Effects of Slavery Upon the White Population

“The following is an extract from the speech of  Mr. T. Marshall  of Fauqier  County, in the Legislature of Virginia in the last session:

‘Slavery is ruinous to the whites  — retards improvement — roots out industrious population, banishes the yeomanry of the country — deprives the weaver, the spinner, the smith, the carpenter of employment and support.  This evil admits of no remedy – it is increasing, and will continue to increase, until the whole country will be inundated with one black wave, covering its whole extent, with a few white faces here and there floating on the surface.The master has no capital but what is invested in human flesh – the father, instead of being richer for his sons, is at a loss how to provide for them – there is no diversity of occupations, no incentive to enterprise.  Labor of every species is disreputable, because performed mostly  by slaves.  Our towns are stationary, our villages almost everywhere declining – and the general aspect of the country marks the curse of a wasteful, idle, reckless population who have no interest in the soil, and care not how much it is impoverished.   Public improvements are neglected, and the entire continent does not present a region for which nature has done so much, and art so little.  If  cultivated by free labor, the soil of Virginia is capable of sustaining a vast population, among whom labor would be honorable, and where ‘ the busy hum of men’ would tell that all were happy, and all were free.”

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