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the State machine worked tolerably smooth, but still with the repetition of curses, loud and deep, upon those who did not hold Southern opinions. The choice of a president privately opposed to the objects and system of the Southern extension of slavery, although he might not proceed to any action which seriously affected their interests, and although he might not arrest further encroachments upon the laws of reason and humanity, was fully sufficient to incite the South to a covert design for the destruction of the existing government, and the establishment of slavery as a fixed and permanent rule, this even if an anti-slavery president were only elected, although he should display no overt act of hostility to slavery. According to the South, the advantage of unpaid labour and white idleness (for it is upon his own idleness that the Southerner builds his ideal claim to the gentleman) was no stigma upon a whole empire for the crime of a part, and no denial to the Northerners of holding an opinion on the matter, or a right to feel solicitous about the disgrace to the national character among other countries; this was openly denied. The election of a president who held sentiments favourable to the best interests of mankind, irrespective of action, became a signal for open rebellion, for which all had been long duly prepared in the South in case of such a contingency. It should be “their way," or they would not longer obey the general government. The slave-master minority would be master of the government or separate by rebellion. The spirit of petty tyranny in the land must needs be that of political rule. The familiarity with despotic power in their domiciles imparted a similar spirit in regard to public affairs, and, singular enough, the world was desired to take notice that where the most absolute slavery existed, and free citizens dared not express an opinion adverse to that held by the South upon any point, that such a people so violating every law of humanity was to be credited as “politically” free! In regard to the right any American state, a fraction of the territory, has to declare itself free, because it possesses the power of self-government to a certain extent, and the affirmative, can only be supported by the success of the treason which changes the name, and points out a new designation. The English counties are self-ruled. They have a military establishment, at the head of which is the lord-lieutenant, who raises and controls troops of no contemptible class. He has his deputies. The sovereign does not even sign the commissions of the officers, The civil power is in the hands of the justices, who raise and control the expenditure, and almost all the offices are held by people locally appointed, yet will any sane man say that Yorkshire, for instance, is not in rebellion against the English crown if it rise in arms, and declare itself free on the order of the local government, under the false pretext of not liking a tax levied by parliament? It is clear, as said before, that the Slave States of America had long decided on rebellion if they found the head of the government, or the government itself, such as did not suit their ideas, horribly despotic as their views were and are, and that, too, whether the general government interfered or not with the existing system.
The statistics which I used were undeniable. The writer attempts to explain them away. He appeals to some lady, of whom I have now heard for the first time, who paid America a visit a few years ago, as a competent witness in behalf of slaveowners and slavery. Really, this
is pushing evidence rather too far. A casual visit to America, South or North, by a young lady, or a young gentleman either, can decide nothing. Men have gone over to the States, and, returning to England, have written books after a visit of a few weeks, abusing all Americans. No one would take these for more than their worth at a glance. A young or old lady, who has, it appears, written some letters to England, called the slave-holding planters “preux chevaliers," and judged the Southerners by their jolly countenances, so different from the Northerners. I will not quarrel about the beauty of the Yankee features, North or South, for in Europe we call all Americans Yankees. Now, if there be such a striking difference, perhaps the hard personal labour of the North compared with Southern idleness—the work being done there by unpaid labourers
- this may account for the difference which the discriminating fancy of the lady may more correctly judge than one of the other sex is likely to do, by the rotundity or acuteness of the features of Americans in general. I have never denied the hospitality and good chger of the Southern planters. Pleasanter men-provided they have their own absolute way, and you do not contradict them in any favourite or interested opinion, held with inflexible tenacity-pleasanter men do not exist. This must be understood in the sense which attached to our old ignorant feudal lords, in the halls where they feasted the stranger over the dungeons beneath filled with victims, and were permitted to torture and decapitate their serfs occasionally in the way of amusement.
But such kind of evidence is nothing to the purpose. It is clear the South had prepared for rebellion the moment it was aware that slave interests would be no longer supreme in the Union. If such a resistance be not rebellion, it is very difficult to find an English name for it. A president whose private sentiments were unfavourable for slave-breeding and selling, although so difficult a question that he could not venture to agitate it, were he in office, still his private sentiments made him the object of implacable animosity to the South.
Mr. Cairnes, late Professor of Political Economy in the University of Dublin, comes in for much severer censure than myself in reference to his work entitled the “ Slave Power,” &c. That gentleman is said to be “indoctrinated more thoroughly than Mr. Redding by the sainted missionaries of the Northern money-changers." No doubt the professor can defend his opinions, and will not quote the Scriptures of the Jews to uphold slavery. Our Arkansas friend would no doubt defend suicide from the Scriptures, for suicide is found there as well as slavery. He cannot see the difference between a system existing in barbarous times among heathens, or men little better, and a more enlightened state of things in humanity, science, and literature, ripened by the philanthropic genius of Christianity. I trust we are a little nearer advanced towards the doctrines of the New Testament, and shall not find a modern guide in any of the barbarities of the old Jew, or heathen, which a Christian system has superseded. My other statistics remain uncontradicted, but there is an attempt to palliate differences, which amounts to little against figures.
Referring to my former article in the New Monthly Magazine, the defender of the South, from Arkansas, says, in substance, that we have much to unlearn; that the North deceives the world, which is ruled by ideas. “Nor is this true only of the crowd ; it holds good amongst even thinkers. Reference in illustration of this may be made to two recent instances among men of ability—Mr. Cyrus Redding, a well-known littérateur, and Mr. J. E. Cairnes, late professor of political economy in the University of Dublin. Mr. Redding, in reviewing statistics of the two sections of the late American Union, refers the smaller ratio to the population, the number of schools, and the number of children attend. ing those schools in the South, as compared with the North, to the degrading influence of slavery. And this reference passes here into currency! Is it just ? Between the effect and its alleged cause, Mr. Redding shows no necessary connexion, but refers that effect, without reflecting that he did so in blind obedience to the leadings of a foregone conclusion. The Southern States present the results of most assuredly more than one agency. The hygrometrical differences between the North and South can hardly be referred as a matter of course to slavery. If Mr. Redding had thought for a moment of questioning the correctness of his hasty assumption, he would have found that differences similar to those that exist between the educational statistics of the group of States south of the Potomac and the Ohio, and of the group north of those rivers, hold amongst all those States when compared separately one with another. Slavery, he would thus have seen, cannot be concluded the cause of differences that exist between one Slave State and another, between one Free State and another State equally free.'”
The native of Arkansas then refers to the more scattered nature of the population in the South than in the North as more unfavourable for the assemblage of people, or scholars, or objects of charity, in churches, schools, and so on, thus accounting, in some degree, for their inferiority to the North..
But the great question is not to be tried by these secondary points, whether in this instance I were correct or not, nor the success or failure of either party in America. The principles of truth and justice are steadfast as the foundations of the universe. The reasonable and wise wished to see slavery abolished without a servile insurrection or ruin to any party, and that the interest and security of the slave-master should be considered as much as possible. He would not for a moment tolerate the bare idea. For threescore years he endeavoured to extend the plaguespot on humanity, and he was successful beyond his expectations. Many in the Northern States were indifferent in the matter where it was probable it might affect their own interests, and these, too, had an antipathy to the black man because he was black, and they were neutral in consequence in regard to the justice and humanity of the system. Still all the thinking Northerners felt they had a country and character to preserve in the world of which the Southerners never felt the value. When the Northern States were struggling for their freedom against George III., the Southerners, in the Slave States of the Carolinas particularly, offered to the English commander to remain neutral in the contest, and to join the side which was successful, if they were let alone. Cornwallis, coming to the command of the English troops in the South, broke this tacit agreement so “honourable” to Southern patriotism. I mention the incident as explanatory of the view taken of freedom and its value by slaveowners, which is the same all over the world. That there
is in this country a party anxious for the success of the South there is no doubt; one section of that party is made up of persons who say the planters live like gentlemen of opulence in Europe-in idleness—though existing upon the toil of the slave; the other section is one that regards only the cotton imports and their own pockets beyond all justice as understood “in heaven above or the earth beneath." It would be better such persons should reflect that if cotton came again by peace in America, as long as our manufacturers rely solely upon that market, the same evil is likely to recur to their suffering workmen. A war between England and the United States is no improbable event at any time. But to my Arkansas friend.
