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product is only enough to tempt the miners to a further and generally disastrous loss of capital and consequent ruin. Gold is found in every department of Panama, but not in sufficient quantities to remunerate those engaged in its search. And I would take this opportunity to give a warning to my countrymen to resist all the temptations to emigrate to this country in search of gold.
HOW TO ENLARGE THE TRADE OF THE UNITED STATES, Efforts are now being strenuously made by the manufacturing interests of the United States to have an exchange of the products of South aud Central america with those of ours at home. The great drawback to this important enterprise is the fact that foreign tonnage is in the ascendant in all the ports of the Pacific, and until our mercantile marine carries the products of our shops to their doors, we will never be able to receive in return for our goods the rich products of the south.
The mercantile correspondence between the south and our merchants has vastly increased during the last twelve months, and is of itseif a grati. fying evidence of what we may expect in the future. The completion of the interpational canal across the isthmus would hare a vast and great influence in enabling our ships to take in cargoes in any and all of our ports, and land them at any and every Pacific port. This grand result would bave the effect of rapidly increasing our tonnage, and by this means we could undersell, in all the ports of the Pacific, any nation with whom we might come in contact. This great work should be strictly an international canal. Its cost should not be taken into consideration, for its benefits to all nations would be vast aud enduring. To our mer: cantile marine would accrue the greatest share of profits, and no nation would derive as many advantages after its completion as would that of the United States, and our iag would be displayed in every port of the Pacific.
Herewith I transmit tabular statements of the commerce and navigation of the port of Panama for the year ending September 30, 1877.
OWEN M. LONG.
Statement showing the imports at Panama for the year ending September 30, 1877.
$188, 000 England and France.
25, 000 England and Germany.
Do. 100, OCO
United States and Europe.
85, 000 Ecuador.
45, 000 United States and Europe.
Do. 10, C110 Mexico.
NOTE BY THE CONSUL.—There are no custom-houses on the isthmus. As the imports into Panama are mostly in transit, the consumption in this port is comparatively small when compared with the aggregate amount of its imports." I find it extremely difficult to obtain the exact figures from our business men, as they are afraid to expose the amount of their business. The figures are therefore approximated as near as possible in roand numbers.
State-nent showing the exports from Panama, United States of Colombia, for the year ending
September 30, 1877.
300 2, 500 1,000
.casks.. Beer, lager.
boxes.. Beer, lager
Do. 15, 000
United States and Europe.
United States and Europe.
United States and Europe.
Do. 25, 000
50,000 Consumed on the isthmus.
50,000 United States and Europe.
Statement showing the navigation at the port of Panama for the year ending September 30, 1377.
NOTE BY THE CONSUL.—The above table shows the amount of tonnage, steam and sail, employed in the commerce and navigation of the port of Panama. Since my last report the Chilian line of steamers from Valparaiso to Panama has been discontinued. The vessels engaged in that trade have been incor. porated into the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's fleet.
The Pacific Mail Steamship Company have reduced their fleet some little in the Central American lines and the ports of Mexico.
In the South Pacific there is no opposition to the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, and the same state of affairs exists in the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, whose vessels monopolize the carrying of freight and passengers to California, Mexico, and Central American ports.
During the past twelve months we have had in our harbor the United States men-of-war Pensacola and Omaba.
Statement showing the value of declared exports to the United States from Sabanilla during
the four quarters of the year ending September 30, 1877.
NOVEMBER 1, 1877. (Received November 30.)
Report upon the trade, commerce, &c., of the island of St. Thomas for
AREA AND POPULATION.
The island of St. Thomas consists of an irregular range of hills rising abruptly from the sea-level to a height of 1,400 feet. It comprises ar area of about 1,200 acres, being about 14 miles in length, and from 1 to 5 in breadth. The harbor is one of the finest in the West Indies, and is surrounded by hills on which the town of St. Thomas is built. The population is estimated at 13,000, of which about 3,000 are white, none of whom seem to regard the island as their permanent home. The races intermarry, and mingle together in all public places, and are associated in business.
The executive and judicial branches of the government are administered by officials sent from Denmark. The legislative branch consists of a council composed of fifteen members, four of whom are appointed by the governor and eleven chosen by the qualified electors. All enactments by the council must receive the approval of the King before be. coming law. No person can vote until he is twenty-five years of age and in receipt of a yearly revenue amounting to $500. All persons engaging in business are required to make oath that they will protect and defend the government against all others except their own. No dis. tinction is made by the government on account of race or color.
DECLINE OF COMMERCE.
The island is barren of trees, and is non-productive. With the excep. tion of bay-oil and bay-water, nothing is manufactured for exportation. All fresh meats and vegetables consumed or supplied to steamers are brought from veighboring islands.
Formerly Porto Rico, St. Domingo, Hayti, and other neighboring islands, as well as the eastern part of Cuba and the Spanish main, were supplied with merchandise and provisions from St. Thomas. Since the establishment of direct steam and telegraphic communication with those islands and the United States, England, France, and Germany, a large proportion of this business is done direct with said countries. During the past few years several large houses have liquidated, and others must soon do the same.
The value of the goods imported during the year ending March 31, 1876, amounted to $4,358,583. For the year ending March 31, 1877, the value of imports amounted to $3,468,003, a decrease of $890,580. There being po duty on exports and no record kept of the same, I am unable to give a detailed statement. As most articles of merchandise are imported with the view of exporting, the value of exports is nearly the same as that of imports. A duty of 14 per cent. is collected on the invoice value of all importations, with the exception of coal, which is free.
TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Commercial agents representing American houses are securing a large trade with the several islands that formerly was monopolized by St. Thomas merchants. The decrease in trade between the United States and St. Thomas is more than balanced by the increase with the other islands. I frequently call the attention of merchants to such articles manufactured in the United States as I think could be imported by them cheaper than from other countries. Sometimes I write direct to manufacturers to send samples, prices, and such information as they may think proper. In this way some orders have been obtained
I append herewith a return of trade with the United States for the year ending March 31, 1877, which closes the fiscal year. By reference to the return it will be seen that the balance of trade is greatly in favor of the States.
At present there is no direct steam communication with the United States. There are several lines of steamers touching at St. Thomas, viz: · The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, from Southampton to Colon, semi-monthly; from St. Thomas to St. Domingo, semi-monthly; from St. 4 Thomas to Windward Islands, semi-monthly; from St. Thomas to Havana and Vera Cruz, monthly.
Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, from St. Nazaire to Colon, monthly; from St. Nazaire to Vera Cruz, monthly; from Havre to Colon, monthly; from St. Thomas to Hayti, monthly.
Hamburg-American Packet Company, from Hamburg to Colon, semimonthly; from St. Thomas to Venezuela, monthly.
Cunard Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, from Halifax to St. Thomas, every 28 days.
The Herrera Spanish steamers, from Havana to St. Thomas, semimonthly; from Porto Rico to St. Thomas, monthly.
The West India and Pacific Steamship Company, from Liverpool to Colon, monthly
The West Indies and Mexico line of steamers, from Liverpool to Vera Cruz, montbly.
NAVIGATION AND REPAIRS OF VESSELS.
Sailing.vessels are constantly arriving and departing. As shown by appended return of navigation for the year ending June 30, 1877, no less than 765 have arrived and departed, aggregating 240,772 tons. number, 183 were American, aggregating 60,428 tons. There are also a number of small schooners and sloops engaged in regular trade between this and adjacent islands, which, if included, would materially increase the tonnage. A large majority of the vessels enter in ballast. Quite a business is done in chartering for cargoes of sugar, molasses, rum, salt, logwood, &c., at other West Indian ports. The commission on such charters is 5 per cent. Many vessels also put into the port in distress. The facilities for repairing are good, and the repairs are generally made substantial and with dispatch. The floating-dock, sunk several years ago during a hurricane, has been raised, and is now in good working order.