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letters to an American correspondent; and he has chosen for his correspondent on this occasion the eminent statesman and slaveholder, Henry Clay. We are not sure that we agree with the author in the supposition, by which no doubt he was actuated, that addressing the letters to Mr. Clay was adapted to give them greater weight with the slaveholders of the Union ; but this we are sure of, that Mr. Gurney has lost sight, for the moment, of all moral distinctions, in addressing Mr. Clay as• My dear friend.' The only thought by which we can reconcile ourselves to the use of this appellation is, that it is a Quaker form of expression, and means nothing; but, if we are wrong in this, we can only deplore that so excellent and eminent a man should have so forgotten himself, even for a moment. In no respect are the principles or habits of Henry Clay such as can induce Joseph John Gurney to rank that gentleman among his dear friends;' and it was of some importance to society, more especially in the United States, that a good man should have taken such an opportunity of reprobating, rather than countenancing, a bad one. We should make a similar remark, would our space permit, respecting Mr. Gurney's fond appellation of another American slaveholder—'our friend, J. C. Cal'houn,' p. 225.* Of facts which he observed in the West
• To A Winter in the West Indies is prefixed a Prefatory Letter to the author's brother-in-law, Sir T. F. Buxton, in which he declares himself in favor of the African Civilization Society. We are not about to make any general reference to this subject, on which we have already expressed our opinion. We notice the Prefatory Letter merely to say, that we think our traveller disposes most unsatisfactorily of thebearing of the association we have named on the professed peace principle of the Society of Friends. As a Friend, Mr. Gurney holds the unlawfulness of war: yet he is willing to take part in founding colonies which are to have military protection, because that
poiut is under the sole care of government,' p. viii. Again, the expedition to the Niger is armed to the teeth, and the Civilization Society is to operate with that expedition ; to which our author reconciles himself by the etymological consideration, that the word 'co-operate' seems to point out the action of independent parties.' He thinks the Society stands on a safe ground,' while it confines its co-operation 'to matters purely pacific, and that it cannot be considered responsible for a collateral circumstance, distinctly disapproved by some of its members, which it has done nothing to promote, and which belongs exclusively to the independent action of government,'ib. All this is to us utterly inconclusive, and partakes painfully of the character of evasion. Upon the principle here resorted to, Roman Catholics may prove that they never burnt a heretic. All that they have ever done has been to accept the service of the secular arm. They have 'confined their co-operation to matters purely' religious, while the murdering part
belonged exclusively to the independent action of government. Is it possible that any members of the body of Friends, clear-sighted and inflexible as they have generally shown themselves, are about to fall into such a snare; to identify themselves with a military system, and to become they who have been so often choked with gnats--the swallowers of a camel ?
Indies, his representations are beyond doubt of the greatest accuracy and value. All is true that he has told, and a most important witness to the value of emancipation he is. We think, however, that he has not told all that is true. The goodness of his heart, we suspect, has allowed him to leave untold some things, which go to make up the full amount of iniquity on the planters' side
of the account, in the West Indies. The pamphlet of Dr. Channing has been dictated by his perusal of Mr. Gurney's Letters, and consists in part of a spirited abstract of their more important contents, to which are appended some observations of his own. It is strongly marked by the author's characteristic eloquence and nobleness of sentiment, and will fascinate
reader. It concludes with some important remarks on the subject of American slavery, a subject of which, in our last number, we took an extended notice.
The remaining pamphlets on our list emanate from the West India party. They treat of the present state of the West Indies in respect of labor and production, and allege a great amount of evil, as a remedy for which they call for a large immigration of laborers. The writers, however, although they agree in this general view, are different men. Mr. Greg makes his appearance in a mask, and sets a gin for abolitionists, by pretending -we really do not think him sincere a great anxiety for the abolition of the slave-trade. He is evidently of the old school. Mr. Morson is of the new; and treats the question with a frankness and generosity to which, from men of his party, we are quite unaccustomed. We hail with unfeigned pleasure the growth of such a spirit as he manifests among the West India proprietary; and we have only to hope that it may speedily become universal. We shall say a few words on the subject of these pamphlets before we have done.
In attempting a statement of the present results of emancipation, we need not make more than a passing reference to the falsification it has afforded of the gloomy and terrific predictions which so long served as a scarecrow to prevent its accomplishment. Verily the authors of them were no prophets, and their terrors, whether real or pretended, are become mirth for child
In looking at the many gratifying accounts which the works on our table present to us, we are embarrassed by their multiplicity, and by the smallness of our space. Suffice it to say in general, therefore, that in all that relates to the physical comfort and domestic and social happiness of the former slaves, emancipation has done every thing that the most sanguine could have expected from it. They have shown that they know well the value of money, and of all the comforts that money can purchase ; and that they are promptly accessible to all the inAuences which actuate the rest of mankind. After spending the day of emancipation like a Sabbath, they entered at once on the career of improvement; and a peasantry more universally or more rapidly improving does not exist in the world. The prompt and steady augmentation of imports to the colonies demonstrates their growth in physical comforts, while the outcry for schools in every quarter proclaims their thirst for knowledge. In every way they are getting on; and nothing, as it seems, will be able to resist the impetus with which our late bondsmen are making progress towards general competency, worth, and respectability. In this respect emancipation has been no failure; and the friends of humanity may profoundly rejoice in what they have done.
There is another side, however, of this subject. It remains to be asked, what has emancipation done for the planter. Has it not ruined him? Has it not deprived him of labor, destroyed the value of his estate, sunk his capital, and beggared his family? All these things have been loudly affirmed; but there is not a particle of truth in the allegation. The immediate effect of emancipation was to create a new commodity-laborfor sale. This, like all other commodities, immediately came to market; and, like them, it was offered at its market price. Whoever would come into the market, and give the market price for it, never wanted labor. Those who would not, could not get it; and they would have found just the same difficulty in getting yams or cocoas, if they had tried the same method. This was nothing but common sense. If a laborer had consented to take less than the market price for his labor, his taskmaster might have pointed us to the fact in derision, and have said I told
was a fool.' What, then, was the price which labor established for itself in the colonial market? Was it not such as to make plantation work more costly than before, and, indeed, ruinously expensive? On the contrary, work was done cheaper than ever, not excepting the digging of cane-holes and the manufacture of sugar. One of the heads under which the contents of the parliamentary papers are arranged in the volume before us, is entitled Cost
of cultivation by free labor, and value of property. We wish we could insert the whole of this section, for the value of the evidence by which the assertion we have made above is demonstrated; but we must content ourselves with an extract. Mr. Grant, stipendiary justice in Jamaica, writes thus on the 9th of February, 1839.
• With regard to the expenditure of properties, I am confident that cultivation can be carried on at much less expense than under the former system ......
• I know a property on which there were 350 slaves. The amount expended on account of labor, from the 1st of August to the 31st of December last, on this property, was £449 ls. On an average, between taxes, clothing, medicine, medical attendance, &c., each apprentice or slave cost the owner of the property at least £5; this, for the year, would be £1,750, and at the same rate, for the five months, £725, The annual rent of houses, gardens, and grounds on the property, will amount to £500 per annum; and at the same rate, for the five months, it amounts to £208 6s. 8d., which sum, deducted from the £449 Is. expended in labor, leaves a balance of £240 14s. 4d. as the outlay for labor required on the property for the five months ; and for the same space of time the expense of apprenticeship, or slave contingencies, would amount to £725, leaving a balance in favor of the expense required for free labor of £484 58, 8d.; and the late deficiency law required five people, besides the overseer, doing militia duty, to be employed at salaries, and maintained on the property. The saving effected by the change in this particular is very great. The book-keepers are now dispensed with.
• The supercession of a free system has been a great relief to the owners of unproductive properties. They were bound to give the prescribed allowances to their slaves, without reference to their own profits. To illustrate this position, I can point out a property on which were settled 100 slaves. The lowest estimate of expenditure on their account is £500 a year, and the possession, notwithstanding the high price of produce, has of late years regularly increased the owner's debt. Since 1st August to 31st December, the labor account has amounted to £99 4s. 2d. The usual cultivation has been carried on and improved; the pastures, hitherto neglected, are cleaned ; and about 30 acres of coffee, which had grown up to the state best described by 'ruinate,' have been opened. The produce, small as it is, now secured, will pay all the expenses of the plantation ; and, even in this first year of experiment, place the proprietor on a better footing than under a continuance of the previous system he ever could have hoped for. The collection of a rent from 1st November to 1st February will be a further relief.'—Extracts, pp. 173, 174.
The cost of plantation labor under the two systems is placed in a clear light by Mr. Ramsay, another stipendiary magistrate, in the following passage. The sterling value of Jamaica currency may be taken at two-thirds of the nominal amount.
During slavery and the apprenticeship, the jobber charged from £10 to £12 per acre for digging, with his slaves or apprentices, an acre of land into cane-holes : now, at wages of ls. 8d. per day, an acre of cane-holes may be dug for the sum of £2 10s. currency ; at 2s. ld. wages, it will cost £3 2s. 6d. ; at 2s. 6d. wages, it will cost £4 10s.; and at 3s. 4d., the highest rate of wages that I have heard of, it will cost only £5, just one-half what it cost in times past.
-Ib. p. 175. That, however, which puts this question beyond all possibility of doubt is, that, by task-work, which is a sure and infallible
mode of testing the real value of labor in the market, and of securing for the purchaser of it a full equivalent for his money at the market price, work of all kinds is done considerably cheaper than by wages, and in all cases far cheaper than in slavery. On this point Mr. Gurney adduces the following decisive statement of Dr. Stewart, a Jamaica planter, from a letter written in March, 1840.
6. With regard to the comparative expense of free and slave labor,' says he, ' I give you the result of my experience in this parish. Wherever rent and labor have not been mingled together, prices have been reduced, in the picking and curing of coffee, from one third to one half; from £10 per tierce, to from £5 to £6 10. Grass land is cleaned at one-third of the former expense. A pen in this neighborhood, when cleaned in slavery, cost, simply for the contingencies of the negroes, £80. The first cleaning by free labor—far better done-cost less than £24. Stone walls, the only fence used in this rocky district, cost £5 6s. 8d. per chain, the lowest £4, under slavery. The usual price now is £1, the highest £1 6s. 8d. per chain. To prepare and plant an acre of woodland in coffee cost, twenty years ago, £20 ; up to the end of slavery, it never fell below £16. In apprenticeship it cost from £10 13s. 4d. to £12. Now it never exceeds £5 6s. 8d. I myself have done it this year for £5; that is the general price all through the district. In 1833, I hired servants at from £16 to £25 per annum. In 1838, 1839, and since, I have been able to obtain the same description of servants, vastly improved in all their qualifications, for from £8 to £10 per annum.' These are pound, shilling, and pence calculations; but they develop mighty principles—they detect the springs of human action—they prove the vast superiority of moral inducement to physical force, in the production of the useful efforts of mankind. It is the perfect settlement of the old controversy between wages and the whip. -- Winter in the West Indies, pp. 154, 155.
The immediate result of emancipation, therefore, has been as beneficial to the planter as to the peasant, and has furnished both with equal cause of gratulation.
That this has been substantially the case, is manifest from the position which West India property has maintained in the market, through the whole of this critical period. We are not going to cite the instances (although there is no doubt of the facts) in which estates have sold for more since freedom than they would have brought under slavery; for there is fallacy in them. They are altogether beside the mark. The case is really this. During slavery the market value of a plantation was reckoned, neither by acres of land nor by extent of buildings, but by_slaves exclusively, at so much per head. The seller said, “Buy my slaves, and I will give you both the buildings and the land. At that time, then, the estates, strictly speak