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such articles as we can manufacture ourselves, and thus foster our domestic industry. Other measures may be adopted to co-operate and aid in this great work. But without the grand restorative, of “buying less than we sell,” which a proper tariff alone can effect, they will operate as mere palliatives of an evil whose immense extent and magnitude require rompt and decisive remedies All our efforts to. been directed to convince our fellow citizens of this truth, so important to their virtue, their happiness, their independence. We are, like othèrmen, liable to error. We may Have viewed the subject through an incorrect me. dium. But we declare, as we can with truth, that should we be mistaken—should any man or body of men devise a better plan, we shall rejoice in the discovery, abandon our present views, and support theirs with all our ardor. We contend not for victory. that is no object in the discussion of such a momentous question, involving the happiness or misery of millions. We contend for the happiness of our citizens—and for the honor and prosperity of our beloved country. A document has just reached us, which does honor to the head and heart of the writer, as well as to the respectable bodyof citizens by whom it was adopted, and which deserves the serious attention of our citizens throughout the union. It is the presentment of a late grand jury of Newcastle county, which points out with infallible certainty the road to prosperity, We warmly recommend associations throughout the country to carry its salutary objects into operation, and thus arrest the impoverishment of our citizens. Should they be general-should the plan proposed be faithfully adhered to, and the tariff be properly, modified—the thick clouds that environ our horizon will disappear—the sun of prosperity will again shine onus—we shall recover #om our disastrous situation—and only remember our sufferings to warn us to avoid the fatal source, a false and mistaken policy, from whence they burst forth on us with destructive violence. pelaware claims the high honor of having first adopted the federal constitution. It will be another just cause of pride, that she has taken the lead on this occasion, more particularly should the sound views she has given of the causes of our distresses and the excellent remedies she has prescribed, lead to their radical cure. Grandinquest of Newcastle county, state of Delaware. The grand jury of Newcastle county, beg leave to represent-That they are deeply impressed with the distressed and calamitous situation of the agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the state; that in their opinion these evils have arlsen from— 1. A failure of crops; II. An unfavorable balance of trade, the result * of excessive importations of foreign goods exceeding, to an immense amount, the value of our exports; - III. Thus draining the state of its specie, and circulating medium, iv. ixepressing the value of real estate; and V. Increasing poverty and distress. The only practical remedies for these evils, in the opinion of the grand jury, are– - I. A regular and strict economy in the expenses of the people. II. A retrenchment in the use of imported goods, and foreign luxuries. III. A steady attention to the improvement of our agricultural products. iW. 33.7nd the encouragement of a market at
home, by fostering and protecting domestic manufa tures to a serious consideration of this important subject, the grand jury would most earnestly invite the attention of the citizens, more especially of this county. Unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be printed. ARCHD. , LEXANDER, Foreman. Attest, S. H. BLACK, Clerk of G. J. 19th May, 1819. N. B. The sailure of crops, stated in the preceding document, has not prevailed in other parts of United States—but the distress is equally felt elsewhere. . TO THE PUBLIC. The society for the promotton of National Industry, being informed that exceptions imave been m to the statement of the list of prohibited articles in the Russian tario, published in their address No. 4, in consequence of the article “Fea” being included, beg leave to state, that this article forms an item among the “Merchandises prohibees a l'entree,” in the edition of the tariff published at Petersburg, anno 1816, under the title of “Tariff des droits de doumane de l'empire Russe,” signed by the emperor Ajs Xander himself, and which is now in operation. The words of the prohibition are, “The de toute sortee enoree.” But they have learnt, since the publication of that address, that an arrangement exists between the Russian and Chinese empires, whereby, “Teas” are admitted into the former from the latter, “by land.” This is not to be found in the tariff; and they could not divine by intuition that such a regulation was in existence, It is, however, obvious that the objection of this ground by no means warrants the importance attempted to be attached to it, and does not affect the question before the public. The object of the society was to place in strong light the paternal and earemplary care bestowed by the Russian monarch on the interests of, and protection rifforded to, his manufacturing subjects, so signally displayed by the prohibition of almost every article of which domestic supplies can be procured, and to contrast his policy with that of the United States, where no article whatever is prohibited, how abundant soever the domestic supply—and where teas are dutied at from 70 to 80, and wines at forty to sixty per cent. while silks and linens are admitted at fifteen—pottery, earthenware, and all articles manufactured of brass, steel, pewter, lead or tin, at 20, and cottons and woolens at 25 per centum. To this striking contrast, public attention is invited.—The low imports on cottons, woolens, &c. were defended on the ground of the danger of smuggling, in the event of inposing: higher duties. But, as already more than once observed, surely teas and silks are as easily smuggled as muslins, calicoes or woolens, and when the danger of smuggling tea under a duty of 80 per cent. (souchong is about 125) was disregarded it requires no small degree of credulity to believe that this consideration had any sort of influence in fixing the impost so low as we have stated, on pottery, cottons, woolens and so many other articles imported under duties inadequate to protect national industry; which has been the leading cause of the impoverishment of our country. The society request a candid and free communication of, and liberal indulgence extended to, any eriors that may be found in their addresses. . A prompt attention shall be paid to such commu. nications. .
