Is Illinois to be Africanized?
Some thirty or forty negroes arrived in this city yesterday from the south, via Cairo, and hundreds have been received in the towns along the line of the Illinois Central Railroad and in other parts of the state.
The state constitution positively and absolutely prohibits this immigration, and the governor is sworn to support the constitution.
His oath is apparently of no concern whatever to him.
The abolitionists welcome these negroes with demonstrations of the greatest delight.
They seem to regard the time has come when they can inaugurate their doctrine of negro equality. This equality consists in bringing the white laboring man down to the level of the negro, and the wages of labor down to rates at which white men cannot live decently.
It is time white laboring men had taken alarm. If this negro immigration shall not be immediately stopped, the black stream will overrun the state.
Men must be elected to the legislature who will vote for the most stringent laws to enforce the anti-negro provisions of the constitution. It must be made a misdemeanor for any railroad or steamboat or other public conveyance to bring negroes into the state, and punishment must be provided for persons who shall in any way aide or abet their coming. Nothing less than this stringent legislation will save the labor of the state from Africanization.
It is a shame and a reproach that the federal military authorities are active parties to the invasion of the state constitution and laws in these respects. But it is needless to utter complaints of them while the governor of the state takes no measures to prevent and makes no protest against the grievous wrong.
The first instalment of this negro influx, for Springfield, arrived here on Saturday. There are, we learn, more coming, further to violate our constitution and laws.
By an overwhelming majority in 1847, the constitutional clause prohibiting negro immigration to the state was adopted. True, abolitionism, in in the legislature, attempted to prevent the enactment of laws to carry out the constitutional mandate, but it failed; nevertheless, the abolitionists all the while were seeking the repeal of such laws, and, in every way, openly and defiantly countenanced their violation. The late constitutional convention adopted similar provisions for the proposed new constitution, and to secure an unbiased, untrammeled expression of popular opinion on the subject, the negro article was separately submitted, and though the main constitution, by the united republican party vote, was defeated, the negro population article was adopted, by a majority unprecedented in our state elections. The vote stood:
For the prohibition article & 171,896.
Against prohibition article & 71,800.
Majority & 100,596.
For laws against negro immigration & 198,398.
Against laws against negro immigration & 44,414.
Majority & 153,984.
No longer ago than the 17th of last June, this was the popular expression of Illinois. Over two to one for a constitutional provision against negro immigration, and out of near a quarter million of votes but forty-four thousand could be got to vote against statute laws prohibiting it!
Such is popular sentiment in Illinois, yet are our constitution, laws and unmistakable public sentiment overridden, and their violation countenanced by our state authorities, and the state being flooded with a pauper negro population, to fill our jails and poor houses, increasing taxation and degrading and cheapening to starvation figures the labor of the free white toiling men and women of Illinois. So early is the effect of abolition policy developing in our midst, in defiance of law and public sentiment. Cannot the laboring voters of our state see the effect? Will not the tax-payers see and appreciate the coming burden?
As the Times suggests above, "men must be elected to the legislatures who will vote for the most stringent laws to enforce the anti-negro provisions of the constitution." Otherwise our state, bounded on two sides by slave states, endless sources of negro pauperism, will be made a lazarhouse, our home taxation doubled, and white labor ground to the earth by negro competition. Can the people of Illinois be so blind as not plainly to see pestiferous workings of abolitionism? If they are not, in the coming election they will so act as to apply the proper remedy, by the choice of a legislature which will set their seal of reprobation upon the men who, by their fanatical, destructive policy, would Africanize the state.