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oren To The PREs ER v Ation of EveRY KIND of USEFUL INFORMATION REs PECTING THE STATE.
EDITED BY SAMUEL HAZARD.
A portion of your fellow citizens, resident in differ. ent states of the Union, who are numerous, respectable and intelligent, who like yourselves, are attached to the principies of free government, and ardently devot: ed to the great constitutional charter, which conse. crates and upholds them—who ask only an equal parti; cipation in the benefits, and are ready to bear an equal share of the burthens of the government—who are willing, moreover, to concede to others a perfect right to the full enjoyment of whatever they ask for themselves; such a portion of your fellow citizens, whose condition, character, motives and views are thus faithfully delineated, have deputed us to represent them on an occasion deeply interesting to their feelings as men, and vitally important to their interests as citizens of this great confederated Republic. They have called upon us to unite our counsels for the redress of the grievances under which they labour; and have enjoined it upon us, as a duty, to omit no means tor the accomplishment of this object, which may consist with our obligations as citizens, and with their own faithful and ardent devotion to the bond of our common union. In the performance of a duty like this, we cannot be wnsensible to the propriety of a frank and respectful communication with our fellow citizens at large. We are members of the same great political family. Our interests are com: mon, and so also are our duties; and it cannot be that any portion of our brethren can desire to withhold from us our just share of the benefits, or to subject us to an undue proportion of the burthens, which flow from the government under which we live... We have equal confidence in their justice and intelligence; and assure ourselves that it is only necessary to bring home to their understandings the conviction of the evils under which we suffer, to secure their cordial co-operation in prompt and effectual measures for their removal. We would commune with you, then, in the spirit of these feelings. We must speak with frankness. It may be that our language will borrow strength from the conviction of our wrongs, but we will not forget the just respect which is due to those who differ fiomus in opinion, and cannot be unmindful of the affection which we bear, and which we earnestly desire to cherish towards our brethren throughout the Union. The representatives of portions of our fellow citizens, belonging to different states of this confederacy, have assembled in the city of Philadelphia, to consider the grievances which they suffer under the existing tariff of duties, and to devise, if happily they may do so, some constitutional and peaceful mode of redress. Speaking generally, they have come together as strangers to each other, with all the variety of opinions on Vol. VIII
PHILADELPHIA, OCTOBER 22, 1831. NO. 199
most subjects, which springs from different habits and pursuits, and is perhaps inevitably incident to the imperfection of our common nature. On one engrossing question, that which constitutes the subject of this address, looking as well to its principles as its details, they have found a concurrence of opinion, which, as they believe, entitles them to ask for that opinion, and for the reasons on which it is founded, the attentive and dispassionate consideration of the American people. Among the evils which flow from the tariff system, as at present established by law, the ardent and determined opposition to that system, which exists in various parts of the Union,-the deep and settled discontent which is felt, and has been manifested by a numerous, patriotic, and intelligent portion of our fellow cit. izens,—cannot fail to awaken the liveliest solicitude of every lover of his country. Let it be remembered that this is no transient feeling—the offspring of momentary excitement—one which may be expected to pass away under the influence of a more calm and dispassionate reflection. No-the system of which we complain is not of recent origin, and the feeling of discontent, which was coeval with its institution, time and experience have only served to strengthen and increase. Let those who sincerely desire to perpetuate the political blessings which we enjoy, look to this consideration with the attention which it demands. This is emphatically a government of opinion. The vigor of the laws is a moral force. The bond which unites us is the sense of our common interest—the conviction of our equal rights-the assurance of our capacity to assert, and the feeling that we actually enjoy them. Take from any considerable portion of the American people the consciousness that they are in the full possession of their rights as freemen; substitute for it the spirit of discontent, which springs from the conviction of wrongs inflicted, not inadvertently, but with deliberation, which are not temporary, but enduring; and you array against the government a force which is of like character with that which sustains it—you awaken a feeling of resentment, which is goaded into activity by a sense of oppression, and embittered by the recollection that it is the hand of a brother which inflicts it. Such is the feeling which pervades a numerous and respectable portion of the American people. It cannot be defied, and may not be disregarded, without putting to hazard the safety of the confederacy. Do you doubt its existence, its nature, or degree? Look to the character of this assembly—to the circumstances under which it is convened. Give your attention to the history of the past, and be admonished of the novel and extraordinary spectacle which is presented to your view. Do not close your eyes to the fact, that this assembly is altogether without parallel since the foundation of the government—that we are freemen, and the representatives of freemen, who speak to you of our violated rights—that we have come from differ. ent and distant parts of the Union to join in demanding their restoration—that a consciousness of strength is the offspring of united counsels—and that our purpose is not the less firm, because it is announced to you peacefully, and in the spirit of conciliation. A numerous and respectable portion of the American people do not merely complain that this system is unjust, but they question the right to establish it. They
sion, we concur in the opinion, that if the aggrieved
258 AIDDRESS OF THE FREE
TRAI) E CONVENTION. [Octoska
do not doubt—they utterly deny—the constitutional
party is deprived of the protection which the judicial
its origin in a spirit of compromise. Its object is the se-
and unjust. The constitution of the United States had
should so apply it. He understands better than it can
ADDRESS OF THE FREE TRADE CONVENTION.
be understood by the government, what will conduce to his own benefit; and since the majority of individuals will, if properly protected, be disposed to fellow their interests, such an application of their industry and capital must produce in the result the grea'est amount of public good. Let it be remembered, that the question relates exclusively to the application of capital. It cannot be generated by an act of legislation. . The power of the government is limited to its transfer from one employment to another. It takes from some less favored interest, what it bestows on the one which it profosses to protect. It is equally untrue that such a system gives greater employment to labor. Its operation is confined to the simple change of its application.— Laws which protect by bounty any peculiar species of labor, cannot be said to encourage .dmerican industry - —that is, directed to various objects. These laws fa. vor only a single class; and since the bounty is not suppled by the government, but taken from the pocket of the individual, the protection which is given to one species of labor, is so given at the expense of every other. That course of legislation, which leaves American capital and labor to the unfettered discretion of those who possess the one and apply the other, can alone be denominated the “American System.” The interference of government, with the right of the individual to apply his labor and capital in such mode as he may think most conducive to his own inter. est, thus necessarily operates to diminish the aggregate amount of production. In other words, the amount of the necessaries and conveniences of life winich are enjoyed by the community, is necessarily diminished. If all nations then were willing to adopt the system of free trade for which we contend, which is accordant to the spirit of Christianity and calculated to unite nations in harmony and peace, it cannot be doubted that the interests of each would be promoted. The only question which can be raised on this part of the subject is, whether the adoption of a restrictive policy by one or more nations makes it the interest of others to reciprocate those restrictions. The answer seems to be sufficiently obvious and satisfactory. The proposition which as: serts the superior advantages of a free trade among all nations, rests upon the following principle. The universal freedom of action which it allows, tends most thoroughly to develope the moral and physical energies of each nation, and to apply them to those objects to which they are best adapted. . The proposition must be equally true in relation to each nation, whatever may be the policy adopted by others. The nation which resorts to a restrictive policy, legislates to her own disadvantage by interfering with the natural and most profitable employment of capital. To the extent to which she thus excludes another nation from an accustomed or from a desirable market, she occasions, it is true, in that nation also a displacement of capital from its natural channels. But can the remedy consist in a retaliatory system of legislation’ in a system of further restrictions imposed by the latter nation? If it be true that a restrictive system is injurious to the nation imposing it, does it cease to be so in regard to the latter nation, because of the wrong done by the former, and because it is also injurious to such nation? when we apply these views to the Corn Laws of Great Britain, considered with reference to their effect upon us, is it not then obvious that a system or pretend: ed relation, which infetters the productive energies of our own people, whatever may be its effect upon that nation, must necessarily increase the evils we ourselves are destined to sustain? It is strongly urged, as a motive to the continuance of the existing tariff, that its operation had been to effect a reduction of prices. These have, in fact, fallen since 1816, and our opponents contend that this has been the result of domestic competition. A moment's reflection will demonstrate the fallacy of this assertion. We present a single fact in the outset. The dimunition of price
has been general, as well in relation to articles which are not protected by the existing tariff of dutics, as to those which are. It cannot therefore, have arisen from this cause. Let us remember now that this dimunitions of price has occurred every where—abroad as well as at home—and not only in an equal, but, as a necessary consequence of the tariff, in a greater degree there than here. Among the causes which have produced this result, two prominent ones are presented to your consideration—the diminished amount of the circulating medium of the world, and the astonishing improvements which have been introduced in the modes of production. The cost of production is less; the comparative value of money has become greater. Can we wonder at the result? Take the case of cotton goods—these have fallen in price here since the enactment of the tariff. But the same thing is true not only in in equal, but in a greater degree abroad; and the reason is obvious. The causes which have produced this result—those which have been before stated—have elsewhere been left to exert their full influence in affecting the reduction of price. Here their operation has been restrained by the conflicting influence of the tariff. The reduction therefore with us has necessarily stopped at a point, which is ascertained by adding the amount of duty to the price of the imported article. Thus the diminution of price here has not been produced by the tariff, but in despite of it —and has been retarded by it. But for this law the imported, which would take the place of the domestic article in the consumption of the country, would be obtailed at a price greatly below that which we actually pay, and the difference, amounting yearly to many millions of dollars, would be saved to the community. It cannot be doubted that the prices of all commodities, the domestic production of which is forced by the imposition of a duly on a foreign article of similar description, are raised lay the amount of duty necessary to effect the exclusion of the foreign article, or that this increase of price is paid by the consumer, and that the loss to the nation which is occasioned by this system of protection, is nearly equal to such difference of price. The success which has attended the manufacture of cottons, is used to illustrate and enforce another suggestion in favor of the tariff. It is said, that by means of the protection afforded by government, manufacturers are enabled to overcome the difficulties incident to new enterprises, and that this protection is ultimately repaid to the community, in the reduced price at which the article is furnished. We have already shown that this reduction in price in the case referred to, has not resulted from the protective system. Let us look, however, at this suggestion, apart from that consideration. If it be conceded for the purpose of argument, and only for that purpose,that a manufacture might be established by a temporary encouragement from government, which would not otherwise, at least at that time, come into successful operation, and that the community might ultimately be repaid in the manner which is supposed, the following considerations seem decisively to repel the force of that suggestion. The idea of permanent protection is excluded by the nature of the proposition. That which is proposed is temporary merely, and the question whether it is to be ultimately repaid to the community, is of course made to depend on the successful operation of the protected establishment. It is Congress who are to determine in advance, upon the propropriety of putting at hazard the interests of the community, by the forced establishment of proposed manufacture. The question to be determined depends upon the calculation of the probabilities, to the correct estimate of which, much practical information is obviously indispensable. Constituted as that body is, it is difficult to conceive of one less fitted for such reference. On the other hand, there is always enough of individual enterprise, intelligence and capital, to test any experiment which gives a fair promise of ultimate remunera
tion, notwithstanding it may be subject to temporary
ADDREss of the FREE TRADE convention.
loss. Left to individual enterprise, the question would be decided by those who have every motive, and every means, to come to a just conclusion—while the proposed suggestion would throw upon congress those vis. ionary projectors, who having failed to obtain the support of discreet and intelligent capitalists, would play the sure game of securing profi', if, by the rarest accident, profit should arise, and of throwing the loss upon the community, if loss should ensue. It is said that a dependence upon other nations, for those manufactures which are essential to our wants, is inconsistent with our chracter as a nation; and in this view that the tariff is essential to national independence. To us the term seems to be strang, ly misapplied. It is agreed that a system of free trade among all the nations of the world, by securing the application of the highest energies of each, to those objects which it was best qualified to produce, would enlarge the amount of production, and increase the sum of human comfort. But such a state of things would, according to the argument which is urged, be a state of universal dependence; and precisely the same consequence would follow in relation to the commercial intercourse of any given nation with the other nations of the world, to the extent of that intercourse, whether a system of free trade or of partial restrictions should prevail. That intercourse consists in the mutual interchange of commodities, and it is impossible to conceive the idea of a dependence on the one side, without recognizing the fact of a corresponding dependence on the other. But such a state of mutual dependence is a source of gratulation rather than of regret, since it gives to each nation
an increased facility for the development of its highest
energies, enlarges the sum of its enjoyments, and affords the surest guarantee for the peace and harmony of the world. If the suggestion be urged in its application to the necessities of our country during a state of war, an equally satisfactory answer may be given. It is unquestionably the duty of every government to be prepared for those conflicts with other nations, which it is not always possible to avoid : but this is most effectually done by the unrestricted exertion of its peaceful energies. In a government constituted as ours is, and separated as it is by the Atlantic from the nations of the old world, it is reasonable to presume that such conflicts will be rare. The interva's of peace will probably be of much the longest duration, and our system of permanent policy should therefore be reglutated chiefly with a view to this state of our national existence. But the decisive answer to this suggestion is, that money constitutes the sinews of war, and that its exigencies are best provided for by enriching the nation in time of peace. A system of free trade will mainly conduce to this object. The resources which it will furnish will second the services of the neutral trader, and these with our own internal manufactures, which are already independent of Legislative protection, will amply supply our wants in such an emergency. It is one and not the least of the evils of the system which we deprecate, that it has a tendency to demoralize our "citizens, to habituate them to evasions of the laws, and to encourage the odious and detestible practice of smuggling. It is the effect of the protecting duty to raise the price of commodities considerably above that, at which they could be imported at a moderate revenue duty. Unless this is so, it fails to accomplish its destined object, and is entirely useless. The inevitable consequence is, the temptation to clandestine importation, and the facilities which are afforded by our widely extended inland and ocean frontier, give impunity to the smuggler. . On the several interests of agriculture, navigation, commerce, the mechanic arts, and even on manufactures themselves, this system operates with an injurious influence. agriculture, which is employed in the production of ar.
ticles which must be exported to a foreign market, it is obvious that any considerable diminution of the commercial capital, by its transfer to other employments, must have a tendency to diminish their price. It is in the southern portion of the union that this will be most extensively felt. The domestic market will consume a portion of its great staple, which is, comparatively small, and the immense residue will seek in vain for a foreign market, if the manufactures of other nations are in ef. fect, and permanently excluded from our ports. This state of things may not at once occur. The necessity of having a supply of the raw material for the employment of her mauufactories, may induce our great customer to submit, for a time, to a system of purchase instead of exchange; but she will be urged by the strongest considerations to seek that supply from those who will receive her manufactures in return. If this system be rendered permanent, and pushed to the prohibitory extent, to which it seems inevitably to tend, the fate of the cotton planter is therefore, irrevocably sealed. Nor is he alone effected by this system of protection. The farmer of the middle states will feel its influence in the increase of the price of labor, as well as of every article which he buys; and if those in the manufacturing districts should find an improved market for the produce of their farms, the considerations just stated will operate to diminish their profits—and the benefits which they enjoy, from the increased investment of capital in their vicinity, will be purchased at the expense of those interests from which that capital has been transferred. When we direct our attention to the influence of the protecting system on the navigation of the country, we might give to the subject a peculair interest, by dwelling on the fact, that a ship is the proudest and most successful of our manufactures. From an early period of our history down to the present hour, we have been con. spicuous for our skill in ship building. Adverting to it as an art, we have by the elegance of our models, and the minuteness of our finish, raised it from a mechanical, to one of the fine arts. We have applied the principles of a correct taste to naval architecture, and have, therefore, produced the same masterly result in this, as the application of the same principles had produced in the other arts. We might then with perfect fairness and propriety, press the inconsistency of that policy, which seeks the prosperity of manufacturers, by loading with burthens that branch of them which has flourished with but little aid, and is necessarily subject to the exclusion from the jealousy of foreign nations. We might connect this topic with our navy, and our naval glory, and thus enlist in our behalf the sensibilities of patriotism. But we wave these advantages, and without entering into details, content ourselves wtth adverting to the positive discouragements to ship building, occasioned by the tariff of 1828. By that tariff, iron, hemp, duck and cordage, are subjected to duties which would be in ef. fect prohibitory, if these articles were not of the first necessity,and their importation indispensable. The quantity of these article which enter into the construction of a ship, with the labor bestowed on them, constitute one half of its value, and the duties upon them impose upon a new ship of five hundred tons a dry direct tax little short of two thousand dollars, which is paid in advance. We say a dry, direct tax, for it is not, as in cases of consumable article, repaid by the consumer. Neither is it repaid by the freighter, for the rate of freight depends on foreign competition, and the foreign ship, cheap, because unburthened, settles the price. The effects of the protecting system upon commerce in general, can only be satisfactorily illustrated by details. It is an important task, and will be faithfully performed by those to whom it is confided. The diminu
tion of imports-a total or partial scarcity of some articles—an increase of price to the consumer, a depression
Speaking with reference to that portion of of the mercantile spirit which, under different circumDivision of philadelphia county.
stances, would be animated to a new enterprize, and the
consequent check to our attainment of that height of prosperity, to which the freedom of our institutions guides us, these are results which cannot be denied. That actual misery is not felt in a young and free country, where almost every citizen is or easily can be, a proprietor, is not an argument to deter us from the removal of those obstructions to that assured and unexampled ease and comfort of condition, to which the American citizen aspires and is entitled. If to the easy acquisition of good cheap land, he can likewise add, not only the necessaries, but also the blameless luxuries of life, why should he be churlishly prevented by a sordid and monopolising system, which finds enjoyment in restriction, and profusion in prohibition? Every class of manufactures which is not the object of the bounty of this system, as well as the mechanic arts generally, are injuriously affected by its operation— Nay, even those manufacturers, who experience this protection, are themselves interested in the removal of these restrictions—The enormity of the profits, in many instances, combined with the uncertainty of the continuance of the system, give to this employment the character of a gambling speculation, rather than that of a regular pursuit of industry. The high rate of profits would occasion a rush of capital from other pursuits,and competition would speedily reduce them to the general level,if the precarious tenure by which they are held did not restrain the movement. Such of them as are adapted to the circumstances of the country, and conducted with the requsite skill and industry would continue to flourish, although legislative protection were withdrawn. They would still give a fair return for the capital and labour which they employ. The rate of profits would indeed be less, but they would be certain, or liable only to those changes which are common to the whole productive industry of the country. It is with this view of the subject, that the best informed and most intelligent among the manufacturers themselves, | cannot resist the conviction that the abandonment of the protecting system, and a return to moderate duties, would be best calculated to promote the steady growth, and the safe and permanent establishment of American manufactures. There is a remaining suggestion which we desire to present to your consideration—The national debt, which | has annually absorbed from ten to twelve millions of revenue, is rapidly diminishing, and will speedily be ex tinguished. On the first day of January, 1833, the available funds of the government will be adequate to its discharge. The existing tariff of duties will produce thereafter an immense annual revenue, beyond the ordinary wants of the government, and the task of providing a system of measures which shall be adapted to this new and interesting condition of the fiscal concerns of the nation, will then devolve upon the next Congress. How propitious the moment for the establishment of the principles of free trade. An enterprising and intelligent people, possessing in abundance the resources of national wealth, and perfectly unencumbered by debt, may add to their claims upon the gratitude of the world, for having successfully asserted the principles of free government, by being the first also to proclaim the principles of a free and unrestricted commerce—that genuine “American System,” which will remove from our borders every vestige of discontent, will give more value to the freedom, which was wrested from the grasp of oppression by the valor of our ancestors, and perpetuate those institutions which are destined, by the blessing of God, to secure the happiness of unborn millions.
From the Germantown Telegraph.
DIVISION OF THE COUNTY. Mr. Editor, In my last communication, I promised to lay before the citizens of the county, a few facts in relation to the subject of dividing the county. Before
the height of imprudence for the county to agitate the subject, and feel firmly convinced that when the real state of the case becomes generally known in the city, and that the citizens of Philadelphia discover, as they unquestionably will, that the talked of division will be greatly to their advantage, they will be for lopping us off, and may perhaps succeed to the great disadvantage of the county. In which case let the blame rest on the heads of those who have started this question. Bringing the subject before them, must necessarily lead to enquiry, and they will soon discover that an immense amount of the taxes paid by them, are annually distributed throughout the county; and that we are in fact a great burthen to them. . It will then be seen who are the advocates of the division; who understand their own interests, and who do not. It is proposed by those in favor of division, that the new county be composed of the following townships: Germantown, Roxborough, Bristol, Oxford, LowerDublin, Byberry, Moreland, that part of Penn Township, north-west of Turner's Lane, and a part of the Northern Liberties. I have now before me the report of the County Commissioners for the year 1830,in which is detailed the amount of taxes assessed in each ofthe above townships. The whole amount assessed in the city and county, being $172,572.78. The townships above named are assessed as follows, vizi— Germantown, Roxborough, Bristol, Oxford, Byberry, Moreland, Lower-Dublin, - The incorporated and the unincorporated parts of Penn township, are all in one item, in 1830, and I can find no way of correctly separating that part which will come in the proposed new county, but I find in 1831, that the two parts have been separated, and the unincorporated part is assessed at $3621, 16. 1 believe that not half of this will come within the new county; but to be on the safe side, say half, As it regards the Northern Liberties, there is no way of ascertaining the amount of assessments in that part coming into the new county; I will therefore, leave out both sides in the question relative to it, in the calculation I am about to make; it will make but little difference one way or the other, and it examined into it, will be found that it receives much more than it pays, and will in fact make the matter worse.
$14,999 29 Then, sir, we have the enormous sum of $14,999 29—say $15,000,for the gross amount of assessments;the commissioners for collecting, allowances for tax not collected, and the average expense of making assessments,is 10 per cent. on the amount of the assessments; 10 per cent. on the above, is $1500—which taken from $15,000, leaves $13,500. This paltry sum, then, would be the whole amount of revenue, at an unusual high rate of taxation, (40 cents in the 100 dollars,) of this great county – But, sir, this is not all. There is yet another item of great inportance to come off this amount; it is an expense of which the county (notwithstanding all assertions to the contrary,) have always been receiving more than her proportion. I mean the expense of supporting public schools. But perhaps it is the intention of those in favor of the division, to economise in this matter, to save this expense, for it would seem to be on a piece with the rest of their policy, saving at the tap and letting out at the bung. If this is their intention, or if a division would produce this effect, and there were no other arguments against the measure, would not this
I proceed, however, Kwill again observe, that I thinkit
alone be all-sufficient?—What, sir, when every one al