صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

lions, and returned goods to the amount of about 23 millions. Certainly these are countries that have some better employment for their time and energy than cutting each other's throats, and may meet for more profitable purposes.--The American imports from the dominions of Great Britain, before the great American war, amounted to about 3 millions Sterling; soon after the war, to the same: From 1805 to 1811, both inclusive, the average annual exportation of Great Britain to all parts of the world, in real value, was about 43 millions Sterling, of which one-fifth, or near 9 millions, was sent to America.

Tonnage and Navigation.— Before the revolutionary war, the American tonnage, whether owned by British or American subjects, was about 127,000 tons; immediately after that war, 108,000. In 1789, it had amounted to 437,733 tons, of which 279,000 was American property. In 1790,

the total was 605,825, of which 354,000 was American. In 1816, the tonnage, all American, was 1,300,000. On an average of three years, from 1810 to 1812, both inclusive, the registered tonnage of the British empire was 2,459,000; or little more than double the American.

Lands.-All public lands are surveyed before they are offered for sale; and divided into townships of 6 miles square, which are subdivided into 36 sections of one mile square, containing each 640 acres. The following lands are excepted from the sales.-One thirty-sixth part of the lands, or a section of 640 acres in each township, is uniformly reserved for the support of schools;-seven entire townships, containing each 23,000 acres, have been reserved in perpetuity for the support of learning ;-all salt springs and lead mines are also reserved. The Mississippi, the Ohio, and all the navigable rivers and waters leading into either, or into the river St Lawrence, remain common highways, and for ever free to all the citizens of the United States, without payment of any tax. All the other public lands, not thus excepted, are offered for public sale in quarter sections of 160 acres, at a price not less than 2 dollars per acre, and as much more as they will fetch by public auction. It was formerly the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to superintend the sale of lands. In 1812, an office, denominated the General Land-Office, was instituted. The public lands sold prior to the opening of the land-offices, amounted to one million and a half of acres. The aggregate of the sales since the opening of the land-offices, NW. of the river Ohio, to the end of September 1817, amounted to 8,469,644 acres; and the purchase money to 18,000,000 dollars. The lands sold since the opening of the land-offices in the Mississippi territory, amount to 1,600,000 acres. The stock of unsold land on hand is cal, culated at 400,000,000 acres. In the year 1817 there were sold above two millions acres.

Post-Office.- In 1789, the number of post-offices in the United States was 75; the amount of postage 38,000 dollars; the iniles of post-road 1800. In 1817, the number of post-offices was 3459; the amount of postage 961,000 dollars; and the extent of post-roads 51,600 miles.

Revenue.—The revenues of the United States are derived from the Customs; from duties on distilled spirits, carriages, snuff, refined sugar, auctions, stamped paper, goods, wares, and merchandise manufactured within the United States, household furniture, gold and silver watches, and postage of letters; from monies arising from the sale of public lands, and from fees on letters-patent. The following are the duties paid at the customhouse for some of the principal articles of importation :-7) per cent. on dyeing drugs, jewellery, and watch-work; 15 per cent. on hempen cloth, and on all articles manufactured from iron, tin, brass, and lead-on buttons, buckles, china, earthen-ware, and glass, except window glass; 25 per cent. on cotton and woollen goods, and cotton twist; 30 per cent. on carriages, leather, and leather manufactures, &c.

The average annual produce of the Customs, between 1801 and 1810, both inclusive, was about 12 millions dollars. In the year 1814, the customs amounted only to four millions; and, in the year 1815, the first year after the war, rose to 37 millions. From 1789 to 1814, the customs have constituted 65 per cent. of the American revenues; loans 26 per cent.; and all other branches 8 to 9 per cent. They collect their customs at about 4 per cent.;—the English expense of collection is 61. 2s. 6d. per cent.

The duty upon spirits is extremely trifling to the consumernot a penny per gallon. The number of distilleries is about 15,000. The licenses produce a very inconsiderable sum. The tax laid upon carriages in 1814, varied from fifty dollars to one dollar, according to the value of the machine. In the year 1801, there were more than fifteen thousand carriages of different descriptions paying duty. The furniture-tax seems to have been a very singular species of tax, laid on during the last war. It was an ad valorem duty upon all the furniture in any man's possession, the value of which exceeded 600 dollars. Furniture cannot be estimated without domiciliary visits-nor domiciliary visits allowed without tyranny and vexation. An information laid against a new arm-chair, or a clandestine sideboard-a search-warrant, and a conviction consequent upon it-have much more the appearance of English than American liberty,

gun

The license for a watch, too, is purely English. A truly free Englishman walks out covered with licenses. It is impossible to convict him. He has paid a guinea for his powdered head-a guinea for the coat of arms upon his seals-a three-guinea license for the he carries upon

his shoulder to shoot game; and is so fortified with permits and official sanctions, that the most eagle-eyed informer cannot obtain the most trisling advantage over him.

America has borrowed, between 1791 and 1815, one hundred and seven millions of dollars, of which forty-nine millions were borrowed in 1813 and 1814. The internal revenue in the year 1815 amounted to eight millions dollars; the gross revenue of the same year, including the loan, to fifty-one millions dollars.

