The Negro eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 168 pages of information about The Negro.

[84] DeWitt Talmage, in Christian Herald, November 28, 1906.

[85] Aimes:  African Institutions in America (reprinted from Journal of American Folk Lore), p. 25.

[86] Brown:  History of San Domingo, II, 158-159.

[87] See Leger:  Hayti, Chap.  XI.

[88] Cf.  Chapter V, p. 69.

[89] Johnston:  Negro in the New World.

XI THE NEGRO IN THE UNITED STATES

There were half a million slaves in the confines of the United States when the Declaration of Independence declared “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  The land that thus magniloquently heralded its advent into the family of nations had supported the institution of human slavery for one hundred and fifty-seven years and was destined to cling to it eighty-seven years longer.

The greatest experiment in Negro slavery as a modern industrial system was made on the mainland of North America and in the confines of the present United States.  And this experiment was on such a scale and so long-continued that it is profitable for study and reflection.  There were in the United States in its dependencies, in 1910, 9,828,294 persons of acknowledged Negro descent, not including the considerable infiltration of Negro blood which is not acknowledged and often not known.  To-day the number of persons called Negroes is probably about ten and a quarter million.  These persons are almost entirely descendants of African slaves, brought to America in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

The importation of Negroes to the mainland of North America was small until the British got the coveted privilege of the Asiento in 1713.  Before that Northern States like New York had received some slaves from the Dutch, and New England had early developed a trade by which she imported a number of house servants.  Ships went out to the African coast with rum, sold the rum, and brought the slaves to the West Indies; there they exchanged the slaves for sugar and molasses and brought the molasses back to New England, to be made into rum for further exploits.  After the Asiento treaty the Negro population increased in the eighteenth century from about 50,000 in 1710 to 220,000 in 1750 and to 462,000 in 1770.  When the colonies became independent, the foreign slave trade was soon made illegal; but illicit trade, annexation of territory and natural increase enlarged the Negro population from a little over a million at the beginning of the nineteenth century to four and a half millions at the outbreak of the Civil War and to about ten and a quarter millions in 1914.

The present so-called Negro population of the United States is: 

1.  A mixture of the various African populations, Bantu, Sudanese, west-coast Negroes, some dwarfs, and some traces of Arab, Berber, and Semitic blood.

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The Negro from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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