Page images
PDF
EPUB

MAIL SERVICE.

cents. Ceuts.

cents.

Nortb.

South.

the southern states paid a trifle over age paid at the north averages 28.68 cents one-third of the whole amount of per head of the whole population; at the

south 19.88 cents. The north pays $2 28 postage, while the mail transporta

into the common fund, for each dollar iion in those states cost considerably paid at the south, and this joint fund is over one-half of the whole expense. divided almost equally between them. Also, that the average cost of every

The north are willing to pay as much

postage in future as they have done in description of mail service, was

times past- they ask for no diminutionmuch greater at the south than in expend it where it is most needed, for the the north-nearly in the ratio of benefit of the whole country.” three to two. It is impossible that And yet the whole south went in so great a difference in cost can be a body against the reduction of postnecessary.

age, on the pretense that it was a scheme of the north to avoid their

share of the public burdens. It was North. S uth (W. States.

even said by southern statesmen, unGeneral average of

der the lead of Mr. M’Duffie, that the transportation, 8.5 7.

10.2 Transportation on

post-office was the only branch of horseback, 5.4

4.7

5.67 the government which the south was Transportation by

not overtaxed to support! coaches, . 8.8 7.18 11.68

The Exclusive Right of the PostTrans. by railroads and steamboats, 128 12:12 15-68

office.—It has been taken for grantHighest rate on

ed, rather than proved, that the right horseback, 6:56 11

of the federal government to estabHighest rate by

lish mails is an exclusive right. But coach,

9.2 28.12 Higb.rate by r. road

the public discussions and legal proand steamboat, 16.12 49.72

ceedings which took place in the

years 1843–5, greatly weakened the Whole expense of

public confidence in the infallibility transportation, $1,401,037 $1,546,182 of this axiom. The only argument Whole receipts for postage, 1,956,600 1,000,914

we have seen in its favor, is that un. Receipts exceed ex

less the post-office has an exclusive penditures, 555,463

right, it can not support itself. But Expenditures exceed

the constitution contains no intima. receipts,

545,168 Receipis, north exceeds

tion that the post-office is bound to the south, . 955,636

support itself, any more than the Expenditures, south exceeds north,145,045

navy is bound to support itself. “ New York,” says Mr. Dana, “pays Besides, it was proved by our own into the treasury $725,187, and receives back for mail transportation $352,329; and

experience in 1844, that the postthe balance of her contributions, amount

office could not be made to support ing to $372,858, is expended to supply itself by the exercise of coercive the deficiencies of revenue in other states. Massachusetts pays $246,961, and receives

power against private mails. The for mail transportation $131,749; the bal

department was compelled to under. ance, $115,212, is expended in other bid the private mails, as they were states. "Pennsylvania pays $334,846, re- then managed. And the expericeives $187,437, and contributes for the

ment in Great Britain proves, that use of others $147,409. The northern section contributes $555,463 towards the

the posl-office can best be made to expense of mail iransportation at the support itself by adopting the low. south. Every southern state, except Del- est possible rates of postage. And aware and Louisiana, fails to supply an it has been shown that if no buramount of funds sufficient to meet the expepses of the mail transportation with

dens are thrown upon letter postage in its own limits. North Carolina is de- but those which properly belong to ficient $103,944, Arkansas $41,006, Ala

it, the same principles are fully apbama $128,907) Florida $29,465, Virginia over $50,000, Georgia over $76,000, plicable here. What then becomes Kentucky over $52,000, &c. The post of the argument for exclusive right? Vol. VI.

51

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Does the right given to Congress to acquitted Adams. In the nuinerous
levy taxes, deprive the states of the prosecutions which were commen.
power to levy taxes ? The right of ced under Mr. Wickliffe's adminis.
Congress to create and sustain an tration, it was generally believed
army

and
navy,

did not inhibit the that care was laken not to make a states from doing the same thing, case which would allow the delend. and therefore a clause was inserted ants to carry the question up to the in the constitution for this purpose. Supreme Court for adjudication. All In the year 1844, a case was argued judicious persons agree that the pubbefore the United States District lic good requires that the business Court at Philadelphia, by the cele. of establishing post-offices and carbrated John Sergeant, and a sketch rying mails should be conducted of his argument was published in under the control of the federal the North American.

government. And if this control is

exercised for the public good, on “ He contended that the exclusive power of carrying letters had not been given principles of beneficence and not of to the government. He insisted that no exaction, the people will never wish evidence of such a power is to be found to raise the question, whether the in the constitution, and that if any law of

right is exclusive. Let us have Congress can be shown clearly to assume such an exclusive right, that law is un cheap postage, and that question constitutional. He exhibited in a bold may well rest for ever. and striking manner the despotic charac- The history of postage in this ter of a power which compels the citizen to send his letters by the government country does not warrant the idea post-office, and pay the government price that the right of establishing postor not send at all. He said that such a offices should be exclusive in the monopoly might suit the spirit of Me- hands of the general goveroment. hemei Ali's government, but could not be compatible with our free system. He

The earliest account we bave of compared it to the Spanish monopoly of any postal arrangements in this the tobacco trade--the government for couniry, is found in the records of cing all tobacco planters to sell to the the General Court of Massachusetts. monarch, and all jobacco-chewers to buy of the monarch. He showed to what

"51h, 9th mo., 1639. abuses such a monopoly might lead, and “For preventing the miscarriage maintained that the possible abuses fur- of letters - It is ordered that notice pished a test of the principle involved in

be given, that RICHARD FAIRBANES, the exclusive claim of the Post-office Department. He urged with great empha. his house in Boston is the place ap. sis that the very nature of the power pointed for all letters, which are claimed, furnished a most violent pre- brought from beyond the seas, or sumption that no such monopoly had ever been given by the people to the general brought unto him, and he is to take

are to be sent thither ;-are to bee government.

