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

item | thumbnails | details | text | pdf
Download this image
9 1790 was as 5 18-100 to 1; in 1840 it was only as 3 28-100 to 1, making it manifest that in the half century under consideration, the slaves in Kentucky have increased vastly on the whites! The next conclusion to be deduced from the facts stated is, that the presence of slavery has retarded the Jluiw of population to Kentucky, and checks the growth, and power, and the develop- ment of the abundant resources of the State.- This is apparent from the decreasing decennial increase of our free population. It will more readily appear that slavery is the cause, when we compare the growth of Kentucky with the growth of adjoining free States. Our productions are the same as those of Ohio and Indiana. Our area is greater than that of Indiana, and nearly equals that of Ohio; our way to market as easy; our soil as rich and pro- lific; our climate as propitious and healthy; cur institutions (with the sole exception of Slavery) similar, and as perfect and free, and our popula- tion as quick, apt and intelligent. The subjoined table shewing the free popula- tion of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana is full of significance: Kentucky. Rep. Ohio. Rep. Indiana. pop. in Con. pop. - pop. Rep. 1790 61,227 a wilderness. a wilderness- 1800 18:0,612 6 45,365 1 4,872 none 1810 325,950 9 230,760 6 24,520 adele. 1820 437,585 12 581,434 14 147,178 2 1830 522,704 13 937,903 19 343,031 7 1840 597,570 10 1,519,467 21 685,866 10 Slavery has oaused Kentucky to lag in the race of prosperity, while Ohio and Indiana have outstripped her; and unless the heavy burden which weighs so oppressively on the energies of our Commonwealth is removed, she must be content to see her younger sisters on the other side of the Ohio leave her at an immeasurable distance behind. But let us take other examples, in which we may compare slave States that have made the most rapid growth. For example, look at Arkansas and Michigan: Arkansas. 1830, 30,388 1840, 97,574 Michigan. 31,639 212,267 And yet another in the case of Alabama and Illinois: Alabama. Illinois. 1830, 191,978 157,455 1840, 337,224 476,183 The examples we have given prove incon- testibly that the presence of slavery in a State retards its growth, checks the advance of popu- lation, and in a few brief years brings on it the marks of premature decay. Where slavery is the badge of labor, every man shuns labor as an evil. Necessity alone can compel a man to toil by the side of his neighbor's slave, and under this compulsion the freeman becomes discontented with his social rank and directly seeks a new home where such annoyances may be avoided. This influence has been steadily going forward throughout the last thirty years, and it has withdrawn from this Commonwealth thousands of her most energetic sons, who would gladly have remained under other cir- cumstances. It has turned from the State cap- ital, industry and genius seaking investment, employment or the path of fame among the States of the Mississippi Valley. Who will fix his destiny, (other things being equal,) and the fortunes of his children in a slave State, in pre- ference to one where slavery does not exist- Surely not the laborer-; surely not tho manu- facturer; surely, not the man who expects to eat his bread in the sweat of his face. Slavery has a direct tendency to place the best lands in the State in the hands of a few proprietors. The large landholders widen their possessions, and drive out the farmers in mode- rate circumstances. This operation is seen con- tinually in progress in Kentucky. Fayette is one of the oldest and richest counties in the State. In 1787, Fayette had nine hundred voters, about a tenth of all the voters in the State. In 1798, she gave 2,247 votes on the convention question, and since that time, she has scarcely increased her voting population.- In 1796, her representatives in the Legislature were about one-fifteenth of the whole; in 1813, it was one-twenty-third; in 1828, it was one- thirty-third, and now it is equal to only one- fiftieth of the whole. She has been continually losing her influence in thecouncils of the State, owing, in part, to the stationary character of her voting population. In 1840, her white population was 9,863, and her black population was 11,709, a difference in favor of the latter of 1,846. A similar state of things has prevailed in Bourbon county-her voting population having remained almost stationary for the last fifty years. These counties contain some of the finest land on this continent, and it has beed monopolised by large slaveholding pro- prietors. Had the State been free, these coun- ties would now be peopled densely by a thriv- ing, industrious population, devoted to a variety of pursuits, and incalculably more valuable