« PreviousContinue »
as another tree of inferior fruit. And so certain is the grape crop here, that I have not known any failure, save one, for about twenty years, and that was last year, a very partial one of the Scuppernong. Some years since there was an almost universal failure of fruit in the United States, through late spring frosts, but there were abundance of grapes notwithstanding. About two years before, having sent Scuppernong vines to Mr. Noyes of or near Natchez, Miss., I learned from him that his Scuppernong vines bore finely that
year, and was almost the only fruit in his region, and that they were esteemed most excellent. And further, that the bottles of Scuppernong Champaign I had inclosed in the box of vines were pronounced first-rate, by the best judges at Natchez and in the vicinity.
But to return from these digressive remarks connected with the main subject, I repeat the position, that the grand secret of making American wines, never to disappoint the vintner in his hopes of success therein, is to put in plenty of safe-keeping, enriching ingredients, of a pure healthful nature, as sugar and spirits, or both. Spirits add their own bulk to the volume of wine, and sugar adds half its bulk; so that two pounds or a quart of sugar, adds to the quantity of wine one pint; and that pint sold at one dollar per gallon, pays well for the sugar. Doubly refined sugar, at iwelve and a half cents per pound, doubly pays for itself in wine, when the latter sells for four dollars per gallon. True, alcohol is the purest preservative substance in nature, and, through a kind Providence, pervades (as distillation shows) all the vegetable creation for the good of man.
Mr. Longworth repeats an adage that," a poor man cannot make good wine;" yet his letter states that he, the rich man, put some poor German emigrants in the way of making good wine and a profitable business of it, on the banks of the Ohio, near Cincinnati. How long this will con. tinue the case with his Catawba, so prone to rot, and the older the vines the worse, and with his Eutopean recommendation to make dry wines with no safe-keeping or enriching ingredients, to suit the artificial foreiga formed tastes of eastern.connoisseurs, I cannot divine. But it seems he begins to complain of uncertain crops. This as it may be; my object is to set forth an American system of vinyard business, that may eventually and measurably at least, meet the wants or calls of American citizens for good and unequivocally healthful, unadulterated American wines, so that we shall not always be dependant upon foreigners for annual millions worth of an article that we are capacitated by climate, soil, and in all respects, to make ourselves. My vineyards are now becoming profitable, and as an item of their profit, I state that I made the present vintage about fifty barrels of wine, none of which I expect to lose by spoiling, and which I calculate to sell at a good price, as I have preceding erops. I have sent my wines to various sections of our Union, in bottles or in casks, and the concurrent testimony in their favor is, that they are preferred to the foreign. One advantage of my system of wine making, and not a small one, to the poor man at least
, is, that the wine is fit for use and market directly; and, connected with that circumstance, is another-that the wine, with plenty of pure, safe-keeping ingredients, not only is not apt to spoil, but keeps improving with age, by having the stamina or capital to improve on.
One mode for a vintner to keep improving annually in his art of making wine, I will name ere I close this communication. This mode I have practiced with happy effeci for a few years, viz.—to put down in a record book, all essential or important particulars respecting the making of any one cask of wine, as when and of what made, quantity, and kind of enriching and safe-keeping ingredients, &c., &c. And to that cask attach a label with the number of the cask thereon. This label transferred to another cask, into which the wine is racked, designates the wine. By turning to his book the vintner is never at a loss 10 learn, from the past, wisdom for the future. For instance, in my own experience this year, my casks run up to number fifty-six, containing various quantities, from say fifteen to seventy gallons each. And No. 1, in my book, reads • like this:
“No. 1.- Made July 10th, of green grapes, plucked from ends of branches, cut off from Catawba, Isabella, and other kinds prone to rot, to prevent those grapes left from rotting. These green grapes were mashed in my machine, and spirits pat into the mashed ingredients, to the amount of at least a fourth per gallon. The whole was left to ferment from Saturday night till Monday morning, when it was pressed off; strained, while running from the press, through folds of wooleu blanket; then two pounds of common sugar were added-two pounds besides spirits, for more ingredients are necessary for green grapes—and then turned into a cask. Quantity, thirty-three gallons; color, faint red; racked July 18; August 5th, fined it with six whites of eggs; result, a good sweet wine. Sold the barrel for $33, at Louisburg, N. C., August 7."
I select another sample from my records of 1847, viz:
“No. 13.—Made October 1st, of white Scuppernong grapes, except one and a half bushels of black Scuppernong grapes, to give a color by fermenting. Grapes mashed by the machine, and mashed ingredients left to ferment forty-eight hours; weather cool. Pressed and strained, and to the twenty gallons of purified juice added sixty weight of doubly refined, pulverized sugar. Racked the wine several times, and a beautiful and first rate br:ght red wine the result, called Scuppernong Hock, which was sold at Raleigh for $4 per gallon.”
My Scuppernong Madeira is made pretty mach in the same way, except it is not fermented till after it is turned into the cask and sugared, It is colorless, or of all white Scuppernong, and brings me three dollars in the market
. The Scuppernong Champaign brings two dollars, and is made with a fourth pure spirits and one pound of sugar per gallon.
In haste, yours,
SIDNEY WELLER. Brinkleyville, Halifax Co., North Carolina.
ART. VIII.-SLAVERY IN THE NEW TERRITORIES.
The following paper was prepared by an able southern jurist, who declines for the present, that his name should be made public. We commend the argument to the whole South.--Ed.
The advocates of the Wilmot Proviso belong to several classes of the people, distinguished from each other by very different characteris tics. Many come from among the waiters on popularity, who believe there is sufficient strength in the question to obtain for them offices and the spoils of victory, to which their statesmanship gives them no claim
Some are driven, by the fear of its power, into the service of the fanaticism which raised, the exciting question; and others are restrained, by their apprehension of the phrenetic influence, from making open opposition to the Proviso, and direct their efforts solely to the object of avoiding a decision of the question. Persong of the last mentioned description equally dread to incur the final condemnation of their own consciences or the displeasure of the disturbers of the country's peace. They are in effect the supporters of the Proviso. The advocates of it are encouraged to hope for the aid of the undecided and wavering at some future time, and consequently to persevere in their efforts to keep up and increase the excitement, which threatens, unless it be speedily checked, to pervade the whole Union.
The feeling and ignorance from which the question arose-the influence and motives by which the supporters of the proviso have been enlisted—and the number of them may be increased, and by which, also, the opposition of the intelligent and patriotic in many quarters has been silenced or paralized—are all unfavorable to a correct interpretation of the constitution, and a just judgment of reason upon the angry controvery.
While the Provisoists profess to believe that Congress has constitutional power to prohibit slavery in any territory of the United States, they admit the exercise of it in California and New Mexico would be unnecessary, because they affirm slavery had been previously abolished in these territories, and was prohibited by the laws of the government, which, they say, existed in them both, at ihe date of the cession to the United States; and that the prohibition must continue in force till it shall be annulled by competent authority. If there be such a prohibition, the effect of it should be determined by the constitution, the treaty, and the law of nations. If by the authority of these the prohibition is in force, a judgment of the highest tribunal of competent jurisdiction in favor of the obligation of the prohibition would settle the question. A judgment on either side, would be considered, by the slave-holding States, as decisive and final. These States deny that Congress has power either to authorize or prohibit slavery in a territory. If the power belonged 1o Congress, it might be exercised as a State may exercise it, ei her to prohibit or authorize the relation of master and slave. If slavery be dot now authorized in California and New Mexico, these States admit there is no power to establish slavery there. The power to do so, will come into existence hereafter, and belong to the Siate or States which may be founded in these territories in future, and admitted into the Union. Till States may be established there, the exemption of the territories, if it exist now, from the institution of slavery must continue.
If the Provisoists have faith in their published political creed upon the subject, that there is a legal prohibition in full force in these territories, which must continue to be a law until it may be repealed by competent authority, there ought to be no such controversy as the existing one between them and the inhabitants of the slave-holding States. After the facts shall have been ascertained, the only questions will be of a legal constitutional character; and the authority io decide them does not belong to Congress, but is vested, by the constitution, in the judicial department of the government of the United States. If the question were,
as to the effect of a supposed Mexican law, of either territory, which could operate only on individuals, would any representative of a State in the Senate, or of the people in the House, incur the forfeiture of his reputation for a proper sense of impartiality and justice, by making an attempt to induce Congress to express an opinion favorable to either side?' All could and would see, that the controversy involved a legal question, which ought to be decided, unless it should be abandoned by the parties, by the exercise of judicial authority. If the alleged probibition exist, the actual question is, can it operate in the territories consistently with the constitution of the United States ? If it cannot, it was annulled by the cession, because the prohibition was repugnant lo the constitution. This question relates not only to the conflicting interests of persons, but to the relative political power, also, of the slave and non-slave-holding states. But, although it may affect the relative power and supposed adverse interests of different sections of the Union, yet as it is a constitutional, and therefore a legal question, it is as exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Courts, as if individual parties only were interested in it.
The rights and interests of the citizens and other inhabitants of the States, included in the different sections of the Union, are involved in this controversy. If it should be determined that the alleged prohibition does exist, and has the authority of law, the claim of slave-holders to employ their slaves in the territories, where many of them believe they could increase the comforts of their bondmen, and derive greater profits from their labor, would be destroyed. The effect of such a decision would be to deprive many masters of their right to migrate and establish themselves in the territories, as their attachment to their slaves would prevent them from residing where they were prohibited from settling any member of their families.
The capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, which would penetrate without difficulty any disguise intended to conceal the odiousness of an attempt to induce Congress to express the opinion of that body upoa a legal question involving only the rights of individuals, ought to perceive the gross impropriety there would be in the expression, by Congress, of an opinion upon a question of the same character, raised in a case of the greatest importance, and involving not only the conficting interests or claims of citizens of different States, but of different sections of the Union-each composed of many States.
If the Provisoists assert the existence of the prohibition contrary to their belief of what is true, and the obligation of it in opposition to their judgmant, they act unworthily, and for the purpose of misrepresenting the conduct of slave-holders, who are thus made to appear to claim the right to settle slaves in territories, the laws of which, as the Provisoists affirm, prohibit the institution of slavery. The advocates of this opinion betray their own want of confidence in it, by their repeated and clamorous efforts to induce Congress to enact a law to prohibit what they assert the existing laws of the territories forbid now and have long prohibited.
In some brief remarks, which Mr. Berrien made in the Senate of the United States, on the third of March last, he correctly stated, that, according to the law of nations, the laws affecting the relation of individuals
in a ceded country, continue in force after the cession; but those which affect the relation of the people to the sovereign, cease with his dominion who transfers the country to another sovereign.
As slaves are made by the constitution of the United States a part of the basis of taxation and of the representation of the people in the House of Representatives, he took the position, that a Mexican law which prohibited slavery in the territories before the treaty, was political in its character and ceased to operate there immediately the cession was made, because the relation of the inhabitants to the Mexican sovereignty was terminated by the transfer of the territories to the United States.
As the people are our only sovereigns, the inhabitants of the territories, at the time of the cession, were placed by that act in their present relation to the American sovereigns, and the constitutional law, of this new relation, authorizes the inhabitants of the ceded country to own and hold slaves there, because the constitution recognizes the right of the citizens of any state, if a majority of them should determine, to allow it to have property in slaves and to hold them. The citizens who may found in future any state in the territories, will have the election to abandon, or to exercise, the right of owning and making slaves a part of the basis of the taxation to which their state may be liable, and of her representation in Congress. Every territory has the constitutional right to receive within its limits and proiect all persons who may law. fully constitule a part of the basis of the representation of a state, and property of every kind which the constitution allows to be included in the basis of taxation. Congress cannot foresee that the inhabitants of any territory, when they may act as citizens of the United States in establishing a state, will not prefer to make slaves a part of her basis of representation and a source of her wealth, which may be charged with direct taxes for the use of the General Government. The will of the people in relation to the matter, cannot be controlled, when, as citizens, they may found a state on the territory they inbabit; and every person, or subject of property, they might prefer to retain in their state, if they had been previously in the territory, they are constitutionally entitled to receive and hold in the territory, that they may exercise, at the proper time, their election—to which they have a clear and perfect right, either to keep and preserve within, or exclude from, the limits of their state, any persons or property they constitutionally may. Congress has no power to legislate for the purpose of controlling this election—none to prohibit slavery in a territory-as the probable effect of such a prohibition would be, to induce the inhabitants, when they founded a state, to continue the prohibition; and none to authorize slavery—the existence of which would tend to procure the establishment of the institution by state authority,
The opinion seems to us to be absurd, that Congress has power to close, in a territory, any source of wealth or of political power—as the inhabitants, when they take rank as the citizens of a state, may think such source would be, and which the same territory, when organized as a state, would have the unquestionable right to open. Congress has no power, with the view of procuring the establishment of the institution of slavery, by the authority of some state which may arise hereafter in the territories, to require hy law, that of the immigrants, who may annually establish themselves there, one-third, or any other proportion of them, 5