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COMMERCIAL CHRONICLE AND REVIEW.

The new year opens with a dullness in commercial circles. The banks of the city determined, in convention, on the 28th December, to suspend specie payment. This step was taken on Monday, 30th. The banks of Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Providence, Albany and other cities followed suit. A temporary check is therefore given to the foreign export of gold, and the banks will now prepare for resumption at a time when the government can repay them for their large advances.

The new measures of Congress have an important bearing upon the financial and commercial affairs of the country. Congress passed, on the 26th December, a new tariff, in reference to tea, coffee and sugar. A supplementary or explanatory act was passed on the 11th January. (See page 187.)

The technicality upon which Secretary Chase based his decision, that teas and coffees shipped before the 5th of August for this country should enter free of duties, has led Collector Barney to the decision, that if shipped after that date they shall pay duties according to the act of December 24th, and not under the act of August 5th. The Secretary, in his decision, stated that tea and coffee, direct from the country of production, were duty-free before the 5th of August. The act of August 5th provides, that any goods "on shipboard and bound for the United States, on or before the 5th of August, shall pay according to the rates then and before established.” The act of December 24th provides, " that in lieu of the duties heretofore imposed by law, there shall be levied on the merchandise enumerated," &c. As teas shipped before the 5th of August paid no duties, the Secretary ruled that they were not included in the "merchandise enumerated," and decided that they should enter free of duty, as before. The Collector decides, that as teas shipped after that time would have had to pay the duties established by the act of August 5th, therefore they are included in the "merchandise enumerated," and must pay twenty cents per pound, by the act of December 24.

On the 9th January a bill was introduced into the United States Senate to punish frauds on the United States Treasury, and referred to a special committee. A bill was also considered to abolish the franking privilege, which was afterwards passed by the House of Representatives. On the 15th a resolution was offered by the Committee on Ways and Means, recommending such taxation as, with the tariff, shall produce $150,000,000 per annum. This proposition, and numerous others in reference to revenue and taxation, are now under consideration.

Mr. Latham, Senator, of California, has presented a petition from San Francisco for a line of mail steamers between that port and China. On the 20 January Senator Latham presented a resolution, instructing the Committee on Finance to inquire into the expediency of establishing a distinct bureau for the Treasury Department, to regulate and control the mint, which was agreed to. A bill was introduced into the House, and

referred, providing for the defence of Philadelphia and the Delaware River. On the 6th January a speech was made in the House of Representatives, by Hon. Roscoe Conckling, in relation to the battle of Ball's Bluff.

On the 8th, a bill was reported to the House of Representatives, in favor of appropriating $35,000 for exhibiting American products at the World's Fair. A bill was adopted, requesting the Secretary of the Treasury to show as near as possible, the floating debt of the United States. The Committee of Ways and Means was instructed to consider the expediency of raising $100,000,000 by taxation, and also to consider the expediency of pledging the public lands to pay the United States debt and interest; also a bill to tax passenger travel on rail-roads, to tax transfers of stock, &c., and five dollars docket fees on any suit commenced in a court of record.

On the 15th January, a bill was introduced into the Assembly of NewYork to raise a tax for the support of families of volunteers. The Committee of Ways and Means requested to elaborate a bill for the more effectual equalization of property as a basis for taxation.

The annual returns of the custom-house at this port, show extraordinary features in our exports. Of domestic produce, the gross export was one hundred and thirty-one millions of dollars. We present the following as the general results compared with the four previous years :

EXPORTS OF THE PORT OF NEW-YORK, 1857-1861.
1857.
1858.
1859.
1860.

1861. Dom. produce,. . $61,803,235 $53,949,703 $59,929,531 $95,468,296 $131,235,995 Foreign, free,.... 4,229,776 1,601,111 2,999,881 2,258,710 2,154,947

dutiable, 7,331,144 4,087,398 5,050,909 5,765,274 5,203,959 Specie & bullion, 44,360,174 26,001,431 69,715,866 42,191,171 4,236,250 Total exports,..$120,886,296 $85,639,643 $137,696,187 $145,683,451 $142,931,161

On the other hand, the imports for consumption, for 1861, are reduced nearly sixty-six per cent. compared with the previous year. We present the general results for five years, the specie items for the past year forming a larger sum than ever before:

IMPORTS AT NEW-YORK,
ENTERED FOR 1857.

1858.
1859.
1860.

1861. Consumption,..$122,937,013 $102,942,737 $176,765,309 $154,660,498 $54,264,661 Warehoused,... 73,342,349 25,635,519 36,875,054 46,741,185 41,072,228 Free goods, 21,440,734 22,024,691 28,708,732 28,006,447 30,353,918 Specie,

12,898,033 2,264,120 2,816,421 8,852,330 37,088,413 Total,..... .$230,618,129 $152,867,067 $245,165,516 $238,260,460 $162,768,790 Withdrawn from

warehouse,.. 40,609,890 37,499,542 26,857,089 31,103,924 39,717,259

The United States forces having taken possession of Port Royal, South Carolina, they have taken large quantities of Sea Island and other cotton. A shipment of three thousand bales, by the steamer VANDERBILT, reached this port early in January, and realized high prices. For Sea Island cotton, some brought 63 cents per pound. A correspondent says:

“ Engines and negroes competent to superintend them, are to be found on every large plantation from which they have not been carried off or shot by their fugitive masters. Mr. LANE, the government agent, is

actively employed in the collection and ginning of cotton on this and the adjacent islands, and he employs for the running of engines and gins only the negroes on the plantations. Whatever is necessary to prepare the cotton for shipment or market-except receiving pay for it-has always been their regular duty, and very few except the slaves have the necessary knowledge and experience. It is the testimony of Mr. Lane, who is as far as possible from being an abolitionist, that the negroes under him do their work faithfully and well, with very little supervision, and no means of compulsion whatever. By their help, the cotton is ginned and packed for about $2 50 a bale—a price for which it could not possibly be done in New-York. There is still greater saving in cost of transportation and risk of damage. One hundred thousand pounds of unginned cotton contain seventy thousand pounds of seed and refuge, and, beside the freight of such a bulk of waste matter, the seed is wanted here for planting. The great liability to heating and to injury by water is reason enough for not sending it 'north in bulk. When ginned and packed in bales, it is compressed, and the water cannot penetrate. Loosely gathered, the whole may be rendered valueless by exposure.”

The prices of produce at the end of the year 1861 were well-sustained. We annex the ruling prices, compared with January, 1858—1861.

We have, in former volumes, given with this annual summary a comparative table of prices on the opening of the year.

The labor in completing the other tables, owing to changes in the tariff, will make this a valuable one, but it will be very useful for reference throughout the year. COMPARATIVE PRICES AT NEW-YORK, JANUARY 3, 1858–1862.

1858. 1859. 1860. 1861. 1862. Ashes, pots...

.100 lbs. $5 75 $5 62} $5 124 $500 $ 6 25 pearls,

5 75 6 00 5 374 5 00 6 25 Breadstuffs : Wheat flour, State......... .bbl. 4 25 4 30 4 30

5 35 5 50 best extra Genesee,. 7 50 7 75 7 60 7 50 7 50 Rye flour,

4 00 3 75 4 00 4 00

3 871 Corn meal, Jersey,

3 25 3 40 3 90

3 15 3 00 Wheat, white Genesee,. .bush. 1 30 140 1 50 1 45 1 60 white Michigan,

1 20 1 26 1 50 1 45 1 50 white Ohio,..

1 16 1 30 145 1 45 1 48 white Southern,..

1 25 1 45 1 45 1 45 1 52 red Western,..

1 10 1 20 1 30 1 38 1 42 Chicago spring,

73

831 1 18 1 18 1 30 Rye, Northern,..

78

75 Oats, State,

53
464

37 42 Corn, old Western,..

62 78 90 72 64 new Southern,

75 88 72 68 Cotton, middling Uplands,

.lb. 87 12 11 12 351 middling New-Orleans,

12} 118 125 36 Fish, dry cod,..

.quintal, 3 25 4 00 4 50 3 50 3 50 Fruit, bunched raisins,

.box, 1 95

2 05 2 35 1 75 3 20 currants,

.lb. 9
71

41 Hay, shipping,

.100 lbs.

80 1 00 Hemp, regular American, .ton, 100 00 125 00 145 00 152 50 210 00 Hops,

.lb. 10 15 16 25 20 Iron, Scotch, pig,...

.ton, 26 00 25 00 24 50 21 00 23 00 English, bars,

62 50 55 00 53 00 52 00 57 00 Laths,

1 25 2 121

2 00 1 30 1 25 Lead, Spanish,..

.ton,
4 75
5 80

5 65 5 25 700 Galena,

6 85 5 773 550

700$

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1858. 1859. 1860. 1861. 1862. Leather, hemlock, sole, light,. .lb. $0 221 $0 24 $0 20 $0 191 $0 201 oak,

28

30 30 27 28 Lime, common Rockland,. .bbl. 85 75 75 75 68 Liquors: Brandy, new Cognac,

.gall, 4 25 3 00 3 00 3 00 4 00 Domestic whiskey,..

22 241 26 194 201 Molasses, New-Orleans,

37 53 37 53 Naval stores: Crude turpentine,

.bbl.
2 871 3 684 3 434

2 76 10 00 Spirits

..gall.
49 444

1 471 Common rosin, North Carolina,..bbl. 1 30 165 1 65 1 25 6 00 Oils : Crude whale, .gall. 60

51 48 Sperm,..

1 00 1 36 1 40

140 1 40 Linseed,

65 57 50 86 Provisions: Pork, old mess,

.bbl. 16 40 17 00 16 374 16 00 12 00 old prime,

13 00 13 00 11 75 10 50 8 50 Beef, city mess,..

10 00 9 00

9 00 6 00 5 50 repacked Chicago,

12 50 9 50 9 50 9 00 11 00 Beef hams, extra,

15 50 15 00 14 50 14 00 14 50 Hams, pickled,

.lb. 83 97 91 Shoulders, pickled,.

67 61

54 44 Lard,

91 111 103 105 8% Butter, Ohio,..

16 18 16 14 15 State,

20 20 20 18 19 Orange County,

24 25 24 22 22 Cheese,..

8
9 11 10

7 Rice, good,

100 lbs. 3 25 3 50 4 20 4 00 7 00 Salt, Liverpool, ground,. ..sack, 80 90 1 15 75 86 fine, Ashron's,

1 30 1 38 1 95 1 60 1 70 Seeds, clover,

.lb. 97 97 87 84 77 Sugar, Cuba, good,..

7
7

67 87 Tallow,...

10 104 107 98 Whalebone, polar, .

1 10 95 90

88 76 Wool, common fleece,

27
3 40

30 The annual report of the State Engineer of New-York, for 1861, reports the length of canals in the State amounts to eight hundred and cighty-six miles, and there are seventeen reservoirs to supply it with water. Seven feet of water have been maintained throughout the season. The eastern di sion comprises all the lines of canal east of Oneida Lake; the middle division, all lying between Oneida Lake and Wayne county ; and the western division, all in the western part of the State. To finish the enlargement will require $391,000, exclusive of land damages. There will be also an additional item of $75,000 for bottoming out the Erie canal, when the work was prematurely accepted by former canal commissioners and engineers. Number of unfinished contracts, seventy-six. It is completed through the Cayuga marshes already. The amount paid last year for bottoming out was $59,229. Mr. Richmond recommends an increased expenditure on the Erie basin; also the construction of thirteen locks additional between Rochester and the Cayuga marshes. The reservoirs have been completed on the Black River Canal, capable of discharging 11,000 cubic feet per minute. The State Engineer states that there will be an additional expenditure required for the completion of several of the lateral canals ; but the aggregate figure is less than $25,000.

The trustees of the New-York and Erie Rail-Road Company, on the 31st December relinquished the property to the new organization.

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The following carefully prepared table gives the wholesale average price of flour in the Philadelphia market in the month of December for 66 years past: 1861,.... $5 37 1839,.. $5 73 1817,......

$93 1860, 4 87 1838. 8 40 1816,

13 1859, Ő 31 1837, 9 62 1815,

9 25 1858, 6 12 1836, 11 00 1814,.

8 00 1857, 6 12 1838,.. 6 75 1813,..

8 75 1856,.. 6 66 1834, 4 90 1812,..

10 25 1855, 8 86 1833, 5 37 1811,..

10 00 1854,. 9 18 1832,. 5 62 1810,..

11 25 1853, 6 86 1831 5 25 1809,

7 50 1852, 5 16 1830 5 31 1808.

6 75 1851, 4 15 1829, 5 43 1807,

6 75 1850, 4 71 1828, 8 00 1806,

7 50 1849, 4 87 1827, 5 00 1805,

8 26 1848, 5 14 1826, 5 26 1804,

11 00 1847,

6 49
182
4 87 1803,

7 50 1846,. 4 76 1824, 4 87 1802,

6 50 1845, 606 1823 6 12 1801,

7 25 1844, 4 29 1822, 6 50 1800,..

100 1843,.. 4 37 1821,.. 6 25 1799,

1 4 50 1820,.. 4 50 1798,..

975 1841,... 6 42 1819,.. 6 12 1797,...

8 50 1840,.... 5 00 1818,.. 900 1796,..

11 Many comments have been made by the merchants, custom-house brokers and employés, since the passage of the August tariff bill, concerning the importance and value of the warehousing system, and the opinions expressed have been unanimous in its favor. Indeed, a petition has been indited, and signed by many of the large importing merchants of the city, urging the restoration of the warehousing system as it existed previous to August 5, 1861. Below will be found the petition, together with Collector Barney's letter to Secretary Chase on the subject, in which he concurs with the merchants in their views of the importance of its restoration.

New-York, Nov. 9, 1861. To Hon. Hiram BARNEY, Collector of the port of New-York :

Dear Sir,— The undersigned, merchants of this city, ask your attention to the restoration of the bonding privileges which for some years, and, till recently, were enjoyed by them under the revenue laws of the country.

By the act of Congress passed in the month of August last, limiting the time to three months during which goods in bond may be either entered for consumption without payment of extra duties or may be exported, the advantages of the system are all but annulled; and the undersigned do not understand that the government derives any particular benefit from the withdrawal of a privilege that is valuable to the merchants, and of much importance to the commercial interests of this city generally.

The undersigned, therefore, respectfully request you to represent to the Treasury Department at Washington, that a deep interest is felt by the merchants of this city in the restoration of the bonding system, as it existed prior to the 5th of August, and to use your influence in having the privileges, which are now limited to three months, extended to three years.

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