« PreviousContinue »
A reward of Eleven Hundred Millions of Dollars is offered for the conversion of the lands of North Carolina into free soil. The lands themselves, desolate and impoverished under the fatal foot of slavery, offer the reward. How, then, can it be made to appear that the abolition of slavery in North Carolina, and, indeed, throughout all the Southern States—for slavery is exceedingly inimical to them all — is not demanded by every consideration of justice, prudence, and good sense? In 1850, the total value of all the slaves of the State, at the rate of four hundred dollars per head, amounted to less than one hundred and sixteen millions of dollars. Is the sum of one hundred and sixteen millions of dollars more desirable than the sum of eleven hundred millions of dollars? When a man has land for sale, does he reject thirty-six dollars per acre and take three? Non-slaveholding whites ! look well to your interests! Many of you have lands; comparatively speaking, you have nothing else. Abolish slavery, and you will enhance the value of every league, your own and your neighbors, from three to thirty-six dollars per acre. Your little tract containing two hundred acres, now valued at the pitiful sum of only six hundred dollars, will then be worth seven thousand. Your children, now deprived of even the meagre advantages of common schools, will then reap the benefits of a collegiate education. Your rivers and smaller streams, now wasting their waters in idleness, will then turn the wheels of multitudinous mills. Your bays and harbors, now unknown to commerce, will then swarm with ships from every enlightened quarter of the globe. Non-slaveholding whites ! look well to your interests !
Would the slaveholders of North Carolina lose anything by the abolition of slavery? Let us see. According to their own estimate, their slaves are worth, in round numbers, say, one hundred and twenty millions of dollars. There are in the State twenty-eight thousand slaveholders, owning, it may be safely assumed, an average of at least five hundred acres of land each—fourteen millions of acres in all. This number of acres, multiplied by thirty-three dollars and ninety-one cents, the difference in value between free soil and slave soil, makes the enormous sum of four hundred and seventy-four millions of dollars—showing that, by the abolition of slavery, the slaveholders themselves would realize a net profit of not less than three hundred and fifty-four millions of dollars!
Compensation to slaveholders for the negroes now in their possession! The idea is preposterous. The suggestion is criminal. The demand is unjust, wicked, monstrous, damnable. Shall we pat the bloodhounds of slavery for the sake of doing them a favor ? Shall we fee the curs of slavery in order to make them rich at our expense ? Shall we pay the whelps of slavery for the privilege of converting them into decent, honest, upright men? No, never! The non-slaveholders expect to gain, and will gain, something by the abolition of slavery; but slaveholders themselves will, by far, be the greater gainers; for, in proportion to population, they own much larger and more fertile tracts of land, and will
, as a matter of course, receive the lion's share of the increase in the value of not only real estate, but also of other gen
uine property, of which they are likewise the principal owners. How ridiculously absurd, therefore, is the objection, that, if we liberate the slaves, we ruin the masters ! Not long since, a gentleman in Baltimore, a native of Maryland, remarked in our presence that he was an abolitionist because he felt that it was right and proper to be one ; " but,” inquired he,“ are there not, in some of the States, many widows and orphans who would be left in destitute circumstances, if their negroes were taken from them ?" In answer to the question, we replied that slavery had already reduced thousands and tens of thousands of non-slaveholding widows and orphans to the lowest depths of poverty and ignorance, and that we did not believe one slaveholding widow and three orphans were of more, or even of as much consequence as five nonslaveholding widows and fifteen orphans.
" You are right,” exclaimed the gentleman, “I had not viewed the subject in that light before ; I perceive you go in for the greatest good to the greatest number.” Emancipate the negroes, and the ex-slaveholding widow would still retain her lands and tenements, which, in consequence of being surroundnd by the magic influences of liberty, would soon render her far more wealthy and infinitely more respectable, than she could possibly ever become while trafficing in human flesh.
The fact is, every slave in the South costs the State in which he resides at least three times as much as he, in the
whole course of his life, is worth to his master. Slavery , benefits no one but its immediate, individual owners, and
them only in a pecuniary point of view, and at the sacri
OUR theme is a city—a great Southern importing, ex. porting, and manufacturing city, to be located at some point or part on the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia or Virginia, where we can carry on active commerce, buy, sell, fabricate, receive the profits which accrue from the exchange of our own commodities, open facilities for direct communication with foreign countries, and establish all those collateral sources of wealth, utility, and adornment, which are the usual concomitants of a metropolis, and which add so very materially to the interest and importance of a nation. Without a city of this kind, the South can never develop her commercial resources nor attain to that eminent position to which those vast resources would otherwise exalt her. According to calculations based upon " reasonable estimates, it is owing to the lack of a great commercial city in the South, that we are now annually drained of more than One Hundred and Twenty Millions of Dollars! We should, however, take into consideration the negative loss as well as the positive. Especially should we think of the influx of emigrants, of the visits of strangers and cosmopolites, of the patronage to hotels and