Territory of Michigan.
The Commerce of this country, like all others, has kept pace with the facilities of trade and inducements to enterprize.
From the time that this country was ceded to the United States, in 1794, to the commencement of the late war with Great Britain, its commerce was quite inconsiderable, being confined to the fur trade and the supplying of a small garrison at Detroit. Since the peace of 1815 it has been fast increasing. The events of the war called the public attention to this region, and it was found to possess as great facilities for the enjoyment of an inland commerce as any section of the United Sates. The establishment of several military posts, the extension of the fur trade and the increasing emigration, are the principal causes of the prosperity of trade.
A profitable commerce is now carried on from this Territory to all the countries bordering on the lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan, which is almost entirely monopolized by enterprising adventurers from the eastern States.
Merchants supply themselves with European goods, mostly from the City of New York, which are transported by water from Buffalo; but the mercantile interest is much impaired, and the revenue of the United States defrauded, by illicit trade which is constantly carried on with the neighboring Province of Upper Canada.
The annual importations for the fur trade may be estimated at $150,000. The Exports including furs and peltries, are much greater.
The coasting trade carried on with the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New-York, consists of Domestic produce, viz: Salt, Pork, Beef, Flour, Corn, Butter, Cheese, Lard, Whiskey, &c. which are trafficked for cider, Apples, Fish &c. and purchased by the government for the consumption of the troops. Large quantities of furs are also annually transported to Buffalo for the Albany and New-York markets.
The Territory is divided into two collection Districts, those of Detroit and Michilimackinac; to each of which districts there is a port of entry of the same name. The coasting trade is principally connected with the district of Detroit; at which there were entered, during the year 1818, 3501 bbls. Flour--2,843 do. Salt--1,948 do. Whiskey--888 do. Pork--295 do. Fish--693 firkins Butter--5,062 bush. Corn--1,042 head Beef Cattle--1,435 Fat Hogs.
There were also cleared from this same port during the same year, bound principally to the military stations upon the lakes Huron and Michigan.--2,024 bbls. Flour--2,232 do. Salt--753 do. Cider--1,478 do. Fish--104 do. Pork--394 do. Beef--453 do. Whiskey--253 firkins Butter--1,280 bush. Corn.
The Shipping owned by the citizens of this Territory is about 600 tons. The vessels are all of the smaller size, being from 10 to 50 tons burthen.
The commercial advantages of this Territory are obvious from its situation in relation to the surrounding lakes, and the rising importance of this and the more interior countries.
The healthy and navigable character of its water--the encouragements to enterprize--and the increasing population, induce the belief that this will some become an important commercial section of the union.