Sidor som bilder

The state of the world must greatly change. before Slavery can in reality be abolished; the means of living must be within the reach of all classes, without the necessity of any considerable degree of hard drudgery. In a word, agriculture, the mechanic arts, and machinery of all kinds. must so improve, that men, without any considerable toil, can supply all things needful for their comfort and happiness. So long as there is rough work to do, there must be rough hands to do it, and these rough hands will never be applied to such purposes, unless they are driven to it by neces«. sity or by authority.

Discussion has likewise led the public to theconclusion, that Slavery is an institution of Heaven, that it was expressly authorized and established by Jehovah himself under the Jewish dispensation, and was sanctioned under the Christian. They are convinced further that it is an institution from which a thousand blessings flow, embracing the Negro, the white man at the South the country generally, and the world. Hence I think, we are justified in the conclusion that agitation has been beneficial to the country rather than otherwise; it has strengthened, instead of weakening the institution. Such being the result of dis-. cussion, the prospect of abolition is now more dis

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tant than ever. In fact, the abolition of Slavery can never be effected in any community, until Slavery has ceased to be beneficial to all parties; until it wears out. Or, as it has been expressed “until it falls into decay." Slavery fell into de-. cay in England, and was in consequence abolished, and it also fell into decay in our Northern States, and was likewise abolished. There is, however, an illusion connected with the abolition of Slavery in the Northern States, to which it may be as well to allude. Our Northern friends take great credit to themselves for abolishing Slavery as. though they had accomplished some wonderful work. But is it true that they practically abolished: Slavery? It is true, that most of the old States at the North passed laws abolishing Slavery, but when the time arrived for those laws to take ef fect there was no Slavery to abolish. Persons owning Slaves, with but few exceptions, just as soon as the agitation of the subject commenced, sent them off to the South and sold them—hence as DE TOCQUEVILLE has very justly said, "though the Northern States have passed laws abolishing Slavery, no actual abolition has taken place."

Another fact in connection with Negro Slavery at the North is, that it could never be made profi table there. It was very early ascertained that

was not adapted to the constitution of ine Negro-hence one of the causes of the great mortality among the blacks at the North. Nor is the North adapted to the growth of those products, in the cultivation of which Slave labor is most profitable. From this it appears that cur Northern friends are entitled to no particular credit for abol ishing Slavery; they almost invariably sold their Negroes, before the law could take effect which they had passed abolishing Slavery.

But let us now proceed to other considerations : there are obstacles to abolition not yet mentioned. Even if our abolition friends could convince us that Slavery was an evil that we should get clear of as soon as possible, there would still be several insuperable obstacles to abolition. Our Slave population at this time numbers about three milliens of souls, estimated to be worth one thousand millions of dollars. This is a vast amount of property, which no five millions of people in the world will voluntarily give up for the sake of conscience. But as large as this amount is, it is only one item: the depreciation in value of our land, and other property, as the result of abolition, would equal the value of the Negroes-that is, one thousand millions of dollars.

In a word, the abolition of Slavery at the

South, would impoverish every Slave State in the Union, with probably one or two exceptions; and the result would not be much different in the nonslaveholding States. The South furnishes the raw material to the North, for most of their manufactures, and likewise their only customers. England, France in fact, the whole world, would feel the shock of abolition. As strange as may seem the assertion, it is nevertheless true, that most of the navigation, commerce, manufactures, wealth, and power of the civilized nations of the world are dependent on the Slave labor of this, and a few other countries. Abolish Slavery, and you throw back society into a state of barbarism -you dry up its resources- -the means of its prosperity-and check civilization for centuries Without wealth, there can be no civil

to come. ization- -no refinementno progress: and thiswealth is dependent on the Slave labor in southern countries.

But let us suppose all difficulties overcome, and Slavery abolished throughout the South. I will for a moment trace the consequences of such a step. I will assume a fact which I presume none will deny that the Slaves, if emancipated, would have to remain on this continent, and among the whites; as it would be utterly impos

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

sible to remove them. The Negroes would be too poor to remove themselves, even if they were disposed to leave; and the whites, impoverished, as they would be, could not help them. Such being the fact, I will now proceed to state some of the consequences of abolition.

One of the most obvious of these consequences would be, an increase of distance between the two races. Nature has marked broad lines of distinction between them, which will ever, in this country at least, keep them widely separated, and it must be acknowledged that this is a wise and salutary provision of nature, to keep the two raecs distinct and separate. It is a principle similar to that which separates the different races of animals, but operating, of course, with less intensity. This principle of repulsion, whilst operating with sufficient force to keep the two races separate in the Slaveholding States, does not proceed to that violent extent that it does at the North. At the North, bitter and deep-rooted prejudices exist against the colored race: whilst there is a legal equality, there is the most striking practical inequality, in all the departments of life. The two races are kept apart in every relation of life.

A man, then, who would even temporarily put

« FöregåendeFortsätt »