Art. III — The Trade and Commerce of St. Louis in 1852.
IN an article which we prepared and published in August, 1846 (Merchants' Magazine, vol. xv. , 162-171,) we gave a brief historical sketch of St. Louis, and its progress in Commerce, population, & c. In March, 1851, (vol. xxiv. , pages 298-316,) we published the annual statement of the Missouri Republican, for the year ending December 31st, 1850; and in March, 1852, (vol. xxvi. , pages 306-325,) a similar statement for the year 1851. For a copy of the subjoined annual review of the Commerce of St. Louis, for the year 1852, carefully compiled from daily reports published in the Missouri Republican, and other reliable sources, we are indebted to A. B. Chambers, Esq. This history or review shows an increased business in almost every important branch of trade, that must gratify our mercantile friends in the great and growing West.
MISSOURI REPUBLICAN OFFICE
January 3d, 1853.
A comparative table of the receipts of produce the present and past years, will show in some articles a considerable falling off. Particularly is this the case in grain. We must attribute this result, in a great measure, to the low stage of the rivers, which continued during a large portion of the business season, and which is almost unprecedented in our commercial history. From June until December, with the exception of an occasional temporary rise, the Mississippi, and its tributaries in this section, were almost too low for the smallest class of boats, and on the Illinois barges had to be resorted to for the purpose of transporting the produce of the country to this market. High freights were demanded, as a matter of course, and this advance on the usual river charges had a tendency to keep back a considerable portion of the staples. The wheat crop was estimated as very large, and yet by reference to our tables it will be found, that the deficit of the year just passed, as compared with the previous one, shows an amount over 100,000 bushels. It may be that the crop was over estimated, and it may be that the home consumption required more than the ordinary allowance, and it may be that trade has been in a measure diverted through the northern channel, or that a considerable portion yet remains in the granaries of the farmers; but taking the great difference into consideration, it is a matter that deserves the attention of the business portion of our citizens. If it shall be ascertained that low water was the cause, the spirit recently expressed in regard to a general system of internal improvements should be fostered and improved. During the past season a very practical and satisfactory test was made of the value to our Commerce of artificial means of communication. The test was made, too, at a most favorable time for exhibiting fairly the practicability and importance of these improvements. It was during the season of extreme drouth, when navigation was nearly suspended, and when receipts of products, in consequence, were light and inconsiderable; and although the road opened was comparatively a short one, and the country rendered tributary thereby but small in its extent and new in its settlement, yet the effect produced was so apparent that every department of industry felt its influence. We refer to the opening during the summer of the Alton and Springfield Railroad. The result was most satisfactory. The company were obliged, on account of the enhancement of business, to employ an additional packet between this port and Alton, notwithstanding a very short time before, prior to the completion of the work, one of the packets had discontinued her semi-daily trips between the two points. The favorable results to this city from this work, has deeply impressed our citizens with the necessity for an extensive system of railway communications, and active preparations have already been made for the construction of important works. A few years at farthest will see our Commerce enlarged under this wise policy, the
421transportation of the various products of the country rendered safe and certain at all seasons, and agriculture greatly enlarged. St. Louis has grown into her present proportions without the aid of a single mile of railroad or canal, and without even the removal of an obstruction in the natural channels through which her Commerce flows; her prosperity is the result of a few years' progression; and when the present contemplated works are finished, extending through the richest portions of our own State, traversing Illinois through her whole breadth, and by collateral links draining, in both States, an immense extent of country, it may reasonably be supposed that our commercial and consequent general prosperity will be most beneficially influenced, and that our metropolis will enlarge her borders with more rapidity than has yet been witnessed.
These observations are not merely theoretical; practical results, emanating from like improvements both in the East and West, sufficiently prove the great benefits to be derived from artificial connections with the interior, as well as with other important commercial points. The able review of the Cincinnati market, for the year ending the 31st of August last, contains important data in relation to improvements of the kind of which we are speaking, and which exhibit the most interesting results. If we would retain the trade under which we have prospered, we must connect, by rail-road and plank-road, with the points from which our Commerce has received its support; the river channels must be improved, and facilities offered as great or greater, than other entrepots are offering, for the, transmission of the various products, cheaply, safely, and without delay.
This point, at no distant day, must become important as a manufacturing one. The heaviest business in this department will doubtless be in iron. The State boasts of her mountains of ore, and the coal region is immediately at our doors. Within a few years past the articles made of iron have multiplied beyond any expectation. Railing, fencing for agricultural uses, window-sash, door-fronts, columns, caps, telegraph-wire, water-pipe, are a few only of the uses to which the article has lately been applied; while speculation begins to whisper about entire buildings being constructed, and entire streets paved with it. The shops of St. Louis compete with the best artisans elsewhere for the manufacture of steam-engines, and of every species of machinery. A connection with Pilot Knob and the Iron Mountain, by railroad, will obviate at once the difficulty to an embarkation of the kind, by placing the ore at the furnace cheaply and expeditiously, and thus bringing into general use this great metal. Missouri contains thus, within her own bosom, an element of wealth that has not yet been brought into requisition, and which is destined at no distant day to give a strong and vigorous pulsation to her growth in wealth. Besides this, we have lead and copper ore in abundance, exhaustless, and second in quality to the yield of no other region. The tests made of the latter, recently, place it favorably as regards purity, with the product of Lake Superior, while its contiguity to our city, its easy access to the line of the Pacific Railroad, and the cheap mining requisite to obtain it, render an investment in its manufacture certainly profitable.
The principal deficit in the receipts of the year just closed, as compared with the previous one, will be found in hemp, lead, flour, wheat, corn, and oats, and. the following table, compiled the present year, by the Secretary of the Exchange will show particularly the relative imports of the two seasons of the principal products of the country.
|Lead||pigs||503,571||409,314||Lard||bbls. & trcs.||52,208||42,515|
|Wheat||bush.||1,700,708||1,591,886||Bacon,||csks. & hhds.||16,791||11,285|
|Corn||sacks||1,840,900||344,720||"||bbls. & boxes||1,564||1,790|
|Barley and Malt||101,674||47,264||Whisky||bbls.||47,991||46,446|
|Bagging||pieces||2,746||3,650||Molasses,||hhds. , bbls.||40,251||54,935|
|"||bbls. & boxes||36,687||27,672||Nails||kegs||57,862||42,201|
By the above statement it will be observed that in nearly all the staples of the country, the receipts of this year are far below those of last. The table is not as full and, we fear, as accurate as the importance of the subject demands; but with such data as we have, it is presented.
MONEY MARKET. — Taking the year through, the money market has shown but little fluctuation, and a high, sound standard has been exhibited in the varied transactions of the country, through the legitimate mediums of currency and exchange. The amount of exchange sold during the year is estimated at $20,000,000. From the 1st to the 10th of January it stood at par; from the last date to the 1st of April at Ë per cent premium; from the 1st of April to the 24th of May Åº per cent; from the 24th of May to the 24th of June par; from the 24th of June to the 1st of December Ë per cent premium; from the 1st of December to the 1st of January par. Under the operation of the Illinois Banking Law many houses have been established, and their issues now form principally the circulating medium of Missouri and the adjoining States.
HEMP. — This important staple shows a decrease, in our port receipts, the past year, of 16,548 bales, as compared with the previous season. The falling off may be partially accounted for in the increased manufacture of rope in the State, which our table exhibits. During the year, several manufacturing establishments have been erected on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, at Liberty, Lexington, Glasgow, and other points on the former, and on the latter at Hannibal and Quincy. — These consume, in the aggregate, about ten tons daily during the running season. The recently erected rope walks at Lexington and Liberty are extensive; they are propelled by steam, and capable of manufacturing fifty coils each, of bale rope per day. Allowing each factory to be in operation eight months in the year, the increased home consumption will be over 2,000 tons effected by these new establishments. As yet the manufacture of bagging is meager, and comparatively unimportant, the principal, or, in fact, the whole of this article, is furnished by the penitentiaries at Jefferson City and Alton. There can be no doubt, however, but that in a short time, private enterprise will enter the field, and the home, as well as a large export demand, will be supplied by our own factories. Should the steamboat law go into operation, with all its requirements, shippers will be obliged to use bagging for covering their hemp, "when carried on the deck or guards," and the requisite quantity of the raw material for this may be safely estimated at three hundred tons.
423of it was sold in those markets at forced sales, and consequent ruinous prices. Operations at home were more satisfactory than those made abroad. The crop preparing for market is represented throughout the State as fully an average one as regards quantity, and as respects its texture it is said to be very superior. About the middle of the month just past, the new crop began to come into market on the Missouri more freely than usual for so early a period of the season, and our information relative to the rot is of the most flattering character. Should anticipation in this respect be generally realized, our market will exhibit, no doubt, in its forthcoming operations, no little enterprise and activity. The product in Kentucky has decreased to a considerable extent, and many of the large manufacturing establishments in that State will be compelled to seek supplies in this market. This, with an enlarged demand at home, and in the East, on account of the superiority of the lint, will give a buoyancy to the staple, well calculated richly to remunerate the grower, and establish the credit of Missouri for the production of this great and important staple.
At the close of the year 1851, the stock in store, and on the market, amounted to 3,000 bales; at this time, not over 500 bales remain unsold. The receipts of the former exceeded any previous year subsequent to 1847, and amounted, as per table, to 65,366 bales. The relative prices of the two seasons, given monthly, are as follows: —
|January||$85 a $110||$75 a $92||July||$75 a $95||$72 a $85|
|February||80 a 105||75 a 90||August||80 a 95||68 a 87|
|March||85 a 95||60 a 85||September||80 a 90||83 a 91|
|April||70 a 90||60 a 75||October||75 a 85||88 a 100|
|May||70 a 85||62 a 78||November||75 a 85||92 a 100|
|June||75 a 82||72 a 82||December||78 a 92||88 a 107|
The disparity which is shown in the range for the year just closed, must be traced to the extremes of qualities in the product, which may be classed as common and prime. At the beginning of the fall, as the stock became diminished, the better grades ruled high, and the year closed with .the staple firm at the figures given.
|Recipts of 1847 were||bales||72,222||Of 1849||bales||46,290|
|Of 1848||47,270||Of 1850||60,862|
BALE-ROPE AND BAGGING. While the receipts show a large increase this year over last, the quantity manufactured in St. Louis fells short some 5,000 or 6,000 coils. Our city factories were unable to procure a sufficiency of hemp, for reasons above stated; while the establishments above, situated in the region where the product is grown, were more readily and economically supplied. A much larger proportion of the receipts has been sold at this point, however, than during any other year, and the amount will foot up, perhaps, some 8,000 or 9,000 coils. Of that manufactured in St. Louis, 5,000 or 6,000 coils have been sold here. The ruling prices for No. 1 have been pretty uniforn, and ranged generally at 5 1/2 cents; No. 2 from 4 Å¾ to 5 cents. The quality of Missouri rope has been subject to some complaint during the season; if our manufacturers would secure sales at home and a good reputation abroad for this article,
424they must exercise greater care and attention. The receipts of bagging show a small increase over last year; but the supply is quite limited, and by no means adequate to the demand. A number of orders from the South during the season could not be filled, and were returned in consequence of the meagerness of the stock. The receipts of bale-rope during the year 1851 were 34,088 coils; this year, 41,674 — leaving a difference in favor of this season's operations of 7,586 coils. The pieces of bagging for 1851 were 2,746; for 1852, 3,650 amount in favor of this year, 904 pieces.
TOBACCO. The sales at our warehouses, for the year just closed, exhibit an excess on the operations of the preceding year of 3,096 hhds. The following table shows the transactions at the Planters and State Tobacco Warehouses for the past seven years, from 1846 to 1852, inclusive: —
The large increase in the inspection and sale of tobacco at this point, the present over any former year, is in a great measure to be attributed to the high prices that have ruled in this market in comparison with others, and which prices have induced stemmers to dispose of their lugs here rather than forward them to other places as had heretofore been their general custom. The unusual competition among buyers for shipment and manufacturing purposes, induced this favorable state of the trade; and as we have now several purchasers residing at this point who buy directly for Europe, both on orders from thence as well as for home account, we may fully expect that the production of future crops which will find a sale in this mart, will rapidly and permanently increase, until all the tobacco now sold by the planters to the stemmers and factors in loose condition, shall be prized and forwarded to this market. When this state of things, obviously so much more remunerative to the planter, shall be realized, the whole trade of the stemmer, already so important, and daily increasing, will be centered at this place as the grand depot of the staple, not only of this State, but of Illinois. The receipts by land carnage from the latter State form already no inconsiderable item on our inspection books. This is the present condition of all the principal markets in Virginia, where long experience has taught both parties, farmer and purchaser, the best method of conducting the business to their mutual advantage.
The proportion of fine qualities has not been as large this season as usual, which accounts principally for the high rates at which they have ruled. Although the crop was over an average one, severe wet weather setting in at an inauspicious time, damaged the quality, and msterially affected the prospect which an early stage of the season had spread before the planter. There is, however, in the disparity which marks not only this grade, but other qualities of our tobacco, something else than unfavorable weather to which to attribute its comparative inferiority. The fact is admitted, that as regards our lugs and shipping leaf, they command a less price in New Orleans, by from fifty cents to one dollar per hundred, than the growth of some other Western States. The climate and soil of Missouri are as well adapted to the product as any other in the Union, and the legally established system of inspection as thorough and efficient for the purposed designed, and our private premiums as liberal; yet with all these advantages and appliances, our planters have not been able to fully compete with those of Kentucky in the markets of the world. With the raw material equal, the reason must be traced to the inefficient method pursued in the curing and packing process. A rigid assortment, it may be, is not sufficiently adhered to, and in the details generally of housing and preparing for market, some inaccuracies from inattention are permitted, which give to this product of our State an inforior standing. This opinion is somewhat corroborated by the fact that from the interior counties, whence transportation to this market is too high for
425inferior qualities, the best tobacco is received. Care and labor are necessary to make the article of sufficient value to bear an expensive land carriage, while an extra quality is found adequate to remunerate the planter for the labor, and for the additional charges in reaching a market. The necessity for greater attention by our planters to this matter, is becoming more apparent from the fact that neighboring States are putting forth greater exertions to excel in the growth of this staple. Kentucky has recently adopted an inspection system similar to our own, and the increased transactions, in Louisville for the year just closed, are evidence of the great importance of this product in the Commerce of that State. If that market shall acquire a higher character by the inspection system, ours, without a corresponding improvement, must be still further degraded. Cincinnati, also, as a tobacco mart, has placed her claims before the country, and if our planters would earn a reputation for themselves and the State, at home and abroad, the bounties which nature has supplied, for so desirable a result, must he aided by their attention and industry. It is claimed by other points that they possess superior advantages in their central position and in the facilities which natural or artificial channels afford them for reaching the Atlantic ports; but the position occupied by our planters in respect to transportation, will be found equal if not better than those of others. They have a stream which affords every facility for reaching the Gulf coast, and the improvements now complete and in process of construction, will give an outlet in other directions sufficient to compete with any section. As the foreign demand is sufficient to cover the production of the West, our outlet is not easily surpassed. The exportations to Europe for the year 1851 amounted to 95,945 hhds. , viz. : —
|To Russia hbds.||1,856||France hhds.||10,101|
|Holland||11,871||Italy and Trieste||7,651|
|The Colonies of Great Britain.||2,681|
The total receipts at New Orleans, during the last commercial year, (from September, 1851, to September 1, 1852,) were 89,675 hhds.
From the 1st September, 1851, to the close of that same year, the different qualities in New Orleans were quoted as follows: —
|Frosted cents per lb.||2 a 2 Å¾||Leaf, inferior to common||4 Ë a 5|
|Lugs, factory||none.||Fair to fine||5 Ë a 6|
|Planters' do||3 a 4||Choice and selections||6 Ë a 7|
From the middle of March to the 1st of May following, the ruling rates were —
|Lugs, factory cents per lb.||2 a 5 Ë||Fair to fine||4 Ë a 5|
|Planters' do||3 a 3 Åº||Choice and selections||5 Ë a 6|
|Leaf, inferior to common||3 Å¾ a 4 Åº|
At the commencement of July, on account of an active demand, the figure were advanced as follows: —
|Lugs, factory cents per lb.||2 Åº a 3 Åº||Fair to fine||5 a 5 â |
|Planters' do||3 Ë a 4||Choice and selections||6 a 7|
|Leaf, inferior to common||4 Ë a 4 Å¾|
At the close of the commercial year, (the 1st of September last,) the range was —
|Lugs, factory cents per lb.||3 a 3 Å¾||Fair to fine||5 Ë a 6|
|Planters' do||3 Ë a 4 Ë||Choice and selections||6 Åº a 7 Ë|
|Leaf, inferior to common||4 Å¾ a 5 Åº|
The sales in our own market during the embraced year, show the following gratifying result: —
|Lugs, factory.||Planters' do.||Leaf, inf. to com.||Fair to fine.||Choice & selections.||Manufactar'g,|
|January||none.||2 a 2 Ë||2 Ë a 3||3 a 4||4 a 5||none.|
|February||none.||2 a 2 Ë||2 Ë a 3||3 a 4||4 a 5||none.|
|March||none.||2 Åº a 2 Å¾||2 Å¾ a 3 Åº||3 Åº a 4||4 a 5||5 a 6|
|April||2 Åº a 2 Ë||2 Ë a 3||3 a 3 Ë||3 Ë a 4||4 a 5||5 a 9|
|May||2 Åº a 2 Ë||2 Ë a 3||3 a 3 Ë||3 Ë a 4||4 a 5||5 a 15|
|June||2 Å¾ a 3||3 a 3 Ë||8 Ë a 3 Å¾||2 Å¾ a 4||4 a 5||6 a 15|
|July||2 Å¾ a 3||3 a 3 Ë||3 Ë a 3 Å¾||3 Å¾ a 4||4 a 5||6 a 15|
|August||3 a 3 Ë||3 Ë a 4||4 a 4 Å¾||5 a 5 Å¾||5 Å¾ a 6 Ë||6 a 15|
|September||3 Ë a 4 Åº||4 a 4 Ë||4 Ë a 5||5 a 5 Åº||5 Åº a 5 Å¾||6 a 15|
|October||3 Ë a 4||4 a 4 Ë||4 Ë a 5||5 a 5 Åº||5 Åº a 5 Å¾||6 a 12|
|November||3 Ë a 3 Å¾||3 Å¾ a 4 Åº||4 Åº a 4||4 Å¾ a 5||5 a 5 Åº||6 a 12|
|December||none.||3 a 3 Å¾||3 Å¾ a 4||4 a 4 Åº||4 Åº a 4 Å¾||6 a 12|
With regard to the crop now housed, the yield is estimated at one-third less than the last. The quality, however, is said to be far better. The low price which ruled at the planting season deterred the irregular planters from embarking in the growth of the staple, and the drought of the summer proved of considerable detriment to the plants. These two causes sufficiently account for the deficiency. In anticipation of a comparative scarcity, and of superiority in quality, planters are holding their products at from $1 to $2 per hundred advance.
The probability is that the staple will bear, the ensuing season, about the same prices that ruled in November last, with the exception of lugs. This quality has ruled at higher figures, in consequence of the demand for the German market, which has been unusually large. Whether this demand will continue to exist to the same extent is questionable.
MANUFACTURED TOBACCO. A few years since a strong prejudice existed against western manufactured tobacco, and the progress of the trade was considerably retarded in consequence; but more recently this feeling has given way, and each season witnesses a further improvement in this branch of industry. This city has now ten establishments, some of them on a large scale. Our manufactured tobacco, of medium and good qualities, is as good as, if not superior to, the Virginia, and some of the fine equal to the best imported. All that is wanting fully to develop the business is, that our merchants and dealers generally should encourage the manufacturers by purchasing at home, and thus give our own industry a fair chance. Prices have ruled from 5 cents a pound for the lowest grade of country brands to 10 and 15 for the best. City manufactured from 10 for common to 14 and 18 for medium, and 22 to 25 for fine, at which rates the article is not firm, with a good prospect of remaining so. The year's operations reach about 8,000 packages, consuming 700 hhds. of the raw material. The increase in the country manufactures this year has been large.
LEAD. The operations of the season show a falling off in this product. A decline has been perceptible in the yield of the upper mines for the last six years, which is thus stated by a gentleman intimately acquainted with the subject: —
|Pigs of 70 lbs. in 1847||778,469||Pigs of 70 lbs. in 1850||568,300|
The amount of the year just closed, is known up to the 25th November, and from that date to the close of December, the yield is estimated.
The causes to which this deficit is traceable, as shown by the writer alluded to, are 1st. The number of the mining population which the California emigration has carried off, amounting to at least one-half. 2d. The failures in sinking for ores below the water level in the small beds of rock. 3d. The mining population being citizens of foreign birth, who take no interest in mining except for wages. 4th. Want of sufficient economical machinery to drain the wet
427grounds. 5th. Want of a sufficient capital, and a more general knowledge of the geology of the lead basins.
Although such a decrease is exhibited, the price of lead has been steadily advancing. In 1847, on the levee at Galena, the rate was $3 60 per 100 lbs. , while during the year just closed the article commanded an advance of $4 10.
The deficit in the receipts at this port as compared with the preceding year, (1851,) is over 99,000 pigs, and the price at which the article ranged during the pear was as follows: — From the first of January to near the close of March, $4 25, when it fell to $4 20, and at the commencement of April declined to $4 10; about the middle of April it rose to $4 15, and continued gradually rising until the latter part of May, when it attained to $4 50; from this time until the last of June it alternately stood at $4 45 and $4 50, and in July fell to $4 30 and $4 35, and thus remained till the middle of August, when it ruled at $4 40; in the early part of September it commenced a permanent rise, and at the close of that month stood at $4 50, which position it occupied until the middle of November, when it went up to $4 75. During the early part of the month of December it ruled firmly at $4 87 Ë , and toward the middle and close at $5 00 and $5 25, at which price our report closes with a decided upward tendency.
The ruling rates for 1851 in this market, as given in our last annual report, were as follows: —
|January||$4 37 Ë a $4 40||July||$4 25 a $4 30|
|February||4 37 Ë a 4 40||August||4 25 a 4 35|
|March||4 40 a 4 45||September||4 20 a 4 20|
|April||4 25 a 4 35||October||4 05 a 4 10|
|May||4 15 a 4 20||November||4 12 Ë a 4 50|
|June||4 25 a 4 30||December||4 25 a 4 30|
The amount on hand at this time does not exceed 9,000 pigs, and from the present appearance of things it is hardly probable this stock will be much increased until the close of the winter. Upper mines' lead is now held at $5 50, on account of the small supply on the market.
We are informed by a large operator in the Missouri Southern Mines, that the falling off this year in that section will be at least 45 per cent as compared with last. The cause is traceable entirely to the California emigration. The leads are as favorable as ever they were, and the prospect for the miner as encouraging; but they remain unworked for the want of hands, and unembraced on account of brighter visions farther off.
The Jeffersonian of Galena gives the following statement of the operations for the year, with some reasons for the deficiency in the product, which will do to accompany the statements and remarks already given: —
|Amount of lead shipped from Galena from 13th March to 16th November, 1852 pigs||281,895|
|Sent forward by railroad to lakes||18,893|
|Amount shipped from Dubuque, Potosi, Buena Vista, and Cassville||95,794|
|Total shipments for 1852||391,582|
When compared with the trade of 1851, there is a deficiency of 82,532 pigs. But this is accounted for by the early closing of navigation, the low water of nearly the whole season, and the bad state of the roads. Immediately preceding the close of navigation, the roads between Galena and the furnace were nearly impassable, and very little lead was received. But the low water of the season, and high freights, were a still more serious interruption to business, and to this is to be added the fact that navigation closed three weeks earlier than usual. In 1851, the last shipment was made December 3d — this year the last was sent forward November 16th. A much larger amount has been, however,
428left on the levee at Galena. It is thought that the lead shipments have now reached their minimum, and that hereafter greater supplies may be expected.
FLOUR. In our prefatory remarks we have already spoken of the falling off in this year's receipts of grain and flour, and attributed the cause, in a great measure, to the low stage of our rivers for a considerable length of time after harvest. Many of our city mills have been only partially run this season, as well as last, in consequence of a scarcity of wheat, while two or three have remained almost entirely idle. The deficit in the operations of the present season, as compared with last, is not quite 15,000 bbls. , as the following table will exhibit: —
|Nonantum bbls.||19,518||6,000||Planters' bbls.||38,200||89,810|
The receipts per river for 1851 were 184,446 bbls. ; this year 131,333 — difference 53,113. Received by wagons this year, as reported by five houses in the city, (the only houses that received in this way to any extent,) 89,461 bbls.; last year, as reported in the annual statement, 45,000 — difference 44,461. The comparative statement of the two years may be thus made: —
|Manufactured by city milk bbls.||408,099||393,184|
|Keceipts per river||184,446||181,333|
|Receipts per wagons||45,000||89,461|
|Deficit the present year||24,567|
The following table of the monthly prices of the two seasons has been compiled with a view to as much accuracy as our means would admit: —
|January||$3 87 a $4 50||$3 75 a $4 00||July||$3 75 a $4 50||$3 25 a $3 35|
|February||S 75 a 4 60||3 75 a 3 87 Ë||August||3 75 a 4 50||3 60 a 3 65|
|March||S 60 a 4 50||3 65 a 3 75||Septem'r||3 60 a 4 37||3 35 a 3 50|
|April||3 50 a 4 50||3 50 a 8 75||October||3 50 a 4 50||3 40 a 3 60|
|May||3 50 a 4 50||3 55 a 3 75||Novem'r||3 40 a 4 50||3 65 a 3 90|
|June||3 60 a 4 50||S 75 a 4 00||Decem'r||3 75 a 4 75||4 00 a 4 60|
St. Louis brands have always stood high in distant markets, and they yet maintain their superiority; but the high prices at which grain has ruled this season, and the low rates of flour, have had a tendency to relax the rule of our millers, and induce them to work up less wheat than is their practice. Grain has been out of all proportion to flour, and many of our mills have felt this influence most sensibly. The difference in the receipts per river between the two past years (over 53,000 bbls. ) must, in a great degree, be attributed to the low stage of the rivers; for, from the country mills, in our immediate neighborhood, the excess of the present season is nearly 45,000 bbls. The amount in store at this time of country flour cannot be exactly stated. Perhaps of all kinds the total may be put down at 10,060 bbls. , and the stock of wheat on hand equal to 15,000 bbls. As navigation for the winter will hardly admit of shipments, whatever may be the export demand, and as the country mills are regular in their supplies, it is not likely that a very great advance can be effected in this season
429of apparent scarcity. The year closes with country superfine at $4 50, and city grands of the same quality nominally at from $4 75 to $5. Flour has been an important article in our commercial statistics, and some time since we supplied the Ohio with our manufactures. But for a few years past the decrease has become alarmingly apparent. In 1850 the receipts were published at 318,343 bbls. , and the two previous years (1849 and 1848) at 306,524 and 387,314.
WHEAT. The decline in receipts at this port have been steady since 1849. In 1850, they amonnted to 1,808,817 bushels; in 1851, to 1,665,346, and this year to 1,591,886. In 1847 and 1848, the receipts were 2,432,377 and 2,194,789 bushels. Our mills were arranged for such receipts as these last exhibit, and we capable of turning out over 3,000 barrels per day. No doubt a large portion of the deficit here exhibited, in the receipt of grain, has been diverted from this point through other channels of trade, and country mills, as the statistics would lead us to believe, are enlarging and extending their business. Whatever the case may be, the effect is apparent, that as a grain market, St. Louis is becoming yearly less and less important The amount in the hands of millers at this time, does not exceed 65,000 to 70,000 bushels, which, allowing 4 Ë bushels to the barrel of flour, superfine and extra, is equal to 15,554 barrels, taking the highest figure. The comparative prices for the past two years may be thus given: —
|January||75 a 81 1/2||70 a 85||July||65 a 80||65 a 70|
|February||70 a 80||62 a 85||August||70 a 80||62 a 79|
|March||70 a 80||65 a 80||September||55 a 70||69 a 75|
|April||60 a 80||55 a 80||October||70 a 76||70 a 75|
|May||70 a 85||70 a 81||November||70 a 75||65 n 75|
|June||65 a 78||75 a 82||December||75 a 82||85 a 100|
CORN. In 1850 and 1851 the receipts of corn were liberal, and exceeded to a considerable amount those of previous years, with the exception of 1847. This year the deficit shows a large falling off. The following table, embracing the years mentioned, is given: —
|1847 bushels||1,016,308||1850 bushels||1,043,526|
Several reasons have been advanced to account for this felling off, and among them may be noticed the conversion of a large portion of the grain into pork, the drought of the growing season, and the difficulty of reaching the market. But we think, along with these reasons, no inconsiderable quantities have found their way to the lake. It is stated that from a point on the Illinois River grain can be shipped to Chicago as cheaply and expeditiously as to this point, and that from Chicago to New York the transportation does not exceed the charges from New Orleans to New York. If this be true, Chicago has the advantage of the amount of freight between St. Louis and New Orleans — no inconsiderable item of expenditure in the transportation of an article of the kind. Our object is to speak of the commercial character of this city as the statistics require us, and in doing so it is necessary to say, that other points are successfully contending for an important portion of our receipts, and as the result seems to show, most successfully. We give the rates of the two past years: —
|January||44 a 48||38 a 41||July||38 a 43||35 a 48|
|February||41 a 46||30 a 42||August||35 a 40||40 a 45|
|March||35 a 40||32 a 37||September||35 a 38||40 a 45|
|April||35 a 40||33 a 36||October||35 a 40||40 a 45|
|May||34 a 38||30 a 43||November||31 a 36||43 a 50|
|June||33 a 36||35 a 44||December||36 a 40||41 a 43|
As far as can be ascertained, there is but little corn on the market at this time.
OATS. The receipts of 1851 were 794,431 bushels against 697,432 for the previous year; this year the receipts dwindle to 338,502 sacks, or 677,000 bushels. The stock on hand is trifling. The comparative rates in prices for the two seasons, may be thus given: —
|January||45 a 50||29 a 30||Jul||30 a 31||30 a 32|
|February||52 a 53||22 a 26||August||25 a 26||25 a 29|
|March||45 a 47||22 a 26||September||26 a 27||28 a 29|
|April||36 a 40||24 a 27||October||25 a 26||31 a 41|
|May||35 a 37||26 a 29||November||26 a 27||31 a 41|
|June||30 a 33||29 a 30||December||30 a 32||41 a 42|
RYE. The receipts of 1851 were about 7,500 bushels; of this year our table shows 6,904 bushels. This grain is in very little request, and sales are only made at long intervals. The price has ranged from 48 to 55 cents, including sacks.
BARLEY. By comparing the receipts of the past and present seasons, it will be observed that a large falling off in barley has resulted. This must be attributed to the low stage of the rivers. The best article is received from Iowa, a section on the Mississippi where low water is most apt to interpose a barrier to navigation. Shipments from the Ohio have not been heavy, and the small supply on the market enhanced prices above the ruling rates of the previous season. At the time when the article was most in demand, the supply was cut off by the cause mentioned; and the season closes with several lots on hand, but with little apparent disposition on the part of buyers to take hold.
WHISKY. As compared with the receipts of 1851, this year shows a falling off of 1,545 bbls. The imports of the two seasons as stated are 47,991 and 46,446. With regard to the amount manufactured in the city, we are unable to give a reliable statement. It is represented by distillers as short of last year's operations, and we should suppose from the light receipts of corn that such is the case.
Comparative prices of the two years: —
|January||22 a 23||16 a 18||July||18 Å¾ a 19||16 Ë a 17 Ë|
|February||22 Ë a 23 Ë||15 Å¾ a 16||August||19 Ë a19 â ||17 a 20|
|March||20 a 21||15 ¼ a 16||September||21 Å¾ a 22||18 Ë a 19|
|April||18 Å¾ a 19||15 ½ a 15Å¾||October||20 a 20 Åº||16 a 18 Ë|
|May||19 a 19 Åº||15 Ë a 17||November||20 Ë a 21||18 Åº a 20|
|June||20 Ë a 21||16 a 174||December||21 Ë a 22||19 Å¾ a .|
The above statement of the amount of receipts differs with some other tables. Taking the data of last year in our possession, the result cannot be otherwise stated. The great deficit in corn would seem to lead to the same conclusion.
PROVISIONS. The price of provisions ruled high for a greater part of the year. At the opening of the pork season, hogs brought $4 30 and $4 35 net, upon which an advance was effected before the close to $4 75 and $4 85. At these rates our operators did not enter the business as deeply as they had done the preceding season. The ascertained amount of pork cut in the country was 1,398,846 hogs, against 1,662,187 the year before; showing a deficit of 263,341 head, of which deficit this point bore, for its share, 43,000. On the 1st of January, mess pork commanded $12 50, and at the close of the month $13 was obtained. It rose gradually through the month of February, and on the 1st of March quotations were reported as high as $14; at the beginning of April it reached $15 50, and at the close of that month $16 50, at which it remained with occasional slight variations, until the middle of June, when it attained $18; early in July it brought $19, and about the middle of August reached its maximum of $20, which was maintained until the stock in this city, and subject to city orders, was almost entirely exhausted. In October a depression in the
431South was felt here, but few, if any, operations were affected by it. The define was but for a short period; for almost upon the advent of the present season the article rose again in the South to near its former position, and our market opened with the new crop at $16 50. Through the summer and fall, hams and lard kept pace with barreled meats, and maintained their rates until the close of the season; but shoulders and sides, after attaining to 8 Ë and 10 Ë , declined about the commencement of the fall, and went down to 5 Å¾ and 7 Ë . The transitions of the year, with the exception of those in baconed shoulders and sides, show favorably to operators. The reason for the permanent decline in the products named, must be found in the large quantities thrown in from different points on the markets below, and the comparatively small demand which existed. There is no real cause for the high rates at which shoulders and sides were held, and the advance upon them may be attributed altogether to a speculative feeling among Western operators, and by which many of these operators sustained heavy losses. A greater proportion of meats had been baconed than usual, induced by the belief that it would prove more profitable — a belief predicated upon the prices which ruled at the close of the previous season. The use of hams is general; their range of quality, from common to fancy sugar-cured, is within the reach of nearly all classes; the poor prefer them, in their plainest state, to shoulders or sides, and the wealthy care but little for the enhancement in the prices, super induced by superiority of curing and preserving; and hence, as we have said, their consumption is general, and every year this consumption appears to be on the increase. The manufacture of lard oil is rapidly extending. This article is now used on machinery of every description, and its consumption by the railways alone is immense. With these demands, hams and lard maintained their stand; but sides and shoulders, used only by a class or two, were unable to recover from their depression. At the close of the season, holders had worked off nearly the whole of their stock, and at the beginning of operations about the middle of November, there was but little on the market. This little left received an advantage from the high rates which new products commanded — and old shoulders at the close realized 6 a 6 Ë , sides 8 a 8 Ë .
The number of hogs packed at this point the past season was 47,000, against 90,000 the year before, and the amount of receipts of barreled, pickled, bulk, and baconed meats, from other points, are given in a tabular form below. Several shipments to this port of the new crop have been already made, and receipts are given monthly, that a correct distinction between the two may be noted: —
|Lard||bbls. & trcs.||360||9,310||10,719||9,867||3,567||358||643|
|Bacon||casks & hhds.||165||181||1,725||2,820||1,630||1,093||497|
|Bacon||bbls. & boxes||131||42||221||167||73||43|
|Pickled and dry salted meats,||casks and hhds.||215||601||1,008||452||161||36|
|Do.||trcs. & bbls.||3,491||1,450||1,483||351||137|
|Lard||bbls. & trcs.||1,262||503||546||659||4,721||42 515|
|Bacon||casks & hhds.||280||184||973||292||1,445||11,285|
|Pickled and dry salted meats,||casks and hhds.||9||20||51||37||2,590|
|Do.||trcs. & bbls.||301||173||14||7||635||8,042|
It is hardly probable that our market will reach the amount of operations which the statistics of last season exhibit. To this date, the deficit, as compared with the corresponding period last year, is about 6,000 head. The prevalent, opinion entertained by our packers was, that the crop of 1852 would exceed that of 1851 from 15 to 20 per cent, and they felt a reluctance to contract at any figures higher than those paid the last season. The rise in mess pork late in the fall, stiffened the views of holders, and when the subsequent activity in other markets, created by an Eastern demand, changed the opinion of our operators, and induced the belief that a greater firmness would result to the trade than had been anticipated, other points in this section had taken the bulk of the hogs. Prices opened at $4 75 and $5, and by the first of the month just closed reached 86, at which hogs held steady for a week or two, when they commanded $6 10, $6 25, $6 30, and $6 40, and the year closed with the rate at from $6 25 to $6 50.
We have observed that purchases made in Western marts the present season, by Eastern operators, tended to render the market buoyant and firm. This is undoubtedly true; for, as a large portion of the products is immediately taken (in many cases in advance of the cutting) at remunerative prices, according to the rates at which hogs rule, there seems to be no apprehension of a probable loss to those who thus dispose of their meats, while such as operate without this guaranty are emboldened with the conviction that this new outlet to our market will relieve the port of New Orleans of a great part of the yield, and thus prevent the fluctuations there which have been so apparent. The rush of produce into that market has made it a very sensitive one; and the gradual dissemination of this product, as well as others, to different points, where a demand exists, must effectually have the most desirable effect. Besides this, it became known that large quantities of hogs were conveyed by railroad from Ohio to New York, not for packing, but for immediate use, and thus, too, an equalization was to be more fully attained. These artificial means of communication are introducing a revolution in the Commerce of the West, by opening outlets in every possible direction for our staples. By these means the produce of the Mississippi Valley will be distributed wherever a demand exists, and the laws of trade will be obeyed without producing those violent enhancements and contractions which have heretofore marked our shipments.
With regard to the proportion of barreled and baconed meats this season, we, have no data on which to base an opinion. Cooperage is extremely scarce at this time, and barrels command readily $1 25. This difficulty may induce a greater quantity of smoked meats. But for this (and how far this impediment may extend we cannot say) we believe the preponderance would be in favor of barreling.
BEEF. For the packing of beef this market has never been very remarkable, operators preferring to send the article off on hoof rather than in barrels. The whole season, perhaps, will not show beyond 3,000 barrels. The receipts at this point are generally forwarded, and the article is but rarely resorted to in the way of speculation. In lieu of this, however, we claim St. Louis as one of the greatest points for the shipment of cattle in the West. It is difficult to state with any great accuracy the number of head which have been shipped South the past year. From the best information to be obtained, we put the amount down at 300 per week, making over 15,000. It is the shipping demand which precludes in a great measure the packing of the article. This demand keeps the price too high for a successful competition with the packing operations at other points. The emigration across the plains employed a large number of our
433best cattle, and of course restricted trade to a considerable extent. The year closes with the market high, $5 50 for choice qualities, and with but comparatively few in the region from which our yards are supplied. The only sales of barreled beef reported at this point have been prime at $9 25.
SUGAR. The receipts this year have been 35,276 hhds. , and 27,672 bbls. and boxes, against 29,276 hhds. , 20. 854 bbls. , and 15,833 boxes last. The year closes with a larger amount on hand than usual, the sudden close of navigation having prevented expected sales. Prices rule low at this time, barely covering cost and charges, and in some instances hardly doing that. The city consumption has increased materially, and the country demand is also enlarging. This will account for the heavy receipts somewhat; but the full crop this year must be taken, in this view, into consideration. We quote common to prime, as the closing rates of the season, at from 3 Ë to 5 cents.
The following is a statement of sugars received at Belcher's Refinery in 1852, and refined during the year: —
|Received.||Refined.||On hand, Jan.1, 1853.|
|Boxes Havana sugars||17,521||16,553||985|
|Hhds. New Orleans and Cuba sugars||9,740||7,658||2,082|
|Bbls. " "||3,397||2,987||410|
|Bbls. cistern sugars||9,980||9,470||510|
|Bags Manilla and Brazil sugars||34,621||29,848||4,773|
During same time refined, of molasses and cane sirup, over 10,567 barrels. Number of packages of refined sugars, sirups, and molasses turned out during the year, 103,550.
MOLASSES. Receipts for the year, 54,934 hhds. and bbls. , against 40,231 bbls. last. Plantation is now selling at 26 cents, and the market represented as dull: —
|Bbls. & Ë bbls.||Bbls.|
The inspector's report for last year gave whisky 61,082 bbls. , and molasses 37,722 bbls. and 5,483 half-barrels.
COFFEE. As compared with the imports of 1851, the present season shows an increase of over 6,000 sacks. This is not as large a difference as existed between the receipts of 1850 and 1851 — the difference being in favor of the latter year of over 28,000 sacks. The stock on hand at this time is represented as not large, and the year closes with the article at 9 â a 9 Å¾ cents for Rio.
SALT. Receipts of Kanawha, 42,281 bbls. , against 30,591 last year. The reduction of this article to 25 cents opened a much larger market, and we presume the enhanced sales are to be attributed in a good degree to this cause. Of salt in sacks, embracing L. B., T. I. and G. A. , our receipts foot up 266,622 sacks, against 252,855 sacks last year. This is a large increase. The prices, by reason of this increase, have fallen, and the year closes with Turk's Island at 65
434cents, and Ground Alum at $1 05 a $1 10. The receipts of sacks this year is less 2,400 than that of 1850.
HAY. This article has ranged high during the year, and our last quotations for prime timothy from levee, baled, was $18 50 per ton. The crop was a fair one throughout this section, but in Ohio, Indiana, and other States, the yield; was unusually light, and the New Orleans market had to draw its principal supply from this point. The extreme high rates which that market offered, drew largely on the supply here, and the consequences are that we have but little in store for the winter demand, and this little commands the figures first mentioned. Receipts have been liberal, and the country above the Rapids contains a considerable quantity, which low water has prevented from reaching this city and a market. Last year the highest figure attained was 70 cents per ewt. , the lowest 45 cents.
BUTTER AND CHEESE. In consequence of the scarcity of hay this season, farmers have sold, in many instances, their stock, unwilling or unable to winter them. To this cause, in a great degree, may be attributed the deficiency perceptible in the supply of butter and cheese. Of the first, there is in store, of inferior grades, a sufficiency for the present demand; but of prime qualities the market is rather bare. Prices have ruled higher than last season, and we quote prime firm at 25 cents wholesale. The California demand has been large, and considerable quantities have been shipped thither. Cheese, of course, was affected by the same cause, and the supply has been also short of prime qualities. Second qualities are ample and sufficient for the demand. We quote prime Western Reserve at 9 a 9 Ë cts. , and inferior grades at 7 a 8 cents per lb.
BEANS. The supply this season has been rather better than that of last. Early in the spring, from the demand of the overland emigration to the Pacific, prices were rather stiff and high, but since that demand subsided, the article has gradually declined to $1 20 and $1 25 per bushel, at which we quote it now nominally. The market is well supplied with common qualities; but superior, or navy beans, are scarce. Castor have ruled steadily at $1 25. The range for the preceding year, 1851, was from 55 cents to $1 10, opening at the latter and closing at the former price. Of this article we have spoken under the head of OIL.
POTATOES. The receipts per river this year have fallen short considerably of those of last, but the yield in the American Bottom, opposite, has exceeded that of any previous season of which we have any account. The immense crop, immediately at our doors, delivered without freight or other charges, had the tendency to prevent shipments to this point, and hence the difference which exists between the operations of the two seasons. Prices have ruled low, and the year closes with 40 cents per bushel for good qualities; prime, of which but few are offering, 50 cents. Last season the year opened at $1 15 a $1 20 per bushel, and 90 a 95 cents were the ruling rates, until the new crop came in, when 35 a 40 cents were taken; the year closed at 70 a 75 cents.
ONIONS. Large shipments from the Ohio reduced the price of onions in New Orleans this season, and they have been held low in this market in consequence. Our receipts (principally from Iowa) do not show as large an amouut this year as last. The range has been from 30 to 50 cents, and at this time, prime lots may be quoted at from 40 to 45 cents.
OILS. The manufacture of the different oils appears to keep pace with the enhanced demand which accelerated improvement and increased population require. We have no method of arriving at a satisfactory conclusion relative to this branch of business, as we have been unable to obtain the operations of the year.
The crop of castor beans has fallen short about one-third, probably owing to the low price which ruled during the preceding year. That year opened with $1 10 per bushel, and thus continued until March, when only $1 was obtained; from that time a gradual decline resulted, until at the close 50 cents per bushel became the rate. During the season just closed $1 25 was the regular price, established pretty early and maintained until the end. The price of the oil ruled higher this year than last, and we close our review at 85 cents per
435gallon. The manufacture of lard oil has greatly increased. The amount produced the year just closed may be set down at between 4,000 and 5,000 bbls. ; perhaps 1,000 bbls. over the operations of the previous year. We have no data for 1851, and consequently can only arrive at our conclusion by the additional establishments which have been erected, and the general activity which has marked the operations of this season. As stated, under the head of provisions, the consumption of this article is becoming larger every year. It is used for lamps, steamboats, railroads, and machinery of every description. The price shows a considerable enhancement, owing principally, of course, to the rise in lard, which it has helped considerably to establish, and partly to the general demand. Last year, during the spring, 55 and 60 cents per gallon, and during the summer and fall 65 and 70 cents were the figures obtained, the bulk at 65 cents; this year commenced with 70 cents and ends with 90 cents, the greater portion being disposed of at 80 cents. We have now some eight establishments in the city for the manufacture of this article.
SEEDS. The supply of flaxseed this year was larger than that of last, and 90 cents has been the ruling price. We close our report at these figures. Clover-seed in the spring brought $7 50, and towards the close of the season fell to $6 50, at which it may still be quoted. In the spring of 1851, the price was as high as $8 50, owing to the scarcity of the article during that year. Timothy, in the spring, started at $3, but soon fell to $2, at which it has remained steady. The supply on the market adequate.
FRUIT. Dried fruit has become quite important in this market. The failure of the peach crop generally throughout the country, has raised the price of this fruit to a high figure, and dried peaches now command $2 50 per bushel from store. The apple orchards yielded well, and our market has been well supplied, both with green and dried fruit of this description. Dried apples are now worth $1 25 per bushel, and green are selling from store at from $2 to $3 50, according to quality.
HIDES. The receipts of 1851 of all kinds were 99,736, and the range of prices generally for the year, was 9 to 10 cents for dry flint, 7 to 8 Åº for dry salted, and 4 to 4 Åº for green salted. The receipts this year are 97,144. The market opened at 8 cents for dry flint, and closes at 8 Å¾ cents, and firm.
FEATHERS. Prices have remained without much fluctuation in this article. The rates may be quoted as extreme at from 28 to 35 cents — common to prime qualities. Supply liberal and demand adequate.
BEESWAX. There is a constantly increasing demand for beeswax, but no great additional supply. The receipts of the two past years show but little difference. Prices have ruled firmly at 21 and 22 cents.
TALLOW. The season opened for a prime article at — cents, and the price gradually rose to 8 Å¾ , at which it now stands firm.
LUMBER. The following table of the monthly receipts of lumber within the limits of the corporation has been furnished by Mr. Fergerson, Lumber Master of the city.
|Lumber.||Shingles.||Laths.||Cooper stuff, pieces.|
|April||868, 874||114 000||273 053|
TONNAGE. The table of arrivals at this port of steamers for the present year shows an increase over those of the last. As this is an important portion of oh report, evidencing the progress of the commercial relations of the city, as they are yearly extended, and marking, to a good degree, the improvement of the country from which the principal products are received, we have compiled, with as much accuracy as could be obtained, the following table for the year 1852: —
|MONTHS.||N. Orleans||Ohio River||Illinois||U. Mississipi||Missouri||Cumberland||Cario||Other points|
|Aggregate arrivals during the past year||3,184|
The tonnage of this port has been considerably increased, and as freights were scarce, charges have ruled unusually low during the year. There have been added to our list, within the past twelve months, several boats which, for dimension, power, swiftness, and elegance of finish, are hardly surpassed on the western waters. One of these was built at Hannibal, and equipped and furnished at this point, and although, as yet, she has made but a trip or two to New Orleans, and has not fully tested her capacity, she has already established a high character for our artizans in naval architecture, machinery, and embellishment. There can be no doubt that with railroad communication to the Iron mountains and the oak forests of the State, our docks and machine shops will be enabled to exhibit as well-built vessels, propelled by engines as perfect, and all furnished as cheaply as any other point in the West.
DRY GOODS. In our prospective remarks upon this department of our Commerce, about the close of 1851, we predicted that the dry goods trade of the ensuing year would result still more favorably; that it would continue as heretofore to expand, and approximate still nearer to the furnishing of the entire supply demanded by our won and the adjoining States, and this without any regard to the Eastern markets, other than the healthful competition naturally existing between rival cities.
The result of the past year has, to a gratifying extent, realized our expectations.
None of the evils predicted have overtaken or checked our commercial prosperity. Business has never been more flourishing — never more free from undue speculations of commercial disasters. The demand for goods, although no at enhanced prices, has been steady and well sustained.
Stocks were never better — our hotels never more crowded — and our country friends, whose numbers have greatly augmented, never returned home better satisfied with their purchases, or their choice of market. The importations of dry goods during the past year we estimate at $7,000,000
437being an increase of nearly one million, with sales approaching to $8,500,000 the preceding year.
This has reference only to the jobbing houses. By including the extensive retail trade transacted throughout our city, we estimate the total imports at $10,500,000, and total sales at $13,000,000.
In consequence of the almost unprecedented low waters of the past summer, great delay was experienced in receiving the fall stocks. Trade, therefore, was not as large in the early part of that season as it otherwise would have been. Numbers of merchants of the interior preferred making their early purchases at nearer and smaller marts, rather than to select from an incomplete stock, and encounter the delay and enhanced expenses incidental to low water navigation.
Notwithstanding these obstacles, the total amount of transactions shows a handsome advance over that of the corresponding season in 1851, and proves that with the increased and ever reliable facilities to be furnished by our projected railroads, that a much larger business, not only in this but in every other branch of our trade, would have been done.
In this connection, we think it not inappropriate to casually refer to the probable influence of a direct communication with the East upon our trade, and especially the dry goods business; and we have no hesitation in expressing our firm conviction that it will prove most advantageous. We do not apprehend that the economy of time thereby afforded, both for traveling and transportation, will attach to the seaboard any considerable position over the business now centering in this city; for these very facilities will also increase the ability of our wholesale dealers to land in St. Louis their foreign importations and purchases from eastern manufacturers on still better terms. The larger the business, the greater will be the ratio of benefit in time and charges.
We feel assured that, when such direct communication shall be opened, we shall occupy a still stronger position, as a competitor with eastern cities, than at present.
The business prospects for the coming year are very flattering. The agricultural interests of our country, upon which depends the success of every branch of trade, is in a most flourishing condition. An immense quantity of grain and other productions of the past year, which low-water freights precluded the shipment, is yet to come forward. This, added to the regular exports of the spring, (all of which are commanding advanced prices,) will impart great activity to business, and furnish an abundance of its life-blood — money.
This favorable condition of things, together with a greatly increased currency circulation, will fully enable the country merchants to discharge their previous obligations, and inspire them with confidence to make liberal purchases.
We therefore anticipate an increased consumption by the country of dry goods, and a much larger aggregate of business — far greater than ever before was presented in our annual report.
CUSTOM-HOUSE REPORT. Through the politeness of Mr. Greene, Surveyor of the Port, we are enabled to lay before the public the following statement: —
ST. LOIUS, January 3,1853.
MESSRS. CHAMBERS AND KNAPP: —
GENTLEMEN: — I herewith give you a statement of some of the particulars and results of the business of the Custom-House during the past year: —
|The foreign value of goods, wares, and merchandise imported into St. Louis from foreign countries and entered for consumption at St. Louis in 1852||$954,956 00||$757,509 00|
|Foreign value of merchandise remaining in public store on 31st December, ult.||11,566 00||8,261 89|
|The foreign value of merchandise entered at other ports for transportation hither, but not yet received, estimated||72,951 00||107,902 00|
|Total||$1,039,473 00||$873,672 89|
|Of the above mentioned goods, wares, and merchandise entered for consumption in 1852, the imports were from the following countries: — From England, the foreign value of which was||$431,343 00||$406,113 00|
|France||75,258 00||38,404 00|
|Germany and Holland||22,695 00||23,239 00|
|Spain and dependencies||262,886 00||220,770 00|
|Brazil||93,086 00||68,983 00|
|Manilla, (East Indies)||62,963 00|
|Other countries||6,705 00|
|Total||$954,946 00||$757,509 00|
|The general description of merchandise imported and entered for consumption is, viz: — Sugar and molasses, foreign cost||$413,172 00||$289,753 00|
|Hardware, cutlery, & c.||118,276 00||133,401 00|
|Railroad iron||132,894 00||100,211 00|
|Earthen and glass ware||80,729 00||98,786 00|
|Tin pi ate, tin, iron, copper, & c.||59,826 00||31,482 00|
|Dry goods and fancy goods||110,814 00||24,287 00|
|Brandies, wines, gins, cordials, & c.||32,985 00||24,712 00|
|Burr-stones||420 00||2,257 00|
|Drugs and medicines||756 00||2,618 00|
|Total||$954,946 00||$757,509 00|
|Amount of duties on imports collected||290,168 85||239,318 68|
|Hospital moneys||3,129 89||2,941 03|
|Total amount collected in 1852||$293,298 74|
|Amount expended in 1852 for relief of sick and distressed seamen||$3,162 01||$5,441 44|
|Tonnage on steam vessels remaining on 31st December, 1852 tons||36,372|
IMPORTS. Annexed we present the receipts of the leading articles of produce, groceries, and merchandise for December, 1852: —
|Tobacco||hhds.||164||Lard||bbls. & tierces||4,721|
|Tobacco||bales||272||Bacon||casks & hhds.||1,445|
|Hemp||558||Bacon||bbls. & boxes||17|
|Oats||12,176||Sugar||bbls. & boxes||1,545|
|Beef||tierces||4,482||Molasses||hhds. & bbls.||11,109|