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must be, directly or indirectly, the producer of the equivalents given in exchange for the article he consumes. But without entering into this discussion, I shall make a few remarks to show the great injustice of representing the protective system as being in its origin an oppression, of which the South has to complain on the part of the North.
Every such suggestion is a complete inversion of the truth of history. Some attempts at manufactures by machinery were made at the North before the Revolution, but to an inconsiderable extent. The manufacturing system as a great Northern interest is the child of the restrictive policy of 1807-1812, and of the war. That policy was pursued against the earnest opposition of the North, and to the temporary prostration of their commerce, navigation, and fisheries. Their capital was driven in this way into manufactures, and on the return of peace, ,
the foundations of the protective system were laid in the square yard duty on cotton fabrics, in the support of which Mr. Calhoun, advised that the growth of the manufacture would open a new market for the staple of the South, took the lead. As late as 1821 the Legislature of South Carolina unanimously affirmed the constitutionality of protective duties, though denying their expediency,-and of all the States of the Union Louisiana has derived the greatest benefit from this policy ; in fact, she owes the sugar culture to it, and has for that reason given it her steady support. In all the tariff battles while I was a member of Congress, few votes were surer for the policy than that of Louisiana. If the duty on an article imported is considered as added to its price in our market, (which, however, is far from being invariably, the case, the sugar duty, of late, has amounted to a tax of five millions of dollars annually paid by the consumer, for the benefit of the Louisiana planter.
As to its being an unconstitutional policy, it is perfectly well known that the protection of manufactures was a leading and avowed object for the formation of the Constitution. The second law, passed by Congress after its formation, was a revenue law. Its preamble is as follows: "Whereas it is necessary for the support of Government, for the discharge of the debts of the United States, and the encouragement and protection of manufactures, that duties be laid on goods, wares, and merchandise imported.” That act was reported to the House of Representatives by Mr. Madison, who is entitled as much as any one to be called the father of the Constitution. While it was pending before the House, and in the first week of the first session of the first Congress, two memorials were presented praying for protective duties ; and it is a matter of some curiosity to inquire, from what part of the country this first call came for that policy, now put forward as one of the acts of Northern oppression, which justify the South in flying to arms. The first of these petitions was from Baltimore. It implored the new Government to lay a protecting duty on all articles imported from abroad, which can be manufactured at home. The second was from the shipwrights, not of New York, not of Boston, not of Portland, but of Charleston, South Carolina, praying for “such a general regulation of trade and the establishment of such a NAVIGATION Act, as will relieve the particular distresses of the petitioners, in common with those of their fellow-shipwrights throughout the Union”! and if South Carolina had always been willing to make common cause with their fellow-citizens throughout the Union, it would not now be rent by civil war.
THE COTTON CULTURE INTRODUCED UNDER PROTECTION.
THE COTTON CULTURE INTRODUCED UNDER PROTECTION.
But the history of the great Southern staple is most curious and instructive. His Majesty “ King Cotton," on his throne, does not seem to be aware of the inAuences which surrounded his cradle. The culture of cotton, on any considerable scale, is well known to be of recent date in America. The household manufacture of cotton was coeval with the settlement of the country. A century before the piano-forte or the harp was seen on this continent, the music of the spinningwheel was heard at every fire-side in town and country. The raw materials were wool, fax, and cotton, the last inported from the West Indies. The colonial system of Great Britain before the Revolution forbade the establishment of any other than household manufactures. Soon after the Revolution, cotton mills were erected in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and the infant manufacture was encouraged by State duties on the imported fabric. The raw material was still derived exclusively from the West Indies. Its culture in this country was so extremely limited and so little known, that a small parcel sent from the United States to Liverpool in 1784 was seized at the custom-house there, as an illicit importation of British colonial produce. Even as late as 1794, and by persons so intelligent as the negotiators of Jay's treaty, it was not known that cotton was an article of growth and export from the United States. In the twelfth article of that treaty, as laid before the Senate, Cotton was included with Molasses, Sugar, Coffee, and Cocoa, as articles which American vessels should not be permitted to carry from the islands or from the United States to any foreign country.
In the Revenue law of 1789, as it passed through the House of Representatives, cotton, with other raw materials, was placed on the free list. When the bill reached the Senate a duty of 3 cents per pound was laid upon cotton, not to encourage, not to protect, but to create the domestic culture. On the discussion of this amendment in the House, a member from South Carolina declared that “ Cotton was in contemplation” in South Carolina and Georgia, " and if good seed could be procured he hoped it might succeed.” On this hope the amendment of the Senate was concurred in, and the duty of three cents per pound was laid on cotton. In 1791, Hamilton, in his report on the manufactures, recommended the repeal of this duty, on the ground that it was “a very serious impediment to the manufacture of cotton," but his recommendation was disregarded.
