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abolitionists who had occupied the ground before them, and the support of whom each now arrogantly demands.
Who has forgotten the time when each strove so earnestly to disclaim and to disprove for itself the character which each strove so earnestly to fasten upon the other—that of being abolitionists in spirit and tendency? Hence the rivalry of persecution directed, not merely against abolitionism, but abolitionists; not only in the bad enough form of newspaper violence and abuse, but the still worse one of popular violence, which mobbed the preachers and lecturers, and burned the newspaper offices and halls of discussion, of the obnoxious doctrine-doctrine to a certain degree, indeed, obnoxious in itself, but still more obnoxious from the danger supposed to exist, that the whole southern Presidential vote would go en masse against the party less forward than the other in this race of mutual disgrace. The persecutions of this character which attended the earlier years of abolitionism at the north, gave it early a moral vigor and vitality which started it powerfully on the career of its destined “mission.” This has served, from ihe outset, to attach to it the attractive character of a doctrine, pure, philanthropic, and liberal in its professed aims, yet persecuted, seemingly, in the worst spirit, and by the worst means of intolerance, brutality and cruelty. These mob persecutions were equally disgraceful in themselves, and injurious to the very object of their design. They nurtured the infancy of abolitionism into a hardy energy of youth, to which every day was calculated to add increased force, progress, and boldness.
However misguided were those men, and how absurd snever the policy they pursued of removing, by unjust means, what they supposed an evil; provoking the worst consequences of civil discord, to correct what at least was but a minor evil in a national point of view, and none whatever as far as the individuals were concerned; it cannot be denied that they were honest, that they commanded the respect due to those who fearlessly avow and steadily pursue what they conceive to be a matter of conscience. Without feelings of personal revenge to gratify, or hope of reward to stimulate their energy, or support them amid the obloquy by which they were surrounded, they were steadfast in the position they had assumed. With what strong feelings of disgust do we turn from this band of high purposed men; fanatics though they are, to the despicable factions which, having been their persecutors for years, now ask of them to become the instruments of their personal revenge upon the American people.
The motives of those factions are apparently as well understood as their character for political honesty is appreciated. It has resulted, therefore, that the abolitionists proper have repelled their insidious advances, and refused connection with the treacherous leaders of disorganising cliques, who courted the support of slavery while it was effective, and now cringe to its enemies in the hope of more successful combinations. On the other hand, the real advocates of " free soil," and the honest opponents of the extension of slavery into new territory, equally repel the suspicious intercourse of men whose principles, for half a century, have been the support of slavery, and in whose view expediency alone now prompts an attack upon it.
It is probably the case, that out of one hundred thinking persons in the whole Union, north and south, ninety-nine are most anxious to get clear of slavery. The laudholders and citizens of the south are doubly anxious to discover some means by which the evil may be removed from their doers, because it is felt to be an annually increasing burden upon their resources. From economical principles it is becoming more evident that the institution of slavery will fall into ruins, because it will not pay its own expenses.
In fact, it appears, that some 300,000 individuals are the nominal owners of
slaves, who produce a raw material on which the manufacturers of the world mainly depend for support. Two-thirds of the shipping of the United States is employed in its transportation; two-thirds of the importations into the country, and the same proportion of the national revenue, are the result of its sales abroad; a large capital, and thousands of operatives, in New England and elsewhere, are kept employed by its means; millions of persons in Great Britain are dependent upon it for bread; one-half the whole exports of that country, say $135,000,000 out of $255,000,000, are of fabrics wrought from it; the success of British commerce, and the stability of the British throne, rest upon the supply of the raw material, and this supply depends upon the success with which a handful of men in the southern states can employ blacks in its production. From the nature of the employment, there is no escape from it. A planter with his one hundred slaves cannot regulate his business according to the emergency of the year. The Lowell manufacturer and the Manchester spinner, each with his one hundred white slaves, can, and does, when trade is paralysed and goods are low in price, discharge the hands, cut short all expenses, and close the mill, until lessened production or reviving trade shall again have raised the price of cloth; he saves his money; and in England the dismissed operatives are compelled by the flashing sabres of the “ friends of order," to starve quietly. The planter has no such resource; if cotton falls or rises, there is no discharge of operatives—they have the "right to labor” at all times and seasons; and when cotton falls in price from over-abundant supply, the only remedy is to aggravate the evil by making as much more as possible, in order that quantity may compensate for depreciation in value. In a long series of years the price of cotton has been steadily downward,* while the expense of producing it has not been greatly diminished. The result is, that the planter has annually become poorer, and in the last ten years, two hundred millions, have been lost in the cotton states; out of seven crops, a sum equal to the whole value of three of them, has been sunk; that is to say, more than that sum has been contributed by the capitalists of the north, and of England, to make up the losses of the planters, chiefly in the production of cotton. The planter finds and feels, that while he keeps in operation the manufactures, commerce and trade of the two nations, his position aloné is one of great hardship, danger, and generally of pecuniary loss. Thus, cotton at this time last
year sold in New York, at an average of 12 cents per lb.; it now sells at 6 cents, involving a positive loss to the planter, whose expenses are in newise diminished. In Manchester trade has become dull, and the manufacturers reduce their expenses by discharging hands: at the end of June, of 41,000 hands, 5,000 were on short time, and 8,000 were out of employ, and of course, quietly starving. They have no"right to labor.” It is obvious, that
* AVERAGE ANNUAL PRICES OF COTTON IN THE UNITED STATES.
if the planter was not bound by the “right" of the blacks “to labor," that such a fall in cotton as has now taken place would find one-half at least discharged. The migration of the planters from the old states to the fertile lands of the new, where the same expenditure of labor will produce more cotton, has been the only means of sustaining the culture; but this migration has cost the large sum we have indicated.
This is a view of the case which seldom presents itself to the eye of the citizen of a free state. Its operation may be illustrated by a few figures. Thus, the census of the United States gives the number of pounds of cotton raised in the several coun:ies of the states, and the number of slaves in each. In addition we have, among the evidence gathered by the Secretary of the Treasury, and contained in his report for 1845, in relation to the effects of a tariff on sugar, answers from eminent merchants of NewOrleans, giving the quantities raised on, and number of slaves attached, including house servants, old and young, to both sugar and cotton estates in Louisiana, as follows:
Quantity raised. lbs 119,947,720.
Hands. 50,670.. .93,220.
Average per head.
The annual product of a slave is, therefore, 4 bales of 400 lbs. each. The average expenses of a slave for a year is $30, or say $7 per bale; bagging, rope, twine, &c., $2.50 per bale; overseer's wages, wear and tear of gin, &c. $2.50; freight, insurance, commission, and other charges in New-Orleans, $2.50. These items make a cost of $14.50 per bale, worth now in New York an average of 6 cts. per Ib. A bale of 400 lbs. in New-Orleans will nett 375 lbs. in New-York, or at 6 cts. $22.50, leaving $8,00, which is swallowed up in freight, insurance, commissions, &c., in New-York. The planter is therefore at the loss of the interest on his capital invested in land and negroes, mostly borrowed at an interest of 8 per cent. per annum, in addition to his household expenses. It is not alone the effective hands with whose support the product of the plantation is charged; it is also the young, the sick, the infirm, and the aged. The expense of each individual of these classes is as much as that of the effective laborer, and in years of low prices for the staple the burden is very severe. In those localities that border upon the free states many planters seek naturally to relieve themselves of this burden, and they do so to a very considerable extent by nominal sales of old and infirm slaves to traders, who take them into the free states and set them at liberty. It happens, however, by a very singular manifestation of philanthropy, that those who are active in the cause of stealing sound and healthy slaves, discard and drive back the toil-worn and aged negro who has real claims upon humanity. because abandoned by those whom he has served in his youth. It is mostly against the increase of this class of helpless blacks that the laws of the western states against their ingress are directed.
It is obvious that the losses to which planters are subjected by being compelled to produce cotton under all circumstances must be productive of evil results. We have the painful evidence of this in dishonored states and bankrupt institutions throughout the South, particularly in those new states into which slave migration has been rapid. The cost of producing cotton varies with the locality, and scarcely two planters will agree in estimates of actual cost. The number of bales per hand is put down at from 4 to 7. It is generally admitted, however, that in the rich lands of the new states cotton can be raised at half the cost of production in the old Atlantic states. The natural movement was therefore for planters to move upon the new lands;
and a combination of circumstances occurred to give this desire a strong impulse in the decade ending with 1840. In that period the population of the Atlantic States decreased, while the rich bottoms of the western states swarmed with enterprising men engaged in extending the cotton culture. This movement of planters and negroes upon new land involved a cooperation of capital with the enterprises of the planters. Without money the new lands could not have been settled, nor could new states have been formed out of wild territory. In a free state, the hardy settler, with his axe and rifle, works out for himself a home and subsistence, until the land which he clears yields its fruits in support of an increasing family. At the South this is not so. A planter who, with 50 to 100 helpless and dependent negroes, moves into new land, must have in hand ihe means of feeding them until his sugar and cotton are not only planted and raised, but sent to market. Here, it will be seen at once, is a wide difference between the movability, if it may be so expressed, of the population of the North and of the South. For any considerable migration to take place in the latter sections, a large supply of funds is indispensable, and circumstances furnished these. In 1831-2, money became very cheap in London, and, as a consequence, found its
abundance all over the world. The South was not slow to avail itself of this circumstance, and banks were started in great numbers, on borrowed money. Nearly all the states borrowed large sums. Alabama $11,000,000; Louisiana $20,000,000; Mississippi, $7,500,000; Arkansas, $3,500,000; Florida, $3,900,000;-altogether more than $50,000,000 of state stocks were issued for money obtained in London. This money was used for bank capital, and loaned to planters and others.
The mode of contracting these debts was for states or territories to authorize the issue of bonds bearing perhaps 6 per cent. interest, and redeemable in say 20 years. These stocks were drawn in favor of some bank, and were sold either in England or the north for money. This money constituted the capital of the bank, and was divided among such planters as deposited mortgages on their lands and negroes at a certain valuation, and they were charged 8 per cent. interest. The Union Bank of Florida, as an instance, sold in London, to Baring Brothers chiefly, $3,000,000 of territorial bonds, which are now repudiated, because sold on terms that were illegal. The proceeds of these bonds were divided among those plinters who subscribed for stock by depositing their mortgages ; and $1,963,800 wis loaned upon 246,419 acres of land, at an average value of $8 per acre, and $935,700 on 2,682 slaves, at an average value of $350, the actual value of each being estimated at $600. The mortgage of slaves moreover, included their future increase; and under the favorable climate of Florida, and the kind treatment which they universally received, it was evident, that before the maturity of the bonds, the number mortgaged to the bank would have been more than doubled.
This was the general process by which the “extension of slavery ” was effected; and it is to be remarked, that the securities for these dishonored bonds, held in London and the North, are slaves. The sums borrowed on public stocks formed but a small proportion of the whole amount applicable to this settlement of new territories. In Mississippi the Bank capital increased in the decade from $950,600 to $30,000,000, nearly all of which, like the Vicksburg and other banks, was subscribed during the speculative years at the North; and of that $30,000,000 nothing now remains but mortgages on land and negroes, a large portion of the latter having been "run" to Texas. The loans of these banks ranged near $50,000,000, all secured on cotton property. As an instance, 10 directors of the Union Bank owed it $3,200,000, secured by 32,729 acres land, 410 slaves, and 1,121 bales
This demand for bank capital grew out of the migration of planters from the old states, many of them sons of old planters, taking 20 or 30 negroes from the parental estate, and migrating to government lands, mortgaged the whole to Banks for capital to go on with. The consequence was, that in the period mentioned the sales of government lands in the new states were immense, and the slaves doubled as follows:
NUMBER OF SLAVES IN NEW STATES.
Alabama. Florida. Arkan. Louisiana Mississip. Tennes. Tot. New States. Old States.
Increase....136,003 10,706 15,363
The aggregate natural increase of all the slaves was, in this decade, 24 per cent.; and in the old states the increase was only 53 per cent. In the old northern slave states the result was as follows:
Virginia 1830. 3.299. 102.994......
469,757. 1,143,164 1340.
.2.605... 89,737 4,694. 446.987 1,116,876
26,288 This gives an actual decrease of numbers, showing a migration of 312,088 blacks. The quantity of government lands purchased in the decade was 20,1:32,240 acres, in the states mentioned; in the last eight years it has been 2,031,47 acres only. The effect of this was to triple the production of cotton in the new states, and to keep it stationary in the old, * while the United States consumption has so progressed as to exceed the production of the latter.
It results from all these facts, that what is called the “ extension of siavery,” or the migration of slaves from one state to another, generally northeast to southwest, was brought about not alone by the annexation of new land, but by sinking $200,000,000 of foreign capital in the process ; and this process has so far advanced the cause of “free soil," as to have actually diminished the number of slaves in the northern slave states, promoting in those states an increased anxiety for the further“ extension" of slavery, in order to make their own “free soil.". The newly combined Van Buren “ free soil” party says,
no, you shall never be free states, because, we intend to confine slaves where they now are, and prevent them from ever passing off in a southwest direction;" that is to say, the territory of California and New Mexico, inhabited by Mexicans, and reputed as utterly undesirable for habitation, it is feared will draw off slaves from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Missouri and Kentucky, and render them “free soil states.” They preser
* The following table shows the total annual crops of United States cotton, the number of acres of lan! sold annually in the new states, the growth of cotton in those states; the growth in the old states, and the annual consumption of the United States :
Acres land. Tot. U.S. Tot. New States. Old States. U.S. consurrption.
427,967 1818. .2,251,130.. -1,710.000. 482.963.