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Art. III. THE COMMERCIAL CITIES OF EUROPE.

NO. I-HAVRE.

INTRODUCTION-LOCATION OF HAVRE-ITS GENERAL APPEARANCE-COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS OF HAVRE CAUSES OF PROSPERITY-DESCRIPTION OF THE PORTS-ROADS-HARBOR-BASINS-NAVIGATION AND FOREIGN TRADE-ARTICLES OF EXPORT AND IMPORT-WHALE FISHERY-STEAMBOATSOCEAN STEAMERS BETWEEN NEW YORK AND HAVRE-SHIP-BUILDING FACILITIES FOR BUSINESS.

It is the fashion of the world to travel, and it is the fashion of travellers to write books. A few shillings, judiciously expended, will put it in the power of any man, endowed with Dogberry's natural gifts, to learn what companions one falls in with, in a diligence or a café; what strategy is requisite to enter a harem; at what hour, and in what mountain-pass one may count upon being met by banditti; what are the attractions, and what the inconveniences of life in the desert; into how many phonographic shapes the familiar word bashaw can be tortured; what describable emotions one feels in the crater of Vesuvius, as the earth bends, like thawing ice, beneath him; how surly John Bull is on the continent, and how sprightly Jean Crapaud is everywhere, and a thousand other facts, as useless as they are entertaining.

Seldom, however, do these amusing books furnish anything of value to us, commercial inquirers, beyond a few hints upon the retail trade of Constantinople, or an eloquent denunciation of the costly and unsavory messes of an Italian inn, suggestive to the economist of that important law, that, where profits come seldom, they must be large. A few travellers, and but a few, have thought it worth their while to learn and report what share various cities and countries are taking in that steady amelioration of man's physical condition; that still, but mighty revolution, in the relations of individuals and of nations; that making glad of "the wilderness and the solitary place" which the enterprise that commerce fosters, and the wealth that it bestows, are, day by day, accomplishing.

It is our business and duty, as well as we are able, to fill up this gap; and we have thought that a series of articles upon the Commercial Cities of Europe, made up from the most accurate sources within our reach, might do something towards this end. They will appear in successive numbers of the Magazine, and will resemble, in form and plan, those which we are now publishing upon the Commercial Cities of the United States. We commence with an article upon Havre, for the material of which, we are mainly indebted to a contribution of M. Edward Corbière, (a resident of that city,) to the Dictionnaire du Commerce.

Havre, formerly called Havre de Grace, the great Northern seaport of France, is situated in the department of the "Seine Inferieure," in latitude 49° 29′ 14′′ North, and longitude 0° 6′ 38′′ West from Greenwich. It lies at the extremity of the North bank of the Estuary of the Seine, 42 miles West from Rouen, and 109 miles West-north-west from Paris. Its fixed population in 1839, was about 28,000; its floating population, about 5,000.

The appearance of Havre is that of a modern commercial city. It is almost destitute of those marks of antiquity which give, to the cities of Europe, their chief interest for an American. It was founded towards the latter part of the sixteenth century, and is, therefore, but little older than New York. The only buildings which connect it with the past, are the

church of Notre Dame, the old Hotel de Ville, the Citadel, built by Richelicu, in 1564, and the tower of Francis I., a round edifice of freestone about seventy feet in height, and eighty-five in diameter, defending the entrance of the harbor, and built in the time of the monarch whose name it commemorates. Even in that section which is called the "Old City," commerce has overgrown antiquity. The repeated renovations which have been found necessary for the convenience of business, have oblitera ted almost every relic of the past.

Havre is built upon a long plateau, parallel with the course of the Seine. It is surrounded by a triple row of walls and ditches, about three and a half miles in circuit, through which the only entrances from the suburbs are five narrow gates. As the city is commanded by many lofty points in the neighborhood, these fortifications are utterly useless for its protection. Of course they seriously interfere with its traffic. The streets are tolerably regular, and the houses are arranged in good order. Numerous fountains adorn the city, which is supplied with water by pipes, leading from the vicinity. The principal business street is the "Rue de Paris," running North and South, from the Place de la Bourse to Ingouville gate.

Among the public establishments of Havre, are a Tribunal of Original Jurisdiction, a Chamber of Commerce, a Bureau for the Registry of Seamen, a Health Establishment for the visiting of ships, &c. Its manufacturing industry is but trifling, wheh compared with its commercial importance. A tobacco factory, a large sugar refinery, a saw-mill, a chain-cable factory, several foundries and shops for the construction of steam-engines, comprise its principal manufacturing establishments. It is only ast a maritime city, that Havre deserves our attention.

The general causes of the advancing prosperity of Havre, are easily ascertained. They are the large and increasing business of the neighboring cities, Paris, Rouen, Elbœuf, and Louviers, in whose progress Havre, from its relative position, necessarily shares; the easy and cheap communication which the Seine affords with the great centre of business and travel; and, above all, the remarkable and singular advantage which the harbor possesses, in that the tide remains full there for several hours before falling. These causes are abundantly sufficient to make Havre the port of Paris, and the great maritime city of France. The past thirty years of peace have done much to realize the saying of Napoleon, that "Paris, Rouen, and Havre, form but a single city, of which the Seine is the principal street."

In order to make ourselves better understood in describing this interesting city, we shall speak of the various parts of the port, and of the dif ferent branches of industry, under separate heads.

ROADS. The roads of Havre are included between Cape de la Hève to the North, and to the South the plateau, upon which the city is built. Cape de la Hève is a highland, situated about two and a half miles to the North-west of Havre; its summit is about three hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sca. Upon it are two light-houses, fifty feet in height, and about three hundred and twenty-five feet apart. In a clear night their lights may be seen at the distance of seven or eight leagues. This promontory, being well lighted, and its shore free from dangerous rocks, affords a safe and convenient landing-place to vessels bound into the port. A smaller and feebler light is placed on the sand-bank at the mouth of the channel, which leads into the harbor. This light marks the ex

treme point of the roads to the South; it is only useful to coasters, as they alone can venture to pass up the channel to the city during the night.

A chain of rocks called "Hecla," and the "Heights of the Roads," extends from North-east to South-west along the shore, from Cape de la Hève to the end of the sand-banks of the harbor. These rocks, which appear above the surface of the water at the ebb of the spring tides, offer little obstruction or danger to navigation. They separate what are called the Great Roads, (la Grande-Rade,) from the other channel, lying landward of the former, and called the Little Roads, (la Petite-Rade.) The depth of the Great Roads at ebb-tide is from six to seven and a half fathoms; that of the Little Roads, from three to three and a half. Coasters, only, on account of their light draught of water, venture to anchor in the Little Roads.

The

In winter, even the Great Roads afford but a very unsafe anchorage, especially for large vessels, which are obliged to wait for a tide before entering the harbor. Ships bound in seldom anchor there, in the stormy seasons, but lie off and on, keeping at a safe distance from the shore, and waiting frequently a week or longer, either for a tide sufficiently high, or for a change of wind such as to permit them to enter the channel. Great Roads are exposed, without protection, to winds from the West, South-west, and North-west. When the wind comes from the land, that is, from the North-east, East, or South-east, the anchorage is somewhat more safe; though, in the stormy season, it is always hazardous. The stormy the coast upon winds are generally from the West. The rise of the tide is from twenty-two to twenty-seven feet.

HARBOR. The harbor is a port de marée, or tide-harbor; that is, it is dry twice a day, at every fall of the tide. Its narrow entrance lies between two long banks of sand and gravel, extending from East to West. This, the only exit for vessels, is kept clear by frequent excavations, and by means of a sluice, which receives the tide-water, and, being opened at the ebb, sends a rapid current through the channel. The depth of the channel, at high water, varies constantly from ten feet, at the lowest neaptides, to twenty feet, at the highest spring-tides.

This narrow entrance, which is scarcely wide enough for four ordinary vessels to pass abreast, leads to the inner harbor, the form of which is a trapezium, rounded at the angles. This inner harbor is small, and, like the channel at its entrance, dry at every fall of the tide. It serves as a refuge for a multitude of coasters, which can take the ground without damage. Large vessels, delicately built or deeply laden, only anchor They are placed in the basins during the same therer a short time. tide with which they have entered the harbor. The port is so much frequenced, and the narrow and crooked channel so constantly crowded, that it is only by the greatest care, on the part of the captain, that a ship can be brought up to the city without accident.

A remarkable tidal phenomenon gives to Havre the important place it holds among the ports of the channel. The harbor is so situated, that the Sein eeps directly across its entrance, and thus prevents the water within to issuing freely. The result of this is, that the tide remains full, in the harbor, for three hours together, after having attained its maxi height. On other parts of the coast it falls, as elsewhere, as soon as it ceases to rise. This delay of the tide, gives to ships entering or departing, sufficient time of deep water for all their purposes. Many

other ports of the channel appear to be situated as favorably for com mercial purposes as Havre. This curious phenomenon, alone, gives it its marked pre-eminence. Without this advantage to atone for its many deficiencies, the port would be deserted.

BASINS. Havre has three floating basins, the Bassin de la Barre, commenced in 1800, and completed in 1818; the Bassin du Commerce, or d'Ingouville, also completed in 1918, and the Bassin du Roi, or the Old Basin, which was constructed more than a century ago, and has been repaired and reconstructed at various periods since.

Between the Old Basin (the smallest of the three) and the Bassin de la Barre, whose gates open towards the inner harbor, is the Bassin d'Ingouville, which divides the lower city into two parts.

These three basins are by no means sufficient for the necessities of the port; together, they are capable of containing nearly four hundred large vessels, lying in tiers, three or four abreast, at the quays, and made fast parallel with the sides of the basins. But, under ordinary circumstances, they do not contain more than one hundred and fifty or two hundred large vessels at once. This number is quite large enough to occasion great inconvenience and confusion.

M. Corbière complains that, at the time he writes, (in 1839,) the gates of these basins were too narrow to admit of the entrance of large steamboats; on account of this, steamboats lying in the inner harbor were obliged to ground at every fall of the tide. Thus, exposed to heavy westerly winds, they constantly suffered damage, which they would have entirely escaped could they have taken refuge in a floating basin. At that time efforts were being made to construct a dock, similar in plan to the London docks, with an entrance on the harbor. This, it was thought, would remedy the inconvenience, and would, also, avoid the necessity of landing goods upon the quays, as they are now landed, with no shelter but awnings. Great opposition was made to the plan by the notables, the city authori ties, and even by the Chamber of Commerce. It was also intended, at that time, to excavate an old and neglected canal without the walls of the city, called the Canal Vauban, and to make of it a basin for the reception of small craft.

What was the result of these plans, or what changes have since been made in these respects, we do not know. We notice, however, in late French journals, that a new dock called "Florida," has recently been completed, for the use of the transatlantic steamers of Heroult and de Handel. It was opened on the 14th of October last, and, on that day, the "New York" entered it in safety. The "New York" is said to be the largest ship anchored at Havre since the wars of Napoleon, when the frigate "Grande Francois" was stationed there.

On the arrival of a ship, a place is allotted to her at the quay, at which to discharge. When she has reached her berth, her cargo is landed and placed under awnings, where it is weighed by the officers of the customs. After being weighed, the merchandise is transported upon carts to ware. houses, which serve for a fictitious entrepôt, or to the real entrepôt of the customs, which is rented by the city, at a fixed tariff of prices, to merchants intending to re-export immediately, or to warehouse the goods of which they are the owners or consignees.

NAVIGATION. The foreign trade of the port of Havre furnishes employment to from three hundred and twenty to three hundred and thirty French

ships, besides about a hundred foreign ships of all nations. These vessels, carrying on the trade of Havre with the most distant parts of the globe, make, on an average, nearly two voyages a year; thus the foreign trade of the place requires more than six hundred voyages annually. We do not include, among vessels engaged in foreign trade, the steamboats of the regular lines, vessels sailing to distant French ports, nor even those trading with foreign European ports.

Taking the mean figures of the statistics of the commerce of this port to obtain an approximate result, we learn that it employs from 170,000 to 180,000 tons of shipping, and that the number of seamen engaged is not far from 8,000.

The principal articles of merchandise exported from Havre, are arti. cles of French manufacture, such as silks, hardware, plate, crockery, fashions, glass, furniture, implements of labor and of art, paper-hangings. hempen and linen fabrics, eatables, wines, liquors, grain, salted provisions, bricks, tiles, &c. The value of these articles is, for the most part, very large in comparison with their bulk. Vessels transporting them, are seldom fully laden, and, therefore, obtain but a moderate, and, generally, an unprofitable freight. It is usually the case that ships sailing from Havre for foreign ports, are obliged to make up the burthen necessary for their safety by a large amount of stone ballast.

The return voyage is more productive to shipping, and, in some meas. ure, compensates for the losses of the outward passage. The chief cumbrous articles of import, are cotton, of which Havre receives the larger part of that imported into France, sugar, coffee, rice, drugs, spices, indigo. tea, wood, and, in general, all the colonial products. The consfant and active trade between Havre and the United States, the West Indies, Northern and Southern Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, India and China, amounts annually to a value of not less than 500,000,000 francs. The duties upon these imports amount to 23,000,000 francs. The imports of Havre fall little short of those of Marseilles.

WHALE FISHERY. This branch of industry, which, in 1827, only employed five or six vessels, fitted by a foreign house, and manned by mixed crews, owes the prosperity to which it has since attained to the ordinance of 1829, upon bounties and French crews. To show the rapid progress made in this department of maritime enterprise, in consequence of that ordinance, it is sufficient to say, that, in 1839, there were belonging to the port of Havre fifty whale-ships, measuring from 400 to 600 tons each, manned by 1,500 chosen seamen, and importing annually 50,000 barrels of oil, and a proportional quantity of bone, and that the value of these products is more than 4,000,000 francs.

STEAMBOATS. Up to 1836, the whole steam navigation of Havre was effected by a few small boats employed in the Lower Seine, and two steampackets running to Southampton. At present, however, it communicates with nearly every commercial point in its vicinity, by regular lines of steamboats.

The ocean steamers now running to New York, form a new bond of commercial and political union between France and this country. As yet, their voyages have been peculiarly unfortunate. The ships, however, seem to be well adapted to their purpose-their passages have been safely made, and their misfortunes have not been of such a character as to cast any imputation upon the skill of their navigators. Nothing is needed but

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