Thursday, September 28, 2006

Item of the Day: United State's Gazette, for the Country. (1804)

Full Title: United States' Gazette, for the Country. Volume IV. No. 344. [Philadelphia] 4 December 1804.

From the Charleston Times.

TO THE MANUFACTURING CITIZENS OF THE EASTERN STATES.

A planter of the state of South Carolina, takes the liberty to propose to you an object of manufacture, in his opinion very well worthy of your attention; and in which opinion he is not singular, but from a communication he has had with many respectable planters, who with himself hold a number of slaves, and wish to see them cloathed in the winter seasons, with the manufacturers of our own states, rather than be dependent on foreign supplies of this kind; as our country can never be said to be independent , while we rely entirely on foreign cloth to cover us. The present time we deem highly propitious for the beginning of the manufacture of this cloth in the eastern states. The fabrick recommended is a warp of cotton, and to be filled with wool dyed brown, or in its natural colour; to be seven-eights of a yard wide, and to be well milled of good thickness, and dressed on the surface. For such cloth, from 55 to 75 cents per yard might be readily obtained, if delivered in Charleston, fitting for this manufacture, at the rates of from 16 to 20 cents per pound; a quantity of wool, which is now thrown aside for want of a market, might also be had at a low rate; and thus a beneficial exchange of our raw material for your manufacture, would be established. I wish the enterprizing spirit of my fellow citizens to the Northward, would make the experiment above recommended; I can assure them of success, if the cloth is well made, and of sufficient warmth to make our people comfortable in winter. Negro cloths imported from England are yearly advancing in price, to an extent this season (the best 92 cents per yard;) and the next season it may be expected by the troubles of war, it will be 100 cents, and perhaps more. In our revolutionary war, were at first put to many shifts and difficulties for clothing of our slaves comfortably in winter, but in a little time we got the better of it, and many of us made to our plantations, as much cloth of this kind as clothed all our people in a warm comfortable manner; but on the return of peace we returned to our former habits of buying imported cloth, which then was reasonable in price; but of late, and the present season, the prices are greatly advanced, which in my opinion makes the present time favourable to the introduction of our own manufactures, besides the advantage of strengthening the bond of our union. I wish it be understood, that I have no private interested motives in his hint, am as little embarrassed in my fortune as any man, therefore find as little difficulty in paying these high prices for imported negro cloth -- but it has long been a wish of mine to see our supplies of this article come from the Eastern States of our union; and no time was ever more favourable to the introduction of them than the present.

A NATIVE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

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