Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/460

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whites, and in the mass of population lose race distinctiveness. He was compelled to stand off by himself, a separate and alien people. Like food incapable of digestion, and which lies in the stomach only stimulative of disease, he remained in the body politic a foreign element, without opportunity or power of assimilation, and a perpetual source of alarm. Hence, Mr. Clay advocated colonization; and happy would it have been for the country if his views had prevailed, and the slaves been bought up by the Government at an appraised rate, and transported either to their native land or to some section provided for them exclusively.

We have an impression that a move was made in Congress last winter by some Senator, looking to the acquisition of territory in Central America as a home for the blacks. Though nothing came of it, it is matter for rejoicing that Congressmen are turning their eyes this way. The sole ground whereon we favored ex-President Grant's project to buy San Domingo was that it would afford a home for our black population. Some home for them outside of this country must be provided at an early day, or ultimately their presence here will lead to complications and disorders of appalling character. The current news from the South, amid much that is cheering, strengthens our forebodings. There are a present peace and prosperity; but, to an attentive ear, mutterings of this storm are already beginning to be heard.

The republic is so rich and so prosperous, and its future, from some stand-points, so fair, that it seems invidious, perhaps, to mar the picture and reveal a frightful evil slowly developing in its bosom. Some would fain deem the danger imaginary; and, even when fully realized, the trouble, in its ultimate and worst forms, is comparatively so remote that there is a tendency to forget it, or at least to transfer its consideration to another day and generation. The remoteness of an evil, however, does not carry with it remoteness in applying the remedy. Let American statesmen of the present day be looking in the direction we have indicated. A subject so vast and so momentous it is the part of wisdom to regard before immediate threatenings compel consideration. Assuredly, the question will more and more thrust itself forward for solution. The black man is still the "irrepressible conflict." Great difficulties, under any circumstances, must attend its solution. Let it be solved while a peaceful adjustment is yet practicable, for there is a point beyond which the attempt to solve it would involve the rupture of the republic.