U.S History - Reproduced Documents Written by Southerners Preceding the Civil War Defending Slavery
Reproduced below are documents written by Southerners in the decades preceding the Civil War for the purpose of defending slavery. Please note that the Southern authors of these articles defending slavery frequently refer to free white workers in the North as “slaves.” There were, in fact, no real slaves, black or white, in the Northern states. Rather, what the Southern authors were saying was that working conditions in Northern factories were so bad, the hours so long, the work so hard, and the pay so low, that poor, white workers in the North might just as well have been slaves.
John C. Calhoun “Slavery a Positive Good” (6 February 1837)
I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together … [Slavery] … is, instead of an evil, a good -- a positive good.