The Virginia seaboard.
Norfolk, Aug. 19, 1861.
To the Editor of the Dispatch:
--Your recent editorial in reference to the future course of trade in its relation to Norfolk
and Ports-mouth is strictly true, and to the point and we have to thank you cordially for the catholic sentiments which distinguish it. There is not, and should not be, any antagonism between certain cities in the South
in view of the probable result of her future independence and the relation they will sustain to each other and to the world when such independence shall have been established.
As soon as cause follows effect, so soon, as you very properly remark, the inevitable destiny of Norfolk
is to be the great commercial emporium of the South
and the great centre of an export and import trade.
The thraldom which has bound ours, like every port South, to the North
being broken, its position, unrivalled harbor, the various lines of railroad leading to it from the interior, the rivers emptying into the Chesapeake
, and Hampton Roads
in its vicinity, its proximity to the sea, and finally, the certainty of the completion, at no distant day, of the canal to the Ohio
--one terminus of which will be our harbor-- all seem to indicate with unerring certainty this as the great trade centre of the South
To the exporter this port presents a most favorable point for successful operations.
Having the use of free shipping, unencumbered by navigation laws; all nations competing for the carrying trade, flue warehouses and wharves to facilitate such operations, and light port charges and expenses, the advantage of purchasing cotton and other produce in Memphis
, or at any intermediate point, and also the products of North Carolina
and States beyond, with certain and cheap transportation either by water or rail, with dispatch; to complete cargoes where wanted, the exporter will have to his hand every element of complete success.
The position of the ports of Norfolk
is, if possible, still more favorable for a successful import trade While the ports further South may to the exporter present equal attractions to ours, to the importer ours has decided advantage over all others.
Owing to causes over which none can have control — for instance, the humidness of the climate further South; the almost certainly of periodical returns of epidemic diseases, and other causes, which might be mentioned, operating against a prosecution of an extensive import trade with those ports-- ours, we think, will be the great mart for the receipt and disposal of foreign fabrics and productions.
These imports, perfectly safe from damage the year round by the climate, can be distributed to the interior cheaply, safely, and rapidly, as the wants of the people may require.
In conclusion, fearing I may trespass on your kindness.
I would submit that while nature has prepared this as the great centre of trade, and political charges will certainly carry out the design in time, yet much is wanted to set the ball in motion, and to accelerate this most desired event While we have such an harbor, wharves, warehouses, and every appliance necessary for the prosecution of an immense export and import trade, we want capital commensurate with such a trade.
We want merchants with capital among us, who understand the wants of the people of the South
, and have some experience in exporting and importing.
In a word, we need energetic business men among us, who will bring sufficient capital for all their wants.-- Of course, these will be made up of foreigners and citizens of the Southern States
(we hope never
to import any more Yankees,) and one of the objects of this communication is to attract the attention of the many readers of your widely circulated paper to our port, hoping thereby to induce some to avail themselves of the opportunity now
of establishing themselves among us, with, as we think, abundant prospect of success.
The first who come and make their business arrangements for the future, on the raising of the blockade will be most apt to be successful.
With a city unsurpassed for health, whose bills of mortality will compare favorably with any other on the confident — positively freed from aptdemies of any kind, unless by accident imported, and then at very long intervals-- a people noted for their kindness and hospitality, peculiar claims are presented as a residence, apart from its business aspects; and it is hoped, now that there is a certainly of the future disenthralment from Yankee cupidity, and consequent future prosperity, that our population will decidedly increase.
Any letter of inquiry, addressed to the President
of the Chamber of Commerce of the city of Norfolk
, will be promptly answered.