Friday, May 9, 2014

Whites and Blacks, or the question settled 4,5


NEGRO SLAVERY followed as a sequel to the discovery of America. The Negroes of Africa, like other savage races, enslaved those captives that they did not put to death. Along the coast of Guinea the Arabs engaged extensively in the slave business. The Aboriginees proving too weak for plantation and mine work, the Portugese, who possessed and controlled a large part of the coast of Africa, began the work of selling Africans. The other colonizers of the new world soon followed. Hayti was the first place to which Africans were carried. Bishop LasCassas, on account of the fatality of labor to the constitution of the Aboriginal population, obtained the consent of Charles to substitute Negro for Indian labor. In 1517, the Portugese brought from the coast of Guinea to St. Domingo, Hayti, a cargo of vanquished Africans, who, from that time, were slaves.

Then comes Sir John Hawkins, the first Englishman to soil his hands in the traffic, in which his countrymen soon largely participated. Between the years 1680 and 1700, England exported from Africa more than 300,000 Africans to be used as slaves. From 1700 to 1786 England carried into Jamaica alone 610,000 slaves. The greatest inhumanity was used in shipping them, the vessels being so overcrowded that a large number would die in the passage. So cruel was slavery in the British colonies of America that England had to throw legal restraints around the owners, controlling largely their conduct toward their slaves.

Courts were established to hear the slaves' complaints; their condition was to a certain extent changed for the better, and the whipping of women was forbidden. Notwithstanding slavery was permitted and legally sanctioned in the British colonies, it was the law in England that, when a slave put his foot on English soil, he became free, provided he remained on English soil; if he returned to the colonies his owner could reclaim him. Why this law was made is not stated. Very few owners, it is needless to say, were willing to have their slaves visit England with them. Thirteen years after the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, a Dutch vessel landed in said harbor with twenty or more African slaves.

In 1776, there had been about 300,000 Africans imported into the British Colonies, from the time of their first settlement. The first census recorded 697,897; this was in 1790, every State in the Union being represented except Massachusetts, which at this time included Maine. This State had abolished slavery in 1780.
It is often erroneously believed by many that the State made immortal by the blood of the brave Negro, Crispus Attucks, was the State to first set the black man free. The first State to take the step was Vermont, in 1777. 

New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania commenced the work of gradual emancipation, New York abolishing it in 1827; the two smallest States having only a few slaves left in 1840; Pennsylvania having at that time only sixty-four to be freed, and New Jersey in 1850 with 236 still in bondage. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton and a number of other leaders of public opinion were opposed to slavery on moral and religious grounds: and not less as a system calculated to become a retarding influence as to the “progress” of civilization and the general advancement of the people. In spite of the adverse opinion of these statesmen, in 1820, the slaves numbered 1,538,022; in 1830, 2,009,043; in 1840, 2,487,455; in 1850, 3,204,313 ; in 1860, 3,953,760.

The organization for its abolishment, which was formed in Pennsylvania in 1775 had never ceased to work. Eli Whitney, of Massachusetts, who invented the cotton gin in 1793, is largely responsible for the increase in slaves and the general interest manifested in the traffic. It is said that Massachusetts, Vermont and the other New England States were freed of slaves on

account of their climate being too cold and their lands for farming purposes too sterile to make the slaves of any profit. It -is also said that the slave owners in the States referred to sold their slaves South, and took the money derived from said sale and invested it in lands, improving of their section and in manufacturing industries. It is also stated that when they noticed the profit accruing from the slave business to the Southern owner, by reason of the congeniality of the climate, the cry went up that, "Free labor has in slave labor an unfair competitor."

During the time the system continued in the South, while there were many who abused their power in every way, there were those among the slave-holders who were filled with kindness always for those they owned. Slavery prepared the Negro in every way for citizenship except one: it did not teach him responsibility. American slavery, if nothing more to the Negro, must always
be considered at least an opportunity. Slavery, in this country, taught the Negro obedience; and he who would be obeyed must himself first learn to obey. Slavery taught him industry, sobriety and economy. To have him learn all this was to his owner's advantage. 

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