The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Conflict with Slavery

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Conflict with Slavery

Author: John Greenleaf Whittier

Release date: December 1, 2005 [eBook #9595]
Most recently updated: January 2, 2021

Language: English

Credits: This eBook was produced by David Widger


This eBook was produced by David Widger











"There is a law above all the enactments of human codes, the same throughout the world, the same in all time,—such as it was before the daring genius of Columbus pierced the night of ages, and opened to one world the sources of wealth and power and knowledge, to another all unutterable woes; such as it is at this day: it is the law written by the finger of God upon the heart of man; and by that law, unchangeable and eternal while men despise fraud, and loathe rapine, and abhor blood, they shall reject with indignation the wild and guilty fantasy that man can hold property in man." —LORD BROUGHAM.

IT may be inquired of me why I seek to agitate the subject of Slavery in New England, where we all acknowledge it to be an evil. Because such an acknowledgment is not enough on our part. It is doing no more than the slave-master and the slave-trader. "We have found," says James Monroe, in his speech on the subject before the Virginia Convention, "that this evil has preyed upon the very vitals of the Union; and has been prejudicial to all the states in which it has existed." All the states in their several Constitutions and declarations of rights have made a similar statement. And what has been the consequence of this general belief in the evil of human servitude? Has it sapped the foundations of the infamous system? No. Has it decreased the number of its victims? Quite the contrary. Unaccompanied by philanthropic action, it has been in a moral point of view worthless, a thing without vitality, sightless, soulless, dead.

But it may be said that the miserable victims of the system have our sympathies. Sympathy the sympathy of the Priest and the Levite, looking on, and acknowledging, but holding itself aloof from mortal suffering. Can such hollow sympathy reach the broken of heart, and does the blessing of those who are ready to perish answer it? Does it hold back the lash from the slave, or sweeten his bitter bread? One's heart and soul are becoming weary of this sympathy, this heartless mockery of feeling; sick of the common cant of hypocrisy, wreathing the artificial flowers of sentiment over unutterable pollution and unimaginable wrong. It is white-washing the sepulchre to make us forget its horrible deposit. It is scattering flowers around the charnel-house and over the yet festering grave to turn away our thoughts "from the dead men's bones and all uncleanness," the pollution and loathsomeness below.

No! let the truth on this subject, undisguised, naked, terrible as it is, stand out before us. Let us no longer seek to cover it; let us no longer strive to forget it; let us no more dare to palliate it. It is better to meet it here with repentance than at the bar of God. The cry of the oppressed, of the millions who have perished among us as the brute perisheth, shut out from the glad tidings of salvation, has gone there before us, to Him who as a father pitieth all His children. Their blood is upon us as a nation; woe unto us, if we repent not, as a nation, in dust and ashes. Woe unto us if we say in our hearts, "The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?"

But it may be urged that New England has no participation in slavery, and is not responsible for its wickedness.

Why are we thus willing to believe a lie? New England not responsible! Bound by the United States constitution to protect the slave-holder in his sins, and yet not responsible! Joining hands with crime, covenanting with oppression, leaguing with pollution, and yet not responsible! Palliating the evil, hiding the evil, voting for the evil, do we not participate in it?

     [Messrs. Harvey of New Hampshire, Mallary of Vermont, and Ripley of
     Maine, voted in the Congress of 1829 against the consideration of a
     Resolution for inquiring into the expediency of abolishing slavery
     in the District of Columbia.]

Members of one confederacy, children of one family, the curse and the shame, the sin against our brother, and the sin against our God, all the iniquity of slavery which is revealed to man, and all which crieth in the ear, or is manifested to the eye of Jehovah, will assuredly be visited upon all our people. Why, then, should we stretch out our hands towards our Southern brethren, and like the Pharisee thank God we are not like them? For so long as we practically recognize the infernal principle that "man can hold property in man," God will not hold us guiltless. So long as we take counsel of the world's policy instead of the justice of heaven, so long as we follow a mistaken political expediency in opposition to the express commands of God, so long will the wrongs of the slaves rise like a cloud of witnesses against us at the inevitable bar.

Slavery is protected by the constitutional compact, by the standing army, by the militia of the free states.

[J. Q. Adams is the only member of Congress who has ventured to speak plainly of this protection. See also his very able Report from the minority of the Committee on Manufactures. In his speech during the last session, upon the bill of the Committee of Ways and Means, after discussing the constitutional protection of slavery, he says: "But that same interest is further protected by the Laws of the United States. It was protected by the existence of a standing army. If the States of this Union were all free republican States, and none of them possessed any of the machinery of which he had spoken, and if another portion of the Union were not exposed to another danger, from their vicinity to the tribes of Indian savages, he believed it would be difficult to prove to the House any such thing as the necessity of a standing army. What in fact was the occupation of the army? It had been protecting this very same interest. It had been doing so ever since the army existed. Of what use to the district of Plymouth (which he there represented) was the standing army of the United States? Of not one dollar's use, and never had been."]

Let us not forget that should the slaves, goaded by wrongs unendurable, rise in desperation, and pour the torrent of their brutal revenge over the beautiful Carolinas, or the consecrated soil of Virginia, New England would be called upon to arrest the progress of rebellion,—to tread out with the armed heel of her soldiery that spirit of freedom, which knows no distinction of cast or color; which has been kindled in the heart of the black as well as in that of the white.

And what is this system which we are thus protecting and upholding? A system which holds two millions of God's creatures in bondage, which leaves one million females without any protection save their own feeble strength, and which makes even the exercise of that strength in resistance to outrage punishable with death! which considers rational, immortal beings as articles of traffic, vendible commodities, merchantable property,—which recognizes no social obligations, no natural relations,—which tears without scruple the infant from the mother, the wife from the husband, the parent from the child. In the strong but just language of another: "It is the full measure of pure, unmixed, unsophisticated wickedness; and scorning all competition or comparison, it stands without a rival in the secure, undisputed possession of its detestable preeminence."

So fearful an evil should have its remedies. The following are among the many which have been from time to time proposed:—

1. Placing the slaves in the condition of the serfs of Poland and Russia, fixed to the soil, and without the right on the part of the master to sell or remove them. This was intended as a preliminary to complete emancipation at some remote period, but it is impossible to perceive either its justice or expediency.

2. Gradual abolition, an indefinite term, but which is understood to imply the draining away drop by drop, of the great ocean of wrong; plucking off at long intervals some, straggling branches of the moral Upas; holding out to unborn generations the shadow of a hope which the present may never feel gradually ceasing to do evil; gradually refraining from robbery, lust, and murder: in brief, obeying a short-sighted and criminal policy rather than the commands of God.

3. Abstinence on the part of the people of the free states from the use of the known products of slave labor, in order to render that labor profitless. Beyond a doubt the example of conscientious individuals may have a salutary effect upon the minds of some of the slave-holders; I but so long as our confederacy exists, a commercial intercourse with slave states and a consumption of their products cannot be avoided.

[The following is a recorded statement of the venerated Sir William Jones: "Let sugar be as cheap as it may, it is better to eat none, better to eat aloes and colloquintida, than violate a primary law impressed on every heart not imbruted with avarice; than rob one human creature of those eternal rights of which no law on earth can justly deprive him."]

4. Colonization. The exclusive object of the American Colonization Society, according to the second article of its constitution, is to colonize the free people of color residing among us, in Africa or such other place as Congress may direct. Steadily adhering to this object it has nothing to do with slavery; and I allude to it as a remedy only because some of its friends have in view an eventual abolition or an amelioration of the evil.

Let facts speak. The Colonization Society was organized in 1817. It has two hundred and eighteen auxiliary societies. The legislatures of fourteen states have recommended it. Contributions have poured into its treasury from every quarter of the United States. Addresses in its favor have been heard from all our pulpits. It has been in operation sixteen years. During this period nearly one million human beings have died in slavery: and the number of slaves has increased more than half a million, or in round numbers, 550,000

The Colonization Society has been busily engaged all this while in conveying the slaves to Africa; in other words, abolishing slavery. In this very charitable occupation it has carried away of manumitted slaves 613

Balance against the society . . . . 549,387!

But enough of its abolition tendency. What has it done for amelioration? Witness the newly enacted laws of some of the slave states, laws bloody as the code of Draco, violating the laws of Cod and the unalienable rights of His children?—[It will be seen that the society approves of these laws.]—But why talk of amelioration? Amelioration of what? of sin, of crime unutterable, of a system of wrong and outrage horrible in the eye of God Why seek to mark the line of a selfish policy, a carnal expediency between the criminality of hell and that repentance and its fruits enjoined of heaven?

For the principles and views of the society we must look to its own statements and admissions; to its Annual Reports; to those of its auxiliaries; to the speeches and writings of its advocates; and to its organ, the African Repository.

1. It excuses slavery and apologizes for slaveholders.

Proof. "Slavery is an evil entailed upon the present generation of slave-holders, which they must suffer, whether they will or not!" "The existence of slavery among us, though not at all to be objected to our Southern brethren as a fault," etc? "It (the society) condemns no man because he is a slave-holder." "Recognizing the constitutional and legitimate existence of slavery, it seeks not to interfere, either directly or indirectly, with the rights it creates. Acknowledging the necessity by which its present continuance and the rigorous provisions for its maintenance are justified," etc. "They (the Abolitionists) confound the misfortunes of one generation with the crimes of another, and would sacrifice both individual and public good to an unsubstantial theory of the rights of man."

2. It pledges itself not to oppose the system of slavery.

Proof. "Our society and the friends of colonization wish to be distinctly understood upon this point. From the beginning they have disavowed, and they do yet disavow, that their object is the emancipation of slaves."—[Speech of James S. Green, Esq., First Annual Report of the New Jersey Colonization Society.]

"This institution proposes to do good by a single specific course of measures. Its direct and specific purpose is not the abolition of slavery, or the relief of pauperism, or the extension of commerce and civilization, or the enlargement of science, or the conversion of the heathen. The single object which its constitution prescribes, and to which all its efforts are necessarily directed, is African colonization from America. It proposes only to afford facilities for the voluntary emigration of free people of color from this country to the country of their fathers."

"It is no abolition society; it addresses as yet arguments to no master, and disavows with horror the idea of offering temptations to any slave. It denies the design of attempting emancipation, either partial or general."

"The Colonization Society, as such, have renounced wholly the name and the characteristics of abolitionists. On this point they have been unjustly and injuriously slandered. Into their accounts the subject of emancipation does not enter at all."

"From its origin, and throughout the whole period of its existence, it has constantly disclaimed all intention of interfering, in the smallest degree, with the rights of property, or the object of emancipation, gradual or immediate." . . . "The society presents to the American public no project of emancipation."—[ Mr. Clay's Speech, Idem, vol. vi. pp. 13, 17.]

"The emancipation of slaves or the amelioration of their condition, with the moral, intellectual, and political improvement of people of color within the United States, are subjects foreign to the powers of this society."

"The society, as a society, recognizes no principles in reference to the slave system. It says nothing, and proposes to do nothing, respecting it." . . . "So far as we can ascertain, the supporters of the colonization policy generally believe that slavery is in this country a constitptional and legitimate system, which they have no inclination, interest, nor ability to disturb."

3. It regards God's rational creatures as property.

Proof. "We hold their slaves, as we hold their other property, sacred."

"It is equally plain and undeniable that the society, in the prosecution of this work, has never interfered or evinced even a disposition to interfere in any way with the rights of proprietors of slaves."

"To the slave-holder, who has charged upon them the wicked design of interfering with the rights of property under the specious pretext of removing a vicious and dangerous free population, they address themselves in a tone of conciliation and sympathy. We know your rights, say they, and we respect them."

4. It boasts that its measures are calculated to perpetuate the detested system of slavery, to remove the fears of the slave-holder, and increase the value of his stock of human beings.

Proof. "They (the Southern slave-holders) will contribute more effectually to the continuance and strength of this system (slavery) by removing those now free than by any or all other methods which can possibly be devised."

"So far from being connected with the abolition of slavery, the measure proposed would be one of the greatest securities to enable the master to keep in possession his own property."—[Speech of John Randolph at the first meeting of the Colonization Society.]

"The tendency of the scheme, and one of its objects, is to secure slave- holders, and the whole Southern country, against certain evil consequences growing out of the present threefold mixture of our population."

"There was but one way (to avert danger), but that might be made effectual, fortunately. It was to provide and keep open a drain for the excess beyond the occasions of profitable employment. Mr. Archer had been stating the case in the supposition, that after the present class of free blacks had been exhausted, by the operation of the plan he was recommending, others would be supplied for its action, in the proportion of the excess of colored population it would be necessary to throw off, by the process of voluntary manumission or sale. This effect must result inevitably from the depreciating value of the slaves, ensuing their disproportionate multiplication. The depreciation would be relieved and retarded at the same time by the process. The two operations would aid reciprocally, and sustain each other, and both be in the highest degree beneficial. It was on the ground of interest, therefore, the most indisputable pecuniary interest, that he addressed himself to the people and legislatures of the slave-holding states."

"The slave-holder, who is in danger of having his slaves contaminated by their free friends of color, will not only be relieved from this danger, but the value of his slave will be enhanced."

5. It denies the power of Christian love to overcome an unholy prejudice against a portion of our fellow-creatures.

Proof. "The managers consider it clear that causes exist and are operating to prevent their (the blacks) improvement and elevation to any considerable extent as a class, in this country, which are fixed, not only beyond the control of the friends of humanity, but of any human power. Christianity will not do for them here what it will do for them in Africa. This is not the fault of the colored man, nor Christianity; but an ordination of Providence, and no more to be changed than the laws of Nature!"—[Last Annual Report of the American Colonization Society.]

"The habits, the feelings, all the prejudices of society—prejudices which neither refinement, nor argument, nor education, nor religion itself, can subdue—mark the people of color, whether bond or free, as the subjects of a degradation inevitable and incurable. The African in this country belongs by birth to the very lowest station in society, and from that station he can never rise, be his talents, his enterprise, his virtues what they may. . . . They constitute a class by themselves, a class out of which no individual can be elevated, and below which none can be depressed."

"Is it not wise, then, for the free people of color and their friends to admit, what cannot reasonably be doubted, that the people of color must, in this country, remain for ages, probably forever, a separate and inferior caste, weighed down by causes, powerful, universal, inevitable; which neither legislation nor Christianity can remove?"

6. It opposes strenuously the education of the blacks in this country as useless as well as dangerous.

Proof. "If the free colored people were generally taught to read it might be an inducement to them to remain in this country (that is, in their native country). We would offer then no such inducement."— [Southern Religious Telegraph, February 19, 1831.]

"The public safety of our brethren at the South requires them (the slaves) to be kept ignorant and uninstructed."

"It is the business of the free (their safety requires it) to keep the slaves in ignorance. But a few days ago a proposition was made in the legislature of Georgia to allow them so much instruction as to enable them to read the Bible; which was promptly rejected by a large majority."—[Proceedings of New York State Colonization Society at its second anniversary.]

E. B. Caldwell, the first Secretary of the American Colonization Society, in his speech at its formation, recommended them to be kept "in the lowest state of ignorance and degradation, for (says he) the nearer you bring them to the condition of brutes, the better chance do you give them of possessing their apathy."

My limits will not admit of a more extended examination. To the documents from whence the above extracts have been made I would call the attention of every real friend of humanity. I seek to do the Colonization Society no injustice, but I wish the public generally to understand its character.

The tendency of the society to abolish the slave-trade by means of its African colony has been strenuously urged by its friends. But the fallacy of this is now admitted by all: witness the following from the reports of the society itself:—

"Some appalling facts in regard to the slave-trade have come to the knowledge of the Board of Managers during the last year. With undiminished atrocity and activity is this odious traffic now carried on all along the African coast. Slave factories are established in the immediate vicinity of the colony; and at the Gallinas (between Liberia and Sierra Leone) not less than nine hundred slaves were shipped during the last summer, in the space of three weeks."

April 6, 1832, the House of Commons of England ordered the printing of a document entitled "Slave-Trade, Sierra Leone," containing official evidence of the fact that the pirates engaged in the African slave-trade are supplied from the stores of Sierra Leone and Liberia with such articles as the infernal traffic demands! An able English writer on the subject of Colonization thus notices this astounding fact:—

"And here it may be well to observe, that as long as negro slavery lasts, all colonies on the African coast, of whatever description, must tend to support it, because, in all commerce, the supply is more or less proportioned to the demand. The demand exists in negro slavery; the supply arises from the African slave-trade. And what greater convenience could the African slave-traders desire than shops well stored along the coast with the very articles which their trade demands. That the African slave-traders do get thus supplied at Sierra Leone and Liberia is matter of official evidence; and we know, from the nature of human things, that they will get so supplied, in defiance of all law or precaution, as long as the demand calls for the supply, and there are free shops stored with all they want at hand. The shopkeeper, however honest, would find it impossible always to distinguish between the African slave-trader or his agents and other dealers. And how many shopkeepers are there anywhere that would be over scrupulous in questioning a customer with a full purse?"

But we are told that the Colonization Society is to civilize and evangelize Africa.

"Each emigrant," says Henry Clay, the ablest advocate which the society has yet found, "is a missionary, carrying with him credentials in the holy cause of civilization, religion, and free institutions."

Beautiful and heart-cheering idea! But stay who are these emigrants, these missionaries?

The free people of color. "They, and they only," says the African
Repository, the society's organ, "are qualified for colonizing Africa."

What are their qualifications? Let the society answer in its own words:—
Free blacks are a greater nuisance than even slaves themselves."—
[African Repository, vol. ii. p. 328.]

"A horde of miserable people—the objects of universal suspicion— subsisting by plunder."

"An anomalous race of beings the most debased upon earth."—[African
Repository, vol. vii. p. 230.]

"Of all classes of our population the most vicious is that of the free colored."—[Tenth Annual Report of the Colonization Society.]

I might go on to quote still further from the "credentials" which the free people of color are to carry with them to Liberia. But I forbear.

I come now to the only practicable, the only just scheme of emancipation: Immediate abolition of slavery; an immediate acknowledgment of the great truth, that man cannot hold property in man; an immediate surrender of baneful prejudice to Christian love; an immediate practical obedience to the command of Jesus Christ: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them."

A correct understanding of what is meant by immediate abolition must convince every candid mind that it is neither visionary nor dangerous; that it involves no disastrous consequences of bloodshed and desolation; but, on the, contrary, that it is a safe, practicable, efficient remedy for the evils of the slave system.

The term immediate is used in contrast with that of gradual. Earnestly as I wish it, I do not expect, no one expects, that the tremendous system of oppression can be instantaneously overthrown. The terrible and unrebukable indignation of a free people has not yet been sufficiently concentrated against it. The friends of abolition have not forgotten the peculiar organization of our confederacy, the delicate division of power between the states and the general government. They see the many obstacles in their pathway; but they know that public opinion can overcome them all. They ask no aid of physical coercion. They seek to obtain their object not with the weapons of violence and blood, but with those of reason and truth, prayer to God, and entreaty to man.

They seek to impress indelibly upon every human heart the true doctrines of the rights of man; to establish now and forever this great and fundamental truth of human liberty, that man cannot hold property in his brother; for they believe that the general admission of this truth will utterly destroy the system of slavery, based as that system is upon a denial or disregard of it. To make use of the clear exposition of an eminent advocate of immediate abolition, our plan of emancipation is simply this: "To promulgate the true doctrine of human rights in high places and low places, and all places where there are human beings; to whisper it in chimney corners, and to proclaim it from the house-tops, yea, from the mountain-tops; to pour it out like water from the pulpit and the press; to raise it up with all the food of the inner man, from infancy to gray hairs; to give 'line upon line, and precept upon precept,' till it forms one of the foundation principles and parts indestructible of the public soul. Let those who contemn this plan renounce, if they have not done it already, the gospel plan of converting the world; let them renounce every plan of moral reformation, and every plan whatsoever, which does not terminate in the gratification of their own animal natures."

The friends of emancipation would urge in the first instance an immediate abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the Territories of Florida and Arkansas.

The number of slaves in these portions of the country, coming under the direct jurisdiction of the general government, is as follows:—

District of Columbia ….. 6,119
Territory of Arkansas …. 4,576
Territory of Florida …. 15,501

Total 26,196

Here, then, are twenty-six thousand human beings, fashioned in the image of God, the fitted temples of His Holy Spirit, held by the government in the abhorrent chains of slavery. The power to emancipate them is clear. It is indisputable. It does not depend upon the twenty-five slave votes in Congress. It lies with the free states. Their duty is before them: in the fear of God, and not of man let them perform it.

Let them at once strike off the grievous fetters. Let them declare that man shall no longer hold his fellow-man in bondage, a beast of burden, an article of traffic, within the governmental domain. God and truth and eternal justice demand this. The very reputation of our fathers, the honor of our land, every principle of liberty, humanity, expediency, demand it. A sacred regard to free principles originated our independence, not the paltry amount of practical evil complained of. And although our fathers left their great work unfinished, it is our duty to follow out their principles. Short of liberty and equality we cannot stop without doing injustice to their memories. If our fathers intended that slavery should be perpetual, that our practice should forever give the lie to our professions, why is the great constitutional compact so guardedly silent on the subject of human servitude? If state necessity demanded this perpetual violation of the laws of God and the rights of man, this continual solecism in a government of freedom, why is it not met as a necessity, incurable and inevitable, and formally and distinctly recognized as a settled part of our social system? State necessity, that imperial tyrant, seeks no disguise. In the language of Sheridan, "What he does, he dares avow, and avowing, scorns any other justification than the great motives which placed the iron sceptre in his grasp."

Can it be possible that our fathers felt this state necessity strong upon them? No; for they left open the door for emancipation, they left us the light of their pure principles of liberty, they framed the great charter of American rights, without employing a term in its structure to which in aftertimes of universal freedom the enemies of our country could point with accusation or reproach.

What, then, is our duty?

To give effect to the spirit of our Constitution; to plant ourselves upon the great declaration and declare in the face of all the world that political, religious, and legal hypocrisy shall no longer cover as with loathsome leprosy the features of American freedom; to loose at once the bands of wickedness; to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free.

We have indeed been authoritatively told in Congress and elsewhere that our brethren of the South and West will brook no further agitation of the subject of slavery. What then! shall we heed the unrighteous prohibition? No; by our duty as Christians, as politicians, by our duty to ourselves, to our neighbor, and to God, we are called upon to agitate this subject; to give slavery no resting-place under the hallowed aegis of a government of freedom; to tear it root and branch, with all its fruits of abomination, at least from the soil of the national domain. The slave-holder may mock us; the representatives of property, merchandise, vendible commodities, may threaten us; still our duty is imperative; the spirit of the Constitution should be maintained within the exclusive jurisdiction of the government. If we cannot "provide for the general welfare," if we cannot "guarantee to each of the states a republican form of government," let us at least no longer legislate for a free nation within view of the falling whip, and within hearing of the execrations of the task-master and the prayer of his slave!

I deny the right of the slave-holder to impose silence on his brother of the North in reference to slavery. What! compelled to maintain the system, to keep up the standing army which protects it, and yet be denied the poor privilege of remonstrance! Ready, at the summons of the master to put down the insurrections of his slaves, the outbreaking of that revenge which is now, and has been, in all nations, and all times, the inevitable consequence of oppression and wrong, and yet like automata to act but not speak! Are we to be denied even the right of a slave, the right to murmur?

I am not unaware that my remarks may be regarded by many as dangerous and exceptionable; that I may be regarded as a fanatic for quoting the language of eternal truth, and denounced as an incendiary for maintaining, in the spirit as well as the letter, the doctrines of American Independence. But if such are the consequences of a simple performance of duty, I shall not regard them. If my feeble appeal but reaches the hearts of any who are now slumbering in iniquity; if it shall have power given it to shake down one stone from that foul temple where the blood of human victims is offered to the Moloch of slavery; if under Providence it can break one fetter from off the image of God, and enable one suffering African

"To feel
The weight of human misery less, and glide
Ungroaning to the tomb,"

I shall not have written in vain; my conscience will be satisfied.

Far be it from me to cast new bitterness into the gall and wormwood waters of sectional prejudice. No; I desire peace, the peace of universal love, of catholic sympathy, the peace of a common interest, a common feeling, a common humanity. But so long as slavery is tolerated, no such peace can exist. Liberty and slavery cannot dwell in harmony together. There will be a perpetual "war in the members" of the political Mezentius between the living and the dead. God and man have placed between them an everlasting barrier, an eternal separation. No matter under what name or law or compact their union is attempted, the ordination of Providence has forbidden it, and it cannot stand. Peace! there can be no peace between justice and oppression, between robbery and righteousness, truth and falsehood, freedom and slavery.

The slave-holding states are not free. The name of liberty is there, but the spirit is wanting. They do not partake of its invaluable blessings. Wherever slavery exists to any considerable extent, with the exception of some recently settled portions of the country, and which have not yet felt in a great degree the baneful and deteriorating influences of slave labor, we hear at this moment the cry of suffering. We are told of grass-grown streets, of crumbling mansions, of beggared planters and barren plantations, of fear from without, of terror within. The once fertile fields are wasted and tenantless, for the curse of slavery, the improvidence of that labor whose hire has been kept back by fraud, has been there, poisoning the very earth beyond the reviving influence of the early and the latter rain. A moral mildew mingles with and blasts the economy of nature. It is as if the finger of the everlasting God had written upon the soil of the slave-holder the language of His displeasure.

Let, then, the slave-holding states consult their present interest by beginning without delay the work of emancipation. If they fear not, and mock at the fiery indignation of Him, to whom vengeance belongeth, let temporal interest persuade them. They know, they must know, that the present state of things cannot long continue. Mind is the same everywhere, no matter what may be the complexion of the frame which it animates: there is a love of liberty which the scourge cannot eradicate, a hatred of oppression which centuries of degradation cannot extinguish. The slave will become conscious sooner or later of his brute strength, his physical superiority, and will exert it. His torch will be at the threshold and his knife at the throat of the planter. Horrible and indiscriminate will be his vengeance. Where, then, will be the pride, the beauty, and the chivalry of the South? The smoke of her torment will rise upward like a thick cloud visible over the whole earth.

     "Belie the negro's powers: in headlong will,
     Christian, thy brother thou shalt find him still.
     Belie his virtues: since his wrongs began,
     His follies and his crimes have stamped him man."

Let the cause of insurrection be removed, then, as speedily as possible. Cease to oppress. "Let him that stole steal no more." Let the laborer have his hire. Bind him no longer by the cords of slavery, but with those of kindness and brotherly love. Watch over him for his good. Pray for him; instruct him; pour light into the darkness of his mind.

Let this be done, and the horrible fears which now haunt the slumbers of the slave-holder will depart. Conscience will take down its racks and gibbets, and his soul will be at peace. His lands will no longer disappoint his hopes. Free labor will renovate them.

Historical facts; the nature of the human mind; the demonstrated truths of political economy; the analysis of cause and effect, all concur in establishing:

1. That immediate abolition is a safe and just and peaceful remedy for the evils of the slave system.

2. That free labor, its necessary consequence, is more productive, and more advantageous to the planter than slave labor.

In proof of the first proposition it is only necessary to state the undeniable fact that immediate emancipation, whether by an individual or a community, has in no instance been attended with violence and disorder on the part of the emancipated; but that on the contrary it has promoted cheerfulness, industry, and laudable ambition in the place of sullen discontent, indolence, and despair.

The case of St. Domingo is in point. Blood was indeed shed on that island like water, but it was not in consequence of emancipation. It was shed in the civil war which preceded it, and in the iniquitous attempt to restore the slave system in 1801. It flowed on the sanguine altar of slavery, not on the pure and peaceful one of emancipation. No; there, as in all the world and in all time, the violence of oppression engendered violence on the part of the oppressed, and vengeance followed only upon the iron footsteps of wrong. When, where, did justice to the injured waken their hate and vengeance? When, where, did love and kindness and sympathy irritate and madden the persecuted, the broken-hearted, the foully wronged?

In September, 1793, the Commissioner of the French National Convention issued his proclamation giving immediate freedom to all the slaves of St. Domingo. Did the slaves baptize their freedom in blood? Did they fight like unchained desperadoes because they had been made free? Did they murder their emancipators? No; they acted, as human beings must act, under similar circumstances, by a law as irresistible as those of the universe: kindness disarmed them, justice conciliated them, freedom ennobled them. No tumult followed this wide and instantaneous emancipation. It cost not one drop of blood; it abated not one tittle of the wealth or the industry of the island. Colonel Malenfant, a slave proprietor residing at the time on the island, states that after the public act of abolition, the negroes remained perfectly quiet; they had obtained all they asked for, liberty, and they continued to work upon all the plantations.—[Malenfant in Memoirs for a History of St. Domingo by General Lecroix, 1819.]

"There were estates," he says, "which had neither owners nor managers resident upon them, yet upon these estates, though abandoned, the negroes continued their labors where there were any, even inferior, agents to guide them; and on those estates where no white men were left to direct them, they betook themselves to the planting of provisions; but upon all the plantations where the whites resided the blacks continued to labor as quietly as before." Colonel Malenfant says that when many of his neighbors, proprietors or managers, were in prison, the negroes of their plantations came to him to beg him to direct them in their work. "If you will take care not to talk to them of the restoration of slavery, but talk to them of freedom, you may with this word chain them down to their labor. How did Toussaint succeed? How did I succeed before his time in the plain of the Cul-de-Sac on the plantation of Gouraud, during more than eight months after liberty had been granted to the slaves? Let those who knew me at that time, let the blacks themselves be asked. They will all reply that not a single negro upon that plantation, consisting of more than four hundred and fifty laborers, refused to work; and yet this plantation was thought to be under the worst discipline and the slaves the most idle of any in the plain. I inspired the same activity into three other plantations of which I had the management. If all the negroes had come from Africa within six months, if they had the love of independence that the Indians have, I should own that force must be employed; but ninety-nine out of a hundred of the blacks are aware that without labor they cannot procure the things that are necessary for them; that there is no other method of satisfying their wants and their tastes. They know that they must work, they wish to do so, and they will do so."

This is strong testimony. In 1796, three years after the act of emancipation, we are told that the colony was flourishing under Toussaint, that the whites lived happily and peaceably on their estates, and the blacks continued to work for them. Up to 1801 the same happy state of things continued. The colony went on as by enchantment; cultivation made day by day a perceptible progress, under the recuperative energies of free labor.

In 1801 General Vincent, a proprietor of estates in the island, was sent by Toussaint to Paris for the purpose of laying before the Directory the new Constitution which had been adopted at St. Domingo. He reached France just after the peace of Amiens, when Napoleon was fitting out his ill-starred armament for the insane purpose of restoring slavery in the island. General Vincent remonstrated solemnly and earnestly against an expedition so preposterous, so cruel and unnecessary; undertaken at a moment when all was peace and quietness in the colony, when the proprietors were in peaceful possession of their estates, when cultivation was making a rapid progress, and the blacks were industrious and happy beyond example. He begged that this beautiful state of things might not be reversed. The remonstrance was not regarded, and the expedition proceeded. Its issue is well known. Threatened once more with the horrors of slavery, the peaceful and quiet laborer became transformed into a demon of ferocity. The plough-share and the pruning- hook gave way to the pike and the dagger. The white invaders were driven back by the sword and the pestilence; and then, and not till then, was the property of the planters seized upon by the excited and infuriated blacks.

In 1804 Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor of Hayti. The black troops were in a great measure disbanded, and they immediately returned to the cultivation of the plantations. From that period up to the present there has been no want of industry among the inhabitants.

Mr. Harvey, who during the reign of Christophe resided at Cape Francois, in describing the character and condition of the inhabitants, says "It was an interesting sight to behold this class of the Haytiens, now in possession of their freedom, coming in groups to the market nearest which they resided, bringing the produce of their industry there for sale; and afterwards returning, carrying back the necessary articles of living which the disposal of their commodities had enabled them to purchase; all evidently cheerful and happy. Nor could it fail to occur to the mind that their present condition furnished the most satisfactory answer to that objection to the general emancipation of slaves founded on their alleged unfitness to value and improve the benefits of liberty. . . . As they would not suffer, so they do not require, the attendance of one acting in the capacity of a driver with the instrument of punishment in his hand. As far as I had an opportunity of ascertaining from what fell under my own observation, and from what I gathered from other European residents, I am persuaded of one general fact, which on account of its importance I shall state in the most explicit terms, namely, that the Haytiens employed in cultivating the plantations, as well as the rest of the population, perform as much work in a given time as they were accustomed to do during their subjection to the French. And if we may judge of their future improvement by the change which has been already effected, it may be reasonably anticipated that Hayti will erelong contain a population not inferior in their industry to that of any civilized nation in the world. . . . Every man had some calling to occupy his attention; instances of idleness or intemperance were of rare occurrence; the most perfect subordination prevailed, and all appeared contented and happy. A foreigner would have found it difficult to persuade himself, on his first entering the place, that the people he now beheld so submissive, industrious, and contented, were the same people who a few years before had escaped from the shackles of slavery."

The present condition of Hayti may be judged of from the following well- authenticated facts its population is more than 700,000, its resources ample, its prosperity and happiness general, its crimes few, its labor crowned with abundance, with no paupers save the decrepit and aged, its people hospitable, respectful, orderly, and contented.

The manumitted slaves, who to the number of two thousand were settled in Nova Scotia by the British Government at the close of the Revolutionary War, "led a harmless life, and gained the character of an honest, industrious people from their white neighbors." Of the free laborers of Trinidad we have the same report. At the Cape of Good Hope, three thousand negroes received their freedom, and with scarce a single exception betook themselves to laborious employments.

But we have yet stronger evidence. The total abolishment of slavery in the southern republics has proved beyond dispute the safety and utility of immediate abolition. The departed Bolivar indeed deserves his glorious title of Liberator, for he began his career of freedom by striking off the fetters of his own slaves, seven hundred in number.

In an official letter from the Mexican Envoy of the British Government, dated Mexico, March, 1826, and addressed 'to the Right Hon. George Canning, the superiority of free over slave labor is clearly demonstrated by the following facts:—

2. It is now carried on exclusively by the labor of free blacks.

3. It was formerly wholly sustained by the forced labor of slaves, purchased at Vera Cruz at $300 to $400 each.

4. Abolition in this section was effected not by governmental interference, not even from motives of humanity, but from an irresistible conviction on the part of the planters that their pecuniary interest demanded it.

5. The result has proved the entire correctness of this conviction; and the planters would now be as unwilling as the blacks themselves to return to the old system.

Let our Southern brethren imitate this example. It is in vain, in the face of facts like these, to talk of the necessity of maintaining the abominable system, operating as it does like a double curse upon planters and slaves. Heaven and earth deny its necessity. It is as necessary as other robberies, and no more.

Yes, putting aside altogether the righteous law of the living God—the same yesterday, to-day, and forever—and shutting out the clearest political truths ever taught by man, still, in human policy selfish expediency would demand of the planter the immediate emancipation of his slaves.

Because slave labor is the labor of mere machines; a mechanical impulse of body and limb, with which the mind of the laborer has no sympathy, and from which it constantly and loathingly revolts.

Because slave labor deprives the master altogether of the incalculable benefit of the negro's will. That does not cooperate with the forced toil of the body. This is but the necessary consequence of all labor which does not benefit the laborer. It is a just remark of that profound political economist, Adam Smith, that "a slave can have no other interest than to eat and waste as much, and work as little, as he can."

To my mind, in the wasteful and blighting influences of slave labor there is a solemn and warning moral.

They seem the evidence of the displeasure of Him who created man after His own image, at the unnatural attempt to govern the bones and sinews, the bodies and souls, of one portion of His children by the caprice, the avarice, the lusts of another; at that utter violation of the design of His merciful Providence, whereby the entire dependence of millions of His rational creatures is made to centre upon the will, the existence, the ability, of their fellow-mortals, instead of resting under the shadow of His own Infinite Power and exceeding love.

I shall offer a few more facts and observations on this point.

1. A distinguished scientific gentleman, Mr. Coulomb, the superintendent of several military works in the French West Indies, gives it as his opinion, that the slaves do not perform more than one third of the labor which they would do, provided they were urged by their own interests and inclinations instead of brute force.

2. A plantation in Barbadoes in 1780 was cultivated by two hundred and eighty-eight slaves ninety men, eighty-two women, fifty-six boys, and sixty girls. In three years and three months there were on this plantation fifty-seven deaths, and only fifteen births. A change was then made in the government of the slaves. The use of the whip was denied; all severe and arbitrary punishments were abolished; the laborers received wages, and their offences were all tried by a sort of negro court established among themselves: in short, they were practically free. Under this system, in four years and three months there were forty-four births, and but forty-one deaths; and the annual net produce of the plantation was more than three times what it had been before.—[English Quarterly Magazine and Review, April, 1832.]

3. The following evidence was adduced by Pitt in the British Parliament, April, 1792. The assembly of Grenada had themselves stated, "that though the negroes were allowed only the afternoon of one day in a week, they would do as much work in that afternoon, when employed for their own benefit, as in the whole day when employed in their master's service." "Now after this confession," said Mr. Pitt, "the house might burn all its calculations relative to the negro population. A negro, if he worked for himself, could no doubt do double work. By an improvement, then, in the mode of labor, the work in the islands could be doubled."

4. "In coffee districts it is usual for the master to hire his people after they have done the regular task for the day, at a rate varying from 10d. to 15.8d. for every extra bushel which they pluck from the trees; and many, almost all, are found eager to earn their wages."

5. In a report made by the commandant of Castries for the government of St. Lucia, in 1822, it is stated, in proof of the intimacy between the slaves and the free blacks, that "many small plantations of the latter, and occupied by only one man and his wife, are better cultivated and have more land in cultivation than those of the proprietors of many slaves, and that the labor on them is performed by runaway slaves;" thus clearly proving that even runaway slaves, under the all-depressing fears of discovery and oppression, labor well, because the fruits of their labor are immediately their own.

Let us look at this subject from another point of view. The large sum of money necessary for stocking a plantation with slaves has an inevitable tendency to place the agriculture of a slave-holding community exclusively in the hands of the wealthy, a tendency at war with practical republicanism and conflicting with the best maxims of political economy.

Two hundred slaves at $200 per head would cost in the outset $40,000. Compare this enormous outlay for the labor of a single plantation with the beautiful system of free labor as exhibited in New England, where every young laborer, with health and ordinary prudence, may acquire by his labor on the farms of others, in a few years, a farm of his own, and the stock necessary for its proper cultivation; where on a hard and unthankful soil independence and competence may be attained by all.

Free labor is perfectly in accordance with the spirit of our institutions; slave labor is a relic of a barbarous, despotic age. The one, like the firmament of heaven, is the equal diffusion of similar lights, manifest, harmonious, regular; the other is the fiery predominance of some disastrous star, hiding all lesser luminaries around it in one consuming glare.

Emancipation would reform this evil. The planter would no longer be under the necessity of a heavy expenditure for slaves. He would only pay a very moderate price for his labor; a price, indeed, far less than the cost of the maintenance of a promiscuous gang of slaves, which the present system requires.

In an old plantation of three hundred slaves, not more than one hundred effective laborers will be found. Children, the old and superannuated, the sick and decrepit, the idle and incorrigibly vicious, will be found to constitute two thirds of the whole number. The remaining third perform only about one third as much work as the same number of free laborers.

Now disburden the master of this heavy load of maintenance; let him employ free able, industrious laborers only, those who feel conscious of a personal interest in the fruits of their labor, and who does not see that such a system would be vastly more safe and economical than the present?

The slave states are learning this truth by fatal experience. Most of them are silently writhing under the great curse. Virginia has uttered her complaints aloud. As yet, however, nothing has been done even there, save a small annual appropriation for the purpose of colonizing the free colored inhabitants of the state. Is this a remedy?

But it may be said that Virginia will ultimately liberate her slaves on condition of their colonization in Africa, peacefully if possible, forcibly if necessary.

Well, admitting that Virginia may be able and willing at some remote period to rid herself of the evil by commuting the punishment of her unoffending colored people from slavery to exile, will her fearful remedy apply to some of the other slaveholding states?

It is a fact, strongly insisted upon by our Southern brethren as a reason for the perpetuation of slavery, that their climate and peculiar agriculture will not admit of hard labor on the part of the whites; that amidst the fatal malaria of the rice plantations the white man is almost annually visited by the country fever; that few of the white overseers of these plantations reach the middle period of ordinary life; that the owners are compelled to fly from their estates as the hot season approaches, without being able to return until the first frosts have fallen. But we are told that the slaves remain there, at their work, mid-leg in putrid water, breathing the noisome atmosphere, loaded with contagion, and underneath the scorching fervor of a terrible sun; that they indeed suffer; but, that their habits, constitutions, and their long practice enable them to labor, surrounded by such destructive influences, with comparative safety.

The conclusive answer, therefore, to those who in reality cherish the visionary hope of colonizing all the colored people of the United States in Africa or elsewhere, is this single, all-important fact: The labor of the blacks will not and cannot be dispensed with by the planter of the South.

To what remedy, then, can the friends of humanity betake themselves but to that of emancipation?

And nothing but a strong, unequivocal expression of public sentiment is needed to carry into effect this remedy, so far as the general government is concerned.

And when the voice of all the non-slave-holding states shall be heard on this question, a voice of expostulation, rebuke, entreaty—when the full light of truth shall break through the night of prejudice, and reveal all the foul abominations of slavery, will Delaware still cling to the curse which is wasting her moral strength, and still rivet the fetters upon her three or four thousand slaves? Let Delaware begin the work, and Maryland and Virginia must follow; the example will be contagious; and the great object of universal emancipation will be attained. Freemen, Christians, lovers of truth and justice Why stand ye idle? Ours is a government of opinion, and slavery is interwoven with it. Change the current of opinion, and slavery will be swept away. Let the awful sovereignty of the people, a power which is limited only by the sovereignty of Heaven, arise and pronounce judgment against the crying iniquity. Let each individual remember that upon himself rests a portion of that sovereignty; a part of the tremendous responsibility of its exercise. The burning, withering concentration of public opinion upon the slave system is alone needed for its total annihilation. God has given us the power to overthrow it; a power peaceful, yet mighty, benevolent, yet effectual, "awful without severity," a moral strength equal to the emergency.

"How does it happen," inquires an able writer, "that whenever duty is named we begin to hear of the weakness of human nature? That same nature which outruns the whirlwind in the chase of gain, which rages like a maniac at the trumpet call of glory, which laughs danger and death to scorn when its least passion is awakened, becomes weak as childhood when reminded of the claims of duty." But let no one hope to find an excuse in hypocrisy. The humblest individual of the community in one way or another possesses influence; and upon him as well as upon the proudest rests the responsibility of its rightful exercise and proper direction. The overthrow of a great national evil like that of slavery can only be effected by the united energies of the great body of the people. Shoulder must be put to shoulder and hand linked with hand, the whole mass must be put in motion and its entire strength applied, until the fabric of oppression is shaken to its dark foundations and not one stone is left upon another.

Let the Christian remember that the God of his worship hateth oppression; that the mystery of faith can only be held by a pure conscience; and that in vain is the tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, if the weihtier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and truth, are forgotten. Let him remember that all along the clouded region of slavery the truths of the everlasting gospel are not spoken, that the ear of iniquity is lulled, that those who minister between the "porch and the altar" dare not speak out the language of eternal justice: "Is not this the fast which I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free?" (Isa. viii. 6.) "He that stealeth a man and selleth him; or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." (Exod. xxi. 16.1) Yet a little while and the voice of impartial prayer for humanity will be heard no more in the abiding place of slavery. The truths of the gospel, its voice of warning and exhortation, will be denounced as incendiary? The night of that infidelity, which denies God in the abuse and degradation of man, will settle over the land, to be broken only by the upheaving earthquake of eternal retribution.

To the members of the religious Society of Friends, I would earnestly appeal. They have already done much to put away the evil of slavery in this country and Great Britain. The blessings of many who were ready to perish have rested upon them. But their faithful testimony must be still steadily upborne, for the great work is but begun. Let them not relax their exertions, nor be contented with a lifeless testimony, a formal protestation against the evil. Active, prayerful, unwearied exertion is needed for its overthrow. But above all, let them not aid in excusing and palliating it. Slavery has no redeeming qualities, no feature of benevolence, nothing pure, nothing peaceful, nothing just. Let them carefully keep themselves aloof from all societies and all schemes which have a tendency to excuse or overlook its crying iniquity. True to a doctrine founded on love and mercy, "peace on earth and good will to men," they should regard the suffering slave as their brother, and endeavor to "put their souls in his soul's stead." They may earnestly desire the civilization of Africa, but they cannot aid in building up the colony of Liberia so long as that colony leans for support upon the arm of military power; so long as it proselytes to Christianity under the muzzles of its cannon; and preaches the doctrines of Christ while practising those of Mahomet. When the Sierra Leone Company was formed in England, not a member of the Society of Friends could be prevailed upon to engage in it, because the colony was to be supplied with cannon and other military stores. Yet the Foreign Agent of the Liberia Colony Society, to which the same insurmountable objection exists, is a member of the Society of Friends, and I understand has been recently employed in providing gunpowder, etc., for the use of the colony. There must be an awakening on this subject; other Woolmans and other Benezets must arise and speak the truth with the meek love of James and the fervent sincerity of Paul.

To the women of America, whose sympathies know no distinction of cline, or sect, or color, the suffering slave is making a strong appeal. Oh, let it not be unheeded! for of those to whom much is given much will be required at the last dread tribunal; and never in the strongest terms of human eulogy was woman's influence overrated. Sisters, daughters, wives, and mothers, your influence is felt everywhere, at the fireside, and in the halls of legislation, surrounding, like the all-encircling atmosphere, brother and father, husband and son! And by your love of them, by every holy sympathy of your bosoms, by every mournful appeal which comes up to you from hearts whose sanctuary of affections has been made waste and desolate, you are called upon to exert it in the cause of redemption from wrong and outrage.

Let the patriot, the friend of liberty and the Union of the States, no longer shut his eyes to the great danger, the master-evil before which all others dwindle into insignificance. Our Union is tottering to its foundation, and slavery is the cause. Remove the evil. Dry up at their source the bitter waters. In vain you enact and abrogate your tariffs; in vain is individual sacrifice, or sectional concession. The accursed thing is with us, the stone of stumbling and the rock of offence remains. Drag, then, the Achan into light; and let national repentance atone for national sin.

The conflicting interests of free and slave labor furnish the only ground for fear in relation to the permanency of the Union. The line of separation between them is day by day growing broader and deeper; geographically and politically united, we are already, in a moral point of view, a divided people. But a few months ago we were on the very verge of civil war, a war of brothers, a war between the North and the South, between the slave-holder and the free laborer. The danger has been delayed for a time; this bolt has fallen without mortal injury to the Union, but the cloud from whence it came still hangs above us, reddening with the elements of destruction.

Recent events have furnished ample proof that the slave-holding interest is prepared to resist any legislation on the part of the general government which is supposed to have a tendency, directly or indirectly, to encourage and invigorate free labor; and that it is determined to charge upon its opposite interest the infliction of all those evils which necessarily attend its own operation, "the primeval curse of Omnipotence upon slavery."

We have already felt in too many instances the extreme difficulty of cherishing in one common course of national legislation the opposite interests of republican equality and feudal aristocracy and servitude. The truth is, we have undertaken a moral impossibility. These interests are from their nature irreconcilable. The one is based upon the pure principles of rational liberty; the other, under the name of freedom, revives the ancient European system of barons and villains, nobles and serfs. Indeed, the state of society which existed among our Anglo-Saxon ancestors was far more tolerable than that of many portions of our republican confederacy. For the Anglo-Saxon slaves had it in their power to purchase their freedom; and the laws of the realm recognized their liberation and placed them under legal protection.

[The diffusion of Christianity in Great Britain was moreover followed by a general manumission; for it would seem that the priests and missionaries of religion in that early and benighted age were more faithful in the performance of their duties than those of the present. "The holy fathers, monks, and friars," says Sir T. Smith, "had in their confessions, and specially in their extreme and deadly sickness, convinced the laity how dangerous a thing it was for one Christian to hold another in bondage; so that temporal men, by reason of the terror in their consciences, were glad to manumit all their villains."—Hilt. Commonwealth, Blackstone, p. 52.]

To counteract the dangers resulting from a state of society so utterly at variance with the great Declaration of American freedom should be the earnest endeavor of every patriotic statesman. Nothing unconstitutional, nothing violent, should be attempted; but the true doctrine of the rights of man should be steadily kept in view; and the opposition to slavery should be inflexible and constantly maintained. The almost daily violations of the Constitution in consequence of the laws of some of the slave states, subjecting free colored citizens of New England and elsewhere, who may happen to be on board of our coasting vessels, to imprisonment immediately on their arrival in a Southern port should be provided against. Nor should the imprisonment of the free colored citizens of the Northern and Middle states, on suspicion of being runaways, subjecting them, even after being pronounced free, to the costs of their confinement and trial, be longer tolerated; for if we continue to yield to innovations like these upon the Constitution of our fathers, we shall erelong have the name only of a free government left us.

Dissemble as we may, it is impossible for us to believe, after fully considering the nature of slavery, that it can much longer maintain a peaceable existence among us. A day of revolution must come, and it is our duty to prepare for it. Its threatened evil may be changed into a national blessing. The establishment of schools for the instruction of the slave children, a general diffusion of the lights of Christianity, and the introduction of a sacred respect for the social obligations of marriage and for the relations between parents and children, among our black population, would render emancipation not only perfectly safe, but also of the highest advantage to the country. Two millions of freemen would be added to our population, upon whom in the hour of danger we could safely depend; "the domestic foe" would be changed into a firm friend, faithful, generous, and ready to encounter all dangers in our defence. It is well known that during the last war with Great Britain, wherever the enemy touched upon our Southern coast, the slaves in multitudes hastened to join them. On the other hand, the free blacks were highly serviceable in repelling them. So warm was the zeal of the latter, so manifest their courage in the defence of Louisiana, that the present Chief Magistrate of the United States publicly bestowed upon them one of the highest eulogiums ever offered by a commander to his soldiers.

Let no one seek an apology for silence on the subject of slavery because the laws of the land tolerate and sanction it. But a short time ago the slave-trade was protected by laws and treaties, and sanctioned by the example of men eminent for the reputation of piety and integrity. Yet public opinion broke over these barriers; it lifted the curtain and revealed the horrors of that most abominable traffic; and unrighteous law and ancient custom and avarice and luxury gave way before its irresistible authority. It should never be forgotten that human law cannot change the nature of human action in the pure eye of infinite justice; and that the ordinances of man cannot annul those of God. The slave system, as existing in this country, can be considered in no other light than as the cause of which the foul traffic in human flesh is the legitimate consequence. It is the parent, the fosterer, the sole supporter of the slave-trade. It creates the demand for slaves, and the foreign supply will always be equal to the demand of consumption. It keeps the market open. It offers inducements to the slave-trader which no severity of law against his traffic can overcome. By our laws his trade is piracy; while slavery, to which alone it owes its existence, is protected and cherished, and those engaged in it are rewarded by an increase of political power proportioned to the increase of their stock of human beings! To steal the natives of Africa is a crime worthy of an ignominious death; but to steal and enslave annually nearly one hundred thousand of the descendants of these stolen natives, born in this country, is considered altogether excusable and proper! For my own part, I know no difference between robbery in Africa and robbery at home. I could with as quiet a conscience engage in the one as the other.

