Virginia as a Northern State.
On the violent supposition that the Border States
, following the lead of Virginia
, should all remain a part of the Northern Confederacy
it would require the abolitionize of but two of the twenty-seven--Delaware and Missouri
--to throw the slaveholding States into a minority of six in twenty-seven, which would render the remaining twenty-one more than the three-fourths requisite to change the Federal Constitution
at their will.
These would have power at any time thereafter to add an amendment to that instrument abolishing slavery in the six slaveholding States.
The actual adoption of such an amendment, the actual emancipation of the slaves in the submitting States, would, however, be a work of supererogation.
The fact of this power being constitutionally vested in the majority of States, would stampede the slaves from the residue long before it could be exercised in practice.
Nay, more, the fact of these States remaining in affiliation with the North
would be a virtual adoption in advance by them of the Northern
policy of abolitionism.
To consent to affiliate is to consent to assimilate; and the slaveholder would exile himself and remove his slaves long before the formal acts of emancipation could be put upon the statute book.
would thus lose 490,000 slaves, worth four hundred millions of dollars; Maryland
87,000, worth seventy-five millions; Kentucky
225,000, worth two hundred millions; Missouri
115,000, worth a hundred millions; Tennessee
275,000, worth two hundred and fifty millions; Arkansas
111,000, worth a hundred millions; and North Carolina
331,000, worth three hundred millions of dollars.
The grand aggregate of loss to the Border States
from submission would be 1,634,000 slaves, worth fourteen hundred millions of dollars.
Along with this mighty and mournful hegira of property would go a class of citizens such as the proudest countries on earth cannot parallel — its intellectual, worthy, and wealthy owners.
These, with their families and dependants — probably a million in number, and carrying along with them possibly a thousand millions of wealth in other forms — would swell the mighty procession of exiles to dimensions unprecedented in the annals of human migration.
We will not stop to descant upon the desolation which so mighty a movement would leave behind it in the Border States
at large; or upon the vast and rapid increase of power that would thus be conferred upon the already vigorous, prosperous, wealthy Southern Confederation.
The immense vacuum would indeed be supplied, in most of these States, in the slow course of time, by free laborers from Europe
, and carpet-bag
adventurers from the North
Confining ourselves to Virginia
alone, however, it must be plain to the most ordinary mind, that the vacuum in her case would be very slow in filling up. The removal of the slaves and their owners, would more than double the taxation levied upon the remaining industry of the Commonwealth
; and the Yankee
farmer, manufacturer, and merchant, would be loath and laggard to enter and enjoy a land smitten with the curse of unparalleled taxes.
But even if the Yankee
farmer should consent at all to enter a State taxed to the brink of repudiation, it could only be into those portions that are favorable to white labor and to the system of small farms on which only that labor can employ itself.
What, then, will become of that great "pontine" region of the State
, prolific of vegetation and fever and ague, classified in her geographical divisions as Tide-water — that fifth portion of the State
which now pays more than one-third ($1,132,342 out of $3,321,285) of its taxes — that beautiful region rendered classical by so many incidents and traditions of the early history of Virginia
— that cultivated region long the abode of chivalry, gallantry, and world-famed hospitality — that intellectual region which, while yet unknown to the world of letters and of politics, furnished at the Revolution scholars, statesmen, and diplomatists, to dispute superiority with the foremost men of the world — that wealthy region which founded Norfolk
, and is now helping to build them up rapidly into leading centres
of commerce?--Set the white man to tilling the soil in this Netherlands
, and he chills, blanches, jaundices and dies.
Put the negro in his place, and at the same time that he flourishes, laughs and grows fat at his toil, the whole face of the earth gladdens under his stroke, and teems with fruition.
To depopulate Tide-water Virginia
of its negroes and their masters, is not to introduce the Yankee
and the German; but it is to infest again that garden of the State
with its pristine lizards, frogs and reptiles of the jungle.
It is in fact to blot out of existence the most ancient, the most historic and the most wealthy divisions of the Commonwealth
The case would be very little better with that large portion of Piedmont Virginia
embracing the valley of the James
, stretching down to the Carolina
line on the South
, and back to the Blue Ridge
on the West
--populated by probably the most worthy, moral, and honest people, take them all in all, to be found on the globe — and growing as its staple a quality of tobacco noted throughout all the markets for its rare excellence and value.--Free, white industry can never be adapted to the tobacco crop.
The plant is an article requiring minute assortment for manufacture and market, and must be grown in large quantities to admit of this searching classification.
In order to secure large profits, it requires large plantations for its growth, large forces for its cultivation, large barns for its cure.
It requires a life-time's education for its proper management, and the charge of the salary of the overseer qualified for superintending the manipulation of the plant in all its stages of growth and handing, diminishes in percentage as the area cultivated, the force employed, and the quantity raised, are magnified.
The larger the number of slaves employed in the crop, the greater is the opportunity of using the labor of women and children in its lighter manipulations, whose services thus become as valuable as those of adult males.
In short, the numerous and tedious manipulations required by this plant in its growth and preparation for market, place its cultivation in small quantities by one or two persons out of the question, and render numbers
of hands absolutely necessary to the profit and success of the crop.
To depopulate of its slaves the fine region of tobacco country now under consideration is, therefore, to destroy the tobacco cultivation in Virginia
almost altogether, and to rob her of the leading staple of her wealth.
It is to convert the South-Side into a wilderness, until revolution in some remote future age, or repudiation, shall open it to Yankee squatters and peddlers in search of free land, free lumber, and free negro customers.
With her Tide-water districts depopulated, with her great tobacco-growing regions reduced to a wilderness, with all the other of her grand divisions groaning under insupportable taxation, and with her commerce lost, Virginia
will present a spectacle of poverty and helplessness as a Northern State, to which even Poland
fails to furnish an adequate parallel.