fall short. Now, we must frankly confess at once, that there is something in this very well calculated to make students of politico-economical treatises stare. There is no such thing in the record, as the so rapid recovery of a nation from an inconvertible paper money, upon so slight a previous preparation, as was made by this one. The amount o f that paper dimin ished during the year that cash payments were suspended, far less than it changed its character, particularly in those states where the hanks had been prohibited from issuing notes under five dollars. The sum of debt actually existing was diminished by bankruptcy far more than by pay ment. Property changed hands, hut it did not become the more availa ble as it went. And yet, notwithstanding the existence of these unfailing indications of a deeply disordered pecuniary condition, most of the hanks were enabled to re-assume, within a year from the time o f their suspen sion, the performance of their engagements, and that, as it proved, with hardly a risk to themselves from the effort. And now we should like to know, how many people can he found who take bank hills in payment, the less willingly, because they have found out that they are not equally, at all times, convertible into as much gold and silver as they represent? It is impossible to come at any adequate explanation of this phenome non of recovery, without a close examination of all the resources to which we may have had access to produce it. Perhaps the most effectual, as it certainly was the most curious, was the extension of our credit in foreign countries, in the midst of all our distress. It now appears clearly, that whilst we at home were considering our case as very desperate, it was viewed with different eyes from abroad. The punctual payment of the interest and part of the principal of some of the loans negotiated by the States, with a liberal allowance for the depreciation o f the paper me dium, sufficient to make up the full amount due in coin, was a pitch o f heroism struggling against adversity, to which the experience o f London bankers in Spanish bonds, or South American scrip, and even their ima gination, could furnish no ready parallel. There were indications in our 56 The State o f the Currency. affairs, of a moment o f excessive exhaustion, from our undertaking to do more than we were able to do, but not o f enduring prostration from which no recovery could be reasonably hoped or expected. Reasoning o f this kind had a tendency to raise rather than to depress the credit which the States enjoyed; our resources became better known, as curiosity in creased to examine them, our punctuality better appreciated, our com mercial importance more fully established. And exactly in proportion as these favorable opinions were forming or becoming more confirmed, were the opportunities offering for testing them, by immediate invest ments in new American stocks. It is not easy from the data before us exactly to specify the amount o f money raised in England, in this way, since the year o f the suspension o f specie payments, but a good idea may he formed o f it from the fact, that, out o f the sum of one hundred and seventy millions o f dollars which the States now owe, one hundred and eight millions, or about five eighths o f the whole debt, has been con tracted since the year 1835. This amount, drawn in three years, is twice and a half greater than what was procured'in the same manner during the five years immediately preceding, and nine times greater than in any other five years before them. It would appear, then, that the United States, commercially considered as one body, has been receiving from Europe, during the last two or three years, a sum which, after all deductions made, cannot be reasonably set down at less than twenty-five millions'of dollars per annum, on account of the loans o f states. If to this sum there be added what cannot well be estimated, although it is known to he a considerable item— we mean the loans furnished to private cor porations, and investments in local stocks, such as that o f the United States and other banks, Railroad and Trust Companies, &c. — it is clear that, in this direction, we have been gaining a most important, although temporary resource; indeed, one o f such magnitude as, when taken in connexion with a year o f reduced importation, and a small curtailment o f bank discounts, to he quite sufficient to account for our easy return to cash payments again. A concurrence of circumstances has enabled the growers o f the great staple of cotton in the United States, to maintain the price of that article in England, through the year, which has had no trifling effect in facili tating the re-establishment, as well as the restoration o f the currency. W e may then take it for granted that that restoration is, for all present purposes, tolerably complete ; and having thus examined the state of the past, we can now go on to consider the present and the future. W e are not aware that a single additional precaution in legislation has been the result of the experience o f the year 1837, nor that in the states generally there has been any very material modification of the erroneous system of banking heretofore carried on. The national government stands in no respect better secured against future danger of the currency, than it did before the suspension. The soundness of hank paper depends now, exactly as it did in 1836, upon the will of the banks themselves. They may keep it good if they will listen to prudent counsels; and they may depreciate it if they do again as they did before. W e have hopes of the best, not entirely unmingled, it must be confessed, with fears for the worst. The reasons for those fears may be very briefly enumerated thus: The foreign loans, whilst they effectively answer the present purpose of keeping the rates of exchange with foreign countries favorable, must yet be remembered to carry with them the certainty of a heavy annual burden for the future, in the shape o f interest, which will go to swell a The State o f the Currency. 57 stream that may flow the other way. And although the application of the funds thus procured to purposes o f internal improvement, may he granted to be likely in the main to be beneficial to the country, it will not prevent the absorption of the metallic medium, or that shape in which they were conveyed to us, into the banking system, from which it can never again be safely withdrawn; and the substitution o f paper, which cannot answer to meet demands from abroad. W e are aware that this very brief suggestion of the difficulty is not sufficient to explain the idea it is meant to convey. And, although transgressing the limits we pro posed to occupy, without nearly terminating our views of the subject, we must sacrifice the further expression o f them at present to the object of developing it more fully. Whatever may be the positive quantity o f gold and silver in the coun try, whether equal to $50,000,000, or to three times that amount, one thing seems pretty clear, that a very small portion o f it can be used as money of circulation, so long as the disposition exists in the banks to issue their notes instead, and this disposition is attended with a corre sponding inclination on the part of the public to prefer them. The im mediate effect of increasing specie seems then to reduce itself to this, that it furnishes ready means for increasing the quantity of bank notes, until the proportion between them is arrived at, which, according to the usual notions, is regarded as safe. If a sum of $40,000,000 of coin was considered in 1835 as justifying an issue of $120,000,000 o f bills, there is no reason why the receipt o f $40,000,000 more will not justify the issue of at least $240,000,000 o f bills. So far as the United States is concerned, there is no reason for supposing any limit to exist in the amount of circulating medium, which may be used— the effect only being that the prices of all commodities and. labor continue to graduate themselves to the increase. The danger from such an operation arises from the action of foreign countries, by creating a tendency to import largely of their commodities, which must be paid for by m oney; and that money must be gold and silver. This produces what is called an unfavorable balance of trade. The rates of exchange become high— a desire to procure gold and silver, in preference to paper, leads to an attempt to convert the latter into the former at the banks, and this in its turn involves them, and through them, the trading community, in con siderable embarrassment. In ordinary times, it may be said that the great danger to the banking system is to be found in the demand which may arise for the conversion o f bank notes into coin to send abroad. And thus whenever the exchanges run up so high as to make it cheaper to send coin than to send any thing else, and this state o f things contin ues for any length of time, the whole system of bank paper issues, which we use as money, must be considered as in very great jeopardy. Now the effect of borrowing so largely o f Great Britain and other countries in Europe, as we have done during the past two or three years, is to keep the exchange between us and them for the time in our favor; and hence we are either receiving specie, or at any rate lire in no danger' of losing what we have. But if we receive any more specie in this man ner, every body knows that it does not go into the circulation o f the country, which is supplied by paper, but that it goes into the vaults of new banks, which instantly set to work to increase the sum of that paper. The effect of that increase is felt in prices, and these prices in turn hasten the arrival of an unfavorable balance o f trade. W hen this happens, VOL. i. — no. i. 8 58 Theory o f Money and Banks. however, the gold and silver which came here So easily, cannot be sent away with equal ease, because it has been made the basis o f a large paper circulation, which cannot continue safely without it. And if the loans have stopped in the interval, and no artificial means can be resorted to of avoiding the crisis, it will then become necessary not merely to pay in silver and gold the amount of the actual difference between the trade o f the two parts of the world, but an amount of annual interest due upon the sums theretofore borrowed superadded thereon. W hen it is consid ered that this article alone is probably equal in amount at this time to twelve or fifteen millions o f dollars per annum, this view of the case may not be entirely without its importance to commercial men. That there is at this moment going on a very rapid expansion in the issues of the banks throughout the country, can hardly be doubted. If any evidence was needed, we could quote nothing more decisive than the rise in prices of all domestic commodities. Perhaps the new experi ment now commenced in our state o f free banking, may be contributing, in an important degree, to this effect. There is a disposition strikingly manifest in many quarters, to adopt new theories and principles for bank ing, which must, in the absence o f all central control, have a very ex tensive operation upon the future condition of the currency. Perhaps they may result in something good, and at any rate it is too early to condemn them unequivocally yet. So long as the influx of foreign capi tal continues, it will be difficult for any body to go wrong. But in the mean time, it may not be unadvisable for those large capitalists and wealthy institutions, which now possess all the power left in the country o f regulating the currency, to consider well what they do, and how far it is expedient for them, by countenancing the spirit of speculation, to put out o f their hands the means they may have of meeting a moment o f dan ger. New York is entitled to great credit in restoring us to a speciepaying condition; and this credit, gained under adversity, she must not lose by any forgetfulness of her duty in moments of apparent prosperity. W e originally proposed to furnish to our readers some views of the nature of, and objections to, a few features of the general banking law of the state, but having already exceeded the proper limit for a single article, we must reserve what we have to say upon that subject for a future number. A rt . VII. — T H E O R Y OF M O N E Y A N D B AN K S. The Theory o f Money and Banks investigated. By G eorge T u ck er , Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Virginia, and Member of the American Philosophical Society. Boston: 1839. Charles C. Little and James Brown. A mong the many symptoms that are visible among us o f the increas ing estimate formed o f the subject o f money, considered as a science, none is of a moire positive nature than the production o f such a work as the one before us. Professor Tucker is already well known to the public, first as having filled a seat in the house of representatives of the United States from Virginia, then as a teacher o f moral philosophy in the University of that state, and still more lately as the defender and apologist o f the fair fame of Thomas Jefferson, somewhat compromised by an injudicious, but very honest publication o f his manuscript papers. ■ Theory o f Money and Banks. 59 Yet, however respectably he may have acquitted himself in any or all of these relations, we should hardly have expected them to fit him to appear advantageously as a political economist. W e can scarcely define the reason why, but the fact will admit o f little contradiction, that in the particular department of money, the public in the United States has not been in the habit of looking for sound practical judgments among the leading minds of the state o f Virginia. So far as we know, since the adoption of the constitution, although she has furnished more than her proportion of distinguished public men, she has not yet produced a sin gle financier. The theory o f Mr. Jefferson, in many respects entirely anti-commercial, and the fine spun metaphysical subtleties o f the strict construction school, have been hitherto far more in accordance with the temper of her population than statistical tables. Trade is in its nature consolidating, because it will not recognise arbitrary geographical lines ; it is creative of such strong common interests, wherever it once connects people in relations with one another, that local jealousies, and all narrow notions of exclusive independence, vanish before it. The ancient domin ion has been nourishing her prejudices for many years at the expense of her power. It must be regarded as a sign that she is about to abandon them, when a gentleman like Professor Tucker, who has been brought up in the school of its straitest sect, is willing to avow the opinions upon credit and banking which are to be found in this book. Forty years have made a great change in the relative position o f the old states of our Union; for whilst they have thrown forward most of its northern members in population and resources immensely, they have left Virginia not much better than they found her. It is time for her citizens to awake to a true sense of their situation. A proof that they are stirring, is to be found in the legislation of the last two or three years, as well as in the work of Mr. Tucker. W e do not propose, at the present moment, to go into an extended notice of this book— more particularly o f the questions o f a debatable character that it contains. W e are not aware that there is a single absurd or unreasonable proposition maintained in it, which is saying a great deal in this day o f new-fangled theories. The author is perfectly candid, and always moderate. His plan is to sum up the argument in favor and against any important point with great fairness, and to submit his own opinion afterwards. This makes his work valuable as a text book for elementary instruction, particularly as it contains few dogmas which a scholar will have, in process o f time, and often at no small cost, to unlearn. The first part, or that which treats of the precious metals, as the material for money, contains little that will not at once command assent; and if the second, which is devoted to credit and banking, con tains much that will be disputed, it is only because nothing is now admitted upon those subjects, by every body in the United States, as beyond question. The expediency of credit itself is denied by some who, as the professor aptly remarks, would, if occasion required, equally deny the value of steamboats in Mississippi navigation. There is one thing which we like about the author, and that is, he takes no care to conceal his opinions. Although a Virginian, and of the Jefferson school, he is clearly in favor of a banking system, and a national bank. W e all see plainly enough that at this time there is no prospect of the establishment of such an institution, but that is no reason why, in a fair and full examination of our system of money dealings, the propriety, and indeed the necessity of it, should not be freely displayed. i ■ 60 Theory o f Money and Banks. Professor Tucker appears to be under no improper bias. He is not a merchant, depending upon bank discounts, nor a politician, making denunciation of banks as stock in trade, but a retired gentleman, reflect ing upon the combined lessons o f theory and experience, and drawing his conclusions from his observation o f results. It is difficult to make any extracts which shall do justice to the author, inasmuch as he connects the sense in his paragraphs very closely. But as the probable operation of the present law o f free banking in this state is regarded with general interest, perhaps our readers will be most curious to know what he has to say upon that. W e therefore have de cided to select the passage that treats of it as a specimen of his manner : Another expedient which has been viewed with favor, both in this country and England, for giving stability to banks of circulation, is to require every bank to vest a part o f its capital in public stock, or, in lieu o f that, in mortgages, which, being o f permanent value, would secure the creditors of the bank from loss under any supposable state o f pecuniary embarrassment in the country, or o f imprudence in the bank. And the state o f New York has lately passed a general banking law, by which the ordinary privileges of a corporation are extended to any voluntary association of individuals, who are permitted to carry on the business o f banking, and to issue notes to the extent that they have previously deposited stock, or mortgages, with the comp troller o f the state. Assuredly, the less the banks lend, the less is their risk of loss; and if they keep a part o f their capital employed, not in the business o f banking, but invested in the pub lic funds, or joint-stock companies, or land, they are, to that extent, exempt from the hazards o f banking, but to the same extent they must forego its profits, and substitute the dividends or profits derived from these permanent investments in their stead. This exchange may give the public additional security, or it may not. If the stock purchased was part o f a public debt to a government faithful to its engagements, it would afford higher security than any loans on personal credit; but there may be no national debt, as is now the case with the United States, and there may be no public debt in the state where the bank is to be established. If, then, the money be vested in the stock of canal, rail-road, insurance, or other joint-stock companies, as has been sometimes proposed, there would be the same uncertainty o f profit, and the same hazards encountered, as in the ordinary business of banking. The stockholders would certainly prefer employing their capital in discounting such paper as they approved, both for profit and safety, to vesting it in the stock of a company, over whose manage ment they had no control; and to the creditors of the bank, the security would be the same. Let us, however, suppose that stock issued by the states could be procured ; although the bank may be somewhat more safe, yet as its profits will be proportionally dimin ished, it may be doubted whether capitalists will be disposed to advance their money for a bank, in which, to give greater security to the public, their means o f profit are diminished, and their hazard of loss is increased. Let us see the operation of a bank on the plan proposed in New York. W e will suppose an association formed for the establishment of a bank with a capi tal o f 2,000,000 dollars, for the whole of which the members must provide approved stock of the state to the same amount. As this is taken at its market value, it is the same to the proprietors as furnishing so much cash. For this stock they are entitled to receive notes for circulation, to the same amount, of the comptroller of the state. But they must also provide a stock of specie. The law requires that the bank shall have in specie not less than one eighth part of its notes in circulation. Besides, they cannot get their notes into circulation without paying away a certain proportion of specie. From the moment they begin to discount, a part o f their notes will be returned to be converted into cash. What that proportion will be, nothing but experiment can determine. Let us, however, suppose that, for every four dollars in paper, one in silver has been required. Then to have lent out the $2,000,000, the sum o f $500,000 was required in specie, to which must be added one eighth of the notes issued, or $250,000, to be retained in their vaults, agreeably to the requisition o f the law. In that case, their profits would be as follows : Interest on $2,000,000 stock, at 5 per ct...................................................... $100,000 Do. on $2,500,000, discounted at 6 per ct.................................................... $150,000 $250,000 Commerce and Protection. 61 Which, on $2,000,000 stock and $750,000 specie, is something more than 9 per cent., from which, if we deduct 1 1-2 per cent, for expenses, would leave 7 1-2 per cent, for the net profit on the whole capital invested. The expenses, it must, however, be remembered, will be greater than in an ordinary bank, on account of its deposit stock, both for legal advice, and in collecting the interest. But, if the proportion o f specie required by the bank should exceed what has been supposed, as it probably would, the dividends would be proportionally diminished. It must be recollected, that the means o f circulating the notes have not been at all aided by the stock, except so far as, by increasing the public confidence, it may have extended their circulation. But this effect might be insignificant, and could not be much. Bank notes do not circulate at all, unless the public have entire confidence in the solvency o f the bank that issued them; but, whatever may be the confidence, they will still be converted into specie for the various purposes o f being sent or taken to a distance, o f being wrought into plate and jewelry, and of being placed in another bank. It is then the $750,000 o f specie, in the case supposed, which has put and keeps in circulation the notes. This was the real banking capital. But, to suppose that this sum would be adequate to loans or discounts for $2,500,000, or more than three times its amount, is against all experience. It might not be sufficient for more than two thirds o f that amount; o f course, to put the whole $2,000,000 o f notes into circulation, a much larger amount o f specie will be required. Nor is this all. The proportion of 12 1-2 per cent, o f the notes in circulation for the specie— the minimum required by the law — although it might be. sufficient for country banks in prosperous times, is not enough for them in ordinary times, and not enough for city banks at any time. The banks of the city of New York, on the 1st of January, 1837, when their loans were unusually great, had $3,854,453 in specie, to a circulation o f $8,155,883; that is, 47 per cent., nearly four times as much as we have supposed. To be prepared, then, for the smallest fluctuations in the money market, the bank would find it necessary to increase the amount o f its specie much above 12 1-2 per cent., and, if it should resort to the sale o f its stock, in times of emer gency, the same pressure for money which has driven them to this expedient will lower the market value o f stock, and they may lose in one sale the amount o f seven years’ dividends. And, so far as real estate is substituted, the hazards o f loss, as well as the expense o f management, Iwfll'be greatly enhanced; so that the plan does not seem calculated to invite prudent andsnbsla-ntiai capitalists, wSiohaveuo other pur pose to serve than to make safe and profitable Investments^ in wM chp^e,-the public must eventually find its best reliance is on a weU-organized bank, Witn a capital o f gold and silver, placed under the management o f cautious, judicious, and experienced men. W e shall probably take an occasion very soon to go more fully into an examination of the present work, in the course./;[ tvhich we propose to give some ideas of our own upon the effect o f;the free banking law, and to controvert the opinion maintained by our author, o f the expediency of more than one national bank. In the mean time, however, we freely recommend it to all who are already interested in the subject, as a work full o f excellent views, and to those who desire to make themselves acquainted with it as a gootL giyd ^ mid authority. The author has appended, also, several vflCfjietlpubl^ and convenient tables. A rt. V III.- T E C T IO N . [We insert with pleasure the following communication, as it is our object to present to reflecting minds both sides of a vexed question; one which has extensively agitated the country, and is destined to agitate it again ; but not to so great a degree as at the time the Tariff Compromise Bill was passed by Congress, in 1833. In the interim, both parties have had time for reflection, and ultraists on both sides are now, we be lieve, few and far between. The South has realized the value of a domestic market for its cotton, on which it could fall back, when prices declined in Europe ; and manu facturers have become convinced that extravagant and unreasonable duties are not the best protectives o f home industry. W e are in favor o f a full and fair protection to our manufacturers and mechanics — to every thing which can call out the skill, and develop the resources of our coun 62 Commerce and Protection. try, as contributing to our prosperity in peace, and our independence in a state of warfare. But high duties act as encouragement to reckless and injurious competi tion in the branches o f industry they are meant to foster, and by the idea of extra ordinary profits, divert labor and capital from natural and healthful channels; and the domestic productions of a country may be as injuriously increased by artificial stimulants, as imports may be made to exceed our ability to pay for, by the reck lessness o f commercial men, grasping at shadows, and losing the reality. The “ juste milieu” applies to all things. The free trade system advocated by the English theorists, is, like the majority o f their manufactures, intended for exportation, and not for home use,— other nations are to furnish the raw material, but they are to have the profit on the manufactured article. There, every thing that can stimulate production, is applied with unsparing hand, until at last the system has become so complex and interwoven with the exist ence o f the government, that, like her national debt, and her privileged aristocracy, an attempt at change might shake the whole social fabric to its foundation. Fortu nately for the United States, we are placed in a position in which we can select the good and reject the evil. No one interest can be built up in our republic, at the expense o f another; not only the spirit of the constitution forbids it, but the state of things, as we find them, renders it impossible. The agriculturist, the manufacturer, the merchant, and the mechanic, all the productive, as well as what economists call the unproductive classes, are represented in Congress, by delegates generally chosen specially by themselves. W e recognise no privileged order, but that o f industry, intellect, and w orth; we bow to no supremacy but that of m ind; no law can be passed, unless a majority o f the great interests represented shall agree that it is o f a national and advantageous character. Our growth in some particular departments may, in this way, possibly be retarded, but it is more natural and healthy. And if the great national edifice progresses less rapidly, the foundation is surer, and the proportions will be more just and beautiful. W e do not believe in the opposition of commercial men to a just protection to home industry. They have realized the value o f the internal trade— the deep root taken by the manufacturing interest of the country— the importance of the coasting business — and the vast impulse which these, united, give to domestic and foreign commerce. The raising of a revenue for the sugpart; <Jf gcrrernment, by means of a Tariff, is ^he.teast- onerguj 14 all, indeed, t*is only acdepteble to the genius o f the people, Torvfirsct\ta^ajie!ti 5s*oijt pf the'questfen'flhrs’ point conceded, the only difficulty to ;b a “dfeposedtif"is l6e"amount of dp;.ias.to be imposed on foreign commerce, commen surate to the, wan t^ » f *the government, and fully and fairly favoring the different branches otdbmejtic; rpdjistrr; — but.eh this head we do not feel ourselves called on to express flur opinitm at the present moment. As we have before.saidr.She ultraists o f free trade are few and far between ; we believe our talented fiiendhas engaged in a fanciful contest with imaginary oppo nents— but as he po'Ses'a sharp and polished lance, we have no objection to let him throw it, and if he can find an ultraist anywhere, to let him hit him— we belong to the “ juste milieu.” ] I t lias ever been the special effort o f the foes of the protective system, to enlist the mercantile interest, as such, in the support of their cause. The merchants, as a body, are calculated on to furnish the vanguard of the anti-protective army, and to supply it with the sinews o f war. How ever other classes may break or waver, they are expected to constitute an immovable phalanx. Others may need argument and demonstration, but their anti-tariff prepossessions are assumed as a matter of instinct. T o be a^merchant, and to be hostile to laws for the protection of home industry, are regarded as identical. Not that merchants are known or believed to be, in fact, universally hostile to protection. Every man’s observation teaches him the contrary. It is well known to every writer on the subject, that many of the most enlightened, able, and efficient advocates of protection, have been found in the mercantile class. But the assumption of the free trade doctors avers, that commerce is, in the very nature of things, hostile to the pro tective system ; that, though individuals may be induced to favor that system, by personal and peculiar interests, these are but eddies in the great stream of commercial feeling and interest, while the current bears Commerce and Protection. , 63 unequivocally and powerfully in a contrary direction. This question o f fact is one of lesser moment; but that of absolute interest and policy is one of vital importance. For, be it known to all, the great controversy o f protection versus free trade, is by no means at an end. Suspended in 1833, by a nine years’ truce, it will be renewed after 1842, with an intensity equal to any that this country has ever yet experienced. It must, in the nature of things, be so. The free traders, flushed by an advantage achiev ed for them in 1S33, mainly, if not solely, by the force o f circumstances wholly extraneous from the proper controversy, are running into the wild est ultraism. They are disporting their fancies in a region never adven tured upon by them in the earlier stages of the controversy. Hitherto the clamor on that side has been for a reduction of imposts to a revenue basis — to the measures of the fiscal wants of government. W e have already reached that point— nay, gone beyond it— and the cry is still onward. Free trade now strikes at the root o f revenue duties also. No tariff— no imposts— absolute freedom of importation, is now the demand. Throw open your ports, tear down, or convert to other uses, your custom-houses — banish the very idea of customs— raise your revenue by direct taxation. Such are the present modest demands of the free trade theorists. How soon they may be extended to require the government to furnish ships for the importation, free of cost, of such foreign products as the country may prefer to its own, is a question rather out of the scope of the present essay. Suffice it that in its present shape, the doctrine o f free trade strikes at the existence of all duties on imports whatever. It will be satisfied with nothing short of this. Abolish all discriminating duties, (which was the extent of its earlier demand,) and we still have a revenue impost which, in view of the largely increased expenditures of the federal government, can hardly be estimated below twenty, certainly not below fifteen per cent. This still operates, to its extent, as a protection and stimulus to domestic in dustry. It is still an eyesore and an abomination to free trade. Mordecai the Jew still sits in the king’s gate, and the wrath o f Haman is unsated. Nothing less than the abolition of customs and custom-houses, and the overspreading o f our whole land with a locust tribe of tax-gatherers, will satisfy its urgent aspirations. Thus, then, stands the question between the free trade theorists and the advocates of protection; and we are now prepared to consider to which side the interests of commerce should incline its votaries. Is it commer cially expedient that the great producing interests o f the country be fos tered and stimulated to their highest possible activity and force, or that they be left entirely to take care of themselves, and in each department to encounter the depressing and disastrous rivalry of whatever portion of the globe may be able to undersell our productions in its particular staple ? Shall our producers of grain be exposed to an equal competition for their own market, with the serfs of Russia, who are content to labor for a supply o f the coarsest necessaries of life ? Shall our cities be supplied mainly with the potatoes of Ireland, because the Irish laborer is thankful for a shil ling a day, while the American receives five or six ? Shall the vast manu facturing interest of this country, which gives direct employment to one fourth of its commerce and navigation, and consumes the surplus products of one half its agriculture, be exposed to certain prostration and ruin, in a competition with the older and wealthier manufacturing interests of Eng land, France, and Germany, backed by an unlimited command o f capital, at four or five per cent, per annum, and of labor at ten to forty cents a day ? 64 Commerce and Protection. Is it possible that the interests of American commerce can be subserved by a general recklessness and wreck of all other American interests? But it is asked, why cannot American skill and industry, like American valor and enterprise, sustain themselves in an equal competition with those o f Europe ? The question is based on an entire misapprehension of the subject. They can sustain themselves in an equal contest; and it is for that very equality we plead. T hey cannot engage in the combat with naked limbs and empty hands, against a mailed and armed adversary. T hey cannot successfully struggle, while infantile and unprotected, against the well established and protected rivalry o f their most favored competitors. The peace of 1815 found American manufactures in a state o f great activity, prosperity, and progress. In three years thereafter, Brit ish rivalry, most desperately pursued, had wrought their entire ruin. Protection then came to their relief, and they again revived and prospered. A few years found them, not only supplying the home market, at prices o f unprecedented cheapness, but rivaling their old antagonist and former vanquisher, in the markets o f South America, of China, and wherever else a fair competition was attainable. This they are still enabled to do, to the great benefit of American commerce and navigation, and will continue to do, so long as they shall enjoy a just preference and protection in the supply of the home market. But deprive them of this— place them in unequal and disadvantageous competition for foreign markets, against their rivals of Great Britain, France, and Germany, which have an exclu sive home market as an assured basis for their operations, and they must inevitably wither. Human skill and management cannot withstand the double advantage thus afforded to our rivals in the command of labor at half price, and a protected market against competitors who have neither. The overthrow of protection must be a signal for the recommencement of the great national tragedy of 1 8 1 5 -1 9 . But let us keep in view the interests o f commerce. What is the first element of commercial prosperity? Is it not notoriously national wealth and home production ? Isolated cities have, indeed, risen suddenly to commercial eminence on the enjoyment of a lucrative carrying trade be tween foreign nations; but such prosperity is of necessity extremely preca rious, and usually of brief duration. Its decline is as sudden as its growth. A war, an embargo, a revolution, the discovery of a cheaper channel of communication, of a new instrument of navigation, even— and Petra, Tyre, Carthage, Venice, is hurled from the summit o f its fortune and its glory, leaving but crumbling ruins and desolate streets to mark the former site of commercial greatness. A flourishing and stable commerce, mainly based upon an interchange of commodities between foreign na tions, is a reverie unsuited to this age of the world. N o — it is on a simple traffic o f the surplus products o f its own country for those of other lands, and on the exchange of commodities between different sections o f our own country, that American commerce must mainly rely. Obviously, then, it becomes an object of primary solicitude with our commercial interest, that the amount of our country’s productions be as large as possible, and that every consistent means be employed to increase that amount. For, let the necessities and desires of our people be ever so urgent, it is evident that goods can only be purchased — at any rate, can only be paid fo r—-t o the extent of the surplus products of the country. For a single year, we might bowl merrily onward on the strength o f our credit abroad ; another year’s deficiency might be eked out by the exportation o f our stock of the precious metals, &c.; and then the game Commerce and Protection. 65 would be ended. After the intervention of two or three years of pros tration and distress, commerce might resume its former course, subject to the feebleness and exhaustion which a succession of excess and paralysis would be sure to induce. During the virtual suspension of commercial vitality, the consumers will have learned to dispense with or produce many articles o f foreign origin for which they had formerly trusted to commerce; and the revival of trade would be marked by a sensible di minution of its value and vigor, as compared with its earlier prosperity. The highest possible incentive to home industry— the utmost practicable stimulus to domestic production— is then as essential to the well being of commerce as of any other great national interest. It is the idlest folly to fear that our country will produce so much and so variously that she will want to purchase little or nothing. Even were our wide expanse of territory made to supply abundantly all the varieties of agricultural and manufactured products of which it is capable, it is doubtful if the foreign trade o f the country would be thereby reduced, while it is certain that the domestic interchange of commodities, which already forms the basis of the larger half of our commercial transactions, would be very greatly increased. Man is so constituted, that his wants increase and amplify at least in pro portion to his ability to gratify them. W ere all our present requirements to be henceforth supplied by domestic production, while we should retain the ability to purchase largely from foreign nations, our fancies would soon seek out new gratifications, and find different necessities, until the amount of our imports should speedily equal the measure o f our abilities. In an enlarged and enlightened view, therefore, every addition to or new development of the internal resources o f the country is certain to redound to the substantial and permanent advantage o f commerce, and should be hailed with gladness, and fostered if need be by its votaries. In the narrow view too commonly taken, if the United States should hence forth produce twenty-five millions’ worth of silk per annum, instead o f importing it, there would be a loss of so much to commerce. But practi cal men know that the reverse of this is true ; that such production would largely increase and stimulate the mercantile business of the country, at least to the extent of the value produced, by increasing at once the ability of our citizens to pay for foreign products, and the amount of their own commodities to be interchanged through the medium of commerce. If, by any line of policy, any new incentives to industry and enterprise, the amount of our country’s aggregate productions could be increased one half or one fourth beyond the increase o f its population, its commercial activity and prosperity must be increased in far more than an equal ratio : for the first hundred millions’ worth of annual production is doubtless con sumed in supplying the merest and most absolute wants of the producers themselves, without entering at all into the elements of comm erce; but whatever rises above that, being appropriated to the comforts and the luxu ries of life, begins at once to circulate through the channels of trade ; and if the present annual production of the country may be estimated at three hundred millions, the addition of one hundred millions more to that pro duction would probably double the commercial business o f the country. The day when protection could be made a bugbear— at least in this part of the country— is over. W e have tested by experience the falsity of the original foreboding, that the adoption o f the protective system would destroy our commerce — at any rate, our foreign commerce— altogether. All the free trade forebodings of the early stages of this controversy have VOL. i. — n o . i. 9 66 Mercantile Law. signally failed. It is not yet twenty years since a doleful anticipation was widely entertained, that a resort to the protective policy would dry up the springs of commerce entirely, and (most melancholy to contem plate !) require the imposition of Direct Taxes for the support of the Federal Government. Now the support of government exclusively by such taxes is regarded as the perfection of national policy by the theorists of the same school. Their fears of a destruction or signal decline of commerce under the influence o f the protective policy have been shown to be utterly delusive. Take the ten years when that policy was pre dominant— from 1824 to 1834— and its friends may safely defy its oppo nents to show any ten successive years when commerce was so uniformly, generally, and onwardly prosperous. The revulsion o f 1825 belonged to the earlier period, and was the direct result o f an excess of importa tion over production under the auspices of “ free trade.” Under an effi cient protective tariff it could never have been incurred, though it might have happened under any system, as the yellow fever caught in New Orleans might be experienced in the most healthful locality. It is high time that the commercial interest should realize more fully its intimate sympathy with the agriculture, manufactures, and production generally of the country. If these are not prosperous— nay, if they are not encouraged, and stimulated to their highest attainable activity and vigor— it will be idle to hope for and expect that commerce can flourish. T hey form the heart from which the life-blood must be supplied; let that be torpid, and the vital functions must cease altogether. MERCANTILE LAW. A I X .— IN S U R A N C E — C O N S U L S — C O M M ISSIO N M E R C H A N T S — M IS R E P R E S E N T A T IO N A S T O T O N N A G E . rt. T he mercantile law is founded in principles which are simple in them selves, and few in number; but in their application to the business o f life, the details o f cases vary so m uch— the circumstances of each are so different, and those differences are often of so minute a character, that a most distressing uncertainty hangs over many parts of the subject, and litigation is constantly increasing among a class, the members o f which have little or no bitterness of feeling towards each other, but who submit to courts of justice the determination of their rights, from a sincere desire to ascertain what they are. This branch of the law is of peculiar interest, because mercantile causes often exhibit the best pictures that exist of the manners, customs, habits, and modes of life o f distant communities. They are also valua ble for historical facts, ascertained in the best possible manner, by tribu nals erected for the express purpose o f eliciting the truth. It is not our purpose to present labored essays on this subject, except occasionally: but an attempt will be made to present, as they occur, the more important and interesting decisions, on subjects o f interest to the merchant. Those who wish to investigate particular subjects of mer cantile law, can easily do so by other means. Our immediate object is to present notices o f recent decisions, not contained in the books, conse quently not generally known to gentlemen of the bar even. As our arti cles on this subject will be compiled by legal gentlemen, and as our information will be as authentic as it is recent, it may be valuable to professional gentlemen, as well as merchants. Insurance — Collision. 67 IN SU R A N C E . C ollision. — An interesting case on this subject was decided a short time since in Boston, in the Circuit Court of the United States. It was an action brought by John Peters and others, against the Warren Insu rance Company of Boston, to recover on a policy of insurance on the ship Paragon, dated March 15, 1836. It appeared, that in November, 1S36, the ship sailed from Gottenburg, in ballast, to procure a cargo of iron for the United States. Whilst proceeding down the Elbe, with a pilot on board, she came in contact with a galiot, called the Franc Anna, and sunk her. The Para gon lost her bowsprit, jiboom, and anchor, and sustained other damages, which obliged her to go into Cuxhaven, a port at the mouth of the Elbe, and subject to the jurisdiction of Hamburg, for repairs. Whilst lying there, the captain o f the galiot libelled the Paragon in the marine court, alleging, that the loss of the vessel was caused by the carelessness or fault of those on board the Paragon. The ship was arrest ed, but subsequently released, on security being given by the agents of the owners to respond to such damages as should be awarded by the court. The captain of the Paragon, in his answer, denied the charges o f care lessness or fault on the part of those on board of his ship; and the court, after hearing the parties, and their proofs, decided, that the collision was not the result of fault or carelessness on either side, and that therefore, according to article first, title eight, o f the marine law o f Hamburg, the loss was a general average loss, and to be borne equally by each party. That is, the Paragon was to bear one half o f the expense o f her own re pairs, and to pay one half of the value of the galiot,— and the galiot was to bear the loss of one half of her own value, and to pay one half of the expense of the repairs of the Paragon. In conformity with this decision, a general average statement was drawn up by Mr. Oldermann, the Depacheur of Hamburg, an officer appointed by law, and by whom alone such statements can be prepared, and the captain of the Paragon was obliged to pay $2600, which amount the owners claimed to recover of the insurers. The defence was placed principally on the grounds, that the rule o f law in existence at Hamburg being different from what exists in this country, the underwriters were not bound by it ; that this was not properly a case o f general average, or o f a loss by the perils insured against, but it was a loss by the peculiar and absurd provision o f the laws of Hamburg, that in case of a collision between two vessels, the loss shall be apportion ed between them, although there is no pretence of fault on either side. After an elaborate argument of the points of law, Judge Story decided,— 1. That when a case of general average occurs, if it is settled in the foreign port of destination, or in any other foreign port, where it right fully ought to be settled, the adjustment there made will be conclusive as to the items, as well as the apportionment thereof upon the various inter ests, although it may be different from what our own law would have made, in case the adjustment had been made on a like collision in our own ports. 2. The judge gave it as his opinion, that this was not a case o f gene ral average, but one of particular average. But the principal point in his mind was, whether the collision was a peril o f the sea, or whether it was a mere consequential injury, for which the underwriters were not liable ; and on this point he decided,— 3. That where a collision between two ships accidentally takes place within the dominions of a foreign power, and by the laws of that foreign €8 Mercantile Law. power all damages occasioned thereby are to be borne equally by the two vessels, such a collision is a peril o f the seas, within the meaning of the common policy of insurance; and the underwriters are liable not only for the direct damage done to the ship insured by them, but also for the charge apportioned on such ship, as her contributory share towards the common loss, not as a general average, but as properly a part o f the partial loss occasioned by the collision. This decision being unsatisfactory to the defendants, and there being a general wish among the underwriters in Boston that the question should be settled by the highest tribunal in the country, the cause was carried up to the Supreme Court of the United States at Washington, last winter, where the decision of Judge Story was affirmed. The grounds of the decision we do not know, as it has not yet been published. G eneral A verage . On the subject o f Average, several important decisions have recently been made, overruling, in some respects, opinions which have hitherto been received as correct. In the case of P otter v. The Ocean Insurance Company o f Boston, which was decided by Judge Story, in the Circuit Court o f the United States, at the October term, 1837, it was held, that the wages, provisions, and other expenses of the voyage to a port o f necessity, for the purpose o f making repairs, constitute a general average. It makes no difference in the application of the principle to policies of insurance, that there hap pens to be no cargo on board, so that there is, in fact, no contribution to be made by cargo or by freight; for general average does not depend upon the point whether there are different subject matters to contribute, but whether there is a common sacrifice for the benefit o f all, who are, or m ay be, interested in the accomplishment of the voyage. Neither does it make any difference in the application o f the principle, that the insu rance, on which the question arises, is not for a particular voyage, but on time. In the case of Loring v. Neptune Insurance Company, which was de cided in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at the March term, 1838, it was held, that a general average adjustment made in the port of destination, fairly and according to the laws of that place, is conclusive on all parties interested in the ship, cargo, and freight. This same principle was fully recognised by Judge Story in the case of Peters v. Warren Insurance Company, an account of which we have given above. In the course of the trial of Loring v. Neptune Insurance Company, several singular provisions of the law of Hamburg respecting general average were proved. It appeared, that by a law of the city, first published by the senate in 1731, all goods contribute in general average accord ing to the invoice, with the charges till on board, except the premium. Each bill of lading is looked upon as a whole, and has to contribute according to the full invoice amount, without reference to any part being in a damaged state or totally destroyed. It is only when the whole contents of a bill of lading are destroyed, or so much damaged that the consignee refuses to receive them, that no contribution takes place. A ll goods contribute according to the full invoice value, provided they be received at all, and the receipt o f any part of a bill of lading is tanta mount to having received the whole. In the above case, the bark Stag (the policy being on property on board) sailed from Matanzas for Hamburg, with a cargo of 2125 boxes of sugar, and 78 bags of coffee. Three hundred and fifty boxes of sugar were the Consuls. 69 property of the plaintiff, and were equal in value to the amount insured. On the passage, the bark sustained damage from the perils of the sea, and 88 boxes of sugar belonging to the plaintiff were totally destroyed. Fifty-two boxes were damaged over 50 per cent, o f their value. The vessel having been compelled by the damages sustained to put into Ber muda for repairs, an adjustment o f a general average contribution was made on her arrival at Hamburg, and the plaintiff was assessed on the invoice value of his sugars, without any deduction or allowance made on account o f that lost or damaged, as above stated; and the amount so assessed was paid by his agent, and this action was brought to recover it of the underwriters. The underwriters paid the plaintiff the value of the sugars which were totally lost, and sixty per cent, of the value of the damaged parcel, hut refused to pay the amount claimed in this action, on the ground, that the adjustment at Hamburg was incorrect, and ought to be revised. But the court decided, that although the adjustment was a singular one, yet as it was fairly made, and according to the laws of the port of destination, it was binding upon the underwriters. S eaworthiness . — In the case of Copeland v. New England Marine Insurance Company, which was tried in the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston in April last, it appeared, that after the vessel insured (the brig Adams, Capt. Gillespie, o f Wilmington, N. C . ) reached Jamaica, the cap tain, who had been taken sick on the outward voyage, acted in a most singular manner. He was a man o f good reputation for skill and sobriety, but at that port, his conduct was very boisterous and strange; he quar relled with his physician and his mate, and was almost constantly intoxi cated. He took charge of the vessel, however, on her return voyage to Wilmington, and she was lost on the Isle o f Pines. The defendants con tended, that the vessel was unseaworthy, and that the loss was fraudulent on the part of the master. Judge W ilde instructed the jury, that if the master of a vessel becomes incompetent to the command before the vessel sails from her outward port, the mate ought to take command, or have the matter inquired into by the American Consul, or the consignee or agent of the vessel; and if the vessel sails under the command o f a cap tain who is incompetent from any cause, and if she might have been lost from such incompetency, the underwriters are excused, even though a loss should happen from a cause which had no relation to the captain's incompetency. But if the master is competent when the ship sails, but afterwards becomes incompetent, and the ship is lost from that incompe tency, the underwriters are not excused. In this case, the Jury returned a verdict for the defendants. The plaintiff moved for a new trial, on the ground that the Judge misdirected the Jury, and the question will pro bably be argued before the whole court, at the next March term. CONSU LS. Judge Hopkinson, of the District Court of the United States, in a recent trial o f a claim for the wages of a seaman, expressed his disapprobation, in strong terms, of the practice o f putting our seamen into foreign jails and dungeons, at the mercy of the police officers, for offences by no means requiring this severe and extreme remedy. For ordinary miscon duct, or insubordination, the law gave the master of a vessel power suffi cient to enforce obedience, and maintain discipline onboard his vessel— that it is only in cases of extraordinary violence that a man should be taken on shore and thrown into a prison. The judge said he would take this 70 Mercantile Law. occasion to repeat what he had more than once said before, and to correct an error into which captains continue to fall. They seem to believe that if they can get the order or consent o f the consul for their proceedings, it will be full justification for them when they come home. He wished them to understand that he would judge for himself, after hearing both parties and their evidence, of the legality and necessity o f these summary incarcera- tions; and the part the consul may have taken in them would have but little weight with him. He said he had never known an instance in which a consul had refused the application of a captain to imprison a sea man ; furnishing him with a certificate, duly ornamented with his official seal, vouching for the offence o f the victim, o f which, generally, he knew nothing but from the representations of the captain or officers of the vessel. The judge said he never suffered their certificates to be read ; that they were weaker than ex parte depositions. He then made some remarks that may be worthy of the attention o f our government. He said, our consuls, unfortunately, are merchants depending entirely upon the profits o f their commercial business for their living, especially upon consign ments from the United States; that it is, therefore, o f a primary impor tance to them to have the good will o f the masters of vessels, that they may make a good report of them to their owners. He said, that an American gentleman of high intelligence, who has travelled much, and known many of our consuls, has, in the book he has published, expressed his regret that they are not supported by salaries from the public treasury. As they now are, these important appointments are placed exclusively in the hands of merchants, who, he says, “ are under strong inducements to make their offices subservient to their commercial business.” In the case o f the William Harris, decided by Judge Ware, of the District Court of the United States, in Portland, Maine, in 1837, the same doctrine was laid down ; and he held, that an American consul had no right to imprison seamen in a foreign port, and that a master who procured his men to be imprisoned without good cause, is not exempted from his liability to them for damages, by showing that the imprisonment was ordered by the consul. C O M M ISSIO N M E R C H A N T S . The case of Theodore D. Parker, of Boston, v. Brancher, Delius, Sp Co., merchants, o f Hamburg, was an action in which the plaintiff claimed damages of the defendants for selling certain coffee, consigned to them by Parker, below the limit prescribed by the consignor. It appeared, that in 1832, Parker consigned to the defendants 1,640 hags of coffee, on which the latter made a large advance. Parker sent a letter o f instruc tions limiting the sale at a certain price therein named. Afterwards, Brancher, Delius, & Co. commenced a suit against Parker, to recover the amount of their advances. W hen that suit was commenced, the coffee had not been sold, but having been sold pending the suit for a sum less than the advances and expenses and interest, credit was given by Brancher, Delius, & Co. for the net proceeds, and they recovered for the balance. The coffee having been sold for a sum much below the limit fixed by Parker, when he consigned it, he commenced the present action, and claimed to recover o f the defendants : 1. For not selling the coffee at the limit, in 1833 ; 2. For afterwards selling it below the limit. At the trial, in Boston, Chief Justice Shaw instructed the Jury, that a commission merchant, having received goods to sell at a certain price, and made Commission Merchants. 71 advances upon such goods, had a right to reimburse himself, by selling such goods at the fair market price, though below the limit, if the con signor, upon application, and after a reasonable time, refused to repay the advances. The Jury found for the defendants, and the plaintiff moved for a new trial, on the ground that the instructions of the Judge were wrong. The full court decided, in April last, that the rule laid down by the Chief Justice was correct, and they awarded judgment on the verdict. At a very recent trial, in Boston, the question arose, whether the con signee o f goods was limited to the invoiced prices, if nothing was said by the consignor. Judge W ilde said, this would depend altogether on custom among commission merchants; and that the party who set up the custom must prove it to be universal. A most interesting case, involving a perversion o f property on the part of the agents, and subjecting them, in the result, to heavy damages, was lately decided in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, on an action o f assumpsit, brought by Robert C. Hooper, of Boston, against Messrs. Casamajor, Nuiry, & Co., merchants in St. Jago de Cuba, in the West Indies, to recover damages for a breach o f contract, by which the defendants had agreed to load the bark Lydia, chartered by the plain tiff, with sugar and coffee in Cuba, and despatch her for St. Petersburgh, in Russia. It appeared in evidence that the arrangement was made at Boston in March, 1837, with the late John S. Gibson, one o f the defend ants— after which Gibson sailed for Cuba. A letter addressed to John S. Gibson was put in evidence, and the part of the letter on which the parties contended for a different construction is given in italics; the defendants contending that it limited the sugar to nine reals, and that if they had purchased above this rate the plaintiff, if the adventure proved unprofitable, could have thrown it upon them, and the plaintiff thought it contained no such limitation, but left it discretionary; in which opinion we concur from the phraseology and character o f the letter. B oston , March 3,1837. John S. Gibson, Esq. o f Messrs. Casamajor, Nuiry, & Co. Dear Sir-— I have been induced, from the favorable representations yon have made to me o f your market at St. Jago de Cuba and Trinidad, and from the confidence which I place in the good judgment of your highly esteemed house, to charter the fine Swedish bark Lydia, for the purpose o f loading her at St. Jago, with a cargo of white sugar for St. Petersburg. This vessel I presume will carry about 1400 boxes, and will sail from here m the course o f a week. I f prices o f sugar should be more favorable for purchasing at Trin idad than at St. Jago, I trust you will (as you have informed me it will be quite as convenient to your house) send the bark there to load, as the only expense I can incur thereby will be the port fees at Trinidad. You are aware how depressed the sugar market is in Europe, and that a loss appears certain unless you can buy this cargo at not exceeding nine reals per aroba. I hope that your expectations of getting them at less, and o f selling the exchange at a good premium, will be realized. I would call your attention to the importance o f selecting perfectly dry and strong grained sugars, and as white as possible. It is also important to get large boxes, on account o f the tares in Russia. To provide funds for this cargo, I shall send you a letter of credit on London for .£6,000 sterling, which sum you are of opinion will be sufficient for the purposes of loading the vessel. I f unexpectedly you are unable to procure a full cargo o f white sugars within the lay days stipulated in the charter party, you may ship, to fill her up, 300 boxes o f good, dry, strong grained, yellow sugars, to be landed at Copenha 72 Mercantile Law. gen, the hills of lading to be filled accordingly. This is the commencement o f a correspondence which will continue, I trust, a long while, and lead to mutual confi dence and profit. If the market at St. Jago should be as favorable as we anticipate, please to advise me immediately on your arrival, as it is my intention in that case to send another vessel to your house. When the cargo is shipped on board the Lydia, please to ship me some 20 boxes o f sugar out o f the parcel she has been loaded with, and your draft on me shall meet due honor. Wishing you a pleasant passage, I am, dear sir, yours, respectfully and truly, R. C. HOOPER. On the 15th March the Lydia sailed, and hy her Mr. Hooper forwarded a letter of credit for £7,000 sterling, on Messrs. Morrison, Cryder, & Co., Bankers in London, stating in his letter, It was Mr. Gibson’s opinion, that £6,000 would be ample for the purpose o f load ing a cargo o f white sugars, and you will please, therefore, to use this credit to such extent for sugars as may be necessary, and invest the balance in green coffee, suitable for the St. Petersburg market. On the 21st of March, and again on the 8th o f April, the defendants wrote to the plaintiff, that they deemed it very doubtful whether they should he likely to load the Lydia at any thing like his ideas, and that they should probably accept a freight for her. On the 11th of April, the Lydia arrived at St. Jago. By the charter party her lay days were to commence on the 21st of April, and continue thirty days. On the 12th of April the defendants wrote the plaintiff, that little or nothing was doing in sugars, and that they had written to Trinidad to inquire what could be done there. “ In the mean time,” they say, “ if we can execute here at ten reals, we shall do so, as the extent o f your ideas as mentioned in the conversation with the writer.” On the 25th of April, after stating that their advices from Trinidad were equally discouraging for getting sugars at fair prices, they say, “ un der these circumstances, taken in connexion with what you say under date o f March 3d, &c., we cannot believe that your interest would be studied, were we to load the Lydia at over nine reals, although your conversation with Mr. Gibson authorizes us so to do.” The Lydia was not loaded for the plaintiff, but was let to freight to one Sanchez, and sailed from St. Jago for Trinidad on the 2d of May, and sixteen days afterwards the defendants wrote the plaintiff as follow s: In conformity to our last advices, we have let Don Victoriano Sanchez have the Lydia, at the same charter you were to pay, to load here and at Trinidad a cargo o f coffee and some sugar for Europe. Her wooden and foul bottom were serious objec tions, and we were very glad to get her off our hands as well as we have done, although we did our best to obtain for you something more. Your letter o f credit for £7,000, you will o f course consider null and void. Evidence was given that Don Victoriano Sanchez was the clerk o f the defendants, that his assumed ownership was fictitious, and that the cargo shipped was the property of the defendants, who were, at the time, largely indebted to Messrs. Morrison, Cryder, & Co., and that the cargo was intended for them ; that on the 22d April they wrote to Morrison, Cryder, & Co., that in consequence of the great scarcity o f vessels, they were prepared to see unusually low prices for the remaining two thirds o f an abundant crop ; that they could find no bills to remit, and they were there fore compelled to send sugars instead of bills, while they had the letter o f credit, of the plaintiff, on Morrison, Cryder, & Co., for £7,000 sterling, Commission Merchants. 73 bills against which would have'been every way satisfactory and unex ceptionable. On the 21st of April, the day the Lydia’s lay days commenced at St. Jago, they wrote to Booring & Overbeck, at Trinidad, that in all proba bility the Lydia would go there, and take the sugars B. & 0 . held for the defendants ; that their agents had purchased 500 boxes good sugars at 7 and 9 reals — that they had reason to believe that sugars would decline; and yet, before the first lay day commenced, they had deter mined to load the Lydia for their own account, and actually sent her away before the lay days had half expired ; that she was never offered to freight, except to one person, of whom they asked £ 5 10s., while she was nominally let to Sanchez, but in reality appropriated to themselves, at £ 3 9s. per ton ; that instead o f a cargo of coffee and some sugars, the Lydia was loaded with a cargo o f sugars and some coffee, precisely the cargo ordered by the plaintiff, for the St. Petersburg market; that Sanchez wrote to Booring & Overbeck, that he was the owner o f the sugars they held, having purchased them from Messrs. Casamajor, Nuiry, & Co., and ordered them to ship them by the Lydia, which he had chartered for that purpose, and that he forwarded them copies of the identical instructions sent out by Mr. Hooper, to Messrs. Casamajor, Nuiry, & Co., as to selections o f sugars, &c., which he said he had re ceived from a friend of great experience in the Russia trade. No new charter was ever made to Sanchez, and the captain o f the Lydia learned for the first time, in St. Petersburg, that Mr. Hooper had no interest in the cargo. The plaintiff contending that the whole transac tion on the part of the defendants was fraudulent— their advices of the prices o f sugars deceptive— that they had intentionally abused his confi dence, and appropriated to their own advantage an adventure which he had planned with much care, and from which he expected large returns. The defendants insisted, and offered evidence to prove, that the whole transaction was perfectly fair and honorable, and their conduct through out was intended to be that of faithful agents, acting for the best interest o f their employer, and in supposed accordance with his wishes; that the letter of 3d March limited the sugars to nine reals, and that if they had purchased above, they would have transcended their authority, and ren dered themselves responsible to the plaintiff, who might have thrown the whole loss on them, if loss had accrued, and that it was impossible for them to have purchased the sugars at the prices named by the plaintiff, and being unable to do so, they did the best they could to save the plaintiff harmless on his charter party. That it was true that Sanchez was their clerk, and the cargo shipped on board the Lydia was their o w n ; it had, however, no connexion with Mr. Hooper, and was simply a precaution on their part, o f shipping in the name o f another, because o f the great excitement in the commercial world, and to protect themselves from loss, by failing in L ond on ; and as it had no bearing on Mr. Hooper’s interest, it was a precaution they had aright to use, and o f which he had no right to com plain. That there was great difficulty in foreign bills at the time, and that they were unable to dispose of the plaintiff’s funds satisfactorily. On the question o f damages, there was some diversity o f opinion; Mr. S. T . Williams estimated the sum actually made by the defendants at about $6,000, and that if the sugars had been purchased at nine reals, and sold as directed by the plaintiff, at St. Petersburg, the profit would VOL. i . — n o . i . 10 74 Mercantile Law. have been about $18,000. Gen. Tyler estimated the profit at about $9,000, supposing the cargo to have been laid in at 9 reals. The cause was tried at great length, commencing on Wednesday, and terminating on Saturday. On Monday morning, Judge Dewey charged the Jury, the counsel on both sides submitting the construction to be put on the letter of the 3d o f March to the direction o f the Judge. He instructed the Jury, that all agreements and conversations prior to the 3d March were to be disregarded, as a contract in writing could not be affected by what had previously taken place, — it was conclusive on the parties; any conversation or agreement afterwards, which went to vary or control the letter, was proper matter for the Jury. T hey had to take into consideration— Firstly, the legal effect of the plaintiff’s letter of the 3d March, whether it contained a restriction on the defen dants not to purchase at a higher rate than therein mentioned; and, sec ondly, whether that letter had been varied or controlled by subsequent acts or conversations, and in what respect. If, on reflection, the Jury were satisfied that the defendants were limited to nine reals, then it was incumbent on the plaintiff to show that the sugars could have been obtained at his lim it; or, secondly, that subsequent arrangements had enlarged the contract of 3d March, or the plaintiff could not recover, whatever the motives o f the defendants might have been in applying the vessel to their own purposes. If, on the other hand, the Jury were satisfied that by the intention o f the parties a discretionary power was vested in the defendants to purchase or not, they could then consider whether they had acted fairly and faith fully, or had intentionally appropriated the ship to their own purposes, and violated their faith towards the plaintiff. The Jury, after an absence of an hour and a half, returned with a verdict for the plaintiff, for $12,000: Choate & Russell for the plaintiff; C. G. Loring for the defendant. M IS R E P R E S E N T A T IO N OF T O N N A G E . In the Circuit Court o f New York, before Judge Edwards. — Louis De Valier and Edward Lamont vs. John B. Woodgate. This was an action on a charter party entered into by the parties in July, 1836, by which the defendant chartered of the plaintiffs a schooner called the Margaret, to proceed from Nassau, N. P., to the island of Mayagua, there to take the cargo from the wreck of the stranded brig Victor, deliver it at Jamaica, take in a cargo at that island, and return to this port. She was guaranteed to be 600 barrels tonnage, and the consideration of the charter party was $700. The Margaret proceeded on her voyage, the defendant accompanying her, took a quantity o f staves from the wreck of the Victor, delivered them at Jamaica, took in a cargo o f pimento, and returned to this c ity ; and this action was brought for the recovery of the $700 which the defendant agreed to pay for such service. Payment was contested on the ground that the Margaret did not take on board as much from the wreck of the Victor as she should have taken if her tonnage was equal to what it was guaranteed to be in the charter party; and, if her tonnage did not equal that guaranty, and the plaintiffs had deceived the defendant as to her tonnage, they were not entitled to payment at all. The Principles o f Copartnership. 75 Judge Edwards charged the Jury, that it was not pretended hy the defendant that the Margaret did not perform her voyage, and complete it, pursuant to the terms of the charter, and that the plaintiffs were con sequently entitled to recover the sum stipulated in that instrument. Whether she had or had not taken from the wreck o f the Victor as much cargo as she should have taken, has no bearing upon the merits of this suit. If the defendant has been aggrieved by any such neglect, or was imposed upon in relation to the tonnage of the plaintiffs’ vessel, he cannot use such neglect or imposition as a set-off to the claim under the charter party, hut must bring his separate action for damages. Verdict for the plaintiffs, for the whole amount claimed, with interest and costs. With all due submission to the learned judge, we dissent from his interpretation of the law. According to the French ordinance, the mas ter who uses deception in representing the burthen of his vessel, provided it exceed the fortieth part, shall answer the merchant in damages ; but the better understood and more equitable decision o f the English law is, if a ship be freighted by the ton, and found of less burthen than expressed, the payment shall be only for the real burthen; thus, if a ship be freighted for two hundred tons or thereabouts, it is commonly reduced to five tons more or less. Now this vessel was guaranteed to carry six hundred barrels, and deduction ought to have been made for her deficient bur then, unless it was so trifling as to be unimportant; but to drive the merchant to a suit for damages against the master, is not simplifying or administering justice, but rendering the process tedious and oftentimes unattainable. The objection of the charterer that her . tonnage being unequal, they were not entitled to any payment at all, was, to say the least of it, extremely frivolous. A rt. X . — PO PU LAR S U G G E S T IO N S OF T H E P R IN C IP L E S OF C O P A R T N E R S H IP . [The following is the first of a series of Lectures on Commercial Law, delivered before the “ Mercantile Library Association,” by our fellow-citizen, D an iel L ord , J r ., Esq., so well known and so highly esteemed as a Commercial Lawyer. These Lec tures are original in our work, having never before been published. The first illus trates the “ condition of copartners towards the public,” with the method, fidelity, and minuteness for which Mr. Lord is so remarkable. To our commercial readers they must prove highly acceptable ; and to those about entering into copartnership, many Of the suggestions will be eminently useful.] U nion constitutes strength. Man singly, although endowed with reason, and thus made lord of the creation, is nevertheless weak, and incapable of effecting great results : it is by his propensity to associate, to unite with others, to multiply his individual powers by judicious combi nations, that all his great works are accomplished. This principle, so essential to the great results in the history of man, exerts its influence also in the smallest and most elementary combina tions of human effort: and in the advancement o f private wealth, the union of individual enterprise, capital, influence, knowledge, or skill, is a no less powerful and successful means. Hence arises the relation of mercantile copartnership; individuals agree together to unite their efforts and advantages, and to act thus united as one and for the common benefit: this relation, its origin and consequences, are to be the subject o f our present remarks. 76 The Principles o f Copartnership. Partnership is the union, by mutual agreement, o f two or more per sons for some commercial purpose, to be pursued for the common gain and loss of the parties. It is in some instances the mere union of capa cities to transact business, without any property in either o f the parties ; whose whole means o f action are their skill, their perseverance, and their industry. In some instances, it is a union of capital to capital chiefly; as in the instances o f private banking copartnerships, which are conducted wholly by agencies. In some instances it is the union o f the industry, skill, and integrity of one, with the wealth, the business reputation, and organized establishment of others. It is sometimes a union for a sin gle adventure, sometimes for a series o f adventures o f a particular kind, sometimes for all kinds of business at a particular place, or at all places, for a specified or for an indefinite term. W hile the extent of this rela tion of copartnership is- exceedingly various, yet in all its shapes it is subject to almost entirely the same principles and rules. The object of the copartnership union, is to give to all the combining parties the benefit o f the individual acts of each : these acts therefore are performed in the name o f all, and this name is usually styled the “ firm,” the name of their union, or the union of their names. The acts o f each in this name o f union are therefore in the eye of the world to be deemed the acts of all, and all the combining parties are held responsible for them : and as the combining, the uniting, the holding up to the public of such a union, is what gives to it the great advantage of the confidence o f a ll; as it is a declaration in effect by each party of the trustworthiness of the whole, and as the public can only judge by the external signs which the union presents, the public have a right to treat this ostensible union as a copartnership, although by private agreement the contrary be stipulated among the parties themselves. It is therefore always to be borne in mind, in considering whether a partnership exists, that it may exist as to the public at large, by reason of the ostensible conduct of the parties; while it may be prevented from existing, and from giving to the parties partners’ rights, by private stipulations ; stipu lations invalid it is true towards uninformed strangers, but binding between those who have agreed to them. Copartnership holds out each copartner as authorized to act for the others; to bind them by his dispositions o f property, and by his contracts. The extent and the limitations of this authority, its commencement, progress, and termination, form the body o f the law o f partnership. A partnership is formed by the mutual agreement of the parties to enter into the union of effort and interest above described. It is always supposed to be a voluntary union. One cannot be a copartner with another, without the mutual consent of all the copartners. Hence, one copartner, by selling out his interest, does not enable the purchaser to stand in his stead, and claim the benefits of his place in the union. For this, the consent of the others is required. The rights which copartner ship confers, and the powers it bestows, are too extensive and too confidential to be thus bargained for. If one o f several adventurers in a private joint speculation, being insured, and the property meeting loss, abandon it to the insurers, the latter, who take because the law throws the ownership on them and they cannot avoid it, do not thereby become subject to the obligations, nor to the interference of the other joint own ers. The mutual assent therefore of all the parties is essential to create the copartnership. But while this assent is essential, yet it is sometimes implied and in The Principles o f Copartnership. 77 ferred, where it has never in fact been given ; and this upon the principle o f ethics, that we are not only bound by what we actually declare, but by what we, by our acts or neglects, induce others to believe. Consequently, by holding out to the world such signs and evidences of a copartnership, as do, by their necessary effect upon the minds o f others, persuade them o f its existence, a party may subject himself as copartner, who has never contemplated receiving any o f its benefits, or coming under any o f its obligations. Thus, should a father see notes in his son’s hand-writing, using the firm of '■‘■himself and son,” and accredit such notes, either by endorsing them, or receiving them, or in any manner giving them cur rency, he would give the world reason to believe himself a copartner. So, by permitting a sign to be put up of a similar firm, and trading at, and frequenting the store, without complaint, or causing such complaint to be made public, he might be made responsible as copartner, without, in fact, having made any agreement for it, or intended the same in any manner. It is on this principle also that copartners often remain liable after the dissolution of their copartnerships : having by the copartnership union held out to the world the assurances o f copartnership, the world has a right to continue to believe these assurances, not only while the agreement itself exists, but long after its termination, and after every party to it has lost all right to act under it, until the public has been apprized by the parties o f the discontinuance of the union. This wholesome principle o f implying an agreement, from a man’s acts, without his positive assent, is one to be constantly kept in view. It is one of perfect justice, operating to enforce the most entire frankness and openness of conduct, and exacting a diligence to prevent error; and is alike honorable to the law, and profitable to the state. It is a principle o f evidence, however, and does not violate the position, that consent is essential to a copartnership; it only forces the presumption of consent; it is consent against one’s w ill; a consent not the.less advantageous, how ever, nor in the eye of the law less real. Words are acts, and expressive on es; but other acts may often be far more expressive of the truth. This consent will also be implied in another case, to an extent greatly beyond the design of the parties. Whenever there is an agreement be tween two or more persons to share the eventual loss or gain, or to par ticipate in the profit or loss of an adventure or business, although it be also agreed that this shall not constitute a copartnership, and although the whole agreement be unknown to those who deal, in relation to the adventure, with one of the parties, yet such participation constitutes them partners, renders them liable for all debts and liabilities growing out of the acts of either in relation to the business. Here other princi ples o f liability come into v ie w : the parties have not held each other out to the world as copartners at a ll; they have invited no one’s confi dence ; they have conduced to mislead no m an; they have hung out no signs of consent; and they have also never consented in fact to be bound by the partnership obligations, but have stipulated together to the con trary. Upon what principle then, in this case, does this assumed con sent, this forced liability, rest ? It is to be remarked, that by consenting to a participation in the profit, the consenting parties have agreed to take all the benefit of the transac tion ; they are benefited by all contracts and acts bearing upon the adventure, either to increase its productiveness, or to diminish its ill success : all such acts are therefore done for their benefit. Next, consider by whom are such acts or contracts induced ? They are by ostensible 78 The Principles o f Copartnership. persons necessarily conducting this adventure for the advantage o f the secret participators o f profit. W e then have these two elements o f re sponsibility ; the acts are done for the benefit o f the parties held liable, and are invited or directed by persons necessarily acting in their business. Is there then any plainer principle, than that one whom I direct or invite to make a bargain, or to do any act in pursuance of my enterprises, which act is to be for my advantage, is to all intents my agent, whatever I may choose to call him ? Are not his acts my acts ? Ought not I, who am to receive the benefit of them, to bear their burthen ? B y this consent, therefore, to take the benefit of a transaction, I do make those necessa rily employed my agents. I cannot, by miscalling them, by pretending a different relation, or by provisoes irreconcilable with the true character o f the affair, render them any less than my agents. And as they are my agents by reason of my join t interest in their acts, they are my copart ners ; and by connecting myself thus with them in interest, my acts have consented that I should be bound by their conduct. Interesting questions upon this subject have arisen : it has been urged, that as the crediting parties did not rely upon the belief of a copartner ship, they could only claim the benefit of the agreement as it actually was ; resembling the case o f one acting in his own name for another, but exceeding his authority, whereas the agency neither actually nor ostensi bly existed, liability might be rejected. Y et courts, (with the wisdom and firmness which the common law exacts, both from its priests and from its disciples,) have adhered to the principle, that the acts constitute an agency of joint owners; and that acts should continue to be heard in preference to words, however pretending. Summing up the preceding observations, it results, that copartnership always imports mutual agreement to such union; that such agreement is, first, directly made; second, implied from ostensible acts, even against actual private dissent; and, third, implied from participation o f profits, without other actual or ostensible consent. It is fit to add here, what constitutes copartnership by participation of profits : merely receiving pay for services by a commission or per centage upon the amount sold, or receiving the amount which an adventure may yield over a certain sum, or certain per centage of profit, or receiving in terest out of profits, or an annuity, not depending upon profits, for the good will of a firm by a retired partner, is not a participation of profits within the rule. The party in none of these cases stands in the place and with all the consequences to himself of the character of ow ner; the acts done do not to the same extent affect his interest; he is not, in fact, owner. And, although the application o f the principle sometimes com pels us to use the microscope in discovering distinctions, yet they can be discovered by those who are obliged to try. The rule may be plainly laid down, that, to render one a partner in consequence of his receipts from a business, such receipts must be based upon no more nor less than a simple participation o f its profits. W hile, however, this participation renders the participators partners, and so, liable to the world, it does not give them partners’ rights as be tween each other ; they cannot claim the equal right to take the custody o f the property, nor to dispose o f it as copartners, nor otherwise than according to their joint agreement. Their own private arrangement must go into effect between themselves who consented to i t ; no reasons exist to force a different liability upon them, nor to prevent the operation o f that they have chosen. The Principles o f Copartnership. 79 It is to be added here, that young men should be cautious in deciding upon these offers of participation of profits instead of salary, or in addi tion to it. Generally, the offers are made without the expectation, on either side, that losing or ruinous liabilities accrue; they are generally advantageous offers, designed simply to reward assiduous industry, to attach a valuable assistant, or to lay hold of useful business connexions. But they are too often accepted with the impatient eagerness o f youth, showing off the spirit of the young horse, feeling his strength, activity, and fire, panting and neighing for the dangers of the field, without the training for its duties, or a knowledge o f its dangers. Such offers are often embraced, because the youth would feel himself beginning business, interested in the profits ; because he wishes, in his moments of vanity, to boast among his companions o f being member of such a great house. He may be induced, too, by motives the most generous, involving the better ing o f the condition o f a dependent mother, sisters, or wife. Thousands of motives— not even suspicious, and adapted to his every virtue and every vice— recommend his acceptance of such offers. Let him, how ever, examine well his steps. Let him judge without illusion. Let him here remember, that he becomes a partner so far as that relation can be disastrous, while he may in fact be a mere clerk so far as it might be advantageous. Such offers are not to be lightly declined, nor suspiciously received, but they are to be coolly considered; and here the wisdom o f age, the advice o f cautious friends, become indispensable guides; and patience, not to be too eager to get rich, a necessary virtue. Such offers are very often openings to wealth, character, and influence; also are they sometimes avenues in early life to irretrievable ruin. Having thus considered the creation of a copartnership, our next in quiry is, what the partners are authorized by it to do. This requires a consideration o f the public or actual objects of the co partnership. Usually these are wholly commercial and mercantile ; they are to transact the business o f buying and selling, or an agency business ; a joint adventure to some other p lace; the navigating of ships for the common profit and loss o f the owners. The legal authority o f the part ners takes its form and shape from the ordinary scope and objects of the partnership business, and is limited to their contracts; and acts done by each copartner in the ordinary or fair prosecution of the ostensible business of the firm, are obligatory on i t ; beyond this they are not binding on the partnership; they are unauthorized, and can only be made to affect the copartnership by showing the actual consent o f all its members. Thus, a house dealing in dry goods would not ordinarily be bound by the pur chase, by one of its partners, of a ship, unless the purchase were sanction ed by his copartners. So, a house running a line of packets to another port, would not ordinarily be bound by a purchase of hardware by one o f its partners. A house dealing in hardware would not be bound by a purchase of dry goods, nor would any mercantile firm be charged with stock speculations. The principle is, that by openly pursuing a specific kind of business, the copartnership limits are announced, and the copartners are not to be deemed authorized to transact other kinds on the credit o f their firm. The common purpose o f the union being specific, the acts and contracts o f the parties having reference to this purpose, must conform to the con templation of the parties, nor have the public reason to hold it otherwise. This principle is one which, followed, would save many losses and dis appointments to persons indiscreetly giving credit to the members of 80 The Principles o f Copartnership. creditable houses, speculating on private account, and often using the credit of their firms for this purpose. Persons giving such credit, and finding the acts disavowed by the firm, often complain of the hardships of their case, that having credited the partner of a firm who had the use o f its name, they are not entitled to its responsibility. But the true source o f their complaint lies in their ignorance o f this principle : the copartner is member of a union, only in a specific business ; he has the name o f the firm only for the purposes o f that business. And the crediting party, when a copartner is acting out o f the copartnership line, must inquire o f the other copartners if the act he sanctioned : if for delicacy’s sake, or for the sake o f an advantageous bargain, he forbears this precaution, then he must, in the event o f a disavowal by the firm, charge his loss to his own false delicacy or over eagerness for gain, and not complain of the law. A more general knowledge o f this principle, and more caution in giving credits,— the certainty that inquiries would be made into the authority for out of the way speculations, would prevent many members of copartner ships from being tempted to violate their integrity and loyalty, by the sup posed possession of a power to pledge the established credit of their firms : a violation which, in the unauthorized use o f the names o f others, has in it all the moral guilt of forgery, and differs from it only in legal impunity. Another limitation of the power of a copartner is, that no copartner is authorized to pledge the credit o f his firm for his own debt. The debt being of the individual, the payment of that debt clearly has no ordinary con nection with the purposes of the joint copartnership, but the contrary: and however much it may add to a man’s rank or standing to belong to a respectable copartnership, yet no one has a right to presume the copart nership to have placed their credit at his disposal for his own private advantage. The very object and purpose of a copartnership imports a postponement of the individual purposes and engagements of the parties to the advancement of the joint interests : and no one can rightly suppose that copartners intend to allow their joint property to be charged with engagements, not promoting the common purposes, but, by burdening, tending to defeat it. In such cases, therefore, upon every principle, the firm is not bound. Such obligations are often attempted in the mutual bad faith of the giver and taker of the obligation : they both know what the purpose of the obligation is, and they can only forbear asking the express sanction of the copartners from the belief that it will be refused; they therefore attempt to create an obligation in secrecy and in fraud, and the failure o f the attempt ought always to be extolled as a triumph o f the law, and needs not to be justified as one of its salutary hardships. In like manner, as the copartnership’s name cannot he pledged for the individual use o f a copartner, much less can it be pledged for the debt or purposes of a stranger. A ll suretyships and accommodation paper by a copartner, in the firm’s name, for the benefit of others, are void as to the firm, unless sanctioned by all the copartners. Pledging the responsibility of the union for the mere benefit of strangers to it, is clearly, and in the understanding of all men, not within the ordinary scope o f the copartner ship business : nor does the circumstance that a commission is paid to the copartner thus using the name o f his house vary the matter : for unless the business be a guaranty business, such a transaction is without its line : insuring the solvency o f a stranger is as much out o f the circle of a mere trading house, as insuring ships or buildings; it is therefore not authorized either actually or ostensibly, and does not bind the firm. * The Principles o f Copartnership. 81 If however the business of guaranty or engaging for the payment of the debts of others be a part of the business of the house, as in case of auction and general commission houses, then guaranties made by either copartner, in the ordinary course of its business, but not otherwise nor farther, bind the copartnership. Even in these cases, therefore, caution must be used, as well as fairness and good faith, on the part of the creditor, before he relies upon the name of the firm taken upon a suretyship or obligation for the benefit o f others. And in all these cases, (negotiable paper excepted,) the burden of proof does not lie on the copartnership to exonerate itself f but, as the affair is not within the ordinary range of its ostensible business, the burden of proof will lie upon him who seeks to charge the firm. He must always show that the engagement was made for the ostensible objects of the co partnership, or that it has received the sanction of the copartners. And he must prove the sanction of a ll; that o f a'majority will not suffice; for as their only joint control and authority is given for the common purpose, when that common purpose is abandoned, no authority in any one to bind the others is conceded, and a majority are as powerless as an individual. In all such cases, where the copartnership name is improperly used, a disposition of the copartnership property for the same object would be equally invalid: If he cannot create an obligation to be enforced hereafter upon the common property, the copartner cannot effect an immediate transfer for a similar purpose. The possession of the property is only joint possession; individual possession is understood to be for all, and therefore is no evidence of right of property or authority, except for the common or joint purposes of the firm. W hile, however, the copartnership power is thus confined to the joint objects ostensibly pursued, yet in the promotion of these objects it is wholly unlimited. Thus, although a dry goods firm in Pearl street cannot, without their express consent, be bound for the contract of their copartner for ten shares of stock, they may be bound by purchases of dry goods to any amount, however unwarranted by their actual plans, purposes, or instruc tions to their copartner, and however ruinous. The public know the general business of the house, but do not, and cannot, know its private purposes or secret restrictions; as to these, by uniting together they have trusted their all to their mutual good faith. Nor are the persons, dealing in the faith of such contracts within the scope of ordinary business, at all affected by any abuse of authority or fraud in the subsequent disposal of the property: it is only their duty to see that the contract is originally well war ranted ; it is the duty of the copartners themselves to see to all afterwards. In the modern course of business, negotiable paper is universally used in the pursuit of their affairs, by all partnerships and individuals indis criminately ; and the purposes of commerce requiring that the circulation of these obligations should be protected, every such obligation appearing on its face to be in the name o f the firm, is presumed to be for the pur poses of the firm ; except it can be shown to have been taken by the actual claiming holder for purposes not warranted by its business. Hence, ne gotiable paper made by a copartner in the name of his firm, is the usual mode o f attempting to create improper charges upon i t ; and, to a great degree, it is a successful one. Although in the hands of him who accepts or takes the paper, thus unwarrantably made, knowing its improper pur pose, it is void ; yet the moment it passes into the hands o f men, taking it fairly for what it purports to be, and parting with property on the faith VOL. i . — n o . i . 11 82 The Principles o f Copartnership. o f it, it becomes valid from the policy o f the la w ; the firm must meet it, seeking such remedy as they may against those who illegally combined originally to put the paper into circulation. One copartner cannot execute sealed instruments in the name o f his firm, or of his other copartners : the giving of such obligations is no part o f ordinary commercial business; and besides, to make a sealed instru ment the solemn deed o f any man, requires, by the common law, either his own delivery of it, or a delivery by his attorney, authorized under seal. But a copartner may execute the release o f a debt, owing to his firm, by sealing in the name of his firm, or in his own name : and here the name o f the firm, not taking any greater effect than his own name, is allowed the same, and is a good release. It has also been held that a charter party letting a ship to freight to a firm, executed by only one of the firm as party, but carried into effect, and the vessel used in the business o f the copartnership, should be deemed as sealed by a ll; the law here has passed by the form, and seated itself upon the substance. Summing up this branch of our subject then, it appears that the authori ty o f a copartner to pledge the credit, or dispose o f the property of his firm, is limited to the ostensible and actual business of the firm, to the exclusion of the debts or purposes of the individual copartner, and also of those o f strangers; that all such acts are void ; but that within the range o f the business of the firm, the authority o f the copartners is, as to the trading public, unlimited; and that in relation to negotiable paper, it is also unrestrained, when found in the hands o f holders taking it in good faith. In making claims against a copartnership, strangers are always obliged to prove the union of the parties under this relation. It is evident that the copartnership agreement itself, (which being the most perfect and ex act evidence, would, in all other cases, be the only evidence allowed o f the fact,) being in the keeping of the partners, and not capable o f being re corded in any public office, could be withheld, and no easy means left of showing its contents. Yielding to this necessity, and also to the princi ple, that the terms of this written contract, if produced, would not avail against the open acts o f the parties, the law allows a copartnership to be proved by a common reputation of its existence, a reputation supposed to arise from general observation o f the acts o f the partners. Ordinarily, the reputation o f a thing is not regarded; common safety requires that facts should be proved by those who have seen and known them, so that they can swear to them. But in relation to this subject, as the reputation o f copartnership must ordinarily arise from those who deal with it, who have therefore an interest to know the truth, and who are in a condition, from observing open acts, to form a correct belief, such reputation is per mitted to be shown. It is, however, not conclusive, and is subject to close examination, both as to its grounds and its extent; and if a true explana tion can be shown, reconcilable with the actual facts, and with the non existence o f the alleged copartnership, the reputation may be counterbal anced. But in such cases, it is always a matter for the decision of a jury, a tribunal less certain in the uniformity o f its estimate of matters than the ju d g es; and as in commercial places juries are exceedingly dis posed to stretch the point, and fix a liability upon all who may by any con struction appear to have been the means of inducing a credit, however inad vertently, it becomes incumbent on the creditor and the credited to see that their acts strictly conform to the requirements of the law, that the one may not give, or the other derive, any undue or fictitious credit. Statistical Tables. 83 STATISTICAL TABLES. T able o f the principal Gold Coins o f the Countries and States with which the United States have commercial intercourse; their W eig h t; the quantity o f pure Metal they contain ; their Value in the Money o f account o f those Countries, and their Value in Dollars and Cents ; according to Assays made at London and Paris, and published in Kelly's Cambist. ~ Countries. Coins. Fine Gold. Weight. Value in Money of account. Value in Dolls. DWT. G-R. Austria Belgium Bengal Bremen Denmark England France Genoa Hamburg Holland Madras Naples Portugal Prussia Russia Sardinia Sicily Spain Sweden Tuscany Turkey Venice 3 2 4 7 2 2 5 5 4 16 2 2 Sovereign Ducat William Gold mohur Ducats Ducats, specie Guinea Sovereign Louis Genovina Ducat Ducat Ryder Star pagoda Oncetta H alf Johannes Frederick Imperial Carlino Ounce, 1751 Doubloon Pistole, 1801 Ducat 2 2 4 4 7 10 2 17 4 2 Rusp ne Sequin Sequin fonducli Sequin Ducat 6 2 2 2 1 6 14 6 71 23 51 51 91 31 31 4 51 51 9 41 101 15 7 171 71 201 81 81 5 3 33 6* florins 2 29 41 florins 10 florins 3 1 8 16 16 sicca rupees 2 25 21 rix dollars 2 25 14 marks 12 skil. 5 09 1 pound 1 s. 4 86* 1 pound = 20 s. 3 85 20 francs 15 40 96 lire 2 26 6 marks banco 2 29 5 florins 5 stivers 6 04 14 florins 1 79 42 fanams 2 50 3 ducats 4 36 6,400 rees 3 97 5 rix dollars 7 82 10 rubles 9 44 25 lire 2 50 30 tari 16 47 320 reals 3 88 80 d. 94 skil’ s or 1 rix dol2 22 lar 48 skil’s 171 160.4 40 lire 6 91 131 lire 2 29 51 53.3 5 42.25 7 piastres 1 82 2 29 6 53.3 22 lire 1 43 91 33.15 14 lire 78.3 53.1 93.1 189.4 52.3 52.3 118.35 113.001 89.35 357.35 52.45 53.1 140.1 41.4 58.05 101.25 92.1 181.45 219.4 58.1 372. 90.05 51.45 The following foreign coins, when o f required fineness, are a legal tender in the United States, at the following rates : GOLD COINS. Carats. 1. Those of Great Britain, Portugal, and Brazil, of 22 carats fineness, at 94.8 per dwt. 93.1 “ 2. Those o f France, 9-10 fine, 3. Those of Spain, Mexico, and Columbia, o f the fineness of 20 carats 3 7-16 grains, 89.9 SILVER “ COINS. 1. Dollars of Mexico, Peru, Chili, and Central America, and those re stamped in Brazil, weighing 415 grains, and o f the fineness o f 10 ounces 15 pennyweights of pure silver in a troy pound, at 100 cents each. 2. Five franc pieces o f France, o f the fineness o f 10 ounces 16 penny weights in the troy pound, and weighing 384 grains, at 93 cents each. 84 T Statistical Tables. o f the principal Silver Coins o f the Countries and States with which the United States have commercial intercourse ; their W eigh t; the quantity o f pure Metal they contain; their Value in the Money o f account o f those countries, and their Value in Dollars and Cents ; according to Assays made at London and Paris, and published in Kelly's Cambist. able Countries. Coins. Weight. D W T . GR. Austria Belgium Fine Silver. 18 21 6 7 12 18 1 10 22 114 41 18 353.35 445.25 148.2 175.4 262.1 397.25 England France ■Genoa Hamburg Holland Madras Naples Portugal Prussia Russia Sardinia Sicily Spain Rix dollar Rixsbank dollar Crown, new Five franc p. Scudo, 1796 Rix dollar Guilder or florin Rupee, 1818 Ducat, 1818 Crusado, 1809 Rix dollar convention Ruble, 1802 Scudo Scudo Dollar 18 9 18 16 21 18 6 7 14 9 18 13 15 17 17 14 7 44 1 9 18 18 12 18 3 1 14 24 14 388.2 19. 403.3 344.45 457.2 397.25 146.4 165. 295.05 198.1 359. 273. 324.35 348.1 370.45 Sweden Turkey Tuscany Venice 18 17 Rix dollar Piastre, 1818 6 64 Francesco Leopoldoni 17 134 14 6 Ducat Denmark 8 Value in Dolls. 2 florins 3 florins 20 sous = 100 cts. 16 annas 640 rees 14 rix dollar current= 96 gr’ts. 7 marks 6 skill’ s. 8 marks = 96 sk. 5 sh. or 60 pence 100 sous 7 lire 12 soldi 3 marks 20 st. 2 f. 10 cts. 16 annas 10 carlini or 100 grani 480 rees 24 good groschen 100 copecks 24 lire or 10 reali 12 tari 8 reals mex. pi. 20 reals vallon 48 skillings 40 paras. 10 paoli or 64 lire 12 lire 8 soldi 95 1 19 40 47 704 GR. Rix dollar convention Ducatoon Florin, 1816 Sicca rupee Pataca, 1801 Rix dollar specie Bengal Brazil Bremen Value in Money of account. 388.25 67.35 386.2 280.4 1 06 1 044 524 1 084 924 1 23 1 07 394 444 794 534 964 734 874 934 994 1 044 18 1 04 754 TABLE OF FOREIGN EXCHANGES ON ENGLAND, As recommended by the Chamber o f Commerce, giving the value o f a pound sterling in federal money. At At At At At At At At At At At At At At At 5 per cent. premium, is . . . ■ $4 66 At 84 per cent. premium, is . . . .$4 83 is . . . . 4 67 At 9 do do do 54 do is . . . . . 4 84 do do is . . . . 4 68 At 94 do is . . . . 4 85 54 do do is . . . • 4 70 At 94 do do is . . . . 4 86 54 do do is . . . . 4 71 At 94 do do is . . . . 4 87 do 6 72 At do do do is . . .. 4 10 do is . . . . 4 88 64 do is . . . . 4 73 At 104 do do do is . . . . 4 90 64 do do 64 do is . . . . 4 74 At 104 do is . . . . 4 91 do is . . . . 4 75 At 104 do is . . . . 4 92 7 do do do 74 do do is . . . . 4 76 At 11 do is . . . . 4 93 do 74 do do is . . . . 4 77 At 114 do is . . . . 4 94 do do do is . . . . 4 95 74 do is . . . . 4 78 At 114 do is . . . . 4 96 do do 8 is . . . . 4 80 At 114 do do 81 At 12 do is . . . . 4 97 do do 84 is . . do do 84 is . . . . 4 82 The existing value o f the pound sterling in New York, is f 4 86, (94); which is in a language every body can understand. 85 Navigation. NAVIGATION. L iverpool P ackets . — A comparative Table o f the Passages o f the dif feren t Ships o f the several Lines o f Liverpool Packets. OLD LINE PACKETS. O UTW ARD PASSAGES. From 1st Nov. 1837, to 1st Nov. 1838. Sailed. Arrived. No. days. 16 England, Nov. 1 Nov. 17 17 Orpheus, 16 Dec. 4 22 19 Cambridge, Dec. 3 19 16 Jan. 4 Oxford, 25 27 N. America., J a n .2 27 16 F e b .12 Europe, 25 26 Columbus, Feb. 1 18 17 March 7 S. America, 21 24 England, March 3 21 Orpheus, 19 April 9 22 24 Cambridge, April 2 25 Oxford, 16 May 10 23 N. America, May 1 24 24 Europe, 16 June 9 18 Columbus, June 2 20 S. America, 16 July 7 21 England, July 2 21 19 18 Orpheus, 19 Aug. 6 20 21 Cambridge, Aug. 1 22 Oxford, 20 Sept. 11 26 N. America, Sept. 1 27 26 Europe, 19 Oct. 15 18 Columbus, Oct. 1 19 19 S. America, 20 Nov. 8 hom ew ard passages. Sailed. England, Dec. 17 Orpheus, Jan. 2 16 Cambridge, Oxford, Feb. 1 N. America, 16 Europe, March 1 Columbus, 18 S. America, April 3 England, 20 Orpheus, May 2 16 Cambridge, Oxford, June 2 16 N. America, July 2 Europe, Columbus, 19 S. America, Aug. 4 England, 20 Orpheus, Sept. 7 Cambridge, 19 Oxford, Oct. 8 N. America, 22 Europe, Nov. 12 Columbus, 20 S. America, Dec. 8 Arrived. No. days. 39 Jan. 25 March 8 65 48 5 9 36 19 31 31 Aptil 1 16 29 29 May 2 11 20 30 28 June 11 26 July 4 32 25 39 Aug. 11 40 32 20 Sept. 5 32 22 33 Oct. 14 37 Nov. 1 43 10 33Dec. 4 43 29 47 29 39' Jan. 9 32 Average passage out, a fraction over 21 days. The shortest passage out is by the England, in 16 days; and the longest by the Europe, in 27 days. Average homeward time, 36 days. The shortest passage homeward is by the England, in 20 days; and the longest by the Orpheus, in 65 days. The shortest average of the three voyages is by the England, both out and home. GRINNELL, MINTERN, AND CO. S LINE. OUTWARD PASSAGES. HOMEWARD PASSAGES. Sailed. Arrived. No. days. Sailed. Arrived. No.days. Pennsylvania, Dec. 26 Feb. 2 38 Pennsylvania, Nov. 8 Nov. 23 15 44 Independence, Dec. 8 Dec. 25 17 Independence, Jan. 24 March 9 22 G. W ashington, Mar. 26 April 22 Eoscoe, Jan. 8 Feb. 1 25 24 G. Washington,Feb.8 March 5 25 Pennsylvania, April 25 May 19 24 Pennsylvan., Mar. 10 April 5 26 Independence, May 24 June 17 37 Independence, April 9 May 3 25 Eoscoe, June 24 July 31 36 Eoscoe, May 8 June 2 25 G. Washington, July 24 Aug. 29 35 G.Washingt’n,June 8 28 20 Pennsylvania, Aug. 25 Sept. 29 Pennsylvania, July 7 July 28 21 28 Independence, Sept. 25 Oct. 13 Independence, Aug.7 Aug. 30 23 Eoscoe, Oct. 25 Nov. 25 31 G. Washington,Nov. 25 Eoscoe, Sept. 7 Sept. 28 21 J a n .1 37 G.Washington.Oct. 9 Oct. 27 18 The average outward passage is a fraction over 2 1 id a y s; and the homeward passage a little over 32 days. The shortest outward passage is by the Pennsylvania, in 15 da ys; and the longest by the same ship, in 26 days. 86 Navigation. EOBERT OUTWARD PASSAGES. hermit ’ s LINE. HOMEWARD PASSAGES. Sailed. Arrived. No.days. Sailed. Arrived. No.days. St. Andrew, Nov. 24 Dec. 16 29 St. Andrew, Jan. 9 March 7 57 Virginian, Dec.26 Jan. 22 27 Virginian, Feb. 10 21 39 Sheffield, Jan.24 Feb. 14 21 Sheffield, March 9 April 13 35 United States, Feb.24 March 17 21 U. States, April 9 May 6 27 St. Andrew, March 25 April 15 21 St. Andrew, May 8 June 7 30 Virginian, April27 May 23 26 Virginian, June 8 July 13 35 Sheffield, May 26 June 16 21 Sheffield, July 11 Aug. 15 35 U- States, June25 July 16 21 U. States, Aug. 9 Sept. 14 36 St. Andrew, July 14 Aug. 5 22 St. Andrew, Sept. 2 Oct. 8 36 Virginian, Aug. 13 Sept. 11 29 Virginian, Oct. 2 29 27 Sheffield, Sept.14 Oct. 12 28 Sheffield, Nov. 4 Dec. 6 32 U. States, Oct.13 29 16 U. States, Dec. 5 Jan. 5 31 Average outward passage o f these four ships, 23 days. The United States made the shortest outward passage, in 16 days; the Virginian the longest, in 29 days. Average homeward passage, 35 days. edw ard k . collin ’ s lin e . O UTW ARD PASSAGES. HOMEWARD PASSAGES. _Sailed. Arrived. No.days. Sailed. Arrived. No.days. % Nov. 1 Nov. 17 Garrick, 29 16 Garrick, Dec. 17 Jan. 25 Dec. 2 Dec. 21 Shakspeare, 51 19 Shakspeare, Jan. 16 March 8 Jan. 2 Jan. 27 30 Siddons, 25 Siddons, Feb. 16 18 Sheridan, Feb. 1 March 5 38 32 Sheridan, March 18 April 15 March 3 25 21 Garrick, April 20 May 12 22 Garrick, Shakspeare, April 2 April 25 27 23 Shakspeare, May 16 June 12 33 Siddons, May 1 May 24 23 Siddons, June 16 July 19 35 Sheridan, June 2 June 20 July 21 Aug. 25 18 Sheridan, 35 Garrick, Aug. 16 Sept. 20 July 3 July 20 18 Garrick, Shakspeare, 37 25 Aug. 19 25 Shakspeare, Sept. 15 Oct. 22 Siddons, 32 Siddons, Aug. 25 Sept. 14 20 Oct. 21 Nov. 22 Sheridan, Nov. 14 Dec. 27 43 Sept. 25 Oct. 19 24 Sheridan, Average outward passage, a fraction over 22 days. The Garrick made the short est outward passage, in 16 days; the Sheridan the longest, in 32 days. Average homeward passage, 341 days. IM PORTANT TO OW NERS OF VESSELS. Lisbon, 11th o f April, 1839. A rt . 1. All foreign ships entering the ports o f this kingdom in ballast, and loading a full cargo o f salt, shall be free from the tonnage duty. Sec. — foreign ships enter ing any o f the ports o f this kingdom in ballast, and sailing out again, to take a full cargo o f salt at another o f our ports, are equally free from the tonnage duty. A rt . 2. All foreign vessels entering the ports o f this kingdom under Franquia, in order to complete their cargoes with salt, shall pay the duty o f 100 reis per ton. A rt . 3. All foreign vessels entering the ports of this kingdom to discharge cargoes of merchandise, and here load a full cargo of salt, shall pay the duty of 100 reis per ton. A rt . 4. All foreign vessels which (having paid the duty in one o f the ports o f this kingdom) sail in ballast to another port o f the kingdom, in order there to take a full cargo o f salt, are entitled to receive back the duty paid in the first port, with the deduction merely o f 100 reis per ton, on presenting to the competent authority a legal certificate of said payment. A rt . 5. The disposition o f article 7th o f the Royal Decree of the 14th o f Novem ber, 1836, relative to the payment of tonnage duty on Portuguese vessels, are appli cable to articles 2, 3, and 4 o f the actual law. A r t . 6. All former legislation, contrary to the present law, is hereby revoked. Commercial Regulations and Treaties. 87 COMMERCIAL REGULATIONS AND TREATIES. MERCANTILE REGULATION A T SINGAPORE. The following regulation, under the signature o f Ross D. Mangles, officiating Secretary to the Government of India, published in ihe Singapore Free Press o f the 1st o f February, 1838, has been communicated to the Department o f State by J. Balestier, Esq., United States Consul at Singapore : Foreign ships, belonging to any state or country in Europe or in America, so long as such states or countries respectively remain in amity with her Majesty, may freely enter the British seaports and harbors in the East Indies, whether they come directly from their own country or from any other place, and shall be there hospitably received. And such ships shall have liberty to import into such seaports, from their own respec tive countries, goods, the produce o f their countries ; and to export goods from such seaports to any foreign country whatever, conformably to the regulations established, or to be established, in such seaports : Provided, that it shall not be lawful for the said ships, in time o f war between the British government and any state or power • whatsoever, to export from the said British territories, without the special permission o f the British government, any military or naval stores, saltpetre, or grain, nor to receive goods on board at one British port of India to be conveyed to another British port o f India, on freight or otherwise; but, nevertheless, the original inward cargoes o f such ships may be discharged at different British ports, and the. outward cargoes o f such ships may be laden at different. British ports, for their foreign destinations. COMMERCIAL REGULATIONS AT CANTON. We. find the following in the Canton Register, for January, 1839, addressed by the Hong Merchants to the Chamber o f Commerce, in the shape, o f a circular, with a request that they would give it publicity. W e give below a copy o f the Regulations, and the Bond to be given by the Captain and Consignee. “ Should any vessels at Whampoa bring up opium or smuggle out sycee, (silver,) the trade o f such vessels will, on a discovery and seizure being made, be instantly stopped, and she be driven out o f the port without a moment’s delay. (Her owner) will be mulcted in $10,000, to be appropriated to the liquidation o f the foreign claims. “ Should any vessel at Whampoa engage in smuggling any other kind o f goods, her trade will, on discovery and seizure being made, be instantly stopped : the smug gled goods will be sold, the proceeds confiscated, and the owner mulcted in half their value, to be appropriated to the liquidation o f the foreign claims. “ No vessel at Whampoa must employ decked boats on penalty o f her trade being stopped immediately the fact is discovered. On the boat being given up to our Chamber for destruction, we will petition that her trade may again be opened. “ The master and consignee o f any vessel condemned to leave the port for her misbehavior, must, nevertheless, pay up her port charges ; they must not, on the plea o f the ship being driven out, endeavor to evade the payment, on penalty o f the most rigorous prosecution. “ Should the captain and consignee o f any vessel demur paying any just mulct, their security merchants must inform the other merchants thereof, who will deduct the amount from the prices o f any goods belonging to the parties. “ The bond to be worded as follows: — ‘ A bond given as proof. W e (A ) master, and (B ) consignee o f the (flag) Ship (name) which has come from her port with a cargo of (C), to trade at Canton, do hereby guarantee, that she has no opium or other prohibited goods on board. Should she have decked boats, she shall not employ them in smuggling our sycee, (silver,) o f other goods : but should any such doings be discovered, we will cheerfully submit to be dealt with according to the regulations, which we dare not endeavor to evade. In witness whereof, we have, signed our names to this bond, to be held by you as proof.’ ” ' S. FEARON, Chinese Interpreter g . c . e. TO MERCHANTS TRADING W ITH THE ROMAN STATES. The following is extracted from an official document, recently received at Pniladelphia, by Charles Pigot, Consul o f the Roman States. “ The products o f North and South America, furnished with a clean bill o f health, 88 Commercial Regulations and Treaties. and the customary papers for navigation, shall be admitted freely into the ports of the Roman States, provided they are accompanied with a certificate o f health from the Consul for Rome residing in the place of lading, or, in want o f such a Consul, from any other European Consul, declaring that at the period o f lading and before that period there existed no yellow fever or any contagious disease in the port of clearance and its vicinity; and in the absence of such a certificate, they shall not enjoy said privilege. “ The vessels or products o f said countries, furnished with a doubtful Bill o f Health, (Patente Tocca,) accompanied with said Consular certificate, shall be admitted to a quarantine of 12 days, with the landing in the Lazaretto o f passengers and articles susceptible o f contagion or infection. “ Finally, the vessels furnished with afoul Bill o f Health, (Patente. Brutta.,) shall be admitted only in the port o f Ancona, to a quarantine o f from 14 to 21 days, ac cording to the nature of their cargo, with the landing in the Lazaretto o f their pas sengers and articles susceptible o f contagion or infection.” T R E A T Y BETW EEN HOLLAND AND THE UNITED STATES. The Treaty of Commerce as concluded between Holland and the United States, dated at Washington, late in January last, and since ratified by the Dutch govern ment, embraces the following provisions : That all goods, without reference to their origin, imported into any o f the ports of Holland, or the United States, or exported from any o f the ports of these countries for the other, in Dutch or American bottoms, shall not pay higher duties than those fixed on board of national vessels. If one o f the two contracting parties grants premiums, restoration o f duties, or other advantages, for the importation or exportation in national vessels, the same advantages shall be granted, if the importation or exportation takes place directly between the ports of the two countries in vessels of the other contracting party. The second article provides that Dutch and American vessels are not to pay respectively in the ports o f either o f the two states, any tonnage, salvage, quarantine, or pilot-dues, except those established for national vessels. Perfect equality is to be established between the consuls and vice-consuls o f both countries, in the exercise of rights and privileges, and the protection and assistance usually given, especially in the case o f deserters from the navy of both countries. Both countries consider as belong ing to the other, vessels provided with passports, or sea-letters, by the competent authorities. In shipwrecks or disasters at sea, both parties engage to afford to the merchant or war vessels of the other, the same assistance as in the case o f its own navy. The new treaty is to remain in force for ten years, and longer, should no complaints be made. REGULATIONS AT HAVANA. A late number o f the Havana Diario contains an order o f the Captain General of Cuba. The purport o f this order i s : that on the representation of the American Consul, and o f one Daniel Warnen, no sailor can be admitted or employed under any pretence, nor be permitted to remain on board of any American vessel in the port o f Havana, unless the Captain o f such vessel shall be perfectly assured that the sailor has been legally discharged from the vessel in which he arrived, and with the know; ledge and consent o f the American Consul. That for every sailor employed in viola tion of said regulation, the Captain employing him shall be fined fifty dollars, and should the vessel, in which said sailor is found, have obtained clearances, the fine shall be doubled. The said Daniel Warnen is appointed Commissioner for the strict enforcement of these regulations, and report offenders to the captain of the port— a third part of the fines to go to the informer, the rest to the chamber of justice. LETTERS TO HAVANA AND MATANZAS. W e have been requested to state, says the Boston Daily Advertiser, for the infor mation o f persons writing to Havana, Matanzas, and othSr places in the island of Cuba, that the addition of the word 1Cuba/ to the superscription o f letters, has an effect altogether unexpected by the writer, and inexplicable to those unacquainted with the postoffice affairs in that island. ‘ Cuba’ is understood throughout the island to mean St. Jago de Cuba, and the clerks in the several postoffices where the letters are first received from abroad, looking only at the last place mentioned in the super scription, forward letters and newspapers having ‘ Cuba’ upon them to St. Jago. Statistics o f Trade and Manufactures. 89 STATISTICS OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURES. COTTON TRAD E. A Statement o f the Stock in Liverpool, at the close o f the years 1837 and 1838. 1837. 1838. 1837. 1838. 1,460 3,220 West India, 540 Sea Islands, 100 770 1,330 Carthagena, 4,690 4,640 Stained ditto, 35,290 68,860 Bourbon, „ 20 Bowed, 17,640 Manilla, 460 29,970 Orleans, 30 5,760 98,950 Laguira Mobile, &c., 6,301 250 11,720 39,940 11,780 Surat, Pernams, 16,510 7,950 8,230 Bengal, Bahia, &c., 2,100 580 6,180 9,050 Smyrna, 270 Maranham, 700 380 100 Madras, Minas and Paras, 2,030 400 810 840 Egyptian, 13,350 Peruvian, 5,320 640 Demerara and Berbice, 710 50 130 Total bales Barbadoes, 170,820 248,340 The table o f imports into Great Britain, compared with the preceding year, shows an increase o f 280,000 American, 20,500 Brazil, 1,600 West India, & c .; and a decrease o f 11,500 Egyptian, &c., 38,000 East India., being a total increase o f 252,600 bags. The average weekly consumption of Great Britain we estimate at 23,204 bales, consisting of 5,505 Upland, 11,742 Orleans and Alabama, and 317 Sea Island— total, 17,564 American, 2,400 Brazil, 781 Egyptian, &c., 1,760, East India, 639 West India, &e. ; being an increase upon the consumption o f last year o f 2,871 bags per week. The average, weekly quantity taken by the trade from the ports, is 5,693 Upland, 12,542 Orleans and Alabama, 337 Sea Island—total, 18,277 American, 2,555 Brazil, 781 Egyptian, &c..; 1,875 East India, and 676 West India, & e ,; total, 25,164 bags. The average weight of the import we calculated at 332 lbs. per bag for Upland, 406 for Orleans and Alabama, 320 Sea Island, 174 Brazil, 220 Egyptian, 350 East India, and 146 West India, &e., making the total import in lbs. weight 501,010,000, being an increase, upon last year o f 92,760,000 lbs. weight. It appears by the tabular statement, that the weekly consumption has increased in packages at the present average weight, from 4,930 bags in the year 1816, to 23,204 bags in the present year. INCREASE OF COTTON IN THE UNITED STATES. In 1791, only 188,316 lbs. cotton were exported from theU. States ; in 1798 it was less than 1,900,000; in 1802 the amount was 27,501,075 lbs.; in 1819 it was 87,997,045 lbs.; in 1820 it was 127,860,152 ; in 1830 it amounted to 298,459,102 lb s .; in value 129,675,883. This amount in value was less by ®7,000,000 than in 1825, when the quantity was less by 122,000,000 lb s .; the price in the latter year being more than double that o f the former. The amount exported during the year ending with Sep tember, 1838, was upwards o f 639,000,000 lbs., leaving o f that year’s crop, including nearly 8,000,000 lbs. o f stock the previous year, which remained on hand, upwards of 98.000. 000 lbs. for home consumption ; the year’s crop in round numbers, exceeding 720.000. 000 pounds. STATISTICS OF LOW ELL MANUFACTURES. A large proportion o f our fellow-citizens are ignorant o f the deep root which domes tic manufactures have taken in our country, and. the vast impulse which home indus try is already giving to commercial affairs, and the certain and steady market they afford to the southern planter for the great, staple article o f Cotton. Take Lowell, only one manufacturing village, for instance, and we find an investment o f nine millions o f capital, twenty-eight Mills in active operation, exclusive of Print Works, 163,404 Spindles, and 5,094 Looms, requiring eight hundred and ninety bales of cotton per week, or 46,280 bales per annum ; manufacturing weekly 1,061,250 yards o f goods o f various descriptions, 255,000 of which are printed, and giving employ ment to 2,077 males, 6,470 females, and furnishing to the farmers in the neighbor hood a ready market, where their products are convertible to cash; for the hands are always paid off in money once a month, at least. The principal establishments vol. I. — NO. I. 12 90 Statistics o f Trade and Manufactures. are the Merrimack, Tremont, Suffolk, Lawrence, Appleton, Hamilton, Lowell, and Boott Mills ; to the above may be added the extensive Powder Mills o f 0 . M. Whip ple, E s q .; the Lowell Bleachery ; Flannel M ills; Card and Whip Factory : Planing Machine; Beed Machine ; Flour, Grist, and Saw M ills; together, employing above three hundred hands, and a capital o f $300,000. And in the immediate vicinity, Glass Works, and a Furnace supplying every description o f castings for Machinery and Engines for Kail Roads. The Locks and Canals Machine Shop, included among the twenty-eight Mills, can furnish machinery complete for a Mill o f 5,000 Spindles in four months, and lumber and materials are always at command, with which to build or rebuild a Mill in that time, if required. When building Mills, the Locks and Canals employ, directly and indirectly, from ten to 1,200 hands. One hundred pounds o f Cotton will produce eighty-nine pounds o f Cloth. Average wages o f Females, clear o f board, $2 per week. Average wages o f Males, clear of board, 80 cts. per day. Medium produce o f a Loom on No. 14 Yarn, forty-four to fifty-five yards per day. Medium produce o f a Loom on No. 30 Yarn, thirty yards per day. Average per Spindle, 1 1-0 yard per day. Persons employed by the Com panies are paid at the close o f each month. Average amount o f wages paid per month, $145,000. A very considerable portion o f the wages is deposited in the Savings Bank. Consumption of Starch per annum, 600,000 lbs. Consumption o f Flour for Starch in the Mills, Print Works, and Bleachery, per annum, 3,000 bbls. Consumption o f Charcoal per annum, 500,000 bushels. When we consider that these establishments were only commenced in 1822, no one can resist the conclusion, that, interrupted as it may be for a time, the United States is destined to prove a great manufacturing nation, and the thousand establishments for manufacturing and mechanical purposes, with which the face o f the earth is dot ted all over, proves that it has taken a firm footing in the soil, and Legislation may control or impede, but cannot prevent its growth. W e say nothing, at the present moment, o f other establishments, o f which we propose, hereafter, to famish statistical information; but this astonishing progress o f one manufacturing settlement in Massa chusetts alone, awakens our admiration, but cannot withhold our meed o f praise. T RAD E OF BUFFALO. The value o f property cleared at Buffalo, going towards tide water, is as follow s; 1837 $2,304,785 12 1838 4,870,473 86 Tolls received on the same : 1837 $128,028 21 1838 202,410 66 The property chiefly consisted o f flour, wheat, and other grains, peltries, scantlings, lard, butter, &c. The following is a statement o f property arriving at Buffalo, coming from tide w ater: Merchandise. Furniture. 1836 86,433,037 11,468,098 1837 60,013,661 11,924,481 1838 83,224,295 7,755,262 DECLINE OF SOUTHERN COMMERCE. The Report o f a Committee o f the Southern Convention, which was held last April, in Charleston, furnishes the following table, showing the comparative progress o f Commerce at the North and South. The statistics o f the United States enable us to present the following statements, exhibiting, at one view, the rise, progress, and decay o f Southern commerce. They are extracted from one of the documents formerly published by this Convention, and show that the time was, when the people of the South were the largest importers in the country. In 1769, the value o f the imports o f the several colonies were as follows ; Virginia, £851,140 sterling. New England States, 561,000 New York, 189,000 Pennsylvania, 400,000 South Carolina, 555,000 Statistics o f Trade and Manufactures. 91 The exports were in about the same proportion: Virginia exporting nearly four times as much as New Y o r k ; and South Carolina nearly twice as much as New York and Pennsylvania together; and five times as much as all the New England States united. The same relative proportion o f imports is preserved until the adoption o f the Federal Constitution, when we find them to be in the year 1791 as follows : New York, $3,222,000 Virginia, 2,486,000 South Carolina, 1,520,000 There is no data to show the imports into the several States from the year 1791 to 1820, but the general fact may be assumed, that the import trade of New York and other Northern States has been constantly progressing, while that of Virginia and South Carolina has as regularly diminished. From 1821 to the present time, we have sufficient data, and they exhibit the following as the state o f the import trade : S. Carolina. New York. Virginia. $3,000,000 1821 $23,000,000 $1,078,000 2,000,000 35,000,000 864,000 1822 681,000 2,000,000 1823 29,000,000 639,000 2,400,000 1824 36,000,000 2,150,000 1825 49,000,000 553,000 1827 39,000,000 431,000 1,800,000 1829 43,000,000 375,000 1,240,000 1832 57,000,000 550,000 1,213,000 Thus, the import trade o f New York has gradually increased from £189,000 ster ling, about $840,000, in the year 1769, and from about three millions o f dollars in 1791, to the enormous sum, in 1832, of fifty-seven millions o f dollars! While Vir ginia has fallen off in her import trade from two and a half millions o f dollars in 1791, to $375,000 in 1829, and 550,000 in 1832, not a great deal more than the freight o f half a dozen ships! From these calculations, a few curious facts appear. The imports o f New York were, in 1832, seventy times as great as they were in 1769, and nearly twenty times more than they were in 1791. Virginia, on the other hand, imported in 1829 about one eleventh o f what she did in 1769, and about one seventh of what she did in 1791. In a period, too, o f eight years, the aggregate imports o f New York amounted to <«hree hundred and eleven millions o f dollars; those of South Carolina to about six teen millions, and those o f Virginia to about five millions! New York imported, therefore, in 1832, eleven times as much as Virginia did in eight years preceding, and nearly four times as much as South Carolina did in eight years preceding. Again, New York imported in one year, (1832) nearly fifty times as much as South Carolina in the same year, and about 110 times as much as Virginia. THE COAL TRADE FOR 1838. The following is the quantity o f Coal shipped from the different regions in 1837 and 1838: 1837. Schuylkill ................. L e h ig h .......................___ 192,595 L ackaw ana............... . . . .115,387 Beaver Meadows . . .___ 33,617 Hazleton.................... Laurel H ill ............... 864,751 723,813 1838. 431,719 152,699 78,207 44,966 14,221 2,001 723,813 Decrease in 1838.. . consumption o f Coal, as near as can be ascertained, was in Annual increase. 1831.......................... 1832.......................... 1833.......................... 1834.......................... 1835.......................... 1836.......................... 1837......................... . . .177,000 . . .329,000 .................. ------150,000 . . .413,000 .................. ___ 84,000 . . .456,000 .................. ____41,000 . . .556,000 .................. ____100,000 . . .682,090 .................. ____126,000 . . .664,000 ................... 02 Statistics o f Trade and Manufactures. FRENCH CORN AVERAGES. The following are the official average prices of Wheat in France for the month o f November in each year, during the under-mentioned twenty years, from 1819 to 1838, the whole reduced into English measure and money : Per Hectolitre. Per Quarter. 1819......... 1820 .......... 1821......... 1822 .......... 1823 ......... 1824 ......... 1825 .......... 1826 ......... 1827 ......... 1828 ......... 1829 .......... 1830 ......... 1831......... 1832 .......... 1833 .......... 1834 .......... 1835 .......... 1836 . . . . 1837 ......... 1838 .......... ......... 15f. ..........15 ......... 15 ......... 15 ..........14 ......... 15 ......... 15 ......... 20 ......... 22 ......... 21 ......... 22 ......... 17 ......... 14 ......... 14 ..........14 ..........17 4c. 60 28 71 58 74 79 58 22 55 97 49 52 96 95 88 43 26 75 equal to 34s. 44 35 36 35 33 36 35 46 51 50 51 51 41 34 34 33 39 40 50 5d. 10 0 0 8 9 2 8 4 8 4 6 7 1 3 1 1 6 8 .......... 21 92 3 The average o f the whole period is 17f. 81c. p_,er hectolitre, which is equal to 40s, 9d. per quarter ; and it will be farther remarked— 1. That the return o f 1835 is the lowest o f the whole period. 2. That the return o f 1828 is the highest of the whole period. 3. That the return o f the present year exceeds the return of the preceding year by 9s. 7d. per quarter. 4. That the return o f the present year exceeds by 9s. 6d. per quarter the return o f the whole period. To compare the average prices o f wheat in France with those o f England and Wales, it is necessary to add 20 per cent to the latter, for difference in the quality o f the wheat, and the difference in the mode of taking averages; and it then appearing that the average price o f wheat in England and Wales, for the six weeks ending the 3d ult. is 71s. 6d. the quarter, this, with the addition o f 20 per cent, makes 85s. lOd.; and the average price o f wheat in France, for the same period, being 50s. 3d., it fol lows that wheat is 41.46 per cent lower in France than in England. The average price o f wheat at Paris, for the preceding month o f November, is 23f, 63c. per hectolitre, which answers to 54s. Id. per quarter. COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES. An Abstract o f the last official Annual Statement of the Commerce and Navigation o f the United States. Imports for the Year ending September 30, 1838. Total amount, $113,717,404 O f which were imported in American vessels, 103,087,448 In foreign vessels, 10,629,950 Exports. Total amount, 108,486,616 O f which were domestic produce, 96,033,821 Foreign produce, 12,452,795 Domestic Articles. Exported in American vessels, 79,855,599 Exported in foreign vessels, 16,178,222 Foreign Articles, Exported in American vessels, 9,964,200 Exported in foreign vessels, 2,488,595 Mercantile Miscellanies. 93 Navigation. American shipping entered the ports o f the United States for the year ending September 30, 1838, Ditto cleared from ditto, Foreign shipping entered during the same period, Ditto cleared from ditto, Registered tonnage, as corrected September 30,1838, Enrolled and licensed, Fishing vessels, 1,302,974 1,408,761 592,110 604,166 822,591 1,041,105 131,102 Total tons, 1,993,798 Employed in the Whale Fishery, 129,629 Shipping built in the United States during the year ending Sept. 30, 1838 : Registered, 41,359 Enrolled, 71,275 Tons, 113,134 The imports of the previous year, ending 30th o f September, 1837, amounted to $140,989,217, and the exports to $117,419,376. It will be observed that while the imports of 1837-8 are less by $27,000,000 than in 1836-7, the exports are less by only $9,000,000 more. This looks like getting out of debt. The tonnage o f American ship ping which entered in 1837-8 is greater than in 1836-7, by 3,254 tons, while the foreign tonnage is less by 173,593 tons. This, again, is a favorable indication. The actual tonnage owned in the United States has increased within the year from 1,896,685 tons, to 1,994,798; or 98,113 tons. Rather less tonnage was built in 1837-8, than in 1836-7. MERCANTILE MISCELLANIES, NEW SPECIES OF COTTON. An improved species of cotton has been discovered in Alabama. The Southern Agriculturist says that it grows much taller than the common plant, and bears a num ber o f short lateral branches, only four or five inches in length, and bearing twin pods or clusters o f 6 or 7 pods on each branch. The cotton is finer than any other kind o f short staple, commands 4 or 5 cents more, and the product is very much more abundant. The plant, with leaves like other cotton, resembles the okra in other respects, and in rich land will reach a height of 8 or 9 feet. The seed is not yet in general use, and the small quantity to be had sells at very high prices. It ripens earlier than the other cotton, and stands a better chance, therefore, o f escaping the worm, which is very destructive to late crops in the south-west. UNITED STATES M IN T — COINAOE FOB. 1838. The Director of the Mint, Dr. Patterson, has made his annual report of the opera tions o f the Mint and its branches for the year 1838, from which wre extract the fol lowing particulars, viz. : 1. Whole amount o f gold coinage is $1,809,595, o f which there was coined— At Philadelphia.................................................$1,622,515 Charlotte, N. C............................................ 84,165 Dahlonega, Ga............................................. 102,915 New O rlea n s.............................................. none. $1,809,595 Of the above quantity, 7,200 pieces were in eagles ; 286,588 pieces were in half eagles ; and 47,030 pieces were in quarter eagles. O f the bullion deposited, there was supplied from the mines o f the United States— At Philadelphia................. $171,700 Charlotte.......................................................... 127,000 Dahlonega........................................................ 135,700 New Orleans................................................... 700 Total native bullion. .$435,100 94 Mercantile Miscellanies. 2. The whole amount o f silver coined is $2,333,243, o f which the whole was coined at Philadelphia, except $40,243, in dimes, at New Orleans, the otlffer branch mints bejng not yet authorized to coin silver, the bill which passed the Senate to authorize them to coin silver change having not passed the House o f Representatives, and being now in the Senate. O f the silver coined at the mint in Philadelphia, there was In half dollars...........................................................11,773,000 quarters.................................................................. 208,000 199,250 d im e s.................................................................... half dim es............................................................. 112,750 Add dimes at New Orleans............... 2,293,000 40,243 2,333,243 From this it will be seen that the total coinage of the mint and branches, in gold and silver, is $4,142,838. Besides this, the copper coinage amounted to $63,702; making a totality o f $4,206,540. Statement o f the Annual Amounts o f Deposites o f Gold for Coinage at the Mint o f the United States, Philadelphia, from the Mines of the United States. Year. Virginia. N. Carolina. S. Carolina. Georgia. Total. 1824 . $5,000 $5,000 1825 . 17,000 17,000 1826 . 2 0 ,0 0 0 2 0 ,0 0 0 1827 . 2 1 ,0 0 0 2 1 ,0 0 0 1828 . 46,000 46,000 1829 . . $2,500 $3,500 134,000 140,000 1830 . . 24,000 204,000 26,000 $ 2 1 2 ,6 6 0 466,000 1831 . . 26,000 294,000 2 2 ,0 0 0 176,000 520,000 1832 . . 34,000 458,000 45,000 140,000 678,000 1833 . . 104,000 475,000 6 6 ,0 0 0 8 6 8 ,0 0 0 216,000 1834 . . 62,000 380,000 38,000 415,000 898,000 1835 . . 60,400 263,500 42,400 319,000 698,500 1836 . . 62,000 148,000 201,400 467,000 55,200 1837 . . 52,000 282,000 116,900 83,600 29,400 171,700 1838 . . 55,000 36,000 6 6 ,0 0 0 13,000 $482,000 2,648,500 1,799,900 5,298,200 340,500 Of the $5,298,200, the sum o f $ 13,900 was from Tennessee since 1831, and the sum o f $13,400 from other sources since 1831. Statement exhibiting the Value o f Bullion and Specie imported and exported from the 1st o f July, 1834, to the 30th September, 1838. Gold Imported. Bullion. Specie. 1834, 1st July to 30th Sept. $147,181 $2,786,000 1835, year ending30th Sept. 655,457 1,669,739 1836, year ending30th Sept. 1,913,137 5,318,725 1837, year ending30th Sept. 536,549 1,895,265 1838, year ending30th Sept. 230,694 11,431,840 $3,483,019 Gold Exported. Bullion. 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1st July to 30th Sept. year ending 30th Sept. year ending 30th Sept. year ending 30th Sept. year ending 30th Sept. v $23,101,355 $25,787 101,563 — Specie. $64,359 625,678 275,940 1,828,653 736,265 1127,350 $3,530,894 — — Mercantile Miscellanies. 95 AN HONORABLE MERCHANT. The following incidental notice o f the richest of the long race o f wealthy Salem merchants, is from the pen o f Capt. J. S. Sleeper, the able editor o f the Boston Mer cantile Journal, who formerly sailed in the service o f the distinguished man whose character he describes. It is our intention, from time to time, to furnish biographical sketches of eminent merchants— of men who, by their enterprise, industry, and integ rity, have amassed princely fortunes, and by their liberality and benevolence in the endowment of splendid charities, and the more private acts o f humanity, shed a lus tre over the mercantile character. “ The late William Gray, by his successful mercantile career, well illustrated the truth o f the homely adage, 1Honesty is the best policy.’ His ships were found in every sea, deeply laden with the products o f every country." Although bold in his speculations, he was prudent in his calculations— and fortune smiled upon his under takings. But William Gray was, emphatically, an honest man. Not a dollar o f his immense wealth was acquired by violating, directly or indirectly, the laws o f any country. Having, on a number of occasions, had charge of large amounts of property belonging to him, we have had abundant opportunities o f knowing the manner in which he transacted his commercial operations — and we have often had occasion to admire the stem integrity which formed a prominent feature in his character. “ The agents or shipmasters, whom he employed, were always cautioned, in the plainest language, against infringing, in the slightest degree, upon the revenue laws of any nation— and if it came to his knowledge that his orders, in this particular, had not been strictly obeyed, even if the departure from the straight line o f rectitude had been dictated solely by the desire of the captain or supercargo to promote the interest o f his employer, the offender was promptly dismissed with disgrace from his service. And this was but a part of the system of integrity which entered into all his actions— and which should always constitute the basis of the character of a mercantile man.” THE BENEVOLENT MERCHANT. The life of T h e o d o r e L y m a n , Esq., recently deceased at Waltham, (Mass.,) was, throughout, a beautiful illustration of pure benevolence and Christian charity. As a merchant, he ranked among the earliest, wealthiest, and most distinguished in Boston;; but it is to his enlarged and comprehensive exertions in the cause of charity — to the comfort which he carried to the abode o f the poor and destitute — to the warmth which he communicated to the cheerless hearth of the widow and the fatherless— to the aid he gave to the suffering and the dying,— that we turn with the most unmingled satisfaction, and the sincerest admiration. He seemed to consider himself an almoner for the Alm ighty; and, in the city of Boston, five hundred widows, and four hundred fatherless children, can testify to his liberality, which enabled the Trustees o f the Fatherless and Widows’ Society to extend their assistance wherever the aid of the society was needed or invoked. To thirty destitute widows, in the city o f Boston, Mr. Lyman has, for two years past, sent a daily supply o f m ilk ; and all can estimate the advantages o f this supply, where, as in many instances, it formed the principal food o f small children. Of the Seaman’s Aid Society, he has, for three successive winters, purchased bed coverings, to be distributed in his walks o f charity; thus, while relieving human destitution with one hand, stimulating honest industry and assisting meritorious institutions with the other. The records of the institution of the Children’s Friend Society, in Boston, enrolls his name as its largest benefactor. This charity embraces fifty small children, saved from the contamination o f evil example, some o f them surrendered to the Trustees by their dying mothers, that their departing spirits might find peace and happiness in the cer tainty that they would be carefully, kindly, and religiously brought up, and be pro tected, not only from the abuse, but from the vicious example of careless or intem perate fathers. And this man has gone to his reward, preceded by the prayers of the sick, the desti tute, and the dying, and as encouragement to our enterprising merchants, who, in the ardent pursuit o f gain, too often lose sight of that charity which “ never faileth.” He died rich. Hear it, ye anxious seekers after wealth. He died rich in this world — with a large investment made in heaven. It may be laid down as a maxim, that no man ever reduced himself, or impoverished his estate, by an intelligent and active charity, but, on the contrary, that his benefactions to the poor have, even in this world, been returned “ ten fold into his bosom.” W e do not mean that ostentatious charity which blazons itself forward, and requires excitement and public display to urge it on to action, but that pure and spontaneous benevolence, that free-will offering o f the heart, which, as in the case of Mr. Lyman, sought out those who shrunk, oftentimes, 96 Mercantile Miscellanies. with decent pride, from the exposure o f want, and required to be searched for to be relieved ; and among the number whose prayers arose with the most fervency in his behalf, may be mentioned those who, depressed in spirit, and almost prostrated by the pressure o f poverty, were relieved and saved by some o f the methods he was daily devising to extend the circle o f his charities. To all, and more especially to our merchants, who read this brief notice o f Theo dore Lyman, we say “ go and do likewise.” “ h its a t the t im e s .” W e make the following extract from an admirable volume recently published by Lea and Blanchard o f Philadelphia, entitled, “ The Little Frenchman and his Water Lots, with other Hits at the Times, by George P. Morris,” which is already nearly out o f print. Our mercantile readers will recognise the portraits contained in these sketches. Want o f Confidence. — A little Frenchman loaned a merchant five thousand dollars when times were good. He called at the counting-house a few days since, in a state o f agitation not easily described. “ How do you do ? ” inquired the merchant. “ Sick — very sick,” replied monsieur. “ What is the matter ? ” “ De times is de matter.” “ Detimes ? — what disease is that?” “ De malaide vat break all de merchants, ver much.” “ Ah — the times, eh? — well, they are bad, very bad, sure enough; but how do they alfect you ?” “ Vy, monsieur, I lose de confidence.” “ In whom ?” “ In everybody.” “ Not in me, I hope ?” “ Pardonnez moi, monsieur; but I do not know who to trust a present, when all de marchants break several times, all to pieces.” “ Then I presume you want your money ? ” “ Oui, monsieur, I starve for want of Vargent.'" “ Can’ t you do without it ? ” “ No, monsieur, I must have him.” “ You must?” “ Oui, monsieur,” said little dimity breeches, turning pale with apprehension for the safety o f his money. “ And you can’ t do without it ?” “ No, monsieur, not von other leetle moment longare.” The merchant reached his bank book— drew a check on the good old Commercial for the amount, and handed it to his visiter. “ Vat is dis, monsieur?” “ A check for five thousand dollars, with the interest.” “ Is it bon ?” said the Frenchman, with amazement, “ Certainly.” “ Have you de l’argent in de bank ? ” “ Yes.” “ And is it parfaitement convenient to pay de sum ?” “ Undoubtedly. What astonishes you ? ” “ Vy, dat you have got him in dees times.” “ Oh, yes, and I have plenty more. I owe nothing that I cannot pay at a moment’s notice.” The Frenchman was perplexed. “ Monsieur, you shall do me one leetle favor, eh ?” “ With all my heart.” “ Veil, monsieur, you shall keep de Vargent for me some leetle year longer.” “ Why, I thought you wanted it.” “ Tout au contraire. I no vant de Vargent—- I vant de grand confidance. Suppose you no got de money, den I vant him ver much— suppose you got him, den I no vant him at all. Vous comprenez, e h? ” After some further conference, the little Frenchman prevailed upon the merchant to retain the money, and left the counting-house with a light heart, and a countenance very different from the one he wore when he entered. His confidence was restored, and, although he did not stand in need o f the money, he wished to know that hisproperty was in safe hands. This little sketch has a moral, if the reader has sagacity enough to find it out.