A Terribly Written Effort to Impress New Readers
The combination of knowledge with labor, may be regarded as the only means of securing to the industrial classes their legitimate position in the ranks of civilization.
It is not sufficient that these classes should be acquainted with the details of the arts in which they are employed. They must advance a step further, and enlighten their minds with a knowledge of the science connected with their several pursuits; and they should, also, understand the relation which exists between the producers and the consumers of all the leading articles of human comfort.
Owing to the diversity and variety of human wants, a large portion of mankind must necessarily be employed in producing articles for the use and consumption of others; and hence arises the necessity of an exchange of products: the means of making these exchanges, so as to promote the interest of all classes, constitutes one of the great problems of political economy, and is alike interesting to both producer and consumer. The nearer these two classes can be brought together – other things being equal – the greater will be the advantage of each; for, it must be borne in mind that the labor and capital employed in these exchanges add nothing to the quantity or quality of the article, therefore if we analyze the subject, we shall discover that the merchant and the carrier derive all their support and profit from the labor of the producers; and hence it follows as an inevitable result, that the greater the distance and cost of making the exchanges, the greater will be the burthen imposed upon the producing classes. For, although the merchant and carrier are necessary agents, yet viewed abstractly, they may be considered as constituting a privileged (sic) class.
Impressed with the truth, as well as the importance of these propositions, the Editors of the Western Journal have entered upon its publication, with the design collecting and laying before the people of the Mississippi Valley, that class of facts and information which relate to the varied pursuits of the People. And, to enable them to do justice to the work which they have undertaken, the respectfully invite the agriculturist, the merchant, the manufacturer and the miner, to furnish the Journal with such facts and information as may be deemed useful and interesting to the public.
The Western Journal will contain an account of all valuable discoveries and improvements in agriculture, manufactures and the mechanic arts.
The leading and more important statistics of the agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, mining &c., of not only the Mississippi valley, but of the whole country, will be collected with care and fidelity, and laid before our readers in as concise and clear a form as their nature will admit.
It is our wish to collect at as early a period as practicable, a full and complete account of all the manufacturing establishments of whatsoever kind in the Mississippi valley; to the end, that we may be enabled to note the increase from year to year, so long as our Journal shall be continued.
Considering internal improvements as one of the great social agents of the age, we shall collect and publish such facts and information touching this subject as may be deemed useful to our readers.
Believing that our Republican form of government can only be sustained by the virtue and the intelligence of the people, we shall advocate the importance of establishing an efficient system of Education in the State of Missouri; one that shall secure sufficient instruction to every free white child within our limits, to enable it to read the Holy Scriptures and the Constitution of the State, and also, that each elector may be able to write his own ticket at the polls of an election. To enable us to better promote this important object, we shall be pleased to receive and publish the plans and suggestions of such patriotic individuals as may be willing to connect their names with this subject.
In the absence of more important and interesting matter, we shall endeavor to furnish our patrons with original essays upon the various subjects connected with the objects of our Journal; but we entertain a hope that the intelligence and public spirit of the people of the West will in due season relieve us from much of this labor by furnishing matter more interesting than our own productions.
We shall neither write nor publish any article which has reference merely to the politics of the State or general government; but in treating every subject which comes properly within the range of the objects proposed by this Journal, we shall seek for truth, and endeavor to establish it by the aid of reason, without reference to the private or political opinions of others. Unfortunately, political opinions have reference mainly to expedients, and change with the causes which give rise to them; - we aspire to an object more permanent – we aim to direct the mind of all classes to what we esteem their true interest, and to afford all the light in our power to direct them in its pursuit. We wish to see the almost boundless resources of this great valley developed, and to connect our humble names to its history.
(From the Western Journal, January, 1848).