« PreviousContinue »
Law of Supply and Dernard.
less of it. Emancipation, even without deportation, would, probably enbance the wages of wbite labor, and, very surely, would not reduce them. Thus, the customary amount of labor would still have to be performed; the freed people would surely not do more than their old proportion of it, and very probably, for a time, would do less, leaving an increased part to white laborers, bringing their labor into greater demand, and, consequently, enhancing the wages of it. With deportation, even to a limited extent, enhanced wages to wbite labor is mathematically certain. Labor is like any other commodity in the market—increase the demand for it, and you increase the price of it. Reduce the supply of black labor, by colonizing the black laborer out of the country, and, by precisely so much you increase the demand for, and wages of, white labor.
“But it is dreaded that the freed people will swarm forth, and cover the whole land. Are they not already in the land ? Will liberation make them any more numerous ? Equally distributed among the whites of the whole country, and there would be but one colored to seven whites. Could the one, in any way, greatly disturb the seven ? There are many communities now, having more than one free colored person to seven whites; and this without any apparent consciousness of evil from it. The District of Columbia, and the States of Maryland and Delaware, are all in this condition. The District has more than one free colored to six wbites; and yet, in its frequent petitions to Congress, I believe it has never presented the presence of free colored persons as one of its grievances. But why should emancipation South send the freed people North ? People, of any color, seldom run, unless there be something to run from. Heretofore, colored people, to some extent, have fled North from bondage ; and now, perhaps, from both bondage and destitution. But if gradual emancipation and deportation be adopted, they will bave neither to flee from. Their old masters will give them wages,
Restoring National Authority.
at least until new laborers can be procured; and the freed men, in turn, will gladly give their labor for the wages, till new homes can be found for them, in congenial climes, and with people of their own blood and race. This proposition can be trusted on the mutual interests involved. And, in any event, can not the North decide for itself, whether to receive them?
"Again, as practice proves more than theory, in any case, has there been any irruption of colored people northward, because of the abolishment of slavery in this District last spring?
"What I have said of the proportion of free colored persons to the whites, in the District, is from the census of 1860, having no reference to persons called contrabands, nor to those made free by the Act of Congress abolishing slavery here.
"The plan consisting of these articles is recommended, not but that a restoration of the National authority would be accepted without its adoption.
"Nor will the war, nor proceedings under the proclamation of September 22d, 1862, be stayed because of the recommendation of this plan. Its timely adoption, I doubt not, would bring restoration, and thereby stay both.
"And, notwithstanding this plan, the recommendation that Congress provide by law for compensating any State which may adopt emancipation, before this plan shall have been acted upon, is hereby earnestly renewed. Such would be only an advance part of the plan, and the same arguments apply to both.
"This plan is recommended as a means, not in exclusion of, but in addition to, all others for restoring and preserving the National authority throughout the Union. The subject is presented exclusively in its economical aspect. The plan would, I am confident, secure peace more speedily, and maintain it more permanently, than can be done by force alone;
Shortening the War,
while all it would cost, considering amounts, and manner of payment, and times of payment, would be easier paid than will be the additional cost of the war, if we rely solely upon force. It is much-very much—that it would cost no blood at all.
"The plan is proposed as permanent constitutional law. It cannot become such without the concurrence of, first, twothirds of Congress, and, afterward, three-fourths of the States. The requisite three-fourths of the States, will necessarily include seven of the slave States. Their concurrence, if obtained, will give assurance of their severally adopting emancipation, at no very distant day, upon the new constitutional terms. This assurance would end the struggle now, and save the Union forever.
"I do not forget the gravity which should characterize a paper addressed to the Congress of the nation, by the Chief Magistrate of the nation. Nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors; nor that many of you have more experience than I, in the conduct of public affairs. Yet I trust that, in view of the great responsibility resting upon me, you will perceive no want of respect to yourselves, in any undue earnestness I may seem to display.
"Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is it doubted that we here-Congress and Executive-can secure its adoption? Will not the good people respond to a united and earnest appeal from us? Can we, can they, by any other means, so certainly or so speedily assure these vital objects? We can succeed only by concert It is not, 'Can any of us imagine better?' but, 'Can we all do better? Object whatsoever is possible, still the question recurs, Can we do better?' The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled
high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disinthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
The Tide Turned.
"Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We-even we here-hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free-honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just- a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.
Dec. 1, 1862.
THE TIDE TURNED.
Military Successes-Favorable Elections-Emancipation Policy-Letter to Manchester (England) Workingmen-Proclamation for a National Fast-Letter to Erastus CorningLetter to a Committee on recalling Vallandigham.
IT had been decreed by a kind Providence that the year 1863 was to mark a turn in the almost unbroken line of reverses which the Union army had experienced for some time previous.
True, Hooker, who had superseded Burnside in command of the Army of the Potomac, had been signally repulsed at Chancellorsville; but this was more than compensated by the decided victory achieved by the same troops, under Meade, over the rebels at Gettysburg. Grant, by the capture of Vicksburg, and the surrender of Port Hudson, which was the inevitable result, had opened the Mississippi to the Gulf, and completely severed the bastard confederacy. We moreover secured East Tennessee, and by the victories of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, and the repulse of a rebel attempt to retake Knoxville, paved the way for an offensive movement into the vitals of Georgia.
The sober, second thought of the people was manifest. Vallandigham in Ohio, who for his treasonable practices had been tried by Burnside's order, convicted, and ordered South to his friends, but who had been suffered to return via Canada, and was put forward as the exponent of "Democracy" in Ohio, was shelved by some one hundred thousand majority. Pennsylvania, likewise, more than redeemed herself. In fact every loyal State-except New Jersey-showed decided majorities for the Administration.
In this election, be it remembered, the emancipation policy of the President had entered largely as an element of discussion; and the results were the more gratifying as it established conclusively, that however unfavorable early indications might have been, the great pulse of the people beat in unison with freedom for man as man. If in a contest like that in which the nation was then engaged, all merely merce. nary considerations could be overlooked, deep-rooted prejudices mastered, and long withheld rights cheerfully granted, there would be, indeed, strong grounds to hope for the progress of our race.
At the beginning of the year, the President received a gratifying evidence of the appreciation in which his efforts for freedom were held, in a testimonial of sympathy and confi