By Frederick Law Olmsted
Frederick legislations Olmsted (1822-1903) used to be a journalist and panorama clothier who's considered as the founding father of American panorama structure: his most renowned fulfillment was once vital Park in big apple, of which he turned the superintendent in 1857, yet he additionally labored at the layout of parks in lots of different burgeoning American towns, and was once known as via Charles Eliot Norton 'the maximum artist that the United States has but produced'. His A trip within the Seaboard Slave States used to be initially released in 1856, and arose from trips within the south which Olmsted, a passionate abolitionist, had undertaken in 1853-4. This version was once released in volumes in 1904, with the addition of a biographical cartoon through his son and an creation by way of William P. Trent. It abounds in attention-grabbing and witty descriptions of Olmsted's encounters and reports in a society which was once at the verge of overwhelming switch.
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This article, which was from the pen of Mr. De Bow himself, referred to the prior work of Mr. " Mr. Olmsted took occasion later1 to reply to the aspersions of his critic in a tone of notable moderation. He regretted that the " most able and just-minded statistician in the country '' should have condescended to adopt the current partisan practice of attributing unworthy motives to all persons not of his way of thinking with regard to slavery. If Mr. Olmsted had been less modest, he might have called attention to the fact 1 A Journey in the Back Country, p.
Its author's Northern birth precluded him from producing such a sensation as was made by Hinton R. Helper of North Carolina with his once famous Impending Crisis of the South (1857). But A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States must probably rank along with Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Impending Crisis as one of the three books that did most to open the eyes of the North to the true nature of the plague of slavery and to the inflamed condition of public opinion at xxxii Introduction the South during the decade preceding the Civil War.
In the assessment of taxable property, for 1853, the slaves, owned or hired in the District, were valued at three hundred thousand dollars. The colored population voluntarily sustain several churches, schools, and mutual assistance and improvement societies, and there are evidently persons among them of no inconsiderable cultivation of mind. Among the Police Reports of the City newspapers, there was lately (April, 1855) an account of the apprehension of twenty-four '' genteel colored men'' (so they were described), who had been found by a watchman assembling privately in the evening, and been lodged in the watch-house.