REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE SUBJECT OF MANUFACTURES December 5, 1791


The expediency of encouraging manufactures in the United States, which was not long since deemed very questionable, appears at this time to be pretty generally admitted.

The embarrassments which have obstructed the progress of our external trade, have led to serious reflections on the necessity of enlarging the sphere of our domestic commerce: the restrictive regulations, which in foreign markets abridge the vent of the increasing surplus of our agricultural produce, serve to beget an earnest desire that a more extensive demand for that surplus may be created at home. . . .

There still are, nevertheless, respectable patrons of opinions, unfriendly to the encouragement of manufactures. . . . It ought readily to be conceded that the cultivation of the earth, as the primary and most certain source of national supply; as the immediate and chief source of subsistence to man; as the principal source of those materials which constitute the nutriment of other kinds of labor; as including a state most favorable to the freedom and independence of the human mind; one, perhaps, most conducive to the multiplication of the human species; has intrinsically a strong claim to pre-eminence over every other kind of industry.

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