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H. OF R.)
(May 11, 1820.
slaves! Since they are already amongst us, we can only last glimmering of that glorious light will beam forth from regard them as buman beings committed to our guardian- the South. ship; and I will maintain before any enlightened tribunal, Before I take my sent, I must trouble the committee in opposition to all the visionary fanatics in christendom, with a very few words in reply to some very significant allothat we shall consult their happiness as little as our own siods which have been made as to the motives and objects safety, by their emancipation. I am glad to perceive that by which I have been actuated in submitting to the comsome of the States of this Union have been brought to their mittee the amendment which I offered, and the argument senses ou the subject of free negroes, by actual observa- by which I attempted to sustain it. The gentleman from tion of their character and condition. I confidently assert Massachusetts (Mr. GORHAM) imagiues he can perceive that there is not upon the whole face of the earth'a more some deep laid scheme of political ambition at the bottom lazy, miserable, and degraded people than the free negroes of all this
. [Mr. GORHAM rose to make an explanatina, of the United States. If I desired to fix the curse of hea- disclaiming any intention to impute such desigos.] Mr. ven upon the southern slaves, I would undoubtedly set them McDUFFIE said, he was glad to find that he had mistaken free, and let them go forth as wretched outcasts to beg, the gentleman, as he had great personal respect for him, but steal
, or perish. Their present condition is proud and envia- that he certainly was not mistaken in what had fallen from ble, compared with that in which wild enthusiasts and cal. another member, (Mr. BURGES] wbo spoke of artful and culating politicians would place them. Sir, I will not con- ambitious politicians who regarded political power as the tend with Aristotle, that the African race were made to be summum bonum. Now, sir, was there ever a more far Blaves, but I do say that God bimself has drawn the line of fetched and extravagant votion, thau that any mno, in the discrimination, both moral and physical, between them and ordinary use of his faculties, would throw bimself into the the white race, in characters too strong ever to be obliterat- breach, and wage a war of extermiuation against the proed. And although the people of the North, from an over- tecting system, with a view to political advancement ! weeping anxiety to attend to the concerns of other people, Every one must see, that, situated as things are, no man are very eloquent in preaching up in favor of our "slaves, can take such a course, without cuting himself off from the doctrine of the universal equality of all mankind, they erery hope of political elevation. The alternative is prewould shudder at the idea of amalgamating with them, a8 sented to every southern man to select between the rights much as the people of the South. There is no subject upon and liberties of his constituents, and his own promotion. If which such erroneous notions prevail througbout the civil- they would basely and treacherously surrender the dearest ized world, as on that of the negro slavery of the southern rights of the people they represent, if they would even States. Yielding to the influence of a mawkish and mis- advise their constituents to submit passively to the oppres taken humanity, our own statesmen have generally conced- sive despotism of the majority, the avenue to the bonors of ed that slavery is a political evil, as it regards the wbite this Government would be perfectly open to them. But population. Now, sir, I firmly believe that there never has sir, as it regards myself, so far from seeking or desiring existed a form of servitude so favorable to the happiness of such bonors, no human inducement could prevail upon me the servants, and at the same time so conducive to political to accept of any office under this Government, until the State freedom, as that which we are considering. Where those of South Carolina is redeemned from the colonial vassalnge to perform the menial and degrading offices of society to which she has been reduced, and raised from the condiconstitute a part of the political body, and participate in tion of a tributary province to that of an independent State. the Government of the country, through the elective fran- No, sir, if I kuow my own beart, I would not recept of the chise, this high privilege is degraded, and the spirit of li. very bigbest office in the gift of the American people, berty, as well as its security, diminished. It is vot in the wbile a system of legislation exists, which it would be my nature of things, that a mere dependent, wbo brushes your duty to enforce, and which reduces my fellow-citizens to 8 coat and cleans your boots, can be regarded by you with state of degrading bondage. As God is my judge, I would the feeling of equality which is due to a free man, nor is it rather perish in the last ditch, contending for the violated expected ibat he should have the proud feelings that belong rights of my constituents, than to wave the barren sceptre to & free man.
