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labor done directly and indirectly in carrying articles to the place of consumption, which could have been produced in sufficient abundance, with as little labor, at the place of consumption as at the place they were carried from, is useless labor. Let us take a few examples of the application of this principle to our own country. Iron, and everything made of iron, can be produced in sufficient abundance, and with as little labor, in the United States as anywhere else in the world; therefore all labor done in bringing iron and its fabrics from a foreign country to the United States is useless labor. The same precisely may be said of cotton, wool, and of their fabrics respectively, as well as many other articles. While the uselessness of the carrying labor is equally true of all the articles mentioned, and of many others not mentioned, it is perhaps more glaringly obvious in relation to the cotton goods we purchase from abroad. The raw cotton from which they are made itself grows in our own country, is carried by land and by water to England, is there spun, wove, dyed, stamped, etc., and then carried back again and worn in the very country where it grew, and partly by the very persons who grew it. Why should it not be spun, wove, etc., in the very neighborhood where it both grows and is consumed, and the carrying thereby dispensed with? Has nature interposed any obstacle? Are not all the agents-animal-power, water-power, and steam-power-as good and as abundant here as elsewhere? Will not as small an amount of human labor answer here as elsewhere? We may easily see that the cost of this useless labor is very heavy. It includes not only the cost of the actual carriage, but also the insurances of every kind, and the profits of the merchants through whose hands it passes. All these create a heavy burden necessarily falling upon the useful labor connected with such articles, either depressing the price to the producer or advancing it to the consumer, or, what is more probable, doing both in part.

A supposed case will serve to illustrate several points now to the purpose. A, in the interior of South Carolina, has one hundred pounds of cotton, which we suppose to be the precise product of one man's labor for twenty days. B, in Manchester, England, has one hundred yards of cotton cloth, the precise product of the same amount of labor. This lot of cotton and lot of cloth are precisely equal to each other in their intrinsic value. But A wishes to part with his cotton for the largest quantity of cloth he can get. B also wishes to part with his cloth for the greatest quantity of cotton he can get. An exchange is therefore necessary; but before this can be effected, the cotton must be carried to Manchester, and the cloth to South Carolina. The cotton starts to Manchester. The man that hauls it to Charleston in his wagon takes a little of it out to pay him for his trouble; the merchant who stores it a while before the ship is ready to sail takes a little out for his trouble; the ship-owner who carries it across the water takes a little out for his trouble. Still, before it gets to Manchester it is tolled two or three times more for drayage, storage, commission, and so on; so that when it reaches B's hands there are but seventy-five pounds of it left. The cloth, too, in its transit from Manchester to South Carolina, goes through

the same process of tolling; so that when it reaches A there are but seventy-five yards of it. Now, in this case, A and B have each parted with twenty days' labor, and each received but fifteen in return. But now let us suppose that B has removed to the side of A's farm in South Carolina, and has there made his lot of cloth. Is it not clear that he and A can then exchange their cloth and cotton, each getting the whole of what the other parts with?

This supposed case shows the utter uselessness of the carrying labor in all similar cases, and also the direct burden it imposes upon useful labor. And whoever will take up the train of reflection suggested by this case, and run it out to the full extent of its just application, will be astonished at the amount of useless labor he will thus discover to be done in this very way. I am mistaken if it is not in fact many times over equal to all the real want in the world. This useless labor I would have discontinued, and those engaged in it added to the class of useful laborers. If I be asked whether I would destroy all commerce, I answer, Certainly not; I would continue it where it is necessary, and discontinue it where it is not. An instance: I would continue commerce so far as it is employed in bringing us coffee, and I would discontinue it so far as it is employed in bringing us cotton goods.

But let us yield the point, and admit that by abandoning the protective policy our farmers can purchase their supplies of manufactured articles cheaper than before; and then let us see whether, even at that, the farmers will upon the whole be gainers by the change. To simplify this question, let us suppose our whole population to consist of but twenty men. Under the prevalence of the protective policy, fifteen of these are farmers, one is a miller, one manufactures iron, one implements from iron, one cotton goods, and one woolen goods. The farmers discover that, owing to labor only costing one quarter as much in Europe as here, they can buy iron, iron implements, cotton goods, and woolen goods cheaper when brought from Europe than when made by their neighbors. They are the majority, and therefore have both the legal and moral right to have their interest first consulted. They throw off the protective policy, and cease buying these articles of their neighbors. But they soon discover that to buy, and at the cheaper rate, requires something to buy with. Falling short in this particular, one of these farmers takes a load of wheat to the miller and gets it made into flour, and starts, as had been his custom, to the iron furnace. He approaches the well-known spot, but, strange to say, all is cold and still as death; no smoke rises, no furnace roars, no anvil rings. After some search he finds the owner of the desolate place, and calls out to him, "Come, Vulcan, don't you want to buy a load of flour?" "Why," says Vulcan, "I am hungry enough, to be sure,-have n't tasted bread for a week; but then you see my works are stopped, and I have nothing to give you for your flour." "But, Vulcan, why don't you go to work and get something?" "I am ready to do Will you hire me, farmer?" "Oh, no; I could only set you to raising wheat, and you see I have more of that already than I can get anything for." "But give me employment, and send your flour



to Europe for a market." "Why, Vulcan, how silly you talk! Don't you know they raise wheat in Europe as well as here, and that labor is so cheap there as to fix the price of flour there so low as scarcely to pay the long carriage of it from here, leaving nothing whatever to me?" "But, farmer, could n't you pay to raise and prepare garden-stuffs, and fruits, such as radishes, cabbages, Irish and sweet potatoes, cucumbers, watermelons and musk-melons, plums, pears, peaches, apples, and the like? All these are good things, and used to sell well." So they did use to sell well; but it was to you we sold them, and now you tell us you have nothing to buy with. Of course I cannot sell such things to the other farmers, because each of them raises enough for himself, and in fact rather wishes to sell than to buy. Neither can I send them to Europe for a market, because, to say nothing of European markets being stocked with such articles at lower prices than I can afford, they are of such a nature as to rot before they could reach there. The truth is, Vulcan, I am compelled to quit raising these things altogether, except a few for my own use; and this leaves part of my own time idle on my hands, instead of my finding employment for you."

If at any time all labor should cease, and all existing provisions be equally divided among the people, at the end of a single year there could scarcely be one human being left alive; all would have perished by want of subsistence. So, again, if upon such division all that sort of labor which produces provisions should cease, and each individual should take up so much of his share as he could, and carry it continually around his habitation, although in this carrying the amount of labor going on might be as great as ever so long as it could last, at the end of the year the result would be precisely the that is, none would be left living.


The first of these propositions shows that universal idleness would speedily result in universal ruin; and the second shows that useless labor is, in this respect, the same as idleness. I submit, then, whether it does not follow that partial idleness and partial useless labor would, in the proportion of their extent, in like manner result in partial ruin; whether, if all should subsist upon the labor that one half should perform, it would not result in very scanty allowance to the whole.

Believing that these propositions and the conclusions I draw from them cannot be successfully controverted, I for the present assume their correctness, and proceed to try to show that the abandonment of the protective policy by the American government must result in the increase of both useless labor and idleness, and so, in proportion, must produce want and ruin among our people.

(The foregoing scraps about protection were written by Lincoln between his election to Congress in 1846 and taking his seat in December, 1847.)

December 5, 1847.-LETTER TO WILLIAM H. HERNDON. WASHINGTON, December 5, 1847. Dear William: You may remember that about a year ago a man by the name of Wilson (James Wilson, I think) paid us twenty dollars as an advance fee to attend to a case in the Supreme Court for him, against a Mr. Campbell, the record of which case was in the hands of Mr. Dixon of St. Louis, who never furnished it to us. When I was at Bloomington last fall, I met a friend of Wilson, who mentioned the subject to me, and induced me to write to Wilson, telling him I would leave the ten dollars with you which had been left with me to pay for making abstracts in the case, so that the case may go on this winter; but I came away, and forgot to do it. What I want now is to send you the money, to be used accordingly, if any one comes on to start the case, or to be retained by you if no one does.

There is nothing of consequence new here. Congress is to organize to-morrow. Last night we held a Whig caucus for the House, and nominated Winthrop of Massachusetts for speaker, Sargent of Pennsylvania for sergeant-at-arms, Homer of New Jersey doorkeeper, and McCormick of District of Columbia postmaster. The Whig majority in the House is so small that, together with some little dissatisfaction, [it] leaves it doubtful whether we will elect

them all.

This paper is too thick to fold, which is the reason I send only a half-sheet. Yours as ever,


December 13, 1847.-LETTER TO WILLIAM H. HERNDON.

WASHINGTON, December 13, 1847.

Dear William: Your letter, advising me of the receipt of our fee in the bank case, is just received, and I don't expect to hear another as good a piece of news from Springfield while I am away. I am under no obligations to the bank; and I therefore wish you to buy bank certificates, and pay my debt there, so as to pay it with the least money possible. I would as soon you should buy them of Mr. Ridgely, or any other person at the bank, as of any one else, provided you can get them as cheaply. I suppose, after the bank debt shall be paid, there will be some money left, out of which I would like to have you pay Lavely and Stout twenty dollars, and Priest and somebody (oil-makers) ten dollars, for materials got for housepainting. If there shall still be any left, keep it till you see or hear from me.

I shall begin sending documents so soon as I can get them. I wrote you yesterday about a "Congressional Globe." As you are all so anxious for me to distinguish myself, I have concluded to do so before long. Yours truly,



Whereas, The President of the United States, in his message of May 11, 1846, has declared that "the Mexican Government not only refused to receive him [the envoy of the United States], or to listen to his propositions, but, after a long-continued series of menaces, has at last invaded our territory and shed the blood of our fellowcitizens on our own soil."

And again, in his message of December 8, 1846, that "we had ample cause of war against Mexico long before the breaking out of hostilities; but even then we forbore to take redress into our own hands until Mexico herself became the aggressor, by invading our soil in hostile array, and shedding the blood of our citizens."

And yet again, in his message of December 7, 1847, that "the Mexican Government refused even to hear the terms of adjustment which he [our minister of peace] was authorized to propose, and finally, under wholly unjustifiable pretexts, involved the two countries in war, by invading the territory of the State of Texas, striking the first blow, and shedding the blood of our citizens on our own soil."

And whereas, This House is desirous to obtain a full knowledge of all the facts which go to establish whether the particular spot on which the blood of our citizens was so shed was or was not at that time our own soil: therefore,

Resolved, By the House of Representatives, that the President of the United States be respectfully requested to inform this HouseFirst. Whether the spot on which the blood of our citizens was shed, as in his message declared, was or was not within the territory of Spain, at least after the treaty of 1819 until the Mexican revolution.

Second. Whether that spot is or is not within the territory which was wrested from Spain by the revolutionary Government of Mexico.

Third. Whether that spot is or is not within a settlement of people, which settlement has existed ever since long before the Texas revolution, and until its inhabitants fled before the approach of the United States army.

Fourth. Whether that settlement is or is not isolated from any and all other settlements by the Gulf and the Rio Grande on the south and west, and by wide uninhabited regions on the north and east. Fifth. Whether the people of that settlement, or a majority of them, or any of them, have ever submitted themselves to the government or laws of Texas or of the United States, by consent or by compulsion, either by accepting office, or voting at elections, or paying tax, or serving on juries, or having process served upon them, or in any other way.

Sixth. Whether the people of that settlement did or did not flee from the approach of the United States army, leaving unprotected their homes and their growing crops, before the blood was shed, as in the message stated; and whether the first blood, so shed, was or

VOL. I-7.

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