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wholly exterminated, whilst the descendants of the poor contemned Africans are the peculiar objects of our care. Let us still continue to nurture and to cherish, without inflaming and exciting them. It is with this view I call upon the Anti-Slavery Association to aid and assist in their amelioration, their civilization, and their emancipation. I call upon them to do so upon a basis at once just, honourable, and effectual. Let us have no more idle declamation or heated invective. If the planters are cruel and severe, let us put it out of their power to be so any longer-let us purchase the slaves, and silence the complaints of the master when we relieve the sorrows of the servant.
The slave question has been preached for years, and though eyes may have wept, and hearts may have bled, no purse-strings have been unloosed; not such was the conduct of our forefathers, when the crusade was preached to redeem the Christian from the Saracen. There was no lack then of men or money; but in those days men spoke by their actions, and gave vent to their philanthropy in deeds, not words. Let us now put the abolitionists to the test, and see what exertions they will make, when it is proposed to purchase, not ravish the property of the planter. I have shewn it to be possible, and I subjoin a rough calculation, drawn indeed from uncertain data, but sufficient to form some judgment of the operation of the measure.
I estimate the value of our colonies at £120,000,000 sterling :-
the annual Imports of £12,000,000
colonial produce Balance annually to meet the triennial instalments
If this statement be in any way correct, the whole sum would be paid in the time specified, without taking into consideration the annual reductions of interest, which would remain a surplus in the Exchequer, and enable the Chancellor to diminish other taxes. The fee would eventually belong unencumbered to the nation, and remain at the disposal of Parliament. Though the minor details of this scheme may at first strike us as difficult, or insurmountable, a little reflection will convince us that they are less complex than we have been led to imagine. I shall refrain from entering more minutely into the investigation, as I might exceed the limits fairly allotted to one article in a periodical journal, but conclude by observing, that if the lawful redemption of the negroes is undertaken with half the zeal and half the energy which has been exercised in an unjust attempt to divest the colonists of their property, the final issue will be gratifying to those interested, and glorious to the nation; and I recommend it to Mr. Wilberforce, as his life has been devoted to the cause of suffering humanity, to close his career in behalf of the slaves, by an act of justice to their masters, and then he will have completed a work, which
his name blest and honoured to posterity.
LETTERS FROM THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.
Habits of the People— Inconsistency-Scraps of their Speech-Master
and Servant-Helps-Emigrants-Tricks in Tradé. DEAR P.-The relationship of master and servant is absolutely unknown here ; that relationship, I should say, which is understood in Europe, and every where else, it may be, except in this part of North America, where the word master is made use of, or the word servant.
I mean to speak freely of these haughty republicans, who, while they keep about 1,500,000 of their fellow creatures in a state of pure slavery, will not acknowledge the relationship of master and servant among the free whites, and will not even make use of the word master, except in the way mentioned hereafter, nor of the word servant, except while speaking of a class-never while speaking of or to a member of that class. They are, indeed, a very consistent people these Americans. They abolish titles, and yet are fond of titles to a proverb. They keep slaves, and yet are notorious for talking more and bragging more about liberty and equality, than all the rest of the nations of all the rest of the earth-not excepting your's.* They publish a manifesto, in which they appeal to the Governor of the Universe for the truth of what they say, when they declare that “all men are created equal” (they do not say born equal), and yet, while they are publishing that manifesto, while they are putting it forth in the name of God himself, their governor and judge, while they are making as much uproar about liberty and equality, as if neither had ever been heard of or understood at all before the United States of North America uprose from the solitude of ages, among the rubbish and wreck of another world ; now talking about their beloved country, as if it were, indeed, what a sorry writer of theirs took the liberty of calling it some years ago, in the simplicity of his heart—“ the Home of the Free!" as if it were, indeed, what most of their Fourth of July orators are in the habit of calling it, now about once every year, a last refuge and hope, if not for the universe-if not for the world--if not for all the nations thereof-at least for Europe, afflicted Europe, and for a multitude of “empires yet unborn"—if you please ; now rejecting from their very language, or avoiding with especial care most of the words which imply either subordination or inferiority, as if they could not bear so much as a word in their way, if it smacked, I do not say of common servileness, such as we have in Europe I do not say of bondage without measure, and without hope—hereditary bondage, but of inferiority: now claiming to be thought a wise people, a great people, free from the chief prejudices of the age ; and yet, as I have said before, while they are doing this
, my dear P., and all this--a plague on their system of equality say, a plague on such liberty—they hold 1,500,000 of their fellow creatures—all native-born Americans toomin a state of pure slavery; and
those who have a drop of negro blood in their veins, or a
In the New England circle, a part of the United States where slavery is not permitted, and where black children are educated at the public charge, to be a coloured man, or a mulatto, is to be of another caste, with which it is infamy for the white to intermarry, and a great reproach for a poor white man to associate. Even at freeschools, the coloured and white poor children are kept asunder.
shade of the negro race in their complexions, or a vestige of the negro shape in their bodily structure, even though such individuals may be, not only native-born Americans, but free native-born Americans—the free children of other children, whose fathers were free-as if by reason of that particular drop, or shade, or shape, they were accursed for ever, and set apart and sealed for bondage, they and theirs—for perfect real bondage too ; stamped in their foreheads with a mark of inextinguishable inferiority, a mark which nothing would ever wash away, nothing ever conceal-overshadowed with a sort of indestructible shadow-the everlasting hereditary shadow of subjection.
Every syllable of this, my dear P., whatever you may now think of the matter, is true. The very name of master is done with here ; the very word servant is rejected, or discarded rather, from the every day language of this people. You never hear the multitude make use of the words, except in the way of reproach, or derision, or sport; nor even a lawyer, if he can possibly avoid it before the sovereign people. The children, to be sure, through a large part of New England, where they are all educated, or may be, at the public charge, are in the habit of calling their teachers Masters and Mistresses, not only while speaking of them, but while speaking to them; and I have heard a country school-master, and a village attorney introduced here to each other by their respective titles, much in the following way: “ Master A. B. here's lawyer C. D.; lawyer C. D., that'ere's our new representative (long i) master A. B.; youv'e heard o' him afore, I guess ?” Recollect, my dear P. that every man here has a title of some sort, either corporal, or squire, sé-lect man, major, general, or deacon; but, whatever it is, the party is never spoken to without being called by it; and here I may as well mention a fact, which appears to have led many travellers into a mistake-a very natural one I admit. Go where they will, throughout these United States, they find all the tavern-keepers, whatever else they may be, either colonels or majors. Having observed this, they take it for granted, either that colonels and majors are very common—that “ they grow on every bush,” or that, in some way or other, some sort of connexion or other is kept afoot between the military office and that of the publican ; or perhaps they look upon these people who “
keep taverns” as the better sort of people in this country. All this would be natural enough, and yet neither would be a correct conclusion : for, although it is no very rare thing to see a real major keeping a public-house, or a true colonel waiting at the door of his „own stable, with a pipe in his mouth, to see that your horse and “ baggage,” or “ plunder,"
plunder,” as they call it in the west, are well taken care of, while two or three of his handsome daughters are laying the cloth for you, very much as if you were a part of his family, or at least of their neighbour's, whom they were able to see any day of the week: it is altogether more common to fall in with, or, as the case may be, to fall out with colonels and majors, who have obtained a title, nobody knows how—not in the militia, not in the regular army, of that you may be very sure, but, forty-nine times out of fifty in the way of trade ; either by dealing in horses, or keeping a shop, or keeping a tavern, or keeping a store, and being surrounded by people who cannot or will not remember the real name of a party, and for that reason adopt a familiar way of speaking to them—a sort of cheekby-jowl method of expressing their ideas of good fellowship. “ Here,
you major-give us another glass o' toddy ; I say, you caw'nel, that's your sort, now; you don't think I'm gw-y-in to pay that ere bill, now, do you ?-You'll find yourself mistaken, I guess, if you do, that's all.” From what I have said, you will perceive that such titles are neither titles by right nor titles by courtesy; and as for titles by law, they are out of the question, of course, among such downright, straightforward, orthodox republicans ; who, after unhorsing their courtly patrician riders, with at least a shadow of right, if nothing more, to keep them in the saddle, have permitted a mob of plebeian roughriders, without so much as a shadow of right or a shadow of law,* to ride them whithersoever they will, under the shape of esquires and excellencies, honours, and so forths. But if they are neither titles by courtesy, nor titles by right, nor titles by law—what kind of titles are they? Titles of whim, I should say ; titles of rough goodfellowship