of power over the ruin and desolation wbich the upcoustiA state of servile dependence is utterly incompatible tutional and tyrannical legislation of this Government has with political freedom; and, by conferring the right of suf- spread over the fairest portion of God's creation. frage upou persons in that condition, whatever may be Mr. GORHAM, Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, and Mr. their color, you do not elevate them to the character of BURGES severally made some explanatory remarks on free inen, but degrade liberty to their level. Wbat, sir, points of Mr. McDUFFIE's speech, in which they were re would you expect from an election where bostlers and ferred to; after which, the question being loudly called for, grooms, and postillions and footmen, should come to the The question was put on agreeing to the amendment polls
, and control the result ? Gentlemen may talk as much offered by Mr. McDuffie, and was decided in the negaAs they please about equal rights, but I know they do not tive: yeas, 62—pays, 112. indulge those feelings of respect for their servants which Mr. BUCHANAN then proposed a substitute for the bill
, every man in the southern States indulges towards the which he had intimated, some time ago, he would offer, humblest citizen.
wben in order-a substitute which [be said) was, with rery Where all the offices of dependent servitude are per little exception, not his own. He bad been (he said) for formed by a separate caste, distinguished by color, and some time negotiating between the Secretary of the Treawholly excluded from all participation in the Government, sury and the chairman of the Committee on Domestic Mait is not to be doubted that the spirit of freedom is render- nufactures, to agree on some effectual plan which would ed much more proud and lofty among those who are free, be mutually agreeable and acceptable to all. The result by the very contrast. No man in the southern States, what- had been the bill wbich be now offered in lieu of the bill ever may be his rank or station, would think of speaking before the committee. to the very poorest white mau in the community with the [The substitute embraces a variety of provisions for apimperious tope of insolence and authority which are ba- pointing assistant appraisers, &c., a correct copy of which bitually used towards the white servants of the North. could not be obtained.) These views of the political effect of slavery are conclu Mr. BUCHANAN followed bis amendment with a numsively sustained by the philosophical exposition of Mr. ber of remarks in explauation and support of the proposi. Burke, in his celebrated speech on conciliation with the tion, and in reference to proceedings on the tariff of 1828 ; American colonies. And I will venture to predict that if which gave rise to some explanations by Mr. CAMBREever the liberty of this country shall be extinguished, the LENG, and rejuinder by Mr. BUCHANAN.
May 11, 1830.]
[H. OF R.
Mr. MALLARY made some remarks on the subject,, added by way of amendment to the substitute adopted going generally to a concurrence in the amendment of Mr. in committee. BUCHANAN.
Mr. WILLIAMS called for the year and nays; and Mr. MARTIN decidedly preferred the amendment of the Mr. BARRINGER required a division of the question, gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. BUCHANAN) to the bill so as that it be taken separately on each member of the as reported; and having said this, he would, as a member amendment. of the Committee on Manufactures, give a short history of The question was then put first on agreeing to the follow. the origin of that bill
. The Committee on Manufactures, ing portion of Mr. McDUFFIE's amendment, viz: having before them that part of the President's message And be it further enacted, That, froin and after the relative to the encouragement of domestic manufactures, soth of June pext, so much of the act of the 19th of May, Bought out some objeet to act upon, and conceived that 1828, as increases the duties on wool manufactured, and on they found it in that part of the report of the Secretary of manufactures of wool, or of which wool shall be a compothe Treasury on the subject of frauds on the revenue. nent part, de repealed, leaving the duties on said articles They had brought in a bill upon the subject, wbich, so far as they stood previous to the passage of that act; and tbut, fron removing whatever evils might exist in relation to from and after the 30th of June, 1831, 80 much of the act this matter, would be of the most pernicious tendency to of the 22d of may, 1824, as increases the duties on the our commerce, by rendering the tariff
, setting aside the in- aforesaid articles, be also repealed, leaving the said duties justice of the system upon which it was bused, tenfold more as they stoud previous to the passage of said act." coinplicated, appoying, and vexatious in its operations. And was decided in the negative by the following vote: Mr. M. observed, that a correspondence bad taken place yeas, 68—nays, 120. on the subject of frauds ou the revenue laws, with the Se The question being stated on the second member of the creta ry of the Treasury, whose letter on the subject he amendment moved the reading of.
Mr. MERCER rose, and made a few remarks explana[Here the letter was read by the Clerk.]
tory of the reasons for his course on this subject. They Mr. MALLARY replied to, and controverted the objec-were, generally, that as Congress had, by a course of le. jections of Mr. MARTIN to the original bill.
gislation given a certain direction to the capital and indusThe question was then put on the adoption of the substi- try of the country-& misdirection of them, be always tute of Mr. Buchanan, and it was agreed to without a thought, and which he had always opposed and had perdivision.
severed in that policy, until a vast amount of the capital Mr. SCOTT then moved the following amendment: and industry of the country had been turned into that chan
• That, after the thirty-first day of July next, there shall nel, he could not now vote for retracing the steps thus be paid the same duty on all manufactures of iron and steel, taken, and bring the ruin and desolation upon the portion not enumerated, or charged with specific duties, in any of of the Union, which would eusne from a sudden change of the laws now in force, as is directed to be paid on bar or the long established policy of the Government. bult iron made wholly or in part by rolling, under the act After some quinadversions by Mr. Carsoy on Mr. M's of the twenty-ninth of May, oue thousand eight hundred course, and a rejoinder by Mr. MERCER, and tweoty-eigbt; and that all such irou shall be liable to The questioo was put on the following sewnd member the same duty that is charged on iron io pigs."
of Mr. McDuffie's amendment, viz: Mr. SCOTT shortly explained the nature and object of “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, from and his amendment, which he argued did not go to increase the after the 30th of Jave next, so much of the aforesaid act duties at present existing upun iron, but simply to make a of the 19th of May, 1828, as increases the duty on iron ip bars regulation for a due execution of the laws which were de and bolts, whether manufactured by rolliog or hammering, cessary for the prevention of frauds upon the revenue. on hemp, on flax, on cotton bagging, op molasses, on inThose frauds were, notwithstanding, perpetrated in the digo, and on manufactures of cotton, or of which cotton importation of iron of various qualities and descriptions is a component part, be repenled, leaving the said duties His amendment would provide against such evasions of the as they stood previous to the passage of the said act; and law,
that so much of the aforesaid act of the 224 May, 1824, The amendment was adopted—79 to 67.
as increases the duty on any of the aforesaid articles, be Mr. HOWARD moved a further amendment in the shape repealed from and after the 30th of June, 1831, leaving the of a proviso, that where iron is imported for railroads, and duties on the said articles as they stood before the passage shall be proved to have been so used, a drawback shall be of that act." allowed, provided the duty thereon shall not be less than And was decided in the negative, without a division. twenty-five per cento, ad valorem, nor in quantity less than The third member of the amendment next coming up, tweuty tons.
was modified at the soggestion of Mr. BARRINGER, 80 as to Mr. CRAWFORD opposed the proposition; and a long provide for a reduction on the duty of salt to fifteen cento debate took place, in wbich Mr. MALLARY, Mr. SCOTT, a busbel from and after September next, and to ten cents and Mr. BUCHANAN participated.
from and after the 31st December, 1831. Mr. WAYNE moved the following amendment to the The question being put on agreeing to this amendment, amendment :
it was carried in the affirmative as follows : yeas, 105– Provided all railroad iron, used in the construction of nays, 83. mill carriages, inclined planes, to sugar mills, and upon Mr. WILDE said, as the tariff of 1828 had been deroads for the transportation of grain, sugar cane, or other nounced on all sides as injurious to the country, be would, agricultural produce, from the fields in which the same may withouť detaining the House with any argument on the grow to their places of preparation for market, shall be subject, offer a motion to test the professions of gentlemen charged with no higher duty than the same now pays. on the subject. He, therefore, mored an amendment to
The question being takeu upon this amendment, it was strike out all the amendment of the Committee of the rejected.
Whole, and insert a substitute, simply repealing, after the After a few remarks by Mr. CAMBRELENG in sup- 30th of June next, the tariff act of 1828. with the excep. port of Mr. Howard's aineudment, it was agreed to with tion of the duty on salt, which he proposed to let stund as
just decided by the House. The Committee then rose, and reported the bill as Mr. WILDÉ demanded the yeas and vays on his amend. aineuded.
ment, and they were ordered. Mr. McDUFFIE moved that his repealing proposition be Mr. STORKS, of New York, observed, that, after the
out a count.
H. OF R.)
(MAY 12, 1830.
decision of the House on the salt duty, be, as one of the re
WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 1830. presentatives of New York, which State would be deeply
The House resumed the consideration of the bill to reaffected by the decision, felt it his duty to make a motion, gulate the collection of the duties op imports, with the defor the purpose of giving members an opportunity for con- pending amendments. sidering what course it was proper to adopt on the subject. The question under consideration when the House adHe, therefore, moved an adjournment.
journed yesterday, was on the motion of Mr. GORHAM The motion was negatived.
to reconsider au amendment agreed to, concerning the duThe question was then put on the amendment offered by ty on iron, &c.; wbich motion grew out of the adoptiou of Mr. Wilde, and was decided in the negative: yeas, 68— the other amendment for reducing the duty ou salt. Days, 119.
Mr. GORHAM, of Massachusetts, briefly explaioed bis Mr. GORHAM now rose, and moved a reconsideration object in making this motion. He considered the vote of the vote on the second member of Mr. McDUFFIE's upon the salt duty as breaking in upon the presept system amendment. He had voted in good faith with the friends of revenue, instead of regulating its collection, which was of protection against what was regarded as a general hos- the object of the original bill now under consideration. tile movement against the tariff. His own original objec- He appealed to gentlemen whether it was possible to pass tions to the tariff were known, and bis reasons for refusing any bill on this subject at this session, if the whole field of to repeal it after the system had been established. He bad debate was thus thrown open. Mr. G. concluded by sayDow voted with the friends of the system against any part ing, that, under this view of the case, if any gentleman of the repeal proposed by the gentleman from South Caro- would move to reconsider the vote upon the salt duty, 20 lipa, even on those articles, iron, hemp, &c. on which be as to make it possible to agree on any bill upon this submost disliked to continue the duty; but as the decision of ject, he would, to make way for such a motion, withdraw the House on the salt duty showed that it was willing to the motion which he had made. diminish the duty on one article, it was necessary to re Mr. DODDRIDGE, of Virginia, having intimated a disopen the subject, and see whether it would not alsii modify position to make tbe motion suggested by the member from the duty on the other articles equally deserving of reduc- Massuchusetts, Mr. GORHAM withdrew bis motion; and tion. He, therefore, bad made this motion, and went ou to Mr. DOODRIDGE moved to reconsider the vote upon sustain it by argument at considerable levgih.
Mr. BARRINGER'S amendment for reducing the duty on Mr. STORRS, of New York, concurred with Mr. G. in salt. his objections to the repeal of the salt duty, and in favor Mr. WAYNE, of Georgia, Asked whether it was the inof his motion. The State of New York had been a firm teption of the gentleman from Massachusetts to renew his supporter of the protecting system: but let its friends re- motion if the pending motion was rejected. peal the salt duty, and thus touch one great source of her Mr. GORHAM declining to make any pledge on that canal fund, and force her to resort to a direct tax to sup-poiut. ply the loss, and gentlemen would find that State not go. Mr. WAYNE, taking it for granted that such was the ing with them much longer in supportiug the other parts of intention of Mr. GORHAM, made a decided speech against the tariff
. He was going on to show the condition of the the course now proposed, considering it as a mere propoState duty on the domestic production of salt in New York, sition, call it by what vane gentlemen would, of bargain why it was imposed by a provision of the constitution ; and sale : against which he inveigbed with considerable when
warmth and zeal. Mr. CAMBRELENG called Mr. S. to order. The ques. Mr. BARRINGER, of North Carolina, deprecated a tion on the salt duty was decided, and the argument on protracted debate on this question of reconsideration, and it was not in order. If it were, be should take the oppor- expressed great regret that so much difficulty should exist tunity of expressing his own opinions on the subject; be in obtaiving a reductiou of the duty on this necessary of should like to address the gentleman's constituents relative life. He dwelt upou the course of the State of North Cato the salt duty, and meet his colleague on the subject. rolipa in reference to this duty and to the tariff generally,
The SPEAKER. The gentleman is out of order. He and made a very strong appeal to the magnanimity and may submit his objection, but not argue it.
spirit of conciliation of members from other States to graut Mr. CAMBRELENG. If I am out of order, my col- this little boop to a State which had beretofore asked for league was, of course.
so little, and submitted so cheerfully to the laws regulatThe SPEAKER. That does not follow,
ing the duties on imports, and to the general legislation of Mr. STORRS said that his colleague could take the op- Congress. Mr. B. concluded his speech by a motion for portunity when and where be pleased, to address bimself the previous question, (which would bave been upon the to bis [Mr. S.'s) constituents ; but be now assured bim that question immediately pending, viz reconsideration.) he would find them fully competent to appreciate justly The house refused to second the previous question, by s any thing which he could say to them. He would tell him vote of 98 to $3. one thing more, too: that the last thing which would fright Mr. REED said, that when the vote of the House was en their representative here would be the threat of his col. taken yesterday to reduce the duty on salt, be was surleague, that be [Mr. S.) was to meet him on this or any prised at the result. I feared (said Mr. R.) that I, us well other question before them. Mr. S. then went on to argue as others, had been remiss in the discharge of my duty, in the motion for reconsideration.
permitting the question to be taken without discussion. Mr. BARRINGER regretted that a measure wbich pro- I am aware that the main question before the House vas mised some little alleviation to the South, should produce a bill to enforce the due observance of our revenue laws, so much excitement. The reduction of the duty was voted and to prevent smuggling and fraud in their execution. for, from a sense of its intrinsic propriety, and of duty to An amendment had been introduced into the bill by a the natiou at large; and he spoke at some length to show gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. McDUFFIE) mate that it was an isolated question, not connected with the rially altering the tariff. We have had, for a number of tariff question ; was no just cause of complaint with days, a debate, able and spirited, but of a very general chathose who desired the duties to be removed from other racter, investigating the whole tariff principle. I supposed articles ; tbat it ought to be judged and decided by itself, that to investigate the subject generally was the object &c. When Mr. B. concluded, it being bulf after seven of the debate, and I had no expectation that any changes o'clock,
in the tariff were contemplated at this session. Mr. VINTON moved an adjournment; which motion pre The umendmeut referred to contained a number of vailed.'
articles on which a reduction of the duty was proposed.
May 12, 1830.)
(H. OF R.
Jo the discussion before the House, little or nothing has presented, to be what would bave been wise and good in been said as to the policy or expediency of reducing the relation to the tariff, and decide accordingly. No; a very duty on those articles. Nor bas any thing been said as to different state of things is presented. Our great duty now the effect of the reduction of duty on those articles, either is, to look at the laws, and the interests of the country, to the manufacturer or consumer. I could not suppose superioduced by those laws, and do what is right and that a repeal of any duty was seriously contemplated, with: expedient. We must view things as they now are. out a more particular examination of the subject. I could The interest of every part should be consulted. I am not imagine it, because this House have repeatedly ex. always happy to hear a member of this flocr state the situpressed a different opinion by their votes, and because ation of his own constituents ; and I have never had any they had on the very same day voted entirely different as hesitation in presenting, so far as I might be able, the situto other amendments. I hope, then, sir, this House and ation of those whom I have the honor to represent. In that my constituents will forgive me, if, under such circum- way we obtain actual knowledge of the situation of the stances, I refrained from saying that which, under other country, and are enabled to act wisely, if we are governed circumstances, I should have felt under the highest obli- by the knowledge we obtain. The subject now under gations to urge upon their consideration. I trust it is not consideration, the repenl of the duty on salt, either in part too late yet; and I beg the attention of the House while I or whole, is one of importance to all, and more especially state, as well as I may be able, the reasons wby I think to those engaged in the manufacture. Salt manufactories they ought to reconsider the vote of yesterday.
have grown up under governmental recommendations and I bave been no advocate for the tariff, but I am an advo- governmental encouragement. cate for some permanency in duties deeply affecting the As I esteem the early history of our country invaluable, interests of all. We must have revenue. We shall not allow me to ask you to go as far back as July, 1775—the vote for direct taxes. We shall, therefore, continue to very period of the declaration of our independence. No raise revenue by duties as heretofore. In assessing this salt was then manufactured in this country. What was tariff of duties, I have no hesitation in saying it should be the situation of the country in relation to salt, so necessary a discriminating tariff. It sbould have reference to the to life itself? A few recollect; others have heard. I will means and wants of the country to manufacturers and refer to some short abstracts from the journals of the old consumers.
Coogress, lest there should be doubt in the mind vf any one. of the tariffs that have passed this House, in my opinion Iu July, 1776, a few days after the declaration of inde. no part of the country has suffered more than that which pendence, a committee of thirteen (one from each of the I have the honor to represent; and I am quite sure no States) were appointed to make inquiry for virgin lead, interest in the country bas suffered so much as the navi- leaden ore, and the best method of collecting, smelting. gation interest. Without sufficiently examining the sub- and refining it; and, on the same day, the same committee ject, I know that interest is severely oppressed by high were directed, in the recess of Congress, to inquire into duties, and it is now compelled to contend with foreign the easiest and cheapest method of making salt in these nations under great disadvantages. I, therefore, bave colonies. always hoped we should modify the tariff of 1828, made December 29, 1775. Resolved, That as the importation under the most unfavorable circumstances.
of any universally necessary commodity, and the exportaNo subject can be presented to statesmen, of greater dif- tion of our produce to purchase the same, must give proficulty than that of fixing a just and expedient tariff, un portionably greater opportunity to our enemies of making less it be the subject of altering and repealing a tariff when depredations on the property of the inbabitants of these made. If we would consult the public good, we must colonies, and of occasionally distressing them by intercepto divest ourselves of party spirit. Some gentlemen contend ing such commodities, it is earnestly recommended to the that "we bave a right to repeal duties when we please, several assemblies or conventions immediately to promote, regardless of the consequences to manufacturers." We by sufficient public encourageinents, the making salt in have the power, the physical power; but do we possess their respective colonies. the moral power? Are we not bound to look with atten May 30, 1776. Resolved, That it be recommended to tion and regard to the interests of all, and every part ? the Committee of Observation and Inspection in the Whatever might have been our political views or votes in United Colonies so to regulate the price of salt as to preCongress, are we not bound to regard and protect, as far vent unreasonable exactions on the part of the seller, &c. as we may be able, those interests which bave grown up in December 9, 1776. Whereas, in consequence of many consequence of the laws and regulations of our country ! complaints that engrossers had distressed the public by I have always felt and acknowledged these obligations, and raising salt to an exorbitant price, the Council of Safety endeavored to act accordingly. I have always admitted of Pennsylvania, with the approbation of Congress, took the rights and claims of minorities; and, in that view, I the mapagement of the affair into their hands, and' have have always given full weight to the representations of the endeavored, by as juat and equal a distribution as possible South. Minorities bave rights, and majorities are morally of the salt imported from time to time, to supply the differ. bound to regard them. If southern people are suffering as ent parts of the country, yet it is found upon trial, &c., that they represent, and those sufferings result from our tariff the remedy has been ineffectual; and, on the contrary, salt laws, those laws ought to be modified. But these are ques. continues scarcer and dearer in this port, than when no tions wbich must first be decided; and as prosperity and ad- regulations have been tried: therefore, Resolved, That it versity are but comparative, the interests of the whole and be recommended to the Council of Safety of Pennsylvania the parts must be carefully examined. Our duties were laid to take off all restraint upon the sale of salt, &c. for revenue, but adapted to the situation of the country June 3, 1777. Resolved, That a committee of three be and the wants of the country, and were calculated to call appointed to devise ways and means for supplying the forth the effort of the country to relieve those wants. If United States with salt. valuable interests have grown up uuder such a state of June 13, 1777. Resolved, That it be recommended to things-under the fostering influence of our laws, who the several States to offer such liberal encouragement to would wantoply destroy such interests ? I trust, no one persons importing salt, as they shall judge will be effectSound policy forbids frequent innovation upon these sub- ual, &c. That it be recommended to the several States to jects. I have no hesitation in saying that, so far as relates erect and encourage, in the most liberal and effectual to property, our Government is one of the worst possi. manner, proper works for the making of salt. ble, unless there be permanency in our principles and July 17, 1777. That, in cousideration of the scarcity of policy. No wise man can consider the question, as now salt, &c. the Committee on Commerce take the most effect
H. OF R.)
(May 12, 1830.
ual and speedy measures for importing into differents parts yearly, and more than half the average quantity used for of this continent large quantities of that article, &c. fourteen years past. The competition in the market op
October 22, 1777. Whereas there is an immediate de- the seaboard, where foreign sait must be brought, has inand for the article aforesaid, in the middle district, (re- reduced the price very much. It could not be much re ferring to other resolutions respecting salt,).
duced by a repeal of the duty, and in a few years would Resolved. That the supreme executive authorities of the be higher if the duty was repealed. Salt is imported States of Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut be respect- principally in ships as ballast. The importer gains little, ively requested to assist the Commissary General of Pur- very little, for freight, for the reasou I have given ; other chases in procuring wagons or teams for removing twelve wise, a fair charge for freight would be three times what is thousand bushels of salt from the eastern to the middle now obtained. I regret it, on account of the mercbant; but district, &c., and in removing the salt from thence to such in such a case he ought and roust yield his profit for the places on the North river as he shall judge most convenient. public good.
The above extracts from the records of the old Cop It should be understood that the manufacture of salt on gress show most conclusively the situation of the country the seaboard can be successfully prosecuted with a small at that time, and their distress for the want of this neces- capital. Those who are no longer able to pursue the life Bary of life. They show the anxiety they felt to introduce of seamen, in many cases erect a small manufactory for the manufacture of salt into the country, and that they used salt. There are more than eight hundred of these small all the power they then had to encourage it.
factories in my district; their salt is taken away io small At that time the manufacture of salt from sea water, by vessels, and carried to market to various parts of the coussolar evaporation, was commenced in my neighborhood try. Nothing can be so well calculated to produce severe and district. In the beginning, their inventions were crude competition, and thereby reduce the price, as these manuand imperfect, but the manufacture has steadily advanced, fucturers meeting the importer. Their competition with and improvements have constantly been made from that each other, and with the importer, bas reduced it to the time to the present. No patent was taken, and their im- lowest price, not exceeding thirty cents for fifty-six pounds. provements have been introduced into Rhode Island, Coo But some gentlemen seem to suppose that the duty on vecticut, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and salt is po part of the tariff. What is the tariff! What do other places, and may be used by all who feel inclined to gentlemen understand by encouragement to manufactures! use them.
Have we any law by which manufactures are encouraged, At present, as appears by the return, they have in Mas- other than the tariff-of duties on the importation of similar sachusetts, and principally in my district
, a capital invested articles i Have we aby pledge for the permanency of those in the manufacture of salt, amounting to one million seven laws, except it be the wisdom and discretion of Congress : hundred and fifty-four thousand five hundred and seventy: Have I not sbown that salt was an article for which the six dollars. They manufacture annually five hundred and country suffered much in the days of the revolution that three thousand six hundred and eighty-six bushels of salt, they were anxious then to encourage it—that the laws, from of the best quality, and fit for any use whatever, fully the commencement of the Government, and especially equal to alun or Turk's Island salt.
since 1816, more than fourteen years, bave bad that effect; Permit me to inquire for a few minutes what has been and are we not to suppose they were intended to have that the legislation of our Government upon this subject. effect? Is it not an article essential to life, and, therefore,
In the very commencement of the Government, in 1789, to independence ? a duty of six and a quarter cents per bushel was laid upon Who, then, cap say, with any plausibility, that the duties the importation of salt. This duty was undoubtedly laid on salt were not intended to bring forward and encourage for revenue ; but have we not every reason to believe that its manufacture, at lenst as much as that of any other artithose men who composed that Congress, and who were in cle in the turiff? How are we to learn what article is to be part the same men who composed the old Cougress, had a protected, but from the duties and the law ? full knowledge and recollection of the acts of that Con Much bas been said of the exorbitant price paid for salt gress in relation to salt? Had they not a full knowledge in various parts of the country. Yet, by the mercy of a of the distress of the country, and the exorbitant price paid kind Providence, the whole ocean affords the means of for the article ? and bad they not, in furtherance of the re producing it, and springs much salter than the ocean peated resolution and recommendation of the old Con- abound in the interior, in various parts of the country; and grese, the intention, by laying the duty, to encourage its all pow have skill to manufacture sult. The price is not, manufacture? I cannot believe it admits of doubt. In as it once was, high in any part of the country. Neither August, 1790, the salt tax was raised to twelve cents per the poor or rich are suffering on that account. Salt, combushel. Jo 1797, to twenty cents. This duty was con pared to its value, is heavy, and transportation expensive. tinued until 1807, when it was repealed. The repeal had the price, therefore, must, in a great measure, depend a bad and almost ruinous effect upon the manufacturer, upon the distance it is transported on roads, and the cha with very little temporary benefit to the consumer. In the racter of those roads. But, inconsiderately, the price of year 1813, the same duty of twenty cents per busbel was transportation is charged to the duty. The price of salt laid. This act was limited to continue until one year after the on the seaboard is regular and reasonable. Our duties, close of the war and no longer. Hence it has been called in the first instance, if they affect the price at all, cari a war duty in this House. I perceive not the distinction only affect it on the seaboard, where it is imported. How, attempted to be set up, but let gentlemen remember, that then, can men expect the relief in the interior so much on the expiration of the period limited, in April, 1816, the talked about? I kuow it may be a popular subject to bold limitation was removed, and the tax was made as perpe- out to a certain class of men, but it is delusive. The price tual as any other tax. bas continued from that period is now low where it is imported. The very duties so much until the present. Under the influence of this duty, the va- complained of, have contributed to keep it low and prevent rious salt manufactories, on the seaboard and in the interior, fluctuations; and the relief sought by those alone who have have been brought into operation. They have been every occasion of complaint, is sought from a' wrong source. year increasing: They have been in a great measure suc- Reduce the price of transportation by capals, railroads, cessful. New improvements have been added every year or other good roads, and then the object will be effected, in the cheapness and quality of the salt. The capital em- and not till then. Then, indeed, will the poor farmer ployed, I think, must exceed eight millions of dollars. It and no class of men are entitled to higher respect and copcan be used for no other purpose. We manufacture at sideration--find relief. I regret to find so much opposition this time, in the country, nearly five millions of bushels to this duty from the South. The manufacturers at the