1823: Support Your Mechanics

A practice is very prevalent, in many towns, of neglecting too much the Mechanics of the place. Next to the farmers they are the most useful class of citizens, and yet a disposition is often felt to avoid employing them, if possible, and to withhold from them such encouragement as would enable them to be as useful as they might be, and as they ought to be. If a coat or other garment is to be made, if a pair of boots, or a saddle, bridle, or other article is to be procured, which a Mechanic in the place ought to make or furnish, it is no unusual thing to employ a mechanic at a distance, to perform the work, or to procure the article in some way which may be nominally less expensive, which in reality, considering the quality of the article, is considerably ore so than it would be if a mechanic of the place had been called upon to manufacture it.

The practice if productive of various evils. It sends from a place the money which should keep in circulation at home; it introduces a silly dependence upon the fashions of other places, or leads to the use of inferior articles, and a corresponding increase of expense; and by withholding such encouragement to mechanics, of different kinds, and of proper qualifications, as they ought to receive, there is not a sufficient number induced to settle in a place to do its necessary mending, and consequently articles are frequently thrown away as useless, where a very small sum expended upon them would render them as serviceable as those that are new.

From the Middlesex Gazette (Middletown, Connecticut), Thursday, November 6, 1823.

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