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average, to transport an individual to the place of destination, and thirty more to make provision for him after his arrival, until he was able to provide for himself, the whole cost of conveying the 52,000, would be 3,120,000 dollars.
This sum, which is not much short of the joint revenues of all the states in the Union, could be furnished only by the general government; but if the Constitution present no impediment, the national treasury will soon, from its present prospects, be adequate to the contribution of even a much larger sum. Its present revenues are derived principally from duties which are laid on imported commodities, as much for the purpose of protecting some species of domestic industry, as of obtaining revenue. Such being the case, it is not probable, that when the public debt shall be paid off, these duties will be much reduced, the argument for keeping on the protection being yet stronger than it originally was for imposing it. If so, the surplus revenue, supposing our expenditures and foreign commerce to remain the same as at present, will be nearly ten millions; which sum may be expended either in naval and military armaments, roads and canals, or for the object we have mentioned. Now, as these duties operate for the encouragement of manufactures, which are established principally in the free states, it would seem but just to expend a part of them for the especial benefit of the slaveholding states, which would thus be compensated for the unequal operation of the tariff. Here then will be the means; and if the Constitution confers no power on Congress to make such an appropriation, it is for the people, the depositary of all power, to confer it ; such a measure, which, though beneficial to all, would be particularly ad'vantageous to the southern states, would afford to the citizens of the free states, who profess their readiness to co-operate in the experrse of emancipation and indemnity, a fair opportunity of proving their sincerity.
But in the mean time, until such a scheme can be adopted and matured, the course to be pursued by the friends of the blacks, which is at once the wisest and most just, is to moderate their zeal; and if it be too much to expect them to forbear discussing a subject which touches their sympathies and affects their interests, to discuss it in the tone and temper of friends; nor should they reproach the slaveholders with that which they honestly believe to be either no evil at all, or one which they had no agency in creating, and are not competent to remedy. If the abolitionists wish to give freedom to the slaves—if, in the mean time, they wish to soften the rigours of servitude, they must not let the blacks engross all their charity; for they may be assured, that nothing effectuai can be safely done-nothing can be wisely done, but by the slaveholders themselves. And while we would not have them abstain from temperate discussions of the subject, for
fear of provoking that fretful impatience, the arrogance of which is equalled only by its folly, we would wish them to show that they are not actuated by a fanatical spirit, nor by that illiberal hostility which neighbouring states are so apt to feel towards each other; but that they are influenced by an enlightened regard to the solid interests of the country, yet more than by temporary and delusive sympathies.
Nor should they pass laws to prevent or discourage the introduction of free negroes among them, since manumissions must cease in the slaveholding states, if the persons emancipated are not allowed to migrate to other states. Indeed, in every aspect in which we can view the subject, we think that the evils of slavery are diminished by diffusion. By favouring partial emancipation, or rather by preventing its prohibition, the natural increase of the black population is somewhat lessened; and by lessening the proportion of blacks to whites, it makes that general emancipation, which must eventually take place in some states, more safe and practicable. This consideration, had there been no other, would have justified the vote of the slaveholding states on the Missouri question; and as nothing seems to us to have been more misunderstood on both sides of the Atlantic than that question, we will make a few remarks in vindication of the course pursued by the majority on that occasion. Besides the objec. tion which the slaveholding states would naturally have to be reduced to the alternative of separating themselves from their slaves, or of being precluded from migrating to that extensive and fertile territory west of the Missouri-besides the jealousy which they must always feel, at seeing the general government, of which they constitute a minority, interfering with that species of property without their solicitation, it was a matter of vital interest that the slaves should have an opportunity of spreading themselves over our country equally with the whites; for, if they were confined to the limits of particular states, while the whites were left free to migrate, as they might be urged by the pressure of population, and the tempting fertility and cheapness of the lands in the new states, the proportion of the black population to the white must be continually augmenting. Whenever, by the increase of population, the price of labour, compared with the price of the necessaries of life, should be so reduced as to make slaves unproductive as property, we have seen that they would no longer be retained in bondage; but until that period arrived, their increase would be, as it now is, nearly at its maximum; their numbers would of course be the same, whether they be spread over the whole western country, or be confined to the present slaveholding states; and the only effect of the pressure of population, would be to urge the migration of the whites to those new states where fresh lands were more easily obtained.
Although it is impossible to estimate the effect of this change of proportion in any given period, it is easy to see, that, as it would continue to increase, until the whole of our unsettled territory presented no extraordinary inducements to the inhabitants of the slaveholding states to migrate, the time must come when it would be most perilous to the whites, whether the blacks were emancipated or retained in slavery. In the course of a century, or a little more, the slaves of the slaveholding states, exclusive of Missouri, will have increased to 24 millions; and estimating their extent at 424,000 square miles, the population will be less than sixty to a square mile. Supposing the whole population of the United States to double four times in the same period, (which is oftener than it probably will,) it will then amount to about 180 millions; which will give an average, throughout our whole territory, of less than seventy to a square mile. If we also suppose that the aggregate population of the slaveholding states will be equal to this average, but more dense than some of the free states, and less dense than others, then, as of the seventy persons to a square mile, sixty would be black, there would be the fearful disproportion of six to one. If we reckon the population of the slaveholding states to exceed the average, and to be equal to eighty persons to the square mile, then the proportion of blacks to whites would be as three to one. When we recollect how rapidly our population diffuses itself over the western territory, and how slowly Virginia increases, in consequence of the emigration of her citizens to states where land is cheaper, it seems highly probable, that the density of the population in the slaveholding states will be less, rather than exceed the average of the whole United States; in which case, the disproportion would be yet greater than we have supposed.
