destroyed. The second is now in full operation in the mill of John Miller, Esq. and giving entire satisfaction. The value of cotton goods manufactured in 1832 in Great Britain estimated at £40,000,000 yearly, £20,000,000 of which are exported. 1834. Nankeen cotton raised in Georgia, manufactured at Lonsdale R. I. The nankeen cotton of China has attained considerable celebrity, and it has been much disputed whether the nankeens are made from a cotton of their peculiar colour, or are dyed to that colour. There is now no doubt that the cotton is naturally of the same yellow tinge which it preserves when spun and woven into cloth; and it is of very fine quality. The nankeen cloth requires no dye; that raised by Mr. Forsyth in Georgia, is of a beautiful texture, and the cloth made from it surpasses any imported. It seems to be a mistake, that the colour of the cotton depends on some peculiarity in the soil. This new article of American produce promises to add much to the value of the staple, and to the increase of the manufacture.

Pawtucket, R. I. Sept. 1835. Mrs. Williams, now living in this place, wove the first piece of cotton stripes, from yarn spun by S. Slater.

PRICE OF COTTOn Twist YArN.—by s. slater. 1794–No. 12, 88 cts. ; 16, 104 cts. ; 20, 121 cts. 1795,6,7,8,9—Prices the same as above. 1800–No. 12, 103 cts. ; 16, 119 cts. ; 20, 136 cts. 1801,2—Prices the same as 1800. 1803—No. 12, 94 cts.; 16, 110 cts.; 50, 126 cts. 1804—The same as 1803. 1805—No. 12, 99 cus.; 16, 115 cts. ; 20, 131 cts. Copy of an original invoice of cotton yarn, in the year 1784, and published by permission, to show the price of yarn at that period. “MANchester, January 22, 1784. Mr. Peter Heatley, Bought of Richard Arkwright.

[ocr errors]

Forwarded this day per Grundy.” N.B.-In the year 1784, the quantity of cotton imported into Great Britain, was 11,281,138|bs., consisting of West India, Surinam, and Berbice, no other sort being then imported: and the price of cotton during that year, fluctuated from one shilling to two shillings and one penny per lb. Paterson, New Jersey, is one of the creations of the genius of Alexander Hamilton, the true father of the system of domestic industry, now cherished as the American system. In the early part of the year 1791, on the recommendation, and by the active and influential exertions of this distinguished and patriotic statesman, a number of public spirited individuals of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, associated themselves for establishing

[ocr errors]