To go back-not only are the words master and servants avoided with especial care by the very multitude of this country, but no other words are adopted in their stead to express that relationship which is understood by a contract between two parties, one of which pays, and the other works, or serves ; or between two parties, one of which is wealthy, and the other destitute, or nearly so—nay, the relationship itself, that which has generated the correlatives master and servant, is literally unknown through a large part of these United States of America; and where the relationship itself exists, nobody ever thinks of calling this party a servant or the other party a master, except, indeed, in a legal way, or where people are talking before third parties about the difficulty of getting good servants, or the cruelty of this or that master to his apprentice or slave. In a word, no man here will permit you to call him a servant, or the individual who keeps him or employs him his master ; and the women are like the men ; they acknowledge nobody for a master, nobody for a mistress. All their contracts are made on a footing of perfect equality ; and, of course, neither feels any sort of obligation towards the other, save such as might be expected from any two people who have made a bargain together. In a word, the United States of North America, all things considered, are among the last places on earth for a man to go to, with a hope of obtaining what you would call a good servant. Faithful enough they are, and steady enough ; but there is no such thing as keeping a native American, pay what you will, beyond a few weeks, or a few months; and I do not believe that, if you were to traverse the whole country, from north to south and from east to west, you would find fifty native white Americans who have occupied the same place for twenty years—I care not how that place may be called, if it appertain to household affairs, or, I might say, to any affairs approaching the duties of menial servitude.
A servant, male or female, who has either grown old in service, or lived under one roof a whole generation, is hardly ever to be met with in this country. I speak not of the English, who are very good servants ; nor of the Germans, who are capital for drudgery; nor the Irish, who are ready to work themselves to death for joy, if they once get a footing here, and are seldom good for any thing else—but I speak
* It were well to make the distinction.
of the natives, the free white North American people. Nor, if you consider the price of land here, the facilities of trade, the high rate of wages, and the powerful temptations to marriage, will you wonder at all this. Why should one class of people continue to serve another class, in a state where, with a little foresight, and a twelvemonth's wages, they may keep their chins above water without serving any body. I do not mean without work, for they must work hard for a while, and fare hard for two or three years, after they have become “proprietors,” or set up for themselves in trade; but I mean without working altogether, or chiefly for the advantage of others.
A few material changes have occurred of late years, in the larger commercial towns, which have started up along the sea board of this prodigious empire ; but in general, throughout all the country, the employer, as they call the party paying, and the help, * or assistant, or clerk, or man, or maid, as they call the party receiving pay, eat of the very same food, out of the very same dish, at the very same table, and at the very same hour. They sleep alike, they dress alike, and, in the very presence of each other, laugh and talk alike. Authority and subjection, power and obedience, are idle names; the employer and the employed are more like partners in the same trade or business, or members of the same family, than like any thing else. But for the difference of age, the employer being of course, in such a country, almost always the elder of the two, no stranger, on seeing the servant with his master, would be able to say
66 which was which." Every farmer's boy, if unable to purchase an acre of land for himself when he is free, begins the world by working out for somebody else, for what are called “ half-wages, with leave to school,"—that is with leave to go to school at one of the multitude of petty schools which are paid for out of the public treasury, and are scattered all over the New England States, and a part of the middle states, in such plenty, that for about five or six months of the year in the country, and for the whole year in the villages or towns, every child, whether black or white, rich or poor, may have schooling without pay; or he begins the world by working with some neighbouring established farmer at full wages, until he has been able to save a few dollars, twenty or thirty, perhaps, not more; when he “ pulls up stakes,” pushes off into the “ woods," or the “ Western Country"—that country which is forever to the west of a yankee's habitation, be that habitation where it may—the other side of where the sun sets, if you will, and after a while, be es a squatter (a sort of unlawful intrudert upon territory unappropriated, so far as appears belonging to “ no body as no body knows of") and, after another interval, a wretched farmer, and then, after another interval, a great landed proprietor.
It is the ambition of this people to become freeholders—of any thing, so it be a freehold in the language of law—of woods and waters, rocks or mountains. They have caught the the foolish desire, from the poor shipwrecked men of Europe, who, in the great convulsions of the age, have been cast ashore in America ; and who, after growing up, where the
This word help is made use of only in a part of three or four states which run together in two or three places; and is there made use of only to describe a female domestic, who is employed as much for weaving as for household affairs.
+ I say unlawful intruder, to distinguish the squatters of America from the lawful intruders, who give one so much trouble in Europe.