there was a time, not so many years before, when slavery was generally denounced; when men like Washington
and Henry, although themselves slave-owners, led public opinion in its condemnation.
Everybody was anticipating the day of universal emancipation, when suddenlyalmost in the twinkling of an eye — there was a change.
If it had been a weather-cock — as to a considerable extent it was, and is-public opinion could not have more quickly veered about.
Slavery became the popular idol in the North
as well as in the South
Opposition to it was not only offensive, but dangerous.
It was sacrilege.
So far as the South
was concerned the revolution is easily accounted for. Slavery became profitable.
A Yankee magician had touched it with a wand of gold, and from being a languishing, struggling system, it quickly developed into a money-maker.
, the Connecticut
mechanical genius, by the invention of the cotton-gin, made the production of cotton a highly lucrative industry.
The price of negroes to work the cotton fields at once went up, and yet the supply was inadequate.
Northernly slave States could not produce cotton, but they could produce negroes.
They shared in the golden harvest.
Such cities as Baltimore
, and Louisville
became centers of a flourishing traffic in human beings.
They had great warehouses, commonly spoken of as “nigger pens,” in which the “hands” that were to make the cotton were temporarily gathered, and long coffles — that is, processions of men and women, each with a hand attached to a common rope or