Imatges de pÓgina

shore, &c., by which damage is done to the ship, should be considered a stranding; or that no striking against a rock, &c. should be considered as such, provided the ship be got off within a specified time. Perhaps a tide would be the most proper period that could be fixed.

The insurance companies exclude the words, “or the ship be stranded," from the me morandum. — (See INSURANCE, Marine.)

STURGEON FISHERY. The sturgeon is a large, valuable, and well-known fish, of which there are several species, viz. the sturgeon, properly so called, or Accipenser sturo ; the beluga, or Accipenser huso; the sevruga, or Accipenser stellatus, &c. The sturgeon annually ascends our rivers, but in no great number, and is taken by accident in the salmon nets. It is plentiful in the North American rivers, and on the southern shores of the Baltic; and is met with in the Mediterranean, &c. But it is found in the greatest abundance on the northern shores of the Caspian, and in the rivers Wolga and Ural; and there its fishery employs a great number of hands, and is an important object of national industry. Owing to the length and strictness of the Lents in the Greek Church, the consumption of fish in Russia is immense; and from its central position, and the facilities atforded for their conveyance by the Wolga, the products of the Caspian fishery, and those of its tributary streams, are easily distributed over a vast extent of country. Besides the pickled carcases of the fish, caviar is prepared from the roes; and isinglass, of the best quality, from the sounds. The caviar made by the Ural Cossacks is reckoned superior to any other; and both it and isinglass are exported in considerable quantities. The belugas are sometimes of a very large size, weighing from 1,000 to 1,500 lbs., and yield a good deal of oil. The seal fishery is also pretty extensively prosecuted in the Caspian. The reader will find a detailed account of the mode in which the fishery is carried on in the Caspian, and in the rivers Wolga and Ural, in Tooke's Russia, vol. iii. pp. 49-72. We subjoin the following official statement of the produce of the Russian fisheries of the Caspian and its tributary streams in 1828 and 1829:

[blocks in formation]

SUCCORY. See Chiccory.

SUGAR (Fr. Suere; Ger. Zucher; It. Zucchero; Russ. Sachar; Sp. Azucar; Arab. Sukhir ; Malay, Soola ; Sans. Sarkarā), a sweet granulated substance, too well known to require any particular description. It is every where in extensive use ; and in this country ranks rather among the indispensable necessaries of life, than among luxuries. In point of commercial importance, it is second to very few articles. It is chietly prepared from the expresse'l juice of the arundo saccharifera, or sugar cane; but it is also procured from an immense variety of other plants, as maple, beet-root, birch, parsnep, &c.

I. Species of Sugar. The sugar met with in commerce is usually of 4 sorts ; brown, or muscovado sugar; clayed sugar; refined, or loaf sugar; and sugar candy. The difference between one sort of sugar and another depends altogether on the different modes in which they are prepared.

1. Brown, or Muscovado Sugar. The plants or canes being crushed in a mill, the juice, having passed through a strainer, is collected in the clarifier, where it is first exposed to the action of a gentle fire, after being “tempered" (mixed with alkali), for the purpose of facilitating the separation of the liquor from its impurities. It is then conveyed into the large evaporating copper, and successively into two others, each of smaller size; the superintending boiler freeing it, during the process, from the scum and feculent matters which rise to the surface. The syrup then reaches the last copper vessel, called the “striking tache,” where it is boiled till sufficiently concentrated to be capable of granulating in the cooler, whence it is transferred with the least possible delay, to prevent charring. Here it soon ceases to be a liquid ; and when fully crystallised, is put into hogsheads (called “potting "), placed on their ends in the curinghouse, with several apertures in their bottoms, through which the molasses drain into a cistern below. In this state they remain till properly cured, when the casks are filled up, and prepared for shipment.

2. Clayed Sugar is prepared by taking the juice, as in the case of muscovado sugar, when boiled to a proper consistency, and pouring it into conical pots with the apex downwards. These pots have a hole at the lower extremity, through which the molasses or syrup is allowed to drain. After this drain has continued for some time, a stratum

of moistened clay is spread over the surface of the pots; the moisture of which, percolating through the mass, is found to contribute powerfully to its purification,

3. Refined Sugar may be prepared from inuscovado or clayed sugar, by redissolving the sugar in water, and, after boiling it with some purifying substances, pouring it, as before, into conical pots, which are again covered with moistened clay. A repetition of this process produces double refined sugar. But a variety of improved processes are now resorted to.

4. Sugar Candly. Solutions of brown or clayed sugar, boiled till they become thick, and then removed into a hot room, form, upon sticks or strings put into the vessels for that purpose, into crystals, or candy.

II. Historical Notice of Sugar. - The history of sugar is involved in a good deal of obscurity. It was very imperfectly known by the Greeks and Romans. Theophrastus, who lived about 320 years before the Christian æra, the first writer whose works have come down to us by whom it is mentioned, calls it a sort of " honey extracted froin canes or reeds." Strabo states, on the authority of Nearchus, Alexander's admiral, that “ reeds in India yield honey without bees." And Seneca, who was put to death a. c. 65, alludes to sugar in a way which shows how little was then known respecting it (Epist. 84.): - Aiunt, says he, inveniri apud Indos mel in arundinum folis, quod aut ros illius cæli, aut ipsius arundinis humor dulcis et pinguior gignat.

Of the ancients, Dioscorides and Pliny have given the most precise description of sugar. The former says, it is “a sort of concreted honey, found upon canes, in India and Arabia Felix ; it is in consistence like salt, and is, like it, brittle between the teeth.” And Pliny describes it as “ honey collected from canes, like a gum, white and britele between the teeth ; the largest is of the size of a hazel nut: it is used in medicine only." -( Saccharum et Arabia fert, sed laudatius India ; est autem mel in arundinibus collectum, gummium modo candidum, dentibus fragile, amplissimum nucis avellana magnitudine, ad medicinæ tantum usum. - Lib. xii. c. 8.)

It is evident, from these statements, that the knowledge of the Grecks and Romans with respect to the mode of obtaining sugar was singularly imperfect. They appear to have thought that it was found adhering to the cane, or that it issued from it in the state of juice, and then concreted like gum. Indeed, Lucan expressly alludes to Indians near the Ganges,

Quique bibunt tenerá dulces ab arundine succos. - -(Lib. iii. 1. 237.) But these statements are evidently without foundation. Sugar cannot be obtained from the cane without the aid of art. It is never found native. Instead of flowing from the plant, it must be forcibly expressed, and then subjected to a variety of pro(ses. It is not, however, quite so clear as has been generally supposed that the Romans were wholly unacquainted with the mode of procuring sugar. The remarkable line of Statius

Et quas percoguit Ebusia cannas -- (Sylv. lib. i. v. 15.) has been conjectured, apparently on good pretty grounds, to refer to the boiling of the juice of the cane. But the passage has been differently read, and is too enigmatical to be much depended on.

Dr. Moseley conjectures, apparently with much probability, that the sugar described by Pliny and Dioscorides, as being made use of at Rome, was sugar candy obtained from China. This, indeed, is the only sort of sugar to which their description will at all apply. And it would seem that the mode of preparing sugar candy has been understood and practised in China from a very remote antiquity; and that large quantities of it have been in all ages exported to India, whence, it is most probable, small quantities found their way to Rome. - ( Treatise on Sugar, 2d edit. pp. 66—71. This, as well as Dr. Moseley's Treatise on Coffee, is a very learned and able work.)

Europe seems to be indebted to the Saracens not only for the first considerable supplies of sugar, but for the earliest example of its manufacture. Hlaving, in the course of the 9th century, conquered Rhodes, Cyprus, Sicily, and Crete, they introduced into them the sugar cane, with the cultivation and preparation of which they were familiar. It is mentioned by the Venetian historians, that their countrymen imported, in the 12th century, sugar from Sicily at a cheaper rate than they could import it from Egypt. -- (Essai de l'Histoire du Commerce de Venise, p. 100.) The crusades tended to spread a taste for sugar throughout the Western world ; but there can be no doubt that it was cultivated, as now stated, in modern Europe, antecedently to the æra of the crusades; and that it was also previously imported by the Venetians, Amalphitans, and others, who carried on a commercial intercourse, from a very remote epochi, with Alexandria and other cities in the Levant. It was certainly inported into Venice in 996. -(See the Essai, fc. p. 70.)

The art of refining sugar, and making what is called loaf sugar, is saiił, by Dr. Moseley, to be a modern European invention, the discovery of a Venetian about the

end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century. --( Moseley, p. 66.) But this is doubtful, for Le Grand D'Aussy has shown that white or, as he calls it, refined sugar (sucre blanc ou raffiné) had been introduced into and used in France for more than a century and a half previously to the date assigned for the discovery of the process of refining in Venice. * - (Vie Privée des François, ii. 198. ed. 1815.) This sugar was imported from Egypt principally by Italians; and the probability is, that the latter were the first Europeans who practised the art, which, however, would appear to bave originated in the East.

The cane had, as already seen, been introduced into Sicily, and its culture practised, previously to the middle of the 12th century. It also was carried to Spain and cultivated by the Saracens soon after they obtained a footing in that country. The first plantations were at Valencia; but they were afterwards extended to Granada and Murcia. Mr. Thomas Willoughby, who travelled over great part of Spain in 1664, has given an interesting account of the state of the Spanish sugar plantations, and of the mode of manufacturing the sugar.

Plants of the sugar cane were carried by the Spaniards and Portuguese to the Canary Islands and Madeira, in the early part of the 15th century; and it has been asserted by many, that these islands furnished the first plants of the sugar cane that ever grew in America.

But though it is sufficiently established, that the Spaniards early conveyed plants of the sugar cane to the New World, there can be no doubt, notwithstanding Humboldt seems to incline to the opposite opinion (Essai Politique sur la Nouvelle Espagne, liv. iv. c. 10.), that this was a work of supererogation, and that the cane was indigenous both to the American continent and islands. It was not for the plant itself, which flourished spontaneously in many parts when it was discovered by Columbus, but for the art of making sugar from it, that the New World is indebted to the Spaniards and Portuguese : and these to the nations of the East. -(See Lafituu, Mæurs des Sauvages, tome ii. p. 150.; Edwards's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 238.)

Barbadoes is the oldest settlement of the English in the West Indies. We took possession of it in 1627; and so early as 1646 began to export sugar thence to England. The trade of Barbadoes attained its maximum in 1676, furnishing, it is said, employment, at that period, for 400 sail of vessels, averaging 150 tons burden: but this statement is most probably exaggerated.

Jamaica was discovered by Columbus, in his second voyage, and was first occupied by the Spaniards. It was wrested from them by an expedition sent against it by Cromwell in 1656 ; and has since continued in our possession, forming by far the most valuable of our West Indian colonies. At the time when it was conquered, there were only 3 small sugar plantations upon it. But, in consequence of the influx of English settlers from Barbadoes and the mother country, fresh plantations were speedily formed, and continued rapidly to increase.

The sugar cane is said to have been first cultivated in St. Domingo, or Hayti, in 1506. It succeeded better there than in any other of the West Indian Islands. Peter Martyr, in a work published in 1530, states that, in 1518, there were 28 sugar-works in St. Domingo established by the Spaniards. “ It is marvellous," says he, “ to consider how all things increase and prosper in the island. There are now 28 sugar presses, wherewith great plenty of sugar is made. The canes or reeds wherein the sugar groweth are bigger and higher than in any other place; and are as big as a man's wrist, and higher than tne stature of a man by the half. This is more wonderful, that whereas in Valencia, in Spain, where a great quantity of sugar is made yearly, whensoever they apply themselves to the great increase thereof, yet doth every root bring forth not past 5 or 6, or at most 7 of these reeds; whereas in St. Domingo 1 root beareth 20, and oftentimes 30."---(Eng. trans. p. 172.)

Sugar from St. Domingo formed, for a lengthened period, the principal part of the European supplies. Previously to its devastation, in 1790, no fewer than 65,000 tons of sugar were exported from the French portion of the island.

III. Sources whence the supply of Sugar is derived. -- The West Indies, Java, Brazil, Bengal, Maurritius, Siam, the Isle de Bourbon, and the Philippines, are the principal sources whence the supplies required for the European and American markets are derived. The quantities exported from tbesc countries, exclusive of molasses, may be estimated as follows:British Colonies. - West Indies (1850)

- 135.000 British India (1846-47)






[ocr errors]

But white sugar is not necessarily, as Le Grand D'Aussy seems to suppose, retined; it may be merily clayed, like Havannah sugier, which is as white as refined sugar.

† This includes the exports, not vierely to the U. Kingdom, but to all countries.

Tons. Tons.

200,000 Spanish Colonies. - Cuba Porto Rico

54,000 Philippines (1850)


280,000 Dutch Colonics. - Java (1845)

(1,465,433 14 pic.)

*8.365 Guiana

15 000

103,365 French Colonies. - Martinique Guadaloupe (1850)

60,000 Danish and Swedish Colonies. - St. Thomas

12,000 St. Cruz, &c. Brazil

100.000 China, Siam, and all other parts

25,000 Total

810,365 Loaf or lump sugar is unknown in the East, sugar candy being the only species of refined sugar that is made use of in India, China, &c. The manufacture of sugar candy is carried on in Hindostan, but the process is extremely rude and imperfect. In China, however, it is manufactured in a very superior manner, anu large quantities are exported. When of the best description, it is in large white crystals, and is a very beautiful article. Two sorts of sugar candy are met with at Canton, viz. Chinchew and Canton; the former being the produce of the province of Fokien, and the latter, as its name implio , of that of Canton. The Chinchew is by far the best, and is about 50 per cent, dearer than the other. Chinese sugar candy is extensively consumed by Europeans at the different settlements throughout the East. The exports of sugar candy from Canton in 1846 for British India and Australia amounted to 38,584 piculs, or 2, 296 tons. Within the last 4 or 5 years raw sugar has begin to be rather largely exported from China to England, the shipments for the latter in 1846 having amounted to 18,520 tons. But the speculation did not turn out well; and it is doubtful whether the sugar of China will be able to withstand the competition of that of Brazil and Cuba.

Consumption of Tropical Sujar. -- It is exceedingly difficult, or rather we should say quite impossible, to get any correct information with respect to the consumption of sugar in most countries. In as far, however, as regards this country, the subjoined tables furnish ample information. It appears from them that at an average of the 3 years ending with 1844, the consumption of sugar in the U. Kingdom amounted to about 200,000 tons a year, exclusive of about 10,000 tons of bastard or inferior sugar, obtained from boiling molasses. In the course of the ensuing year, Sir Robert Peel reduced the duties on British colonial muscovado sugars from 258. 27d. to 148. à cwt., a considerable reduction being made, at the same time, in the duty on foreign sugar the produce of free labour. In consequence of this reduction the entries of sugar for home consumption increased from 206,472 tons in 1844 to 242,830 tons in 1845, exclusive in both years of molasses equivalent to about 15,000 tons. In 1846 farther changes were made in the duties by the admission of foreign slave grown sugar at a reasonable rate ; and in 1847 the consumption (including that used in breweries and distilleries) amounted to 290,281 tons; to which may be added 20,000 tons as the equivalent of molasses.

The statements given by Schnitzler ( Statistique de la France, i. 296.) show that at an average of 1840 and 1841 the consumption of colonial and foreign sugars amounted in France to 73,139,000 kilog., or 71,425 tons, a year; and adding to this quantity the produce of the beet-root plantations for these years, amounting to about 30,000,000 kilog., the whole consumption would be about 103,000,000 kilog., exclusive of the quantity surreptitiously introduced. But the home supply of sngar has increased in the interval: and it farther appears from the official accounts, published by the French customs, that, in 1850, 75,029,900 kilog., or 83,739 tons, of colonial and foreign sugar were entered for consumption.

The Low Countries, Germany, and Austria are supplied through Holland, the Hanse Towns, the ports on the south shore of the Baltic, and Trieste. Most part of the pro. duce of the Dutch colonies is imported into Holland, and considerable quantities are also imported from other countries; so that, on the whole, the imports into the Dutch ports may be fairly estimated at from 95,000 to 105,000 tons a year. The imports into Hamburg and Bremen amount, at an average, to about 40,000 tons a year; and those into Antwerp to above 13,000 tons. There is also a considerable importation of sugar into Stettin and other Baltic ports belonging to Germany and Prussia. The imports at Trieste amounted, at an average of the 3 years ending with 1846, to 32,016 tons a year; and, allowing for the quantities introduced through Venice and other channels, perhaps we shall not be far wrong in estimating the imports for consumption by the Austrian ports on the Adriatic at about 35,000 tons.

The consumption of sugar in Spain has been estimated by Montveran (Statistique des Colonies, p. 92.) at 41,050 tons. But, despite the considerable consumption of cocoa in Spain, and the moderation of the duties on sugar, we have little or no doubt that this estimate is considerably beyond the mark. Probably, were the consumption stated at 36,000 tons, it would be quite as much as it amounts to. On the like grounds we may, perhaps, estimate the consumption of Portugal at about 10,000 tons.

Duty is paid in Russia on about 34,000 tons of raw sugar, exclusive of what is clandestinely iinported, and exclusive, also, of the clandestine imports of refined sugar.

During the year ending the 30th June, 1845, the U. States imported (principally

The crop, ,

from Cuba and Porto Rico) 115,664,840 lbs., of which 13,799,651 lbs. were re-exported, leaving 101,865,189 lbs., or nearly 45,500 tons, for the consumption of the Union. But in addition to these imports of foreign sugar, which during the above year were below the average, the U. States draw the principal portion of their supply from the plantations in Louisiana, the produce of which has increased very rapidly of late years. In 1845 it amounted to 186,650 hhds. of 10 cwt. each, or to 93,325 tons. however, fluctuates very greatly in different years, and may, perhaps, be estimated at about 80,000 tons at an average. The exports of this sugar are inconsiderable: the whole shipments of native raw and refined sugar from the Union during the year ended the 30th of June, 1845, having amounted to only 2,193,997 lbs., or about 980 tons. ( Papers published by Congress, 8th December, 1845, p. 28. and 32.) The States further derive a supply of 10,000 or 12,000 tons of sugar froin the maple.

On the whole, therefore, we shall not perhaps be far wrong in estimating the consumption of exported colonial and tropical sugar as follows: The U. Kingdom (1850, inclusive of distilleries, &c.) The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Prussia, Austria, Hungary, and Austrian Italy, per Dutch ports, deducting re-exports to Russia and other countries

Hanse Towns

Rostock, Stettin, Königsberg, and other ports on the Baltic, excluding the im.
ports from Holland and the Hanse Towns

8,000 Trieste, Venice, Fiume, &c.

35,000 Spain

36,000 Portugal


38,100 Denmark and Sweden

12,00 Italy, Sicily, Malta, Turkey, Greece, and the Levant generally Canada, Australia, Cape of Good Hope, &c.

35.NO 796,000


Tons. 310100 84,000


75.000 - 40,000



50.000 50.000

Now, supposing these statements to be reasonably correct, it would appear that the aggregate supply of sugar exceeds the demand by about 44,000 tons, so that the fair presumption is, that the giving of full permission to employ sugar in our distilleries and breweries will bave no lasting influence over its price. It is, no doubt, true that the demand for sugar is rapidly increasing in this and most viher countries; but, as the power to increase its supply (so long, at least, as Cuba, Brazil, and Louisiana are supplied with slave labour) is all but illimitable, no permanent rise of prices can at present be anticipated.

Taking the price of tropical sugar at the rate of 1l. 2s. a cwt. or 221. a ton, the prime cost of the article to the people of Europe and the U. States will be 17,512,0001. sterling; to which adding 50 per cent. for duty, its total cost will be 26,268,0001.! This is sufficient to prove the paramount importance of the trade in this article. Exclusive, however, of sugar, the other products of the cane, as rum, molasses, treacle, &c., are of very great value. The revenue derived by the British treasury from rum only, amounted, in 1847, to 1,316,1401. nett, but it has sometimes been much greater.

Progressive Consumption of Sugar in Great Britain. We are not aware that there are any authentic accounts with respect to the precise period when sugar first began to be used in England. It was, however, imported in small quantities by the Venetians and Genoese in the 14th and 15th centuries *: but honey was then, and long after, the principal ingredient employed in sweetening liquors and dishes. Even in the early part of the 17th century, the quantity of sugar imported was very inconsiderable; and it was made use of only in the houses of the rich and great. It was not till the latter part of the century, when coffee and tea began to be introduced, that sugar came into general demand. In 1700, the quantity consumed in Great Britain was about 10,000 tons, or 22,400,000 lbs.; and in 1844 the consumption amounted (bastards excluded) to above 180,000 tons, or more than 400,000,000 lbs.; so that sugar forms not only one of the principal articles of importation and sources of revenue, but an important necessary of life.

Great, however, as the increase in the use of sugar has certainly been, it may, we think, be fairly presumed that the demand for it is still a good deal below its natural limit; and now that the duties have been reduced, and the trade placed on a proper footing, we confidently anticipate that the consumption of sugar, and, also, the revenue derived from it, will be largely increased.

During the first half of last century, the consumption of sugar increased five-fold. It amounted, as already stated

* In Marin's Storia del Commercio de l'iniziani (vol. v, p. 36), there is an account of a shipment me at Venice for England in 1319, of 100,000 lbs. sugal, and 10,000 105. rugar caudy. The sugar is dat to have been brought from the Levant.


« AnteriorContinua »