personal knowledge,) the great mass of those who own them cannot be said, in any popular sense of the term, to be rich.
Now, the habits of half-labor, as any Northern man would regard them, in which the slaves are usually indulged, would put it quite out of the power of most of slave-owners to afford the necessary support for such schools, however favorable they might be to the scheme.
Withal, there is but little if any room to doubt that a great many, both among the rich as well as the poor, would oppose the measure, for what appeared to them reasons of sound policy.
This would leave the scheme to be supported entirely by the few rich men, whose benevolence might lead them to overlook the strong popular objections against it. It requires no particular sagacity to foresee the practical mischiefs which would attend the efforts of a few rich men who might attempt to override the popular feeling on a subject of this kind.
Public opinion would put it down!
This would be the end of it in one direction, but not in another.
The whole movement would be attended, from first to last, with an irritation of the public mind in the highest degree unfavorable, and, indeed, dangerous to the peace and prosperity of the commonwealth.
All irritations of the public mind in regard to the blacks, it is well known, result