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[462] may be well to recall the attention of the government to it, a copy will be sent you. In the enumeration of the resources of Virginia which would be thus opened to France, he says: ‘In coal and iron, Virginia excels all the other States of the Union. The fact is recognized— admitted.’

He thus specifies the advantages which France would derive from the proposed connection which was about to be formed with Virginia: ‘1st. Facilities for obtaining the raw materials in France at first hand, and cheaper, which would enable French industry to encounter foreign competition with superior advantages. 2nd. A considerable diminution in the expenses of the purchase and expedition of tobacco for the government factories. 3d. The arrival, the introduction of our produce by a shorter and cheaper route into the South, the West, and the centre of the United States. 4th. A relative augmentation in the movement of our commercial marine. 5th. Rapid and advantageous provisions of copper, machine oil, tar, bacon, and salt pork of the West, and building timber for our naval arsenals. 6th. Cheapness of coal for our different maritime stations. 7th. An immense opening in the great West of the United States for French merchandise. 8th. The probability of seeing Norfolk become an entrepot for the productions of French industry and commerce, to be distributed in part in Central and South America by vessels, taking them to complete their cargoes.’

The establishment of the independence of the Confederate States would secure to France large supplies of coal, iron and naval stores in exchange for her manufactures and other products beyond almost all the probable chances of war. Committed as these Confederate States would be to the policy of Free Trade by their interests and traditions, they would naturally avoid war and seek for peace with all the world. It may almost be said that to secure the independence of these States, is to secure the independence of the great commercial and manufacturing nations of Europe in regard to the supplies of cotton and tobacco, and to give France such an independent source for the supply of cheap coal, iron and naval stores as to place her more nearly on terms of equality with Great Britain in building up a navy and merchant marine. The European nations might then be said to be independent, so far as their supplies are concerned, because they would be dependent only on a country whose interests would open its markets to the cheap and easy access of all the world, and which would have every inducement to preserve the peace. But the independence of these States is essential to the certainty of supply and the

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