Mr. Gladstone, as well as the Scriptures, is quoted by the writer in favour of slavery, in reference to one of his speeches, and the onus of slavery itself is made an English inheritance. This can be no justification. The acquittance of continued crime because an ancestor has been guilty of it, will not stand the test either of reason or religion. England confesses the stain, and has nobly wiped out the inhumanity. England is a penitent for that sin. The position of the Southern States of America at the peace of 1783, and more especially when the slave-trade was abolished in America as well as in England, should have led those States to look forward to the extinction of slavery by gradual means in place of continuing to extend it as widely as possible, and glorying in it as a permanent establishment. It is said that white men cannot cultivate the land in a country where it is necessary labourers should be acclimated. Our Arkansas friend, however, shows us that the mortality of the negro and the white in Charleston is about equal even as regards yellow fever, which never attacks the black in the West Indies. We happen to know that in Venezuela, nearer the line, white men can work in the open air from day-dawn till ten A.m., and from four P.M. till dark, without inconvenience, and at the same time do more work for wages than the slave in the entire day. Indeed, we are told by some of the papers of the United States that all the really hard work in several of the Southern States is done by Irishmen, the slave attending to the lighter part of the culture, while the Irish labourers ditch and drain. No doubt the habit of drinking and liability to fever must, under such circumstances, be fatal to the health of a class of European labourers that bears in Europe at least no high character for sobriety or forecast, Slavery, therefore, is not as necessary as the Southerners pretend even to themselves, except that it enables the masters to be idle by means that cost them comparatively little. As to the difference of the colour of a man's skin giving him of a light complexion a natural right to make the man of a darker colour, with faculties every way equal by nature one to the other, a miserable being without hope, there is no such right, unless brute power be so constituted. This, indeed, seems to be the latent argument of the slave-dealer. In regard to the right of the slave to freedom, and the obtaining it by every means in his power, even by the utmost violence, that right is inherent in him, and that natural right it is which constitutes the justification of the slave in the use of any means to free himself from his shackles. It is a terrible alternative, but it is a right of pature in one placed by constraint beyond the law's protection.
I am well aware that there are individuals in England who, having Aug.-VOL. CXXVIII. NO. DXII.
visited not only America, but some of our own colonies, have displayed a contempt for the negro whom they have seen carefully kept in a brute state. They show an inclination to disparage the ability of the black, who have been excluded from instruction of every kind, therefore justify towards his race all sorts of enormities. In some of the English West Indian Islands the freedom of the slave is still looked upon with an evil eye. The time is still remembered when the slave worked without wages under the lash, and the planter sipped his sangaree, and rejoiced in that idleness which marks the sensualist and the covetous in the circle of his own inglorious inactivity. We still find visitors running down the emancipated slaves in our West Indian Islands as idlers : “ Our Emancipation Acts have ruined the colonists,” thus uttering Jeremiads in behalf of those who have no more right to the service of the black man than he has to those of the white. If the black man will not work he cannot eat, any more than the white. All this grumbling about the blacks is the offspring of a sullen' regretful feeling on the part of the whites, a hankering after the old times, when the slave worked under the lash, and the planter sat in inglorious idleness, leaving active labour to the overseer and his whip. In the opinion even of some Englishmen, not only is the emancipation of the negro in the West Indies deprecated, but that of the natives as well, on the Spanish Main. Canning's calling the New World into being is lamented. It is declared that freedom has not only conferred ignorance upon the unenslaved Spanish colonies, but has rendered them every way the reverse of what they were under the “happy” rule of the nation that extinguished the lives of millions by the mines, while with the sword, at the same time, it destroyed that extraordinary degree of civilisation for untutored men which Las Cases so appositely describes, and the writings of other humane men have painfully confirmed.
It never enters the minds of those persons so regretful of past flagitious times, who grumble in a sidelong way at that righteous course which they will not openly impugn-it never enters their minds to ask themselves what is the mainspring of their dislike against that course of things, and those changes which they see with such regret. It is, in reality, the longing desire for the return of those times when their fellow-beings, tortured by the lash or immured in the mine, were enslaved to support a system that was a curse upon humanity-a system that made power sanctify crime, a hideous selfishness which sacrificed the blood and muscle of men possessing equal rights, to the idleness and sordid lucre of those whose merit was no more than that of those they would fain replace in their old position-a position not less degrading to the slave than flagitious in him who converted his fellow-men into property. The motive for the existence of the crime of slavery is derogatory to the character of man as a rational being; it is wholly selfish. Gain by unpaid labour, indolence in the slaveholder, and the depression of numbers of unfortunate people under no right but power, are made to enrich a portion of the population of a country where slavery only exists by means of unhallowed strength. Thus, where slavery has been abolished by the law of the majority, the minority, always the least informed, and least capable from habit of appreciating the rule of justice between man and man, has viewed the concession of his natural right to the slave himself, even with a compensation, as a subject of no little soreness. It matters not that the