"If the owners of slaves should be willing to emancipate them, provided they could be distributed among the several states in proportion to their population, it would give one slave to every six or seven free persons. Many of the slaves would be incapable of labor through age, infirmity and childhood, and would require support as paupers. The residue would be at liberty to seek such subsistence as their wants might demand, in the same manner as free blacks usually do. The inhabitants of the North and West would not be benefitted by an accession to their population of their proportion of three and a half millions of blacks. It requires no great degree of foresight to perceive that nearly every city and town in the free States would refuse their admittance.
When those who are most deeply interested in negro Slavery, and have reflected most upon the subject, shall desire to relieve themselves of it, they will probably adopt a gradual mode of emancipation....They might be freed after having arrived at a certain age, and sent to Africa, the land of their origin,..."
From "REPORT OF DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION OF THE REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION Of THE STATE OF KENTUCKY. 1849."
Delegate/Representative/Senator/Governor David Meriwether
While speaking on the failure of English Emmancipation in its West Indies Colonies.
"While therefore the ease, comfort, and welfare of the colored man was secured, the interests of the planters were almost ruined by emancipation, and the influence and power of England put in jeopardy."
"Then, if we emancipate the slaves here.-will it not produce the same result? Although it may secure to the slave ease and comfort, may we not expect that, as in the British islands, the white farmer will be ruined, and the influence and power of Kentucky destroyed? If this effect was produced by this cause there, why should it not produce the same effect here? If England was by it brought to the brink of ruin, why may we not also? Sir, these are the effects of emancipation in other countries. Need I ask, are we to expect a different result here if it is resorted to? England was shaken to its foundation. The gentleman, from whose address I have quoted, says, that in the northern states they have not realized their anticipations. Shall we nope they will realize our expectations from such a procedure? Is emancipation practicable? Is there a man here who is willing to see emancipation without colonization? Is that practicable? They point to New York and some other states. But did either of those states that have emancipated their slaves colonize them? New York, with all her power and wealth, could not colonize twenty thousand. Pennsylvania had less than fifteen thousand, and could not colonize them. Why is it expected then that Kentucky can colonize two hundred thousand?
Seven states of this union have abolished slavery. These states had less than fifty thousand slaves, and they had upwards of two millions of white population. But they, with all their wealth and power, could not colonize this small number. I again repeat, how, then, is Kentucky to colonize two hundred thousand? England, with an empire on which it is said the sun never sets—so that while it is broad noon day in one portion it is pitchy midnight in another—though she may emancipate her slaves, cannot colonize them. France, a nation that could whip all Europe combined, dare not undertake it. And can we do it? I know, whatever man can do, Kentuckians can do; but he who accomplishes this, is either more or loss than man. It is not within the grasp of man to do it."