There never was a more ill-timed, injudicious and destructive measure proposed, (so far as northern interests are concerned,) than the Morrill tariff bill, now pending before Congress. It proposes to greatly increase the duties on all imported goods, and in many articles to carry up the increase to the prohibitory point. It also proposes at the same time to so change the present warehouse system of the custom houses, as to embarrass, obstruct, and nearly break up the facilities of trade now extended to the large importing cities of the North. The effect of this new policy, should it be carried through, would be to turn away a great part of the importing business from New York and Boston, and direct it to the Southern and gulf ports of the seceding States, which under the policy of the Southern Confederacy, now formed or forming, are to become free trade ports. The Convention of the seceders in session at Montgomery, Alabama, as will be seen by their proceedings, intend to abolish all duties on imports, and raise their revenue on an export duty of half a cent a pound on cotton. So that while Congress is raising the duties for the Northern ports, the Southern Convention is doing away with all import duties for the Southern ports. The proposed Congress tariff is the one above all others that the seceding States would like to see carried through; it would play directly into their hands. As business has heretofore gone on, the South, the West and the South-west, have been supplied with imported goods from New York and Boston, and with domestic goods from the New England workshops and factories. But if the Southern confederacy should succeed in making their ports free to foreign commerce, (and they could not have a greater inducement to success than the proposed prohibitory tariff of Congress,) they will draw away from the North much of the importing business, and with the cheap untaxed goods from England, Belgium, Germany and France, which they can import in foreign ships, they will not only supply their own wants, but by means of the railroads and the Mississippi, spread their imported goods over the South-western and Western country, to take the place of those which have hitherto been supplied by New York and Boston merchants, and by New England workshops and factories.

With the gates of the Southern and gulf ports wide open, and toll free, would Europe be slow to avail herself of the invited entry? England must have Southern cotton, or submit to a revolution at home—worse than secession with all its calamities to us.—France and Belgium, though not pressed so severely on that point as Great Britain, have controlling interests and influences in the same direction. And what, in this new state of things, would be the condition of the manufacturing interests of New England? What would the Congress tariff be worth to our workshops, with their home markets made foreign to us, and glutted with European goods? And what would become of the revenue under such a system? We should not get enough from it, with the internal smuggling, to pay the expenses of the Government. Direct taxation, falling heavily on the farming interests, would be the upshot of this insane policy.

And are we quite sure that secession is to go no further than its present limits? If the latest Lincoln policy of no compromise, no concession, no yielding a jot from the Chicago platform, is to be that of the incoming administration; and if even such men as Seward and Adams, are to be drummed out of the Republican camp, (according to the latest orders,) because they do not go far enough, or fast enough—the border States, if we give them no ground of compromise to stand upon, will unite their fortunes to those farther South. The most brainless abolitionists deny it; but Henry Ward Beecher, with his sagacious brain, seeing that result in the future, is preparing the public mind for it, by declaring that the North will not be damaged by it, if it does take place. Not damaged by it! And what would be the condition of thing[s] then? More than three fourths of the seafront of the Atlantic States—extending from the Chesapeake inclusive, to the furthest boundary of Texas, would be beyond the reach of our Congress tariff. Their ports would invite the free trade of the world! And what would the high tariff be worth to us then, with only a one-fourth fragment of our former sea coast left? It may be flippantly said, as it often is—we have a navy—blockade the coast of the seceding States. Easier said than done. We have not navy enough, and the greatest naval power of Europe has not navy enough to blockade three thousand miles of coast, as the law of nations require[s];—that is, with an adequate force kept along the line so as to prevent the entry and departure of trading craft, or other vessels. A paper blockade could not, and would not, be recognized by other nations. We went to war in 1812, against paper blockades as well [as] the impressment of seamen. “Free trade and sailor’s rights,” was the motto stamped upon our banner, and our gallant tars carried it triumphantly through. We cannot now ignore the principles for which we then fought, and the establishment of which, made us one of the great powers among nations.