previous next


Among educational establishments, one of the most efficient is the press; and here again all things testify for Freedom. The Free States excel in the number of newspapers and periodicals published, whether daily. semi-weekly, weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly,—and [336] whatever their character, whether literary, neutral, political, religious, or scientific. The. whole aggregate circulation in the Free States is 334,146,281, in the Slave States 81,038,693; in Free Michigan 3,247,736, in Slave Arkansas 377,000; in Free Ohio 30,473,407, in Slave Kentucky 6,582,838; in Slave South Carolina 7,145,930, in Free Massachusetts 64,820,564,—a larger number than in the twelve Slave States, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, combined. This enormous disproportion in the aggregate is also preserved in the details. In the Slave States political newspapers find more favor than all others together; but even of these they publish only 47,243,209 copies, while the Free States publish 163,583,668. Numerous as are political newspapers in the Free States, they form considerably less than one-half the aggregate circulation of the Press, while in the Slave States they constitute nearly three-fifths. Of neutral newspapers the Slave States publish 8,812,620, the Free States 79,156,733. Of religious newspapers the Slave States publish 4,364,832, the Free States 29,280,652. Of literary journals the Slave States publish 20,245,360, the Free States 57,478,768. And of scientific journals the Slave States publish 372,672, the Free States 4,521,260. Of these last the number of copies published in Massachusetts alone is 2,033,260,— more than five times the number in the whole land of Slavery. Thus, in contributions to science, literature, religion, and even politics, as attested by the activity of the periodical press, do the Slave States miserably fail,—while darkness gathers over them, increasing with time. According to the census of 1810, the disproportion in this respect between the two regions was only as two to one; it is now more than four to one, and is still darkening.

The same disproportion appears with regard to persons connected with the Press. In the Free States the number of printers was 11,812, of whom 1,229 were in Massachusetts; in the Slaves States there were 2,625, of whom South Carolina had only 141. In the Free States the number of publishers was 331; in the Slave States, 24. Of these, Massachusetts had 51, or more than twice as many as all the Slave States; while South Carolina had but one. In the Free States the authors were 73; in the Slave States, 6,—Massachusetts having 17, and South Carolina none. These suggestive illustrations are all derived from the last official census. If we go to other sources, the contrast is still the same. Of the authors mentioned in Duyckinck's ‘Cyclopedia of American Literature,’ 434 are of the Free States, and only 90 [337] of the Slave States. Of the poets mentioned in Griswold's ‘Poets and Poetry of America,’ 122 are of the Free States, and only 16 of the Slave States. Of the poets whose place of birth appears in Read's ‘Female Poets of America,’ 71 are of the Free States, and only 11 of the Slave States. If we try authors by weight or quality, it is the same as when we try them by numbers. Out of the Free States come all whose works have a place in the permanent literature of the country, —Irving, Prescott, Sparks, Bancroft, Emerson, Motley, Hildreth, Hawthorne; also, Bryant, Longfellow, Dana, Halleck, Whittier, Lowell,— and I might add indefinitely to the list. But what name from the Slave States can find entrance there?

A similar disproportion appears in the number of Patents, during the last three years, 1857, 1858, and 1859, attesting the inventive industry of the contrasted regions. In the Free States there were 9,557; in the Slave States, 1,306: making a difference of 8,251 in favor of Freedom. The number in Free Massachusetts was 1,351; in Slave South Carolina, 39. The number in Free Connecticut, small in territory and population, was 628; in Slave Virginia, large in territory and population, 184.

From these things we might infer the ignorance prevalent in the Slave States; but this shows itself in specific results of a deplorable character, authenticated by the official census. In the Slave States there were 493,026 native white adults, persons over twenty years of age, unable to read and write; while in the Free States, with double the native white population, there were but 248,725 persons of this class in this unhappy predicament: in the Slave States the proportion being i in 5 of the adult native whites; in the Free States 1 in 22. The number in Free Massachusetts, in an adult native white population of 470,375, was 1,055, or 1 in 446; the number in Slave South Carolina, in a like population of only 120,136, was 15,580, or 1 in 8. The number in Free Connecticut was 1 in 256, in Slave Virginia 1 in 5; in Free New Hampshire 1 in 192, and in Slave North Carolina 1 in 3.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Greenleaf Whittier (2)
Sparks (2)
Read (2)
William Prescott (2)
John Lothrop Motley (2)
Lowell (2)
Henry W. Longfellow (2)
Hildreth (2)
Hawthorne (2)
Halleck (2)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (2)
Duyckinck (2)
Richard H. Dana (2)
Bryant (2)
Bancroft (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1859 AD (2)
1858 AD (2)
1857 AD (2)
1810 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: