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Neat cattle, in 1840, numbered 15,000,000; now (1847) not less, probably, than 20,000,000: at $10 a head, $200,000,000. Swine in 1840, 26,000,000; say 30,000,000 now: at $4 a head, $120,000,000. Horses and mules are estimated at $170,000,000. Oats, 172,000,000 bushels: at 25 cents, $63,000,000. Hemp and flax, $20,000,000; products of the dairy, $34,000,000, &c., &c. The Hon. Mr. Stewart, of Pennsylvania, has estimated the annual agricultural products of the country at $1,000,000,000, which the above items, being only a few of all, though the largest, would seem to justify; and a senate document, cited in another chapter, based on the census of 1840, estimates the entire annual product of the industry and labor of the country at $2,000,000,000. It is easy to see what proportion the annual product of cottonaverage say $60,000,000-bears to that of the entire labor of the country; or to the aggregate of agricultural products; or to either of the above items for a single branch of agriculture, six of which are larger, and some very much larger, than that of cotton. Why did not the secretary name some of these as great interests? And why should the smallest interest, even of a single man, in the general aggregate, be overlooked? That is the best government which has a care for all.

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But the secretary ascribes some very pretending political attributes to the cotton interest, for which he seems to think it merits the special care of the government. "Cotton is the great basis of our foreign exchanges, furnishing most of the means to purchase imports, and supply the revenue. It is thus the source of two thirds of the revenue, and of our foreign freight and commerce, upholding our commercial and maritime power. It is also a bond of peace with foreign nations, constituting a stronger preventive of war than armies or navies, forts or armaments."

It can not be denied that this is a high pretension, an extraordinary claim, put forward on the basis of eminent political considerations; and these, apparently, are some of the reasons why the secretary thinks that all other interests of the country should give way to that of cotton, and that the public policy should be shaped for this. Believing in these facts, as he has stated them, his course as a public officer may be easily explained. How could he do otherwise?

But if, after all, it shall appear that the position of this interest of $72,000,000, so far as its claims to protection are concerned, is purely a commercial one; that it is an interest of so many dol

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lars, and no more, in the pockets of the growers of cotton; that so far as it has any political importance, it is so much additional commercial value to those concerned in it, and therefore can only be regarded as a basis of commercial speculation—and a very strong one it is; then what becomes of these high and superior claims set up for it?

As to the political importance of the cotton interest, in maintaining peace, whatever of truth there is in it-and there is doubtless a good deal-nevertheless, it all redounds to the commercial advantage of that interest, rendering it always more secure, more available, more productive. As to the credit claimed for the cotton interest, in affording the basis for two thirds of the public revenue, the fact is not apparent. England must have the cotton, and the planter is glad to sell it. These are facts. But why does the exporter of the cotton bring back merchandise? Because the people want it, and because he can double his profits by the operation. It is the wants of the people, then, that constitute the basis of the public revenue, and not cotton. If it should be said, the cotton pays for the merchandise, to the extent specified, this fact is not inconsistent with another contingent one, to wit, that in the absence of cotton, something else would be found to pay for it. As to the aid of cotton in providing a maritime force, by employing a commercial marine, that, too, rests on a similar foundation to the other pretension; and if it should be granted, would it not be fair to balance the account, and bring the cotton interest in debt to the country, by charging back upon it five or six millions a year for the expense of a navy to protect it on its passage to market?

No doubt cotton is a great interest. Nor is it intended to disparage its fair relative importance, though not the greatest of the Union. But it can hardly be allowed to claim that every other interest of the country should make obeisance to that, crouch to it, be its slave, be sacrificed to its advantage. Unfortunately, the course of public policy proposed for the benefit of the cotton-growing interest is as bad for that as for any other, not to say worse. All are to be injured by a mistake of the advocates of this single interest, they suffering with the rest.

The president of the United States, in his annual message of 1845, as before cited for another purpose, said: "While it [the tariff of 1842] protects the capital of the wealthy manufacturer, and increases his profits, it does not benefit the operatives or laborers in his employment, whose wages have not been increased by


it." How far the last part of this proposition is true, has been before considered. The secretary of the treasury, in his annual report of the same year, said: "The profit of capital invested in manufactures is augmented by the protective tariff." It may be so, ought to be, doubtless is, as one object of the tariff is to encourage and sustain manufactures. But the secretary maintains that this is done at the expense of laborers and the poor.

So serious an allegation as this, involving so important a question, and emanating from such a quarter, should have been substantiated by the evidence of fucts. There can be no apology for this defect of duty, inasmuch as it was perfectly in the power of the secretary to prove it, if it was true. He did, in fact, open a correspondence in all quarters for that purpose; and yet, not a single fact to the point is forthcoming. He complains that the manufacturers would not give evidence to convict themselves. But there were thousands of disinterested and well-qualified persons whom he might have put under oath. Their certificates would have been influential, for or against the secretary. The fact that he did not produce them, is the strongest evidence that they could not be obtained for his purpose.

The secretary does indeed say: "It seems strange, that while the profit of agriculture varies from 1 to 8 per cent., that of manufactures-is more than double." This, certainly, is a very equivocal mode of expression, unexplained. If he means that the profit of manufactures is more than double of 1, that is not saying much. Or if he means that it is more than double of the medium between 1 and 8, that is, of 4—it is perhaps fair to conclude this was his meaning—even that is not very extravagant, and is probably about what he meant to allow for agriculture. But whatever he meant, is unsupported by evidence.

Assertion is at least as good on one side as the other, and when, in replication, it happens to correspond with known facts, it is simply a reference to the most valid evidence-is evidence. It will not be denied that more capital has been sunk, entirely and for ever lost to the original stockholders, in starting manufactories in the United States, than in any other business whatsoever. Nearly all that was invested during the war of 1812, and under the tariff of 1816, down to 1824, was sacrificed; and the amount was very great. Hundreds, not to say thousands, of families, who were rich before their all was thus hazarded, were for ever ruined by these misfortunes. It is not less true that, in the history of manufactur

ing in the United States, down to this time, frequent failures, some for great amounts, have been constantly taking place. On these ruins, others following, and taking the same establishments, at a large discount on the cost-50 or 75 per cent., sometimes more, sometimes less-have, for a season, been able to make large dividends, not on the first cost, but on the last. What was their good luck, had been the ruin of others. In the same manner, handsome profits have sometimes been realized by the first establishments in a new business, till other capital, waiting for employment, rushed into it, and reduced the profits to an unsatisfactory level, as is generally the result in all such cases, till one reaction after another brings it to a moderate and fair business.

The Hon. Mr. Evans, of Maine, whose scrupulosity and accuracy of statement in such matters were never questioned by his opponents in the senate of the United States or elsewhere—much less are his statements often disturbed-replied to Mr. M'Duffie, of South Carolina, on this point, in a speech delivered January 23, 1844. His conclusion was: "I venture to affirm that the profits of capital invested in cotton manufactures [these are the most profitable] from the commencement to this time, have not averaged 6 per cent." Mr. M'Duffie asked, "What are they now?"-"I can not certainly inform the senator," said Mr. Evans; "but I am assured that, altogether, they will not average 12 per cent." It has been since proved that they did not average so much; and it is doubtless true that "they have not averaged 6 per cent. from the commencement." No others have done so well, and some have suffered great disasters.

The Lowell factories have, undoubtedly, done better than the average of cotton-mills in the country. The Hon. Nathan Appleton states that, of the nine companies there, five made no dividend during the year 1842, and that the average of the dividends of all the Lowell companies, for the years 1842, 1843, 1844, and 1845, of the net profits, was 10 per cent. per annum. These statements are, of course, open to verification, and if they could be proved incorrect, it would have been done, as there was no want of disposition.

"I am very sure," said Mr. Evans, "that in other branches of manufacture much less [profit] still has been derived. How is it with woollens? The profits there, we know, have been very low; great losses have been sustained; and the stock has been, generally, far under par. In the iron business, the senator from Pennsylva

nia [Mr. Buchanan] has told us that many of the furnaces have ceased to operate. . . With plain and conclusive facts like these," said Mr. Evans, "with what justice or propriety can the act of 1842 be stigmatized as an act to legalize plunder and oppression [so Mr. M'Duffie called it], or the policy, as a policy to enrich the manufacturer and capitalist at the expense of the laborer? These are charges, sir, easily made; but they are not sustained, and can not be sustained by any proof drawn from experience, or the practical operation of the system."

But what are the profits of the cotton-growers? In Mr. Clay's reply to General Hayne, in February, 1832, he said:

"The cotton-planters of the valley of the Mississippi with whom I am acquainted, generally expend about one third of their income in the support of their families and plantations. On this subject I hold in my hand a statement from a friend of mine, of great accuracy, and a member of the senate. According to this statement, in a crop of $10,000, the expenses may fluctuate between $2,800 and $3,200." Again: "If cotton-planting is less profitable than it was, that is the result of increased production. But I believe it to be still the most profitable investment of capital of any branch. of business in the United States; and if a committee were raised, with power to send for persons and papers, I take it upon myself to say, that such would be the result of the inquiry. In Kentucky, I know many individuals who have their cotton plantations below, and retain their residence in that state, where they remain during the sickly season; and they are all, I believe, without exception, doing well. Others, tempted by their success, are constantly engaging in the business, while scarcely any come from the cotton region to engage in western agriculture. A friend, now in my eye, a member of this body, upon a capital of less than $70,000, invested in a plantation and slaves, made, the year before last, $16,000. A member of the other house, I understand, who, without removing himself, sent some of his slaves to Mississippi, made, last year, about 20 per cent. Two friends of mine, in the latter state, whose annual income is from $30,000 to $60,000, being desirous to curtail their business, have offered [cotton] estates for sale, which they are ready to show by regular vouchers of receipts and disbursements, yield 18 per cent. per annum. One of my most opulent acquaintances, in the county adjoining that in which I reside, having married in Georgia, has derived a large portion of his wealth from a cotton estate there situated."

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