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when properly examined, disclose mineral treasures of the greatest value.
It was my intention to have ascended the Mississippi, and to have returned to New York hy the great Lakes; hut, unfortunately, I had no companion, and could not even hear of any one wishing to make the same journey. I had already felt that travelling by oneself in these vast solitudes, is but a very melancholy pleasure; and I was confident that I should not be able to endure being alone, in so great a tract of uninhabited country, as I should have to pass through between St. Louis and Canada. I therefore made up my mind to return, by the lower, or Shawnee-town road, to Kentucky, and to proceed from thence to the Eastern States, in any way that chance might point out.
The United States permitted the Territory of Missouri to become a slave State, when it was admitted into the Union in 1821.
It appears to me very extraordinary, that in the present enlightened age, a nation professing democratic principles, and advocating the rights of man, should allow personal Slavery at all. With respect to this subject, the inhabitants of the United States may be considered as divided into two parts, the slave-holding and the non-slave-holding States. The free, or non-slave-holding states are, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, (all which are included under the name of the New England States,) and New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The slave-holding States are, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri.
It must be recollected, that at the time when the United States declared themselves independent, every State held slaves. But immediately after the termination of the first American war, the New England and Northern States passed wholesome laws for the gradual abolition of Slavery; and as they now surpass all the others in wealth, population, and intelligence, they have practically demonstrated the truth of Mr. Fox's noble sentiment,— "that what is morally wrong, cannot be politically right."
Slavery is a complete check to the building of towns and villages, because it almost entirely prevents any demand for labour or merchandize. Say a man possesses forty slaves. All these unhappy beings are clothed and fed in the coarsest and cheapest manner, generally on a little salt-fish and Indiancorn. They live in huts on the estate of their master, and having nothing to sell, can buy nothing. Each proprietor has his shoemaker, tailor, carpenter, &c. on his own estate—all slaves. These are either taught by other slaves, or are, when young, sent by their masters as apprentices to a white artisan at some large town.
If, therefore, a white settler should go to one of the slave States, what could he do? He could not, if an artisan, find any employment; for there is no demand for it. If he should buy land he could not cultivate it without becoming a slave-holder, and this would require considerable capital. Hence in the slave States, the towns, as they are called, consist of little more than a tavern, a small store, and a blacksmith's shop. I speak, of course, of the towns in the interior, where there is no foreign commerce. The truth of this statement is fully proved by examining the census.
Virginia, at the time the United States became independent, was the most populous and by much the most wealthy State, but it now holds a very inferior rank. By the census of 1790, it appears that Virginia contained 442,117 whites, and 292,627 slaves. The State of New York, at the same time, contained 318,796 whites, and 21,324 slaves. By the census of 1820, Virginia contained 618,222 whites, and 428,152 slaves; and New York 1,372,812, of which only 10,000 were slaves, and these decreasing every year. Virginia would have contained many more slaves, but numbers are every year sold out of the State and sent to the south. Maryland, in 1790, had 217,649 free whites; Pennsylvania, 424,099. In 1820, Maryland had only 266,483 free whites, and 39,730 free coloured; while Pennsylvania had 1,040,395 of which only 7,557 were slaves. This may be seen in a still stronger light, by contrasting the State of Ohio with that of Virginia. The latter the oldest, first settled State of America, while the former has only existed as a State since the year 1802. By the census of 1820 Ohio contained 576,714 free whites, and Virginia only 618,222.
The white population of the slave States increases a little in the sea-port towns, but scarcely at all in the interior. The mixed breed, however, is constantly becoming more numerous; for the young men of a family are allowed to cohabit with the female domestic slaves, who from being mulattoes are in general preferred to the pure negresses. Some of these girls are uncommonly handsome, and have but very little black blood in them. Indeed I have seen some of these female slaves, who being three or four generations removed from the negro, were nearly as white and fully as good-looking as the ladies they waited upon. This beauty is occasioned by the following circumstances. The father of a family cohabiting with a negress produces a mulattoe, with whom his legitimate son grows up, and if when of age he cohabits with her, another girl is perhaps the fruit of this incestuous union. Afterwards his son, or the first's grandson, cohabiting with his natural sister, gives birth to a light brunette, who can scarcely be distinguished from the legitimate grand-daughters.
All these spurious generations are slaves, liable to be sold, and often actually sold to negro drivers, who again sell them to some one else, for mistresses. Indeed in the southern States, the ladies would be very angry, and turn any one out of society, who kept a white woman for his mistress; but would not scruple even to marry him, if he had a coloured one, and a whole family of children by her. But what should we say in Europe if a man sold his own natural son, brother, or sister? This however takes place quite commonly, and as a matter of course. I could mention the name of a lady not 100 miles from Washington, who lets out as a servant