Графични страници
PDF файл

his family, his country, and his God, for such a shallow device as this, how can he be worthy of being a citizen of this free and happy country?

It becomes our duty, then, to expose, in every way and everywhere, this infamous juggle. Let us put it down, and put it down at once and for ever. Let us declare it a fraud and a cheat. I declare it a fraud and a cheat; and if my voice could be heard throughout the whole of this country, I would say that, whoever he is, if he be a man of common information and common knowledge, and comes to an elector of this or any other State, and says that Mr. Polk is in favor of the tariff, he means to cheat and defraud that elector out of the proper exercise of the elective franchise! And after he has got him to vote for Mr. Polk, he will turn his back on him and say, "What intolerable gulls the people are!"

If this were not so serious a matter, it would be supremely ridiculous. But it is so serious a thing as to excite our deepest indignation, that men should try to get the honest votes of an honest community for the support of men and of measures which they know that honest community do not desire. We owe it, therefore, as a duty to our neighbors, to go among them; to explain this whole matter to them; to read Mr. Polk's declarations to them, and to undeceive them. We owe it to them as a sacred duty. We owe it to them inasmuch as we are all embarked in the same bottom. If they go down, we shall go down with them; we cannot prosper if they are ruined. For reason, and philosophy, and experience, and common sense, all teach that one portion of the community cannot flourish at the expense of another portion. Let us by every exertion possible, by the use of calm, sober reasoning and fair argument, bring our neighbors who are of opposite opinions to ours to see things in their proper light, and to induce them to give their support to those who are their friends and the friends of that policy which they desire themselves to see perpetuated.

I shall not go at great length into a discussion of the tariff. It is well understood in this part of the country. There would not be the slightest doubt in my mind of the result of the coming election in Pennsylvania, if the people could be made to understand what the issue really is. The tariff policy is founded on this. We have vast resources of natural wealth; by these, if properly protected, and, as a natural consequence, properly and fully developed, we have the means of providing other vast sources of wealth, which will contribute, not to the emolument of a few, as has been falsely asserted, but to the prosperity and lasting happiness of every class in the community. We are in a situation that does not require us all to be farmers, or all lawyers, or all mechanics. There must necessarily be another class, that of manufacturers and operatives. And a system which shall create a demand for labor, which shall amply remunerate that labor, which shall thereby create such a wholesome demand for agricultural products, as to properly compensate the tiller of the ground for his toil, — a system which would enable the farmers to raise up their families (those families which are the main pride and boast of the country) in comfort and happiness, and thus to benefit and preserve all that is dear to them in the world, — such a system ought to be pursued, and no other.

I am addressing here, I suppose, an assembly, a large majority of whom are engaged in agricultural pursuits. And I put it to the farmer to say how the tariff affects him. There are many false prophets going to and fro in the land, who declare that the tariff benefits only the manufacturer, and that it injures the farmer. This is all sheer misrepresentation.

Every farmer must see, that it is his interest to find a near purchaser for his produce, to find a ready purchaser, and a purchaser at a good price. Now, the tariff supposes, that, if there be domestic manufactures carried on successfully, there will inevitably be those engaged therein who will consume a large amount of agricultural products, because they do not raise any for themselves, — a new class of consumers of the farmers commodities, an enlarged class of consumers. Now if that general rule be false, then our policy is false. But if that general rule be true, then our policy is true. If it be for the interest of the Chester farmer, that there should be many consumers, that the number should be largely increased of those who do not raise agricultural products, then our policy is true; and if it be not for the interest, but for the injury, of the Chester farmer, that the number of those who consume but do not raise agricultural products should be increased, then our policy is false.

To illustrate this, I will here give an estimate that has been made with very great care, by a most intelligent writer, a friend of mine, in whose judgment I have the highest confidence. This estimate shows the exact state of things in this country, in connection with the subjects before us. And, before I go into it, allow me to say that the great wealth, the great happiness, of the country consists in the interchange of domestic commodities.

In illustrating this point, let us take the article of bread-stuffs. What do you do with it? Who consumes it? What becomes of it? You send your flour to Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore; but where does it go to from those places? There must be an ultimate consumer. There must be a last man into whose hands the barrel of flour must go before the hoops are knocked off. And where is he to be found? Why, the chief consumption of wheat flour in this country is in the East, where the great manufacturing interests are carried on; and in the districts where large and extensive mining operations are successfully making progress; and in those other districts inhabited by the workers in wool, and workers in cotton, and workers in iron and the various metals. These are the classes who are the great and profitable consumers of the farmer's produce, whilst they never compete with him in raising it.

The amount of cotton imported into New England is very large, but the amount of bread-stuffs imported is still larger. But here is the extract before referred to: —

"Bread-stuffs are a more valuable import into New England than cotton. Of flour (wheat) we do not raise, in Massachusetts, over 120,000 bushels of wheat, equal to 24,000 barrels of flour, — about enough for the Lowell operatives. The balance comes from States out of New England. I should say we consumed, at least, 600,000 barrels of imported wheat flour, and a large amount of maize, rye, and oats. Maine may raise one half its wheat, but imports a large quantity of maize, oats, and rye, and New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island import still more. Of sugar, we do not take any great quantity of Louisiana. It goes more to the Middle, but chiefly to the Western States. Of tobacco, we are, in New England, large consumers; and our ships to Africa and the East find a market for large quantities, in small parcels. Of naval stores, we, of course, consume immensely; for in Massachusetts we have 550,000 tons of shipping, and in Maine about 350,000 more; and in New England, in the whole, about 1,050,000. We distil a large quantity of turpentine for exportation to all parts of the world.

"There is no population except that of London which has a greater consuming ability for the necessaries, comforts, and most of the luxuries of life, than the 800,000 people of Massachusetts; consequently, there is no population so advantageous to trade with. The Middle, and Southern, and AVcstern States have laid great stress on the Zollverein treaty, on account of reductions in duties, which would not augment the sales of tobacco, cotton, &c., to the extent of five hundred thousand dollars. Now, the commerce which those sections have with Massachusetts,— which Mr. McDuffie ranks as one of the poor States. because we have but few exports for foreign countries, —I say, the commerce which these sections, namely, the South, and West, and Middle States, have with Massachusetts, is of more value, and of greater magnitude, than all the products which those sections sell to the whole population of Germany; and, I will add, to Russia, Sweden, and Denmark.

"What may be the amount of imports into Massachusetts from these sections, I cannot ascertain; but of grain of all kinds, it cannot be less, at average prices of the past five years, than $7,000,000; of cotton, 180,000 bales at $ 35 per bale, average of five years, $ 6,300,000; making § 13,300,000 for those two staples. On reference to the returns of 1842, the last published, I find the domestic exports to the countries referred to as follows : —

Hanse Towns, $ 3,814,994

Eussia, 316,026

Prussia, 149,141

Sweden, and Swedish West Indies, . . . 368,675
Denmark, and the Danish West Indies, . . 862,594

Add, to Trieste, 748,179

$ 6,259,609

"Commercially speaking, if this portion of the European population, amounting to at least 120,000,000, were to suspend their intercourse with the United States, it would be less detrimental to the States out of New England, than a cessation of intercourse with the poor State, as she is termed by many Southern men, of Massachusetts, with her population of 800,000 (last census 737,000), and increasing, in spite of the great density of her population, at the rate of about 18 per cent, in ten years.

"As to the other five New England States, I suppose the aggregate of

their transactions with States out of New England may not equal the

amount of the transactions of Massachusetts. This difference results

from the nature of our products, and the superior amount of our capital,

Vol. n. 25 which, per capita, is greater than exists in any other State, and four times as great as in a majority of the States. Of course, such estimates are in some measure conjectural, but they are partly based on facts which are before the country.

"There never was a traffic carried on in any country, more advantageous, from its magnitude and its character, than the interchange of products between New England and the other States. We are large consumers. We pay cash for all we buy, and in good money, while we sell on credit, and have lost by bad debts south of the Hudson, within twenty years, more wealth than some of the cotton States, who call us poor, are now possessed of."

Now, the question is, Does not this show the true policy of the country to be, to build up interests that shall contribute to the healthy employment and mutual happiness of each other, and thus benefit equally the whole community? And with this, knowing, as I do, that the whole sentiments of the people of Pennsylvania are in favor of the protective system, I leave the topic.

Now, there is another and a very important subject that I desire briefly to speak of. We are trying the great experiment of the success of popular government, — whether these seventeen millions of people will exercise so much intelligence, integrity, virtue, and patriotism, as shall secure to this great country for ever the blessings of a free, enlightened, liberal, and popular government. In the first place, we have laid at its base a Constitution, — I had almost said, and may say, a miraculous Constitution, when we take into view all the circumstances connected with its origin and maturity,— a Constitution unequalled in its scope and design, its construction and its effect, which secures the full enjoyment of all human rights alike to every one. We are bound by a solemn duty to see that, among the candidates for the high offices in the gift of a free people, we give our votes to such as venerate that Constitution, and to none other. The principles of our government are liberty and equality, established law and order, security for public liberty and private right, a general system of education liberally diffused, the free exercise of every religious creed and opinion, and brotherly love and harmony, this last being considered peculiarly the characteristic of a happy people under a free form of government. It is to preserve all these, to see that not one of these rights and privileges is soiled in passing

« ПредишнаНапред »