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in 1830, were, in round numbers, from Germany, 74,000 bales; from Spain and Portugal, 10,000 bales; the British colonies, 8,000 bales; sundry other places, 5,000 bales; total, 98,000 bales; and yet at that period, as appears from the testimony before the House of Lords, in 1828, every warehouse in England was filled with wool, and stocks were lying on hand for five or six years. In 1864 there were imported, from Australia, 302,000 bales; from the Cape of Good Hope, 68,000 bales; from South America, 99,000 bales; and 219,336 bales from other sources-in all, 688,336 bales. Australia now supplies more than three times the whole amount of foreign wool consumed in England a third of a century ago, and the production of South America exceeds the whole consumption then. The advantages which the European manufacturer enjoys over the American in the command of an unlimited supply of every variety of wool cannot be overestimated. The range of fabrication of the American manufacturer in clothing and combing wools is limited to the produce of American flocks, under the almost prohibitory duty upon those wools. The European can select from the peculiar products of every climate and soil of the whole world, which are poured into the great centres of distribution at London and Liverpool. Hence the infinite variety of European manufactures so conspicuous at the Exposition, and hence the capacity of the European manufacturer to relieve himself from home competition by changing at pleasure the character of his fabrics. It is true that the American is able to contend with the European manufacturer, who has his wool free of duty, by receiving the imposition of a specific duty on foreign cloths just sufficient to reimburse the duties on wool. Without this neutralizing duty the American could not live for a day, and with it he still suffers in the limitation of his supply of raw material.

By these observations upon the present comparative advantages of the American and foreign manufacturer in the supply of raw material, it is not to be inferred that the undersigned would advocate the application to this country of the British system of protection by the free admission of raw materials which can be advantageously produced here, or that he would for a moment maintain that the wool-grower can obtain sufficient encouragement through the protection of the manufacturer. The higher demands of American civilization require that all our industries should be defended against the cheap capital and labor of competing nations. The labor which produces the wool cannot be distinguished from that which spins and weaves it. Considerations of national independence require us to seek to the utmost possible extent all our supplies from domestic sources. The woollen manufacturer has the best assurance of permanent prosperity when he can look to an uninterrupted supply of wool from sources not liable to be cut off by war, famine, pestilence, or political revolutions abroad. The American wool manufacturer, no less than the wool-grower, has the only market for his fabrics at home, and can have a profitable market only when all the industry of the country is profitably occupied. The system of political economy essential to

industrial prosperity in this country demands that the claims of the woolgrower and manufacturer should be equally respected. If any views here presented should be regarded as suggestive of a change of the system of duties now prevailing, they should be regarded as addressed to American wool-growers alone, with the distinct acknowledgment that it is their right, after intelligent consultation with the representatives of kindred industries, to demand the duties which they shall judge to be necessary for the protection of their own.


To return to the wools displayed in the great warehouses of Europe, and exhibited at the Exposition. The American manufacturer is struck by the variety of wools, not produced abundantly here, and first with the Silesian and Saxony clothing wools of Germany, the fleeces small and the fibre exceedingly fine, and marked by the distinctness and number of its curves or wrinkles; the staple very short, the wools distinguished for their felting qualities, both the fineness and shortness of staple being essential qualities for the fine broadcloths and doeskins, for which the German manufacturers are so distinguished. These wools have the highest price of any grown. The wools of Prussia of this character were very remarkable, and among them those exhibited by Mr. Dopping, of Silesia, are worthy of especial mention for their shortness and the distinctness of the curves, which were so sharply defined as to give the impression that they had been artificially crimped. Next to these, and scarcely inferior, are some of the Australian wools, which were distinguished for the same qualities of fineness of fibre and shortness of staple, and equally observable for their admirable condition, evincing the care with which they are washed and put up. These wools were exhibited in such quantities as to give one the impression of passing through the warehouses of London. Next in quality are the Cape wools. Last among the fine clothing wools in quality and price are those of Buenos Ayres. The German and Australian wools exhibit the highest existing type of the product of the merino race. In their culture weight of fleece is never sought for. The efforts of the grower are devoted solely to producing fineness of fibre and shortness of staple. Without the command of wool of this character for filling it is hopeless to attempt the manufacture of the best face goods, such as broadcloths and doeskins. Our foreign importation of German cloths is mainly confined to the black broadcloths, cassimeres, and doeskins made from these wools. There is no difficulty in commanding the skill required for this manufacture, as is evinced by the goods exhibited by Mr. Slater, of Rhode Island. All the difficulties of manufacture can be surmounted by the importation of German workmen. Several hundred sets of machinery could be occupied here in the manufacture of these goods, demanded for home consumption. The warps, which could be made of such American fleece as is now grown here, would take up two-fifths of the wool required for this manufacture. This

would be so much added to the demand for this character of wool. The relief afforded to the manufacturer, by being able to vary his fabrics, would diminish the competition among those compelled to manufacture only one style of goods, and, giving more profits to the manipulator of the wool, would secure better prices to the wool-grower. The great problem to be solved in the clothing-wool industry in this country is how these wools shall be secured. The wool-growers assert that they can be grown in this country, and this is by all means the most desirable source from which they could be obtained. The success in certain districts in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, in former times, is an assurance that they can be grown. The present supply is altogether insufficient for any progress in the fine cloth manufacture. It is gratifying to learn that importations are being made of the best Silesian stock. It is the duty of the manufacturer to encourage these efforts by discriminating in his prices for the finest wools. The growth of these wools is not a question of soil or climate, but of profit. If these desired wools are more remunerating than others, they are certain to be produced. But the solution of the problem whether we shall manufacture fine broadcloths in this country depends mainly upon the wool-growers. It is for them to decide whether or not these wools shall be grown here; if not, whether they shall be admitted at a moderate duty. If the product of the finest woolled sheep is too small to admit of profit in their culture, the only objection to their growth here, it is worthy of serious consideration by the great body of American wool-growers whether their own interests, by the greater consumption of wool, which can be profitably grown by mixture with foreign fine wools, would not be secured by admitting, at a moderate duty, the highest priced German and Australian wools, not including such as the mestiza, which compete with the wools grown here. Any movement for the development of this important branch of manufacture, whether by the growth of the desirable wools, their admission at a lower rate of duty, or by a higher specific duty upon extra fine wool cloths, must emanate from the wool-growers, for it is better that the manufacture of the highest clothing wools should be abandoned than that the harmonious arrangements between the agricultural and manufacturing branches of the woollen interest, so essential to its stability, should be disturbed.


It should be clearly understood that the wools above referred to are desirable as an addition to, and not as a substitution for, the great bulk of the present American fleeces. The annual production of wool in the United States was estimated, in 1866, at 95,000,000 pounds; and it is estimated that this constitutes about 70 per cent. of the wool manufactured in this country—this wool being the product of 30,000,000 sheep, consuming 30,000,000 bushels of corn. Our domestic fleece is, therefore, the chief source of our supply. This wool is mainly of a

medium quality, and is produced from grades of the merino race. With the increasing growth of the country the demand for this wool should proportionally increase. Its great value for the purposes for which it is generally used is shown in the excellence of our peculiar American fabrics, to be hereafter referred to. There is reason to believe that the yield of scoured wool, of a medium character, from sheep of the race now recognized as the American merino, which has originated in Vermont, is greater than has been obtained from sheep of the merino blood in any country except those of France. Manufacturers are apt to complain of the greasy character of this wool—a complaint too well founded with respect to wool produced from show sheep; sufficient development of yolk is, however, essential to the greatest yield in wool. It is for the interest of the manufacturer and of the country that the system of culture should be pursued by the wool-grower which shall produce the greatest amount of clean wool with the greatest economy to the wool-grower. The wool-growers, through their associations, which are now being extensively formed and conducted with an intelligence displayed in no other department of agriculture, will determine how far this production of yolk can be carried with ultimate profit, and whether the evil of excessive yolk, if it is one, may not be corrected by the infusion of blood of another stock. A very interesting and instructive fact in favor of the American merino has been stated, while this paper was being prepared, by Mr. Bowes, the eminent wool dealer of Liverpool, viz: “ That Vermont bucks are now being selected to give body and quality to the degenerated wools of New Zealand.”


Conspicuous among the wools displayed at the Exposition were those of the merino race, distinguished for the softness and length of fibre. Those from France and Australia were the most noticeable. The wools of this kind from Australia having been derived from the French stock, the length of fibre, enabling these wools to be combed, adapts them for the beautiful dress goods for female wear, such as thibets and cashmeres and merinos, which are the most characteristic fabrics of the present century. The wool of this character produced in France surpasses that of any other country, and its possession has caused France to take the lead in this manufacture, which was not attempted in England until the wools from Australia were seen to develop similar qualities.

M. Benoville, in his admirable essay upon the combing wools of France, remarks:

“ There are two facts we ought to proclaim abroad. The first is, that without the introduction of the Spanish race into our flocks, and without all the skill of our agriculturists, we should still vegetate in dependence upon neighboring nations, and should be reduced to clothe ourselves

1 See article in the Appendix upon the "American Merino," by Dr. Randall, prepared since this report was submitted.

with their stuffs. It is to the admirable revolution in the raising of ovine animals that we owe the beautiful industry of spinning the merino combing wools. It is to this that we owe the splendor of the industries of weaving combing wool at Paris, at Rheims, at Roubais, at Amiens, and St. Quentin.

* The second is, that the aspect, the quality, the character of our modern tissues—in a word, all that makes them deserve, for 40 or 50 years, the name of new inventions—are due principally to the particular nature of the combing wool obtained by the Spanish cross. There are few, very few inventions in the contexture of the stuffs, or in their mounting upon the looms, which are still the same as in the 18th century. It is because it has been favored by the wool of merinos that the 19th century has changed the physiognomy of the tissues of preceding ages."

The French merinos are bred to produce wool for combing purposes, as this always obtains the highest price. They are of unusual size, producing fleeces of uncommon weight. Those which have been introduced into this country were not regarded as profitable; partly for their want of hardiness under our system of husbandry, but mainly because there was no demand for their peculiar qualities of fibre. There can be no ditticulty in engrafting the French race upon the American merino. We have then in our own material, and that which can be readily and advantageously produced by the improvement of our race, the means of supplying a manufacture which is one of the most important in France, and furnishes a large part of the exportation to this country.


As it is a matter of the highest interest, as well to the manufacturer as the agriculturist, that sheep husbandry should be made profitable in this country, it will be appropriate in this connection to refer to the tendency of sheep husbandry in France to secure the double purpose of profit from wool and mutton in the culture of the merino race.

A notice by M. Gayot, member of the Imperial and Central Society of Agriculture of France, upon the merino-ovine races exhibited at Billancourt during the period of the Exposition, furnishes some interesting information upon this point. After noticing the impulse which was given to French agriculture and manufacture by the development of the imperial flocks of the Spanish race at Rambouillet, and the tendency which prevailed for many years to cultivate the merino sheep for wool alone, and referring to the first effects of the importation of foreign wools in lowering the price of those produced in France, he observes that, at this period, the abandonment of the merino sheep was earnestly urged by many French agriculturists who had become possessed with an Anglomania for the production of the long-woolled mutton sheep. This agitation, although it did not procure the abandonment of the merino race, naturally modified it. The question was finally resolved that there was no incompatibility in the production of a very good quality of wool and

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