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increase in vain the weight of the despatch, as there are so many articles of no interest to the commerce of the United States and of America. I therefore thought proper to make a brief extract concerning the articles in reference to American trade, which I enclose herewith.
To be well understood in regard to the tariff law, I have to remark that the harbor of Ancona enjoys the privileges of a free port: that is, that all kinds of goods and merchandise, when put on land and delivered to the merchants of the city, are subject to no duties whatever, but, when the articles are passing the gates of the city, then the public revenue is collected on them in conformity with the tariff.
e. Tonnage duties on national vessels, and on those which are on the same footing in consequence of treaties, are: on sailing vessels, half a lira; on steamships, one lira and a half per ton every month. Vessels of foreign nationalities, not privileged by reciprocal treaties, pay the double amount. duty ranges from three to five dollars according to the size of vessels. For pilotage, sailing vessels pay from five to nine dollars, according to distance; steamships, one dollar. No light-house duties.
Vessels coming from foreign countries should be provided with bills of health.
Quarantine regulations applicable to the United States are the following: Vessels coming from a country where the yellow fever reigns, when the bill of health is in order, free intercourse is allowed; from a country where the yellow fever effectively exists, the quarantine is to be observed, in less or more aggravated circumstances, from five to fifteen days; coming from a country where the cholera morbus exists, and where during the passage nc case of disease or death occurs, the vessel is only subject to medical investigation; otherwise a quarantine is imposed of five days; coming from a country where epidemic typhus or small-pox exists, where the bill of health is not in order, in case of disease or death during the passage, the vessel is subject to a medical examination; admission to free intercourse if the report is favorable; in case there are symptoms of such maladies, free intercourse is suspended until the sanitary treatment is performed.
f. Capital of citizens of the United States employed in any kind of pursuits is now in the district of this consulate.
The amount of capital of the citizens of this place and its surroundings is mostly employed in agricultural and commercial business; the commercial principally in the staple articles of export mentioned above. The rate of interest gained by commercial business is averaging 64 per cent. The rate of interest assured by good hypotheca on real estate is an average of 5 per cent.
g. The state of agriculture is a very peculiar one. According to my knowledge and information, obtained from good sources, the class of land-owners and of laboring agricultural people is entirely distinct and separate, one from the other. Land-owners are generally living in the cities or in more or less luxurious castles scattered about in the country, and upon their rents in cash.
A general system of land renting is in course throughout the country. The improvements on buildings and other kind of a lasting nature; the half part of living stock, likewise the half part of agricultural implements, is provided by the land-owner. The other class of people, as mentioned, are, to speak in European language, the so-called peasants, who are living with their families on the rented lands. They are obliged to provide the other half of the living stock and of the agricultural tools. The rent is the half part of the crop of every kind, which commonly is sold by the peasant to be given in cash to the land proprietor. This system of land renting is, indeed, very comfortable to the land-owners; but it is, in my opinion, one of the greatest impediments to the progress and gradual perfection of rural economy.
The wealthy class of land proprietors, who possess so ample means for
scientific education, and who only could introduce rational management in the cultivation of their lands, and avail themselves of all the advantages of our enterprising age-these land-owners spend their days in idleness, seldom throwing a glance upon their grounds, and never troubling themselves as to how their lands are worked and cared for. On the other side, the Italian peasant is not quite a poor man, easy enough in his livelihood, but so extremely laborious with his whole family, large and small, that he has no time to send his children to school, and very rarely is there a school in this neighborhood, so that the peasants, with few exceptions, being illiterate, have no opportunity of acquiring any knowledge of rural progress, and therefore continue their business in the manner inherited from their fathers and grandfathers. If, in want of learning required to-day in every kind of pursuit, the Italian peasant would not be so extremely and wonderfully diligent, working not from sunrise to sunset, but from day break to deep dark, and often at moonshine; certainly by the heterogeneous and opposed elements acting upon agriculture, the state of this industry here would be much lower, as it is effectively, and could not hold out a competition with the other countries of Europe.
The great verity derived from the agricultural system of this country is a plain one, to wit: that so long as a man who is toiling at the sweat of his brow is not altogether the owner of the ground of his labors, and not like an American farmer, in whose person owner and laborer are the same, (meaning the free States,) so long the land industry of this country will never attain the stage worthy of our century.
Another impediment to the agriculture of this country is the rude condition of rural implements. A spade, a hoe, a sickle, a scythe, a plough, and a cart like the carts in Mexico, are all the implements the agriculturist knows. I cannot refrain from remembering what plough he possesses. It is a long wooden beam, on the lower end of which is a piece of iron, somewhat curved, with no arrangement to take a deeper or wider furrow. When I saw it I imagined myself to be thrown back in the old time of Romulus and Remus, marking the limits of the eternal city with their patriarchal plough. Closing this subject, I would wish to transfer the laborious peasant of Italy to America and put him at the side of an American farmer, indeed, too, a diligent man, but likes to complain sometimes of too much trouble; and, in exchange, to import to this country the so perfect tools, implements, and machinery of America, celebrated in the whole world. I conclude, therefore, saying, in the interest of American tradesmen, that no more profitable business could be done than to import American agricultural implements to Italy.
The chief agricultural products of this part of the country are fall wheat of the best and heaviest quality, and therefore very fit for foreign commerce; Indian corn; rice; wine used only for home consumption, and, indeed, not qualified to compete with the wines of other European countries, the reason of which is, I judge, that the vintage is done too soon before the maturity of the grapes and the perfect development of the saccharine ingredient in the grape juice; silk; fruits of every description, but of no noble and improved kinds; and a great mass and variety of vegetables.
Since some years a mischance has befallen the wine and silk culture, from a disease like an epidemic, killing the grapes and silk worms at an early period. Notwithsanding this calamity, the general opinion prevails that, by the increased price of other land products, the capital employed in farming is still profitably invested.
h. Of manufactures at this place can be said very little, as there are only three silk-thread factories, the numerous and great ones being all in the northern part of Italy.
i. In respect to statistics I can state the following: The population of this city, with its dependencies, according to the authentic census of 1861, is 46,090;
the increase of population in the same year two and a half per cent., which is, indeed, very small, and may be attributed to the hard work which is generally performed by females.
Among the population above stated are 31,718 illiterate persons. Under the Papal government were only sixteen schools, with 542 male and female scholars. Since the two years of the national union the schools increased to the number of forty-three, with 1,446 scholars-an increase nearly from one to three.
Commercial business men in the city-bankers, 5; wholesale merchants, 47; retail merchants, 122, the smaller shopkeepers not being counted; consuls of foreign powers, 19; typographers and lithographers, 9; newspapers, 2.
k. As a new branch of industry, peculiarly is to be mentioned the construction of the railroad from this place to Naples, which will be finished in the beginning of next year. From the hour of its opening, as connecting, through the middle of Italy, the Adriatic with the Mediterranean, or the so-called Sicilian sea, will be dated the very commercial importance of this port.
Extract of the revenue tariff at the port of Ancona.
Prohibited articles of import only three: a. Tobacco and snuff, Spain alone having the privilege of its importation. b. Gunpowder. c. Salt.