American History and Genealogy Project

Populous Towns, Livestock, and Commerce

The following are the most populous towns in the United States, with the number of inhabitants of each in 1840. New York, 312,710; Philadelphia, 228,691; Baltimore, 102,313; New Orleans, 102,193; Boston, 93,383; Cincinnati, 46,338; Brooklyn, 36,233; Albany, 33,721; Charleston, 29,261; Washington, 23,364; Providence, 23,171; Louisville, 21,210; Pittsburg, 21,115; Lowell, 20,796; Rochester, 20,191; Richmond, 20,153; Troy, 19,334; Buffalo, 18,213; Newark, 17,290; St. Louis, 16,469; Portland, 15, 218; Salem, 15,082.

The people of the United States are principally an agricultural people. The extent of their territory and the fertility of the soil, contribute to this result. Their agricultural resources are already immense and they are but partially developed: they are capable of becoming the granary of the world. The following agricultural statistics, derived from the census of 1840, show a progress, remarkable as it is encouraging.

There were in the United States in 1840, 4,335,669 horses and mules; 14,971,586 neat cattle; 19,311,374 sheep; 26,301,293 swine; poultry to the value of $9,344,410. There were produced 84,823,272 bushels of wheat; 4,161,504 of barley; 123,071,341 of oats; 18,645,567 of rye; 7,291,743 of buckwheat; 377,531,875 of Indian corn; 35,802, 114 pounds of wool; 1,238,502 of hops; 628,303 of wax; 108,298,060 bush, of potatoes; 10,248,108 tons of hay; 95,251 of hemp and flax; 219,163,319 pounds of tobacco; 80,841,422 of rice; 790,479,275 of cotton; 61,552 of silk cocoons; 155,100,809 of sugar; value of the products of the dairy, $33,787,008; of the orchard, $7,256,904; of lumber $12,943,507. There were made 124,734 gallons of wine.

In its commerce this country is the second on the globe, being inferior only to Great Britain. In 1840 the capital invested in foreign trade, by importing and commission merchants, was $119,295,367: in domestic retail dry goods and other stores, $250,301,799; in the fisheries, $16,429,620. The registered tonnage of the United States is 899,764; the enrolled and licensed, 1,176,694; fishing vessels, 104,304; total, 2,180,764. Of the registered and enrolled tonnage there were employed in the whale fishery, 136,926.

The following table exhibits the imports and exports of the several states and territories, for the year ending September 30th, 1840.

The total amount of the tonnage of the United States for the year 1840, was 2,190,615 tons.

The following table will show the amount of imports from, and exports to, each foreign country, during the year ending September 30th, 1840.

The following table exhibits the value of the exports of the growth, produce and manufacture of the United States, for the year ending September 30th, 1840.

The manufactures of the United States, though inferior to its agriculture and its commerce, have recently received much attention, and have risen to great respectability. A large amount of capital has been invested in them, and they not only supply a great resource for home consumption, but also, to a considerable extent already, for exportation.

This great source of national wealth and prosperity has but recently begun to be developed. During the colonial state, and even long after, there were few manufactures excepting those of the domestic and family kind. Before the revolution, it was the policy of the mother country to discourage colonial manufactures, and a distinguished statesman expressed the sentiment of the government when he said, "that he would not suffer America to manufacture a hob-nail for herself, if he could prevent it." But the state of things is wonderfully altered now.

Home-made or family goods were produced in 1840 to the amount of $29,023,380.

The cotton manufactories were 1,240, with 2,284,631 spindles; employed 72,119 persons; produced articles to the value of $46,350,453; and had a capital employed of $51,102,359. The woolen manufactures employed 21,342 persons, produced goods to the amount of $20,696,999, and employed a capital of $ 13,765,124; and paper manufactures a capital of $4,745,239. Hats and caps were manufactured to the amount of $8,704,342; straw bonnets to the amount of $1,476,505; tanneries, &c. employed 26,018 persons, and a capital of $15,650,929; and saddlers and other leather manufactories, a capital of $12,881,262; carriages and wagons employed 21,994 persons, and produced the value of $10,897,837, and employed a capital of $5,551,632; mills of various kinds employed 60,788 persons, produced to the amount of $76,545,246, and employed a capital of $65,858,470. Vessels were built to the amount of $7,016,094. Furniture was made to the amount of $7,555,405, by 18,003 persons, and a capital was employed of $6,989,971. There were 1,552 printing offices, 447 binderies, 138 daily newspapers, 125 semi or tri-weekly, 1,141 weekly, 227 periodicals, the whole employing 11,523 persons, and a capital of $5,873,815. The capital employed in the manufacture of iron, was $20,132,131; in glass manufactures, $2,084,100, which produced articles to the amount of $2,890,293. The anthracite coal employed a capital of $4,355,602; and the bituminous, of $1,868,862; the lead, a capital of $1,346,756. The total amount of capital employed in manufactures of every kind, was $267,726,579.

The revenue of the United States has arisen chiefly from customs on imports, and from the sale of the public lands. The National Government has rarely resorted to direct taxation. By these means, the government was enabled, January 1st, 1837, not only to complete the payment of the public debt, contracted during two wars with Great Britain, but had, after reserving $5,000,000, a surplus of $37,468,859, which, agreeably to an act of Congress of June 23d, 1836, was mostly deposited with the States, according to the number of their electoral votes, liable to be recalled in case of necessity, but with little expectation probably that it would ever be called for. The great expense of the Indian war in Florida, and the diminution of the customs arising from the stagnation of trade, have caused the expenses of the government to exceed the income, so that a small debt has been contracted.

The public lands have recently been a great source of revenue. These lands have been ceded to the United States by the new States, or have been derived from the purchase of Louisiana in 1803 and of Florida in 1819. These lands are considered as belonging to the native tribes of Indians who inhabit them, until the title has been regularly extinguished by purchase and by treaty. When this has been done, they are surveyed and sold at a dollar 25 cents the acre, as the lowest price. The amount paid into the Treasury of the United States in 1839, arising from the sale of public lands, was $7,076,447. For the first three quarters of 1840, it was $2,630,217. By an act of Congress of 1841, it was ordered that the amount of these sales should hereafter be divided among the States. The revenue for 1840 was $28,234,512; and the expenditure for the civil, military, naval, and other expenses, was $26,643,656. The U. States have about 100,000,000 acres of public land surveyed and unsold, and vastly more which is not surveyed.

The Mint of the United States is established at Philadelphia; and recently, branches have been established at Charlotte, North Carolina; Dahlonega, in Georgia; and at New Orleans, Louisiana. The Mint and its branches received for coinage, gold found in the United States, from 1824 to 1840, to the amount of $6,373,025. The amount of gold, silver, and copper coins produced at the Mint in Philadelphia, in 1840, was $2,260,667.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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