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This is a two-volume history of the United States South during the period of slavery when cotton was king. It was his belief that the cotton plantations could be worked just as effectively with hired ... Read full review
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Page 300 - Our wealthier planters, with greater means and no more skill, are buying out their poorer neighbors, extending their plantations, and adding to their slave force. The wealthy few, who are able to live on smaller profits, and to give their blasted fields some rest, are thus pushing off the many, who are merely independent.
Page 340 - If there is a first principle in intellectual education, it is this — that the discipline which does good to the mind is that in which the mind is active, not that in which it is passive. The secret for developing the faculties is to give them much to do, and much inducement to do it.
Page 299 - I can show you, with sorrow, in the older portions of Alabama, and in my native county of Madison, the sad memorials of the artless and exhausting culture of cotton. Our small planters, after taking the cream off their lands, unable to restore them by rest, manures, or otherwise, are going further west and south, in search of other virgin lands, which they may and will despoil and impoverish in like manner.
Page 176 - The whole plantation, including the swamp land around it, and owned with it, covered several square miles. It was four miles from the settlement to the nearest neighbor's house. There were between thirteen and fourteen hundred acres under cultivation with cotton, corn, and other hoed crops, and two hundred hogs running at large in the swamp. It was the intention that corn and pork enough should be raised to keep the slaves and cattle. This year, however, it has been found necessary to purchase largely,...
Page 305 - You have relied alone on the single power of agriculture, and such agriculture ! Your sedge-patches outshine the sun. Your inattention to your only source of wealth, has seared the very bosom of mother earth. Instead of having to feed cattle on a thousand hills, you have had to chase the stump-tailed steer thrqugh the sedge-patches to procure a tough beef-steak.
Page 7 - ... stir ; then he'd take a pair of pincers and pull one of his toe-nails out by the roots ; and tell him that if he ever run away again, he would pull out two of them, and if he run away again after that, he told them he'd pull out four of them, and so on, doubling each time. He never had to do it more than twice — it always cured them.
Page 295 - Make, at least, this effort, and if it results in nothing — if, in consequence of insurmountable difficulties in our condition, no improvement can be made on the present system, and the poor of the land are hopelessly doomed to ignorance, poverty, and crime — you will, at least, feel conscious of having done your duty, and the public anxiety on the subject will be quieted.
Page 300 - ... that once furnished happy homes for a dozen white families. Indeed, a country in its infancy, where fifty years ago scarce a forest tree had been felled by the axe of the pioneer, is already exhibiting the painful signs of senility and decay apparent in Virginia and the Carolinas; the freshness of its agricultural glory is gone, the vigor of its youth is extinct, and the spirit of desolation seems brooding over it.
Page 312 - So it is with these people; the acquisition of a respectable position in the scale of wealth appears so difficult that they decline the hopeless pursuit, and many of them settle down into habits of idleness, and become the almost passive subjects of all its consequences. And I lament to say that I have observed of late years that an evident deterioration is taking place in this part of the population, the younger portion of it being less educated, less industrious, and in every point of view less...
Page 300 - ... one will discover numerous farm-houses, once the abode of industrious and intelligent freemen, now occupied by slaves, or tenantless, deserted, and dilapidated; he will observe fields, once fertile, now unfenced, abandoned, and covered with those evil harbingers — foxtail and broomsedge; he will see the moss growing on the mouldering walls of once thrifty villages ; and will find 'one only master grasps the whole domain' that once furnished happy homes for a dozen families.