Important acquisitions

A letter addressed to the Hon. John Lynch, chairman of the special congressional committee of the United States Senate, on the navigation interest

Author Codman, John
Title A letter addressed to the Hon. John Lynch, chairman of the special congressional committee of the United States Senate, on the navigation interest
Imprint Boston: A. Williams
Date of Publication 1869
Language English
Notes This pamphlet relates to USA's efforts to rebuild its merchant navy, which had been left in a parlous state after the Civil War. Efforts to restore the American merchant fleet to its former glory were hampered by an American law which prevented any ship flying the American flag which had not been built in the USA and had been launched in American waters. Supporters of free trade in the USA were anxious to improve the situation by buying the latest metal-built steamers from British shipyards thus taking advantage of advances in British shipbuilding technology. A Boston-based captain in the merchant marine, John Codman (1814-1900), was sent to Scotland by the New York Board of Underwriters to observe shipbuilding on the River Clyde. His observations are printed in this pamphlet, which reproduces a letter written by him from Dumbarton on November 15 1869. The letter was addressed to Republican congressman John Lynch, who was in the US House of Representatives and was at the time serving as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy. Codman, who had spent his early career sailing on clipper ships, argues passionately that the days of wooden ships for trade are over, and the current ban on purchasing the latest iron ships built in Europe is "neither more nor less than national suicide". He rails at the restrictive practices of "antiquated shipbuilders on the eastern shore" and contrasts the lack of American ambition with the situation on the Clyde, "the natural ship-producing district of the world". Codman observes that the Clyde shipbuilders are exploiting the area's "well organized system of labor, the cheapness of iron and coal", as well as the workforce's satisfaction with "moderate wages", to dominate the world shipbuilding market. Codman's pamphlet was one of series of seven produced in 1869-70 where issued together with the collective title page 'Free ships for foreign commerce'.
Shelfmark AP.3.213.22
Reference Sources Bookseller's notes
Acquired on 28/06/13
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