QUERY XXII
 
 

_The public income and expences?_
 
 

Revenue

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.
 
 
 
 

        _Dollars._
 

      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
 

                                                      ----------
 

                                                     250,000
 

        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
 

works.
 
 
 
 

        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.