Sidor som bilder

try. Such facts show, that in that region the labor of white men is likely to supersede the labor of the free blacks, as well as of the slaves.

A siinilar cornpetition exists to some extent in almost every part of the country. An intelligent gentleman from South Carolina, who had no theory to support, remarked to Mr. Andrews, that even there, Irishmen were ready to do anything that the free blacks might be wanted to do.

Yet it is not impossible for the free blacks to find employment. The demand for labor is so great in this country, that all sorts of laborers are in request. In New York it is remarked, that the colored people, by their address and ingenuity, contrive to monopolize, to a considerable extent, a certain class of employments, and to turn over to their Irish competitors the inore toilsome business of carrying mortar, breaking stone, or digging and plying the wheelbarrow upon roads and canals. In Baltimore, Mr. A. observed, that many of the free people of color were much better dressed than the lower class of white people, particularly the Irish. As domestic servants, those colored people who have been brought up to that business are far better than any others in this country. Thousands of the better sort of the free colored people at the south, might find immediate employment in New England, to the great relief of many a householder, whose daily grief is to hear the groanings of his helpmate over the unskillfulness and misrule of her kitchen cabinet, and the difficulty, so unheard of in politics, of filling vacant places.

The mortality among the blacks is greater than in any other class of the community. For eleven years,

the record of deaths in the city of Baltimore has carefully distinguished the three classes of white, free blacks, and slaves. The deaths among the free blacks annually, are one in twenty-nine; among the whites, one in thirty-eight; among the slaves, only one in forty-four. If distinct records of the deaths in each of these three classes were kept everywhere, the proportion might not indeed be everywhere the same; but there is great reason to believe, that similar results would everywhere appear. Mr. Andrews suggests the inquiry, whether it may not be that slavery alone prevents the colored race in the United States from a gradual extinction. Let us see what facts there are to answer this inquiry. The colored population of Massachusetts increased at the rate of only 2.62 per cent. in the ten years preceding the last census. Yet Massachusetts, while she sends out no colored emigrants, is every summer receiving into her metropolis colored emigrants from other States. Rhode Island has large towns to give refuge and employment to the colored people; yet in Rhode Island, for twenty years before the last census, the colored population was slowly decreasing. Connecticut sends no colored people to Georgia, to Illinois, or to Liberia ; but, on the contrary, her cities are continually receiving colored people from the south; yet in Connecticut the increase of the colored population, for the ten years preceding the last census, was only 0.38 per cent. None of our readers need to be reminded how the colored people from all the south crowd into the great cities of New York; yet the increase of the colored population of that State was only 12.17 per cent. in ten years.



New Jersey the increase was less than two per cent. Now cut off from these northern States the supply that pours from the south, and how long would there be here any colored population to be counted ?

We have no room to go into the theory of this subject. Let it suffice to indicate one or two principles. The only possible check upon the growth of a slave population must be either the cruelty of the master, or his absolute inability to give them food. No moral preventive check," no prudence, no dread of poverty, can prevent slaves from fulfilling to the utmost that great mandate, “increase and multiply.” And when the children are brought into the world, they are not the children of paupers, exposed to the wants, the perils, the diseases of poverty; they belong to a rich man, who must feed them and provide for them, if he be not a monster. But when the slaves become free, all the checks upon population begin to operate. And the more sudden the emancipation, the more rapid will be the working of these checks.

What, then, may we anticipate, as the destiny of the colored population of this country? If there are districts of this country, where the climate forbids the white man to labor, those districts will undoubtedly be inhabited by blacks. But in every other part, will not the white man be ultimately the laborer and the sole possessor? It is not for us to answer this question positively. We only say, that the question is worth studying.



[As the following letter is referred to on a subsequent page, and as it contains not only an outline of the following series, but some thoughts which are not repeated elsewhere, it seems proper to give it a place in this collection. It explains for itself the occasion on which it was written.]

MR. EDITOR:—Some person has been kind enough to send me your paper of the 5th instant, in which a writer, subscribing himself“ A Puritan at the South," animadverts with some freedom upon a speech which he supposes me to have made at the last meeting of the General Association of Connecticut, and of which he has found some representation in the Boston Recorder. I have not seen the Boston which he refers, and therefore I cannot say whether the report of my speech there is correct or not. I only know that elsewhere I have seen it decidedly mis-reported.

The passage which your correspondent has quoted from my speech, is not a very unfair representation of something which I said, if the connection in which it was said is fairly given by the reporter—which I am bound to presume is not the case, inasmuch as

your correspondent makes no allusion to the course of my argument, on which the meaning of that passage entirely depends. I said nothing in that speech, I believe, which I have not often said in print, with at least equal strength of language, years ago ; and because I have taken just the position which I took in that speech, those who in this part of the country call themselves the only “friends of the slave," have made me—as your correspondent knows, if he knows anything about me in this relation-a mark of special obloquy.

My positions were, in effect, and “for substance," briefly these:

1. The relation of master to one whom the laws and the constitution of society have made a slave, is not intrinsically and necessarily a sin on the part of the master; certainly not such a sin as will justify a sentence of excommunication against him, without inquiry as to how he came into that relation, or how he conducts himself in it.

2. The master who buys and sells human beings, like cattle, for gain; who permits male and female servants, placed by law under his protection and control, to live together in brutish concubinage, or in a merely temporary pairing, with no religious sanctity, which is not only unprotected by the law, but which he himself considers liable to be dissolved at the caprice of the parties, or whenever his convenience or gain may require the separation; who refuses to train his servants diligently, from their childhood up, in the knowledge of God and in the way of salvation, and of the book of God, and whose servants, in a word, live and die in heathenish igno--

« FöregåendeFortsätt »