alone had that year netted him more than $600. He employed two men the year round, and found their help to be all that was requisite for the proper care of that portion of the farm which was under tillage, except during harvest and haying, when he lent a hand himself. A German servant woman assisted his wife in household duties, and these three hired persons were all the help needed to conduct the farm properly.

My friend said to him, “ Mr. Seely, what do you consider this farm worth at the present time?"

He replied, “I have refused $10,000 for it, but I have no disposition to sell. I find farming to be both a pleasant and a profitable employment. I am making money slowly, but surely. Philadelphia and Baltimore afford me a ready market, at good prices, for every thing I can raise, and as I am near a railroad, my transportation is cheap, quick, and easy. After an experience of five years, I love farming, and no ordinary consideration would induce me to leave it for the care, the toil, the anxiety and uncertainties of business in the city."

Mr. Seely continues on his cheaply purchased farm, for which, last year, he was offered $15,000. This case embraces all the strong points which the neglected lands of the two border slave States present. Slave labor exhausts the land, and starves upon it until compelled by a famine of its own creation to emigrate. Free labor comes in and changes the scene from scarcity to plenty. With thirty slaves to work this land, it became too poor to keep them, but with three or four free laborers it yielded bountiful crops, while in ten years its market value increased four hundred per cent.

Northern men, who are thus astonished at the cheapness of these lands, and incredulous as to their value, have overlooked the great underlying fact that the prosperity of these two States has been weighed down by the presence of slavery ; that the average value of land in the slave States has uniformly been less than in the free States; that in the former there are no large cities to give value to thousands of surrounding acres, by furnishing markets for their products; that they support no manufactories of their own, but depend almost exclusively on ours; that consumer and producer are everywhere widely separated; that labor, instead of being diversified, is confined principally to agriculture; that instead of being honored, it has been despised; that education and morals have been neglected, and free discussion forbidden. Into communities so governed, Northern men, educated to a higher standard, refused to migrate. It is true, that some were moved to do so, but the census proves that there are more native-born emigrants from the Southern States to the North, than Northerners to the South. Foreigners avoided it for kindred reasons. Thus, with no increase of population from abroad, and with very little at home, it was impossible for land to rise in value. As the West has grown to her colossal proportions by force of immigration, so the South, having none, has failed to increase her numbers to an extent sufficient to enhance the value of her soil.

This unnatural condition of things is now passing away, and a new era is opening on the South. Delaware and Maryland, the two slave States nearest to the North, and, therefore, the most accessible, are already beginning to feel its influence. Slavery removed, they are becoming worthy of Northern attention and enterprise. Delaware is rapidly reviving. Emigration already sets strongly toward her cheap and fertile soil. She is less exhausted than Maryland, and will revive the sooner. An infusion of Northern morals, capital, and enterprise, will regenerate her laws, her institutions, and her habit of thought. Such, also, in the end, will be the happy experience of Maryland. But until the people of the free States enter in by families and colonies, taking possession of the places which nearly two centuries of slavery have made waste, and teaching the inhabitants new thoughts, new habits, and a new civilization, they must remain as they are. Up to this moment they have stood still. If they are to advance, it can only be by help of Northern immigration. As that imperfect form of civilization whose basis was slave labor, has failed to promote State advancement, so the superior one, whose basis has been education and free labor, must be called in to work out in the slave region the only salvation which could prevent it from sinking into a barbarism that was overwhelming the white race as well as the black. Its humanizing influence having been sufficient for itself, it will be found equally potential for others.


Wild Lands of New Jersey-Opening of the first Railroad

Rapid Improvements-New Towns-Hammonton, Egg Harbor City, Vineland, its history, condition, and future-The Neighboring Lands.

Of all the Middle States, none contain so wide an area of uncultivated land, in proportion to the whole, as New Jersey. By the report of the Geological Survey, made in 1856, it appears that of 4,960,595 acres in the State, 3,192,604'acres were, at that time, entirely uncultivated. In 1855, when a bill was before the Legislature for incorporating a company to construct an air-line railroad leading from New York across the lower section of the State, the condition and extent of that uncultivated region were often referred to. The Hon. William Parry, Speaker of the House, made the following statements:

“ The amount of land in West Jersey, including the counties of Ocean and Monmouth, which would be benefited by this road, embraces an area of 2,632,000 acres, and in the same section, according to the census of 1850, there are 600,681 acres of improved land, leaving unimproved, mainly for want of railroad facilities, over 2,000,000 of acres. This large extent of country, up to July, 1854, when the Camden and Atlantic Railroad was opened, had

no railroad except that skirting along the northern border, following the sinuosities of the river, with spurs to Mount Holly and Freehold, located mainly to accommodate the through travel, without reference to the wants of the interior.

“ Can any other State show so large a tract of fertile land, so well adapted to cultivation, and so admirably located as this great peninsula, intercepted between the largest city in the Union and the broad Atlantic, fronting hundreds of miles on the great waters connecting us with Europe, with no more railroads than this section has ? The Camden and Atlantic Railroad Company have the credit of opening the way through this heretofore uncultivated portion of our State. Cast your eyes along that road, the location of which is not so favorable for reaching the eastern market as this Air Line, and see the magical effect upon the value of property. Thousands of acres of land, which, previous to its construction, were comparatively of little value, although naturally good, the location being so remote that the price obtained for crops in market would not bear the expense of carting them through the sand, have, since the completion of said road, advanced in value, some, one hundred, some five hundred per cent., and some more, according to the location. The wood which covers most of the high table land, and has heretofore been considered an incumbrance in the way of cultivating the soil, now readily commands from three to four dollars per cord on the road.

[ocr errors]

The testimony of Mr. Parry becomes especially valuable from two facts-he unites in himself the two professions of land surveyor and nurseryman. He has been for many years the successful proprietor of a nursery embracing two hundred acres, in

« ForrigeFortsett »