‘Tarift, page 98. - * —
Regulation of Coins. IMPORTANT REPORT.
house of REPREs ENTAtives—JANUAny 26. Mr. Low spes, from the committee appointed to enquire whether it be expedient to make any amendment in the laws which regulate the coins of the United States, and foreign coins, made the t following report: That the laws of the United States make all gold and silver coins issued from their mint, and Spanish dollars, and the parts of such dollars, a legal tender for the payment of debts. The gold coins of Great J3ritain, Ports:gal, France, Spain, and the dominions of Spain, and the crowns and five franc pieces of France, are also declared to be a tender, by an act
passed on the 29th of April, 1816. These coins,
excepting the five franc pieces, had been made legal by two earlier acts, which had been allowed to
expire, and their renewal, with slight modifications,
must be attributed, not to a disregard of the incon
exportation, and the bank of the United States has
made large importations of the five franc pieces of France, which it prefers, because it supposes them less likely to be exported than other coins. The legal value of the American and foreign coins which are current in the United States, is so nearly proportioned in each to the pure metal which it contains, that, where a remittance is to be made in specie, the foreign and national coin will be sent to many countries almost indifferently, except that coin of the nation to which the remittance is to be made will be preferred, whenever it can be procured. On the other hand, if a remittance in specie
is to be made to the United States, the coins of half of Europe serve the purposes of money here as well as our own. This variety of current coin results, indeed, from a temporary law; but while the dollar of Spain, and that of the United States, are of exactly the same value within the United States, and of nearly the same value in many of the foreign countries to which our remittances of specie take place, it would be unreasonable to expect that the mer. chant should not often make them indifferently the subjects of exportation. It is, however, true, that in Canton, and many parts of the East Indies, the Spanish dollar is valued much higher than that of the United States, or than any other coin, in proportion to the quantity of pure silver which it contains. In many parts of the East Indies, indeed, no other coin is current. But, in such as have mints of their own, as in the British possessions, our coins are estimated at their read value, or nearly so. The annual exportation of sii. wer from Canton to British India, is known to be very large, and this circumstance can hardly fail to raise the price of American silver, even in Canton, slowly as customs and opinions change there; at any rate, we cannot calculate on the preference of Spanish dollars leading exclusively to their exportation;, while of the articles which we import from the East Indies, including China, nearly one half is drawn from countries in which our coins are all valued nearly in the just proportion of their purity and wought; and such was the proportion in our im. portations, at least during the year 1817. . The equal proportion between the legal and intrinsic value of American and foreign coins, which tends to produce their indiscriminate exportation, has also an unfavorable effect upon their use in
manufactures. The difference between the quantity
of pure silver in the American and spanish dollars, is not such as to form any obstacle to the employ. ment of the former, by the manufacturer of plate. Fortunately, however, an objection to it is frequently found in the quality of the alloy, which makes it more difficult to be worked. As to our gold coins, they are employed with as much advantage by the manufacturer as any foreign coins, and with more advantage than some of those which are made current by law. Nor is the quantity of gold and silver annually employed in the manufactures of the United States, now an inconsiderable one. To preserve the coins which are issued from the mint from being melted a.d exported, the laws must give them some advantages in interal coramerce over foreign coins of equal purity and weight. In respect to the gold coinage of the U. States, the mint depends for its supply of bullion upon banks or individuals, as it does in the coinage of silver. But there is a difficulty in the operations of the mint, which is peculiar to the coinage of gold. The Mela. tive value of gold to silver is fixed by our lat': at 1 to 15, which is much below the relative value which is assigned to it in all those countries from which we might have expected to procure it. In Spain and Portugal, the legal value of gold is to that of silver as 1 to 16; and in that colony of Spain with which our intercourse is most frequent and valuable, (Cuba) its price in commercc is at least 17 for on, . Hence, we are not only precluded in the common course of trade from obtaining gold from these rich sources of supply, but the little which finds its way into the country from other quarters, is drawn from us by the higher estimate which is there placed upon it. In France, the legal value of gold is to that of silver nearly as 1 to 151-2. In most parts of Italy, it is somewhat higher. h England, silver coin is only current in small sums; but if a specie Circulation shall be restored in that country on the basis of its present mint regulations, the relative value of gold to silver will be about 1 for 151-5. The exaction of a seigneurage on its silver coins makes the comparison less easy; but the merchant, who shall carry bullion to the English mint, will obtain very nearly the same amount of current money for sone ounce of pure gold or 151-5 of pure silver.In Holland, the relative value of gold to silver is es: timated (if there have been no recent changes in respect to it) at 1 to about 143-4. In Germany, and the north of Europe, the value may be stated as rather below an average of 1 to 15. The West Indies, which are probably our most considerable Toullion market, estimate gold in proportion to silver very little, if at all, below an average of 1 to 16And this is done, although some of the most considerable colonies belong to powers whose laws assign to gold a lower relative value in their European dominions. This estimate, which was forced upon many of the colonies by the necessity of giving for gold the price which it commanded in their neighborhood, and particularly in the countries which formed the great sources of their supply, seems to indicate the fair proportion between the metals in the West Indies, since it is believed to have been,
in most instances, confirmed by the colonial laws,
rather than introduced by them. The difference established by custom in the U. States, between coined gold and silver, before the establishment of the present government, seemes to have been nearly as 1 to 156-10. The difference proposed by congress, in their resolution of the 8th of August, 1786, was nearly 1 to 15 1-4; and the reduction in the valuation of gold, by the act of April 12th, 1792, to the proportion of 1 to 15, may be attributed to the belief, which was expressed in the report on which that act was founded, “that the highest actual proportion in any part of Europe, very little, if at all, exceeded 1 to 15; and that the average proportion was probably not more than 1 to 148-10.” The difficulty of obtaining correct information upon points of this kind, makes it not improbable, that thare may have been some error as to the state of the mint regulations of Europe at the period of the report— Rut, be this as it may, the principle which seems to be assumed in it, that the valuation of gold in this country should be higher than in Europe, would lead to the conclusion, that the present valuation of 1 to 15 is too low.
This conclusion is confirmed by the circumstance of the contract made not long since, between the bank of the United States and Messrs. Baring and Reid, for the supply of specie. Under this contract, gold and silver were to be furnished, if it were practicable, in equal amounts, according to the American relative valuation of one to fifteen. Upwards of 2,000,000 of dollars of silver have been accordingly supplied but not an ounce of gold.
