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roused up the nation from a sort of torpor of the body politic, but impressment was left where we found it, unprovided for by treaty stipulations.
It is quite possible the governments of both countries got heartily sick of the war, and so made peace. On the part of Great Britain, it was certainly a poor, and very small business, and if continued, would have issued eventually greatly to her injury. England can never have any interest in quarreling with us whose trade is all she needs, and which war interrupts and if persisted in, and continued very long, would finally destroy. War long continued with England would make us a manufacturing nation, and independent of England. We have no interest in quarrelling with our old stepmother, whose language we speak, and whose institutions we have copied, and bid fair to extend and perpetuate over all North America...
To all human appearance, this nation is eventually destined to be the most powerful one that now is, ever was, or ever will be on the globe. At our present rate of national increase, in numbers, wealth and power, in one century to come, this nation will consist of more than one hundred millions of people, who will occupy the surface of all North America; whose commerce will encircle the globe, and whose power will be felt on every sea, and in every country of the whole earth. May her mercy and benevolence be coextensive with her power; protecting the weak, warring only on the unjust, and enlightning the ignorant. May she carry all the useful arts to every portion of mankind, and spread the benign principles of the gospel in all lands. Thus our nation may, if she will, become, a blessing to all mankind.
THIS PERIOD COMPRISES THE HISTORY OF OHIO FROM 1815 TO
DURING the period of which we are about to treat, there was a stagnation of business of all sorts. To relieve the pressure in the midst of it, congress reduced the price of their lands in the west, from two dollars to one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. This reduction was extremely injurious to land owners, many of whom held large tracts, on which they had long paid taxes, until the taxes themselves, amounted to more than the lands were worth. The productions of the lands, meat and bread, no longer found a market near the place of their production. A want of good roads, either by land or water, on which our home productions could be transported, added to our far inland situation, operated severely on industry of all sorts, and palsied every manly effort, either of body or of mind, in Ohio. This stagnation of business, and this torpor of the body politic were increased, and greatly aggravated by the failure of a great number of little country banks. These had sprung up like ' mushrooms, in a night, during the war, when every article, which the farmer could spare, sold readily for cash at a high price. The eastern merchants, to whom we were greatly indebted, refused our western bank paper, exeept at a ruinous discount, in payment either of old debts or for goods. Our specie had been transported on pack horses over the Alleghanies. The vaults of our banks were emptied of their silver and gold, and all our banks either stopped * payment, or ceased to do business. The farmer was discournged from raising much more, than what he really needed for his own immediate use; the trader feared to take bank paper, that might be of no value, before he could use it; and his old customers could no longer purchase any goods except mere necessaries of life. The people living in the towns, became idle, lazy, and of course, dissipated. Amidst this gloom, the national government brought suits in court on all the bonds due to them, for the internal duties on distilleries, &c., &c., and against the collectors of the revenue. United States lands had been sold to settlers on a credit, and these were forfeited for non-payment.
Universal ruin stared 'all in the face, and it seemed for awhile, as if the people of the west would retrogade into a state of barbarism.
Congress had chartered a national bank, but although this measure operated for a moment, auspiciously by throwing in, to circulation a sound currency, yet inasmuch as the balance of trade was greatly against the west, we received no lasting benefit from it.
Three-fourths of the state, all south of the summit which separates the waters of the Mississippi from those of the Șt. Lawrence, carried their produce to New Orleans for sale. This trade was very little better than no trade, only as it terded to keep' men out of absolute idleness. The arks, or as they were called “ New Orleans boats,” cost about two hundred dollars each, where they were built, and as they were of little value at New Orleans, and could not be used by their owners, only for descending the river, the entire cost of the. boats was lost. The hands employed in this long, tedious and expensive voyage, provided they escaped death by the yellow fever, or by some robber, were compelled to return home by land through the Indian country. In the interior where these boats were built along the Ohio, and its branches, after builda ing the boats and loading them with flour, pork, lard whisky, cider, apples, fowls, &c., the freshet must come before they could depart on their perilous voyage. And it might hap. ; pen, and often did happen, that all the streams in the state of Ohio were up, at nearly the same time. The flood cams, and with it departed such an amount of produce, that the market was glutted. The best flour has been sold for three dollars a barrel, and pork for four or five dollars a barrel, in New OrJeans, which amounted to a total loss of the cargo. Or the boat sunk on its voyage, and not merely were the boat and cargó lost, but every man on board it perished. If those who left their property for sale in New Orleans, lost only all they thus stored in the agent's warehouse, and were not called on - for a considerable amount, as the difference of value between the expenses of selling and what the sale produced to the owner he was truly fortunate, in those times. Or if a man, who had purchased and paid for twenty thousand dollars' worth of produce in Ohio, and had succeeded in making what was then considered a good sale of his property, in New Orleans--we say if such a man should have been taken sick at an inn, where he lodged, (and he was sure to be, if he put up at one of them) and should die there, among strangers, with his twentyfive thousand dollars, about his person, not a dollar was ever returned to his family, but in its stead a bill of several hun. dred dollars for funeral expenses, was forwarded to his widow, parents, relatives or friends, who generally paid the host all he demanded. Numerous cases of this sort, fell out within our entire recollection of them, and all their attendant circumstances.
Although taxes were levied on lands, for the support of the state government yet they were but poorly paid. And the sales, for taxes were go loosely, carelessly made, by the collectors, that a tax title to land was good for nothing. The more of them one had, the poorer he would be, in the same proportion...
At an early date of the state government, all the lands in the state, which had been sold by the United States over five years were divided, into three rates, first, second and third rates, and taxed accordingly, without any reference to their real value. Bottom lands, along the streamits, and rich prairie
, among stra, not a dollaeveral hun
lands, were first rate, and paid the highest tax. These lands might be worth very little from many cirsumstances, such as their liability to be overflowed by freshets, and they might be distant from any town, &c., so that even third rate lands might be by far, more valuable than the first rate lands. For mere cultivation, the second rate lands, lying generally on what was denominated second bottoms, were better adapted to produce grain, than those of the first class. Besides, the county officers did pretty much as they pleased in their returns, and first rate lands in one county might be estimated as second, or even third rate lands, in a county adjoining. This · system of taxation was very erroneous, and unequal in its operation, doing great injustice, and productive of discontent among the land owners.
. It is easily seen that a system of taxation so loosely framed, and so unjustly too, could not be very well enforced. The money raised by it so far as the members of the general assembly were to be paid out of it, was grudged by the tax payers. Not a few of these givers of law, were extremely illiterate; so much so, that some of them could neither write nor read their own names. • The poorer sort of people were mere squatters on the public lands, or tenants on the lands of the more wealthy land owners. These men were all voters, and they not unfrequently obtained seats in the legislature. They paid no taxes themselves, but they levied heavy burdens on others. We need not wonder that taxes so levied and in part (and no small part either) for such a purpose, were badly paid. . From these causes, and those causes heretofore enumerated, the state treasury at length became totally exhausted. All the salaries of the state officers, were in arrear, and all these officers, and even the members of the general assembly were paid in audited bills on the treasury. Governor Brown, though faithfully exerting every power he had, actually failed to borrow twenty thousand dollars on the credit of the now great, populous and wealthy state of Ohio. Yes, reader, such was the fact, only a very few short years since. Several unskill