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to all the other colonies. It has a line of coast on the Atlantic of one hundred and ten miles, which include the two Capes that form the entrance into the Chesapeake Bay. Its area, exclusive of the territories aforesaid, from which she was soon after separated, was about sixty-five thousand square miles. The predominant religious sects were then Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians. Tobacco, Indian corn and wheat were the principal articles of its agriculture.

North Carolina lies immediately south of Virginia, with a line of coast of two hundred and ninety-five miles. Its area, exclusive of Tennessee, is ninety thousand square miles. Its agriculture is the same as that of Virginia.

South Carolina is the next colony on the south. It has an area of thirty-one thousand square miles, and a line of coast of one hundred and ninety miles. Its principal exports were rice and indigo.

Georgia, the most southern of the thirteen colonies, had an area, including the present States of Alabama and Mississippi, then inhabited by Indian tribes, of sixty-one thousand square miles.

The population of these colonies was most dense near the coast, and became more scattered and thin as the settlements gradually receded to the west, so that the principal portion of the population occupied a zone of territory extending fourteen or fifteen hundred miles from Maine to Georgia, and little more than one hundred miles in width.

The amount of the entire colonial population at the meeting of the first Congress was uncertain. Estimates of the numbers in each colony were indeed rendered to Congress by their respective deputies, but these estimates were made on insufficient data, and naturally, in their disputes with the mother country, they were disposed



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to magnify its strength, both at home and abroad. The consequence was that their numbers were considerably overrated. The first census affords us materials for making a close approximation to the truth on this point. According to that census the whole population was, on the first of August, 1790, three million nine hundred and twenty-nine thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven. If then we suppose the increase in the ten preceding years to have been thirty-three and onethird per cent.which supposes a moderate increase from immigration - then the population on the first of August, 1780, was two million nine hundred and fortyseven thousand three hundred and seventy-one. If we further suppose that in the six preceding years the increase was at the rate of thirty per cent. in ten yearswhich supposes a diminished natural increase, and no gain from immigration — then the population on the first day of August, 1774, was, in round numbers, two million five hundred and ninety thousand. It then follows that in the ordinary estimates of the population, in the beginning of the Revolution, at three millions, their numbers were overrated nearly half a million.

In the distribution of the whole number among the several colonies, we are left more to conjecture. According to the apportionment I have ventured to make, their respective numbers in 1774 were as follows:

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In all these communities domestic slavery existed to a greater or less extent. Very soon after Virginia was settled, a Dutch ship brought thither a number of negro slaves, which were readily purchased by the English planters, and their labor being very profitable in the cultivation of tobacco, they soon greatly multiplied, and were subsequently diffused throughout the other colonies. But as their labor was most profitable in those which grew tobacco, rice, or indigo, they were very unequally distributed; and perhaps of the five hundred thousand slaves then in the colonies, nineteen-twentieths were found south of Pennsylvania.

This single circumstance had such an influence, that it divided the thirteen colonies into two distinct communities, which widely differed in manners, habits of life, and general character; while the members of each division had also many features of close resemblance.

In those colonies in which the slaves were most numerous, the inhabitants, having more leisure, were more given to social pleasures and amusements-to the sports of the turf, the cock-pit, the chase and the gaming table. They had a more delicate and sensitive self-respect, which sometimes degenerated into haughtiness, and sometimes produced that union of courtesy, frankness, and ease which is rarely seen in Europe, except in the higher ranks of life. The social habits of the Southern planter often made him profuse, and plunged him in debt to the English or Scotch merchant who sold his exported products, and furnished him with his foreign supplies. He was often improvident, and sometimes not punctual in his pecuniary engagements. With these moral defects incident to his condition as a slaveholder, he derived some virtues from the same source.

Besides his agreeable companionable qualities, he often VOL. I. —7



acquired habits of forbearance and self-restraint which are essential to the formation of virtuous character. The evil effect of slavery on the temper and disposition of the master has been exhibited in glowing colors by Mr. Jef ferson; but his view of it, however plausible, seems to be contradicted both by philosophy and experience.


As this proposition seems counter to the ordinary opinion on the subject, and its reasons are not obvious, some explanation seems to be required.

With the power which a master has over his slave, and much of which extends to his children, he is placed in a situation in which he may either yield to his pas sions or resist them; and as he does one or the other, will he be strengthened (by the natural effect of exercise and habit) either in self-indulgence or self-denial. If he yield to his impulses, he is likely to become self-willed, rash, violent, and perhaps cruel. If he resists, he so far lays a solid foundation for virtue of every species, and especially improves in patience, mildness and clemency. Some masters are thus made worse, and some better, by slavery. Does its good or its evil tendency predominate? It is not easy to give a satisfactory answer to this question. But if we look to the character of those Southern men who have acted a conspicuous part on the political theatre, and regard them as fair specimens of the class of slaveholders, we shall have reason to infer that the relation between master and slave more often proves a school of virtue than of vice. General Washington, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, Mr. Monroe, Judge Marshall, Mr. Lowndes, Mr. Calhoun, were all remarkable for their mildness, moderation and forbearance. It is thought that General Harrison, Mr. Tyler, Mr. Polk and General

1 Notes on Virginia.



Taylor may be added to their number. If General Jackson, the only remaining Southern President, may seem to offer some contradiction to the rule, it must be remembered that, supposing him to have had an uncontrollable temper, he is not fairly an exception, inasmuch as his character was formed before he became a slaveholder.

However these colonies may have differed in their social character, yet in their political opinions and feelings, and in some other particulars, there was great similarity. There was, in the first place, an equality of condition as to fortune, or rather an approach to it, which is never seen in Europe, there being a very small proportion who were affluent, and scarcely any who were downright paupers.

There was here no class of nobles by birth-office alone constituting the distinction of rank. Hence a respect for the laws themselves, through those who administer them, which is rarely elsewhere seen. Military aid was rarely required to enforce the civil authority.

There was, in all the colonies, more domestic ease and more abundant aliment, than in other countries. The very poorest class scarcely ever failed to have animal food once a day, and not seldom twice. This class was thus exempt from what is not only a very general source of anxiety and discontent, but is also the prolific parent of vice and crime.

All were familiar with discussion and deliberation, either as speakers or hearers, at their political elections, or in their church government.

In a new country with a rapidly increasing population, the supply as well as the demand for capital was steadily

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