Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 39 of 55
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.
lays stress upon the diminution of the slave population in one
or two of the most northern of the slave holding States. It is not
difficult to perceive the extent of this diminution. In 1790, the
slaves in Delaware amounted to 8,887; in Maryland to 103,066,
making together about 113,000. In 1840, the slaves in Delaware
amounted to 2,605, and in Maryland to 89,767, numbering both
together about ninety thousand. So that, while in two slave holding
States a reduction has been effected of about thirty thousand
in forty years, in the Union at large the slave population has been
increased nearly 2,000,000. Add, if you choose, to this the slaves
in New-York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who, in 1790
amounted altogether to 36,484, and then strike the balance and
see how the amount stands. Credit the south-west with 56,000
as the entire reduction, and you have to debit it with the terrible
amount of two millions. This is Mr. Walker's process for the
extinction of slavety. In every other bond State of the Union the
slave population has regularly increased. In Virginia, to whose climate,
soil and products slavery is just as well suited and as important
as to those of New-York, there were in 1790, 293,000 slaves.
In 1840 there were 448,987. This is the more striking when we
consider the growth of white population in this State. In 1790,
the whole free population was 454,881. In 1840, it amounted to
790,810. So that the slave population has in Virginia itself kept
even pace with the free. Compare this with Mr. Jefferson's anticipations.
In his " Notes" published in 1782, a work which for its
boldness and intelligence does him immortal credit, he estimates
the population free ('296,852) and slave (270,762) at 567,614.
He calculates that it will double in every twenty-seven and onefourth
years, and according to that ratio supposes that in 1835
there would be 2,270,456 souls, and that in ninety-five years Virgihia
would contain between six and seven millions. Sixty-two
years have' rolled away: Virginia now has scarcely thirteen hundred
thousand, and as I have said, the slaves have kept pace
with the whites. It is perfectly notorious that this is owing to
the fact that the worn-out soil of Virginia,,exhausted by slave
labor, has required a change of products, and that instead of
raising tobacco and wheat, they have in great part, devoted them.
selves to breeding slaves for exportation to the South and West,
This is the "rotation of crops" in Virginia, It is perfectly apparent,
that if no such inducement had been held out to that State,
her slave population wouid long since have dwindled away. Virginia
owes her slavery now to nothing whatever, but the new
south-western slave market opened by our federal legislation.
Look at Louisiana herself; in 1810 there were 34,000 slaves; in
1840 there were 168,452. Indeed long previous tp the addition
of Louisiana, the same experiment had been going on. Alabama
and Mississippi were but the prototypes of Louisiana and Texas.
Addition of slave territory at the south-wdst has been our "Course
of Empire." That system has produced a steady and enormous
increase of slave population, and slave population is slave repre.
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Sedgwick, Theodore. Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States, book, January 1, 1844; New-York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2387/m1/39/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .