Page images

will give up its dead; and the soil would bloom more luxuriantly than if it drank the dews of Hermon nightly; ten thousand keels would ver our rivers, towns along their banks would grow into cities, and St. Louis would soon unite in itself the attributes of the greatest commercial manufacturing and literary metropolis in the world. Let it be remembered that we have every inanimate element of wealth and power within our limits, and that We require only labor-free labor-for we need not say that servile labor is inadequate.

There need be no pernicious agitation, and even if there should, it is the penalty which we cannot aroid paying at some time ; and it is easier to pay it now, than in the future. Who that watches passing events and indications, is not sensible of the fact that great internal convulsions await the slave States ? Better to grapple with the danger in time, if danger there be, and avert it, than wait until it becomes formidable. One thing is certain, or history is no guide: that is, that slavery cannot be perpetuated anywhere. An agitation now would be the effort of the social system to throw off a disease which had not touched its vitals; hereafter it would be the struggle for life with a mortal sickness. But we do not apprehend any agitation more violent than has been forced upon us for years by the pro-slavery politicians. Agitating the slavery question, has been their constant business, and nothing worse has resulted from it than their elevation to office-no very trilling evil, by the way-and the temporary subjugation of Kansas.

Besides, we know that all the free States emancipated their slaves, and England and France theirs suddenly; and we have yet to learn that a dangerous agitation arose in any instance."

In addition to all this, it is well known, and we thank Heaven for the fact and for the indication, that, at the election held for Mayor of St. Louis, in April, 1857, the Abolition candidate, himself a native of Virginia, was triumphantly elevated to the chief magistracy of the city. Three cheers for St. Louis ! nine for Missouri ! thirteen for the South !


In reference to the late election in St. Louis, in which the Emancipation party triumphed, the Wheeling (Va.) Intelligencer says:

" These elections do demonstrate this fact, beyond a cavil, that the sentiment of the great majority of the people of this Union is irrevocably opposed to the extension of slavery ; that they are determined, if overwhelming public sentiment can avail anything, another slave State shall not be admitted into the confederacy. And why are they so determined ? Because they believe, and not only believe, but see and know, that slavery is an unmitigated curse to the soil that sustains it. They know this, because they see every free State outstripping every slave State in all the elements that make a people powerful and prosperous; because they see the people in the one educated and thrifty, and in the other ignorant and thriftless; because they have before their eyes a State like our own, once the very Union itself almost in importance, to-day taking her rank as a fifth rate power."

Non-slaveholders of the South ! fail not to support the papers—the Southern papers—that support your interests. Chief amongst those papers are the St. Louis (Mo.) Democrat, the National Era, published in Washington City, D. C., the Baltimore Clipper, the Wheeling (Va.) Gazette, and the Wellsburg (Va.) Herald.


There is but one way for the oligarchy to perpetuate slavery in the Southern States, and that is by perpetuating absolute ignorance among the non-slaveholding whites. This it is quite impossible for them to do. God has scattered the seeds of knowledge throughout every portion of the South, and they are, as might have been expected, beginning to take root in her fertile soil. The following extracts from letters which have been received since we commenced writing this work, will show how powerfully the spirit of freedom is operating upon the minds of intelligent, thinking men in the slave States.

A Baltimorean, writing to us a while previous to the last Presidential election, says:

“ I see that the Trustees of the University of North Carolina have dismissed Prof. Hedrick for writing a letter in favor of Republican principles. Oh, what an inglorious source of reflection for an American citizen! To think, to know that our boasted liberty of speech is a myth, an abstraction. To see a poor professor crushed under the feet of the tyrannical magnates of slavery, for daring to speak the honest sentiments of his heart. Where is fanaticism now, North or South ? Oh, my country, my coun. try, whither art thou tending? Truly we have fallen upon degenerate days. God grant that they may not be like those of ancient Greece and Rome, the forerunners of our country's ruin,"

In a letter under date of November 1, 1856, a friend who resides in the eastern part of North Carolina, says:

"In the papers which reached me last week I notice that our own State has been disgraced by a junto of pro-slavery hot-spurs, who had the audacity to meet in Raleigh for the express purpose of concocting measures for a dissolution of the Union. It appears that the three leading spirits of this cabal were the present governors of three neighboring States-three treasonable disturbers of the public peace, who, under the circumstances, should, in my opinion, have been shot dead upon the spot! I have each of their names noted down in my memorandum, and I shall certainly die unsatisfied, if I do not live to hear of their being thoroughly tarred and feathered, and ridden on a rail

, by the nonslaveholding whites, against whose welfare their machinations

[ocr errors]


“While patrolling a few nights ago I was forcibly struck with the truthfulness of the remarks contained in your last letter.-Here I am, a poor but sober and industrious man, with a family dependent on me for support, and after I have finished my day's labor, I am compelled to walk the streets from nine in the evening till three in the morning, to restrain the roving propensities of other people's 'property'—niggers. Why should I thus be deprived of sleep that the slaveholder may slumber? I frankly acknowledge my indebtedness to you for opening my eyes upon this subject. The more I think and see of slavery the more I detest it. * *

I am becoming restless, and have been debating within my own mind whether I had not better emigrate to a free State. * * * If I live, I am determined to oppose slavery somewhere—here or elsewhere. It will be impossible for me to keep my lips sealed much longer. Indeed, I sometimes feel that I have been remiss in my duty in not having opened them ere now. But for the unfathomable ignorance that pervades the mass of the poor, deluded, slavery-saddled whites around me, I would not suppress my sentiments another hour.''


Again, under date of April 7, 1857, he says =

217 :

“I thank God that slavery will, in my opinion, soon be abolished. I wish to Heaven I had the ability to raise my voice successfully in favor of a just system to abolish it. I would indeed be rejoiced to have an opportunity to do something to relieve the South of the awful curse. Fear not that you will meet with no sympathizers in the South. You will have hosts of friends on every side-even in this town, if I am not greatly mistaken, a large majority of the citizens will add an enthusiastic Amen! to

your work."

We might furnish similar extracts from other letters, but these, we think, are quite sufficient to show that the millennium of freedom is rapidly dawning throughout the benighted regions of slavery. Coveted events are happening in charming succession. All we have to do is to wait and work a little longer.


Had we the power to sketch a true picture of life among the non-slaveholding whites of the South, every intelligent man who has a spark of philanthropy in his breast, and who should happen to gaze upon the picture, would burn with unquenchable indignation at that system of African slavery which entails unutterable miseries on the supe rior race. It is quite impossible, however, to describe accurately the deplorable ignorance and squalid poverty of the class to which we refer. The serfs of Russia have reason to congratulate themselves that they are neither the negroes nor the non-slaveholding whites of the South. Than the latter there can be no people in Christendom more unhappily situated. Below will be found a few extracts which will throw some light on the subject now under consideration.

Says William Gregg, in an address delivered before the South Carolina Institution, in 1851 :

" From the best estimates that I have been able to make, I put down the white people who ought to work, and who do not,

« PreviousContinue »