Colonization: “Practicability of the Colonization Scheme," 1827
This article was printed in the official journal of the American Colonization Society about five years before the rebellion in Southampton County. , The African Repository and Colonial Journal was a quarterly journal published in Washington, D.C., beginning in 1825 and edited by the Reverend Ralph Randolph Gurley.
The African Repository and Colonial Journal, Vol. III, 1827, p. 87
Practicability of the Colonization Scheme.
Extracts from an article published in the “Kentucky Reporter.”
Virginia would long since have found her negroes a burthen [burden], had it not been for her continual exports. This disgraceful source of wealth seems likely to be stopped. The Southern States are enacting laws against importation; and however badly such laws may be at first observed, they will assume strength in time. The Virginians will then find that property so contemptible, nay, expensive, that they will cheerfully join in dismissing their slaves, especially when the free labour of white men is offered them on terms much lower than those on which the slave is maintained. Nor is this period so far distant. Fifty years, though much in human life, is little in that of a nation. Thirty years will fill up the country between this and the Pacific.—Twenty more will render the population so dense, and the value of land so high, that the whole of the increasing numbers overflowing from the States north of the Ohio, added to those vast emigrations from the eastern States which are now settling that country, must, as a means of existence, condescend to serve for wages. The purchase of land will be nearly as much out of the question as in Britain. Their labour as hirelings will supplant that of the negroes, provided you make room for them by dismissing people, who have, in the southern States, made labour odious, by blending its name with that of slavery. These once dismissed, you may expect such emigrants as will be content to work for wages, as in the northern States—but not till then. And this cannot too early set about, the increase of the negroes being so rapid that instant decision is required. Now or never, is the word.