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am also persuaded, that if it could be afforded to be sprinkled on the layers of hay, when making into the rick, in catching weather, it would prevent its heating and getting mouldy. I had once some small cattle tied up to fatten, which did not thrive, owing, as the bailiff said, to the badness of the hay, of which they wasted more than they atc.; but, by sprinkling it with water in which some salt had been dissolved, they returned to eat it greedily. I am free to say, a proper quantity of salt would prevent cattle from being hoven by an excess of green food. Extra Act".
8. Mr. Thomas Bourne's eacamination.—The committee understand you are a merchant, residing at Liverpool?
Can you speak as to the probable effect of the repeal of the salt duties on your trade?
It would be a good thing, in my opinion, for the country at large, and also the manufactures.
Ilave you any knowledge of its being used in food for animals?
Yes, to horses in particular.
Has it a good effect?
Then do you not suppose, if the restrictions were taken off, it would come into more general use among the farmers, for stock of all kinds?
It would in that instance; we used to have five horses in our rock salt mine, and those horses always appeared in good condition, though very much worked.
Were they liable to less disorders than those out of the mine?
Yes; much less.
Do you happen to know whether they were in the practice at that time of receiving salt with their food?
Yes; to my knowledge they were.
In what quantity?
About a handful to a quartern of oats.
9. Eridence of Mr. JP. Horne.—There are very few farmers who are not aware of the importance of salt in preserving hay, and restoring it when damaged; many of those whom I have conversed with on the subject, have used it for these purposes, and it would generally be resorted to, to the extent of ten or fifteen pounds to the ton of hay, if the duties on salt were repealed. Lord Somerville has furnished most satisfactory information on this subject; and I know, from respectable authority, that it is a common practice in the United States of America to sprinkle salt upon hay when forming it into ricks. We also learn from Lord Somerville, that Mr. Darkc, of Bree. don, one of the most celebrated graziers in the kingdom, mixed salt with his flooded mouldy hay, and that his Hercford oxen did better on it than others on the best hay he had; and he was convinced the hay had all its good effects from the salt. * * * * * I have learnt from Mr. Sutton, of Eaton, in Cheshire, that he would give thirty tons (120 bushcls, of 56 pounds each,) of salt a year to his cattle, being fifty cows, if the duty were repealed. * * * * * in many parts of the United States of America, salt is generally given to cattle. * * * * * The excellent condition of the horses in the rock-pits of Cheshire, may be adduced in favor of its benefit in fattening cattle and keeping them in health.” Many counted that they can attribute the longevity of their horses to the good effects of salt. Mr. Hadfield, of Liverpool, furnishes an instance in his horse, thirty years old; he constantly gave it rock salt to lick, placing it in his manger. Mr. Young has furnished us, in the annals of agriculture, with a most interesting and satisfactory statement (obtained from the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris) on the effect of salt in fattening cattle. From this report it appears, that to the unlimited
use of salt was to be ascribed the circumstance of four times the number of sheep having been reared on a sterile common, than would otherwisc have subsisted on it; and that the wool of these flocks is not only the finest in the whole country, but bears the highest price of any in France. The fineness of the wool of the Spanish sheep is also attributed, in a great measure, to the free use of salt. It is not, therefore, I presume, an extraordinary position to say, that, by a proper use of common salt, the same quantity of forage might, on many occasions, be made to go twice as far as it could have done, in feeding animals, had the salt been withheld from them!
ext it Act.
10. Mr. Charles G. Cothill, examined.--What is your profession? Answer. A bacon and provision merchant, residing in Judd street, Brunswick square. What is the nature and amount of your business, and how far has it been affected by the salt duties? Answer. About fifty years ago my father established a manufactory in Vine street, and expended £10,000 in adapting the premises for the curing of bacon and the salting of pork. Our annual returns were about £50,000: it is now diminished to less than £1,000 annually, in consequence, as I apprehend, of the very high duties on salt, as our trade has diminished progressively as those duties have increased. 1)o you not consider that the breed of hogs has also diminished, in consequence of this increase of duty on salt? Answer. Very materially; and, as a further proof of what I state, we had a very extensive trade of £200,000 a year in hogs; now not £10,000. What effect, in your opinion, would a great reduction of the salt duties produce in your business? Answer. I conceive it would restore our trade: we should then be able to supply the West India markets, and other colonies, with salted pork, cheaper and better than any other country. What is the quantity of salt used upon 100 weight of pork, to make bacon? Answer. In a manufactory of bacon, about 12 pounds; to cure a small quantity, about 17 or 18. Extra Act. 11. Tostinomy of Sir Thomas Bernard.--I ventured to suggest that a tax on salt was fundamentally wrong in principle, because it presses most on the class least able to bear the weight—because of its immoral tendency—and because it deprives the nation of benefits, beyond measure greater than the whole produce of the impost. The salt duties are about a million and a half sterling per annum, (about seven millions of dollars.) The poor use most salt in proportion to their wealth; a cottager in the country ten to one in proportion to a nobleman in town. But the benefits of which the nation is deprived by the salt duties, are not easily appreciated, or even numbered. In agriculture and rural economy alone, the loss in feeding cattle, sheep, and hogs--in restoring damaged provender-in manure, and in the effect on wages, may, without extravagance, be supposed to exceed the whole value of the tax. Equal, perhaps, would be the gain to our manufacturers of woollen, linen, glass, carthenware, soap, &c. &c. &c. by the unrestrained use of muriate and carbonate of soda and muriatic acid, of which our salt mines and ocean afford supplics absolutely inexhaustible. Mr. B. having read, or stated, these extracts, to show the use of salt in agriculture, said there were many other witnesses examined, to prove that alum salt, which the English usually called bay salt, because it was made by solar evaporation, out of sea water in the bay of Biscay, and other bays, was indispensable to the curing of provisions, for long keeping, or for exportation, other articles
Feb. 8, 1831.]
connected with agriculture, as cheese, butter, bacon,
more without encroaching too much on the time of the Senate, he said he would introduce the testimony of some American witnesses to the same points. He had seen the statements of the English witnesses last winter; and, being desirous to hear what Americans would say on the same subject, he had, in the course of the last summer, addressed certain queries to some friends and acquaintances in the Western States, and had received from many of them communications of so much interest and value, that he should lay them before the Senate; and, first, would exhibit the queries for the better understanding of the answers. The names of his correspondents, he said, would be known to the members of the Senate from the States in which they reside; some will be known to the Senators from many States; and some to the whole body of the Senate.
(Queries on the state of the salt trade in the IPostern States.
1. Whether the trade in salt is monopolized? and, if so, at what works? and over how many States do the sales of these monopolists extend? 2. The practices of the monopolists, if any, to enhance the price of salt, and to prevent competition? 3. The prices of domestic and foreign salt in your neighborhood, and the freight of foreign salt from New Orleans? 4. Whether the monopolists have established depots of salt in different States, and appointed agents to sell their salt, and restricted the sales of each depot to its district? How far are the depots apart in your State? 5. Whether the salt manufacturers have entered into agreements with the monopolizers to restrict the quantity of salt made at the works? to confine the sales to the monopolists? and to stop working wells and furnaces for pay? The meaning of the phrase “dead wells,” and the rent of such wells? 6. Whether salt is sold in your neighborhood by weight or measure? If by weight, how many pounds are allowed to the bushel? and how much a weighed bushel measures? 7. In selling by the barrel, is due allowance made for the weight of the barrel, and for the loss of salt in drying? If not, what is the difference between the real and nominal quantity in the barrel? 8. Whether the monopolists sell for money, or country produce? for ready pay, or upon credit? and whether the price is higher or lower since the monopoly? 9. Do the monopolists rise and fall in their prices according to the presence or absence of competition? and what salt competes with them? 10. Do they realize great gains? 11. Whether the domestic salt is fit for pickling beef and pork, for curing bacon, and preserving butter, for sportation, or consumption in the South, or long keeping 12. Whether beef and pork, put in common salt, will be received for the use of the army or navy 13. The necessity and expense of repacking beef and pork in alum salt, in New Orleans, which has been put up in domestic salt? 14. The necessity and advantage of giving salt to horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs? Whether salt is not indispensable to stock in the Western States? Whether there is not a great difference between inland and maritime States in this respect? The reason of that difference? How much salt per head, and how often per week or month ought it to be given to each kind of stock? and whether the farmers in your section of the country are prevented, by the high price and scarcity of salt, from giving as much to their stock as they need? 15. The use and advantage of salt in preserving hay, fodder, and clover? In restoring them, after being damaged by wet? St. Louis, July, 1830.
Communication from G. T. C. McCLAN NAIAN, Esq. of Jackson county, North Alabama, October, 1830. Your first query—the trade of salt is entirely monopolized here by James White, of the Holston salt works, in Virginia. I cannot exactly tell to what States these works furnish salt, but it is to be supposed to the western parts of Virginia, eastern part of Tennessee, a part of North Carolina, the northern part of Georgia, North Alabama, and some in South Alabama, &c. &c. Query 2d–Colonel J. White has a depot at this place, a mile and a half from Tennessee river, down which stream he boats his salt. And if any person else brings salt here to sell, they immediately undersell that person and ruin him. The people sometimes get their salt from Nashville, when they have a convenience of doing so, and it comes much cheaper, after paying land carriage one hundred and thirty miles, than White's salt; but no person dares to compete with him here; because he can, at his will, undersell any person who pays a land carriage of one hundred and thirty miles; and therefore instantly break them up. One thing is yet to be told, which will convince any man of the sin and oppression of this monopolizing system. This same James White will carry his salt by us down to Ditto's landing, ten miles below Hints. ville, haul it out to Winchester, Tennessee, which is fiftyfive miles of land carriage, and sell it there so much lower than he will here on the river take it out of his boats, that some of the planters, who are able to take their wagons and cross a very bad mountain, (part of the Cumberland,) haul their salt over from Winchester, which is forty-five miles from this place. Is this not oppressive to the |..." Would not this governmental. monopolist wring from the distressed orphan, widow, and war-worn soldier, all their earthly sustenance? And yet the Congress of the United States—this boasted land of liberty and equal laws, countenances such oppressive acts. Why does Mr. White not sell as low here on the river as at Winchester, after carrying his salt one hundred and twenty miles, fifty-five by land, and that, too, the very same salt? The answer is obvious. At Winchester there is some competition; it is not so far from Nashville, where foreign salt may be obtained. And this is why he sells it lower there than at this place. We are here fenced in with almost impassable mountains, at a great distance from any commercial depot, and without the means of shunning the exorbitant exactions of these vampyres, who take the bread from the mouths of our children with the calculating coldness of an Arab; and these acts are legalized by a Congress of freemen. We are glad to hear the stern voice of indignation at this oppression, uttered by some of the patriotic republicans of that body; and we should glory in being among the most persecuted victims, if by that means this most pernicious system of monopoly could be overturned. Query 3d—We have no foreign salt here for sale; two years ago some gentlemen brought a few bushes from Nashville, and sold it for one dollar and eighty-seven and a half cents per fifty pounds, underselling the salt gentlemen here at that time. The domestic salt has got lower than it was four years ago. Then it was two dollars and fifty cents, now one dollar and eighty-seven cents to two dollars. The freight from New Orleans to Nashville is one cent per pound, as I am informed by a merchant of this place, and from Nashville to this place one and a quarter cents per pound. 4. There is a depot here, and another at Ditto's landing, as I am told, for selling salt. These places are about fiftyfive miles apart by land. The remaining part of the ques. tion I do not know anything about. 5. Colonel White, as I have been informed by good au. thority, leased the Preston salt works, in what is called New Virginia, for nine or twelve thousand dollars annu
ally; but I am further informed that the lease is out, and
the works are to go into active operation to compete with
Communication from a meeting of the citizens of Madison
6th. Universally sold by weight, allowing fifty pounds to the bushel; the measured bushel will weigh from seventy to eighty pounds. 7th. When the salt is weighed out of the barrel, it seldom holds out, and frequently loses from five to twenty Fol. We may add, that, however honestly it may nave been put up at the works, it is generally brought down in open boats, subject to the winter rains, which damage it more or less; and we know of but one of his agents who sells it any other way than by the marked weight. 8th. Salt is sold for nothing else but ready money. 9th. Salt is sold, high or low, according to competition. The Kenhawa ground alum and Liverpool are brought in but sparingly, which is the only competition. 10th. We believe that White realizes great gains. We are sustained in this opinion, from his carrying it by land twenty-five or thirty miles farther, where he meets with competition, and selling it for less than he does here. 11th. Wholly unfit. 12th. It will not be received for either. 13th. We can give no correct answer. 14th. It is indispensable for stock of all kinds. It is thought they require more in the Western States than maritime States, owing, probably, to the absence of the sea breeze, and vapor impregnated with salt coming from the sea, and alighting on the vegetable matter. Stock of all kinds should be salted twice a week; but, owing to the high price of salt, the stock are probably not salted more than once in two weeks, on an average. From the best accounts, three thousand barrels of salt are consumed annually in Madison county, averaging about six bushels (of fifty pounds) to the barrel. The population being about twenty-seven thousand, gives us an average of thirty-three pounds and one-third to each person. Were those heavy duties taken off, the consumption would be much greater. 15th. Salt is thought to be useful in preserving hay, fodder, and clover; each will keep well if sprinkled over with it, though not thoroughly cured when put up. Moreover, our pork is often spoiled from the want of a sufficiency of salt to pack it up in, which we cannot obtain on account of the high price. Thousands, and tens of thousands of pounds are often lost from that circumstance alone. Alum salt would be an immense saving to North Alabama, in that one particular. Resolved, therefore, unanimously, That the delegation from this State, as well as those of our sister States, have our unfeigned thanks for their exertions and co-operation the last session of Congress, with Mr. Benton, in endeavoring to repeal the duty on salt; and that we request our delegation to use their utmost to effect the repeal of a tax so burdensome to us, and of no ultimate advantage to any State.
Communication from Colonel F. W. Burton, formerly of North Carolina, now of Murfreesborough, Tennessee, dated December 8, 1830. Your favor of July last, propounding fifteen queries on the state of the salt trade in the Western States, was received in due time. To the thirteen first of these queries, I am sure that the commercial gentlemen of the country can render a much more correct and satisfactory answer than I can. To the fourteenth I will observe, that salt is indispensably necessary to the good condition of horses, horned cattle, sheep, and hogs, in the Western States. It is beneficial in the maritime States likewise, and the more so as you recede from the seaboard. The watery constituent parts of the atmosphere on the seaboard take with them salt, which is inhaled by these animals, and thereby they are supplied with that salt which is necessary for the healthful condition of all animals, both granivorous and herbulent, and to some of those that are carnivorous. The quan
tity of salt, per head, to each kind of stock, will depend on the food with which they are supplied. If with grain, less; if with herbs, more salt. I am sure, if the price of salt be reduced, the farmers in this section of the country would give their stock a better supply, and that their improvement would be in proportion to the increased quantity given. To err, by an excess, is not to be apprehended, To the fifteenth query I will remark, that the use of salt, in the preservation of hay, is well expended. And if new mowed hay, or clover, or other grasses, be packed, a layer of hay, and a layer of straw, either wheat, oats, or rye, and a good supply of salt to each layer be added, you make the best of food for horses and cattle. I approve, very highly, your intention to repeal, if you can, the salt tax, totally and promptly. In this, and all efforts of your useful life, I wish you success.
Communications: General William Hall, of Sumner county, Tennessee, dated December 8, 1830.
