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Lands of the Slave and the Free by Henry A. Murray

Part 8 out of 10

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becomes highly indignant, and determines to go to the Professor and
demand an apology. It must be remembered that the father was all this
time in Louisville, and of course the natural person to have made any
remonstrance with his old friend the Professor. Matt. F.'s family remind
him that he is very weakly, and that one of the masters at the school is
an enemy of his. They therefore beg of him to be calm, and to take his
intermediate brother Robert with him, in case of accidents. He consents.
He then goes to the gun-store of Messrs. Dixon and Gilmore, and
purchases of the latter, about 9 A.M., two small pocket-pistols, three
inches long in the barrel. These he gets Mr. Gilmore to load, but
purchases no further ammunition. After this he proceeds with his brother
Robert, who is armed with a bowie-knife, to the school. Not wishing to
be unjust to Mr. Matt. F. Ward, I give the statement of the subsequent
occurrence in the words of his brother Robert's evidence in court.[BQ]

"On entering the school-room,[BR] Matt. asked for Butler. He came. Matt.
remarked, I wish to have a talk with you. Butler said, Come into my
private room. Matt. said, No; here is the place. Mr. Butler nodded.
Matt. said, What are your ideas of justice? Which is the worst, the boy
who begs chestnuts, and throws the shells on the floor, and lies about
it, or my brother who gives them to him? Mr. Butler said he would not
he interrogated, putting his pencil in his pocket and buttoning up his
coat. Matt, repeated the question. Butler said, There is no such boy
here. Matt. said, That settles the matter: you called my brother a liar,
and for that I must have an apology. Butler said he had no apology to
make. Is your mind made up? said Matt. Butler said it was. Then, said
Matt., you must hear my opinion of you. You are a d----d scoundrel and
a coward. Butler then struck Matt. twice, and pushed him back against
the door. Matt. drew his pistol and fired. Butler held his hand on him
for a moment. As the pistol fired, Sturgus[BS] came to the door. I drew
my knife, and told him to stand back." Thus was Professor Butler,
Principal of the High School of Louisville, shot by the author of
_English Items_, with a pistol bought and loaded only an hour and a half
previous, in broad daylight, and in the middle of his scholars. The
Professor died during the night.

The details of the trial are quite unique as to the language employed by
jury, counsel, and evidence; but I purposely abstain from making
extracts, though I could easily quote passages sufficiently ridiculous
and amusing, and others which leave a painful impression of the state of
law in Kentucky. My reason for abstaining is, that if I quoted at all, I
ought to do so at greater length than the limits of a book of travels
would justify: suffice it that I inform you that Mr. Matthew F. Ward was
tried and acquitted.

When the result of the trial was made known, an indignation meeting was
held in Louisville, presided over by General Thomas Strange, at which
various resolutions were passed unanimously. The first was in the
following terms:--"Resolved--That the verdict of the jury, recently
rendered in the Hardin County Court, by which Matt. F. Ward was declared
innocent of any crime in the killing of William H.G. Butler, is in
opposition to all the evidence in the case, contrary to our ideas of
public justice, and subversive of the fundamental principles of personal
security guaranteed to us by the constitution of the State.

"Secondly: Resolved--That the published evidence given on the trial of
Matt. F. Ward shows, beyond all question, that a most estimable citizen,
and a most amiable, moral, and peaceable man has been wantonly and
cruelly killed while in the performance of his regular and responsible
duties as a teacher of youth; and, notwithstanding the verdict of a
corrupt and venal jury, the deliberate judgment of the heart and
conscience of this community pronounces that killing to be murder." The
committee appointed by the meeting also requested Mr. Wolfe, one of the
counsel for the prisoner, to resign his seat in the State Senate, and
the Honourable Mr. Crittenden, another counsel, to resign his place in
the Senate of the United States; effigies of the two brothers Ward were
burnt, and a public subscription opened to raise a monument to the
murdered Professor. I cannot, of course, decide how far the conclusions
of the committee are just, as I do not pretend to know Kentucky law. I
have, however, given the trial to members of the Bar in this country
accustomed to deal with such cases, and they have without hesitation
asserted that not one man in ten who has been hanged in England has been
condemned on more conclusive evidence. It is also apparent that in some
parts of the Union the same opinion prevails, as the following paragraph
from the _New York Daily Times_ will clearly show:--"The trial is
removed from the scene of the homicide, so that the prisoners shall Dot
be tried by those who knew them best, but is taken to a distant country.
The Press is forbidden, against all law and right, to publish a report
of the proceedings while the trial is in progress. Every particle of
evidence in regard to Butler's character is excluded; while a perfect
army of witnesses--clergymen, colonels, members of Congress, editors,
cabinet officers, &c., who had enjoyed the social intimacy of the
Wards--testified ostentatiously to the prisoner's mildness of temper,
declaring him, with anxious and undisguised exaggeration, to be gentle
and amiable to a fault. All these preparations, laboriously made and
steadily followed up, were for the purpose, not of determining the
truth, which is the only proper object of judicial inquiry--not of
ascertaining accurately and truly whether Matthew Ward did or did not
murder Butler--but to secure impunity for his act. This whole drama was
enacted to induce the jury to affirm a falsehood; and it has succeeded.
We do not believe John J. Crittenden entertains in his heart the shadow
of a doubt that Butler was murdered: we do not believe that a single man
on that jury believes that the man they have acquitted is innocent of
the crime laid to his charge. We regard the issue of this trial as of
the gravest importance: it proves that in one State of this Union,
wealth is stronger than justice; that Kentucky's most distinguished sons
take to their hearts and shield with all their power a murderer who has
money and social position at his command; and that under their auspices,
legal tribunals and the most solemn forms of justice have been made to
confer impunity on one of the blackest and most wanton murders which the
annals of crime record."

I add no comment, leaving the reader to make his own, deductions, and I
only hope, if the foregoing lines should ever meet the eye of a citizen
belonging to the sovereign State of Kentucky, they may stir him up to
amend the law or to purify the juries.


[Footnote BJ: The reader is requested to remember that all the words
printed in italics--while dealing with _English Items_--are so done to
show that they are quotations from the eulogies of the American press.
They are as thoroughly repudiated by me as they must be by every
American gentleman.]

[Footnote BK: Did Mr. Ward ever read any account in the gazettes of his
own country, of the poor soldiers going to "Washington to procure land
warrants, and after being detained there till they were reduced to
beggary, receiving no attention? Let me commend the following letter,
taken from the press of his own country, dated July 6, 1853, and
addressed to the President:--

"DEAR SIR,--_In the humblest tone do I implore your charity for three
cents, to enable me to procure something to eat._ Pray be so kind, and
receive the grateful thanks of your humble supplicant of Shenandoah
County, Va."]

[Footnote BL: The reader will be astonished to know that these remarks
are from the pen of a Kentucky man; in which State there is a large hole
in the ground, made by Providence, and called "The Mammoth Cave;" it is
situated on private property, and for the privilege of lionizing it, you
pay 10s. So carefully is it watched, that no one is even allowed to
make a plan of it, lest some entrance should be found available on the
adjoining property.]

[Footnote BM: I must beg the reader to remember this last sentence when
he comes to the interview between the Kentucky author and his old
friend, the schoolmaster.]

[Footnote BN: Kentucky is the State of his birth and family, Arkansas
the State of his adoption, and "The Three Continents" the fruit of his

[Footnote BO: The reader will find that, in his interview with the
schoolmaster, his brother was "completely himself" with a bowie-knife

[Footnote BP: One other instance I must give of the coolness with which
an American writer can pen the most glaring falsehood; _vide_ "English
Traits," by R.W. Emerson. I might quote many fake impressions conveyed,
but I shall confine myself to one of his observations upon a religious
subject, where at least decency might have made him respect truth. At
page 126 I find the following sentence:--"They put up no Socratic
prayer, _much less any saintly prayer, for the Queen's mind_; ask
neither for light nor right, but say bluntly, 'grant her in health and
wealth long to live.'" Now, I will not ask whether the author of this
passage ever saw our Book of Common Prayer, because printing the words
in inverted commas is proof sufficient; nor will I go out of my way to
show the _many_ prayers put up for the bestowal of purely spiritual
blessings; but, when I find the previous sentence to the one quoted by
him to be as follows, "Endow her plenteously with heavenly gifts," what
can I say of such a writer? Either that by heavenly gifts he understands
dollars and cents, or that he has wilfully sacrificed religious truth at
the shrine of democratic popularity. Having placed him on these two
horns of a dilemma, I leave him to arrange his seat.]

[Footnote BQ: Of course the evidence of the brother is the _most
favourable_ to Mr. M.F.W. that the trial produces.]

[Footnote BR: It appears in evidence that the scene described took place
about half-past ten A.M.]

[Footnote BS: Mr. Sturgus is the master who was supposed to be
unfriendly to Mr. Matthew F. Ward.]


_The Institution of Slavery._

There is one subject which no person who pretends to convey to the
reader the honest thoughts and impressions which occupied his mind
during his travels in this vast Republic, can pass over in silence; and
that subject, I need scarcely observe, is Slavery. It is an institution
which deserves most serious consideration; for while a general unity of
sentiment binds the various States together in a manner that justifies
the national motto, "_E pluribus unum_," the question of slavery hangs
fearfully over their Union; and the thread by which it is suspended is
more uncertain than the fragile hair of the sword of Damocles, for it is
dependent upon the angry passions of angry man.

So true do I feel this to be, that were I a citizen of one of the Free
States of America, I might hesitate before I committed my opinions to
the Press. I trust, however, that I may so treat the subject that no
cause for ill-blood may be given. Unquestionably, the origin of the evil
is wholly with the mother country. We entered into the diabolical
traffic of our fellow-creatures, and forced the wretched negro upon a
land which had never before received the impress of a slave's foot; and
this we did despite all the remonstrances of the outraged and indignant
colonists; and with this revolting sin upon our shoulders, it is but
natural we should feel deeply interested in the sable ivy-shoot we
planted, and which now covers the whole southern front of the stately
edifice of the Giant Republic. Time was when a Newcastle collier might
have carried the sable shoot back to the soil whence it had been stolen;
now, the keels of many nations combined would scarce suffice to move the
rapid growth.

But, while at England's door lies the original guilt, America has since
put the solemn seal of her paternity upon it; every foot of land which,
in the rapid career of her aggrandisement, has been sullied with the
footsteps of the slave for the first time, mars the beauty of the cap
of liberty, and plants a slave-trader's star in the banner of the
nation. She is only doing a century later what we wickedly did a century
before--viz., planting slavery on a soil hitherto free, and enlarging
the market for the sale of flesh and blood. The futile excuse sometimes
offered, that they were merely moved from one part to another of the
same country, cannot be admitted; or, if it be, upon the same principle
all the Free States might return again to slavery. If it be no sin to
introduce slavery into a free Sovereign State, then was England not so
guilty in the first instance, for she sent slaves from a land of
ignorance, cruelty, and idolatry, to an enlightened and Christian
colony. It is in vain for either England or the United States to shirk
the guilty responsibility of introducing slaves on free soil. England
has the additional guilt of having acted against the wishes of the
colonists; the United States has the additional guilt of increasing
slave territory a century later, and when the philanthropists of every
country were busied in endeavours to solve the problem, "How can slavery
be abolished?"

Without dwelling further upon respective guilt, I will at once proceed
to review the crusades which have been made against the institution, and
the hopes of the slave under it; after which, I will offer for
consideration such proposals as appear to me worthy the attention of all
the true friends of the negro, whether owners or not. While thus
treating the subject, I beg to observe that I fully recognise each
individual State as possessing plenipotentiary powers within the limits
of that constitution by which they are all bound together: and I trust
that, in any observations I may make, no one expression will be so
misconstrued as to give offence; for I know full well the stupendous
difficulties with which the whole question is surrounded, and I feel it
is one which should be approached only in a true spirit of charity and
kindness towards the much-maligned gentlemen of the South.

I open the question by asking--what is the meaning of the cry raised by
the fanatics of the North--the abolition crusaders? In words, it is
freedom to the slave; in fact, it is spoliation of their neighbours. Had
the proposition come from wild Arabs who live in houses they carry on
their backs, and feed on the milk of flocks that pasture at their side,
I might have comprehended the modest proposal; but coming from those
whose energy for business is proverbial, and whose acuteness in all
matters of dollars and cents is unsurpassed, if equalled, by the
shrewdest Hebrew of the Hebrews, I confess it is beyond my puny
imagination to fathom. Were it accompanied with any pecuniary offer
adequate to the sacrifice proposed, I might be able to comprehend it:
but for those, or the descendants of those, who, as they found white
labour more profitable, sold their sable brethren to their southern
neighbours, and thus easily and profitably removed slavery from their
borders,--for those, I say, to turn round and preach a crusade for the
emancipation of the negro, in homilies of contumely, with the voice of
self-righteousness, exhibits a degree of assurance that cannot be
surpassed. Had they known as much of human nature as of the laws of
profit and loss, they might have foreseen that in every epithet heaped
upon their southern countrymen, they were riveting a fresh bolt in the
slave's fetters. On what plea did the American colony rebel? Was it not,
as a broad principle, the right of self-government? Does not their
constitution allow independent action to each State, subject only to
certain obligations, binding alike on all? If those are complied with,
on what principle of patriotism or honour do individuals or societies
hurl torches of discord among their southern co-citizens?

No person who has watched or inquired into the social state of the
slaves during the present century, can fail to have observed that much
has been done to improve their condition among the respectable holders
thereof, both as regards common education and religious instruction; at
the same time, they will perceive that the first law of
nature--self-preservation--compelled them to make common education
penal, as soon as fanatical abolitionists inundated the country with
firebrand pamphlets. No American can deny, that when an oppressed people
feel their chains galling to them, they have a right to follow the
example of the colonists, and strike for freedom. This right doubtless
belongs to the negro, and these inflammable publications were calculated
to lead them on to make the effort. But what reflecting mind can fail to
foresee the horrors consequent upon such a hopeless endeavour? More
especially must it have presented itself to the mind of the
slave-masters; and could they, with sure visions before their eyes of
the fearful sacrifice of human life, the breaking-up of whatever good
feeling now exists between master and slave, and the inauguration of a
reign of terror and unmitigated severity--could they, I say, with such
consequences staring them in the face, have taken a more mild, sensible,
and merciful step than checking that education, through the
instrumentality of which, the abolitionists were hastening forward so
awful a catastrophe?

The following extract may suffice to prove the irritation produced by
the abolitionists in Virginia, though, of course, I do not pretend to
insinuate that the respectable portion of the community in that State
would endorse its barbarous ravings:--

"SLAVERY IN THE SCHOOL-ROOM.--The (American) _Richmond Examiner_, in
connexion with the recent trial of Ward of Kentucky, has the following
theory on the extinction of schoolmasters in general:--'The South has
for years been overrun with hordes of illiterate, unprincipled graduates
of the Yankee free schools (those hot-beds of self-conceit and
ignorance), who have, by dint of unblushing impudence, established
themselves as schoolmasters in our midst. So odious are some of these
"itinerant ignoramuses" to the people of the South; so full of
abolitionism and concealed incendiarism are many of this class; so full
of guile, fraud, and deceit,--that the deliberate shooting one of them
down, in the act of poisoning the minds of our slaves or our children,
we think, if regarded as homicide at all, should always be deemed
perfectly justifiable; and we imagine the propriety of shooting an
abolition schoolmaster, when caught tampering with our slaves, has never
been questioned by any intelligent Southern man. This we take to be the
unwritten common law of the South, and we deem it advisable to
promulgate the law, that it may be copied into all the abolition papers,
thundered at by the three thousand New England preachers, and read with
peculiar emphasis, and terrible upturning of eyes, by Garrison, at the
next meeting of the anti-slavery party at Faneuil Hall. We repeat, that
the shooting of itinerant abolition schoolmasters is frequently a
creditable and laudable act, entitling a respectable Southern man to, at
least, a seat in the Legislature or a place in the Common Council. Let
all Yankee schoolmasters who propose invading the South, endowed with a
strong nasal twang, a long scriptural name, and Webster's lexicographic
book of abominations, seek some more congenial land, where their own
lives will be more secure than in the "vile and homicidal Slave States."
We shall be glad if the ravings of the abolition press about the Ward
acquittal shall have this effect.'"

We now see that the abolitionists have rendered the education of the
negro, with a view to his ultimate fitness for freedom or
self-government, utterly impracticable, however anxious the slave-owner
might have otherwise been to instruct him. Thus, by their imprudent
violence, they have effectually closed the educational pathway to
emancipation. It should not either be forgotten that the Southerners may
have seen good reason to doubt the Christian sincerity of those who
clamoured so loudly for loosening the fetters of the slaves. The freed
slaves in the Northern States must have frequently been seen by them,
year after year, as they went for "the season" to the watering-places,
and could they observe much in his position there to induce the belief
that the Northerners are the friends of the negro? In some cities, he
must not drive a coach or a car; in others, he must not enter a public
conveyance; in places of amusement, he is separated from his white
friend; even in the house of that God with whom "there is no respect of
persons," he is partitioned off as if he were an unclean animal; in some
States he is not admitted at all.

With such evidences of friendship for the negro, might they not question
the honesty of Northern champions of emancipation? Could they really
place confidence in the philanthropic professions of those who treat the
negro as an outcast, and force on him a life of wretchedness instead of
striving to raise him in the social scale? If a negro had the intellect
of a Newton--if he were clothed in purple and fine linen, and if he came
fresh from an Oriental bath, and fragrant as "Araby's spices," a
Northerner would prefer sitting down with a pole-cat--he would rather
pluck a living coal from the fire than grasp the hand of the worthiest
negro that ever stepped. Whoever sees a negro in the North smile at the
approach of the white man? Who has not seen a worthy planter or
slave-owner returning from a short absence, greeted with smiles in
abundance, or perhaps receiving a broad grin of pride and pleasure as
the worthy owner gave his hand to some old faithful slave?

I think I have shown, in the foregoing remarks, that the Southern has
three solid and distinct grounds of objection to the Free States
abolitionist. First,--The natural spirit of man, which rebels against
wholesale vituperation and calumny. Secondly,--The obstacle they have
placed in the way of giving the slave simple education, by introducing
most inflammable pamphlets. Thirdly,--The questionable sincerity of
their professed sympathy for the slave, as evidenced by the antipathy
they exhibit towards the free negro, and by the palpable fact that he is
far worse off in a free than in a slave State.

The same objection cannot justly be taken against English abolitionists,
because they act and think chiefly upon the evidence furnished by
American hands; besides which, slavery in the West Indian colonies was
felt by the majority of the nation to be so dark a stain upon our
national character, that, although burdened with a debt such as the
world never before dreamt of, the sum of 20,000,000l. was readily
voted for the purposes of emancipation. Whether the method in which the
provisions of the act were carried out was very wise or painfully
faulty, we need not stop to inquire: the object was a noble one, and the
sacrifice was worthy of the object.

With all the feelings of that discussion fresh in the public mind, it is
no wonder that philanthropists, reading the accounts published by
American authors of the horrors of slavery, should band themselves
together for the purpose of urging America in a friendly tone to follow
Great Britain's noble example, and to profit by any errors she had
committed as to the method of carrying emancipation into effect. I am
quite aware a slaveholder may reply, "This is all very good; but I must
have a word with you, good gentlemen of England, as to sincerity. If you
hold slavery so damnable a sin, why do you so greedily covet the fruits
of the wages of that sin? The demand of your markets for slave produce
enhances the value of the slave, and in so doing clenches another nail
in the coffin, of his hopes." I confess I can give no reply, except the
humiliating confession which, if the feeling of the nation is to be read
in its Parliamentary acts, amounts to this--"We have removed slavery
from our own soil, and we don't care a farthing if all the rest of the
world are slaves, provided only we can get cheap cotton and sugar, &c.
Mammon! Mammon! Mammon! is ever the presiding deity of the Anglo-Saxon
race, whether in the Old or the New World.

There can be no doubt that the reception of Mrs. Beecher Stowe's work
and person in England was very galling to many a Southerner, and
naturally so; because it conveyed a tacit endorsement of all her
assertions as to the horrors of the slavery system. When I first read
_Uncle Tom_, I said, "This will rather tend to rivet than to loosen the
fetters of the slave, rousing the indignation of all the South against
her and her associates." Everything I have since seen, heard, and read,
only tends to confirm my original impression. While I would readily give
Mrs. Stowe a chaplet of laurel as a clever authoress, I could never
award her a faded leaf as the negro's friend. There can be no doubt that
Mrs. Beecher Stowe has had no small share in the abolition excitement
which has been raging in the States, and which has made Kansas the
battle-field of civil war; but the effect of this agitation has gone
farther: owing to husting speeches and other occurrences, the negro's
mind has been filled with visionary hopes of liberty; insurrections have
been planned, and, worse still, insurrections have been imagined. In
fear for life and property, torture worthy of the worst days of the
Inquisition has been resorted to, to extort confession from those who
had nothing to confess. Some died silent martyrs; others, in their
agony, accused falsely the first negro whose name came to their memory;
thus, injustice bred injustice, and it is estimated that not less than a
thousand wretched victims have closed their lives in agony. One white
man, who was found encouraging revolt, and therefore merited punishment
of the severest kind, was sentenced, in that land of equality, to 900
lashes, and died under the infliction--a sight that would have gladdened
the eyes of Bloody Jeffreys. And why all these horrors? I distinctly
say,--thanks to the rabid Abolitionists.

Let me now for a moment touch upon the treatment of slaves. The farms of
the wealthy planters, and the chapels with negro minister and negro
congregation, bear bright evidence to the fact that negroes have their
bodily and spiritual wants attended to, not forgetting also the oral
teaching they often receive from the wife of the planter. But is that
system universal? Those who would answer that question truthfully need
not travel to the Southern States for documentary evidence. Is any human
being fit to be trusted with absolute power over one of his
fellow-creatures, however deeply his public reputation and his balance
at the banker's may be benefited by the most moderate kindness to them?
If every man were a Howard or a Wilberforce, and every woman a Fry or a
Nightingale, the truth would be ever the same, and they would be the
first to acknowledge it.--Man is unfit for irresponsible power.

Now the only bar before which the proprietor of slaves is likely to be
arraigned, is the bar of public opinion; and the influence which that
knowledge will have upon his conduct is exactly in the inverse ratio to
its need; for the hardened brute, upon whom its influence is most
wanted, is the very person who, if he can escape lynching, is
indifferent to public opinion. No Southerner can be affronted, if I say
that he is not more Christian, kind-hearted, and mild-tempered than his
fellow-man in the Northern States, in France, or in England; and yet how
constantly do we find citizens of those communities evincing
unrestrained passions in the most brutal acts, and that with the
knowledge that the law is hanging over their heads, and that their
victims can give evidence against them; whereas, in the Slave States,
provided the eye of a white man is excluded, there is scarce a limit to
the torture which a savage monster may inflict upon the helpless slave,
whose word cannot be received in evidence. It is as absurd to judge of
the condition of the slave by visiting an amiable planter and his lady,
as it would be to judge of the clothing, feeding, and comfort of our
labouring population by calling at the town-house of the Duke of
Well-to-do and carefully noting the worthy who fills an arm-chair like a
sentry-box, and is yclept the porter. Look at him, with his hair
powdered and fattened down to the head; behold him as the bell rings,
using his arms as levers to force his rotundity out of its case; then
observe the pedestals on which he endeavours to walk; one might imagine
he had been tapped for the dropsy half-a-dozen times, and that all the
water had run into the calves of his legs. Is that a type of the poorer

Where, then, are we to look for true data on which to form an opinion of
the treatment of the slave?--Simply by studying human nature and
weighing human passions, and then inquiring by what laws they are held
in check. Now, as to the laws, they amount to nothing, inasmuch as slave
evidence is not admissible, and the possibility of any oppression, even
to death itself, must frequently be, without any fear of punishment, in
the hands of the owner. If law, then, affords the negro no efficient
protection from human passions, where are we to look for it in human
nature, except it be in the influences of Christianity, self-interest,
or public opinion? The last of these, we have seen, is upon a
sliding-scale of an inefficiency which increases in proportion to the
necessity for its influence, and is therefore all but impotent for good.

Let us now consider self-interest. Will any one assert that
self-interest is sufficient to restrain anger? How many a hasty word
does man utter, or how many a hasty act does man commit, under the
influence of passion he cannot or will not restrain--and that among his
equals, who may be able to resent it, or in the face of law ready to
avenge it! How prone are we all, if things go wrong from some fault of
our own, to lose our temper and try to throw the blame on others, rather
than admit the failure to be our own fault! Without dwelling upon the
serious injury people often do to themselves by unrestrained passion,
think for a moment of the treatment frequently inflicted upon the poor
animals over whom they rule absolute. Is not kindness to a horse the
interest as well as the duty of the owner? and yet how often is he the
unfortunate victim of the owner's rage or cruel disposition, while
faithfully and willingly expending all his powers in the service of his
tyrant master! If these things be so among equals, or comparative
equals, and also in man's dealings with the lower orders of the
creation, what chance has the poor slave, with the arm of legislative
justice paralysed, and an arm nerved with human passion his only hope of
mercy?--for self-defence, that first law of nature, is the highest crime
he can be guilty of: and, while considering the mercenary view of
self-interest, let it not be forgotten that an awful amount of human
suffering is quite compatible with unimpaired health, and that a slave
may be frequently under the lash and yet fully able to do his day's

The last influence we have to consider is indeed the brightest and best
of all--Christianity: high on the brotherly arch of man's duty to his
fellow-man, and forming its enduring keystone, we read, traced by
Jehovah in imperishable letters, radiant with love, "Do unto others as
you would that they should do unto you;" "Love thy neighbour as
thyself." Surely it needs no words of mine to show, that a faithful
history of the most Christian country in the most Christian times the
world ever witnessed, would contain, fearful evidence of the cruelty of
man setting at nought the above blessed precept. Nay, more--I question
if, viewed in its entire fulness, there is any one single command in
Scripture more habitually disregarded. Proverbs are generally supposed
to be a condensation of facts or experiences. Whence comes "Every one
for himself, and God for us all"? or, the more vulgar one, "Go ahead,
and the d----l take the hindmost?" What are they but concentrations of
the fact that selfishness is man's ruling passion? What are most laws
made for, but to restrain men by human penalties from a broach of the
law of love? and, if these laws be needful in communities, all the
members of which are equal in the eyes of the law, and even then be
found inefficient for their purpose, as may be daily witnessed in every
country, who will say that the influence of Christianity is sufficient
protection to the poor slave?

There is only one other influence that I shall mention--that is habit;
it acts for and against the slave. Thus, the kind and good, brought up
among slaves, very often nursed by them, and grown up in the continual
presence of their gentleness and faithfulness, repay them with
unmeasured kindness, and a sympathy in all their sickness and their
sorrows, to a degree which I feel quite certain the most tender-hearted
Christian breathing could never equal, if landed among slaves, for the
first time, at years of maturity. The Christian planter's wife or
daughter may be seen sitting up at night, cooking, nursing, tending an
old sick and helpless slave, with nearly, if not quite, the same
affectionate care she would bestow upon a sick relation, the very
friendlessness of the negro stimulating the benevolent heart. This is,
indeed, the bright side of the influence of habit.--But the other side
is not less true; and there the effect is, that a coarse, brutal mind,
trained up among those it can bully with impunity, acquires a
heartlessness and indifference to the negro's wants and sufferings, that
grow with the wretched possessor's growth. This is the dark side of the
influence of habit.

Let two examples suffice, both of which I have upon the very best
authority. A faithful slave, having grown up with his master's rising
family, obtained his freedom as a reward for his fidelity, and was
entrusted with the management of the property; realizing some money, he
became the owner of slaves himself, from among whom he selected his
wife, and to all of whom he showed the greatest consideration. Some
time after, lying upon his deathbed, he made his will, in which he
bequeathed his wife and all his other negroes to his old master, giving
as his reason, that, from his own lively recollections of his master's
unvarying kindness to himself and the other slaves, he felt certain that
in so doing he was taking the best means in his power of securing their
future happiness. What stronger evidence of the growth of kindness in
the master's heart could possibly be desired? Here, then, is the effect
of habit in a benevolent owner.--Now, turn to the opposite picture. A
lady of New Orleans was accustomed to strip and flog a slave for the
pleasure of witnessing sufferings which she endeavoured to render more
acute by rubbing soft soap into the broken skin. Here you have the
effect of habit upon a brutal mind.

To the credit of New Orleans be it recorded, that the knowledge of this
atrocity having come to white ears, her house was broken open, every
article it contained pulled out in the street and burnt, and, had she
not succeeded in eluding search, the she-devil would have been most
assuredly reduced to ashes with her own goods. America became too hot
for her, and Providence alone knows the demon's cave of concealment.

Having thus passed in review the various influences bearing upon the
treatment of the slave, and seen how utterly inadequate they are to
protect him from ill-treatment, who can wonder that the tales of real or
supposed cruelty inflicted upon slaves by the Southerners are received
with indignation by both parties in the States?--the virtuous and kind
master, indignant at the thought of being included in the category of
monsters, and the real savage, if possible, still more indignant,
because his conscience brings home to his seared heart the truthfulness
of the picture, even if it be overdrawn almost to caricature. And here
it is curious to observe the different action of these two parties: the
former, in the consciousness of a kind heart and a real desire for the
negro's good, calmly states what has been done and is doing for the
negro, and throws a natural veil of doubt over horrors so utterly
repulsive to the feelings that their existence is discredited; the
latter, with a shallowness which Providence sometimes attaches to guilt,
aware that some such accusations come too painfully and truthfully
home, pronounce their own condemnation by their line of

Take, for example, the following extract from an article in a Slave
State paper, entitled "A Sequel to Uncle Tom's Cabin," and in which
Queen Victoria, under the guidance of a "genius," has the condition of
her subjects laid bare before her. After various other paragraphs of a
similar nature comes the following:--

"The sky was obscured by the smoke of hundreds of small chimneys and
vast edifices, stretching in lines for miles and miles. The latter were
crowded with women and children, young in years, but withered in form
and feature. The countenances of the men were as colourless as the white
fabric in their looms; their eyes sparkled with intelligence, but it was
chiefly the intelligence of suffering, of privation, of keen sense of
wrong, of inability to be better, of rankling hatred against existing
institutions, and a furtive wish that some hideous calamity would bury
them all in one common, undistinguishable ruin.

"'Are these the people? groaned the Queen, as the cold damp of more than
mortal agony moistened her marble forehead.

"'Not all of them!" sounded the voice in her ear, so sharply that her
Majesty looked up eagerly, and saw written, in letters of fire, on the
palace wall:--

"'1. Every twelfth person in your dominions is a pauper, daily receiving
parochial relief.

"'2. Every twentieth person in your dominions is a destitute wanderer,
with no roof but the sky--no home but a prison. They are the Ishmaelites
of modern society; every one's hand is against them, and their hands are
against every one.

"'3. There are in Freeland 10,743,747 females; divide that number by
500,000, and you will find that every twentieth woman in your dominions
is--Oh! horror piled on horror!--a harlot!'"

Then follows the scene of a disconsolate female throwing herself over a
bridge, the whole winding up with this charming piece of information,
addressed by the genius to her Majesty:--

"In your own land, liberty, the absence of which in another is deplored,
is, in its most god-like development, but a name--unless that may be
termed liberty which practically is but vulgar license--license to work
from rosy morn to dark midnight for the most scanty pittances--license
to store up wealth in the hands and for the benefit of the few--license
to bellow lustily for rival politicians--license to send children to
ragged schools--license to sot in the ale-house--license to grow lumpish
and brutal--license to neglect the offices of religion, to swear, to
lie, to blaspheme--license to steal, to pander unchecked to the coarsest
appetites, to fawn and slaver over the little great ones of the
earth--license to creep like a worm through life, or bound through it
like a wild beast; and, last and most precious of all--for it is
untaxed--license to starve, to rot, to die, and be buried in a foetid
pauper's grave, on which the sweet-smelling flowers, sent to strew the
pathway of man and woman with beauty, love, and hope, will refuse to
grow, much less bloom."

Setting aside all exaggerations, who does not recognise in the foregoing
quotations "the galled jade wincing"? Were the writer a kind owner of
slaves, he might have replied to _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ by facts of
habitual kindness to them, sufficient to prove that the authoress had
entered into the region of romance; but in his recrimination he
unconsciously displays the cloven hoof, and leaves no doubt on the mind
that he writes under the impulse of a bitterly-accusing monitor within.
It would be wasting time to point out the difference between a system
which binds millions of its people in bondage to their fellow-man, a
master's sovereign will their only practical protection, and a system
which not only makes all its subjects equal in the eye of the law, and
free to seek their fortunes wherever they list, but which is for ever
striving to mitigate the distress that is invariably attendant upon an
overcrowded population. Even granting that his assertions were not only
true, but that they were entirely produced by tyrannical enactments,
what justification would England's sins be for America's crimes? Suppose
the House of Commons and the Lords Temporal and Spiritual obtained the
royal sanction to an act for kidnapping boys and grilling them daily for
a table-d'hote in their respective legislative assemblies, would such an
atrocity--or any worse atrocity, if such be possible--in any respect
alter the question of right and wrong between master and slave? Let any
charge of cruelty or injustice in England be advanced on its own simple
grounds, and, wherever it comes from, it will find plenty of people, I
am proud and happy to say, ready to inquire into it and to work hard for
its removal; but when it comes in the shape of recrimination, who can
fail to recognise an accusing conscience striving to throw the cloak of
other people's sins over the abominations which that conscience is ever
ringing in the writer's ears at home.

I must, however, state that, in speaking of the sufferings or injuries
to which the slave is liable, I am not proclaiming them merely on the
authority of Northern abolitionists, or on the deductions which I have
drawn from human nature; many travellers have made similar charges. Miss
Bremer writes:--"I beheld the old slave hunted to death because he dared
to visit his wife--beheld him mangled, beaten, recaptured, fling himself
into the water of the Black River, over which he was retaken into the
power of his hard master--and the law was silent. I beheld a young woman
struck, for a hasty word, upon the temples, so that she fell down
dead!--and the law was silent. I heard the law, through its jury,
adjudicate between a white man and a black, and sentence the latter to
be flogged when the former was guilty--and they who were honest among
the jurymen in vain opposed the verdict. I beheld here on the shores of
the Mississippi, only a few months since, a young negro girl fly from
the maltreatment of her master, and he was a professor of religion, and
fling herself into the river."--_Homes of the New World._ Would Miss
Bremer write these things for the press, as occurring under her own eye,
if they were not true?

Then, again, the Press itself in the South bears witness to what every
one must admit to be an inhuman practice. How often must the reader of a
Southern States' paper see children of the tenderest age, sometimes even
under a year old, advertised for public sale! Did any one every take up
the New Orleans paper without seeing more than one such advertisement as
the following?--


Just arrived, and for sale, at my old stand, No. 7, Moreau-street,
Third Municipality, one hundred and fifty young and likely NEGROES,
consisting of field-hands, house servants, and mechanics. They will be
sold on reasonable terms for good paper or cash. Persons wishing to
purchase will find it to their advantage to give me a call. [Sep.
30--6m.] Wm. F. TALBOTT.

What happiness can the slave enjoy among a community where such an
advertisement as the following can be tolerated, or, worse still, when,
as in the present instance, it is sent forth under the sanction of the
law? The advertisement is taken from a paper published at Wilmington,
North Carolina.

complaint upon, oath hath this day been made to us, two of the
Justices of the Peace for the State and County aforesaid, by BENJAMIN
HALLET, of the said county, that two certain male slaves belonging to
him, named LOTT, aged about twenty-two years, five feet four or five
inches high, and black, formerly belonging to LOTT WILLIAMS, of Onslow
county; and BOB, aged about sixteen years, five feet high, and black;
have absented themselves from their said master's service, and are
supposed to be lurking about this county, committing acts of felony
and other misdeeds. These are, therefore, in the name of the State
aforesaid, to command the slaves forthwith to return home to their
masters; and we do hereby, by virtue of the Act of the General
Assembly in such cases made and provided, intimate and declare that
_if the said_ LOTT and BOB _do not return home and surrender
themselves,_ immediately after the publication of these presents, that
or they may think fit, without accusation or impeachment of any crime
or offence for so doing, and without incurring any penalty or
forfeiture thereby.

Given under our hands and seals, this 28th day of February, 1853.

W.N. PEDEN, J.P., [Seal]


$225 REWARD.--TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS will be given for negro LOTT, EITHER
the subscriber in the town of Wilmington.


March 2nd, 1853.

There is another evidence of a want of happiness among the slaves,
which, though silent and unheard, challenges contradiction: I mean the
annual escape of from one to two thousand into Canada, in spite not only
of the natural difficulties and privations of the journey, but also of
the fearful dread of the consequences of re-capture. Doubtless some of
these may be fleeing from the dread of just punishment for offences
against the law, but none can doubt that many more are endeavouring to
escape from what they feel to be cruelty, injustice, and oppression.

I do not wish to pander to a morbid appetite for horrors by gathering
together under one view all the various tales of woe and misery which I
have heard of, known, or seen. I think I have said enough to prove to
any unprejudiced person that such things do and must ever exist under
the institution of slavery; and that, although the statements of rabid
abolitionists are often the most unwarranted exaggerations, the all but
total denial of their occurrence by the slave-owners is also not
correct. The conviction forced upon my own mind, after much thought and
inquiry on this most interesting topic is, that there are many dark
clouds of cruelty in a sky which is bright with much of the truest and
kindest sympathy for the poor slave.

I now propose to take a short review of the progress and real state of
slavery, and I will commence by giving _in extenso_ an enactment which
materially affects the negro, and, as I have before observed, has more
than once threatened the Republic with disunion:--

Section 2.--Privileges of Citizens.--Clause 3. "No person held to
service or labour in one state under the laws thereof, escaping to
another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be
discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on
claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due."

Of course the word "slave" would have read strangely among a community
who set themselves up as the champions of the "equal rights of man;" but
it is clear that, according to this clause in the constitution which
binds the Republic together, every free state is compelled to assist in
the recapture of a fugitive slave.

What was the exact number of slaves at the date of this law being passed
I have not the means of ascertaining: at the beginning of this century
it was under 900,000; in the Census of 1850 they had increased to
3,200,000.[BT] There were originally 13 States. At present there are
31, besides territory not yet incorporated into States. The Slave States
are 15, or nearly half. Thus much for increase of slaves and the slave
soil. But, it will naturally be asked, how did it happen that, as the
additional soil was incorporated, the sable workmen appeared as if by
magic? The answer is very simple. The demand regulated the supply, and
slave breeding became a most important feature in the system: thus the
wants of the more southern States became regularly lessened by large
drafts from Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia. Anybody desirous of
testing the truth of this statement will find statistical data to assist
him in an unpretending volume by Marshall Hall, M.D., &c., _On Twofold
Slavery,_ which I read with much interest, although I cannot agree with
him in everything.[BV]

I am aware that residents in these breeding States are to be found who
would scorn to utter a wilful falsehood, and who deny this propagation
of the human chattel for the flesh market; but there can be little doubt
that the unbiased seeker after truth will find that such is the case.
And why not? Why should those who make their livelihood by trafficking
in the flesh of their fellow-creatures hesitate to increase their
profits by paying attention to the breeding of them? These facts do not
come under the general traveller's eye, because, armed with letters of
introduction, he consorts more with worthy slave-owners, who, occupied
with the welfare of those around and dependent upon them, know little
of the world beyond; in the same way as in England, a Christian family
may be an example of patriarchal simplicity and of apostolic zeal and
love, and yet beyond the circle of their action, though not very far
from its circumference, the greatest distress and perhaps cruelty may
abound. How many of the dark spots on our community has the single zeal
of the Earl of Shaftesbury forced upon the public mind, of which we were
utterly ignorant, though living in the midst of them. The degraded
female drudge in a coal-pit, the agonized infant in a chimney, and the
death-wrought child in a factory--each and all bear testimony to how
much of suffering may exist while surrounded by those whose lives are
spent in Christian charity. And so it is in every community, Slave
States included. Christian hearts, pregnant with zeal and love, are
diffusing blessings around them; and, occupied with their noble work,
they know little of the dark places that hang on their borders. The
Southern planter and his lady may be filled with the love of St. John,
and radiate the beams thereof on every man, woman, and child under their
guardianship, and then, "measuring other people's corn by their own
lovely bushel," they may well hesitate to believe in the existence of a
profligate breeding Pandemonium within the precincts of their immediate
country. Yet, alas! there can be little doubt that it does exist.

Let us now fix our attention on the actual facts of the case which all
parties admit. First, we have a slave population of 3,200,000. I think,
if I estimate their marketable value at 80_l_ a head, I shall be
considerably below the truth. That gives us in human flesh,
250,000,000l. Secondly, let us take the product of their labour. The
Slave States raise annually--

Rice 215,000,000 lbs.
Tobacco 185,000,000 "
Sugar 248,000,000 "
Cotton 1,000,000,000 "
Molasses 12,000,000 gallons.
Indian Corn. 368,000,000 bushels.

Estimating these at a lower value than they have ever fallen to, you
have here represented 80,000,000l. sterling of annual produce from
the muscle and sinew of the slave.[BW] Surely the wildest enthusiast,
did he but ponder over these facts, could not fail to pause ere he
mounted the breach, shouting the rabid war-cry of abolition, which
involves a capital of 250,000,000_l_, and an annual produce of

The misery which an instantaneous deliverance of the slave would cause
by the all but certain loss of the greater portion of the products above
enumerated, must be apparent to the least reflecting mind. If any such
schemer exist, he would do well to study the history of our West India
islands from the period of their sudden emancipation, especially since
free-trade admitted slave produce on equal terms with the produce of
free labour. Complaints of utter ruin are loud and constant from the
proprietors in nearly every island; they state, and state with truth,
that it is impossible for free labour at a high price, and which can
only be got perhaps for six hours a day, to compete with the steady
slave work of twelve hours a day; and they show that slaveholding
communities have materially increased their products, which can only
have been effected by a further taxing of the slave's powers, or a vast
increase of fresh human material.[BX] But they further complain that the
negro himself is sadly retrograding. "They attend less to the
instruction of their religious teachers; they pay less attention to the
education of their children; vice and immorality are on the increase,"
&c.--_Petition to the Imperial Parliament from St. George's, Jamaica,_
July, 1852.

I might multiply such statements from nearly every island, and quote the
authority of even some of their governors to the same effect; but the
above are sufficient for my purpose. They prove three most important
facts for consideration, when treating the question of Slavery. First,
that you may ruin the planter. Secondly, that you may free--without
benefiting--the slave. Thirdly, that each State, as it becomes free,
tends to give additional value to the property of those States which
choose to hold on to slavery; and all these results may occur despite
the wisdom (?) of senators, and an indemnity of 20,000,000l.

Surely, then, the Southern planter may well assert that he sees not
sufficient inducement to follow our hasty wholesale example. But while
such convictions are forced upon him, he will be a degenerate son of
energetic sires, if he be so scared at our ill-success as to fear to
look for some better path to the same noble object; and there is one
most important consideration which should impel him, while avoiding all
rash haste, to brook no dangerous delay; that consideration is, that the
difficulty of dealing with the question is increasing with fearful
rapidity, for the slave population has nearly quadrupled itself since
the beginning of the century. The capital involved is, we have seen,
gigantic; but the question of numbers is by far the most perplexing to
deal with, in a social point of view. The white population of the Slave
States is, in rough numbers, 6,000,000; the slave population is more
than 3,000,000, and the free blacks 250,000. Does any sane man believe
that, if slavery had existed in Great Britain, and that the slaves had
constituted one-third of the population, we should have attempted to
remove the black bar from our escutcheon, by the same rapid and summary
process which we adopted to free the negro in our colonies?

An American writer on Slavery has said, and I think most justly, "that
two distinct races of people, nearly equal in numbers, and unlike in
colour, manners, habits, feelings and state of civilization to such a
degree that amalgamation is impossible, cannot dwell together in the
same community unless the one be in subjection to the other." So fully
am I convinced of the truth of this statement, and so certain am I that
every one who has been in a Slave State must be satisfied of the truth
of it, that I feel sure, if the South freed every slave to-morrow, not a
week would elapse before each State in the Union without exception would
pass stringent laws to prevent them settling within their borders; even
at this moment such a law exists in some States.

With all these difficulties constantly before them, who can wonder that
a kind-hearted planter, while gazing on the cheerful and happy faces of
his well-fed and well-housed slaves, should look distrustfully at
emancipation, and strive to justify to his conscience opposition to any
plan, however gradual, which leads thereto. Nevertheless, however
satisfied in his mind that the slaves are kindly treated, and that
harshness even is never used, he cannot contemplate the institution from
a sufficient distance to be beyond its influences, without feeling that
emancipation is the goal towards which his thoughts should ever bend,
and that in proportion as the steps towards it must be gradual, so
should they speedily commence. But how? Washington, while confessing his
most earnest desire for abolition, declares his conviction that "it can
only be effected by legislative authority."

The next chapter will detail such propositions as, in my humble opinion,
appear most worthy of the consideration of the Legislature, with a view
to the gradual removal of the black star from the striped banner.


[Footnote BT: _List of States and Territories forming the Confederation.
Those marked_ S. _are Slave-holding States._


New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York
New Jersey[BU]
S. Delaware
S. Maryland
S. Virginia
S. North Carolina
S. South Carolina
S. Georgia


Vermont 1791
S. Kentucky 1792
S. Tennessee 1796
Ohio 1802
S. Louisiana 1812
Indiana 1816
S. Mississippi 1817
Illinois 1818
S. Alabama 1819
Maine 1820
S. Missouri 1821
S. Arkansas 1836
Michigan 1837
S. Florida 1845
S. Texas 1845
Iowa 1846
Wisconsin 1848
California 1850


S. Columbia 1791


Oregon 1848
Minnesota 1849
S. Kansas 1855
S. Utah 1850
New Mexico 1850
Nebraska 1853]

[Footnote BU: I believe the last slave has been removed from New

[Footnote BV: Between 1810 and 1850 the slave population in Virginia has
only increased from 392,000 to 470,000, while in Tennessee it has
increased from 44,000 to 240,000; and in Louisiana, from 35,000 to

[Footnote BW: I take no notice of the various other valuable productions
of these States: they may fairly represent the produce of the white
man's labour.]

[Footnote BX: _Vide_ ch. xii., "The Queen of the Antilles."]


_Hints for Master--Hopes for Slave._

I will now suggest certain proposals,[BY] in the hope that while they
can do no harm, they may by chance lead to some good result. The first
proposal is a very old one, and only made by me now, because I consider
it of primary importance--I mean a "Free-Soil" bill. I advocate it upon
two distinct grounds--the one affecting the Republic, the other the
slave. The Republic sanctions and carries on the slave-trade by
introducing the institution into land hitherto free, and the slave
throughout the Union has his fetters tightened by the enhancement of his
value; but the great Channing has so fully and ably argued the truth of
these evils, when treating of the annexation of Texas, that none but the
wilfully blind can fail to be convinced; in short, if Slavery is to be
introduced into land hitherto free, it is perhaps questionable if it be
not better to send for the ill-used and degraded slave from Africa, and
leave the more elevated slave in his comparatively happy home in the Old
Slave States; the plea may be used for bettering the condition of the
former, but that plea cannot be used for the latter.

