The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 375
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of their high price and the profit from their labor, slaves received
the best of care in Alabama. The slavocracy was more dominant
than in older areas and, to this reviewer, the native questioners
seemed to be more numerous and voluble than in states where
slavery was on the decline.
The Southern defense of slavery is probably as important and
as interesting to as many people as any other section of the book
which could be reviewed in some detail. If, in retrospect, Ala-
bama arguments seem unsound, one must consider that they
were provoked by and were intended to counter the attack by abo-
litionists. First in order, perhaps, they had to answer the charge
that slavery was a "heinous" evil and sin. Ministers and laymen
replied that it could not be sinful because it was ordained by
God and sanctioned-even commanded-by the Bible. Moreover,
with the aid of college professors, they proved to themselves at
least that the Negro was an inferior being, naturally adapted to
slavery, and incapable of higher destiny. Slaves did the menial
and degrading labor and thereby created a more perfect equality
among whites, gave whites leisure to cultivate their minds, and
produced a gentleman class with a higher sense of duty, self-
esteem, and chivalry than found elsewhere. Southern slaves had
more security, were happier, and even lived longer than free
Negroes and working whites elsewhere. Their labor developed
natural resources, made prices cheap, and contributed to world
One explanation, if not positive defense, advanced by South-
erners was more valid than all the rest: what to do about the
Negro if he were emancipated. They never did fully exploit this
problem, nor have later Southern historians. They reasoned-
and that is the word for it-that colonization was a failure and
that the free Negro among them was unsatisfactory and even dan-
gerous. Sincere Southern men believed slavery was the best way to
handle the problem of the Negro; in fact, they knew of no other
practicable solution of it.
But all was not in defense of slavery by Southern people. Ala-
bama had shadows-not shades-of Hinton Rowan Helper. As
early as 1851, Governor Henry Watkins Collier recommended that
the legislature prohibit further slave trade in the state. Others be-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/487/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.