Графични страници
PDF файл

This would be manly, this would be fact, this would be all right; and Carolina huzzas, and Carolina clapping of hands, would not unnaturally, with characteristic earnestness, follow this plain and frank declaration. But how would the Pennsylvania gentlemen stand this? How could Mr. Polk appease them? I will not say that he would, with his own tongue, and from his own lips, speak a directly contrary language to them. I do not think him capable of such effrontery. But if he were to give utterance to the opinions which those put in his mouth who support him here in Pennsylvania, he would say, " My dear friends of Pennsylvania, you have heard what I have said to the Carolina gentlemen. Never mind. I don't know exactly what I am, but I rather think I am a better tariff man than Henry Clay! I am for incidental protection; and that is a great matter. It is rather strong, to be sure, after all I have said in Tennessee, to raise, in Pennsylvania, the cry of 'Polk and the tariff of 1842!' Nevertheless, let the cry go forth!"

Now, Gentlemen, what excellent party harmony would be produced, if Mr. Polk's two sets of friends could hear him utter these sentiments at the same time, and in the same room! And yet they are uttered every day in the same country, and in regard to the same election. The more loudly Carolina, and other States holding her sentiments, cry out, "Polk, and down with the tariff!" the more sturdily does the party press in Pennsylvania raise the opposite shout. Now, Gentlemen, there is an old play, named, I think, " Who's the Dupe?" An answer, and here it is an important one, is to be given to the question, "Who is the dupe?" and we shall see, in the end, on which party the laugh falls.

Gentlemen, incidental protection, which some persons, just now, would represent as transcendental protection, what is it? It is no protection at all, and does not deserve the name. It is a result which comes, if it comes at all, without design, without certainty, and without discrimination. It falls on tea and coffee, as well as on iron and broadcloth. Let us not be deluded by such a thin and flimsy pretext. It is an insult to our understandings. Gentlemen, I have come here for no purpose of oratory, nor eloquence, nor display. This is not the occasion for any thing of that kind. If I ever had any such ambition, it has long since passed away, and I hope now only to be useful to you, useful to the great cause in which we are all engaged; and this, and this only, has brought me here. I shall speak with that plainness and frankness with which a man ought to speak, directly and earnestly, feeling as a man ought to feel who has at heart the importance of what he says. This service in which we are engaged is no holiday service, no mere display, no passing pageant, but serious and solemn; serious, as far as any thing can be serious in the secular affairs of men. I come here, then, to use no ornaments of speech, no trope, no metaphor. Honestly and sincerely I come to speak to you out of the abundance of my heart, and I beg you to receive what I have to say in the spirit with which it is delivered.

No wonder that among yon, Pennsylvanians, the party that is opposed to us represents itself friendly to the tariff. It is well known that Pennsylvania is favorable to the tariff, and that is no wonder. She is a State of great mineral interests, and is therefore as much interested in the tariff as any State in the Union, not to say more. She has, it is probable, more to lose than any other State by a change of policy on the part of the federal government, because she cannot so easily recover as other States might from the effect of any great change. In addition to her minerals, which are her richest treasures, she has her artisans, her workers in iron, her workers in metals, her spinners, her weavers, her laborers of every pursuit and occupation. Her treasures not only lie embosomed in the earth, but are spread out in every workshop in the country. There is not an operative, nor a working man, who is not interested in, and supported by, the protective laws of the government. Protection touches every man's bread. If ever, then, there was a subject worthy of the attention of a public man or of a statesman, it is this of protection. No wonder, I repeat, that every Pennsylvanian is engaged in the cause of protection; the wonder would be if he were not.

I have often said heretofore, and I repeat it now, that there is not on the globe a spot naturally richer in all the elements of greatness than Pennsylvania, except England, if, indeed, England be an exception. This is the view of the subject which, it appears to me, both public men and private individuals in Pennsylvania ought to consider. Pennsylvania is full of capacities, full of natural wealth. What policy is best calculated to exhibit those capacities, and to draw out that natural wealth? That is the great question; that forms the great topic; and now, fellow-citizens of Pennsylvania, what have you to say to it?

Pennsylvania is favored in climate, far more than the State to which I belong. She is favored, too, by position, her eastern line being closely connected with the sea, and her western with the great rivers of the West; while large and useful streams flow from her mountains, east and west, and north and south. She has a soil of remarkable fertility, especially suited to the production of wheat and other kinds of grain. But these are far from being all. She is rich, most rich, in treasures which lie beneath the surface. England possesses her East Indies and her West Indies; but it has been said, with truth, that, as sources of wealth, these are little in comparison with her "Black Indies." Coal and iron are among the chief productive causes of English opulence and English power. The acquisition of the whole empire of the Great Mogul is far less important, and all the mines of Mexico and Peru, if she should acquire them, would be less valuable, than these exhaustless treasures, lying in her own bosom.

Now, Gentlemen, how does Pennsylvania compare with England? In the first place, England and Wales embrace an extent of fifty-seven thousand square miles; Pennsylvania has an area of forty-three thousand. Here, as you perceive, is an approach to equality. Both abound in coal and iron; and probably Pennsylvania has as great a variety of the former, both anthracite and bituminous, as England. The value of coal, in its application to that new agent in human affairs, the use of steam, it is impossible to calculate or estimate. Steam has so far altered the modes of motion, and the forms of human industry and human action, that it may be said to have changed the world. It almost seems that we are whirling round the sun on a new orb, or at least had got into a new creation of things. We fly over the earth's surface, with a rapidity greater than that of the wings of the wind; we penetrate beneath its surface, and with a new and mighty power bring its hidden treasures up to the light of the sun. New agencies are at work, in all departments of business, and the processes of labor are everywhere revolutionized.

In this change, and in the causes which have produced it. Pennsylvania is singularly and eminently interested; more so, probably, than any other State in the Union. Steam develops her resources, and turns them all to good account; but the development is yet only partial. Probably the coal field of Pennsylvania may be something less in area than that of England and Wales; but this is of little importance, as the supply seems adequate for ages and centuries to come. But the actual annual product is small, compared with that of England. England produces annually thirty millions of tons of coal, worth, at the pit's mouth, sixty or seventy millions of dollars. What an amount of wealth is this, from a single source! Pennsylvania is supposed to produce a million and a half of tons of anthracite coal, and perhaps as much of the bituminous kind. This is all her present product, with a capacity to supply the continent. Now, Gentlemen, how does this product bear on the employment and occupation of her citizens? How does it affect the great interests of labor and industry? This is an important point. If the existence of mines be useful to capitalists alone, it is one thing; but if their existence, and the working of them, be beneficial to the industrious and working classes, then they become quite another thing. Let us see how this is. I am told that coal in the mines may be regarded as worth, generally, thirty cents a ton, that is to say, the right of digging it may be obtained at that price. When dug and made ready for delivery, it is worth two dollars, or two dollars and a quarter, a ton. Now, what does this prove? Why, it proves, certainly, that, of the whole value of a ton of coal, the raw material composes thirty cents, and the labor employed and paid for in producing it from a hundred and seventy to a hundred and ninety-five cents. This last sum, therefore, is earned, by the labor and industry of Pennsylvania, on every ton of coal, making, of course, proper allowance for capital employed in machinery. But then this machinery, again, is itself a product of labor. We may pursue this subject into its details, as far as we please; the pursuit will always end in the establishment of the great principle, that labor is the source of wealth, and another great principle, fairly deducible from it, and equally clear, that, to judge of the general prosperity and happiness of a people, we are to look, in the first place, to the amount of useful, healthy, and well-paid labor which that people performs. It is this new demand for labor, created by the working of the mines, that makes the subject so important to the whole people of Pennsylvania. Every new demand for well-paid labor is a new source of prosperity and happiness to the great mass of the community. But this is a vast topic, and I have not now time to go far into it. It so happened, that ten or twelve years ago I addressed an assembly of the citizens of Pennsylvania at Pittsburg. On that occasion I expressed my opinions at some length, on the subject of American labor. Those opinions I still hold, with increased confidence in their truth and justice, and to them I beg leave respectfully to refer you.*

Another great mineral product of Pennsylvania is iron; in this respect, too, your State resembles England. England produces, annually, one million and a half of tons of pig iron. Eight or ten years ago, she did not produce one third of this amount; and this vast increase shows the extent of the new demand for the article, and her increased activity in producing it. But the chief value of iron, as well as of coal, consists of labor, directly or indirectly employed in the production. In the first place, it may be remarked, that the manufacture of iron consumes a vast quantity of coal. It has been computed that the production of a million and a half tons of iron, in England, requires six million tons of coal. Here is a case in which one occupation acts most favorably on another. But in the next place, miners of iron, and all classes of laborers employed in bringing the crude ore through the several stages of progress till it assumes the shape of bar iron, are, of course, to be fed, and clothed, and supported. All this creates a demand for provisions and various agricultural products. It has been estimated, that, for every ton of iron brought to market, twenty dollars have been paid away for agricultural labor and productions.

Now, Gentlemen, if these things be so, if this view of the case be substantially correct, how plain is it, that it is for the interest of every working man in Pennsylvania, of every occupation, that coal and iron should be produced at home, instead of being imported from abroad? To be sure, if the mines were poor and scanty, and could only be wrought at a far greater expense than mines elsewhere; or if the material, when produced, were of an

• The speech here referred to was delivered at Pittsburg, July 9th, 1833. See Vol. I. p. 285.

« ПредишнаНапред »