connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of its induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceed so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers, or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.
Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed; nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, ande existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has it rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital, producing manual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and, with their capital, hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither calls-neither work for others nor have others working for them. In most of the Southern States a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves no masters; while in the Northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families-wives, sons, and daughters-work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital-that is, they labor with their own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principe stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.
Again, as has already been said, there is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all-gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted that those who toil up from poverty-none less inclined to take, or touch,aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost.
From the first taking of our national census to the last are seventy years; and we find our population, at the end of the period, eight