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'rade of the United States, upon terms and under authority explained in volume 1 of the Report on Commercial Relations, prepared in this department, accompanying the President's message to the House of Representatives of March 4, 1856, page 76. I am, sir, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Joseph S. Wilson, Esq.,

Commissioner of the General Land Office.

Extract referred to in the preceding letter, from volume 1, Report on the Commercial Relations of the United States, fc., (H. Ex. Doc. No. 47, first session thirty-fourth Congress,) page 76.


The commercial intercourse of the United States with the territories of the East India Company is regulated by the different local governments thereof, under the supreme control and approval of the governor general of India in council. The regulations prescribed by these authorities are not of a permanent character, being liable to modifications and changes whenever, in their opinion, such become necessary. To present, however, the true basis upon which this intercourse rests, it will be necessary to refer briefly to the treaty stipulations subsisting between the governments of the United States and Great Britain, premising that, prior to the convention of London signed on the 3d of July, 1815, between the United States and Great Britain, the commercial intercourse of the former with the East India possessions was regulated, as was that of other foreign nations, by a general clause in the company's charter providing that “ vessels of countries in amity with Great Britain may import into and export from the British possessions in India such goods and commodities as may be specified in rules to be prescribed by the East India Company; provided, that such rules shall not be inconsistent with any treaty now (then made, or which may be made, between Great Britain and any foreign state in amity with her, or with any act of Parliament for regulating the affairs of India."

By the convention above referred to, and the subsequent convention of October, 1818, continuing the former, it was stipulated :

1st. That vessels of the United States shall be admitted and hospitably received at the principal settlements of the British dominions in the East Indies, viz: Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, and Prince of Wales island; and the citizens of the United States inay freely trade between the said settlements and the United States, in all articles of which the importation and exportation, respectively, to and from the said territories shall not be entirely prohibited. And,

2d. It was provided that the citizens of the United States shall pay for their vessels, when admitted, no higher or other duty or charges than shall be payable on the vessels of the most favored European nations; and they shall pay no higher or other duties or charges on the importation or exportation of the cargoes of said vessels than shall be payable on the same articles when imported or exported in the vessels of the most favored European nation. And,

3d. It was expressly agreed that the vessels of the United States shall not carry any articles from the said settlements to any port or place, except to some port or place in the United States of America where the same shall be unladen.

This convention is still in force, and regulates the commercial intercourse of the United States with the East India possessions, except as to paragraph 3, which bas been superseded by the repeal of the British navigation laws in 1849, the effect of which has been to open the ports of Great Britain and of all her

colonial possessions abroad to “goods of any sort, in a ship of any country, from any part of the world."

By an act of the imperial Parliament, entitled 13 Victoria, chapter xxix, sections 3, 4, 5, and 6, the governor general of the East India possessions was clothed with full powers to admit, whenever he should deem it advisable to do so, to the coasting trade in the East Indies, the vessels of all foreign nations. This privilege is now enjoyed by every flag.

With these two exceptions, the convention of 1818. is still in full force, and constitutes the only guarantee which the United States possesses of equal privileges with the most favored nation in its intercourse and commerce with the East India possessions.

Washington, October 12, 1867. Sir: With reference to the letter of the 7th instant, addressed to you by this

commerce, I have the honor to enclose an extract which has been prepared from an official publication, of 1866, issued under the authority of the French government, which work is entitled “Notices sur les Colonies Françoises."

This extract relates to the conditions on which trade may be carried on at the port and river of Saigon, in the French province of that name, mentioned in the letter from this department of the 7th.

No information is contained in the same work in relation to trade with the other provinces acquired by France in Cochin-China. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD. Hon. Joseph S. Wilson,

Commissioner of the General Land Office.

COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION. Legislation.The port and river of Saigon have been opened to the commerce of all nations by a decree issued by Rear-Admiral Page, dated February 10, 1860. In accordance with the regulation which followed the above decree* merchant vessels had been compelled to pay a tax for anchorage of two piasters per ton; this tax was reduced to one-half piaster from and after January 23, 1861.

The commercial regulation dated August 25, 1862, † liberates from that tax the French and Spanish vessels, as well as those chartered by the state, or which arrive in ballast. The payment of the tax for anchorage discharges the commercial transactions from all custom-house duties on importation as well as on exportation for all kinds of merchandise, with the exception of opium, upon which a tax ad valorem of ten per cent. is levied and collected by the authorities appointed for that purpose.

