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such an event happens, the water has been evaporated, the channel has become dry, and we are left upon sand bars to await the coming wet season. This is a condition to which we are now fast verging, and to which no prudent government would ever subject the country, for nothing is easier than to avoid it.
F. But if the substratum of manufacturing is capital, and we have it not, would we not be legislating in vain to force a system upon our country which it had no foundation for, and consequently was not prepared for?
P. I would make a foundation, sir. If the nature of the ground is too sandy or boggy to be built on without aid, I would drive down piles, until I made a solid foundation. If you have a city lot, favorably situated for commerce, and of great value for warehouses, but which is marshy, and not suitable for building on, will you therefore abandon it, when an outlay of ten thousand dollars will make a foundation, and build a warehouse which would be worth fifty thousand dollars? The capital can be created, sir, very easily. Give a wise protection to our manufactures, such as we have heretofore had, but make the duties specific, so as to avoid fraud. Give some assurance that this protection will be permanent, and you will find that capital will go rapidly into manufacturing, and the millions which we annually send abroad will stay at home. Only think. In England the very ore which you have just seen, would bring $4000 per acre, at the rates I have named, to be manufactured into iron to send across the ocean, and two thousand miles up stream to sell to us, when we too ship them bread and meat to feed the manufacturers on. While this ore, and the coal close by it, lies measurably valueless, when all that is needed to make it worth as much as it is in Scotland, is to pass such laws as to induce the same capitalists who manufacture it there, to send that capital and the hands who make it there across the ocean, and make it here. T would take them but twenty days to come, and the workmen would not lose their knowledge by crossing the ocean. The mere passage of a wise law will accomplish all this. Yes, sir! The American people, if they could obtain such a law on no other terms, would find it a cheap purchase to give one thousand millions of dollars for it, that would be but sixty millions per annum, and we are now annually going in debt over this amount, which in that event would be saved. There is no fiction in this. 'Tis all plain palpable matter of fact.
F. Provided, we are willing to tax ourselves sufficiently to do it.
P. Well. Let us see what this tax would amount to. I will take yourself for instance. What would be your part of this tax? Of the suit you wear, what is the cost of what is imported ?
F. Wby, my coat about $30, pants $10, vest $5. The balance I presume, was made at home. Oh! my cloak $40, which I have not on.
P. Very well, $45, and you do not wear out on an average over one suit a year. The cloak on an average will last four years. So add $10, making $55. Say the required duty, to support government, which you now pay, is 20 per cent; ten more is all we ask; this would be $5.50. Now, sir, would you grudge $5.50 per annum to see such a change created, as would be by a wiser tarif which should start up factories in all our coal fields, and bring all our iron ore into value? With the same capital invested here, there is no reason, why our coal and iron ore should not be worth as much as it is in England. And it is the coal and iron ore of England, which is the basis of her wealth and power. We have ten times as much as she has, and by a policy similar to that which has given her this power and wealth, we could in time overtop her ten-fold in both. But as it is, we are mere hewers of wood and drawers of water for her. All the wealth of California, which rightfully ought to be ours, and ought to be spent at home, among our own manufacturers, who can as well supply their wants as England, only comes among us for a day, then to be shipped off to that country, for which our commercial cities are mere agencies, collecting and sending to that country all our wealth, as fast as we accumulate it. Oh, it is too bad, too bad! And all because our citizens, taking you as a sample, are unwilling to pay $5,50 per annum, to prevent it. Yes, if a missionary to the Hindoos, to the Sandwich Islands, to any foreign land, asks you for $5.50, to aid in his mission, your purse is open to him. If some straggling foreigner, pretending to have been shipwrecked, asks you for $5.50, you are ready to give it to him. But if you are pointed to magnificent founderies, furnaces, cotton factories, all standing still
, and going to ruin, and thousands and ten thousands of your own fellow citizens thrown out of employment thereby; if it is made apparent to you that the yielding of this $5.50 per annum will aggrandize your country, make her independent, prosperous, and powerful; all this is nothing in the scale against the $5.50. For all sorts of outlandish purposes, your pocket is open, but you have no bowels of compassion for your own country.
This $5.50 too, is allowing the heaviest tax you claim. I say even for the first year it would be but the half, and in a year or two after, nothing. And then what benefits arise? Let one of those manufacturing establishments arise where they may, they make a market for all the neighborhood. Your corn, your hay, pork, butter, eggs, chickens, hire for your hands, wagons and teams, ali at good prices, making the whole country cheerful and happy. Are those considerations—is your interest in them, not worth $5.50 per year, even if it were to be all lost, and no other advantage to arise ?
F. Why, I think you're losing that calm mood with which you sat out, and which you promised to preserve in order to a dispassionate discussion of this subject, with a view to elicit truth. De
clamation, you know, is not argument. It is the judgment, and not the feelings, which we are now appealing to.
P. Perhaps I am more excited by the subject than I ought to be, but really it is hard, when I see as I believe, such a magnificent promise for our country by very reasonable protection to home industry on the one hand, and ruin so inevitable on the other, and the first to be obtained at so small a temporary sacrifice, indeed, no sacrifice at all, it is hard, I say, not to be excited. But I will try to avoid it, because I wish you to have all the advantage of your coldest judgment in the discussion of this subject. For I see you are so fixed in your opinions, that proof, strong as Holy Writ, will be required to shake them, nor do I wish to shake them except by evidence, too powerful to be withstood. I desire you to bring forward every possible objection to protection, and every argument in favor of free trade. I am myself convinced, that protection is for our advantage. If you can show me that it is not, I wish you to do so, promising: you most faithfully that no prejudice, or pride of opinion, shall interpose, to prevent my seeing and acknowledg. ing the truth of any fact which you give me evidence of. All I ask, is similar magnanimity on your part.
F. If I could be satisfied, that this inequality in trade between England and ourselves, was really as you say, and that it was to continue, I am ready to admit, I would not be satisfied with it. But you admit, you do not speak from official information, but from Newspaper report. Now, Mr. Webster makes the imports of 1850 about $178,000,000, and exports about $152,000,000. – There is but a difference of $26,000,000, not a matter to be scared about.
P. Mr. Webster, I presume, includes in our exports, specie, which has gone out to the amount of about $20,000,000, for the last half year. If as much the previous half year, which I do not recollect, there would be a total of excess of imports over exports of about $66,000,000, leaving out specie. It is more probable, Mr. Webster speaks, as I am sure he does, of the trade of last year. My remarks apply to the estimate for this year.
F. But you are taking the wrong road. We came in the other fork.
P. It is but a little out of the way, to go by a Mr. K 's. whose family I wish you to see. This man is rather delicate for Out-door work; his wife quite a neat, tidy woman, and he has four very pretty daughters and a son. Until three years ago, he was exceedingly poor, could hardly feed and cloth his family decently, until the erection of the cotton factory, which I will show you tomorrow. He there got employment for himself and all his family. He got $4 per week, his son and daughters each $2 at the start. Soon he was found so handy as a folder, that his wages were raised to $6 per week. His son's were increased as pressman to $4, and his daughters became expert weavers, and made $3 per week.
Here was $22 per week for the family, and a cottage found them. The old lady did the cooking, house work, etc., the girls at night did their washing, and the son then cut up the wood. But here is the house. We will call for a drink of water. Good morning, Mr. K., all well?-Yes, tolerably. Will you not get down ?-No, I thank you; we want a drink of your fine water. (The son goes for it) Well, how do you get on nowadays ? - Oh, poor enough. 'Tis mighty hard making a living out of the ground for a large family, and four of 'em grown daughters, who cant help any. When will the factory start again? — I cannot tell. English goods are now selling so low in our market, that they have stopped about one third of all our factories, and I cannot tell when we can start again.- Well, I'm mighty sorry, for there have been hard times with us, since the factory stopped. But, why cant we make goods as cheap as the English? It seems to me we ought to do it.
P. We could with a little protection. But it requires a little, and this gentleman's part of the tax would be $5.) which he says, he is not willing to pay, to keep up this establishment. — Why, said one of the pretty girls, my good sir, do agree to it, and I will pay your part of the tax; 'twill only take two weeks of my wages.
F. My dear Miss, if it depended on me, you should have the protection to-morrow. But I am only one out of a million. Oh, exclaimed the old lady, well sir, we will all give a month's wages. — Yes, said another pretty daughter, two months, three months, and if all will do so, as I reckon they will, we can wake up the tax ourselves.
F. Come, P., it's time we were getting home; let's drive on,
P. I wanted to show you, by the change in fortunes of this amiable family, by the stopping of the factory, the amount of distress caused thereby to all the operatives thrown out of employment. And I ask you now in candor, does this offer no argument in favor of protecting our home industry?
F. Yes, sir. All your arguments put together, were not half 80 strong, as that of those pretty girls. Curse their little hearts, to talk to me about paying my part of the tax.
P. Now, sir, reflect! By a protection, which to you, at the highest figures you claim yourself, would only be $5.50 to you, you would give prosperity and happiness to hundreds of thousands of your own countrymen and women, such as you have just seen. By refusing it, you leave them in poverty, and transfer that help to English operatives. But, while for the sake of argument I admit that you will pay $5} tax, which is not the fact, I show conclusively, as in the McDuffie case, that by paying $51 out of one pocket, you cause over $20 to be put into the other; yes sir, and most sincerely do I believe $100, if you are engaged in any sort of
enterprise, or nave any interest in the general prosperity of the country.
F. There is a fine flock of sheep. Does your country suit sheep?
P. Yes, very well. But the uncertainty of demand for wool has caused farmers to devote themselves otherwise. I see in Michigan they estimate their flocks at a million and a half, and in Ohio at six millions, and gradually the business will become a large one. Why should it not? In England they raise great flocks upon land which costs £100 or $500 per acre. Why can we not raise them here on land which can be had for one fiftieth part of that sum? And why should not this wool be manufactured at home? Take all the expense of sending it to a foreign market, and bringing back the goods which it makes, the charges will amount on an average to a quarter of a dollar per sheep, over what they would be if manufactured at home, saving freights, commissions, profits, insurance, drayages, storages &c., saying nothing of the import duty. This ought to go into the pocket of the farmer. And if ono acre of land will sustain ten sheep, here is a loss of $2.50 per acre, so appropriated, equivalent to the interest on $10, which sum per acre is thus lost, so far as the land is appropriated to sheep raising
F. Oh, nonsense! $40, indeed!
P. All the measure of value, which we have for any thing, is the income which it will bring, that which will bring $6, is worth $100, and that which will bring $2.50, is worth $10. If any man will cause an acre of my land to yield me $2.50 more than it dil before, he has therefore increased its value $ 10. Give us a tariff, sir, and this wool will find a market at home, and this $2.50 per acre per annum be saved, besides the increased wealth resulting from the increased value given to the wool, by being manufactured. My knowledge in regard to this increased value of wool is limited, but of cotton, I know, that taking the article of sheetings and shirtings, and the increased value is about two and a half for one, take finer fabrics, and the increase is in proportion. One hundred hands will, of the former, manufacture five bales a day, or fifteen hundred
per annum. It will take three hundred hands to grow the same cotton. Now, our cotton exports are estimated at $70,000,000 per annum. Manufacture it, and the same would be worth in coarse goods $175,000,000. And less than half the additional number of hands required to grow it, will give one hundred and fifty per cent of additional value to it by manufacturing it.
F. And why is not this sufficient inducement without a tariff, or any increase, to cause our manufactories to flourish?
P. Because capital and skill are requisite to aid in manufacturing, which cannot be obtained without permanent and ample protection. Give this protection, and you bring the capital and