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that by far the greater portion of this latter amount is paid for, not in articles produced by New England, but in those brought in from abroad by the same ships in which this produce is carried out. It is therefore, in reality, a trade between the Western producer and the foreigner, in which the people of New England are concerned only as carriers, in virtue of their position and facilities for intermediating between the parties.




It is well known that the commercial journals, or Price Currents, of several of our leading cities are in the habit of publishing annually carefully prepared statements, or reviews, of the Trade and Commerce of the year. The New Orleans and the Cincinnati Price Currents, for instance, make up their statements in each year to the 30th June, adopting the fiscal year of the Treasury Department at Washington, in the publication of the Register's annual statement of the "Commerce and Navigation of the United States;" while the Baltimore Price Current, the Boston Skipping List, and the Missouri (St. Louis) Republican have adopted the calendar year, commencing on the first of January and ending on the 31st of December. The statements of the New Orleans and Cincinnati journals, alluded to above, were transferred to the pages of the previous volume of this Magazine; and we now copy the clear and comprehensive statement and review of the business of Baltimore from the reliable commercial journal of Messrs. Porter & Tobin; with the view, as we have before intimated, of pursuing the same course from year to year.

Those journals are, to some extent, local in their character and limited in their circulation. The Merchants' Magazine, on the other hand, is national, more convenient for preservation, and mainly designed as a book of record and reference. Besides, these statements furnish an admirable compend of the progress of commercial enterprise in the different cities of the Union, which necessarily render them valuable contributions to our commercial and industrial history.

The plan which we adopted in this respect, we have reason to know, has been approved by intelligent merchants throughout the country, and as it is well calculated to give completeness, and impart that nationality of character to our Journal, which it has been our study from the start to maintain, we can see no sufficient reason for abandoning the course we have thus far pursued.

We present our second annual statement of the Commerce of Baltimore, embracing a review of the business of the year 1851, and a variety of carefully prepared statistics that cannot bo otherwise than interesting and valuable as furnishing a correct idea of the commercial importance of our city in comparison with previous years. As a general thing, business has not been very profitable the past year. Whilst the harvests have with scarce an exception proved abundant, the stringency which has prevailed in the money market during the last four or five months has had the effect of restraining trading operations in a great measure, and of marking the year with another "crisis," and failures in some of the larger cilies have not been uncommon. In the face of these things, however, Baltimore has been comparatively successful, and is now perhaps in better condition to enter upon the new year than most of her contemporaries. The crisis has affected her but little, and although at times our merchants have been disposed to look about them with some degree of dismay, whilst empty rumor was spreading its hurtful influences far and wide throughout the country, they soon learned that there was in reality no reason to fear serious revulsions, and continued on, though somewhat cautiously, ill their usual way, till the worst of the storm passed by, having experienced only a very small share of the damage—and now, though money is still rather difficult to obtain, their characteristic prudence has placed them nearly out of the reach of danger. Two months more, it is to be hoped, will bring about a general clearing up of the commercial horizon.


A happy augury of the future extent of our Southern trade Is presented in the astonishing increase in business with that quarter within the year. This increase is in part attributable to the fact that planters, finding the high price obtained for cotton the last two years likely to continue, neglected the growing of corn and raising of hogs, and turned their attention to that article; and were therefore chiefly dependent upon markets northward for their grain and provisions. It is also owing somewhat to a sectional preference. To render every facility and encouragement to this growing trade, our merchants have already put afloat the first of a line of propeller steamers to Charleston, named the Palmetto, and the second of the line is about being contracted for. Ere another twelvemouth shall have rolled by, we hope to see the same means of communication established with Savannah and other Southern ports trading with us.

In little more than a year hence, we have the promise that our connection by railroad with the Ohio River will be completed. There is much cause for congratulation that an event, long looked forward to with so much hope and solicitude by the people of Baltimore, is so near at hand. Upon the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad are founded our chief anticipations as to the future of our city— ist success, now so well established in the belief of every one acquainted with railroad enterprises in the United Suites, will securo the perfection of our Western trade, and the advancement of Baltimore to greater wealth and influence than she has hitherto ever enjoyed.

With the completion of our Western railroad, the necessity of direct communication with Europe by steam will become more than ever apparent. A bill for a line of steamers from Baltimore to Liverpool is again before Congress, and we sincerely trust that our representatives may succeed finally in securing the patronage of Government in our efforts to supply a want long felt in our trade with Europe. Whilst other cities are having steamers running to every port with which their intercourse is in any way important, it seems strange that Baltimore, enjoying such a large trade with the Old World, should be so deficient in this respect.

We are happy to announce that arrangements are now being made between the Dauphin &. Susquehanna Coal Company and R. M. Magraw, Esq., President Of the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad Company, for the introduction of a large proportion of the products of the mines of that Company into our market. The quality of the different kinds of the article obtained at these mines is represented as very superior; and there is every prospect of a large demand. We understand that an experimental trip will shortly be made, with a view to ascertain the capacity, cost, &c., of this article over the toad, delivered in our city. The extension of the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad from Harrisburg to Sunbury, under the provisions of the charter obtained at the last session of the Pennsylvania Legislature, is looked forward to with lively interest by the mercantile community. Independent of the great object of its construction, viz., a direct communication with the Lakes, its line will open up to us a region of country teeming with the mineral productions of that wealthy State; and it embraces even now on its proposed route no less than four lateral railroads, leading directly to a like number of coal mines, of which that of the Dauphin <si Susquehanna Coal Company is one. We hope that our citizens generally will give their support to the efforts now being made by the enterprising gentlemen having charge of this matter of the extension of the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad. It ia a subject of vast importance to our city—indeed, second to none that now engages their attention.

American Cotton And Woolen Goods. The year just passed has been a very disastrous one for the American manufacturer of cotton fabrics. Various causes have contributed to produce this result, the most serious one of which was the over-production of cotton goods in the years 1849 and 1850, added to the unusually high price of the raw material. During the fall of 1850, dealers and speculators, anticipating from the high and still advancing prices of cotton, a material rise in the manufactured article, bought largely with a view of realizing an advanced price upon the opening of the trade of the coming season. The market being temporarily relieved by these large purchases of the heavy stock previously bearing it down, manufacturers were induced to advance prices upon the opening of the market this year some 10 per cent over the ruling rates the previous season ; the buyers generally being supplied, very few goods were wanted, and stocks of goods on the hands of the manufacturers or their agents accumulated to a considerable extent. About tho first of March, parties who held large stocks bought on speculation, became anxious to realize, and by forcing their goods on the market, depressed prices much below what they otherwise would have been. During this state of things (reaching to the months of May and June) cotton commenced to decline, which fact, added to an unusually stringent money market, gave a still farther downward tendency to prices of manufactured goods throughout the summer and fall, until they reached within a shade of the lowest prices of 1842, and manufacturers saw clearly that they were losing money rapidly, and that some means must be devised to correct the evil.

Many of the mills stopped altogether, others run on " short time," thereby materially reducing the production; which with the material increase in consumption of goods, will in our opinion enable tho manufacturers to calculate with some degree of certainty on a moderate living profit during the year of 1852.

In woolen goods, manufacturers have done much better; although wool opened high early in the year, the price has been gradually declining, and manufacturers generally have been doing a good business.

Stocks of both cotton and woolen goods now on hand are much lighter than at the same period last year, and with the decrease in the production of nearly all styles, and the early and active demand reasonably to be anticipated, we feel satisfied that with prudence and caution manufacturers will be able to realize better profits than they have for some years.

Coal. The increase of the coal trade at the port of Baltimore has been marked and healthy. In addition to the quantity brought to Baltimore from Cumberland, as given below, between 80,000 and 90,000 tons have been carried to Alexandria by the canal, iu the past year. The export demand has been fair during the year, but. in consequence of the scarcity of vessels and the high ratesof freight, shipments towards the close of the year have been light. Since the reduction made by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company in their rates of transportation, the cargo prices have been as follows: for Cumberland fine, $3 35; run of mine, $3 60, and lump $4 10 per ton, cash, delivered on board.


Cumberland. Anthracite. 1845 tons 16,000 90,000

1846 18,393 100,000

1847 60,259 110,000

1848 66,289 125,000

Cumberland. Anthracite.

1849 tons 71,699 140,000

1850 146,645 160,000

1851 168,865 200,000

Coffee. This article, already one of the principal items in the trade of Baltimore, U yearly attaining greater importance. Below will be found the imports


for the last two years; those of 1851 it will be seen exhibit a very large increase, amounting to fully one third of all the crop of Rio imported into the United States. On the 1st January, 1851, the stock in first and second hands amounted to 26,000 bags—the total imports for the year amount to 305,193 bags, of which 266,240 were from Rio, leaving stock on hand 1st inst. of 28,000 bags. The fluctuations in the price of the article we note as follows, viz:

