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the monopoly of it. Soon a military company came in view, with a band of black musicians. This "was one of the last things" which he expected to see-" the soldiers of the south following the music made by such men, their step enlivened, their spirits cheered by them." Southern men, like men in all parts of the world, are generally willing to have their spirits cheered, without regard to the color of their entertainers. If he had attended a dancing party, in house or hall, he would have seen one or more "colored musicians" in the corner, flourishing the fiddle to the movement of the "light fantastic toe." But the reason why he was struck with this sight must not be overlooked. It was a "mark of confidence and kindness" on the part of masters towards their slaves. Another circumstance deepened the impression. We will give it in the author's words: "If it be less romantic, it is more instructive, to see the fire department of a southern city composed of colored men in their company uniforms parading, and in times of service working, with all the enthusiasm of Philadelphia or Boston firemen. Thus it is given to the colored population of some cities and towns at the South to protect the dwellings and stores of the city against fire-the dwellings and property of men who, as slave-owners, are regarded by many at the North with feelings of commiseration, chiefly from being exposed, as we imagine, to the insurrectionary impulses of an oppressed people. To organize that people into a protective force, to give them the largest liberty at times when general consternation and confusion would afford them the best opportunities to execute seditionary and murderous purposes, certainly gave me, as a northerner, occasion to think that whatever is true, theoretically, and whatever else may be practically true, with regard to slavery, the relations and feelings between the white and colored people at the South were not wholly as I had imagined them to be. These two instances of confidence and kindness gave me feelings of affection for the blacks, and respect for their masters. Not a word had been said to me about slavery; my eyes taught me that some practical things in the system are wholly different from my anticipations." This is a long extract from the third chapter-longer than we intend to make again; but it calls for a remark or two. With respect to the colored band, we are at a loss to see wherein any special confidence or kindness was manifested, when it was followed by a company of armed men, supplied, doubtless, with fixed bayonets, if not with powder and ball. The account of the colored fire companies in a certain city of Georgia, has a more plausible look. After reading it, we in
quired of a native of one of the largest cities in Georgia, and who resided there until quite recently, as to the personnel of its fire department. His answer was as follows. The fire companies are composed of whites and blacks; but they are not mixed in the same companies. The blacks have white men for officers, in all cases, though some of the petty offices, to which no importance is attached, may be given to the blacks. Thus they are always under the command of white men. At a fire, therefore, they are not allowed to roam around, but are under the complete control of the whites. Moreover, besides the regular police force on duty, throughout the city, there is a special police to attend fires, and guard against larcenies, and breaches of the peace. And in addition to this, a portion of the military are always on duty, in case of fire. So much for "confidence and kindness," in one of the cities of Georgia, if not the city of our author's sojourn.
We must not leave the third chapter, nor the aforesaid city, without adverting to another point. The hero of the military display, which rejoiced in a colored bass drummer, with "periscopgreen spectacles, was the very man, we are told, who "led the Georgia detachment of troops to our northeastern frontier during our trouble respecting the boundary question. Maine and Georgia were the same country to him.' It is pleasant to discover that we have such a patriotic countryman, for this is the first time we have heard of the Georgia detachment operating in the Aroostook and Madawaska contest. Did he and his detachment come on by water, or did they march -their spirits enlivened by that bass drum-all the way by land? We fear however, that the statement that he led the Georgia detachment into the Aroostook county, is no better than a myth.
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters, we have the "favorable appearances in Southern Society and in Slavery." These are ranged under twelve divisions, as follows: Good order; The dress of the Slaves; The children of the Slaves; Labor and privileges; Personal protection; Prevention of Crime; Absence of Mobs; Personal Liberty; Absence of Popular Delusions; Absence of Pauperism; Wages of Labor; and Religious Instruction. We do not intend to follow the author through all these topics, though each one is open to correction. The good order of the southern cities and towns made a very favorable impression on his mind. The colored people are not allowed to be abroad without a written pass after eight o'clock, P. M. Of course, they cannot be engaged in street rows, or
haunting drinking and gambling saloons. In fact, they are rarely to be seen in the evening. This, he admits, is an interference with personal liberty; but he was well pleased with it, and he asked himself, "Is not this an illustration of other things in slavery, which are theoretically usurpations, but practically benevolent?" There is no doubt the slaves are kept more quiet by the operation of the law which forbids them being abroad after eight o'clock. The Norman tyrants found the curfew a very fine device for keeping the Saxon people in their place. But the question arises, where is the boasted confidence of the whites in the blacks, if such laws must be enforced? If the blacks must be slaves; if they ought to be in subordinate stations, and a subordinate race, so long as they remain in this country, as the author maintains, then it follows, that they must be treated and confined, and guarded as slaves; but to most men it will seem one of the revolting features of slavery, that the victims of it must thus be restrained in their personal liberty. But if there is any advantage in having half the population shut up at home, after eight o'clock, slavery cannot claim even that honor, exclusively, for despotism is competent to the same effect. The Emperor of Russia might order all his subjects to obey the same wholesome regimen. A rigid enforcement of the "Maine Law" would be better still, and obviate the need of all despotic measures to keep any of the people who have their rights, in good order.
The reader of this book would infer, if he has no other sources of information, that the slaves, as a general thing, were well-dressed, had good food in abundance, and were not overworked. He would conclude that their children were in very happy circumstances; that crime was less common than in communities of freemen; that the bondmen enjoy personal protection, and personal liberty, to a great extent; and that the South, in respect to mobs and delusions, contrasts favorably with the North. Our readers will not expect a formal refutation of such superficial views. Every traveler at the South knows that the house servants, and a few other slaves, who have the privilege of working out on condition of paying their owners a certain portion of their wages, dress on holidays, in silks and broadcloths. They are resplendent in the cast-off clothing of their masters and mistresses. As a matter of course, their dress is often in good taste, and they make a respectable appearance. The pride of the ruling caste is concerned in this, and occasionally a touch of affection, or the claim of kindred, may lead to an elegant decoration of the person of a slave child. We have seen a slave girl who would pass, in the streets, for a
splendid woman. She had a fine person-full, large, and beautifully rounded; her complexion was light enough to give full expression to every feeling, and her dress was that of a fine lady. She was the maid of her mistress, and went with her in all her visits. A stranger, if of a credulous temper, would have thought she was happy, and some might envy her lot. Her owner reposed confidence in her fidelity; and yet we learned from good authority, that she entreated, again and again, the captain of a northern vessel, to smuggle her away, and land her in New York. That girl wore garments which cost enough, when new, to clothe a score of field hands. The average expense for feeding the slaves is very small. The cook, and a few others about the house, feed upon what comes from the master's table. The fragments of the various kinds of meat used by the family, after they have eaten, go to the kitchen; but the field hands luxuriate on a poor kind of herring, and the lean pieces of pork, with a quantum sufficit of vegetables. They live in a way that northern paupers are not subjected to, even when they are let out to the lowest bidder, and yet they are healthy. Thanks to a beneficent providence, plain food and active labor are conducive to health. This is one instance of compensation, where the oppressed are happier than their oppressors. But the above is the favorable, or sunny-side view of the matter. In some of the states, the negroes have but little of animal food. In those portions where corn is raised in abundance, sixteen bushels are considered sufficient for the sustenance of a slave. In the states farther South, where less corn is raised, and where it is dearer, twelve bushels is a slave's allowance. This gives nearly a peck a week, and over a quart a day. Besides this allowance, the slaves are sometimes, though in limited numbers, and to a small extent, allowed to cultivate a small patch of land, and raise a few chickens, or a pig. Where corn is not their principal food, the aggregate expense of the food of slaves amounts to about the price of from twelve to sixteen bushels of corn. If we average it at fourteen bushels per head, at seventy-five cents per bushel, we shall get very nearly to the cost of feeding a slave during a year. Infants and small children are not taken into the account. Clothing is furnished on the same economical scale. Shelter costs but little, since the huts are made of small logs which grow in abundance on all the plantations; are put up in a little time, and will last till they rot to dust, and fall by their own weight. They are low, having no chambers; generally no partitions; and often without a chimney. Human beings contrive to live on such means; and without the draw
back of luxuries, which cut short the days of so many of the ruling class, they enjoy a large measure of health, and of brute
But after making these allowances, there cannot be a doubt that there is a vast amount of want, suffering, and shortening of life among the slaves, arising from their treatment. Whoever has visited the negroes' quarters, conversed with the slaves as well as the masters, and thoroughly informed himself of the condition of things, knows this to be true. Those who have not had the opportunity to make personal observations and inquiries, may learn something from the following facts. First, the slaves have increased about as fast as the white population of the whole country, excluding immigrants, for the last fifty years. This statement, by itself, would indicate that the physical condition of the slaves and the whites was about the same, as to health, and the means on which longevity depends. But if we look into the census returns, we shall find that a large number of white females between the ages of sixteen and forty-five, are returned as unmarried. In New York two-fifths of the females between these periods, are reported as single. Taking the whole country together, the proportion would be less; but it is probable that one fourth of the females, who are in the bearing age, are unmarried. But this is not all. Many married persons are restrained from having large families by prudential reasons. If these facts are taken into the account, we find that the increase of the whites is from one fourth to one third less than it would otherwise be. On the contrary, with the slaves, these impediments to the increase of population, do not exist. All female slaves are expected to bear children. Each child is an addition to the master's wealth. No prudential considerations; no caprices of the fancy; no breach of engagements; no maiden reserve or pride, is allowed to stand in the way. As a matter of course, the proportion of births among the slaves is far above that among the whites. But as the natural increase at the end of every ten years is no greater among the slaves, than among the white population, there is a great waste of life, from some cause. If now, we take into the same view, the following statement from the last census report, we may be able to find the cause. The expectation of life for colored persons, at birth, in New England, is, for males, 39.75 years; for females, 42.20 years. In Maryland, for males, 38-47; for females, 39-47. In Louisiana, for males, 28-89; for females, 34-09. Thus the expectation of life, at birth, among the free blacks of New England, is greater than among the slaves of Maryland, by about one year and a half; and greater than