Gambar halaman

Our au

slave, so far as we have been able to learn, varies from two hundred and fifty to three hundred and fifty dollars, the probable average is about two hundred and seventy-five dollars.

A French planter in Attakapas received for his crop of 1826, made by seven hands, nearly two thousand five hundred dollars. It is generally held that the molasses made must defray all the expenses of the plantation. As to the fixtures requisite for making sugar, recent experiments have shown conclusively, that impressions, heretofore entertained, have been erroneous. It can be cultivated, prepared and sent to market very nearly, if not quite, as cheap as cotton. thor's opinion is erroneous upon this subject, and this unfavorable error will at least balance his other too favorable statements. We believe there are very few Americans, residing in the free states, notwithstanding we are charged by some foreigners with being beyond all other nations desirous of getting money, who would be disposed to adventure twenty-five thousand dollars in this way, even under these alluring prospects, and golden promises. Whether this reluctance would spring from satisfaction with present possessions, or from an unwillingness to hazard a certainty for an uncertainty, or from the fear of possible failure, or dread of the climate, or aversion to slavery, we shall not attempt to say. Perhaps most of these considerations would operate on New England men to prevent such an enterprise. Twenty-five thousand dollars in New England, is an independent fortune ; it is so even in Boston. In London it is a mere trifle. We doubt not, with their just national detestation of slavery, that one hundred men could be found in London, to ten in New England, willing to establish themselves on Bayou Teche, with fifty negroes, under a cloud of musquitoes, in swamps that cannot be drained, and among alligators innumerable, under a broiling sun, and in a hot-house atmosphere, if they could only be reasonably persuaded that in ten years they could turn their five thousand pounds into fifty thousand. We are not at all anxious to have them


either on their own account or our own. But, so far as our information extends, we agree with our author, that no part of the British empire presents such a prospect of immense returns for money invested, as Louisiana presents to the cultivator of sugar.

This assertion is now still more true since the revision of the tariff of duties. That this is not a visionary opinion, we think the facts already stated warrant. We have no pleasure in stating these facts, relative to the profits to be drawn from the bones and sinews of other men, possessed of undying souls like ourselves. Before we quit the topic we would observe, that we dissent from the opinion of our author, who has only retailed the heir-loom opinion, which passes unexamined from father to son, that white men cannot bear exposure to the sun in Louisiana, and of course cannot cultivate the cane and make sugar. Now this, we happen to know, is untrue. White men, even from northern latitudes, and still more creoles, do bear exposure to the sun ; do also cultivate the cane and make sugar

in some parts of the state, though not to a great extent ; enough, however, to show the entire hollowness and fallacy of this assertion.

The remarks of our traveller upon the climate of Louisiana are commonplace; and one of them might lead into error those disposed to emigrate. He represents the plantations as perfectly free from danger to immigrants from colder climates, if they use proper precautions. We now refer to his opinion without having the book at hand ; but we were struck on reading it with the impression, that he had hardly expressed the whole truth. The fact is, however, that the climate is neither so salubrious as old settlers there would persuade you, nor by any means so noxious as is represented and thought at the North. The author states that, on one occasion, the thermometer fell twenty degrees below zero. We need hardly say this is a traveller's story; perhaps he mistook twenty degrees below the freezing point. In February 1822, we think, it stood at fourteen above zero, the lowest degree recollected by the present generation. The cold of this season killed all the orange trees in the state, which are just now beginning to bear again. June is the hottest and most oppressive month. Judge Martin, in the first volume of the History of Louisiana,' which contains also a history of the French and Spanish colonies from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of St Lawrence, says that one hundred is the highest point ever reached. In the summer of 1824, on the second of July, it stood at ninety-five, and on the third, at ninety-six. In the summer of 1825, which was distinguished for its heat throughout the country, the highest point was ninety-seven. We have never seen evidence of a higher degree of heat. But the atmosphere of New Orleans, with the thermometer at ninety-five, is more oppressive to a northern man, than that of Boston at one hundred.

In concluding our notice of this volume, we will only add, that, after seeing the condemnatory notice of it in the Monthly Review, which has already been quoted in some of our respectable journals, and circulated through the country, we took it up again and read it, both with care and with an increased conviction of its designed impartiality and general correctness. We think it due to a foreigner and a gentlernan, no matter whether of distinction' or not, to rescue his remarks from undeserved English censure, and American misapprehension. Were his volume republished in this country, it could not fail of being generally read, and of communicating more precise information in regard to the states, bordering on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, especially of the states so little known of Mississippi and Louisiana, than any other volume with which we are acquainted, if, perhaps, we may not except the “Ten Years' Journeyings in the Valley of the Mississippi.' Our author is not so good a landscape-painter as Mr Flint, but we think he takes a better profile. Mr Flint wrote from recollection and without book.' Our author took notes, and has made good use of them. The West, the South, and the North are already under great obligations to Mr Flint. We hope he will increase them still more, and that a liberal public will not suffer one of the most enlightened of its citizens to go unrewarded.

