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Mr. David Ogden, after speaking of the necessity of keeping open the canals, offered the following resolution, which was adopted:
Resolved, That a memorial from this Chamber, signed by the President and Secretary, be sent to the Canal Commissioners, asking them to keep open, until the last possible moment, the canals of this State; and also asking them to give early notice of the same; and also that the committee be requested to use every exertion to open the canals at the earliest possible moment in the spring.
Messrs. DAVID OGDEN, C. H. MARSHALL and W. E. Dodge were appointed a committee for that purpose.
During the meeting, as the Rev. Messrs. ConwAy and TAylor and Mr. Foster were present, Mr. W. E. Dodge took occasion to allude to the destitute condition of the loyal Union citizens of North Carolina, saying that as these gentlemen from North Carolina were in attendance, a full and accurate account could be had. The President informed the gentlemen that a meeting was to be held at Cooper Institute for that purpose, when the reverend gentlemen would have every opportunity of making a full statement on the subject referred to.
The following gentlemen were nominated for membership:
Nominated by WILLIAM LIDDERDALE, 64 Beaver-street, PELATIAH PERIT. CHARLEs F. Loosey, 2 Hanover Square, ARTHUR LEARY. HENRY WEston, 54 Wall-street, CALEB BARstow. Joel, WolfE, 283 Fifth Avenue, CALEB F. LINDslEY.
The Chamber then adjourned.
Special Meeting of the New-York Chamber of Commerce, November 13th, 1861.
A special meeting of the New-York Chamber of Commerce was held on Wednesday, November 13th, upon the application of Messrs. Opdyke, H. A. SMYTHE, A. C. Rich ARDs, S. B. CRITTENDEN and S. DE WITT Bloodgood, to consider a memorial to the President of the United States, requesting that power be conferred upon provost judges to take cognizance of civil actions at law in the rebellious States. Mr. P. PERIT, President of the Chamber, presided. Mr. OPDYKE submitted and read the following memorial;
CHAMBER of CoMMERCE, Wew-York, November 13, 1861.
To the Hon. ABRAHAM LINcolN, President of the United States :
The memorial of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New-York respectfully represents, that the subject now held under the consideration of your excellency, touching the power and jurisdiction of the provost judge at Alexandria, in certain actions of debt brought before him, involves questions of the deepest import to the mercantile interests of this country. Citizens of States, now in rebellion, owe to citizens of loyal States a commercial debt estimated at little less than $200,000,000. At present there are no means of collecting any portion of these debts, nor can there be, until the authority of the United States government is reestablished in the rebellious States. In fact, these States have made the payment of any such debt a criminal offence of the highest grade, and they have also provided by law for their confiscation and appropriation to the uses of the rebel government. Under these circumstances, the unfortunate creditors are constrained to look to their government for relief. They are aware that government can grant this relief only in the degree in which its authority is reestablished, but to that extent they feel that they have a right to claim, on grounds of justice and sound policy, its friendly and earnest interposition. The restoration of the United States authority will follow the march of the federal army, and must thus be accomplished by degrees. It has already commenced. The district of Alexandria, in the State of Virginia, is now within the lines of the federal army. No civil authority exists there, but a military governor has been appointed and a provost court established. Your memorialists respectfully submit, that under such circumstances it is an imperative necessity that these military authorities should exercise all the functions of local government. A state of war does not destroy the social relations of man, and unless there exists, in its immediate presence, some kind of authority to protect the rights of persons and property, and to enforce the obligations of contracts, it would leave no traces of property behind it to satisfy the claims of creditors and others. It is, therefore, of the highest importance, that loyal citizens should have means of enforcing their claims against debtors in reconquered districts, during the transition state, when the military is the only existing power. If their legal rights be postponed until the re-establishment of civil tribunals, it is not likely that any property will be found to satisfy their claims. The chances are, that most of it will have been appropriated to disloyal purposes. Again, the honest and loyal debtor in the reconquered district, who should desire to prosecute his business and pay his debts, would find himself greatly embarrassed by crushing competition of disloyalists and others intending to put their creditors at defiance. This very difficulty, it is said, has been already felt at Alexandria. The political effect of this temporary immunity, if it were granted to rebel debtors, could not fail to prove most injurious to the federal cause; for it could scarcely be expected that rebels would become loyal, when loyalty would deprive them of a plausible ground for refusing to satisfy the just demands of their creditors. The immunity, in short, would be equivalent to paying a premium for treason. For the reasons stated, your committee deem it essential to justice and the early suppression of this wicked rebellion, as well as due to the mercantile interests of the country, which has sustained the government with such patriotic zeal and liberality, that the action of the provost court at Alexandria should be sustained by the administration, and that it should also be the invariable practice to establish such courts, with plenary power in civil causes, in every district that falls into the military possession of the United States government. It is said that the practice of this government in California, for some ten years after that territory came into its possession, affords a precedent for the adoption of this policy. But who, this be so or not, there can be no doubt but justice and expediency alike demand its adoption in the present exigency. The rules and usages of war are governed by the necessities that arise in WOL. XLVI.-NO. I.
its actual presence, subject only to such restraints as justice, mercy and other principles of Christianity impose. It will infringe none of those to compel the disloyal debtor to appropriate the property to the payment of debts justly due to loyal creditors. Your memorialists therefore respectfully urge your excellency to sanction the action of the Alexandria court, and to establish similar tribunals wherever the federal army establishes its authority in a rebellious State or district. After debate by Messrs. OPDYKE, CHARLEs Gould, CoNKLING, HoTALING and others, the memorial was adopted, with only one dissenting voice, and ordered to be engrossed and forwarded, duly authenticated by the officers of the Chamber. And the meeting adjourned.
Monthly Meeting of the New-York Chamber of Commerce, December 5th.
The regular monthly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held at 1 o'clock, Thursday, December 5th, the President, PELATIAH PERIT, in the chair, and an unusually large attendance of members.
The following gentlemen were elected members: WILLIAM LIDDERDALE, CHARLEs F. Loosey, HENRY WESTON and JoEL Wolf E.
Mr. SAMUEL D. BABcock was unanimously re-elected a member of the Arbitration Committee, to serve for twelve months from this time.
Mr. CHARLEs H. MARSHALL, in behalf of a Special Committee, presented the following memorial:
To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled :
The Chamber of Commerce of the State of New-York respectfully represents, that it is important to the commercial and financial interests of this State, that the United States Assay Office at this city, shall have conferred upon it the privilege of coining into the national currency such portion of gold and silver bullion as may be deposited with the treasurer at New-York for that purpose.
That the expense, risk and loss of time hitherto and at present incurred, in sending bullion from this city to the mint for coinage, might be avoided if this power were granted to the Assay Office.
In support of these views, the Chamber deems it proper to state the following facts:
The bullion deposits at the New-York Assay Office by individuals for coinage, or for conversion into fine bars, since October, 1854, (when the Assay Office commenced business,) to the 1st October, 1861, has exceeded one hundred and eighty millions of dollars, of which was in gold, about 95.70 per cent, in silver, 4.30 per cent. Of this large sum nearly thirty per cent. was deposited in the last year, (October 1st, 1860, to October 1st, 1861,) viz.:
BULLION DEPOSITS AT THE NEW-YORK ASSAY OFFICE.
Five years, to Oct. 1st, 1859, $99,256,633 . . $5,046,601 ... $104,303,234
$ 173,108,612 . . $7,762,484 . . $180,871,096 Annual average,. . . . . . 27,586,944 ... 1,108,926 . . 28,695,870
Thus, in the past year the deposits have increased from a previous annual average of less than twenty-one millions, (1854–1860) to the sum of fifty-eight millions of dollars.
In order to show the usefulness of the Assay Office, even with the restricted powers thus far granted to it, it has furnished in the same period of seven years fine bars to the value of one hundred and twenty-one millions of dollars, viz.:
Gold,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 119,656,621
An annual average exceeding seventeen millions of dollars.
warded to the mint, at Philadelphia, for coinage, a sum of over one hun
dred and seven millions of dollars, viz.:
BULLION SENT TO THE MINT, AT PHILADELPHIA, FROM THE UNITED STATES ASSAY OFFICE, NEW-YoRK, FoR coin AGE.
Gold. Silver. Total. First five years,... $31,670,049 . . $ 5,025,483 ... $36,695,532 Sixth year, ...... 11,854,834 .. 278,196 . . 12,133,030 Seventh year, .... 56,082 721 .. 2,198,139 .. 58,280,860 $ 99,607,604 . . $ 7,501,818 . . $ 107,109,422 Annual average, 14,229,658 ... 1,071,688 .. 15,301,346
Thus, the amount of gold and silver forwarded to Philadelphia for coinage has increased from a previous annual average of eight millions for the first six years, (1854–1860,) to more than fifty-eight millions in the past year. The estimated expenses for mere transportation of this large sum for the year past (October, 1860, to October, 1861) was $71,755, viz.:
For gold, one dollar per thousand, ... . . . . . . . . . ... $64,855. For silver, three dollars per thousand,............. 6,900 $71,755
When, to the consideration of this unavoidable expense, under the present law, is added the loss of time to the depositor, THE ANNUAL Loss may be estimated at about one hundred thousand dollars; a sum which it is now thought will be sufficient to put the present Assay Office in complete order for coining all the gold and silver that may be required by the owners or depositors at New-York.
In order to show what an important part the port of New-York plays in the great bullion movement of the country, the Chamber of Commerce presents the following summary of receipts at New-York for the seven years since the Assay Office was established :
California Ship- Estimated yield Year. ments to New-York. Total Shipments. of California. 1854, . . . . . . . . . . . $46,289,000 .. $ 51,328,000 . . $64,000,000 1855, . . . . . . . . . . . 38,730,000 .. 43,080,000 .. 65,000,000 1856, . . . . . . . . . . . 39,765,000 . . 48,887,000 .. 70,000,000 1857,. . . . . . . . . . . 35,287,000 .. 48,592,000 .. 70,000,000 1858, . . . . . . . . . . . 35,578,000 .. 47,548,000 .. 70,000,000 1850, . . . . . . . . . . . 39,831,000 .. 47,640,000 .. 70,000,000 1860, . . . . . . . . . . . 35,661,000 . . 42,325,000 .. 70,000,000
Now that the port of New-Orleans is closed against the receipts of gold at that port from California, (heretofore from two to three millions annually,) and the branch mint at that city closed, it may be reasonably expected that, for some time at least, the whole exports of California gold to the Atlantic ports will hereafter arrive at New-York.
To the considerations before mentioned may be added the fact, that the foreign commerce of the State of New-York has increased, since the first export of California gold at this port, about two hundred per cent. :
Imports. Erports. Total. 1849, . . . . . . . . . . . $ 92,567,369 . . $45,963,100 . . $ 138,530,469 1860, . . . . . . . . . . . 248,489,877 ... 145,555,449 ... 394,045,326 Increase,..... $ 155,922,508 . . $99,592,349 ... $255,514,857
To show the relative importance of New-York City to the whole country, in its foreign trade, the following results are shown for the year ending 30th June, 1860:
New-York City. All Others. Total.
Exports,. . . . . . . . $120,630,955 ... $252,558,319 . . $ 373,189,274
Imports, . . . . . . . 233,692,941 .. 128,473,313 ... 362,166,254 Total, . . . . . . $354,323,896 . . $ 381,031,632 . . $ 735,355,528
Thus, the proportion of the foreign trade of New-York City to that of the whole country, in its exports, for the fiscal years 1859–60, (the last officially before us,) was over thirty-two per cent, and the imports for the same period over sixty-four per cent. ; and the total foreign trade of the first, compared with the whole United States, was over forty-eight per cent, while that of the State of New-York was about fifty-four per cent. i. the whole foreign trade of the country, or considerably beyond one
This increase is fully illustrated by a comparison of the past decade,
(1850—1860,) with the three previous periods, 1821–1850, viz.:
IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.
Imports. Exports. Total. 1821–1830, ... $ 363,379,563 ... $215,833,356 . . $579,212,919 1831—1840, ... 753,921,699 . . .279,588,191 ... 1,033,509,890 1841–1850, ... 757,571,840 .. 385,322,935 ... 1,142,894,775
1851–1860,... 1,915,154,188 ... 1,113,314,645 ... 3,028,468,833
We see no grounds to doubt that the increase of the foreign trade of the port and of the State of New-York, for the next ten or twenty years, will be fully commensurate with that of the past forty years.