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mand to supply those persistent wants which cannot be put off a single day. With the exception just stated, the renting of land is identical, in all its more serious results, with the hire of money. It exercises upon the laborer the same continued pressure; it degrades the many and elevates the few; it has given rise to anarchy, confusion, and strife in every period of the world's history, setting in hostile array the different classes of society; and the careful student may everywhere trace its effects in revolution and blood. Christian commentators who fail to look beneath the surface of things, and newspaper scribblers who cannot look beyond their nose, are continually trumpeting forth the advantages of borrowing money by the supposed innocuousness of the renting of land.
Setting aside fluctuations in prices following upon mere temporary or local causes, the rates of wages will always, as a general thing, follow any permanent or established advance in prices of merchandise. But advances in the rates of interest tend to the benefit only of the lender, and as the interest can be taken from no source except that of labor, the real practical effect of such advance, however much it may be hidden from public view, is to reduce the relative value of the wages of labor. Every man will then sell his commodities at an enhanced price, or reduce his laborer's wages, in order to pay the usurer, and the whole proceeds thus subtracted must go into the pockets of the money lender. The consumers and producers, as a body, tax themselves in amount equivalent to the advance in interest, and the lenders, as a body, reap all the benefit. This, I think, puts the matter in a plain and striking light. Many important interests are no doubt concealed under the superior nominal rewards of labor in modern times. It is not the interest of this bank or that bank, or of the money lenders as a class, which must be consulted in this matter. We must look to the man with the broad back and the brawny arm, for he it is who at last foots the bill. Where is the advantage, then, of any rate of interest, much less of an advance in these rates, to the laborers and producers of the land? The old thread-bare argument that money is an article of commerce, and that lenders should therefore be unrestricted in their demands, is being continually trumpeted in our ears. And so it is an article of commerce when you buy something with it; but it is a very different thing when you lend it out and involve silly people in debt. We cannot but feel a sort of sympathy with the condition of mind which would attempt to associate, either in nature or effect, buying and selling goods with borrowing and lending money.
If a large landowner becomes a borrower from a land bank or other institution, the evils of the usury of land are doubly increased. The producers must not only pay a tax for the borrowed land, but also for the borrowed money. If such borrowing were to become general, the usury thus twice exacted would doubtless be distributed over prices as we have already indicated. The interest of the money must be paid, and it must be taken out of the land. The landlord who is not indebted, and who begins to borrow money, say at six per cent, places himself very much in the same position as the man who, to clear off some pressing mortgage at six per cent, borrows anew at twelve. The general effects, therefore, of land banks are two-fold-first, they increase the price of commodities, or decrease the wages of labor, without any advantage being given; and second, they foster the existence of a host of dependent day laborers, who would be far better employed were they tilling their own lands, and who, when the day of reaction comes, can neither be employed nor fed.
There seems to be more permanency, just because there is less risk, in the system of the usury of land than in that of the usury of cominerce. It must bave struck every observer, how very frequently and speedily many families, once ranking high amongst commercial men, have passed away into obscurity and poverty. Their riches have taken wings, and the ups and downs of trade have become a proverb.* Not so, however, with land holding families. Most of them, where they have kept clear of the money lender's purse, can trace uninterrupted possession for many centuries. The family name and the family mansion are bad in affectionate recollection; and perhaps the best commentary on their value and worth, is the spleen and envy exbibited by idle demagogues towards those who own the one or the other.
Alas! under this system, both in town and country, thousands and tens of thousands grow up from infancy to manhood, and from manhood to old age, with the knowledge that they have no consecrated spot on this earth they can call their home. A shifting and restless population grows up side by side in daily increasing numbers, to whom the sweets of that precious sanctuary are altogether unknown, or but half enjoyed.
• Each shade of circumstauce that mark'd the scene
Of young existence," is remembered but with sadness and regrets. The excitemept of modern business now thrusts its unwelcome presence into the circle of peace and the hours of rest. Debt, with its gaunt and grim features haunts many a pillow, leaving its premature furrow on many a manly brow. And whilst the birds of the air and the beasts of the field enjoy their nests and holes, millions of our fellow men have neither homes nor habitations they can call their own. And alongside of that poverty and wretchedness which appear to find their best elements of growth in high commercial communities, we find the display of unbounded wealth and magnificence. Effeminate luxury and a gew-gaw taste will assuredly sap the strength and vitals of any community. None are yet beyond the reach of those influences which have had so large a share in the fall of nations. The demoralizing influences arising from great wealth in few bands, the cupidity excited in the hearts of the vagabond, the idle, and the disorderly, by the exbibition of that wealth, are still as active as when Lycurgus fashioned the money of Sparta of rude iron, in order to preserve at once simplicity of taste and banish objects which might excite desire.
