Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 42 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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ON THE PROPOSED
together, they have more than quadrupled. So much for the
alarming increase of the free blacks. With freedom, the black
race is utterly insignificant; it is only when it is fostered by
slavery that it becomes formidable, and thus fostered, it in truth
makes the future most alarming. What are we to do with the ten
or twelve millions of slaves that another half century will show
What shall we do when instead of fifteen hundred thousand
slaves represented on the floor of Congress, we shall have six or
seven millions-when instead of twenty members representing
property in that body, we shall have on the present ratio between
eighty and a hundred. Mr. Jefferson, sixty years ago, understood
this perfectly. "Under the mild treatment our slaves
experience," he says in his Notes, " and their wholesome though
coarse food, this blot on our country increases as fast or faster
than the whites." But Mr. Jefferson was a patriot and a statesman.
If he was ambitious, it was for noble objects; if he sought
power, it was to do good.
And now what becomes of Mr. Walker's terrific statements in
regard to the growth of the free black population in the northern
States. He says, " at this rate, i. e. eleven to one, the free blacks
in the six free States above named, would, in 1890, amount to
1,600,000, and he estimates the amount of expense and crime on
this basis. They will, in fact, scarcely come up to 300,000; and
at the same period our white population will be nearly twenty
millions. In fact all Mr. Walker's calculations on this head must
be divided by five to get at the truth.
So much for Mr. Walker's statistics; they are most amazingly
inaccurate, when we consider that he has taken the trouble to
prepare them himself for this specific purpose. I respectfully
submit, that when honorable senators get up statistical tables for
a particular purpose of great national moment, and inclined to affect
the minds of their fellow-citizens on a large scale, they
should be,prepared with more care. In,fact, and it is a very serious
fact, the free black population increases in some of the slave
States as fast, and in other States much faster, than in the free
States. In Arkansas, from 1830 to 1840, the increase of the free
colored population was 229 per cent. In New Hampshire the diminution
was 11 per cent. In Louisiana the increase was 52 per
cent. In New-York but 11 per cent. In Mississippi the increase
was 163 per cent. In Pennsylvania but 18 per cent. So that the
free black population actually increases faster in the slave States
than in the free; and this is, I suppose, to be ascribed mainly to
the effects of a climate more congenial to their constitution.*
There are other portions of Mr. Walker's calculations' which
equally deserve examination. His tables are compiled, we are
informed, entirely by himself, a fact sufficiently apparent inasmuch
as they are manifestly got up to serve a purpose, and yet,
- * American Almanack for 1843, p. 205.
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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/m1/42/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .