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duelling, and disregard of human life. The practice is general of wearing on the person a dagger or large knife, which in their personal quarrels is often used with fatal effect. A member of the Assembly of Arkansas, in the heat of debate, drew out one of these instruments, and stabbed another to the heart, who instantly died. It was with the utmost difficulty that the assembly were induced to vote his expulsion, and he was acquitted by a jury. A case is mentioned of a passenger in one of the steamers having murdered another, when the captain merely put him on shore at the nearest landing-place, and no further proceedings were held. In this quarter are numerous depraved characters, who associate together, and almost set law at defiance. The most pernicious are the gamblers, who are constantly on board the steamers, where they introduce much corruption and misery. It is true, strong measures have been taken against them by those who witnessed or suffered by their misdeeds; but these have been stamped by the violent and irregular character here too prevalent. Some years ago five of them were seized and hanged at Vicksbury, without form of trial, and without any animadversion on the perpetrators. A village near the Mississippi, where a number had congregated, was attacked and destroyed by a body of settlers, who were indeed brought to trial, but, we imagine, suffered no serious punishment. There appear even to be scattered through this quarter small towns composed of outlawed and desperate characters, whom the hand of justice can scarcely reach. There are no doubt a number of respectable persons; yet irreligion, profanity, and profligacy of various kinds extensively prevail.

One circumstance unfavourable to the social progress of the Union is, that Washington, which, as the capital, must possess great influence, does not form the best school of manners. The families of the members sent to congress from the eastern cities, being at no great distance, and enjoying at home all the refinements of life, do not

in many instances change their residence. But the planters from the great western wilderness bring their wives and daughters with them to see the world. Hence the entertainments are described as more ostentatious, but with less of hospitality and elegance than in New York; the men comparatively rough and boisterous, with awkward attempts at dandyism; even the females less graceful, their talk noisy and almost vociferous. The behaviour at public places is less orderly; at a concert applause was expressed by beating with canes. Various doubtful characters, speculators in public land and funds, slave-merchants, gamblers, throng this great political resort, and render it by no means a scene of improvement for young legislators.

From the particulars now surveyed, a dread might arise that, as the new states are extending and peopling much more rapidly than the old, which, with the exception of the great commercial cities, remain nearly stationary, this barbarizing process may extend along with them, and finally gain a decided ascendency. Yet there are circumstances from which we may sanguinely anticipate a happier result. These states, as they become larger and more populous, will increase also in wealth; opulent classes will arise, who will study the refinements and improvements of social life. They will find models in the eastern states, with which they must always have a close connexion, and a visit to which is likely to become the favourite recreation. The filling up of the population will facilitate the reign of order and justice; religious ministrations will become more ample; a more sober and regular character will be formed. In fact, by looking back to the historical part of this work, successive operations of this salutary process may be observed. We have seen, at the breaking out of the great Indian war, the border of Connecticut occupied by thoroughly fierce and lawless bands; now there is nowhere a population more peaceable or better conducted. Even half a century ago, the interior of New England, and afterwards that of Pennsylvania, have been

seen to exhibit the most violent and insubordinate proceedings; now these also rank among the best-ordered states. Cincinnati, the chief city of the west, so recently sprung up in the wilderness, has already a society little inferior to that of an Atlantic city. Kentucky, thirty years ago, was what Mississippi and Arkansas are now; at present it is little behind Virginia. Mrs Clavers writes even from the woods of Michigan, that the visit of one or two of her roughest neighbours to New York had excited an emulation of its polish and refinement.

CHAPTER II.

Slaves and Slavery.

State and Extent of Slavery in the United States-Treatment of the Negroes-How supplied with Food-Enactments against their Instruction-Means of Religious KnowledgeInternal Trade-Breeding of Slaves-Sales by Auction— Mode of Conveyance-Treatment in the New States-Clandestine Importation-Situation of the Free Coloured RaceEarly Abolition Measures-Unsuccessful-Colonization Society-Anti-Slavery Society-Their Measures-Proceedings of the Anti-Abolitionists-Seconded by the Northern Merchants-By the Legislature-Present State of Parties Measures for Colonization-Their Tendency-Prospects of the Cause.

THE subject of the present chapter is the darkest and most painful which occurs in the contemplation of the United States; and it is one respecting which it is difficult to avoid the gloomiest forebodings. The Americans, while they boast of free and equal rights surpassing those of any other nation, hold two millions and a half of human beings in a state of abject and degrading bondage. In surveying this momentous topic, it will be our endeavour to avoid those extremes of feeling which it has excited, and calmly to estimate the nature and extent of the evil, the means and the hopes of its remedy.

It is a common and obvious reproach, that a people, exulting beyond any other in the full possession of freedom, should hold in slavery this large proportion of their fellow-citizens. The anomaly becomes the more

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striking when it is considered that the party which makes the highest profession of democratic principle, is that which seeks most firmly to rivet the chain, and most fiercely resists every proposal to break it. We would, however, remark, that the cause of this inconsistency is to be found rather in the general infirmity of human nature, than in any thing peculiar to the American nation. Athens, Sparta, Rome, in the utmost height of their boasted liberty, held an equal or greater number of their citizens in the most degrading bonds. It has even been remarked, that the slaves in the English and Dutch West Indies were more hardly treated than those of the Spaniards and Portuguese, subjects of absolute monarchies. We are far from wishing to withhold from our country the glory of having, by energetic and spontaneous efforts, banished first the slave-trade, and then slavery itself, from her borders, and from the whole range of her influence. Yet, lest she should be exalted over much, we may just notice, that all the part of the society which had, or supposed itself to have, an interest in the prolongation of the system, opposed these changes with determined obstinacy, which was only overpowered by the overwhelming majority of those who could indulge their philanthropy without seriously compromising their outward wellbeing. The American slave-holders unfortunately form so large and imposing a mass, commanding the legislatures of half the states, that there appears little prospect indeed of effecting emancipation by any similar compulsory process.

The people of the present day can also urge that they did not introduce the system, but found it established, and that their possessions and means of subsistence are entirely bound up with it. They can quote early acts of the British legislature, by which it was encouraged, and even pressed upon them. These facts must be admitted; yet there are particulars which render it impossible fully to admit such a plea. Had we seen them anxiously striving to lighten the load of bondage, to improve the condition of the negroes, to raise their

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