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Total of exports from Palermo to the United States, in foreign vessels, for the quarter ending March 31, 1863.
Totals of exports in vessels of all nations from Palermo to the United States
of America for quarter ending March 31, 1863.
Cantars. Bags. Bags or Bales. Bags and Bags. Bags. In American vessels
To New York .............. 13, 342 18, 175 525 1,043 450
Totala of exports in vessels of all nations from Palermo, fc.-Continued.
SeptemBER 30, 1863. I have the honor to enclose herewith to the department the quarterly returns of arrival at, and departures from, this port of American vessels; also tables of exports to the United States in American vessels ; also a tabular statement of the navigation and commerce of the United States at Palermo, for the quarter ended September 30, 1863; also navigation and commerce at Palermo for the year ended September 30, 1863; also a general report of trade for the year ended September 30, 1863. Tabular statement showing the total exports from the port of Palermo to the
United States in American vessels for the year ended September 30, 1863,
with their total value in dollars. Brimstone......... .......... ............. 2, 650 cantars. Sumac................
1,000 bags. Corkwood and corks .......
10 bags, or loose.
150 bales. Filberts.........
108 bags. Wine.........
2 pipes. Lemon oil....... ........
30 jars. Canary-seed.....
109 bags. Fruits, lemons, and oranges....
2, 804 boxes. Total value..............
.................. $23, 02
Tabular statement showing the number of American vessels entered and cleared from the port of Palermo for each quarter of the year ended September 30, 1863, with the total value of their cargoes.
General report of the trade of port of Palermo, for the year ended September
The export trade of this consular district to the United States has not de- . creased so much as might have been expected, considering the unsettled state of affairs in America. Some difference has occurred in the flag of the vessels employed, but very little in their number and the amount of export. .
The following comparative table will show the number of vessels, with value of their cargoes, which have sailed for the United States during the years ended September 30, 1861, and September 30, 1863, respectively :
There has never been an import trade from the United States of any considerable amount at this port, but the large loss on exchange has induced merchants to make purchases in America. Many American vessels have been lately bought here. Two cargoes of flour and a considerable quantity of petroleum have been imported. This latter article has become extensively introduced within the last year, and promises to be generally used among all classes of people, wbo find it a great deal cheaper and of a better light than the olive oil, which was formerly used for burning. The lamps and fixtures adapted for the use of this oil are also of American manufacture, although considerable amounts are beginning to be imported froin France.
The harvest of all kinds of produce this year has been very prosperous, and the vintage also very plentiful. The vine disease is disappearing very fast, with the use of pulverized sulphur.
The liberal institutions which have been in operation in Italy for the last three years, and the facilities accorded to commerce, have given a promising impulse to the trade of this island. A line of regular steamers has been established within this year, touching regularly at the principal ports, such as Trapani, Marsala, Sciacca, Girgenti, Licata, Syracusc, Augusta, Catania, Messina, Lipari, Milazzo, Capo d'Orlando, Pantillaria, and extending to Malta and Tunis, besides the regular daily lines to the continent, touching alternately at Naples, Leghorn, Genoa, and Marseilles.
Public roads are constantly being opened in the interior, and the first railroad line established. It only extends, now, nine miles—from Palermo to Bagheria ; but the company has contracted to finish it in four years. It will run through the interior of the island to Messina, and from thence along the coast to Catania and Syracuse. Another line is also in contemplation, which is to run from Palermo to Trapani and Marsala. As soon as these lines shall be in operation the increase of trade in this city and Massina will be immense, on account of the facilities which it will give in transporting the produce from the interior to these shipping ports. Until now the only means of transport have been mostly on mules, as even carriage-roads were very scarce, to say nothing of the insecurity of travel.
The present government, intent on giving stability, force, and union to Italy, is improving the general tone of the people by energetically giving aid and encouragement to public instruction ; fostering the principle of association by protecting and subsidizing all companies that have some civilizing, beneficial, or commercial end in view, such as railroads, gas, savings banks, manufacturing companies, &c.
