Page images

yet, a small one, not exceeding that of a of 50,000 persons, living at an expense of third rate city, a very moderate coasting something more than $500 a year. Calitrade from South America and the Sand-fornia produces nothing but gold; it must wich Islands, and especially from Oregon, therefore, pay for every thing in gold.* will easily supply it with provisions. A Gold, being the largest commodity in quansingle manufacturing village in New Eng-tity, is cheapened by its own abundance; land could furnish it with clothing. The ard $500 will be found insufficient for the commerce in luxuries will never be large, support of a single adult individual living until its population becomes domestic and by provisions and clothes brought to him thriving. The market is already over- across the ocean, stocked with all the necessaries, and many It is certain that far more has been taken of the luxuries, of life. The prices of to California in the shape of clothing, shipmany of these commodities has already ping, provisions, luxuries, and money, than fallen below that which they bear in New has, as yet, been brought out of it in the York, which, considering the prodigious shape of gold. If a California outfit cost cheapness of gold, shows an alarming de- $500, or thereabouts, one hundred men, preciation. When these effects come to going to California, take with them $50,be generally felt and known, commerce will 000; this is $50,000 and the labor and gradually withdraw itself from the ports of enterprise of an hundred men taken diCalifornia, and commodities will have a rectly out of the country where they belong permanent value, measured by the ne- and which they enrich, and transported cessities of the population, the immediate to California.

to California. $50,000, and the labor presence of the precious metals, the mo- of an hundred men, skillfully employed nopoly of the trade, which must fall into in manufactures, or farming, in a civilized the hands of a few adventurers, and the community, would double itself in a few character of the population which, in all years, besides providing subsistence for an gold countries, will be more or less reck- hundred families, creating rich farms and less and unthrifty.

a thriving village, and securing to its owners When the more superficial diggings are and employers all the moral and physical exhausted, and it becomes necessary for advantages and comforts of civilization. several men to combine for the employment Let us see now how this same money of labor and capital in the opening of deep and labor are employed in California. mines, a result which may be expected in There is no combination in California; a few years, it will be found that the price each man is for himself; combination has of labor, always severe in mining, will bring been found to be impossible.

Two or the profits of such adventurers within very three may combine together to work at a moderate limits. Expensive machinery digging, or to speculate in lands, but there will have to be constructed and transport can be no companies, no joint enterprises, ed across the Isthmus, or carried about for the advantage of a number. Of the Cape Horn; salaried gold hunters, engi- hundred men who have taken each a capneers, and miners, will have to be employed ital of $500, and of which they have at a great expense; constant failures, and expended $400 before they arrive in Calia vast waste of labor, will strike away a large fornia, and in such a way that it creates proportion of the profits. In time, a share nothing, yields nothing for themselves or in a gold company in California, will be for their country, but is literally thrown income fancy stock in Wall street.

to the sea, a third, perhaps, or more likely Long before this time the population, a fourth, will find themselves strong enough instead of increasing, may be expected to and possessed of sufficient fortitude to endiminish, having first reached its maxi- gage in mining--a species of toil which is

compared only to stone breaking, well digLet us suppose that the actual proceeds ging, or the laying of heavy walls. Twenof the mines in California amount to about ty-five of the hundred have engaged in this $2,000,000 monthly-$24,000,000 annu- terrible labor. Of the remaining seventyally; if the whole sum is expended in procuring food and clothing, it will pay, from

* What have "balance of trade" theorists to year to year, the expenses of a population say to that?


five, perhaps one half will assist their more community of an hundred adult persons