“Mr. Sergeant dwelt for a short time care that they bee delivered, on the remarkable fact, that we have not according to their directions, and been allowed to avail ourselves of the hee is alowed for every such leller wonderful improvements of the age, for the purpose of correspondence. He ex.

1d. and must answer all miscarpressed his opinion, that letters might be riages through his owne neglect in carried from ihat city to Boston for two this kind : provided that no man CENTS."

shall bee compelled to bring his letIn the case of the United States ters thither except hee please." vs. Adams, of New York, Judge An Act, Jan. 6, 1673-4, allows Betts, of the federal District Court, 3d. per mile to any person instructed the jury that they could sent post upon the public service. not convict Adams for the act of his In 1693, the British government agent in carrying letters, unless it established a post-office for the col. was proved to them that he had onies; and the legislature of Massknowledge of the act. The jury achusetts passed an “ Act encour

[ocr errors]

or sent

[ocr errors]

that is

aging a post-office, which provides gether with Lord Hillsborough's that no other person than the Post- abilities, can not prevent, and theremaster General and his deputies by they will entirely starve your shall carry letters, except private post between those capital cities. friends or special messengers on

And thus will happily end your private business, on penalty of £40. boasted post office, so often given The postage was for each letter by as a precedent for taxing America.” ship, 2d.; from Boston 10 Rhode It is evident that the idea of priIsland, 6d.; to Connecticut, 9d.; 10 vate mails sustained by the popular New York, 120.; to Virginia, 28.; will for the purpose of starving the and id. for local delivery. This post-office, is not original with this was a part of the system established generation. In the same month, Mr, for the colonies by the British gov. William Goddard, printer of the Ma. ernment, which continued until the ryland Journal, brought forward a revolution. The Postmaster Gen. project for what he called a “Constieral was appointed by the crown, tutional Post,” that is, a post which and he appointed all the local post. should not be the instrument of tax. masters, who were therefore styled ing the people, in other words a free his deputies, as they held their of- mail. He came through the country fices under his authority and at his as far as Portsmouth, N. H., and was pleasure, and executed them by every where treated with cordiality, his directions. The post office was in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New used as a means of raising revenue York, Boston, Salem, and Portsfroin the colonies without their con. mouih. Mr. Goddard had himself sent, by the power claimed of en. suffered from the oppressive dicta. hancing the rates of postage at the tion of the carriers of the royal post. pleasure of the crown.

“ The sum of £52 per annum was In the year 1774, the people re- demanded at the post office, for the solved 10 throw off this as well as carriage of about three hundred and other oppressions. Public attention fifty newspapers one hundred and was specially aroused by the dis- thirty miles." On the 2d of July, missal of Dr. Franklin' from his 1774, he advertised that he was office of Postmaster General. A ready to commence business, having letter addressed to Lord North, da. “ been warmly and generously patted, London, February 5, 1774, ronized by all the friends of free. calls “the dismissing Dr. Frank- dom in the eastern colonies, where lin from the Postmaster General in ample funds are already secured." North America,” at this particular We see where people used to go for crisis, “one of the most fortunate funds to establish free mails. events that could have happened" On the 3d of May, 1775, the to this country. “The people there “New York committee,” then in never liked the institution, and only session, appointed a committee to acquiesced in it out of their un. inquire of the postmaster why the bounded affection for the person postriders to the eastward had been that held the office, who had taken dismissed. The postmaster assign. infinite pains to render it conveniented as a reason, that “the four last to the several colonies. But what mails between New York and Bos. will follow now, my Lord? I will ton had been stopped, the mails tell you ; the post from Philadelphia broken open, many of the letters to Boston is that alone which pro taken out and publicly read, some duces any profit, and there the of which were detained," &c. Americans will immediately set up Thereupon, the committee issued a a carrier of their own, which you, notice that the postriders had been with all your brethren in power, to employed to depart on their usual

days for the eastward, and that Mr. resolved, “ That the communication Ebenezer Hazard " has undertaken of intelligence with frequency and to receive and forward letters." dispatch, from one part to another

