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formed into a state; but we believe it to be larger than Ohio; and, from the acknowledged fertility of the soil, suppose it capable of sustaining a population of six millions. If slavery is now admitted without restraint, it is quite probable, that one third of the population will be slaves.
But it is not in reference to Missouri alone, that the question is now to be decided. If slavery is admitted here, it will be admitted into the whole country west of the Mississippi. The shrieks of bondage will reverberate among the cliffs of the rocky mountains, and the groans of oppression be heard along the shores of the gulf of Mexico. T'he forests will be felled, the cornfields ploughed, the cotton plantations tilled, and the sugar manufactured, by the hands of slaves.
2. The extension of slavery offers such inducements to the importation of slaves, that all prohibitory laws will be evaded. It will not be denied, that there exists in the minds of many southern planters an insatiable craving after this kind of property. It was estimated, at tbe close of 1817, that the state of Georgia acquired, during that single year, at least 10,000 slaves, at an expense of five millions of dollars. Of these slaves it is supposed that at least 2,000 were smuggled into the country from abroad; the remainder having been purchased in states north of Georgia. There can be no doubt, that if the price of cotton had continued as it then was, there would have been, notwithstanding all our laws, a regularly organized slave traffic from Africa, either immediately, or through the West Indies, to our own shores. If the price of slaves is considerably higher in the United States, than in the West Indies, or in South America, they will be obtained thence in spite of the vigilance of our government. The most that southern writers say on this subject is, that a majority of the people there, are opposed to the unlawful introduction of slaves. It is not denied, that hundreds of planters would gladly procure slaves in violation of the laws. Now it is to be remembered, that smugglers do not ask what the majority think or say of any traffic, but simply whether they can find individual purchasers. While we condemn the cupidity of the planter, who patronizes such a traffic in flesh and blood, we confess, that to'individuals in the northern and middle states belongs the deeper infamy of furnishing the capital, the ships, and the seamen, to transport these unhappy beings across the Atlantic.
Beyond all reasonable doubt, the extension of the slave country increases the demand for slaves; and an increasing demand for slaves offers great inducements to the violators of the laws against the slave trade. Nor should it be forgotten, that no kind of property is so easily introduced contrary to law, as the property in human flesh. This property possesses the power of locomotion, which gives it a surprising advantage over a hogshead of rum, or a box of sugar; it bears no mark to distinguish whether it was recently and illegally introduced, or at some preceding period, and consistently with the forms of law. Though it has the power of speech, it bas not the power of testifying. Suppose a planter, near the Florida line, to purchase ten smuggled slaves regularly every year: how shall his de. linquency be detected? His ten new slaves are mixed with a hundred old ones, and kept at their work. His plantation is remote from public
view. His slaves are not suffered to go abroad; and if they were, no credence is given to their declarations, nor are they, in any case, permitted to testify against a white man.
Let it be considered here, that our southern frontier, whether we possess Florida or not, is extremely well situated for an unlawful traffic in slaves. From any of the West Indies, or from the Spanish Main, small vessels can visit every bay and river on the coast of the gulf of Mexico, in a short time, and at a small expense. Such a vessel can carry a few slaves without suspicion or exposure; and, whenever a purcbaser is found, they can be secretly sold. The profit on one slave, smuggled into the country, is sometimes greater, than that of ten hogsheads of rum thus introduced. Let the reader then judge, whether slaves will not be imported, whenever the planter can afford to pay a great price for them.
Besides, it is to be recollected, that if slavery is admitted into all the western states and territories, we shall have another frontier of vast extent, exposed to the same unlawful traffic. From the waters of the Missouri, and thence southward to Texas, the passage is easy to the populous Spanish provinces, in all which slavery is permitted, and many slaves are possessed. The price of slaves is much lower also, than in the United States, if we are correctly informed. What is to prevent an unlimited introduction of slaves from this quarter? llow is a sufficient guard to be maintained, in a wilderness, on a line a thousand miles in extent? If the people of Missouri so vehemently demand slaves now, in the infancy of their settlements, what will be the demand thirty years hence, when the whole country will be filled with a swarming population? What will it be a hundred years hence, when the exports froin New Orleans will be immeasurably greater, ihan ever before proceeded from a single port, or a single river, since the creation of the world?
But if the whole country west of the Mississippi were a country of freemen only, an effectual barrier would be interposed against the introduction of slaves by land. Indeed, if our national government were now and lienceforward to direct the combined wisdom, and resources, and energy of the nation, to the limitation of slavery, so far as the constitution permits, to the melioration of the condition of slaves, and to the removal of free blacks, with their consent, to other countries, it is not too much to hope, that, within a century, we should be free from the national reproach of slavery, and from all the evils, which follow in its train. On the measures now taking it will very much depend, whether our country shall be, in future ages, entirely a land of freedom; or whether it shall contain in its bosom more slaves, than any other country ever yet contained.
3. No measure is so likely to promote intestine divisions in this enuntry, and ultimately to produce disunion, violence, social and servile wars, as the unlimited introduction of slaves into the new states. We speak hot of the present day, and of the ten or the twenter thousand siaves now in Missouri. But is it to be supposed, that New York,and Pennsylvania, and Ohio.will remain contented with an order of things, which shall give to the slaves of Missouri one third as many votes in Congress, as shall be allowed to any one of these great states,
with a population, at that time, of three or four millions? We complain not of the constitutional provision, which gives a political weight to slaves, unless that provision be extended beyond its letter, or spirit, or the intention of any of the parties at the time it was made. But it was most evidently intended for the old states only. In regard to them, let it be honorably fulfilled, lowever unequal may be its operation. It is the characteristic of an upright man, that when he sweareth to his own hurt, he changeth not.'
But wlien an upright man finds, that a contract, into which he has entered, proves to be very unequal, and very prejudicial to his interests, he may with perfect integrity refuse to extend its operations beyond the original intention of the parties. In other words, be may refuse to make a new contract on the basis of the old one.
This statement is entirely applicable to the admission of new states into the union. With every such new state, the terms of admission are fixed by a new contract. It would, indeed, have been extraordipary, if the convention of 1787 had attempted to fix the precise conditions, on which new states shall be admitted into the union, in all future times. This was not attempted; and the only provision was, that new states should have a republican form of government guaranteed to thein by the United States.
But it is said, that slavery should be admitted beyond the Missis. sippi, from motives of humanity, to relieve the crowded slave-population of the Atlantic states Wbat! is slavery felt to be such an evil at the south already, that some little, partial, teniporary relief is to be sought, by measures which will go far towards making the evil unlimited and perpetual? If the pressure of slavery is now felt to such a degree, as this argument would seem to imply, how great will be its pressure, when ten millions of slaves shall exist on each side of the Mississippi? What relief can then be obtained? Wbither can the redundant slave-population be sent, when the natural increase shall be
a million a year? Yet this period will certainly arrive, if Providence I gives fruitful and bealthful seasons, as hitherto, and if the blacks of
our country are to be removed only into the new states and territories, instead of being removed from our continent.
Official documents show, that the slaves of the southern states increase much faster than the whites. It will continue to be so, unless wise, and humane, and vigorous measures are resorted to, for the transportation of blacks to other parts of the world. But should such measures be neglected and decried, and should slavery be cherished, what is to save the country from the horrors of a servile war, the causes, the progress, and the termination of which cannot be contem. plated without shuddering? We do not imagine, that any thing like a general negro insurrection is to be apprehended in our day; nor, if wisc measures are now adopted and steadily pursued, will there be reason to apprehend so deplorable an event, at any future period. But it is madness to do any thing which has a direct tendency to increase the number of slaves; and the enlargement of the territory inhabited by them undoubtedly has this tendency. Nor ought it to be furgutter, that though no general servile war should take place for conturies, there is constant danger of plots and partial risings, whiclı would agitate and distress whole towns and districts, and pierce many hearts with indescribable agony. Could all the terror, alarm, and melancholy foreboding on this subject, experienced by the southern people within the last twenty years, be presented at a single view to the imagination, they would form a most affecting exhibition of human misery. In saying this, we judge entirely by the glowing descriptions to be found in southern writers, when some newly discovered plot, ready to be executed, has been exposed to the public. Hundreds of slaves have already been put to death for sharing in such plots; and thousands of families have been filled with unutterable consternation, on finding themselves at the very brink of ruin, as in the cases of ! Richmond and Cainden. What then will be the danger', the trepidation, the ceaseless inquietude, the torturing distrust, when plantation shall join plantation, all swarming with slaves, from the Atlantic to 1 the table land of Mexico, and from the mouths of the Mississippi to the falls of St. Anthony?
1 Again; the present decision is inconceivably momentous, as it will probably fix the preponderance of the slave-holding, or the non-slaveholding, states in the councils of the nation. At the commencement of the present session of Congress, the non-slave-holding states were eleven, and the slave-holding states ten. Alabama was adınitted with the utmost precipitation, and the slave-holding states are now eleven. Maine is kept out of the union, though containing 300,000 freemen, and presenting a constitution entirely unobjectionable. If Maine and Missouri are admitted together, and if the latter becomes a slave-holding state, the number of slave-holding and non-slave-holding states, will continue to be equal; but a pledge will be given to the Arkansaw territory, and there will be no hope of excluding slavery from it, and from other states and territories to be formed in that quarter. the Floridas become ours, they too will be slave-holding states; so that the majority will, in the case supposed, be fixed and unalterable in favor of slavery. · If, on the contrary, Missouri should now have its chara ier fixed on the side of freedom, the number would be thirteen to eleven. Its neighbors would follow its example; Michigan would soon come to the aid of the non-slave-holding states, and, notwithstanding the Floridas, the majority would be permanent in favor of the limitation of slavery, and its gradual abolition. is not such a majority desirable? If our southern brethren object to our deciding the question, might we not appeal to the wise and philanthropic in other countries? How would a Gregoire in France, a Humboldt in Germany, a Galitzin in Russia, a Wilberforce in England, decide the controversy?
We had designed to inquire how far slavery can be imputed to the United States, as a national sin, and a just cause of national reproach. But our limits remind us, that we must defer this inquiry to a future number.
JOURNAL OF THE MISSION AT ELLIOT.
(Continued from vol. xv, p. 465.) July, 16, 1819. Have lately been favored with a plentiful supply of rain. This is a most favorable providence. It has not only revived the drooping fieds, but has caused an uncommon rise of waters; so that the boat on the way with various supplies for the mission, and for this neighborhood, can reach us without difficulty. Our flour is nearly exhausted, and as for corn, there is none to be bought within 150 miles. Our family consists of about 40 persons.
20. An Indian came from the road, and brought us a packet of letters, Panoplists, and Newspapers. It is impossible to describe the interest we feel on these occasions. After being entirely excluded from the world a number of weeks, we are in a moment transported to our native land, to Africa, India, and China: have a full view of the noble plans of piety which adorn the present age; and hold sweet converse with the wisest, the piirest, and the best of men.
At our meeting for business, resolved, that we hold a meeting on the Sabbath, after public exercises, for the benefit of our hired men and children, and sucha of the brethren and sisters, as can conveniently attend.
23. Replanted some Irish potatoes which we raised this season, in hopes of another crop. Our corn, sweet potatoes, beans, pcay, &c., in all 20 or 25 acres, look promisingi
25. Considered the duty of self-renial, in those who would be the followers of Christ, particularly with reference to our peculiar situation. The thoughts were suggested by our Lord's expostulation to his disciples. Matt. xvi, 24.
* 26. This morning have been busy in cuiting a part of the vines from our sweet potatoes, and setting them out in rows. From these vines, thus transplanted, we expect to raise small potatoes, called slips, for next year's seed. This is ecor ical, and they are said to be better for seed, than those raised directiy in the potatoes.
27. At the meeting for business resolved, that the prayer meeting on Sabbath morning be at 9 o'clock;-aiso, that brother Jewell write a joint leiter to Brainerd, and brother Kingsbury revise the common journal, and forward it to the Board.
28. About ten minutes before 9, P. M. perceived a flash of light, and looking towards the north east, saw a fiery ball descending with great rapidity in a westerly direction, at an angle of 60 or 65 degrees with the horizon. In appearance it was not more than 4 or 5 inches in diameter. We listened for a minute, or more, to hear the report, but heard none. We entered into conversation, and in about four or five minutes, heard a report resembling that of a distant cannon. If the report proceeded from the meteor, as unquestionably it did, it must have been 50 or 60 miles distant, and very large. The day had been hot and dry, as also several preceding; and the evening was clear, except a few hazy clouds.
29. There is a very considerable change in the air this morning:-much cooler and a prospect of rain.
We are beginning to reap the fruits of our agricultural labors. Among other vegetables, we have very fine Irish potatoes, raised from seed which came from New Hampshire, by way of New Orleans. We have also fine muskmelons: our watermelons were planted late, and are not yet ripe.
30. About noon, a half breed called at our house, with a letter from our brethren, Fisk and Pride, whom we have long expected. We unde rstand by the messenger, that they are within a day's journey of tire station. One of their horses had failed, and they requested that we would come to their assista Vol. XVI,