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422 DOUGLASS' MONTHLY. MARCH, 1861. [[line]] [[three columns]] [[column 1 of 3]] COTTON AND HAYTI. The commercial prize of the present day is in the hands of the country which supplies the largest amount of cotton to the markets of the manufacturing countries of the world. The slave States of North America at present enjoy an enviable supremacy in this respect. It has been alike the dream of the political economist of Great Britain, and philanthropist in America, to obtain a supply of this indispensable article from countries cultivated by free labor. such a vision has almost seemed Utopian ; but the insanity of the South, and the logic of their system drives them every day nearer to that destruction which the old axiom says, the Gods plan when first they make mad. 'Cotton is King!' is the shout which the devotees of diabolism have raised. The slaveocrats threaten to abdicate, and thus bring the civilization and humanity of the world to their feet. Great Britain, which has the largest stake in such a result-for her manufactures largely supply the world-has long been sensible of the organic defect in the labor system by which six-sevenths of her cotton supply hitherto has been produced. India, China, Australia, Africa and the West Indies have all in turn been looked to for furnishing that supply when the dreaded moment of derangement should come. The difficulty is culminating and it behooves those who hope to wound slavery in a vital part to bestir themselves. --The London [[italics]] Times [[/italics]], in a late article, stated that the weekly consumption of Great Britain ,in 1860, was about 48,000 bales. Of these, 41,000 were supplied by this country; the remainder, about 2,000 bales from Brazil, 1,800 from Egypt and the West Indies, and 3,200 from India. Thus it is evident that the stoppage of the supply threatened by the Gulf States will seriously affect the welfare of England. The selfish interests of a great community, thus suddenly affected, often override the highest considerations of right and wrong. But the point to which a result of this kind will tend, is to compel other tropical cotton-bearing regions to bestir themselves in meeting the great demand for that staple. The cotton trade of the United States is as purely artificial as such a trade can well be. The plant and the labor were both imported. In 1790, this country did not export a pound, or but a very small amount. In 1792. the amount was 138,328 lbs.; in '94, 160,760 lbs.; and in '95 5,276306 lbs. The cause of this enormous increase was the value given to the article by the invention, in '93, of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, which thus increased the crop so enormously. Says the Times in the article before alluded to: 'That wonderful trade, which now yields the United States a revenue of £40,000,000 a year, ($200,000,000) is as purely artificial as a trade can be. The plant was imported, and the labor was imported. Everything was accomplished by industry and enterprize, and what has been done once can be done again. Take a soil favorable to the growth of cotton, and the cotton trade can be created to a certainty. It is not even a work of time. Seven short years sufficed to raise the produce of cotton in American from 500 lbs. to 18,000 000, from a single bale to 36,000 bales. It must be remembered, however, that was only accomplished by untiring energy and abundant capital. The enterprize was amply remunerative but no negligence was admitted in the work. The Southern States fairly gave themselves up to cotton planting. They made cotton their sole staple, at the cost of all earlier products. Never were [[/column 1 of 3]] [[column 2 of 3]] greater energies imparted into any branch of industry, and never was the organization of a trade more complete. The results are what we now see. The largest manufacturing system ever known in the world derives its supplies of raw material from a single farm, and has derived them hitherto with almost as much certainty as could be desired. Unfortunately, the labor employed was of so exceptionable a character, that organic derangement was always to be apprehended, and the event so long dreaded now threatens to take, not only us, but the Americas themselves by surprise.' Mark the words italicized in the above, Take a soil favorable to the growth of cotton, and the cotton trade can be created to a certainty' Hayti presents a field entirely favorable to such a trade. It only requires energy and capital to make there a supply of cotton which will throw into the shade entirely, for the superficial area employed, the producing capability of the Gulf States. Give Hayti an ample supply of labor and skill, let it commence the work of competition in earnest, and capital, with its many hands, will reach out to aid and strengthen. The prize is too great, the need will soon be too pressing, the demand too urgent, for prejudice or indifference to stand in the way of encouragement. The geographical position of Hayti, no less than its capability of production, should turn the attention of people who desire the overthrow of slavery and the growth of the oppressed. Spiritual advancement, by which term is included the mental, moral and social constituents, can only be secured through material prosperity and industrial freedom. Herein lies, as in a nutshell, the whole question of the advancement of the Anglo-African people [[missing]] to give material strength ultimates eventually in the higher development of the soul's