TARAVTO— ALBERT J. De Zeek, Consul.
MARCH 31, 1863. In obedience to the rules laid down in chapter XV, in sections 155, 156, 157, and 158, I have the honor to report that no American vessels having entered at, or cleared from, this port; there were consequently no fees collected during the quarter ended March 31, 1863.
OTRANTO–J. S. Redfield, Consul.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1863. In my last annual commercial report I adopted the generally received opinion hereabouts, that Otranto, being the southern terminus of the great railroad of the Adriatic, would naturally be the point where railroad and steamboat connexions would be made when the road should be completed, and therefore it would necessarily become a port of considerable commercial importance.
But Brindisi, the ancient Brundusium, some forty-five miles north of Otranto, having the best harbor, it has been selected by the government, instead of Otranto, for the above purpose, and a large sum of money has just been appropriated for improvements in the harbor, necessary for the better accommodation of the prospective business of the place, when the “railroad Adriatic” and the canal across the Isthmus of Suez shall be completed.
This railroad is rapidly approaching completion. It is already finished from Ancona to Foggia; and during the coming year, 1864, the locomotives are expected to be in motion to the port of Brindisi, when steamboat communication will be immediately opened with Alexandria and all the principal ports in the Mediterranean. The great overland India mail, it is expected, will also take this route, it being much the shortest and quickest to London.
The English East India Company, in view of the completion of the canal and of the railroad, were sometimes since desirous of acquiring extensive accommodations at Brindisi, and offered the Italian government to expend a very large sum of money in improvements at Brindisi, to accommodate their business, if the government would grant them some special privileges, which offer the government has declined.
The committee of the Italian Parliament, to whom the subject of the expendiiure of money to improve the harbor of Brindisi was referred, and who made a very interesting report in its favor, claim that Brindisi must, from the natural course of trade, become one of the most important ports in Europe; and I see no good reason why this opinion is not correct. Certain I am, that if the business arrangements necessary to that end were in the hands of Americans, the prophecy would soon be history.
Brindisi one year hence will have direct railroad communications with every city of Europe of any importance. It will be brought within ten or twelve hours of Naples, the great centre of trade for all the Neapolitan provinces, and within three and four days of Paris and Liverpool, respectively. It will have steamboat communication with all the principal ports of the Mediterranean, and will be on the direct line of travel to and from all parts of eastern Europe and Asia. The overland India mail will be received from steamers here and despatched by railroad, and the place must necessarily become a port of very considerable commercial importance.
But it will require some years thoroughly to wake up the people of this part of Italy to modern ideas of business. They have been so long buried, as it were, under the most despotic government, probably, in the world—a government whose aim it was to keep the people in a state of ignorance rather than to welcome the schoolmaster--that they are, of course, very, very far behind most other nations of the earth in all that distinguishes an educated and civilized people of the present day.
I suppose that few of our people would believe that this great railroad, with its lateral branches, forming a well-arranged network of railroad connexions with every city in Italy, as well as in Europe, has been located through all this portion of the kingdom without making any more disturbance in the value of real estate along its line than if it had been a bridle-path! but such is the fact. A year's longer residence in this part of Italy has only confirmed the opinion expressed in my last annual report in regard to the opportunities presented in these Neapolitan provinces for the enterprise of our merchants. There is a good opening here for an extensive trade with a wealthy people, with whom, at present, we have scarcely any trade at all.
In support of this opinion I beg to call attention to a single fact. American fard is now selling in this city at about thirteen cents a pound, in competition with lard made here, the ordinary price of which is about eighteen cents. The American lard is bought in Marseilles, is reshipped to Brindisi, and thence by land carriage to this place; pays freight to, and expenses and profit to Marseilles, freight and expenses thence by sea and land to this place, and a profit to the merchant here, and still undersells the lard wbich is made here by fully 25 per cent. If so close a selling an article as lard can be made to pay a profit to 80 many different parties, so much freight and expenses, there must surely be many other articles, both of production and manufacture, affording a much