"There is not one general principle," justly remarks Lord Nugent, "on which the slave-trade is to be stigmatized which does not impeach slavery itself." Kindred in iniquity, both must fall speedily, fall together, and be consigned to the same dishonorable grave. The spirit which is thrilling through every nerve of England is awakening America from her sleep of death. Who, among our statesmen, would not shrink from the baneful reputation of having supported by his legislative influence the slave-trade, the traffic in human flesh? Let them then beware; for the time is near at hand when the present defenders of slavery will sink under the same fatal reputation, and leave to posterity a memory which will blacken through all future time, a legacy of infamy.

"Let us not betake us to the common arts and stratagems of nations, but fear God, and put away the evil which provokes Him; and trust not in man, but in the living God; and it shall go well for England!" This counsel, given by the purehearted William Penn, in a former age, is about to be followed in the present. An intense and powerful feeling is working in the mighty heart of England; it is speaking through the lips of Brougham and Buxton and O'Connell, and demanding justice in the name of humanity and according to the righteous law of God. The immediate emancipation of eight hundred thousand slaves is demanded with an authority which cannot much longer be disputed or trifled with. That demand will be obeyed; justice will be done; the heavy burdens will be unloosed; the oppressed set free. It shall go well for England.

And when the stain on our own escutcheon shall be seen no more; when the Declaration of our Independence and the practice of our people shall agree; when truth shall be exalted among us; when love shall take the place of wrong; when all the baneful pride and prejudice of caste and color shall fall forever; when under one common sun of political liberty the slave-holding portions of our republic shall no longer sit, like the Egyptians of old, themselves mantled in thick darkness, while all around them is glowing with the blessed light of freedom and equality, then, and not till then, shall it go well for America!



Two letters to the 'Jeffersonian and Times', Richmond, Va.


A FRIEND has banded me a late number of your paper, containing a brief notice of a pamphlet, which I have recently published on the subject of slavery.

From an occasional perusal of your paper, I have formed a favorable opinion of your talent and independence. Compelled to dissent from some of your political sentiments, I still give you full credit for the lofty tone of sincerity and manliness with which these sentiments are avowed and defended.

I perceive that since the adjustment of the tariff question a new subject of discontent and agitation seems to engross your attention.

The "accursed tariff" has no sooner ceased to be the stone of stumbling and the rock of offence, than the "abolition doctrines of the Northern enthusiasts," as you are pleased to term the doctrines of your own Jefferson, furnish, in your opinion, a sufficient reason for poising the "Ancient Dominion" on its sovereignty, and rousing every slaveowner to military preparations, until the entire South, from the Potomac to the Gulf, shall bristle with bayonets, "like quills upon the fretful porcupine."

In proof of a conspiracy against your "vested rights," you have commenced publishing copious extracts from the pamphlets and periodicals of the abolitionists of New England and New York. An extract from my own pamphlet you have headed "The Fanatics," and in introducing it to your readers you inform them that "it exhibits, in strong colors, the morbid spirit of that false and fanatical philanthropy, which is at work in the Northern states, and, to some extent, in the South."

Gentlemen, so far as I am personally concerned in the matter, I feel no disposition to take exceptions to any epithets which you may see fit to apply to me or my writings. A humble son of New England—a tiller of her rugged soil, and a companion of her unostentatious yeomanry—it matters little, in any personal consideration of the subject, whether the voice of praise or opprobrium reaches me from beyond the narrow limits of my immediate neighborhood.

But when I find my opinions quoted as the sentiment of New England, and then denounced as dangerous, "false and fanatical;" and especially when I see them made the occasion of earnest appeals to the prejudices and sectional jealousies of the South, it becomes me to endeavor to establish their truths, and defend them from illegitimate influences and unjust suspicions.

In the first place, then, let me say, that if it be criminal to publicly express a belief that it is in the power of the slave states to emancipate their slaves, with profit and safety to themselves, and that such is their immediate duty, a majority of the people of New England are wholly guiltless. Of course, all are nominally opposed to slavery; but upon the little band of abolitionists should the anathemas of the slave- holder be directed, for they are the agitators of whom you complain, men who are acting under a solemn conviction of duty, and who are bending every energy of their minds to the accomplishment of their object.

And that object is the overthrow of slavery in the United States, by such means only as are sanctioned by law, humanity, and religion.

I shall endeavor, gentlemen, as briefly as may be, to give you some of our reasons for opposing slavery and seeking its abolition; and, secondly, to explain our mode of operation; to disclose our plan of emancipation, fully and entirely. We wish to do nothing darkly; frank republicans, we acknowledge no double-dealing. At this busy season of the year, I cannot but regret that I have not leisure for such a deliberate examination of the subject as even my poor ability might warrant. My remarks, penned in the intervals of labor, must necessarily be brief, and wanting in coherence.

We seek the abolishment of slavery

1. Because it is contrary to the law of God.

In your paper of the 2d of 7th mo., the same in which you denounce the "false and fanatical philanthropy" of abolitionists, you avow yourselves members of the Bible Society, and bestow warm and deserved encomiums on the "truly pious undertaking of sending the truth among all nations."

You, therefore, gentlemen, whatever others may do, will not accuse me of "fanaticism," if I endeavor to sustain my first great reason for opposing slavery by a reference to the volume of inspiration:

"Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them."

"Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you, take heed and do it; for there is no iniquity with the Lord, nor respect of persons."

"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness; to undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?"

"If a man be found stealing any of his brethren, and maketh merchandise of him, or selling him, that thief shall die."

"Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."

"And he that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hands, he shall surely be put to death."

2. Because it is an open violation of all human equality, of the laws of Nature and of nations.

The fundamental principle of all equal and just law is contained in the following extract from Blackstone's Commentaries, Introduction, sec. 2.

"The rights which God and Nature have established, and which are therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually vested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by municipal laws to be inviolable: on the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy there, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture."

Has the negro committed such offence? Above all, has his infant child forfeited its unalienable right?

Surely it can be no act of the innocent child.

Yet you must prove the forfeiture, or no human legislation can deprive that child of its freedom.

Its black skin constitutes the forfeiture!

What! throw the responsibility upon God! Charge the common Father of the white and the black, He, who is no respecter of persons, with plundering His unoffending children of all which makes the boon of existence desirable; their personal liberty!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."— [Declaration of Independence, from the pen of Thomas Jefferson.]

In this general and unqualified declaration, on the 4th of July, 1776, all the people of the United States, without distinction of color, were proclaimed free, by the delegates of the people of those states assembled in their highest sovereign capacity.

For more than half a century we have openly violated that solemn declaration.

3. Because it renders nugatory the otherwise beneficial example of our free institutions, and exposes us to the scorn and reproach of the liberal and enlightened of other nations.

"Chains clank and groans echo around the walls of their spotless
Congress."—[Francis Jeffrey.]

"Man to be possessed by man! Man to be made property of! The image of the Deity to be put under the yoke! Let these usurpers show us their title-deeds!"—[Simon Boliver.]

"When I am indulging in my views of American prospects and American liberty, it is mortifying to be told that in that very country a large portion of the people are slaves! It is a dark spot on the face of the nation. Such a state of things cannot always exist."—[Lafayette.]

"I deem it right to raise my humble voice to convince the citizens of America that the slaveholding states are held in abomination by all those whose opinion ought to be valuable. Man is the property of man in about one half of the American States: let them not therefore dare to prate of their institutions or of their national freedom, while they hold their fellow-men in bondage! Of all men living, the American citizen who is the owner of slaves is the most despicable. He is a political hypocrite of the very worst description. The friends of humanity and liberty in Europe should join in one universal cry of shame on the American slave- holders! 'Base wretches!' should we shout in chorus; 'base wretches! how dare you profane the temple of national freedom, the sacred fane of republican rites, with the presence and the sufferings of human beings in chains and slavery!'"—[Daniel O'Connell.]

4. Because it subjects one portion of our American brethren to the unrestrained violence and unholy passions of another.

Here, gentlemen, I might summon to my support a cloud of witnesses, a host of incontrovertible, damning facts, the legitimate results of a system whose tendency is to harden and deprave the heart. But I will not descend to particulars. I am willing to believe that the majority of the masters of your section of the country are disposed to treat their unfortunate slaves with kindness. But where the dreadful privilege of slave-holding is extended to all, in every neighborhood, there must be individuals whose cupidity is unrestrained by any principle of humanity, whose lusts are fiercely indulged, whose fearful power over the bodies, nay, may I not say the souls, of their victims is daily and hourly abused.

Will the evidence of your own Jefferson, on this point, be admissible?

"The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise, of the most boisterous passions; the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submission on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to the worst of passions; and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot fail to be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his morals and manners undepraved by such circumstances."—[Notes on Virginia, p. 241.]

"Il n'existe a la verite aucune loi qui protege l'esclave le mauvais traitement du maitre," says Achille Murat, himself a Floridian slave- holder, in his late work on the United States.

Gentlemen, is not this true? Does there exist even in Virginia any law limiting the punishment of a slave? Are there any bounds prescribed, beyond which the brutal, the revengeful, the intoxicated slave-master, acting in the double capacity of judge and executioner, cannot pass?

You will, perhaps, tell me that the general law against murder applies alike to master and slave. True; but will you point out instances of masters suffering the penalty of that law for the murder of their slaves? If you examine your judicial reports you will find the wilful murder of a slave decided to be only a trespass!—[Virginia Reports, vol. v. p. 481, Harris versus Nichols.]

It indeed argues well for Virginian pride of character, that latterly, the law, which expressly sanctioned the murder of a slave, who in the language of Georgia and North Carolina, "died of moderate correction," has been repealed. But, although the letter of the law is changed, its practice remains the same. In proof of this, I would refer to Brockenborough and Holmes' Virginia Cases, p. 258.

In Georgia and North Carolina the murder of a slave is tolerated and justified by law, provided that in the opinion of the court he died "of moderate correction!"

In South Carolina the following clause of a law enacted in 1740 is still in force:—

"If any slave shall suffer in his life, limbs, or members, when no white person shall be present, or being present shall neglect or refuse to give evidence concerning the same, in every such case the owner or other person who shall have the care and government of the slave shall be deemed and taken to be guilty of such offence; unless such owner or other person can make the contrary appear by good and sufficient evidence, or shall by his own oath clear and exculpate himself, which oath every court where such offence shall be tried is hereby empowered to administer and to acquit the offender accordingly, if clear proof of the offence be not made by two witnesses at least, any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding."

Is not this offering a reward for perjury? And what shall we think of that misnamed court of justice, where it is optional with the witnesses, in a case of life and death, to give or withhold their testimony.

5. Because it induces dangerous sectional jealousies, creates of necessity a struggle between the opposing interests of free and slave labor, and threatens the integrity of the Union.

That sectional jealousies do exist, the tone of your paper, gentlemen, is of itself an evidence, if indeed any were needed. The moral sentiment of the free states is against slavery. The freeman has declared his unwillingness that his labor should be reduced to a level with that of slaves. Harsh epithets and harsh threats have been freely exchanged, until the beautiful Potomac, wherever it winds its way to the ocean, has become the dividing line, not of territory only, but of feeling, interest, national pride, a moral division.

What shook the pillars of the Union when the Missouri question was agitated? What but a few months ago arrayed in arms a state against the Union, and the Union against a state?

From Maine to Florida, gentlemen, the answer must be the same, slavery.

6. Because of its pernicious influence upon national wealth and prosperity.

Political economy has been the peculiar study of Virginia. But there are some important truths connected with this science which she has hitherto overlooked or wantonly disregarded.

Population increasing with the means of subsistence is a fair test of national wealth.

By reference to the several censuses of the United States, it will be seen that the white population increases nearly twice as fast in states where there are few or no slaves as in the slave states.

Again, in the latter states the slave population has increased twice as fast as the white. Let us take, for example, the period of twenty years, from 1790 to 1810, and compare the increase of the two classes in three of the Southern states.

Per cent. of whites. Per cent. of blacks.

Maryland 13 31
Virginia 24 38
North Carolina 30 70

The causes of this disproportionate increase, so inimical to the true interests of the country, are very manifest.

A large proportion of the free inhabitants of the United States are dependent upon their labor for subsistence. The forced, unnatural system of slavery in some of the states renders the demand for free laborers less urgent; they are not so readily and abundantly supplied with the means of subsistence as those of their own class in the free states, and as the necessaries of life diminish population also diminishes.

There is yet another cause for the decline of the white population. In the free states labor is reputable. The statesman, whose eloquence has electrified a nation, does not disdain in the intervals of the public service to handle the axe and the hoe. And the woman whose beauty, talents, and accomplishments have won the admiration of all deems it no degradation to "look well to her household."

But the slave stamps with indelible ignominy the character of occupation. It is a disgrace for a highborn Virginian or chivalrous Carolinian to labor, side by side, with the low, despised, miserable black man. Wretched must be the condition of the poorer classes of whites in a slave-holding community! Compelled to perform the despised offices of the slave, they can hardly rise above his level. They become the pariahs of society. No wonder, then, that the tide of emigration flows from the slave-cursed shores of the Atlantic to the free valleys of the West.

In New England the labor of a farmer or mechanic is worth from $150 to $200 per annum. That of a female from $50 to $100. Our entire population, with the exception of those engaged in mercantile affairs, the professional classes, and a very few moneyed idlers, are working men and women. If that of the South were equally employed (and slavery apart, there is no reason why they should not be), how large an addition would be annually made to the wealth of the country? The truth is, a very considerable portion of the national wealth produced by Northern labor is taxed to defray the expenses of twenty-five representatives of Southern property in Congress, and to maintain an army mainly for the protection of the slave-master against the dangerous tendencies of that property.

In the early and better days of the Roman Republic, the ancient warriors and statesmen cultivated their fields with their own hands; but so soon as their agriculture was left to the slaves, it visibly declined, the once fertile fields became pastures, and the inhabitants of that garden of the world were dependent upon foreign nations for the necessaries of life. The beautiful villages, once peopled by free contented laborers, became tenantless, and, over the waste of solitude, we see, here and there, at weary distances, the palaces of the master, contrasting painfully with the wretched cottages and subterranean cells of the slave. In speaking of the extraordinary fertility of the soil in the early times of the Republic, Pliny inquires, "What was the cause of these abundant harvests? It was this, that men of rank employed themselves in the culture of the fields; whereas now it is left to wretches loaded with fetters, who carry in their countenances the shameful evidence of their slavery."

And what was true in the days of the Roman is now written legibly upon the soil of your own Virginia. A traveller in your state, in contemplating the decline of its agriculture, has justly remarked that, "if the miserable condition of the negro had left his mind for reflection, he would laugh in his chains to see how slavery has stricken the land with ugliness."

Is the rapid increase of a population of slaves in itself no evil? In all the slave states the increase of the slaves is vastly more rapid than that of the whites or free blacks. When we recollect that they are under no natural or moral restraint, careless of providing food or clothing for themselves or their children; when, too, we consider that they are raised as an article of profitable traffic, like the cattle of New England and the hogs of Kentucky; that it is a matter of interest, of dollars and cents, to the master that they should multiply as fast as possible, there is surely nothing at all surprising in the increase of their numbers. Would to heaven there were also nothing alarming!

7. Because, by the terms of the national compact, the free and the slave states are alike involved in the guilt of maintaining slavery, and the citizens of the former are liable, at any moment, to be called upon to aid the latter in suppressing, at the point of the bayonet, the insurrection of the slaves.

Slavery is, at the best, an unnatural state. And Nature, when her eternal principles are violated, is perpetually struggling to restore them to their first estate.

All history, ancient and modern, is full of warning on this point. Need I refer to the many revolts of the Roman and Grecian slaves, the bloody insurrection of Etruria, the horrible servile wars of Sicily and Capua? Or, to come down to later times, to France in the fourteenth century, Germany in the sixteenth, to Malta in the last? Need I call to mind the untold horrors of St. Domingo, when that island, under the curse of its servile war, glowed redly in the view of earth and heaven,—an open hell? Have our own peculiar warnings gone by unheeded,—the frequent slave insurrections of the South? One horrible tragedy, gentlemen, must still be fresh in your recollection,—Southampton, with its fired dwellings and ghastly dead! Southampton, with its dreadful associations, of the death struggle with the insurgents, the groans of the tortured negroes, the lamentations of the surviving whites over woman in her innocence and beauty, and childhood, and hoary age!

"The hour of emancipation," said Thomas Jefferson, "is advancing in the march of time. It will come. If not brought on by the generous energy of our own minds, it will come by the bloody process of St. Domingo!"

To the just and prophetic language of your own great statesman I have but a few words to add. They shall be those of truth and soberness.

We regard the slave system in your section of the country as a great evil, moral and political,—an evil which, if left to itself for even a few years longer, will give the entire South into the hands of the blacks.

The terms of the national compact compel us to consider more than two millions of our fellow-beings as your property; not, indeed, morally, really, de facto, but still legally your property! We acknowledge that you have a power derived from the United States Constitution to hold this "property," but we deny that you have any moral right to take advantage of that power. For truth will not allow us to admit that any human law or compact can make void or put aside the ordinance of the living God and the eternal laws of Nature.

We therefore hold it to be the duty of the people of the slave-holding states to begin the work of emancipation now; that any delay must be dangerous to themselves in time and eternity, and full of injustice to their slaves and to their brethren of the free states.

Because the slave has never forfeited his right to freedom, and the continuance of his servitude is a continuance of robbery; and because, in the event of a servile war, the people of the free states would be called upon to take a part in its unutterable horrors.

New England would obey that call, for she will abide unto death by the Constitution of the land. Yet what must be the feelings of her citizens, while engaged in hunting down like wild beasts their fellow-men—brutal and black it may be, but still oppressed, suffering human beings, struggling madly and desperately for their liberty, if they feel and know that the necessity of so doing has resulted from a blind fatality on the part of the oppressor, a reckless disregard of the warnings of earth and heaven, an obstinate perseverance in a system founded and sustained by robbery and wrong?

All wars are horrible, wicked, inexcusable, and truly and solemnly has Jefferson himself said that, in a contest of this kind, between the slave and the master, "the Almighty has no attribute which could take side with us."

Understand us, gentlemen. We only ask to have the fearful necessity taken away from us of sustaining the wretched policy of slavery by moral influence or physical force. We ask alone to be allowed to wash our hands of the blood of millions of your fellow-beings, the cry of whom is rising up as a swift witness unto God against us.

8. Because all the facts connected with the subject warrant us in a most confident belief that a speedy and general emancipation might be made with entire safety, and that the consequences of such an emancipation would be highly beneficial to the planters of the South.

Awful as may be their estimate in time and eternity, I will not, gentlemen, dwell upon the priceless benefits of a conscience at rest, a soul redeemed from the all-polluting influences of slavery, and against which the cry of the laborer whose hire has been kept back by fraud does not ascend. Nor will I rest the defence of my position upon the fact that it can never be unsafe to obey the commands of God. These are the old and common arguments of "fanatics" and "enthusiasts," melting away like frost-work in the glorious sunshine of expediency and utility. In the light of these modern luminaries, then, let us reason together.

A long and careful examination of the subject will I think fully justify me in advancing this general proposition.

Wherever, whether in Europe, the East and West Indies, South America, or in our own country, a fair experiment has been made of the comparative expense of free and slave labor, the result has uniformly been favorable to the former.

     [See Brougham's Colonial Policy. Hodgdon's Letter to Jean Baptiste
     Say. Waleh's Brazil. Official Letter of Hon. Mr. Ward, from
     Mexico. Dr. Dickson's Mitigation of Slavery. Franklin on The
     Peopling of Countries. Ramsay's Essay. Botham's Sugar Cultivation
     in Batavia. Marsden's History of Sumatra. Coxe's Travels. Dr.
     Anderson's Observations on Slavery. Storch's Political Economy.
     Adam Smith. J. Jeremies' Essays. Humboldt's Travels, etc., etc.]

Here, gentlemen, the issue is tendered. Standing on your own ground of expediency, I am ready to defend my position.

I pass from the utility to the safety of emancipation. And here, gentlemen, I shall probably be met at the outset with your supposed consequences, bloodshed, rapine, promiscuous massacre!

The facts, gentlemen! In God's name, bring out your facts! If slavery is to cast over the prosperity of our country the thick shadow of an everlasting curse, because emancipation is dreaded as a remedy worse than the disease itself, let us know the real grounds of your fear.

Do you find them in the emancipation of the South American Republics? In Hayti? In the partial experiments of some of the West India Islands? Does history, ancient or modern, justify your fears? Can you find any excuse for them in the nature of the human mind, everywhere maddened by injury and conciliated by kindness? No, gentlemen; the dangers of slavery are manifest and real, all history lies open for your warning. But the dangers of emancipation, of "doing justly and loving mercy," exist only in your imaginations. You cannot produce one fact in corroboration of your fears. You cannot point to the stain of a single drop of any master's blood shed by the slave he has emancipated.

I have now given some of our reasons for opposing slavery. In my next letter I shall explain our method of opposition, and I trust I shall be able to show that there is nothing "fanatical," nothing "unconstitutional," and nothing unchristian in that method.

In the mean time, gentlemen, I am your friend and well-wisher.

HAVERHILL, MASS., 22d 7th Mo., 1833.


The abolitionists of the North have been grossly misrepresented. In attacking the system of slavery, they have never recommended any measure or measures conflicting with the Constitution of the United States.

They have never sought to excite or encourage a spirit of rebellion among the slaves: on the contrary, they would hold any such attempt, by whomsoever made, in utter and stern abhorrence.

All the leading abolitionists of my acquaintance are, from principle, opposed to war of all kinds, believing that the benefits of no war whatever can compensate for the sacrifice of one human life by violence.

Consequently, they would be the first to deprecate any physical interference with your slave system on the part of the general government.

They are, without exception, opposed to any political interposition of the government, in regard to slavery as it exists in the states. For, although they feel and see that the canker of the moral disease is affecting all parts of the confederacy, they believe that the remedy lies with yourselves alone. Any such interference they would consider unlawful and unconstitutional; and the exercise of unconstitutional power, although sanctioned by the majority of a republican government, they believe to be a tyranny as monstrous and as odious as the despotism of a Turkish Sultan.

Having made this disclaimer on the part of myself and my friends, let me inquire from whence this charge of advocating the interference of the general government with the sovereign jurisdiction of the states has arisen? Will you, gentlemen, will the able editors of the United States Telegraph and the Columbian Telescope, explain? For myself, I have sought in vain among the writings of our "Northern Enthusiasts," and among the speeches of the Northern statesmen and politicians, for some grounds for the accusation.

The doctrine, such as it is, does not belong to us. I think it may be traced home to the South, to Virginia, to her Convention of 1829, to the speech of Ex-President Monroe, on the white basis question.

"As to emancipation," said that distinguished son of your state, "if ever that should take place, it cannot be done by the state; it must be done by the Union."

Again, "If emancipation can ever be effected, it can only be done with the aid of the general government."

Gentlemen, you are welcome to your doctrine. It has no advocates among the abolitionists of New England.

We aim to overthrow slavery by the moral influence of an enlightened public sentiment;

By a clear and fearless exposition of the guilt of holding property in man;

By analyzing the true nature of slavery, and boldly rebuking sin;

By a general dissemination of the truths of political economy, in regard to free and slave labor;

By appeals from the pulpit to the consciences of men;

By the powerful influence of the public press;

By the formation of societies whose object shall be to oppose the principle of slavery by such means as are consistent with our obligations to law, religion, and humanity;

By elevating, by means of education and sympathy, the character of the free people of color among us.

Our testimony against slavery is the same which has uniformly, and with so much success, been applied to prevailing iniquity in all ages of the world, the truths of divine revelation.

Believing that there can be nothing in the Providence of God to which His holy and eternal law is not strictly applicable, we maintain that no circumstances can justify the slave-holder in a continuance of his system.

That the fact that this system did not originate with the present generation is no apology for retaining it, inasmuch as crime cannot be entailed; and no one is under a necessity of sinning because others have done so before him;

That the domestic slave-trade is as repugnant to the laws of God, and should be as odious in the eyes of a Christian community, as the foreign;

That the black child born in a slave plantation is not "an entailed article of property;" and that the white man who makes of that child a slave is a thief and a robber, stealing the child as the sea pirate stole his father!

We do not talk of gradual abolition, because, as Christians, we find no authority for advocating a gradual relinquishment of sin. We say to slaveholders, "Repent now, to-day, immediately;" just as we say to the intemperate, "Break off from your vice at once; touch not, taste not, handle not, from henceforth forever."

Besides, the plan of gradual abolition has been tried in this country and the West Indies, and found wanting. It has been in operation in our slave states ever since the Declaration of Independence, and its results are before the nation. Let us see.


In 1790 there were in the slave states south of the Potomac and the Ohio 20,415 free blacks. Their increase for the ten years following was at the rate of sixty per cent., their number in 1800 being 32,604. In 1810 there were 58,046, an increase of seventy-five per cent. This comparatively large increase was, in a great measure, owing to the free discussions going on in England and in this country on the subject of the slave-trade and the rights of man. The benevolent impulse extended to the slave-masters, and manumissions were frequent. But the salutary impression died away; the hand of oppression closed again upon its victims; and the increase for the period of twenty years, 1810 to 1830, was only seventy-seven per cent., about one half of what it was in the ten years from 1800 to 1810. And this is the practical result of the much-lauded plan of gradual abolition.

In 1790, in the states above mentioned, there were only 550,604 slaves, but in 1830 there were 1,874,098! And this, too, is gradual abolition.

"What, then!" perhaps you will ask, "do you expect to overthrow our whole slave system at once? to turn loose to-day two millions of negroes?"

No, gentlemen; we expect no such thing. Enough for us if in the spirit of fraternal duty we point to your notice the commands of God; if we urge you by every cherished remembrance of common sacrifices upon a common altar, by every consideration of humanity, justice, and expediency, to begin now, without a moment's delay, to break away from your miserable system,—to begin the work of moral reformation, as God commands you to begin, not as selfishness, or worldly policy, or short-sighted political expediency, may chance to dictate.

Such is our doctrine of immediate emancipation. A doctrine founded on God's eternal truth, plain, simple, and perfect,—the doctrine of immediate, unprocrastinated repentance applied to the sin of slavery.

Of this doctrine, and of our plan for crrrying it into effect, I have given an exposition, with the most earnest regard to the truth. Does either embrace anything false, fanatical, or unconstitutional? Do they afford a reasonable protext for your fierce denunciations of your Northern brethren? Do they furnish occasion for your newspaper chivalry, your stereotyped demonstrations of Southern magnanimity and Yankee meanness?—things, let me say, unworthy of Virginians, degrading to yourselves, insulting to us.

Gentlemen, it is too late for Virginia, with all her lofty intellect and nobility of feeling, to defend and advocate the principle of slavery. The death-like silence which for nearly two centuries brooded over her execrable system has been broken; light is pouring in upon the minds of her citizens; truth is abroad, "searching out and overturning the lies of the age." A moral reformation has been already awakened, and it cannot now be drugged to sleep by the sophistries of detected sin. A thousand intelligences are at work in her land; a thousand of her noblest hearts are glowing with the redeeming spirit of that true philanthropy, which is moving all the world. No, gentlemen; light is spreading from the hills of Western Virginia to the extremest East. You cannot arrest its progress. It is searching the consciences; it is exercising the reason; it is appealing to the noblest characteristics of intelligent Virginians. It is no foreign influence. From every abandoned plantation where the profitless fern and thistle have sprung up under the heel of slavery; from every falling mansion of the master, through whose windows the fox may look out securely, and over whose hearth-stone the thin grass is creeping, a warning voice is sinking deeply into all hearts not imbruted by avarice, indolence, and the lust of power.

Abolitionist as I am, the intellectual character of Virginia has no warmer admirer than myself. Her great names, her moral trophies, the glories of her early day, the still proud and living testimonials of her mental power, I freely acknowledge and strongly appreciate. And, believe me, it is with no other feelings than those of regret and heartfelt sorrow that I speak plainly of her great error, her giant crime, a crime which is visibly calling down upon her the curse of an offended Deity. But I cannot forget that upon some of the most influential and highly favored of her sons rests the responsibility at the present time of sustaining this fearful iniquity. Blind to the signs of the times, careless of the wishes of thousands of their white fellow-citizens and of the manifold wrongs of the black man, they have dared to excuse, defend, nay, eulogize, the black abominations of slavery.

Against the tottering ark of the idol these strong men have placed their shoulders. That ark must fall; that idol must be cast down; what, then, will be the fate of their supporters?

When the Convention of 1829 had gathered in its splendid galaxy of talents the great names of Virginia, the friends of civil liberty turned their eyes towards it in the earnest hope and confidence that it would adopt some measures in regard to slavery worthy of the high character of its members and of the age in which they lived. I need not say how deep and bitter was our disappointment. Western Virginia indeed spoke on that occasion, through some of her delegates, the words of truth and humanity. But their counsels and warnings were unavailing; the majority turned away to listen to the bewildering eloquence of Leigh and Upshur and Randolph, as they desecrated their great intellects to the defence of that system of oppression under which the whole land is groaning. The memorial of the citizens of Augusta County, bearing the signatures of many slave- holders, placed the evils of slavery in a strong light before the convention. Its facts and arguments could only be arbitrarily thrust aside and wantonly disregarded; they could not be disproved.

"In a political point of view," says the memorial, "we esteem slavery an evil greater than the aggregate of all the other evils which beset us, and we are perfectly willing to bear our proportion of the burden of removing it. We ask, further, What is the evil of any such alarm as our proposition may excite in minds unnecessarily jealous compared with that of the fatal catastrophe which ultimately awaits our country, and the general depravation of manners which slavery has already produced and is producing?"

I cannot forbear giving one more extract from this paper. The memorialists state their belief

"That the labor of slaves is vastly less productive than that of freemen; that it therefore requires a larger space to furnish subsistence for a given number of the former than of the latter; that the employment of the former necessarily excludes that of the latter; that hence our population, white and black, averages seventeen, when it ought, and would under other circumstances, average, as in New England, at least sixty to a square mile; that the possession and management of slaves form a source of endless vexation and misery in the house, and of waste and ruin on the farm; that the youth of the country are growing up with a contempt of steady industry as a low and servile thing, which contempt induces idleness and all its attendant effeminacy, vice, and worthlessness; that the waste of the products of the land, nay, of the land itself, is bringing poverty on all its inhabitants; that this poverty and the sparseness of population either prevent the institution of schools throughout the country, or keep them in a most languid and inefficient condition; and that the same causes most obviously paralyze all our schemes and efforts for the useful improvement of the country."

Gentlemen, you have only to look around you to know that this picture has been drawn with the pencil of truth. What has made desolate and sterile one of the loveliest regions of the whole earth? What mean the signs of wasteful neglect, of long improvidence around you: the half-finished mansion already falling into decay, the broken-down enclosures, the weed- grown garden the slave hut open to the elements, the hillsides galled and naked, the fields below them run over with brier and fern? Is all this in the ordinary course of nature? Has man husbanded well the good gifts of God, and are they nevertheless passing from him, by a process of deterioration over which he has no control? No, gentlemen. For more than two centuries the cold and rocky soil of New England has yielded its annual tribute, and it still lies green and luxuriant beneath the sun of our brief summer. The nerved and ever-exercised arm of free labor has changed a landscape wild and savage as the night scenery of Salvator Rosa into one of pastoral beauty,—the abode of independence and happiness. Under a similar system of economy and industry, how would Virginia, rich with Nature's prodigal blessings, have worn at this time over all her territory the smiles of plenty, the charms of rewarded industry! What a change would have been manifest in your whole character! Freemen in the place of slaves, industry, reputable economy, a virtue, dissipation despised, emigration unnecessary!

[A late Virginia member of Congress described the Virginia slave- holder as follows: "He is an Eastern Virginian whose good fortune it has been to have been born wealthy, and to have become a profound politician at twenty-one without study or labor. This individual, from birth and habit, is above all labor and exertion. He never moves a finger for any useful purpose; he lives on the labor of his slaves, and even this labor he is too proud and indolent to direct in person. While he is at his ease, a mercenary with a whip in his hand drives his slaves in the field. Their dinner, consisting of a few scraps and lean bones, is eaten in the burning sun. They have no time to go to a shade and be refreshed such easement is reserved for the horses"!—Speech of Hon. P. P. Doddridge in House of Delegates, 1829.]

All this, you will say, comes too late; the curse is upon you, the evil in the vitals of your state, the desolation widening day by day. No, it is not too late. There are elements in the Virginian character capable of meeting the danger, extreme as it is, and turning it aside. Could you but forget for a time partisan contest and unprofitable political speculations, you might successfully meet the dangerous exigencies of your state with those efficient remedies which the spirit of the age suggests; you might, and that too without pecuniary loss, relinquish your claims to human beings as slaves, and employ them as free laborers, under such restraint and supervision as their present degraded condition may render necessary. In the language of one of your own citizens, "it is useless for you to attempt to linger on the skirts of the age which is departed. The action of existing causes and principles is steady and progressive. It cannot be retarded, unless you would blow out all the moral lights around you; and if you refuse to keep up with it, you will be towed in the wake, whether you will or not."—[Speech in Virginia legislature, 1832.]

The late noble example of the eloquent statesman of Roanoke, the manumission of his slaves, speaks volumes to his political friends. In the last hour of existence, when his soul was struggling from his broken tenement, his latest effort was the confirmation of this generous act of a former period. Light rest the turf upon him beneath his own patrimonial oaks! The prayers of many hearts made happy by his benevolence shall linger over his grave and bless it.

Gentlemen, in concluding these letters, let me once more assure you that I entertain towards you and your political friends none other than kindly feelings. If I have spoken at all with apparent harshness, it has been of principles rather than of men. But I deprecate no censure. Conscious of the honest and patriotic motives which have prompted their avowal, I cheerfully leave my sentiments to their fate. Despised and contemned as they may be, I believe they cannot be gainsaid. Sustained by the truth as it exists in Nature and Revelation, sanctioned by the prevailing spirit of the age, they are yet destined to work out the political and moral regeneration of our country. The opposition which they meet with does not dishearten me. In the lofty confidence of John Milton, I believe that "though all the winds of doctrine be let loose upon the earth, so Truth be among them, we need not fear. Let her and Falsehood grapple; whoever knew her to be put to the worst in a free and open encounter?"

HAVERHILL, MASS., 29th of 7th Mo., 1833.


HAVERHILL, 10th of 1st Mo., 1834.

Secretary New England A. S. Society

DEAR FRIEND,—I regret that circumstances beyond my control will not allow of my attendance at the annual meeting of the New England Anti- Slavery Society.

I need not say to the members of that society that I am with them, heart and soul, in the cause of abolition; the abolition not of physical slavery alone, abhorrent and monstrous as it is, but of that intellectual slavery, the bondage of corrupt and mistaken opinion, which has fettered as with iron the moral energies and intellectual strength of New England.

For what is slavery, after all, but fear,—fear, forcing mind and body into unnatural action? And it matters little whether it be the terror of the slave-whip on the body, or of the scourge of popular opinion upon the inner man.

We all know how often the representatives of the Southern division of the country have amused themselves in Congress by applying the opprobrious name of "slave" to the free Northern laborer. And how familiar have the significant epithets of "white slave" and "dough-face" become!

I fear these epithets have not been wholly misapplied. Have we not been told here, gravely and authoritatively, by some of our learned judges, divines, and politicians, that we, the free people of New England, have no right to discuss the subject of slavery? Freemen, and no right to suggest the duty or the policy of a practical adherence to the doctrines of that immortal declaration upon which our liberties are founded! Christians, enjoying perfect liberty of conscience, yet possessing no right to breathe one whisper against a system of adultery and blood, which is filling the whole land with abomination and blasphemy! And this craven sentiment is echoed by the very men whose industry is taxed to defray the expenses of twenty-five representatives of property, vested in beings fashioned in the awful image of their Maker; by men whose hard earnings aid in supporting a standing army mainly for the protection of slaveholding indolence; by men who are liable at any moment to be called from the field and workshop to put down by force the ever upward tendencies of oppressed humanity, to aid the negro-breeder and the negro- trader in the prosecution of a traffic most horrible in the eye of God, to wall round with their bayonets two millions of colored Americans, children of a common Father and heirs of a common eternity, while the broken chain is riveted anew and the thrown-off fetter replaced.

I am for the abolition of this kind of slavery. It must be accomplished before we can hope to abolish the negro slavery of the country. The people of the free states, with a perfect understanding of their own rights and a sacred respect for the rights of others, must put their strong shoulders to the work of moral reform, and our statesmen, orators, and politicians will follow, floating as they must with the tendency of the current, the mere indices of popular sentiment. They cannot be expected to lead in this matter. They are but instruments in the hands of the people for good or evil:—

"A breath can make them, as a breath has made."

Be it our task to give tone and direction to these instruments; to turn the tide of popular feeling into the pure channels of justice; to break up the sinful silence of the nation; to bring the vaunted Christianity of our age and country to the test of truth; to try the strength and purity of our republicanism. If the Christianity we profess has not power to pull down the strongholds of prejudice, and overcome hate, and melt the heart of oppression, it is not of God. If our republicanism is based on other foundation than justice and humanity, let it fall forever.

No better evidence is needed of the suicidal policy of this nation than the death-like silence on the subject of slavery which pervades its public documents. Who that peruses the annual messages of the national executive would, from their perusal alone, conjecture that such an evil as slavery had existence among us? Have the people reflected upon the cause of this silence? The evil has grown to be too monstrous to be questioned. Its very magnitude has sealed the lips of the rulers. Uneasily, and troubled with its dream of guilt, the nation sleeps on. The volcano is beneath. God is above us.

At every step of our peaceful and legal agitation of this subject we are met with one grave objection. We are told that the system which we are conscientiously opposing is recognized and protected by the Constitution. For all the benefits of our fathers' patriotism—and they are neither few nor trifling—let us be grateful to God and to their memories. But it should not be forgotten that the same constitutional compact which now sanctions slavery guaranteed protection for twenty years to the foreign slave-trade. It threw the shield of its "sanctity" around the now universally branded pirate. It legalized the most abhorrent system of robbery which ever cursed the family of man.

During those years of sinful compromise the crime of man-robbery less atrocious than at present? Because the Constitution permitted, in that single crime, the violation of all the commandments of God, was that violation less terrible to earth or offensive to heaven?

No one now defends that "constitutional" slavetrade. Loaded with the curse of God and man, it stands amidst minor iniquities, like Satan in Pandemonium, preeminent and monstrous in crime.

And if the slave-trade has become thus odious, what must be the fate, erelong, of its parent, slavery? If the mere consequence be thus blackening under the execration of all the world, who shall measure the dreadful amount of infamy which must finally settle on the cause itself? The titled ecclesiastic and the ambitious statesman should have their warning on this point. They should know that public opinion is steadily turning to the light of truth. The fountains are breaking up around us, and the great deep will soon be in motion. A stern, uncompromising, and solemn spirit of inquiry is abroad. It cannot be arrested, and its result may be easily foreseen. It will not long be popular to talk of the legality of soul-murder, the constitutionality of man-robbery.

One word in relation to our duty to our Southern brethren. If we detest their system of slavery in our hearts, let us not play the hypocrite with our lips. Let us not pay so poor a compliment to their understandings as to suppose that we can deceive them into a compliance with our views of justice by ambiguous sophistry, and overcome their sinful practices and established prejudices by miserable stratagem. Let us not first do violence to our consciences by admitting their moral right to property in man, and then go to work like so many vagabond pedlers to cheat them out of it. They have a right to complain of such treatment. It is mean, and wicked, and dishonorable. Let us rather treat our Southern friends as intelligent and high-minded men, who, whatever may be their faults, despise unmanly artifice, and loathe cant, and abhor hypocrisy. Connected with them, not by political ties alone, but by common sacrifices and mutual benefits, let us seek to expostulate with them earnestly and openly, to gain at least their confidence in our sincerity, to appeal to their consciences, reason, and interests; and, using no other weapons than those of moral truth, contend fearlessly with the evil system they are cherishing. And if, in an immediate compliance with the strict demands of justice, they should need our aid and sympathy, let us open to them our hearts and our purses. But in the name of sincerity, and for the love of peace and the harmony of the Union, let there be no more mining and countermining, no more blending of apology with denunciation, no more Janus-like systems of reform, with one face for the South and another for the North.

If we steadily adhere to the principles upon which we have heretofore acted, if we present our naked hearts to the view of all, if we meet the threats and violence of our misguided enemies with the bare bosom and weaponless hand of innocence, may we not trust that the arm of our Heavenly Father will be under us, to strengthen and support us? And although we may not be able to save our country from the awful judgment she is provoking, though the pillars of the Union fall and all the elements of her greatness perish, still let it be our part to rally around the standard of truth and justice, to wash our hands of evil, to keep our own souls unspotted, and, bearing our testimony and lifting our warning voices to the last, leave the event in the hands of a righteous God.


In 1837 Isaac Knapp printed Letters from John Quincy Adams to his Constituents of the Twelfth Congressional District in Massachusetts, to which is added his Speech in Congress, delivered February 9, 1837, and the following stood as an introduction to the pamphlet.

THE following letters have been published, within a few weeks, in the Quincy (Mass.) 'Patriot'. Notwithstanding the great importance of the subjects which they discuss, the intense interest which they are calculated to awaken throughout this commonwealth and the whole country, and the exalted reputation of their author as a profound statesman and powerful writer, they are as yet hardly known beyond the limits of the constituency to whom they are particularly addressed. The reason of this is sufficiently obvious. John Quincy Adams belongs to neither of the prominent political parties, fights no partisan battles, and cannot be prevailed upon to sacrifice truth and principle upon the altar of party expediency and interest. Hence neither party is interested in defending his course, or in giving him an opportunity to defend himself. But however systematic may be the efforts of mere partisan presses to suppress and hold back from the public eye the powerful and triumphant vindication of the Right of Petition, the graphic delineation of the slavery spirit in Congress, and the humbling disclosure of Northern cowardice and treachery, contained in these letters, they are destined to exert a powerful influence upon the public mind. They will constitute one of the most striking pages in the history of our times. They will be read with avidity in the North and in the South, and throughout Europe. Apart from the interest excited by the subjects under discussion, and viewed only as literary productions, they may be ranked among the highest intellectual efforts of their author. Their sarcasm is Junius-like,— cold, keen, unsparing. In boldness, directness, and eloquent appeal, they will bear comparison with O'Connell's celebrated 'Letters to the Reformers of Great Britain'. They are the offspring of an intellect unshorn of its primal strength, and combining the ardor of youth with the experience of age.

The disclosure made in these letters of the slavery influence exerted in Congress over the representatives of the free states, of the manner in which the rights of freemen have been bartered for Southern votes, or basely yielded to the threats of men educated in despotism, and stamped by the free indulgence of unrestrained tyranny with the "odious peculiarities" of slavery, is painful and humiliating in the extreme. It will be seen that, in the great struggle for and against the Right of Petition, an account of which is given in the following pages, their author stood, in a great measure, alone and unsupported by his Northern colleagues. On his "gray, discrowned head" the entire fury of slave- holding arrogance and wrath was expended. He stood alone, beating back, with his aged and single arm, the tide which would have borne down and overwhelmed a less sturdy and determined spirit.

We need not solicit for these letters, and the speech which accompanies them, a thorough perusal. They deserve, and we trust will receive, a circulation throughout the entire country. They will meet a cordial welcome from every lover of human liberty, from every friend of justice and the rights of man, irrespective of color or condition. The principles which they defend, the sentiments which they express, are those of Massachusetts, as recently asserted, almost unanimously, by her legislature. In both branches of that body, during the discussion of the subject of slavery and the right of petition, the course of the ex- President was warmly and eloquently commended. Massachusetts will sustain her tried and faithful representative; and the time is not far distant when the best and worthiest citizens of the entire North will proffer him their thanks for his noble defence of their rights as freemen, and of the rights of the slave as a man.


     From a review of a pro-slavery pamphlet by "Evangelicus" in the
     Boston Emancipator in 1843.

THE second part of the essay is occupied in proving that the slavery in the Roman world, at the time of our Saviour, was similar in all essential features to American slavery at the present day; and the third and concluding part is devoted to an examination of the apostolical directions to slaves and masters, as applicable to the same classes in the United States. He thinks the command to give to servants that which is just and equal means simply that the masters should treat their slaves with equity, and that while the servant is to be profitable to the master, the latter is bound in "a fair and equitable manner to provide for the slave's subsistence and happiness." Although he professes to believe that a faithful adherence to Scriptural injunctions on this point would eventually terminate in the emancipation of the slaves, he thinks it not necessary to inquire whether the New Testament does or does not "tolerate slavery as a permanent institution"!

From the foregoing synopsis it will be seen at once that whatever may have been the motives of the writer, the effect of his publication, so far as it is at all felt, will be to strengthen the oppressor in his guilt, and hold him back from the performance of his immediate duty in respect to his slaves, and to shield his conscience from the reproofs of that class who, according to "Evangelicus," have "no personal acquaintance with the actual domestic state or the social and political connections of their Southern fellow-citizens." We look upon it only as another vain attempt to strike a balance between Christian duty and criminal policy, to reconcile Christ and Belial, the holy philanthropy of Him who went about doing good with the most abhorrent manifestation of human selfishness, lust, and hatred which ever provoked the divine displeasure. There is a grave-stone coldness about it. The author manifests as little feeling as if he were solving a question in algebra. No sigh of sympathy breathes through its frozen pages for the dumb, chained millions, no evidence of a feeling akin to that of Him who at the grave of Lazarus

"Wept, and forgot His power to save;"

no outburst of that indignant reproof with which the Divine Master rebuked the devourers of widows' houses and the oppressors of the poor is called forth by the writer's stoical contemplation of the tyranny of his "Christian brethren" at the South.

"It is not necessary," says Evangelicus, "to inquire whether the New Testament does not tolerate slavery as a permanent institution." And this is said when the entire slave-holding church has sheltered its abominations under the pretended sanction of the gospel; when slavery, including within itself a violation of every command uttered amidst the thunders of Sinai, a system which has filled the whole South with the oppression of Egypt and the pollutions of Sodom, is declared to be an institution of the Most High. With all due deference to the author, we tell him, and we tell the church, North and South, that this question must be met. Once more we repeat the solemn inquiry which has been already made in our columns, "Is the Bible to enslave the world?" Has it been but a vain dream of ours that the mission of the Author of the gospel was to undo the heavy burdens, to open the prison doors, and to break the yoke of the captive? Let Andover and Princeton answer. If the gospel does sanction the vilest wrong which man can inflict upon his fellow-man, if it does rivet the chains which humanity, left to itself, would otherwise cast off, then, in humanity's name, let it perish forever from the face of the earth. Let the Bible societies dissolve; let not another sheet issue from their presses. Scatter not its leaves abroad over the dark places of the earth; they are not for the healing of the nations. Leave rather to the Persian his Zendavesta, to the Mussulman his Koran. We repeat it, this question must be met. Already we have heard infidelity exulting over the astute discoveries of bespectacled theological professors, that the great Head of the Christian Church tolerated the horrible atrocities of Roman slavery, and that His most favored apostle combined slave-catching with his missionary labors. And why should it not exult? Fouler blasphemy than this was never uttered. A more monstrous libel upon the Divine Author of Christianity was never propagated by Paine or Voltaire, Kneeland or Owen; and we are constrained to regard the professor of theology or the doctor of divinity who tasks his sophistry and learning in an attempt to show that the Divine Mind looks with complacency upon chattel slavery as the most dangerous enemy with which Christianity has to contend. The friends of pure and undefiled religion must awake to this danger. The Northern church must shake itself clean from its present connection with blasphemers and slave-holders, or perish with them.


     Addressed to the Liberty Party Convention at New Bedford in
     September, 1843.

I HAVE just received your kind invitation to attend the meeting of the Liberty Party in New Bedford on the 2d of next month. Believe me, it is with no ordinary feelings of regret that I find myself under the necessity of foregoing the pleasure of meeting with you on that occasion. But I need not say to you, and through you to the convention, that you have my hearty sympathy.

I am with the Liberty Party because it is the only party in the country which is striving openly and honestly to reduce to practice the great truths which lie at the foundation of our republic: all men created equal, endowed with rights inalienable; the security of these rights the only just object of government; the right of the people to alter or modify government until this great object is attained. Precious and glorious truths! Sacred in the sight of their Divine Author, grateful and beneficent to suffering humanity, essential elements of that ultimate and universal government of which God is laying the strong and wide foundations, turning and overturning, until He whose right it is shall rule. The voice which calls upon us to sustain them is the voice of God. In the eloquent language of the lamented Myron Holley, the man who first lifted up the standard of the Liberty Party: "He calls upon us to sustain these truths in the recorded voice of the holy of ancient times. He calls us to sustain them in the sound as of many waters and mighty thunderings rising from the fields of Europe, converted into one vast Aceldama by the exertions of despots to suppress them; in the persuasive history of the best thoughts and boldest deeds of all our brave, self- sacrificing ancestors; in the tender, heart-reaching whispers of our children, preparing to suffer or enjoy the future, as we leave it for them; in the broken and disordered but moving accents of half our race yet groping in darkness and galled by the chains of bondage. He calls upon us to sustain them by the solemn and considerate use of all the powers with which He has invested us." In a time of almost universal political scepticism, in the midst of a pervading and growing unbelief in the great principles enunciated in the revolutionary declaration, the Liberty Party has dared to avow its belief in these truths, and to carry them into action as far as it has the power. It is a protest against the political infidelity of the day, a recurrence to first principles, a summons once more to that deserted altar upon which our fathers laid their offerings.

It may be asked why it is that a party resting upon such broad principles is directing its exclusive exertions against slavery. "Are there not other great interests?" ask all manner of Whig and Democrat editors and politicians. "Consider, for instance," say the Democrats, "the mighty question which is agitating us, whether a 'Northern man with Southern principles' or a Southern man with the principles of a Nero or Caligula shall be President." "Or look at us," say the Whigs, "deprived of our inalienable right to office by this Tyler-Calhoun administration. And bethink you, gentlemen, how could your Liberty Party do better than to vote with us for a man who, if he does hold some threescore of slaves, and maintain that 'two hundred years of legislation has sanctioned and sanctified negro slavery,' is, at the same time, the champion of Greek liberty, and Polish liberty, and South American liberty, and, in short, of all sorts of liberties, save liberty at home."

Yes, friends, we have considered all this, and more, namely, that one sixth part of our entire population are slaves, and that you, with your subtreasuries and national banks, propose no relief for them. Nay, farther, it is because both of you, when in power, have used your authority to rivet closer the chains of unhappy millions, that we have been compelled to abandon you, and form a liberty party having for its first object the breaking of these chains.

What is slavery? For upon the answer to this question must the Liberty
Party depend for its justification.

The slave laws of the South tell us that it is the conversion of men into articles of property; the transformation of sentient immortal beings into "chattels personal." The principle of a reciprocity of benefits, which to some extent characterizes all other relations, does not exist in that of master and slave. The master holds the plough which turns the soil of his plantation, the horse which draws it, and the slave who guides it by one and the same tenure. The profit of the master is the great end of the slave's existence. For this end he is fed, clothed, and prescribed for in sickness. He learns nothing, acquires nothing, for himself. He cannot use his own body for his own benefit. His very personality is destroyed. He is a mere instrument, a means in the hands of another for the accomplishment of an end in which his own interests are not regarded, a machine moved not by his own will, but by another's. In him the awful distinction between a person and a thing is annihilated: he is thrust down from the place which God and Nature assigned him, from the equal companionship of rational intelligence's,—a man herded with beasts, an immortal nature classed with the wares of the merchant!

The relations of parent and child, master and apprentice, government and subject, are based upon the principle of benevolence, reciprocal benefits, and the wants of human society; relations which sacredly respect the rights and legacies which God has given to all His rational creatures. But slavery exists only by annihilating or monopolizing these rights and legacies. In every other modification of society, man's personal ownership remains secure. He may be oppressed, deprived of privileges, loaded with burdens, hemmed about with legal disabilities, his liberties restrained. But, through all, the right to his own body and soul remains inviolate. He retains his inherent, original possession of himself. Even crime cannot forfeit it, for that law which destroys his personality makes void its own claims upon him as a moral agent; and the power to punish ceases with the accountability of the criminal. He may suffer and die under the penalties of the law, but he suffers as a man, he perishes as a man, and not as a thing. To the last moments of his existence the rights of a moral agent are his; they go with him to the grave; they constitute the ground of his accountability at the bar of infinite justice,—rights fixed, eternal, inseparable; attributes of all rational intelligence in time and eternity; the same in essence, and differing in degree only, with those of the highest moral being, of God himself.

Slavery alone lays its grasp upon the right of personal ownership, that foundation right, the removal of which uncreates the man; a right which God himself could not take away without absolving the being thus deprived of all moral accountability; and so far as that being is concerned, making sin and holiness, crime and virtue, words without significance, and the promises and sanctions of revelation, dreams. Hence, the crowning horror of slavery, that which lifts it above all other iniquities, is not that it usurps the prerogatives of Deity, but that it attempts that which even He who has said, "All souls are mine," cannot do, without breaking up the foundations of His moral government. Slavery is, in fact, a struggle with the Almighty for dominion over His rational creatures. It is leagued with the powers of darkness, in wresting man from his Maker. It is blasphemy lifting brazen brow and violent hand to heaven, attempting a reversal of God's laws. Man claiming the right to uncreate his brother; to undo that last and most glorious work, which God himself pronounced good, amidst the rejoicing hosts of heaven! Man arrogating to himself the right to change, for his own selfish purposes, the beautiful order of created existences; to pluck the crown of an immortal nature, scarce lower than that of angels, from the brow of his brother; to erase the God-like image and superscription stamped upon him by the hand of his Creator, and to write on the despoiled and desecrated tablet, "A chattel personal!"

This, then, is slavery. Nature, with her thousand voices, cries out against it. Against it, divine revelation launches its thunders. The voice of God condemns it in the deep places of the human heart. The woes and wrongs unutterable which attend this dreadful violation of natural justice, the stripes, the tortures, the sunderings of kindred, the desolation of human affections, the unchastity and lust, the toil uncompensated, the abrogated marriage, the legalized heathenism, the burial of the mind, are but the mere incidentals of the first grand outrage, that seizure of the entire man, nerve, sinew, and spirit, which robs him of his body, and God of his soul. These are but the natural results and outward demonstrations of slavery, the crystallizations from the chattel principle.

It is against this system, in its active operation upon three millions of our countrymen, that the Liberty Party is, for the present, directing all its efforts. With such an object well may we be "men of one idea." Nor do we neglect "other great interests," for all are colored and controlled by slavery, and the removal of this disastrous influence would most effectually benefit them.

Political action is the result and immediate object of moral suasion on this subject. Action, action, is the spirit's means of progress, its sole test of rectitude, its only source of happiness. And should not decided action follow our deep convictions of the wrong of slavery? Shall we denounce the slave-holders of the states, while we retain our slavery in the District of Columbia? Shall we pray that the God of the oppressed will turn the hearts of "the rulers" in South Carolina, while we, the rulers of the District, refuse to open the prisons and break up the slave-markets on its ten miles square? God keep us from such hypocrisy! Everybody now professes to be opposed to slavery. The leaders of the two great political parties are grievously concerned lest the purity of the antislavery enterprise will suffer in its connection with politics. In the midst of grossest pro-slavery action, they are full of anti-slavery sentiment. They love the cause, but, on the whole, think it too good for this world. They would keep it sublimated, aloft, out of vulgar reach or use altogether, intangible as Magellan's clouds. Everybody will join us in denouncing slavery, in the abstract; not a faithless priest nor politician will oppose us; abandon action, and forsooth we can have an abolition millennium; the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, while slavery in practice clanks, in derision, its three millions of unbroken chains. Our opponents have no fear of the harmless spectre of an abstract idea. They dread it only when it puts on the flesh and sinews of a practical reality, and lifts its right arm in the strength which God giveth to do as well as theorize.

As honest men, then, we must needs act; let us do so as becomes men engaged in a great and solemn cause. Not by processions and idle parades and spasmodic enthusiasms, by shallow tricks and shows and artifices, can a cause like ours be carried onward. Leave these to parties contending for office, as the "spoils of victory." We need no disguises, nor false pretences, nor subterfuges; enough for us to present before our fellow- countrymen the holy truths of freedom, in their unadorned and native beauty. Dark as the present may seem, let us remember with hearty confidence that truth and right are destined to triumph. Let us blot out the word "discouragement" from the anti-slavery vocabulary. Let the enemies of freedom be discouraged; let the advocates of oppression despair; but let those who grapple with wrong and falsehood, in the name of God and in the power of His truth, take courage. Slavery must die. The Lord hath spoken it. The vials of His hot displeasure, like those which chastised the nations in the Apocalyptic vision, are smoking even now, above its "habitations of cruelty." It can no longer be borne with by Heaven. Universal humanity cries out against it. Let us work, then, to hasten its downfall, doing whatsoever our hands find to do, "with all our might."

October, 1843.



THE great leader of American Democracy, Thomas Jefferson, was an ultra- abolitionist in theory, while from youth to age a slave-holder in practice. With a zeal which never abated, with a warmth which the frost of years could not chill, he urged the great truths, that each man should be the guardian of his own weal; that one man should never have absolute control over another. He maintained the entire equality of the race, the inherent right of self-ownership, the equal claim of all to a fair participation in the enactment of the laws by which they are governed.

He saw clearly that slavery, as it existed in the South and on his own plantation, was inconsistent with this doctrine. His early efforts for emancipation in Virginia failed of success; but he next turned his attention to the vast northwestern territory, and laid the foundation of that ordinance of 1787, which, like the flaming sword of the angel at the gates of Paradise, has effectually guarded that territory against the entrance of slavery. Nor did he stop here. He was the friend and admirer of the ultra-abolitionists of revolutionary France; he warmly urged his British friend, Dr. Price, to send his anti-slavery pamphlets into Virginia; he omitted no opportunity to protest against slavery as anti-democratic, unjust, and dangerous to the common welfare; and in his letter to the territorial governor of Illinois, written in old age, he bequeathed, in earnest and affecting language, the cause of negro emancipation to the rising generation. "This enterprise," said he, "is for the young, for those who can carry it forward to its consummation. It shall have all my prayers, and these are the only weapons of an old man."

Such was Thomas Jefferson, the great founder of American Democracy, the advocate of the equality of human rights, irrespective of any conditions of birth, or climate, or color. His political doctrines, it is strange to say, found their earliest recipients and most zealous admirers in the slave states of the Union. The privileged class of slaveholders, whose rank and station "supersede the necessity of an order of nobility," became earnest advocates of equality among themselves—the democracy of aristocracy. With the misery and degradation of servitude always before them, in the condition of their own slaves, an intense love of personal independence, and a haughty impatience of any control over their actions, prepared them to adopt the democratic idea, so far as it might be applied to their own order. Of that enlarged and generous democracy, the love, not of individual freedom alone, but of the rights and liberties of all men, the unselfish desire to give to others the privileges which all men value for themselves, we are constrained to believe the great body of Thomas Jefferson's slave-holding admirers had no adequate conception. They were just such democrats as the patricians of Rome and the aristocracy of Venice; lords over their own plantations, a sort of "holy alliance" of planters, admitting and defending each other's divine right of mastership.

Still, in Virginia, Maryland, and in other sections of the slave states, truer exponents and exemplifiers of the idea of democracy, as it existed in the mind of Jefferson, were not wanting. In the debate on the memorials presented to the first Congress of the United States, praying for the abolition of slavery, the voice of the Virginia delegation in that body was unanimous in deprecation of slavery as an evil, social, moral, and political. In the Virginia constitutional convention—of 1829 there were men who had the wisdom to perceive and the firmness to declare that slavery was not only incompatible with the honor and prosperity of the state, but wholly indefensible on any grounds which could be consistently taken by a republican people. In the debate on the same subject in the legislature in 1832, universal and impartial democracy found utterance from eloquent lips. We might say as much of Kentucky, the child of Virginia. But it remains true that these were exceptions to the general rule. With the language of universal liberty on their lips, and moved by the most zealous spirit of democratic propagandism, the greater number of the slave-holders of the Union seem never to have understood the true meaning, or to have measured the length and breadth of that doctrine which they were the first to adopt, and of which they have claimed all along to be the peculiar and chosen advocates.

The Northern States were slow to adopt the Democratic creed. The oligarchy of New England, and the rich proprietors and landholders of the Middle States, turned with alarm and horror from the levelling doctrines urged upon them by the "liberty and equality" propagandists of the South. The doctrines of Virginia were quite as unpalatable to Massachusetts at the beginning of the present century as those of Massachusetts now are to the Old Dominion. Democracy interfered with old usages and time-honored institutions, and threatened to plough up the very foundations of the social fabric. It was zealously opposed by the representatives of New England in Congress and in the home legislatures; and in many pulpits hands were lifted to God in humble entreaty that the curse and bane of democracy, an offshoot of the rabid Jacobinism of revolutionary France, might not be permitted to take root and overshadow the goodly heritage of Puritanism. The alarmists of the South, in their most fervid pictures of the evils to be apprehended from the prevalence of anti-slavery doctrines in their midst, have drawn nothing more fearful than the visions of such

"Prophets of war and harbingers of ill"

as Fisher Ames in the forum and Parish in the desk, when contemplating the inroads of Jeffersonian democracy upon the politics, religion, and property of the North.

But great numbers of the free laborers of the Northern States, the mechanics and small farmers, took a very different view of the matter. The doctrines of Jefferson were received as their political gospel. It was in vain that federalism denounced with indignation the impertinent inconsistency of slave-holding interference in behalf of liberty in the free states. Come the doctrine from whom it might, the people felt it to be true. State after state revolted from the ranks of federalism, and enrolled itself on the side of democracy. The old order of things was broken up; equality before the law was established, religious tests and restrictions of the right of suffrage were abrogated. Take Massachusetts, for example. There the resistance to democratic principles was the most strenuous and longest continued. Yet, at this time, there is no state in the Union more thorough in its practical adoption of them. No property qualifications or religious tests prevail; all distinctions of sect, birth, or color, are repudiated, and suffrage is universal. The democracy, which in the South has only been held in a state of gaseous abstraction, hardened into concrete reality in the cold air of the North. The ideal became practical, for it had found lodgment among men who were accustomed to act out their convictions and test all their theories by actual experience.

While thus making a practical application of the new doctrine, the people of the free states could not but perceive the incongruity of democracy and slavery.

Selleck Osborn, who narrowly escaped the honor of a Democratic martyr in Connecticut, denounced slave-holding, in common with other forms of oppression. Barlow, fresh from communion with Gregoire, Brissot, and Robespierre, devoted to negro slavery some of the most vigorous and truthful lines of his great poem. Eaton, returning from his romantic achievements in Tunis for the deliverance of white slaves, improved the occasion to read a lecture to his countrymen on the inconsistency and guilt of holding blacks in servitude. In the Missouri struggle of 1819- 20, the people of the free states, with a few ignoble exceptions, took issue with the South against the extension of slavery. Some ten years later, the present antislavery agitation commenced. It originated, beyond a question, in the democratic element. With the words of Jefferson on their lips, young, earnest, and enthusiastic men called the attention of the community to the moral wrong and political reproach of slavery. In the name and spirit of democracy, the moral and political powers of the people were invoked to limit, discountenance, and put an end to a system so manifestly subversive of its foundation principles. It was a revival of the language of Jefferson and Page and Randolph, an echo of the voice of him who penned the Declaration of Independence and originated the ordinance of 1787.

Meanwhile the South had wellnigh forgotten the actual significance of the teachings of its early political prophets, and their renewal in the shape of abolitionism was, as might have been expected, strange and unwelcome. Pleasant enough it had been to hold up occasionally these democratic abstractions for the purpose of challenging the world's admiration and cheaply acquiring the character of lovers of liberty and equality. Frederick of Prussia, apostrophizing the shades of Cato and Brutus,

"Vous de la liberte heros que je revere,"

while in the full exercise of his despotic power, was quite as consistent as these democratic slaveowners, whose admiration of liberty increased in exact ratio with its distance from their own plantations. They had not calculated upon seeing their doctrine clothed with life and power, a practical reality, pressing for application to their slaves as well as to themselves. They had not taken into account the beautiful ordination of Providence, that no man can vindicate his own rights, without directly or impliedly including in that vindication the rights of all other men. The haughty and oppressive barons who wrung from their reluctant monarch the Great Charter at Runnymede, acting only for themselves and their class, little dreamed of the universal application which has since been made of their guaranty of rights and liberties. As little did the nobles of the parliament of Paris, when strengthening themselves by limiting the kingly prerogative, dream of the emancipation of their own serfs, by a revolution to which they were blindly giving the first impulse. God's truth is universal; it cannot be monopolized by selfishness.



"Look upon this picture, and on this." HAMLET.

CONSIDERING that we have a slave population of nearly three millions, and that in one half of the states of the Republic it is more hazardous to act upon the presumption that "all men are created free and equal" than it would be in Austria or Russia, the lavish expression of sympathy and extravagant jubilation with which, as a people, we are accustomed to greet movements in favor of freedom abroad are not a little remarkable. We almost went into ecstasies over the first French revolution; we filled our papers with the speeches of orator Hunt and the English radicals; we fraternized with the United Irishmen; we hailed as brothers in the cause of freedom the very Mexicans whom we have since wasted with fire and sword; our orators, North and South, grew eloquent and classic over the Greek and Polish revolutions. In short, long ere this, if the walls of kingcraft and despotism had been, like those of Jericho, destined to be overthrown by sound, our Fourth of July cannon-shootings and bell- ringings, together with our fierce, grandiloquent speech-makings in and out of Congress, on the occasions referred to, would have left no stone upon another.

It is true that an exception must be made in the case of Hayti. We fired no guns, drank no toasts, made no speeches in favor of the establishment of that new republic in our neighborhood. The very mention of the possibility that Haytien delegates might ask admittance to the congress of the free republics of the New World at Panama "frightened from their propriety" the eager propagandists of republicanism in the Senate, and gave a death-blow to their philanthropic projects. But as Hayti is a republic of blacks who, having revolted from their masters as well as from the mother country, have placed themselves entirely without the pale of Anglo-Saxon sympathy by their impertinent interference with the monopoly of white liberty, this exception by no means disproves the general fact, that in the matter of powder-burning, bell-jangling, speech-making, toast-drinking admiration of freedom afar off and in the abstract we have no rivals. The caricature of our "general sympathizers" in Martin Chuzzlewit is by no means a fancy sketch.

The news of the revolution of the three days in Paris, and the triumph of the French people over Charles X. and his ministers, as a matter of course acted with great effect upon our national susceptibility. We all threw up our hats in excessive joy at the spectacle of a king dashed down headlong from his throne and chased out of his kingdom by his long- suffering and oppressed subjects. We took half the credit of the performance to ourselves, inasmuch as Lafayette was a principal actor in it. Our editors, from Passamaquoddy to the Sabine, indited paragraphs for a thousand and one newspapers, congratulating the Parisian patriots, and prophesying all manner of evil to holy alliances, kings, and aristocracies. The National Intelligencer for September 27, 1830, contains a full account of the public rejoicings of the good people of Washington on the occasion. Bells were rung in all the steeples, guns were fired, and a grand procession was formed, including the President of the United States, the heads of departments, and other public functionaries. Decorated with tricolored ribbons, and with tricolored flags mingling with the stripes and stars over their heads, and gazed down upon by bright eyes from window and balcony, the "general sympathizers" moved slowly and majestically through the broad avenue towards the Capitol to celebrate the revival of French liberty in a manner becoming the chosen rulers of a free people.

What a spectacle was this for the representatives of European kingcraft at our seat of government! How the titled agents of Metternich and Nicholas must have trembled, in view of this imposing demonstration, for the safety of their "peculiar institutions!"

Unluckily, however, the moral effect of this grand spectacle was marred somewhat by the appearance of another procession, moving in a contrary direction. It was a gang of slaves! Handcuffed in pairs, with the sullen sadness of despair in their faces, they marched wearily onward to the music of the driver's whip and the clanking iron on their limbs. Think of it! Shouts of triumph, rejoicing bells, gay banners, and glittering cavalcades, in honor of Liberty, in immediate contrast with men and women chained and driven like cattle to market! The editor of the American Spectator, a paper published at Washington at that time, speaking of this black procession of slavery, describes it as "driven along by what had the appearance of a man on horseback." The miserable wretches who composed it were doubtless consigned to a slave-jail to await their purchase and transportation to the South or Southwest; and perhaps formed a part of that drove of human beings which the same editor states that he saw on the Saturday following, "males and females chained in couples, starting from Robey's tavern, on foot, for Alexandria, to embark on board a slave-ship."

At a Virginia camp-meeting, many years ago, one of the brethren, attempting an exhortation, stammered, faltered, and finally came to a dead stand. "Sit down, brother," said old Father Kyle, the one-eyed abolition preacher; "it's no use to try; you can't preach with twenty negroes sticking in your throat!" It strikes us that our country is very much in the condition of the poor confused preacher at the camp-meeting. Slavery sticks in its throat, and spoils its finest performances, political and ecclesiastical; confuses the tongues of its evangelical alliances; makes a farce of its Fourth of July celebrations; and, as in the case of the grand Washington procession of 1830, sadly mars the effect of its rejoicings in view of the progress of liberty abroad. There is a stammer in all our exhortations; our moral and political homilies are sure to run into confusions and contradictions; and the response which comes to us from the nations is not unlike that of Father Kyle to the planter's attempt at sermonizing: "It's no use, brother Jonathan; you can't preach liberty with three millions of slaves in your throat!"



THE theory which a grave and learned Northern senator has recently announced in Congress, that slavery, like the cotton-plant, is confined by natural laws to certain parallels of latitude, beyond which it can by no possibility exist, however it may have satisfied its author and its auditors, has unfortunately no verification in the facts of the case. Slavery is singularly cosmopolitan in its habits. The offspring of pride, and lust, and avarice, it is indigenous to the world. Rooted in the human heart, it defies the rigors of winter in the steppes of Tartary and the fierce sun of the tropics. It has the universal acclimation of sin.

The first account we have of negro slaves in New England is from the pen of John Josselyn. Nineteen years after the landing at Plymouth, this interesting traveller was for some time the guest of Samuel Maverick, who then dwelt, like a feudal baron, in his fortalice on Noddle's Island, surrounded by retainers and servants, bidding defiance to his Indian neighbors behind his strong walls, with "four great guns" mounted thereon, and "giving entertainment to all new-comers gratis."

"On the 2d of October, 1639, about nine o'clock in the morning, Mr. Maverick's negro woman," says Josselyn, "came to my chamber, and in her own country language and tune sang very loud and shrill. Going out to her, she used a great deal of respect towards me, and would willingly have expressed her grief in English had she been able to speak the language; but I apprehended it by her countenance and deportment. Whereupon I repaired to my host to learn of him the cause, and resolved to entreat him in her behalf; for I had understood that she was a queen in her own country, and observed a very dutiful and humble garb used towards her by another negro, who was her maid. Mr. Maverick was desirous to have a breed of negroes; and therefore, seeing she would not yield by persuasions to company with a negro young man he had in his house, he commanded him, willed she, nilled she, to go to her bed, which was no sooner done than she thrust him out again. This she took in high disdain beyond her slavery; and this was the cause of her grief."

That the peculiar domestic arrangements and unfastidious economy of this slave-breeding settler were not countenanced by the Puritans of that early time we have sufficient evidence. It is but fair to suppose, from the silence of all other writers of the time with respect to negroes and slaves, that this case was a marked exception to the general habits and usage of the Colonists. At an early period a traffic was commenced between the New England Colonies and that of Barbadoes; and it is not improbable that slaves were brought to Boston from that island. The laws, however, discouraged their introduction and purchase, giving freedom to all held to service at the close of seven years.

In 1641, two years after Josselyn's adventure on Noddle's Island, the code of laws known by the name of the Body of Liberties was adopted by the Colony. It was drawn up by Nathaniel Ward, the learned and ingenious author of the 'Simple Cobbler of Agawarn', the earliest poetical satire of New England. One of its provisions was as follows:—

"There shall be never any bond slaverie, villainage, or captivitie amongst us, unless it be lawfull captives taken in just warres and such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us. And these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law of God established in Israel doth morally require."

In 1646, Captain Smith, a Boston church-member, in connection with one Keeser, brought home two negroes whom he obtained by the surprise and burning of a negro village in Africa and the massacre of many of its inhabitants. Sir Richard Saltonstall, one of the assistants, presented a petition to the General Court, stating the outrage thereby committed as threefold in its nature, namely murder, man-stealing, and Sabbath- breaking; inasmuch as the offence of "chasing the negers, as aforesayde, upon the Sabbath day (being a servile work, and such as cannot be considered under any other head) is expressly capital by the law of God;" for which reason he prays that the offenders may be brought to justice, "soe that the sin they have committed may be upon their own heads and not upon ourselves."

Upon this petition the General Court passed the following order, eminently worthy of men professing to rule in the fear and according to the law of God,—a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well:—

"The General Court, conceiving themselves bound by the first opportunity to bear witness against the heinous and crying sin of man-stealing, as also to prescribe such timely redress for what has passed, and such a law for the future as may sufficiently deter all others belonging to us to have to do in such vile and odious courses, justly abhorred of all good and just men, do order that the negro interpreter, and others unlawfully taken, be by the first opportunity, at the charge of the country for the present, sent to his native country, Guinea, and a letter with him of the indignation of the Court thereabout, and justice thereof, desiring our honored Governor would please put this order in execution."

There is, so far as we know, no historical record of the actual return of these stolen men to their home. A letter is extant, however, addressed in behalf of the General Court to a Mr. Williams on the Piscataqua, by whom one of the negroes had been purchased, requesting him to send the man forthwith to Boston, that he may be sent home, "which this Court do resolve to send back without delay."

Three years after, in 1649, the following law was placed upon the statute-book of the Massachusetts Colony:—

"If any man stealeth a man, or mankind, he shall surely be put to death."

It will thus be seen that these early attempts to introduce slavery into New England were opposed by severe laws and by that strong popular sentiment in favor of human liberty which characterized the Christian radicals who laid the foundations of the Colonies. It was not the rigor of her Northern winter, nor the unkindly soil of Massachusetts, which discouraged the introduction of slavery in the first half-century of her existence as a colony. It was the Puritan's recognition of the brotherhood of man in sin, suffering, and redemption, his estimate of the awful responsibilities and eternal destinies of humanity, his hatred of wrong and tyranny, and his stern sense of justice, which led him to impose upon the African slave-trader the terrible penalty of the Mosaic code.

But that brave old generation passed away. The civil contentions in the mother country drove across the seas multitudes of restless adventurers and speculators. The Indian wars unsettled and demoralized the people. Habits of luxury and the greed of gain took the place of the severe self- denial and rigid virtues of the fathers. Hence we are not surprised to find that Josselyn, in his second visit to New England, some twenty-five years after his first, speaks of the great increase of servants and negroes. In 1680 Governor Bradstreet, in answer to the inquiries of his Majesty's Privy Council, states that two years before a vessel from Madagasca "brought into the Colony betwixt forty and fifty negroes, mostly women and children, who were sold at a loss to the owner of the vessel." "Now and then," he continues, "two or three negroes are brought from Barbadoes and other of his Majesty's plantations and sold for twenty pounds apiece; so that there may be within the government about one hundred or one hundred and twenty, and it may be as many Scots, brought hither and sold for servants in the time of the war with Scotland, and about half as many Irish."

The owning of a black or white slave, or servant, at this period was regarded as an evidence of dignity and respectability; and hence magistrates and clergymen winked at the violation of the law by the mercenary traders, and supplied themselves without scruple. Indian slaves were common, and are named in old wills, deeds, and inventories, with horses, cows, and household furniture. As early as the year 1649 we find William Hilton, of Newbury, sells to George Carr, "for one quarter part of a vessel, James, my Indian, with all the interest I have in him, to be his servant forever." Some were taken in the Narragansett war and other Indian wars; others were brought from South Carolina and the Spanish Main. It is an instructive fact, as illustrating the retributive dealings of Providence, that the direst affliction of the Massachusetts Colony—the witchcraft terror of 1692—originated with the Indian Tituba, a slave in the family of the minister of Danvers.

In the year 1690 the inhabitants of Newbury were greatly excited by the arrest of a Jerseyman who had been engaged in enticing Indians and negroes to leave their masters. He was charged before the court with saying that "the English should be cut off and the negroes set free." James, a negro slave, and Joseph, an Indian, were arrested with him. Their design was reported to be, to seize a vessel in the port and escape to Canada and join the French, and return and lay waste and plunder their masters. They were to come back with five hundred Indians and three hundred Canadians; and the place of crossing the Merrimac River, and of the first encampment on the other side, were even said to be fixed upon. When we consider that there could not have been more than a score of slaves in the settlement, the excitement into which the inhabitants were thrown by this absurd rumor of conspiracy seems not very unlike that of a convocation of small planters in a backwoods settlement in South Carolina on finding an anti-slavery newspaper in their weekly mail bag.

In 1709 Colonel Saltonstall, of Haverhill, had several negroes, and among them a high-spirited girl, who, for some alleged misdemeanor, was severely chastised. The slave resolved upon revenge for her injury, and soon found the means of obtaining it. The Colonel had on hand, for service in the Indian war then raging, a considerable store of gunpowder. This she placed under the room in which her master and mistress slept, laid a long train, and dropped a coal on it. She had barely time to escape to the farm-house before the explosion took place, shattering the stately mansion into fragments. Saltonstall and his wife were carried on their bed a considerable distance, happily escaping serious injury. Some soldiers stationed in the house were scattered in all directions; but no lives were lost. The Colonel, on recovering from the effects of his sudden overturn, hastened to the farm-house and found his servants all up save the author of the mischief, who was snug in bed and apparently in a quiet sleep.

In 1701 an attempt was made in the General Court of Massachusetts to prevent the increase of slaves. Judge Sewall soon after published a pamphlet against slavery, but it seems with little effect. Boston merchants and ship-owners became, to a considerable extent, involved in the slave-trade. Distilleries, established in that place and in Rhode Island, furnished rum for the African market. The slaves were usually taken to the West Indies, although occasionally part of a cargo found its way to New England, where the wholesome old laws against man-stealing had become a dead letter on the statute-book.

In 1767 a bill was brought before the Legislature of Massachusetts to prevent "the unwarrantable and unnatural custom of enslaving mankind." The Council of Governor Bernard sent it back to the House greatly changed and curtailed, and it was lost by the disagreement of the two branches. Governor Bernard threw his influence on the side of slavery. In 1774 a bill prohibiting the traffic in slaves passed both Houses; but Governor Hutchinson withheld his assent and dismissed the Legislature. The colored men sent a deputation of their own to the Governor to solicit his consent to the bill; but he told them his instructions forbade him. A similar committee waiting upon General Gage received the same answer.

In the year 1770 a servant of Richard Lechmere, of Cambridge, stimulated by the general discussion of the slavery question and by the advice of some of the zealous advocates of emancipation, brought an action against his master for detaining him in bondage. The suit was decided in his favor two years before the similar decision in the case of Somerset in England. The funds necessary for carrying on this suit were raised among the blacks themselves. Other suits followed in various parts of the Province; and the result was, in every instance, the freedom of the plaintiff. In 1773 Caesar Hendrick sued his master, one Greenleaf, of Newburyport, for damages, laid at fifty pounds, for holding him as a slave. The jury awarded him his freedom and eighteen pounds.

According to Dr. Belknap, whose answers to the queries on the subject, propounded by Judge Tucker, of Virginia, have furnished us with many of the facts above stated, the principal grounds upon which the counsel of the masters depended were, that the negroes were purchased in open market, and included in the bills of sale like other property; that slavery was sanctioned by usage; and, finally, that the laws of the Province recognized its existence by making masters liable for the maintenance of their slaves, or servants.

On the part of the blacks, the law and usage of the mother country, confirmed by the Great Charter, that no man can be deprived of his liberty but by the judgment of his peers, were effectually pleaded. The early laws of the Province prohibited slavery, and no subsequent legislation had sanctioned it; for, although the laws did recognize its existence, they did so only to mitigate and modify an admitted evil.

The present state constitution was established in 1780. The first article of the Bill of Rights prohibited slavery by affirming the foundation truth of our republic, that "all men are born free and equal." The Supreme Court decided in 1783 that no man could hold another as property without a direct violation of that article.

In 1788 three free black citizens of Boston were kidnapped and sold into slavery in one of the French islands. An intense excitement followed. Governor Hancock took efficient measures for reclaiming the unfortunate men. The clergy of Boston petitioned the Legislature for a total prohibition of the foreign slave-trade. The Society of Friends, and the blacks generally, presented similar petitions; and the same year an act was passed prohibiting the slave-trade and granting relief to persons kidnapped or decoyed out of the Commonwealth. The fear of a burden to the state from the influx of negroes from abroad led the Legislature, in connection with this law, to prevent those who were not citizens of the state or of other states from gaining a residence.

The first case of the arrest of a fugitive slave in Massachusetts under the law of 1793 took place in Boston soon after the passage of the law. It is the case to which President Quincy alludes in his late letter against the fugitive slave law. The populace at the trial aided the slave to escape, and nothing further was done about it.

The arrest of George Latimer as a slave, in Boston, and his illegal confinement in jail, in 1842, led to the passage of the law of 1843 for the "protection of personal liberty," prohibiting state officers from arresting or detaining persons claimed as slaves, and the use of the jails of the Commonwealth for their confinement. This law was strictly in accordance with the decision of the supreme judiciary, in the case of Prigg vs. The State of Pennsylvania, that the reclaiming of fugitives was a matter exclusively belonging to the general government; yet that the state officials might, if they saw fit, carry into effect the law of Congress on the subject, "unless prohibited by state legislation."

It will be seen by the facts we have adduced that slavery in Massachusetts never had a legal existence. The ermine of the judiciary of the Puritan state has never been sullied by the admission of its detestable claims. It crept into the Commonwealth like other evils and vices, but never succeeded in clothing itself with the sanction and authority of law. It stood only upon its own execrable foundation of robbery and wrong.

With a history like this to look back upon, is it strange that the people of Massachusetts at the present day are unwilling to see their time- honored defences of personal freedom, the good old safeguards of Saxon liberty, overridden and swept away after the summary fashion of "the Fugitive Slave Bill;" that they should loathe and scorn the task which that bill imposes upon them of aiding professional slave-hunters in seizing, fettering, and consigning to bondage men and women accused only of that which commends them to esteem and sympathy, love of liberty and hatred of slavery; that they cannot at once adjust themselves to "constitutional duties" which in South Carolina and Georgia are reserved for trained bloodhounds? Surely, in view of what Massachusetts has been, and her strong bias in favor of human freedom, derived from her great- hearted founders, it is to be hoped that the Executive and Cabinet at Washington will grant her some little respite, some space for turning, some opportunity for conquering her prejudices, before letting loose the dogs of war upon her. Let them give her time, and treat with forbearance her hesitation, qualms of conscience, and wounded pride. Her people, indeed, are awkward in the work of slave-catching, and, it would seem, rendered but indifferent service in a late hunt in Boston. Whether they would do better under the surveillance of the army and navy of the United States is a question which we leave with the President and his Secretary of State. General Putnam once undertook to drill a company of Quakers, and instruct them, by force of arms, in the art and mystery of fighting; but not a single pair of drab-colored breeches moved at his "forward march;" not a broad beaver wheeled at his word of command; no hand unclosed to receive a proffered musket. Patriotic appeal, hard swearing, and prick of bayonet had no effect upon these impracticable raw recruits; and the stout general gave them up in despair. We are inclined to believe that any attempt on the part of the Commander-in-chief of our army and navy to convert the good people of Massachusetts into expert slave-catchers, under the discipline of West Point and Norfolk, would prove as idle an experiment as that of General Putnam upon the Quakers.



A LATE number of Fraser's Magazine contains an article bearing the unmistakable impress of the Anglo-German peculiarities of Thomas Carlyle, entitled, 'An Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question', which would be interesting as a literary curiosity were it not in spirit and tendency so unspeakably wicked as to excite in every rightminded reader a feeling of amazement and disgust. With a hard, brutal audacity, a blasphemous irreverence, and a sneering mockery which would do honor to the devil of Faust, it takes issue with the moral sense of mankind and the precepts of Christianity. Having ascertained that the exports of sugar and spices from the West Indies have diminished since emancipation,—and that the negroes, having worked, as they believed, quite long enough without wages, now refuse to work for the planters without higher pay than the latter, with the thriftless and evil habits of slavery still clinging to them, can afford to give,—the author considers himself justified in denouncing negro emancipation as one of the "shams" which he was specially sent into this world to belabor. Had he confned himself to simple abuse and caricature of the self-denying and Christian abolitionists of England—"the broad-brimmed philanthropists of Exeter Hall"—there would have been small occasion for noticing his splenetic and discreditable production. Doubtless there is a cant of philanthropy —the alloy of human frailty and folly—in the most righteous reforms, which is a fair subject for the indignant sarcasm of a professed hater of shows and falsities. Whatever is hollow and hypocritical in politics, morals, or religion, comes very properly within the scope of his mockery, and we bid him Godspeed in plying his satirical lash upon it. Impostures and frauds of all kinds deserve nothing better than detection and exposure. Let him blow them up to his heart's content, as Daniel did the image of Bell and the Dragon.

But our author, in this matter of negro slavery, has undertaken to apply his explosive pitch and rosin, not to the affectation of humanity, but to humanity itself. He mocks at pity, scoffs at all who seek to lessen the amount of pain and suffering, sneers at and denies the most sacred rights, and mercilessly consigns an entire class of the children of his Heavenly Father to the doom of compulsory servitude. He vituperates the poor black man with a coarse brutality which would do credit to a Mississippi slave-driver, or a renegade Yankee dealer in human cattle on the banks of the Potomac. His rhetoric has a flavor of the slave-pen and auction-block, vulgar, unmanly, indecent, a scandalous outrage upon good taste and refined feeling, which at once degrades the author and insults his readers.

He assumes (for he is one of those sublimated philosophers who reject the Baconian system of induction and depend upon intuition without recourse to facts and figures) that the emancipated class in the West India Islands are universally idle, improvident, and unfit for freedom; that God created them to be the servants and slaves of their "born lords," the white men, and designed them to grow sugar, coffee, and spices for their masters, instead of raising pumpkins and yams for themselves; and that, if they will not do this, "the beneficent whip" should be again employed to compel them. He adopts, in speaking of the black class, the lowest slang of vulgar prejudice. "Black Quashee," sneers the gentlemanly philosopher,—"black Quashee, if he will not help in bringing out the spices, will get himself made a slave again (which state will be a little less ugly than his present one), and with beneficent whip, since other methods avail not, will be compelled to work."

It is difficult to treat sentiments so atrocious and couched in such offensive language with anything like respect. Common sense and unperverted conscience revolt instinctively against them. The doctrine they inculcate is that which underlies all tyranny and wrong of man towards man. It is that under which "the creation groaneth and travaileth unto this day." It is as old as sin; the perpetual argument of strength against weakness, of power against right; that of the Greek philosopher, that the barbarians, being of an inferior race, were born to be slaves to the Greeks; and of the infidel Hobbes, that every man, being by nature at war with every other man, has a perpetual right to reduce him to servitude if he has the power. It is the cardinal doctrine of what John Quincy Adams has very properly styled the Satanic school of philosophy,—the ethics of an old Norse sea robber or an Arab plunderer of caravans. It is as widely removed from the sweet humanities and unselfish benevolence of Christianity as the faith and practice of the East India Thug or the New Zealand cannibal.

Our author does not, however, take us altogether by surprise. He has before given no uncertain intimations of the point towards which his philosophy was tending. In his brilliant essay upon 'Francia of Paraguay', for instance, we find him entering with manifest satisfaction and admiration into the details of his hero's tyranny. In his 'Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell'—in half a dozen pages of savage and almost diabolical sarcasm directed against the growing humanity of the age, the "rose-pink sentimentalisms," and squeamishness which shudders at the sight of blood and infliction of pain—he prepares the way for a justification of the massacre of Drogheda. More recently he has intimated that the extermination of the Celtic race is the best way of settling the Irish question; and that the enslavement and forcible transportation of her poor, to labor under armed taskmasters in the colonies, is the only rightful and proper remedy for the political and social evils of England. In the 'Discourse on Negro Slavery' we see this devilish philosophy in full bloom. The gods, he tells us, are with the strong. Might has a divine right to rule,—blessed are the crafty of brain and strong of hand! Weakness is crime. "Vae victis!" as Brennus said when he threw his sword into the scale,—Woe to the conquered! The negro is weaker in intellect than his "born lord," the white man, and has no right to choose his own vocation. Let the latter do it for him, and, if need be, return to the "beneficent whip." "On the side of the oppressor there is power;" let him use it without mercy, and hold flesh and blood to the grindstone with unrelenting rigor. Humanity is squeamishness; pity for the suffering mere "rose-pink sentimentalism," maudlin and unmanly. The gods (the old Norse gods doubtless) laugh to scorn alike the complaints of the miserable and the weak compassions and "philanthropisms" of those who would relieve them. This is the substance of Thomas Carlyle's advice; this is the matured fruit of his philosophic husbandry,—the grand result for which he has been all his life sounding unfathomable abysses or beating about in the thin air of Transcendentalism. Such is the substitute which he offers us for the Sermon on the Mount.

He tells us that the blacks have no right to use the islands of the West Indies for growing pumpkins and garden stuffs for their own use and behoof, because, but for the wisdom and skill of the whites, these islands would have been productive only of "jungle, savagery, and swamp malaria." The negro alone could never have improved the islands or civilized himself; and therefore their and his "born lord," the white man, has a right to the benefits of his own betterments of land and "two- legged cattle!" "Black Quashee" has no right to dispose of himself and his labor because he owes his partial civilization to others! And pray how has it been with the white race, for whom our philosopher claims the divine prerogative of enslaving? Some twenty and odd centuries ago, a pair of half-naked savages, daubed with paint, might have been seen roaming among the hills and woods of the northern part of the British island, subsisting on acorns and the flesh of wild animals, with an occasional relish of the smoked hams and pickled fingers of some unfortunate stranger caught on the wrong side of the Tweed. This interesting couple reared, as they best could, a family of children, who, in turn, became the heads of families; and some time about the beginning of the present century one of their descendants in the borough of Ecclefechan rejoiced over the birth of a man child now somewhat famous as "Thomas Carlyle, a maker of books." Does it become such a one to rave against the West India negro's incapacity for self-civilization? Unaided by the arts, sciences, and refinements of the Romans, he might have been, at this very day, squatted on his naked haunches in the woods of Ecclefechan, painting his weather-hardened epidermis in the sun like his Piet ancestors. Where, in fact, can we look for unaided self-improvement and spontaneous internal development, to any considerable extent, on the part of any nation or people? From people to people the original God- given impulse towards civilization and perfection has been transmitted, as from Egypt to Greece, and thence to the Roman world.

But the blacks, we are told, are indolent and insensible to the duty of raising sugar and coffee and spice for the whites, being mainly careful to provide for their own household and till their own gardens for domestic comforts and necessaries. The exports have fallen off somewhat. And what does this prove? Only that the negro is now a consumer of products, of which, under the rule of the whip, he was a producer merely. As to indolence, under the proper stimulus of fair wages we have reason to believe that the charge is not sustained. If unthrifty habits and lack of prudence on the part of the owners of estates, combined with the repeal of duties on foreign sugars by the British government, have placed it out of their power to pay just and reasonable wages for labor, who can blame the blacks if they prefer to cultivate their own garden plots rather than raise sugar and spice for their late masters upon terms little better than those of their old condition, the "beneficent whip" always excepted? The despatches of the colonial governors agree in admitting that the blacks have had great cause for complaint and dissatisfaction, owing to the delay or non-payment of their wages. Sir C. E. Gray, writing from Jamaica, says, that "in a good many instances the payment of the wages they have earned has been either very irregularly made, or not at all, probably on account of the inability of the employers." He says, moreover:—

"The negroes appear to me to be generally as free from rebellious tendencies or turbulent feelings and malicious thoughts as any race of laborers I ever saw or heard of. My impression is, indeed, that under a system of perfectly fair dealing and of real justice they will come to be an admirable peasantry and yeomanry; able-bodied, industrious, and hard- working, frank, and well-disposed."

It must, indeed, be admitted that, judging by their diminished exports and the growing complaints of the owners of estates, the condition of the islands, in a financial point of view, is by no means favorable. An immediate cause of this, however, must be found in the unfortunate Sugar Act of 1846. The more remote, but for the most part powerful, cause of the present depression is to be traced to the vicious and unnatural system of slavery, which has been gradually but surely preparing the way for ruin, bankruptcy, and demoralization. Never yet, by a community or an individual, have the righteous laws of God been violated with impunity. Sooner or later comes the penalty which the infinite justice has affixed to sin. Partial and temporary evils and inconveniences have undoubtedly resulted from the emancipation of the laborers; and many years must elapse before the relations of the two heretofore antagonistic classes can be perfectly adjusted and their interests brought into entire harmony. But that freedom is not to be held mainly accountable for the depression of the British colonies is obvious from the fact that Dutch Surinam, where the old system of slavery remains in its original rigor, is in an equally depressed condition. The 'Paramaribo Neuws en Advertentie Blad', quoted in the Jamaica Gazette, says, under date of January 2, 1850: "Around us we hear nothing but complaints. People seek and find matter in everything to picture to themselves the lot of the place in which they live as bitterer than that of any other country. Of a large number of flourishing plantations, few remain that can now be called such. So deteriorated has property become within the last few years, that many of these estates have not been able to defray their weekly expenses. The colony stands on the brink of a yawning abyss, into which it must inevitably plunge unless some new and better system is speedily adopted. It is impossible that our agriculture can any longer proceed on its old footing; our laboring force is dying away, and the social position they held must undergo a revolution."

The paper from which we have quoted, the official journal of the colony, thinks the condition of the emancipated British colonies decidedly preferable to that of Surinam, where the old slave system has continued in force, and insists that the Dutch government must follow the example of Great Britain. The actual condition of the British colonies since emancipation is perfectly well known in Surinam: three of them, Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice, being its immediate neighbors, whatever evils and inconveniences have resuited from emancipation must be well understood by the Dutch slave-holders; yet we find them looking towards emancipation as the only prospect of remedy for the greater evils of their own system.

This fact is of itself a sufficient answer to the assumption of Carlyle and others, that what they call "the ruin of the colonies" has been produced by the emancipation acts of 1833 and 1838.

We have no fears whatever of the efect of this literary monstrosity, which we have been considering upon the British colonies. Quashee, black and ignorant as he may be, will not "get himself made a slave again." The mission of the "beneficent whip" is there pretty well over; and it may now find its place in museums and cabinets of ghastly curiosities, with the racks, pillories, thumbscrews, and branding-irons of old days. What we have feared, however, is, that the advocates and defenders of slave-holding in this country might find in this discourse matter of encouragement, and that our anti-christian prejudices against the colored man might be strengthened and confirmed by its malignant vituperation and sarcasm. On this point we have sympathized with the forebodings of an eloquent writer in the London Enquirer:—

"We cannot imagine a more deadly moral poison for the American people than his [Carlyle's] last composition. Every cruel practice of social exclusion will derive from it new sharpness and venom. The slave-holder, of course, will exult to find himself, not apologized for, but enthusiastically cheered, upheld, and glorified, by a writer of European celebrity. But it is not merely the slave who will feel Mr. Carlyle's hand in the torture of his flesh, the riveting of his fetters, and the denial of light to his mind. The free black will feel him, too, in the more contemptuous and abhorrent scowl of his brother man, who will easily derive from this unfortunate essay the belief that his inhuman feelings are of divine ordination. It is a true work of the Devil, the fostering of a tyrannical prejudice. Far and wide over space, and long into the future, the winged words of evil counsel will go. In the market-place, in the house, in the theatre, and in the church,—by land and by sea, in all the haunts of men,—their influence will be felt in a perennial growth of hate and scorn, and suffering and resentment. Amongst the sufferers will be many to whom education has given every refined susceptibility that makes contempt and exclusion bitter. Men and women, faithful and diligent, loving and worthy to be loved, and bearing, it may be, no more than an almost imperceptible trace of African descent, will continue yet longer to be banished from the social meal of the white man, and to be spurned from his presence in the house of God, because a writer of genius has lent the weight of his authority and his fame, if not of his power, to the perpetuation of a prejudice which Christianity was undermining."

A more recent production, 'Latter Day Pamphlets', in which man's capability of self-government is more than doubted, democracy somewhat contemptuously sneered at, and the "model republic" itself stigmatized as a "nation of bores," may have a salutary effect in restraining our admiration and in lessening our respect for the defender and eulogist of slavery. The sweeping impartiality with which in this latter production he applies the principle of our "peculiar institution" to the laboring poor man, irrespective of color, recognizing as his only inalienable right "the right of being set to labor" for his "born lords," will, we imagine, go far to neutralize the mischief of his Discourse upon Negro Slavery. It is a sad thing to find so much intellectual power as Carlyle really possesses so little under the control of the moral sentiments. In some of his earlier writings—as, for instance, his beautiful tribute to the Corn Law Rhymer—we thought we saw evidence of a warm and generous sympathy with the poor and the wronged, a desire to ameliorate human suffering, which would have done credit to the "philanthropisms of Exeter Hall" and the "Abolition of Pain Society." Latterly, however, like Moliere's quack, he has "changed all that;" his heart has got upon the wrong side; or rather, he seems to us very much in the condition of the coal-burner in the German tale, who had swapped his heart of flesh for a cobblestone.


A letter to William Lloyd Garrison, President of the Society.

AMESBURY, 24th 11th mo., 1863.

MY DEAR FRIEND,—I have received thy kind letter, with the accompanying circular, inviting me to attend the commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society, at Philadelphia. It is with the deepest regret that I am compelled, by the feeble state of my health, to give up all hope of meeting thee and my other old and dear friends on an occasion of so much interest. How much it costs me to acquiesce in the hard necessity thy own feelings will tell thee better than any words of mine.

I look back over thirty years, and call to mind all the circumstances of my journey to Philadelphia, in company with thyself and the excellent Dr. Thurston of Maine, even then, as we thought, an old man, but still living, and true as ever to the good cause. I recall the early gray morning when, with Samuel J. May, our colleague on the committee to prepare a Declaration of Sentiments for the convention, I climbed to the small "upper chamber" of a colored friend to hear thee read the first draft of a paper which will live as long as our national history. I see the members of the convention, solemnized by the responsibility, rise one by one, and solemnly affix their names to that stern pledge of fidelity to freedom. Of the signers, many have passed away from earth, a few have faltered and turned back, but I believe the majority still live to rejoice over the great triumph of truth and justice, and to devote what remains of time and strength to the cause to which they consecrated their youth and manhood thirty years ago.

For while we may well thank God and congratulate one another on the prospect of the speedy emancipation of the slaves of the United States, we must not for a moment forget that, from this hour, new and mighty responsibilities devolve upon us to aid, direct, and educate these millions, left free, indeed, but bewildered, ignorant, naked, and foodless in the wild chaos of civil war. We have to undo the accumulated wrongs of two centuries; to remake the manhood which slavery has well- nigh unmade; to see to it that the long-oppressed colored man has a fair field for development and improvement; and to tread under our feet the last vestige of that hateful prejudice which has been the strongest external support of Southern slavery. We must lift ourselves at once to the true Christian altitude where all distinctions of black and white are overlooked in the heartfelt recognition of the brotherhood of man.

I must not close this letter without confessing that I cannot be sufficiently thankful to the Divine Providence which, in a great measure through thy instrumentality, turned me away so early from what Roger Williams calls "the world's great trinity, pleasure, profit, and honor," to take side with the poor and oppressed. I am not insensible to literary reputation. I love, perhaps too well, the praise and good-will of my fellow-men; but I set a higher value on my name as appended to the Anti-Slavery Declaration of 1833 than on the title-page of any book. Looking over a life marked by many errors and shortcomings, I rejoice that I have been able to maintain the pledge of that signature, and that, in the long intervening years,

"My voice, though not the loudest, has been heard Wherever Freedom raised her cry of pain."

Let me, through thee, extend a warm greeting to the friends, whether of our own or the new generation, who may assemble on the occasion of commemoration. There is work yet to be done which will task the best efforts of us all. For thyself, I need not say that the love and esteem of early boyhood have lost nothing by the test of time; and

I am, very cordially, thy friend,



From the Amesbury Villager.


IN the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the unspeakably brutal assault upon Secretary Seward slavery has made another revelation of itself. Perhaps it was needed. In the magnanimity of assured victory we were perhaps disposed to overlook, not so much the guilty leaders and misguided masses of the great rebellion as the unutterable horror and sin of slavery which prompted it.

How slowly we of the North have learned the true character of this mighty mischief! How our politicians bowed their strong shoulders under its burthens! How our churches reverenced it! How our clergy contrasted the heresy-tolerating North with the purely orthodox and Scriptural type of slave-holding Christianity! How all classes hunted down, not merely the fugitive slave, but the few who ventured to give him food and shelter and a Godspeed in his flight from bondage! How utterly ignored was the negro's claim of common humanity! How readily was the decision of the slave-holding chief justice acquiesced in, that "the black man had no rights which the white man is bound to respect"!

We saw a senator of the United States, world-known and honored for his learning, talents, and stainless integrity, beaten down and all but murdered at his official desk by a South Carolina slave-holder, for the crime of speaking against the extension of slavery; and we heard the dastardly deed applauded throughout the South, while its brutal perpetrator was rewarded with orations and gifts and smiles of beauty as a chivalrous gentleman. We saw slavery enter Kansas, with bowieknife in hand and curses on its lips; we saw the life of the Union struck at by secession and rebellion; we heard of the bones of sons and brothers, fallen in defence of freedom and law, dug up and wrought into ornaments for the wrists and bosoms of slave-holding women; we looked into the open hell of Andersonville, upon the deliberate, systematic starvation of helpless prisoners; we heard of Libby Prison underlaid with gunpowder, for the purpose of destroying thousands of Union prisoners in case of the occupation of Richmond by our army; we saw hundreds of prisoners massacred in cold blood at Fort Pillow, and the midnight sack of Lawrence and the murder of its principal citizens. The flames of our merchant vessels, seized by pirates, lighted every sea; we heard of officers of the rebel army and navy stealing into our cities, firing hotels filled with sleeping occupants, and laying obstructions on the track of rail cars, for the purpose of killing and mangling their passengers. Yet in spite of these revelations of the utterly barbarous character of slavery and its direful effect upon all connected with it, we were on the very point of trusting to its most criminal defenders the task of reestablishing the state governments of the South, leaving the real Union men, white as well as black, at the mercy of those who have made hatred a religion and murder a sacrament. The nation needed one more terrible lesson. It has it in the murder of its beloved chief magistrate and the attempted assassination of its honored prime minister, the two men of all others prepared to go farthest to smooth the way of defeated rebellion back to allegiance.

Even now the lesson of these terrible events seems but half learned. In the public utterances I hear much of punishing and hanging leading traitors, fierce demands for vengeance, and threats of the summary chastisement of domestic sympathizers with treason, but comparatively little is said of the accursed cause, the prolific mother of abominations, slavery. The government is exhorted to remember that it does not bear the sword in vain, the Old Testament is ransacked for texts of Oriental hatred and examples of the revenges of a semi-barbarous nation; but, as respects the four millions of unmistakably loyal people of the South, the patient, the long-suffering, kind-hearted victims of oppressions, only here and there a voice pleads for their endowment with the same rights of citizenship which are to be accorded to the rank and file of disbanded rebels. The golden rule of the Sermon on the Mount is not applied to them. Much is said of executing justice upon rebels; little of justice to loyal black men. Hanging a few ringleaders of treason, it seems to be supposed, is all that is needed to restore and reestablish the revolted states. The negro is to be left powerless in the hands of the "white trash," who hate him with a bitter hatred, exceeding that of the large slave-holders. In short, four years of terrible chastisement, of God's unmistakable judgments, have not taught us, as a people, their lesson, which could scarcely be plainer if it had been written in letters of fire on the sky. Why is it that we are so slow to learn, so unwilling to confess that slavery is the accursed thing which whets the knife of murder, and transforms men, with the exterior of gentlemen and Christians, into fiends? How pitiful is our exultation over the capture of the wretched Booth and his associates! The great criminal, of whom he and they were but paltry instruments, still stalks abroad in the pine woods of Jersey, where the state has thrown around him her legislative sanction and protection. He is in Pennsylvania, thrusting the black man from public conveyances. Wherever God's children are despised, insulted, and abused on account of their color, there is the real assassin of the President still at large. I do not wonder at the indignation which has been awakened by the late outrage, for I have painfully shared it. But let us see to it that it is rightly directed. The hanging of a score of Southern traitors will not restore Abraham Lincoln nor atone for the mighty loss. In wreaking revenge upon these miserable men, we must see to it that we do not degrade ourselves and do dishonor to the sacred memory of the dead. We do well to be angry; and, if need be, let our wrath wax seven times hotter, until that which "was a murderer from the beginning" is consumed from the face of the earth. As the people stand by the grave of Lincoln, let them lift their right hands to heaven and take a solemn vow upon their souls to give no sleep to their eyes nor slumber to their eyelids until slavery is hunted from its last shelter, and every man, black and white, stands equal before the law.

In dealing with the guilty leaders and instigators of the rebellion we should beware how we take counsel of passion. Hatred has no place beside the calm and awful dignity of justice. Human life is still a very sacred thing; Christian forbearance and patience are still virtues. For my own part, I should be satisfied to see the chiefs of the great treason go out from among us homeless, exiled, with the mark of Cain on their foreheads, carrying with them, wherever they go, the avenging Nemesis of conscience. We cannot take lessons, at this late day, in their school of barbarism; we cannot starve and torture them as they have starved and tortured our soldiers. Let them live. Perhaps that is, after all, the most terrible penalty. For wherever they hide themselves the story of their acts will pursue them; they can have no rest nor peace save in that deep repentance which, through the mercy of God, is possible for all.

I have no disposition to stand between these men and justice. If arrested, they can have no claim to exemption from the liabilities of criminals. But it is not simply a question of deserts that is to be considered; we are to take into account our own reputation as a Christian people, the wishes of our best friends abroad, and the humane instincts of the age, which forbid all unnecessary severity. Happily we are not called upon to take counsel of our fears. Rabbinical writers tell us that evil spirits who are once baffled in a contest with human beings lose from thenceforth all power of further mischief. The defeated rebels are in the precise condition of these Jewish demons. Deprived of slavery, they are like wasps that have lost their stings.

As respects the misguided masses of the South, the shattered and crippled remnants of the armies of treason, the desolate wives, mothers, and children mourning for dear ones who have fallen in a vain and hopeless struggle, it seems to me our duty is very plain. We must forgive their past treason, and welcome and encourage their returning loyalty. None but cowards will insult and taunt the defeated and defenceless. We must feed and clothe the destitute, instruct the ignorant, and, bearing patiently with the bitterness and prejudice which will doubtless for a time thwart our efforts and misinterpret our motives, aid them in rebuilding their states on the foundation of freedom. Our sole enemy was slavery, and slavery is dead. We have now no quarrel with the people of the South, who have really more reason than we have to rejoice over the downfall of a system which impeded their material progress, perverted their religion, shut them out from the sympathies of the world, and ridged their land with the graves of its victims.

We are victors, the cause of all this evil and suffering is removed forever, and we can well afford to be magnanimous. How better can we evince our gratitude to God for His great mercy than in doing good to those who hated us, and in having compassion on those who have despitefully used us? The hour is hastening for us all when our sole ground of dependence will be the mercy and forgiveness of God. Let us endeavor so to feel and act in our relations to the people of the South that we can repeat in sincerity the prayer of our Lord: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," reverently acknowledging that He has indeed "led captivity captive and received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them."



THE wise reticence of the President elect in the matter of his cabinet has left free course to speculation and conjecture as to its composition. That he fully comprehends the importance of the subject, and that he will carefully weigh the claims of the possible candidates on the score of patriotic services, ability, and fitness for specific duties, no one who has studied his character, and witnessed his discretion, clear insight, and wise adaptation of means to ends, under the mighty responsibilities of his past career, can reasonably doubt.

It is not probable that the distinguished statesman now at the head of the State Department will, under the circumstances, look for a continuance in office. History will do justice to his eminent services in the Senate and in the cabinet during the first years of the rebellion, but the fact that he has to some extent shared the unpopularity of the present chief magistrate seems to preclude the idea of his retention in the new cabinet. In looking over the list of our public men in search of a successor, General Grant is not likely to be embarrassed by the number of individuals fitted by nature, culture, and experience for such an important post. The newspaper press, in its wide license of conjecture and suggestion, has, as far as I have seen, mentioned but three or four names in this connection. Allusions have been made to Senator Fessenden of Maine, ex-Minister Motley, General Dix, ex-Secretary Stanton, and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.

Without disparaging in any degree his assumed competitors, the last-named gentleman is unquestionably preeminently fitted for the place. He has had a lifelong education for it. The entire cast of his mind, the bent of his studies, the habit and experience of his public life, his profound knowledge of international law and the diplomatic history of his own and other countries, his well-earned reputation as a statesman and constitutional lawyer, not only at home, but wherever our country has relations of amity and commerce, the honorable distinction which he enjoys of having held a foremost place in the great conflict between freedom and slavery, union and rebellion, all mark him as the man for the occasion. There seems, indeed, a certain propriety in assigning to the man who struck the heaviest blows at secession and slavery in the national Senate the first place under him who, in the field, made them henceforth impossible. The great captain and the great senator united in war should not be dissevered in peace.

I am not unaware that there are some, even in the Republican party, who have failed to recognize in Senator Sumner the really wise and practical statesmanship which a careful review of his public labors cannot but make manifest. It is only necessary to point such to the open record of his senatorial career. Few men have had the honor of introducing and defending with exhaustive ability and thoroughness so many measures of acknowledged practical importance to his imrnedicte constituents, the country at large, and the wider interests of humanity and civilization. In what exigency has he been found wanting? What legislative act of public utility for the last eighteen years has lacked his encouragement? At the head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, his clearness of vision, firmness, moderation, and ready comprehension of the duties of his time and place must be admitted by all parties. It was shrewdly said by Burke that "men are wise with little reflection and good with little self- denial, in business of all times except their own." But Charles Sumner, the scholar, loving the "still air of delightful studies," has shown himself as capable of thoroughly comprehending and digesting the events transpiring before his eyes as of pronouncing judgment upon those recorded in history. Far in advance of most of his contemporaries, he saw and enunciated the true doctrine of reconstruction, the early adoption of which would have been of incalculable service to the country. One of the ablest statesmen and jurists of the Democratic party has had the rare magnanimity to acknowledge that in this matter the Republican senator was right, and himself and his party wrong.

The Republicans of Massachusetts will make no fractious or importunate demand upon the new President. They are content to leave to his unbiased and impartial judgment the selection of his cabinet. But if, looking to the best interests of the country, he shall see fit to give their distinguished fellow-citizen the first place in it, they will feel no solicitude as to the manner in which the duties of the office will be discharged. They will feel that "the tools are with him who can use them." Nothing more directly affects the reputation of a country than the character of its diplomatic correspondence and its foreign representatives. We have suffered in times past from sad mismanagement abroad, and intelligent Americans have too often been compelled to hang their heads with shame to see the flag of their country floating over the consular offices of worthless, incompetent agents. There can be no question that so far as they are entrusted to Senator Sumner's hands, the interest, honor, and dignity of the nation will be safe.

In a few weeks Charles Summer will be returned for his fourth term in the United States Senate by the well-nigh unanimous vote of both branches of the legislature of Massachusetts. Not a syllable of opposition to his reelection is heard from any quarter. There is not a Republican in the legislature who could have been elected unless he had been virtually pledged to his support. No stronger evidence of the popular estimate of his ability and integrity than this could be offered. As a matter of course, the marked individuality of his intense convictions, earnestness, persistence, and confident reliance upon the justice of his conclusions, naturally growing out of the consciousness of having brought to his honest search after truth all the lights of his learning and experience, may, at times, have brought him into unpleasant relations with some of his colleagues; but no one, friend or foe, has questioned his ability and patriotism, or doubted his fidelity to principle. He has lent himself to no schemes of greed. While so many others have taken advantage of the facilities of their official stations to fill, directly or indirectly, their own pockets or those of their relatives and retainers, it is to the honor of Massachusetts that her representatives in the Senate have not only "shaken their hands from the holding of bribes," but have so borne themselves that no shadow of suspicion has ever rested on them.

In this connection it may be proper to state that, in the event of a change in the War Department, the claims of General Wilson, to whose services in the committee on military affairs the country is deeply indebted, may be brought under consideration. In that case Massachusetts would not, if it were in her power, discriminate between her senators. Both have deserved well of her and of the country. In expressing thus briefly my opinion, I do not forget that after all the choice and responsibility rest with General Grant alone. There I am content to leave them. I am very far from urging any sectional claim. Let the country but have peace after its long discord, let its good faith and financial credit be sustained, and all classes of its citizens everywhere protected in person and estate, and it matters very little to me whether Massachusetts is represented at the Executive Council board, or not. Personally, Charles Sumner would gain nothing by a transfer from the Senate Chamber to the State Department. He does not need a place in the American cabinet any more than John Bright does in the British. The highest ambition might well be satisfied with his present position, from which, looking back upon an honorable record, he might be justified in using Milton's language of lofty confidence in the reply to Salmasius: "I am not one who has disgraced beauty of sentiment by deformity of conduct, or the maxims of a freeman by the actions of a slave, but, by the grace of God, I have kept my life unsullied."


The following letter was written on receiving a request from a committee of colored voters for advice as to their action at the presidential election of 1872.

AMESBURY, 9th mo. 3d, 1872.

DEAR FRIENDS,—I have just received your letter of the 29th ult. asking my opinion of your present duty as colored voters in the choice between General Grant and Horace Greeley for the presidency. You state that you have been confused by the contradictory advice given you by such friends of your people as Charles Sumner on one hand, and William L. Garrison and Wendell Phillips on the other; and you ask me, as one whom you are pleased to think "free from all bias," to add my counsel to theirs.

I thank you for the very kind expression of your confidence and your generous reference to my endeavors to serve the cause of freedom; but I must own that I would fain have been spared the necessity of adding to the already too long list of political epistles. I have felt it my duty in times past to take an active part—often very distasteful to me—in political matters, having for my first object the deliverance of my country from the crime and curse of slavery. That great question being now settled forever, I have been more than willing to leave to younger and stronger hands the toils and the honors of partisan service. Pained and saddened by the bitter and unchristian personalities of the canvass now in progress, I have hitherto held myself aloof from it as far as possible, unwilling to sanction in the slightest degree the criminations and recriminations of personal friends whom I have every reason to love and respect, and in whose integrity I have unshaken confidence. In the present condition of affairs I have not been able to see that any special action as an abolitionist was required at my hands. Both of the great parties, heretofore widely separated, have put themselves on substantially the same platform. The Republican party, originally pledged only to the non-extension of slavery, and whose most illustrious representative, President Lincoln, avowed his willingness to save the Union without abolishing slavery, has been, under Providence, mainly instrumental in the total overthrow of the detestable system; while the Democratic party, composed largely of slave-holders, and, even at the North, scarcely willing to save the Union at the expense of the slave interest upon which its success depended, shattered and crippled by the civil war and its results, has at last yielded to the inexorable logic of events, abandoned a position no longer tenable, and taken its "new departure" with an abolitionist as its candidate. As a friend of the long-oppressed colored man, and for the sake of the peace and prosperity of the country, I rejoice at this action of the Democratic party. The underlying motives of this radical change are doubtless somewhat mixed and contradictory, honest conviction on the part of some, and party expediency and desire of office on the part of others; but the change itself is real and irrevocable; the penalty of receding would be swift and irretrievable ruin. In any point of view the new order of things is desirable; and nothing more fully illustrates "the ways that are dark and the tricks that are vain" of party politics than the attempt of professed friends of the Union and equal rights for all to counteract it by giving aid and comfort to a revival of the worst characteristics of the old party in the shape of a straight-out Democratic convention.

As respects the candidates now before us, I can see no good reason why colored voters as such should oppose General Grant, who, though not an abolitionist and not even a member of the Republican party previous to his nomination, has faithfully carried out the laws of Congress in their behalf. Nor, on the other hand, can I see any just grounds for distrust of such a man as Horace Greeley, who has so nobly distinguished himself as the advocate of human rights irrespective of race or color, and who by the instrumentality of his press has been for thirty years the educator of the people in the principles of justice, temperance, and freedom. Both of these men have, in different ways, deserved too well of the country to be unnecessarily subjected to the brutalities of a presidential canvass; and, so far as they are personally concerned, it would doubtless have been better if the one had declined a second term of uncongenial duties, and the other continued to indite words of wisdom in the shades of Chappaqua. But they have chosen otherwise; and I am willing, for one, to leave my colored fellow-citizens to the unbiased exercise of their own judgment and instincts in deciding between them. The Democratic party labors under the disadvantage of antecedents not calculated to promote a rapid growth of confidence; and it is no matter of surprise that the vote of the emancipated class is likely to be largely against it. But if, as will doubtless be the case, that vote shall be to some extent divided between the two candidates, it will have the effect of inducing politicians of the rival parties to treat with respect and consideration this new element of political power, from self- interest if from no higher motive. The fact that at this time both parties are welcoming colored orators to their platforms, and that, in the South, old slave-masters and their former slaves fraternize at caucus and barbecue, and vote for each other at the polls, is full of significance. If, in New England, the very men who thrust Frederick Douglass from car and stage-coach, and mobbed and hunted him like a wild beast, now crowd to shake his hand and cheer him, let us not despair of seeing even the Ku-Klux tarried into decency, and sitting "clothed in their right minds" as listeners to their former victims. The colored man is to-day the master of his own destiny. No power on earth can deprive him of his rights as an American citizen. And it is in the light of American citizenship that I choose to regard my colored friends, as men having a common stake in the welfare of the country; mingled with, and not separate from, their white fellow-citizens; not herded together as a distinct class to be wielded by others, without self-dependence and incapable of self-determination. Thanks to such men as Sumner and Wilson and their compeers, nearly all that legislation can do for them has already been done. We can now only help them to help themselves. Industry, economy, temperance, self-culture, education for their children,—these things, indispensable to their elevation and progress, are in a great measure in their own hands.

You will, therefore, my friends and fellow-citizens, pardon me if I decline to undertake to decide for you the question of your political duty as respects the candidates for the presidency,—a question which you have probably already settled in your own minds. If it had been apparent to me that your rights and liberties were really in danger from the success of either candidate, your letter would not have been needed to call forth my opinion. In the long struggle of well-nigh forty years, I can honestly say that no consideration of private interest, nor my natural love of peace and retirement and the good-will of others, have kept me silent when a word could be fitly spoken for human rights. I have not so long acted with the class to which you belong without acquiring respect for your intelligence and capacity for judging wisely for yourselves. I shall abide your decision with confidence, and cheerfully acquiesce in it.

If, on the whole, you prefer to vote for the reelection of General Grant, let me hope you will do so without joining with eleventh-hour friends in denouncing and reviling such an old and tried friend as Charles Sumner, who has done and suffered so much in your behalf. If, on the other hand, some of you decide to vote for Horace Greeley, you need not in so doing forget your great obligations to such friends as William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Lydia Maria Child. Agree or disagree with them, take their advice or reject it, but stand by them still, and teach the parties with which you are connected to respect your feelings towards your benefactors.


A letter to the Boston Daily Advertiser in reference to the petition for the rescinding of the resolutions censuring Senator Sumner for his motion to erase from the United States flags the record of the battles of the civil war.

I BEG leave to occupy a small space in the columns of the Advertiser for the purpose of noticing a charge which has been brought against the petitioners for rescinding the resolutions of the late extra session virtually censuring the Hon. Charles Sumner. It is intimated that the action of these petitioners evinces a lack of appreciation of the services of the soldiers of the Union, and that not to censure Charles Sumner is to censure the volunteers of Massachusetts.

As a matter of fact, the petitioners express no opinion as to the policy or expediency of the senator's proposition. Some may believe it not only right in itself, but expedient and well-timed; others that it was inexpedient or premature. None doubt that, sooner or later, the thing which it contemplates must be done, if we are to continue a united people. What they feel and insist upon is that the proposition is one which implies no disparagement of the soldiers of Massachusetts and the Union; that it neither receives nor merits the "unqualified condemnation of the people" of the state; and that it furnishes no ground whatever for legislative interference or censure. A single glance at the names of the petitioners is a sufficient answer to the insinuation that they are unmindful of that self-sacrifice and devotion, the marble and granite memorials of which, dotting the state from the Merrimac to the Connecticut, testify the gratitude of the loyal heart of Massachusetts.

I have seen no soldier yet who considered himself wronged or "insulted" by the proposition. In point of fact the soldiers have never asked for such censure of the brave and loyal statesman who was the bosom friend and confidant of Secretary Stanton (the great war-minister, second, if at all, only to Carnot) and of John A. Andrew, dear to the heart of every Massachusetts soldier, and whose tender care and sympathy reached them wherever they struggled or died for country and freedom. The proposal of Senator Sumner, instead of being an "insult," was, in fact, the highest compliment which could be paid to brave men; for it implied that they cherished no vindictive hatred of fallen foes; that they were too proudly secure of the love and gratitude of their countrymen to need above their heads the flaunting blazon of their achievements; that they were as magnanimous in peace and victory as they were heroic and patient through the dark and doubtful arbitrament of war. As such they understand it. I should be sorry to think there existed a single son of Massachusetts weak enough to believe that his reputation and honor as a soldier needed this censure of Charles Sumner. I have before me letters from men, ranking from orderly sergeant to general, who have looked at death full in the face on every battlefield where the flag of Massachusetts floated, and they all thank me for my efforts to rescind this uncalled-for censure, and pledge me their hearty support. They cordially indorse the noble letter of Vice-President Wilson offering his signature to the petition for rescinding the obnoxious resolutions; and if these resolutions are not annulled, it will not be the fault of Massachusetts volunteers, but rather of the mistaken zeal of men more familiar with the drill of the caucus than with that of the camp.

I am no blind partisan of Charles Sumner. I have often differed from him in opinion. I regretted deeply the position which he thought it his duty to take during the late presidential campaign. He felt the atmosphere about him thick and foul with corruption and bribery and greed; he saw the treasury ringed about like Saturn with unscrupulous combinations and corporations; and it is to be regretted more than wondered at if he struck out wildly in his indignation, and that his blows fell sometimes upon the wrong object. But I did not intend to act the part of his apologist. The twenty years of his senatorial life are crowded with memorials of his loyalty to truth and free dom and humanity, which will be enduring as our history. He is no party to this movement, in which my name has been more prominent than I could have wished, and no word of his prompted or suggested it. From its inception to the present time he has remained silent in his chamber of pain, waiting to bequeath, like the testator of the dramatist,

         "A fame by scandal untouched
          To Memory and Time's old daughter Truth."

He can well afford to wait, and the issue of the present question before our legislature is of far less consequence to him than to us. To use the words of one who stood by him in the dark days of the Fugitive Slave Law, the Chief Justice of the United States,—"Time and the wiser thought will vindicate the illustrious statesman to whom Massachusetts, the country, and humanity owe so much, but the state can ill afford the damage to its own reputation which such a censure of such a man will inflict."

AMESBURY, 3d month, 8, 1873.



In the gray twilight of a chill day of late November, forty years ago, a dear friend of mine, residing in Boston, made his appearance at the old farm-house in East Haverhill. He had been deputed by the abolitionists of the city, William L. Garrison, Samuel E. Sewall, and others, to inform me of my appointment as a delegate to the Convention about to be held in Philadelphia for the formation of an American Anti-Slavery Society, and to urge upon me the necessity of my attendance.

Few words of persuasion, however, were needed. I was unused to travelling; my life had been spent on a secluded farm; and the journey, mostly by stage-coach, at that time was really a formidable one. Moreover, the few abolitionists were everywhere spoken against, their persons threatened, and in some instances a price set on their heads by Southern legislators. Pennsylvania was on the borders of slavery, and it needed small effort of imagination to picture to one's self the breaking up of the Convention and maltreatment of its members. This latter consideration I do not think weighed much with me, although I was better prepared for serious danger than for anything like personal indignity. I had read Governor Trumbull's description of the tarring and feathering of his hero MacFingal, when, after the application of the melted tar, the feather-bed was ripped open and shaken over him, until

          "Not Maia's son, with wings for ears,
          Such plumes about his visage wears,
          Nor Milton's six-winged angel gathers
          Such superfluity of feathers,"

and I confess I was quite unwilling to undergo a martyrdom which my best friends could scarcely refrain from laughing at. But a summons like that of Garrison's bugle-blast could scarcely be unheeded by one who, from birth and education, held fast the traditions of that earlier abolitionism which, under the lead of Benezet and Woolman, had effaced from the Society of Friends every vestige of slave-holding. I had thrown myself, with a young man's fervid enthusiasm, into a movement which commended itself to my reason and conscience, to my love of country, and my sense of duty to God and my fellow-men. My first venture in authorship was the publication, at my own expense, in the spring of 1833, of a pamphlet entitled Justice and Expediency, on the moral and political evils of slavery, and the duty of emancipation. Under such circumstances I could not hesitate, but prepared at once for my journey. It was necessary that I should start on the morrow, and the intervening time, with a small allowance for sleep, was spent in providing for the care of the farm and homestead during my absence.

So the next morning I took the stage for Boston, stopping at the ancient hostelry known as the Eastern Stage Tavern; and on the day following, in company with William Lloyd Garrison, I left for New York. At that city we were joined by other delegates, among them David Thurston, a Congregational minister from Maine. On our way to Philadelphia, we took, as a matter of necessary economy, a second-class conveyance, and found ourselves, in consequence, among rough and hilarious companions, whose language was more noteworthy for strength than refinement. Our worthy friend the clergyman bore it awhile in painful silence, but at last felt it his duty to utter words of remonstrance and admonition. The leader of the young roisterers listened with a ludicrous mock gravity, thanked him for his exhortation, and, expressing fears that the extraordinary effort had exhausted his strength, invited him to take a drink with him. Father Thurston buried his grieved face in his cloak-collar, and wisely left the young reprobates to their own devices.

On reaching Philadelphia, we at once betook, ourselves to the humble dwelling on Fifth Street occupied by Evan Lewis, a plain, earnest man and lifelong abolitionist, who had been largely interested in preparing the way for the Convention. In one respect the time of our assembling seemed unfavorable. The Society of Friends, upon whose cooperation we had counted, had but recently been rent asunder by one of those unhappy controversies which so often mark the decline of practical righteousness. The martyr-age of the society had passed, wealth and luxury had taken the place of the old simplicity, there was a growing conformity to the maxims of the world in trade and fashion, and with it a corresponding unwillingness to hazard respectability by the advocacy of unpopular reforms. Unprofitable speculation and disputation on one hand, and a vain attempt on the other to enforce uniformity of opinion, had measurably lost sight of the fact that the end of the gospel is love, and that charity is its crowning virtue. After a long and painful struggle the disruption had taken place; the shattered fragments, under the name of Orthodox and Hicksite, so like and yet so separate in feeling, confronted each other as hostile sects, and

         "Never either found another
          To free the hollow heart from paining;
          They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
          Like cliffs that have been torn asunder
          A dreary sea now flows between;
          But neither rain, nor frost, nor thunder,
          Can wholly do away, I ween,
          The marks of that which once has been."

We found about forty members assembled in the parlors of our friend Lewis, and, after some general conversation, Lewis Tappan was asked to preside over an informal meeting, preparatory to the opening of the Convention. A handsome, intellectual-looking man, in the prime of life, responded to the invitation, and in a clear, well-modulated voice, the firm tones of which inspired hope and confidence, stated the objects of our preliminary council, and the purpose which had called us together, in earnest and well-chosen words. In making arrangements for the Convention, it was thought expedient to secure, if possible, the services of some citizen of Philadelphia, of distinction and high social standing, to preside over its deliberations. Looking round among ourselves in vain for some titled civilian or doctor of divinity, we were fain to confess that to outward seeming we were but "a feeble folk," sorely needing the shield of a popular name. A committee, of which I was a member, was appointed to go in search of a president of this description. We visited two prominent gentlemen, known as friendly to emancipation and of high social standing. They received us with the dignified courtesy of the old school, declined our proposition in civil terms, and bowed us out with a cool politeness equalled only by that of the senior Winkle towards the unlucky deputation of Pickwick and his unprepossessing companions. As we left their doors we could not refrain from smiling in each other's faces at the thought of the small inducement our proffer of the presidency held out to men of their class. Evidently our company was not one for respectability to march through Coventry with.

On the following morning we repaired to the Adelphi Building, on Fifth Street, below Walnut, which had been secured for our use. Sixty-two delegates were found to be in attendance. Beriah Green, of the Oneida (New York) Institute, was chosen president, a fresh-faced, sandy-haired, rather common-looking man, but who had the reputation of an able and eloquent speaker. He had already made himself known to us as a resolute and self-sacrificing abolitionist. Lewis Tappan and myself took our places at his side as secretaries, on the elevation at the west end of the hall.

Looking over the assembly, I noticed that it was mainly composed of comparatively young men, some in middle age, and a few beyond that period. They were nearly all plainly dressed, with a view to comfort rather than elegance. Many of the faces turned towards me wore a look of expectancy and suppressed enthusiasm; all had the earnestness which might be expected of men engaged in an enterprise beset with difficulty and perhaps with peril. The fine, intellectual head of Garrison, prematurely bald, was conspicuous; the sunny-faced young man at his side, in whom all the beatitudes seemed to find expression, was Samuel J. May, mingling in his veins the best blood of the Sewalls and Quincys,—a man so exceptionally pure and large-hearted, so genial, tender, and loving, that he could be faithful to truth and duty without making an enemy.

              "The de'il wad look into his face,
               And swear he couldna wrang him."

That tall, gaunt, swarthy man, erect, eagle-faced, upon whose somewhat martial figure the Quaker coat seemed a little out of place, was Lindley Coates, known in all eastern Pennsylvania as a stern enemy of slavery; that slight, eager man, intensely alive in every feature and gesture, was Thomas Shipley, who for thirty years had been the protector of the free colored people of Philadelphia, and whose name was whispered reverently in the slave cabins of Maryland as the friend of the black man, one of a class peculiar to old Quakerism, who in doing what they felt to be duty, and walking as the Light within guided them, knew no fear and shrank from no sacrifice. Braver men the world has not known. Beside him, differing in creed, but united with him in works of love and charity, sat Thomas Whitson, of the Hicksite school of Friends, fresh from his farm in Lancaster County, dressed in plainest homespun, his tall form surmounted by a shock of unkempt hair, the odd obliquity of his vision contrasting strongly with he clearness and directness of his spiritual insight. Elizur Wright, the young professor of a Western college, who had lost his place by his bold advocacy of freedom, with a look of sharp concentration in keeping with an intellect keen as a Damascus blade, closely watched the proceedings through his spectacles, opening his mouth only to speak directly to the purpose. The portly form of Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, the beloved physician, from that beautiful land of plenty and peace which Bayard Taylor has described in his Story of Kennett, was not to be overlooked. Abolitionist in heart and soul, his house was known as the shelter of runaway slaves, and no sportsman ever entered into the chase with such zest as he did into the arduous and sometimes dangerous work of aiding their escape and baffling their pursuers. The youngest man present was, I believe, James Miller McKim, a Presbyterian minister from Columbia, afterwards one of our most efficient workers. James Mott, E. L. Capron, Arnold Buffum, and Nathan Winslow, men well known in the anti- slavery agitation, were conspicuous members. Vermont sent down from her mountains Orson S. Murray, a man terribly in earnest, with a zeal that bordered on fanaticism, and who was none the more genial for the mob- violence to which he had been subjected. In front of me, awakening pleasant associations of the old homestead in Merrimac valley, sat my first school-teacher, Joshua Coffin, the learned and worthy antiquarian and historian of Newbury. A few spectators, mostly of the Hicksite division of Friends, were present, in broad brims and plain bonnets, among them Esther Moore and Lucretia Mott.

Committees were chosen to draft a constitution for a national Anti- Slavery Society, nominate a list of officers, and prepare a declaration of principles to be signed by the members. Dr. A. L. Cox of New York, while these committees were absent, read something from my pen eulogistic of William Lloyd Garrison; and Lewis Tappan and Amos A. Phelps, a Congregational clergyman of Boston, afterwards one of the most devoted laborers in the cause, followed in generous commendation of the zeal, courage, and devotion of the young pioneer. The president, after calling James McCrummell, one of the two or three colored members of the Convention, to the chair, made some eloquent remarks upon those editors who had ventured to advocate emancipation. At the close of his speech a young man rose to speak, whose appearance at once arrested my attention. I think I have never seen a finer face and figure, and his manner, words, and bearing were in keeping. "Who is he?" I asked of one of the Pennsylvania delegates. "Robert Purvis, of this city, a colored man," was the answer. He began by uttering his heart-felt thanks to the delegates who had convened for the deliverance of his people. He spoke of Garrison in terms of warmest eulogy, as one who had stirred the heart of the nation, broken the tomblike slumber of the church, and compelled it to listen to the story of the slave's wrongs. He closed by declaring that the friends of colored Americans would not be forgotten. "Their memories," he said, "will be cherished when pyramids and monuments shall have crumbled in dust. The flood of time which is sweeping away the refuge of lies is bearing on the advocates of our cause to a glorious immortality."

The committee on the constitution made their report, which after discussion was adopted. It disclaimed any right or intention of interfering, otherwise than by persuasion and Christian expostulation, with slavery as it existed in the states, but affirming the duty of Congress to abolish it in the District of Columbia and territories, and to put an end to the domestic slave-trade. A list of officers of the new society was then chosen: Arthur Tappan of New York, president, and Elizur Wright, Jr., William Lloyd Garrison, and A. L. Cox, secretaries. Among the vice-presidents was Dr. Lord of Dartmouth College, then professedly in favor of emancipation, but who afterwards turned a moral somersault, a self-inversion which left him ever after on his head instead of his feet.

He became a querulous advocate of slavery as a divine institution, and denounced woe upon the abolitionists for interfering with the will and purpose of the Creator. As the cause of freedom gained ground, the poor man's heart failed him, and his hope for church and state grew fainter and fainter. A sad prophet of the evangel of slavery, he testified in the unwilling ears of an unbelieving generation, and died at last despairing of a world which seemed determined that Canaan should no longer be cursed, nor Onesimus sent back to Philemon.

The committee on the declaration of principles, of which I was a member, held a long session, discussing the proper scope and tenor of the document. But little progress being made, it was finally decided to entrust the matter to a sub-committee, consisting of William L. Garrison, S. J. May, and myself; and after a brief consultation and comparison of each other's views, the drafting of the important paper was assigned to the former gentleman. We agreed to meet him at his lodgings in the house of a colored friend early the next morning. It was still dark when we climbed up to his room, and the lamp was still burning by the light of which he was writing the last sentence of the declaration. We read it carefully, made a few verbal changes, and submitted it to the large committee, who unanimously agreed to report it to the Convention.

The paper was read to the Convention by Dr. Atlee, chairman of the committee, and listened to with the profoundest interest.

Commencing with a reference to the time, fifty-seven years before, when, in the same city of Philadelphia, our fathers announced to the world their Declaration of Independence,—based on the self-evident truths of human equality and rights,—and appealed to arms for its defence, it spoke of the new enterprise as one "without which that of our fathers is incomplete," and as transcending theirs in magnitude, solemnity, and probable results as much "as moral truth does physical force." It spoke of the difference of the two in the means and ends proposed, and of the trifling grievances of our fathers compared with the wrongs and sufferings of the slaves, which it forcibly characterized as unequalled by any others on the face of the earth. It claimed that the nation was bound to repent at once, to let the oppressed go free, and to admit them to all the rights and privileges of others; because, it asserted, no man has a right to enslave or imbrute his brother; because liberty is inalienable; because there is no difference, in principle, between slave- holding and man-stealing, which the law brands as piracy; and because no length of bondage can invalidate man's claim to himself, or render slave laws anything but "an audacious usurpation."

It maintained that no compensation should be given to planters emancipating slaves, because that would be a surrender of fundamental principles; "slavery is a crime, and is, therefore, not an article to be sold;" because slave-holders are not just proprietors of what they claim; because emancipation would destroy only nominal, not real property; and because compensation, if given at all, should be given to the slaves.

It declared any "scheme of expatriation" to be "delusive, cruel, and dangerous." It fully recognized the right of each state to legislate exclusively on the subject of slavery within its limits, and conceded that Congress, under the present national compact, had no right to interfere; though still contending that it had the power, and should exercise it, "to suppress the domestic slave-trade between the several states," and "to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and in those portions of our territory which the Constitution has placed under its exclusive jurisdiction."

After clearly and emphatically avowing the principles underlying the enterprise, and guarding with scrupulous care the rights of persons and states under the Constitution, in prosecuting it, the declaration closed with these eloquent words:—

We also maintain that there are, at the present time, the highest obligations resting upon the people of the free states to remove slavery by moral and political action, as prescribed in the Constitution of the United States. They are now living under a pledge of their tremendous physical force to fasten the galling fetters of tyranny upon the limbs of millions in the Southern states; they are liable to be called at any moment to suppress a general insurrection of the slaves; they authorize the slave-owner to vote on three fifths of his slaves as property, and thus enable him to perpetuate his oppression; they support a standing army at the South for its protection; and they seize the slave who has escaped into their territories, and send him back to be tortured by an enraged master or a brutal driver. This relation to slavery is criminal and full of danger. It must be broken up.

"These are our views and principles,—these our designs and measures. With entire confidence in the overruling justice of God, we plant ourselves upon the Declaration of Independence and the truths of divine revelation as upon the everlasting rock.

"We shall organize anti-slavery societies, if possible, in every city, town, and village in our land.

"We shall send forth agents to lift up the voice of remonstrance, of warning, of entreaty and rebuke.

"We shall circulate unsparingly and extensively anti-slavery tracts and periodicals.

"We shall enlist the pulpit and the press in the cause of the suffering and the dumb.

"We shall aim at a purification of the churches from all participation in the guilt of slavery.

"We shall encourage the labor of freemen over that of the slaves, by giving a preference to their productions; and

"We shall spare no exertions nor means to bring the whole nation to speedy repentance.

"Our trust for victory is solely in God. We may be personally defeated, but our principles never. Truth, justice, reason, humanity, must and will gloriously triumph. Already a host is coming up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and the prospect before us is full of encouragement.

"Submitting this declaration to the candid examination of the people of this country, and of the friends of liberty all over the world, we hereby affix our signatures to it; pledging ourselves that, under the guidance and by the help of Almighty God, we will do all that in us lies, consistently with this declaration of our principles, to overthrow the most execrable system of slavery that has ever been witnessed upon earth, to deliver our land from its deadliest curse, to wipe out the foulest stain which rests upon our national escutcheon, and to secure to the colored population of the United States all the rights and privileges which belong to them as men and as Americans, come what may to our persons, our interests, or our reputations, whether we live to witness the triumph of justice, liberty, and humanity, or perish untimely as martyrs in this great, benevolent, and holy cause."

The reading of the paper was followed by a discussion which lasted several hours. A member of the Society of Friends moved its immediate adoption. "We have," he said, "all given it our assent: every heart here responds to it. It is a doctrine of Friends that these strong and deep impressions should be heeded." The Convention, nevertheless, deemed it important to go over the declaration carefully, paragraph by paragraph. During the discussion, one of the spectators asked leave to say a few words. A beautiful and graceful woman, in the prime of life, with a face beneath her plain cap as finely intellectual as that of Madame Roland, offered some wise and valuable suggestions, in a clear, sweet voice, the charm of which I have never forgotten. It was Lucretia Mott of Philadelphia. The president courteously thanked her, and encouraged her to take a part in the discussion. On the morning of the last day of our session, the declaration, with its few verbal amendments, carefully engrossed on parchment, was brought before the Convention. Samuel J. May rose to read it for the last time. His sweet, persuasive voice faltered with the intensity of his emotions as he repeated the solemn pledges of the concluding paragraphs. After a season of silence, David Thurston of Maine rose as his name was called by one of the secretaries, and affixed his name to the document. One after another passed up to the platform, signed, and retired in silence. All felt the deep responsibility of the occasion the shadow and forecast of a life-long struggle rested upon every countenance.

Our work as a Convention was now done. President Green arose to make the concluding address. The circumstances under which it was uttered may have lent it an impressiveness not its own; but as I now recall it, it seems to me the most powerful and eloquent speech to which I have ever listened. He passed in review the work that had been done, the constitution of the new society, the declaration of sentiments, and the union and earnestness which had marked the proceedings. His closing words will never be forgotten by those who heard them:—

"Brethren, it has been good to be here. In this hallowed atmosphere I have been revived and refreshed. This brief interview has more than repaid me for all that I have ever suffered. I have here met congenial minds; I have rejoiced in sympathies delightful to the soul. Heart has beat responsive to heart, and the holy work of seeking to benefit the outraged and despised has proved the most blessed employment.

"But now we must retire from these balmy influences and breathe another atmosphere. The chill hoar-frost will be upon us. The storm and tempest will rise, and the waves of persecution will dash against our souls. Let us be prepared for the worst. Let us fasten ourselves to the throne of God as with hooks of steel. If we cling not to Him, our names to that document will be but as dust.

"Let us court no applause, indulge in no spirit of vain boasting. Let us be assured that our only hope in grappling with the bony monster is in an Arm that is stronger than ours. Let us fix our gaze on God, and walk in the light of His countenance. If our cause be just—and we know it is— His omnipotence is pledged to its triumph. Let this cause be entwined around the very fibres of our hearts. Let our hearts grow to it, so that nothing but death can sunder the bond."

He ceased, and then, amidst a silence broken only by the deep-drawn breath of emotion in the assembly, lifted up his voice in a prayer to Almighty God, full of fervor and feeling, imploring His blessing and sanctification upon the Convention and its labors. And with the solemnity of this supplication in our hearts we clasped hands in farewell, and went forth each man to his place of duty, not knowing the things that should befall us as individuals, but with a confidence, never shaken by abuse and persecution, in the certain triumph of our cause.


Read at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the state of

                    BEAR CAMP HOUSE, WEST OSSIPEE, N. H.,
                              Eighth month, 29th, 1879.


I HAVE received your invitation to the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the first settlement of Kansas. It would give me great pleasure to visit your state on an occasion of such peculiar interest, and to make the acquaintance of its brave and self-denying pioneers, but I have not health and strength for the journey. It is very fitting that this anniversary should be duly recognized. No one of your sister states has such a record as yours,—so full of peril and adventure, fortitude, self-sacrifice, and heroic devotion to freedom. Its baptism of martyr blood not only saved the state to liberty, but made the abolition of slavery everywhere possible. Barber and Stillwell and Colpetzer and their associates did not die in vain. All through your long, hard struggle I watched the course of events in Kansas with absorbing interest. I rejoiced, while I marvelled at the steady courage which no danger could shake, at the firm endurance which outwearied the brutalities of your slaveholding invaders, and at that fidelity to right and duty which the seduction of immediate self-interest could not swerve, nor the military force of a proslavery government overawe. All my sympathies were with you in that stern trial of your loyalty to God and humanity. And when, in the end, you had conquered peace, and the last of the baffled border ruffians had left your territory, I felt that the doom of the accursed institution was sealed, and that its abolition was but a question of time. A state with such a record will, I am sure, be true to its noble traditions, and will do all in its power to aid the victims of prejudice and oppression who may be compelled to seek shelter within its borders. I will not for a moment distrust the fidelity of Kansas to her foundation principle. God bless and prosper her! Thanking you for the kind terms of your invitation, I am, gentlemen, very truly your friend.


An Introduction to Oliver Johnson's "William Lloyd Garrison and his


I no not know that any word of mine can give additional interest to this memorial of William Lloyd Garrison from the pen of one of his earliest and most devoted friends, whose privilege it has been to share his confidence and his labors for nearly half a century; but I cannot well forego the opportunity afforded me to add briefly my testimony to the tribute to the memory of the great Reformer, whose friendship I have shared, and with whom I have been associated in a common cause from youth to age.

My acquaintance with him commenced in boyhood. My father was a subscriber to his first paper, the Free Press, and the humanitarian tone of his editorials awakened a deep interest in our little household, which was increased by a visit which he made us. When he afterwards edited the Journal of the Times, at Bennington, Vt., I ventured to write him a letter of encouragement and sympathy, urging him to continue his labors against slavery, and assuring him that he could "do great things," an unconscious prophecy which has been fulfilled beyond the dream of my boyish enthusiasm. The friendship thus commenced has remained unbroken through half a century, confirming my early confidence in his zeal and devotion, and in the great intellectual and moral strength which he brought to the cause with which his name is identified.

During the long and hard struggle in which the abolitionists were engaged, and amidst the new and difficult questions and side-issues which presented themselves, it could scarcely be otherwise than that differences of opinion and action should arise among them. The leader and his disciples could not always see alike. My friend, the author of this book, I think, generally found himself in full accord with him, while I often decidedly dissented. I felt it my duty to use my right of citizenship at the ballot-box in the cause of liberty, while Garrison, with equal sincerity, judged and counselled otherwise. Each acted under a sense of individual duty and responsibility, and our personal relations were undisturbed. If, at times, the great anti-slavery leader failed to do justice to the motives of those who, while in hearty sympathy with his hatred of slavery, did not agree with some of his opinions and methods, it was but the pardonable and not unnatural result of his intensity of purpose, and his self-identification with the cause he advocated; and, while compelled to dissent, in some particulars, from his judgment of men and measures, the great mass of the antislavcry people recognized his moral leadership. The controversies of old and new organization, nonresistance and political action, may now be looked upon by the parties to them, who still survive, with the philosophic calmness which follows the subsidence of prejudice and passion. We were but fallible men, and doubtless often erred in feeling, speech, and action. Ours was but the common experience of reformers in all ages.

          "Never in Custom's oiled grooves
          The world to a higher level moves,
          But grates and grinds with friction hard
          On granite bowlder and flinty shard.
          Ever the Virtues blush to find
          The Vices wearing their badge behind,
          And Graces and Charities feel the fire
          Wherein the sins of the age expire."

It is too late now to dwell on these differences. I choose rather, with a feeling of gratitude to God, to recall the great happiness of laboring with the noble company of whom Garrison was the central figure. I love to think of him as he seemed to me, when in the fresh dawn of manhood he sat with me in the old Haverhill farmhouse, revolving even then schemes of benevolence; or, with cheery smile, welcoming me to his frugal meal of bread and milk in the dingy Boston printing-room; or, as I found him in the gray December morning in the small attic of a colored man, in Philadelphia, finishing his night-long task of drafting his immortal Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society; or, as I saw him in the jail of Leverett Street, after his almost miraculous escape from the mob, playfully inviting me to share the safe lodgings which the state had provided for him; and in all the varied scenes and situations where we acted together our parts in the great endeavor and success of Freedom.

The verdict of posterity in his case may be safely anticipated. With the true reformers and benefactors of his race he occupies a place inferior to none other. The private lives of many who fought well the battles of humanity have not been without spot or blemish. But his private character, like his public, knew no dishonor. No shadow of suspicion rests upon the white statue of a life, the fitting garland of which should be the Alpine flower that symbolizes noble purity.


Read at the semi-centennial celebration of the American Anti-Slavery
Society at Philadelphia, on the 3d December, 1883.

                              OAK KNOLL, DANVERS, MASS.,
                                     11th mo., 30, 1883.

I NEED not say how gladly I would be with you at the semi-centennial of the American Anti-Slavery Society. I am, I regret to say, quite unable to gratify this wish, and can only represent myself by a letter.

Looking back over the long years of half a century, I can scarcely realize the conditions under which the convention of 1833 assembled. Slavery was predominant. Like Apollyon in Pilgrim's Progress, it "straddled over the whole breadth of the way." Church and state, press and pulpit, business interests, literature, and fashion were prostrate at its feet. Our convention, with few exceptions, was composed of men without influence or position, poor and little known, strong only in their convictions and faith in the justice of their cause. To onlookers our endeavor to undo the evil work of two centuries and convert a nation to the "great renunciation" involved in emancipation must have seemed absurd in the last degree. Our voices in such an atmosphere found no echo. We could look for no response but laughs of derision or the missiles of a mob.

But we felt that we had the strength of truth on our side; we were right, and all the world about us was wrong. We had faith, hope, and enthusiasm, and did our work, nothing doubting, amidst a generation who first despised and then feared and hated us. For myself I have never ceased to be grateful to the Divine Providence for the privilege of taking a part in that work.

And now for more than twenty years we have had a free country. No slave treads its soil. The anticipated dangerous consequences of complete emancipation have not been felt. The emancipated class, as a whole, have done wisely, and well under circumstances of peculiar difficulty. The masters have learned that cotton can be raised better by free than by slave labor, and nobody now wishes a return to slave-holding. Sectional prejudices are subsiding, the bitterness of the civil war is slowly passing away. We are beginning to feel that we are one people, with no really clashing interests, and none more truly rejoice in the growing prosperity of the South than the old abolitionists, who hated slavery as a curse to the master as well as to the slave.

In view of this commemorative semi-centennial occasion, many thoughts crowd upon me; memory recalls vanished faces and voices long hushed. Of those who acted with me in the convention fifty years ago nearly all have passed into another state of being. We who remain must soon follow; we have seen the fulfilment of our desire; we have outlived scorn and persecution; the lengthening shadows invite us to rest. If, in looking back, we feel that we sometimes erred through impatient zeal in our contest with a great wrong, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we were influenced by no merely selfish considerations. The low light of our setting sun shines over a free, united people, and our last prayer shall be for their peace, prosperity, and happiness.




GENTLEMEN,—Among the great number of tokens of interest and good-will which reached me on my birthday, none have touched me more deeply than the proceedings of the great meeting of the colored citizens of the nation's capital, of which you are the representatives. The resolutions of that meeting came to me as the voice of millions of my fellow- countrymen. That voice was dumb in slavery when, more than half a century ago, I put forth my plea for the freedom of the slave.

It could not answer me from the rice swamp and cotton field, but now, God be praised, it speaks from your great meeting in Washington and from all the colleges and schools where the youth of your race are taught. I scarcely expected then that the people for whom I pleaded would ever know of my efforts in their behalf. I cannot be too thankful to the Divine Providence that I have lived to hear their grateful response.

I stand amazed at the rapid strides which your people have made since emancipation, at your industry, your acquisition of property and land, your zeal for education, your self-respecting but unresentful attitude toward those who formerly claimed to be your masters, your pathetic but manly appeal for just treatment and recognition. I see in all this the promise that the time is not far distant when, in common with the white race, you will have the free, undisputed rights of American citizenship in all parts of the Union, and your rightful share in the honors as well as the protection of the government.

Your letter would have been answered sooner if it had been possible. I have been literally overwbelmed with letters and telegrams, which, owing to illness, I have been in a great measure unable to answer or even read.

I tender to you, gentlemen, and to the people you represent my heartfelt thanks, and the assurance that while life lasts you will find me, as I have been heretofore, under more difficult circumstances, your faithful friend.

OAK KNOLL, DANVERS, MASS., first mo., 9, 1888.