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In a future paper I may give additional facts connected with this subject. My purpose is to show that New England cannot retain her monopoly of manufactures, and that, in cheapness of coal, this valley of the Ohio, possesses advantages for manufacturing over any other country. Yours, &c.,
October, 16, 1847.
Manufacture of Iron in St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Iron Ore in Missouri,---Causes hindering the production of Iron in Missouri. Brass Foundries. House and Blacksmithing.
In noticing the manufacture and consumption of Iron in St. Louis, we are naturally led to submit a few reflections upon the subject of the mineral resources of Missouri; and to suggest what appears to us the cause of their having been so long neglected.
The Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob are among the most remarkable mineral curiosities of the world; and are supposed by many to contain a sufficient quantity of ore to supply the State with Iron for centuries. But it is not in the abundance merely, that the value of this article consists; for in respect to quality, it is believed to excel any other Iron produced on the continent; and, in addition to its adaptation to ordinary purposes, the Steel produced from it is susceptible of being wrought into articles of fine cuttlery. We have recently seen a penknife made of this articticle at Sheffield, England, which, in appearance, is equal to any thing of the kind that has ever come under our observation.
But, notwithstanding the abundance and the excellence of the Iron Ore in this and in other parts of the State, yet, the States of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and the western part of Wisconsin, are almost entirely supplied with Iron from abroad.
We have frequently inquired why the people of Missouri do not produce Iron sufficient to supply their own wants? To these inquiries we have been answered by some, that, it is owing to a want of capital; others have supposed that the country was too new, aud that owing to the difficulty of procuring labor, skill and other necessary facilities, Missouri could not successfully compete with Pennsylvania and other
States in the production of this important article. That difficulties must be encountered in the commencement of the business, there can be no question; and the causes assigned have no doubt tended to hinder the progress of this branch of industry. But there is a cause more remote and yet more potent than all these, which tends not only to retard the production of Iron, but to discourage the introduction of manufactures, and the mechanic arts throughout the West. We allude to the over whelming influence which commerce exerts over the capital and enterprise of the American people. We fully appreciate the importance of commerce, not only as an agent of the producer, but as a great social agent also; yet, as it originates from those necessities which arise from difference of climate, and the peculiar distribution of the soil, minerals, and other natural products of the earth, it is the true policy of the people of every country to limit, as far as practicable, this foreign commerce to the exchange of these natural products; and to apply their labor and capital to the development of the natural resources of the region which they inhabit.
What should we think of the intelligence of a people, who possessing an abundance of iron ore, with all the material necessary for its manufacture, should, nevertheless, raise grain and transport it a distance of from one to five thousand miles, to feed the producers of Iron; and receiving this article in exchange for their grain, bring it home to be used in the implements of husbandry. If not in fact, Missouri has in effect, been engaged in carrying on this operation, from the time of its earliest settlement until the present. We smile at the stupidity of the man, who, when going to mill, puts a stone in one end of the bag to balance the grain in the other; how far the people of Missouri have advanced beyond this practical idea, we shall leave for the discussion of the curious.
The capital and labor employed in exchanging our products for the products of other countries, at so great a distance, leaves little in the hands of the producers to be applied to other purposes; and the attractions of commerce drawing to it the enterprize, as well as the capital of the country-the developement of its natural resources are consequently neglected. It would be unnatural for those engaged in commerce, or, in the carrying trade, to promote the production of Iron in Missouri; for this would limit their field of operation; and hence the commercial interest, at least, in the West, is in effect, opposed not only to the production of Iron, but also to the introduction of manufactures. We have little to expect from the mere capitalist, for, ever selfish and timid, he rarely embarks in any enterprise with an eye to the social good; but looks rather to the security of his own interest, by lending upon bond and mortgage. These, we esteem the true causes which
prevent the developement of our natural resources, and which retard the introduction of manufactures in Missouri, depriving much of its population of profitable employment-and the producers of remunerating prices for their products.
We intend, if practicable, to collect and lay before our readers, at an early day, a full account of the Iron of every description, received and distributed at this place; so as to enable the people of this State, to form an opinion in regard to the immense importance of working their own raw material.