Rio Coffee.—In the beginning of January last we find a brisk business doing, at prices ranging from 10i a 10$ cents, the market having for the two or three preceding weeks ruled steady at from 10i all cents; on the 10th of January an advance of \ a J was established, which was well maintained until near the middle of February, when the market becoming dull, the demand having blackened, holders submitted to a slight decline, the range of prices being from 10} a 11 J. On the 1st of March there was a further decline, and large sales were effected at 10i a 11 cents, which prices were barely maintained throughout the month. In April the market opened dull, with sales of several cargoes at 10 cents, closing out all that was in first hands; subsequently prices improved a friction, with small sales, but declined again before the close of the month, in anticipation of large imports, to 9^ a 10 cents; these prieescontinued until toward the middle of the month of May, when the imports grew very heavy, amounting in the two weeks ending on the 17th to 55,712 bags, when a further decline of ^cent took place; subsequently prices gradually declined, until the latter part of July, when the sales were at 8 a 8f cents; the month of August opened with a belter feeling and an improvement in prices, which ranged from 8i a 9 cents. Throughout September and till near the close of October the market continued steady, the sales being fair at from 8 a 8} cents, but in consequence of the increased cost of importation prices advanced from i to f of a cent, and have continued to rule at a range of from 8i a 9£, according to quality.


1851. 1850.

rom Rio de Janeiro 266,240 160,194

^r^u;:::::::::::::::::::::} ".«» ^

Maracaibo 6,873 2,764

West Indies. 8,114 6,532

Coastwise 3,885 8,934

Total 805,193 187,454

Showing an increase of 117,639, and over 1849 of 86,740 baps.

Cotton. The entire receipts of cotton at the port of Baltimore the past year amount to about 30,000 bales; our table of imports, as published weekly, shows only that portion that entered at the Custoin-House; all reaching our market from Virginia and by railway and canals is lost sight of. The sales as reported from week to week in this paper, amount to nearly 20,000 bales, and it is supposed that the quantity ordered direct by the manufacturers and agents will make up the residue. The demand during the year lias been confined almost exclusively to the limited wants of manufacturers, there having been at no period any disposition manifested to speculate in the article, and but little was laken for exportation.

The increase in the production of 1851, upon that of last year, caused prices to fall very rapidly. We note the decline in the market as follows: in January last, when prices ruled at the highest mark, fair New Orleans was quoted at 15 a 154. cents, and Upland at. 14J a 14}, but before the close of the month, prices began to fall and continued steadily to decline, until the opening of the month of March—up to which time the market had fallen from 3 to 3| cents per lb.; from March to the beginning of May, prices were very well maintained, the fluctuations being but few and slight. About the middle of Maya further decline took place, and good to fair Florida and New Orleans sold at 11 a 12 cents, and ordinary to good middling New Orleans, at 7i a 9} cents: in July, middling Upland

sold at 9 a 10 cents, and middling fair Mobile, 10J; in August, middling to fair Upland and New Orleans, at 8 a 10 cents, improving at close of the month \ to J of a cent. At this period the old stock was entirely exhausted, and before the receipts of new began to come in, the market continued quite bare for several weeks, and prices were firmly maintained.

In October, the receipts of new crop were heavy, and the market fell back a little, but the demand being good, prices were comparatively steady, with sales in November of middling to middling fair Upland, at 8} a 9f, and since then there has been no change. The decline from the highest to the lowest point in prices during the year, was 4f to 5 cents per lb. Stock on January 1st, 1852, 800 bales."'



Fish. Mackerel have been in fair supply during the year past, the inspectors' returns showing an increase over 1850, amounting to 6,665 barrels. The stock on hand at the close of 1850 was also quite large, amounting to over 6,000 barrels, as near as could be ascertained, and notwithstanding the large increase in the receipts, the stock on the 1st instant did not exceed 5,000 barrels. The fluctuations of the market will be seen by the table of prices given below, compiled from actual sales as published in this paper at the respective dates mentioned; from which it appears that during the first five months there was little or no change in prices—but in June, the season's catch having proved to be quite abundant, prices declined, and continued low, in consequence of the supply being more than equal to the demand, until the opening of the fall trade ; throughout which, the receipts being small, prices were well maintained. Shad.—Tile supply the past year fell short of that of 1850 by upwards of 4,000 barrels; the first receipts from the North Carolina fisheries were near the close of March, and sold for $10 per barrel, and as they arrived more freely, prices fell to $9i a 9^— as quoted on the 19th of April; subsequently, the advices from the Potomac and N. C. fisheries proving very discouraging, prices advanced to $11 a 11^, and were maintained until close of season. Herrings.—The quantity packed the past year was about 6,500 barrels less than in 1850. The opening price in March was $5i a 6 per barrel, and throughout the rest of the year ruled from $41 to 5i per barrel—the market for some time being entirely bare. Eastern herrings are now firm at $4.


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