Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 41 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.
gain at the north, contains some statements which deserve notice.
He depicts, in frightful terms, the degradation of the free blacks
at the north, and portrays in appalling colors the consequences of
We have, in the first place, to remark some very extraordinary
misstatements of facts. Mr. Walker says, for the purpose of
showing an alarming increase of free blacks, p. 13: "By the census
of 1790, the number of free blacks in the States (adding NewYork)
adjoining the slave-holding States, was 13,933. In the States,
adding New-York, adjacent to the slave-holding States, the number
of free blacks, by the census of 1840, was 148,107, being an
aggregate increase of nearly eleven to one in New-York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois."
One would have supposed that Mr. Walker would have seen at
once that this enormous ratio was evidently impossible, because
it is far greater than the greatest increase of the free whites and
because he immediately follows it up by statements showing the
wretched physical condition of the free blacks; a condition evidently
incompatible with a rapid and healthy increase. But we are
not left to any abstract reasoning in the matter. In making out this
ratio, Mr. Walker altogether omits the slaves in those States in
1790, who were emancipated between that period and 1840, became
by that process "free blacks," and should of course be
added to the number in 1790 to produce a correct idea. Now the
slaves in New-York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in 1-790;,-wr
36,484, add-Mr. Wacer'g free' lacks, as above, and we have fifty
thousand blacks in those States in 1790, and 148,107, in 1840, so
that the growth instead of eleven to one, has been three to one
in fifty years. But this ratio is too large, inasmuch as I have included
Ohio, Indiana and Illinois in the latter statement-although
they are not embraced in the amount of 1790.
The true result is arrived at in another mode. The number of
blacks, slaves and free, in the nine old free States of New England,
New-York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in 1790, was 67,579;
in 1840, in the same States, the number was 141,559, which is
little more than two to one in fifty years-the black population in
fifty years has doubled, while the free population during the same
period has more than tripled. A few other comparative statements
will show this matter still more fully in its true light. In
the nine old States just above named, the free white-population
in 1790, was 1,900,979. In 1840, it was 6,618,750. It has more
than tripled. In the four old slave States of Virginia,the Carolinas
and Georgia, the free whites in 1790, were 923,383. In
1840, they were 1,892,617. They have barely doubled. In the
same States, in 1790, the slaves were 530,357. In 1840, they were
1,302.786. 'he increase is as' 2 to 1; therefore the result is
briefly thus: In the free States the whites in fifty years have tnore
than tripled. In the slave States they have barely doubled. hi
the free States the blacks have doubled; in the old slave States
they have, increased asr 2 to 1. Taking all the slave States
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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/m1/41/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .