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The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus by American Anti-Slavery Society

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States were, at the time of the cession, as warmly opposed to the
abolition of slavery in the District as they are said to be now: and to
make it stronger still, I will allow, that the abolition of slavery in
the District would prove deeply injurious, not only to Virginia and
Maryland but to the nation at large. And, after all these admissions, I
must still insist, that Congress is under perfectly plain moral
obligation to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.

They, who are deterred from favoring the abolition of slavery in the
District by the apprehension, that Virginia and Maryland, if not,
indeed, the nation at large, might suffer injurious consequences from
the measure, overlook the fact, that there is a third party in the case.
It is common to regard the nation as constituting one of the
parties--Virginia and Maryland another, and the only other. But in point
of fact, there is a third party. Of what does it consist? Of horses,
oxen, and other brutes? Then we need not be greatly concerned about
it--since its rights in that case, would be obviously subordinate to
those of the other parties. Again, if such be the composition of this
third party, we are not to be greatly troubled, that President Wayland
and thousands of others entirely overlook its rights and interests;
though they ought to be somewhat mindful even of brutes. But, this third
party is composed, not of brutes--but of men--of the seven thousand men
in the District, who have fallen under the iron hoofs of slavery--and
who, because they are men, have rights equal to, and as sacred as the
rights of any other men--rights, moreover, which cannot be innocently
encroached on, even to the breadth of one hair, whether under the plea
of "state necessity"--of the perils of emancipation--or under any other
plea, which conscience-smitten and cowardly tyranny can suggest.

If these lines shall ever be so favored, as to fall under the eye of the
venerable and beloved John Quincy Adams, I beg, that, when he shall have
read them, he will solemnly inquire of his heart, whether, if he should
ever be left to vote against the abolition of slavery in the District of
Columbia, and thus stab deeply the cause of civil liberty, of humanity,
and of God; the guilty act would not result from overlooking the rights
and interests, and even the existence itself, of a third party in the
case--and from considering the claims of the nation and those of
Virginia and Maryland, as the only claims on which he was called to
pass, because they were the claims of the only parties, of which he
was aware.

You admit that "the first duty of Congress in relation to the District,
of Columbia, is to render it available, comfortable, and convenient as a
seat of the government of the whole Union." I thank you for an
admission, which can be used, with great effect, against the many, who
maintain, that Congress is as much bound to consult the interests and
wishes of the inhabitants of the District, and be governed by them, as a
State Legislature is to study and serve the interests and wishes of its
constituents. The inhabitants of the District have taken up their
residence in it, aware, that the paramount object of Congressional
legislation is not their, but the nation's advantage. They judge, that
their disfranchisement and the other disadvantages attending their
residence are more than balanced by their favorable position for
participating in Governmental patronage and other benefits. They know,
that they have no better right to complain, that the legislation of
Congress is not dictated by a primary regard to their interests, than
has the Colonization Society, of which you are President, to complain,
that the Capitol, in which it holds its annual meetings, is not
constructed and fitted up in the best possible manner for such
occasions. They know, that to sacrifice the design and main object of
that building to its occasional and incidental uses, would be an
absurdity no greater than would Congress be guilty of in shaping its
legislation to the views of the thirty thousand white inhabitants of the
District of Columbia, at the expense of neglecting the will and
interests of the nation.

You feel, that there is no hazard in your admission, that the paramount
object in relation to the District of Columbia, is its suitableness for
a seat of Government, since you accompany that admission with the
denial, that the presence of slavery interferes with such suitableness.
But is it not a matter of deep regret, that the place, in which our
national laws are made--that the place from which the sentiment and
fashion of the whole country derive so much of their tone and
direction--should cherish a system, which you have often admitted, is at
war with the first principles of our religion and civil polity;[A] and
the influences of which are no less pervading and controlling than
corrupting? Is it not a matter of deep regret, that they, whom other
governments send to our own, and to whom, on account of their superior
intellect and influence, it is our desire, as it is our duty, to commend
our free institutions, should be obliged to learn their lessons of
practical republicanism amidst the monuments and abominations of
slavery? Is it no objection to the District of Columbia, as the seat of
our Government, that slavery, which concerns the political and moral
interests of the nation, more than any other subject coming within the
range of legislation, is not allowed to be discussed there--either
within or without the Halls of Congress? It is one of the doctrines of
slavery, that slavery shall not be discussed. Some of its advocates are
frank enough to avow, as the reason for this prohibition, that slavery
cannot bear to be discussed. In your speech before the American
Colonization Society in 1835, to which I have referred, you distinctly
take the ground, that slavery is a subject not open to general
discussion. Very far am I from believing, that you would employ, or
intentionally countenance violence, to prevent such discussion.
Nevertheless, it is to this doctrine of non-discussion, which you and
others put forth, that the North is indebted for her pro-slavery mobs,
and the South for her pro-slavery Lynchings. The declarations of such
men as Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, that slavery is a question not to
be discussed, are a license to mobs to burn up halls and break up
abolition meetings, and destroy abolition presses, and murder abolition
editors. Had such men held the opposite doctrine, and admitted, yea, and
insisted, as it was their duty to do, that every question in morals and
politics is a legitimate subject of free discussion--the District of
Columbia would be far less objectionable, as the seat of our Government.
In that case the lamented Dr. Crandall would not have been seized in the
city of Washington on the suspicion of being an abolitionist, and thrown
into prison, and subjected to distresses of mind and body, which
resulted in his premature death. Had there been no slavery in the
District, this outrage would not have been committed; and the murders,
chargeable on the bloodiest of all bloody institutions, would have been
one less than they now are. Talk of the slaveholding District of
Columbia being a suitable locality for the seat of our Government! Why,
Sir, a distinguished member of Congress was threatened there with an
indictment for the _crime_ of presenting, or rather of proposing to
present, a petition to the body with which he was connected! Indeed the
occasion of the speech, on which I am now commenting, was the _impudent_
protest of inhabitants of that District against the right of the
American people to petition their own Congress, in relation to matters
of vital importance to the seat of their own Government! I take occasion
here to admit, that I have seen but references to this protest--not the
protest itself. I presume, that it is not dissimilar, in its spirit, to
the petition presented about the same time by Mr. Moore in the other
House of Congress--his speech on which, he complains was ungenerously
anticipated by yours on the petition presented by yourself. As the
petition presented by Mr. Moore is short, I will copy it, that I may say
to you with the more effect--how unfit is the spirit of a slaveholding
people, as illustrated in this petition, to be the spirit of the people
at the seat of a free Government!

[Footnote A: "It (slavery) is a sin and a curse both to the master and
the slave:"--_Henry Clay_.]

"_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

The petition of the undersigned, citizens of the District of Columbia
represents--That they have witnessed with deep regret the attempts which
are making _to disturb the integrity_ of the Union by a BAND OF
FANATICS, embracing men, women, and children, who cease not day and
night to crowd the tables of your halls with SEDITIOUS MEMORIALS--and
solicit your honorable bodies that you will, in your wisdom, henceforth
give neither support nor countenance to such UNHALLOWED ATTEMPTS, but
that you will, in the most emphatic manner, set the seal of your
disapprobation upon all such FOUL AND UNNATURAL EFFORTS, by refusing not
only to READ and REFER, but also to RECEIVE any papers which either
directly or indirectly, or by implication, aim at any interference with
the rights of your petitioners, or of those of any citizen of any of the
States or Territories of the United States, or of this District of which
we are inhabitants."

A Legislature should be imbued with a free, independent, fearless
spirit. But it cannot be, where discussion is overawed and interdicted,
or its boundaries at all contracted. Wherever slavery reigns, the
freedom of discussion is not tolerated: and whenever slavery exists,
there slavery reigns;--reigns too with that exclusive spirit of Turkish
despotism, that, "bears no brother near the throne."

You agree with President Wayland, that it is as improper for Congress to
abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, as to create it in some
place in the free States, over which it has jurisdiction. As improper,
in the judgment of an eminent statesman, and of a no less eminent
divine, to destroy what they both admit to be a system of
unrighteousness, as to establish it! As improper to restrain as to
practice, a violation of God's law! What will other countries and coming
ages think of the politics of our statesmen and the ethics of
our divines?

But, besides its immorality, Congress has no Constitutional right to
create slavery. You have not yet presumed to deny positively, that
Congress has the right to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia;
and, notwithstanding the intimation in your speech, you will not presume
to affirm, that Congress has the Constitutional right to enact laws
reducing to, or holding in slavery, the inhabitants of West Point, or
any other locality in the free States, over which it has exclusive
jurisdiction. I would here remark, that the law of Congress, which
revived the operation of the laws of Virginia and Maryland in the
District of Columbia, being, so far as it respects the slave laws of
those States, a violation of the Federal Constitution, should be held of
no avail towards legalizing slavery in the District--and the subjects of
that slavery, should, consequently, be declared by our Courts
unconditionally free.

You will admit that slavery is a system of surpassing injustice:--but
an avowed object of the Constitution is to "establish justice." You will
admit that it utterly annihilates the liberty of its victims:--but
another of the avowed objects of the Constitution is to "secure the
blessings of liberty." You will admit, that slavery does, and
necessarily must, regard its victims as _chattels_. The Constitution, on
the contrary, speaks of them as nothing short of _persons_. Roger
Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a framer of the
Federal Constitution, and a member of the first Congress under it,
denied that this instrument considers slaves "as a species of property."
Mr. Madison, in the 54th No. of the Federalist admits, that the
Constitution "regards them as inhabitants." Many cases might be cited,
in which Congress has, in consonance with the Constitution, refused to
recognize slaves as property. It was the expectation, as well as the
desire of the framers of the Constitution, that slavery should soon
cease to exist is our country; and, but for the laws, which both
Congress and the slave States, have, in flagrant violation of the letter
and spirit and obvious policy of the Constitution, enacted in behalf of
slavery, that vice would, ere this, have disappeared from our land.
Look, for instance, at the laws enacted in the fact of the clause: "The
citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and
immunities of citizens in the several States"--laws too, which the
States that enacted them, will not consent to repeal, until they consent
to abandon slavery. It is by these laws, that they shut out the colored
people of the North, the presence of a single individual of whom so
alarms them with the prospect of a servile insurrection, that they
immediately imprison him. Such was the view of the Federal Constitution
taken by James Wilson one of its framers, that, without, as I presume,
claiming for Congress any direct power over slavery in the slave States,
he declared that it possessed "power to exterminate slavery from within
our borders." It was probably under a like view, that Benjamin Franklin,
another of its framers, and Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration
of Independence, and other men of glorious and blessed memory,
petitioned the first Congress under the Constitution to "countenance the
restoration to liberty of those unhappy men," (the slaves of our
country). And in what light that same Congress viewed the Constitution
may be inferred from the fact, that, by a special act, it ratified the
celebrated Ordinance, by the terms of which slavery was forbidden for
ever in the North West Territory. It is worthy of note, that the avowed
object of the Ordinance harmonizes with that of the Constitution: and
that the Ordinance was passed the same year that the Constitution was
drafted, is a fact, on which we can strongly rely to justify a reference
to the spirit of the one instrument for illustrating the spirit of the
other. What the spirit of the Ordinance is, and in what light they who
passed it, regarded "republics, their laws and constitutions," may be
inferred from the following declaration in the Ordinance of its grand
object: "For extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious
liberty, which form the basis wherever these Republics, their laws and
constitutions are erected; to fix and establish those principles as the
basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which forever
hereafter shall be formed in the said territory, &c.; it is hereby
ordained and declared that the following articles, &c." One of these
articles is that, which has been referred to, and which declares that
"there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said

You will perhaps make light of my reference to James Wilson and Benjamin
Franklin, for I recollect you say, that, "When the Constitution was
about going into operation, its powers were not well understood by the
community at large, and remained to be accurately interpreted and
defined." Nevertheless, I think it wise to repose more confidence in the
views, which the framers of the Constitution took of the spirit and
principles of that instrument, than in the definitions and
interpretations of the pro-slavery generation, which has succeeded them.

It should be regarded as no inconsiderable evidence of the anti-slavery
genius and policy of the Constitution, that Congress promptly
interdicted slavery in the first portion of territory, and that, too, a
territory of vast extent, over which it acquired jurisdiction. And is it
not a perfectly reasonable supposition, that the seat of our Government
would not have been polluted by the presence of slavery, had Congress
acted on that subject by itself, instead of losing sight of it in the
wholesale legislation, by which the laws of Virginia and Maryland were
revived in the District?

If the Federal Constitution be not anti-slavery in its general scope and
character; if it be not impregnated with the principles of universal
liberty; why was it necessary, in order to restrain Congress, for a
limited period, from acting against the slave trade, which is but a
branch or incident of slavery, to have a clause to that end in the
Constitution? The fact that the framers of the Constitution refused to
blot its pages with the word "slave" or "slavery;" and that, by
periphrase and the substitution of "persons" for "slaves," they sought
to conceal from posterity and the world the mortifying fact, that
slavery existed under a government based on the principle, that
governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed,"
contains volumes of proof, that they looked upon American slavery as a
decaying institution; and that they would naturally shape the
Constitution to the abridgment and the extinction, rather than the
extension and perpetuity of the giant vice of the country.

It is not to be denied, that the Constitution tolerates a limited
measure of slavery: but it tolerates this measure only as the exception
to its rule of impartial and universal liberty. Were it otherwise, the
principles of that instrument could be pleaded to justify the holding of
men as property, in cases, other than those specifically provided for in
it. Were it otherwise, these principles might be appealed to, as well to
sanction the enslavement of men, as the capture of wild beasts. Were it
otherwise, the American people might be Constitutionally realizing the
prophet's declaration: "they all lie in wait for blood: they hunt every
man his brother with a net." But mere principles, whether in or out of
the Constitution, do not avail to justify and uphold slavery. Says Lord
Mansfield in the famous Somerset case: "The state of slavery is of such
a nature, that it is incapable of being now introduced by courts of
justice upon mere reasoning or inferences from any principles, natural
or political; it must take its rise from _positive law_; the origin of
it can in no country or age be traced back to any other source. A case
so odious as the condition of slaves, must be taken strictly." Grotius
says, that "slavery places man in an unnatural relation to man--a
relation which nothing but positive law can sustain." All are aware,
that, by the common law, man cannot have property in man; and that
wherever that law is not counteracted on this point by positive law,
"slaves cannot breathe," and their "shackles fall." I scarcely need add,
that the Federal Constitution does, in the main, accord with the common
law. In the words of a very able writer: "The common law is the grand
element of the United States Constitution. All its fundamental
provisions are instinct with its spirit; and its existence, principles,
and paramount authority, are presupposed and assumed throughout
the whole."

To argue the anti-slavery character of the Federal Constitution, it is
not necessary to take the high ground of some, that whatever in the
Constitution favors slavery is void, because opposed to the principles
and general tenor of that instrument. Much less is it necessary to take
the still higher ground, that every law in favor of slavery, in whatever
code or connection it may be found, is utterly invalid because of its
plain contravention of the law of nature. To maintain my position, that
the Constitution is anti-slavery in its general character, and that
constitutional slavery is, at the most, but an exception to that general
character, it was not necessary to take either of these grounds; though,
had I been disposed to take even the higher of them, I should not have
lacked the countenance of the most weighty authorities. "The law of
nature," says Blackstone, "being coeval with mankind, and dictated by
God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is
binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human
laws are of any validity if contrary to this." The same writer says,
that "The law of nature requires, that man should pursue his own true
and substantial happiness." But that slavery allows this pursuit to its
victims, no one will pretend. "There is a law," says Henry Brougham,
"above all the enactments of human codes. It is the law written by the
finger of God on the heart of man; and by that law, unchangeable and
eternal, while men despise fraud, and loathe rapine, and abhor blood,
they shall reject with indignation the wild and guilty phantasy, that
man can hold property in man."

I add no more to what I have said on the subject of slavery in the
District of Columbia, than to ask, as I have done in relation to the
inter-state slave trade and the annexation of slave states, whether
petitions for its abolition argue so great a contempt of the
Constitution, and so entire a recklessness of propriety, as to merit the
treatment which they receive at the hands of Congress. Admitting that
Congress has not the constitutional power to abolish slavery in the
District--admitting that it has not the constitutional power to destroy
what itself has established--admitting, too, that if it has the power,
it ought not to exercise it;--nevertheless, is the case so perfectly
clear, that the petitioners for the measure deserve all the abuse and
odium which their representatives in Congress heap upon them? In a word,
do not the three classes of petitions to which you refer, merit, at the
hands of those representatives, the candid and patient consideration
which, until I read your acknowledgment, that, in relation to these
petitions, "there is no substantial difference between" yourself and
those, who are in favor of thrusting them aside undebated, unconsidered,
and even unread, I always supposed you were willing to have bestowed
on them?

I pass to the examination of your charges against the abolitionists.

_They contemn the "rights of property."_

This charge you prefer against the abolitionists, not because they
believe that a Legislature has the right to abolish slavery, nor because
they deny that slaves are legally property; for this obvious truth they
do not deny. But you prefer it, because they believe that man cannot
rightfully be a subject of property.

Abolitionists believe, to use words, which I have already quoted, that
it is "a wild and guilty phantasy, that man can hold property in man."
They believe, that to claim property in the exalted being, whom God has
made in His own image, and but "a little lower than the angels," is
scarcely less absurd than to claim it in the Creator himself. You take
the position, that human laws can rightfully reduce a race of men to
property; and that the outrage, to use your own language, is "sanctioned
and sanctified" by "two hundred years" continuance of it. Abolitionists,
on the contrary, trace back man's inalienable self-ownership to
enactments of the Divine Legislator, and to the bright morning of time,
when he came forth from the hand of his Maker, "crowned with glory and
honor," invested with self-control, and with dominion over the brute and
inanimate creation. You soothe the conscience of the slaveholder, by
reminding him, that the relation, which he has assumed towards his
down-trodden fellow-man, is lawful. The abolitionist protests, that the
wickedness of the relation is none the less, because it is legalized. In
charging abolitionists with condemning "the rights of property," you
mistake the innocent for the guilty party. Were you to be so unhappy as
to fall into the hands of a kidnapper, and be reduced to a slave, and
were I to remonstrate, though in vain, with your oppressor, who would
you think was the despiser of "the rights of property"--myself, or the
oppressor? As you would judge in that case, so judges every slave in his
similar case.

The man-stealer's complaint, that his "rights of property" in his stolen
fellow men are not adequately respected by the abolitionist, recalls to
my mind a very similar, and but little more ludicrous case of
conscientious regard for the "rights of property." A traveler was
plundered of the whole of his large sum of money. He pleaded
successfully with the robber for a little of it to enable him to reach
his home. But, putting his hand rather deeper into the bag of stolen
coins than comported with the views of the robber, he was arrested with
the cry, "Why, man, have you no conscience?" You will perhaps inquire,
whether abolitionists regard all the slaves of the South as stolen--as
well those born at the South, as those, who were confessedly stolen from
Africa? I answer, that we do--that every helpless new-born infant, on
which the chivalry of the South pounces, is, in our judgment, the owner
of itself--that we consider, that the crime of man-stealing which is so
terribly denounced in the Bible, does not consist, as is alleged, in
stealing a slave from a third person, but in stealing him from
himself--in depriving him of self control, and subjecting him, as
property, to the absolute control of another. Joseph's declaration, that
he "was stolen," favors this definition of man-stealing. Jewish
Commentators authorise it. Money, as it does not own itself, cannot be
stolen from itself But when we reflect, that man is the owner of
himself, it does not surprise us, that wresting away his inalienable
rights--his very manhood--should have been called man-stealing.

Whilst on this subject of "the rights of property," I am reminded of
your "third impediment to abolition." This "impediment" consists in the
fact of the great value of the southern slaves--which, according to your
estimation, is not less than "twelve hundred millions of dollars." I
will adopt your estimate, and thus spare myself from going into the
abhorrent calculation of the worth in dollars and cents of immortal
man--of the worth of "the image of God." I thank you for your virtual
admission, that this wealth is grasped with a tenacity proportioned to
its vast amount. Many of the wisest and best men of the North have been
led into the belief that the slaveholders of the South are too humane
and generous to hold their slaves fur the sake of gain. Even Dr.
Channing was a subject of this delusion; and it is well remembered, that
his too favorable opinions of his fellow men, made it difficult to
disabuse him of it. Northern Christians have been ready to believe, that
the South would give up her slaves, because of her conscious lack of
title to them. But in what age of the world have impenitent men failed
to cling as closely to that, which they had obtained by fraud, as to
their honest acquisitions? Indeed, it is demonstrable on philosophical
principles, that the more stupendous the fraud, the more tenacious is
the hold upon that, which is gotten by it. I trust, that your admission
to which I have just referred, will have no small effect to prevent the
Northern apologist for slavery from repeating the remark that the South
would gladly liberate her slaves, if she saw any prospect of bettering
the condition of the objects of her tender and solicitous benevolence. I
trust, too, that this admission will go far to prove the emptiness of
your declaration, that the abolitionists "have thrown back for half a
century the prospect of any species of emancipation of the African race,
gradual or immediate, in any of the states," and the emptiness of your
declaration, that, "prior to the agitation of this subject of abolition,
there was a progressive melioration in the condition of slaves
throughout all the slave states," and that "in some of them, schools of
instruction were opened," &c.; and I further trust, that this admission
will render harmless your intimation, that this "melioration" and these
"schools" were intended to prepare the slaves for freedom. After what
you have said of the great value of the slaves, and of the obstacle it
presents to emancipation, you will meet with little success in your
endeavors to convince the world, that the South was preparing to give up
the "twelve hundred millions of dollars," and that the naughty
abolitionists have postponed her gratification "for half a century." If
your views of the immense value of the slaves, and of the consequent
opposition to their freedom, be correct, then the hatred of the South
towards the abolitionists must be, not because their movements tend to
lengthen, but because they tend to shorten the period of her possession
of the "twelve hundred millions of dollars." May I ask you, whether,
whilst the South clings to these "twelve hundred millions of dollars,"
it is not somewhat hypocritical in her to be complaining, that the
abolitionists are fastening the "twelve hundred millions of dollars" to
her? And may I ask you, whether there is not a little inconsistency
between your own lamentations over this work of the abolitionists, and
your intimation that the South will never consent to give up her slaves,
until the impossibility, of paying her "twelve hundred millions of
dollars" for them, shall have been accomplished? Puerile and insulting
as is your proposition to the abolitionists to raise "twelve hundred
millions of dollars" for the purchase of the slaves, it is nevertheless
instructive; inasmuch as it shows, that, in your judgment, the South is
as little willing to give up her slaves, as the abolitionists are able
to pay "twelve hundred millions of dollars" for them; and how unable the
abolitionists are to pay a sum of money far greater than the whole
amount of money in the world, I need not explain.

But if the South must have "twelve hundred millions of dollars" to
induce her to liberate her present number of slaves, how can you expect
success fur your scheme of ridding her of several times the present
number, "in the progress of some one hundred and fifty, or two hundred
years?" Do you reply, that, although she must have "four hundred
dollars" a-piece for them, if she sell them to the abolitionists, she
is, nevertheless, willing to let the Colonization Society have them
without charge? There is abundant proof, that she is not. During the
twenty-two years of the existence of that Society, not so many slaves
have been emancipated and given to it for expatriation, as are born in a
single week. As a proof that the sympathies of the South are all with
the slaveholding and _real_ character of this two-faced institution, and
not at all with the abolition purposes and tendencies, which it
professes at the North, none of its Presidents, (and slave-holders only
are deemed worthy to preside over it,) has ever contributed from his
stock of slaves to swell those bands of emigrants, who, leaving our
shores in the character of "nuisances," are instantly transformed, to
use your own language, into "missionaries, carrying with them
credentials in the holy cause of Christianity, civilization, and free
institutions." But you were not in earnest, when you held up the idea in
your recent speech, that the rapidly multiplying millions of our colored
countrymen would be expatriated. What you said on that point was but to
indulge in declamation, and to round off a paragraph. It is in that part
of your speech where you say that "no practical scheme for their removal
or separation from us has yet been devised or proposed," that you
exhibit your real sentiments on this subject, and impliedly admit the
deceitfulness of the pretensions of the American Colonization Society.

Before closing my remarks on the topic of "the rights of property," I
will admit the truth of your charge, that _Abolitionists deny, that the
slaveholder is entitled to "compensation" for his slaves_.

Abolitionists do not know, why he, who steals men is, any more than he,
who steals horses, entitled to "compensation" for releasing his plunder.
They do not know, why he, who has exacted thirty years' unrequited toil
from the sinews of his poor oppressed brother, should be paid for
letting that poor oppressed brother labor for himself the remaining ten
or twenty years of his life. But, it is said, that the South bought her
slaves of the North, and that we of the North ought therefore to
compensate the South for liberating them. If there are individuals at
the North, who have sold slaves, I am free to admit, that they should
promptly surrender their ill-gotten gains; and no less promptly should
the inheritors of such gains surrender them. But, however this may be,
and whatever debt may be due on this score, from the North to the South,
certain it is, that on no principle of sound ethics, can the South hold
to the persons of the innocent slaves, as security for the payment of
the debt. Your state and mine, and I would it were so with all others,
no longer allow the imprisonment of the debtor as a means of coercing
payment from him. How much less, then, should they allow the creditor to
promote the security of his debt by imprisoning a third person--and one
who is wholly innocent of contracting the debt? But who is imprisoned,
if it be not he, who is shut up in "the house of bondage?" And who is
more entirely innocent than he, of the guilty transactions between his
seller and buyer?

Another of your charges against abolitionists is, _that, although
"utterly destitute of Constitutional or other rightful power--living in
totally distinct communities--as alien to the communities in which the
subject on which they would operate resides, so far as concerns
political power over that subject, as if they lived in Africa or Asia;
they nevertheless promulgate to the world their purpose to be, to
manumit forthwith, and without compensation, and without moral
preparation, three millions of negro slaves, under jurisdictions
altogether separated from those under which they live."_

I will group with this charge several others of the same class.

_1._ _Abolitionists neglect the fact, that "the slavery which exists
amongst us (southern people) is our affair--not theirs--and that they
have no more just concern with it, than they have with slavery as it
exists throughout the world."_

_2._ _They are regardless of the "deficiency of the powers of the
General Government, and of the acknowledged and incontestable powers of
the States."_

_3._ "Superficial men (meaning no doubt abolitionists) confound the
totally different cases together of the powers of the British Parliament
and those of the Congress of the United States in the matter of

Are these charges any thing more than the imagery of your own fancy, or
selections from the numberless slanders of a time-serving and corrupt
press? If they are founded on facts, it is in your power to state the
facts. For my own part, I am utterly ignorant of any, even the least,
justification for them. I am utterly ignorant that the abolitionists
hold any peculiar views in relation to the powers of the General or
State Governments. I do not believe, that one in a hundred of them
supposes, that slavery in the states is a legitimate subject of federal
legislation. I believe, that a majority of the intelligent men amongst
them accord much more to the claims of "state sovereignty," and approach
far more nearly to the character of "strict constructionists," than does
the distinguished statesman, who charges them with such latitudinarian
notions. There may be persons in our country, who believe that Congress
has the absolute power over all American slavery, which the British
Parliament had over all British slavery; and that Congress can abolish
slavery in the slave states, because Great Britain abolished it in her
West India Islands; but, I do not know them; and were I to look for
them, I certainly should not confine my search to abolitionists--for
abolitionists, as it is very natural they should be, are far better
instructed in the subject of slavery and its connections with civil
government, than are the community in general.

It is passing strange, that you, or any other man, who is not playing a
desperate game, should, in the face of the Constitution of the American
Anti-Slavery Society, which "admits, that each state, in which slavery
exists, has, by the Constitution of the United States, the exclusive
right to legislate in regard to the abolition of slavery in said state;"
make such charges, as you have done.

In an Address "To the Public," dated September 3, 1835, and subscribed
by the President, Treasurer, the three Secretaries, and the other five
members of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society,
we find the following language. 1. "We hold that Congress has no more
right to abolish slavery in the Southern states than in the French West
India Islands. Of course we desire no national legislation on the
subject. 2. We hold that slavery can only be lawfully abolished by the
legislatures of the several states in which it prevails, and that the
exercise of any other than moral influence to induce such abolition is

But what slavery is it that the abolitionists call on Congress to
abolish? Is it that in the slave states? No--it is that in the District
of Columbia and in the territories--none other. And is it not a fair
implication of their petitions, that this is the only slavery, which, in
the judgment of the petitioners, Congress has power to abolish?
Nevertheless, it is in the face of this implication, that you make your
array of charges.

Is it true, however, that the North has nothing more to do with slavery
in the states, than with slavery in a foreign country? Does it not
concern the North, that, whilst it takes many thousands of her voters to
be entitled to a representative in Congress, there are districts at the
South, where, by means of slavery, a few hundred voters enjoy this
benefit. Again, since the North regards herself as responsible in common
with the South, for the continuance of slavery in the District of
Columbia and in the Territories, and for the continuance of the
interstate traffic in human beings; and since she believes slavery in
the slave states to be the occasion of these crimes, and that they will
all of necessity immediately cease when slavery ceases--is it not right,
that she should feel that she has a "just concern with slavery?" Again,
is it nothing to the people of the North, that they may be called on, in
obedience to a requirement of the federal constitution, to shoulder
their muskets to quell "domestic violence?" But, who does not know, that
this requirement owes its existence solely to the apprehension of
servile insurrections?--or, in other words, to the existence of slavery
in the slave states? Again, when our guiltless brothers escape from the
southern prison-house, and come among us, we are under constitutional
obligation to deliver them up to their stony-hearted pursuers. And is
not slavery in the slave states, which is the occasion of our obligation
to commit this outrage on humanity and on the law of God, a matter of
"just concern to us?" To what too, but slavery, in the slave states, is
to be ascribed the long standing insult of our government towards that
of Hayti? To what but that, our national disadvantages and losses from
the want of diplomatic relations between the two governments? To what so
much, as to slavery in the slave states, are owing the corruption in our
national councils, and the worst of our legislation? But scarcely any
thing should go farther to inspire the North with a sense of her "just
concern" in the subject of slavery in the slave states, than the fact,
that slavery is the parent of the cruel and murderous prejudice, which
crushes and kills her colored people; and, that it is but too probable,
that the child will live as long as its parent. And has the North no
"just concern" with the slavery of the slave states, when there is so
much reason to fear that our whole blood-guilty nation is threatened
with God's destroying wrath on account of it?

There is another respect in which we of the North have a "just concern"
with the slavery of the slave states. We see nearly three millions of
our fellow men in those states robbed of body, mind, will, and
soul--denied marriage and the reading of the Bible, and marketed as
beasts. We see them in a word crushed in the iron folds of slavery. Our
nature--the laws written upon its very foundations--the Bible, with its
injunctions "to remember them that are in bonds as bound with them," and
to "open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are
appointed to destruction"--all require us to feel and to express what we
feel for these wretched millions. I said, that we see this misery. There
are many amongst us--they are anti-abolitionists--who do not see it; and
to them God says; "but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse."

I add, that we of the North must feel concerned about slavery in the
slave states, because of our obligation to pity the deluded,
hard-hearted, and bloody oppressors in those states: and to manifest our
love for them by rebuking their unsurpassed sin. And, notwithstanding
pro-slavery statesmen at the North, who wink at the iniquity of slave
holding, and pro-slavery clergymen at the North, who cry, "peace, peace"
to the slaveholder, and sew "pillows to armholes," tell us, that by our
honest and open rebuke of the slaveholder, we shall incur his enduring
hatred; we, nevertheless, believe that "open rebuke is better than
secret love," and that, in the end, we shall enjoy more Southern favor
than they, whose secret love is too prudent and spurious to deal
faithfully with the objects of its regard. "He that rebuketh a man,
afterward shall find more favor than he that flattereth with the
tongue." The command, "thou shall in any wise rebuke thy neighbor and
not suffer sin upon him," is one, which the abolitionist feels, that he
is bound to obey, as well in the case of the slaveholder, as in that of
any other sinner. And the question: "who is my neighbor," is so answered
by the Savior, as to show, that not he of our vicinity, nor even he of
our country, is alone our "neighbor."

The abolitionists of the North hold, that they have certainly as much
"just concern" with slavery in the slave states, as the temperance men
of the North have with "intemperance" at the South. And I would here
remark, that the weapons with which the abolitionists of the North
attack slavery in the slave states are the same, and no other than the
same, with those, which the North employs against the vice of
intemperance at the South. I add too, that were you to say, that
northern temperance men disregard "the deficiency of the powers of the
General Government," and also "the acknowledged and incontestable powers
of the states;" your charge would be as suitable as when it is applied
to northern abolitionists.

You ascribe to us "the purpose to manumit the three millions of negro
slaves." Here again you greatly misrepresent us, by holding us up as
employing coercive, instead of persuasive, means for the accomplishment
of our object. Our "purpose" is to persuade others to "manumit." The
slaveholders themselves are to "manumit." It is evident, that others
cannot "manumit" for them. If the North were endeavoring to persuade the
South to give up the growing of cotton, you would not say, it is the
purpose of the North to give it up. But, as well might you, as to say,
that it is the "purpose" of the abolitionists to "manumit." It is very
much by such misrepresentations, that the prejudices against
abolitionists are fed and sustained. How soon they would die of atrophy,
if they, who influence the public mind and mould public opinion, would
tell but the simple truth about abolitionists.

You say, that the abolitionists would have the slaves manumitted
"without compensation and without moral preparation." I have already
said enough on the point of "compensation." It is true, that they would
have them manumitted immediately:--for they believe slavery is sin, and
that therefore the slaveholder has no right to protract the bondage of
his slaves for a single year, or for a single day or hour;--not even,
were he to do so to afford them "a moral preparation" for freedom, or to
accomplish any other of the kindest and best purposes. They believe,
that the relation of slaveholder, as it essentially and indispensably
involves the reduction of men to chattelship, cannot, under any plea
whatever, be continued with innocence, for a single moment. If it can
be--if the plain laws of God, in respect to marriage and religious
instruction and many other blessings, of which chattelized man is
plundered, can be innocently violated--why credit any longer the
assertion of the Bible, that "sin is the transgression of the law?"--why
not get a new definition of sin?

Another reason with abolitionists in favor of immediate manumission, is,
that the slaves do not, as a body, acquire, whilst in slavery, any
"moral preparation" for freedom. To learn to swim we must be allowed the
use of water. To learn the exercises of a freeman, we must enjoy he
element of liberty. I will not say, that slaves cannot be taught, to
some extent, the duties of freemen. Some knowledge of the art of
swimming may be acquired before entering the water. I have not forgotten
what you affirm about the "progressive melioration in the condition of
slaves," and the opening of "schools of instruction" for them "prior to
the agitation of the subject of abolition;" nor, have I forgotten, that
I could not read it without feeling, that the creations of your fancy,
rather than the facts of history, supplied this information. Instances,
rare instances, of such "melioration" and of such "schools of
instruction," I doubt not there have been: but, I am confident, that the
Southern slaves have been sunk in depths of ignorance proportioned to
the profits of their labor. I have not the least belief, that the
proportion of readers amongst them is one half so great, as it was
before the invention of Whitney's cotton gin.

Permit me to call your attention to a few of the numberless evidences,
that slavery is a poor school for "moral preparation" for freedom. 1st.
Slavery turns its victims into thieves. "Who should be astonished," says
Thomas S. Clay, a very distinguished slaveholder of Georgia, "if the
negro takes from the field or corn-house the supplies necessary for his
craving appetite and then justifies his act, and denies that it is
stealing?" What debasement in the slave does the same gentleman's remedy
for theft indicate? "If," says he, "the negro is informed, that if he
does not steal, he shall receive rice as an allowance; and if he does
steal, he shall not, a motive is held out which will counteract the
temptation to pilfer." 2nd. Slavery reeks with licentiousness. Another
son of the South says, that the slaveholder's kitchen is a brothel, and
a southern village a Sodom. The elaborate defence of slavery by
Chancellor Harper of South Carolina justifies the heaviest accusations,
that have been brought against it on the score of licentiousness. How
could you blame us for deeply abhorring slavery, even were we to view it
in no other light than that in which the Dews and Harpers and its other
advocates present it? 3rd. Slavery puts the master in the place of God,
and the master's law in the place of God's law! "The negro," says Thomas
S. Clay, "is seldom taught to feel, that he is punished for breaking
God's law! He only knows his master as law-giver and executioner, and
the sole object held up to his view is to make him a more obedient and
profitable slave. He oftener hears that he shall be punished if he
steals, than if he breaks the Sabbath or swears; and thus he sees the
very threatenings of God brought to bear on his master's interests. It
is very manifest to him, that his own good is very far from forming the
primary reason for his chastisement: his master's interests are to be
secured at all events;--God's claims are secondary, or enforced merely
for the purpose of advancing those of his owner. His own benefit is the
residuum after this double distillation of moral motive--a mere
accident." 4th. The laws of nearly all the slave-states forbid the
teaching of the slaves to read. The abundant declarations, that those
laws are without exception, a consequence of the present agitation of
the question of slavery are glaringly false. Many of these laws were
enacted long before this agitation; and some of them long before you and
I were born. Say the three hundred and fifty-three gentlemen of the
District of Abbeville and Edgefield in South Carolina, who, the last
year, broke up a system of oral religious instruction, which the
Methodist Conference of that State had established amongst their slaves:
"Intelligence and slavery have no affinity for each other." And when
those same gentlemen declare, that "verbal and lecturing instruction
will increase a desire with the black population to learn"--that "the
progress and diffusion of knowledge will be a consequence"--and that "a
progressive system of improvement will be introduced, that will
ultimately revolutionize our civil institutions," they admit, that the
prohibition of "intelligence" to the slaves is the settled and necessary
policy of slavery, and not, as you would have us believe, a temporary
expedient occasioned by the present "agitation of this subject of
abolition." 5th. Slavery--the system, which forbids marriage and the
reading of the Bible--does of necessity turn its subjects into heathens.
A Report of the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, made five years
ago, says: "Who could credit it, that in these years of revival and
benevolent effort--that, in this Christian Republic, there are over two
millions of human beings in the condition of heathen, and in some
respects in a worse condition? They may be justly considered the heathen
of this Christian country, and will bear comparison with heathen in any
country in the world." I will finish what I have to say on this point of
"moral preparation" for freedom, with the remark, that the history of
slavery in no country warrants your implication, that slaves acquire
such "moral preparation." The British Parliament substituted an
apprenticeship for slavery with the express design, that it should
afford a "moral preparation" for freedom. And yet, if you will read the
reports of late visitors to the British West Indies, you will find, that
the planters admit, that they made no use of the advantages of the
apprenticeship to prepare their servants for liberty. Their own
gain--not the slaves'--was their ruling motive, during the term of the
apprenticeship, as well as preceding it.

Another of your charges is, _that the abolitionists "have increased the
rigors of legislation against slaves in most if not all the
slave States_."

And suppose, that our principles and measures have occasioned this
evil--are they therefore wrong?--and are we, therefore, involved in sin?
The principles and measures of Moses and Aaron were the occasion of a
similar evil. Does it follow, that those principles and measures were
wrong, and that Moses and Aaron were responsible for the sin of
Pharaoh's increased oppressiveness? The truth, which Jesus Christ
preached on the earth, is emphatically peace: but its power on the
depravity of the human heart made it the occasion of division and
violence. That depravity was the guilty cause of the division and
violence. The truth was but the innocent occasion of them. To make it
responsible for the effects of that depravity would be as unreasonable,
as it is to make the holy principles of the anti-slavery cause
responsible for the wickedness which they occasion: and to make the
great Preacher Himself responsible for the division and violence, would
be but to carry out the absurdity, of which the public are guilty, in
holding abolitionists responsible for the mobs, which are got up against
them. These mobs, by the way, are called "abolition mobs." A similar
misnomer would pronounce the mob, that should tear down your house and
shoot your wife, "Henry Clay's mob." Harriet Martineau, in stating the
fact, that the mobs of 1834, in the city of New York, were set down to
the wrong account, says, that the abolitionists were told, that "they
had no business to scare the city with the sight of their burning
property and demolished churches!"

No doubt the light of truth, which the abolitionists are pouring into
the dark den of slavery, greatly excites the monster's wrath: and it may
be, that he vents a measure of it on the helpless and innocent victims
within his grasp. Be it so;--it is nevertheless, not the Ithuriel spear
of truth, that is to be held guilty of the harm:--it is the monster's
own depravity, which cannot

Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness."[A]

[Footnote A: This is a reference to a passage in Milton's Paradise Lost,
in which Satan in disguise is touched by the spear of the archangel
Ithuriel and is thereby forced to return to his own form.]

I am, however, far from believing, that the treatment of the slaves is
rendered any more rigorous and cruel by the agitation of the subject of
slavery. I am very far from believing, that it is any harsher now than
it was before the organization of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Fugitive slaves tell us, it is not: and, inasmuch as the slaveholders
are, and, by both words and actions, abundantly show, that they feel
that they are, arraigned by the abolitionists before the bar of the
civilized world, to answer to the charges of perpetrating cruelties on
their slaves, it would, unless indeed, they are of the number of those
"whose glory is in their shame," be most unphilosophical to conclude,
that they are multiplying proofs of the truth of those charges, more
rapidly than at any former stage of their barbarities. That slaveholders
are not insensible to public opinion and to the value of a good
character was strikingly exhibited by Mr. Calhoun, in his place in the
Senate of the United States, when he followed his frank disclaimer of
all suspicion, that the abolitionists are meditating a war against the
slaveholder's person, with remarks evincive of his sensitiveness under
the war, which they are waging against the slaveholder's character.

A fact occurs to me, which goes to show, that the slaveholders feel
themselves to be put upon their good behavior by the abolitionists.
Although slaves are murdered every day at the South, yet never, until
very recently, if at all, has the case occurred, in which a white man
has been executed at the South for the murder of a slave. A few months
ago, the Southern newspapers brought us copies of the document,
containing the refusal of Governor Butler of South Carolina to pardon a
man, who had been convicted of the murder of a slave. This document
dwells on the protection due to the slave; and, if I fully recollect its
character, an abolitionist himself could hardly have prepared a more
appropriate paper for the occasion. Whence such a document--whence, in
the editorial captions to this document, the exultation over its
triumphant refutations of the slanders of the abolitionists against the
South--but, that Governor Butler feels--but, that the writes of those
captions feel--that the abolitionists have put the South upon her
good behavior.

Another of your charges is, _that the abolitionists oppose "the project
of colonisation."_

Having, under another head, made some remarks on this "project," I will
only add, that we must oppose the American Colonization Society, because
it denies the sinfulness of slavery, and the duty of immediate,
unqualified emancipation. Its avowed doctrine is, that, unless
emancipation he accompanied by expatriation, perpetual slavery is to be
preferred to it. Not to oppose that Society, would be the guiltiest
treachery to our holy religion, which requires immediate and
unconditional repentance of sin. Not to oppose it, would be to uphold
slavery. Not to oppose it, would be to abandon the Anti-Slavery Society.
Do you ask, why, if this be the character of the American Colonization
Society, many, who are now abolitionists, continued in it so long? I
answer for myself, that, until near the period of my withdrawal from it,
I had very inadequate conceptions of the wickedness, both of that
Society, and of slavery. For having felt the unequalled sin of slavery
no more deeply--for feeling it now no more deeply, I confess myself to
be altogether without excuse. The great criminality of my long
continuance in the Colonization Society is perhaps somewhat palliated by
the fact, that the strongest proofs of the wicked character and
tendencies of the Society were not exhibited, until it spread out its
wing over slavery to shelter the monster from the earnest and effective
blows of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Another of your charges is, that the abolitionists, in declaring "that
their object is not to stimulate the action of the General Government,
_but to operate upon the States themselves, in which the institution of
domestic slavery exists," are evidently insincere, since the "abolition
societies and movements are all confined to the free Slates_."

I readily admit, that our object is the abolition of slavery, as well in
the slave States, as in other portions of the Nation, where it exists.
But, does it follow, because only an insignificant share of our
"abolition societies and movements" is in those States, that we
therefore depend for the abolition of slavery in them on the General
Government, rather than on moral influence? I need not repeat, that the
charge of our looking to the General Government for such abolition is
refuted by the language of the Constitution of the Anti-Slavery Society.
You may, however, ask--"why, if you do not look to the General
Government for it, is not the great proportion of your means of moral
influence in the slave States, where is the great body of the slaves?" I
answer that, in the first place, the South does not permit us to have
them there; and that, in the words of one of your fellow Senators, and
in the very similar words of another--both uttered on the floor of the
Senate--"if the abolitionists come to the South, the South will hang
them." Pardon the remark, that it seems very disingenuous in you to draw
conclusions unfavorable to the sincerity of the abolitionists from
premises so notoriously false, as are those which imply, that it is
entirely at their own option, whether the abolitionists shall have their
"societies and movements" in the free or slave States. I continue to
answer your question, by saying, in the second place, that, had the
abolitionists full liberty to multiply their "societies and movements"
in the slave States, they would probably think it best to have the great
proportion of them yet awhile in the free States. To rectify public
opinion on the subject of slavery is a leading object with
abolitionists. This object is already realized to the extent of a
thorough anti-slavery sentiment in Great Britain, as poor Andrew
Stevenson, for whom you apologise, can testify. Indeed, the great power
and pressure of that sentiment are the only apology left to this
disgraced and miserable man for uttering a bald falsehood in vindication
of Virginia morals. He above all other men, must feel the truth of the
distinguished Thomas Fowel Buxton's declaration, that "England is turned
into one great Anti-Slavery Society." Now, Sir, it is such a change, as
abolitionists have been the instruments of producing in Great Britain,
that we hope to see produced in the free States. We hope to see public
sentiment in these States so altered, that such of their laws, as uphold
and countenance slavery, will be repealed--so altered, that the present
brutal treatment of the colored population in them will give place to a
treatment dictated by justice, humanity, and brotherly and Christian
love;--so altered, that there will be thousands, where now there are not
hundreds, to class the products of slave labor with other stolen goods,
and to refuse to eat and to wear that, which is wet with the tears, and
red with the blood of "the poor innocents," whose bondage is continued,
because men are more concerned to buy what is cheap, than what is
honestly acquired;--so altered, that our Missionary and other religious
Societies will remember, that God says: "I hate robbery for
burnt-offering," and will forbear to send their agents after that
plunder, which, as it is obtained at the sacrifice of the body and soul
of the plundered, is infinitely more unfit, than the products of
ordinary theft, to come into the Lord's treasury. And, when the warm
desires of our hearts, on these points, shall be realized, the fifty
thousand Southerners, who annually visit the North, for purposes of
business and pleasure, will not all return to their homes,
self-complacent and exulting, as now, when they carry with them the
suffrages of the North in favor of slavery: but numbers of them will
return to pursue the thoughts inspired by their travels amongst the
enemies of oppression--and, in the sequel, they will let their
"oppressed go free."

It were almost as easy for the sun to call up vegetation by the side of
an iceberg, as for the abolitionists to move the South extensively,
whilst their influence is counteracted by a pro-slavery spirit at the
North. How vain would be the attempt to reform the drunkards of your
town of Lexington, whilst the sober in it continue to drink intoxicating
liquors! The first step in the reformation is to induce the sober to
change their habits, and create that total abstinence-atmosphere, in the
breathing of which, the drunkard lives,--and, for the want of which, he
dies. The first step, in the merciful work of delivering the slaveholder
from his sin, is similar. It is to bring him under the influence of a
corrected public opinion--of an anti-slavery sentiment:--and they, who
are to be depended on to contribute to this public opinion--to make up
this anti-slavery sentiment--are those, who are not bound up in the iron
habits, and blinded by the mighty interests of the slaveholder. To
depend on slaveholders to give the lead to public opinion in the
anti-slavery enterprise, would be no less absurd, than to begin the
temperance reformation with drunkards, and to look to them to produce
the influences, which are indispensable to their own redemption.

You say of the abolitionists, _that "they are in favor of

The Anti-Slavery Society is, as its name imports, a society to oppose
slavery--not to "make matches." Whether abolitionists are inclined to
amalgamation more than anti-abolitionists are, I will not here take upon
myself to decide. So far, as you and I may be regarded as
representatives of these two parties, and so far as our marriages argue
our tastes in this matter, the abolitionists and anti-abolitionists may
be set down, as equally disposed to couple white with white and black
with black--for our wives, as you are aware, are both white. I will here
mention, as it may further argue the similarity in the matrimonial
tastes of abolitionists and anti-abolitionists, the fact so grateful to
us in the days, when we were "workers together" in promoting the "scheme
of Colonization," that our wives are natives of the same town.

I have a somewhat extensive acquaintance at the North; and I can truly
say, that I do not know a white abolitionist, who is the reputed father
of a colored child. At the South there are several hundred thousand
persons, whose yellow skins testify, that the white man's blood courses
through their veins. Whether the honorable portion of their parentage is
to be ascribed exclusively to the few abolitionists scattered over the
South--and who, under such supposition, must, indeed, be prodigies of
industry and prolificness--or whether anti-abolitionists there have,
notwithstanding all their pious horror of "amalgamation," been
contributing to it, you can better judge than myself.

That slavery is a great amalgamator, no one acquainted with the blended
colors of the South will, for a moment, deny. But, that an increasing
amalgamation would attend the liberation of the slaves, is quite
improbable, when we reflect, that the extensive occasions of the present
mixture are the extreme debasement of the blacks and their entire
subjection to the will of the whites; and that even should the
debasement continue under a state of freedom, the subjection would not.
It is true, that the colored population of our country might in a state
of freedom, attain to an equality with the whites; and that a
multiplication of instances of matrimonial union between the two races
might be a consequence of this equality: but, beside, that this would be
a lawful and sinless union, instead of the adulterous and wicked one,
which is the fruit of slavery, would not the improved condition of our
down-trodden brethren be a blessing infinitely overbalancing all the
violations of our taste, which it might occasion? I say violations of
_our_ taste;--for we must bear in mind that, offensive as the
intermixture of different races may be to us, the country or age, which
practices it, has no sympathy whatever with our feeling on this point.

How strongly and painfully it argues the immorality and irreligion of
the American people, that they should look so complacently on the
"amalgamation," which tramples the seventh commandment under foot, and
yet be so offended at that, which has the sanction of lawful wedlock!
When the Vice President of this Nation was in nomination for his present
office, it was objected to him, that he had a family of colored
children. The defence, set up by his partisans, was, that, although he
had such a family, he nevertheless was not married to their mother! The
defence was successful; and the charge lost all its odiousness; and the
Vice President's popularity was retrieved, when, it turned out, that he
was only the adulterous, and not the married father of his children!

I am aware, that many take the ground, that we must keep the slaves in
slavery to prevent the matrimonial "amalgamation," which, they
apprehend, would be a fruit of freedom. But, however great a good,
abolitionists might deem the separation of the white and black races,
and however deeply they might be impressed with the power of slavery to
promote this separation, they nevertheless, dare not "do evil, that good
may come:"--they dare not seek to promote this separation, at the
fearful expense of upholding, or in anywise, countenancing a
humanity-crushing and God-defying system of oppression.

Another charge against the abolitionists is implied in the inquiry you
make, _whether since they do not "furnish in their own families or
persons examples of intermarriage, they intend to contaminate the
industrious and laborious classes of society of the North by a revolting
admixture of the black element."_

This inquiry shows how difficult it is for southern minds, accustomed as
they have ever been to identify labor with slavery, to conceive the true
character and position of such "classes" at the North; and also how
ignorant they are of the composition of our Anti-Slavery societies. To
correct your misapprehensions on these points, I will briefly say, in
the first place, that the laborers of the North are freemen and not
slaves;--that they marry whom they please, and are neither paired nor
unpaired to suit the interests of the breeder, or seller, or buyer, of
human stock:--and, in the second place, that the abolitionists, instead
of being a body of persons distinct from "the industrious and laborious
classes," do, more than nineteen twentieths of them, belong to those
"classes." You have fallen into great error in supposing, that
_abolitionists_ generally belong to the wealthy and aristocratic
classes. This, to a great extent, is true of _anti-abolitionists_. Have
you never heard the boast, that there have been anti-abolition mobs,
which consisted of "gentlemen of property and standing?"

You charge upon abolitionists "_the purpose to create a pinching
competition between black labor and white labor;" and add, that "on the
supposition of abolition the black class, migrating into the free
states, would enter into competition with the white class, diminishing
the wages of their labor_."

In making this charge, as well as in making that which immediately
precedes it, you have fallen into the error, that abolitionists do not
belong to "the industrious and laborious classes." In point of fact, the
abolitionists belong so generally to these classes, that if your charge
be true, they must have the strange "purpose" of "pinching" themselves.

Whether "the black class" would, or would not migrate, I am much more
pleased to have you say what you do on this point, though it be at the
expense of your consistency, than to have you say, as you do in another
part of your speech, that abolition "would end in the extermination or
subjugation of the one race or the other."

It appears to me highly improbable, that emancipation would be followed
by the migration of the emancipated. Emancipation, which has already
added fifty per cent. to the value of estates in the British West
Indies, would immediately add as much to the value of the soil of the
South. Much more of it would be brought into use; and, notwithstanding
the undoubted truth, that the freedman performs twice as much labor as
when a slave, the South would require, instead of any diminution, a very
great increase of the number of her laborers. The laboring population of
the British West India Islands, is one-third as large as that of the
southern states; and yet, since these islands have got rid of slavery,
and have entered on their career of enterprize and industry, they find
this population, great as it is, insufficient to meet the increased
demand for labor. As you are aware, they are already inviting laborers
of this and other countries to supply the deficiency. But what is the
amount of cultivable land in those islands, compared with that in all
the southern states? It is not so extensive as the like land in your
single state.

But you may suppose, that, in the event of the emancipation of her
slaves, the South would prefer white laborers. I know not why she
should. Such are, for the most part, unaccustomed to her kinds of labor,
and they would exact, because they would need, far greater wages than
those, who had never been indulged beyond the gratification of their
simplest wants. There is another point of view, in which it is still
more improbable, that the black laborers of the South would be displaced
by immigrations of white laborers. The proverbial attachment of the
slave to his "bornin-ground," (the place of his nativity,) would greatly
contribute to his contentment with low wages, at the hands of his old
master. As an evidence of the strong attachment of our southern colored
brethren to their birth-places, I remark, that, whilst the free colored
population of the free states increased from 1820 to 1830 but nineteen
per cent., the like population in the slave states increased, in the
same period, thirty five per cent;--and this, too, notwithstanding the
operation of those oppressive and cruel laws, whose enactment was
dictated by the settled policy of expelling the free blacks from
the South.

That, in the event of the abolition of southern slavery, the emancipated
slaves would migrate to the North, rather than elsewhere, is very
improbable. Whilst our climate would be unfriendly to them, and whilst
they would be strangers to our modes of agriculture, the sugar and
cotton fields of Texas, the West Indies, and other portions of the
earth, would invite them to congenial employments beneath congenial
skies. That, in case southern slavery is abolished, the colored
population of the North would be drawn off to unite with their race at
the South, is, for reasons too obvious to mention, far more probable
than the reverse.

It will be difficult for you to persuade the North, that she would
suffer in a pecuniary point of view by the extirpation of slavery. The
consumption of the laborers at the South would keep pace with the
improvement and elevation of their condition, and would very soon impart
a powerful impulse to many branches of Northern industry.

Another of your charges is in the following words: "The subject of
slavery within the District of Florida," and that "of the right of
Congress to prohibit the removal of slaves from one state to another,"
are, with abolitionists, "but so many masked batteries, concealing the
real and ultimate point of attack. That point of attack is the
institution of domestic slavery, as it exists in those states."

If you mean by this charge, that abolitionists think that the abolition
of slavery in the District of Columbia and in Florida, and the
suppression of the interstate traffic in human beings are, in
themselves, of but little moment, you mistake. If you mean, that they
think them of less importance than the abolition of slavery in the slave
states, you are right; and if you further mean, that they prize those
objects more highly, and pursue them more zealously, because they think,
that success in them will set in motion very powerful, if not indeed
resistless influences against slavery in the slave states, you are right
in this also. I am aware, that the latter concession brings
abolitionists under the condemnation of that celebrated book, written by
a _modern_ limiter of "human responsibility"--not by the _ancient_ one,
who exclaimed, "Am I my brother's keeper?" In that book, to which, by
the way, the infamous Atherton Resolutions are indebted for their
keynote, and grand pervading idea, we find the doctrine, that even if it
were the duty of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of
Columbia, the North nevertheless should not seek for such abolition,
unless the object of it be "ultimate within itself." If it be "for the
sake of something ulterior" also--if for the sake of inducing the
slaveholders of the slave states to emancipate their slaves--then we
should not seek for it. Let us try this doctrine in another
application--in one, where its distinguished author will not feel so
much delicacy, and so much fear of giving offence. His reason why we
should not go for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia,
unless our object in it be "ultimate within itself," and unaccompanied
by the object of producing an influence against slavery in the slave
states, is, that the Federal Constitution has left the matter of slavery
in the slave states to those states themselves. But will President
Wayland say, that it has done so to any greater extent, than it has left
the matter of gambling-houses and brothels in those states to those
states themselves? He will not, if he consider the subject:--though, I
doubt not, that when he wrote his bad book, he was under the prevailing
error, that the Federal Constitution tied up the hands and limited the
power of the American people in respect to slavery, more than to any
other vice.

But to the other application. We will suppose, that Great Britain has
put down the gambling-houses and brothels in her wide dominions--that
Mexico has done likewise; and that the George Thompsons, and Charles
Stuarts, and other men of God, have come from England to beseech the
people of the northern states to do likewise within their respective
jurisdictions;--and we will further suppose, that those foreign
missionaries, knowing the obstinate and infatuated attachment of the
people of the southern states to their gambling-houses and brothels,
should attempt, and successfully, too, to blend with the motive of the
people of the northern states to get rid of their own gambling houses
and brothels, the motive of influencing the people of the southern
states to get rid of theirs--what, we ask, would this eminent divine
advise in such a case? Would he have the people of the northern states
go on in their good work, and rejoice in the prospect, not only that
these polluting and ruinous establishments would soon cease to exist
within all their limits, but that the influence of their overthrow would
be fatal to the like establishments in the southern states? To be
consistent with himself--with the doctrine in question--he must reply in
the negative. To be consistent with himself, he must advise the people
of the northern states to let their own gambling-houses and brothels
stand, until they can make the object of their abolishment "ultimate
within itself;"--until they can expel from their hearts the cherished
hope, that the purification of their own states of these haunts of
wickedness would exert an influence to induce the people of their sister
states to enter upon a similar work of purity and righteousness. But I
trust, that President Wayland would not desire to be consistent with
himself on this point. I trust that he would have the magnanimity to
throw away this perhaps most pernicious doctrine of a pernicious book,
which every reader of it must see was written to flatter and please the
slaveholder and arrest the progress of the anti-slavery cause. How great
the sin of seizing on this very time, when special efforts are being
made to enlist the world's sympathies in behalf of the millions of our
robbed, outraged, crushed countrymen--how great the sin, of seizing on
such a time to attempt to neutralize those efforts, by ascribing to the
oppressors of these millions a characteristic "nobleness"--"enthusiastic
attachment to personal right"--"disinterestedness which has always
marked the southern character"--and a superiority to all others "in
making any sacrifice for the public good!" It is this sin--this heinous
sin--of which President Wayland has to repent. If he pities the slave,
it is because he knows, that the qualities, which he ascribes to the
slaveholder, do not, in fact, belong to him. On the other hand, if he
believes the slaveholder to be, what he represents him to be, he does
not--in the very nature of things, he cannot--pity the slave. He must
rather rejoice, that the slave has fallen into the hands of one, who,
though he has the name, cannot have the heart, and cannot continue in
the relation of a slaveholder. If John Hook, for having mingled his
discordant and selfish cries with the acclamations of victory and then
general joy, deserved Patrick Henry's memorable rebuke, what does he not
deserve, who finds it in his heart to arrest the swelling tide of pity
for the oppressed by praises of the oppressor, and to drown the public
lament over the slave's subjection to absolute power, in the
congratulation, that the slaveholder who exercises that power, is a
being of characteristic "nobleness," "disinterestedness," and
"sacrifice" of self-interest?

President Wayland may perhaps say, that the moral influence, which he is
unwilling to have exerted over the slaveholder, is not that, which is
simply persuasive, but that, which is constraining--not that, which is
simply inducing, but that, which is compelling. I cheerfully admit, that
it is infinitely better to induce men to do right from their own
approbation of the right, than it is to shame them, or in any other wise
constrain them, to do so; but I can never admit, that I am not at
liberty to effect the release of my colored brother from the fangs of
his murderous oppressor, when I can do so by bringing public opinion to
bear upon that oppressor, and to fill him with uneasiness and shame.

I have not, overlooked the distinction taken by the reverend gentleman;
though, I confess that, to a mind no less obtuse than my own, it is very
little better than "a distinction without a difference." Whilst he
denies, that I can, as an American citizen, rightfully labor for the
abolition of slavery in the slave states, or even in the District of
Columbia; he would perhaps, admit that, as a man, I might do so. But am
I not interested, as an American citizen, to have every part of my
country cleared of vice, and of whatever perils its free institutions?
Am I not interested, as such, to promote the overthrow of gambling and
rum drinking establishments in South Carolina?--but why any more than to
promote the overthrow of slavery? In fine, am I not interested, as an
American citizen, to have my country, and my whole country, "right in
the sight of God?" If not, I had better not be an American citizen.

I say no more on the subject of the sophistries of President Wayland's
book on, "The limitations of human responsibility;" nor would I have
said what I have, were it not that it is in reply to the like
sophistries couched in that objection of yours, which I have now been

Another of your charges against the abolitionists is, _that they seek to
"stimulate the rage of the people of the free states against the people
of the slave states. Advertisements of fugitive slaves and of slaves to
be sold are carefully collected and blazoned forth to infuse a spirit of
detestation and hatred against one entire and the largest section of
the Union."_

The slaveholders of the South represent slavery as a heaven-born
institution--themselves as patriarchs and patterns of benevolence--and
their slaves, as their tenderly treated and happy dependents. The
abolitionists, on the contrary, think that slavery is from hell--that
slaveholders are the worst of robbers--and that their slaves are the
wretched victims of unsurpassed cruelties. Now, how do abolitionists
propose to settle the points at issue?--by fanciful pictures of the
abominations of slavery to countervail the like pictures of its
blessedness?--by mere assertions against slavery, to balance mere
assertions in its favor? No--but by the perfectly reasonable and fair
means of examining slavery in the light of its own code--of judging of
the character of the slaveholder in the light of his own conduct--and of
arguing the condition of the slave from unequivocal evidences of the
light in which the slave himself views it. To this end we publish
extracts from the southern slave code, which go to show that slavery
subjects its victims to the absolute control of their erring fellow
men--that it withholds from them marriage and the Bible--that it classes
them with brutes and things--and annihilates the distinctions between
mind and matter. To this end we republish in part, or entirely,
pamphlets and books, in which southern men exhibit, with their own pens,
some of the horrid features of slavery. To this end we also republish
such advertisements as you refer to--advertisements in which immortal
beings, made in the image of God, and redeemed by a Savior's blood, and
breathed upon by the Holy Spirit, are offered to be sold, at public
auction, or sheriff's sale, in connection with cows, and horses, and
ploughs: and, sometimes we call special attention to the common fact,
that the husband and wife, the parent and infant child, are advertised
to be sold together or separately, as shall best suit purchasers. It is
to this end also, that we often republish specimens of the other class
of advertisements to which you refer. Some of the advertisements of this
class identify the fugitive slave by the scars, which the whip, or the
manacles and fetters, or the rifle had made on his person. Some of them
offer a reward for his head!--and it is to this same end, that we often
refer to the ten thousands, who have fled from southern slavery, and the
fifty fold that number, who have unsuccessfully attempted to fly from
it. How unutterable must be the horrors of the southern prison house,
and how strong and undying the inherent love of liberty to induce these
wretched fellow beings to brave the perils which cluster so thickly and
frightfully around their attempted escape? That love is indeed
_undying_. The three hundred and fifty-three South Carolina gentlemen,
to whom I have referred, admit, that even "the old negro man, whose head
is white with age, raises his thoughts to look through the vista which
will terminate his bondage."

I put it to your candor--can you object to the reasonableness and
fairness of these modes, which abolitionists have adopted for
establishing the truth on the points at issue between themselves and
slaveholders? But, you may say that our republication of your own
representations of slavery proceeds from unkind motives, and serves to
stir up the "hatred," and "rage of the people of the free states against
the people of the slave states." If such be an effect of the
republication, although not at all responsible for it, we deeply regret
it; and, as to our motives, we can only meet the affirmation of their
unkindness with a simple denial. Were we, however, to admit the
unkindness of our motives, and that we do not always adhere to the
apostolic motto, of "speaking the truth in love"--would the admission
change the features of slavery, or make it any the less a system of
pollution and blood? Is the accused any the less a murderer, because of
the improper motives with which his accuser brings forward the
conclusive proof of his blood-guiltiness?

We often see, in the speeches and writings of the South, that
slaveholders claim as absolute and as rightful a property in their
slaves, as in their cattle. Whence then their sensitiveness under our
republication of the advertisements, is which they offer to sell their
human stock? If the south will republish the advertisements of our
property, we will only not be displeased, but will thank her; and any
rebukes she may see fit to pour upon us, for offering particular kinds
of property, will be very patiently borne, in view of the benefit we
shall reap from her copies of our advertisements.

A further charge in your speech is, _that the abolitionists pursue their
object "reckless of all consequences, however calamitous they may be;"
that they have no horror of a "civil war," or "a dissolution of the
Union;" that theirs is "a bloody road," and "their purpose is abolition,
universal abolition, peaceably if it can, forcibly if it must."_

It is true that, the abolitionists pursue their object, undisturbed by
apprehensions of consequences; but it is not true, that they pursue it
"reckless of consequences." We believe that they, who unflinchingly
press the claims of God's truth, deserve to be considered as far less
"reckless of consequences," than they, who, suffering themselves to be
thrown into a panic by apprehensions of some mischievous results, local
or general, immediate or remote, are guilty of compromising the truth,
and substituting corrupt expediency for it. We believe that the
consequences of obeying the truth and following God are good--only
good--and that too, not only in eternity, but in time also. We believe,
that had the confidently anticipated deluge of blood followed the
abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, the calamity would have
been the consequence, not of abolition, but of resistance to it. The
insanity, which has been known to follow the exhibition of the claims of
Christianity, is to be charged on the refusal to fall in with those
claims, and not on our holy religion.

But, notwithstanding, we deem it our duty and privilege to confine
ourselves to the word of the Lord, and to make that word suffice to
prevent all fears of consequences; we, nevertheless, employ additional
means to dispel the alarms of those, who insist on walking "by sight;"
and, in thus accommodating ourselves to their want of faith, we are
justified by the example of Him, who, though he said, "blessed are they
that have not seen and yet have believed," nevertheless permitted an
unbelieving disciple, both to see and to touch the prints of the nails
and the spear. When dealing with such unbelievers, we do not confine
ourselves to the "thus saith the Lord"--to the Divine command, to "let
the oppressed go free and break every yoke"--to the fact, that God is an
abolitionist: but we also show how contrary to all sound philosophy is
the fear, that the slave, on whom have been heaped all imaginable
outrages, will, when those outrages are exchanged for justice and mercy,
turn and rend his penitent master. When dealing with such unbelievers,
we advert to the fact, that the insurrections at the South have been the
work of slaves--not one of them of persons discharged from slavery: we
show how happy were the fruits of emancipation in St. Domingo: and that
the "horrors of St. Domingo," by the parading of which so many have been
deterred from espousing our righteous cause, were the result of the
attempt to re-establish slavery. When dealing with them, we ask
attention to the present peaceful, prosperous, and happy condition of
the British West India Islands, which so triumphantly falsifies the
predictions, that bankruptcy, violence, bloodshed, and utter ruin would
follow the liberation of their slaves. We point these fearful and
unbelieving ones to the fact of the very favorable influence of the
abolition of slavery on the price of real estate in those islands; to
that of the present rapid multiplication of schools and churches in
them; to the fact, that since the abolition of slavery, on the first day
of August 1834, not a white man in all those islands has been struck
down by the arm of a colored man; and then we ask them whether in view
of such facts, they are not prepared to believe, that God connects
safety with obedience, and that it is best to "trust in the Lord with
all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding."

On the subject of "a dissolution of the Union," I have only to say,
that, on the one hand, there is nothing in my judgment, which, under
God, would tend so much to preserve our Republic, as the carrying out
into all our social, political and religious institutions of its great
foundation principle, that "all men are created equal;" and that, on the
other hand, the flagrant violation of that principle in the system of
slavery, is doing more than all thing, else to hasten the destruction of
the Republic. I am aware, that one of the doctrines of the South is,
that "slavery is the corner-stone of the republican edifice." But, if it
be true, that our political institutions harmonize with, and are
sustained by slavery, then the sooner we exchange them for others the
better. I am aware, that it is said, both at the North and at the South,
that it is essential to the preservation of the Union. But, greatly as I
love the Union, and much as I would sacrifice for its righteous
continuance, I cannot hesitate to say, that if slavery be an
indispensable cement, the sooner it is dissolved the better.

