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With characteristic caution, the Bostonians moved slowly but steadily. The announcement of the proposed tariff revision appeared nine days after it was printed in the Aurora.[25] And it was


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not until the ninth of March that a book trade meeting voted to present a memorial to Congress.[26] Three days later, the Boston Franklin Association passed a similar resolution.[27] Quite properly, they might have considered their task completed, but they continued to keep the public aware of the controversy. Two papers reprinted the report of the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures[28] and as late as March twenty-fourth, the Centinel reprinted an attack on the duty which originally appeared in Worcester a month before.[29]

On March 25, 1802, the following resolutions were read in the House of Representatives:

To the Honourable the Senate, and the Honourable the House of Representatives, of the United States in Congress assembled.

The Memorial of the Subscribers, Printers, Booksellers, and others, residing in Boston and its Vicinity, most respectfully represents,

That they have been informed from Sources which they have cause to fear are correct, that it is in Contemplation of a Committee of your Honourable Body to propose that a considerable additional Duty be laid on the Importation of Printing Types.

Considering it as a Fact that such is the Intention of your Committee, your Memorialists feel themselves necessitated to lay before your honourable Body the Reasons which induce them to conceive that the Measure, if adopted, will be oppressive to them and injurious to their Country.

1st. Because at present, they humbly conceive, it would be impossible to procure a Supply of Types in the United States, equal to the necessary Demand for them; more especially when it is considered that there is a necessity for a much greater variety of founts than can be manufactured in America, in order that the productions of the American press may hold any reasonable competition with those of Europe—

2d. Because the additional duty, by enhancing the expense on Imported Types, will probably induce the American type founders to advance their present prices in proportion to the additional expense of importation; so that, in fact, it will be burthening several hundred citizens, and cramping an important and interesting manufacture, merely to benefit an individual type foundery, or, at most, perhaps only two; the principal of which, has already, we learn, more orders


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than it can execute; and which, having no competition, will assume a monopoly of the business. On the disadvantages to a community of such monopolies, we trust, we need not enlarge.

3d. Because your memorialists conceive, that the business of making types, in the United States, with a suitable capital, can now be carried on to more advantage than in Great Britain; for the present charges of importation on them amount to about 25 Pr.Ct. and the raw materials of which types are made, or old type metal, can probably be procured nearly as cheap as in England; so that, excepting the extra price of labour, in America, the founders here may now command 25 per cent. more for their types, than the same types would cost at the European founderies, provided they are equally good.

4th. Because your memorialists respectfully conceive, that, under any circumstances, it is injurious to the public interest, and a discouraging precedent, to lay duties on articles used in necessary manufactures, which amount nearly to a prohibition, merely to enable individuals to manufacture, and make a large profit on any commodity:—it is, they conceive, oppressing the many for the benefit of the few.

5th. Because your memorialists have been in the habit of experiencing under former impost laws, particularly those of Massachusetts previous to the establishment of the present government of the United States that printing types have been considered as the implements of an important manufacture, and as such deserving encouragement, and therefore they have either been admitted to be imported free of duty, or considered as a raw material, and subjected to the lowest rate of impost only; the Legislators of both the General and State Governments considering, in this indulgence, that without such encouragement the art of Printing would be embarrassed; that it was important, in a Republican Government, that Books and Newspapers should be afforded as low as possible, in order that they may be within the means of purchase of every citizen; and that it were much more essential to the interests of this country that the means of learning and information should be cheap, than that the single business of type-making should be taken under the patronage of Government.

6th. Because, your memorialists conceive, that every measure which has a tendency to embarrass the art of Printing, not only discourages literature, and increases the expences of educating the rising generation, but is essentially injurious, in its operation, to the interests of the Bookinders (sic), Papermakers, and other manufacturers connected with them.—

7th. Because, we cherish a hope, that there is sufficient patriotism in the body of Printers to encourage type founding in America, without any restrictive laws;—and we feel confident, when we assert, that no types will be imported, when they can be procured as perfect, and on as good terms, manufactured in the United States. The encouragement afforded to the foundery at Philadelphia is a proof in point:—and it is easy to demonstrate, that a number of inconveniences,


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/ of which procuring imperfections in founts is not the least / arise from the importation of types from Europe. The only plea for the additional duty, which has come to the knowledge of your memorialists, is, that the price of types in Great Britain will be reduced by the Peace. This we readily believe and hope; but we respectfully enquire, will not Peace in Europe also reduce the price of labour in the United States; and thus enable the American type founder more advantageously to prosecute his business, and if he imports his raw materials from Europe, will not their prices also be reduced? especially as we learn with pleasure that the duty on antimony is to be taken off.

8th. Because your memorialists conceive, that such are the demands for types on the founderies in Great Britain, and so few the number of those founderies therein; that no fears need be entertained that English types will be sent to this country, for a market, with a view to injure the American founding: a number of your memorialists now find it difficult to have any considerable order expeditiously answered at the English founderies. For these reasons, and many others, which we trust will readily suggest themselves to your honourable body, your memorialists earnestly request, that no additional duty may be laid upon the importation of Printing Types. And as in duty bound will ever pray.

