Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Footnote on "Bounties"

Last month ago I published several posts explaining why I believed that the prohibition of "bounties" in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Confederate Constitution referred to federal subsidies to New England fishermen and not to army enlistment bonuses.

I was reading an article in the January 1861 issue of DeBow's Review this morning, entitled The Non-Slaveholders of the South: Their Interest in the Present Sectional Controversy Identical With That of the Slaveholders, which provides a little more evidence of southern anger over fishing bounties.

The body of the article includes a complaint about tariffs and other "tributes" that the south was then paying to the north:
[Non-slaveholders of the south] perceive the inevitable drift of Northern aggression, and know that if necessity impel to it, as I verily believe it does at this moment, the establishment of a Southern confederation will be a sure refuge from the storm. In such a confederation our rights and possessions would be secure, and the wealth being retained at home, to build up our towns and cities, to extend our railroads, and increase our shipping, which now goes in tariffs or other involuntary or voluntary tributes* to other sections, opulence would be diffused throughout all classes, and we should become the freest, the happiest, and the most prosperous and powerful nation upon earth.
The footnote immediately following the word "tributes" sets forth figures that allegedly represent "[t]he annual drain in profits which is going on from the South to the North." The very first item on the list is "Bounties to fisheries, per annum ... $1,500,000."

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