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This proclamation is so well expressed, and such a conciliatory spirit pervades it throughout, that we feel justified in inserting it.
To The in HABITANTS OF CALIrorNIA.
The central government of Mexico having commenced hostilities against the United States of America, by invading its territory and attacking the troops of the United States stationed on the north side of the Rio Grande, with a force of seven thousand men, under the command of General Arista, which army was totally destroyed, and all their artillery, baggage, &c., captured, on the eighth and ninth of May last, by a force of two thousand three hundred men, under the command of General Taylor, and the city of Matamoras taken and occupied by the forces of the United States:— The two nations being actually at war by this transaction, I shall hoist the standard of the United States at Monterey immediately, and shall carry it throughout California. I declare to the inhabitants of California, that, although in arms with a powerful force, I do not come among them as an enemy to California, but, on the contrary, I come as their best friend, as henceforward California will be a portion of the to: States, and its peaceable inhabitants will enjoy the same rights and privileges as the citizens of any other portion of that nation, with all the rights and privileges they now enjoy, together with the privilege of choosing their own magistrates and other officers, for the administration of justice among themselves; and the same protection will be extended to them as to any other State of the Union. They will also enjoy a permanent government, under which life, property, and the constitutional rights, and lawful security to worship the Creator in a way most congenial to each one's sense of duty, will be secure; which, unfortunately, the central government of Mexico cannot afford them, destroyed as her resources are by internal factions and corrupt officers, who create constant revolutions to promote their own interests and oppress the people. Under the flag of the United States, California will be free from all such troubles and expenses. Consequently, the country will rapidly advance and improve, both in agriculture and commerce, as, of course, the revenue laws will be the same in California as in all other parts of the United States, affording them all manufactures and produce of the United States free from any duty, and all foreign goods at one-quarter of the duty they now pay. A great increase in the value of real estate and the products of California may reasonably be expected. With the great interest and kind feelings } know the governnment and people of the United States possess towards the citizens of California, the country cannot but improve more rapidly than any other on the continent of America. Such of the inhabitants of California, whether natives or foreigners, as may not be disposed to accept the high privilege of citizenship, and to live peaceably under the free government of the United States, will be allowed time to dispose of their property, and to remove out of the country if they choose, without any restriction; or to remain in it, observing strict neutrality. With full confidence in the honor and integrity of the inhabitants of the country, I invite the judges, alcades, and other civil officers, to retain their offices, and to execute their functions as heretofore, that the public tranquillity may not be disturbed, at least until the government of the territory can be more definitively arranged. All persons holding titles of real estate, or in quiet possession of lands under color of right, shall have their titles and rights guaranteed to them. All churches, and the property they contain, in possession of the clergy of California, shall continue in the same rights and possession they now enjoy. \ All provisions ...; supplies of every kind, furnished by the inhabitants for the use of the United States ships or troops, will be paid for at fair rates, and no private property will be taken for public use without just compensation at the moment. JOHN D. SLOAT, Commander-in-chief of the U. S. naval forces in the Pacific Ocean. UNITED STATEs ship SAVANNAH, Harbor of Monterey, July 6th, 1846.
For a description of this fine territory, which will, probably, one day be annexed to our galaxy of republics, and become peopled by the AngloSaxon race, we refer the reader to our article in the April number of this work, entitled “Life in California."
Half a century has nearly elapsed since Commodore Sloat entered the navy as a midshipman; and few officers have been so constantly or use. fully employed. "He has participated in brilliant achievements, and been associated in duty with a number of those who have added lustre to our flag-none of whom have more zealously or efficiently devoted themselves to the protection of our commerce, or have a stronger claim upon the grati. tude of our country.
Art. III.-NEW YORK: AND THE RAILROAD ENTERPRISE :
WITH REFERENCE TO THE POSITION AND PROSPECTS OF HER COMMERCIAL ASCEN
DANCY-MORE ESPECIALLY IN RELATION TO THE RAILROAD MOVEMENT.
Situated in a favorable latitude on the Atlantic coast, possessing a harbor highly eligible for safety and convenience, and of easy access from the ocean at all seasons of the year, for the largest ships, her position is emi. nently favorable for a coasting and foreign trade. Other Atlantic cities, however, possessing a liberal share of advantages, have contested the su. premacy as the general mart of American commerce. For many years, the foreign commerce of the United States was mainly conducted by Bos. ton, Philadelphia, and New York. The latter city enjoyed the advantage of the natural and superior tide-water navigation of the Hudson, extend. ing its unbroken current one hundred and fifty miles into the interior ; while Philadelphia and Boston had very limited navigation to the interior.
The two latter cities, however, had, by the bays and inlets in their vi. cinity, a more extensive coasting trade; and, from earlier settlement, greater capital and experience, for a long time commanded a greater general commerce than New York.
In improving her commerce by increasing facilities for communication with the interior, by turnpike roads, Philadelphia was carly and vigorous in her efforts, while New York can claim to have had very little of that kind of enterprise. When the project for opening canals to the western and northern lakes was agitated in the State legislature, the representa. tives from the city, strange as it may seem, were opposed to the measure. It is but just, however, to remark, they regarded the project as too great for the then limited population, experience, and resources of the State ; and when the construction of about one hundred miles demonstrated the practicability and importance of the work, they gave it a vigorous support.
However favorable the situation for foreign commerce, it is obviously of the first importance to a commercial city, that it have extensive and easy communication with the interior.
Before the canals were completed, that is, the Erie and the Champlain, New York was second to Philadelphia in commercial importance. The completion of those great works in 1825, opened to New York new and vastly increased commercial advantages. The industry of the State was greatly stimulated, and it rapidly increased in population, wealth, and trade. The opening of a navigable communication from the Hudson to
the western lakes, gave New York the whole of the direct lake trade, (except the small part occasionally diverted to Canada,) and made the city of New York, at once, the greatest competitor with New Orleans for the trade of the great West. The several canals, and, more recently, rail. roads, that extend towards and connect with the navigable waters that fall into the Mississippi, have still further extended the commerce of New York. Under the impulse thus given, she rapidly advanced in commercial prosperity. Wessels fitted out at other Atlantic ports, trading with Europe and Asia, instead of carrying cargoes to their own ports, as they had done, now found their interest in sending them to New York, as the great mart of American commerce. The duties on imports paid in New York, in 1827, were about 67 per cent, and in 1833, about 82 per cent of the total paid in the United States; showing that, in the latter year, four-fifths of the whole imports of the Union came to this port. This sudden influence on the general commerce of the country was not viewed with indifference by the cities that felt the unfavorable influence on their relative importance in trade. The city of Philadelphia made vig. orous efforts to induce the State of Pennsylvania to go forward in the construction of canals, that would develop the resources of their own State, and secure, as far as possible, a participation in the western trade. The State of Pennsylvania, together with private corporations, proceeded for several years, with great, if not with well-directed energy, in the construction of works to improve their means of intercommunication. At that time, canals were regarded as the best artificial means of transportation. But neither Pennsylvania, nor any other State, enjoyed such advantages as New York, for forming an easy, navigable channel, to connect the Atlantic tide with the western lakes. The high and dry ridges of the Alleghanies, which required to be crossed in other States, before they reached the line of the New York canal, diminished into broad plains, of moderate elevation, admitting a canal of light lockage, with an abundant supply of water at command. But, nothing daunted by the formidable obstacles they had to encounter, Pennsylvania proceeded westward, making canals where the country would permit, and connecting them by railroad, over ridges where the elevation did not allow of canals. In this way, she has formed a mixed system of artificial communication between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Though this has greatly improved the facilities of Philadelphia in communicating with the interior and westward, it has not proved a very formidable means of diverting trade from New York. The trade of Philadelphia has improved; but the trade of the western lakes has so rapidly increased, and centering mostly in New York, the latter city has been able to maintain an advancing prosperity. So far as regards water communication with the western lakes, and through them for the western trade, New York has no serious rival except New Orleans. The latter city, as she has done, will, no doubt, continue to take a large share. Her navigation, though at times very good, is, to a great extent, fluctuating, and her climate unfavorable. The completion of the enlargement of the Erie Canal, by which it will be adapted to an easy and cheap navigation by vessels of one hundred and fifty tons, that will proceed directly from the lakes to New York, will so enlarge its capacity, and cheapen transportation, that the economy in favor of New York, will carry the point of divergence where trade will divide between New York and New Orleans, far down the main tributaries, and, at some points,
reach the Mississippi river. For salubrity of climate, and the means of cheap and comfortable living, few large cities equal New York. Notwithstanding the superior position of New York, it cannot be doubted that other Atlantic cities have been gaining in their general commerce. This has resulted from improvement in their connection with the interior, and their increase of capital. By the former, they have enlarged their market; and by the latter, have been able to open a direct trade with foreign countries; and, consequently, are less dependent on New York for imports. New York has relied on her canals; and they have proved a noble reliance for both city and State. Under the powerful influence this has given to her growth and prosperity, and in view of the strength and superiority of her position in this respect, it is not surprising she has looked with great indifference to the influence of other kinds of communication. The noble Hudson and the grand canal have been the pride of the city and the State. But a new element of civilization has been developed; “and, however sternly we may set ourselves against it, the world around us see the railway as ‘an epoch’ in the affairs of mankind.” It does not appear that railroads have superseded good water communication, or that the tonnage or revenues of canals have, in general, been reduced by railway improvements, nor do we believe that heavy freight, of a character not to be materially affected by a slow transit, can be transported on a railroad as cheap as by a good water communication. In corroboration of this, it appears that in England and Belgium, where railways have been carried to a great extent, the canals still transport, in general, the great mass of heavy freight during the season of navigation. There are, notwithstanding, advantages so important to social and commercial intercourse, possessed by the railway system, that no commercial city in this latitude can afford to do without them, or fail to feel the influence they will produce, as competitors with water conveyance. At all times, the railway is superior in the transit of whatever requires expedition. In this respect, no water conveyance can equal it. “It is not arrested by drought, nor suspended by frost.” It can traverse high districts where no water conveyance can be made, and thus new routes open competition with it, and materially divert trade, that for water conveyance, had sought a different market. If not as cheap for heavy goods, it is superior in the uniformity of its action; for, while frost closes navigation from one-quarter to one-third of the year, the railway continues to afford, throughout the year, the means of cheap and rapid communication. So long as we depend on water for commercial intercourse with the interior, the winter must be a season of suspension. This is very much against the interest of the agricultural portion of the community, who have little to occupy them on their farms at this season, and will readily embrace the opportunity that may be opened by railroads, to improve it, by sending their productions to market. If the merchants or manufacturers can replenish their stock during the winter, they will save capital, by laying in less in the autumn; and the latter will especially improve the facility offered by a railroad, to send their productions to market as fast as they are prepared. In corroboration of this position, it is only necessary to call attention to the winter business of the Western Railroad, extending from Albany (on the way to Boston) one hundred and fifty-six miles, to Worcester. For the months of January, February, March, and Decem. ber, the receipts were, in 1842, $115,363; 1843, $126,413; 1844, $180,000; 1845, $212,484; the first three months of 1846, at the rate of $265,000 for the winter months of the year, on the supposition that the last month will have the same ratio of increase as the first three months. From this, it appears the winter business of the road has more than doubled in four years. It is obvious, however, the citizens of New York do not generally suppose that railroads can produce an influence that will materially benefit or injure their commercial prosperity. To those who have carefully observed the progress of the railroad enterprise, this may seem strange; but the mystery of this apathy will be solved, when it is considered that, owing to the great natural advantages of her position, aided as this has been by the enterprise of the State, in opening canals to the western and northern lakes, her growth and prosperity has given a great field to her enterprise, in grading and paving streets, and building ships, houses, and stores, to accommodate the demands of her rapidly increasing trade. Thus far, she has hardly had occasion or time to consider, whether any new development of the means of communication could affect her; and this is believed to be the cause why she has not given serious attention to this subject. The railway enterprise, as a means of general communication, is scarcely twenty years old; and already its extension and results have outstripped the anticipations of its ablest advocates. On all sides, from scientific journals, and from the newspapers of the day, we meet accounts of the increasing traffic on railways. On several of the railroads leading from Boston, the business of last year was from three and a half to six times greater in aggregate receipts, and from seven to nine times in number of passengers, than originally estimated by the projectors. The Western Railroad in Massachusetts, before referred to, when in course of construction, was regarded by intelligent and sagacious men, as a most forlorn and unpromising enterprise; but it has been regularly increasing in business since 1842, (the first full year of its operation,) at the rate of about 20 per cent per annum. For substantial structure, and amount of investment, Massachusetts has taken a decided lead in the railroad enterprise; and what was, by many, regarded as a doubtful experiment, has proved a good investment of capital. It appears from the census of last year, that the increase of property in Boston, from 1840 to 1845, over that of the previous five years, was nearly equal to the total cost of the railroads of Massachusetts, or about nineteen millions of dollars. From the same source, it appears the import duties paid on goods by the Cunard line of steamers, in 1840, was less than $350 per voyage, or, for the eight voyages of that year, less than $2,800; and the same for 1845, was $51,000 per voyage, or, for the twenty voyages of the year, $1,020,000. All the industrial interests of the State have been invigorated, and general prosperity promoted. The proceeds of her extensive fisheries and manufactures are carried, with the utmost facility, in every direction, to meet the wants of consumers; and form the basis of a greatly increasing general commerce. The total number of passengers carried on the roads that diverge from Boston, in 1845, was nearly 2,400,000, or double the highest estimate for the trade of the same time by steamboats on the Hudson River, or nearly three times the total population of Massachusetts. Surely the State of Massachusetts,