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shillings, which had before been worth but five shillings and nine-pence. The assembly thereupon raised them by law to six shillings. As the dollar is now likely to become the money-unit of America, as it passes at this rate in some of our sister states, and as it facilitates their computation in pounds and shillings, &c.converso, this seems to be more convenient than its former denomination. But as this particular coin now stands higher than any other in the proportion of 133 1-3 to 125, or 16 to 15, it will be becessary to raise the others in proportion.
The public income and expenses ?
'The nominal amount of these varying constantly and rapidly with the constant and rapid ilepreciation of our paper money, it becomes impracticable to say what they are. We find ourselves cheated in every essay by the depreciation intervening between the declaration of the tax and its actual receipt. It will therefore be more satisfactory to consider what our income may be when we shall find means of collecting what our people may spare. I should estimate the whole taxable property of this state at an hundred millions of dollars, or thirty millions of pounds our money. One per cent. on this, compared with any thing we ever yet paid, would be deemed a very heavy tax. Yet I think that those who manage well, and use reasonable economy, could pay one and an half per cent. and maintain their household comfortably in the mean time, without aliening any part of their principal, and that the people would submit to this willingly for the purpose of supporting their present contest. We may say ihen, that we could raise, and ought to raise, from one million to one nillion and an half of dollars annually, that is from three hundred to four hundred and fifty thousand pounds, Virgi
Of our expenses it is equally difficult to give an exact state, and for the same reason. They are mostly stated in paper inoney, which varying continually, the legislature endeavours at every session, by new corrections, to adapt the nominal sums to the value it is wished they, would bear. I will state them therefore in real coin, at the point at which they endeavour to keep them.
Dollars. The annual expenses of the general assembly are about
20,000 The governor
3,333} The council of state
10,6663 Their clerks
1,1663 Eleven judges
11,000 The clerk of the chancery
6663 The attorney general
1,000 Three auditors and a solicitor
5,333} Their clerks
2,000 The treasurer
2,000 His clerks
2,000 The keeper of the public jail
1,000 The public printer
1,666 Clerks of the inferior courts
43,333 Public levy: this is chiefly for the expenses of criminal justice
40,000 County levy, for bridges, court-houses, prisons, &c.
40,000 Members of Congress
7,000 Quota of the federal civil list, supposed one sixth of about 78,000 dollars
13,000 Expenses of collecting, six per cent on the above
12,310 The clergy receive only voluntary contributions:
suppose them on an average one eighth of a dollar a tythe on 200,000 tythes
25,000 Contingencies, to make round numbers not far from truth
Dollars, or 53,571 guineas. This estimate is exclusive of the military expense. That varies with the force actually employed, and in time of peace will probably be little or nothing. It is exclusive also of the public debts, which are growing while I am writing, and cannot therefore be now fixed. So it is of the maintenance of the poor, which being merely a matter of charity cannot be deemed expended in the administration of government. And if we strike out the 25,000 dollars for the services of the clergy, which neither makes part of that administration, more than what is paid to physicians, or lawyers, and being voluntary, is either much or nothing as every one pleases, it leaves 225,000 dollars, equal to 48,208 guineas, the real cost of the apparatus of government with us. This divided among the actual inhabitants of our country, comes to about two fifths of a dollar, 21d. sterling, or 42 sols, the price which each pays annually for the protection of the residue of his property, and the other advantages of a free government. The public revenues of Great Britain divided in like manner on its inhabitants would be 16 times greater. Deducting even the double of the expenses of government, as before estimated, from the million and a half of dollars which we before supposed Inight be annually paid without distress, we may conclude that this state can contribute one million of dollars annually towards supporting the federal arıny, paying the federal debt, building a federal navy, or opening roads, clearing rivers, forming safe ports, and other useful works.
To this estimate of our abilities, let me add a word as to the application of them. If, when cleared of the present contest, and of the debts with which that will charge. us, we come to measure force hereafter with any European power. Such events are devoutly to be deprecated. Young as we are, and with such a country before us to fill with people and with happiness, we should point in that direction the whole generative force of nature, wasting none of it in efforts of mutual destruction. It should be our endeavour to cultivate
the peace and friendship of every nation, even of that which has injured us most, when we shall have carried our point against her. Our interest will be to throw open the doors of commerce, and to knock off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom to all persons for the vent of whatever they may choose to bring into our ports, and asking the same in their's. Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war. Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts, and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom. And, perhaps, to remove as much as possible the occasions of making war, it might be better for us to abandon the ocean altogether, that being the element whereon we shall be principally exposed to jostle with other nations : to leave to others to bring what we shall want, and to carry what we can spare. This would make us invulnerable to Europe, by offering none of our property to their prize, and would turn all our citizens to the cultivation of the earth ; and, I repeat it again, cultivators of the earth are the most virtrious and independent citizens. It might be time enough to seek employment for them at sea, when the land no longer offers it. But the actual habits of our countrymen attach them to commerce. They will exercise it for theniselves. Wars then must sometimes be our lot; and all the wise can do, will be to avoid that half of them which would be produced by our own follies and our own acts of injustice; and to make for the other half the best preparations we can.
Of what nature should these be? A land army would be useless for offence, and not the best nor safest instrument of defence. For either of these purposes, the sea is the field on which we should meet an European enemy.
On that element it is necessary we should possess some power. To aim at such a navy as the greater nations of Europe possess, would be a foolish and wicked waste of the energies of our countrymen. It would be to pull on our own heads that load of military expense which makes the European labourer go supperless to bed, and moistens his bread with the sweat of his brows. It will be enough if we enable ourselves to prevent insults from those nations of Europe which are weak on the sea, because circumstances exist, which render even the stronger ones weak as to 11s. Providence has placed their richest and most defenceless possessions at our door ; has obliged their inost precious commerce to pass, as it were, in review before us. To protect this, or to assail, a small part only of their naval force will even be risqued across the Atlantic. The dangers to which the elements expose them here are too well known, and the greater dangers to which they would be exposed at home were any general calamity to involve their whole fleet. They can attack us by detachment only; and it will suffice to make ourselves equal to what they may detach. Even a smaller force than they may detach will be rendered equal or superior by the quickness with which any check may be repaired with us, while losses with them will be irreparable till too late. A small naval force then is sufficient for us, and a small one is necessary. What this should be, I will not undertake to say. I will only say, it should by no means be so great as we are able to make it. Suppose the million of dollars, or 300,000 pounds, which Virginia could annually spare without distress, to be applied to the creating a navy. A single year's contribution would build, equip, man, and send to sea a force which should carry 300 guns. The rest of the confederacy, exerting themselves in the same proportion, would equip in the same tiine 1500 guns more. So that one year's contribution would set up a navy of 1800 guns. The British ships of the line average 76 guns; their frigates 38. - 1800 guns then would form a fleet of 30 ships, 18 of which might be of the line, and 12 fri