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H U N T’ S

M E R C H A N T S ’ M A G A Z IN E .
MAY,

1841.

A kt. I.— B R IT IS H N A V IG A T IO N A C T .
I t may safely be affirmed that no political community ever reached the
height o f prosperity and power to which the states o f Holland were eleva­
ted during the period included between the reformation o f Luther and the
latter half o f the seventeenth century. The agitation o f theological discus­
sions, caused by the reformation, and which prevailed nowhere more ex­
tensively than in Holland, did not fail to produce its natural results, in
awakening the intellectual principle, and diffusing a spirit o f energy and
progress throughout the whole community. These effects were shown, not
only in the noble and splendid instances o f particular characters, like those
o f Barnevelt and Grotius, Arminius and D e W itt, but in the improvement
o f the entire mass o f the population. The stimulating influence pervaded
the wide-spread surface o f society, and reached the lowest and most remote
conditions o f life ; and with the elevation o f the people in education and
intelligence, there was, o f course, a corresponding and equal advance­
ment in their social relations, civil and commercial institutions, and
worldly circumstances generally.
Indeed, the moral, intellectual, and econom ical condition o f the states
o f Holland during the earlier part o f the seventeenth century, is one o f the
most wonderful and instructive objects which the history o f modern times
presents. It excited the admiration and astonishment, the envy and the
fears o f all the contemporary nations.
It is at once a conclusive and melancholy proof o f the perversion o f
history from the subjects which pre-eminently claim its notice, that while
volumes upon volumes have been filled with the miserable and oft-repeated
details o f wars and battles which produced no other effect than to degrade
and distress mankind, and to change the persons who have tyrannized
over them, the great essential elements which determine, the rise and
fall o f states, and contribute to the promotion or to the hindrance o f human
welfare and social prosperity and happiness, have been neglected as be­
neath the notice o f historians. W hat a dishonor it is to English history,
that, while the most finished forms o f style, and the highest attributes o f
genius, have been devoted to the narration o f the successions o f the dyvol .

iv.— no. v .




50

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British Navigation A ct.

nasty, from Saxons to Normans, from Plantagenets to Tudors, and from
Stuarts to Guelphs, o f intestine and partisan struggles between Y ork and
Lancaster, royalists and republicans, tories and whigs, and o f barbarian
and barbarizing conflicts o f mere brute force, under the name o f battles
by sea and land, scarcely the slightest notice has been taken o f an event
which alone decided the fate, not only o f England, but in all probability o f
humanity itself! W e mean the establishment o f the system o f commer­
cial policy contained in the Navigation Act, passed by the rump parlia­
ment on the 9th o f October, 1651.
The leading historians hardly do more than allude to it. W hitelock, in
his minute memorials o f the events o f the times, and among the details
which he presents o f the daily proceedings o f parliament, o f which he was
a prominent member, seems m erely to have happened not to forget to
mention it under its date— “ an act passed for the increase o f shipping,
and encouragement o f the navigation o f this nation” — in a great folio
volume o f more than 700 pages ; this is the only notice he takes o f it.
Godwin, who has written, in most respects, the best history o f the events
o f the period o f the commonwealth, treats it very briefly ; and what is the
most extraordinary o f all, it does not seem to have arrested, to any de­
gree o f interest or particularity, the attention o f writers on political econ­
om y, or legislative statesmen o f our own day and country.
In bringing this subject forward and presenting it, in considerable
extent'and detail, we feel confident that all whose attention may be called
to it will be o f opinion that scarcely any can be selected more worthy o f
the examination, the curiosity, and the reflection o f a community, whose
prosperity and welfare are dependent upon a system o f commerce and
trade in which the elements o f foreign and domestic traffic are inseparably
commingled, and which can only be sustained by industry, econom y, and
intelligence pervading the whole mass o f the people. In order to explain
the circumstances that led to the contriving and enacting o f the British
Navigation A ct, it will be necessary to give a somewhat particular ac­
count o f the condition and progress o f the states o f Holland, previous to
its passage.
Sir W illiam Tem ple, who had resided as British ambassador for some
time in Holland not long after the commencement o f the operation o f the
Navigation A ct, and who was superseded in that eminent diplomatic sta­
tion by Sir George Downing, gives the following description o f the state
o f the country :
“ ’ Tis evident to those who have read the most, and travelled far­
thest, that no country can be found, either in this present age, or upon
record o f any story, where so vast a trade has been managed as in the
narrow compass o f the few maritime provinces o f this commonwealth ;
nay, it is generally esteemed that they have more shipping belongs to
them than there does to all the rest o f Europe. Y et they have no native
commodities towards the building or rigging o f the smallest v e sse l; their
flax, hemp, pitch, wood, and iron, coming all from abroad, as wool does
for clothing their men, and corn for feeding them. N or do I know any
thing properly o f their own growth that is considerable, either for their
own necessary use, or for traffick with their neighbors, besides butter,
cheese, and earthen wares. F or havens, they have not any good upon their
whole c o a s t; the best are Helversluys, which has no trade at all, and
Flussinge, which has little in comparison o f other towns in H olland; but




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395

Amsterdam that triumphs in the spoils o f Lisbon and Antwerp, (which be­
fore engrossed the greatest trade o f Europe and the Indies,) seems to be the
most incommodious haven they have, being seated upon so shallow waters
that ordinary ships cannot com e up to it without the advantage o f tides;
nor great ones without unlading. The entrance o f the Tessel, and pas­
sage over the Zudder-Sea, is more dangerous than a voyage from thence
to Spain, lying all in blind and narrow channels ; so that it easily appears
that it is not an haven that draws trade, but trade that fills an haven, and
brings it in vogue. N or has Holland grown rich by any native commodi­
ties, but by force o f industry; by improvement and manufacture o f all
foreign growths ; by being the general magazine o f Europe, and furnish­
ing all parts with whatever the market wants or invites; and by their
seamen being, as they have properly been called, the com m on carriers o f
the w orld.”
A very curious and entertaining account, written in his peculiar style,
o f the natural disadvantages and acquired prosperity o f Holland at that
time, may be found among the writings o f Owen Felltham, who travelled
through it.
It is entided, “ Three W eeks’ Observations o f the L ow
Countries,” and begins thus : “ T h ey are a general sea-land, the great bog
o f Europe. There is not such another marsh in the world ; that’s flat.
T h ey are a universal quagmire epitomized— a green cheese in pickle.
There is in them an equilibrium o f mud and water. A strong earthquake
would shake them to a chaos, from which the successive force o f the sun,
rather than creation, hath a little amended them.”
H e thus sets forth the
want o f wood in Holland : “ It is an excellent country for a despairing
lover, for every corner affords him willow to make a garland o f ; but
if justice doom him to be hanged on any other tree, he may, in spite o f
the sentence, live long and confident.”
“ It is,” says he, “ a university o f all religions, which grow here con­
fusedly, like stocks in the nursery, without either order or pruning. If
you be unsettled in your religion, you may here try all, and take at last
what you like best. It is the fair o f all the sects, where all the pedlers o f
religion have leave to vend their toys, their ribands, and fanatic rattles.
“ Having nothing but what grass affords them, they are, yet, for almost
all provisions, the storehouse o f whole Christendom. W hat is it which
there may not be found in plenty 1 they making by their industry all the
frtiits o f the vast earth their own.
“ F or war, they are grasshoppers; and, without a king, go forth in
bands to conquer kings. There hardly is upon earth such a school o f
martial discipline. It is the Christian w orld’s academy for arms, whither
all the neighbor-nations resort to be instructed. T h ey learn to be sol­
diers sooner than men. There is none have the like intelligence. Their
merchants are at this day the greatest o f the universe. W hat nation is it
where they have not insinuated ? nay, which they have not almost anato­
mized, and even discovered the very intrinsic veins o f it ? Th ey win our
drowned grounds, which we cannot recover, and chase back Neptune to
his own old banks. W ant o f idleness keeps them from w ant; and it is
their diligence makes them rich.-”
Sir Josiah Child, governor o f the British East India Company, whose
valuable “ Discourse Concerning T rade,” we are informed by President
John Adams, in his letters to Hon. W illiam Tudor, was cited as authority
by James Otis, in his famous argument against writs o f assistance, says,




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British Navigation A ct.

with prophetic truth, “ The prodigious increase o f the Netherlands, in
their domestic and foreign trade, riches, and multitude o f shipping, is the
envy o f the present, and may be the wonder o f future generations.5’*
Sir Josiah gives the following explanation o f the causes o f the commer­
cial skill and prosperity o f the Hollanders, which, as it cannot but be use­
ful as well as interesting to all who take pleasure in reflecting upon the
means o f promoting the public welfare, we shall quote at considerable
len gth :
“ Some o f the means by which they have advanced their trade, and
thereby improved their estates, are these follow in g:
“ First, Th ey have, in their greatest councils o f state and war, tradingmerchants that have lived abroad in most parts o f the w orld ; who have
not only the theoretical knowledge, but the practical experience o f trade;
by whom laws and orders are contrived, and peaces with foreign princes
projected, to the great advantage o f their trade.
“ Secondly, Their law o f gavel-kind, whereby all their children possess
an equal share o f their fathers’ estates after their decease.
“ Thirdly, Their exact marking o f all their native commodities, and
packing o f their herring, codfish, and all other commodities which they
send abroad in great quantities ; the consequence o f which is, that the re­
pute o f their said commodities abroad continues always good, and the
buyers will accept o f them by the marks, without opening.
“ Fourthly, Their giving great encouragement and immunities to the
inventors o f new manufactures, and the discoverers o f any new mysteries
in trade, and to those that shall bring the commodities o f other nations first
in use and practice amongst them ; for which the author never goes with­
out his due reward, allowed him at the public charge.
“ Fifthly, Their contriving and building o f great ships to sail with small
charge, not above one third o f what w e are at, for ships o f the same bur­
den in England.
“ Sixthly, Their parsimonious and thrifty living, which is so extraordinary,
that a merchant o f one hundred thousand pounds estate with them will
scarce expend so much as one o f fifteen hundred pounds estate in London.
“ Seventhly, The education o f their children, as well daughters as sons ;
all which, be they o f never so great quality or estate, they always take care
to bring up to write perfect good hands, and to have the full knowledge and
use o f arithmetic and merchants’ accounts ; the well understanding and
practice o f which does strangely infuse into most that are the owners of
that quality o f either sex, not only an ability for com m erce o f all kinds, but
a strong aptitude, love, and delight in it; and in regard the women are as
knowing therein as the men, it does encourage their husbands to hold on
their trades to their dying days, knowing the capacity o f their wives to get
in their estates, and carry on their trades after their deaths ; whereas if a
merchant in England arrive at any considerable estate, he commonly with­
draws his estate from trade before he com es near the confines o f old age ;
reckoning that if God should call him out o f the world, while the main o f
his estate is engaged abroad in trade, he must lose one third o f it, through
the inexperience and unfitness o f his wife to such affairs ; and so it usually
falls out. Besides, it has been observed in the nature o f arithmetic, that
like other parts o f the mathematics, it does not only impede the rational




A Discourse Concerning Trade, p. 1.

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397

faculties, but inclines those that are expert in it to thriftiness and good hus­
bandry, and prevents both husbands and wives in some measure in running
out o f their estates, when they have it always in their heads what their ex­
penses do amount to, and how soon by that course their ruin must overtake
them.
“ Eighthly, The lowness o f their customs, and the height o f their excise,
which is certainly the most equal and indifferent tax in the world, and least
prejudicial to any people.
“ Ninthly, The careful providing for, and employment o f their poor, which
it is easy to demonstrate can never be done in England comparatively to
what it is with them, while it is left to the care o f every parish to look after
their own only.
“ Tenthly, Their use o f banks, which are o f so immense advantage to
them, that some not without good grounds have estimated the profits o f
them to the public to amount to at least one million o f pounds sterling
per annum.
“ Eleventhly, Their toleration o f different opinions in matters o f religion ;
by reason o f which many industrious people o f other countries, that dis­
sent from the established government o f their churches, resort to them
with their families and estates, and after a few years cohabitation with
them become o f the same common interest.
“ Twelfthly, Their law-merchant, by which all controversies between mer­
chants and tradesmen are decided in three or four days’ time, and that not
at the fortieth part, we might say, in many cases, not the hundreth part, o f
the charge they are with us.
“ Thirteenthly, The law that is in use amongst them for transferring o f
bills for debt from one man to another: this is o f extraordinary advantage
to them in their commerce ; by means o f which, they can turn their stocks
twice or thrice in trade, for once that we can in England.
“ Fourteenthly, Their keeping up public registers o f all lands and houses
sold or mortgaged, whereby many chargeable law-suits are prevented, and
the securities o f lands and houses rendered indeed, such as we commonly
call real securities.
“ Lastly, The lowness o f interest o f money with them, which in peaceable
times exceeds not three per cent per annum.” *
Surely there can be no better explanation o f the causes o f national pro­
gress and prosperity than is here given. The picture is, without doubt,
a just one o f the welfare and happy condition o f the Hollanders. N ever
were wiser laws, or better institutions ; and there is not, at the present day,
a nation or community on the face o f the globe, which might not profit by
the example.
In another part o f his book, Sir Josiah Child says that “ the Dutch give
generally more wages to all their manufacturers, by at least two pence in
the shilling, than the English.’ ’f
This is one o f the most remarkable cir­
cumstances in the condition o f the Dutch at that time. The fact that the
three elements o f universal enterprise, high wages, and a low rate o f inter­
est, were here actually combined together, renders Holland most worthy
o f the study o f the philosophical and practical statesman. It is a phe­
nomenon which it would be difficult, perhaps, to find elsewhere exhibited,
* A Discourse concerning1Trade, p. 1— 5.
t A Discourse concerning Trade, Preface, p. x.




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British Navigation A ct.

and is to be explained, it is probable, chiefly by the small expenditure re­
quired for the support o f individuals and families, in consequence o f the
extremely frugal and econom ical habits o f living that prevailed even among
the richest classes o f the people. It is a lesson o f extreme importance, and
requires to be inculcated among us, that costly and profuse fashions are not
only in bad taste, and discreditable to those who countenance them, but, in
their remote influences, destructive o f the wealth and prosperity o f nations.
W ith high wages for labor, and at the same time a low rate o f interest
for the encouragement o f enterprise; with a universal diffusion o f know­
ledge, and an unlimited toleration o f religion, it is not wonderful that the
Dutch rose to such a pitch o f greatness and opulence. Their geographical
position was in many respects disadvantageous, but they triumphed over
all the difficulties, and defended themselves against all the exposures of
their situation. Their territory was contracted, but they applied an en­
lightened genius and a laborious perseverance to its enlargement, and the
ocean itself was pushed back from its shores to make room for their multi­
plying millions. Th ey had not, on all their surface, the requisite materials
to build a boat, but every sea was shaded by the canvass o f their costly
merchantmen, and swept by the cannon o f their exulting navies.
The Dutch, compared with some other modern nations, had few colo­
nial possessions, but, by the potent charm, by the more than magical power
o f their high wages, attracting seamen to their ports, and their low rate o f
interest facilitating the acquisition o f capital for employment in naviga­
tion, they made the colonies o f all other nations tributary to themselves.
Steadily, and not slowly, they w ere seen driving the ships o f every other
nation from the ocean, and concentrating in their own warehouses the com­
m erce o f the world. Th ey had destroyed and consumed the naval power
o f Spain and Portugal, and the Italian States, and were fast pushing France
and England to extremities. Their progress was regarded with surprise
and amazement, with envy and fear. Political econom y had not then shed
light enough upon the cabinets o f kings, or the counting-houses o f mer­
chants, to enable them to solve the mystery o f the prevalence o f Holland ;
and all idea o f forcible resistance seemed to be in vain, unless the rival
nations could dissever and get access to the secret sources from which the
Dutch had drawn their superior and overshadowing naval and commercial
strength; and it really appeared destined that the whole modern world
should become subject to the perpetual dominion o f the United Provinces.
In the time o f Sir Josiah Child, which was several years after the British
Navigation A ct had begun to operate effectually in checking and reducing
the power o f Holland, the Dutch were still in full possession o f the trade to
Russia, Greenland, Portugal, France, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Scotland,
the East Indies, China, Japan, the Mediterranean, South Am erica, New
Y ork, and through N ew Y ork the British Am erican colonies to a consid­
erable extent.
Besides these branches o f foreign trade, the Dutch had actually driven
the English from all Ihe fishing grounds around the coast o f their own island.
A n English writer o f that period describes these fisheries in the following
terms* : “ The coasts o f Great Britain do yield such a continual seaharvest to -all those who with diligence labor in the same, that no time or
* A Discourse, written by Sir George Downing, tire King o f Great Britain’s Envoy E x­
traordinary to the States o f the United Provinces; whereunto is added a relation of some
former and later proceedings o f the Hollanders; by a meaner hand, pp. 64. 87.




British Navigation A ct.

399

season elapseth in the year, in which industrious men may not employ them­
selves in fishing, which continueth from the beginning o f the year to the lat­
ter end, in some part or other upon our own c o a s t; and therein such infinite
shoals o f fish are offered to the takers, as may justly move admiration.”
The writer then proceeds to show that o f this “ wonderful affluence and
abundance o f fish swarming upon” the English coast, the Dutch had ob­
tained the almost exclusive possession, and that, thereby, they had increased
“ in shipping, in mariners, in trade, in towns and fortifications, in power
abroad, in public revenue, and in private wealth,” at the expense o f the
English. Amsterdam grew up entirely from the profits o f the English
fishery. It was universally spoken o f as “ the city that is built upon her­
ring-bones.” “ By the which means principally,” our author proceeds,
“ Holland, being not so big as one o f our shires in England, containing not
above twenty-eight miles in length, and twenty-three in breadth, have in­
creased the number o f their shipping to, at least, ten thousand sail, and to
that number they add in a manner daily, although the country itself affords
them neither materials, nor victuals nor merchandise, to be accounted of,
towards their setting forth.”
B y examining the “ Report from the Secretary o f the Treasury, with
the annual statement o f the com m erce and navigation o f the United States
for the year ending on the 30th September, 1838,” it will be seen that the
number o f vessels belonging to Holland at the time now under considera­
tion, that is “ at least ten thousand sail,” is equal to the entire registered,
enrolled, and licensed tonnage o f the United States o f Am erica, at the date
o f that report, and greater than the whole number o f both Am erican and
foreign vessels which entered the ports o f the United States during the
year ending 30th September, 1838.
The writer whose statements have been quoted calculates the number
o f men constituting the crews o f the Dutch vessels, then engaged in the
fisheries on the English coast, at 84,000, which, by turning to Mr. S ecre­
tary W oodbury’s report, just mentioned, will be found to be 19,085 more
than the whole number o f the men and boys constituting the crews o f the
Am erican vessels which entered all the ports o f the United States, from
foreign countries, during the year ending on the 30th September, 1838.
W hen it is considered that, in addition to this vast number employed in the
fisheries on the English coast, the crews o f the Dutch vessels engaged in
all the other branches o f their com m erce must be counted, and that they
had nearly absorbed the entire foreign trade o f the world, the truly ama­
zing conclusion is reached that their mercantile marine amounted, in the
middle o f the seventeenth century, to a much larger number o f men, and
to an equal tonnage, with the whole registered, enrolled, and licensed ma­
rine o f the United States o f Am erica, at the present day, including our
foreign trade and our fisheries, in all their branches, and the entire coast­
ing trade o f the country, in all the various vehicles in which it is borne,
from the largest steamers down to vessels o f less than twenty tons !* The
* T he calculation by which the writer whose statesmen is are now before us was led
to the conclusion that 84,000 men Were employed in Dutch vessels on the English fish­
ing grounds, is presented, together With other interesting particulars, in the following
extracts :
“ Let us consider,” says he, “ the increase o f their mariners, from the number o f their
ships fishing on our coasts, which, as wc said before, were 8,400. W e must allow more




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accumulation o f such a com m erce as this, by a people whose territory was
not thirty miles square, and which, small as it was, was originally nothing
but a mud bank half submerged in the ocean, is indeed the most wonderful
econom ical and political phenomenon in human history. W hen the an­
nals o f the world are exposed, and the surface o f the globe examined to
find a parallel, the search will be in vain. There are but few instances
o f the triumph o f art over nature to be compared with it. W e have some­
hands to the fishing concern than for bare sailing; if, suppose 10 men to every ship,
one with another, the total mariners and fishers will amount to 84,000; out o f which
number they continually furnish their longer voyages to all parts o f the world ; for
by this they are not only enabled to brook the sea, and to know the use o f the tackle
and compass, but are likewise instructed in trade, and in the principles of navigation
and pilotage. B y reason o f those multitudes o f ships and mariners, they have extended
their trade to all parts o f the world, and therein (to speak the truth) have outthrown
all, ever yet have used the sea, many bars length. From the southern parts, as France,
Spain, and Portugal, for our herrings they return oil, wine, prunes, honey, wool, grain,
with store o f foreign c o in ; from the Sfreights, velvets, satins, and all sorts o f silk, alum,
currants, all grocery-ware, with much money.
“ From the east country, (north o f Europe,) for our herrings they bring home corn,
wax, flax, hemp, pitch, tar, soap-ashes, iron, copper, steel, clap-boards, wainscoate, masttimber, deal-boards, Polish-dollars and Hungary.gilders. From Germany, for herrings
and other salt-fish, iron, steel, glass, mill-stones, Rhenish wines, battery-plate for armor,
with other munitions ; also silk, velvets, rashes, fustians, potatoes, and such like Frank,
fo r t commodities, with store o f Rix-dollars.
“ This great trade o f fishing, employing so many ships at sea, must consequently
maintain a very great number o f tradesmen and artizans at land ; as spinsters and
hempwinders, for cables, cordage, yarn, twine for nets and lines, weavers to make sail­
cloths, receivers, packers, dressers, tackers, coopers, block and bowl makers for ships,
keelmen and laborers for removing and carrying fish, sawyers for planks, carpenters,
shipwrights, boatmen, brewers, bakers, and a number o f others, whereof a great part
may be maimed persons and unfit to be otherwise employed, besides the maintenance
o f all their several wives, children and families; and further, every man or maid ser­
vant, or orphan, having any poor stock, may venture the same in their fishing voyages,
which affords them ordinarily great increase, and is duly paid according to the proportion
of their gain ; this makes them have so few beggars among them.”
This writer says that the Dutch fishing vessels were large and very strongly built,
and that the whole business was conducted in the most systematic and skilful manner.
T hey generally went out in fleets, under the guidance o f two of the most experienced
fishermen in each fleet. Large companies or associations were formed among the mer­
chants to purchase the whole quantity o f fish brought in by each fleet, at one bargain,
so that the vessels unloaded forthwith, and the whole fleet were ready in a very short
time to sail again. H e further states that the quantity o f herring taken in one season,
in the course o f six months, by these vessels, brought at the landing in Holland, at the
rate o f twelve pounds per last, £3,600,000, which herring, reshipped to various parts of
the world, were sold at the rate o f from sixteen to thirty pounds per last. I f we add to
this enormous result o f the herring fisheries for six months, the other fisheries carried on
in those waters, for cod, hake, pilchers, ling, & c., we reach the conclusion that the
Dutch drew annually from the coasts and shores o f Great Britain a value in money
nearly equal to, and a much more effectual contribution to the power and welfare of their
nation, than the entire cotton crop o f the United States o f America, at this day.




British Navigation A ct.

401

times thought that no nearer approach has been made, than by the inhab­
itants o f a territory within the limit o f the state o f Massachusetts, the isl­
and o f Nantucket.
A ship cannot carry a cargo within several miles on either side o f that
small and narrow island, but for more than a century it has sustained a
noble fleet, engaged in a pursuit which seems to partake more o f the spirit
o f romance and chivalry than o f ordinary commerce, chasing the giants
o f the mighty deep from continent to continent, and through every distant
sea. And, besides supplying its own vessels, it provides masters and offi­
cers for a considerable proportion o f all the vessels engaged in that pursuit,
belonging to other ports, in the United States, England, France, and other
countries. Its area is not more than ten miles square. Not a single forest
tree grows naturally upon its surface, not. a single valuable mineral sub­
stance is found beneath it. But, touched by the wand o f an enlightened
and courageous enterprise, this barren, remote, and outcast spot has be­
come the happy abode o f a large population, enjoying in a high degree the
blessings o f wealth, intelligence, and social order. Art, and taste, and
industry, have found the means o f adorning the scene with beauty, and
supplying it with comforts. Extensive and highly cultivated gardens are
interspersed among the unostentatious dwellings, and fruits and flowers
make the desert sands blossom as the rose. Hospitality and refinement
are experienced and witnessed by the stranger, and peace and prosperity
are enjoyed by the inhabitants. Security and order pervade society to a
degree not elsewhere surpassed. N o sentinel is needed to guard their
persons, no bolt to defend their doors.
On a limited scale, then, we repeat, an achievement o f human enter­
prise, perseverance, intelligence, and art, contending against natural ob­
stacles and disadvantages, and triumphing over them, more nearly ap­
proaching the wonderful development o f these same principles working
out the grand results which have been described as exhibited on the mud­
flats o f Holland in the seventeenth century, than can be found elsewhere
in history, may be seen at this day, and in our own country, on the low
and desolate sand-reef that constitutes the island o f Nantucket.
Before the civil wars began in England, the government o f that country
had been diligently engaged in endeavoring to contrive some means o f
arresting the career o f H olland; but they tried in vain. Believing, as
Sir Josiah Child seems to have believed, that all that was necessary to
bring the Dutch down to their proper level, was to enforce a rate o f in­
terest equally low with theirs, they undertook to depress that rate by legis­
lation. But it followed, o f course, that no harm was done to the Dutch,
while infinite mischief was done to themselves by the impracticable effort
to determine the value o f money by rolls o f parchment, called acts o f par­
liament. Holland still continued to advance with fearful strides, crushing
all competition beneath her feet.
W hile this was the state o f things, the civil wars began in England.
After their termination, and when the parliament had obtained undisturbed
possession o f the government, they immediately turned their attention to
the adjustment o f their relations with foreign powers. As was quite natu­
ral, the revolutionary and sanguinary proceedings in England had spread
a feeling o f abhorrence throughout the continent, in the minds o f all who
believed in the divine right o f kings. This feeling was actively inflamed
by the members o f the dethroned family and their adherents, who were

VOL. iv.— no. v.




51

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British Navigation A ct.

scattered, in their exile, among all the nations. It was with extreme diffi­
culty that the parliament could institute negotiations and diplomatic connec­
tion with the continental powers. T w o o f their ambassadors, Ascham at
Madrid, and Dorislaus at the Hague, were assassinated in the most public
manner, immediately upon reaching the places o f their destination.
In addition to the feelings o f jealousy and ill-will with which the English
had long been accustomed to regard the Dutch, on account o f their superior
and fast increasing commercial importance, the government and people of
the commonwealth were still further incensed and exasperated by the shelter
and sympathy which the members o f the exiled family o f Stuarts found in
the United P rovin ces; and when Dr. Dorislaus was openly murdered at
their capital city, where Charles Stuart, at the time, was making his abode,
by a party o f cavaliers whose names were well known to the whole town,
and no measures were taken to punish them, the resentment o f the parlia­
ment and people o f England burst out into a flame. A hostile collision
took place between the fleets in the Channel, and war appeared inevitable.
But both parties seemed to wish to gain time before plunging into it. The
Lord Pauw was sent over from Holland for the professed purpose o f pre­
venting a rupture, but it soon becam e evident that, so deep were the ani­
mosities and so conflicting the interests o f the two nations, no permanent
benefit could result from negotiation.*
In the mean while a similar attempt had been made by the parliament to
arrange by diplomacy the matters o f difference which were threatening the
peace o f the two countries. The following resolutions were passed by that
body, on the 23d January, 1650 :
“ Resolved, That the L ord Chief-justice Saint John be sent ambassador
extraordinary from the Parliament o f the commonwealth o f England to the
present Assembly o f the United Provinces.
“ Resolved, That W alter Strickland, Esq., be sent with the Lord Chiefjustice Saint John as ambassador extraordinary from the Parliament o f the
commonwealth o f England to the present Assembly o f the United Provinces.”
The institution o f this remarkable and special embassy indicated the
sense entertained by the English cabinet o f the difficulty and importance
o f the questions at issue between the two republics, and o f the necessity o f
using extraordinary means to adjust them. There is reason to believe that
the British statesmen, Chief-justice Saint John in particular, with the wis­
dom and profoundness which characterized them in the days o f the com ­
monwealth, had devised, previous to the appointment o f their ambassadors,
a scheme o f policy which would at once have extinguished the hostility o f
the two countries, and crushed forever the hopes o f the exiled royal family
and their adherents. This scheme was a union o f the two republics un­
der one government. In November, 1650, William II., the stadtholder o f
the Netherlands, died. His widow was a daughter o f Charles I. and sis­
ter o f Charles II. A few days after her husband’s death she gave birth
to a son and heir. The Dutch republicans availed themselves o f this con­
juncture to abolish the office o f hereditary stadtholder. It was thought that
these circumstances would render it quite easy to bring about a close union
between the two countries, the republican parties being in tha ascendant
in each o f them, and having a common interest against the Stuart family,
* “ A declaration o f the Parliament o f the Commonweallh_ o f England, & c.,”
July, 1652.




British Navigation A ct.

403

Charles Stuart being the object o f fear and hostility on one side o f the
Channel, and the infant son o f W illiam II. on the other. But the jeal­
ousy and national pride o f the Hollanders, o f all parties, was soon roused
against the design o f the English negotiation ; they were led to believe
that the inevitable and speedy result o f a union with England would be
their own ruin, the loss o f all their importance, and the destruction o f their
prosperity and power, as well as independence. Saint John, finding the tem­
per o f the people adverse to a union, confined his proposals to a treaty o f
alliance offensive and defensive. But it was all in vain. The Dutch had
sagacity enough to perceive that it would in the. end amount to the same
thing. The idea o f becoming a mere appendage or province o f a gov­
ernment which they .felt able to defy, and o f a country towards which they
had long cherished the passions of successful rivalry, was by no means rel­
ished. It inflamed the resentment o f the people against the English com­
monwealth and its representatives. The Stuarts and their adherents were
on the alert to add fuel to the flame. The consequence was, that Saint
John was treated with indignity by the Dutch populace, and was person­
ally and publicly insulted by the Duke o f Y ork, afterwards James II.,
then a youth o f seventeen. These events are thus alluded to in the jour­
nals o f the House o f Commons :*
“ Friday 25th April, 1651. Council o f State directed to instruct the
ambassadors extraordinary to the States-general to continue there for such a
limited time as they shall think fit for the expediting o f the treaty, and to
give them further instructions. A lso to consider what satisfaction is fit to
be demanded concerning the affronts and indignities offered to the ambassa­
dors and their retinue, by Edward Prince Palatine, and Apsley, and others.”
N o satisfaction was given, and the ambassadors returned to London
from the Hague on the 26th o f June, 1651 ; only five months from the
date o f their appointment.f
The following entry is found in the “ Journals o f the House o f Commons
“ Wednesday, 2d July, 1651.— The Lords Ambassadors Extraordinary
sent from the Parliament to the Netherlands, attended in the House [re­
turned from their embassy], and sitting in their places as members, St.
John gave an account o f their negotiations, & c .— Vote o f approbation and
thanks for their services.”
On Tuesday, the 5th o f August, the Navigation A ct was introduced by
W hitelock, and read the first time. It was read the second time on
Tuesday, the 19th o f August, in committee o f the whole h ouse; where­
upon it was ordered, “ That on Thursday, every week, the said committee
do meet and sit.; and that the said committee do sit on Thursday morning
next, and that Mr. Speaker do then forbear to take the chair.”
After having been debated and fully considered, on the several interme­
diate Thursdays, in committee o f the whole, it was finally passed, on
Thursday, the 9th o f October, 1651.
Having thus traced the prominent events that preceded the introduction
o f this celebrated act, and the several stages o f its passage through the
house to its final enactment, it is proper to give some account o f its provi­
sion^. Adam Smith describes them summarily as follows :—
* For many o f the facts in this part o f the narrative, I am indebted to the kindness
o f Hon. John Quincv Adams.
t In reading these dates it will be remembered, that the year then began, not on the
1st o f January, but on the 25th o f March.




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British Navigation A ct.

“ The defence o f Great Britain depends very much upon the number
o f its sailors and shipping : the A ct o f Navigation, therefore, very properly
endeavors to give the sailors and shipping o f Great Britain the monopoly
o f the trade o f their own country ; in some cases by absolute prohibitions,
and in others by heavy burdens upon the shipping o f foreign countries.
The following are the principal dispositions o f this a c t :—
“ First. A ll ships, o f which the owners, masters, and three fourths o f
the mariners, are not British subjects, are prohibited, upon pain o f forfeit­
ing ship and cargo, from trading to the British settlements and plantations,
or from being employed in the coasting trade o f Great Britain.
“ Secondly. A great variety o f the most bulky articles o f importation
can be brought into Great Britain only, either in such ships as are above
described, or in ships o f the country where those goods are produced, and
o f which the owners, masters, and three fourths o f the mariners, are o f
that particular cou n try; and when imported even in ships o f this latter
kind, they are subject to double aliens’ duty. If imported in ships o f any
other country, the penalty is forfeiture o f ship and goods. W hen this act
was made the Dutch were, what they still are, the great carriers o f
Europe, and by this regulation they were entirely excluded from being
the carriers to Great Britain, or from importing to us the goods o f any
other European countiy.
“ Thirdly. A great variety o f the most bulky articles o f importation
are prohibited from being imported, even in British ships, from any coun­
try but that in which they are produced, under pain o f forfeiting ship and
cargo. This regulation, too, was probably intended against the Dutch.
Holland was then, as now, the great emporium for all European goods,
and by this regulation British ships were hindered from loading in Holland
the goods o f any other European country.
“ Fourthly. Salt fish o f all kinds, whale fins, whalebone, oil, and blub­
ber, not caught by and cured on board British vessels, when imported into
Great Britain, are subjected to double aliens’ duty. The Dutch, as they
are still the principal, were then the only fishers in Europe, that attempt­
ed to supply foreign nations with fish. By this regulation a very heavy
burden was laid upon their supplying Great Britain.” *
It is obvious, upon the slightest reflection, that these regulations could not
have been enforced, without at once giving rise to innumerable searches, col­
lisions, irritations, and occasions o f violent resistance. It was undoubtedly
with a full understanding that such results would follow, that they were
passed. From the nature o f the case the act was felt to be a war meas­
ure ; and war did soon follow its passage.
The British statesmen knew that every day was contributing to the
increased growth o f the overshadowing naval and commercial power o f
Holland ; and as soon as it was decided that the States-general could not
be seduced into a union with the commonwealth o f England, they saw that
the time had com e when a blow must be struck, and the sooner struck the
more effectual. But, instead o f declaring war at once, they cherished the
system o f policy contained in the Navigation A ct, which would in its opera­
tion give rise to occasions o f war, but so long as war could be avoided,
* “ Inquiry into the Nature and Causes o f the Wealth o f Nations” — Book IV. chap. ii.
A particular account o f the Navigation A ct may be found in Anderson’s “ History of
Commerce,” vol. ii. 453. A copy o f the act, re-enacted after the restoration, may be
seen in the “ Statutes o f the Realm,” vol. v. 246.




