Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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What Has Become of the Colored People!
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TitleWhat Has Become of the Colored People!
DescriptionEditorial in the Galesburg Republican, Dec. 9, 1871, refuting the idea that emacipation of the slaves would bring about the destruction of the race. The editor, Clark E. Carr, presents population data to counter that argument.
Subject (LCSH)Galesburg (Ill.) - Newspapers
CreatorCarr, Clark E.;
AuthorGalesburg Republican
Time Period1870s
Date Created (original)December 9, 1871
IdentifierMicroforms Cabinets
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-10-08
Pending the question of emancipa-
tion, it was one of the strongest argu-
ments of the foes of that policy that
freedom would prove destructive to the
blacks, as they could not live freemen
where they had been held as slaves.
Various causes were assigned why this
would prove true. The negro could
not take care of himself physically, and
would fall a victim to disease resulting
from his general shiftlessness. The
master's care being withdrawn, the ne-
gro would be unable to take care of
himself, and would starve out. The ne-
gro was lazy and shiftless, and without
the guidance of white men interested
in his welfare he would not be able to
make a living. Many other reasons
were urged which our readers can not
have forgotten.
It is interesting now to examine the
effect of emancipation upon this subject
by the census, and to see how far the
predictions of the opponents of the
emancipation policy are sustained by
the facts. In 1868 the colored popula-
tion of the United States was 4, 441, 830,
of which 3, 953, 760 were slaves and 488,
070 were free. In 1870 the colored
population is 4, 880, 009, being an in-
crease since 1860 of 438, 170, or about
ten per cent. The aggregate increase
in the entire population of the United
States in 1870 over 1860 was about sev-
enteen per cent, showing an increase of
the negroes of more than on half of the
aggregate rate of increase of all colors.
When we take into consideration the
circumstances attending the emancipa-
tion of the slaves of the south, how it
left them without homes, utterly with-
out experience in the management of
their own business, ignorant of the de-
tails of the work to which they had
been raised, and liable to be imposed on
by employers who envied them their
newly acquired freedom, and who
would do all they could to make them
long for a return to slavery, is it to be
wondered at that they have not increas-
ed in a greater proportion? It is more
a subject of wonder that they have not
actually decreased in number when we
consider all their unfavorable surround-
About three-fourths of the increase in
the negro population is found in the
late slave States, and is divided as fol-

Alabama.......37, 740 | Increase.. 8 per cent.
Arkansas..... 10, 910 | Increase.. 9 per cent.
Delaware.......1, 167 | Increase.. 5 per cent.
Florida.......29, 012 | Increase..45 per cent.
Georgia.......79, 444 | Increase..17 per cent.
Louisiana.....13, 887 | Increase.. 4 per cent.
Maryland.......4, 260 | Increase..2 1/2 per cent.
Mississippi....6, 797 | Increase..1 1/3 per cent.
N. Carolina...36, 126 | Increase..8 1/2 per cent.
S. Carolina.....3, 493 | Increase...1 per cent.
Tennessee......3, 812 | Increase..14 per cent.
Texas.........70, 544 | Increase..38 1/2 per cent.
D. of Col.....20, 088 | Increase..100 per cent.

In Kentucky there has been a de-
crease of 13, 957, or 6 per cent; in Mis-
souri a decrease of one-half of one per
cent, and in Virginia, including West
Virginia, a decrease of 18, 086, or 3 per
cent, making a net increase in all the
late slave states of 328, 258.
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