As the committee entertain no doubt that gold is estimated below its fair relative value, in comparison to silver, by the present regulations of the mint; and as it can scarcely be considered as having formed a material part of our money circulation for the Hast 26 years, they have no hesitation in recommending, that its valuation shall be raised, so as to make it bear a juster proportion to its price in the commercial world. But the smallest change which is likely to secure this object, (a just proportion of gold coins in our circulation) is that which the cammittee prefer; and they believe it sufficient to restore gold to its original valuation in this country, of 1 to 15 6-10,
But although the mint regulations may affect the proportion of American and foreign, or of gold and silver coin, in the country, it seems difficult to suppose that they can reduce the general amount of specie below the quantity which our business really requires. And yet, there is no complaint more generally made, than that of a want of specie, in any shape. What, then, are the circumstances, which produce this acknowledged difficulty of retaining gold and silver coin in this country? We are told of the immense amount of our foreign importations, and it is plain enough, that if we do not import from other countries, we should not export silver or any thing else. But we retain, and employ in our service, among all the articles which we produce, and all we traffic in, whatever suits our wants, convenience, or taste. Warehouses enlarge, and shops multiply, to the measure of the augmented demand; and even gold and silver, in every shape but that of money, are imported from abroad, or manufactured at home, and lose their migratory character whenever, they become plate, and cannot be exported without loss. The want of gold and silver coin. cannot, therefore, proceed from an inability on our part to buy, or in other countries to supply our wants,
There is, however, one branch of commerce which seems obviously connected with the disappearance of specie, and which must be admitted to exert astrong disturbing power on the whole system of our currency, —The trade of the East Indies has, in all ages, carried to those countries the silver of every part of the world which consumed their produce, and the United States have a very large share of this trade. The whole amount of our current coin is not probably more than double that which has been exported in a single year to India, including China in the general term. Will not an exportation as great as this, go far to account for the deficiency of silver in our circulation? And yet. a direct trade with India, if it encourage a lower consumption of her produce, gives us that produce at a much lower rate; if it carry from the country a great amount of specie, probably adds by an equal sum to our sales in foreign markets. The annual exports in American vessels from the United States, and all other places, to China and the East Indies, can hardly be estimated at more than twelve millions of dollars, and it cannot be doubted that our sales of East Indian articles in Europe, exceed that amount. The value of mer. chandise from China and India, annually consumed in the United States, is probably equal to five millions of dollars; and if this be so, the consumption of East Indian articles by the United States, is faid for by the mere profits of the trade. A branch of industry in which three thousand men (for this is about the number of seamen in the India trade) add $5,000,000 to the annual produce of the country, would be worthy of protection even if it were not connected with considerations of naval defence, These views may make us doubt whether the India trade tends to diminish the average quantity of silver in the United States. Its effect in the nations which have engaged in it before ourselves, has been, generally, to increase their specie circulation as well as their naval strength. And it seems reasonable that it should have done so. No man supposes that Holland, by supplying the rest of Europe with spices, lefther own wants unsupplied. Nobody apprehends that our market must be destitute of teas, because we export millions of pounds annually, and
why should the dealers in silver, rather than je
spices or teas, make no provision for the home deimand? When Genoa, Venice, Portugal, Holland, carried on an extensive trade in East India articles, and had no paper circulation, they were the depositories of the silver of Europe. When the states of America had no trade to the East Indies, but a full paper circulation, they were destitute of silver. henever the trade has existed without the p-per, specie has been abundant, and scarce always where the paper has existed, either with or without the trade. We must conclude that when the precious metals become scarce, while the price of foreign and domestic productions continues high, their scarcity results not from the country being unable to procure or retain them, but from its choosing to employ a substitute for their use. While, however, the India trade has probably no stendency in itself to lessen the average amount of ‘specie employed in the country, it produces, under the present mint and bank system of the U. States, the most inconvenient effect on the currency. The general demand of the commercial world for the material of which we make our money, is useful by giving stability to its value. But if a state of things be supposed in which one country has a constant demand for this money, taking from us nothing else, while we are obliged to keep up our quantity of importations from other states, it is ob: vious that a demand and supply like this, instead of making our circulation equable, or proportioned to our wants, must produce that very instability in the value of money which the precious metals are employed to remove. Undoubtedly a nation, like an individual, if it owe a debt must pay it; and if it have no other means of payment, must even cxportits coin for the purpose. But, although this exportation cannot be prevented, when a general balance exists against the nation, it is still true, that the coin or money of the country should not be the object of regular remittance in any foreign trade. 