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Title: Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments
       Comprising the Writings of Hammond, Harper, Christy,
              Stringfellow, Hodge, Bledsoe, and Cartrwright on This
              Important Subject

Author: Various

Editor: E. N. Elliott

Release Date: February 20, 2009 [EBook #28148]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Cori Samuel, Jon Ingram, the Online Distributed
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Transcriber's Note:

Spelling and punctuation anomalies were retained, such as "Masachusettes" and "philanthrophy" on page 40. The table of contents can be found at the end of this book.

Greek words that may not display correctly in all browsers are transliterated in the text using popups like this: βιβλος. Position your mouse over the line to see the transliteration. For the most accurate view of the original Greek, please see the page image.
















E. N. Elliot



There is now but one great question dividing the American people, and that, to the great danger of the stability of our government, the concord and harmony of our citizens, and the perpetuation of our liberties, divides us by a geographical line. Hence estrangement, alienation, enmity, have arisen between the North and the South, and those who, from "the times that tried men's souls," have stood shoulder to shoulder in asserting their rights against the world; who, as a band of brothers, had combined to build up this fair fabric of human liberty, are now almost in the act of turning their fratricidal arms against each other's bosoms. All other parties that have existed in our country, were segregated on questions of policy affecting the whole nation and each individual composing it alike; they pervaded every section of the Union, and the acerbity of political strife was softened by the ties of blood, friendship, and neighborhood association. Moreover, these parties were constantly changing, on account of the influence mutually exerted by the members of each; the Federalist of yesterday becomes the Republican of to-day, and Whigs and Democrats change their party allegiance with every change of leaders. If the republicans mismanaged the government, they suffered the consequences alike with the federalists; if the democrats plunged our country into difficulties, they had to abide the penalty as well as the whigs. All parties alike had to suffer the evils, or enjoy the advantages of bad or good government. But it has been reserved to our own times to witness the rise, growth, and prevalence of a party confined exclusively to one section of the Union, whose fundamental principle is opposition to the rights[iv] and interests of the other section; and this, too, when those rights are most sacredly guaranteed, and those interests protected, by that compact under which we became a united nation. In a free government like ours, the eclecticism of parties—by which we mean the affinity by which the members of a party unite on questions of national policy, by which all sections of the country are alike affected—has always been considered as highly conducive to the purity and integrity of the government, and one of the causes most promotive of its perpetuity. Such has been the case, not only in our own country, but also in England, from whom we have mainly derived our ideas of civil and religious liberty, and even, to some extent, our form of government. But there, the case of oppressed and down-trodden Ireland, bears witness to the baneful effects of geographical partizan government and legislation.

In our own country this same spirit, which had its origin in the Missouri contest, is now beginning to produce its legitimate fruits: witness the growing distrust with which the people of the North and the South begin to regard each other; the diminution of Southern travel, either for business or pleasure, in the Northern States; the efforts of each section to develop its own resources, so as virtually to render it independent of the other; the enactment of "unfriendly legislation," in several of the States, towards other States of the Union, or their citizens; the contest for the exclusive possession of the territories, the common property of the States; the anarchy and bloodshed in Kansas; the exasperation of parties throughout the Union; the attempt to nullify, by popular clamor, the decision of the supreme tribunal of our country; the existence of the "underground railroad," and of a party in the North organized for the express purpose of robbing the citizens of the Southern States of their property; the almost daily occurrence of fugitive slave mobs; the total insecurity of slave property in the border States;[v][1] the attempt to circulate incendiary documents among the slaves in the Southern States, and the flooding of the whole country with the most false and malicious misrepresentations of the state of society in the slave States; the attempt to produce division among us, and to array one portion of our citizens in deadly hostility to the other; and finally, the recent attempt to excite, at Harper's Ferry, and throughout the South, an insurrection, and a civil and servile war, with all its attendant horrors.

All these facts go to prove that there is a great wrong somewhere, and that a part, or the whole, of the American people are demented, and hurrying down to swift destruction. To ascertain where this great wrong and evil lies, to point out the remedy, to disabuse the public mind of all erroneous impressions or prejudices, to combat all false doctrines on this subject, and to establish the truth, shall be the aim of the following pages. In preparing them we have consulted the works of most of the writers on both sides of this question, as well as the statistics and history tending to throw light upon the subject. To this we would invite the candid and dispassionate attention of every patriot and philanthropist. To all such we would say, in the language of the Roman bard,

"Si quid novisti vectius istis,
Candidus imperti; si non,
His utere mecum."

In the following pages, the words slave and slavery are not used in the sense commonly understood by the abolitionists. With them these terms are contradistinguished from servants and servitude. According to their definition, a slave is merely a "chattel" in a human form; a thing to be bought and sold, and treated worse than a brute; a being without rights, privileges, or duties. Now, if this is a correct definition of the word, we totally object to the term, and deny that we have any such institution as slavery among us. We recognize among us no class, which, as the abolitionists falsely assert, that the Supreme Court decided "had no rights which a white man was[vi] bound to respect." The words slave and servant are perfectly synonymous, and differ only in being derived from different languages; the one from Sclavonic, the other from the Latin, just as feminine and womanly are respectively of Latin and Saxon origin. The Saxon synonym thrall has become obsolete in our language, but some of its derivations, as thralldom, are still in use. In Greek the same idea was expressed by doulos, and in Hebrew by ebed. The one idea of servitude, or of obedience to the will of another, is accurately expressed by all these terms. He who wishes to see this topic thoroughly examined, may consult "Fletcher's Studies on Slavery."

The word slavery is used in the following discussions, to express the condition of the African race in our Southern States, as also in other parts of the world, and in other times. This word, as defined by most writers, does not truly express the relation which the African race in our country, now bears to the white race. In some parts of the world, the relation has essentially changed, while the word to express it has remained the same. In most countries of the world, especially in former times, the persons of the slaves were the absolute property of the master, and might be used or abused, as caprice or passion might dictate. Under the Jewish law, a slave might be beaten to death by his master, and yet the master go entirely unpunished, unless the slave died outright under his hand. Under the Roman law, slaves had no rights whatever, and were scarcely recognized as human beings; indeed, they were sometimes drowned in fish-ponds, to feed the eels. Such is not the labor system among us. As an example of faulty definition, we will adduce that of Paley: "Slavery," says he, "is an obligation to labor for the benefit of the master, without the contract or consent of the servant." Waiving, for the present, the accuracy of this definition, as far as it goes, we would remark that it is only half of the definition; the only idea here conveyed is that of compulsory and unrequited labor. Such is not our labor-system. Though we prefer the term slave, yet if this be its true definition, we must protest against its being applied to our[vii] system of African servitude, and insist that some other term shall be used. The true definition of the term, as applicable to the domestic institution in the Southern States, is as follows: Slavery is the duty and obligation of the slave to labor for the mutual benefit of both master and slave, under a warrant to the slave of protection, and a comfortable subsistence, under all circumstances. The person of the slave is not property, no matter what the fictions of the law may say; but the right to his labor is property, and may be transferred like any other property, or as the right to the services of a minor or an apprentice may be transferred. Nor is the labor of the slave solely for the benefit of the master, but for the benefit of all concerned; for himself, to repay the advances made for his support in childhood, for present subsistence, and for guardianship and protection, and to accumulate a fund for sickness, disability, and old age. The master, as the head of the system, has a right to the obedience and labor of the slave, but the slave has also his mutual rights in the master; the right of protection, the right of counsel and guidance, the right of subsistence, the right of care and attention in sickness and old age. He has also a right in his master as the sole arbiter in all his wrongs and difficulties, and as a merciful judge and dispenser of law to award the penalty of his misdeeds. Such is American slavery, or as Mr. Henry Hughes happily terms it, "Warranteeism."

In order that the subject of American slavery may be thoroughly discussed, we have availed ourselves of the labors of several of the ablest writers in the Union. These have been taken, not from one section only, but from both sections of our country. It is true, most of them are citizens of the Southern States, and for this there is a good and obvious reason; no one can correctly discuss this subject, or any other, who is practically unacquainted with it. This was the error of the French nation, when they undertook to legislate the African savages of St. Domingo into free citizens of the model republic; of the English nation when they undertook to interfere[viii] in the internal affairs of their colonies; and thus must it always be, when men undertake to think or write, or act, in reference to any subject, of whose fundamental truths, they are profoundly ignorant. It is true, that in every part of the civilized world there are noble minds, rising superior to the prejudices of education, and the influence of the society in which they are placed, and defending the truth for its own sake; to all such we render their due homage.

It is objected to the defenders of American slavery, that they have changed their ground; that from being apologists for it as an inevitable evil, they have become its defenders as a social and political good, morally right, and sanctioned by the Bible and by God himself. This charge is unjust, as by reference to a few historical facts will abundantly appear. The present slave States had little or no agency in the first introduction of Africans into this country; this was achieved by the Northern commercial States and by Great Britain. Wherever the climate suited the negro constitution, slavery was profitable and flourished; where the climate was unsuitable, slavery was unprofitable, and died out. Most of the slaves in the Northern States were sent southward to a more congenial clime. Upon the introduction into Congress of the first abolition discussions, by John Quincy Adams, and Joshua Giddings, Southern men altogether refused to engage in the debate, or even to receive petitions on the subject. They averred that no good could grow out of it, but only unmitigated evil.

The agitation of the abolition question had commenced in France during the horrors of her first revolution, under the auspices of the Red Republicans; it had pervaded England until it achieved the ruin of her West India colonies, and by anti-slavery missionaries it had been introduced into our Northern States. During all this agitation the Southern States had been quietly minding their own business, regardless of all the turmoil abroad. They had never investigated the subject theoretically, but they were well acquainted with all its practical workings. They had received from Africa a few hundred[ix] thousand pagan savages, and had developed them into millions of civilized Christians, happy in themselves, and useful to the world. They had never made the inquiry whether the system were fundamentally wrong, but they judged it by its fruits, which were beneficent to all. When therefore they were charged with upholding a moral, social, and political evil; and its immediate abolition was demanded, as a matter not only of policy, but also of justice and right, their reply was, we have never investigated the subject. Our fathers left it to us as a legacy, we have grown up with it; it has grown with our growth, and strengthened with our strength, until it is now incorporated with every fibre of our social and political existence. What you say concerning its evils may be true or false, but we clearly see that your remedy involves a vastly greater evil, to the slave, to the master, to our common country, and to the world. We understand the nature of the negro race; and in the relation in which the providence of God has placed them to us, they are happy and useful members of society, and are fast rising in the scale of intelligence and civilization, and the time may come when they will be capable of enjoying the blessings of freedom and self-government. We are instructing them in the principles of our common Christianity, and in many instances have already taught them to read the word of life. But we know that the time has not yet come; that this liberty which is a blessing to us, would be a curse to them. Besides, to us and to you, such a violent disruption would be most disastrous, it would topple to its foundations the whole social and political edifice. Moreover, we have had warning on this subject. God, in his providence, has permitted the emancipation of the African race in a few of the islands contiguous to our shores, and far from being elevated thereby to the condition of Christian freemen, they have rapidly retrograded to the state of pagan savages. The value of property in those islands has rapidly depreciated, their production has vastly diminished, and their commerce and usefulness to the world is destroyed. We wish not to subject either ourselves or our dependents to such a fate. God has[x] placed them in our hands, and he holds us responsible for our course of policy towards them.

This courteous, common-sense, and practical reply, far from closing the mouths of the agitators, only encouraged them to redouble their exertions, and to imbitter the epithets which they hurled at the slave-holders. They exhausted the vocabulary of billingsgate in denouncing those guilty of this most henious of all sins, and charged them in plain terms, with being afraid to investigate or to discuss the subject. Thus goaded into it, many commenced the investigation. Then for the first time did the Southern people take a position on this subject. It is due to a citizen of this State, the Rev. J. Smylie, to say that he was the first to promulgate the truth, as deduced from the Bible, on the subject of slavery. He was followed by a host of others, who discussed it not only in the light of revelation and morals, but as consistent with the Federal Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; until many of those who had commenced their career of abolition agitation by reasoning from the Bible and the Constitution, were compelled to acknowledge that they both were hopelessly pro-slavery, and to cry: "give us an anti-slavery constitution, an anti-slavery Bible, and an anti-slavery God." To such straits are men reduced by fanaticism. It is here worthy of remark, that most of the early abolition propagandists, many of whom commenced as Christian ministers, have ended in downright infidelity. Let us then hear no more of this charge, that the defenders of slavery have changed their ground; it is the abolitionists who have been compelled to appeal to "a higher law," not only than the Federal Constitution, but also, than the law of God. This is the inevitable result when men undertake to be "wise above what is written." The Apostle, in the Epistle to Timothy, has not only explicitly laid down the law on the subject of slavery, but has, with prophetic vision, drawn the exact portrait of our modern abolitionists.

"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his[xi] doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings, of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself."

Can any words more accurately and vividly portray the character and conduct of the abolitionists, or more plainly point out the results of their efforts? Is it any wonder that after having received such a castigation, they should totally repudiate the authority of God's law, and say, "Not thy will, but mine be done." It is here explicitly declared that this doctrine, the obedience of slaves to their masters, are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the arguments of its opposers are characterized as doting sillily about questions and strifes of words, and therefore unworthy of reply and refutation. But the consequences are more serious; look at the catalogue. Envy, the root of the evil; strife, see the divisions in our churches, and in our political communities; railings, their calling slaveholders robbers, thieves, murderers, outlaws; evil surmisings, can any good thing come out of Nazareth, or from the Slave States? Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, their wresting the Scriptures from their plain and obvious meaning to compel them to teach abolitionism. Finally; the duty of all Christians: from such withdraw thyself.

The monographs embraced in this compendium of discussions on slavery, were written at different periods; some of them several years ago, and some of them were prepared expressly for this work, and some have been re-written in order to continue the subject down to the present time. There is this further[xii] advantage in combining works of different dates, that by comparing them it is evident that the earlier and later writers both stood on, substantially, the same ground, and take the same general views of the institution. The charge of inconsistency must, therefore, fall to the ground. To the reading public, most of the matter contained in these pages will be new; as, though some of them have been before the public for several years, they have had but a limited circulation, no efforts having been made by the Southern people to scatter them broadcast throughout the land, in the form of Sunday school books, or religious tracts. Nor will it be expected by the reader, that the authors of the works on the different topics embraced in this discussion, should have been able to confine their arguments strictly within the assigned limits. The subjects themselves so inosculate, that it would be strange indeed if the writers should not occasionally encroach upon each other's province; but even this, from the variety of argument, and mode of illustration, will be found interesting.

The work of Professor Christy, on the Economical Relations of Slavery, contains a large amount of the most accurate, valuable and well arranged statistical matter, and his combinations and deductions are remarkable for their philosophical accuracy. He spent several years in the service of the American Colonization Society, as agent for Ohio, and made himself thoroughly acquainted with the results, both to the blacks and whites, both of slavery and emancipation.

Governor Hammond is too well known, as an eminent statesman and political writer, to require notice here. His letters are addressed to Mr. Clarkson, of England, who, in conjunction with Wilberforce, after a long struggle, at last secured the passage, by the Parliament of Great Britain, of acts to abolish the slave trade and slavery, in the British West India colonies. The results of this are vividly portrayed by the author, and his predictions are now history.

Chancellor Harper, with a master hand, draws a parallel between the social condition of communities where slave labor[xiii] exists and where it does not, and vindicates the South from the aspersions cast upon her.

Dr. Bledsoe's "Liberty and Slavery," or Slavery in the Light of Moral Science, discusses the right or wrong of slavery, exposes the fallacies, and answers the arguments of the abolitionists. His established reputation as an accurate reasoner, and a forcible writer, guarantees the excellence of this work.

Dr. Stringfellow's Slavery in the Light of Divine Revelation, and Dr. Hodge's Bible Argument on Slavery, form a synopsis of the whole theological argument on the subject. The plain and obvious teachings, of both Old and New Testament, are given with such irresistible force as to carry conviction to every mind, except those wedded to the theory of a "Higher Law" than the Law of God.

Dr. Cartwright's "Ethnology of the African Race," are the results of the observation and experience of a lifetime, spent in an extensive practice of medicine in the midst of the race. He has had the best of opportunities for becoming intimately acquainted with all the idiosyncrasies of this race, and he has well improved them. That the negro is now an inferior species, or at least variety of the human race, is well established, and must, we think, be admitted by all. That by himself he has never emerged from barbarism, and even when partly civilized under the control of the white man, he speedily returns to the same state, if emancipated, are now indubitable truths. Whether or not, under our system of slavery, he can ever be so elevated as to be worthy of freedom, time and the providence of God alone can determine. The most encouraging results have already been achieved by American slavery, in the elevation of the negro race in our midst; as they are now as far superior to the natives of Africa, as the whites are to them. In a religious point of view, also, there is great encouragement, as there are twice as many communicants of Christian churches among our slaves, as there are among the heathen at all the missionary stations in the world. (See Prof. Christy's statistics in this volume.) What the negroes might have been, but for the[xiv] interference of the abolitionists, it is impossible to conjecture. That their influence has only been unmitigated evil, we have the united testimony, both of themselves and of the slave holders. (See Dr. Beecher's late sermon on the Harper's Ferry trials.)

To show what has been the uniform course of Christians in the South towards the slaves, we will quote from the first pastoral letter of the Synod of the Carolinas and Georgia, to the churches under their care.

After addressing husbands and wives, parents and children, on their relative duties, the Synod continues, "But parents and heads of families, think it not surprising that we inform you that God has committed others to your care, besides your natural offspring, in the welfare of whose souls you are also deeply interested, and whose salvation you are bound to endeavor to promote—we mean your slaves; poor creatures! shall they be bound for life, and their owners never once attempt to deliver their souls from the bondage of sin, nor point them to eternal freedom through the blood of the Son of God! On this subject we beg leave to submit to your consideration the conduct of Abraham, the father of the faithful, through whose example is communicated unto you the commandment of God (Gen. xviii: 19); 'For I know him,' says God, 'that he will command his children and his household after him, that they shall keep the ways of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.'

"Masters and servants, attend to your duty—in the express language of the Holy Ghost—'servants, obey your masters in all things; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God; and whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to man. And you, masters, render to your servants their due, knowing that your master is also in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with Him.' And let those who govern, and those who are governed, make the object of living in this world be, to prepare to meet your God and judge, when all shall stand on a level before His bar, and receive their decisive sentence according to the deeds done in the body.[xv]

"Servants, be willing to receive instruction, and discourage not your masters by your stubbornness or aversion. Remember, the interest is your own, and if you be wise, it will be for your own good; spend the Sabbath in learning to read, and in teaching your young ones, instead of rambling abroad from place to place; a few years will give you many Sabbaths, which, if rightly improved, will be sufficient for the purpose. Attend, also, on public worship, when you have opportunity, and behave there with decency and good order.

"Were these relative duties conscientiously practiced, by husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, how pleasing would be the sight; expressing by your conduct pious Joshua's resolution, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

The argument on slavery, deduced from the law of nations, we commend to the special attention of the candid reader. Indeed, it is from the recognition of the duty of the various races and nations composing the human family, to contribute their part for the advancement and good of the whole, not only that slavery has existed in all ages, but also that efforts have been, and are now being made, to extend the benefits of civilization and religion to the benighted races of the earth. This has been done in two different ways; one by sending the teacher forth to the heathen, the other by bringing the heathen to the teacher. Both have achieved great good, but the latter has been the more successful. Though the principles embraced in this general law of nations have been acknowledged and acted out in all times, it is due to J. Q. Adams, to state that he first gave a clear elucidation of those principles, so far as they apply to commerce.

Commending these arguments to the candid consideration of every friend to his country, we may be permitted to express the hope that they will redound, not only to the perpetuity of our blood-bought liberties, but to the glory of God, and the good of all men.

Port Gibson, Miss., Jan. 1, 1860.


David Christy













The first edition of Cotton is King was issued as an experiment. Its favorable reception led to further investigation, and an enlargement of the work for a second edition.

The present publishers have bought the copyright of the third edition, with the privilege of printing it in the form and manner that may best suit their purposes. This step severs the author from all further connection with the work, and affords him an opportunity of stating a few of the facts which led, originally, to its production. He was connected with the newspaper press, as an editor, from 1824 till 1836. This included the period of the tariff controversy, and the rise of the anti-slavery party of this country. After resigning the editorial chair, he still remained associated with public affairs, so as to afford him opportunities of observing the progress of events. In 1848 he accepted an appointment as Agent of the American Colonization Society, for Ohio; and was thus brought directly into contact with the elements of agitation upon the slavery question, in the aspect which that controversy had then assumed. Upon visiting Columbus, the seat of government of the State, in January, 1849, the Legislature, then in session, was found in great, agitation about the repeal of the Black Laws, which had originally been enacted to prevent the immigration of colored men into the State. The[20] abolitionists held the balance of power, and were uncompromising in their demands. To escape from the difficulty, and prevent all future agitation upon the subject, politicians united in erasing this cause of disturbance from the statute book. The colored people had been in convention at the capitol; and felt themselves in a position, as they imagined, to control the legislation of the State. They were encouraged in this belief by the abolitionists, and proceeded to effect an organization by which black men were to stump the State in advocacy of their claims to an equality with white men.

At this juncture the Colonization cause was brought before the Legislature, by a memorial asking aid to send emigrants to Liberia. An appointment was also made, by the agent, for a Lecture on Colonization, to be delivered in the hall of the House of Representatives; and respectful notices sent to the African churches, inviting the colored people to attend. This invitation was met by them with the publication of a call for an indignation meeting; which, on assembling, denounced both the agent and the cause he advocated, in terms unfitted to be copied into this work. One of the resolutions, however, has some significance, as foreshadowing the final action they contemplated, and which has shown itself so futile, as a means of redress, in the recent Harper's Ferry Tragedy. That resolution reads as follows:

"Resolved,—That we will never leave this country while one of our brethren groans in slavish fetters in the United States, but will remain on this soil and contend for our rights, and those of our enslaved race—upon the rostrum—in the pulpit—in the social circle, and upon the field, if necessary, until liberty to the captive shall be proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of this great Republic, or we called from time to eternity."

In the winter of 1850, Mr. Stanley's proposition, to Congress, for the appropriation of the last installment of the Surplus Revenue to Colonization, was laid before the Ohio Legislature for approval. The colored people again held meetings, denouncing this proposition also, and the following resolutions, among others, were adopted—the first at Columbus and the second at Cincinnati:

"Resolved,—That it is our unalterable and eternal determination, as heretofore expressed, to remain in the United States at all hazards, and to 'buffet the withering flood of prejudice and misrule,' which menaces our destruction until we are exalted, to ride[21] triumphantly upon its foaming billows, or honorably sink into its destroying vortex: although inducements may be held out for us to emigrate, in the shape of odious and oppressive laws, or liberal appropriations."

"Resolved,—That we should labor diligently to secure—first, the abolition of slavery, and, failing in this, the separation of the States; one or the other event being necessary to our ever enjoying in its fullness and power, the privilege of an American citizen."

Again, some three or four years later, on the occasion of the formation of the Ohio State Colonization Society, another meeting was called, in opposition to Colonization, in the city of Cincinnati, which, among others, passed the following resolution:

"Resolved,—That in our opinion the emancipation and elevation of our enslaved brethren depends in a great measure upon their brethren who are free, remaining in the country; and we will remain to be that 'agitating element' in American politics, which Mr Wise, in a late letter, concludes, has done so much for the slave."

Many similar resolutions might be quoted, all manifesting a determination, on the part of the colored people, to maintain their foothold in the United States, until the freedom of the slave should be effected; and indicating an expectation, on their part, that this result would be brought about by an insurrection, in which they expected to take a prominent part. In this policy they were encouraged by nearly all the opponents of Colonization, but especially by the active members of the organizations for running off slaves to Canada.

To meet this state of things, Cotton is King was written. The mad folly of the Burns' case, at Boston, in 1854, proved, conclusively, that white men, by the thousand, stood prepared to provoke a collision between the North and the South. The eight hundred men who volunteered at Worcester, and proceeded to Boston, on that occasion, with banner flying, showed that such a condition of public sentiment prevailed; while, at the same time, the sudden dispersion of that valorous army, by a single officer of the general government, who, unaided, captured their leader and bore off their banner, proved, as conclusively, that such philanthropists are not soldiers—that promiscuous crowds of undisciplined men are wholly unreliable in the hour of danger.[22]

The author would here repeat, then, that the main object he had in view, in the preparation of Cotton is King, was to convince the abolitionists of the utter failure of their plans, and that the policy they had adopted was productive of results, the opposite of what they wished to effect;—that British and American abolitionists, in destroying tropical cultivation by emancipation in the West Indies, and opposing its promotion in Africa by Colonization, had given to slavery in the United States its prosperity and its power;—that the institution was no longer to be controlled by moral or physical force, but had become wholly subject to the laws of Political Economy;—and that, therefore, labor in tropical countries, to supply tropical products to commerce, and not insurrection in the United States, was the agency to be employed by those who would successfully oppose the extension of American Slavery: for, just as long as the hands of the free should persist in refusing to supply the demands of commerce for cotton, just so long it would continue to be obtained from those of the slave.

It will be seen in the perusal of the present edition, that Great Britain, in her efforts to promote cotton cultivation in India and Africa, now acts upon this principle, and that she thereby acknowledges the truth of the views which the author has advanced. It will be seen also, that to check American slavery and prevent a renewal of the slave trade by American planters, she has even determined to employ the slaves of Africa in the production of cotton: that is to say, the slavery of America is to be opposed by arraying against it the slavery of Africa—the petty chiefs there being required to force their slaves to the cotton patches, that the masters here may find a diminishing market for the products of their plantations.

In this connection it may be remarked, that the author has had many opportunities of conversing with colored men, on the subject of emigration to Africa, and they have almost uniformly opposed it on the ground that they would be needed here. Some of them, in defending their conduct, revealed the grounds of their hopes. But details on this point are unnecessary. The subject is referred to, only as affording an illustration of the extent to which ignorant men may become the victims of dangerous delusions. The sum of the matter was about this: the colored people, they said, had organizations extending from Canada to Louisiana, by means of which information could be communicated throughout[23] the South, when the blow for freedom was to be struck. Philanthropic white men were expected to take sides against the oppressor, while those occupying neutral ground would offer no resistance to the passage of forces from Canada and Ohio to Virginia and Kentucky. Once upon slave territory, they imagined the work of emancipation would be easily executed, as every slave would rush to the standard of freedom.

These schemes of the colored people were viewed, at the time, as the vagaries of over excited and ignorant minds, dreaming of the repetition of Egyptian miracles for their deliverance; and were subjects of regret, only because they operated as barriers to Colonization. But when a friend placed in the author's hand, a few days since, a copy of the Chatham (Canada West) Weekly Pilot, of October 13, he could see that the seed sown at Columbus in 1849, had yielded its harvest of bitterness and disappointment at Harper's Ferry in 1859. That paper contained the proceedings and resolutions of the colored men, at Chatham, on the 3d of that month, in which the annexed resolution was included:

"Resolved,—That in view of the fact that a crisis will soon occur in the United States to affect our friends and countrymen there, we feel it the duty of every colored person to make the Canadas their homes. The temperature and salubrity of the climate, and the productiveness and fertility of the soil afford ample field for their encouragement. To hail their enslaved bondmen upon their deliverance, in the glorious kingdom of British Liberty, in the Canadas, we cordially invite the free and the bond, the noble and the ignoble—we have no 'Dred Scott Law.'"

The occasion which called out this resolution, together with a number of others, was the delivery of a lecture, on the 3d of October last, by an agent from Jamaica, who urged them to emigrate to that beautiful island. The import of this resolution will be better understood, when it is remembered, that the organization of Brown's insurrectionary scheme took place, in this same city of Chatham, on the 8th of May last. The "crisis" which was soon to occur in the United States, and the importance of every colored man remaining at his post, at that particular juncture, as urged by the resolutions, all indicate, very clearly, that Brown's movements were known to the leaders of the meeting, and that they desired to co-operate in the movement. The spirit[24] breathed by the whole series of the Chatham resolutions, is so fully in accord with those passed from time to time in the United States, that there is no difficulty in perceiving that the views, expectations, and hopes of the colored people of both countries have been the same. The Chatham meeting was on the night of the 3d October, and the outbreak of Brown on that of the 16th.

But the failure of the Harper's Ferry movement should now serve as convincing proof, that nothing can be gained, by such means, for the African race. No successful organization, for their deliverance, can be effected in this country; and foreign aid is out of the question, not only because foreign nations will not wage war for a philanthropic object, but because they cannot do without our cotton for a single year. They are very much in the condition of our Northern politicians, since the old party landmarks have been broken down. The slavery question is the only one left, upon which any enthusiasm can be awakened among the people. The negro is to American politics what cotton is to European manufactures and commerce—the controlling element. As the overthrow of American slavery, with the consequent suspension of the motion of the spindles and looms of Europe, would bring ruin upon millions of its population; so the dropping of the negro question, in American politics, would at once destroy the prospects of thousands of aspirants to office. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the clamor against slavery is made only for effect; and there is not now, nor has there been at any other period, any intention on the part of political agitators to wage actual war against the slave States themselves. But while the author believes that no intention of exciting to insurrection ever existed among leading politicians at the North, he must express the opinion that evil has grown out of the policy they have pursued, as it has excited the free negro to attempts at insurrection, by leading him to believe that they were in earnest in their professions of prosecuting the "irrepressible conflict," between freedom and slavery, to a termination destructive to the South; and, lured by this hope, he has been led to consider it his duty, as a man, to stand prepared for Mr Jefferson's crisis, in which Omnipotence would be arrayed upon his side. This stand he has been induced to take from principles of honor, instead of seeking new fields of enterprise in which to better his condition.

But there is another evil to the colored man, which has grown[25] out of northern agitation on the question of slavery. The controversy is one of such a peculiar nature, that any needed modification of it can be made, by politicians, to suit whatever emergency may arise. The Burns' case convinced them that many men, white and black, were then prepared for treason. This was a step, however, that voters at large disapproved; and, not only was it unpopular to advocate the forcing of emancipation upon the slave States, but it seemed equally repugnant to the people to have the North filled with free negroes. The free colored man was, therefore, given to understand, that slavery was not to be disturbed in the States where it had been already established. But this was not all. He had to have another lesson in the philosophy of dissolving scenes, as exhibited in the great political magic lantern. Nearly all the Western States had denied him an equality with the white man, in the adoption or modification of their constitutions. He looked to Kansas for justice, and lo! it came. The first constitution, adopted by the free State men of that territory, excluded the free colored man from the rights of citizenship! "Why is this," said the author, to a leading German politician of Cincinnati: "why have the free State men excluded the free colored people from the proposed State?" "Oh," he replied, "we want it for our sons—for white men,—and we want the nigger out of our way: we neither want him there as a slave or freeman, as in either case his presence tends to degrade labor." This is not all. Nearly every slave State is legislating the free colored men out of their bounds, as a "disturbing element" which their people are determined no longer to tolerate. Here, then, is the result of the efforts of the free colored man to sustain himself in the midst of the whites; and here is the evil that political agitation has brought upon him.

Under these circumstances, the author believes he will be performing a useful service, in bringing the question of the economical relations of American slavery, once more, prominently before the public. It is time that the true character of the negro race, as compared with the white, in productive industry, should be determined. If the negro, as a voluntary laborer, is the equal of the white man, as the abolitionists contend, then, set him to work in tropical cultivation, and he can accomplish something for his race; but if he is incapable of competing with the white man, except in compulsory labor,—as slaveholders most sincerely[26] believe the history of the race fully demonstrates—then let the truth be understood by the world, and all efforts for his elevation be directed to the accomplishment of the separation of the races. Because, until the colored men, who are now free, shall afford the evidence that freedom is best for the race, those held in slavery cannot escape from their condition of servitude.

Some new and important facts in relation to the results of West India emancipation are presented, which show, beyond question, that the advancing productiveness, claimed for these islands, is not due to any improvement in the industrial habits of the negroes, but is the result, wholly, of the introduction of immigrant labor from abroad. No advancement, of any consequence, has been made where immigrants have not been largely imported; and in Jamaica, which has received but few, there is a large decline in production from what existed during even the first years of freedom.

The present edition embraces a considerable amount of new matter, having a bearing on the condition of the cotton question, and a few other points of public interest. Several new Statistical Tables have been added to the appendix, that are necessary to the illustration of the topics discussed; and some historical matter also, in illustration of the early history of slavery in the United States.

Cincinnati, January 1, 1860.


"Cotton is King" has been received, generally, with much favor by the public. The author's name having been withheld, the book was left to stand or fall upon its own merits. The first edition has been sold without any special effort on the part of the publishers. As they did not risk the cost of stereotyping, the work has been left open for revision and enlargement. No change in the matter of the first edition has been made, except a few verbal alterations and the addition of some qualifying phrases.[27] Two short paragraphs only have been omitted, so as to leave the public documents and abolitionists, only, to testify as to the moral condition of the free colored people. The matter added to the present volume equals nearly one-fourth of the work. It relates mainly to two points: First, The condition of the free colored people; Second, The economical and political relations of slavery. The facts given, it is believed, will completely fortify all the positions of the author, on these questions, so far as his views have been assailed.

The field of investigation embraced in the book is a broad one, and the sources of information from which its facts are derived are accessible to but few. It is not surprising, then, that strangers to these facts, on first seeing them arranged in their philosophical relations and logical connection, should be startled at their import, and misconceive the object and motives of the author.

For example: One reviewer, in noticing the first edition, asserts that the writer "endeavors to prove that slavery is a great blessing in its relations to agriculture, manufactures, and commerce." The candid reader will be unable to find any thing, in the pages of the work, to justify such an assertion. The author has proved that the products of slave labor are in such universal demand, through the channels named by the reviewer, that it is impracticable, in the existing condition of the world, to overthrow the system; and that as the free negro has demonstrated his inability to engage successfully in cotton culture, therefore American slavery remains immovable, and presents a standing monument of the folly of those who imagined they could effect its overthrow by the measures they pursued. This was the author's aim.

Another charges, that the whole work is based on a fallacy, and that all its arguments, therefore, are unsound. The fallacy of the book, it is explained, consists in making cotton and slavery indivisible, and teaching that cotton can not be cultivated except by slave labor; whereas, in the opinion of the objector, that staple can be grown by free labor. Here, again, the author is misunderstood. He only teaches what is true beyond all question: not that free labor is incapable of producing cotton, but that it does not produce it so as to affect the interests of slave labor; and that the American planter, therefore, still finds himself in the possession of the monopoly of the market for cotton, and unable to meet the demand made upon him for that staple, except by a[28] vast enlargement of its cultivation, requiring the employment of an increased amount of labor in its production.

Another says: "The real object of the work is an apology for American slavery. Professing to repudiate extremes, the author pleads the necessity for the present continuance of slavery, founded on economical, political, and moral considerations." The dullest reader can not fail to perceive that the work contains not one word of apology for the institution of slavery, nor the slightest wish for its continuance. The author did not suppose that Southern slave holders would thank any Northern man to attempt an apology for their maintaining what they consider their rights under the constitution; neither did he imagine that any plea for the continuance of American slavery was needed, while the world at large is industriously engaged in supporting it by the consumption of its products. He, therefore, neither attempted an apology for its existence nor a plea for its continuance. He was writing history and not recording his own opinions, about which he never imagined the public cared a fig. He was merely aiming at showing, how an institution, feeble and ill supported in the outset, had become one of the most potent agents in the advancement of civilization, notwithstanding the opposition it has had to encounter; and that those who had attempted its overthrow, in consequence of a lack of knowledge of the plainest principles of political economy and of human nature in its barbarous state, had contributed, more than any other class of persons, to produce this result.

Another charges the author with ignorance of the recent progress making in the culture of cotton, by free labor, in India and Algeria; and congratulates his readers that, "on this side of the ocean, the prospects of free soil and free labor, and of free cotton as one of the products of free soil and free labor, were never so fair as now." This is a pretty fair example of one's "whistling to keep his courage up," while passing, in the dark, through woods where he thinks ghosts are lurking on either side. Algeria has done nothing, yet, to encourage the hope that American slavery will be lessened in value by the cultivation of cotton in Africa. The British custom-house reports, as late as September, 1855, instead of showing any increase of imports of cotton from India, it will be seen, exhibit a great falling off in its supplies; and, in the opinion of the best authorities, extinguishes the hope of arresting the progress of American slavery by any[29] efforts made to render Asiatic free labor more effective. As to the prospects on this side of the ocean, a glance at the map will show, that the chances of growing cotton in Kansas are just as good, and only as good as in Illinois and Missouri, from whence not a pound is ever exported. Texas was careful to appropriate nearly all the cotton lands acquired from Mexico, which lie on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains; and, by that act, all such lands, mainly, have been secured to slavery. Where, then, is free labor to operate, even were it ready for the task?

Another alleges that the book is "a weak effort to slander the people of color." This is a charge that could have come only from a careless reader. The whole testimony, embraced in the first edition, nearly, as to the economical failure of West India Emancipation, and the moral degradation of the free colored people, generally, is quoted from abolition authorities, as is expressly stated; not to slander the people of color, but to show them what the world is to think of them, on the testimony of their particular friends and self-constituted guardians.

Another objects to what is said of those who hold the opinion that slavery is malum in se, and who yet continue to purchase and use its products. On this point it is only necessary to say, that the logic of the book has not been affected by the sophistry employed against it; and that if those who hold the per se doctrine, and continue to use slave labor products, dislike the charge of being participes criminis with robbers, they must classify slavery in some other mode than that in which they have placed it in their creeds. For, if they are not partakers with thieves, then slavery is not a system of robbery; but if slavery be a system of robbery, as they maintain, then, on their own principles, they are as much partakers with thieves as any others who deal in stolen property.

The severest criticism on the book, however, comes from one who charges the author with a "disposition to mislead, or an ignorance which is inexcusable," in the use of the statistics of crime, having reference to the free colored people, from 1820 to 1827. The object of the author, in using the statistics referred to, was only to show the reasons why the scheme of colonization was then accepted, by the American public, as a means of relief to the colored population, and not to drag out these sorrowful[30] facts to the disparagement of those now living. But the reviewer, suspicious of every one who does not adopt his abolition notions, suspects the author of improper motives, and asks: "Why go so far back, if our author wished to treat the subject fairly?" Well, the statistics on this dismal topic have been brought up to the latest date practicable, and the author now leaves it to the colored people themselves to say, whether they have gained any thing by the reviewer's zeal in their behalf. He will learn one lesson at least, we hope, from the result: that a writer can use his pen with greater safety to his reputation, when he knows something about the subject he discusses.

But this reviewer, warming in his zeal, undertakes to philosophise, and says, that the evils existing among the free colored people, will be found in exact proportion to the slowness of emancipation; and complains that New Jersey was taken as the standard, in this respect, instead of Massachusetts, where, he asserts, "all the negroes in the commonwealth, were, by the new constitution, liberated in a day, and none of the ill consequences objected followed, either to the commonwealth or to individuals." The reviewer is referred to the facts, in the present edition, where he will find, that the amount of crime, at the date to which he refers, was six times greater among the colored people of Massachusetts, in proportion to their numbers, than among those of New Jersey. The next time he undertakes to review King Cotton, it will be best for him not to rely upon his imagination, but to look at the facts. He should be able at least, when quoting a writer, to discriminate between evils resulting from insurrections, and evils growing out of common immoralities. Experience has taught, that it is unsafe, when calculating the results of the means of elevation employed, to reason from a civilized to a half civilized race of men.

The last point that needs attention, is the charge that the author is a slaveholder, and governed by mercenary motives. To break the force of any such objection to the work, and relieve it from prejudices thus created, the veil is lifted, and the author's name is placed upon the title page.

The facts and statistics used in the first edition, were brought down to the close of 1854, mainly, and the arguments founded upon the then existing state of things. The year 1853 was taken as best indicating the relations of our planters and farmers to the[31] manufactures and commerce of the country and the world; because the exports and imports of that year were nearer an average of the commercial operations of the country than the extraordinary year which followed; and because the author had nearly finished his labors before the results of 1854 had been ascertained. In preparing the second edition for the press, many additional facts, of a more recent date, have been introduced: all of which tend to prove the general accuracy of the author's conclusions, as expressed in the first edition.

Tables IV and V, added to the present edition, embrace some very curious and instructive statistics, in relation to the increase and decrease of the free colored people, in certain sections, and the influence they appear to exert on public sentiment.


In the preparation of the following pages, the author has aimed at clearness of statement, rather than elegance of diction. He sets up no claim to literary distinction; and even if he did, every man of classical taste knows, that a work, abounding in facts and statistics, affords little opportunity for any display of literary ability.

The greatest care has been taken, by the author, to secure perfect accuracy in the statistical information supplied, and in all the facts stated.

The authorities consulted are Brande's Dictionary of Science, Literature and Art; Porter's Progress of the British Nation; McCullough's Commercial Dictionary; Encyclopædia Americana; London Economist; De Bow's Review; Patent Office Reports; Congressional Reports on Commerce and Navigation; Abstract of the Census Reports, 1850; and Compendium of the Census Reports. The extracts from the Debates in Congress, on the Tariff Question, are copied from the National Intelligencer.

The tabular statements appended, bring together the principal[32] facts, belonging to the questions examined, in such a manner that their relations to each other can be seen at a glance.

The first of these Tables, shows the date of the origin of cotton manufactories in England, and the amount of cotton annually consumed, down to 1853; the origin and amount of the exports of cotton from the United States to Europe; the sources of England's supplies of cotton, from countries other than the United States; the dates of the discoveries which have promoted the production and manufacture of cotton; the commencement of the movements made to meliorate the condition of the African race; and the occurrence of events that have increased the value of slavery, and led to its extension.

The second and third of the tables, relate to the exports and imports of the United States; and illustrate the relations sustained by slavery, to the other industrial interests and to the commerce of the country.




Character of the Slavery controversy in the United States—In Great Britain—Its influence in modifying the policy of Anti-Slavery men in America—Course of the Churches—Political Parties—Result, Cotton is King—Necessity of reviewing the policy in relation to the African race—Topics embraced in the discussion.

The controversy on Slavery, in the United States, has been one of an exciting and complicated character. The power to emancipate existing, in fact, in the States separately and not in the general government, the efforts to abolish it, by appeals to public opinion, have been fruitless except when confined to single States. In Great Britain the question was simple. The power to abolish slavery in her West Indian colonies was vested in Parliament. To agitate the people of England, and call out a full expression of sentiment, was to control Parliament and secure its abolition. The success of the English abolitionists, in the employment of moral force, had a powerful influence in modifying the policy of American anti-slavery men. Failing to discern the difference in the condition of the two countries, they attempted to create a public sentiment throughout the United States adverse to slavery, in the confident expectation of speedily overthrowing the institution. The issue taken, that slavery is malum in se—a sin in itself—was prosecuted with all the zeal and eloquence they could command. Churches adopting the sin per se doctrine, inquired of their converts, not whether they supported slavery by the use of its products, but whether they believed the institution itself sinful. Could public sentiment be brought to assume the proper ground; could the slaveholder be convinced that the world denounced him as equally criminal with the robber and murderer; then, it was believed, he would abandon the system. Political parties, subsequently organized, taught, that to vote for a slaveholder, or a pro-slavery man, was sinful, and could not be done without violence to conscience; while, at the same time, they made no scruples of using the products of slave labor—the exorbitant demand for which was the great bulwark of the institution.[34] This was a radical error. It laid all who adopted it open to the charge of practical inconsistency, and left them without any moral power over the consciences of others. As long as all used their products, so long the slaveholders found the per se doctrine working them no harm; as long as no provision was made for supplying the demand for tropical products by free labor, so long there was no risk in extending the field of operations. Thus, the very things necessary to the overthrow of American slavery, were left undone, while those essential to its prosperity, were continued in the most active operation; so that, now, after more than a thirty years' war, we may say, emphatically, Cotton is King, and his enemies are vanquished.

Under these circumstances, it is due to the age—to the friends of humanity—to the cause of liberty—to the safety of the Union—that we should review the movements made in behalf of the African race, in our country; so that errors of principle may be abandoned; mistakes in policy corrected; the free colored people taught their true relations to the industrial interests of the world; the rights of the slave as well as the master secured; and the principles of the constitution established and revered. It is proposed, therefore, to examine this subject in the light of the social, civil, and commercial history of the country; and, in doing this, to embrace the facts and arguments under the following heads:

1. The early movements on the subject of slavery; the circumstances under which the Colonization Society took its rise; the relations it sustained to slavery and to the schemes projected for its abolition; the origin of the elements which have given to American slavery its commercial value and consequent powers of expansion; and the futility of the means used to prevent the extension of the institution.

2. The relations of American slavery to the industrial interests of our own country; to the demands of commerce; and to the present political crisis.

3. The industrial, social, and moral condition of the free colored people in the British colonies and in the United States; and the influence they have exerted on public sentiment in relation to the perpetuation of slavery.

4. The moral relations of persons holding the per se doctrine, on the subject of slavery, to the purchase and consumption of slave labor products.




Emancipation in the United States begun—First Abolition Society organized—Progress of Emancipation—First Cotton Mill—Exclusion of Slavery from N. W. Territory—Elements of Slavery expansion—Cotton Gin invented—Suppression of the Slave Trade—Cotton Manufactures commenced in Boston—Franklin's Appeal—Condition of the Free Colored People—Boston Prison-Discipline Society—Darkening Prospects of the Colored People.

Four years after the Declaration of American Independence, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had emancipated their slaves; and, eight years thereafter, Connecticut and Rhode Island followed their example.

Three years after the last named event, an abolition society was organized by the citizens of the State of New York, with John Jay at its head. Two years subsequently, the Pennsylvanians did the same thing, electing Benjamin Franklin to the presidency of their association. The same year, too, slavery was forever excluded, by act of Congress, from the Northwest Territory. This year is also memorable as having witnessed the erection of the first cotton mill in the United States, at Beverley, Massachusetts.

During the year that the New York Abolition Society was formed, Watts, of England, had so far perfected the steam engine as to use it in propelling machinery for spinning cotton; and the year the Pennsylvania Society was organized witnessed the invention of the power loom. The carding machine and the spinning jenny having been invented twenty years before, the power loom completed the machinery necessary to the indefinite extension of the manufacture of cotton.

The work of emancipation, begun by the four States named, continued to progress, so that in seventeen years from the adoption[36] of the constitution, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey, had also enacted laws to free themselves from the burden of slavery.

As the work of manumission proceeded, the elements of slavery expansion were multiplied. When the four States first named liberated their slaves, no regular exports of cotton to Europe had yet commenced; and the year New Hampshire set hers free, only 138,328 lbs. of that article were shipped from the country. Simultaneously with the action of Vermont, in the year following, the cotton gin was invented, and an unparalleled impulse given to the cultivation of cotton. At the same time, Louisiana, with her immense territory, was added to the Union, and room for the extension of slavery vastly increased. New York lagged behind Vermont for six years, before taking her first step to free her slaves, when she found the exports of cotton to England had reached 9,500,000 lbs.; and New Jersey, still more tardy, fell five years behind New York; at which time the exports of that staple—so rapidly had its cultivation progressed—were augmented to 38,900,000 lbs.

Four years after the emancipations by States had ceased, the slave trade was prohibited; but, as if each movement for freedom must have its counter-movement to stimulate slavery, that same year the manufacture of cotton goods was commenced in Boston. Two years after that event, the exports of cotton amounted to 93,900,000 lbs. War with Great Britain, soon afterward, checked both our exports and her manufacture of the article; but the year 1817, memorable in this connection, from its being the date of the organization of the Colonization Society, found our exports augmented to 95,660,000 lbs., and her consumption enlarged to 126,240,000 lbs. Carding and spinning machinery had now reached a good degree of perfection, and the power loom was brought into general use in England, and was also introduced into the United States. Steamboats, too, were coming into use, in both countries; and great activity prevailed in commerce, manufactures, and the cultivation of cotton.

But how fared it with the free colored people during all this time? To obtain a true answer to this question we must revert to the days of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.

With freedom to the slave, came anxieties among the whites as to the results. Nine years after Pennsylvania and Massachusetts[37] had taken the lead in the trial of emancipation, Franklin issued an appeal for aid to enable his society to form a plan for the promotion of industry, intelligence, and morality among the free blacks; and he zealously urged the measure on public attention, as essential to their well-being, and indispensable to the safety of society. He expressed his belief, that such is the debasing influence of slavery on human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils; and that so far as emancipation should be promoted by the society, it was a duty incumbent on its members to instruct, to advise, to qualify those restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty.

How far Franklin's influence failed to promote the humane object he had in view, may be inferred from the fact, that forty-seven years after Pennsylvania passed her act of emancipation, and thirty-eight after he issued his appeal, one-third of the convicts in her penitentiary were colored men; though the preceding census showed that her slave population had almost wholly disappeared—there being but two hundred and eleven of them remaining, while her free colored people had increased in number to more than thirty thousand. Few of the other free States were more fortunate, and some of them were even in a worse condition—one-half of the convicts in the penitentiary of New Jersey being colored men.

But this is not the whole of the sad tale that must be recorded. Gloomy as was the picture of crime among the colored people of New Jersey, that of Massachusetts was vastly worse. For though the number of her colored convicts, as compared with the whites, was as one to six, yet the proportion of her colored population in the penitentiary was one out of one hundred and forty, while the proportion in New Jersey was but one out of eight hundred and thirty-three. Thus, in Massachusetts, where emancipation had, in 1780, been immediate and unconditional, there was, in 1826, among her colored people, about six times as much crime as existed among those of New Jersey, where gradual emancipation had not been provided for until 1804.

The moral condition of the colored people in the free States, generally, at the period we are considering, may be understood more clearly from the opinions expressed, at the time, by the Boston Prison Discipline Society. This benevolent association[38] included among its members, Rev. Francis Wayland, Rev. Justin Edwards, Rev. Leonard Woods, Rev. William Jenks, Rev. B. B. Wisner, Rev. Edward Beecher, Lewis Tappan, Esq., John Tappan, Esq., Hon. George Bliss, and Hon. Samuel M. Hopkins.

In the First Annual Report of the Society, dated June 2, 1826, they enter into an investigation "of the progress of crime, with the causes of it," from which we make the following extracts:

"Degraded character of the colored population.—The first cause, existing in society, of the frequency and increase of crime is the degraded character of the colored population. The facts, which are gathered from the penitentiaries, to show how great a proportion of the convicts are colored, even in those States where the colored population is small, show, most strikingly, the connection between ignorance and vice."

The report proceeds to sustain its assertions by statistics, which prove, that, in Massachusetts, where the free colored people constituted one seventy-fourth part of the population, they supplied one-sixth part of the convicts in her penitentiary; that in New York, where the free colored people constituted one thirty-fifth part of the population, they supplied more than one-fourth part of the convicts; that, in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, where the colored people constituted one thirty-fourth part of the population, they supplied more than one-third part of the convicts; and that, in New Jersey, where the colored people constituted one-thirteenth part of the population, they supplied more than one-third part of the convicts.

"It is not necessary," continues the report, "to pursue these illustrations. It is sufficiently apparent, that one great cause of the frequency and increase of crime, is neglecting to raise the character of the colored population.

"We derive an argument in favor of education from these facts. It appears from the above statement, that about one-fourth part of all the expense incurred by the States above mentioned, for the support of their criminal institutions, is for the colored convicts. * * Could these States have anticipated these surprising results, and appropriated the money to raise the character of the colored population, how much better would have been their prospects, and how much less the expense of the States through which they are dispersed for the support of their colored convicts! * * If, however, their character can not be raised, where[39] they are, a powerful argument may be derived from these facts, in favor of colonization, and civilized States ought surely to be as willing to expend money on any given part of its population, to prevent crime, as to punish it.

"We can not but indulge the hope that the facts disclosed above, if they do not lead to an effort to raise the character of the colored population, will strengthen the hands and encourage the hearts of all the friends of colonizing the free people of color in the United States."

The Second Annual Report of the Society, dated June 1, 1827, gives the results of its continued investigations into the condition of the free colored people, in the following language and figures:

"Character of the colored population.—In the last report, this subject was exhibited at considerable length. From a deep conviction of its importance, and an earnest desire to keep it ever before the public mind, till the remedy is applied, we present the following table, showing, in regard to several States, the whole population, the colored population, the whole number of convicts, the number of colored convicts, proportion of convicts to the whole population, proportion of colored convicts:

 Whole Population.Colored Population.Whole number of Convicts.Number of Colored Convicts.Proportion of Colored People.Proportion of Colored Convicts.
Mass.523,0007,000314501 to 741 to 6
Conn.275,0008,000  117391 to 341 to 3
N. York  1,372,000  39,000637  1541 to 351 to 4
N. Jersey277,00020,00074241 to 131 to 3
Penn.1,049,00030,000474165  1 to 34  1 to 3


 Proportion of the
    Population sent
to Prison.
Proportion of the
    Popu'n sent
    to Prison.
In Massachusetts,1 out of 16651 out of 140
In Connecticut,1 out of 23501 out of 205
In New York,1 out of 21531 out of 253
In New Jersey,1 out of 37431 out of 833
In Pennsylvania,1 out of 21911 out of 181


Expense for the Support of Colored Convicts.
In Masachusetts, in 10 years,$17,734
In Connecticut,in 15 years,37,166
In New York,in 27 years,  109,166
 Total $164 066

"Such is the abstract of the information presented last year, concerning the degraded character of the colored population. The returns from several prisons show, that the white convicts are remaining nearly the same, or are diminishing, while the colored convicts are increasing. At the same time, the white population is increasing, in the Northern States, much faster than the colored population."

   Whole No.  of Convicts.  Colored Convicts.  Proportion.
In Massachusetts,313501 to 6
In New York,3811011 to 4
In New Jersey,67331 to 2

Such is the testimony of men of unimpeachable veracity and undoubted philanthrophy, as to the early results of emancipation in the United States. Had the freedmen, in the Northern States, improved their privileges; had they established a reputation for industry, integrity, and virtue, far other consequences would have followed their emancipation. Their advancement in moral character would have put to shame the advocate for the perpetuation of slavery. Indeed, there could have been no plausible argument found for its continuance. No regular exports of cotton, no cultivation of cane sugar, to give a profitable character to slave labor, had any existence when Jay and Franklin commenced their labors, and when Congress took its first step for the suppression of the slave trade.

Unfortunately, the free colored people persevered in their evil habits. This not only served to fix their own social and political condition on the level of the slave, but it reacted with fearful effect upon their brethren remaining in bondage. Their refusing to listen to the counsel of the philanthropists, who urged them to[41] forsake their indolence and vice, and their frequent violations of the laws, more than all things else, put a check to the tendencies, in public sentiment, toward general emancipation. The failure of Franklin to obtain the means of establishing institutions for the education of the blacks, confirmed the popular belief that such an undertaking was impracticable, and the whole African race, freedmen as well as slaves, were viewed as an intolerable burden, such as the imports of foreign paupers are now considered. Thus the free colored people themselves, ruthlessly threw the car of emancipation from the track, and tore up the rails upon which, alone, it could move.


State of public opinion in relation to colored population—Southern views of Emancipation—Influence of Mr. Jefferson's opinions—He opposed Emancipation except connected with Colonization—Negro equality not contemplated by the Father's of the Revolution—This proved by the resolutions of their conventions—The true objects of the opposition to the slave trade—Motives of British Statesmen in forcing Slavery on the colonies—Absurdity of supposing negro equality was contemplated.

The opinion that the African race would become a growing burden had its origin before the revolution, and led the colonists to oppose the introduction of slaves; but failing in this, through the opposition of England, as soon as they threw off the foreign yoke many of the States at once crushed the system—among the first acts of sovereignty by Virginia, being the prohibition of the slave trade. In the determination to suppress this traffic all the States united—but in emancipation their policy differed. It was found easier to manage the slaves than the free blacks—at least it was claimed to be so—and, for this reason, the slave States, not long after the others had completed their work of manumission, proceeded to enact laws prohibiting emancipations, except on condition that the persons liberated should be removed. The newly organized free States, too, taking alarm at this, and dreading the influx of the free colored people, adopted measures to prevent the ingress of this proscribed and helpless race.[42]

These movements, so distressing to the reflecting colored man, be it remembered, were not the effect of the action of colonizationists, but took place, mostly, long before the organization of the American Colonization Society; and, at its first annual meeting, the importance and humanity of colonization was strongly urged, on the very ground that the slave States, as soon as they should find that the persons liberated could be sent to Africa, would relax their laws against emancipation.

The slow progress made by the great body of the free blacks in the North, or the absence, rather, of any evidences of improvement in industry, intelligence, and morality, gave rise to the notion, that before they could be elevated to an equality with the whites, slavery must be wholly abolished throughout the Union. The constant ingress of liberated slaves from the South, to commingle with the free colored people of the North, it was claimed, tended to perpetuate the low moral standard originally existing among the blacks; and universal emancipation was believed to be indispensable to the elevation of the race. Those who adopted this view, seem to have overlooked the fact, that the Africans, of savage origin, could not be elevated at once to an equality with the American people, by the mere force of legal enactments. More than this was needed, for their elevation, as all are now, reluctantly, compelled to acknowledge. Emancipation, unaccompanied by the means of intellectual and moral culture, is of but little value. The savage, liberated from bondage, is a savage still.

The slave States adopted opinions, as to the negro character, opposite to those of the free States, and would not risk the experiment of emancipation. They said, if the free States feel themselves burdened by the few Africans they have freed, and whom they find it impracticable to educate and elevate, how much greater would be the evil the slave States must bring upon themselves by letting loose a population nearly twelve times as numerous. Such an act, they argued, would be suicidal—would crush out all progress in civilization; or, in the effort to elevate the negro with the white man, allowing him equal freedom of action, would make the more energetic Anglo-Saxon the slave of the indolent African. Such a task, onerous in the highest degree, they could not, and would not undertake; such an experiment, on their social system, they dared not hazard; and in this determination[43] they were encouraged to persevere, not only by the results of emancipation, then wrought out at the North, but by the settled convictions which had long prevailed at the South, in relation to the impropriety of freeing the negroes. This opinion was one of long standing, and had been avowed by some of the ablest statesmen of the Revolution. Among these Mr. Jefferson stood prominent. He was inclined to consider the African inferior "in the endowments both of body and mind" to the European; and, while expressing his hostility to slavery earnestly, vehemently, he avowed the opinion that it was impossible for the two races to live equally free in the same government—that "nature, habit, opinion, had drawn indelible lines of distinction between them"—that, accordingly, emancipation and "deportation" (colonization) should go hand in hand—and that these processes should be gradual enough to make proper provisions for the blacks in a new country, and fill their places in this with free white laborers.[2]

Another point needs examination. Notwithstanding the well-known opinions of Mr. Jefferson, it has been urged that the Declaration of Independence was designed, by those who issued it, to apply to the negro as well as to the white man; and that they purposed to extend to the negro, at the end of the struggle, then begun, all the privileges which they hoped to secure for themselves. Nothing can be further from the truth, and nothing more certain than that the rights of the negro never entered into the questions then considered. That document was written by Mr. Jefferson himself, and, with the views which he entertained, he could not have thought, for a moment, of conferring upon the negro the rights of American citizenship. Hear him further upon this subject and then judge:

"It will probably be asked, why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the State, and thus save the expense of supplying by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep-rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end, but in the extermination of the one or the other race. To these objections,[44] which are political, may be added others, which are physical and moral"[3]

Now it is evident, from this language, that Mr. Jefferson was not only opposed to allowing the negroes the rights of citizenship, but that he was opposed to emancipation also, except on the condition that the freedmen should be removed from the country. He could, therefore, have meant nothing more by the phrase, "all men are created equal," which he employed in the Declaration of Independence, than the announcement of a general principle, which, in its application to the colonists, was intended most emphatically to assert their equality, before God and the world, with the imperious Englishmen who claimed the divine right of lording it over them. This was undoubtedly the view held by Mr. Jefferson, and the extent to which he expected the language of the Declaration to be applied.[4] Nor could the signers of that instrument, or the people whom they represented, ever have intended to apply its principles to any barbarous or semi-barbarous people, in the sense of admitting them to an equality with themselves in the management of a free government. Had this been their design, they must have enfranchised both Indians and Africans, as both were within the territory over which they exercised jurisdiction.

But testimony of a conclusive character is at hand, to show[45] that quite a different object was to be accomplished, than negro equality, in the movements of the colonists which preceded the outbreak of the American Revolution. They passed resolutions upon the subject of the slave trade, it is true, but it was to oppose it, because it increased the colored population, a result they deprecated in the strongest language. The checking of this evil, great as the people considered it, was not the principal object they had in view, in resolving to crush out the slave trade. It was one of far greater moment, affecting the prosperity of the mother country, and designed to force her to deal justly with the colonies.

This point can only be understood by an examination of the history of that period, so as to comprehend the relations existing between Great Britain and her several colonies. Let us, then, proceed to the performance of this task.

The whole commerce of Great Britain, in 1704, amounted, in value, to thirty-two and a half millions of dollars. In less than three quarters of a century thereafter, or three years preceding the outbreak of the American Revolution, it had increased to eighty millions annually. More than thirty millions of this amount, or over one-third of the whole, consisted of exports to her West Indian and North American colonies and to Africa. The yearly trade with Africa, alone, at this period—1772—was over four and a third millions of dollars: a significant fact, when it is known that this African traffic was in slaves.

But this statement fails to give a true idea of the value of North America and the West Indies to the mother country. Of the commodities which she imported from them—tobacco, rice, sugar, rum—ten millions of dollars worth, annually, were re-exported to her other dependencies, and five millions to foreign countries—thus making her indebted to these colonies, directly and indirectly, for more than one-half of all her commerce.

If England was greatly dependent upon these colonies for her increasing prosperity, they were also dependent upon her; and upon each other, for the mutual promotion of their comfort and wealth. This is easily understood. The colonies were prohibited from manufacturing for themselves. This rendered it necessary that they should be supplied with linen and woolen fabrics, hardware and cutlery, from the looms and shops of Great Britain; and, in addition to these necessaries, they were dependent upon her ships[46] to furnish them with slaves from Africa. The North American colonies were dependent upon the West Indies for coffee, sugar, rum; and the West Indies upon North America, in turn, for their main supplies of provisions and lumber. The North Americans, if compelled by necessity, could do without the manufacures of England, and forego the use of the groceries and rum of the West Indies; but Great Britain could not easily bear the loss of half her commerce, nor could the West India planters meet a sudden emergency that would cut off their usual supplies of provisions.

Such were the relations existing between Great Britain and the colonies, and between the colonies themselves, when the Bostonians cast the tea overboard. This act of resistance to law, was followed by the passage, through Parliament, of the Boston Port Bill, closing Boston Harbor to all commerce whatsoever. The North American colonies, conscious of their power over the commerce of Great Britain, at once obeyed the call of the citizens of Boston, and united in the adoption of peaceful measures, to force the repeal of the obnoxious act. Meetings of the people were held throughout the country, generally, and resolutions passed, recommending the non-importation and non-consumption of all British manufactures and West India products; and resolving, also, that they would not export any provisions, lumber, or other products, whatever, to Great Britain or any of her colonies. These resolutions were accompanied by another, in many of the counties of Virginia, in some of the State conventions, and, finally, in those of the Continental Congress, in which the slave trade, and the purchase of additional slaves, were specially referred to as measures to be at once discontinued. These resolutions, in substance, declare, as the sentiment of the people: That the African trade is injurious to the colonies; that it obstructs the population of them by freemen; that it prevents the immigration of manufacturers and other useful emigrants from Europe from settling among them; that it is dangerous to virtue and the welfare of the population; that it occasions an annual increase of the balance of trade against them; that they most earnestly wished to see an entire stop put to such a wicked, cruel, and unlawful traffic; that they would not purchase any slaves hereafter to be imported, nor hire their vessels, nor sell their commodities or manufactures to those who are concerned in their importation.[47]

From these facts it appears evident, that the primary object of all the resolutions was to cripple the commerce of England. Those in relation to the slave trade, especially, were expected, at once, when taken in connection with the determination to withhold all supplies of provisions from the West India planters—to stop the slave trade, and deprive the British merchants of all further profits from that traffic. But it would do more than this, as it would compel the West India planters, in a great degree, to stop the cultivation of sugar and cotton, for export, and force them to commence the growing of provisions for food—thus producing ruinous consequences to British manufactures and commerce.[5] But, in the opposition thus made to the slave trade, there is no act warranting the conclusion that the negroes were to be admitted to a position of equality with the whites. The sentiments expressed, with a single exception,[6] are the reverse, and their increase viewed as an evil. South Carolina and Georgia did not follow the example of Virginia and North Carolina in resolving against the slave trade, but acquiesced in the non-intercourse policy, until the grievances complained of should be remedied. Another reason existed for opposing the slave trade; this was the importance of preventing the increase of a population that might be employed against the liberties of the colonies. That negroes were thus employed, during the Revolution, is a matter of history; and that the British hoped to use that population for their own advantage, is clearly indicated by the language of the Earl of Dartmouth, who declared, as a sufficient reason for turning a deaf ear to the remonstrances of the colonists against the further importation of slaves, that "Negroes cannot become Republicans—they will be a power in our hands to restrain the unruly colonists."

And, now, will any one say, that the fathers of the Revolution ever intended to declare the negro the equal of the white man, in the sense that he was entitled to an equality of political privileges under the constitution of the United States!



Dismal condition of Africa—Hopes of Wilberforce disappointed—Organization of the American Colonization Society—Its necessity, objects, and policy—Public sentiment in its favor—Opposition developes itself—Wm. Lloyd Garrison, James G. Birney, Gerrit Smith—Effects of opposition—Stimulants to Slavery—Exports of Cotton—England sustaining American Slavery—Failure of the Niger Expedition—Strength of Slavery—Political action—Its failure—Its fruits.

Another question, "How shall the slave trade be suppressed?" began to be agitated near the close of the last century. The moral desolation existing in Africa, was without a parallel among the nations of the earth. When the last of our Northern States had freed its slaves, not a single Christian Church had been successfully established in Africa, and the slave trade was still legalized to the citizens of every Christian nation. Even its subsequent prohibition, by the United States and England, had no tendency to check the traffic, nor ameliorate the condition of the African. The other Europeon powers, having now the monopoly of the trade, continued to prosecute it with a vigor it never felt before. The institution of slavery, while lessened in the United States, where it had not yet been made profitable, was rapidly acquiring an unprecedented enlargement in Cuba and Brazil, where its profitable character had been more fully realized. How shall the slave trade be annihilated, slavery extension prevented, and Africa receive a Christian civilization? were questions that agitated the bosom of many a philanthropist, long after Wilberforce had achieved his triumphs. It was found, that the passage of laws prohibiting the slave trade, and the extermination of that traffic, were two distinct things—the one not necessarily following the other. The success of Wilberforce with the British Parliament, only increased the necessity for additional philanthropic efforts; and a quarter of a century afterwards found the evil vastly increased which he imagined was wholly destroyed.

It was at the period in the history of Africa, and of public sentiment on slavery, which we have been considering, that the American Colonization Society was organized. It began its labors when the eye of the statesman, the philanthropist, and the[49] Christian, could discover no other plan of overcoming the moral desolation, the universal oppression of the colored race, than by restoring the most enlightened of their number to Africa itself. Emancipation, by States, had been at an end for a dozen of years. The improvement of the free colored people, in the presence of the slave, was considered impracticable. Slave labor had become so profitable, as to leave little ground to expect general emancipation, even though all other objections had been removed. The slave trade had increased twenty-five per cent. during the preceding ten years. Slavery was rapidly extending itself in the tropics, and could not be arrested but by the suppression of the slave trade. The foothold of the Christian missionary was yet so precarious in Africa, as to leave it doubtful whether he could sustain his position.

The colonization of the free colored people in Africa, under the teachings of the Christian men who were prepared to accompany them, it was believed, would as fully meet all the conditions of the race, as was possible in the then existing state of the world. It would separate those who should emigrate from all further contact with slavery, and from its depressing influences; it would relax the laws of the slave States against emancipation, and lead to the more frequent liberation of slaves; it would stimulate and encourage the colored people remaining here, to engage in efforts for their own elevation; it would establish free republics along the coast of Africa, and drive away the slave trader; it would prevent the extension of slavery, by means of the slave trade, in tropical America; it would introduce civilization and Christianity among the people of Africa, and overturn their barbarism and bloody superstitions; and, if successful, it would react upon slavery at home, by pointing out to the States and General Government, a mode by which they might free themselves from the whole African race.

The Society had thus undertaken as great an amount of work as it could perform. The field was broad enough, truly, for an association that hoped to obtain an income of but five to ten thousand dollars a year, and realized annually an average of only $3,276 during the first six years of its existence. It did not include the destruction of American slavery among the objects it labored to accomplish. That subject had been fully discussed; the ablest men in the nation had labored for its overthrow; more than half[50] the original States of the Union had emancipated their slaves; the advantages of freedom to the colored man had been tested; the results had not been as favorable as anticipated; the public sentiment of the country was adverse to an increase of the free colored population; the few of their number who had risen to respectability and affluence, were too widely separated to act in concert in promoting measures for the general good; and, until better results should follow the liberation of slaves, further emancipations, by the States, were not to be expected. The friends of the Colonization Society, therefore, while affording every encouragement to emancipation by individuals, refused to agitate the question of the general abolition of slavery. Nor did they thrust aside any other scheme of benevolence in behalf of the African race. Forty years had elapsed from the commencement of emancipation in the country, and thirty from the date of Franklin's Appeal, before the society sent off its first emigrants. At that date, no extended plans were in existence, promising relief to the free colored man. A period of lethargy, among the benevolent, had succeeded the State emancipations, as a consequence of the indifference of the free colored people, as a class, to their degraded condition. The public sentiment of the country was fully prepared, therefore, to adopt colonization as the best means, or, rather, as the only means for accomplishing any thing for them or for the African race. Indeed, so general was the sentiment in favor of colonization, somewhere beyond the limits of the United States, that those who disliked Africa, commenced a scheme of emigration to Hayti, and prosecuted it, until eight thousand free colored persons were removed to that island—a number nearly equaling the whole emigration to Liberia up to 1850. Haytien emigration, however, proved a most disastrous experiment.

But the general acquiescence in the objects of the Colonization Society did not long continue. The exports of cotton from the South were then rapidly on the increase. Slave labor had become profitable, and slaves, in the cotton-growing States, were no longer considered a burden. Seven years after the first emigrants reached Liberia, the South exported 294,310,115 lbs. of cotton; and, the year following, the total cotton crop reached 325,000,000 lbs. But a great depression in prices had occurred,[7] and alarmed[51] the planters for their safety. They had decided against emancipation, and now to have their slaves rendered valueless, was an evil they were determined to avert. The Report of the Boston Prison Discipline Society, which appeared at this moment, was well calculated, by the disclosures it made, to increase the alarm in the South, and to confirm slaveholders in their belief of the dangers of emancipation.

At this juncture, a warfare against colonization was commenced at the South, and it was pronounced an abolition scheme in disguise. In defending itself, the society re-asserted its principles of neutrality in relation to slavery, and that it had only in view the colonization of the free colored people. In the heat of the contest, the South were reminded of their former sentiments in relation to the whole colored population, and that colonization merely proposed removing one division of a people they had pronounced a public burden.[8]

The emancipationists at the North had only lent their aid to colonization in the hope that it would prove an able auxiliary to abolition; but when the society declared its unalterable purpose to adhere to its original position of neutrality, they withdrew their support, and commenced hostilities against it. "The Anti-Slavery Society," said a distinguished abolitionist, "began with a declaration of war against the Colonization Society."[9] This feeling of hostility was greatly increased by the action of the abolitionists[52] of England. The doctrine of "Immediate, not Gradual Abolition," was announced by them as their creed; and the anti-slavery men of the United States adopted it as the basis of their action. Its success in the English Parliament, in procuring the passage of the Act for West India emancipation, in 1833, gave a great impulse to the abolition cause in the United States.

In 1832, William Lloyd Garrison declared hostilities against the Colonization Society; in 1834, James G. Birney followed his example; and, in 1836 Gerritt Smith also abandoned the cause. The North everywhere resounded with the cry of "Immediate Abolition;" and, in 1837, the abolitionists numbered 1,015 societies; had seventy agents under commission, and an income, for the year, of $36,000.[10] The Colonization Society, on the other hand, was greatly embarrassed. Its income, in 1838, was reduced to $10,000; it was deeply in debt; the parent society did not send a single emigrant, that year, to Liberia; and its enemies pronounced it bankrupt and dead.[11]

But did the abolitionists succeed in forcing emancipation upon the South, when they had thus rendered colonization powerless? Did the fetters fall from the slave at their bidding? Did fire from heaven descend, and consume the slaveholder at their invocation? No such thing! They had not touched the true cause of the extension of slavery. They had not discovered the secret of its power; and, therefore, its locks remained unshorn, its strength unabated. The institution advanced as triumphantly as if no opposition existed. The planters were progressing steadily, in securing to themselves the monopoly of the cotton markets of Europe, and in extending the area of slavery at home. In the same year that Gerritt Smith declared for abolition, the title of the Indians to fifty-five millions of acres of land, in the slave States, was extinguished, and the tribes removed. The year that colonization was depressed to the lowest point, the exports of cotton, from the United States, amounted to 595,952,297 lbs., and the consumption of the article in England, to 477,206,108 lbs.


When Mr. Birney seceded from colonization, he encouraged his new allies with the hope, that West India free labor would render our slave labor less profitable, and emancipation, as a consequence, be more easily effected. How stood this matter six years afterward? This will be best understood by contrast. In 1800, the West Indies exported 17,000,000 lbs. of cotton, and the United States, 17,789,803 lbs. They were then about equally productive in that article. In 1840, the West India exports had dwindled down to 427,529 lbs., while those of the United States had increased to 743,941,061 lbs.

And what was England doing all this while? Having lost her supplies from the West Indies, she was quietly spinning away at American slave labor cotton; and to ease the public conscience of the kingdom, was loudly talking of a free labor supply of the commodity from the banks of the Niger! But the expedition up that river failed, and 1845 found her manufacturing 626,496,000 lbs. of cotton, mostly the product of American slaves! The strength of American slavery at that moment may be inferred from the fact, that we exported that year 872,905,996 lbs. of cotton, and our production of cane sugar had reached over 200,000,000 lbs.; while, to make room for slavery extension, we were busied in the annexation of Texas and in preparations for the consequent war with Mexico!

But abolitionists themselves, some time before this, had, mostly, become convinced of the feeble character of their efforts against slavery, and allowed politicians to enlist them in a political crusade, as the last hope of arresting the progress of the system. The cry of "Immediate Abolition" died away; reliance upon moral means was mainly abandoned; and the limitation of the institution, geographically, became the chief object of effort. The results of more than a dozen years of political action are before the public, and what has it accomplished! We are not now concerned in the inquiry of how far the strategy of politicians succeeded in making the votes of abolitionists subservient to slavery extension. That they did so, in at least one prominent case, will never be denied by any candid man. All we intend to say, is, that the cotton planters, instead of being crippled in their operations, were able, in the year ending the last of June, 1853, to export 1,111,570,370 lbs. of cotton, beside supplying near 300,000,000 lbs. for home consumption; and that England, the year ending[54] the last of January, 1853, consumed the unprecedented quantity of 817,998,048 lbs. of that staple.[12] The year 1854, instead of finding slavery perishing under the blows it had received, has witnessed the destruction of all the old barriers to its extension, and beholds it expanded widely enough for the profitable employment of the slave population, with all its natural increase, for a hundred years to come!!

If political action against slavery has been thus disastrously unfortunate, how is it with anti-slavery action, at large, as to its efficiency at this moment? On this point, hear the testimony of a correspondent of Frederick Douglass' Paper, January 26, 1855:

"How gloriously did the anti-slavery cause arise . . . . . . in 1833-4! And now what is it, in our agency! . . . . . . What is it, through the errors or crimes of its advocates variously—probably quite as much as through the brazen, gross, and licentious wickedness of its enemies. Alas! what is it but a mutilated, feeble, discordant, and half-expiring instrument, at which Satan and his children, legally and illegally, scoff! Of it I despair."

Such are the crowning results of both political and anti-slavery action, for the overthrow of slavery! Such are the demonstrations of their utter impotency as a means of relief to the bond and free of the colored people!

Surely, then, if the negro is capable of elevation, it is time that some other measures should be devised, than those hitherto adopted, for the melioration of the African race! Surely, too, it is time for the American people to rebuke that class of politicians, North and South, whose only capital consists in keeping up a fruitless warfare upon the subject of slavery—nay! abundant in fruits to the poor colored man; but to him, "their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter; their vine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps."[13]

The application of this language, to the case under consideration, will be fully justified when the facts, in the remaining pages of this work, are carefully studied.




Present condition of Slavery—Not an isolated system—Its relations to other industrial interests—To manufactures, commerce, trade, human comfort—Its benevolent aspect—The reverse picture—Immense value of tropical possessions to Great Britain—England's attempted monopoly of Manufactures—Her dependence on American Planters—Cotton Planters attempt to monopolize Cotton markets—Fusion of these parties—Free Trade essential to their success—Influence on agriculture, mechanics—Exports of Cotton, Tobacco, etc.—Increased production of Provisions—Their extent—New markets needed.

The institution of slavery, at this moment, gives indications of a vitality that was never anticipated by its friends or foes. Its enemies often supposed it about ready to expire, from the wounds they had inflicted, when in truth it had taken two steps in advance, while they had taken twice the number in an opposite direction. In each successive conflict, its assailants have been weakened, while its dominion has been extended.

This has arisen from causes too generally overlooked. Slavery is not an isolated system, but is so mingled with the business of the world, that it derives facilities from the most innocent transactions. Capital and labor, in Europe and America, are largely employed in the manufacture of cotton. These goods, to a great extent, may be seen freighting every vessel, from Christian nations, that traverses the seas of the globe; and filling the warehouses and shelves of the merchants over two-thirds of the world. By the industry, skill, and enterprise employed in the manufacture of cotton, mankind are better clothed; their comfort better promoted; general industry more highly stimulated; commerce more widely extended; and civilization more rapidly advanced than in any preceding age.

To the superficial observer, all the agencies, based upon the sale and manufacture of cotton, seem to be legitimately engaged in promoting human happiness; and he, doubtless, feels like invoking[56] Heaven's choicest blessings upon them. When he sees the stockholders in the cotton corporations receiving their dividends, the operatives their wages, the merchants their profits, and civilized people everywhere clothed comfortably in cottons, he can not refrain from exclaiming: The lines have fallen unto them in pleasant places; yea, they have a goodly heritage!

But turn a moment to the source whence the raw cotton, the basis of these operations, is obtained, and observe the aspect of things in that direction. When the statistics on the subject are examined, it appears that nine-tenths of the cotton consumed in the Christian world is the product of the slave labor of the United States.[14] It is this monopoly that has given to slavery its commercial value; and, while this monopoly is retained, the institution will continue to extend itself wherever it can find room to spread. He who looks for any other result, must expect that nations, which, for centuries, have waged war to extend their commerce, will now abandon that means of aggrandizement, and bankrupt themselves to force the abolition of American slavery!

This is not all. The economical value of slavery, as an agency for supplying the means of extending manufactures and commerce, has long been understood by statesmen.[15] The discovery[57] of the power of steam, and the inventions in machinery, for preparing and manufacturing cotton, revealed the important fact, that a single island, having the monopoly secured to itself, could supply the world with clothing. Great Britain attempted to gain this monopoly; and, to prevent other countries from rivaling her, she long prohibited all emigration of skillful mechanics from the kingdom, as well as all exports of machinery. As country after country was opened to her commerce, the markets for her manufactures were extended, and the demand for the raw material increased. The benefits of this enlarged commerce of the world, were not confined to a single nation, but mutually enjoyed by all. As each had products to sell, peculiar to itself, the advantages often gained by one were no detriment to the others. The principal articles demanded by this increasing commerce have been coffee, sugar, and cotton, in the production of which slave labor has greatly predominated. Since the enlargement of manufactures, cotton has entered more extensively into commerce than coffee and sugar, though the demand for all three has advanced with the greatest rapidity. England could only become a great commercial nation, through the agency of her manufactures. She was the best supplied, of all the nations, with the necessary capital,[58] skill, labor, and fuel, to extend her commerce by this means. But, for the raw material, to supply her manufactories, she was dependent upon other countries. The planters of the United States were the most favorably situated for the cultivation of cotton; and while Great Britain was aiming at monopolizing its manufacture, they attempted to monopolize the markets for that staple. This led to a fusion of interests between them and the British manufacturers; and to the adoption of principles in political economy, which, if rendered effective, would promote the interests of this coalition. With the advantages possessed by the English manufacturers, "Free Trade" would render all other nations subservient to their interests; and, so far as their operations should be increased, just so far would the demand for American cotton be extended. The details of the success of the parties to this combination, and the opposition they have had to[59] encounter, are left to be noticed more fully hereafter. To the cotton planters, the co-partnership has been eminently advantageous.

How far the other agricultural interests of the United States are promoted, by extending the cultivation of cotton, may be inferred from the Census returns of 1850, and the Congressional Reports on Commerce and Navigation, for 1854.[16] Cotton and tobacco, only, are largely exported. The production of sugar does not yet equal our consumption of the article, and we import, chiefly from slave labor countries, 445,445,680 lbs. to make up the deficiency.[17] But of cotton and tobacco, we export more than two-thirds of the amount produced; while of other products of the agriculturists, less than the one forty-sixth part is exported. Foreign nations, generally, can grow their provisions, but can not grow their tobacco and cotton. Our surplus provisions, not exported, go to the villages, towns, and cities, to feed the mechanics, manufacturers, merchants, professional men, and others; or to the cotton and sugar districts of the South, to feed the planters and their slaves. The increase of mechanics and manufacturers at the North, and the expansion of slavery at the South, therefore, augment the markets for provisions, and promote the prosperity of the farmer. As the mechanical population increases, the implements of industry and articles of furniture are multiplied, so that both farmer and planter can be supplied with them on easier terms. As foreign nations open their markets to cotton fabrics, increased demands for the raw material are made. As new grazing and grain-growing States are developed, and teem with their surplus productions, the mechanic is benefited, and the planter, relieved from food-raising, can employ his slaves more extensively upon cotton. It is thus that our exports are increased; our foreign commerce advanced; the home markets of the mechanic and farmer extended, and the wealth of the nation promoted. It is thus, also, that the free labor of the country finds remunerating markets for its products—though at the expense of serving as an efficient auxiliary in the extension of slavery!

But more: So speedily are new grain-growing States springing[60] up; so vast is the territory owned by the United States, ready for settlement; and so enormous will soon be the amount of products demanding profitable markets, that the national government has been seeking new outlets for them, upon our own continent, to which, alone, they can be advantageously transported. That such outlets, when our vast possessions Westward are brought under cultivation, will be an imperious necessity, is known to every statesman. The farmers of these new States, after the example of those of the older sections of the country, will demand a market for their products. This can be furnished, only, by the extension of slavery; by the acquisition of more tropical territory; by opening the ports of Brazil, and other South American countries, to the admission of our provisions; by their free importation into European countries; or by a vast enlargement of domestic manufactures, to the exclusion of foreign goods from the country. Look at this question as it now stands, and then judge of what it must be twenty years hence. The class of products under consideration, in the whole country, in 1853, were valued at $1,551,176,490; of which there were exported to foreign countries, to the value of only $33,809,126.[18] The planter will not assent to any check upon the foreign imports of the country, for the benefit of the farmer. This demands the adoption of vigorous measures to secure a market for his products by some of the other modes stated. Hence, the orders of our executive, in 1851, for the exploration of the valley of the Amazon; the efforts, in 1854, to obtain a treaty with Brazil, for the free navigation of that immense river; the negotiations for a military foothold in St. Domingo; and the determination to acquire Cuba. But we must not anticipate topics to be considered at a later period in our discussion.



Foresight of Great Britain—Hon. George Thompson's predictions—Their failure—England's dependence on Slave labor—Blackwood's Magazine—London Economist—McCullough—Her exports of cotton goods—Neglect to improve the proper moment for Emancipation—Admission of Gerrit Smith—Cotton, its exports, its value, extent of crop, and cost of our cotton fabrics—Provisions, their value, their export, their consumption—Groceries, source of their supplies, cost of amount consumed—Our total indebtedness to Slave labor—How far Free labor sustains Slave labor.

Antecedent to all the movements noticed in the preceding chapter, Great Britain had foreseen the coming increased demand for tropical products. Indeed, her West Indian policy, of a few years previous, had hastened the crisis; and, to repair her injuries, and meet the general outcry for cotton, she made the most vigorous efforts to promote its cultivation in her own tropical possessions. The motives prompting her to this policy, need not be referred to here, as they will be noticed hereafter. The Hon. George Thompson, it will be remembered, when urging the increase of cotton cultivation in the East Indies, declared that the scheme must succeed, and that, soon, all slave labor cotton would be repudiated by the British manufacturers. Mr Garrison indorsed the measure, and expressed his belief that, with its success, the American slave system must inevitably perish from starvation! But England's efforts signally failed, and the golden apple, fully ripened, dropped into the lap of our cotton planters.[19] The year that heard Thompson's pompous predictions,[20] witnessed the consumption of but 445,744,000 lbs. of cotton, by England; while, fourteen years later, she used 817,998,048 lbs., nearly 700,000,000 lbs. of which were obtained from America!

That we have not overstated her dependence upon our slave labor for cotton is a fact of world-wide notoriety. Blackwood's Magazine, January, 1853, in referring to the cultivation of the article, by the United States, says:


"With its increased growth has sprung up that mercantile navy, which now waves its stripes and stars over every sea, and that foreign influence, which has placed the internal peace—we may say the subsistence of millions in every manufacturing country in Europe—within the power of an oligarchy of planters."

In reference to the same subject, the London Economist quotes as follows:

"Let any great social or physical convulsion visit the United States, and England would feel the shock from Land's End to John O'Groats. The lives of nearly two millions of our countrymen are dependent upon the cotton crops of America; their destiny may be said, without any kind of hyperbole, to hang upon a thread. Should any dire calamity befall the land of cotton, a thousand of our merchant ships would rot idly in dock; ten thousand mills must stop their busy looms; two thousand thousand mouths would starve, for lack of food to feed them."

A more definite statement of England's indebtedness to cotton, is given by McCullough; who shows that as far back as 1832, her exports of cotton fabrics were equal in value to about two-thirds of all the woven fabrics exported from the empire. The same state of things, nearly, existed in 1849, when the cotton fabrics exported, according to the London Economist, were valued at about $140,000,000, while all the other woven fabrics exported did not quite reach to the value of $68,000,000. On consulting the same authority, of still later dates, it appears, that the last four years has produced no material change in the relations which the different classes of British fabrics, exported, bear to each other. The present condition of the demand and supplies of cotton, throughout Europe, and the extent to which the increasing consumption of that staple must stimulate the American planters to its increased production, will be noticed in the proper place.[21]


There was a time when American slave labor sustained no such relations to the manufactures and commerce of the world as it now so firmly holds; and when, by the adoption of proper measures, on the part of the free colored people and their friends, the emancipation of the slaves, in all the States, might, possibly, have been effected. But that period has passed forever away, and causes, unforeseen, have come into operation, which are too powerful to be overcome by any agencies that have since been employed.[22] What Divine Providence may have in store for the future, we know not; but, at present, the institution of slavery is sustained by numberless pillars, too massive for human power and wisdom to overthrow.

Take another view of this subject. To say nothing now of the tobacco, rice, and sugar, which are the products of our slave labor, we exported raw cotton to the value of $109,456,404 in 1853. Its destination was, to Great Britain, 768,596,498 lbs.; to the Continent of Europe, 335,271,434 lbs.; to countries on our own Continent, 7,702,438 lbs.; making the total exports, 1,111,570,370 lbs. The entire crop of that year being 1,305,152,800 lbs., gives, for home consumption, 268,403,600 lbs.[23] Of this, there was manufactured into cotton fabrics to the value of $61,869,274;[24] of which there was retained, for home markets, to the value of $53,100,290. Our imports of cotton fabrics from Europe, in 1853, for consumption, amounted in value to[64] $26,477,950:[25] thus making our cottons, foreign and domestic, for that year, cost us $79,578,240.

In bringing down the results to 1858, it will be seen that the imports of foreign cotton goods has fluctuated at higher and lower amounts than those of 1853; and that an actual decrease of our exports of cotton manufactures has taken place since that date.[26] But in the exports of raw cotton there has been an increase of nearly a hundred millions of pounds over that of 1853—the total exports of 1859 being 1,208,561,200 lbs. The total crop of 1859, in the United States, was 1,606,800,000 lbs., and the amount taken for consumption 371,060,800 lbs.[27]

Thus, while our consumption of foreign cotton goods is not on the increase, the foreign demand for our raw cotton is rapidly augmenting; and thus the American planter is becoming more and more important to the manufactures and commerce of the world.

This, now, is what becomes of our cotton; this is the way in which it so largely constitutes the basis of commerce and trade; and this is the nature of the relations existing between the slavery of the United States and the economical interests of the world.

But have the United States no other great leading interests, except those which are involved in the production of cotton? Certainly, they have. Here is a great field for the growth of provisions. In ordinary years, exclusive of tobacco and cotton, our agricultural property, when added to the domestic animals and their products, amounts in value $1,551,176,490. Of this, there is exported only to the value of $33,809,126; which leaves for home consumption and use, a remainder to the value of $1,517,367,364.[28] The portions of the property represented by this[65] immense sum of money, which pass from the hands of the agriculturists, are distributed throughout the Union, for the support of the day laborers, sailors, mechanics, manufacturers, traders, merchants, professional men, planters, and the slave population. This is what becomes of our provisions.

Besides this annual consumption of provisions, most of which is the product of free labor, the people of the United States use a vast amount of groceries, which are mainly of slave labor origin. Boundless as is the influence of cotton, in stimulating slavery extension, that of the cultivation of groceries falls but little short of it; the chief difference being, that they do not receive such an increased value under the hand of manufacturers. The cultivation of coffee, in Brazil, employs as great a number of slaves as that of cotton in the United States.

But, to comprehend fully our indebtedness to slave labor for groceries, we must descend to particulars. Our imports of coffee, tobacco, sugar, and molasses, for 1853, amounted in value to $38,479,000; of which the hand of the slave, in Brazil and Cuba, mainly, supplied to the value of $34,451,000.[29] This shows the extent to which we are sustaining foreign slavery, by the consumption of these four products. But this is not our whole indebtedness to slavery for groceries. Of the domestic grown tobacco, valued at $19,975,000, of which we retain nearly one-half, the Slave States produce to the value of $16,787,000; of domestic rice, the product of the South, we consume to the value of $7,092,000; of domestic slave grown sugar and molasses, we take, for home consumption, to the value of $34,779,000; making our grocery account, with domestic slavery, foot up to the sum of $50,449,000. Our whole indebtedness, then, to slavery, foreign and domestic, for these four commodities, after deducting two millions of re-exports amounts to $82,607,000.

The exports of tobacco are on the increase, as appears from Table VIII of Appendix, showing an extension of its cultivation; but the exports of rice are not on the increase, from which it would appear that its production remains stationary.

By adding the value of the foreign and domestic cotton fabrics,[66] consumed annually in the United States, to the yearly cost of the groceries which the country uses, our total indebtedness, for articles of slave labor origin, will be found swelling up to the enormous sum of $162,185,240.[30]

We have now seen the channels through which our cotton passes off into the great sea of commerce, to furnish the world its clothing. We have seen the origin and value of our provisions, and to whom they are sold. We have seen the sources whence our groceries are derived, and the millions of money they cost. To ascertain how far these several interests are sustained by one another, will be to determine how far any one of them becomes an element of expansion to the others. To decide a question of this nature with precision is impracticable. The statistics are not attainable. It may be illustrated, however, in various ways, so as to obtain a conclusion proximately accurate. Suppose, for example, that the supplies of food from the North were cut off, the manufactories left in their present condition, and the planters forced to raise their provisions and draught animals: in such circumstances, the export of cotton must cease, as the lands of these States could not be made to yield more than would subsist their own population, and supply the cotton demanded by the Northern States. Now, if this be true of the agricultural resources of the cotton States—and it is believed to be nearly the full extent of their capacity—then the surplus of cotton, to the value of more than a hundred millions of dollars, now annually sent abroad, stands as the representative of the yearly supplies which the cotton planters receive from the farmers north of the cotton line. This, therefore, as will afterward more fully appear, may be taken as the probable extent to which the supplies from the North serve as an element of slavery expansion in the article of cotton alone.



Economical relations of Slavery further considered—System unprofitable in grain growing, but profitable in culture of Cotton—Antagonism of Farmer and Planter—"Protection," and, "Free Trade" controversy—Congressional Debates on the subject—Mr. Clay—Position of the South—"Free Trade," considered indispensable to its prosperity.

But the subject of the relations of American slavery to the economical interests of the world, demands a still closer scrutiny, in order that the causes of the failure of abolitionism to arrest its progress, as well as the present relations of the institution to the politics of the country, may fully appear.

Slave labor has seldom been made profitable where it has been wholly employed in grazing and grain growing; but it becomes remunerative in proportion as the planters can devote their attention to cotton, sugar, rice, or tobacco. To render Southern slavery profitable in the highest degree, therefore, the slaves must be employed upon some one of these articles, and be sustained by a supply of food and draught animals from Northern agriculturists; and before the planter's supplies are complete, to these must be added cotton gins, implements of husbandry, furniture, and tools, from Northern mechanics. This is a point of the utmost moment, and must be considered more at length.

It has long been a vital question to the success of the slaveholder, to know how he could render the labor of his slaves the most profitable. The grain growing States had to emancipate their slaves, to rid themselves of a profitless system. The cotton-growing States, ever after the invention of the cotton gin, had found the production of that staple highly remunerative. The logical conclusion, from these different results, was, that the less provisions, and the more cotton grown by the planter, the greater would be his profits. This must be noted with special care. Markets for the surplus products of the farmer of the North, were equally as important to him as the supply of Provisions was to the planter. But the planter, to be eminently successful, must purchase his supplies at the lowest possible prices; while[68] the farmer, to secure his prosperity, must sell his products at the highest possible rates. Few, indeed, can be so ill informed, as not to know, that these two topics, for many years, were involved in the "Free Trade" and "Protective Tariff" doctrines, and afforded the materiel of the political contests between the North and the South—between free labor and slave labor. A very brief notice of the history of that controversy, will demonstrate the truth of this assertion.

The attempt of the agricultural States, thirty years since, to establish the protective policy, and promote "Domestic Manufactures," was a struggle to create such a division of labor as would afford a "Home Market" for their products, no longer in demand abroad. The first decisive action on the question, by Congress, was in 1824; when the distress in these States, and the measures proposed for their relief, by national legislation, were discussed on the passage of the "Tariff Bill" of that year. The ablest men in the nation were engaged in the controversy. As provisions are the most important item on the one hand, and cotton on the other, we shall use these two terms as the representatives of the two classes of products, belonging, respectively, to free labor and to slave labor.

Mr. Clay, in the course of the debate, said: "What, again, I would ask, is the cause of the unhappy condition of our country, which I have fairly depicted? It is to be found in the fact that, during almost the whole existence of this government, we have shaped our industry, our navigation, and our commerce, in reference to an extraordinary war in Europe, and to foreign markets which no longer exist; in the fact that we have depended too much on foreign sources of supply, and excited too little the native; in the fact that, while we have cultivated, with assiduous care, our foreign resources, we have suffered those at home to wither, in a state of neglect and abandonment. The consequence of the termination of the war of Europe, has been the resumption of European commerce, European navigation, and the extension of European agriculture, in all its branches. Europe, therefore, has no longer occasion for any thing like the same extent as that which she had during her wars, for American commerce, American navigation, the produce of American industry. Europe in commotion, and convulsed throughout all her members, is to America no longer the same Europe as she is now, tranquil, and[69] watching with the most vigilant attention, all her own peculiar interests, without regard to their operation on us. The effect of this altered state of Europe upon us, has been to circumscribe the employment of our marine, and greatly to reduce the value of the produce of our territorial labor. . . . . The greatest want of civilized society is a market for the sale and exchange of the surplus of the products of the labor of its members. This market may exist at home or abroad, or both, but it must exist somewhere, if society prospers; and, wherever it does exist, it should be competent to the absorption of the entire surplus production. It is most desirable that there should be both a home and a foreign market. But with respect to their relative superiority, I can not entertain a doubt. The home market is first in order, and paramount in importance. The object of the bill under consideration, is to create this home market, and to lay the foundation of a genuine American policy. It is opposed; and it is incumbent on the partisans of the foreign policy (terms which I shall use without any invidious intent) to demonstrate that the foreign market is an adequate vent for the surplus produce of our labor. But is it so? 1. Foreign nations can not, if they would, take our surplus produce. . . . . 2. If they could, they would not. . . . . We have seen, I think, the causes of the distress of the country. We have seen that an exclusive dependence upon the foreign market must lead to a still severer distress, to impoverishment, to ruin. We must, then, change somewhat our course. We must give a new direction to some portion of our industry. We must speedily adopt a genuine American policy. Still cherishing a foreign market, let us create also a home market, to give further scope to the consumption of the produce of American industry. Let us counteract the policy of foreigners, and withdraw the support which we now give to their industry, and stimulate that of our own country. . . . . The creation of a home market is not only necessary to procure for our agriculture a just reward of its labors, but it is indispensable to obtain a supply of our necessary wants. If we can not sell, we can not buy. That portion of our population (and we have seen that it is not less than four-fifths) which makes comparatively nothing that foreigners will buy, has nothing to make purchases with from foreigners. It is in vain that we are told of the amount of our exports, supplied by the planting interest. They may enable the planting interest to[70] supply all its wants; but they bring no ability to the interests not planting, unless, which can not be pretended, the planting interest was an adequate vent for the surplus produce of all the labor of all other interests. . . . . But this home market, highly desirable as it is, can only be created and cherished by the protection of our own legislation against the inevitable prostration of our industry, which must ensue from the action of foreign policy and legislation. . . . . The sole object of the tariff is to tax the produce of foreign industry, with the view of promoting American industry. . . . . But it is said by the honorable gentleman from Virginia, that the South, owing to the character of a certain portion of its population, can not engage in the business of manufacturing. . . . . The circumstances of its degradation unfits it for manufacturing arts. The well-being of the other, and the larger part of our population, requires the introduction of those arts.

"What is to be done in this conflict? The gentleman would have us abstain from adopting a policy called for by the interests of the greater and freer part of the population. But is that reasonable? Can it be expected that the interests of the greater part should be made to bend to the condition of the servile part of our population? That, in effect, would be to make us the slaves of slaves. . . . . I am sure that the patriotism of the South may be exclusively relied upon to reject a policy which should be dictated by considerations altogether connected with that degraded class, to the prejudice of the residue of our population. But does not a perseverance in the foreign policy, as it now exists, in fact, make all parts of the Union, not planting, tributary to the planting parts? What is the argument? It is, that we must continue freely to receive the produce of foreign industry, without regard to the protection of American industry, that a market may be retained for the sale abroad of the produce of the planting portion of the country; and that, if we lessen the consumption, in all parts of America, those which are not planting, as well as the planting sections, of foreign manufactures, we diminish to that extent the foreign market for the planting produce. The existing state of things, indeed, presents a sort of tacit compact between the cotton-grower and the British manufacturer, the stipulations of which are, on the part of the cotton-grower, that the whole of the United States, the other portions as well as the cotton-growing, shall remain open and unrestricted in the consumption of British[71] manufactures; and, on the part of the British manufacturer, that, in consideration thereof, he will continue to purchase the cotton of the South. Thus, then, we perceive that the proposed measure, instead of sacrificing the South to the other parts of the Union, seeks only to preserve them from being actually sacrificed under the operation of the tacit compact which I have described."

The opposition to the Protective Tariff, by the South, arose from two causes: the first openly avowed at the time, and the second clearly deducible from the policy it pursued: the one to secure the foreign market for its cotton, the other to obtain a bountiful supply of provisions at cheap rates. Cotton was admitted free of duty into foreign countries, and Southern statesmen feared its exclusion, if our government increased the duties on foreign fabrics. The South exported about twice as much of that staple as was supplied to Europe by all other countries, and there were indications favoring the desire it entertained of monopolizing the foreign markets. The West India planters could not import food, but at such high rates as to make it impracticable to grow cotton at prices low enough to suit the English manufacturer. To purchase cotton cheaply, was essential to the success of his scheme of monopolizing its manufacture, and supplying the world with clothing. The close proximity of the provision and cotton-growing districts in the United States, gave its planters advantages over all other portions of the world. But they could not monopolize the markets, unless they could obtain a cheap supply of food and clothing for their negroes, and raise their cotton at such reduced prices as to undersell their rivals. A manufacturing population, with its mechanical coadjutors, in the midst of the provision-growers, on a scale such as the protective policy contemplated, it was conceived, would create a permanent market for their products, and enhance the price; whereas, if this manufacturing could be prevented, and a system of free trade adopted, the South would constitute the principal provision market of the country, and the fertile lands of the North supply the cheap food demanded for its slaves. As the tariff policy, in the outset, contemplated the encouragement of the production of iron, hemp, whisky, and the establishment of woolen manufactories, principally, the South found its interests but slightly identified with the system—the coarser qualities of cottons, only, being manufactured in the country, and, even these, on a diminished scale, as compared[72] with the cotton crops of the South. Cotton, up to the date when this controversy had been fairly commenced, had been worth, in the English market, an average price of from 297/10 to 484/10 cents per lb.[31] But at this period, a wide spread and ruinous depression both in the culture and manufacture of the article, occurred—cotton, in 1826, having fallen, in England, as low as 119/10 to 189/10 cents per lb. The home market, then, was too inconsiderable to be of much importance, and there existed little hope of its enlargement to the extent demanded by its increasing cultivation. The planters, therefore, looked abroad to the existing markets, rather than to wait for tardily creating one at home. For success in the foreign markets, they relied, mainly, upon preparing themselves to produce cotton at the reduced prices then prevailing in Europe. All agricultural products, except cotton, being excluded from foreign markets, the planters found themselves almost the sole exporters of the country; and it was to them a source of chagrin, that the North did not, at once, co-operate with them in augmenting the commerce of the nation.

At this point in the history of the controversy, politicians found it an easy matter to produce feelings of the deepest hostility between the opposing parties. The planters were led to believe that the millions of revenue collected off the goods imported, was so much deducted from the value of the cotton that paid for them, either in the diminished price they received abroad, or in the increased price which they paid for the imported articles. To enhance the duties, for the protection of our manufacturers, they were persuaded, would be so much of an additional tax upon themselves, for the benefit of the North; and, beside, to give the manufacturer such a monopoly of the home market for his fabrics, would enable him to charge purchasers an excess over the true value of his stuffs, to the whole amount of the duty. By the protective policy, the planters expected to have the cost of both provisions and clothing increased, and their ability to monopolize the foreign markets diminished in a corresponding degree. If they could establish free trade, it would insure the American market to foreign manufacturers; secure the foreign markets for their leading staple; repress home manufactures; force a large[73] number of the Northern men into agriculture; multiply the growth, and diminish the price of provisions; feed and clothe their slaves at lower rates; produce their cotton for a third or fourth of former prices; rival all other countries in its cultivation; monopolize the trade in the article throughout the whole of Europe; and build up a commerce and a navy that would make us ruler of the seas.


Tariff controversy continued—Mr. Hayne—Mr. Carter—Mr. Govan—Mr. Martindale—Mr. Buchanan—Sugar Planters invoked to aid Free Trade—The West also invoked—Its pecuniary embarrassments for want of markets—Henry Baldwin—Remarks on the views of the parties—State of the world—Dread of the Protective policy by the Planters—Their schemes to avert its consequences, and promote Free Trade.

To understand the sentiments of the South, on the Protective Policy, as expressed by its statesmen, we must again quote from the Congressional Debates of 1824:

Mr. Hayne, of South Carolina, said: "But how, I would seriously ask, is it possible for the home market to supply the place of the foreign market, for our cotton? We supply Great Britain with the raw material, out of which she furnishes the Continent of Europe, nay, the whole world, with cotton goods. Now, suppose our manufactories could make every yard of cloth we consume, that would furnish a home market for no more than 20,000,000 lbs. out of the 180,000,000 lbs. of cotton now shipped to Great Britain; leaving on our hands 160,000,000 lbs., equal to two-thirds of our whole produce. . . . . Considering this scheme of promoting certain employments, at the expense of others, as unequal, oppressive, and unjust—viewing prohibition as the means, and the destruction of all foreign commerce as the end of this policy—I take this occasion to declare, that we shall feel ourselves, justified in embracing the very first opportunity of repealing all such laws as may be passed for the promotion of these objects."

Mr. Carter, of South Carolina, said: "Another danger to which the present measure would expose this country, and one in[74] which the Southern States have a deep and vital interest, would be the risk we incur, by this system of exclusion, of driving Great Britain to countervailing measures, and inducing all other countries, with whom the United States have any considerable trading connections, to resort to measures of retaliation. There are countries possessing vast capacities for the production of rice, of cotton, and of tobacco, to which England might resort to supply herself. She might apply herself to Brazil, Bengal, and Egypt, for her cotton; to South America, as well as to her colonies, for her tobacco; and to China and Turkey for her rice."

Mr. Govan, of South Carolina, said: "The effect of this measure on the cotton, rice, and tobacco-growing States, will be pernicious in the extreme:—it will exclude them from those markets where they depended almost entirely for a sale of those articles, and force Great Britain to encourage the cottons, (Brazil, Rio Janeiro, and Buenos Ayres,) which, in a short time, can be brought in competition with us. Nothing but the consumption of British goods in this country, received in exchange, can support a command of the cotton market to the Southern planter. It is one thing very certain, she will not come here with her gold and silver to trade with us. And should Great Britain, pursuing the principles of her reciprocal duty act, of last June, lay three or four cents on our cotton, where would, I ask, be our surplus of cotton? It is well known that the United States can not manufacture one-fourth of the cotton that is in it; and should we, by our imprudent legislative enactments, in pursuing to such an extent this restrictive system, force Great Britain to shut her ports against us, it will paralyze the whole trade of the Southern country. This export trade, which composes five-sixths of the export trade of the United States, will be swept entirely from the ocean, and leave but a melancholy wreck behind."

It is necessary, also, to add a few additional extracts, from the speeches of Northern statesmen, during this discussion.

Mr. Martindale, of New York, said: "Does not the agriculture of the country languish, and the laborer stand still, because, beyond the supply of food for his own family, his produce perishes on his hands, or his fields lie waste and fallow; and this because his accustomed market is closed against him? It does, sir. . . . . A twenty years' war in Europe, which drew into its vortex all its various nations, made our merchants the carriers of[75] a large portion of the world, and our farmers the feeders of immense belligerent armies. An unexampled activity and increase in our commerce followed—our agriculture extended itself, grew and nourished. An unprecedented demand gave the farmer an extraordinary price for his produce. . . . . Imports kept pace with exports, and consumption with both. . . . . Peace came into Europe, and shut out our exports, and found us in war with England, which almost cut off our imports. . . . . Now we felt how comfortable it was to have plenty of food, but no clothing. . . . . Now we felt the imperfect organization of our system. Now we saw the imperfect distribution and classification of labor. . . . . Here is the explanation of our opposite views. It is employment, after all, that we are all in search of. It is a market for our labor and our produce, which we all want, and all contend for. 'Buy foreign goods, that we may import,' say the merchants: it will make a market for importations, and find employment for our ships. Buy English manufactures, say the cotton planters; England will take our cotton in exchange. Thus the merchant and the cotton planter fully appreciate the value of a market when they find their own encroached upon. The farmer and manufacturer claim to participate in the benefits of a market for their labor and produce; and hence this protracted debate and struggle of contending interests. It is a contest for a market between the cotton-grower and the merchant on the one side, and the farmer and the manufacturer on the other. That the manufacturer would furnish this market to the farmer, admits no doubt. The farmer should reciprocate the favor; and government is now called upon to render this market accessible to foreign fabrics for the mutual benefit of both. . . . . This, then, is the remedy we propose, sir, for the evils which we suffer. Place the mechanic by the side of the farmer, that the manufacturer who makes our cloth, should make it from our farmers' wool, flax, hemp, etc., and be fed by our farmers' provisions. Draw forth our iron from our own mountains, and we shall not drain our country in the purchase of the foreign. . . . . We propose, sir, to supply our own wants from our own resources, by the means which God and Nature have placed in our hands. . . . . But here is a question of sectional interest, which elicits unfriendly feelings and determined hostility to the bill. . . . . The cotton, rice, tobacco, and indigo-growers of the Southern States, claim to be deeply affected[76] and injured by this system. . . . . Let us inquire if the Southern planter does not demand what, in fact, he denies to others. And now, what does he request? That the North and West should buy—what? Not their cotton, tobacco, etc., for that we do already, to the utmost of our ability to consume, or pay, or vend to others; and that is to an immense amount, greatly exceeding what they purchase of us. But they insist that we should buy English wool, wrought into cloth, that they may pay for it with their cotton; that we should buy Russia iron, that they may sell their cotton; that we should buy Holland gin and linen, that they may sell their tobacco. In fine, that we should not grow wool, and dig and smelt the iron of the country; for, if we did, they could not sell their cotton." (On another occasion, he said:) "Gentlemen say they will oppose every part of the bill. They will, therefore, move to strike out every part of it. And, on every such motion, we shall hear repeated, as we have done already, the same objections: that it will ruin trade and commerce; that it will destroy the revenue, and prostrate the navy; that it will enhance the prices of articles of the first necessity, and thus be taxing the poor; and that it will destroy the cotton market, and stop the future growth of cotton."

Mr. Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, said: "No nation can be perfectly independent which depends upon foreign countries for its supply of iron. It is an article equally necessary in peace and in war. Without a plentiful supply of it, we cannot provide for the common defense. Can we so soon have forgotten the lesson which experience taught us during the late war with Great Britain? Our foreign supply was then cut off, and we could not manufacture in sufficient quantities for the increased domestic demand. The price of the article became extravagant, and both the Government and the agriculturist were compelled to pay double the sum for which they might have purchased it, had its manufacture, before that period, been encouraged by proper protecting duties."

Sugar cane, at that period, had become an article of culture in Louisiana, and efforts were made to persuade her planters into the adoption of the Free Trade system. It was urged that they could more effectually resist foreign competition, and extend their business, by a cheap supply of food, than by protective duties. But the Louisianians were too wise not to know, that though they[77] would certainly obtain cheap provisions by the destruction of Northern manufactures, still, this would not enable them to compete with the cheaper labor supplied by the slave trade to the Cubans.

The West, for many years, gave its undivided support to the manufacturing interests, thereby obtaining a heavy duty on hemp, wool, and foreign distilled spirits: thus securing encouragement to its hemp and wool-growers, and the monopoly of the home market for its whisky. The distiller and the manufacturer, under this system, were equally ranked as public benefactors, as each increased the consumption of the surplus products of the farmer. The grain of the West could find no remunerative market, except as fed to domestic animals for droving East and South, or distilled into whisky which would bear transportation. Take a fact in proof of this assertion. Hon. Henry Baldwin, of Pittsburgh, at a public dinner given him by the friends of General Jackson, in Cincinnati, May, 1828, in referring to the want of markets, for the farmers of the West, said, "He was certain, the aggregate of their agricultural produce, finding a market in Europe, would not pay for the pins and needles they imported."

The markets in the Southwest, now so important, were then quite limited. As the protective system, coupled with the contemplated internal improvements, if successfully accomplished, would inevitably tend to enhance the price of agricultural products; while the free trade and anti-internal improvement policy, would as certainly reduce their value; the two systems were long considered so antagonistic, that the success of the one must sound the knell of the other. Indeed, so fully was Ohio impressed with the necessity of promoting manufactures, that all capital thus employed, was for many years entirely exempt from taxation.

It was in vain that the friends of protection appealed to the fact, that the duties levied on foreign goods did not necessarily enhance their cost to the consumer; that the competition among home manufacturers, and between them and foreigners, had greatly reduced the price of nearly every article properly protected; that foreign manufacturers always had, and always would advance their prices according to our dependence upon them; that domestic competition was the only safety the country had[78] against foreign imposition; that it was necessary we should become our own manufacturers, in a fair degree, to render ourselves independent of other nations in times of war, as well as to guard against the vacillations in foreign legislation; that the South would be vastly the gainer by having the market for its products at its own doors, to avoid the cost of their transit across the Atlantic; that, in the event of the repression or want of proper extension of our manufactures, by the adoption of the free trade system, the imports of foreign goods, to meet the public wants, would soon exceed the ability of the people to pay, and, inevitably, involve the country in bankruptcy.

Southern politicians remained inflexible, and refused to accept any policy except free trade, to the utter abandonment of the principle of protection. Whether they were jealous of the greater prosperity of the North, and desirous to cripple its energies, or whether they were truly fearful of bankrupting the South, we shall not wait to inquire. Justice demands, however, that we should state that the South was suffering from the stagnation in the cotton trade existing throughout Europe. The planters had been unused to the low prices, for that staple, they were compelled to accept. They had no prospect of an adequate home market for many years to come, and there were indications that they might lose the one they already possessed. The West Indies was still slave territory, and attempting to recover its early position in the English market. This it had to do, or be forced into emancipation. The powerful Viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali, was endeavoring to compel his subjects to grow cotton on an enlarged scale. The newly organized South American republics were assuming an aspect of commercial consequence, and might commence its cultivation. The East Indies and Brazil were supplying to Great Britain from one-third to one-half of the cotton she was annually manufacturing. The other half, or two-thirds, she might obtain from other sources, and repudiate all traffic with our planters. Southern men, therefore, could not conceive of any thing but ruin to themselves, by any considerable advance in duties on foreign imports. They understood the protective policy as contemplating the supply of our country with home manufactured articles to the exclusion of those of foreign countries. This would confine the planters, in the sale of their cotton, to the American market mainly, and leave them in the power of moneyed[79] corporations; which, possessing the ability, might control the prices of their staple, to the irreparable injury of the South. With slave labor they could not become manufacturers, and must, therefore, remain at the mercy of the North, both as to food and clothing, unless the European markets should be retained. Out of this conviction grew the war upon Corporations; the hostility to the employment of foreign capital in developing the mineral, agricultural, and manufacturing resources of the country; the efforts to destroy the banks and the credit system; the attempts to reduce the currency to gold and silver; the system of collecting the public revenues in coin; the withdrawal of the public moneys from all the banks as a basis of paper circulation; and the sleepless vigilance of the South in resisting all systems of internal improvements by the General Government. Its statesmen foresaw that a paper currency would keep up the price of Northern products one or two hundred per cent. above the specie standard; that combinations of capitalists, whether engaged in manufacturing wool, cotton, or iron, would draw off labor from the cultivation of the soil, and cause large bodies of the producers to become consumers; and that roads and canals, connecting the West with the East, were effectual means of bringing the agricultural and manufacturing classes into closer proximity, to the serious limitation of the foreign commerce of the country, the checking of the growth of the navy, and the manifest, injury of the planters.


Character of the Tariff controversy—Peculiar condition of the people—Efforts to enlist the West in the interest of the South—Mr. McDuffie—Mr. Hamilton—Mr. Rankin—Mr. Garnett—Mr. Cuthbert—the West still shut out from market—Mr. Wickliffe—Mr. Benton—Tariff of 1828 obnoxious to the South—Georgia Resolutions—Mr. Hamilton—Argument to Sugar Planters.

The Protective Tariff and Free Trade controversy, at its origin, and during its progress, was very different in its character from what many now imagine it to have been. People, on both sides, were often in great straits to know how to obtain a livelihood,[80] much less to amass fortunes. The word ruin was no unmeaning phrase at that day. The news, now, that a bank has failed, carries with it, to the depositors and holders of its notes, no stronger feelings of consternation, than did the report of the passage or repeal of tariff laws, then, affect the minds of the opposing parties. We have spoken of the peculiar condition of the South in this respect. In the West, for many years, the farmers often received no more than twenty-five cents, and rarely over forty cents, per bushel for their wheat, after conveying it, on horseback, or in wagons, not unfrequently, a distance of fifty miles, to find a market. Other products were proportionally low in price; and such was the difficulty in obtaining money, that people could not pay their taxes but with the greatest sacrifices. So deeply were the people interested in these questions of national policy, that they became the basis of political action during several Presidential elections. This led to much vacillation in legislation on the subject, and gave alternately, to one and then to the other section of the Union, the benefits of its favorite policy.

The vote of the West, during this struggle, was of the first importance, as it possessed the balance of power, and could turn the scale at will. It was not left without inducements to co-operate with the South, in its measures for extending slavery, that it might create a market among the planters for its products. This appears from the particular efforts made by the Southern members of Congress, during the debate of 1824, to win over the West to the doctrines of free trade.

Mr. McDuffie, of South Carolina, said: "I admit that the Western people are embarrassed, but I deny that they are distressed, in any other sense of the word. . . . . I am well assured that the permanent prosperity of the West depends more upon the improvement of the means of transporting their produce to market, and of receiving the returns, than upon every other subject to which the legislation of this government can be directed. . . . . Gentlemen (from the West) are aware that a very profitable trade is carried on by their constituents with the Southern country, in live stock of all descriptions, which they drive over the mountains and sell for cash. This extensive trade, which, from its peculiar character, more easily overcomes the difficulties of transportation than any that can be substituted in its place, is about to be put in jeopardy for the conjectural benefits of this measure. When I[81] say this trade is about to be put in jeopardy, I do not speak unadvisedly. I am perfectly convinced that, if this bill passes, it will have the effect of inducing the people of the South, partly from the feeling and partly from the necessity growing out of it, to raise within themselves, the live stock which they now purchase from the West. . . . . If we cease to take the manufactures of Great Britain, she will assuredly cease to take our cotton to the same extent. It is a settled principle of her policy—a principle not only wise, but essential to her existence—to purchase from those nations that receive her manufactures, in preference to those who do not. We have, heretofore, been her best customers, and, therefore, it has been her policy to purchase our cotton to the full extent of our demand for her manufactures. But, say gentlemen, Great Britain does not purchase your cotton from affection, but from interest. I grant it, sir; and that is the very reason of my decided hostility to a system which will make it her interest to purchase from other countries in preference to our own. It is her interest to purchase cotton, even at a higher price, from those countries which receive her manufactures in exchange. It is better for her to give a little more for cotton, than to obtain nothing for her manufactures. It will be remarked that the situation of Great Britain is, in this respect, widely different from that of the United States. The powers of her soil have been already pushed very nearly to the maximum of their productiveness. The productiveness of her manufactures on the contrary, is as unlimited as the demand of the whole world. . . . . In fact, sir, the policy of Great Britain is not, as gentlemen seem to suppose, to secure the home, but the foreign market for her manufactures. The former she has without an effort. It is to attain the latter that all her policy and enterprise are brought into requisition. The manufactures of that country are the basis of her commerce; our manufactures, on the contrary are to be the destruction of our commerce. . . . . It can not be doubted that, in pursuance of the policy of forcing her manufactures into foreign markets, she will, if deprived of a large portion of our custom, direct all her efforts to South America. That country abounds in a soil admirably adapted to the production of cotton, and will, for a century to come, import her manufactures from foreign countries."

Mr. Hamilton, of South Carolina, said: "That the planters in his section shared in that depression which is common in every department[82] of the industry of the Union, excepting those from which we have heard the most clamor for relief. This would be understood when it was known that sea-island cotton had fallen from 50 or 60 cents, to 25 cents—a fall even greater than that which has attended wheat, of which we had heard so much—as if the grain-growing section was the only agricultural interest which had suffered. . . . . While the planters of this region do not dread competition in the foreign markets on equal terms, from the superiority of their cotton, they entertain a well-founded apprehension, that the restrictions contemplated will lead to retaliatory duties on the part of Great Britain, which must end in ruin. . . . . In relation to our upland cottons, Great Britain may, without difficulty, in the course of a very short period, supply her wants from Brazil. . . . . How long the exclusive production, even of the sea-island cotton, will remain to our country, is yet a doubtful and interesting problem. The experiments that are making on the Delta of the Nile, if pushed to the Ocean, may result in the production of this beautiful staple, in an abundance which, in reference to other productions, has long blest and consecrated Egyptian fertility. . . . . We are told by the honorable Speaker (Mr. Clay,) that our manufacturing establishments will, in a very short period, supply the place of the foreign demand. The futility, I will not say mockery of this hope, may be measured by one or two facts. First, the present consumption of cotton, by our manufactories, is about equal to one-sixth of our whole production. . . . . How long it will take to increase these manufactories to a scale equal to the consumption of this production, he could not venture to determine; but that it will be some years after the epitaph will have been written on the fortunes of the South, there can be but little doubt.". . . . [After speaking of the tendency of increased manufactures in the East, to check emigration to the West, and thus to diminish the value of the public lands and prevent the growth of the Western States, Mr. H. proceeded thus:] "That portion of the Union could participate in no part of the bill, except in its burdens, in spite of the fallacious hopes that were cherished, in reference to cotton bagging for Kentucky, and the woolen duty for Steubenville, Ohio. He feared that to the entire region of the West, no 'cordial drops of comfort' would come, even in the duty on foreign spirits. To a large portion of our people, who are in the habit of solacing themselves[83] with Hollands, Antigua, and Cogniac, whisky would still have 'a most villainous twang.' The cup, he feared, would be refused, though tendered by the hand of patriotism as well as conviviality. No, the West has but one interest, and that is, that its best customer, the South, should be prosperous."

Mr. Rankin, of Mississippi, said: "With the West, it appears to me like a rebellion of the members against the body. It is true, we export, but the amount received from those exports is only apparently, largely in our favor, inasmuch as we are the consumers of your produce, dependent on you for our implements of husbandry, the means of sustaining life, and almost every thing except our lands and negroes; all of which draws much from the apparent profits and advantages. In proportion as you diminish our exportations, you diminish our means of purchasing from you, and destroy your own market. You will compel us to use those advantages of soil and of climate which God and Nature have placed within our reach, and to live, as to you, as you desire us to live as to foreign nations—dependent on our own resources."

Mr. Garnett, of Virginia, said: "The Western States can not manufacture. The want of capital (of which they, as well as the Southern States, have been drained by the policy of government,) and other causes render it impossible. The Southern States are destined to suffer more by this policy than any other—the Western next; but it will not benefit the aggregate population of any State. It is for the benefit of capitalists only. If persisted in, it will drive the South to ruin and resistance."

Mr. Cuthbert, of Georgia, said: "He hoped the market for the cotton of the South was not about to be contracted within a little miserable sphere, (the home market,) instead of being spread throughout the world. If they should drive the cotton-growers from the only source from whence their means were derived, (the foreign market,) they would be unable any longer to take their supplies from the West—they must contract their concerns within their own spheres, and begin to raise flesh and grain for their own consumption. The South was already under a severe pressure—if this measure went into effect, its distress would be consummated."

In 1828, the West found still very limited means of communication with the East. The opening of the New York canal, in 1825, created a means of traffic with the seaboard, to the people[84] of the Lake region; but all of the remaining territory, west of the Alleghanies, had gained no advantages over those it had enjoyed in 1824, except so far as steamboat navigation had progressed on the Western rivers. In the debate preceding the passage of the tariff in 1828, usually termed the "Woolens' Bill," allusion is made to the condition of the West, from which we quote as follows:

Mr. Wickliffe, of Kentucky, said: "My constituents may be said to be a grain-growing people. They raise stock, and their surplus grain is converted into spirits. Where, I ask, is our market?. . . . Our market is where our sympathies should be, in the South. Our course of trade, for all heavy articles, is down the Mississippi. What breadstuffs we find a market for, are principally consumed in the States of Mississippi, Louisiana, South Alabama, and Florida. Indeed, I may say, these States are the consumers, at miserable and ruinous prices to the farmers of my State, of our exports of spirits, corn, flour, and cured provisions. . . . . We have had a trade of some value to the South in our stock. We still continue it under great disadvantages. It is a ready-money trade—I may say it is the only money trade in which we are engaged. . . . . Are the gentlemen acquainted with the extent of that trade? It may be fairly stated at three millions per annum."

Mr. Benton urged the Western members to unite with the South, "for the purpose of enlarging the market, increasing the demand in the South, and its ability to purchase the horses, mules, and provisions, which the West could sell nowhere else."

The tariff of 1828, created great dissatisfaction at the South. Examples of the expressions of public sentiment, on the subject, adopted at conventions, and on other occasions, might be multiplied indefinitely. Take a case or two, to illustrate the whole. At a public meeting in Georgia, held subsequently to the passage of the "Woolens' Bill," the following resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That to retaliate as far as possible upon our oppressors, our Legislature be requested to impose taxes, amounting to prohibition, on the hogs, horses, mules, and cotton-bagging, whisky, pork, beef, bacon, flax, and hemp cloth, of the Western, and on all the productions and manufactures of the Eastern and Northern States.

Mr. Hamilton, of South Carolina, in a speech at the Waterborough[85] Dinner, given subsequently to the passage of the tariff of 1828, said:

"It becomes us to inquire what is to be our situation under this unexpected and disastrous conjunction of circumstances, which, in its progress, will deprive us of the benefits of a free trade with the rest of the world, which formed one of the leading objects of the Union. Why, gentlemen, ruin, unmitigated ruin, must be our portion, if this system continues. . . . . From 1816 down to the present time, the South has been drugged, by the slow poison of the miserable empiricism of the prohibitory system, the fatal effects of which we could not so long have resisted, but for the stupendously valuable staples with which God has blessed us, and the agricultural skill and enterprise of our people."

In further illustration of the nature of this controversy, and of the arguments used during the contest, we must give the substance of the remarks of a prominent politician, who was aiming at detaching the sugar planters from their political connection with the manufacturers. We have to rely on memory, however, as we can not find the record of the language used on the occasion. It was published at the time, and commented on, freely, by the newspapers at the North. He said: "We must prevent the increase of manufactories, force the surplus labor into agriculture, promote the cultivation of our unimproved western lands, until provisions are so multiplied and reduced in price, that the slave can be fed so cheaply as to enable us to grow our sugar at three cents a pound. Then, without protective duties, we can rival Cuba in the production of that staple, and drive her from our markets."



Tariff controversy continued—Tariff of 1832—The crisis—Secession threatened—Compromise finally adopted—Debates—Mr. Hayne—Mr. McDuffie—Mr. Clay—Adjustment of the subject.

The opening of the year 1832, found the parties to the Tariff controversy once more engaged in earnest debate, on the floor of Congress; and midsummer witnessed the passage of a new Bill, including the principle of protection. This Act produced a crisis in the controversy, and led to the movements in South Carolina toward secession; and, to avert the threatened evil, the Bill was modified, in the following year, so as to make it acceptable to the South; and, so as, also, to settle the policy of the Government for the succeeding nine years. A few extracts from the debates of 1832, will serve to show what were the sentiments of the members of Congress, as to the effects of the protective policy on the different sections of the Union, up to that date:

Mr. Hayne, of South Carolina, said: "When the policy of '24 went into operation, the South was supplied from the West, through a single avenue, (the Saluda Mountain Gap,) with live stock, horses, cattle, and hogs, to the amount of considerably upward of a million of dollars a year. Under the pressure of the system, this trade has been regularly diminishing. It has already fallen more than one-half. . . . . In consequence of the dire calamities which the system has inflicted on the South—blasting our commerce, and withering our prosperity—the West has been very nearly deprived of her best customer. . . . . And what was found to be the result of four years' experience at the South? Not a hope fulfilled; not one promise performed; and our condition infinitely worse than it had been four years before. Sir, the whole South rose up as one man, and protested against any further experiment with this system. . . . . Sir, I seize the opportunity to dispel forever the delusion that the South can find any compensation, in a home market, for the injurious operation of the protective system. . . . . What a spectacle do you even now exhibit to the world? A large portion of your fellow-citizens, believing[87] themselves to be grievously oppressed by an unwise and unconstitutional system, are clamoring at your doors for justice: while another portion, supposing that they are enjoying rich bounties under it, are treating their complaints with scorn and contempt. . . . . This system may destroy the South, but it will not permanently advance the prosperity of the North. It may depress us, but can not elevate them. Beside, sir, if persevered in, it must annihilate that portion of the country from which the resources are to be drawn. And it may be well for gentlemen to reflect whether adhering to this policy would not be acting like the man who 'killed the goose which laid the golden eggs.' Next to the Christian religion, I consider Free Trade, in its largest sense, as the greatest blessing that can be conferred on any people."

Mr. McDuffie, of South Carolina, said: "At the close of the late war with Great Britain, every thing in the political and commercial changes, resulting from the general peace, indicated unparalleled prosperity to the Southern States, and great embarrassment and distress to those of the North. The nations of the Continent had all directed their efforts to the business of manufacturing; and all Europe may be said to have converted their swords into machinery, creating unprecedented demand for cotton, the great staple of the Southern States. There is nothing in the history of commerce that can be compared with the increased demand for this staple, notwithstanding the restrictions by which this Government has limited that demand. As cotton, tobacco, and rice, are produced only on a small portion of the globe, while all other agricultural staples are common to every region of the earth, this circumstance gave the planting States very great advantages. To cap the climax of the commercial advantages opened to the cotton planters, England, their great and most valued customer, received their cotton under a mere nominal duty. On the other hand, the prospects of the Northern States were as dismal as those of the Southern States were brilliant. They had lost the carrying trade of the world, which the wars of Europe had thrown into their hands. They had lost the demand and the high prices which our own war had created for their grain and other productions; and, soon afterward, they also lost the foreign market for their grain, owing, partly, to foreign corn laws, but still more to other causes. Such were the prospects, and such the well-founded hope of the Southern States at the close of the late war, in which they bore so[88] glorious a part in vindicating the freedom of trade. But where are now these cheering prospects and animating hopes? Blasted, sir—utterly blasted—by the consuming and withering course of a system of legislation which wages an exterminating war against the blessings of commerce and the bounties of a merciful Providence; and which, by an impious perversion of language, is called 'Protection.'. . . . I will not add, sir, my deep and deliberate conviction, in the face of all the miserable cant and hypocrisy with which the world abounds on the subject, that any course of measures which shall hasten the abolition of slavery, by destroying the value of slave labor, will bring upon the Southern States the greatest political calamity with which they can be afflicted; for I sincerely believe, that when the people of those States shall be compelled, by such means, to emancipate their slaves, they will be but a few degrees above the condition of slaves themselves. Yes, sir, mark what I say: when the people of the South cease to be masters, by the tampering influence of this Government, direct or indirect, they will assuredly be slaves. It is the clear and distinct perception of the irresistible tendency of this protective system to precipitate us upon this great moral and political catastrophe, that has animated me to raise my warning voice, that my fellow-citizens may foresee, and foreseeing, avoid the destiny that would otherwise befall them. . . . . And here, sir, it is as curious as it is melancholy and distressing, to see how striking is the analogy between the colonial vassalage to which the manufacturing States have reduced the planting States, and that which formerly bound the Anglo-American colonies to the British Empire. . . . England said to her American colonies 'You shall not trade with the rest of the world for such manufactures as are produced in the mother country.' The manufacturing States say to their Southern colonies, 'You shall not trade with the rest of the world for such manufactures as we produce, under a penalty of forty per cent. upon the value of every cargo detected in this illicit commerce; which penalty, aforesaid, shall be levied, collected, and paid out of the products of your industry, to nourish and sustain ours.'"

Mr. Clay, in referring to the condition of the country at large, said: "I have now to perform the more pleasing task of exhibiting an imperfect sketch of the existing state of the unparalleled prosperity of the country. On a general survey, we behold cultivation[89] extended; the arts flourishing; the face of the country improved; our people fully and profitably employed, and the public countenance exhibiting tranquillity, contentment, and happiness. And, if we descend into particulars, we have the agreeable contemplation of a people out of debt; land rising slowly in value, but in a secure and salutary degree; a ready, though not an extravagant market for all the surplus productions of our industry; innumerable flocks and herds browsing and gamboling on ten thousand hills and plains, covered with rich and verdant grasses; our cities expanded, and whole villages springing up, as it were, by enchantment; our exports and imports increased and increasing; our tonnage, foreign and coastwise, swelled and fully occupied; the rivers of our interior animated by the perpetual thunder and lightning of countless steamboats; the currency sound and abundant; the public debt of two wars nearly redeemed; and, to crown all, the public treasury overflowing, embarrassing Congress, not to find subjects of taxation, but to select the objects which shall be liberated from the impost. If the term of seven years were to be selected, of the greatest prosperity which this people have enjoyed since the establishment of their present Constitution, it would be exactly that period of seven years which immediately followed the passage of the tariff of 1824.

"This transformation of the condition of the country from gloom and distress to brightness and prosperity, has been mainly the work of American legislation, fostering American industry, instead of allowing it to be controlled by foreign legislation, cherishing foreign industry. The foes of the American system, in 1824, with great boldness and confidence, predicted, first, the ruin of the public revenue, and the creation of a necessity to resort to direct taxation. The gentleman from South Carolina, (General Hayne,) I believe, thought that the tariff of 1824 would operate a reduction of revenue to the large amount of eight millions of dollars; secondly, the destruction of our navigation; thirdly, the desolation of commercial cities; and, fourthly, the augmentation of the price of articles of consumption, and further decline in that of the articles of our exports. Every prediction which they made has failed—utterly failed. . . . . It is now proposed to abolish the system to which we owe so much of the public prosperity. . . . . Why, sir, there is scarcely an interest—scarcely[90] a vocation in society—which is not embraced by the beneficence of this system. . . . . The error of the opposite argument, is in assuming one thing, which, being denied, the whole fails; that is, it assumes that the whole labor of the United States would be profitably employed without manufactures. Now, the truth is, that the system excites and creates labor, and this labor creates wealth, and this new wealth communicates additional ability to consume; which acts on all the objects contributing to human comfort and enjoyment. . . . . I could extend and dwell on the long list of articles—the hemp, iron, lead, coal, and other items—for which a demand is created in the home market by the operation of the American system; but I should exhaust the patience of the Senate. Where, where should we find a market for all these articles, if it did not exist at home? What would be the condition of the largest portion of our people, and of the territory, if this home market were annihilated? How could they be supplied with objects of prime necessity? What would not be the certain and inevitable decline in the price of all these articles, but for the home market?"

But we must not burden our pages with further extracts. What has been quoted affords the principal arguments of the opposing parties, on the points in which we are interested, down to 1832. The adjustment, in 1833, of the subject until 1842, and its subsequent agitation, are too familiar, or of too easy access to the general reader, to require a notice from us here.



Results of the contest on Protection and Free Trade—More or less favorable to all—Increased consumption of Cotton at home—Capital invested in Cotton and Woolen factories—Markets thus afforded to the Farmer—South successful in securing the monopoly of the Cotton markets—Failure of Cotton cultivation in other countries—Diminished prices destroyed Household Manufacturing—Increasing demand for Cotton—Strange Providences—First efforts to extend Slavery—Indian lands acquired—No danger of over-production—Abolition movements served to unite the South—Annexation of territory thought essential to its security—Increase of Provisions necessary to its success—Temperance cause favorable to this result—The West ready to supply the Planters—It is greatly stimulated to effort by Southern markets—Tripartite Alliance of Western Farmers, Southern Planters, and English Manufacturers—The East competing—The West has a choice of markets—Slavery extension necessary to Western progress—Increased price of Provisions—More grain growing needed—Nebraska and Kansas needed to raise food—The Planters stimulated by increasing demand for Cotton—Aspect of the Provision question—California gold changed the expected results of legislation—Reciprocity Treaty favorable to Planters—Extended cultivation of Provisions in the Far West essential to Planters—Present aspect of the Cotton question favorable to Planters—London Economist's statistics and remarks—Our Planters must extend the culture of Cotton to prevent its increased growth elsewhere.

The results of the contest, in relation to Protection and Free Trade, have been more or less favorable to all parties. This has been an effect, in part, of the changeable character of our legislation; and, in part, of the occurrence of events in Europe, over which our legislators had no control. The manufaturing States, while protection lasted, succeeded in placing their establishments upon a comparatively permanent basis; and, by engaging largely in the manufacture of cottons, as well as woolens, have rendered home manufactures, practically, very advantageous to the South. Our cotton factories, in 1850, consumed as much cotton as those of Great Britain did in 1831; thus affording indications, that, by proper encouragement, they might, possibly, be multiplied so as to consume the whole crop of the country. The cotton and woolen factories, in 1850, employed over 130,000 work hands, and had $102,619,581 of capital invested in them. They thus afford an important market to the farmer, and, at the same time,[92] have become an equally important auxiliary to the planter. They may yet afford him the only market for his cotton.

The cotton planting States, toward the close of the contest, found themselves rapidly accumulating strength, and approximating the accomplishment of the grand object at which they aimed—the monopoly of the cotton markets of the world. This success was due, not so much to any triumph over the North—to any prostration of our manufacturing interests—as to the general policy of other nations. All rivalry to the American planters from those of the West Indies, was removed by emancipation; as, under freedom, the cultivation of cotton was nearly abandoned. Mehemet Ali had become imbecile, and the indolent Egyptians neglected its culture. The South Americans, after achieving their independence, were more readily enlisted in military forays, than in the art of agriculture, and they produced little cotton for export. The emancipation of their slaves, instead of increasing the agricultural products of the Republics, only supplied, in ample abundance, the elements of promoting political revolutions, and keeping their soil drenched with human blood. Such are the uses to which degraded men may be applied by the ambitious demagogue. Brazil and India both supplied to Europe considerably less in 1838 than they had done in 1820; and the latter country made no material increase afterward, except when her chief customer, China, was at war, or prices were above the average rates in Europe. While the cultivation of cotton was thus stationary or retrograding, everywhere outside of the United States, England and the Continent were rapidly increasing their consumption of the article, which they nearly doubled from 1835 to 1845; so that the demand for the raw material called loudly for its increased production. Our planters gathered a rich harvest of profits by these events.

But this is not all that is worthy of note, in this strange chapter of Providences. No prominent event occurred, but conspired to advance the prosperity of the cotton trade, and the value of American slavery. Even the very depression suffered by the manufacturers and cultivators of cotton, from 1825 to 1829, served to place the manufacturing interests upon the broad and firm basis they now occupy. It forced the planters into the production of their cotton at lower rates; and led the manufacturers to improve their machinery, and reduce the price of their fabrics[93] low enough to sweep away all household manufacturing, and secure to themselves the monopoly of clothing the civilized world. This was the object at which the British manufacturers had aimed, and in which they had been eminently successful. The growing manufactures of the United States, and of the Continent of Europe, had not yet sensibly affected their operations.

There is still another point requiring a passing notice, as it may serve to explain some portions of the history of slavery, not so well understood. It was not until events diminishing the foreign growth of cotton, and enlarging the demand for its fabrics, had been extensively developed, that the older cotton-growing States became willing to allow slavery extension in the Southwest; and, even then, their assent was reluctantly given—the markets for cotton, doubtless, being considered sufficiently limited for the territory under cultivation. Up to 1824, the Indians held over thirty-two millions of acres of land in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama, and over twenty millions of acres in Florida, Missouri and Arkansas; which was mostly retained by them as late as 1836. Although the States interested had repeatedly urged the matter upon Congress, and some of them even resorted to forcible means to gain possession of these Indian lands, the Government did not fulfill its promise to remove the Indians until 1836; and even then, the measure met with such opposition, that it was saved but by one vote—Mr. Calhoun and six other Southern Senators voting against it.[32] In justice to Mr. Calhoun, however, it must be stated that his opposition to the measure was based on the conviction that the treaty had been fraudulently obtained.

The older States, however, had found, by this time, that the foreign and home demand for cotton was so rapidly increasing that there was little danger of over-production; and that they had, in fact, secured to themselves the monopoly of the foreign markets. Beside this, the abolition movement at that moment, had assumed its most threatening aspect, and was demanding the destruction of slavery or the dissolution of the Union. Here was a double motive operating to produce harmony in the ranks of Southern politicians, and to awaken the fears of many, North and South, for the safety of the Government. Here, also, was[94] the origin of the determination, in the South, to extend slavery, by the annexation of territory, so as to gain the political preponderance in the National Councils, and to protect its interests against the interference of the North.

It was not the increased demand for cotton, alone, that served as a protection to the older States. The extension of its cultivation, in the degree demanded by the wants of commerce, could only be effected by a corresponding increased supply of provisions. Without this, it could not increase, except by enhancing their price to the injury of the older States. This food did not fail to be in readiness, so soon as it was needed. Indeed, much of it had long been awaiting an outlet to a profitable market. Its surplus, too, had been somewhat increased by the Temperance movement in the North, which had materially checked the distillation of grain.

The West, which had long looked to the East for a market, had its attention now turned to the South, as the most certain and convenient mart for the sale of its products—the planters affording to the farmers the markets they had in vain sought from the manufacturers. In the meantime, steamboat navigation was acquiring perfection on the Western rivers—the great natural outlets for Western products—and became a means of communication between the Northwest and the Southwest, as well as with the trade and commerce of the Atlantic cities. This gave an impulse to industry and enterprise, west of the Alleghanies, unparalleled in the history of the country. While, then, the bounds of slave labor were extending from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, Westward, over Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, the area of free labor was enlarging, with equal rapidity, in the Northwest, throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Thus, within these provision and cotton regions, were the forests cleared away, or the prairies broken up, simultaneously by those old antagonistic forces, opponents no longer, but harmonized by the fusion of their interests—the connecting link between them being the steamboat. Thus, also, was a tripartite alliance formed, by which the Western Farmer, the Southern Planter, and the English Manufacturer, became united in a common bond of interest: the whole giving their support to the doctrine of Free Trade.

This active commerce between the West and South, however,[95] soon caused a rivalry in the East, that pushed forward improvements, by States or Corporations, to gain a share in the Western trade. These improvements, as completed, gave to the West a choice of markets, so that its Farmers could elect whether to feed the slave who grows the cotton, or the operatives who are engaged in its manufacture. But this rivalry did more. The competition for Western products enhanced their price, and stimulated their more extended cultivation. This required an enlargement of the markets; and the extension of slavery became essential to Western prosperity.

We have not reached the end of the alliance between the Western Farmer and Southern Planter. The emigration which has been filling Iowa and Minnesota, and is now rolling like a flood into Kansas and Nebraska, is but a repetition of what has occurred in the other Western States and Territories. Agricultural pursuits are highly remunerative, and tens of thousands of men of moderate means, or of no means, are cheered along to where none forbids them land to till. For the last few years, public improvements have called for vastly more than the usual share of labor, and augmented the consumption of provisions. The foreign demand added to this, has increased their price beyond what the planter can afford to pay. For many years free labor and slave labor maintained an even race in their Western progress. Of late the freemen have begun to lag behind, while slavery has advanced by several degrees of longitude. Free labor must be made to keep pace with it. There is an urgent necessity for this. The demand for cotton is increasing in a ratio greater than can be supplied by the American planters, unless by a corresponding increased production. This increasing demand must be met, or its cultivation will be facilitated elsewhere, and the monopoly of the planter in the European markets be interrupted. This can only be effected by concentrating the greatest possible number of slaves upon the cotton plantations. Hence they must be supplied with provisions.

This is the present aspect of the Provision question, as it regards slavery extension. Prices are approximating the maximum point, beyond which our provisions can not be fed to slaves, unless there is a corresponding increase in the price of cotton. Such a result was not anticipated by Southern statesmen, when they had succeeded in overthrowing the protective policy,[96] destroying the United States Bank, and establishing the Sub-Treasury system. And why has this occurred? The mines of California prevented both the Free-Trade Tariff,[33] and the Sub-Treasury scheme from exhausting the country of the precious metals, extinguishing the circulation of Bank Notes, and reducing the prices of agricultural products to the specie value. At the date of the passage of the Nebraska Bill, the multiplication of provisions, by their more extended cultivation, was the only measure left that could produce a reduction of prices, and meet the wants of the planters. The Canadian Reciprocity Treaty, since secured, will bring the products of the British North American colonies, free of duty, into competition with those of the United States, when prices, with us, rule high, and tend to diminish their cost; but in the event of scarcity in Europe, or of foreign wars, the opposite results may occur, as our products, in such times, will pass, free of duty, through these colonies, into the foreign market. It is apparent, then, that nothing short of extended free labor cultivation, far distant from the seaboard, where the products will bear transportation to none but Southern markets, can fully secure the cotton interests from the contingencies that so often threaten them with ruinous embarrassments. In fact, such a depression of our cotton interests has only been averted by the advanced prices which cotton has commanded, for the last few years, in consequence of the increased European demand, and its diminished cultivation abroad.

On this subject, the London Economist, of June 9, 1855, in remarking on the aspects of the cotton question, at that moment says:

"Another somewhat remarkable circumstance, considering we are at war, and considering the predictions of some persons, is the present high price and consumption of cotton. The crop in the United States is short, being only 1,120,000,000 or 1,160,000,000 lbs., but not so short as to have a very great effect on the markets had consumption not increased. Our mercantile readers will be well aware of this fact, but let us state here that the total consumption between January 1st and the last week in May was:


Pounds,   331,708,000   295,716,000   415,648,000
Less than 1855,83,940,000119,932,000
Average consumption of lbs. per week,15,600,00014,000,00019,600,000

"Though the crop in the United States is short up to this time, Great Britain has received 12,400,000 lbs. more of the crop of 1854 than she received to the same period of the crop of 1853. Thus, in spite of the war, and in spite of a short crop of cotton, in spite of dear corn and failing trade to Australia and the United States, the consumption of cotton has been one-fourth in excess of the flourishing year of 1853, and more than a third in excess of 1854. These facts are worth consideration.

"It is reasonably expected that the present high prices will bring cotton forward rapidly; but as yet this effect has not ensued. . . . . Thus, it will be seen that, notwithstanding the short crop in the States, (at present, they have sent us more in 1855 than in 1854, but not so much as in 1853,) the supply from other sources, except Egypt, has been smaller in 1855 than in either of the preceding years, and the supply from Egypt, though greater than in 1854, is less than in 1853." [From India, the principal hope of increased supplies, the imports for 1855, in the first four months of the year, were less by 47,960,000 lbs. than in 1854, and less by 64,000,000 lbs. than in 1853.[34]] "We may infer, therefore, that the rise in price hitherto, has not been sufficient to bring increased supplies from India and other places; but these will, no doubt, come when it is seen that the rise will probably be permanent in consequence of the enlarged consumption, and the comparative deficiency in the crop of the United States."

After noticing the increasing exports of raw cotton from both England and the United States to France and the other countries of the Continent, from which it is inferred that the consumption is increasing in Europe, generally, as well as in Great Britain, the Economist proceeds to remark:[98]

"A rapidly increasing consumption of cotton in Europe has not been met by an equally rapidly increasing supply, and the present relative condition of the supply to the demand seems to justify an advance of price, unless a greatly diminished consumption can be brought about. What supplies may yet be obtained from India, the Brazils, Egypt, etc., we know not; but, judging from the imports of the three last years, they are not likely to supply the great deficiency in the stocks just noticed. A decrease in consumption, which is recommended, can only be accomplished by the state of the market, not by the will of individual spinners; for if some lessen their consumption of the raw material while the demand of the market is for more cloth, it will be supplied by others, either here or abroad; and the only real solution of the difficulty or means of lowering the price, is an increased supply. This points to other exertions than those which have been latterly directed to the production of fibrous materials to be converted directly into paper. Exertions ought rather to be directed to the production of fibrous materials which shall be used for textile fabrics, and so much larger supplies of rags—the cheapest and best material for making paper will be obtained. But theoretical production, and the schemers who propose it, not guided by the market demands, are generally erroneous, and what we now require is more and cheaper material for clothing as the means of getting more rags to make paper.

"Another important deduction may be made from the state of the cotton market. It has not been affected, at least the production of cotton with the importation into Europe has not been disturbed by the war, and yet it seems not to have kept pace with the consumption. From this we infer that legislative restrictions on traffic, permanently affecting the habits of the people submissive to them, and of all their customers, have a much more pernicious effect on production and trade than national outpourings in war of indignation and anger—which, if terrible in their effects, are of short duration. These are in the order of nature, except as they are slowly corrected and improved by knowledge; while the restrictions—the offspring of ignorance and misplaced ambition—are at all times opposed to her beneficent ordinances."

The Economist of June 30, in its Trade Tables, sums up the imports for the 5th month of the year 1855; from which it appears, that instead of any increase of the imports of cotton having[99] occurred, they had fallen off to the extent of 43,772,176 lbs. below the quantity imported in the corresponding month of 1854.

The Economist of September 1, 1855, in continuing its notices of the cotton markets, and stating that there is still a falling off in its supplies, says:

"The decline in the quantity of cotton imported is notoriously the consequence of the smallness of last year's crops in the United States. . . . . It is remarkable that the additional supply which has made up partly for the shortness of the American crop comes from the Brazils, Egypt, and other parts. From British India the supply is relatively shorter than from the United States. It fails us more than that of the States, and the fact is rather unfavorable to the speculations of those who wish to make us independent of the States, and dependent chiefly on our own possessions. The high freights that have prevailed, and are likely to prevail with a profitable trade, would obviously make it extremely dangerous for our manufacturers to increase their dependence on India for a supply of cotton. In 1855, when we have a short supply from other quarters, India has sent us one-third less than in 1853."

The Economist of February 23, 1856, contains the Annual Statement of Imports for 1855, ending December 31, from which it appears that the supplies of cotton from India, for the whole year, were only 145,218,976 lbs., or 35,212,520 lbs. less than the imports for 1853. Of these imports 66,210,704 lbs. were re-exported; thus leaving the British manufacturers but 79,008,272 lbs. of the free labor cotton of India, upon which to employ their looms.[35]

This increasing demand for cotton beyond the present supplies, if not met by the cotton growers of the United States, must encourage its cultivation in countries which now send but little to market. To prevent such a result, and to retain in their own hands the monopoly of the cotton market, will require the utmost vigilance on the part of our planters. That vigilance will not be wanting.



Consideration of foreign cultivation of Cotton further considered—Facts and opinions slated by the London Economist—Consumption of Cotton tending to exceed the production—India affords the only field of competition with the United States—Its vast inferiority—Imports from India dependent upon price—Free Labor and Slave Labor cannot be united on the same field—Supply of the United States therefore limited by natural increase of slaves—Limited supply of labor tends to renewal of slave trade—Cotton production in India the only obstacle which Great Britain can interpose against American Planters—Africa, too, to be made subservient to this object—Parliamentary proceedings on this subject—Successful Cotton culture in Africa—Slavery to be permanently established by this policy—Opinions of the American Missionary—Remarks showing the position of the Cotton question in its relations to slavery—Great Britain building up slavery in Africa to break it down in America.

The remark which closes the preceding chapter was made in 1856. An opportunity is now offered for recording the results of the movements of Great Britain to promote cotton culture in her own possessions between that and 1859. The results will be startling. Few anti-slavery men in the United States expected that Great Britain would so soon be engaged zealously in establishing slave labor in Africa, or that Lord Palmerston should publicly commend the measure. The question is one of so much importance as to demand a full examination. The extracts are taken, mainly, from the London Economist, a periodical having the highest reputation for candor and fair dealing. On Feb. 12, 1859, the Economist said:

"We are not surprised that the future supply of cotton should have engaged the attention of Parliament on an early night of the Session. It is a question the importance of which can not well be overrated, if we refer only to the commercial interests which it involves, or to the social comfort or happiness of the millions who are now dependent upon it for their support. But it has an aspect far loftier and even more important. At its root lies the ultimate success of a policy for which England has made great struggles and great sacrifices—the maintaining of existing treaties, and perhaps the peace of the world. Every year as it passes, proves more and more that the question of slavery, and[101] even of the slave trade, is destined to be materially affected, if not ultimately governed, by considerations arising out of the cultivation of this plant. It is impossible to observe the tendency of public opinion throughout America, not even excepting the Free States, with relation to the slave trade, without feeling conscious that it is drifting into indifference, and even laxity. In every light, then, in which this great subject can be viewed, it is one which well deserves the careful attention equally of the philanthropist and the statesman.

"It has been said, that in the case of cotton we have found an exception to the great commercial principle of supply and demand. Is this so? We doubt it. We doubt if, on the contrary, we shall not find, upon investigation, that it presents one of the strongest examples of the struggle of that principle to maintain its conclusions. No doubt the conditions of its production have made that struggle a severe one; but, nevertheless, it has not been altogether unsuccessful. Eighteen years ago, (in 1840) the total supply of cotton imported into this country was 592,488,000 lbs.: with temporary fluctuations, it had steadily grown until it had reached, in the last three years, upwards of 900,000,000 lbs., showing an increase of more than fifty per cent. Nevertheless, the demand had been constantly pressing upon the supply, the consumption has always shown a tendency to exceed the production, and the consequent result of a high price has, during a majority of those years, acted as a powerful stimulant to cultivation. But, practically speaking, we possess but two sources of supply, and both present such powerful obstacles to extended cultivation, that we are not surprised at the habitual uneasiness of those whose interests demand a continually increasing quantity. Those two sources are the United States and British India. It is true that Brazil, Egypt, the West Indies, and some other countries, furnish small quantities of cotton; but when we state that of the 931,847,000 lbs., imported into the United Kingdom in 1858, the proportion furnished by America and India was 870,656,000 lbs., leaving for all other places put together, a supply of only 61,191,000 lbs., notwithstanding the many laudable efforts, both on the part of Government, and of the mercantile community, to encourage its growth in new countries, it will be admitted that, as an immediate and practical question, it is confined to those two sources. They are not only the sources from whence the largest[102] supplies are received, but they are also those where the chief increase has taken place.

"In 1840 the supply received from the United States was 487,856,000 lbs. Since that time, with some considerable fluctuations, it has steadily increased, until in 1858 it rose to 732,403,000 lbs.—the maximum quantity having reached in 1856, 780,040,000 lbs. Yet, great as this increase has been, it appears that it has not been equal to the increased demand, if we may judge from the price, at the two periods.[36] The large supplies of the last three years have commanded prices at least sixteen per cent. higher than the smaller supplies from 1840 to 1842. Every encouragement, therefore, which high and remunerative prices could give to increased cultivation has been liberally afforded to the cotton-growing States of America.

"But whatever the price, there is a condition which places an absolute limit upon the growth. Land in every way suited for the purpose, is abundant and cheap. Means of transport is of the cheapest and best kind, and is without limit. The limit lies in the necessary ingredient of labor. If cotton had been the produce of free labor, no doubt the principle of supply and demand would have solved the difficulty. The surplus of the Old World would have steadily maintained the balance between the two in the New World. Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, the Southern parts of France, and Portugal, would have sent their surplus labor to the best market. As it is, the two kinds of labor—that of the freeman and that of the slave—can not be united in the same cultivation. The slave States of America are, therefore, dependent for any increase of labor only upon themselves. The consuming States can draw supplies only from the breeding States. It is, therefore, exactly in proportion as the slave population increases that the cotton crop becomes larger. Taking the average of three or four years at any period of the history of the United States for the last forty years, it will be found that the growth of cotton is equal to one bale for each person of the slave population. The calculation is well known. When the slave population was two millions, the average produce of cotton was two millions of bales:—as the one rose the other increased. The slave population is now about three millions and a half; the cotton crop of the[103] present year is computed at from 3,500,000 to 3,700,000 bales. The high price of cotton, and the great profit attached to its cultivation, have no doubt furnished the greatest stimulant to an increase of that part of the population. In the competition for more labor, the price of slaves was enormously increased. Some years ago the price of a slave was about £100; now they are worth from £200 to £400. But what must be the tendency of this fearful competition for a limited supply of human labor—limited as long as the slave trade is prohibited—unlimited as soon as the slave trade is legalized? What is the actual condition of the Southern States at this moment? There is on the ground and being secured, according to computation, the largest cotton crop ever known. The last estimates vary from 3,550,000 bales to 3,700,000 bales. A very few years ago it was calculated that cotton at any thing above four cents the pound for "middling quality" on the spot was a profitable crop. Now, the price for the same quality on the spot is fully ten cents the pound;—and it has been about the same or higher for a long time. What is the consequence? A correspondent writing by the last mail says: 'The people of this section of the country feel made of gold, and every thing here is, of course, going at full cry—every planter wants to open more land and buy more negroes.' What do these facts suggest? Do they furnish no explanation of the strong desire in the Southern States to possess Cuba? Do they furnish no explanation of the exaggerated irritation got up last year in respect to the West India squadron, and the demand of the American Government, we fear too successfully made, that the right of search in the mitigated form in which it existed should be altogether abandoned? A people familiarized not only with slavery, but also with the slave trade as between one class of States and another, can hardly be expected to entertain a very strong repugnance to a slave trade from beyond the seas. That cargoes of imported slaves have recently been landed in the United States is not denied:—that vessels fitted out as slavers have recently been seized in American ports, we know upon official authority. The same correspondent whom we have already quoted, says there are two great questions which occupy the Southern States at this moment. The one is the acquisition of Cuba. 'The other,' he says, 'is one which has been presented to me forcibly during my sojourn in the South, and that is the increase of slave population.[104] You must have noticed an illicit importation of negroes from Africa landed in Georgia. This has undoubtedly been done, and I doubt not also that other negroes have been landed. It is of course the desire of every honest man that the whole force of the government should be used to put down such a trade, and punish the offenders; but I fear the profits of the trade are so enormous that it will be carried on in the face of all opposition. Negroes are now worth here from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars a-piece. The subject of their being introduced is being openly discussed, and the propriety of the trade being again legalized. It is plain this discussion will by and by take shape. Will not the government be obliged to listen to it, and what will be the result? When labor is so profitable it will be obtained. How? I confess to looking upon this subject with great anxiety. The feeling with regard to slavery both in the North and South has undergone a material change in the last four years. It is now looked upon with far less abhorrence.' Is it possible to separate the danger which is here presented so forcibly from the question of the high price of cotton? We know by experience the influence which the Southern States can exercise upon the election of a President. . . . . . . If the free States are indifferent, we know that, at whatever risk, the slave States will have their own way; and with them it is plain that much must depend upon the price of cotton and the motives which it furnishes to 'open more land and buy more negroes.'

"But with what an enormous interest does this view of the case invest the cultivation of cotton in India. It is the only real obstacle that we can interpose to the growing feeling in favor of slavery, to the diminishing abhorrence of the slave trade in the United States. It is the only field, competition with which can, for many years to come, redress the undue stimulant which high prices are giving to slave labor in America. Nor do the facts as regard the past discourage the hope that it may be successfully used for that purpose. In 1840 the supply of cotton from India was 77,011,000 lbs.;—in 1858 it had risen to 138,253,000 lbs.: having been in the immediately preceding year no less than 250,338,000 lbs. The average importation for four years from 1840 to 1843 amounted to 83,300,000 lbs.:—the average importation for the last four years has been 178,000,000 lbs. or somewhat more than double that of the former period. In some important[105] respects the conditions of supply from India differ very much from those which attach to and determine the supply from America. In India there is no limit to the quantity of labor. There may be said to be little or none to the quantity of land. The obstacle is of another kind; it lies almost exclusively in the want of cheap transit. Our supplies of India cotton are not even determined by the quantity produced, but by that which, when produced, can profitably be forwarded to England. It is, therefore, a question of price whether we obtain more or less. A rise in the price of one penny the pound in 1857, suddenly increased the supply from 180,000,000 lbs. in 1856 to 250,000,000 lbs. in 1857. A fall in the price in 1858 again suddenly reduced it to 138,000,000 lbs. It was not that the production of cotton varied in these proportions in those years, but that at given prices it was possible to incur more cost in the transit than at others. The same high price, therefore, which at present renders a large supply possible from India, creates an unusual demand for slaves in the United States. But would not the same corrective consequence be produced if we could diminish the cost of transit in India? Every farthing a pound saved in carriage is equivalent to so much added to the price of cotton. Four-pence the pound in the Liverpool market for good India cotton, with a cost of two-pence from the spot of production, would command just as great a supply as a price of five-pence the pound if the intermediate cost were three-pence. The whole question resolves itself into one of good roads and cheap conveyance. Labor in India is infinitely more abundant than in the United States, and much cheaper; land is at least as cheap; the climate is as good;—but the bullock trains on the miserable roads of Hindostan cannot compete with the steamers and other craft on the Mississippi. No doubt we have new hopes in the district of Scinde, and in the aid of the Indus. We have new hopes in the railways which are being constructed,—not only in cheapening transit, but even more in improving the condition in which native produce will be brought to market. Whatever, therefore, be the financial sacrifice which in the first place must be made for the purpose of opening the interior of India, it should be cheerfully made, as the only means by which we can hope permanently to improve the revenues of India, to increase and cheapen the supply of the most important raw material of our own industry, and to bring[106] in the abundant labor of the millions of our fellow-subjects in India, to redress the deficiency in the slave States of America, and thus to give the best practical check to the growing attractions of slavery and the slave trade."

On March 5, 1859, the editor resumes the subject, and discusses the bearing which the movements making in Africa are likely to have upon these interests.

"We pointed out in a recent number the very close connection between the traditional policy of England in resisting the slave trade, and the efforts which are now making to find other sources of cotton supply besides the United States. We showed that a cry is now arising in the United States, for the renewal of the slave trade—a cry stimulated principally by the high price of cotton. We showed that for every slave in the Southern States there is on the average a bale of cotton produced annually, and that as the demand for cotton, and consequently the price of cotton rises, the demand for slaves and the price of slaves rises with it. In the words of a correspondent whom we then quoted, 'every planter wants to open more land and buy more negroes.' Hence the demand in the South for the recently successful attempt to smuggle slave-cargoes into Georgia. If, then, either in India or any other quarter of the world, it be possible either to cheapen the carriage or facilitate the growth of cotton, so as to bring it into the English markets at a price that can compete successfully with the American cotton, we are conferring a double benefit on mankind—we are increasing the supply of one of the most necessary, and, relatively to the demand, one of the least abundant, articles of commerce, on the steady supply of which the livelihood of millions, and the comfort of almost every civilized nation on the face of the earth, depends, and by means of the increased competition we are diminishing the force of the motive which is now threatening the United States with a renewal of the slave trade. We cannot, therefore, well conceive of stronger considerations than those which are now urging Englishmen to do what may be in their power for the promotion of an increased supply from cotton-growing countries other than the States of America.

"Besides these reasons which apply to the promotion of the cotton-supply in India, or in our own West Indian islands, there is one peculiar to the case of Africa which makes it important[107] that no opportunities of encouraging the cotton-growth of that continent should be neglected. The African supply, if ever it become large, will not only check the rise in the price of cotton, and therefore of slaves in America,—but it will diminish the profits of slave exportation on the coast of Africa. Experience has now sufficiently proved to us, that no one agency has been so effective in paralyzing the slave trade as the growth of any branch of profitable industry which convinces the native African chiefs that they can get a surer and, in the long run, larger profit by employing their subjects in peaceful labor, than they can even get from the large but uncertain gains of the slave trade. . . . . Once let the African chiefs find out, as in many instances they have already found out, that the sale of the laborer can be only a source of profit once, while his labor may be a source of constant and increasing profit, and we shall hear no more of their killing the hen which may lay so many golden eggs, for the sake only of a solitary and final prize."

The American Missionary, of April, 1859, gives a condensed statement of a discussion in the British Parliament, last summer, in which the condition of cotton culture in Africa was brought out, and its encouragement strongly urged as a means of suppressing the slave trade, and of increasing the supplies of that commodity to the manufacturers of England. S. Fitzgerald, Under Secretary of State, said:

"He did not scruple to say that, looking at the papers which he had perused, it was to the West Coast of Africa that we must look for that large increase in our supply of cotton which was now becoming absolutely necessary, and without which he and others who had studied this subject foresaw grave consequences to the most important branch of the manufactures of this country. Our consul at Lagos reported:

"The whole of the Yoruba and other countries south of the Niger, with the Houssa and the Nuffe countries on the north side of that river, have been, from all time, cotton-growing countries; and notwithstanding the civil wars, ravages, disorders and disruptions caused by the slave trade, more than sufficient cotton to clothe their populations has always been cultivated, and their fabrics have found markets and a ready sale in those countries where the cotton plant is not cultivated, and into which the fabrics of Manchester and Glasgow have not yet penetrated.[108] The cultivation of cotton, therefore, in the above-named countries is not new to the inhabitants; all that is required is to offer them a market for the sale of as much as they can cultivate, and by preventing the export of slaves from the seaboard render some security to life, freedom, property, and labor." Another of our consuls, speaking of the trade in the Bight of Benin in 1856, said:

"'The readiness with which the inhabitants of the large town of Abbeokuta have extended their cultivation of the cotton plant merits the favorable notice of the manufacturer and of the philanthropist, as a means of supplanting the slave trade.'"

"It was worthy of notice that while the quantity of cotton obtained from America between 1784 and 1791, the first seven years of the importation into this country was only 74 bales; during the years 1855 and 1856 the town of Abbeokuta alone exported nearly twenty times that quantity. He thought he might fairly say that if we succeed in repressing the slave-trade, as he believed we should, we should in a few years receive a very large supply of this most important article from the West Coast of Africa."

"Mr. J. H. Gurney said he had received from Mr. Thomas Clegg, of Manchester, a few figures, from which it appeared that while in 1852 only 1800 lbs. of cotton had been brought into Great Britain from Africa, in the first five months of the present year it was 94,400 lbs.

"Mr. Buxton said: 'There was no question now, that any required amount of cotton, equal to that of New Orleans in quality, might be obtained. A very short time ago Mr. Clegg, of Manchester, aided by the Rev. H. Venn, and a few other gentlemen, trained and sent out two or three young negroes as agents to Abbeokuta. These young men taught the natives to collect and clean their cotton, and sent it home to England. The result was, that the natives had actually purchased 250 cotton-gins for cleaning their cotton. Mr. Clegg stated that he was in correspondence with seventy-six natives and other African traders, twenty-two of them being chiefs. With one of them Mr. Clegg had a transaction, by which he (the African) received £3500. And the amount of cotton received at Manchester had risen, hand over hand, till it came last year to nearly 100,000 lbs.' Well might Mr. Clegg say, that this was 'a rare instance of the rapid development of a particular trade, and the more so because every ounce of cotton had been[109] collected, all labor performed, and the responsibility borne by native Africans alone.' The fact was, that the West African natives were not mere savages. In trade no men could show more energy and quickness. And a considerable degree of social organization existed. He could give a thousand proofs of this, but he would only quote a word or two from Lieutenant May's despatch to Lord Clarendon, dated the 24th of November, 1857. Lieutenant May crossed overland from the Niger to Lagos, and he says:

"A very pleasing and hopeful part of my report lies in the fact, that certainly three-quarters of the country was under cultivation. Nor was this the only evidence of the industry and peace of the country; in every hut is cotton spinning; in every town is weaving, dyeing; often iron smelting, pottery works, and other useful employments are to be witnessed; while from town to town, for many miles, the entire road presents a continuous file of men, women, and children carrying these articles of their production for sale. I entertain feelings of much increased respect for the industry and intellect of these people, and admiration for their laws and manners."

"Lord Palmerston said: 'I venture to say that you will find on the West Coast of Africa a most valuable supply of cotton, so essential to the manufactures of this country. The cotton districts of Africa are more extensive than those of India. The access to them is more easy than to the Indian cotton district; and I venture to say that your commerce with the Western Coast of Africa, in the article of cotton, will, in a few years, prove to be far more valuable than that of any other portion of the world, the United States alone excepted.'"

The London Anti-Slavery Reporter, as quoted by the American Missionary of March, 1859, says:

"A few days ago, Mr. Consul Campbell addressed us, saying: 'African cotton is no myth. A vessel has just arrived from Lagos with 607 bales on board, on native account. Several hundred bales more have been previously shipped this year.'

"In order to afford our readers some idea of the extraordinary development of this branch of native African industry and commerce, we append a statement which will exhibit it at a single glance. We have only to observe that we are indebted to Mr. Thomas Clegg, of Manchester, for these interesting particulars,[110] and that the quantities ordered have been obtained from Abbeokuta alone. He is about to extend the field of his operations. Four Europeans have gone out, expressly to trade in native cotton; and several London houses, encouraged by the success which has attended Mr. Clegg's experiment, are about to invest largely in the same traffic. The quantity of raw cotton which has already been imported into England, from Abbeokuta, since 1851, is 276,235 lbs., and the trade has developed itself as follows:

1851-52  9 Bags or Bales lbs. 1810

"The last importation includes advices from Lagos up to the 1st of last November. Since that time, the presses and other machinery sent out, have been got into full work, and the quantity of the raw staple in stock has rapidly accumulated, the bulk shipped being on 'native account.' Each bag or bale weighs about 120 lbs. Let it be borne in mind that the whole of this quantity has been collected, all the labor performed and the responsibility borne by native Africans; while the cost of production, Mr. Clegg informs us, does not exceed one half-penny a pound in the end. It can be laid down in England at about 41/4d. a pound, and sells at from 7d. to 9d."

The great point of interest in this movement consists in the fact, that in promoting the production of cotton in Africa, Englishmen are giving direct encouragement to the employment of slave labor. It is an undeniable fact, that from eight-tenths to nine-tenths of the population of Africa are held as slaves by the petty kings and chiefs; and that, more especially, the women, under the prevailing system of polygamy, are doomed to out-doors' labor for the support of their indolent and sensual husbands. Hitherto the labor of the women has, in general, been comparatively light, as the preparation of food and clothing limited the extent of effort required of them; but now, the cotton mills of England must be supplied by them, and the hum of the spindles will sound the knell of their days of ease. That we are not alone in this view[111] of the question, will appear from the opinions expressed by the American Missionary, when referring to this subject. It says:

"An encouraging feature in this movement is, that the men engaged in it all feel that the suppression of the slave trade is absolutely essential to its success. The necessity of this is the great burden of all their arguments in its behalf. It thus acts with a double force. There can be no question that the development of the resources of Africa will be an effectual means, in itself, of discouraging the exportation of slaves, while at the same time those who would encourage this development are seeking the overthrow of that infamous traffic as the necessary removal of an obstacle to their success.

"There is, however, one danger connected with all this that can not be obviated by any effort likely to be put forth under the stimulus of commerce, or the spirit of trade. This danger can be averted only by sending the missionaries of a pure gospel, a gospel of equal and impartial love, into Africa, in numbers commensurate with the increase of its agricultural resources and its spirit of general enterprise.

"The danger to which we allude is not merely that of worldliness, such as in a community always accompanies an increase of wealth, but that the slavery now existing there may be strengthened and increased by the rapid rise in the value of labor, and thus become so firmly rooted that the toil of ages may be necessary for it removal. All this might have been prevented if the spirit of Christian enterprise had gone ahead of that of commerce, and thus prepared the way for putting commerce, under the influence of Christianity. For years Africa has been open to the missionary of the cross, to go everywhere preaching love to God and man, with nothing to hinder except the sickliness of the climate. This evil, and the dangers arising from it, business men are willing to risk, and within the next ten years there will be thousands, and tens of thousands, looking to Africa for the means of increasing their riches."

From all this it appears, that the question of slavery is becoming more intimately blended with cotton culture than at any former period; and that the urgent demand for its increased production must establish the system permanently, under the control of Great Britain, in Africa itself. Look at the facts, and especially at the position of Great Britain. The supply of cotton is[112] inadequate to the demands of the manufacturing nations. Great Britain stands far in advance of all others in the quantity consumed. The ratio of increased production in the United States cannot be advanced except by a renewal of the slave trade, or a resort to the scheme of immigration on the plan of England and France. It is thought by English writers, that the renewal of the slave trade by the United States is inevitable, as a consequence of the present high prices of cotton and slaves, unless the slave traders can be shut out from the slave markets of Africa. They assume it as a settled principle, that the immigration system is impracticable wherever slavery exists; and that the American planter can only succeed in securing additional labor by means of the slave trade. Then, according to this theory, to prevent an increased production of cotton in the United States, it is only necessary to make it impracticable for us to renew that traffic.

The supply of cotton from India is not on the increase, nor can be, except when prices rule high in England, or until rail roads shall be constructed into the interior, a work requiring much time and money. The renewal of the slave trade by the United States, on a large scale, would, of course, cheapen cotton in the proportion of the amount of labor supplied. In this view the writers referred to are correct. They are right also in supposing that a reduction below present prices, of a cent or two per pound, would be ruinous to India in the present condition of her inland transportation. They desire, very naturally, therefore, that prices should be kept up for the advantage of India, so that its cotton can bear export. But while high prices benefit India, they also enrich the American planter, and afford him inducements to renew the slave trade.

Here Great Britain is thrown into a dilemma. The slave trade to America must be prevented, in her opinion, or it will ruin the East Indies. To prevent the renewal of this traffic—to keep up the price of cotton as long as may be necessary, for the benefit of India, and prevent a supply of African slaves from reaching the American planter—is a problem that requires more than an ordinary amount of skill to solve. That skill, if it exists any where, is possessed by British statesmen, and they are now employed in the execution of this difficult task. They are convinced that free labor cannot be found, at this moment, any where in the world, to meet the growing demands for cotton. To supply this increasing[113] demand, a new element must be brought into requisition; or rather old elements must be employed anew. Her cotton spindles must not cease to whir, or millions of the people of Great Britain will starve at home, or be forced into emigration, to the weakening of her strength. The old sources of supply being inadequate, a new field of operations must be opened up—new forces must be brought into requisition in the cultivation of cotton. Slave labor and free labor, both combined, are not now able to furnish the quantity needed. Free labor cannot be increased, at present, in this department of production. Slave labor, therefore, is the only means left by which the work can be accomplished—not slave labor to the extent now employed, but to the extent to which it may be increased from the ranks of the scores of millions of the population of Africa.

This is the true state of the case; and the important question now agitated is: Who shall have the advantages of this labor? Two fields, only, present themselves in which this additional labor can be employed—Africa and America. Great Britain is deeply interested in limiting it to Africa, which she can only do by preventing a renewal of the slave trade to America: for she takes it for granted that we will renew the slave trade if we can make money by the operation. South Africa is unavailable for this purpose, as it is under British rule, and slavery abolished within its limits by law. Nothing can be done there, as it is filling up with English emigrants who will not toil, under a burning sun, in the cotton fields; and they can not be permitted to reduce the natives again to slavery. West Africa alone, affords the climate, soil, and population, necessary to success in cotton culture. To this point the attention of Englishmen is now mainly directed. One feature in the civil condition of West Africa must be specially noticed, as adapting it to the purposes to which it is to be devoted. The territory has not been seized by the British crown, as in South Africa, and British law does not bear rule within its limits. The tribes are treated as independent sovereignties, and are governed by their own customs and laws. This is fortunate for the new policy now inaugurating, as the native chiefs and kings hold the population at large as slaves. Heretofore they have sold their slaves at will, as well as their captives taken in war, to the slave traders. Now they are to be taught a different policy by Englishmen; and the African slaveholders are to be convinced that they[114] will make more money by employing their slaves in growing cotton, than in selling them to be carried off to the American planters. This done, and the transportation of laborers to the United States will be prevented. This will put it out of the power of our planters, to increase their production of cotton so as to reduce prices; and this will enable India to complete her rail roads, so as to be able to compete with American cotton at any price whatever.

But this new policy, if successful, will do more than stop the slave trade, to the supposed injury of the American planter. England will thereby have the benefit of the labor of Africa secured to herself. With its scores of millions of population under her direction, she hopes to compete with American slavery in the production of cotton; and not only to compete with it, but to surpass it altogether, and, in time, to render it so profitless as to force emancipation upon us. She will there have access to a population ten fold greater than that of the slave population of the United States; and the only doubt of success exists in the question, as to whether the negro master in Africa can make the slave work as well there as the white master in America has done here.

But how shall England, in this measure, preserve her "traditional policy," in which she pledged herself no longer to cherish slave labor. This will be very easily done. She need not authorize slavery in Western Africa; but as it already exists among all the tribes "by local law," she has only to recognize their independence, and bargain with the chiefs for all the cotton they can force their slaves to produce. This has already been done, by Englishmen, at several points in Africa, and will doubtless be resorted to in many other portions of that country. The moral responsibility of establishing slavery permanently in Africa, will thus be thrown upon the chiefs and kings, as it has heretofore been upon the American planter; and Great Britain can reap all the advantages of the increased production of slave labor cotton, while her moralists can easily satisfy the conscience of the people at home, by declaiming against the system which secures to them their bread.

Here now the policy of British statesmen can be comprehended. They must have cotton. The products of free labor would be preferred, but as it can not be had, in sufficient quantities, they[115] must take that of slave labor. To allow the American planter to supply this want, by renewing the slave trade, would ruin India and benefit America. To save India, and, at the same time, to secure the cotton demanded by the manufacturers, slavery is to be encouraged in Africa; and this is to be done as a means not only of preventing the slave trade, and checking the extension of slavery in America, but of multiplying the fields of cotton cultivation—a policy very essential to the wants of the British nation. Thus, slavery is to be promoted in Africa as an effectual means of checking it in America; it is to be converted into a blessing there, and made instrumental in wiping out its curse here!

And this, now, is the result of England's philanthropic efforts for African freedom. Her economical errors, in West Indian emancipation, are to be repaired by the permanent establishment of slavery in Africa! But what must be the practical moral effect of her policy? What must be the opinion entertained of the negro race, when Great Britain abandons her policy in reference to them? This is not hard to divine. It will wipe out the odium she has managed to cast upon the system; and, so far as her example is concerned, will justify the American planter in refusing to emancipate his slaves. Her conduct is a practical acknowledgment of the Southern theory of the African race—that slavery is their normal condition, otherwise she must have adopted the same policy in West Africa that she has in South Africa.

But before closing this part of our investigations, it may be well to examine the claims of Great Britain in relation to her humanity towards the African, or any of the inferior races doomed to lives of toil—such as the coolies of India and the laborers of China.

The contest for the advantages of supplying the increasing demands for cotton, is between Great Britain operating in India and Africa, and the American planter operating by an increased amount of labor furnished by means of the slave trade. The contest between the parties may be imagined as assuming this form: A portion of the American planters insist, that they should be allowed to manage this matter; but Great Britain says, nay: my subjects can do it better than you can. You Americans are governed by mercenary motives: we Britons by philanthropic intentions. You Americans have made no sacrifices for[116] the cause of humanity: we Britons have emancipated our West India slaves.

Aye, aye, replies the American planter; we understand all about the humanity of which you boast. Your special type of philanthropy is fully displayed in the history of your West Indies. Look at it. The total importation of slaves from Africa into your West Indian Islands, was 1,700,000 persons; of whom and their descendants, in 1833, only 660,000 remained for emancipation; we had less than 400,000 imported Africans, of whom and their descendants there existed among us, in 1850, more than 3,600,000 persons of African descent; that is to say, the number of Africans and their descendants in the United States, is nearly eight or ten to one of those that were imported, whilst in the British West Indies there are not two persons remaining for every five imported.[37] And besides, we have 500,000 free colored persons among us, a number nearly equal to that which your emancipation act set at liberty, and more than the whole number imported. Your slavery seems to have been a system of wholesale slaughter: ours the reverse.

All true, says Britain: but then we have ceased to do evil, and are learning to do well. We found "that slavery was bearing our colonies down to ruin with awful speed; that had it lasted but another half century, they must have sunk beyond recovery."[38]

What! says the planter; sunk beyond recovery! why, we find our slaves rapidly increasing, and ourselves almost "made of gold." Be pleased to explain, why slavery in the hands of Englishmen should be so destructive, while with the American it is not only profitable to the slaveholder himself, but the comfort of the slaves has been so well secured, from the first, that their natural increase has been about equal to that of any other people in the full enjoyment of the necessaries of life.

Certainly, says Britain: having done our duty, we are free to confess, that "what gave the death blow to slavery, in the minds of English statesmen, was the population returns, which showed the fact, 'the appalling fact,' that although only eleven out of the eighteen islands had sent them in, yet in those eleven islands the slaves had decreased in twelve years, by no less than 60,219,[117] namely: from 558,194 to 497,975![39] Had similar returns been procured from the other seven colonies (including Mauritius, Antigua, Barbadoes, and Granada,) the decrease must have been little, if at all, less than 100,000! Now it was plain to every one that if this were really so, the system could not last. The driest economist would allow that it would not pay, to let the working classes be slaughtered. To work the laboring men of our West Indies to death, might bring in a good return for a while, but could not be a profitable enterprise in the long run. Accordingly, this was the main, we had almost said the only, topic of the debates on slavery in 1831 and 1832. Is slavery causing a general massacre of the working classes in our sugar islands, or is it not, was a question worth debating, in the pounds, shillings, and pence view, as well as in the moral one. And debated it was, long and fiercely. The result was the full establishment of the dreadful fact. The slaves, as Mr. Marryatt said, were 'dying like rotten sheep.' Whatever then may be said for West Indian slavery, this damning thing must be said of it, that the slaves were dying of it. Then came emancipation."[40] And in performing this act—in demonstrating to the world the destructive character of slavery—Englishmen expected America to follow their example, and to emancipate her slaves also.

And thereby deceived yourselves, says the planter, into the ruin of your islands, without effecting any good for the Africans at large, and but little for those upon whom your bounties were bestowed. And, then, we cannot see the vastness of your philanthropy, in allowing such destructive cruelties to prevail so long, and in only emancipating your slaves when it was apparent they must soon become extinct under the lash, as applied by the hands of Britons. We know that you claimed that slavery was the same everywhere, and that humane men in our country were deceived into the belief that American slavery was as ruinous to life as British West Indian slavery. We know that the elder Mr. Buxton, in 1831, used this language, "where the blacks are free they increase. But let there be a change in only one circumstance,[118] let the population be the same in every respect, only let them be slaves instead of freemen, and the current is immediately stopped;" and, in support of this, his biographer adds: "This appalling fact was never denied, that at the time of the abolition of the slave trade, the number of slaves in the West Indies was 800,000; in 1830 it was 700,000; that is to say, in twenty-three years it had diminished by 100,000."[41] This assertion, that slavery is always destructive of life, was made by Mr. Buxton, in the face of the fact, that ten distinct sets of our Census tables were then accessible to him, in each one of which he had the evidence that American slavery, instead of reducing the number of our slave population, tended to its rapid increase. From this and kindred acts of that gentleman, we came to the conclusion, that, though he might be very benevolent, he was not very truthful; and was, therefore, a very unsafe guide to follow, as you must now acknowledge; unsafe, because your emancipation on a small scale, before securing a general emancipation by other countries, has thrown you under the necessity of now attempting to establish slavery elsewhere on a large scale; unsafe, because your negro population have not made half the moral progress under freedom, that ours have done under slavery; and because, that, where cultivation has depended upon the emancipated negro alone, with a single exception, the islands have almost gone to ruin.[42]

You misinterpret facts, says Britain: our islands are not ruined; no, by no means. Under slavery they would have been totally ruined; but emancipation has placed them in a position favorable to a full development of all their resources. "It is to be borne in mind that the influx of free labor is exactly one of those advantages of which a land is debarred by slavery. It is a part of the curse of slavery that it repels the freeman. When we are told that to judge of the effect of emancipation we must exclude those colonies that imported coolies, we reply at once that this useful importation has been one of the many blessings that freedom has brought in her train."[43]

I understand your views now, says the planter: but for emancipation,[119] your colonies would have sunk to irretrievable destruction. That measure has prepared the way for the coolie system; and under its operations the prosperity of your islands is on the increase. But what is the character of this coolie system, that is working such wonders? In what does it differ from the slave trade, of which you desire to deprive us? And what must be its effects upon the colored population, which have received their freedom at your hands, and whose moral elevation your Christian missionaries are laboring to promote? On this point I would not multiply testimony. The character of the coolie traffic is but too well understood, and is now believed by all intelligent men to be the slave trade in disguise. A writer, representing the anti-slavery society of Great Britain, makes these statements.[44]

"I am prepared to show, that fraud, misrepresentation, and actual violence are the constituent elements of the immigration system, even as it is now conducted, and that no vigilance on the part of the government which superintends its prosecution can prevent the abuses incidental to it. . . . . In China, especially, this is notoriously the case, and I refer you to Sir John Bowring's despatches on Immigration from China, for the fullest revelations. I need only add, that he designates the Chinese coolie traffic as being in every essential particular 'as bad as the African slave trade,' and that he recommends its entire prohibition. . . . . The mortality during the sea-voyage is so great, that the Emigration Commissioners declare 'these results to be shocking to humanity, and disgraceful to the manner in which the traffic is carried on.' I beg to call your special attention to the term 'traffic,' and to refer you for particulars of the mortality, to the Emigration Commissioners' Report for 1858. They may be briefly summarised. During the season 1856-57 the deaths at sea amounted to 17.26/100 per cent. on 4,094 coolies shipped from Calcutta—a rate which, if computed for the whole year, instead of 90 days, the term of the voyage, would average upwards of 70 per cent. The rate of mortality on shipments of Chinese bound to British Guiana, varied from 14 per cent. to 50. . . . . On shipments of Chinese bound to Havanna, on board British vessels, the death-rate fluctuated between 20 per cent. and 60. Yet, sir, immigration is said, by its advocates, to be now conducted on an improved system. . . . . We[120] come now to the treatment of the coolie, as soon as he is discharged from the ship. There is no official evidence, that I am yet aware of, to show what abuses of authority he is subjected to, but the Jamaica Immigration Bill, now awaiting the sanction of Her Majesty's Government, proves that the imported laborer is, during his term of service, subject to conditions quite incompatible with a system of free labor, and the same remark applies to other colonies. That the immigrants are liable to ill usage and neglect, may be gathered from the reports of travelers who have seen them in every stage of destitution and misery; and that they are peculiarly affected by the kind of service they contract to render, and by climate, is sufficiently proved by the awful mortality during industrial residence, which we are assured the Immigration Agent General's returns for Jamaica show to be equal to 50 per cent. Sir E. B. Lytton admits it to be 33 per cent. But if we accept his correction—which I confess I am not prepared to do without knowing upon what evidence he makes it—I maintain that even this death-rate establishes the startling fact, that coolie labor in Jamaica is proportionately more destructive to human life than slave labor in Cuba."

On the question of the influence that the coolie immigration exerts upon the emancipated blacks in the West Indies, the Editor of the London Economist very justly remarks:

"Bringing with them depraved heathen habits, and the detestable traditions of the worst forms of idolatry, and always looking forward to their return as the epoch when they will renew their heathen worship and find themselves again among heathen standards of action,—they are almost proof against the best influences which can be brought to bear upon them, and, what is worse, they are not only proof against the good, but missionaries for evil. They are closely associated in their labor with a race that is just emerging out of barbarism with the fostering care of Christianity, and we need not say that their social influence on such a race is deteriorating in the extreme. The difficulty would be indefinitely diminished, were the new immigrants a permanent addition to the population. By careful regulations for that purpose, they might, in that case, be subdued by the higher influences of their English teachers; but the prospect of speedy restoration to the country and habits of their birth, entirely foils such attempts as these. How far this great difficulty can be[121] overcome; and if it cannot, how far it may more than balance the moral and physical advantages of a fuller labor market,—it requires the most careful inquiry to determine." Here now are four distinct points upon which the testimony shows, conclusively, that the coolie system is worse than ever the slave trade has been represented to be; and that as the slave trade is opposed on the ground of the destruction of human life which attends it, so the coolie system should be abandoned upon the same grounds. The points are these: 1st, the frauds and cruelties incident to the procuring of immigrants; 2d, the mortality during the middle passage; 3d, the mortality in the islands where they are employed; 4th, the influence of the heathen coolies in demoralizing the emancipated blacks among whom they are intermingled. These points demand serious consideration by Britons, as well as Americans—by those who would reopen the slave trade, as well as those who would substitute for that traffic the immigration system.

And now, in conclusion, says the planter, I must beg to demur to Britain's claiming a monopoly of all the philanthropy in the world toward the African race; and upon that claim founding another which, if granted, will secure to her the monopoly of all the labor of Africa itself; and I would beg, further, that myself and my fellow planters may be excused, if we cannot see any thing more in all her movements than a determination to have a full supply of cotton, even at the risk of dooming Africa to become one vast slave plantation.

While a faithful view of the plans and expectations of the British, in relation to the production of cotton in Africa, has been presented, it would be doing injustice to the reader not to give a few facts, in closing, which indicate that their success, after all, may not equal their anticipations. The Rev. T. J. Bowen,[45] says of African cotton generally, that "the staple is good, but the yield can not be more than one-fourth of what it was on similar lands in the Southern States;" and of Yoruba, in particular, he says, that "both upland and sea island cotton are planted; but neither produces very well, owing to the extreme and constant heat of the climate." Of this, Mr. Bowen, who is a native of Georgia, must be regarded as a good judge. He spent six years[122] as a missionary of the Baptist Church in exploring the Abbeokuta and Yoruba country. This cause of short crops in Yoruba is evidently incurable. It does not exist in equal force in Liberia and its vicinity. Mr. Bowen says: "The average in the dry season is about 80 degrees at Ijaye, and 82 at Ogbomoshaw, and a few degrees lower during the rains. I have never known the mercury to rise higher than 93 degrees in the shade, at Ijaye. The highest reading at Ogbomoshaw was 97.5." These places are from 100 to 150 miles inland.[46]

Another remark. The confidence with which it is asserted, that immigration is impracticable as a means of obtaining labor, wherever slavery prevails, will remind the reader of another theory to which Englishmen long tried to make us converts: that slave labor is necessarily unprofitable and should be abandoned on economical grounds. Now they are forced to admit that our planters seem to "be made of gold." Perhaps these same planters can use immigrant labor as successfully as slave labor. If necessary, doubtless, they will make the attempt, notwithstanding the opinions entertained beyond the sea.



Rationale of the Kansas-Nebraska movement—Western Agriculturists merely Feeders of Slaves—Dry goods and groceries nearly all of Slave labor origin—Value of Imports—How paid for—Planters pay for more than three-fourths—Slavery intermediate between Commerce and Agriculture—Slavery not self-sustaining—Supplies from the North essential to its success—Proximate extent of those supplies—Slavery the central power of the industrial interests depending on Manufactures and Commerce—Abolitionism contributing to this result—Protection prostrate—Free Trade dominant—The South triumphant—Country ambitious of territorial aggrandizement—The world's peace disturbed—our policy needs modifying to meet contingencies—Defeat of Mr. Clay—War with Mexico—Results unfavorable to renewal of Protective policy—Dominant political party at the North gives its adhesion to Free Trade—Leading Abolition paper does the same—Ditches on the wrong side of breastworks—Inconsistency—Free Trade the main element in extending Slavery—Abolition United States Senators' voting with the South—North thus shorn of its power—Home Market supplied by Slavery—People acquiesce—Despotism and Freedom—Preservation of the Union paramount—Colored people must wait a little—Slavery triumphant—People at large powerless—Necessity of severing the Slavery question from politics—Colonization the only hope—Abolitionism prostrate—Admissions on this point, by Parker, Sumner, Campbell—Other dangers to be averted—Election of Speaker Banks a Free Trade triumph—Neutrality necessary—Liberia the colored man's hope.

From what has been said, the dullest intellect can not fail, now, to perceive the rationale of the Kansas-Nebraska movement. The political influence which these Territories will give to the South, if secured, will be of the first importance to perfect its arrangements for future slavery extension—whether by divisions of the larger States and Territories, now secured to the institution, its extension into territory hitherto considered free, or the acquisition of new territory to be devoted to the system, so as to preserve the balance of power in Congress. When this is done, Kansas and Nebraska, like Kentucky and Missouri, will be of little consequence to slaveholders, compared with the cheap and constant supply of provisions they can yield. Nothing, therefore, will so exactly coincide with Southern interests, as a rapid emigration of freemen into these new Territories. White free labor, doubly productive over slave labor in grain-growing, must be multiplied within their limits, that the cost of provisions may be[124] reduced and the extension of slavery and the growth of cotton suffer no interruption. The present efforts to plant them with slavery, are indispensable to produce sufficient excitement to fill them speedily with a free population; and if this whole movement has been a Southern scheme to cheapen provisions, and increase the ratio of the production of sugar and cotton, as it most unquestionably will do, it surpasses the statesman-like strategy which forced the people into an acquiescence in the annexation of Texas.

And should the anti-slavery voters succeed in gaining the political ascendency in these Territories, and bring them as free States triumphantly into the Union; what can they do, but turn in, as all the rest of the Western States have done, and help to feed slaves, or those who manufacture or who sell the products of the labor of slaves. There is no other resource left, either to them or to the older free States, without an entire change in almost every branch of business and of domestic economy. Reader, look at your bills of dry goods for the year, and what do they contain? At least three-fourths of the amount are French, English, or American cotton fabrics, woven from slave labor cotton. Look at your bills for groceries, and what do they contain? Coffee, sugar, molasses, rice—from Brazil, Cuba, Louisiana, Carolina; while only a mere fraction of them are from free labor countries. As now employed, our dry goods' merchants and grocers constitute an immense army of agents for the sale of fabrics and products coming, directly or indirectly, from the hand of the slave; and all the remaining portion of the people, free colored, as well as white, are exerting themselves, according to their various capacities, to gain the means of purchasing the greatest possible amount of these commodities. Nor can the country, at present, by any possibility, pay the amount of foreign goods consumed, but by the labor of the slaves of the planting States. This can not be doubted for a moment. Here is the proof:

Commerce supplied us, in 1853, with foreign articles, for consumption, to the value of $250,420,187, and accepted, in exchange, of our provisions, to the value of but $33,809,126; while the products of our slave labor, manufactured and unmanufactured, paid to the amount of $133,648,603, on the balance of this foreign debt. This, then, is the measure of the ability of the Farmers and Planters, respectively, to meet the payment of the[125] necessaries and comforts of life, supplied to the country by its foreign commerce. The farmer pays, or seems only to pay, $33,800,000, while the planter has a broad credit, on the account, of $133,600,000.

This was true in 1853: is it so in 1859? The amounts are not now the same, but the proportions have not varied materially. Reference to Table VIII, in the Appendix, will show, that while the provisions exported, for the three years preceding 1859, amounted to a yearly average of $67,512,812, the value of the cotton and tobacco exported, during the same period, amounted to an annual average of $147,079,647.

But is this seeming productiveness of slavery real, or is it only imaginary? Has the system such capacities, over the other industrial interests of the nation, in the creation of wealth, as these figures indicate? Or, are these results due to its intermediate position between the agriculture of the country and its foreign commerce? These are questions worthy of consideration. Were the planters left to grow their own provisions, they would, as already intimated, be unable to produce any cotton for export. That their present ability to export so extensively, is in consequence of the aid they receive from the North, is proved by facts such as these:

In 1820, the cotton-gin had been a quarter of a century in operation, and the culture of cotton was then nearly as well understood as at present. The North, though furnishing the South with some live stock, had scarcely begun to supply it with provisions, and the planters had to grow the food, and manufacture much of the clothing for their slaves. In that year the cotton crop equaled 109 lbs. to each slave in the Union, of which 83 lbs. per slave were exported. In 1830 the exports of the article had risen to 143 lbs., in 1840 to 295 lbs., and in 1853 to 337 lbs. per slave. The total cotton crop of 1853 equaled 395 lbs. per slave—making both the production and export of that staple, in 1853, more than four times as large, in proportion to the slave population, as they were in 1820.[47] Had the planters, in 1853,[126] been able to produce no more cotton, per slave, than in 1820, they would have grown but 359,308,472 lbs., instead of the actual crop of 1,305,152,800 lbs.; and would not only have failed to supply any for export, but have barely supplied the home demand, and been minus the total crop of that year, by 945,844,328 lbs.

In this estimate, some allowance, perhaps, should be made, for the greater fertility of the new lands, more recently brought under cultivation; but the difference, on this account, can not be equal to the difference in the crops of the several periods, as the lands, in the older States, in 1820, were yet comparatively fresh and productive.

Again, the dependence of the South upon the North, for its provisions, may be inferred from such additional facts as these: The "Abstract of the Census," for 1850, shows, that the production of wheat, in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, averaged, the year preceding, very little more than a peck, (it was 27/100 of a bushel,) to each person within their limits. These States must purchase flour largely, but to what amount we can not determine. The shipments of provisions from Cincinnati to New Orleans and other down river ports, show that large supplies leave that city for the South; but what proportion of them is taken for consumption by the planters, must be left, at present, to conjecture. These shipments, as to a few of the prominent articles, for the four years ending August 31, 1854, averaged annually the following amounts:

Wheat flourbrls.385,204
Pork and Bacon    lbs.   43,689,000

Cincinnati also exports eastward, by canal, river and railroad, large amounts of these productions. The towns and cities westward send more of their products to the South, as their distance increases the cost of transportation to the East. But, in the absence of full statistics, it is not necessary to make additional statements.

From this view of the subject, it appears that slavery is not a self-sustaining system, independently remunerative; but that it attains its importance to the nation and to the world, by standing as an agency, intermediate, between the grain-growing States and our foreign commerce. As the distillers of the West transformed[127] the surplus grain into whisky, that it might bear transport, so slavery takes the products of the North, and metamorphoses them into cotton, that they may bear export.

It seems, indeed, when the whole of the facts brought to view are considered, that American slavery, though of little force unaided, yet properly sustained, is the great central power, or energizing influence, not only of nearly all the industrial interests of our own country, but also of those of Great Britain and much of the Continent; and that, if stricken from existence, the whole of these interests, with the advancing civilization of the age, would receive a shock that must retard their progress for years to come.

This is no exaggerated picture of the present imposing power of slavery. It is literally true. Southern men, at an early day, believed that the Protective Tariff would have paralyzed it—would have destroyed it. But the abolitionists, led off by their sympathies with England, and influenced by American politicians and editors, who advocated free trade, were made the instruments of its overthrow. No such extended mining and manufacturing, as the Protective system was expected to create, has now any existence in the Union. Under it, according to the theory of its friends, more than one hundred and sixty millions in value, of the foreign imports for 1853, would have been produced in our own country. But free trade is dominant: the South has triumphed in its warfare with the North: the political power passed into its hands with the defeat of the Father of the Protective Tariff, ten years since, in the last effort of his friends to elevate him to the Presidency: the slaveholding and commercial interests then gained the ascendency, and secured the power of annexing territory at will: the nation has become rich in commerce, and unbounded in ambition for territorial aggrandizement: the people acquiesce in the measures of Government, and are proud of the influence it has gained in the world: nay, more, the peaceful aspect of the nations has been changed, and the policy of our own country must be modified to meet the exigencies that may arise.

One word more on the point we have been considering. With the defeat of Mr. Clay, came the immediate annexation of Texas, and, as he predicted, the war with Mexico. The results of these events let loose from its attachments a mighty avalanche of emigration and of enterprise, under the rule of the free trade policy, then[128] adopted, which, by the golden treasures it yields, renders that system, thus far, self-sustaining, and able to move on, as its friends believe, with a momentum that forbids any attempt to return again to the system of protection. Whether the Tariff controversy is permanently settled, or not, is a question about which we shall not speculate. It may be remarked, however, that one of the leading parties in the North gave its adhesion to free trade many years since, and still continues to vote with the South. The leading abolition paper, too, ever since its origin, has advocated the Southern free trade system; and thus, in defending the cause it has espoused, as was said of a certain general in the Mexican war, its editors have been digging their ditches on the wrong side of their breastworks. To say the least, their position is a very strange one, for men who profess to labor for the subversion of American slavery. It would be as rational to pour oil upon a burning edifice, to extinguish the fire, as to attempt to overthrow that system under the rule of free trade. For, whatever differences of opinion may exist on the question of free trade, as applied to the nations at large, there can be no question that it has been the main element in promoting the value of slave labor in the United States; and, consequently, of extending the system of slavery, vastly, beyond the bounds it would otherwise have reached. But the editors referred to, do not stand alone. More than one United States Senator, after acquiring notoriety and position by constant clamors against slavery at home, has not hesitated to vote for free trade at Washington, with as hearty a good will as any friend of the extension of slavery in the country!

All these things together have paralyzed the advocates of the protection of free labor, at present, as fully as the North has thereby been shorn of its power to control the question of slavery. Indeed, from what has been said of the present position of American slavery, in its relation to the other industrial interests of the country, and of the world, there is no longer any doubt that it now supplies the complement of that home market, so zealously urged as essential to the prosperity of the agricultural population of the country: and which, it was supposed, could only be created by the multiplication of domestic manufactures. This desideratum being gained, the great majority of the people have nothing more to ask, but seem desirous that our foreign commerce shall be cherished; that the cultivation of cotton and sugar shall be[129] extended; that the nation shall become cumulative as well as progressive; that, as despotism is striving to spread its raven wing over the earth, freedom must strengthen itself for the protection of the liberties of the world; that while three millions of Africans, only, are held to involuntary servitude for a time, to sustain the system of free trade, the freedom of hundreds of millions is involved in the preservation of the American Constitution; and that, as African emancipation, in every experiment made, has thrown a dead weight upon Anglo-Saxon progress, the colored people must wait a little, until the general battle for the liberties of the civilized nations is gained, before the universal elevation of the barbarous tribes can be achieved. This work, it is true, has been commenced at various outposts in heathendom, by the missionary, but is impeded by numberless hindrances; and these obstacles to the progress of Christian civilization, doubtless will continue, until the friends of civil and religious liberty shall triumph in nominally Christian countries; and, with the wealth of the nations at command, instead of applying it to purposes of war, shall devote it to sweeping away the darkness of superstition and barbarism from the earth, by extending the knowledge of science and revelation to all the families of man.

But we must hasten.

There are none who will deny the truth of what is said of the present strength and influence of slavery, however much they may have deprecated its acquisition of power. There are none who think it practicable to assail it, successfully, by political action, in the States where it is already established by law. The struggle against the system, therefore, is narrowed down to an effort to prevent its extension into territory now free; and this contest is limited to the people who settle the territories. The question is thus taken out of the hands of the people at large, and they are cut off from all control of slavery both in the States and Territories. Hence it is, that the American people are considering the propriety of banishing this distracting question from national politics, and demanding of their statesmen that there shall no longer be any delay in the adoption of measures to sustain the Constitution and laws of our glorious Union, against all its enemies, whether domestic or foreign.

The policy of adopting this course, may be liable to objection; but it does not appear to arise from any disposition to prove[130] recreant to the cause of philanthropy, that a large portion of the people of the free States are desirous of divorcing the slavery question from all connection with political movements. It is because they now find themselves wholly powerless, as did the colonizationists, forty years since, in regard to emancipation, and are thus forced into a position of neutrality on that subject.

A word on this point. The friends of colonization, in the outset of that enterprise, found themselves shut up to the necessity of creating a Republic on the shores of Africa, as the only hope for the free colored people—the further emancipation of the slaves, by State action, having become impracticable. After nearly forty years of experimenting with the free colored people, by others, colonizationists still find themselves circumscribed in their operations, to their original design of building up the Republic of Liberia, as the only rational hope of the elevation of the African race—the prospects of general emancipation being a thousand-fold more gloomy in 1859 than they were in 1817.

Abolitionists, themselves, now admit that slavery completely controls all national legislation. This is equivalent to admitting that all their schemes for its overthrow have failed. Theodore Parker, of Boston, in a sermon before his congregation, recently, is reported as having made the following declaration: "I have been preaching to you in this city for ten years; and beside the multitudes addressed here, I have addressed a hundred thousand annually in excursions through the country; and in that time the area of slavery has increased a hundred fold." Gerrit Smith, in his late speech in Congress, said, that cotton is now the dominant interest of the country, and sways Church, and State, and commerce, and compels all of them to go for slavery. Mr. Sumner, in his thrice repeated lecture, in New York, in May, 1855, declared, that, "notwithstanding all its excess of numbers, wealth, and intelligence, the North is now the vassal of an oligarchy, whose single inspiration comes from slavery.". . . . . It "now dominates over the Republic, determines its national policy, disposes of its offices, and sways all to its absolute will.". . . . "In maintaining its power, the slave oligarchy has applied a new test for office"—. . . . "Is he faithful to slavery?". . . . "With arrogant ostracism, it excludes from every national office all who can not respond to this test." Hon. L. D. Campbell, in a letter to the Cincinnati Convention of Colored Freemen, January 5, 1852,[131] said: "I regard the present position of your race in this country as infinitely worse than it was ten years ago. The States which were then preparing for gradual emancipation, are now endeavoring to extend, perpetuate, and strengthen slavery!. . . . A vast amount of territory which was then free is now everlastingly dedicated to slavery. . . . . From the lights of the past, I confess, I see nothing to justify a promise of much to your future prospects."

That these gentlemen state a great truth, as to the present position of the slavery question, and the darkening prospects of emancipation, will be denied by no man of intelligence and candor. Doubtless, a certain class of politicians, because of the present dearth of political capital, of any other kind, will continue to agitate this subject. But, sooner or later, it must take the form we have stated, and become a question of minor importance in politics. This result is inevitable, because the people at large are beginning to realize their want of power over the institution of slavery, and the futility of any measures hitherto adopted to arrest its progress, and elevate the free colored people on terms of equality among the whites.

But, I am told that the North has recently achieved a great victory over the South, in the election of Mr. Banks, as Speaker.[48] Time was when such a result would have been considered far otherwise than a Northern triumph. Mr. Banks is an ultra free trade man, and his sentiments will assuredly work no ill to the commercial interests of the South. His election provoked no threats of secession. What, then, has been gained to the North, in the wild excitement consequent upon the controversy relative to the Speakership? The opponents of slavery are further than ever from accomplishing any thing practicable in checking the demand for the great staple of the South. Cotton is King still.

In such a crisis as this, shall the friends of the Union be rebuked, if they determine to take a position of neutrality, in politics, on the subject of slavery; while, at the same time, they offer to guarantee the free colored people a Republic of their own, where they may equal other races, and aid in redeeming a Continent from the woes it has suffered for thousands of years!




Effects of opposition to Colonization on Liberia—Its effects on free colored people—Their social and moral condition—Abolition testimony on the subject—American Missionary Association—Its failure in Canada—Degradation of West India free colored people—American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society—Its testimony on the dismal condition of West India free negroes—London Times on same subject—Mr. Bigelow on same subject—Effect of results in West Indies on Emancipation—Opinion of Southern Planters—Economical failure of West India Emancipation—Ruinous to British Commerce—Similar results in Hayti—Extent of diminution of exports from West Indies resulting from Emancipation—Results favorable to American Planter—Moral condition of Hayti—Later facts in reference to the West Indies—Negro free labor a failure—Necessity of education to render freedom of value—Franklin's opinion confirmed—Colonization essential to promote Emancipation.

We have noticed the social and moral condition of the free colored people, from the days of Franklin, to the projection of colonization. We have also glanced at the main facts in relation to the abolition warfare upon colonization, and its success in paralyzing the enterprise. This subject demands a more extended notice. The most serious injury from this hostility, sustained by the cause of colonization, was the prejudice created, in the minds of the more intelligent free colored men, against emigration to Liberia. The Colonization Society had expressed its belief in the natural equality of the blacks and whites; and that there were a sufficient number of educated, upright, free colored men, in the United States, to establish and sustain a Republic on the coast of Africa, "whose citizens, rising rapidly in the scale of existence, under the stimulants to noble effort by which they would be surrounded, might soon become equal to the people of Europe, or of European origin—so long their masters and oppressors." These were the sentiments of the first Report of the Colonization Society, and often repeated since. Its appeals were made to the moral and intelligent of the free colored people; and, with their co-operation, the success of its scheme was considered certain.[133] But the very persons needed to lead the enterprise, were, mostly, persuaded to reject the proffered aid, and the society was left to prosecute its plans with such materials as offered. In consequence of this opposition, it was greatly embarrassed, and made less progress in its work of African redemption, than it must have done under other circumstances. Had three-fourths of its emigrants been the enlightened, free colored men of the country, a dozen Liberias might now gird the coast of Africa, where but one exists; and the slave trader be entirely excluded from its shores. Doubtless, a wise Providence has governed here, as in other human affairs, and may have permitted this result, to show how speedily even semi-civilized men can be elevated under American Protestant free institutions. The great body of emigrants to Liberia, and nearly all the leading men who have sprung up in the colony, and contributed most to the formation of the Republic, went out from the very midst of slavery; and yet, what encouraging results! It has been a sad mistake to oppose colonization, and thus to retard Africa's redemption!

But how has it fared with the free colored people elsewhere? The answer to this question will be the solution of the inquiry, What has abolitionism accomplished by its hostility to colonization, and what is the condition of the free colored people, whose interests it volunteered to promote, and whose destinies it attempted to control?

The abolitionists themselves shall answer this question. The colored people shall see what kind of commendations their tutors give them, and what the world is to think of them, on the testimony of their particular friends.

The concentration of a colored population in Canada, is the work of American abolitionists. The American Missionary Association, is their organ for the spread of a gospel untainted, it is claimed, by contact with slavery. Out of four stations under its care in Canada, at the opening of 1853, but one school, that of Miss Lyon, remained at its close. All the others were abandoned, and all the missionaries had asked to be released,[49] as we are informed by its Seventh Annual Report, chiefly for the reasons stated in the following extract, page 49:


"The number of missionaries and teachers in Canada, with which the year commenced, has been greatly reduced. Early in the year, Mr. Kirkland wrote to the committee, that the opposition to white missionaries, manifested by the colored people of Canada, had so greatly increased, by the interested misrepresentations of ignorant colored men, pretending to be ministers of the gospel, that he thought his own and his wife's labors, and the funds of the association, could be better employed elsewhere."

This Mission seems never to have been in a prosperous condition. Passing over to the Eleventh Annual Report, 1857, it is found that the Association had then but one missionary, the Rev. David Hotchkiss, in that field. In relation to his prospects, the Report says:

"It has, however, happened to him, as it frequently did to Paul and his fellow-laborers, that his faithfulness and his success have been the occasion of stirring up certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, so that at one time it was thought by some lookers-on that his life was in danger, and that he might be compelled to leave the scene of his present labors." He had succeeded, however, in gathering a church of 28 members, but "on the 21st of June, the house in which the little church worshiped was burned to the ground. This was undoubtedly the work of an incendiary, as there had been no fire in it for more than two weeks. Threats now were freely used against Mr. Hotchkiss and the church, but he continued his labors, and procured another house, and had it fitted up for worship. On the 24th of August, this also was burned down. They have since had to meet in private houses, and much doubt has been felt relative to ultimate duty. At later dates, however, the opposition was more quiet, and hopes revived. This field is emphatically a hard one, and requires much faith and patience from those who labor there."[50]

On the 30th of August, 1858, Mr. Hotchkiss writes: "My wife's school is in a prosperous condition. She has had nearly forty scholars, and they learn well. There are numbers who can not come to school for want of suitable clothing. They are nearly naked."[51]

On a late occasion it is remarked, that "this society seems to meet with the trouble which accompanies the efforts of other[135] missionary societies in their endeavors to 'to seek and to save that which was lost.' They say they find it 'extremely difficult to win the confidence of the colored people of Canada.'"[52]

But we have a picture of a different kind to present, and one that proves the capacity of the free colored people for improvement—not when running at large and uncared for, but when subjected to wholesome restraint. This is as essential to the progress of the blacks as the whites, while they are in the course of intellectual, moral and industrial training:

"Some years ago the Rev. William King, a slave owner in Louisiana, manumitted his slaves and removed them to Canada. They now, with others, occupy a tract of land at Buxton and the vicinity, called the Elgin Block, where Mr. King is stationed as a Presbyterian missionary.

"A recent general meeting there was attended by Lord Althorp, son of Earl Spencer, and J. W. Probyn, Esq., both members of the British Parliament, who made addresses. The whole educational and moral machinery is worked by the presiding genius of the Rev. W. King, to whom the entire settlement are under felt and acknowledged obligations. He teaches them agriculture and industry. He superintends their education, and preaches on the Lord's day. He regards the experiment as highly successful."[53]

It is not our purpose to multiply testimony on this subject, but simply to afford an index to the condition of the colored people, as described by abolition pens, best known to the public. We turn, therefore, from the British colonies in the North, to her possessions in the Tropics.

West India emancipation, under the guidance of English abolitionists, has always been viewed as the grand experiment, which was to convince the world of the capacity of the colored man to rise, side by side, with the white man. We shall let the friends of the system, and the public documents of the British Government, testify as to its results, both morally and economically. Opening, again, the Seventh Annual Report of the American Missionary Association, page 30, where it speaks of their moral condition, we find it written:

"One of our missionaries, in giving a description of the moral condition of the people of Jamaica, after speaking of the licentiousness[136] which they received as a legacy from those who denied them the pure joys of holy wedlock, and trampled upon and scourged chastity, as if it were a fiend to be driven out from among men—that enduring legacy, which, with its foul, pestilential influence, still blights, like the mildew of death, every thing in society that should be lovely, virtuous, and of good report; and alluding to their intemperance, in which they have followed the example set by the governor in his palace, the bishop in his robes, statesmen and judges, lawyers and doctors, planters and overseers, and even professedly Christian ministers; and the deceit and falsehood which oppression and wrong always engender, says: 'It must not be forgotten that we are following in the wake of the accursed system of slavery—a system that unmakes man, by warring upon his conscience, and crushing his spirit, leaving naught but the shattered wrecks of humanity behind it. If we may but gather up some of these floating fragments, from which the image of God is well nigh effaced, and pilot them safely into that better land, we shall not have labored in vain. But we may hope to do more. The chief fruit of our labors is to be sought in the future, rather than in the present.' It should be remembered, too, (continues the Report,) that there is but a small part of the population yet brought within the reach of the influence of enlightened Christian teachers, while the great mass by whom they are surrounded are but little removed from actual heathenism." Another missionary, page 33, says, it is the opinion of all intelligent Christian men, that "nothing save the furnishing of the people with ample means of education and religious instruction will save them from relapsing into a state of barbarism." And another, page 36, in speaking of certain cases of discipline, for the highest form of crime, under the seventh commandment, says: "There is nothing in public sentiment to save the youth of Jamaica in this respect."

The missions of this Association, in Jamaica, differ scarcely a shade from those among the actual heathen. On this point, the Report, near its close, says:

"For most of the adult population of Jamaica, the unhappy victims of long years of oppression and degradation, our missionaries have great fear. Yet for even these there may be hope, even though with trembling. But it is around the youth of the island that their brightest hopes and anticipations cluster; from[137] them they expect to gather their principal sheaves for the great Lord of the harvest."

The American Missionary, a monthly paper, and organ of this Association, for July, 1855, has the following quotation from the letters of the missionaries, recently received. It is given, as abolition testimony, in further confirmation of the moral condition of the colored people of Jamaica:

"From the number of churches and chapels in the island, Jamaica ought certainly to be called a Christian land. The people may be called a church-going people. There are chapels and places of worship enough, at least in this part of the island, to supply the people if every station of our mission were given up. And there is no lack of ministers and preachers. As far as I am acquainted, almost the entire adult population profess to have a hope of eternal life, and I think the larger part are connected with churches. In view of such facts some have been led to say, 'The spiritual condition of the population is very satisfactory.' But there is another class of facts that is perfectly astounding. With all this array of the externals of religion, one broad, deep wave of moral death rolls over the land. A man may be a drunkard, a liar, a Sabbath-breaker, a profane man, a fornicator, an adulterer, and such like—and be known to be such—and go to chapel, and hold up his head there, and feel no disgrace from these things, because they are so common as to create a public sentiment in his favor. He may go to the communion table, and cherish a hope of heaven, and not have his hope disturbed. I might tell of persons guilty of some, if not all, these things, ministering in holy things."

What motives can prompt the American Missionary Association to cast such imputations upon the missions of the English and Scotch Churches, in Jamaica, we leave to be determined by the parties interested. Few, indeed, will believe that the English and Scotch Churches would, for a moment, tolerate such a condition of things, in their mission stations, as is here represented.

Next we turn to the Annual Report of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1853, which discourses thus, in its own language, and in quotations which it indorses:[54]

"The friends of emancipation in the United States have been[138] disappointed in some respects at the results in the West Indies, because they expected too much. A nation of slaves can not at once be converted into a nation of intelligent, industrious, and moral freemen.". . . . "It is not too much, even now, to say of the people of Jamaica,. . . . their condition is exceedingly degraded, their morals woefully corrupt. But this must, by no means, be understood to be of universal application. With respect to those who have been brought under a healthful educational and religious influence, it is not true. But as respects the great mass, whose humanity has been ground out of them by cruel oppression—whom no good Samaritan hand has yet reached—how could it be otherwise? We wish to turn the tables; to supplant oppression by righteousness, insult by compassion and brotherly kindness, hatred and contempt by love and winning meekness, till we allure these wretched ones to the hope and enjoyment of manhood and virtue."[55]. . . . "The means of education and religious instruction are better enjoyed, although but little appreciated and improved by the great mass of the people. It is also true, that the moral sense of the people is becoming somewhat enlightened. . . . . But while this is true, yet their moral condition is very far from being what it ought to be. . . . . It is exceedingly dark and distressing. Licentiousness prevails to a most alarming extent among the people. . . . . The almost universal prevalence of intemperance is another prolific source of the moral darkness and degradation of the people. The great mass, among all classes of the inhabitants, from the governor in his palace to the peasant in his hut—from the bishop in his gown to the beggar in his rags—are all slaves to their cups."[56]

This is the language of American abolitionists, going out under the sanction of their Annual Reports. Lest it may be considered as too highly colored, we add the following from the London Times, of near the same date. In speaking of the results of emancipation, in Jamaica, it says:

"The negro has not acquired, with his freedom, any habits of industry or morality. His independence is but little better than that of an uncaptured brute. Having accepted few of the restraints of civilization, he is amenable to few of its necessities;[139] and the wants of his nature are so easily satisfied, that at the present rate of wages, he is called upon for nothing but fitful or desultory exertion. The blacks, therefore, instead of becoming intelligent husbandmen, have become vagrants and squatters, and it is now apprehended that with the failure of cultivation in the island will come the failure of its resources for instructing or controlling its population. So imminent does this consummation appear, that memorials have been signed by classes of colonial society hitherto standing aloof from politics, and not only the bench and the bar, but the bishop, clergy, and ministers of all denominations in the island, without exception, have recorded their conviction, that, in the absence of timely relief, the religious and educational institutions of the island must be abandoned, and the masses of the population retrogade to barbarism."

One of the editors of the New York Evening Post, Mr. Bigelow, a few years since, spent a winter in Jamaica, and continues to watch, with anxious solicitude, as an anti-slavery man, the developments taking place among its colored population. In reviewing the returns published by the Jamaica House of Assembly, in 1853, in reference to the ruinous decline in the agriculture of the island, and stating the enormous quantity of lands thrown out of cultivation, since 1848, the Post says:

"This decline has been going on from year to year, daily becoming more alarming, until at length the island has reached what would appear to be the last profound of distress and misery,. . . . when thousands of people do not know, when they rise in the morning, whence or in what manner they are to procure bread for the day."

We must examine, more closely, the economical results of emancipation, in the West Indies, before we can judge of the effects, upon the trade and commerce of the world, which would result from general emancipation in the United States. We do this, not to afford an argument in behalf of the perpetuation of slavery, because its abolition might injuriously affect the interests of trade and commerce; but because the whole of these results have long been well known to the American planter, and serve as conclusive arguments, with him, against emancipation. He believes that, in tropical cultivation, African free labor is worthless; that the liberation of the slaves in this country, must, necessarily, be followed with results similar to what has occurred in the[140] West Indies; and, for this reason, as well as on account of the profitable character of slavery, he refuses to give freedom to his slaves. We repeat, we do not cite the fact of the failure, economically, of free labor in Jamaica, as an argument for the perpetuation of slavery. Not at all. We allude to the fact, only to show that emancipation has greatly reduced the commerce of the colonies, and that the logic of this result militates against the colored man's prospects of advancement in the scale of political and social equality. But to the facts:

The British planters, up to 1806, had received from the slave traders an uninterrupted supply of laborers, and had rapidly extended their cultivation as commerce increased its demands for their products. Let us take the results in Jamaica as an example of the whole of the British West India islands. She had increased her exports of sugar from a yearly average of 123,979,000 lbs. in 1772-3, to 234,700,000 lbs. in 1805-6. No diminution of exports had occurred, as has been asserted by some anti-slavery writers, before the prohibition of the slave trade. The increase was progressive and undisturbed, except so far as affected by seasons, more or less favorable. But no sooner was her supply of slaves cut off, by the act of 1806, which took effect in 1808, than the exports of Jamaica began to diminish, until her sugar had fallen off from 1822 to 1832, to an annual average of 131,129,000 lbs., or nearly to what they had been sixty years before. It was not until 1833 that the Emancipation Act was passed; so that this decline in the exports of Jamaica, took place under all the rigors of West India slavery. The exports of rum, coffee, and cotton, were diminished in nearly the same ratio.

To arrest this ruinous decline in the commercial prosperity of the islands, emancipation was adopted in 1833 and perfected in 1838. This policy was pursued under the plea, that free labor is doubly as productive as slave labor; and, that the negroes, liberated, would labor twice as well as when enslaved. But what was the result? Ten years after final emancipation was effected, the exports of sugar from Jamaica were only 67,539,200 lbs. a year, instead of 234,700,000 lbs., as in 1805-6. The exports of coffee, during the same year, were reduced to 5,684,921 lbs., instead of 23,625,377 lbs., as in 1805-6; and the extinction of the cultivation of cotton, for export, had become almost complete, though in 1800, it had nearly equaled that of the United States. These[141] are no fancy sketches, drawn for effect, but sober realities, attested by the public documents of the British government.[57] The Jamaica negro, ignorant and destitute of forethought, disappointed the English philanthropists.

In Hayti, emancipation had been productive of results, fully as disastrous to its commerce, as it had been to that of Jamaica. There was an almost total abandonment of the production of sugar, soon after freedom was declared. This took place in 1793. In 1790 the island exported 163,318,810 lbs. of sugar. But in 1801 its export was reduced to 18,534,112 lbs., in 1818, to 5,443,765 lbs., and in 1825 to 2,020 lbs.;[58] since which time its export has nearly ceased. Indeed, it is asserted, that, "at this moment there is not one pound of sugar exported from the island, and all that is used is imported from the United States."[59]

The exports of coffee, from Hayti, in 1790, were 76,835,219 lbs.; and of cotton, 7,004,274 lbs. But the exports of the former article, in 1801, were reduced to 43,420,270 lbs., and the latter to 474,118 lbs.[60] The exports of coffee have varied, annually, since that period, from thirty to forty million pounds; and the cotton exported has rarely much exceeded one million pounds.[61] At present, "with the exception of Gonaives, there is not a pound of cotton produced, and only a very limited quanity there, barely sufficient for consumption; and instead of exporting indigo, as formerly, they import all they use from the United States."[62]


According to the authorities before cited, the deficit of free labor tropical cultivation, as compared with that of slave labor, while sustained by the slave trade, including the British West Indies and Hayti, stands as follows:—a startling result, truly, to those who expected emancipation to work well for commerce, and supersede the necessity of employing slave labor:

Contrast of Slave Labor and Free Labor Exports from the West Indies.

 Years.lbs. Sugar.lbs. Coffee.lbs. Cotton.
British West Indies,1807,636,025,64331,610,764  17,000,000[63]
Hayti,1790,  163,318,810    76,835,219     7,286,126
Total  809,344,453  108,245,98324,286,126    

 Years.lbs. Sugar.lbs. Coffee.lbs. Cotton.
British West Indies,1848,313,306,1126,770,792    427,529[64]
Hayti1848,very little.  34,114,717[65]  1,591,454[65]
Total313,306,11240,885,509      2,018,983    
Free Labor Deficit  496,038,341  67,360,474      22,267,143    

To understand the bearing which this decrease of production, by free labor, has upon the interests of the African race, it must be remembered, that the consumption of cotton and sugar has not diminished, but increased, vastly; and that for every bale of cotton, or hogshead of sugar, that the free labor production is diminished, an equal amount of slave labor cotton and sugar is demanded to supply its place; and, more than this, for every additional bale or hogshead required by their increased consumption, an additional one must be furnished by slave labor, because the world will not dispense with their use. As no material change has occurred, for several years, in the commercial condition of the islands, it is not necessary to bring this statement down to a later date than 1848. The causes operating to encourage the[143] American planters, in extending their cultivation of cotton and sugar, can now be understood.

In relation to the moral condition of Hayti, we need say but little. It is known that a great majority of the children of the island are born out of wedlock, and that the Christian Sabbath is the principal market day in the towns. The American and Foreign Christian Union, a missionary paper of New York, after quoting the report of one of the missionaries in Hayti, who represents his success as encouraging, thus remarks: "This letter closes with some singular incidents not suitable for publication, showing the deplorable state of community there, both morally and socially. There seems to be a mixture of African barbarism with the sensuous civilization of France. . . . . That dark land needs the light which begins to dawn thereon."

Thus matters stood when the second edition of this work went to press. An opportunity is now afforded, of embracing the results of emancipation to a later date, and of forming a better judgment of the effects of that policy on the question of freedom in the United States. For, if the negro, with full liberty, in the West Indies, has proved himself unreliable in voluntary labor, the experiment of freeing him here will not be attempted by our slaveholders.

Much has been said, recently, about British emancipation, and the returning commercial prosperity of her tropical islands. The American Missionary Association[66] gives currency to the assertion, that "they yield more produce than they ever did during the existence of slavery." It is said, also, in the Edinburgh Review, that existing facts "show that slavery was bearing our colonies down to ruin with awful speed; that had it lasted but another half century, they must have sunk beyond recovery. On the other hand, that now, under freedom and free trade, they are growing day by day more rich and prosperous; with spreading trade, with improving agriculture, with a more educated, industrious and virtuous people; while the comfort of the quondam slaves is increased beyond the power of words to portray."[67]

Now all this seems very encouraging; but how such language can be used, without its being considered as flatly contradicting[144] well known facts, and what the American Missionary Association, Mr. Bigelow, and others, have heretofore said, will seem very mysterious to the reader. And yet, the assertions quoted would seem to be proved, by taking the aggregate production of the whole British West India islands and Mauritius, as the index to their commercial prosperity. But if the islands be taken separately, and all the facts considered, a widely different conclusion would be formed, by every candid man, than that the improvement is due to the increased industry of the negroes. On this subject the facts can be drawn from authorities which would scorn to conceal the truth with the design of sustaining a theory of the philanthropist. This question is placed in its true light by the London Economist, July 16, 1859, in which it is shown that the apparent industrial advancement of the islands is due to the importation of immigrants from India, China, and Africa, by the "coolie traffic," and not to the improved industry of the emancipated negroes. Says the Economist:

"We find one of the Emigration Commissioners, Mr. Murdock,[68] in an interesting memorandum on this subject, giving us the following comparison between the islands which have been recently supplied with immigrants, and those which have not:

 Number of
Sugar, pounds.
    The three years before
    Sugar, pounds.
The last
three years.
Mauritius  209,490  217,200,256  469,812,784
British Guiana24,946173,626,208250,715,584

"With these are contrasted the results in Jamaica and Antigua, where there has been very little immigration:—

 Sugar, pounds.
The three years
after apprenticeship.
Sugar, pounds.
  The last three years.
Jamaica  202,973,568  139,369,776


Here, now, is presented the key to the mystery overhanging the British West Indies. Men, high in station, have asserted that West India emancipation has been an economic success; while others, equally honorable, have maintained the opposite view. Both have presented figures, averred to be true, that seemed to sustain their declarations. This apparent contradiction is thus explained. The first take the aggregate production in the whole of the islands, which, they say, exceeds that during the existence of slavery;[70] the second take the production in Jamaica alone, as representing the whole; and, thus, the startling fact appears, that the sugar crop of the last three years in Jamaica, has fallen 63,603,000 lbs., below what it was during the first three years of freedom. This argues badly for the free negroes; but it must be the legitimate fruits of emancipation, as no exterior force has been brought into that island to interfere, materially, with its workings. In Mauritius, Trinidad, and British Guiana, it will be seen that the production has greatly increased; but from a very different cause than any improvement in the industry of the blacks who had received their freedom—the increase in Mauritius having been more than double what it had been when the production depended upon them. The sugar crop, in this island, for the three years preceding the introduction of immigrant labor, was but 217,200,000 lbs.; while, during the last three years, by the aid of 210,000 immigrants, it has been run up to 469,812,000 lbs.

Taking all these facts into consideration, it is apparent that West India emancipation has been a failure, economically considered. The production in Jamaica, when it has depended upon the labor of the free blacks alone, has materially declined in some of the islands, since the abandonment of slavery, and is not so great now as it was during the first years of freedom; and, so far is it from being equal to what it was while slavery prevailed, and especially while the slave trade was continued, that it now falls short of the production of that period by an immense amount. In no way, therefore, can it be claimed, that the cultivation of the British West India islands is on the increase, except by[146] resorting to the pious fraud of crediting the products of the immigrant labor to the account of emancipation—a resort to which no conscientious Christian man will have recourse, even to sustain a philanthropic theory.

But the Island of Barbadoes is an exception. It is said to have suffered no diminution in its production since emancipation, and that this result was attained without the aid of immigrant labor. The London Economist must be permitted to explain this phenomenon; and must also be allowed to give its views on the subject of the effects of emancipation, after the lapse of a quarter of a century from the date of the passage of the Emancipation Act:

"We are no believers in Mr. Carlyle's gospel of the 'beneficent whip' as the bearer of salvation to tropical indolence. But we can not for a moment doubt that the first result of emancipation was, in most of the islands, to substitute for the worst kind of moral and political evil, one of a less fatal but still of a very pernicious kind. The negroes had been treated as mere machines for raising sugar and coffee. They were suddenly liberated from that mechanical drudgery; they became free beings—but without the discipline needful to use freedom well, and unfortunately with a larger amount of practical freedom than the laboring class of any Northern or temperate climate could by any possibility enjoy. They suddenly found themselves, in most of the islands, in a position in many respects analagous to that of a people possessed of a moderate property in England, who can supply their principal wants without any positive labor, and have no ambition to rise into any higher sphere than that into which they were born. The only difference was, that the negroes in most of the West India islands wanted vastly less than such people as these in civilized States,—wanted nothing in fact, but the plantains they could grow almost without labor, and the huts which they could build on any waste mountain land without paying rent for it. The consequence naturally was, that when the spur of physical tyranny was removed, there was no sufficient substitute for it, in most of the islands, in the wholesome hardships of natural exigencies. The really beneficent 'whip' of hunger and cold was not substituted for the human cruelty from which they had escaped. In Barbadoes alone, perhaps, the pressure of a dense population, with the absence of any waste[147] mountain lands on which the negroes could squat, rent free, was an efficient substitute for the terrors of slavery. And, consequently, in Barbadoes alone, has the Emancipation Act produced unalloyed and conspicuous good. The natural spur of competition for the means of living, took the place there of the artificial spur of slavery, and the slow, indolent temperament of the African race was thus quickened into a voluntary industry essential to its moral discipline, and most favorable to its intellectual culture."

In further commenting on the figures quoted, the Economist remarks:

"These results, do not of course, necessarily represent in any degree the fresh spur to diligence on the part of the old population, caused by the new labor. In islands like Trinidad, where the amount of unredeemed land suited for such production is almost unlimited, the new labor introduced cannot for a long time press on the old labor at all. But wherever the amount of land fitted for this kind of culture is nearly exhausted, the presence of the new competition will soon be felt. And, in any case, it is only through this gradual supply of the labor market that we can hope to bring the wholesome spur of necessity to act eventually on the laboring classes. Englishmen, indeed, may well think that at times the good influences of this competitive jostling for employment are overrated and its evil underrated. But this is far from true of the negro race. To their slow and unambitious temperament, influences of this kind are almost unalloyed good, as the great superiority in the population of Barbadoes to that of the other islands sufficiently shows."

The Economist, in further discussing this question, favors the introduction of a permanent class of laborers, not only that the cultivation may be increased, but because there is "no doubt at all that if a larger supply of labor could be attained in the West Indies, without any very great incidental evils, the benefit experienced even by the planters would be by no means so great as that of the negro population themselves;" and thinks that "the philanthropic party, in their tenderness for the emancipated Africans, are sometimes not a little blind to the advantages of stern industrial necessities;" and that, "what the accident of population and soil has done for Barbadoes, it cannot be doubted that a stream of immigration, if properly conducted, might do in some degree for the other islands."[148]

Lest it should be thought that the Economist stands alone in its representations in relation to the failure of negro free labor in Jamaica, we quote a statement of the Colonial Minister, which recently appeared in the New York Tribune, and was thence transferred to the American Missionary, February, 1859:

"The Colonial Minister says: 'Jamaica is now the only important sugar producing colony which exports a considerable smaller quantity of sugar than was exported in the time of slavery, while some such colonies since the passage of the Emancipation Act have largely increased their product.'"

Time is thus casting light upon the question of the capacity of the African race for voluntary labor. Jamaica included 311,692 negroes, at the time of emancipation, out of the 660,000 who received their freedom in the whole of the West Indian islands. This was but little less than half of the whole number. It was a fair field to test the question of the willingness of the free negro to work. But what is the result? We have it admitted by both the Economist and the Colonial Minister, that there has been a vast falling off in the exports from Jamaica, and that a spur of some kind must be applied to secure their adopting habits of industry. The spur of the "whip" having been thrown away, the remedy proposed is to press them into a corner, by immigration from India and China, so that the securing of bread shall become the great necessity with them, and they be compelled to labor or starve, as has been the case in Barbadoes. This is the opinion of the Economist, always opposed to slavery, but now convinced that the "slow, indolent temperament of the African race" needs such a "spur" to quicken it "into a voluntary industry essential to its moral discipline, and most favorable to its intellectual culture."

The West India emancipation experiments have demonstrated the truth of a few principles that the world should fully understand. It must now be admitted that mere personal liberty, even connected with the stimulus of wages, is insufficient to secure the industry of an ignorant population. It is intelligence, alone, that can be acted upon by such motives. Intelligence, then, must precede voluntary industry. And, hereafter, that man, or nation, may find it difficult to command respect, or succeed in being esteemed wise, who will not, along with exertions to extend personal freedom to man, intimately blend with their efforts adequate means for intellectual[149] and moral improvement. The results of West India emancipation, it must be further noticed, fully confirm the opinions of Franklin, that freedom, to unenlightened slaves, must be accompanied with the means of intellectual and moral elevation, otherwise it may be productive of serious evils to themselves and to society. It also sustains the views entertained by Southern slaveholders, that emancipation, unaccompanied by the colonization of the slaves, could be of little value to the blacks, while it would entail a ruinous burden upon the whites. These facts must not be overlooked in the projection of plans for emancipation, as none can receive the sanction of Southern men, which does not embrace in it the removal of the colored people. With the example of West India emancipation before them, and the results of which have been closely watched by them, it can not be expected that Southern statesmen will ever risk the liberation of their slaves, except on these conditions.


Moral condition of the free colored people in United States—What have they gained by refusing to accept Colonization?—Abolition testimony on the subject—Gerrit Smith—New York Tribune—Their moral condition as indicated by proportions in Penitentiaries—Census Reports—Native whites, foreign born, and free colored, in Penitentiaries—But little improvement in Massachusetts in seventy years—Contrasts of Ohio with New England—Antagonism of Abolitionism to free negroes.

In turning to the condition of our own free colored people, who rejected homes in Liberia, we approach a most important subject. They have been under the guardianship of their abolition friends, ever since that period, and have cherished feelings of determined hostility to colonization. What have they gained by this hostility? What has been accomplished for them by their abolition friends, or what have they done for themselves? Those who took refuge in Liberia have built up a Republic of their own; and with the view of encouraging them to laudable effort, have been recognized as an independent nation, by five of the great governments of the earth. But what has been the progress of those who[150] remained behind, in the vain hope of rising to an equality with the whites, and of assisting in abolishing American slavery?

We offer no opinion, here, of our own, as to the present social and moral condition of the free colored people in the North. What it was at the time of the founding of Liberia, has already been shown. On this subject we might quote largely from the proceedings of the Conventions of the colored people, and the writings of their editors, so as to produce a dark picture indeed; but this would be cruel, as their voices are but the wailings of sensitive and benevolent hearts, while weeping over the moral desolations that, for ages, have overwhelmed their people. Nor shall we multiply testimony on the subject; but in this, as in the case of Canada and the West Indies, allow the abolitionists to speak of their own schemes. The Hon. Gerrit Smith, in his letter to Governor Hunt, of New York, in 1852, while speaking of his ineffectual efforts, for fifteen years past, to prevail upon the free colored people to betake themselves to mechanical and agricultural pursuits, says:

"Suppose, moreover, that during all these fifteen years, they had been quitting the cities, where the mass of them rot, both physically and morally, and had gone into the country to become farmers and mechanics—suppose, I say, all this—and who would have the hardihood to affirm that the Colonization Society lives upon the malignity of the whites—but it is true that it lives upon the voluntary degradation of the blacks. I do not say that the colored people are more debased than the white people would be if persecuted, oppressed and outraged as are the colored people. But I do say that they are debased, deeply debased; and that to recover themselves they must become heroes, self-denying heroes, capable of achieving a great moral victory—a two-fold victory—a victory over themselves and a victory over their enemies."

The New York Tribune, September 22, 1855, in noticing the movements of the colored people of New York, to secure to themselves equal suffrage, thus gives utterance to its views of their moral condition:

"Most earnestly desiring the enfranchisement of the Afric-American race, we would gladly wean them, at the cost of some additional ill-will, from the sterile path of political agitation. They can help win their rights if they will, but not by jawing for them. One negro on a farm which he has cleared or bought[151] patiently hewing out a modest, toilsome independence, is worth more to the cause of equal suffrage than three in an Ethiopian (or any other) convention, clamoring against white oppression with all the fire of a Spartacus. It is not logical conviction of the justice of their claims that is needed, but a prevalent belief that they would form a wholesome and desirable element of the body politic. Their color exposes them to much unjust and damaging prejudice; but if their degradation were but skin-deep, they might easily overcome it. . . . . Of course, we understand that the evil we contemplate is complex and retroactive—that the political degradation of the blacks is a cause as well as a consequence of their moral debasement. Had they never been enslaved, they would not now be so abject in soul; had they not been so abject, they could not have been enslaved. Our aborigines might have been crushed into slavery by overwhelming force; but they could never have been made to live in it. The black man who feels insulted in that he is called a 'nigger,' therein attests the degradation of his race more forcibly than does the blackguard at whom he takes offense; for negro is no further a term of opprobrium than the character of the blacks has made it so. . . . . If the blacks of to-day were all or mainly such men as Samuel R. Ward or Frederick Douglass, nobody would consider 'negro' an invidious or reproachful designation.

"The blacks of our State ought to enjoy the common rights of man; but they stand greatly in need of the spirit in which those rights have been won by other races. They will never win them as white men's barbers, waiters, ostlers and boot blacks; that is to say, the tardy and ungracious concession of the right of suffrage, which they may ultimately wrench from a reluctant community, will leave them still the political as well as social inferiors of the whites—excluded from all honorable office, and admitted to white men's tables only as waiters and plate-washers—unless they shall meantime have wrought out, through toil, privation and suffering, an intellectual and essential enfranchisement. At present, white men dread to be known as friendly to the black, because of the never-ending, still-beginning importunities to help this or that negro object of charity or philanthrophy to which such a reputation inevitably subjects them. Nine-tenths of the free blacks have no idea of setting themselves to work except as the hirelings and servitors of white men; no idea of building a church, or accomplishing[152] any other serious enterprise, except through beggary of the whites. As a class, the blacks are indolent, improvident, servile and licentious; and their inveterate habit of appealing to white benevolence or compassion whenever they realize a want or encounter a difficulty, is eminently baneful and enervating. If they could never more obtain a dollar until they shall have earned it, many of them would suffer, and some perhaps starve; but, on the whole, they would do better and improve faster than may now be reasonably expected."

In tracing the causes which led to the organization of the American Colonization Society, the statistics of the penitentiaries down to 1827, were given, as affording an index to the moral condition of the free colored people at that period. The facts of a similar kind, for 1850, are added here, to indicate their present moral condition. The statistics are compiled from the Compendium of the Census of the United States, for 1850, and published in 1854.

Tabular Statement of the number of the native and foreign white population, the colored population, the number of each class in the Penitentiaries, the proportion of the convicts to the whole number of each class, the proportion of colored convicts over the foreign and also over the native whites, in the four States named, for the year 1850:

Classes, etc.Mass.N. York.Penn.Ohio.
Native Whites,819,044    2,388,830    1,953,276    1,732,698
In the Penitentiary,264835205291
Being 1 out of3,1022,8609,5285,954

Foreign Whites,
In the Penitentiary,12554512371
Being 1 out of1,3081,2022,4643,077

Colored Population,
In the Penitentiary,4725710944
Being 1 out of192190492574
Colored convicts over foreign,6.8 times6.3 times5 times5.3 times
Colored convicts over native whites,16.1 times15 times19.3 times10.3 times

It appears from these figures, that the amount of crime among the colored people of Massachusetts, in 1850, was 68/10 times greater than the amount among the foreign born population of[153] that State, and that the amount, in the four States named, among the free colored people, averages five-and-three-quarters times more, in proportion to their numbers, than it does among the foreign population, and over fifteen times more than it does among the native whites. It will be instructive, also, to note the moral condition of the free colored people in Massachusetts, the great center of abolitionism, where they have enjoyed equal rights ever since 1780. Strange to say, there is nearly three times as much among them, in that State, as exists among those of Ohio! More than this will be useful to note, as it regards the direction of the emigration of the free colored people. Massachusetts, in 1850, had but 2,687 colored persons born out of the State, while Ohio had 12,662 born out of her limits. Take another fact: the increase, per cent., of the colored population, in the whole New England States, was, during the ten years, from 1840 to 1850, but 171/100, while in Ohio, it was, during that time, 4576/1000.

There is another point worthy of notice. Though the New England abolition States have offered equal political rights to the colored man, it has afforded him little temptation to emigrate into their bounds. On the contrary, several of these States have been diminishing their free colored population, for many years past, and none of them can have had accessions of colored immigrants; as is abundantly proved by the fact, that their additions, of this class of persons, have not exceeded the natural increase of the resident colored population.[71] Another fact is equally as instructive. It will be noted, that, in Ohio, the largest increase of the free colored population, is in the anti-abolition counties—the abolition counties, often, having increased very little, indeed, between 1840 and 1850. But the most curious fact is, that the largest majorities for the abolition candidate for governor, in 1855, were in the counties having the fewest colored people, while the largest majorities against him, were in those having the largest numbers of free negroes and mullatoes.[72] From these facts, both in regard to New England and Ohio, one of two conclusions may be logically deduced: Either the colored people find so little sympathy from the abolitionists, that they will not live among them; or else their presence, in any community, in large numbers, tends to cure the whites of all tendencies toward practical abolitionism!



Disappointment of English and American Abolitionists—Their failure attributed to the inherent evils of Slavery—Their want of discrimination—The differences in the system in the British Colonies and in the United States—Colored people of United States vastly in advance of all others—Success of the Gospel among the Slaves—Democratic Review on African civilization—Vexation of Abolitionists at their failure—Their apology not to be accepted—Liberia attests its falsity—The barrier to the colored man's elevation removable only by Colonization—Colored men begin to see it—Chambers, of Edinburgh—His testimony on the crushing effects of New England's treatment of colored people—Charges Abolitionists with insincerity—Approves Colonization—Abolition violence rebuked by an English clergyman.

The condition of the free colored people can now be understood. The results, in their case, are vastly different from what was anticipated, when British philanthropists succeeded in West India emancipation. They are very different, also, from what was expected by American abolitionists: so different, indeed, that their disappointment is fully manifested, in the extracts made from their published documents. As an apology for the failure, it seems to be their aim to create the belief, that the dreadful moral depravation, existing in the West Indies, is wholly owing to the demoralizing tendencies of slavery. They speak of this effect as resulting from laws inherent in the system, which have no exceptions, and must be equally as active in the United States as in the British colonies. But in their zeal to cast odium on slavery, they prove too much—for, if this be true, it follows, that the slave population of the United States must be equally debased with that of Jamaica, and as much disqualified to discharge the duties of freemen, as both have been subjected to the operations of the same system. This is not all. The logic of the argument would extend even to our free colored people, and include them, according to the American Missionary Association, in the dire effects of "that enduring legacy which, with its foul, pestilential influences, still blights, like the mildew of death, every thing in society that should be lovely, virtuous, and of good report." Now, were it believed, generally, that the colored people of the United States are equally as degraded as those of Jamaica, upon what grounds could any one advocate the admission of the blacks[155] to equal social and political privileges with the whites? Certainly, no Christian family or community would willingly admit such men to terms of social or political equality! This, we repeat, is the logical conclusion from the Reports of the American Missionary Association and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society—a conclusion, too, the more certain, as it makes no exceptions between the condition of the colored people under the slavery of Jamaica and under that of the United States.

But in this, as in much connected with slavery, abolitionists have taken too limited a view of the subject. They have not properly discriminated between the effects of the original barbarism of the negroes, and those produced by the more or less favorable influences to which they were afterward subjected under slavery. This point deserves special notice. According to the best authorities, the colored people of Jamaica, for nearly three hundred years, were entirely without the gospel; and it gained a permanent footing among them, only at a few points, at their emancipation, twenty-five years ago; so that, when liberty reached them, the great mass of the Africans, in the British West Indies, were heathen.[73] Let us understand the reason of this. Slavery is not an element of human progress, under which the mind necessarily becomes enlightened; but Christianity is the primary element of progress, and can elevate the savage, whether in bondage or in freedom, if its principles are taught him in his youth. The slavery of Jamaica began with savage men. For three hundred years, its slaves were destitute of the gospel, and their barbarism was left to perpetuate itself. But in the United States, the Africans were brought under the influence of Christianity, on their first introduction, over two hundred and thirty years since, and have continued to enjoy its teachings, in a greater or less degree, to the present moment. The disappearance from among our colored people, of the savage condition of the human mind—the incapacity to comprehend religious truths—and its continued existence among those of Jamaica, can now be understood. The opportunities enjoyed by the former, for advancement, over the latter, have been six to one. With these facts before the mind, it is not difficult to perceive that the colored population of Jamaica[156] can not but still labor under the disadvantages of hereditary barbarism and involuntary servitude, with the superadded misfortune of being inadequately supplied with Christian instruction, along with their recent acquisition of freedom. But while all this must be admitted, of the colored people of Jamaica, it is not true of those of our own country; for, long since, they have cast off the heathenism of their fathers, and have become enlightened in a very encouraging degree. Hence it is, that the colored people of the United States, both bond and free, have made vastly greater progress, than those of the British West Indies, in their knowledge of moral duties and the requirements of the gospel; and hence, too, it is, that Gerrit Smith is right, in asserting that the demoralized condition of the great mass of the free colored people, in our cities, is inexcusable, and deserving of the utmost reprobation, because it is voluntary—they knowing their duty but abandoning themselves to degrading habits.

This brings us to another point of great moment. It will be denied by but few—and by none maintaining the natural equality of the races—that the free colored people of the United States are sufficiently enlightened, to be elevated by education, in an encouraging degree, where proper restraints from vice, and encouragements to virtue prevail. A large portion, even, of the slave population, are similarly enlightened. We speak not of the state of the morals of either class.

As the public are not well informed, in relation to the extent to which the religious instruction of the slaves at the South prevails, the following information will prove interesting, and show that a good work has long been in progress, and has been producing its fruits:

"The South Carolina Methodist Conference have a missionary committee devoted entirely to promoting the religious instruction of the slave population, which has been in existence twenty-six years. The Report[74] of the last year shows a greater degree of activity than is generally known. They have twenty-six missionary stations in which thirty-two missionaries are employed. The Report affirms that public opinion in South Carolina is decidedly in favor of the religious instruction of slaves, and that it has become far more general and systematic than formerly. It also[157] claims a great degree of success to have attended the labors of the missionaries."

The Report of the Missionary Board, of the Louisiana Conference, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1855, says:[75]

"It is stated upon good authority, that the number of colored members in the Church South, exceeds that of the entire membership of all the Protestant missions in the world. What an enterprise is this committed to our care! The position we, of the Methodist Church South, have taken for the African, has, to a great extent, cut us off from the sympathy of the Christian Church throughout the world; and it behooves us to make good this position in the sight of God, of angels, of men, of churches, and to our own consciences, by presenting before the throne of His glory multitudes of the souls of these benighted ones abandoned to our care, as the seals of our ministry. Already Lousiana promises to be one vast plantation. Let us—we must gird ourselves for this Heaven-born enterprise of supplying the pure gospel to the slave. The great question is, How can the greatest number be preached to?—The building roadside chapels is as yet the best solution of it. In some cases planters build so as to accommodate adjoining plantations, and by this means the preacher addresses three hundred or more slaves, instead of one hundred or less. Economy of this kind is absolutely essential where the labor of the missionary is so much needed and demanded.

"On the Lafourche and Bayou Black Missionwork, several chapels are in process of erection, upon a plan which enables the slave, as his master, to make an offering towards building a house of God. Instead of money, the hands subscribe labor. Timber is plenty; many of the servants are carpenters. Upon many of the plantations are saw mills. Here is much material; what hindereth that we should build a church on every tenth plantation? Let us maintain our policy steadily. Time and diligence are required to effect substantial good, especially in this department of labor. Let us continue to ask for buildings adapted to the worship of God, and set apart; to urge, when practicable, the preaching to blacks in the presence of their masters, their overseers, and the neighbors generally."


"One of the effects of the great revival among colored people has been the establishment of a regular system of prayer-meetings for their benefit. Meetings are held every night during the week at the tobacco factories, the proprietors of which have been kind enough to place those edifices at the disposal of the colored brethren. The owners of the several factories preside over these meetings, and the most absolute good conduct is exhibited."[76]

"In Newbern, N. C., the slaves have a large church of their own, which is well attended. They pay a salary of $500 per annum to their white minister. They have likewise a negro preacher in their employ, whom they purchased from his master.[77]

And Newbern in this respect is not isolated. For in nearly every town of any size in the Southern States, the colored people have their churches, and what is more than is always known at the North, they sustain their churches and pay their ministers,[78]

"Resolved, that the religious instruction of our colored population be affectionately and earnestly commended to the ministry and eldership of our churches generally, as opening to us a field of most obligatory and interesting Christian effort, in which we are called to labor more faithfully and fully, by our regard for our social interests, as well as by the higher considerations of duty to God and the souls of our fellow men.[79]

The following extracts are copied from the New York Observer, of the present year:

The Presbytery of Roanoke, Virginia, (O. S.) has addressed a Pastoral letter, on the instruction of the colored people, to the churches under its care, and ordered the same to be read in all the churches of the Presbytery, in those that are vacant, as well as where there are pastors or stated supplies. It commences by saying: "Among the important interests of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, which have claimed our special attention since the organization of the Presbytery in April last,—that the work of the Lord may be vigorously and efficiently carried forward within our bounds,—the religious instruction of the colored people, is hardly to be placed second to any other." After speaking[159] of the obstacles and encouragements to the work, it gives the following statistics:

"In the Presbytery of Charleston, S. C., 1637 out of 2889 members, or considerably over one-half, are colored. In the whole Synod of South Carolina, 5,009 out of 13,074, are colored members. The Presbyteries of Mississippi and Central Mississippi, of Tuscaloosa and South Alabama, of Georgia, of Concord, and Fayetteville, also show many churches with large proportions of colored communicants, from one-third to one-seventh of the whole. Our own Presbytery reports 276 out of 1737 members. In the whole of the above mentioned bodies, there are 9,076 colored, out of 33,667 communicants. Among the churches of these Presbyteries, we find twenty with an aggregate colored membership of 3,600, or an average of 130 to each. We find also, such large figures as these, 260, 333, 356, 525! These facts speak for themselves and forbid discouragement."

Speaking of the obligations to instruct this class, the letter says:

"But these people are among us, at our doors, in our own fields, and around our firesides! If they need instruction, then the command of our Lord, and every obligation of benevolence, call us to the work of teaching them, with all industry, the doctrines of Christ. The first and kindest outgoings of our Christian compassion should be toward them. They are not only near us, but are also entirely dependent upon us. As to all means of securing religious privileges for themselves, and as to energy and self-directing power, they are but children,—forced to look to their masters for every supply. From this arises an obligation, at once imperative, and of most solemn and momentous significance to us, to make thorough provision for their religious instruction, to the full extent that we are able to provide it for ourselves. This obligation acquires great additional force when it is further considered, that besides proximity and dependence, they are indeed members of our 'households.' As the three hundred and eighteen 'trained servants' of Abraham were 'born in his own house;' i. e., were born and bred as members of his household, so are our servants. Of course no argument is needed, to show that every man is bound by high and sacred obligations, for the discharge of which he must give account, to provide his family suitably, or to the extent of his ability, with the means of grace and salvation.[160]

After dwelling on the duties of the ministry, the letter goes on:

"But the work of Christianizing our colored population can never be accomplished by the labors of the ministry alone, unaided by the hearty co-operation of families, by carrying on a system of home instruction. We must begin with the children. For if the children of our servants be left to themselves during their early years, this neglect must of necessity beget two enormous evils. Evil habits will be rapidly acquired and strengthened; since if children are not learning good, they will be learning what is bad. And having thus grown up both ignorant and vicious, they will have no inclination to go to the Lord's house; or if they should go, their minds will be found so dark, so entirely unacquainted with the rudimental language and truths of the gospel, that much of the preaching must at first prove unintelligible, unprofitable at the time, and so uninteresting as to discourage further attendance. In every regard, therefore, masters are bound to see that religious instruction is provided at home for their people, especially for the young.

"If there be no other to undertake the work, (the mistress, or the children of the family,) the master is bound to deny himself and discharge the duty. It is for him to see that the thing is properly done; for the whole responsibility rests on him at last. It usually, however, devolves upon the mistress, or upon the younger members of the family, where there are children qualified for it, to perform this service. Some of our young men, and, to their praise be it spoken, still more of our young women, have willingly given themselves to this self-denying labor; in aid of their parents, or as a duty which they themselves owe to Christ their Redeemer, and to their fellow creatures. We take this occasion, gladly, to bid all these 'God speed' in their work of love. Co-workers together with us, we praise you for this. We bid you take courage. Let no dullness, indifference, or neglect, weary out your patience. You are laboring for Christ, and for precious souls. You are doing a work the importance of which eternity will fully reveal. You will be blessed, too, in your deed even now. This labor will prove to you an important means of grace. You will have something to pray for, and will enjoy the pleasing consciousness, that you are not idlers in the Lord's vineyard. You will be winning stars for your crowns of rejoicing through eternity. Grant that it will cost you much self-denial.[161] Can you, notwithstanding, consent to see these immortal beings growing up in ignorance and vice, at your very doors?

"The methods of carrying on the home instruction are various, and we are abundantly supplied with the needful facilities. We need not name the reading of the Bible; and judiciously selected sermons, to be read to the adults when they cannot attend preaching, should not be omitted. Catechetical instruction, by means of such excellent aids as our own 'Catechism for young children,' and 'Jones' Catechism of Scripture doctrine and practice,' will of course be resorted to; together with teaching them hymns and singing with them. The reading to them, for variety, such engaging and instructive stories as are found in the 'Children's column' of some of our best religious papers; and suitable Sabbath school, or other juvenile books, such as 'The Peep of Day,' 'Line upon Line,' etc., will, in many cases, prove an excellent aid, in imbuing their minds with religious truth. Masters should not spare expense or trouble, to provide liberally these various helps to those who take this work in hand, to aid and encourage them to the utmost in their self-denying toil.

"Brethren, the time is propitious to urge your attention to this important duty. A deep and constantly increasing interest in the work, is felt throughout the South. Just at this time, also, extensively throughout portions of our territory, an unusual awakening has been showing itself among the colored people. It becomes us, and it is of vital importance on every account, by judicious instruction, both to guide the movement, and to improve the opportunity.

"We commend this whole great interest to the Divine blessing; and, under God, to your conscientious reflection, to devise the proper ways; and to your faithful Christian zeal, to accomplish whatever your wisdom may devise and approve."

The Mobile Daily Tribune, in referring to the religious training of the slaves, says:[80]

"Few persons are aware of the efforts that are continually in progress, in a quiet way, in the various Southern States, for the moral and religious improvement of the negroes—of the number of clergymen of good families, accomplished education, and often of a high degree of talent, who devote their whole time[162] and energies to this work; or of the many laymen—almost invariably slaveholders themselves—who sustain them by their purses and by their assistance as catechists, Sunday school teachers, and the like. These men do not make platform speeches, or talk in public on the subject of their 'mission,' or theorize about the 'planes' on which they stand: they are too busy for this, but they work on quietly in labor and self-denial, looking for a sort of reward very different from the applause bestowed upon stump agitators. Their work is a much less noisy one, but its results will be far more momentous.

"We have very limited information on this subject, for the very reasons just mentioned, but enough to give some idea of the zeal with which these labors are prosecuted by the various Christian denominations. Thus, among the Old School Presbyterians it is stated that about one hundred ministers are engaged in the religious instruction of the negroes exclusively. In South Carolina alone there are forty-five churches or chapels of the Episcopal Church, appropriated exclusively to negroes; thirteen clergymen devote to them their whole time, and twenty-seven a portion of it; and one hundred and fifty persons of the same faith are engaged in imparting to them catechetical instruction. There are other States which would furnish similar statistics if they could be obtained.

"It is in view of such facts as these, that one of our cotemporaries, (the Philadelphia Inquirer,) though not free from a certain degree of anti-slavery proclivity, makes the following candid admission:

"'The introduction of African slavery into the colonies of North America, though doubtless brought about by wicked means, may in the end accomplish great good to Africa; a good, perhaps, to be effected in no other way. Hundreds and thousands have already been saved, temporally and spiritually, who otherwise must have perished. Through these and their descendants it is that civilization and Christianity have been sent back to the perishing millions of Africa.'"

The Fourteenth Annual Report of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, 1859, says:

"In our colored missions great good has been accomplished by the labors of the self-sacrificing and zealous missionaries.

"This seems to be at home our most appropriate field of labor.[163] By our position we have direct access to those for whom these missions are established. Our duty and obligation in regard to them are evident. Increased facilities are afforded us, and open doors invite our entrance and full occupancy. The real value of these missions is often overlooked or forgotten by Church census-takers and statistic-reporters of our benevolent associations. We can but repeat that this field, which seems almost, by common consent, to be left for our occupancy, is one of the most important and promising in the history of missions. At home even its very humility obscures, and abroad a mistaken philanthropy repudiates its claims. But still the fact exists; and when we look at the large number of faithful, pious, and self-sacrificing missionaries engaged in the work, the wide field of their labors, and the happy thousands who have been savingly converted to God through their instrumentality, we can but perceive the propriety and justice of assigning to these missions the prominence we have. Indeed, the subject assumes an importance beyond the conception even of those more directly engaged in this great work, when it is remembered that these missions absolutely number more converts to Christianity, according to statistics given, than all the members of all other missionary societies combined."

The Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in their Report for 1859, says:

"It is gratifying that so much has been done for the evangelization of this people. In addition to the missions presented in our report, thousands of this people are served by preachers in charge of circuits and stations. But still a great work remains to be accomplished among the negroes within your limits. New missions are needed, and increased attention to the work in this department generally demanded. Heaven devolves an immense responsibility upon us with reference to these sable sons of Ham. Providence has thrown them in our midst, not merely to be our household and agricultural servants, but to be served by us with the blessed gospel of the Son of God. Let us then, in the name of Him who made it a special sign of his Messiahship that the poor had the gospel preached unto them—let us in his name go forth, bearing the bread of life to these poor among us, and opening to them all the sources of consolation and encouragement afforded by the religion of Jesus."[164]

The Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in their Report for 1859, say:

"At the last Conference, Gideon W. Cottingham and David W. Fly were appointed Conference African missionaries, whose duties were to travel throughout the Conference, visit the planters in person, and organize missions in regions unsupplied. They report an extensive field open, and truly white unto the harvest, and have succeeded in organizing several important missions. All the planters, questioned upon the subject, were willing to give the missionary access to their servants, to preach and catechize, not only on the Sabbath, but during the week. And this willingness was not confined to the professors alone, but the deepest interest was displayed by many who make no pretensions to religion whatever. An interest shown not merely by giving the missionary access to their servants, but by their pledging their prompt support. The servants themselves receive the word with the utmost eagerness. They are hungering for the bread of life; our tables are loaded. Shall not these starving souls be fed? Cases of appalling destitution are found: numbers who heard for the first time the word of life listened eagerly to the wonders it unfolded. The Greeks are truly at our doors, heathens growing up in our midst, revival fire flames around them, a polar frost within their hearts. God help the Church to take care of these perishing souls! Our anniversaries are usually scenes of unmingled joy. With our sheaves in our hands, we come from the harvest field, and though sad that so little has been done, yet rejoicing that we have the privilege of laying any pledge of devotion upon the altar."

The Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in their Report for 1859, say:

"We are cheered to see a growing interest among our planters and slave-owners in our domestic missions. Still that interest is not what the importance of the subject demands. While few are willing to bar their servants all gospel privileges, there is a great want in many places of suitable houses for public worship. Too many masters think that to permit the missionary to come on the plantation, and preach in the gin, or mill, or elsewhere, as circumstances may dictate, is their only duty, especially if the missionary gets his bread. None of the attendant circumstances of a neat church, and suitable Sunday apparel, etc., to cheer and[165] gladden the heart on the holy Sabbath, and cause its grateful thanksgiving to go up as clouds of incense before Him, are thought necessary by many masters.

"Notwithstanding, we are cheered by a brightening prospect. Christian masters are building churches for their servants. Owners in many places are adopting the wise policy of erecting their churches so as to bring two, three, or more plantations together for preaching. This plan is so consonant with the gospel economy, and so advantageous every way, that it must become the uniform practice of all our missionary operations among the slaves. Our late Conference wisely adopted a resolution, encouraging the building of churches for the accommodation of several plantations together, wherever it can be done."

The South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in their Report for 1859, say:

"Meanwhile the increasing claims of the destitute colored population must not be ignored. New fields are opening before us, the claims of which are pressed with an earnestness which nothing but deeply-felt necessity could dictate. And the question is pressed upon us, What shall we do? Must not the contributions of the Church be more liberal and more systematic? Must not the friends of the enterprise become more zealous? Will not the wealthy patrons of our society, whose people are served, contribute a sum equal in the aggregate to the salary of the missionaries who serve their people? This done, and every claim urged upon your Board shall be honored.

"This is wondrous work! God loves it, honors it, blesses it! He has crowned it with success. The old negro has abandoned his legendary rites, and has sought and found favor with God through Jesus Christ. The catechumens have received into their hearts the gracious instructions given by the missionary, and scores of them are converted annually, and become worthy members of the Church. Here lies the most inviting field of labor. To instruct these children of Ham in the plan of salvation, to preoccupy their minds with "the truth as it is in Jesus," to see them renounce the superstitions of their forefathers, and embrace salvation's plan, would make an angel's heart rejoice."

Failing in securing the Reports of the Baptists at the South, we are unable to exhibit in detail, their operations among the slave population. The same failure has also occurred in reference[166] to the Cumberland Presbyterians, and some of the other denominations at the South. The statistics, taken from the Southern Baptist Register, will indicate the extent of their success. The following statement made up from the Annual Reports of the Churches named, or from the Register, shows the extent to which the slave population, in the entire South, have been brought under the influence of the gospel, and led to profess their faith in the Saviour:

Methodist Episcopal Church South,188,000
Methodist Episcopal Church North,[81] in Va. and Md.,15,000
Missionary and Anti-Missionary Baptist,    175,000
General Assembly Presbyterian, (O. S.,)12,000
General Assembly Presbyterian, (N. S.,) estimated6,000
Cumberland Presbyterians,20,000
Protestant Episcopal Church, estimated7,000
Christian Church,10,000
All other denominations, 20,000

The remark has been made, in two of the reports quoted, that the number of slaves brought into the Christian Church, as a consequence of the introduction of the African race into the United States, exceeds all the converts made, throughout the heathen world, by the whole missionary force employed by Protestant Christendom. Newcomb's Encyclopedia of Missions, 1856, gives the whole number of converts in the Protestant Christian missions in Asia, Africa, Pacific islands, West Indies, and North American Indians at 211,389; but more recent estimates make the number approximate 250,000: thus showing that the number of African converts in the Southern States, is almost double the whole number of heathen converts. It is well enough to observe here, that these facts are not given to prove that slavery should be adopted as a means of converting the heathen, but to call attention to the mode in which Divine Providence is working for the salvation of the African race.

Our opinion as to the advancement of the free colored people of the United States, in general intelligence, does not stand alone.[167] It is sustained by high authority, not of the abolition school. The Democratic Review, of 1852,[82] when discussing the question of their ability to conquer and civilize Africa, says:

"The negro race has, among its freemen in this country, a mass of men who are eminently fitted for deeds of daring. They have generally been engaged in employments which give a good deal of leisure, and stimulus toward improvement of the mind. They have associated much more freely with the cultivated and intelligent white than even with their own color of the same humble station; and on such terms as to enable them to acquire much of his spirit, and knowledge, and valor. The free blacks among us are not only confident and well informed, but they have almost all seen something of the world. They are pre-eminently locomotive and perambulating. In rail roads, and hotels, and stages, and steamers, they have been placed incessantly in contact with the news, the views, the motives, and the ideas of the day. Compare the free black with ordinary white men without advantages, and he stands well. Add to this cultivation, that the negro body is strong and healthy, and the negro mind keen and bright, though not profound nor philosophical, and you have at once a formidable warrior, with a little discipline and knowledge of weapons. There is no doubt that the picked American free blacks, would be five times, ten times as efficient in the field of battle as the same number of native Africans."

Why is it then, that the efforts for the moral elevation of the free colored people, have been so unsuccessful? Before answering this question, it is necessary to call attention to the fact, that abolitionists seem to be sadly disappointed in their expectations, as to the progress of the free colored people. Their vexation at the stubborness of the negroes, and the consequent failure of their measures, is very clearly manifested in the complaining language, used by Gerrit Smith, toward the colored people of the eastern cities, as well as by the contempt expressed by the American Missionary Association, for the colored preachers of Canada. They had found an apology, for their want of success in the United States, in the presence and influence of colonizationists; but no such excuse can be made for their want of success in Canada and the West Indies. Having failed in their anticipations, now they[168] would fain shelter themselves under the pretense, that a people once subjected to slavery, even when liberated, can not be elevated in a single generation; that the case of adults, raised in bondage, like heathen of similar age, is hopeless, and their children, only, can make such progress as will repay the missionary for his toil. But they will not be allowed to escape the censure due to their want of discrimination and foresight, by any such plea; as the success of the Republic of Liberia, conducted from infancy to independence, almost wholly by liberated slaves, and those who were born and raised in the midst of slavery, attests the falsity of their assumption.

But to return. Why have the efforts for the elevation of the free colored people, not been more successful? On this point our remarks may be limited to our own free colored people. The barrier to their progress here, exists not so much in their want of capacity, as in the absence of the incitements to virtuous action, which are constantly stimulating the white man to press onward and upward in the formation of character and the acquisition of knowledge. There is no position in church or state, to which the poorest white boy, in the common school, may not aspire. There is no post of honor, in the gift of his country, that is legally beyond his reach. But such encouragements to noble effort, do not and cannot reach the colored man, and he remains with us a depressed and disheartened being. Persuading him to remain in this hopeless condition, has been the great error of the abolitionists. They accepted Jefferson's views in relation to emancipation, but rejected his opinions as to the necessity of separating the races; and thus overlooked the teachings of history, that two races, differing so widely as to prevent their amalgamation by marriage, can never live together, in the same community, but as superiors and inferiors—the inferior remaining subordinate to the superior. The encouraging hopes held out to the colored people, that this law would be inoperative upon them, has led only to disappointment. Happily, this delusion is nearly at an end; and some of them are beginning to act on their own judgments. They find themselves so scattered and peeled, that there is not another half a million of men in the world, so enlightened, who are accomplishing so little for their social and moral advancement. They perceive that they are nothing but branches, wrenched from the great African banyan, not yet planted in genial soil, and[169] affording neither shelter nor food to the beasts of the forest or the fowls of the air—their roots unfixed in the earth, and their tender shoots withering as they hang pendent from their boughs.

That this is no exaggerated picture of the discouragements surrounding our free colored people, is fully confirmed by the testimony of impartial witnesses. Chambers, of Edinburgh, who recently made the tour of the United States, investigated this point very carefully. His opinions on the subject have been published, and are so discriminating and truthful, that we must quote the main portion of them. In speaking of the agitation of the question of slavery, he says:

"For a number of years, as is well known, there has been much angry discussion on the subject between the Northern and Southern States; and at times the contention has been so great, as to lead to mutual threats of a dismemberment of the Union. A stranger has no little difficulty in understanding how much of this war of words is real, and how much is merely an explosion of bunkum. . . . . I repeat, it is difficult to understand what is the genuine public feeling on this entangled question; for with all the demonstrations in favor of freedom in the North, there does not appear in that quarter to be any practical relaxation of the usages which condemn persons of African descent to an inferior social status. There seems, in short, to be a fixed notion throughout the whole of the States, whether slave or free, that the colored is by nature a subordinate race; and that, in no circumstances, can it be considered equal to the white. Apart from commercial views, this opinion lies at the root of American slavery; and the question would need to be argued less on political and philanthropic than on physiological grounds. . . . . I was not a little surprised to find, when speaking a kind word for at least a very unfortunate, if not brilliant race, that the people of the Northern States, though repudiating slavery, did not think more favorably of the negro character than those further South. Throughout Massachusetts, and other New England States, likewise in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, etc., there is a rigorous separation of the white and black races. . . . . The people of England, who see a negro only as a wandering curiosity, are not at all aware of the repugnance generally entertained toward persons of color in the United States: it appeared to amount to an absolute monomania. As for an alliance with one of the race,[170] no matter how faint the shade of color, it would inevitably lead to a loss of caste, as fatal to social position and family ties as any that occurs in the Brahminical system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Glad to have had an opportunity of calling attention to many cheering and commendable features in the social system of the Americans, I consider it not less my duty to say, that in their general conduct toward the colored race, a wrong is done which can not be alluded to except in terms of the deepest sorrow and reproach. I can not think without shame of the pious and polished New Englanders adding to their offenses on this score the guilt of hypocrisy. Affecting to weep over the sufferings of imaginary dark-skinned heroes and heroines; denouncing, in well-studied platform oratory, the horrid sin of reducing human beings to the abject condition of chattels; bitterly scornful of Southern planters for hard-hearted selfishness and depravity; fanatical on the subject of abolition; wholly frantic at the spectacle of fugitive slaves seized and carried back to their owners—these very persons are daily surrounded by manumitted slaves, or their educated descendants, yet shrink from them as if the touch were pollution, and look as if they would expire at the bare idea of inviting one of them to their house or table. Until all this is changed, the Northern abolitionists place themselves in a false position, and do damage to the cause they espouse. If they think that negroes are Men, let them give the world an evidence of their sincerity, by moving the reversal of all those social and political arrangements which now, in the free States, exclude persons of color, not only from the common courtesies of life, but from the privileges and honors of citizens. I say, until this is done, the uproar about abolition is a delusion and a snare. . . . .

"While lamenting the unsatisfactory condition, present and prospective, of the colored population, it is gratifying to consider the energetic measures that have been adopted by the African Colonization Society, to transplant, with their own consent, free negroes from America to Liberia. Viewing these endeavors as, at all events, a means of encouraging emancipation, checking the slave trade, and, at the same time, of introducing Christianity and civilized usages into Africa, they appear to have been deserving of more encouragement than they have had the good fortune to receive. Successful only in a moderate degree, the operations of this society are not likely to make a deep impression on the[171] numbers of the colored population; and the question of their disposal still remains unsettled."

That the Christian churches of the South are pursuing the true policy for the moral welfare of the slave population, will be admitted by every right minded man. The present chapter cannot be more appropriately closed, than by quoting the language of Rev. J. Waddington, of England, at a meeting in behalf of the American Missionary Association, held in Boston, July, 1859. The speakers had been very violent in their denunciations of slavery, and when Mr. Waddington came to speak, he thus rebuked their unchristian spirit:

"I have," said Mr. Waddington, "a strong conviction, that freedom can never come but of vital Christianity. It is not born of the intellect, it is not the product of the conscience; it can never be the result of the sword. It was with extreme horror that I heard the assertion made last night, that it must be through a baptism of blood that freedom must come. Never! never! The sword can destroy, it can never create. What do we want for freedom? Expansion of the heart. That we should honor other men; that we should be concerned for other men. What is it that causes slavery and oppression? Selfishness, intense, self-destroying selfishness if you will. Nothing can exorcise that selfishness but the constraining love of Christ. The gospel alone, by the Spirit of God, can waken freedom in men, in families, in nations."

Mr. Waddington, also remarked, that "every thing in America was extremely wonderful and surprising to him; and nothing more surprised him than the burning words with which his ministerial friends pelted each other; yet he had no doubt they were the kindest men in the world. He thought it was not intended that any harm should be done, but only that the cause of truth should be advanced."[83]



Failure of free colored people in attaining an equality with the whites—Their failure also in checking Slavery—Have they not aided in its extension? Yes—Facts in proof of this view—Abolitionists bad Philosophers—Colored men's influence destructive of their hopes—Summary manner in which England acts in their removal—Lord Mansfield's decision—Granville Sharp's labors and their results—Colored immigration into Canada—Information supplied by Major Lachlan—Demoralized condition of the blacks as indicated by the crimes they committed—Elgin Association—Public meeting protesting against its organization—Negro meeting at Toronto—Memorial of municipal council—Negro riot at St. Catherines—Col. Prince and the Negroes—Later cases of presentation by Grand Jury—Opinion of the Judge—Darkening prospects of the colored race—Views of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher—Their accuracy—The lesson they teach.

But little progress, it will be seen, has been made, by the free colored people, toward an approximation of equality with the whites. Have they succeeded better in aiding in the abolition of slavery? They have not, as is abundantly demonstrated by the triumph of the institution. This is an important point for consideration, as the principal object influencing them to remain in the country, was, that they might assist in the liberation of their brethren from bondage. But their agency in the attempts made to abolish the institution having failed, a more important question arises, as to whether the free colored people, by refusing to emigrate, may not have contributed to the advancement of slavery? An affirmative answer must be given to this inquiry. Nor is a protracted discussion necessary to prove the assertion.

One of the objections urged with the greatest force against colonization, is, its tendency, as is alleged, to increase the value of slaves by diminishing their numbers. "Jay's Inquiry," 1835, presents this objection at length; and the Report of the "Anti-Slavery Society of Canada," 1853, sums it up in a single proposition thus:

"The first effect of beginning to reduce the number of slaves, by colonization, would be to increase the market value of those left behind, and thereby increase the difficulty of setting them free."[173]

The practical effect of this doctrine, is to discourage all emancipations; to render eternal the bondage of each individual slave, unless all can be liberated; to prevent the benevolence of one master from freeing his slaves, lest his more selfish neighbor should be thereby enriched; and to leave the whole system intact, until its total abolition can be effected. Such philanthropy would leave every individual, of suffering millions, to groan out a miserable existence, because it could not at once effect the deliverance of the whole. This objection to colonization can be founded only in prejudice, or is designed to mislead the ignorant. The advocates of this doctrine do not practice it, or they would not promote the escape of fugitives to Canada.

But abolitionists object not only to the colonization of liberated slaves, as tending to perpetuate slavery; they are equally hostile to the colonization of the free colored people, for the same reason. The "American Reform Tract and Book Society," the organ of the abolitionists, for the publication of anti-slavery works, has issued a Tract on "Colonization," in which this objection is stated as follows:

"The Society perpetuates slavery, by removing the free laborer, and thereby increasing the demand for, and the value of, slave labor."

The projectors and advocates of such views may be good philanthropists, but they are bad philosophers. We have seen that the power of American slavery lies in the demand for its products; and that the whole country, North of the sugar and cotton States, is actively employed in the production of provisions for the support of the planter and his slaves, and in consuming the products of slave labor. This is the constant vocation of the whites. And how is it with the blacks? Are they competing with the slaves, in the cultivation of sugar and cotton, or are they also supporting the system, by consuming its products? The latitudes in which they reside, and the pursuits in which they are engaged, will answer this question.

The census of 1850, shows but 40,900 free colored persons in the nine sugar and cotton States, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, while 393,500 are living in the other States. North Carolina is omitted, because it is more of a tobacco and wool-growing, than cotton-producing State.[174]

Of the free colored persons in the first-named States, 19,260 are in the cities and larger towns; while, of the remainder, a considerable number may be in the villages, or in the families of the whites. From these facts it is apparent, that less than 20,000 of the entire free colored population (omitting those of North Carolina,) are in a position to compete with slave labor, while all the remainder, numbering over 412,800, are engaged, either directly or indirectly, in supporting the institution. Even the fugitives escaping to Canada, from having been producers necessarily become consumers of slave-grown products; and, worse still, under the Reciprocity Treaty, they must also become growers of provisions for the planters who continue to hold their brothers, sisters, wives and children, in bondage.

These are the practical results of the policy of the abolitionists. Verily, they, also, have dug their ditches on the wrong side of their breastworks, and afforded the enemy an easy entrance into their fortress. But, "Let them alone; they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."[84]

But we are not yet prepared to estimate the full extent of the influence, for ill, exerted by the free colored people upon public sentiment. The picture of their degraded moral condition, drawn by the abolitionists, is a dark one indeed, and calculated to do but little toward promoting emancipation, or in placing themselves in a position of equality with the whites. According to their testimony, the condition of the slave, under the restraints of Christian masters, must be vastly more favorable to moral progress, than that of the majority of those who have received their freedom. While they have all the animal appetites and passions fully developed, they seem to remain, intellectually, child-like, with neither the courage nor the foresight enabling them to seize upon fields of enterprise that would lead to wealth and fame. Look at the facts upon this point. They were offered a home and government of their own in Africa, with the control of extensive tropical cultivation; but they rejected the boon, and refused to leave the land of their birth, in the vain belief that they could, by remaining here, assist in wrenching the chains from the slaves of the South. They expected great aid, too, in their work, from the moral effect of West Indian emancipation; but that has[175] failed in the results anticipated, and the free colored laborer is about to be superseded there by imported coolie labor from abroad. They expected, also, that the emigrants and fugitives to Canada, rising into respectability under British laws, would do the race much honor, and show the value of emancipation; but even there the hope has not been realized, and it will be no uncommon thing should the Government set its face against them as most unwelcome visitors. A few scraps of history will be of service, in illustrating the feeling of the subjects of the British North American colonies, in relation to the inroads made upon them by the free colored people.

In 1833, an English military officer, thus wrote:

"There is a settlement of negroes a few miles from Halifax, Nova Scotia, at Hammond's Plains. Any one would have imagined that the Government would have taken warning from the trouble and expense it incurred by granting protection to those who emigrated from the States during the Revolution; 1200 of whom were removed to Sierra Leone in 1792 by their own request. Again when 600 of the insurgent negroes—the Maroons of Jamaica—were transported to Nova Scotia in 1796, and received every possible encouragement to become good subjects, by being granted a settlement at Preston, and being employed upon the fortifications at Halifax; yet they, too, soon became discontented, and being unwilling to earn a livelihood by labor, were, in 1800, removed to the same colony, after costing the island of Jamaica more than $225,000, and a large additional expense to the Province, i. e. Nova Scotia. Notwithstanding which, when the runaway slaves were received on board the fleet, off the Chesapeake, during the late war, permission was granted to them to form a settlement at Hammond's Plains, where the same system of discontent arose—many of the settlers professing that they would prefer their former well-fed life of slavery, in a more congenial climate, and earnestly petitioning to be removed, were sent to Trinidad in 1821. Some few of those who remained are good servants and farmers, disposing of the produce of their lands in the Halifax market; but the majority are idle, roving, and dirty vagabonds."[85]


Thus it appears, that as late as 1821, the policy of the British colonies of North America, was to remove the fugitive negroes from their territories. The 1200 exported from Halifax, in 1792, were fugitive slaves who had joined the English during the American Revolutionary war, and had been promised lands in Nova Scotia; but the Government having failed to meet its pledge, and the climate proving unfavorable, they sought refuge in Africa. These shipments of the colored people, from the British colonies at the North to those of the Tropics, was in accordance with the plan that England had adopted at home, in reference to the same class of persons—that of removing a people who were a public burden, to where they could be self-supporting. This is a matter of some interest, and is deserving of notice in this connection. On the 22d of May, 1772, Lord Mansfield decided the memorable Somerset case, and pronounced it unlawful to hold a slave in Great Britain. The close of that decision reads thus:

"Immemorial usage preserves a positive law, after the occasion or accident which gave rise to it, has been forgotten; and tracing the subject to natural principles, the claim of slavery never can be supported. The power claimed was never in use here, or acknowledged by the law. Upon the whole, we can not say the cause returned is sufficient by the law; therefore the man must be discharged."

Previous to this date, many slaves had been introduced into English families, and, on running away, the fugitives had been delivered up to their masters, by order of the Court of King's Bench, under Lord Mansfield; but now the poor African, no longer hunted as a beast of prey, in the streets of London, slept under his roof, miserable as it might be, in perfect security.[86]

To Granville Sharp belonged the honor of this achievement. By the decision, about 400 negroes were thrown upon their own resources. They flocked to Mr. Sharp as their patron; but considering their numbers, and his limited means, it was impossible for him to afford them adequate relief. To those thus emancipated, others, discharged from the army and navy, were afterward added, who, by their improvidence, were reduced to extreme distress. After much reflection, Mr. Sharp determined to colonize[177] them in Africa; but this benevolent scheme could not be executed at once, and the blacks—indigent, unemployed, despised, forlorn, vicious—became such nuisances, as to make it necessary they should be sent somewhere, and no longer suffered to infest the streets of London.[87] Private benevolence could not be sufficiently enlisted in their behalf, and fifteen years passed away, when Government, anxious to remove what it regarded as injurious, at last came to the aid of Mr. Sharp, and supplied the means of their transportation and support. In April, 1787, these colored people, numbering over 400, were put on shipboard for Africa, and in the following month were landed in Sierra Leone.[88]

But to return to Canada. We have at hand a flood of information, to enable us to present a true picture of the colored population of that Province, and to discern the feelings entertained toward them by the white inhabitants. On the 27th April, 1841, the Assistant Secretary to Government, addressed Major Robert Lachlan, Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for the Western District, requesting information relating to the colored immigrants in that quarter. Major Lachlan replied at length to the inquiries made, and kept a record of his Report. This volume he has had the goodness to place in our hands, from which to make such extracts as may be necessary to a true understanding of this question.

The Major entered the public service of the British Government in 1805, and was connected with the army in India for twenty years. Having retired from that service, he settled in Canada in 1835, with the intention of devoting himself to agriculture; but he was again called into public life, as sheriff, magistrate, colonel of militia, Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, and Associate Judge at the Assizes. In 1857 he removed to Cincinnati, where he now resides. A true Briton, he is an enemy of the system of slavery; but having been a close observer of the workings of society, under various circumstances, systems of law, degrees of intelligence, and moral conditions, he is opposed to placing two races, so widely diverse as the blacks and whites, upon terms of legal equality; not that he is opposed to the elevation of the colored man, but because he is convinced that, in his present state of ignorance and degradation, the two races cannot[178] dwell together in peace and harmony. This opinion, it will be seen, was the outgrowth of his experience and observation in Canada, and not the result of a prejudice against the African race. The Western District, the field of his official labors, is the main point toward which nearly all the emigration from the States is directed; and the Major had, thus, the best of opportunities for studying this question. Besides the facts of an official nature, in the volume from which we quote, it has a large amount of documentary testimony, from other sources, from which liberal extracts have also been made.

To the Honorable S. B. Harrison, Secretary, etc., etc.

Colchester, 28th May, 1841.

"Sir:—I have to apologize for being thus late in acknowledging the receipt of Mr. Assistant Secretary Hopkirk's letter of the 27th ult., requesting me to furnish Government with such information as I might be able to afford, 'respecting the colored people settled in the Western District;'[89] and beg to assure you that the delay has neither arisen from indifference to the task, nor indisposition to comply with the wishes of Government upon the subject—being one upon which I have long and anxiously bent my most serious reflections,—but owing to bad health, and want of leisure, coupled with the difficulty I have experienced, (without entering into an extended correspondence,) in arriving at any thing like a correct account of the gradual increase of these people, or even a fair estimate of their present numbers. I trust, therefore, that should the particulars furnished by me upon these heads, be found more meager and defective than might be expected, it will either be assigned to these causes, or to others which may be given in the course of the following remarks: and if these remarks, themselves, be found to be drawn up with more of loose unmethodical freedom than official conciseness, I trust that that feature will rather be regarded in their favor than otherwise.

"The exact period at which the colored people began to make their appearance in the Western District, as settlers, I have not been able to ascertain to my satisfaction; but it is generally[179] believed to have been about the time of the War with the Americans, in 1812. Before then, however, there had been a few scattered about, who, generally speaking, had, prior to the passing of the Emancipation Bill, been slaves to different individuals in the District. From 1813 to 1821, the increase was very trifling; and they were generally content to hire themselves out as domestic or farm servants; but about the latter period the desire of several gentlemen residing near Sandwich and Amherstburgh to place settlers on their lands, induced them, in the absence of better, to resort to the unfortunate, impolitic expedient of leasing out or selling small portions of land to colored people on such inviting conditions as not only speedily allowed many of those who had already settled in the country to undertake 'farming on their own account,' but encouraged many more to escape from their American masters, to try their fortunes in this now far-famed 'land of liberty and promise.' The stream having thus begun to flow, the secret workings of the humane, but not unexceptionable abolitionist societies, existing in the American States, speedily widened and deepened the channel of approach, until a flood of colored immigrants, of the very worst classes, has been progressively introduced into the District, which had, last year, reached an aggregate of about 1500 souls, and which threatens to be doubled in the course of a very short time, unless it be within the power of the Government to counteract it;—but which, if suffered to roll on unchecked, will sooner or later lead to the most serious, if not most lamentable consequences.

"From my making so strong an observation at the very threshold of my remarks, it will be readily perceived that my opinion of these unfortunate people is unfavorable. I am therefore anxious, before proceeding further, to shield myself from the imputation of either groundless antipathy or pre-indisposition toward men of color, and to have it thoroughly understood that, as far as I can judge of my own feelings, they are the very reverse, having not only been warmly in favor of the poor enslaved negro, but having for near twenty years of my life been surrounded by free colored people, and retained my favorable leaning toward even the African race, till some time after my arrival in this Province. Unfortunately, however, for this pre-disposition, as well as for the character of this ill-fated race, my attention was shortly after directed by particular circumstances to the quiet study of their[180] disposition and habits, and ended in a thorough conviction that without a radical change they would ere long, like the snake in the bosom of the husbandman, prove a curse, instead of a benefit to the country which fosters and protects them.

"The first time that I had occasion to express myself thus strongly on the subject, in an official way, was less than two years after my arrival in the District, while holding the office of sheriff,—when, in corresponding with Mr. Secretary Joseph, during the troubles in January, 1838, I, in a postscript to a letter in which I expressed unwillingness to call in aid from other quarters, while our own population were allowed to remain inactive, was led to add the following remarkable words: 'My vote has been equally decided against employing the colored people, except on a similar emergency;—in fact, though a cordial friend to the emancipation of the poor African, I regard the rapidly increasing population rising round us, as destined to be a bitter curse to the District; and do not think our employing them as our defenders at all likely to retard the progress of such an event;'—an opinion which all my subsequent observation and experience, whether as a private individual, as Sheriff of the District, as a local Magistrate, as Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, or as an anxious friend to pure British immigration, have only the more strongly confirmed."

After these preliminary remarks, the Records of Major Lachlan, proceed to the details of the various points upon which he was required by Government to report. Much of this, though the whole is interesting, must be omitted in our extracts. In speaking of the several townships to which the colored immigration was directed, he says of Amherstburgh:

"That place may now be regarded as the Western rendezvous of the colored race,—being the point to which all the idle and worthless, as well as the well disposed, first direct their steps, before dispersing over other parts of the District,—a distinction of which it unfortunately bears too evident marks in the great number of petty crimes committed by or brought home to these people,—to the great trouble of the investigating local magistrates, and the still greater annoyance of the inhabitants generally,—arising from the constant nightly depredations committed on their orchards, barns, granaries, sheep-folds, fowl-yards, and even cellars.". . . . "In Gosfield, I am given to understand their[181] general character is rather above par;. . . . while in the next adjoining township of Mersea, so much are they disliked by the inhabitants, that they are, in a manner, proscribed by general consent—a colored man being there scarcely suffered to travel along the highroads unmolested.

"The first thing that forcibly struck me, in these people, was a total absence of that modest and unpresuming demeanor which I had been some how led to expect, and the assumption, instead, of a 'free and easy' independence of manner as well as language toward all white inhabitants, except their immediate employers, together with an apparent utter indifference to being hired on reasonable average wages, though, as already stated, seemingly without any visible means of a livelihood, and their also, at all times, estimating the value of their labor on a par, if not above that of the white man. And I had scarcely recovered from my surprise, at such conduct, as a private individual, when, as a magistrate, I was still more astonished at the great amount of not only petty offenses, but of crime of the most atrocious dye, perpetrated by so small a body of strangers compared with the great bulk of the white population: and such still continuing to be the unabating case, Session after Session, Assize after Assize, it at length became so appalling to my feelings, that on being placed in the chair of the Quarter Sessions, I could not refrain from more than once pointing to it in strong language in my charges to the Grand Juries. In July last year, for instance, I was led, in connection with a particular case of larceny, to observe . . . . 'The case itself will, I trust, involve no difficulty so far as the Grand Jury is concerned; but it affords the magistrates another opportunity of lamenting that there should so speedily be furnished no less than five additional instances of the rapid increase of crime in this (hitherto in that respect highly fortunate) District, arising solely from the recent great influx of colored people into it from the neighboring United States,—and who unfortunately not only furnish the major part of the crime perpetrated in the District, but also thereby a very great portion of its rapidly increasing debt,—from the expense attending their maintenance in jail before trial, as well as after conviction!. . . .

"In spite of these solemn admonitions, a large proportion of the criminals tried at the ensuing September Assizes were colored people; and among them were two aggravated cases of rape and[182] arson; the former wantonly perpetrated on a respectable farmer's wife, in this township, to whom the wretch was a perfect stranger; the latter recklessly committed at a merchant's store in the vicinity of Sandwich, for the mere purpose of opening a hole through which to convey away his plunder. And, notwithstanding 'the general jail delivery' that then took place, the greater part of the crimes brought before the following mouth's Quarter Sessions (chiefly larceny and assaults) were furnished by the same people!—a circumstance of so alarming and distressing a character, that I was again led to comment upon it in my charge to the Grand Jury in the following terms. 'Having disposed of the law relating to these offenses, I arrive at a very painful part of nay observations, in once more calling the particular attention of the Grand Jury, as well as the public at large, to the remarkable and appalling circumstance that among a population of near 20,000 souls, inhabiting this District, the greater portion of the crime perpetrated therein should be committed by less than 2,000 refugees from a life of abject slavery, to a land of liberty, protection and comfort,—and from whom, therefore, if there be such generous feelings as thankfulness and gratitude, a far different line of conduct might reasonably be expected. I allude to the alarming increase of crime still perpetrated by the colored settlers, and who, in spite of the late numerous, harrowing, convicted examples, unhappily furnish the whole of the offenses now likely to be brought before you!'. . . . .

"But, sir, the wide spreading current of crime among this unfortunate race was not to be easily arrested;—and I had long become so persuaded that it must sooner or later force itself upon the notice of the Legislature, that on feeling it my duty to draw the attention of my brother magistrates to the embarrassed state of the District finances, and to the greater portion of its expenses arising from this disreputable source, I was led, in framing the report of a special committee (of which I was chairman) appointed to investigate our pecuniary difficulties, to advert once more to the great undue proportion of our expenses arising from crime committed by so small a number of colored people, compared with the great body of the inhabitants, in the following strong but indisputable language: 'It is with pain and regret that your committee, in conclusion, feel bound to recur to the great additional burthen thrown upon the District, as well as the undeserved[183] stigma cast upon the general character of its population, whether native or immigrant British, by the late great influx of colored people of the worst description from the neighboring States—a great portion of whom appear to have no visible means of gaining a livelihood,—and who, therefore, not only furnish a large proportion of the basest crimes perpetrated in the country, such as murder, rape, arson, burglary, and larceny, besides every other description of minor offense,—untraceable to the color of the perpetrators in a miscellaneous published calendar; but also, besides the constant trouble they entail upon magistrates who happen to reside in their neighborhood, produce a large portion of the debt incurred by the District, from the great number committed to and subsisted in prison, etc.; and they would with all respect for the liberty of the subject, and the sincerest good will toward their African brethren generally,—whom they would wish to regard with every kindly feeling, venture to suggest, for the consideration of Government, whether any legislative check can possibly be placed upon the rapid importation of the most worthless of this unfortunate race, such, as the good among themselves candidly lament, has of late inundated this devoted section of the Province, to the great detriment of the claims of the poor emigrant from the mother country upon our consideration, the great additional and almost uncontrollable increase of crime, and the proportionate demoralization of principle among the inhabitants of the country.' . . . . . .

"Notwithstanding all these strenuous endeavors, added to the most serious and impressive admonitions to various criminals after conviction and sentence, no apparent change for the better occurred; for at the Quarter Sessions of last January, the usual preponderance of negro crime struck me so forcibly as again to draw from me, in my charge to the Grand Jury, the following observations: 'I am extremely sorry to be unable to congratulate you or the country on a light calendar, the matters to be brought before you embracing no less than three cases of larceny, and one of enticing soldiers to desert, besides several arising from that ever prolific source, assaults, etc. I cannot, however, pass the former by altogether without once more emphatically remarking, that it is as much to the disgrace of the free colored settlers in our District, as it is creditable to the rest of our population, that the greater part of the culprits to be brought before us are still[184] men of color: and I lament this the more, as I was somewhat in hopes that the earnest admonitions that I had more than once felt it my duty to address to that race, would have been attended with some good effect.'. . . . .

"In spite of all these reiterated, anxious endeavors, the amount of crime exhibited in the Calendar of the following Quarter Sessions, in April last, consisted solely (I think) of five cases of larceny, perpetrated by negroes; and at the late Assizes, held on the 20th instant, out of five criminal cases, one of enticing soldiers to desert, and two of theft, were, as usual, committed by men of color!!!

"Having thus completed a painful retrospect of the appalling amount of crime committed by the colored population in the District at large, compared with the general mass of the white population, I now consider it my duty to advert more particularly to what has been passing more immediately under my own observation in the township of Colchester."

The record from which we quote, has, under this head, the statement of the township collector, as to the moral and social condition of the colored people of the township, in which he says, "that, in addition to the black women there were fourteen yellow ones, and fifteen white ones—that they run together like beasts, and that he did not suppose one third of them were married; and further, that they would be a curse to this part of Canada, unless there is something done to put a stop to their settling among the white people.'

In referring to the enlistment of the blacks as soldiers, to the prejudice of the legitimate prospects of the deserving European emigrants, the record says: "With regard to continuing to employ the colored race to discharge—in some instances exclusively, as is now the case at Chatham—the duties of regular soldiers, in such times as these, in a country peopled by Britons, I regard it as not only impolitic in the extreme, but even dangerous also,—besides throwing a stigma of degradation on the honorable profession of which I was for twenty-four years of my life a devoted member. And I even put it to yourself, sir, what would have been your feelings, if, amid the great political excitement prevalent during the late Kent election,[90] there had been a serious[185] disturbance and some unthinking magistrate had called in 'the aid of the military' to quell it, and blood had been shed!—for the thing was within possibility, and for some time gave me much uneasiness. Had such been the case,—what would have been the appalling, and probable, nay, almost certain result,—if I may judge from the well known feelings of the white population generally,—that that unfortunate company would have been instantly turned upon, by men of all parties, and massacred on the spot with their own weapons!" . . . . . "Allow me, therefore, at all events briefly to remark, that before any thing can be accomplished connected with the moral and religious improvement of the negro settlers, they must be rescued from the hands of the utterly ignorant and uneducated, yet conceited coxcombs of their own color, who assume to themselves the grave character and holy office of ministers and preachers of the gospel, and lead their still more ignorant followers into all the extravagancies of 'Love Feasts' and 'Camp Meetings,' without at all comprehending their import, and at the same time utterly neglecting all other essentials!—an object well deserving of the most serious and anxious consideration of an enlightened Government, as far as those who are already settled in the country are concerned; while it would be a most sound and politic measure to take every lawful step to discourage as much as possible, if we can not altogether prevent the further introduction of so objectionable and deleterious a class of settlers into a British colony.". . . . "Perhaps one of the wisest measures that could be devised—(since our friends, the American abolitionists, will insist on peopling Canada with run-away negro slaves)—will be to throw every possible obstacle in the way of the sadly deteriorating amalgamation of color already in progress, by Government allotting, at least, a distinct and separate location to all negro settlers, except those who choose to occupy the humble but useful station of farm and domestic servants; and even, if possible, purchasing back at the public expense, on almost any terms, whatever scattered landed property they may have elsewhere acquired in different parts of the Province."

The Report of Major Lachlan is very extensive, and embraces many topics connected with the question of negro immigration into Canada. His response to Government led to further investigation, and to some legislative action in the Canadian Parliament.[186] The latest recorded communications upon the subject, from his pen, are dated November 9th, 1849, and June 4th, 1850, from which it appears that up to that date, there had been no abatement of the hostile feeling of the whites toward the blacks, nor any improvement in the social and moral condition of the blacks themselves.

In 1849, the Elgin Association went into operation. Its object was to concentrate the colored people at one point, and thus have them in a more favorable position for intellectual and moral culture. A large body of land was purchased in the Township of Raleigh, and offered for sale in small lots to colored settlers. The measure was strongly opposed, and called out expressions of sentiment adverse to it, from the people at large. A public meeting, held in Chatham, August 18, 1849, thus expressed itself:

"The Imperial Parliament of Great Britain has forever banished slavery from the Empire. In common with all good men, we rejoice at the consummation of this immortal act; and we hope, that all other nations may follow the example. Every member of the human family is entitled to certain rights and privileges, and no where on earth are they better secured, enjoyed, or more highly valued, than in Canada. Nature, however, has divided the same great family into distinct species, for good and wise purposes, and it is no less our interest, than it is our duty, to follow her dictates and obey her laws. Believing this to be a sound and correct principle, as well as a moral and a Christian duty, it is with alarm we witness the fast increasing emigration, and settlement among us of the African race; and with pain and regret, do we view the establishment of an association, the avowed object of which is to encourage the settlement in old, well-established communities, of a race of people which is destined by nature to be distinct and separate from us. It is also with a feeling of deep resentment that we look upon the selection of the Township of Raleigh, in this District, as the first portion of our beloved country, which is to be cursed, with a systematic organization for setting the laws of nature at defiance. Do communities in other portions of Canada, feel that the presence of the negro among them is an annoyance? Do they feel that the increase of the colored people among them, and amalgamation its necessary and hideous attendant, is an evil which requires to be checked? With what a feeling of horror, would the people of any of the old settled townships of the eastern portion of this[187] Province, look upon a measure which had for its avowed object, the effect of introducing several hundreds of Africans, into the very heart of their neighborhood, their families interspersing themselves among them, upon every vacant lot of land, their children mingling in their schools, and all claiming to be admitted not only to political, but to social privileges? and when we reflect, too, that many of them must from necessity, be the very worst species of that neglected race; the fugitives from justice; how much more revolting must the scheme appear? How then can you adopt such a measure? We beseech our fellow subjects to pause before they embark in such an enterprise, and ask themselves, 'whether they are doing by us as they would wish us to do unto them.'. . . . Surely our natural position is irksome enough without submitting to a measure, which not only holds out a premium for filling up our district with a race of people, upon whom we can not look without a feeling of repulsion, and who, having been brought up in a state of bondage and servility, are totally ignorant both of their social and political duties; but at the same time makes it the common receptable into which all other portions of the Province are to void the devotees of misery and crime. Look at your prisons and your penitentiary, and behold the fearful preponderance of their black over their white inmates in proportion to the population of each. . . . . We have no desire to show hostility toward the colored people, no desire to banish them from the Province. On the contrary, we are willing to assist in any well-devised scheme for their moral and social advancement. Our only desire is, that they shall be separated from the whites, and that no encouragement shall hereafter be given to the migration of the colored man from the United States, or any where else. The idea that we have brought the curse upon ourselves, through the establishment of slavery by our ancestors, is false. As Canadians, we have yet to learn that we ought to be made a vicarious atonement for European sins.

"Canadians: The hour has arrived when we should arouse from our lethargy; when we should gather ourselves together in our might, and resist the onward progress of an evil which threatens to entail upon future generations a thousand curses. Now is the day. A few short years will put it beyond our power. Thousands and tens of thousands of American negroes, with the aid of the abolition societies in the States, and with the countenance[188] given them by our philanthropic institutions, will continue to pour into Canada, if resistance is not offered. Many of you who live at a distance from this frontier, have no conception either of the number or the character of these emigrants, or of their poisonous effect upon the moral and social habits of a community. You listen with active sympathy to every thing narrated of the sufferings of the poor African; your feelings are enlisted, and your purse strings unloosed, and this often by the hypocritical declamation of some self-styled philanthropist. Under such influences many of you, in our large cities and towns, form yourselves into societies, and, without reflection, you supply funds for the support of schemes prejudicial to the best interests of our country. Against such proceedings, and especially against any and every attempt to settle any township in this District with negroes, we solemnly protest, and we call upon our countrymen, in all parts of the Province, to assist in our opposition.

"Fellow Christians: Let us forever maintain the sacred dogma, that all men have equal, natural, and inalienable rights. Let us do every thing in our power, consistent with international polity and justice, to abolish the accursed system of slavery in the neighboring Republic. But let us not, through a mistaken zeal to abate the evil of another land, entail upon ourselves a misery which every enlightened lover of his country must mourn. Let the slaves of the United States be free, but let it be in their own country. Let us not countenance their further introduction among us; in a word, let the people of the United States bear the burthen of their own sins.

"What has already been done, can not now be avoided; but it is not too late to do justice to ourselves, and retrieve the errors of the past. Let a suitable place be provided by the Government, to which the colored people may be removed, and separated from the whites, and in this scheme we will cordially join. We owe it to them, but how much more do we owe it to ourselves? But we implore you that you will not, either by your counsel, or your pecuniary aid, assist those who have projected the association for the settlement of a horde of ignorant slaves in the town of Raleigh. It is one of the oldest and most densely settled townships, in the very center of our new and promising District of Kent, and we feel that this scheme, if carried into operation, will have the effect of hanging like a dead weight upn our rising prosperity.[189] What is our case to-day, to-morrow may be yours; join us then, in endeavoring to put a stop to what is not only a general evil, but in this case an act of unwarrantable injustice; and when the time may come when you shall be similarly situated to us, we have no doubt that, like us, you will cry out, and your appeal shall not be in vain."

On the 3d of September, 1849, the colored people of Toronto, Canada, held a meeting, in which they responded at length to the foregoing address. The spirit of the meeting can be divined from the following resolutions, which were unanimously passed:

"1st. Resolved, That we, as a portion of the inhabitants of Canada, conceive it to be our imperative duty to give an expression of sentiment in reference to the proceedings of the late meeting held at Chatham, denying the right of the colored people to settle where they please.

"2d. Resolved, That we spurn with contempt and burning indignation, any attempt, on the part of any person, or persons, to thrust us from the general bulk of society, and place us in a separate and distinct classification, such as is expressly implied in an address issued from the late meeting above alluded to.

"3d. Resolved, That the principle of selfishness, as exemplified in the originators of the resolutions and address, we detest, as we do similar ones emanating from a similar source; and we can clearly see the workings of a corrupt and depraved heart, arranged in hostility to the heaven-born principle of liberty, in its broadest and most unrestricted sense."

On the 9th of October, 1849, the Municipal Council of the Western District, adopted a Memorial to His Excellency, the Governor General, protesting against the proposed Elgin Association, in which the following language occurs:

. . . . . "Clandestine petitions have been got up, principally, if not wholly, signed by colored people, in order to mislead Government and the Elgin Association. These petitions do not embody the sentiments or feelings of the respectable, intelligent, and industrious yeomanry of the Western District. We can assure your Excellency that any such statement is false, that there is but one feeling, and that is of disgust and hatred, that they, the negroes, should be allowed to settle in any township where there is a white settlement. Our language is strong; but when we look at the expressions used at a late meeting held by the colored[190] people of Toronto, openly avowing the propriety of amalgamation, and stating that it must, and will, and shall continue, we cannot avoid so doing. . . . . . The increased immigration of foreign negroes into this part of the Province is truly alarming. We cannot omit mentioning some facts for the corroboration of what we have stated. The negroes, who form at least one-third of the inhabitants of the township of Colchester, attended the township meeting for the election of parish and township officers, and insisted upon their right to vote, which was denied them by every individual white man at the meeting. The consequence was, that the Chairman of the meeting was prosecuted and thrown into heavy costs, which costs were paid by subscription from white inhabitants. In the same township of Colchester, as well as in many others, the inhabitants have not been able to get schools in many school sections, in consequence of the negroes insisting on their right of sending their children to such schools. No white man will ever act with them in any public capacity; this fact is so glaring, that no sheriff in this Province would dare to summons colored men to do jury duty. That such things have been done in other quarters of the British dominions we are well aware of, but we are convinced that the Canadians will never tolerate such conduct."

A Toronto paper of December 24, 1847, says: "The white inhabitants are fast leaving the vicinity of the proposed colored settlement, for the United States."

The St. Catharines Journal, June, 1852, under the head of "the fruits of having colored companies and colored settlements," says: "On the occasion of the June muster of the militia, a pretty large turn out took place at St. Catharines. We regret exceedingly that the day did not pass over without a serious riot. It seems that on the parade ground some insult was offered to the colored company, which was very properly restrained by Colonel Clark, and others. If the affair had ended here, it would have been fortunate; but the bad feeling exhibited on the parade ground was renewed, by some evil-minded person, and the colored population, becoming roused to madness, they proceeded to wreak their vengeance on a company in Stinson's tavern, after which a general melee took place, in which several men were wounded, and it is likely some will die of the injuries received. The colored village is a ruin, and much more like a place having been[191] beseiged by an enemy than any thing else. This is the reward which the colored men have received for their loyalty, and the readiness with which they turned out to train, and no doubt would if the country required their services. This is a most painful occurrence, and must have been originated by some very ignorant persons. How any man possessing the common feelings of humanity, to say nothing of loyalty, could needlessly offer insult to so many men, so cheerfully turning out in obedience to the laws of the country, exceeds belief, if it were not a matter of fact. Too much credit cannot be given to those worthy citizens who used their best efforts to restrain the excitement, and prevented any further blood-shedding."

But here we have testimony of a later date. Hon. Colonel Prince, member of the Canadian Parliament in 1857, had resided among the colored people of the Western District; and, like other humane men, had sympathized with them, at the outset, and shown them many favors. Time and observation changed his views, and, in the course of his parliamentary duties, we find him taking a stand adverse to the further increase of the negro population in Canada. Hear him, as reported at the time:

"On the order of the day for the third reading of the emigrants' law amendment bill being called, Hon. Col. Prince said he was wishful to move a rider to the measure. The black people who infested the land were the greatest curse to the Province. The lives of the people of the West were made wretched by the inundation of these animals, and many of the largest farmers in the county of Kent have been compelled to leave their beautiful farms, because of the pestilential swarthy swarms.—What were these wretches fit for? Nothing. They cooked our victuals and shampooned us; but who would not rather that these duties should be performed by white men? The blacks were a worthless, useless, thriftless set of beings—they were too indolent, lazy and ignorant to work, too proud to be taught; and not only that, if the criminal calendars of the country were examined, it would be found that they were a majority of the criminals. They were so detestable that unless some method were adopted of preventing their influx into this country by the "underground rail road," the people of the West would be obliged to drive them out by open violence. The bill before the House imposed a capitation tax upon emigrants from Europe, and the object of his motion was to[192] levy a similar tax upon blacks who came hither from the States. He now moved, seconded by Mr. Patton, that a capitation tax of 5s for adults, and 3s 9d for children above one year and under fourteen years of age, be levied on persons of color emigrating to Canada from any foreign country.

"Ought not the Western men to be protected from the rascalities and villainies of the black wretches? He found these men with fire and food, and lodging when they were in need; and he would be bound to say that the black men of the county of Essex would speak well of him in this respect. But he could not admit them as being equal to white men; and, after a long and close observation of human nature, he had come to the conclusion that the black man was born to and intended for slavery, and that he was fit for nothing else. [Sensation.] Honorable gentlemen might try to groan him down, but he was not to be moved by mawkish sentiment, and he was persuaded that they might as well try to change the spots of the leopard as to make the black a good citizen. He had told black men so, and the lazy rascals had shrugged their shoulders and wished they had never ran away from their "good old massa" in Kentucky. If there was any thing unchristian in what he had proposed, he could not see it, and he feared that he was not born a Christian."

The Windsor Herald, of July 3d, 1857, contains the proceedings of an indignation meeting, held by the colored people of Toronto, at which they denounced Colonel Prince in unmeasured terms of reproach. The same paper contains the reply of the Colonel, copied from the Toronto Colonist, and it is given entire, as a specimen of the spicy times they have, in Canada, over the negro question. The editor remarks, in relation to the reply of Colonel Prince, that it has given general satisfaction in his neighborhood. It is as follows:

"Dear Sir:—Your valuable paper of yesterday has afforded me a rich treat and not a little fun in the report of an indignation meeting of 'the colored citizens' of Toronto, held for the purpose of censuring me. Perhaps I ought not to notice their proceedings—perhaps it would be more becoming in me to allow them to pass at once into the oblivion which awaits them; but as it is the fashion in this country not unfrequently to assume that to be true which appears in print against an individual, unless he flatly denies the accusation, I shall, at least, for once, condescend to[193] notice these absurd proceedings. They deal in generalities, and so shall I. Of the colored citizens of Toronto I know little or nothing; no doubt, some are respectable enough in their way, and perform the inferior duties belonging to their station tolerably well. Here they are kept in order—in their proper place—but their 'proceedings' are evidence of their natural conceit, their vanity, and their ignorance; and in them the cloven foot appears, and evinces what they would do, if they could. I believe that in this city, as in some others of our Province, they are looked upon as necessary evils, and only submitted to because white servants are so scarce. But I now deal with these fellows as a body, and I pronounce them to be, as such, the greatest curse ever inflicted upon the two magnificent western counties which I have the honor to represent in the Legislative Council of this Province! and few men have had the experience of them that I have. Among the many estimable qualities they possess, a systematic habit of lying is not the least prominent; and the 'colored citizens' aforesaid seem to partake of that quality in an eminent degree, because in their famous Resolutions they roundly assert that during the Rebellion 'I walked arm and arm with colored men'—that 'I owe my election to the votes of colored men'—and that I have 'accumulated much earthly gains,' as a lawyer, among 'colored clients.' All Lies! Lies! Lies! from beginning to end. I admit that one company of blacks did belong to my contingent battalion, but they made the very worst of soldiers, and were, comparatively speaking, unsusceptible of drill or discipline, and were conspicuous for one act only—a stupid sentry shot the son of one of our oldest colonels, under a mistaken notion that he was thereby doing his duty. But I certainly never did myself the honor of 'walking arm in arm' with any of the colored gentlemen of that distinguished corps. Then, as to my election. Few, very few blacks voted for me. I never canvassed them, and hence, I suppose, they supported, as a body, my opponent. They took compassion upon 'a monument of injured innocence,' and they sustained the monument for a while, upon the pedestal their influence erected. But the monument fell, and the fall proved that such influence was merely ephemeral, and it sank into insignificant nothingness, as it should, and I hope ever will do; or God help this noble land. Poor Blackies! Be not so bold or so conceited, or so insolent hereafter, I do beseech you.[194]

"Then how rich I have become among my 'colored clients!' I assert, without the fear of contradiction, that I have been the friend—the steady friend of our western 'Darkies' for more than twenty years; and amidst difficulties and troubles innumerable, (for they are a litigious race,) I have been their adviser, and I never made twenty pounds out of them in that long period! The fact is that the poor creatures had never the ability to pay a lawyer's fee.

"It has been my misfortune, and the misfortune of my family, to live among those blacks, (and they have lived upon us,) for twenty-four years. I have employed hundreds of them, and, with the exception of one, (named Richard Hunter,) not one has ever done for us a week's honest labor. I have taken them into my service, have fed and clothed them, year after year, on their arrival from the States, and in return I have generally found them rogues and thieves, and a graceless, worthless, thriftless, lying set of vagabonds. That is my very plain and very simple description of the darkies as a body, and it would be indorsed by all the western white men with very few exceptions.

"I have had scores of their George Washingtons, Thomas Jeffersons, James Madisons, as well as their Dinahs, and Gleniras, and Lavinias, in my service, and I understand them thoroughly, and I include the whole batch (old Richard Hunter excepted) in the category above described. To conclude, you 'Gentlemen of color,' East and West, and especially you 'colored citizens of Toronto,' I thank you for having given me an opportunity to publish my opinion of your race. Call another indignation meeting, and there make greater fools of yourselves than you did at the last, and then 'to supper with what appetite you may.'

"Believe me to remain,
Mr. Editor,
Yours very faithfully,
John Prince.

Toronto, 26th June, 1857."

It is impracticable to extract the whole of the important facts referred to in Maj. Lachlan's Report, as it would make a volume of itself. In many places he takes occasion to urge the necessity of education for the colored people, as the only possible means of their elevation; and also presses upon the attention of the better[195] classes of that race, the duty of co-operating with the magistrates in their efforts for the suppression of crime, as well as the advantages to be derived from the formation of associations for their intellectual and moral advancement. On the 23d of May, 1847, he addressed the Right Honorable, the Earl of Elgin, the Governor of Canada, on the subject of the causes checking the prosperity of the Western District, the fourth one of which he states to be "the unfortunate influx into its leading townships of swarms of run-away negro slaves, of the worst description, from the American States." After referring to the facts contained in his report of 1841, a portion of which are presented in the preceding pages, he says: "I shall therefore rest content with stating, in connection with these extracts, the simple fact, that on the Province gradually recovering from the shock given to immigration by the late rebellion, and the stream of British settlers beginning once more to flow toward the Province, a considerable number of emigrants of the laboring classes made their way to the Western District, and for some time wandered about in search of employment; but with the exception of those who had come to join relations and friends, and a few others, the greater portion, finding themselves unable to obtain work, from the ground which they naturally expected to occupy being already monopolized by negroes, and there being no public works of any kind on which they could be engaged, became completely disheartened, and were ultimately forced to disperse themselves elsewhere; and, most generally, found a refuge in the neighboring States of Michigan and Ohio. And such, it may be added, has ever since continued to be the case; while, on the other hand, the influx of negroes has been greatly on the increase. . . . . Far, however, be it for me to suppose it possible to abridge for one moment that noble constitutional principle—that slavery and British Rule and British feeling are incompatible; but still I consider it no trifling evil that any part of an essentially British colony should be thereby exposed to be made the receptable of the worst portion of the lowest grade of the human race, from every part of the American Union, to the evident serious injury of its own inhabitants, and equally serious prejudice to the claims of more congenial settlers."

This statement shows, very clearly, how the negro immigration into Canada operates injuriously to its prosperity by repelling the white immigrants.[196]

What was true of the colored population of the "Western District of Canada, in 1841, while Major Lachlan filled the chair of the Quarter Sessions, seems to be equally true in 1859. The Essex Advocate, contains the following extract from the Presentment of the Grand Jury, at the Essex Assizes, November 17, 1859, in reference to the jail: "We are sorry to state to your Lordship the great prevalence of the colored race among its occupants, and beg to call attention to an accompanying document from the Municipal Council and inhabitants of the Township of Anderdon, which we recommend to your Lordship's serious consideration.

"'To the Grand Jury of the County of Essex, in Inquest assembled: We, the undersigned inhabitants of the Township of Anderdon, respectfully wish to call the attention of the Grand Inquest of the County of Essex to the fearful state of crime in our township. That there exists organized bands of thieves, too lazy to work, who nightly plunder our property! That nearly all of us, more or less, have suffered losses; and that for the last two years the stealing of sheep has been most alarming, one individual having had nine stolen within that period. We likewise beg to call your attention to the fact, that seven colored persons are committed to stand trial at the present assizes on the charge of sheep stealing, and that a warrant is out against the eighth, all from the Town of Anderdon. We beg distinctly to be understood, that although we are aware that nine-tenths of the crimes committed in the County of Essex, according to the population, are so committed by the colored people, yet we willingly extend the hand of fellowship and kindness to the emancipated slave, whom Great Britain has granted an asylum to in Canada We therefore hope the Grand Jury of the County of Essex will lay the statement of our case before his Lordship, the Judge at the present assizes, that some measure may be taken by the Government to protect us and our property, or persons of capital will be driven from the country.'"

We find it stated in the Cincinnati Daily Commercial, that the "Court, in alluding to this presentment, remarked that 'he was not surprised at finding prejudice existing against them (the negroes) among the respectable portion of the people, for they were indolent, shiftless and dishonest, and unworthy of the sympathy that some mistaken parties extended to them; they would not work when opportunity was presented, but preferred subsisting[197] by thieving from respectable farmers, and begging from those benevolently inclined.'"

In September, 1859, Mr. Stanley, a government agent from the West Indies, visited Canada with the view of inducing the colored people of that Province to emigrate to Jamaica. The Windsor Herald, in noticing the movement, gives the details of the arguments presented, at the meeting in Windsor, to influence them to accept the offer. To men of intelligence and foresight, the reasons would have been convincing; but upon the minds of the colored people, they seem to have had scarcely any weight whatever—only one man entering his name, as an emigrant, at the close of the lecture. They were assured that in Jamaica they could obtain employment at remunerative salaries, and in three years become owners of property, besides possessing all the advantages of British subjects. Only a stipulated number were called for at the present time, they were told, but if the experiment proved successful, the gates would be thrown open for a general emigration. The Governor of the Island guaranteed them occupations on their arrival, or a certain stipend until such were found, and also their passage thither gratis. Four hundred emigrants were wanted to commence the experiment, and if they succeeded in getting the number required, they designed starting for Jamaica in the space of a month.

The indisposition of the colored people to accept the liberal offer of the authorites of Jamaica, created some surprise among the whites; but the mystery was explained when the agent visited Chatham, and made similar offers to the colored people of that town. As already stated, in the Preface to this work, they not only rejected the offered boon with contempt, but gave as their reason, that events would shortly transpire in the United States, which would demand their aid in behalf of their fellow countrymen there.[91] This was thirteen days before the Harper's Ferry outbreak, and Chatham was the town in which John Brown and his associates concocted their insurrectionary movement. The chief reason why the Jamaica emigration scheme was rejected, must have been the determination of the blacks of Canada to co-operate in the Brown insurrection.

Here, now, are all the results of the Canada experiment, as[198] presented by the official action of its civil officers and public men. Need it be said, that the prospects of the African race have only been rendered the more dark and gloomy, by the conduct of the free colored men of that Province. And when we couple the results there with those of the West Indies, it must be obvious to all, that what has been attempted for the colored race is wholly impracticable; that in its present state of advancement from barbarism, the attainment of civil and social equality, with the enlightened white races, is utterly impossible.

It would appear, then, that philanthropists have committed a grave error in their policy, and the sooner they retrace their steps the better for the colored people. The error to which we refer, is this: they found a small portion of colored men, whose intelligence and moral character equaled that of the average of the white population; and, considering it a great hardship that such men should be doomed to a degraded condition, they attempted to raise them up to the civil and social position which their merits would entitle them to occupy. But in attempting to secure equal rights to the enlightened negro, the philanthropists claimed the same privilege for the whole of that race. In this they failed to recognize the great truth, that free government is not adapted to men in a condition of ignorance and moral degradation. By taking such broad ground—by securing the largest amount of liberty for a great mass of the most degraded of humanity—they have altogether failed in convincing the world, that freedom is a boon worth the bestowal upon the African in his present condition. The intelligent colored man, who could have been lifted up to a suitable hight, and maintained his position, if he had been taken alone, could not be elevated at all when the whole race were fastened to his skirts. And this mistake was a very natural one for men who think but superficially. Despotic government is repugnant to enlightened men: hence, in rejecting it for themselves, they repudiate it as a form of rule for all others. This decision, plausible as it may appear, is not consistent with the philosophy of human nature as it now is; nor is it in accordance with the sentiments of the profound statesmen who framed the American Constitution. They held that only men of intelligence and moral principle were capable of self-government; and, hence, they excluded from citizenship the barbarous and semi-barbarous Indians and Africans, who were around them and in their midst.[199]

In discussing the results of emancipation in the United States, in a preceding chapter, it is stated that one principal cause, operating to check the further liberation of the slaves, at an early day in our history, was, that freedom had proved itself of little value to the colored man, while the measure had greatly increased the burdens of the whites; and that until he should make such progress as would prove that freedom was the best condition for the race, while intermingled with the whites, any further movements toward general emancipation were not to be expected. This view is now indorsed by some of the most prominent abolitionists. Listen to the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher on this subject. In his sermon in reference to the Harper's Ferry affair, he says:

"If we would benefit the African at the South, we must begin at home. This is to some men the most disagreeable part of the doctrine of emancipation. It is very easy to labor for the emancipation of beings a thousand miles off; but when it comes to the practical application of justice and humanity to those about us, it is not so easy. The truths of God respecting the rights and dignities of men, are just as important to free colored men, as to enslaved colored men. It may seem strange for me to say that the lever with which to lift the load of Georgia is in New York; but it is. I do not believe the whole free North can tolerate grinding injustice toward the poor, and inhumanity toward the laboring classes, without exerting an influence unfavorable to justice and humanity in the South. No one can fail to see the inconsistency between our treatment of those among us, who are in the lower walks of life, and our professions of sympathy for the Southern slaves. How are the free colored people treated at the North? They are almost without education, with but little sympathy for their ignorance. They are refused the common rights of citizenship which the whites enjoy. They can not even ride in the cars of our city rail roads. They are snuffed at in the house of God, or tolerated with ill-disguised disgust. Can the black man be a mason in New York? Let him be employed as a journeyman, and every Irish lover of liberty that carries the hod or trowel, would leave at once, or compel him to leave! Can the black man be a carpenter? There is scarcely a carpenter's shop in New York in which a journeyman would continue to work, if a black man was employed in it. Can the black man engage in the common industries of life? There is scarcely one in which[200] he can engage. He is crowded down, down, down through the most menial callings, to the bottom of society. We tax them and then refuse to allow their children to go to our public schools. We tax them and then refuse to sit by them in God's house. We heap upon them moral obloquy more atrocious than that which the master heaps upon the slave. And notwithstanding all this, we lift ourselves up to talk to the Southern people about the rights and liberties of the human soul, and especially the African soul! It is true that slavery is cruel. But it is not at all certain that there is not more love to the race in the South than in the North. . . . . . Whenever we are prepared to show toward the lowest, the poorest, and the most despised, an unaffected kindness, such as led Christ, though the Lord of glory, to lay aside his dignities and take on himself the form of a servant, and to undergo an ignominious death, that he might rescue men from ignorance and bondage—whenever we are prepared to do such things as these, we may be sure that the example at the North will not be unfelt at the South. Every effort that is made in Brooklyn to establish churches for the free colored people, and to encourage them to educate themselves and become independent, is a step toward emancipation in the South. The degradation of the free colored men in the North will fortify slavery in the South!"

We think we may safely guarantee, that whenever Northern abolitionists shall carry out Mr. Beecher's scheme, of spending their time and money for the moral and intellectual culture of the free colored people, the South will at once emancipate every slave within her limits; because we will then be in the midst of the millenium. Intelligent free colored men will agree with us in opinion, as they have tested them upon this subject.

One point more remains to be noticed:—the influence which the results in Canada and Jamaica have exerted upon the prospects of the free colored man in the United States. We mean, of course, his prospects for securing the civil and social equality to which he has been aspiring. His own want of progress has been the main cause of checking the extension of emancipation. This is now admitted even by Rev. H. W. Beecher, himself. Then, again, the fact that much less advancement has been made by the negroes in the British Provinces, than by those in the United States, operates still more powerfully in preventing any further liberation of the slaves. These two causes, combined,[201] have dealt a death-blow to the hope of emancipation, in the South, by any moral influence coming from that quarter; and has, in fact, put back that cause, so far as the moral power of the negro is concerned, to a period hopelessly distant. Loyal Britons may urge upon us the duty of emancipation as strongly as they please; but so long as they denounce the influx of colored men as a curse to Canada, just so long they will fail in persuading Americans that an increase of free negroes will be a blessing to the United States. The moral power of the free negro, in promoting emancipation, is at an end; but how is it with his prospects of success in the employment of force? The Harper's Ferry movement is pronounced, by anti-slavery men themselves, as the work of a madman; and no other attempt of that kind can be more successful, as none but the insane and the ignorant will ever enlist in such an enterprise. The power of the free colored people in promoting emancipation, say what they will, is now at an end.

But these are not all the results of the movements noticed. They have not only rendered the free colored people powerless in emancipation, but have acted most injuriously upon themselves, as a class, in both the free and the slave States. In the Northwestern free States, every new Constitution framed, and every old one amended, with perhaps one exception, exclude the free negroes from the privileges of citizenship. In the slave States, generally, efforts are making not only to prevent farther emancipations, but to drive out the free colored population from their territories.

Thus, at this moment, stands the question of the capacity of the free colored people of the United States, to influence public opinion in favor of emancipation. And where are their champions who kindled the flame which is now extinguished? Many of them are in their graves; and the Harper's Ferry act, but applied the match that exploded the existing organizations. One chieftain—always truthful, ever in earnest—is, alas, in the lunatic asylum; another—whose zeal overcomes his judgment, at times—backs down from the position he had taken, that rifles were better than bibles in the conflict with slavery; another—coveting not the martyr's crown, yet a little—has left his editorial chair, to put the line dividing English and American territory between himself and danger; another—whose life could not well be spared, as he, doubtless, thought—after helping to organize the[202] conspiracy at Chatham, in Canada, immediately set out to explore Africa: perhaps to select a home for the Virginia slaves, and be ready to receive them when Brown should set them free. These forces can never be re-combined. As for others, so far as politicians are concerned, the colored race have nothing to hope. The battle for free territory, in the sense in which they design to be understood, is a contest to keep the blacks and whites entirely separate. It is a determination to carry out the policy of Jefferson, by separating the races where it can be accomplished—a policy that will be adhered to in the free States, and which the Canadians would gladly adopt, if the mother country would permit them to carry out their wishes.

Free colored men of the United States! "in the days of adversity consider." Are not the signs of the times indicative of the necessity of a change of policy?




Moral relations of Slavery—Relations of the consumer of Slave labor products to the system—Grand error of all Anti-Slavery effort—Law of particeps criminis—Daniel O'Connell—Malum in se doctrine—Inconsistency of those who hold it—English Emancipationists—Their commercial argument—Differences between the position of Great Britain and the United States—Preaching versus practice by Abolitionists—Cause of their want of influence over the Slaveholder—Necessity of examining the question—Each man to be judged by his own standard—Classification of opinions in the United States, in regard to the morality of Slavery—Three Views—A case in illustration—Apology of per se men for using Slave grown products insufficient—Law relating to "confusion of goods"—Per se men participes criminis with Slaveholders—Taking Slave grown products under protest absurd—World's Christian Evangelical Alliance—Amount of Slave labor Cotton in England at that moment—Pharisaical conduct—The Scotchman taking his wife under protest—Anecdote—American Cotton more acceptable to Englishmen than Republican principles—Secret of England's policy toward American Slavery—The case of robbery again cited, and the English Satirized—A contrast—Causes of the want of moral power of Abolitionists—Slaveholders no cause to cringe—Other results—Effect of the adoption of the per se doctrine by ecclesiastical bodies—Slaves thus left in all their moral destitution—Inconsistency of per se men denouncing others—What the Bible says of similar conduct.

Having noticed the political and economical relations of slavery, it may be expected that we shall say something of its moral relations. In attempting this, we choose not to traverse that interminable labyrinth, without a thread, which includes the moral character of the system, as it respects the relation between the master and the slave. The only aspect in which we care to consider it, is in the moral relations which the consumers of slave labor products sustain to slavery: and even on this, we shall offer no opinion, our aim being only to promote inquiry.

This view of the question is not an unimportant one. It includes the germ of the grand error in nearly all anti-slavery effort; and to which, chiefly, is to be attributed its want of moral power over the conscience of the slaveholder. The abolition[204] movement, was designed to create a public sentiment, in the United States, that should be equally as potent in forcing emancipation, as was the public opinion of Great Britain. But why have not the Americans been as successful as the English? This is an inquiry of great importance. When the Anti-Slavery Convention, which met, December 6, 1833, in Philadelphia, declared, as a part of its creed: "That there is no difference in principle, between the African slave trade, and American slavery," it meant to be understood as teaching, that the person who purchased slaves imported from Africa, or who held their offspring as slaves, was particeps criminis—partaker in the crime—with the slave trader, on the principle that he who receives stolen property, knowing it be such, is equally guilty with the thief.

On this point Daniel O'Connell was very explicit, when, in a public assembly, he used this language: "When an American comes into society, he will be asked, 'are you one of the thieves, or are you an honest man? If you are an honest man, then you have given liberty to your slaves; if you are among the thieves, the sooner you take the outside of the house, the better.'"

The error just referred to was this: they based their opposition to slavery on the principle, that it was malum in se—a sin in itself—like the slave trade, robbery and murder; and, at the same time, continued to use the products of the labor of the slave as though they had been obtained from the labor of freemen. But this seeming inconsistency was not the only reason why they failed to create such a public sentiment as would procure the emancipation of our slaves. The English emancipationists began their work like philosophers—addressing themselves, respectfully to the power that could grant their requests. Beside the moral argument, which declared slavery a crime, the English philanthropists labored to convince Parliament, that emancipation would be advantageous to the commerce of the nation. The commercial value of the Islands had been reduced one-third, as a result of the abolition of the slave trade. Emancipation, it was argued, would more than restore their former prosperity, as the labor of freemen was twice as productive as that of slaves. But American abolitionists commenced their crusade against slavery, by charging those who sustained it, and who alone, held the power to manumit, with crimes of the blackest dye. This placed the parties in instant antagonism, causing all the arguments on human[205] rights, and the sinfulness of slavery, to fall without effect upon the ears of angry men. The error on this point, consisted in failing to discriminate between the sources of the power over emancipation in England and in the United States. With Great Britain, the power was in Parliament. The masters, in the West Indies, had no voice in the question. It was the voters in England alone who controlled the elections, and, consequently, controlled Parliament. But the condition of things in the United States is the reverse of what it was in England. With us, the power of emancipation is in the States, not in Congress. The slaveholders elect the members to the State Legislatures; and they choose none but such as agree with them in opinion. It matters not, therefore, what public sentiment may be at the North, as it has no power over the Legislatures of the South. Here, then, is the difference: with us the slaveholder controls the question of emancipation, while in England the consent of the master was not necessary to the execution of that work.

Our anti-slavery men seem to have fallen into their errors of policy, by following the lead of those of England, who manifested a total ignorance of the relations existing between our General Government and the State Governments. On the abolition platform, slaveholders found themselves placed in the same category with slave traders and thieves. They were told that all laws, giving them power over the slave, were void in the sight of heaven; and that their appropriation of the fruits of the labor of the slave, without giving him compensation, was robbery. Had the preaching of these principles produced conviction, it must have promoted emancipation. But, unfortunately, while these doctrines were held up to the gaze of slaveholders, in the one hand of the exhorter, they beheld his other hand stretched out, from beneath his cloak of seeming sanctity, to clutch the products of the very robbery he was professing to condemn! Take a fact in proof of this view of the subject.

At the date of the declarations of Daniel O'Connell, on behalf of the English, and by the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Convention, on the part of Americans, the British manufacturers were purchasing, annually, about 300,000,000 lbs. of cotton, from the very men denounced as equally criminal with slave traders and thieves; and the people of the United States were almost wholly dependent upon slave labor for their supplies of cotton and[206] groceries. It is no matter for wonder, therefore, that slaveholders, should treat, as fiction, the doctrine that slave labor products are the fruits of robbery, so long as they are purchased without scruple, by all classes of men, in Europe and America. The pecuniary argument for emancipation, that free labor is more profitable than slave labor, was also urged here, but was treated as the greatest absurdity. The masters had, before their eyes, the evidence of the falsity of the assertion, that, if emancipated, the slaves would be doubly profitable as free laborers. The reverse was admitted, on all hands, to be true in relation to our colored people.

But this question, of the moral relations which the consumers of slave labor products sustain to slavery, is one of too important a nature to be passed over without a closer examination; and, beside, it is involved in less obscurity than the morality of the relation existing between the master and the slave. Its consideration, too, affords an opportunity of discriminating between the different opinions entertained on the broad question of the morality of the institution, and enables us to judge of the consistency and conscientiousness of every man, by the standard which he himself adopts.

The prevalent opinions, as to the morality of the institution of slavery, in the United States, may be classified under three heads: 1. That it is justified by Scripture example and precept. 2. That it is a great civil and social evil, resulting from ignorance and degradation, like despotic systems of government, and may be tolerated until its subjects are sufficiently enlightened to render it safe to grant them equal rights. 3. That it is malum in se, like robbery and murder, and can not be sustained, for a moment, without sin; and, like sin, should be immediately abandoned.

Those who consider slavery sanctioned by the Bible, conceive that they can, consistently with their creed, not only hold slaves, and use the products of slave labor, without doing violence to their consciences, but may adopt measures to perpetuate the system. Those who consider slavery merely a great civil and social evil, a despotism that may engender oppression, or may not, are of opinion that they may purchase and use its products, or interchange their own for those of the slaveholder, as free governments hold commercial and diplomatic intercourse with despotic ones, without being responsible for the moral evils connected with the[207] system, But the position of those who believe slavery malum in se, like the slave trade, robbery and murder, is a very different one from either of the other classes, as it regards the purchase and use of slave labor products. Let us illustrate this by a case in point.

A company of men hold a number of their fellow men in bondage under the laws of the commonwealth in which they live, so that they can compel them to work their plantations, and raise horses, cattle, hogs, and cotton. These products of the labor of the oppressed, are appropriated by the oppressors to their own use, and taken into the markets for sale. Another company proceed to a community of freemen, on the coast of Africa, who have labored voluntarily during the year, seize their persons, bind them, convey away their horses, cattle, hogs, and cotton, and take the property to market. The first association represents the slaveholders; the second a band of robbers. The commodities of both parties, are openly offered for sale, and every one knows how the property of each was obtained. Those who believe the per se doctrine, place both these associations in the same moral category, and call them robbers. Judged by this rule, the first band are the more criminal, as they have deprived their victims of personal liberty, forced them into servitude, and then "despoiled them of the fruits of their labor."[92] The second band have only deprived their victims of liberty, while they robbed them; and thus have committed but two crimes, while the first have perpetrated three. These parties attempt to negotiate the sale of their cotton, say in London. The first company dispose of their cargo without difficulty—no one manifesting the slightest scruple at purchasing the products of slave labor. But the second company are not so fortunate. As soon as their true character is ascertained, the police drag its members to Court, where they are sentenced to Bridewell. In vain do these robbers quote the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Convention, and Daniel O'Connell, to prove that their cotton was obtained by means no more criminal than that of the slaveholders, and that, therefore, judgment ought[208] to be reversed. The Court will not entertain such a plea, and they have to endure the penalty of the law. Now, why this difference, if slavery be malum in se? And if the receiver of stolen property is particeps criminis with the thief, why is it, that the Englishman, who should receive and sell the cotton of the robbers, would run the risk of being sent to prison with them, while if he acted as agent of the slaveholders, he would be treated as an honorable man? If the master has no moral right to hold his slaves, in what respect can the products of their labor differ from the property acquired by robbery? And if the property be the fruits of robbery, how can any one use it, without violating conscience?

We have met with the following sage exposition of the question, in justification of the use of slave labor products, by those who believe the per se doctrine: The master owns the lands, gives his skill and intelligence to direct the labor, and feeds and clothes the slaves. The slaves, therefore, are entitled only to a part of the proceeds of their labor, while the master is also justly entitled to a part of the crop. When brought into the market, the purchaser can not know what part belongs, rightfully, to the master, and what to his slaves, as the whole is offered in bulk. He may, therefore, purchase the whole, innocently, and throw the sinfulness of the transaction upon the master, who sells what belongs to others. But if the per se doctrine be true, this apology for the purchaser is not a justification. Where a "confusion of goods" has been made by one of the owners, so that they can not be separated, he who "confused" them can have no advantage, in law, from his own wrong, but the goods are awarded to the innocent party. On this well known principle of law, this most equitable rule, the master forfeits his right in the property, and the purchaser, knowing the facts, becomes a party in his guilt. But aside from this, the "confusion of goods," by the master, can give him no moral right to dispose of the interest of his slaves therein for his own benefit; and the persons purchasing such property, acquire no moral right to its possession and use. These are sound, logical views. The argument offered, in justification of those who hold that slavery is malum in se, is the strongest that can be made. It is apparent, then, from a fair analysis of their own principles, that they are participes criminis with slaveholders.[209]

Again, if the laws regulating the institution of slavery, be morally null and void, and not binding on the conscience, then the slaves have a moral right to the proceeds of their labor. This right can not be alienated by any act of the master, but attaches to the property wherever it may be taken, and to whomsoever it may be sold. This principle, in law, is also well established. The recent decision on the "Gardiner fraud," confirms it; the Court asserting, that the money paid out of the Treasury of the United States, under such circumstances, continued its character as the money and property of the United States, and may be followed into the hands of those who cashed the orders of Gardiner, and subsequently drew the money, but who are not the true owners of the said fund; and decreeing that the amount of funds, thus obtained, be collected off the estate of said Gardiner, and off those who drew funds from the treasury, on his orders.

These principles of law are so well understood, by every man of intelligence, that we can not conceive how those advocating the per se doctrines, if sincere, can continue in the constant use of slave grown products, without a perpetual violation of conscience and of all moral law. Taking them under protest, against the slavery which produced them, is ridiculous. Refusing to fellowship the slaveholder, while eagerly appropriating the products of the labor of the slave, which he brings in his hand, is contemptible. The most noted case of the kind, is that of the British Committee, who had charge of the preliminary arrangements for the admission of members to the World's Christian Evangelical Alliance. One of the rules it adopted, but which the Alliance afterward modified, excluded all American clergymen, suspected of a want of orthodoxy on the per se doctrine, from seats in that body. Their language, to American clergymen, was virtually, "Stand aside, I am holier than thou;" while, at the same moment, their parishioners, the manufacturers, had about completed the purchase of 624,000,000 lbs. of cotton, for the consumption of their mills, during the year; the bales of which, piled together, would have reached mountain-high, displaying, mostly, the brands, "New Orleans," "Mobile," "Charleston."

As not a word was said, by the Committee, against the Englishmen who were buying and manufacturing American cotton, the case may be viewed as one in which the fruits of robbery were taken under protest against the robbers themselves. To all[210] intelligent men, the conduct of the people of Britain, in protesting against slavery, as a system of robbery, while continuing to purchase such enormous quantities of the cotton produced by slaves, appears as Pharasaical as the conduct of the conscientious Scotchman, in early times, in Eastern Pennsylvania, who married his wife under protest against the constitution and laws of the Government, and especially, against the authority, power, and right of the magistrate who had just tied the knot.[93]

Such pliable consciences, doubtless, are very convenient in cases of emergency. But as they relax when selfish ends are to be subserved, and retain their rigidity only when judging the conduct of others, the inference is, that the persons possessing[211] them are either hypocritical, or else, as was acknowledged by Parson D., in similar circumstances, they have mistaken their prejudices for their consciences.

So far as Britain is concerned, she is, manifestly, much more willing to receive American slave labor cotton for her factories, than American republican principles for her people. And why so? The profits derived by her, from the purchase and manufacture of slave labor cotton, constitute so large a portion of the means of her prosperity, that the Government could not sustain itself were the supplies of this article cut off. It is easy to divine, therefore, why the people of England are boundless in their denunciation of American slavery, while not a single remonstrance goes up to the throne, against the importation of American cotton. Should she exclude it, the act would render her unable to pay the interest on her national debt; and many a declaimer against slavery, losing his income, would have to go supperless to bed.

Let us contrast the conduct of a pagan government with that of Great Britain. When the Emperor of China became fully convinced of his inability to resist the prowess of the British arms, in the famous "Opium War," efforts were made to induce him to legalize the traffic in opium, by levying a duty on its import, that should yield him a heavy profit. This he refused to do, and recorded his decision in these memorable words:

"It is true, I can not prevent the introduction of the flowing poison. Gain-seeking and corrupt men will, for profit and sensuality, defeat my wishes, but nothing will induce me to derive a revenue from the vice and misery of my people."[94]

Let us revert a moment to the case of robbery, before cited, in further illustration of this subject. The prisoners serve out their term in Bridewell, and, after a year or two, again visit London with a cargo of cotton. The police recognize them, and they are a second time arraigned before the court for trial. The judge demands why they should have dared to revisit the soil of England, to offer for sale the products of their robbery. The prisoners assure his honor that they have neither outraged the public sentiment of the kingdom, nor violated its laws. "While in your prison, sir," they go on to say, "we became instructed in the morals of British economics. Anxious to atone for our[212] former fault, and to restore ourselves to the confidence and respect of the pious subjects of your most gracious Queen, no sooner were we released from prison, than we hastened to the African coast, from whence our former cargo was obtained, and seizing the self-same men whom we had formerly robbed, we bore them off, bodily, to the soil of Texas. They resisted sturdily, it is true, but we mastered them. We touched none of the fruits of their previous labors. Their cotton we left in the fields, to be drenched by the rains or drifted by the winds; because, to have brought it into your markets would have subjected us, anew, to a place in your dungeons. In Texas, we brought our prisoners under the control of the laws, which there give us power to hold them as slaves. Stimulated to labor, under the lash of the overseer, they have produced a crop of cotton, which is now offered in your markets as a lawful article of commerce. We are not subjects of your Government, and, therefore, not indictable under your laws against slave trading. Your honor, will perceive, then, that our moral relations are changed. We come now to your shores, not as dealers in stolen property, but as slaveholders, with the products of slave labor. We are aware that bunkum speakers, at your public assemblies, denounce the slaveholder as a thief, and his appropriation of the fruits of the labor of his slaves, as robbery. We comprehend the motives prompting such utterances. We come not to attend meetings of Ecclesiastical Conventions, representing the republican principles of America, to unsettle the doctrines upon which the throne of your kingdom is based. But we come as cotton planters, to supply your looms with cotton, that British commerce may not be abridged, and England, the great civilizer of the world, may not be forced to slack her pace in the performance of her mission. This is our character and position; and your honor will at once see that it is your duty, and the interest of your Government, to treat us as gentlemen and your most faithful allies." The judge at once admits the justice of their plea, rebukes the police, apologizes to the prisoners, assures them that they have violated no law of the realm; and that, though the public sentiment of the nation denounces the slaveholder as a thief, yet the public necessity demands a full supply of cotton from the planter. He then orders their immediate discharge, and invites them to partake of the hospitalities of his house during their stay in London.[213]

This is a fair example of British consistency, on the subject of slavery, so far as the supply of cotton is concerned. The English manufacturers are under the absolute necessity of procuring it; but as free labor is incapable of increasing its production, slave labor must be made to remedy the defect.

The reason can now be clearly comprehended, why abolitionists have had so little moral power over the conscience of the slaveholder. Their practice has been inconsistent with their precepts; or, at least, their conduct has been liable to this construction. Nor do we perceive how they can exert a more potent influence, in the future, unless their energies are directed to efforts such as will relieve them from a position so inconsistent with their professions, as that of constantly purchasing products which they, themselves, declare to be the fruits of robbery. While, therefore, things remain as they are, with the world so largely dependent upon slave labor, how can it be otherwise, than that the system will continue to flourish? And while its products are used by all classes, of every sentiment, and country, nearly, how can the slaveholder be brought to see any thing, in the practice of the world, to alarm his conscience, and make him cringe, before his fellow-men, as a guilty robber?

But, has nothing worse occurred from the advocacy of the per se doctrine, than an exhibition of inconsistency on the part of abolitionists, and the perpetuation of slavery resulting from their conduct? This has occurred. Three highly respectable religious denominations, now limited to the North, had once many flourishing congregations in the South. On the adoption of the per se doctrine, by their respective Synods, their congregations became disturbed, were soon after broken up, or the ministers in charge had to seek other fields of labor. Their system of religious instruction, for the family, being quite thorough, the slaves were deriving much advantage from the influence of these bodies. But when they resolved to withhold the gospel from the master, unless he would emancipate, they also withdrew the means of grace from the slave; and, so far as they were concerned, left him to perish eternally! Whether this course was proper, or whether it would have been better to have passed by the morality of the legal relation, in the creation of which the master had no agency, and considered him, under Providence, as the moral guardian of the slave, bound to discharge a guardian's duty to an immortal being,[214] we shall not undertake to determine. Attention is called to the facts, merely to show the practical effects of the action of these churches upon the slave, and what the per se doctrine has done in depriving him of the gospel.

Another remark, and we have done with this topic. Nothing is more common, in certain circles, than denunciations of the Christian men and ministers, who refuse to adopt the per se principle. We leave others to judge whether these censures are merited. One thing is certain: those who believe that slavery is a great civil and social evil, entailed upon the country, and are extending the gospel to both master and slave, with the hope of removing it peacefully, can not be reproached with acting inconsistently with their principles; while those who declare slavery malum in se, and refuse to fellowship the Christian slaveholder, because they consider him a robber, but yet use the products of slave labor, may fairly be classified, on their own principles, with the hypocritical people of Israel, who were thus reproached by the Most High: "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth?. . . . . When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him."[95]



In concluding our labors, there is little need of extended observation. The work of emancipation, in our country, was checked, and the extension of slavery promoted:—first, by the neglect of the free colored people to improve the advantages afforded them; second, by the increasing value imparted to slave labor; third, by the mistaken policy into which the English and American abolitionists have fallen. Whatever reasons might now be offered for emancipation, from an improvement of our free colored people, is far more than counterbalanced by its failure in the West Indies, and the constantly increasing value of the labor of the slave. If, when the planters had only a moiety of the markets for cotton, the value of slavery was such as to arrest emancipation, how must the obstacles be increased, now, when they have the monopoly of the markets of the world? And, besides all this, a more deadly blow, than has been given by all other causes combined, is now levelled at negro freedom from a quarter the least suspected. The failure of the Canadian immigrants to improve the privileges afforded them under British law, proves, conclusively, that the true laws of progress for the African race, do not consist in a mere escape from slavery.

We propose not to speak of remedies for slavery. That we leave to others. Thus far this very perplexing question, has baffled all human wisdom. Either some radical defect must have existed, in the measures devised for its removal, or the time has not yet come for successfully assailing the institution. Our work is completed, in the delineation we have given of its varied relations to our agricultural, commercial, and social interests. As the monopoly of the culture of cotton, imparts to slavery its economical value, the system will continue as long as this monopoly is maintained. Slave labor products have now become necessities of human life, to the extent of more than half the commercial articles supplied to the Christian world. Even free labor, itself, is made largely subservient to slavery, and vitally interested in its perpetuation and extension.

Can this condition of things be changed? It may be reasonably doubted, whether any thing efficient can be speedily accomplished:[216] not because there is lack of territory where freemen may be employed in tropical cultivation, as all Western and Central Africa, nearly, is adapted to this purpose; not because intelligent free labor, under proper incentives, is less productive than slave labor; but because freemen, whose constitutions are adapted to tropical climates, will not avail themselves of the opportunity offered for commencing such an enterprise.

King Cotton cares not whether he employs slaves or freemen. It is the cotton, not the slaves, upon which his throne is based. Let freemen do his work as well, and he will not object to the change. The efforts of his most powerful ally, Great Britain, to promote that object, have already cost her people many hundreds of millions of dollars, with total failure as a reward for her zeal; and she is now compelled to resort to the expedient of employing the slave labor of Africa, to meet the necessities of her manufacturers. One-sixth of the colored people of the United States are free; but they shun the cotton regions, and have been instructed to detest emigration to Liberia. Their improvement has not been such as was anticipated; and their more rapid advancement can not be expected, while they remain in the country. The free colored people of the British West Indies, can no longer be relied on to furnish tropical products, for they are resting contented in a state of almost savage indolence; and the introduction of coolie labor has become indispensable as a means of saving the Islands from ruin, as well as of forcing the negro into habits of industry. Hayti is not in a more promising condition; and even if it were, its population and territory are too limited to enable it to meet the increasing demand. His Majesty, King Cotton, therefore, is forced to continue the employment of his slaves; and, by their toil, is riding on, conquering and to conquer! He receives no check from the cries of the oppressed, while the citizens of the world are dragging forward his chariot, and shouting aloud his praise!

King Cotton is a profound statesman, and knows what measures will best sustain his throne. He is an acute mental philosopher, acquainted with the secret springs of human action, and accurately perceives who can best promote his aims. He has no evidence that colored men can grow his cotton, except in the capacity of slaves. Thus far, all experiments made to increase the production of cotton, by emancipating the slaves employed in[217] its cultivation, have been a total failure. It is his policy, therefore, to defeat all schemes of emancipation. To do this, he stirs up such agitations as lure his enemies into measures that will do him no injury. The venal politician is always at his call, and assumes the form of saint or sinner, as the service may demand. Nor does he overlook the enthusiast, engaged in Quixotic endeavors for the relief of suffering humanity, but influences him to advocate measures which tend to tighten, instead of loosing the bands of slavery. Or, if he can not be seduced into the support of such schemes, he is beguiled into efforts that waste his strength on objects the most impracticable; so that slavery receives no damage from the exuberance of his philanthropy. But should such a one, perceiving the futility of his labors, and the evils of his course, make an attempt to avert the consequences; while he is doing this, some new recruit, pushed forward into his former place, charges him with lukewarmness, or pro-slavery sentiments, destroys his influence with the public, keeps alive the delusions, and sustains the supremacy of King Cotton in the world.

In speaking of the economical connections of slavery, with the other material interests of the world, we have called it a tripartite alliance. It is more than this. It is quadruple. Its structure includes four parties, arranged thus: The Western Agriculturists; the Southern Planters; the English Manufacturers; and the American Abolitionists! By this arrangement, the abolitionists do not stand in direct contact with slavery; they imagine, therefore, that they have clean hands and pure hearts, so far as sustaining the system is concerned. But they, no less than their allies, aid in promoting the interests of slavery. Their sympathies are with England on the slavery question, and they very naturally incline to agree with her on other points. She advocates Free Trade, as essential to her manufactures and commerce; and they do the same, not waiting to inquire into its bearings upon American slavery. We refer now to the people, not to their leaders, whose integrity we choose not to indorse. The free trade and protective systems, in their bearings upon slavery, are so well understood, that no man of general reading, especially an editor, or member of Congress, who professes anti-slavery sentiments, at the same time advocating free trade, will ever convince men of intelligence, pretend what he may, that he is not either woefully perverted in his judgment, or emphatically,[218] a "dough-face" in disguise! England, we were about to say, is in alliance with the cotton planter, to whose prosperity free trade is indispensable. Abolitionism is in alliance with England. All three of these parties, then, agree in their support of the free trade policy. It needed but the aid of the Western farmer, therefore, to give permanency to this principle. His adhesion has been given, the quadruple alliance has been perfected, and slavery and free trade nationalized!

Slavery, thus intrenched in the midst of such powerful allies, and without competition in tropical cultivation, has become the sole reliance of King Cotton. Lest the sources of his aggrandisement should be assailed, we can well imagine him as being engaged constantly, in devising new questions of agitation, to divert the public from all attempts to abandon free trade and restore the protective policy. He now finds an ample source of security, in this respect, in agitating the question of slavery extension. This exciting topic, as we have said, serves to keep politicians of the abolition school at the North in his constant employ. But for the agitation of this subject, few of these men would succeed in obtaining the suffrages of the people. Wedded to England's free trade policy, their votes in Congress, on all questions affecting the tariff, are always in perfect harmony with Southern interests, and work no mischief to the system of slavery. If Kansas comes into the Union as a slave State, he is secure in the political power it will give him in Congress; but if it is received as a free State, it will still be tributary to him, as a source from whence to draw provisions to feed his slaves. Nor does it matter much which way the controversy is decided, so long as all agree not to disturb slavery in the States where it is already established by law. Could King Cotton be assured that this position will not be abandoned, he would care little about slavery in Kansas; but he knows full well that the public sentiment in the North is adverse to the system, and that the present race of politicians may readily be displaced by others who will pledge themselves to its overthrow in all the States of the Union, Hence he wills to retain the power over the question in his own hands.

The crisis now upon the country, as a consequence of slavery having become dominant, demands that the highest wisdom should be brought to the management of national affairs. Slavery,[219] nationalized, can now be managed only as a national concern. It can now be abolished only with the consent of those who sustain it. Their assent can be gained only by employing other agents to meet the wants it now supplies. It must be superseded, then, if at all, by means that will not injuriously affect the interests of commerce and agriculture, to which it is now so important an auxiliary. None other will be accepted, for a moment, by the slaveholder. To supply the existing demand for tropical products, except by the present mode, is impossible. To make the change, is not the work of a day, nor of a generation. Should the influx of foreigners continue, such a change may, one day, be possible. But to effect the transition from slavery to freedom, on principles that will be acceptable to the parties who control the question; to devise and successfully sustain such measures as will produce this result; must be left to statesmen of broader views and loftier conceptions than are to be found among those at present engaged in this great controversy.

Take a more particular view of this subject, in the light of the commercial operations of the United States, for the year 1859, as best indicating the relations of the North and the South, and their mutual dependence upon each other. The total value of the imports of foreign commodities, including specie, was $338,768,130.[96] Of this $20,895,077 were re-exported, leaving for home consumption, $317,873,053—an amount more than eleven times greater than the whole foreign commerce of Great Britain one hundred and fifty-six years ago, and more than four times greater than her exports eighty-six years ago.[97]

Let us inquire how this immense foreign commerce is sustained; how these $317,873,000 of foreign imports are paid for by the American people; and how far the Northern and Southern States respectively have contributed to its payment. More than one-half the amount, or $161,434,923, was paid in raw cotton, and more than one-third of the remainder, or $57,502,305, in the precious metals; leaving less than $100,000,000 to be paid in the other productions of the country. More than one-third of this remainder was paid in cotton fabrics, tobacco, and rice; while the products of the forest, of the sea, and of various minor manufactures,[220] swelled up our credits, so that the exports of breadstuffs and provisions, needed to liquidate the debt, only amounted to a little over $38,000,000.[98] Of this amount the exports, from the Northern States, of wheat and wheat flour, made up only $15,262,769, and the corn and corn meal but $2,206,396. "King Hay," so much lauded for his magnitude and money value, never once ventured on board a merchant vessel, to seek a foreign land, so as to aid in paying for the commodities which we imported.[99] In a word, the products of the forest and of agriculture, exported by the free States, amounted in value to about $45,300,000; while the same classes of products, supplied for export by the Slave States, amounted to more than $193,400,000.[100]

The economical relations of the North and the South can now be understood more clearly than they could be from the statistics referred to in the body of this work. The facts, in relation to the commerce of the United States, for 1859, were not accessible until after the stereotyping had been completed; and they are only crowded in here by omitting two or three pages of remarks of another kind, but of less importance, which closed the volume. By consulting Table XII, and two or three of the others, which contain similar facts, covering the commercial operations of the country since the year 1821, the whole question of the relations of the North and the South can be fully comprehended. It will be seen that the exports of tobacco, which are mainly from the South, have equaled in value considerably more than one-third the amount of that of breadstuffs and provisions; and that, in the same period, the exports of cotton have exceeded in value those of breadstuffs and provisions to the amount of $1,421,482,261.[101] Here, now, a just conception can be formed of the importance of cotton to the commerce of the country, as compared with our other productions. The amount exported, of that article, in the last thirty-nine years, has exceeded in value the exports of breadstuffs[221] and provisions to the extent of fourteen hundred and twenty-one millions of dollars! Verily, Cotton is King!

Another point needs consideration. It is a fact, not to be questioned, that the productions of the Northern States amount to an immense sum, above those of the Southern States, when valued in dollars and cents; but the proportion of the products of the former; exported to foreign countries, is very insignificant, indeed, when compared with the value of the exports from the latter.[102] And, yet, the North is acquiring wealth with amazing rapidity. This fact could not exist, unless the Northern people produce more than they consume—unless they have a surplus to sell, after supplying their own wants. They must, therefore, find a permanent and profitable market, somewhere, for the surplus products that yield them their wealth. As that market is not in Europe, it must be in the Southern States. But the extent to which the South receive their supplies from the North, cannot be determined by any data now in the possession of the public. It must, however, be very large in amount, and, if withheld, would greatly embarrass the Southern people, by lessening their ability to export as largely as hitherto. So, on the other hand, if the Northern people were deprived of the markets afforded by the South, they would find so little demand elsewhere for their products, that it would have a ruinous effect upon their prosperity. All that can be safely said upon this subject is, that the interests of both sections of the country are so intimately connected, so firmly blended together, that a dissolution of the Union would be destructive to all the economical interests of both the North and the South. Cut off from the South all that the North supplies to the planters, in such articles as agricultural implements, furniture, clothing, provisions, horses, and mules, and cotton culture would at once have to be abandoned to a great extent. But would the South alone be the sufferer? Could the Northern agriculturist, manufacturer, and mechanic, remain prosperous, and continue to accumulate wealth, without a market for their products? Could Northern merchants dwell in their palaces, and roll in luxury, with a foreign commerce contracted to one-third of its present extent, and a domestic demand for merchandize reduced to one-half its present amount? Certainly not.


And if the mere necessity of self supply, of food and clothing, such as existed in 1820, would now be disastrous to the South, and react destructively upon the North, what would be the effect of emancipation upon the country at large? What would be the effect of releasing from restraint three and a half millions of negroes, to bask in idleness, under the genial sunshine of the South, or to emigrate hither and thither, at will, with none to control their actions? It is too late to insist that free labor would be more profitable than slave labor, when negroes are to be the operatives: Jamaica has solved that problem. It is too late to claim that white labor could be made to take the place of black labor, while the negroes remain upon the ground: Canada, and the Northern States, demonstrate that the two races cannot be made to labor together peacefully and upon terms of equality. Nothing is more certain, therefore, than that emancipation would inevitably place the Southern States in a similar position to that of Jamaica. On this point take a fact or two.

The Colonial Standard,[103] of the 13th January, 1859, in speaking of the present industrial condition of that Island, says, that there are not more than twenty thousand laborers who employ themselves in sugar cultivation for wages. This will seem astonishing[223] to those who expected so much from emancipation, when it is stated that the black population of Jamaica, when liberated from slavery, numbered three hundred and eleven thousand, six hundred and ninety two; and that the exports of sugar from the Island, in 1805, before the slave trade was prohibited, amounted to 237,751,150 lbs.;[104] while, in 1859, the exports of that staple commodity, only amounted to 44,800,000 lbs.[105] It will thus be seen that the exports of sugar from Jamaica is now less than one-fifth of what it was in the prosperous days of slavery; and so it must be as to cotton, in the South, were emancipation forced upon this country. And what would be the condition of our foreign commerce, and what the effect upon the country, generally, were the exports of the South diminished to less than one-fifth of their present amount? Would the lands of the Northern farmers still continue to advance in price, if the markets for the surplus products of the soil no longer existed? Would those of the Southern planters rise in value, in the event of emancipation, to an equality with the lands at the North, when no laborers could be found to till the soil? No man entitled to the name of statesman—no man of practical common sense—could imagine that such a result would follow the liberation of the slaves in the Southern States. Under the philanthropic legislation of Great Britain, no such result followed the passage of the act for the abolition of slavery in her colonies; but, on the contrary, the value of their real estate soon became reduced to a most ruinous extent; and such must inevitably be the result under the adoption of similar measures in the United States. This is the conviction of the men of the South, and they will act upon their own judgment.

There are strong indications that the views presented in the first edition of this work, and reported in the subsequent issues, are rapidly becoming the views of intelligent and unprejudiced men everywhere. At a late date in the British Parliament, Lord Brougham made a strong anti-American cotton and anti-American slavery speech. The London Times, thus "takes the backbone[224] all out of his argument, and leaves him nothing but his sophistries to stand on," thus:

"Lord Brougham and the veterans of the old Anti-Slavery Society do not share our delight at this great increase in the employment of our home population. Their minds are still seared by those horrible stories which were burnt in upon them in their youth, when England was not only a slave-owning, but even a slave-trading State. Their remorse is so great that the ghost of a black man is always before them. They are benevolent and excellent people; but if a black man happened to have broken his shin, and a white man were in danger of drowning, we much fear that a real anti-slavery zealot would bind up the black man's leg before he would draw the white man out of the water. It is not an inconsistency, therefore, that while we see only cause of congratulation in this wonderful increase of trade, Lord Brougham sees in it the exaggeration of an evil he never ceases to deplore.

"We, and such as we, who are content to look upon society as Providence allows it to exist—to mend it when we can, but not to distress ourselves immoderately for evils which are not of our creation—we see only the free and intelligent English families who thrive upon the wages which these cotton bales produce. Lord Brougham sees only the black laborers who, on the other side of the Atlantic, pick the cotton pods in slavery. Lord Brougham deplores that in this tremendous exportation of a thousand millions of pounds of cotton, the lion's share of the profits goes to the United States, and has been produced by slave labor. Instead of twenty-three millions, the United States now send us eight hundred and thirty millions, and this is all cultivated by slaves. It is very sad that this should be so, but we do not see our way to a remedy. There seems to be rather a chance of its becoming worse.

"If France, who is already moving onwards in a restless, purblind state, should open her eyes wide, should give herself fair-play, by accepting our coals, iron, and machinery, and, under the stimulus of a wholesome competition, should take to manufacturing upon a large scale, even these three millions of slaves will not be enough. France will be competing with us in the foreign cotton markets, stimulating still further the produce of Georgia and South Carolina. The jump which the consumption of cotton in[225] England has just made is but a single leap, which may be repeated indefinitely. There are a thousand millions of mankind on the globe, all of whom can be most comfortably clad in cotton. Every year new tribes and new nations are added to the category of cotton-wearers. There is every reason to believe that the supply of this universal necessity will, for many years yet to come, fail to keep pace with the demand, and in the interest of that large class of our countrymen to whom cotton is bread, we must continue to hope that the United States will be able to supply us in years to come with twice as much as we bought of them in years past. 'Let us raise up another market,' says the anti-slavery people. So say we all. . . . . .

"But even Lord Brougham would not ask us to believe that there is any proximate hope that the free cotton raised in Africa will, within any reasonable time, drive out of culture the slave-grown cotton of America. If this be so, of what use can it be to make irritating speeches in the House of Lords against a state of things by which we are content to profit? Lord Brougham and Lord Grey are not men of such illogical minds as to be incapable of understanding that it is the demand of the English manufacturers which stimulates the produce of slave-grown American cotton. They are, neither of them, we apprehend, so reckless or so wicked as to close our factories and to throw some two millions of our manufacturing population out of bread. Why, then, these inconsequent and these irritating denunciations? Let us create new fields of produce of we can; but, meanwile, it is neither just nor dignified to buy the raw material from the Americans, and to revile them for producing it."

We have said that the more popular belief, in reference to the moral character of slavery, now prevailing throughout the world, ranks it as identical in principle with despotic forms of government. Here arises a question of importance. Can despotism be acknowledged by Christians as a lawful form of government? Those who hold the view of slavery under consideration, answer in the affirmative. The necessity of civil government, they say, is denied by none. Society can not exist in its absence. Republicanism can be sustained only where the majority are intelligent and moral. In no other condition can free government be maintained. Hence, despotism establishes itself, of necessity, more or less absolutely, over an ignorant or depraved people; obtaining[226] the acquiescence of the enlightened, by offering them security to person and property. Few nations, indeed, possess moral elevation sufficient to maintain republicanism. Many have tried it, have failed, and relapsed into despotism. Republican nations, therefore, must forego all intercourse with despotic governments, or acknowledge them to be lawful. This can be done, it is claimed, without being accountable for moral evils connected with their administration. Elevated examples of such recognitions are on record. Christ paid tribute to Cæsar; and Paul, by appealing to Cæsar's tribunal, admitted the validity of the despotic government of Rome, with its thirty millions of slaves. To deny the lawfulness of despotism, and yet hold intercourse with such governments, is as inconsistent as to hold the per se doctrine, in regard to slavery, and still continue to use its products.

How far masters in general escape the commission of sin, in the treatment of their slaves, or whether any are free from guilt, is not the point at issue, in this view of slavery. The mere possession of power over the slave, under the sanction of law, is held not to be sinful; but, like despotism, may be used for the good of the governed. That Southern masters are laboring for the good of the slave, to an encouraging extent, is apparent from the missionary efforts they are sustaining among the slave population. And when it is considered that the African race, under American slavery, have made much greater progress than they have ever done in any other part of the world; and that the elevating influences are now greatly increased among them; it is to be expected that dispassionate men will be disposed to leave the present condition of things undisturbed, rather than to rush madly into the adoption of measures that may prove fatal to the existence of the Union.




Sentiments have been quoted from the proceedings of the public meetings held by the fathers of the Revolution, which, when taken in connection with the language of the Declaration of Independence, seem to favor the opinion that it was their purpose to extend to the colored people all the privileges to be secured by that struggle. An examination of the historical records, leads to the conclusion, that no such intention existed on the part of the statesmen and patriots of that day. The opinions expressed, with scarcely an exception, show that they viewed the slave trade and slavery as productive of evils to the colonies, and calculated to retard their prosperity, if not to prevent their acquisition of independence. The question of negro slavery was one of little moment, indeed, in the estimation of the colonists, when compared with the objects at which they aimed; and the resolutions adopted, which bound them not to import any more slaves, or purchase any imported by others, was a blow aimed at the commerce of the mother country, and designed to compel Parliament to repeal its obnoxious laws. But the resolutions themselves must be given, as best calculated to demonstrate what were the designs of those by whom they were adopted. Before doing this, however, it is necessary to ascertain what were the relations which the North American Colonies bore to the commerce of the British Empire, and why it was, that the refusal any longer to purchase imported slaves would be so ruinous to Great Britain, and her other colonies. When this is done, and not till then, can the full meaning of the resolutions be determined. Such were the links connecting these colonies with England—with the West Indies—and with the African slave trade, conducted by British merchants—that more than one-half of the commerce of the mother country was directly or indirectly under their control. The facts on this subject are extracted from the debates in the British Parliament, and especially from the speech of Hon. Edmund Burke, on his resolutions, of March 22d, 1775, for conciliation with America.[106] He said:—

"I have in my hand two accounts; one, a comparative statement of the export trade of England to its colonies, as it stood in the year 1704, and as it stood in the year 1772. The other, a state of the export trade of this country to its colonies alone, as it stood in 1772, compared with the whole trade of England to all parts of the world, (the colonies included,) in the year 1704.[228] They are from good vouchers; the latter period from the accounts on your own table, the earlier, from an original manuscript of Davenant, who first established the Inspector General's Office, which has been, ever since his time, so abundant a source of Parliamentary information.

"The export trade to the colonies, consists of three great branches. The African, which, terminating almost wholly in the colonies, must be put to the account of their commerce; the West Indian, and the North American. All these are so interwoven, that the attempt to separate them would tear to pieces the contexture of the whole; and if not entirely destroy, would very much depreciate the value of all the parts. I, therefore, consider these three denominations to be, what in effect they are, one trade.

"The trade to the colonies, taken on the export side, at the beginning of this century, that is, in the year 1704, stood thus:

"Exports to North America and the West Indies      $2,416,325
To Africa    433,325

"In the year 1772, which I take as a middle year, between the highest and lowest of those lately laid on your table, the account was as follows:

"To North America and the West Indies$23,958,670
To Africa4,331,990
To which, if you add the export trade from Scotland, which had, in 1704, no existence   1,820,000

"From a little over two millions and three quarters, it has grown to over thirty millions.[107] It has increased no less than twelve fold. This is the state of the colony trade, as compared with itself at these two periods, within this century; and this is matter for meditation. But this is not all. Examine my second account. See how the export trade to the colonies alone, in 1772, stood in the other point of view, that is, as compared to the whole trade of England, in 1704.

"The whole trade of England, including that to the colonies, in 1704    $32,545,000
Export to the colonies alone, in 1772 30,120,000

"The trade with America alone, is now within less than two millions and a half of being equal to what this great commercial nation, England, carried on at the beginning of this century with the whole world! If I had taken the largest year of those on your table, it would rather have exceeded. But, it will be said, is not this American trade an unnatural protuberance, that has drawn[229] the juices from the rest of the body? The reverse. It is the very food that has nourished every other part into its present magnitude. Our general trade has been greatly augmented; and augmented more or less in almost every part to which it ever extended; but with this material difference, that of the thirty-two millions and a half, which, in the beginning of the century, constituted the whole mass of our export commerce, the colony trade was but one-twelfth part; it is now considerably more than a third of the whole—[which is $80,000,000.] This is the relative proportion of the importance of the colonies at these two periods; and all reasoning concerning our mode of treating them, must have this proportion as its basis; or it is a reasoning, weak, rotten, and sophistical."

It is easy to perceive, from what is said by Mr. Burke, the embarrassments that must fall upon the mother country, in the event of a rebellion in the North American colonies. Take another illustration of this point. More than one-third of the exports of Great Britain were made to North America, the West Indies, and Africa. They stood thus during the three years ending at Christmas, 1773:

Annual average exports to North America$17,500,000
To the West Indies6,500,000
To Africa   3,500,000
Total value of exports    $27,500,000

But this is not all. The total value of the exports of Great Britain to all the world, at this date, was $80,000,000. These exports were made up, in part, of colonial products, tobacco, rice, sugar, etc., to the amount of $15,000,000;—$5,000,000 to foreign countries, and $10,000,000 to Ireland,—which, when added to the $27,500,000, paid for by the colonies, exhibits them as sustaining more than one-half of the commerce of the mother country.[108]

The immediate cause of the alarm which led to the examination of this subject by the Hon. Edmund Burke, and others, of the British Parliament, was the adoption, by the North American colonies, of the policy of non-importation and non-consumption of all English products, whether from the mother country, or any of her colonies; and the non-exportation of any North American products to Great Britain, the West Indies, or any of the dependencies of the crown. This agreement was adopted as a measure of retaliation upon Parliament, for the passage of the Boston Port Bill, which ordered the closing of Boston harbor to all commerce. The measure was first proposed at a meeting of the citizens of Boston, held on May 13, 1774. It was soon seconded by all the principal cities, towns, and counties, throughout the colonies; and when the Continental Congress met at Philadelphia, the terms of the league were drawn up and adopted, October 20, 1774, and went into operation.

A few extracts from memorials to Parliament, praying that the difficulties with North America might be adjusted, and the threatened evils averted, will show how the slave trade was then interwoven with the commerce and national[230] prosperity of Great Britain, and to what extent the American league could affect that prosperity.

In the House of Commons, January 23, 1775: "Mr. Burke then presented a petition of the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty, of the Society of Merchants Venturers of the city of Bristol, under their common seal; which was read, setting forth, That a very beneficial and increasing trade to the British colonies in America, has been carried on from the port of Bristol, highly to the advantage of the kingdom in general, and of the said city in particular; and that the exports from the said port to America, consist of almost every species of British manufactures, besides East India goods, and other articles of commerce; and the returns are made not only in many valuable and useful commodities from thence, but also, by a circuitous trade, carried on with Ireland, and most parts of Europe, to the great emolument of the merchant, and improvement of his Majesty's revenue; and that the merchants of the said port are also deeply engaged in the trade to the West India islands, which, by the exchange of their produce with America, for provisions, lumber, and other stores, are thereby almost wholly maintained, and consequently, become dependent upon North America for support; and that the trade to Africa, which is carried on from the said port to a very considerable extent, is also dependent upon the flourishing state of the West India islands, and America; and that these different branches of commerce give employment not only to a very numerous body of artists and manufacturers, but also to a great number of ships, and many thousand seamen, by which means a very capital increase is made to the naval strength of Great Britain. . . . . . The passing certain acts of Parliament, and other measures lately adopted, caused such a great uneasiness in the minds of the inhabitants of America, as to make the merchants apprehensive of the most alarming consequences, and which, if not speedily remedied, must involve them in utter ruin. And the petitioners, as merchants deeply interested in measures which so materially affect the commerce of this kingdom, and not less concerned as Englishmen, in every thing that relates to the general welfare, cannot look without emotion on the many thousands of miserable objects, who, by the total stop put to the export trade of America, will be discharged from their manufactories for want of employment, and must be reduced to great distress."[109]

January 26, 1775. A petition of the merchants and tradesmen of the port of Liverpool, was presented to the House, and read, setting forth: "That an extensive and most important trade has been long carried on, from said town to the continent and islands of America; and that the exports from thence infinitely exceed in value the imports from America, from whence an immense debt arises, and remains due to the British merchant; and that every article which the laborer, manufacturer, or more ingenious artist, can furnish for use, convenience, or luxury, makes a part in these exports, for the consumption of the American; and that those demands, as important in amount as various in quality, have for many seasons been so constant, regular, and diffusive, that they are now become essential to the flourishing state of all their manufactures, and of consequence[231] to every ndividual in these kingdoms; and that the bread of thousands in Great Britain, principally and immediately depends upon this branch of commerce, of which a temporary interruption will reduce the hand of industry to idleness and want, and a longer cessation of it would sink the now opulent trader in indigence and ruin; and that at this particular season of the year, the petitioners have been accustomed to send to North America many ships wholly laden with the products of Britain; but by the unhappy differences at present subsisting, from whatever source they flow, the trade to these parts is entirely at a stand; and that the present loss, though great, is nothing, when compared with the dreadful mischiefs which will certainly ensue, if some effectual remedy is not speedily applied to this spreading malady, which must otherwise involve the West India islands, and the trade to Africa, in the complicated ruin; but that the petitioners can still, with pleasing hopes, look up to the British Parliament, from whom they trust that these unhappy divisions will speedily be healed, mutual confidence and credit restored, and the trade of Britain again flourishing with undecaying vigor."[110]

March 16, 1775. To the question "From what places do the sugar colonies draw food for subsistence?" the answer, given before Parliament, was, in part, as follows: "I confine myself at present to necessary food. Ireland furnishes a large quantity of salted beef, pork, butter, and herrings, but no grain. North America supplies all the rest, both corn and provisions. North America is truly the granary of the West Indies; from whence they draw the great quantities of flour and biscuit for the use of one class of people, and of Indian corn for the support of all the others; for the support, not of man only, but of every animal . . . . . . North America also furnishes the West Indies with rice . . . . . . North America not only furnishes the West Indies with bread, but with meat, with sheep, with poultry, and some live cattle; but the demand for these is infinitely short of the demand for the salted beef, pork, and fish. Salted fish, (if the expression may be permitted in contrast with bread,) is the meat of all the lower ranks in Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands. It is the meat of all the slaves in the West Indies. Nor is it disdained by persons in better condition. The North American colonies also furnishes the sugar colonies with salt from Turks' Island, Sal Tortuga, and Anguilla; although these islands are themselves a part of the West Indies. The testimony which some experience has enabled me to bear, you will find confirmed, Sir, by official accounts. The same accounts will distinguish the source of the principal, the great supply of corn and provisions. They will fix it precisely in the middle colonies of North America; in those colonies who have made a public agreement in their Congress, to withhold all their supplies after the tenth of next September. How far that agreement may be precipitated in its execution, may be retarded or frustrated, it is for the wisdom of Parliament to consider: but if it is persisted in, I am well founded to say, that nothing will save Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands from the dreadful consequences of absolute famine. I repeat, the famine will not be prevented. The distress will fall[232] upon them suddenly; they will be overwhelmed with it, before they can turn themselves about to look for relief. What a scene! when rapine, stimulated by hunger, has broken down all screens, confounded the rich with the poor, and leveled the freeman with his slave! The distress will be sudden. The body of the people do not look forward to distant events; if they should do this, they will put their trust in the wisdom of Parliament. Suppose them to be less confident in the wisdom of Parliament, they are destitute of the means of purchasing an extraordinary stock. Suppose them possessed of the means; a very extraordinary stock is not to be found at market. There is a plain reason in the nature of the thing, which prevents any extraordinary stock at market, and which would forbid the planter from laying it in, if there was; it is, that the objects of it are perishable. In those climates, the flour will not keep over six or eight weeks; the Indian corn decays in three months; and all the North American provisions are fit only for present use."[111]

To the question, what are the advantages of the sugar colonies to Great Britain? it was answered: "The advantage is not that the profits all centre here; it is, that it creates, in the course of attaining those profits, a commerce and navigation in which multitudes of your people, and millions of your money are employed; it is that the support which the sugar colonies received in one shape, they give in another. In proportion to their dependence on North America, and upon Ireland, they enable North America and Ireland to trade with Great Britain. By their dependence upon Great Britain for hands to push the culture of the sugar-cane, they uphold the trade of Great Britain to Africa. A trade which in the pursuit of negroes, as the principal, if not the only intention of the adventurer, brings home ivory and gold as secondary objects. In proportion as the sugar colonies consume, or cause to be consumed, among their neighbors, Asiatic commodities, they increase the trade of the English East India Company. In this light I see the India goods which are carried to the coast of Guinea.[112]

To the question, what proportion of land in the Leeward Islands, being applied to raising provisions, would supply the negroes with provisions, on an estate of two hundred hogsheads, for instance? it was answered: "The native products of the Islands are very uncertain; all so, but Guinea corn; therefore, much more land would be applied to this purpose than would be necessary to raise the supply for the regular constant consumption. They must provide against accidents, such as hurricanes, excess of wet weather, or of dry weather, the climate being very uncertain; it is, therefore, impossible to answer this question precisely; but this I can say, that if they were obliged to raise their own food, that their food then must be their principal object, and sugar only a secondary object; it would be but the trifle, which provisions are now."[113]

The testimony in reference to Jamaica, was very similar to that quoted in[233] relation to Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands; except that as Jamaica had more unimproved land, and greater diversity of soil and climate, it might, in time, stand prepared to meet the shock. But as the emergency was likely to be sudden and unexpected, much suffering must ensue in the outset of the non-intercourse policy.

It is only necessary to add a few remarks, from the speech of Mr. Glover, in summing up the testimony. He said: "From this ground see what is put in hazard; not merely a monied profit, but our bulwark of defense, our power in offense—the acts and industry of our Nation. Instead of thousands and tens of thousands of families in comfort, a navigation extensive and enlarging, the value and rents of lands yearly rising, wealth abounding, and at hand for further improvements, see or foresee, that this third of our whole commerce, that sole basis of our Empire, and this third in itself the best, once lost, carries with it a proportion of our national faculties, our treasure, our public revenue, and the value of land, succeeded in its fall by a multiplication of taxes to reinstate that revenue, an increasing burden on every increasing estate, decreasing by the reduced demand of its produce for the support of Manufactures, and menaced with a heavier calamity still—the diminution of our Marine, of our seamen, of our general population, by the emigration of useful subjects, strengthening that very country you wish to humble, and weakening this in the sight of rival powers, who wish to humble us.

"To recapitulate the heads of that material evidence delivered before you, would be tedious in me, unnecessary in itself. Leaving it, therefore, to its own powerful impression, I here add only, in a general mode of my own, that of the inhabitants of those Islands, above four hundred thousand are blacks, from whose labor the immense riches there, so distinctly proved at your bar, are derived, with such immense advantage to these kingdoms. How far these multitudes, if their intercourse with North America is stopped, may be exposed to famine, you have heard. One-half in Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, say one hundred thousand negroes, in value at least twenty millions of dollars, possibly, it grieves me to say probably, may perish. The remainder must divert to provisions the culture of the produce so valuable to Great Britain. The same must be the practice in great part throughout Jamaica and the new settled acquisitions. They may feel a distress just short of destruction, but must divert for subsistence so much labor as, in proportion, will shorten their rich product."[114]

The North American colonies could not have devised a measure so alarming to Great Britain, and so well calculated to force Parliament into the repeal of her obnoxious laws, as this policy of non-intercourse. It would deprive the West Indies of their ordinary supplies of provisions, and force them to suspend their usual cultivation, to produce their own food. It would cause not only the cessation of imports from Great Britain into the West Indies, on account of the inability of its people to pay, but would, at once, check all demand for slaves, both in the sugar Islands and in North America—thus creating[234] a loss, in the African trade alone, of three and a half millions of dollars, and putting in peril one-half of the commerce of England.

We are now prepared to introduce the resolutions, passed by the North American colonies, on the subject of the slave trade and slavery. It is not considered necessary to burden our pages with a repetition of the whole of the accompanying resolutions. They embraced every item of foreign commodities, excepting in a few instances where medicines, saltpetre, and other necessaries, were exempted from the prohibition. In a few counties, though they condemned the slave trade, they excepted negroes, and desired to retain the privilege of procuring them. This was in the early part of the movement. When the Continental Congress came to act upon it, no such exemption was made.

On May 17, 1774, the citizens of Providence, Rhode Island, met and acquiesced in the Boston resolutions. Their proceedings closed with this declaration: "Whereas, the inhabitants of America are engaged in the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as personal liberty is an essential part of the natural rights of mankind, the deputies of the town are directed to use their endeavors to obtain an act of the General Assembly, prohibiting the importation of negro slaves in this colony; and that all negroes born in the colony should be free at a certain age."

Prince George county, Virginia, June 1774, responded to Boston, and added this resolution: "Resolved, That the African trade is injurious to this colony, obstructs the population of it by freemen, prevents manufacturers and other useful emigrants from Europe from settling among us, and occasions an annual balance of trade against the colony."[115]

Culpepper County, Virginia, July 7, 1774 acquiesced in the non-intercourse policy, and added this resolution: "Resolved, That the importing slaves and convict servants, is injurious to this colony, as it obstructs the population of it with freemen and useful manufacturers, and that we will not buy such slave or convict hereafter to be imported."[116]

The Provincial Convention, at Charleston, South Carolina, July 6, 7, 8, 1774, resolved to acquiesce in the Boston non-intercourse measures, and the merchants agreed not to import goods or slaves, until the grievances were redressed.[117]

Nansemond County Virginia, July 11, 1774, gave full assent to the Boston measures, and also "Resolved, That the African trade is injurious to this colony, obstructs the population of it by freemen, prevents manufacturers and other useful emigrants from Europe from settling among us, and occasions an annual increase of the balance of trade against the colony ."[118]

Caroline County, Virginia, July 14, 1774, cordially acceded to the Boston policy, and also "Resolved, That the African trade is injurious to this colony, obstructs our population by freemen, manufacturers, and others, who would emigrate from Europe and settle here, and occasions a balance of trade against the country that ought to be associated against."[119]


Surry County, Virginia, July 6, 1774, decided to sustain the Bostonians and also "Resolved, That as the population of this colony, with freemen and useful manufacturers, is greatly obstructed by the importation of slaves and convict servants, we will not purchase any such slaves or servants, hereafter to be imported."[120]

Fairfax County, Virginia, July 18, 1774, took ground strongly with Boston, and further "Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that during our present difficulties and distress, no slaves ought to be imported into any of the British colonies on the continent; and we take this opportunity of declaring our most earnest wishes to see an entire stop forever put so such a wicked, cruel, and unnatural trade."[121]

Hanover county, Virginia, July 20, 1774, sustained the Boston resolutions, and also "Resolved, That the African trade for slaves, we consider as most dangerous to virtue and the welfare of this country; we therefore most earnestly wish to see it totally discouraged."[122]

Prince Ann County, Virginia, July 27, 1784, adopted the Boston policy, most distinctly, and also "Resolved, That our Burgesses be instructed to oppose the importation of slaves and convicts as injurious to this colony, by preventing the population of it by freemen and useful manufacturers."[123]

The Virginia Convention of Delegates, which met at Williamsburgh, August 1, 1774, fully indorsed the non-intercourse policy, medicines excepted, and in their resolutions declared: "We will neither ourselves import, nor purchase any slave or slaves imported by any other person, after the first day of November next, either from Africa, the West Indies, or any other place."[124]

The North Carolina Convention of Delegates, which met at Newbern, August 24, 1774, fully indorsed the non-intercourse policy, and also passed this among their other resolutions: "Resolved, That we will not import any slave or slaves, or purchase any slave or slaves, imported or brought into this Province by others, from any part of the world, after the first day of November next."[125]

And, finally, the Continental Congress, which met at Philadelphia, Sept. 5, 1774, in passing its non-importation, non-exportation, and non-consumption Agreement, included the following as the second article of that document:

"That we will neither import nor purchase any slave imported after the first day of December next; after which time we will wholly discontinue the slave trade, and will neither be concerned in it ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels, nor sell our commodities or manfactures to those who are concerned in it."[126]

To afford a clear view of the reasons which prompted the colonies to adopt such stringent measures to compel Parliament to repeal its oppressive acts, it is only necessary to quote the very brief summary of grievances of which they complained, as drawn up by the Pennsylvania Convention, which met in Philadelphia, July 15, 1774:

"The legislative authority claimed by Parliament over these colonies, consists[236] of two heads: first, a general power of internal legislation; and, secondly, a power of regulating our trade; both, she contends, are unlimited. Under the first may be included, among other powers, those of forbidding us to worship our Creator in the manner we think most acceptable to him—imposing taxes on us—collecting them by their own officers—enforcing the collection by Admiralty Courts, or Courts Martial—abolishing trials by jury—establishing a standing army among us in time of peace, without consent of our Assemblies—paying them with our money—seizing our young men for recruits—changing constitutions of government—stopping the press—declaring any action, even a meeting of the smallest number, to consider of peaceable modes to obtain redress of grievances, high treason—taking colonists to Great Britain to be tried—exempting 'murderers' of colonists from punishment, by carrying them to England, to answer indictments found in the colonies—shutting up our ports—prohibiting us from slitting iron to build our houses, making hats to cover our heads, or clothing to cover the rest of our bodies, etc."[127]

It was in the midst of grievances such as these, and of efforts of redress such as the adoption of the Non-Intercourse Agreement was expected to afford, that the resolutions against the slave trade and slavery were passed. What, then, was their true import? Did the patriots of the Revolution contemplate the enfranchisement of the negro, in the event of securing their own independence? Did their views of free institutions include the idea that barbarism and civilization could coalesce and co-exist in harmony and safety? Or did they not hold, as a great fundamental truth, that a high degree of intelligence and moral principle was essential to the success of free government? And was it not on this very principle, that they opposed the further introduction of negroes from Africa, and afterwards, by a special clause in the Constitution, excluded the Indians from citizenship?

The resolutions which have been quoted, have given rise to much discussion, and have often been misrepresented. By severing them from their connection with the circumstances under which they were adopted, and associating them with the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, that "all men are created equal," the impression has been made that the negroes were to be included in the rights therein claimed. But as they have not been made participants in the benefits of the Revolution, it has been argued that the nation has broken its covenant engagements, and must expect that the judgments of Heaven will be poured out upon her.

Now, what are the facts? The colonists were aiming at a high degree of mental and moral culture, and were desirous of developing the resources of the country, by encouraging the influx of freemen from Europe, and especially of mechanics and manufacturers. They were anxiously looking forward to the time when they could cast off the yoke of oppression which the mother country had forced upon their necks. The multiplication of the negro population was considered as a barrier to the success of their measures, and as most dangerous to virtue and the welfare of the country. It was increasing the indebtedness[237] of the citizens to foreign merchants, and augmenting the balance of trade against the colonies. But there was no settled policy in reference to the future disposition of the colored population. Feelings of pity were manifested toward them, and some expressed themselves in favor of emancipation. The Continental Congress, in addition to its action in the Non-Intercourse Agreement, Resolved, April 6, 1776, "That no slaves be imported into any of the thirteen United Colonies."[128] The Delaware Convention, August 27, 1776, adopted, as the 26th article of its Constitution, that "No person hereafter imported into this State from Africa, ought to be held in slavery on any pretense whatever; and no negro, Indian, or mulatto slave ought to be brought into this State, for sale, from any part of the world."[129]

There was more of meaning in this action, than the resolution, standing alone, would seem to indicate. On the 11th of July, preceding, Gen. Washington wrote to the Massachusetts Assembly, that the enemy had excited the slaves and savages to arms against him;[130] and on November 7th, 1775, Lord Dunmore had issued a proclamation, declaring the emancipation of all slaves "that were able and willing to bear arms, they joining his Majesty's troops, as soon as may be, for the more speedy reducing the colonists to their duty to his Majesty's crown and dignity."[131]

Previous to the commencement of hostilities, the resolutions of the colonists, adverse to the slave trade and slavery, were designed to operate against British commerce; but, after that event, the measures adopted had reference, mainly, to the prevention of the increase of a population that had been, and might continue to be, employed against the liberties of the colonies. That such a course formed a part of the policy of Great Britain, is beyond dispute; and that she considered the prosecution of the slave trade as necessary to her purposes, was clearly indicated by the Earl of Dartmouth, who declared, as a sufficient reason for turning a deaf ear to the remonstrances of the colonists against the further importation of slaves, that "Negroes cannot become republicans—they will be a power in our hands to restrain the unruly colonists." That such motives prompted England to prosecute the introduction of slaves into the colonies, was fully believed by American statesmen; and their views were expressed, by Mr. Jefferson, in a clause in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, but which was afterward omitted.

That the emancipation of the negroes was not contemplated, by those in general, who voted for the resolutions quoted, is evident from the subsequent action of Virginia, where the greater portion of the meetings were held. They could not have intended to enfranchise men, whom they declared to be obstacles in the way of public prosperity, and as dangerous to the virtues of the people. Nor could the signers of the Declaration of Independence have designed to include the Indians and negroes in the assertion that all men are created equal, because these same men, in afterwards adopting the[238] Constitution, deliberately excluded the Indians from citizenship, and forever fixed the negro in a condition of servitude, under that Constitution, by including him, as a slave, in the article fixing the ratio of Congressional representation on the basis of five negroes equaling three white men. The phrase—"all men are created equal"—could, therefore, have meant nothing more than the declaration of a general principle, asserting the equality of the colonists, before God, with those who claimed it as a divine right to lord it over them. The Indians were men as well as the negroes. Both were within the territory over which the United Colonies claimed jurisdiction. The exclusion of both from citizenship under the Constitution, is conclusive that neither were intended to be embraced in the Declaration of Independence.

That the colonists were determined, at any sacrifice, to achieve their own liberties, even at the sacrifice of their slave property, seems to have been the opinion of intelligent Englishmen. Burke, in his speech already quoted, thus dissipates the hopes of those who expected to find less resistance at the South than at the North.

"There is, however, a circumstance attending the [Southern] colonies, which, in my opinion, fully counterbalances this difference, and makes the spirit of liberty still more high and haughty than in those to the Northward. It is that in Virginia and the Carolinas, they have a vast multitude of slaves. Where this is the case, in any part of the world, those who are free, are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Freedom is to them not only an enjoyment, but a kind of rank and privilege. Not seeing there that freedom, as in countries where it is a common blessing, and as broad and general as the air, may be united with much abject toil, with great misery with all the exterior of servitude, liberty looks, among them, like something that is more noble and liberal. I do not mean, sir, to commend the peculiar morality of this sentiment, which has at least as much pride as virtue in it; but I can not alter the nature of man. The fact is so; and these people of the Southern colonies are much more strongly, and with a higher and more stubborn spirit, attached to liberty, than those to the Northward. Such were all the ancient commonwealths; such were our Gothic ancestors; such in our days were the Poles; and such will be all masters of slaves, who are not slaves themselves. In such a people the haughtiness of domination combines with the spirit of freedom, fortifies it, and renders it invincible."



When the author was carefully collating the facts from the Record of Major Lachlan, in reference to the fugitive slaves in Canada, he was not aware that he should be so fortunate as to obtain, from other sources, any testimony in their support. Canada has all along been a sealed book to the public of the States, so far as the condition of blacks, who had escaped thither, were concerned. Since the completion of the stereotyping of the volume, and just as it was about ready for the press, the New York Herald, of January 5, reached us. It embraces a detailed report on this important subject, which was prepared by a special agent, who visited the settlements he describes. It is very interesting to find, that the opinions and predictions of Major Lachlan, made in 1841 to 1850, as to the results of colored immigration into Canada, should be so fully sustained and fulfilled, by a report upon the actual facts in 1859.

It may be remarked, here, that we believe a crisis has arrived in the history of the free colored people of the United States, which demands the most calm and serious consideration; and we would remind the more intelligent colored men, that the honor of conducting their fellow-men in the road to a high civilization, will be as great as are the honors heaped upon the few of the white race, who have been the master spirits in bringing up their fellow-men to the pinnacle of greatness upon which they now stand. More than one field, for the accomplishment of this object, now presents itself; and, as the darkest hour is said to be that which immediately proceeds the dawn of day; it may be hoped that the lowering clouds now overshadowing their prospects, will soon be dissipated by a brighter sun, that shall reveal the highway of their deliverance.

But to the extracts from the Herald. After giving a detailed account of the whole subject of negro immigration into Canada, together with the particulars of the results of the several attempts at founding settlements for the refugees, the Herald's reporter sums up the whole matter thus:


"While, as we have seen, the British abolitionists in Canada are laboring with the republican abolitionists of America to entice away the slave property of the South, and to foment a servile insurrection in the Southern States, and a disruption of the Union, there are men of sense and of honor among our neighbors over the borders, who deplore this interference of their countrymen in the affairs of the republic, and appreciate the terrible catastrophe to which, if persevered in, it must eventually lead. I conversed with a prominent abolitionist in Chatham, holding a public position of trust and honor, who told me that the first suggestion of the Harper's Ferry attack was made to Brown by British abolitionists in Chatham, and who assured me that he had himself subscribed money to aid Brown in raising men for the service in Ohio and elsewhere in the[240] States. In reply to some questions I put to him, he stated that he and his associates on the other side looked with expectation and hope to the day, not far distant, when a disruption of the Union would take place; for that, in that case, the British abolitionists would join the republican abolitionists of America in open warfare upon the slaveholding States. When I reminded him that the patriotic men of the North would raise a barrier of brave hearts, through which such traitors would find it difficult to reach the Southern States, he replied—'Oh, we have often talked over and calculated upon that; but you forget that we should have the negroes of the South to help us in their own homes against their oppressors, with the knife and the fire-brand.'

"I conversed on the other hand with conservative, high-minded men, who expressed the most serious apprehension that the bold and unjustifiable association of Canadian abolitionists with the negro stealers and insurrectionists of America would eventually plunge the two countries into war.

"We have seen that the immigration of fugitive slaves into Canada is unattended by any social or moral good to the negro. It is injurious, also, to the white citizens of Canada, inasmuch as it depresses the value of their property, diminishes their personal comfort and safety, and destroys the peace and good order of the community. Mr. Sheriff Mercer, of Kent county, assured me that the criminal statistics of that county prove that nine-tenths of the offenses against the laws are committed by colored persons. The same proportion holds good in Essex county, and the fact is the more startling when it is remembered that the blacks do not at present number more than one-fourth of the whole population.

"In the township of Anderdon, Essex county, this fall, nearly every sheep belonging to the white farmers has been stolen. The fact was presented in the return of the Grand Jury of the county, and some twelve negro families, men, women and children, were committed to jail on the charge of sheep stealing. The cases of petit larceny are incredibly numerous in every township containing negro settlements, and it is a fact that frequently the criminal calendars would be bare of a prosecution but for the negro prisoners.

"The offenses of the blacks are not wholly confined to those of a light character. Occasionally some horrible crime startles the community, and is almost invariably attended by a savage ferocity peculiar to the vicious negro. If a murder is committed by a black, it is generally of an aggravated and brutal nature. The offense of rape is unfortunately peculiarly prevalent among the negroes. Nearly every assize is marked by a charge of this character. A prominent lawyer of the Province, who has held the position of public prosecutor, told me that his greatest dread was of this offense, for that experience had taught him that no white woman was safe at all times, from assault, and those who were rearing daughters in that part of Canada, might well tremble at the danger by which they are threatened. He told me that he never saw a really brutal look on the human face until he beheld the countenances of the negroes charged with the crime of rape. When the lust comes over them they are worse than the wild beast of the forest. Last year, in broad daylight, a respectable white woman, while walking in the public road within the town of Chatham, was knocked down by a black savage and violated. This year, near Windsor, the[241] wife of a wealthy farmer, while driving alone in a wagon, was stopped by a negro in broad daylight, dragged out into the road, and criminally assaulted in a most inhuman manner. It was impossible to hear the recital of these now common crimes without a shudder.

"The fugitive slaves go into Canada as beggars, and the mass of them commit larceny and lay in jail until they become lowered and debased, and ready for worse crimes. Nor does there seem at present a prospect of education doing much to better their condition, for they do not appear anxious to avail themselves of school privileges as a general rule. The worse class of blacks are too poor and too indolent to clothe their children in the winter, and their services are wanted at home in the summer. The better class affect airs as soon as they become tolerably well to do, and refuse to send their little ones to any but white schools. In Windsor there are two public colored schools, but the negroes of that place choose to refuse to allow their children to attend these institutions, and sent them to the schools for whites. They were not admitted, and two of the black residents, named Jones and Green, tested the question at law, to try whether the trustees or teachers had a right to exclude their children. It was decided that the trustees had such power, when separate schools were provided for colored persons.

"That property is seriously depreciated in all neighborhoods in which the negroes settle is a well known fact. Mr. S. S. Macdonnel, a resident of Windsor, and a gentleman of high social and political position, is the owner of a large amount of real estate in that place. The Bowyer farm, a large tract of land belonging to him, was partitioned into lots some few years since, and sold at auction. Some of the lots were bid in by negroes of means, among others, by a mulatto named De Baptiste, residing in Detroit. As soon as the white purchasers found that negroes were among the buyers, they threw up their lots, and since then the value of the property has been much depressed. In several instances Mr. Macdonnel paid premiums to the negroes to give up their purchases, where they had happened to buy in the midst of white citizens. At a subsequent sale of another property, cut up into very fine building lots, by the same gentleman, one of the conditions of sale announced was, that no bid should be received from colored persons. De Baptiste attended and bid in a lot. When his bid was refused, he endeavored to break up the auction in a row, by the aid of other negroes, and failing in this, brought an action at law against Mr. Macdonnel. This Mr. M. prepared to defend, but it was never pressed to a trial. These incidents, together with the attempt of the Windsor negroes to force their children into the schools for whites, illustrate the impudent assumption of the black, as soon as he becomes independent, and the deeply seated antipathy of the whites in Canada to their dark skinned neighbors. At the same time it is observable that the 'free negro' in Canada—that is, the black who was free in the States—endeavors to hold his head above the 'fugitive,' and has a profound contempt for the escaped slave.

"As I desired to obtain the views of intelligent Canadians upon the important questions before me, I requested a prominent and wealthy citizen of Windsor to favor me with a written statement of his observations on the effect of the negro immigration and received the following hastily prepared and brief communication,[242] in reply. The opinions expressed are from one of the most accomplished gentlemen in the Province, and are worthy of serious consideration, although the public position he occupies renders it proper that I should not make public use of his name:—

"'Windsor, Dec. 23, 1859.

"'My Dear Sir—In reply to your request, I beg to say that I would cheerfully give you my views at length upon the important topics discussed at our interview, did not my pressing engagements just now occupy too much of my time to make it possible that I should do more than hastily sketch down such thoughts as occur to me in the few moments I can devote to the subject.

"'The constant immigration of fugitives from slavery into the two western counties of the Province of Canada, Kent and Essex, has become a matter for serious consideration to the landed proprietors in those counties, both as it effects the value and salability of real estate, and as rendering the locality an undesirable place of abode.

"'It is certain that ever since large numbers of fugitive slaves have, by means of the organization known here and in the States as "the Underground Railroad," and of such associations as the Dawn and Elgin Institutes and the Refugee Home Society, been annually introduced into these two counties, no settlers from the old country, from the States, or from the eastern part of Canada, have taken up lands there. And there is every reason to assign the fact of there being a large colored population, and that population constantly on the increase, as the chief cause why these counties do not draw a portion at least of the many seeking Western homes.

"'Kent and Essex have been justly styled "the Garden of Upper Canada." The soil in most parts of the counties cannot be excelled in richness and fertility, and the climate is mild and delightful. There are thousands of acres open for sale at a moderate price, but it now seldom happens that a lot of wild land is taken up by a new comer. The farmer who has achieved the clearing of the land that years ago was settled upon may wish to extend his possessions for the sake of his sons who are growing up, by the acquisition of an adjoining or neighboring piece of wild land; but seldom or never is the uncleared forest intruded upon now by the encampment of emigrant families.

"'It may be broadly asserted, first, in general, that the existence of a large colored population in Kent and Essex has prevented many white settlers from locating there who otherwise would have made a home in one of those counties; and, secondly, that in particular instances it constantly occurs that the sale of a lot of land is injuriously affected by reason of the near settlement of colored people.

"'Next, as to the general feeling of the gentry and farmers who live in the midst of this population: All regard it with dissatisfaction, and with a foreboding—an uncomfortable anticipation for the future, as they behold the annual inpouring of a people with whom they have few or no sympathies in common, many of whose characteristics are obnoxious and bad, and who have to make a commencement here, in the development of their better nature, should they possess any, from perhaps the lowest point to which the human mind can be degraded, intellectually and morally.[243]

"'There is undoubtedly hardly a well thinking person whose heart is not touched with a feeling of pity for the unfortunates who present themselves as paupers, in the name of liberty, to become denizens of our country. And it would, doubtless, be a great moral spectacle to witness these escaped slaves, as they are sometimes pictured by professional philanthropists, rendering themselves happy in their freedom, acquiring property, surrounding themselves with the comforts, if not the elegancies of life, and advancing themselves intellectually, socially and politically. But, alas for human nature! If the negro is really fitted by the Creator to enjoy freedom as we enjoy it, the habits of mind and of action, however baneful they may be, that have been long exercised, are not to be suddenly broken or changed; and the slave who was idle, and lying, and thievish in the South, will not obtain opposite qualities forthwith by crossing the line that makes him free.

"'This is not said in a spirit of malevolence toward the colored people that are here and are brought here, but as presenting their case as it really is, and as explaining the position in which residents of these counties are placed, or will be placed, if this continuous flow from the slave States is poured in by means of the organizations and societies formed for that purpose in many of the Northern States of America, and fostered and aided by many indiscreet men in our own country.

"'The main argument in favor of the free school system is, that it is a benefit to all to be surrounded by an intelligent and moral community, and for such a benefit every property holder should be glad to contribute his quota. Is there, then, any need of asking the question, if the people of these counties desire the sort of population that comes to them from the Southern States?

"'What is the condition of the negroes on their arrival here? What their progress in the acquisition of property and knowledge, and their conduct as citizens?

"'There are very few indeed who arrive here with sufficient means at once to acquire a farm, or to enter into business of any kind. The great mass of them may be called paupers, claiming aid from the societies through whose agency they are brought out. Some of these societies hold large tracts of land, which they sub-divide and sell to new comers upon long time, but with conditions as to clearing, residence, etc., that are difficult of observance. I believe there is much trouble in carrying out this plan, arising in some measure from the peculiarities of negro character—a want of constancy or steadiness of purpose, as well as from a feeling of distrust as to their having the land secured to them. If the land is not purchased from any of these societies, a parcel of ten or fifteen colored families get together and purchase and settle upon some other spot.

"While there are instances of colored men accumulating property here, the great mass of them fail even in securing a living without charity or crime. They have but little forethought for the future, and care only to live lazily in the present. The criminal records of the county show that nine-tenths of the offenses are committed by the colored population, and I think the experience of every citizen who resides near a settlement will testify to their depredating habits.[244]

"'I have given you thus hurriedly and disconnectedly my views on these subjects. They are important enough to demand more time and consideration in their discussion, but I believe the opinions I have advanced you will find shared in by a large proportion of the residents of the Province. I am, my dear sir, faithfully yours.'            —— ——.

"In addition to the testimony of the writer of the above communication, my views upon the subject under examination were confirmed by the valuable opinion of the Hon. Colonel Prince, the representative of the county in the Provincial Parliament for a long term of years. Colonel Prince has bestowed much consideration upon the negro question, and he has practical experience of the condition and conduct of the colored population. In June, 1858, in the course of a debate in the Legislative Council, Col. Prince was reported to have spoken as follows:

"'In the county of Essex the greatest curse that befell them was the swarm of blacks that infested that county. They were perfectly inundated with them. Some of the finest farmers of the county of Kent had actually left their beautiful farms, so as not to be near this terrible nuisance. If they looked over the criminal calendars of the country they would see that the majority of names were those of colored people. They were a useless, worthless, thriftless set of people, too lazy and indolent to work, and too proud to be taught. . . . . Were the blacks to swarm the country and annoy them with their rascalities? Honorable gentlemen might speak feelingly for the negroes, but they had never lived among them as he had done. Notwithstanding all that he said about them, they would say, if asked on the subject, that they had no better friend than Col. Prince. But there was no use in trying to get the white man to live with them. It was a thing they would not do. There was a great sympathy always expressed for the black man who escaped from the slave life; but he had lived with them twenty-five years, and had come to the conclusion that the black man was born for servitude, and was not fit for any thing else. He might listen to the morbid philanthropy of honorable gentlemen in favor of the negro; but they might as well try to change the spots of the leopard as to change the character of the blacks. They would still retain their idle and thievish propensities.'

"While Col. Prince claims that he was very inaccurately reported, and that he never said one word in favor of slavery, which he professes to abhor with a holy horror, he yet adheres to the opinion that the colored race is not fit to live and mix in freedom with the whites. He deplores deeply the action of such of his countrymen as improperly interfere in the affairs of the States, and condemns the lawless running off of slaves from the South, and the attempts to raise servile insurrection in the slaveholding States. As a constitutional British gentleman, he reveres the laws, and believes that where they are bad, or where the constitution of a country is unwise, the remedy lies in the power of the people by legal means. He sees the evil effect, morally and socially, of the influx of fugitive slaves into Canada, and would shut them out if he could. He knows that the negroes form an enormous portion of the criminals of his county, and the county of Kent, and he is doubly annoyed that men who come[245] from servitude to freedom should abuse their privileges as the negroes do. He admits that every distinct attempt to make a settlement of negroes self-supporting and prosperous, has failed, and he believes that the negro is not yet fit for self-government, and requires over him a guiding, if not a master's hand.

Col. Prince is a gentleman of the old school—hale, hearty and whole-souled—and does not fear to express the sentiments he entertains.

"The lessons taught by an examination into the action of the Canadian abolitionists, and of the condition and prospects of the fugitive slaves in the Province, should be made useful to the American people. The history of the past proves that Great Britain would gladly destroy the Union of the States, which makes the American republic a leading power among nations. As in days past she sought to accomplish this object through the instrumentality of traitors and of the foes of the Union, so now she seeks aid in her designs from the republican abolition enemies of the confederacy in our own States. The intrigues of the British emissaries in Canada should stay the hand of every man who fancies that in helping to rob the South of its slaves he is performing an act of humanity; for they should teach him that he is but helping on the designs of those who look eagerly to the slavery agitation and the sectional passions engendered thereby, to accomplish a disruption of the Union, and encompass the failure of our experiment of free government. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Let our merchants and our farmers carefully consider these facts, and then reflect upon what they are required by the abolition agitators to do. To what end are the systematized negro stealing of the North, the attempts to incite insurrection at the South, and their natural results, a dissolution of the Union, to lead? Are we to render New York and the other free States subject to the same deplorable evils as afflict the western counties of Canada? Are our Northern farmers willing to have the value of their lands depreciated, and to subject their crops and stock to constant depredations by inviting here the same class of neighbors that at present deplete whole Canadian townships of their sheep? Unless we desire to accomplish such results, why, under a mistaken idea of charity to the negro, do we take him from a life of usefulness and content at the South to plant him in freedom and suffering at the North? Why do we consent to help forward, directly or indirectly, an agitation that can only incite a disruption of the Union and bring upon us the very evils we deplore?"


Since the volume was in type, the Supreme Court of Ohio has made a decision of great importance to the free colored people. We copy from the Law Journal, December, 1859:


"The Supreme Court of Ohio, on Tuesday, on a question before them involving the right of colored children to be admitted into the Common Schools of the State, decided that the law of the State interfered with no right of[246] colored children on the subject, and that they were not, therefore, entitled of right to the admission demanded. The following is the reported statement of the case:

"'Enos Van Camp vs. Board of Equalization of incorporated village of Logan, Hocking County, Ohio. Error to District Court of Hocking County.

"'Peck J. held:

"'1. That the statute of March 14, 1853, 'to provide for the reorganization, supervision, and maintenance of Common Schools, is a law of classification and not of exclusion, providing for the education of all youths within the prescribed ages, and that the words 'white' and 'colored,' as used in said act, are used in their popular and ordinary signification.

"'2. That children of three-eighths African and five-eighths white blood, but who are distinctly colored, and generally treated and regarded as colored children by the community where they reside, are not, as of right, entitled to admission into the Common Schools, set apart under said act, for the instruction of white youths.

"'Brinkherhoff, C. J., and Sutliff, J., dissented.'"

(From the Cincinnati Gazette.)


Last Wednesday a bill passed by the Massachusetts Legislature authorizing colored persons to join military organizations, was vetoed by Gov. Banks, on the ground that he believed the chapter in the bill relating to the militia, in which the word "white" was stricken out, to be unconstitutional. In this opinion he is sustained by the Supreme Court and by the Attorney General.

The matter was discussed in the House at some length, and the veto sustained by a vote of 146 to 6.

A new chapter was then introduced on leave, and it being precisely the same as the other, except that the word "white" was restored, it passed the House with but one negative vote.

Under a suspension of the rules the new bill was then sent to the Senate, where, after debate, it was passed by a vote of 11 to 15.

The Governor signed the new bill, and the Legislature adjourned sine die.


Rev. Dr. Fuller, of Baltimore, has written a long letter to Hon. Edward Everett, in regard to the present state of things as regards slavery. We subjoin two or three specimens:—Cincinnati Gazette.

"In June, 1845, there assembled in Charleston a body of men, representing almost all the wisdom and wealth of South Carolina. There were present, also, delegates from Georgia, and I believe from other States. It was a meeting[247] of the association for the improvement, moral and religious, of the slave population. The venerable Judge Huger presided. Having been appointed to address that large and noble audience, I did not hesitate to speak my whole mind: appealing to masters to imitate the Antonines and other magnanimous Roman Emperors, to become the guardians of their slaves, to have laws enacted protecting them in their relations as husbands and wives and parents; to recognize the rights which the Gospel asserts for servants as well as masters. In a word, I pressed upon them the solemn obligations which their power over these human beings imposed upon them—obligations only the more sacred, because their power was so irresponsible.

"That august assembly not only honored me with their attention, but expressed their approval, the presiding officer concurring most emphatically in the views submitted.

"I need scarcely tell you that no such address would be regarded as wise or prudent at this time. It is not that masters are less engaged in seeking to promote the moral and religious well-being of their servants; but measures which once could have been adopted most beneficially would now only expose master and servant to the baneful influence of fanatical intermeddling.

"If any thing is certain, it is that the Gospel does not recognise hatred, abuse, violence and blood as the means by which good is to be done. The Gospel is a system of love. It assails no established social relations, but it infuses love into the hearts of those who are bound together, and thus unites them in affection."

Again he says:

"I think I speak accurately when I say, that hitherto every sacrifice for the emancipation of slaves has been made by Southern men; and many hundred thousand dollars have been expended in such liberations. The North has wasted large sums for abolition books and lectures; for addresses calculated to inflame the imaginations of women and children, and to mislead multitudes of men—most excellent and pious—but utterly ignorant as to the condition of things at the South. We now find, indeed, that money has been contributed even for the purchase of deadly weapons to be employed against the South, and to enlist the most ferocious passions in secret crusades, compared with which an open invasion by foreign enemies would be a blessing. I believe, however, that not one cent has yet been given to set on foot—or even encourage when proposed—any plausible enterprise for the benefit of the slave."

"I do now believe that the guardianship of a kind master is at this time a great blessing to the African. If emancipation is ever to take place, it will be gradually, and under the mild, but resistless influence of the Gospel. Whether slavery be an evil or not, we at the South did not bring these Africans here—we protested against their introduction. The true friend of the African is at the South, and thousands of hearts there are seeking to know what can be done for the race. There must be some limits to human responsibility, and a man in New England has no more right to interfere with the institutions of Virginia, than he has to interfere with those of England or France. All such interference[248] will be repelled by the master, but it will prove injurious to the slave. Dr. Channing was regarded as a leading abolitionist in his day, but could that noble man now rise up, he would stand aghast at the madness which is rife everywhere on this subject. 'One great principle, which we should lay down as immovably true, is, that if a good work cannot be carried on by the calm, self-controlled, benevolent spirit of Christianity, then the time for doing it has not yet come.' Such was his language, when opposing slavery. Were he now living, the delirious spirit of the day would denounce him, as it denounced Mr. Webster, and now denounces you and every true patriot. Nay, even Mr. Beecher is abused as not truculent enough.

"Jesus saw slavery all around him. Did he seek to employ force? He said 'All power in heaven and earth is given unto me, therefore, go teach, go preach the Gospel.'"


The New Orleans Picayune notices that a vessel cleared from that port on the previous day, having on board eighty-one free colored persons, emigrating to Hayti. The Picayune says:

"These people are all from the Opelousas parishes, and all cultivators—well versed in farming, and in all the mechanical arts connected with a farm. Among them are brickmakers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters, etc. Some of them are proficient weavers, who have long been employed making the stuff called Attakapas cottonade, so favorably known in the market. They take along with them the necessary machinery for that trade, and all sorts of agricultural and mechanical implements.

"These eighty-one persons—twenty-four adults and fifty-seven children and youths—compose fourteen families, or rather households, for they are all related, and the eighty-one may be called one family. They are all in easy circumstances, some even rich, one family being worth as much as $50,000. They were all land owners in this State, and have sold out their property with the intention of investing their capital in Hayti."—

Cincinnati Commercial, January, 1860.


It may be well to put upon record one of those extreme cases of hardship and cruelty which necessarily accompany the transportation of laborers to the West Indies, whether under the name of the slave trade, or coolie immigration. The China correspondent of the New York Journal of Commerce, of a recent date, says: The Flora Temple, an English vessel, had made all arrangements to secure a full cargo of coolies. They were cheated, inveigled, or stolen, and either taken directly to the ship or else confined in the barracoons in Macao till the[249] ship was ready to sail for Havanna—the crew numbering fifty, and the coolies eight hundred and fifty. The vessel sailed October 8, 1859, when the coolies soon learned their destiny, and resolved to avert it at all hazards. On the morning of the 11th, without weapons of any kind, they rushed upon the guard and killed him. The noise brought the captain and his brother on deck, fully armed with revolvers, who by rapid firing and resolutely pressing forward, drove the miserable wretches below; where, without light and air, they were locked and barred like felons, in a space too limited to permit their living during the long voyage before them. Think of eight hundred and fifty human beings all full grown men, pressed into this contracted, rayless, airless dungeon, in which they were to be deported from China to Havana, all the long way over the China sea, the Indian ocean, and the Atlantic!

On the 14th, the vessel struck upon an unknown reef, a gale of wind in the meantime blowing, and the sea running high. Every effort was made to save the ship by the officers and crew; the poor coolies, battened down beneath the decks, being allowed no chance to aid in saving the ship or themselves. Although the yards were "braced around" and the ship "hove aback," she struck first slightly, and then soon after several times with a tremendous crash, the breakers running alongside very high. Pieces of her timbers and planking floated up on her port side, and after some more heavy thumps she remained apparently immovable. The water rapidly increased in the hold till it reached the "between-decks," where the eight hundred and fifty coolies were confined.

While this was going on, indeed, almost immediately after the ship first struck, the officers and crew very naturally became afraid of the coolies for the treatment they had received, and the captain ordered the boats to be lowered, not to save the coolies in whole or in part, but to preserve himself and crew. These boats, even under favorable circumstances, were not more than sufficient for the officers and crew, showing that no provision had been made for the poor coolies in case of disaster. The boats passed safely through the breakers, leaving the ship almost without motion, all her masts standing, her back broken, and the sea making a clear break over her starboard and quarter.

When the boats left the ship, and steered away, without making an effort to save the eight hundred and fifty coolies, or allowing them to do any thing themselves, with their last look toward the ship they saw that the coolies had escaped from their prison through doors which the concussion had made for them, and stood clustering together, helpless and despairing, upon the decks, and gazing upon the abyss which was opening its jaws to receive them. My friend assures me that he knows these poor creatures were completely imprisoned all the night these terrible occurences were going on, the hatches being "battened down," and made as secure as a jail door under lock and bars.

The ship was three hundred miles from land when it struck, and after fourteen days of toil and struggle, one of the boats only succeeded in reaching Towron, in Cochin-China. The three other boats were never heard of. Here the French fleet was lying; and the admiral at once sent one of his vessels to the fatal scene of the disaster, where some of the wreck was to be seen; but not a single coolie! Every one of the eight hundred and fifty had perished.





Years.Great Britain Annual
Import and Consumption
of Cotton,
from earliest dates
to 1858, in lbs.
United States'
Annual Exports
Cotton to
Great Britain
and Europe


Cotton manufacture first
named in English

Total Imports.
} 1,170,881
} 6,766,613

Total Consumption.
 . . . . . . . . . . .

1747-48, 7 bags of
Cotton were shipped
from Charleston, S. C.,
to England.

1770, 2,000 lbs. shipped
from Charleston.

71 bags shipped
and seized in
England, on the
ground that America
could not produce
so much.

lbs. 189,316

Great Britain's sources of Cotton supplies other than the United States, with total Cotton crop of United States at intervals.Dates of Inventions promoting the growth and manufacture of Cotton, and of movements to elevate the African race.
Previous to 1791 Great Britain obtained her supplies of Cotton from the West Indies and South America, and the countries around the eastern parts of the Mediterranean. From that date she began to receive supplies from the U. S.

1786. Imports by Great Britain from—
Br. W. Indies,lbs. 5,800,000
Fr. and Spanish Colonies5,500,000
Dutch                 do.1,600,000
Portuguese         do.2,000,000
Turkey and Smyrna,5,000,000
1789. Cotton crop of United States, 1,000,000 lbs.
1791. Imports by Great Britain from—
Br. West Indies,lbs. 12,000,000
1794. Cotton crop of the U. S., 8,000,000 lbs.
1796. Cotton crop of the U. S., 10,000,000 lbs.
1798. India, the first imports from, 1,622,000 lbs.
1799. Cotton crop of the U. S., 20,000,000 lbs.
1800. Exports from—
India,lbs. 30,000,000
West Indies,17,000,000

1806. Cotton crop of the U. S., 80,000,000 lbs.

1812. War declared between the United States and Great Britain.

1815. Peace proclaimed between the United States and Great Britain.

1818. Cotton crop of the U. S., 125,000,000 lbs.

1821. Exports from—
West Indies,lbs. 9,000,000
Turkey and Egypt,5,500,000
1822. Cotton crop of the U. S., 210,000,000 lbs.
1828. Cotton crop of the U. S., 325,000,000 lbs.

Imports by Great Britain from West Indies,—
1829.lbs. 4,640,414




1832. Imports by Great Britain from—
Brazil,lbs. 20,109,560
Turkey and Egypt,9,113,890
East Indies and Mauritius5,178,625
British West Indies.1,708,764

1838. Imports by Great Britain from—
Brazil,lbs. 24,464,505
East Indies and Mauritius40,230,064
British West Indies,928,425
1840. Imports by Great Britain from—
British West Indies,lbs. 427,529
1841. Imports by Great Britain from India, 1835 to 1839, annual average, 57,600,000 lbs.
Imports by Great Britain, 1840 to 1844, during the Chinese war, 92,800,000 lbs.
1845.      Do. from Egypt, 32,537,600 lbs.

1848. Imports by Great Britain from—
West Indies and Demarara,lbs. 3,155,600
Brazil and Portuguese Colonies40,080,400
East Indies,91,004,800
Imports by Great Britain from—
1849. East Indies,lbs. 72,800,000
1850.       Do.123,200,000
1852.       Do.84,022,432
1853.       Do.180,431,496
1854.       Do.119,835,968
1855.       Do.145,218,976

1856. Imports by Great Britain from—
British East Indies,lbs. 180,496,624
1857. Imports from—
Brazil,lbs. 29,910,832
1858. Imports from Brazil,lbs. 18,617,872
Do.         Egypt,38,232,320
Previous to the invention of the machinery named below, all carding, spinning, and weaving of wool and cotton had been done by the use of the hand-cards, one-spindle wheels, and common hand-looms. The work, for a long period, was performed in families; but the improved machinery propelled by steam power, has so reduced the cost of cotton manufactures, that all household manufacturing has long since been abandoned, and the monopoly yielded to capitalists, who now fill the world with their cheap fabrics.

1762.  Carding machine invented.
1767.  Spinning Jenny invented.
1769.  Spinning Roller-frame invented.
"  Cotton first planted in the United States.
"  Watt's Steam Engine patented.
1775.  Mule Jenny invented.
1776.  Virginia forbids foreign slave trade.
1780.  Emancipation by Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
1781.  Muslins first made in England.[251]
1784.  Emancipation by Connecticut and Rhode Island.
1785.  Watts' Engine improved and applied to cotton machinery.
   First cotton mill erected, 1783.
1785.  New York Abolition Society organized.
1786.  Carding and spinning machines erected in Massachusetts.
1787.  Power Loom invented.
"  First Cotton mill erected in Beverly, Massachusetts.
"  Pennsylvania Abolition Society formed.
"  Slavery excluded from N. W. Territory, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, &c.
1789.  Franklin issues an appeal for aid to instruct the free blacks.


  Emancipation by New Hampshire.
1793.  Cotton Gin invented.


  Emancipation by New York.
1804.        Do.      New Jersey.
1800.  Cotton consumed in the United States, 200,000 lbs.
1801.  United States exported to—
France,     lbs. 750,000
England      19,000,000
1803.  Louisiana Territory acquired, including the region between the Mississippi river (upper and lower) and the Mexican line.
1805.  United States export to France, 4,500,000 lbs.
1807.  Fulton started his steamboat.
1808.  Slave trade prohibited by United States and England.
1808.  Cotton manufacture established in Boston.
1810.  Cotton consumed in United States, 4,000,000 lbs.
1812.  Two-thirds of steam engines in Great Britain employed in cotton spinning, etc.
[252]1813.  United States export to France, 10,250,000 lbs.
1815.  Power Loom first used in United States.
1816.  First steamboat crossed the British Channel.
1816.  Power Loom brought into general use in England.
1817.  Colonization Society organized.
1819.  Florida annexed.
1820.  Slave trade declared piracy by Congress.
1820.  Emigrants to Liberia first sent.
1821.  Benjamin Lundy published his "Genius of Universal Emancipation."


  United States export to France, 25,000,000 lbs.
1824.         Do.           do.          do.     40,500,000 lbs.
1825.  New York and Erie Canal opened.
   Production and manufacture of cotton now greatly above the consumption, and prices fell so as to produce general distress and stagnation, which continued with more or less intensity throughout 1828 and 1829. The fall of prices was about 55 per cent.—Encyc. Amer.
1826.  Creek Indians removed from Georgia.
1829.  Emancipation in Mexico.
1830.  United States export to France, 75,000,000 lbs.
1831.  Slave Insurrection in Virginia.
1832.  Garrison declares war against the Colonization Society.
1832.  Ohio Canal completed.
1833.  Cotton consumption in France, 72,767,551 lbs.
1834.  Emancipation in West Indies, commenced.
1834.  Birney deserted the Colonization Society.
1835.  United States export to France, 100,330,000 lbs.
1836.  Gerrit Smith repudiates the Colonization Society.
1836.  Cherokee and Choctaw Indians removed from Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.
1837.  American Anti-Slavery Society had an income of $36,000, and 70 agents commissioned.
1838.  Colonization Society had an income of only $10,900.
1840.  Cotton consumed in the United States, 106,000,000 lbs.

  Value of cotton goods imported into the United States $13,286,830.

  Texas annexed.
1846.  Mexican War.
1847.  Gold discovered in California.
1848.  New Mexico and California annexed.
1849.  United States export to France,               151,340,000 lbs.
             Do.   Other Continental countries, 128,800,000 lbs.
1850.  Cotton consumed in United States, 256,000,000 lbs.
1851.  Value of United States cotton fabrics, $61,869,184.
1853.  Value of cottons imported, $27,675,000.
1853.  United States export to England, 768,596,498 lbs.
1853.         Do.            do.     Continent, 335,271,064 lbs.
1855.  United States export to Great Britain and North American Colonies, 672,409,874 lbs.
1855.         Do.            do.     Continent, 322,905,056 lbs.
1855.  Value of Cottons imported, $21,655,624.
The remaining statistics of this column can be found in the other Tables.

Note.—Our commercial year ends June 30: that of England January 1. This will explain any seeming discrepancy in the imports by her from us, and our exports to her.

N. B.—In 1781 Great Britain commenced re-exporting a portion of her imports of Cotton to the Continent; but the amount did not reach a million of pounds, except in one year, until 1810, when it rose to over eight millions. The next year, however, it fell to a million and a quarter, and only rose, from near that amount, to six millions in 1814 and 1815. From 1818, her consumption, only, of cotton, is given, as best representing her relations to slave labor for that commodity. After this date her exports of cotton gradually enlarged, until, in 1853, they reached over one hundred and forty-seven millions of pounds. Of this, over eighty-two millions were derived from the United States, and over fifty-nine millions from India. That is to say, of her imports of 180,431,000 lbs. in 1853, from India, she re-exported 59,000,000.

We are enabled to add, for our second edition, that the imports of Cotton into Great Britain, from India, for 1854, amounted to 119,835,968 lbs., of which 66,405,920 lbs. were re-exported; and that her imports from the same for 1855 amounted to 145,218,976 lbs., of which 66,210,704 lbs. were re-exported; thus leaving, for the former year, but 53,430,048 lbs., and for the latter but 79,008,272 lbs. of East India Cotton for consumption in England. The present condition of cotton supplies from India up to 1859, will be seen in the extracts from the London Economist.



 Value of Exports.Total Value of Products and Animals.Value of portion left for home consumption.
Cattle, and their products,$3,076,897Catt.$400,000,000$396,923,103
Horses and Mules,246,731 300,000,000299,753,269
Sheep and Wool,44,375Sheep,46,000,00045,955,625
Hogs and their products,6,202,324Hogs,160,000,000153,797,676
Indian Corn and Meal,2,084,051Corn,240,000,000237,915,949
Wheat Flour and Biscuit,19,591,817Wheat,100,000,00080,408,183
Rye Meal,34,186Rye,12,600,00012,565,814
Other Grains, and Peas and Beans,165,824 54,144,87453,979,050
Potatoes,152,569 42,400,0042,247,431
Hay, averaged at $10 per ton,(1850)138,385,790138,385,790
Hemp,18,195 4,272,5004,254,305
Sugar—Cane and maple, etc.,427,216(1850)36,900,00036,472,784
Rice,1,657,658 8,750,0007,092,342
Tobacco, and its products,11,319,31919,900,0008,580,681

Note.—This table is left as it was in the first edition. As the census tables supply a portion of its materials, a new statement cannot be made until after 1860.


Coffee,Imported,Value, $15,525,954   lbs.199,049,823
"Slave-Labor production,12,059,476"156,108,569
"Slave-Labor production,14,810,091"459,743,322
Molasses,Imported,$3,684,888   gals.31,886,100
"Slave-Labor production,3,607,160"31,325,735
Tobacco, etc.,Imported,$4,175,238
"Slave-Labor production,3,674,402

Note.—A part of the modifications necessary in this table to adopt it to 1859, can be inferred from some of the tables which follow.



STATES AND CLASSES.1790.1800.1810.1820.1830.1840.1850.
Free Colored6,53714,56122,49230,20237,93047,85453,626
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .12.275.443.422.552.611.20
Slaves3,7371,70679521140364. . . . . .
Free Colored5,4636,4526,7376,7407,0488,6699,064
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .
Free Colored4,65410,37425,33329,27944,87050,02749,069
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .12.2914.411.555.321.14[132].19
Slaves21,32420,34315,01710,088754. . . . . .
Free Colored2,7624,4027,84312,46018,30321,04423,810
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .5.937.815.884.681.491.31
Free Colored3,4693,3043,6093,5543,5613,2383,670
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .[132].47.92[132].15.01[132]901.33
Slaves95238110848175. . . . . .
Free Colored225557750903881730718
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .11.843.462.04[132].24[132]1.71[132]16
[256]Slaves17. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .
Free Colored5388189699291,1901,3551,356
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .5.201.84[132].412.801.38.007
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .2. . . . . .. . . . . .
Free Colored630856970786604537520
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .3.581.33[132]1.89[132]2.31[132]1.10[132].31
Slaves1588. . . . . .. . . . . .31. . . . . .
Free Colored2,8015,3306,4537,8448,0478,1057,693
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .[132].50
Slaves2,759951310972517. . . . . .
Free Colored. . . . . .3371,8994,7239,56817,34225,279
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .46.3514.8710.258.124.57
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .63. . . . . .
Free Colored. . . . . .1633931,2303,6297,16511,262
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .14.1121.2919.509.745.75
Slaves. . . . . .13523719033. . . . . .
Free Colored3,8998,26813,16312,95815,85516,91918,073
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .11.205.88[132].
Free Colored8,04319,58733,92739,73052,93862,07874,723
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .14.357.321.713.321.722.03
Free Colored12,76620,12430,57036,88947,34849,85254,333
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .5.765.992.
Free Colored4,9757,04310,26614,61219,54322,73227,463
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .4.154.574.233.371.632.08
Free Colored1,8013,1854,5546,8267,9218,2768,960
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .7.684.294.981.60.44.82
Free Colored3981,0191,8011,7632,4862,7532,931
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .15.607.67[132].
Free Colored3613091,3172,7274,5555,5246,422
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .[132]1.4432.6210.706.702.121.62
Free Colored. . . . . .1822404585191,366930
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .[132]3.19
Slaves. . . . . .3,48917,08832,81465,659195,211309,878
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .5171,5722,0392,265
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .17.532.971.10
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .41,879117,549252,532342,844
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .6073475961,5742,618
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .[132]4.286.3917.666.63
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .3,01110,22225,09158,24087,422
Free Colored1147411,7132,7594,9177,31710,011
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .55.0013.116.107.824.883.68
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .7,58510,47616,71025,50217,462
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .3.815.955.26[132]3.15
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .34,66069,064109,588168,452244,809
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .6134571,6373,5985,436
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .[132]2.5425.8211.975.10
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .168917747331. . . . . .
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .844817932
Increase or decrease per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .[132].311.40
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .15,50125,71739,310
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .59141465608
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .13.892.291.10
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .1,6174,57619,93547,100
Free Colored. . . . . .. . . . . .1201742617072,583
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .4.505.0017.0825.53
Slaves. . . . . .. . . . . .24. . . . . .32. . . . . .. . . . . .
Free Colored. . . . . .7832,5494,0486,1528,36110,059
Increase per cent. per annum. . . . . .. . . . . .22.555.885.193.592.03
Slaves. . . . . .3,2445,3956,3776,1194,6943,687





Hamilton,2,5763,6004,51618,764  Ashtabula,17433,7721,156
Clermont,1224122,4342,879  Lake,21381,640521
Brown,6148631,5712,129  Geauga,371,816486
Adams,63551,1391,629  Cuyahoga,1213593,9653,545
Scioto,2062111,0421,497  Trumbull,70653,1091,505
Lawrence,1483261,0921,067  Portage,39582,6601,871
Gallia,7991,1983441,972  Summit,421212,2421,326
Meigs,28521,5151,504  Medina,13352,0321,526
Jackson,315391714906  Lorain,622642,693919
Pike,3296186411,156  Huron,106392,2951,411
Highland,7868961,2092,599  Erie,972021,5641,191
Clinton,3775981,640964  Seneca,651512,3321,976
Warren,3416022,3061,821  Sandusky,41471,3821,509
Butler,2543671,9603,235  Ottawa,51369406
Preble,88771,5671,326  Lucas,541391,6181,156
Montgomery,3762492,7463,830  Fulton,[133]1715453
Greene,3446541,9531,357  Williams,20890878
Fayette,239291909757  Defiance,[133]19592626
Ross,1,1951,9062,1602,255  Henry,60440511
Vinton,[133]107722901  Wood,32181,099636
Hocking,461179271,199  Paulding,01362115
Pickaway,3334121,5211,862  Putnam,[133]11528858
Fairfield,3422802,4742,726  Hancock,8261,2381,359
Perry,47291,7721,540  Vanwert,047602483
Athens,551061,6341,072  Allen,23271,235929
Washington,2693902,2121,774  Wyandott,[133]491,1431,106
Morgan,68901,7761,235  Crawford,5101,4491,753
Noble,[133][134]1,3611,030  Richland,65672,2202,329
Monroe,13691,4511,901  Ashland,[133]31,5801,660
Belmont,7427781,7552,856  Wayne,41282,4212,585
Guernsey,1901681,8931,491  Starke,2041593,3433,044
Muskingum,5626312,5513,204  Mahoning,[133]901,5921,552
Franklin,8051,6072,4874,033  Columbiana,4171823,1182,170
Madison,97785621,012  Carroll,49521,5021,082
Clarke,203231,8661,404  Tuscarawas,71892,5522,179
Miami,2116021,7871,977  Coshocton,38442,0642,014
Darke,2002481,6851,829  Holmes,351,1941,675
Champaigne,3284941,3531,463  Knox,63622,1662,135
Union,781281,222829  Morrow,[133]181,6311,371
Delaware,761351,6021,504  Marion,52211,2201,184
Licking,1401282,0213,252  Hardin,414903725
Harrison,1632871,7121,259  Logan,4075361,4241,119
Jefferson,4976652,1561,654  Mercer,204399492968
Shelby,2624079551,286  Auglaise,[133]876431,286
Total, South,14,92421,74572,91595,941  Total, North,2,4503,52473,87759,319




Years.Total Crop.Exports to Various Places.Consumption of U. S. North of Virginia.Stock on hand 1st September.
England.France.Other Points.Total.
18591,606,800,000. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .1,208,561,200304,087,200. . . . . . . . . .

Right IndexConsumption for Virginia and South of that State, for 1859, is estimated at 66,973,600 lbs. The crop year closes, August 31st.




Years.Foreign Imports.Domestic Exports.Years.Foreign Imports.Domestic Exports.
1840.$ 6,504,484$3,549,6071850.$20,108,719$4,734,424

Note. Of the goods imported, a part were re-exported, and the remainder was used in the United States. The re-exports stood as follows, beginning with 1840:—$1,103,489—$929,056—$836,892—$314,040—$404,648—$502,553—$673,203—$486,135—$1,216,172—$571,082—$427,107—$677,940—$977,030—$1,254,363—$1,468,179—$2,012,554—$1,580,495—$570,802—$390,988.—Congress Report on Finances.


1850.lbs. 152,580,310lbs. 134,539,736

Note. The New York Shipping and Commercial List, to which we are indebted for these statements, says, that it includes the quantity withdrawn from our markets, and forwarded inland to Canada and the British Provinces; the amount of which is not ascertained, but will not vary greatly from 2,230,000 lbs., for the last year.




Years.Breadstuffs and Provisions.Cotton.Average Cost per lb. in cents.Tobacco Unmanufactured.
1859  38,171,881  1,372,755,006  161,434,92311.75  21,074,038
 $961,545,275$23,366,357,434$2,383,027,536 $339,274,520

Note. The articles exported which are not included above, are as follows, for 1859:—product of the sea, $4,462,974; product of the forest, $14,489,406; cotton piece goods, manufactured tobacco, spirits, seeds, hemp, and various other articles, $31,579,008. The value of the manufactured tobacco, exported in 1859, and included in the last item, was over $3,334,401, which, added to the $21,074,038, of unmanufactured included above, makes the total exports of tobacco for that year amount to $24,408,439.




Years.Imports entered for Consumption, exclusive of Specie.Domestic Produce Exported, exclusive of Specie.Specie and Bullion.
1859   324,258,159   278,392,080    7,434,789   63,887,411

Note. There is usually re-exported from twenty to thirty million dollars worth of the foreign articles imported. In 1859 the re-exports were to the value of $14,509,971; in 1858 they were $30,886,142; in 1857 they were $23,975,617; and in 1856, but $16,378,578. By adding the re-exports to the imports entered for consumption, the product will show the whole amount of the imports. The above figures are from the Congressional Report on Finances, 1857-8, and the Report on Commerce and Navigation, 1859.




1850.lbs. 319,420,800lbs. 283,183,040lbs. 603,603,840


1850.Gals. 24,806,949Gals. 12,202,300Gals. 37,019,249

Note. The above table is taken from the Shipping and Commercial List, and New York Price Current, January 22, 1859. The sources of supply are the same as when the first edition went to press, and the proportions from slave labor and free labor countries respectively, has undergone very little change. The year ends December 31st, while the Congressional fiscal year ends June 30th.

The value of imports of Sugar, for the year ending June 30, 1858, from a few principal countries, stood thus: Cuba, $15,555,409; Porto Rico, $3,584,503; British West Indies, $386,546; British Guiana, $255,481; British Honduras, $26; Hayti, $851; San Domingo, $5,529.




Years.From United States.From Brazil.From Mediterranean.From East Indies.West Indies and Guiana.Other Countries.Total Imported.Amount Exported.Stocks, December 31.



France2,830,8002,869,2004,230,0003,607,2003,400,0003,684,4004,046,0003,438,400. . . . . . . .
Belgium453,600446,000653,600615,200538,400484,400615,200438,400. . . . . . . .
Holland415,200415,200546,000469,200661,200684,400761,200753,200. . . . . . . .
Germany661,200846,000976,8001,107,6001,592,400822,8001,900,000444,800. . . . . . . .
Trieste915,200884,4001,038,400792,400715,200651,200746,000576,800. . . . . . . .
Genoa, Naples, etc.223,200238,400376,800392,000322,800439,400846,000692,000. . . . . . . .
Spain592,400707,200730,400653,600715,200876,800938,400692,000. . . . . . . .
Russia, Norway, etc.1,169,2001,169,2001,622,8001,600,0001,030,800961,6001,769,2001,538,400. . . . . . . .
Total on Continent7,260,8007,575,60010,174,8009,237,2008,976,0009,414,00011,622,0009,786,000. . . . . . . .
Add Great Britain11,650,00012,795,20014,316,00014,545,20015,131,60016,161,20016,794,80015,626,00016,533,200
Total weekly European Consumption18,910,80020,370,80024,490,80023,882,40024,107,60025,575,20028,416,80025,412,000. . . . . . . .




Wood and its products,$7,829,666    Wood and its products,$2,210,884
Ashes, pot and pearl,643,861    Tar and pitch141,058
Ginseng,54,204    Rosin and turpentine,2,248,381
Skins and furs,1,361,352    Spirits of turpentine,1,306,035


Animals and their products,15,262,769    Animals and their products,287,048
Wheat and wheat flour,15,113,455    Wheat and wheat flour,2,169,328
Indian corn and meal,2,206,396    Indian corn and meal,110,976
Other grains, biscuit, and         Biscuit or ship bread,12,864
vegetables,2,226,585    Rice,2,207,148
Hemp, and Clover seed,546,060    Cotton,161,434,923
Flax seed,8,177    Tobacco, in leaf,21,074,038
Hops,         53,016    Brown sugar,       196,935
 $45,305,541 $193,399,618

Refined sugar, wax, chocolate, molasses,$   550,937
Spirituous liquors, ale, porter, beer, cider, vinegar, linseed oil,1,370,787
Household furniture, carriages, rail-road cars, etc.1,722,797
Hats, fur, silk, palm leaf, saddlery, trunks, valises,317,727
Tobacco, manufactured and snuff,3,402,491
Gunpowder, leather, boots, shoes, cables, cordage,2,011,931
Salt, lead, iron and its manufactures,5,744,952
Copper and brass, and manufactures of,1,048,246
Drugs and medicines, candles and soap,1,933,973
Cotton fabrics of all kinds,8,316,222
Other products of manufactures and mechanics,3,852,910
Coal and ice,818,117
Products not enumerated,4,132,857
Gold and silver, in coin and bullion,57,502,305
Products of the sea, being oil, fish, whalebone, etc.    4,462,974
Add Northern exports,45,305,541
Add Southern exports,  193,399,618
Total exports,$335,894,385

Explanatory Note.—The whole of the exports from the ports of Delaware, Baltimore, and New Orleans, are placed in the column of Northern exports, because there is no means of determining what proportion of them were from free or slave States, and it has been thought best to give this advantage to the North. Taking into the account only the heavier amounts, the exports from these ports foot up $11,287,898; of which near one-half consisted of provisions and lumber. The total imports for the year were $338,768,130. Of this $20,895,077 were re-exported, which, added to the domestic exports, makes the total exports $356,789,462, thus leaving a balance in our favor of $18,021,332.

















This work has, for the most part, been thought out for several years, and various portions of it reduced to writing. Though we have long cherished the design of preparing it for the press, yet other engagements, conspiring with a spirit of procrastination, have hitherto induced us to defer the execution of this design. Nor should we have prosecuted it, as we have done, during a large portion of our last summer vacation, and the leisure moments of the first two months of the present session of the University, but for the solicitation of two intelligent and highly-esteemed friends. In submitting the work, as it now is, to the judgment of the truth-loving and impartial reader, we beg leave to offer one or two preliminary remarks.

We have deemed it wise and proper to notice only the more decent, respectable, and celebrated among the abolitionists of the North. Those scurrilous writers, who deal in wholesale abuse of Southern character, we have deemed unworthy of notice. Their writings are, no doubt, adapted to the taste of their readers; but as it is certain that no educated gentleman will tolerate them, so we would not raise a finger to promote their downfall, nor to arrest their course toward the oblivion which so inevitably awaits them.[272]

In replying to the others, we are conscious that we have often used strong language; for which, however, we have no apology to offer. We have dealt with their arguments and positions rather than with their motives and characters. If, in pursuing this course, we have often spoken strongly, we merely beg the reader to consider whether we have not also spoken justly. We have certainly not spoken without provocation. For even these men—the very lights and ornaments of abolitionism—have seldom condescended to argue the great question of Liberty and Slavery with us as with equals. On the contrary, they habitually address us as if nothing but a purblind ignorance of the very first elements of moral science could shield our minds against the force of their irresistible arguments. In the overflowing exuberance of their philanthropy, they take pity of our most lamentable moral darkness, and graciously condescend to teach us the very A B C of ethical philosophy! Hence, if we have deemed it a duty to lay bare their pompous inanities, showing them to be no oracles, and to strip their pitiful sophisms of the guise of a profound philosophy, we trust that no impartial reader will take offense at such vindication of the South against her accusers and despisers.

In this vindication, we have been careful throughout to distinguish between the abolitionists, our accusers, and the great body of the people of the North. Against these we have said nothing, and we could say nothing; since for these we entertain the most profound respect. We have only assailed those by whom we have been assailed; and we have held each and every man responsible only for what he himself has said and done. We should, indeed, despise ourselves if we could be guilty of the monstrous injustice of denouncing a whole people on account of the sayings and doings of a portion of them. We had infinitely rather suffer such injustice—as we have so long done—than practice it toward others.

We cannot flatter ourselves, of course, that the following work is without errors. But these, whatever else may be thought of them, are not the errors of haste and inconsideration. For if we have felt deeply on the subject here discussed, we have also thought long, and patiently endeavored to guard our minds against fallacy. How far this effort has proved successful, it is the province of the candid and impartial reader alone to decide. If our arguments and views are unsound, we hope he will reject them.[273] On the contrary, if they are correct and well-grounded, we hope he will concur with us in the conclusion, that the institution of slavery, as it exists among us at the South, is founded in political justice, is in accordance with the will of God and the designs of his providence, and is conducive to the highest, purest, best interests of mankind.



The commonly-received definition of Civil Liberty.—Examination of the commonly-received definition of Civil Liberty.—No good law ever limits or abridges the Natural Liberty of Mankind.—The distinction between Rights and Liberty.—The Relation between the State of Nature and Civil Society.—Inherent and Inalienable Rights.—Conclusion of the First Chapter.

Few subjects, if any, more forcibly demand our attention, by their intrinsic grandeur and importance, than the great doctrine of human liberty. Correct views concerning this are, indeed, so intimately connected with the most profound interests, as well as with the most exalted aspirations, of the human race, that any material departure therefrom must be fraught with evil to the living, as well as to millions yet unborn. They are so inseparably interwoven with all that is great and good and glorious in the destiny of man, that whosoever aims to form or to propagate such views should proceed with the utmost care, and, laying aside all prejudice and passion, be guided by the voice of reason alone.

Hence it is to be regretted—deeply regretted—that the doctrine of liberty has so often been discussed with so little apparent care, with so little moral earnestness, with so little real energetic searching and longing after truth. Though its transcendent importance demands the best exertion of all our powers, yet has it been, for the most part, a theme for passionate declamation, rather than of severe analysis or of protracted and patient investigation. In the warm praises of the philosopher, no less than in the glowing inspirations of the poet, it often stands before us as a[274] vague and ill-defined something which all men are required to worship, but which no man is bound to understand. It would seem, indeed, as if it were a mighty something not to be clearly seen, but only to be deeply felt. And felt it has been, too, by the ignorant as well as by the learned, by the simple as well as by the wise: felt as a fire in the blood, as a fever in the brain, and as a phantom in the imagination, rather than as a form of light and beauty in the intelligence. How often have the powers of darkness surrounded its throne, and desolation marked its path! How often from the altars of this unknown idol has the blood of human victims streamed! Even here, in this glorious land of ours, how often do the too-religious Americans seem to become deaf to the most appalling lessons of the past, while engaged in the frantic worship of this their tutelary deity! At this very moment, the highly favored land in which we live is convulsed from its centre to its circumference, by the agitations of these pious devotees of freedom; and how long ere scenes like those which called forth the celebrated exclamation of Madame Roland—"O Liberty, what crimes are perpetrated in thy name!" may be enacted among us, it is not possible for human sagacity or foresight to determine.

If no one would talk about liberty except those who had taken the pains to understand it, then would a perfect calm be restored, and peace once more bless a happy people. But there are so many who imagine they understand liberty as Falstaff knew the true prince, namely, by instinct, that all hope of such a consummation must be deferred until it may be shown that their instinct is a blind guide, and its oracles are false. Hence the necessity of a close study and of a clear analysis of the nature and conditions of civil liberty, in order to a distinct delineation of the great idol, which all men are so ready to worship, but which so few are willing to take the pains to understand. In the prosecution of such an inquiry, we intend to consult neither the pecuniary interests of the South nor the prejudices of the North; but calmly and immovably proceed to discuss, upon purely scientific principles, this great problem of our social existence and national prosperity, upon the solution of which the hopes and destinies of mankind in no inconsiderable measure depend. We intend no appeal to passion or to sordid interest, but only to the reason of the wise and good. And if justice, or mercy, or truth, be found[275] at war with the institution of slavery, then, in the name of God, let slavery perish. But however guilty, still let it be tried, condemned, and executed according to law, and not extinguished by a despotic and lawless power more terrific than itself.

§ I. The commonly-received definition of civil liberty.

"Civil liberty," says Blackstone, "is no other than natural liberty so far restrained as is necessary and expedient for the general advantage." This definition seems to have been borrowed from Locke, who says that, when a man enters into civil society, "he is to part with so much of his natural liberty, in providing for himself, as the good, prosperity, and safety of the society shall require." So, likewise, say Paley, Berlamaqui, Rutherforth, and a host of others. Indeed, among jurists and philosophers, such seems to be the commonly-received definition of civil liberty. It seems to have become a political maxim that civil liberty is no other than a certain portion of our natural liberty, which has been carved therefrom, and secured to us by the protection of the laws.

But is this a sound maxim? Has it been deduced from the nature of things, or is it merely a plausible show of words? Is it truth—solid and imperishable truth—or merely one of those fair semblances of truth, which, through the too hasty sanction of great names, have obtained a currency among men? The question is not what Blackstone, or Locke, or Paley may have thought, but what is truth? Let us examine this point, then, in order that our decision may be founded, not upon the authority of man, but, if possible, in the wisdom of God.

§ II. Examination of the commonly-received definition of civil liberty.

Before we can determine whether such be the origin of civil liberty, we must first ascertain the character of that natural liberty out of which it is supposed to be reserved. What, then, is natural liberty? What is the nature of the material out of which our civil liberty is supposed to be fashioned by the art of the political sculptor? It is thus defined by Locke: "To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in; and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law[276] of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man."[136] In perfect accordance with this definition, Blackstone says: "This natural liberty consists in a power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, unless by the laws of nature, being a right inherent in us by birth, and one of the gifts of God to man at his creation, when he endowed him with the faculty of free-will." Such, according to Locke and Blackstone, is that natural liberty, which is limited and abridged, as they suppose, when we enter into the bonds of civil society.

Now mark its features: it is the gift of God to man at his creation; the very top and flower of his existence; that by which he is distinguished from the lower animals and raised to the rank of moral and accountable beings. Shall we sacrifice this divine gift, then, in order to secure the blessings of civil society? Shall we abridge or mutilate the image of God, stamped upon the soul at its creation, by which we are capable of knowing and obeying his law, in order to secure the aid and protection of man? Shall we barter away any portion of this our glorious birthright for any poor boon of man's devising? Yes, we are told—and why? Because, says Blackstone, "Legal obedience and conformity is infinitely more valuable than the wild and savage liberty which is sacrificed to obtain it."

But how is this? Now this natural liberty is a thing of light, and now it is a power of darkness. Now it is the gift of God, that moves within a sphere of light, and breathes an atmosphere of love; and anon, it is a wild and savage thing that carries terror in its train. It would be an angel of light, if it were not a power of darkness; and it would be a power of darkness, if it were not an angel of light. But as it is, it is both by turns, and neither long, but runs through its Protean changes, according to the exigencies of the flowing discourse of the learned author. Surely such inconsistency, so glaring and so portentous, and all exhibited on one and the same page, is no evidence that the genius of the great commentator was as steady and profound as it was elegant and classical.

The source of this vacillation is obvious. With Locke, he defines natural liberty to be a power of acting as one thinks fit, within the limits prescribed by the law of nature; but he soon[277] loses sight of this all-important limitation, from which natural liberty derives its form and beauty. Hence it becomes in his mind a power to act as one pleases, without the restraint or control of any law whatever, either human or divine. The sovereign will and pleasure of the individual becomes the only rule of conduct, and lawless anarchy the condition which it legitimates. Thus, having loosed the bonds and marred the beauty of natural liberty, he was prepared to see it, now become so "wild and savage," offered up as a sacrifice on the altar of civil liberty.

This, too, was the great fundamental error of Hobbes. What Blackstone thus did through inadvertency, was knowingly and designedly done by the philosopher of Malmesbury. In a state of nature, says he, all men have a right to do as they please. Each individual may set up a right to all things, and consequently to the same things. In other words, in such a state there is no law, exept that of force. The strong arm of power is the supreme arbiter of all things. Robbery and outrage and murder are as lawful as their opposites. That is to say, there is no such thing as a law of nature; and consequently all things are, in a state of nature, equally allowable. Thus it was that Hobbes delighted to legitimate the horrors of a state of nature, as it is called, in order that mankind might, without a feeling of indignation or regret, see the wild and ferocious liberty of such a state sacrificed to despotic power. Thus it was that he endeavoured to recommend the "Leviathan," by contrasting it with the huger monster called Natural Liberty.

This view of the state of nature, by which all law and the great Fountain of all law are shut out of the world, was perfectly agreeable to the atheistical philosophy of Hobbes. From one who had extinguished the light of nature, and given dominion to the powers of darkness, no better could have been expected; but is it not deplorable that a Christian jurist should, even for a moment, have forgotten the great central light of his own system, and drawn his arguments from such an abyss of darkness?

Blackstone has thus lost sight of truth, not only in regard to his general propositions, but also in regard to particular instances. "The law," says he, "which restrains a man from doing mischief to his fellow-citizens diminishes the natural liberty of mankind." Now, is this true? The doing of mischief is contrary to the law of nature, and hence, according to the definition of Blackstone[278] himself, the perpetration of it is not an exercise of any natural right. As no man possesses a natural right to do mischief, so the law which forbids it does not diminish the natural liberty of mankind. The law which forbids mischief is a restraint not upon the natural liberty, but upon the natural tyranny, of man.

Blackstone is by no means alone in the error to which we have alluded. By one of the clearest thinkers and most beautiful writers of the present age,[137] it is argued, "that as government implies restraint, it is evident we give up a certain portion of our liberty by entering into it." This argument would be valid, no doubt, if there were nothing in the world beside liberty to be restrained; but the evil passions of men, from which proceed so many frightful tyrannies and wrongs, are not to be identified with their rights or liberties. As government implies restraint, it is evident that something is restrained when we enter into it; but it does not follow that this something must be our natural liberty. The argument in question proceeds on the notion that government can restrain nothing, unless it restrain the natural liberty of mankind; whereas, we have seen, the law which forbids the perpetration of mischief, or any other wrong, is a restriction, not upon the liberty, but upon the tyranny, of the human will. It sets a bound and limit, not to any right conferred on us by the Author of nature, but upon the evil thoughts and deeds of which we are the sole and exclusive originators. Such a law, indeed, so far from restraining the natural liberty of man, recognizes his natural rights, and secures his freedom, by protecting the weak against the injustice and oppression of the strong.

The way in which these authors show that natural liberty is, and of right ought to be, abridged by the laws of society, is, by identifying this natural freedom, not with a power to act as God wills, but with a power in conformity with our own sovereign will and pleasure. The same thing is expressly done by Paley.[138] "To do what we will," says he, "is natural liberty." Starting from this definition, it is no wonder that he should have supposed that natural liberty is restrained by civil government. In like manner, Burke first says, "That the effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please;" and then concludes, that in order to "secure some liberty," we make "a surrender in trust of[279] the whole of it."[139] Thus the natural rights of mankind are first caricatured, and then sacrificed.

If there be no God, if there be no difference between right and wrong, if there be no moral law in the universe, then indeed would men possess a natural right to do mischief or to act as they please. Then indeed should we be fettered by no law in a state of nature, and liberty therein would be coextensive with power. Right would give place to might, and the least restraint, even from the best laws, would impair our natural freedom. But we subscribe to no such philosophy. That learned authors, that distinguished jurists, that celebrated philosophers, that pious divines, should thus deliberately include the enjoyment of our natural rights and the indulgence of our evil passions in one and the same definition of liberty, is, it seems to us, matter of the most profound astonishment and regret. It is to confound the source of all tyranny with the fountain of all freedom. It is to put darkness for light, and light for darkness. And it is to inflame the minds of men with the idea that they are struggling and contending for liberty, when, in reality, they may be only struggling and contending for the gratification of their malignant passions. Such an offense against all clear thinking, such an outrage against all sound political ethics, becomes the more amazing when we reflect on the greatness of the authors by whom it is committed, and the stupendous magnitude of the interests involved in their discussions.

Should we, then, exhibit the fundamental law of society, and the natural liberty of mankind, as antagonistic principles? Is not this the way to prepare the human mind, at all times so passionately, not to say so madly, fond of freedom, for a repetition of those tremendous conflicts and struggles beneath which the foundations of society have so often trembled, and some of its best institutions been laid in the dust? In one word, is it not high time to raise the inquiry, Whether there be, in reality, any such opposition as is usually supposed to exist between the law of the land and the natural rights of mankind? Whether such opposition be real or imaginary? Whether it exists in the nature of things, or only in the imagination of political theorists?


§ III. No good law ever limits or abridges the natural liberty of mankind

By the two great leaders of opposite schools, Locke and Burke, it is contended that when we enter into society the natural rights of self-defense is surrendered to the government. If any natural right, then, be limited or abridged by the laws of society, we may suppose the right of self-defense to be so; for this is the instance which is always selected to illustrate and confirm the reality of such a surrender of our natural liberty. It has, indeed, become a sort of maxim, that when we put on the bonds of civil society, we give up the natural right of self-defense.

But what does this maxim mean? Does it mean that we transfer the right to repel force by force? If so, the proposition is not true; for this right is as fully possessed by every individual after he has entered into society as it could have been in a state of nature. If he is assailed, or threatened with immediate personal danger, the law of the land does not require him to wait upon the strong but slow arm of government for protection. On the contrary, it permits him to protect himself, to repel force by force, in so far as this may be necessary to guard against injury to himself; and the law of nature allows no more. Indeed, if there be any difference, the law of the land allows a man to go further in the defense of self than he is permitted to go by the law of God. Hence, in this sense, the maxim under consideration is not true; and no man's natural liberty is abridged by the State.

Does this maxim mean, then, that in a state of nature every man has a right to redress his own wrongs by the subsequent punishment of the offender, which right the citizen has transferred to the government? It is clear that this must be the meaning, if it have any correct meaning at all. But neither in this sense is the maxim or proposition true. The right to punish an offender must rest upon the one or the other of two grounds: either upon the ground that the offender deserves punishment, or that his punishment is necessary to prevent similar offenses. Now, upon neither of these grounds has any man, even in a state of nature, the right to punish an offense committed against himself.