British Navigation A ct,

405

and in all the intervals o f war, would tend to weaken their rival and in­
crease their own strength. In this way were brought on the naval con­
flicts between England and Holland, the first scene o f which was conducted
to a glorious close, under the administration o f Sir H enry Vane, and the
command o f Blake, on the 18th o f February, 1653. The hostile squad­
rons, consisting o f about eighty ships o f war on each side, besides an im­
mense number o f merchantmen under convoy o f the Dutch fleet, came to
action on that day between Portland and the Isle o f W ight. The conflict
took place in sight o f the English territory, and continued for three suc­
cessive days. The fleets sailed along the populous southern coast o f
England towards the coast o f France, the battle raging all the while,
wrapping the Channel in smoke, reddening its waters with blood, and
shaking its shores with the incessant thunders o f more than three thou­
sand guns. Out o f this unparalleled scene o f fire and death the star o f
England at length arose ; and after several brief intermissions o f peace,
and a series o f subsequent desperate struggles, at length became firmly
fixed in the ascendant, and continues to this day to shed its glittering
beams over every ocean.
W hen it is considered for what a length o f time, in this naval warfare
between the two nations, the scales hung even, and by what a slight pre­
ponderance o f weight the victory was finally determined in favor o f E ng­
land, it may safely be concluded, if measures o f resistance had been de­
layed any longer, the growth o f Dutch power would have made that resist­
ance vain. The result o f the contest may with confidence be attributed
to the effect produced by the Navigation A ct upon the commercial strength
o f Holland before the first great struggle began, and during the periods o f
its successive intermissions. Its operation in restraining and breaking in
upon and cutting o ff their carrying trade, and their whole commercial sys­
tem, was instantaneous upon its passage, and constantly increased the
longer it continued to work.
F or these reasons the proposition may be affirmed, that it is owing to
the policy developed in that act that England was rescued from ruin, and
enabled to meet and triumph over the fleets o f Holland, extort from her
steadily encroaching grasp a share o f the commerce o f the globe, and
converted from a bleak and narrow island in the north Atlantic ocean,
into the emporium o f the world, and the queen o f the seas.
Such was the struggle, and such has been its issue. Surely the credit
o f the profoundest. statesmanship must be ascribed to those who, before it
began, were able so wisely to devise the means o f preparing for it. It is
evident, and was well understood at the time, that England entered upon
it subject to great disadvantages. The Dutch had by far the largest mer­
cantile marine, which is the only solid basis o f naval power ; and it was
clear that, from the nature o f the case, they would finally prevail, unless
some expedient could be discovered to increase the com m erce and ship­
ping o f England. This, then, was the point to which the thoughts o f in­
telligent and patriotic Englishmen were required to be directed. There
was indeed but one remedy, and that was most fortunately discovered just
the moment, as it were, before it was too late. The Navigation A ct pre­
scribed that remedy. It was drawn from a wide and comprehensive view,
it may almost be said foresight, o f the great peculiarity o f the British em­
pire— its peculiarity, to some degree then, but much more so in every sub­
sequent period. W e mean its wide-spread colonial possessions. It was




406

British Navigation A ct.

evident to the projector o f the policy and plan o f the act, that, if the trade
o f the British colonies could but be withdrawn from its previous concen­
tration in Holland, and made to flow through the marts o f the mother
country, and if the foreign trade o f the colonies, as well as o f the mother
country, could be prevented from circulating through the intermediate em­
porium o f Holland, and compelled to pursue a direct course, the great
point would he gained. This was the design o f the Navigation A ct. It was
perfect in theory, and has been most successful in practice. In this way Great
Britain was enabled to rear up a vast colonial and commercial system by
which her rival has been pulled down from her high estate, and she herself
been started and carried onward, in a sure and steady progress, to the unpar­
alleled power, and wealth, and territorial expansion, she has since attained.
After having enumerated, in the passage already quoted from him, the
leading provisions o f the act, Adam Smith proceeds to offer a few remarks,
as if in justification o f the opinion he is about to express— the act itself
having been, in fact, a direct violation o f the leading principle o f his sys­
tem, as expounded in his own great >vork— and finally declares that, after
all, “ the A ct o f Navigation is, perhaps, the wisest o f all the commercial
regulations o f England.”
The commendation thus extorted from Adam Smith, cannot be strength­
ened by any other authority. The Navigation A ct was not only the
wisest, it was the boldest, it might almost be said, the most high-handed
legislative proceeding ever passed. It is easier to change the dynasty,
than it is to change the business o f a country. England was fast sinking,
and soon would have sunk to rise no more. A strong and violent remedy
was needed, and it was applied. The nation was shaken and convulsed,
but was at last rescued by the operation.
The Navigation A ct was resisted by the merchants, and by every branch
o f trade at home, for it put a forcible restraint upon them all, closing the
usual channels o f business, and breaking up the whole system o f com m erce
as it had ever before been conducted. It was resisted by all the colonies
with murmurs and imprecations. The whole empire resounded with the
angry outcry o f fre e trade, give us back pur fre e trade! Holland sprang
to arms, and mustered her navies in wrath along the Channel. But the
great geniuses who then administered the government, stood firm and un­
moved at the helm. T h ey heeded not the storm. T h ey knew the neces­
sities o f their country. Th ey knew that nothing else could rescue her
from ruin, and they turned a deaf ear to all complaints, remonstrances,
and threats. T h ey steadily persevered, in spite o f the clamors o f her
subjects and the rage o f her enemies, in the only policy that could have
saved England; and she was saved.
And surely all must rejoice that, in this struggle for life, England was
saved. Prosperous and intelligent as the Dutch were, they do not appear to
have had the faculty o f exerting an Influence in favor o f knowledge and lib­
erty beyond their own limited boundaries. There is reason to fear, too,
that their great success in com m erce and trade had gradually diverted
their minds from all other objects, and made them the exclusive votaries
o f mere wealth. Those persons., at least, who feel that all, in their own
condition, they most prize, as citizens, scholars, and patriots, has been de­
rived from British institutions, British literature, and the Anglo-Saxon spirit
o f liberty, need no arguments to persuade them to rejoice that, in a contest
where either England or Holland must have fallen, the former triumphed.




British Navigation A ct.

407

The highest admiration is expressed, the noblest honors are reserved,
for those whose fortune it has been to become benefactors o f their country.
The greatest glory is awarded to the few gifted and favored geniuses who
have changed the face o f the world. The names o f the inventors o f the
compass, o f the movable type, and o f the steam-engine, are sought for
with a zeal impatient to canonize them. Perhaps the philosophical histo­
rian will be inclined to add to the list o f the world’s greatest benefactors
the name o f him who, when England and all the rest o f the nations were
slowly sinking before the mysterious and irresistible power o f a commu­
nity o f bankers and traders, collected on the swamps o f Holland, contrived
the means o f saving his country and the world from sue! i r :i inglorious con­
quest, turned the tide o f human affairs, and gave to Bri.ain an impulse
which still continues to propel her onwards in the path o f prosperity and
glory, and o f which the effects, far from being confined to herself, are, and
ever will be felt, in the diffusion o f knowledge and truth, and in the tri­
umphs o f freedom and humanity throughout the world.
W h o, then, was the original author and contriver o f the British Naviga­
tion A ct, o f the 9th o f October, 1 6 5 1 1
It is impossible, so far as we know, to answer this question by positive,
decisive, and incontestible evidence. The authorship liqs, somewhat in
doubt, between two individuals— the Lord Chief-justice Oliver Saint
John, and Sir George Downing. W e shall simply present the reasons
which lead us to feel quite confident that it was the latter individual. W e
cannot determine the point in the usual manner, by reference to the offi­
cial and public records o f parliament, for the act was passed during the
ascendancy o f the republicans, and the records o f that period have been
destroyed or suppressed by the absurd and barbarian policy o f the British
government.
As has already been remarked, no particular attention has ever been
given to this subject by English writers and statesmen'. For this reason
no great weight can be attached to the statements o f Hume or Lingard, in
reference to i t ; and it is to be supposed that such men as Charles Jenkinson, the first Earl o f Liverpool, took their views, on such questions, on
trust, from the leading historians.
The opinion that Saint John contrived the system o f policy developed
in the act, does not seem originally to have been founded upon any positive
testimony, and is sustained by none. Those who ascribe it to him, with
one consent offer this reason, and this only, namely, that he had been very
badly treated by the Dutch, and com ing home incensed against them, as an
expression and gratification o f his revenge, contrived and procured the
passage o f the act. This is an excellent reason in favor o f the supposition
that he promoted its passage, but does not afford much ground for the opin­
ion that he contrived it. The provisions o f that act were too far-reaching,
and far-seeing to have been the result o f the exercise o f a mind agitated
and burning with resentment. T h ey manifest great coolness, comprehen­
siveness o f views, clearness o f discrimination, practical acquaintance with
the details o f trade and the commercial relations and resources o f the various
sections and parts o f the world, and are evidently the product o f the most
profound, deliberate, and unimpassioned sagacity and wisdom. It does not
seem to us, therefore, judicious or philosophical to ascribe the act to
Saint John, merely because he came back in a rage from his mission to
the Netherlands !




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British Navigation A ct.

The improbability o f his being the contriver o f this act, arising from the
fact that there is no other indication, in his whole life, o f an inclination o f
mind towards questions o f commerce and navigation, or o f any acquaint­
ance with them, is, to say the least, full as great as is the probability that
such a measure was the result o f a passionate agitation o f his resentful
feelings. T o ascribe the invention o f the minute, all-embracing, and com ­
plicated system o f colonial, commercial, and naval policy, comprehended
in the A ct o f Navigation, to an ebullition o f resentment in the breast o f the
Chief-justice o f the Common Pleas, whose sphere o f life and study and
association was as remote as possible from the scenes in which a know­
ledge o f trade and shipping can be acquired, so far from being justified by
probability, is as improbable an inference as can be drawn. T o ascribe
the credit o f the discovery o f the secret power by which the com m erce
and the naval dominion o f Great Britain might be made to reach around the
globe, to Saint John, merely because he had been very badly insulted by
the Dutch, is about as philosophical as it would be to affirm that the dis­
covery o f the law o f gravitation ought to be ascribed to the first man who
was ever knocked on the head by a falling b o d y !
It has been intimated that Saint John was most likely to have contrived
the act, because he had shone consummate statesmanship in the project of
the coalition and union o f the two republics, which he was sent to Holland
to negotiate. In answer to this, it may be said that that project was un­
doubtedly Cromwell’ s own. It bears his impress. And W hitelock affirms
that Saint John acted as “ Cromwell’ s creature” on this occasion. The
same authority, in noticing the appointment o f Saint John and Strickland,
as ambassadors extraordinary to Holland, says o f Strickland, who proba­
bly had not the address or personal accomplishments for which Saint John
was remarkable, that he was “ versed in the Dutch business,” words which
imply that Saint John was n ot; but not satisfied with leaving the matter to
be inferred by implication from his language, W hitelock affirms in still
broader terms that Saint John “ was not much versed in foreign affairs.”
The information we are enabled to obtain o f the proceedings o f parlia­
ment is quite decisive against the claim o f Saint John. H e returned to
London, from the Hague, on the 26th o f June, 1651. On the 2d o f July
he made his report to the house, and communicated his views in reference
to the subject. It was more than a month after this that the act was intro­
duced. It was introduced, not by Saint John, who was in his seat, but by
W hitelock, between whom and Saint John there was no sympathy nor inti­
m acy. It cannot be supposed that so truly eminent and dignified a person
as Saint John would have given the lead in such a matter to another; and
if to another, surely it would not have been to W hitelock.
The claim o f Sir George Downing to the authorship o f the act rests upon
very different grounds. His early youth had been passed on the seaboard
o f New-England, where the spirit o f enterprise and trade had from the
beginning found its most genial home. His mind was formed and his
genius shaped in Salem, where com m erce and navigation were then, as
they have ever since been, the chief topics o f interest among the people.
Hugh Peters was his uncle, pastor, and instructor, at the very time when
that enlightened statesman was laying the foundations o f Am erican naviga­
tion and com m erce, and revealing to the colonists the relations, and circu­
lations, and mysteries o f the coasting and foreign trade, and pointing out
to them the value o f the fisheries, as contributing to the mercantile and




British Navigation A ct.

409

naval strength o f a people. In effecting his passage from Am erica to
England, after receiving his degree as a member o f the first class gradu­
ated at Harvard College, in Cambridge, in a merchant vessel, going by
the way o f Newfoundland and the W est Indies, he undoubtedly gleaned
much information in reference to colonial, mercantile, and maritime
affairs. He was not in parliament, it is admitted, at the time o f the intro­
duction o f the act, being with the Lord General Cromwell in Scotland. This
circumstance, however, it will be seen, is not unfavorable to the supposi­
tion that it was devised by his fertile, ingenious, and eminently practical
mind. N ot long after its passage we find him employed as public agent
to adjust questions o f com m erce with foreign ambassadors.* It was
thought a point o f great interest and importance to bring him into parlia­
ment ; and, from the first moment o f his appearance on its floor, the entire
management o f such affairs as are the objects o f the Navigation A ct, was,
by general consent, committed to his hands. It is also certain that he
was regarded with particular animosity by the Dutch, a fact that seems to
give color to the idea that they looked upon him as having been especially
instrumental to their injury. It is allowed, on all hands, that it was owing
to him that the Navigation A ct was re-enacted immediately upon the resto­
ration o f the Stuarts, and that he was the champion and guardian o f the
interests protected by it. T o convince the English people o f the import­
ance o f it, as the only means o f curbing the progress and reducing the
power o f Holland, he caused a book to be printed, written partly by himself
and partly by another hand— the same from which extracts have been taken—
illustrative o f the value o f the English fisheries, and o f the encroachments
o f the Dutch upon them. A n examination and comparison o f dates is as
favorable to the supposition o f D ow ing’s, as it is unfavorable to that o f
Saint John’ s, having been the contriver o f the act. Saint John and his
colleague Strickland returned to England on the 26th o f June, and made
their report to the house on the 2d o f July. The Navigation A ct was
not introduced until the 5th o f August, an interval o f time that may be
accounted for thus. It must be borne in mind that long before this period
Cromwell, who with his army was then in Scotland, had acquired a perfectly
controlling influence over the counsels o f the parliament. Nothing o f im­
portance could be done, and nothing probably proposed, without his know­
ledge and consent. It cannot be doubted that, immediately upon the
return o f the ambassadors from Holland, the result o f their embassy, with
all the irritating circumstances attending their mission, was communicated
to him. It then was for him to determine what should next be done. W e
may imagine him convened with his high officers and advisers, and inform­
ing them o f the utter failure o f the scheme o f forming a great republican
confederation with the Dutch, and o f the indignities that had been offered
to the persons o f the parliamentary envoys. The question before them
was this, as Holland could not be seduced into the circle o f their empire,
by the proffer o f a coalition, how else was she to be checked, repressed,
and punished ? The first' answer suggested to their general, it may safely
be assumed, by the high military officers o f a victorious army, fresh, as
they were, from the glorious and bloody field o f Dunbar, was, what had
always before, and has almost always since, been thought the only means
o f national advancement or redress— a declaration o f war. But some
* Thurloe’s State Papers, vol. I. p. 519, 523.
VOL. IV .— NO. V .
52




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British Navigation A ct.

sagacious and far-seeing participant in that conference proposed the plan
o f the Navigation A ct. It was approved, and directions were given to
have the measure brought into parliament. The date o f its introduction,
August 5th, just about the time it would have taken for information to have
been sent to him, and his'views received in return, favors the supposition
that the measure proceeded from Cromwell’ s military council. The fact
that W hitelock introduced the act also favors it. It is evident that he
acted as the instrument o f some one, inasmuch as, although he introduced
it, he does not himself mention that circumstance, as he would unques­
tionably have done had he been at all sensible o f its importance, or
acquainted with its nature and bearings. If an instrument o f some one,
o f w hom ? N ot o f Saint John, for he was present and could speak for
himself, and if he had desired to employ another to bring forward his own
measures, W hitelock would surely not have been the man. W hitelock
was then, as always, the instrument o f Cromwell. H e introduced the act
in consequence o f instructions from him. On the 12th o f September
Cromwell made his triumphal reappearance in London, the “ Crowning
m ercy” o f the battle o f W orcester on the 3d o f that month having demo­
lished his enemies and thrown unbounded power into his hands, and on the
9th o f October the act was finally passed. N ow it is not difficult to con­
jecture, if the measure proceeded from Crom well’s military council, who
was its author. Scoutmaster-general Downing was a member o f that
council, he was attached to the person, and shared in the confidence, o f
Cromwell to a higher degree than was, perhaps, ever attained by any other
individual. H e had for some time been a regular correspondent from the
army to the parliament. H e was, among all who knew him, looked upon
as an oracle in matters o f com m erce, and in a body composed as was
Cromwell’s military council, he certainly has the highest claims to be con­
sidered the original suggestor o f such a measure.
But we do not depend, altogether, upon general probabilities, in reach­
ing the conclusion that Sir George Downing contrived the system o f the
British navigation laws. There is proof positive to the point, which we
do not see any way o f removing or reducing. John Adams declares that
he was their author; he says, moreover, that James Otis, in his speech
against W rits o f Assistance, declared the same. It is asserted by Adams,
and is represented by him to have been asserted by Otis, as an acknow­
ledged, well-known, undisputed fact. If any men have ever been com pe­
tent to speak with authority, if any men deserve to be heard with confi­
dence, on subjects that touched the rights and affected the interests o f the
Am erican colonies, John Adams and James Otis were the men. There
can be no doubt, from the way in which they spoke o f it, that it was
always understood in the colonies that Downing was the author o f the a c t;
and the colonists were the most likely to be accurate on this subject, for
their attention was fixed and kept from the very beginning upon it, as
deeply affecting their rights, and the freedom and prosperity o f their
trade. The history o f the American colonies is.one continued succession
o f complaints against its operation, and o f attempts to evade or resist it.
T h ey regarded the Navigation A ct as the commencement o f a series o f
measures injurious to them, and carried out by one act o f trade after
another, until the burden became greater than they could bear ; and when
the stamp and tea duties were imposed, they sought refuge from oppres­
sion in revolution and war. A s they considered the policy o f the Navi­




British Navigation Act.

411

gation A ct thus baneful to them, and watched its whole operation, with
the keenness o f resentment, animosity, and a sense o f wrong, they must
be supposed to be the very best authority in reference to its origin and
history; and it was because they knew Downing to have been its con­
triver, as well as for some other, and better reasons, that they held his
name in especial reproach. By considerations o f general probability then;
by the positive declaration o f John A dam s; and also the declaration o f
James Otis, made by the latter in a court o f law, in a premeditated, elabo­
rated, and most momentous argument— an argument in which the whole
British colonial and maritime policy was thoroughly investigated— the
American revolution depending upon the issue o f the trial ; by the confi­
dence we feel that John Adams and James Otis could not have been mis­
taken on such a p oin t; and by the certainty, from their manner o f speak­
ing, that they must have uttered the settled and universal sentiment and
belief o f the colonists, on a subject which was discussed and investigated,
with the most minute, critical, and sensitive curiosity and perseverance,
by every generation o f New-England,— we are, it seems to us, all but com ­
pelled, by this accumulation o f evidence both presumptive and positive, to
the conclusion that George Downing not only procured the re-enactment,
at the Restoration, but first suggested the introduction o f the British colo­
nial and commercial system, as contained in the Navigation A ct o f the
Lon g Parliament.
While, in some other respects, the conduct o f Sir George Downing may
have impaired the glory o f his name, let him have the credit that is his
due. I f he did devise the measure and the system under review, he must
be allowed to have exerted an influence upon the course o f human affairs
such as but few individuals o f our race have ever exerted. As citizens
o f the new world, we may take a natural and reasonable satisfaction in the
thought, that the genius which put forth this mighty energy was kindled
by a spark struck out in our American wilderness, and that old England
was rescued from destruction, and placed in the path to power and glory,
by one who was reared under a N ew England education, and sent forth
among the first fruits o f our most ancient college.
Before concluding this treatise, justice to the subject and to the reader
require us, we think, to state, that the British colonial and commercial pol­
icy, as developed in the Navigation A ct o f 1651, is viewed by many emi­
nent writers and statesmen with very different feelings from those with
which we contemplate and have now presented it.
The system o f policy which the act expressed and introduced, was
always regarded with aversion and indignation by the North American
colonies. It was restrictive, vexatious, and injurious to them, and as such
they remonstrated against it until remonstrance was exhausted, and then
they resisted it by force. It was, more than any thing else, the cause o f the
war o f American independence. The system was necessary to the British
empire, but it was oppressive to the colonies ; and the colonies did right
in resisting it by all peaceful means, and when such means failed, with the
sword. F or having made this resistance, they are entitled to the thanks;
o f their posterity and o f the world.
But it seems to us that, standing where we do, it becomes us to avoid,
as far as possible, receiving from the generations that have preceded us
the feelings and passions which we may even honor them the more fo r
having experienced ; to keep ourselves aloof from all bygone excitements-




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British Navigation A ct.

and controversies ; to look at the collisions and movements o f the past
with calm indifference ; and to explore the history o f nations and o f the
race, exclusively, in such a point o f light as to see reflected from them
the wisdom o f that Providence, which conducts his own beneficent designs
towards their ultimate fulfilment, by employing and overruling the passions
and devices o f men and o f governments, as well as the forces and laws o f his
physical creation. Events and transactions are to be contemplated in their
general and comprehensive relations, and in their final issues. Looking
back upon the critical state o f England at the time when the Navigation
A ct was passed, it seems to us clear, that it was the dictate o f the duty
o f self-preservation on the part o f that nation to enforce it throughout her
dominions. If it led to the discontents that resulted in the Am erican rev­
olution, what citizen o f this free republic does not rejoice at it ? And, as
it determined the vibrating question, whether England or Holland should
take the lead in shaping the destinies o f the modern nations, surely no
intelligent member o f the human family can regret it. W hat a disastrous
close would have been put upon the prospects o f literature, liberty, and
reform, had England been crowded out o f existence, and the Dutch become
undisputed and perpetual possessors o f the world !
There was one fatal circumstance about the Dutch, which would have
prevented any wide-spread benefit resulting from dominion exercised by
them. Th ey had no language— no native literature, that would have an­
swered the ends o f the necessary circulation o f knowledge throughout an
universal empire. The great minds o f that nation spoke to the world, and
to each other, in a tongue unknown to their countrymen. The wisdom
o f Grotius was deposited in a dead language. The private, familiar, epis­
tolary correspondence between him and his learned countrymen, and
among themselves, was conducted in the same language.* This was the
case, too, even in their conversation. A n anecdote is related o f the late
celebrated scholar, Ruhnkenius, which happily illustrates the poverty and
barrenness o f Dutch vernacular literature. Having been born in Pome­
rania, the German was his native language, which he lost in his long resi­
dence in Holland. He never acquired the Dutch, as it presented nothing
to attract his notice, and he had no occasion to employ it either as an
author, professor, or companion in the only circles in which he associated—
those o f learned and academical men. The consequence was, that this
great linguist, in the last year’s o f his life, could not speak any living lan­
guage. His very thoughts run in Latin, which he wrote and spoke with
perfect facility, and which became, as it were, his mother-tongue.’)’
In expressing satisfaction in the prevalence o f England over Holland, it
must not be supposed that we approve o f all the proceedings o f that nation
in extending her empire. H er operations upon China, and in India, ap­
pear to be in conflict with the great principles o f righteousness and benev­
olence. All other nations have a common interest in checking that abuse
o f her naval power to which her commanders are prone. It becomes this
country, in particular, to watch her movements, and resist her attempts to
impair the protection o f our flag at sea, or to encroach upon our soil. The
political writers and statesmen o f Great Britain have taken pains to awa­
ken and keep alive the most unnatural sentiments o f ill-will, in their gov­
* “ Proestantium ac eruditorum vivorum Epistolae.”
t North American Review, vol. xii. p. 12.




Amsterdam, 1704

British Navigation A ct.

413

ernment and among their people, towards this country, which ought to be
regarded with a sort o f maternal pride, love, and gratification, by England.
It is due to that spirit o f independence, self-respect, and freedom, which
we have derived as a most precious patrimony from our mother-country,
to protect ourselves from the effects o f her hostility or her disrespect, and
to compel her to relinquish her unjust claims upon our territory, and to
abstain from interference with our lawful com m erce in all parts o f the
world. I f we thus vigilantly and resolutely guard our own rights from
her grasp, we may contemplate with composure the mighty strides she is
now making towards universal dominion ; and we may rejoice that, if the
lust o f empire, o f wealth, or o f glory, is permitted to send forth fleets and
armies to subjugate the world, these passions are developed in a nation
which, wherever she carries her arms, necessarily carries with them the
best o f arts, laws, institutions, and a spirit o f liberty, which must finally
bless her subject provinces more than her ambition, her avarice, or her
pride, can curse them.
It is owing to the Navigation A ct, that Great Britain has been enabled
to make the unparalleled approaches she is now making towards universal
empire. The operation o f that act has made her the selected nation to
spread civilization and Christianity, by spreading her conquests and her
settlements over the glohe. It has done more for her, than Alexander, or
Caesar, or Napoleon, were able to do for Greece, or Rome, or France.That legislative enactment has proved mightier than armies. It rescued
the earth from the benumbing clutch o f Holland, and has made England
the wonder o f the modern nations. By its gradual operation, it has im­
parted to her a maritime and commercial strength, which has enabled her
securely to plant her colonies, and with her colonies, her literature, liber­
ties, and religion, all over the globe. Proceeding from that
“ Pale, that white-fac’ d shore
“ W hose foot spurns back the ocean’s roaring tides,”

these inestimable blessings, all wrapped up as they are in the English
language, have thus been communicated to every quarter o f the earth.
That language will be spoken, not only in the British realm, but at length
throughout the world. It is already established, here and there, over the
whole map o f the globe. North Am erica is secured to i t ; so is the vast
continent o f New-Holland. It will pervade Hindostan, and ascend the
Ganges to Central Asia. It is, at this moment, planting itself on the
shores o f China. It is fixed at the Southern extremity o f A frica, is spread­
ing around its entire western coast, under the auspices o f Am erican and
British colonization, and will soon be made, by the sway o f British com ­
m ercial enterprise and national ambition, to penetrate to the mysterious
recesses o f that mighty continent. It is lodged within the impregnable
bulwarks o f Gibraltar and Malta on the southern borders o f Europe, and
is scattered by innumerable British and American travellers and merchants
over the entire surface o f the civilized nations. Throughout the Pacific
and Indian oceans the same language is everywhere obtaining a foothold.*
* The substance o f this treatise, particularly the view here given o f the probable uni­
versal diffusion o f the English language, as one o f the final results o f the Navigation
A ct, was first presented to the public, in the form o f a lecture, in 1836. It was gratify­
ing to find the same view, by a different and entirely unknown writer, in B lackwood’s
Edinburgh Magazine, C C L X X V , Sept. 1838, p. 318. “ Whatever objection,” says the




414

British Navigation A ct.

But the most beautiful and beneficent operation o f the policy o f the
Navigation A ct remains to be mentioned. W hile it secures to one Ianguage universal diffusion, it has prevented any one nation’s ever obtaining
universal dominion. It provides, at once, for the extension and the dis­
memberment o f the British empire. By its severe pressure upon the
North Am erican colonies, and its vexatious restrictions upon their trade,
it kept alive and nourished that spirit o f discontent which finally exploded
in the Am erican revolution, a precedent, which, when the hour o f matu­
rity comes, will be surely followed by the other vast provinces o f the
British empire. This result cannot be avoided, for its energetic causes
are contained in the spirit o f liberty and independence enshrined in the
English language, institutions, and laws. W h y does the philosopher and
philanthropist delight to contemplate the Am erican revolution ?
N ot
because it led to the establishment o f certain particular forms o f govern­
ment in these United States; but for more comprehensive and world­
embracing reasons. A phenomenon never before witnessed is now ex­
hibited. The same language is spoken by two o f the first-rate powers o f
the world. That language unites them by a bond that can never be
broken, which rests not on treaties, and which war itself cannot sever.
England and the United States sit over against each, in either hemisphere,
and by their commercial enterprise, and naval power, the ascendancy o f
the English language, and o f the great principles o f representative govern­
ment, liberty, law, and religion, it contains, is secured. It is spreading
and will ever continue to spread, gathering islands and continents in its
grasp, and conveying the spirit o f freedom, the light o f science and truth,
and the sacred flame o f Christian love and piety to every nook and corner
o f the habitable globe.
And while the language o f England is thus becom ing more and more
diffused, her power to oppress the world will, at the same time, gradually
be reduced by the successive em ergence o f her colonies to independence.
T h e United States have led the w ay. A ll North Am erica will soon follow.
In due season N ew Holland will join in the august procession o f continents
advancing to secure and enjoy the blessings o f rational systems o f selfgovernment, o f equitable laws, o f regulated liberty, and o f pure Christianity.
In the dim distance o f future centuries we behold A frica and Asia coming
forth from the darkness o f ignorance, and from the degradation o f supersti­
tion and despotism, and we hear them proclaiming from all their vast
regions, in one voice, and that our own native tongue, their grateful enjoy­
ment o f the social, political, moral, and religious privileges which have been
bestowed upon us. But the vision o f a world recovered from the confu­
sion o f Bahel, and merged into one united, free, enlightened, happy, and
virtuous brotherhood, is too glorious, grand, and sublime, for our faculties
o f description or o f imagination to delineate. W h ile we relinquish the
attempt, we may rest in the reflection, that it is not a creation o f the vain
fancy o f man, but the sure promise o f God.
■writer, “ may be stated on theory to this system, [the Navigation Laws of Great Britain,]
there can be no question that experience has demonstrated its practical expediency, as
it had raised the British naval and colonial power, in no very long period, from incon­
siderable beginnings to an unparalleled state o f grandeur and power, and laid the foun­
dation for the inevitable spread o f the British race and language through every quarter
o f the habitable globe.”




The Social Influence o f Trade, etc.

A r t . II.— T H E

415

S O C IA L IN F L U E N C E O F T R A D E ,

AND THE DANGERS AND DUTIES OF THE MERCANTILE CLASSES.*

I h a v e selected for the subject o f our consideration this evening, the
Social Influence o f Trade, and the Dangers and Duties o f the Mercantile
Classes. The subject, though lying somewhat apart from the studies o f
my profession, has always to me been peculiarly attractive. The influ­
ences o f trade are so interwoven with the history o f mankind, with the
progression, civilization, physical comfort, and moral condition o f the
race, that they meet the student and the philanthropist at every turn, and
solicit from him, i f he have any philosophical curiosity, a thorough investi­
gation into the science o f the production, the distribution, and consumption
o f wealth. The history o f trade and o f war is in substance the history o f
mankind. T h ey have constituted almost the only intercourse o f nations,
and the lust o f gain and o f conquest, have both been made use o f by an
overruling Providence to subdue and civilize mankind, and to spread Art,
Science, and Plenty into all lands. The merchant,while planning the distant
voyage to some barbarous coast, with no higher purpose than to increase
his wealth, and the general leading his forces into the wilderness where
no civilized foot has trod, are equally the instruments in the hands o f a
higher Power o f ministering to the gradual improvement o f the world.
Trade has been the great means o f civilizing and improving mankind,
because it is the first thing which rouses them from the indolence and
apathy o f savage life. Show to man some comfort or luxury which he
can obtain by the exchange o f the fruits o f his toil, and he will no longer
be all day dozing in the shade, while his wife provides for him a miserable
subsistence. He is up with the dawn, and the hope o f gain stimulates
his activity to latest eve. In short, he is a savage no longer. Trade
touches him with her magic wand, and transforms him into a new crea­
ture. She cleanses him from his filth and negligence, she clothes him in
seemly and decent apparel, she spreads out his little garden into a wide
plantation, and in the end, transforms his hut into a palace. A nd it is no
less indispensable to the support o f a high civilization than it is in its pro­
duction. In short, it is to the welfare o f mankind what the circulation is
to the body, its life and health. A n y obstruction o f it is disease— a total
cessation o f it, paralysis and death.
Trade has ministered to the good o f mankind in ways innumerable, by
being the chief instrument in the accumulation o f wealth. Wealth is not
that private and exclusive good which some suppose. It is a common
fund, even when in private hands, for the benefit o f all. Trade contributes
to its accumulation in two ways, in stimulating industry and production to
the greatest extent, by keeping all who are able to labor employed ; and
then by drawing even a moderate profit from each, it swells the income o f
the factor beyond all reasonable demands o f expenditure. If the merchant
did not become rich, half his social utility would be destroyed. That
* A lecture delivered before the Mercantile Library Association of Baltimore, by the
Rev. G. W . B urnap, and now first published in the Merchants’ Magazine, by request
o f the Association.




416

,

The Social Influence o f Trade and the

excess o f the merchant’s gains over his expenditures, though not perhaps
saved by him from pleasure or ostentation with any such designs, has been
the precious seed-grain o f the greatest achievements o f mankind. It \^as
that which built Thebes and Palmyra. It was that which gave birth to
the wonders o f architecture and sculpture which are still the admiration o f
the world. It was that which gave the priests o f Egypt the leisure to
elaborate, by slow degrees, that most wonderful contrivance o f the human
mind and great instrument o f human progress, alphabetic writing. It
was this accumulation o f the merchant’ s gains, which first gave birth to
navigation, and sent the ships o f T y re and Sidon to explore the shores o f
the Mediterranean, and summon innumerable barbarous tribes to the
blessings o f civilization and physical comfort. Conquest and commerce,
with reverence be it spoken, prepared the world for the advent o f the Son
o f God, and laid down those great highways o f the nations, along which
the everlasting Gospel went to be proclaimed to every tongue and people.
The very Apostles were carried to their distant missions by the enterprises
o f com m erce, and the very vessel in which Paul suffered shipwreck was
laden with Egyptian wheat by some Alexandrian merchant for the mar­
kets o f Italy. In modern times the achievements o f trade have been no
less beneficial to mankind. After the relapse o f the western world into
barbarism, trade was the first and principal instrument in the restoration
o f civilization. Commercial wealth was the first antagonist power to feu­
dal tyranny. Cities created by com m erce, afforded the first rallying point
against the overshadowing power o f the great landed proprietors. The
vassal fled from slavery, where he could get no fair equivalent for his
labor, to sell his industry to the merchant and the manufacturer, who gave
him employment under a fair and voluntary stipulation.
It was the growth o f cities and mercantile wealth, which regenerated
the governments o f modern Europe, which tamed down the fierce despo­
tisms o f the middle ages into limited and constitutional monarchies, and
infused into them all o f that republican spirit which they now possess.
The kings o f these rude ages imagined that all their glory consisted in
war and conquest. But wars could not be carried on without money, and
money could be had only from those who possessed it, and they were
usually the mercantile classes. T h e haughty monarch was willing, from
time to time, to barter away portions o f his prerogative for the gratification
o f his ambition. Thus he gradually disarmed himself o f the power o f
doing mischief, and the will and interest o f the many being felt in the gov­
ernment, public measures began to be taken with reference to the good o f
the mass instead o f the interest o f the few. Thus the influence o f the
mercantile classes continued to increase, till the discovery o f the magnet
and the consequent revelation o f a new continent and a new passage to the
Indies threw open the whole world to the enterprises o f com m erce. Since
that, the mercantile power has been constantly advancing, till wealth has
created to herself a throne higher than the kings o f the earth. She has
becom e the guardian o f the peace o f the w orld ; so dependent have nations
becom e upon each other for employment and bread, that the very rumor
o f a war sends the cry o f famine and distress into the halls o f legislation
from so many millions o f voices, and in such piercing tones, that the war­
like spirit quails before the apprehension o f greater ills. Thus the spirit
o f com m erce is everywhere supplanting the spirit o f war, and now consti­
tutes the great league o f amity among all mankind. That it is the ruling




Dangers and Duties o f the Mercantile Classes.

417

spirit o f modern times, is proved by the fact that England by the means o f
it, though but a little island, is the most powerful nation on earth. The
truth is that England is everywhere, where there is a shore to colonize,
or an article o f merchandise to be bought or sold.
The daughter o f England, our country, inherits her commercial pro­
pensities in exaggerated intensity. The Am erican character is strongly
commercial. Habits o f trading are here formed almost from the cradle,
and scarcely a man, woman, -or child can be found among us who is not
ready to buy and sell. Nothing so stimulates the growth o f a nation as
this very spirit o f trade, and the ready transfer o f property from one to
another. It develops industry in the highest possible degree, and places
all property in the hands o f those who can make the most o f it.
It is in fact the spirit o f trade which rolls the tide o f population so
rapidly into the western wilds, a tide whose waves must soon break at the
foot o f the R ocky Mountains. The spirit o f traffic was the pioneer which
first explored those vast regions, and drew thither the hardy sons o f toil
and adventure. It was the indomitable spirit o f trade which gave the new
communities o f the west a comfortable home, by furnishing, through the
means o f an easy intercommunication, a ready market for all they can
produce. It is nothing else than the commercial spirit, acting by the
power o f steam, which is now filling the valley o f the Mississippi with its
growing millions. It is this vast development o f trade and population
which is so rapidly building up our principal cities, and has added more
than half a million to their population within the last ten years. And per­
haps there never was since the beginning o f the world such a field pre­
sented for commercial enterprise as is promised in the United States for
the next fifty years. Such, young gentlemen, are the achievements o f
trade in the history o f the world. Such are some o f the influences it has
exerted upon the condition o f mankind, and such are the prospects o f the
profession which you have embraced in the country where your lot is cast.
I shall now say something o f the general principles, or rather, as it may
be called, the philosophy o f trade. This is a science o f itself and every
young man destined to mercantile pursuits, ought to make himself familiar
with it. Aside from its practical utility, it is one o f the most curious and
entertaining o f all studies.
Trade is the exchange o f the products o f human labor. The merchant
is merely the factor o f the producer and consumer. His profession has
grown up out o f the general principle o f the division o f labor, which has
appropriated all the different employments o f life to distinct classes o f indi­
viduals. The producer and consumer might if they chose do all the busi­
ness o f trading themselves, and exchange their commodities at first hands.
But they employ the merchant, because he can do it cheaper than they.
H e has more skill and knowledge, and therefore can do it better. Not
only so, he can do the business o f a great many, and therefore greatly
lighten the expense o f each. Take for instance the trader o f a country
village. H e is in fact, though he may be growing rich all the time, a
labor-saving and money-saving machine to the whole neighborhood.
W hen he sets out for the city to make his purchases, he imagines that he
is going to seek his own individual interest alone. But he is mistaken.
He is the cheapest and most able agent which the village could send to
make their purchases for the next six months. He is the cheapest, because
he saves them all the trouble o f going themselves, he makes a better selec-

VOL. iv.— no. v.




