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To the Senate and House of Representatives :
In submitting my annual message to Congress, I have great satisfaction in being able to say that the general conditions affecting the commercial and industrial interests of the United States are in the highest degree favorable. A comparison of the existing conditions with those of the most favored period in the history of the country will, I believe, show that so high a degree of prosperity and so general a diffusion of the comforts of life were never before enjoyed by our people.
The total wealth of the country in 1860 was $16,159,616,068. In 1890 it amounted to $62,610,000,000, an increase of 287 per cent.
The total mileage of railways in the United States in 1860 was 30,626; in 1890 it was 167,741, an increase of 448 per cent; and it is estimated that there will be about 4,000 miles of track added by the close of the year 1892.
The official returns of the Eleventh Census and those of the Tenth Census for 75 leading cities furnish the basis for the following comparisons':
In 1880 the capital invested in manufacturing was $1,232,839,670.
I am informed by the Superintendent of the Censuis that the omission of certain industries in 1880, which were included in 1890, accounts in part for the remarkable increase thus shown. But, after making full allowance for differences of method and deducting the returns for all industries not included in the Census of 1880, there remain in the reports from these seventy-five cities an increase in the capital employed of $1,522,745,604 ; in the value of the product of $2,024, 236,166; in wages earned of $677,943,929, and in the num
ber of wage-earners employed of 856,029. The wage earnings not only show an increased aggregate, but an increase per capita from $386 in 1880 to $547 in 1890, or 41.71 per cent.
The new industrial plants established since October 6, 1890, and up to October 22, 1892, as partially reported in the American Economist, number 345, and the extension of existing plants, 108; the new capital invested amounts to $40,449,050, and the number of additional employees to 37,285.
The Textile World for July, 1892, states that during the first six months of the present calendar year 135 new factories were built, of which 40 are cotton mills, 48 knitting mills, 26 woolen mills, 15 silk mills, 4 plush mills, and 2 linen mills. Of the 40 cotton miils 21 have been built in the Southern States. Mr. A. B. Shepperson, of the New York Cotton Exchange, estimates the number of working spindles in the United States on September 1, 1892, at 15, 200,000, an increase of 660,000 over the year 1891. The consumption of cotton by American mills in 1891 was 2,396,000 bales, and in 1892 2,584,000 bales, an increase of 188,000 bales. Froin the year 1869 to 1892, inclusive, there has been an increase in the consumption of cotton in Europe of 92 per cent, while during the same period the increased consumption in the United States has been about 150 per cent.
The report of Ira Ayer, special agent of the Treasury Department, shows that at the date of September 30, 1892, there were thirtytwo companies manufacturing tin and terne plate in the United States and fourteen companies building new works for such manufacture. The estimated investment in buildings and plants at the close of the fiscal year, June 30, 1893, if existing conditions were to be continued, was $5,000,000, and the estimated rate of production 200,000,000 pounds per annum. The actual production for the quarter ending September 30, 1892, was 10,952,725 pounds.
The report of Labor Commissioner Peck, of New York, shows that during the year 1891, in about six thousand manufacturing establishments in that State embraced within the special inquiry made by him, and representing 67 different industries, there was a net increase over the year 1890 of $31,315, 130.68 in the value of the product, and of $6,377,925.09 in the amount of wages paid. The report of the commissioner of labor for the State of Massachusetts shows that 3,745 industries in that State paid $129,416,248 in wages during the year 1891, against $126,030, 303 in 1890, an increase of $3,335,945, and that there was an increase of $9,932,490 in the amount of capital and of 7,346 in the number of persons employed in the same period.
During the last six months of the year 1891 and the first six months of 1892 the total production of pig iron was 9,710,819 tons, as against 9, 202, 703 tons in the year 1890, which was the largest annual production ever attained. For the same twelve months of 1891-'92 the production of Bessemer ingots was 3,878,581 tons, an increase of 189,710 gross tons over the previously unprecedented yearly production of 3,688,871 gross tons in 1890. The production of Bessemer steel rails for the first six nionths of 1892 was 772,436 gross tons, as against 702,080 gross tons during the last six months of the year 1891.
The total value of our foreign trade (exports and imports of merchandise) during the last fiscal year was $1,857,680,610, an increase of $128,283,604 over the previous fiscal year. The average annual value of our imports and exports of merchandise for the ten fiscal years prior to 1891 was $1,457,322,019. It will be observed that our foreign trade for 1892 exceeded this annual average value by $400, 358,591, an increase of 27.47 per cent. The significance and value of this increase are shown by the fact that the excess in the trade of 1892 over 1891 was wholly in the value of exports, for there was a decrease in the value of imports of $17,513,754.
The value of our exports during the fiscal year 1892 reached the highest figure in the history of the Government, amounting to $1,030, 278, 148, exceeding by $145,797,338 the exports of 1891 and exceeding the value of the imports by $202,875,686. A comparison of the value of our exports for 1892 with the annual average for the ten years prior to 1891 shows an excess of $265, 142,651, or of 34.65
The value of our imports of merchandise for 1892, which was $829, 402,462, also exceeded the annual average value of the ten years prior to 1891 by $135, 215,940. During the fiscal year 1892 the value of imports free of duty amounted to $457,999, 658, the largest aggregate in the history of our commerce. The value of the imports of merchandise entered free of duty in 1892 was 55.35 per cent of the total value of imports, as compared with 43.35 per cent in 1891 and 33.66 per cent in 1890.
In our coastwise trade a most encouraging developinent is in progress, there having been in the last four years an increase of 16 per cent. In internal commerce the statistics show that no such period of prosperity has ever before existed. The freight carried in the coastwise trade of the Great Lakes in 1890 aggregated 28, 295,959 tons. On the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers and tributaries in the same year the traffic aggregated 29,405,046 tons, and the total vessel tonnage passing through the Detroit River during that year was 21,684,000 tons. The vessel tonnage entered and cleared in the for