Essays on Domestic Industry

Essays on Domestic Industry

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Excerpt from Essays on Domestic Industry: Or an Inquiry Into the Expedience of Establishing Cotton Manufactures in South-Carolina, Originally Published in the Charleston Courier, and Now Re-Published at the Request of Several Gentlemen of Charleston

At the request of a number of gentlemen who desire to publish, in pamphlet form, the Essays which recently appeared in the "Charleston Courier" under the head of "Domestic Industry," and signed "South-Carolina," they are now revised with a few additions.

The Manufacturing of Cotton in the Southern States, is a subject that has engaged my attention for many years, and elicited much interesting enquiry and laborious investigation. About eight years ago, I purchased a considerable interest in the Vancluse Manufacturing Establishment, near Aiken, and my practical experience in it, (it being under my charge for eight months, during the summer and fall of 1837,) has produced a settled conviction in my mind, that Manufacturing is a business that ought to engage the attention of the two Carolinas and Georgia. I had then but recently retired from a very lucrative business in Columbia, on account of ill health, which forbade my becoming the purchaser of the above-named establishment, which was sold by the company in 1837. It, however, came into my possession, in connection with Gen. James Jones, in March, 1843. The investigation prompted by this ownership, and the experience of twenty months active operation of this establishment, have confirmed my previous impressions, and I am now prepared to stake my reputation as to the issue. I firmly believe, that our advantages are such as to enable us to compete successfully with any country, now engaged in the manufacture of Coarse Cotton Fabrics. We have the materials among us, which, set in motion by this branch of industry, would create an energy that would revolutionize our State, morally and physically, - uproot the immense forests that now cover the fairest portion of our soil, - disembowel the hidden treasures contained in our immense beds of iron ore, - revive the drooping spirits of our enterprising Iron Masters, - shake the very foundation of the beds of granite that abound in all parts of our State, - resuscitate our worn out soil, - construct for us good roads and bridges, - erect houses of such durable materials as should make them monuments of our enterprise, and dwellings for the offspring of our children's children, - and which would place us in a condition to meet any emergency that might arise.

A tour of inspection through the Manufacturing districts of the Northern States, during the past summer, has not only confirmed all my previous impressions, but has probably excited in me too much enthusiasm on this subject, which I regard as so vastly important to South-Carolina.

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