Front Page Titles (by Subject) ESSAY No. IV. - The Principles of Free Trade
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ESSAY No. IV. - Condy Raguet, The Principles of Free Trade 
The Principles of Free Trade illustrated in a series of short and familiar Essays originally published in the Banner of the Constitution, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia, 1840).
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ESSAY No. IV.
january 13, 1830.
Ironical petition of oystermen and others, designed to shew the absurdity of laws restricting industry.
To the Honourable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:
The petition of the subscribers most respectfully represents, THAT your petitioners are inhabitants of the district of country which borders upon the river Delaware, and have been long engaged in the business of catching rock-fish and perch, in raking oysters, and in shooting wild ducks for the Philadelphia market—that in the pursuit of their respective occupations, your petitioners have set in motion a great quantity of American industry, such as that employed in fishing, and shooting, in boat-building, in navigating, and in selling fish and game in the market, and in transporting oysters in carts or wheelbarrows to the numerous oyster cellars of the city—that your petitioners are great admirers of the “American System,” inasmuch as it teaches the glorious truth, that home industry ought to be protected against foreign rivalship, and that it is unpatriotic for a people to send abroad for things which can be produced by themselves at home—that, holding these truths to be self evident, your petitioners have seen, with extreme regret, the completion of the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, which, owing to the superior abundance of fish, oysters, and wild ducks, on the waters of the Chesapeake, enables the fishermen, the oystermen, and the duck shooters, of Maryland, a foreign State, to undersell your petitioners in the home market—that this introduction of foreign fish, oysters and wild ducks, creates an unfavourable balance of trade against Philadelphia, by which a large amount of specie will be drained from her, which was not the case when your petitioners had the command of the home market, for they, in exchange for their fish, oysters and wild ducks, were in the habit of taking dry goods, groceries and liquors—that the notion entertained by many people, that it is good policy to buy cheap instead of dear, is one of the fallacies of the Free Trade System, and is very clearly so to your petitioners, who think that it would be manifestly for the benefit of the citizens of Philadelphia to buy their fish, oysters and wild ducks, at double price, rather than encourage the industry of foreigners, for it is humbly conceived that Maryland is as much a foreign state to Pennsylvania, as Great Britain is to the United States—that, in fine, your petitioners cannot pursue their several vocations without some Congressional aid:—
They therefore pray that your Honourable bodies, by virtue of that power granted by the Constitution, which authorizes any and every act which may be calculated to promote “the general welfare,” will impose a tax upon all fish, oysters and wild ducks, which may pass through the canal aforesaid, or entirely prohibit their importation into Philadelphia. And your petitioners, for thus putting money into their pockets, taken out of those of the consumers, will, as in duty bound, ever pray.