Clinton and his associates, had brought into active operation the three great agencies of free labor—the steamer, the canal, the railroad; while our manufacturing industry dates from the same period.
This was the providential movement of a great people, organizing a method of labor which should overthrow the American aristocracy. Of course the people did not know what all this meant; thousands of the men who were foremost in organizing Northern industry did not suspect the end; but De Witt Clinton knew. The wiseacres of the city of New York nicknamed his canal 'Clinton's Ditch.' It was the first ditch in that series of continental 'parallels' by which the people of the North have approached the citadel of the Slave Power. They have dug in those vast intrenchments for forty years, to such purpose that in 1860 the great guns of free labor commanded every plantation in the Union. Pardon them, then, O lieutenant-generals of the slavery forces, if they still think well of the spade that has dug their highway to power. The Northern spade is a slow machine—but it will yet shovel the slave aristocracy into the Gulf of Mexico as sure as God lives!
Glance over this field of industrial and material growth in the free portion of the Union, as it appeared in 1860.
At that time the Free States had increased to nineteen, while the Slave States were fifteen, containing eight hundred and seventy-five thousand square miles. The people had nine hundred and fifty thousand square miles organized into free-labor States, with eight vast Territories, containing one million square miles, an area equal to twenty-four States as large as New York. In this vast extent of States and Territories, including two thirds the land of the Union, there were not a hundred slaves. The Government holds all those States and Territories to-day.
Look at the position and value of these possessions of freedom. In 1850 liberty secured the great State of California, and in 1860 the State of Kansas. These States insure the possession of the whole Pacific coast, the entire mineral wealth of the mountains, the Indian Territory, and the vast spaces of Northwestern Texas to freedom, and open Mexico to Northern occupation. In the East, freedom had already secured the best harbors for commerce; in the Northwest, the granary of the world; the inexhaustible mineral wealth of Lake Superior, and the navigation of thousands of miles upon the great inland seas that separate the republic from the Canadas. From the Northern Atlantic and the Pacific it commanded the trade of Europe and Asia. This region embraces the best climates of the continent for the habitation of a vigorous race of men, and contains all the elements of imperial power.
Freedom had secured, in 1860, a population of twenty millions, while the Slave Power had reached but twelve millions, one third of whom were slaves. From 1850 to 1860 the Union gained almost as much in population as the entire census of 1820; and of that gain the North secured forty-one and the South but twenty-seven per cent. The slave population increased but twenty-three per cent. At this rate of increase the year 1900 will see a population of one hundred millions in the Union, of whom nine millions will be negroes, and a vast majority of the white population located in territory now free. Between 1820 and 1860 five million emigrants reënforced the Union, of which the North received the greater portion. Between the war of 1814 and 1860, Great Britain and Ireland sent to us more people than inhabited the thirteen States that formed the Union, and of this immigrant population there was an excess of nine hundred and fifty thousand men—a nation poured in upon the great, free North, to reënforce the people.
Already was this increase of free population telling upon slave labor in Slave States. Even in the Gulf cities Sambo was fast receding before the brawny arms of Hans and Patrick. Northwestern Texan was becoming a new Germany. Western Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware were rapidly losing in slave labor; while along the border had grown up a line of ten cities in Slave States, containing six hundred thousand people, of whom less than ten thousand were slaves. This line of cities, from Wilmington Delaware, to St. Louis, Missouri, was becoming a great cordon of free-labor citadels; supported in the rear by another line of Free Border-State cities, stretching from Philadelphia to Leavenworth, containing nine hundred thousand; thus massing a free population of one million five hundred thousand in border cities that overlooked the land of despotism.
Then consider the growth of free agriculture. In 1860 the South had a cotton and rice crop as her exclusive possession. Already the Northwest was encroaching upon her sugar cultivation. Against her agriculture, mainly supported by one great staple, which can also be cultivated all round the globe, the free North could oppose every variety of crop; several of greater value than the boasted cotton. In all the grains, in cattle and the products of the dairy, in hay, in fruits; in the superior cultivation of land; in the vastly superior value of land; in agricultural machinery, probably representing a labor force equal to all the slaves—the superiority of freedom was too evident for discussion. The value of agricultural machinery in the Free States had trebled between 1850 and 1860. The Homestead Law was the fit result of this vast advance of free labor, and has sealed the destiny of every present and future Territory of the Union.
Then contemplate the vast expansion of manufacturing industry, of which nine tenths belong to the Free States. In ten years from 1850 to 1860, this branch of labor had increased eighty-six per cent., reaching the enormous sum of $2,000,000,000; $60 for every inhabitant of the Union. A million and a half of people were engaged as operatives therein, supporting nearly five millions—one sixth the whole population of the Union; while fully one third our population may be said to directly and indirectly live by manufactures.
The increase of iron manufactures in ten years was forty-four per cent.; the coal mines reached a treble yield in ten years; $10,000,000, of clothing were produced in 1860. The lumber trade had increased sixty-four percent, in ten years, reaching $100,000,000. Flouring mills showed sixty-five per cent, increase, reaching $225,000,000; spirits, $24,000,000; cotton manufactures had increased seventy-six per cent, in ten years, reaching $115,000,000; woollens had increased sixty-seven per cent.; boots and shoes walked up to $76,000,000, and leather to $63,000,000. The fishermen of New England increased mightily. The gold of California, copper of the Northwest, the salt of New York and Michigan had reached colossal proportions. Whoever studies the manufacturing statistics of the North for the past ten years will be at no loss to know why the manufacturers of Great Britain are willing to sever the Slave States from the Union, to gain a customer it was thus supplying in 1860.
Now add to this array of agriculture, manufactures, extent of territory, and excess of population, the superiority of the Free States in commerce. The tonnage of the Union was twenty-six millions in 1860, the fourth of which was the growth of the ten years previous. Out of the one thousand and seventy-one ships built in 1860, the 'nation' of South Carolina produced one steamer and one schooner! Contemplate the money power of the city of New York, the vast capital invested in trade, in banks, insurance, and the like, in the North. The slave aristocracy was becoming imprisoned in a vast web of financial dependence—a web that war and wholesale repudiation of debts alone could break through.
In 1860 there were in the Union 30,- 600 miles of railroad, costing $1,134,- 452,909, four times the extent of 1850. In 1850 only one line of railroad connected the