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The fifteen slave-holding states, including Delaware, with 1798 slaves and 19,829 free colored, and Maryland, with 87,189 slaves and 83,942 free colored, had, in 1860, a total population of 12,240,000, of whom 8,039,000 were whites, 251,000 free colored, and 3,950,000 slaves. This was a gain of the whole southern population in ten years of 2,627,000, or 27.33 per cent. The slaves advanced in numbers 749,931, or 23.44 per cent., the lowest rate for many decades. The nineteen free states (including Kansas) and seven territories, together with the Federal district, contained 19,201,546 persons (including 27,749 Indians), of whom 18,936,579 were white and 237,218 free colored, a smaller number of the latter, it should be observed, than in the South. The northern increase in the decade was 5,598,603, or 41.16 per cent.' The population of the South was thus but little more than two-fifths that of the North. Calhoun foresaw, as did others, that if a struggle was to come it should come early if the South was to have a hope of victory.
The area of the fifteen slave states was 882,245 square miles; of the free, 824,622. But it was clear by 1860 that all the territories would be added to the list of the free states, making a free area of 1,903,204 square miles, or much more than twice the extent of the slave, and in this lay the crux of southern discontent.
Virginia, in 1790 the most populous of the states, 1 U. S. Eighth Census (1860), Preliminary Report, 5.
with 748,308 people, of whom 293,427 were slaves, had dropped to the fifth place, with 1,596,318 inhabitants, of whom 490,865 were slaves. New York, with but 340,120 in 1790, had in 1860 the first place, with 3,880,735, of whom all but 49,005 were whites. The one state had more than doubled; the other had increased more than ten times. Of the whites, the increase in Virginia had been 137 per cent.: South Carolina, 108; North Carolina, 119; Maryland, 147. Georgia, however, had increased in this period from 52,886 whites to 591,588, a ratio of 11.18, the only one of the original thirteen states of the South to make a showing in any degree comparable with that of the more important states of the North. In all the border slave states the white population was gaining steadily upon the black. The census of 1810 was the last which showed an increase of the slaves in Maryland; they reached their maximum, 111,502, in 1810, and slowly decreased to 87,189 in 1860; the white population had nearly doubled. The whites in Virginia increased more than twice as fast as the slaves. The ratio of whites to slaves in Kentucky had risen steadily from three-fourths in 1830 to four-fifths in 1860.
The rapid proportionate increase of whites in Missouri should have convinced thoughtful minds that the fierce struggle for the extension of slavery in the territories then included under the name of Nebraska was lost effort, even had it been successful in the first instance. The note of alarm was
sounded loudly by De Bow, who nevertheless makes the error of ascribing the decline to the troubles in Kansas instead of to the immigration of foreigners. Between 1851 and 1856 the increase of slaves in Missouri was 12,492, and of whites 205,703; in ten counties adjoining Iowa they had gained 238 against an increase of whites of 31,691; in twenty-five counties the slaves had actually decreased 4412. In 1860 Missouri was nine-tenths white. It is not surprising to have De Bow, who had become eager for disunion, write: "Surrounded on three sides by non-slaveholding communities, can any one in his right mind expect to see slavery maintain itself in Missouri? Under the present Union the border states must all in a short time be lost to us. Were the Union at an end, the South would become at once a unit, and continue such for perhaps a century. The terms of a new confederation would secure this. The Union may be and doubtless is on a thousand accounts, very valuable; but let it be understood that this is one of the items of the price that is paid for it."1
The system was a serfdom to both races; to the black chiefly physically only; but a severe mental servitude to the six millions of whites who had no connection with slave-holding and who formed more than. three-fourths of the white population of the South. To the vast majority of these people slavery was a complete closure to the higher reaches 1 De Bow's Review, XXIII., 521 (November, 1857).
of social and financial well-being; for white labor would not compete with slave labor, but was relegated to the cultivation of petty farms, from which a bare subsistence was extracted and a peasantry brought into being wretchedly housed, isolated, and living a life which through generations was almost wholly without civilizing influences. In the lowlands this class, by its mere proximity to slave labor, sank to lowest depths of ignorance and unthrift, despised by the negro himself, too isolated to be able to hold his own against the deadening influences of his surroundings, and with no chance of entering into the knowledge of the world, since he was reached by neither book nor schoolhouse.
Scattered over the plains and foot-hills from North Carolina south were not less than two and a half millions of such people, for whom under slavery there was no hope; who had no place in southern polity or society; who aimed at nothing because there was nothing to aim at, and who are only now emerging into the light under the influence of the new industrial world which has risen in their midst. These people, however, were fiercely southern in feeling through the ever-present need of asserting the superiority of their white blood, which was all they had to differentiate them in social consideration from the lowliest black; and it was these men, never owning a slave, or hoping to own one, who, led by the slave-owner, made the military power of the
South and fought the fierce and manly fight of the Civil War.
The condition of this great mass was the direct outcome of its segregation from the social organization of the slave-owning class of the South by its isolation through want of roads, through want of schools, through want of interest on the part of the planter in any laboring class but the slave, with whom in the large slave-owning districts the poor whites would not work, and with whom it was not desired to have them work. Where slaves were smaller in number this last difficulty disappeared through a reversal of conditions. On numbers of farms in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, in districts where slaves were few, whites and blacks frequently worked together in good-fellowship and harmony; the owner of hundreds of acres, but of very few-perhaps three or four-slaves, himself a gentleman and perhaps a member of the legislature or justice of the peace, lending a hand in the fields if occasion needed.
In a district larger than the German empire, stretching in the Appalachian region from the northern part of West Virginia into Georgia and Alabama, a great bay of mountain and valley reaching into the heart of the South, a region in which there are thirty-seven peaks higher than Mount Washington, there dwell to-day over two millions of people whose earlier conditions of isolation was physical and not social, as was that of their