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tive of the Northern States of America, invented a machine, by which cotton wool is separated from the seed with the utinost facility and expedition. Previously to 1790, the U. Slates did not 'export a single pound of raw cotton, in 1792 they exported the trifling quantity of 138,328 pounds. Whitney's invention cane into operation in 1793, and in 1794, 1,601,760, and in 1795, 5, 276,306 pounds were exported. and so astonishing has been the growth of cotton in the interval occasioned by this discovery, and the discoveries made in England, that in 1838 the exports from the U. States amounted to the prodigious quantity of 595,952,297 pounds."
Brand's Cotton MANUFACTURE. Its inventor however, early foresaw the slender chance of personal emolument from this source, and although he never ceased to prosecute it with untiring energy, yet with a prudence.peculiar to the land of his birth, he sought the means of increasing his gains, in an object which if not as beneficial, at least proved more immediately lucrative. This was the manufacture of muskets for the government. He established his armory on a little stre:um, whose banks abounded with the most romantic scenery, about two miles from New Haven, in Connecticut. On this spot, now called Whitney ville, which was doubtless recommended to him by many of the associations of his college days, he erected his works which have since served as a model for many of the more extensive manufacturing establishments of our country.
The immediate cause of the establishment of this armory was a contract which he had entered into with the government in January, 1798, to supply it with ten thousand muskets, within the short space of two years. Without the requisite buildings, machinery, or even a knowledge of the business in which he had newly engaged, it seemed hardly possible for him to comply with the terms of the contract, yet relying on his general knowledge of mechanics, and his inventive genius, he sat himself boldly to the task, which to others seemed little less than chimerical. The government advanced five thousand dollars, to enable him to commence his works, and with the aid of several kind friends he was enabled to obtain a loan of ten thousand more. The expenditures involved in the works so greatly exceeded his expectations, that the government found it necessary to make a further advance of fifteen thousand dollars, before they were in a condition to commence the manufacture of the arms. The space of time however, allotted to the contract was extended from two to ten years.
A new contract was entered into by him with the government, to supply them with fifteen thousand additional stands of arms in 1812, a strong argument of the satisfactory manner in which he had complied with his former engagements. The skill and ingenuity which manifested themselves in every part of the machinery connected with his armory, at once displayed the peculiar character of mind of its presiding genius. He personally superintended its entire arrangements, and from the commonest tool to the most intricate piece of machinery, the whole establishment possessed a finish and applicability to the purposes for which it was intended, of which no establishment of his day could boast. Professor Silliman who had known liim for upwards of a quarter of a century, says, “I was frequently led to observe that his ingenuity extended to every subject which demanded his attention ; his arrangements even of common things were marked by singular good taste, and a prevailing principle of order.”
“ The effect of this mental habit is very cbvious in the disposition of the buildings, and the accommodation of his manufactory of arms,-although owing to the infirmities of his later years, and to other causes, his arrangements were never finished to the full extent of his views. Tie machinery has great neatness and finish, and in its operation, evinces a degree of precision and eíficiency, which gratifies every curious and intelligent observer. I have many times visited the establishment with strangers and foreigners, who have gone away delighted with what they had seen.”
The plan originated with Whitney of having every part of the fire arm conform as nearly as possible to a similar part of another. This plan has since been more effectually adopted in the manufacture of the government arms. Under his present contract with the government, Mr. Jenks, the amiable inventor of the many chambered carbine, manufactures this article with such accuracy, that if one thousand stand of carbines were to be unbreeched and their locks removed, a lock, stoch, or barrel, selected promiscuously from them, would in every instance fit as accurately as if the three had been made especially for each other.
The manufacture of arms proved a much greater source of profit to him, than the masterly inventions of the gin, and although he was in after years the recipient of considerable sums of money from this source yet he used frequently to say that all he had ever received from the cotton gin was no inore than a remuneration for the immense outlays he had incurred, and the time he had devoted to the enterprize during the best years of his life. How different the reward of Coleman, the ingenous inventor of the alean attachment to the piano forte, who in the short space of six months found himself possessed of a fortunc of half a million of dollars from this source. He unfortunately died immediately after attaining his suddenly acquired afHuence.
Whitney was neither a sellish nor a solitary man, and from an early period in his life had looked forward to a suitable matrimonial alliance, as a source of unalloyed happiness. As early as 1797, in writing to his partner, (Miller,) he says: "I am now quite far enough advanced in life to think seriously of marrying. I have often looked forward to an alliance with an amiable and virtuous companion, as a source of happiness from whence I have expected one day to derive great happiness. But the accomplishment of my tour to Europe, and the acquisition of some hing which I can call my own, appears to be absolutely necessary, before it will be admissible for me even to think of family engagements.” Under the influence of this extreme and landable caution, he deferred entering into matrimonial engagements until the year 1817; in the January of which year he married the youngest daughter of Judge Edwards, of the District Court of Connecticut.
This union was crowned with all that happiness which he had reason to anticipate from it. Fortunate in the selection of an amiable and intelligent partner, and blessed by four interesting children, he was now enabled to indulge in the realization of those pleasing dreams with which he had always invesied a life of domestic happiness.
Surrounded by the delightful and picturesque scenery in the midst of which he had located his home, and lulled by the quiet serenity of his domestic circle, the five succeeding years proved to be among the happiest of his life. In comfortable, if not ailluent circumstances, with a reputation as extended as the culture and use of cotton, surrounded by a large circle of warm and confiding friends, and happy in his domestic relations, fortune seemed about to make him some compensation for the toil and perplexity of former, years, but in the midst of so many elements of happiness, disease appeared to mar his pleasure, and prove to him the little reliance to be placed in all earthly enjoyment.
In the fall of 1822, immediately after his return from a visit to Washington, he observed the first indications of an enlargement of the prostate gland, which never left him until it terminated, after a lingering and painful illness, in his death, on the 8th of January, 1825. During his illness he entered into that calm and critical examination of his disease which had characterized all his future operations in life. He consulted the opinions of medical writers upon the subject, and noted down such facts as applied to his individual case. Ile even requested his physicians to exhibit to him such anatomical illustrations as they possessed, which he examined with much care, and freely discussed with the medical attendants the chances for and against him, at the various stages of his disease, yet strange to say, with an apparent inconsistency which we should have hardly expected to find in him, he directed that no autopsy of his body should be made after his decease.
His distinguished friend, Professor Silliman, who was a constant attendant upon him during his years of illness, observes :
“Diring this period, embracing at intervals several years, he devised and caused to be constructed various instruments, for his own personal use, the minute description of which would not be appropriate in this place. Nothing that he ever invented, not even the cotton gin, discovered a more perfect comprehension of the difficulties to be surmounted, or evinced more efficient ingenuity, in the accomplishment of his object. Such was his resolution and perseverance, that from his sick chamber, he wrote both to London and Paris, for materials important to his plans, and he lived to receive the things he required and to apply them in the way he intended. He was perfectly successful, so far as any mechanical means could afford relief or palliation; but his terrible malady bore down his constitution, by repeated, and eventually by incessant inroads, upon the powers of life, which at last yielded to assaults which no human means could avert or sustain."-Silliman's Journal, Vol. 21, p. 259.
A review of his life must we think satisfy all that he was endowed with a mind of a very high order. His inventive genius, which was not confined to one great object, but left its impress upon every subject however trivial, which commanded his attention, was unequalled by any one of his age. It would be too much to say that his ability to achieve any undertaking in mechanics was without limit, but it is very certain that he never was known to undertake a mechanical task in which he failed to succeed.
An individual of the particular class of genius to which Whitney belonged, might readily be excused for the exhibition of peculiarities which would have unfitted him in sonie degree for social intercourse, but he was superior to, and above all, such peculiarities. United to a large and commanding person, he combine.l manners polished by education, and a constant intercourse with the most refined society. He was generous and amia'yle in his disposition, and was ever open to the appeals of hu
manity; his expenditures in acts of pure generosity could not be covered by many thousands of dollars. He was fond of social intercourse, and on such occasions possessed a rare fund of conversational ability, and always delighted by the rich stores of his intellect. To his friends he was warmly attached, and retained many from early youth, among whom were some of the most distinguished personages in the land. lle lived and died respected for his private worth, his unostentatious benevolence, and his public benefactions. Great in his life, honored in his death, no more noble and lofty praise can be bestowed upon him, than that which is inscribed on his tomb, that he was
THE INVENTOR OF THE COTTON GIN.
