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into the territory, and with its expressed object, to destroy these lawless banditti." Gaines charged colonel Clinch with the execution of the command. The latter took some gunboats with him. During the bombardment, which was preceded, as Clinch affirmed in his dispatches, by an attack from the negroes, a red-hot ball flew into the powder magazine. Of the three hundred negroes and about twenty Indians, who, according to the official report, were in the fort, two hundred and seventy were instantly killed by the explosion, and the rest were mortally wounded.' This "heroic deed," which was rewarded by congress in 1818, upon the motion of Pleasant of Virginia, with a grant of $5,465, was the beginning of the Seminole war, which cost the United States millions on millions and perhaps surpassed all other Indian wars in ferocity. And the object of the campaign which ended in this heroic deed was, according to the official records, the destruction of the refuge of fugitive slaves and the return of the fugitives to their rightful owners. The troops of the Union were degraded into slave-hunters; the victor of New Orleans and the future president of the republic had stooped to this; and congress crowned the glorious transaction by voting a reward. In the heated debates which the Seminole war excited, men shunned going back to its first cause, although the hunt for slaves continued to play a leading part in it. Only one Pennsylvanian betrayed, in an unguarded moment, how deeply slavery was entangled in the struggle, and he defended the man-hunting. For the rest, men quarreled over the question whether the war had been begun by the Indians, or whether the latter had first had reason to complain of the injustice of the whites.
The records of these occurrences are in the fourth volume of the State Papers, XIX. Cong., 2d Sess. An interesting report is to be found in Niles, XI., p. 37.
2 Baldwin, Deb. of Congress, VI., p. 322.
THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR.
So the last of the long series of games which had been played during the first thirty years of the Union under the new constitution, on the white and black chess-board. of free labor and slavery, was of a bloody character. The stakes had been high enough, and the north had lost them all. Even for its half-victory in the question of slave importation, it had to thank its league with the northern slave states. It would have been contrary to human nature if the south had not, after these successes, played the game with doubled assurance, and, where possible, for doubled stakes. The stake and the hardihood of the play increased in the same ratio, as slavery swallowed up in the south all other interests and came to be the one interest on which all others were dependent.
'I call it the last, because it had the most widespread influence in the following period.
THE ECONOMIC CONTRAST BETWEEN THE FREE AND SLAVE STATES. THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE.
From the instant that slavery was brought into connection with the constitution, the south had shown a feverish irritation as soon as the "peculiar institution" was made a theme of discussion in any way whatever. A great part of the questions it called forth had been settled only after long and heated struggles. And during these struggles many a word had fallen on both sides which lifted with terrible certainty the veil of the future. But yet all the contests over the slavery question, with the exception of the debates in the Philadelphia convention, had been, so to speak, mere incidents. They constituted only one element of the regular political order of the day. "South" and "North," spoken in tones pregnant with meaning, soon became among the most frequent expressions of politicians. But "slaveholding" and "free" states had not yet become political catch-words. When they had become such, and when they became, as they did every day, more and more the keynote in all debates, fractional parties were formed on both sides, but especially in the north, which, appealing to the olden time, protested against this with increasing violence. Even since the end of the civil war, thick books have been written to prove that the slaveholding and free states might have peaceably got along with one another till the end of time, if on this side and that, political short-sightedness, fanaticism, and demagogism had not awakened discord and artfully kept it alive. The whole history of the Union since 1787 so clearly contradicts this view that it can be attrib
nted only to moral enervation. Luther and his opponents could have more easily remained true to their argument, and by keeping silent, have set a limit to the reformation already begun, than the contest in the United States between the free and the slaveholding states could be kept, by simply not noticing it, from growing more violent every day until it finally culminated in an incurable breach. Even if this mutual opposition had been only a moral and political one, there was no possibility of mediation or reconciliation between them because it was a question of principle. But, besides this, it was also of an industrial nature and was therefore of greater signification, since it necessarily influenced practical politics earlier and more directly.
Free labor, with unlimited competition, makes the highest development and the highest employment of individual power the formative principle of the collective life of a nation. On the contrary, the only means of industrial advancement with slave labor is the increase of the weight of the dead mass. The essence of free labor is intensity; the condition of existence for a slavocracy competing with free labor is boundless expansion. Moreover and above all, in the United States, expansion was offered to the free north
'During the last five years before the outbreak of the civil war, the leading statesmen of the south not only admitted this, but used it as an argument for the justice of their new demands. Robert Toombs declared, Jan. 24, 1856, in a speech at Boston: "Expansion is as necessary to the increased comforts of the slave as to the prosperity of the master." But Barringer of North Carolina laid the most open statement before the peace convention of 1861. He said: "In my opinion you will never get back the seceded states, without you give them some hope of the acquisition of future territory. They know that when slavery is gathered into a cul de sac, and surrounded by a wall of free states, it is destroyed. Slavery must have expansion. It must expand by the acquisition of territory which now we do not own. The seceded states will never yield this point-will never come back to a government which gives no chance for the expansion of their principal institution." Chittenden's Report, p. 340.
in a high degree, and intensity of labor could therefore come into play only upon one side, and that the quantitative one. The final result in the struggle between the opposing industrial principles would not, however, be thereby changed.
The industrial development of the slave states soon fell far behind that of the north, because this development on account of slavery continued to be thoroughly one-sided. The south remained essentially limited to agriculture, and this could be carried on only on a large scale, while the condition precedent of intense agricultural industry is the predominance of the small and middle-sized farm. But slavery has an invincible tendency in favor of plantation industry, which suppresses or swallows small farms."
1 According to the census of 1850 (Compend., p. 170), in the southwest the average size of landed properties, including the farms and the socalled "patches" of the cottagers who owned a few slaves, was two hundred and seventy-three acres. Cotton plantations were seldom less than four hundred acres. According to De Bow, the first class of slaveholders, those owning from fifty slaves up, altogether numbered in all the slave states only seven thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine. The majority of the cotton planters, who owned from ten to twenty-five slaves, lived, according to Olmstead, in great indigence (The Cotton Kingdom, I., p. 18. Compare also, II., p. 233). De Bow-an authority who cannot well be doubted when the misfortunes of the slave states are the subject of discussion-writes: "But what would be his [the hearer's] surprise, when told that so far from living in palaces, many of these [cotton] planters dwell in habitations of the most primitive construction, and these so inartificially built as to be incapable of defending the inmates from the winds and rains of heaven; that instead of any artistical improvement, this rude dwelling was surrounded by cotton-fields, or probably by fields exhausted, washed into gullies and abandoned." Resources of the South and West, II., p. 113. The same authority writes: "I am satisfied that the non-slaveholders far outnumber the slaveholders, perhaps by three to one. In the more southern portion of this region [the southwest], the non-slaveholders possess generally but very small means, and the land which they possess is almost universally poor, and so sterile that a scanty subsistence is all that can be derived from its cultivation, and the more fertile soil, being in the hands of the slaveholders, must ever remain out of the power of those who have none." II., p. 106.