Abbildungen der Seite


Macrease of Population.



Certainly it is not so easy to pay something as it is to pay nothing; but it is easier to pay a large sum, than it is to pay a larger one. And it is easier to pay any sum when we are able, than it is to pay it before we are able. The war requires large sums, and requires them at once. The aggregate sum necessary for compensated emancipation, of course, would be large. But it would require no ready cash ; nor the bonds even, any faster than the emancipation progresses. This might not, and probably would not, close before the end of the thirty-seven years. At that time we shall probably have a hundred millions of people to share the burden, instead of thirty-one millions, as now. And not only so, but the increase of our population may be expected to continue for a long time after that period, as rapidly as before ; because our territory will not have become full. I do not state this inconsiderately. At the same ratio of increase which we have maintained, on an average, from our first National census, in 1790, until that of 1860, we should, in 1900, have a population of one hundred and three million, two hundred and eight thousand, four hundred and fifteen. And why may we not continue that ratio far beyond that period ? Our abundant room--our broad National homestead-is our

— ample resource. Were our territory as limited as are the British Isles, very certainly our population could not expand as stated. Instead of receiving the foreign born, as now, we should be compelled to send part of the native born away. But such is not our condition. We have two millions nine hundred and sixty-three thousand square miles. Europe has three millions and eight hundred thousand, with a population averaging seventy-three and one third persons to the square mile. Why may not our country, at some time, average as many ? Is it less fertile ? Has it more waste surface, by mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, or other causes? Is it inferior to Europe in any natural advantage? If, then, we are, at some time, to be as populous as Europe, how soon? As


Decennial Increase of Population.

to when this may be, we can judge by the past and the present; as to when it will be, if ever, depends much on whether we maintain the Union. Several of our States are already above the average of Europe-seventy-three and a third to the square mile. Massachusetts has one hundred and fiftyseven; Rhode Island, one hundred and thirty-three ; Connecticut, ninety-nine; New York and New Jersey, each, eighty. Also two other great States, Pennsylvania and Ohio, are not far below, the former having sixty-three and the latter fiftynine. The States already above the European average, except New York, have increased in as rapid a ratio, since passing that point, as ever before ; while no one of them is equal to some other parts of our country, in natural capacity for sustaining a dense population.

Taking the nation in the aggregate, and we find its population and ratio of increase, for the several decennial periods, to be as follows: 1790....

3,929,827 1800..

5,305,937 35.02 per cent. ratio of increase. 1810..

7,239,814 36.45 1820.....

9,638,131 33.13 1830.....

12,866,020 33.49 1840.....

17,069,453 32.67 1850....

23,191,876 35.87 1860....

31,443,790 35.58 “This shows an average decennial increase of 34.60 per cent. in population through the seventy years from our first to our last census yet taken. It is seen that the ratio of increase, at one of these seven periods, is either two per cent. below, or two per cent. above, the average, thus showing how inflexible, and, consequently, how reliable, the law of increase, in our case is. Assuming that it will continue, gives the following results: 1870.......

42,423,341 1880.....



Benefits of Compensated Emancipation.


76,677,872 1900....

103,208,415 1910....

138,918,526 1920....

186,984,335 1930....

251,680,914 “ These figures show that our country may be as populous as Europe now is, at some point between 1920 and 1930 --say about 1925_our territory, at seventy-three and a third persons to the square mile, being the capacity to contain 217,186,000.

"And we will reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish the chance, hy the folly and evil of disunion, or by long and exhausting war, springing from the only great element of National discord among us.

While it can not be foreseen exactly how much one huge example of secession, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would retard population, civilization, and prosperity, no one can doubt that the extent of it would be very great and injurious.

" The proposed emancipation would shorten the war, perpetuate peace, insure this increase of population, and proportionately the wealth of the country. With these, we should pay all the emancipation would cost, together with our other debt, easier than we should pay our other debt, without it. If we had allowed our old National debt to run at six per cent. per annum, simple interest, from the end of our Revolutionary struggle until to-day, without paying any thing on either principal or interest, each man of us would owe less upon that debt now, than each man owed upon it then; and this because our increase of men, through the whole period, has been greater than six per cent. ; has run faster than the interest upon the debt. Thus, time alone relieves a debtor nation, so long as its population increases faster than unpaid interest accumulates on its debt.

This fact would be no excuse for delaying payment of what is justly due ; but it shows the great importance of timo

[ocr errors][ocr errors]



Displacing White Labor.

in this connection-the great advantage of a policy by which we shall not bave to pay until we number a hundred millions, what, by a different policy, we would have to pay now, when we number but thirty-one millions. In a word, it shows that a dollar will be much harder to pay for the war, than will be a dollar for emancipation on the proposed plan. And then the latter will cost no blood, no precious life. It will be a saving of both.

“As to the second article, I think it would be impracticable to return to bondage the class of persons therein contemplated. Some of them, doubtless, in the property sense, belong to loyal owners; and hence, provision is made in this article for compensating such.

“ The third article relates to the future of the freed people. It does not oblige, but merely authorizes, Congress to aid in colonizing such as may consent. This ought not to be regarded as objectionable, on the one hand, or on the other, in so much as it comes to nothing, unless by the mutual consent of the people to be deported, and the American voters, through their representatives in Congress.

"I can not make it better known than it already is, that I strongly favor colonization. And yet I wish to say there is an objection urged against free colored persons remaining in the country, which is largely imaginary, if not sometimes malicious.

"It is insisted that their presence would injure, and displace white labor and white laborers. If there ever could be a proper time for mere catch arguments, that time surely is not now.

In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity. Is it true, then, that colored people cap displace any more white labor by being free, than by remain ing slaves: If they stay in their old places, they jostle no white laborers; if they leave their old places, they leave them open to white laborers. Logically, there is neither more nor


Law of Supply and Demand.

less of it. Emancipation, even without deportation, would, probably enhance the wages of white labor, and, very surely, would not reduce them. Thus, the customary amount of labor would still have to be performed; the freed people would surely not do more than their old proportion of it, and very probably, for a time, would do less, leaving an increased part to white laborers, bringing their labor into greater demand, and, consequently, enhancing the wages of it. With deportation, even to a limited extent, enhanced wages to white labor is mathematically certain. Labor is like any other commodity in the market-increase the demand for it, and you increase the price of it. Reduce the supply of black labor, by colonizing the black laborer out of the country, and, by precisely so much you increase the demand for, and wages of, white labor.

· But it is dreaded that the freed people will swarm forth, and cover the whole land. Are they not already in the land ? Will liberation make them any more numerous ? Equally distributed among the whites of the whole country, and there would be but one colored to seven whites. Could the one, in any way, greatly disturb the seven ? There are many communities now, having more than one free colored person to seven whites; and this without any apparent consciousness of evil from it. The District of Columbia, and the States of Maryland and Delaware, are all in this condition. The District has more than one free colored to six whites; and yet, in its frequent petitions to Congress, I believe it has never presented the presence of free colored persons as one of its grievances. But why should emancipation South send the freed people North? People, of any color, seldom run, unless there be something to run from Heretofore, colored people, to some extent, have fled North from bondage ; and now, perhaps, from both bondage and destitution. But if gradual emancipation and deportation be adopted, they will have neither to flee from. Their old masters will give them wages,

« ZurückWeiter »