Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

“ have much charity for this opinion, for we once held “ it, but we are now convinced that it is an error. That “ the negro race, wherever free, will gradually migrate “southward, colonizing the less populous West Indies, “ Central America, and the adjacent portions of South “ America, we believe. Climate, soil, natural pro“ducts, ease of obtaining a rude yet ample subsistence, “ and the ready fraternisation of blacks with the Indian “ and mongrel races who now exist in those regions, “ and who are nowise above our Southern negroes in the “social scale, not even in their own opinion, will all “ attract them that way. But if slavery were ended to“ morrow, we are confident that even South Carolina “would be in no hurry to expel from her soil the most “ industrious and productive half of her people ; that “ portion amongst whom drunkards and profligates are “scarce, while its office-seekers, bar-room loungers, and “pot-house brawlers have yet to be developed. A State “can spare its idlers far better than its workers, and it " is only from dread of their influence on the slaves “that a slave-holding people ever desire the expulsion “ of their free blacks. Were slavery dead this day, “ even the Carolina aristocracy would prefer, as “ labourers on their plantations, the negroes to whom “ they are accustomed, and whose manners are re“spectful and submissive, to any immigrants by whom “they could be promptly replaced. It is quite likely " that in time white labour would demonstrate its “ superior energy and intelligence by driving out the “ black. But for the present the Carolina planters “ would generally hire their ex-slaves more satisfac“ torily to themselves than they could replace them “ from any quarter.

“ The President's proposition leaves this whole sub“ject to the respective States. If any State chooses to “exile its negroes, it will do so. The nation will not “meddle with the matter in any way. When slavery “ dies the national peril is averted, and the national “concern ceases. All beyond is remitted to local dis“cussion and control. So with regard to paying for “slaves, the nation extends pecuniary aid to the States “ in order to rid itself of a great danger. But it has “ nothing to do with paying for slaves. . . . Nor do “ we believe the payments to the States would be at all so heavy as seems to be generally supposed, though “ we trust it will be liberal; for it is just as certain “ as that air is lighter than water that the banishment “ of slavery from a State largely enhances the value of “its land. The census shows that the arable soil of a “ Free State is worth double to treble that of a Slave “State, there being no other ground of disparity; and “it would be most unjust to ignore this fact in settling “ the cost of emancipation. . . . In fact, were slavery “ abolished to-morrow, and three hundred million dollars “ fairly apportioned among the Slave States, in payment “ for their supposed losses by such abolition, they would

“ every one be richer and stronger next day—nay, they “would sell for more at auction as soon as the country " is quieted than they ever yet were worth. But we do “not here raise the question of how much, nor consider “ how far, the compensation accorded is to be affected “by rebellion. Let all such questions be decided in “ due time, while we improve the present in one unani“mous and hearty rally around President Lincoln, for “the speedy restoration of the Union, and the final “ overthrow and demolition of whatever can raise even “ a doubt of its perpetuity and internal peace.”

Such being the judgment of the Abolitionists, let me now take an article from the New York Herald of the same date, as an exposition of the views of the proslavery democrats. It should be remembered that the Herald has always prided itself upon being an organ of the Administration for the time being. Thus, though the one political principle to which it has been uniformly faithful is a hatred to Abolition, yet the fact of its assumed Government connexion caused it to deal more tenderly with the President's edict than it would naturally have done.

The President's proposal is dismissed with the following lukewarm approbation :-“The measure will most “ probably prove agreeable to the Conservative feeling “ of the North and South alike, substituting, as it does, “a moderate and practical view of the question of “ Emancipation in place of the extreme and impracti

“ cable views of the Abolitionists." This faint approval was designed by the Herald to give greater force to an attack it then proceeded to make in the following words on Senator Sumner's proposal to confiscate the slaves belonging to the revolted States, which was then before the Senate.

“The progress of the debate is developing the Con“servative Constitution loving sentiment in Congress. “ It is a struggle of law and order against anarchy and “ revolution. The observations of Senator McDougall, “ of California, are well worthy of the attentive conside“ration of the whole people ; and their indorsement by “ Mr. Cowan is a most gratifying evidence of patriotism “ amidst the fierce passions of party spirit. “Shall we,' “ says the latter gentleman, stand by the Constitution, “ or shall we open wide the field of revolution, and go “ back to the doctrines of feudal ages, and introduce “ feuds which centuries cannot quiet? This is what “ the bill proposes. The passage of such a bill will “ make the whole Southern people our enemies. The “ scheme of colonization is entirely impracticable.'... “ This covers the whole ground; and what is Mr. “ Cowan's opinion about emancipation ? He says: “I “ protest against that section of the bill for freeing the “ slaves, as an entire departure from the principles of “ the Constitution, and especially impolitic at this time : “ because we are in a war, we ought not to make a law “ which was unconstitutional before. What have the “ negroes done to secure freedom at this time, when the “ course of their masters seems especially to invite “ them to strike for. liberty? Nothing ; they simply “ rely on their masters with a sort of blind instinct.' “This is the language of a patriot; and if all men in Con“gress had only so spoken and acted from the beginning, “neither civil convulsion nor disunion would exist to-day. “There is one great result produced by this war. The “ eyes of millions of men at the North are open to the “real character of the negro, and they have discovered, “from the experience of our troops and generals, what we “have so long proclaimed to them in vain, the natural “inferiority of the negro to the white man, which can no “more be removed than the colour of his skin by any · “amount of legislation. It is the negro's nature to be “the servant of the Caucasian race. 'He relies on his “master,' says Mr. Cowan, 'with a sort of blind instinct.' “It is evident, therefore, that that part of the bloody “programme which contemplated servile insurrection is “already exploded. The negro is happier and better off, “physically and morally, socially, and religiously, under “the mild, Christian servitude of his white master at the “South, than he ever was in any other condition since “the dawn of creation, or ever will be till the coming “ of the millennium. To leave the negro to himself, and “put him into competition with the white man, is to “destroy him as effectually as our civilization has de“stroyed the red man of the forest. Servitude is the

« AnteriorContinuar »