adopted in 1780, with a Bill of Rights
prefixed, declaring that “all men were born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights,” among which is liberty.
decided that under this Constitution slavery could not and did not exist.
This was a very different process from that described by Mr. Davis
But were the slaves thus made free “sold to the South
” ? Happily, that question may be answered.
According to the census of the Province of Massachusetts Bay
, taken in 1765, the colored population in 182 towns was 4,978. Dr. Jesse Chickering
, in his “Statistical View of the Population of Massachusetts
,” a work of the very highest authority, estimates that a number not exceeding 147 ought to be added for 16 towns from which there were no returns, and 74 for two towns where the returns did not specify color, making 5,199 in all. The next census was that of 1790.
The table for Massachusetts
| ||Total Colored Population.|
From 1765, fifteen years before slavery ceased, to 1790, ten years after its cessation, the colored population, instead of being diminished by a sale of slaves to the South
, increased 264.
In the next ten years, “soon after” 1789, it increased 989.
In the next, the increase was only 285.
The great increase of 989, from 1790 to 1810, was at the very time of the decrease of colored people in Rhode Island
, as stated above.
The increase for the next ten years, 285, represents very nearly the usual increase in subsequent decades.
Even that small increase has been due mostly, and perhaps wholly, to immigration; for their natural increase, in our climate, is about nothing.
So far is this statement, which Mr. Davis
has put forth with all the solemnity of an official document, from being true; so unsupported are some of the grounds on which Southern men are officially exhorted to separate themselves utterly from their fellow-citizens of the North
; and so easily detected and conclusively proved is a misrepresentation, which would be so discreditable to us, as a fact.
May we not hope that men who, whether deliberately or carelessly, indulge in such statements, will soon lose their present control over Southern minds?--Boston Courier
, July 9.