Proslavery Thought in the Old South (1935) quotes, by William Sumner Jenkins

November 11, 2023 by Joshua
in Freedom

Earlier this year I posted The Ruling Race: Quotes on those who improve their lives on the suffering of others, corrupting them, with quotes from podcast guest James Oakes’s book The Ruling Race, which describes the demographics, beliefs, and views of slaveholders in the U.S. south. They are no more or less human than you. That book reveals how being on the dominant side of a dominance hierarchy corrupts one’s values.

Today I’m posting quotes from another book on how Southern slaveholders thought of their culture. It’s fascinating to see how people rationalize and justify what we consider horrible and evil, but they considered good, right, and normal. Not so fast, actually. You can see how they considered what they did wrong and knew others did too. I believe it will give you insight into how people think about our environment today.

Read beyond the words to what must have motivated their thinking. However different living unsustainably is from slavery, practicing either creates internal conflict that people have to resolve if they want inner peace.

I believe you’ll see similarities in slaveholders’ motivations to rationalize and justify as in polluters’. In fact, I believe you won’t be able to help seeing similar emotions and internal conflict motivating them as in people today saying “what I do doesn’t matter,” “only governments and corporations can make a difference,” and so on.

The book is in the public domain, so I found a copy online. Now I can’t find it. If you want to read it, let me know.

p.52 To rebut the argument that all men are equal by nature, he quoted from Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia, “proving that negroes were by nature an inferior race of beings.”

ball and chain

“slavery was so ingrafted into the policy of the Southern States, that it could not be eradicated without tearing up by the roots their happiness, tranquility, and prosperity; that if it were an evil, it was one for which there was no remedy; and, therefore, like wise men, they acquiesced in it.”

“We found slavery ingrafted in the very policy of the country when we were born, and we are persuaded of the impolicy of removing it; if it be a moral evil, it is like many others which exist in all civilized countries and which the world quietly submits to.”

p. 54: Bishop Asbury pessimistically recorded in his diary: “I am brought to conclude that slavery will exist in Virginia perhaps for ages; there is not a sufficient sense of religion nor of liberty to destroy it; Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, in the highest flights of rapturous piety, still maintain and defend it.”

p. 55: “The gentleman farther says that 700,000 men are in bondage. I ask him how he would remedy this evil as he calls it? but I do not think it is an evil; would he have these people turned out in the United States to ravage, murder, and commit every species of crimes? I believe it might have been happy for the United States if these people had never been introduced amongst us, but I do believe that they have immensely benefitted by coming amongst us.”

“Many of them [Southern Congressmen] admitted this charge [that slavery was a political evil in contrast to a moral evil] and offered the traditional excuses for its continuance, that is, entailment and social and economic necessity.”

Early of Georgia in 1806: “The gentleman (Mr. Smilie) has said that in Southern States, slavery is felt and acknowledged to be a great evil and therefore we will execute a severe law to prevent an increase of this evil. Permit me to tell the gentleman of a small distinction of this case. A large majority of the people in the Southern States do not consider slavery as a crime [jds: I presume he is not including the slaves as people]. They do not believe it immoral to hold human flesh in bondage. Many deprecate slavery as an evil; as a political evil; but not as a crime. Reflecting men apprehend, at some future day, evils, incalculable evils, from it; but it is a fact that few, very few consider it as a crime. It is best to be candid on this subject. If they considered the holding of men in slavery as a crime, they would necessarily accuse themselves, a thing which human nature revolts at. I will tell the truth. A large majority of the people in the Southern States do not consider slavery as an evil. Let the gentleman . . . geo from neighborhood to neighborhood, and he will find that this is a fact.”

p. 63: “These observations of Mr. Jefferson could not have been founded on facts. They were wrote to gratify a foreigner, at his own request, when every American was filled with enthusiasm. They are the effusions of the speculative philosophy of his young and ardent mind, and which his riper years have corrected. He wrote these notes near forty years ago; since his life has been devoted to that sort of practical philosophy which enlarges the sphere of human happiness, . . . and, during the whole time, his principle fortune has been in slaves, . . . It is impossible, when his mind became enlarged by reflection and informed by observation, that he could entertain such sentiments, and hold slaves at the same time.”

p. 64: implying emancipation will result in “too much of this new-fangled French philosophy of liberty and equality” . . . “the independence of Haiti should never be recognized because they have ‘proclaimed the principles of “liberty and equality” and have marched to victory under the banner of universal emancipation.”

p. 73: on Seabrook endeavoring to arouse the South from her lethargy in defending her institution, “he reviewed the numerous attacks upon slavery and challenged Southerners to resent the false and revolting colors in which outsiders were painting the institution. Edward Brown in a more lengthy book published shortly afterward said that the South was highly indebted to Seabrook for ‘exposing the secret machinations and open hostilities displayed toward these States.”

