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The Bible an Anti-Slavery Text-book--Selected Precepts
and Sayings of the Old Testament--Selected Precepts and
Opening Remarks-General Statistics of the Free and of
the Slave States-Tonnage, Exports, and Imports-Pro-
Plea for a great Southern Commercial City-Importance of
Cities in General-Letters from the Mayors of sundry
Instances of Protracted Literary Labor-Comparative In-
significance of Periodical and General Literature in the
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE FREE AND THE SLAVE STATES.
It is not our intention in this chapter to enter into an elaborate ethnographical essay, to establish peculiarities of difference, mental, moral, and physical, in the great family of man. Neither is it our design to launch into a
philosophical disquisition on the laws and principles of · light and darkness, with a view of educing any additional evidence of the fact, that as a general rule, the rays of the sun are more fructifying and congenial than the shades of night. Nor yet is it our purpose, by writing a formal treatise on ethics, to draw a broad line of distinction between right and wrong, to point out the propriety of morality and its advantages over immorality, nor to waste time in pressing a universally admitted truism—that virtue is preferable to vice. Self-evident truths require no argumentative demonstration.
What we mean to do is simply this : to take a survey of the relative position and importance of the several states of this confederacy, from the adoption of the national compact; and when, of two sections of the country starting under the same auspices, and with equal natural advantages, we find the one rising to a degree of almost unexampled power and eminence, and the other sinking
into a state of comparative imbecility and obscurity, it is our determination to trace out the causes which have led to the elevation of the former, and the depression of the latter, and to use our most earnest and honest endeavors to utterly extirpate whatever opposes the progress and prosperity of any portion of the union.
This survey we have already made ; we have also instituted an impartial comparison between the cardinal sections of the country, north, south, east, and west ; and as a true hearted southerner, whose ancestors have resided in North Carolina between one and two hundred years, and as one who would rather have his native clime excel than be excelled, we feel constrained to confess that we are deeply abashed and chagrined at the disclosures of the comparison thus instituted. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, in 1789, we commenced an even race with the North. All things considered, if either the North or the South had the advantage, it was the latter. In proof of this, let us introduce a few statistics, begin. ning with the states of
NEW YORK AND VIRGINIA.
In 1790, when the first census was taken, New York contained 340,120 inhabitants ; at the same time the population of Virginia was 748,308, being more than twice the number of New York. Just sixty years afterward, as we learn from the census of 1850, New York had a population of 3,097,394 ; while that of Virginia was only 1,421,661, being less than half the number of New York ! In 1791, the exports of New York amounted to $2,505,465; the exports of Virginia amounted to $3,130,865. In 1852, the exports of New York amounted to $87,484,456 ; the exports of Virginia, during the same year, amounted to only $2,724,657. In 1790, the imports of New York and Virginia were about equal ; in 1853, the imports of New York amounted to the enormous sum of $178,270,999; while those of Virginia, for the same period, amounted to the pitiful sum of only $399,004. In 1850, the products of manufactures, mining and the mechanic arts in New York amounted to $237,597,249 ; those of Virginia amounted to only $29,705,387. At the taking of the last census, the value of real and personal property in Virginia, including negroes, was $391,646,438 ; that of New York, exclusive of any monetary valuation of human beings, was $1,080,309,216.
In August, 1856, the real and personal estate assessed in the City of New-York amounted in valuation to $511,740,491, showing that New-York City alone is worth far more than the whole State of Virginia.
What says one of Virginia's own sons? He still lives; hear him speak. Says Gov. Wise :
" It may be painful, but nevertheless, profitable, to recur occasionally to the history of the past ; to listen to the admonitions of experience, and learn lessons of wisdom from the efforts and actions of those who have preceded us in the drama of human life. The records of former days show that at a period not very remote, Virginia stood preeminently the first commercial State in the Union ; when her commerce exceeded in amount that of all the New