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her two great northern cities of Petersburg and Riga; but how can these cities deal with the trade of a vast interior while their harbors are closed from six to eight months in each year? The idea of piling up and holding for one-half or two-thirds of a year the products of an empire is simply absurd. To attempt it is to withhold from agriculture its legitimate reward, to deny to railroads their special mission in northern latitudes, and to dwarf commercial enterprise. A vigorous naval arm and an extended commerce seem to be the necessary complement of extended possessions and vast natural resources, and thinking men here are considering the problem whether Russia can maintain a healthful naval establishment without a sound commercial marine as a basis, and whether she can build up a successful commerce without open ports. The experience of the world is full of instances on this subject, and there seems little room for difference of opinion.

To the inquiry "Where can the cornerstone of such a commerce be planted?" there is but one answer, so far as the Baltic is concerned. Revel seems to be the point that meets the required conditions. Situated nearly midway between the two great cities of Petersburg and Riga, with a capacious landlocked harbor, easy of access, with good anchorage, ample depth of water, and open many seasons the entire winter, she possesses the natural facilities for a great commerce. That these are shortly to be called in requisition seems hardly doubtful. One hundred and fifty miles of railroad is all that is required. When this is accomplished our vessels will escape the dangers of the gulf and the coast of Finland. They can then accomplish twice as much as they now do in the course of the year, and our commercial intercourse will be vitalized and quickened by saving profits and new developments.

Russia has just celebrated with enthusiastic pomp the thousandth anniversary of her empire, and enters upon another cycle with new zeal and large hope. Her diverse people are well compacted and nationalized, and generally satisfied with a compensative present prosperity which promises so well for the future. The local policy of the government is enlightened, liberal, and eminently paternal. The ruling idea of the day seems to be to elevate and improve her people, and develop her natural resources. To this end her schools, her colleges, and her scientific institutions are more liberally endowed and encouraged, new rights and privileges are conferred upon the people, a new system of jurisprudence has just been established, which secures to every citizen a public hearing and trial by jury, the revenue system is being remodelled, because it is found to bear disproportionally upon the poorer classes, her system of railroads and internal improvement is urged judiciously forward, her extensive mineral resources, her manufactures, even her commerce are receiving increased attention, and, more important still, the great interest of agriculture and its million masses seems to be the speciality of the present Emperor. In their behalf, at a single dash of the pen, the shackles fall, and twenty millions of bondmen exchanged the heritage of slavery for individual liberty and happy homes. To the working out and realization of this grand idea of advancement the highest intellect of the nation stands committed, and the result is not doubtful. To the philanthropist, then, the statesman, and the business man Russia presents an interesting field of observation, and the philosopher of our day even may be compelled to admit that there was much of suggestive truth in the idea that "that is the best form of government that is administered by a wise and virtuous prince."

But it is mainly to the new state of things growing out of the emancipation of the serfs that I would call the attention of the manufacturers and business men of the United States. That great act of state policy is realizing all that was claimed for it, and has thus far proved a perfect success. So far from resulting in the anarchy and confusion predicted by some, the transition has been peaceful and benign; and one of its first fruits is the organization of numerous

primary schools by the peasants themselves. They are very generally coming forward and accepting not only their liberty, but also the little homestead which the government has secured for them, and the renovation of old, and the commencement of new, buildings marks everywhere the progress of emancipation.

In some of the districts it is said every fifth house is a new one, complete or in progress. Meanwhile, in the log cabin, by the wayside, and at public gatherings, are most grateful benedictions everywhere showered on the Emperor. If patriotism be indeed but the love of home, expanded over a whole country, that is surely stately wisdom which gives twenty millions of additional citizens homes to love and fight for; that opens to them the way to respectable competence; that kindles the desire for additional knowledge; that secures to them the present, and lights up the future. That this must tell most sensibly upon the moral and physical power of the Russian empire no man can doubt, and if it does not reflect benignly upon the commerce of the nations the fault must be their own. Every individual of these millions has now new hopes, new desires, and new necessities. These must make him hereafter a customer to the trade of the world for more of the necessities, many of the comforts, and some of the luxuries of life. To meet the increased expenditure he has got to earn, to produce, three, five, or ten times as much as he has done heretofore. The stimulus of ambition may now prompt him to the extent of his physical power, and his new relation to his late master will secure to him better compensation; but it is mainly by availing himself of improved implements and labor-saving machinery in the cultivation of his own land that he is to realize the fruits of his new position. He must now become a guiding intelligence to mechanical agencies conceived and adapted by an intelligence in advance of his own.

On the other hand, the landed proprietor feels the same necessity. He has now to cultivate his estate by voluntary labor, at greatly increased compensation, and he is forced to seek for improved machinery, and to put into the hands of his workmen such implements as will enable them to produce better results. In short, the same people, upon the same territory, with substantially the same labor, are now called upon to quadruple their products. How is this to be accomplished? Most clearly by that system which makes mind available to the fullest extent as a guiding power, backed by the intense industry and thrift of a people who enjoy the whole fruits of their own labor.

Here is a large field for American enterprise. Our implements are just those needed for the emergency. In Europe, where labor is cheap and land very dear, their implements generally have reference less to the economy of labor than to the paramount necessity of making every acre produce to its utmost capacity. Russia is an exception. She, like the United States, has an ample expanse of territory, with comparatively sparse population. Hence our implements are exactly adapted to her necessities, and this fact must give to American enterprise in this line a great advantage.

I have not seen such an implement as a hoe in my consular district; but I have seen an able-bodied man bending his back to the sun sixteen hours in the day earthing up potatoes with his fingers, and devoting the labor of a whole season nearly to the cultivation of a single acre, when, with ten dollars' worth of American implements, he might have cultivated twenty acres infinitely better. And what is true of agricultural implements may be applied to mechanics' tools. The country is greatly behind in this respect, and our American manufactured edge tools and hardware might be gradually introduced here with great benefit to all parties.

In no way could we render the Russian nation a more acceptable service than by putting our improved agricultural and mechanical implements into the hands of her working millions, and spreading over her broad acres our realizing

system of cultivation.

That a movement of this kind would meet a friendly response admits of less doubt than that our countrymen would in all instances merit the confidence with which they are so uniformly received.

There is another idea connected with this subject which should not be lost sight of from the necessity of the case, we must for some time to come buy less abroad, and produce more at home. Under this state of things our manufacturing industry will be rapidly developed, and we shall soon require markets. Russia, on the other hand, is not, and probably will not be for many years, a manufacturing nation, while, for reasons already referred to, her consumption and her ability to pay for manufactured articles must be greatly augmented. Then why should not the American merchant and manufacturer turn their attention to the sixty-five millions of people with whom our relations are so friendly, and to whom we are bound by most grateful remembrances ? The trade of such a people is worth something to a nation seeking customers. That we are soon to have telegraphic communication with Russia is no longer doubtful.

St. Petersburg and New York will, ere long, be in daily communication, and the great focus of European news must then be the Russian capital.


FEBRUARY 15, 1862.

*** On the night of the 12th of January the harbor, which in the morning was as smooth as a sea of oil, congealed with the sudden cold, and on the morning of the 13th no water could be seen, but all the ice as far as the eye could reach. The ice continued until the 29th of January, when it was separated by a strong wind and blown out to sea, the weather at the same time having become mild. Ice again formed on the 4th day of the present month, and still seals up the port. The situation of Odessa is such as to give it some advantages for a great commercial city. It stands upon a bluff or ridge of soft stone, of a yellow color, which rises almost abruptly about one hundred and fifty feet above the sea and at a distance of three or four hundred yards back from the shore, leaving a margin below available for storehouses, dock-yards and heavy trade. It has a very good harbor and good climate, (for Russia,) subject, however, to great and sudden changes of temperature. The Black sea and the sea of Azoff, and the rivers which flow into them, form avenues of domestic commerce, while its communication with the outer world by the Bosphorus and the Danube is easy and rapid.

The surrounding country, unfortunately, to the distance of two to five hundred miles, is for the most part uncultivated steppe or prairie. The soil is rich, black and deep, requiring no manure, and yields in very wet seasons a most luxuriant vegetation, and generally in the spring of the year presents a beautifully green and flowery aspect, but which withers and dries as summer advances. Within a circuit of fifty miles from Odessa are several German colonies, which have succeeded in cultivating the steppe and have prospered very well. Beyond that distance, however, it is for the most part an uncultivated waste. Want of sufficient rain, high winds, and (some years) swarms of locusts are the obstacles to be encountered in farming upon the steppe. Time only can determine if these obstacles shall be entirely overcome.

At present, the great want of Odessa, then, is the means of communication with the far interior, the country which really sustains and supports it, by means of railroads and canals. The exports from this city during the past year have been about forty millions of rubles, twenty-seven millions of which have been in grain and ten millions in wool. This produce, for the most part, has been brought into Odessa from three to five hundred miles, over the steppe

in carts or wagons drawn by horses and oxen, by roads either very dusty or very muddy. One pair of horses or oxen can take from twenty to thirty bushels of wheat to a load, and one man can, generally, manage three or four teams, which move in caravans or lines of from twenty to a hundred in number. These caravans are seen entering the town at all hours of the day and are to be met on all roads approaching the city. The emancipation of the serfs has increased the price of labor in this country already, and so by much has raised the cost of agricultural production. This increasing still more, in the future, in addition to the great expense of bringing produce from the interior, must soon have the effect of injuring severely the material interests of the south of Russia, unless railroads or other means of cheap transport shall be provided. This would be the fact if the United States only were to be a competitor for supplying breadstuffs for the European market. But the railroad connexion of the grain-producing region of the Upper Danube with Trieste has furnished another competitor in opening there lately a new "granary for Europe," and wounded Odessa in her chief support. It is now said to be a fact that wheat can be sold at Trieste at a less price than at Odessa, and (I have it on the authority of the Austrian consul at this port) during the past year one hundred millions of florins in value of grain has actually been shipped from that port. The Russian government has already become convinced of the absolute necessity of completing the system of railroads begun and projected some years ago, and by an ukase of December 5 has authorized the issue of thirty millions value of treasury notes, in ten series of three millions each, payable in eight years, and to be issued as wanted in the progress of the work upon the railroads, in aid of the great railroad company of Russia. When these roads shall have been completed, and the steppe peopled and brought under a degree of culture of which it is susceptible, Odessa must necessarily be a great city and perhaps a capital of the empire.

By an imperial ukase of the 3d of December a new duty of five per cent. ad valorem is to be laid on all imports admitted into Russia, beginning in Europe April 1, and in Asia May 16, 1862. This new duty applies to everything, except raw and refined sugar, in European commerce, and merchandise from Turkey and Persia imported into the trans-Caucasian provinces and by the port of Astrakan, for the commerce of Asia. I am informed, also, although I have seen no official notice of it, that beginning from the 1st of April tea (which has heretofore been prohibited except overland) will be admitted everywhere on payment of a duty of forty copecks the pound. I enclose the report published by the custom-house of the exports and imports during the past year, together with the number of ships of different nations which have cleared during the year.

Statement of the imports at Odessa during the year 1861.

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Statement of the imports at Odessa, &c.—Continued.

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Statement of the exports from Odessa during the year 1861.

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2,265, 456



1,571,751 chetwerts

419, 319, 241,364. .do.... 176,888. .do....







144, 303



833,386 363, 604


332, 871.

10, 194, 056





36, 287 pieces..

4,630 123,283

1,261 22,256

2,250 1,322, 207 322,812

43, 263,932


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