Our Country and the Future


Athens Post (Athens, TN)/October 4, 1850


Under this head, we find in a monthly Agricultural magazine, published in the city of Buffalo, under the title of “The Wool Grower,” in the number for the last month, some observations on the condition and the destiny of our country which have even more merit than mere originality to recommend them.

The writer sets out with the general proposition that there never has been a time in our national existence when the way was so plain for the future and rapid aggrandizement of our country as at this very hour; and he demonstrates his proposition as followeth:

“The overruling hand of Providence is visible in all the events of the last half century, and the finger of the Almighty points with unerring precision to what we are to expect in the coming years. The handwriting upon the wall was not more plain, while the interpretation can be made by the most simple.

“Our country now extends from ocean to ocean From its eastern shores it has easy access to the old nations of Europe. From its western it has as easy access to the still older nations of Asia. The tide of emigration first set from the shores of Europe, and gradually peopled the Atlantic border. From the over-populous nations of Europe we have drawn largely for that population which now makes much of our power and wealth. It is safely estimated that, with the immigration from this direction, the annual increase of population is full one million—a rapid increase, but far short of what we now require to develop the immense resources of our country.

“Heretofore all the Southern portion of our country has had but little benefit directly from European immigration.

“The South requires labor, and that can only be had from a dense population. Heretofore they have had no immigrants. The door is now opened through which they can draw them to an unlimited amount. We refer to China. Already the stream begins to run this way. Even now the Chinese are flocking to our shores upon the Pacific. China is the hive ready to swarm, and she can spare us millions of intelligent, industrious, and desirable citizens, who are accustomed to labor. When they find there is a climate here as good as their own, where they can cultivate tea, and cotton, and sugar, and rear the silkworm—and the South is happily all this—they will come as rapidly as means can be furnished to bring them away. The Asiatic is destined to supplant the African, because no bar exists to a mixture of the Asiatic and European blood.

“China, then, will become to the South what Ireland has been to the North—a reservoir from whence to draw for labor, and an active population.

“It is the duty of our Government to take immediate measures to facilitate immigration from China, by causing that Government to remove all restrictions upon those subjects who wish to leave the country, and to make it an object for them to settle among us.

“Regular steam-packets should be established between Panama or San Francisco and Canton, and every possible exertion made to induce a free immigration, especially of those who understand the cultivation of tea.

“A brief statement of the climate, the advantages that they could enjoy, should be prepared and circulated through the Empire. Ample appropriations should be made by Congress, and our diplomatic relations should be placed upon the same footing as the most powerful European nations. We must not only have the trade, but we must have the surplus population of China.

“The stream of immigration from Europe has swollen to a flood. Let us have a mighty torrent from Asia. Give us an uninterrupted flow from thence for a few years, and we shall indeed become the heart and centre of the globe. And all this must transpire, as certain as the future must become the present.

“And when this does come to pass, it is easy to see the result. The South will become more densely populated than any portion of our country, and that millennium of our nation—a freedom from sectional strife for political power—will dawn upon us.”

(Source: Library of Congress, Chronicling America)