Nor can it be believed that the whites, having their eyes open to the obvious danger of this disproportion, would refuse to submit to it. What would they do? --what could they do? What remedy could they apply, which would not seem worse than the evil. The apprehension of the danger, if it had any effect at all, would tend to quicken rather than to check emigration. But the truth is, if they had any practicable means of retarding the inerease of the black population, they would not be disposed to exert them against their immediate pecuniary interests; and so long as they could make slave labour productive, they would regard the disproportion of blacks with the same indifference as has been manifested by the planters of the West Indies. Men will ever act as they have done. They will be regardless of remote and contingent danger, in pursuit of present interest; and in the same way as people build and plant in the sight of a volcano, and perhaps on the very lava which has buried their ancestors in ruins-or capitalists are found to purchase sugar estates VOL. II.--YO. 3.
in Jamaica, where there are fifteen blacks to one white, with the horrors of the St. Domingo insurrection fresh in their minds so would the planter of cotton, and sugar, and tobacco, encounter the risk of the same disproportion. But the energetic resistance of the southern states, and the conciliatory spirit of some of their northern brethren, saved them from this perilous, this cruel result; and we, the friends of emancipation, rejoice at it as much as the English reviewers affect to condemn or regret it.
On this occasion, we have been condemned by those who have misunderstood our motives, and could not appreciate our difficulties. Indeed, on the subject of domestic slavery, our national character has been most unjustly assailed; for our censors have been at once superficial and illiberal. Our conduct in relation to it must gain on a comparison with that of any other nation. We abolished the slave trade, the very first moment we were permitted to do so by the Constitution, which tolerated it for a time, by way of compromise with a small minority. Many of the states sought to abolish it when they were colonies, but could not obtain the sanction of Great Britain, because the trade was advantageous to her commercial and shipping interests. Some of them, since the Revolution, have abolished slavery itself, where it was practicable; and more might have done so, if the number of their slaves had not been increased, by the beforementioned importations of Great Britain, against their wishes. Most of the slaveholding states discourage or prohibit the further importation of slaves from the other states, although they have large tracts of unsettled lands, which can at present be cultivated only by slaves. What, we would ask, have other nations done? -what efforts have they made ?—what sacrifices have they endured, equal to these ? France and Spain still either permit the slave trade with their colonies, or openly carry it on. Great Britain has indeed prohibited this traffic to her subjects ; but she was able to effect its abolition only after a struggle of eighteen years, during which period sheer pecuniary interests overcame every consideration of humanity and national character, enforced as they were by the ablest men in the nation, of all parties. Yet they who found so much difficulty in putting a stop to the further importation of slaves, reproach us, forsooth, for not putting a stop to slavery itself; and they require our slaveholders to part with their capital, with yet more readiness than they consented to transfer theirs from one business to another. Our argument, too, against emancipation, is not that it is contrary to our interest, but that it is inconsistent with our safety; but they openly defended the slave trade, upon the ground that its abolition would injure their commercial interests. “Would you,” said General Gascoigne, in the British Parliament, “put an end to a traffic which has raised Liverpool from 2000 to 95,000 inhabitants ? I do believe it would be the ruin of them.” We withhold freedom from those who were bred and born slaves, whilst they aided and encouraged others in making those slaves who were born free. Their plea was commercial profit-ours is self-preservation. Theirs was a graver offence; persevered in with less inducement to continue it, and when smaller sacrifices were required to forego it: yet, having at length taken better counsel, and abolished the African trade, they now speak of the existence of slavery in the United States, as if a single branch of commerce, which owed its profits to its peculiar odiousness, could be compared with the great considerations of national tranquillity and safety.
But we must bring our remarks to a close. We have done little more than throw out hints on this subject, which is as copious as it is important, for the consideration of those who by their talents or station guide our public councils. We, above all, wish to excite the attention of the slaveholding states, who are most immediately concerned, and who alone have the right, the power, and the capacity, to apply a remedy. And when conventions are got up for no higher object than to give a further protection to some languishing branch of industry—or to determine whether this or that individual shall have the right of bestowing a few hundred offices, (for the most of our party bickerings, when traced to their source, amount to no more,)—we would hope that somewhat of the same ardour and concert could be shown, in a matter which so deeply affects the present and future wealth, strength, and character of the whole republic.
Art. XII. - Documents from the Department of State, relan
tive to the Colonial Trade. City of Washington : December, 1826.
It is admitted as a general principle, by the most approved writers upon the laws of nature and nations, that man is formed for society; and that from this propensity of his nature, a moral obligation results, imposing upon every individual the duty of contributing, so far as may be compatible with his own wellbeing, to that of the portion of his fellow-creatures with whom he is united in society. This obligation has the sanction of the Divine Creator, in that precept of the law given from Sinai“ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Human society, therefore, is a condition of reciprocal good offices and beneficence; and the duties of individuals become alike incumbent upon nations. There are numberless varieties in the modes by