In 1857, the Southern journalist Hinton Helper published The Impending Crisis, an examination of slavery's impact on the South. He described how, in his estimation, the slaveowners had victimized small-scale white farmers, rendering it impossible for them to compete against the free labor supplied by the slaves. He detailed the superior prosperity of the North, a fact that few Southerners cared to recognize. Helper advocated the freeing of the slaves and their return to Africa. His book was extremely popular in the North; not surprisingly, it sold poorly in the South.