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[Silas Wright Jr.] to MVB, c5-13 May 1828

The present duties upon woolens are 25 percent ad-valorem and 33 1/3 per cent ad-valorem.

By this bill now before the senate the duties are now all put at 40 per cent ad-valorem, and to be 40 per cent ad-valorem next year.

The increase therefore is 15 per cent and the goods paying 25 per cent. and 6 2/3 per cent upon those paying 33 1/3 per cent. And next year the increase upon the latter will be 11 2/3 per cent, being then 45 per cent.

In addition to this the operation of the minimums now in the bill operate as a practical average increase of from 12 to 23 per cent. say an average of 15 per Cent. Add then this to the direct per cent. increase before given, and the increase by the bill upon the goods paying 25 per cent will be equal to 30 per Cent, as an average, and upon the goods paying 33 1/3 per cent the increase will be equal to 26 2/3 per cent as an average.

The whole average increase upon woolen cloths by this bill may be safely put down, for the present year, at 18 2/3 per cent. Next year it will be 5 per cent. more [. . .] duty upon [. . .] is [. . .] Gal. and the increase by this bill is 5 cents more per Gal.

The usual price of a Gal. of molasses as retailed in the country is 50 cents, but we will assume the price in the markets to be 35 cents per Gal. Thus a duty of 5 cents per Gal. will be equal to an ad valorem duty of 14 4/10 per cent, and of course a duty of 10 cents per Gal. would be equal to double that rate or 28 8/10 per cent ad-valorem.

This is the greatest duty proposed on molasses while the lowest duty proposed upon woolens is 40 per cent ad-valorem, and a minimum increase in addition equal at least to 12 per cent. making the whole 52 per cent. The <tax> will be found too low.

But again. Say a family averages 6 souls. The Harisburgh convention say the consumption of woolens in this country equals $5. in value to Each soul. A family of six souls then will consume $30 value of woolens. The duty upon these, if to be considered as a tax would be [. . .] 2 [. . .] $30 [. . .]

The No. of Gal: of molasses annually imported is about equal to the No. of souls in the U. S.

But suppose this family of 6 souls consumes 3 Gal. of molasses to a soul each year. They would then consume 18 Gal. of molasses, and the tax or duty would be

10 cents per. Gal. on 18 Gal. molasses, Equal to—$1.80

The increase upon the 30 Dollars of woolens this family would consume by the bill now before the senate would be from 33 1/3 to 52 per cent. Equal to—$5.60

The increase upon the 18 Gal of molasses by the same bill would be 5 cents per Gallon Equal to—$.90

The present duty upon a yard of cloth costing $1.50 is equal to 55 cents, and by the bill now before the senate the duty upon the same Yard of cloth, by the direct and minimum increase together, will be $1.10, or just double the present duty. The increase on Each yard 55 cents. [. . .] but I suppose the <forgoing> are enough. I think they are correct, though made in haste and from memory.

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)