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Let it not be forgotten that the slaves themselves are valued at so much per head, and counted as part of the wealth of slave cities ; and yet, though we assent, as we have done, to the inclusion of all this fictitious wealth, it will be observed that the residents of free cities are far wealthier, per capita, than the residents of slave cities. We trust the reader will not fail to examine the figures with great care.
In this age of the world, commerce is an indispensable element of national greatness. Without commerce we can have no great cities, and without great cities we can have no reliable tenure of distinct nationality. Commerce is the forerunner of wealth and population ; and it is mainly these that make invincible the power of undying States.
Speaking in general terms of the commerce of this country, and of the great cities through which that commerce is chiefly carried on, the Boston Traveler says :
“ The wealth concentrated at the great commercial points of the United States is truly astonishing. For instance, one-eighth part of the entire property of this country is owned by the cities of New-York and Boston. Boston alone, in its corporate limits, owns one-twentieth of the property of this entire Union, being an amount equal to the wealth of any three of the New-England States, except Massachusetts. In this city is found the richest community, per capita, of any in the United States. The next city in point of wealth, according to its population, is Providence, (R. I.,) which city is one of the richest in the Union, having a valuation of fifty-six millions, with a population of fifty thousand."
The same paper, in the course of an editorial article on the “Wealth of Boston and its Business," says :
" The assessors' return of the wealth of Boston will probably show this year an aggregate property of nearly three hundred millions. This sum, divided among 160,000 people, would give nearly $2,000 to each inhabitant, and will show Boston to be much the wealthiest community in the United States, save New York alone, with four times its population. The value of the real estate in this city is increasing now with great rapidity, as at least four millions of dollars' worth of new houses and stores will be built this year. The personal estate in ships, cargoes,
" London is now the greatest concentration of human power the world has ever known. Will its supremacy be permanent ? or will it, like its predecessors, be eclipsed by western rivals ? New-Yorkers do not doubt, and indeed have no reason to doubt, that their city, now numbering little more than one-third of the population of London, will, within the next fifty years, be greater than the metropolis of the British empire.
" New York, with her immediate dependencies, numbers about 900,000. Since 1790 she has established a law of growth which doubles her population once in fifteen years. If this law continues to operate, she may be expected to possess 1,800,000 in 1871, 3,600,000 in 1886, and 7,200,000 in 1901. If twenty years be allowed New York as her future period of duplication, she would overtake London by the end of fifty rears; London may then have five millions; New-York will almost certainly have more than that number.
Will the star of empire become stationary at New-York ? The interior plain of North America has within itself more means to sustain a dense population in civilized comfort than any other region of the world. The star of empire cannot be arrested in its western course before it reaches this plain. Its most promising city at present is Chicago. The law of its growth since 1840 seems to be a duplication within four years. In 1840 it numbered 4,379. In June of this year it will contain 88,000. At the same rate of increase carried forward, it would overtake NewYork within twenty years. If six years be allowed for each future duplication, Chicago would overtake New-York in thirtythree years. If the growth of Chicago should in future be measured by a duplication of every seven years, it would contain 5,622,000 in forty-two years.
" In 1901, forty-five years from this time, the central plain, including the Canadas, will contain about eighty millions of people. Its chief city may be reasonably expected to contain about one-tenth of this population. Before the end of this century the towns and cities of the central plain will contain, with their suburbs, not less than half the entire population; that is to say, forty millions. How these millions shall be apportioned among the cities of that day, is a subject for curious speculation."
The Boston Journal, of a late date, says :
“ About one hundred sail of vessels, of various descriptions, entered this port yesterday, consisting of traders from Europe, South America, the West Indies, and from coastwise ports. The waters of the bay and harbor presented a beautiful appearance from the surrounding shores, as this fleet of white-winged messengers made their way towards the city, and crowds of people must have witnessed their advent with great delight. A more magnificent sight is seldom seen in our harbor."
Would to God that such sights could sometimes be seen
in Southern harbors! When slavery shall cease to paralyse the energies of our people, then ships, coming to us from the four quarters of the globe, will, with majestic grandeur, begin to loom in the distance ; our bays will rejoice in the presence of “the white-winged messengers,” and our levees resound as never before with the varied din of commerce.
COMMERCE OF NORFOLK.
“We question if any other community, certainly no other in the United States of America, have made greater exertions to resuscitate the trade of Norfolk than the mercantile portion of the inhabitants; in proof of which nineteen-twentieths of those engaged in foreign commerce have terminated in their insolvency, the principal cause of which has been in the unrelenting hostility, to this day, from the commencement of the present century, of the Virginia Legislature, with the co-operation of at least the commercial portions of the citizens of Richmond, Petersburg and Portsmouth,”
How it is, in this enlightened age, that men of ordinary intelligence can be so far led into error as to suppose that commerce, or any other noble enterprise, can be established and successfully prosecuted under the dominion of slavery, is, to us, one of the most inexplicable of mysteries. "Commercial” Conventions, composed of the self-titled lordlings of slavery--Generals, Colonels, Majors, Captains, etcætera --may act out their annual programmes of farcical nonsense from now until doomsday ; but they will never add one iota to the material, moral, or mental interests of the