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A copy of the circular was also addressed to the President of the United States, with a request that he would send it to the Patent Office, with a request that such information on the subject generally as they could furnish, should be forwarded. As no answer has been received, the matter must have been the subject of a mistake, or they had nothing to communicate. If an answer should come, and also one from the Department of the Interior, the information they contain, will be added to this Report.
The first exports were in 1789, but were very inconsiderable; and were not of an xtent to command even the attention of Congress, till 1820; and even from that period till 1810, the extent of this commerce abroad, was comparatively trifling.
It will be seen by the subjoined statement from the Treasury Department, that even as late as 1810, the export of cheese was only 723,217 pounds. The progress in this branch of Agricultural industry, from that time forward, is truly astonishing. The writer of this, well recollects the eagerness with which Boston cheese speculators, from 1820 to 1825, traversed the hills of Massachusetts in search of the best dairies; and if one of four or five cows could be heard of within 20 miles, with a zeal known only to speculators, they would find the object of their search, a family council in the cheese room would be called, when, after a unanimous decision by the party of the second part, a bargain would be struck usually ranging in the neighborhood of 24 to 3 cents for the skimmed, and about 21 to 3 cents for that which was not skimmed so much. Such, so far, is a picture of things in Massachusetts, only 25 years ago, and at a time when the region where this report was written and where it is read, knew nothing in their localities of a dairy; the few cows, kept to furnish the indispensable supply of milk and scanty stock of butter, subsisting in the winter mainly by browsing. To pass from such a condition of things, to an export in 1849, of 17,433,682 pounds of cheese, an intervening period of only 25 or 30 years, seems like magic, and would make us pause in astonishment, had we not become used to looking just such facts in the face at every turn. Still, though
without the time or opportunity for instituting a comparison, it is believed that there are few features in which our industry or commerce has taken such a stride. The export of 1849, exceeds that of 1840, by about 23 fold. And this it must be recollected is in a department of industry in which the art was well understood prior to 1840, though not so well as now, in which labor-saving machines have not worked their wonders, and in which the appetites and tastes of mankind have undergone no change. It can, probably, with truth be said, that the quality of cheese made for export since 1840, is better than that which was made prior to that date; and also, that much greater skill is now possessed and exercised as to the manner of preparing the article for market. So far, this increased export is attributable to the influence of increased knowledge in augmenting trade and wealth. This ought not, and will not be overlooked by sensible men engaged in any department of Agricultural labor.
The subjoined statements from the United States Treasury Department, exhibit, first, the amount of cheese imported from 1840 to 1850, inclusive, and the amount of that exported. Also, the amount of the domestic product exported : Exported
Imported 1840 201,026
56,282 1841 112,540
24,945 1842 77,124
5,035 1843 30,033
5,586 1844 56,985
384 1845 65,109
9,713 1846 57,436
81,676 1848 139,498
1,480 1849 250,466
13,799 1850 333,985
1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850
2,456,607 3,440,144 7,343,145 7,941,187 8,675,390 15,637,600 12,913,305 17,433,682 13,020,817
This table requires no comment, as the figures speak for them- ! selves. The export of 1849, is twenty-three times that of 1840; and the extent to which the amount of export advances and recedes from year to year, will be noticed.
It is certainly safe to assume that this extraordinary increase in the export of this article, the condition of the country at both periods, being taken into account, is to quite an extent attributable to the improvement which has taken place in the quality of the article, and in the manner of fitting it for transportation, securing its improved appearance at market. If so, the fact cannot be without its influence on those engaged in this branch of industry. A variety of suggestions might here be made, and would be made, in reference to the further extension and improvement of this important manufacture, but that they will readily occur to those interested upon a perusal of the above table.
PORT OF PHILADELPHIA. The following table is a statement of the imports and exports at the port of Philadelphia, from '40 to '50, inclusive: Imported
Pounds. 1840 4,540
52,926 1841 4,053
78,633 1842 2,251
.......... 224,855 1844
.. 254,516 1845
412 1850 (chiefly Dutch) 15,363 1851 (very inconsiderable) Total lbs.,
164,562 205,694 252,249 164,395 150,431
Mr. Collector Lewis, accompanied this statement with the following explanatory letter:
" Custom House, PHILADELPHIA,
!" Collector's Office, Sept. 8, 1851. “Sir-In reply to your circular, (in part,) received this morniug, I hand you statements of the quantity of cheese imported and exported from this port annually from 1840 to 1850, both inclusive. To the first question I am unable to reply; but can say that prior to 1830 the amount was inconsiderable.
" It is not possible to form any estimate of the amount sent to any other ports of the United States, as our coasting clearances do not give the details with any kind of precision. “The amount shipped hence to Mexico and California, is not large. Our largest export of the article is to South America and the West Indies.
Collector." KE. C. Adams, Esq., Syracuse, N. Y.”
It is found impossible to ascertain the amount sent to the ports in the Southern States. If, however, as is believed by some, the fact be, that as much, or nearly as much cheese is sent to the southern as to foreign ports, it is not impossible that among the other good qualities of good cheese, it is, in fact, one of the strongest links of our glorious union ; for what man,“ ardent as a southern
sun could make him," having been accustomed to the genuine Yankee article, as produced in New-York and Ohio, could consent, except in extremity, to exchange its fine, rich, delicious, mouthwatering and peculiar flavor, for that furnished either by the English or Dutch? Possibly some of our intelligent and patriotic housewives may herein find an incentive to an improvement in the quality and flavor of the article, more potent, even, than the improved price, and twice as powerful with them as a political speech; for proverbially, these whole-hearted caterers to southern palates, are, to a man, in favor of Union. It is, moreover, respectfully suggested, as pertinent to this connection, that those unconscionably abominable specimens of human ingenuity, known as “hard cheese,” cannot, with entire safety, have the same destination. They should be sold to the Dutch, to be used by them, when out of round shot, against the hulks of their enemies. We have so decidedly beat the Dutch” in the extent of manufacture, that, even with the risk of their being used for such an appropriate purpose, we could well afford, at reasonable rates, to make over to them, a certain article, after the similitude of cheese, and called by that name, still to he found, if not at State Fairs, on the shelves of some farmers at home; for, in view of the political relations of the Dutch towards us, and of the tenacity with which they cherish friendships as well as enmities, there is not much danger that they would ever be used against ourselves. We really hope none of our southern brethren will take advantage of these hints, with a view to our ultimate hurt; for, should the torch of fraternal discord once be lighted, and the deadly weapons which had been prepared by some of our people for their stomachs, be turned against our heads, we should be compelled to exclaim, with one of the earliest transgressors on record, “ Our punishment is greater than we can bear!
PORT OF Boston. The following is a statement of the imports and exports of cheese, at Boston, from 1810 to 1850, inclusive :