I received your “queries on the state of the salt trade in the Western States,” in due time; and have delayed answering them, only that I might obtain all the information within my reach necessary to a correct reply. The queries will be answered in the order in which they are proposed, Nos. 1, 2, &c., answering to the corresponding numbers in the queries. 1. The salt made at the Kenhawa works, from whence a large portion of the supply for this state, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, is obtained, is monopolized. 2. The monopolists have depots and agents in the different States, supplied by them, who are required to account quarterly for sales, which are made for cash, and at prices fixed by the monopolists. 3. The prices of domestic and foreign salt vary from seventy to one hundred cents per bushel of fifty pounds. Freight from New Orleans may be had at fifty cents per hundred pounds. 4. Answered in No. 2. 5. I have not been able to obtain any satisfactory information as to this query. 6. Salt is sold in this State, and throughout the Western country, by weight. The measured bushel weighs from twenty to twenty-five pounds more than the weighed bushel. 7. An allowance is made for the weight of the barrel, though none for the loss of salt in drying. 8. Is answered, in part, previously. The price is higher since the monopoly. 9. The price of salt is regulated by the quantity in market. The quantity of foreign, or other domestic salt, brought to this market, is inconsiderable. 10. The monopolists realize great gains. 11. Although Kenhawa salt is very superior to any other domestic salt brought to this market, I am informed that nearly all the beef and pork from the Western country is repacked in foreign salt, either for shipment, or for the army or navy. 12. See No. 11. 13. I am not informed as to the price of repacking beef or pork which has been put up in domestic salt. 14. The necessity and advantage of giving salt to stock of every kind is universally admitted. It is indispensable in the Western States, and ought to be given to all kinds of stock about once a week, and to each head of horses or cattle from two to four ounces at a time, and less than half that quantity to sheep or hogs, though farmers in this section are prevented from giving their stock the necessary quantum of salt, owing to the high price of the article. i5. The use and advantage of salt in preserving of hay, fodder, and clover, is admitted by all practical farmers, although but few avail themselves of the advantage, in consequence of the scarcity and high price of salt.
Communication from Lieutenant Governor Breathitt, of Kentucky, dated Russellville, Nov. 16, 1830. My information will not enable me to answer your favor on the state of the salt trade in detail. From the general opinion on the subject, there is no doubt there was, during the last year, an extensive salt monopoly supplied from the Kenhawa works. Depots were had principally on the watercourses for salt, where it was vended by their agents, sometimes on a credit of four or six months. Whether it continues the present season, I am not advised. Those depots extended to Tennessee. Sales were made for money. There is but little foreign salt brought into this neighborhood: I cannot, therefore, state the difference in price. This neighbor. hood is supplied from the Illinois saline, and the Kenhawa salt from the latter is preferred to preserve meat. It is not so white and clean as that from the saline. It is usually sold by weight—50 lbs. to the bushel, when sold by the barrel. The tare of the barrel is taken off, and the salt is generally weighed at the time of sale. It is, however, sometimes otherwise. About this time last year, the common price, at this place, was one dollar per bushel; now, it may be purchased at seventy-five cents. There is no doubt that salt is indispensable for the use of stock, and particularly in this country. Much stock has been raised upon the grazing the forest affords, and if they are furnished plentifully with salt, they are fat. Hence the necessity of its being as cheap as possible, and because, also, of its universal use by all. I was pleased at the reduction of the duties last session on coffee, tea, molasses, and salt. I should be pleased, however, to see the duties retained on manufactured articles, so that our own manufactories may enter into competition with foreign ones, and make a reasonable profit. I would not have them to have unreasonable profit: then it would be a tax upon one portion for the benefit of the other. The point to stop at is one of difficulty, and requires great experience and much research. I should be pleased to hear from you occasionally.
Statement of the Hon. Mr. Lyon, of Kentucky.
That, being a member of a mercantile house which received a quantity of salt from the Kenhawa Salt Company, to sell on commission, in the years 1826–27, with instructions to sell at the original mark or lick weight, finding many of the barrels greatly deficient in weight, varying from 10 to 20 per cent., they reweighed, and sold a quantity at the real weight; that, when the agent of the company came on, he was dissatisfied, and said it was their 3ustom to sell elsewhere at the original mark, and that it must be so sold there, which they refused to do. The agency, and the salt on hand, were transferred to other hands, and that he has great reason to believe the neces. sities of the peopic, in many instances, compelled them to urchase the deficient barrels at their marked weight. Also, that, being in company with the Hon. Mr. Benton, of the Senate, in ascending the Ohio from Cincinnati, last fall, on board the steamboat Emigrant, said to belong to, and be in the cimploy of the Kenhawa Salt Company, which was towing a keel-boat, to Maysville, Keptucky, loaded with alum or foreign salt, and delivered there for the purpose of salting pork in that part of Kentucky. Feb. 1830. Communication from General Milroy, of Delphi, Indiana, duted Nov. 25, 1830. I received your letter requesting information relative to the salt trade of this country. My limited acquaintance with mercantile business will enable me to say but little from my own knowledge on the subject. I can say, however, that the belief is universal, and uncontradicted in this part of the country, that agents employed by the salt
Duty on Alum Salt.
manufacturers furnish exclusively the supply of that article for the valley of the Wabash; and that none is permitted to be vended by others, so far as can be prevented by them; and that those agents are regulated by fixed prices, under which they may not sell, but can raise the price in proportion to the demand. It is also believed that a scarcity of salt is frequently occasioned by the inadequacy of the manufactories to produce sufficient supplies, or that those monopolists hoard it up for the purpose of extorting exorbitant prices; neither of which causes would operate to produce the scarcity and high price so oppressive to the West, was the salt trade left open to the natural course of competition. The monopoly of the salt trade is notorious, and is one of the greatest grievances to be complained of in the West; and it is believed that the unrestricted importation of alum salt is, perhaps, the only method which can be adopted effectually to break it down, unless Congress should think proper to declare it a criminal offence to attempt a monopoly of any article of necessary consumption, as the British Parliament has done, and render such offence punishable by fine and imprisonment, which even would not be so effectual. It will not be disputed but that a supply of alum salt is necessary in the West, even if the domestic salt was obtainable unembarrassed by monopoly, from its superior qualities in the preservation of beef and pork in a southern market, where we must of necessity send our surplus of those articles. It is believed by stock raisers, that a much larger quantity of salt is necessary for stock in the Western than in the Atlantic States, owing, doubtless, to the nature of the food on which they are subsisted, and the diseases to which tirey are subject. I should have been much gratified to have becn able to furnish you information on all the points on which you request it, and should have done it most cheerfully had Î been in possession of it. Not doubting, however, but that the method you have taken will elicit it in abundance, I shall, therefore, rest satisfied, anxiously desiring the successful result of your efforts to repeal the salt tax entirely. concurring with you in opinion that it is the best service that can be rendered to the West next to the graduation of the price of public lands: in both of which great Western measures, you have the concurrence of a vast majority of the West most ardently wishing you success.
Communication from General Tipton, of Indiana, dated Logansport, Indiana, Nov. 24, 1830. Your printed letter of July last has been duly received, and I have made strict inquiry of merchants, and other gentlemen of intelligence of this vicinity, in relation to the salt monopoly. From facts collected from them, and some within my own knowledge, I have no hesitation in saying that there is, and has been for years, a monopoly of that article, to the great injury of the poorer class of the people of Indiana. Deposits for the sale of salt are established along the Ohio and the Wabash rivers, at from thirty to forty miles from each other, by monopolists from Kenhawa, in Virginia, and from Kentucky. One agent of these monopolists is at this village; another at Lafayette, forty miles below, who rise or fall in their prices according to the compettion they meet, and, by this means, oppress the poor, and amass wealth to themselves to a very large amount per annum. The salt manufactured at the wells at Kenhawa, and in Kentucky, will not preserve pork in the Southern climate. In the winter of 1822 I descended the rivers to New Orleans, with a quantity of pork put up with salt made at the wells of these monopolists. Soon after my arrival at New Orleans, I was compelled to purchase Turk's Island salt, and repack my pork; thereby incurring an expense of one hundred and fifty dollars.