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ILL-STARRED is that people whose tion on both sides. Under these circumrulers, having won power by ministering stances the negotiation for a settlement of to the worst and most dangerous passions, the difference is resumed; but under what find themselves goaded ever by the fatal serious disadvantages on our part! Our necessity of pandering afresh to the evil President is embarrassed, hampered by spirits they have aroused and stimulated. the pariy resolution aforesaid, in a matter Such a people must find in every decisive entirely transcending party; and he stands manifestation of the power of their au before the world in the attitude of the thorities new reasons to deplore that constrained advocate of a foregone concriminal ambition which seeks exalted clusion-maintaining our right to the station regardless of principle or public disputed territory in accordance with a good, and that popular infatuation which pledge made for him before he came into leads nations to put their trust in those office, and in order to pave the way for who thus play upon their weaknesses, his elevation. Most unfortunate iš this at a fearful cost to their morals, their position for him, for our country, and for true dignity, their vital and lasting in a just appreciation of the strength of our terests.
claim by an impartial world. Take the present Oregon Controversy, But when he first comes to act deci. for example. The Convention which sively on this subject, he throws his fetnominated Mr. Polk for President, saw ters overboard, and offers to compromise fit, formally, to resolve that “our right by surrendering our claim to nearly half to the whole of Oregon is clear and the territory we call Oregon, on condition unquestionable,” and that“ the re-occupa. that the other half is in like manner retion” of that territory, withthe re-annexa- linquished to us by our rival claimant. tion of Texas, is a great American ques. Here, a virtual and important promise, tion, &c., &c. The query at once suggests made to secure his election, is plainly itself-If these be great national questions, repudiated. The voters, whom the why belittle them to mere party footballs? Baltimore resolution was adopted to Why thrust them into the arena of a influence, understood it as a pledge to Presidential controversy? Nothing had them that, if Mr. Polk would be elected, been said regarding Oregon by the an he would insist on our claim to the whole tagonist convention, nor by the party there. of Oregon without abatement in any case, in represented, at any time; it had been left, and should proceed to enforce that claim where it should have been ever left, to to its utmost extent. But here, at the the constituted authorities of the land, outset, he makes an offer to be satisfied speaking and acting in the name of the with but little more than half, where he whole people. Yet a party convention was pledged to exact all. How natural seizes upon this “great American ques. is the inference which will be drawn on tion,” with the sordid intent of making the other side, that he had been staggered votes out of it, utterly reckless of the by the force of the British claim, and commischiefs thence to flow. The candidate pelled in conscience to defer to it. How nominated by this convention is elected easy the presumption that, where a PresiPresident by this and kindred devices, dent so situated could begin by proffering and comes into power virtually pledged so much, justice would give still more! to give effect to the views formally set Such are the evils resulting to the coun. forth by the body to which he owed his try from the unworthy juggle performed elevation. He enters upon his official at Baltimore for the sake of catching duties with a manifesto in which this votes. subject of national controversy, of But we were intending to speak more protracted and anxious negotiation, is directly of the influences exerted upon treated as nearly as possible in the spirit the business and industry of the country of the Baltimore resolution. His lan- by the opening of the Executive budget guage is regarded by the rival claimant of at the commencement of the present sesthe disputed territory as a bravado, a men- sion of Congress. How significant are ace, and is responded to accordingly, the facts that stocks began to tremble on giving rise to great and deplorable irrita- the approach of the first of December,
and that the Message and the Treasury proaching convulsion? “ If these things Report have sufficed to signalize the be done in the green tree, what shall be month of their appearance as one of in the dry ?" If the naked fact, that a panic and appalling depression. “But Loco-Foco Congress is about to assemble who cares for stocks?” queries a staunch causes general anxiety and apprehension, Bentonian; “ let them totter and tumble and these change to paralysis and calamias they will; the country cares nothing ty when that Congress has assembled for the losses or gains of stock-jobbers. and been addressed by the President and True enough; but who shall say that his chief constitutional advisers as to the only or mainly brokers, or even capital- great public interests demanding their atists, are interested in the firmness of pub- tention, what may be rationally expected lic securities? As well say, “Who cares to result from those measures when carfor the rise or fall of the mercury in the ried fully into effect ? barometer? we only want good weather And it is worthy of note that, while so outside of it.” It is because the value many of the elements of national welland convertibility of every man's property, being are disquieted and endangered by or labor is, to a great extent, governed by the mere opening of the Executive portthe influences which regulate the prices folio, none have received or been induced of stocks, that these are of vital conse to hope for any resulting benefit. Neither quence to all. The day-laborer in his the cotton nor any other agricultural inhumble cabin, whose immediate concern terest has experienced any elation conseis with the abundance of work and the quent on the depression of those interests relative or absolute rate of compensation assailed or undermined by the Executive. it will command, has an interest alike On the contrary, cotton has fallen from with the merchant, the banker, the capi- its previous low estate, hangs heavily on talist, in the firmness and buoyancy of the the hands of holders, in the face of a stock-market. When the faith of States general conviction that the Protective is scrupulously maintained and impli- features of our Tariff are to be subverted citly relied on, when shares in railroad at the present session and Free Trade and canal companies bear good prices, established as the policy of the country evince an upward tendency, and gene- for four years at least. Where stand the rally command fair dividends, then new advocates of the forty-bale theory in works of like character and promise are view of these facts? Why do not some freely undertaken and vigorously prose- of the mercantile disciples of McCulloch cuted, giving ample employment to labor, and McDuffie rush into the market and not merely on the lines of public works, secure immense fortunes by the antici. but in every foundry, forge, factory and pated rise of cotton when Free Trade workshop throughout the land. Then shall be proclaimed the law of the land ? the farmer's produce finds a ready and Alas for the planter ! the advocacy of remunerating market ; lands, houses, this theory is restricted to commercial mill-sites, &c., command ready money; dictionaries and Congressional speeches ; the merchant finds a brisk demand for it makes not its way to the transactions his goods, and pay generally takes the of the exchange and the market, where place too commonly usurped by promise. faith is evinced by solid works. There is no man or woman in the com It is not our purpose to criticise in demunity, who lives by industry, or any tail the President's Message and the acuseful, laudable business, whose interest companying Treasury Report. Rather is not promoted by the buoyancy of the would we bestow some brief attention on share market and the firmness of public their spirit and elemental philosophy. securities.
Judicious patriots will have already reWhat, then, must be the intrinsic char marked with surprise and sorrow that acter of an ascendancy which is felt by the President, in asserting our really the national industry only as a blight, strong claim to at least the major and a canker, a sirocco? What must be the better part of Oregon, sees fit to resort to verdict of the impartial and discerning language far better calculated to irritate on the merits of those measures at the and repel than to soften and convince bare proposition whereof enterprise is the adverse claimant, and to make up an arrested, currency is contracted, credit issue, so far as possible, not merely with falters, and the vast fabric of business Great Britain, but with all Europe. There feels, through all its over-spreading, in. was no necessity for this—there are very tricate ramifications, the throes of ap. great and obvious peril and mischief in
it. When President Monroe gave to the he says on the subject, and embodies the world his memorable declaration against essence of his doctrine, viz: farther European colonization and subju. gation of this continent, he did so in prac “ The terms, protection to domestic tical resistance to a meditated, apprehend- industry' are of popular import; but they ed coalition of the great despotisms of should apply under a just system to all the Europe to subvert the independence of various branches of industry in our coun
try. The farmer or planter who toils our sister republics of South America.
yearly in his fields, is engaged in doSuch a coalition involved principles of
mestic industry,' and is as much entitled deadly and imminent hostility to our to have his labor “protected as the manuown liberties—to our very existence as facturer, the man of commerce, the navi. an independent people. As such, our gator, or the mechanic, who are engaged government very properly regarded and also in domestic industry in their differtreated it. But very different are the cir- ent pursuits. The joint labors of all these cumstances under which Mr. Polk now classes constitute the aggregate of the resorts to similar declarations, with refer. domestic industry of the nation, and they ence to the Oregon Controversy. The are equally entitled to the nation's “pro. purpose of this fulmination is very well tection. No one of them can justly claim to understood here—it is intended to make which can only be afforded by increasing
be the exclusive recipients of protection,' personal and party capital by a vain show burdens on the domestic industry of the of bearding the power of banded Europe. others.” But abroad this will not be understood. It will there be interpreted as a clear ad The doctrine here insinuated, which mission that our claim to Oregon cannot its author had not the moral courage be supported on the established principles plainly to assert, is this: Protection of international law, but must be bol- to domestic industry,' is a popular clapstered up by the arbitrary interpolation of trap, but an utter delusion--a palpable canons unknown to Grotius or Vattel. fallacy. You cannot possibly foster and This, with the special rebuff dealt to encourage any branch of industry withFrance, is calculated to preclude all arbi- out thereby búrthening and injuring, to tration by making the whole world our at least an equal extent, some or all other opponents, and to unite against us the branches of Production.”—Not a very convictions and the sympathies of civil- novel doctrine, certainly, to those who ized mankind. Can any one imagine a are familiar with the writings of Say, substantial and statesman-like reason for M’Culloch, &c., wherein it is much more this wanton provocation of hostility ? honestly stated, and quite as plausibly
With regard to our domestic policy, maintained. The blow aimed at the the inculcations of the President and his Protective Policy is vital; it does not Secretary may be characterized in few threaten some particular form or degree words. Their fundamental notion—their of Protection--it denies the possibility all-pervading, all-perverting error-is the of making a Tariff protective and at the assumption of an Antagonism of Interests same time beneficial and just. The between the different classes composing formidable parade of allegations of dethe American Commonwealth. To their fective details, unequal protection, &c., mole-eyed vision, the planter and the &c., by the President and his Secretary, manufacturer, the capitalist and the are but masked batteries intended but to workman, stand to each other in the re- cover the main attack, which is directlation of envious rivals, if not open ed against any Protective Tariff. The enemies, and any public policy calcu- “equal protection” approved by Polk lated to promote the prosperity of the in his famous letter to Kane of Pennsyl. one can do it only at the expense of an- vania, means just exactly no protection other, or of all others.
