Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/400
394 Southern Historical Society Papers.
salubrious climate equaling that of Italy, with a climate and soil adapted to all the staple crops of the world, our lands in the absence of slaves and with a sparse white population constitute in themselves a standing invitation to brains and money. Many have already come, and now that the Virginia debt will be settled by the present legisla- ture with satisfaction alike to the State and its creditors, we may look for men coming from abroad, who, with motive found in money-mak- ing, will join us in the task of lifting the grand old State to a new growth and a higher material destiny. Our soil, our climate, our transportation and school facilities, as well as our people, invite strangers. The negro, as a common laborer, has stood for twenty- five years as a breakwater against the influx of riff-rafl immigration, which we neither need nor want, while our condition to-day invites the presence of men of larger or smaller means who are looking to the betterment of their condition. Take a man in New Jersey with a family of five children on a farm of one hundred acres. His farm at one hundred dollars an acre is worth ten thousand dollars, with six hundred dollars worth of team and utensils, six hundred dollars in labor and six hundred dollars in fertilizers, and an entire capital of eleven thousand eight hundred dollars. He sells perhaps two thousand dollars worth of produce. Now in Virginia one hundred acres at ten dollars an acre and the same amount in stock, etc., a Virginian will sell as much as the Jerseyman and has only one thousand eight hun- dred dollars capital. The man with ten thousand dollars in Northern lands can give each of his sons here one hundred acres with less than half his capital and enjoy the advantage of constant enhance- ment in values. On a visit to Pennsylvania I found in York, North- umberland, Tioga and other counties that lands which twenty years ago sold for one hundred and fifty dollars an acre can now be bought for seventy-five dollars. This is true all over the Northern States except in proximity to the great cities. Why is this ? It may, in part, be due to shrinkage from war prices, but it is also owing in part, if not entirely, to the fact that so much Southern land is put on the market. Ours at ten dollars per acre, theirs at one hundred and fifty dollars. Ours with two or three months winter, theirs with five or seven months. When flour is five dollars a barrel in Richmond and ten dollars in New York it will leave Richmond for the other city till the equilibrium is restored. The law of demand and supply rules the world. The undeveloped resources and wonderful advan- tages of the South are so vast that they may not be told and the world begins to know it.