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five, perhaps one half will assist their more laborious brethren as carriers, tool makers, coiners, house builders, and the like occupations. They must be paid very liberally. They are the friends and the countrymen of the miners, and their labor is worth more than that of foreigners. The twenty-five men who engaged in mining, the thirty or forty who engaged in other labor, and the thirty or forty who wander about after their arrival as marauders, idlers, or beggars, have all to be supported. The The gold diggers must support all these. Such is the law of communities. No man would be permitted to starve or go naked in so liberal a country as California, where gold is so abundant. Every man, too, will do something, under the pretext of earning his bread. They will dig a little, work a little, trade a little, just enough to keep body and soul together. They will emThey will employ their best abilities in the art of living easy upon the industry of others. The twenty-five gold diggers have to dig gold enough among them, not only for their own support, but, whatever may be their own intentions, for the support of the remaining seventy-five, who are a part of the same community. To get back their first expenses, and that of their comrades, they have to dig, in the course of the year, $50,000 worth of gold, beside enough to pay their current expenses. But they can work during only one half the year. They have to dig more than $8,200 the month, for six consecutive months; but as only one half of them will more than support themselves during that time, the remainder (a large proportion) being the lucky ones, these lucky ones must clear $8,200 the month, over and above their expenses, to pay costs, and replace the capital invested; for it must never be forgotten that California produces nothing but gold. Unless gold is produced, nothing is produced, and the money expended in and upon the country is lost.
In six months twelve men have earned about $50,000. This money is to be divided between them, but not equally; the least of the lucky ones will have but $1,000 of this money, and the most lucky will have perhaps $20,000. During the year expended in the replacement of the original $50,000, these twelve men will have dug gold enough, beside all this, to support a
community of an hundred adult persons in a civilized state, at the rate of $500 a year. I have taken small numbers for this ideal estimate, larger numbers would not serve better to show the ratios.
The result of all this is that the production of $50,000 of clear gain in California, requires the expenditure and sinking of $100,000; that in this process an available capital of $50,000, and the labor of an hundred men-civilized and educated men-is withdrawn from the community where they were born, and to which they belong; that a property, at first equally distributed among an hundred persons, is concentrated in the hands of a few persons, that the morals and manners of the great majority are impaired, or quite ruined; that many have perished of malaria and hard labor, who would otherwise have lived to a good old age; that some have become gamblers and sots; that many have given up excellent business and good hopes, to engage in an unprofitable and dangerous adventure; and finally, that of those who successfully bring home fortune from beyond the seas, suffering the intoxication of too sudden a success, and by too desperate a means, the greater part will soon lose unluckily at home, what they have luckily got abroad; to say that two out of the original hundred will certainly benefit themselves and others by the adventure, is saying more than is prudent.
Such, when they come to be written, will be found to be the average history of California adventure. It is true, immense fortunes have been made, and a few who went there poor have come back rich, notwithstanding all of which we still aver that such in future will be found to be the history of California adventures.
We have said that California can never have a commerce; it is a gold producing country; it will by and by become, to a certain extent, agricultural, and possibly a few manufactures may be introduced; but, for the first, it cannot enter into competition with Oregon or Chili; nor for the second with the United States and England. There is no reason to believe, that for many ages, California will export manufactures or agricultural products; the population will consequently consist almost exclusively of miners and those who employ them; it will, therefore, be a limited population;
it will not grow beyond the necessity created by the operation of capitalists in its mining regions; its property will be owned chiefly by persons residing in England and in the United States; they will send money and machinery, and receive gold in return. The commerce of Benecia and San Francisco will consequently be extremely limited.
Commerce is centered in a region by its becoming either a mart for the exchange of commodities, like Samaracand or New York; or by its being like Babylon or Boston, a centre for the production of manufactures. The city of Babylon, in which at one period, the trade of the East was concentrated, was, at the epoch of its greatest glory, nothing more than an assemblage of manufacturing villages, surrounded by a
of artificial hills, called walls, to shut out the neighboring barbarians. The city of Boston owes its commercial importance, in great part, to its being the trading centre of manufacturing interests in New England.
It is impossible, in the nature of things, that California should become a trading centre, as it neither produces anything to create a commerce, or to ensure a steady growth of population. For the same reason it can never become a port of deposit or of exchange. The badness of its harbors will alone prevent that result.
Let us now make enquiry of the benefits, real or imagined, which are to be secured to this country by the addition of California. That these benefits are to arise from the addition of a certain amount of gold coin to the circulation of the entire world, no one will perhaps pretend. The value of the precious metals is diminished as their quantity increases; to have that quantity largely increased would be an inconvenience, as it would add nothing to the wealth of the world; nothing to the comforts of life, and would disturb the coinage of governments. The benefit to be derived from the finding of gold consists in the good fortune of those few lucky individuals who make fortunes by the adventure. The capital hitherto invested, and effectually sunk and annihilated, far exceeds the largest anticipated returns. On the whole, regarded as a commercial speeulation in which the entire country is interested, California has already cost much
more than it is worth, both in the war that was made for it, and in the money and labor that has been carried into it. As an investment of labor and capital it is already a total failure.
But if California can never become a seat of trade, and is, as a speculation, in itself unprofitable; if its effect is to demoralize the entire community by creating an unnatural thirst for gold, and a love of foreign adventure, if it is to continue to withdraw capital, labor, and talent, the ready capital, the free labor, and the adventurous talent of the hardiest portion of our population from fields where they are most needed, and where their value is alone appreciated, with what favor can the public economist regard this new acquisition of a gold region? The most sanguine calculators have not yet shown that the product of the country in precious metals will sustain its population, or pay the cost of its purchase and colonization.
These then, we conceive, are to be the advantages which are to accrue to us as a nation by the conquest of California, and the discovery of its placers. First, it has directed our attention upon the western borders of our continent; it has already drawn us nearer in thought, to the Asiatic side of the globe; it has opened the way for a commerce with Asia; it has created a necessity for the establishment of a free and rapid communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific; it has brought us nearer, by the space of several centuries, to our ultimate destiny as the civilizers, and perhaps masters of Asia. The existence of the state of California on the shore of the Pacific, has made it necessary for us to establish a communication between the two sides of the continent. When this communication is established, affairs in California will take another turn; a railroad will pass from the Mississippi River perhaps to the Columbia. At Puget Sound, if we prophecy truly, there will be established an entrepot for the commerce between the United States and Asia; the gold of California will pass first into Oregon before it is distributed to the East and West. Or if it is resolved that the great international railroad shall go to California first, still we may predict for it the same consequences, that it will become a route of commercial enterprise between America and
Asia. California will then indeed become a grand commercial centre, but she will continue to be insignificant as a state; and for the reason that she produces nothing, or rather produces nothing but gold, of all products the least valuable, the least profitable, the least beneficial to the world.
Should Oregon, on the other hand, be made the terminus of the new route, there will be added to the United States a country well fitted for every purpose of agriculture and manufacture, of vast extent, free from the remotest danger of invasion, of a temperate climate, and lying convenient to the ocean, towards which already a stream of population is moving, which must soon convert it from a wilderness to a wealthy
and prosperous state, but whose prosperity will be most seriously retarded should the great road be turned away from it, and directed upon the barren mountains and unprofitable plains of California. With such a route as is contemplated, the products of Oregon will within a century far exceed a dozen Californias; nor will those, meanwhile, of California decline in consequence, since nothing is more needed to the prosperity of that state than the immediate neighborhood and intercourse of such a population as that which will be in Oregon. Let not the Californian think me his enemy. The fewer the better in that country for those who are there.
J. D. W.
THE WHIG VICTORY IN NEW YORK.
THE State and City elections of New | York on the 6th November, have shown a superiority of strength in the Republican and Conservative party over the united forces of the remains of the old Jackson organization, called Loco Focos, and of the new party, who go by the name of Barn Burn
The origin of these two factions in the State of New York arose upon a quarrel between the old office holders, who came in under the old Jackson dynasty, and the younger members of the same party, who wished to succeed them in the offices which they had so long held. The two factions organized themselves under the name of Barn Burners and Old Hunkers. (We put these facts on record for the benefit of future historians, as they are likely to be forgotten.) The Old Hunkers were the successors of, or were themselves, the men who went over from the ranks of Federalism to join the no-principle party of General Jackson; they, however, carried their principles with them in their pockets, to be used upon occasion. In order to win over the body of foreign emigration, more especially in the city of New York, they assumed the name of Democrats, synonomous with Jackson men, or friends of the people. Unluckily for themselves, however, as it proved in the sequel, they adopted the new doctrine of rotation in office, and being, of late years, extremely slow and loth in its application to themselves, there sprang up a number of enthusiastic young philosophers, very practical men too, who undertook to see that the doctrine was applied; the consequence was the formation of a new party, who called themselves Barn Burners, because they had undertaken to set fire to the barn in order to drive out the rats.
Under Mr. Polk's Administration the unpopularity of the old office-holding, or old Hunker division of that scion of Federalism which claims the name of Democracy, but which goes commonly by the more appropriate title of Loco Foco, rose
to a great height. A complete rupture took place all over the Union. It was resolved by the Barn Burning faction that Mr. Cass, who headed the Old Hunker division, should be defeated, cost what it might. The body of the party, however, had been so entirely corrupted by the enjoyment of office, and by other causes of political decay incident to the unscrupulous employment of power, that the new division of them found themselves, to their great surprise, without a single principle of organization; in fact, in the race for power they had left their principles behind, and forgotten where they left them. They had nothing positive about them. They were opposed to prohibitory duties and unnecessary tariffs, it is true, but so were the majority of the Whigs. In Kane letters, and other recorded documents, they advocated protection, incidental, certainly, but still protection. They thought it a good thing, so it was not carried too far-and so did the Whigs. They were opposed to the establishment of a National Bank with unlimited powers. They announced, in Presidents' messages, and elsewhere, that they thought a Bank, unless it were properly regulated, and placed under proper restrictions, a dangerous experiment, and so did the Whigs. They professed themselves opposed to an unlimited and extravagant system of improvements. They thought it necessary that the money of the Government should be expended constitutionally, and in cases that were deemed necessary to the national welfare, and so were and did the Whigs. They were opposed to the interference of Congress in the domestic affairs of the Southern States, and so were the Whigs. They thought it necessary to make a peace with Mexico, on terms favorable to the honor of this country-the Whigs indicated with great distinctness that they were of the same opinion. They believed in a certain reasonable rotation of office, and so indeed did the Whigs, as was proved by the election of General Taylor. They thought it
necessary that Representatives should represent their constituents, and that what a man had promised to vote for in Congress he should vote for; in fact, to their amazement, they found that they had not a single principle left them. Old Hunkerism, even, had but one, and that it had inherited from Federalism, the unscrupulous application, namely, of the Presidential veto, and of this they conld make no capital, taken by itself. The principle was nothing in itself. To have any basis of organization at all, to have any soul, thought, or speculation, to have any thing efficient or statesmanlike about them, they must find something, they must find some fresh and lively opinion, some new and philosophical sentiment, that should serve as a soul to animate the, as yet, dull and lifeless faction.
By assiduous writing, speaking, and teaching, the Whig party had, after many years of almost hopeless effort, succeeded in creating a powerful opinion against the extension of slavery over new territory. They had succeeded in convincing the South that every additional acre of cotton, cultivated by slave labor, would serve only to lower the price of cotton, and diminish the profits of the older planters. They had succeeded in convincing the South that its true policy was rather to diminish than to increase the number of cotton planters. They had shown them moreover, nay, had convinced them, as they had convinced the entire North, that Congress had full power either to extend or to limit slavery in the territories of the nation. They had also established the doctrine that the sovereignty of a State created upon new territory, was perfect from the instant of its birth, and that new States could not be interfered with to force them either to suppress or to erect among themselves the institution of slavery. It was the original doctrine of the Whigs that new States should legislate for or against slavery on their own responsibility, and with full powers. This doctrine so unluckily appropriated by the Whigs, was of no avail to either section of their adversaries, except under a very bold and dangerous system of lying and misrepresentation, such as is followed by the Union newspaper. The Old Hunker division, on the other hand, were disposed to hold to the doctrine
that Congress had no right to interfere to prevent the extension of slavery over the national territory. Could the new faction set itself in opposition to this doctrine, there was the hope of something like an organization. They made it a point to say, with the Whigs, that slavery ought not to be extended over the national domain. They endeavored to have a form of law given to this principle; and, under the name of Wilmot Proviso, it came before the country, and was rejected, chiefly because of the untimeliness of its appearance, and the injudicious manner of its introduction, and its insulting and repulsive appearance to the South. The majority of the people were clearly in favor of preventing the extension of slavery over the national domain, but the Wilmot Proviso neither is, nor ever will be, the means of that prevention.
The Abolition third party, which had hitherto distinguished itself by annually putting a certain number of good votes in limbo, witnessing the unfortunate predicament of the young faction, came forward with a very handsome offer to furnish out a new stock of principles, of a very racy and enlivening character, such as would have a good sound, and chime in well with the sentimental passion of the day. Barn Burnerism took the hint, and accepted this very handsome offer in part; it announced itself, on a sudden, as the champion of Free Soil, much to the astonishment of the Whigs, who had hitherto imagined that they alone were the defenders of free institutions in the new territories; that they alone, for reasons both economical and philanthropical, had set themselves against the extension of domestic slavery. The orators of the new faction, overjoyed at the discovery of a principle-a thing unheard of since the election of Gen. Jacksonwere at vast pains to impress the minds of the masses with a proper sense of the dignity of their mission. They stepped forward with great self-possession, as the defenders of human rights in general, especially as they appear in the person of the negro; but they were not unconstitutional, oh! no, not they! They were not disposed to meddle with the domestic institutions of the South, oh! no, not they all that they professed was an intention to prevent the spread of slavery over new territories, and by constitutional means.