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Letters From The South: Extract

Letters From The South: Extract image
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Charleston, Febuaru, 1S41.I think, however, wemay say th the Utmoat safety,and J but repeatwhat I have just been told by an inhabitant of die bouth who ís slronjrly aitached to souih ern institimons, that sfave labor is th deatest of all kinds of labor. I will make, a very simple cálculatíon on this suRject, anaiogous lo bne which ï made in a former leticr. A licalfíiv, mulo Blavc, twenty or tsventy.-five ycars oid costs at Ieas,( a thousand o'ollars. Themierest on the pufy'hase, deprcciaüon i valué, and risk of death, or running away cannot be estimated at less (han rif-een per cent., or a Iiundrcd and fifiy dollars foroneyear. Mis fqoá a'nd cloïhing, althotigh no befter (han are csseniiiil (or hts preservutkm in Iicahb, logelher wiilnne.iical anendanco, wj.ll Cust ;it léisi fifiv dollars more. Nmv, iwo hundred d))járs a yeur, that is Hom ten to twcive dcUar$ a month and bo.-inl, is juït about the average wagesof llie ypuiig tnen cm.vloyed by the farmers of New-Eiilautl. Buil b'eHeve no lengthened urgumeul is nccessary to. prove that the;,e VóunVr-meh!oeiying satisfïictory '-vagos ftir líieir labor, and;knowing that they wili bc émplpyeg1 onJy so long as they aré índustriiu?. wjjl accompüsli Hvicc os mucli work as ilie same number of slaves, who have do incitement to labor excopt the u!i, and whose great object is to do ns Indo a.s they posfribly can. Ujjon this point, tliere is nu variety in the tostimony öfihose iyho have seen siaves work. The [istless, i:iefficient, careless laanncr in vhich they move when employed ia the lïclJ, wH sur prise and vex any man u.naccustomed to it, and this l beüeve to be the principie reason wby masters from he Nonii. arocom, monlymore severe than ihuívos of ihe South. I have not yet adveried to the facts that the wife of ihe sïave vi!l costnear as mach as ihe siave bjmself, und will dofurless work; md that lie myst be supported when he. becomes un;blo to work. . Iknow that (ho pltinier, whüo lie cannot help.acknowledging the truih pf iny calcuiation, will reply that hu aircady owns tlie slaves, and has paid Cor tiiein; and that the question is nat wíietJier il was original ly best to employ sj.ive iuior; butwhat he shall do under ihe présent circumstances. So far as individua! is concerned, it is difficult to sav whaf. hesnould Co, regarding oniy ús pectmiary in terests;, forst present, in tnany .;uls oï the Souib, it would be difficult tu cultívate the land witout employ'iug síavesj-and beyond question, free atid slve lauor il not work well together. Norslmll hi:teniH to compare (he effects of coniinaed slavery, and. universal emancipatioa, uptm the general interesls ofthe corriinuiiitvjas ciy design is oniy to describe ihe" existid state of things. I may, however expresa my conviction, that ifsucíi an emancipa tion wcre toiake place now, the agrégale wealthof the community woulder nve years heneo, thnn it wouid be f slavery should continue; and thal this wouid be the on!y measurc ivliich cou!d arrest the downward tendency wliich so plainly exists at the Soüi h. It is weli known that the southern states are novv and have been Rr yearö in a situation ofgreat depressinn: and this is par I7v'í-U!arl-V lrUe f GcorSil1' Alabama, and Mississippi. I suppose thaf the ügrrngate property of the inhabitanls of these three stales, tf so!d a't a fair pricc. wquld not pay the aggregate amount of their debls ; and indeed wouid probably fall for short. The debls were incurred p;ul!y tor land and for slaves, and partly fot ihe various ariicles of consum-uion for their-■ves ana wemsclves. Ttiey are principly due to tho norihjand we ré half of llicrn paúl, ihe embarrassment amT bnnUr.uplcy which weigh down New York & Phüudef-. phia, would give place lo v'ïgor and prcsperity. Tíhííc debis would nevèr have been incurred, at lenst to so disntrous an exient imcier a system of freo kilior, and muny of ihem never wiil be paid whüe slavery continúes. In the three siates which I have mentioned, the curre icy is in a state of irretrievable confusión; so lhat, as I have been informeel hy a nierchant in Agusta, Ga., when a customer enters a store, and wishes to pinchase a bill of goods, the first inqüiry is 'wh;U kind of money have you ot to pa y with?'and the pnce oi the goods dcponds upon the charter of the money. A vciy large state debt has been incurrcd, and the proceeds of the bonds have been invested ir. Suite Banks, whicli have been so managed that their whole properiy s lost and iliey are irretriévabiy lanlrupT. Of course tho interest and principal of the state debts must be paid hy direct taxation. The cotton ernp, in Georgh, was not in 1840 more than one-;hrd oí'an average erop, and in the adjolrïins States, the deficiency wa.s considerable, 01 course the debts of the inhuhiia.its, wcro xnuch increased during the Insr year. Thereare, of coiusr, in so large a cornmunity, many persons vvho are nearly vr quite free frqm But the iarge rn:ijority of the inhubitunta ure ciiher i;ietrievably bankrupt, so jhut thcir property is from time to time sold by thejff;or else are so ujuch invoivcd thiu ihév can just meet ihe initqrgst pf tïieiir debts, and keep their heads above water. I have been repeatédly informed, anri fully believe, that (he principal causes of the politica! change during the ast. year in Goorgia, Mississippi, and south AÏubima,and the indefinite hope Ihat there might be same change for the hetter. Virginia ar.d the Carolinas, :ue in a lesa depiessedcoudiiirjii: Thoiigh alargo proportión of tlie populiniori tire exceediiigly poor, yet neithër '-he inhabiinnis geneniÜy. ror ihé Siates nscommuniiies, ave so mm h ui volved in rfebt as tobe serioiislv embar-j mssed. Wiihin a few year, ihese sfates liuve löarnod fessons of economy and wsiry, which wifl prolíably présewjé hem from the evils witli which tlieir iouilicrn neighbors iré ;íll;c:el.