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protected gardens; and where it springs up spontaneously, it is rooted out, for fear it might fall into the hands of foreigners or laymen.
The botanical name of this plant is physostigma venenosum. It belongs to the family of leguminosæ; genus, papilionaceæ; species, phaseolæ. It grows in the interior of Calabar, in marshy soil; is a climbing plant, reaching nearly 40 feet high; the blossoms are pink, with purple veins. The pod (diliqua) is about 15 centimeters long, and contains from two to three seeds. The smell is not disagreeable.
Allow me, therefore, sir, to take the liberty of presenting the subject to your consideration, as the head of a department ranking so high among the distinguishing benefits of the American people, and as one ever known to second, with generous and noble liberality, every endeavor towards the good of mankind.
In conclusion of this letter I have to add, that the bean became first known in the scientific world in 1844, through Dr. Daniell. The Ethnological Society of Edinburgh published afterwards, in 1846, a treatise upon its excellent effects. In 1859, Rev. Peter Thomson sent some beans to Messrs. Murray & Balfour, in London. · Dr. Graefe, of Berlin, the greatest oculist at the present time, has lately submitted the effects of it to the medical academy of the same city, June 20, 1863; and his demonstration culminated in the conclusion that the plant will be an indispensable and only means for curing certain diseases of the eyes.
Your obedient servant,
Dr. ALBERT DUNG. Hon. F. W. SEWARD,
Assistant Secretary of State.
James S. Hidreth to Mr. F. W. Seward.
Chicago, Illinois, August 10, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication, dated the 3d instant, and also the parcel of “ Calabar beans” referred to therein.
To the oculist the therapeutic importance of this novel remedy can hardly be overestimated; possessing, as it does in an eminent degree, the qualities of a medical agent long desired and labored for by ophthalmic surgeons. * * * I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. S. HILDRETH,
Surg. U. S. A., in charge of Hospital, Hon. F. W. SEWARD,
Assistant Secretary of State. *), s'
a n y 's*****15 by dire ?
NAVIGATOR’S ISLANDS. ****. Apta~JOHN C. WILLIAMS, Acting Consul. ***
JANUARY 2, 1863. :: Trade report for the year ended December 31, 1862. There has been a fair amount of business done in this group during the past year; but there being no custom-house, I am unable to make out an accurate statement of the imports or exports of each article.
The following are the gross amounts:
........ $128,205 00 Exports ...........................
.......... 158,950 00 Five per cent. is the usual charge for commission in selling goods; the pay. ments are generally made in cash or cocoanut oil for goods sold. There are no duties of any kind charged in this port.
The only charges made on vessels visiting the port are harbor dues, (four dollars for two masts, and six for three,) and pilotage, one dollar per foot.
JANUARY 4, 1862. I have the honor to transmit to you the following report of this consulate:
The crops for 1860–61 were unusually large. The demand was also great, but not beyond the supply; still they were so nearly balanced that prices have ruled high.
American merchants and shippers have enjoyed a large share of the business. There have been fifty-five arrivals and one purehase, which is counted as an arrival, making fifty-six ; more than double those of last year. The duties con. nected with so many arrivals was no light affair. By comparing the tonnage of these arrivals with that of British vessels, (see enclosure No. 2,) it will be seen that ours is only 1,256 less than the English. Of the arrivals under the British flag, three, if I am correctly informed, were American property, put under that flag on account of the war at home, fear of privateers, and danger of war with foreign powers. The tonnage of those three vessels amounted to over 2,500 tons, which, but for the rebellion, would have made our tonnage larger than that of the English by 1,200 tons or more.
There is still a very limited variety of Siamese exports in American vessels, they being almost exclusively confined to rice, sugar, sapan wood, and teak timber. In native vessels the variety is much greater. Native merchants are many of them farmers of different branches of the royal revenue, which gives thein a monopoly of the branch for which they collect. The agents of these farmers are scattered through the country, and they procure their goods at the lowest cost, and ship them in their own vessels. Silk, cotton, hemp, sticklac, ivory, pepper, fish, and many other articles, are almost entirely in the hands of native merchants.
The collection of the royal revenue, the holding of farming rights and monopolies by native merchants, give them great advantages over foreign ones. Among the principal monopolies and farms may be mentioned opium, gambling, spirits, fishing, salt, export duties on rice, import duties, two or three kinds of timber, beeswax, boat tax, markets, blast and cupola furnaces—in short, nearly everything that can be made to yield a revenue is farmed out in some way. The opium farmer pays into the royal treasury, for his monopoly, $384,000 per annum. The gambling farmer pays $292,800. The spirits farmer pays $110,400.
Opium only is recognized by treaty as a monopoly ; but the Siamese author. ities have been for some time past trying to make the spirit farm a monopoly, about the same as opium. Considerable correspondence, collective and individual, has passed between the consuls and the minister of foreign affairs during the year on the subject. The Siamese authorities are willing to allow foreigners free trade in liquors among themselves, but protest against their selling it to Siamese subjects.
The import duty on spirits or liquors has not been collected for some time. A majority of the consuls appear to be willing to allow the Siamese authorities or spirits farmer to require a license of the foreign merchants or dealers to enable them to sell to Siamese subjects.
Spirits have become a very extensive article of import. Several of the treaties are very specific in declaring that no other tax or duty other than the three per cent. import duty shall be levied on foreign imports.
FEBRUARY 15, 1863. * * * Exportations decreased considerably last year consequent upon the large rice crop in China and India. The following table shows the exports for 1861 and 1862 by vessels of various nations :
Principal exports last year (1862) were rice, 1,555,664 piculs; * sugar, 102,516 piculs; sapanwood, 74,776 piculs; pepper, 24,829 piculs; hides, 15,352 piculs; teak, 7,000 tons.
March 31, 1863. I have the honor to enclose herewith full returns of the trade and commerce of this port for the year 1862.
Everything as to the affairs of this regency goes on smoothly, with brilliant prospects for very abundant crops.
* A picul equals 1334 pounds avoirdupois.
Tabular statement showing the description, quantity, and value of the imports at Tripoli, together with the names of the countries where made, during the year
ended December 31, 1862.
British manufactures.... Foreign .............. Colonial ........... Iron............. Brass ..... Lead ..... ..... Spirits and wine... Planks ....... Tobacco........... Rice ..... Dry fruits .... Sundries ......
£. Okes. Eng.lbs. Piasters.
18,000 6,000 7,000 2,000 1,500 1,000 3,000 2,000 2,000 1,500 1,000 3,500 48,500
Total.................... 21,200 ........
8,900 ........ 5,700 ........ 7,000 ........ 1,600 ........3,500 ........
March 31, 1863. . I have the honor to report to you that no merchant vessel of the United States has visited this port during the quarter ended on this day, and that no fees have been received in this consulate within the same quarter.
June 10, 1863. * I have the honor to enclose herein duplicate copies of the “Liberia Herald,” and beg leave to call your attention to "An act confining and restrictiny foreigu vessels to ports of entry from and after the first day of January, A. D. 1865."
AN ACT confirming and restricting foreign vessels to ports of entry. It is enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the republic of Liberia in legislature assembled:
Sec. 1. That from and after the first day of January, A. D. 1865, (eighteen hundred and sixty-five,) no foreign vessel or vessels arriving on the coast of Liberia from any port or place, or Liberian vessels engaged in the foreign trade, shall be allowed to trade at any point or parts, but at ports of entry that are now or may hereafter be created by the legislature of this republic.
Sec. 2. It is further enacted, that from and after the first day of January, 1865, (eighteeu hundred and sixty-five,) all foreign vessels are by this act prohibited from landing or delivering any goods, wares, or merchandise, of whatsoever kind, at any point or part of the coast of the republic of Liberia, except at such points or parts of the coast of this republic as are now or may be declared by the legislature of the republic of Liberia to be ports of entry and delivery.
Sec. 3. It is further enacted, that any foreign vessel or vessels violating any of the provisions of this act shall be seized by any revenue or naval officer of this republic, and brought to the nearest port of entry and delivery, (as in the opinion of the revenue or commanding naval officer may deem expedient,) and delivered into the custody of the national officer of the admiralty court of the county into which said vessel or vessels shall be brought; and upon adjudication and conviction before said court, the master of said vessel shall be fined in a sum of not less than five thousand por more than ten thousand dollars.
Approved February 4, 1863.
Gaboon River-HENRY MAY, Consul.
June 16, 1863. I would beg leave to state that the trade between the United States and this port is very limited. During the past year there have been but three American vessels in this river. These belonged to a single firm in the city of New York. No consular books have been kept in this place; but, according to my best information, there have not been more than three American vessels here during any one year for the past three years. I know of no American vessel expected here at present.
The trade of this river is principally in the hands of the English. The exports from this port during the past year were: ivory, 25 tons ; bar-wood, 2,000 tons; rubber, 125 tons; also small quantities of beeswax, gum-copal, and ebony.
The American trade at this port since my arrival (November 3, 1862) has not exceeded $1,200.