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view, all of the results of a year or of a period of years, as compared with other periods, and deduce the profit or the loss which has been made, in morals, education, wealth or power."
Impressed with a sense of the propriety of introducing', in this as well as in the succeeding chapters of our work, a number of tabular statements exhibiting the comparative growth and prosperity of the free and slave states, we have deemed it eminently proper to adduce the testimony of these distinguished authors in support of the claims which official facts and accurate statistics lay to our consideration. And here we may remark that the statistics which we propose to offer, like those already given, have been obtained from official sources, and may, therefore, be relied on as correct. The object we have in view in making a free use of facts and figures, if not already apparent, will soon be understood. It is not so much in its moral and religious aspects that we propose to discuss the question of slavery, as in its social and political character and influences, (lo say nothing of the sin and the shame of slavery, we believe it is a most expensive and unprofitable institution; and if our brethren of the South will but throw aside their unfounded prejudices and preconceived opinions, and give us a fair and patient hearing, we feel confident that we can bring them to the same conclusion. Indeed, we believe we shall be enabled—not alone by our own contributions, but with the aid of incontestable facts and arguments which we shall introduce from other sources —to convince all true-hearted, candid and intelligent Southerners, who may chance to read our book, (and we hope their name may be legion) that slavery, and nothing but slavery, has retarded the progress and prosperity of our portion of the Union; depopulated and impoverished our cities by forcing the more industrious and enterprising natives of the soil to emigrate to the free States; brought our domain under a sparse and inert population by preventing foreign immigration; made us tributary to the North, and reduced us to the humiliating condition of mere provincial subjects in fact, though not in name. We believe, moreover, that every patriotic Southerner thus convinced will feel it a duty he owes to himself, to his country, and to his God, to become a thorough, inflexible, practical abolitionist. So mote it be!
Now to our figures. Few persons have an adequate idea of the important part the cardinal numbers are now playing in the cause of Liberty. They are working wonders in the South. Intelligent, business men, from the Chesapeake to the Rio Grande, are beginning to see that slavery, even in a mercenary point of view, is impolitic, because it is unprofitable. Those unique, mysterious little Arabic sentinels on the watch-towers of political economy, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, have joined forces, allied themselves to the powers of freedom, and are hemming in and combatting the institution with the most signal success. If let alone, we have no doubt the digits themselves would soon terminate the existence of slavery; but we do not mean to let them alone; they must not have all the honor of annihilating the monstrous iniquity. We want to become an auxiliary in the good work, and facilitate it. The liberation of five millions of "poor white trash" from the second degree of slavery, and of three millions of miserable kidnapped negroes from the first degree, cannot be accom. plished too soon. That it was not accomplished manyyears ago is our misfortune. It now behooves us to take a bold and determined stand in defence of the inalienable rights of ourselves and of our fellow men, and to avenge the multiplicity of wrongs, social and political, which we have suffered at the hands of a villainous oligarchy. It is madness to delay. We cannot be too hasty in carrying out our designs. Precipitance in this matter is an utter impossibility. If to-day we could emancipate all the slaves in the Union, we would do it, and the country and everybody in it would be vastly better off to-morrow. Now is the time for action; let us work.
By taking a sort of inventory of the agricultural products of the free and slave States in 1850, we now propose to correct a most extraordinary and mischievous error into which the people of the South have unconsciously fallen. Agriculture^ it is well known, is the sole boast of the South ;. and, strange to say, many pro-slavery Southerners, who, in our latitude, pass for intelligent men, are so puffed up with the idea of our importance in this respect, that they speak of the North as a sterile region, unfit for cultivation, and quite dependent on the South for the necessaries of life! jSuch rampant ignorance ought to be knocked in the head! We can prove that the North produces greater quantities of bread-stuffs than the South! Figures shall show the facts. Properly, the South has nothing left to boast of; the North has surpassed her in everything,
and is going farther and farther ahead of her every day. We ask the reader's careful attention to the following tables, which we have prepared at no little cost of time and trouble, and which, when duly considered in connection with the foregoing and subsequent portions of our work, will, we believe, carry conviction to the mind that the downward tendency of the South can be arrested only by the abolition of slavery.