Imágenes de páginas

'37, or about that time, the Hon. Abbott Lawrence, of Bose ton, backed by his brother Amos and other millionaires of New England, went down to Richmond with the sole view of reconnoitering the manufacturing facilities of that place --fully determined, if pleased with the water-power, to erect a large number of cotton-mills and machine-shops. He had been in the capital of Virginia only a day or two before he discovered, much to his gratification, that nature had shaped everything to his liking; and as he was a business man who transacted business in a business-like manner, he lost no time in making preliminary arrangements for the consummation of his noble purpose. His mission was one of peace and promise ; others were to share the benefits of his laudable and concerted scheme; thousands of poor boys and girls in Virginia, instead of growing up in extreme poverty and ignorance, or of having to emigrate to the free States of the West, were to have avenues of profitable employment opened to them at home; thus they would be enabled to earn an honest and reputa. ble living, to establish and sustain free schools, free libraries, free lectures, and free presses, to become useful and exemplary members of society, and to die fit candidates for heaven. The magnanimous New Englander was in ecstasies with the prospect that opened before him. Individually, so far as mere money was concerned, he was perfectly independent; his industry and economy in early life had secured to him the ownership and control of an ample fortune. With the aid of eleven other men, each equal to himself, he could have bought the whole city of Richmond-negroes and all--though it is not to be pre


ris in Tirana Idignorance the Wester

samed that he would have disgraced his name by becoming a trader in human flesh. But he was not selfish ; unlike the arrogant and illiberal slaveholder, he did not regard himself as the centre around whom everybody else should revolve. On the contrary, he was a genuine philanthropist. While, with a shrewdness that will command the admiration of every practical business man, he engaged in nothing that did not swell the dimensions of his own purse, he was yet always solicitous to invest his capital in a manner calculated to promote the interest of those around him. Nor was he satisfied with simply furnishing the means whereby his less fortunate neighbors were to become prosperous, intelligent and contented. With his generous heart and sagacious mind, he delighted to aid them in making a judicious application of his wealth to their own use. Moreover, as a member of society, he felt that the community had some reasonable claims upon him, and he made it obligatory on himself constantly to devise plans and exert his personal efforts for the public good. Such was the character of the distinguished manufacturer who honored Richmond with his presence nineteen or twenty years ago; such was the character of the men whom he represented, and such were the grand designs which they sought to accomplish.

To the enterprising and moneyed descendant of the Pilgrim Fathers it was a matter of no little astonishment, that the immense water-power of Richmond had been so lopg neglected. He expressed his surprise to a number not, long prior to the period of his visit amongst them,

pened to her n an bones a free schuss to become

to die ft am w Englanda Te ed before his Encerned, be me

economy na and contru I other mer

, a the whole s not to be



availed themselves of the powerful element that is eter nally gushing and foaming over the falls of James River. Innocent man! He was utterly unconscious of the fact that he was "interfering with the beloved institutions of the South," and little was he prepared to withstand the terrible denunciations that were immediately showered on his head through the columns of the Richmond Enquirer. Few words will suffice to tell the sequel. That negroworshipping sheet, whose bireling policy, for the last four and twenty years, has been to support the worthless black slave and his tyrannical master at the expense of the free white laborer, wrote down the enterprise ! and the noble Bon of New England, abused, insulted and disgusted, quietly returned to Massachusetts, and there employed his capital in building up the cities of Lowell and Lawrence, either of which, in all those elements of material and social prosperity that make up the greatness of States, is already far in advance of the most important of all the seody and squalid niggervilles in the Old Dominion. Such is an inkling of the infamous means that have been resorted to, from time to time, for the purpose of upholding and perpetuating in America the accursed institution of slavery.

Having in view all the foregoing facts, we were not in the least surprised when, while walking through Hollywood Cemetery, in the western suburbs of Richmond, not long since, our companion, a Virginian of the true school, directed our attention to a monument of some pretentions, and exclaimed, “There lie the remains of a man upon whose monument should be inscribed in everlasting prom

[ocr errors]

se prepared to rere immetiste

ell the sequel ?

[ocr errors]

at the expect

e enterprise

insulted and setts, and there Cities of Los

ose elements :: up the greates most importe

the Old Dominica

inence the finger of scorn pointing downward.” The reader scarcely needs to be told that we were standing at the tomb of

who in the opinion of our friend, had, by concentrating within himself the views and purposes of all the evil spirits in Virginia, greatly retarded the abolition of slavery ; so greatly, indeed, as, thereby, to throw the State at least fifty years behind her free competitors of the North, of the East, and of the West, It is to be hoped that Virginia may never give birth to another man whose evil influence will so justly entitle him to the reprobation of posterity.

How any rational man in this or any other country, with the astounding contrast between Freedom and Slavery ever looming in his view, can offer an apology for the existing statism of the South, is to us a most inexplicable mystery. Indeed, we cannot conceive it possible that the conscience of any man, who is really sane, would permit him to become the victim of such an egregious and diabolical absurdity. Therefore, at this period of our history, with the light of the past, the reality of the present, and the prospect of the future, all so prominent and so palpable, we infer that every person who sets up an unequivocal defence of the institution of slavery, must, of necessity, be either a fool, a knave, or a madman,

It is much to be regretted that the slavocrats look at but one side of the question. Of all the fanatics in the country, they have, of late, become the most unreasonable and ridiculous. Let them deliberately view the subject of slavery in all its aspects and bearings, and if they are possessed of honest hearts and convincible minds, they

nis that have bers urpose of uph cursed institut


, we were Tking through -bs of Richmt n of the true c

of some prettie Ens of a mai


[ocr errors]

will readily perceive the grossness of their past errors, renounce their allegiance to a cause so unjust and disgraceful, and at once enroll themselves among the hosts of Freedom and the friends of universal Liberty. There are thirty-one States in the Union ; let them drop California, or any other new free State, and then institute fifteen comparisons, first comparing New-York with Virginia, Pennsylvania with Carolina, Massachusetts with Georgia, and so on, until they have exhausted the catalogue

, Then, for once, let them be bold enough to listen to the admonitions of their own souls, and if they do not soon start to their feet demanding the abolition of slavery, it will only be because they have reasons for suppressing their inmost sentiments. Whether we compare the old free States with the old slave States, or the new free States with the new slave States, the difference, unmis takable and astounding, is substantially the same. All the free States are alike, and all the slave States are alike. In the former, wealth, intelligence, power, progress, prosperity, are the prominent characteristics ; in the latter, poverty, ignorance, embecility, inertia, and extravagance, are the distinguishing features. To be convinced, it is only necessary for us to open our eyes and look at facts to examine the statistics of the country, to free ourselves from obstinacy and prejudice, and to unbar our minds to convictions of truth. Let figures be the umpire. Closu attention to the preceding and subsequent tables is all we ask ; 80 soon as they shall be duly considered and under: stood, the primary object of this work will have been accomplished.


« AnteriorContinuar »