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pected to occur from time to time. The adoption of it seems to be dictated by the principle of reciprocity. Greater liberality, in such respects, might better comport with the general spirit of the country; but a selfish and exclusive policy in other quarters will not always permit the free indulgence of a spirit which would place us upon an equal footing. As far as prohibitions tend to prevent foreign competitors from deriving the benefit of the improvements made at home, they tend to increase the advantages of those by whom they may have been introduced; and operate as an encouragement to exertion.
: IX. Judicious regulations for the inspection of manufactured commodities.
This is not among the least important of the means, by which the, prosperity of manufactures may be promoted. It is indeed in many cases one of the most essential. Contributing to prevent frauds upon consumers at home, and exporters to foreign countries—to improve the quality and preserve the character of the national manufactures, it cannot fail to aid the expeditious and advantageous sale of them, and to serve as a guard against successful competition from other quarters. The reputation of the flour and lumber of some states, and of the potash of others, has been established by an attention to this point." And the like good name might be procured for those articles, wheresoever produced, by a judicious and uniform system of inspec. tion, throughout the ports of the United States. A like system might also be extended with advantage to other commodities.
X. The facilitating of pecuniary remittances from place to place. XI. The facilitating of the transportation of commodities.
Extract of a letter from Benjamin Austin, Esq. to the Hon. Thomas
Jefferson. “ As the present state of our country demands some extraordinary efforts in congress to bring forward the agricultural and manufacturing interests of the United States, I am induced to mention a plea, often used by the friends of England, that the work-shops of Europe are recommended by you, as the most proper to furnish articles of manufacture to the citizens. of the United States, by which they infer that it is your opinion, the MANUFACTURES of this country are not proper objects for congressional pursuits. They frequently enlarge on this idea as corresponding with your sentiments, and endeavour to weaken our exertions in this particular, by quoting you as the advocate of foreign manufactures, to the exclusion of domestic. Not that these persons have any friendly motive towards you, but they think it will answer their purposes, if such sentiments can be promulgated with an appearance of respect to your opinion. I am sensible that many of these persons mean to misrepresent your real intentions, being convinced that the latitude they take with your remarks on manufactures, is far beyond what you contemplated at the period they were written. The purity of your mind could not lead you to anticipate the perfidy of foreign nations, which has since taken place. If you had, it is impossible that you would have discouraged the manufactures of a nation, whose fields have since been abundantly covered with merino sheep, flax and cotton, or depended on looms at
6000 miles distance, to furnish the citizens with clothing, when their internal resources were adequate to produce such necessaries by their domestic industry. You will pardon my remarks, and excuse my freedom in writing you on this subject. But it would be an essential service at this crisis, when the subject of manufactures will come so powerfully before congress, by petitions from various establishments, if you would condescend to express more minutely, your idea of the “work-shops of Europe,” in the supply of such articles as can be manufactured among ourselves. An explanation from you on this subject would greatly contribute to the advancement of those manufactures, which have risen during the late war to a respectable state of maturity and improvement. Domestic manufactures is the object contemplated; instead of establishinents under the sole control of capitalists, our children may be educated under the inspection of their parents while the habits of industry may be duly inculcated.
If the general idea should prevail that you prefer foreign workshops to domestic, the high character you sustain among the friends of our country, may lead them to a discouragement of that enterprize which is viewed by many as an essential object of our national independence. I should not have taken the freedom of suggesting my ideas, but being convinced of your patriotism, and devotedness to the good of your country, have urged ine to make the foregoing observatons; your candour will excuse me if they are wrong."
Extract from Mr. Jefferson's answer. " You tell me I am quoted by those who wish to continue our dependence on England for manufactures. There was a time when I might have been so quoted with more candour. But within the thirty years which have since elapsed, how are circumstances changed? We were then in peace-our independent place among nations was acknowledged. A commerce which offered the raw materials in exchange for the same material, after receiving the last touch of industry, was worthy the attention of all nations. It was expected, that those especially to whom manufacturing industry was important, would cherish the friendship of such customers by every favour, and particularly cultivate their peace by every act of justice and friendship. Under this prospect the question seemed legitimate, whether with such an immensity of unimproved land, courting the hand of husbandry, the industry of agriculture, or that of manufactures, would add most to the national wealth?' And the doubt on the utility of American manufactures was entertained on this consideration chiefly, that to the labour of the husbandman a vast addition is made by the spontaneous energies of the earth on which it is employed. For one grain of wheat committed to the earth, she renders 20, 37, and even 50 fold --Whereas the labour of the manufacturer falls in most instances vastly below this profit. Pounds of flax in his hands, yield but penny weights of lace. This exchange too, laborious as it might seem, what a field did it promise for the occupation of the ocean—what a nursery for that class of citizens who were to exercise and maintain our equal rights on that element?- This was the state of things in 1785, when the Notes on Virginia were first published; when the ocean being open to all nations, and their conmon rights on it acknowledged and ex. ercised under regulations sanctioned by the assent and usages of all, it was thought that the doubt might claim some consideration. But who in 1785, could foresee the rapid depravity which was to render the close of that century a disgrace to the history of civilized society Who could have imagined that the two most distinguished in the rank of nations, for science and civilization, would have suddenly descended from that honourable eminence, and setting at defiance all those laws established by the Author of Nature between nation and nation, as between man and man, would cover earth and sea with robberies and piracies, merely because strong enough to do it with temporal impunity, and that under this disbandment of nations from social order, we should have been despoiled of a thousand ships, and have thousands of our citizens reduced to Algerine slavery? And all this has taken place. The British interdicted to our vessels all harbours of the globe; without having first proceeded to some one of hers, there paid a tribute proportioned to the cargo, and obtained a licence to proceed to the port of destination. The French declared them to be lawful prize if they had touched at the port, or been visited by a ship of the enemy's nation. Thus were we completely excluded from the ocean. Compare this state of things with that of '85, and say whether an opinion founded in the circumstances of that day, can be fairly applied to those of the present. We have experienced what we did not then believe, that there exists both profligacy and power enough to exclude us from the field of interchange with other nations; that to be independent for the comforts of life we must fabricate them ourselves. We must now place the manufacturer by the side of the agriculturalist. The former question is suppressed, or rather assumes a new form. The grand enquiry now is, shall we make our own comforts, or go without them at the will of a foreign nation? He, therefore, who is now against domestic manufactures, must be for reducing us either to a dependence on that nation, or be clothed in skins, and to live like wild beasts in dens and caverns.--I am proud to say, I AM NOT ONE OF THESE. Experience has taught me that manufactures are now as necessary to our independence as to our comfort-and if those who quote me as of a different opinion, will keep pace with me in purchasing nothing foreign, where an equivalent of domestic fabric can be obtained, without regard to difference of price, it will not be our fault if we do not have a supply at home equal to our demand, and wrest that weapon of distress from the hand which has so long wantonly wielded it. If it shall be proposed to go beyond our own supply, the question of '85 will then recur, viz.: Will our surplus labour be then more beneficially employed in the culture of the earth, or in the fabrications of art? 'We have time yet for consideration, before that question will press upon us; and the maxim to be applied will depend on the circumstances which shall then exist. For in so complicated a science as political economy, no one axion can be laid down as wise and expedient for all times and circunstances. Inattention to this is what has called for this explanation to answer the cavils of the uncandid, who use my former opinion only as a stalking-horse to keep us in eternal vassalage to a foreign and unfriendly nation.”