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BY The American Anti-Slavery Society


No. 1. To the People of the United States; or, To Such Americans
As Value Their Rights, and Dare to Maintain Them.

No. 2. Appeal to the Christian Women of the South.

No. 2. Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. Revised and

No. 3. Letter of Gerrit Smith to Rev. James Smylie, of the State
of Mississippi.

No. 4. The Bible Against Slavery. An Inquiry Into the
Patriarchal and Mosaic Systems on the Subject of Human Rights.

No. 4. The Bible Against Slavery. An Inquiry Into the
Patriarchal and Mosaic Systems on the Subject of Human Rights.
Third Edition--Revised.

No. 4. The Bible Against Slavery. An Inquiry Into the
Patriarchal and Mosaic Systems on the Subject of Human Rights.
Fourth Edition--Enlarged.

No. 5. Power of Congress Over the District of Columbia.

No. 5. Power of Congress Over the District of Columbia. With
Additions by the Author.


VOL. I. AUGUST, 1836. NO. 1.






A crisis has arrived, in which rights the most important which civil
society can acknowledge, and which have been acknowledged by our
Constitution and laws, in terms the most explicit which language can
afford, are set at nought by men, whom your favor has invested with a
brief authority. By what standard is your liberty of conscience, of
speech, and of the press, now measured? Is it by those glorious charters
you have inherited from your fathers, and which your present rulers have
called Heaven to witness, they would preserve inviolate? Alas! another
standard has been devised, and if we would know what rights are conceded
to us by our own servants, we must consult the COMPACT by which the
South engages on certain conditions to give its trade and votes to
Northern men. All rights not allowed by this compact, we now hold by
sufferance, and our Governors and Legislatures avow their readiness to
deprive us of them, whenever in their opinion, legislation on the
subject shall be "necessary[A]." This compact is not indeed published to
the world, under the hands and seals of the contracting parties, but it
is set forth in official messages,--in resolutions of the State and
National Legislatures--in the proceedings of popular meetings, and in
acts of lawless violence. The temples of the Almighty have been sacked,
because the worshipers did not conform their consciences to the
compact[B]. Ministers of the gospel have been dragged as criminals from
the altar to the bar, because they taught the people from the Bible,
doctrines proscribed by the compact[C]. Hundreds of free citizens,
peaceably assembled to express their sentiments, have, because such an
expression was forbidden by the compact, been forcibly dispersed, and
the chief actor in this invasion on the freedom of speech, instead of
being punished for a breach of the peace, was rewarded for his fidelity
to the compact with an office of high trust and honor[D].

[Footnote A: See the Messages of the Governors of New-York and
Connecticut, the resolutions of the New-York Legislature, and the bill
introduced into the Legislature of Rhode Island.]

[Footnote B: Churches in New-York attacked by the mob in 1834.]

[Footnote C: See two cases within the last twelve months in New

[Footnote D: Samuel Beardsley, Esq. the leader of the Utica riot, was
shortly afterwards appointed Attorney General of the state of New-York.]

* * * * *

POSTAGE--This Periodical contains one sheet, postage under 100 miles, is
1 1-2 cents over 100 miles, 2 1-2 cents.

"The freedom of the press--the palladium of liberty," was once a
household proverb. Now, a printing office[A] is entered by ruffians, and
its types scattered in the highway, because disobedient to the compact.
A Grand Jury, sworn to "present all things truly as they come to their
knowledge," refuse to indict the offenders; and a senator in Congress
rises in his place, and appeals to the outrage in the printing office,
and the conduct of the Grand Jury as evidence of the good faith with
which the people of the state of New York were resolved to observe the

[Footnote A: Office of the Utica Standard and Democrat newspaper.]

[Footnote B: See speech of the Hon. Silas Wright in the U.S. Senate of
Feb. 1836.]

The Executive Magistrate of the American Union, unmindful of his
obligation to execute the laws for the equal benefit of his fellow
citizens, has sanctioned a censorship of the press, by which papers
incompatible with the compact are excluded from the southern mails, and
he has officially advised Congress to do by law, although in violation
of the Constitution, what he had himself virtually done already in
despite of both. The invitation has indeed been rejected, but by the
Senate of the United States only, after a portentous struggle--a
struggle which distinctly exhibited the _political_ conditions of the
compact, as well as the fidelity with which those conditions are
observed by a northern candidate for the Presidency. While in compliance
with these conditions, a powerful minority in the Senate were forging
fetters for the PRESS, the House of Representatives were employed in
breaking down the right of PETITION. On the 26th May last, the following
resolution, reported by a committee was adopted by the House, viz.

"Resolved, that all Petitions, Memorials, Resolutions and
Propositions relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to
the subject of Slavery, shall without being either printed or
referred, be laid on the table, and that no further action
whatever shall be had thereon." Yeas, 117. Nays, 68.

Bear with us, fellow countrymen, while we call your attention to the
outrage on your rights, the contempt of personal obligations and the
hardened cruelty involved in this detestable resolution. Condemn us not
for the harshness of our language, before you hear our justification. We
shall speak only the truth, but we shall speak it as freemen.

The right of petition is founded in the very institution of civil
government, and has from time immemorial been acknowledged as among the
unquestionable privileges of our English ancestors. This right springs
from the great truth that government is established for the benefit of
the governed; and it forms the medium by which the people acquaint their
rulers with their wants and their grievances. So accustomed were the
Americans to the exercise of this right, even during their subjection to
the British crown, that, on the formation of the Federal Constitution,
the Convention not conceiving that it could be endangered, made no
provision for its security. But in the very first Congress that
assembled under the new Government, the omission was repaired. It was
thought some case might possibly occur, in which this right might prove
troublesome to a dominant faction, who would endeavor to stifle it. An
amendment was therefore proposed and adopted, by which Congress is
restrained from making any law abridging "the right of the People,
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
grievances." Had it not been for this prudent jealousy of our Fathers,
instead of the resolution I have transcribed, we should have had a LAW,
visiting with pains and penalties, all who dared to petition the Federal
Government, in behalf of the victims of oppression, held in bondage by
its authority. The present resolution cannot indeed consign such
petitioners to the prison or the scaffold, but it makes the right to
petition a congressional boon, to be granted or withheld at pleasure,
and in the present case effectually withholds it, by tendering it

Petitions are to inform the Government of the wishes of the people, and
by calling forth the action of the Legislature, to inform the
constituents how far their wishes are respected by their
representatives. The information thus mutually given and received is
essential to a faithful and enlightened exercise of the right of
legislation on the one hand, and of suffrage on the other. But the
resolution we are considering, provides that no petition in relation to
slavery, shall be printed for the information of the members, nor
referred to a committee to ascertain the truth of its statements; nor
shall any vote be taken, in regard to it, by which the People may learn
the sentiments of their representatives.

If Congress may thus dispose of petitions on one subject, they may make
the same disposition of petitions on any and every other subject. Our
representatives are bound by oath, not to pass any law abridging the
right of petition, but if this resolution is constitutional, they may
order every petition to be delivered to their door-keeper, and by him to
be committed to the flames; for why preserve petitions on which _no
action can be had_? Had the resolution been directed to petitions for an
object palpably unconstitutional, it would still have been without
excuse. The construction of the Constitution is a matter of opinion, and
every citizen has a right to express that opinion in a petition, or

But this usurpation is aggravated by the almost universal admission that
Congress does possess the constitutional power to legislate on the
subject of slavery in the District of Columbia and the Territories. No
wonder that a distinguished statesman refused to sanction the right of
the House to pass such a resolution by even voting against it[A]. The
men who perpetrated this outrage had sworn to support the Constitution,
and will they hereafter plead at the bar of their Maker, that they had
kept their oath, because they had abridged the right of petition _by a
resolution_, and not by law!

[Footnote A: Mr. J.Q. Adams, on his name being called, refused to vote,
saying, "the resolution is in direct violation of the Constitution of
the United States, and the privileges of the members of this House."]

This resolution not only violates the rights of the people, but it
nullifies the privileges and obligations of their representatives. It is
an undoubted right and duty of every member of Congress to propose any
measure within the limits of the Constitution, which he believes is
required by the interests of his constituents and the welfare of his
country. Now mark the base surrender of this right--the wicked
dereliction of this duty. All "resolutions and propositions" relating
"in _any way_ or to _any extent_ whatever to the subject of slavery,"
shall be laid on the table, and "no further action _whatever_ shall be
had thereon." What a spectacle has been presented to the American
people!--one hundred and seventeen members of Congress relinquishing
their own rights, cancelling their own solemn obligations, forcibly
depriving the other members of their legislative privileges, abolishing
the freedom of debate, condemning the right of petition, and prohibiting
present and future legislation on a most important and constitutional
subject, by a rule of order!

In 1820, the New-York Legislature instructed the representatives from
that state in Congress, to insist on making "the prohibition of slavery
an indispensable condition of admission" of certain territories into the
union. In 1828, the Legislature of Pennsylvania instructed the
Pennsylvania members of Congress, to vote for the abolition of slavery
in the district of Columbia. In vain hereafter shall a representative
present the instructions of his constituents, or the injunctions of a
sovereign state. No question shall be taken, or any motion he may offer,
in _any way_, or to _any extent_, relating to slavery!

Search the annals of legislation, and you will find no precedent for
such a profligate act of tyranny, exercised by a majority over their
fellow legislators, nor for such an impudent contempt of the rights of
the people.

But this resolution is no less barbarous than it is profligate and
impudent. Remember, fellow countrymen! that the decree has gone forth,
that there shall be no legislation by Congress, _in any way_, or to _any
extent whatever_, on the subject of slavery. Now call to mind, that
Congress is the local and only legislature of the District of Columbia,
which is placed by the Constitution under its "exclusive jurisdiction
_in all cases whatsoever_." In this District, there are thousands of
human beings divested of the rights of humanity, and subjected to a
negotiable despotism; and Congress is the only power that can extend the
shield of law to protect them from cruelty and abuse; and that shield,
it is now resolved, shall not be extended in any way, or to any extent!
But this is not all. The District has become the great slave-market of
North America, and the port of Alexandria is the Guinea of our proud
republic, whence "cargoes of despair" are continually departing[A].

[Footnote A: One dealer, John Armfield, advertises in the National
Intelligencer of the 10th of February last, that he has three vessels in
the trade, and they will leave the port of Alexandria on the first and
fifteenth of each month.]

In the city which bears the name of the Father of his country, dealers
in human flesh receive licenses for the vile traffic, at four hundred
dollars each per annum; and the gazettes of the Capital have their
columns polluted with the advertisements of these men, offering cash for
children and youth, who, torn from their parents and families, are to
wear out their existence on the plantations of the south.[A] For the
safe keeping of these children and youth, till they are shipped for the
Mississippi, private pens and prisons are provided, and the UNITED
STATES' JAIL used when required. The laws of the District in relation to
slaves and free negroes are of the most abominable and iniquitous
character. Any free citizen with a dark skin, may be arrested on
pretence of being a fugitive slave, and committed to the UNITED STATES'
PRISON, and unless within a certain number of days he proves his
freedom, while immured within its walls, he is, under authority of
Congress, sold as a slave for life. Do you ask why? Let the blood mantle
in your cheeks, while we give you the answer of the LAW--"to pay his
jail fees!!"

[Footnote A: Twelve hundred negroes are thus advertised for in the
National Intelligencer of the 28th of March last. The negroes wanted are
generally from the age of ten or twelve years to twenty-five, and of
both sexes.]

On the 11th of January, 1827, the Committee for the District of
Columbia, (themselves slaveholders) introduced a bill providing that the
jail fees should hereafter be a county charge. The bill did not pass;
and by the late resolution, a statute unparalleled for injustice and
atrocity by any mandate of European despotism, is to be like the law of
the Medes and Persians, that altereth not, since no proposition for its
repeal or modification can be entertained.

The Grand Jury of Alexandria presented the slave trade of that place, as
"disgraceful to our character as citizens of a free government," and as
"a grievance demanding legislative redress;" that is, the interposition
of Congress--but one hundred and seventeen men have decided that there
shall be "no action whatever" by Congress in relation to slavery.

In March, 1816, John Randolph submitted the following resolution to the
House of Representatives: "_Resolved_, That a Committee be appointed to
inquire into the existence of an _inhuman_ and illegal traffic of
slaves, carried on in and through the District of Columbia, and to
report whether any, and what measures are necessary for putting a stop
to the same." The COMPACT had not then been formed and the resolution
_was adopted_. Such a resolution would _now_ "be laid on the table," and
treated with silent contempt.

In 1828, eleven hundred inhabitants of the District presented a petition
to Congress, complaining of the "DOMESTIC SLAVE-TRADE" as a grievance
disgraceful in its character, and "even more demoralizing its influence"
than the foreign traffic. The petition concluded as follows: "The people
of this District have within themselves no means of legislative redress,
and we therefore appeal to your Honorable body as the _only one_ vested
by the American Constitution with power to relieve us." No more shall
such appeals be made to the national council. What matters it, that the
people of the District are annoyed by the human shambles opened among
them? What matters it, that Congress is "the only body vested by the
American Constitution with power to relieve" them? The compact requires
that no action shall be had on _any_ petition relating to slavery.

The horse or the ox may be protected in the District, by act of
Congress, from the cruelty of its owner; but MAN, created in the image
of God, shall, if his complexion be dark, be abandoned to every outrage.
The negro may be bound alive to the stake in front of the Capitol, as
well as in the streets of St. Louis--his shrieks may resound through the
representative hall--and the stench of his burning body may enter the
nostrils of the law-givers--but no vote may rebuke the abomination--no
law forbid its repetition.

The representatives of the nation may regulate the traffic in sheep and
swine, within the ten miles square; but the SLAVERS of the District may
be laden to suffocation with human cattle--the horrors of the middle
passage may be transcended at the wharves of Alexandria; but Congress
may not limit the size of the cargoes, or provide for the due feeding
and watering the animals composing them!--The District of Columbia is
henceforth to be the only spot on the face of the globe, subjected to a
civilized and Christian police, in which avarice and malice may with
legal impunity inflict on humanity whatever sufferings ingenuity can
devise, or depravity desire.

And this accumulation of wickedness, cruelty and baseness, is to render
the seat of the federal government the scoff of tyrants and the reproach
of freemen FOREVER! On the 9th of January 1829, the House of
Representatives passed the following vote. "_Resolved_, that the
committee of the District of Columbia be instructed to inquire into the
expediency of providing by law, for the gradual abolition of Slavery in
the District, in such manner that no individual shall be injured
thereby." Never again while the present rule of order is in force, can
similar instructions be given to a committee--never again shall even an
inquiry be made into the expediency of abolishing slavery and the
slave-trade in the District. What stronger evidence can we have, of the
growing and spreading corruption caused by slavery, than that one
hundred and seventeen republican legislators professed believers in
Christianity--many of them from the North, aye even from the land of the
Pilgrims, should strive to render such curses PERPETUAL!

The flagitiousness of this resolution is aggravated if possible by the
arbitrary means by which its adoption was secured. No representative of
the People was permitted to lift up his voice against it--to plead the
commands of the Constitution which is violated--his own privileges and
duties which it contemned--the rights of his constituents on which it
trampled--the chains of justice and humanity which it impiously
outraged. Its advocates were afraid and ashamed to discuss it, and
forbidding debate, they perpetrated in silence the most atrocious act
that has ever disgraced an American Legislature[A]. And was no reason
whatever, it may be asked, assigned for this bold invasion of our
rights, this insult to the sympathies of our common nature?
Yes--connected with the resolution was a preamble explaining its OBJECT.
Read it, fellow countrymen, and be equally astonished at the impudence
of your rulers in avowing such an object, and at their folly in adopting
such an expedient to effect it. The lips of a free people are to be
sealed by insult and injury!

[Footnote A: A debate was allowed on a motion to re-commit the report,
for the purpose of preparing a resolution that Congress has no
constitutional power to interfere with slavery in the District of
Columbia; but when the sense of the House was to be taken on the
resolution reported by the committees, all debate was prevented by the
previous question.]

"Whereas, it is extremely important and desirable that the AGITATION on
this subject should be finally ARRESTED, for the purpose of restoring
_tranquillity_ to the public mind, your committee respectfully recommend
the following resolution."

ORDER REIGNS IN WARSAW, were the terms in which the triumph of Russia
over the liberties of Poland was announced to the world. When the right
of petition shall be broken down--when no whisper shalt be heard in
Congress in behalf of human rights--when the press shall be muzzled, and
the freedom of speech destroyed by gag-laws, then will the slaveholders

Fellow countrymen! is such the tranquillity you desire--is such the
heritage you would leave to your children? Suffer not the present
outrage, by effecting its avowed object, to invite farther aggressions
on your rights. The chairman of the committee boasted that the number of
petitioners the present session, for the abolition of slavery in the
District, was _only_ thirty-four thousand! Let us resolve, we beseech
you, that at the next session the number shall be A MILLION. Perhaps our
one hundred and seventeen representatives will then abandon in despair
their present dangerous and unconstitutional expedient for tranquilizing
the public mind.

The purpose of this address, is not to urge upon you our own views of
the sinfulness of slavery, and the safety of its immediate abolition;
but to call your attention to the conduct of your rulers. Let no one
think for a moment, that because he is not an abolitionist, his
liberties are not and will not be invaded. _We_ have no rights, distinct
from the rights of the whole people. Calumny, falsehood, and popular
violence, have been employed in vain, to tranquilize abolitionists. It
is now proposed to soothe them, by despoiling them of their
Constitutional rights; but they cannot be despoiled _alone_. The right
of petition and the freedom of debate are as sacred and valuable to
those who dissent from our opinions, as they are to ourselves. Can the
Constitution at the same time secure liberty to you, and expose us to
oppression--give you freedom of speech, and lock our lips--respect your
right of petition, and treat ours with contempt? No, fellow
countrymen!--we must be all free, or all slaves together. We implore
you, then, by all the obligations of interest, of patriotism, and of
religion--by the remembrance of your Fathers--by your love for your
children, to unite with us in maintaining our common, and till lately,
our unquestioned political rights.

We ask you as men to insist that your servants acting as the local
legislators of the District of Columbia, shall respect the common rights
and decencies of humanity.--We ask you as freemen, not to permit your
constitutional privileges to be trifled with, by those who have sworn to
maintain them.--We ask you as Christian men, to remember that by
sanctioning the sinful acts of your agents, you yourselves assume their

We have no candidates to recommend to your favor--we ask not your
support for any political party; but we do ask you to give your
suffrages hereafter only to such men as you have reason to believe will
not sacrifice your rights, and their own obligations, and the claims of
mercy and the commands of God, to an iniquitous and mercenary COMPACT.
If we cannot have northern Presidents and other officers of the general
government except in exchange for freedom of conscience, of speech, of
the press and of legislation, then let all the appointments at
Washington be given to the South. If slaveholders will not trade with
us, unless we consent to be slaves ourselves, then let us leave their
money, and their sugar, and their cotton, to perish with them.

Fellow countrymen! we wish, we recommend no action whatever,
inconsistent with the laws and constitutions of our country, or the
precepts of our common religion, but we beseech you to join with us in
resolving, that while we will respect the rights of others, we will at
every hazard maintain our own.

_In behalf of the American Anti-Slavery Society._


WM. JAY, \




S.E. CORNISH, | _Executive Committee_.







* * * * *

Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, corner of Spruce and
Nassau Streets.


VOL. I. SEPTEMBER 1836. No. 2.





"Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not within
thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all
the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time,
then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews
from another place: but thou and thy father's house shall be
destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom
for such a time as this. And Esther bade them return Mordecai
this answer:--and so will I go in unto the king, which is not
according to law, and _if I perish, I perish._" Esther IV.


It is because I feel a deep and tender interest in your present and
eternal welfare that I am willing thus publicly to address you. Some of
you have loved me as a relative, and some have felt bound to me in
Christian sympathy, and Gospel fellowship; and even when compelled by a
strong sense of duty, to break those outward bonds of union which bound
us together as members of the same community, and members of the same
religious denomination, you were generous enough to give me credit, for
sincerity as a Christian, though you believed I had been most strangely
deceived. I thanked you then for your kindness, and I ask you _now_, for
the sake of former confidence, and former friendship, to read the
following pages in the spirit of calm investigation and fervent prayer.
It is because you have known me, that I write thus unto you.

But there are other Christian women scattered over the Southern States,
and of these, a very large number have never seen me, and never heard my
name, and feel _no_ personal interest whatever in _me_. But I feel an
interest in _you_, as branches of the same vine from whose root I daily
draw the principle of spiritual vitality--Yes! Sisters in Christ I feel
an interest in _you_, and often has the secret prayer arisen on your
behalf, Lord "open thou their eyes that they may see wondrous things out
of thy Law"--It is then, because I _do feel_ and _do pray_ for you, that
I thus address you upon a subject about which of all others, perhaps you
would rather not hear any thing; but, "would to God ye could bear with
me a little in my folly, and indeed bear with me, for I am jealous over
you with godly jealousy." Be not afraid then to read my appeal; it is
_not_ written in the heat of passion or prejudice, but in that solemn
calmness which is the result of conviction and duty. It is true, I am
going to tell you unwelcome truths, but I mean to speak those _truths in
love_, and remember Solomon says, "faithful are the _wounds_ of a
friend." I do not believe the time has yet come when _Christian women_
"will not endure sound doctrine," even on the subject of Slavery, if it
is spoken to them in tenderness and love, therefore I now address _you_.

* * * * *

POSTAGE.--This periodical contains four and a half sheets. Postage under
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To all of you then, known or unknown, relatives or strangers, (for you
are all _one_ to Christ,) I would speak. I have felt for you at this
time, when unwelcome light is pouring in upon the world on the subject
of slavery; light which even Christians would exclude, if they could,
from our country, or at any rate from the southern portion of it,
saying, as its rays strike the rock bound coasts of New England and
scatter their warmth and radiance over her hills and valleys, and from
thence travel onward over the Palisades of the Hudson, and down the soft
flowing waters of the Delaware and gild the waves of the Potomac,
"hitherto shalt thou come and no further;" I know that even professors
of His name who has been emphatically called the "Light of the world"
would, if they could, build a wall of adamant around the Southern States
whose top might reach unto heaven, in order to shut out the light which
is bounding from mountain to mountain and from the hills to the plains
and valleys beneath, through the vast extent of our Northern States. But
believe me, when I tell you, their attempts will be as utterly fruitless
as were the efforts of the builders of Babel; and why? Because moral,
like natural light, is so extremely subtle in its nature as to overleap
all human barriers, and laugh at the puny efforts of man to control it.
All the excuses and palliations of this system must inevitably be swept
away, just as other "refuges of lies" have been, by the irresistible
torrent of a rectified public opinion. "The _supporters_ of the slave
system," says Jonathan Dymond in his admirable work on the Principles of
Morality, "will _hereafter_ be regarded with the _same_ public feeling,
as he who was an advocate for the slave trade _now is_." It will be, and
that very soon, clearly perceived and fully acknowledged by all the
virtuous and the candid, that in _principle_ it is as sinful to hold a
human being in bondage who has been born in Carolina, as one who has
been born in Africa. All that sophistry of argument which has been
employed to prove, that although it is sinful to send to Africa to
procure men and women as slaves, who have never been in slavery, that
still, it is not sinful to keep those in bondage who have come down by
inheritance, will be utterly overthrown. We must come back to the good
old doctrine of our forefathers who declared to the world, "this self
evident truth that _all_ men are created equal, and that they have
certain _inalienable_ rights among which are life, _liberty_, and the
pursuit of happiness." It is even a greater absurdity to suppose a man
can be legally born a slave under _our free Republican_ Government, than
under the petty despotisms of barbarian Africa. If then, we have no
right to enslave an African, surely we can have none to enslave an
American; if it is a self evident truth that _all_ men, every where and
of every color are born equal, and have an _inalienable right to
liberty_, then it is equally true that _no_ man can be born a slave, and
no man can ever _rightfully_ be reduced to _involuntary_ bondage and
held as a slave, however fair may be the claim of his master or mistress
through wills and title-deeds.

But after all, it may be said, our fathers were certainly mistaken, for
the Bible sanctions Slavery, and that is the highest authority. Now the
Bible is my ultimate appeal in all matters of faith and practice, and it
is to _this test_ I am anxious to bring the subject at issue between us.
Let us then begin with Adam and examine the charter of privileges which
was given to him. "Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the
earth." In the eighth Psalm we have a still fuller description of this
charter which through Adam was given to all mankind. "Thou madest him to
have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things
under his feet. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field,
the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through
the paths of the seas." And after the flood when this charter of human
rights was renewed, we find _no additional_ power vested in man. "And
the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the
earth, and every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the
earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they
delivered." In this charter, although the different kinds of
_irrational_ beings are so particularly enumerated, and supreme dominion
over _all of them_ is granted, yet _man_ is _never_ vested with this
dominion _over his fellow man;_ he was never told that any of the human
species were put _under his feet;_ it was only _all things_, and man,
who was created in the image of his Maker, _never_ can properly be
termed a _thing_, though the laws of Slave States do call him "a chattel
personal;" _Man_ then, I assert _never_ was put _under the feet of man_,
by that first charter of human rights which was given by God, to the
Fathers of the Antediluvian and Postdiluvian worlds, therefore this
doctrine of equality is based on the Bible.

But it may be argued, that in the very chapter of Genesis from which I
have last quoted, will be found the curse pronounced upon Canaan, by
which his posterity was consigned to servitude under his brothers Shem
and Japheth. I know this prophecy was uttered, and was most fearfully
and wonderfully fulfilled, through the immediate descendants of Canaan,
_i.e._ the Canaanites, and I do not know but it has been through all the
children of Ham, but I do know that prophecy does _not_ tell us what
_ought to be_, but what actually does take place, ages after it has been
delivered, and that if we justify America for enslaving the children of
Africa, we must also justify Egypt for reducing the children of Israel
to bondage, for the latter was foretold as explicitly as the former. I
am well aware that prophecy has often been urged as an excuse for
Slavery, but be not deceived, the fulfillment of prophecy will _not
cover one sin_ in the awful day of account. Hear what our Saviour says
on this subject; "it must needs be that offences come, but _woe unto
that man through whom they come_"--Witness some fulfillment of this
declaration in the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, occasioned by
that most nefarious of all crimes the crucifixion of the Son of God. Did
the fact of that event having been foretold, exculpate the Jews from sin
in perpetrating it; No--for hear what the Apostle Peter says to them on
this subject, "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, _ye_ have taken, and by _wicked_ hands have
crucified and slain." Other striking instances might be adduced, but
these will suffice.

But it has been urged that the patriarchs held slaves, and therefore,
slavery is right. Do you really believe that patriarchal servitude was
like American slavery? Can you believe it? If so, read the history of
these primitive fathers of the church and be undeceived. Look at
Abraham, though so great a man, going to the herd himself and fetching a
calf from thence and serving it up with his own hands, for the
entertainment of his guests. Look at Sarah, that princess as her name
signifies, baking cakes upon the hearth. If the servants they had were
like Southern slaves, would they have performed such comparatively
menial offices for themselves? Hear too the plaintive lamentation of
Abraham when he feared he should have no son to bear his name down to
posterity. "Behold thou hast given me no seed, &c., one born in my house
_is mine_ heir." From this it appears that one of his _servants_ was to
inherit his immense estate. Is this like Southern slavery? I leave it to
your own good sense and candor to decide. Besides, such was the footing
upon which Abraham was with _his_ servants, that he trusted them with
arms. Are slaveholders willing to put swords and pistols into the hands
of their slaves? He was as a father among his servants; what are
planters and masters generally among theirs? When the institution of
circumcision was established, Abraham was commanded thus; "He that is
eight days old shall be circumcised among you, _every_ man-child in your
generations; he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger which is not of thy seed." And to render this command with
regard to his _servants_ still more impressive it is repeated in the
very next verse; and herein we may perceive the great care which was
taken by God to guard the _rights of servants_ even under this "dark
dispensation." What too was the testimony given to the faithfulness of
this eminent patriarch. "For I know him that he will command his
children and his _household_ after him, and they shall keep the way of
the Lord to do justice and judgment." Now my dear friends many of you
believe that circumcision has been superseded by baptism in the Church;
_Are you_ careful to have _all_ that are born in your house or bought
with money of any stranger, baptized? Are _you_ as faithful as Abraham
to command _your household to keep the way of the Lord?_ I leave it to
your own consciences to decide. Was patriarchal servitude then like
American Slavery?

But I shall be told, God sanctioned Slavery, yea commanded Slavery under
the Jewish Dispensation. Let us examine this subject calmly and
prayerfully. I admit that a species of _servitude_ was permitted to the
Jews, but in studying the subject I have been struck with wonder and
admiration at perceiving how carefully the servant was guarded from
violence, injustice and wrong. I will first inform you how these
servants became servants, for I think this a very important part of our
subject. From consulting Horne, Calmet and the Bible, I find there were
six different ways by which the Hebrews became servants legally.

1. If reduced to extreme poverty, a Hebrew might sell himself, i.e. his
services, for six years, in which case _he_ received the purchase money
_himself_. Lev. xxv, 39.

2. A father might sell his children as servants, i.e. his _daughters_,
in which circumstance it was understood the daughter was to be the wife
or daughter-in-law of the man who bought her, and the _father_ received
the price. In other words, Jewish women were sold as _white women_ were
in the first settlement of Virginia--as _wives_, _not_ as slaves. Ex.
xxi, 7.

3. Insolvent debtors might be delivered to their creditors as servants.
2 Kings iv, 1.

4. Thieves not able to make restitution for their thefts, were sold for
the benefit of the injured person. Ex. xxii, 3.

5. They might be born in servitude. Ex. xxi, 4.

6. If a Hebrew had sold himself to a rich Gentile, he might be redeemed
by one of his brethren at any time the money was offered; and he who
redeemed him, was _not_ to take advantage of the favor thus conferred,
and rule over him with rigor. Lev. xxv, 47-55.

Before going into an examination of the laws by which these servants
were protected, I would just ask whether American slaves have become
slaves in any of the ways in which the Hebrews became servants. Did they
sell themselves into slavery and receive the purchase money into their
own hands? No! Did they become insolvent, and by their own imprudence
subject themselves to be sold as slaves? No! Did they steal the property
of another, and were they sold to make restitution for their crimes? No!
Did their present masters, as an act of kindness, redeem them from some
heathen tyrant to whom _they had sold themselves_ in the dark hour of
adversity? No! Were they born in slavery? No! No! not according to
_Jewish Law_, for the servants who were born in servitude among them,
were born of parents who had _sold themselves_ for six years: Ex. xxi,
4. Were the female slaves of the South sold by their fathers? How shall
I answer this question? Thousands and tens of thousands never were,
_their_ fathers _never_ have received the poor compensation of silver or
gold for the tears and toils, the suffering, and anguish, and hopeless
bondage of _their_ daughters. They labor day by day, and year by year,
side by side, in the same field, if haply their daughters are permitted
to remain on the same plantation with them, instead of being as they
often are, separated from their parents and sold into distant states,
never again to meet on earth. But do the _fathers of the South ever sell
their daughters?_ My heart beats, and my hand trembles, as I write the
awful affirmative, Yes! The fathers of this Christian land often sell
their daughters, _not_ as Jewish parents did, to be the wives and
daughters-in-law of the man who buys them, but to be the abject slaves
of petty tyrants and irresponsible masters. Is it not so, my friends? I
leave it to your own candor to corroborate my assertion. Southern slaves
then have _not_ become slaves in any of the six different ways in which
Hebrews became servants, and I hesitate not to say that American masters
_cannot_ according to _Jewish law_ substantiate their claim to the men,
women, or children they now hold in bondage.

But there was one way in which a Jew might illegally be reduced to
servitude; it was this, he might he _stolen_ and afterwards sold as a
slave, as was Joseph. To guard most effectually against this dreadful
crime of manstealing, God enacted this severe law. "He that stealeth a
man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be
put to death[A]." As I have tried American Slavery by _legal_ Hebrew
servitude, and found, (to your surprise, perhaps,) that Jewish law
cannot justify the slaveholder's claim, let us now try it by _illegal_
Hebrew bondage. Have the Southern slaves then been stolen? If they did
not sell themselves into bondage; if they were not sold as insolvent
debtors or as thieves; if they were not redeemed from a heathen master
to whom they had sold themselves; if they were not born in servitude
according to Hebrew law; and if the females were not sold by their
fathers as wives and daughters-in-law to those who purchased them; then
what shall we say of them? what can we say of them? but that according
_to Hebrew Law they have been stolen_.

[Footnote A: And again, "If a man be found stealing any of his brethren
of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth
him; then _that thief shall die_, and thou shalt put away evil from
among you." Deut. xxiv, 7.]

But I shall be told that the Jews had other servants who were absolute
slaves. Let us look a little into this also. They had other servants who
were procured in two different ways.

1. Captives taken in war were reduced to bondage instead of being
killed; but we are not told that their children were enslaved. Deut. xx,

2. Bondmen and bondmaids might be bought from the heathen round about
them; these were left by fathers to their children after them, but it
does not appear that the _children_ of these servants ever were reduced
to servitude. Lev. xxv, 44.

I will now try the right of the southern planter by the claims of Hebrew
masters over their _heathen_ slaves. Were the southern slaves taken
captive in war? No! Were they bought from the heathen? No! for surely,
no one will _now_ vindicate the slave-trade so far as to assert that
slaves were bought from the heathen who were obtained by that system of
piracy. The only excuse for holding southern slaves is that they were
born in slavery, but we have seen that they were _not_ born in servitude
as Jewish servants were, and that the children of heathen slaves were
not legally subjected to bondage even under the Mosaic Law. How then
have the slaves of the South been obtained?

I will next proceed to an examination of those laws which were enacted
in order to protect the Hebrew and the Heathen servant; for I wish you
to understand that _both_ are protected by Him, of whom it is said "his
mercies are over all his works." I will first speak of those which
secured the rights of Hebrew servants. This code was headed thus:

1. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God.

2. If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, and in the
seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. Ex. xx, 2[A].

[Footnote A: And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt
not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him _liberally_ out of thy
flock and out of thy floor, and out of thy wine-press: of that wherewith
the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, shalt thou give unto him. Deut. xv,
13, 14.]

3. If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were
married, then his wife shall go out with him.

4. If his master have given him a wife and she have borne him sons and
daughters, the wife and her children shall be his master's, and he shall
go out by himself.

5. If the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my
children; I will not go out free; then his master shall bring him unto
the Judges, and he shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post,
and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall
serve him _forever_. Ex. xxi, 3-6.

6. If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that
it perish, he shall let him go _free_ for his eye's sake. And if he
smite out his man servant's tooth or his maid servant's tooth, he shall
let him go _free_ for his tooth's sake. Ex. xxi, 26, 27.

7. On the Sabbath rest was secured to servants by the fourth
commandment. Ex. xx, 10.

8. Servants were permitted to unite with their masters three times in
every year in celebrating the Passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the
feast of Tabernacles; every male throughout the land was to appear
before the Lord at Jerusalem with a gift; here the bond and the free
stood on common ground. Deut. xvi.

9. If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under
his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a
day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money. Ex. xxi, 20,

From these laws we learn that Hebrew men servants were bound to serve
their masters _only six_ years, unless their attachment to their
employers, their wives and children, should induce them to wish to
remain in servitude, in which case, in order to prevent the possibility
of deception on the part of the master, the servant was first taken
before the magistrate, where he openly declared his intention of
continuing in his master's service, (probably a public register was kept
of such) he was then conducted to the door of the house, (in warm
climates doors are thrown open,) and _there_ his ear was _publicly_
bored, and by submitting to this operation he testified his willingness
to serve him _forever_, i.e. during his life, for Jewish Rabbins who
must have understood Jewish _slavery_, (as it is called,) "affirm that
servants were set free at the death of their masters and did _not_
descend to their heirs:" or that he was to serve him until the year of
Jubilee, when _all_ servants were set at liberty. To protect servants
from violence, it was ordained that if a master struck out the tooth or
destroyed the eye of a servant, that servant immediately became _free_,
for such an act of violence evidently showed he was unfit to possess the
power of a master, and therefore that power was taken from him. All
servants enjoyed the rest of the Sabbath and partook of the privileges
and festivities of the three great Jewish Feasts; and if a servant died
under the infliction of chastisement, his master was surely to be
punished. As a tooth for a tooth and life for life was the Jewish law,
of course he was punished with death. I know that great stress has been
laid upon the following verse: "Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or
two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money."

Slaveholders, and the apologists of slavery, have eagerly seized upon
this little passage of scripture, and held it up as the masters' Magna
Charta, by which they were licensed by God himself to commit the
greatest outrages upon the defenceless victims of their oppression. But,
my friends, was it designed to be so? If our Heavenly Father would
protect by law the eye and the tooth of a Hebrew servant, can we for a
moment believe that he would abandon that same servant to the brutal
rape of a master who would destroy even life itself. Do we not rather
see in this, the _only_ law which protected masters, and was it not
right that in case of the death of a servant, one or two days after
chastisement was inflicted, to which other circumstances might have
contributed, that the master should be protected when, in all
probability, he never intended to produce so fatal a result? But the
phrase "he is his money" has been adduced to show that Hebrew servants
were regarded as mere _things_, "chattels personal;" if so, why were so
many laws made to _secure their rights as men_, and to ensure their
rising into equality and freedom? If they were mere _things_, why were
they regarded as responsible beings, and one law made for them as well
as for their masters? But I pass on now to the consideration of how the
_female_ Jewish servants were protected by _law_.

1. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then
shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto another nation he shall
have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

2. If he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after
the manner of daughters.

3. If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of
marriage, shall he not diminish.

4. If he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out _free_
without money.

On these laws I will give you Calmet's remarks; "A father could not sell
his daughter as a slave, according to the Rabbins, until she was at the
age of puberty, and unless he were reduced to the utmost indigence.
Besides, when a master bought an Israelitish girl, it was _always_ with
the presumption that he would take her to wife." Hence Moses adds, "if
she please not her master, and he does not think fit to marry her, he
shall set her at liberty," or according to the Hebrew, "he shall let her
be redeemed." "To sell her to another nation he shall have no power,
seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her;" as to the engagement
implied, at least of taking her to wife. "If he have betrothed her unto
his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters, i.e. he
shall take care that his son uses her as his wife, that he does not
despise or maltreat her. If he make his son marry another wife, he shall
give her her dowry, her clothes and compensation for her virginity; if
he does none of these three, she shall _go out free_ without money."
Thus were the _rights of female servants carefully secured by law_ under
the Jewish Dispensation; and now I would ask, are the rights of female
slaves at the South thus secured? Are _they_ sold only as wives and
daughters-in-law, and when not treated as such, are they allowed to _go
out free_? No! They have _all_ not only been illegally obtained as
servants according to Hebrew law, but they are also illegally _held_ in
bondage. Masters at the South and West have all forfeited their claims,
(_if they ever had any_,) to their female slaves.

We come now to examine the case of those servants who were "of the
heathen round about;" Were _they_ left entirely unprotected by law?
Horne in speaking of the law, "Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor,
but shalt fear thy God," remarks, "this law Lev. xxv, 43; it is true
speaks expressly of slaves who were of Hebrew descent; but as _alien
born_ slaves were ingrafted into the Hebrew Church by circumcision,
_there is no doubt_ but that it applied to _all_ slaves;" if so, then we
may reasonably suppose that the other protective laws extended to them
also; and that the only difference between Hebrew and Heathen servants
lay in this, that the former served but six years unless they chose to
remain longer; and were always freed at the death of their masters;
whereas the latter served until the year of Jubilee, though that might
include a period of forty-nine years,--and were left from father to son.

There are however two other laws which I have not yet noticed. The one
effectually prevented _all involuntary_ servitude, and the other
completely abolished Jewish servitude every fifty years. They were
equally operative upon the Heathen and the Hebrew.

1. "Thou shall _not_ deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped
from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh
him best: thou shall _not_ oppress him." Deut. xxxiii; 15, 16.

2. "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim _Liberty_
throughout _all_ the land, unto _all_ the inhabitants thereof: it shall
be a jubilee unto you." Deut. xxv, 10.

Here, then, we see that by this first law, the _door of Freedom was
opened wide to every servant who_ had any cause whatever for complaint;
if he was unhappy with his master, all he had to do was to leave him,
and _no man_ had a right to deliver him back to him again, and not only
so, but the absconded servant was to _choose_ where he should live, and
no Jew was permitted to oppress him. He left his master just as our
Northern servants leave us; we have no power to compel them to remain
with us, and no man has any right to oppress them; they go and dwell in
that place where it chooseth them, and live just where they like. Is it
so at the South? Is the poor runaway slave protected _by law_ from the
violence of that master whose oppression and cruelty has driven him from
his plantation or his house? No! no! Even the free states of the North
are compelled to deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped
from his master into them. By _human_ law, under the _Christian
Dispensation_, in the _nineteenth century_ we are commanded to do, what
_God_ more than _three thousand_ years ago, under the _Mosaic
Dispensation_, _positively commanded_ the Jews _not_ to do. In the wide
domain even of our free states, there is not _one_ city of refuge for
the poor runaway fugitive; not one spot upon which he can stand and say,
I am a free man--I am protected in my rights as a _man_, by the strong
arm of the law; no! _not one_. How long the North will thus shake hands
with the South in sin, I know not. How long she will stand by like the
persecutor Saul, _consenting_ unto the death of Stephen, and keeping the
raiment of them that slew him, I know not; but one thing I do know, the
_guilt of the North_ is increasing in a tremendous ratio as light is
pouring in upon her on the subject and the sin of slavery. As the sun of
righteousness climbs higher and higher in the moral heavens, she will
stand still more and more abashed as the query is thundered down into
her ear, "_Who_ hath required _this_ at thy hand?" It will be found _no_
excuse then that the Constitution of our country required that _persons
bound to service_ escaping from their masters should be delivered up; no
more excuse than was the reason which Adam assigned for eating the
forbidden fruit. _He was condemned and punished because_ he hearkened to
the voice of _his wife_, rather than to the command of his Maker; and
_we_ will assuredly be condemned and punished for obeying _Man_ rather
than _God_, if we do not speedily repent and bring forth fruits meet for
repentance. Yea, are we not receiving chastisement even _now_?

But by the second of these laws a still more astonishing fact is
disclosed. If the first effectually prevented _all involuntary
servitude_, the last absolutely forbade even _voluntary servitude being
perpetual_. On the great day of atonement every fiftieth year the
Jubilee trumpet was sounded throughout the land of Judea, and _Liberty_
was proclaimed to _all_ the inhabitants thereof. I will not say that the
servants' _chains_ fell off and their _manacles_ were burst, for there
is no evidence that Jewish servants _ever_ felt the weight of iron
chains, and collars, and handcuffs; but I do say that even the man who
had voluntarily sold himself and the _heathen_ who had been sold to a
Hebrew master, were set free, the one as well as the other. This law was
evidently designed to prevent the oppression of the poor, and the
possibility of such a thing as _perpetual servitude_ existing among

Where, then, I would ask, is the warrant, the justification, or the
palliation of American Slavery from Hebrew servitude? How many of the
southern slaves would now be in bondage according to the laws of Moses;
Not one. You may observe that I have carefully avoided using the term
_slavery_ when speaking of Jewish servitude; and simply for this reason,
that _no such thing_ existed among that people; the word translated
servant does _not_ mean _slave_, it is the same that is applied to
Abraham, to Moses, to Elisha and the prophets generally. _Slavery_ then
_never_ existed under the Jewish Dispensation at all, and I cannot but
regard it as an aspersion on the character of Him who is "glorious in
Holiness" for any one to assert that "_God sanctioned, yea commanded
slavery_ under the old dispensation." I would fain lift my feeble voice
to vindicate Jehovah's character from so foul a slander. If slaveholders
are determined to hold slaves as long as they can, let them not dare to
say that the God of mercy and of truth _ever_ sanctioned such a system
of cruelty and wrong. It is blasphemy against Him.

We have seen that the code of laws framed by Moses with regard to
servants was designed to _protect them_ as _men and women_, to secure to
them their _rights_ as _human beings_, to guard them from oppression and
defend them from violence of every kind. Let us now turn to the Slave
laws of the South and West and examine them too. I will give you the
substance only, because I fear I shall trespass too much on your time,
were I to quote them at length.

1. _Slavery_ is hereditary and perpetual, to the last moment of the
slave's earthly existence, and to all his descendants to the latest

2. The labor of the slave is compulsory and uncompensated; while the
kind of labor, the amount of toil, the time allowed for rest, are
dictated solely by the master. No bargain is made, no wages given. A
pure despotism governs the human brute; and even his covering and
provender, both as to quantity and quality, depend entirely on the
master's discretion[A].

[Footnote A: There are laws in some of the slave states, limiting the
labor which the master may require of the slave to fourteen hours daily.
In some of the states there are laws requiring the masters to furnish a
certain amount of food and clothing, as for instance, _one quart_ of
corn per day, or _one peck_ per week, or _one bushel_ per month, and
"one linen shirt and pantaloons for the summer, and a linen shirt and
woolen great coat and pantaloons for the winter," &c. But "still," to
use the language of Judge Stroud "the slave is entirely under the
control of his master,--is unprovided with a protector,--and, especially
as he cannot be a witness or make complaint in any known mode against
his master, the apparent object of these laws may _always_ be defeated."

3. The slave being considered a personal chattel may be sold or pledged,
or leased at the will of his master. He may be exchanged for marketable
commodities, or taken in execution for the debts or taxes either of a
living or dead master. Sold at auction, either individually, or in lots
to suit the purchaser, he may remain with his family, or be separated
from them for ever.

4. Slaves can make no contracts and have no _legal_ right to any
property, real or personal. Their own honest earnings and the legacies
of friends belong in point of law to their masters.

5. Neither a slave nor a free colored person can be a witness against
any _white_, or free person, in a court of justice, however atrocious
may have been the crimes they have seen him commit, if such testimony
would be for the benefit of a _slave_; but they may give testimony
_against a fellow slave_, or free colored man, even in cases affecting
life, if the _master_ is to reap the advantage of it.

6. The slave may be punished at his master's discretion--without
trial--without any means of legal redress; whether his offence be real
or imaginary; and the master can transfer the same despotic power to any
person or persons, he may choose to appoint.

7. The slave is not allowed to resist any free man under _any_
circumstances, _his_ only safety consists in the fact that his _owner_
may bring suit and recover the price of his body, in case his life is
taken, or his limbs rendered unfit for labor.

8. Slaves cannot redeem themselves, or obtain a change of masters,
though cruel treatment may have rendered such a change necessary for
their personal safety.

9. The slave is entirely unprotected in his domestic relations.

10. The laws greatly obstruct the manumission of slaves, even where the
master is willing to enfranchise them.

11. The operation of the laws tends to deprive slaves of religious
instruction and consolation.

12. The whole power of the laws is exerted to keep slaves in a state of
the lowest ignorance.

13. There is in this country a monstrous inequality of law and right.
What is a trifling fault in the _white_ man, is considered highly
criminal in the _slave_; the same offences which cost a white man a few
dollars only, are punished in the negro with death.

14. The laws operate most oppressively upon free people of color[A].

[Footnote A: See Mrs. Child's Appeal, Chap. II.]

Shall I ask you now my friends, to draw the _parallel_ between Jewish
_servitude_ and American _slavery_? No! For there is _no likeness_ in
the two systems; I ask you rather to mark the contrast. The laws of
Moses _protected servants_ in their _rights as men and women_, guarded
them from oppression and defended them from wrong. The Code Noir of the
South _robs the slave of all his rights_ as a _man_, reduces him to a
chattel personal, and defends the _master_ in the exercise of the most
unnatural and unwarrantable power over his slave. They each bear the
impress of the hand which formed them. The attributes of justice and
mercy are shadowed out in the Hebrew code; those of injustice and
cruelty, in the Code Noir of America. Truly it was wise in the
slaveholders of the South to declare their slaves to be "chattels
personal;" for before they could be robbed of wages, wives, children,
and friends, it was absolutely necessary to deny they were human beings.
It is wise in them, to keep them in abject ignorance, for the strong man
armed must be bound before we can spoil his house--the powerful
intellect of man must be bound down with the iron chains of nescience
before we can rob him of his rights as a man; we must reduce him to a
_thing_; before we can claim the right to set our feet upon his neck,
because it was only _all things_ which were originally _put under the
feet of man_ by the Almighty and Beneficent Father of all, who has
declared himself to be _no respecter_ of persons, whether red, white, or

But some have even said that Jesus Christ did not condemn slavery. To
this I reply, that our Holy Redeemer lived and preached among the Jews
only. The laws which Moses had enacted fifteen hundred years previous to
his appearance among them, had never been annulled, and these laws
_protected_ every servant in Palestine. That he saw nothing of
_perpetual_ servitude is certain from the simple declaration made by
himself in John, viii, 35. "The servant abideth _not_ in the house for
ever, the son abideth ever." If then He did not condemn Jewish
_temporary_ servitude, this does not prove that he would not have
condemned such a monstrous system as that of AMERICAN _slavery_, if that
had existed among them. But did not Jesus condemn slavery? Let us
examine some of his precepts. "_Whatsoever_ ye would that men should do
to you, do _ye even so to them_." Let every slaveholder apply these
queries to his own heart; Am _I_ willing to be a slave--Am _I_ willing
to see _my_ husband the slave of another--Am _I_ willing to see my
mother a slave, or my father, my _white_ sister, or my _white_ brother?
If _not_, then in holding others as slaves, I am doing what I would
_not_ wish to be done to me or any relative I have; and thus have I
broken this golden rule which was given _me_ to walk by.

But some slaveholders have said, "we were never in bondage to any man,"
and therefore the yoke of bondage would be insufferable to us, but
slaves are accustomed to it, their backs are fitted to the burden. Well,
I am willing to admit that you who have lived in freedom would find
slavery even more oppressive than the poor slave does, but then you may
try this question in another form--Am I willing to reduce _my little
child_ to slavery? You know that _if it is brought up a slave_, it will
never know any contrast between freedom and bondage; its back will
become fitted to the burden just as the negro child's does--_not by
nature_--but by daily, violent pressure, in the same way that the head
of the Indian child becomes flattened by the boards in which it is
bound. It has been justly remarked that "_God never made a slave_," he
made man upright; his back was _not_ made to carry burdens as the slave
of another, nor his neck to wear a yoke, and the _man_ must be crushed
within him, before _his_ back can be _fitted_ to the burden of perpetual
slavery; and that his back is _not_ fitted to it, is manifest by the
insurrections that so often disturb the peace and security of
slave-holding countries. Who ever heard of a rebellion of the beasts of
the field; and why not? simply because _they_ were all placed _under the
feet of man_, into whose hand they were delivered; it was originally
designed that they should serve him, therefore their necks have been
formed for the yoke, and their backs for the burden; but _not so with
man_, intellectual, immortal man! I appeal to you, my friends, as
mothers; Are you willing to enslave _your_ children? You start back with
horror and indignation at such a question. But why, if slavery is _no
wrong_ to those upon whom it is imposed? why, if, as has often been
said, slaves are happier than their masters, freer from the cares and
perplexities of providing for themselves and their families? why not
place _your children_ in the way of being supported without your having
the trouble to provide for them, or they for themselves? Do you not
perceive that as soon as this golden rule of action is applied to
_yourselves_, that you involuntarily shrink from the test; as soon as
_your_ actions are weighed in _this_ balance of the sanctuary, that _you
are found wanting?_ Try yourselves by another of the Divine precepts,
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Can we love a man _as_ we
love _ourselves_ if we do, and continue to do unto him, what we would
not wish any one to do to us? Look too, at Christ's example, what does
he say of himself, "I came _not_ to be ministered unto, but to
minister." Can you for a moment imagine the meek, and lowly, and
compassionate Saviour, a _slaveholder_? do you not shudder at this
thought as much as at that of his being a _warrior_? But why, if slavery
is not sinful?

Again, it has been said, the Apostle Paul did not condemn Slavery, for
he sent Onesimus back to Philemon. I do not think it can be said he sent
him back, for no coercion was made use of. Onesimus was not thrown into
prison and then sent back in chains to his master, as your runaway
slaves often are--this could not possibly have been the case, because
you know Paul as a Jew, was _bound to protect_ the runaway, _he had no
right_ to send any fugitive back to his master. The state of the case
then seems to have been this. Onesimus had been an unprofitable servant
to Philemon and left him--he afterwards became converted under the
Apostle's preaching, and seeing that he had been to blame in his
conduct, and desiring by future fidelity to atone for past error, he
wished to return, and the Apostle gave him the letter we now have as a
recommendation to Philemon, informing him of the conversion of Onesimus,
and entreating him as "Paul the aged to receive him, _not_ now as a
_servant_, but _above_ a servant, a brother beloved, especially to me,
but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord. If thou
count _me_ therefore as a partner, _receive him as myself._" This then
surely cannot be forced into a justification of the practice of
returning runaway slaves back to their masters, to be punished with
cruel beatings and scourgings as they often are. Besides the word
[Greek: doulos] here translated servant, is the same that is made use of
in Matt. xviii, 27. Now it appears that this servant owed his lord ten
thousand talents; he possessed property to a vast amount. Onesimus could
not then have been a _slave_, for slaves do not own their wives, or
children; no, not even their own bodies, much less property. But again,
the servitude which the apostle was accustomed to, must have been very
different from American slavery, for he says, "the heir (or son), as
long as he is a child, differeth _nothing from a servant_, though he be
lord of all. But is under _tutors_ and governors until the time
appointed of the father." From this it appears, that the means of
_instruction_ were provided for _servants_ as well as children; and
indeed we know it must have been so among the Jews, because their
servants were not permitted to remain in perpetual bondage, and
therefore it was absolutely necessary they should be prepared to occupy
higher stations in society than those of servants. Is it so at the
South, my friends? Is the daily bread of instruction provided for _your
slaves_? are their minds enlightened, and they gradually prepared to
rise from the grade of menials into that of _free_, independent members
of the state? Let your own statute book, and your own daily experience,
answer these questions.

If this apostle sanctioned _slavery_, why did he exhort masters thus in
his epistle to the Ephesians, "and ye, masters, do the same things unto
them (i.e. perform your duties to your servants as unto Christ, not unto
me) _forbearing threatening_; knowing that your master also is in
heaven, neither is _there respect of persons with him_." And in
Colossians, "Masters give unto your servants that which is _just and
equal_, knowing that ye also have a master in heaven." Let slaveholders
only _obey_ these injunctions of Paul, and I am satisfied slavery would
soon be abolished. If he thought it sinful even to _threaten_ servants,
surely he must have thought it sinful to flog and to beat them with
sticks and paddles; indeed, when delineating the character of a bishop,
he expressly names this as one feature of it, "_no striker_." Let
masters give unto their servants that which is _just_ and _equal_, and
all that vast system of unrequited labor would crumble into ruin. Yes,
and if they once felt they had no right to the _labor_ of their servants
without pay, surely they could not think they had a right to their
wives, their children, and their own bodies. Again, how can it be said
Paul sanctioned slavery, when, as though to put this matter beyond all
doubt, in that black catalogue of sins enumerated in his first epistle
to Timothy, he mentions "_menstealers_," which word may be translated
"_slavedealers_." But you may say, we all despise slavedealers as much
as any one can; they are never admitted into genteel or respectable
society. And why not? Is it not because even you shrink back from the
idea of associating with those who make their fortunes by trading in the
bodies and souls of men, women, and children? whose daily work it is to
break human hearts, by tearing wives from their husbands, and children
from their parents? But why hold slavedealers as despicable, if their
trade is lawful and virtuous? and why despise them more than the
_gentlemen of fortune and standing_ who employ them as _their_ agents?
Why more than the _professors of religion_ who barter their
fellow-professors to them for gold and silver? We do not despise the
land agent, or the physician, or the merchant, and why? Simply because
their professions are virtuous and honorable; and if the trade of
men-jobbers was honorable, you would not despise them either. There is
no difference in _principle_, in _Christian ethics_, between the
despised slavedealer and the _Christian_ who buys slaves from, or sells
slaves to him; indeed, if slaves were not wanted by the respectable, the
wealthy, and the religious in a community, there would be no slaves in
that community, and of course no _slavedealers_. It is then the
_Christians_ and the _honorable men_ and _women_ of the South, who are
the _main pillars_ of this grand temple built to Mammon and to Moloch.
It is the _most enlightened_ in every country who are _most_ to blame
when any public sin is supported by public opinion, hence Isaiah says,
"_When_ the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount _Zion_ and on
_Jerusalem_, (then) I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the
king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." And was it not so?
Open the historical records of that age, was not Israel carried into
captivity B.C. 606, Judah B.C. 588, and the stout heart of the heathen
monarchy not punished until B.C. 536, fifty-two years _after_ Judah's,
and seventy years _after_ Israel's captivity, when it was overthrown by
Cyrus, king of Persia? Hence, too, the apostle Peter says, "judgment
must _begin at the house of God_." Surely this would not be the case, if
the _professors of religion_ were not _most worthy_ of blame.

But it may be asked, why are _they_ most culpable? I will tell you, my
friends. It is because sin is imputed to us just in proportion to the
spiritual light we receive. Thus the prophet Amos says, in the name of
Jehovah, "_You only_ have I known of all the families of the earth:
_therefore_ I will punish you for all your iniquities." Hear too the
doctrine of our Lord on this important subject; "The servant who _knew_
his Lord's will and _prepared not_ himself, neither did according to his
will, shall be beaten with _many_ stripes": and why? "For unto
whomsoever _much_ is given, _of him_ shall _much_ be required; and to
whom men have committed _much_, of _him_ they will ask the _more_." Oh!
then that the _Christians_ of the south would ponder these things in
their hearts, and awake to the vast responsibilities which rest _upon
them_ at this important crisis.

I have thus, I think, clearly proved to you seven propositions, viz.:
First, that slavery is contrary to the declaration of our independence.
Second, that it is contrary to the first charter of human rights given
to Adam, and renewed to Noah. Third, that the fact of slavery having
been the subject of prophecy, furnishes _no_ excuse whatever to
slavedealers. Fourth, that no such system existed under the patriarchal
dispensation. Fifth, that _slavery never_ existed under the Jewish
dispensation; but so far otherwise, that every servant was placed under
the _protection of law_, and care taken not only to prevent all
_involuntary_ servitude, but all _voluntary perpetual_ bondage. Sixth,
that slavery in America reduces a _man_ to a _thing_, a "chattel
personal," _robs him_ of _all_ his rights as a _human being_, fetters
both his mind and body, and protects the _master_ in the most unnatural
and unreasonable power, whilst it _throws him out_ of the protection of
law. Seventh, that slavery is contrary to the example and precepts of
our holy and merciful Redeemer, and of his apostles.

But perhaps you will be ready to query, why appeal to _women_ on this
subject? _We_ do not make the laws which perpetuate slavery. _No_
legislative power is vested in _us_; _we_ can do nothing to overthrow
the system, even if we wished to do so. To this I reply, I know you do
not make the laws, but I also know that _you are the wives and mothers,
the sisters and daughters of those who do_; and if you really suppose
_you_ can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken. You
can do much in every way: four things I will name. 1st. You can read on
this subject. 2d. You can pray over this subject. 3d. You can speak on
this subject. 4th. You can _act_ on this subject. I have not placed
reading before praying because I regard it more important, but because,
in order to pray aright, we must understand what we are praying for; it
is only then we can "pray with the understanding and the spirit also."

1. Read then on the subject of slavery. Search the Scriptures daily,
whether the things I have told you are true. Other books and papers
might be a great help to you to this investigation, but they are not
necessary, and it is hardly probable that your Committees of Vigilance
will allow you to have any other. The _Bible_ then is the book I want
you to read in the spirit of inquiry, and the spirit of prayer. Even the
enemies of Abolitionists, acknowledge that their doctrines are drawn
from it. In the great mob in Boston, last autumn, when the books and
papers of the Anti-Slavery Society, were thrown out of the windows of
their office, one individual laid hold of the Bible and was about
tossing it out to the ground, when another reminded him that it was the
Bible he had in his hand. "O! _'tis all one_," he replied, and out went
the sacred volume, along with the rest. We thank him for the
acknowledgment. Yes, "_it is all one_," for our books and papers are
mostly commentaries on the Bible, and the Declaration. Read the _Bible
_then, it contains the words of Jesus, and they are spirit and life.
Judge for yourselves whether _he sanctioned_ such a system of oppression
and crime.

2. Pray over this subject. When you have entered into your closets, and
shut to the doors, then pray to your father, who seeth in secret, that
he would open your eyes to see whether slavery is _sinful_, and if it
is, that he would enable you to bear a faithful, open and un-shrinking
testimony against it, and to do whatsoever your hands find to do,
leaving the consequences entirely to him, who still says to us whenever
we try to reason away duty from the fear of consequences, "_What is that
to thee, follow thou me_." Pray also for that poor slave, that he may be
kept patient and submissive under his hard lot, until God is pleased to
open the door of freedom to him without violence or bloodshed. Pray too
for the master that his heart may be softened, and he made willing to
acknowledge, as Joseph's brethren did, "Verily we are guilty concerning
our brother," before he will be compelled to add in consequence of
Divine judgment, "therefore is all this evil come upon us." Pray also
for all your brethren and sisters who are laboring in the righteous
cause of Emancipation in the Northern States, England and the world.
There is great encouragement for prayer in these words of our Lord.
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to
you"--Pray then without ceasing, in the closet and the social circle.

3. Speak on this subject. It is through the tongue, the pen, and the
press, that truth is principally propagated. Speak then to your
relatives, your friends, your acquaintances on the subject of slavery;
be not afraid if you are conscientiously convinced it is _sinful_, to
say so openly, but calmly, and to let your sentiments be known. If you
are served by the slaves of others, try to ameliorate their condition as
much as possible; never aggravate their faults, and thus add fuel to the
fire of anger already kindled, in a master and mistress's bosom;
remember their extreme ignorance, and consider them as your Heavenly
Father does the _less_ culpable on this account, even when they do wrong
things. Discountenance _all_ cruelty to them, all starvation, all
corporal chastisement; these may brutalize and _break_ their spirits,
but will never bend them to willing, cheerful obedience. If possible,
see that they are comfortably and _seasonably_ fed, whether in the house
or the field; it is unreasonable and cruel to expect slaves to wait for
their breakfast until eleven o'clock, when they rise at five or six. Do
all you can, to induce their owners to clothe them well, and to allow
them many little indulgences which would contribute to their comfort.
Above all, try to persuade your husband, father, brothers and sons, that
_slavery is a crime against God and man_, and that it is a great sin to
keep _human beings_ in such abject ignorance; to deny them the privilege
of learning to read and write. The Catholics are universally condemned,
for denying the Bible to the common people, but, _slaveholders must not_
blame them, for _they_ are doing the _very same thing_, and for the very
same reason, neither of these systems can bear the light which bursts
from the pages of that Holy Book. And lastly, endeavour to inculcate
submission on the part of the slaves, but whilst doing this be faithful
in pleading the cause of the oppressed.

"Will _you_ behold unheeding,
Life's holiest feelings crushed,
Where _woman's_ heart is bleeding,
Shall _woman's_ voice be hushed?"

4. Act on this subject. Some of you _own_ slaves yourselves. If you
believe slavery is _sinful_, set them at liberty, "undo the heavy
burdens and let the oppressed go free." If they wish to remain with you,
pay them wages, if not let them leave you. Should they remain teach
them, and have them taught the common branches of an English education;
they have minds and those minds, _ought to be improved_. So precious a
talent as intellect, never was given to be wrapt in a napkin and buried
in the earth. It is the _duty_ of all, as far as they can, to improve
their own mental faculties, because we are commanded to love God with
_all our minds_, as well as with all our hearts, and we commit a great
sin, if we _forbid or prevent_ that cultivation of the mind in others,
which would enable them to perform this duty. Teach your servants then
to read &c., and encourage them to believe it is their _duty_ to learn,
if it were only that they might read the Bible.

But some of you will say, we can neither free our slaves nor teach them
to read, for the laws of our state forbid it. Be not surprised when I
say such wicked laws _ought to be no barrier_ in the way of your duty,
and I appeal to the Bible to prove this position. What was the conduct
of Shiphrah and Puah, when the king of Egypt issued his cruel mandate,
with regard to the Hebrew children? "_They_ feared _God_, and did _not_
as the King of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive."
Did these _women_ do right in disobeying that monarch? "_Therefore_
(says the sacred text,) _God dealt well_ with them, and made them
houses" Ex. i. What was the conduct of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
when Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image in the plain of Dura, and
commanded all people, nations, and languages, to fall down and worship
it? "Be it known, unto thee, (said these faithful _Jews_) O king, that
_we will not_ serve thy gods, nor worship the image which thou hast set
up." Did these men _do right in disobeying the law_ of their sovereign?
Let their miraculous deliverance from the burning fiery furnace, answer;
Dan. iii. What was the conduct of Daniel, when Darius made a firm decree
that no one should ask a petition of any man or God for thirty days? Did
the prophet cease to pray? No! "When Daniel _knew that the writing was
signed_, he went into his house, and his windows being _open_ towards
Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and
gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Did Daniel do right
thus to _break_ the law of his king? Let his wonderful deliverance out
of the mouths of the lions answer; Dan. vii. Look, too, at the Apostles
Peter and John. When the rulers of the Jews, "_commanded them not_ to
speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus," what did they say?
"Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than
unto God, judge ye." And what did they do? "They spake the word of God
with boldness, and with great power gave the Apostles witness of the
_resurrection_ of the Lord Jesus;" although _this_ was the very
doctrine, for the preaching of which, they had just been cast into
prison, and further threatened. Did these men do right? I leave _you_ to
answer, who now enjoy the benefits of their labors and sufferings, in
that Gospel they dared to preach when positively commanded _not to teach
any more_ in the name of Jesus; Acts iv.

But some of you may say, if we do free our slaves, they will be taken up
and sold, therefore there will be no use in doing it. Peter and John
might just as well have said, we will not preach the gospel, for if we
do, we shall be taken up and put in prison, therefore there will be no
use in our preaching. _Consequences_, my friends, belong no more to
_you_, than they did to these apostles. Duty is ours and events are
God's. If you think slavery is sinful, all _you_ have to do is to set
your slaves at liberty, do all you can to protect them, and in humble
faith and fervent prayer, commend them to your common Father. He can
take care of them; but if for wise purposes he sees fit to allow them to
be sold, this will afford you an opportunity of testifying openly,
wherever you go, against the crime of _manstealing_. Such an act will be
_clear robbery_, and if exposed, might, under the Divine direction, do
the cause of Emancipation more good, than any thing that could happen,
for, "He makes even the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of
wrath he will restrain."

I know that this doctrine of obeying _God_, rather than man, will be
considered as dangerous, and heretical by many, but I am not afraid
openly to avow it, because it is the doctrine of the Bible; but I would
not be understood to advocate resistance to any law however oppressive,
if, in obeying it, I was not obliged to commit _sin_. If for instance,
there was a law, which imposed imprisonment or a fine upon me if I
manumitted a slave, I would on no account resist that law, I would set
the slave free, and then go to prison or pay the fine. If a law commands
me to _sin I will break it_; if it calls me to _suffer_, I will let it
take its course _unresistingly_. The doctrine of blind obedience and
unqualified submission to _any human_ power, whether civil or
ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism, and ought to have no place
among Republicans and Christians.

But you will perhaps say, such a course of conduct would inevitably
expose us to great suffering. Yes! my christian friends, I believe it
would, but this will _not_ excuse you or any one else for the neglect of
_duty_. If Prophets and Apostles, Martyrs, and Reformers had not been
willing to suffer for the truth's sake, where would the world have been
now? If they had said, we cannot speak the truth, we cannot do what we
believe is right, because the _laws of our country or public opinion are
against us_, where would our holy religion have been now? The Prophets
were stoned, imprisoned, and killed by the Jews. And why? Because they
exposed and openly rebuked public sins; they opposed public opinion; had
they held their peace, they all might have lived in ease and died in
favor with a wicked generation. Why were the Apostles persecuted from
city to city, stoned, incarcerated, beaten, and crucified? Because they
dared to _speak the truth_; to tell the Jews, boldly and fearlessly,
that _they_ were the _murderers_ of the Lord of Glory, and that, however
great a stumbling-block the Cross might be to them, there was no other
name given under heaven by which men could be saved, but the name of
Jesus. Because they declared, even at Athens, the seat of learning and
refinement, the self-evident truth, that "they be no gods that are made
with men's hands," and exposed to the Grecians the foolishness of
worldly wisdom, and the impossibility of salvation but through Christ,
whom they despised on account of the ignominious death he died. Because
at Rome, the proud mistress of the world, they thundered out the terrors
of the law upon that idolatrous, war-making, and slave-holding
community. Why were the martyrs stretched upon the rack, gibbetted and
burnt, the scorn and diversion of a Nero, whilst their tarred and
burning bodies sent up a light which illuminated the Roman capital? Why
were the Waldenses hunted like wild beasts upon the mountains of
Piedmont, and slain with the sword of the Duke of Savoy and the proud
monarch of France? Why were the Presbyterians chased like the partridge
over the highlands of Scotland--the Methodists pumped, and stoned, and
pelted with rotten eggs--the Quakers incarcerated in filthy prisons,
beaten, whipped at the cart's tail, banished and hung? Because they
dared to _speak_ the _truth_, to _break_ the unrighteous _laws_ of their
country, and chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
"not accepting deliverance," even under the gallows. Why were Luther and
Calvin persecuted and excommunicated, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer
burnt? Because they fearlessly proclaimed the truth, though that truth
was contrary to public opinion, and the authority of Ecclesiastical
councils and conventions. Now all this vast amount of human suffering
might have been saved. All these Prophets and Apostles, Martyrs, and
Reformers, might have lived and died in peace with all men, but
following the example of their great pattern, "they despised the shame,
endured the cross, and are now set down on the right hand of the throne
of God," having received the glorious welcome of "well _done_ good and
faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord."

But you may say we are _women_, how can _our_ hearts endure persecution?
And why not? Have not _women_ stood up in all the dignity and strength
of moral courage to be the leaders of the people, and to bear a faithful
testimony for the truth whenever the providence of God has called them
to do so? Are there no _women_ in that noble army of martyrs who are now
singing the song of Moses and the Lamb? Who led out the women of Israel
from the house of bondage, striking the timbrel, and singing the song of
deliverance on the banks of that sea whose waters stood up like walls of
crystal to open a passage for their escape? It was a _woman_; Miriam,
the prophetess, the sister of Moses and Aaron. Who went up with Barak to
Kadesh to fight against Jabin, King of Canaan, into whose hand Israel
had been sold because of their iniquities? It was a _woman!_ Deborah the
wife of Lapidoth, the judge, as well as the prophetess of that
backsliding people; Judges iv, 9. Into whose hands was Sisera, the
captain of Jabin's host delivered? Into the hand of a _woman_. Jael the
wife of Heber! Judges vi, 21. Who dared to _speak the truth_ concerning
those judgments which were coming upon Judea, when Josiah, alarmed at
finding that his people "had not kept the word of the Lord to do after
all that was written in the book of the Law," sent to enquire of the
Lord concerning these things? It was a _woman_. Huldah the prophetess,
the wife of Shallum; 2, Chron. xxxiv, 22. Who was chosen to deliver the
whole Jewish nation from that murderous decree of Persia's King, which
wicked Haman had obtained by calumny and fraud? It was a _woman_; Esther
the Queen; yes, weak and trembling _woman_ was the instrument appointed
by God, to reverse the bloody mandate of the eastern monarch, and save
the _whole visible church_ from destruction. What human voice first
proclaimed to Mary that she should be the mother of our Lord? It was a
_woman!_ Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias; Luke i, 42, 43. Who united
with the good old Simeon in giving thanks publicly in the temple, when
the child, Jesus, was presented there by his parents, "and spake of him
to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem?" It was a _woman!_
Anna the prophetess. Who first proclaimed Christ as the true Messiah in
the streets of Samaria, once the capital of the ten tribes? It was a
_woman!_ Who ministered to the Son of God whilst on earth, a despised
and persecuted Reformer, in the humble garb of a carpenter? They were
_women!_ Who followed the rejected King of Israel, as his fainting
footsteps trod the road to Calvary? "A great company of people and of
_women_;" and it is remarkable that to _them alone_, he turned and
addressed the pathetic language, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for
me, but weep for yourselves and your children." Ah! who sent unto the
Roman Governor when he was set down on the judgment seat, saying unto
him, "Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered
many things this day in a dream because of him?" It was a _woman_! the
wife of Pilate. Although "_he knew_ that for envy the Jews had delivered
Christ," yet _he_ consented to surrender the Son of God into the hands
of a brutal soldiery, after having himself scourged his naked body. Had
the _wife_ of Pilate sat upon that judgment seat, what would have been
the result of the trial of this "just person?"

And who last hung round the cross of Jesus on the mountain of Golgotha?
Who first visited the sepulchre early in the morning on the first day of
the week, carrying sweet spices to embalm his precious body, not knowing
that it was incorruptible and could not be holden by the bands of death?
These were _women_! To whom did he _first_ appear after his
resurrection? It was to a _woman_! Mary Magdalene; Mark xvi, 9. Who
gathered with the apostles to wait at Jerusalem, in prayer and
supplication, for "the promise of the Father;" the spiritual blessing of
the Great High Priest of his Church, who had entered, _not_ into the
splendid temple of Solomon, there to offer the blood of bulls, and of
goats, and the smoking censer upon the golden altar, but into Heaven
itself, there to present his intercessions, after having "given himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor?"
_Women_ were among that holy company; Acts i, 14. And did _women_ wait
in vain? Did those who had ministered to his necessities, followed in
his train, and wept at his crucifixion, wait in vain? No! No! Did the
cloven tongues of fire descend upon the heads of _women_ as well as men?
Yes, my friends, "it sat upon _each one of them_;" Acts ii, 3. _women_
as well as men were to be living stones in the temple of grace, and
therefore _their_ heads were consecrated by the descent of the Holy
Ghost as well as those of men. Were _women_ recognized as fellow
laborers in the gospel field? They were! Paul says in his epistle to the
Philippians, "help those _women_ who labored with me, in the gospel;"
Phil. iv, 3.

But this is not all. Roman _women_ were burnt at the stake, _their_
delicate limbs were torn joint from joint by the ferocious beasts of the
Amphitheatre, and tossed by the wild bull in his fury, for the diversion
of that idolatrous, warlike, and slaveholding people. Yes, _women_
suffered under the ten persecutions of heathen Rome, with the most
unshrinking constancy and fortitude; not all the entreaties of friends,
nor the claims of new born infancy, nor the cruel threats of enemies
could make _them_ sprinkle one grain of incense upon the altars of Roman
idols. Come now with me to the beautiful valleys of Piedmont. Whose
blood stains the green sward, and decks the wild flowers with colors not
their own, and smokes on the sword of persecuting France? It is
_woman's_, as well as man's? Yes, _women_ were accounted as sheep for
the slaughter, and were cut down as the tender saplings of the wood.

But time would fail me, to tell of all those hundreds and thousands of
_women_, who perished in the Low countries of Holland, when Alva's sword
of vengeance was unsheathed against the Protestants, when the Catholic
Inquisitions of Europe became the merciless executioners of vindictive
wrath, upon those who dared to worship God, instead of bowing down in
unholy adoration before "my Lord God the _Pope_," and when England, too,
burnt her Ann Ascoes at the stake of martyrdom. Suffice it to say, that
the Church, after having been driven from Judea to Rome, and from Rome
to Piedmont, and from Piedmont to England, and from England to Holland,
at last stretched her fainting wings over the dark bosom of the
Atlantic, and found on the shores of a great wilderness, a refuge from
tyranny and oppression--as she thought, but _even here_, (the warm blush
of shame mantles my cheek as I write it,) _even here, woman_ was beaten
and banished, imprisoned, and hung upon the gallows, a trophy to the

And what, I would ask in conclusion, have _women_ done for the great and
glorious cause of Emancipation? Who wrote that pamphlet which moved the
heart of Wilberforce to pray over the wrongs, and his tongue to plead
the cause of the oppressed African? It was a _woman_, Elizabeth Heyrick.
Who labored assiduously to keep the sufferings of the slave continually
before the British public? They were _women_. And how did they do it? By
their needles, paint brushes and pens, by speaking the truth, and
petitioning Parliament for the abolition of slavery. And what was the
effect of their labors? Read it in the Emancipation bill of Great
Britain. Read it, in the present state of her West India Colonies. Read
it, in the impulse which has been given to the cause of freedom, in the
United States of America. Have English women then done so much for the
negro, and shall American women do nothing? Oh no! Already are there
sixty female Anti-Slavery Societies in operation. These are doing just
what the English women did, telling the story of the colored man's
wrongs, praying for his deliverance, and presenting his kneeling image
constantly before the public eye on bags and needle-books, card-racks,
pen-wipers, pin-cushions, &c. Even the children of the north are
inscribing on their handy work, "May the points of our needles prick the
slaveholder's conscience." Some of the reports of these Societies
exhibit not only considerable talent, but a deep sense of religious
duty, and a determination to persevere through evil as well as good
report, until every scourge, and every shackle, is buried under the feet
of the manumitted slave.

The Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society of Boston was called last fall, to a
severe trial of their faith and constancy. They were mobbed by "the
gentlemen of property and standing," in that city at their anniversary
meeting, and their lives were jeoparded by an infuriated crowd; but
their conduct on that occasion did credit to our sex, and affords a full
assurance that they will _never_ abandon the cause of the slave. The
pamphlet, Right and Wrong in Boston, issued by them in which a
particular account is given of that "mob of broad cloth in broad day,"
does equal credit to the head and the heart of her who wrote it. I wish
my Southern sisters could read it; they would then understand that the
women of the North have engaged in this work from a sense of _religious
duty_, and that nothing will ever induce them to take their hands from
it until it is fully accomplished. They feel no hostility to you, no
bitterness or wrath; they rather sympathize in your trials and
difficulties; but they well know that the first thing to be done to help
you, is to pour in the light of truth on your minds, to urge you to
reflect on, and pray over the subject. This is all _they_ can do for
you, _you_ must work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling,
and with the direction and blessing of God, _you can do it_. Northern
women may labor to produce a correct public opinion at the North, but if
Southern women sit down in listless indifference and criminal idleness,
public opinion cannot be rectified and purified at the South. It is
manifest to every reflecting mind, that slavery must be abolished; the
era in which we live, and the light which is overspreading the whole
world on this subject, clearly show that the time cannot be distant when
it will be done. Now there are only two ways in which it can be
effected, by moral power or physical force, and it is for _you_ to
choose which of these you prefer. Slavery always has, and always will
produce insurrections wherever it exists, because it is a violation of
the natural order of things, and no human power can much longer
perpetuate it. The opposers of abolitionists fully believe this; one of
them remarked to me not long since, there is no doubt there will be a
most terrible overturning at the South in a few years, such cruelty and
wrong, must be visited with Divine vengeance soon. Abolitionists
believe, too, that this must inevitably be the case, if you do not
repent, and they are not willing to leave you to perish without
entreating you, to save yourselves from destruction; well may they say
with the apostle, "am I then your enemy because I tell you the truth,"
and warn you to flee from impending judgments.

But why, my dear friends, have I thus been endeavoring to lead you
through the history of more than three thousand years, and to point you
to that great cloud of witnesses who have gone before, "from works to
rewards?" Have I been seeking to magnify the sufferings, and exalt the
character of woman, that she "might have praise of men?" No! no! my
object has been to arouse _you_, as the wives and mothers, the daughters
and sisters, of the South, to a sense of your duty as _women_, and as
Christian women, on that great subject, which has already shaken our
country, from the St. Lawrence and the lakes, to the Gulf of Mexico, and
from the Mississippi to the shores of the Atlantic; _and will continue
mightily to shake it_, until the polluted temple of slavery fall and
crumble into ruin. I would say unto each one of you, "what meanest thou,
O sleeper! arise and call upon thy God, if so be that God will think
upon us that we perish not." Perceive you not that dark cloud of
vengeance which hangs over our boasting Republic? Saw you not the
lightnings of Heaven's wrath, in the flame which leaped from the
Indian's torch to the roof of yonder dwelling, and lighted with its
horrid glare the darkness of midnight? Heard you not the thunders of
Divine anger, as the distant roar of the cannon came rolling onward,
from the Texian country, where Protestant American Rebels are fighting
with Mexican Republicans--for what? For the re-establishment of
_slavery_; yes! of American slavery in the bosom of a Catholic Republic,
where that system of robbery, violence, and wrong, had been legally
abolished for twelve years. Yes! citizens of the United States, after
plundering Mexico of her land, are now engaged in deadly conflict, for
the privilege of fastening chains, and collars, and manacles--upon whom?
upon the subjects of some foreign prince? No! upon native born American
Republican citizens, although the fathers of these very men declared to
the whole world, while struggling to free themselves from the three
penny taxes of an English king, that they believed it to be a
_self-evident_ truth that _all men_ were created equal, and had an
_unalienable right to liberty_.