life. Slavery being the obstacle in the growth of the colored people among us, it must be done away with. What, therefore, tends to do away with it, elevates the race. This may be insurrection, or emigration, or both. There seems to be a crisis when the latter methods comes with peculiar force. The manufactures of the world seem threatened with a cessation of the supply of this most needed article, by the climax which the slave States here have reached. The manufacturer and merchant look anxiously for other quarters from whence to derive their staple. Give Hayti labor, an earnest determination on the part of that labor to succeed, capital will flow in from every side and in a few years not only will the free Americo-African of the tropics have won for his nation and people a proud place among the useful nations, but he also will have materially aided in wresting from the oppressors of his people the much vaunted supremacy they now so boastingly claim. Writing in 1790, of the Spanish Colony in Hayti, M. De St. Mery says : 'From the indifference shown for the cultivation of the cotton plant, it would be impossible to conceive that cotton is of value enough to excite industry, that it grows naturally at St. Domingo, and that it is of an excellent quality, even when it comes without the least care. It flourishes in stony land, in that which is the most barren, and in the very crevices of the rocks.' A curious old work - 'Trimpffen's Voyage to St. Domingo' - says : 'The most seducing article of cultivation as are less eager to accumulate than to enjoy, is cotton. It is not so lucrative, indeed, as the rest ; but its returns are quick, and it requires fewer hands, fewer buildings, &c. Almost every soil agrees with it though there are some, [[/column 2 of 3]] [[column 3 of 3]] such as that of Gonaives for example, which raise plants of a superior quality.' Since the date of the above, 1788, the first part of the above extract is entirely changed. Cotton presents to-day the most enticing prize to those who wish to accumulate as well as to enjoy wealth. The 'Guide to Hayti' says: 'Cotton grows with extraordinary facility, requiring no culture whatever. It is of a fine, silky quality. It does not grow on bushes, but trees, which produce two crops annually, and last several years. Its culture might be made exceedingly profitable, as no country is better adapted for its growth.' A large proportion of the Government lands, thrown open and accessible to the emgrant, are suitable for the cultivation of this staple. Already the Louisianian settles at St. Mark, and in the valley of Artibonite, have turned their attention to cotton, and the first shipment from that locality is always heralded by the Haytian journals. J. Dennis Harris, the author of a little volume, entitled 'A Summer in the Caribbean Sea' - describing the home of a former South Caroline slave, in the Spanish part of the island - says : 'So great was the yield of Mr. Smith and his wife's crop, that in little more than a year's time they have a house and forty acres of land, all paid for, and a new crop, worth $500, which will soon be ready for market. This may not seem very remarkable to any one who has never seen a sand hill, nor yet been to Canada; but to me it was a miracle. My object in mentioning this fact, however, is to state that Mr. Smith also planted a few seeds of Sea Island cotton, the product of which has been sent to New York and pronounced worth 14c. per pound. - Now, there are numbers of colored men recently from the Southern States, skilled in, and some who have made fortunes by the cultivation of cotton, at perhaps not more than eight or nine cents per pound, when, too, it had been replanted every year. It produces here without replanting, almost indefinitely, but it is safe to say every seven years. The query is this: give half a dozen such men as Smith a cotton gin, ($350,) send them out here, and would they not accomplish more for the elevation of colored race by the successful cultivation of cotton, in eighteen months, than all the mere talkers in as many years?' The cotton plant is indigenous to the tropical regions of both hemispheres, but cultivation has so modified it, that the number of its species is so uncertain, and is variously given by different authorities. The divisions generally recognized are three, designated commonly as the herbaceous, shrub and tree cotton. The herbaceous include the plants producing upland a short-stapled cotton. - Most of the varieties grown in the United States belong to this division. The long stapled sea cotton, which is considered the finest, belong to the arborescent or shrub variety. The seeds of the short staple cotton are green and in size larger than those of the grape. They are sown every year. The plants grow to the height of one and half to two feet, and bear dark green leaves. The flowers are pale yellow, with purple spots at the base. A triangular pod succeeds the flowers, and contain, in three cells, the seeds and the three locks of white down, which burst forth and cover the shell of the pod, when this opens at its maturity. The shrub cotton grows wherever the herbaceous is found. In the West Indies it is triennial. - The shrub, or arborescent variety, resembles in size and appearance a large currant bush. The pod differs from that of the herbaceous, in being of an oval form and of larger size. The tree cotton grows to the height of fifteen to twenty feet. It is this variety which is [[/column 3 of 3]]
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