Abbildungen der Seite


tors—but I may be permitted, with all the friends of American science, to regret that any pecuniary difficulties should be allowed permanently to impede the completion of so important and honourable a work. In the State of Pennsylvania—of which this city, though not the seat of its Legislature, is the centre of its commerce and of its scientific and literary society — the numerous German population is a characteristic feature. Hitherto this part of the population has been considered as opposed to progress—as badly educated, and unwilling to lend itself to those enlightened legislative measures by which a rapid and energetic advance has been secured in the more northern States. Perhaps, as a test of this opinion, it may not be unfair to compare the common school system of this State with that of the State of New York, which bounds it towards the north; and, for the purposes of such a comparison, we may take the populations of the two States, in round numbers, at three and two millions respectively.” Then the following table shows the actual condition of the common schools in the two States:—

NEW York. PENNsylvania. Three millions. Two millions. Number of schools, . - 10,500 7,800 27 , scholars, . 776,000 360,000 Average duration of school 8 months. 4} months. teaching, - - Months teaching for each 100 } inhabitants, . - - 207 ... 76# Paid to teachers, - 1,100,000 dollars. 466,000 dollars. Paid for each 100 inhabitants, 36 ... 23

It appears from these numbers—1st. That the sums paid for instruction in the common schools are, in proportion to the population, one third less in Pennsylvania than in the State of New York.

2d. That the number of schools to equal populations

* In 1845, New York State contained 2,604,000—and in 1840, Pennsylvania, 1,724,000.


is nearly as great in the one State as in the other. But, as they are only kept open about half the time in Pennsylvania, they are in reality more costly in this State, in proportion to the work done, than in the State of New York. This indicates an indifference on the part of the parents to avail themselves of the opportunities offered them of educating their children. 3d. That the number of days' or months’ tuition given to each child at school in Pennsylvania is little more than half that given in the State of New York—and to each hundred of the population little more than onethird. The summary of this is, that the children at school are only half as well taught, and the people of the State, as a whole, only one-third as well as in the State of New York. This fact may be regarded as an indication both of the comparative mental condition of the existing inhabitants, and of what that of the next generation is likely to be in those two adjoining States. The German farming population is blamed for the repudiation which a few years ago attracted so much attention. This class of men occupy much good wheat land in the central part of the State, and along the valleys which intervene between the successive ridges of the Blue and Alleghany mountains. Their farms are usually 100 acres, some are 200, and 300 is considered a large farm. In the neighbourhood of Philadelphia good land sells for about 100 dollars; but at a distance of 10 miles, from 40 to 50 dollars an acre-much the same as in western New York. Farm-servants receive 10 to 12 dollars a-month, or £30 a-year. Agriculture in this State is represented to be in a very low and backward condition. There are a few county societies, but no general State 80ciety like that of New York, supported and promoted by the patronage of the

[merged small][ocr errors]


Being situated on the immediate borders of the first slave States—Delaware and Maryland—the free coloured people, seen already in great numbers in New Jersey and New York, become in Philadelphia a class as interesting to the foreigner as the more numerous Germans. A few years ago the more humble and laborious out-ofdoor employments, as well as those of household labour, fell almost exclusively to their share. They were the porters, the draymen, and carmen of the city. They discharged and loaded the shipping, and performed other menial offices on the quays and rivers. But riots against the coloured people, which had begun in New York, were succeeded by others in Philadelphia, as far back as August 1834; and though a few friends did rise up at that time in their defence, yet the fear of the white mob restrained the hands even of men in office from displaying that energy in their behalf which justice not less than humanity demanded. The silent endurance of petty sufferings has been their lot almost ever Since.

The Irish emigrants are their chief competitors for the humble unskilled employments they were accustomed to follow. By obtaining such labour, the Irish are enabled to indulge in their gregarious habits, to linger about large towns, to unite and act in masses, and so to obtain for their party a sensible influence both of a physical and political kind. But native-born craftsmen also combined against the more skilful of the free coloured people, and, at the period of the riots, attacked not only them, but such as were accused of preferring to employ them. Since that time the pressure against them has been kept up, and continued immigration from Ireland has caused this pressure continually to become stronger. Redress for ill-usage they find difficult to be obtained; so that, by degrees, they have been compelled in a great measure to give up their old occu


pations, and many of them to seek new homes farther towards the north and west. “Wherever the interests of the white man and the black come into collision in the United States, the black man goes to the wall.” Such is the statement of those who, in America, profess to be the coloured man's friend. It is certain that, wherever labour is scarce, there he is readily employed; when it becomes plentiful, he is the first to be discharged. The whites are employed in preference, from sympathy with their colour, on account of their votes, or through fear of their political or other influence. The centres in which the free blacks have from time to time collected prove this. It has been so far satisfactorily ascertained that the natural increase of the free coloured race in these States is about two per cent per annum, when not materially increased by emancipation.* Now, in the New England States, from 1810 to 1840, the number of free coloured people was nearly stationary. The natural increase, therefore, was for the most part driven out by the climate, or by the more active competition of the New England-born white men, or of the emigrants from Europe. Up to 1830, again, the increase was more than natural in the States of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The coloured people, therefore, had found a refuge and employment there. But since 1830 the increase in these States has been only one per cent, or half the natural increase; they have, therefore, in the face of Irish and German immigration, been scarcely able to hold their own, and great numbers have been driven into other States.

* Between 1830 and 1840 it was 20.8 per cent for the ten years. But many are of opinion that the decimal period ending in 1850 will not show an increase exceeding 15 per cent.


But into the slave States—Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia—they have not gone. All these States are too anxious to expel those they have among them already to give any facilities for immigration. In these States, in consequence, the increase has only been about one per cent, or half the natural increase; in other words, large numbers have been forced to migrate. The tendency is therefore to expel them from the whole of the Atlantic borders — an irresistible result, probably, in some of the States, of the vast immigrations of white labour, chiefly Irish, which are constantly pouring into all the Atlantic harbours; in others, of the fear of evil consequences from the intermingling of slaves and free men of the same blood.

Their refuge has been in the north-west, where the world is new, and labour of all kinds in demand. To Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, their migrations have been directed. In 1830 these three states north of the Ohio River contained only 15,000 free coloured inhabitants. They now contain about 50,000, and of these Ohio alone has 30,000. In this direction, therefore, the surplus has gone from all the other States; and towards the valley of the Ohio still, and that of the Upper Mississippi, an outlet for the stream will probably be found for many years to come.*

An insight into the causes of social changes and migration movements, such as this, is very interesting. It is a hard thing for the poor coloured men to be driven from their employment and natural homes by a foreign immigration, as is the case at this moment in Philadelphia and elsewhere, and it is natural that opposition and dislike and disturbance should be the consequence. But a similar immigration has brought similar scarcity of food

* The State of Indiana has recently become jealous of the free blacks,

and has proposed measures for preventing their increase, or of altogether removing them.

« ZurückWeiter »