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colonies were expected to follow that line of policy, which she in her wisdom should mark out for them. At every indication of colonial prosperity, the complaints of the commercial and manufacturing interests of Great Britain ; were loud and clamorous. Repeated demands were made upon the government, to correct the growing evil, and to keep the colonies in due subjection. “The colonies,” said the complainants, “are beginning to carry on trade; they will soon be our formidable rivals; they are already setting up manufactures; they will soon set up for independence.” To the increase of this feverish excitement in the parent country, the English writers of those days contributed not a little. As early as 1670, in a work entitled, “Discourse on Trade,” published by Sir Joshua Child, is the following language, which expresses the prevailing opinion of the day:-" New England is the most prejudicial plantation to this kingdom; of all the American plantations, his majesty has none so apt for the building of shipping, as New England; nor any comparably so qualified for the breeding of seamen, not only by reason of the natural industry of that people, but principally by reason of their fisheries; and in my poor opinion, there is nothing more prejudicial, and in prospect more dangerous to any mother kingdom, than the increase of shipping in her colonies.” Such was their condition, that if they made a hat, or a piece of steel, an act of parliament calls it a nuisance; a tilting hammer, a steel furnace, must be removed as a nuisance. Cutting off our trade with all parts of the world, was a principal reason that originated the declaration of independence. All Europe, who dreaded America, were urging England forward in her restrictive policy with the colonies.
These restrictions led to grievances, and complaints from the colonies, which finally ended in their independence.
As soon as the United States were recognised and acknowledged in her national compact, other nations as well as England crowded their manufactures into the new and hungry market. The country was then bare of European commodities. The flooding of the country with foreign articles rendered it unnecessary and impracticable to establish manufactures in any part of the Union. The condition of Europe soon called for the products of the soil, and the activity of commerce caused the merchants to flourish, and these, by furnishing a market, enriched the farmers and other inhabitants. This enabled them to give enormous prices for European and India goods: so nothing was done of importance, even to lay a foundation for future supplies of American domestic goods.
French and English fabrics were introduced, by all the interest of commercial men, and they were encouraged by all the rage of fashion. With such seeming kindness, the power of the states were rendered inoperative, and their resources expended. Their condition was similar to that of the Corsicans, who after they had gained and substantiated their independence under the patriotic and heroic Paoli, were swindled out of their liberty and reduced to servitude by an influx of Italian silks and trinkets from Naples. (See Boswell's History of Corsica.) Nothing but a particular exigence, and the state of European affairs, during the reign of Napoleon, prevented the ruin of this republic, by the astonishing importation of foreign productions. The non-intercourse and non-importation laws raised the prices of all articles, before any energetic means were used to manufacture for ourselves. The rage for English goods, and for the luxuries of the East, had become so general, that no cost could prevent their use, and not merely a common use, but even an extravagant expenditure. The daughters of the self-denying matrons, known to fame, in the stories of the first resistance to Great-Britain, in renouncing the use of tea—used profusely the best hyson and gunpowder imperial ; so that these expensive kinds were more generally used, in the States, than in any other country in the world. Instead of the homespun coats and gowns formerly prided in, British broad cloths and French silks, were in common use, and the thirst and demands of fashion were insatiable. The people had passed from one extreme to another. No laws, either of non-importation or non-intercourse, could prevent such articles finding a way into our principal cities, and from thence into our country villages, where they brought an exorbitant price. So that millions of dollars were taken from us annually, to supply our wives and daughters with chips from Italy, and bonnets from Leghorn. Even the war of 1812 with Great Britain, did not stop the use, but rather increased the desire for every thing foreign. The restrictive policy failing, the state of the treasury urged to the expedient of an equalised tariff, upon the goods of all foreign nations at peace with the United States. This policy soon restored the exhausted revenue, and enabled the government to sustain the war, till a peace could be had on honourable terms. The suddenness of the peace, unexpected and unforeseen, caused a flood of every description of articles, so that the markets were completely glutted. Many goods on hand, fell to one third of their previous prices on the merchant's hands. This dis
couraged the infant establishments, which had been called into existence, by the emergency of war, to supply our necessities; they were not only disheartened but ruined, and many companies. failed and lost their all. This state of affairs even threatened their total dissolution; a few only weathered the storm, and maintained a firm standing. To the undaunted perseverance of those few establishments, we owe the present progress and triumph of our improved manufactures. By the introduction of the best and latest machinery, and with the advantages of New England water-power, they have survived every attack, surmounted every obstacle, and overcome every difficulty. Irish linens and India cottons, which once supplied our markets, are now but little known. An immense quantity of our cotton cloths are sold at a very low price, and are consumed in all parts of the Union, both plain and printed; as well as large exportations to South America, where they are in high repute, and have driven the British and India goods out of those markets. Samuel Slater, the father of our manufacture of cotton, lived to see this astonishing change, and the successful operation of what he had first introduced, by unwavering firmness, under various and now unknown discouragements; which may teach us “Not to despise the day of small things.” Slater commenced with seventy-two spindles, in a clothier's shop at Pawtucket, and did not find ready sale for his yarn after he had spun it. The first students of the university of Oxford in England first recited in a barn, in the time of Alfred ; and the most splendid establishments, as well as the greatest of empires, commenced from small beginnings. We cannot, at present, foresee the wonderful extension of our manufactures; they are destined to supersede all that have ever existed before them in any part of the world. A cold indifference on this subject exists, even in the manufacturing districts. There is not that decided preference, and patriotic attachment, to our own productions, as there undoubtedly ought to be, but a deplorable infatuation, after every thing foreign and far fetched. “Are you sure that it is not American?” is the question often put, when articles are offered for sale. Domestic goods have been treated with too much contempt, even by those who earn their bread by their production. This apathy, this monstrous destitution of patriotism, must be removed, and the predilection for the fabrics of Europe and India goods, must be frowned down, before our manufactures of fine goods and silks can be established on a permanent basis. If they ever arrive at greater perfection; if they
are to be enabled to vie with the old world, with their accumulated capitals and cheapness of labour, they must be nurtured and cherished at home. This would be the most “judicious” course. Let us all unite, as the heart of one man, in the resolution, to prefer, and use nothing but the work of our own hands, and the business will be completed: we have the power to say it shall be done. This will be the final and effectual “tariff,” that shall settle this subject of long and loud debate. This course must follow the “compromise or pacification,” and all will be well. Employment will be necessary for our immense increase of population, and the influx of strangers, from every part of the world, invited to our shores, by the promise of liberty and plenty, must find work to exercise their various abilities and habits of industry. Many of them are valuable mechanics and artisans, of infinite variety of skill, well adapted to assist in the rapid improvements now commencing, unexampled in ancient or modern history. Who knows but other Slaters may come over to us, and assist in feeding and clothing the population that is forming new states in the vast wilderness, destined to be great empires, to exist for many generations—when Rome, and Paris, and Berlin, shall be no more. The prospect of national greatness is as sure as that of national existence. We are too contracted in our conceptions, when we talk of the southern and eastern interests. The rise and progress of empires and nations yet unborn, are connected with our prosperity. Columbus first led the way, and opened a path for the oppressed to find freedom and peace. The old world had become tyrannical and despotic, and the groans of the children of men had come up into the ears of the Lord God of the universe. He inspired his servant with wisdom and courage, and afforded him all necessary means to open a new world to the eyes of astonished millions, to whom it was marvelous and almost miraculous. The wisdom of the wise men was turned backward, their knowledge turned to foolishness. All the maxims of political and spiritual tyranny were turned upside down; and Luther and others, exhibiting a mighty spirit of reformation, believed there would be deliverance, though they saw not the way. Their faith saved them, and it has happened according to their word. The iron arm has been broken ; and the weak and despised have fled for refuge, and have found a quiet habitation. May Americans remember their mercies and deep responsibilities! Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us; and let us run with patient perseverance in every good work, and we shall become the praise of the whole earth. Had Columbus been discouraged, and turned back, at the mutiny of his crew, or had he then hearkened to the timid caution of his friends, we never should have reaped the wonderful harvest of benefits, from their disinterested labours, that we now enjoy. It is by constant self-denial and unconquered perseverance, that we can obtain any great object: we shall reap if we faint not, but if we are not faithful to the end, we cannot obtain the reward. The strong and prominent trait of character in Slater, was his unwavering and steadfast' perseverance, and his constant application to the fulfilment of his object. Had he failed in constructing the Arkwright machinery, or had he finally failed in his extensive business, the cause of manufactures would have been retarded; indeed, no one can calculate the evil consequences of such an event; but he held on his way; he fainted, but yet pursued. And he has left us an example, to those engaged in the same cause, or in a similar enterprise, to be stedfast, unmoveable, and faithful; till America shall rival, in the perfection of her manufactures, as she does now in the freedom of her institutions, the nations of the earth! We are richly supplied, and we possess, in a high and superabundant degree, all the natural capabilities for the purpose ; all that is necessary, is the application of them to the proper object. Those philosophers who deny the bounties of Providence, in their rich and exhaustless abundance, by teaching that this globe is unable to support and sustain the natural increase of its inhabitants, have the most contracted and degraded view of the resources of nature, and the arrangement of her laws, not to insist upon the inspiration. They contradict the realities of all ages, by an unbelieving scepticism, fostered by a selfish policy, and a misrepresentation of matters of fact. We have resources for hundreds of millions. He is the true patriot who developes those mines and riches, and who gives employment to the species, to dignify society and ornament the country. We envy not those self styled patriots, whose thirst for office and distinction allows them to deceive and cajole their fellow citizens, by prejudicing them against the talented and enterprising part of society. Thus teaching them discontent, and prejudicing them against the necessary arrangements to promote the general welfare, making them the tools of their sordid and selfish policy; and yet these patriots imagine that their exaltation is essential to the honour and safety of their country. The path-way of virtue and truth, which only leads to honour and immortality, is too hard for their tender feet. They are astonished