We intended to give an extract from the book entitled • The United States as they are.'

But it is needless. Its character may be given in two words, vile trash. The book entitled • The Americans as they are,' seems to have been formed on the principle involved in its concluding sentence, with which we will close this article. Brother Jonathan is neither so bad as John Bull supposes him to be, nor so faultless as he fancies himself. Medium tenuére beati.'

VOL. XXVII.-NO. 61. 56

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Art. IX.-1. Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting the

Information required by a Resolution of the House of Representatives, of May 11, 1826, in relation to the Growth and Manufacture of Silk, adapted to the different Parts of the Union. Washington. Gales & Seaton.

1828. pp. 220. 2. A Treatise on the Culture of Silk in Germany and es

pecially in Bavaria, or Complete Instruction for the Plantation and the Management of Mulberry Trees, and the Rearing of Silkworms. By the Counsellor of State DE Hazzi,

&c. Translated from the German. Washington. Gales & Seaton. 1828. pp. 108.

MR MINER deserves the gratitude of his country for the resolution moved by him in the House of Representatives, on the twenty-ninth of December 1825, on the subject of the encouragement which the culture of silk merited, and might receive from the national legislature. The report of the committee on agriculture, to whom this proposition was referred, was well adapted to stimulate the zeal of Congress; and, though very short, throws much light upon the subject, and contains sound reflections upon the necessity of cultivating all the national resources of the country. They enforce their arguments, by a statement of facts, which show that the decay of the resources previously derived from the principal branch of rural economy, rendered necessary a sedulous attention to other branches of industry, which may take the place of those on the decline. From 1817 to 1825, inclusive, the exports of bread stuffs fell from twenty millions, three hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars, to five millions, four hundred and seventeen thousand, nine hundred and ninety-seven; whilst the importation of silk goods was increased in the interval from 1821 to 1825, by nearly six millions. The whole amount of silk goods imported within those five years, is estimated at thirty-five millions, one hundred and fifty-six thousand, four hundred and ninety-four ; and their export, in the same space of time, was below eight millions. The report of the committee terminated by a resolution, directing the Secretary of the Treasury to cause a well digested manual to be prepared, 'containing the best practical information, that can be collected, on the growth and manufacture of silk, adapted to the different parts of the

Union, containing such facts and observations, in relation to the growth and manufacture of silk in other countries, as may be useful.'

In compliance with this resolution a set of queries was prepared by Mr Rush, which, together with a copy of the resolution of the House of Representatives, were forwarded to the governors of the several states, and to a great number of individuals, enabled by their studies, or pursuits, to furnish exact and useful information upon the subject. The preparation of these queries was a work of great labor, and the manner in which it was executed does infinite credit to Mr Rush. The information, collected from the answers made to these queries, was embodied in a report, submitted in February last by Mr Rush to the House of Representatives, of which six thousand copies were ordered to be printed for distribution. By another resolution, a work in German by Mr de Hazzi (the second named at the head of the present article), and sent by him to Congress, was ordered to be translated into English; and of this work, also, six thousand copies have been printed. Both publications are accompanied by plates and wood cuts. Thus has Congress liberally provided for the collection and wide circulation of a mass of data concerning the culture of silk; and it now only remains for the persons already interested in this branch of industry, and for those who wish to share in its profits, zealously to avail themselves of the instruction thus afforded to them.

The Manual annexed to, or rather constituting, the report of the Secretary of the Treasury is made up of a variety of materials. Much has obviously been collected by means of personal inquiries of men practically engaged in the culture and manufacture of silk, and of silk-dyers, in this country. More has been extracted from the best theoretical writers on the subject (some of whom, as, for instance, Count Dandolo, were actively engaged in the breeding of silkworms, and in the rearing of mulberry trees, upon an extensive scale); and from printed accounts of the experiments which had been already made in this country. Not a little has been derived from the official correspondence of several governors, and private individuals, in answer to the queries of the treasury department. Among these last sources we shall particularly mention a letter of Governor Wolcott, not because it is the only one entitled to notice, but because it seems to leave nothing to desire, in regard to perspicuity and fulness of detail.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »