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government to step in and cheer and countenance them. We did too little then, and I endeavored to warn this House of the effects of inadequate protection. We were called upon, at that time, by the previous pledges we had given, by the inundation of foreign fabrics, which was to be anticipated from their free admission after the termination of the war, and by the lasting interests of this country, to give them efficient support. We did not do it; but let us not now repeat the error. Our great mistake has been in the irregularity of the action of the measures of this government upon manufacturing industry. At one period it is stimulated too high, and then, by an opposite course of policy, it is precipitated into a condition of depression too low. First there came the embargo; then non-intercourse, and other restrictive measures followed; and finally, that greatest of all stimuli to domestic fabrication, war. During all that long period, we were adding to the positive effect of the measures of government, all the moral encouragement which results from popular resolves, legislative resolves, and other manifestations of the public will and the public wish to foster our home manufactures, and to render our confederacy independent of foreign powers. The ensued, and the country was flooded with the fabrics of other countries ; and we, forgetting all our promises, coolly and philosophically talk of leaving things to themselves ; making up our deficiency of practical good sense, by the stores of learning which we collect from theoretical writers. I, too, sometimes amuse myself with the visions of these writers, (as I do with those of metaphysicians and novelists,) and, if I do not forget, one of the best among them enjoins it upon a country to protect its industry against the injurious influence of the prohibitions and restrictions of foreign countries, which operate upon it.
Monuments of the melancholy effects upon our manufactures, and of the fluctuating policy of the councils of the Union in regard to them, abound in all parts of the country. Villages, and parts of vil . lages, which sprang up but yesterday in the western country, under the excitement to which I have referred, have dwindled into decay, and are abandoned. In New England, in passing along the highway, one frequently sees large and spacious buildings, with the glass broken out of the windows, the shutters hanging in ruinous disorder, without any appearance of activity, and enveloped in solitary gloom. Upon inquiring what they are, you are almost always informed that they were some cotto or other factory, which their proprietors could no
longer keep in motion against the overwhelming pressure of foreign competition. Gentlrman ask for facts to show the expediency and propriety of extending protection to our manufactures. Do they want stronger evidence than the condition of things I have pointed out? They ask why the manufacturing industry is not resumed under the encouraging auspices of the present time? Sir, the answer is obvious; there is a general dismay; there is a want of heart; there is the greatest moral discouragement experienced throughout the na
A man who engages in the manufacturing business is thought by his friends to be deranged. Who will go to the ruins of Carthage or Balbec to rebuild a city there? Let government commence a systematic but moderate support of this important branch of our industry. Let it announce its fixed purpose, that the protection of manufactures against the insluence of the measures of foreign governments, will enter into the scope of our national policy. Let us substitute, for the irregular action of our measures, one that shall be steady and uniform; and hope, and animation, and activity will again revive. The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Lowndes,) offered a resolution, which the House rejected, having for its object to ascertain the profits now made upon capital employed in manufacturing. It is not, I repeat it, the individuals, but the interests we wish to have protected. From the infinite variety of circumstances under which different manufacturing establishments are situated, it is impossible that any information, such as the gentleman desires, could be obtained, that ought to guide the judgment of this House. It may happen that, of two establishments engaged in the same species of fabrication, one will be prospering and the other laboring. Take the example of the Waltham manufactory near Boston, and that of Brunswick in Maine. The former has the advantage of a fine water situation, a manager of excellent information, enthusiastically devoted to its success, a machinist of most inventive genius, who is constantly making some new improvement, and who has carried the water loom to a degree of perfection which it has not attained in England—to such perfection as to reduce the cost of weaving a yard of cloth adapted to shirting to less than a cent-while it is abundantly supplied with capital by several rich capitalists in Boston. These gentlemen have the most extensive correspondence with all parts of the United States. Owing to this extraordinary combination of favorable circumstances, the Waltham establishment is doing pretty well; whilst that of Brunswick, not possessing all of them, but perhaps as many
as would enable it, under adequate protection, to flourish, is laboring arduously. Will gentlemen infer, from the success of a few institutions having peculiar advantages, which form exceptions to the languishing condition of manufacturing industry, that there exists no necessity for protection? In the most discouraging state of trade and navigation, there are no doubt, always some individuals who are successful in prosecuting them. Would it be fair to argue, from these instances, against any measure brought forward to revive their activity ?
The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Whitman) has manifested peculiar hostility to the tariff, and has allowed himself to denominate it a mad, quixotic, ruinous scheme. The gentleman is dissatisfied with the quarter—the west-from which it emanates. To give higher tone and more effect to the gentleman's declamation, which is vague and indefinite, he has even assumed a new place in this House. Sir, I would advise the gentleman to return to his ancient position, moral and physical.' It was respectable and useful. The honorable gentleman professes to be a friend to manufacturers ! And yet he has found an insurmountable constitutional impediment to their encouragement, of which, as no other gentleman has relied upon it, I shall leave him in the undisturbed possession. The honorable gentleman a friend to manufacturers! And yet he has delivered a speech, marked with peculiar emphasis, against their protection. The honorable gentleman a friend to manufacturers! And yet he requires, if this constitutional difficulty could be removed, such an arrangement of the tariff as shall please him, although every one else should be dissatisfied. The intimation is not new of the presumptuousness of western politicians, in endeavoring to give to the policy of this country such a direction as will assert its honor and sustain its interests. It was first made whilst the measures preparatory to the late war were under consideration, and it now probably emanates from the same quarter. The predilection of the school of the Essex junto for foreign trade and British fabrics—I am far from insinuating that other gentlemen who are opposed to the tariff are actuated by any such spirit—is unconquerable. We disregarded the intimation when it was first made; we shall be uninfluenced by it now. deed, there were the least color for the assertion, that the foreign trade is to be crushed by the tariff, is it not strange that the whole of the representation from all our great commercial metropolises should
unite to destroy it? The member from Boston,-to whose rational and disinterested course I am happy, on this, as on many other occasions, to be able to testify,—the representatives from the city of New York, from Philadelphia, from Baltimore, all entered into this confederacy, to destroy it, by supporting this mad and ruinous scheme. Some gentlemen assert that it is too comprehensive. But its chief recommendation to me is, that it leaves no important interest unprovided for.
The same gentlemen, or others, if it had been more limited, would have objected to its partial operation. The general measure of the protection which it communicates is pronounced to be immoderate and enormous. Yet no one ventures to enter into a specification of the particular articles of which it is composed, to show that it deserves thus to be characterized. The article of molasses has, indeed, been selected, and held up as an instance of the alleged extravagance. The existing tariff imposes a duty of five cents, the proposed tariff ten cents per gallon. We tax foreign spirits very high, and yet we let in, with a very low duty, foreign molasses, which ought to be considered as rum in disguise, filling the space of so much domestic spirits. If (which I do not believe will immediately be the case, to any considerable extent) the manufacture of spirits from molasses should somewhat decline under the new tariff, the manufacture of spirits from the raw material, produced at home, will be extended in the same ratio. Besides the incidental advantage of increasing our security against the effect of seasons of scarcity, by increasing the distillation of spirits from grain, there is scarcely any item in the tariff which combines so many interests in supporting the proposed rate of duty. The grain-growing country, the fruit country, and the culture of cane, would be all benefited by the duty. Its operation is said, however, to be injurious to a certain quarter of the Union. It is not to be denied, that each particular section of the country will feel some one or more articles of the tariff to bear hard upon it, during a short period; but the compensation is to be found in the mure favorable operation of others. Now I am fully persuaded that, in the first instance, no part of the Union would share more largely than New England in the aggregate of the benefits resulting from the tariff. But the habits of economy of her people, their industry, their skill, their noble enterprise, the stimulating effects of their more rigorous climate, all tend to ensure to her the first and the richest fruits
of the tariff. The middle and the western states will come in afterwards for their portion, and all will participate in the advantage of internal exchanges and circulation. No quarter of the Union will urge, with a worse grace than New England, objections to a measure, having for its object the advancement of the interests of the whole; for no quarter of the Union participates more extensively in the benefits flowing from the general government. Her tonnage, her fisheries, her foreign trade, have been constantly objects of federal care. There is expended the greatest portion of the public revenue. The building of the public ships; their equipments; the expenses incident to their remaining in port, chiefly take place there. That great drain on the revenue, the revolutionary pension law, inclines principally towards New England. I do not, however, complain of these advantages which she enjoys. She is probably fairly entitled to them. But gentlemen from that quarter may, at least, be justly reminded of them, when they complain of the onerous effect of one or two items of the tariff.
Mr. Chairman, I frankly own that I feel great solicitude for the success of this bill. The entire independence of my country on all foreign states, as it respects a supply of our essential wants, has ever been with me a favorite object. The war of our révolution effected our political emancipation. The last war contributed greatly towards accomplishing our commercial freedom. But our complete independence will only be consummated after the policy of this bill shall be recognised and adopted. We have, indeed, great difficulties to contend with ; old habits, colonial usages, the obduracy of the colonial spirit, the enormous profits of a foreign trade, prosecuted under favorable circumstances, which no longer continue. I will not despair; the cause, I verily believe, is the cause of the country. It may be postponed ; it may be frustrated for the moment, but it must finally prevail. Let us endeavor to acquire for the present Congress, the merit of having laid this solid foundation of the national prosperity. If, as I think, fatally for the public interest, the bill shall be defeated, what will be the character of the account which we shall have to render to our constituents upon our return among them? We shall be asked, What have you done to remedy the disorders of the public currency? Why, Mr. Secretary of the Treasury made us a long report on that matter, containing much valuable information, and some very good reasoning, but, upon the whole, we found that subject