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would be worth, at $28,07 per acre, $4,856,873,680! The former sum, deducted from the latter, leaves a balance of $3,933,535,520, and to the full extent of this amount will your lands be increased in value whenever you abolish slavery; that is, provided you abolish it before it completely "dries up all the organs of increase." Here is a more manifest and distinct statement of the case :
Estimated value of slaveholders' lands after slavery shall have been abolished....
Present value of slaveholders' lands...
Probable aggregate enhancement of value.......
Now, Sirs, this last sum is considerably more than twice as great as the estimate value of your negrocs; and those of you, if any there be, who are yet heirs to sane minds and honest hearts, must, it seems to us, admit that the bright prospect which freedom presents for a wonderful increase in the value of real estate, ours as well as yours, to say nothing of the thousand other kindred considerations, ought to be quite sufficient to induce all the Southern States, in their sovereign capacity, to abolish slavery at the earliest practical period. You yourselves, instead of losing anything by the emancipation of your negroeseven though we suppose them to be worth every dime of $1,600,000,000-would, in this one particular, the increased value of land, realize a net profit of over twenty three hundred milions of dollars! Here are the exact figures :
Net increment of value which it is estimated will
accrue to slaveholders' lands in consequence $3,933,535,520 of the abolition of slavery..
Putative value of the slaves.... 1,600,000,000 Slaveholders' estimated net landed profits of eman. $2,333,535,520
What is the import of these figures? They are full of meaning. They proclaim themselves the financial intercessors for freedom, and, with that open-hearted liberality which is so characteristic of the sacred cause in whose behalf they plead, they propose to pay you upward of three thousand nine hundred millions of dollars for the very "property" which you, in all the reckless extravagance of your inhuman avarice, could not find a heart to price at more than one thousand six hundred millions. In other words, your own lands, groaning and languishing under the monstrous burden of slavery, announce their willingness to pay you all you ask for the negroes, and offer you, besides, a bonus of more than twenty-three hundred millions of dollars, if you will but convert those lands into free soil! Our lands, also, cry aloud to be spared from the further pollutions and desolations of slavery; and now, Sirs, we want to know explicitly whether, or not, it is your intention to heed these lamentations of the ground? We want to know whether you are men or devils-whether you are entirely selfish and cruelly dishonest, or whether you have any respect for the rights of others. We, the non-slaveholders of the South, have many very important interests at stake-interests which, heretofore, you have steadily despised and trampled under foot, but which, henceforth, we shall foster and defend in utter defiance of all the unhallowed influences which it is possible for you, or any other class of slaveholders or slavebreeders to bring against us. Not the least among these interests is our landed property, which, to command a decent price, only needs to be disencumbered of slavery.
In his present condition, we believe man exercises one of the noblest virtues with which heaven has endowed him, when, without taking any undue advantage of his fellowmen, and with a firm, unwavering purpose to confine his expenditures to the legitimate pursuits and pleasures of life, he covets money and strives to accumulate it. Entertaining this view, and having no disposition to make an improper use of money, we are free to confess that we have a greater penchant for twenty-eight dollars than for five; for ninety than for fifteen; for a thousand than for one hundred. South of Mason and Dixon's line we, the nonslaveholders, have 331,902,720 acres of land, the present average market value of which, as previously stated, is only $5,34 per acre; by abolishing slavery we expect to enhance the value to an average of at least $28,07 per acre, and thus realize an average net increase of wealth of more than seventy-five hundred millions of dollars. The hope of realizing smaller sums has frequently induced men to perpetrate acts of injustice; we can see no reason why the certainty of becoming immensely rich in real estate, or other property, should make us falter in the performance of a sacred duty.
As illustrative of our theme, a bit of personal history may not be out of place in this connection. Only a few months have elapsed since we sold to an elder brother an interest we held in an old homestead which was willed to us many years ago by our dear departed father. The tract of land, containing two hundred acres, or thereabouts, is situated two and a half miles west of Mocksville, the capital of Davie county, North Carolina, and is very nearly
equally divided by Bear Creek, a small tributary of the
the county, and will, at any time, command the maximum. price of land in Western Carolina. Our brother, anxious to become the sole proprietor, readily agreed to give us the highest market price, which we shall publish by-andbye. While reading the Baltimore Sun, the morning after we had made the sale, our attention was allured to a paragraph headed "Sales of Real Estate," from which, among other significant items, we learned that a tract of land containing exactly two hundred acres, and occupying a portion of one of the rural districts in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, near the Maryland line, had been sold the week before, at one hundred and five dollars and fifty cents per acre. Judging from the succinct account given in the Sun, we are of the opinion that, with regard to fertility of soil, the Pennsylvania tract always has been, is now, and perhaps always will be, rather inferior to the one under special consideration. One is of the same size as the other; both are used for agricultural purposes; in all probability the only essential difference between them is this one is blessed with the pure air of freedom, the other is cursed with the malaria of slavery. For our interest in the old homestead we received a nominal sum, amounting to an average of precisely five dollars and sixty cents per acre. No one but our brother, who was keen for the purchase, would have given us quite so much.
And, now, pray let us ask, what does this narrative teach? We shall use few words in explanation; there is an extensive void, but it can be better filled with reflection. The aggregate value of the one tract is $21,100; that of the other is only $1,120; the difference is $19,980. We