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haustible market for its manufactures in all the States and settlements on the borders of those mighty rivers.
But the most extraordinary, and most important manufacture in the United States, and perhaps in the world, is that of steam-boats ; for an interesting and instructive account of which, the reader is referred to Mr. Colden's valuable Life of Mr. Fulton. A very few facts and observations are all that can find a place here. Without entering into the dispute, respecting the mechanicians who first applied the force of steam to the purposes of navigation, it is certain that no one applied it successfully prior to Mr. Fulton; the proof of which is to be found in the fact, that since the accomplishment of this scheme in the United States, the use of steam-boats has become common in Europe ; whereas, before that period, the attempts to propel boats by steam, in that quarter of the world, were eminently vain and fruitless. Great numbers of steam-boats have been launched in Britain within a few years past; yet the principles on which they are navigated do not appear to be fully understood in that country, if we may judge from the accounts given by those who have seen and travelled in them, and by some recent publications on this subject. In the year 1807, the first steam-boat plied between the cities of New-York and Albany; and since that time, this mode of navigation has been used with great success in many other rivers of the Union besides the Hudson : nay, steam-boats now ascend the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, hitherto nearly unnavigable, except in the direction of their currents. The facility, economy, and despatch of travelling, are all wonderfully augmented by steam navigation, the same distance being now covered in less than half the time formerly required. Albany is brought within twenty-four hours of New-York, instead of averaging three days by water, and two days by land. The following table shows the great benefit derived to the traveller from this invention ; and the cheapness of travelling, since food as well as conveyance is included.
Expense. Hours. From Philadelphia to New.York, by
} 9 26
In the spring of 1817, a steam-boat reached Louisville, in Kentucky, from Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, dropping down the Ohio. She displayed her power by different tacks in the strongest current on the falls, and returned over the falls, stemming the current with ease. About the same time a large steam-boat reached Louisville from New Orleans, laden with sugar, coffee, wines, queensware, raisins, fur, sheet lead, &c. Her freight exceeded twenty-five thousand dollars ; so that now the western waters can be ascended to any navigable point; and the commerce of the west is falling fast into its natural channel. The use of steam, applied to navigation, has so effectually removed those obstacles which the length and rapidity of the Mississippi presented to boats propelled by personal labour alone, that a voyage from Louisville to New Orleans and back again, a distance of three thousand four hundred miles, can be performed in thirty-five or forty days; and the property freighted is infinitely less liable to damage, and is transported at less than one-half the cost of the route across the mountains. Hence it does not seem extravagant to expect, that, in due time, steam-boats will find their way from the Atlantic Ocean into our great inland seas, by the junction of the waters of the Hudson river and Lake Erie; and, from the lakes, will carry their treasures to the Gulf of Mexico.
Finances, &c. of the United States.
It is the duty of every free government to train its people gradually to bear a due weight of internal taxation, in order to raise an ample revenue for the purposes of national defence, of internal improvement, of rewarding long-tried, faithful public services, and the encouragement and patronage of literature, arts, and science. On extraordinary emergencies, as the sudden breaking out of war, or the necessity of sustaining a protracted conflict against a powerful enemy, a liberal use should be made of the funding system; because a national debt, provided it be not so great as to impede the productive labour of the community, is the best possible mode of combining immediate active and vigorous efforts on the part of a country with the means of future developement and growth; it is, in fact, the only scheme by which a nation can make great present exertions without destroying its future resources. It is worse than childish, it is insane policy to trust, for the public revenue, altogether to the customs, or duties upon imported foreign goods (I say imported only, because the Federal Constitution prohibits the laying any duty on exports from the United States)-which a single year of maritime warfare may destroy. This is too contingent, too precarious a source of revenue on which to stake the
operations of government, and to balance the movements of the public weal. The customs of England, although consisting of duties both on imports and exports, do not make one-tenth of her public revenue; she wisely leans upon internal taxation as the main prop and support of her government expenditure...
In these United States, the Washington administration, under the auspices of Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury, as the great founder of the system of American finance, as the wise parent of public credit in this country, laid the foundation of an internal revenue by moderate and judiciously imposed taxes. The first act of Mr. Jefferson's practical ministry was to abolish the whole of this system, and leave the public revenue to rest altogether upon the customs. Mr. Madison sedulously clung to this same feeble and dastardly policy, long after the failure of revenue, the bankruptcy of the government, and the necessities of the country, had proved its entire fallacy and folly. Towards the close of the last war, his party, reluctantly and fearfully, laid some internal taxes on land, houses, and manufactures, not amounting, in the whole, to ten millions of dollars ; a considerable portion of which they have actually re. pealed since the peace. Mr. Munroe has a noble opportunity of being, in fact, a President of the United States, and not merely the leader of a dominant faction ; and if he be wise to consult the real interests of the Union, he will at once labour resolutely to establish a permanent system of internal taxation, sufficiently ample for all present purposes, and containing in itself the germs of a gradual increase, keeping equal pace with the growing resources, wealth, and population of the United States. The revenue of a state, so far as regards national power, prosperity, strength, and greatness, is emphatically the State ; and a government, whose income is scanty and precarious, cannot fail to become nerveless and despicable. Since this hope was expressed, Mr. Munroe has, actually, in his message of ad December, 1817, recommended to Congress the repeal of all internal taxes !
There is, indeed, an awful tendency in all parties of the American people towards what, by a miserable misnomer, is called economy; as if a system, which prevents the government from calling out the resources of the country, from rewarding its public servants, from preserving a commanding attitude in respect to foreign
69 potentates, were not the most pernicious prodigality! The proceedings in Congress, during the two last winters, were, in this point of view, portentous. The reduction of the direct tax, from sir to three millions of dollars, and the limitation of those three millions to only one year, are fearful omens of the entire extinction of that tax. Nay, in the month of February last, a proposition was made to abolish all the internal taxes; a scheme, say its advocates, that failed only because it was introduced too late in the session ; and which may be carried into a law, by a triumphant majority, at the next meeting of the national legislature.
The reduction of the regular army probably would follow, as a matter of course, on the repeal of the internal taxes. Indeed, it was proposed in the Senate last spring, on the ground that ten thousand soldiers are dangerous to the liberties of the American people; and, therefore, should be diminished to five thousand. Britain has an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men, stationed at home, in France, and in colonial garrisons; besides her militia, amounting to two hundred thousand, and her Sepoy troops in the East-Indies, rated at a hundred and fifty thousand. And yet, no man in his sober senses believes that the liberties of the British people are endangered by this standing army. The liberties of England are not about to expire under the pressure of her military, or the encroachments of her government; if they are to perish, they will perish under the daggers of her democracy : if she is to be blotted out from the list of independent and powerful nations, she will be erased from that high scroll by the paricidal hand of her own rabble, led on to their own and their country's perdition by anarchial reformers, who are alike bankrupt in fortune, reputation, character, and principle. But we have no occasion to entertain such fears at present; for, while the sovereign governs under the benignant influence of the laws; while the people are free; while religion, morals, intelligence, learning, science, industry, enterprise, and valour, continue to make England their favoured abode,