Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/457

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

traffic in America. Slavery existed at the north, as long as it was found profitable, and throughout the nation slaves were regarded as "property." This was a heritage handed down to us from England, in which country a law was enacted in 1713, the venerable Holt presiding, that held slaves to be "merchandise."

Thus the presence of the negro slaves in America was legally established by the courts of England and was for the most part effected through vessels of New England. Being more profitable in the south, they were soon gathered together there in great numbers.

It is not the purpose of the writer to go into the causes of the civil war, to consider which side was right, which wrong, or whether either side was either right or wrong. He believes that historians of the future will agree with Mr. Lunt when he says: "Self-seeking and ambitious demagogues, the pest of republics, disturbed the equilibrium, and were able at length to plunge this country into the worst of all calamities—civil war. The question of morals had as little as possible to do with the result."

The advocates of emancipation always declared that the fate of the colored man was a responsibility of the whole nation. This doctrine was accepted as a fact by the United States government and the colored man was eventually freed. But having accepted the responsibility of this race, it is and always has been the duty of the whole nation to care for the improvement and education of the colored man. His up-building, however, has been left entirely to the charge of the south, which consequently has had to assume the task of "educating two races out of the poverty of one."

It may be noted here that the national census shows that from 1860 to 1870 the assessed value of southern property diminished by practically one half, while the increase in northern property was approximately multiplied by two. And upon this basis the northern states by means of the protective tariff and other legislations have increased in wealth far more rapidly than those parts of the country which are primarily agricultural.

The disparity that is thereby produced in the funds for the education of the children in the different sections at the present time is seen from the following statement: The average amount spent in the United States at large is—per capita of the pupils in average attendance—$21.38; in the western states the average expenditure is $31.59, while for such states as Alabama and the Carolinas this expenditure is approximately $4.50. These figures are given by Mr. Murphy in an address delivered before the General Session of the National Education Association, Boston, July 10, 1903. In this address Mr. Murphy says:[1] "A democracy which imposes an equal distribution of

  1. Cf. also Murphy, "The Present South," p. 42.