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Boston continued—Houses of Legislature—Professions and pursuits of the members.-Clergymen in both Houses.—Majority law.—Visit to Lowell.—Comparison of the cotton manufactures of Lowell and Glasgow.—Weight of cotton consumed, of spindles and looms at work, and of yards of cloth produced in each.-Kind of goods made at Lowell.—Wages of male and female operatives.—Waste of female labour in the rural districts.-Opposition of masters and labourers at Lowell.—Dread of a manufacturing aristocracy.—Independence of behaviour in the employed.--Buying good behaviour.—Employment of machinery.—Female and non-adult labour preferred by the masters. Expensive management of the mills.-Effects of the removal of protection in cheapening manufactures in England-Effect of savings and improvements to which necessity stimulates.—Allegation that the protection of New England manufactures does not raise the price to the southern consumer.—Free trade consistent with natural laws, were the world all untrammelled.—England and her colonies a self. sufficing world to themselves.—American tariff excused as a set-off against our tobacco duty. — Metamorphic rocks and poor soils of Massachusetts.-Tendency of the people to commerce and a seafaring life.—Attempts to improve the soil.—Early volumes of the proceedings of the Society for the Promotion of Agriculture.—Early use of nitrates.—Action of the Legislature in 1836. — Agricultural and natural history survey.—Quantity of grain produced in the State.— Importation of wheat necessary.—Influence of the rapid growth of Boston on the improvement of the adjoining country.—Making of land round Boston-Taxation in Boston, and in the State generally, compared with that of Great Britain.—Harvard University.—Colleges in Massachusetts.-Addition of a new faculty to Harvard.—State laws as to students at the universities.—Popularity of Agassiz in the United States.—Views he has propounded in regard to the plurality of the human and other animal races.—Infidel nature of these views. —Why they have been eagerly received in the southern and in some of the northern States.—Walue of the opinions of Agassiz.-Necessity
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of looking his objections in the face, and fairly meeting them.— Deficiency of the requisite knowledge among our clergy to meet successfully such objections.
Feb. 18.-I this forenoon visited the State House, and went into both chambers of the Legislature. They had quite the air of places of business, and the Lower House consisted for the most part of plain-looking, homely, common-sense men. The number of the Senators is 40, and of the House of Representatives 297—in all 337. A large majority of the whole consists of farmers; but though most numerous in the Lower House, this class is in a minority in the Upper House. To this cause is to be ascribed the different views which the two Houses take occasionally of the same legislative measures when brought before them. The following table exhibits the pursuit or profession of the members of Senate:—
Farmers, - - - 77
Carry forward, 206
416 CLERGY IN THE LOWER HOUSE.
Brought forward, 206
Clergymen, . - - 8
Among these last there is one who designs himself gentleman—being the only one, I suppose, who lives entirely upon realised property. The lawyers, in number 24, and the editors of newspapers, 9, are influential bodies. What strikes us most is the number of clergymen, of whom there are 8 in the lower, and 1 in the upper house. They are all, as one would suppose, given to speak, and in both houses aspire to lead. Mr Upham, senator for Salem, a native of St John in New Brunswick, and formerly a Unitarian clergyman, is considered one of the most eloquent and able men in the upper house, where I had the pleasure of hearing him speak. In the lower house, on the same day, I listened to a Calvinistic Presbyterian clergyman, who is said to have much influence with his brother members.
It is by no means unusual for clergymen of the Unitarian persuasion to forsake the Church for the State House, to aspire to, and to attain, the highest offices of the State. Such was the career of Mr Everitt, formerly governor of Massachusetts, and minister to England. Indeed, when we consider how small the emolument is that clergymen usually obtain in New England, and the limited scope which the clerical career in most of the sects presents to a worldly ambitious man—we cannot wonder that the profession should be sometimes forsaken
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by those who feel themselves capable of playing their part in active life, and are drawn by their inclinations to secular, rather than to sacred things. It is so easy also to try the career of politics, where the legislator is supported by the State, and requires no other qualifications than the confidence and votes of a majority of his fellow-citizens. Massachusetts has long been, and still continues a whig state, though the majority of the whig party is not large; and the democrats are the more clamorous, as they command a large majority in the adjoining State of New Hampshire. The question under discussion in the Senate, on the day of my first visit, was what is called the Majority Law, an alteration in which has long been an object of desire with the movement party. By the constitution of Massachusetts, an absolute majority of the electors must in all cases support the successful candidate, otherwise there is no election. This law applies to all popular elections, and is interwoven with all the political and social movements of the State. It is easy to understand why the democrats, being still a minority, should wish to have the law altered—and how, if a simple majority of those who actually vote, or are present at an election, were capable of making a legal choice, the scale might often be turned in their favour. As this simple majority of those who vote is the rule in most other States, it is probable, however, that in Massachusetts the demand of the movement party must be ultimately conceded. Feb. 28.—I this day visited Lowell, the much spoken of manufacturing city of this State, went through several of its factories, and enjoyed a short drive above the city, up the beautiful river Merrimack, from which the power that drives its machinery is derived. It is a clean spacious busy place, with wide streets, abundant WOL. II. - 2 D
413 COMPARISON OF LOWELL
shops, comfortable hotels, rows of neat lodging-houses for the employed, and fifty large mills upon which the whole population depends. Cottons, plain and printed, woollen cloths, carpets and the machinery necessary for the spinning and weaving departments, are the principal manufactures of the place. Its rise, as all know, has been very rapid. In 1828 its population was 3500; it is now, in 1850, estimated at 25,000. The population, cotton consumed, spindles at work, and yards of powerloom cotton cloth per day made in Lowell and in Glas
gow, are respectively as follows:–
Pounds of cotton - Cotton cloths - Spindles at consumed made per day Population. y. per work. per gay in Glasgow, 368,000 144,230 1,800,000 625,000 Lowell, 35,000 109,000 320,000 352,000
On comparing the numbers under each of the above heads, it will be seen both what amount of progress has been made in Lowell, and what is the peculiar branch of cotton manufacture in which the mills there employ themselves, and come into competition with our productions.
In the first place, the quantity of cotton consumed, and of cloth produced, and even of spindles at work, is vastly greater in Lowell, in proportion to the population, than it is in Glasgow. It has more the character of a staple trade, therefore, and is more vital to the existence of the former place than to the latter. It is in fact a peculiarity of Glasgow, among all the great cities of the empire, that it can scarcely be said to have a staple trade—it is so equally dependent upon a variety of different branches of manufactures.
Second, It seems very remarkable, at first sight, that the weight of cotton consumed at Lowell should be only one-third less than is used at Glasgow, and that it should already produce more than one-half the number of yards of power-loom cloth which are woven in Glasgow. But