« ZurückWeiter »
gamesters, whenever known as such, are excluded from membership
Of hotels there are a great number; and the three principal ones, the Exchange, Barnum's, and the Eutaw House, are perhaps equal to those of any town of a similar size to Baltimore in England. The last, indeed, which is a new establishment, erected by a company, is equal to any in the Union, and combines more of cleanliness, comfort, and ade. quate attendance than any hotel we had yet visited in the country. The boarding-houses are not nearly so numerous, in proportion to the population, as in New York, and such as we inspected previous to our fixing on our abode were very inferior in almost every requisite. We were fortunate, however, in getting admission to one in Gay-street, kept by Mr. West, where the apartments, table, and society were all agreeable, and where we passed our time most happily.
The municipal government of Baltimore is vested in a mayor and city council, the elections for which take place every two years : in most of the other cities of America the election is annual. The city is divided into 12 wards; the inhabitants of each ward elect an elector, and these 12 electors choose the mayor. The salary of his office is 2000 dol. lars, or about £400 per annum. His qualifications must be, to have been ten years a citizen of the United States, to be 25 years of age, to have resided in the city five years, and to have property assessed in the city to the extent of 500 dollars. His power and patronage in appointments are considerable, and his election is almost always made with reference to his party politics.
The city council is composed of two branches : the first consists of two members from each ward, who are chosen by the inhabitants directly, and elected annually; the second branch consists of one member from each ward, chosen also directly, but elected every two years, with the mayor. The qualifications for a member of the first branch or lower house are, a residence in the city of three years, and to be assessed in property to the amount of 300 dollars; also to be 21 years of age. The qualifications for the second branch or upper house are, to have been a resident of the city for four years, to be assessed to the value of 500 dollars, and to be 25 years of age.
The two branches of the council sit in separate chambers, and, together with the mayor, form the city parliament. Each has a negative on the proceedings of the other, and the concurrence of all these is necessary to the validity of
SHIPPING AND COMMERCE.
their ordinances. If the mayor exercise his veto, however, and, on a reconsideration of the subject, three fourths of both branches of the council concur in its adoption, it may become law without the assent of the mayor. Their duties are strictly confined to municipal government; and the sal
of the councillors is a dollar and a half per day. The commerce of Baltimore is varied and extensive, though inferior to Boston, New-York, Philadelphia, or NewOrleans, but superior to any other city or port. The exports are chiefly tobacco, the staple produce of Maryland, flour, salted provisions, staves and heading for casks and barrels, and turpentine. The imports are chiefly from England, the West Indies, South America, and China, in the various productions and manufactures of each. In the last year the amount of exports exceeded 4,000,000 of dollars, and the imports exceeded 6,000,000 of dollars. In the exports, the largest amounts were, to England, 882,000 dollars; to the Hanse-Towns, 682,000; to the ports of Chili, 620,000; and to the ports of Brazil, 407,000. Of the imports, the largest amounts were, from England, 1,822,000 dollars; from Brazil, 564,000, from Peru, 54,000; and from the Hanse-Towns, 265,000.
The shipping of Baltimore are not so numerous at present in the larger classes as they were some years since, but the smaller ones have greatly increased, so that the tonnage has not at all diminished. The waters of the various rivers that flow into the Chesapeake are covered with Baltimore sloops and schooners; many also are employed in the coasting trade; and a few larger ships sail regularly to England and other parts of Europe, as well as to India and China. In the last year, out of 115 vessels built here, nearly 100 were schooners; the whole tonnage built in that year exceeding 10,000 tons. The reputation of the Baltimore builders for constructing the finest models of beauty and the finest bot. toms for speed, in their unrivalled small-craft, is still undiminished ; and a “Baltimore clipper" may be matched against the world for fast sailing and keeping close to the wind.
The commercial capacities of Baltimore, however, are yet far from being developed to their fullest extent. ence of no less than eight rapid streams, with considerable descents, in the immediate neighbourhood of Baltimore, are highly favourable to the application of machinery by water. power to manufacturing purposes, and this has recently been made available to the erection of some powerful mills for
grinding flour. No less than five railroads now lead from Baltimore in different directions; the principal ones, to Philadelphia, to Washington, and to Harper's Ferry, on the way to the Ohio River, being already the channels of great and increasing intercourse ; and when this last is completed on to the western river, a distance of 350 miles, it is more than probable that Baltimore will be as much frequented by purchasers and sellers from the Southern and Western States as New-York and Philadelphia are at present.
As connected with its commerce, the banks here are as abundant as in any city of the same size; they are all in good credit at present; and the insurance companies and other establishments of this description are both numerous and well conducted.
Population of Baltimore, white and coloured Races.-Position of Maryland as a Slate
state.- Maryland Colonization Society.-Severity of the Law against rescuing Slares. - Vigilance of the Postoffice on Abolition Publications.-General Liberality of Settiment.--Education of Coloured Children.-Negro Preachers.-Religious Sects ard their Proportions.— Benefits
of the Voluntary System of Support.-Institutions for the Promotion of Education.- Death of the Member of Congress for Baltimore.-Pobic Funeral, and marks of general Respect.- Eulogium on the Character of the deceaed Member.--Newspapers in Baltimore.-- Party and Neutral Remarks on the Partianship of Political Writers.- Editorial Taste for Quaintness and Singularity.-Literry Institutions.—Lectures and Library.
The population of the City of Baltimore by the census of 1830 was as follows: Whites, 61,710; free coloured per. sons, 14,790 ; slaves, 4120, making a total of 80,620. The rate of increase has been such as to create a belief that the population is at present a total of about 100,000 persons, just equal to the population of Sheffield in England. This proportion of the free coloured and slave population to the whites, as exhibited in the census of the city, is very different from the proportions of the same classes to each other in the census of the State of Maryland, which at the same period was as follows : Whites, 291,108; free coloured persons, 52,938; slaves, 102,994. In the city, therefore, it will be perceived that the slaves were not one fourth of the num. bers of the free coloured people, and both these together were not more than one fourth of the whole population; while in the state the slaves are twice as numerous as the
free coloured persons, and both together are equal to more than half the white population.
The position which Maryland occupies as a slave-state is peculiar, and has become a source of jealousy and alarm to some of the people of the more southern states, especially those on the seaboard. The feeling of the great body of the whites in Maryland, as well as in Virginia, is in favour of ab. olition; and if they did not apprehend danger to their connexions with the more southern and western states, it is probable that each would, before this, have made a commencement in the good work.
But Maryland has made at least one step in advance of her neighbours. There has existed for many years a general society for removing the surplus free blacks from America to Africa, called the American Colonization Society; and the colony of Liberia, in Africa, is their place of settlement. Mr. Henry Clay, the popular senator from Kentucky and Whig candidate for the presidency, is at the head of this; and nearly, if not all, the Southern States are in favour of it, because it keeps up the semblance of a wish to advance the question of emancipation gradually and by slow degrees, and thus enlists the sympathies and sooths the consciences of the scrupulous and religious, while at the same time it removes only those free blacks whose presence in the Southern States is thought to be dangerous, as likely to excite the envy and stimulate the dissatisfaction of the slaves.
The abolitionists of the Northern States are therefore al most all hostile to this Colonization Society, because they believe that, while the slaves increase in the southern parts of the Union at the rate of 60,000 a year, and the utmost efforts of the Colonization Society can get off no more than 2 or 3000 by emigration in the same period, the tortoise might as soon hope to overtake the hare as the Colonization Society to overtake the surplus population of the slaves, or at all lessen the number of the whole body. In Maryland, however, a great step has been taken, which is this: that, instead of joining the general body of the slave states in supporting only one society and one colony for the whole Union, they have established a State Colonization Society for Maryland only, and founded a separate colony for the settlement of free negroes and people of colour from this state alone; thus setting an example to the other states, which, if each were to follow out in good faith, might effect all that colonization is ever likely to accomplish for the negro race of America.
But a still stronger objection than that of the inefficiency of colonization to reduce the number of slaves to any great extent, is this : that the whites possess no moral right to expatriate those born on the same soil as themselves from the country of their nativity, and that it is an injustice to the coloured races to use even indirect coercion to drive them from what is as much their home as it is that of the whites, since both are strangers in the land, and interlopers on the soil of their red brethren, the Indians. This practice of forcing the Indians to go farther west beyond the Mississippi, and the Africans to go farther east beyond the Atlantic, to make room for the greater spread of the white race on the territory on which the red and black races are found to be an encumbrance, can only be justified, if justified at all, on the principle that the strongest have a right to do what they please with the weakest. This is the only intelligible principle, indeed, in which either war, or slavery, or extirpation can be maintained; though the same principle will equally sustain the right of the robber, the incendiary, or the murderer; and, when Christianity and reason shall overcome selfishness and prejudice, this will be perceived and admitted.
As an illustration of the severity with which any attempt at assisting slaves in their escape is still visited in the states of Virginia and Maryland--for in both the law is the same the following, taken from the Baltimore Patriot of April 4, may be given :
“Serious CHARGE.-On Saturday last, as we learn from the Norfolk Herald, a breach of the laws of Virginia, involving the severest penalty in her whole criminal code short of capital punishment, was charged against Captain Charles Hubert, of the British brig Charity. This was no other than an attempt to abduct, or a permission of the attempt by others to abduct, a slave, the property of a citizen of Norfolk, in the hold of the vessel under his command. It appears that the brig bad taken in a cargo of staves, and was on the eve of departure for Barbadoes, when some detention was suffered in consequence of the desertion of several of the crew. In the effort to reclaim these, the captain brought himself under the penalties of the law by making a forcible entry into a sailor's lodging-house. An action of damages was the consequence of this illegal step, which the captain compromised by the payment of 112 dollars. Meantime the police officers succeeded in capturing one of the sailors who had deserted ; and this man, on being taken, gave information that a runaway slave was secreted on board the brig. The same information had been imparted to the pilot of the vessel by the cook (a free coloured man), who pointed out his hiding-place, which was among the staves in the hold, and in which the fugitive was found. The negro was taken thence, and the captain of the brig was taken into custody, and committed to the county jail to stand his trial. The penalties against this act are particularly severe, being, as stated by the Herald,