Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cost (and opportunites) of the War

Here are two articles the Covington Journal reprinted on January 4, 1862, the first right above the other, with each discussing aspects of the economic impact of the war.

Every man and woman will shortly begin to feel sensibly the cost of war. The law which Congress has just enacted and which the President has signed puts a duty of twenty cents per pound on tea, five cents per pound on coffee, two and a half cents per pound on raw and eight cents per pound on refined sugar and six cents per pound on molasses. These taxes will so materially increase the expenses of living that thousands of people will be compelled to deprive themselves of articles which they have hitherto esteemed necessaries of life. This they would cheerfully do in the holy cause of serving the Union if they could feel assured that all their sacrifices were subserving that cause, and that no part of them were for the benefit of those infamous men every where found seeking opportunities to speculate in the misfortunes of their country, and if, too, they could feel assured that teh very fountain of this infamy was not in the President's Cabinet. [Chicago Times]

Yesterday a quantity of goods belonging to secessionists, the result of several seizures at the Railroad depot, was sold in the store adjoining the Herald counting room. Among the articles were 10,000 sewing machine needles that sold from $8 to $22 per package (worth $50 per package in New York,) and 200,000 sewing needles, which went at sixty cents a thousand (worth $1 per thousand in New York.) Some clothing and trunks also were sold, mostly bringing fair rates. 

A lot of clothing will be sold at the same place this afternoon, affording a good chance for bargains - Cleveland Herald

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