“Slavery has ever been the stepping ladder by which countries have passed from barbarism to civilization. History, both ancient and modern, fully confirms this position. It appears, indeed, to be the only state capable of bringing the love of independence and of ease, inherent to man, to the discipline and shelter necessary to his physical wants.”

“Hence the division of mankind into grades, and the mutual dependence and relations which result from them, constitutes the very soul of civilization; and the more numerous these grades are, in a country, the more highly civilized may we expect to find it.”

“he asserted that the condition of the Southern slave compared favorably with that of the poor of other countries.”

p. 76 In 1829: “Slavery is not a national evil; on the contrary, it is a national benefit. The agricultural wealth of the country is found in those states owning slaves, and a great portion fo the revenue of the government is derived from the products of slave labor—Slavery exists in some form everywhere, and it is not of much consequence in a philosophical point of view, whether it be voluntary or involuntary. In a political point of view, involuntary slavery has the advantage, sin all who enjoy political liberty are then in fact free. Wealth gives no influence at the polls; it does where white men perform the menial services which slaves do here. Upon this subject it does not become us to speak in a whisper, betray fear, or feign philanthropy.”

p. 77 In 1833: “We must be permitted to say to the Boston editor, that he is utterly mistaken in supposing that the people of the South regard domestic slavery, as it exists among them, in the light of a curse; on the contrary they hold it to be absolutely necessary to the proper cultivation of the soil, and to be the great source of their prosperity, wealth and happiness; without it their fertile fields would become a wilderness and a desert—their real curse not bing slavery but a climate . . . Nor do the people of the South deem slavery a ‘curse’ to the Negroes themselves—it exists with us in a mild and parental form.”

p. 78: Governor McDuffe of South Carolina: “Instead of being a political evil, it was ‘the cornerstone of our republican edifice.”

“We must look very little to consequences if we do not perceive in the spirit of this construction, combined with the political fanaticism of the period, reason to anticipate, at no distant day, the usurpation, on the part of Congress, of the right to legislate on a subject [slavery] which, if you once touch, will inevitably throw this country into revolution.”

p. 79, 1838: “But it is no evil. On the contrary, I believe it to be the greatest of all the great blessings which a kind Providence has bestowed upon our glorious region. For without it, our fertile soil and our fructifying climate would have been given to us in vain. And as to its impoverishing and demoralizing influence, . . . the history of the short period which we have enjoyed it has rendered our southern country proverbial for its wealth, its genius, and its manners.”

p. 80 “But let me not be understood as admitting, even by implication, that the existing relations between the races in the slaveholding States is an evil:—far otherwise; I hold it to be a good, as it has thus far proved itself to be to both, and will continue to prove so if not disturbed by the fell spirit of abolition.”

“It has been the great stay of the Union and our free institutions, and one of the main sources of the unbounded prosperity of the whole.”

p. 81: “It was ‘the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the world.”

p. 85: “In the course of the debate, discussion shifted to the question of what form, if any, the plan of action should take. Many schemes were proposed, all of which were in the nature of colonization. There were those that would colonize beyond the Rockies and those that would establish the colony in Africa; there were those that would colonize through the medium of the federal government, the State government, or the Colonization Society, supplemented by funds from the State or nation.”

p. 86: “I am not one of those who have ever revolted at the idea or practice of slavery, as many do. It has existed and ever will exist, in all ages, in some form, and some degree. I think slavery as much a correlative of liberty as cold is of heat. History, experience, observation, and reason, have taught me, that the torch of liberty has ever burnt the brightest when surrounded by the dark and filthy, yet nutritious [influence] of slavery. Nor do I believe in that [fanaticism] about the natural equality of man. I do not believe that all men art by nature equal, or that it is in the power of human art to make them so.”

p. 87: “I am not an advocate of slavery in the abstract, and if the question were up introducing it, I should be the very last to agree to it; but I am yet to be convinced, that slavery, as it exists in Virginia, is either criminal or immoral.”

p. 88 “To prove it to be a great evil is an easy task, but to tell how that evil can be removed, is a question that the wisest heads and the most benevolent hearts have not been able to answer in a satisfactory manner.”

“Slavery was subversive of the true principles of republicanism, violated the natural rights of man, and was contrary to the spirit of the gospel.”

p. 89: “Many in the South once believed that it was a moral and political evil; that folly and delusion are gone; we see it now in its true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable baiss for free institutions in the world.”

p. 95: 1846: “I do not hesitate for a moment in maintaining that the slave trade has been a source of incalculable blessing to mankind. Just so far as African Slavery in the United States is superior to African Slavery as it exists in Africa—just so much good has resulted from the slave trade.”

p. 99 “The economic argument in favor of reopening the slave trade was premised on the belief that the South was in need of an additional labor supply . . . additional slave labor might be used as the means of a greater industrial and commercial development within the South . . . [p. 102] One of the chief arguments for reopening the slave trade was that it would advance the political power of the South. Political power in the Union depended on population.”

p. 104: “The first defenses that appeared, and there was an occasional one from the very earliest period, were apologetic. This may be explained on the ground that it as the easiest way to put aside the question. It must also be held in mind that, while there always existed a strong faction the desired to perpetuate slavery, yet many lesser elements within the South looked to its final overthrow. These elements had to be brought in line with the perpetualist before the apologetic attitude could be thrown off.”

Arguments: entailment (we didn’t start it, England and the North did; give us time to resolve it), necessity (white men can’t work in heat and swamps, blacks are born to, and they’re inferior, it’s not your business anyway), positive (slavery has always existed and is good): “The course of pro-slavery theory takes us from the apologist of the early period to the propagandist of slavery, from an attitude of passivity to one of militancy, from toleration to glorification of the institution.”

p. 110: “The two ideas that he is a person, and as a person, held to service, constitute the generic conception of slavery. How is his obligation to service fundamentally differenced from that of other laborers? By this, as one essential circumstance, that it is independent of the formalities of a contract. Add the circumstance that it is for life and you have a complete conception of the thing.”

p. 112: “Let it be regarded as a compact between the master and slave, and I assert that no saner or more just agreement was ever made working to the mutual benefit of both and charitably inclined in favor of the weaker party. The master exacts of the slave obedience, fidelity, and industry; and places him under just so much restraint as insures compliance with his regulations. The slave in return has far more certainly insured to him peace, plenty, security, and the proper indulgence of his social propensities—freed from all care for the present, or anxiety for the future with regard either to himself or his family.”

“Food, cloathing and protection are ample equivalents for the loss of freedom.”

p. 113: “slavery secures them in the enjoyment of their natural right; and, according to the measure of their capacity to receive it, bestows upon them real liberty. Let this institution be abolished and they will no longer enjoy their natural rights.”

p. 117: “the defense of Southern slavery involves, necessarily, the defense of every existing human institution. . . the slavery principle is almost the only principle of government, the distinctive feature of man’s social and dependent nature, and the only cement that binds society together and wards off anarchy.”

p. 125: “We talk a great deal of nonsense about the rights of man. We say that man is born free, and equal to every other man. Nothing can be more untrue; no human being ever was, now is or ever will be born free. Where is the freedom of an infant in swaddling clothes? No two men were ever born equal to each other or ever will be. Are they equally strong, equally talented, born to equal pretensions and chances? If nature has ordained inferiority, that inferiority will tell its own story through life, and such is the fact.”

p. 133: “’Of all the rights of man,’ Carlyle thought that the most indispensable ordained by nature was ‘the right of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be gently and firmly held in the true course,’ and, furthermore, that ‘if freedom have any meaning, it means the enjoyment of this right, in which all other rights are enjoyed.’”

p. 137: “From the earliest times the slaveholder had testified to his observation of the phenomenon of nature [of Negro inferiority]. As time passed, the energies of a large group of scientific investigators were directed toward establishing this natural inferiority. The anatomist, the ethnologist, and the ethnographer worked out the scientific counterpart to the Aristotelian philosophy of slavery. Thus ultimately the philosophy of the slaveholder becomes empirical in character. Empiricism led the slaveholder to the conclusion that inequality was the natural order of the universe.”

p. 149: “the argument was made that the framers did not intent the declaration [of inalienable rights] to be so broad as to include slaves since they themselves were slaveholders.”

p. 155: “They [free Negroes] do not derive their rights from the Constitution. They had no part in the formation of our Government. They are not members of our community. They enjoy no rights as citizens; . . . the free Negroes have their independent existence, by the consent of the Government of Maryland; and that Government has the right at any time to repeal the law giving them their separate existence, or their special privileges.”

p. 156: “Is it not wonderful, that, if the Declaration of Independence gave authority to emancipate, that the patriots who made it never proposed any plan to carry it into execution?”

p. 188: “In 1844, the historian, James G. Palfrey, raised the question ‘whether the nation is true to its solemn guaranty to South Carolina of “a republican form of government,” when more than one-half of her people are under the despotic sway of the rest.”

p. 191 “’as paradoxical as it may appear on a superficial view’ to him it was ‘nevertheless capable of demonstration that domestic slavery produces equality and nurtures a spirit of liberty among the citizen population of a country.’”

“Break down slavery . . . and you would with the same blow destroy the great Democratic principle of equality among men.”

“In the slave States, he contended, all white men were on a plane of equality, for ‘we have no classes—no patrician or plebeian rank. Honesty and honor form all the distinctions that are felt or known. Whatever may be the condition of a citizen with us, you must treat him as equal.’ He found that such a condition was not true of free States, for there “ranks and distinctions, the precursors of aristocracy, already begin to exist.”

p. 192: “Senator Brown of Mississippi declared that nowhere except in the slaveholding States was there ‘a living, breathing exemplification of the beautiful sentiment that all men are equal. . . In the South one beheld ‘a whole Community standing on a perfect level, and not one of them a tithe of a hair’s breadth higher in the social scale than another.”

p. 196: “Jefferson Davis, on the eve of the war, in commenting upon the institution of slavery, gave it as his ‘deliberate conviction, that it is promotive of, if not essential to, the preservation of the higher orders of republican civilization.’”

p. 199 “Thus the rationale of the slave republic culminated in the contention that the influence of the institution was essential to preserve free institutions from the revolutionary spirit current in the world,”

p. 200: “The scriptural defense of slavery was prepared with exhaustive research and probably attained the most elaborate and systematic statement of any of the types of pro-slavery theory. Instead of presenting it with its mass of detail, it will suffice for our purpose to sketch it in general outline. Broadly, the Biblical arguments may be divided chronologically into those taken from the Old Testament and those found in the New Testament. First came the argument of divine decree. God had decreed slavery before it had actually come into existence: “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren” (Genesis IX:25). Then followed the argument of divine sanction. God had ordained and sanctioned the practice of holding slaves throughout the Patriarchal period. The Patriarchs from Abraham to Moses were large slaveholders who counted their slaves among their goods, as they did their oxen, their horses, and their camels. Abraham held many slaves and he had been exalted to be the father of the chosen people (Genesis XIV:14). The same was true of Jacob (Genesis XXX:43). God, moreover, had ordained the relation of slavery in the covenant entered into with Abraham: “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations; he that is born in the house, or bough with money of any stranger, which is not of they seed” (Genesis XVII:12). God sanctioned it through his angel when the runaway slave, Hagar, was commanded to return to her mistress Sarah (Genesis XVI:9).” [this recounting continues for a few pages, including more from various bibles, especially Leviticus XXV:44-46), which it called “the rock of Gibraltar in the Old Testament case . . . used in all of the Biblical defenses . . . because it authorized buying, selling, holding, and bequeathing slaves as property.” Also the ten commandments, especially the fourth and tenth. Also, “arguments drawn from the New Testament, or the Christian dispensation strengthened the scriptural justification for slavery.”

p. 204: “Thus briefly the Biblical case of the slaveholder may be summarized. Essentially it stated that the relation of master and slave could not be a sin, since it conformed to the highest moral code known to man, that based on divine revelation.

p. 215: “Slavery is a part of the curse which sin has introduced into the world and stands in the same general relations to Christianity as poverty, sickness, disease, or death. In other words, it is a relation which can only be conceived of as taking place among the fallen beings—tainted with a curse. It springs not from the nature of man as man, nor from the nature of society as such, but from the nature of man as sinful, and the nature of society as disordered.”

