Imatges de pÓgina
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of both real and personal estate is $28,000,000; in Sussex it is less than $6,000,000. In New Castle there is one inhabitant for every five acres of land; in Sussex there is only one inhabitant for every 22 acres.

In New Castle the average assessed value of land is $67 per acre; in Sussex it is $6 per acre. In New Castle the white farm hand commands for his services an average of $13 per month and board; in Sussex he can scarcely command $9. In New Castle the average product of the farm land per acre is at least 36 bushels of Indian corn and 18 bushels of wheat per acre; in Sussex the average is not exceeding 12 bushels of corn and six bushels of wheat per acre.

If we make the most liberal allowance for the supposed advantages of position, works of public improvement, and other and every other conceivable advantage that can be thrown into the account in favor of the upper or non-slaveholding county, and attribute to them onehalf its superiority over the lower or slaveholding county, the disparity between them is so startling that it cannot fail to enlist the attention of every one who is candidly searching after the truth in reference to the paralyzing effects of the institution of slavery upor the growth and prosperity of the community in which it is tolerated. The gain to be derived from its removal is equally apparent and wonderful. Let us suppose that by the action of the legislature of Delaware the slaves could all be liberated by some gradual system of emancipation, and that it should have no other effect than to increase the value of the land in the slaveholding county of Sussex from its present value, $6, to $12 per acre, and then estimate the difference between the loss occasioned by reason of emancipation, supposing that the owners were not compensated at all, or were compensated out of the treasury of the State. The estimate is a short and simple

one.

There are now in Sussex county less than 1,000 slaves, but taking the number at 1,000, and their value on the average to be $500, which is nearly double their true worth at the prices they could command in the State, and we have the whole value of the slaves to be $500,000. This is the item of loss. Now for the item of profit.

There are in the county of Sussex 635,520 acres of land, at present valued at six dollars per acre. If that value should be increased, as it doubtless would, to $12 per acre, we have an increment in the aggregate value of the land of $3,813, 120, from which if we subtract the loss on slaves by freeing them, we have a net gain to the county of $3,313, 120, or if we only admit the appreciation in the value o land to be $2 per acre, we still find the county to be the gainer by $1,104.373.

To make them equal in their future career in prosperity requires but the substitution of honorable free white labor for the degrading system of negro slave labor. And what is true of the least is true of the largest and of all the States in which the institution of slavery now exists.

COMMERCIAL ADVANTAGES OF COLONIZATION IN THE AMERICAN TROPICS.

The commercial aspect which the proposed plan of colonization presents claims especial attention at this time beyond that which under ordinary circumstances would attach to it; and instead of being deterred from embracing, by apprehension of entailing additional burdens upon the nation, it can be made to appear that it is essential to the speedy restoration of commercial prosperity, and the only mode of indemnity for the losses and destruction of property inflicted by the war. At its close it will be found that the market for the product of our factories and farms at the south will have fallen off to a vast extent. The channels into which our industry has been diverted by the war will also be closed by the re-establishment of peace, and we shall find ourselves with a large debt, diminished resources, and the market for the products of labor, which at one time made a large part of our prosperity, closed to us, in great measure, from sheer in. ability to purchase by the people of the south. Such circumstances impose a necessity for measures to revive our commercial and industrial prosperity, so that our people may be enabled to bear the burden of taxation entailed upon them by the struggle to preserve the government. Economy in the public expenditure is not the only means to which we shall be compelled to resort. The interest on the public debt alone will absorb that which has heretofore been considered an ample revenue; and to maintain the government which we have preserved, will, for some years, at least, require military and naval establishments costing more perhaps than the whole expenditure of the government in former years. Enterprise and the extension of the business of the country must therefore come to our aid, as well as frugality. We must make new markets for the products of the skill and industry of our people. How shall we find, or how create them? If we inquire what is the foundation of the wealth and power of Great Britain—what enables her people to endure such an enormous load of debt and maintain such expensive civil, military, and naval establishments, the answer will furnish a solution for our own difficulties. The very corner-stone of her prosperity consists in her colonial system, by which she furnishes markets for her manufactures, and swells her commercial importance by the interchange of their product for that of the soil of that vast portion of the habitable globe which acknowledges her sway. By this system she has built up an empire greater than the Roman, and rules a portion of every race of mankind; making them contribute to her wealth and power, and imparting to them what is of equal value, her free institutions and the blessings of a stable government. But for the employments thus secured for her people in the factories and workshops which furnish her vast and distant colonies with almost every manufactured article used in civilized and semi-barbarous communities, and in the countless fleets which transport these fabrics and the products which they purchase, the empire of Great Britain would shrink in an hour, and its seat become an appendage of that neighboring power of which she has so long been the peer.

We find ourselves, from causes nearly the same, burdened with a debt which begins to assume proportions like that of England, and our military establishment, for obvious reasons, must be larger than heretofore. The ordinary revenue measures, which in former years were ample, will not hereafter suffice to pay interest and increased expenditures, and we must meet the necessities of our position by opening new resources and stimulating those branches of business which experience has shown will best bear taxation. We must make other nations bear a part of our burdens, as England by becoming the world's factor makes the world share her's.

Adjacent to us there are two countries whose natural wealth transcends that of any other portion of the earth's surface. So well is this fact understood, that the governments and people of the other continents have sought, from the time of its discovery until the present, to control it by colonizing it with their own people and with subject races, in order that they might unlock its treasures, and enrich, not the colonists alone, but themselves also. The tropical regions of America, from their peculiar conformation and from other natural causes, need only to be peopled by a race able, by their phy. sical organization, to endure its climate, to assert their pre-eminent productiveness over every other part of the world. It is only neces. sary to glance at the map of those regions to appreciate this fact.

The islands of the Gulf and Carribean sea, and the narrow isthmus which unites the two continents, moistened by the exhalations of the surrounding seas and stimulated by the glowing heat of the vertical sun, fully account for nature's boundless prodigality to them. As the continent becomes broad towards the south, the vast interior, remote from the ocean, receives its moisture from certain natural causes which do not exist elsewhere in the torrid zone. It will be observed, that the continent of South America assumes the shape of a rightangled triangle, the line of its western coast representing the hypothenuse—the other two sides, facing to the northeast and to the south. east, directly in the track of the northeastern and southaestern trade winds. These winds, blowing ceaselessly in the same direction, sweeping over a vast expanse of ocean, and thus surcharged with moisture, strike at right angles upon both eastern coasts, and, penetrating far into the interior, the wet winds are congealed by the cold atmosphere of the mountains and precipitated in rain, fertilizing the vast continent, and forming large rivers, some of which are navi. gable for three thousand miles by seagoing vessels, and traverse the whole country. The cause which creates its fertility has also supplied the channels of access to its riches, and marked it as the seat of empire. No man can fail to perceive why it is that all nations have sought, and are still seeking, to subject these regions to their sway, and to seize its illimitable wealth ; but there are other causes which have rendered these efforts abortive, and will continue to do so until they shall be possessed by a race of men whose physical organization enables them to endure the torrid climate, and who shall at the same time have attained sufficient civilization to maintain stable governments. No race of men incapable of labor in a climate can preserve

its civilization. Thus the primeval curse denounced upon mankind is revealed to us in the silent workings of nature's law.

It will not be out of place, in order that the superiority of the tropical regions of America over those of Asia and Africa may be fully appreciated, to notice the striking difference between them in the circumstances to which attention has been drawn. The islands and narrow portions of these continents are, as a matter of course, subject to the same conditions, and therefore display the same results, except where a difference is produced by a hardier race of inhabitants or controlling cause. But where those continents become broad, the prevailing winds are found to be parallel with the coast, and hence neither collect such vast amounts of moisture, por do they penetrate into the interior, but their fertilizing effects are felt only by a belt of wind along the coasts, which are fringed with verdure, while the interior is a rainless desert, whose sands swallow up the rivers before they reach the sea. Even that portion which is fertile is subject to another condition which makes it unsuitable for the production of the most valuable staples of the tropics. The winds not being trade winds, or constant from the sea to the lands, but on the contrary unsteady and varying, produce the wet and dry seasons, deluging the land during one-half of the year, and parching it with drouth through another period. The American cotton planters selected by the English government to test the practicability of raising a supply of cotton in British India assigned this peculiarity of wet and dry seasons as the cause of the failure of the experiment. There certainly must be some inherent cause of difficulty, and this explanation appears the most plausible, as it is well known that both wet and dry seasons are inimical to the growth of the plant. In the American tropics the rains are distributed throughout the year, as is the case in the temperate latitudes, but there they make an unceasing summer, maturing two crops in the year. Cotton and sugar grow without cultivation or care, and reproduce themselves for fourteen years without planting, and in far greater abundance and better quality than in any of the southern States of the Union. Coffee is probably a profitable crop in larger portions of the American tropics than cotton or sugar, and is secured with less labor. The coffee crop of Venezuela alone is valued at 8,000,000 of Spanish dollars, and is of a superior quality. Cocoa is another most valuable commercial commodity, in which the country abounds, and to these may be added the most valuable medicinal plants, dyestuffs, spices, fruits, and precious woods. Gold, silver, and precious stones are probably as abundant as in any part of the world. Fibrous plants, other than the cotton, whose product enters largely into commerce, and are destined to be still more extensively used, are found in such abundance as to justify the belief that they may become the leading interest of these regions. The value of these fibres, and the unlimited product of the plants which supply them, taken in connexion with the fact that many of these same plants produce food and valuable fruits, while the bark or stalk yields fibres of great value, even when prepared by the rude and primitive instru. ments now in use, gives especial interest to this subject, which would

justify an extended notice. When these regions shall become densely peopled the yield of food will be a great object, and, with the application of machinery to the preparation of its fibres, the value of a plant which can feed and clothe untold millions and supply many other wants of the civilized world cannot be easily overestimated. This subject cannot be better illustrated than by the following brief extracts from a recent work of E. G. Squier, esq., "on The Fibres of the Tropics,” bearing on one family of the seplants, that of the - musa or banana family," which is one only of the many thousand fibrous plants, and which is by no means the most valuable for the quality or prolific in the quantity of its fibre. He says:

“ The various members of this family (the banana) rank only second to the agaves and bromelias in the quantity and value of their fibres. Several varieties are cultivated for food, yielding a delicious and nourishing fruit, and in such abundance that Humboldt estimates the product of a single acre as equal to the average product of 133 acres of wheat and 44 acres of potatoes. An interesting, and for the purpose which we have in view, a most important fact, is that the tree or plant, whether plantain or banana, is almost universally cut down when the fruit is gathered with proper machinery for extracting the fibre. Many millions of plants thus left to rot could be converted into articles of the first utility for mankind, such as cordage, cloth, paper, &c., &c."

Recurring again to the uses to which this fibre is applied, the writer continues:

“ As already said, the coarse fibres are used to make cables, which have great solidity and durability. Ropes of great tenacity are also made from them, which are used in many ways, but particularly in rigging coasting vessels. Of the finer sorts tissues or muslins are made of great beauty, which are very dear.

I had a number of shirts made from this muslin, which lasted me a long time, and were cool and agreeable in the use. But it is especially in France that tissues of this material are best made, and of the greatest beauty. They receive all colors with equal perfection. Veils, capes, neckerchiefs, robes, and women's hats, all of great beauty and high cost, as well as of wonderful durability, are among the manufactures from the abaca (a species of plantain fibre.”

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to overstate the productiveness of the tropical regions of America, or to find another spot on earth where labor is so abundantly repaid. The labor of one million rude and barbarous negroes in Cuba may be said, without metaphor, to support the civil, military, and naval establishments of Spain; and yet Cuba is by no means superior to many other portions of our tropics. It may therefore be well imagined what would be the result of planting five millions of American negroes, far superior in skill and intelligence to those of Cuba, in a country equal to the Queen of the Antilles, protected by our power and directed by our intelligence, and stimulated to exertion by those motives which the wants of civilization, which they have acquired among us, have never failed to sapply, and which are higher and more efficient than any other which can animate men. If we add to this the certain result of extending our power and influence, through their instrumentality, over the millions of people who already inhabit these regions, we shall be able to

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