It is not possible, whilst such a system as that we have described is allowed to last, but that the laborers must be doomed to a life of hard struggle and bondage. Their broad backs are loaded with burdens too great to be borne. The distressed condition of thousands of workpeople in large cities—iron workers, needlewomen, handloom weavers, mechanics, &c.—is so well known that it need not be recounted. The elegances of civilized life they can never hope to attain—few of its amenities they can ever enjoy. Whilst parading abroad those high statistics which commerce proclaims as the evidence of advancing wealth and power, we are too prone to forget that patient and useful class which contributed mainly to those ample stores. Our laborers and artisans are kept too
• It appears by the statistical tables issued by Dun, Boyd & Co., January, 1860, that the whole glass of traders throughout America would be swept clean away by the credit system in the short period of fifty years! Such a terrible fact as this ought to arouse the attention of every statesman.
near to absolute want; they sail almost within the breakers; they may be plunged into them at any moment. Surely no feeling mind can ever contemplate this as the normal and inevitable condition to which they were born. The vice of the money lender has contributed more than all other influences combined to this state of things. From year to year it throws upon society an uninterrupted stream of rags and wretchedness, over which philanthropy vainly mourns, and which the combined benevolence of the age need bardly hope to abate. The act of lending on interest may seem a very harmless sort of thing; but it is an evil which perpetuates itself with increasing force in every direction, and in ways hardly thought of, throngbout the whole of society. It is true that this system of debt and credit has been so long assiduously associated with the generous confidence and integrity of commercial men, and with the glory and pride of modern commerce, that the evils and sinfulness of debt are practically overlooked or forgotten, and we unconsciously place a yoke upon our own necks. There is something so fascinating in the idea that you may move about in a few years amongst your fellow men as a "luminous orb of credit,” that the occasional extinction of one of these orbs, and the periodicai collapse of the whole system, do not deter men professing the Christian name and faith from engaging in this wild game. The most flourishing institutions amongst us are those which are supported by means absolutely forbidden by the law of God. The “employment of banking capital" has resulted in the most terrible inroads upon the peace, happiness, and prosperity of families and nations. Among the numberless influences at work to prejudice the truth in the minds of men, and retard the progress of Christianity in the world, probably none have exerted more power than the spirit of usury. A sober and comprehensive view of the whole subject in its true light, cannot but leave the impression that a healthy abhorrence of debt in the public mind would be one of the greatest steps towards social, civil, and political prosperity. Too often have I witnessed with sorrow and regret the extent to which this system of usury has shriveled and shrouded minds, otherwise acute and intelligent, in a mist of impenetrable gloom. Too often have I beard with pain and surprise its shiftless arguments reduced to the necessity of ignoring all charity and all faith.
From all that bas been stated, it appears that any legal enactments 'which would tend to arrest the powers of borrowing on interest are worthy of our most serious consideration. The race of lenders are those who offer the temptations to borrowers, and for obvious reasons the Scripture anti-usury laws are mainly directed against them. The words of the statute of Queen Elizabeth, that the "vice of usury abounds to the utter undoing of many gentlemen, merchants, occupiers, and others, and to the importable hurt of the commonwealth," may be applied as truly at the present time. The whole question, therefore, is one which comes. most appropriately under legislative review. That would be a most salutary and merciful enactment which would destroy the present facilities of contracting debt; which would secure the uninterrupted possession of property; which would liberate the vast sums now locked up in mortgage; which would insure the employment of capital in the bands of its proper owners, in the various paths of commerce, labor, and art; and which would compel the thousands and tens of thousands, who now live off the labors of their fellow men, to enter with willing heart and hand into the great field of production, thus at once blessing themselves by removing the source of endless disquietudes and troubles, and blessing their fellow creatures by adding to their stock of material comforts, and withholding from them the temptations to enter on a path at best but slippery and uncertain. Such enactments would no doubt be frequently violated, just the same as every other enactment which lays a restraint upon vicious practices. If that were a solid reason why no legislative action should be taken against usury, we should have no laws directed against theft, murder, or any other crime. The destruction of the paper money, the annihilation of the present credit system, and the practical arrest of usury or lending on interest, are the three great social problems which, sooner or later, the world will be called upon to solve.
Nothing more plausible has ever been imposed upon mankind than this system of credit or usury. Under the guise of assisting you, it takes you by the throat; under the semblance of doing you a good turn, it bleeds you to death. It fattens on everything venal; it makes merchandise of everything sacred. It cloaks its disgusting and avaricious features with the garb of charity. There is nothing too low to which it will not descend. Whilst professing to drain your farm, it drains your purse. Under the name of " provident,” it will dig your grave or provide your coffin. It delights in high names and good associations, and links itself to all the virtues. Its hypocrisy is consummate, for when you are running in debt, it blandly says you are only opening a credit. It pushes itself forward amongst the honorable of the earth, yet delights in secresy. and revels in deeds of darkness. It is steeped in guilt, for it has caused more sorrow than ten thousand battle fields, and it comes to us freighted with human distress and tears. It proclaims itself to be the life of trade, yet annually immolates its thousands of victims.* Whilst professing its identity with trade, it does not adbere to commercial rules, for it stigmatizes those who aim at the highest price for their money, and who charge according to the risk of the loan, as extortioners and disreputable. It groans under the infliction of usury laws, and professes its charity towards men of doubtful credit by clamoring for their repeal. With exquisite cunning, it appropriates the rules of commerce, draws parallels where none exist, proclaims traffic in debt as free trade in money, and looks with covetous eyes on those swinging profits made by “Jews" and " disreputable" money brokers. Whilst veiling its own avaricious and time-worn features under the peacock pageantry and glitter of modern style and progress, it denounces the arguments of all who would place any restraint upon its unhallowed gains as the antiquated and fusty notions of a dark and remote generation. It has laid violent hands on every interest, substituted too often gold for grace, and introduced a censorship over both pulpit and press. It has destroyed all self-dependence, for it has brought upon the street a race of commercial beggars. It has destroyed all self-respect, for the men of commerce now cringe and fawn before a fellow mortal, who has very likely nothing better to offer than a bit of paper or a ledger inscription. It overturns economic principles by the root, and has the hardihood to challenge the precepts of Holy Writ. Its logic is either of that transcendental cast which is beyond our reach, or of that inconsequent type which discovers reseinblances in things incongruous. It elevates cunning into a virtue under the name of shrewdness, and proclaims those who are successful in turning aside the right of the poor and the needy as men "skilled in finance.” It has introduced a course of slavery and perfidy, which, in deception, meanness, and miserable drudgery bas bardly had a parallel in the history of the world.
* See Dun, Boyd & Co.'s statistics.
Art. 1.-COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL CITIES OF THE UNITED STATES.
NEW ENGLAND TOWN8.
DOVER-EARLY SETTLEMENT - FISHING - INDIAN TRADE-SEPARATION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FRON
MASSACHUSETTS-POPULATION-WEST INDIAN TRADE-WAR-POPULATION IN 1800-FARMING AND BHIP-BUILDING-FIRST FACTORY, 1821-COTTON TRIUMPAS-NEW PRINT WORKS-GREAT SUCCESS -SBOE MANUAFCTURING-SOUTHERN MARKET - RAILROAD-COST OF LIVING-CARPET FACTORY PRESENT POPULATION-PACKETS TO NEW YORK. EXETER -- SETTLEMENT OF -- ANNEXATIONVOTERS KILLED BY INDIANS--ORIGINATES STATESMEN -- BIRTH-PLACE OF LEWIS CASS--COTTON MANUFACTURING--SUCCESS--WATER POWER--GAS PIPES--POPULATION. VERMONT TOWNS--BRATTLEBORO'--SETTLEMENT--COL. BRATTLE--BOUNDARIES -- POPULATION--FACTORIES--OPERATIVES --BANK--TANNERY. ROCKINGHAM -- FISHING -- BARLY POPULATION -- SITUATION-CONNRCTICUT RIVER INDUSTRIES--BANK. WINDSOR -- SETTLEMENT OF - EARLY OCCUPATIONS -- DISPUTES-STATE CONSTITUTION-POPULATION-PRISON-EMPLOYMENT OF CONVICTS--ARMS COMPANY--UNITED STATES COURT.
New HAMPSHIRE has long been famous for the facility with which her sons have discovered and appropriated the natural advantages of the State for manufacturing purposes. Hers is not a soil which attracts the agriculturists, but it is one that serves the purpose of the manufacturers to great advantage. The sites that have been most favorable for that employment, became towns like Portsmouth, Manchester, Nashua, Dover, and Exeter, and these have known how to accumulate wealth by supplying the agriculturists of other States. The New England Magazine gives an account of the early settlement of Dover as follows :
It is now two hundred and thirty-six years since two brothers, William and Edward Hilton, fishmongers, from London, with a few other persons, took possession of a neck of land at the head of navigation on the Piscataqua River, and made the first settlement in the State of New Hampshire, which sixteen years afterwards received the name of Dover. The settlement did not, for the first few years, increase very rapidly ; for in 163 1 there were only three houses in all that part of the Piscataqua, though eight years had elapsed since its first settlement. In 1633, however, Capt. Thomas Wiggin was sent over from England, by lords Say, Brook, and others, with about thirty settlers, who all landed in safety at Salem on the 10th of October, and, proceeding to Dover, took lots at the neck, and immediately commenced the erection of a meeting-house, and it is affirmed of a brewery also. With the advent of these new settlers originated the organized municipal existence of Dover. Fishing was the occupation of the brothers Hilton and the first emigrants, but trade with the Indians and the manufacture of lumber followed in due course, and about the year 1638, Richard Walderne (or Waldron) built a saw-mill and grist-mill at the lower