“In the fallen state of misery and sin in which man lived, slavery became necessary as the lesser of evils and as the only means of progress.”

p. 216: “Slavery having existed ever since the first organization of society, it will exist to the end of time.”

p. 218: “We believe we are educating these people [slaves] as they are educated nowhere else; that we are elevating them in every generation.”

p. 222: “God established it [slavery] because he saw that it is right.”

p. 231: “Each one’s right must be so pursued, as not to infringe other’s rights. The well being of all is interconnected. Hence equity, yea, a true equality itself, demands a varied distribution of social privileges among the members, according to their different characters and relations. . . . To attempt an identical and mechanical equality . . . would be essential inequality; for it would clothe the incompetent and undeserving with power to injure the deserving and capable, without real benefit to themselves.”

p. 239: “The ethnologist had attempted to prove by deductions from science that the Bible doctrine of the unity of the races was was not true, that Negroes belonged to a different species, were not human and, therefore, might be enslaved with perfect consistency with the theory of absolute social equality.”

p. 240: “All men were declared equal, and man was pronounced capable of self-government . . . Two greater falsehoods could not have been announced, because the one struck at the whole constitution of civil society as it had ever existed, and because the other denied the fall and corruption of man.”

“Subordination rules supreme in heaven and must rule supreme on earth.”

1860: “The abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic. The demon which erected its throne upon the guillotine in the days of Robespierre and Marat, which abolished the Sabbath and worshipped reason in the person of a harlot, yet survives to work other horrors, of which those of the French Revolution are but the type . . . From a thousand Jacobin clubs here, as in France, the decree has gone forth which strikes at God by striking at all subordination and law.”

“The idea that the spirit of rationalism exemplified by abolition would inevitably lead to a repetition of the French Revolution was one of the most common manifestations of pro-slavery theory.”

p. 243: “Jefferson believed that the Negro lacked native ability for the higher pursuits of civilization. From the Colonial period on, the inferiority of the Negro was an assumption by the slaveholder for which he required little to no demonstration. Accepting this premise without question, to the mind of the Southerner there could be no alternative to a system of slavery, except a condition of race conflict which would, after horrible experiences, eventuate in the extermination of the inferior race. The entire pro-slavery thought was imbued with the belief of Negro inferiority.”

“There seems, in short, to be a fixed notion throughout the whole of the States, whether slave or free, that the colored is by nature a subordinate race; and that, in no circumstances, can it be considered equal to the white. Apart from commercial views, this opinion lies at the root of American slavery.”

“The ethnologist argued that slavery needed no other justification, excuse or apology than the proof that the Negro race was weak and imperfectly developed in mind and body and, therefore, belonged to a lower order of man. One of them freely admitted that ‘if this be not true, American slavery is a monstrous wickedness.”

p. 244: “When left alone in his native land, he [the Negro] had never of his own initiative advanced from a state of barbarism to develop a civilization of his own. This fact was considered as strong proof os his lack of capacity to advance.”

“ The social, moral, and political, as well as the physical history of the negro race bears strong testimony against them; it furnishes the most undeniable proof of their mental inferiority. In no age or condition has the real negro shown a capacity to throw off the chains of barbarism and brutality that have long bound down the nations of that race; or to rise above the common cloud of darkness that still broods over them.”

p. 245: “a short residence there [Santo Domingo and Haiti] would cause ‘the most determined philanthropist to entertain serious doubts of the possibility of their ever attaining the full stature of intellectual and civilized manhood.”

p. 246: “Taken as a whole class, the latter [free blacks] [sic] must be considered the most worthless and indolent of the citizens of the United States. It is well known that throughout the whole extent of our Union they are looked upon as the very drones and pests of society.”

“The free blacks are, in the mass, the most ignorant, voluptuous, idle, vicious, impoverished, and degraded population of this country . . . They have sunk lower than the Southern slaves.”

“The Southerner pointed out that even the free States recognized the inferiority of the race for they refused to great to the free blacks the political rights granted to the white man. To complete the case, statistics were used. The census figures showed that the Negro was in better condition under slavery than in freedom. Crime, poverty, and disease all attained a much higher percentage among the free black element of the population than either the whites or the slaves.”

p. 249: “This is proved by the fact of the universal practice among them of covering their heads and faces during sleep, with a blanket or any kind of covering . . . The nature effect of this kind of respiration is imperfect atmospherization of the blood in the lungs, and a hebetude of intellect from the defective vitalization of the blood distributed to the brain.”

