William D. (William Darrah) Kelley.

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study. I hold his report in my hand. Pardon me while
I read you a brief extract :

"Wheat with us should be planted in September, October, or
November. It is a beautiful season for preparing the ground. It
may then be reaped in the last half of April and May, a time nsnallv
selected for making brick, on account of its fair weather. The daily
quotations show that Southern flour, raised in Missouri, Tennessee,
and Virginia, brings from three to five dollars more per barrel than
the best New York Genesee flour. Louisiana and Texas flour is far
superior to the Tennessee, Virginia, or Missouri, owing to the supe-
rior dryness, and the fact that it contains more gluten, and does not
ferment so easily. Southern flour makes better dough and toacca-
roni than Northern or Western flour; it is better adapted for trans-
portation over the sea, and keeps better in the tropics. It is there-


fore the flour that is sought after for Brazil, Central America,
Mexico, and the West India markets, which are at our doors. A
barrel of strictly Southern flour will make twenty pounds more bread
than Illinois flour, because, being so much drier, it takes up more
water in making up. In addition to this vast superiority of our
grain, we have other advantages over the Western States in grain
growing. Our climate advances the crop so rapidly that we can cut^
our wheat six weeks before a scythe is put into the fields of Illinois ;*
and being so near the Gulf, we avoid the delays in shipping and the
long transportation, the cost of which consumes nearly one-half of the
product of the West. These advantages, the superior quality of the
flour, the earlier harvest, and the cheap and easy shipment, enable
us absolutely to forestall the West in the foreign demand, which is
now about 40,000,000 of bushels annually, and is rapidly increasing ;
and also in the Atlantic seaboard trade. Massachusetts, it is calcu-
lated, raises not more than one month's supply of flour for her vast
population. New York not six months' supply for her population,
and the other Atlantic States in like proportion. This vast deficit
is now supplied by the Western States, and the trade has enriched
the West, and has built railroads in every direction to carry towards
the East the gold-producing grain. We can, if we choose, have a
monopoly of this immense trade, and the time may not be far dis-
tant when, in the dispensation of Providence, the West, which con-
tributed so largely to the uprooting of our servile system and the
destruction of our property, will find that she has forced us into a
rivalry against which she cannot compete, and that she will have to
draw not only her supplies of cotton, sugar, and rice, but even her
breadstuff's from the South.

"A close estimate of all the expenses, in raising a crop of wheat
or barley, or a crop of cane or cotton, placed in juxtaposition, would
show largely in favor of the grain crop. In raising the grain, the
full force need be hired and fed no longer time than two or three
months of the year, while in the other crops they must be hired and
fed for twelve months.

" Vast numbers of freedmen could be hired for one or two months
at the time for liberal day wages. This system is in conformity
with their ideas and notions of work : they reluctantly contract for
a year. Rye, barley, and buckwheat have been tried in Louisiana.
Barley and buckwheat are both natives of a Southern climate, and
flourish remarkably well here. In Texas, during the past year, the
papers state that eighty-five bushels of barley were made to the
acre in Central Texas ; sixty bushels could easily be made here, and
as it is superior to the Northern barley for brewing, the fourteen
breweries of New Orleans would alone consume vast quantities of it.
Barley, as compared with corn, is a better food for stock, particu-
larly work stock, as it is muscle-producing, and does not heat the
system like the oil or fat-producing property of corn, arid while it
produces three times as much to the acre of grain, the stock con-
sumes all the straw. A hand can cultivate much more ground in
barley than corn, and it needs no work after planting. Grain grow-
ing would not only be profitable to the planter, but it would build
up New Orleans, and make her the greatest city on the continent.

" What New Orleans lacks is summer trade ; her business has
been heretofore compressed into six or eight months. After the


cotton and sugar crops were received and disposed of, the merchants
and tradesmen had nothing to do. Most of them went north with
their families, leaving New Orleans a prey to epidemics, when a
small portion of the very money which they had earned in New
Orleans, and were spending so lavishly abroad, would have perfected
sanitary measures, which would have protected those from the epi-
demics. During this season of inactivity nearly all branches of
business are suspended ; the merchant must, however, pay house
rent, insurance, clerk's hire, and other incidental expenses ; must
lose interest on his investments, and have his goods and wares dam-
aged by rust, dust, moth, and mould. If the cultivation of grain
were begun and encouraged around New Orleans, grain would pour
in during the month of May, and the summer months, and would fill
up this fatal hiatus in our trade.

" The merchant would be compelled to reside here in summer as
well as winter, and he would be forced on his own account to lend
his time and money towards building up the city, and improving its

" Every branch of business would be kept up then throughout the
whole year, and our own steamships would supply the countries
south of us with provisions, and we should not as now be compelled
to import coffee by way of Cincinnati. Northern and European
emigrants knowing that our grain growing was more profitable than
at the North, and that they could grow grain without working dur-
ing the summer months in that sun they have been Wrongfully
taught to dread, would flock to our lands ; and of course, where pro-
visions and all other necessaries of life would be cheap, manufactures
would necessarily spring up to work up the raw materials so abun-
dant there. I have thus lengthily urged the cultivation of the cere-
als, because I find so little is known among the most intelligent as
to the capabilities of 'our State in this respect, and because, too, I
think that therein lies the true secret of recuperation and permanent
prosperity for our people. It is a business which all classes of agri-
culturists may profitably engage in, from the poor farmer of the pine
hills to the rich planter of the coast. It is a business in which every
landholder, lessee, laborer, mechanic, manufacturer, tradesman, mer-
chant, ship-owner, and, indeed, every citizen is deeply interested, as
it is a question of large profits and cheap bread, and the State of
Louisiana and the United States have a deep concern in it, as large
owners of land in the State. I have placed grain first in the list of
productions, for, looking to the future, I am sure that grain will
become our leading staple, and that New Orleans is destined to be-
come the leading grain market in the world." *

* The following Associated Press dispatch is strikingly confirmatory of my pre-
diction :

" NEW ORLEANS, July 1st, 1871. The Cotton Exchange Committee on statis-
tics and information made reports upon the growing cotton and grain crop, with
dates from the 15th to the 20th of June. The following is the summary :

" MISSISSIPPI. Cotton. Reduction of acreage 20 to 25 per cent., with an aver-
age of half to three-quarters the yield of last year per acre. Corn. Acreage in-
creased 25 to 40 per cent. The latest reports indicate a short yield per acre.

'LOUISIANA. Cotton. Reduction of acreage 10 to 12 per cent. Crop three
weeks backward. Considerably injured, especially in the low lands, by rain and
lice. Corn. Nearly sufficient for home consumption planted.

"ARKANSAS. Cotton. Reduction of acreage 25 to 33 per cent, with proper-


In support of these views I have with me, but am not
going to detain you with extracts from it, an address made
at the close of the agricultural, mechanical, and industrial
fair in New Orleans, by Wm. M. Burwell, of Virginia, in
which the Southern people are urged, as they are by Mr.
Robertson, to divide their lands and to remember that the
South has three seasons ; that wheat matures in the spring ;
that corn matures at midsummer ; and that cotton is a fall
crop ; and advised to take advantage of all the seasons.
These gentlemen agree, as do a score of writers whose
communications I have with me, in urging the people to
put not more than one- tenth of their land in cotton, and
the remainder in grass and diversified crops of food. They
tell them that the South abounds in seaports, that the
grain of every part of the South can be got to market in
bulk in vessels, in which a bushel of wheat may be car-
ried twenty-three thousand miles from San Francisco to
Liverpool cheaper than it can be carried from Minnesota
or Kansas to New York over railroads ; and that as theirs
is the early season they can avenge themselves upon the
West and North by pre-occupying the markets. These
are not pleasant tidings to bring to a people prosperous as
are those of the West, and so identified with their present
pursuits that they will yield or modify them reluctantly.

My fellow-citizens, notwithstanding these unpleasant
auguries, the future of the West was never so bright as it
is to-day. The cloud that overshadows your prospect is
but the mist that lingers over a mountain stream. The
sun is rising yonder and will dispel it, and you will then
see the beauty of the golden valley ! Yes, the rebellion

donate increase in grain. Prospects generally good, except in the southern
portion of the State, where not more than half of last year's yield per acre is
anticipated. The grain crop is very promising.

" TexAS. Information mostly from the northeast portion of the State. Cot-
ton. Reduction of acreage 25 to 33 per cent., with a corresponding increase in
grain. Cotton two weeks backward, though with a favorable season an average
crop per acre is expected.

"ALABAMA. Cotton. Reduction of acreage 10 to 20 per cent. Crop three
weeks backward. The average production per acre will be less than last year.
Grain, Increased acreage 20 to 30 per cent. Fair prospect.

" GEORGIA. Cotton accounts meagre, embracing the west centre and centre
of the State, and thence northeast. Decrease of acreage 20 to 33J per cent., in
the northeast, and 15 in other sections heard from. Condition unpromising;
half to three-quarters per acre of last year's yield expected. Grain. Corres-
ponding increase of acreage. Prospect unpromising.

" TENNESSEE. Information confined to tne western part of the State. Cotton.
Decrease of acreage 5 to 12J per cent., with prospects of an average yield per
acre. Orain. Considerable increase of acreage. Prospects good."


struck the shackles from the industries and enterprises of
the West, and has opened to them a glorious and profita-
ble career. If any of you have the Chicago Republican
or Chicago Journal of to-day, you will find in the course
of an address I delivered at Springfield, extracts with
which I do not care to detain you now, proving most irre-
futably from the highest Southern authorities, that in
order that she might have the monopoly of the supply of
cotton, and England the monopoly of manufacturing it,
the South insisted on such congressional action as would
forever prevent the development of the vast and infinitely
varied resources of the West. I take the liberty of in-
viting your attention to those extracts, and ask you to
consider them as part of this address.* These shackles
have been stricken off. The powers that ruled us were
the monopoly that has made a hell of Ireland, and of
India ! The monopoly that so long as we were colonial, pro-
hibited the establishment of a rolling-mill, a slitting-mill
or iron-works in our country ! The monopoly that has
reduced a million of English workmen to pauperism, and
swelled the poor-tax of Scotland from one dollar to $4.50
during the brief reign of Victoria. For every dollar paid
to maintain the poor of Scotland in the last year of the
reign of William IV., $4.50 was required in 1865. The
manufacturing power of England was one conspiring
monopoly, and the other was that which sold men, women,
and children on the auction block throughout the South.
These two monopolies were co-conspirators against the
people of the West, and I refer you to the authorities, as
you will find them in the Republican and Journal of to-
day. That powerful combination fell with slavery, and
the day dawns when the West shall be more crowded with
immigrants than ever before, and when in parts of every
State there will be a market near the farmer's door for his
productions. You will not then fear to raise too much.
I propose to show you how to increase your power, to
raise more wheat than you have ever raised on your vir-
gin soil, and feed more cattle per acre than ever fed before
upon your broad prairies and rolling lands, while creating
a market for it all.

And now is the time for this great work. England is
in her decadence ! Nay, she is in a rapid decline, what

* See extracts from " Cotton is King."


doctors would call the "galloping consumption."*
' [Laughter.] I speak advisedly, and I have yet to give
you some facts by which to sustain my conclusions. She
is a wonderful nation, and her story shows, as does oui
own last six years of history, that the hand of Providence
is ever guiding the affairs of nations by immutable laws
She has taught the world what may be done by legislative
protection to labor. Look at her a little speck in yonder
ocean ! Not so large as Wisconsin not so large as Penn-
sylvania, and yet she has been the mistress of the seas,
and her morning drum, even to this day, may be heard at
any hour encircling the world. She achieved her preemi-
nence by a well-devised system of protection, by which she
employed all her own people on her own soil and mate-
rials. She protected the laborers engaged in working the
coal, iron, copper, tin, and whatever lay in the mines, or
could be dug from the hills, or be grown upon the soil of
England. She gave employment to all her people, and
stimulated their industry and energy in developing her re-
sources. She used to be laughed at by the Dutch when

* We are told that our manufacturing industries, far from being ruined, are
prosperous. It is true they are not yet ruined, but many are more depressed
than they have ever before been. Very many of them are sick -very gick; far
more so than those unacquainted with them have any idea of, and a few yeara
more of such depression will see many of them in extremis. There are many
who argue that our manufacturers would at once give up manufacturing if it did
not pay ; and no doubt it is a very natural assumption, that if a manufacturer
continues his business it is a proof he is -making money by it; but it is
very often the case that he continues to manufacture only because he cannot
afford to stop. They little know how many manufacturers continue to struggle
on in business merely because they do not know how to get out of it. A man
with twenty, thirty, fifty, or a hundred thousand pounds sunk in works and ma-
chinery cannot give up business without ruin. The causes that diminish the
demand for his produce diminish also the value of his plant; his capital and in-
terest are imperilled at the same time and by the same cause. It is not to be
expected, it is not in the nature of Englishmen, that he should at once throw up
the sponge, and declare himself beat; he will continue to tread the mill though
he gets nothing for it ; he will struggle on for years, losing steadily, perhaps,
but yet hopeful of a change. Millions of manufacturing capital are in thi^t con-
dition in England at present. Capitalists continue to employ their capital in
manufacturing industries because it is already invested in them ; but in many
cases it is earning no profit, and in others diminishing year by year.

It takes some time to scatter the wealth of England. The growth of half a
century of industrial success is not kicked over in a day. Moreover, it is only
now, only within the last three years, that the foreign producers have acquired
the skill and capital and machinery that enables them really to press us out of
our own markets. The shadow has been coming over us for many years, but it
is only just now we are beginning to feel the substance; their progress corres-
ponds with our decline. A great manufacturing nation like England does not
suddenly collapse and give place to another ; her industries are slowly, bit by
bit, replaced by those of other countries ; the process is gradual, and we are
undergoing it at present. The difference between England and her young manu-


Van Trump, the representative of little Holland, then the
mistress of the sea, carried his broom at the masthead
for selling raw materials and buying manufactured goods.
The Dutch said, " England sold her skins for sixpence,
and bought back the tail dressed for a shilling."
[Laughter.] But she got over that. She welcomed
industrious emigrants from every land. If they intro-
duced a new industry, she gave, by special order or legis-
lation, protection to that industry until it should take firm
hold on English soil. She legislated in favor of her own
ships. The foreign article brought in English bottom
came into her ports under differential duties lower than
those on the same article coming in on the same day in
foreign bottoms. She thus stimulated the building of
English ships, and created a great English Navy, and had
she protected her colonies as she did the people of Eng-
land, would have been the great benefactor of the world.
But when she gained a colony, she looked only for the
raw material she could get from it, and the manufactured
articles she could sell its people. Her policy was to ex-

facturing rivals is simple, but alarming. France, Austria, Prussia, Belgium,
Switzerland, have increased their export trade and their home consumption ;
England has increased her export trade, but her home consumption has fallen
away, in the matter of cotton alone, 35 per cent, in three years !

In the present condition of manufacturing industries it is foolish to tell the
operative class to attribute the prosperity to Free Trade ; they are not prosper-
ous ; it is a mockery to tell them to thank God for a full stomach, when they are
empty! they are not well off; never has starvation, pauperism, crime, discon-
tent, been so plentiful in the manufacturing districts never since England has
been a manufacturing country has every industry great or small been so com-
pletely depressed, never has work been so impossible to find, never have the
means and savings of the working classes been at so low an ebb.

We hare had periods when some two or three of the great industries were de-
pressed, but health still remained in a number of small ones: now the depres-
sion is universal ; the only industry in the country that is really flourishing is
that of the machine makers, turning out spinning and weaving machinery for
foreign countries ! many of these works are going night and day.

Now many persons doubt this distress, deny it altogether, and appeal to the
Board of Trade returns and to the dicta of certain retired manufacturers, who,
having invested the wealth acquired in former years, and being released from
the anxieties and dangers of declining trade, can now, without danger, afford to
indulge their commercial theories without injuring their pockets.

The manufacturing districts are depressed as they never have been before, and
any one who will visit them may see by evidence that cannot lie, by smokeless
chimneys, by closed shops, by crowded poorhouses and glutted jails, by crowds
of squalid idlers, that the distress is real. Take the one simple fact that the con-
sumption of cotton goods in England has fallen off 35 per cent, in three years I
Can any fact afford stronger proof of the poverty and depression of our opera-
tive classes ? Cotton constitutes the greater proportion of the clothing of the
lower orders ; when, therefore, the consumption of cotton falls away it is proof
positive that the working classes are taking less clothing. Sullivan's Protection
to A~atit Industry. London, 1870. Am. Ed., p. 17.


port products as much manufactured as possible, and im-
port the products of other nations as little manufactured
as possible, so as to stimulate her own industries. We
have been told that if we did not buy her manufactures
she would not buy our grain ; yet from Prussia and Rus-
sia each, the most protected nations on the continent except
Belgium, she gets eight times as much grain as she does
from us. From France, the next highest protected coun-
try, she gets largely more than she does from us, and
Mecklenburg and Turkey each furnish her more than we
do. Her policy is to buy cheap and sell dear ! She buys
little of America, for she can get goods cheaper from
countries whose wages are lower ; but she sells more to
America than any other country, for she finds the people
fools enough to buy whatever is dear, rather than make it
for fear of creating a monopoly. [Laughter.] So, she
has illustrated the wisdom of setting the people of a State
or country at work upon the productions of their own
soil ; giving employment to every person, at all seasons
of the year, bringing the producers and consumers side
by side, and getting manufactured articles without great
cost of transportation.

But she has recently given a new illustration of the law
by which the power of nations is developed. She found
herself short of food, and Cobden and other noble men
engaged in the work of giving the working people cheap
food. But they carried their theories too far. They
opened their markets for manufactured goods to competi-
tion with the world. The wise legislation that had made
her the most powerful nation of the world was repealed.
What is the result? A little over twenty years has
elapsed, and England is " sick unto death," and can never
recover without going through the process of a revolu-
tion.* I have told you that her export of cotton goods

* The small farmer gives way to the mere ploughman ; and capitalists, few in
number, command the soil. This gives rise to a very remarkable state of things.
The Irish farmers, with their families, are driven off from their farms, and
come over to Scotland in shoals to press their labor on our capitalist farmers.
They are fast taking the place of the Scotch peasantry, while these are driven into
the towns, or altogether off the country. Again, our Scotchmen are crowding
in upon English labor and competing with that, both in the country and in the
towns. The Irish are cheaper than the Scotch, and the Scotch are cheaper than
the English ; and without knowing why, the working masses are being shoved
off in thousands to save them from death. Social Politics, Kirk.

These things must be laid to heart, for (as we have said more than once)
emigration cannot help as out of the difficulty which these bring, and must keep


had fallen off five millions of dollars last year ; that her
exportation of English manufactured silk goods fell off
one million of dollars. She exported comparatively little
British-made paper. Her "free trade" is uprooting her
feebler industries and converting her skilled workmen
into paupers. Seventeen silk manufactories made the
town of Macclesfield prosperous when that treaty was
signed. Of those seventeen but one exists, and it is
working up its raw material, and the proprietor is buying
no more. The English silk maker cannot compete with
the low wages of France, and the still lower wages of
Belgium. The paper trade was next attacked. It was
one of the few industries left to Ireland, and it has been
extirpated, and in the tables of the exports of Great
Britain for last year you will find the bulk of her exports
were of Belgian paper. Her books are printed in Bel-
gium. I bought to-day in Mr. Strickland's store, a book
to carry home to my little child it bears the imprint of a
London house the paper in it is Belgian, the printing is

Online LibraryWilliam D. (William Darrah) KelleySpeeches → online text (page 23 of 58)