Thus, in the infancy of the cotton manufacture of the North, at the moment when they were deprived of the protection extended to them before the Constitution by State laws, and while they were struggling against English competition under the rapidly improving machinery of Arkwright, which it was highly penal to export to foreign countries, a heavy burden was laid upon them by this protecting duty, to enable the planters of South Carolina and Georgia to explore the tropics for a variety of cotton seed adapted to their climate. For seven years at least, and probably more, this duty was in every sense of the word a protecting duty. There was not a pound of cotton spun, no not for candle-wicks to light the humble industry of the cottages of the North, which did not pay this tribute to the Southern planter. The growth of the native article, as we have seen, had not in 1794 reached a point to be known to Chief Justice Jay as one of actual or probable export. As late as 1706, the manufacturers of Brandywine in Delaware petitioned
Congress for the repeal of this duty on imported cotton, and the petition was re jected on the Report of a Committee, consisting of a majority from the Southern States, on the ground, that “to repeal the duty on raw cotton imported would be to damp the growth of cotton in our own country.” Radicle and plumule, root and stalk, blossom and boll, the culture of the cotton plant in the United States was in its infancy the foster-child of the Protective System.
When therefore the pedigree of King Cotton is traced, he is found to be the lineal child of the tariff; called into being by a specific duty; reared by a tax laid upon the manufacturing industry of the North, to create the culture of the raw material in the South. The Northern manufacturers of America were slightly protected in 1789 because they were too feeble to stand alone. Reared into magnitude under the restrictive system and the war of 1812, they were upheld in 1816 because they were too important to be sacrificed, and because the great staple of the South had a joint interest in their prosperity. King Cotton alone, not in his manhood, not in his adolescence, not in his infancy, but in his very embryo state, was pensioned upon the Treasury,-before the seed from which he sprung was cast“ in the lowest parts of the earth.” In the book of the tariff“ his members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.”
But it was not enough to create the culture of cotton at the South, by taxing the manufactures of the North with a duty on the raw material; the extension of that culture and the prosperity which it has conferred upon the South are due to the mechanical genius of the North. What says Mr. Justice Johnson of the Supreme Court of the United States, and a citizen of South Carolina ? “ With regard to the utility of this discovery" (the cotton gin of Whitney)" the court would deem it a waste of time to dwell long upon this topic. Is there a man who hears us that has not experienced its utility ? The whole interior of the Southern States was languishing, and its inhabitants emigrating, for want of some object to engage their attention and employ their industry, when the invention of this machine at once opened views to them which set the whole country in active motion. From child hood to age it has presented us a lucrative employment. Individuals who were depressed in poverty and sunk in idleness, have suddenly risen to wealth and respectability. Our debts have been paid off, our capitals increased, and our lands trebled in value. We cannot express the weight of obligation which the country owes to this invention; the extent of it cannot now be seen.”—Yes, and when happier days shall return, and the South, awakening from her suicidal delusion, shall remember who it was that sowed her sunny fields with the seeds of those golden crops with which she thinks to rule the world, she will cast a veil of oblivion over the memory of the ambitious men who have goaded her to her present madness, and will rear a monument of her gratitude in the beautiful City of Elms, over the ashes of her greatest benefactor—ELI WHITNEY.
INTERFERENCE VITII SLAVERY TIE GREAT ALLEGED GRIEVANCE. But the great complaint of the South, and that which is admitted to be the immediate occasion of the present revolt, is the alleged interference of the North in the Southern institution of slavery; a subject on which the sensibilities of the two sections have been so deeply and fearfully stirred, that it is nearly impossible to
INTERFERENCE WITH SLAVERY THE GREAT ALLEGED GRIEVANCE.
speak words of impartial truth. As I have already stated, the declaration of South Carolina, of the causes which prompted her to secede from the Union, alleged no other reason for this movement than the enactment of laws to obstruct the surrender of fugitive slaves. The declaration does not state that South Carolina ever lost a slave by the operation of these laws, and it is doubtful whether a dozen from all the States have been lost from this cause. A gross crror on this subject pervades the popular mind at the South. Some hundred of slaves in the aggregato escape annually ; some to the recesses of the Dismal Swamp; some to the everglades of Florida ; some to the trackless mountain region, which traverses the South ; some to the Mexican States and the Indian tribes; some across the free States to Canada. The popular feeling of the South ascribes the entire loss to the laws of the free States, while it is doubtful whether these laws cause any portion of it. The public sentiment of the North is not such, of course, as to dispose the community to obstruct the escape or aid in the surrender of slaves. Neither is it at the South. No one, I am told, at the South, not called upon by official duty, joins in the huc and cry after a fugitive; and whenever he escapes from any States south of the border tier, it is evident that his flight must have been aided in a community of slave-holders. If the North Carolina fugitive escapes through Virginia, or the Tennessee fugitive escapes through Kentucky, why are Pennsylvania and Ohio alone blamed? On this whole subject the grossest injustice is done to the North. She is expected to be more tolerant of slavery than the South herself; for while the South demands of the North entire acquiescence in the extremest doctrines of slave property, it is a well-known fact, and as such alluded to by Mr. Clay in his speech on the compromises of 1850, that any man who habitually traffics in this property is held in the same infamy at Richmond and New Orleans that he would be at Philadelphia or Cincinnati.*
While South Carolina, assigning the cause of secession, confines herself to the State laws for obstructing the surrender of fugitives, in other quarters, by the press, in the manifestoes and debates on the subject of secession, and in the official papers of the new Confederacy, the general conduct of the North, with respect to Slavery, is put forward as the justifying, nay, the compelling cause of the revolution. This subject, still more than that of the tariff, is too trite for discussion, with the hope of saying any thing new on the general question. I will but submit a few considerations to show the great injustice which is done to the North, by representing her as the aggressor in this sectional warfare.
The Southern theory assumes that, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, the same antagonism prevailed as now between the North and South, on the general subject of Slavery; that, although it existed to some extent in all the States but one of the Union, it was a feeble and declining interest at the North, and mainly seated at the South ; that the soil and climate of the North were soon found to be unpropitious to slave labor, while the reverse was the case at the South; that the Northern States, in consequence, having, from interested motives, abolished Slavery, sold their slaves to the South, and that then, although the existence of Slavery was recognized, and its protection guaranteed by the Constitution, as soon as the Northern States had acquired a controlling voice in Congress, a persistent and organized system of hostile measures, against the rights of the owners
• See Appendix, C.
of slaves in the Southern States, was inaugurated and gradually extended, in violation of the compromises of the Constitution, as well as of the honor and good faith tacitly pledged to the South, by the manner in which the North disposed of her slaves.
Such, in substance, is the statement of Mr. Davis in his late message ; and he then proceeds, seemingly as if rehearsing the acts of this Northern majority in Congress, to refer to the anti-slavery measures of the State Legislatures, to the resolutions of abolition societies, to the passionate appeals of the party press, and to the acts of lawless individuals, during the progress of this unhappy agitation.
THE SOUTII FORMERLY OPPOSED TO SLAVERY.
Now, this entire view of the subject, with whatever boldness it is affirmed, and with whatever persistency it is repeated, is destitute of foundation. It is demon, strably at war with the truth of history, and is contradicted by facts known to those now on the stage, or which are matters of recent record. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and long afterwards, there was, generally speaking, no sectional difference of opinion between North and South, on the subject of Slavery. It was in both parts of the country regarded, in the established formula of the day, as "a social, political, and moral evil.” The general feeling in favor of universal liberty and the rights of man, wrought into fervor in the progress of the Revolution, naturally strengthened the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the Union. It is the South which has since changed, not the North. The theory of a change in the Northern mind, growing out of a discovery made soon after 1789, that our soil and climate were unpropitious to Slavery, (as if the soil and climate then were different from what they had always been,) and a consequent sale to the South of the slaves of the North, is purely mythical—as groundless in fact as it is absurd in statement. I have often asked for the evidence of this last allegation, and I have never found an individual who attempted even to prove it. But however this may be, the South at that time regarded Slavery as an evil, though a necessary one, and habitually spoke of it in that light. Its continued existence was supposed to depend on keeping up the African slave trado; and South as well as North, Virginia as well as Massachusetts, passed laws to prohibit that traffic; they were, however, before the revolution, vetoed by the Royal Governors. One of the first acts of the Continental Congress, unanimously subscribed by its members, was an agreement neither to import, nor purchase any slave imported, after the first of December, 1774. In the Declaration of Independence, as originally drafted by Mr. Jefferson, both Slavery and the slave trade were denounced in the most uncompromising language. In 1777 the traffic was forbidden in Virginia, by Stato law, no longer subject to the veto of Royal Governors. In 1784, an ordinance was reported by Mr. Jefferson to the old Congress, providing that after 1800 there should be no Slavery in any Territory, ceded or to be ceded to the United States. The ordinance failed at that time to be enacted, but the same prohibition formed a part by general consent of the ordinance of 1787, for the organization of the northwestern Territory. In his Notes on Virginia, published in that year, Mr. Jefferson depicted the evils of Slavery in terms of fearful import. In the same year the Constitution was framed. It recognized the existence of Slavery, but the word was carefully excluded from the instrument, and Congress was authorized to abol