The National Era
Unsigned Article
Washington, D.C.: 3 February 1853


  New Orleans, January 9, 1853.—On the day of the Presidential election, just past, was submitted to the people of this State the adoption or rejection of the new State Constitution, and it was adopted by a majority of upwards of 1,000 votes. It was looked upon as a Whig measure, having been adopted in Convention by a strict party vote, and its acceptance by the people was therefore a source of great satisfaction to the Whig party. The opposition of the Democratic party to it was owing to the clause styled the Negro Population Basis. In the basis of representation for the Legislature, the slaves are included in the population—thus giving to the large slaveholding parishes a preponderance over the smaller slaveholding parishes, as heretofore. In the recent State election, however, the Democrats have gained the Legislature, and of course this article will be rescinded, particularly as many of the most prominent Whigs are in favor of it, and say that the clause was only accepted to satisfy the country members, and thereby obtained their votes for some improvements relative to this city.

  I read with much pleasure H. Ward Beecher's defence of his sister and himself, and cannot conceive but that they (or she) will be successful in their suit, though their failure would not surprise me as much as some other things which I have heard of the same nature.

  Uncle Tom's Cabin is to be found in a great many houses in this city, and receives more or less of condemnation, though universally admitted to be a superior work of art. My business leads me a great deal into bookstores, and I am informed by the booksellers, (corroborated by my own eyes and ears to a great extent,) that there is no work extant for which they have so great an inquiry as this. It has not, however, been for sale here yet, though yesterday I saw Jewett's cheap edition, recently issued, on the counter of one of the largest booksellers, side by side with Harper's and Putnam's for January. I presume the others will soon follow suit; for where a community demands an article, there need be no fear of selling it, however poisonous it may be. . . .