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much or nothing as every one pleases, it leaves 225,000 dollars, equal to 48,208 guineas, the real cost of the apparatus of government with us. This divided among the actual inhabitants of our country, comes to about two-fifths of a dollar, 21d. sterling, or 42 sols, the price which each pays annually for the protection of the residue of his property, and the other advantages of a free government. The public revenues of Great Britain divided in like manner on its inhabitants would be 16 times greater. Deduc. ting even the double of the expences of govern. ment, as before estimated, from the million and a half of dollars which we before supposed might be annually paid without distress, we may conclude that this state can contribute one million of dollars annually towards supporting the federal army, paying the federal debt, build inga federal navy, or opening roads, clearing rivers, forming safe ports, and other useful works.
To this estimate of our abilities, let me add a word as to the application of them, if, when cleared of the present contest, and of the debts with which that will charge us, we come to measure force hereafter with any European pow. er. Such events are devoutly to be deprecated. Young as we are, and with such a country be. fore us to fill with people and with happiness, we should point in that direction the whole generative force of nature, wasting none of it in efforts of mutual destruction. It should be our endeavor to cultivate the peace and friendship of every nation, even of that which has injured us most, when we shall have carried our point
against her, Our interest will be to throw open the doors of commerce, and to knock off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom to all persons for the vent of whatever they may chuse to bring into our ports, and asking the same in theirs. Never was so much false arith. metic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war.
Were the mo. jiey which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts, and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom. And, perhaps, to remove as much as possible the occasions of making war, it might be better for us to abandon the ocean altogether, that being the element whereon, we shall be principally exposed to jostle with other nations : to leave to others to bring what we shall want, and to carthat we can spare.
This would make us inrulnerable to Europe, by offering none of our property to their prize, and would turn all our citizens to the cultivation of the earth; and, 1 repeat it again, cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independent citizens. It might be time enough to seek employment for them at sea, when the land no longer offers it. But the actual habits of our countrymen attach them to commerce. They will exercise it for themselves. Wars then must sometimes be our
lot; and all the wise can do, will be to avoid that half of them which would be produced by our own follies and our own acts of injustice; and to make for the other half the best preparations we can.
Of what nature should these be ? A land army would be useless for offence, and not the best nor safest instrument of de. fence. For either of these purposes, the sea is the field on which we should meet an Euro. pean enemy.
On that element it is necessary we should possess some power. To aim at such a navy as the greater nations of Europe possess, would be a foolish and wicked waste of the energies of our countrymen. It would be to pull on our own heads that load of military expence which makes the European laborer go supperless to bed, and moistens his bread with the sweat of his brows. It will be enough if we enable ourselves to prevent insults from those nations of Europe which are weak on the sea, because circumstances exist, which render even the stronger ones weak as to us. Providence has placed their richest and most defenceless possessions at our door; has obliged their most precious commerce to pass, as it were, in review before us. To protect this, or to assail, a small part only of their naval force will ever be risqued across the Atlantic. The dangers to which the elements expose them here are too well known, and the greater dangers to which they would be exposed at home were any general calamity toinvolve their whole fleet. They can attack us by detachment only; and it will suffice to make ourselves equal to what they may detach. Even a smaller force
than they may detach will be rendered equal or superior by the quickness with which any check may be repaired with us, while losses with them will be irreparable till too late. A small naval force then is sufficient for us, and a small one is necessary. What this should be, I will not undertake to say. I will only say, it should by no means be so great as we are able to make it. Suppose the million of dollars, or 500,000 pounds, which Virginia could annually spare without distress, to be applied to the creating a navy. A single years contribution would build, equip, man, and send to sea a force which should carry 300 guns. The rest of the confederacy, exerting themselves in the same proportion, would equip in the same time 1500 guns more.
So that one year's contributions would set up a navy of 1800 guns. The British ships of the line average 76 guns; their frigates 38....1800 guns then would form a fleet of 30 ships, 18 of which might be of the line, and 12 frigates. Allowing 8 men, the British average, for every gun, their annual expence, including subsistence, clothing, pay, and ordinary repairs, would be about 1280 dollars for every gun, or 2,304,000 dollars for the whole. I state this only as one year's possible exertion, without deciding whether more or less than a year's exertion should be thus applied.
The value of our lands and slaves, taken conjunctly, doubles in about twenty years. This arises from the multiplication of our slaves, from the extension of culture, and increased demand for lands. The amount of what may be raised will of course rise in the same proportion.
The histories of the state, the memorials published in its name in the time of its being a colony, and the pamphlets relating to its interior or exterior affairs present or ancient?
Captain Smith, who next to Sir Walter Raleigh may be considered as the founder of our colony, has written its history, from the first adventures to it, till the year 1624. He was a member of the council, and afterwards president of the colony; and, to his efforts principally may
be ascribed its support against the oppo. sition of the natives. He was honest, sensible, and well informed ; but his style is barbarous and uncouth. His history, however, is almost the only source from which wederive any knowledge of the infancy of our state.
The reverend William Stith, a native of Virginia, and a president of its college, has also written the history of the same period, in a large octavo volume of small print. He was a man of classical learning, and very exact, but of no taste in style. He is inelegant, therefore, and his details often too minute to be tolerable, even to a native of the country, whose history he writes.
Beverley, a native also, has run into the other extreme, he has comprised our history, from the first propositions of Sir Walter Raleigh to the year 1700, in the hundredth part of the space which Stith employs for the fourth part of the period.