Well may the poet exclaim in bitter sarcasm,

"The fustian flag that proudly waves
In solemn mockery _o'er a land of slaves_."

Can you not, my friends, understand the signs of the times; do you not
see the sword of retributive justice hanging over the South, or are you
still slumbering at your posts?--Are there no Shiphrahs, no Puahs among
you, who will dare in Christian firmness and Christian meekness, to
refuse to obey the _wicked laws_ which require _woman to enslave, to
degrade and to brutalize woman?_ Are there no Miriams, who would rejoice
to lead out the captive daughters of the Southern States to liberty and
light? Are there no Huldahs there who will dare to _speak the truth_
concerning the sins of the people and those judgments, which it requires
no prophet's eye to see, must follow if repentance is not speedily
sought? Is there no Esther among you who will plead for the poor devoted
slave? Read the history of this Persian queen, it is full of
instruction; she at first refused to plead for the Jews; but, hear the
words of Mordecai, "Think not within thyself, that _thou_ shalt escape
in the king's house more than all the Jews, for _if thou altogether
holdest thy peace at this time_, then shall there enlargement and
deliverance arise to the Jews from another place: but _thou and thy
father's house shall be destroyed._" Listen, too, to her magnanimous
reply to this powerful appeal; "_I will go_ in unto the king, which is
not according to law, and if I perish. I perish." Yes! if there were but
_one_ Esther at the South, she _might_ save her country from ruin; but
let the Christian women there arise, as the Christian women of Great
Britain did, in the majesty of moral power, and that salvation is
certain. Let them embody themselves in societies, and send petitions up
to their different legislatures, entreating their husbands, fathers,
brothers and sons, to abolish the institution of slavery; no longer to
subject _woman_ to the scourge and the chain, to mental darkness and
moral degradation; no longer to tear husbands from their wives, and
children from their parents; no longer to make men, women, and children,
work _without wages;_ no longer to make their lives bitter in hard
bondage; no longer to reduce _American citizens_ to the abject condition
of _slaves_, of "chattels personal;" no longer to barter the _image of
God_ in human shambles for corruptible things such as silver and gold.

The _women of the South can overthrow_ this horrible system of
oppression and cruelty, licentiousness and wrong. Such appeals to your
legislatures would be irresistible, for there is something in the heart
of man which _will bend under moral suasion_. There is a swift witness
for truth in his bosom, which _will respond to truth_ when it is uttered
with calmness and dignity. If you could obtain but six signatures to
such a petition in only one state, I would say, send up that petition,
and be not in the least discouraged by the scoffs and jeers of the
heartless, or the resolution of the house to lay it on the table. It
will be a great thing if the subject can be introduced into your
legislatures in any way, even by _women_, and _they_ will be the most
likely to introduce it there in the best possible manner, as a matter of
_morals_ and _religion_, not of expediency or politics. You may
petition, too, the different, ecclesiastical bodies of the slave states.
Slavery must be attacked with the whole power of truth and the sword of
the spirit. You must take it up on _Christian_ ground, and fight against
it with Christian weapons, whilst your feet are shod with the
preparation of the gospel of peace. And _you are now_ loudly called upon
by the cries of the widow and the orphan, to arise and gird yourselves
for this great moral conflict, with the whole armour of righteousness
upon the right hand and on the left.

There is every encouragement for you to labor and pray, my friends,
because the abolition of slavery as well as its existence, has been the
theme of prophecy. "Ethiopia (says the Psalmist) shall stretch forth her
hands unto God." And is she not now doing so? Are not the Christian
negroes of the south lifting their hands in prayer for deliverance, just
as the Israelites did when their redemption was drawing nigh? Are they
not sighing and crying by reason of the hard bondage? And think you,
that He, of whom it was said, "and God heard their groaning, and their
cry came up unto him by reason of the hard bondage," think you that his
ear is heavy that he cannot _now_ hear the cries of his suffering
children? Or that He who raised up a Moses, an Aaron, and a Miriam, to
bring them up out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, cannot
now, with a high hand and a stretched out arm, rid the poor negroes out
of the hands of their masters? Surely you believe that his arm is _not_
shortened that he cannot save. And would not such a work of mercy
redound to his glory? But another string of the harp of prophecy
vibrates to the song of deliverance: "But they shall sit every man under
his vine, and under his fig-tree, and _none shall make them afraid_; for
the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it." The _slave_ never can do
this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he
can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to
sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering
driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him
afraid of the chain or the whip. Hear, too, the sweet tones of another
string: "Many shall run to and fro, and _knowledge_ shall be increased."
Slavery is an insurmountable barrier to the increase of knowledge in
every community where it exists; _slavery, then, must be abolished
before_ this prediction can be fulfiled. The last chord I shall touch,
will be this, "They shall _not_ hurt nor destroy in all my holy

_Slavery, then, must be overthrown before_ the prophecies can be
accomplished, but how are they to be fulfiled? Will the wheels of the
millennial car be rolled onward by miraculous power? No! God designs to
confer this holy privilege upon _man_; it is through _his_
instrumentality that the great and glorious work of reforming the world
is to be done. And see you not how the mighty engine of _moral power_ is
dragging in its rear the Bible and peace societies, anti-slavery and
temperance, sabbath schools, moral reform, and missions? or to adopt
another figure, do not these seven philanthropic associations compose
the beautiful tints in that bow of promise which spans the arch of our
moral heaven? Who does not believe, that if these societies were broken
up, their constitutions burnt, and the vast machinery with which they
are laboring to regenerate mankind was stopped, that the black clouds of
vengeance would soon burst over our world, and every city would witness
the fate of the devoted cities of the plain? Each one of these societies
is walking abroad through the earth scattering the seeds of truth over
the wide field of our world, not with the hundred hands of a Briareus,
but with a hundred thousand.

Another encouragement for you to labor, my friends, is, that you will
have the prayers and co-operation of English and Northern
philanthropists. You will never bend your knees in supplication at the
throne of grace for the overthrow of slavery, without meeting there the
spirits of other Christians, who will mingle their voices with yours, as
the morning or evening sacrifice ascends to God. Yes, the spirit of
prayer and of supplication has been poured out upon many, many hearts;
there are wrestling Jacobs who will not let go of the prophetic promises
of deliverance for the captive, and the opening of prison doors to them
that are bound. There are Pauls who are saying, in reference to this
subject, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" There are Marys sitting
in the house now, who are ready to arise and go forth is this work as
soon as the message is brought, "the master is come and calleth for
thee." And there are Marthas, too, who have already gone out to meet
Jesus, as he bends his footsteps to their brother's grave, and weeps,
_not_ over the lifeless body of Lazarus bound hand and foot in
grave-clothes, but over the politically and intellectually lifeless
slave, bound hand and foot in the iron chains of oppression and
ignorance. Some may be ready to say, as Martha did, who seemed to expect
nothing but sympathy from Jesus, "Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he
hath been dead four days." She thought it useless to remove the stone
and expose the loathsome body of her brother; she could not believe that
so great a miracle could be wrought, as to raise _that putrefied body_
into life; but "Jesus said, take _ye_ away the stone;" and when _they_
had taken away the stone where the dead was laid, and uncovered the body
of Lazarus, then it was that "Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father,
I thank thee that thou hast heard me," &c. "And when he had thus spoken,
he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth." Yes, some may be ready
to say of the colored race, how can _they_ ever be raised politically
and intellectually, they have been dead four hundred years? But _we_
have _nothing_ to do with _how_ this is to be done; _our business_ is to
take away the stone which has covered up the dead body of our brother,
to expose the putrid carcass, to show _how_ that body has been bound
with the grave-clothes of heathen ignorance, and his face with the
napkin of prejudice, and having done all it was our duty to do, to stand
by the negro's grave, in humble faith and holy hope, waiting to hear the
life-giving command of "Lazarus, come forth." This is just what
Anti-Slavery Societies are doing; they are taking away the stone from
the mouth of the tomb of slavery, where lies the putrid carcass of our
brother. They want the pure light of heaven to shine into that dark and
gloomy cave; they want all men to see _how_ that dead body has been
bound, _how_ that face has been wrapped in the _napkin of prejudice_;
and shall they wait beside that grave in vain? Is not Jesus still the
resurrection and the life? Did He come to proclaim liberty to the
captive, and the opening of prison doors to them that are bound, in
vain? Did He promise to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness unto
them that mourn in Zion, and will He refuse to beautify the mind, anoint
the head, and throw around the captive negro the mantle of praise for
that spirit of heaviness which has so long bound him down to the ground?
Or shall we not rather say with the prophet, "the zeal of the Lord of
Hosts _will_ perform this?" Yes, his promises are sure, and amen in
Christ Jesus, that he will assemble her that halteth, and gather her
that is driven out, and her that is afflicted.

But I will now say a few words on the subject of Abolitionism. Doubtless
you have all heard Anti-Slavery Societies denounced as insurrectionary
and mischievous, fanatical and dangerous. It has been said they publish
the most abominable untruths, and that they are endeavoring to excite
rebellions at the South. Have you believed these reports, my friends?
have _you_ also been deceived by these false assertions? Listen to me,
then, whilst I endeavor to wipe from the fair character of Abolitionism
such unfounded accusations. You know that _I_ am a Southerner; you know
that my dearest relatives are now in a slave State. Can you for a moment
believe I would prove so recreant to the feelings of a daughter and a
sister, as to join a society which was seeking to overthrow slavery by
falsehood, bloodshed, and murder? I appeal to you who have known and
loved me in days that are passed, can _you_ believe it? No! my friends.
As a Carolinian, I was peculiarly jealous of any movements on this
subject; and before I would join an Anti-Slavery Society, I took the
precaution of becoming acquainted with some of the leading
Abolitionists, of reading their publications and attending their
meetings, at which I heard addresses both from colored and white men;
and it was not until I was fully convinced that their principles were
_entirely pacific_, and their efforts _only moral_, that I gave my name
as a member to the Female Anti-Slavery Society of Philadelphia. Since
that time, I have regularly taken the Liberator, and read many
Anti-Slavery pamphlets and papers and books, and can assure you I
_never_ have seen a single insurrectionary paragraph, and never read any
account of cruelty which I could not believe. Southerners may deny the
truth of these accounts, but why do they not _prove_ them to be false.
Their violent expressions of horror at such accounts being believed,
_may_ deceive some, but they cannot deceive _me_, for I lived too long
in the midst of slavery, not to know what slavery is. When _I_ speak of
this system, "I speak that I do know," and I am not at all afraid to
assert, that Anti-Slavery publications have _not_ overdrawn the
monstrous features of slavery at all. And many a Southerner _knows_ this
as well as I do. A lady in North Carolina remarked to a friend of mine,
about eighteen months since, "Northerners know nothing at all about
slavery; they think it is perpetual bondage only; but of the _depth of
degradation_ that word involves, they have no conception; if they had,
_they would never cease_ their efforts until so _horrible_ a system was
overthrown." She did not know how faithfully some Northern men and
Northern women had studied this subject; how diligently they had
searched out the cause of "him who had none to help him," and how
fearlessly they had told the story of the negro's wrongs. Yes,
Northerners know _every_ thing about slavery now. This monster of
iniquity has been unveiled to the world, her frightful features

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