“From a study of craniology evidence was also found of the mental inferiority of the Negro. In the first place, it was claimed that his brain was smaller in size and lighter in weight than that of the Caucasian. . . Samuel George Morton, the most eminent craniologist of the day . . . concluded from various tests and measurements that the mean internal capacity of the Negro cranium was less by twelve cubic inches than that of the Anglo-Saxon.”

p. 250 “A peculiar conformation characterizes the brain of an adult negro. Its development never gets beyond that observable in the Caucasian in boyhood. And, besides other singularities, it bears a striking resemblance, in several particulars to the brain of an ourangoutang.”

“It appeared that low vertices and slanting heads were indicative of inferior mentality.”

“The nerves of the spinal marrow and the abdominal viscera, being more voluminous than in other races, and the brain being ten per cent less in volume and in weight, he is, from necessity, more under the influence of his instincts and animality, than other races of men and less under the influence of his reflective faculties. . . The former predominating rules the intellect and chains the mind to slavery—slavery to himself, slavery to his appetites, and a radical savage in his habits, whenever he is left to himself. His mind being thus depressed by the excessive development of the nerves of organic life, nothing but arbitrary power, prescribing and enforcing temperance in all things, can restrain the excesses of his animal nature and restore reason to her throne.”

p. 251: “It was the general testimony of slaveholders that the Negro was imitative, but never inventive or suggestive; and by consequence, he could never create a civilization of his own. Moreover, he was habitually indolent and opposed to exertion, which condition necessitated a master to force him to work.”

Dr. Cartwright “’claimed that the Negro was endowed by nature with a principle of self-protection against “wanton abuses and tyrannical oppression of masters,’ a principle that had been denied to all other races of men. He believed that the master could not force the slave beyond a reasonable amount of service. It was due to this characteristic that the Negro race, beyond all others, was so perfectly fitted for a state of slavery. Estes likewise attributed to the character of the Negro ‘a kind of stubbornness which induces him to resist every attempt to force him to the performance of more than a reasonable amount of labor.’ The white man, on the other hand, as proved by free society, could easily be forced to perform a degree of labor far beyond his strength and capacity.”

p. 252: “The inferiority of the Negro was almost universally accepted in the South by all groups of pro-slavery theorists as a great primary truth. It led to the belief that slavery was the condition prepared for him by nature, and that it was the only condition he could occupy for the time being. This law of race relationship, derived from the study of ethnology, became the true ‘higher law’ of the defense, and place the black forever in subordination to the white. Negro slavery, so called, was found to be no slavery at all, but the natural relation of the races—the mere external adaptation of natural law.”

“Many Southerners were willing to rest the positive defense of slavery here; having established diversity of races, they were not concerned with finding its cause or inquiring into its origin. Dr. Thomas Cooper reflected this attitude in a letter to Senator Mahlon Dickerson in 1826 when he wrote ‘I do not say that blacks are a distinct race: but I have not the slightest doubt of their being an inferior variety of the human species and not capable of the same improvement as the whites.’”

p. 256: “Dr. Nott, who had been practicing medicine for a number of years among the Negroes of the lower South. Through his professional experiences with that race he had early come to the conclusion that the Negro was a separate species from the white man.”

p. 265: “In regard to the mulatto, he concluded from his observations that they were the shortest lived of any race of human beings, that they were intermediate in intelligence between the parent races, that they were less capable of undergoing fatigue than either of the parent races, that the women were unhealthy and bad breeders, that intermarriages were less prolific than when crossed with parent stock, that the offspring partook more largely of the Negro type than of the Caucasian, and that they had an inherent tendency to run out.”

p. 266: “had the orator of the Colonization Society said that amalgamation with separate races of men, as ourselves and the Negro, is followed by a mongrel brood, however superior mentally to the Negro, yet vastly inferior to the white, and as certain to perish as the mule, or any other hybrid generation; but that amalgamation with the Irishman or German, or any other variety of our own species or race, would be followed by a more vigorous stock than either of the originals, he would have declared an eternal truth.”

p. 267: “’The superior races ought to be kept free from all adulterations, otherwise the world will retrograde, instead of advancing, in civilization.’ Amalgamation thus became repulsive to anyone who understood the proper destination of the white race.”

p. 274: In 1860: “I have been well enough to skim Darwin’s book—the man is clearly crazy.”

p. 275: “We now pass [after describing ethnology] to an analysis of the theory which may be designated as that of ‘types of man,’ and its bearing upon the pro-slavery argument. First, there were certain conclusions drawn in regard to the Negro. He was not considered a brute, or a lower species of animal than man, but a totally distinct and inferior sort of man from the Caucasian. He was not a ‘lamp-blacked white man” that might slowly change his color; but, just as he was of a different original nature, so he must remain. ‘The Ethiopian could not change his skin,’ nor could he add one cubic inch to his brain.”

“They even viewed the colonization scheme as futile and believed that Liberia could not be maintained except under the guiding hand of the white man. Here is found the true basis of the perpetualism theory of slavery, for, as the authors of Types of Mankind contended “no philanthropy, no legislation, no missionary labors can change this law: it is written in man’s nature by the hand of his Creator.”

p. 276: “God Almighty made the Nigger, and no dam’d Yankee on top of the earth can bleach him.”

p. 278: “Thus the often quoted dogma that ‘all men are born free and equal,’ usually attributed to Mr. Jefferson by the slaveholder, was denied as unsound when applied to all races universally.”

“All men are created equal, or all the forms of existence that are organized alike, are equal; and to see to contradict this, to force the Negro to an ‘equality’ with the white man . . . is equally a violation of the fact of ‘equality,’ as it is an outrage on nature.”

p. 282: “It is not in our view just, and we will not even tacitly allow our enemies the more advantage of representing, that we hold our slaves only as a higher race of Ourangs.”

p. 285: “The slaveholder believed that he lived in a perfectly ordered society, where each class filled a natural position for the advancement of civilization. Governor McDuffie gave expression to the theory when he said: ‘In the very nature of things there must be classes of persons to discharge all the different offices of society. Some of those offices are regarded as degrading, though they must and will be performed.’ Southerners contended that they had made a contribution to the science of society in that they had perfected a division of labor between classes naturally constituted for their particular functions. As Calhoun so vividly pictured it, the unequal raced occupied ‘the front and rear ranks in the march of progress.;”

p. 286: “This idea that slavery is so necessary to the performance of the drudgery so essential to the subsistence of man, and the advance of civilization, is undoubtedly the ground on which the reason of the institution rests.”

“In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have or you would not have that other class which leads to progress, civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build either one of the other, except on this mud-sill. Fortunately for the South, she found a race adapted to that purpose to her hand . . . We use them for our purpose and call them slaves.”

P. 287: “Calhoun had declared in the Senate that there had never been ‘a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other.’ It was simply the age-old saying that there must be, at all times and in all countries, ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ to form the basis of human society. It was a universal phenomenon and slave society differed from other types only in the face that an inferior race had been found to do the inferior duties. Hence, at the South, the slave class formed the substratum of the entire structure of society.”

p. 290: “The slaveholder argued that free institutions had their only natural basis in slave society. . . Here arose one of the most important elements in the slavery defense, the reconciliation of slavery with the principles of republican liberty.”

Edmond Burke: “These people of the Southern (American) colonies are much more strongly, and with a higher and more stubborn spirit, attached to liberty than those of the northward . . . It is because freedom is to them not only an enjoyment, but a kind of rank and privilege.”

“They often pointed to the fact that it was in the ancient republics of Greece and Rome, where slavery flourished, that the spirit of freedom was born. This fact [jds: not a fact] led Senator Toombs to remark that ‘public liberty and domestic slavery were cradled together.’”

p. 292: “Returning to the question of republican liberty, it was contended that its true basis, actual equality, was attained only in slave society.”

“Judge Upshur explained the effect of slavery as an equalizer of wealth. He recognized that no government could preserve an equality of wealth, even for a day. But he thought that domestic slavery ‘approaches that result much more nearly than any other civil institution, and it prevents in a very great degree, if not entirely, that gross inequality among the different classes of society, from which alone liberty has anything to fear.’”

p. 293: “There was another reason why this aristocracy of race and color really maintained the true republican principles. This was because it offered the only sure protection of property. The poorest man in slave society felt an interest in the laws which protected the rights of property, ‘for, though he has none yet, he has the purpose and the hope to be rich before he dies, and to leave property to his children.”

