The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 89
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British Correspondence Concerning Texas
until the whole amount in circulation fell within such an amount
as would be absorbed by the duties within a period of three Months,
and future monthly publicity of the amount issued, and the
amount absorbed, He might expect to keep up the value within
some reasonable distance of a specie value. I had also hoped to
sec a recommendation to sweep away the ton-nage duty, which was
no more than a device to prevent ships from coming to Texas, and
to enhance the value of imports to a people that could ill enough
afford to pay for them at the minimum price, at which they could
be supplied. The tariff too, at it's present rate (an average of at
least 25 per Cent over the general mass of imports) might be low-
ered more than 50 per Cent, with great advantage to the revenue,
and to the Consumer-And I could not [help] thinking it, would
be worthy of his general wise course of policy to advise Congress
to declare that it was expedient to lower the tariff to such a point
as would serve to pay the expence of noting exports and imports
for Statistical purposes and no more, as soon as the people had
the common sense to pay their land and direct taxes, so that the
Government might be supported in the way best suited to them
on well understood interests.
The President required that the Custom duties at their present
high rate should be paid in Gold and Silver, but I could not per-
ceive how the Merchants were to get their Gold and Silver. They
could only purchase it by bringing in less goods, and He must
excuse me for saying (seeing that I was weak of stomach, and
could not easily digest the modification of Sawdust, which they
call "Corn bread", that is bread made of Indian Corn) that flour,
and coffee, and sugar, and clothes, were to the full as useful as
Gold and Silver. The Merchants were already obliged to wait
nearly two years for the produce returns for the goods they sup-
plied to the Planters, and if those goods was to be charged with
25 per Cent more in the price, which would be at least necessary
to cover the cost of the Gold and Silver duty payment, it seemed
to me that they would all find a remedy for the mischief, by keep-
ing the whole trade of the Country the wrong side of the Custom
The President answered this with a form of expression which
He often uses-"My dear Commodore as soon as I have hung a
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/95/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.