Virginia––Governor's Message.

   We take the following extract from Governor Floyd's message recently transmitted to the legislature of Virginia. The Governor takes high Southern ground, and is very decided, though more temperate than some others, and consequently more efficient in his views. There is none of that gaseous chivalry which made the message of the Governor of South Carolina supremely ridiculous––none of that Bombastes Furioso Quattlebum nonsense which some mothers take to be true bravery, and which probably is, measured by their standard. This is an excellent feature, and one deserving of imitation. Governor Floyd says:

   There can be nothing more monstrous than the power claimed for Congress, to exclude slavery from the Territories. Congress has no powers except those conferred on it by the express terms of the constitution, or such as are necessary to carry into effect those expressly granted. There is no clause in that instrument conferring upon Congress authority to legislate upon the subject of slavery, in the Territories or elsewhere: nor will it be pretended that the exercise of this power is necessary to carry into effect any expressly granted. To touch the subject at all, then, is a palpable and direct infraction of the constitution. * * *

   Submission to the proposed act of Congress is a virtual surrender of the entire South to the African race. If slavery is to be confined to its present limits, with a girdle of free States surrounding us, from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico, a very few years, in a nation's history, will be sufficient to drive the white man beyond its limits. The sturdy laborer, the stay and support of every community, would soon leave the country swarming with negroes, for a residence in another land. The master, too, would presently follow, finding it impossible to remain. This view is no matter of conjecture merely: a simple rule of arithmetic will fix the fact and the time of its consummation, taking as a basis of the calculation the census of the last thirty years. Such are the fruits which the Northern fanaticism, viewed in its most favorable aspect, must produce to the South. The consequences to the North will be little less disastrous. The great American staples must be cut short––the foreign commerce sustained by them disappear from the seaports of our enterprising neighbors––their manufactures, should they be continued, must find a market abroad, in unprotected competition with the labor of Europe. The thrift and prosperity which now so pre-eminently characterize the working classes of New England and the North would vanish away;and the mechanic and laborer would discover, when too late, that, whilst striking the manacles of legal slavery from the hands of the African, he had riveted upon the necks of his own children the bondage of necessity, which no earthly power could ever again remove. 

   The Governor considers the free negro population of Virginia a great evil, and thinks the colonizing of them in Liberia at the expense of the State in part or whole, would be the best plan of getting rid of them. The sentiment of dislike to the free negroes is becoming universal in the South, and we should not be surprised if, before five years pass away, the different State legislatures should pass such stringent enactments against them as to occasion a general stampede. This will be another exemplification of the practical beauties of abolitionism, the pity of whose votaries is fraught with the direst evils to the whole black race. 


"Virginia - Governor's Message," Natchez, (MS) Daily Courier, December 21, 1849, p. 2

Coverage Type
Location of Coverage- City
Location of Coverage- State
Contains Stampede Term