Collections: 
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Page 8 of Address to the people of Kentucky on the subject of emancipation

item | thumbnails | details | text | pdf
Download this image
8 sorb all the occupations upon which the laboring part of the white one can live, and they, as a consequence, will be driven away. When all the field labor, when all the handicraft-trades, such as Carpenters, Coopers, Blacksmiths, Shoe- makers, are engrossed by the slave, an(l taken away from the resources of the laboring white man, when in addition to this the hopes and means of common education are all cut off by contiguous settlements of slaves over whole dis- tiictsof country; when this comes to pass, what earthly consideration can prevent a laboring man so situated from instantly picking up his family and going tosome othercommunity where he might hope to improve and better their condi- tion Nothing could prevent him. Thus throng after throng of this class, amongst the very soundest and best of all, vould pass away from amongst us, almost as numerous and unreturn- ing as the passengers to the tomb, and so they would continue to pass away, until by and by, in the course of a few generations, the whole popu- lstion of our slaveholding States would be reduc- ed to the slaves on the one side, and the masteis and managers on the other-a disproportion so great, so palpable to every eye-so suggest ix e to the slave himself of the fearful secret of his gi- gantic physical power, that nothing could take from his heart the temptation to try it, and try it he would, no matter what the consequences; and thus catastrophe would follow catastrophe, and our sunny and happy Snuth would be covered over with scenes of conflict and of weeping." Read the remarks of Charles Fenton Mercer, the founder of the American Colonization So- ciety, made in the convention called in 1830,for amending the Constitution of Virginia: "Mr. Chairman, as I descended the Chesa- peake the other day, on my way to this city, impelled by a favoring west wind, which, co- operating with the genius of Fulton, made the vessel on which Istood literally fly through the wave before me, I thought of the early descrip- tions of Virginia, by the followers of Randolph, and the companions of Smith. I endeavored to scent the fragrance of the gale which reached me from the shores of the capacious bay along which we steered, and I should have thought the pictures of Virginia which rose to my fan- cy, not too highly colored, had I not often tra- versed our lowland country, the land not only of my nativity, but that of my fathers-and I said to myself, how much it has lost of its prim- itive loveliness! Does the eye dwell with most pleasure on its wasted fields, or on its stunted forests of secondary growth of pine and cidar Can we dwell without mournful regret on the temples of religion sinking in ruin, and those spacious dwellings whose dsors once opened by the hand of liberal hospitality, are now fallen upon their portals, or closed in tenantless si- lence Except on the banks of its rivers, the march of dessolation now saddens this once beautiful country. The cheerful notes of pop- ulation have ceased, and the wolf and wild deer, no longer scared from their ancient haunts, havedescended fromthe mountains to the plains. They look on the graves of our ancestors, and traverse their former paths. And shall we do nothing to restore this once lovely land There was a time when the sun in his course shoneon none so fair!" Extending our view still farther South, into whatever quarter of the country we may,where a large proportion of the population is compos- ed of slaves, and the picture becomes more and more gloomy. In proof of this, we cite the language of the eloquent ex-Senator Preston, of South Carolina. In a speech delivered some years since at Columbia in reference to a pro- posed railroad, he says: "No Southern man can journey (as he had lately done) through the Northern States, and witness the prosperity, the industry, the spirit which they exhibit, the sedulous cultivation of all those arts by which life is rendered comfort- able and respectable, without feelings of deep sadness and shame, as lie remembers his own neglected and desolate home. There no dwel- ling is to be seen abandoned, not a farm uncul- tivated. Every person and everything perform a part toward the grand result; and the whole land is covered with fertile fields, with manu- factories and canals, and railroads and edifices A gentleman by the name o1 Elwood Fsher, of Cin. chnnati Ohio has come to the rescue of the pro-slavei y party In Kentucky, and has shown that there prevails a universal mistake astothe Nsealth of Virginia He has proven that Virginians know noihing about themselves- that in spite ofalt they say Virginia is highly prosperous- that in fact Ler people are the wealthiest in the world! Mr. Fisher estimates the whole property of Virginia at 600,000,)00, he does not saythat ihi, is the assessed val- ue but gives it as the estimate or Mr lies made In 1831.- Why does Mr. Fisher go so far back as 1831 for the v; lue of the property of Virginia Has Virg nia not iriprovedf" The reason is plain. Prof. D. w -was a spc Culator in In. ternal improvement schemes, atid he nmde the estimate of the wvealth of Virginia hch best suited 5Mr. Fisheil's purpose. But let us look a litle at Mr. Fisher's cipher. ing. In the note to page 6 ol his ranpihlet he say: "That (the property) of Virginia was computed at the amomuntnuwassumed in IS34 by ProfDew. I have seen no officialstatement. Butifshe'l'axesotherp operty as high as it groes, the total must now tair exceed that estimate, asinl8t7sletaxed.262,317adult slaves at 80,741 who are worth about 44,000 O(;O, and taxas her other prop- erty, real and peraonal,354,451,exelusive of nierchant's stock." If 232,317 Virginia slaves are worlh as Mr. Fisher says t00,0u,uOO- thenr each slave is worth ,6s65 30(!) The truth is there is no assessed value of property in Virginia as there la in Kentuck!,. Nothing is taxed there ad valorem except land. Naves, horses and evety thinu exceptlant are taxed specifically-just as goltd watches are in Kentucky. Slaves in Virginia arec - '. 32 uts. a head, horses 10 cts.,and so on. I his M r. Fisher must have known-for the A mejican Almanac to which he re- fers shows it. Giving the nuriber of slaves and the tax paid on them-Mr. Fisher has undertaken the wonderful problem as ascertainuig their value! This reminds us ol the boy who wasnoiking away atithe follo'aingsum-"-f a pound ofbutter cOsttix pence how niuch does a pound of soap come to" Oh, Oh. Mr. Fisher,you live in afree State and mistook your calling hen Lou began to estimate the value of slaves. We in Kentucky think our slaves are worth inure than those in Virginia- but we value surs at an av. I erage a little more than 300 ap ece You make the Vir. ginia slaves worth five lires as much as ours!" If you will but let us estimate the wealth ot New York as you have the slaves of Virginia, her wealth instead of being 63' 699,993 will be nearer 3,163,499,965!