ePub 版

[H. of R.

Dec. 20, 1824.]

Virginia Claims-Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.

question, its proper direction was rather to the Commit- with that defence of the measure, to leave the bill to its tee on the Judiciary, than to that on Military Affairs. fate.

Mr. STEVENSON observed that he felt no great so- I know, that it is an opinion much urged, and genelicitude as to what direction the resolution should take; rally adopted, that we should keep our population as but he thought his friend from South Carolina was mis- much condensed as possible ; that there would be dantaken in supposing that the resulution embraced a ques- ger in erecting a territory at so great a distance, as protion of a purely legal character. It was a question tection would be difficult, if not impossible, and that which arose entirely out of military transactions. In send there would be danger of separation; that, in all militaing it to the Military Committee, he had been guided by ry operations, the frontier to be protected should be as the suggestion of some of the oldest members of this small as the nature of the case would permit, and that House, whose opinions he had consulted, and also by well fortified. the reference of a similar question in the other House of In replying to all these objections, I would not wish to Congress.

be understood, as urging my own opinions. I will canMr. HAMILTON adhered to his amendment, being didly state to the House, that, to me, it seems very persuaded that the resolution could in no case pertain to doubtful, whether military poste and fortified places are the Military Committee. If it did not properly belong at all necessary in a country situated as ours is... Notto the Committee on the Judiciary, it ought to go to the withstanding these are my opinions, I am willing to Committee on Claims.

grant any thing in reason which the administration of the Mr. P. P. BARBOUR thought that, from the nature country may think necessary to its defence. We often of the functions of the Committee on the Judiciary, receive opinions from others, and from books, taking (which had cognizance of courts and of laws,) this sub- the subject up as presented by writers, rather than using ject could not belong to them. The principle of the them as the means of becoming acquainted with the gentleman from South Carolina would send every ques. matter, and, by our own mature reflection, apply them tion in which law was concerned to that committee. This to the existing state of things. This, I believe to be was a question concerning disbursements for military the case, as it regards our notions of military defences. service, and, as such, properly pertained, he should sup- It is indeed true, that, in the early ages, Furope was held pose, to the Committee on Military Affairs.

by some powerful nations, who fortified their cities. At The question was then taken on Mr. HAMILTON'S that day, the nation was almost altogether in the city, amendment, and lost; when

the country being tilled by the poor sent out for the purMr. SHARPE, of New York, moved to amend the re- pose, or by slaves; and, when it was overrun by the solution, so as to refer the subject to the Committee of northern barbarians, they were obliged to defend themClaims; which was carried, -ayes 94, noes 63.

selves in these fortresses as they could; it was not war, Thus amended, the resolution was agreed to. but conquest and extermination.

Mr. MALLAKY, of Vermont, then offered the follow- The fierce contest was soen over; the country was ing resolution :

parcelled out among the barons who followed their darResolved, That the Committee on Naval Affairs being chief, or king, the great baron of the invading force. instructed to inquire into the expediency of making an Thus placed amid a new and beautiful country, fertile appropriation for collecting materials, and preparing for and abounding in wealth, these fierce and haughty barthe building of a steam vessel of war for the defence of barians soon engaged in acts of strife and mutual agLake Champlain.

gression. It became a matter of importance to each, to Mr. MALLARY observed, that it was well known to secure himself against the sudden attack of his neighbor, the House, that the Government had, some time since, which, by means of beacon fires, kindled on the tops of erected fortifications, on an extensive scale, with a view mountains, a blast from the trumpet, or other signals of to the defence of Lake Champlain; but that, owing to a co-operation, irruptions were frequently made on each dispute or error with respect to the boundary line, other's dominions, without an hour's 'notice; hence, which separates that part of the United States from Ca- strong castles or fortresses became necessary, or rather nada, those works had been abandoned. The lake was, indispensable. Warring with each other, and sometimes in consequence, now left destitute of any defence what with the king, filled up the space of many years. The ever, as the navy, which, for a time, floated on its was executive, however, gradually increasing its power, vioters, was now dismantled, and fast going to decay. If lating the rights of the people, and constantly encroachthe general principle of defence on which the country ing on the power of the barons, established itself more was acting, in relation to our Atlantic seaboard, was a firmly: yei, the castles were not fina ly destroyed on just and wise principle, it surely applied with additional the continent, until about the reign of Henry IV. As strength to a case where the country of the enemy was the barons were subdued, and their fortresses demolishnot on the other side of the Atlantic, but in immediate ed, standing armies, by degrees, were introduced, and adjacency to our territory.

each king maintaining an army, greater perhaps than The resolution was adopted.

the actual state of things required, compelled his neighMr. FLOYD, of Virginia, moved that the House go bor to re the like means for security and defence: into committee of the whole on the state of the Union, thus the circle of the kingdom was fortified instead of with a view to take up the bill " for the occupation of the barony, and the nations of Europe came to fortify the mouth of the Columbia (or Oregon) River;" which themselves against each other, just as the petty barons was agreed to, and the House went into committee ac- had done; the frontier was enlarged, but the system not cordingly, Mr. A. STEVENSON in the chair.

changed; hence, the multitude of fortresses that cover The bill was read by sections, and the several blanks Europe. Here, however, we have nothing of this sort were filled.

to fear; our country is of such vast extent, that we are Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, said, so much, Mr. Chair- protected by it from the broils of petty powers, tormentman, has been said and written on this subject, that I ing by their intrigues, and secure from the unwarrantawill be as concise as possible, as I do not wish to con- ble ambition of the great states, by being removed from sume the time of the committee. This subject has been them. We have no enemy, nor can have any, but such so long before the House, that I presume the mind of as comes from Europe-Europe, the disturber of the every gentleman must be satisfied as to the propriety of world ! the measure; I will, therefore, only present a few new Should we at any time, unfortunately, find ourselves ideas and additional facts which are in my possession, involved in war with any power in Europe, we shall aland my inferences from those facts, and content myself, ways bave time enough to prepare for the event; and,

Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.

H. of R.]

[Dec. 20, 1824.

as we should have to meet in battle, I believe it would It is, at all times, a disagreeable task for me to recur be of little consequence to the American people, how, to the scenes which took place in the Western Country or where. Our large cities, concentrating much wealth, thirty or forty years ago : 'none have so deeply suffered and attracting the attention of an enemy, ought to be by those wars, agitated and produced by British agents secured by strong and judicious fortifications ; for the and British traders : that country must be secure-these rest, the arms of the citizens should be their fortresses, troubles shall cease-the trade ought to be our own. as none can doubt, that, in all time to come, should an The Western Country, perhaps, fared as well as cirenterprising enemy come to our shore, and wish to land, cumstances would permit; our Government, at the he can do so, in despite of all the fortifications raised, or peace of 1783, was in a situation which disposed it to to be raised. Again, might it not be an objection to agree to almost any terms of peace which should recog. this vast system of fortifying our frontier, the favorite nize the independence of onr country; I do not mention plan of some, that the for:ress miglit fall into the hands it in terms of reproach, on the other hand, they were wise of an enemy, and offer him a safe place to obtain water, and prudent. But the British were on better ground to and secure their ships, and repair all damage to the ar- negotiate ; they provided for their trade; they knew my and navy? This occurrence would be a most serious well the value of the fur trade of the West, and the im. thing to us. He would then have to be beaten out by a mense influence it gave her over the Indian, which, acmuch superior force, which would require an expense cording to her avowed principles, she could use in war. correspondingly large, nor could these vast fortresses be That trade was demanded, and it was wholly surrendersafely entrusted to a few men; the force ought to be at ed to them. England has shown, in all her treaties, that least sufficient to man the works, which, at one point in she knew well the value of this trade, and, from the moVirginia, I have understood, would require from seven ment she got possession of Canada until the present to ten thousand men, this too, at a place, where, during time, she has cherished it; and, in her late treaty, with the late war, we had not a man. I repeat it, that, in my us, she has displayed her sagacity and great knowledge opinion, the rifie, and a knowledge of its use, is the of the subject, and the value of the trade of the Oregon. best defence for our country, with the exception of the She has driven our citizens from that country : we can commercial cities, which should be secured by strong no longer trade there ; and, by an arrangement with the forts. Sparta thought so, in days long past; and Napoo East India Company, and South Sea Company, their leon has proved, in the late wars of Europe, how easy it traders are permitted to ship their goods from London is to march by those fortresses, and conquer his enemy, and Liverpool direct to the mouth of that river. Our which had cost so much time, labor, and expense, be- traders, on the other hand, have two shipments to make, sides the loss of so many lives, in the fine armies com- paying a duty of from 25 to 375 per cent. so that, when manded by Saxe, Marlborough, and others.