3Noris it so with any commercial nation but the U. States. But the inconvenience of making the coin or money of the state the object of regular remittance in a foreign trade, is greatly enhanced in a country which, like the United States, has a mixed circulation of specie and of the paper of banks of discount. While these banks remove a large portion of coin, whose place they supply by their notes and credits, they give a new character to that which remains.— - Their obligation to pay specie upon demand, makes it the most important office of the precious metals, to regulate and restrain the issue, and to support the predit of bank paper. A prosperous condition of trade, an abundance of native products, and a foreign demand for them, which requires a large circulation, produce an increased issue of paper on the part of the banks. . This very prosperity is the incentive to a trade to India, which not only abstracts very largely from the silver coin of the country, but obliges the banks to withdraw a still larger amount of their paper. Under this system, indeed, the importation of what the laws make current coin, is encouraged, as well as its exportation; but the quantity of our money and its value fluctuate with the seasons and the winds. The banks are obliged to contract their discounts, not only by a general or durable state of exchange, but from temporary causes, and from the condition of a particular trade. But the India trade, under the present system of our coins, produces another, and, ultimately perhaps, a worse effect upon the operations of the hanks. We have spoken ef the inconveniences
which that trade must cause, if the banks which issue paper would redeem it by specie whenever it is presented. On this supposition the merchant will make no effort to prepare the bullion or the Spanish dollars which he wants for the India market: the bank collects them without charge; he will draw from that reservoir, and avoid the risk and trouble of the double operation. But the banks do not always pay specie promptly and willingly when it is required for the India trade. Their resistance indeed must be often ineffectual, although it costs something to the merchant and gives some profit to the broker. But if a combination of banks can close their vaults whenever the public interest may seem to require it, the best limitation upon the issue of paper is destroyed, and the stability of our currency, and the execution of contracts, have no higher security than the public spirit and disinterestedness of their directors. While our coins are such as it is the interest of the merchant habitually to remit to India, the apology for evading their engagements will be sometimes made by the banks and encouraged by the people. Whether we are to have banks or not, however,the principles which would proscribe the India trade, are incompatible with fair and wise legislation; but it is desirable that the regulations of the mint should be such as may prevent that trade from alternately filling and draining the circulation of the country, such as shall not encourage the merchant to make its coins the regular subjects offoreign exportation. The inconveniences which have been attributed to our present system of coins, would in a great measure be removed, if gold should be made the only legal tender for all debts above a moderate amount. In favor of such a provision, it may justly be said that there has been less variation for some centuries in the value of gold than of silver, and that it would avoid the embarrassments which are inseparable from a mixed circulation of both metals. The balances of payments between different states would be settled with more ease than if our coins were principally silver, and the traveller would be relieved from the loss and imposition which he frequently suffers when he carries with him bank notes, the value of which must vary with the course of trade, because their transmission cannot extinguish a debt, though it may change its form and its par. ties. . But, whatever may be the advantages of a circulation, consisting principally of gold, we havc been two long accustomed to consider silver as the principal measure of value to make it prudent, or, indeed, practicable, to supersede its office. To attempt by law to prevent the currency, or to decry the value of a metal which the public consider as the standard of value, would be much more futile than the enterprize of giving legal value to a substance intrinsically destitute of it. There have, indeed, been countries in which the use of silver, in large payments, has been abolished, and gold substituted, but it is believed that in those instances, law has only confirmed the change which has been made by custom. We may conclude, that, in any amendment which may be made to the laws respecting the coins of the United States, those of silver must continue to be a tender in payment of all debts. An advantage may be afforded to American sil. ver coins in internal commerce over foreign coins of equal purity and weight, either by assigning a diminished value to foreign coin, and particularly to Spanish dollars, or by reducing the weight of the American dollar. The first is impracticable. The Spanish dollar.
whatever our laws may be, will be received by the banks and the people. In all civilized countries (except China, in which there is no mint) it has been considered as the office of the government to ascertain by its stamp, the weight and fineness of the metals which are used as money. In some countries, and these the most enlightened and liberal, the state exacts no duty upon this stamp or coinage, so that the individual receives from the mint, in coin, the exact quantity of pure metal which he has deposited in bullion. This is the case in France, in Britain, in respect to her gold coins, and it was so until recently in respect to her silver, and in the United States In France and Great Britwin, however, no foreign coin is allowed to be current. Under this system, the merchant is encouraged to carry to the mint whatever bullion he receives; the circulation of the country is increased or diminished without artificial impediments, as the state of its trade may require, and the value of the coin is made to depend upon the general value of the metal in the commercial world. It is believed that, both in France and England, however, it is made penal to export or melt the coin. Upon the first establishment of a mint in the United States, the question of a seigneurage upon the coin was necessarily presented to the legislature. The secretary of the treasury, in his report on the establishment of a mint, urges the propriety of commencing our coinage without a seigneurage, or with a small one. “It will be better to increase it hereafter,” he says, “if this shall be found expedient, than to recede from too considerable a difference.” A seigneurage in the United States will produce the effect which results in other countries, from soreign coins not being allowed to be current. It will cause the national coin to be more valuable at home than abroad. It will prevent its being melted or exported while other coin can be procured, and may thus effect, in some degree, by an application to the interests of the citizen, an object which the penal provisions of other states have been very unsuccessful in attaining. It will indirectly exclude foreign coin from circulation, and thus make the quantity and value of the coin which we employ more uniform. It must be considered, however, as principally recommended by the character and amount of our trade to India, and it will be remembered that this trade had been scarcely opened at the period of Mr. Hamilton's report. If a small seigneurage be imposed upon the silver coin of the United States, and no other foreign coin but the Spanish dollar be allowed to be current, it is probable that silver, from the same countries and to the same amount, would be sent to the mint as if there were no seigneurage. Without a seig. neurage it would be sent only when it was wanted for the circulation of the country; and it would be as valuable to the individual, for this purpose, after the duty was deducted, as if there were none. The mint would not, in this case, receive Spanish dollars, and it does not now. The banks would have an obvious interest in converting all their coin into that which would be least liable to exportation. The India merchant, unable after a short time to collect his cargo to advantage from the circulating money of the country, would prepare his silver for India, as he does his muslins for Europe. Neither this regulation, however, or any other, will retain in the country a quantity of coin disproportioned to the amount of property which it is employed in ex
ment of the precious metals, if a paper not convextible into specie is supported by law or public opinion. It may indeed well be questioned whether a sound circulation can be obtained with an amotint of bank paper as large as we had, even at periods subsequent to the late war, and whether the amount can be permanently diminished unless the present bank capital of the country be reduced. But these questions do not fall within the province of the committee appointed to report on the laws “which regulate the coins of the United States, and foreign coins." In a fair exposition of the effects of a seigneurage upon coins, it must be admitted that, where it is exacted, coin will be generally, but not always, more valuable than its weight in bullion. While, then, it is believed that, in the United States, it would tead to make the value of our money more uniforin, it is not denied that an opposite result may sometimes, and, where the seigneurage is high enough to make it a resource of government, may often be produced by it. A nation which employs both gold and silver as its legal money has an additional inducement to those which have been mentioned for establishing a seigneurage on one or both metals. The relative value of these continually changes; and a small change, which, without a seigneurage, would make it the interest of the merchant to export the one and import the other, will not produce that effect if there be a seigneurage upon the undervalued metal. - The reasons which may be urged in favor of a seigneurage upon silver have not the same force in respect to our gold coins. There is no country to which gold is the regilar object of remittance from the United States; and a diiserence of valuation is not necessary in order to give to the gold coin of the United States an advantage, in internal cornmerce, over other coin, because it is not impracticable to exclude foreign gold directly from general circulation. The committee submit to the house the following: provisions: 1. That 1485-100 grains of pure silver shall be deducted, as a seigneurage out of every amount of 371 25-100 grains of such silver deposited for coinage at the mint, so as to make the dollar of the U. States contain 356 40-100 of pure silver, or 399 36100 of standard silver; and that the smaller coins shall contain proportional quantities of such silver. 2. That the eagle shall contain 23798-100 grains of pure gold, and 259 61-100 of standard gold, and the smaller coins proportional quantities. " 3. That the provision of the present law, making parts of dollars less than halves a tender in payment of debts, shall be limited so as to apply only to debts below five dollars. 4. That an appropriation shall be made for enabfing the mint to coin a greater number of pieces than it now can. - - -. 5. That the act making certain foreign gold and silver coins a tender shall be continued for 18 months, so far as relates to the silver coins. Any plan which may be proposed for supplying the United States with coins of their own would probably be liable to considerable difficulties; but the inconveniences of the present system are not slight. An annual exportation of the current money of the country, to an amount much greater than our own mint can supply, perhaps half as great as our circulation employs; an irregular importation from other countries to repair the loss; the use of
e anging. It will not prevent the perpetual banish
foreign money so various that our current coins are