« PreviousContinue »
As the time which was allotted to him for the execution of the investigation committed to his charge, was not sufficient to enable him to complete his inqui. ries, it will be necessary for him to resume his labors during the approaching sea. son. His 'report, although necessarily incomplete, it is believed contains much valuable information which will be interesting to the public at large, and particularly useful to the intelligent and enterprising citizens who are engaged in the sugar culture in this country. The circulars sent out from this office, soliciting information upon the subject of agriculture, were very full and minute in the inquiries which they embodied, and the replies to them. Many of them, equally minute, contain a large amount of valuable and interesting information, which will be fouud embodied in the agricultural report and appendix.
SEA AND RIVER SHORE OF UNITED STATES. Col. Abert, of the Topographical Engineers, thus answers to the questions of government:
Question 1. “ The extent of shore line of each of the rivers of the United States, as far as navigable for steanıboats of the lightest draft now used, designat. ing the extent of shore line of each principal river and its tributaries."
Answer. Shore line of rivers, to head of tide water, from Maine to Texas. The head of tide water is assumed as the limit of steamboat navigation, as impeding falls or rapids are usually encountered at that point, above which many of our rivers are adapted to steam navigation, but to what extent is not sufficiently known
10,501 miles. Shore line of rivers of Texas.
1,210 Mississippi (lower) islands and bayous.
8,372 Mississippi (upper) and tributaries.
2,736 Big Black, Yazoo, and bayous .
1,190 Red river and tributaries..
4,924 Arkansas river and tributaries.
32:0 Missouri river and its tributaries.
7,830 Ohio river and tributaries ...
Total miles, including both banks of rivers.
.47,355 Question 2. “ The extent of frontier of the United States, bordering on the British possessions.”'
Answer. From the mouth of the St. Croix to the Pacific ocean, by treaty lines, 3,303 miles.
Question 3. “The extent of frontier of the United States, bordering on Mexico."
Answer. From the mouth of the Rio Grande to the Pacific ocean, by treaty lines, 1,456 miles.
Question 4. " Extent of shore line of the northern lakes, including bays, sounds, and is'ands," Answer. American coast, or shore line....
.3,620 miles. British coast, or shore line....
PROGRESS OF THE SOUTHERN STATES.
BLAVE AND FREE NEGRO LAWS OF THE SOUTHERN STATES.
SOUTH CAROLINA.-We have had various inquiries for such a publiration, from a great many quarters, and are determined to commence it. It will be seen hy the letter in our present number, from an intelli, ent gentleman or Cuba, how anxious the people of that island are now to obtain information upon the subject, so as to regulate their own systems.
We shall ourselves prepare an alistract of the Louisiana slave laws, unless some other legal gentleman will relieve us of the lask. We also invite contributions upon the slave laws of the other southern states from the Profession, and feel assured, they will in this way greatly serve our southern country.
We publish now a few pages, from an able pamphlet on the negro laws of South Carolina,
sent us by our distinguished friend, Hon. J. Mellon O'Neall, the author. It was prepared by request of Carolina Agricultural Society.” Our intentions are to publish the pamphlet in parls, in successive numbers of the Review, if the proprietor. Mr. John G. Bowman, of Columbia, who has the copyright, will permit. It will not certainly injure his sale, and will extend the usefulness of Judge O'Neall's labors.
The Status of the Negro, his Rights and Disabilities. Section 1. The act of 1710, sec. 1, declares all negroes and Indians (free Indians in amity with this Government, negroes, mulattoes and mestizoes, who now are free, excepted) to be slaves: the offspring to follow ihe condition of the mother: and that such slaves are chattels personal.
Sec. 2. Under this provision it has been uniformly held, that color is prima facie evidence, that the party bearing the color of a negro, mulatto or mestizo, is a slave: but the same prima facie result does not follow from the Indian color.
Sec. 3. Indians, and descendants of Indians, are regarded as free Indians in amity with this Government, until the contrary be shown. In the second proviso of sec. 1, of the act of 1740, it is declared that "every negro, Indian, mulatto and mestizo is a slave, unless the contrary can be made to appear”-yet, in the same it is immediately thereafter provided the Indians in amity with this government excepted, in which case the burden of proof shall lie on the defendant," that is, on the person claiming the Indian plaintiff to be a slave. This latter clause of the proviso is now regarded as furnishing the rule. The race of slave Indians, or of Indians no! in amity to this Government (the State), is extinct, and hence the previous part of the proviso has no application.
Sec. 4. The term negro is confined to slave Africans. (the ancient Berbers) and their descendants. It does not embrace the free inhabitants of Africa, such as the Egyptians, Moors, or the negro Asiatics, such as the Lascars.
Sec, 5. Mulatto is the issue of the white and the negro.
Sec. 6. When the mulatto ceases, and a party bearing some slight taint of the African blood ranks as white, is a question for the solution of a jury.
Sec. 7. Whenever the African taint'is so far removed, that upon inspection, a party may be fairly pronounced to be white, and such has been his or her previous reception into society, and enjoyment of the privileges usually enjoyed by white people, the jury may rate and regard the party as white.
Sec. 8. No specific rule, as to the quantity of negro blood which will conipel a jury to find one to be a mulatio, has ever been adopted. Between one-quarter and o!e-eighth seems fairly to be debatable ground. When the blood is reduced to, or below one-eighth, the jury ought always to find the party white. When the blood is one-quarter or more African, the jury must find the party a niulatto.
Sec. 9. The question of color, and of course of caste, arises in various ways; and may, in some cases, be decided without the intervention of a jury. As when a party is convicted and brought up for sentence, or a witness on the stand objected to as a free negro, mulaiio, or mestizo, in these cases, is the color be so obvious that there can be no mistake about it, the judge may refuse to sentence, or may exclude the witness; still, if the party, against whose color the decision may be made, should claim to have the question tried by a jury, it must, I apprehend, be so tried.
Sec. 10. There are three classes of cases, in which the question of color, and of course, of caste, most commonly occurs. 1st. Prohibition against inferior couris, or the tax collector. 2d. Ohjections to witnesses offered to testify in the superior courts. 3d. Actions of slander for words charging the plaintiff with being a mulatio.
Sec. 11. In the first class, free negroes, mulattoes and mestizoes, are liable to be tried for all offenses, by a magistrate and five free holders (except in Charleston, where two magistrates must sit), and of course, any person claiming to be white (over whom, if that be true, they have no jurisdiction), charged before them criminally, may object to their jurisdiction, and if they persist in trying him or her, may apply for, and on making good the allegation, is entitled to have the writ of prohibition. It seems is the party submits to have the question of jurisdiction tried by the Inferior Court, he will be concluded.
Sec. 12. The writ of prohibition is generally granted, nisi, ou a suggestion sworn to by the relator, by any judge at Chambers, on notice being given to the court claiming jurisdiction; but if the fact be uncontroverted, or so plain as not
to admit of doubt, that the relator is white, the judge may at once grant an absolute prohibition. Generally, however, an issue is ordered to be made up or granting the prohibition, nisi, in which the relator is plaintiff, and on the jury finding the relator to be a free white person, the prohibition is made absolute.
Sec. 13. In this class, too, the tax collectors frequently issue tax execucions. for capitation taxes, against persons whom they suppose to be free negroes, mulatioes, or mestizoes (“free persons of color,” as they are sometimes loosely called). If the person or persons against whom they be issued, be not liable to the tax, they may, on a suggestion, move for and have the writ of prohibition.
Sec. 14. In such cases, where, from the affidavits accompanying the suggestion, it appears that the relator or relators bas or have been received in society as white, and has or have enjoyed the privileges of a white person, or of white people, I have uniformly made the order for prohibition to become absolute, if the tax collector did not within a given time, file his suggestions contesting the status of the relator or relators. This course has been adopted, because the tax collector has no jurisdiction over the person of the relator, and has no judicial authority whatever, to decide the question of caste. His execution is predicated of an assumed fact. He is, therefore, bound to make that good, before he can collect the tax. This course has been found extremely convenient, as it has cut off an immense amount of litigation. For, generally, the tax collectors exercise a sound and honest discretion, in pursuing only those cases where there seems to be no room to doubt the degraded caste of the relator or relators.
Sec. 15. Where, however, there is to be a question as to the color of the relator or relators, the court may, in its discretion, cast the burden of proof on the tax collector, or the relator. Generally, I think, it should be cast on the tax collector, as his execuition is the first allegation of the color of the relator. As the issue may result, the writ of prohibition is made absolute or dissolved,
Sec. 16. In all the eases of the first class, the decision is conclusive; in all subsequent coses, civil or criminal. For the prohibition is in the nature of a criminal proceeding, operating in rem, and binds not only the parties, but also all the people of the commonwealth. So it seems, that any decision made in favor of the caste of the relator, as white, may be given in evidence in his favor.
Sec. 17. In the second class, the objection to the competency of the witness, makes the issue collateral, and it is tried insianter, without any formal issue being made up, and the finding is upon the record on trial, The verdict, in such a case, concludes nothing beyond the question of competency in that case, however, might be given in evidence for or against the witness, not as conclusive, but as a circumstance having weight in settling the question of status, in all other cases.
Sec. 18. In the third class, where jurisdiction is pleaded and found, it would seem to forever conclude the plaintiff from re-agitating the question. But, where the defense is as usual, that the defendant had good reason to suspect and believe that the plaintiff was, as he alleged, a mulatto, in such case, a finding of nominal damages sustains the defense, yet it concludes not the plaintiff from afterward averring and proving that he was white.
Sec, 19. Free Indians and their descendants, unmixed by African blood, are entitled to all the privileges of white men, except that of suffrage and office. The former, and of consequence the latter, has been denied to a pure Indian, living among the whites. The foregoing principle resulting from the case cited in the margin, is, I am persuaded, wrong. The term white " free white man"), used in our constitution, is comparative merely: it was intended to be used in opposition to the colors resulting from the slave blood. The case should be reviewed, and I trust the decision will be reversed; for the case in which it was made, will always condemn it. The relator, the Rev. John Mush, was an Indian, of the Pawmunki tribe of Indians, in Virginia; he was a soldier of the revolution, he had as such, taken the oath of allegiance. He was sent out as a missionary to the Catawbas. He, however, did not reside among them; he lived among the while inhabitants of York Districi, where he had resided for many years. He was a man of unexceptionable character. Yet, strange to say, he was held not to be entitled to vote. If that decision be right, how long is the objection to prevail? When is the descendant of an Indian to be regarded as white? Is it, that he is not to be so regarded, until a jury shall find him to be white, on account of the great preponderance of the white blood? But the Indian blood, like thet
of the white, is the blood of freedom; there is nothing degrading in it; and hence, therefore, the Indian and his descendants may well claim to be white within the legal meaning of our constitution.
Sec. 20. A Mestizo is the issue of a negro and an Indian, and is subject to all the disabilities of a free negro and mulalio.
Sec. 21. The burden of proof of freedom rests upon the negro, mulatto, or mestizo, claiming to be free.
Sec. 22. Under the act of 1740, 1st sec., 1st proviso, and the act of 1799, it is provided, if any negro, mulatto or mestizo shall claim his or her freedom, he may, on application to the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of the Disirici, have a guardian appointed, who is authorized to bring an action of trespass, in the nature of ravishment of ward, against any person claiming property in the said negro, mulatto or mestizo, or having possession of the same; in which action, the general issue may be pleaded, and the special circumstances given in evidence; and upon a general or special verdict found, judgment shall be given according to the very right of the case.
2. MORILE AND OHIO RAILROAD. To Sydney Smith, Esq., President Mobile and Ohio Railroad:
Dear Sir-Having made a partial reconnoisance of the country between the Ohio river and Mobile; and having organized and placed in the field four efficient parties of surveyors, who are now actively engaged in running the necessary lines to determine the best location of the railroad, it may be agreeable to you, and useful to your company, to receive from me some general remarks upon the practicability and character of the great work you have undertaken. These I am happy to make, in advance of a detailed report upon the results of the surveys, in consequence of the misapprehension existing along the route, and, to some extent, even in Mobile, in relation to the ability of the people to build the road at this time, and to its capacity as a labor-saving machine.
First. The country throughout the whole distance is of the secondary alluvial formations, exhibiting but few points of rock excavation, and these of the softest kind of limestone and sandstone. Its surface is moderately undulating, but where the road will naturally cross the dividing ridges does not exceed 250 to 300 feet above the nearest navigable waters of the Tennessee, or Tumbigbee rivers. Nor will the road be, at the highest point, over 650 to 700 feet above the tide waler at Mobilo. Very little stone, fit for masonry, can be found; but materials for bricks and timber in the greatest abundance, are everywhere convenient and suitable for railroad structures. In fact, the country under examination, topographically and geographically, is very favorable for the con. struction and use of a railway.
Second. In consequence of the slight elevations to be overcome, and the otherwise general feasibility of the country for the railroad in the norih and south direction, the gradienis and curves can be made, by a careful location, of easy passage, so that the speed and effective power of the engines may be greater upon your road, other things being equal, than upon any other line of equal extent' in the United States. Going south, we hope to have no gradients to exceed thirty feet per mile, or north, over forty feet; and the shortest curve not less than 1432 feei radius. With these natural facilities for construction, and the certainty of taking a fair portion of the immense traffic of the Mississippi and of its northern and eastern tributary valleys,also, the whole of the local business of the extensive agricultural country through which the road will pass you can have no apology for building any other than a permanent, first class road-one as good as the best in the north-eastern states. With this view, a location, plans and estimates, will in due time be presented, which, if carried out, cannot fail to give the following results, viz: Time of transit of passenger trains through..
...20 hours. do. do. freight, do. do.
...40 do. Gross load of 20 ton engine going south on on max. grade of 30 feet..400 tons. Of which will be merchandise..
...236 do. Gross load of same engine going north on max. grade of 40 feet.....330 do. Of which will be merchandise.....
.194 do. On a road of this character, passenger fares will range from 24 to 3y2 cents per mile, inversely to the distance traveled. Freight charges 1% 10 3 cents per
ton per mile, for agricultural products, salt, lime, plaster, &c., and 24 to 5 cis. per ion per mile for imporied merchandise. All freight charges being propor. tioned directly to the value, riek, and bulk of the articles, and inversely to the distance transported.
The following table of comparative loads on different inclinations, will show the value of reducing the maximum gradients to the lowest practicable limit:
1.OAD ON ASCENT OF load. /10 11/20 11 30 11.40 11.50 11.60 11. level. P. m. p. m. p. m p m. p. m. p. m. ions. tons, tons. tons. tons tons. tone,
Gross loads 24 tons engines.
11,000 6731 502 400 330 280 243 Net loads of niprchandise..
5871 3961 2961 2361 1941 166 142 Hence the cost of traction per ton on a load, compared with the giacients mentioned in the table, will be in the ratio of 1-1,49—-1,98–2,49—3—3,53 and 4,13. Every person can see from this ihe imporiance of the low gracienis as an element of cheap freighis; also, of a strong iron rail, without which a smooth road surface cannot be maintained even on a level gradient.
Third. The great benests of this road to the country to be traversed by it, will be fully proved by enabling the agriculturists of western Kentucky and Tennessee, and northern Mississippi and Alabama, to crop their fields and place their products in the Mobile market twelve to twenty days earlier than can be done from the states north of the Ohio; and also, by furnishing the citizens of Mobile and the planters of the whole coiton growing region of eastern Mississippi alid western Alabama, with their supplies of provisions directly from the north, at all seasons of the year, and over an average distance of 200 to 400 miles, instead of 1500 to 1800 miles, as is now the practice, via the Ohio, Missis. sippi and Tombigbee rivers.
The soil on nearly four-fisths of the entire route, is, on the average, as rich and fertile as any in the western country, and, in consequence of iis distance from market, is now but partially cultivated; that it will be thickly settled and greatly enhanced in value by your road cannot be doubted. Of this enhancement of value, I venture to give you the foilowing estimate : Miles,
Average. 1st. each side of the road...
.41. .1,912,500 5ih
.1,3 0,000 10th
.24. .1,237,500 Ilth
.24. .1,012,500 131h
450,000 18 h
115,500 Pine region and ridge lands... 2,300,000.
$24,769,000 Judging from the effect of railroads elsewhere upon the value of real estato, one-half of this increase will be realized in five years, and the whole within fifteen vears after the road shall have been completed.
Fourth. Are the people of the country adjacent to the route sufficiently numerous and in condition to make the road in the next five years? I believe