Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

MOLDAVIA.

GALATZ-W. W. THOMAS, JR., Consul.

FEBRUARY 13, 1863. I have the honor to forward, as enclosure No. 1, a statistical report of all the useful information I have been able to pick up during my official stay at Galatz. I hope the shortcomings of my report will be excused by the shortness of my stay.

I also forward twelve other enclosures, Nos. 2–13, which are referred to and explained in enclosure No. 1. Statistical report on the united principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, em

bracing an account of the works of the European Danubian commission. The united principalities of Molda-Wallachia comprise the principalities of Moldavia, Wallachia, and a small strip of Bessarabia, extending along the northern bank of the Danube from Moldavia to the Black sea, and added by. Russia to Moldavia in 1856 by the treaty of Paris. Moldavia and Wallachia were united under one government on February 5, 1859.

No regular census of this country has ever been taken, but the population is estimated at 5,000,000. Molda-Wallachia is nominally subject to Turkey, but tribute has not been paid for three years, nor is it probable it will ever be paid again. This country is governed by a prince, elected for life by the people, and one house of assembly of one hundred and thirty-two members, who are chosen by their respective constituents for a term of three years. The cities and towns are governed by prefects appointed by the prince. The seat of government is at Bukarest, in Wallachia. The military force consists of 28,000 regular soldiers, infantry, cavalry, and six batteries, constructed and drilled on the French method. There is, also, a small company of marines just organized at Galatz. The language of this region is Latin; bad Latin, it is true, but Latin still.

The secret of the language is explained when it is remembered that the principalities once formed the Roman province of Dacia, a conquest of Trajan. From the Roman legion, then permanently settled here, come both the present inhabitants, who proudly call themselves Romans, and their Roman dialect. The Greek church oppresses the people by an expensive show of religion. One-third of the land in the principalities is owned by this church ; the remaining land is parcelled out in large estates among a kind of feudal lords called bayards. On each estate dwell some three hundred peasants ; each peasant, who is the head of a family, owns his mud hut and little patch of ground independently of the bayard, with this single important exception, that he is obliged to work sixtyfive days every year for the lord of the manor.

In 1855 the entire slave population, amounting, perhaps, to 35,000, were emancipated, and slavery is now prohibited by law.

America, England, France, Russia, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and Hanseatic and Free Cities, are represented by consuls at Galatz, (the principal port of the principalities,) and Prussia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland, by viceconsuls.

IMPORTS.

No accurate rate of the goods brought into the principalities can be obtained. The imports are supplied in a great measure by Austria and Great Britain ; the United States imports nothing directly. Austria supplies ordinary woollen goods, all articles of leather, and in fact all articles of every-day want; England furnishes all cotton twist, gray cotton goods, and rough iron.

The imports of Austria are double in value those of England.

There is a great lack in the principalities of those thousand little articles of every-day use which are found in every American home ; I am sure that everything embraced under that prolific head of “ Yankee Notions” would find here a ready sale and great profit. The same is true of our improved agricultural implements, if some active American would first teach the peasants to use them. Ploughs, horse-rakes and threshing and winnowing machines are especially needed here.

Again, it would seem we might compete successfully with England in importing all goods manufactured from our own cotton.

PRODUCTS.

The principal products of the principalities are wheat, Indian corn, barley, and pine timber, with considerable quantities of rye and some millet seed, colza seed, beans, wool, and tallow. Salt is obtained from a salt-mine near the town of Ocma. Gold was formerly washed from the sands of the little river Bistatia, in Upper Moldavia ; but the taking of this precious metal from the carth is now forbidden throughout the principalities.

EXPORTS.

The following table will show the amount of grain exported from the principalities since 1837 through their two ports, Galatz for Moldavia, and Ibraila for Wallachia. Comparatively little is exported in any other way. The table is made out in imperial quarters, eight bushels to one imperial quarter.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

Crimean war. | Tables not made up. NOTE.—The quantity of rye and barley exported from Galatz, and rye and millet from Ibraila, being of little importance, are not

here specified, but they are included in the totals. The amounts of each, exported since 1849, are also exhibited in the following supplementary table.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]

It will be noticed that the exportation of grain increased quite rapidly from 1837 to 1844. The increase since has been more gradual. T'he large amount of grain exported in 1855 is owing to the exportation of the two previous years being greatly impeded by the Crimean war. Small quantities of grain are taken from time to time up the Danube; also considerable amounts of wheat and Indian corn are transported in wagons across the land frontiers.into Austria. No wool or tallow now goes down the Danube ; both are sent up the Danube, or into Austria by land.

Some salt is exported overland into Russia. It has been impossible for me to get any reliable account of the exportation of pine timber, immense rafts of which are constantly floating down the Danube during the summer months. It is an interesting fact that the timber used by the French at the Suez canal is brought from the forests of Molda-Wallachia.

Enclosure No. 2 contains a detailed account of the number and tonnage of the vessels of every nation clearing from the Danube each year from 1847 to 1861, inclusive. It cannot be too strongly recommended to the careful attention of the department. It is full of information in regard to the shipping of the Danube, arranged in a clear and methodical manner. The following statement shows the number of American vessels cleared from the Danube from the time the stars and stripes were first flung out in the river in 1843 to 1862:

Year 1843, 1; 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1848, 1849, 1850, none ; 1851, 1; 1852, none; 1853, 1; 1854, none; 1855, 3 ; 1856, 2; 1857, 1; 1858, 1; 1859, 11 ; 1860, 8; 1861, 19; 1862, 22.

The increase of our shipping on the Danube since 1858 is gratifying and remarkable,

THE DANUBE AND WORKS OF EUROPEAN DANUBIAN COMMISSION.

From the Carpathian mountains to the Black sea the southern boundary of the united principalities is washed by the river Danube. For the improvement and superintendence of the navigation of this river, a European commission of the Danube, consisting of seven commissioners, respectively, representing Eng. land, France, Italy, Prussia, Russia, Austria, and Turkey, was constituted under articles 15, 16, and others, at the treaty of Paris of March 31, 1856.

This commission met at its headquarters at Galatz on November 4, 1856, and has remained in activity ever since. This activity has been directed in three

channels - legislative, administrative, and technical. In its legislative and administrative capacity this commission has enacted and put in force regulations for the enforcement of order in the navigation of the river.

E G Y P T.

ALEXANDRIA-WILLIAM S. Thayer, Consul General.

MARCH 5, 1863. Agreeably to the instructions of the department, I herewith transmit a report respecting the present condition of cotton culture in Egypt.

Owing to the want of a bureau of government statistics it will not be possible to secure perfect accuracy in all my estimates, but it is believed that they will prove sufficiently near the truth for all practical uses.

Cotton-or that variety known here as the Belledi cotton-has grown wild in Egypt from the earliest ages. Fabrics of it are mentioned by ancient writers as a common article of dress, and it has been found both in a raw and a manufactured state in the wrappings of mummies. It has also been used for ages in stuffing divans, beds, &c., a purpose for which its elasticity and short staple peculiarly adapt it. This kind of cotton is little cultivated now, having been replaced by the longer stapled and more profitable variety called “Maki cotton." The Belledi was a perennial plant, and has been known to produce for fifty years.

About the year 1819 Monsieur Tumel, a Frenchman, discovered in the garden of Maho Bey, in Cairo, a tree bearing cotton. Maho Bey had been governor of Dongola and Sennaar, and it is supposed he had brought this plant with others from the upper country, though some assert it came from India. Tumal, however, reported his discovery to Mehemet Ali, the renowned ruler of Egypt, by whose order the experiment of an extensive cultivation was made. In the year 1820 only three bales were shipped to Trieste, with results highly encouraging. This was the beginning of the production of what is now designated in Europe as Tumel Maki, or Egyptian cotton. The success of the trial under Tumel induced the viceroy to give orders to the fellah cultivators to raise a certain portion of cotton on cach estate, and in the year 1823 the crop amounted to about 159,426 cantars.* The fellahs at est complied reluctantly with this command, but their unwillingness soon disappeared, and cotton has ever since been the most profitable crop of the country.

I append (marked A) a tabular statement, derived from the custom-house, of the amount of the cotton exported yearly since the time it has become an article of foreign commerce. It is to be remarked that in these tables very noticeable variations occur in the amounts of different years. . Sometimes we see a considerable increase in the season preceding, and sometimes a considerable falling off

. This is principallyt due to the despotic policy of Mehemet Ali, who, from time to time, withdrew the laborers from the soil to replenish his armies during his ambitious wars of conquest and subjugation. Indeed, at one period, with a population reduced by war and pestilence to two millions, he maintained, according to official reports, an army of 127,000 men, besides a reserve of irregular troops amounting to 42,000. The monopoly, too, assumed by him of all the products of the soil, which he bought at his own price and sold on his own private account, served to discourage the cultivators. Fortunately the monopoly is now abolished, as well as the unwise restrictions on individual enterprise.

* The cantar is about 100 pounds in weight.

+ During the Crimean war the demand of the allied armies for grain necessarily diminished the yield of cotton in Egypt.

These cotton-house tables represent an average export during late years of between 500,000 and 600,000 cantars annually. Unfortunately, these tables being prepared at the end of the year, indicate not the crop of any one season, but portions of two seasons; the cotton year-that is, the twelve months which include the gathering and the exportation of a single crop-always ending on the 30th day of September. Last season's production of cotton (the largest ever known here) amounted to 780,000 cantars,* of which 623,000 were shipped to England. In the appendix (marked B) will be found a statement derived from the house of Messrs. Briggs & Co., of this place, of the amount of cotton in bales exported during the last six cotton years, each of such years being reckoned from the first of October inclusive. It should be remarked that since 1859 the bales have averaged about five hundred pounds apiece. For the years bere mentioned, which precede 1860, the average was from 350 or 450 pounds.

For many years Mehemet Ali carried on at a great expense the system of cotton manufactures in Egypt; and, at one time, forty-four factories were at work, employing 20,000 operators, and consuming annually 30,000 cantars of cotton † Various causes contributed to the failure of this enterprise; and it has been found cheaper to employ the fabrics of England or America than to manufacture at home. Competition with the organized industry and genius of these countries has been so unsuccessful as to confirm the general impression that the interest of Egypt lies exclusively in her agricultural, and not in her manufacturing resources. The vast factories reared by Mehemet Ali have either been sold to private individuals, or are employed by the government for uses widely different from the object of their construction; and it is believed that no cotton fabrics are now made in Egypt. Most of the cotton is raised in the Delta and Lower Egypt, though of late years, by the aid of steam-irrigating machinery, the viceroy, Ismail Pacha, has cultivated a considerable amount in Upper Egypt. It may be observed here that the cotton gathered on the estates of members of the ruling family, being raised under European superintendence, with special care, is quoted under the name of “ Zawatt” or Princes' cotton, and ordinarily bears the highest price in the market. But within the last year or two the stimulus of high prices has greatly improved the quality of fellah cotton, and the difference is less manifest than formerly. The present viceroy has been very successful as a planter, having sold, it is stated, during the past year, 30,000 cantars, which realized him one million of dollars. In planting, the method found by experience to be best is to sow the cotton every year and to rotate the crops. The lands best adapted to cultivation are those which require artificial irrigation. In some cases the process is performed by steam-pumps, but commonly the sakia, a water-wheel turned by cattle, or by the shadod, a balanced pole with a goat-skin bucket at one end and a lump of clay as a counterpoise at the other, the bucket being lifted by a man. The ploughing begins very early in the spring. About the middle of March the land is irrigated, and after it becomes sufficiently dry it is tilled again and sown early in May. On some estates the land is tilled four times before and four times after irrigation. The seed is planted in rows about three feet apart. . The plants are watered as many as four times during their growth. Every thirty days they are weeded. As a rule, but not invariably, manure is not used, the Nile being the sole fertilizer. The manure of cattle doubtless enhances the productiveness of the

• The annual report of Messrs. Levi Brothers states the amount at 820,110 cantars, which is doubtless more accurate than the custom house valuation. + See Bowings' Report on Egypt and Candia.

See appendix C for an analysis of the alluvial deposit of the Nile. The yearly inundation of the Nile usually commences late in May. In August it reaches such a height that the canals are opened and the valley overflowed. It continues to increase until October. Afterwards it diminishes, but remains high until about February. During the flood the waters are of a dark chocolate color and thick with fertilizing mud.

H. Ex. Doc. 41—34

« AnteriorContinuar »