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Page 3 of Address to the people of Kentucky on the subject of emancipation

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3 can be adopted, however wise and liberal ln its atitution soobnioxiouaasslaver) Shallour ow n features. We have accounts of great public experience, and the opinions of the wisest and meetings held to promote the cause of education, I est men of the present and pa generations be but nothing will be done, because nothing can o be availably done, until ourpeople see a disposi- entirely disregarded in the settlement of this tion manifested to get rid of the slaves which question, or shall we fold our arms in quiet in- have the effect, like a deadly pestilence, of driv- difference and permit the great question of the ing the people as far off' as they can possibly ae o rsiguo sfrdlbrto n get." age, now pressing upon us for deliberation anal John H. Pleasants, also a distinguished Vir- decision, togo by default Fellow-citizens,these ginian, thus writes: are important questions which force themselves "Nocommunity can greatly flourish and pros- upon our attention attthe present juncture, and per where its youth are brought up in idleness, which in one way or the other WE MUST ANSAVES1. and to regard manual labor and the mechanic Webelieve that slavery is a positive evil view- trades as dishonorable, because slaves axe em- ployed todo the manual labor of the community: ed in all its aspects, and we feel it due to those This is the great and clinging curse of slavery! who differ from us on this question to enumerate It enervates and effeminates the youth of the the facts upon which this belief is based. We Republic: It causes them to rely at every turn, desire to win over to our views those who honest- even to the bringing of a pitcher of water from the well, or brushing their shoes, upon a negro, ly and sincerely differ from us, and we therefore instead of upon themselves: The grow up worth. ask a candid examination of the facts and sta- less in energy, and helpless, and when their tistics we are about to offer. patrimony is squandered, as it is almost sure to Increase of population in a State depends be, from the habits of idleness and extravagance engendered by the existence of slavery, they be- upon increase in the means of living; and is, come drones here, or emigrate to the West to therefore, the most certain measure of public seek the fortune they rarely or never find, and and private prosperity. Whenever the three great neverdeserve to find." branches of productive industry, agriculture, Judge Robertson in a speech which he deliver- manufactures and commerce, or any of them, ed in the last Legislature of Ky., says: continue to yield increasing products, the popu- "Slavery in Kentucky is a social and moral lation will increase at the same rate; because evil." Mr. Clay, in his late letter to R. P!ndell, says: then industry produces a surplus beyond the "Kentucky enjoys high respect and honorable present wants of the people, and more families consideration throughout the Union and through- can be supported. This is the general rule-the out the civilized world; but, in my humble opin- exceptions to it can only be temporary in their ion, no title which she has to the esteem and ad- miration of mankind, no deeds of her former occurrence. glory, would equal, in greatness and grandeur, In this country, where emigration to new that of being the pioneer State in removing from countries is so easy, whenever the means of liv- her soil every trace of human slavery, and in es- ing fail in their native place, the people are sure tablishing the descendants of Africa, within her t jurisdiction, in the native land of their forefath- to relieve themselves by emigration. Without ers." some pressure of the sort, attachment to their These, fellow-citizens, are, for the most part, native land is ordinarily sufficient to prevent the opinions of our conscript fathers-as such men from emigrating; indeed, it is a maxim with they commend themselves to our approval. We all political writers that if the wages of labor in believe them correct. And now, after fifty \ ears any coun-ry be such as to enable the poor experience of the evils of slavery, when we are classes of people to live with tolerable comfor about framing a new organic law, under which they Wvil not emigrate. the interests of all the citizens of the State are We may therefore lay it down as a general to be protected, should we be acting wisely, by rule, that the quantity of emigration from a deliberately using our influence to perpetuate a State is a pretty accurate index of its compara- known evil We are now acting for future gen- tive prosperity. If few leave it, we may justly erations-we are to promulgate the oiganic law infer that its industry is thriving-sufficientlyso under which ourchildren and our children's chil- to support the natural increase of its population, dren are to live and act Should we then be and to make nearly all contented at home. But faithful to ourselves or to them, or should we be if a large and perpetual stream of emigrants is acting faithfully toward our beloved Common- pouring out of it in search of better fbrtune else- wealth., in deliberately engrafting on that organ- where, it is an infallable symptom of one of two ic law a provision which will perpetuate an in- things; either that the country has no more