First, he has no right to punish such an offense on the ground that it deserves punishment. No man has, or ever had, the right[281] to wield the awful attribute of retributive justice; that is, to inflict so much pain for so much guilt or moral turpitude. This is the prerogative of God alone. To his eye, all secrets are known, and all degrees of guilt perfectly apparent; and to him alone belongs the vengeance which is due for moral ill-desert. His law extends over the state of nature as well as over the state of civil society, and calls all men to account for their evil deeds. It is evident that, in so far as the intrinsic demerit of actions is concerned, it makes no difference whether they be punished here or hereafter. And beside, if the individual had possessed such a right in a state of nature, he has not transferred it to society; for society neither has nor claims any such right. Blackstone but utters the voice of the law when he says: "The end or final cause of human punishment is not by way of atonement or expiation, for that must be left to the just determination of the supreme Being, but a precaution against future offenses of the same kind." The exercise of retributive justice belongs exclusively to the infallible Ruler of the world, and not to frail, erring man, who himself so greatly stands in need of mercy. Hence, the right to punish a transgressor on the ground that such punishment is deserved, has not been transferred from the individual to civil society: first, because he had no such natural right to transfer; and, secondly, because society possesses no such right.

In the second place, if we consider the other ground of punishment, it will likewise appear that the right to punish never belonged to the individual, and consequently could not have been transferred by him to society. For, by the law of nature, the individual has no right to punish an offense against himself in order to prevent further offences of the same kind. If the object of human punishment be, as indeed it is, to prevent the commission of crime, by holding up examples of terror to evil-doers, then, it is evidently no more the natural right of the party injured to redress the wrong, than it is the right of others. All men are interested in the prevention of wrongs, and hence all men should unite to redress them. All men are endowed by their Creator with a sense of justice, in order to impel them to secure its claims, and throw the shield of its protection around the weak and oppressed.

The prevention of wrong, then, is clearly the natural duty, and consequently the natural right, of all men.[282]

This duty should be discharged by others, rather than by the party aggrieved. For it is contrary to the law of nature itself, as both Locke and Burke agree, that any man should be "judge in his own case;" that any man should, by an ex post facto decision, determine the amount of punishment due to his enemy, and proceed to inflict it upon him. Such a course, indeed, so far from preventing offenses, would inevitably promote them; instead of redressing injuries, would only add wrong to wrong; and instead of introducing order, would only make confusion worse confounded, and turn the moral world quite upside down.

On no ground, then, upon which the right to punish may be conceived to rest, does it appear that it was ever possessed, or could ever have been possessed, by the individual. And if the individual never possessed such a right, it is clear that he has never transferred it to society. Hence, this view of the origin of government, however plausible at first sight, or however generally received, has no real foundation in the nature of things. It is purely a creature of the imagination of theorists; one of the phantoms of that manifold, monstrous, phantom deity called Liberty, which has been so often invoked by the pseudo philanthropists and reckless reformers of the present day to subvert not only the law of capital punishment, but also other institutions and laws which have received the sanction of both God and man.

The simple truth is, that we are all bound by the law of nature and the law of God to love our neighbor as ourselves. Hence it is the duty of every man, in a state of nature, to do all in his power to protect the rights and promote the interests of his fellow-men. It is the duty of all men to consult together, and concert measures for the general good. Right here it is, then, that the law of man, the constitution of civil society, comes into contact with the law of God and rests upon it. Thus, civil society arises, not from a surrender of individual rights, but from a right originally possessed by all; nay, from a solemn duty originally imposed upon all by God himself—a duty which must be performed, whether the individual gives his consent or not. The very law of nature itself requires, as we have seen, not only the punishment of the offender, but also that he be punished acccording to a pre-established law, and by the decision of an impartial tribunal. And in the enactment of such law, as well as in the administration, the collective wisdom of society, or its agents,[283] moves in obedience to the law of God, and not in pursuance of rights derived from the individual.

§ IV. The distinction between rights and liberty.

In the foregoing discussion we have, in conformity to the custom of others, used the terms rights and liberty as words of precisely the same import. But, instead of being convertible terms, there seems to be a very clear difference in their signification. If a man be taken, for example, and without cause thrown into prison, this deprives him of his liberty, but not of his right, to go where he pleases. The right still exists; and his not being allowed to enjoy this right, is precisely what constitutes the oppression in the case supposed. If there were no right still subsisting, then there would be no oppression. Hence, as the right exists, while the liberty is extinguished, it is evident they are distinct from each other. The liberty of a man in such a case, as in all others, would consist in an opportunity to enjoy his right, or in a state in which it might be enjoyed if he so pleased.

This distinction between rights and liberty is all-important to a clear and satisfactory discussion of the doctrine of human freedom. The great champions of that freedom, from a Locke down to a Hall, firmly and passionately grasping the natural rights of man, and confounding these with his liberty, have looked upon society as the restrainer, and not as the author, of that liberty. On the other hand, the great advocates of despotic power, from a Hobbes down to a Whewell, seeing that there can be no genuine liberty—that is, no secure enjoyment of one's rights—in a state of nature, have ascribed, not only our liberty, but all our existing rights also, to the State.

But the error of Locke is a noble and generous sentiment when compared with the odious dogma of Hobbes and Whewell. These learned authors contend that we derive all our existing rights from society. Do we, then, live and move and breathe and think and worship God only by rights derived from the State? No, certainly. We have these rights from a higher source. God gave them, and all the powers of earth combined cannot take them away. But as for our liberty, this we freely own is, for the most part, due to the sacred bonds of civil society. Let us render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's.[284]

§ V. The relation between the state of nature and of civil society.

Herein, then, consists the true relation between the natural and the social states. Civil society does not abridge our natural rights, but secures and protects them. She does not assume our right of self-defense,—she simply discharges the duty imposed by God to defend us. The original right is in those who compose the body politic, and not in any individual. Hence, civil society does not impair our natural liberty, as actually existing in a state of nature, or as it might therein exist; for, in such a state, there would be no real liberty, no real enjoyment of natural rights.

Mr. Locke, as we have seen, defines the state of nature to be one of "perfect freedom." Why, then, should we leave it? "If man, in the state of nature, be so free," says he, "why will he part with his freedom? To which it is obvious to answer," he continues, "that though, in the state of nature, he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others; for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part not strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very insecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers; and it is not without reason that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with, others who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties, and estates, which I call by the general name property."[140] What! can that be a state of perfect freedom which is subject to fears and perpetual dangers? In one word, can a reign of terror be the reign of liberty? It is evident, we think, that Locke has been betrayed into no little inaccuracy and confusion of thought from not having distinguished between rights and liberty.

The truth seems to be that, in a state of nature, we would possess rights, but we could not enjoy them. That is to say, notwithstanding all our rights, we should be destitute of freedom or liberty. Society interposes the strong arm of the law to protect[285] our rights, to secure us in the enjoyment of them. She delivers us from the alarms, the dangers, and the violence of the natural state. Hence, under God, she is the mother of our peace and joy, by whose sovereign rule anarchy is abolished and liberty established. Liberty and social law can never be dissevered. Liberty, robed in law, and radiant with love, is one of the best gifts of God to man. But liberty, despoiled of law, is a wild, dark, fierce spirit of licentiousness, which tends "to uproar the universal peace."

Hence it is a frightful error to regard the civil state or government as antagonistic to the natural liberty of mankind; for this is, indeed, the author of the very liberty we enjoy. Good government it is that restrains the elements of tyranny and oppression, and introduces liberty into the world. Good government it is that shuts out the reign of anarchy, and secures the dominion of equity and goodness. He who would spurn the restraints of law, then, by which pride, and envy, and hatred, and malice, ambition, and revenge are kept within the sacred bounds of eternal justice,—he, we say, is not the friend of human liberty. He would open the flood-gates of tyranny and oppression; he would mar the harmony and extinguish the light of the world. Let no such man be trusted.

If the foregoing remarks be just, it would follow that the state of nature, as it is called, would be one of the most unnatural states in the world. We may conceive it to exist, for the sake of illustration or argument; but if it should actually exist, it would be at war with the law of nature itself. For this requires, as we have seen, that men should unite together, and frame such laws as the general good demands.

Not only the law, but the very necessities of nature, enjoin the institution of civil government. God himself has thus laid the foundations of civil society deep in the nature of man. It is an ordinance of Heaven, which no human decree can reverse or annul. It is not a thing of compacts, bound together by promises and paper, but is itself a law of nature as irreversible as any other. Compacts may give it one form or another, but in one form or another it must exist. It is no accidental or artificial thing, which may be made or unmade, which may be set up or pulled down, at the mere will and pleasure of man. It is a decree of God; the spontaneous and irresistible working of that[286] nature, which, in all climates, through all ages, and under all circumstances, manifests itself in social organizations.

§ VI. Inherent and inalienable rights.

Much has been said about inherent and inalienable rights, which is either unintelligible or rests upon no solid foundation. "The inalienable rights of men" is a phrase often brandished by certain reformers, who aim to bring about "the immediate abolition of slavery." Yet, in the light of the foregoing discussion, it may be clearly shown that the doctrine of inalienable rights, if properly handled, will not touch the institution of slavery.

An inalienable right is either one which the possessor of it himself cannot alienate or transfer, or it is one which society has not the power to take from him. According to the import of the terms, the first would seem to be what is meant by an inalienable right; but in this sense it is not pretended that the right to either life or liberty has been transferred to society or alienated by the individual. And if, as we have endeavored to show, the right, or power, or authority of society is not derived from a transfer of individual rights, then it is clear that neither the right to life nor liberty is transferred to society. That is, if no rights are transferred, than these particular rights are still untransferred, and, if you please, untransferable. Be it conceded, then, that the individual has never transferred his right to life or liberty to society.

But it is not in the above sense that the abolitionist uses the expression, inalienable rights. According to his view, an inalienable right is one of which society itself cannot, without doing wrong, deprive the individual, or deny the enjoyment of it to him. This is evidently his meaning; for he complains of the injustice of society, or civil government, in depriving a certain portion of its subjects of civil freedom, and consigning them to a state of servitude. "Such an act," says he, "is wrong, because it is a violation of the inalienable rights of all men." But let us see if his complaint be just or well founded.

It is pretended by no one that society has the right to deprive any subject of either life or liberty, without good and sufficient cause or reason. On the contrary, it is on all hands agreed that it is only for good and sufficient reasons that society can deprive any portion of its subjects of either life or liberty. Nor can it be denied, on the other side, that a man may be deprived of either,[287] or both, by a preordained law, in case there be a good and sufficient reason for the enactment of such law. For the crime of murder, the law of the land deprives the criminal of life: à fortiori, might it deprive him of liberty. In the infliction of such a penalty, the law seeks, as we have seen, not to deal out so much pain for so much guilt, nor even to deal out pain for guilt at all, but simply to protect the members of society, and secure the general good. The general good is the sole and sufficient consideration which justifies the State in taking either the life or the liberty of its subjects.

Hence, if we would determine in any case whether society is justified in depriving any of its members of civil freedom by law, we must first ascertain whether the general good demands the enactment of such a law. If it does, then such a law is just and good—as perfectly just and good as any other law which, for the same reason or on the same ground, takes away the life or liberty of its subjects. All this talk about the inalienable rights of men may have a very admirable meaning, if one will only be at the pains to search it out; but is it not evident that, when searched to the bottom, it has just nothing at all to do with the great question of slavery? But more of this hereafter.[141]

This great problem, as we have seen, is to be decided, not by an appeal to the inalienable rights of men, but simply and solely by a reference to the general good. It is to be decided, not by the aid of abstractions alone; a little good sense and practical sagacity should be allowed to assist in its determination. There are inalienable rights, we admit—inalienable both because the individual cannot transfer them, and because society can never rightfully deprive any man of their enjoyment. But life and liberty are not "among these." There are inalienable rights, we admit, but then such abstractions are the edge-tools of political science, with which it is dangerous for either men or children to play. They may inflict deep wounds on the cause of humanity; they can throw no light on the great problem of slavery.

One thing seems to be clear and fixed; and that is, that the rights of the individual are subordinate to those of the community. An inalienable right is a right coupled with a duty; a[288] duty with which no other obligation can interfere. But, as we have seen, it is the duty, and consequently, the right, of society to make such laws as the general good demands. This inalienable right is conferred, and its exercise enjoined, by the Creator and Governor of the universe. All individual rights are subordinate to this inherent, universal, and inalienable right. It should be observed, however, that in the exercise of this paramount right, this supreme authority, no society possesses the power to contravene the principles of justice. In other words, it should be observed that no unjust law can ever promote the public good. Every law, then, which is not unjust, and which the public good demands, should be enacted by society.

But we have already seen and shall still more fully see, that the law which ordains slavery is not unjust in itself, or, in other words, that it interferes with none of the inalienable rights of man. Hence, if it be shown that the public good, and especially the good of the slave, demands such a law, then the question of slavery will be settled. We purpose to show this before we have done with the present discussion. And if, in the prosecution of this inquiry, we should be so fortunate as to throw only one steady ray of light on the great question of slavery, by which the very depths of society have been so fearfully convulsed, we shall be more than rewarded for all the labor which, with no little solicitude, we have felt constrained to bestow upon an attempt at its solution.

§ VII. Conclusion of the first chapter.

In conclusion, we shall merely add that if the foregoing remarks be just, it follows that the great problem of political philosophy is not precisely such as it is often taken to be by statesmen and historians. This problem, according to Mackintosh and Macaulay, consists in finding such an adjustment of the antagonistic principles of public order and private liberty, that neither shall overthrow or subvert the other, but each be confined within its own appropriate limits. Whereas, if we are not mistaken, these are not antagonistic, but co-ordinate, principles. The very law which institutes public order is that which introduces private liberty, since no secure enjoyment of one's rights can exist where public order is not maintained. And, on the other hand, unless private liberty be introduced, public order cannot be maintained,[289] or at least such public order as should be established; for, if there be not private liberty, if there be no secure enjoyment of one's rights, then the highest and purest elements of our nature would have to be extinguished, or else exist in perpetual conflict with the surrounding despotism. As license is not liberty, so despotism is not order, nor even friendly to that enlightened, wholesome order, by which the good of the public and the individual are at the same time introduced and secured. In other words, what is taken from the one of these principles is not given to the other; on the contrary, every additional element of strength and beauty which is imparted to the one is an accession of strength and beauty to the other. Private liberty, indeed, lives and moves and has its very being in the bosom of public order. On the other hand, that public order alone which cherishes the true liberty of the individual is strong in the approbation of God and in the moral sentiments of mankind. All else is weakness, and death, and decay.

The true problem, then, is, not how the conflicting claims of these two principles may be adjusted, (for there is no conflict between them,) but how a real public order, whose claims are identical with those of private liberty, may be introduced and maintained. The practical solution of this problem, for the heterogeneous population of the South imperatively demands, as we shall endeavor to show, the institution of slavery; and that without such an institution it would be impossible to maintain either a sound public order or a decent private liberty. We shall endeavor to show, that the very laws or institution which is supposed by fanatical declaimers to shut out liberty from the Negro race among us, really shuts out the most frightful license and disorder from society. In one word, we shall endeavor to show that in preaching up liberty to and for the slaves of the South, the abolitionist is "casting pearls before swine," that can neither comprehend the nature, nor enjoy the blessings, of the freedom which is so officiously thrust upon them. And if the Negro race should be moved by their fiery appeals, it would only be to rend and tear in pieces the fair fabric of American liberty, which, with all its shortcomings and defects, is by far the most beautiful ever yet conceived or constructed by the genius of man.




The first fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The second fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The third fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The fourth fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The fifth fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The sixth fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The seventh fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The eighth fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The ninth fallacy of the Abolitionist.—The tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth fallacies of the Abolitionist; or his seven arguments against the right of a man to hold property in his fellow-man.—The seventeenth fallacy of the Abolitionist; or, the Argument from the Declaration of Independence.

Having in the preceding chapter discussed and defined the nature of civil liberty, as well as laid down some of the political conditions on which its existence depends, we shall now proceed to examine the question of slavery. In the prosecution of this inquiry, we shall, in the first place, consider the arguments and positions of the advocates of immediate abolition; and, in the second, point out the reasons and grounds on which the institution of slavery is based and its justice vindicated. The first branch of the investigation, or that relating to the arguments and positions of the abolitionist, will occupy the remainder of the present chapter.

It is insisted by abolitionists that the institution of slavery is, in all cases and under all circumstances, morally wrong, or a violation of the law of God. Such is precisely the ground assumed by the one side and denied by the other.

Thus says Dr. Wayland: "I have wished to make it clear that slavery, or the holding of men in bondage, and 'obliging them to labor for our benefit, without their contract or consent,' is always and everywhere, or, as you well express it, semper et ubique, a moral wrong, a violation of the obligations under which we are created to our fellow-men, and a transgression of the law of our Creator."

Dr. Fuller likewise: "The simple question is, Whether it is necessarily, and amid all circumstances, a crime to hold men in a condition where they labor for another without their consent[291] or contract? and in settling this matter all impertinences must be retrenched."

In one word, Dr. Wayland insists that slavery is condemned by the law of God, by the moral law of the universe. We purpose to examine the arguments which he has advanced in favor of this position. We select his arguments for examination, because, as a writer on moral and political science, he stands so high in the northern portion of the Union. His work on these subjects has indeed long since passed the fiftieth thousand; a degree of success which, in his own estimation, authorizes him to issue his letters on slavery over the signature of "The author of the Moral Science." But the very fact that his popularity is so great, and that he is the author of the Moral Science, is a reason why his arguments on a question of such magnitude should be subjected to a severe analysis and searching scrutiny, in order that, under the sanction of so imposing a name, no error may be propagated and no mischief done.

Hence we shall hold Dr. Wayland amenable to all the laws of logic. Especially shall we require him to adhere to the point he has undertaken to discuss, and to retrench all irrelevancies. If, after having subjected his arguments to such a process, it shall be found that every position which is assumed on the subject is directly contradicted by himself, we shall not make haste to introduce anarchy into the Southern States, in order to make it answer to the anarchy in his views of civil and political freedom. But whether this be the case or not, it is not for us to determine; we shall simply proceed to examine, and permit the impartial reader to decide for himself.

§ I. The first fallacy of the abolitionist.

The abolitionists do not hold their passions in subjection to reason. This is not merely the judgment of a Southern man: it is the opinion of the more decent and respectable abolitionists themselves. Thus says Dr. Channing, censuring the conduct of the abolitionists: "They have done wrong, I believe; nor is their wrong to be winked at because done fanatically or with good intentions; for how much mischief may be wrought with good designs! They have fallen into the common error of enthusiasts—that of exaggerating their object, of feeling as if no evil existed but that which they opposed, and as if no guilt could be compared[292] with that of countenancing or upholding it."[142] In like manner, Dr. Wayland says: "I unite with you and the lamented Dr Channing in the opinion that the tone of the abolitionists at the North has been frequently, I fear I must say generally, 'fierce, bitter, and abusive.' The abolitionist press has, I believe, from the beginning, too commonly indulged in exaggerated statement, in violent denunciation, and in coarse and lacerating invective. At our late Missionary Convention in Philadelphia, I heard many things from men who claim to be the exclusive friends of the slave, which pained me more than I can express. It seemed to me that the spirit which many of them manifested was very different from the spirit of Christ. I also cheerfully bear testimony to the general courtesy, the Christian urbanity, and the calmness under provocation which, in a remarkable degree, characterized the conduct of the members from the South."

In the flood of sophisms which the abolitionists usually pour out in their explosions of passion, none is more common than what is technically termed by logicians the ignoratio elenchi, or a mistaking of the point in dispute. Nor is this fallacy peculiar to the more vulgar sort of abolitionists. It glares from the pages of Dr. Wayland, no less than from the writings of the most fierce, bitter, and vindictive of his associates in the cause of abolitionism. Thus, in one of his letters to Dr. Fuller, he says: "To present this subject in a simple light. Let us suppose that your family and mine were neighbors. We, our wives and children, are all human beings in the sense that I have described, and, in consequence of that common nature, and by the will of our common Creator, are subject to the law, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Suppose that I should set fire to your house, shoot you as you came out of it, and seizing your wife and children, 'oblige them to labor for my benefit without their contract or consent.' Suppose, moreover, aware that I could not thus oblige them, unless they were inferior in intellect to myself, I should forbid them to read, and thus consign them to intellectual and moral imbecility. Suppose I should measure out to them the knowledge of God on the same principle. Suppose I should exercise this dominion over them and their children as long as I lived, and then do all in my power to render it certain that my children[293] should exercise it after me. The question before us I suppose to be simply this: Would I, in so doing, act at variance with the relations existing between us as creatures of God? Would I, in other words, violate the supreme law of my Creator, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself? or that other, Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them? I do not see how any intelligent creature can give more than one answer to this question. Then I think that every intelligent creature must affirm that do this is wrong, or, in the other form of expression, that it is a great moral evil. Can we conceive of any greater?"

It was surely very kind in Dr. Wayland to undertake, with so much pains, to instruct us poor, benighted sons of the South in regard to the difference between right and wrong. We would fain give him full credit for all the kindly feeling he so freely professes for his "Southern brethren;" but if he really thinks that the question, whether arson, and murder, and cruelty are offenses against the "supreme law of the Creator," is still open for discussion among us, then we beg leave to inform him that he labors under a slight hallucination. If he had never written a word, we should have known, perhaps, that it is wrong for a man to set fire to his neighbor's house, and shoot him as he came out, and reduce his wife and children to a state of ignorance, degradation, and slavery. Nay, if we should find his house already burnt, and himself already shot, we should hardly feel justified in treating his wife and children in so cruel a manner. Not even if they were "guilty of a skin," or ever so degraded, should we deem ourselves justified in reducing them to a state of servitude. This is not "the question before us." We are quite satisfied on all such points. The precept, too, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, was not altogether unknown in the Southern States before his letters were written. A committee of very amiable philanthropists came all the way from England, as the agents of some abolition society there, and told us all that the law of God requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves. In this benevolent work of enlightenment they were, if we mistake not, several months in advance of Dr. Wayland. We no longer need to be enlightened on such points. Being sufficiently instructed, we admit that we should love our neighbor as ourselves, and also that arson, murder, and so forth are violations of this law. But we want to know[294] whether, semper et ubique, the institution of slavery is morally wrong. This is the question, and to this we intend to hold the author.

§ II. The second fallacy of the abolitionist.

Lest we should be suspected of misrepresentation, we shall state the position of Dr. Wayland in his own words. In regard to the institution of slavery, he says: "I do not see that it does not sanction the whole system of the slave-trade. If I have a right to a thing after I have gotten it, I have a natural right to the means necessary for getting it. If this be so, I should be as much justified in sending a vessel to Africa, murdering a part of the inhabitants of a village, and making slaves of the rest, as I should be in hunting a herd of wild animals, and either slaying them or subjecting them to the yoke."

Now mark the principle on which this most wonderful argument is based: "If I have a right to a thing after I have gotten it, I have a natural right to the means for getting it." That is to say, If I have the right to a slave, now that I have got him, then I may rightfully use all necessary means to reduce other men to slavery! I may shoot, burn, or murder, if by this means I can only get slaves! Was any consequence ever more wildly drawn? Was any non sequitur ever more glaring?

Let us see how this argument would apply to other things. If I have a right to a watch after I have gotten it, no matter how, then I have a right to use the means necessary to get watches; I may steal them from my neighbors! Or, if I have a right to a wife, provided I can get one, then may I shoot my friend and marry his widow! Such is the argument of one who seeks to enlighten the South and reform its institutions!

§ III. The third fallacy of the abolitionist.

Nearly allied to the foregoing argument is that of the same author, in which he deduces from the right of slavery, supposing it to exist, another retinue of monstrous rights. "This right also," says Dr. Wayland, referring to the right to hold slaves, "as I have shown, involves the right to use all the means necessary to its establishment and perpetuity, and, of course, the right to crush his intellectual and social nature, and to stupefy his conscience, in so far as may be necessary to enable me to enjoy this[295] right with the least possible peril." This is a compound fallacy, a many-sided error. But we will consider only two phases of its absurdity.

In the first place, if the slaveholder should reason in this way, no one would be more ready than the author himself to condemn his logic. If any slaveholder should say, That because I have a right to my slaves, therefore I have the right to crush the intellectual and moral nature of men, in order to establish and perpetuate their bondage,—he would be among the first to cry out against such reasoning. This is evident from the fact that he everywhere commends those slaveholders who deem it their duty, as a return for the service of their slaves, to promote both their temporal and eternal good. He everywhere insists that such is the duty of slaveholders; and if such be their duty, they surely have no right to violate it, by crushing the intellectual and moral nature of those whom they are bound to elevate in the scale of being. If the slaveholder, then, should adopt such an argument, his logic would be very justly chargeable by Dr. Wayland with evidencing not so much the existence of a clear head as of a bad heart.

In the second place, the above argument overlooks the fact that the Southern statesman vindicates the institution of slavery on the ground that it finds the Negro race already so degraded as to unfit it for a state of freedom. He does not argue that it is right to seize those who, by the possession of cultivated intellects and pure morals, are fit for freedom, and debase them in order to prepare them for social bondage. He does not imagine that it is ever right to shoot, burn, or corrupt, in order to reduce any portion of the enlightened universe to a state of servitude. He merely insists that those only who are already unfit for a higher and nobler state than one of slavery, should be held by society in such a state. This position, although it is so prominently set forth by every advocate of slavery at the South, is almost invariably overlooked by the Northern abolitionists. They talk, and reason, and declaim, indeed, just as if we had caught a bevy of black angels as they were winging their way to some island of purity and bliss here upon earth, and reduced them from their heavenly state, by the most diabolical cruelties and oppressions, to one of degradation, misery, and servitude. They forget that Africa is not yet a paradise, and that Southern servitude is not quite a hell. They[296] forget—in the heat and haste of their argument they forget—that the institution of slavery is designed by the South not for the enlightened and the free, but only for the ignorant and the debased. They need to be constantly reminded that the institution of slavery is not the mother, but the daughter, of ignorance and degradation. It is, indeed, the legitimate offspring of that intellectual and moral debasement which, for so many thousand years, has been accumulating and growing upon the African race. And if the abolitionists at the North will only invent some method by which all this frightful mass of degradation may be blotted out at once, then will we most cheerfully consent to "the immediate abolition of slavery." On this point, however, we need not dwell, as we shall have occasion to recur to it again when we come to consider the grounds and reasons on which the institution of slavery is vindicated.

Having argued that the right of slavery, if it exist, implies the right to shoot and murder an enlightened neighbor, with a view to reduce his wife and children to a state of servitude, as well as to crush their intellectual and moral nature in order to keep them in such a state, the author adds, "If I err in making these inferences, I err innocently." We have no doubt of the most perfect and entire innocence of the author. But we would remind him that innocence, however perfect or childlike, is not the only quality which a great reformer should possess.

§ IV. The fourth fallacy of the abolitionist.

He is often guilty of a petitio principii, in taking it for granted that the institution of slavery is an injury to the slave, which is the very point in dispute. Thus says Dr. Wayland: "If it be asked when, [slavery must be abandoned,] I ask again, when shall a man begin to cease doing wrong? Is not the answer immediately? If a man is injuring us, do we doubt as to the time when he ought to cease? There is, then, no doubt in respect to the time when we ought to cease inflicting injury upon others."[143] Here it is assumed that slavery is an injury to the slave: but this is the very point which is denied, and which he should have discussed. If a state of slavery be a greater injury to the slave than a state of freedom would be, then are we willing[297] to admit that it should be abolished. But even in that case, not immediately, unless it could be shown that the remedy would not be worse than the evil. If, on the whole, the institution of slavery be a curse to the slave, we say let it be abolished; not suddenly, however, as if by a whirlwind, but by the counsels of wise, cautious, and far-seeing statesmen, who, capable of looking both before and after, can comprehend in their plans of reform all the diversified and highly-complicated interests of society.

"But it may be said," continues the author, "immediate abolition would be the greatest possible injury to the slaves themselves. They are not competent to self-government." True: this is the very thing which may be, and which is, said by every Southern statesman in his advocacy of the institution of slavery. Let us see the author's reply. "This is a question of fact," says he, "which is not in the province of moral philosophy to decide. It very likely may be so. So far as I know, the facts are not sufficiently known to warrant a full opinion on the subject. We will, therefore, suppose it to be the case, and ask, What is the duty of masters under these circumstances?" In the discussion of this question, the author comes to the conclusion that a master may hold his slaves in bondage, provided his intentions be good, and with a view to set them at liberty as soon as they shall be qualified for such a state.

Moral philosophy, then, it seems, when it closes its eyes upon facts, pronounces that slavery should be immediately abolished; but if it consider facts, which, instead of being denied, are admitted to be "very likely" true, it decides against its immediate abolition! Or, rather, moral philosophy looks at the fact that slavery is an injury, in order to see that it should be forthwith abolished; but closes its eyes upon the fact that its abolition may be a still greater injury, lest this foregone conclusion should be called in question! Has moral philosophy, then, an eye only for the facts which lie one side of the question it proposes to decide?

Slavery is an injury, says Dr. Wayland, and therefore it should be immediately abolished. But its abolition would be a still greater injury, replies the objector. This may be true, says Dr. Wayland: it is highly probable; but then this question of injury is one of fact, which it is not in the province of moral philosophy to decide! So much for the consistency and even-handed justice of the author.[298]

The position assumed by him, that questions of fact are not within the province of moral philosophy, is one of so great importance that it deserves a separate and distinct notice. Though seldom openly avowed, yet is it so often tacitly assumed in the arguments and declamations of abolitionists, that it shall be more fully considered in the following section.

§ V. The fifth fallacy of the abolitionist.

"Suppose that A has a right to use the body of B according to his—that is, A's—will. Now if this be true, it is true universally; and hence, A has the control over the body of B, and B has control over the body of C, C of D, &c., and Z again over the body of A: that is, every separate will has the right of control over some other body besides its own, and has no right of control over its own body or intellect."[144] Now, if men were cut out of pasteboard, all exactly alike, and distinguished from each other only by the letters of the alphabet, then the reasoning of the author would be excellent. But it happens that men are not cut out of pasteboard. They are distinguished by differences of character, by diverse habits and propensities, which render the reasonings of the political philosopher rather more difficult than if he had merely to deal with or arrange the letters of the alphabet. In one, for example, the intellectual and moral part is almost wholly eclipsed by the brute; while, in another, reason and religion have gained the ascendency, so as to maintain a steady empire over the whole man. The first, as the author himself admits, is incompetent to self-government, and should, therefore, be held by the law of society in a state of servitude. But does it follow that "if this be true, it is true universally?" Because one man who can not govern himself may be governed by another, does it follow that every man should be governed by others? Does it follow that the one who has acquired and maintained the most perfect self-government, should be subjected to the control of him who is wholly incompetent to control himself? Yes, certainly, if the reasoning of Dr. Wayland be true; but, according to every sound principle of political ethics, the answer is, emphatically, No!


There is a difference between a Hottentot and a Newton. The first should no more be condemned to astronomical calculations and discoveries, than the last should be required to follow a plough. Such differences, however, are overlooked by much of the reasoning of the abolitionist. In regard to the question of fact, whether a man is really a man and not a mere thing, he is profoundly versed. He can discourse most eloquently upon this subject: he can prove, by most irrefragable arguments, that a Hottentot is a man as well as a Newton. But as to the differences among men, such nice distinctions are beneath his philosophy! It is true that one may be sunk so low in the scale of being that civil freedom would be a curse to him; yet, whether this be so or not, is a question of fact which his philosophy does not stoop to decide. He merely wishes to know what rights A can possibly have, either by the law of God or man, which do not equally belong to B? And if A would feel it an injury to be placed under the control of B, then, "there is no doubt" that it is equally wrong to place B under the control of A? In plain English, if it would be injurious and wrong to subject a Newton to the will of a Hottentot, then it would be equally injurious and wrong to subject a Hottentot to the will of a Newton! Such is the inevitable consequence of his very profound political principles! Nay, such is the identical consequence which he draws from his own principles!

If questions of fact are not within the province of the moral philosopher, then the moral philosopher has no business with the science of political ethics. This is not a pure, it is a mixed science. Facts can no more be overlooked by the political architect, than magnitude can be disregarded by the mathematician. The man, the political dreamer, who pays no attention to them, may be fit, for aught we know, to frame a government out of moonshine for the inhabitants of Utopia; but, if we might choose our own teachers in political wisdom, we should decidedly prefer those who have an eye for facts as well as abstractions. If we may borrow a figure from Mr. Macaulay, the legislator who sees no difference among men, but proposes the same kind of government for all, acts about as wisely as a tailor who should measure the Apollo Belvidere to cut clothes for all his customers—for the pigmies as well as for the giants.[300]

§ VI. The sixth fallacy of the abolitionist.

It is asserted by Dr. Wayland that the institution of slavery is condemned as "a violation of the plainest dictates of natural justice," by "the natural conscience of man, from at least as far back as the time of Aristotle." If any one should infer that Aristotle himself condemned the institution of slavery, he would be grossly deceived; for it is known to every one who has read the Politics of Aristotle that he is, under certain circumstances, a strenuous advocate of the natural justice, as well as of the political wisdom, of slavery. Hence we shall suppose that Dr. Wayland does not mean to include Aristotle in his broad assertion, but only those who came after him. Even in this sense, or to this extent, his positive assertion is so diametrically opposed to the plainest facts of history, that it is difficult to conceive how he could have persuaded himself of its truth. It is certain that, on other occasions, he was perfectly aware of the fact that the natural conscience of man, from the time of Aristotle down to that of the Christian era, was in favor of the institution of slavery; for as often as it has served his purpose to assert this fact, he has not hesitated to do so. Thus, "the universal existence of slavery at the time of Christ," says he, "took its origin from the moral darkness of the age. The immortality of the soul was unknown. Out of the Hebrew nation not a man on earth had any true conception of the character of the Deity or of our relations and obligations to him. The law of universal love to man had never been heard of."[145] No wonder he here argues that slavery received the universal sanction of the heathen world, since so great was the moral darkness in which they were involved. This darkness was so great, if we may believe the author, that the men of one nation esteemed those of another "as by nature foes, whom they had a right" not only "to subdue or enslave," but also to murder "whenever and in what manner soever they were able."[146] The sweeping assertion, that such was the moral darkness of the heathen world, is wide of the truth; for, at the time of Christ, no civilized nation "esteemed it right to murder or enslave, whenever and in what manner soever they were able," the people of other nations. There were some ideas of natural justice, even[301] then, among men; and if there were not, why does Dr. Wayland appeal to their ideas of natural justice as one argument against slavery? If the heathen world "esteemed it right" to make slaves, how can it be said that its conscience condemned slavery? Is it not evident that Dr. Wayland is capable of asserting either the one thing or its opposite, just as it may happen to serve the purpose of his anti-slavery argument? Whether facts lie within the province of moral philosophy or not, it is certain, we think, that the moral philosopher who may be pleased to set facts at naught has no right to substitute fictions in their stead.

§ VII. The seventh fallacy of the abolitionist.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," is the rule of action which, in the estimation of abolitionists, should at once and forever decide every good man against the institution of slavery. But when we consider the stupendous interests involved in the question, and especially those of an intellectual and moral nature, we dare not permit ourselves to be carried away by any form of mere words. We must pause and investigate. The fact that the dexterous brandishing of the beautiful precept in question has made, and will no doubt continue to make, its thousands of converts or victims, is a reason why its real import should be the more closely examined and the more clearly defined. The havoc it makes among those whose philanthropy is stronger than their judgment—or, if you please, whose judgment is weaker than their philanthropy—flows not from the divine precept itself, but only from human interpretations thereof. And it should ever be borne in mind that he is the real enemy of the great cause of philanthropy who, by absurd or overstrained applications of this sublime precept, lessens that profound respect to which it is so justly entitled from every portion of the rational universe.

It is repeatedly affirmed by Dr. Wayland that every slaveholder lives in the habitual and open violation of the precept which requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves. "The moral precepts of the Bible," says he, "are diametrically opposed to slavery. These are, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' and 'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.' Now, were this precept obeyed," he continues, "it is manifest that slavery could not in fact exist for a single instant. The principle of the precept is absolutely subversive[302] of the principle of slavery." If strong assertion were argument, we should no doubt be overwhelmed by the irresistible logic of Dr. Wayland. But the assertion of no man can be accepted as sound argument. We want to know the very meaning of the words of the great Teacher, and to be guided by that, rather than by the fallible authority of an earthly oracle. What, then, is the meaning, the real meaning, of his inspired words?

Do they mean that whatsoever we might, in any relation of life, desire for ourselves, we should be willing to grant to others in the like relation or condition? This interpretation, we are aware, has been put upon the words by a very celebrated divine. If we may believe that divine, we cannot do as we would be done by, unless, when we desire the estate of another, we forthwith transfer our estate to him! If a poor man, for example, should happen to covet the estate of his rich neighbor, then he is bound by this golden rule of benevolence to give his little all to him, without regard to the necessities or wants of his own family! But this interpretation, though seriously propounded by a man of undoubted genius and piety, has not, so far as we know, made the slightest possible impression on the plain good sense of mankind. Even among his most enthusiastic admirers, it has merely excited a good-natured smile at what they could not but regard as the strange hallucination of a benevolent heart.

A wrong desire in one relation of life is not a reason for a wrong act in another relation thereof. A man may desire the estate, he may desire the man-servant, or the maid-servant, or the wife of his neighbor, but this is no reason why he should abandon his own man-servant, or his maid-servant, or his wife to the will of another. The criminal who trembles at the bar of justice may desire both judge and jury to acquit him, but this is no reason why, if acting in the capacity of either judge or juror, he should bring in a verdict of acquittal in favor of one justly accused of crime. If we would apply the rule in question aright, we should consider, not what we might wish or desire if placed in the situation of another, but what we ought to wish or desire.

If a man were a child, he might wish to be exempt from the wholesome restraint of his parents; but this, as every one will admit, is no reason why he should abandon his own children to themselves. In like manner, if he were a slave, he might most vehemently desire freedom; but this is no reason why he should[303] set his slaves at liberty. The whole question of right turns upon what he ought to wish or desire if placed in such a condition. If he were an intelligent, cultivated, civilized man,—in one word, if he were fit for freedom,—then his desire for liberty would be a rational desire, would be such a feeling as he ought to cherish; and hence, he should be willing to extend the same blessing to all other intelligent, cultivated, civilized men, to all such as are prepared for its enjoyment. Such is the sentiment which he should entertain, and such is precisely the sentiment entertained at the South. No one here proposes to reduce any one to slavery, much less those who are qualified for freedom; and hence the inquiry so often propounded by Dr. Wayland and other abolitionists, how we would like to be subjected to bondage, is a grand impertinence. We should like it as little as themselves; and in this respect we shall do as we would be done by.

But suppose we were veritable slaves—slaves in character and in disposition as well as in fact—and as unfit for freedom as the Africans of the South—what ought we then to wish or desire? Ought we to desire freedom? We answer, no; because on that supposition freedom would be a curse and not a blessing. Dr. Wayland himself admits that "it is very likely" freedom would be "the greatest possible injury" to the slaves of the South. Hence, we cannot perceive that if we were such as they, we ought to desire so great an evil to ourselves. It would indeed be to desire "the greatest possible injury" to ourselves; and though, as ignorant and blind slaves, we might cherish so foolish a desire, especially if instigated by abolitionists, yet this is no reason why, as enlightened citizens, we should be willing to inflict the same great evil upon others. A foolish desire, we repeat, in one relation of life, is not a good reason for a foolish or injurious act in another relation thereof.

The precept which requires us to do as we would be done by, was intended to enlighten the conscience. It is used by abolitionists to hoodwink and deceive the conscience. This precept directs us to conceive ourselves placed in the condition of others, in order that we may the more clearly perceive what is due to them. The abolitionist employs it to convince us that, because we desire liberty for ourselves, we should extend it to all men, even to those who are not qualified for its enjoyment, and to whom it would prove "the greatest possible injury." He employs it not[304] to show us what is due to others, but to persuade us to injure them! He may deceive himself; but so long as we believe what even he admits as highly probable—namely, that the "abolition of slavery would be the greatest possible injury to the slaves themselves"—we shall never use the divine precept as an instrument of delusion and of wrong. What! inflict the greatest injury on our neighbor, and that, too, out of pure Christian charity?

But we need not argue with the abolitionist upon his own admissions. We have infinitely stronger ground to stand on. The precept, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," is to be found in the Old Testament as well as in the New. Thus, in the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus, it is said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;" and no greater love than this is any where inculcated in the New Testament. Yet in the twenty-fifth chapter of the same book, it is written, "Of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen forever." This language is too plain for controversy. In regard to this very passage, in which the Hebrews are commanded to enter upon and take possession of the land of the Canaanites, Dr. Wayland himself is constrained to admit—"The authority to take them as slaves seems to be a part of this original, peculiar, and I may perhaps say, anomalous grant."[147] Now, if the principle of slavery, and the principle of the precept, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, be as Dr. Wayland boldly asserts, always and everywhere at war with each other, how has it happened that both principles are so clearly and so unequivocally embodied in one and the same code by the Supreme Ruler of the world? Has this discrepancy escaped the eye of Omniscience, and remained in the code of laws from heaven, to be detected and exposed by "the author of the Moral Science"?

We do not mean that Dr. Wayland sees any discrepancy among the principles of the divine legislation. It is true he sees there the precept, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," and[305] also this injunction, "Thou shalt buy them for a possession," and "They shall be your bondmen forever;" but although this looks very "anomalous" to him, he dare not pronounce it absurd or self-contradictory. It is true, he declares, that slavery is condemned always and everywhere by "the plainest dictates of natural justice;" but yet, although, according to his own admission,[148] it was instituted by Heaven, he has found out a method to save the character of the Almighty from the disgrace of such a law. He says, "I know the word 'shalt' is used when speaking of this subject, but it is clearly used as prophetic, and not as mandatory." Ay, the words "thou shalt" are used in regard to the buying and holding of slaves, just as they are used in the commands which precede and follow this injunction. There is no change in the form of the expression. There is not, in any way, the slightest intimation that the Lawgiver is about to prophesy; all seems to be a series of commands, and is clothed in the same language of authority—"thou shalt." Yet in one particular instance, and in one instance only, this language seems "clearly" prophetic to Dr. Wayland, and not mandatory. Now, I submit to the candid and impartial reader, if this be not egregious trifling with the word of God.

Dr. Wayland forgets that he had himself admitted that the very passage in question clothed the Hebrews with "the authority to take slaves."[149] He now, in the face of his own admission, declares that this language "is clearly prophetic," and tells what would or what might be, and not what should or what must be." The poor Hebrews, however, when they took slaves by the authority of a "thou shalt" from the Lord, never imagined that they were merely fulfilling a prophecy, and committing an abominable sin.

This is clear to Dr. Wayland, if we may trust the last expression of his opinion. But it is to be regretted, that either the clearness of his perceptions, or the confidence of his assertions, is so often disproportioned to the evidence before him. Thus, he says with the most admirable modesty, "It seems to me that the soul is the most important part of a human being;"[150] and yet he peremptorily and positively declares that the very strongest language of authority ever found in Scripture "is clearly used as[306] prophetic and not mandatory!" He may, however, well reserve the tone of dogmatic authority for such propositions, since, if they may not be carried by assertion, they must be left wholly without the least shadow of support. But one would suppose that strength of assertion in such cases required for its unembarrassed utterance no little strength of countenance.

"If any one doubts," says Dr. Wayland, "respecting the bearing of the Scripture precept upon this case, a few plain questions may throw additional light upon the subject."[151] Now, if we mistake not, the few plain questions which he deems so unanswerable may be answered with the most perfect ease. "Would the master be willing," he asks, "that another person should subject him to slavery, for the same reasons and on the same grounds that he holds his slave in bondage?" We answer, No. If any man should undertake to subject Southern masters to slavery, on the ground that they are intellectually and morally sunk so low as to be unfit for freedom or self-control, we should certainly not like the compliment. It may argue a very great degree of self-complacency in us, but yet the plain fact is, that we really do believe ourselves competent to govern ourselves, and to manage our affairs, without the aid of masters. And as we are not willing to be made slaves of, especially on any such humiliating grounds, so we are not willing to see any other nation or race of men, whom we may deem qualified for the glorious condition of freedom, subjected to servitude.

"Would the gospel allow us," he also asks, "if it were in our power, to reduce our fellow-citizens of our own color to slavery?" Certainly not. Nor do we propose to reduce any one, either white or black, to a state of slavery. It is amazing to see with what an air of confidence such questions are propounded. Dr. Channing, no less than Dr. Wayland, seems to think they must carry home irresistible conviction to the heart and conscience of every man who is not irremediably blinded by the detestable institution of slavery. "Now, let every reader," says he, "ask himself this plain question: Could I, can I, be rightfully seized and made an article of property?" And we, too, say, Let every reader ask himself this plain question, and then, if he please,[307] answer it in the negative. But what, then, should follow? Why, if you please, he should refuse to seize any other man or to make him an article of property. He should be opposed to the crime of kidnapping. But if, from such an answer, he should conclude that the institution of slavery is "everywhere and always wrong," then surely, after what has been said, not another word is needed to expose the ineffable weakness and futility of the conclusion.

This golden rule, this divine precept, requires us to conceive ourselves placed in the condition of our slaves, and then to ask ourselves, How should we be treated by the master? in order to obtain a clear and impartial view of our duty to them. This it requires of us; and this we can most cheerfully perform. We can conceive that we are poor, helpless, dependent beings, possessing the passions of men and the intellects of children. We can conceive that we are by nature idle, improvident, and, without a protector and friend to guide and control us, utterly unable to take care of ourselves. And, having conceived all this, if we ask ourselves, How should we be treated by the masters whom the law has placed over us, what is the response? Is it that they should turn us loose to shift for ourselves? Is it that they should abandon us to ourselves, only to fall a prey to indolence, and to the legion of vices and crimes which ever follow in its train? Is it that they should set us free, and expose us, without protection, to the merciless impositions of the worst portions of a stronger and more sagacious race? Is it, in one word, that we should be free from the dominion of men, who, as a general thing, are humane and wise in their management of us, only to become the victims—the most debased and helpless victims—of every evil way? We answer, No! Even the spirit of abolitionism itself has, in the person of Dr. Wayland, declared that such treatment would, in all probability, be the greatest of calamities. We feel sure it would be an infinite and remediless curse. And as we believe that, if we were in the condition of slaves, such treatment would be so great and so withering a curse, so we cannot, out of a feeling of love, proceed to inflict this curse upon our slaves. On the contrary, we would do as we so clearly see we ought to be done by, if our conditions were changed.

Is it not amazing, as well as melancholy, that learned divines, who undertake to instruct the benighted South in the great principles[308] of duty, should entertain such superficial and erroneous views of the first, great, and all-comprehending precept of the gospel? If their interpretation of this precept were correct, then the child might be set free from the authority of the father, and the criminal from the sentence of the judge. All justice would be extinguished, all order overthrown, and boundless confusion introduced into the affairs of men. Yet, with unspeakable self-complacency, they come with such miserable interpretations of the plainest truths to instruct those whom they conceive to be blinded by custom and the institution of slavery to the clearest light of heaven. They tell us, "Thou shouldst love thy neighbor as thyself;" and they reiterate these words in our ears, just as if we had never heard them before. If this is all they have to say, why then we would remind them that the meaning of the precept is the precept. It is not a mere sound, it is sense, which these glorious words are intended to convey. And if they can only repeat the words for us, why then they might just as well send a host of free negroes with good, strong lungs to be our instructors in moral science.

§ VIII. The eighth fallacy of the abolitionist.

An argument is drawn from the divine attributes against the institution of slavery. One would suppose that a declaration from God himself is some little evidence as to what is agreeable to his attributes; but it seems that moral philosophers have, now-a-days, found out a better method of arriving at what is implied by his perfections. Dr. Wayland is one of those who, setting aside the word of God, appeal to his attributes in favor of the immediate and universal abolition of slavery. If slavery were abolished, says he, "the laborer would then work in conformity with the conditions which God has appointed, whereas he now works at variance with them; in the one case, we should be attempting to accumulate property under the blessing of God, whereas now we are attempting to do it under his special and peculiar malediction. How can we expect to prosper, when there is not, as Mr. Jefferson remarks, 'an attribute of the Almighty that can be appealed to in our favor'?"[152] If we may rely upon[309] his own words, rather than upon the confident assertions of Dr. Wayland, we need not fear the curse of God upon the slaveholder. The readiness with which Dr. Wayland points the thunders of the divine wrath at our heads, is better evidence of the passions of his own heart than of the perfections of the Almighty.

Again he says: "If Jefferson trembled for his country when he remembered that God is just, and declared that, 'in case of insurrection, the Almighty has no attribute that can take part with us in the contest,' surely it becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ to pause and reflect." Now let it be borne in mind that all this proceeds from a man, from a professed disciple of Jesus Christ, who, in various places, has truly, as well as emphatically, said, "The duty of slaves is also explicitly made known in the Bible. They are bound to obedience, fidelity, submission, and respect to their masters,"[153] etc., etc.

Such, then, according to Dr. Wayland himself, is the clear and unequivocal teaching of revelation. And such being the case, shall the real "disciple of Jesus Christ" be made to believe, on the authority of Mr. Jefferson or of any other man, that the Almighty has no attribute which could induce him to take sides with his own law? If, instead of submission to that law, there should be rebellion,—and not only rebellion, but bloodshed and murder,—shall we believe that the Almighty, the supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, would look on well pleased? Since such is the express declaration of God himself respecting the duty of slaves, it surely becomes a disciple of Christ to pause and reflect whether he will follow his voice or the voice of man.

We owe at least one benefit to the Northern abolitionists. Ere the subject of slavery was agitated by them, there were many loose, floating notions among us, as well as among themselves, respecting the nature of liberty, which were at variance with the institution of slavery. But since this agitation began, we have looked more narrowly into the grounds of slavery, as well as into the character of the arguments by which it is assailed, and we have found the first as solid as adamant, the last as unsubstantial as moonshine. If Mr. Jefferson had lived till the present day, there can be no doubt, we think, that he would have been on the[310] same side of this great question with the Calhouns, the Clays, and the Websters of the country. We have known many who, at one time, fully concurred with Mr. Jefferson on this subject, but are now firm believers in the perfect justice and humanity of negro slavery.

§ IX. The ninth fallacy of the abolitionist.

We have already seen that the abolitionist argues the question of slavery as if Southerners were proposing to catch freemen and reduce them to bondage. He habitually overlooks the fact, that slavery results, not from the action of the individual, but from an ordinance of the State. He forgets that it is a civil institution, and proceeds to argue as if it were founded in individual wrong. And even when he rises—as he sometimes does—to a contemplation of the real question in dispute, he generally takes a most narrow and one-sided view of the subject. For he generally takes it for granted that the legislation which ordains the institution of slavery is intended solely and exclusively for the benefit of the master, without the least regard to the interests of the slave.

Thus says Dr. Wayland: "Domestic slavery proceeds upon the principle that the master has a right to control the actions—physical and intellectual—of the slave for his own (that is, the master's) individual benefit,"[154] etc. And again: "It supposes that the Creator intended one human being to govern the physical, intellectual, and moral actions of as many other human beings as, by purchase, he can bring within his physical power; and that one human being may thus acquire a right to sacrifice the happiness of any number of other human beings, for the purpose of promoting his own."[155] Now, surely, if this representation be just, then the institution of slavery should be held in infinite abhorrence by every man in Christendom.

But we can assure Dr. Wayland that, however ignorant or heathenish he may be pleased to consider the people of the Southern States, we are not so utterly lost to all reverence for the Creator as to suppose, even for a moment, that he intended any one human being to possess the right of sacrificing the happiness of his fellow-men to his own. We can assure him that we[311] are not quite so dead to every sentiment of political justice, as to imagine that any legislation which intends to benefit the one at the expense of the many is otherwise than unequal and iniquitous in the extreme. There is some little sense of justice left among us yet; and hence we approve of no institution or law which proceeds on the monstrous principle that any one man has, or can have, the "right to sacrifice the happiness of any number of other human beings for the purpose of promoting his own." We recognize no such right. It is as vehemently abhorred and condemned by us as it can be abhorred and condemned by the author himself.

In thus taking it for granted, as Dr. Wayland so coolly does, that the institution in question is "intended" to sacrifice the happiness of the slaves to the selfish interest of the master, he incontinently begs the whole question. Let him establish this point, and the whole controversy will be at an end. But let him not hope to establish any thing, or to satisfy any one, by assuming the very point in dispute, and then proceed to demolish what every man at the South condemns no less than himself. Surely, no one who has looked at both sides of this great question can be ignorant that the legislation of the South proceeds on the principle that slavery is beneficial, not to the master only, but also and especially to the slave. Surely, no one who has either an eye or an ear for facts can be ignorant that the institution of slavery is based on the ground, or principle, that it is beneficial, not only to the parts, but also to the whole, of the society in which it exists. This ground, or principle, is set forth in every defense of slavery by the writers and speakers of the South; it is so clearly and so unequivocally set forth, that he who runs may read. Why, then, is it overlooked by Dr. Wayland? Why is he pleased to imagine that he is combating Southern principles, when, in reality, he is merely combating the monstrous figment, the distorted conception of his own brain,—namely, the right of one man to sacrifice the happiness of multitudes to his own will and pleasure? Is it because facts do not lie within the province of the moral philosopher? Is it because fiction alone is worthy of his attention? Or is it because a blind, partisan zeal has so far taken possession of his very understanding, that he finds it impossible to speak of the institution of slavery, except in the language of the grossest misrepresentation?[312]

§ X. The tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth fallacies of the abolitionist; or his seven arguments against the right of a man to hold property in his fellow-man.

"This claim of property in a human being," says Dr. Channing, "is altogether false, groundless. No such right of man in man can exist. A human being cannot be justly owned." The only difficulty in maintaining this position is, according to Dr. Channing, "on account of its exceeding obviousness. It is too plain for proof. To defend it is like trying to confirm a self-evident truth," etc., etc. Yet he advances no less than seven "arguments," as he calls them, in order to establish this self-evident position. We shall examine these seven arguments, and see if his great confidence be not built on a mere abuse of words.

"The consciousness of our humanity," says he, "involves the persuasion that we cannot be owned as a tree or a brute." This, as every body knows, is one of the hackneyed commonplaces of the abolitionist. He never ceases to declaim about the injustice of slavery, because it regards, as he is pleased to assert, a man as a mere thing or a brute. Now, once for all, we freely admit that it were monstrously unjust to regard or treat a man otherwise than as a man. We freely admit that a human being "can not be owned as a tree or a brute."

A tree may be absolutely owned. That is to say, the owner of a tree may do what he pleases with his own, provided he do no harm or injury with it. He may cut it down; and, if he please, he may beat it as long as he has the power to raise an arm. He may work it into a house or into a piece of furniture, or he may lay it on the fire, and reduce it to ashes. He may, we repeat, do just exactly what he pleases with his own, if his own be such a thing as a tree, for a tree has no rights.

It is far otherwise with a brute. The owner of a horse, for example, may not do what he pleases with his own. Here his property is not absolute; it is limited. He may not beat his horse without mercy, "for a good man is merciful to his beast." He may not cut his horse to pieces, or burn him on the fire. For the horse has rights, which the owner himself is bound to respect. The horse has a right to food and kind treatment, and the owner who refuses these is a tyrant. Nay, the very worm that crawls[313] beneath our feet has his rights as well as the monarch on his throne; and just in so far as these rights are disregarded by a man is that man a tyrant.

Hence even the brute may not be regarded or treated as a mere thing or a tree. He can be owned and treated no otherwise than as a brute. The horse, for example, may not be left, like a tree, without food and care; but he may be saddled and rode as a horse; or he may be hitched to the plough, and compelled to do his master's work.

In like manner, a man cannot be owned or treated as a horse. He cannot be saddled or rode, nor hitched to the plough and be made to do the work of a horse. On the contrary, he should be treated as a man, and required to perform only the work of a man. The right to such work is all the ownership which any one man can rightfully have in another; and this is all which any slaveholder of the South needs to claim.

The real question is, Can one man have a right to the personal service or obedience of another without his consent? We do not intend to let the abolitionist throw dust in our eyes, and shout victory amid a clamor of words. We intend to hold him to the point. Whether he be a learned divine, or a distinguished senator, we intend he shall speak to the point, or else his argument shall be judged, not according to the eloquent noise it makes or the excitement it produces, but according to the sense it contains.

Can a man, then, have a right to the labor or obedience of another without his consent? Give us this right, and it is all we ask. We lay no claim to the soul of the slave. We grant to the abolitionist, even more freely than he can assert, that the "soul of the slave is his own." Or, rather, we grant that his soul belongs exclusively to the God who gave it. The master may use him not as a tree or a brute, but only as a rational, accountable, and immortal being may be used. He may not command him to do any thing which is wrong; and if he should so far forget himself as to require such service of his slave, he would himself be guilty of the act. If he should require his slave to violate any law of the land, he would be held not as a particeps criminis merely, but as a criminal in the first degree. In like manner, if he should require him to violate the law of God, he would be guilty—far more guilty than the slave himself—in the sight of[314] heaven. These are truths which are just as well understood at the South as they are at the North.

The master, we repeat, lays no claim to the soul of the slave. He demands no spiritual service of him, he exacts no divine honors. With his own soul he is fully permitted to serve his own God. With this soul he may follow the solemn injunction of the Most High, "Servants, obey your masters;" or he may listen to the voice of the tempter, "Servants, fly from your masters." Those only who instigate him to violate the law of God, whether at the North or at the South, are the men who seek to deprive him of his rights and to exercise an infamous dominion over his soul.

Since, then, the master claims only a right to the labor and lawful obedience of the slave, and no right whatever to his soul, it follows that the argument, which Dr. Channing regards as the strongest of his seven, has no real foundation. Since the master claims to have no property in the "rational, moral, and immortal" part of his being, so all the arguments, or rather all the empty declamation, based on the false supposition of such claim, falls to the ground. So the passionate appeals, proceeding on the supposition of such a monstrous claim, and addressed to the religious sensibilities of the multitude, are only calculated to deceive and mislead their judgment. It is a mere thing of words; and, though "full of sound and fury," it signifies nothing. "The traffic in human souls," which figures so largely in the speeches of the divines and demagogues, and which so fiercely stirs up the most unhallowed passions of their hearers, is merely the transfer of a right to labor.

Does any one doubt whether such a right may exist? The master certainly has a right to the labor of his apprentice for a specified period of time, though he has no right to his soul even for a moment. The father, too, has a right to the personal service and obedience of his child until he reach the age of twenty-one; but no one ever supposed that he owned the soul of his child, or might sell it, if he pleased, to another. Though he may not sell the soul of his child, it is universally admitted that he may, for good and sufficient reasons, transfer his right to the labor and obedience of his child. Why, then, should it be thought impossible that such a right to service may exist for life? If it may exist for one period, why not for a longer, and even for life? If[315] the good of both parties and the good of the whole community require such a relation and such a right to exist, why should it be deemed so unjust, so iniquitous, so monstrous? This whole controversy turns, we repeat, not upon any consideration of abstract rights, but solely upon the highest good of all—upon the highest good of the slave as well as upon that of the community.

"It is plain," says Dr. Channing, in his first argument, "that if any one may be held as property, then any other man may be so held." This sophism has been already sufficiently refuted. It proceeds on the supposition that if one man, however incapable of self-government, may be placed under the control of another, then all men may be placed under the control of others! It proceeds on the idea that all men should be placed in precisely the same condition, subjected to precisely the same authority, and required to perform precisely the same kind of labor. In one word, it sees no difference and makes no distinction between a Negro and a Newton. But as an overstrained and false idea of equality lies at the foundation of this argument, so it will pass under review again, when we come to consider the great demonstration which the abolitionist is accustomed to deduce from the axiom that "all men are created equal."

The third argument of Dr. Channing is, like the first, "founded on the essential equality of men." Hence, like the first, it may be postponed until we come to consider the true meaning and the real political significancy of the natural equality of all men. We shall barely remark, in passing, that two arguments cannot be made out of one by merely changing the mode of expression.

The second argument of the author is as follows: "A man cannot be seized and held as property, because he has rights. . . . A being having rights cannot justly be made property, for this claim over him virtually annuls all his rights." This argument, it is obvious, is based on the arbitrary idea which the author has been pleased to attach to the term property. If it proves any thing, it would prove that a horse could not be held as property, for a horse certainly has rights. But, as we have seen, a limited property, or a right to the labor of a man, does not deny or annul all his rights, nor necessarily any one of them. This argument needs no further refutation. For we acknowledge that the slave has rights; and the limited or qualified property which the master claims in him, extending merely to his personal[316] human labor and his lawful obedience, touches not one of these rights.

The fourth argument of Dr. Channing is identical with the second. "That a human being," says he, "cannot be justly held as property, is apparent from the very nature of property. Property is an exclusive right. It shuts out all claim but that of the possessor. What one man owns cannot belong to another." The only difference between the two arguments is this: in one the "nature of property" is said "to annul all rights;" and in the other it is said "to exclude all rights!" Both are based on the same idea of property, and both arrive at the same conclusion, with only a very slight difference in the mode of expression!

And both are equally unsound. True; "what one man owns cannot belong to another." But may not one man have a right to the labor of another, as a father to the labor of his son, or a master to the labor of his apprentice; and yet that other a right to food and raiment, as well as to other things? May not one have a right to the service of another, without annulling or excluding all the rights of that other? This argument proceeds, it is evident, on the false supposition that if any being be held as property, then he has no rights; a supposition which, if true, would exclude and annul the right of property in every living creature.

Dr. Channing's fifth argument is deduced from "the universal indignation excited toward a man who makes another his slave." "Our laws," says he, "know no higher crime than that of reducing a man to slavery. To steal or to buy an African on his own shores is piracy." "To steal a man," we reply, is one thing; and, by the authority of the law of the land, to require him to do certain labor, is, one would think, quite another. The first may be as high a crime as any known to our laws; the last is recognized by our laws themselves. Is it not wonderful that Dr. Channing could not see so plain a distinction, so broad and so glaring a difference? The father of his country held slaves; he did not commit the crime of man-stealing.

The sixth argument of Dr. Channing, "against the right of property in man," is "drawn from a very obvious principle of moral science. It is a plain truth, universally received, that every right supposes or involves a corresponding obligation. If, then, a man has a right to another's person or powers, the latter is[317] under obligation to give himself up as a chattel to the former." Most assuredly, if one man has a right to the service or obedience of another, then that other is under obligation to render that service or obedience to him. But is such an obligation absurd? Is it inconsistent with the inherent, the inalienable, the universal rights of man that the "servant should obey his master?" If so, then we fear the rights of man were far better understood by Dr. Channing than by the Creator of the world and the Author of revelation.

Such are the seven arguments adduced by Dr. Channing to show that no man can rightfully hold property in his fellow-man. But before we quit this branch of the subject, we shall advert to a passage in the address of the Hon. Charles Sumner, before the people of New York, at the Metropolitan Theatre, May 9, 1855. "I desire to present this argument," says he, "on grounds above all controversy, impeachment, or suspicion, even from slave-masters themselves. Not on triumphant story, not even on indisputable facts, do I now accuse slavery, but on its character, as revealed in its own simple definition of itself. Out of its own mouth do I condemn it." Well, and why does he condemn it? Because, "by the law of slavery, man, created in the image of God, is divested of his human character and declared to be a mere chattel. That the statement may not seem to be put forward without precise authority, I quote the law of two different slave States." That is the accusation. It is to be proved by the law of slavery itself. It is to be proved beyond "all controversy," by an appeal to "indisputable facts." Now let us have the facts: here they are. "The law of another polished slave State, says Mr. Sumner, "gives this definition: 'Slaves shall be delivered, sold, taken, reputed, and adjudged in law to be chattels personal, in the hands of their owners and possessors, and their executors, administrators, and assignees, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever.'"

Now, mark; the learned Senator undertook to prove, beyond all doubt and controversy, that slavery divests the slave of his human character, and declares him to be a mere chattel. But he merely proves that it declares him to be a "chattel personal." He merely proves that the law of a Southern State regards the slave, not as real estate or landed property, but as a "chattel personal." Does this divest him of his human character? Does this[318] make him a mere chattel? May the slave, in consequence of such law, be treated as a brute or a tree? May he be cut in pieces or worked to death at the will and pleasure of the master?

"We think that a learned Senator, especially when he undertakes to demonstrate, should distinguish between declaring a man to be "a chattel personal," and a mere chattel. No one doubts that a man is a thing; but is he therefore a mere thing, or nothing more than a thing? In like manner, no one doubts that a man is an animal; does it follow, therefore, that he is a mere animal, or nothing but an animal? It is clear, that to declare a man may be held as a "chattel personal," is a very different thing from declaring that he is a mere chattel. So much for his honor's "precise authority."

In what part of the law, then, is the slave "divested of his human character?" In no part whatever. If it had declared him to be a mere thing, or a mere chattel, or a mere animal, it would have denied his human character, we admit; but the law in question has done no such thing. Nor is any such declaration contained in the other law quoted by the learned Senator from the code of Louisiana. It is merely by the interpolation of this little word mere, that the Senator of Massachusetts has made the law of South Carolina divest an immortal being of his "human character." He is welcome to all the applause which this may have gained for him in the "Metropolitan Theatre."

The learned Senator adduces another authority. "A careful writer," says he, "Judge Stroud, in a work of juridical as well as philanthropic merit, thus sums up the laws: 'The cardinal principle of slavery—that the slave is not to be ranked among sentient[156] beings, but among things—as an article of property—a chattel personal—obtains as undoubted law in all these (the slave) States.'" We thus learn from this very "careful writer" that slaves among us are "not ranked among sentient beings," and that this is "the cardinal principle of slavery." No, they are not fed, nor clothed, nor treated as sentient beings! They are left without food and raiment, just as if they were stocks and stones! They are not talked to, nor reasoned with, as if they were rational animals, but only driven about, like dumb brutes beneath the lash! No, no, not the lash, for that would recognize them as "sentient beings!"[319] They are only thrown about like stones, or boxed up like chattels; they are not set, like men, over the lower animals, required to do the work of men; the precise work which, of all others, in the grand and diversified economy of human industry, they are the best qualified to perform! So far, indeed, is this from being "the cardinal principle of slavery," that it is no principle of slavery at all. It bears not the most distant likeness or approximation to any principle of slavery, with which we of the South have any the most remote acquaintance.

That man may, in certain cases, be held as property, is a truth recognized by a higher authority than that of senators and divines. It is, as we have seen, recognized by the word of God himself. In that word, the slave is called the "possession"[157] of the master, and even "his money."[158] Now, is not this language as strong, if not stronger, than that adduced from the code of South Carolina? It certainly calls the "bondman" his master's "money." Why, then, did not the Senator from Massachusetts denounce this language, as divesting "a man of his human character," and declaring him to be mere money? Why did he not proceed to condemn the legislation of Heaven, as well as of the South, out of its own mouth? Most assuredly, if his principles be correct, then is he bound to pronounce the law of God itself manifestly unjust and iniquitous. For that law as clearly recognizes the right of property in man as it could possibly be recognized in words. But it nowhere commits the flagrant solecism of supposing that this right of the master annuls or excludes all the rights of the slave. On the contrary, the rights of the slave are recognized, as well as those of the master. For, according to the law of God, though "a possession," and an "inheritance," and "a bondman forever," yet is the slave, nevertheless, a man; and, as a man, is he protected in his rights; in his rights, not as defined by abolitionists, but as recognized by the word of God.

§ XI. The seventeenth fallacy of the abolitionist; or the argument from the Declaration of Independence.

This argument is regarded by the abolitionists as one of their great strongholds; and no doubt it is so in effect, for who can[320] bear a superior? Lucifer himself, who fell from heaven because he could not acknowledge a superior, seduced our first parents by the suggestion that in throwing off the yoke of subjection, they should become "as gods." We need not wonder, then, if it should be found, that an appeal to the absolute equality of all men is the most ready way to effect the ruin of States. We can surely conceive of none better adapted to subvert all order among us of the South, involving the two races in a servile war, and the one or the other in utter extinction. Hence we shall examine this argument from the equality of all men, or rather this appeal to all men's abhorrence of inferiority. This appeal is usually based on the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." We do not mean to play upon these words; we intend to take them exactly as they are understood by our opponents. As they are not found in a metaphysical document or discussion, so it would be unfair to suppose—as is sometimes done—that they inculcate the wild dream of Helvetius, that all men are created with equal natural capacities of mind. They occur in a declaration of independence; and as the subject is the doctrine of human rights, so we suppose they mean to declare that all men are created equal with respect to natural rights.

Nor do we assert that there is no truth in this celebrated proposition or maxim; for we believe that, if rightly understood, it contains most important and precious truth. It is not on this account, however, the less dangerous as a maxim of political philosophy. Nay, falsehood is only then the more dangerous, when it is so blended with truth that its existence is not suspected by its victims. Hence the unspeakable importance of dissecting this pretended maxim, and separating the precious truth it contains from the pernicious falsehood by which its followers are deceived. Its truth is certainly very far from being self-evident, or rather its truth is self-evident to some, while its falsehood is equally self-evident to others, according to the side from which it is viewed. We shall endeavor to throw some light both upon its truth and its falsehood, and, if possible, draw the line which divides them from each other.

This maxim does not mean, then, that all men have, by nature,[321] an equal right to political power or to posts of honor. No doubt the words are often understood in this sense by those who, without reflection, merely echo the Declaration of Independence; but, in this sense, they are utterly untenable. If all men had, by nature, an equal right to any of the offices of government, how could such rights be adjusted? How could such a conflict be reconciled? It is clear that all men could not be President of the United States; and if all men had an equal natural right to that office, no one man could be elevated to it without a wrong to all the rest. In such case, all men should have, at least, an equal chance to occupy the presidential chair. Such equal chance could not result from the right of all men to offer themselves as candidates for the office; for, at the bar of public opinion, vast multitudes would not have the least shadow of a chance. The only way to effect such an object would be by resorting to the lot. We might thus determine who, among so many equally just claimants, should actually possess the power of the supreme magistrate. This, it must be confessed, would be to recognize in deed, as well as in word, the equal rights of all men. But what more absurd than such an equality of rights? It is not without example in history; but it is to be hoped that such example will never be copied. The democracy of Athens, it is well known, was, at one time, so far carried away by the idea of equal rights, that her generals and orators and poets were elected by the lot. This was an equality, not in theory merely, but in practice. Though the lives and fortunes of mankind were thus intrusted to the most ignorant and depraved, or to the most wise and virtuous, as the lot might determine, yet this policy was based on an equality of rights. It is scarcely necessary to add that this idea of equality prevailed, not in the better days of the Athenian democracy, but only during its imbecility and corruption.

If all men, then, have not a natural right to fill an office of government, who has this right? Who has the natural right, for example, to occupy the office of President of the United States? Certainly some men have no such right. The man, for example, who has no capacity to govern himself, but needs a guardian, has no right to superintend the affairs of a great nation. Though a citizen, he has no more right to exercise such power or authority than if he were a Hottentot, or an African, or an ape. Hence, in[322] bidding such a one to stand aside and keep aloof from such high office, no right is infringed and no injury done. Nay, right is secured, and injury prevented.

Who has such a right, then?—such natural right, or right according to the law of nature or reason? The man, we answer, who, all things considered, is the best qualified to discharge the duties of the office. The man who, by his superior wisdom, and virtue, and statesmanship, would use the power of such office more effectually for the good of the whole people than would any other man. If there be one such man, and only one, he of natural right should be our President. And all the laws framed to regulate the election of President are, or should be, only so many means designed to secure the services of that man, if possible, and thereby secure the rights of all against the possession of power by the unworthy or the less worthy. This object, it is true, is not always attained, these means are not always successful; but this is only one of the manifold imperfections which necessarily attach to all human institutions; one of the melancholy instances in which natural and legal right run in different channels. All that can be hoped, indeed, either in the construction or in the administration of human laws, is an approximation, more or less close, to the great principles of natural justice.

What is thus so clearly true in regard to the office of President, is equally true in regard to all the other offices of government. It is contrary to reason, to natural right, to justice, that either fools, or knaves, or demagogues should occupy seats in Congress; yet all of these classes are sometimes seen there, and by the law of the land are entitled to their seats. Here, again, that which is right and fit in itself is different from that which exists under the law.

The same remarks, it is evident, are applicable to governors, to judges, to sheriffs, to constables, and to justices of the peace. In every instance, he who is best qualified to discharge the duties of an office, and who would do so with greatest advantage to all concerned, has the natural right thereto. And no man who would fill any office, or exercise any power so as to injure the community, has any right to such office or power.

There is precisely the same limitation to the exercise of the elective franchise. Those only should be permitted to exercise this power who are qualified to do so with advantage to the community; and all laws which regulate or limit the possession of[323] this power should have in view, not the equal rights of all men, but solely and exclusively the public good. It is on this principle that foreigners are not allowed to vote as soon as they land upon our shores, and that native Americans can do so only after they have reached a certain age. And if the public good required that any class of men, such as free blacks or slaves, for example, should be excluded from the privilege altogether, then no doubt can remain the law excluding them would be just. It might not be equal, but would be just. Indeed, in the high and holy sense of the word, it would be equal; for, if it excluded some from a privilege or power which it conferred upon others, this is because they were not included within the condition on which alone it should be extended to any. Such is not an equality of rights and power, it is true; but it is an equality of justice, like that which reigns in the divine government itself. In the light of that justice, it is clear that no man, and no class of men, can have a natural right to exercise a power which, if intrusted to them, would be wielded for harm, and not for good.

This great truth, when stripped of the manifold sophistications of a false logic, is so clear and unquestionable, that it has not failed to secure the approbation of abolitionists themselves. Thus, after all his wild extravagancies about inherent, inalienable, and equal rights, Dr. Channing has, in one of his calmer moods, recognized this great fundamental truth. "The slave," says he, "cannot rightfully, and should not, be owned by the individual. But, like every citizen, he is subject to the community, and the community has a right and is bound to continue all such restraints as its own safety and the well-being of the slave demands." Now this is all we ask in regard to the question of equal rights. All we ask is, that each and every individual may be in such wise and so far restrained as the public good demands and no further. All we ask is, as may be seen from the first chapter of this Essay, that the right of the individual, whether real or imaginary, may be held in subjection to the undoubted right of the community to protect itself and to secure its own highest good. This solemn right, so inseparably linked to a sacred duty, is paramount to the rights and powers of the individual. Nay, as we have already seen,[159] the individual can[324] have no right that conflicts with this; because it is his duty to co-operate in the establishment of the general good. Surely he can have no right which is adverse to duty. Indeed, if for the general good, he would not cheerfully lay down both liberty and life, then both may be rightfully taken from him. We have, it is true, inherent and inalienable rights, but among these is neither liberty nor life. For these, upon our country's altar, may be sacrificed; but conscience, truth, honor may not be touched by man.

Has the community, then, after all, the right to compel "a man," a "rational and immortal being," to work? Let Dr. Channing answer: "If he (the slave) cannot be induced to work by rational and natural motives, he should be obliged to labor, on the same principle on which the vagrant in other communities is confined and compelled to earn his bread." Now, if a man be "confined, and compelled" to work in his confinement, what becomes of his "inalienable right to liberty?" We think there must be a slight mistake somewhere. Perhaps it is in the Declaration of Independence itself. Nay, is it not evident, indeed, that if all men have an inalienable right to liberty," then is this sacred right trampled in the dust by every government on earth? Is it not as really disregarded by the enlightened Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which "confines and compels" vagrants to earn their bread, as it is by the Legislature of Virginia, which has taken the wise precaution to prevent the rise of a swarm of vagrants more destructive than the locusts of Egypt? The plain truth is, that although this notion of the "inalienable right" of all to liberty may sound very well in a declaration of independence, and may be most admirably adapted to stir up the passions of men and produce fatal commotions in a commonwealth, yet no wise nation ever has been or ever will be guided by it in the construction of her laws. It may be a brand of discord in the hands of the abolitionist and the demagogue. It will never be an element of light, or power, or wisdom, in the bosom of the statesman.

"The gift of liberty," continues Dr. Channing, "would be a mere name, and worse than nominal, were he (the slave) to be let loose on society under circumstances driving him to commit crimes, for which he would be condemned to severer bondage than he had escaped." If then, after all, liberty may be worse[325] than a mere name, is it not a pity that all men should have an "inalienable right" to it? If it may be a curse, is it not a pity that all men should be required to embrace it, and to be even ready to die for it, as an invaluable blessing? We trust that "no man," that "no rational and immortal being," will ever be so ungrateful as to complain of those who have withheld from him that which is "worse than nominal," and a curse. For if such, and such only, be his inalienable birthright, were it not most wisely exchanged for a mess of pottage? The vagrant, then, should not be consulted whether he will work or not. He should be "confined and compelled" to work, says Dr. Channing. Nor should the idle and the vicious, those who cannot be induced to work by rational motives, be asked whether they will remain pests to society, or whether they will eat their bread in the sweat of their brow. "For they, too," says Dr. Channing, "should be compelled to work." But how? "The slave should not have an owner," says Dr. Channing, "but he should have a guardian. He needs authority, to supply the lack of that discretion which he has not yet attained; but it should be the authority of a friend, an official authority, conferred by the State, and for which there should be responsibility to the State." Now, if all this be true, is not the doctrine of equal rights, as held by Dr. Channing, a mere dream? If one man may have "a guardian," "an official authority," appointed by the State, to compel him to work, why may not another be placed under the same authority, and subjected to the same servitude? Are not all equal? Have not all men an equal right to liberty and to a choice of the pursuits of happiness? Let these questions be answered by the admirers of Dr. Channing; and it will be found that they have overthrown all the plausible logic, and blown away all the splendid rhetoric, which has been reared, on the ground of equal rights, against the institution of slavery at the South.

We are agreed, then, that men may be compelled to work. We are also agreed that, for this purpose, the slaves of the South should be placed under guardians and friends by the authority of the State. Dr. Channing thinks, however, that the owner is not the best guardian or the best friend whom the State could place over the slave. On the contrary, he thinks his best friend and guardian would be an official overseer, bound to him by no ties of interest, and by no peculiar feelings of affection. In all this,[326] we think Dr. Channing greatly mistaken; and mistaken because he is an utter stranger to the feelings usually called forth by the relation of master and slave. But, be this as it may, since such are the concessions made by Dr. Channing, it is no longer necessary to debate the question of slavery with him, on the high ground of abstract inalienable rights. It is brought down to one of practical utility, of public expediency.

And such being the nature of the question, we, as free citizens of the South, claim the right to settle the matter for ourselves. We claim the right to appoint such guardians and friends for this class of our population as we believe will be most advantageous to them, as well as to the whole community. We claim the right to impose such restraints, and such only, as the well-being of our own society seems to us to demand. This claim may be denied. The North may claim the right to think for us in regard to this question of expediency. But it cannot be denied that if liberty may be a curse, then no man can, in such case, have a right to it as a blessing.

If liberty would be an equal blessing to all men, then, we freely admit, all men would have an equal right to liberty. But to concede, as Dr. Channing does, that it were a curse to some men and yet contend that all men have an equal right to its enjoyment, is sheer absurdity and nonsense. But Dr. Channing, as we have seen, sometimes speaks a better sense. Thus, he has even said, "It would be cruelty, not kindness, to the latter (to the slave) to give him a freedom which he is unprepared to understand or enjoy. It would be cruelty to strike the fetters from a man whose first steps would infallibly lead him to a precipice." So far, then, according to the author himself, are all men from having an "inalienable right" to liberty, that some men have no right to it at all.

In like manner, Dr. Wayland, by his own admission, has overthrown all his most confident deductions from the notion of equal rights. He, too, quotes the Declaration of Independence, and adds, "That the equality here spoken of is not of the means of happiness, but in the right to use them as one wills, is too evident to need illustration." If this be the meaning, then the meaning is not so evidently true. On the contrary, the vaunted maxim in question, as understood by Dr. Wayland, appears to be pure and unmixed error. Power, for example, is one means of happiness;[327] and so great a means, too, that without it all other means would be of no avail. But has any man a right to use this means of happiness as he wills? Most assuredly not. He has no right to use the power he may possess, nor any other means of happiness, as he will, but only as lawful authority has willed. If it be a power conferred by man, for example, such as that of a chief magistrate, or of a senator, or of a judge, he may use it no otherwise than as the law of the land permits, or in pursuance of the objects for which it was conferred. In like manner, if it proceed from the Almighty, it may be used only in conformity with his law. So far, then, is it from being true that all men possess an equal right to use the means of happiness as they please, that no man ever has, or ever will, possess any such right at all. And if such be the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, then the Declaration of Independence is too evidently erroneous to need any further refutation. Unless, indeed, man may put forth a declaration of independence which shall annul and destroy the immutable obligations of the moral law, and erect one's will as the rule of right. But is an equal exemption from the restraints of that law liberty, or is it universal anarchy and confusion?

It were much nearer the truth to say that all men have an equal right, not to act as "one wills," but to have their wills restrained by law. No greater want is known to man, indeed, than the restraints of law and government. Hence, all men have an equal right to these, but not to the same restraints, to the same laws and governments. All have an equal right to that government which is the best for them. But the same government is not the best for all. A despotism is best for some; a limited monarchy is best for others; while, for a third people, a representative republic is the best form of government.

This proposition is too plain for controversy. It has received the sanction of all the great teachers of political wisdom, from an Aristotle down to a Montesquieu, and from a Montesquieu down to a Burke. It has become, indeed, one of the commonplaces of political ethics; and, however strange the conjunction, it is often found in the very works which are loudest in proclaiming the universal equality of human rights. Thus, for example, says Dr. Wayland: "The best form of government for any people is the best that its present moral condition renders practicable. A people may be so entirely surrendered to the influence of passion,[328] and so feebly influenced by moral restraints, that a government which relied upon moral restraint could not exist for a day. In this case, a subordinate and inferior principle remains—the principle of fear, and the only resort is to a government of force or a military despotism. And such do we see to be the fact." What, then, becomes of the equal and inalienable right of all men to freedom? Has it vanished with the occasion which gave it birth?

But this is not all. "Anarchy," continues Wayland, "always ends in this form of government. [A military despotism.] After this has been established, and habits of subordination have been formed, while the moral restraints are too feeble for self-government, an hereditary government, which addresses itself to the imagination, and strengthens itself by the influence of domestic connections, may be as good a form as a people can sustain. As they advance in intellectual and moral cultivation, it may advantageously become more and more elective, and, in a suitable moral condition, it may be wholly so. For beings who are willing to govern themselves by moral principles, there can be no doubt that a government relying upon moral principle is the true form of government. There is no reason why a man should be oppressed by taxation and subjected to fear who is willing to govern himself by the law of reciprocity. It is surely better for an intelligent and moral being to do right from his own will, than to pay another to force him to do right. And yet, as it is better that he should do right than wrong, even though he be forced to do it, it is well that he should pay others to force him, if there be no other way of insuring his good conduct. God has rendered the blessing of freedom inseparable from moral restraint to the individual; and hence it is vain for a people to expect to be free unless they are first willing to be virtuous." Again, "There is no self-sustaining power in any form of social organization. The only self-sustaining power is in individual virtue.

"And the form of a government will always adjust itself to the moral condition of a people. A virtuous people will, by their own moral power, frown away oppression, and, under any form of constitution, become essentially free. A people surrendered up to their own licentious passions must be held in subjection by force; for every one will find that force alone can protect him from his neighbors; and he will submit to be oppressed,[329] if he can only be protected. Thus, in the feudal ages, the small independent landholders frequently made themselves slaves of one powerful chief to shield themselves from the incessant oppression of twenty."

Now all this is excellent sense. One might almost imagine that the author had been reading Aristotle, or Montesquieu, or Burke. It is certain he was not thinking of equal rights. It is equally certain that his eyes were turned away from the South; for he could see how even "independent landholders" might rightfully make slaves of themselves. After such concessions, one would think that all this clamor about inherent and inalienable rights ought to cease.

In a certain sense, or to a certain extent, all men have equal rights. All men have an equal right to the air and light of heaven; to the same air and the same light. In like manner, all men have an equal right to food and raiment, though not to the same food and raiment. That is, all men have an equal right to food and raiment, provided they will earn them. And if they will not earn them, choosing to remain idle, improvident, or nuisances to society, then they should be placed under a government of force, and compelled to earn them.

Again, all men have an equal right to serve God according to the dictates of their own consciences. The poorest slave on earth possesses this right—this inherent and inalienable right; and he possesses it as completely as the proudest monarch on his throne. He may choose his own religion, and worship his own God according to his own conscience, provided always he seek not in such service to interfere with the rights of others. But neither the slave nor the freeman has any right to murder, or instigate others to murder, the master, even though he should be ever so firmly persuaded that such is a part of his religious duty. He has, however, the most absolute and perfect right to worship the Creator of all men in all ways not inconsistent with the moral law. And wo be to the man by whom such right is denied or set at naught! Such a one we have never known; but whosoever he may be, or wheresoever he may be found, let all the abolitionists, we say, hunt him down. He is not fit to be a man, much less a Christian master.

But, it will be said, the slave has also a right to religious instruction, as well as to food and raiment. So plain a proposition[330] no one doubts. But is this right regarded at the South? No more, we fear, than in many other portions of the so-called Christian world. Our children, too, and our poor, destitute neighbors, often suffer, we fear, the same wrong at our remiss hands and from our cold hearts. Though we have done much and would fain do more, yet, the truth must be confessed, this sacred and imperious claim has not been fully met by us.

It may be otherwise at the North. There, children and poor neighbors, too, may all be trained and taught to the full extent of the moral law. This godlike work may be fully done by our Christian brethren of the North. They certainly have a large surplus of benevolence to bestow on us. But if this glorious work has not been fully done by them, then let him who is without sin cast the first stone. This simple thought, perhaps, might call in doubt their right to rail at us, at least with such malignant bitterness and gall. This simple thought, perhaps, might save us many a pitiless pelting of philanthropy.

But here lies the difference—here lies our peculiar sin and shame. This great, primordial right is, with us, denied by law. The slave shall not be taught to read. Oh! that he might be taught! What floods of sympathy, what thunderings and lightnings of philanthropy, would then be spared the world! But why, we ask, should the slave be taught to read? That he might read the Bible, and feed on the food of eternal life, is the reply; and the reply is good.

Ah! if the slave would only read his Bible, and drink its very spirit in, we should rejoice at the change; for he would then be a better and a happier man. He would then know his duty, and the high ground on which his duty rests. He would then see, in the words of Dr. Wayland, "That the duty of slaves is explicitly made known in the Bible. They are bound to obedience, fidelity, submission, and respect to their masters—not only to the good and kind, but also to the unkind and froward; not, however, on the ground of duty to man, but on the ground of duty to God." But, with all, we have some little glimpse of our dangers, as well as some little sense of our duties.

The tempter is not asleep. His eye is still, as ever of old, fixed on the forbidden tree; and thither he will point his hapless victims. Like certain senators, and demagogues, and doctors of divinity, he will preach from the Declaration of Independence rather than[331] from the Bible. He will teach, not that submission, but that resistance, is a duty. To every evil passion his inflammatory and murder-instigating appeals will be made. Stung by these appeals and maddened, the poor African, it is to be feared, would have no better notions of equality and freedom, and no better views of duty to God or man, than his teachers themselves have. Such, then, being the state of things, ask us not to prepare the slave for his own utter undoing. Ask us not—O most kind and benevolent Christian teacher!—ask us not to lay the train beneath our feet, that you may no longer hold the blazing torch in vain!

Let that torch be extinguished. Let all incendiary publications be destroyed. Let no conspiracies, no insurrections, and no murders be instigated. Let the pure precepts of the gospel and its sublime lessons of peace be everywhere set forth and inculcated. In one word, let it be seen that in reality the eternal good of the slave is aimed at, and, by the co-operation of all, may be secured, and then may we be asked to teach him to read. But until then we shall refuse to head a conspiracy against the good order, the security, the morals, and against the very lives, of both the white and the black men of the South.

We might point out other respects in which men are essentially equal, or have equal rights. But our object is not to write a treatise on the philosophy of politics. It is merely to expose the errors of those who push the idea of equality to an extreme, and thereby unwisely deny the great differences that exist among men. For if the scheme or the political principles of the abolitionists be correct, then there is no difference among men, not even among the different races of men, that is worthy the attention of the statesman.

There is one difference, we admit, which the abolitionists have discovered between the master and the slave at the South. Whether this discovery be entirely original with them, or whether they received hints of it from others, it is clear that they are now fully in possession of it. The dazzling idea of equality itself has not been able to exclude it from their visions. For, in spite of this idea, they have discovered that between the Southern master and slave there is a difference of color! Hence, as if this were the only difference, in their political harangues, whether from the stump or from the pulpit, they seldom fail to rebuke the Southern statesman in the words of the poet: "He finds his fellow guilty[332] of a skin not colored like his own;" and "for such worthy cause dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey." Shame and confusion seize the man, we say, who thus dooms and devotes his fellow-man, because he finds him "guilty of a skin!" If his sensibilities were only as soft as his philosophy is shallow, he would certainly cry, "Down with the institution of slavery!" For how could he tolerate an institution which has no other foundation than a difference of color? Indeed, if such were the only difference between the two races among us, we should ourselves unite with Mr. Seward of New York, and most "affectionately advise all men to be born white." For thus, the only difference having been abolished, all men would be equal in fact, and consequently entitled to become equal in political rights, and power, and position. But if such be not the only difference between the white and the black man of the South, then neither philosophy nor paint can establish an equality between them.

Every man, we admit, is a man. But this profound aphorism is not the only one to which the political architect should give heed. An equality of conditions, of political powers and privileges, which has no solid basis in an equality of capacity or fitness, is one of the wildest and most impracticable of all Utopian dreams. If in the divine government such an equality should prevail, it is evident that all order would be overthrown, all justice extinguished, and utter confusion would reign. In like manner, if in human government such equality should exist, it would be only for a moment Indeed, to aim at an equality of conditions, or of rights and powers except by first aming at an equality of intelligence and virtue, is not to reform—it is to demolish—the governments of society. It is, indeed, to war against the eternal order of divine Providence itself in which an immutable justice ever regins. "It is this aiming after an equality," says Aristotle, "which is the cause of seditions." But though seditions it may have stirred up, and fierce passions kindled, yet has it never led its poor deluded victims to the boon after which they have so fondly panted.

Equality is not liberty. "The French," said Napoleon, "love equality: they care little for liberty." Equality is plain, simple, easily understood. Liberty is complex, and exceedingly difficult of comprehension. The most illiterate peasant may, at a glance, grasp the idea of equality; the most profound statesman may not, without much care and thought, comprehend the nature of liberty.[333] Hence it is that equality, and not liberty, so readily seizes the mind of the multitude, and so mightily inflames its passions. The French are not the only people who care but little for liberty, while they are crazy for equality. The same blind passion, it is to be feared, is possible even in this enlightened portion of the globe. Even here, perhaps, a man may rant and rave about equality, while, really, he may know but little more, and consequently care but little more, about that complicated and beautiful structure called civil liberty, than a horse does about the mechanism of the heavens.

Thus, for example, a Senator[160] of the United States declares that the democratic principle is "Equality of natural rights, guaranteed and secured to all by the laws of a just, popular government. For one, I desire to see that principle applied to every subject of legislation, no matter what that subject may be—to the great question involved in the resolution now before the Senate, and to every other question." Again, this principle is "the element and guarantee of liberty."

Apply this principle, then, to every subject, to every question, and see what kind of government would be the result. All men have an equal right to freedom from restraint, and consequently all are made equally free. All have an equal right to the elective franchise, and to every political power and privilege. But suppose the government is designed for a State in which a large majority of the population is without the character, or disposition, or habits, or experience of freemen? No matter: the equal rights of all are natural; and hence they should be applied in all cases, and to every possible "subject of legislation." The principle of equality should reign everywhere, and mold every institution. Surely, after what has been said, no comment is necessary on a scheme so wild, on a dream so visionary. "As distant as heaven is from earth," says Montesquieu, "so is the true spirit of equality from that of extreme equality." And just so distant is the Senator in question, with all his adherents, from the true idea of civil and political freedom.

The Senator thinks the conduct of Virginia "singular enough," because, in presenting a bill of rights to Congress, she omitted the provision of "her own bill of rights," "that all men are born[161] equally free and independent." We think she acted wisely.[334] For, in truth and in deed, all men are born absolutely dependent and utterly devoid of freedom. What right, we ask, has the new born infant? Has he the right to go where he pleases? He has no power to go at all; and hence he has no more a right to go than he has to fly. Has he the right to think for himself? The power of thought is as yet wholly undeveloped. Has he the right to worship God according to his own conscience? He has no idea of God, nor of the duties due to him. The plain truth is, that no human being possesses a right until the power or capacity on which the enjoyment of that right depends is suitably developed or acquired. The child, for instance, has no right to think for himself, or to worship God according to the dictates of conscience, until his intellectual and moral powers are suitably developed. He is certainly not born with such rights. Nor has he any right to go where he pleases, or attempt to do so, until he has learned to walk. Nor has he the right then, for, according to the laws of all civilized nations, he is subject to the control of the parent until he reaches the lawful age of freedom. The truth is, that all men are born not equally free and independent, but equally without freedom and without independence. "All men are born equal," says Montesquieu; but he does not say they "are born equally free and independent." The first proposition is true: the last is diametrically opposed to the truth.

Another Senator[162] seems to entertain the same passion for the principle of equality. In his speech on the Compromise Bill of 1850, he says that "a statesman or a founder of States" should adopt as an axiom the declaration, "That all men are created equal, and have inalienable rights of life, liberty, and choice of pursuits of happiness." Let us suppose, then, that this distinguished statesman is himself about to establish a constitution for the people of Mississippi or Louisiana, in which there are more blacks than whites. As they all have a natural and "inalienable right" to liberty, of course he would make them all free. But would he confer upon all, upon black as well as upon white, the power of the elective franchise? Most certainly. For he has said, "We of New York are guilty of slavery still by withholding the right of suffrage from the race we have emancipated." Surely, if he had to found a State himself, he would[335] not thus be guilty of slavery—of the one odious thing which his soul abhors. All would then be invested with the right of suffrage. A black legislature would be the consequence. The laws passed by such a body would, we fear, be no better than the constitution provided by the Senator—by the statesman—from New York.

"All men are born equal," says Montesquieu; but in the hands of such a thinker no danger need be apprehended from such an axiom. For having drank deeply of the true spirit of law, he was, in matters of government, ever ready to sacrifice abstract perfection to concrete utility. Neither the principle of equality, nor any other, would he apply in all cases or to every subject. He was no dreamer. He was a profound thinker and a real statesman. "Though real equality," says he, "be the very soul of a democracy, it is so difficult to establish, that an extreme exactness in this respect is not always convenient."

Again, he says: "All inequalities in democracies ought to be derived from the nature of the government, and even from the principle of equality. For example, it may be apprehended that people who are obliged to live by labor would be too much impoverished by public employment, or neglect the duties of attending to it; that artisans would grow insolent; and that too great a number of freemen would overpower the ancient citizens. In this case, the equality in a democracy may be suppressed for the good of the State."

Thus to give all men equal power where the majority is ignorant and depraved, would be indeed to establish equality, but not liberty. On the contrary, it would be to establish the most odious despotism on earth,—the reign of ignorance, passion, prejudice, and brutality. It would be to establish a mere nominal equality, and a real inequality. For, as Montesquieu says, by introducing "too great a number of freemen," the "ancient citizens" would be oppressed. In such case, the principle of equality, even in a democracy, should be "suppressed for the good of the State." It should be suppressed, in order to shut out a still greater and more tremendous inequality. The legislator, then, who aims to introduce an extreme equality, or to apply the principle of equality to every question, would really bring about the most frightful of all inequalities, especially in a commonwealth where the majority are ignorant and depraved.[336]

Hence the principle of equality is merely a standard toward which an approximation may be made—an approximation always limited and controlled by the public good. This principle should be applied, not to every question, but only to such as the general good permits. For this good it "may be suppressed." Nay, it must be suppressed, if, without such suppression, the public order may not be sustained; for, as we have abundantly seen, it is only in the bosom of an enlightened public order that liberty can live, or move, or have its being. Thus, as Montesquieu advises, we deduce an inequality from the very principle of equality itself; since, if such inequality be not deduced and established by law, a still more terrific inequality would be forced upon us. Blind passion would dictate the laws, and brute force would reign, while innocence and virtue would be trampled in the dust. Such is the inequality to which the honorable senators would invite us; and that, too, by an appeal to our love of equality! If we decline the invitation, this is not because we are the enemies, but because we are the friends, of human freedom. It is not because we love equality less, but liberty more.

The legislators of the North may, if they please, choose the principle of equality as the very "element and guarantee" of their liberty; and, to make that liberty perfect, they may apply it to every possible "subject of legislation," and to "every question" under the sun. But, if we may be permitted to choose for ourselves, we should beg to be delivered from such an extreme equality. We should reject it as the very worst "element," and the very surest "guarantee" of an unbounded licentiousness and an intolerable oppression. As the "element and guarantee" of freedom for ourselves, and for our posterity, we should decidedly prefer the principle of an enlightened public order.




The Argument from the Old Testament.—The Argument from the New Testament.

In discussing the arguments of the abolitionists, it was scarcely possible to avoid intimating, to a certain extent, the grounds on which we intend to vindicate the institution of slavery, as it exists among us at the South. But these grounds are entitled to a more distinct enunciation and to a more ample illustration. In the prosecution of this object we shall first advert to the argument from revelation; and, if we mistake not, it will be found that in the foregoing discussion we have been vindicating against aspersion not only the peculiar institution of the Southern States, but also the very legislation of Heaven itself.

§ I. The argument from the Old Testament.

The ground is taken by Dr. Wayland and other abolitionists, that slavery is always and everywhere, semper et ubique, morally wrong, and should, therefore, be instantly and universally swept away. We point to slavery among the Hebrews, and say, There is an instance in which it was not wrong, because there it received the sanction of the Almighty. Dr. Wayland chooses to overlook or evade the bearing of that case upon his fundamental position; and the means by which he seeks to evade its force is one of the grossest fallacies ever invented by the brain of man.

Let the reader examine and judge for himself. Here it is: "Let us reduce this argument to a syllogism, and it will stand thus: Whatever God sanctioned among the Hebrews he sanctions for all men and at all times. God sanctioned slavery among the Hebrews; therefore God sanctions slavery for all men and at all times."

Now I venture to affirm that no man at the South has ever put forth so absurd an argument in favor of slavery,—not only in favor of slavery for the negro race so long as they may remain unfit for freedom, but in favor of slavery for all men and for all[338] times. If such an argument proved any thing, it would, indeed, prove that the white man of the South, no less than the black, might be subjected to bondage. But no one here argues in favor of the subjection of the white man, either South or North, to a state of servitude. No one here contends for the subjection to slavery of any portion of the civilized world. We only contend for slavery in certain cases; in opposition to the thesis of the abolitionist, we assert that it is not always and everywhere wrong. For the truth of this assertion we rely upon the express authority of God himself. We affirm that since slavery has been ordained by him, it cannot be always and everywhere wrong. And how does the abolitionist attempt to meet this reply? Why, by a little legerdemain, he converts this reply from an argument against his position, that slavery is always and everywhere wrong, into an argument in favor of the monstrous dogma that it is always and everywhere right! If we should contend that, in some cases, it is right to take the life of a man, he might just as fairly insist that we are in favor of having every man on earth put to death! Was any fallacy ever more glaring? was any misrepresentation ever more flagrant?

Indeed we should have supposed that Dr. Wayland might have seen that his representation is not a fair one, if he had not assured us of the contrary. We should have supposed that he might have distinguished between an argument in favor of slavery for the lowest grade of the ignorant and debased, and an argument in favor of slavery for all men and all times, if he had not assured us that he possesses no capacity to make it. For after having twisted the plea of the most enlightened statesmen of the South into an argument in favor of the universal subjection of mankind to slavery, he coolly adds, "I believe that in these words I express the argument correctly. If I do not, it is solely because I do not know how to state it more correctly." Is it possible Dr. Wayland could not distinguish between the principle of slavery for some men and the principle of slavery for all men? between the proposition that the ignorant, the idle, and the debased may be subjected to servitude, and the idea that all men, even the most enlightened and free, may be reduced to bondage? If he had not positively declared that he possessed no such capacity, we should most certainly have entertained a different opinion.[339]

It will not be denied, we presume, that the very best men, whose lives are recorded in the Old Testament, were the owners and holders of slaves. "I grant at once," says Dr. Wayland, "that the Hebrews held slaves from the time of the conquest of Canaan, and that Abraham and the patriarchs held them many centuries before. I grant also that Moses enacted laws with special reference to that relation. . . . . I wonder that any should have had the hardihood to deny so plain a matter of record. I should almost as soon deny the delivery of the ten commandments to Moses."

Now, is it not wonderful that directly in the face of "so plain a matter of record," a pious Presbyterian pastor should have been arraigned by abolitionists, not for holding slaves, but for daring to be so far a freeman as to express his convictions on the subject of slavery? Most abolitionists must have found themselves a little embarrassed in such a proceeding. For there was the fact, staring them in the face, that Abraham himself, "the friend of God" and the "father of the faithful," was the owner and holder of more than a thousand slaves. How, then, could these professing Christians proceed to condemn and excommunicate a poor brother for having merely approved what Abraham had practiced? Of all the good men of old, Abraham was the most eminent. The sublimity of his faith and the fervor of his piety has, by the unerring voice of inspiration itself, been held up as a model for the imitation of all future ages. How, then, could a parcel of poor common saints presume, without blushing, to cry and condemn one of their number because he was no better than "Father Abraham?" This was the difficulty; and, but for a very happy discovery, it must have been an exceedingly perplexing one. But "Necessity is the mother of invention." On this trying occasion she conceived the happy thought that the plain matter of record "was all a mistake;" that Abraham never owned a slave; that, on the contrary, he was "a prince," and the "men whom he bought with his money" were "his subjects" merely! If, then, we poor sinners of the South should be driven to the utmost extremity,—all honest arguments and pleas failing us,—may we not escape the unutterable horrors of civil war, by calling our masters princes, and our slaves subjects?

We shall conclude this topic with the pointed and powerful words of Dr. Fuller, in his reply to Dr. Wayland: "Abraham,"[340] says he, "was 'the friend of God,' and walked with God in the closest and most endearing intercourse; nor can any thing be more exquisitely touching than those words, 'Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?' It is the language of a friend who feels that concealment would wrong the confidential intimacy existing. The love of this venerable servant of God in his promptness to immolate his son has been the theme of apostles and preachers for ages; and such was his faith, that all who believe are called 'the children of faithful Abraham.' This Abraham, you admit, held slaves. Who is surprised that Whitefield, with this single fact before him, could not believe slavery to be a sin? Yet if your definition of slavery be correct, holy Abraham lived all his life in the commission of one of the most aggravated crimes against God and man which can be conceived. His life was spent in outraging the rights of hundreds of human beings, as moral, intellectual, immortal, fallen creatures, and in violating their relations as parents and children, and husbands and wives. And God not only connived at this appalling iniquity, but, in the covenant of circumcision made with Abraham, expressly mentions it, and confirms the patriarch in it, speaking of those 'bought with his money,' and requiring him to circumcise them. Why, at the very first blush, every Christian will cry out against this statement. To this, however, you must come, or yield your position; and this is only the first utterly incredible and monstrous corollary involved in the assertion that slavery is essentially and always 'a sin of appalling magnitude.'"

Slavery among the Hebrews, however, was not left merely to a tacit or implied sanction. It was thus sanctioned by the express legislation of the Most High: "Both thy bondmen and thy bond-maids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bond-maids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen forever."[163] Now these words are so perfectly explicit, that there is no getting around them. Even Dr. Wayland, as we have seen,[341] admits that the authority to take slaves seems to be a part of "this original, peculiar," and perhaps "anomalous grant." No wonder it appeared peculiar and anomalous. The only wonder is, that it did not appear impious and absurd. So it has appeared to some of his co-agitators, who, because they could not agree with Moses, have denied his mission as an inspired teacher, and joined the ranks of infidelity.

Dr. Channing makes very light of this and other passages of Scripture. He sets aside this whole argument from revelation with a few bold strokes of the pen. "In this age of the world," says he, "and amid the light which has been thrown on the true interpretation of the Scriptures, such reasoning hardly deserves notice." Now, even if not for our benefit, we think there are two reasons why such passages as the above were worthy of Dr. Channing's notice. In the first place, if he had condescended to throw the light in his possession on such passages, he might have saved Dr. Wayland, as well as other of his admirers, from the necessity of making the very awkward admission that the Almighty had authorized his chosen people to buy slaves, and hold them as "bondmen forever." He might have enabled them to see through the great difficulty, that God has authorized his people to commit "a sin of apalling magnitude," to perpetrate as "great a crime as can be conceived;" which seems so clearly to be the case, if their views of slavery be correct. Secondly, he might have enabled his followers to espouse the cause of abolition without deserting, as so many of them have openly done, the armies of the living God. For these two reasons, if for no other, we think Dr. Channing owed it to the honor of his cause to notice the passages of Scripture bearing on the subject of slavery.

The Mosaic Institutes not only recognize slavery as lawful; they contain a multitude of minute directions for its regulation. We need not refer to all of them; it will be sufficient for our purpose if we only notice those which establish some of the leading characteristics of slavery among the people of God.

1. Slaves were regarded as property. They were, as we have seen, called a "possession" and an "inheritance."[164] They were even called the "money" of the master. Thus, it is said, "if a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under[342] his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money."[165] In one of the ten commandments this right of property is recognized: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."

2. They might be sold. This is taken for granted in all those passages in which, for particular reasons, the master is forbidden to sell his slaves. Thus it is declared: "Thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her." And still more explicitly: "If a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please not her master who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her to a strange nation, he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.[166]

3. The slavery thus expressly sanctioned was hereditary and perpetual: "Ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen forever." Even the Hebrew servant might, by his own consent, become in certain cases a slave for life: "If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve; and in the seventh shall he go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have borne him sons or daughters, the wife and the children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: then his master shall bring him unto the judges: he shall also bring him to the door or unto the door-post, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever."

Now it is evident, we think, that the legislator of the Hebrews was not inspired with the sentiments of an abolitionist. The principles of his legislation are, indeed, so diametrically opposed to the political notions of the abolitionist, that the latter is sadly perplexed to dispose of them. While some deny the authority of these principles altogether, and of the very book which contains[343] them, others are content to evade their force by certain ingenious devices of their own. We shall now proceed to examine some of the more remarkable of these cunningly-devised fables.

It is admitted by the inventors of these devices, that God expressly permitted his chosen people to buy and hold slaves. Yet Dr. Wayland, by whom this admission is made, has endeavored to weaken the force of it by alleging that God has been pleased to enlighten our race progressively. If, he argues, the institution of slavery among His people appears so very "peculiar and anomalous," this is because he did not choose to make known his whole mind on the subject. He withheld a portion of it from his people, and allowed them, by express grant, to hold slaves until the fuller revelation of his will should blaze upon the world. Such is, perhaps, the most plausible defense which an abolitionist could possibly set up against the light of revelation.

But to what does it amount? If the views of Dr. Wayland and his followers, respecting slavery, be correct, it amounts to this: The Almighty has said to his people, you may commit "a sin of appalling magnitude;" you may perpetrate "as great an evil as can be conceived;" you may persist in a practice which consists in "outraging the rights" of your fellow-men, and in "crushing their intellectual and moral" nature. They have a natural, inherent, and inalienable right to liberty as well as yourselves, but yet you may make slaves of them, and they may be your bondmen forever. In one word, you, my chosen people, may degrade "rational, accountable, and immortal beings" to the "rank of brutes." Such, if we may believe Dr. Wayland, is the first stage in the divine enlightenment of the human race! It consists in making known a part of God's mind, not against the monstrous iniquity of slavery, but in its favor! It is the utterance, not of a partial truth, but of a monstrous falsehood! It is the revelation of his will, not against sin, but in favor of as great a sin "as can be conceived." Now, we may fearlessly ask if the cause which is reduced to the necessity of resorting to such a defense may not be pronounced desperate indeed, and unspeakably forlorn?

It is alleged that polygamy and divorce, as well as slavery, are permitted and regulated in the Old Testament. This, we reply, proves, in regard to polygamy and divorce, exactly what it proves in regard to slavery,—namely, that neither is in itself sinful, that neither is always and everywhere sinful. In other words, it proves[344] that neither polygamy nor divorce, as permitted in the Old Testament, is "malum in se," is inconsistent with the eternal and unchangeable principles of right. They are forbidden in the New Testament, not because they are in themselves absolutely and immutably wrong, but because they are inconsistent with the best interests of society; especially in civilized and Christian communities. If they had been wrong in themselves, they never could have been permitted by a holy God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, except with inifinite abhorrence.

Again, it is contended by Dr. Wayland that "Moses intended to abolish slavery," because he forbade the Jews "to deliver up a fugitive slave." The words are these: "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped from his master unto thee: "He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of the gates where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him."[167] "This precept, I think," says Dr. Wayland, "clearly shows that Moses intended to abolish slavery. How could slavery long continue in a country where every one was forbidden to deliver up a fugitive slave? How different would be the condition of slaves, and how soon would slavery itself cease, were this the law of compulsory bondage among us!"

The above passage of Scripture is a precious morsel with those who are opposed to a fugitive slave law. A petition from Albany, New York, from the enlightened seat of empire of the Empire State itself, signed, if we recollect right, by one hundred and fifty persons, was presented to the United States Senate by Mr. Seward, praying that no bill in relation to fugitive slaves might be passed, which should not contain that passage. Whether Mr. Seward was enlightened by his constituents, or whether he made the discovery for himself, it is certain that he holds an act for the reclamation of fugitive slaves to be "contrary to the divine law." It is certain that he agrees with his constituents, who, in the petition referred to, pronounced every such act "immoral," and contrary to the law of God. But let us look at this passage a little, and see if these abolitionists, who thus plant themselves so confidently upon "a higher law," even upon "the divine law" itself, be not as hasty and rash in their interpretation of this law as they[345] are accustomed to be in their judgment respecting the most universal and long-established institutions of human society.

In the first place, if their interpretation be correct, we are at once met by a very serious difficulty. For we are required to believe that one passage of Scripture grants an "authority to take slaves," while another passage is designed to annul this authority. We are required to believe that, in one portion of the divine law, the right of the master to hold his slaves as "bondmen" is recognized, while another part of the same law denies the existence of such right. In fine, we are required to believe that the legislator of the Jews intended, in one and the same code, both to establish and to abolish slavery; that with one hand he struck down the very right and institution which he had set up with the other. How Dr. Channing and Mr. Sumner would have disposed of this difficulty we know full well, for they carry within their own bosoms a higher law than this higher law itself. But how Dr. Wayland, as an enlightened member of the good old orthodox Baptist Church, with whom the Scripture is really and in truth the inspired word of God, would have disposed of it, we are at some loss to conceive.

We labor under no such difficulty. The words in question do not relate to slaves owned by Hebrew masters. They relate to those slaves only who should escape from heathen masters, and seek an asylum among the people of God. "The first inquiry of course is," says a learned divine,[168] "in regard to those very words, 'Where does his master live?' Among the Hebrews, or among foreigners? The language of the passage fully develops this and answers the question. 'He has escaped from his master unto the Hebrews; (the text says—thee, i. e. Israel;) he shall dwell with thee, even among you . . . in one of thy gates.' Of course, then, he is an immigrant, and did not dwell among them before his flight. If he had been a Hebrew servant, belonging to a Hebrew, the whole face of the thing would be changed. Restoration, or restitution, if we may judge by the tenor of other property-laws among the Hebrews, would have surely been enjoined. But, be that as it may, the language of the text puts it[346] beyond a doubt that the servant is a foreigner, and has fled from a heathen master. This entirely changes the complexion of the case. The Hebrews were God's chosen people, and were the only nation on earth which worshiped the only living and true God. . . . . In case a slave escaped from them (the heathen) and came to the Hebrews, two things were to be taken into consideration, according to the views of the Jewish legislator. The first was that the treatment of slaves among the heathen was far more severe and rigorous than it could lawfully be under the Mosaic law. The heathen master possessed the power of life and death, of scourging or imprisoning, or putting to excessive toil, even to any extent that he pleased. Not so among the Hebrews. Humanity pleaded there for the protection of the fugitive. The second and most important consideration was, that only among the Hebrews could the fugitive slave come to the knowledge and worship of the only living and true God."

Now this view of the passage in question harmonizes one portion of Scripture with another, and removes every difficulty. It shows, too, how greatly the abolitionists have deceived themselves in their rash and blind appeal to "the divine law" in question. "The reason of the law," says my Lord Coke, "is the law." It is applicable to those cases, and to those cases only, which come within the reason of the law. Hence, if it be a fact, and if our Northern brethren really believe that we are sunk in the darkness of heathen idolatry, while the light of the true religion is with them alone, why, then, we admit that the reason and principle of the divine law in question is in their favor. Then we admit that the return of our fugitive slaves is "contrary to the divine law." But if we are not heathen idolaters, if the God of the Hebrews be also the God of Southern masters, then the Northern States do not violate the precept in question—they only discharge a solemn constitutional obligation—in delivering up our "fugitives from labor."

§ II. The argument from the New Testament.

The New Testament, as Dr. Wayland remarks, was given, "not to one people, but to the whole race; not for one period, but for all time." Its lessons are, therefore, of universal and perpetual obligation. If, then, the Almighty had undertaken to enlighten the human race by degrees, with respect to the great[347] sin of slavery, is it not wonderful that, in the very last revelation of his will, he has uttered not a single syllable in disapprobation thereof? Is it not wonderful, that he should have completed the revelation of his will,—that he should have set his seal to the last word he will ever say to man respecting his duties, and yet not one word about the great obligation of the master to emancipate his slaves, nor about the "appalling sin" of slavery? Such silence must, indeed, appear exceedingly peculiar and anomalous to the abolitionist. It would have been otherwise had he written the New Testament. He would, no doubt, have inserted at least one little precept against the sin of slavery.

As it is, however, the most profound silence reigns through the whole word of God with respect to the sinfulness of slavery. "It must be granted," says Dr. Wayland, "that the New Testament contains no precept prohibitory of slavery." Marvellous as such silence must needs be to the abolitionist, it cannot be more so to him than his attempts to account for it are to others. Let us briefly examine these attempts:

"You may give your child," says Dr. Wayland, "if he were approaching to years of discretion, permission to do an act, while you inculcate upon him principles which forbid it, for the sake of teaching him to be governed by principles, rather than by any direct enactment. In such case you would expect him to obey the principle, and not avail himself of the permission." Now we fearlessly ask every reader whose moral sense has not been perverted by false logic, if such a proceeding would not be infinitely unworthy of the Father of mercies? According to Dr. Wayland's view, he beholds his children living and dying in the practice of an abominable sin, and looks on without the slightest note of admonition or warning. Nay, he gives them permission to continue in the practice of this frightful enormity, to which they are already bound by the triple tie of habit, interest, and feeling! Though he gives them line upon line, and precept upon precept, in order to detach them from other sins, he yet gives them permission to live and die in this awful sin! And why? To teach them, forsooth, not to follow his permission, but to be guided by his principles! Even the guilty Eli remonstrated with his sons. Yet if, instead of doing this, he had given them permission to practice the very sins they were bent upon, he might have been, for all that, as pure and faithful as the Father of[348] mercies himself is represented to be in the writings of Dr. Wayland. Such are the miserable straits, and such the impious sophisms, to which even divines are reduced, when, on the supposition that slavery is a sin, they undertake to vindicate or defend the word which they themselves are ordained to preach!

Another reason, scarcely less remarkable than the one already noticed, is assigned for the omission of all precepts against slavery. "It was no part of the scheme of the gospel revelation," we are told by Dr. Wayland, (who quotes from Archbishop Whately,) "to lay down any thing approaching to a complete system of moral precepts—to enumerate every thing that is enjoined or forbidden by our religion." If this method of teaching had been adopted, "the New Testament would," says Dr. Wayland, "have formed a library in itself, more voluminous than the laws of the realm of Great Britain." Now, all this is very true; and hence the necessity of leaving many points of duty to the enlightened conscience, and to the application of the more general precepts of the gospel. But how has it happened that slavery is passed over in silence? Because, we are told; "every thing" could not be noticed. If, indeed, slavery be so great a sin, would it not have been easier for the divine teacher to say, Let it be abolished, than to lay down so many minute precepts for its regulation? Would this have tended to swell the gospel into a vast library, or to abridge its teachings? Surely, when Dr. Wayland sets up such a plea, he must have forgotten that the New Testament, though it cannot notice "every thing," contains a multitude of rules to regulate the conduct of the master and the slave. Otherwise he could scarcely have imagined that it was from an aversion to minuteness, or from an impossibility to forbid every evil, that the sin of slavery is passed over in silence.

He must also have forgotten another thing. He must have forgotten the colors in which he had painted the evils of slavery. If we may rely upon these, then slavery is no trifling offense. It is, on the contrary, a stupendous sin, overspreading the earth, and crushing the faculties—both intellectual and moral—of millions of human beings beneath its odious and terrific influence. Now, if this be so, then would it have been too much to expect that at least one little word might have been directed against so great, so tremendous an evil? The method of the gospel may be comprehensive, if you please; it may teach by great principles[349] rather than by minute precepts. Still, it is certain that St. Paul could give directions about his cloak; and he could spend many words in private salutations. In regard to the great social evil of the age, however, and beneath which a large majority of even the civilized world were crushed to the earth, he said nothing, lest he should become too minute,—lest his epistles should swell into too large a volume! Such is one of Dr. Wayland's defences of the gospel. We shall offer no remark; we shall let it speak for itself.

A third reason for the silence in question is the alleged ease with which precepts may be evaded. "A simple precept or prohibition," says Dr. Wayland, "is, of all things, the easiest to be evaded. Lord Eldon used to say, that 'no man in England could construct an act of Parliament through which he could not drive a coach-and-four.' We find this to have been illustrated by the case of the Jews in the time of our Saviour. The Pharisees, who prided themselves on their strict obedience to the letter, violated the spirit of every precept of the Mosaic code."

Now, in reply to this most extraordinary passage, we have several remarks to offer. In the first place, perhaps every one is not so good a driver as Lord Eldon. It is certain, that acts of Parliament have been passed, through which the most slippery of rogues have not been able to make their escape. They have been caught, tried, and condemned for their offenses, in spite of all their ingenuity and evasion.

Secondly, a "principle" is just as easily evaded as a "precept;" and, in most cases, it is far more so. The great principle of the New Testament, which our author deems so applicable to the subject of slavery, is this: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Now, if this be the great principle intended to enlighten us respecting the sin of slavery, we confess it has been most completely evaded by every slave State in the Union. We have, indeed, so entirely deceived ourselves in regard to its true import, that it seems to us to have not the most remote application to such a subject. If any one will give our remarks on this great "principle" a candid examination, we think he will admit that we have deceived ourselves on very plausible, if not on unanswerable, grounds. If slavery be a sin,—always and everywhere a monstrous iniquity,—then we should have been far more thoroughly enlightened with respect to its true nature, and found evasion[350] far more difficult, if the New Testament had explicitly declared it to be such, and commanded all masters everywhere to emancipate their slaves. We could have driven a coach-and-four neither through, nor around, any such express prohibition. It is indeed only in consequence of the default, or omission, of such precept or command, that the abolitionist appeals to what he calls the principles of the gospel. If he had only one such precept,—if he had only one such precise and pointed prohibition, he might then, and he would, most triumphantly defy evasion. He would say, There is the word; and none but the obstinate gainsayers, or unbelievers, would dare reply. But as it is, he is compelled to lose himself in vague generalities, and pretend to a certainty which nowhere exists, except in his own heated mind. This pretense, indeed, that an express precept, prohibitory of slavery, is not the most direct way to reveal its true nature, because a precept is so much more easily evaded than a principle, is merely one of the desperate expedients of a forlorn and hopeless cause. If the abolitionist would maintain that cause, or vindicate his principles, it will be found that he must retire, and hide himself from the light of revelation.

Thirdly, the above passage seems to present a very strange view of the Divine proceedings. According to that view, it appears that the Almighty tried the method of teaching by precept in the Old Testament, and the experiment failed. For precepts may be so easily evaded, that every one in the Mosaic code was violated by the Pharisees. Hence, the method of teaching by precept was laid aside in the New Testament, and the better method of teaching by principle was adopted. Such is the conclusion to which we must come, if we adopt the reasoning of Dr. Wayland. But we cannot adopt his reasoning; since we should then have to believe that the experiment made in the Old Testament proved a failure, and that its Divine Author, having grown wiser by experience, improved upon his former method.

The truth is, that the method of the one Testament is the same as that of the other. In both, the method of teaching by precept is adopted; by precepts of greater and of lesser generality. Dr. Wayland's principle is merely a general or comprehensive precept; and his precept is merely a specific or limited principle. The distinction he makes between them, and the use he makes of[351] this distinction, only reflect discredit upon the wisdom and consistency of the Divine Author of revelation.

A third account which Dr. Wayland gives of the silence of the New Testament respecting the sin of slavery, is as follows: "If this form of wrong had been singled out from all the others, and had alone been treated preceptively, the whole system would have been vitiated. We should have been authorized to inquire why were not similar precepts in other cases delivered? and if they were not delivered, we should have been at liberty to conclude that they were intentionally omitted, and that the acts which they would have forbidden are innocent." Very well. But idolatry, polygamy, divorce, is each and every one singled out, and forbidden by precept, in the New Testament. Slavery alone is passed over in silence. Hence, according to the principle of Dr. Wayland himself, we are at liberty to conclude that a precept forbidding slavery was "intentionally omitted," and that slavery itself "is innocent."

Each one of these reasons is not only exceedingly weak in itself, but it is inconsistent with the others. For if a precept forbidding slavery were purposely omitted, in order to teach mankind to be governed by principle and to disregard permissions, then the omission could not have arisen from a love of brevity. Were it not, indeed, just as easy to give a precept forbidding, as to give one permitting, the existence of slavery? Again, if a great and world-devouring sin, such as the abolitionists hold slavery to be, has been left unnoticed, lest its condemnation should impliedly sanction other sins, then is it not worse than puerile to suppose that the omission was made for the sake of brevity, or to teach mankind that the permissions of the Most High may in certain cases be treated with contempt, may be set at naught, and despised as utterly inconsistent, as diametrically opposed to the principles and purity of his law?

If the abolitionist is so completely lost in his attempts to meet the argument from the silence of Scripture, he finds it still more difficult to cope with that from its express precepts and injunctions. Servants, obey your masters, is one of the most explicit precepts of the New Testament. This precept just as certainly exists therein as does the great principle of love itself. "The obedience thus enjoined is placed," says Dr. Wayland, "not on[352] the ground of duty to man, but on the ground of duty to God." We accept the interpretation. It cannot for one moment disturb the line of our argument. It is merely the shadow of an attempt at an evasion. All the obligations of the New Testament are, indeed, placed on the same high ground. The obligation of the slave to obey his master could be placed upon no higher, no more sacred, no more impregnable, ground.

Rights and obligations are correlative. That is, every right implies a corresponding obligation, and every obligation implies a corresponding right. Hence, as the slave is under an obligation to obey the master, so the master has a right to his obedience. Nor is this obligation weakened, or this right disturbed, by the fact that the first is imposed by the word of God, and rests on the immutable ground of duty to him. If, by the divine law, the obedience of the slave is due to the master, then, by the same law, the master has a right to his obedience.

Most assuredly, the master is neither "a robber," nor "a murderer," nor "a manstealer," merely because he claims of the slave that which God himself commands the slave to render. All these epithets may be, as they have been, hurled at us by the abolitionist. His anathemas may thunder. But it is some consolation to reflect, that, as he was not consulted in the construction of the moral code of the universe, so, it is to be hoped, he will not be called upon to take part in its execution.

The most enlightened abolitionists are sadly puzzled by the precept in question; and, from the manner in which they sometimes speak of it, we have reason to fear it holds no very high place in their respect. Thus, says the Hon. Charles Sumner, "Seeking to be brief, I shall not undertake to reconcile texts of the Old Testament, which, whatever may be their import, are all absorbed in the New; nor shall I stop to consider the precise interpretation of the oft-quoted phrase, Servants, obey your masters; nor seek to weigh any such imperfect injunction in the scales against those grand commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets."[169] Now this is a very significant passage. The orator, its learned author, will not stop to consider the texts of the Old Testament bearing on the subject of slavery, because they are all merged in the New! Nor will he stop to consider[353] any "such imperfect injunction" as those contained in the New, because they are all swallowed up and lost in the grand commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself!"

If he had bestowed a little more attention on this grand commandment itself, he might have seen, as we have shown, that it in no wise conflicts with the precept which enjoins servants to obey their masters. He might have seen that it is not at all necessary to "weigh" the one of those precepts "in the scales against" the other, or to brand either of them as imperfect. For he might have seen a perfect harmony between them. It is no matter of surprise, however, that an abolitionist should find imperfections in the moral code of the New Testament.

It is certainly no wonder that Mr. Sumner should have seen imperfections therein. For he has, in direct opposition to the plainest terms of the gospel, discovered that it is the first duty of the slave to fly from his master. In his speech delivered in the Senate of the United States, we find among various other quotations, a verse from Sarah W. Morton, in which she exhorts the slave to fly from bondage. Having produced this quotation "as part of the testimony of the times," and pronounced it "a truthful homage to the inalienable rights" of the slave, Mr. Sumner was in no mood to appreciate the divine precept, "Servants, obey your masters." Having declared fugitive slaves to be "the heroes of the age," he had not, as we may suppose, any very decided taste for the commonplace Scriptural duties of submission and obedience. Nay, he spurns at and rejects such duties as utterly inconsistent with the "inalienable rights of man." He appeals from the oracles of eternal truth to "the testimony of the times." He appeals from Christ and his apostles to Sarah W. Morton. And yet, although he thus takes ground directly against the plainest precepts of the gospel, and even ventures to brand some of them as "imperfect," he has the hardihood to rebuke those who find therein, not what it really contains, but only a reflection of themselves!

The precept in question is not an isolated injunction of the New Testament. It does not stand alone. It is surrounded by other injunctions, equally authoritative, equally explicit, equally unequivocal. Thus, in Eph. vi. 5: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh." Precisely the same doctrine was preached to the Colossians: (iii. 22:)[354] "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God." Again, in St. Paul's Epistle to Timothy, he writes: "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." Likewise, in Tit. ii. 9, 10, we read: "Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." And in 1 Pet. ii. 18, it is written: "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." Yet, in the face of these passages, Mr. Sumner declares that it is the duty of slaves to fly from bondage, and thereby place themselves among "the heroes of the age." He does not attempt to interpret or explain these precepts; he merely sets them aside, or passes them by with silent contempt, as "imperfect." Indeed, if his doctrines be true, they are not only imperfect—they are radically wrong and infamously vicious. Thus, the issue which Mr. Sumner has made up is not with the slaveholders of the South; it is with the word of God itself. The contradiction is direct, plain, palpable, and without even the decency of a pretended disguise. We shall leave Mr. Sumner to settle this issue and controversy with the Divine Author of revelation.

In the mean time, we shall barely remind the reader of what that Divine Author has said in regard to those who counsel and advise slaves to disobey their masters, or fly from bondage. "They that have believing masters," says the great Apostle to the Gentiles, "let them not despise them because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing." Mr. Sumner congratulates himself that he has stripped "from slavery the apology of Christianity." Let servants "count their own masters worthy of all honor," and "do them service," says St. Paul. "Let servants disobey their masters," says Mr. Sumner, "and cease to do them service." "These things teach and exhort," says St. Paul. "These things denounce and abhor,"[355] says Mr. Sumner. "If any man teach otherwise," says St. Paul, "he is proud, knowing nothing." "I teach otherwise," says Mr. Sumner. And is it by such conflict that he strips from slavery the sanction of Christianity? If the sheer ipse dixit of Mr. Sumner be sufficient to annihilate the authority of the New Testament, which he professes to revere as divine, then, indeed, has he stripped the sanction of Christianity from the relation of master and slave. Otherwise, he has not even stripped from his own doctrines the burning words of her condemnation.

Dr. Wayland avoids a direct conflict with the teachings of the gospel. He is less bold, and more circumspect, than the Senator from Massachusetts. He has honestly and fairly quoted most of the texts bearing on the subject of slavery. He shows them no disrespect. He pronounces none of them imperfect. But with this array of texts before him he proceeds to say: "Now, I do not see that the scope of these passages can be misunderstood." Nor can we. It would seem, indeed, impossible for the ingenuity of man to misunderstand the words, quoted by Dr. Wayland himself, "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh." Dr. Wayland does not misunderstand them. For he has said, in his Moral Science: "The duty of slaves is explicitly made known in the Bible. They are bound to obedience, fidelity, submission, and respect to their masters, not only to the good and kind, but also to the unkind and froward." But when he comes to reason about these words, which he finds it so impossible for any one to misunderstand, he is not without a very ingenious method to evade their plain import and to escape from their influence. Let the reader hear, and determine for himself.

"I do not see," says Dr. Wayland, "that the scope of these passages can be misunderstood. They teach patience, meekness, fidelity, and charity—duties which are obligatory on Christians toward all men, and, of course, toward masters. These duties are obligatory on us toward enemies, because an enemy, like every other man, is a moral creature of God." True. But is this all? Patience, meekness, fidelity, charity—duties due to all men! But what has become of the word obedience? This occupies a prominent—nay, the most prominent—place in the teachings of St. Paul. It occupies no place at all in the reasonings of Dr. Wayland. It is simply dropped out by him, or overlooked; and this was well done, for this word obedience is an[356] exceedingly inconvenient one for the abolitionist. If Dr. Wayland had retained it in his argument, he could not have added, "duties which are obligatory on Christians toward all men, and, of course, toward masters." Christians are not bound to obey all men. But slaves are bound to obey "their own masters." It is precisely upon this injunction to obedience that the whole argument turns. And it is precisely this injunction to obedience which Dr. Wayland leaves out in his argument. He does not, and he cannot, misunderstand the word. But he can just drop it out, and, in consequence, proceed to argue as if nothing more were required of slaves than is required of all Christian men!

The only portion of Scripture which Mr. Sumner condescends to notice is the Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon. He introduces the discussion of this epistle with the remark that, "In the support of slavery, it is the habit to pervert texts and to invent authority. Even St. Paul is vouched for a wrong which his Christian life rebukes."[170] Now we intend to examine who it is that really perverts texts of Scripture, and invents authority. We intend to show, as in the clear light of noonday, that it is the conduct of Mr. Sumner and other abolitionists, and not that of the slaveholder, which is rebuked by the life and writings of the great apostle.

The epistle in question was written to a slaveholder, who, if the doctrine of Mr. Sumner be true, lived in the habitual practice of "a wrong so transcendent, so loathsome, so direful," that it "must be encountered wherever it can be reached, and the battle must be continued, without truce or compromise, until the field is entirely won." Is there any thing like this in the Epistle to Philemon? Is there any thing like it in any of the epistles of St. Paul? Is there anywhere in his writings the slightest hint that slavery is a sin at all, or that the act of holding slaves is in the least degree inconsistent with the most exalted Christian purity of life? We may safely answer these questions in the negative. The very epistle before us is from "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon, our dearly-beloved, and fellow-laborer." The inspired writer then proceeds in these words: "I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers. Hearing of thy love and faith, which[357] thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother."

Now if, instead of leaving out this portion of the epistle, Mr. Sumner had pronounced it in the hearing of his audience, the suspicion might have arisen in some of their minds that the slaveholder may not, after all, be so vile a wretch. It might even have occurred to some, perhaps, that the Christian character of Philemon, the slaveholder, might possibly have been as good as that of those by whom all slaveholders are excommunicated and consigned to perdition. It might have been supposed that a Christian man may possibly hold slaves without being as bad as robbers, or cut-throats, or murderers. We do not say that Mr. Sumner shrunk from the reading of this portion of the epistle in the hearing of his audience, lest it should seem to rebuke the violence and the uncharitableness of his own sentiments, as well as those of his brother abolitionists at the North. We do say, however, that Mr. Sumner had no sort of use for this passage. It could in no way favor the impression his oration was designed to make. It breathes, indeed, a spirit of good-will toward the Christian master as different from that which pervades the speeches of the honorable Senator, as the pure charity of Heaven is from the dire malignity of earth.

"It might be shown," says Mr. Sumner, "that the present epistle, when truly interpreted, is a protest against slavery, and a voice for freedom." If, instead of merely asserting that this "might be done," the accomplished orator had actually done it, he would have achieved far more for the cause of abolitionism than has been effected by all the splendors of his showy rhetoric. He has, indeed, as we shall presently see, made some attempt to show that the Epistle to Philemon is an emancipation document. When we come to examine this most extraordinary attempt, we shall perceive that Mr. Sumner's power "to pervert texts and to invent authority," has not been wholly held in reserve for what "might be done." If his view of this portion of Scripture be not very profound, it certainly makes up in originality what it lacks in depth. If it should fail to instruct, it will at least amuse the reader. It shall be noticed in due time.[358]

The next point that claims our attention is the intimation that St. Paul's "real judgment of slavery" may be inferred "from his condemnation, on another occasion, of 'manstealers,' or, according to the original text, slave-traders, in company with murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers." Were we disposed to enter into the exegesis of the passage thus referred to, we might easily show that Mr. Sumner is grossly at fault in his Greek. We might show that something far more enormous than even trading in slaves is aimed at by the condemnation of the apostle. But we have not undertaken to defend "manstealers," nor "slave-traders," in any form or shape. Hence, we shall dismiss this point with the opinion of Macknight, who thinks the persons thus condemned in company with murderers of fathers and mothers, are "they who make war for the inhuman purpose of selling the vanquished as slaves, as is the practice of the African princes." To take any free man, whether white or black, by force, and sell him into bondage, is manstealing. To make war for such a purpose, were, we admit, wholesale murder and manstealing combined. This view of the passage in question agrees with that of the great abolitionist, Mr. Barnes, who holds that "the essential idea of the term" in question, "is that of converting a free man into a slave" . . . . the "changing of a freeman into a slave, especially by traffic, subjection, etc." Now, as we of the South, against whom Mr. Sumner is pleased to inveigh, propose to make no such changes of freemen into slaves, much less to wage war for any such purpose, we may dismiss his gross perversion of the text in question. He may apply the condemnation of the apostle to us now, if it so please the benignity of his Christian charity, but it will not, we assure him, enter into our consciences, until we shall not only become "slave-traders," but also, with a view to the gain of such odious traffic, make war upon freemen.

We have undertaken to defend, as we have said, neither "slave-traders," nor "manstealers." We leave them both to the tender mercies of Mr. Sumner. But we have undertaken to defend slavery, that is, the slavery of the South, and to vindicate the character of Southern masters against the aspersions of their calumniators. And in this vindication we shrink not from St. Paul's "real judgment of slavery." Nay, we desire, above all[359] things, to have his real judgment. His judgment, we mean, not of manstealers or of murderers, but of slavery and slaveholders. We have just seen "his real judgment" respecting the character of one slaveholder. We have seen it in the very epistle Mr. Sumner is discussing. Why, then, does he fly from St. Paul's opinion of the slaveholder to what he has said of the manstealer and the murderer? We would gather an author's opinion of slavery from what he has said of slavery itself, or of the slaveholder. But this does not seem to suit Mr. Sumner's purpose quite so well. Entirely disregarding the apostle's opinion of the slaveholder contained in the passage right before him, as well as elsewhere, Mr. Sumner infers his "real judgment of slavery" from what he has said of manstealers and murderers! He might just as well have inferred St. Paul's opinion of Philemon from what he has, "on another occasion," said of Judas Iscariot.

Mr. Sumner contents himself with "calling attention to two things, apparent on the face" of the epistle itself; and which, in his opinion, are "in themselves an all-sufficient response." The first of these things is, says he: "While it appears that Onesimus had been in some way the servant of Philemon, it does not appear that he had ever been held as a slave, much less as a chattel." It does not appear that Onesimus was the slave of Philemon, is the position of the celebrated senatorial abolitionist. We cannot argue this position with him, however, since he has not deigned to give any reasons for it, but chosen to let it rest upon his assertion merely. We shall, therefore, have to argue the point with Mr. Albert Barnes, and other abolitionists, who have been pleased to attempt to bolster up so novel, so original, and so bold an interpretation of Scripture with exegetical reasons and arguments.

In looking into these reasons and arguments,—if reasons and arguments they may be called,—we are at a loss to conceive on what principle their authors have proceeded. The most plausible conjecture we can make is, that it was deemed sufficient to show that it is possible, by a bold stroke of interpretation, to call in question the fact that Onesimus was the slave of Philemon; since, if this may only be questioned by the learned, then the unlearned need not trouble themselves with the Scripture, but simply proceed with the work of abolitionism. Then may they[360] cry, "Who shall decide when doctors disagree?"[171] and give all such disputings to the wind. Such seems to us to have been the principle on which the assertion of Mr. Sumner and Mr. Barnes has proceeded; evincing, as it does, an utter, total, and reckless disregard of the plainest teachings of inspiration. But let the candid reader hear, and then determine for himself.

The Greek word δοὑλος, applied to Onesimus, means, according to Mr. Barnes, either a slave, or a hired servant, or an apprentice. It is not denied that it means a slave. "The word," says Mr. Barnes himself, "is that which is commonly applied to a slave." Indeed, to assert that the Greek word δοὑλος does not mean slave, were only a little less glaringly absurd than to affirm that no such meaning belongs to the English term slave itself. If it were necessary, this point might be most fully, clearly, and conclusively established; but since is is not denied, no such work of supererogation is required at our hands.

But it is insisted, that the word in question has a more extensive signification than the English term slave. "Thus," says Mr. Barnes, "it is so extensive in its signification as to be applicable to any species of servitude, whether voluntary or involuntary." Again: "All that is necessairly implied by it is, that he was, in some way, the servant of Philemon—whether hired or bought cannot be shown." Once more, he says: "The word denotes servant of any kind, and it should never be assumed that those to whom it was applied were slaves." Thus, according to Mr. Barnes, the word in question denotes a slave, or a hired servant, or, as he has elsewhere said, an apprentice. It denotes "servant of any kind," whether "voluntary or involuntary."

Such is the positive assertion of Mr. Barnes. But where is the proof? Where is the authority on which it rests? Surely, if this word is applied to hired servants, either in the Greek classics or in the New Testament, Mr. Barnes, or Mr. Sumner, or some other learned abolitionist, should refer us to the passage where it is so used. We have Mr. Barnes' assertion, again and again repeated, in his very elaborate Notes on the Epistle to Philemon; but not the shadow of an authority for any such use of the[361] word. But stop: in making this assertion, he refers us to his "Notes on Eph. vi 5, and 1 Tim. vi." Perhaps we may find his authority by the help of one of these references. We turn, then, to Eph. vi. 5; and we find the following note: "Servants. Ὁἱ δοὑλοι Hoi douloi]. The word here used denotes one who is bound to render service to another, whether that service be free or voluntary, and may denote, therefore, either a slave, or one who binds himself to render service to another. It is often used in these senses in the New Testament, just as it is elsewhere."[172] Why, then, if it is so often used to denote a hired servant, or an apprentice, or a voluntary servant of any kind, in the New Testament, is not at least one such instance of its use produced by Mr. Barnes? He must have been aware that one such authority from the New Testament was worth more than his bare assertion, though it were a hundred times repeated. Yet no such authority is adduced or referred to; he merely supports his assertion in the one place by his assertion in the other?

Let us look, in the next place, to his other reference, which is to 1 Tim. vi. 1. Here, again, we find not the shadow of an authority that the word in question is applicable to "hired servants," or "apprentices." We simply meet the oft-repeated assertion of the author, that it is applicable to any species of servitude. He refers from assertion to assertion, and nowhere gives a single authority to the point in question. If we may believe him, such authorities are abundant, even in the New Testament; yet he leaves the whole matter to rest upon his own naked assertion! Yea, as Greek scholars, he would have us to believe that δοὑλος may mean a "hired servant," just as well as a slave; and he would have us to believe this, too, not upon the usage of Greek writers, but upon his mere assertion! We look for other evidence; and we intend to pin him down to proof, ere we follow him in questions of such momentous import as the one we have in hand.

Why is it, then, we ask the candid reader, if the term in question mean "a hired servant," as well as a slave, that no such application of the word is given? If such applications be as abundant as our author asserts they are, why not refer us to a single instance, that our utter ignorance may be at least relieved[362] by one little ray of light? Why refer us from assertion to assertion, if authorities may be so plentifully had? We cannot conceive, unless the object be to deceive the unwary, or those who may be willingly deceived. An assertion merely, bolstered up with a "See note," here or there, may be enough for such; but if, after all, there be nothing but assertion on assertion piled, we shall not let it pass for proof. Especially, if such assertion be at war with truth, we shall track its author, and, if possible, efface his footprints from the immaculate word of God.

If the term δοὑλος signifies "a hired servant," or "an apprentice," it is certainly a most extraordinary circumstance that the best lexicographers of the Greek language have not made the discovery. This were the more wonderful, if, as Mr. Barnes asserts, the word "is often used in these senses" by Greek writers. We have several Greek lexicons before us, and in not one of them is there any such meaning given to the word. Thus, in Donnegan, for example, we find: "δοὑλος, a slave, a servant, as opposed to δεσποτης, a master." But we do not find from him that it is ever applied to hired servants or apprentices. In like manner, Liddell and Scott have "δοὑλος, a slave, bondman, strictly one born so, opposed to ανδραποδον." But they do not lay down "a hired servant," or "an apprentice," as one of its significations. If such, indeed, be found among the meanings of the word, these celebrated lexicographers were as ignorant of the fact as ourselves. Stephens also, as any one may see by referring to his "Thesaurus, Ling. Græc., Tom I. art. Δοὑλος," was equally ignorant of any such use of the term in question. Is it not a pity, then, that, since such knowledge rested with Mr. Barnes, and since, according to his own statement, proofs of its accuracy were so abundant, he should have withheld all the evidence in his possession, and left so important a point to stand or fall with his bare assertion? Even if the rights of mankind had not been in question, the interests of Greek literature were, one would think, sufficient to have induced him to enlighten our best lexicographers with respect to the use of the word under consideration. Such, an achievement would, we can assure him, have detracted nothing from his reputation for scholarship.

But how stands the word in the New Testament? It is certain that, however "often it may be applied" to hired servants in the New Testament, Mr. Barnes has not condescended to adduce a[363] single application of the kind. This is not all. Those who have examined every text of the New Testament in which the word δοὑλος occurs, and compiled lexicons especially for the elucidation of the sacred volume, have found no such instance of its application.

Thus, Schleusner, in his Lexicon of the New Testament, tells us that it means slave as opposed to, λευθερος, freeman. His own words are: Δοὑλος, ου, ὁ, (1) proprie: servus, minister, homo non liber nec sui juris, et opponitur τὡ ελευθερος. Matt. viii. 9; xiii. 27, 28; 1 Cor. vii. 21, 22; xii. 13; εἱτε δοὑλοι, εἱτε ἑλεὑθεροι. Tit. ii. 9."

We next appeal to Robinson's Lexicon of the New Testament. We there find these words: "Δοὑλος, ου, ὁ, a bondman, slave, servant, pr. by birth; diff. from ανδραποδον, 'one enslaved in war,' comp. Xen. An., iv. 1, 12," etc. Now if, as Mr. Barnes asserts, the word in question is so often applied to hired servants in the New Testament, is it not passing strange that neither Schleusner nor Robinson should have discovered any such application of it? So far, indeed, is Dr. Robinson from having made any such discovery, that he expressly declares that the δοὑλος "was never a hired servant; the latter being called μισθιος, μισθωτος." "In a family," continues the same high authority, "the δοὑλος was bound to serve, a slave, and was the property of his master, 'a living possession,' as Aristotle calls him."

"The Greek δοὑλος," says Dr. Smith, in his Dictionary of Antiquities, "like the Latin servus, corresponds to the usual meaning of our word slave. . . . . Aristotle (Polit. i. 3.) says that a complete household is that which consists of slaves and freemen, (οικἱα δε τἑλειος εκ δουλων καὶ ελευθερων,) and he defines a slave to be a living working-tool and possession. (Ὁ δοὑλος ἑμφυχον, ὁργανον, Ethic. Nicim. viii. 13; ὁ δοὑλος κτημα τι εμφυχον, Pol. i. 4.) Thus Aristotle himself defines the δοὑλος to be, not a "servant of any kind," but a slave; and we presume that he understood the force of this Greek word at least as well as Mr. Barnes or Mr. Sumner. And Dr. Robinson, as we have just seen, declares that it never means a hired servant.

Indeed, all this is so well understood by Greek scholars, that Dr. Macknight does not hesitate to render the term δοὑλος, applied to Onesimus in the Epistle to Philemon, by the English word slave. He has not even added a footnote, as is customary with[364] him when he deems any other translation of a word than that given by himself at all worthy of notice. In like manner, Moses Stuart just proceeds to call Onesimus "the slave of Philemon," as if there could be no ground for doubt on so plain a point. Such is the testimony of these two great Biblical critics, who devoted their lives in great measure to the study of the language, literature, and interpretation of the Epistles of the New Testament.

Now, it should be observed, that not one of the authorities quoted by us had any motive "to pervert texts," or "to invent authorities," "in support of slavery." Neither Donnegan, nor Liddell and Scott, nor Stephens, nor Schleusner, nor Robinson, nor Smith, nor Macknight, nor Stuart, could possibly have had any such motive. If they were not all perfectly unbiassed witnesses, it is certain they had no bias in favor of slavery. It is, indeed, the abolitionist, and not the slaveholder, who, in this case, "has perverted texts;" and if he has not "invented authorities," it is because his attempts to do so have proved abortive.

Beside the clear and unequivocal import of the word applied to Onesimus, it is evident, from other considerations, that he was the slave of Philemon. To dwell upon all of these would, we fear, be more tedious than profitable to the reader. Hence we shall confine our attention to a single circumstance, which will, we think, be sufficient for any candid or impartial inquirer after truth. Among the arguments used by St. Paul to induce Philemon to receive his fugitive slave kindly, we find this: "For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him forever." This verse is thus paraphrased by Macknight: "To mitigate thy resentment, consider, that perhaps also for this reason he was separated from thee for a little while, (so προς ὡραν signified, 1 Thess. ii. 17, note 2,) that thou mightest have him thy slave for life." Dr. Macknight also adds, in a footnote: "By telling Philemon that he would now have Onesimus forever, the apostle intimates to him his firm persuasion that Onesimus would never any more run away from him." Such seems to be the plain, obvious import of the apostle's argument. No one, it is believed, who had no set purpose to subserve, or no foregone conclusion to support, would view this argument in any other light. Perhaps he was separated for a while as a slave, that "thou mightest have him forever," or for life. How have[365] him? Surely, one would think, as a slave, or in the same capacity from which he was separated for a while. The argument requires this; the opposition of the words, and the force of the passage, imperatively require it. But yet, if we may believe Mr. Barnes, the meaning of St. Paul is, that perhaps Onesimus was separated for a while as a servant, that Philemon might never receive him again as a servant, but forever as a Christian brother! Lest we should be suspected of misrepresentation, we shall give his own words. "The meaning is," says he, "that it was possible that this was permitted in the providence of God, in order that Onesimus might be brought under the influence of the gospel, and be far more serviceable to Philemon as a Christian than he could have been in his former relation to him."

In the twelfth verse of the epistle, St. Paul says: "Whom I have sent again," or, as Macknight more accurately renders the words, "Him I have sent back," (ὁν ανεπεμφα.) Here we see the great apostle actually sending back a fugitive slave to his master. That act of St. Paul is not, and cannot be, denied. The words are too plain for denial. Onesimus "I have sent back." Surely it cannot be otherwise than a most unpleasant spectacle to abolitionist eyes thus to see Paul, the aged—perhaps the most venerable and glorious hero whose life is upon record—assume such an attitude toward the institution of slavery. Had he dealt with slavery as he always dealt with every thing which he regarded as sin; had he assumed toward it an attitude of stern and uncompromising hostility, and had his words been thunderbolts of denunciation, then indeed would he have been a hero after the very hearts of the abolitionists. But, as it is, they have to apologize for the great apostle, and try, as best they may, to deliver him from his very equivocal position! But if they are true apostles, and not false, then, we fear, the best apology for his conduct is that he had never read the Declaration of Independence, nor breathed the air of Boston.

This point, however, we shall not decide. We shall examine their apologies, and let the candid reader decide for himself. St. Paul, it is not denied, sent back Onesimus. But, says Mr. Barnes, he did not compel or urge him to go. He did not send him back against his will. Onesimus, no doubt, desired to return, and St. Paul was moved to send him by his own request. Now, in the first place, this apology is built on sheer assumption.[366] There is not the slightest evidence that Onesimus requested St. Paul to send him back to his master. "There may have been many reasons," says Mr. Barnes, "why Onesimus desired to return to Colosse, and no one can prove that he did not express that desire to St. Paul, and that his 'sending' him was not in consequence of such request." True; even if Onesimus had felt no such desire, and had expressed no such desire to St. Paul, it would have been impossible, in the very nature of things, for any one to prove such negatives, unless he had been expressly informed on the subject by the writer of the epistle. But is it not truly wonderful, that any one should, without the least particle or shadow of evidence, be pleased to imagine a series of propositions, and then call upon the opposite party to disprove them? Is not such proceeding the very stuff that dreams are made of?

No doubt there may have been reasons why Onesimus should desire to return to his master. There were certainly reasons, and reasons of tremendous force, too, why he should have desired no such thing. The fact that Philemon, whom he had offended by running away, had, according to law, the power of life and death over him, is one of the reasons why he should have dreaded to return. Hence, unless required by the apostle to return, he may have desired no such thing, and no one can prove that an expression of such desire on his part was the ground of the apostle's action. It is certain, that he who affirms should prove.

In the second place, if St. Paul were an abolitionist at heart, he should have avoided the appearance of so great an evil. He should not, for a moment, have permitted himself to stand before the world in the simple and unexplained attitude of one who had sent back a fugitive slave to his master. No honest abolitionist would permit himself to appear in such a light. He would scorn to occupy such a position. Hence, we repeat, if St. Paul were an abolitionist at heart, he should have let it be known that, in sending Onesimus back, he was moved, not originally by the principles of his own heart, but by the desire and request of the fugitive himself. By such a course, he would have delivered himself from a false position, and spared his friends among the abolitionists the necessity of making awkward apologies for his conduct.

Thirdly, the positions of Mr. Barnes are not merely sheer[367] assumptions; they are perfectly gratuitous. For it is easy to explain the determination of St. Paul to send Onesimus back, without having recourse to the supposition that Onesimus desired him to do so. Such determination was, indeed, the natural and necessary result of the well known principles of the great apostle. He had repeatedly, and most emphatically, inculcated the principle, that it is the duty of slaves to "obey their masters," and to "count them worthy of all honor." This duty Onesimus had clearly violated in running away from his master. If St. Paul, then, had not taught Onesimus a different doctrine from that which he had taught the churches, he must have felt that he had done wrong in absconding from Philemon, and desired to repair the wrong by returning to him. "It is," says Mr. Barnes, "by no means necessary to suppose that Paul felt that Onesimus was under obligation to return." But we must suppose this, unless we suppose that Paul felt that Onesimus was under no obligation to obey the precepts which he himself had delivered for the guidance and direction of all Christian servants.

We shall now briefly notice a few other of Mr. Barnes' arguments, and then dismiss this branch of the subject. "If St. Paul sent back Onesimus," says he, "this was, doubtless, at his own request; for there is not the slightest evidence that he compelled him, or even urged him, to go." We might just as well conclude that St. Paul first required Onesimus to return, because there is not the slightest evidence that Onesimus made any such request.

"Paul," says Mr. Barnes, "had no power to send Onesimus back to his master unless he chose to go." This is very true. But still Onesimus may have chosen to go, just because St. Paul, his greatest benefactor and friend, had told him it was his duty to do so. He may have chosen to go, just because the apostle had told him it is the duty of servants not to run away from their masters, but to obey them, and count them worthy of all honor. It is also true, that "there is not the slightest evidence that he compelled him, or even urged him, to go." It is, on the other hand, equally true, that there is not the slightest evidence that any thing more than a bare expression of the apostle's opinion, or a reiteration of his well-known sentiments, was necessary to induce him to return.

"The language is just as would have been used," says our[368] author, "on the supposition, either that he requested him to go and bear a letter to Colosse, or that Onesimus desired to go, and that Paul sent him agreeably to his request. Compare Phil. ii. 25: 'Yet I suppose it necessary to send Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor,' etc.; Col. iv. 7, 8: 'All my estate shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord: whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate.' B