The Doctrines of Modern Political Economy
There is a presumed history of things that is taught to most, that even the less powerful from amongst the elites believe…and then there is another history of these events, that only a relative few and powerful know. It is important for those wishing to see not only the preservation of their own people, but the other various peoples of the world as well that make up humanity, to have an excellent grasp of the past so as to see clearly as to what to do in the present. Hence entries here such as this…
This is a very insightful 1864 condensation of Henry Charles Carey’s 1857 book Principle’s of Social Science edited by Kate McKean. Carey was an economist in the states who believed the free enterprise system should be a tool of man, and man not a tool of it ... that like fire it must be carefully watched and controlled lest persons, peoples, their cultures and lands be harmed by it. Carey felt something was quite amiss though, and that the Ricardo-Malthusian economic system used by Great Britain (and apparently by America) with it’s heavy emphasis on trade, would in the course of time ultimately result in the enslavement of all of humanity. Carey’s ideas regarding economics became quite popular at the time they were initially published, but alas did not take hold.
The “doctrines of modern political economy” according to the author include the adoption by the state’s economists the theory of “over population”, the necessity for “a cheap and abundant supply of labor”, and the seeing “in man a mere instrument to be used in trade.”
Here are some excerpts from Carey’s book whose words speak for themselves and are in many instances quite applicable to today. In his writing, Carey engages in ‘constructive criticism’, which I see as a legitimate exercise, as opposed to bashing.
Cheap Laborers (AKA ‘Immigrants’) on the Mediterranean Island of Lampedusa Awaiting to be Imported by Diktat to Various European Countries
“Why do misery and crime exist? Why, when so large a portion of the earth is yet unoccupied, are human beings suffering for food, and crowded together in unwholesome dens, to the sacrifice of comfort, decency, and health? Why does one nation export food of which its own members are in need, while another sends its manufactures throughout the world although hundreds of thousands at home are scarcely clothed? Why are nations or individuals seen elbowing each other, so to speak, for room to live? Why are we called to witness everywhere an uneasy jealousy among communities each watching with an unfriendly eye the expansion of the other - the strong ever encroaching on the rights of the weak? Why should the chief of European nations wage a ceaseless “warfare” against the industry and prosperity of the world at large? In short, what is the cause of the measureless woe that exist in this fair world which its Creator pronounced to be “very good”?
Who that has ever reflected on human affairs has not asked himself these questions, has not at some period of his life sought to solve these problems? It is not, however, in this hitherto favored land that such subjects press with their full weight on heart and mind, adding a heavy item to individual cares and troubles: it is in Europe, especially the British Isles, - that portion of the earth in which man’s power over nature seems to be most complete, - that the immense mass of human suffering, the breath and depth of which no imagination can measure, most bewilders the understanding while sickening the very soul…”
The sub-chapter descriptions are also of interest.
3. Rude character of English commerce at the opening of the fourteenth century. Phenomena then presented precisely similar to those exhibited in the agricultural communities of the present day….. p 178
4. Change of policy under Edward III, and its effects. Adoption of the protective policy under Charles II….. p 179
5. Effects of dependence upon the distant market, as shown in England in the early portion of the eighteenth century. Changes in the condition of the people consequent upon diminution of that dependence…. p 181
6. Monopolistic character of the British system. Nothing comparable with it, in its power for evil, before ever devised…. p 182
7. Power for evil when wrongly directed, exist everywhere in the ratio of that for good when guided in the right direction. British system looks to diminishing the tax of transportation for the British people, but increasing it for the other nations of the world…. p 183
1. Errors of the British system obvious to Adam Smith. His caution to his countrymen in regard to the dangers necessarily incident to an exclusive dependence upon trade. His advice neglected, and hence the growth of pauperism and the origination of the theory of over-population…. p 186
2. Warlike and monopolistic character of the system….. p 188
3. By destroying among other people the power to sell their labor it destroys competition for the purchase of British labor. Teaching, that to enable capital to obtain a fair renumeration labor must be kept down, it tends to the production of slavery everywhere…. p 189
4. Approximation in the prices of raw materials and finished commodities the one essential characteristic of civilization. British system looks to the prevention of that approximation. Its tendency towards reduction of other communities to a state of barbarism…. p 192
5. Stoppage of the circulation a necessary consequence of the predominance of the British system. Disappearance of the small proprietors of England. Condition of the agricultural laborer….p 193
6. The higher the organization the more perfect the power of self government. That power diminishing among the people, and in the government, of England. Gulf dividing the higher and lower classes a constantly widening one….p 195
7. Necessity for careful study of the system under which originated the theory of over-population. Inevitable tendency of the Ricardo-Malthusian doctrine that of making slavery the ultimate condition of the laborer. The system of the British school a retrograde one. Had its origin in a retrograde policy. Sees in man a mere instrument to be used in trade…. p 197
From the latter 18th thru the mid 19th century chattel slavery was in the process of being banned in the US, UK, and other parts of the world. Unfortunately, rather than the needed profound change of heart regarding the accepted ideas of all too many merchants, who engaged the original “cheap labor” of chattel slavery for their ventures…it was instead the force of law and the force of arms behind it that would make them give up their institution. Even sadder still and probably most important of all, was the apparent realization by those in power some time in the early 19th century that it was simply cheaper to pay “free labor” than the “cradle to grave” expenses payed for the chattel slave, the primary moral crime being seen as the wasted expenditure, and not the other things.
Though chattel slavery was now banned, as the morality of it had not been squarely nor honestly faced, something akin to a sleight of hand occurred regarding it. The ghastly institution’s core characteristics therefore would live on in “cheap labor” to this day, people being seen as a commodity to be bought and sold like any other, to be ripped from their families, peoples, cultures, and lands, and brought to live and work in both fields and factories, amongst other peoples, with no concern for the harm done.
“There being in all the real and permanent interests of mankind a perfect harmony, error in one community tends necessarily to the production of error everywhere. The annhilation of the power of association throughout Ireland tended to compel the emigration of Irishmen to England, there, of course, cheapening labor to the great disadvantage of the English laborer.
The long continued “warfare” upon the industry of other nations, described in a former chapter, carried on under the mistaken idea that the prosperity of the British people was to be promoted by “stifling in the cradle” all the manufactures of the world outside of Britain was attended necessarily by the destruction of the smaller manufactures of Britain herself, the result being seen in the facts, that there is now no place for the little capitalist in any department of manufacture, and that the proportion of society engaged in trade -obtaining a living by “snatching the bread out of other people’s mouths”- is a constantly increasing one. The neccesity for emigration from among this class grows therefore daily, the higher and lower classes becoming divided by a constanly deepening and widening gulf.
Consolidation of the land driving the laboror to the cities, and consolidation of capital diminishing the competition for the purchase of labor in towns and cities, the power of the laborer to determine for whom he would work, and at what he would work, necessarily declined -the effect being seen in a growing increase in that competition for the sale of labor, now regarded as so indispensable to the progress of British manufactures, but which is only another name for slavery.”
“The wider the gulf which divides the great proprieters from the laborer on the land the greater is the space to be occupied by middlemen, and the smaller is the proportion retained by those who own the land, or those who do the work. The larger the space between the great manufacturer and the regiment of hands employed in his mill, the more numerous will be the intermediate agents, each and all anxious to obtain the largest prices for having the work done, while paying the smallest to do those who do it. *
The system tends everywhere to the elevation of trade at the expense of agriculture -looking as it did in the days of Adam Smith, and as it now does to the cheapening of all the raw materials of manufacture. Such being the facts, we need scarcely feel surprised at the expression, by one of the most enlightened of modern British writers, of the opinion that it is neither an imaginary nor a distant evil, that the middle classes should “sink into nothing” - England then becoming “a Genoa in large, with one small class living in almost royal splendor and luxury, and the great mass of the community in rags and hunger.” **
Under such circumstances it is, that the last few years have witnessed an amount of involuntary emigration from the British islands, that is wholly without a parallel, except in the history of the African slave trade. Australia has been peopled by convicts. Emigration commisioners have been employed in exporting the women who were required for pairing with the men who had been shipped abroad. Scotchmen have been expelled from their little holdings and sent to Canada. Cottages, by tens of thousands, have been levelled in Ireland, with a view to compel the exportation of the wretched people who had occupied them. Under such circumstances it was , that 2,144,802 persons left the United Kingdom in the short period of seven years, ending in 1854. Of these, it is probable that more than one hundred thousand perished on the road to their new homes, victims to the system which finds in buying in the cheapest market and selling in the dearest one the chief incentive of action, and sees in man a mere instrument to be used by trade.”
* “The feudalization going on in our manufacturing social economy is very conspicuous in some of the great cotton factories. The master-manufacturer in some districts, who employs eight hundred or a thousand hands, deals in reality with only fifty or sixty sub-vassals, or operative cotton spinners, as they are technically called, who undertake the working of so many looms, or spinning jennies. They pay and hire the men, women, and children, who are the real operatives, grinding their wages down to the lowest rate, and getting the highest they can out of the master-manufacturer. A strike is often the operation of these middle-men and, productive of little benefit to, and even against the will of, the actual workmen. They are in the little imperium of the factory, the equivalent to the feudal barons.” Laing: Notes of a Traveller pg 177.
** Ibid, pg 188.
More regarding “cheap labor” by the economist Carey
“...As the Act of Union closed the factories of Ireland, her people were forced to emigrate to the place at which the taxes were distributed, their competition of course throwing the English laborer still more upon the “tender mercies” of the capitalist. From year to year the small proprieter was seen to pass into the condition of a day laborer, and the small employer, mechanic, or tradesmen, into that of a mere receiver of wages -the whole people thus tending to become divided into two great classes, the very rich, and the very poor, the master and the slave.
As England became flooded with the wretched people from the sister isle, driven from home in search of employment, the wealthy found it easier to accomplish the “great works” for which the country has been indebted to the “cheap labor” of Ireland, and the greater influx of such labor the more rapid was the decline in the power of both Ireland and Britain to furnish a market for English manufactures. Hence arose a necessity for looking abroad for new markets to take the place of those before existing at home; and thus cheap labor, a consequence of the system, became, in its turn, a cause of new efforts for still furthering cheap labor. As the Irishman could no longer buy, it became necessary to expel the Hindoo from his own market. As the Highlander was expelled, it became necessary to underwork the spinners and weavers of China. As the Bengalese are impoverished, there arises a necessity for filling Bhurma and Borneo with British goods. Pauperism and recklessness lie necessarily at the root of such a system, based, as it is, upon the idea of a perpetual antagonism of interests. The result is seen in the facts, that the condition of the agricultural population is steadily deteriorating…”
On the same page as above the author excerpts a London Times article (italics in original) apparently written in the 1850’s or perhaps late 1840’s
“For a whole generation man has been a drug in this country, and population a nuisance. It has scarcely entered into the heads of economists that they would ever have to deal with a deficiency of labor. The inexhaustable Irish supply has kept down the price of English labor, whether in the field, the railway, the factory, the army or the navy; whether at the sickle, the spade, the hod, or the desk. We believe that for fifty years at least, labor, taking its quality into account, has been cheaper in this country than in any part of Europe; and that this cheapness of labor has contributed vastly to the improvement and power of the country, to the sucess of all mercantile pursuits, and to the enjoyment of those who have money to spend.”
“Had that been the limit of the movement - had the policy of England looked soley to the emancipation of her own people from dependence on the casualties of distant markets - had her statesmen been governed by the great fundamental Christianity which requires of us to respect the rights of others as carefully as we desire that they should respect our own all would have been well; and the doctrines of over population, of the necessity for “a cheap and abundant supply of labor,” of the expediency of expelling a kindred nation with a view to supply its place by “one more docile and more serviceable” that could “submit to a master” - the doctrines, in short, of modern political economy - would have remained to this hour unheard of.”
Though these examples are not directly from Mr Carey’s book the subject is closely related.
Had you ever wondered why and how it was a hundred years ago and more there were Indians (from India proper) in South Africa and the Carribean, and Chinese in North America? Wonder no more.
Here a letter writer in an 1844 edition of Colonial Magazine (yes, I too was struck by the name of the journal) proposes the “systematic emigration” of Chinese to Australia. Note no concern is expressed of the effect this might have upon the Australians of European extraction already in Australia, or for that matter the Aborigines who had been there even earlier, only that profits be made. Nothing seems to have changed between then and now.
The World in Hemispheres Ca 1880
“SIR - The opinion is daily gaining ground that slavery and the slave trade can only be terminated by the promotion of systematic emigration from India, Africa, and China, to our various tropical possesions, so as to enable planters to raise tropical produce cheaper by free than it can by slave labor; and that the measures which have been adopted by this country for putting a stop to the slave trade, entailing an enormous expenditure and loss of life, have only tended to aggravate its horrors without materially diminishing its extent.
The West Indian islands, Guiana and Mauritius, as soon as they fully obtain the advantages of free labor will be enabled to increase their exports and supply this country with sugar and other tropical productions; but it must be borne in mind that they are not cotton growing countries to any considerable extent.
With few exceptions, the best descriptions of cotton are grown in America; hence there can be little doubt that, whilst that country possesses this advantage, slavery, in its worst aspects, will continue to prevail there. Now, since England, as she is the chief purchaser of slave labor produce, is also indirectly the great cause of slavery in many parts of the world, especially in North and South America, whence she receives the greater portion of her cotton, it appears to be the bounden duty of the government, if it be really serious in its avowed intentions of putting down slavery and the slave trade, to encourage as much as possible the produce raised by free labor on tropical climes.”
Oceanica Exhibiting Its Various Divisions ca 1858
“New South Wales is a country admirably adapted for the growth of cotton, and many other articles of tropical produce, such as coffee, nutmegs, silk, and tobacco. This is the opinion of Captain Grey and others intimately acquainted with the country. Cotton and nutmegs in many parts grow wild. I have seen an excellent sample of cotton grown at Moreton Bay. It has thousands of miles of coast line and numerous islands within the tropics, subject to periodical rains, in many parts extremely fertile, and with English capital and cheap labor, might be rendered very productive. Moreover, the northwest coast is within three weeks’ sail of India and China, from whence any number of laborers may be procured and maintained at much less cost than slaves in the slave holding states of America. It is also within a few days sail of the islands of Java, Bally, and Lombock, where rice and other provisions are procureable at a remarkably cheap rate; and what is of more importance, it possesses one of the healthiest tropical climates in the world; residents there being delivered from the perpetual fear of the yellow fever, as in the West Indies, or of the malignant cholera , as in the East. Captain Grey and his party were exposed night and day, for many weeks, to the climate, without suffering the least in health. Port Essington has now for many years been occupied, and very little sickness has occurred amongst the residents there.
As colonists, the Chinese are undoubtedly superior to the natives of India. They are a hardier and more industrious race, endowed with a more robust constitution - better able to endure fatigue, and to withstand viccissitudes of climate, and superior to the Indian laborer as agriculturalists. Moreover, they are more likely to become permanant residents on the soil, and the hope of their conversion to Christianity under more favorable auspices than obtain in their own country, is anything but chimerical. Next to the English, perhaps the Chinese, of all the nations of the earth. are most disposed to emigrate; and the extent to which emigration has reached of late years among them is truly surprising, when we consider that it is left to original enterprise. It has been computed that upwards of fifty thousand adults, chiefly males, annually emigrate from the shores of China to seek a home and livelihood in a foreign land. These emigrants have found their way in great numbers, and at their own expense, to Siam, Borneo, the Phillipne Island, Moluccas, Java, Sigapore, Malacca, Pinang, Madras, Calcutta, Bombay, Mauritius, and to the islands of Bally and Lombock, situated only a short distance from the Australian continent. In Singapore they form the bulk of the laboring population, and are, with few exceptions, the only clearers and cultivators of the soil. In Borneo, in the very teeth of its hostile inhabitants, they have formed flourishing settlements. At Batavia, they form a large and industrious portion of the population; the same at Manilla. Thousands exist under British rule at Hong Kong, where all the public and private works are carried on by them. In his own country the pay of a chinese laborer averages from four pence to six pence a day; on this stipend he contrives to maintain himself, together with his wife and family. His food is principally rice and fish, with occasioanlly a little meat.
From the inquiries I made when in China, of persons long resident there, I am satisified that with the prospect of bettering their condition, any number of Chinese laborers and mechanics of every description might be easily induced to emigrate, and form settlements on the northern coasts of New Holland [ed Australia], and when the country should become known to them, multitudes at their own expense, would speedily find their way thither.
The fisheries in the Torres Straits might be rendered productive in the hands of the Chinese; and the colonization of New Guinea, one of the largest and most fertile islands on the globe, would not be far distant.
I am further confident that the country which shall direct and promote the emigration of the Chinese cannot fail of reaping a rich harvest therefrom, and of giving a death blow to slavery andthe slave trade.
The experiment might be easily tried at or near Port Essington, and that at an inconsiderable expense.
I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,
A link to the full article as originally appeared in a fall 1844 edition of Colonial Magazine and reproduced here from the October 12 1844 issue of Littel’s Living Age pg 631
A link to a similar article promoting “cheap labor” for Australia, this time from India. It is entitled “Earl’s Enterprise In Tropical Australia” and initially appeared in a Spring 1846 edition of The London Spectator and is reproduced here in the May 2 1846 issue of Littel’s Living Age pg 224-225
After the British Empire’s formal abolition of chattel slavery in 1833, and the short transition period which followed, many of the Blacks in the Caribbean now working as “free labor” either would not or could not do the former work -perhaps it was the very low pay offered them- and were content in many instances to engage in subsistance farming on three to five acre plots they purchased. “Cheap labor”, referred to at the time as “Coolies”, was brought in to do the work from Asia.
Soon after the introduction of the “cheap labor” from India to the Caribbean, reports of their ill treatment began to surface. Note here the term “Slavery” in the headline is in no way referring to the Black former chattel slaves, who had been released over a decade before and were now “free labor”, but instead refers to the “cheap labor”/“Coolies”. The report comments that the former slaves even “appear to sincerely pity them.”
Map of North America ca 1858
SLAVERY IN JAMAICA AND WEST INDIES
“The Baptist Herald gives a sad account of the state of the Coolies. From a correspondent in the parish of Clarendon, the editor learns that “the Coolies, both men and women, work in the field, many of them in a state of nudity, and hardly any of them decently clothed; that many of them are suffering from severe sickness and are so covered with sores as to be unable to work. According to agreement, these ought to be provided for; but such, it is reported, is not the case; those who cannot get work get no pay. Their complaints on the subject of wages are loud and numerous, and they generally state their determination to leave their employment as soon as they are free; their belief is, that they are slaves. By their own driver or superintendent, they are often severely beaten, and many of them have lately run away from their employment on this account, and have only been induced to return by the interference of the general super-intendent. They work in gangs by themselves - the negroes appear sincerely to pity them.”
From the same source we learn that the young Africans who came to the colony by the Glen Huntly, and were hired out under contract to “act as laborers on the pen, in minding cattle, hoeing grass, picking pimento, and other light work for which they were to be clothed, fed, lodged, educated, and found in medical attendance when required, have been much neglected and oppressed. The Baptist Herald says: “Now, we can prove that these children were not decently clothed, received no instruction, were sometimes half starved, and were engaged in mending the queen’s highway, carrying and breaking stones, cutting down trees, etc, and were never allowed to go to school or chapel, or to see their countrymen on a neighboring property. These things were laid before his excellency the governor, and no examination or redress has taken place.”
A link to the full article which appeared in the May 30 1846 issue of Littel’s Living Age pg 429
Reports from the Carribean islands of Trinidad and Demerara. Note the “Coolies” here, usually if referenced at all by another term as simply “cheap labor”, are here referred to as “immigrants”, much as today.
Southern U.S., Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies ca 1860
WEST INDIA IMMIGRATION
“By the Zullette, at Norfolk, we have full files of West India papers, from which we gathered the following items relative to the much spoken of Coolie immigration to the British colonies. - United States Gazette.
Trinidad.- The Gazette announces the arrival of another batch of immigrants, from Madras and Calcutta, amounting, in the whole, to 353. The Madras people, the editor states, are a fine, athletic set, superior, as a whole, to any that had as yet arrived. The distribution of these immigrants seems to have been conducted in a very discreditable manner. The Gazette admits that they were not satisifed, and that “distant kindred” were separated. The Spectator speaks of it in the following terms:
“Yesterday there was witnessed in the yard at government house a scene disgraceful to a free country - a scene bearing a striking resemblance to what is witnessed in a professed slave market. The Indian immigrants, by the Lord William Bentinck, from Madras, and the Cadet, from Calcutta, amounting to 453, were distributed gratis to the favorite applicants by the immigration agent general, in pure Baltimore or Cuban style. In apportioning to the planters the respective numbers applied for, no regard whatever was paid to the ties of family or friendship. Wives were separated from their husbands, and children from their parents. While being thus meted out as mules, if a husband rushed towards his wife, or vice versa, or a mother to the lot containing her sons, the poor affectionate creatures were rudely pushed back in the most brutal and unfeeling manner by that amalgamation of inhumanity and self-conceit, the immigration agent general. Shall such things be tolerated in Trinidad in 1846?”
Demerara. - The following paragraphs, from Emery’s Journal, are worthy of perusal:
Most people in this quarter anticipate, as a now inevitable event, the outbreak of a war with the United States. The feeling consequent on such an expectation are of a very gloomy kind. Not that a foreign invasion appears to be the most serious ill that could befall us. A permanent occupation of the province by a hostile force is improbable. But it has been the policy of our rulers to discountenance the cultivation of every product of the soil except sugar and its kindred staples. Peace and high prices at home enable us to buy food from America. The results of a fall in prices or a war must be obvious. Moreover our rulers contemplate that, of a public revenue of $820,000, $290,000 shall be raised by a tax on imports. A war would cut off this branch at once.
The scarcity of money continues to prevail to a degree not paralleled in the recollection of anybody.
So many coolies, half naked, scabby, famishing, helpless from ignorance, and overrun with vermin, infest the highways of the metropolis; the authorities have hounded on them the police, who drive them into the lock-up house, (surely an illegal act), and the planters cry out for permission to conclude contracts of indenture, that is, with beguiled strangers, who cannot comprehend the signification thereof. That some coolies are doing well, is undeniable. But, as we have paid for the introduction of all, and are bound to reexport all, at the end of five years, at our own cost, every hour of cooley vagrancy aggravates the loss of our foolish speculation.”
A link to the full article in the September 19 1846 issue of Littel’s Living Age
A correspondent tells of finding “imported” laborers from India, many in a state of beggary, in Kingston Jamaica.
West Indies - Cuba, Hayti and Jamaica ca 1858
LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA
[This series of letters is begun in the New York Evening Post; probably from Mr. W. C. Bryant himself.]
Kingston, Jan. 11th, 1850.
“It is not easy to imagine a more delightful series of sensations than one experiences in passing at the rate of two hundred and fifty miles a day, in a first class steamship like the Empire City, from the rigors of a northern winter, to the soft and genial temperature of the tropics. Eight days ago, we sailed from pier No. 3, leaving New York city behind us all icebound, her streets covered with snow and resonant with sleigh-bells. Furs and woollens enveloped her population, and thermometers of every sect and denomination were agreed that the weather was very cold. A good part of the following night I passed in walking the deck of the Empire City, without an overcoat of any kind, and was warm and comfortable, as if it were an evening in June. In two days more linen clothing was gladly substituted by the less prudent of our company, including myself, for flannels, and the pitch trickled from the seams of the ship,and from her rigging, under the unrelenting heat of a tropical sun….”
Kingston, Feb. 1st, 1850.
“...I here beheld for the first time, a class of beings of whom we have heard much, and for whom I have felt considerable interest. I refer to the Coolies, imported by the British government to take the place of the faineant negroes, when the apprenticeship system was abolished. Those that I saw were wandering about the streets, dressed rather tastefully, but always meanly, and usually carrying over their shoulder a sort of chiffionier’s sack, in which they threw whatever refuse stuff they found in the streets, or received as charity. Their figures are generally superb, and their eastern costume, to which they adhere as far as their poverty will permint of any clothing, sets off their lithe and graceful forms to great advantage. Their faces are almost uniformly of the finest classic mould, and illuminated by pairs of those dark, swimming, and propitiatory eyes, which exhaust the language of tenderness and passion at a glance.
But they are the most inveterate mendicants [ed. indigant] on the island. It is said that those brought from the interior of India are faithful and efficient workmen, while those from Calcutta and its vicinity are good for nothing. Those that were prowling about the streets of Spanishtown and Kingston, I presume were of the latter class, for there is not a planter on the island probably,whom it would be more difficult to get any work out of, than from one of these. They subsist by begging altogether; they are not vicious, nor intemperate, nor troublesome particularly, except as beggars. In that calling they have a pertinacity before which a northern mendicant would grow pale. They will not be denied. They will stand perfectly still and look through a window from the street for a quarter of an hour, if not driven away, with their imploring eyes fixed upon you, like a stricken deer, without saying a word, or moving a muscle. They act as if it were no disgrace for them to beg, as if the least indemnification which they are entitled to expect, for the outrage perpetrated upon them in bringing them from their distant homes to this strange island, is a daily supply of their few and cheap necessities as they call for them.
I confess their begging did not leave upon my mind that impression produced by ordinary mendicancy. They do not look as if they ought to work. I never saw one smile, and though they showed no positive suffering, I never saw one look happy. Each face seemed to be constantly telling the unhappy story of their own woes, and like fragments of a broken mirror, each reflecting in all its hateful proportions the national outrage of which they are the victims.”
A link to the full article in the March 23 1850 issue of Littels Living Age pg 565-567
Posted by Alex on Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 06:06 PM in
Comments (1) | Tell a friend
Next entry: Slavery ‘on a grander scale…’
Previous entry: Critique of Palingenesis