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Slavery: Its Political Evils, And Their Remedy: No. Ii

Slavery: Its Political Evils, And Their Remedy: No. Ii image
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Lost week we reviewed at some length the progress of Slavery in our country from its commencernent to the present time. We pro pose in this numbcr to consider more particularly the character uádobjects of t!ie slaveholders, osdeveloped by thcir writings, speeches, and actions. The Slaveholders are estinvitcd at about 250,000 persons, of both sexes and all age3, holding on án average, ten slaves ench. The proper classification o" them, however, is into planters, farmers, and gcittleinen. The first class hBld slaves in large lot?, from 50 to several thousands, who are employcd under rigld rules, upon a regular system of discipline. The second class is composed chiefly of farmei-s, who raisc slaves for sale, and employ their labor upon the usual work of a farm. The third división cf Slaveholders comprises those who own servante merely to wait upon them and their families. One thing that strikes the mind at first sio-ht, is, that Slaveholders consul utc the most. tcealthy class of society. A slave cannot own a slave. A freo eolored nan enn rarely own one. The p8or white min cannot own slaves. A family wil) cost sevcral thousand dollars : - too expensive a luxury for the poor. The ovne;-s of slaves will also own or have control of the lands of the community ; and thu?, to a large extpnt, will be able to give laws to thedirection of Capital and Lahor. In other words, they will bc the business men of the community.A second thought is, that Slaveholders are the only welï educatcd class. SI aves cannot rcad. The education of the free colored population is dicouraged by penal enactments and public opinión. The poor vrhite population have few facilities ibr education, as public schools cannot be efficienll y maintained among slaveholders. But Slaveholders can aflbrd to edúcate their sons and daughters at the highest rates ; end the childrcn hare abundant leasure for improvemení. A necessary result of such a state of things is, that the Slaveholders Will monopolize most of the knowledge in the eommunity. A tliir.l remnrk is, that among Slavchoiders there must be an identity of interest, f ecl ing and characlcr. As a general rule, they associate as equals, only thcmselvcs. They ride, hunt, iish, travel, fight, visit and marry togethcr. The company of the slave, ihc free colored man, or the poor white man may be soniéiimes tolcraicd : but it is not sought for on terms of equality. Ilcnce the exclusiveness and haughtiness of fepling manifested by Slaveholders as a class.A fourth observation is, that this class of persons, few n number, rich in possesions, well educated and unitedby identity of character and interest, as well as by family connexions, monopnlize most of the polilical power of the States where thcy reside. It would be strange were it otherwise. They can if they will hold the executive, judicial and legislative offices of the Slates in which they live, and wield the whole powers of the' State for Üieir own aggrandizement asa class. Siiould the Slaveholdeis refuse to receive and e?cercise ihis power, which so readily falls into lheir hands, their refusal would be contrary to all human experience. The love of power is one of the strongest passions of the mind : nnd it will sway most that class of community whose leisure and weahh raise them above the ordinary pursuiis of the mass of men.Thus we see that the Slaveholders constitute n. combincd and privileoed order of nobimty, ruling according to their own will one half of the Stales of the Union, miugling in all the councüs of the notion, and seated most of the time in is highest places of Executive honor. As we ore thus necessarily brought into conntóion wilh them, let us study those i-hinciples on which they act, that we n)ay ')ke t tfioir !endency uPon our owii (Vee iniercstsand free institutions. - "U'o will nanrí a few of them. " Laborers are ke vlly Slaves." Thritthis is a cardinal doctrine of the Slavoholders, we will estnbüsh by quotations of the bighest authority. Our first witrif"=s sliall be Hon. Mr. Pickens, of Soulh Carolina, a zealous Jemocrat (' !) in a speech in Congress, January 21, 1836. 11 1 Iny down this proposition os universnlly true, that there is not, nor ever was, a society organized under one political system, for a jieriod long enough to ronstitule an ern, wherc one class teould no, practically and substantially ow. another class, in somc shape or form. " All society setlles down into a classifiction of Capitalists nnd Lalorers. - TjlK FOÏIMER W1I,I. OWri TIIR LATTER, either coilectivoly througn the governurmt, or individually,in a state of domestic servitude, as exists in the Southern States of this confederacy." The same principie is set fortb by Gov. McDuffie, of South Carolina, in his messago to tho Legislature, 1836 - 7. He ] says : ( If we look into the elements of whichall political communities are corriposed, it will be found that servitude, in some farm, is one of its essentinl constituents." Gov. Bagby, of Alabnrna, tells the Lcgislature, in his message in 1810, - " Slavery will ahvnys exist, as it always haa existed in every age and country, every form o1 govèrnment, ar.d modification ofhuman society, in sorne form ; and that class, ('the negrobs) are better adapted to the condition than any other." Gov. Millcr, of South Carolina, in a message to the Legislature in 1829, says : " Slavery is not a national evil : on the contrary, it is a national benefit. - Slavery exists in some form kvkrv where, and it is not of much conscquence, in a philosophical point of view, whether it be voluntary or involuntary. In a political point of view. involuntary slavery lias the advantage - since all who cnjoy political libertv, are tlien in fact frce." Robert Wicklifle, a distinguished slaveholder of Kentucky, in a speech in that State, thus expressed his contempt of laboring men : " Gentlemen wanted to drive out the black population that they may obtain WHITE NEGRO ES in their place.- White negroes havo this advantage over black negroes, they can be converted into voters ; and the men who live upon the sweat of their brow, and pay them but a dependant and scanty subsistence, can, if if able to keep ten thousand of them in eniployment, come up to the polls, and change the destiny of the country. " How improved will be oiir condition when we have such WHITE NEGROES as perform the servile labors of Europe, of Oíd England, and QCf he woiild add, of New Englaxd, ichcn our body servants, and our cart drivers, and our street swecpers, ARE WHITE NEGROES INSTEAD OF BLACK. Where will be the independence, the proud spirit, and the chivalry of the Kcntuckians then ?"Says the Mississippian, a prominent Southern paper, of July 5, 1838 : " Slavery w] exist in all communities. There is a class which tnay be nominally free, but they are yirtually Slaves." , All these quotations, as would be shown by quoting the context, refer to the condition of labore rs in free communities. - These abominable sentiments, it will be seen, are put forth by men of great politica! prominence and high in authority: they have been published for years : no dissent has ever been heard coming up from the South : no rebuke has been administered to the authors; but rather emoluments and honors; and heneo we are justifiable in attributing to the slaveholders, as a class, the opinión that Laborers, in the Free States, and in all other communitios, are in rcalily Sla ves ! " Laboreus orcnT not to vote or OLD OFFICE."This is another principie of the slaveholders, following close upon the last. - McDuffie says, in his message : " In the vcy nature of things, there must be classes of persons to discharge all the different offices of society, from the highestto the lowest. Some of these offices are regarded as degraded, although they must and will be performed. Henee thosc manifest forrns of dependant servittde, tvhich produce a sense of superiority on the part of the master, and of inferiority on the part of the servant. - W'hcre these offices are performed by members of political community,A DANGEROUS ELEMENT ÍS obviously illtroduced inio tJie body politie.'" Hear also Mr. Pickens, of the same State, who asserted on the floor of Congress in 1836 : - " If laborers ever obtain the political power of a country, it 5, in fact, ?";i a state of revolution." He warned the northern members elected by laborers, thus :" But let me say to gentlemen who represent the great mass of the capitalists in the North, beware that you do not drive us into a separate system ; for if you do, assure as the decrees of heaven, you will be compelled to appeal to the sword to maintain yourselves at hom. It may not come in your day : but your children's children will be covered with the blood of domestic factions, and a plundering mob, contending for power and conquest." Benjamin Watkins Leigh, formerly a United States Senator from Virginia, contended in the Virginia Convention in 1839, that those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, in political cconomy, fil! exactly the same place as slaves. Of the white peasantry of Virginia, he said : " I have as sincere feelings of regard for that people as any man who lives nmong them. But I ask gentlemen to sav, whether thcy believe that those who depend on their daily labor for their daily sobsistence, can or do ever enter into poliücal affairs? TH E Y NEVER DO- NËVER WILL- NEVER CAN."Laboiuous Emfloyments are DeckaD1XG." That this is a prominent feeling and opinión - nay, nprinciple ofaclion among Slaveholders, we need not stop to prove. We wil), however, barely quote the memorial to Congress of 10G0 of the inhabitants of the District of Columbia (200 of them Slaveholders.) in which they deprécate the existence of Slavery, because " it hos an evident tendency to corrupt the moráis of the people, and to damp the spirit of enterprise, by accustorning the rising generation to looktcilh COXTEMI'T ON HONEST LABOR, and ÍO look for support too much to the labor of othors." An intelligent correspondent of the NT. Y. Evangelist, residing at the South, lescribes Slavery as hesaw it. He says : " The kinds of labor which are usuallyporíormed by slaves are consideved (fegradivg to frcc pcrsovs, particularly to whites. The same feeling applies in some parts of the country to agricultural industry, nnd the op inferiority is placed vpon any while man who labors in the ficlds. John Randolph, in his place in Congress, said of a politica! opponent with an expression of the utmost contempt, "He icorks rcith his niggers AT HOEING CORN" ! # ; p)e wealthy owner of a hundred slaves feels that his hnrids are too delicate to be employed 'm any thinguseful. Accustomed to live for tho sake of enjoyment merely, to spend his time in hunting or fishing, in convivial plcasurc, or in visiting his neighbors, he necessarily coñnects diligent manual labor with the character as wcll as the condition of a slave." But we must postponc furthcr remarks till next week.