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Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., Chapter 31: the Chinese-Wall blockade, abroad and at home. (search)
realize from fifteen hundred to two thousand per cent. on its first cost. Still, even this profit as against the average of loss-perhaps two cargoes out of five-together with the uncertain value of paper money, left the trade hazardous. Only great capital, ready to renew promptly every loss, could supply the demand-heretofore shown to have grown morbid, under lost faith in governmental credit. Hence sprung the great blockade-breaking corporations, like the Bee Company, Collie & Co., or Fraser, Trenholm & Co. With capital and credit unlimited; with branches at every point of purchase, reshipment and entry; with constantly growing orders from the departments-these giant concerns could control the market and make their own terms. Their growing power soon became quasi dictation to Government itself; the national power was filtered through these alien arteries; and the South became the victim-its Treasury the mere catspaw — of the selfsame system, which clear sight and medium abil