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and mingle with its sister Atlantic, opening a From the most recent official tables, it will strait from Panama to Tehuantepec, the com- be seen that the British commerce with Chili mercial world would not be particularly bene, was, per annum, for 1842: fited by it.
54 vessels, 14,138 tons. In the first place, it will be seen, by a refer
Foreign vessels, 32
9,889 ence to a map or globe, that the range of mountains in South America which divide it,
24,027 and form the Atlantic and Pacific slopes, run so close to the Pacific Ocean, that there is but
And it will be found that the voyage from a small space for population, from Cape Horn
Valpairaiso to London, by Cape Horn, is shortto Upper California.
er than by Nicaragua. "Is it not, therefore, Secondly— The continent running north and
certain that, were the Isthmus swept away, south from Cape Horn to the Arctic Ocean,
this trade would continue its present route ? gives to both slopes, the same climates and
For the same year, and from the same tables, soils, the products of which must always be
(Parliamentary Reports,) I find that the British similar, and therefore exchanges on a large
commerce with Peru was: scale cannot take place.
42 ves. 11,989 tons. France,
1 Thirdly—The commerce of the Pacific slope,
409 hitherto confined almost exclusively to South
U. S. (Treasury Rep.,
14 4,873 America and Mexico, is small, and cannot be
1846,) with Chili, increased in these quarters, because it is un
1,045 certain, and not founded upon regular exchan
596 ges. The most of it is now more properly an Atlantic trade, being founded by smuggling
18,912 merchandize over the mountains, from the Pa- This 18,912 tons, then, is the amount of the cific to the Atlantic side, and must de- Pacific commerce in this quarter, which might crease as soon as steam is used on the many pass over the Isthmus by railroad or canal, rivers running into the Atlantic. The settle- and which cannot be greatly increased. The ment of the Pacific slope, north and south, question here presents itself, as to what will must, after a short time, not only cause a di- be the products of the Pacific slope, which minution in the present amount of commerce may be wanted either in Europe or on the with Europe and the Atlantic slope of the Atlantic slope? Certainly none of the proUnited States, but lessen intercourse also; ducts of the soil; because the Atlantic slope for when the North Pacific slope becomes set- will always produce the very same, in greater tled, as it soon will be, the different parallels, abundance, at much less cost; and this view from Cape Horn to the Pacific Ocean will ex- applies to all latitudes north and south, and to change with each other, and supply each oth- all the Pacific Islands. But there is the gold, ers wants. The entire coast will exchange the silver, the quicksilver, precious stones, and with the Pacific Islands, with Japan, China the common minerals. The common minerals, and all Asia, and its commerce and principal iron, coal, copper and lead, cannot be brought intercourse will be with these parts, and its this side for a market, because, like the proown different sections.
ducts of the soil, they are cheaper here and It being a fixed law that the avails of labor the precious metals, as they do not enter largely must always return to the region of its own into commerce, except in their passage from the products, and be there consumed to the extent mines, to be employed as the medium of trade, of, and in such articles as the wants of the and to settle balances in the commercial world, producer may require; and as the wants of the will soon find their level, based chiefly upon people who may inhabit the Pacific slope can the labor which produces food for man, and generally be better supplied by natural ex- this species of labor employs more than eightchanges, and from the Pacific Islands, Japan, tenths of the population of the globe. China, &c., than from either the Atlantic The next two steamers to arrive (this letter slopes of the United States or Europe, except is dated January 10, 1850,) will probably bring ing only a small amount of manufactured from California nearly the whole remainder goods, (with which, also, they will, after a of the mines for two years. These two years little supply themselves,) it is, therefore, clear have probably been as prosperous as any that to my mind, that settlement on the Pacific may succeed?
The amount received here slope, with capital and enterprize, will soon in the United States will not then probably establish for themselves a commerce and inter- exceed $11,000,000 reckoning by the mint course directly with the Pacific Íslands, and amount, the only reliable source, which is acwith Asia, which will be more mutual, more tually less than the estimated amount of gold convenient, and more profitable than inter- and silver coin sent there from this quarter. course and trade with the eastern slope of the In addition to this we have sent to California United States and Europe.
some $20,000,000 of other property. Now,
as there has been no other product, or little , his labor will be expended where produced, other than gold in California, and as the po- and if the Atlantic slope or Europe purchase pulation has been almost exclusively males, his oil, as they must, it would be the same to we have only to take the estimated population both, an import and not a domestic product, of each year, to ascertain what should have and as it could not bear the cost of transhipbeen the actual produce of labor per diem for ment and transit across the Isthmus, it would each individual. For the first year it was es- still go around the Cape. Another and imtimated that there were in all more than 20,000 mense source of production for the future posouls, which at one dollar per diem for 300 pulation of the Pacific slope will be a codfishdays, would amount to $6,000,000. The se- ery, extending from Oregon to Tartary, 5000 cond year the population has been estimated miles, which could employ millions of men ; over 120,000, which at one dollar per diem as but their market would be Japan, China, and above for 300 days would amount to $36,000, all Asia, and not the Atlantic slope and 000 for both years $42,000,000 reduce the per Europe. diem to fifty cents and it will then probably The present commerce of the United States exceed the amount of gold produced.
with all Asia, amounts annually to about $9, The principle wants of such a population 840,000 of Imports, and $3,400,000 of Exports will always be food, with but a comparative
which latter $580,000 are foreign products ly small amount of clothing, and their supply leaving an actual balance against the United must ultimately come from the Pacific slope States of about $7,000,000 to be paid through itself, their teas from China, their coffee, su- England. Though this trade may be profitgar, &c. from Japan, Java, and the Pacific Is- able to individuals, it is not so to the nation. lands; so that to the Atlantic slope as well as Now, if the Atlantic Ocean were open by a to Europe, their gold must be an import to be Strait between North and South America to purchased in competition with all the world, the Pacific, a vessel bound from New York to and limited in amount to the few articles of China, would take that route, because the clothing which their wants and the necessities trade winds would carry a vessel in almost a of a tariff system, in the benefits of which they direct line from Panama or Tehuantepec, to cannot participate, compels them to take from the Ladrone Islands, near to China, and the
The commerce and intercourse therefore distance would be about 13,138 miles, but the between the two slopes, must, in the end, be homeward voyage would always be made as very limited, and more particularly so, be as it now is, by the Cape of Good Hope, and cause the Atlantic slope has no surplus popu- though the distance as performed by Captain lation to dispose of, and labor generally, will Waterman in the Sea Witch in 75 days, is be far more productive, comfortable and pros- | 14,255 miles, still the always favorable trade perous here than there. The emigrants to winds would make this the shortest voyage Oregon and California, therefore, must in the home; besides it is on the homward voyage long run go directly from Europe and China, that the merchant is most interested in saving and those from Europe to save expenses would time. His ship goes out to Asia nearly empty, go round the Cape.
and waits till November or December, and The geographical position of Oregon and then returns laden with a rich and valuable California, with the sources of production both cargo. It is therefore the homeward voyage on the sea and land, opens a field of enterprise that must sustain the expenses of the ship which cannot fail almost immediately to draw both out and home. off an immense amount of the surplus popula- Were there a rail road or canal across the tion of both Europe and China, and it will not Isthmus, the saving in distance and time on be long before all the branches of industry, in the voyage out would not compensate for the the produce of the soil, in manufactures, in expenses of transhipment, and transit from commerce, and in the fisheries, to the supply Ocean to Ocean. A steamer bound from the of almost all their wants, will be chiefly oc- Isthmus to China, by running up the coast to cupied by their own population-can England San Francisco to the Bonin Islands, and via or the Atlantic slope be benefitted by this ? Japan, might lessen the distance about one And to what extent ?
thousand miles; that would be the best route A very important branch of the industry of for a steamer bút could not be taken by a sail the eastern slope has been devoted to the vessel on account of trade winds. The distance whale fishing in the Pacific, and its products for a steamer from the Isthmus to China would have been counted as domestic, amounting to be three times that from Liverpool to Boston ; an annual return of over $8,000,000. This or from New York to China, it would be about must soon cease to be a product of the eastern equal to four times across the Atlantic, and slope, because the fisherman will transfer his with all the depots, possible to be established residence to Oregon or California, and will on the route, the whole capacity of the steamthere build and fit out his small vessel, and er, would be required for her necessary fuel make several cruises in a year, the fruits of and stores, with no room left for freight. And
if we estimate freight at a price corresponding Neither the history of colonization, nor that of with what is charged by the Steamers on our Western settlements, presents a parallel to common dry goods from Liverpool or London the position of Oregon and California, as they to Boston or New York, say £7 per ton mea- are connected with the Eastern slope of the surement, it would amount from China to United States. Old nations with a surplus New York, not including transhipment and population have planted colonies; the colotransit across the Isthmus to £28 sterling or nists have been restricted to trade with the $140 per ton measurement, or $280 for one ton mother country, each being a forced market weight of Young Hyson, or $350 per ton for for the products of the other. The object of other Teas, costing on ship-load in China an such a system is to provide for a destitute and average of 35 cents per pound or $700 for a useless population, and to chain them to the ton weight of 2000 pounds. Is it not there throne, and, at the same time, make them profore perfectly clear, that the trade of the Uni- ducers of food and staples, to be exchanged ted States with China, could not be changed for manufactured goods, and thereby better to this route, even if the Isthmus were swept the condition of those remaining at home. away.
But such a relation, and such a result, can The commerce of all Europe with all Asia never obtain between the Atlantic and Pacific amounts to an annual aggregate exports and slopes of the United States, because, after a imports of $250,000,000.
little, the two sides will produce the same arIt is this commerce which controls the ticles : and, moreover, because the exchanges world. The change of its route has changed with Europe will be made by the Atlantic, and the destinies of Empires and States. It can not by the Pacific side. have but one more change, and that must be And, although the mines and fisheries may across this continent. When that change attract, and are likely for a short time to atshall have been effectual, commerce and civili- tract labor, so as to prevent the production of zation will have encircled the globe. But a sufficient amount of food for the Pacific that great change cannot be made, as is urged, slope, that deficiency could not be supplied across the Isthmus. Any common school boy through or across the Isthmus, owing to clican demonstrate this; let him take a globė, mate, and the necessarily heavy expenses of (not a flat map,) place the end of a string at transit would force the production of more Canton, bring it up through the Chinese Sea, than a necessary supply in Oregon in a short through Sunda Straits, into the Indian Ocean; time. Is it not, therefore, evident, that the then draw the string tight over the globe to Atlantic and Pacific slopes must be separate the Cape of Good Hope ; thence via St. Hele- and distinct in all their interests, that they can na, and, inside of the Cape de Verd Islands, have but little intercourse and but small up to England, and it will be seen that the amount of exchanges, and that they must restring upon the globe has reached almost main in all respects precisely to each other as exactly the route of a vessel sailing from Can- are the people of the United States in relation ton to England, and always with a fair wind, to Russia or any other foreign nation ? But, the distance being 13,330 miles. Take the could the route for the commerce and intersame string, and place the end at the same course of Europe with Asia be turned to point arrived at in England, bring it over to across this continent, then the Atlantic and Panama, and thence, as the trade winds would Pacific sides would be made depots for it, as force a vessel's course, south of the Sandwich also depots for the products of the Mississippi Islands to Ladrones, and it will be seen that basin on the one side, for the markets of Euthe string does not reach near to China, the rope, and on the other side, for the markets of whole distance from England being 15,558 Asia. Then all these parts of the world, bemiles, or 2,228 miles greater than the voyage ing the great parts, almost the whole world by the Cape of Good Hope. From Singapore would be bound together by ties of mutual and Calcutta the distance against the Isthmus interest. The surplus population of Europe route would be still greater; comment is here would fill up the great basin of North America, unnecessary.
and produce food and staples to exchange with Could the commerce of Europe with Asia those who remain in Europe. And the surplus be carried on in steamers, it will be seen that population of Asia, China particularly, would the present route is shorter from 2,000 to be removed to the Islands in the Pacific and 3,500 miles than by the Isthmus; with far Indian Oceans, and their products would be greater facilities for depots for fuel, &c. The exchanged with both Europe and the United Cape de Verd Islands, St. Helena, the Cape of States. This would equalize, harmonize, civilGood Hope, Madagascar, the Isle of Bourbon, ize, christianize, and make comfortable the Christmas Island, and others, are directly on scores, even hundreds of millions in all those the route ; and from the Cape of Good Hope quarters, who are now destitute, miserable, to Australia, the Island of St. Paul's is mid- and a large portion perishing with want. To way on that direct route.
accomplish all this, the route must be located so far north, that the sphere of the globe will , and the condition of the surplus population of sufficiently shorten the distance--and the work both Europe and Asia would remain precisely must be constructed from a plan of means, the same, inasmuch as no means would be crewhich will secure an adequate reduction in the ated to enable one to consume more of the procost of transport. The route must pass through ducts of the other. a wilderness, with as great an extent as possi- These are the questions which should be ble of agricultural country, to be brought into considered by both the statesman and the mersettlement and production. The work itself chant. It is the position of the surplus populato be the cheap means of transit from and to tion of Europe, with the heavy tax imposed on the great markets of the world.
labor to meet the interest on the enormous A change of route for commerce can benefit debts of the European nations, and other no interests, particularly, unless the saving of burdens, together with the surplus population time and of cost of transport be sufficient to in- of Eastern Asia, particularly China, that must crease the consumption of the articles which occupy the minds of the statesman and philconstitute that commerce: Or unless it opens to anthrophist of all the world, and especially of settlement and production a new country, Europe and America--and the construction of which before had been inaccessible and use- a new highway for the commerce and interless.
course of Europe with Asia, must be a basis Now we will suppose that the commerce on which to found a system to provide for, and which is carried on around the Cape of Good make useful to all mankind, the European and Hope could be changed by a canal or railway Asiatic surpluses of population. across by Suez. It would certainly shorten This is a subject in which the whole world, the distance very much; but what interest and particularly England and the United States, would be benefitted by it? or would commer- is interested. If, gentlemen, you can give this cial exchanges be increased ?
a place in your valuable journal, I shall feel Though time and distance would be lessen myself greatly indebted and honored, as I am ed, still the expenses of transhipment and already for your favorable notice of my protransit, the dangers of navigation, and damage ject. --Most respectfully, your obedient serby climate, would be such that no material re- vant, duction in the cost of transit would be effected,
Note.—For a tolerably full account of Mr. Whitney's plan of operations for the construction of a rail road to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific coast, see article in the namber of this Journal for July, 1849.
The Senate having under consideration the no motives but that of justice. These proporesolutions of Mr. Bell, of Tennessee, and the sitions also assumed an antagonism in the inmotion of Mr. FootE to refer them to a select terests of the North and the South, which was committee of thirteen,
unwarranted by fact, unsound in principle, and Mr. BALDWIN spoke as follows: He had unconstitutional if carried into legislation. listened to the discussions in the Senate on The Constitution knew no North or South or these subjects with deep interest. He had East or West; it proceeded from the people of seen in their tone much to admire, much to re- the United States, and it was to their collecgret, and it had been his endeavor to preserve tive interests that as legislators they were his own mind from any undue excitement or called upon to attend. This body should acbias, so as to be governed alone by the spirit knowledge no antagonism, no divided interof the Constitution in any legislative act he ests; they should know of only one constitumight be called upon to take a part. That ency, and that was the whole of their common sacred instrument dealt in no sectional lan- country. guage. The voices of the whole American He did not sustain the admission of Cali. people spoke there harmoniously. It was fornia from any supposed advantage to the adopted, in a spirit of liberality to conflicting people of his own portion of the country. He interests and sentiments; tolerating, no doubt, saw no such advantage. He saw no way in some institutions then thought temporary, and which the introduction of her Senators and some compromises now regretted. But they Representatives in Congress could conduce are there, and he could speak with authority, more to the promotion of the interests of his in the name of the people of his own State, constituents ihan to the interests of any other that they were prepared to abide by the letter section. It was on the score of justice to the and the spirit of these compromises.
people of California that he advocated her adSuch, Sir, said Mr. BALDWIN, are the in- mission. At the time of the cession of these terstructions of the State of Connecticut, passed ritories, we pledged ourselves to protect and by a nearly unanimous vote of both Houses maintain the inhabitants in the free enjoyment of the Legislature. But they have also in- of their liberty and property, and the full exstructed their Senators and requested their re- ercise of their civil rights. This pledge we presentatives in Congress, to oppose in all have failed to keep. It is true, the old Mexiconstitutional ways, every measure of com- can and departmental laws continued in force, promise which shall yield any portion of free but these laws were notoriously insufficient in territory to the encroachments of slavery, or the altered circumstances of the country, to by which the people of the United States shall shield them from disorganization and private be made responsible for its continuance. He wrong. “ Had California continued as it was, did not believe in the principle of instructions, composed of a few sparse settlements, the laws but these instructions fully concorded with in force at the time of the cession would have his own judgment, and he should readily and been ample for their protection. Their intergladly conform to them.
ests were small; their transactions with each The resolutions now before the Senate, and other were comparatively few; their temptathe proposition to refer them to a committee of tions to crime were slight; but under our aucompromise, did not meet with his approba- thority, by our invitation, a vast influx of tion. The question of California, in his opin. population from all parts of the world have ion, ehould be connected with no other ques- migrated to California. Ships from Europe tion whatever. The people of the State are and Asia and Western America, as well as here claiming a right; a right guarantied by from our own coast have entered their magnitreaty; The question of that right should then ficent harbors, richly laden with the products be judged and disposed of by itself, biased by l of every climate. Mines of gold of unsur