they come into competition with the Briton, he is only I am, nevertheless, willing to act prudently upon the selling at cost that which the Englishman is disposing of plan approved to the country, and continue their plans; at a profit equal to the duty paid by us: the occupation yet, admitting the course to be currect, the number of contemplated by this bill, with the aid of a Custom military posts, and the points at which they should be House, at no distant day would go far to remedy this erected, becomes another question. For my own part, evil. in casting my eyes over the country, I cannot perceive It has been hinted by some, that the inhabitants of that more than twenty-three or four, or, at most, twenty. Oregon, in time, might become strong, and be dispose! five, fortified places are necessary; they are these which to separate from us. What, let me ask, could be the inI hold in my hand, and disposed as follows : Maine, ducement to such a measure? With a vast power to the Portsmouth, Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New South and to the north pressing upon them, with no reYork, Delaware, Baltimore, Norfolk, perhaps Old Point ciprocal interest, they would find themselves drawn more Comfort, North Carolina, Charleston, Savannah, St. Au- closely to the Union, supplying by their industry these gustine, Pensacola, Mobile, the Mississippi river, Platts- powers, and finding an immense country to the East inburg, Niagara, Detroit, some arsenals and deposites. The habited by their friends and relations, obeying the same fortresses on the sea board might be taken care of by a laws, and taking from them many of the rich produce portion of the infantry and the artillery; the residue tions of the East, without an increase of expense. Bemight be distributed on the northern and western fron- sides, what has their local legislation to do with na. tier.

tional affairs? What do we know of the legislation of There is, as I understand, a regiment at Sackett's Har Maine or New Hampshire, or of Georgia? Do not our bor, at this time, a force, in my opinion, too great for the judges expound the laws of Congress as well in those post: part of that regiment could well be spared, or even states as in Maryland or Virginia? Would not a judge in a part of those now at the Council Bluffs, and posted at Oregon do his duty as well as a judge in Missouri? Does the mouth of Columbia or Oregon river, which would it matter where, or in what place, the laws are made ? obviate any objection which might arise on that point. What is the appearance of things when Congress ad

If, however, this should be objected to, which I can journs, the President retired to his farm, and his Secrenot perceive, from the fact that ibe army, small as some taries gone to their homes? All local or state affairs the şay it is, nevertheless is deficient by several hundred of people of Oregon could transact for themselves, as well its proper number, could be filled by enlistments for that as the states on this shore; their obedience to the laws service, or authority might be given to increase the ar- of the Union would be the same; the interest of the my by law to two hundred cominon soldiers more, people on that side of the Rocky Mountains would be which, organized as our army is, could be done with per l'identified with the interest of the people of the whole fect convenience, by adding a few men more to each Atlantic coast, in a stronger degree, in my opinion, than company, and not cost more than, perhaps, two thou. Vermont and Louisiana, and will continue as long. sand dollars.

Notwithstanding this, suppose there should be a sepaOn the score of economy, this measure can be justified rate government, and they become an independent peoas the army now stands, to even a greater extent. The ple, is there any thing very shocking in this? Is it not in report originally presented to this House, contemplates unison with our own principles to separate freely and also a post at the Mandan Villages, as well as at the peaceably, when the force of circumstances makes it mouth of the Oregon; troops at these points would re- manifestly necessary? And would it not be better to lieve the necessity of intermediate posts, and not length- have our children there, than the Spaniard, Englishman; en the line of defence; this would give greater security or the rough Russian? Surely, if we do not occupy it, to the country, and, by diminishing the number of posts, some foreigner will, as so large, beautiful, and fertile a diminisha also the public expenditure.

country, abounding in productions better in the rich

Dec. 20, 1824.]

Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.

[H. of R.

markets of India and China than silver and gold, cannot the truth of which, none doubt, that he was never able be left untenanted. Moreover, the lair of nations, which to accomplish it: because, on consultation with his we respect, would go far to justify them in taking posses. ablest naval commanders, and on various calculations, sion of it. Would we, in that case, wage war to recover he found that the feet would be deficient, as he observa it? if so, that war would cost much more than the occu- ed, in one month's supply of water. If, then, we secure pation proposed by this bill. Would you abandon it the possession of Oregon, and avail ourselves of the fine Then say 'so, and let the enterprize of your citizens harbors and ship timber which we know how to use, choose the course. Many now go to Mexico and to Ca- which fact, the English, at least, ought not to doubt, we nada, where they get land for the asking: the induce take the strongest and surest security of Britain, for her ment to Oregon would not be confined to that poor pros future good behaviour. She will be very cautious how pect of a piece of land.

she evinces that wantonness and injustice, and utter Mr. Chairman, this river must be occupied; so noble disregard of the rights of this Republic, which led to the a stream, watering with its branches a tract of country last war with her, when she knows that, in tbírty or forty from the 42d to the 53d degree of north latitude, and days, we can, at any time, strike a blow on her East Infrom the Pacific Ocean a thousand miles in the interior, dia possessions, which, of all others, she would feel the with a climate, though north of this city several degrees most sensibly and sorely. This would be a better guarof latitude, yet as mild as this, cannot remain unoccupi- antee for our future peace, than her faith in the obser ed. This country, too, if there is a spot on the face of vance of treaties, or her impressions of justice. We the globe destined to feel less of the calamity of war should, too, obtain the entire control of that ocean, than another, it is this place : this, I should think, would where we have, even show, annually, eight or ten milbe another strong inducement for its settlement. lions of property. Mexico, Peru, Chili, and Colombia

All the wars which have agitated the world, have cannot, and Britain, in those seas, must forever remain been in, or had their rise in Europe--all the wars we too weak to cope with us. We will be in good ports at have had, and perhaps will have for ages, can only be home; they have all the dangers of a voyage round a from Europe. All the defences we have planned, and cape proverbial for its storms, and two oceans, making are planning, is to secure ourselves against the wars of a distance of perhaps thirty thousand miles. If, in any Europe-from all this, Oregon will be comparatively future war, a ship should be taken from the enemy in freed. If there is a man, whose religion, or whose judg- that sea, instead of burning it, or suffering it to rot, as ment or feelings disapproves of war, then let him settle was done by the intrepid Porter, we would have a near in Oregon, where himself, and his descendants for ages and safe port to enter, where all prizes could be secured, to come, will be unmolested by the din of arms. Rus- and, by a court of admiralty, the property changed, sia, from the situation of her capital, her commanding which could be sold to the merchants of any, or all of the interests, and the mass of her population, will remain an powers below, or even to the Russian. This, then, gives European power-she cannot disturb us at so distant a us the command of that ocean, from the Bay of Bengal, point. The coast of Asia is too distant, too wild and to Cape Horn, and to Behring's Straits, Kamtschatka and unimproved, to become the seat of Royalty; and should Ochotsk. war arise with that power, Europe and the Atlantic must From this bill will result all these important consifeel its effects. Should England be the enemy, the re- derations. We procure and protect the für trade, worth sult would be the same-thal territory is too distant by to England, three millions of dollars a year. We ensea to enable them to fit out any thing like a heavy gross the whale trade, a must valuable branch of comforce: wherefore, the danger of molestation would be morce, so plenty on that coast, tbat Portlock, an Engsmall. From the coast of China, we know there is no lish navigator, states, that in 1787, when in latitude 57° danger. The experience of many centuries of exemp. he saw the ocean covered with whales as far as the eye tion from war, has taught her che wisdom of peace. She could see. We control the South Sea trade, as it is callwill not, cannot war with us. From Mexico, Peru, Co. ed--the trade in Seals, and in the islands of the Pacific. lombia, and Chili, there will be little danger; as the We must govern the Canton trade. All this rich comproducts of the two countries are totally different, we merce could be governed, if not engrossed, by capital. cannot compete in the market; and they have no timber ists at Oregon, making it the Tyre of America, to supply to become a naval power: from that quarter we are safe. the whole coast below, and thus obtain the silver and If, however, the Republic should be plunged in war, it gold of those rich countries on that coast, more valuable must be on the Atlantic shore, where it can defend it to us than the mines themselves; for the nation which self; that coast would ask no protection. The whole works in iron, and labors in commerce, has always, and shore of the ocean is almost a perpendicular rock, only will forever, govern those who work in gold. Here is a approached through the mouths of the rivers, easily se- way, then, to supply the market of Canton with all it cured, and easily defended, which leaves all at ease with wants, without a dollar in specie from the Republic. in, tranquillity and peace..

What flour, and cotton, and tobacco, is taken from the There is, Mr. Chairman, another point of view in United States, by ships in that trade, on what they call which this subject presents itself, still inore important to indirect voyages, are first disposed of in Europe or the us, and one which ought to engage the most serious at. Mediterranean, for silver, opium, &c. and these are shiptention of the Republic.

ped to China, where the opium is better than silver. The This river is the largest wbich empties itself into the ginseng of the Oregon, the fur of that river and that sea, Pacific Ocean on the whole coast of America, or on the with sandal wood, and other valuable productions of the coast of Asia, as far, at least, as China. It has soil and islands, will purchase all we want, not only to supply timber, to any extent, fine harbors, and much health. our own wants, but to dispose of in Europe, and return From this point, the whole Pacific ocean can be com- the proceeds to our own country. Much can be taken manded; and is the only point on the globe, where a na- to Oregon, and from thence, sluipped to the governments val power can reach the East India possessions of our below, or furnished to the merchants of Mexico, Guaeternal enemy, Great Britain. It is well known to eyery timala, and others, as they may find it convenient to apmember of the House, that through all her struggles ply for them, by so short a voyage-from ten to twentywith Napoleon, and amidst all the gigantic schemes and two days. exhaustless resources of that great man, her trade to In. The trade to Canton has never been properly regardeil dia remained untouched and secure. It is well known by us; when viewed in a proper light, it is of great va. that he had planned a descent upon her East India pos. lue to the United States, and ought to be cherished, or, Bessions; but as he himself declared in his conversations as sometimes happens, the best thing that can be done, with Mr. O'Meara, at St. Helena, a book all have seen, lis, to do nothing; and this is emphatically one of these

VOL. I.--No. II.

H. of R.]

Occupation of the mouth of the Oregon.

[Dec. 20, 1824.



If proof of this were wanting, it would only be to 1,064,600 dollars--total value 5,609,600 dollars; the necessary to compare our commerce with Great Britain. exports of that year were 5,703,000 dollars. This year Her East India Company, her South Sea Company, and there was shipped to the United States, 6,074,100 other charters granted to monopolists, will, if persever- pounds of tea, 660,000 pounds of cassia, and 1,434,000 ed in, ruin their country, or soon rank them below the pieces of nankeens. To Europe was sent 2,800,000 United States, or give employment to many tons of Punis of lea, 172,533 pounds of cuss a, and 360,000 pieAmerican shipping, to carry that which their own sub- ces of nankeens jects cannot do.

In the season of 1817-18, the number of vessels I will, though, exhibit a slight view of this trade, and, amounted to 39, tonnage 14,325, having $5.601,000, in when taken in conjunction with our trade in the South specie, on board; and 1,475,828, amounting to $7,076,828; Sea, and the whale trade, all must adınit iis vast impor. exporting this season, 86,777,000; of the $1,475,828

worth of produce taken to Canton this year, the sandal In the season 1804-5, there entered thirty-four ves-wood produced $174,075; copper, of which there is vast sels, carrying 10,159 tons. They had on board two abundance on the Western ocean, sold for $69,528; some millions nine liundred and two thousand dollars, in specie; of the other items were 125,510 sea otter skins, 47,000 in all other articles, two millions six hundred and fifty- land otter, 75,335 beaver, 525 fox skins, 70,935 seal, 334 three thousand eight hundred and eighteen dollars.-nak mink skins, 150 rabbit, 420 muskrat-making $563,610: ing in all, a value of five millions five hundred and filty: besides this, the ginseng, of which Oregon produces five thousand eight hundred and eighteen dollars; and much, sold that season for $144,000; opium, $262,400, exported that year 3,842,000 dollars. In 1805 --6, there obtained, it is believed, in the Mediterranean, by the was forty-two ships, tonnage 12,480, having, in silver, sale of produce. This season there was taken to the 4,176,000 dollars, and in all other things, 1,150,000 Jol- United States, 7,535,885 pounds of tea; of china ware Jars-total value 5,326,358; that year they exported 11,487). more than paid for by the sea otter skins, 5,127,000 dollars. In the season 1806-7, there was or sandal wood, or the beaver, or seal skins, 200,836 thirty-seven ships, tonnage 11,208, having on board pieces of silk, 1,228,000 of nankeens, 1,428,953lbs. of 2,895,000 dollars in specie, and in all other articles, sugar. There was taken to Europe, 2,086,2451bs of tea, 982,362 dollars-total value 3,877,362; they exported $22,600 of raw silk, 160,000 of sugar, 46,000 of sugar that year, 4,294,000. In 1807-- 8, there entered thirty- candy, 73,500 of cassia, 241,000 pieces of nankeen. three ships, tonnage 8,803, 3,032,400 dollars in specie, In the season 1818-19, there were 46 ships, 16,022 and 908,090 dollars in all other articles, making a total tonnage, $7,614,000, specie, $2,603,151 in produce, value of 3,940,090 dollars; exporting 3,476,000. In making a total of $10,217,151, exporting $9,057,033. 1808-9 entered eight ships, tonnage 2,215, specie, The importation of fur for that year was 124,000 sea 70,000 dollars, all other articles, 409,850---making in all, otter skins, 49,125 land otter, 70,065 beaver, 100,300 489,850; exporting 808,000. In 1809--10, there was seal skins, 750 rabbit, 7,550 foxes, sea ofter tails 10,136 ; thirty-seven 'ships, tonnage 12,512, specie 4,723,000 all valued at $369,296: besides this, there was in value dollars, all other articles, 1,121,600' Collars : total, in ginsengs, $77,770, in opitim 528,300, and in sandal 5,744,600; exporting 5,715,000 dollars. In 1810--11, wood $91,368, copper $316,814. ships, sixteen, tonnage 4,748, 2,330,000 dollars specie, In the season of 1819-20, there was 43 ships, 15,139 in produce 568,000 dollars: total value, 2,898,800, and tons; with $0,297,000, in specie; in all other articles, exported 2,973,000 dollars. In 1811--12, ships, twenty- $1,692,872, of which the furs, consisting of sea otter, tive, tonnage 7,406, specie 1,875,000, all other articles beaver, seals, land otter, rabbit, and mink, announted to 1,257,810; total, 3,132,810; exporting 2,973,000 dollars. $245,101, the sandal wood to $82 872, ginseng, $38,000, In 1812--13, there were eight ships, tonnage 1,816, and the sea otter tails to $5,789. There was exported, 616.000 dollars in specie, and in otber things 837,000, $8,747,988-to the United States, 56,765, 152; to Europe, making in all, 1,455,000; they exported that season, $1,690,285; to South America, $292,571. 620,000 dollars. This year, there was more produce In 1820-21, there sailed and entered in Canton, 28 than specie taken to Canton, and less than half its value ships, 9,387 tonnage, $2,995,000, specie; in all other cxported. 'n 1813--14, nine slips entered, tonnage articles, $2,397,795 -- total, $5,192,795. Exporting, 2,854. There was no specie taken out this season, but $4,715,696. The trade this year may be valued thus: a value in articles of commerce, amounting to 451,300 sandal wood $73,508, furs $340,991, ginseng $171,275, dollars; exporting 572,000 dollars. This falling eft, it is op!um $115,000, quicksilver $295,075, copper $33,540. presumed, was owing to the war with England, which the exports consisted of $2,437,990, silks 1,702,770 ihen existed. The season following, of 18M-15, there pieces, nankeers 102,500, cassia 68,922; all other artiwas not a ship or vessel of any kind in Can'on, belong. cles, $163,514, making the total ahove stated This year ing to the United States, which it is presumeci will never the goods shipped to Europe, amounted to $1,109.114; again be the case, should you pass this bill.

that to the United States, $3,462,582; for Peru, $144,000. Immediately at the close of the late war, this trade re- In the season of 1321-22, there entered in Canton, 45 vived in a high degree, and seems to be steadily ap- ships, tonnage 15,530; carrying specie $5,125,000; in al proaching that point which should demand some care, other articles, $3,067,768--total, $3,192,768. Exporting and more justice than it has hitherto received; or why 57 563,644. This year there were taken to market, should merchandise from beyond the Cape of Good fished out of the Western occan, $135,898 in sea oiter Hope pay twenty per cent. more than from Burope? skins, lanci otter, beaver, fox, seal chow chowskins; in

I will now, for tho seven years following, examine all amounting, in these few articles, to the enormous this trade, so as to expose it more minutely, which I hope sum of $490,081; the ginseng amounted to $209,610, the committee will pardon, as I shall be as brief as pos. opium 383,000, the sandal wood from the Sandwich isles, sible.

to the vast sum of $263,220. The exports of this year In the season of 1815–16, there entered 30 ships, ton- were distributed as follows: To the United States nage 10,209, specie 1,922,000 dollars, in other articles $6,016,218; to the continent of Europe, $772.763; to 605,500 dollars. This year there was shipped to the South America, $558.163 ; Batavia $352,500 ; Sandwich United States, 4,514,280 pounds of tea, 1,695 pounds of Islands $61,000; making the sum alreadly stated. It is a cassia, and 455,000 pieces of nankeens. There was prominent fact, which ought not to be forgotten, that sent to Europe by our ships 2,731,000 pounds of tea, this year the skins of seals, sea otter, and sandal wood 1,650 piculs of cassia, and 185,000 pieces of nankeens. alone, sold for the astonishing sum of $605,511.

In the season 1816-17, there entered 38 ships, tonnage It has not escaped the observation of all, that this 15,096, 4,515,000 specie dollars, and produce amounting trade declined towards the middle of the period here

Dec. 20, 1824.]

Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.

H. of R.]

spoken of; this, all know, was owing to the war, and the brought by 21 ships, 384 seamen, 5,492 tons, 13,426 barembarrassed state of things immediately preceding it; rels of whale oil ; 10,496 Spermaceti; 4,378 head matthat it has been gradually increasing, notwithstanding ter; 65,446 whale bone. In 1820, there were 21 ships, the duty on some of the articles pay a higher tax than 5,249 tons, and 391 seamen, bringing 11,737 barrels of similar fabrics from Europe.

whale oil; 11,885 Spermaceti; 5,027 head matter; The idea has been pretty generally spread abroad, 59,794 whale bone. In the succeeding years it was much that nothing is taken in the Canton market but gold and the funt. One of the vessels arriving in 1823, reported silver, ginseng, and furs. This I explained on a former a list of 36 ships then in the Western Ocean, though occasion, that, owing to the bulk and low price of bread they did not know of any cargo except 35,200 barrels stutis, &c. and their liability to spoil from so long a vay- of whale oil. age, through a hut country, that they would not pay the I have the authority of a respectable newspaper for expense of freight. But, from the mouth of this river, saying, that, within the period of thiee years, viz. in the voyage is short and safe, which will afford a good 1820, '21, and '22, there arrived at Nantucket, 2,101,292 profit for flour, and all other articles the products of gallons of Spermaceti oil; and, for the same three years, agriculture. Cotton, too, has been sold there for a good at New Bedford, 1,407,797 gallons, this being but one price; broken glass, leather, gin, brandy, and candles. item in the trade. During these years there went to What a prospect for the tanner! in a country abounding Canton, in furs and sandal wood, from that coast and in timber, of oak, and spruce pine, affording bark of the sea, including some fur likewise shipped from N. York, best quality, as containing much of the tanning principle, that which sold for the incredible amount of 1,494,397 with skins in inexhaustible abundance, from the plains dollars! There was exported to that sea, in that year, below.

17,544 dollars' worth of domestic fabrics, and 9,417 of I have sought in vain for a correct statement as to the foreign merchandise. To the Western coast, 113,746 number of seamen annually employed in this trade, but domestic, and 193,363 foreign merchandise. We have, can only find an imperfect account for the years 1819 from the year 1805 to 1822, inclusive, shipped to the Pato 1822 inclusive, making the number above 951 each cific, in domestic and foreign merchandise, 520,295 dol. year. It will be seen, likewise, that the shipments to lars; and, to he Western Coast, in the same articles, for South America are increasing, and will doubtless be the same period, 4, 557,078 dollars; making 5,077,371 dolprofitable, and increase the tonnage employed in that lars; yet, by this trade we obtain the valuable furs, sold bruich of business.

for such enormous amounts in China ; our exports to that If the blouse will ind Ige me a few minutes, I will now coast amounting, in twenty years, to 5,077,371 dollars. make some exposition of the whale trade, and the trade What a wonderful profit must there be, when the furs to the Western Ocean. For all I shall say, I have the alone, in the Canton market, for the season 1821, '22, documents in my hand, and if there is an error, it is, I sold for half a million of dollars! The exports for the know, in making the exposition less than the real fact; year 1820, to the Western Coast, in articles the growth, but I deem it prudent to present the least favorable produce, and manufacture, of the United States, only view it is susceptible of. It is proper further to observe, amounted to 41,068 dollars! consisting of 797 quintals that this part of the subject may be better understood, of dried fish, 3,729 pounds of bams and bacon, hats, leaththat the number of vessels here stated, regards the de- er, boots, beer, spirits from molasses, nails, refined suparture and arrivals each year; though, it is believed, gar, brass, gunpowder, tobacco 26 hogsheads; but the ihat in some years there may be more at sea than in other most important article seems to be, the different kinds of years, which, of course, would not be noticed that year, manufacture from wood; this item amounts to 983 dolwhich may, on the other hand, be counter-balanced lars; hence, it is evident, that it is the most valuable by the arrival of a vessel winich that year cleared; yet it commerce known to the United States, as it creates its is pretty accurate.

own capital, and enriches by its labor, and the sale of in the year 1819, there cleared from Boston, 8 ships, nails, tobacco, leather, hats, and blue beads. For the engaged in the whale fishery, and commerce of the year 1891, the exports to that coast amounted to 94,493 Western Ocean, &c. 'The tonnage of these ships amount. dollars, and, for 1822, they amounted to 54,799. The ed to 2,171, navigated by 164 seainen. Their particu- goods, wares, and merchandise, the growth, produce, lar places of destination were Chili, Lima, Valparaiso, and manufacture, of foreign countries, exported to that Sandwich Islands, Western coast, &c. New Bedford, country or coagt, amounted, in the year 1820, to 193,363' twenty-eight ships, tonnage 7,379, seamen 552. Edgar- dollars; consisting of different sorts of wine, brandy, &c. town, fourteen ships, tonnage 3,908, seamen 281. New- tea, coffee, sugar, cassia, gunpowder, lead, shot, iron, port, one ship, tons 366, seamen 23. Providence, three black bottles, and leather. In 1821, the exports amountships, tons 520, seamen 27. New London, ships 4, tons ed to 282,505 dollars, in much the same articles, also in 845, seamen 74. New York, one ship of 168 tons, and cluding some China ware, silks, teas, &c. For 1822, 21 seamen. There entered that year, 33 ships, 7,968 the amount was 110,790 dollars. Great as this trade is, tons, and 557 seamen, making 118 ships, 20,428 tons, na- all our seaports do not participate in it equally: for, Nan. vigated by 2,199 seamen. In the year 1820, there clear- tucket alone, owns 83 of these ships. ed 103 ships, 25,118 tons, navigated by 2,063 seamen ; Why should we not protect and cherish this trade? and arrived 58 ships, 13,581 tons, and 946 seamen, mak- Was there ever a nation on earth which bought so much, ing 161 ships, 38,649 tons, and 3,009 seamen.

with so little? The fisheries, which have occupied so In 1821 there sailed 162 ships, tonnage 41,550, navi- large a space in our negotiations for many years, only gated by 3192 seamen. There arrived that year, 53 yielded us, in the year 1816, the sum of 1,331,000 dolships, 12,908 lons, seamen not known, making 215 ships, (iars, employing - tons of shipping ; this also includtonnage 54,450. In 1822 there sailed, 161 ships; toned tons of shipping engaged in the whale trade. nage 43,515; seamen 3,174. There arrived 80 ships, Under this view of the subject, I think, Mr. Chairman, lons 18,127 ; there is no note of the seamen who en- you will agree with me, that "our interests on the Patered, save 180 in New York; making, that year, 241 cific Ocean, are not so minute" as to be unworthy of inships, tons 61,612. In 1823, there sailed ninety-five vestigation, as has been said in a recent negotiation, by ships, tons 25,079, and arrived 80 ships, tons 20,833 ; la personage in no very subordinate station. This trade, making 175 ships; seamen not ascertained. In the year yielding such vast sums upon the capital and labor em. 1817, it is to be remembered, there was brought to Nan-ployed; giving employment to 45,000 tons of shipping, tucket, by 23 ships, tonnage 5,153, and 409 seamen, and upwards of 3,000 seamen ; ought to be looked to 5,771 barrels of whale oil; 15,401 barrels of Spermace with care, and fostered with solicitude. Besides bring1; 6,813 of head matter ; 19,444 of whale bone. In 1818, ing us great wealth, it is the finest nursery for seamen in

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