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The fortifications on Bedlow's Island and Governor's Island are well supplied with guns, chiefly of the old style; but the proximity of these forts to the city renders them altogether inadequate as a means of protecting it from the shells and heavy metal of iron-cased steamers.
These constitute the harbor defences of New York. It will be seen from the foregoing details that, in their present condition, they afford very inadequate protection to the city against the approaches of a hostile fleet. It is generally believed that the civil war in which we are now involved renders our foreign relations so critical, that we are liable at any moment to be precipitated into a foreign war. Under these circumstances, common prudence demands that government should promptly provide for the safety of the commercial emporium of the nation, by making its defences so strong and perfect, that they will be able to repel any possible combination of naval force. Your memorialists believe that, to secure this end, it is only necessary
First.-To furnish all the existing fortifications with new armament, of the heaviest metal and most approved style, and with proper garrisons.
Second.-To complete, at the earliest possible moment, the fortifications at Sandy Hook, and Fort Tompkins on Staten Island.
Third.—To construct floating batteries of iron, to guard the Swash and minor channels, and to aid the forts in repelling or sinking ironcased steamers.
It is believed that these means would be ample to resist all the accumulated power that steam iron-clad hulls and rifle cannon have given to ships
The manning and re-arming the forts with new guns, of the most approved style, may be done promptly and at little expense; and the defenceless condition of the city demands that it should be done at once. The completion of the two forts in progress, and the construction of the floating batteries, will require time and a liberal expenditure of money; but this your memorialists venture to hope will be given cheerfully.
Hitherto the defences of New-York have been sadly neglected, and yet she has peculiar claims on government to provide liberally for her safety. She is the commercial and financial centre of the nation—the heart, whose pulsations give vitality to its industry and credit--and munificent contributions in men and money, to sustain the government in its hour of greatest peril, gives ample assurances that the means of defence placed at her command will never be used against the government or its friends.
The facts, thus briefly stated, demonstrate the necessity of prompt action in the premises, and at the same time warrant your memorialists in asking, respectfully but earnestly, that your honorable bodies will make early and liberal appropriations for the objects referred to.
Mr. OPDYKE presented the following resolution, by order of the committee, which was unanimously passed :
Resolved, That copies of the foregoing memorial, duly attested by the officers of the Chamber, be forwarded to the President of the United States and to both Houses of Congress, and that a committee be appointed to proceed to Washington for the purpose of enforcing its views, and urging upon the executive and upon Congress the necessity of prompt action.
Mr. OPDYKE continued : While upon this subject I may state to the Chamber that there was placed in the hands of the committee an application from some gentlemen, who are engaged in getting up a local artillery battalion for harbor and coast defences, for material aid. The committee not having any power to give funds for the purpose, yet deeming the object a most worthy one, submit to the Chamber the following:
Resolved, That the local artillery battalion which it is proposed to equip and drill for harbor and coast defences, would prove a most valuable auxiliary to the defences of the city. The Chamber therefore heartily commends its appeals for equipments and other aid to the favorable consideration of the State Military Board and to the liberality of the citizens of New York.
On motion, the report was adopted.
Mr. Phelps, before adopting the memorial and resolution, wished an amendment to that portion which stated that “the civil war in which we are now involved renders our foreign relations so critical that we are likely at any moment to be precipitated into foreign war.” He did not think there was any such danger of rupture, and did not wish such a statement to issue from the Chamber.
Mr. OpDYKE said that every member of the Chamber could judge of the ill-feeling engendered between the people of this country and the government of Great Britain. It was well known that the ramifications of our commerce, extending over the civilized world, necessarily interfered with the interests and ambitious views of other countries, and rendered us at any moment liable to the calamity of a foreign war. Though not likely to occur, there was a liability to it; and it was to meet just such a contingency that we were seeking to make our harbor defences efficient.
Mr. Phelps was sorry to hear any suggestion of an unpleasant feeling existing between our government and that of Great Britain. He had heard it stated by Lord Lyons that nothing but the most friendly relations existed; for his own part, he believed that neither the British government nor the people wished us any thing but peace and prosperity. Mr. Bloodgood was in favor of the language of the memorial
. Within a few days he had received from Havre a French paper, containing correspondence between the merchants of Havre and the Minister in Paris. The merchants state that they fear the commerce of France may suffer from the state of things in this country, to which the Minister replies that he thanks them for their advice, but the French government means to sustain her rights on this side of the world, and adds, that “ betueen the two fractions of the once United States of America, we will take care that the French flag is respected." Mentioning this to a well-known diplomatist, he remarked: “For God's sake, do not make that public.” It seemed to have escaped the attention of the New-York editors, who were spending more time in looking for office than for the good of the country.
Mr. HoTALING fully coincided with the language of the report. Whether we had foreign wars or not, our harbor defences should be put in different repair.
The memorial and accompanying resolutions were adopted unani
mously, and the following gentlemen were named by the president as the
Robert B. MINTURN,
A. A. Low,
Augustus C. RICHARDS,
John D. JONES. Portrait of a Pirate.—Mr. George W. Blunt moved that the portrait of Captain Wilson, master of the MINNIE SCHIFFER, who acted so bravely in rescuing the lives of a large number of persons, but who had now turned pirate, commanding a privateer from New-Orleans, be taken from the walls of the Chamber.
The Chairman suggested that it could be removed, and probably the subscribers to a service of plate intended for Captain Wilson, but not yet delivered, might, under the circumstances, desire to give it some other destination.
A portrait of the Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury, (life size,) was exhibited to the members. The artist offers to sell this portrait and donate the proceeds to the fund for the relief of the New-York volunteers.
The Secretary reported that a copy of the map of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, published by Messrs. E. & G. W. Blunt, had been presented by that firm to the Chamber, also a copy of the New-York Shippers and Consignees' Guide, by Messrs. BAKER & Godwin.
The following new members were elected, after which the Chamber adjourned : Hugh N. Camp,
James A. ROOSEVELT,
BARNET L. SOLOMON.
PROTECTION OF THE HARBOR OF NEW-YORK. A Local Artillery Battalion Suggested.—The following memorial has been addressed to Governor MORGAN by prominent gentlemen of this city: To his Excellency Edwin D. MORGAN, Governor of the State of New York:
The undersigned, merchants and property owners of the city of NewYork, respectfully represent, that inasmuch as the present emergencies of the government may, and probably will, require all the available forces of the regular service to be engaged in active operations, and that our barbor and forts may consequently be left with a force insufficient for its protection, it is deemed imperative that a Local Artillery Battalion, completely drilled by experienced officers, should be organized and equipped at once; and as the undersigned are informed that competent officers are available for such service, and that one company of experienced men is already formed and capable of performing this service, which would form a nucleus for the organization, we respectfully request that such a battalion may be organized at once.
In the report of the Military Commission to Europe it is well stated that our regular army never can, and perhaps never ought to be large enough to provide for all the contingencies that may arise, but it should be as large as its ordinary avocations in the defence of the frontier will justify; and the greatest possible care should be bestowed upon the instruction in the special arms of the artillery and engineer troops.
“ The militia and volunteer system should be placed upon some tangible and effective basis ; instructions furnished them from the regular army, and all possible means taken to spread sound military information among them. In the vicinity of our sea-coast fortifications, it would be well to provide a sufficient number of volunteer companies, with the means of instruction in heavy artillery; detailing officers of the regular artillery as instructors. In the time of war, or when war is imminent, local companies of regular artillery might easily be enlisted for short terms of service, or for the war, in sea-coast towns. The same thing might advantageously be carried into effect on a small scale in time of peace.”—McClellan's Report.
These remarks, which are the deductions of scientific and military men, need no argument from us to corroborate their worth, and are to us a convincing proof of the necessities of the organization referred to. All of which we respectfully submit for your Excellency's consideration. Brown, BROTHERS & Co.,
N. L. GRISWOLD,
A. A. Low & BROTHER,
C. H. MARSHALL,
JOURNAL OF MINING AND MANUFACTURES.
New Silver ALLOY-STATISTICS OF LOWELL-MICHIGAN COPPER MINES--FRENCH WINES-FLAS
COTTON-NEW MINERAL DISCOVERIES IN CALIFORNIA.
NEW SILVER ALLOY. A BEAUTIFUL new alloy is stated by foreign contemporaries to have been invented recently, after many experiments, by Messrs. De Ruolz and De Fontenay, France. It is said to be well adapted for small coins and industrial purposes.
It consists of one-third silver united with 25 to 30 per cent. of nickel, and from 37 to 42 of copper. Phosphorus is used as a flux in making the metals combine, but when first made and cooled it is very brittle. To render it ductile, the phosphorus must all be removed by reheating, after which the alloy resembles a simple metal, and presents in a very high degree the qualities to which the precious metals owe their superiority. It resembles platinum and silver of my in color; it takes a very brilliant polish. Its tenacity and hardness are extreme. It is ductile, malleable and very difficult of fusion; very sonorous, unalterable in the air, and attacked only by the most energetic re-agents. It has no odor, and its specific gravity is but little inferior to that of silver. It is
easy to estimate the important part such an alloy is calculated to play in the industrial arts, and especially in the silversmith's art—in, to a great extent, replacing silver, of which its price is 40 per cent. less, and as its hardness gives it a marked superiority. Again, articles which are merely silvered or gilt have, it is true, a great advantage in their low price; but they quickly deteriorate, and can be re-silvered or regilt only a very few times, after which they must be replaced by new ones, and, in the long run, entail such an outlay as to confirm the old adage, that “the cheapest is the dearest in the end.”
STATISTICS OF LOWELL MANUFACTURES. Capital stock,
$ 13,900,000 Number of mills,
12,190 Females employed,
8,405 Males employed,
yds., 2,481,000 cotton. Yards made per week, ..
25,000 carpets. Cotton consumed per week, pounds,
.lbs., 823,000 Clean wool consumed per week, pounds,
75,000 Yards, dyed and printed,
.yds., 15,586,000 Tons anthracite coal, per annum,
.tons, 30,400 Charcoal, bushels, per annum,
.bush., 26,850 Wood, per annum, cords,
...cords, 1,720 Oil, per annum, gallons,
galls., 55,682 oil.
20,000 lard. Starch, pounds, per annum,
lbs., 1,631,000 Flour, barrels, per annum,.
PRODUCTS OF THE MICHIGAN COPPER MINES. The following is an approximate estimate of the product of native copper from the opening of the Lake Superior mines, in 1845 to 1860, inclusively, in tons of 2,000 lbs.: PRODUCE FROM 1845 to 1857, INCLUSIVELY.
18,945 Shipped in 1858,
5,896 tons, Less, included in above item,
3,500 Shipped in 1859,
32,654 The principal copper mines of Cornwall and Devon are comprised within a zone of a mile and a half in width, and thirty-three miles in length. The product of that district in 1860 was 13,212 tons, 1,507 tons less than in 1856. This result has been obtained after workings of 250 years.
The Lake Superior metalliferous belt extends within the limits of Michigan alone, as measured on the range, 160 miles, and averaging five miles in breadth.