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sell for 9d sterling a pound. This, if your Hogsheads weigh, as they ought to do, 1500 lb. nett will give you a clear £50 Sterling a Hogshead. This £50, Sterling, if you import your own Wines, Negro Clothing, etc. etc. will be more than equal to an £100 currency expended in our stores, besides the advantage of getting every thing of superiour Quality. This is the course your Father, I know, and my Father pursued, and in this course they prospered. Our National Pride indeed revolts, sometimes, at this apparent continuance of our old colonial dependance. But it is a senseless pride, for, after all “ trahit suum quemque,” and according to the Greek Proverb, “God made all men to assist, and be dependent on one another." *
If the Peace of Europe continues for twenty years, or even for Ten, we shall see Wheat and Flour selling, from foreign countries, cheaper than our own in our own Markets. In some of my late English Reviews I see it stated as a fact that there are, even in England, at this time, twenty millions of Acres of waste land, capable of culture. Should these be inclosed and cultivated, and the vast sav. ing of seed by the Drill Ilusbandry be adopted generally, and her corn laws be repealed, which the Landed Interest must submit to at last, that Country alone will be enabled to export grain of different kinds in great quantity. The average crops of wheat are stated at 32 Bushels, and the consumption of London at about 5,600,000 Bushels. If the population of this overgrown City, this lead too large for the Body, be rated at one million, or 1,200,000 souls, being a tenth nearly of the whole Population of England, Scotland and Wales, then 2 millions of that 20 millions of acres brought into cultivation would supply those three Countries, and enable them to export largely.f It is very clear to my vision that if we would prosper (I speak of our cismontane part of the State only) we must stick to our old Planting Staples, Corn and Tobacco. $ Slave labor is notoriously the most expensive of all labor. It ought, therefore, to be applied to the culture of those Articles which are liable to the smallest loss. In Corn and Tobacco nothing is lost. We save all even to the storks and stems.
But in wheat, particularly the bearded wheat, I am confident that, with me, not more than three fourths of it is saved. All the rest is lost in getting up, getting in, and getting out. Besides it makes Drunkards of all our people. When the Harvest commences and the Whiskey or Brandy begin to
* This sentiment is conveyed in one of the most beautiful Greek Hexameters whether sense or sound, morality or versification be considered, that ever was penned. 'Αλλου ααλλον έθηκε Θεός γ' επιδευέα φωτών.
† What may not be expecied from l'oland, Sicily, France, and other parts of Europe, and even from Mediterranean Asia (Notolia) and from Africa, where wheat is made at 50 per cent less cost than here. [In margin.]
In order to have 20 effectives we are obliged to feed, clothe and pay the Taxes of 40 or 50 non-effectives. [In margin.]
circulate, every body with us is flustered.* The expense runs away with much of the Profit, and the little that remains hardly pays for the labor. Five or six Bushels for one are as much as we get from Corn fields; from Tobacco Lots not more than twenty to twenty five. The labor of farming too is much more severe than that of planting, whilst the Harvest lasts, and by no means so conducive to the Health of our Negroes, upon whose increase (“miserabile dictu !”) our principal profit depends. Tobacco is not only an Antidote to Contagion but is to the poor negro a luxury. Under our old Corn and Tobacco system our Lands improved more than they do at present. We all kept more stock, and more plentiful tables than now. Our Tobacco Lots I admit, monopolized all our Manure. But our Corn fields by being cultivated only once in three years, and not "put into wheat," afforded two constant Pastures, 3 when the corn was off, supported more numerous stocks and were kept in better Ileart than now. Great stress might be laid upon the precariousness of the wheat crop and the greater certainty of Corn and Tobacco, upon the greater Capital, which few of us have, that Farming requires than Planting. Upon the wear and tear of Team and Gear and Geoponical instruments of every kind. Upon our burning sun, which, after the month of June, five years out of six, causes the clover and other Grasses † to crackle under our feet. l'pon our scanty population of Whites, I the universal and inevitable consequence of Negro Slavery. For who can live, comfortably, in a free country, would migrate into a slave one? We see no Foreigners of any note or mind coming to settle in Virginia. So long as Slavery exists we have no prospect of any change for the better.
A regular system of progressive improvement in Agriculture is not to be expected, for our Lawgivers have clinched the nail which Slavery has driven. Under the groundless and ludicrous fear, as I conceive, of a landed ARISTOCRACY, they have even deprived us of the Right to make our wills, as if property were the Creature of Society, instead of Society's being the Creature of property. Lands are divided and subdivided in China even to Acres. But yet Despotism and a monied Aristocracy prevail there instead of a landed one. Of the two, I am Virginian enough, “ Lord of the soil” enough, to prefer the latter, if, as it seems, we must have the one or the other. Under the sanction of our State Constitution we boast of our Freehold, and of our permanent Interest in it. But the Laws have taken from it all permanency, aud made it
* In this slave country serious mischiefs may grow out of this by and by. [In margin.)
† Every thing here this summer was burnt to a cinder, and even at this time our mil) ponds are all very low. [In margin.]
| These it will be seen by the census next year, I suspect, do not increase “pari passu" with the Blacks, not withstanding the numerous sales and migrations of the latter to the new Countries, •[In margin.]
to shift and change with the Wind. In this state of things few will forego present enjoyment for future benefits which may or may not accrue to their own Posterity. Stability and the fair prospect of handing our landed Property down, from generation to generation, are the only stimuli to permanent improvement. These are taken away
The universal seutiment now is, with few exceptions, “ It will last my time. If it remain in the family after me, let those who may hold it do the best they can with it, or sell it for what it will fetch, and migrate to the Westward.” The consequence is that agriculture languishes, that all our antient Mansions in the lower Country are falling into Ruins, and those who bave been accustomed to live in good Houses, unwilling to sink money on them in the Country, are flying to our Towns, where, if they build, they can sell again without much, if any, loss. Agriculture is thus left to overseers and negroes. The antient hospitality of this antient Dominion is dying away, our habits and our manners are changing, the virtuous simplicity and ingenuousness, by which the “ prisca gens mortalium ” was characterized, are vanishing before the ludicrous affectation, and fantastic Ostentation, which the “ nova gens mortalium” is introducing into Fashion. Effeminacy and luxury and vanity and Folly, the common vices of all Towns, are creeping silently into the Country, and contaminating all classes of the Community. Our Agricultural Societies and agricultural Essays will avail us nothing so long as the present Fashion prevails, and this will continue until some radical change takes place in our “ Codification." Some change more congenial with the notions and wishes of the people on the subject of Landed Property, upon the stability and uncontrouled descent of which, from generation to generation, according to the free and un restrained will of the Possessor, depends the permanent existence of liberty and happiness under every form of Government. For, after all, it is the landed property of every Country that makes and unmakes Governments; and when this property ceases to have hereditary stability, “ Chaos is come again." When I use the word hereditary I use the language of Nature. The Land of our Fathers is that which we prize above all others.*
“ Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,
Ut prisca gens mortalium,
But, under the present order of things, the predilection for the “patale solum” is wearing away, and with it the very foundation of Patriotism. Those who exclaim “ It does not signify in whose Hands
* This is the language of Rousseau, whose "Social Contract” and “Consid. erations on the Government of Poland," are much quoted, little read, and still less digested by the Advocates of Liberty in these days. [In margin.]
the landed property is,” are ignorant of human nature, or affect opinions, which, in their Hearts, they do not entertain. It does signify and much whether land be in the hands of those who are attached to it by a thousand infantile recollectious and cordial feelings, or of those who only estimate it by the pumber of Dollars it cost, and are ever ready to part with ip for a few more Dollars than they gave.* Who cau doubt which of the two will make the best citizens? the truest Patriots? We hold our property of every kind, at this time, by a very precarious tenure." If to mitigate the rigors of Slavery, to indulge the feelings of humanity,” and to avoid as much as possible the perplexity and vexation which our negroes and overseers occasion to us, we invest our money in Banks and public Funds, we only seem “ to Ay from evils that we have to those we know not of.” Upon this subject I have long wished to open myself to you, as I have done, in regard to the topics I have already touched on, and on many others, for more than thirty years past,) always relying on your friendship to excuse my errors, or on your good sense to correct them. But, our Banks and public Funds, and general System of Finance require a separate and distinct letter, which I will endeavor to write to you shortly. In the meantime I beg you will do me the favor to present my respectful esteem to Mrs. Madison, and accept for yourself the long-standing, sincere and friendly regards of &c
FRANCIS CORBIN. The Reeds, near White Chimmis Po: off :
Oct. 10th. 1819,1
“Et patriam vendere auro.” [In margin.] 1 In “ Writings of James Madison," 11. 193, is a letter from Madison, apparently in reply to this one, but printed as being of date November 26, 1820.
WILLIAM PHINEAS UPHAM.
By ROBERT S. RANTOUL.
WILLIAM PHINEAS UPHAM, for thirty years an active member of this Society, died at Newton, November 23, 1905, in his seventieth year. It is due to no lack of regard for his memory that the customary tribute has not been placed earlier upon our records. This the warm words from the President, when his death was announced, sufficiently attest. The duty of preparing a memorial of him was duly assigned, and most fitly, to our late associate, Mr. John Noble, who had been charged with supervising, as Clerk of the Courts, the important work which Mr. Upham undertook, in 1881, in behalf of the County of Suffolk and the Commonwealth. While my knowledge of his earlier career in Essex County was intimate, Mr. Noble's association with him covered the period of his later and more conspicuous service. But Mr. Noble died before the memoir was complete.
Mr. Uphan was born at Salem, January 19, 1836. One of the last of a numerous family to succumb, most of them in childhood, to pulmonary disease, his career was a protracted struggle with his insidious foe. He owed the last years which were vouchsafed him to the devotion of a wife,' who, with two daughters, survives him. His was a most useful and exemplary life, and to those who enjoyed his intimacy, for he was a close friend, his memory is precious.
A turn for antiquarian research was in the blood. His father, Charles Wentworth Upham, a Harvard graduate of the Class of 1821, was for twenty years pastor of the historic First Church of Salem. Among many civic honors which he
1 Ile had married, December 1, 1880, Cynthia Bailey Nourse, a lineal descendant of Rebecca Nourse, the witchcraft victim commemorated by Whittier,