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BULLION TRANSMITTED TO UNITED STATES MINT FOR COINAGE.
Total. 1860, 4th quarter,.
$ 101,987 $ 8,772,811 $ 8,874,798 1861, 1st
809,367 19,505,400 20,314,767 3d
$ 2,300,126 $ 64,855,532 $ 67,155,658 The estimated cost of transportation to and from the Mint-on gold, $64,855; on silver, $6,900—is $71,755. Add to this the loss of time, and the aggregate loss will appear to be about one hundred thousand dollars annually.
The resolution was adopted.
Mr. BLOODGOOD made a brief address, introducing a resolution for the appointment of a committee of three, to take into consideration and report upon a suggestion made by an eminent merchant of New-York.
Mr. Bloodgood remarked : While no one can entertain a higher estimate of the influence, the labors and the beneficent measures of the Chamber of Commerce, I am of the opinion that its sphere of usefulness may be greatly enlarged. Its action, though powerful, is not as extended as it might be, and I therefore respectfully suggest at least one method by which its great influence might be increased. Composed of the leading merchants and bankers of New-York, it sustains the character which was impressed upon it by its founders and their successors; and, on a careful study of its history, I find that it has been hitherto equal to every emergency
peace or war, of navigation and of commerce. But I believe there are still many important positions which it might efficiently occupy. I perceive, I think, that it has not entirely fulfilled its high duties, though self-imposed, and that its ability to do good is by no means exhausted. If I may be allowed to express my private opinions on this subject, I would say, that, much as it has done, much remains to do. Thus, if I am rightly informned, the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce exercises an immense influence, not only over commerce itself, but in the details which make it successful, and has, within a few years, by its exertions, elevated that city to the rank of a first-rate port.
This Liverpool Chamber not only interests itself in public questions, but also in their details. They have a clock which tells the true time of day for the shipping; they have signals, daily hoisted, premonitory of the weather, communicated by careful observers at Greenwich, by which the departure of ships is regulated; they look after the magnetic influences which disturb the marine compass, and it is by their interference that the maritime interests of their port are regulated. Your intelligent and efficient secretary has, at my suggestion, written to the officials of that institution for a full explanation of their regulations, their application and their results. I regret they have not reached him in time to be submitted at this meeting.
Be this as it may, the object of my remarks at this time is this : Believing for some time that the Chamber of Commerce had still untried fields to cultivate, I suggested to a friend and relative of mine a measure which he has thus far cordially assented to. This gentleman, of ample means, a retired merchant, to whom, in more ways than one, New-York has been greatly indebted, is the owner of a site in this immediate neighupper
borhood. He owns four large lots between Pine and Cedar streets. On these, at my suggestion, he will erect a structure in marble, in the most substantial manner, and in the finest taste, at his own expense,
the stories of which shall be principally devoted to the use of the Chamber of Commerce. There will be constructed a large room for general purposes, committee rooms, rooms for a library and marine charts, a hall for the meeting of the Chamber and merchants generally, apartments for a commercial newspaper reading-room, (which, I am informed, can easily be transferred from the Exchange, and for which negotiations can readily be made,) a tower for a clock, an observatory, from which the whole bay and harbor will be visible, and space for the Nautical School which has been created by act of the legislature, and which will fall under the control of the Chamber. He does not require assistance from the Chamber of Commerce to erect these buildings. He will accept only a fair and reasonable rent for his building, and advance the money himself. This expenditure is contemplated to be about $70,000.
It may be said that this is not the time for such an enterprise. But, in my judgment, it is the very time of all times. The proposed edifice can be erected at less cost now than it could have been in our palmy days, or hereafter when our palmy days return. The erection of this building, and the enterprise and sagacity of the Chamber of Commerce, could never be more felicitously displayed than in seizing upon this opportunity.
It is true we are at war with our own brothers, engaged in a distressing family quarrel ; but New-York, favored by nature, by Providence and its own intrinsic merit, stands in all its magnificent proportions undisturbed. To the merchants, bankers and people of New-York the country owes this day its proud position and its real safety. But for them, no armies would have crowded the seat of war; but for them, rebellion this moment would be rampant; and when this controversy is ended, and when the historian makes his record of its events, no such city and no such people will have ever received or deserved so much honor. Ours is a case of peculiar character. It has no parallel. A good cause may be sometimes overthrown for want of strength ; but a good cause, with a just quarrel and a superior force, never yet failed and never can.
