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to, cannot now be stated; they are, however, considerably less than that of Trebizonde, when the transit trade to Persia is included, but quite equaling, if not indeed surpassing it in the aggregate of local consumption. Notwithstanding the now long residence of our legation at the capital of Turkey, the commerce of the Black Sea is as yet but little known to our merchants at home; and this must continue to be the case until the government of the United States, at Washington, is prepared by Congress to send consular agents into it who are themselves acquainted with the details of commerce, and are allowed a support while acting as pioneers in the acquisition of commercial knowledge for the use of merchants in America. A consular or a commercial agent at Trebizond, on a salary of $1,000 a year, would be able to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the trade of all the Turkish ports in the Black Sea; and if he was selected with entire reference to his capacity as a commercial man, and not to his ability for demanding consular fees and holding ships' registers, the future utility of the appointment is beyond calculation. In nearly all the ports aforementioned there are vice-consuls, or consular agents of nearly all the greater commercial nations of Europe; those of England are all merchants possessed of extensive experience in the commerce of the East, and knowing also the languages necessary for commanicating with the local authorities and the inhabitants. In many cases she selects for her consuls merchants of honorable character, who have been unfortunate in business; these are allowed moderate salaries of $1,500, and the privilege also of trading; and the amount of knowledge now possessed by the British government, obtained through them annually, regarding the number of vessels of all nations visiting the ports of Turkey, the nature and value of their cargoes, the amount of goods of each kind needed for consumption, and the nature of the exports and their value, must be of a most accurate and extensive nature. It is also certainly better acquainted with the statistics of Turkey than the Sublime Porte itself; the number of the inhabitants in its provinces, the revenues and resources of the country in general, are well known to it; and the rules and regulations governing its commerce with Turkey in general, are doubtless based on this information.
Since 1847, no means have been possessed of procuring a statement of the commerce of Trebizond. It has not, however, certainly in any measure decreased. No writer has ever written upon the trade of the southern ports of the Black Sea, though of those to the north, in Russia, an excellent work exists, published as far back as 1835, by Jules de Hagemeister, who used statistics furnished him by the Russian government authorities of Odessa for his data. This book has been translated and published in England. Since 1835 a great increase bas occurred in the commerce of Odessa, the principal port of the Sea of Azoff, (Taganrock,) and those in the Danube. During the years 1825–30, not more than from twenty to thirty English vessels passed the Straits of the Bosphorus annually for ports in the Black Sea; and in the year just passed, 1848, not less than three hundred vessels received firmans of passage. The greater part of these are in ballast, and are chartered to proceed to Taganrock, Odeesa, Galatz, (in the Danube,) a barna for cargoes of grain, (wheat, barley, and Indian corn,) and butter, tallow, and hides for England direct, or for divers ports in other parts of Europe. The amount of goods and merchandise which they convey to these ports is small. Russia now both produces and manufactures for herself
, and she only needs England as a market for her grain and tallow. The late scarcity of food in Great Britain gave a stimulus to our farmers at home, and the amount
of grain which they now can sell to foreign nations has already seriously affected Russian exporters. There can be no doubt but that the British government looks forward, in future, to the United States as a source from which her people are to be fed; and if we are to supply her manufacturers with our cotton, and afterwards purchase the stuff's which are made there from it, she is deeply indeed dependent upon us. This dependence is consequently reciprocal, with but one difference that while we may do without her, she must look to us for her supply.
The commerce of the Danube has lately greatly increased. Fresh beef is now shipped from there in large quantities for the supply of the British army and navy, on contracts to that effect. The manner of preserving this beef is a novel one, and may not be without interest in the United States. Bullocks are raised at a very cheap rate on the banks of the Danube, and its many tributary small streams in the provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia, and are sold alive for about $12 to $15 a head, in excellent order. It is said that the hides, bones, and horns, when cured for exportation, nearly, if not totally, covers this cost. The beef, with the bones extracted, is cut up in small pieces, and put into tin boxes with a small quantity of water. No salt is used. The tin box is soldered up at all sides, and only a very small hole is left in the corner of the lid. The boxes are then set in a large iron vessel containing water, and are there boiled over a brisk fire until all the liquid in the tin boxes has escaped. The small hole left in each is then speedily closed with solder, and being thus free of all air, the beef in them is known to keep several years as fresh as the day when it was put up. The expeditions to the Arctic Sea, under Sir John Franklin and Captain Ross, have been furnished with fresh beef preserved in this manner. Certainly beef and pork can be put up as cheap in Illinois and Ohio, in this manner, as on the Danube, though the relative price of tin is not known.
But one American vessel has been in the Danube. This occurred in 1847. She went for a cargo of grain for a European port. In 1831–2 several American vessels went to Odessa, and hides—even a cargo of barley, were shipped from there for New York. Since then their visits have been more and more precarious. In 1845-6 some six or eight went there for grain for Europe, but nothing is now shipped to the United States ; on an average about one or two go there now annually. The Sea of Azoff and the ports on the southern shores of the Black Sea have never been visited by a vessel under the flag of the United States. The honorable Secretary of the Navy, in his annual report of 1847, mentions that the sloop of war“ Plymouth," Captain Henry, had been destined to make a visit to the Black Sea, but was not allowed to pass the Straits of the Bosphorus. This visit was evidently intended for the purpose of procuring commercial information for our merchants ; and it is not necessary to offer a supposition of the nature and amount of information which could have been procured. The visit of an experienced merchant from New York, who would be allowed a moderate salary, and a couple of years in which to perform the visit, would probably have procured quite as much at certainly a somewhat less amount of expense.
Within the past six or ten years the Belgian government has made a commercial treaty with Turkey, and more recently that of the Anseatic towns has opened a new mart for their commerce and vessels. Soon after the conclusion of the treaty, several gentlemen came out to Turkey attached to the legation. Two were merchants and two were manufacturers-men of practical experience, and fully qualified to obtain commercial information in this
country, and to convey a knowledge of the products and manufactures of their own. They spent ten years in Turkey and then returned to Belgium. Since then the Belgian government has appointed a vice-consul at Trebizond, and allows him a small compensation for his services.
The Anseatic towns, in 18—, were wholly unknown here, and none of their vessels had visited this place. The consul sent by them is both acquainted with the commercial interests of his commerce and is a linguist of considerable reputation. They are mostly freighted in the ports of the Mediterranean, to procure cargoes of grain and other Russian and Turkey produce for European markets, and also bring some of the products of their own towns for sale here.
Since the liberal change in the English Corn Laws, foreign vessels have been allowed to import cargoes of grain into England. Previous to this, this privilege was confined only to British ships. It was hoped that this change would be the means of sending many American vessels here for cargoes to British ports, but it has not been the case; and the failure may be ascribed to the low rate at which Austrian, Sardinian, and Greek vessels can be freighted in the Mediterranean. The
chief articles which the United States may obtain from Turkey are common wools, figs, raisins, common wines, olive oil, drugs, and box-wood from the Black Sea; and import to it cotton manufactures, - whenever cheap enough for the market,-rum, sugar, coffee, tea, stoves, both cast and airtight, chairs in pieces, and other New England handiwork. At present, as heretofore, all the machinery needed by the Turkish government has been procured from England, and it still buys steamers for its navy and companies from the works of that country. It is incredulous that as good machinery can be bought, at a much less rate, in the United States, and there is no American mercantile firm in Constantinople to make the contrary known. The Sultan, within the last few years, has erected an extensive and costly iron works, near the capital, where he will probably, hereafter, have much of his machinery made. A small iron steamer has already been launched there for his use. Of the two steamers brought out here from the United States, one still exists, called the " Bangor,” she is very old, but continues so firm, that the Capudan Pacha has just purchased her for the use of the navy. The other steamer, called the “ Marmora,” unfortunately was wrecked soon after coming out here ; she was a fine ship, and did her owners credit. The Turkish government is desirous of erecting a floating dock for the use of its navy, and the late Capudan Pacha was anxious for some one to come out here from the United States who could build one for him. The failure of the person to come was a great disappointment to him. The character of Americans stands high in the Sultan's navy yard, where the most of his finest ships were built by the late Messrs. Eckford & Rhodes, of New York.
There is one object of commerce here which has not yet been mentioned, on account of the little interest to be attached to it in the United States. The trade in slaves, both white and black, is still considerable here. Trebizond, in the Black Sea, is the chief port at which they enter, after leaving the coast of Circassia. As it is not known that there are any feuds open now among the Circassian tribes of mountaineers, in which children could be captured for sale, there is no doubt but that the greater part, if not all of the male and female children brought from Circassia to this place for sale, are sold by their own parents. Among the Circassians, marriages are contracted quite as they yet are among the Indian tribes of North America-namely, by purchase or
exchange. Youths, or their parents for them, procure wives by the payment to their parents of a given number of cattle, horses, or sheep, or indeed of any other barterable property; and thus the Circassian who brings his daughter to Constantinople and sells her into a Mussulman family, does, in his mind, but little more than follow the usage of his own country. The Russian government, since the treaty of Adrianople, in 1826, considers the whole of Circassia as belonging to her, and does all in her power to prevent the sale of her subjects, as she calls the Circassians. Her cruizers are, for a great part of the year, vigilant in detecting all shipments of Circassians, and sometimes succeed in catching their small vessels which venture off the coast for Trebizonde and Batoum. It is said that the Circassians assemble on their shores, ready to put to sea so soon as the Russian cruizers are well out of sight; and then crowding all sail, they make their way to the first safe Turkish port on the southern shore of the Black Sea. Sometimes the passage is made in a day or two; but during the summer season, when there are frequent calms, they have reached Trebizond in a state of starvation, and their food and water entirely exhausted. Then, again, they have another enemy to evade; the Russian consul is always ready to claim them; and more than one cargo of Circassian slaves has been claimed as his subjects, and compelled to return to their own mountains. To avoid this, however, the Circassians generally land on the coast, at some distance from Trebizond, whence they enter the town unobserved. From Trebizond, they are brought down to this capital in Turkish sailing vessels, and also in the steamers running regularly between there and Constantinople-always as passengers, for it would be difficult to distinguish those destined for slavery from those who are free. The number thus brought down to Constantinople amounts to some 2,000 a year.
The market for the sale of the black slaves, brought here from Egypt and Tripoli, has been closed; yet the slaves are sold as usual in the court-yard of the mosque of Sultan Mohammed. These are brought here also, generally in Turkish and Greek sailing vessels; but numbers also are shipped in the Austrian and French steamers. Their number very much varies, but is not supposed now to be greater than that of the white slaves from Circassia.
The African slaves are used as servants of an inferior class; the males are door-keepers, scullions, and sometimes body servants; and the females are almost always used as cooks. The white slave (male) costs from $200 to $400, and is either bought up as a body servant, or as a son and companion for legitimate sons. They thus attain to the higher offices of the empire. The females cost dearer, but their value depends so much upon their good looks and accomplishments, such as music, singing, and embroidery, that no direct estimate can be formed. Ignorant girls of ten years of age, fresh from the mountains of Circassia, cost from $300 to $600 ; while those which have been educated, are older and comely, bring as high as $3,000 to $5,000. Such, of course, are mostly owned by the higher grade of pachas, and by the Sultan. The condition of the white slaves cannot be considered that of slavery; and, indeed, the meaning which that word possesses in North and South America, is not the same which it has in Mussulmen countries. It will, in conclusion, be added, that while the white slaves are freed after seven or eight years' servitude, though they seldom or never separate from their patron, whose son or wife they may have become, the black slaves are also freed after the expiration of the same period, and are either then “started” in some business by their late master, or are married off by him to some other freedman.
A line of steamers is now running semi-monthly between this place and Trebizond, belonging to the British O. and P. Company; another to the Austrian Company, and another to the Turkish Steam Navigation Company. All find abundant freight and passengers. A Russian line runs every ten days between Constantinople and Odessa ; and the Austrian Company has a line between Constantinople and Galatz, in the Danube. Thus the Black Sea is nearly circumnavigated by steam, and frequent intercourse maintained between its northern and southern ports. During the summer months, the Russian government runs a line from Odessa, along the Crimea and the Circassian coast, to Radoat Kaleh, near Batoum, on the Turkish frontier. It is, however, interrupted by the storms of winter.
At the mouth of the Bosphorus there is a light-house on either shore, for the support of which all vessels pay one cent per ton on their passage down. These are, nevertheless, unable to render the entrance to the straits safe in winter, and annually some 40 to 60 vessels are wrecked, either on approaching them, or in other parts of the sea. During that season, its storms of snow and wind are terribly severe; and on the southern shore, except Batoum, there is not one port in which they can seek a safe shelter from northern winds.
J. P. B.
300 Copper. 5,798 17,394 Pipe sticks.
600 Tobacco. 2,012 12,072 Wool...
470 Yellow beans.. 205 1,640 Rags..
300 Saffron. 1,696 84,750 Hourma.
470 Gums ... 141 1,410 Potters' earth..
30 Shawls.. 138 13,800 Nadink...
10,458 10,458 Walnut boards... 1,500 300 Apples.
120 Wax. 585 14,625 Salt....
240 Thread.. 844 3,440 Sugar...
685 39,155 78,310 Steel
180 Linen. 427 21,380 Glue...
100 Asiatic manufact.. 63 265 Orpiment
247 Butter.. 6 300 Tiptick...
5,520 Boxwood. .. 3,200 6,440 Wheat.
160 Persian tobacco. 4,949 29,094 Alum....
30 Galls.... 292 2,244 Haviar.
242 4,840 Chair bottoms.. 1,126 2,126 Fishing nets
210 Leeches. 889 7,780 Sundries.
1,382 13,820 Honey
£479,874 Hem cloth...
or $2,399,370 Almonds...
IMPORTS AT TREBIZONDE, ON THE BLACK SEA, IN 1846.
Packages. Manuf. for Persia ... 39,347 £1,311,567 | Wine ..
349 Ditto for Trebizonde 2,523 84,100 Beer
567 Sugar.. 5,836 29,180 Spirits
294 Tobacco.. 903 2,709 Olive oil..
290 Coffee. 2,801 16,806 Salt...
119,700 Soap.... 1,187 3,561 Cloth..
3,490 10,206 1,176 5,800 4,788