Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/391

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INVENTION AND INDUSTRY AT THE SOUTH.

worthless "results" due to it are charged up against the far-reaching logical principle itself and have given rise to a counter tendency that is no more creditable. The old cry, "Stick to the facts!" simply means that the danger of going wrong increases very rapidly as one passes by inference beyond known facts, especially when these are few in number. Perhaps the greatest boon that could fall to biological science would be such a thorough study of the history of the science by its own votaries that they would learn beyond the power of forgetting the fact that speculation alone is worse than useless, and that reasoning with verification is indispensable.

 

INVENTION AND INDUSTRY AT THE SOUTH.
By BARTON H. WISE.

THE antagonism between the plantation interest on the one hand, and commerce and manufacturing on the other, was pointed out at an early period of our history. The institution of negro slave labor repelled white labor and immigration from the South; and while the North received continuous waves of population, and the growth of commerce and manufacturing caused cities to spring up in every direction, the South remained a sparsely settled section, almost purely agricultural. These conditions have been attributed in part to climatic influences, but this theory hardly holds when we reflect that what we call the South is not only part of the Northern continent and in the temperate zone, but that its southernmost point is seventeen hundred miles north of the equator. So much did the increase of population in the South, however, lag behind that of the North, that in 1850 there were in the former only 18·93 inhabitants to the square mile, to 45·8 in the latter. Not only could capital at the South be more profitably invested in lands and negroes than in manufacturing, but in addition efforts at establishing manufacturing plants were unsuccessful, as negro labor was not suited to it.

In considering the subject of inventions at the South, we can not afford to overlook these facts, nor can we overestimate the depressing effect that negro labor was calculated to produce, though indirectly, upon the inventive faculties of the people. In the North every circumstance tended toward the encouragement of manufacturing, and among a people who, as a consequence, were accustomed to the use of machinery of all sorts, the inventive faculties were stimulated to their utmost.

In the South these conditions were exactly reversed, and nothing tended to the growth of manufacturing or of an urban popu-