I look forward confidently to the restoration of the Union, the supremacy of the Constitution, and a return to their allegiance of that mistaken, cheated and abused population of the South, who have been led by demagogues into a fratricidal contest, which must end in their utter ruin if persisted in, unless they accept again our brotherly care. And this I believe they will do.
No matter, then, about the condition of things elsewhere, when we are all right here. The Chamber of Commerce has a destiny which has survived two wars, and will survive this. Art, philanthropy, patriotism, commerce cannot be extinguished by any difficulties of the hour, and therefore we are safe in extending our benevolent action to reach posterity, who will admire our persistence.
It is, therefore, no objection to my proposition that war exists. Commerce goes on. I am surprised to learn, from this morning's papers, that our trade was never more active in this port than at this moment. More entries and departures than were ever known; more exports than imports, and no falling off in them. If Cotton has ceased to be King, I am happy to find that Čorn has ascended the throne, and that his dynasty is not to
be disturbed for the present. In a French paper I received yesterday, I find it stated that the grain crop of France is one-third less this year than last; and that country has no where else to look for a supply than the Northern and Western United States. We may congratulate ourselves, therefore, on the stability of our commerce, in spite of all the obstacles which foreign jealousy has placed in our path,
I see, therefore, no reason why the Chamber of Commerce may not proceed in its honorable course, nor why it should not seek every favorable opportunity to extend its influence, nor why such patriotic and, I may say, disinterested offers to increase its usefulness should be unnoticed. The Chambers of Commerce in Cincinnati and St. Louis, I am told, are conducted on a superior scale, though they have no bays in which the navies of the world may anchor, no healthful “salt sea” waves to break upon their shores. Here is an opportunity, then, that has never occurred before to us, and may never occur again. I therefore respectfully suggest that a special committee be appointed, of which I hope our experienced and liberal-minded president may be chairman, to take into consideration the suggestion now made, in good faith for myself and the eminent citizen whose name I am ready to give if called upon to do 80. If the plan is adopted, the merchants of New-York will have a place of resort that will have no superior, either in this country or in Europe, and exercise a large and beneficial influence. If it is not, I shall have at least the pleasure of having made a fair and useful and a patriotic proposition, and performed my duty as one of its humble members.
The subject was referred to a committee, consisting of the President, Messrs. BLOODGOOD and Cisco.
LETTER FROM PROFESSOR LIEBER.
New-York, September 13, 1861. SIR,—Prevented by circumstances beyond my control from attending the first meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, after its honorary membership had been conferred on me, I am obliged to request of you, Mr. President, the favor of expressing to the Chamber my sincere thanks for the honor which your eminent institution has kindly bestowed upon me. I appreciate this distinction, and value it the more on account of the time in which you have extended it to me—a period, it seems, of peculiar honor to the merchants of New-York.
In selecting me for the honorary membership, the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New-York has doubtless been prompted by a desire to express its sympathy with one of the branches which I am teaching at Columbia Collegea branch which, indeed, has been called the philosophy of commerce, and which certainly is the science of production and exchange, and exchange is commerce. May this sympathy between the great commerce of our city and the course of education and knowledge always subsist between your Chamber, the chartered embodiment of the merchants at the southern end of this the only port-surrounded city in the world, on the one hand, and our college on the northern hill of the city on the other hand. May they flourish together. Both are interwoven with the history of New-York. Our Chamber of Commerce was established, if I am not mistaken, in the year 1758, years
after the foundation of our college. The two institutions are already linked VOL. XLV.-NO. V.
together by the worthy and venerated president of the latter, an active member of long standing of the former.
If a profession were required of a new member, I could make mine with reference to trade, and to that struggle in which our country is engaged and which signally affects our commerce, in a very few words.
I am by conviction, sympathy and all the results of observation and study, an unwavering Union man. I believe that commerce is the handmaid of civilization, and that men are inherently exchanging beings; I am in favor of the freest possible exchange, of unshackled trade; I know that one of the characteristics of modern progress is the almost universal establishment of free trade within each country ruled by one government; I believe that without the Union civil liberty will not be maintained, and I know that in modern history, ever since the downfall of antiquity, civil, and, in a great measure, even religious, liberty have gone hand in hand with commerce; and I know that when commerce suffers, that which presents itself to the less observing as a relief nearest at hand proves frequently the merest palliative—in economy as in medicine. War disturbs exchanging traffic, indeed, but every peace on that account is not a remedy. Many a peace recorded in history, ancient as well as modern, has proved a scourge more dire than the war it was intended to close. There is nothing great without its sacrifice, and commerce is not exempted from this universal law, any more than religion, science, liberty, the arts, or that civilization which comprehends them all.
We have civil war in our country-sad for all of us—and bitter for those who wantonly plunged her into this contest; for whatever its issue may be, one thing seems to be beyond all doubt-neither cotton nor slavery will come forth from this war as they went into it.
The royal purple of the one will be rumpled, perhaps rent, and the divinity of the other will appear somewhat shorn and paled.
Be the end of the war what it may, the bankers and merchants of New-York, this Chamber and the capitalists, deserve the warmest acknowledgments of every patriot, and to take a much more confined view, of every economist, for having bravely supported the active and able Secretary of the Treasury in his directness of purpose and candor of conduct, when lately he was in the midst of us on his momentous errand to obtain a large portion of the means wherewith to carry on our just and conservative war, which has been forced upon us and is now necessary, even in a purely commercial point of view.
It is true, indeed, that those who are now in arms against their own country have proclaimed the desire of establishing free trade as one of the causes an economical reason for an insurrection which commenced with the setting aside of the elements of morals, the stepping over the principles of honor, and the breaking of those oaths which are held by men most sacred; and, on the other hand, it is true that the United States have enacted an untoward tariff; but has the revolted portion of the country shown itself in former times, and does it show itself even now, frankly and plainly for free trade? The sugar interest of Louisiana tells us no.
Had it ever been candidly in favor of internal free trade? The river tonnage duty, repeatedly asked for by men from that portion, would surely not have promoted free domestic traffic. If ever this insurrection should come victoriously to settle down into an acknowledged new state of things, would it not break up the free traffic and unhampered exchange in the territory of the Union, which is the largest portion of
the whole peopled northern continent—that free trade within the country for which Germany toilsomely labors, and which, permit me to repeat it, is one of the cheering characteristics of modern progress ?
Nature gave us a land abounding in all the means of sustaining life and industry—food and fuel; she cast a network of fluvial high roads over the whole.
Our history is marked by no feature more distinctly than by the early complete freedom of river navigation, for which other nations have struggled in vain for many long centuries; and this insurrection, with a federal confession of judgment, steps in and means to snap the silver thread. The Mississippi belongs to you, sir, as much as to any man in Louisiana, and it is mine as much as it is yours. It belongs to the country by divine right, if jus divinum ever existed in any case; and let us trust in that God the country will never allow it to be wrested from us. Every consideration, with the consciousness of a high mission imposed upon us by our Maker to that of the commonest economy, urges us to hold fast to the unstinted freedom of our fluvial and all other communication. Let us first re-establish complete free trade within our whole domain, and afterwards let every one who candidly believes in the blessings of international free trade see to that.
Important as the topic of free trade doubtless is proved to be by the recent history of civilized nations, and by the development of all exchange, there is, nevertheless, a principle which every economist and publicist acknowledges as of far greater importance for production and exchange for commerce in its evident and its narrowed spheres—it is the simple fact that the instability of the country's polity affects production and exchange far more than an injudicious policy, plague or conquest. Let the right of secession--as it has almost farcically been called—be established ; let American polities be considered as confederacies of States merely pieced or huddled together without a pervading and comprehensive national element, (an effete type of polity belonging to a period long passed in the political progress of our race,) and, sir, we may as well close the doors of our Chamber, and you may save yourself the trouble of presiding over us.
what literally mean. The right of secession once acknowledged would lead to a number of chartered States, following the pattern held up by the insurgents, which brings small States, proud of an imaginary sovereignty, into contact just sufficient to produce jarring and contest, and to prevent organic harmony. The history of all pure or real confederacies is uninviting, frequently appalling, whether regarded in a general point of view or with reference to production and wealth alone. To such a supposed state of things our commerce would cease to be an organic branch of civilization, and sink to the short-sighted, selfish extorting which constitutes the trading of all lawless countries, be the lawlessness caused by the despotism of the many, the heartless arrogance of the few or the tyranny of one.
As men of duty and honor, as patriots, as merchants and men of industry, as lovers of freedom and civilization, as men who know that great and constant accumulation of wealth is requisite for modern civilization, as men who are determined to do right and wish to act nobly, let us stand by our country and see that this gigantic, sanguinary absurdity be crushed or driven from every corner of the soil.
Accept, sir, the sentiments of my highest regard, with which I am your very obedient servant.
Francis LIEBER. To Pelatiah Perit, President of the Chamber of Commerce.