another flag of truce — Affairs in Hampton roads — direct foreign trade — internal improvements
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
The steamer Arrow
, with a flag of truce, proceeded to Old Point
yesterday carrying down the captain, mate
, and seven of the crew of the ship John Carver
, recently captured by the privateer Jeff. Davis
, and burns at sea. The remainder of the crew of the J. C. have been shipped in the Confederate
There are at anchor in Hampton Boards the frigates Minnesota
, one corvette and several gun-boats.
The hotels here continue to be well patronized.
There is considerable travel on the railroads terminating here.
Occasionally some troops come in, too, from States a little further South.
In some of the Southern
seaport cities active measures have been taken, and arrangements are in progress, relative to the establishment of direct foreign trades as soon as the blockade shall be removed, which will be at no very distant day — probably in less than three months. It is full time; therefore, that something should be commenced in this important matter in the principal seaport of Virginia
A great deal has been said about a heavy trade between Norfolk
and some of the great commercial ports of England
and the Continent, and it is almost certain that a proper effort in this respect would be followed by a decided and very gratifying success.
But her own people must start the ball.
This seems to be no time for the prosecution of commercial enterprises.
The great business of the day is to prepare to meet and repel our enemies; but while we should not slacken our exertions to fill and increase our ranks upon the tented field, to man our batteries, rink the enemy's ships and sweep away the legions who seek our subjugation and rain, we should prepare to enter upon an enlarged and judicious system of foreign trade.
Measures should be taken to establish agencies — companies should be formed, capital in vested and freely risked, ships built, wharf property bought or engaged.
Preliminary arrangements at least should be made to secure heavy shipments hence to foreign ports and to receive such goods in return as would attract dealer here from the various parts of the Southern
This will be a valuable means of defence against a vassalage which the South
has suffered long and patiently, while her capital has contributed vastly in the work of building merchant palaces and princely halls in these cities, whence comes now the clamorous cry,‘"Crush out the Southern
rebels — burn the tories, hang the traitors; go and revel amid the booty and the beauty."’
Our works of infernal improvement give us a connection with the vast and productive regions of the South, Southwest and West, including the exhaustless Valley of the Mississippi, while we are at the very outlet of large.
rivers whose source is in the mountains and which pass in graceful meandering through rich portions of the Old Dominion and the Old North State.
Here we have the road stead, the harbor, the depth of water, and the warehouses — and almost within hearing of the ceaseless voice of the ocean itself, Experience has proved, however, that vastly superior natural advantages will not bring wealth, influence and commercial greatness, Men must act; capital must be invested; must be withdrawn from other sources and put in ocean steamers and clipper ships and foreign trade.
it is time to think about this matter, and to act, if it is really desired to have here at this Heaven-favored location, a great Virginia
seaport city, showing that our people appreciate the vast advantages bestowed by Nature, and are animated by that commendable spirit of enterprise and rivalry that have worked results in other sections that have astonished the world.
There was a time when there were extensive ship yards at this port — all as busy as they could be — and no haggling about prices; the only question was; How soon can the work be done?
Hundreds of vessels were discharging and receiving cargoes, and the streets and wharves were thronged with busy people.
As early as 1769 the importations of Virginia
, principally of this port, amounted to £ 551,000; and they increased till the war and the burning of the town.
Then rapidly recovering from the disasters of the Revolution, as early as 1805, the trade in the last two quarters of that year, with Europe
, the West Indire, &c., on lumber, naval stores, tobacco, provisions, &c., amounted to $1,852,883. This year transactions in domestic produce amount to $3,088,347, and foreign articles $507,907.
The number of vessels from foreign ports entered here in 1809.
was 355; 1801, 369; 1802, 453; 1804, 484.
The people then possessed, in an eminent degree, the chivalry of the commercial character, and displayed in their bearing a dignity and a grace which looked infinitely beyond an ignoble rivalry and the tricks of the trade.
But the heavy trade was diverted to Northern ports.
With a just appreciation and judicious improvement of our natural advantages and favorable position, who can foretell the future greatness of this port, now that the idea that New York must do the shipping and the importing has been abolished, and it is found that those whom the South
has enriched and elevated to untold wealth and influence, are now her worst enemies, and ungratefully and wickedly sick to subjugate and enslave us.--Surely, it is not too soon to unite with other Southern cities in the great and important work of preparing for an era of Southern commercial supremacy.