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IIENRY VETHALE, I.L.D.
LOSOPHICAL SOCIETY ; AUTHOR OF A TREATISE OX POLITICAL ECONOMY; ETC.
Tatte le invenzioni le più benemerite del genere umano, e che hanno svillupato l'ingegno e la
IN TWO VOLUMES.
STEREOTYPED BY L. JOHNSON
“Though immediately and primarily written for the merchants, this Commercial Dictionary will be of use to every man of business or of curiosity. There is no man who is not in some degree a merchant; who has not something to buy and something to sell, and who does not therefore want such instructions as may teach him the true value of possessions or commodities. The descriptions of the productions of the earth and water which this volume contains, may be equally pleasing and useful to the speculatist with any other Natural History. The descriptions of ports and cities may instruct the geographer as well as if they were found in books appropriated only to his own science; and the doctrines of funds, insurances, currency, monopolies, exchanges, and duties, is so necessary to the politician, that without it he can be of no use either in the council or the senate, nor can speak or think justly either on war or trade.
“We, therefore, hope that we shall not repent the labour of compiling this work, nor flatter ourselves unreasonably, in predicting a favourable reception to a book which no condition of life can render useless, which may contribute to the advantage of all that make or receive laws, of all that buy or sell, of all that wish to keep or improve their possessions, of all that desire to be rich, and all that desire to be wise."
**dox8spx, Preface to Rolt's Dict.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by
No. 9 George street,
THE AMERICAN EDITOR.
In offering to the public an American edition of Mr. M°Culloch's valuable Commercial Dictionary, it is unnecessary to add any thing, concerning the object and plan of the work, to what will be found in the subjoined extracts from the anthor's prefaces to the several editions of it which have appeared in England.
With respect to the labours of the present editor, he has for the most part confined himself to matters relating to his own country, or of especial interest to its citizens. Considerable information of this nature will be found appended to the articles Aliens, Banking, Coal, Coins, Cotton, Importation and Exportation, Imports and Exports, Iron, Roads, Silk, and Tariff, as well as others. A few articles have been inserted on subjects not treated by the author; such as Admi. ralty Courts, Liverpool, London, &c.
There is, generally speaking, an extreme difficulty in the United States of procuring statistical information, which may be depended upon for its accuracy. Besides the reports, from time to time made to Congress, by the Secretary of the Treasury, and by committees of that body, the principal sources that have been consulted for the purpose are the commercial newspapers published in some of our large cities, particularly the Philadelphia Commercial List,—Mr. Raguet's “ Financial Register,—and the “United States Commercial and Statistical Register," edited by Samuel Hazard. The former of the two works just mentioned contains a greater mass of facts, mingled with much valuable disquisition, respecting the subjects to which it is devoted, than is to be found elsewhere. Mr. Hazard's work has just reached the close of its first volume. It is published in weekly numbers, abounds in useful information, and is deserving of extensive patronage.
It is proper to mention that this American has been reprinted from the last English edition. The supplement to this, however, not having been received in time, a page or two was unavoidably omitted to be incorporated with the rest of it in the body of the work, but will be found in a supplement at the end of the second volume. In the same supplement, too, the reader will find further additions by the American editor ; some of which, relating to the United States, (the article Fish, for example,) could not be prepared for an earlier insertion; and others, again, consist of the statistics of the commerce of certain foreign ports, brought down to a later date than is given by the author.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
It has been the wish of the Author and Publishers of this work, that it should be as extensively useful as possible. If they be not deceived in their expectations, it may be advantageously employed, as a sort of rade mecum, by merchants, traders, ship-owners, and ship-masters, in conducting the details of their respective businesses. It is hoped, however, that this object has been attained without omitting the consideration of any topic, incident to the subject, that seemed calculated to make the book generally serviceable, and to recommend it to the attention of all classes.
Had our object been merely to consider commerce as a science, or to investigate its principles, we should not have adopted the form of a Dictionary. But commerce is not a science only, but also an art of the utmost practicable importance, and in the prosecution of which a very large proportion of the population of every civilised country is actively engaged. Hence, to be generally useful, a work on commerce should combine practice, theory, and history. Different readers may resort to it for different purposes ; and every one should be able to find in it clear and accurate information, whether his object be to make himself familiar with details, to acquire a knowledge of principles, or to learn the revolutions that have taken place in the various departments of trade.
The following short outline of what this work contains may enable the reader to estimate the probability of its fulfilling the objects for which it has been intended :
1. It contains accounts of the various articles which form the subject matter of commercial transactions. To their English names are, for the most part, subjoined their synonymous appellations in French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, &c.; and sometimes, also, in Arabic, Hindoo, Chinese, and other Eastern languages. We have endeavoured, by consulting the best authorities, to make the descriptions of commodities as accurate as possible; and have pointed out the tests or marks by which their goodness may be ascertained. The places where they are produced are also specified; the quantities exported from such places; and the different regulations, duties, &c. affecting their importation and exportation, have been carefully stated, and their influence examined. The prices of most articles have been given, sometimes for a lengthened period. Historical notices are inserted illustrative of the rise and progress of the trade in the most important articles; and it is hoped, that the information embodied in these notices will be found to be as authentic as it is interesting.
II. The Work contains a general article on COMMERCE, explanatory of its nature, principles, and objects, and embracing an inquiry into the policy of restrictions intended to promote industry at home, or to advance the public interests by excluding or restraining foreign competition. Exclusive, however, of this general article, we have separately examined the operation of the existing restrictions on the trade in particular articles, and
with particular countries, in the accounts of those articles, and of the great sea-port towns belonging to the countries referred to. There must of course, be more or less of sameness in the discussion of such points, the principle which runs through them being identical. But in a Dictionary this is of no consequence. The reader seldom consults more than one or two articles at a time ; and it is of infinitely more importance to bring the whole subject at once before him, than to seek to avoid the appearance of repetition by referring from one article to another. In this Work such references are made as seldom as possible.
III. The articles which more particularly refer to commercial navigation are Average, Bills of Lading, BOTTOMRY, CHARTERPARTY, FREIGHT, MASTER, Navigation Laws, OWNERS, REGISTRY, SALVAGE, SEAMEN, Ships, WRECK, &c. These articles embrace a pretty full exposition of the law as to shipping : we have particularly endeavoured to exhibit the privileges enjoyed by British ships; the conditions and formalities, the observance of which is necessary to the acquisition and preservation of such privileges, and to the transference of property in ships; the responsibilities incurred by the masters and owners in their capacity of public carriers ; and the reciprocal duties and obligations of owners, mas