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slave owner to lend his "buck-nigger" to his neighbor. Often the slave owners themselves undertook this duty of improving the race, and the famous Southern chivalry towards women in general and their wives in particular did not at all interfere with these practices. The price of a mulatto was so much higher than that of an ordinary negro, that out of financial considerations the slave owners systematically encouraged the production of mulattoes and delegated it to their children, or friends, or to the white overseers of the slaves. There were few plantations on which blood relatives of the slave owners, brothers, children and grandchildren, did not work as slaves.

In the treatment of the negroes in the first half of the nineteenth century a noticeable step was taken backwards, as compared with the end of the preceding century. The distinction between house servants and field hands, which was noticeable in the colonial days, was strengthened and a greater part of the negroes belonged to the latter class. These became material of pure business enterprise, even up to the process of child-bearing in the interests of the employer exclusively. With the increase of the price of the slave from $700-$800 to $1,500 or more, the cases of inhuman treatment were more or less exceptional. But on the other hand the general treatment grew more severe and impersonal. The Northern abolitionists may have somewhat exaggerated the conditions, for obvious reasons, in describing the cruelty of the slave owners, but on the other hand, the apologists of slavery always liked to and even now frequently do draw pictures of conditions before the war that are entirely too mellow and mild. For even the Southerner, E. Ingle, who writes on slavery in a very apologetic tone, admits that chastisement by means of straps was a matter of common occurrence. And he quotes the opinion of a New Orleans physician of that period, who argued "that if any slaves were inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good require that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which it was intended for them to occupy."

The great number of freed slaves in the South, and the Northern propaganda in favor of abolition, news of which gradually reached the Southern negro, influenced the slave owners to keep the negro on a low level of intellectual development. The prohibition against teaching the negro again became stricter, and included even free negroes. It is true that under pressure of public opinion the slave owners were making efforts to convert their slaves into Christianity, and that towards the end of the Civil War there were almost no heathens among the slaves; but this work of Christianizing the slave proceeded under many precautions and restrictions, in order that religion might not raise any revolutionary tendencies among the slaves. The Southern

clergy fulfilled its duty towards the slave owners so well that it succeeded in depriving Christianity of almost all its civilizing effects. Of the whole field of applied religion, or ethics, the only doctrine taught the negro was the doctrine of obedience. Even the doctrine of marital fidelity could not be taught; and to be frank, how would that doctrine have combined with the practices of the "buck-nigger"? In performing the ceremony of marriage the Christian cleryman administered the oath to remain faithful to their spouses "until death or uncontrollable circumstances (i. e., the will of the owner) shall divide them." Even in teaching the doctrine of the future life extraordinary precautions were necessary, for the promise of freedom in heaven could awake the thought of the desirability of freedom in this world. Therefore, teachers of the Lord's gospel would not go any further than the promise of a white skin in the other world to every good and obedient negro.

Such was the religion which the slave owners helped to spread, since they soon discovered that the negroes who most ardently visited the church usually made the very meekest and hardest working slaves.

Thus consciously, willfully, cunningly, the Southern slave owner endeavored to stupify and demoralize the negro population of this country, and many years later the results of this demoralization were pointed out as great argument against the biological potentalities of the race.

All these efforts were caused by the natural desire to preserve the economic advantages of the slavery system. It is not necessary to go here into an extensive discussion of the question, how far the slave system was profitable to the entire South. It is certain that, as Olmsted and other observers had pointed out in their own time, negro labor was not cheap labor by any means; that the working capacity of the negro, inert as he was, and absolutely disinterested in the result of his labor, was scarcely equal to one-half of the productivity of the white laborer. The high price of the negro made his labor dearer than the labor of the free wage worker in the North, and the fact that the negro slave represented an outlay of capital made his sustenance more expensive, as it forced upon the slave owner the cost of the care of the slave's health. Thus one finds a Southern economist in the early forties claiming that the natural progress of the South, by increasing the population and lowering the wages of free labor, would make the hiring of such free labor more profitable than owning slaves, and would thus create the natural conditions. for the abolition of slavery. The well-known Northern economist, Carey, also thought that high prices of the slaves would lead to the abolition of slavery.

This rise in the price of slaves was most noticeable during

the fifties, and by that time the financial position of the slave owners, with the possible exception of a few thousand magnates, was anything but enviable. The profits of their industry was constantly falling. Why, then, did they hold on so tenaciously to the profitless system?

In one of his interesting books of travel through the Southern states Olmsted relates that many slave owners would rent their slaves into the mines for $120 to $140 a year, which was considerably more than the corresponding wages in the North, when the additional cost of feeding the slave is considered. An income of $120 to $150 per annum was considerable, even at the price of $1,500. A freed negro usually received about $150 to $200 a year in addition to his food and lodgings, and a freed man could more easily save a competence in the South than a white laborer in the North.

In other words, because of the system of slavery prevailing, the South suffered from an insufficiency and high cost of labor, and slavery labor was necessary no matter whether dear or cheap. It is interesting to point out in this connection the obvious fact that at the present time the general rate of wages is much lower in the South than in the North. Individually each planter in the South felt the utter impossibility of getting along without the slaves, and a full emancipation of the slaves was feared as a crisis, the results of which could not be foretold. Finally there was the general hope of escaping the results of the rising prices of slaves by the acquisition of virgin and cheap land in the West.

While thus a number of potent economic causes forced the white South to hold on to the system of slavery, the psychology of the Southern gentleman,-in its turn the result of preceding economic conditions,-played a by no means insignificant part. The cumulative effects of two centuries of slavery, which Jefferson had feared so much, did not fail to manifest themselves. "The man must be a prodigy," wrote Jefferson, "who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. * * * With the morals of the people their industry also is destroyed." The evidence of many travelers through the South in the middle of the last century fully corroborate the truth of these predictions of Jefferson. The rich white people of the South clearly demonstrated the evil effects of this system. The superficial polish and manners, the classical education, were often found side by side with the wildest debauchery and a complete incapacity for productive thinking or hard work. The Southern gentlemen were much better prepared to enjoy the fruits of civilization than to create them. The poor white trash lived by hanging on to the rich planters, and looked with contempt upon manual labor. The South "classed the trading and manufac

turing spirit as essentially servile" in the words of a Southern journalist in 1852, who wrote in the famous De Bow's Review. Certain forms of work were considered especially undignified, and the poor white man met the offer to perform such work with the contemptuous remark that "he was no nigger." This led to the idea that hired white labor was altogether unsatisfactory, and that the negro slave was indispensable to Southern industry and agriculture.

It was thought necessary to dwell so long on the psychology of the white population of the South, because this psychology played a very important part in the subsequent events. With such a psychology and such a national character, the philosophy of the necessity and inevitableness of slavery found general approval not only among the wealthy slave owners, but also among the poor white trash, which found considerable satisfaction and consolation from its poverty in the consciousness that, no matter how low its own social scale, there was still left a very large class of people below them.

The greatest effort to support this view upon slavery and the negro was undoubtedly made by the clergy. The part taken by the Christian church in the defense of the institutions of slavery presents one of the most interesting pages in the social history of the United States. "The American Churches, the Bulwark of American Slavery," thus runs the title of an exceedingly interesting pamphlet anonymously published in 1842. The war was not yet over when a doctor of divinity and professor of a Southern theological seminary devoted a bulky volume of 562 pages to prove the thesis that the clergy of the South was mainly responsible for the secession. This may well be an exaggeration; nevertheless the facts presented by these two authors are of the greatest interest and importance not only for the understanding of that epoch, but also because the Southern church is still a great factor of reaction in the relegated "negro question."

It is interesting to follow the development of the attitude of the church to the question of slavery. To take for example the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1780 it expressed its firm belief that "slavery was contrary to the divine, human, and natural law, and harmful to society." In 1784, membership in the church was denied to whomsoever did not promise to free his slaves. In 1801, the church was more than ever "convinced of the awfulness of slavery." But the invention of Eli Whitney. made its impression upon the clerical mind, for in 1836 we find the assembly of the clergymen of this church protesting against the action of two of its members, who dared to speak against slavery, and hastening to announce that it denies any desire to interfere in the relations of master and slave. Even in New York the representatives of this church fought against any man

ifestations of the spirit of abolition among its members. For preachers as well as other men owned slaves and therefore had direct interest in defending the institution. But more important undoubtedly was the consideration that the church felt the neces sity of being on the side of the stronger.

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Still more striking is the testimony gathered by Professor Stanton, whose work was referred to above. He inclusively shows that not only the Southern clergy, but even many of the Northern preachers, energetically preached the necessity of the Southern rebellion, and defended the South, after the secession had taken place. What Professor Stanton mainly objected to was the fact that the Southern clergy, in coming out in defense of the rebellion, had broken the pledge of obedience to the legal authorities. But in reality this was only caused by the natural anxiety of the clergy then, as now, to serve that legal authority which was recognized de facto by the majority of the population; and that was the authority of the Southern states and of the confederacy. Thus until the very last day of the emancipation of the slaves the entire clergy of the South continued to preach that slavery was morally in harmony with God's will, that it was eternal and necessary, because the negro was a lower being created by the Almighty for the special purpose of working for the white man, in exchange for the care which the white man was to take of his physical, moral and mental well-being. One may well recognize in this doctrine the forerunnings of the latter day theory of the relations of the wealthy men to the working class, which Comrade Ghent has so characteristically christened as the coming "benevolent feudalism," and which finds its expression in the writings and speeches of Lyman Abbott, Andrew Carnegie, and President Baer of the Reading Railway.

A touching agreement and understanding may be found between these clergymen and the Southern professors, economists, politicians and statesmen. That the clergy exerted a direct influence upon the scientific fraternity of the ante-bellum South, is shown by the importance which the religious argument played in the reasoning of the latter. This unanimity may partly be explained by the peculiar character of education in the slave owning South, where a superficial polish and some knowledge of classics stood for real education and learning. The universities and colleges were mainly interested in oratory and partisan politics. The Southern periodical literature, the most important representatives of which were the De Bow's Review and the Southern Literary Messenger, defended slavery and savagely attacked everyone who dared to express the slightest doubt of the usefulness and justice and permanency of the peculiar Southern institution. I. M. ROBBINS.

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