The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 2: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session Page: 19
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APPENDIX TO THE CONGRESSIONAL GT.ORE.
28th Cong 1st Sess.
Report of the Secretary of State.
Senate and H. of Reps.
the number of letters under each rate of postage;
tlie number of free letters, and by what official
franked; the number of newspapers, pamphlets, &c.
These returns are not quite complete. I hope to
have them ready by the 1st of January, to be furnish-
ed to Congress if required.
The questions connected with this subject, it oc-
curs to me, which it will be the duty of the Repre-
sentatives of the people to settle, are—whether the
present amount of mail service is greater than the
country requires? If not greater, can it be perform-
ed at less expense? Whether at the same or less
expense, shall it be paid out of the treasury, or by
the postage on mail-matter?
If Congress shall enter upon the question of re-
duction of postage upon tha principle avowed by the
advocates of the British reform—viz: of preserving,
if not improving the amount of revenue—and shall
require the Post Office Department to maintain it-
self, the information which I hope to have ready by
the 1st of January, of the number of letters posted,
will be important.
By a comparison between the business and popu-
lation and extent of territory of the two Govern-
ments, and a comparison between the number of
letters, posted in both countries, under the respect-
ive rates, an estimate of the probable increase of
posted letters in this country, upon a pro rata reduc-
tion of postage, may be made, and that rate of postage
may be ascertained; which will give the amount re-
quired to defray the expenses of the mail system of
the United States.
If, however, it*'shall be the pleasure of Congress
to follow the exafnple of the British Government, by
placing the expenditures of the department as an
annual charge upon the public treasury, and by
bringing to the aid of that treasury whatever of
postage may be collected, the report of the number
of letters which now pass through the mail can be
of little consequence.
This change of system will simplify the opera-
tions of the service. The amount required for the
service of each current year, in the opinion of each
Congress, will be appropriated from the treasury.
The postage collected will be paid into the treasury.
The department, thus protected and sustained, will
continue the sphere of its operations, limited only
by the amount appropriated.
I have deemed it a duty to present to your view
(entertaining a hope that you will submit it to Con-
gress) this synopsis of facts, digested from the best
sources withm my possession, and leave the ques-
tion of reduction of postage, without any recom-
mendation of mine, to be decided by that depart-
ment of the Government to which the people have
wisely delegated the power.
If Congress should not determine to make the re-
duction of postage to the extent indicated by the
views and published opinions of those who have
agitated the subject, T would respectfully recom-
mend, as I have done on former occasions, that the
present rates of postage be so changed as to corres-
pond with the coins of the United States.
There is a large class of printed matter, such as
handbills, the prospectus of a newspaper, prices cur-
rent, the drawings of lotteries, proof-sheets, &c., now
charged with letter postage, which ought not to pay
higher rates than newspapers and pamphlets. A
just discrimination between newspapers, as to size
or weight, should be made in the imposition of post-
The franking privilege if not abolished alto-
gether, should in some way be restricted, and its
There are other modifications of the existing laws
which will no doubt present themselves to the con-
sideration of Congress, whose enactments, whatever
they may be, will be administered, so far as that
duty shall be devolved on me, in the same spirit m
which they may be passed, with a view singly to
promote the intentions of Congress, and to advance
and extend the usefulness of this department to
every section of the country.
I am, sir, with great respect, yours,
C. A. WICKLIFFE.
To the President of the United States.
BEPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE.
Department op State,
Washington, November 24, 1843.
Sir: The Secretary of State respectfully invites
your atteniion to the following views of the impor-
tant subject of our relations with the Germanic As-
sociation, or Customs Union, and of certain other
matters which concern the commerce and navigation
of the United States.
On the 24th of May, 1841, a communication was
made to you by Mr. Webster, then Secretary of
State, on the subject of the German Customs Union.
This communication was laid before Congres, and
printed under their orders. Since that time consid-
erable additions have been made to the industry,
population, and resources of tfiat Association.
The Zoll-Verein, or Customs Union, at present
consists of the following States:
Kingdom of Prussia - - - 14,271,530
Do. Bavaria - - . 4,315'469
Do. Wurtemburg - - 1,649,839
Do. Saxony - - - 1,652,114
Grand duchy of Baden - 1,277,403
Electorate of Hesse - 704 700
Grand tiutchy of Hesse, (with Homberg) 807^671
Duchy of Nassau - 386 221
Thurmgian Union - 908,478
Free city of Frankfort on the Maine - 60^000
Duchy of Brunswick - 250,000
Grand Duchy of Luxemburg - - 400^000
Principality of Lippe Detmold - - 106'000
Total, (in round numbers) - 20,799,000
The accession to the Union of the kingdom of
Hanover, with nearly 2,000,000 ofinhabitants, is in
contemplation. This event would doubtless decide
the smaller States of the north to join the Union;
and, in that case, the whole of Germany, with the
exception of the Austrian dominions, would be
united, and would contain a population as is shown
in the following table:
Present population, as by the above
list ----- 26,799,000
Hanover - 2,000,000
Grand duchy of Oldenburg - - 270,000
The duchies of Holstein and Luxem-
burg, (belonging to the King of Den-
mark) .... 481,000
The duchy of Mecklenburg Schwerin - 490,000
The duchy of Mecklenburg Strelitz - 91,000
The Hanseatic cities of Lubeck, Ham-
burg, and Bremen ... 260,000
All united in the German Union - 30,191,000
The interests of commerce will probably prove
themselves as powerful in this as in othei cases.
No slight cause could have effected so difficult a
work as the union of all Germany for one great and
general object. In the prosecution f>f this scheme,
Germany, notwithstanding the number and diversity
of its States, acquires political unity, establishes an
identity of national feeling, and secures for itself that
rank among nations to which its extent, its resour-
ces, and its character entitle it.
There is a continually increasing demand in all
the States of the Zoll-Verein for most of the im-
portant articles of the produce of the United States.
For example, m 1884, the Union imported 148,322
zoll centners (each centner equal to 108 pounds) of
our tobacco; whilst m 1842, the importation of the
same article amounted to 248,749 zoll centners. The
demand for our cotton and rice within the same pe-
riod has increased in a similar ratio.
In return for" these large exports, we receive a
comparatively small amount of German manufac-
tures, and the articles which we do receive are, for
the most part, such as are not produced or manufac-
tuied in the United States; e. g, looking-glass plates,
silks, toys, &c. The difference is paid us in cash.
Emigration from Germany to the United States
presents a subject of great importance to us. We
receive from the States associated in the German
Union most valuable emigrants, consisting chiefly of
farmers of excellent characters and industrious hab-
its, who bring to then- adopted country sufficient
gold and silver to enable them to purchase and set-
tle lands The following official statement, made to
the Chamber of Deputies of the kingdom of Bavaria,
which does not contain one-seventh part of the in-
habitants of the Union, will show the state of em-
igration in that country. From 1835 to 1839, the
total emigration from Bavaria alone was—
Males ----- 12,806
Females - 11,701
Viz: To America
To France -
To Greece -
To places unknown, who got off
without passports, and mostly
went to the United Statee
The amount of money which these emigrants
bore with them, as far as it is known to the Bavarian
Government, is nearly seven millions of guilders—
equal to about $2,800,000; but, in consequence of
the heavy tax which is levied, not only in Bavaria,
but throughout a great part of Germany, upon
money and other personal property taken out of the
country by emigrants, it is probable that few of the
persons enumerated made a declaration to the Gov-
ernment of moro than one-half of their property.
We may reasonably suppose, therefore, that these
persons must have taken with them nearly twelve
millions of guilders—equal to about §4,800,000.
The number and value of the people who come to
us from all Germany may thus be well appreciated,
not only in their personal character, but in the addi-
tion which they make to our actual wealth.
In order to remove the impediment to to emigra-
tion presented in the heavy tax imposed on the prop-
erty of the emigrants, I have, by your direction, in-
structed the minister of the United States at Berlin,
(Mr. Wheaton, who has been furnished with full
powers for that purpose,) to conclude special con-
ventions for the abolition of the droit d^aubainr, and
droit de detraction between the United States and the
following German States, who have severally ex-
pressed their readiness to enter into such an arrange-
His majesty the King of Bavaria.
His majesty the King of Saxony.
His majesty the King of Wurtemburg.
His royal highness the Elector of Hesse.
His royal highness the Grand Duke of Hesse.
His royal highness the Grand Duke of Baden.
Powers were also, at the same time, given to Mr.
Wheaton to negotiate treaties of commerce and nav-
igation with the grand duchies of Mecklenburg
Schwerin and Oldenburg—two States not yet inclu-
ded in the Customs Union.
In view of these and other advantages which the
contemplation of this subject held out, the minister
of the United States at Berlin lias been instructed to
use every exertion in his power to place our rela-
tions with the German Customs Union on the best
and most friendly footing; and the result is, that the
basis of a conditional commercial arrangement has
just been agreed upon (and submitted for the con-
sideration and action of this Government) between
his majesty the. King of Prussia, in behalf of Prus-
sia, and all the States associated in the Customs
Union, and the minister at Berlin, on the part of the
United States; which, if sanctioned by Congress,
would effect the long-cherished object of procuring
the reduction of the present duty on our tobacco,
secure the continued admission of our cotton free
of all duties, and prevent the imposition of any high-
er duty on rice than that which is at present im-
posed—that article, as is known, having already, at
our request, been reduced to its present low rate by
the Customs Union.
For these vast advantages, the conditional ar-
rangement proposes that the United States should
give to the Customs Union proper eqvivalents, by
reducing the heavy duties of the present tariff upon
silks, looking-glass plates, wines, toys, linens, and
such other articles as are not of the growth or man-
ufacture of the United States.
Mr. YVheaton's late despatches will fully explain
the whole course of his proceedings in reference to
this interesting subject, and I doubt not will be high-
ly satisfactory to Congress, should that body choose
to call for them. In the mean time I lay before you
the correspondence between Mr. Wheaton and the
Baron Bufow, which gives the outline of the pro-
The reduction on tobacco proposed on the part of
the German Customs Union, brings to our view, in
a strong light, the unfortunate state of the trade with
England, France, and Austria, in that great staple
of our country. In England we have to complain
of an enormous duty of three shillings a pound, or
about 800 per cent, on its value at the place of ex-
portation; at the same time it is permitted to sell th§
article freely m that country.
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 2: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session, book, 1844; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2368/m1/29/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.