Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 52 of 119
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any manner whatever. Its rights and duties are limited to protecting, under
the guarantees of the Constitution, each member of this Union, in whatever
policy it may adopt in reference to the portion within its respective
limits. A large number of the States has decided, that it is neither wise
nor humane to change the relation which has existed. from their first settlement,
between the two races; while others, where the African- is less
numerous, have adopted the opposite policy.
It belongs not to the Government to question whether the former have
decided wisely or not; and if it did, the undersigned would not regard
this as the proper occasion to discuss the subject. He does not, however,
deem it irrelevant to state that, if the experience of more than half a century
is to decide, it would be neither humane nor wise in them to change
their policy. The census and other authentic documents show that, in all
instances in which the States have changed the former relation between
the two races, the condition of the African, instead of being improved, has
become worse. They have been invariably sunkinto vice and pauperism,
accompanied by the bodily and mental inflictions incident thereto-deafness,
blindness, insanity, and idiocy-to a degree without example; while, in all
other States which have retained the ancient relation between them, they
have improved greatly in every respect-in number, comfort, intelligence,
and morals-as the following facts, taken from such sources, will serve to
The number of deaf and dumb, blind, idiots, and insane, of the negroes
in the States that have changed the ancient relation between the races, is
one out of every ninety-six; while in the States adhering to it, it is one
out of every six hundred and seventy-two-that is, seven to one in favor
of the latter, as compared with the former.
The number of whites, deaf and dumb, blind, idiots, and insane, in the
States that have changed the relation, is one in every five hundred and
sixty-one; being nearly six to one against the free blacks in the same
The number of negroes who are deaf and dumb, blind, idiots, and insane,
paupers, and in prison, in the States that have changed, is one out of
every six; and in the States that have not, one out of every one hundred
and fifty-four; or twenty-two to one against the former, as compared with
Taking the two extremes of North and South-in the State of Maine, the
number of negroes returned as deaf and dumb, blind, insane, and idiots,
bythe census of 1840, is one out of every twelve; and in Florida, by the
samne returns, is one out of every eleven hundred and five; or ninety-two
to one in favor of the slaves of Florida, as compared with the free blacks
In addition, it deserves to be remarked, that in Massachusetts, where
the change in the ancient relation of the two races was first made, (now
more than sixty years since,) where the greatest zeal has been exhibited
in their behalf, and where their number is comparatively few, (but little
more than 8,000 in a population of upwards of 730,000,) the condition
of the African is amongst the most wretched. By the latest authentic accounts,
there was one out of every twenty-one of the black population in
jails or houses of correction ; and one out of every thirteen was either deaf
and dumb, blind, idiot, insane, or in prison. On the otherhand, the census
and other authentic sources of information establish the fact, that the condi
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United States. Congress. Senate. Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed, book, 1844; [Washington]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2363/m1/52/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .