War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0330 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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effect. In the first place, none of the cares-those noble cares, that holy thoughtfulness, which lifts the human above the brute parent-are ever incurred here, either by father or mother. The relation, indeed, resembles, so far as circumstances can possibly it so, the short-lived connection between the animal and its young. * * * But it is not only the absence of the conditions which God has affixed to the relation which tends to encourage the reckless increase of the race; they enjoy, by means of numerous children, certain positive advantages. In the first place, every woman who is pregnant, as soon as she chooses to make the fact known to the overseer, is relieved from a certain portion of her work in the field, with lightening of labor continues, of course, as long as she is so burdened. On the birth of a child certain additions of clothing and an additional weekly ration are bestowed on the family, and these matters, small as they may seem, act as powerful inducements to creatures who have none of the restraining influences actuating them which belong to the parental relation among all other people, whether civilized or savage. Moreover, they have all of them a most distinct and perfect knowledge of their value to their owners as property; and a woman thinks, and not much amiss, that the more frequently she adds to the number of her master's live-stock by bringing new slaves into the world the more claims she will have upon his consideration and good will. This was perfectly evident to me from the meritorious air with which the women always made haste to inform me of the number of children they had borne and the frequent occasions on which the older slaves would direct my attention to their children, exclaiming, "Look, Missis; little niggers for you and Massa; plenty little niggers for you and little Missis." a

We have had abundant evidence of the correctness of the view here taken. General Saxton, for example, deposes:

Question. Were the women, under the slave system, taught chastity as a religious duty?

Answer. No, sir; they were taught that they must have a child once a year.

The prohibition against suckling their children longer than three months is part of the same system. b The result is that the slave families are usually very numerous. We found in South Carolina, among the freedmen, several instances in which the norther had twenty children and upward in as many years. The result is disclosed, beyond possible denial, throughout Mrs. Kemble's graphic volume. Excessive child-bearing, coupled with ceaseless toil-an interval of three weeks only being allowed after childbirth-these are conclusively shown to have been the source of shocking diseases and terrible suffering to the female slaves. c

The argument to be deduced from the great natural increase of the slave population in the United States would be much stronger than it is had the ratio of increase, as it was during the two first decades after the abolition of the slave-trade, been kept up to the present day.

But it has not been kept up. We have already had occasion, in the extract cited from the preliminary report of the Commission, to advert to the fact that the system of slavery among us has been


a Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-39, by Frances Anne Kemble, New York, 1863, pp. 59, 60.

b Among the witnesses whose testimony is given in the Report of the Lords in Council are several physicians residing in the island of Jamaica. One of these, Adam Anderson, of the parish of Saint Ann, testifies: "Great losses are sustained in the increase of negroes from the length of time the negro women continue their children at the breast-seldom less than two years and many of them more." (Lord's Report, Part III, Jamaica, Appendix No. 7.)

If this habit was common throughout the colonies, its effect, taken in connection with the custom so widely different in our slave States, is to be enumerated among the causes which went to produce the great variance of results as to increase of slave population in the West Indies and in the United States.

c Journal of a Residence in Georgia. (See p.29, also 39, a very bad case; also pp.79, 122, 190, 191, 196, 214, 215, 233, 251, with very strong evidence, and many others. The whole work is a most dreary picture, a terrible daguerreotype of what daily negro life was in a cotton State before the war.)