The light-house tax is fixed at three and one-third piasters for every ton, and cannot be exacted but once a year for the same ship.

Will be exempted from that tax the following vessels, viz: Men-of-war, mer. chantmen, vessels or steamers carrying the mail, and the vessels chartered by the state. Some modifications have been made to the act of 1862 by a decree dated May 25, 1865. The tax for anchorage has been reduced to one-fourth of a piaster for foreign ships arriving in ballast to take cargoes in Saigon. Some regulations have been established to protect the public health in case an epi. demic disease should be declared on board a vessel in the harbor.

* This regulation was inserted in the Moniteur de la Flotte, May 13, 1860. * This regulation was inserted in the Bulletin Officiel de la Cochin-China, 1862, No. 16.

The expenses of piloting are moderate and regulated according to the custom of the neighboring ports.

A tug-boat is always in readiness for towing the vessels which may require it to go up the river.

Table showing the comparative distances of London, by Gibraltar and Suez

canal, and San Francisro from commercial points in Australia and Asia.

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Hong Kong

11, 281
10, 469
9, 669
9, 639

7,902 4,520 5,555 6,355 6, 135 7,785 8,165 9,665 9, 378

3, 379 6,984 4,914 3,314 3,504


306 1,719 2,732

Table showing the comparative distances of London, via Gibraltar and Suez

canal, and New York, via San Francisco, from the same points.

Oriental points.

From London,
via Gibraltar

York via San

Differences in

favor of New

Differences in
favor of Lou-

Hong Kong

11, 281
10, 469
9, 669
9, 639

9, 355
9, 135
11, 165
12, 378

379 3,989 1,914

314 504

2, 446 3, 306 4,719 5,732

The foregoing tables have been compiled mostly from a translation by Evglish authority of Berghaus and Stulpnagel's Mercatorial Chart of the World, published at Gotha in 1866.

The closing of the Suez canal by a European war, in which England inay become involved, will deprive her of the advantage of this abbreviated route, and compel her to resume the old route around the Cape of Good Hope, by which her heavier articles of commerce continue to be transported. This will add four thousand eight hundred miles to the foregoing distances from London to the ports of eastern Asia, and about three thousand miles to the distance from London to Melbourne, in Australia.


Commissioner. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, General Land Office.


November 4, 1867. DEAR Sır: In reply to the two questions which you have addressed to me, I beg leave to say that the main route of the proposed railroad to Mazatlan, in Mexico, would run from New York through Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Lynchburg, and Knoxville, to a point at or near Chattanooga Thus far the road is already completed. From this last point the road should progress by the best and shortest route through the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas to the Rio Grande, at or near the mouth of the San Juan river, thence passing through or near Monterey and Durango to Mazatlan. This road is nearer by many hundred miles than any other practicable route from New York to the Pacific; the grades are more easy, the construction less costly, and the country through which it passes rich and productive. Mazatlan, on the Pacific, is on the same parallel of latitude with the Sandwich Islands and with Canton, China. It is also on the most direct line from New York to Australia and southeastern Asia. Eventually our country, besides the roads now progressing to the Pacific, will require one from the head of Lake Superior to Puget's sound, with branches to the mouth of the Oregon and to a junction with the present road at Sacramento; also the road from Memphis through Arkansas and Albuquerque to San Francisco, connecting with Cairo and St. Louis; also from Vicksburg through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, to San Francisco, with branches to San Diego, Guyamas, and Albuquerque; this road would connect with that running from Kansas through New Mexico. We shall, of course, need railroads through Tehuantepec, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Chiriqui, and especially a ship canal through the isthmus of Darien. With all these completed, we should soon command the commerce of the world. How, or when, or to what extent any or all of these great enterprises are to be aided by the nation, must be left to the wisdom of Congress. I must say, however, after having travelled through Egypt and observed the progress of the ship canal through the isthmus of Suez, that, if we mean to contend with Europe for the trade of Asia, a ship canal through the isthmus of Darien is indispensable.

Your second question relates to the estimate of $4,000,000,000, as constituting the value of the annual domestic trade of the country, and requests the data on which that estimate is founded. These are to be found mainly in the tables of the last census of the United States. The quantities there given were converted by me into values, aud will be found in my letters printed in London and on the continent when I was acting as the financial agent of the government and negotiating its foreign loans. These data are most fully given in my letter No. 5 from London of the 8th of February, 1864, and the appendix accompanying the third edition of those letters. You will find the statement based on the census of 1860. Total product of 1859, namely, of agriculture, manufactures, mines, and fisheries, $5,290,000,000; of this the gross value of the products of manufactures, mines, and fisheries was $1,900,000,000. See census of 1860, table 33, page 130, making the ratio of the increase from 1850 to 1860 $86 91 per cent. ; same book, 8th census, page 59. The gross value of the products of agriculture for 1859 was $3,390,000,000; same book, table 36, pages 198 to 210.

From the gross value of manufactures we must deduct $1,012,000,000, being the value of the raw materials used, (see table 33,) leaving the net value of $888,000,000. From the agricultural values we must deduct (see table 36) $830,550,162, converting the gross value of live stock into the value of its annual products. This would leave the real value of the agricultural products of 1859, $2,559,449,838, making the ratio of increase, from 1850 to 1860, 95.07 per cent. To this, however, we must add at least $200,000,000 net value of mechanical productions below the annual value of $500, of which no official cognizance is taken in the census. (See page 59.) This, added to the table of manufactures

would make the amount $1,088,000,000. There were omitted, also, in the census of 1860, milk and eggs, fodder, firewood, moss, manures, poultry, and feathers, and products under a bale, ton, barrel, &c.—estimated value $300,000,000—which, added to the agricultural products of 1859, would make the whole amount $2,859,449,838. But, on looking at the census tables of 1860 by counties, I find nearly one-tenth of these wholly omitted, (many of which are given in the census of 1850,) and in many counties only partial returns. Allowing five per cent. for these omissions, $197,372,491, the net value in 1859 of the products of our agriculture, manufactures, mines, and fisheries, would be $4,144,822,329. Now, if the ratio of increase from 1859 to 1869 equals that of the last decade, the augmentation would be $3,855,000,000. But from this must be deducted one-fifth, the calculation being for eight years, from 1859 to 1867, instead of ten years. This would make an addition to the product of 1867 of $3,084,000,000. But, from this increase, we should deduct, from various causes, growing out of the late rebellion, not exceeding one-fourth, and the real increase would be $2,313,000,000. Add this increase to that of, 1859, and the result would be that the value of the product of the year 1867 would be $6,457,822,329. In order, however, to exhibit this result in the next census, it must be more accurate, and there must be no omissions.

Now, the total net value of the product of 1867 being, as we have seen, $6,457,822,329, in order to ascertain the aggregate domestic trade of that year, we must deduct, for exports of these products abroad, not exceeding $300,000,000; this would leave $6,157,822,329. Now, by domestic trade I presume you mean what remains after deducting the amount of these products consumed by the producers. When we reflect that nearly every bale of cotton, and nearly every hogshead of sugar, is sold by the producer, that nearly all the wheat is sold to those who convert it into flour, and how small a portion of our manufactures is not sold by the manufacturer, the deduction on all these accounts could not exceed one billion of dollars, which would leave the value of the domestic trade of the country, in 1867, $5,157,822,329.

My answer to your letter has been delayed by a desire that the estimate should be as accurate as possible. Believing that the-statistics heretofore presented by you, as well as tbose now being prepared, must prove of incalculable benefit to the country, I am yours, very truly,

R. J. WALKER. JOSEPH S. WILSON, Esq., Commissioner, sc.

NEBRASKA City, July 1, 1867. SIR: I take the first opportunity which has presented itself to me to report to you the progress of my explorations. During the month of June, I have examined, with considerable care, the counties of Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Otoe, and Lancaster, and will leave to-morrow to examine the counties of Nemaha and Richardson, returning northward through Pawnee, Johnson, and Lancaster counties to the northern part of the State, returning again southward, as far as time will permit, through the third tier of counties. These three tiers of counties will comprise most of the settled portions of the State.

I have already accumulated much interesting information, although no striking discoveries have been made. There are few, if any, important minerals in the State, but our collections of carboniferous fossils are very extensive. We shall secure, in the course of the year, most abundant material to illustrate the geology of the State. We have made most earnest search for coal. This question seems to be one which now excites the attention of the people more than any other, and they are earnestly asking for a solution of the problem.

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