Direct trade with the South.
The Hon. T. Butler King
, one of the Commissioners
from the Southern Confederacy, has published a pamphlet detailing the advantages of a direct trade with the South
powers, and urging the establishment of steamship lines from Savannah
and other ports in the South
Some of the salient points in the argument of the honorable gentleman are embraced in the extracts which follow:
‘"We hope to be able to demonstrate,"’ writes Mr. King
, in a rapid review of the question, ‘the necessity of establishing, with as little delay as possible, a direct line of transatlantic steamships between France
and the Confederate States of America
"The secession of the Southern States
has deprived New York of her influence over the commerce and business of the South
, to which the commercial powers of Europe
may now aspire.
The immense export and import trade of the Southern States
, the large number of travelers who have hither to visited the North
for health, pleasure, and, above all, business; the great amount of correspondence which will result from the commercial and individual revolution now taking place, will amply suffice to furnish a very profitable support to several lines of steamships plying directly between the Southern Confederacy and Europe
, and more particularly France
"To these considerations may be added the repeal of all tonnage duties, thus throwing open the coasting trade to foreign shipping, and the adoption of a tariff which, being based upon free-trade principles, is exceedingly moderate.
"What a contrast is presented by these conditions, compared with these imposed by the North
, whose tariff is so highly protective that it excludes the importation of foreign manufactures, and lays upon foreign shipping such excessive tonnage duties as to reserve to the North
alone an exclusive monopoly of the coast trade!
"The Cunard lines
, from Liverpool
to New York and Boston
, and the line from New York to Havre
and other European
ports, provided a sufficient steam tunnage to answer the necessities of New York in her prosperous days.
But since the Southern States
have sundered all connection with the North
, they have wrested from New York the monopoly she has heretofore enjoyed of the immense commerce of the South
The result is, on one hand, that it may safety be affirmed that these line of steamers will no longer obtain remunerative freights, and that any new line between France
and New York would not only fail to pay, but would not actually be able to sustain itself; while, on the other hand, direct intercourse with the Confederate States
offers to steam and sailing vessels a free, wide, and almost unlimited field.
"The exportations of the Confederate States
will amount to about $150,000,000 per annum, and their importations will nearly balance that sum. Who, then, can doubt, for one moment, that vessels trading directly between France
and the Confederate States
will obtain the most abundant freights?
The commercial activity arising from railways and transatlantic steamers will assure to France
the command of the import and export trade of the countries which bound her on the north and east, as well as the postal service of those countries.
"During the winter months, when trade is most active, when immense quantities of cotton and tobacco arrive from the Southern States
, the ports of the Baltic
are closed by ice, while those of France
remain open and accessible.
"Before the discovery of the telegraph the entire correspondence between Europe
and North America
was transported by the steamer running between Liverpool
and New York, and largely contributed to the profits of the companies.
But now that the telegraph transmits the most important news, before the arrival of the steamers at their destination, the rapid transportation of mail matter has become far less a necessity.
A direct service between France
and the Confederate States
, while assuring a sufficient postal dispatch, would effect a considerable economy in transporting the mails directly to their destination, instead of going out of their way through Liverpool
and New York.
"The employment of transatlantic steamers becomes a necessity to the commercial relations of great exporting or importing countries.
Bills of lading, insurance policies, drafts and letters of exchange, cotton samples, &c., are forwarded by steamer.
The foundation, at precisely the moment they were required, of steam lines between New York and Liverpool
, greatly aided to develop the commerce between Great Britain
and the United States
Liverpool on one side, and New York on the other, became great commercial centres.
English merchants already perceive that the withdrawal of the Southern States
has deprived New York of her influence over the exports and imports of those States, and all their efforts will now be directed in the latter quarter.
"Ought not France
to take the initiative, and, by placing herself at the head of the movement, profit by the advantages of priority?
In order to accomplish this, permit me to suggest that the law authorizing the establishment of a line from Havre
to New York be modified or amended so as to impose upon the steamers the obligation of proceeding directly from Havre to Savannah, Georgia
, and that the projected line from Havre
to the West Indies
be prolonged, so as to include New Orleans.
is situated in 32 degrees N latitude.
Next to New Orleans, Savannah
is the Southern
city which exports most largely.--The network of railways running west from Savannah
is completed as far as Montgomery, Ala.
, and is on the point of being finished to Vicksburg
, on the Mississippi
, more than 680 miles from Savannah
On the north, the railways extend as far as Memphis, Tenn.
, a distance of about 900 miles; on the South
, they extend to the State
frontier, where they join the Florida lines
, and a junction with Mobile
, Ala, will soon be effected.
"To the main line running west, through the heart of the cotton region, are connected different branch lines. N. W. and S. W. All these roads are completed, or nearly so, and the lines with which they connect will give to Savannah
, as regards facilities of communication, a position second to none other.
This net-work of railways will bring to her at least two millions of bales of cotton, large quantities of flour and grain, tobacco, timber, and immense stocks of export products of every species."
then gives a minute description of the geographical situation of Savannah
, depth of water in the river, means of approach and lading of large vessels, &c. Similar details are given relative to New Orleans.
He further says:
"Although it is clearly evident that the immense import and export trade about to be established between Europe
and the Confederate States
will yield magnificent profits to a steamship company, it may not be without utility briefly to recapitulate the principal elements which will tend to secure the success of such an enterprise.
"Nearly the entire export and import intercourse of the United States
, (almost three-fourths,) will be carried on directly between Europe
and the Confederate States
This intercourse has hitherto been of great aid to the steamers running between New York and Boston
About 100,000 inhabitants of the South
have hitherto annually traveled in the North
Admitting that only one fifth of the number (20,000) will now visit Europe
instead, at a rate of $130 passage fare, to and from Europe
, we arrive at the sum of twenty-six millions of francs ($5,200,000) from passengers alone.
"If to this be added the transportation of the mails, and full cargoes, going and coming, it is evident that the first lines which shall be established, and shall, by advantageous contracts with the railways, assure to themselves continual and regular freights, which will be easy of accomplishment, will command the commercial position and realize splendid profits.
"As regards the question of coal, I may state that the Baltimore Company
, which supplies the best coal to the Onnard line, at New York, has offered to deliver the same coal at the same price ($4.50, or 22½ francs, per ton,) at Savannah