Bon Harbor, December 22, 1848.
Gentlemen. In the absence of Mr. Barrett, who is in Europe, I venture to answer, individually, the note which you addressed to us jointly.
Presuming your object in asking an account of Bon Harbor, is, to carry out, so far, your plan for developing the resources of the west, I venture to take a more general view, at first, than you invite because much of this view I would have to take, even in giving the answer required and, as what is applicable to Bon Harbor, is, to a great extent, also applicable to the other coal mines on the lower Ohio and upper Mississippi, I prefer to treat, generally, of what relates to the coal region, and also to the general interests of the west.
The present condition of Europe, causes capitalists to feel very uneasy in regard to their investments there. They are looking with anxiety to our country, with a view to a transfer; but few of them understand the genius of our government, and its practical operations, well enough to be satisfied that it has yet been sufficiently tested to determine that it will stand. As this is a primary consideration with thern^ it is all important they should be satisfied on that head.
I venture, therefore, in advance of my answer to your letter, to offer an essay on the stability of our government, showing that its construction, and genius, tend to its strengthening with age, and that no where do such strong inducements exist for the investment of capital, as in the Mississippi valley, and more especially at the coal mines on the lower Ohio, and upper Mississippi, which must, inevitably, become the great manufacturing region of America, because of the greater cheapness of living cheapness of fuel proximity to raw material and being in the midst of the best home market.
Finally, I venture to show that a great western Lowell must spring up on the banks of the lower Ohio, and present the claims of Bon Harbor to be considered that point, or one of them, for there will probably be many.
Being much pressed by other calls, I may probably have been too much hurried to do this subject justice.