53

418

The Social Influence o f Trade, and the

tion than they could, and he gives them their articles o f consumption at a
lower cost than they could get them in any other way.
Just so it is with their products. It is for their advantage to dispose o f
them at the nearest market. A n y attempt to carry them to a distant one
would often nearly consume the product in the time and expense o f trans­
portation. The merchant, who devotes himself to the business, may do
these things more cheaply and to greater advantage. H e himself may
make advances on them in anticipation o f a better price, which the pro­
ducer cannot wait to realize. Thus it is, that commercial wealth is not a
merely selfish affair. It does not benefit the possessor alone, but may be
advantageous to all to whom he sells, or o f whom he buys. It is always
better for the producer to sell to a rich man than to a poor man. And
this fact alone ought to annihilate all those insane and unfounded feelings
o f hostility, which o f late years have been attempted to be excited in the
poor against the rich. The riches o f a merchant, when accumulated by
fair means, are a monument, not only to his own industry, talents, and per­
severance, but o f extended benefactions to countless individuals. Th ey
are the evidence o f innumerable transactions, generally advantageous to
both parties, or they would not have been continued. T h ey are generally
the evidence o f a fair and faithful agency between the producer and con­
sumer, or it would long since have come to an end.
I cannot pass over this part o f the subject without adverting, in still
stronger terms o f reprobation, to that incendiary cry which has been at­
tempted to be raised within a few years, o f the poor against the rich. The
assumptions upon which this outcry is founded, are as false as its motives
are mean and contemptible. It is based upon a false apprehension o f the
position o f the rich man in society. It is said in the Scriptures, that the
rich man is, with regard to God, the mere steward o f his bounty. And so
he is with regard to man. W ealth cannot exist in any part o f the social
system, without sooner or later benefiting the whole. It is, to quote a
figure I have already used, to society what blood is to the system ; though
there may
some reservoirs where it is stored, and, for a while, detained,
it flows through all, sustains and refreshes a l l ; and no one man, not even
its possessor, can appropriate to himself more than his share. Grant that
he hoards it up ; then it is to him as useless as it is to others. It is no
longer his ; it belongs to his heirs. Instead o f being more self-indulgent,
and more to be envied for the profusion o f his pleasures, he is the most
disinterested and abstemious man in the community. Does he use it, and
endeavor to increase his store ?— he cannot do so without benefiting others
more than himself. H e must lend it to others, or he must employ others.
H e must give others the use o f his wealth, which is all that he has himself.
It benefits them more than it does him self; for to them it is vital— their
whole living. T o him the use o f a considerable part o f it is unirflportant, for
we have supposed him to have a superabundance. Shall the poor hate the
rich ? Th ey must hate them for the possession o f the very thing which
makes their own labor available, which fills this world with comforts and
luxuries, and makes it a comfortable habitation for rich and poor.
But is the poor man sent into the world without any inheritance in it ?
B y no means. He has the richest inheritance o f all, in the power to la bor;
for which God has so constituted things, that there shall ever be a more
constant, a more certain, and unfailing demand, than for any thing else.
Thus there is formed an inevitable partnership between labor and capital—




Dangers and Duties o f the Mercantile Classes.

419

the rich and the poor— which nothing but death can dissolve, in all the
labors and enterprises o f this life. Death itself does not dissolve it, but it
descends from generation to generation. In this perpetual partnership,
labor, so far from being oppressed, usually has the advantage. It is sure
o f its share, for it receives it as it goes along. The other is altogether
uncertain and problematical. N o enterprise is ever undertaken without
this partnership, nor any business carried on. Labor receives its share
without risk and responsibility, which all fall upon the other side. How
have those great improvements been achieved, which have changed the
face o f the globe, and filled it with those comforts and luxuries which are
now brought to the door o f the humblest cottage ? B y the accumulation
o f wealth in a few hands. Had the agrarian principle prevailed, such ac­
cumulation could never have taken place, and those extensive blessings
would have been forever precluded.
It is only by large revenues falling
into few hands, that those treasures can be amassed, which react upon
society with such benignant power. W ere those revenues equally divided,
they would be spent from year to year. But by falling into the hands o f
a few, they so far exceed all reasonable expenditure, that they necessarily
accumulate, and form those rich resources by which the most stupendous
works are undertaken and accom plished; which give employment and
bread to thousands, who otherwise would have been idle ; and finally, by
developing the capacities o f our earth, give existence to millions who
otherwise would never have enjoyed that inestimable boon. Nothing, then,
can be more unreasonable or unwise than the wish, that there were no
rich men, even when cherished by the poor. E very accession o f wealth
to any individual, is a benefit to every other individual, let him be never
so poor, for it renders the great partnership o f mankind more profitable to
all and to each. A w ay, then, with the senseless clam or o f the poor against
the rich ! In such a country as ours, where there is no hereditary aris­
tocracy, no primogeniture, or entailed estates, this outcry is utterly un­
founded. It is a political cheat, which has sapped the very foundations
o f our national prosperity.
I shall now say something o f the nature and uses o f money, the great
instrument o f trad e; a subject which is at the present moment intensely
interesting, and ought to be thoroughly studied by every man at all con­
nected with mercantile pursuits. Such is the difference o f value o f the
different products o f labor which one man wishes to exchange with
another, that it has been found convenient to keep the account o f differ­
ences in some third article by which both are valued. That third article
is sometimes one thing, and sometimes another, in different ages and dif­
ferent nations. In ruder ages, it was often cows and oxen. This seems to
have been the case with our ancestors, as would be indicated by the very
name o f metallic money, which was in time made to take their place—
coin, from kine, the Saxon plural o f cow . The armor o f Diomed, accord­
ing to Homer, cost nine oxen. If it had cost only half as much, four oxen
and a half, it would have been difficult for him to make the change. As
civilization advanced, and exchanges became more frequent, it was found
necessary to have a currency which could be transported with greater
facility, and more easily subdivided.
This medium o f exchange was
found in the precious metals. Th ey afforded for many ages the best, and
almost the only, medium o f exchange. T h ey exist in small quantities,
and are obtained by such slow and laborious processes, as not to be so




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The Social Influence o f Trade, and the

multiplied as to become burdensome and unwieldy, nor suddenly to fluc­
tuate in supply, and, o f course, in value. Th ey are capable o f subdivision,
and do not soon wear out. They are, moreover, nearly o f the same value
all over the earth. So long as the productions o f human labor were few,
and the operations o f trade simple and direct; so long as government was
imperfect and unstable, and the intercourse o f nations subjected to no
laws or well-ordered treaties, the precious metals were the best and only
safe representative o f real property and merchandise. But the time at
length arrived, by the vast increase o f the wealth o f the world, the multi­
plication, by a greater perfection o f the arts, o f the products o f human
industry, the extended operations o f com m erce, and the rapidity o f the
exchanges o f trade, that coin, as the sole medium o f exchange, was as far
left behind as the cows and oxen which it originally represented. Paper
took the place o f coin in large transactions, because it is easier to count,
and easier to carry. Paper became a part o f the currency for another
reason. The nominal value o f property depends upon the amount o f the
currency. In modern times, the quantity o f the property o f the world in­
creases in a most rapid ratio, in a new country like this— by an annual
amount, probably, equal to all the coin there is in circulation. I f the
same quantity o f coin is still the measure o f the value o f the whole, the
whole must depreciate in nominal value to the same amount. Mankind
will never submit to this, and will resort to any expedient to avoid it.
From these two circumstances,— the demand o f more money to circulate
the productions o f mankind, and the inconvenience o f using coin in distant
or large transactions,— arose the great modern contrivance o f banking
and bills o f exchange. It was found that paper, representing coin and
convertible into it, was more available as a medium o f exchange than coin
itself. It was found that paper, representing coin, and known to be conver­
tible into coin, was so much more acceptable and agreeable than coin, that
it would remain in circulation for a long time, and be carried to distant
places, and therefore more paper could be issued than there was coin to
answer to it. That difference became a species o f credit, which circulated
and performed the functions o f money. A bank, then, is an association o f
individuals to lend money. A number o f individuals combine, and change
their property into coin, and loan it out for short periods; or rather, as
much credit as, according to the ordinary laws o f the circulation o f money,
can be based upon it. T h e interest they get upon the credit they lend,
over and above their real capital, they calculate will pay all their officers,
and other expenses, and leave them a fair revenue for their investment.
Banks, thus contrived and thus managed, have been a vast advantage to
the world. T h ey bring down the rate o f in terest; because that which is
done as a regular business, and by people who devote themselves to it,
may always be done cheaper and better than by those who only occasion­
ally take it up. T o those who use them, their great office is to facilitate
the transmission o f products from the producer to the consumer, or, in
other words, to enable the producer to obtain advances on his goods while
they are on their w ay to the consumer, that he may live in the mean time,
and still carry on the business o f production. T h e producer sells his pro­
duct to the merchant, who stands in the place o f the ultimate consumer.
But such is the number o f those transactions which are taking place in a
civilized and advanced state o f society, that not a tenth part o f them could
be paid in coin at any reasonable valuation. The producer, therefore,




Dangers and Duties o f the Mercantile Classes.

421

takes a note o f the merchant, which represents and pledges property to an
equal amount. But this note is not current as money, nor can it be sub­
divided so as to pay labor and buy materials. H e goes to the bank,
therefore, and exchanges this credit for one that is divisible and current as
money, by giving a small premium. The consumer, who is likewise a
producer, has sold his product to the merchant, and got his note discounted
in the same way. Thus the bank notes, having performed the functions
o f money, are again paid into the bank, and they cancel the original notes.
If all parties are honest, and no man consumes more than he produces, at
the end o f the year there is no loss to any party, and the whole process o f
production, distribution, and consumption, has been completed with greater
ease and cheapness than it could have been in any other way, by a mixed
currency o f coin and bank notes. Such are the legitimate operations o f a
bank, and it is one o f the happiest contrivances o f modern times. Nothing
can be more calculated to develop the resources o f a new country, where
nothing is so much wanted as capital, and where it is desirable to turn the
products o f labor into money as soon as possible, and thus make them
available for new productions.
Nothing could be more unwise or
unfounded, than the prejudices which have o f late been excited against
them. T h ey are said to be aristocratic institutions. The very opposite
is the fact, so long as their stock is free to the purchase o f a l l; they are
equally open to the rich and the poor, so that they enable the poor to be­
com e capitalists on the same terms with the richest. This is, in fact, one
o f the great benefits which they confer upon society. T h ey bring into
active and gainful use small portions o f capital, which would otherwise
have remained idle and useless, for want o f knowledge on the part o f their
possessors how to use them to advantage. I have no doubt, too, they
are moralizing in their influence upon business men, by making them
more careful o f their characters and expenditure. T h ey are most truly
republican and levelling in their tendencies, inasmuch as they make char­
acter and business talent immediately available to every young man that
is starting in the world, and thus diffuse business, instead o f concentrating
it in the hands o f a few colossal capitalists.
That banks are capable o f abuses, and great abuses, I do not d en y ; but
this is no more than can be said o f every thing else that is good. All they
require, to be the most useful institutions, is honest and prudent manage­
ment ; to be restrained from disproportionate issues, and to be kept strictly
within the sphere o f an intermediate agency between the producer and the
consumer ; and, moreover, a wise and steady government, which will so
regulate its intercourse with foreign nations, as always to keep nearly the
same amount o f coin in the country, to be the basis o f banking operations.
Such is the position o f the merchant in society, and such the functions
he performs in the great machinery o f human affairs. Such are the mate­
rials and the instruments with which he works, as the general agent be­
tween the producer and consumer o f the various productions o f human
labor. After this general view, we shall be able more clearly to point out
his dangers, his temptations, and his duties.
In the first place, there is apt to be too great a rush into the profession.
It is supposed to be the easiest and most expeditious way o f acquiring
wealth ; and wealth, it is supposed, brings with it all imaginable good.
There is the same delusion about it that there is about lotteries ; the eye
is attracted and fascinated by the glare o f a few splendid prizes, while the




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The Social Influence o f Trade, and the

greater number o f blanks is never taken into account. So the young man,
as he walks the streets o f cities, is dazzled with the splendor o f a few pal­
aces, or the fame o f a few mercantile houses, which he sees engrossing tothemselves a great portion o f its business. These things he sees; but he
does not see the far greater number, who sailed upon the same sea, but
sunk long ago, and are seen no more. H e does not see the toils and anx­
ieties by which that wealth has'been amassed, which bleach the locks, and
wrinkle the brow, faster than any other pursuit.
There is a delusion with regard to trade into which the unreflecting are
too apt to fall— that o f supposing it can be increased to any extent by
more people going into it. It is not like agriculture in this respect.
Agriculture is a real production o f the necessaries o f life. Every new
acre brought under cultivation increases the means o f subsistence to the
human family. There is no danger o f over-production ; for agricultural
products are not only the primary and universal means o f sustaining
human life, but they are the basis o f all other employments and profes­
sions. A s they expand, other things will naturally keep pace. But a
small country-town can expend no more than they earn ; and if a reason­
able profit on their consumption will sustain but one trader, two would not
increase the business, but only divide it, and probably ruin both. Just so
o f a city or a nation.
This excessive competition becomes a snare to mercantile life, for it is
too apt to induce unfair means to get and retain customers, either by
giving unreasonable credits, or adopting a ruinously small rate o f profits.
It is this excessive competition, and the practices to which it has led,
which has given rise to a saying which I often hear, but never without
the warmest indignation, that it is impossible for a merchant to be an
honest man. If this be the fact, all I have to say is, let the profession
perish from among men. Such an anomaly was never intended to exist
hi the creation o f God. If this be a fact, let cities be swallowed up, and
commerce be buried in the bosom o f the ocean. Let mankind return to
barbarism, if they cannot innocently live in society. But it is not a fact.
One moral law runs through the universe, and is supreme in the human
soul— the law o f morality, the law o f truth, honor, and integrity. It equally
pervades and governs every profession and occupation in life. N o man
ever derived any solid advantage from violating one iota o f it. It leads
to ruin ten times where it procures even a temporary benefit. The mer­
chant’s moral trials are great, and occur more frequently than those o f any
other pursuit. T h ey are the greater from the fact, that the limits o f
commercial honor and honesty have never been defined. It has never
been settled, and perhaps never can be, how far a merchant may honora­
bly avail himself o f his knowledge and another’s ignorance o f the value o f
commodities, and the state o f the markets. In commending his goods too,
there seems to be no limit fixed how much he may say by way o f offset to
the disposition he supposes to exist on the other side to depreciate them.
There is a passage in one o f the Apocryphal books, which has always
struck me as containing a most fearful warning o f the moral perils o f trade,
and those who are engaged in it are better judges than I, whether it be
satire or truth. “ A s a nail sticketh fast between the joinings o f stones;
so doth sin stick close between buying and selling.” It is certainly one o f
t.he easiest things in the world to commend a thing we wish to sell beyond
the bounds o f strict truth, and to conceal those defects which w e are in




Dangers and Duties o f the Mercantile Classes.

423

honor bound to declare. It is still more difficult to be practically con­
vinced that our true interest lies in the same line with the most transpa­
rent integrity. But that it does, no man who believes in God or truth,
has the least reason to doubt for a moment. The first great temptation to
which the young merchant is exposed is that o f going into business with­
out sufficient knowledge, without sufficient capital, without sufficient busi­
ness prospects. T o the young man impatient to establish himself in life,
this may seem a hard saying, and a discouraging sentiment. But it is a
view o f things which it is necessary for him to take for his own good.
F or although it may seem a great evil for a young man to see the best
years o f life passing away while he is accomplishing nothing o f those vast
schemes with which the youthful mind is ever teeming, there are far worse
evils than this on the other side o f the alternative. It may seem hard to
be doing nothing, but it is still worse to be laboring to no purpose, to em­
bark in a project which is desperate from the beginning, every movement
o f which is pain and difficulty, and the issue always involved in the shadows
o f doubt, sometimes in the blackness o f darkness. The anxieties o f busi­
ness are sufficiently great under all circumstances, its perpetual risks are
enough to disquiet life under the most favorable conditions. But when to
this are added the trouble which spring from insufficient means, want o f
skill and mistaken enterprises, there is scarcely any situation more unde­
sirable.
The second temptation to which I shall advert, is that which besets the
prosperous merchant. Great prosperity is generally the merchant’s snare j
and if you hear a merchant complain o f being in trouble, you may be
almost sure that he will tell you, that it is not long since he was in the full
tide o f successful experiment. The reason o f this is, that success gives a
man credit, and tempts him to give credit in turn. And credit, though
one o f the most useful o f things, is one o f the most dangerous. A t first it
is plausible and hopeful, but in the end it biteth like a serpent and stingeth
like an adder. It may make a man’s fortune, and it may make a man a
slave for life. In quiet times the profits o f business may keep pace with
the high interest o f money. But too often the industrious merchant, who
has grown gray in toil and care, on a review o f his life, discovers that he
has been at work from his youth for the most disinterested purpose o f giv­
ing the money-lender six per cent. This abuse o f credit leads not only
individuals, but nations astray. W hen, by means o f banks, credit itself is
transformed into money and becomes the basis o f new operations, then its
tendency is to carry up the nominal prices o f every thing, and lead every­
body into the delusion that they are rapidly growing rich. Tilings are
bought and sold without any reference to demand, or use, or consumption,
and the merchant attempts to do as much business in one year as he ought
to do in three. But this mania, though commencing among the mercantile
classes, is not confined to them. The staid farmer, the sober mechanic
are bitten, and become as rabid as the rest o f the community. Th ey are
told o f a great rise which has taken place in the value o f their property,
and they wish to realize it. Th ey sell at an advance perhaps, and realize
in the first instance, but having cut loose from sober reason they cannot
be contented to reinvest in solid, useful property— or if they did, other
property has advanced as much in nominal value as their own— but pur­
chase something which they hope to sell again. Thus property shifts
hands, each time at an advance, till at last the bubble bursts, the world




424 .

The Social Influence o f Trade, and the

wake up from their trance, and find the sum total o f real wealth no greater
than it was before, and the last holders are ruined at the very moment
when they thought they had realized a fortune.
Beware then o f speculation. It is the syren which sings over the rocks *
o f ruin. Shut your ears to her song, hurry away from the sound o f her
voice. Be contented with the moderate profits o f a regular business. Be
sure to keep coolest when all the world are becoming most excited: you
may, in so doing, not only save yourself, 'but be o f lasting service to
others.
This leads me to warn you against the original sin which is the source
o f all those-actual transgressions— the inordinate desire o f becoming sud­
denly rich. Suppose you were to succeed at a very early age, the chances
are more than even, that the command o f means plunges you into dissipa­
tion, which is perdition to soul and body. It brings in the prize too soon,
and thus cuts short the pleasures o f the chase. Gradual accumulation is
more safe and more happy. I do not mean to undervalue the advantages
o f wealth. I know they are many and great. But the desire o f an over­
grow n fortune is little else than insane. It makes a man a slave while he
lives, and when he is gone it is more frequently the source o f litigation,
alienation, and misery, than happiness to his heirs. I hope it is unneces­
sary to warn any one who hears me this night, against a species o f moral
turpitude which we sometimes see exhibited in the mercantile world— busi­
ness undertaken with reckless purposes from the beginning. N o words
can describe the moral obliquity o f that man, who gets large amounts o f
property into his hands, and then considers it as lawful prize, to support
his own unprincipled habits o f expense and extravagance. The robber
upon the high seas is no more to be looked upon as a public enemy than
the man who gets into his possession the hard earnings o f the poor and
industrious, the little all o f the trusting mechanic or poor widow, and ap­
plies it to his own purposes o f luxury and profusion.
N or is it, I trust, any more necessary to warn you against the adoption
o f a merely legal morality. Such is the imperfection o f laws, that they
are quite as potent to make a wrong as to correct one, and some o f the
most stupendous frauds are committed under their sanction. H e who
attempts to justify to himself such a course o f conduct, will soon find every
principle o f honor sapped within him, and finally be betrayed, when he
least expects it, into transactions which will involve him in disgrace and ruin.
There is but one road to permanent happiness and prosperity, and that
is the path o f unspotted integrity, o f high-souled honor, o f the most trans­
parent honesty.
And certainly there never was atime when mercantile life was surrounded
with more temptations than at the present moment. The sudden and
violent change from a redundant to a deficient currency, has so disturbed
the relation between debtor and creditor, has made the enforcement o f
contracts fraught with such enormous and palpable wrong, that justice
seems quite as often to lie in the evasion as in the fulfilment o f honest
stipulations. But let those who are thus entangled remember, that com ­
mercial embarrassments are in their nature temporary, but principle is im­
mutable and eternal. The onward progress o f a country like this can
never be permanently repressed. A fresh soil, an enterprising population,
a high perfection o f the arts, and an elevated tone o f morality, are the ele­
ments o f national greatness.




Remarks on “ Free Trade.”

.4 2 5

W c are a world within ourselves, and every interruption* o f our foreign
relations will only tend more rapidly to develop our internal resources.
Our present troubles, like all human things, must at length pass away* and
happy will he be who comes out o f them with a strong heart and a clear
conscience. The great processes o f production and consumption must still
g o on, and while they are kept up, the merchant must always find employ,
ment.
Business is a mighty, ever-flowing stream, and if its natural channels
become obstructed, it will find another, and soon wear a smooth passage
where at first, all seems rough and rugged.
T h e hope o f the patriot is, that the lessons o f the last few years will not
soon be forgotten. There is no teaching like that o f bitter experience.
Our nation is yet in its youth. It is now forming the chart o f its future
voyage on the sea o f existence. It is to be hoped that it will set a beaconlight on the rocks on which it has wellnigh been w recked. Things must
at length settle down, a calm must succeed such elemental war, and we
have every reason to hope that we shall have a season o f prosperity as
lasting and tranquil as our sufferings have been violent and protracted.

A r t . III.— R E M A R K S O N “ F R E E T R A D E .”
T he article entitled “ Free T rade,” in the number o f the Merchants’
Magazine for March, seems to require some notice at the hands o f the
advocates o f discriminating duties, o f whom I am one. Embodying, as it
does, all the plausible but often delusive commonplaces by which the in­
terests o f British manufacturers have hitherto been sustained in our own
country, at the expense o f the welfare o f American farmers and artisans,
it would be difficult to touch every point on which observation is desirable,
without extending this article to an unacceptable length. Instead o f an­
swering it in detail, therefore, I shall endeavor to grapple with its princi­
ples, and show wherein they are at variance with the true interests o f the
country.
The writer wholly misstates, and, probably, misconceives the principles
and views o f the advocates o f the protective policy. T o prevent a recur­
rence o f this misapprehension, let me briefly set forth the grounds on
which we stand.
I.
W e who advocate protection maintain, that many a branch o f indus­
try for which the country is admirably adapted, may yet, in its infancy,
and in the absence o f information or experience with regard to it, and o f
proper implements and facilities for its prosecution, afford an inadequate
reward o f itself to those who engage in it, exposed to an unequal competi­
tion with the long-established, vastly productive, and prosperous rival in­
terests o f older countries. W e hold that, in such cases, the government
may often confer a vast benefit on the whole nation by extending to the
struggling infant its fostering, protecting aid, by means o f a discriminating
duty on the importation o f the foreign article. W e insist that, though in
such case the cost to the domestic consumer may for a short time be en­
hanced, vet it will very soon be reduced below the price at which it had
VOL. iv .— n o . v .
54




42 6

Remarks on “ F ree Trade.”

hitherto been afforded, and thus a positive saving, even in the narrowest
view o f the question, be effected.
Need 1 illustrate this general proposition ? W ho, that understands the
origin o f the silk culture o f France— long since the discovery o f Am erica—
and its growth under the fostering influence o f high protecting duties, until
it now needs them no longer, can ask for demonstration ? N ay, the ori­
gin o f the cotton culture in this country is substantially, and that o f the
cotton manufacture is directly, in point. Each was unprofitable at the
outset, and only sustained by duties on the foreign competitor, or the still
more stringent protection o f embargoes and war. Yet, now both culture
and manufacture may safely defy the world to compete wilh them on per­
fectly equal terms— taking into account the relative cost o f labor in this
and other countries.
Is the applicability o f this principle exhausted ? By no means. I firmly
believe it might as well be applied to the culture and manufacture o f silk
now as to those o f cotton forty years ago, and that a discriminating duty
on imported silk, sufficient to induce our people to embark with energy in
the home production, would diminish the actual cost o f the silks worn in
this country, even within ten years. D o not recorded facts justify this
expectation ? But—
II.
W e contend that the high, invidious protecting duties o f the nations
with which we principally trade, and o f nearly all the countries o f the
civilized world, absolutely constrain us to take care o f our own producing
interests. W e assert that, waiving the question o f the policy o f protecting
duties per se, in the actual condition o f things, and in view o f the legisla­
tion and policy o f other nations, we must stand by our own producers, or
permit them to be trampled under the ruthless feet o f British and French
interests.
Let us illustrate this point. W e now take some thirty millions’ worth
per annum o f the silks, wines, and spirits o f France, at very low rates
o f duty. She takes in return our cotton at a low rate, because she must
do so or ruin her manufacturers by exposing them to a disadvantageous
competition with those o f other nations ; but nearly all our staples are
taxed exorbitantly on entering her ports ; tobacco about a thousand per
cent, and most other Am erican products so high as to form a virtual pro­
hibition. The effect o f this need not be stated.
So in our intercourse with Great Britain. That country is kind enough
to send us ship-loads o f treatises and reports, showing the incomparable
excellence and policy o f free trade ; but she taxes our productions an
average o f fifty per cent on their cost, while wc tax hers twenty. The
inevitable consequence is a continual and increasing indebtedness on our
part, and a haughty commercial ascendancy on hers. Our merchants and
banks often stand at her m ercy ; a turn o f the screw in the Bank o f E ng­
land bowls them all down in a trice, and fills the whole land with disaster.
The price which our great staples shall bear, and the extent to which our
internal improvements shall be prosecuted, are kindly settled for us in
London. N ow , I am well aware that other influences enter into and mod­
ify this state o f things ; but the fundamental evil consists in our buying
more o f our stepmother than w e sell to her, under the operation o f her
higher rates o f duty.
A recent writer on India, who had no reference to the question I am
now discussing, corroborates these statements entirely. H e is consider­




Remarks on “ Free Trade.”

4-J7

ing the poverty, misery, and decline o f India, and tracing their causes.
The primary and greatest he unhesitatingly declares to be the discrimina­
ting duties o f England, by which country her trade is mainly monopolized.
H e says that the average impost on British goods sold in India is about
Jive per c e n t ; on the productions o f India exported to England, nearly
or quite one hundred per cent. Under the operation o f this monstrous
inequality, India is drained o f her specie, and impoverished day by day.
N o country, he bluntly, but with obvious truth, observes, could withstand
the ruinous influences o f such a disparity. But the simple man had no
knowledge o f our American “ free trade” theorists. They would have
told him, that poor, depressed India had only to receive the products o f
other nations free o f duty, and let her own products take care o f them­
selves, and all would go on swimmingly with her. Alas ! that logic could
not feed the hungry and clothe the naked !— what an excellent thing it
would be !
I will try to bring this matter home to the understanding o f m y oppo­
nent, if the self-com placency with which he retails the dicta o f Mr. Condy
Raguet will permit him to believe that a protectionist can reason. I will
take the case o f two islands, which, isolated from the rest o f the world,
have been accustomed to trade largely with each other. One o f them
produces grain in great abundance ; the other has a soil primarily adapted
to grazing, and its surplus products are cattle and butter. But the former,
for reasons o f its own, imposes a duty o f fifty per cent on all imports, and
now cattle can be reared on her soil much cheaper than they can be im­
ported. She takes no more from abroad. But the cattle-raising isle,
unheeding the change in her neighbor’s policy, or profoundly enamored
o f that system o f political econom y which assumes the designation, “ free
trade,” still buys her grain where she can buy cheapest— that is, abroad.
W hat will be the necessary result 1 W h o does not see that all the specie
and other movables o f the “ free trade” settlement, will be drained away
to pay the constantly increasing balance o f trade in favor o f its “ protect­
ing” rival ?
“ W ell,” says ‘ F ree T rade,’ “ this will regulate itself in the end.”
Y es, truly ! when the whole generation o f traders and purchasers in the
devoted island shall have been swept down by a disastrous revulsion, and
two thirds o f their property has gone to pay a part o f their debts in the
“ protecting” isle, and the other third to satisfy law expenses, probably
prices will have fallen so low here that any thing is produced cheaper than
it can be imported. F or a time, therefore, she does not run in debt,
and her condition appeal’s more tolerable than it has been. But this is
merely the effect o f an unnatural and temporary depression o f p rice s;
they will rise on the first appearance o f prosperity, and the whole tragedy
be enacted over again. (See the history o f the United States, passim.)
Allow me one more illustration, to bring the matter more directly home
to commercial readers. I will take the case o f navigation. W e o f this
country are willing to admit the ships o f all nations to our ports on terms
o f perfect equality with our own. V ery good. But all nations are not
willing to reciprocate. Many impose a heavy discriminating tax on the
foreign to favor their own vessels.
N ow , let us suppose that Great
Britain were to tax all goods, imported in foreign vessels, five per cent,
more than when imported in her own ships, while we made no distinction.
Does not every merchant know that our vessels would be driven wholly out




428

Remarks on “ F ree Trade.”

o f the carrying-trade between the two countries— that it would be entirely
monopolized by our rival ? What, then, is to he done ? “ Countervail
the exaction,'’ says Protection, “ and your rival will soon be glad to meet
you on a footing o f perfect equality.” But what says Free Trade ? She
stands with her fingers in her mouth, mumbling over her eternal common­
places, her specious flimsinesses, about “ the laws o f trade,” “ regulating
itself,” and capital and industry seeking, if uncontrolled, the most profita­
ble employment. Y es, most sapient maxim-vender ! but why will you not
see that the proper channel has been dammed by the policy o f a rival
nation, and that her interests must be touched before she will free it ?
Y our schoolboy flippancies do not reach the practical question, or reach
it to make against you. Preach “ free trade” to Great Britain to eternity,
and she will give you back precept for precept, and all the time consult
her own interests in defiance o f the whole o f them. Counteraction is the
only argument that will reach her practical course ; and that is the method
w e have tried by unanimous consent in regard to navigation. W e have
tried it, too, with entire success. The principle and the act cover the
whole ground o f protection.
III.
Protection contends, that the simple facts, that an article, if produ­
ced in this country, is sold at a certain price, while its foreign counterpart
is sold at a lower price, do not by any means prove that the imported is,
in truth and essence, the cheaper. I have plainly illustrated this proposi­
tion in a former number o f the M agazine; and, as it is one o f the strong
points o f the case, I marvel that m y opponent does not deem it worthy at
least a notice. H o never alludes to it, but constantly takes it for granted
that, if a certain broadcloth, o f our own manufacture, costs five dollars a
yard, while an equally good British article can be purchased for four dol­
lars, it is demonstrated that the foreign is one fourth cheaper than the
domestic article. N ow , so far is this from being a self-evident truth, that
we o f the protective school question its general soundness, while in many
instances we assume to know that it is contradicted by facts. And, for a
first illustration, I will repeat in substance one before used, which my
opponent has kept clear of.
The town o f Londonderry, N ew Hampshire, is strictly agricultural, and
in 1820 used broadcloths o f British manufacture. It now uses mainly the
manufactures o f the neighboring town o f Low ell, which has since sprung
up under the auspices o f the protective system. I believe these cloths are
even nominally as cheap as they were in 1820, or would be now, if we
had no tariff, and no domestic manufacture ; but no matter : I will assume
that she then bought 1,000 yards o f the British article at $4, and now buys
a similar amount at $ 5 . Here, says “ Free T rade,” is a clear loss o f
$1000 every year to Londonderry from the protective system. Stop,
Theory, and let Fact say a word. The comparative account is truly given
as follows :—

1820.

D r.

The toicn o f Londonderry,

B y 1,000 yards o f broadcloth, at $4

Contra.

$4,000

Cr .

B y 4,000 bushels o f apples, at 12 J cents
By 1,000 barrels o f cider, at $1
.




,
.
.

C arried forw ard,

$

500
1,000

$ 1 ,5 0 0

$ 4 ,0 0 0

Remarks on “ Free Trade.'’

By
By
By
By

1,000
2,000
1,000
1,000

$1,500
1,000
500 .
500
500

Brought forward,
cords o f wood, at $1
bushels o f potatoes, at 25 cents
turkeys, at 50 cents
bushels o f corn, at 50 cents
Total

429

.

$4,000

$4,000

Account balanced.

The town o f Londonderry,

1840.

Du.

By 1,000 yards o f broadcloth, at $5

$5,000

Contra.
By
By
By
By
By
By

4,000
1,000
1,000
2,000
1,000
1,000

Cu.
bushels o f apples, at 25 cents
barrels o f cider, at $2
cords o f wood, at $3
bushels o f potatoes, at 37-£ cents
turkeys, at $1
bushels o f corn, at 75 cents

Total
.
.
.
.
Balance in favor o f the town,

$1,000
2,000
3,000
750
1,000
750
.

$8,500
$3,500

H ere the town has paid twenty-five per cent more nominally than she
would have done in the absence o f a tariff, while she has really obtained
her cloths seventy per cent cheaper than “ free trade” would have afforded
them. Protection has created a market for her productions in her neigh­
borhood, rendering many o f them twice as valuable as they before were,
or otherwise would have been. I have endeavored to state the prices in
each case fairly, according to my knowledge and recollection. But no
error in the items can affect the principle, that a community may buy its
goods at a nominally lower price , yet really pay a great deal more f o r them
than under a different policy. I beg “ F ree T rade” to consider this aspect
o f the general question. The wheat-growers o f Genesee, and the lumber­
men o f Champlain, have understood it well these many years : they know
that the country must so shape its policy as to provide a ready and steady
market for its surplus products : the question is not, with them, how many
dollars will buy a given amount o f cloth— but, how much lumber or flour
will procure such am ount; and, having solved that question, they stand
up for protection with their whole souls. Yet, here are political econo­
mists who do not deem it necessary to ask any question beyond— “ Can the
desired goods be purchased with the fewest dollars o f Birmingham or
Low ell ?” — and having answered that in favor o f Birmingham, they decide
that we should buy our cloths o f her,— passing over the collateral problem
o f “ H ow , and in what, shall we pay ?” as o f no moment whatever. Is
not the oversight deplorable ?
I press the question home on “ Free Trade,” and I ask him to answer
categorically— “ A re we to do nothing in counteraction o f foreign policy
inimical to our interests ?”
Suppose all the nations o f the earth should
impose prohibitory duties on our productions, shall we still receive theirs
on the most favorable terms ? And does not this policy provoke imposi­
tion ? I abhor war, and would avoid it whenever possible : but if England
invade us, shall we not repel her 1 If she confiscate and burn our ships,




430

Remarks on “ F ree Trade.”

shall we not retaliate ? I f she embargo our com m erce, shall we continue
to court and foster hers ? I want a practical solution o f practical difficul­
ties. Every word o f “ Free T rade’s” essay assumes false premises—
supposes that all the nations o f the world receive our productions free o f
duty, and that we wantonly innovate on the universal practice o f mankind
by protecting. The contrary is well known to he the truth. Protection
is the general law ; free trade the rare exception.
IY . I think I have already indicated that I do not consider discrimina­
ting duties— much less any duties— injurious to the general well-being o f
mankind. Each particular impost must be justified or condemned by the
considerations which induced, and the consequences which flow from it.
Undoubtedly, there are imposts, levied by this or that nation, which oper­
ate injuriously, and ought to be taken off. Others are productive o f great
good, and ought to be continued. I should, probably, be willing to-day to
abolish all imposts in common with all other nations o f the earth, provided
an equally cheap, easy, and voluntary mode o f accomplishing the ends o f
taxation could be devised, i should not do this, without serious doubts o f
its wisdom and beneficence. I f I were a citizen o f a newer country, whose
people and institutions were just emerging from barbarism, and making
rapid progress in the various arts o f civilized life, I would not do it at all.
F or I hold it demonstrable, that even real, genuine “ free trade” between
a barbarous and an enlightened, a rudely agricultural and a refined manu­
facturing and commercial people, will almost infallibly impoverish the
form er and enrich the latter— that the balance o f trade, indebtedness, and
every advantage, will be invariably found on the side o f the latter. A n
active com m erce between a nation producing flour, pork, cotton, and other
rough bulky staples, on the one hand, and one which exchanges for them
silks, wines, cloths, toys, ornaments, and manufactures generally, is, in
the nature o f things, sure to enrich the latter, and bring the former in
debt. The great disparity in weight to be transported, operates as a dis­
crimination ; and, while the cost o f one dollar per hundred pounds for
transportation will not materially affect the transmission o f watches, trin­
kets, laces, and gewgaws, in one direction, it will seriously depress that
o f corn, beef, and cotton, the other way.
Let us suppose a settlement, equal to the State o f Missouri, were now
in existence on the Oregon— its rude, half-civilized inhabitants engaged
wholly in agriculture, clearing, building, & c .— and a good road led from
St. Louis to its capital. Trade is brisk enough in one direction ; silks,
jew elry, spices, finery and foolery o f all kinds; are sure to be constantly on
the way over. But what is there to com e back ? T h ey have mountains
o f grain, beef, wood, and all the substantial o f life ; but none o f these
will pay a tenth the cost o f bringing them to St. Louis. The settlement
is constantly plunging deeper in debt and embarrassment. Eventually,
through revulsion, calamity, and depression o f prices, it will arrive at the
manufacture o f whatever it shall w an t: but if it could have reached this
end more directly by the imposition o f a strong tariff, it would have avoided
much disaster and suffering.
Such are some o f the views which lie at the basis o f the Protective or
Am erican System.
I will add a few comments on three or four points made by m y oppo­
nent, which may not be fully reached by the foregoing!
“ F ree T rade” asserts, that it is the doctrine o f protectionists that, i f




Remarks on “ Free Trade."

431

sugar can be produced in Jamaica for three cents a pound, while its pro­
duction in Louisiana must cost six cents, then it4s the duty o f our govern­
ment to lay an impost o f three cents on the imported article. This state­
ment does no sort o f justice to our views. W e have never contended that
because the production o f any given article costs more in our country than
elsewhere, it should therefore be protected, or that all articles, which
might be produced here, though at a greater cost than elsewhere, should
be made the subject o f protecting duties. W hat we contend for, as I have
already shown, is the protection o f such producing interests as give assur­
ance or reasonable promise o f ultimate perfection and thrift among us,
though unable to withstand, in their infancy, the competition o f the older
and stronger rival interests o f other countries. W e contend that it may
be and is necessary to countervail, generally, the .high imposts o f other
nations, or suffer the embarrassment, depression, and evil, to which a
heavy and always augmenting balance o f trade against us— in other words,
a crippling foreign debt— must subject us. I think sugar may be produced
nearly or quite as cheap in Louisiana as in Jamaica. I would, therefore,
protect the sugar interest o f the form er ; but i f a fair trial prove this
belief to be mistaken, and Jamaica is willing to reciprocate a fr e e trade, I
would take o ff the duty and buy sugar o f her. But i f she, while abun­
dantly willing to supply us with sugar, shall refuse to take our flour, our
timber, and our products generally, in payment, but insist on having the
free trade all one side, I would say to her— 11 H old ! W e shall tax your
sugar out o f our markets, until you take our productions in return.” And,
Mr. Editor, you would find that my policy would secure a nearer approach
to absolute “ free trade” than that o f my opponent. Y ou do not always
secure immunity in this selfish world by proclaiming to every one your
meekness and non-resistance to injustice and imposition.
My opponent’s assertion, that protective duties are unjust and oppres­
sive, would have more plausibility if only one interest were protected, and
that for the sake o f that interest alone. But the reverse, in both points,
is notoriously the truth. And any man, who has seen what these eyes
have closely observed o f the effect o f protecting the manufacturing inter­
est, for instance, upon the prosperity o f all other productive interests
within the sphere o f manufacturing operations, can only regard such
sweeping assertions as the melancholy evidences o f a wandering from the
paths o f practical knowledge in the erratic pursuit o f air-spun theories.
“ F ree Trade” objects to protection, that “ it offers a bounty to smug­
gling and fraud.”
This objection, so far .as it has any weight, not only
applies to all imposts, but to all taxation whatever. T ax gold watches
heavily, and the owners will often conceal them to evade the payment.
T a x real estate, and land-owners will sometimes resort to artifice and
knavery to have it undervalued in the assessment. Nay, more : the
legal appraisers o f a particular district or county will sometimes systemat­
ically appraise too low, in order that their friends and neighbors shall
bear a smaller proportion o f the general burdens. My opinion decidedly
is, that customs afford the very cheapest, most equitable, least onerous,
and least demoralizing mode o f taxation that can be devised ; that, though
they may give rise to greater rogueries, they make infinitely fewer rogues
than a more direct and compulsory imposition o f national burdens. Yet,
I am ready to admit, that imposts may be so exorbitantly high as to tempt
to systematic smuggling, which is a serious evil. But is not the preva­




43 2

Remarks on “ F ree Trade.”

lence o f this evil exaggerated ? Probably the average impost on Am eri­
can tobacco throughout Europe exceeds five hundred per c e n t; and what
proportion o f it is smuggled ? I think not a twentieth. But so long as
the advocates o f protection in this country do not ask for any duties ex­
ceeding thirty per cent, I submit that this argument o f my opponent lacks
force.
O f the truth o f the general proposition that judicious protection increases
production, I fear I shall not convince my antagonist. Y et I think I should
have no difficulty in convincing ninety-nine out o f every hundred individ­
uals o f good sense who had formed no opinions on the subject. T o do
fhis, I should begin by exhibiting a statement o f the annual products o f the
protected industry o f England as compared with those o f an equal popula­
tion in any “ free trade” country.
I would then present the present
annual products o f Massachusetts with those o f any community o f equal
numbers whose great producing interests have never received legislative or
other equivalent protection. I would compare them also with what they
were from 1816 to 1824, under a comparatively “ free trade” system.
From these and similar premises I should endeavor to convince the tribu­
nal that a community pursuing many different branches o f industry, espe­
cially such as minister to its own wants and necessities, will produce much
more, and grow rich faster, than one which confines its exertions mainly to
the production o f one or two great staples. One principal reason o f this
is the comparatively great cost and disadvantage at which a community
which purchases most articles o f its domestic consumption must always
procure th em : i f a farmer bought and paid for the products which he con ­
sumes, he would generally fall behind at the end o f the year. But a still
greater disadvantage under which the community which is confined to the
production o f one or two staples must ever labor, is the inability to employ'
all its industry. In no country, probably, is the aggregate product o f its
labor one half what it might be if all hands were fully employed and all
efforts wisely directed. In m y view, the great end o f all political econom y
is to provide each individual constantly with the employment best suited to
his capacities, and secure to him an adequate reward. N ew England has
greatly profited by her manufactures, mainly from the amount o f female
and juvenile labor, before nearly or wholly unproductive, which it has
enabled her to turn to good account. I f some philanthropist could devise
a new branch o f industry, which would give agreeable and permanent em ­
ployment to the twenty thousand idle and suffering females o f this city, and
enable them to earn fifty cents, each a day, he would be a greater public
benefactor than Adam Smith or a regiment o f Condy Raguets. I knew
that Maine was for a long period almost entirely a lumbering and fishing
district, and that she was then a proverb through N ew England for poverty
and thriftlessness. I know that, since she has greatly diversified her
avocations, she has rapidly increased in wealth and prosperity. I have
full confidence that the growth o f two millions o f bushels o f wheat in 1838
did not subtract to nearly an equal amount from her other products. I
have no doubt that an adequate protective duty on foreign silks would lead
in a few years to the production o f twenty millions’ worth per annum in
our own country, and this without subtracting ten millions’ worth from the
aggregate which would otherwise be produced, because the labor o f women,
children, aged and infirm persons, not now productive, would to a great
extent be employed in this new pursuit. I say I am confident that I could




Remarks on “ Free Trade

433

demonstrate these truths to the satisfaction o f nearly every unprejudiced
person; but I am not at all confident, o f satisfying m y opponent.
M y opponent argues, that if we produce cotton at nine cents a pound, we
could monopolize the market o f the world at eight, while at ten we should
be driven quite out o f it. I do not admit that protection increases the
general cost o f home products, but the assumption above stated is flatly
contradicted by notorious facts. During the last five years, the price o f
Am erican cotton has ranged from six to eighteen cents a pound, with
scarcely a perceptible effect on the amount required for foreign consump­
tion.
But, in truth, I perceive he labors under the fundamental error o f suppos­
ing that protection is only required to raise the price o f the domestic pro­
duct, and would otherwise be useless. This he directly asserts on page
236. But that this is very far from the truth, I will stop a few minutes
to demonstrate. I will suppose that broadcloths, for example, can be pro­
duced at precisely equal cost in France and England. But France becomes
a convert to “ free trade,” and abolishes all duties on imports, while Eng­
land adheres to “ protection,” and taxes French cloths fifty per cent.
N ow the practical operation o f this conflicting legislation will be, that the
English manufacturers will enjoy the exclusive market o f their own coun­
try, and divide that o f the rival nation. T h ey can keep the home market
pretty uniformly g o o d ; and whenever, from any cause, there occurs a
glut and a stagnation, they will ship all their surplus stock to France, rat­
tle it o ff at auctions immediately, (better lose twenty-five per cent on it
than depress the home market,) and thus restore a quick demand, good
prices, nay, a temporary scarcity, in England, whenever they desire it.
Three weeks will repay their losses on the quantity exported. But where
will be the French manufacturers ? Bankrupt— ruined beyond hope.
Struggling before against a glutted market, and with difficulty maintaining
prices, the heavy British importation and forced sale at once knocks every
thing down fifty per cent, and in fact stops sales altogether. T h ey cannot
retaliate ; the wretched policy o f their government invites and insures a
repetition o f the attack on the very first recurrence o f a plethora in E n g­
land, and they are powerless to resist it. Their utter ruin is as certain as
the destruction o f a band o f men which goes out naked and weaponless to
battle with an equal number armed with muskets and bayonets. Tw enty
years will finish them utterly, and transfer their business to the hands o f
their rivals.
I have a right to be surprised that my opponent should argue that our
great interests were not unusually prosperous from 1824 to 1834, because
our exports per man were greater in nominal value from 1798 to 1808.
W h o does not know that the latter-named period was one o f general and
tremendous war in Europe, when our products were in great demand, and
commanded extraordinary prices ? I do not by any means admit that the
exports o f a nation afford any reliable criterion o f its production or pros­
perity ; but if they did, we must consider circumstances and prices far
more than the mere money value.
My opponent’s concluding flourish, eulogistic o f “ freedom, unrestricted
freedom,” I must be content to admire without attempting to imitate it.
It would certainly have delighted me more extravagantly if it had been
apposite to the subject matter. But it is precisely as much to the purpose
as a non-resistant’s eulogium on the blessings o f Peace, and his denunciav o l . iv .— no . v .
55




Coins, Weights, and Measures.

43 4

tion o f the horrors o f W a r. T o the enthusiast I make answer, “ Your
doctrines are very good so far as they regard the intercourse o f men gov­
erned by your sp irit: but the world is full o f formidable evil : may I not
resist it ? If a pirate attack my vessel, shall I not defend her if I can,
especially if all I hold dear are involved : I f an army invade us with fire
and syord, may we not repel them ? A llow me to love peace as well as
you, without proclaiming in advance m y willingness to submit meekly to
every injury, and thus inviting aggression.” So I say to m y opponent, W ill
our abolishing all our own protective measures, give us free trade with the
w orld ? W ill Great Britain abolish her protective duties because we have
done so ? Y ou know she will not. If she ever does it at all, she will be
induced to do it by opposite measures and considerations. Then why call
this one-sided reciprocity— this casting o f our own interest, bound, at the
feet o f our great rival, by the abused name o f “ F ree Trade ?”
A cause
intrinsically solid would not need the aid o f so gross a perversion.

A rt . IV .— COINS, W E IG H T S , A N D M E A S U R E S.
PROPOSED CHANGE IN WEIGHTS, MEASURES, AND MONEYS IN GREAT BRITAIN
AND THE UNITED STATES.

I t may not be generally known, that a body o f learned men in Great
Britain have been engaged for some years in the “ Commission” o f de­
vising a more simple and convenient system o f weights, measures, and
moneys ; and as the question is 'one o f deep importance to our own coun­
try, it may not be amiss to prepare our readers with a few observations
anticipatory to the forthcoming “ R eport.”
In two countries like Great Britain and the United States, which stand
first in point o f com m erce in the known world, it can but be looked upon
as a reproach that twentyiseven years o f peace should have been suffered
✓ to elapse without this great desideratum having been accomplished, except
in some trivial particulars ; and the more so, as France had, at the earlier
date o f her Republic, proved to us its practicability and advantages. The
subject, however, presents so many embarrassments for ingenuity to exer­
cise itself upon, that it is difficult to bring a body o f mathematicians to the
same conclusion, in consequence o f their not being able to agree to start
from the same point. Napoleon, in the latter respect, was more favorably
circumstanced—-for he was not only a clear-headed mathematician him­
self, and therefore capable o f judging o f the matter, but when he had come
to a conclusion, his power was sufficiently strong to carry out his views
without resistance, even if his name had not been enough to recommend
them as infallible. In England and this country, on the contrary, no
government could pretend to the despotic control, even if it possessed the
requisite attainments, necessary to originate and enforce a change. It is a
subject alike out o f the sphere o f the legislatures and executives, who are,
therefore, compelled to devolve its consideration upon some other compe­
tent deliberate body, and, as to each member o f such a body, his own ideas
naturally appear the most simple and efficacious, years are consumed in
the work o f mutual Conversion, before they can agree upon the basis
whereon their superstructure o f practical calculations is to be raised.




Coins, Weights, and Measures.

435

There are many who think that any alteration o f established weights,
measures, or coins, must be injurious, whatever may be the abstract merit
o f the proposed innovation ; and there are others who doubt the practica­
bility o f introducing any changes without a long period o f confusion, and
the conquest o f a large force o f resistance < This may be true to a certain
exten t; but when shall we be better prepared for a change ? It can be
nothing more than a trivial sacrifice on the part o f some o f the present
generation for the benefit o f their successors. One thing, however, should
be borne in mind, that is, whatever system o f weights and measures Great
Britain may choose to devise, it will be highly important for us to adopt,
in consequence o f the intimate connection o f the com m erce o f the two
countries. In this respect, it is desirable that the fundamental bases o f
the weights, measures, and coins o f all the countries with which we have
commercial intercourse, should be the same ; but this could not be done
without producing, for a long period, confusion, injustice, and error.
The great desideratum in establishing a new system o f weights, meas­
ures, and coins, is, that the quantity and the money should be subdivided in
the same way, that is, reduced to the same notation ; and the best notation
for the purpose is, o f course, that which is the common base o f arithmetic
nearly all over the world; namely, the decimal— a scale which, as it as­
cends from units to tens; hundreds, and thousands, so also descends to
tenth, hundredth, thousandth parts, & c. Such a system, both as regards
their weights and measures; and their coins, has been successfully carried
into practice in France and Netherlands, and as far as the coins are con ­
cerned, in the United States. W ith such a general notation, the keeping
o f commercial accounts would require nothing but the expeditious process
o f common addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Suppose,
for example, that the pound in weight, and the pound, or dollar, in money,
were both subdivided into tenths, hundredths, and thousandth parts, (call
them if you please, dimes, cents, and mills,*) then five pounds, six dimes,
three cents, and four mills, in weight, would be expressed by 5.634 lbs.,
and the value, in money, at two pounds, six dimes, eight cents, four mills,
or £ 2 .6 8 4 per lb. avoirdupois would be arrived at by merely multiplying
the two expressions together, producing £ 1 5 .1 2 2 . This example is an
extreme one, and is only given for illustration. Indeed, those who are
familiar with the facilities o f decimal arithmetic, we trust will not accuse
us o f exaggeration in saying, that if the weights, measures, and moneys o f
the two countries, were brought under that notation, any one moderately
expert in simple multiplication and division, might acquire a proficiency
in making up accounts, invoices, & c. in a few hours. Under the present
system, years are spent in the earlier part o f life in learning rules “ by
heart,” which are seldom long remembered ; and acquiring a knowledge
o f formulae which are still more seldom understood, almost every one being
compelled, in after years, to supply himself with what his tutor failed to
impress upon his memory, by a sort o f mental arithmetic o f his own. By
substituting the decimal system, this would be entirely done away with.
Instead o f the tutor wanting an “ assistant,” the pupil, as far as the arith­
metic o f the shop and the merchant’ s countinghouse is concerned, would
have but little need o f assistance ; and, as the groundwork o f commercial
knowledge would thus require less time and talent, those intended for
* W e learn that some such nomenclature as this will be proposed in the Report.




436

Coins, Weights, and Measures.

commercial occupations would be able to devote more ability and greater
opportunities to the attainment o f a higher order o f knowledge that would be
useful to them in their pursuits, than under the old regime can be expected
from them, until they have acquired it by a long course o f actual experience.
Having thus described the advantages o f a purely decimal system, we
would name three great principles by which, it is hoped, the “ Commission”
has been guided. First, that the old integral bases should be preserved in
every case where there are not very strong reasons to the contrary ;
secondly, that whenever the integral base is altered, it should be mainly
with a view o f facility in converting values and quantities from the old
scales into the new ; and thirdly, that the number o f scales used should be
reduced, as much as possible, without producing a greater degree o f in­
convenience than their suppression would remove.
The importance o f preserving the old integral bases will be obvious to
any man o f business from the following reasons. Almost every commer­
cial house has a multitude o f old accounts to which reference is frequently
necessary ; and as it would be required to translate the particulars o f them
into the language o f the new system, that language should be assimilated
as far as possible to the arithmetical language now in use. By preserving
the sovereign or pound sterling o f Great Britain, for instance, as the inte. gral base for money in that country, no other labor would be imposed on
the accountant than converting the heterogeneous fractional parts now in
use to their equivalent decimal expression, an operation with which any
one may become familiar in a few hours’ practice. Then all the new
coins o f that country o f a denomination less than a sovereign would be
required to express the tenth, hundredth, and thousandth parts o f the pound
sterling; and not only can any value under the pound sterling be set forth
in those three parts alone, with greater convenience and to a greater de­
gree o f nicety than by the nine coins now in circulation for the purpose ;
but the silver coins as low as sixpence now current may be expressed determinately in them, and would therefore cause little embarrassment should
it be found impracticable to withdraw them wholly at once. The crown,
for- example, would be two dimes and five cents or
o f a pound ; the
shilling, five cents or
o f a pound ; the sixpence, two cents and five
mills or T| f „ o f a pound; the penny, four mills or
° f a pound ; and
the farthing, one mill or TTrVo ° f a pound.
W ith regard to the legal coinage o f our own country, it probably could
not be improved, with the exception o f a slight alteration in the weight o f
our cents ; but when we com e to the obtrusive, incongruous, and illegiti­
mate eighth and sixteenth dollar pieces o f Spain, a sweeping change seems
necessary. The change could readily be effected by reducing the value
o f the 12^ cent pieces to 10 cents, and the 61 cent pieces to 5 cents,
which would soon drive them out o f the country, after the manner o f the
old pistareens a few years since. N o individual who has long resided
among us, can be ignorant o f the inconvenience and perplexity he has met
with by the use o f these coins, and can be so prejudiced as not to be will­
ing to have them abolished. W ith these alterations, only a slight change
would be required in our laws, such as the reduction o f postage from 18J
cents to 15 cen ts; 12^ cents to 10 cents, 6 i cents to 5 cents, & c ., which
has long been called for, and a few others.
Presuming that the foregoing advantages are sufficiently obvious to
create a change in moneys, we shall next endeavor to show wherein the




0

Coins, Weights, and M easures.

437

system o f weights and measures can be improved, which will be equally
applicable to both countries.
1. Measures of L ength.— The unit of the measures o f length, we con­
ceive should be the present yard o f Great Britain and the United States,
from which all other measures o f extension, whether they be lineal, super­
ficial, or solid, should be derived, computed, or ascertained. For scientific,
mechanical, mercantile, and retail purposes, it should be divided into
tenths, hundredths, and thousandths, which can be made to express any
other fractional part o f a yard that would be likely to occur in business.
F or instance, 2-J: yards would be written 2.125 ; 2J yards, 2.25 ; 2 f yards,
2 .3 7 5 ; 2£ yards, 2 .5 ; 2 f yards, 2 .6 2 5 ; 2 f yards, 2 .7 5 ; 2* yards, 2.875,
& c. F or itinerary, marine, and agrarian purposes, 2 yards would constitute
one fathom ; 5£ yards, one r o d ; 22 yards, one chain o f 100 links ; and
1760 yards, one statute m ile ; the latter terms and quantities having long
been used in both countries to define distances on maps, charts, deeds,
grants, and other important documents, to which reference is often re­
quired, and consequently should be preserved. The terms fe e t, inches,
and lines, should be abolished, their places being supplied by the tenths,
hundredths, and thousandths o f a yard. A ll old measures o f feet and
inches can readily be reduced to yards and the decimals o f a yard, by divid­
ing the feet by 3, and the inches by 36.
By the new system, the ch ief implements to be used in measuring would
consist o f a rule or line one yrard in length, graduated on one side into tenths,
hundredths, and thousandths; and on the other, into eighths, quarters,
halves, & c. ; or o f shorter or longer rods or lines graduated into the sub­
divisions or multiples o f a yard ; and the Gunter’s chain 22 yards or 100
links in length, which has long been used in both countries for agrarian
measures.
2. Measures of S urface.— The unit o f the measures o f surface, might
consist o f the square yard, which could also be divided into tenths, hun­
dredths, and thousandths, and be made to express any other fractional parts
o f a yard. 4840 square yards would, as at present, constitute an acre,
which could likewise be divided into tenths, hundredths, thousandths, & c.,
and be made to express any other fractional part o f an acre. The terms
rood and rod, would very properly be discontinued, which could easily be
reduced from the old system to the new, the former being just 0.25 and
the latter 0.00625 o f an acre.
3. Cubic or Solid Measure.— T h e unit o f this measure might very
conveniently be made a cubic yard, which could be divided into tenths,
hundredths, thousandths, & c ., for merchants and engineers, and into tenthyard, hundredth-yard, and thousandth-yard cubes for other purposes.
W ood and timber could be bought or sold by the cubic yard, which
might likewise be divided into tenths, hundredths, thousandths, & c. Then
the most convenient lengths to cut market fuel would be 1, 1|, and 2
yards. The term ton, as applied to rough and hewn timber, and to ship­
ping in a cubic sense, might be discontinued, and cubic yards substituted
in their stead.
4. L iquid and D ry Measures.— The unit o f liquid and dry measures
might very properly consist o f the old wine gallon, which contains, at
present, 231 cubic inches. It could be divided into tenths, hundredths,
and thousandths, & c ., which can readily be made to express any other
fractional part o f a gallon that would occur in practice. The bushel might




43S

Coins, Weights, and Measures.

contain 10 gallons, “ strict measure,” and should not be used for any other
purposes than measuring such materials as cannot he consistently bought or
sold by weight. It might also be divided into tenths, hundredths, thou­
sandths, & c., which could be made to express eighths, quarters, halves,
& c., as exemplified in the measures o f length. The old denominations,
quarters, weys, lasts, cootns, pecks, pottles, & c., might be discontinued.
The measures necessary to be used would be the bushel ; -p_o_ o r i.
bushel;
or i bushel; yL^o or \ bushel; TW bushel or g allon ; J j l or
i gallon ;
or \ g a llon ; tul gallon ; y f o g a llon ; T±T g allon ;
g a llo n ; T|7 gallon ; and Tfcw gallon. Ti F o f a gallon is equal to a o f a
gill n early; and in purchasing a half-pint o f oil it would be as easy to ask
for 6 cents o f a gallon, as it is to ask for half a pint.
5. Measukes of F orce of G ravity or W eight.— Properly speaking,
there should be no other scale o f weight than avoirdupois ; and there seems
to be no reason for more, except ancient usage, which originated when
particular branches o f com m erce were in their infancy. But when we
consider that both the old and new coinage o f Great Britain and this
country, have been uniformly estimated by T roy weight, as well as all
medical prescriptions or formula;, under a peculiar subdivision, and that
these weights are required to be used only by a very limited number o f
persons, we shall be very strongly disposed to preserve them.
The unity or integral base o f commercial or avoirdupois weight, might
be denominated a pound, and be equal in weight to two pounds o f our
present weight. It could then be divided into tenths, hundredths, thou­
sandths, & c., which might also be expressive o f any other fractional parts
o f a pound that might occur. Then one hundred weight would be equal to
100 ibs., and one ton would be equal to 1000 lbs., or 2000 lbs. o f our
present weight. The terms quarters, stone, ounces, drams, & c., could then
be very conveniently dispensed with. The old system could, at once, be
converted into the new, as the pound o f the former would be just half that
o f the latter; and the other divisions could readily be reduced to the deci­
mal notation.
Under this improved system, the weights that would be requisite for the
common purposes o f weighing, would consist o f 25 lbs.; 20 lbs.; 10 lbs.;
5 lbs.; 4 lbs.; 3 lbs.; 2 lbs.; 1 lb.;
or * lb.; A s lb.; A V lb.; -Mr or
i l b - ; xVo lb-; T’0°o lb s .;Ta _ l b .;Tf ^ l b . ; Tf ^ l b . ; x^ l b . ; T^ l b . ;
lb.; Tf w
lb.; ylij-lb.; and T-J¥ lb. The ten latter weights could very conveniently be
substituted by our cents, if they were coined o f the weight o f T£¥ o f a
pound each.* Ti ff o f a pound would be equal to a o f an ounce o f our
present weight nearly ; and, in making small purchases, it would be as
easy to call for 3 cents o f a pound o f indigo, as it would be to call for an
ounce.
W e now make some remarks upon a subject which grows out o f the
preceding, though not intimately connected with it, namely, determining
the strength o f distilled spirits. It is a matter o f surprise that the govern­
ments o f Great Britain and the United States, have never devised a more
equitable and intelligible mode o f testing the degrees o f strength o f spiritu­
ous liquors, than the modes in present use.
It would be the means o f
* In the monetary system o f France, the coins, if they are accurately minted, serve
also for weights.
Thus, 5 francs in copper, 50f. in billon, 200f. in standard silver, or
3100f. in standard gold, should weigh one kilogramme or 1000 grammes.




Coins, Weights, and Measures.

439

adding immense sums to their revenues, and would enable those engaged
in this branch o f com m erce, to regulate their prices in proportion to the
values o f the articles in which they traffic. T h ere is no reason, either
practical or philosophical, why alcohol, when employed as the base for the
standard o f spirituous liquors, should not be absolute, or totally deprived
o f water. A definite mixture o f alcohol and water is as invariable in its
nature, and as invariable in its value, as absolute alcohol, and can be more
readily, and with equal accuracy, identified by its specific gravity, the only
quality or condition to which recourse can be had for the practical purposes
o f determining the proportion o f standard spirit present. H ence, the in­
trinsic value o f a spirituous liquor, is in proportion to the quantity o f absolute
alcohol it contains ; and the more imperfect the instrument for deter­
mining this quality, the greater or less will be the benefit or detriment to
the dealers in this commodity.
The den om in ation s,^ ^ proof, second proof, fourth proof, Holland proof,
80 per cent, above proof, 60 per cent, below proof, & c ., are arbitrary terms,
used in various countries to express certain degrees o f strength o f spiritu­
ous liquors. Nearly all the instruments invented for this purpose disagree
in this respect, and are generally based on absurd and inequitable princi­
ples. Hitherto, no instrument has been constructed, which performs its
office with more ease and expedition, and with less error, than the alcoometre o f M. Gay-Lussac. It has been used as the standard o f France,
Sweden, and Prussia, for fifteen years ; and, by a slight modification o f
the tables which accompany it, it might readily be adopted into Great
Britain and the United States, from which incalculable advantages might
be derived. The scale o f this instrument is divided into 100 parts called
degrees, which denote the per centage or hundredth parts o f absolute alco­
hol o f a specific gravity o f 0.7947 at 15° centigrades, or 59° o f Fahren­
heit. W hen the instrument is plunged into distilled water o f the abovenamed temperature, the surface o f the liquid is cut by 0° on the scale, and
when plunged into alcohol o f the specific gravity and temperature as
above, it stands at 100°. If it be plunged into a mixture o f equal volumes
o f the same kind o f alcohol and distilled water at the said temperature, it
will stand at 50°, which is regarded as proof-spirit or Holland proof. After
this principle o f graduation, the strength o f a spirituous liquor may be
known by the number o f degrees, or hundredths, by measure, o f absolute
alcohol that the liquor contains at 59° F. If it were desirable to know
the true quantity o f absolute alcohol that a given quantity o f spirits con ­
tains, o f that temperature, it would only be necessary to plunge the instru­
ment into the liquor and multiply the number o f degrees at which it would
stand by the capacity o f the cask, and the result would denote the quantity
required. Suppose, for example, a cask containing 120 gallons, be filled
with a spirituous liquor in which the instrument would stand at 55° at
59° F .; 120 multiplied by 0.55 will produce 66, the number o f gallons o f
absolute alcohol present.
The instrument is sometimes accompanied by a book o f rules and tables
for proving liquors, at various degrees o f temperature, by the centigrade
thermometer, and, likewise, for mixing liquors o f different degrees o f
strength, & c. The centigrade thermometer should be employed in prefer­
ence to that o f Fahrenheit, as it is graduated agreeably to our new system.
W e are happy to learn that the “ Regents o f the University” have adopted
the centigrade at the several colleges and academies in the State o f N ew




440

Coins, Weights, and Measures.

Y ork, and it is our ardent wish that its use might become general through­
out the world.
The foregoing system could undoubtedly be brought into practice, in a
very few years, if a law were passed and rigidly carried into effect, that
would nullify all legal suits other than those contracted agreeably to the
new system. Persons who are known to keep in their possession weights
and measures different from those provided by law, and to buy or sell by
the same, should be prohibited from recovering in any legal suit that might
be instituted by them.
W e will close by stating a few o f the more prominent advantages and
disadvantages o f a perfectly decimal system o f weights, measures, & c.
T h e ch ief advantages are :
1. All computations would be performed by the same rules, as in the
arithmetic o f whole numbers.
2. The application o f logarithms would be materially facilitated, and
would become universal, as also that o f the sliding rule.
3. The number o f good commercial computers would soon become
many times greater than at present.
4. A ll decimal tables, as those o f compound interest, & c ., would be
popular tables, instead o f being mathematical mysteries.
5. Uniformity o f weights, measures, quantities, & c ., would exist be­
tween the two countries as well as throughout all the states, which would
prevent a great deal o f confusion, inconvenience, and error.
A s the preceding advantages are sufficiently obvious, we will next give
the disadvantages that would ensue in consequence o f the change.
1. The period o f confusion attending the change.
2. T h e existence o f a class o f persons who cannot, by any process,
master any difficulty o f an arithmetical kind.
There is no question in our own minds as to the side on which the scale
predominates ; but we will leave the question to be settled by the feeling
o f the large majority, who would reconcile themselves to the change with
more or less difficulty. Those who consent to face this difficulty will
deserve the thanks o f posterity ; and we cannot but think that there are
few who, looking at the easy manner in which the new system could be
introduced, would count their own share o f the inconvenience too much to
pay for a real and lasting benefit to society.

A rt . V .— L IA B IL IT Y O F IN S U R E R S T O P A Y C O N T R IB U T IO N S .
W here an adjustment has been made in a foreign port, it being the
port of destination, agreeably to the usages and laws o f such place, it is
both reasonable and just that the insured should receive such proportion o f
the sum he is obliged to pay, as the amount insured bears to the sum upon
which the assessment is made, although the general average may have
been adjusted differently in the foreign port from what it would have been
at the port where the insurance was effected.
The rule o f reimbursement is not the same in practice in all the ports
in the United States. In N ew Y ork, it is contended that the insurers are




Liability o f Insurers to pay Contributions.

441

bound to refund the amount o f contribution which the insured has paid in
a foreign port under an adjustment o f general average made there, although
the assessment was made upon a sum exceeding the amount insured ; and
it is urged as a reason for such practice, that it is in accordance with the
decision o f the courts o f this state. In the case o f Depau vs. the Ocean
Insurance Company, 5 Cowen 63, it was held that “ when a general average is fairly settled in a foreign port, and the assured is obliged to pay his
proportion o f it, he may receive the amount from the insurer, though the
average may have been settled differently abroad from what it would have
been at the home port.” But I do not understand that the court intended
by this, that the insurer was bound to pay the contribution assessed upon a
sum greater than that upon which the insured paid premium.
It is readily admitted, that when the assessment is made upon a sum less
than the value in the policy, the insurer is bound to pay the amount so
assessed ; but it does not follow, that because the property o f the insured
has increased in value at the port where the average is adjusted, and is
made to contribute upon that increased value, that he shall be reimbursed
his contribution upon a greater sum than he could have received had the
property been totally lost, or greater than that upon which he had paid the
premium.
In adjusting a general average for jettison which must be made with
reference to. the actual value at the port o f destination and arrival o f the
cargo, free o f all charges and o f the freight, and the vessel at her appraised
value as she arrived— or, according to the usage o f some places, four-fifths
o f her value in the p o lic y ; or, in some others, the value in the policy less
two-thirds o f the actual cost o f repairing the accidental damage ; and the
freight either two-thirds or one-half o f its actual value, as may be the
peculiar custom o f the place where the average is adjusted. Or, if the
general average is for expenses incurred at an intermediate port where the
vessel put in in distress, the contribution may be assessed upon the value
at such intermediate port, or upon the invoice value o f the cargo, the
actual freight, and the vessel at her value at either, at the port o f distress,
or that o f destination or arriva l; and it is usual here to adopt, for the con­
tributing interests, four-fifths o f the value o f the vessel in the policy, one
half the actual freight, and the invoice value or cost o f the cargo ; and
this is the established practice o f insurers in this city when the general
average is for expenses incurred as above mentioned, or for a voluntary
sacrifice o f any part o f the appurtenances o f the vessel. It will thus be
perceived that the rule o f value differs, in the case o f a jettison o f the
cargo, from that o f extraordinary expenses incurred for the general benefit,
or a sacrifice o f any part o f the appurtenances o f the vessel.
The underwriters are bound to reimburse general average to the owners
o f ship-freight, or goods, only to the extent o f the value in the policy.
(Phillips, 1st edit. vol. ii. page 25 4.) In applying this rule to a case o f in­
surance on freight from Boston to St. Petersburg, valued at $2000, the
computation was made as follows : the gross freight was $2423 ; freight
contributed in an adjustment made at St. Petersburg on $1615— that is,
on two-thirds o f the gross amount. In reimbursing this average to the
assured, the insurers in Boston paid fy||- parts o f the amount assessed on
freight at St. Petersburg ; that is, the same amount as if the policy had
been an open one, and the general average originally adjusted in Boston.
“ Bedford Insurance Company vs. Parker et al. 2 Pick., 1 : ‘ The insurer
VOL. iv .— no . v .
56




44 2

Liability o f Insurers to pay Contributions.

is liable in the proportion which the sum insured bears to the actual value
at the time in reference to which the apportionment is made.’ ”
This
decision was in reference to a case where the contributing value exceeded
the value in the policy, or o f the sum insured ; for where the contributing
value is less, the insured pays the whole o f the contribution assessed.
Clark vs. M. & F . Insurance Company, 7 Mass. Reports, 365 : “ W hen the
contribution is paid according to the value at the place o f discharge, after
deduction o f freight and landing charges, and this value is less than the
value in the policy, the assured can demand o f his underwriters not more
than what he really paid ; if it be more, in consequence o f a rise in the
market, the surplus is profit, for which the underwriter cannot be obliged
to pay general average, having received no premium for expected profit.”
Phillips, Benecke & Stevens, page 271 ; and the same at page at 221 :—
“ The valuation in a policy o f insurance ought not in any manner to affect
the value for contribution ; they in fact proceed upon a very different data,
the former having a view to the indemnity o f the assured, according to a
fixed principle implied or agreed upon between him and the insurer— and
the latter having a relation merely to the value at risk, which determines
the proportion o f benefit received.”
Mr. Phillips, in noticing the difference in practice in relation to reim­
bursement o f contribution between insurers in this city and those in Bos­
ton, remarks, that “ there is nothing in the policy that favors one o f these
modes o f construction in preference to the other, each being equally con ­
sistent with the language o f the instrument, and the preference o f one or
the other being merely a matter o f construction, and the application o f the
general principles o f insurance. But the cases are entirely on the side
o f the adjustment, as above stated, to be made in Boston. In a multitude
o f decisions the doctrine is laid down, that in losses other than total, the
valuation is to be opened, by which is meant, as far as a contribution to gen­
eral average is concerned, as has been shown already (at page 312, vol. i.
1st edit.), an adjustment like that above mentioned is made in Boston ;
that is, as if the policy were an open on e.” — Phillips, 1st edit. vol. ii.
page 254.
The practice o f insurers in N ew Y ork, it is thus shown, differs from
that o f insurers in Massachusetts and in England, and seems to me cannot
be maintained upon the principles o f indemnification; for if the insured
can be held to pay the contribution upon a greater sum than he receives
the premium for, why may he not be held to pay a total loss o f a greater
sum than he insured ? because if the property had arrived at its port o f
destination, it would have produced twenty-five or fifty per cent m ore
than its cost. Such is not the practice in the adjustment o f total losses,
and it ought not to be in that o f a general average contribution. The an­
ticipated profits o f an adventure are in this country equally the subject o f
insurance, as the invoice cost o f the property upon which the profits are
anticipated; and if the shipper intended to protect himself against loss,
either total, general, or partial, he should do so by insurance upon the
profits, as well as o f the actual investment.
Suppose, for example, that insurance is effected on an invoice o f mer­
chandise, in the sum o f one thousand dollars, that being the actual cost or
value o f the goods at the place o f shipment, and the policy is either an
open or a valued one, a part o f the cargo (whether o f this invoice or o f
another, it is immaterial for the purpose o f the case I am considering,) is




Liability o f Insurers to pay Contributions.

443

jettisoned, at the port o f destination and arrival, the goods invoiced and in­
sured at one thousand dollars sell for two thousand dollars, and are made
to contribute in general average at that increased value, and the owner or
his consignee, pays the contribution upon two thousand dollars. The in­
sured prefers his claim upon his insurer here for reimbursement for the
the amount he has paid; and if the insurance has been made in N ew Y ork ,
he will, according to the rule o f practice contended for here, recover the
full amount, although he paid premium only upon one half the amount upon
which the contribution is assessed, namely, one thousand dollars. If he is
insured in Massachusetts, or in England, he could recover only so much
o f the contribution he has paid, as one thousand dollars, the sum insured,
bears to the value o f the property at the place where he paid it, namely,
two thousand dollars, and he is thereby fully indemnified ; for by the terms
o f his policy, he could only receive one thousand dollars in case o f a total
lo s s; and if instead o f a general average, the goods had been damaged,
and the claim had been for particular average, he could only have recov­
ered the per centage o f particular average upon the sum insured.
Suppose that the adventure is insured and valued at
.
W orth, if sound, at the port o f destination and ar­
rival,
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
$2000
But being damaged, it produces .
.
.
1000
The difference is

.

.

.

.

.

$1000

$1000, or 50 per cent.

A nd the insurer pays 50 per cent upon the sum he insured, and upon
which he receives premium, or $500, and the insured stands his own un­
derwriter upon the excess, being the profits upon the adventure. But it is
said that the practice o f insurers in N ew Y ork favors the claim o f the in­
sured for a reimbursement o f all that he has paid as a contribution upon
his adventure, however much it may or does exceed the amount o f his
insurance ; so that if the insurance is for $1000, and the contribution is
upon $2000, although he has been paid the premium only upon $1000, he,
the insured, must reimburse the contribution upon what he has insured, as
well as upon the profits o f the adventure which he has not insured, although
he cannot claim the premium thereon ; and this because such is the usage
o f insurers here. It is admitted that “ an underwriter is supposed to be
acquainted with the usages o f the trade which he i n s u r e s a n d that
“ every man who contracts under a usage, does it as if the point o f usage
was inserted in the contract in terms.”
“ A usage to be binding upon a
party, must be definite, general, uniform, and well k n ow n ;” and it must
also possess this very important ingredient, consistency with the principles
o f law. (Kent’s Commentaries, vol. 3, page 260.) And the Supreme Court
o f Massachusetts, in Homer v. Dorr, 10 Mass. Rep. 26, it was held that
“ evidence o f usage is useful in many cases to explain the intention o f
parties to a contract. But the usage o f no class o f citizens can be sus­
tained in opposition to principles o f law.”
Whatever rule o f usage a practice affecting the rights or interests o f an
individual or a community is sought to be maintained, must, as it has been
shown by reference to high authorities, be conformable to law ; and it is
equally clear that it must be founded in reason and justice, qualities that,
with deference be it said, constitute no part o f the usage that claims o f an
insurer the reimbursement o f the whole amount o f a contribution assessed




Profits o f Marine Insurance.

44 4

upon double the amount o f property which he has insured, and for which
he has been paid the premium upon only a moiety thereof.
It strikes me that this position cannot be subverted ; it is accordant with
the strict rules o f justice, and a common sense view o f the principles upon
which all contracts are founded ; it is a stipulation to pay value received,
an indemnification to the extent o f the undertaking, that if the whole ad­
venture is lost, the insurer will indemnify the insured to the full extent o f
the sum he has insured; or that, in the event o f damage to a part, he will
pay according to the principles o f a partial loss, the proportion that the
sum underwritten by him bears to the value o f the property at the port o f
destination and arrival, and no more.

A rt . V I .— P R O F IT S O F M A R IN E IN S U R A N C E .
A n idea has prevailed, o f late, to some extent, that the profits o f Ma­
rine Insurance have been excessive, and consequently, that the assured
might derive some advantage from the establishment o f Mutual Insurance
Companies, thereby securing to themselves a participation in this imaginary
profit. It is assumed at the same time that the premiums will furnish a
fund sufficient to afford the assured an ample guarantee o f protection
against all losses. The theory o f finance is, that the premiums will be
sufficient to pay the losses, to defray the expense o f transacting the business,
and to give thq insurer a fair remuneration for his risk and trouble. This
theory is as time as theories generally are. Taking a long period o f time,
and a great amount o f insurance founded on many transactions, it is proba­
bly true ; but taking a short period o f time, or a small amount o f insurance,
or a few transactions only, the result may differ widely from that which
the theory supposes. But it is nevertheless generally true, the deviations
from the regular average ratio o f loss will be likely to go as far one way
as the oth er; if at one time the premiums exceed the losses— at another,
the losses will, according to the doctrine o f chances, as far exceed the
premiums. Experience shows that this is a business peculiarly liable to
great variations. Some years are very favorable to the insurer— others
are very unfavorable; hence arises the necessity for a capital large enough
to cover these contingencies. I f a company have no capital, it must be
obvious that whenever the losses exceed the premiums, the object o f some
o f the parties assured— that is, security— will fail to be obtained ; in part,
if the assets be apportioned— wholly, if not apportioned. This, to say the
least, must be an inconvenience. Another inconvenience which may re­
sult, is delay o f settlement. If an apportionment o f assets is to be made,
the assured must be compelled to wait for a final liquidation o f losses and
premiums whenever these disastrous periods o c c u r ; and whenever, and
as often as they shall occur, the whole concern must be wound up, for it
cannot be supposed that a company without a capital, can borrow money
on the contingency that they may earn, in future, profits enough to enable
them to pay the debt, after having incurred losses great enough to absorb
all their premiums. A nd such an institution can have no means o f getting
over such a period without a regular bankruptcy. W hat degree o f proba­
bility there is that the assured will realize any benefit from insuring with




Profits o f Marine Insurance.

445

such an establishment, by participating in the profits, may appear from
the results o f past transactions o f a similar nature.
From an abstract prepared by Captain Charles Pierson for the Boston
insurance companies, it appears that from 1830 to 1839 inclusive, there
was insured by fifteen companies in Boston the sum o f
$344,661,909
V iz. on vessels, on time,
.
.
.
$44,488,263
on vessels, cargoes and freights for spe­
cific voyages,
.
.
.
$300,173,646
----------------- - $344,661,909
That the premiums received on these risks, deducting
return premiums, amounted to .
$6,197,372
I f we deduct from this sum the estimated amount o f
expense o f conducting fifteen offices for nine years,
supposed to be 7 per cent on the amount o f premi­
ums, which is certainly less than the actual amount;
say 7 per cent on $6,197,372
.
$433,816
and 1 per cent for estimated loss o f
premiums, by bad debts, which is a
very moderate allowance considering
that single notes are received, and
that they have on an average about
six months to run,
.
.
.
$6 1,97 4
making
--------------$495,790
there will remain to pay losses the sum o f
5,701,582
But the amount o f losses actually paid on these risks,
was
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
$5,778,288
Showing a clear nett loss o f .

$76,706

There are, it is true, some inconsiderable classes o f risks not compre­
hended in these statements, not having been examined, but it is supposed
that they will not materially vary the result.
The classes o f risks included, embrace nearly the whole foreign, and
the principal branches o f the coasting trade, and comprise the bulk o f the
whole business transacted.
But bad as these results are, they are far better than they would have
been if all the business o f the city had been included, for these fifteen
offices include all o f the most fortunate establishments, and none o f those
which have been most unfortunate. Am ong the latter are five companies
which have been broken up, and three o f these with the loss o f the whole
or nearly the whole o f their capitals.
Although the data given above be less perfect, and founded on the expe­
rience o f a shorter period o f time, and a smaller amount and number o f
transactions than it would be desirable to have for the purpose o f forming
a basis for future contracts, yet the abstract furnishes more perfect and
better data, than is known to exist elsew here; and, i f these results be
taken as a test, it follows very clearly that the rates o f premium during
these nine years were too low, and, that without a rise, the offices must
have been eventually all ruined, unless they had saved themselves by
withdrawing from the business.
T h e fact that some companies made money and w ere enabled to give
large dividends during the time, cannot invalidate this conclusion, for, i f




446

Profits o f Marine Insurance.

the rates o f premium were a third or a quarter less than enough to pay
the losses— still such are the irregularities o f this business that some would
even then make money, and some would lose even if the rates were a
third higher than they should be.
It will probably be asked, if the results have been so disastrous, how
have the companies been able to make the dividends they have made ?
T o this question there is an obvious reply. The capitals o f the com ­
panies in Boston amounted in 1837 to $7,450,000. In 1840 they had
been reduced by losses, and by offices breaking up, to $5,710,000, or
$1,740,000 in three years, and a large portion o f this was actually lost.
These capitals were all paid in cash, and if well invested should have
brought in a revenue o f 6 per cent per annum, at which rate they would
give annually $447,000, while the amount o f stock was $7,450,000, inde­
pendently o f any profits derived from the business o f insurance. This
was undoubtedly the principal source from which their dividends were
derived.
Another source o f profits, however, not dependent on the profits o f insur­
ance, is their investments. T h e investments o f some companies were for­
tunately made in property which has yielded a high rate o f income and
risen in value.
This would serve to increase the dividends o f such companies, and some
few have enhanced their dividends from the profits o f fire insurance.
But it must be borne in mind that while some companies have been
making large dividends, others have been making small ones, or none at
all, and others, still, have been gradually sinking their capital. And, o f
those which have at one time made great dividends, some have subsequently
passed years without being able to make any.
This only shows the fluctuating nature o f the business, and the necessity
o f having an ample capital. N o one can foresee whose turn it may be next
to sink or next to rise. It is peculiarly a business where “ luck and chance
happen to all.”
But farther, this is the result in a series o f years during a period o f pro­
found peace.
Every man who considers this subject must perceive that these compa­
nies must in the course o f events, with the form o f policies in use, be liable
to be caught, by a sudden war, with a class o f risks on hand taken at peace
premiums.
W hat is to be their fate then ? Those companies without capitals must
com e to an immediate pause, and those which have capitals can pay until
their funds are exhausted, and their resources may or may not prove suf­
ficient to meet all their liabilities. T h ey did generally prove to be suffi­
cient in the war o f 1812, but the stockholders suffered, although the assured
did not. N ow , because insurers are liable to suffer, by the contingency
o f war, on risks taken at peace premiums, they ought in time o f peace to
have, over and above the ordinary rate o f profit, an accumulating fund to
indemnify them for this peril, and to enable them to meet the event when
it com es, or to be exempt from this risk.
These institutions are created that they may stand between the mer­
chant and ruin— that they may protect him against certain o f the perils
to which his hazardous occupation necessarily exposes him, thus tending
to establish mercantile credit at home and abroad; and they ought to be
so constituted as to answer the purpose for which they are designed.




Profits o f Marine Insurance.

447

But, if they have no capital, how can they give this protection, or if the
capital be very small, or i f the rates o f premium be insufficient, how can
the wants o f the community be satisfied.
On the solvency and stability o f these institutions depends, in no incon­
siderable degree, the safety o f the paper received by merchants o f each
other in payment for the merchandise they sell, and o f the business paper
discounted by the banks. Once weaken or destroy the solidity o f your
Insurance Companies, and the value o f all mercantile paper is materially
deteriorated. Suppose that when the great conflagration took place in
N ew Y ork, in 1835, the sufferers had been insured by mutual insurance
companies without capital, instead o f those which then existed, how many
more insolvencies would have taken place ? H ow many more bad debts
must have fallen on the merchants and the banks 1
W ith the present conditions o f our policies, it is possible all our compa­
nies might prove insolvent in the event o f a sudden war with a powerful
maritime nation. F orm erly the policies excluded the risk o f enemies in
case a war or hostilities should take place during the voyage. And in
France and some other countries o f Europe, the policies o f the present day
provide that in the event o f war, the assured shall pay a reasonable addi­
tional premium, to be fixed and determined by the Chamber o f Com merce,
or in accordance with the provisions o f the code o f com m erce. And this
seems to be the most rational system, since it makes both parties secure.
I f war comes, the insurer will be enabled to pay his losses, for he will in
such case receive a war premium, and the merchant will be enabled to
pay a war premium, as his goods will rise to war prices and give him a
profit accordingly. It is much to be desired, therefore, that such a form o f
policies should be adopted as would give this benefit to both parties. In­
deed it seems to be plain, that if a capital is necessary for one company, it
is as necessary for every company. I f not necessary for the protection
o f the assured, or if the premiums be sufficient, without a.ny other capital, for
any one, they are as sufficient for every other. And as soon as the fact
shall be established that a capital is not needed, all those companies which
have capitals should distribute their funds among their stockholders and
insure without a capital ; thus making a complete revolution in this
department o f the machinery o f com m erce. But if a capital be useful and
requisite to the safety o f the assured and the rest o f the community— i f its
tendency be salutary, and its effect to sustain and promote public credit—
then it is for the interest o f the community to patronise and sustain the
best and strongest institutions— those which have the largest capitals—
and to pay them fair remunerating premiums ; such as will enable them to
meet all their losses fairly and promptly ; such, moreover, as will encour­
age capitalists to invest a portion o f their wealth in these highly useful and
necessary institutions.
M E T H O D O F D O IN G B U SIN E SS.

Endeavor to possess, at all times, a critical knowledge o f your real cir­
cumstances.— F or this purpose, exact order and regularity in business are
highly necessary. H e who does business without method or system, acts
in the dark, not knowing where to place his steps. H e soon finds him­
self embarrassed, and there are many chances against him to one in his
favor.— Hints to Tradesmen.




44 8

Laics relative lo Debtor and Creditor.

A rt . V II— L A W S R E L A T I V E T O D E B T O R A N D C R E D IT O R .
NUMBER IX .

O F P E N N S Y L V A N IA .

T he present article proposes to give an outline, in popular language, o f
the manner in which debts are collected in the city and county o f Phila­
delphia, in the District C ou rt; and to afford to business men the necessary
information, by which they may promptly avail themselves o f the powers
o f the court, and prevent the mischief which so often results from a want
o f knowledge, as to what ought to be done in the first instance, by persons
sending claims from a distance. It will contain also a brief sketch o f the
difficulties and delays which attend the collection-of debts, together with a
summary o f the insolvent laws, and their effect upon the liability o f debtors.
The District Court is a state court, and has original jurisdiction in all
cases within the city and county o f Philadelphia, in which the amount in
controversy reaches or exceeds one hundred dollars. Sums o f a less
amount are sued before aldermen, from whom an appeal lies to the Com­
mon Pleas. W e have not thought it necessary to introduce the practice
in those cases here, although much that is to be found in the following
pages is alike applicable to either. This court has a machinery peculiar
to itself, by which facilities are given to the transaction o f business, not to be
found in the other courts o f the commonwealth, or perhaps in those o f any
other state in the Union. Pennsylvania has been peculiarly happy in her
legislation upon this subject. She has made collecting and securing
money, in cases where the debtor is solvent and has no defence, as speedy
as was consistent with justice. She will not allow the possibility o f the
law ’s delay intervening between a fair claimant and his security, unless the
defendant will make positive affidavit o f a defence to the action. This
affidavit is in the first instance taken as true, and must contain such a
statement o f the case as will enable the court to determine whether it
ought to go to a jury. Mortgages and ground-rent deeds, which in some
o f the neighboring states cannot be collected under twelve months, may be
sued out in Pennsylvania in two, or when the mortgager or granfee is
absent, in three months, by having a return o f two “ nihils,” as it is called.
That is, the sheriff’s return to two successive writs that the defendant “ has
nothing,” is considered equivalent to service. And judgment is obtained
for want o f an affidavit o f defence in the manner hereinafter explained.
F or the sake o f convenience, the subject will be divided in the following
m ann er:
1st. T h e case o f judgments obtained in other states, where certified
copies o f the record are sent to Pennsylvania for the purpose o f being there
enforced.
2d. The case o f promissory notes, bills o f exchange, book accounts, and
instruments o f writing for the payment o f money, to which there is no defence.
3d. A ll cases whatsoever in which the liability is contested.
4th. Cases o f foreign attachment, and o f the extent to which strangers
may avail themselves o f that method o f securing their debts.
1st. W h ere certified copies o f judgments obtained in other states are
sent to Pennsylvania for collection, it is necessary that the act o f congress,




Laws relative to Debtor and Creditor.

449

A . D. 1790, ch. 38, should be strictly complied w ith ; that is to say, they
must have the attestation o f the clerk and the seal o f the court annexed,
i f there be a seal, together with a certificate o f the judge, ch ief justice, or
presiding magistrate, as the case may be, that the said attestation is in
due form. Without this the opposite party may deny the existence o f the
judgment, or effectually prevent its being given in evidence, as it is oply
when thus attested, that congress have declared, that they shall have such
faith and credit given them in every court within the United States, as
they have by law or usage in the courts o f the state from whence the said
records are or shall be taken. If it is desired to hold the debtor to bail, it
is necessary that the claim should be accompanied by a positive affidavit
that the debt is still subsisting and unpaid. The affidavit should set forth
the court in which the judgment was obtained and its date, together with
the averment that it is still unsatisfied. I f this be not done, the defendant
will be discharged without giving special bail. It not unfrequently hap­
pens that through ignorance o f this most necessary precaution the favora­
ble moment for securing a debt is lost, and the debtor escapes. This affi­
davit will not be taken as proof o f the debt. It is absolutely necessary to
hold the debtor to bail, but having accomplished this purpose, it is o f no
farther service, and the claim upon the trial must stand or fall by disin­
terested testimony. I f these preliminaries are attended to, the case may
he placed upon the trial list in two months at farthest, after which, i f it be
a case o f the ordinary kind, it may at all events be brought to a close in
three months, by the parties certifying it upon the undefended list. But
if the opposite party certify that they have a defence, it must be returned
to the general trial list and wait its fate. There it may not be reached
for a year or two, although under the present arrangement o f the court,
and from the untiring assiduity o f the judges in prosecuting its business, a
case can scarcely be delayed so long unless it be continued at the instance
o f the plaintiff.
2d. The head o f promissory notes and bills o f exchange, and merchants’
accounts generally, and claims upon instruments o f writing for the pay­
ment o f money, such as mortgages, ground-rent deeds, & c., to which
there is no defence, embraces a more extensive class o f claims. Actions in
this, as in the other courts o f the commonwealth, are com m enced either by
summons or capias. W here there is no apprehension that the debtor will
abscond, it is seldom advisable to take him on a capias, as the bail to the
sheriff under the acts o f assembly is special bail, and protects the defendant
from execution until thirty days have elapsed from the rendition o f judg­
ment, during which time he may make an assignment or give bail for stay o f
execution at his option. On the contrary, when the action is commenced
by summons, execution may issue at any time after four days from the
judgment or verdict, as the case may be, unless there be a writ o f error, or
a motion for a new trial within that period. If issued within thirty days,
however, it may be set aside by entering security for stay o f execution,
which is often a means o f securing the debt.
B y an act o f the legislature, the first Monday in every month is made a
return day for process in the District Court for the city and county o f
Philadelphia; and by the same act it is declared, that in all actions insti­
tuted in that court on bills, notes, bonds, or other instruments o f writing
for the payment o f money, and for the recovery o f book debts, it shall be
lawful for the plaintiff on or at any time after the third Saturday succeedvol.

iv.— no. v.




57

45 0

Laws relative to Debtor and Creditor.

ing the several return days therein designated, on motion, to enter judg­
ment by default, notwithstanding an appearance by attorney, unless the
defendant shall have previously filed an affidavit o f defence, stating therein
the nature and character o f the same. Provided that in all such cases no
judgment shall be entered, unless the plaintiff shall, within two weeks
after the return o f the original process, file in the office o f the prothonotary
o f the court, a copy o f the instrument o f writing, book entries, record, or
claim, on which action is brought. It will thus appear how greatly parties
at a distance may facilitate the despatch o f their business, by a knowledge
o f this act, and an attention to its provisions. T h ey should on all occa ­
sions, in the first instance, transmit to their attorney their own names in
f ul l ; or if it be a firm, the name o f each individual member o f the firm in
full, accompanied by the notes or bills o f exchange which have been dis­
honored, or bonds which have been forfeited; or if their claim arises from
any instrument o f writing, such, for instance, as a ground-rent deed, a
cop y o f the d e e d ; and if the party claims as devisee, he should be sure to
transmit a copy o f the will by which his title is deduced, together with any
other instruments which may form a connecting link in the chain o f title.
I f the demand arise from a merchant’s account, let him be careful to send
an accurate copy o f his book o f original entries, item by item, just as they
occur. I f the debtor is a bird o f passage, and it is desirable to arrest him
(or take him on a capias) for the purpose o f obtaining bail, a full and com ­
prehensive affidavit o f the present existence o f the debt, made before a
commissioner o f Pennsylvania, and attested by his seal; or if there be no
commissioner appointed by the state, before some public officer, as the
mayor or chief magistrate o f a town or city, should be forwarded imme­
diately to the attorney who is employed to prosecute the claim. The
affidavit should always conclude with the averment that “ the debt has not
been paid, but that the same is still due and unpaid.” I f this be neglected,
the party will be discharged, as it is technically expressed, on common
bail, or, in other words, without bail at all, and the trouble and expense o f
the arrest are thus thrown away. Having gone through these prelimina­
ries, and thus brought the parties into court, the copy o f the instrument o f
writing, & c ., must be filed within two weeks o f the return day, and i f an
affidavit o f defence is not filed, judgment is obtained o f course on the third
Saturday succeeding the first Monday o f the month after which suit is
brought. I f an affidavit be filled which, in the opinion o f the plaintiff’ s
counsel, presents an insufficient answer to the demand, he may neverthe­
less obtain judgment, if the court coincide with him in opinion, by means
o f a rule upon the defendant to appear, usually on the succeeding Saturday,
and show cause why judgment should not be entered for want o f a suffi­
cient affidavit o f defence. The affidavit is submitted to a thorough sifting,
and if found wanting in the necessary precision and directness, will not
protect the parly making it from judgment.
W hen judgment is at length obtained, there still remain a variety o f
obstacles to prevent the realising o f the money, for which suit has been
brought.
The party has thirty days from the rendition o f judgment,
within which to enter bail for stay o f execution. I f during that period he
shall give security, to be approved by the court, or by a judge thereof,
for the sum recovered, together with interest and costs, he shall be entitled,
if the amount or sum shall not exceed two hundred dollars, to stay o f exe­
cution for six months ; if such amount shall exceed two hundred dollars




Laws relative to Debtor and Creditor.

451

and be less than five hundred dollars, nine m onths; and if such amount
shall exceed five hundred dollars, twelve months. The plaintiff has always
an opportunity to cross-examine the security offered, in the presence o f
the court, and to elicit from him, under the obligation o f an oath, the situa­
tion o f his affairs ; yet, i f he justifies to the satisfaction o f the court, the
plaintiff is bound to acquiesce.
T h e stay%r these cases, it will be well
to recollect, counts from the return day o f the original writ. If the money
be not paid at the expiration o f the stay o f execution, suit may be com ­
m enced at once against the surety. I f the defendant does not give bail
for stay o f execution, but suffers the time to elapse, at the end o f thirty
days execution may be taken out immediately. It is usual to issue, at the
same time, a fieri facias, or writ to take the p roperty; and a capias ad
satisfaciendum, or writ to take the person in default o f property. Judg­
ments are liens in Pennsylvania, from the time o f their rendition, on the
real estate o f the defendant for the space o f five years, and must be re­
ceived eveiy five years thereafter. Distribution o f any fund arising at
sheriff’s sale from that species o f property, is never made until after a
thorough examination o f the records, when judgments take according to
their age. On the personal property o f the defendant the lien does not
begin until the writ o f execution has actually been placed in the hands o f
the sheriff, whose duty it is made, by act o f assembly, to note, without fee
or reward for so doing, upon the back o f every writ o f fieri facias brought
into his office, the day and hour that the same was so brought in ; and from
that moment it is a lien upon the personal estate o f the defendant. If he
refuses to discover his property, the sheriff may then arrest him upon the
capias ad satisfaciendum, when he has his option o f three things : either
to pay the money, go to jail, or take the benefit o f the insolvent laws ;
if he prefers going to jail, he may at any time be released by complying
with the requisitions o f the act relative to insolvent debtors, or by a neg­
lect on the part o f the plaintiff to com ply with the requirements o f the
bread act, which call upon the plaintiff to pay on every Monday morning,
at the rate o f 18£ cents a-day, for the support o f the prisoner during the
ensuing w eek. I f he prefer to avail himself o f the provisions o f the act
relative to insolvent debtors, he must com ply strictly with its enactments.
Jurisdiction is given in these cases to the Courts o f Common Pleas. The
act provides that in the case o f any person arrested or detained by virtue
o f any process issued in any civil suit or proceeding, for the recovery o f
money or damages, or for the non-performance o f any decree or sentence
for the payment o f money without collusion with the plaintiff, the Court,
o f Common Pleas o f the county in which such debtor shall be arrested or
detained, shall have power to grant relief, in the case o f a person held on
a bail piece issued in any such suit or proceeding, and the Court o f Com­
mon Pleas o f the county in which such debtor shall reside, may exercise
such power even though he be not arrested. But no debtor is entitled to
relief under this act, unless he has resided within the commonwealth for
six months immediately preceding his application to the court, or shall
have been confined in jail for three months im mediate^ preceding such
application. The defendant is discharged on giving bonds, usually for
double the amount o f the debt, conditioned that the debtor shall appear at
the next term o f the Court o f Common Pleas o f the county, and then and
there present his petition for the benefit o f the insolvent laws, and com ply
with all the requisitions o f the law, and abide all the orders o f the court




45 2

Laics relative to Debtor and Creditor.

in that beh a lf; or in default thereof, and i f he fail in obtaining his dis­
charge as an insolvent debtor, that he shall surrender himself to the jail
o f the county. The applicant is required to give a particular account,
under oath, o f the names o f his creditors, and the amounts due to each, as
well as o f his debtors, and o f the amounts due from each ; together with
a statement o f the causes of# iis insolvency and o f the extent o f his losses.
Having embezzled or applied to his own use any trust funds, having con ­
cealed any part o f his estate or effects, or having colluded with any per­
son for such concealment, or having caused his insolvency by losses at
play, or in the purchase o f lottery tickets, will prevent his discharge under
the law ; yet it is very difficult to bring these provisions so to bear, as ef­
fectually to prevent his passage.
T h e effect o f the discharge is m erely
to free his person from liability to arrest, for any debts contracted previous
to the discharge. The debts still remain, the lien o f judgment is not dis­
turbed, and execution may at any time be had against any after acquired
property o f the insolvent, unless he can obtain the signatures o f a majority
in number and value o f his creditors, to an agreement that his estate and
effects shall be unmolested for seven years ; in which case the court will
grant an order, confirming a petition framed on such an agreement. The
effect o f the assignment is to put all creditors, except those having specific
liens, upon an equality, and they are entitled to a pro rata distribution o f
the assets.
The Statute o f Limitations, in Pennsylvania, bars actions upon promis­
sory notes and bills o f exchange, as well as all other actions on the case,
in six y e a r s ; except accounts between merchants, which are expressly
excepted from the operation o f the act. In all other cases o f mutual ac­
counts, i f there be mutual debits and credits within six years, it will take
the case out o f the statute, as will also a subsequent promise to pay the
debt. Bonds are presumed to have been paid in twenty years, if suit has
not been brought or interest paid within that period.
3d. W hich brings us to our third head, viz. o f all those cases in which
there is a dispute as to the liability. The proceedings are the same as
those above detailed, until we reach the point at which a sufficient affidavit
o f defence is filed. The effect o f this affidavit is to prevent a summary
judgment for the plaintiff, and to cause the case to go regularly on for
trial. A short time is sufficient to bring a case upon the list, but various
circumstances may postpone the trial for months, and even years. The
cases for each period are distributed according to their age, a certain
number being allotted to each day. I f it should so happen that the first
case upon the list for the day is ready for trial when called, and it be a
complicated one, it may consume two or three days, and in that event not
only the other cases for the same day, but the entire lists for the interven­
ing days are passed over, and the next case tried will be that which heads
the list on the day that the court is ready to pass to a new cause. The re­
sult is, that a cause o f recent date may be passed over repeatedly, until
its age entitles it to an advanced place upon the list.
After verdict, the
defendant has the full benefit o f the insolvent laws, as we have already
depicted them, and to stay o f execution, which last, however, will not be
o f any service to him if his case is more than a year old, as the stay is
always reckoned from the date o f the commencement o f the suit.
4th. O f the rem edy by foreign attachment. Foreign attachment in
Pennsylvania is not to be viewed in the light o f an execution. It is merely




Laws relative to Debtor and Creditor.

453

a means to compel an appearance, a method by which the defendant, who
is always a non-resident o f the state, is compelled to bring himself within
the jurisdiction o f the court, by giving good bail to abide the event o f the
suit, or abandon the property attached to the claimant. The writ o f
foreign attachment may be issued against the real and personal estate o f
any person not residing within the commonwealth, and not being within
the county in which such writ was issued at the time o f issuing thereof.
The sheriff always requires indemnity before executing this writ. W h en
the property is susceptible o f manual occupation, he takes possession, and
holds it until the attachment is dissolved, or execution granted. If the
attachment is o f perishable articles, they may be sold by order o f court,
and the proceeds paid into' court to abide the issue. The attachment may
be dissolved either by the defendant or the garnishee entering special bail
to the action. I f this be not done, the plaintiff will be entitled to judgment
at the third term, (usually about nine months.) After which he proceeds
against the garnishee to show cause why execution should not issue against
the estate and effects in his possession. H e may also at this stage o f the
proceedings exhibit to the garnishee all such interrogatories in writing
touching the estate and effects o f the defendant in his possession, as he
may deem fit, and an order will be granted by the court upon the garnishee
to appear at a certain day, and file in writing his answers to the interroga­
tories. I f the garnishee neglect to obey this rule, he shall be taken to
have in his possession goods and effects o f the defendant liable to such
writ o f attachment to an amount sufficient to satisfy the claim o f the
plaintiff, together with the legal costs o f suit, and execution may be had
against him as o f his own proper debt. If, however, he answer, and an
issue be taken, and a trial had upon the scire facias, the jury shall find
what goods or effects, if any, were in the hands o f the garnishee at the
time the attachment was executed, and the value thereof. After a verdict
for the plaintiff on the scire facias, he may have execution o f his judgment
in the attachment against the goods and effects o f the defendant, in the
hands o f the garnishee. In case the garnishee shall refuse to give the
officers the necessary facilities for obtaining execution against the effects
so found to be in his hands, the plaintiff may at the same time have execu­
tion under the scire facias to be levied o f the proper effects o f the garnishee.
Before execution issues, the plaintiff is required to give security that if the
defendant within a year and a day will appear and disprove or avoid the
debt recovered against him, or shall discharge the same with costs, then
the plaintiff will restore to the defendant the goods or effects, or the value
thereof, attached and condemned as aforesaid, or so much as shall be dis­
proved or discharged, or in case o f failure, that the security will do it
for him.

M E R C A N T IL E M A N N E R S .

A merchant ought to acquire and maintain an easiness o f manner, a suavi­
ty o f address, and a gentlemanly deportment; without which the finest
talents and the most valuable mental acquirements are often incapable o f
realizing the brilliant expectations which they induce their possessor to
form. Strict probity and good faith are the basis o f mercantile character.

— Hints to Tradesmen.




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454

MERCANTILE LAW DEPARTMENT.
TRUSTEE LAW — PROMISSORY NOTE— ASSIGNMENT— -PRINCIPAL AND AGENT—
SALVAGE CASE— POWER OF ATTORNEY— SALVAGE SERVICE— PROMISSORY NOTE
ENDORSEMENTS.
RECENT DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT IN MASSACHUSETTS.*
TRUSTEE LAW .

Meachum vs. Corbett et al. and John K. Simpson, Trustee.— The question in
this case arose upon the answer of the alleged trustee, by which it appeared
that the Neptune Insurance Company had insured the furniture of the Corbetts,
payable, in case of loss, to Simpson, to whom they owed about nine hundred
dollars. The furniture was consumed by fire, and about six hours afterwards the
process in this case was served upon the trustee. At that time the office had not
decided to pay the loss, nor its amount; but the question was left to referees, who
subsequently decided for the insured, and fixed the amount at $2,400. It was
paid to Simpson, who deducted the amount of his own debt, and paid over the
balance to one Kidder, pursuant to an order from the Corbetts. The question
was, whether, under these circumstances, Simpson could be charged as the
trustee of the defendants. The court held that he could not; and this, not be­
cause the amount of the loss had not been ascertained, but because he had not,
at the time of the service of the process, “ any goods, effects, or credits of the
principal defendants in his hands or possession.” He was a mere assignee of
the right to receive the amount of any loss in trust for the use of the defend­
ants, after deducting the amount of his debt. This debt might be cancelled, or
the assignment revoked, or the office might fail, or other contingencies arise, to
prevent Simpson from ever becoming the debtor or trustee of 'the defendants.
Not until the receipt of the funds could he become their debtor, and liable to be
charged as their trustee. Had the process been served after payment of the
loss to Simpson, and before he had paid it over, or accepted any order to pay it
over, he would have been chargeable— but not upon the existing state of facts.
The court therefore held that the trustee must be discharged.
PROMISSORY NOTE----ASSIGNMENT.

William Whitney vs. E. K. Whitaker et al.— This was an action on a promis­
sory note, signed by the defendants. The defence was that it had been merged
by a covenant under seal, and that therefore suit could not be maintained upon
the note, but must be brought upon the covenant. It appeared that the defend­
ants failed May 7, 1834, and transferred their property by an indenture of that
date, to assignees for the benefit of their creditors. This instrument was exe­
cuted by the plaintiff, and contained a clause by which the creditors executing
it, released the debtors entirely from their claims. On the 10th of July, 1834,
the defendants executed another instrument, by which they covenanted that
the creditors executing their assignment, should receive fifty per cent of their
respective demands in eighteen months ; otherwise the release contained in the
assignment should be void. The fifty per cent was not paid within the time—
and the plaintiff contended, upon these facts, that the release of the note was
conditional only, and as the condition was not fulfilled, they stood precisely as
if no assignment had ever been made. The defendants contended that by exe­
cuting the assignment the plaintiff had released the note absolutely, and it had
become extinct, and could not be revived by any subsequent instrument.
The court held that the two instruments must be construed with reference
to each other, precisely as if they had been simultaneous— that the release was
conditional merely— and the condition not having been fulfilled, was void, and
the action on the note could be maintained, and judgment must be for the
plaintiff.
* Reported for the Merchants’ Magazine, by A. C. Spooner, Esq., Counsellor at Law,
Boston, Massachusetts.




.

Mercantile Law Department.

455

PRINCIPAL AND AGENT.

Emmons Raymond vs. Crown and Eagle Mills.— This was an action to re­
cover the price of certain goods, sold and delivered and charged to Robert
Rogerson. The plaintiff claimed to recover of the defendants, on the ground
that Rogerson was acting as their agent in the purchase of the goods in ques­
tion. The court said that the authorities are uniform that in case of a sale of
goods to an agent, if the principal is afterwards disclosed, recourse may be had
to him ;— but not if the vender knows at the time that the purchaser is an
agent, and elects to give credit to him instead of his principal. The defendants
in this case have argued, that if the plaintiff might have knoicn, at the time of
the sale, who the principal really was, and nevertheless charged to Rogerson,
this amounted to an election, and they ought thereby to be precluded from hav­
ing recourse to any but him. But the court think that such a rule would be
very embarrassing and difficult of application.
The vender must have actual
knowledge who the principal really is, and must thereupon elect to trust the
agent, or he will not be cut off from his remedy against the principal.
On the trial of this cause, Rogerson was a witness, and testified that he told
the plaintiff the goods were for the Crown and Eagle Mills, and wanted them
so marked ; and the defendants contended that the plaintiff’s charging them to
Rogerson, after such information, was conclusive evidence that he meant to look
to Rogerson alone. But the judge instructed the jury that this evidence was
not conclusive of an election, but might be explained. The plaintiff might
have understood what was said about the Crown and Eagle Mills, as merely
relating to the place where the goods were to be sent. The jury were to judge
whether charging Rogerson, under the circumstances, was a waiver of plain­
tiff’s claim on the defendants, or otherwise. The jury found for the plaintiff.
And the court think the instruction of the judge correct, and will not disturb
the verdict.
RECENT DECISIONS IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS.
SALVAGE CASE.

In the District Court of the United Stales, March 2d, 1841, holien at Boston.—
Charles Dexter and others v. Bark Richmond and Cargo.— This was a case
in which the libellants, pilots of Martha’s Vineyard, claimed salvage of the
owners of the bark Richmond, belonging to Providence, R. I., for services ren­
dered in getting the bark into Holmes’ Hole, on the 27th Nov. last, she being
42 days from New Orleans, bound for Boston.
It was in evidence, that the value of the bark, with her cargo, consisting of
cotton and lead, was rising $50,000.
On the 19th of Nov., in a violent gale,
as appeared by her log, her rudder was lost, and a temporary steering apparatus
was arranged to supply its place. The evidence of the libellants tended to
show, that the vessel being, as they maintained, then without a rudder and
otherwise crippled, and short of provisions, was spoken and boarded by the
libellants off Block Island, with two signals of distress flying. That on the
morning of the 27th Nov. they put a pilot aboard and stood by her, at the re­
quest of the master, all day, and towed her some hours ; and that, without the
assistance rendered by them and their boat, the bark could not have reached a
harbor that evening.
The claimants maintained, that the whole statement of the pilots was greatly
exaggerated, and offered evidence tending to show the bark to have been in no
danger on that day from wind and sea ; that she was not out of provisions, and
could have made Holmes’ Hole on that day without other assistance than that
of a pilot;— and they contended that the libellants had not gone beyond the
ordinary line of their duty as pilots, and could not at law recover a salvage
compensation.
Judge Davis, after consideration and consulting the authorities cited on both
sides, intimated his opinion, that the libellants in this case, as pilots, could not
recover a salvage compensation. The libellants then moved for leave to amend
their libel, and file a supplemental bill for extra compensation as pilots, to which
the claimants objected.




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Mercantile Law Department.

At a subsequent day amendment was allowed, and a farther hearing had, and
evidence introduced to show the fair value of such services, and how they are
usually compensated. The claimants proved the payment of $128— being $40
for pilotage into Holmes’ Hole ; $28 for keeper’s fees 14 days there, and $60
for pilotage thence to Boston. A large portion of which, they contended, was
for extra pilotage services, and also a tender of $150 in addition ; and thought
this was all they should be called upon to pay. The libellants contended, that
a liberal allowance should be made for services attended with danger, and
brought some evidence tending to show that $500 or $600 would be a fair
compensation.
Judge Davis, in delivering his opinion, said there were three kinds of cases
of this nature— one purely salvage, where property had been saved from immi­
nent peril— one purely pilotage— one between the two, where extra services
beyond pilotage had been rendered, and had become entitled to extra compen­
sation. The present case was one of the latter class. The bark was here in
no imminent peril. Her crew was full. There was no distress other than the
loss of her rudder, which she had been without for ten days previous to the as­
sistance rendered. The only pretence of danger was the possibility of a change
of wind, which might prevent her weathering Gay Head. It was undoubtedly
expedient to keep the pilot boat in attendance under the circumstances ; but
the services thus rendered constituted no claim for salvage, but are to be com­
pensated for as extra pilotage. The libellants did no more than, as pilots, they
should have done.
It appeared that, in addition to one hundred and twenty-eight dollars pilotage
paid by the respondents, which the learned judge considered a very liberal pay­
ment upon their part, a tender of $150 had been made. Allowing that each of
the libellants had met with the best possible success on the 27th November,
the extent of their earnings would not have exceeded $40. The tender of $150
would give to each of them $90 a piece, which exceeded in amount the monthly
pay of the whole ship’s crew. This sum was ample, and more than the libel­
lants should expect to receive under the circumstances. Their mistake had
been from the outset in expecting a salvage compensation, which had led them
to exaggerate and inflame the amount of their claim. It was well in all cases
to allow a liberal compensation, and though in his opinion the amount here
paid and tendered had been very liberal, yet, considering the expense here
incurred, and the policy of encouraging the rendering of similar services by
persons in the situation of the libellants hereafter, he should give them the
amount tendered of $150, and one half of their costs.
POWER OP ATTORNEY.

In the United Slates Circuit Court, at the November term, 1840.— Wm. Butcher
and Samuel Butcher vs. David I. Tysen.— This cause came up for argument
on questions reserved on the trial. The plaintiffs were the holders of a note
drawn by George W . Tysen & Co. for $1,137 61, which was made payable to
the defendant, David I. Tysen, and endorsed— “ David I. Tysen, per G. W .
Tysen, Att’y.” The suit was brought against the defendant as the endorser of
this note. On the trial the plaintiffs proved and gave in evidence a power of
attorney from the defendant, David I. Tysen, duly executed by him to George
W . Tysen.
The power was in the usual form for the transaction of business,
for the collection of money, &c. It also contained a power, or clause, in these
words, “ Also to draw and endorse checks, notes, and bills of exchange, in my
name,” &c. The endorsement in question was proved to be in the hand­
writing of George W . Tysen, the attorney, and to have been delivered by him
to the agent of the plaintiffs.
On the cross-examination of the plaintiffs’ witnesses, it appeared that the
note was given in part payment for a bill of exchange that had been loaned to
the firm of George W . Tysen & Co., by the plaintiffs, for the accommodation
of that firm— that George W . Tysen, the attorney named in the power, was
one of the firm of George W . Tysen & Co., and was the person who handed




Mercantile Law Department.

45 7

the note aforesaid, to the agent of the plaintiffs. That George W . Tysen had
at first given the agent other notes for the bill, and had afterwards substituted
the note in question, among others, in lieu of the notes first given. Although
some objection was raised, as to the notification of the defendant as endorser
of the note, the defendant’s counsel rested their defence principally on the
ground, that the power conferred no authority on the attorney to endorse this
note— and they contended, that the endorsement of the defendant’s name upon
the note, being made by the attorney on a note not belonging to the defendant,
or in which the defendant was interested, but on a note made by the firm of
George W . Tysen & Co., of which firm the attorney was a member— and the
endorsement being made by the attorney for the benefit of that firm, and not
for the benefit of the defendant, or in relation to his business— it was not made
in the due execution of the power delegated to the attorney, but was unau­
thorized and void. That from the nature of the transaction the plaintiffs were
fully apprised that the endorsement was not authorized by the power ; and
they contended also that there was no consideration which could render the
defendant liable under the money counts.
The plaintiffs’ counsel, on the other side, insisted that the power of attorney
authorized the endorsement of the note.
But the court, after observing that several questions of law were raised upon
the case, declared that they considered the controlling point to rest in the con­
struction of the power of attorney :— and they decided that'the true construc­
tion of the power, confined the authority of the attorney to the transaction of
the defendant’s business only ; and did not authorize the attorney, George W .
Tysen, to endorse promissory notes, or bills of exchange, in the name of the
defendant, for the satisfaction of the individual debts of the attorney, or of the
firm of which he was a member, or for his or their benefit— and they gave
judgment for the defendant.
RECENT DECISIONS IN ENGLISH COURTS.
SALVAGE SERVICE.

In the Admiralty Court o f England, Jan. 29, 1841.— This was a claim for
remuneration for salvage services alleged to have been rendered to the Harriot,
a South sea whaler, by the master and some of the crew of the Folkstone,
another whaler, at the port of Honolulu, in the island of Oahu, one of the Sand­
wich islands, in November last. It appeared that the Harriot, in attempting to
enter the harbor, incurred the hazard of running upon a coral reef, when, upon
sending for assistance, a boat came from the Folkstone, then in the harbor,
and the Harriot was safely anchored ; for which service Captain Bliss and the
men with him claimed to be rewarded, alleging that the vessel was in a danger­
ous situation, and that the following night was windy. On the part of the
owner of the Harriot it was set up, in bar to this claim, that it was the custom,
in the harbor of Honolulu, for the harbormaster to direct the boats of vessels
within it to go to the assistance of vessels attempting to enter; and, farther,
that it had been the universal practice, for a long series of years, among whalers
of all nations, to render mutual service to each other without making any claim
for reward. The court wished the question of the custom to be first argued
and disposed of. Dr. Phillimore, for Mr. Somes, the owner of the Harriot, relied
upon the affidavits of the most respectable merchants, shipowners, and others,
(including masters of whaling vessels,) who directly deposed to the existence
of the latter custom, and to their ignorance of any case in which salvage re­
muneration had been claimed by one whaler for services rendered to another.
Dr. Harding, on the same side, adduced various cases in which particular
customs had prevailed in the teeth of a general principle of law. The Queen’s
Advocate and Dr. Addams, for the salvors, contended that a custom to prevail
against so important a principle of th e/us gentium as the law of salvage, called
by Lord Stowell the ju s lequidissimum, must be not only reasonable, and of
public utility, but .compulsory, and be proved by witnesses who have had actual
and frequent experience of the custom. Dr. Lushington directed that before he
V O L . I V .—

no.

v.




58

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Mercantile Law Department.

gave sentence, next court day, some explanation should be afforded (supported
by affidavit) of the meaning of the term “ nett proceeds,” in the articles of
agreement with the crew ; whether any other deductions were made from the
gross proceeds besides 10 per cent, in order to ascertain whether, and to what
extent, the men were interested in the preservation of the property.
On the next court day, Dr. Lushington gave sentence in this case. It was a
claim by the master and crew of the Folkstone for compensation for salvage
servic'es rendered to the Harriot at one of the islands of the South sea, both
vessels being South sea whalers. The defence set up as a bar to the claim,
that, according to a custom recognised for a long period of time by whalers o f
all nations, services of this nature were rendered by one vessel to another
without any claim being made for salvage, on a principle of mutuality and
reciprocity. The question, the learned judge observed, resolved itself into
two— a question of law, and a question of fact. The former was a question of
very great importance to the commercial maritime of Great Britain. There
was no doubt that a mercantile custom, if consistent with reason, and supported
by usage, would be recognised and enforced by law. Where persons, as in the
whaling service, had a proportionate share in the result of the voyage, they un­
doubtedly had a common interest, and were to a certain extent co-partners. In
order to show that salvage would be a burden falling upon the crew of a whaler,
a question had arisen as to how the “ nett proceeds” were ascertained. This
point had been unexplained ; but although there was no express condition that
salvage was to be deducted from the gross proceeds of the oil, &c., yet if the
whole of the profits of the voyage had been swallowed up by a salvage compen­
sation, it could not be supposed or contended that the crew were to receive
their full share, as if no such deduction had been made. Therefore, to this
extent the mariners were interested, that as little salvage as possible should be
paid on the cargo. Upon the whole, with respect to the point of law, he con­
sidered the custom as a reasonable and proper custom, and as one beneficial to
all parties, because this trade was of a peculiar character, which took it out of
the rules which applied to salvage in ordinary trades. W ith respect to the
question of fact, as to the existence of the custom, the evidence, being on affi­
davit only, was so unsatisfactory on either side, that he felt the greatest possible
difficulty to decide it, and he should, therefore, under the authority of the late
act, 3d and 4th Victoria, c. 65, sec. 11, direct an issue to be tried by a jury to
this effect:— “ Whether, when vessels were engaged in the South sea trade,
and a salvage service should be rendered by one to another, a custom prevailed
that such service should be rendered gratuitously.” This mode of deciding the
point would let in evidence regularly given, and open to cross-examination.
PROMISSORY NOTE ENDORSEMENTS.

A n action was recently brought, in the English Court of Exchequer, (Cope

v. Gameson,) by the plaintiff, as the public officer of the South Staffordshire
Banking Company, to recover the amount of a promissory note (for £ 5 0 ) from
the defendant, as the endorser thereof. In answer to this, the defendant pleaded
that he had had no notice of the non-payment by the maker; and secondly, that
the note in question had been given by the maker thereof, his father, to Mr.
Finch, the late member for Walsall, to secure corrupt and illegal agreement for
his vote in favor of that gentleman at the election for that borough, in 1838.
Mr. Humphrey, for the defendant, said, it was well known that these notes were
given under a compact, that if the vote was give for Mr. Finch, the note so
given would not be enforced, and so the voter would keep his £50. Nor would
this note have been enforced if Mr. Finch, and Mr. Wood, his agent, had not
gone off, leaving it to his credit with the bank after it had become due. At all
events, the learned gentleman submitted, that the defendant, as endorser, had
not received a proper notice, in other words, had he admitted that fact! The
only witness called for the plaintiff to prove the notice had deposed to a conver­
sation with the defendant, in w'hich he said, “ If I must pay the money, I sup­
pose I must,” which was only a conditional admission of a liability, at any rate;




The Book Trade.

459

and for that reason he hoped the jury would pause before they found for the
plaintiff, who, after Mr. Finch had had the value of the note out of the father in
his election, now, two years after, sought to enforce its pecuniary value from
the son of the maker whose name happened to be on it, and in all probability it
was never presented at all, and, if so, the defendant was entitled to a verdict.
Lord Abinger left it to the jury to say whether there had been any due notice
of non-payment to the defendant. As the endorser of the note, he was entitled
to such notice ; and if the jury should be of opinion, after what they had heard
as to the terms upon which the note had been given, and which the defendant
had himself admitted, that the note lay dormant in Mr. W ood’s possession long
after the six months which was its nominal course, it was most probable, as had
been suggested by the defendant’s counsel, that it had never been presented at
all to the maker, and of course the defendant could never have had any notice
of that which never took place.— The jury immediately found for the defendant.

THE BOOK TRADE,
1. The Merchant's and Shipmaster’s Guide, in relation to their Rights, Duties, and,
Liabilities, under the existing commercial relations of the United States, as estab­
lished by statute, and according to judicial decisions, in this and other countries, on
commercial law. By F rederick W . S a w y e r , o f the Boston bar. Second
edition. Boston: Benjamin Loring & Co. New Y ork : E. & G. W . Blunt, and
Frye & Shaw. 12mo. pp. 400. 1841.
This work has been prepared by Mr. S a w y e r , a highly respectable member
o f the Boston bar, to meet what its author truly states to be an actual want in
the mercantile community. It is the first methodical arrangement o f the various
rules determining the rights, duties, and liabilities of the merchant and ship­
master, as established by statute, and according to judicial decisions in this and
other countries, on commercial law. The master who, however intelligent and
accomplished in his profession, has found himself suddenly involved in new
and unexpected relations while at a distance from any competent adviser to
whom he might resort for assistance, will know how to thank Mr. Sawyer for
the fidelity with which he has brought together within the compass o f four
hundred pages, all the legal information essential for his direction under these
trying circumstances.
The ability with which this task has been performed, has been highly com­
plimented by the Massachusetts Law Reporter, and by some other o f the New
England periodicals, and is attested by the public in the most satisfactory man­
ner in the rapid sale of the whole o f the first edition. The second edition,
which has just been published, is somewhat enlarged and improved, having
four valuable additional chapters relative to passenger ships, harbor regulations,
pilot regulations, and customs o f ship board. It contains also a perfect model
o f the hull o f a ship, with the name o f every part o f the structure ; and another
drawing representing a ship under sail, giving the names o f the masts, spars,
sails, and rigging, taking old Ironsides for the pattern, and a beautiful pattern
she is. These additions will render the book very useful for reference to the
junior members o f the legal profession, who sometimes find themselves incon­
veniently deficient in their knowledge o f naval architecture, as well as in other
branches o f nautical science.
Riches Without W ings; or, The Cleveland Family. B y M rs. S eba S m it h .
Boston: George W . Light. 16mo. pp. 160. 1839.
Although the volume whose title is here quoted, has been published for some
time, it is no less valuable on that account. The tale is designed to illustrate
the sentiment that religion,, intellect, virtue, taste, cheerfulness, and health, are
the only true riches, and well does it succeed in establishing its truth.
2.




4C0

The Book Trade.

3. The Steam Engine, its origin and gradual improvement, from the time of Hero
to the present day; as adapted to Manufactures, Locomotion, and Navigation.
By P. R. H odge, Civil Engineer. With numerous explanatory wood cuts,
and a volume containing forty-eight plates. N ew York: D. Appleton & Co.
8mo. pp. 254. 1840.
The letter press volume furnishes a comprehensive history o f the invention,
and the various improvements which have been made in the steam engine,
from the earliest period to the present time, together with such practical rules
and explanations as are necessary to enable the mechanic to design and con­
struct a machine o f any required power, and of the most improved form, for
any o f the, numerous applications o f steam. For the purpose of rendering
the reference from the letter press to the plates more convenient, the en­
graved illustrations are published in a separate volume, in the folio form. These
plates are all drawn to certain scales, and the dimensions o f every part may be
taken, and machines built from any o f the designs.
The most recent and approved engines o f their respective classes appear to
have been selected, and, with four exceptions only, are all o f American construc­
tion and; arrangement. The plate volume, as a work o f the art o f drawing,
forms one o f the most splendid specimens o f design engraving that has ever
fallen under our observation; indeed we have never seen it surpassed by similar
productions o f the British press. Mr. H odge, the author o f this truly practical
and valuable work, is, it will be recollected, the inventor o f the steam fire
engine, the utility of which, in extinguishing fires, has been fully tested.
4. The Young Merchant. Boston : George W . Light. 16mo. pp. 288. 1841.
This little work is a compendium o f principles adapted to the condition o f the
young merchant. It conveys, in a simple form, not only the duties devolving
upon young persons who have adopted that profession, but enters into a his­
toric sketch o f some o f the most interesting and important circumstances con­
nected with the principles o f commerce. The proper intellectual qualifications;
o f such persons are faithfully portrayed, as well as the moral requisitions, man­
ners and address. The sentiments of honesty and candor, firmness, prudence,
and truth, justice, economy, and temperance, politeness, good temper, and per­
severance, those cardinal virtues so essential to respectability and success, are
set forth in their due importance, and present maxims which are of great value
to be observed. W e cannot but deem this work a treatise which should be
read by every member o f the mercantile profession, whether old or young; for
while it is more especially adapted to the latter class, it presents principles
which should be practised upon by all. The duties of a merchant are various
and multiform: constituting as they do the largest class of our most active and
enterprising citizens, their influence is felt throughout the whole circle of society,
and, in our own government, colors the political interests o f the country. The
volume is illustrated by an appropriate vignette engraving, and a well executed
portrait o f the patriot merchant, John Hancock.
5. The Boston Book: being Specimens of Metropolitan Literature. Boston : George
W . Light. 12rno. pp. 348. 1841.
The volume before us forms the third o f the series o f Mr. L ight ’ s selections
from the writings o f persons who are, or have been, residents o f Boston and its
immediate vicinity. Most o f the pieces, in prose and verse, are from writers
yet among the living, and the productions of all of them belong to the literature
o f our own age. The editor has given to this volume a character somewhat
more popular and less grave than has marked its. predecessors, and on this
principle some names o f much literary merit have been excluded, on account
o f the exclusively didactic character o f their writings. The compilation is, on
the whole, highly creditable to the taste and discrimination o f the editor, and
the book is handsomely printed on fine paper, and neatly bound, as indeed are
most o f the publications o f Mr. L ight .




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6. The Poetry and History of Wyoming: containing Campbell's Gertrude, with a
biographical sketch of the author. By W ashington I rving . And the History of
Wyoming, from its discovery to the beginning of the present century. By W illiam L. S tone. New York and London: Wiley & Putnam. 12mo. pp. 324.
1841.
The beautiful valley of Wyoming is probably more distinguished than any
other portion o f the state o f Pennsylvania, by the historic circumstances o f which
it has been made the theatre, and the literary genius that has painted them.
The poem o f Campbell, so pure in style, and so delicately colored, has thrown
around this spot a hue o f romance which has caused it to be regarded with the
deepest interest both at home and abroad ; and this brief history from the pen
o f Col. S tone, who was peculiarly fitted for the task, from the circumstance that
he is conversant with the facts which have marked that region, has accomplished
all which could be performed in the way o f literary effort for that interesting
valley. The historical sketch o f Mr. S tone is well written and satisfactory. It
gives us not only the incidents which have borne upon that territory, watered by
the Susquehanna, but describes its physical features in a graphic form. Numer­
ous local anecdotes, connected with the early settlers in their connection with
the Indians, are interwoven with the thread of his narrative, which certainly
tend to throw an additional interest around the history. Col. S tone has taken
it in hand to rescue the reputation o f the Mohawk chieftain, “ The monster
Brandt,” from the ignominy which has been cast upon it by the poem o f Mr.
Campbell; and we doubt not that if the dead warrior could rise from the grave,
he would not fail to render his fervent thanks to the historian for the solid ser­
vices which he has performed for the savage chief in this as well as the large
work by the same author. Besides the poem o f Mr.' Campbell, to which we
have alluded, the volume contains a biographical sketch o f the poet from the
transparent pen o f W ashington I rvtng. It is elegantly printed, and is illus­
trated by several well executed engravings.
7. The Addresses and Messages of the Presidents of the United States, from Wash­
ington to Harrison. To which is prefixed the Declaration of Independence, and
the Constitution of the United States; together with a portrait and memoir of
William Henry Harrison. New York : Edward Walker and D. Appleton &
Co. 8vo. pp. 716. 1841.
This volume is valuable as presenting, in a compact form, the political opinions
o f the several distinguished individuals who have filled the executive chair in
the federal government of the United States. “ Their intrinsic value and im­
portance,” it is well remarked in the publisher’s preface, “ must be coeval with
our national existence; they have respect no less to the interests of after times,
than to those o f the present day; for while they mark the several great epochs
o f its political history, they at the same time afford the best exposition and clue
to the right appreciation o f its administrative procceedings.” Apart from their
public utility, these documents possess great value from the high rank they de­
servedly retain in their literary reputation, as gems o f republican eloquence,
exhibiting, as several o f them do, specimens o f some o f the purest models of
style which are to be found in our language. The volume is neatly printed
and bound, and altogether highly creditable to the taste o f the publisher.
8. A Discourse delivered before the Howard Benevolent Society, January 24, 1841.
Boston: Gould, Kendall & Lincoln, pp. 74. 1841.
The society before which this discourse was delivered, was established in
1812, and has been in successful operation ever since that time. Its success
may be attributed principally to a wise feature o f its constitution, which requires
a personal knowledge o f distress before relief is granted, and to. the judicious
character o f its members, among whom have been found many o f the most
active and respectable citizens o f Boston. The objects o f the society are elo
quently set forth in the discourse o f Mr. Hague.




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9. The Natural History of Society in the Barbarous and Civilized Stale; an
Essay towards discovering the Origin and Course o f Human Improvement. By
W . C ooke T aylor , E sq., LL.D., M.R.A.S., o f Trinity College, Dublin. N ew
York : D. Appleton & Co. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 332— 328. 1841.
The liberal and enlightened views displayed in the pages o f these volumes,
combining laborious thought with original speculation and varied research, will
commend them to the attention o f the philosophic mind. The design o f this
essay is to determine, from an examination o f the various forms in which so­
ciety has existed, what was the origin o f civilization; and under what circum­
stances those attributes o f humanity, which in one country become the founda­
tion o f social happiness, are in another so perverted to the production o f general
misery. For this purpose, the author informs us that he separately examined
the principal elements by which society, under all its aspects, is held together,
and traced each to its source in human nature; that he then directed his at­
tention to the development o f these principles, and has pointed out the circum­
stances by which they were perfected on the one hand, or corrupted on the
other; and having thus, by a rigid analysis, shown what the elements and
conditions o f civilization are, he has tested the accuracy o f his results by ap­
plying them to the history o f civilization itself, as recorded in the annals o f the
earliest polished natiqns, and is thus led to consider the principal moral causes
that have contributed to the growth and to the decline o f states. Recorded
facts are in this way applied by our author, as a test o f the accuracy of his
reasoning. There is a chapter in the second volume, “ On the Evidences of First
Civilization,” in which the author hazards a conjecture that farther investi­
gations o f the American continent will strengthen the evidence already col­
lected, to prove that, previous to its discovery by Columbus, it had possessed a
greater share of the arts and sciences than can be deduced from the present
condition o f the Indian races, or from the accounts given o f them by their early
conquerors. Messrs. Stephens and Catherwood’s discoveries in South Amer­
ica, are quoted in support of this opinion. Although the researches of Mr.
Taylor have been similar to those o f Cousin, Guizot, Lieber, &.c., his work can
scarcely be considered as superseded by them. He has condensed and united
their several disquisitions, so as to form an outline o f the philosophical history
o f opinions, and their influence on life and action. The work possesses great
intrinsic merit, and is worthy o f an attentive and careful perusal. W e should
do injustice to the Messrs. Appletons, were we to omit to mention in this
notice, the beautiful style of printing and binding in which these volumes ap­
pear. These gentlemen deserve great credit for publishing generally excellent
works, which, in point o f typographical elegance, vie with the handsomest
publications of the British press.
10. The Life and Land of Bums. By A llan C unningham, with contribu­
tions by Thomas Campbell, Esq. T o which is prefixed an Essay on the
Genius and Writings o f Burns, by Thomas Carlyle, Esq. New Y ork : J. &
G. H. Langley, pp. 363. 1841.
This delightful volume will be a most acceptable offering to the numerous
admirers o f Burns. It is well remarked, in the publisher’s preface, that what­
ever attaches to the memory o f the “ Bard o f Scotland,” cannot fail to excite,
in all the lovers o f song, intense and universal interest. Carlyle’s critical es­
say on the genius and writings o f Burns, is a splendid specimen o f literary
criticism ; it is marked with all the characteristics o f that master-mind : and for
nice discriminating taste and power of analysis, it must be regarded as unsur­
passed in the annals of literary criticism. The memoir of Allan Cunningham
will be read with peculiar pleasure, as presenting a faithful and beautiful his­
tory o f the life and opinions of the eccentric bard. The volume contains, be­
sides, a series o f graphic notices o f the localities rendered classic by his muse,
together with some original letters, now first published in this country. It is,
altogether, one o f the most attractive volumes that have appeared for a long
time.




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11. The Flying R oll; or, Free Grace Displayed. By F. W . K rtjmmachf.r , D.D
New York : M. W . Dodd. 12mo. pp. 296. 1841.
12. The Dew of Israel and the Lily of God; or, A Glimpse of the Kingdom of
Grace. By F. W . K rummacher. From the second London edition. New
York : published by Robert Carter, pp. 270.
13. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel. By Rev. G. D. K rummacher. Solomon
and Shulamite. By F. W . K rummacher, D.D., author o f “ Elijah the Tishbite.” Translated from the German. N ew York : John S. Taylor. 12mo.
pp. 284. 1841.
14. Cornelius the Centurion. By F. A. K rummacher, A. M. Translated from
the German. N ew Y ork : John S. Taylor, pp. 212, 12mo. 1841.
Those who have read “ Elijah the Tishbite,” and “ Elisha, the son o f Shaphat,” if they have either a spiritual or poetic relish, will need no inducement
to read the subsequent productions of the same pen. “ Cornelius,” it is true,
is not the production o f him who first made Krummacher a classic name
among American Christians, but of a brother and a kindred spirit— one brought
up in the same school.
In “ Cornelius” we have the work o f conversion portrayed by a series o f
well-finished sketches, in which every step in the process may be distinctly
traced, from the first dawn o f the morning to the full splendor o f the meridian
sun. Every page bears the impress o f glowing piety ; and never is piety
more lovely, than when found in the breast o f a learned German. It has a
depth and fulness that has often charmed and instructed us.
15. The Philosophy of History, in a course of Lectures. By F rederick V on
S chlegel. With a memoir o f the Author. By James Burton Robertson,
Esq. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 319— 302.
These volumes, comprising a view o f the philosophy of history, or a general
view of the causes and consequences that have acted upon the human race
as a whole, are written in a flowing and elegant style, which is peculiar to the
German writers, and especially to this, one o f the most distinguished. The
design o f its author is to show, from the political and moral causes which have
acted upon past nations, that the progress of empire points to one grandresult,—
the regeneration o f the human race. In the illustration o f that position, he
takes the ground that history is a series o f facts, not isolated, but connected
with other facts, all of which establish certain principles bearing upon the ulti­
mate destiny o f mankind. With that object he enters into a general sketch of
man, from his first entrance into civil society, and traces the advance o f nations,
by showing the causes which have borne upon their several characters; thus
deducing the idea of a universal history, or that harmonious system o f princi­
ples which must ultimately control the destinies o f the world. In the revolu­
tions o f empires, in the rise and downfall o f states, he thinks he perceives the
finger of G o d ; and sums up his view in the following remarks : “ It is only
with sentiments o f grateful admiration, o f amazement and awe, w e trace in
the special dispensations of Providence for the advancement o f Christianity
and the progress o f modern society, the wonderful concurrence o f events
towards the single object of divine love, or the unexpected exercise of divine
justice, long delayed, such as I have in the proper places endeavored to point
out. With this faith in primitive revelation, and in the glorious consummation
o f Christian love, I cannot better conclude this ‘ Philosophy o f History’ than
with the religious hope I have more than once expressed, and which is more
particularly applicable to these times, the dawn o f an approaching era, that
by one thorough religious regeneration o f the state and of science, the cause of
God and o f Christianity may obtain a complete triumph on the earth.” The
work is well worthy o f perusal, as evincing a connected and philosophical
view o f past history, which, as Lord Bacon remarks, “ is philosophy teaching
by example
and, moreover, it derives increased value from the circumstance
that it is the offspring o f one of the master-spirits o f Germany. The volumes
are beautifully printed and neatly bound.




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16. A Classical Dictionary, containing an Account o f the principal Proper Names
mentioned in Ancient Authors, and intended to elucidate all the important points
connected with the Geography, History, Biography, Mythology, and Fine Arts, of
the Greeks and Romans, together with.an account of Coins, Weights, and Measures,
with Tabular Values of the same. By C harles A nthon , LL.D. New York:
Harper and Brothers. 8vo. pp. 1424. 1841.
' The learned labors o f Dr. Anthon in advancing the cause o f classical litera­
ture, rank him among the first scholars o f the age. His admirable text-books
for the study o f the ancient languages are not only fast superseding others in
this country, from their superior correctness and more copious illustration, but
are extensively republished in Europe, and introduced with marks of the highest
approbation into the first literary institutions there. In the Herculean work
before us, the learned author still more signally displays tile extent o f his erudi­
tion. He states, in his preface, that the labor o f years has been bestowed upon
it ; and this w e can readily imagine, when we consider the vast number o f
subjects treated of, the research that was indispensable to furnish the necessary
information, and that all the articles have been prepared by himself; or, in
other words, that the work is entirely original. In no similar work that wo
have any knowledge of, is there embodied any thing like the same amount of
valuable matter ;— the classical reader is presented with a complete picture o f
the ancient world, in all its most interesting, physical, political, social, literary,
religious, and moral aspects. No scholar can be without this volume ; and to
the general reader, it will be scarcely less interesting and convenient for the
purpose o f occasional reference.
17. Remarks on Banks and Banking, and the Skeleton o f a Project fo r a National
Bank. By A C itizen of B oston. Boston : Torrey and Blairs. 8vo. pp.
62. 1840.
The present position o f public opinion upon the great question o f a.national
bank, renders this subject one o f peculiar interest at the present time. Besides
various argumentative suggestions, the writer lays down the frame o f a great
national institution, whose charter shall continue for a period o f forty years ;
whose name shall be the Bank of the United Stales of America ; and whose
capital shall, at starting, be fifty millions o f dollars. He then enters into a view
o f what he deems the proper mode o f its management, and sketches a brief
political history o f this question, which has so long agitated the government.
It is to be desired, that the patriotic and clear-minded legislators of the country
may bring to the task o f considering and establishing the national policy upon
that subject, all their forbearance and moderation, and fix the principles which
shall regulate it upon a solid and lasting basis, equally satisfactory to the people
and productive o f good to the country.
18. A Treatise on Digestion, and the Diseases Incident to it, which are compre­
hended under the term Dyspepsia. Adapted fo r general readers. By W illiam
S w eetser , M.D., author o f a Treatise on Consumption, &c.
Boston :
George W . Light. 12mo. pp. 359.
The design of this treatise is to present a history o f the phenomena, causes,
and treatment of dyspepsia, founded upon a general acquaintance with the
physiology of the organs which it implicates. Dr. Sweetser is, we believe, a
successful and popular practitioner, and this treatise is divested o f the techni­
cal language o f medicine, so as to come within the comprehension o f all classes
o f the reading community.
19. Memoir of Nathaniel Bowditch. Prepared for the Young. Boston : James
Munroe & Co. 18mo. pp. 158. 1841.
This delightful little volume exhibits, in a simple and attractive form, the
life and character o f an individual, alike eminent for his attainments in science,
and for the purity and goodness o f his life.




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20. Sacra Privata. The Private Meditations, Devotions, and Prayers of the Right
Rev. T. Wilson, D. D., Lord Bishop o f Sodor and Man. With a preface by J.
H. N ewman , B. D., Fellow o f Oriel College, Oxford. Reprinted, entire. New
Y ork : D. Appleton & Co. pp. 334. 1841.
21. Godly Meditations upon the most holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. By
C hristopher S utton , D. D., late Prebend of Westminster. With a preface
by J. H. N ewman , B. D., Fellow o f Oriel College, Oxford. New York : D.
Appleton & Co. 18mo. pp. 334. 1841.
These two volumes form part o f a series o f standard religious literature in the
course of publication by the respectable house named in the title pages we have
quoted above. O f the first, it is sufficient to say that no words are necessary to
introduce the name o f Bishop W ilson to the members of that church, o f which
he was, in his day, and has been since, in sacred language, “ a burning and a
shining light.” The exercises of the learned prelate have been regarded by a
portion of. the Christian church as a model of the best form in which serious
persons may keep a record of their religious feelings.
“ Godly Meditations” will be equally acceptable to the friends o f the Episcopal
church, and in fact to a large number o f those who hold the popular or “ evan­
gelical” views o f Christianity. There is in these works a freedom from the
controversies o f the time in which they were written, that it were to be hoped
might even now more generally prevail. The several volumes composing this
series o f books, will, thus far, compare with the finest specimens o f the typo­
graphic art that have been furnished by the English press.
22. Writings of Charles Sprague. Now first collected. New York : Charles
S. Francis. 8vo. pp. 182. 1841.
The publisher deserves well of. his countrymen for presenting, in a very
beautiful form, so far as they could be found, the writings of one of the most
estimable of poets and men among us. “ He commenced his undertaking,” he
informs us, “ partly in order that the public might be no longer withheld from
their desire, and partly also with the view of anticipating a similar design from
another quarter, which he learned to be already entertained, and which was not
likely to be accomplished in a manner to satisfy the friends of so favorite an
author. He has carried it through, only not forbidden by the author himself;
who he hopes will look with some complacency on the task, which he would do
nothing to promote.” Mr. S prague stands in the very front rank of American
poets, and we regret much that he cannot be drawn out a little from his rather
shy retirement. Not that we wish him less skilled as a financier, but that he
would discount more freely from his intellectual capital.
23. On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History. Six Lectures. R e­
ported, with emendations and additions. By T homas C a r ly l e , author of
“ The French Revolution,” &c. New Y ork: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp.
280. 1841.
W e can merely announce, as our Magazine is going to press, the publication
of this last work of a most remarkable man. The writings of C a r ly l e are
familiar to a large class of scholars and intellectual men on this side of the At­
lantic ; and to that class the reproduction of these Lectures will be a grateful
offering.
24. The Principles o f Christian Union. By W illiam H ague. Boston: Gould,
Kendall & Lincoln, pp. 61. 1841.
Mr. H ague , the author o f this discourse, is somewhat distinguished as a
preacher among that large and respectable portion o f the Christian community
denominated Baptists. In the work before us, the author aims to promote union
among denominations, who, in regard to an outward and formal union, are very
far apart. W e hope his efforts will be successful in the promotion o f so desir­
able an object
59
VOL. iv.— no. v.




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25. History of the United States, from their first settlement as Colonies, to the close
of the administration of Mr. Madison in 1817. By S alma H ale . In two
volumes. Harper’s Family Library. New Y ork: Harper & Brothers.
18mo. pp. 275— 292. 1840.
The history o f the United States is a subject which should be well unaerstood by the people o f this country. As the government is republican, and im­
portant duties in consequence devolve upon them, it would seem necessary,
for the right performance o f these duties, that they should possess a knowledge
o f our institutions, and the causes that have borne upon our progress. History
has been well defined as “ philosophy teaching by e x a m p l e a n d it is only by
carefully marking the causes and consequences o f the past, that w e gain expe­
rience for the guidance o f our future course. The author o f this work is well
known as having prepared a popular history o f the United States, which re­
ceived a prize above all competitors for its excellence in its adaptation to popu­
lar use. The present volumes embrace a general colonial history of our older
states, together with a history o f the country through its various vicissitudes,
down to the election o f Mr. Monroe as president o f the United States. They
are written in a clear and popular style, and although of course general in their
character, present as full and faithful a view o f so large a subject as could be
given within the same space.
26. The Hour and the Man. New Y ork: Harper & Brothers. 2 vols. 12mo.
1841.
Miss M aktineau has fairly established her position as an agreeable novel
writer, both in “ Deerbrook,” and “ The Hour and the Man.” She has no deep con­
ceptions— no very powerful dramatic scenes— but she has a fine and pure tone
of sentiment, great facility in descriptions of scenery, and tact in illustration of
character.
There is great accuracy in her historical details, great beauty and occasional
vivacity in her narrative, and although we know little in this country of her
hero, Toussaint L ’Ouverture, and are generally unwilling to think of the negro
character as susceptible of heroism, or any other interesting quality, from having
seen it in its degradation upon our own shores, yet no one can help doing jus­
tice to its delineation in these volumes. Miss M artineatj has done well. W e
trust the attention she has drawn to this subject, will induce some pen of yet
greater power to give the world an impartial and complete history of Hayti.
27. My Son’s Own Book. By the author o f My Daughter’s Manual. N ew
York : Alexander V. Blake. 32mo. pp. 192. 1841.
In this neat little volume, drawn from various sources, the principles which
are requisite for the safe and correct transactions o f business, are laid down
with precision. Those which should govern the young man, says our author,
in the courtesies o f life, are also expounded with reference to his intercourse
with the different classes o f society. The rules o f self-government, and those
which relate to the economy o f time and money, and the proper disposition o f
those moments which may be lawfully devoted to relaxation and social enjoy­
ment, are explained from the best authorities ; and a moral tone is infused into
every page o f this excellent manual for young men.
28. The Sunday School Teacher’s Companion; containing Extracts from carious
authors, arranged under appropriate heads, affording useful hints to those who are
employed in the Religious Instruction of the Young. New York : Alexander
Y. Blake. 32mo. pp. 204. 1841.
This little volume is compiled with taste and judgment, by a clergyman o f
the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New Y ork ; and contains a variety of
selections from popular writers, touching the qualifications o f Sunday school
teachers, the manner o f discharging their duties, the duties to each other, &C.
It is neatly printed and bound.




Mercantile Miscellanies.

