_The public income and expences?_


The nominal amount of these varying constantly and rapidly,

with the constant and rapid depreciation of our paper-money, it

becomes impracticable to say what they are.  We find ourselves

cheated in every essay by the depreciation intervening between the

declaration of the tax and its actual receipt.  It will therefore be

more satisfactory to consider what our income may be when we shall

find means of collecting what the people may spare.  I should

estimate the whole taxable property of this state at an hundred

millions of dollars, or thirty millions of pounds our money.  One per

cent on this, compared with any thing we ever yet paid, would be

deemed a very heavy tax.  Yet I think that those who manage well, and

use reasonable ;oeconomy, could pay one and a half per cent, and

maintain their houshould comfortably in the mean time, without

aliening any part of their principal, and that the people would

submit to this willingly for the purpose of supporting their present

contest.  We may say then, that we could raise, and ought to raise,

from one million to one million and a half of dollars annually, that

is from three hundred to four hundred and fifty thousand pounds,

Virginia money.

        Of our expences it is equally difficult to give an exact state,

and for the same reason.  They are mostly stated in paper money,

which varying continually, the legislature endeavours at every

session, by new corrections, to adapt the nominal sums to the value

it is wished they should bear.  I will state them therefore in real

coin, at the point at which they endeavour to keep them.


      The annual expences of the general assembly

        are about                                     20,000

      The governor                                     3,333 1/3

      The council of state                            10,666 2/3

              Their clerks                             1,166 2/3

      Eleven judges                                    11000

              The clerk of the chancery                  666 2/3

      The attorney general                             1,000

      Three auditors and a solicitor                   5,333 1/3

              Their clerks                             2,000

      The treasurer                                    2,000

              His clerks                               2,000

      The keeper of the public jail                    1,000

      The public printer                               1,666 2/3

      Clerks of the inferior courts                   43,333 1/3

      Public levy: this is chiefly for the

        expences of criminal justice                  40,000

      County levy, for bridges, court houses,

        prisons, &c.                                  40,000

      Members of congress                               7000

      Quota of the Federal civil list, supposed

        1/6 of about 78,000 dollars                   13,000

      Expences of collection, 6 per cent. on the

        above                                         12,310

      The clergy receive only voluntary

        contributions: suppose them on an

        average 1/8 of a dollar a tythe on

        200,000 tythes                                25,000

      Contingencies, to make round numbers not

        far from truth                                 7,523 1/3



        Dollars, or 53,571 guineas.  This estimate is exclusive of the

military expence.  That varies with the force actually employed, and

in time of peace will probably be little or nothing.  It is exclusive

also of the public debts, which are growing while I am writing, and

cannot therefore be now fixed.  So it is of the maintenance of the

poor, which being merely a matter of charity, cannot be deemed

expended in the administration of government.  And if we strike out

the 25,000 dollars for the services of the clergy, which neither

makes part of that administration, more than what is paid to

physicians or lawyers, and being voluntary, is either much or nothing

as every one pleases, it leaves 225,000 dollars, equal to 48,208

guineas, the real cost of the apparatus of government with us.  This,

divided among the actual inhabitants of our country, comes to about

two-fifths of a dollar, 21d sterling, or 42 sols, the price which

each pays annually for the protection of the residue of his property,

that of his person, and the other advantages of a free government.

The public revenues of Great Britain divided in like manner on its

inhabitants would be sixteen times greater.  Deducting even the

double of the expences of government, as before estimated, from the

million and a half of dollars which we before supposed might be

annually paid without distress, we may conclude that this state can

contribute one million of dollars annually towards supporting the

federal army, paying the federal debt, building a federal navy, or

opening roads, clearing rivers, forming safe ports, and other useful


        To this estimate of our abilities, let me add a word as to the

application of them, if, when cleared of the present contest, and of

the debts with which that will charge us, we come to measure force

hereafter with any European power.  Such events are devoutly to be

deprecated.  Young as we are, and with such a country before us to

fill with people and with happiness, we should point in that

direction the whole generative force of nature, wasting none of it in

efforts of mutual destruction.  It should be our endeavour to

cultivate the peace and friendship of every nation, even of that

which has injured us most, when we shall have carried our point

against her.  Our interest will be to throw open the doors of

commerce, and to knock off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom

to all persons for the vent of whatever they may chuse to bring into

our ports, and asking the same in theirs.  Never was so much false

arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed

to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war.  Were the

money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little

town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to catch

fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in

making roads, openingrivers, building ports, improving the arts, and

finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much

stronger, much wealthier and happier.  This I hope will be our

wisdom.  And, perhaps, to remove as much as possible the occasions of

making war, it might be better for us to abandon the ocean

altogether, that being the element whereon we shall be principally

exposed to jostle with other nations: to leave to others to bring

what we shall want, and to carry what we can spare.  This would make

us invulnerable to Europe, by offering none of our property to their

prize, and would turn all our citizens to the cultivation of the

earth; and, I repeat it again, cultivators of the earth are the most

virtuous and independant citizens.  It might be time enough to seek

employment for them at sea, when the land no longer offers it.  But

the actual habits of our countrymen attach them to commerce.  They

will exercise it for themselves.  Wars then must sometimes be our

lot; and all the wise can do, will be to avoid that half of them

which would be produced by our own follies, and our own acts of

injustice; and to make for the other half the best preparations we

can.  Of what nature should these be?  A land army would be useless

for offence, and not the best nor safest instrument of defence.  For

either of these purposes, the sea is the field on which we should

meet an European enemy.  On that element it is necessary we should

possess some power.  To aim at such a navy as the greater nations of

Europe possess, would be a foolish and wicked waste of the energies

of our countrymen.  It would be to pull on our own heads that load of

military expence, which makes the European labourer go supperless to

bed, and moistens his bread with the sweat of his brows.  It will be

enough if we enable ourselves to prevent insults from those nations

of Europe which are weak on the sea, because circumstances exist,

which render even the stronger ones weak as to us.  Providence has

placed their richest and most defenceless possessions at our door;

has obliged their most precious commerce to pass as it were in review

before us.  To protect this, or to assail us, a small part only of

their naval force will ever be risqued across the Atlantic.  The

dangers to which the elements expose them here are too well known,

and the greater dangers to which they would be exposed at home, were

any general calamity to involve their whole fleet.  They can attack

us by detachment only; and it will suffice to make ourselves equal to

what they may detach.  Even a smaller force than they may detach will

be rendered equal or superior by the quickness with which any check

may be repaired with us, while losses with them will be irreparable

till too late.  A small naval force then is sufficient for us, and a

small one is necessary.  What this should be, I will not undertake to

say.  I will only say, it should by no means be so great as we are

able to make it.  Suppose the million of dollars, or 300,000 pounds,

which Virginia could annually spare without distress, to be applied

to the creating a navy.  A single year's contribution would build,

equip, man, and send to sea a force which should carry 300 guns.  The

rest of the confederacy, exerting themselves in the same proportion,

would equip in the same time 1500 guns more.  So that one year's

contributions would set up a navy of 1800 guns.  The British ships of

the line average 76 guns; their frigates 38.  1800 guns then would

form a fleet of 30 ships, 18 of which might be of the line, and 12

frigates.  Allowing 8 men, the British average, for every gun, their

annual expence, including subsistence, cloathing, pay, and ordinary

repairs, would be about 1280 dollars for every gun, or 2,304,000

dollars for the whole.  I state this only as one year's possible

exertion, without deciding whether more or less than a year's

exertion should be thus applied.

        The value of our lands and slaves, taken conjunctly, doubles in

about twenty years.  This arises from the multiplication of our

slaves, from the extension of culture, and increased demand for

lands.  The amount of what may be raised will of course rise in the

same proportion.