Texas, its claims to be recognised as an independent power by Great Britain : examined in a series of letters Page: 23 of 58
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1st April, 1839, I find the following remarks :-"In Lower
Virginia, you have indeed, a vast and fine tract of country, fiom
60 to 80 miles broad, along the whole Atlantic coast. This
vast country is now, in a considerable measure, without population,
the abandoned lands being again covered with forests, as they
were in the former days, in the times of the red men. The land
onlce so fertile, having been progressively overrun, and in a great
mleasure worn out or ruined by a system of perpetual cropping,
and exhaustion for ages; little or nothing being restored to a soil
never ungrateful, in return for all that was taken away, tlle earth
thus cruelly injured and robbed of its fertility refuses its increase."
Having thus stated the causes whlich led to its abandonment, and,
which MIr. KENRICK states, arc ' still continuing,' in other
parts of the State, he inquires, how those lands which have
now been restored to fertility, by the renovating l)pocesses of
nature may be reclaimed and tulned to profit. After observing
that lands in Virginia can be purchased for five dollars per
acre, wllicli would cost one hundred dollars in Massachussetts:
after having stated that the advantages from an abundant supply
of manure, the length of the summer, and a variety of other
circumstances are all in favour of Virginia, he shows his brother
planters, that the abolition of slavery would lead to that result,
and proposes a scheme for effecting it. These are his words:
'One great obstacle or objection with many northern mlen to a
permanent residence in this country, is tlle state of slavery which
here exists. Forslavery in Virginia, not only has a tendency to lonwer
and degrade the rvages of the free labourer, but to degrade also the
profession of labour itself, by cooformi,iny the condition of the
labourer to that of the .sare." The State contains about 500,000
slaves, wllich are probably valued at 400 dollars each, or
200,000,000 dollars for the wliole. Nyow,, can any one doubt, that
if all these slaves were emanccipated, the land.s (f Virginia would
?isc five dollars )per acrc ? This rise of five dollars an acre would
be equivalent to the estimated value of all the slaves. " I am
persuaded, however," he adds, " that the rise of lan lds from this
cause, would be far greater than is here estimated; and that were
all the slaves emancipated this day, the state of Virginia would expce
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Scoble, John. Texas, its claims to be recognised as an independent power by Great Britain : examined in a series of letters, book, 1839; London. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6108/m1/23/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .