Such are the future prospects which offer themselves to us. If we remember, besides, the movement which is beginning to be wrought in the religious societies and the churches—a movement which cannot fail to be soon complete, we shall know on what to rely concerning the fate which awaits a social iniquity against which are at once conspiring the follies of its friends; and the indignation of its foes.
COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO RACES AFTER EMANCIPATION.
Something more difficult to foresee than the suppression, henceforth certain, of slavery, is the consequence of this suppression. The problem of the coexistence of the two races rests at the present hour with a crushing weight on the thoughts of all; it mingles poignant doubts with the hopes of some, it exasperates the resistance of others. Is it true that emancipation would be the signal of a struggle for extermination? Is there not room upon American soil for free blacks by the side of free whites? I do not conceal from myself that there is here an accredited prejudice, an admitted opinion which, perhaps more than any thing else, trammels the progress of the United States. Let us attempt to estimate it.
M. de Tocqueville, who has judged America with so sure an eye, has been, notwithstanding, mistaken upon some points; his warmest admirers must admit it. Writing at an epoch when the great results of English emancipation had not yet been produced, he was led to frame that formidable judgment of which so much advantage has been taken: “Hitherto, wherever the whites have been the more powerful, they have held the negroes in degradation and slavery; wherever the negroes have been the more powerful, they have destroyed the whites. This is the only account which can ever be opened between the two races.”
Another account is opened, thank God, and no one will rejoice at it more sincerely than M. de Tocqueville—he who is so generous, and whose abolition sentiments are certainly no mystery to any of his colleagues of the Chamber. But his opinion remains in his book, and every one repeats after him, that the blacks and the whites cannot live together on the same soil, unless the latter be subject to the former.