467

MERCANTILE MISCELLANIES.
TH E SALT TRADE.
Enormous quantities o f this mineral, the commercial article o f salt, are needed for the
use o f man and the domestic animals. Some years ago, an investigation was made,
to ascertain, as accurately as possible, the amount o f salt manufactured in Europe,
and we state it on the authority o f Professor Jameson and Sir David Brewster, that, from a
careful examination o f the most accurate returns, the European salt mines and salt springs
afford annually from 25 to 30 millions o f hundred weights o f salt. The internal con­
sumption o f France is rather more than 200,000 tons; that o f England, probably 240,000
to n s; while the latter country, in 1836, exported nearly 10 millions o f bushels. In
the United States, according to an estimate presented by the Secretary o f the Treasury,
in 1829, there were manufactured along the seacoast and from salt springs, nearly four
millions o f bushels, o f which the state o f N ew York furnished one million three hundred
thousand bushels. How much this aggregate must have increased will be understood
when we state, on the authority o f T . Romeyn Beck, o f Albany, that, at the Onondaga
salt springs alone, for some years past, upwards o f two millions and a half bushels have
been manufactured. T he value o f the imports into the United States is thus stated for
the last seven years :
Year ending Sept 30, 1833,........$996,418
Year ending Sept. 30, 1837,....... $862,617
“
“
“
1834,......... 839,315
“
“
“
1838,....... 1,028,418
“
“
“
1835,......... 655,097
“
“
“
1839,....... 887,092
“
“
“
1836,......... 724,527
M E R C A N T IL E V IR T U E S R E W A R D E D .
More than fifty years ago, William H ogg, (who recently died at his residence in
Brownsville, Pa., in the 86th year o f his age, leaving an estate o f $1,100,000,) crossed
the Allegany mountains with a small pack o f goods, all he possessed, which he bore
upon his own back, and established himself at Brownsville, then called Red Stone.
He soon after opened a small store, (the first in that region o f country,) on the Monongahela river, transporting his goods from Philadelphia by means o f packhorses; and in­
creasing his stock from time to time, until he became the wealthiest man in Western
Pennsylvania— a rank which he prominently occupied in the latter period o f his life.
He was remarkable for his accurate habits o f business, his persevering and indefatigable
application, and his great sagacity in the management and oversight of his extensive
and numerous establishments. Whether worth one dollar only, or a million, he held
that frugality was the same virtue. And avoiding, therefore, at all times, unnecessary
expense and display, he practised economy as he would cherish any other o f the moral
virtues. Extremely just in all his contracts and business transactions, his liberality
was chiefly seen in tjie encouragement and assistance which he gave to poor worthy
young men ; integrity and good business habits, among his clerks and assistants, were
rewarded by his confidence and advancement.
A M E R IC A N C A R P E T IN G .
Henry Winfield & Co. established at the village o f Poughkeepsie, on the Hudson
river, some four years ago, a manufactory o f ingrain carpeting, which turns out annually
o f three-ply, superfine, fine, and common ingrain carpeting, plain and twilled Venetian
stair carpeting, 100,000 yards; and 1,000,000 yards carpet binding.

It consumed

95,000 pounds o f wool, 720 gallons o f oil, 24,000 pounds o f worsted yarn, besides large
quantities o f dye-stuffs.
men, employed.

There are about sixty-four operatives, chiefly experienced

The goods are said to be o f excellent quality.




468

Mercantile Miscellanies.

F IR S T A M E R IC A N T R A D E W I T H C H IN A .
In the December number o f the Merchants’ Magazine, in the article on the “ Com ­
merce o f China,” we stated a fact that has been generally admitted to be correct, v iz :
that the first vessel that went on a trading voyage to China sailed from N ew Y ork, in
February, 17 84; but that so rapidly did the commerce thus opened increase, that in
1789 there were fifteen American vessels at Canton, being a greater number than from
any other nation, except Great Britain. Mr. Sleeper, the editor of the Boston Mercan­
tile Journal, says that in 1783 or 1785, a Hingham sloop of about 40 tons burden, com ­
manded by Capt. Hallett, sailed from Boston, intended for Canton, loaded with ginseng
root, but put into the Cape o f Good H o p e ; and that there were laying there some
English ships bound home from Canton, the captains o f which did not feel pleased that
the enterprising and daring Yankee should go to Canton, and offered to give him two
pounds o f hyson tea in exchange for one pound o f ginseng root! Capt. Hallett ac­
cepted the offer, sold all his ginseng root, loaded his sloop with tea, and returned to
Boston, having made a very profitable voyage. “ This is supposed,” says the editor
o f the Journal, “ to have been the first attempt o f the Americans to commence the
Canton trade.”
v

COMMERCIAL HONESTY.
T he National Gazette, o f Philadelphia, mentions the following instance o f fair deal­
ing :— “ About ten years ago, a gentleman who became embarrassed in business, made
an assignment o f his property, under which his creditors received 50 per cent o f their
claims. A full and honorable release was given to h im ; he started a second time in
trade ; by enterprise and perseverance amassed a considerable fortune ; and lately sent
a check to each o f his former creditors, for the unpaid moiety of his debts, with interest
added in full from the day on which the debts accrued to that on which the checks
were dated. The sum thus paid amounted to more than fifty thousand dollars.”
On this the Gazette remarks— “ One such proof o f absolute integrity as that here
mentioned, though it may not wholly dissipate distrust, inspires higher confidence in
that excellence o f character which, uneffaced by the toils and struggles to which man­
kind was doomed in Eden, still yields at times the lustre o f cheering example. T he
legacy o f a spotless name, left by him o f whom we speak, will be a dearer one to his
children than any share o f fortune which his farther care may secure to them.”
C O M P A R A T IV E LO SS O N G O L D A N D P A P E R , A S A C IR C U L A T IO N .
Mr. Page, a distinguished English writer, has, from the reports of the English and
American mints, ascertained that there is a loss on gold coin by wear and tear o f 4.61
per cent in a century, which is less than l-20th per cent per annum ; and so that o f
every £100 coined in any particular year there would remain over £ 9 5 Is. lOd. in real
value, at the end o f 100 years. A comparison is next made o f the expense o f a paper
currency, which, at 2£ per cent, as stated by Mr. Norman, is.found to be fifty-three
times greater than the loss by wear on a gold currency. I f the expense of a paper cur­
rency be 2£ per cent per annum, this, on a sum o f £20,000,000, will amount in 100
years to £50,000,000, while the loss by wear o f a gold currency o f £20,000,000, during
the same period, is only £992,000. The difference is therefore £49,008,000.
M A R S E IL L E S IM P E R IA L Q U IL T S .
A n improvement has been hit upon by Mr. Ebenezer Rhoades, o f Boston, who has
an extensive manufactory o f this article, by which greater fulness and richness is given
to the figures, and at the same time greater despatch obtained in the manufacture. He
is able now to supply the market, as he thinks, in spite o f all foreign competition, hav­
ing a factory devoted to the business, in which ^100,000 are invested.




Commercial Tables.

469

COMMERCIAL TABLES,
A T A B L E F O R C O N V E R T IN G D O L L A R S IN T O T A E L S , A N D V IC E V E R S A .
D O L L A R S C O N V E R T E D IN TO T A E L S .

T A E L S C O N V E R T E D INTO D O L L A R S .

715 Taels 717 Tae's 720 Taels
per $1000 per $1000 per $1000
DOLLARS.

04

04
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
50
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000

Taels.

Taels.

Taels.

0.178
0.357
0.715
1.430
2.145
2.860
3.575
4.290
5.005
5.720
6.435
7.150
7.865
8.580
9.295
10.010
10.725
11.440
12.155
12.870
13.585
14.300
15.015
15.730
16.445
17.160
17.875
35.750
71.500
143.000
214.500
286.000
357.500
429.000
500.500
572.000
634.500
715.000

0.179
0.358
0.717
1.434
2.151
2.868
3.585
4.302
5.019
5.736
6.453
7.170
7.887
8.604
9.321
10.038
10.755
11.472
12.189
12.906
13.623
14.340
15.057
15.774
16.491
17.208
17.925
35.850
71.700
143.400
215.100
286.800
358.500
430.200
501.900
573.600
645.300
717.000

0.180
0.360
0.720
1.440
2.160
2.880
3.600
4.320
5.040
5.760
6.480
7.200
7.920
8.640
9.360
10.080
10.800
11.520
12.240
12.960
13.680
14.400
15.120
15.840
16.560
17.280
18
36
72
144
216
288
360
432
504
576
648
720

715 Taels 717 Taels 720 Taels
per $1000 per $1000 per $1000
TAELS.

0.5 0
0.7 2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
50
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000

Dollars.

Dollars.

0.699
0.697
1.006
1.004
1.394
1.398
2.789
2.797
4.184
4.1 95
5.578
5.594
6.973
6.993
8.. 368
8.391
9.762
9.790
11.157
11.188
12.552
12.587
13.947
13.986
15.311
15.384
16.736
16.783
18.131
18.181
19.525
19.580
20.920
20.979
22.315
22.377
23.709
23.776
25.104
25.174
26.499
26.573
27.894
27.972
29.288
29.370
30.683
30.769
32.078
32.167
33.472
33.566
31.965
34.867
69.735
69.930
139.860 ' 139.470
278.940
279.720
418.410
419.580
557.880
559.440
697.350
699.300
836.820
839.160
976.290
979.020
1118.881 1115.760
1258.741 1258.230
1398.601 1394.700

0.694
1.000
1.388
2.777
4.166
5.555
6.944
8.333
9.722
11.111
12.500
13.888
15.277
16.666
18.055
19.444
20.833
22.222
23.611
25.000
26.388
27.777
29.166
30.555
31.944
33.333
34.722
69.444
138.888
277.777
410.6(56
555.555
694.444
833.333
972.222
1111.111
1250.000
1388.888

Dollars.

D R Y M EASURE.
T he following table exhibits the number o f square inches in boxes required to contain
a barrel, half-barrel, bushel, peck, half-peck, gallon, half-gallon, and quart. These mea­
sures all come within a small fraction o f a cubic inch o f being perfectly accurate ; as
near, indeed, as any measures o f capacity have ever yet been made for common u se;
the difficulty o f making them with absolute exactness, has never been overcome.
TABLE.

A box 24 inches by 16 inches square, and 28 inches deep, will contain a barrel, or
10,752 cubic inches.




Commercial Tables.

470

A box 24 inches by 10 inches square, and 14 inches deep, will contain a half-barrel,
or 6,376 cubic inches.
A box 16 inches by 16 8-10 inches square, and 8 inches deep, will contain a bushel,
or 2,150 4-10 cubic inches.
A box 12 inches by 11 2-10 inches square, and 8 inches deep, will contain a half­
bushel, or 1,075 2-10 cubic inches.
A box 8 inches by 8 4-10 inches square, and 8 inches deep, will contain one peck, or
537 6-10 cubic inches.
A box 8 inches by 8 inches square, and 4 2-10 inches deep, will contain a half-peck,
or 268 3-10 cubic inches.
A box 7 inches by 4 inches square, and 4 8-10 inches deep, will contain a half-gallon,
or 134 4-10 cubic inches.
A box 4 inches by 4 inches square, and 4 2-10 inches deep, will contain one quart,
or 67 2-10 cubic inches.
S T E R L IN G I N T E R E S T T A B L E ,
F or calculating interest on British money, fo r any number o f days, and at any rate per
cent ; also, fo r calculating discount, exchanges, commission, and brokerage.
U N ITS.

No. £
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
D

8.

TENS.

d.

£

4
14
2
24
3}
4
4#
54
6
6|
irections .—

s.

i

H U N D R E D S.

d.

£

6|
U
7|
24 i
9
i

l
2
2
3 34 i
3 104 i
4 44 2
4 114 2
5 54 2

s.
5
10
16
1
7
12
18
3
9
14

d.

TH O U SAN D S.

£

54 2
5
Hi
54 8
11
10
44 13
104 16
44 19
10 21
34 24
94 27

s.

d.

14 94
9 74
4 44
19 24
13 H i
8 94
3 64
18 44
13 2
7 114

MILLIONS.

T E N TH OU SAN D.

£
27
54
82
109
136
164
191
219
246
273

*■

d.

£

7 114 273
15 10}
547
3 10
821
11 94 1095
19 84 1369
7 84 1643
15 74 1917
3 64 2191
3 64 2465
19 54 2739

s.

d.

19
18
18
17
17
16
16
15
15
14

54
11
44
94
34
84

2
74
1
64

Multiply the principal by the rate and number of days, cutting o ff the

two last figures ; then take from the table the respective sums o f the quotient referring
to the heads units, tens, & c., and add them together. Thus, suppose the quotient to be
6845 ; by referring to No. 6 in the table, and under the head thousands ; N o. 8, that o f
hundreds; No. 4, that o f tens ; and No. 5, that o f units : these added together will be
the interest required. In the figures cut off, all above 60 take £ o f N o. 1 under units
in the table.
Should the principal contain shillings and pence, add one to the pounds for all above
10 shillings.
B y the above table, interest may be found at 1£, 2£, 3£, 4£, & c., by taking the half
o f 3, 5, 7, and 9, per c e n t ; that o f I f , 2 f , 3 f , 4 f , by taking the fourth o f 5, 9, 13, 17
per ce n t; and that o f I f , 2 f , 3 f, 4 f, & c., by taking the fourth o f 7, 11, 15, 19 per
cent, & c.
For commission and brokerage, multiply the principal by the rate and 73, cutting off
one figure and taking half o f the product, then take from the table the respective sums o f
the quotient as directed above.
S. F . IL

E N G L IS H T E A D U T IE S , IN 1840.
T he total quantity o f tea charged with duty at all the ports o f the United Kingdom
in 1840 was 30,957,400 pounds, being 3,326,500 pounds less than in 1839.




Insurance.

471

INSURANCE.
A T L A N T I C M A R IN E IN S U R A N C E C O M P A N Y .
It appears by the N ew Y ork Express, that the Atlantic Insurance Company o f N ew
York has now been in existence ten years, and since that period has divided two hun­
dred and forty-nine and a half per cent, and has a surplus now on hand o f over one
hundred and fifty per cent, which, if divided, would give the stockholders their capital
back, and three hundred per c e n t; and if the interest on the dividends were added,
the sum would be much larger.
T he same officers have managed this company’s concerns from its first organization,
and the success has been such that they have
following are the dividends declared since the
July 1st, 1830,........ _____ 5 per cent.
Jan. It 1831,..... ......... 3
July It 1831...... ............ 5
Jan. it 1832,.... ......... 7
July tt 1832,..... ......... 5
Jan. tt 1833,........ ............ 6
July tt 1833.......... ............ 6
Jan. t< 1834.......... .............. 10
“
July tt 1834,........ .............. 10
Jan. tt 1835;........ .............. 10
July tt 1835,........ ...............10

on no occasion passed a dividend.
institution com m enced:—
Jan. 1st, 1836,......
July “ 1836,.......... ......... 25
Jan. “ 1837,......
“
July “ 1837,...... ......1 24
Jan. “ 1838,...... ......15
“
July “ 1838............ ......... 15
“
Jan. “ 1839,.......... ......... 1 2 4
“
“
July “ 1839,.......... ......... 1 24
“
1840............ ..... 15
July “ 1840;.......... ..........15

The

E C O N O M IC A L F IR E IN S U R A N C E .
The Columbia Fire Insurance Company of Philadelphia propose to the public a plan o f a
mutual assurance, in the form of a joint-stock company. Stockholders will be insured at
one half the usual premium, each giving a bond for the amount o f five years’ insurance.
The capital may be increased to 500,000 dollars, in shares o f $100 each, 10 per cent to
be paid on subscription. The following is an illustration of their plan :—
A t 25 cents a year per $100, on $1000 is........................................... $ 2
Insurance for 5 years, paid annually,......................................................12
T o stockholders 12£ cents per $100, on $1000 is............. ................ 1
Insurance for 5 years, paid annually,...................................................... 6
Bond which may be saved in 5 years,..................................................... 6
W ith whatever profits by dividend may accrue in addition.

50
50
25
25
25

IM P O R T A N C E O F L IF E A N D F I R E IN S U R A N C E .
It is stated in the United States Gazette, that the policy o f insurance on five houses re­
cently destroyed by fire in Baltimore, expired on the Monday previous, and that the
owner had neglected to renew it. Instances o f similar neglect are o f frequent occur­
rence in every c it y ; many such have fallen under our own immediate observation.
“ Our rule,” says Mr. Chandler, o f the Gazette, “ is that every person is bound to insure
what he cannot afford to lose, if insurance is practicable and the premium is reasonable.
W e are told, indeed, that insurance companies make profits by insurance, in consequence
o f the infrequency o f fires. So they do ; but they can afford to lose when the fire does
occur, and those whom we address cannot, and therefore they have no right— we mean
just what we say— that they have no right to risk the whole o f the capital for the sake
o f a small addition to the income. T he premium o f insurance is what the capitalist
pays for good stocks. W hile ordinary stocks, at the present time yielding more than six
per cent, are below par, city five per cents are worth par—and why ? Because the
capital, the investment, is certain, and the interest, though small, is regularly paid.
N ow he who has invested the means o f supporting his family, or o f educating his chil­
dren, should remember that it is better to forego a portion o f his income than to jeopard




Insurance.

472

present comforts and future prospects. H e has brought up his family to expectations,
and educated them with feelings and views equal at least to the income from the
property which he has— does lie not, then, owe it to them to make sure the expectations
he has excited ?”
T he life insurance companies o f our cities, present another means of security— of in­
suring to the single person with a small capital the comforts and conveniences resulting
from a much larger sum, provided he or she will forego the gratification o f “ giving
away” after death that which they cannot take with them to enjoy— this is an annuity*
He who has, by salary, annuity, or labor, the means o f genteel or appropriate support
for wife or other dependences during his life, need not fear their suffering when these
sources o f support cease by his death, if he will forego the use o f a small part o f his
present income, and effect an insurance on his life. This is done almost every day,
and many families have thus been raised from supposed misery into comparative luxury,
by discovering that though the income from the father or husband’s commission or labor
had ceased, there was an insurance upon the lost life that almost equalled the former
income. T he man with a limited income and a large family dependent upon his exer­
tions— the man with good business, some debts, and means scattered abroad, cannot
“ afford to die” — his life is necessary to the support o f that family— his life is necessary
to the arrangement o f that business, the prompt meeting o f debts, and as he is constant­
ly exposed to death, and hath not his life in his own hands, he should insure it. He
should go at once, if he has not already gone, to the office, and attend to a duty which
he owes himself, for ease o f mind— to his family, and perhaps to his creditors.
T A B L E O F T H E R A T E S O F IN S U R A N C E O F O N E H U N D R E D D O L L A R S
O N A S IN G L E L IF E .
A g e.
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37

One
Year.

Seven
Years.

72
77
84
86
89
90
91
92
94
97
99
00
07
12
20
28
31
32
33
34
35
36

86
88
90
91
92
93
95
97
99

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1 39
1 43




i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i

03
07
12
17
23
28
35
36
42
46
48
50
53
57
63

For
L ife.
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
I
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

53
56
62
65
69
73
77
82
88
93
98
04
11
17
24
31
36
43
50
57
64
75

2
2
2 81
2 90

A g e.
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
.4 5
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60

One
Year.

Seveji
Years.

i
i

i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
4
4
4
4

i

i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i

i
i
i
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
4

48
57
69
78
85
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
02
10
18
32
47
70
14
67
35

70
76
83
88
89
92
94
96
98
99
02
04
09
20
37
59
89
21
56
20
31
63
91

For
L ife.
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
5
5
5
6
6
6
6
7

05
11
20
31
40
51
63
73
87
01
17
49
60
75
90
24
49
78
05
27
50
75
00

Statistics o f Population.

473

STATISTICS OF POPULATION.
P O P U L A T IO N A N D P R O D U C T IO N S O F IN D IA N A , 1840.
A Table, showing the Population and some o f the leading Productions o f each county
in Indiana, according to the census o f 1840 ; as prepared and furnished fo r publica­
tion by Jesse L. Williams, Esq., one o f the United States marshals.

C O U N TY.

A dam s,.............
A llen,................
Blackford,.........
Bartholomew,..
B oone,...............
Brown,..............
Carroll,.............
C ass,.................
Clark,................
C la y ,.................
C linton,...........
C raw ford,........
Davies,.............
Dearborn,.........
Decatur,...........
De K alb ,..........
Delaware,.........
Dubois,.............
Elkhart,............
Fayette,...........
F lo y d ,...............
Fountain,..........
Franklin,..........
F ulton,.............
Gibson,.............
G rant,...............
Greene,.............
Ham ilton,........
Harrison,..........
H ancock,..........
Hendricks,.......
H en ry,..............
H untington,....
Jackson,............
Jasper,...............
J a y ,...................
Jefferson,..........
Jennings,..........
Johnson,............
K n ox ,................
Kosciusko,.......
Lagrange,.........
Lake,.................
Laporte,...........
L aw rence,........
Madison,...........
Marshall,..........
M arion,.............

Whites ovei
Popu­ 20, who can­
lation. not read or
write.
2,264
5,931
1,226
10,036
7,894
2,353
7,780
5,490
14,595
5,568
7,490
5,282
6,679
19,638
12,178
1,967
8,488
3,634
6,704
9,838
9,454
11,174
13,444
2,013
8,970
4,846
8,321
9,832
12,459
7,567
11,264
15,103
1,601
8,960
1,277
3,877
16,644
8,743
9,530
10,250
4,042
3,665
1,468
8,184
11,790
8,904
1,651
16,118

Carried forw’ d, 376,196
V OL. IV .---- NO. V .




182
160
55
659

364
457
614
740
83
389
669
132
151
75
348
530
145
439
778
804
63
1,023
322
750
1,176
409
230
811
880
117
1,432
470
126
549
508
383
163
7
268
1,043
338
153
19,045

H ogs.

Bushels
of
Wheat.

4,319
8,524
2,902
15,252
20,109
6,927
17,443
9,266
26,619
1,219
23,693

3,948
34,819
3,259
57,149
35,017
3,228
69,172
23,990
100,105
23,874
54,281

8 ,0 2 2

2 2 ,2 0 1

14,713
11,350
28,290
3,038
11,465
11,552
9,801
31,343
10,426
30,551
17,771
5,244
27,236
18,846
24,131
28,930
19,326
28,006
34,123
29,497
1,382
29,005
4,247
10,421
15,135
14,318
30,797
35,295
11,870
7,944
4,434
19,104
31,800
21,579
5,378
38,463

35,286
152,029
77,511
9,058
58,902
11,822
44,504
71,419
30,116
111,118
30,220
9,122
62,611
22,733
27,958
40,662
66,203
23,531
61,370
88,209
6,427
38,945
5,078
9,696
84,683
56,691
46,118
51,679
30,600
58,142
15,838
221,461
75,610
46,991
5,540
78,649

Bushels Bushels
of
of
Oats.
R ye.
4,577
36,770
1,579
53,277
40,017
9,295
76,636
37,304
153,586
25,597
83,905
41,302
40,892
149,388
112,195
6,958
82,548
17,339
45,877
123,815
56,541
80,769
97,535
9,424
73,617
15,536
66,435
57,143
73,878
49,392
113,654
108,736
9,435
72,222
9,505
5,873
183,364
81,238
81,747
124,216
58,445
72,107
29,176
166,994
196,453
60,867
16,198
148,790

821,126 2,317,575 3,244,147

HO

147
946
21

2,127
1,256
36
2,214
1,860
1,281
268
1,751
517
168
698
3,198
181
3,683
146
8,753
7,989
160
7,976
1,659
190
557
437
673
2,572
2,130
1,050
562
240
2,544
12
185
2,155
1,971
2,462
601
523
640
10
76
1,901
1,558
2,269

Bushels
of
Corn
35,988
84,275
22,753
461,630
247,752
66,558
298,331
116,755
336,570
202,250
415,560
94,396
202,423
603,692
643,015
31,730
385,888
122,173
98,862
711,835
76,091
711,128
370,361
64,606
490,962
217,543
368,113
410,569
164,819
286,995
540,000
724,243
46,702
386,498
47,070
69,842
250,007
170,115
497,028
668,283
146,161
98,954
27,675
270,742
551,705
375,715
37,570
974,966

72,353 114,226,899

Statistics o f Population.

474

T able of the P opulation and P roductions of I ndiana.— Continued.

COUNTY.

Whites ox>ei
Popu­ 20, who can­
lation. not read or
write.

Brought up, 376,196
3,775
Martin,.............
M iam i,..............
2,857
9,996
M on roe,............
Montgomery,... 14,405
M organ,...........
10,677
N ob fe,..............
2,702
Orange,............
9,580
O w en ,...............
8,254
Parke,................ 13,550
Perry,................
4,513
Pike,..................
4,710
Porter,...............
2,172
P osey,...............
9,641
Pulaski,............
0,561
Putnam ,............ 16,869
Randolph,......... 10,681
R ip ley ,.............
10,317
R u sh ,................ 16,575
4,262
Shelby,.............. 11^997
Spencer,............
5,961
St. Joseph,.......
6,415
Starke,..............
148
Steuben,............
2,578
Sullivan,..........
8,312
Switzerland,....
9,864
Tippecanoe,.....
13,725
Union,...............
7,814
Vanderburgh,...
6,209
V erm illion,......
8,249
V ig o ,................. 12,076
W abash,.. ........
2,736
6,320
W arrick,...........
5,642
W arren ,...........
W ashington,.... 15,273
1,821
W ells,................
W hite,...............
1,849
1,040
W h itle y ,...........
W ayne,............. 22,983

19,045
626
350

T o tal ,........ 683,314

38,068

111

1,042
182
1,372
760
1,330
569
635
15
41
1,029
333
209
1,664
460
868
744
381
5
50
548
21
1,446
201
199
269
666
224
732
469
1,331
230
13
85
37

Hogs.

Bushels
of
Wheat.

Bushels Bushels
of
of
R ye.
Oats.

821,126 2,317,575 3,244,147
11,046
9,881
19,164
7,584
8,127
12,487
19,701
57,636
95,421
35,607
88,659
97,621
36,231
78,757
49,217
6,864
20,551
18,319
22,280 140,864 149,796
24,971
47,082
45,265
43,126 107,188 137,140
29,736
14,780
13,452
18,578
31,934
28,947
53,312
7,220
30,712
35,818
66,157
55,103
1,825
1,589
1,399
99,210
48,551
97,400
27,341
63,639 118,846
58,413
6,388
22,173
46,458
83,607
99,412
31,254
4,603
15,229
85,725
39,618
61,611
17,739
17,942
18,338
14,289 102,620 133,647
174
357
545
2,762
26,940
22,149
31,880
86,680
44,468
9,194
78,589
28,031
44,031 137,243 156,353
23,271
80,890 136,027
11,675
14,542
13,837
23,085
83,027
51,185
21,730
17,654 104,683
9,468
9,656
9,740
18,020
22,500
20,500
15,851
89,955
32,198
21,621
52,508
50,047
3,466
4,745
3,911
6,071
17,981
36,528
3,067
3,074
5,688
25,413 124,750 283,537

Bushels
of
Corn.

72,353 14,226,899
132
87,032
716
179,143
2,248
407,968
3,895
914,185
1,078
475,753
575
66,716
1,991
529,947
1,990
387,050
4,025
942,850
170,290
355
239,037
60
60,444
1,821
607,799
84
13,075
969
804,793
2,626
401,291
972
115,883
4,965
605,607
152
52 253
2,775
779^101
253
53,542
928
197,438
1,700
203
31,906
2,614
538,543
385
246,475
990,160
7,588
512,240
3,052
173,404
760
508,297
717,485
760
14
75,644
215
330,800
414,046
1,447
164,401
1,830
48,381
25
124,782
636
160
27,135
2,938
864,477

1,580,051 4,154,256 5,875,449 127,586 28,008,051

P O P U L A T IO N O F T H E E IG H T E E N P R O V IN C E S O F C H IN A .
W e are indebted to Mr. A . A . Low, a merchant o f this city, who resided several years
in Canton, for the loan o f “ A Description o f the city o f Canton,” published in that city
in the year 1839. From that account the following census o f the population o f the se­
veral provinces is derived. As it was originally taken from the T a Tsing H w uy TeSn»
which was published by imperial authority at Peking, in the eighth year o f Taoukwang,
A . D., 1828, it is probably the most accurate enumeration ever published in this country.
T he population o f the city o f Canton is a difficult subject, about which there has been
considerable diversity o f opinion. T he division o f the city, which brings a part o f it in
Nanhae and a part o f Pwanyu, precludes the possibility o f ascertaining the exact num­
ber o f inhabitants.




There are 50,000 persons engaged in the manufacture o f cloth,

Statistics o f Population.

475

7,300 barbers, and 4,200 shoemakers; but these three occupations, employing 61,500
individuals, do not probably include more than one fourth part o f the craftsmen o f the
c it y ; allowing this to be the fact, the whole number o f mechanics will amount to
246,000. These we suppose are a fourth part o f the whole population, exclusive o f
those who live on the river. In 84,000 boats, there are not, on an average, less than
three individuals, making a total o f 1,236,000 as the probable number o f inhabitants o f
Canton. This number may be far from the truth ; it is said, however, that no one who
has had opportunities o f visiting the city, o f passing through its streets, and viewing the
multitudes that throng them, will think o f its being much less than 1,000,000.
Names o f the
E ighteen
Provinces.

Population
in the 17/h year o f
K eaking.

Cheihle...................
Shantung,..............
Shanse,...................
Honan,...................
Iveangsoo,.............
N ganhw uy,...........
Keangse,................
Fuhkeen,...............
ChSkeilng,............
Hoopih,..................
Hoonan,.................
Shense,..................
Kansuh,.................
Szechuen,..............
K w angtung,.........
Kwangse,..............
Yunnan,.................
Kweichow,.............

27,990,871
28,958,764
14,004,210
23,037,171
37,843,501
34,168,059
24,046,999
14,777,410
26,256,784
27,370,098
18,652,507
10,207,256
15,193,125
21,435,678
19,174,030
7,313,895
5,561,320
5,288,219

T

o ta l .........

360,279,897

Square miles in
each Province.
58,949
65,104
55,268
65,104

)
\

)
\
)
{

English acres in
each Province.
37,727,360
41,666,560
35,371,520
41,666,560

Pop. on a
square
mile.
644
368
488
384

92,961

59,495,040

344

72,176
53,480
39,150

46,192,640
34,227,200
25,056,000

263
280
536

144,770

92,652,800

187

154,008

98,565,120

195

166,800
79,456
78,250
107,969
64,554

106,752,000
50,851,840
50,080,000
69,100,160
41,314,560

162
264
128
74
140

1,297,999

830,719,360

257

This census, besides the population o f the eighteen provinces as given above, includes
also the inhabitants o f Moukden, Kirin, Turfan, and Lobnor, and the island o f For­
mosa, in all 1,413,982; there are also to be added 188,326 families on the west and
north o f China Proper, which, allowing only four individuals to a family, amounts to
753,304. These sums added to that o f the eighteen provinces, give as the total popu­
lation o f the Chinese empire, three hundred and sixty-two millions, four hundred and
forty-seven thousand, one hundred and eighty-three.
P O P U L A T IO N O F T H E W E S T E R N R E S E R V E , O H IO.
It appears by the Cleveland (Ohio) Herald, that in the increase o f population, the
Western Reserve has more than kept pace with the rest o f the state. The following
statement exhibits as well the present population o f the several counties, as the ad­
vancement o f the whole reserve since the census o f 1820. It will be seen that the
population in 1840 is more than double that o f 1830, and more than four fold that o f
1820. A t the close o f fifty years from its first settlement, N ew Connecticut, as the
reserve used to be called, will equal Old Connecticut in population.
1840.
1830.
1820.
1820.
1840.
1830.
5,696 (erec.in ’2'4>
7,382
Lorain,....... 18,451
Ashtabula, .23,740
14,584
Medina,..... 18,360
7,560
3,082
Cuyahoga,..26,510
10,361
6,328
Portage,..... 23,099
18,827
10,095
Erie,......... .12,529
(erected in 1838)
Summit,.....22,469
(erected in 1840)
G eau ga,.. ..16,299
15,813
7,791
Trumbull,...38,062
6,676
25,154
15,546
H u ron ,.... ..23,887
13,345
(erected in 1840)
Lake,....... ..13,718
237,114
111,340
56,900




476

Bank Statistics.

BANK STATISTICS.
A STATEM EN T
O f all the incorporated companies in the state o f New York, having hanking poxcers,
the date o f their respective acts o f incorporation, the limitation o f the same, and the
amount o f capital authorized.
Names o f Banks.

Date o f
Charter.
1831
1831

Chemical Manufacturing Company,............................... %

Charter Amount o f
expires.
Capital.
1853
1853
1866
1853
1844
1852
1865
1844

1830
1824
1831
1834
1824
1829
1824
1830
1835
1832
1799
1831
1830
1831
1829
1829
1821
1831
1833
1831
1831

1855
1857
1857
1849
1857
1842
1854
1863
1855
1853

1834
1836
1829
1829
1831
1829
1829
1829
1829
1832
1836
1829
1829
1829
1834
1836
1830
1839
1832
1832
1829
1829
1829
1832
1831
1829

1864
1866
1855
1850
1861
1856
1852
1853
1850
1855
1866
1850
1851
1859
1864
1866
1858
1845
1862
1862
1853
1850
1859
1860
1855
1854

1844
1855
1865
1862

§2,001,200
1,000,000
2,000,000
500.000
400.000
720.000
500.000
500.000
200,000
600,000
. 200,000
500.000
600.000
2.050.000
2,000,000
200,000
1.490.000
750.000
750.000
500.000
500.000
400.000
1,000,000

[The foregoing banks are all in the city o f N. Y .]

Canal Bank o f A lbany,.......................................................




500.000
500.000
240.000
200.000
200,000
200,000
100,000
400.000
200.000
120,000
200,000
300.000
140.000
100.000
200,000
200,000
100,000
250.000
100.000
150.000
440.000
600,0U0
100.000
200,000
100,000
300,000

Bank Statistics.

477

S tatement of all the I ncorporated C ompAx
Nies, etc .— Continued.
Names o f Banks.

Bate o f
Charter.

Charter
expires.

Catskill Bank,.................................................................... . .
Cayuga County Bank,...................................................... .
Central Bank,......................................................................
Chautauque County Bank,...............................................
Chemung Canal B ank,.....................................................
City Bank o f Buffalo,*......................................................
Clinton County Bank,........................................................
Commercial Bank o f A lban y,..........................................
Commercial Bank o f Buffalo,...........................................
Commercial Bank o f Oswego,..........................................
Dutchess County Bank,....................................................
Essex County B ank,..........................................................
Farmers’ Bank, C atskill,..................................................
Farmers’ Bank, T ro y ,.......................................................
Farmers’ and Manufacturers’ Bank, Poughkeepsie,...
Herkimer County Bank,...................................................
Highland Bank, Newburgh,.............................................
Hudson River Bank, H udson,.........................................
Jefferson County Bank,.....................................................
Kingston Bank,...................................................................
Lewis County Bank,...........................................................
Livingston County Bank,.................................................
Long-Island Bank,..............................................................
Madison County Bank,......................................................
Mechanics’ and Farmers’ Bank, Albany,......................
Merchants’ and Mechanics’ Bank, T roy ,......................
Mohawk Bank,....................................................................
Montgomery County Bank,..............................................
Oneida Bank,.......................................................................
Onondaga Bank,.................................................................
Ontario B a n k ,......................................................................
Orange County Bank,................................. . .....................
Oswego Bank,.....................................................................
Otsego County Bank,.........................................................
Rochester City Bank,.........................................................
Sackett’s Harbor Bank,-....................................................
Saratoga County Bank,....................................................
Schenectady Bank,............................................................
Seneca County Bank,........................................................
Steuben County Bank,......................................................
Tompkins County Bank,..................................................
T roy City Bank,.................................................................
Ulster County Bank,.........................................................
W ayne County Bank,*......................................................
Watervliet Bank,.................................................................
Westchester County Bank,..............................................
Yates County B ank,..........................................................

1829
1833
1829
1831
1833
1836
1836
1825
1834
1836
1825
1832
1831
1829
1834
1833
1834
1830
1829
1836
1833
1830
1839
1831
1829
1829
1829
1831
1836
1830
1829
1832
1831
1830
1836
1834
1830
1832
1833
1832
1836
1833
1831
1829
1836
1833
1831

1853
1863
1855
1860
1863
1866
1866
1845
1864
1866
1855
1862
1860
1853
1864
1863
1864
1855
1854
1866
1863
1855
1845
1858
1853
1854
1853
1857
1866
1854
1856
1862
1859
1854
1866
1865
1857
1862
1863
1862
1866
1863
1861
1858
1866
1863
1859

Amount of
Capital.
$150,000
250,000
120,000
100,000
200,000
400,000
200,000
300,000
400,000
250,000
600,000
100,000
100,000
278,000
300,000
200,000
200,000
150,000
200,000
200,000
100,000
100,000
300,000
100,000
442,000
300,000
165,000
100,000
400,000
150,000
500,000
105,660
150,000
100,000
400,000
200,000
100,000
150,000
200,000
150,000
250,000
300,000
100,000
100,000
250,000
200,000
100,000

* Charter forfeited.
BAN K OF ENGLAND.
Quarterly Average o f the W eekly Liabilities and Assets o f the Bank o f England, from
the 10<A o f November, 1840, to the 2d o f February, 1841, both inclusive ; published
pursuant to the A ct 3 and 4 W ill. I V ., c. 98 :—
lia b ilitie s .

Circulation,...........................
Deposits,...............................

assets .

.£16,230,000
7,365,000

£23,595,000
Downing street, Feb. 4, 1841.




Securities,.........................
Bullion,............................

£22,595,000
3,816,000
£26,411,000

Bank Statistics.

478

TH E FREE BANKS OF TH E S T A T E OF N E W YORK.
W e learn from the annual report o f the comptroller, dated January 7,1841, that there
■were seventy-six associations and banks named in the report of last year ; thirteen have
been stricken from the list, as either closed or closing, and there have been added six,
which have been established since 1st December, 1839 ; leaving now in operation sixtynine, several o f which have indicated a disposition to close their operations as speedily
as circumstances will admit. It is much to the credit o f the free banks, that of the
great number o f them, they have all, with but one exception, (the Millers’ Bank,) com ­
plied with the terms o f the act o f the last session, relating to the redemption o f bank
n otes; and consequently, the circulating bills o f all the associations and individual
bankers (with the one exception) have been taken at par for all State dues, at the sev­
eral points where those dues were payable. M any o f the associations, and some indi­
vidual bankers, have found it necessary materially to curtail their circulation, as will
be seen by comparing the amount in 1839 with that in 1840.
O n 1st December, 1839, the circulation o f the free banks (or the amount issued from
this office) was................................ ........................................................................$6,012,009
On 1st December, 1840, there was outstanding,................................................... 5,353,567
Making a diminution of.......................................................... $658,442
Statement o f the banks under the General Banking Law, showing their names, the
amount o f capital secured by State stocks, and the amount secured by bonds and
mortgages, and the amount o f circulating notes by each, December 1, 1840.

Names o f Banks.

Staten Island Bank,................. ................................
Agricultural Bank, o f Herkimer,.............................
' Bank o f United States, N ew Y ork ,........................
Bank o f Western N ew York, Rochester................
Clinton Bank, N ew Y ork,..........................................

Capital
secured by
State
stocks.

Capital
secured by
Bonds and
Mortgages.

$36,000
$41,500
32.000 I
26,833
*5,000 (

200,000
100,000

North American Trust and Banking Co., N . Y .,
Farmers’ Bank, Orleans,................ ..........................
Lockport Bank and Trust Company,.....................
N . Y . State Stock Security Bank, New Y ork,....
State Bank o f N ew Y ork, Buffalo,........................
Merchants’ and Farmers’ Bank, Ithaca,................

75.000
90.000 I
*20,000 (
28.000
75.000
100,000
*74,700
100,000
46.000

A llegany County Bank, A ngelica,..........................

*9,000 (

M echanics’ Banking Association, N ew Y ork ,.....

Bank o f Syracuse,............................ ..........................
Cattaraugus County Bank, Randolph,...................

* 20,000

(

120,000

}

St. Lawrence County Bank, Ogdensburg,............
Merchants’ Exchange Bank, Buffalo,....................
Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Bank, Genesee,...........
Bank o f Kinderhook,..................................................
James Bank, Jamesville,...........................................
Powell Bank, Newburg,......................................... .
Bank o f O lean,............................................................
Bank o f Central N ew Y ork, U tica,........................

18,000 )

*18,000 (
130,000
28,000
50.000
30.000
75.000
31.000 )
*53,000 $
44.000

20.000 )

Bank o f Silver Creek,.................................................

*9,000 (
41.000
25.000
47.000
35.000

Exchange Bank, Genesee,........................................
Genesee County Bank, Le R oy,..............................
Fort Plain Bank,.........................................................
Bank o f America, Buffalo,.




*

20,000

$66,448
53.000
138.000
83,056
48,500

75.000

154,221

10.000

58,550

10,580
106,626
166.000
34,596
69,960
96.000

78,213

150,000

27.600

58.200

83,680
98,760

20.000 )
100,000

Amount o f
circulating
notes.

§13,200

58,549

171,034

20,000
21,721
50.600
40,714
50,000

117,195
44,095
91,602
50,690
106,250

45,231

116,302

26,093

58,098

20,090

48,800

35,745
32,250
47,325

65,312
48.200
89.000

31,098

75,335

Bank , Statistics.

479

T he F ree B anks of the S tate of N ew Y ork .— Continued.

Names o f Banks.

Bank o f A ttica,............................
United States Bank, Buffalo,....
Ballston Spa Bank,......................
Farmers’ Bank, Hudson,...........
M echanics’ Bank, Buffalo..........
Mercantile Bank, Schenectady,..
Bank o f W atertown,.....................
A lbany E xchange Bank,...........
Bank o f Lowville,........................
Bank o f Waterville,..

.Capital
secured by
State
Stocks.

Capital
secured by
Bonds and
Mortgages.

$15,000

10,327
20.500
38.450
50,200

2- 1,000
*40,000
50.000
42.000
*18,150
69.000
46.000
48.000
30.000
*4,000
60.000
*

Bank o f Corning,..................................................
American Exchange Bank, N ew Y ork ,..........
Manufacturers’ Bank, Ulster,............................
Bank o f W hitestown,............................................
Pine Plains Bank,......................................... .......
Canal Bank, Lockport,.........................................
Howard Trust and Banking Company, Troy,.
W ashington County Bank, Union Village,.....
Bank o f Commerce, N ew Y ork .........................
Commercial Bank, T roy ,....................................
Bank o f Vernon,....................................................
Binghampton Bank,.............................................
M ohawk Valley Bank, M ohawk Village,........
N ew Y ork Banking Company, N ew Y ork,....
Commercial Bank, Rochester,...........................
Middletown Bank,.................................................
Delaware Bank, Delhi,..
Farmers’ Bank, Geneva,...................................
Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Bank, Rochester,..
Bank o f Danville,...............................................
Farmers’ and Drovers’ Bank, Somers,..........
W ashington Bank, N ew Y ork,........................
Farmers’ Bank, Amsterdam,...........................
Eric County Bank, Buffalo,............................
Bank o f Albion,...................................................
Bank o f Commerce, Buffalo,............................
Bank of L o d i,.....................................................
Exchange Bank, Rochester,............................
Union Bank, B uffalo,........................................
Phenix Bank, Buffalo,.
Bank o f Brockport,..
* N ew Y ork state stocks.




10,000

70.000
*5,000
404.000
*38,500

10.000
*40,000
63.000
77.000
*

10,000

25.000
50.000
*300,000
31.000
*5,000
*50,000
35.000
37.000
116.000
70.000

20.000
* 12,000
63.000
*15,000
55.000
*

10,000
26.000
60,000
50.000
*7,000
24.000
91.000
9.000
*

6,000

161,000
25.000
*4,000
15.000
51.000
*14,000

6.000
*9,200
5,000
* 10,000

Amount o f
circulating
notes.
6*13,917
42,327
76,600
90.000

48.800

94,592

39.500
39,710
35.800

62,950
64,400
56,350

44,350

53.000

33.450

81,038

23.500

75.000
292,780
§28,500

30,050

71,680

37,200

83,520

82,400

139,400

23,250
28,925

43.000
60.000
229,840

30,000

46.000

50,012
7,600
28,159
87,250

100,060
33,970
52.700
104,800
123,000

39,000

53.900
61,776

53,686

97.000

20,000

38.900
94.000
55,830
13,397
30,500
101,370

65,300
15,900
10,000
6,500
35,750
21,168

24.000
103,575

19,153

40,612

14,500

§21,600
50,721

13,725

25.700

17,500

26.000

§ Individual banks.

Bank Statistics.

48 0

TH E C H A R TE RE D BANKS OF N E W YORK.
A Table, showing the proportions o f capital to loans, and o f specie to circulation, o f all
the chartered banks o f the state o f N ew York, f o r the last five years; derived from
the annual report o f the bank commissioners.

Capital.

Loans.

1st Jan.
1837..
1838..
1839..
1840..
1841..

Proportion
o f Capital
to Loans.

Proportion
Circulation. o f Specie to
Circulation.

Specie.

$79,313,188 $ 1 to 2.13,7 $6,557,020 $24,198,000 $ 1 to 3.67,5
$37,101,460
.
4,139,732
60,999,770 1 to 1.63,0
36.611.460
.
12,432,478 1 to 3.00,3
68,300,486 1 to 1.85,5
36.801.460
19,373,149 1 to 2.93,5
6,602,708
.
.
10,629,514 1 to 1.81,2
5,851,218
52,085,467 1 to 1.43,4
36.401.460
15,325,056 1 to 2.81,5
5,429,622
54,691,163 1 to 1.50,2
36.401.460
.

A Table, exhibiting a comparative view o f the Resources and. Liabilities o f the char­
tered banks o f the state o f New York, fo r the last two years, excluding the C ity Bank
o f Buffalo.
L I A B IL IT IE S .

ltE S O U R C E S .

ls£ Jan.
1840.

ls£ Jan.
1840.

ls£ Jan.
1841.

lsZ Jan.
1841.

Loans &. disc’ts, $52,085,467 $54,691,163 Circulation,..... $10,360,592 $15,235,056
3,588,133
326,610
109,784
2,872,425
4,630,392
2,992,530
2,570,258
3,647,970
16,038,416
861,643 Deposits,..........
17,053,651
816,105
Bank fu n d ,........
257,061
5,429,622
420,580
5,851,018
7,008,341
4,922,764 Due oth. banks,
Notes other bks.,
10,374,682
4,380,548
2,802,830
Cash items,........
2,295,621
$37,147,069 $15,600,492
Due from banks,
10,061,002
6,504,488
Add capital and ) _______ __
[ 41,306,573 [ 41,387,050
$78,453,642 $86,987,548
T otal,........ $78,453,642 $86,987,548
In the resources as above stated, the item o f back balances includes the funds o f the
country banks in deposit in N ew Y ork and Albany, amounting to $3,669 ,231 ; being
an increase over last year o f $1,413,387.
BO STO N BANKS.

Atlas,............
B oston,.........
Colum bian,..
Freeman’s,...
Granite,.......
H am ilton,...
Massachu’ts,
M arket,.......
Mechanics’ , .
Merchants’ , .

Capital.

$500,000 24
3
500.000
600.000
34
1 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
3
500,000
3
500.000
34
150.000
3
1 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
500,000 3
3
500,000
3
800,000
600,000 none
150,000 3
2 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
34




Amount.

Banks.

$12,500 N. England,.
15.000
2 1 .0 0 0 Shoe & Leat.
15,000
15,500
5,250
30.000
15.000
15,000
24,000
4,500
70,000

Shawmut,....
Suffolk,.........
Trcm ont,......
Traders’ , ......
Union,..........
Washington,.

Capital.

1 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0

|

Dividend.
P e r cent.

Banks.

Dividend.
P e r cent.

A Table, showing the capital o f each o f the banks in the city o f Boston, and the last
semi-annual dividends which were paid at the banks in that city, A pril 5 , 1841.

3

Amount.

750,000

24

$30,000
18,750

500,000

34

| 17,500

3
4

' 15,000
54.000
40.000

2

1 0 ,0 0 0

3
3
3

15,000
15.000
24,000
18,750

500,000
1,800,000
1 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
500.000
500.000
500,000
800,000
500,000
$17,650,000

2J

2|

$495,750

481

Railroad and Canal Statistics.

RAILROAD AND CANAL STATISTICS,
R A IL R O A D S O F T H E U N IT E D S T A T E S .

M aine,..............................
N ew Hampshire,............
Massachusetts,...............
Rhode Island,.................
C onnecticut,...................
N ew Y ork,......................
Pennsylvania,.................
N ew jerse y ,....................
Delaware,........................
M aryland,........................
Virginia,...........................
North Carolina,..............
South Carolina,..............
Georgia,............................
F lorida,............................
Alabama,..........................
Louisiana,........................
Mississippi,......................
Tennessee,......................
Kentucky,.......................
Ohio,.................................
Indiana,............................
M ichigan,........................
Illinois,.............................

Average cost per
mile.

Total cost.

Amount required
fo r completion.

1
a
fei

Amount already
expended.

O'

Locomotives.

States.

M iles now in
operation.

50

Total numb, o f
miles o f railroad.

A Table, showing the number o f railroads in the United States, miles now m operation,
total number o f miles, number o f locomotives, amount expended, amount required fo r
completion, total cost,
the average cost per mile ; derived from the report o f Che­
valier Von Gerstner, carried up to 1840.

10
1 10
2 $ 2 0 0 ,0 0 0
$ 2 0 0 ,0 0 0 $ 2 0 ,0 0 0
29}
1 14}
910,000 31,111
2
610,000 $300,000
365} 52 11,100,000 2,435,000 13,535,000 37,055
14 270}
47}
2,500,000 52,632
1 47}
6 2,500,000
152
3 94
7 1,905,000 1,000,000 2,905,000 19,079
38 453} 1,317} 45 11,311,800 10,503,000 21,814,800 16,570
850} 114 18,070,000 5,042,000 23,112,000 27,183
48 576£
196
37 5,547,000
7 192
100,000 5,647,000 28,826
16
400,000 25,000
1 16
6
400,000
749} 44 12,400,000 10,600,000 23,000,000 30,700
8 273}
369
10 341
42 5,201,000
250,000 5,451,000 14,772
247
11 3,163,000
3,163,000 12,806
3 247
202
2 136
27 3,200,000
800,000 4,000,000 19,802
640} 17 5,458,000 4,320,000 9,778,000 15,266
4 21 H
217
4 584
5 1,420,000 2,400,000 3,820,000 17,604
7 51
432}
3 1,222,000 3,434,000 4,656,000 10,763
10 62
248} 20 2,862,000 1,834,000 4,696,000 18,880
5 50
210}
8 3,490,000 2,240,000 5,730,000 27,221
3
0
0 1,100,000
855,000 1,955,000 12,880
1604
96
2 32
2
947,000 1,250,000 2.197,000 22,885
416
420,140 2,859,000 3,279,140
6 39
1
7,883
246
2 20
2 1,375,000 3,245,000 4,620,000 19,512
7,459,000
10,222
114
1,896,000
5,653,000
10
7384
8
11 23 1,421
2 1,832,000 15,177,500 17,009,500 11,970

E R IE C A N A L N A V IG A T IO N , 1840.
Statement o f the number o f boats arrived at and cleared from Albany and T roy, navi­
gating the E rie canal, fo r each month o f the season o f navigation in the year 1840,
and the aggregate thereof, and also the aggregate number fo r each o f the eight years
preceding 1840.
In each month o f 1840.
A p ril,....................................................
M ay,.....................................................
June,.....................................................
J u ly ,.....................................................
A u g u st,...............................................
September,...........................................
O ctober,...............................................
Novem ber,..........................................
December,.....................................

806
3,292
3,304
3,928
2,856
2,232
4,642
3,732
62

T otal,................ 24,854
V OL. I V .— NO. V .




61

A ggregate number in each year.
............................................ 19,026
1832,
1833,
............................................24,460
1834,
............................................25,038
1835,
............................................28,776
1836,
............................................26,456
1837,
........................................... 24,082
1838,
.......
25,320
1839,
............................................25,170
1840,
............................................24,854

482

Railroad and Canal Statistics.

Statement o f the amount o f tonnage on the E rie canal, going; from tide water, during
the season o f navigation, in each o f the years 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1840;
and also o f the tonnage o f the E rie canal arriving at tide water, in each o f the years
1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1840, is as follows
Going from tide water.
1835,
.......................................
1836,
.......................................
1837,
.......................................
1838,
.......................................
1839,
.......................................
1840...................................................

111,766
108,219
101,495
117,440
114,857
97,902

1834,
1835,
1836,
1837,
1838,
1839,
1840,

Arriving at tide water.
.......................................... 375,029
..........................................445,691
..........................................414,740
..........................................382,413
.......................................... 389,561
.......................................... 356,413
.......................................... 432,619

T he tonnage on the Erie canal going from tide water, for the years 1832, 1833, and
1834, cannot be furnished separate from the Champlain canal, as such returns from
the collectors on the Champlain canal were not then required. T he tonnage going
from tide water in the years 1833 and 1834, including the Erie and Champlain canals,
is as follows :—
In 1833,..........................119,463 tons. | In 1834,..........................114,608 tons.
T he tonnage o f the Erie canal arriving at tide water, cannot be given previous to the
year 1834, because statistical returns were not required before that year. A s there are
no monthly returns required o f the tonnage, it is not practicable to give it for each
month in the year 1840.
Statement o f the number o f lockages at Alexander's lock, west o f Schenectady, fo r each
month o f the season o f navigation o f 1840, and the aggregate th ereof: and also the
aggregate number o f lockages at said lock fo r each o f the eight years preceding 1840.
F or each month in 1840.
April,....................................................
M ay,......................................................
June,.....................................................
July, ...............................
A ugust,................................................
September,...........................................
O ctober,...............................................
N ovem ber,...........................................
D ecem ber,...........................................

682
3,831
3,472
3,570
3,387
3,840
4,147
4,032
26

F or each year.
1832...........................................
1833,..........................................
1834...........................................
...............................
1835,
1836,
...............................
1837,
...............................
1838,
...............................
1839,
...............................
1840,
...............................

18,601
20,649
22,911
25,798
25,516
21,055
25,962
24,234
26,987

U T I C A A N D S C H E N E C T A D Y R A IL R O A D .
T he report o f the treasurer o f this company, on a call from the legislature o f N ew
Y ork, presents the following facts concerning this well-managed road. John G. Costigan, Esq., the present superintendent, is one o f the most efficient, intelligent, and gentle­
manly railroad managers in the country.
T he capital o f the company is 20,000 shares,...................................................... $2,000,000
T he total cost o f the road, from its commencement to the 1st Jan. 1841, in­
cluding the right o f way, $322,470, and the purchase of the Mohawk
Turnpike, $62,500, was........................................................................................ 1,901,785
T he calls made on stockholders have been.......................................$1,500,000
Ditto, derived from dividends,.............................................................
300,000
----------------- 1,800,000
T he amount received from passengers, the mail and all sources, in 4 years
and 5 months, from commencement o f road to 1st Jan., 1841,.................... 1,618,517
552,598
T he total expenses during the same period,..........................................................
Nett earnings, 71 per cent, on 4J years,..............................................................
1,065,918
T he dividends declared to 1st Jan., 1841, being equal to 13J per cent per
annum on the capital o f $1,500,000, during 4J years,..................................
917,000
T he total cost per mile o f the 78 miles, including motive power, right of
way and turnpike, is............................................................................. $23,580
O ff right o f way and turnpike,................................................................
4,934




18,446

Commercial Statistics.

483

This sum covers the cost o f grading for a double track, with 20 miles o f double track
in the centre, and two miles o f turn-outs.
The above mentioned road has a light flat iron bar-rail.

It is restricted from carrying

freight, which it readily might do, thereby relieving the Erie canal, and materially
subserving the interests o f commerce.
O P E N IN G O F T H E N E W Y O R K C A N A L S , 1827-39.
The navigation o f the canals was opened throughout all the lines, in 1840, on the
20th o f April, and was closed on the 5th o f December. Lake Erie was open at Buffalo,
on the 27th o f April. During the thirteen years next preceding, the canals and the
lake at Buffalo were respectively navigable as follows :—
Year.
1839...
1838...
1837...
1836 ..
1835...
1834...
1833...

Canals.
. .April aoth.....
. .April 12th.....
. .April 20th......
. .April 25th......
. .April 15th......
17th......
19th......

Lake.

Year.
1832...
1831...
1830...
1829...
1828...
1827...

n th
16 th
27th
8th
6th
23d

Canals.
..April
. .April
. .May
..M arch
..M arch

Lake.
27th
16th...... ...... M ay
8th
20th......
6th
10th
2nd......
27th......
1st
21st......
21st

COMMERCIAL STATISTICS.
G R O W T H , E X P O R T , A N D C O N S U M P T IO N O F C O F F E E ,
THE
TO

Years.
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840

EUROPE.

TAST E IG H T Y E A R S .
TO

U N IT E D

STATES.

Bags.

Pounds.

Bags.

Pounds.

352,150
378,678
381,401
400,311
499,264
513,768
525,802
700,021

464,000,000
605,000,000
607,000,000
640,000,000
798,000,000
821,000,000
841,000,000
1,120,000,000

230,270
174,646
257,981
307,441
128,375
267,036
336,620
302,275

369,000,000
278,000,000
412,000,000
492,000,000
205,000,000
430,000,000
533,000,000
484,000,000

TOTAL.

Bags.

Pounds.

582,420
933,000,000
553,324
883,000,000
639,382 1,019,000,000
707,752 1,132,000,000
627,649 1,002,000,000
780,804 1,251,000,000
862,422 1,365,000,000
1,002,996 1,604,000,000

T he export to the United States has been—
Baltimore,...
Philadelphia,.
Portsmouth,.

N ew Y ork ,................................bags 102,862
N ew Orleans,................................... 52,678
B oston,...............................................
7,564

.bags 107,285
........ 31,885
........
501

T he Boston Mercantile Journal says o f this important article o f commerce, that the
amount raised has increased considerably o f late years, and that the growth now ac­
tually exceeds the consumption by some 25,000 tons 1 The following is the estimated
growth for export in different countries:—
Java,............................................. tons 36,000
M ocha and Arabia,............................ 10,000
Sum atra,.............................................. 8,000
Brazil,.................................................... 42,000
Cuba and Porto R ico,..........................25,000
St. Domingo,....................................... 20,000
T he following is the estimated
Holland and Netherlands,....... tons, 40,500
Germany and North o f Europe,..... 32,000
France and South o f Europe,.........35,000
Great Britain and Ireland,.....10,000




British W est Indies,.................. tons 11,000
French W est Indies,........................ 8,000
Dutch W est Indies,.......................... 5,000
Total supply,....... tons, 165,000
in Europe and A m erica:—
Am erica,.....................................tons, 22,000
---------Total consumption,....... tons, 140,000

Commercial Statistics.

484

Statement, snowing the prices o f all descriptions o f cotton wool, at Liverpool, during
the last week o f the years 1837, 1838,1839, and 1840.
Description.

1837.

Uplands,..................................
Orleans,...................................
Sea Islands,............................
Stained ditto,.........................
Maranham,.............................
Bahia and M acaio,................
A labam a,............................ }
M obile,................................ >
Tennessee,.......................... )

S m yrna,..................................
Common W est India,...........
L aguira,..................................
S urat,.................................. )
M adras,.............................. ^
Pernambuco,...................... )
Paraiba,............................... ^
Bengal,....................................

1838.

d.
d.
7 to S i
6$
&4
16 ... 22
8 4 ...
0
9 i ... 10
84 ... 10
6J ...
9
8£
9
8
64
64
5f
64

8}

... 13
... 9
... 1 24
... 8 i
... 7 t
... 8|
... 0
... 0

d.
6|
8
18
7
8
8

d.
to 9
... 94
... 28
... 16
... 94
... 94

74 ...
134
8|
9£
81
64
9
54
8*

1839.

8f

... 164
... 0
... 13
... 9^
... 6|
... 0
... 5 4
... 0

44 ...

6

54 ...

9| ...

94

94 ... 1 04

3| -

5

54 ...

64

6

d.
5f
6
20
6
94
8*
6

1840.

d.
to 7 f
... 9
... 22
... 14
... 94
94
...

74

11
8
8
0
0
74
5f

d.
d.
51 to 7
5 4 ...
74
1 3 4 ... 30
6 ... 12
84
6 4 ...
74 ... 84
54 ...

7

... 124
... 9
... 13
... 0
... 0
... 84
... 51
8 4 ...
9

... 12
... 9
... 91
... 0
... e*
... 7 4
4 4 ...
5
8
6 4 ...

44 ...

4

64

9i
61
8"
0
6
6

...

5

...

10

84 ...

9

4J ...

54

4

44

94

...

Albany,..........
A llegany,......
Broom e,.........
Cattaraugus,.
C ayuga,.........
Chautauque,..
Chemung,.....
Chenango,....
Clinton,..........
Columbia,.....
Cortland,......
Delaware,.....
Dutchess,......
Erie,...............

65,000

7,000
9,600

14,000

94,000

Franklin,......
Genessee,......
Greene,..........
Hamilton,.....
Herkimer,.....
Jefferson,......




12,000
131,380

5,000

1,166
130
49
59
166
132
83
116
117
228
38
82
183
317
76
40
57
136
142
3
142
149

1,144,503
380,700
180,300
214,900
800,197
505,165
234,235
428,490
406,640
710,650
350,400
280,897
582,450
894,875
221,800
42’500
143,825
596^850
385,860
9,500
427,790
512,900

27
8

464,000
5,590

7
5
8
1
1
7
3

16,800
10,300
3,800
13,000
400
9,000
2,200

15
6

181,000
14,500

1
2
8
2

5,000
3,000
1,620
10,300

25
316

12,500
39,250

to
3
GQ

Capital in­
vested.

Lite, transp'n.
Numb, o f men
employed.

Numb, o f men
employed.

5 fc
a
5
5*

Capital in­
vested.

Capital in­
vested.

R etail drygoods, grocery
df other stores.

Counties.

Capital
invested in
foreign trade.

COMMERCE OF TH E STATE OF N EW YORK.
A Table, showing the capital invested in foreign trade ; retail drygoods, grocery, and
other stores, lumber-yards, number o f men employed, capital invested, e tc .: as
ascertained by the census o f 1840,fro m official documents published by the legislature.

1,655 182

197,000

30
13
6
3
4
1

54,000
1,220
2,300
5,000
2,500
156,500

103 i i
1,083 2 2
6
51
10

97,500
9,000
8,900

4

134 42

15,500

287
204

105 33
88 20

58,026
38,300

161
2
59
71
243
154
3
204
390
56
120
385
55
18
40

35
20
56
4
600
184

no

Co turnercia l S tcitistics.

Kings,............

109,500

Livingston,...
Madison,.......
M onroe,.........
15,100
Montgomery,
New Y ork,... 45,941,200
N iagara,.......
1,000
Oneida,..........
58,000
Onondaga,....
Ontario,........
Orange,.........
Orleans,........
1,000
Oswego,.........
246,000
Putnam,........
Queen’s , .......
Rensselaer,...
R ichm ond,...
Rockland,.....
Saratoga,......
Schenectady,
Schoharie,.....
Seneca,..........
St. Lawrence,
Steuben,.......
Suffolk,..........
Sullivan,.......
Tompkins,....
Ulster,...........
W arren,........
Washington,.
W ayne,..........
Westchester,.
Y ates,...........

2,074,621

3,090

21,000

209
515,800
33
93,300
121
356,120
109
391,215
340 1,538,196
94
370,150
3,485 14,509,995
123
393,245
382 2,584,575
264 1,082,330
136
535,500
471 1,191,995
76
439,140
107
366,225
139
47
105,950
83
253,900
403 1,041,963
49
58,870
53
121,600
166
334,415
36
77,800
81
188,500
55
173,900
155
558,000
98
288,800
118
506,590
651 147,960
72'
339,350
1011
606^550
1461
465,500
18 110,000
140
428,900
115
538,250
198
525,900
102
318,270

SM

6
3
6
5
1
61
5
5
5
21
3

77,000
450
1,200

Continued.

69
130

20
100
52
8

13
19
3
5
12
2

25,050
206,600
19,000
50,000
13,475
5,000

2
1
3
23
10

5,000
1,600
53,850
4,960

21

169,125
22,900

6
236
124
40
93
94
193
159

4,000
89,800
800

i83
2
274
248

...

1

18
2

ei

39
133
29
117
114
2,606
7
285
8

44,000
300
731,500
800
55,400
19,700
5,307
85,000 1,151
11,000

y
“in

Capital in­
vested.

£ °cr
•o

ork .—

lu te, transp'n.
Numb, o f men
employed.

N ew Y

Numb, o f men
employed.

of

Capital in­
vested.

S tate

Capital in­
vested.

of the

Retail drygoods, grocery
tjr other stores.

Counties.

Capital
invested in
foreign trade.

C ommerce

485

236
4

48,808,401 12,06341,481,551 707 2,495,077 9,329

410
4
328
8
106
58

294
5

_2

50

75

159,000

128

648,780

34
37

94,900
16,400

2
3
6
3
6

1,200
600
9,000
9 nno

4^800

1,185
50

71 1,161,300
10
31,550
4
9,000
77 35
24,140

131
12
49

272
296
8

1

500

2

500

9

24,400
4,450
58,000

2
1

500

7,421 304 2,889,216

Total number o f commercial houses in the state o f New York, engaged in foreign
trade, 459 ; o f which 417 are in the city o f N ew York.
Total number o f commission houses in the state o f N ew Y ork, 1049 ; o f which 918
are in the city o f N ew York.
C O M M E R C IA L R E S O U R C E S O F O H IO .
The wheat crops o f Ohio appear to be very large. The crop of 1839 is estimated at
18 millions o f bushels. Estimating the home consumption at 7 bushels for each person,
which is a fair allowance, considering the quantity o f Indian consumed in the state,
and 8 millions remain for exportation. T he production o f wheat, then, yields to the
state of Ohio not less than six millions o f dollars per annum, exclusive o f its entire
bread consumption. The production o f Indian corn is not less than 30 millions of
bushels! A n amount which may give an idea o f the vast number of hogs, cattle, and
horses, which are raised in the west.




486

Nautical Intelligence.— Navigation.

NAUTICAL INTELLIGENCE-NAVI GAT ION.
P A S S A G E S O F T H E S T E A M S H IP G R E A T W E S T E R N , IN 1840.
TO N E W YO RK .

TO B R IS T O L .

Sailed.

Arrived.

Days.

Sailed.

Arrived.

20th February,
15th April,
4th June,
25th July,
12th September,
7 th November,

7th March,
3d May,
18th June,
9th August,
27th September,
24th November,

154
174
144
144
144
164

19th March,
9th May,
1st J uly,
18th August,
10th October,
9th December,

Days.

2d April,
23d May,
14th July,
31st August,
23d October,
23d December,

14
14
134

13
1 34
134

T he passages from England have averaged fifteen days and a h a lf; and the whole
time occupied in six western passages has been 92f days.
T he passages hence to England have averaged thirteen days and a h a lf; these six
passages having been made in 81 ^ days.
The Great Western, at the termination o f her last voyage, had completed 2 years
and 8£ months since she first put to sea. Four months and a half o f that time she was
laid up overhauling, leaving 2 years and 4 months employed in actual navigation.
During that time, she has crossed the Atlantic 34 times, without accident, and with as
much regularity as any conveyance by sea or land, in proportion to the distance, has
ever attained. Her 17 passages from N ew Y ork to Bristol have averaged 13 days and
about 9 hours ; and those from Bristol to N ew Y ork 15 days and 20 hours, from port
to port.
P A S S A G E S O F T H E S T E A M S H IP B R IT IS H Q U E E N , IN 1840.
TO LONDON .

TO N E W YO RK .

Arrived.

Sailed.
2d March,
1st May,
1st July,
1st September,
2d November,

17th
14th
18th
16th
20th

March,
May,
July,
September,
November,

Days.
154
134
16
144
17}

Sailed.
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st

Arrived.

April,
June,
August,
October,
December,

15th
15th
15th
16th
20th

Days.

April,
June,
August,
October,
December,

14
14
134
14|
184

T he passages from England have averaged 15 days, 8 hours; the time occupied in
the 5 passages west, 76£ days.
The passages to England have averaged 14 days, 22 hours; the time occupied in the
5 passages east, 74£ days.
It should be observed, that the difference o f distance between the ports o f Bristol and
Portsmouth is 12 hours sail in favor o f the former.
P A S S A G E S O F T H E S T E A M S H IP P R E S ID E N T , IN 1840.
TO N E W YO R K .

Sailed.

Arrived.

1st August,
1st October,

17th August,
17th October,

TO L IV E R P O O L .

Days.
154
16

Sailed.

Arrived.

Days.

1st September, 16th September,
11th November, 26 th November,

144
154

T he President made only 2 passage in 1840.
A gency for the Great Western— Richard Irvin &. Co., 98 Front street.
“

“




British Queen and President— Wadsworth &. Smith, 4 Jones’ lane*
/

I

Nautical Intelligence.— Navigation .

487

A Table, showing the number and description o f vessels which passed the lightboat sta­
tioned on Bartlett's R eef, near N ew London, exclusive o f many which probably passed
in the night, at such distance as not to have been seen, fo r the year 1840, as furnished
fo r publication by Capt. Young.
Ships. Brigs. Schooners. Sloops. Steamboi
January,
36
0
9
32
12
February,
2
1
75
157
12
March,
2
19
362
782
105
April,
11
523
1144
34
112
May,
15
46
632
1243
109
June,
21
677
67
1357
105
27
41
717
1000
July,
118
August,
50
1575
24
659
105
12
63
1347
September,
687
111
22
282
629
October,
2
47
54
615
1184
November,
20
112
29
270
585
December,
10
103
145

432

5535

11935

1051

H A M B U R G H N A V IG A T IO N .
T he deputies o f navigation o f Hamburgh, published on the 23d o f February, 1841r
the following notice :— “ On the part o f the navigation and harbor deputies an arrange­
ment has been made, that upon re-opening the navigation a small craft shall be placed
beneath Schulaw, between the black buoys Nos. 9 and 10, on the southern side o f the
river, where some time ago two ships have been lo st; and that the said craft during
the day time shall carry a signal, and during the night a lantern; and that she shall
remain there until the many vessels which are at present lying at Cuxhaven have come
up to town, and sufficient warnings will have been fastened to the wrecks, which is
hereby notified.
F L O A T IN G R A F T S O N T H E H U D SO N .
T he legislature o f New Y ork passed a law on the 20th o f March, 1841, regulating
the floating o f rafts on the Hudson river. It provides, 1st, That all rafts o f timber or
lumber which shall be floated on the Hudson river at night, shall show two red lights,
one on each end o f such ra ft; the height o f such light shall not be less than ten feet
from the upper logs or plank o f said raft. 2d, The penalty for violating the foregoing
section shall be the same as is provided for in section twelfth, title ten, chapter twenty,
part first, o f the Revised Statutes, and shall be sued for and recovered in the manner
therein provided.
P IL O T S O F T H E P O R T O F B O ST O N .
T he pilots o f the port o f Boston give notice to all masters o f the class o f vessels
under two hundred tons burden, that are now exempt, by a late act o f the legislature
of Massachusetts, from paying pilotage fees, that by the letter o f the said law, the pilots
are also exempt from any obligation o f rendering their service to that class o f vessels,
when called on in stress o f weather. Consequently, the pilots feel at liberty to state,
that they shall charge such compensation as they may think a remuneration for services
rendered at such times.
B A Y O F S T . JO S E P H ’ S, F L O R ID A .
It is stated in the St. Joseph’s Times that the lighthouse at the entrance o f the Bay
o f St. Joseph’s, Fla., agreeably to the survey o f Capt. J. Hill, o f the ship Lexington, is
lat. 29 deg. 52 min. 37 sec. N., Ion. 85 deg. 16 min. 1 sec. W . Being 30 miles east
o f the direction laid down in the latest books and charts.




Note to the Article on the Cotton Trade , etc.

488

O R IE L S H O A L , N E W Z E A L A N D .
T he following notice o f a dangerous shoal o ff Poverty Bay is published over the sig­
nature o f E. M. Chaffers, harbor-master at Port Nicholas, N ew Zealand:— “ A reef,
even with the water’s edge, and about twelve miles o ff the nearest point o f land near
Poverty Bay, has lately been discovered by the master o f the Ariel, with the following
bearings from the vessel— Middle o f the reef, E . £ N.,
miles distance, Gable End
Foreland N . ^ W ., T oto Muta, W . £ S.
SHOAL N E A R TH E EQU ATOR.
T he London Nautical Magazine says— “ Capt. Sprowle, of the Circassian, is stated
to have seen a sand bank in the hollow o f the sea, in lat. 1 deg. S., Ion. 19 deg. W ., in
the direct track o f vessels to and from the South Atlantic. There are strong grounds
in addition to this for concluding that there is some bank thereabouts.”

N O T E T O T H E A R T IC L E ON T H E C O T TO N T R A D E .
VVe have received the subjoined communication from a citizen o f Charleston, S. C.,
in correction o f a statement made in an article on the “ American Cotton Trade,” in
the March number o f this magazine. It is our design at all times to do justice to every
topic we discuss, by correcting the errors which may occasionally occur in the exhibi­
tion o f the various subjects falling within the province o f our journal. T he improve­
ments made within the last few years in the matter alluded to, render the statement
o f our correspondent, Mr. Lanman, inaccurate.
“ C harleston, S. C., March 26,1841.
“ James H. Lanman, Esq., in an article on the American cotton trade, in the March
number o f the Merchants’ Magazine, speaking o f the cotton-growing region of the United
States, draws a pretty picture o f the magnificent vegetation with which it is adorned ;
“ groves o f palmetto, forests o f magnolia, and flowers o f varied hue,” he says, “ are to
be found over this extent o f c o u n t r y a n d goes on to say, “ the turbid and sluggish
streams which serve to enrich their banks, roll up a miasmatic vapor which bears death
upon its wing, and harbor uncouth reptiles and swarms o f noxious insects. Even in its
refined and intelligent metropolis, the city o f Charleston, the turkey-buzzard is made a
scavenger, and is permitted to fly through the streets, and to prey upon the garbage
which even the negro is too much occupied to clear away.” T he gentleman who wrote
the above article could never have visited the city o f Charleston, and should have been
extremely careful, before penning the sentence and putting it forth to the world, to be
certain that such was the case. I beg to contradict the assertion there made, and to
assure him that the city does not stand in need o f the scavengers he mentions, which
are now very rarely seen, the streets being kept clean daily by persons employed for
that purpose, and which duty is performed with more fidelity than in the metropolis
from which the article is dated.”
N e w D irectory of N e w Y ork . —W e are gratified to learn that Mr. Tremayn, man­
ager o f the N ew Y ork Penny Post, is preparing for the press a city directory, to be
called the “ New Y ork Penny Post Directory, for 1841-2.” It is to be got up on an im­

proved plan, and will be published as soon as practicable after the 1st of May— the
principal feature to consist o f an alphabetical list o f all housekeepers, traders, & c., south
o f Fortieth street; with a complete classification o f bankers, merchants, manufacturers,
mechanics, traders, & c., o f this city. M uch other additional matter is promised. W e
have no doubt it will prove highly acceptable to our mercantile community at large. It
is, we are informed, to comprise double the quantity o f matter contained in any former
N ew Y ork directory, and will be furnished at a moderate price. Messrs. David Felt &
Co. are the publishers.
B lack W

riting

F lu id .— David Felt & Co. manufacture, at their extensive establish­

ment in Brooklyn, an excellent article o f writing fluid. It flows as free as the blue
fluids, is very durable, and is perfectly free from the corrosive properties o f the blue.