DEBT AND BANKRUPTCY.
From Chambers' Edinburg Journal, 1848.
'The insolvent debtor among the Romans was cut to pieces and distributed among his creditors. Even in England, the bankrupt was treated as a criminal, and subjected to the personal punishment of imprisonment. In Scotland, till a hundred years ago, they set the dyvour' upon a pillory, with stockings of various colors, to subject him io the scorn of the multitude. All these are traits of the natural sense of mankind regarding the immorality of insolvable debt. Recognizing it as a positive encroachment upon each other's rights and property, they are disposed to punish it accordingly. We are indebted to two things for the change of public sentiment about insolvency-increased humanity, and the new aspect which debt assumes when it is contracted in the course of commercial transactions. We are now no more inclined to be severe with debtors than with others who injure us. The bankruptcy laws have partaken of the amelioration of the criminal code generally. We now trust for our protection here, as against more violent offences, more to the moral influences working in society, than to the vengeance of the law. And when we become familiarised, as we are, with mercantile engagements, in which all are debtors and creditors by turns—not that one may live upon another's means, but because of a mere conveniency in the transacting of business—we cease to regard such obligations in that personal light in which they were once contemplated. Failures to fulfil engagements appear as only the effects of miscalculation or mischance. And then that sense, that what may be your turn to-day may be mine tomorrow, makes us wondrous kind.' It is like the Irish 'small farmer being so gracious to the poor wayfaring beggar, because he does not know but what it may be his own fate next winter. It is a case proved by exceptions; for where is it that bankruptcy is still beheld with the greatest share of the ancient horror - Always in private communities,
such as little country towns, where no complicated business engagements exist.
But indiscriminating humanity and commerce may carry us too far in our changed views regarding debt and bankruptcy. At least it appears as if very culpable cases were sometimes looked on somewhat too leniently, and as if some of the salutary checks which formerly existed would now be well resorted to. Some discrimination regarding various kinds of insolvents is needed; and there might even be some improvement counselled as to our ordinary ideas regarding the purest of commercial bankruptcies.
When a person in private life, with an ascertainable income, and liable to no risks which can damage his resources, is found short of means to liquidate his obligations, what should we say of or do to him? We may not choose to inflict any tangible vengeance—we may give him the benefit of that meekness of judgment which would speak tenderly of all human infirmity; but undoubtedly this person has been guilty of a great fault. He has committed a practical aggression on the rights of his neighbors. He has either done this from undue love of his own gratifications, or from a recklessness about his affairs which every reasonable person knows cannot be indulged in without the greatest danger. Society ought not to forgive it too easily. Such a person is not entitled to stand exactly on the same platform of moral repute with those who keep clear of debt. So society will say in its cool moments; but, unluckily, one of its perverse sympathies interferes with the maintenance of the principle. Men in the mass feel for the poor and embarrassed, and against the rich, or those who have enough. Very often those who fall short are easy-natured, kind-hearted men, and therefore popular. Persons in the opposite circumstances often are of hard character—not general favorites. Then our selfhood is more soothed in looking on a downcast or outcast person, than on one who stands in all the pride of independence. Thus it comes about that society never visits debtors of this class with the full punishment which, as guilty of an infraction of rights, they deserve. It might be different if we were to get quit of the fallacies which beset the case. Creditors are not necessarily either rich, or hard, or self-sufficient, but often very much the reverse.
Neither are debtors always necessarily generous: having used their neighbors' property for their own benefit and indulgence, it may fairly be inferred of them that they are fully as likely to be selfish. But we cannot, it will he said, shake off fallacies resting on sympathies so deeply founded in our nature. Then our sufferings from foolish and unprincipled debtors are the penalty which we must pay for our absurdity. Let not debtors, however, exult too much in the privilege, or take too much advantage of it. It is, after all, but pity which is extended to thim—a sentiment whose associations are in no good savoi in human experiences. Nothing can save debt from the stamp which destiny has put upon it--degradation. The reckless may therefore feel assured that, in the long run, it is somewhat better to be over an equality with the world than below it.
In commercial insolvency there is a less direct appearance of selfishness in the debtor, in as far as the articles for which the debt was contracted are not for objects of domestic consumption or personal gratifi