The next proposal is one which, if it came from the South, would, I
suppose, have the support of all the kind masters in those States, and
most assuredly would find no opposition in the North,--I mean the
expulsion from the Constitution of that law by which fugitive slaves are
forced to be given up. If the proposal came from the North, it would
naturally excite ill-feeling in the South, after all the angry passions
which abolition crusading has set in action; but the South might easily
propose it: and when we see the accounts of the affectionate attachment
of the slaves to their masters, and of the kindness with which they are
treated, in proportion, as such statements are correct, so will it
follow as a consequence, that none but those who are driven to it by
cruelty will wish to leave their snug homes and families, to seek for
peace in the chilly winters of the North. And surely the slaves who are
victims of cruelty, every kind-hearted slave-master would rejoice to see
escaping; it would only be the compulsory giving up of fugitives, except
for criminal offences, which would be expunged; each individual State
would be able, if desirous, to enter into any mutual arrangement with
any other State, according to their respective necessities. This
proposal has two advantages: one, that it removes a bone of bitter
contention ever ready to be thrown down between the North and the South;
and the other, that it opens a small loophole for the oppressed to
escape from the oppressor.

The next proposal I have to make, is one which, as every year makes it
more difficult, merits immediate attention,--and that is, the providing
a territory of refuge. No one for a moment can doubt that the foundation
of Liberia was an act of truly philanthropic intent, reflecting credit
upon all parties concerned in it; but it must, I fear, be acknowledged
that it is totally unequal to the object in view. No further evidence of
this need he adduced, than the simple fact, that, for every negro sent
to Liberia, nearer twenty than ten are born in the States. Dame
Partington's effort to sweep back the incoming tide with a hair-broom
promised better hopes of success; a brigade of energetic firemen would
drain off Lake Superior in a much shorter space of time than Liberian
colonization would remove one-third of the slave population. The scheme
is in the right direction, but as insufficient to overcome the
difficulty as a popgun is to breach a fortified city; the only method of
effectually enabling the system of colonization to be carried out,
is--in my humble opinion--by setting apart some portion of the
unoccupied territory of the Union as a negro colony. In making the
selection, a suitable climate should be considered, in justice to the
health of the negro, as it is clear, from the fate of those who fly from
persecution to Canada, that they are unable to resist cold; and
proximity to the ocean is desirable, as affording a cheap conveyance for
those who become manumitted: the expense of a passage to Liberia is one
great obstacle to its utility.

The quantity of land required for such a purpose would be very small;
and stringent regulations as to the negro leaving the territory so
granted, would effectually prevent any inconvenience to the neighbouring
States. I have before shown that the comparative number of whites and
blacks--whites 6,000,000, and blacks 3,000,000--renders it all but, if
not quite, impossible for the two races to live together free. I have
also shown that the Northern States either refuse to admit them, or pass
such laws respecting them, that slavery under a good master is a
paradise by comparison. I have further shown that Liberia is, from its
distance, so expensive for their removal, as to be of but little
assistance, and Canada too often proves an early grave. If, then, these
difficulties present themselves with a population of 3,000,000 slaves,
and if they are increasing their numbers rapidly--which statistics fully
prove to be the case--it is clear that these difficulties must augment
in a corresponding ratio, until at last they will become insurmountable.
I therefore come to the conclusion, either that territory must be set
apart in America itself for the negro's home, or that the black bar of
slavery must deface the escutcheon of the Republic for ever.

I now propose to make a few remarks on the treatment of slaves. As to
the nature of that treatment, I have already given my calm and unbiased
opinion. My present observations refer to corporal punishment, and the
implements for the infliction thereof. Of the latter I have seen four;
of course there may be many others; I speak only of those that have come
under my own eye. The four I have seen are first, the common
hunting-whip, which is too well known to require description. Secondly,
the cowhide--its name expresses its substance--when wet, it is rolled up
tightly and allowed to dry, by which process it becomes as hard as the
raw hide commonly seen in this country; its shape is that of a
racing-whip, and its length from four to five feet. Thirdly, the strap,
i.e., a piece off the end of a stiff heavy horse's trace, and about
three or three-and-a-half feet in length. Fourthly, the paddle; i.e.,
a piece of white oak about an inch thick all through, the handle about
two inches broad, and rather more than two feet long, the blade about
nine inches long by four and a quarter broad. The two latter implements
I found, upon inquiry, were of modern date, and the reason of their
introduction was, that the marks of the punishment inflicted thereby
became more speedily effaced; and as upon the sale of a slave, if, when
examined, marks of punishment are clearly developed, his price suffers
from the impression of his being obstreperous, the above-named articles
of punishment came into favour.

The foregoing observations--without entering into the respective merits
of the four instruments--are sufficient to prove that no one definite
implement for corporal punishment is established by law, and,
consequently, that any enactment appointing a limit to the number of
stripes which may he given is an absurdity, however well intended. Forty
stripes, is, I believe, the authorized number. A certain number of
blows, if given with a dog-whip, would inflict no injury beyond the
momentary pain, whereas the same number inflicted with a heavy
walking-stick might lame a man for life. Again, I know of no law in the
States prohibiting the corporal punishment of any slave, of whatever age
or sex; at all events, grown-up girls and mothers of families are doomed
to have their persons exposed to receive its infliction. Of this latter
fact, I am positive, though I cannot say whether the practice is general
or of rare occurrence.

I have entered rather fully into a description of the implements of
punishment, to show the grounds upon which I make the following
proposals:--First, that a proper instrument for flogging be authorized
by law, and that the employment of any other be severely punished.
Secondly, that the number of lashes a master may inflict, or order to be
inflicted, be reduced to a minimum, and that while a greater number of
lashes are permitted for grave offences, they be only administered on
the authority of a jury or a given number of magistrates. Thirdly, that
common decency be no longer outraged by any girl above fifteen receiving
corporal punishment.[BZ] Fourthly, that by State enactment--as it now
sometimes is by municipal regulation--no master in any town be permitted
to inflict corporal punishment on a slave above fifteen; those who have
passed that age to be sent to the jail, or some authorized place, to
receive their punishment, a faithful record whereof, including slave and
owner's names, to be kept. My reasons for this proposal are, that a man
will frequently punish on the spur of the moment, when a little
reflection would subdue his anger, and save the culprit. Also, that it
is my firm conviction that a great portion of the cruelty of which
slaves are the victims, is caused by half-educated owners of one or two
slaves, who are chiefly to be found in towns, and upon whom such a law
might operate as a wholesome check. Such a law would doubtless be good
in all cases, but the distances of plantations from towns would render
it impossible to be carried out; and I am sorry to say, I have no
suggestion to make by which the slaves on plantations might be
protected, in those cases where the absence of the owners leaves them
entirely at the mercy of the driver, which I believe the cause of by far
the greatest amount of suffering they endure, though I trust many
drivers are just and merciful. Fifthly, that the law by which negroes
can hold slaves should immediately be abolished. The white man holding a
slave is bad enough, but nothing can justify the toleration of the negro
holding his own flesh and blood in fetters, especially when the door of
Education is hermetically sealed against him.

In addition to the foregoing suggestions for the regulation of
punishment, I would propose that any master proved guilty of inflicting
or tolerating gross cruelty upon a slave, should forfeit every slave he
may possess to the State, and be rendered incapable of again holding
them, and that copies of such decisions be sent to each county in the
State. In connexion with this subject, there is another point of
considerable importance--viz., the testimony of slaves. As matters now
stand, or are likely to stand for some time to come, there appear
insuperable objections to the testimony of a slave being received on a
par with that of a white man, and this constitutes one of the greatest
difficulties in enabling the negro to obtain justice for any injury he
may have sustained. It appears to me, however, that a considerable
portion of this difficulty might he removed by admitting a certain
number of slaves--say three--to constitute one witness.
Cross-examination would easily detect either combination or falsehood,
and a severe punishment attached to such an offence would act as a
powerful antidote to its commission. Until some system is arranged for
receiving negro evidence in some shape, he must continue the hopeless
victim of frequent injustice.

The next subject I propose to consider is a legalized system, having
for its object the freedom of the slave. To accomplish this, I would
suggest that the State should fix a fair scale of prices, at which the
slave might purchase his freedom, one price for males and another for
females under twenty, and a similar arrangement of price between the
ages of twenty and fifty, after which age the slave to be free, and
receive some fixed assistance, either from the State or the master, as
might be thought most just and expedient. To enable the slave to take
advantage of the privilege of purchasing his freedom, it would be
requisite that the State should have banks appointed in which he might
deposit his savings at fair interest; but to enable him to have
something to deposit, it is also requisite that some law should be
passed compelling owners to allow a slave certain portions of time to
work out for himself, or if preferred, to work for the master, receiving
the ordinary wages for the time so employed, and this, of course, in
addition to the Sunday. As, however, among so many masters, some will be
cruel and do their utmost to negative any merciful laws which the State
may enact, I would for the protection of the slave propose that, if he
feel discontented with the treatment of his master, he be allowed to
claim the right of being publicly sold, upon giving a certain number of
days' warning of such desire on his part; or if he can find any
slave-owner who will give the price fixed by law--as before
suggested--and is willing to take him, his master to be bound to deliver
him up. With regard to the sale of slaves, I think humanity will justify
me in proposing that no slave under fifteen years of ago be sold or
transferred to another owner without the parents also; and secondly,
that husband and wife be never sold or transferred separately, except it
be by their own consent. However rarely such separations may take place
at present, there is no law to prevent the cruel act, and I have every
reason to believe it takes place much oftener than many of my
kind-hearted plantation friends would he ready to admit.

Looking forward to the gradual, but ultimately total abolition of
slavery, I would next suggest that, after a certain date--say ten
years--every slave, upon reaching thirty years of age, be apprenticed by
his master to some trade or occupation for five years, at the expiration
of which time he be free; after another fixed period--say ten
years--all slaves above twenty years of age be similarly treated; and
after a third period, I would propose that the United States should
follow the noble example long since set them by _Peru_, and make it an
integral part of their constitution that "_no one is born a slave in the

The next proposal I have to make is one which I cannot but hope that all
Americans will fell the propriety of, inasmuch as the present system is,
in my estimation, one of the blackest features of the institution we are
considering. I allude to the slavery of Americans themselves. In nearly
every civilized nation in the world, blood is considered to run in the
father's line, and although illegitimacy forfeits inheritance, it never
forfeits citizenship. How is it in the United States? _There the white
man's offspring is to be seen in fetters--the blood of the free in the
market of the slave._ No one can have travelled in the Southern States
without having this sad fact forced upon his observation. Over and over
again have I seen features, dark if you will, but which showed
unmistakeably the white man's share in their parentage. Nay, more--I
have seen slaves that in Europe would pass for German blondes. Can
anything be imagined more horrible than a free nation trafficking in the
blood of its co-citizens? Is it not a diabolical premium on iniquity,
that the fruit of sin can be sold for the benefit of the sinner? Though
the bare idea may well nauseate the kind and benevolent among the
Southerners, the proof of parentage is stamped by Providence on the
features of the victims, and their slavery is incontrovertible evidence
that the offspring of Columbia's sons may be sold at human shambles.
Even in Mussulman law, the offspring of the slave girl by her master is
declared free; and shall it be said that the followers of Christ are, in
any point of mercy, behind the followers of the false prophet? My
proposition, then, is, that every slave who is not of pure African
blood, and who has reached, or shall reach, the age of thirty, be
apprenticed to some trade for five years, and then become free; and that
all who shall subsequently be so born, be free from their birth, and of
course, that the mother who is proved thus to have been the victim of
the white man's passion be manumitted as well as her child.

I make no proposal about the spiritual instruction of the slave, as I
believe that as much is given at present as any legislative enactment
would be likely to procure; but I have one more suggestion to make, and
it is one without which I fear any number of acts which might be passed
for the benefit of the slave would lose the greater portion of their
value. That suggestion is, the appointment of a sufficient number of
officers, selected from persons known to be friendly to the slave, to
whom the duty of seeing the enactments strictly carried out should be

While ruminating on the foregoing pages, a kind of vision passed before
my mind. I beheld a deputation of Republicans--among whom was one
lady--approaching me. Having stated that they had read my remarks upon
Slavery, I immediately became impressed in their favour, and could not
refuse the audience they requested. I soon found the deputation
consisted of people of totally different views, and consequently each
addressed me separately.

The first was an old gentleman, and a determined advocate of the
institution. He said, "Your remarks are all bosh; the African race were
born slaves, and have been so for centuries, and are fit for nothing
else."--I replied, "I am quite aware of the effect of breeding; we have
a race of dog in England which, from their progenitors of many
successive generations having had their tails cut off in puppyhood, now
breed their species without tails; nay, more--what are all our sporting
dogs, but evidence of the same fact? A pointer puppy stands
instinctively at game, and a young hound will run a fox; take the
trouble, for many generations, to teach the hound to point and the
pointer to run, and their two instincts will become entirely changed.
The fact, sir, is that the African having been bred a slave for so many
generations is one great cause of his lower order of intellect; breed
him free and educate him, and you will find the same result in him as in
the dog."--He was about to reply when another of the deputation rose and
reminded him they had agreed to make but one observation each, and to
receive one answer. I rejoiced at this arrangement, as it saved me
trouble and gave me the last word.

A very touchy little slaveholder next addressed me, saying, "Pray, sir,
why can't you leave us alone, and mind your own business?"--I replied,
"As for leaving you alone, I am quite ready to do so when you have left
the negro alone; but as for exclusively attending to my own business,
that would be far too dull; besides, it is human nature to interfere
with other people's affairs, and I can't go against nature."--He
retired, biting his lip, and as the door closed, I thought I heard the
words "Meddling ass!"--but I wont be sure.

Next came a swaggering bully of a slave-driver, evidently bred in the
North. He said, "This, sir, is a free country; why mayn't every master
wallop his own nigger?"--I thought it best to cut him short; so I said,
"Because, if freedom is perfect, such a permission would involve its
opposite--viz., that every nigger may wallop his own master; and your
antecedents, I guess, might make such a law peculiarly objectionable to
you personally."--He retired, eyeing first me and then his cowhide in a
very significant manner.

The next spokesman was a clerical slaveholder, with a very stiff and
very white neckcloth, hair straight and long, and a sanctified,
reproof-ful voice. "Sir," said he, "why endeavour to disturb an
institution that Scripture sanctions, and which provides so large a
field for the ministrations of kindness and sympathy--two of the most
tender Christian virtues?" A crocodile tear dropped like a full stop to
finish his sentence. Irascibility and astonishment were struggling
within me, when I heard his speech; but memory brought St. Paul to my
aid, who reminded me he had before written certain words to the
Corinthian Church--"Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light;
therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed,"
&e. Thereupon I became calmer, and replied, "Sir, you are perfectly
aware that our Saviour's mission was to the heart of man, and not to the
institutions of man. Did He not instruct his subjugated countrymen to
pay tribute to Caesar? and did He not set the example in his own person?
Did He not instruct his disciples in the same breath, 'Fear God! honour
the king?'--and is it not elsewhere written, 'But I say unto you, that
ye resist not evil?' You are also perfectly aware that the American
colonies refused to pay tribute to their Caesar, refused to honour their
king, and did resist the evil. Now, sir, these things being so, you are
compelled to admit one of two alternatives--either the whole of your
countrymen are rebels against the Most High, and therefore aliens from
God, or else, as I before said, the mission of the Gospel is to the
hearts and not to the institutions of man. I see, sir, by the way you
winced under the term 'rebel,' that you accept the latter alternative.
If, then, it be addressed to the heart of man, it is through that
channel--as it becomes enlarged by those virtues of which you spoke,
kindness and sympathy--that human institutions are to become modified to
suit the growing intelligence and growing wants of the human race, the
golden rule for man's guidance being, Do as you would be done by. Be
kind enough, sir, to look at Mr. Sambo Caesar working under the lash in
a Carolina rice swamp; behold Mrs. Sambo Caesar torn from his bosom, and
working under the same coercive banner in Maryland; and little Master
Pompey, the only pledge of their affections, on his way to Texas. Is not
this a beautiful comment on the Divine command, 'Love thy neighbour as
thyself?' Permit me, sir, with all due respect, to urge you not to rest
satisfied with preaching Christian resignation to the slave, and
Christian kindness to the owner, but to seize every opportunity of
fearlessly asserting that slavery is at variance with the spirit of the
Gospel, and therefore that it behoves all Christians so to modify and
change the laws respecting it, as gradually to lead to its total
extinction. Good morning."--The reverend gentleman, who during the
latter part of my observations had buried his hands in the bottom of his
tail pockets, no sooner saw that I had finished my remarks, than he
hastily withdrew his hands, exhibiting in one a Testament, in the other
a Concordance; he evidently was rampant for controversy, but the next
deputy, who thought I had already devoted an unfair proportion of time
to the minister, reminded him of the regulations, and he was obliged to
retire, another deputy opening the door for him, as both his hands were

The deputy who next rose to address me was accompanied by the lady,
whom, of course, I begged to be seated. The husband--for such he proved
to be--then spoke as follows:--"Sir, my wife and I have been in
possession of a plantation for nearly twenty years. During all that
period the rod has scarcely ever been used, except occasionally to some
turbulent little boy. We have built cottages for our slaves; we allow
them to breed poultry, which we purchase from them; old slaves are
carefully nurtured and exempt from labour; the sick have the best of
medical attendance, and are in many cases ministered to by my wife and
daughter; the practical truths of Christianity are regularly taught to
them; and every slave, I am sure, looks upon me and my family as his
truest friends. This happy state, this patriarchal relationship, your
proposals, if carried out, would completely overthrow." He was then
silent, and his wife bowed an assent to the observations he had made. My
heart was touched with the picture of the little negro paradise which he
had given, and I replied, as mildly as possible, "The sketch you have so
admirably drawn, and every word of which I fully believe, is indeed one
which might dispose me to abandon my proposals for change, did any one
which I had made interfere with the continuance of your benevolent rule,
as long as slavery exists; but I must call your attention to an
important fact which you, I fear, have quite overlooked during your
twenty years of kind rule. To be brief--the cheerful homes of your happy
negro families can afford no possible consolation to the less fortunate
negroes whose wives and children are torn from their bosoms and sold in
separate lots to different parts of the Union; nor will the knowledge
that on your plantation the rod only falls occasionally on some
turbulent child, be any comfort to grown-up negroes and negresses while
writhing under thirty or forty stripes from the cowhide or paddle.
Continue, most excellent people, your present merciful rule; strive to
secure to every negro the same treatment; and if you find that
impossible, join the honourable ranks of the temperate and gradual
abolitionist and colonizer." They listened patiently to my observations,
smiled quietly at the vanity which they thought the last sentence
exhibited, and retired.

Scarce had the last charming couple disappeared, when a deputy arose,
the antipodes of the last speaker; his manner was so arrogant, I
instantly suspected his ignorance, and his observations showed such
painful sensitiveness, that they were evidently the production of an
accusing conscience. His parentage I could not ascertain accurately;
but, being a slight judge of horseflesh, I should suspect he was by
"Slave-bully" out of "Kantankerousina,"--a breed by no means rare in
America, but thought very little of by the knowing ones. On referring to
the list, I found he was entered as "Recriminator," and that the rest of
the deputation had refused to give him a warranty. He sprang up with
angry activity; he placed his left hand on his breast, the right hand he
extended with cataleptic rigidity, and with an expression of countenance
which I can only compare to that of an injured female of spotless
virtue, he began, "You, sir--yes, I say, you, sir--you presume to speak
of the slave--you, sir, who come from a nation of slaves, whose rampant
aristocrats feed on the blood of their serfs, where title is another
word for villany, and treads honesty beneath its iron heel! You, sir,
you offer suggestions for the benefit of a country whose prosperity
excites your jealousy, and whose institutions arouse mingled feelings of
hatred and fear! Go home, sir--go home! no more of your canting
hypocrisy about the lusty negro! go home, sir, I say! enrich your own
poor, clothe your naked, and feed your own starving--the negro here is
better off than most of them! Imitate the example of this free and
enlightened nation, where every citizen is an independent sovereign;
send your royalty and, aristocracy to all mighty smash, raise the cap of
Liberty on the lofty pole of Democracy, and let the sinews of men obtain
their just triumphs over the flimsy rubbish of intellect and capital!
Tyranny alone makes differences. All men are equal!"--He concluded his
harangue just in time to save a fit, for it was given with all the fuss
and fury of a penny theatre King Richard; in fact, I felt at one time
strongly inclined to call for "a horse," but, having accepted the
deputation, I was bound to treat its members with courtesy; so I
replied, "Sir, your elegantly expressed opinions of royalty, &c.,
require nothing but ordinary knowledge to show their absurdity, so I
will not detain you by dwelling on that subject; but, sir, you
studiously avoid alluding to the condition of the slave, and, by seeking
for a fault elsewhere, endeavour to throw a cloak over the subject of
this meeting. You tell me the poor in England need much clothing and
food--that is very true; but, sir, if every pauper had a fur cloak and a
round of beef, I cannot see the advantage the negro would derive
therefrom. Again, sir, you say the negro is better off than many of our
poor; so he is far better off than many of the drunken rowdies of your
own large towns; yet I have never heard it suggested that they should be
transformed into slaves, by way of bettering their condition. Take my
advice, sir; before you throw stones, he sure that there is not a pane
of glass in your Cap of Liberty big enough for 3,000,000 of slaves to
look through. And pray, sir, do not forget, 'Tyranny alone makes
differences. All men are equal!'"

A slam of the door announced the departure and the temper of
Recriminator, and it also brought upon his feet another deputy who had
kept hitherto quite in the background. He evidently was anxious for a
private audience, but that being impossible, he whispered in my ear,
"Sir, I am an abolitionist, slick straight off; and all I have got to
say is, that you are a soap-suddy, milk-and-water friend to the slave,
fix it how you will." Seeing he was impatient to be off, I whispered to
him in reply, "Sir, there is an old prayer that has often been uttered
with great sincerity, and is probably being so uttered now by more than
one intelligent slave: it is this, 'Good Lord, save me from my friends.'
The exertions of your party, sir, remind me much of those of a man who
went to pull a friend out of the mud, but, by a zeal without discretion,
he jumped on his friend's head, and stuck him faster than ever."

When he disappeared, I was in hopes it was all over; but a very
mild-tempered looking man, with a broad intelligent forehead, got up,
and, approaching me in the most friendly manner, said, "Sir, I both
admit and deplore the evil of the institution you have been discussing,
but its stupendous difficulties require a much longer residence than
yours has been to fathom them; and until they are fully fathomed, the
remedies proposed must be in many cases very unsuitable, uncalled for,
and insufficient. However, sir, I accept your remarks in the same
friendly spirit as, I am sure, you have offered them. Permit me, at the
same time, as one many years your senior, to say that, in considering
your proposals, I shall separate the chaff--of which there is a good
deal--from the wheat--of which there is some little; the latter I shall
gather into my mind's garner, and I trust it will fall on good soil." I
took the old gentleman's hand and shook it warmly, and, as he retired, I
made up my mind he was the sensible slave-owner.

I was about to leave the scene, quite delighted that the ordeal was
over, when, to my horror, I heard a strong Northern voice calling out
lustily, "Stranger, I guess I have a word for you." On turning round I
beheld a man with a keen Hebrew eye, an Alleghany ridge nose, and a chin
like the rounded half of a French roll. I was evidently alone with a
'cute man of dollars and cents. On my fronting him, he said, with
Spartan brevity, "Who's to pay?" Conceive, O reader! my consternation at
being called upon to explain who was to make compensation for the
sweeping away--to a considerable extent, at all events--of what
represented, in human flesh, 250,000,000l., and in the produce of its
labour 80,000,000l. annually!

Answer I must; so, putting on an Exchequery expression, I said, "Sir, if
a national stain is to be washed out, the nation are in honour bound to
pay for the soap. England has set you a noble example under similar
circumstances, and the zeal of the abolitionists will, no doubt, make
them tax themselves double; but as for suggesting to you by what tax the
money is to be raised, you must excuse me, sir. I am a Britisher, and
remembering how skittish you were some years ago about a little stamp
and tea affair, I think I may fairly decline answering your question
more in detail; a burnt child dreads the fire."--The 'cute man
disappeared and took the vision with him; in its place came the reality
of 2 A.M. and the candles flickering in their sockets.

Reader, I have now done with the question of the gradual improvement and
ultimate emancipation of the slave. The public institutions of any
country are legitimate subjects of comment for the traveller, and in
proportion as his own countrymen feel an interest in them, so is it
natural he should comment on them at greater or less length. I have,
therefore, dwelt at large upon this subject, from the conviction that it
is one in which the deepest interest is felt at home; and I trust that I
have so treated it as to give no just cause of offence to any one,
whether English or American.

I hope I have impressed my own countrymen with some idea of the gigantic
obstacles that present themselves, of which I will but recapitulate
three;--the enormous pecuniary interests involved; the social difficulty
arising from the amount of negro population; and, though last not least,
the perplexing problem--if Washington's opinion, that "Slavery can only
cease by legislative authority," is received--how Congress can legislate
for independent and sovereign States beyond the limits of the
Constitution by which they are mutually bound to each other. I feel sure
that much of the rabid outcry, the ovation of Mrs. B. Stowe, and other
similar exhibitions, have arisen from an all but total ignorance of the
true facts of the case. This ignorance it has been my object to dispel;
and I unhesitatingly declare that the emancipation of the negroes
throughout the Southern States, if it took place to-morrow, would be the
greatest curse the white man could inflict upon them. I also trust that
I may have shadowed forth some useful idea, to assist my Southern
friends in overtaking a gangrene which lies at their heart's core, and
which every reflecting mind must see is eating into their vitals with
fearful rapidity. My last and not my least sincere hope is, that some
one among the many suggestions I have offered for the negro's present
benefit, may be found available to mitigate the undoubted sufferings and
cruel injustice of which those with bad masters must frequently be the
victims. Should I succeed in even one solitary instance, I shall feel
more than repaid for the many hours of thought and trouble I have spent
over the intricate problem--the best road from Slavery to Emancipation.

Since writing the foregoing, 20,000,000 freemen, by the decision of
their representatives at Washington, have hung another negro's shackle
on their pole of Liberty (?). Kansas is enslaved--freedom is
dishonoured. As a proof how easily those who are brought up under the
institution of Slavery blind themselves to the most simple facts, Mr.
Badger, the senator for North Carolina, after eulogizing the treatment
of slaves, and enlarging upon the affection between them and their
masters, stated that, if Nebraska was not declared a Slave State[CA] it
would preclude him, should he wish to settle there, from taking with him
his "old mammy,"--the negro woman who had nursed him in infancy. Mr.
Wade, from Ohio, replied, "that the senator was labouring under a
mistake; there was nothing to prevent his taking his beloved mammy
with him, though Nebraska remained free, except it were that he could
not sell her when he got there."

Let the Christian learn charity from the despised Mussulman. Read the
following proclamation:--

"From the Servant of God, the Mushir Ahmed Basha Bey, Prince of the
Tunisian dominions.

"To our ally, Sir Thomas Reade, Consul-General of the British
Government at Tunis.

"The servitude imposed on a part of the human kind whom God has
created is a very cruel thing, and our heart shrinks from it.

"It never ceased to be the object of our attention for years past,
which we employed in adopting such proper means as could bring us to
its extirpation, as is well known to you. Now, therefore, we have
thought proper to publish that we have abolished men's slavery in all
our dominions, inasmuch as we regard all slaves who are on our
territory as free, and do not recognise the legality of their being
kept as a property. We have sent the necessary orders to all the
governors of our Tunisian kingdom, and inform you thereof, in order
that you may know that all slaves that shall touch our territory, by
sea or by land, shall become free.

"May you live under the protection of God!

"Written in Moharrem, 1262." (23rd of January, 1846.)

What a bitter satire upon the vaunted "Land of Liberty" have her sons
enacted since the Mahometan Prince penned the above! Not only has the
slave territory been nearly doubled in the present century; but by a
recent decision of the Supreme Court, every law which _has been_ passed
by Congress restricting slavery, is pronounced contrary to the
constitution, and therefore invalid. Congress is declared powerless to
prohibit slavery from any portion of the Federal Territory, or to
authorize the inhabitants to do so; the African race, whether slave or
free, are declared not to be citizens, and consequently to be
incompetent to sue in the United States' Courts, and the slave-owner is
pronounced authorized to carry his rights into every corner of the
Union, despite the decrees of Congress or the will of the inhabitants.

In short, in the year 1857, upwards of eighty years after Washington and
his noble band declared--and at the point of the sword won--their
independence, and after so many States have purified their shields from
the negro's blood, the highest tribunal in the Republic has decreed that
the rights of the slave-owner extend to every inch of the Federal soil,
and that by their Constitution _the United States is a Slave Republic._

What will the end be? A few short years have rolled past since the
foregoing remarks were penned, and in that interval the question of
Slavery has again made the Union tremble to its uttermost borders. The
cloud, not bigger than a man's hand, was sped by President Pierce's
administration to the new State of Kansas, and ere long it burst in a
deluge of ruffianism and blood; the halls of Congress were dishonoured
by the violent assault which Mr. Brookes (a Southern senator) made upon
Mr. Sumner of Massachusetts; the Press spread far and wide the
ignominious fact, that the ladies of his State presented the assailant
with a cane, inscribed "Hit him again!" the State itself endorsed his
act by re-electing him unanimously; North and South are ranged in bitter
hostility; in each large meetings have advocated a separation, in terms
of rancour and enmity; and it is to be feared the Union does not possess
a man of sufficient weight and character to spread oil over the troubled

How will "Manifest Destiny" unfold itself, and what will the end
be?--The cup must fill first.


[Footnote BY: Many of my suggestions, the reader will observe, are drawn
from the Cuba code.]

[Footnote BZ: In Peru, the maximum of stripes the law permits to be
inflicted is twelve; and girls above fourteen, married women, fathers of
children, and old men, are exempt from the lash.]

[Footnote CA: At the time of the discussion, the Nebraska territory
included Nebraska and Kansas]


_Constitution of United States._

The most important subject that claims the attention of the traveller in
any country that pretends to education or civilization, is undoubtedly
its Constitution. The reader cannot expect--and most probably would not
wish--to find, in a work like this, any elaborate account of the
government of so vast and varied a republic as that of the United
States. Those who wish thoroughly to grasp so very extensive a topic
must study the history of each individual State from its foundation;
must watch the changes each has undergone, noting the effect produced;
and must carefully pore over the writings of the great men who
originally planned--if I may so express myself--the Republic, and must
dive deep into the learned and valuable tomes of Story, Kent, &c. Those
who are content with more moderate information, will find a great deal,
very ably condensed, in a volume by Mr. Tremenheere. To the reader, I
pretend to offer nothing but a glance at such elements as appear to me
most useful and interesting; and in so doing, I shall freely borrow such
quotations from Mr. Tremenheere's references to Story and Kent as I
conceive may help to elucidate my subject, not having those authors at
hand to refer to.

The Government of the United States consists of three departments,--the
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial; or the President, the House of
Representatives and Senate, and the Judicial Courts. The President and
Vice-President are chosen by an elective body from all the States, the
said body being selected by popular vote in each State. The
Vice-President is _ex officio_ Speaker or President of the Senate, and
in case of the chief dying, he becomes for the remainder of the term the
President of the United States. They are elected for 4 years, but may be
re-elected indefinitely. Should the votes be equal, the House of
Representatives selects the President from the three on the list who
have most votes, and the Senate selects the Vice in the same way. The
qualifications for President and Vice are--native born, 35 years of age,
and 14 years' residence in the States. The salary of the President is
about 5100l. a year, and a residence at Washington, called "The White
House." The salary of the Vice-President is 1680l. a year. There are
five Secretaries,--State, Interior, Treasury, War, Navy, and a
Postmaster-General; the Attorney-General also forms part of the Cabinet.
These officials also receive the same salary. The Senate is composed of
two members from each State, irrespective of population, so as not to
swamp the small States. The election is by the Legislature of each
State, and for 6 years; one-third of their number go out every 2 years.
The qualification for a senator is that he should be 30 years of age,
have been 9 years a citizen, and living in the State for which he is
elected. The House of Representatives originally consisted of one member
for a certain amount of population, and as the increase in population
was very rapid, the number of Representatives increased as a matter of
course. In 1843, it was one member for every 70,000 of population, but,
to prevent the body from becoming unmanageable owing to numbers, in 1853
the House was limited to 234 Representatives, elected _pro rata_ to the
several States. Slaves are reckoned in the proportion of three-fifths of
their number. The preliminary steps are, that every 10 years a census is
taken, after which a bill is passed by Congress, apportioning number of
representatives to each State, according to its population. This done,
each State passes a law, districting the State according to the number
of members assigned it, and each district elects its own representative
for Congress. The election is for 2 years, and the qualification is 7
years a citizen, 25 years of age, and living in the State. The salary is
the same as that of a senator. The names of members composing a division
on any question in either house, are not printed unless they are
demanded by one-fifth of the members present. One of the clauses of
their Constitution is very original, and runs thus:--"Each House may
determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for
disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a

All impeachments are tried in the Senate, and a majority of two-thirds
is requisite for a conviction. If the President be on trial, the Chief
Justice, or head of the Supreme Court, presides. While power of trial
rests with the Senate, the power of impeachment rests solely with the
House of Representatives. In addition to the ordinary functions of an
Upper House, the Senate has also what is called "an Executive Session,"
which is held with closed doors; at this Session all treaties and high
appointments are discussed, and the appointments are not held to be
valid till ratified by them. Whenever fresh land becomes sufficiently
populous, the general Government admit it as territory, and appoint an
administration. This was the case with Nebraska and Kansas in 1853; and
the "Missouri Compromise" (which confined slavery south of the 36 3'
parallel of latitude) having been repealed, it became optional with them
to adopt slavery or not. Kansas fought barbarously for the dishonourable
privilege, and with temporary success: Nebraska has declined the honour
as yet. The interests of territories are watched over at Washington by
delegates in the House of Representatives, who have a seat, but no vote.
This sensible arrangement might, in my humble opinion, be adopted in
this country with reference to our colonies, whose wants at present have
no interpreter intimately acquainted with colonial affairs in either
branch of the Legislature.

Each State in the Union has its own Governor, House of Representatives,
Senate, and Judiciary, and is in every respect a sovereign State--they
like the word as much as they pretend to dislike the reality--acting
perfectly independently within its limits, except in such cases as were
mutually agreed upon by the terms of the Union, and to some of which we
shall refer by and by. This sovereignty of individual States renders the
elective franchise different in different States.

At the date of the first elections after the Declaration of
Independence, no State admitted mere citizenship as a qualification for
the elective franchise. The great men who appeared upon the stage at
that period, profiting by the experience of past ages, threw certain
guards around the franchise in every State in the Union, varying in
different States, but all bearing unmistakeable testimony to the fact,
that a perfect democracy was not the basis on which they ever
contemplated building up the Republic. A few short years have rolled by;
the 13 States are increased to 33, and according to Mr. Tremenheere, "a
grave departure from the theory of the Constitution, as it existed in
the eyes and expectations of its careful and prudent founders, has taken
place, in the gradual lowering throughout nearly all the States of the
Union, and the entire abandonment in two-thirds of them, of those
qualifications for the exercise of the franchise which existed when the
Constitution was adopted." In one State--Illinois--aliens being
residents are entitled to vote. Now, if the great men of 1776 thought
safeguards around the franchise wise and prudent in their day, before
the great tide of emigration had set in to the westward, and when the
population was only 4,000,000, what would they say, could they but rise
from their graves and see how their successors have thrown down the
prudent barriers they had raised, and laid the franchise bare to
citizenship, now that the Union numbers 23,000,000 souls, and that the
tide of emigration is daily flooding them with hordes of the
discontented and turbulent from every country in the Old World?

But perhaps it may be said that I, as an Englishman, am prejudiced
against republican institutions in any shape; let me, then, quote you an
authority which every educated American will respect. Mr. Justice Kent
says, "The progress and impulse of popular opinion, is rapidly
destroying every constitutional check, every conservative element,
intended by the sages who framed the earliest American Constitutions as
safeguards against the abuses of popular suffrage." Let us turn to
another equally eminent American authority, Mr. Justice Story. "It might
be urged, that it is far from being clear, upon reasoning or experience,
that uniformity in the composition of a representative body is either
desirable or expedient, founded in sounder policy, or more promotive of
the general good, than a mixed system, embracing, representing, and
combining distinct interests, classes, and opinions. In England, the
House of Commons, as a representative body, is founded upon no uniform
principle, either of numbers, or classes, or places; ... and in every
system of reform which has found public favour in that country, many of
these diversities have been embodied from choice, as important checks
upon undue legislation, as facilitating the representation of different
interests and different opinions, and as thus securing, by a
well-balanced and intelligent representation of all the various classes
of society, a permanent protection of the public liberties of the
people, and a firm security of the private rights of persons and

Thus far I have quoted the opinions of the highest American authorities
upon the franchise. And, as far as the lowering it in England affords us
any light, I would wish some unbiased and competent person to inform the
public, whether--whatever other benefit it may have procured to the
community--it has increased or decreased bribery and corruption; and how
the balance between advantage and disadvantage will stand, in reference
to the community at large, by a further lowering of the franchise in
this country; and also to what extent--if any--it can be lowered,
without throwing all but unlimited power into the hands of the masses,
and thus destroying that balance of the different interests of the
community which are--thank God--still represented, and which, if once
lost, would reduce our beloved Sovereign to the position of a gaudy
puppet, and the House of Lords to a mere cypher, and be as certainly
followed by all the horrors of a revolution, and all the evils of a
corrupt democracy. How easy is it to find politicians ever ready to
sniff the incense of popularity at the plausible shrine of a descending
franchise!--how difficult to find those who, while granting what is just
and prudent, have the wisdom to plan, and the courage to dare, measures
to arrest a mobular avalanche!

With regard to the frequency of elections, I will only insert the
following sentence from Mr. Justice Story, as, I believe, public opinion
in this country is all but universal in its condemnation: "Men, to act
with vigour and effect, ... must not be hurried on to their conclusions
by the passions of elections has a tendency to create agitation and
dissensions in the public mind, to nourish factions and encourage
restlessness, to favour rash innovations in domestic legislation and
public policy, and to produce violent and sudden changes in the
administration of public affairs, founded upon temporary excitements and
prejudices: ... it operates also as a great discouragement upon suitable
candidates offering themselves for the public service ... the period of
service ought, therefore, to bear some proportion to the variety of
knowledge and practical skill which the duties of the station
demand."--If any annual-parliament maniac still exist, let him profit by
these words of wisdom from the pen of a republican, dipped in the ink of
Prudence and Patriotism; and in the marked difference between the House
of Representatives and the Senate Chamber--the former of whom are
elected for two, the latter for six years--let him behold the most
incontrovertible living proof's of their truth. John Jay, one of the
most able men of America, writing to Washington, expresses his wish that
the Upper House, or Senate, should be elected for life.

I will now turn to a topic which probably interests the British public
more than any other--except the franchise--I mean the Ballot. So much
has been said about the coercion of voters by those on whom they are
dependent, and so much disgraceful jobbery at elections in this country
has been laid bare, that if the Ballot were really a panacea for the
evil, every patriot should exert his utmost energies to forward the
introduction of so essential a measure. In reading any American document
where the word "ballot" is used, it must be remembered that, unless the
word "secret" precede it, the meaning is merely voting by an open piece
of paper on which the name of the candidate is printed, and which he may
enclose in an envelope or not, as he chooses. It is, therefore, only
with the secret ballot we have to deal at present; for although the
power to vote secretly exists, it is obvious, that unless secret voting
is made compulsory, it affords no protection to those who are in a
position to be bribed or coerced, inasmuch as those who did bribe or
coerce would insist upon the vote so obtained being given openly.

It will perhaps astonish an Englishman to be told that "secret" ballot
is all but unknown in the United States. Nevertheless, such is the case.
An act was passed some four years ago in Massachusetts requiring
secrecy; and what was the effect of this act? A large body of the
electors met together to denounce with indignation any attempt at
enforcing that which they repudiated as unworthy of freemen. So strong
was this feeling that in 1853, the act which enforced it was repealed,
and in the convention called to discuss the revision of their
Constitution--according to Mr. Tremenheere--although the democratic
party were in a great majority, the effort to impose secrecy was thrown
out by a majority of 5000[CB].

A friend of mine, who took considerable interest in this question, was
present at the elections for the State of Massachusetts, and when, at
the same time, a popular vote was to be taken on the proposed revision
of the Constitution; this latter was by special enactment made
compulsorily secret. How far this object was attained, the following
statement will show. As the voters came up to the polling-place, tickets
were offered them by the agents of the opposite parties, in a large room
full of people. The voters selected whichever ticket they preferred, in
the presence of the whole room, and then, in compliance with the terms
of the enactment, they sealed it up in an envelope before depositing it
in the voting-box. So much for compulsory secrecy. Of course on this
occasion, as on all electioneering occasions, the voters might have
concealed their votes, had they chosen so to do.

The only States, that I am aware of, where secrecy is enjoined by law
are New York and Indiana; and in the former of these I can most
certainly testify, from personal observation, that in many instances, if
not in most, it is a dead letter. I never met a soul who, in talking
about politics, ever thought of concealing his sentiments. I am
therefore forced to the conclusion that secrecy only exists among the
very lowest; and here it may be as well to introduce the opinions of the
Governor of this important State. Mr. Washington Hunt, in his Message of
January 7, 1851, says, "The alarming increase of bribery in our popular
elections demands your serious attention. The preservation of our
liberties depends on the purity of the elective franchise, and its
independent exercise by the citizen, and I trust you will adopt such
measures as shall effectually protect the ballot-box from all corrupting

If any efforts were made to stay the tide of corruption, the message of
the same Governor the following year will enable you to judge of their
success. In his address on the 6th of January, 1852, this paragraph
occurs: "The increase of corrupt practices in our elections has become a
subject of general and just complaint: it is represented that in some
localities the suffrages of considerable numbers of voters have been
openly purchased with money. We owe it to ourselves and to posterity,
and to the free institutions which we have inherited, to crush this
hateful evil in its infancy, before it attains sufficient growth to
endanger our political system. The honest and independent exercise of
the right of suffrage is a vital principle in the theory of
representative government. It is the only enduring foundation for a
republic. Not only should the law punish every violation of this
principle as a crime against the integrity of the State, but any person
concerned in giving or receiving any pecuniary consideration for a vote
should, upon challenge, be deprived of the privilege of voting. I submit
the subject to your consideration, in the hope that additional remedies
may be prescribed and enforced."--The two foregoing extracts do equal
credit to the head and heart of Governor Hunt; but what a picture do
they portray of the effects of secret voting!

Let us now turn from Governor Hunt, and see what the Press says on the
subject. The _New York Herald_, which if not highly esteemed is at least
widely circulated, thus writes in the month of May, 1852:--"Look at the
proceedings on Thursday last in the 19th Ward. Voters carried to the
ballot-boxes in scores of waggons from, various localities; and, in
other wards, hundreds of democrats voting for Scott and for Fillmore,
men ignorant and steeped in crime, picked up in all the purlieus of the
city and purchased at a dollar a head; and some, it is said, so low as
half a dollar, to deposit in the ballot-box a vote they had never
seen."--The article then goes on to explain the methods employed at
elections--viz., a lazy fellow who wont work, brawls, and drinks, and
spouts, and defames every honest man in the ward, till he becomes a
semi-deity among the riff-raff, then "his position is found out by those
who want to use him. He is for sale to the highest bidder, either to
defeat his own party by treachery, or to procure a nomination for any
scoundrel who will pay for it. He has no politics of any kind. He has
rascality to sell, and there are those who are willing to purchase it,
in order that they may traffic in it, and sell it to themselves again at
a very high profit.... We have heard of a case in one of the Lower Wards
of the city, in which one man got, at the time of the late democratic
conventions, the enormous sum of two thousand dollars, out of which it
is said he bribed the majority of the electors and kept the balance for

A few paragraphs further on he suggests remedies for the evil;--and what
do you suppose they are? First, that honest people should not leave
politics to the riff-raff. Secondly, "there ought to be a registration
established, by which no man could sail under false colours, or deposit
a vote at a primary election, unless he belonged to the ward, and
belonged to the party to which he professed to belong." Conceive the
state to which secret voting has reduced the wealthy and intelligent
city of New York; absolutely, a return to open voting is considered
insufficient to reach the vitals of the evil which secrecy has brought
about. Here we have proposed as a remedy _the compulsory register of
political sentiments_; and to prove that things are not mending, in the
"Retrospect of the year 1852," which forms a leading article in the same
journal at the commencement of 1853, after a lengthy panegyric upon the
state of America, &c., during 1852, he winds up with these most serious
drawbacks to the previous eulogy: "if we are bound to admit with crimson
blush that crime is sadly on the increase, and that our municipal
institutions have reached the lowest depths of inefficiency and infamy,
these but remind us that the work which 1852 has bravely carried on is
not yet achieved."--I would wish carefully to guard against being
understood to endorse the violent language employed by the _New York
Herald_. I am aware how unsafe a guide the Press ever is in times of
political excitement; but after making every reasonable allowance,
enough remains to prove the tendency of the secret ballot, corroborated
as it is by the authoritative message of the Governor of the State.

Let us now turn for a moment to that most witty and amusing writer,
Sydney Smith. In speaking of Mr. Grote's proposal for the ballot, the
author says, "He tells us that the bold cannot be free, and bids us
seek for liberty by clothing ourselves in the mask of falsehood, and
trampling on the cross of truth;"--and further on, towards the end of
the pamphlet, he quotes an authority that Americans must respect--"Old
John Randolph, the American orator, was asked one day, at a dinner-party
in London, whether the ballot prevailed in his State of Virginia? 'I
scarcely believe,' he said, 'we have such a fool in all Virginia as to
mention even the vote by ballot; and I do not hesitate to say that the
adoption of the ballot would make any nation a set of scoundrels if it
did not find them so.'"--John Randolph was right; he felt that it was
not necessary that a people should be false in order to be free.
Universal hypocrisy would be the consequence of ballot. We should soon
say, on deliberation, what David only asserted in his haste, that "all
men are liars."[CC]--How strangely prophetic the opinion of John
Randolph appears, when read by the light of the _New York Herald_ of

It has always appeared to me that the argument in favour of ballot which
is drawn from its use in clubs, if it prove anything at all, is rather
against than for it; its value there arises from the fact of the
independence of the members, which enables any member if asked by the
rejected candidate how he had voted, to decline giving any answer
without fear of consequences. Were he dependent, he must either deny the
black-ball he gave, had he so voted, or, confessing the fact, he must
suffer for it, and silence would be sure to be construed into a
black-ball: therefore, before ballot could be of any value to a
constituency, they must be independent; and if independent, there would
be no need of the ballot. Of course secrecy could be obtained by
falsehood. Moreover, the object of it in a club is to keep out of a
select society not only those who are considered absolutely offensive,

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