From the best information yet obtained, we learn that about 5,000 tons of pig metal was used in the foundries of St. Louis in the year 1847: and that about 3,000 tons was distributed at this point and ship ped up the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The amount of bar and other wrought iron will be noticed hereafter.
The following is a list of Foundries in St. Louis, showing the number of hands employed, and the amount of metal used at each for the year 1847.
There are one or more small establishments in this city which are not included in the above statement. There are also several Brass Foundries in the city; but we have not been able to procure correct information as to the amount of work done at them; from the best information, however, it is believed that about sixty tons of copper are consumed annually at these establishments.
No branch of business, perhaps, in the city, has increased so rapidly within the last two or three years, as that of the manufacture of Iron.
Besides the business of casting, we have a large number of smithing establishments, upon quite an extensive scale. Among these may be mentioned that of Messrs. McMurray & Dorman, who work about
twenty-five hands; and use about one hundred and twenty-five tons of bar and sheet iron per annum. C. & T. R. Pullis work about ten hands, and use about one hundred tons of bar and sheet iron. A large portion of the work done at these establishments, consists of iron railing Bank and Vault doors, Fire-Proof Safes, and other heavy articles.
There is scarcely an article of cast or wrought Iron which is required for the use of the country, that cannot be made of as good quality at St. Louis as in any of the Eastern States; and St. Louis bids fair in time to rival if not surpass, any other city West of the Alleghany Mountains in this branch of industry.
The Moral Uses of Plants
The pleasurable emotions derived from fruits and flowers induce to moral action-Their impressions upon the mind of childhood-May be used for educational purposes-The effects of the association of a refined taste with labor, a source of pleasure and profit-Their uses as symbols and memorials-The living language of all nations from the earliest ages-Their tendency to strengthen and perpetuate parental and fraternal affections.
Having noticed in a preceding article the habits and economy of plants, and also some of their more prominent physical uses, we shall, according to our original design, proceed to consider the influence which they are calculated to exert upon the moral character of man.
In considering this branch of the subject, we shall only aim to note some of the more prominent and obvious phenomena, for the purpose of exciting an interest in the mind of the reader, and of calling his attention to one of the most pleasing and instructive branches of natural economy. When we carelessly look abroad upon the world of matter, we do not readily perceive its moral uses; but if we examine it more attentively, we shall discover a moral as well as a physical use in almost every object which presents itself to our senses. This is especially the case in regard to those things which are more immediately connected with the support of our existence.
By this wonderful combination of the moral with the physical uses of matter, we have always present to our
waking senses, objects inviting us to the enjoyment of moral and intellectual pleasures. These address themselves to the eye, in all the varieties of color, of form, and of magnitude; to the ear, in every variety of sound, from the whispering of the zephyr to the deep-toned thunder; to the senses of taste and smell, with flavors and odors infinite; and with soft and varied blandishments, they woo us to contemplate the boundless mysteries of nature, and to adore its author.
The vegetable kingdom is the proximate link which connects man with the universe, and is the immediate source whence he derives the means of existence. Many agents, all operating within their respective spheres, and all converging to one point, combine and concentrate their powers and properties to produce plants for the use of the animal kingdom. The combinations and chemical changes of inorganic matter; light and heat; the condensation and evaporation of fluids; all the machinery of clouds and atmospheric currents, influenced and controlled by the invisible and subtle, yet powerful spirit of electricity, have reference to this result. By the combination of these agents and properties, was produced the first form of organic matter: here was presented the first phenomana of the vital principle, and hence it has been transmitted to the animal kingdom: and when we contemplate the perfect adaptation of plants to the physical and moral condition of man, we are ready to conclude that there is perhaps as much philosophy as poetry in the idea, that they are a part of our nature, and that we sympathise with their existence. Like man, plants are endowed with both a selfish and a social nature: every organ and faculty performs some function connected with their individual economy, all tending to the one great purpose of perpetuating their species, while physical properties, acting upon their condition, supply the place of instincts. From the organic constituents of plants, man derives both food and raiment, and these constitute their principal physical uses; but they possess many properties which do not appear to perform any useful purpose in their individual economy, nor do they seem to be necessary to the existence of man: these were doubtless