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ber of the labouring class of society, and character of the labouring popueach active individual labourer is con lation, render each of these countries, sidered as incumbered with his share to which nature has not been liberal of the old, the young, and the infirm, in her gifts, populous and wealthy. which his labour must support besides But reduce the free labouring popumaintaining himself. But when we lation (if it were possible) to a state view labourers, or any other class, as of slavery, and no man can doubt the individuals, we see that the burden of
consequences that would follow. supporting the weak is not laid thus Pauperism and famine would ensue, equally upon the strong. We see until it reduced the population to the strong and healthy labourers, in the number which could live in idleness vigour of manhood, unincumbered and waste, upon a poor, half-cultivawith an equal proportion of the weak ted soil. and infirm. If such a labourer, so cir Lastly, let me particularly remind cumstanced, could only support him the farmer, that the economy, indusself, if he could lay up nothing by his try and good husbandry of labourers, industry, the weak and the infirm, are not more effectual in increasing and those whom they encumber, could the population of a country, than they not exist. Therefore, in a country are in enhancing the price of lands. where the price of labour stands pre The price of land is every where afcisely at its natural point, where it fected by the character and number supports, and only supports the la of agricultural labourers upon it. bourers as a class, a young, healthy Land without labourers, is good for labourer, who only labours for him nothing. It might as well be water, self, will be able to rise above his as the most fertile soil. It is the la. poverty. He will be able to lay up bourers upon the sandy plains of Rhode each year, as much as he would have Island that make them bear a higher to expend in supporting the young, price than the fertile bottoms of the the old, the sick, and the unfortunate, Mississippi. The difference in the if he bore his share of these burdens. price of land in old and new countries, With good management, the savings is mainly owing to the circumstances, of one year become a helping fund that the former are filled with labourthe next; the use of which, added to ers and the latter not.
Some suppose the income of his labour, quickens his it is the presence of those who conpace from the vale of poverty, and in sume the produce of the soil that a few years he finds himself among raises the price of the land. But it is the substantial property-holders of the the presence of labourers. The procountry.
duce of the soil may be consumed any In further proof of the position that where, but a man must be upon the slave labour is expensive, I would ask, soil in order to cultivate it. For exam. where has slavery principally centred? ple, our flour bears about the same In the most fertile countries, and in price, whether those who consume it southern climates, which grow the reside in the country, in Baltimore or most profitable productions. The in London. Let all the people of Frereason is, that slavery is a tax that derick county suddenly substitute a poor soils and cold climates cannot en different bread stuff in the place of dure. The cost of cultivating an un wheat, and if the rest of the world productive soil with slaves, is more continued to make use of wheat for than the productions of the soil will bread, the price of our wheat would bring in return. A lazy, negligent, experience no perceptible change. wasteful slave, upon a cold, sterile, The price of wheat remaining the ungrateful soil, instead of producing same, the price of the land which any thing for the support of his mas produces it would also remain the ter, would starve himself. But cold
But let all the labourers leave countries and comparatively unpro Frederick county, and let it become ductive soils are cultivated with free impossible to supply their places for labour to great advantage. Switzer half a century, and our lands would land, Scotland, and New England, be worth no more than lands of the are striking examples. The freedom same quality and advantage in a new
country. So clear it is, that it is the
bour is scarce; the high price of compresence of labour to till the land, paratively poor land at the north, which gives it its chief value.
where the labouring classes are the But the price of land is affected by most industrious, economical and the quality of the labourers, as well thrifty, and for the depreciated price as the number in the country. If the of first-rate lands in Maryland, where labourers are so negligent, idle and the labourers are idle, and wasteful, wasteful, that they consume as much, and unfaithful, because they are slaves. in value, as they cause the land to But it is time to conclude an arguproduce, the land is still of no profit ment, which the public are not preto the owner. The value of the land pared to believe. The period has is regulated by the value of the sur not yet arrived, for the American plus produce which it yields after de public to give full credence to any ducting the support of the labourers. part of the truth on the subject of A man's farm, therefore, may be of slavery. But if slavery continues, no value from three causes. First, that period will come. Our form of that it is situated in a new country, government, our whole policy in where there is no labour to cultivate
every particular, with the exception it, or where the quantity of land so of African slavery, is calculated to fill far exceeds the quantity of labour in the Union with as dense a population the country that every man who as ever existed in any country. The chooses, can find land enough to cul limit of population is the means of sustivate without paying any thing for taining life. These means are the the use of it. In this state of things, most fully developed, and produce land, like air and water every where, their utmost effect in free governis one of the common elements. ments, where every citizen is left in There is more than enough for every the full enjoyment of his rights, and body in the country to use as they where he is permitted to push his please, and therefore nobody pays
way by the exercise of all his talents, for the use of it. Secondly, a man's skill and strength. When, from these farm may be of no value, because the causes, the United States shall teem quality of the soil is so indifferent, with an overflowing population; when, that the labour to cultivate it is worth as frequently happens in all popuas much in the market, as the produce || lous countries, some change in nationwhich it yields. If a farm is so poor al affairs shall suddenly throw the that it takes twenty dollars' worth of poor free labourers out of emploment; labour, at the market price of labour, when poverty and want, hunger and to raise twenty dollars' worth of pro cold, shall excite them to frenzy, duce, at the market price of produce, and drive them to desperation; when the farm can hardly be said to have to this shall be added the aggrava
True, the owner may la ting circumstance, that in order to bour upon his farm, and thus procure sustain the system of African slavery, a living. But he lives, strictly speak millions of the American poor are exing, not upon the income of his farm, pelled the farmer's field, where it is but upon the income of his labour. their birthright to labour, that they · His farm pays him no more for his may live; then will be the time, for labour than his neighbour, who cul truth to burst upon a nation, which tivates richer land, is willing to pay thought to reconcile the conflicting for the same labour. It follows, third powers of the moral universe: a naly, from what has been already said, tion which continued to worship slathat a rich soil, in a country where very as a household goddess, after it there are labourers enough, may pro had constituted liberty the presiding duce no income to the owner, because divinity over church and state. the labourers are so idle, wasteful, and negligent, that they consume as much in value as they raise. This course of reasoning is fully sustained by the low price of the most fertile
The cessation of slavery in the state land in all new countries where la. of New York on the anniversary of our
ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE MIDDLE
national independence in the present of congress, foreign ministers, and soyear, having become a subject of pub- journers not becoming resident withlic notoriety, it will probably be inte in the state; limiting the slaves of the resting to some our readers, to see last description of holders, to a period an account of the progress of emanci of six months. In a few years it was pation in the middle and eastern states, found that several evasions were pracand of the laws enacted there for the tised, particularly one deduced from melioration and extinction of slavery. the proviso in the tenth section.
The first that attracts our notice is Slaves were brought into the state Pennsylvania. The legislature of that and held nearly, but not quite six state, by an act, dated the 1st of March, months, then removed, for a few mi1780, entitled an act for the gradual nutes, beyond the line of the state, abolition of slavery, directed, that all and brought back to remain another servitude for life, or slavery of child term of a little less than six months. ren, in consequenee of the slavery of A supplementary and explanatory their mothers, in case of children born act was therefore passed in 1788, by within the state, after the passing of which the evasion of a semi-annual vithe act, should be utterly taken away, sit to an adjoining state was preventextinguished, and for ever abolished. ed. By this supplement, the removal But such negro or mulatto children, of slaves beyond the bounds of the born within the state after the passing state was prohibited. The African of the act, as would have been slaves slave trade was also interdicted under in case the law in question had not severe penalties; and some other sabeen made, were liable to be held to lutary regulations adopted in favour of service, as bound children or servants the coloured race. were, until they attained the age of
About the year 1818, it was disco28 years. All slaves, who were such
vered that a number of attempts had at the time of passing the act, were
been made to carry off from Philadelrequired to be registered in books
phia, and the adjacent country, free coprovided for the purpose in the city
loured persons under the character of or county, before the first of Novem- || fugitive slaves. The law of congress ber, then next ensuing; and none to
respecting fugitives from justice, and be deemed slaves, or servants till 31
persons escaping from the service of years, unless thus recorded. To prevent || their masters,* by the ample powers the evasion of this law, it was provided, that no negro or mulatto should * The third and fourth section of be held to service by indenture for a
that law are as follow: longer time than seven years, unless
That when a person held to labour
in any of the United States, or in eiththe person so bound, was at the com er of the territories on the north west mencement of the term under 21 years or south of the river Ohio, under the of age; in which case, an obligation
laws thereof, shall escape into any
other of the said states or territory, to serve till 28, but no longer, was de
the person to whom such labour or clared valid.
service may be due, his agent or atThe tenth section contained a pro torney, is hereby empowered to seize viso, excluding from the benefit of the
or arrest such fugitive from labour,
and to take him or her before any law, the domestic slaves of members || judge of the circuit or district courts
conferred upon the aldermen and jus upon very doubtful testimony, a wartices of the peace, afforded means for rant for the removal of the alleged fuunprincipled dealers in human flesh, gitive to the state from which he was to add the semblances of law to the said to have eloped. realities of rapine. Free persons were This law, in its practical operation, taken by warrant, carried before an was nothing less than granting to an alderman or magistrate judged fit for officer, whose jurisdiction in other such business, and there claimed as a cases, was limited to claims of not fugitive slave. That officer, if dis more than one hundred dollars, the posed to favour the applicant, might power to pronounce any coloured pergrant, and there was reason to sup son a slave, if claimed as such in the pose, that some of them did grant, absence of counter testimony. A co
loured person could be taken up in of the United States, residing or be
Philadelphia, brought before an aling within the state, or before any ma derman in the evening, claimed by a gistrate of a county, city or town cor stranger, with another stranger for porate, wherein such seizure or arrest shall be made, and upon proof to the
witness, adjudged a slave, delivered satisfaction of such judge or magis
to the claimant, and before morning trate, either by oral testimony or affi- removed beyond the bounds of the davit taken before and certified by a
state. This avenue to oppression, magistrate of any such state or territory, that the person so seized or ar.
and the reality of the evils resulting rested, doth, under the laws of the from it, claiming the attention of the state or territory from which he or she
legislature, a law was enacted, dated fed, owe service or labour to the person claiming him or her, it shall be
27th of March, 1820, increasing the the duty of such judge or magistrate penalty upon the forcible or frauduto give a certificate thereof to such lent abduction of coloured persons, claimant, his agent or attorney, which shall be sufficient warrant for remov
and prohibiting aldermen and justices ing the said fugitive from labour, to of the peace under a penalty of five the state or territory from which he or hundred dollars, from executing the she fled.
trust devolved upon them by the geThat any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct or hinder
neral government. such claimant, his agent or attorney During the session of 1825–26, a in so seizing or arresting such fugi- deputation from the legislature of tive from labour, or shall rescue such fugitive from such claimant, his agent
Maryland attended at Harrisburg, or attorney when so arrested pursu.
with a view of procuring a law to faant to the authority herein given or cilitate the recovery of fugitive slaves. declared; or shall harbour or conceal such person after notice that he or she
In consequence of whose application was a fugitive from labour, as afore
a bill was introduced and finally ensaid, shall, for either of the said of- || acted, of which the following is a fences, forfeit and pay the sum of five
summary. hundred dollars. Which penalty may be recovered by and for the benefit of
Any person who shall by force or such claimant, by action of debt, in fraud, carry away any negro or muany court proper to try the same; sav. latto beyond the limits of the coming moreover to the person claiming such labour or service, his right of ac
monwealth, with a design of holding tion for or on account of the said in
such negro or mulatto as a slave or juries or either of them.
servant for any time, or of causing it
to be done, or who shall cause or abet are, as in the law of 1820, forbidden, in such removal, shall be adjudged under a penalty of not less than five guilty of a felony, and forfeit a sum of hundred dollars, nor more than one not less than five hundred, nor more thousand dollars, to give a certificate than two thousand dollars, and suffer authorizing the removal of the fugian imprisonment at hard labour, of tive from the state.* not less than seven, nor more than The next in order of time is the twenty-one years.
state of Massachusetts, A similar penalty is prescribed for Slavery was introduced there soon knowingly selling or buying a negro
after the settlement of the country, or mulatto with design to cause his or
and tolerated until the ratification of her removal out of the state, to be held as a slave or servant for any
* By the constitution of the United
States, (Art. 6, sec. 2,) that constituterm whatever.
tion, and the laws of the United When a person held to labour or States, made in pursuance thereof, are service in any other state, shall es the supreme law of the land; any cape into this, the claimant, or his
thing in the laws of any state to the
contrary notwithstanding. Hence the agent or attorney, constituted in writ
provision above noticed may be suping, may procure the arrest of such | posed altogether nugatory. fugitive, upon a warrant of a pre
This constitutional article, however, scribed form, returnable to a judge of
will be subject to legal construction.
It has been a' question, whether conthe proper county. But no warrant
gress can confer jurisdiction on the is to be issued for the arrest of a fu courts and officers of the state gogitive from labour, upon the applica
vernments, and in several of the state
courts decided in the negative. In the tion of an agent or attorney, unless
Supreme Court of the United States the applicant shall, in addition to his it is held, that no part of the criminal own oath or affirmation, produce the
jurisdiction of the United States, can,
consistently with the constitution, affidavit of the claimant, taken before
be delegated to the state tribunals; a proper officer, in the state where (Wheaton's Reports, Vol. 5, p. 69,) he resides, with the certificate of the and the opinion, that congress can
not confer jurisdiction upon any prothonotary or clerk of the court of
courts but such as exist under the record; which affidavit must state the
constitution and laws of the United name, age and description of the fu States, has been delivered from the gitive.
bench of the same tribunal, (Ibid, 27.)
It, therefore, appears very questionaThe judge, before whom the fugi- ble, whether the law of congress for tive shall be brought, is required to the recovery of fugitive slaves could afford reasonable time for the produc
be legally executed by the officers of tion of testimony, but not to receive
the state governments, unless author
ized by an act of the local legislature. in evidence on the hearing of the case, (See also Constitution of the United the oath of the owner, or other person
States, Art. 3, Sect. 2, p. 1.) The vainterested. If the claim shall be sup
lidity, however, of the restriction in
Pennsylvania, does not depend on a ported to the satisfaction of the judge, difficult legal or constitutional queshe is bouud to give a certificate, which tion. No authority, conferred by the is a warrant for the removal of the fu
general government upon the officers
of the state, is denied or annulled, gitive.
but those officers are merely prohiAldermen and justices of the peace bited from exercising that authority.