Boston, March 12, 1802.

Benja Edes. John Boyle. Samuel Hall. James White. David West. William Andrews. J N1. West. Oliver C. Greenleaf. Thomas Minns. Alexander Young. John Russell. James Cutler. Ebenr. Rhoades. Abijh. Adams. Eben Larkin. Samuel Larkin. Caleb Bingham. William T Clap. Benjamin Loring. Josiah Loring. Henry Bilson Legge. Joseph Bumstead. William Manning. John Roulstonejnr. James Loring. Lemuel Blake. Ebenr T. Andrews. Wm. P. Blake. J. & T. Fleet. Benja. Russell. Andrew Newell. Benja. Hurd. John R. Gould. Ensign Lincoln.

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled.

The subscribers, members of the "Boston Franklin Association," journeymen Printers of Boston;—beg leave with all due respect and consideration, to present the following Memorial:—


---Placed, by Providence, in a land that fosters the civil and political rights of freemen;—in a country that has built its liberties and happiness upon social intercourse, justice, and knowledge;—and whose citizens enjoy the superior privilege, at all times, in a proper manner, to express their sentiments on public measures, whether they be actually adopted, or merely proposed:---Considering that "such Manufactures as are obviously capable of affording to the United States an adequate supply of their several and respective objects, ought to be promoted by the aid of Government:"—but when such domestic Manufactures are not "obviously capable" of supplying the various


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and necessary demands of the country; should they be so far preferred as to injure the best interests of those classes of society, who are, and from existing local circumstances must continue to be dependent for some time to come on foreign Manufactures?—Laudable as is the intention of Government, to afford prompt and friendly assistance to our own Manufactures, in preference to those of foreign countries; we yet feel confident they will first consult their nature, their expediency, and their utility.

---Fully impressed with these general truths; and having observed that your Committee of Commerce and Manufactures have proposed "that it is expedient to impose a duty, in future, of 20 per cent. ad valorem on Printing Types;" we should be wanting in justice to ourselves, and perhaps to our common country, did we not promptly and respectfully remonstrate; and on principles, we trust, that even those who petitioned to have the additional duty laid on, cannot, but consent to as just and equitable.

---Having a perfect knowledge of the relative branches that constitute our profession; and of course knowing what materials are necessary to its use, whether for elegance, convenience, or durability;—we feel assured, that the Philadelphia Type Foundery could not possibly furnish either the quantity or the quality requisite:—nor could it be able to afford those numerous improvements which we may receive from Europe; and which are most essential, not only to our interest, but the typographical character of the United States.

---as well, in our opinion, might an additional or burthensome duty be laid on foreign hemp and cotton, because, in some small part of this country, it can be raised:—Those States, who could not raise the articles, could not feel greater embarrassment or injury, than the proposed additional duty on Types would affect Printers, and others concerned:—for as the non-producing States would have to pay whatever price was demanded, and the consumers also have to suffer by the inferiority and want of the articles;—in a similar manner the proposed additional duty on Types would affect us, and through us the community at large.

---Whoever is acquainted with the nature of our business, will undoubtedly be fully sensible, that the duty proposed goes to sap if not destroy its most respectable and useful existence;—that, particularly to young men, like us, about entering business, after a laborious, and not far above penurious apprenticeship, it threatens to annihilate our prospects as future masters and as happy and useful members of society:—while our country itself reaps no essential benefit, but actually suffers; perhaps without receiving an honor for maintaining, by heavy duty, a trifling and partial manufacture, which, without competitors, would not only monopolize to itself; but tend to cause Europeans, who must be acquainted with the futility and barreness of our foundery, to encrease their demands;—and thus place our avocation in an impoverished, fatal situation.

---If our country has derived any glory from the freedom of inquiry


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permitted; if it has become, like Rome and Athens, celebrated for its general literature; if, in short, knowledge ought not to be taxed, and its circulation thereby impeded, if not annihilated:—then your Memorialists conceive, that they, the promulgators, ought not to suffer in an occupation, so necessary, and so important;—particularly as their materials were formerly free of all duty, and merely considered as the tools of mechanics.

---From these considerations, and others too numerous to particularize; your Memorialists humbly pray and hope, That the proposed additional duty on foreign printing Types, be not laid on, as recommended.

William Burdick. Samuel Gilbert. Nathaniel Willis, Jr. Whiting Skinner. Thomas Dean. Joshua Belcher. Edmund Munroe. Committee.

Seth H. Moore. George Wells. Woodbridge Skinner. Calvin Day. Oliver Steele. Josiah Ball. Edward Gray jun. Howard S. Robinson. Edward Oliver. Joshua Simond. David Francis. Eleazer G. House. Benja. Lindsey. Edward P. Seymour. Jona. Howe. Sheldon Thompson. Thomas Kennard. John C. Gray. Benja. True. Thos Kennedy. Asahel Seward. John McKown. William Harrington. Samuel Allen.

N. B. Presuming it might be important that the memorial be received by the Legislature, as soon as possible; and as several members who have not signed it, are either absent, or cannot be obtained for signature perhaps in reason; it has been thought most prudent and eligible to forward it in its present state.