I am not displeased, that you call ours "a bloody road"--for this
language does not necessarily implicate our motives; but I am greatly
surprised that you charge upon us the wicked and murderous "purpose" of
a forcible abolition. In reply to this imputation, I need only refer you
to the Constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society--to the
Declaration of the Convention which framed it--and to our characters,
for pledges, that we design no force, and are not likely to stain our
souls with the crime of murder. That Constitution says: "This society
will never, in any way, countenance the oppressed in vindicating their
rights by resorting to physical force." The Declaration says "Our
principles forbid the doing of evil that good may come, and lead us to
reject, and to entreat the oppressed to reject, the use of all carnal
weapons for deliverance from bondage. Our measures shall be such only,
as the opposition of moral purity to moral corruption--the destruction
of error by the potency of truth--the overthrow of prejudice by the
power of love--and the abolition of slavery by the spirit of
repentance." As to our characters they are before the world. You would
probably look in vain through our ranks for a horse-racer, a gambler, a
profane person, a rum-drinker, or a duellist. More than nine-tenths of
us deny the rightfulness of offensive, and a large majority, even that
of defensive national wars. A still larger majority believe, that deadly
weapons should not be used in cases of individual strife. And, if you
should ask, "where in the free States are the increasing numbers of men
and women, who believe, that the religion of the unresisting 'Lamb of
God' forbids recourse to such weapons, in all circumstances, either by
nations or individuals?"--the answer is, "to a man, to a woman, in the
ranks of the abolitionists." You and others will judge for yourselves,
how probable it is, that the persons, whom I have described, will prove
worthy of being held up as murderers.

The last of your charges against the abolitionists, which I shall
examine, is the following: _Having begun "their operations by professing
to employ only persuasive means," they "have ceased to employ the
instruments of reason and persuasion," and "they now propose to
substitute the powers of the ballot box;" and "the inevitable tendency
of their proceedings is if these should be found insufficient, to invoke
finally the more potent powers of the bayonet."_

If the slaveholders would but let us draw on them for the six or eight
thousand dollars, which we expend monthly to sustain our presses and
lecturers, they would then know, from an experience too painful to be
forgotten, how truthless is your declaration, that we "have ceased to
employ the instruments of reason and persuasion."

You and your friends, at first, employed "persuasive means" against "the
sub-treasury system." Afterwards, you rallied voters against it. Now, if
this fail, will you resort to "the more potent powers of the bayonet?"
You promptly and indignantly answer, "No." But, why will you not? Is it
because the prominent opposers of that system have more moral
worth--more religious horror of blood--than Arthur Tappan, William Jay,
and their prominent abolition friends? Were such to be your answer, the
public would judge, whether the men of peace and purity, who compose the
mass of abolitionists, would be more likely than the Clays and Wises and
the great body of the followers of these Congressional leaders to betake
themselves from a disappointment at "the ballot-box" to "the more potent
powers of the bayonet?"

You say, that we "_now_ propose to substitute the powers of the
ballot-box," as if it were only of late, that we had proposed to do so.
What then means the following language in our Constitution: "The society
will also endeavor in a Constitutional way to influence Congress to put
an end to the domestic slave-trade, and to abolish slavery in all those
portions of our common country, which come under its control--especially
in the District of Columbia--and likewise to prevent the extension of it
to any State, that may be hereafter admitted to the Union?" What then
means the following language in the "Declaration" of the Convention,
which framed our Constitution: "We also maintain, that there are at the
present time the highest obligations resting upon the people of the Free
States to remove slavery by moral and political action, as prescribed in
the Constitution of the United States?" If it be for the first time,
that we "_now_ propose" "political action," what means it, that
anti-slavery presses have, from year to year, called on abolitionists to
remember the slave at the polls?

You are deceived on this point; and the rapid growth of our cause has
been the occasion of your deception. You suppose, because it is only
within the last few months, that you have heard of abolitionists in this
country carrying their cause to "the ballot box," that it is only within
the last few months that they have done so. But, in point of fact, some
of them have done so for several years. It was not, however, until the
last year or two, when the number of abolitionists had become
considerable, and their hope of producing an impression on the Elections
proportionately strong, that many of them were seen bringing their
abolition principles to the "ballot-box." Nor was it until the Elections
of the last Autumn, that abolition action at "the ballot-box" had become
so extensive, as to apprise the Nation, that it is a principle with
abolitionists to "remember" in one place as well as in another--at the
polls as well as in the closet--"them that are in bonds." The fact that,
at the last State Election, there were three or four hundred abolition
votes given in the County in which I reside, is no more real because of
its wide spread interest, than the comparatively unheard of fact, that
about one hundred such votes were given the year before. By the way,
when I hear complaints of abolition action at the "ballot-box," I can
hardly refrain from believing, that they are made ironically. When I
hear complaints, that the abolitionists of this State rallied, as such,
at the last State Election, I cannot easily avoid suspecting, that the
purpose of such complaints is the malicious one of reviving in our
breasts the truly stinging and shame-filling recollection, that some
five-sixths of the voters in our ranks, either openly apostatized from
our principles, or took it into their heads, that the better way to vote
for the slave and the anti-slavery cause was to vote for their
respective political parties. You would be less afraid of the
abolitionists, if I should tell you that more than ten thousand of them
in this State voted at the last State Election, for candidates for law
makers, who were openly in favor of the law of this State, which creates
slavery, and of other laws, which countenance and uphold it. And you
would owe me for one of your heartiest laughs, were I to tell you, that
there are abolitionists--professed abolitionists--yes, actual members of
the Anti-Slavery Society--who, carrying out this delusion of helping the
slave by helping their "party," say, that they would vote even for a
slaveholder, if their party should nominate him. Let me remark, however,
that I am happy to be able to inform you, that this delusion--at least
in my own State--is fast passing away; and that thousands of the
abolitionists who, in voting last Autumn for Gov. Marey or Gov. Seward,
took the first step in the way, that leads to voting for the slaveholder
himself, are now not only refusing to take another step in that
inconsistent and wicked way, but are repenting deeply of that, which
they have already taken in it.

Much as you dislike, not to say _dread_, abolition action at "the
ballot-box," I presume, that I need not spend any time in explaining to
you the inconsistency of which an abolitionist is guilty, who votes for
an upholder of slavery. A wholesome citizen would not vote fur a
candidate for a law maker, who is in favor of laws, which authorize
gaming-houses or _groggeries_. But, in the eye of one, who his attempted
to take the "guage and dimensions" of the hell of slavery, the laws,
which authorize slaveholding, far transcend in wickedness, those, which
authorize gaming-houses or _groggeries_. You would not vote for a
candidate for a law-maker, who is in favor of "the sub-treasury system."
But compared with the evil of slavery, what is that of the most
pernicious currency scheme ever devised? It is to be "counted as the
small dust of the balance." If you would withhold your vote in the case
supposed--how gross in your eyes must be the inconsistency of the
abolitionist, who casts his vote on the side of the system of
fathomless iniquity!

I have already remarked on "the third" of the "impediments" or
"obstacles" to emancipation, which you bring to view. _"The first
impediment," you say, "is the utter and absolute want of all power on
the part of the General Government to effect the purpose."_

But because there is this want on the part of the General Government, it
does not follow, that it also exists on the part of the States: nor does
it follow, that it also exists on the part of the slaveholders
themselves. It is a poor plea of your neighbor for continuing to hold
his fellow man in slavery, that neither the Federal Government nor the
State of Kentucky has power to emancipate them. Such a plea is about as
valid, as that of the girl for not having performed the task, which her
mistress had assigned to her. "I was tied to the table." "Who tied you
there?" "I tied myself there."

_"The next obstacle," you say, "in the way of abolition arises out of
the fact of the presence in the slave states of three millions
of slaves."_

This is, indeed a formidable "obstacle:" and I admit, that it is as much
more difficult for the impenitent slaveholder to surmount it, than it
would be if there were but one million of slaves, as it is for the
impenitent thief to restore the money he has stolen, than it would be,
if the sum were one third as great. But, be not discouraged, dear sir,
with this view of the case. Notwithstanding the magnitude of the
obstacle, the warmest desires of your heart for the abolition of
slavery, may yet be realized. Be thankful, that repentance can avail in
every case of iniquity; that it can loosen the grasp of the man-thief,
as well as that of the money-thief: of the oppressors of thousands as
well as of hundreds:--of "three millions," as well as of one million.

But, were I to allow, that the obstacle in question, is as great, as you
regard it--nevertheless will it not increase with the lapse of years,
and become less superable the longer the work of abolition is postponed?
I suppose, however, that it is not to be disguised, that,
notwithstanding the occasional attempts in the course of your speech to
create a different impression, you are in favor of perpetual slavery;
and that all you say about "ultra abolitionists" in distinction from
"abolitionists," and about "gradual emancipation," in distinction from
"immediate emancipation," is said, but to please those, who sincerely
make, and are gulled by, such distinctions. I do not forget, that you
say, that the abolition of slavery in Pennsylvania was proper. But, most
obviously, you say it, to win favor with the anti-slavery portion of the
North, and to sustain the world's opinion of your devotion to the cause
of universal liberty;--for, having made this small concession to that
holy cause--small indeed, since Pennsylvania never at any one time, had
five thousand slaves--you, straightway, renew your claims to the
confidence of slaveholders, by assuring them, that you are opposed to
"any scheme whatever of emancipation, gradual or immediate," in States
where the slave population is extensive;--and, for proof of the
sincerity of your declaration, you refer them to the fact of your recent
open and effective opposition to the overthrow of slavery in your
own State.

The South is opposed to gradual, as well as to immediate emancipation:
and, were she, indeed, to enter upon a scheme of gradual emancipation,
she would speedily abandon it. The objections to swelling the number of
her free colored population, whilst she continued to hold their brethren
of the same race in bondage, would be found too real and alarming to
justify her perseverance in the scheme. How strange, that men at the
North, who think soundly on other subjects, should deduce the
feasibility of gradual emancipation in the slave states--in some of
which the slaves outnumber the free--from the fact of the like
emancipation of the comparative handful of slaves in New York and

You say, "_It is frequently asked, what will become of the African race
among us? Are they forever to remain in bondage? That question was asked
more than half a century ago. It has been answered by fifty years of

The wicked man, "spreading himself like the green bay tree," would
answer this question, as you have. They, who "walk after their own
lusts, saying, where is the promise of his coming--for since the fathers
fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the
creation?" would answer it, as you have. They, whose "heart is fully set
in them to do evil, because sentence against an evil work is not
executed speedily," would answer it, as you have. But, however you or
they may answer it, and although God may delay his "coming" and the
execution of his "sentence," it, nevertheless, remains true, that "it
shall be well with them that fear God, but it shall not be well with
the wicked."

"Fifty years of prosperity!" On whose testimony do we learn, that the
last "fifty years" have been "years of prosperity" to the South?--on the
testimony of oppressors or on that of the oppressed?--on that of her two
hundred and fifty thousand slaveholders--for this is the sum total of
the tyrants, who rule the South and rule this nation--or on that of her
two millions and three quarters of bleeding and crushed slaves? It may
well be, that those of the South, who "have lived in pleasure on the
earth and been wanton and have nourished their hearts as in a day of
slaughter," should speak of "prosperity:" but, before we admit, that the
"prosperity," of which they speak, is that of the South, instead of
themselves merely, we must turn our weeping eyes to the "laborers, who
have reaped down" their oppressors' "fields without wages," and the
"cries" of whom "are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth;" and
we must also take into the account the tears, and sweat, and groans, and
blood, of the millions of similar laborers, whom, during the last "fifty
years," death has mercifully released from Southern bondage. Talks the
slaveholder of the "prosperity" of the South? It is but his own
"prosperity"--and a "prosperity," such as the wolf may boast, when
gorging on the flock.

You say, _that the people of the North would not think it "neighborly
and friendly" if "the people of the slave states were to form societies,
subsidize presses, make large pecuniary contributions, &c. to burn the
beautiful capitals, destroy the productive manufactories, and sink the
gallant ships of the northern states_."

Indeed, they would not! But, if you were to go to such pains, and
expense for the purpose of relieving our poor, doubling our wealth, and
promoting the spiritual interests of both rich and poor--then we should
bless you for practising a benevolence towards us, so like that, which
abolitionists practise towards you; and then our children, and
children's children, would bless your memories, even as your children
and children's children will, if southern slavery be peacefully
abolished, bless our memories, and lament that their ancestors had been
guilty of construing our love into hatred, and our purpose of naught but
good into a purpose of unmingled evil.

Near the close of your speech is the remark: "_I prefer the liberty of
my own country to that of any other people_."

Another distinguished American statesman uttered the applauded
sentiment: "My country--my whole country--and nothing but my
country;"--and a scarcely less distinguished countryman of ours
commanded the public praise, by saying: "My country right--but my
country, right or wrong." Such are the expressions of _patriotism_ of
that idolized compound of selfish and base affections!

Were I writing for the favor, instead of the welfare of my fellow-men, I
should praise rather than denounce patriotism. Were I writing in
accordance with the maxims of a corrupt world, instead of the truth of
Jesus Christ, I should defend and extol, rather than rebuke the
doctrine, that we may prefer the interests of one section of the human
family to those of another. If patriotism, in the ordinary acceptation
of the word, be right, then the Bible is wrong--for that blessed book
requires us to love all men, even as we love ourselves. How contrary to
its spirit and precepts, that,

"Lands intersected by a narrow frith,
Abhor each other, Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one."

There are many, who consider that the doctrine of loving all our fellow
men as ourselves, belongs, to use your words, "to a sublime but
impracticable philosophy." Let them, however, but devoutly ask Him, who
enjoins it, to warm and expand their selfish and contracted hearts with
its influences; and they will know, by sweet experience, that under the
grace of God, the doctrine is no less "practicable" than "sublime." Not
a few seem to suppose, that he, who has come to regard the whole world
as his country, and all mankind as his countrymen, will have less love
of home and country than the patriot has, who makes his own nation, and
no other, the cherished object of his affections. But did the Saviour,
when on earth, love any individual the less, because the love of His
great heart was poured out, in equal tides, over the whole human family?
And would He not, even in the eyes of the patriot himself, be stamped
with imperfection, were it, to appear, that one nation shares less than
another in His "loving-kindness" and that "His tender mercies are (not)
over all his works?" Blessed be His holy name, that He was cast down the
"middle wall of partition" between the Jew and Gentile!--that there is
no respect of persons with Him!--that "Greek" and "Jew, circumcision and
uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond" and "free," are equal
before Him!

Having said, "_I prefer the liberty of my own country to that of any
other people_," you add--"_and the liberty of my own race to that of any
other race."_

How perfectly natural, that the one sentiment should follow the other!
How perfectly natural, that he who can limit his love by state or
national lines, should be also capable of confining it to certain
varieties of the human complexion! How perfectly natural, that, he who
is guilty of the insane and wicked prejudice against his fellow men,
because they happen to be born a dozen, or a hundred, or a thousand
miles from the place of his nativity, should foster the no less insane
and wicked prejudice against the "skin not colored like his own!" How
different is man from God! "He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on
the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." But were man
invested with supreme control, he would not distribute blessings
impartially even amongst the "good" and the "just."

You close your speech with advice and an appeal to abolitionists. Are
you sure that an appeal, to exert the most winning influence upon our
hearts, would not have come from some other source better than from one
who, not content with endeavoring to show the pernicious tendency of our
principles and measures, freely imputes to us bloody and murderous
motives? Are you sure, that you, who ascribe to us designs more
diabolical than those of burning "beautiful capitals," and destroying
"productive manufactories," and sinking "gallant ships," are our most
suitable adviser? We have, however, waved all exception on this score to
your appeal and advice, and exposed our minds and hearts to the whole
power and influence of your speech. And now we ask, that you, in turn,
will hear us. Presuming that you are too generous to refuse the
reciprocation, we proceed to call on you to stay your efforts at
quenching the world's sympathy for the slave--at arresting the progress
of liberal, humane, and Christian sentiments--at upholding slavery
against that Almighty arm, which now, "after so long a time," is
revealed for its destruction. We urge you to worthier and more hopeful
employments. Exert your great powers for the repeal of the matchlessly
wicked laws enacted to crush the Saviour's poor. Set a happy and an
influential example to your fellow slaveholders, by a righteous
treatment of those, whom you unrighteously hold in bondage. Set them
this example, by humbling yourself before God and your assembled slaves,
in unfeigned penitence for the deep and measureless wrongs you have done
the guiltless victims of your oppression--by paying those _men_, (speak
of them, think of them, no longer, as _brutes_ and _things_)--by paying
these, who are my brother men and your brother men, the "hire" you have
so long withheld from them, and "which crieth" to Heaven, because it "is
of you kept back"--by breaking the galling yoke from their necks, and
letting them "go free."

Do you shrink from our advice--and say, that obedience to its just
requirements would impoverish you? Infinitely better, that you be
honestly poor than dishonestly rich. Infinitely better to "do justly,"
and be a Lazarus; than to become a Croesus, by clinging to and
accumulating ill-gotten gains. Do you add to the fear of poverty, that
of losing your honors--those which are anticipated, as well as those,
which already deck your brow? Allow us to assure you, that it will be
impossible for you to redeem "Henry Clay, the statesman," and "Henry
Clay, the orator," or even "Henry Clay, the President of the United
States," from the contempt of a slavery-loathing posterity, otherwise
than by coupling with those designations the inexpressibly more
honorable distinction of "HENRY CLAY, THE EMANCIPATOR."

I remain,

Your friend,



* * * * *




* * * * *

"Behold the wicked abominations that they do!"--Ezekial, viii, 2.

"The righteous considereth the cause of the poor; but the wicked
regardeth not to know it."--Prov. 29, 7.

"True humanity consists not in a squeamish ear, but in listening to
the story of human suffering and endeavoring to relieve it."--Charles
James Fox.

* * * * *

143 NASSAU STREET. 1839.

* * * * *

This periodical contains 7 sheets--postage, under 100 miles, 10-1/2
cts; over 100 miles, 17-1/2 cents.

ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER. A majority of the facts and testimony
contained in this work rests upon the authority of slaveholders, whose
names and residences are given to the public, as vouchers for the
truth of their statements. That they should utter falsehoods, for the
sake of proclaiming their own infamy, is not probable.

Their testimony is taken, mainly, from recent newspapers, published in
the slave states. Most of those papers will be deposited at the office
of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 143 Nassau street, New York
City. Those who think the atrocities, which they describe, incredible,
are invited to call and read for themselves. We regret that _all_ of
the original papers are not in our possession. The idea of preserving
them on file for the inspection of the incredulous, and the curious,
did not occur to us until after the preparation of the work was in a
state of forwardness, in consequence of this, some of the papers
cannot be recovered. _Nearly all_ of them, however have been
preserved. In all cases the _name_ of the paper is given, and, with
very few exceptions, the place and time, (year, month, and day) of
publication. Some of the extracts, however not being made with
reference to this work, and before its publication was contemplated,
are without date; but this class of extracts is exceedingly small,
probably not a thirtieth of the whole.

The statements, not derived from the papers and other periodicals,
letters, books, &c., published by slaveholders, have been furnished by
individuals who have resided in slave states, many of whom are natives
of those states, and have been slaveholders. The names, residences,
&c. of the witnesses generally are given. A number of them, however,
still reside in slave states;--to publish their names would be, in most
cases, to make them the victims of popular fury.

New York, May 4, 1839.


The Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, while
tendering their grateful acknowledgments, in the name of American
Abolitionists, and in behalf of the slave, to those who have furnished
for this publication the result of their residence and travel in the
slave states of this Union, announce their determination to publish,
from time to time, as they may have the materials and the funds,
TRACTS, containing well authenticated facts, testimony, personal
narratives, &c. fully setting forth the _condition_ of American
slaves. In order that they may be furnished with the requisite
materials, they invite all who have had personal knowledge of the
condition of slaves in any of the states of this Union, to forward
their testimony with their names and residences. To prevent
imposition, it is indispensable that persons forwarding testimony, who
are not personally known to any of the Executive Committee, or to the
Secretaries or Editors of the American Anti-Slavery Society, should
furnish references to some person or persons of respectability, with
whom, if necessary, the Committee may communicate respecting the

Facts and testimony respecting the condition of slaves, in _all
respects_, are desired; their food, (kinds, quality, and quantity,)
clothing, lodging, dwellings, hours of labor and rest, kinds of labor,
with the mode of exaction, supervision, &c.--the number and time of
meals each day, treatment when sick, regulations inspecting their
social intercourse, marriage and domestic ties, the system of torture
to which they are subjected, with its various modes; and _in detail_,
their _intellectual_ and _moral_ condition. Great care should be
observed in the statement of facts. Well-weighed testimony and
well-authenticated facts; with a responsible name, the Committee
earnestly desire and call for. Thousands of persons in the free states
have ample knowledge on this subject, derived from their own
observation in the midst of slavery. Will such hold their peace? That
which maketh manifest is _light_; he who keepeth his candle under a
bushel at such a time and in such a cause as this, _forges fetters for
himself_, as well as for the slave. Let no one withhold his testimony
because others have already testified to similar facts. The value of
testimony is by no means to be measured by the _novelty_ of the
horrors which it describes. _Corroborative_ testimony,--facts, similar
to those established by the testimony of others,--is highly valuable.
Who that can give it and has a heart of flesh, will refuse to the
slave so small a boon?

Communications may be addressed to Theodore D. Weld, 143
Nassau-street, New York. New York, May, 1839.



Twenty-seven hundred thousand free born citizens of the U.S. in
Tender mercies of slaveholders;
Abominations of slavery;
Character of the testimony.


North Carolina Slavery;
Methodist preaching slavedriver, Galloway;
Women at child-birth;
Slaves at labor;
Clothing of slaves;
Allowance of provisions;
Cruelties to slaves;
Burying a slave alive;
Licentiousness of Slave-holders;
Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, with his "hands tied";
Preachers cringe to slavery;
Nakedness of slaves;
Means of subsistence for slaves;
Slaves' prayer.

Labor of the slaves;
Whipping posts;
Scenes of horror;
Constables, savage and brutal;
Cruelties at night;
Branding with hot iron;
Murder with impunity;
Iron collars, yokes, clogs, and bells.

Barbarous Treatment of slaves;
Converted slave;
Professor of religion, near death, tortured his slave for visiting
his companion;
Counterpart of James Williams' description of Larrimore's wife;
Head of runaway slave on a pole;
Governor of North Carolina left his sick slave to perish;
Cruelty to Women slaves;
Christian slave a martyr for Jesus.

Twenty-seven slaves whipped.

Harris whipped a girl to death;
Captain of the U.S. Navy murdered his boy, was tried and acquitted;
Overseer burnt a slave;
Cruelties to slaves.


Suffering from hunger;
Rations in the U.S. Army, &c;
Prison rations;

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