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tingent expenses. This, truly, is an enormous profit!
that the member is totally mistaken in his facts; but, for
the sake of the argument, I am willing to admit his facts.
clined plane. Sir, it must, in the nature of things, be so. Any other course would be in direct conflict with all laws, moral and physical. I repeat, the idea that a business is so very profitable, is palpably contradicted by the fact, that idle capital, or capital vested at a very small profit, lies thick around, and refuses to enter into this business. The next branch of domestic industry to which I will call the attention of the committee, is the manufacture of hats. And this, sir, brings to mind a part of the speech which the honorable gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Wilnr] made the other evening. Whenever the subject of hats or wool is mentioned for some time to come, I shall think of that speech. The gentleman was quite discursive, and full of variety. The manner in which he connected the hatting business or wool-dealing, with certain gentlemen on this floor, was not the least unaccountable port of this most unaccountable speech. The gentleman commenced this part of his argument by telling us that there were certain anonymous letter writers from this place to various points of the compass; that these letter writers, generally, were not to be relied on; but, nevertheless, they did sometimes, by accident or design, hit upon the truth. He said, one of these letter writers had stated it as a fact, that Governor Marcy had given orders to the friends of the Vice President elect, more commonly known on this floor by the title of “The Regency men,” that they must go against the present bill. The gentleman said he did not believe one word of this, but in the very next breath he alluded to the fact that Governor Marcy was a family connexion of a gentleman in Albany who was an extensive dealer in wool: [I understand Governor Marcy’s father-in-law is a hatter by trade, and, I suppose, this is the way in which he becomes a wool dealer.] I am not acquainted with the gentleman from Georgia further than to know him when I see him. In passing we sometimes speak, and sometimes, do not. But my friends had taught me to believe that he was a gentleman, a man of handsome acquirements, and possessed great frankness, a high sense of honor, and an ample stock of good feeling. Sir, he may be a gentleman. I do not know myself very well what are the component parts of a gentleman; but, to say the least of it, I do not think, on the occasion referred to, that he displayed an overstock of candor. Let us analyze him a little on this subject, and see how he will look when taken to pieces. He told us that these letter writers, with a very few exceptions, were not to be relied on; but he made a quotation from one of those letter writers. Now I ask, sir, if a candid man would have made a o from that which he believed himself to be false? I think every candid man must answer in the negative. But this the honorable gentleman did do in the face of this House; he quoted from one of these letter writers, and told us that lie believed the quotation was a falsehood. But he immediately goes on to state another fact in connexion, which shows that he himself either believed the letter writer, or wished to make others believe him. This, then, is a specimen of the gentleman's candor, and I must do him the justice to say that the supply of candor in his speech is about as ample as he imagines truth to be among the letter writers. Now, sir, let us see how his honor will compare with his candor. The gentleman from Georgia seems to think he has a claim upon the regency men, as they are called here, and demands their votes in favor of the present bill, upon the score of gratitude; but for fear, I suppose, that his claim of gratitude will not be sufficient, he holds out a menace, of which I will say more anon. What estimate the gentleman from Georgia puts upon the character of the members who were specially alluded to by him, I
the more profitable, as that water will run down an inVol. IX.-83
will not pretend to determine; I will leave that to be set.
tled by him and them. But I will say that, before I could venture to make such an appeal, an appeal so direct, so personal, so gross, that every honorable man who heard it must have been shocked and disgusted; I say, sir, before I could venture to make such an appeal to any member upon this floor, I must consider him a spaniel with a collar around his neck. Sir, what did the gentleman say? I will not pretend to repeat his words, but his allusions were so direct and palpable that there was not a member upon this floor that did not understand them. He appealed to gentlemen upon this floor expressly as partisans; he reminded them of services which had been rendered to their friends; he called to their recollection many votes, where, as a partisan, he had stood shoulder to shoulder with them; he even went so far as to enumerate the miserable and contemptible Wiscasset case, and declared that, as a partisan, even on that occasion he had voted with them. Now, sir, we are to understand the honorable
entleman—he himself so intends we shall understand
im—that his vote was given, on all the occasions referred to, as a mere partisan, without regard to principle. He now asks his reward; he now calls upon the regency men here to vote for this bill as partisans, and thus, by party votes, without regard to principle, to sacrifice the dearest and most vital interests of their constituents; he tells them that they can pass this bill if they will, and he holds them responsible for its failure; he broadly intimates to them that if they expect their friend [Mr. Van Buren] to get any votes in the South for the Presidency, they must join with the South in destroying the system of domestic industry. Sir, if these things had been reported to me, I should have been incredulous to them; but I saw with my own eyes the orator who spoke, and heard with my own ears the words spoken. But enough of this unpleasant subject for the present; I will commence the hat-making business again. “The home consumption of hats made in
the United States is, per annum, equal to $10,000,000 Exported, - - - - - 500,000 - - $10,500,000 Say ten million five hundred thousand dollars, as the annual value of the manufacture of hats. “And, on the information of practical men, extensively engaged in this business, they have reached the conclusion that eighteen thousand persons are directly employed in this business, viz. 15,000 men and boys, 3,000 women.
“Who receive, in money paid for their labor, the sum of four million two hundred thousand dollars a year; $4,200,000.
“The materials used in the manufacture of hats consist of wool of various qualities, and of furs, which are of domestic and foreign production; also gums shellac and seedlac, glue, sulphuric and witric acids, copperas, verdigris, and dye-woods; with trimmings of leather, cloth, and silk, of foreign or domestic manufacture.
“It is now about thirty years since the first duty was laid on imported hats; and, since that time, (that the domestic manufacture might be encouraged, and thereby established) the original duty has been considerably increased, by which American hatters were first enabled to make a stand against foreign manufacturers, and finally to drive them out of the market, by furnishing better and cheaper hats than the people of the United States had been supplied with, before an adequate protection was afforded in the duty levied on hats; the exports of which now make a handsome item in the treasury statements. A foreign hat is rarely seen in our country, except in the use of persons just arrived from foreign places, because
of the imposing fact, that American hats, regard being
as they get clear of the rivalship of our works, they then immediately raise the price to the consumer; and thus in a short time repair their losses, in breaking our establishments down. We, in all such instances, in the end, pay the price of destroying our own citizens. But if, by a heavy duty on foreign salt, we even raise the P. for a time, the profit of the business induces men of capital to embark in it. The more profitable, the more will go into the business; and thus, by an active home competition, the article is furnished to the consumer at as low a price as it possibly can be manufactured for; and, in the long run, we find we can always get it cheaper than we can from the foreign importer after our salt works are broken down. Mr. Jefferson said that we ought to encourage our own citizens against foreigners, without regard to price. I think every true American would be willing to make a small sacrifice for the purpose of building up a great and permanent system, which would make his country independent at all times, and under all circumstances, of foreign Powers; and particularly when he sees and knows that that system, if not at once, will, in a short time, give him a better and a cheaper article than he gets from the foreigner. From 1807 until 1813, there was no duty on salt at all. During this period, the price varied from fifty to fifty-five cents. In 1813, a duty of twenty cents was levied. This duty remained until 1830, at which time, such was the domestic competition, it sold from forty-five to forty-seven cents, considerably lower than when there was no duty at all. In 1831, the duty was reduced to fifteen cents, and the price of the article was immediately raised to the consumer to fifty cents; making to the consumer a clear loss of five cents per bushel, and to the British importer a clear gain of ten. Facts are stubborn things; and these are facts that no man can or dare dispute. During the late war, salt sold in Baltimore as high as six dollars per bushel. Our suffering during the late war for this most essential article taught us the folly of depending upon foreigners for this essential necessary of life; and ail hands said then, we have an abundance of materials within ourselves, and we will manufacture for ourselves; for, said they, we never have an assurance how long peace will last, and whenever war comes, why then this foreign supply of salt, as well as of every thing else, is complete. ly cut off, and we are left perfectly destitute. But it seems, Mr. Chairman, that we have very nearly forgotten the salutary lessons of the late war, and, like the sow, we are ready to return to the wallow. I beg leave to read to the committee some most interesting details on the manufacture of salt. The importations of 1831 are estimated at about five and a half millions of bushels. By comparing the present price of salt with a duty of ten cents per bushel, it will clearly be seen that the consumer was supplied with this important and necessary article of consumption, taking the years 1828 to 1830, at fifty cents, when the duty was twenty cents per bushel. By the prices current of the present year, at a duty of ten cents, the consumer will pay an advance of twenty per cent. This establishes one plain fact, that, instead of the reduction of the duty on salt supplying the citizens of the United States at a lower rate, it has had the effect, from the vacillating policy of the Government, to discourage the necessary exertions of
those who are concerned in this important branch of half cents.
of July, 1789, to pass an act imposing a duty of six cents per bushel on salt imported into these United States. At the next session, 1790, it was increased to twelve cents per bushel. These enactments operated as a bounty for individual enterprise, not, however, in the estimation of Congress, equal to the hazard of investment. In 1797, the duty on foreign salt was augmented to twenty cents per bushel. This proved insufficient to call forth the capital and enterprise of our citizens: necessity seemed to require that Congress should act on every article that appeared to languish under what was then called a protecting duty. Despairing of its ultimate success, on the 3d March, 1807, salt was declared free of duty from and after the 1st of January, 1808. This continued until the 1st of January, 1814. During these years, salt ranged from fifty to one hundred cents per bushel, higher than at any other period from or since the formation of the Government, (the period of the war excepted.) It may be worthy of remark, that the same act which renewed the duty for the encouragement of our own manufactories of salt gave the bounty or drawback on the fisheries. The war of a second independence brought forth the energies of the country, and, from the close of that struggle down to the repeal of the last act laying a duty on salt, it ranged lower than at any other period since the adoption of the constitution. The Permanent Committee believe that some additional **** concerning the manufacture of salt may be useful. A petition to Congress, on behalf of the manufacturers of salt, in the county of Kanawha, Virginia, signed Lewis Summers, Joel Shrewsbury, sen., Lewis Ruffner, James Bream, Joseph Lovell, A. Donnally, and Isaac Noyes, dated 9th of January, 1828, and published by order of the Senate, January 21, 1828, stated, among others, the following facts, which are briefly condensed for common reference. In the early settlements of the Western country, salt was as high as five dollars per bushel, and for several years it fluctuated from two to three dollars; but the works at Kanawha being commenced, it fell to one dollar. And even during the last war with Great Britain, such was the domestic competition, that it averaged less than eighty-seven and a half cents, though selling at five or six dollars on the seaboard. In some instances it rose to one dollar, (at the works,) because of the great demand for the Northwestern army, and the operations of speculators; but increased production enabled the manufacturers to extend their supplies to new customers, and considerably checked a general increase in price. At that time twelve thousand bushels were made weekly at Kanawha. Since this period the salt works in the Western country have been much increased; and so great was the competition, and large the supply, that salt was sold as low as fifteen or twenty cents per bushel, in casks ready for shipping, in 1825; and in 1826, even at twelve and a half cents. This necessarily caused a stoppage of many of the works. There were sixty-one wells of a capacity to supply one hundred furnaces, but only fifty-six were in operation. The average price of 1827 is stated to have been twenty-four and a quarter cents; and the actual cost of manufacturing, including barrelling, &c. nineteen and a The salt made was 787,000 bushels, employ
American industry, which, of course, has produced the sing four hundred and seventy-one regular laborers, using
difference in price. Your committee think they hazard nothing in saying, that if the duty on salt were entirely
| 1,695,000 bushels of coal in the evaporation of 64,000,000 gallons of water. The capital employed was estimated at
taken off, the price would increase, in the ratio of the pre-1548,000 dollars, and the agricultural products annually be added the labor and cost of transportation, in making barrels," and building wagons, boats, &c. employing many and various other persons. In this petition, the whole products of the salt works of the United States, for 1827, were estimated at 4,113,000 bushels, one-half of which were in the Western country. By the returns of the marshals in 1810, the quantity of home made salt reported was 1,238,365 bushels, worth 1,149,725 dollars, or almost one dollar a bushel in that year, when there was no duty on salt; and it will appear that the duty has not had any apparent effect on prices, nor do we believe that it has had any real one; for a brisk domestic competition acts against the foreign supply, and reduces cost to consumers; and so it has been in respect to every class of protected articles. Of the 4,564,720 bushels imported in 1826, no less than 3,533,796 bushels were from Great Britain and her dependencies, 2,354,549 from England direct. " The petition above referred to contains some powerful reasoning against the then apprehended reduction of the duty on salt; but the Permanent Committee believe that their present business is confined to the facts as stated, and do not wish to pass from them into argument just now. On the 22d of October, 1830, the salt manufacturers of Kanawha again petitioned Congress for a restoration of the duty on salt.f They estimated the capital vested in this manufacture at 6,964,988 dollars, and showed the capacity of the United States to increase domestic supplies; they computed that 3,653 persons were directly employed in the business, # who, among a multitude of supplies from the farmer, required about 600 tons of iron annually. They state a fact of ordinary occurrence, though seldom sufficiently noticed by political economists and statesmen, that, on a failure of supplies from Kanawha, (which had kept down the priccs at from forty-five to fifty cents,) foreign salt, at Cincinnati and Louisville, immediately advanced to seventy-five cents. But the extraordinary exertions of the Virginia manufacturers, stimulated by the high price, soon brought it down again. They say that the protection given to domestic salt has not diminished the foreign trade in the article, as the tables show. Its chief effect has been to reduce the price of salt, the diminished price being the loss or profit to foreign manufacturers. A large part of the salt brought to the United States is imported in lieu of ballast. The price of iron, salt, or molasses, for example, has never risen, unless for a moment, because of higher duties imposed; nor the price of molasses, salt, or coffee, permanently declined, because that the duties have been lessened. Practical results are decidedly against the theory that duties must needs be “taxes.” It is the force of the domestic competition which settles that question, as is fully shown in the report of the committee on the manufactures of iron; and other facts known to every man of business who has examined the subject. A memorial to Congress, from sundry inhabitants of Massachusetts, published by order of the House of Representatives, January 23, 1827, presents the following facts: That, during the revolutionary war, salt was sold for three or four silver dollars per bushel; that, after the war, the manufacture increased until the duty was taken off, but the State of Massachusetts, (recollecting “revolutionary sufferings,”) to aid the manufacturers, exempted the salt factories from taxation. In 1813, the duty of twenty cents per bushel being laid, the manufacture re. vived, and became extensive; great improvements being made in it, to save labor as well as advance the quality of the article. The water is pumped into vats from the
sent year, to at least seventy-four cents per bushel, as in
former years, when no duty existed. As a source of revenue, and as an encouragement to the
domestic manufacture, the first Congress which assembled
under our present constitution were induced, on the 20th
consumed by the working people valued at,47,600 dollars, using 244 tons of wrought iron and 1003 tons of cast iron, paying for mechanics’ bills 7,950 dollars a year. We recite these particulars to show how one branch of industry interlocks itself with others. And further should
* 130,000 harvels, costing 232,000, were required. f.A law with a prospective off et having passed to reduce it. # They and their families were estimated at 14,612 persons, ing by the manufacture of salt.
ocean; and the vats are covered, to avoid the effect of rains, or of dews at night. In Barnstable county, only,
there were then 15,000,000 feet of such vats, worth 1,300,000 dollars, and having more than 1,000 owners.
The price of salt, which had been as high as sixty cents,
having faller, to thirty-three cents at the works, the competition between the domestic and the foreign supply, in the language of the memorialists, became “severe,” and they asked Congress “what good reason there could be
for destroying their only manufacture.”
Misc ELLAN rous IT Exis. In the year ending November, 1828, 1,160,000 bushels of salt were made at Salina, Syracuse, Geddes, and Liverpool, in the State of New York. This paid a revenue to the State of twelve and a half cents per bushel, and left a clear profit for the year of $138,620. From March, 1827, to June, 1829, the monthly product of salt at Kanawha was 75,000 bushels, inspected. In 1829, the Kiskiminetas salt works, in Pennsylvania, employed two hundred road wagons. At the beginning of the year 1831, there were 17,545, - . 760 square feet of salt works in Massachusetts. The following brief notices of the salines on the Kanawha, as generally applicable to those west of the mountains, are interesting: At the point where the salt factories are established, the Kenawha river is about one hundred and fifty yards wide. The “salt region” extends fifteen miles along the river, and the quantity of salt manufactured may be extended to an indefinite amount. The salt water is obtained by boring through a great rock, to the depth of from 300 to 500 feet. Copper or tin tubes are introduced to keep out the fresh water which lies above the salt; and the latter rises as high as the surface of the adjoining river, though all communication with it is cut off. The salt water is then raised to the top of the bank of the river, about forty feet, by forcing pumps, and conveyed to the furnaces as required. Bituminous coal abounds on the spot, and is used for the purpose of evaporating the water. Some of the salt watcr (thus obtained is so strong that it will hold very little more salt in solution. These works, at present, employ about cight hundred men, as salt-makers, coopers, boat builders, &c. The average price of salt has hardly exceeded 30 or 35 cents per bushel, at them. By means of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and other channels of cheap transportation, supplies of salt may be obtained from the West in future emergencies, such as happened in the last war. The Kanawha salt is purer than the Liverpool.
| The fishing business in the waters of the Chesapeake failed last year, and there was some excitement, because of the stock of salt on hand, and its anticipated fall in price, on account of the reduced duty to take place on the 1st January last; but the salt in the hands of the fishermen rather made a profit than a loss, when the duty retired five cents a bushel! And now, (Dec. 9,) we see, that though the duty will be only ten cents on the 1st of next month, the price of Turk's Island salt is six cents |higher than it was in March, 1830, when the duty was 20 cents, and three cents higher than when the duty was 15 |. which duty will be only 10 cents three weeks hence.