Page images
PDF
EPUB

Had this conspiracy succeeded, South Carolina, and probably all the neighbouring slave States, would have been lost to the whites. As it is, the evil day is only deferred: for I consider, that unless the system be quickly changed, the whole of the slave States must one day, and that not a very distant one, be in possession of the blacks. I do not indeed see how it can be otherwise.

In 1790 there were only 694,480 slaves in the whole of the United States, and a great number even of these were in the now free States, in which the increase of the whites has principally taken place.

At the time of framing the Constitution there was not one State in which the number of the whites was not double that of the blacks: but at present the blacks are more numerous than the whites in South Carolina; and in several of the other States they are already nearly equal, and are every day gaining the superiority. The following extracts are from one of the leading American papers:—

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

"It appears by the table, that the ratio of increase of the whole white population in the United States has been somewhat greater than that of the whole coloured population; but if we separate the free coloured from the slave population, it will no doubt be found that the slaves increase faster than the whites; and if we separate the whites in the free States from those in the slave States, it will no doubt be found, that the slaves increase nearly twice as fast as the whites in the slave States. If this is to continue to be the case, what will be the condition of the Southern States a few years hence? This fact ought to excite the apprehension of our Southern brethren, and they will do well to look to it.

"From the foregoing table, one would naturally conclude that sound policy would dictate two leading measures to the Legislators of the South. First, to prohibit the further emigration of slaves to the respective States. Had Kentucky, Tennessee, and the other new States, adopted this policy ten years ago, the curse of Slavery would at this day have existed in a very small degree in those States, and if adopted now, the evil will be much smaller ten years hence than it otherwise will be. Secondly, as a free black increases much slower than a slave population, the next most obvious measure that can be adopted for the purpose of restraining the black increase is, to permit and encourage manumission by every possible means, or if this policy is not approved of, our Southern Legislators ought to endeavour. to diminish the number of the coloured population by colonization."

The slaves multiply faster than the whites. First, because they come sooner to maturity. Secondly, because the young white men cohabit with the black and mulattoe women to an extent scarcely credible. Thirdly, because there is no restraint on unions among the slaves, whose masters encourage promiscuous intercourse, as their wealth increases with the increase of their negroes. Fourthly, and this perhaps is the most important reason of any, because the slaves are not affected by the climate as the whites are.

Every summer and autumn all the inhabitants of the Southern States that can possibly afford it, flee to the Northern, in order to avoid the excessive heat, and the pestilence that sweeps off hundreds of those that remain. Upon the blacks the climate has scarcely any effect. God, in his all-wise dispensations, has ordained that the black skin should belong to the human beings that are intended to live in a hot sultry climate. They perspire more freely, and like true children of the Sun, instead of being enfeebled, are strengthened and invigorated by his perpendicular rays. The Southern Americans and English West India Planters, very truly say, that white men could not labour and live, in the countries best adapted for the raising of Cotton, Sugar, Tobacco, Rice, &c. Does not this plainly show, that Providence has intended the white skin for cold and temperate, and the black for sultry and tropical climes? The poor slave, bare-headed, bare-footed, naked to his middle, and without any clothing but a pair of cotton trowsers, works all day beneath the burning rays of the sun, and remains healthy. In the same climate, the white man, though avoiding the mid-day heat, taking what food he likes, and without labour, dies, being cut off by fever and pestilence. At a time when the earth appeared almost calcined by the heat, and when I myself, in common with all the whites, was almost gasping for breath, I have seen a poor negro, lying with his back to the earth, and sleeping with the burning mid-day sun full upon him. He appeared to enjoy the intense heat, like one of those large lizards I have seen on the sunny side of an old wall in Italy.

The Southerners turn a deaf ear to every thing that reminds them of their danger, saying, that the whites are so much more numerous in the United States than the blacks, that an insurrection could not be attended with any very fatal -consequences. But surely the people of the Northern and New England States would be very slow in assisting the slave-holders; for so much do they abhor slavery, that I am myself convinced they would take no part whatsoever in the contest. The Blacks would say to them, "This is the cause

« PreviousContinue »