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TABLE NO. LVI.
FREE WHITE MALE PERSONS OVER FIFTEEN YEARS OF AGE ENGAGED IN AGRICULTURAL AND OTHER OUT-DOOR LABOR IN THE SLAVE-STATES-1850.
Too hot in the South, and too unhealthy there-white men "can't stand it"-negroes only can endure the heat of Southern climes! How often are our ears insulted
with such wickedly false assertions as these! In what degree of latitude-pray tell us-in what degree of latitude do the rays of the sun become too calorific for white men? Certainly in no part of the United States, for in the extreme South we find a very large number of nonslaveholding whites over the age of fifteen, who derive their entire support from manual labor in the open fields. The sun, that bugbear of slaveholding demagogues, shone on more than one million of free white laborers-mostly agriculturists-in the slave States in 1850, exclusive of
those engaged in commerce, trade, manufactures, the mechanic arts, and mining. Yet, notwithstanding all these instances of exposure to his wrath, we have had no intelligence whatever of a single case of coup de soleil. Alabama is not too hot; sixty-seven thousand white sons of toil till her soil. Mississippi is not too hot; fifty-five thousand free white laborers are hopeful devotees of her outdoor pursuits. Texas is not too hot; forty-seven thousand free white persons, males, over the age of fifteen, daily perform their rural vocations amidst her unsheltered air.
It is stated on good authority that, in January, 1856, native ice, three inches thick, was found in Galveston Bay; we have seen it ten inches thick in North Carolina, with the mercury in the thermometer at two degrees below zero. In January, 1857, while the snow was from three to five feet deep in many parts of North Carolina, the thermometer indicated a degree of coldness seldom exceeded in any State in the Union-thirteen degrees below zero. The truth is, instead of its being too hot in the South for white men, it is too cold for negroes; and we long to see the day arrive when the latter shall have entirely receded from their uncongenial homes in America, and given full and undivided place to the former.
Too hot in the South for white men! It is not too hot for white women. Time and again, in different counties in North Carolina, have we seen the poor white wife of the poor white husband, following him in the harvest-field. from morning till night, binding up the grain as it fell from his cradle. In the immediate neighborhood from which we hail, there are not less than thirty young
women, non-slaveholding whites, between the ages of fif teen and twenty-five-some of whom are so well known to us that we could call them by name-who labor in the fields every summer; two of them in particular, near neighbors to our mother, are in the habit of hiring themselves out during harvest-time, the very hottest season of the year, to bind wheat and oats-each of them keeping up with the reaper; and this for the paltry consideration of twenty-five cents per day.
That any respectable man-any man with a heart or a soul in his composition-can look upon these poor toiling white women without feeling indignant at that accursed system of slavery which has entailed on them the miseries of poverty, ignorance, and degradation, we shall not do ourself the violence to believe. If they and their husbands, and their sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters, are not righted in some of the more important par ticulars in which they have been wronged, the fault shall lie at other doors than our own. In their behalf, chiefly, have we written and compiled this work; and until our object shall have been accomplished, or until life shall have been extinguished, there shall be no abatement in our efforts to aid them in regaining the natural and inalienable prerogatives out of which they have been so infamously swindled. We want to see no more plowing, or hoeing, or raking, or grain-binding, by white women in the Southern States; employment in cotton-mills and other factories would be far more profitable and congenial to them, and this they shall have within a short period after slavery shall have been abolished.
"In the extreme South, at New Orleans, the laboring menthe stevedores and hackmen on the levee, where the heat is intensified by the proximity of the red brick buildings, are all white men, and they are in the full enjoyment of health. But how about Cotton? I am informed by a friend of mine-himself a slaveholder, and therefore good authority-that in Northwestern Texas, among the German settlements, who true to their national instincts, will not employ the labor of a slave-they produce more cotton to the acre, and of a better quality, and selling at prices from a cent to a cent and a half a pound higher than that produced by slave labor."
Says Gov. Hammond, of South Carolina:
"The steady heat of our summers is not so prostrating as the short, but frequent and sudden, bursts of Northern summers."
In an extract which may be found in our second chapter, and to which we respectfully refer the reader, it will be seen that this same South Carolinian, speaking of "not less than fifty thousand" non-slaveholding whites, says"most of these now follow agricultural pursuits."
Says Dr. Cartwright of New Orleans :-
"Here in New Orleans, the larger part of the drudgery-work requiring exposure to the sun, as railroad-making, street-paving, dray-driving, ditching and building, is performed by white people."
To the statistical tables which show the number of deaths in the free and in the slave States in 1850, we would direct special attention. Those persons, particu