On the 4th, it was announced in of this extensive continent, is essen. New York, that "an office for this tially requisite to its safely. That necessary business will doubtless be is the corner stone of our American put under proper regulations by the post-office, and not the impracticable Continental Congress, and no more dogma that the post-office is bound, be permitted to return to the rapa. in any event, to support itself. The cious hands of unauthorized intru. old “Articles of Confederation" ders since it would be the most con. gave to Congress “the sole and er. temptible pusillanimity to suffer a clusive power” to establish mails. revenue to be raised from our prop. The fact that the words “ sole and erty to defray the expense of cutting exclusive" were left out of the new our throats,” and that “ Mr. William constitution in 1787, is conclusive Goddard, who has been a great suf- to show that it was not intended to ferer, with many others, by the conter an odious and oppressive malpractices of an illegal holder of monopoly upon the government. this office,” was on a journey to the They had bad enough of such a eastward to put the business in train system under the crown. Depend to be laid before Congress.

upon it, unless the reasonable wishes Congress established the Ameri- of the people are met by Congress, can Continental post-office in July the means will be found of establish. 26, 1775; and thus superseded all ing cheap mails on all the productive the private mails. Congress then routes in the country.

THOUGHTS ON THE RICHES OF THE NATURAL WORLD.

The diligent student of Nature, ture stand ready to perform at our particularly in the departments of bidding-how multiplied are the Chemistry and Natural Philosophy, productions of the natural world, will feel, as he advances, a constant- and what a variety of purposes they ly increasing conviction of these are severally capable of servingthree great truths : first, that the and what costly ornaments the Divine world we inhabit is stored with rich. Architect has employed to decorate es far beyond what is generally this fair workmanship of his hands, known or conceived of; secondly, the great temple of nature. Nor is that the world was made for man; the student of nature himself aland thirdly, that it was made for all ways fully sensible of the extent of mankind, for the many in contra. her treasures. Each one, for the distinction to the few.

most part, confines his views to In the present paper, we propose to some corner or limited portion of the offer a observations on the Riches structure, unconscious of the riches of the Natural World as exhibited in that are stored, with no less profuthe powers, in the productions, and sion, in every other part of the vast in the embellishments of the physi. edifice. So exhaustless seems to cal creation. Few of our race, it is him the particular portion of creabelieved, are aware how noble and tion, which he has chanced to select beautiful a heritage our Creator has as the field of his own study, that he prepared for us—what great and can hardly imagine that other fields, diversified offices the powers of na. unexplored by him, are equally filled

with riches and beauty. This, indeed, sider how boundless is the field seems the more incredible to him, which our subject opens, and combecause the farther he advances, the pare it with the limited nature of more impressed he is with the belief our intellectual powers, and the that his own department of nature brevity of our lives, we feel that, is the peculiar favorite of heaven, before we can rise to the full com: since the more he explores the more prehension of the “ Riches of the exhaustless appears ihe mine. To Natural World,” we must be en. each one his own art or science dowed with a nobler nature, and seems more admirable, in proportion clothed with immortality. as his attainments in it grow higher Then shall we see and hear and know, and higher. Thus the charms of All we desired or wished below. music seem most exhaustless to such Such a view of creation has, we proficients as Handel and Mozart; believe, been adequately taken only the flower most beautiful to the bot. by spiritual beings, as when the anist; the gem most precious to the morning stars sang together, and all mineralogist; the bird most interest. the sons of God shouted for joy." ing to the ornithologist ; earth, sea, But we feel impressed with the and air, to the natural philosopher; solemn thought, that God only has the starry heavens to the astronomer. seen even this lower world in the But it is only when the powers and fullness of its treasures; that it the productions of the natural world formed a part (perhaps but an inare surveyed in all their amplitude, finitesimal part) of that first comand in all their relations, that any prehensive view which he took of adequate idea can be formed of the his new creation, when he saw every riches of the natural world at large. thing that he had made, and proIn estimating the treasures of the nounced it“ very good.” He looked vegetable kingdom, for example, abroad upon the earth and heavens : how many different views of it must then, first, the mountains and the be taken, before its value to man hills broke forth into singing, and can be fully comprehended. Bota- all the trees of the field clapped ny, which describes and classifies their hands. the ninety thousand different species With what emotions did the Inof plants ; Physiology, which investi- finite Mind survey his works, and, gates the laws of vegetable life; for the first time, contemplate the Chemistry, which explores the hid- great machine of the Universe! It den elements, and discloses the na. is not irreverent to suppose that He ture and composition of all vegeta- first surveyed it, not only in its exble products ; Architecture, Agricul. ternal forms of beauty and granture, and Gardening, each in their deur, but also in the laws which govseveral departments; Political Econ- ero its operations, or regulate its omy, which investigates the rela. motions. Under the control of tions this kingdom of nature bears chemical principles which He had to the sustenance and comfort of ordained, vapors are beginning to the human race; and finally Taste, ascend and gather on high in mawhich contemplates this part of jestic clouds to water the earth with creation in respect to the images it showers-springs are gushing from forms of the beautiful and sublime: a thousand fountains-rivers comall these different sciences and arts mencing their long circuits to the sea, must be contemplated, in their re- and the sea rolling its waves. Even spective relations to the vegetable the dark recesses of the earth were kingdom, before any just conception not hidden ; but ere Geology had discan be formed of the vastness of its closed its wonders, the deep foundatreasures. Indeed, when we con- tions of the earth in their appointed

« PreviousContinue »