any, as the Whigs predicted before the Mr. Polk, in his Message, so far as Election it would be found to mean, relates to the Tariff, deals as much as should its author be chosen President. possible in windy generalities, in plausi- Such wholesale assertions as the followble common places, intended to stab the ing, though on their face expressing only policy of Protection by inuendo and im- hostility to particular features of the plication, without any more direct or Tariff, do, in truth, mean hostility to any palpable manifestation of his entire im- Protective Țariff whatever; since none placable hostility thereto. The follow. could be framed, to which such objecing paragraph is a fair sample of what tions might not be urged with a show of
plausibility. Mr. Polk roundly charges farmer is directly benefited by the deihat, by the existing Tariff,
mand and prices secured to his wool, “ Articles of prime necessity or of coarse
hemp, &c., &c., by our Tariff, and far quality and low price, used by the masses
more indirectly by the ready markets and of the people, are, in many instances, sub- better prices secured to all his products jected to heavy taxes, while articles of by the diversion of labor from agricul. finer quality and higher price, or of luxury, ture to manufactures. This was the very which can be used only by the opulent, are mode in which Jefferson, Clay, Jackson, lightly taxed. It imposes heavy and un H. Niles, and nearly all the guiding-stars just burdens on the farmer, the planter, of Democracy, twenty to forty years ago, the commercial man, and those of all other proposed to benefit Agriculture through a pursuits, except the capitalist who has Protective Tariff. Gen. Jackson* forcibly made his investments in manufactures.”
and truly urged that the diversion to Look for one moment at the reckless- manufactures, of a population sufficient ness of notorious facts here exhibited. to produce our own wares and fabrics at The commercial interest is now protected home, would secure to our farmers a on its shipping by an absolutely prohib- larger and better market than all Europe itory provision. None but an American afforded them. Mr. Polk cannot or will vessel can engage in our carrying trade not see anything of this. His range of (which is far more extensive than our vision extends only to the capitalist, foreign commerce) on any terms what- whom Protection may induce to embark ever. A New England manufacturer has, in manufactures—him he teaches all for instance, a thousand bales of goods in other classes to envy and hate as a genNew York which he wishes to send to eral oppressor. He sees not, regards not, New Orleans. A British ship has come the hundreds of thousands who, as brickhither from Liverpool with goods, is go- makers, lumbermen, builders, excavators, ing hence to New Orleans for cotton, has machinists, workers of implements, &c., no freight down, and would gladly take find employment and reward in consethese goods for $500; while no American quence of this diversion of capital to vessel (all having freight or a chance to manufactures, and who are drawn from obtain it) will take these same bales for the ranks of producers of food, and renless than $1,000. The manufacturer is dered the readiest and best customers of compelled by the law of the land to em those who remain farmers. Mr. Secreploy an American ship at $1,000 in pre- tary Walker even takes occasion to assert ference to a British vessel at $500, or that the entire diversion from agriculture even $100. Yet Mr. Polk says that to manufactures, ellected by the present manufacturers alone are protected. Tariff, does not exceed forty thousand
Take another case: The planting in- persons! The recent census of our sinterest has a direct and available protec- gle State, carefully scanned, will show a tion, equal to fully 60 per cent., on Sugar, diversion of more than one hundred thouof which the culture in our country has sand in New York alone. Massachusetts been largely and profitably extended would show a nearly or quite equal diverunder the present Tariff
. There is no sion. The rapid increase of population manufacturer more stringently and effect. since 1842, in New York, Albany, and ively protected than the sugar-planter. nearly all the cities and considerable But the benefits of this are not confined towns of our State, with the like increase to the sugar-planter alone—far from it. in Boston, Lowell, Fall River, &c., &c., is The cotton-planter indirectly participates, accompanied by a positive diminution of through the diversion of fertile lands and the numbers returned from most rural labor from the production of his staple to districts of the older States. The cause that of sugar. "If we estimate this diver- of this need not be restated—it lies plain sion at only 100,000 bales of cotton per on the face of the general subject we are annum, its beneficial effect on the entire considering: planting interest is apparent. Who does Having introduced the Secretary of not realize that cotton would be depressed the Treasury, we will proceed to notice quite below its present low price by the some of the assertions whereof his Readdition of 100,000 bales to our annual port is constructed. But first let us look production ?
at one of the few instances in which he We might go on to show how the essays the logical vein:
Letter to Dr. Coleman of N. C., written in 1824.
“ If it be true that, when a duty of forty fied with a dividend equal to that accruing per cent. is imposed by our Tariff, the fo- from the same capital, when invested in reign producer first deducts the duty from agriculture, commerce, or navigation." the previous price on the sale to our merchant , it must be equally true with a duty Hon. Secretary in his first sentence above
We think we take the meaning of the of one hundred per cent., which is exactly equal to the previous price, and, when de- quoted, though no meaning at all is ducted, would reduce the price to nothing.” grammatically involved in its terms. He
aimed to say that protective duties beneThe reader is not likely to be impressed fit only the capitalists who are induced with the originality of this sparkle of by them to embark in manufactures, and treasury wit; he has doubtless encoun that to these are secured annual profits of tered the same quip in Joe Miller, and, if ten to thirty per cent., so long as the learned, may very possibly trace it back protection endures. Now let us suppose through the lapse of centuries to Hiero- there were some glimmering of truth in cles, if not farther. Its most familiar this, and see how it must work out: A embodiment is something like this: A Protective Tariff, we will say, is enacted, phlegmatic, practical, plodding farmer is which renders morally certain the return importuned by some keen dealer to buy a of twenty per cent. annually to those newly-patented stove which, employed who shall invest the requisite capital in in the place of bis old-fashioned fire. manufacturing broadcloths, prints, plain place, will (he is assured) save half the cottons, or something else--no matter wood. Grump stops and ponders a what. A few embark in the business minute, and his dull eye at length beams and realize such profits. But are these with the kindling of an idea—he has singular in their preferences of twenty caught the tail of a witticism, and is per cent. dividends to three or five per about to overwhelm with it the spruce cent. ? Are there no others who have commender of stoves. Hark! he opens no objection to bettering their fortunes ? his mouth and utters with an irrepressi. Will not the fact that this business is ble grin of ample breadth at his own lucrative at once attract to it hundreds in waggery : “ Then why not buy two every part of the country? There is and stoves and save all the wood ?" Sure can be no concealment of the factsenough—why not? Secretary Walker there are in every large city men in endorses the logic, and exalts the fugitive abundance who will tell you within a quip to the gravity of an official syllo- fraction the cost of making each particugism. If one stove would save half the lar fabric, and when it is selling at a wood consumed by a six-foot fire place, profit, when at a loss. Immediately two must save the whole, or there is no hundreds are attracted to this inviting soundness in Treasury logic. If a fabri- field of enterprise; new mills are erected, cator of any article would take off forty giving employment to labor in a hundred per cent of his old price rather than be different capacities; new machinery is crowded out of an extensive and once set in motion, new goods are turned out, lucrative market, then it follows that he in large and still increasing quantities. would furnish it for nothing rather than And this will go on, gathering momenlose this division of his customers-fol- tum incessantly, until the market is overlows Secretary Walker, you will under stocked and prices fall to (or below) the stand, good reader !-we should not care cost of production. Some may thus be to father the Secretary's logic, even driven out of the business, but ultimately though tempted by the chance of obtain- prices will settle, by a law resistless as ing therewith the credit of his smart- gravitation, at that point where the
profits of this will average the same as Let us pass to a graver exhibition of in other investments. Every business the Secretary's statesmanship and logic: man knows this is so—every reasoning
man will see that it must be so. Make “A Protective Tariff is a question regard- the duty on any article five, fifty, one ing the enhancement of the profits of capi- hundred or five hundred per cent., and tal. That is its object, and not to augment the price of that article will very soon be the wages of labor, which would reduce those profits. It is a question of percentage, regulated by the cost of producing it, and and is to decide whether money invested in
not at all by the amount of the duty. our manufactures shall, by special legisla- There will be occasional oscillations, but tion, yield a profit of ten, twenty or thirty this is the general, enduring law. All per cent., or whether it shall remain satis- the Price Currents ever printed confirm