p. 294 “when society had reached the stage where wealth was centered in the hands of the few and the great number were reduced to poverty [the result of ‘agrarianism’ prevalent in the North]” The slaveholder pictured “slavery as the strongest conservative force in society and a bulwark against agrarianism. As Judge Upshur expressed it: ‘There is then in this institution [slavery] something which courts and solicits good order; there is a principle in it which avoids confusion and repels faction; its necessary tendency is to distract the purposes and to bind the arm of the agrarian and the leveler.’ . . . Governor McDuffie declared that slavery was the ‘cornerstone of our republican edifice,’ and with the same confidence the Southern leaders declared that the last stronghold of republicanism would be in the slaveholding States. Consequently, South Carolina, when she came to secede from the Union, declared ‘we are vindicating the great cause of free government, more important, perhaps, to the world, than the existence of all the United States.’”

p. 295: “There is perhaps no solution of the great problem of reconciling the interests of labor and capital, so as to protect each from the encroachments and oppressions of the other, so simple and effective as negro slavery.”

p. 296: “This union of labor and capital in the same hands, counteracts . . . all those social, moral, material, and political evils which afflict the North and Western Europe.”

“It was contention of the pro-slavery theorist that the states of the two [hireling and slave] was essentially the same in whatever form of society they toiled. In the last analysis, both were compelled to labor and both received the reward of subsistence. Consequently, they were both slaves under a different name.”

“The poor man has only changed his name. He was once called a serf, then a villein, and now a laborer; but in reality he is now, more than ever, a slave.”

“But there was one important distinction in the status of two types of laborers. The slave was assured work and the subsequent reward which was necessary for his comfort, while the hireling was not always able to obtain the labor he sought, and consequently, often suffered.

p. 297: “The condition of the slave was preferable to that of the hireling because of the protective care for the individual. Not only was the slave assured of work while he was able-bodied, but when he became aged or infirm, he was cared for and given the comforts of life. The slave had no anxieties from want, misfortune, or disability. He was cared for in infancy, in sickness, and in old age.”

p. 298: “Slavery is protection from pauperism, the bane for which the wisdom of civilized man has not yet prepared the antidote.”

“Every southern slave has an estate in tail, indefeasible by fine and recovery, in the lands of the South. If his present master cannot support him, he must sell him to one who can.”

p. 299: “It was the contention of the slaveholder that society in the South was more perfect than any other form because it was well ordered and gave no occasion for the rise of radical movements. Here was his strongest defense before the tribunal of civilization. Slave society was free from many of the ‘isms’ that ran rampant throughout free society. He often asked the question why he should fly to the evils that he knew not of rather than to cherish the blessings that slavery provided? . . . The Southern writer was fond of causing these movements the social reform theories. He called anarchism, communism and socialism, Proudhonism and Fourierism, in the same category with abolitionism, free rentism, free love, and perfectionism, as illustrations of the revolutionary temper of the time. It was, however, not strange that he should have conceived of the natural opposites, anarchism and socialism, as kindred theories. . . In two fundamentals they were alike. To the slaveholder, these were of paramount importance. They alike attacked the sanctity of property and they alike attempted to organize society on the basis of individual equality of rights.”

p. 300: “With the idea of property in mind, the pro-slavery theorist drew a definite parallel between abolitionism and socialism. . . The one said that property in man was sin while the other declared that all property in land was wrong. In principle they were the same, and, as the slaveholder pointed out, to admit the principle in the case of one form of property was to recognize it in all forms, which meant a social revolution. Such would be the outcome of the abolition doctrine, if once accepted.”

“Viewed from another angle the social reform theories offered proof of the failure of free society.”

p. 303: “The great socialist and communist movements of the day, which is coextensive with free society, whilst it has not yet invoked reestablishment of domestic slavery, asserts, in a thousand forms, the utter failure of existing social institutions, which have arisen from the ruins of feudal servitude.”

“in the institution of domestic slavery, and in that only, are most completely realized the dreams and sanguine hopes of the socialist school of philanthropist.”

“Slave labor is the only organized labor ever known. It is the only condition of society in which labor and capital are associated on a large scale in which their interests are combined and not in conflict. Every plantation is an organized community, a phalanstery, as Fourier would all it—where all work, where each member gets subsistence and a home and the more industrious larger pay and profits to their own superior industry.”

p. 304: “A Southern farm is a sort of joint stock concern or social phalanstery, in which the master furnishes the capital and skill, and the slaves the labor, and divide the profits, not according to each one’s in-put, but according to each one’s wants and necessities.”

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