In all the Northern
newspapers which treat of affairs in the South
, we find a disposition to exaggerate the difficulties arising from the necessity of keeping in subjection the slave population of this quarter of the country.
It is, of course, viewed in different lights, according to the disposition of the writer; but by all, even by the President
of the United States
, we are represented as reposing upon a mine of gunpowder.
To our friends in the North
and in England
we would say, give yourselves no apprehension upon that head.
To our enemies we would venture to suggest that they are reckoning without their host in expecting aid from such a quarter.
We will venture to say, that the system of slavery in the Southern States
of this Union, has presented fewer cases of riot, insubordination, and insurrection, from its foundation to the present day, and has been the parent of less bloodshed, than any other system of labor that ever existed the same length of time.--We believe that more lives were lost in the single insurrection of Southampton
, (lives of masters, we mean,) than in all the other slave risings that were ever attempted put together, and the lives lost in that case did not amount to sixty.
It is impossible to conceive anything more hopeless than the success of a slave rebellion, in any part of the South
, and the slaves know this as well as their masters.--Even the proclamation of freedom, made by a royal Governor, backed by a fleet and army, to all slaves who would rise in the cause of George III., failed to produce a single case even of mutiny.
A single riot in a manufacturing town in Great Britain
has often occasioned more bloodshed than all the slave insurrections that ever took place in the Southern States
of this Union.
Our enemies represent us as living in a state of constant terror from this cause.
Nothing was ever farther from the truth.
Timid persons there are, undoubtedly among the slaveholders, who are afraid of everything.
But they are rare exceptions.
The great body of the slaveholders pass their time in as much tranquility as any other class of persons whatever.
They do not fear the negroes, because they treat them well; because they know that the negroes are too well aware of the folly of attempting what must end in their own inevitable destruction, and because, with very few exceptions, they are perfectly contented with their lot.
Another fallacy indulged in by the class of Northern men who draw their ideas of the South
's book, is, that the white men of the South
who own no negroes would gladly see the slaves emancipated.
Now, the non-slaveholders, strange as it may seem to the abolitionists, are the very men, of all others, who are most jealous of Northern interference with the negroes.
They hate abolitionism and abolitionists far more than the great slaveholders.
There are several reasons for this.
In the first place, every man of them looks forward to the day when he may become a slaveholder himself.
Secondly, every one of them is connected in some way or other with persons who own slaves.
Thirdly, they have been bred up among slaves, and are generally conservative in their views.
Fourthly, they know that if the negroes were emancipated this would be no country for the white man, and that while the rich could get away, they would be compelled to live among them.
Much stress is laid by Helper
upon the fact that there are only 350,000 slaveholders, old and young, male and female.
He forgets that every one of these has numerous connections.
He overlooks the 350,000 overseers, who derive their maintenance from slavery, and who, never having been accustomed to manual labor, would be like so many fish out of water were slavery abolished.
He forgets that these are all men in the prime of existence, men of bone and muscle — men of spirit and energy — an immense army of themselves, 350,000 strong.
Give to each of these men a wife and three children, and you will find at once nearly two millions interested in slavery, and dependent upon it, from this source alone.
overlooked all this, and the followers of Helper
continually overlook it when they calculate upon finding the non-slaveholders favorable to their schemes.
The New York Times
sports another fallacy with great persistency.
It is trying to prove that the State of Massachusetts
is worth more than all the cotton States, and says that Lowell
alone produces more than South Carolina
, and Philadelphia
more than a dozen South Carolinas rolled into one.
This is the old tale of the belly and the limbs over again.
What would Lowell
be if the cotton States were struck out of existence tomorrow?