useful manufactures, by the subscription of $200,000. The number of shares originally subscribed was 5000, at $100 the share; but 2267 shares only were fully paid up. A great emporium of manufactures was the general object of the company; their immediate object was the manufacture of cotton cloths; and the attempt is highly characteristic of the enterprising spirit of our countrymen. At this period, the improvements of Arkwright in cotton machinery, though perfected, were not much used, even in England, and were absolutely unknown in all other countries. In America no cotton had been spun by machinery, except in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The act of incorporation is said to have been drawn or revised by Hamilton. The society was organised at New Brunswick; on the last Monday of November 1791, by the choice of the first board of directors, composed of Messrs. Duer, Dewhurst, Walker, Low, Flint, Boudinot, Bayard, Neilson, Mercer, Lowring, Lewis, Furman, and M'Comb. William Duer was chosen the first governor of the company. These names are illustrious by the present flourishing condition of the society, the result of their labours. Mr. Hamilton, who was not a stock-holder of the company, and whose disinterested exertions in its behalf were prompted by higher motives than pecuniary gratification, had, previously to the act of incorporation, at the request of the company, engaged English and Scotish artisans, and manufacturers of cotton machinery and cotton goods, to establish their business here. In May 1792, the society selected, with admirable judgment, the Passaic, as the principal site of their proposed operations; giving to their town the name of Paterson, after the governor who had signed their charter. At this period there were not more than ten houses here. At a meeting of the directors, at the Godwin hotel, on the 4th July 1792, appropriations were made for building factories, machine shops, and shops for calico printing and weaving; and a race-way was directed to be made, for bringing the water from above the falls to the proposed mills. Unfortunately, the direction was given to Major l'Enfant, a French engineer, whose projects commonly perished in the waste of means provided for their attainment. He commenced the race-way and canal, designing to unite the Upper Passaic with the lower, at the head of tide, near the present village of Acquackanonck, by a plan better adapted to the resources of a great empire, than to those of a private company. In January 1793, Peter Colt of Hartford, then comptroller of the state of Connecticut, was appointed general superintendent of the affairs of the company, with full powers to manage the concerns of the society, as if they were his own individual property. Mr. Colt completed the race-way, conducting the water to the first factory erected by the society. The canal to tide water had been abandoned, before the departure of the engineer. The factory, 90 feet long by 40 wide, and 4 stories high, was finished in 1794, when cotton yarn was spun in the mill; but yarn had been spun in the preceding year, by machinery moved by oxen. In 1794, calico shawls and other cotton goods were printed; the bleached and unbleached muslins being purchased in New York. In the same year the society gave their attention to the culture of the silk worm, and directed the superintendant to plant the mulberry tree for this purpose. In April of this year, the society employed a teacher to instruct, gratuitously, on the sabbath, the children employed in the factory. This was probably the first Sunday school established in New Jersey. Notwithstanding their untoward commencement, and the many discouragements attending their progress, the directors persevered in their enterprise, and during the years 1795 and 1796, much yarn of various sizes was spun, and several species of cotton fabrics were made. But, at length satisfied that it was hopeless to contend, successfully, longer with an adverse current, they resolved, July 1796, to abandon the manufacture, and discharged their workmen. This result was produced by a combination of causes. Nearly $50,000 had been lost, by the failure of the parties to certain bills of exchange purchased by the company, to buy in England plain cloths for printing: large sums had been wasted by the engineer; and the machinists and manufacturers imported, were presumptuous, and ignorant of many branches of the business they engaged to conduct; and more than all, a want of experience relative to the subject of the enterprise, and the country unprepared for manufactures. The cotton mill of the company was subsequently leased to individuals, who continued to spin candle-wick and coarse yarn until 1807, when it was accidentally burnt, and was never rebuilt. The admirable water-power of the company was not, however, wholly unemployed. In 1801, a mill seat was leased to Mr. Kinsey & Co.; in 1807 a second, and 1811, a third to other persons; and between 1812 and 1814, several others were sold or leased. In 1814, Mr. Colt purchased, at a depreciated price, a large proportion of the shares, and reanimated the association. From this date, the growth of Paterson has been steady, except during the three or four years that followed the peace of 1815. The advantages derivable from the great fall in the river, have been improved with much judgment. A dam of four and a half feet high, strongly framed and bolted to the rock in the bed of the river above the falls, turns the stream through a canal excavated in the trap rock of the bank, into a basin, whence, through strong guard-gates, it supplies in succession three canals on separate planes, each below the other; giving to the mills on each, a head and fall of about 22 feet. By means of the guard-gate, the volume of water is regulated at pleasure, and a uniform height preserved, avoiding the inconvenience of back-water; $40,000 have been expended to perfect this privilege. The advantages to be derived from opening a navigable communication between the Delaware and the Chesapeake, early attracted the attention of enlightened men in the colony of Pennsylvania. The American Philosophical Society, in 1769 and 1774, appointed committees to explore and survey the country between the Delaware and the Chesapeake; and the legislature ordered similar explorations, some time later, of the country between the Delaware and the Susquehanna, with a view to opening an artificial communication between them. But the formidable nature of those objects, their novelty in this country, and, still more, the intervention of the revolutionary war, prevented the adoption, at that time, of any effectual measures for the attainment of those inestimable improvements. At length, in the year 1794, a number of public spirited citizens, and whom Robert Morris, the financier of the United States, to whom the nation was so largely indebted for procuring the ways and means, in “those times that tried men's souls,” David Rittenhouse, Samuel Meredith, Walter Stewart, Benjamin R. Morgan, William Bingham, Rev. Dr. Smith, John Nicholson, Robert Hare, Levi Hollingsworth, Jonathan Bayard Smith, and James C. Fisher, entered with zeal on the business of internal improvement.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »