ExploreUK is getting a new design. Try the beta site!


ExploreUK home

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

9 > Item 9 of Address to the people of Kentucky on the subject of emancipation

and towns and cities. We of the South are mistaken in the character of these people, when we think of them only as pedlars in horn flints and bark nutinegs. Their energy and enter- prise are directed to all objects great and small within their reach. Their numerous railroads and other modes of expeditious intercommuni- cation knit the whole country into a closely compacted mass, through which the productions of commerce and of the press, the comforts of life and the means of knowledge are universally diffused, while the close intercourse of business and of travel makes all neighbors, and promotes a common interest and common sympathy "How different the condition of these things in the South! Here the face of the country wears the aspect of premature old age and de- cay. No improvement is seen going on, noth- ing is done for posterity. No man thinks of anything bsyond the present moment " This picture, drawn by the hand of a master, is unhappily too true! Its fidelity cannot be questioned, and it is in vain for interested poli- ticiaus to attribute it to any other cause than that of slavery. And how can it be otherwise, in a land where one half the population is re- duced almost to the condition of beasts of bur- den-intentionally and systematically shut out from every means of improvement, and when a large portion of the other half is nurtured from infancy in habits of idleness and extravigance It is in vain to tell us that railroads and can- als will secure our prosperity, for they cannot change the character of our population nor the habits of our people. Neither railroads nor can- als nor any other works of internal improve- ments can ever exist, to any great extent, where there is that sparseness of population, aversion to labor and want of enterprise, which has characterized every slave country, from the be- ginning of the world. It is useless for South- ern men to be holding conventions to devise the best means of promoting Internal Improvements. We never can have improvements while slavery is among us and capital and labor are shut out by a general contempt for labor. If we have but few internal improvements-if we wanten- terprise-if we have no system for the education of the masses-if our laboring citizens are not prospering, but are annually driven off by thou- sands in search of better homes-if, in short, we are not progressing as the world around us- there is but one cause for it all-slavery-sla- very, which, in the language of a distinguished Virginian, is "a mildew that has blighted in its course every region it has touched from the cre- ation of the world." We have seen how Virginia stands in com- parison with New York, or New England, but we have only to compare the products of South Carolina-slave-loving South Carolina-with those of any free State in the Union, and we have the comparative productiveness of freeand slave labor, so strikingly presented that he must be blind who does not see its significancy. The census returns of 1840, give not only the population of the States, but a 3omplete view of the agriculture in each. Many errors un- doubtedly exist in those returns, partly from 9 wrong estimates of farmers, partly from the negligence of the Deputy Marshals who took the census-but it is just as likely that those errors were committed in our State as in anoth- er-it is just as likely that the products of New York were estimated too low as those of South Carolina-upon the whole, these returns are incomparably the best evidence that exists upon the subject, and their substantial correctness is confirmed by all sorts of evidence, so far as any exists. The census returns show that in 1840, South Carolina had 198,363 persons employed in ag- riculture. And according to our estimates based on those returns, the value of the whole of her agricultural products does not exceed 11,000,- 000. These estimates werecarefully made, and no sort of calculation founded on any thing like truth or reason, can bring about a result mate- rially different. In New York the produce of the dairy alone was worth 10,496,021, and the single item of hay-estimating it at 6 per ton-was worth 18,762,282. By dividing the value of the products by the number of persons in making those products, we find the average value produced by each.- In South Carolina then, agricultural industry yields an annual value averaging something less than 55 to the hand. Now, if we take the estimate by Dr. Ruffner of the productive industry of New England and New York, we find that each man in New England produces three timnes as much, and each man in New York five times as much as each man, in the same pursuit, in South Car- olina. We have not space for the tables showing in detail the comparative productive industry of all the free and slave States. The following statement presents at once the most concise and comprehensive statement we have seen. GENERAL 'VIEW OF THE PRODUCrIVE INDUSTRY OF THE FREE AND SLAVE STATES, ON THE BASIS OF THE Cs-qsus OF 1840. Slave States. 107,934,996 Balance against us, Free States. .397,965,552 107,934,996 8290,030,556 If to this we add the excess of the agricul- tural products of the free over those of the slave States, viz: 52,707,913, we have the en- tire balance against the latter of 342,738,469. We now turn to our own home, to our own State, to Kentucky, and we ask the serious at- tention of our fellow citizens to some argu- ments and statistics, collected by a distinguish- ed gentleman of this State, and first published in 1845. Their general correctness will not be questioned: The number of slaves in Kentucky, at vari- ous periods, may be stated thus: In 1790 " 1800 " 1810 " 4820 I 1830 1 810 Slaves. ,. - . . . . 11,830 so. . . 403 t3 s0.661 126.732 165,213 use . - 182.238 I