Slave Hiring

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Slave Hiring - XV..o 3 From the Darington Flag. Slaves Hiring...
XV..o 3 From the Darington Flag. Slaves Hiring their Own Time. The Columbia Bulletin, referring to the practise of allowing slaves to hire their own time and to the many evils which result therefrom, uses the following language: "Despite the laws of the land forbiding, under a penalty, the hiring of their time by slaves, it is much to be reretted that the pernicious practice still exists. Not a few who profess to be law-abiding citizens, and are loud in their denunciation of transgreiaors, are knowingly, constantly violating a law in. tended to promote the interests of the community,. protect the rights of masters, and guard our slaves against evil. It Is difficuls to find a reason for such indifference to the requirements of wholesome legislation; it would seem +.hat every consideration of policy would demand its rigid observance, and that instead of being regarded as a ueless restraint upon the master in the use of his property, it would receive that respect which its wise provisions entitle it." The law forbidding the hiring of his own time by a slave, is certainly founded in vis. dom, for whose good in part, the- raw was enacted, should exhibit such an utter disregard for its provisions. It is more to be regretted, however, that these constant- and open violations of a well known law, should be allowed to go "unwhipped of justice.", Offences of a minor character are zealouly hunted out, and the offenders are dragged to the court room to answer for their conduct, while other violations of the law, the one to which we are now alluding, standing among the chief, are openly committed, and, being winked at, the bola offenders stand justified in the sight of the conmunity. Negroes are not, itturally, fond of work, and if allowed to wander from place to place in search of occupation, being only required' to make weekly or monthly returns to t.heir owners, we need not be surprissd if in orderto meet these requirements, they resort to dishonest means. In our own community we have illustrations of the truth of this assertion. Here we see, daily, negroes who ae known to have to pay large wages to their masters who are seldom or never seen working at their several trades; on the contrary, able bodied carpenters are seen, continually, hawking fruits and fish about our streets. This state of things is ruinous to the negro ., as well as injurious to the community ; they are too often the agents of dishonest white men, who, being afraid to carry on their nefarious traffic in their own persons, find ready and willing agents in these idle and unretrained negroes; and thus may we account in a measure, for the ready access which our slaves have tio the whisky bottle; for these emissaries of the grogeries can move amony them without suspicion and continue to sell to them, for a length of time, without detection. Are we not right in this matter? We put it to our readers to say if their minus have not already fixed upon one or more of these privileged negroes, whose income does not depend upon honest labor, but, ra& is. derived from such sources as we have nicated. The violation of this law works not only a moral injury to the negro and to the Plav portioa6f te 0dinmity, but is.tlso *ork a: vA Y~na- -A inai4s too much respect fot the law, aid revru. a the well being of the community to allow them to hire their time, or, in other words, w sell them their freedom. For the negroei owho, outside of and beyond their trade, have .o many other sources of income, can of ne. :esity, when inclined to work, sell their labor cheaper than the master can afford to ell that of his negro, who is kept under his irection and control. it i.s unjust and inIrious to the white mechanic who cannot -ompete wit h those whoie expenses are derayed by dishonest means, and who are alrays ready to underbid them for any piece f work to be performed. Another effect of the continued violation of his law is apparent in the impudence and inlependence of the negro mechanics. They onstitute a colored aristocracy, and while they lord it over other negroes they seem to think themnselves just about as rtespectable s the whites around them. We need not dwell upon this point, it is enough that we state it. in order to convince our readers of its truth. WVac then shall we do to check this evil and put a stop to this open violation of a known law?7 We suggeat to the police of our town and the patrol~ throughout the district, to pay no regard to monthly passes authorizing negroes to pass and repass without stating distinctly the points to and from which they are permitted to go and return, but to treat negroes travelling with such tickets as though they had none at all. We would suggest further, the strict enforcement of the town ordinance, now of force, in our town; let all negroes found hiring their own time, be arrested and properly punished;I but. above all, let us see to it that the owners are indicted for the violation of the law. In this way, and in this way alone, can we check the evil, and rid our community of a set of colored rascals, whose villainy is only equalled by that of the white men who have seduced tem from a course of honesty and sobriety. If this cannot be done let the law be repealed ad let us either quietly submit to the wrongs which we now suffer, or take the necessary steps for our individual protection.

Clipped from
  1. Edgefield Advertiser,
  2. 06 Apr 1859, Wed,
  3. Page 1

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