in laborious brethren as carriers, tool makers, a civilized state, at the rate of $500 a coiners, house builders, and the like occu- year. I have taken small numbers for this pations. They must be paid very liberally. ideal estimate, larger numbers would not They are the friends and the countrymen serve better to show the ratios. of the miners, and their labor is worth The result of all this is that the producmore than that of foreigners. The twen- tion of $50,000 of clear gain in Califorty-five men who engaged in mining, the nia, requires the expenditure and sinking thirty or forty who engaged in other labor, of $100,000; that in this process an availand the thirty or forty who wander about able capital of $50,000, and the labor of after their arrival as marauders, idlers, or an hundred men-civilized and educated beggars, have all to be supported. The men-is withdrawn from the community gold diggers must support all these. Such where they were born, and to which they is the law of communities. No man would belong; that a property, at first equally be permitted to starve or go naked in so distributed among an hundred persons, is liberal a country as California, where gold concentrated in the hands of a few peris so abundant. Every man, too, will do sons, that the morals and manners of the something, under the pretext of earning great majority are impaired, or quite ruinhis bread. They will dig a little, work a ed; that many have perished of malaria little, trade a little, just enough to keep and hard labor, who would otherwise have body and soul together. They will em- lived to a good old age; that some have ploy their best abilities in the art of living become gamblers and sots; that many easy upon the industry of others. The have given up excellent business and twenty-five gold diggers have to dig gold good hopes, to engage in an unprofitable enough among them, not only for their own and dangerous adventure ; and finally, support, but, whatever may be their own that of those who successfully bring home intentions, for the support of the remaining fortune from beyond the seas, suffering the seventy-five, who are a part of the same intoxication of too sudden a success, and community. To get back their first ex- by too desperate a means, the greater part penses, and that of their comrades, they will soon lose unluckily at home, what they have to dig, in the course of the year, have luckily got abroad ; to say that two $50,000 worth of gold, beside enough to out of the original hundred will certainly pay their current expenses. But they can benefit themselves and others by the advenwork during only one half the year. They ture, is saying more than is prudent. have to dig more than $8,200 the month, Such, when they come to be written, for six consecutive months; but as only will be found to be the average history of one half of them will more than support California adventure. It is true, immense themselves during that time, the remainder fortunes have been made, and a few who (a large proportion) being the lucky ones, went there poor have come back rich, notthese lucky ones must clear $8,200 the withstanding all of which we still aver that month, over and above their expenses, to such in future will be found to be the hispay costs, and replace the capital invested; tory of California adventures. for it must never be forgotten that Califor- We have said that California can never nia produces nothing but gold. Unless have a commerce ; it is a gold producing gold is produced, nothing is produced, and country; it will by and by become, to a the money expended in and upon

the coun

certain extent, agricultural, and possibly try is lost.

a few manufactures may be introduced; In six months twelve men have earned but, for the first, it cannot enter into comabout $50,000. This money is to be di- petition with Oregon or Chili; nor for the sevided between them, but not equally; the cond with the United States and England. least of the lucky ones will have but $1,000 There is no reason to believe, that for many of this money, and the most lucky will have ages, California will export manufactures perhaps $20,000. During the year ex- or agricultural products; the population pended in the replacement of the original will consequently consist almost exclusive$50,000, these twelve men will have dug ly of miners and those who employ them; gold enough, beside all this, to support a it will, therefore, be a limited population ;

it will not grow beyond the necessity | more than it is worth, both in the war that created by the operation of capitalists in was made for it, and in the money and its mining regions ; its property will be labor that has been carried into it. As an owned chiefly by persons residing in Eng- investment of labor and capital it is already land and in the United States; they will a total failure. send money and machinery, and receive But if California can never become a gold in return. The commerce of Benecia seat of trade, and is, as a speculation, in and San Francisco will consequently be itself unprofitable; if its effect is to demoextremely limited.

ralize the entire community by creating an Commerce is centered in a region by its unnatural thirst for gold, and a love of forbecoming either a mart for the exchange eign adventure, if it is to continue to withof commodities, like Samaracand or New draw capital, labor, and talent, the ready York; or by its being like Babylon or Bos- capital, the free labor, and the adventurous ton, a centre for the production of manu- talent of the hardiest portion of our popufactures. The city of Babylon, in which lation from fields where they are most needat one period, the trade of the East was con- ed, and where their value is alone apprecentrated, was, at the epoch of its greatest ciated, with what favor can the public ecoglory, nothing more than an assemblage of nomist regard this new acquisition of a gold manufacturing villages, surrounded by a region ? 'The most sanguine calculators range of artificial hills, called walls, to have not yet shown that the product of the shut out the neighboring barbarians. The country in precious metals will sustain its city of Boston owes its commercial impor- population, or pay the cost of its purchase tance, in great part, to its being the trading and colonization. centre of manufacturing interests in New These then, we conceive, are to be the England.

advantages which are to accrue to us as a It is impossible, in the nature of things, nation by the conquest of California, and that California should become a trading the discovery of its placers. First, it has centre, as it neither produces anything to directed our attention upon the western create a commerce, or to ensure a steady borders of our continent; it has already growth of population. For the same reason drawn us nearer in thought, to the Asiatic it can never become a port of deposit or of side of the globe ; it has opened the way exchange. The badness of its harbors will for a commerce with Asia ; it has created alone prevent that result.

a necessity for the establishment of a free Let us now make enquiry of the bene- and rapid communication between the Atfits, real or imagined, which are to be se- lantic and the Pacific ; it has brought us cured to this country by the addition of nearer, by the space of several centuries, California. That these benefits are to arise to our ultimate destiny as the civilizers, from the addition of a certain amount of and perhaps masters of Asia. The exisgold coin to the circulation of the entire tence of the state of California on the world, no one will perhaps pretend. The shore of the Pacific, has made it necessary value of the precious metals is diminished for us to establish a communication beas their quantity increases ; to have that tween the two sides of the continent. quantity largely increased would be an in- When this communication is established, afconvenience, as it would add nothing to fairs in California will take another turn; a the wealth of the world; nothing to the railroad will pass from the Mississippi River comforts of life, and would disturb the perhaps to the Columbia. At Puget Sound, coinage of governments. The benefit to if we prophecy truly, there will be estabbe derived from the finding of gold consists lished an entrepot for the commerce bein the good fortune of those few lucky in-tween the United States and Asia ; the gold dividuals who make fortunes by the adven- of California will pass first into Oregon beture. The capital hitherto invested, and fore it is distributed to the East and West. effectually sunk and annihilated, far ex- Or if it is resolved that the great internaceeds the largest anticipated returns. On tional railroad shall go to California first, the whole, regarded as a commercial spe- still we may predict for it the same conseeulation in which the entire country is in- quences, that it will become a route of comterested, California has already cost much mercial enterprise between America and

Asia. California will then indeed become and prosperous state, but whose prosperity a grand commercial centre, but she will will be most seriously retarded should the continue to be insignificant as a state ; and great road be turned away from it, and for the reason that she produces nothing, directed upon the barren mountains and or rather produces nothing but gold, of all unprofitable plains of California. With products the least valuable, the least pro- such a route as is contemplated, the profitable, the least beneficial to the world. ducts of Oregon will within a century far

Should Oregon, on the other hand, be exceed a dozen Californias ; nor will those, made the terminus of the new route, there meanwhile, of California decline in consewill be added to the United States a coun quence, since nothing is more needed to try well fitted for every purpose of agricul- the prosperity of that state than the immeture and manufacture, of vast extent, free diate neighborhood and intercourse of such from the remotest danger of invasion, of a a population as that which will be in temperate climate, and lying convenient to Oregon. Let not the Californian think the ocean, towards which already a stream me his enemy:

The fewer the better in of population is moving, which must soon that country for those who are there. convert it from a wilderness to a wealthy

J. D. W.



The State and City elections of New to a great height. A complete rupture York on the 6th November, have shown a took place all over the Union. It was resuperiority of strength in the Republican and solved by the Barn Burning faction that Conservative party over the united forces of Mr. Cass, who headed the Old Hunker dithe remains of the old Jackson organiza- vision, should be defeated, cost what it tion, called Loco Focos, and of the new might. The body of the party, however, party, who go by the name of Barn Burn- had been so entirely corrupted by the en

joyment of office, and by other causes of The origin of these two factions in the political decay incident to the unscrupulous State of New York arose upon a quarrel employment of power, that the new divisbetween the old office holders, who came ion of them found themselves, to their in under the old Jackson dynasty, and the great surprise, without a single principle of younger members of the same party, who organization; in fact, in the race for power wished to succeed them in the offices which they had left their principles behind, and they had so long held. The two factions forgotten where they left them. They had organized themselves under the name of nothing positive about them. They were Barn Burners and Old Hunkers. (We opposed to prohibitory duties and unnecesput these facts on record for the benefit of sary tariffs, it is true, but so were the mafuture historians, as they are likely to be jority of the Whigs. In Kane letters, and forgotten.) The Old Hunkers were the other recorded documents, they advocated successors of, or were themselves, the men protection, incidental, certainly, but still who went over from the ranks of Federal- protection. They thought it a good thing, ism to join the no-principle party of Gen- so it was not carried too far—and so eral Jackson ; they, however, carried their did the Whigs. They were opposed to the principles with them in their pockets, to be establishment of a National Bank with used upon occasion. In order to win over unlimited powers. They announced, in the body of foreign emigration, more Presidents' messages, and elsewhere, that especially in the city of New York, they they thought a Bank, unless it were propassumed the name of Democrats, synono- erly regulated, and placed under proper mous with Jackson men, or friends of the restrictions, a dangerous experiment, and people. Unluckily for themselves, however, so did the Whigs. They professed themas it proved in the sequel, they adopted the selves opposed to an unlimited and extravnew doctrine of rotation in office, and be- agant system of improvements. They ing, of late years, extremely slow and loth thought it necessary that the money of the in its application to themselves, there Government should be expended constitusprang up a number of enthusiastic young tionally, and in cases that were deemed philosophers, very practical men too, who necessary to the national welfare, and so undertook to see that the doctrine was ap- were and did the Whigs. They were opplied;

the consequence was the formation posed to the interference of Congress in of a new party, who called themselves the domestic affairs of the Southern States, Barn Burners, because they had under and so were the Whigs. They thought it taken to set fire to the barn in order to necessary to make a peace with Mexico, drive out the rats.

on terms favorable to the honor of this Under Mr. Polk's Administration the country—the Whigs indicated with great unpopularity of the old office-holding, or distinctness that they were of the same old Hunker division of that scion of Fed- opinion. They believed in a certain reaeralism which claims the name of Democ- sonable rotation of office, and so indeed racy, but which goes commonly by the did the Whigs, as was proved by the elecmore appropriate title of Loco Foco, rose tion of General Taylor. They thought it

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »