Memorial of a Number of Merchants and Traders, Citizens of New York: Praying the ratification of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the Republic of Texas: 28th Congress, First Session: [No.] 139 [Senate] [Digital Version]

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United States. Congress. Senate, Memorial of a Number of Merchants and Traders, Citizens of New York (February 22, 1844)

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Title: Memorial of a Number of Merchants and Traders, Citizens of New York: Praying the ratification of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the Republic of Texas: 28th Congress, First Session: [No.] 139 [Senate] [Digital Version]
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Author: United States. Congress. Senate
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Publisher: Rice University, Houston, Texas
Publication date: 2010-06-07
Identifier: aa00289
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Description: U.S. Congressional publication. Includes correspondence from Edward K. Collins & Co., et al., J.H. Brower. 4 pp.
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Source(s): United States. Congress. Senate, Memorial of a Number of Merchants and Traders, Citizens of New York (February 22, 1844)
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Keywords: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • United States--Commerce--Texas
  • Texas--Commerce--United States
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  • Texas (state)
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28th CONGRESS, 1st Session. [SENATE.] [139]

The ratification of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United
States and the Republic of Texas.

FEBRUARY 22, 1844.
Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, and ordered to be printed.

To the honorable the Senate of the United States:
The memorial of the undersigned, merchants, traders, and citizens, of the
city of New York,


That a treaty of commerce and navigation having been made and concluded
between the President of the United States, on the part of this
country, and the honorable the chargé d'affaires of Texas on the part of
that country, (which treaty has been ratified by the Government of Texas,)
by the terms of which, as appears to your memorialists, the commercial
relations of the two countries are placed upon a basis of fair mutual reciprocity,
they would respectfully solicit the ratification of said treaty by
the honorable the Senate of the United States.

Your memorialists would solicit the ratification aforesaid, upon the following
grounds, as advantageous to the trade and commerce of the United
  • 1st. Under it the tonnage of the United States would enjoy the great
    mass of the carrying trade between the two countries, because Texas has
    no tonnage of her own, and of her locality being immediately upon our
    own border, while her harbors generally are adapted only to small vessels,
    of light draught.
  • 2d. The genius, habits, and trade of the people of Texas are in precise
    conformity with those of our own Southern country, and their purchases
    for consumption comprise the same classes of articles, which, with reciprocal
    trade, would be furnished, mainly, from the products and manufactures
    of the United States, such as cotton cloths, linseys, kerseys, blankets, calicoes,
    clothing, boots, shoes, saddlery, nails, axes, farming utensils, wheat
    flour, sugar, paints, oils, cotton bagging, bale rope, &c.
  • 3d. While, upon principles of fair reciprocity, almost the whole of Texian


    supplies would be purchased in the markets of the United States, and
    hence the avails of the crops of Texas would flow into her commerce,
    with the restrictions laid upon the trade of Texas, by a prohibitory duty
    upon her great and only staple production, the trade of the United States
    with her is daily and rapidly decreasing, while she is advancing in population
    and resources, and her trade augmented with Great Britain and
    France, because of reciprocal treaties with those nations. Unless the
    Government of the United States shall be induced fairly to reciprocate, as
    other nations do, with Texas, her trade, which would become a valuable
    one, and at the threshold of our own doors, must be lost to us almost entirely.
  • 4th. Your memorialists suppose the prominent difficulty in the way of
    this reciprocation to be, that almost the only export of Texas is in raw
    cotton, and that the importation of this staple into the United States free
    from duty (as provided by the treaty aforesaid) would make competition
    with the cotton of the United States; but, upon reflection, they esteem
    this objection quite as imaginary as real, because Texian cotton can
    now enter into competition (subject to two and a half per cent. withheld
    from the debenture) with American cotton, in all sales for exportation.
    Let us suppose, then, the average production of the United States to be
    1,900,000 bales of cotton, and that of Texas 75,000 bales, (and the latter
    is considered a very large estimate,) the consumption of the United States
    400,000 bales, and the cotton of both countries to enter indiscriminately
    into the consumption; that of Texas would, by this rule, displace 15,000
    bales, while the competition in sales for export would be reduced to an
    equal extent. This idea is based upon the presumption that the entire
    crop of Texas would come to the United States for a market, which cannot of
    course be the case. At the same time, it is but fair to presume, whether
    her crops be sold in the United States or foreign markets, that almost the
    entire avails would accrue to the United States, in payment for supplies.
    Finally, the tonnage of the United States would enjoy not only the carrying
    to and from Texas, but also a second freight on a portion of her crops
    across the Atlantic.

These considerations encourage your memorialists to solicit the honorable
the Senate of the United States to reconsider the vote of their last session,
rejecting the treaty aforesaid, in the hope of a more favorable result.

  • Edward K. Collins & Co.
  • Moses Taylor
  • Jacob Harvey, President Alliance
    Insurance Company
  • S. Livingston
  • James Lee & Co.
  • Alexander Caselli
  • S. Baldwin, President Jackson
    Insurance Company
  • J. Harrison
  • William B. Draper
  • A. B. Neilson, President Sun
    Insurance Company
  • B. R. Winthrop, Vice Pres't
    Merchants' Insurance Co.
  • Stephen Whitney
  • Goodhue & Co.
  • Prosper M. Wetmore
  • P. Harmony's Nephews & Co.
  • Walter R. Jones, Vice President
    Atlantic Insurance Company
  • Josiah L. Hale, President Atlantic
    Insurance Company
  • Nesmith & Co.
  • William Neilson, President Merchants'
    Insurance Company
  • Grant & Barton
  • McCrackan & Livingston
  • Aymar & Co.
  • Mark Spencer
  • S. T. Nicoll
  • Edward H. Nicoll
  • James McCullough.



In asking the favor of you to forward the memorial, herewith,
to the Hon. Silas Wright, asking the Senate of the United States to
reconsider their vote of the last session, rejecting the commercial treaty
with Texas, permit me to ask your attention to one or two considerations
not irrelevant.

In the first place, I copy, from the “Journal of Commerce,” a statement
of exports from the United States to Texas, for the last seven years, viz:

In 1837, they were - - - - - - $1,007,928
In 1838, they were - - - - - - 1,247,880
In 1839, they were - - - - - - 1,687,082
In 1840, they were - - - - - - 1,218,271
In 1841, they were - - - - - - 808,296
In 1842, they were - - - - - - 406,921
In 1843, they were - - - - - - 190,604

Thus, while Texas has been gradually increasing in population and resources,
these statistics conclusively show that our trade with her has been
lost, and now can be regained only upon reciprocal principles, which principles
are liberally extended to Texas by the Governments of Europe.

Secondly. Texas would be a customer to the United States, to a large
extent of her purchases, for the produce and manufactures of the United
States, for her own consumption. Texas is not, and probably cannot be, a
transitu market, not a manufacturing country, at least for many years to come.

To strengthen the position, as shown by the foregoing statistics, I will
add the following extract from a letter to me, dated Galveston, January
27, 1844, viz:

“There are now fourteen square rigged vessels lying in the port of Galveston,
viz: seven British, five German, one Belgian, and my own, the
only American.” And he adds: “If our Government does not do something
to facilitate our trade with Texas, and that speedily, I must quit it.
Captain Rollins, of steamer Neptune, (trading between New Orleans and
Galveston,) told me a few days since he must go out of the trade, as his
vessel is losing from $600 to $700 a trip.”

This captain (Hendly, of the American ship “Star Republic”) has been
in the trade between Texas and the United States for ten years past, and
knows, from perfect experience, the sad change by which the United
States have lost their trade, viz: that other countries have cultivated,
while the United States have not reciprocated, commerce with Texas.

The vessels from Europe carry into Texas supplies adapted to her consumption,
and take return cargoes in cotton direct to countries which buy
and consume it; while, if the course of Texian commerce was turned into
that of the United States to their advantage, the same consumption would
not be abridged, nor the competition with American cotton, in the aggregate,

As appears to me, the course of our Government is a perfectly plain
one: either to ratify the treaty, or remove the duty from Texian cotton,
whereby we shall regain the trade, and have Texas for a permanent and
increasing customer.

If one of these alternatives is not adopted by the United States Government,
our trade with Texas, by force of circumstances, must cease almost


I trust the honorable the Senate of the United States will consent to reconsider
the subject, and that they may see it in the light of propriety to
ratify the treaty.

I am, dear sir, very truly, your obedient servant,

Rice University
Date: 2010-06-07
Available through the Creative Commons Attribution license