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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/807

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MOVEMENT OF THE COLORED POPULATION.

with others in determining the general result, a warm climate being congenial to temperament and favorable to ease of living. In the South, the drift is to the new lands and the rich planting-regions; in the North, it is mainly to the accessible States in which employment is to be had. The tables of population by counties show that the colored people are very thoroughly distributed over the country, thinning out toward the North. In the same latitude the proportion of the colored population bears a very uniform relation to the number of whites. In tables giving the white and colored population of Northern States by counties, the adjacent columns, representing the two classes, indicate simply on their face this uniformity of relation. There are many exceptions, of course, as where, for example, in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, there is a large proportion of Irish, the two races not harmonizing well together, since they are competitors for the same kinds of employment. There were 25 per cent, more colored in New York County in 1840 than in 1870; while in Hudson County, New Jersey, in which Jersey City is situated, there is far less than the usual proportion of the colored element. But the rule will hold in a general way, notwithstanding the exceptions by whatsoever caused.

It is not the habit of the colored people to look up a vacancy in some new State, and proceed to fill it with their own race. If they did they would have to be their own employers, and the prosperity of the community would be of their own making. On the contrary, they seem to find a place more congenial to their tastes and better adapted to their wants by the side of and among white people. Here they may get employment without making it for themselves. Instead, therefore, of dying out by the side of the white man under freedom, as has been supposed, they are really stronger to live there than they would be in a settlement of colored people alone. This is so necessarily where, as in the older States, capital is indispensable as the basis of employment. It would seem that, in the industrial aspects of the case, the white and colored man may be, under certain circumstances, the complement of each other.

What will be the direction of colored migration in the future? This will depend in part on the policy of States and of the General Government toward the colored people. Formerly it was a current speculation that the blacks would drift toward certain States in the South, which would pass under colored control in all respects, to the exclusion of the whites. This, however, is not likely to take place, except by interference of the General Government. If, under the pretext of a free ballot, the bayonet is resorted to by any party in power at Washington, and certain States in the South are again brought under the control of ignorant masses led by political adventurers, Southern society may be forced into a different form from that which now prevails. Under the continuance of such a policy, if it could be