The Exclusion of Negroes.
The Philadelphia Ledger has given sundry articles recently in explanation of the evils which must result to the northern states from the admission of emancipated and contraband blacks. The Ledger thinks the subject is attended with great perplexity, and deplores the necessity of passing such laws as will exclude the negro. We extract the following: —
"The subject is surrounded by so many difficulties that it seems impossible to legislate upon it by the states without doing vast injustice to those helpless people. Imprisonment and fines are the only means by which they could be kept out of the states not desiring them, and this would be as cruel as keeping them in perpetual bondage. But here they are not wanted, and here they cannot live, for there is no opening for them through which they can derive, by their own industry, the means of their own support. It is no philanthropy to take them from the fields of labor to which their service is adapted, and cast them without provision upon those where they cannot provide for their own support without rendering the lot of white laborers more insupportable. As the war progresses, and more of the slave population finds freedom, the difficulty will grow greater, and government ought at once to adopt some fixed policy whereby its evils would be counteracted. Colonizing the contrabands would mitigate the evil to some extent, and the system of foreign as well as domestic colonization might be tries with advantage. Certainly, they ought not to be left in the condition they now are, outcasts of society, helpless for their own protection, and regarded with suspicion and dislike by those who look upon their presence as casting additional burdens upon themselves."
We have frequently treated upon this subject at length, and can find no other solution of the difficulty than that of excluding them by law, basing it upon the acknowledged proposition that every nation has a right to adopt such regulations as are essential to its prosperity, contentment, welfare and safety. If justice were done in the premises, it would be right to apportion all the emancipated slaves among the abolition districts of the north, from which has sprung the project of bringing these slaves into the horrid condition described by the Ledger. But the northern states will unanimously forbid the slaves coming. They are working to bring these people to destruction, but will not lift a finger to ameliorate their sufferings.
Illinois is probably better prepared to accommodate these people than any other state, but long experience has proved that this worthless and useless class is too great an impediment and burden, even here. This was felt to such an extent that it was found necessary to pass laws keeping them out. This state was formerly a favorite underground for them, and, but for such a law, emancipation and confiscation would bring them here in overwhelming numbers. Six-sevenths of the state of Kentucky lie north of the southern extremity of Illinois, giving the slaves of the "border states" a climate corresponding with their own, and a soil of unsurpassed fertility and plenty of it, at a low price. If, then, our people have found these negroes useless and mischievous, how much more so will they be found where the rigor of climate and the poverty of soil precludes the existence of idlers.
Illinois has provided against the coming storm, and every yankee state will do the same in less than two years. Confiscate and emancipate the slaves and the negro's doom is sealed.
The Ledger suggests "colonization." It would be gratifying to have the Ledger reconcile compulsory colonization with philanthropy or honor; and without compulsion, not one in one hundred slaves will leave.