Army.--During the late war with Great Britain, Congress authorized the raising of 62,000 men for the armies of the United States,--though the actual number raised never amounted to half that force. In February 1815, the army of the United ed States did not amount to more than 32,000 men; in January 1814, to 23,000. * The recruiting service, as may be easily conceived, where the wages of labour are so high, goes on very slowly in America. The military peace establishment was fixed in 1815 at 10,000 men. The Americans are fortunately exempt from the insanity of garrisoning little rocks and islands all over the world; nor would they lavish millions upon the ignoble end of the Spanish Peninsula--the inost useless and extravagant possession with which any European power was ever afflicted. In 1812, any recruit honourably discharged from the service was allowed three months' pay, and 160 acres of land. In 1814, every non-commissioned officer, musician and private, who enlisted and was afterwards honourably discharged, was allowed, upon such discharge, 320 acres. The enlistment was for five years, or during the war. The widow, child, or parent of any person enlisted, who was killed or died in the service of the United States, was entitled to receive the same bounty in land.

Every free white male between 18 and 45, is liable to be called out in the militia, which is stated, in official papers, to amount to 748,000 persons.

Navy. On the 8th of June 1785, the Americans had only one vessel of war, the Alliance ; and as that was thought to be too expensive, it was sold! The attacks of the Barbary powers first roused them to form a navy; which, in 1797, amounted

* Peace with Great Britain was signed in December 1814, at Ghent.

[ocr errors]

to three frigates. In 1814, besides a great increase of frigates, four seventy-fours were ordered to be built. In 1816, in consequence of some brilliant actions of their frigates, the naval service had become very popular throughout the United States. One million of dollars were appropriated annually, for eight years, to the gradual increase of the navy; 9 seventy-fours * and 12 forty-four gun ships were ordered to be built. "Vacant and unappropriated lands belonging to the United States, fit to produce oak and cedar, were to be selected for the use of the navy. The peace establishment of the marine corps was increased, and six navy yards were established. We were surprised to find Dr Seybert complaining of a want of ship timber in America.

Many persons (he says) believe that our stock of live oak is very considerable; but, upon good authority we have been told, in 1801, that supplies of live oak from Georgia will be obtained with great difficulty, and that the larger pieces are very scarce. In treating of naval affairs, Dr Seybert, with a very different purpose in view, pays the following involuntary tribute to the activity and effect of our late naval warfare against the Americans.

• For a long time the majority of the people of the United States was opposed to an extensive and permanent Naval establishment; and the force authorized by the Legislature, until very lately, was intended for temporary purposes. A Navy was considered to be beyond the financial means of our country; and it was supposed the people would not submit to be taxed for its support. Our brilliant success in the late war, has changed the public sentiment on this subject : many persons who formerly opposed the Navy, now consider it as an essential means for our defence. The late transactions on the borders of the Chesapeak Bay, cannot be forgotten; the extent of that immense estuary enabled the enemy to sail triumphant into the interior of the United States. For hundreds of miles along. the shores of that great Bay, our people were insulted; our towns were ravaged and destroyed; a considerable population was teazed and irritated; depredations were hourly committed by an enemy who could penetrate into the bosom of the country, without our being able to molest him whilst he kept on the water. By the time a suficient force was collected, to check his operations in one situation, his ships had already transported him to another, which was feeble, and offered a booty to him. An army could make no resistance to this mode of warfare; the people were annoyed; and they suffered in the field only to be satisfied of their inability to check those who had the dominion upon our waters. The inhabitants who were in the imme

* The American 74 gun ships are as big as our first rates, and their frigates nearly as big as ships of the line.

diate vicinity, were not alone affected by the enemy ; his operations extended their influence to our great towns on the Atlantic coast ; domestic intercourse and internal commerce were interrupted, whilst that with foreign nations was, in some instances, entirely suspended. The Treasury documents for 1814, exhibit the phenomenon of the State of Pensylvania not being returned in the list of the exporting States. We were not only deprived of revenue, but our expenditures were very much augmented. It is probable the amount of the expenditures incurred on the borders of the Chesapeak, would have been adequate to provide naval means for the defence of those waters: the people might then have remained at home, secure from depredation in the pursuit of their tranquil occupations. The expenses of the Government as well as of individuals, were very much augmented for every species of transportation. Every thing had to be conveyed by land carriage. Our communication with the ocean was cut off. One thousand dollars were paid for the transportation of each of the thirty-two pounder cannon from Washington city to Lake Ontario, for the public service. Our roads became almost impassable from the heavy loads which were carried over them. These facts should induce us, in times of tranquillity, to provide for the national defence, and execute such internal improvements as cannot be effected during the agitations of war.' p. 679.

Expenditure.-The President of the United States receives about 60001. a year; the Vice-President- about 6001.; the deputies to Congress have 8 dollars per day, and 8 dollars for every 20 miles of journey. The First Clerk of the House of Representatives receives about 7501. per annum; the Secretary of State, 12001.; the Postmaster General, 7501.; the Chief Justice of the United States, 1000l.; a Minister Plenipotentiary, 22001. per annuin. There are, doubtless, reasons why there should be two noblemen appointed in this country as Postmasters General, with enormous salaries, neither of whom know a twopenny post letter from a general one, and where further retrenchments are stated to be impossible. This is clearly a case to which that impossibility extends. But these are matters where a prostration of understanding is called for; and good subjects are not to reason, but to pay. If, however, we were ever to indulge in the Saxon practice of looking into our own affairs, some important documents might be derived from these Ame rican salaries. Jonathan, for instance, sees no reason why the first clerk of his House of Commons should derive emoluments from his situation to the amount of 6000 or 7000l. per annum; but Jonathan is vulgar, and arithmetical. The total expenditure of the United States varied, between 1799 and 1811 both inclusive, from 11 to 17 millions dollars. From 1812 to 1814, both inclusive, and all these years of war with this country, the

« السابقةمتابعة »