I was in favor of the Government's taking all the cotton that would be subscribed for eight-per-cent. bonds at ten cents a pound. Two million bales of last-year's crop might have been counted on. This would have cost the Government a hundred million bonds. With this cotton in hand and pledged, any number short of fifty of the best iron-clad steamers could have been contracted for and built in Europe — steamers at two millions each could have been procured. Thirty millions would have got fifteen. Five might have been ready by the 1st of January last to open one of our blockaded ports. Three could have been left to keep the port open, while two could have conveyed the cotton across, if necessary. Thus, the debt could have been paid with cotton at a much higher price than it cost, and a channel of trade kept open until others could have been built and paid for in the same way. At less than one month's present expenditure on our army, our coast might have been cleared. Besides this, at least two million more bales of the old crop might have been counted on; this, with the other, making a debt in round numbers to the planters of two hundred million dollars. But this cotton, held in Europe until the price shall be fifty cents a pound [it went much higher], would constitute a fund of at least one billion dollars, which not only would have kept our finances in sound condition, but the clear profit of eight hundred million dollars would have met the entire expenses of the war for years to come.2
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