Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 2 of 4 by American Anti-Slavery Society

Part 14 out of 16

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 2.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

A few questions, briefly put, may not here be inappropriate.

1. Was the form of slavery which our professor pronounces innocent _the
form_ witnessed by our Savior "in Judea?" That, _he_ will by no means
admit. The slavery there was, he affirms, of the "worst" kind. _How then
does he account for the alledged silence of the Savior?--a silence
covering the essence and the form--the institution and its
"worst" abuses?_

2. Is the slaveholding, which, according to the Princeton professor,
Christianity justifies, the same as that which the abolitionists so
earnestly wish to see abolished? Let us see.

_Christianity in supporting _The American system for
Slavery, according to Prof. supporting Slavery,_

"Enjoins a fair compensation Makes compensation impossible
for labor." by reducing the laborer to a

"It insists on the moral It sternly forbids its victim
and intellectual improvement to learn to read even the
of all classes of men." name of his Creator and

"It condemns all infractions It outlaws the conjugal and
of marital or parental rights." parental relations.

"It requires that free scope It forbids any effort, on the
should be allowed to human part of myriads of the human
improvement." family, to improve their
character, condition, and

"It requires that all suitable It inflicts heavy penalties
means should be employed to improve for teaching letters to the
mankind." to the poorest of the poor.

"Wherever it has had free scope, it Wherever it has free scope,
has abolished domestic bondage." it perpetuates domestic

_Now it is slavery according to the American system_ that the
abolitionists are set against. _Of the existence of any_ such form of
slavery as is consistent with Prof. Hodge's account of the requisitions
of Christianity, they know nothing. It has never met their notice, and
of course, has never roused their feelings, or called forth their
exertions. What, then, have _they_ to do with the censures and
reproaches which the Princeton professor deals around? Let those who
have leisure and good nature protect the _man of straw_ he is so hot
against. The abolitionists have other business. It is not the figment of
some sickly brain; but that system of oppression which in theory is
corrupting, and in practice destroying both Church and State;--it is
this that they feel pledged to do battle upon, till by the just judgment
of Almighty God it is thrown, dead and damned, into the
bottomless abyss.

3. _How can the South feel itself protected by any shield which may be
thrown over SUCH SLAVERY, as may be consistent with what the Princeton
professor describes as the requisitions of Christianity?_ Is _this?_
THE _slavery_ which their laws describe, and their hands maintain? "Fair
compensation for labor"--"marital and parental rights"--"free scope"
and "all suitable means" for the "improvement, moral and intellectual,
of all classes of men;"--are these, according to the statutes of the
South, among the objects of slaveholding legislation? Every body knows
that any such requisition and American slavery are flatly opposed to and
directly subversive of each other. What service, then, has the Princeton
professor, with all his ingenuity and all his zeal, rendered the
"peculiar institution?" Their gratitude must be of a stamp and
complexion quite peculiar, if they can thank him for throwing their
"domestic system" under the weight of such Christian requisitions as
must at once crush its snaky head "and grind it to powder."

And what, moreover, is the bearing of the Christian requisitions which
Prof. Hodge quotes, upon _the definition of slavery_ which he has
elaborated? "All the ideas which necessarily enter into the definition
of slavery are, deprivation of personal liberty, obligation of service
at the discretion of another, and the transferable character of the
authority and claim of service of the master[A]."

[Footnote A: Pittsburgh pamphlet p. 12]

_According to Prof. Hodge's According to Prof. Hodge's
account of the requisitions of account of Slavery,

The spring of effort in the labor The laborer must serve at the
is a fair compensation. discretion of another.

Free scope must be given for his moral He is deprived of personal
and intellectual improvement. liberty--the necessary
condition, and living soul
of improvement, without which
he has no control of either
intellect or morals.

His rights as a husband and a father The authority and claims of
are to be protected. the master may throw an ocean
between him and his family,
and separate them from each
other's presence at any moment
and forever.

Christianity, then, requires such slavery as Prof. Hodge so cunningly
defines, to be abolished. It was well provided, for the peace of the
respective parties, that he placed _his definition_ so far from _the
requisitions of Christianity_. Had he brought them into each other's
presence, their natural and invincible antipathy to each other would
have broken out into open and exterminating warfare. But why should we
delay longer upon an argument which is based on gross and monstrous
sophistry? It can mislead only such as _wish_ to be misled. The lovers
of sunlight are in little danger of rushing into the professor's
dungeon. Those who, having something to conceal, covet darkness, can
find it there, to their hearts' content. The hour can not be far away,
when upright and reflective minds at the South will be astonished at the
blindness which could welcome such protection as the Princeton argument
offers to the slaveholder.

But _Prof. Stuart_ must not be forgotten. In his celebrated letter to
Dr. Fisk, he affirms that "_Paul did not expect slavery to be ousted in
a day_[A]." _Did not_ EXPECT! What then? Are the _requisitions_ of
Christianity adapted to any EXPECTATIONS which in any quarter and on any
ground might have risen to human consciousness? And are we to interpret
the _precepts_ of the Gospel by the expectations of Paul? The Savior
commanded all men every where to repent, and this, though "Paul did not
expect" that human wickedness, in its ten thousand forms would in any
community "be ousted in a day." Expectations are one thing; requisitions
quite another.

[Footnote A: Supra, p.8.]

In the mean time, while expectation waited, Paul, the professor adds,
"gave precepts to Christians respecting their demeanor." _That_ he did.
Of what character were these precepts? Must they not have been in
harmony with the Golden Rule? But this, according to Prof. Stuart,
"decides against the righteousness of slavery" even as a "theory."
Accordingly, Christians were required, _without_ _respect of persons_,
to do each other justice--to maintain equality as common ground for all
to stand upon--to cherish and express in all their intercourse that
tender love and disinterested charity which one _brother_ naturally
feels for another. These were the "ad interim precepts,"[A] which can
not fail, if obeyed, to cut up slavery, "root and branch," at once
and forever.

[Footnote A: Letter to Dr. Fisk, p. 8.]

Prof. Stuart comforts us with the assurance that "_Christianity will
ultimately certainly destroy slavery_." Of this _we_ have not the
feeblest doubt. But how could _he_ admit a persuasion and utter a
prediction so much at war with the doctrine he maintains, that "_slavery
What, Christianity bent on the destruction of an ancient and cherished
institution which hurts neither her character nor condition![C] Why not
correct its abuses and purify its spirit; and shedding upon it her own
beauty, preserve it, as a living trophy of her reformatory power? Whence
the discovery that, in her onward progress, she would trample down and
destroy what was no way hurtful to her? This is to be _aggressive_ with
a witness. Far be it from the Judge of all the earth to whelm the
innocent and guilty in the same destruction! In aid of Professor Stuart,
in the rude and scarcely covert attack which he makes upon himself, we
maintain that Christianity will certainly destroy slavery on account of
its inherent wickedness--its malignant temper--its deadly effects--its
constitutional, insolent, and unmitigable opposition to the authority of
God and the welfare of man.

[Footnote B: The same, p. 7.]

[Footnote C: Prof. Stuart applies here the words, _salva fide et salva

"Christianity will _ultimately_ destroy slavery." "ULTIMATELY!" What
meaneth that portentous word? To what limit of remotest time, concealed
in the darkness of futurity, may it look? Tell us, O watchman, on the
hill of Andover. Almost nineteen centuries have rolled over this world
of wrong and outrage--and yet we tremble in the presence of a form of
slavery whose breath is poison, whose fang is death! If any one of the
incidents of slavery should fall, but for a single day, upon the head of
the prophet who dipped his pen, in such cold blood, to write that word
"ultimately," how, under the sufferings of the first tedious hour, would
he break out in the lamentable cry, "How _long_, O Lord, HOW LONG!" In
the agony of beholding a wife or daughter upon the table of the
auctioneer, while every bid fell upon his heart like the groan of
despair, small comfort would he find in the dull assurance of some
heartless prophet, quite at "ease in Zion," that "ULTIMATELY
_Christianity would destroy slavery_." As the hammer falls and the
beloved of his soul, all helpless and most wretched, is borne away to
the haunts of _legalized_ debauchery, his heart turns to stone, while
the cry dies upon his lips, "_How_ LONG, _O Lord_, HOW LONG?"

"_Ultimately!_" In _what circumstances_ does Prof. Stuart assure himself
that Christianity will destroy slavery? Are we, as American citizens,
under the sceptre of a Nero? When, as integral parts of this
republic--as living members of this community, did we forfeit the
prerogatives of _freemen_? Have we not the right to speak and act as
wielding the powers which the principle of self-government has put in
our possession? And without asking leave of priest or statesman, of the
North or the South, may we not make the most of the freedom which we
enjoy under the guaranty of the ordinances of Heaven and the
Constitution of our country? Can we expect to see Christianity on higher
vantage-ground than in this country she stands upon? In the midst of a
republic based on the principle of the equality of mankind, where every
Christian, as vitally connected with the state, freely wields the
highest political rights and enjoys the richest political privileges;
where the unanimous demand of one-half of the members of the churches
would be promptly met in the abolition of slavery, what "_ultimately_"
must Christianity here wait for before she crushes the chattel principle
beneath her heel? Her triumph over slavery is retarded by nothing but
the corruption and defection so widely spread through the "sacramental
host" beneath her banners! Let her voice be heard and her energies
exerted, and the _ultimately_ of the "dark spirit of slavery" would at
once give place to the _immediately_ of the Avenger of the Poor.

* * * * *

NO 8.


* * * * *








* * * * *





* * * * *

This periodical contains 5 sheets.--Postage under 100 miles, 7-1/2 cts.;
over 100 miles, 12-1/2 cts.

_Please read and circulate_.


* * * * *

ANTI-SLAVERY OFFICE, _New York, May 24, 1838_.

In January, a tract entitled "WHY WORK FOR THE SLAVE?" was issued from
this office by the agent for the _Cent-a-week Societies_. A copy of it
was transmitted to the Hon. John C. Calhoun;--to _him_, because he has
seemed, from the first, more solicitous than the generality of Southern
politicians, to possess himself of accurate information about the
Anti-Slavery movement. A note written by me accompanied the tract,
informing Mr. Calhoun, why it was sent to him.

Not long afterward, the following letter was received from the Hon. F.H.
Elmore, of the House of Representatives in Congress. From this and
another of his letters just now received, it seems, that the
Slaveholding Representatives in Congress, after conferring together,
appointed a committee, of their own number, to obtain authentic
information of the intentions and progress of the Anti-Slavery
associations,--and that Mr. Elmore was selected, as the _South Carolina_
member of the Committee.

Several other communications have passed between Mr. Elmore and me. They
relate, chiefly, however, to the transmission and reception of
Anti-slavery publications, which he requested to be sent to him,--and to
other matters not having any connection with the merits of the main
subject. It is, therefore, thought unnecessary to publish them. It may
be sufficient to remark of all the communications received from Mr.
Elmore--that they are characterized by exemplary courtesy and good
temper, and that they bear the impress of an educated, refined, and
liberal mind.

It is intended to circulate this correspondence throughout the _whole
country_. If the information it communicates be important for southern
Representatives in Congress, it is not less so for their Constituents.
The Anti-slavery movement has become so important in a National point of
view, that no statesman can innocently remain ignorant of its progress
and tendencies. The facts stated in my answer may be relied on, in
proportion to the degree of accuracy to which they lay claim;--the
arguments will, of course, be estimated according to their worth.



* * * * *


To Jas. G. Birney, Esq., _Cor. Sec. A.A.S. Soc._

Sir:--A letter from you to the Hon. John C. Calhoun, dated 29th January
last, has been given to me, by him, in which you say, (in reference to
the abolitionists or Anti-Slavery Societies,) "we have nothing to
conceal--and should you desire any information as to our procedure, it
will be cheerfully communicated on [my] being apprised of your wishes."
The frankness of this unsolicited offer indicates a fairness and honesty
of purpose, which has caused the present communication, and which
demands the same full and frank disclosure of the views with which the
subjoined inquiries are proposed.

Your letter was handed to me, in consequence of a duty assigned me by my
delegation, and which requires me to procure all the authentic
information I can, as to the nature and intentions of yours and similar
associations, in order that we may, if we deem it advisable, lay the
information before our people, so that they may be prepared to decide
understandingly, as to the course it becomes them to pursue on this all
important question. If you "have nothing to conceal," and it is not
imposing too much on, what may have been, an unguarded proffer, I will
esteem your compliance as a courtesy to an opponent, and be pleased to
have an opportunity to make a suitable return. And if, on the other
hand, you have the least difficulty or objection, I trust you will not
hesitate to withhold the information sought for, as I would not have it,
unless as freely given, as it will, if deemed expedient, be freely used.

I am, Sir,

Your ob'd't serv't,

F.H. ELMORE, of S.C.

QUESTIONS for J.G. Birney, Esq., Cor. Sec. A.A.S. Society.

1. How many societies, affiliated with that of which you are the
Corresponding Secretary, are there in the United States? And how many
members belong to them _in the aggregate_?

2. Are there any other societies similar to yours, and not affiliated
with it, in the United States? and how many, and what is the aggregate
their members?

3. Have you affiliation, intercourse or connection with any similar
societies out of the United States, and in what countries?

4. Do your or similar societies exist in the Colleges and other Literary
institutions of the non-slaveholding States, and to what extent?

5. What do you estimate the numbers of those who co-operate in this
matter at? What proportion do they bear in the population of the
Northern states, and what in the Middle non-slaveholding states? Are
they increasing, and at what rate?

6. What is the object your associations aim at? does it extend to the
abolition of slavery only in the District of Columbia, or in the whole
slave country?

7. By what means, and under what power, do you propose to carry your
views into effect?

8. What has been for three years past, the annual income of your
societies? and how is it raised?

9. In what way, and to what purposes, do you apply these funds?

10. How many priming presses and periodical publications have you?

11. To what classes of persons do you address your publications, and are
they addressed to the judgment, the imagination, or the feelings?

12. Do you propagate your doctrines by any other means than oral and
written discussions,--for instance, by prints and pictures in
manufactures--say pocket handkerchiefs, &c. Pray, state the
various modes?

13. Are your hopes and expectations increased or lessened by the events
of the last year, and, especially, by the action of this Congress? And
will your exertions be relaxed or increased?

14. Have you any permanent fund, and how much?

ANTI-SLAVERY OFFICE, _New York, March 8, 1838_


Member of Congress from S. Carolina:

SIR,--I take pleasure in furnishing the information you have so politely
asked for, in your letter of the 16th ult., in relation to the American
Anti-Slavery Society;--and trust, that this correspondence, by
presenting in a sober light, the objects and measures of the society,
may contribute to dispel, not only from your own mind, but--if it be
diffused throughout the South--from the minds of our fellow-citizens
there generally, a great deal of undeserved prejudice and groundless
alarm. I cannot hesitate to believe, that such as enter on the
examination of its claims to public favour, without bias, will find that
it aims intelligently, not only at the promotion of the interests of the
slave, but of the master,--not only at the re-animation of the
Republican principles of our Constitution, but at the establishment of
the Union on an enduring basis.

I shall proceed to state the several questions submitted in your letter,
and answer them, in the order in which they are proposed. You ask,--

"1. _How many societies, affiliated with that of which you are
corresponding secretary, are there in the United States? And how many
members belong to them_ IN THE AGGREGATE?"

ANSWER.--Our anniversary is held on the Tuesday immediately preceding
the second Thursday in May. Returns of societies are made only a short
time before. In May, 1835, there were 225 auxiliaries reported. In May,
1836, 527. In May, 1837, 1006. Returns for the anniversary in May next
have not come in yet. It may, however, be safely said, that the
increase, since last May, is not less than 400.[A] Of late, the
multiplication of societies has not kept pace with the progress of our
principles. Where these are well received, our agents are not so careful
to organize societies as in former times, when our numbers were few;
_societies, now_, being not deemed so necessary for the advancement of
our cause. The auxiliaries average not less than 80 members each; making
an aggregate of 112,480. Others estimate the auxiliaries at 1500, and
the average of members at 100. I give you, what I believe to be the
lowest numbers.

[Footnote A: The number reported for May was three hundred and forty,
making, in the aggregate, 1346.--_Report for May_, 1838.]

"2. _Are there any other societies similar to yours, and not affiliated
with it in the United States? And how many, and what is the aggregate of
their members_?"

ANSWER.--Several societies have been formed in the Methodist connection
within the last two years,--although most of the Methodists who are
abolitionists, are members of societies auxiliary to the American. These
societies have been originated by Ministers, and others of weight and
influence, who think that their brethren can be more easily persuaded,
as a religious body, to aid in the anti-slavery movement by this twofold
action. None of the large religious denominations bid fairer soon to be
on the side of emancipation than the Methodist. Of the number of the
Methodist societies that are not auxiliary, I am not informed.--The
ILLINOIS SOCIETY comes under the same class. The REV. ELIJAH P. LOVEJOY,
the corresponding secretary, was slain by a mob, a few days after its
organization. It has not held a meeting since; and I have no data for
stating the number of its members. It is supposed not to be
large.--Neither is the DELAWARE SOCIETY, organized, a few weeks ago, at
Wilmington, auxiliary to the American. I have no information as to its
numbers.--The MANUMISSION SOCIETY in this city, formed in 1785, with
JOHN JAY its first, and ALEXANDER HAMILTON its second president, might,
from its name, be supposed to be affiliated with the American.
Originally, its object, so far as regarded the slaves, and those
illegally held in bondage _in this state_, was, in a great measure,
similar. Slavery being extinguished in New-York in 1827, as a state
system, the efforts of the Manumission Society are limited now to the
rescue, from kidnappers and others, of such persons as are really free
by the laws, but who have been reduced to slavery. Of the old Abolition
societies, organized in the time, and under the influence of Franklin
and Rush and Jay, and the most active of their coadjutors, but few
remain. Their declension may be ascribed to this defect,--they did not
inflexibly ask for _immediate_ emancipation.--The PENNSYLVANIA ABOLITION
SOCIETY, formed in 1789, with DR. FRANKLIN, president, and DR. RUSH,
secretary, is still in existence--but unconnected with the American
Society. Some of the most active and benevolent members of both the
associations last named, are members of the American Society. Besides
the societies already mentioned, there may be in the country a few
others of anti-slavery name; but they are of small note and efficiency,
and are unconnected with this.

"3. _Have you affiliation, intercourse, or connection with any similar
societies out of the United States, and in what countries_?"

ANSWER.--A few societies have spontaneously sprung up in Canada. Two
have declared themselves auxiliary to the American. We have an agent--a
native of the United States--in Upper Canada; not with a view to the
organization of societies, but to the moral and intellectual elevation
of the Ten thousand colored people there; most of whom have escaped from
slavery in this Republic, to enjoy freedom under the protection of a
Monarchy. In Great Britain there are numerous Anti-slavery Societies,
whose particular object, of late, has been, to bring about the abolition
of the Apprentice-system, as established by the emancipation act in her
slaveholding colonies. In England, there is a society whose professed
object is, to abolish slavery _throughout the world_. Of the existence
of the British societies, you are, doubtless, fully aware; as also of
the fact, that, in Britain, the great mass of the people are opposed to
slavery as it existed, a little while ago, in their own colonies, and as
it exists now in the United States.--In France, the "FRENCH SOCIETY FOR
THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY" was founded in 1834. I shall have the pleasure
of transmitting to you two pamphlets, containing an account of some of
its proceedings; from which you will learn, that, the DUC DE BROGLIE is
its presiding officer, and many of the most distinguished and
influential of the public men of that country are members.--In Hayti,
also, "The HAYTIAN ABOLITION SOCIETY" was formed in May, 1836.

These are all the foreign societies of which I have knowledge. They are
connected with the American by no formal affiliation. The only
intercourse between them and it, is, that which springs up spontaneously
among those of every land who sympathize with Humanity in her conflicts
with Slavery.

"4. _Do your or similar societies exist in the Colleges and other
Literary institutions of the non-slaveholding states, and to
what extent_?"

ANSWER.--Strenuous efforts have been made, and they are still being
made, by those who have the direction of most of the literary and
theological institutions in the free states, to bar out our principles
and doctrines, and prevent the formation of societies among the
students. To this course they have been prompted by various, and
possibly, in their view, good motives. One of them, I think it not
uncharitable to say, is, to conciliate the wealthy of the south, that
they may send their sons to the north, to swell the college catalogues.
Neither do I think it uncharitable to say, that in this we have a
manifestation of that Aristocratic pride, which, feeling itself honored
by having entrusted to its charge the sons of distant, opulent, and
distinguished planters, fails not to dull everything like sympathy for
those whose unpaid toil supplies the means so lavishly expended in
educating southern youth at northern colleges. These efforts at
suppression or restraint, on the part of Faculties and Boards of
Trustees, have heretofore succeeded to a considerable extent.
Anti-Slavery Societies, notwithstanding, have been formed in a few of
our most distinguished colleges and theological seminaries. Public
opinion is beginning to call for a relaxation of restraints and
impositions; they are yielding to its demands; and _now_, for the most
part, sympathy for the slave may be manifested by our generous college
youth, in the institution of Anti-Slavery Societies, without any
downright prohibition by their more politic teachers. College societies
will probably increase more rapidly hereafter; as, in addition to the
removal or relaxation of former restraints, just referred to, the murder
of Mr. Lovejoy, the assaults on the Freedom of speech and of the press,
the prostration of the Right of petition in Congress, &c, &c, all
believed to have been perpetrated to secure slavery from the scrutiny
that the intelligent world is demanding, have greatly augmented the
number of college abolitionists. They are, for the most part, the
diligent, the intellectual, the religious of the students. United in
societies, their influence is generally extensively felt in the
surrounding region; _dispersed_, it seems scarcely less effective. An
instance of the latter deserves particular notice.

The Trustees and Faculty of one of our theological and literary
institutions united for the suppression of anti-slavery action among the
students. The latter refused to cease pleading for the slave, as he
could not plead for himself. They left the institution; were
providentially dispersed over various parts of the country, and made
useful, in a remarkable manner, in advancing the cause of humanity and
liberty. One of these dismissed students, the son of a slaveholder,
brought up in the midst of slavery, and well acquainted with its
peculiarities, succeeded in persuading a pious father to emancipate his
fourteen slaves. After lecturing a long time with signal success--having
contracted a disease of the throat, which prevented him from further
prosecuting his labors in this way--he visited the West Indies, eighteen
months ago, in company with another gentleman of the most ample
qualifications, to note the operation of the British emancipation act.
Together, they collected a mass of facts--now in a course of
publication--that will astonish, as it ought to delight, the whole
south; for it shows, conclusively, that IMMEDIATE emancipation is the
best, the safest, the most profitable, as it is the most just and
honorable, of all emancipations.[A]

[Footnote A: See Appendix, A.]

Another of these dismissed students is one of the secretaries of this
society. He has, for a long time, discharged its arduous and responsible
duties with singular ability. To his qualifications as secretary, he
adds those of an able and successful lecturer. He was heard, several
times, before the joint committee of the Legislature of Massachusetts, a
year ago, prior to the report of that committee, and to the adoption, by
the Senate and House of Representatives, of their memorable resolutions
in favor of the Power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of
Columbia, and of the Right of petition.

"5. _What do you estimate the number of those who co-operate in the
matter at? What proportion do they bear in the population of the
northern states, and what in the middle non-slaveholding states? Are
they increasing, and at what rate_?"

ANSWER.--Those who stand _ready to join_ our societies on the first
suitable occasion, may be set down as equal in number to those who are
now _actually members_. Those who are ready _fully to co-operate with
us_ in supporting the freedom of speech and the press, the right of
petition, &c, may be estimated at _double_, if not _treble_, the joint
numbers of those who _already are members_, and those who are _ready to
become members_. The Recording secretary of the MASSACHUSETTS SOCIETY
stated, a few weeks ago, that the abolitionists in the various minor
societies in that state were one in thirty of the whole population. The
proportion of abolitionists to the whole population is greater in
Massachusetts than in any other of the free states, except
VERMONT,--where the spirit of liberty has almost entirely escaped the
corruptions which slavery has infused into it in most of her sister
states, by means of commercial and other intercourse with them.

In MAINE, not much of systematic effort has, as yet, been put forth to
enlighten her population as to our principles and proceedings. I
attended the anniversary of the State Society on the 31st of January, at
Augusta, the seat of government. The Ministers of the large religious
denominations were beginning, as I was told, to unite with us--and
Politicians, to descry the ultimate prevalence of our principles. The
impression I received was, that much could, and that much would,
speedily be done.

In NEW HAMPSHIRE, more labor has been expended, and a greater effect
produced. Public functionaries, who have been pleased to speak in
contemptuous terms of the progress of abolitionism, both in Maine and
New Hampshire, will, it is thought, soon be made to see, through a
medium not at all deceptive, the grossness of their error.

In RHODE ISLAND, our principles are fast pervading the great body of the
people. This, it is thought, is the only one of the free states, in
which the subject of abolition has been fully introduced, which has not
been disgraced by a mob, triumphant, for the time being, over the right
of the people to discuss any, and every, matter in which they feel
interested. A short time previous to the last election of members of
Congress, questions, embodying our views as to certain political
measures were propounded to the several candidates. Respectful answers
and, in the main, conformable with our views, were returned. I shall
transmit you a newspaper containing both the questions and the

[Footnote A: Since the above was written, at the last election in this
state for governor and lieutenant governor, the abolitionists
_interrogated_ the gentlemen who stood candidates for these offices. Two
of them answered respectfully, and conformably to the views of the
abolitionists. Their opponents neglected to answer at all. The first
were elected.--See Appendix, B.]

In CONNECTICUT, there has not been, as yet, a great expenditure of
abolition effort. Although the moral tone of this state, so far as
slavery is concerned, has been a good deal weakened by the influence of
her multiform connexions with the south, yet the energies that have been
put forth to reanimate her ancient and lofty feelings, so far from
proving fruitless, have been followed by the most encouraging results.
Evidence of this is found in the faithful administration of the laws by
judges and juries. In May last, a slave, who had been brought from
Georgia to Hartford, successfully asserted her freedom under the laws of
Connecticut. The cause was elaborately argued before the Supreme court.
The most eminent counsel were employed on both sides. And it is but a
few days, since two anti-abolition rioters (the only ones on trial) were
convicted before the Superior court in New Haven, and sentenced to pay a
fine of twenty dollars each, and to be imprisoned six months, the
longest term authorized by the law. A convention, for the organization
of a State Society, was held in the city of Hartford on the last day of
February. It was continued three days. The _call_ for it (which I send
you) was signed by nearly EIGHTEEN HUNDRED of the citizens of that
state. SEVENTEEN HUNDRED, as I was informed, are legal voters. The
proceedings of the convention were of the most harmonious and animating

[Footnote B: See Appendix, C.]

In NEW YORK, our cause is evidently advancing. The state is rapidly
coming up to the high ground of principle, so far as universal liberty
is concerned, on which the abolitionists would place her. Several large
Anti-Slavery conventions have lately been held in the western counties.
Their reports are of the most encouraging character. Nor is the change
more remarkable in the state than in this city. Less than five years
ago, a few of the citizens advertised a meeting, to be held in Clinton
Hall, to form a City Anti-Slavery Society. A mob prevented their
assembling at the place appointed. They repaired, privately, to one of
the churches. To this they were pursued by the mob, and routed from it,
though not before they had completed, in a hasty manner, the form of
organization. In the summer of 1834, some of the leading political and
commercial journals of the city were enabled to stir up the mob against
the persons and property of the abolitionists, and several of the most
prominent were compelled to leave the city for safety; their houses were
attacked, broken into, and, in one instance, the furniture publicly
burnt in the street. _Now_, things are much changed. Many of the
merchants and mechanics are favorable to our cause; gentlemen of the
bar, especially the younger and more growing ones, are directing their
attention to it; twenty-one of our city ministers are professed
abolitionists; the churches are beginning to be more accessible to us;
our meetings are held in them openly, attract large numbers, are
unmolested; and the abolitionists sometimes hear themselves commended in
other assemblies, not only for their honest _intentions_, but for their
_respectability_ and _intelligence_.

NEW JERSEY has, as yet, no State Society, and the number of avowed
abolitionists is small. In some of the most populous and influential
parts of the state, great solicitude exists on the subject; and the call
for lecturers is beginning to be earnest, if not importunate.

PENNSYLVANIA has advanced to our principles just in proportion to the
labor that has been bestowed, by means of lectures and publications in
enlightening her population as to our objects, and the evils and dangers
impending over the whole country, from southern slavery. The act of her
late Convention, in depriving a large number of their own constituents
(the colored people) of the elective franchise, heretofore possessed by
them without any allegation of its abuse on their part, would seem to
prove an unpropitious state of public sentiment. We would neither deny,
nor elude, the force of such evidence. But when this measure of the
convention is brought out and unfolded in its true light--shown to be a
party measure to bring succor from the south--a mere following in the
wake of North Carolina and Tennessee, who led the way, in their _new_
constitutions, to this violation of the rights of their colored
citizens, that they might the more firmly compact the wrongs of the
enslaved--a pernicious, a profitless violation of great principles--a
vulgar defiance of the advancing spirit of humanity and justice--a
relapse into the by-gone darkness of a barbarous age--we apprehend from
it no serious detriment to our cause.

OHIO has been well advanced. In a short time, she will be found among
the most prominent of the states on the right side in the contest now
going on between the spirit of liberty embodied in the free institutions
of the north, and the spirit of slavery pervading the south. Her
Constitution publishes the most honorable reprobation of slavery of any
other in the Union. In providing for its own revision or amendment, it
declares, that _no alteration of it shall ever take place, so as to
introduce slavery or involuntary servitude into the state_. Her Supreme
court is intelligent and firm. It has lately decided, virtually, against
the constitutionality of an act of the Legislature, made, in effect, to
favor southern slavery by the persecution of the colored people within
her bounds. She has, already, abolitionists enough to turn the scale in
her elections, and an abundance of excellent material for augmenting
the number.

In INDIANA but little has been done, except by the diffusion of our
publications. But even with these appliances, several auxiliary
societies have been organized.[A]

[Footnote A: The first Legislative movement against the annexation of
Texas to the Union, was made, it is believed, in Indiana. So early as
December, 1836, a joint resolution passed its second reading in one or
both branches of the Legislature. How it was ultimately disposed of, is
not known.]

In MICHIGAN, the leaven of abolitionists pervades the whole population.
The cause is well sustained by a high order of talent; and we trust soon
to see the influence of it in all her public acts.

In ILLINOIS, the murder of Mr. Lovejoy has multiplied and confirmed
abolitionists, and led to the formation of many societies, which, in all
probability, would not have been formed so soon, had not that event
taken place.

I am not possessed of sufficient data for stating, with precision, what
proportion the abolitionists bear in the population of the Northern and
Middle non-slaveholding states respectively. Within the last ten months,
I have travelled extensively in both these geographical divisions. I
have had whatever advantage this, assisted by a strong interest in the
general cause, and abundant conversations with the best informed
abolitionists, could give, for making a fair estimate of their numbers.
In the Northern states I should say, _they are one in ten_--in New York,
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, _one in twenty_--of the whole adult
population. That the abolitionists have multiplied, and that they are
still multiplying rapidly, no one acquainted with the smallness of their
numbers at their first organization a few years ago, and who has kept
his eyes about him since, need ask. That they have not, thus far, been
more successful, is owing to the vastness of the undertaking, and the
difficulties with which they have had to contend, from comparatively
limited means, for presenting their measures and objects, with the
proper developments and explanations, to the great mass of the popular
mind. The progress of their principles, under the same amount of
intelligence in presenting them, and where no peculiar causes of
prejudice exist in the minds of the hearers, is generally proportioned
to the degree of religious and intellectual worth prevailing in the
different sections of the country where the subject is introduced. I
know no instance, in which any one notoriously profane or intemperate,
or licentious, or of openly irreligious _practice_, has professed,
cordially to have received our principles.

"6. _What is the object your associations aim at? Does it extend to
abolition of slavery only in the District of Columbia, or in the whole
slave country_?"

ANSWER.--This question is fully answered in the second Article of the
Constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society, which is in
these words:--

"The object of this society is the entire abolition of slavery in the
United States. While it admits that each state, in which slavery exists,
has, by the Constitution of the United States, the exclusive right to
_legislate_ in regard to its abolition in said state, it shall aim to
convince all our fellow-citizens, by arguments addressed to their
understandings and consciences, that slaveholding is a heinous crime in
the sight of God, and that the duty, safety, and best interests of all
concerned require its immediate abandonment, without expatriation. The
society will also endeavor, in a constitutional way, to influence
Congress to put an end to the domestic slave-trade, and to abolish
slavery in all those portions of our common country which come under its
control, especially in the District of Columbia; and likewise to prevent
the extension of it to any state that may hereafter be admitted to
the Union."

Other objects, accompanied by a pledge of peace, are stated in the third
article of the Constitution,--

"This Society shall aim to elevate the character and condition of the
people of color, by encouraging their intellectual, moral, and religious
improvement, and by removing public prejudice,--that thus they may,
according to their intellectual and moral worth, share an equality with
the whites of civil and religious privileges; but this Society will
never in any way, countenance the oppressed in vindicating their rights
by resorting to physical force."

"7. _By what means and by what power do you propose to carry your views
into effect_?"

ANSWER.--Our "means" are the Truth,--the "Power" under whose guidance we
propose to carry our views into effect, is, the Almighty. Confiding in
these means, when directed by the spirit and wisdom of Him, who has so
made them as to act on the hearts of men, and so constituted the hearts
of then as to be affected by them, we expect, 1. To bring the CHURCH of
this country to repentance for the sin of OPPRESSION. Not only the
Southern portion of it that has been the oppressor--but the Northern,
that has stood by, consenting, for half a century, to the wrong. 2. To
bring our countrymen to see, that for a nation to persist in injustice
is, but to rush on its own ruin; that to do justice is the highest
expediency--to love mercy its noblest ornament. In other countries,
slavery has sometimes yielded to fortuitous circumstances, or been
extinguished by physical force. _We_ strive to win for truth the victory
over error, and on the broken fragments of slavery to rear for her a
temple, that shall reach to the heavens, and toward which all nations
shall worship. It has been said, that the slaveholders of the South will
not yield, nor hearken to the influence of the truth on this subject. We
believe it not--nor give we entertainment to the slander that such an
unworthy defence of them implies. We believe them _men_,--that they have
understandings that arguments will convince--consciences to which the
appeals of justice and mercy will not be made in vain. If our principles
be true--our arguments right--if slaveholders be men--and God have not
delivered over our guilty country to the retributions of the oppressor,
not only of the STRANGER but of the NATIVE--our success is certain.

"8. _What has been for three years past, the annual income of your
societies? And how has it been raised?_"

ANSWER.--The annual income of the societies at large, it would be
impossible to ascertain. The total receipts of this society, for the
year ending 9th of May, 1835--leaving out odd numbers--was $10,000; for
the year ending 9th of May, 1837, $25,000; and for the year ending 11th
of May, 1836, $38,000. From the last date, up to this--not quite ten
months--there has been paid into the treasury the sum of $36,000.[A]
These sums are independent of what is raised by state and auxiliary
societies, for expenditure within their own particular bounds, and for
their own particular exigencies. Also, of the sums paid in subscriptions
for the support of newspapers, and for the printing (by auxiliaries,) of
periodicals, pamphlets, and essays, either for sale at low prices, or
for gratuitous distribution. The moneys contributed in these various
modes would make an aggregate greater, perhaps, than is paid into the
treasury of any one of the Benevolent societies of the country. Most of
the wealthy contributors of former years suffered so severely in the
money-pressure of this, that they have been unable to contribute much to
our funds. This has made it necessary to call for aid on the great body
of abolitionists--persons, generally, in moderate circumstances. They
have well responded to the call, considering the hardness of the times.
To show you the extremes that meet at our treasury,--General Sewall, of
Maine, a revolutionary officer, eighty-five years old--William
Philbrick, a little boy near Boston, not four years old--and a colored
woman, who makes her subsistence by selling apples in the streets in
this city, lately sent in their respective sums to assist in promoting
the emancipation of the "poor slave."

[Footnote A: The report for May states the sum received during the
previous year at $44,000.]

All contributions of whatever kind are _voluntary_.

"9. _In what way, and to what purposes do you apply these funds!_"

ANSWER.--They are used in sustaining the society's office in this
city--in paying lecturers and agents of various kinds--in upholding the
press--in printing books, pamphlets, tracts, &c, containing expositions
of our principles--accounts of our progress--refutations of
objections--and disquisitions on points, scriptural, constitutional,
political, legal, economical, as they chance to arise and become
important. In this office three secretaries are employed in different
departments of duty; one editor; one publishing agent, with an
assistant, and two or three young men and boys, for folding, directing,
and despatching papers, executing errands, &c. The business of the
society has increased so much of late, as to make it necessary, in order
to ensure the proper despatch of it, to employ additional clerks for the
particular exigency. Last year, the society had in its service about
sixty "permanent agents." This year, the number is considerably
diminished. The deficiency has been more than made up by creating a
large number of "Local" agents--so called, from the fact, that being
generally Professional men, lawyers or physicians in good practice, or
Ministers with congregations, they are confined, for the most part, to
their respective neighborhoods. Some of the best minds in our country
are thus engaged. Their labors have not only been eminently successful,
but have been rendered at but small charge to the society; they
receiving only their travelling expenses, whilst employed in lecturing
and forming societies. In the case of a minister, there is the
additional expense of supplying his pulpit while absent on the business
of his agency, However, in many instances, these agents, being in easy
circumstances, make no charge, even for their expenses.

In making appointments, the executive committee have no regard to party
discrimination. This will be fully understood, when it is stated, that
on a late occasion, two of our local agents were the candidates of their
respective political parties for the office of Secretary of State for
the state of Vermont.

It ought to be stated here, that two of the most effective advocates of
the anti-slavery cause are females--the Misses Grimke--natives of South
Carolina--brought up in the midst of the usages of slavery--most
intelligently acquainted with the merits of the system, and qualified,
in an eminent degree, to communicate their views to others in public
addresses. They are not only the advocates of the slave at their own
charge, but they actually contribute to the funds of the societies. So
successfully have they recommended the cause of emancipation to the
crowds that attended their lectures during the last year, that they were
permitted on three several occasions publicly to address the joint
committee (on slavery) of the Massachusetts Legislature, now in session,
on the interesting matters that occupy their attention.

"10. _How many printing presses and periodical publications have you?_"

ANSWER.--We own no press. Our publications are all printed by contract.
The EMANCIPATOR and HUMAN RIGHTS are the organs of the Executive
Committee. The first (which you have seen,) is a large sheet, is
published weekly, and employs almost exclusively the time of the
gentleman who edits it. Human Rights is a monthly sheet of smaller size,
and is edited by one of the secretaries. The increasing interest that is
fast manifesting itself in the cause of emancipation and its kindred
subjects will, in all probability, before long, call for the more
frequent publication of one or both of these papers.--The ANTI-SLAVERY
MAGAZINE, a quarterly, was commenced in October, 1835, and continued
through two years. It has been intermitted, only to make the necessary
arrangements for issuing it on a more extended scale.--It is proposed to
give it size enough to admit the amplest discussions that we or our
opponents may desire, and to give _them_ a full share of its room--in
fine, to make it, in form and merit, what the importance of the subject
calls for. I send you a copy of the Prospectus for the new series.--The
ANTI-SLAVERY RECORD, published for three years as a monthly, has been
discontinued _as such_, and it will be issued hereafter, only as
occasion may require:--THE SLAVE'S FRIEND, a small monthly tract, of
neat appearance, intended principally for children and young persons,
has been issued for several years. It is replete with facts relating to
slavery, and with accounts of the hair-breadth escapes of slaves from
their masters and pursuers that rarely fail to impart the most thrilling
interest to its little readers.--Besides these, there is the
ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER, in which are published, as the times call for
them, our larger essays partaking of a controversial character, such as
Smith's reply to the Rev. Mr. Smylie--Grimke's letter and "Wythe." By
turning to page 32 of our Fourth Report (included in your order for
books, &c,) you will find, that in the year ending 11th May, the issues
from the press were--bound volumes, 7,877--Tracts and Pamphlets,
47,250--Circulars, &c, 4,100--Prints, 10,490--Anti-Slavery Magazine,
9000--Slave's Friend, 131,050--Human Rights, 189,400--Emancipator,
217,000. These are the issues of the American Anti-Slavery Society, from
their office in this city. Other publications of similar character are
issued by State Societies or individuals--the LIBERATOR, in Boston;
AMERICAN in this city. The latter is conducted in the editorial, and
other departments, by colored citizens. You can judge of its character,
by a few numbers that I send to you. Then, there is the FRIEND of MAN,
in Utica, in this state. The NATIONAL ENQUIRER, in Philadelphia;[A] the
Cincinnati.--All these are sustained by the friends, and devoted almost
exclusively to the cause, of emancipation. Many of the Religious
journals that do not make emancipation their main object have adopted
the sentiments of abolitionists, and aid in promoting them. The Alton
Observer, edited by the late Mr. Lovejoy, was one of these.

[Footnote A: The NATIONAL ENQUIRER, edited by Benjamin Lundy, has been
converted into the PENNSYLVANIA FREEMAN, edited by John G. Whittier. Mr.
Lundy proposes to issue the GENIUS OF UNIVERSAL EMANCIPATION, in

From the data I have, I set down the newspapers, as classed above, at
upwards of one hundred. Here it may also be stated, that the presses
which print the abolition journals above named, throw off besides, a
great variety of other anti-slavery matter, in the form of books,
pamphlets, single sheets, &c, &c, and that, at many of the principal
commercial points throughout the free states, DEPOSITORIES are
established, at which our publications of every sort are kept for sale.
A large and fast increasing number of the Political journals of the
country have become, within the last two years, if not the avowed
supporters of our cause, well inclined to it. Formerly, it was a common
thing for most of the leading _party_-papers, especially in the large
cities, to speak of the abolitionists in terms signally disrespectful
and offensive. Except in rare instances, and these, it is thought, only
where they are largely subsidized by southern patronage, it is not so
now. The desertions that are taking place from their ranks will, in a
short time, render their position undesirable for any, who aspire to
gain, or influence, or reputation in the North.

"11. _To what class of persons do you address your publications--and are
they addressed to the judgment, the imagination, or the feelings_?"

ANSWER.--They are intended for the great mass of intelligent mind, both
in the free and in the slave states. They partake, of course, of the
intellectual peculiarities of the different authors. Jay's "INQUIRY" and
Mrs. Child's "APPEAL" abound in facts--are dispassionate, ingenious,
argumentative. The "BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY," by the most careful and
laborious research, has struck from slavery the prop, which careless
Annotators, (writing, unconscious of the influence, the prevailing
system of slavery throughout the Christian world exercised on their own
minds,) have admitted was furnished for it in the Scriptures. "Wythe" by
a pains-taking and lucid adjustment of facts in the history of the
Government, both before and after the adoption of the Constitution, and
with a rigor of logic, that cannot, it is thought, be successfully
encountered, has put to flight forever with unbiased minds, every doubt
as to the "Power of Congress over the District of Columbia."

There are among the abolitionists, Poets, and by the acknowledgment of
their opponents, poets of no mean name too--who, as the use of poets is,
do address themselves often--as John G. Whittier does _always_
--powerfully to the imagination and feelings of their readers.

Our publications cannot be classed according to any particular style or
quality of composition. They may characterized generally, as well suited
to affect the public mind--to rouse into healthful activity the
conscience of this nation, stupified, torpid, almost dead, in relation
to HUMAN RIGHTS, the high theme of which they treat!

It has often been alleged, that our writings appeal to the worst
passions of the slaves, and that they are placed in their hands with a
view to stir them to revolt. Neither charge has any foundation in truth
to rest upon. The first finds no support in the tenor of the writings
themselves; the last ought forever to be abandoned, in the absence of
any single well authenticated instance of their having been conveyed by
abolitionists to slaves, or of their having been even found in their
possession. To instigate the slaves to revolt, as the means of obtaining
their liberty, would prove a lack of wisdom and honesty that none would
impute to abolitionists, except such as are unacquainted with their
character. Revolt would be followed by the sure destruction, not only of
all the slaves who might be concerned in it, but of multitudes of the
innocent. Moreover, the abolitionists, as a class, are religious--they
favor peace, and stand pledged in their constitution, before the country
and heaven, to abide in peace, so far as a forcible vindication of the
right of the slaves to their freedom is concerned. Further still, no
small number of them deny the right of defence, either to individuals or
nations, even when forcibly and wrongfully attacked. This disagreement
among ourselves on this single point--of which our adversaries are by no
means ignorant, as they often throw it reproachfully in our teeth--would
forever prevent concert in any scheme that looked to instigating servile
revolt. If there be, in all our ranks, one, who--personal danger out of
the question--would excite the slaves to insurrection and massacre, or
who would not be swift to repeat the earliest attempt to concoct such an
iniquity--I say, on my obligations as a man, he is unknown to me.

Yet it ought not to be matter of surprise to abolitionists, that the
South should consider them "fanatics," "incendiaries," "cut-throats,"
and call them so too. The South has had their character reported to them
by the North, by those who are their neighbors, who, it was supposed,
knew, and would speak the truth, and the truth only, concerning them. It
would, I apprehend, be unavailing for abolitionists now to enter on any
formal vindication of their character from charges that can be so easily
repeated after every refutation. False and fraudulent as they knew them
to be, they must be content to live under them till the consummation of
the work of Freedom shall prove to the master that they have been _his_
friends, as well as the friends of the slave. The mischief of these
charges has fallen on the South--the malice is to be placed to the
credit of the North.

"12. _Do you propagate your doctrines by any other means than oral and
written discussions--for instance, by prints and pictures in
manufactures--say of pocket-handkerchiefs, calicoes, &c? Pray, state the
various modes?_"

ANSWER.--Two or three years ago, an abolitionist of this city procured
to be manufactured, at his own charge, a small lot of children's
pocket-handkerchiefs, impressed with anti-slavery pictures and mottoes.
I have no recollection of having seen any of them but once. None such, I
believe, are now to be found, or I would send you a sample. If any
manufactures of the kinds mentioned, or others similar to theta, are in
existence, they have been produced independently of the agency of this
society. It is thought that none such exist, unless the following should
be supposed to fall within the terms of the inquiry. Female
abolitionists often unite in sewing societies. They meet together,
usually once a week or fortnight, and labor through the afternoon, with
their own hands, to furnish means for advancing the cause of the slave.
One of the company reads passages from the Bible, or some religious
book, whilst the others are engaged at their work. The articles they
prepare, especially if they be of the "fancy" kind, are often ornamented
with handsomely executed emblems, underwritten with appropriate mottoes.
The picture of a slave kneeling (such as you will see impressed on one
of the sheets of this letter) and supplicating in the words, "AM I NOT A
MAN AND A BROTHER," is an example. The mottoes or sentences are,
however, most generally selected from the Scriptures; either appealing
to human sympathy in behalf of human suffering, or breathing forth God's
tender compassion for the oppressed, or proclaiming, in thunder tones,
his avenging justice on the oppressor. A few quotations will show their
general character:--

"Blessed is he that considereth the poor."

"Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and the needy; rid him out of the hand of the wicked."

"Open thy mouth for the dumb, plead the cause of the poor and needy."

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

"First, be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

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


"For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him
that hath no helper."

"The Lord looseth the prisoners; the Lord raiseth them that are bowed
down; the Lord preserveth the strangers."

"He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to
the captives, to set at liberty them that are bruised."'

"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will
I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that
puffeth at him."


"The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are

"Rob not the poor because he is poor, neither oppress the afflicted in
the gate; for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of
those that spoiled them."

"And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness
against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the
fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear
not me, saith the Lord of hosts."

"Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his
chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and
giveth him not for his work."

Fairs, for the sale of articles fabricated by the hands of female
abolitionists, and recommended by such pictures and sentences as those
quoted above, are held in many of our cities and large towns. Crowds
frequent them to purchase; hundreds of dollars are thus realized, to be
appropriated to the anti-slavery cause; and, from the cheap rate at
which the articles are sold, vast numbers of them are scattered far and
wide over the country. Besides these, if we except various drawings or
pictures on _paper_, (samples of which were put up in the packages you
ordered a few days ago,) such as the Slave-market in the District of
Columbia, with Members of congress attending it--views of slavery in the
South--a Lynch court in the slave-states--the scourging of Mr. Dresser
by a vigilance committee in the public square of Nashville--the
plundering of the post-office in Charleston, S.C., and the conflagration
of part of its contents, &c, &c, I am apprised of no other means of
propagating our doctrines than by oral and written discussions.

"13. _Are your hopes and expectations of success increased or lessened
by the events of the last year, and especially by the action of this
Congress? And will your exertions be relaxed or increased?_"

ANSWER.--The events of the last year, including the action of the
present Congress, are of the same character with the events of the
eighteen months which immediately preceded it. In the question before
us, they may be regarded as one series. I would say, answering your
interrogatory generally, that none of them, however unpropitious to the
cause of the abolitionists they may appear, to those who look at the
subject from an opposite point to the one _they_ occupy, seem, thus far,
in any degree to have lessened their hopes and expectations. The events
alluded to have not come altogether unexpected. They are regarded as the
legitimate manifestations of slavery--necessary, perhaps, in the present
dull and unapprehensive state of the public mind as to human rights, to
be brought out and spread before the people, before they will
sufficiently revolt against slavery itself.

1. They are seen in the CHURCH, and in the practice of its individual
members. The southern portion of the American church may now be regarded
as having admitted the dogma, that _slavery is a Divine institution_.
She has been forced by the anti-slavery discussion into this
position--either to cease from slaveholding, or formally to adopt the
only alternative, that slaveholding is right. She has chosen the
alternative--reluctantly, to be sure, but substantially, and, within the
last year, almost unequivocally. In defending what was dear to her, she
has been forced to cast away her garments, and thus to reveal a
deformity, of which she herself, before, was scarcely aware, and the
existence of which others did not credit. So much for the action of the
southern church as a body.--On the part of her MEMBERS, the revelation
of a time-serving spirit, that not only yielded to the ferocity of the
multitude, but fell in with it, may be reckoned among the events of the
last three years. Instances of this may be found in the attendance of
the "clergy of all denominations," at a tumultuous meeting of the
citizens of Charleston, S.C., held in August, 1835, for the purpose of
reducing to _system_ their unlawful surveillance and control of the
post-office and mail; and in the alacrity with which they obeyed the
popular call to dissolve the Sunday-schools for the instruction of the
colored people. Also in the fact, that, throughout the whole South,
church members are not only found on the Vigilance Committees,
(tribunals organized in opposition to the laws of the states where they
exist,) but uniting with the merciless and the profligate in passing
sentence consigning to infamous and excruciating, if not extreme
punishment, persons, by their own acknowledgment, innocent of any
unlawful act. Out of sixty persons that composed the vigilance committee
which condemned Mr. Dresser to be scourged in the public square of
Nashville, TWENTY-SEVEN were members of churches, and one of them a
professed Teachers of Christianity. A member of the committee stated
afterward, in a newspaper of which he was the editor, that Mr. D. _had
not laid himself liable to any punishment known to the laws_. Another
instance is to be found in the conduct of the Rev. Wm. S. Plumer, of
Virginia. Having been absent from Richmond, when the ministers of the
gospel assembled together formally to testify their abhorrence of the
abolitionists, he addressed the chairman of the committee of
correspondence a note, in which he uses this language:--"If
abolitionists will set the country in a blaze, it is but fair that they
should have the first warming at the fire."--"Let them understand, that
they will be caught, if they come among us, and they will take good heed
to keep out of our way." Mr. P. has no doubtful standing in the
Presbyterian church with which he is connected. He has been regarded as
one of its brightest ornaments.[A] To drive the slaveholding church and
its members from the equivocal, the neutral position, from which they
had so long successfully defended slavery--to compel them to elevate
their practice to an even height with their avowed principles, or to
degrade their principles to the level of their known practice, was a
preliminary, necessary in the view of abolitionists, either for bringing
that part of the church into the common action against slavery, or as a
ground for treating it as confederate with oppressors. So far, then, as
the action of the church, or of its individual members, is to be
reckoned among the events of the last two or three years, the
abolitionists find in it nothing to lessen their hopes or expectations.

[Footnote A: In the division of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian
church, that has just taken place, Mr. Plumer has been elected Moderator
of the "Old School" portion.]

2. The abolitionists believed, from the beginning, that the slaves of
the South were (as slaves are everywhere) unhappy, _because of their
condition_. Their adversaries denied it, averring that, as a class, they
were "contented and happy." The abolitionists thought that the argument
against slavery could be made good, so far as this point was concerned,
by either _admitting_ or _denying_ the assertion.

_Admitting_ it, they insisted, that, nothing could demonstrate the
turpitude of any system more surely than the fact, that MAN--made in the
image of God--but a little lower than the angels--crowned with glory and
honor, and set over the works of God's hands--his mind sweeping in an
instant from planet to planet, from the sun of one system to the sun of
another, even to the great centre sun of them all--contemplating the
machinery of the universe "wheeling unshaken" in the awful and
mysterious grandeur of its movements "through the void immense"--with a
spirit delighting in upward aspiration--bounding from earth to
heaven--that seats itself fast by the throne of God, to drink in the
instructions of Infinite Wisdom, or flies to execute the commands of
Infinite Goodness;--that such a being could be made "contented and
happy" with "enough to eat, and drink, and wear," and shelter from the
weather--with the base provision that satisfies the brutes, is (say the
abolitionists) enough to render superfluous all other arguments for the
_instant_ abandonment of a system whose appropriate work is such
infinite wrong.

_Denying_ that "the slaves are contented and happy," the abolitionists
have argued, that, from the structure of his moral nature--the laws of
his mind--man cannot be happy in the fact, that he is _enslaved_. True,
he may be happy in slavery, but it is not slavery that makes him so--it
is virtue and faith, elevating him above the afflictions of his lot. The
slave has a will, leading him to seek those things which the Author of
his nature has made conducive to its happiness. In these things, the
will of the master comes in collision with his will. The slave desires
to receive the rewards of his own labor; the power of the master wrests
them from him. The slave desires to possess his wife, to whom God has
joined him, in affection, to have the superintendence, and enjoy the
services, of the children whom God has confided to him as a parent to
train them, by the habits of the filial relation, for the yet higher
relation that they may sustain to him as their heavenly Father. But here
he is met by the opposing will of the master, pressing _his_ claims with
irresistible power. The ties that heaven has sanctioned and blessed--of
husband and wife, of parent and child--are all sundered in a moment by
the master, at the prompting of avarice or luxury or lust; and there is
none that can stay his ruthless hand, or say unto him, "What doest
thou?" The slave thirsts for the pleasures of refined and elevated
intellect--the master denies to him the humblest literary acquisition.
The slave pants to know something of that still higher nature that he
feels burning within him--of his present state, his future destiny, of
the Being who made him, to whose judgment-seat he is going. The master's
interests cry, "No!" "Such knowledge is too wonderful for you; it is
high, you cannot attain unto it." To predicate _happiness_ of a class of
beings, placed in circumstances where their will is everlastingly
defeated by an irresistible power--the abolitionists say, is to prove
them destitute of the sympathies of _our_ nature--not _human_. It is to
declare with the Atheist, that man is independent of the goodness of his
Creator for his enjoyments--that human happiness calls not for any of
the appliances of his bounty--that God's throne is a nullity, himself a

But, independently of any abstract reasoning drawn from the nature of
moral and intelligent beings, FACTS have been elicited in the discussion
of the point before us, proving slavery everywhere (especially Southern
slavery, maintained by enlightened Protestants of the nineteenth
century) replete with torments and horrors--the direst form of
oppression that upheaves itself before the sun. These facts have been so
successfully impressed on a large portion of the intelligent mind of the
country, that the slaves of the South are beginning to be considered as
those whom God emphatically regards as the "poor," the "needy," the
"afflicted," the "oppressed," the "bowed down;" and for whose
consolation he has said, "Now will I arise--I will set him in safety
from him that puffeth at him."

This state of the public mind has been brought about within the last two
or three years; and it is an event which, so far from lessening, greatly
animates, the hopes and expectations of abolitionists.

3. The abolitionists believed from the first, that the tendency of
slavery is to produce, on the part of the whites, looseness of morals,
disdain of the wholesome restraints of law, and a ferocity of temper,
found, only in solitary instances, in those countries where slavery is
unknown. They were not ignorant of the fact, that this was disputed; nor
that the "CHIVALRY OF THE SOUTH" had become a cant phrase, including,
all that is high-minded and honorable among men; nor, that it had been
formally asserted in our National legislature, that slavery, as it
exists in the South, "produces the highest toned, the purest, best
organization of society that has ever existed on the face of the earth."
Nor were the abolitionists unaware, that these pretensions, proving
anything else but their own solidity, had been echoed and re-echoed so
long by the unthinking and the interested of the North, that the
character of the South had been injuriously affected by them--till she
began boldly to attribute her _peculiar_ superiority to her _peculiar_
institution, and thus to strengthen it. All this the abolitionists saw
and knew. But few others saw and understood it as they did. The
revelations of the last three years are fast dissipating the old notion,
and bringing multitudes in the North to see the subject as the
abolitionists see it. When "Southern Chivalry" and the _purity_ of
southern society are spoken of now, it is at once replied, that a large
number of the slaves show, by their _color_, their indisputable claim to
white paternity; and that, notwithstanding their near consanguineous
relation to the whites, they are still held and treated, in all
respects, _as slaves_. Nor is it forgotten now, when the claims of the
South to "hospitality" are pressed, to object, because they are grounded
on the unpaid wages of the laborer--on the robbery of the poor. When
"Southern generosity" is mentioned, the old adage, "be just before you
are generous," furnishes the reply. It is no proof of generosity (say
the objectors) to take the bread of the laborer, to lavish it in
banquetings on the rich. When "Southern Chivalry" is the theme of its
admirers, the hard-handed, but intelligent, working man of the North
asks, if the espionage of southern hotels, and of ships and steamboats
on their arrival at southern ports; if the prowl, by day and by night,
for the solitary stranger suspected of sympathizing with the enslaved,
that he may be delivered over to the mercies of a vigilance committee,
furnishes the proof of its existence; if the unlawful importation of
slaves from Africa[A] furnishes the proof; if the abuse, the scourging,
the hanging on suspicion, without law, of friendless strangers, furnish
the proof; if the summary execution of slaves and of colored freemen,
almost by the score, without legal trial, furnishes the proof; if the
cruelties and tortures to which _citizens_ have been exposed, and the
burning to death of slaves by slow fires,[B] furnish the proof. All
these things, says he, furnish any thing but proof of _true_
hospitality, or generosity, or gallantry, or purity, or chivalry.

[Footnote A: Mr. Mercer, of Virginia, some years ago, asserted in
Congress, that "CARGOES" of African slaves were smuggled into the
southern states to a deplorable extent. Mr. Middleton, of South
Carolina, declared it to be his belief, that THIRTEEN THOUSAND Africans
were annually smuggled into the southern states. Mr. Wright, of
Maryland, estimated the number at FIFTEEN THOUSAND. Miss Martineau was
told in 1835, by a wealthy slaveholder of Louisiana, (who probably spoke
of that state alone,) that the annual importation of native Africans was
from THIRTEEN THOUSAND to FIFTEEN THOUSAND. The President of the United
States, in his last Annual Message, speaking of the Navy, says, "The
large force under Commodore Dallas [on the West India station] has been
most actively and efficiently employed in protecting our commerce, IN

[Footnote B: Within the last few years, four slaves, and one citizen of
color, have been put to death in this manner, in Alabama, Mississippi,
Missouri, and Arkansas.]

Certain it is, that the time when southern slavery derived countenance
at the North, from its supposed connection with "chivalry," is rapidly
passing away. "Southern Chivalry" will soon be regarded as one of the
by-gone fooleries of a less intelligent and less virtuous age. It will
soon be cast out--giving place to the more reasonable idea, that the
denial of wages to the laborer, the selling of men and women, the
whipping of husbands and wives in each others presence, to compel them
to unrequited toil, the deliberate attempt to extinguish mind, and,
consequently, to destroy the soul--is among the highest offences against
God and man--unspeakably mean and ungentlemanly.

The impression made on the minds of the people as to this matter, is one
of the events of the last two or three years that does not contribute to
lessen the hopes or expectations of abolitionists.

4. The ascendency that Slavery has acquired, and exercises, in the
administration of the government, and the apprehension now prevailing
among the sober and intelligent, irrespective of party, that it will
soon overmaster the Constitution itself, may be ranked among the events
of the last two or three years that affect the course of abolitionists.
The abolitionists regard the Constitution with unabated affection. They
hold in no common veneration the memory of those who made it. They would
be the last to brand Franklin and King and Morris and Wilson and Sherman
and Hamilton with the ineffaceable infamy of attempting to ingraft on
the Constitution, and therefore to _perpetuate_, a system of oppression
in absolute antagonism to its high and professed objects, one which
their own practice condemned,--and this, too, when they had scarcely
wiped away the dust and sweat of the Revolution from their brows! Whilst
abolitionists feel and speak thus of our Constitutional fathers, they do
not justify the dereliction of principle into which they were betrayed,
when they imparted to the work of their hands _any_ power to contribute
to the continuance of such a system. They can only palliate it, by
supposing, that they thought, slavery was already a waning institution,
destined soon to pass away. In their time, (1787) slaves were
comparatively of little value--there being then no great slave-labor
staple (as cotton is now) to make them profitable to their holders.[A]
Had the circumstances of the country remained as they then were,
slave-labor, always and every where the most expensive--would have
disappeared before the competition of free labour. They had seen, too,
the principle of universal liberty, on which the Revolution was
justified, recognised and embodied in most of the State Constitutions;
they had seen slavery utterly forbidden in that of Vermont
--instantaneously abolished in that of Massachusetts--and laws
enacted in the New-England States and in Pennsylvania, for its gradual
abolition. Well might they have anticipated, that Justice and Humanity,
now starting forth with fresh vigor, would, in their march, sweep away
the whole system; more especially, as freedom of speech and of the
press--the legitimate abolisher not only of the acknowledged vice of
slavery, but of every other that time should reveal in our institutions
or practices--had been fully secured to the people. Again; power was
conferred on Congress to put a stop to the African slave-trade, without
which it was thought, at that time, to be impossible to maintain
slavery, as a system, on this continent,--so great was the havoc it
committed on human life. Authority was also granted to Congress to
prevent the transfer of slaves, as articles of commerce, from one State
to another; and the introduction of slavery into the territories. All
this was crowned by the power of refusing admission into the Union, to
any new state, whose form of government was repugnant to the principles
of liberty set forth in that of the United States. The faithful
execution, by Congress, of these powers, it was reasonably enough
supposed, would, at least, prevent the growth of slavery, if it did not
entirely remove it. Congress did, at the set time, execute _one_ of
them--deemed, then, the most effectual of the whole; but, as it has
turned out, the least so.

[Footnote A: The cultivation of cotton was almost unknown in the United
States before 1787. It was not till two years afterward that it began to
be raised or exported. (See Report of the Secretary of the Treasury,
Feb. 29, 1836.)--See Appendix, D.]

The effect of the interdiction of the African slave-trade was, not to
diminish the trade itself, or greatly to mitigate its horrors; it only
changed its name from African to American--transferred the seat of
commerce from Africa to America--its profits from African princes to
American farmers. Indeed, it is almost certain, if the African
slave-trade had been left unrestrained, that slavery would not have
covered so large a portion of our country as it does now. The cheap rate
at which slaves might have been imported by the planters of the south,
would have prevented the rearing of them for sale, by the farmers of
Maryland, Virginia, and the other slave-selling states. If these states
could be restrained from the _commerce_ in slaves, slavery could not be
supported by them for any length of time, or to any considerable extent.
They could not maintain it, as an economical system, under the
competition of free labor. It is owing to the _non-user_ by Congress, or
rather to their unfaithful application of their power to the other
points, on which it was expected to act for the limitation or
extermination of slavery, that the hopes of our fathers have not been
realized; and that slavery has, at length, become so audacious, as
openly to challenge the principles of 1776--to trample on the most
precious rights secured to the citizen--to menace the integrity of the
Union and the very existence of the government itself.

Slavery has advanced to its present position by steps that were, at
first, gradual, and, for a long time, almost unnoticed; afterward, it
made its way by intimidating or corrupting those who ought to have been
forward to resist its pretensions. Up to the time of the "Missouri
Compromise," by which the nation was wheedled out of its honor, slavery
was looked on as an evil that was finally to yield to the expanding and
ripening influences of our Constitutional principles and regulations.
Why it has not yielded, we may easily see, by even a slight glance at
some of the incidents in our history.

It has already been said, that we have been brought into our present
condition by the unfaithfulness of Congress, in not _exerting_ the power
vested in it, to stop the domestic slave-trade, and in the _abuse_ of
the power of admitting "_new_ states" into the Union. Kentucky made
application in 1792, with a slave-holding Constitution in her
hand.--With what a mere _technicality_ Congress suffered itself to be
drugged into torpor:--_She was part of one of the "Original States"--and
therefore entitled to all their privileges._

One precedent established, it was easy to make another. Tennessee was
admitted in 1796, without scruple, on the same ground.

The next triumph of slavery was in 1803, in the purchase of Louisiana,
acknowledged afterward, even by Mr. Jefferson who made it, to be
unauthorized by the Constitution--and in the establishment of slavery
throughout its vast limits, actually and substantially under the
auspices of that instrument which declares its only objects to be--"to
form a more perfect union, establish JUSTICE, insure DOMESTIC
TRANQUILITY, provide for the common defence, promote the general
welfare, and secure the blessings of LIBERTY to ourselves and our

[Footnote A: It may be replied, The colored people were held as
_property_ by the laws of Louisiana previously to the cession, and that
Congress had no right to divest the newly acquired citizens of their
property. This statement is evasive. It does not include, nor touch the
question, which is this:--Had Congress, or the treaty-making power, a
right to recognise, and, by recognising, to establish, in a territory
that had no claim of privilege, on the ground of being part of one of
the "Original States," a condition of things that it could not establish
_directly_, because there was no grant in the constitution of power,
direct or incidental, to do so--and because, _to do so_, was in
downright oppugnancy to the principles of the Constitution itself? The
question may be easily answered by stating the following case:--Suppose
a law had existed in Louisiana, previous to the cession, by which the
children--male and female--of all such parents as were not owners of
real estate of the yearly value of $500, had been--no matter how
long--held in slavery by their more wealthy land-holding
neighbors:--would Congress, under the Constitution, have a right (by
recognising) to establish, for ever, such a relation as one white
person, under such a law, might hold to another? Surely not. And yet no
substantial difference between the two cases can be pointed out.]

In this case, the violation of the Constitution was suffered to pass
with but little opposition, except from Massachusetts, because we were
content to receive in exchange, multiplied commercial benefits and
enlarged territorial limits.

The next stride that slavery made over the Constitution was in the
admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union. _She_ could claim no
favor as part of an "Original State." At this point, it might have been
supposed, the friends of Freedom and of the Constitution according to
its original intent, would have made a stand. But no: with the exception
of Massachusetts, they hesitated and were persuaded to acquiesce,
because the country was just about entering into a war with England, and
the crisis was unpropitious for discussing questions that would create
divisions between different sections of the Union. We must wait till the
country was at peace. Thus it was that Louisiana was admitted without a

Next followed, in 1817 and 1820, Mississippi and Alabama--admitted after
the example of Kentucky and Tennessee, without any contest.

Meantime, Florida had given some uneasiness to the slaveholders of the
neighboring states; and for their accommodation chiefly, a negociation
was set on foot by the government to purchase it.

Missouri was next in order in 1821. She could plead no privilege, on the
score of being part of one of the original states; the country too, was
relieved from the pressure of her late conflict with England; it was
prosperous and quiet; every thing seemed propitious to a calm and
dispassionate consideration of the claims of slaveholders to add props
to their system, by admitting indefinitely, new slave states to the
Union. Up to this time, the "EVIL" of slavery had been almost
universally acknowledged and deplored by the South, and its termination
(apparently) sincerely hoped for.[A] By this management its friends
succeeded in blinding the confiding people of the North. They thought
for the most part, that the slaveholders were acting in good faith. It
is not intended by this remark, to make the impression, that the South
had all along pressed the admission of new slave states, simply with a
view to the increase of its own relative power. By no means: slavery had
insinuated itself into favor because of its being mixed up with (other)
supposed benefits--and because its ultimate influence on the government
was neither suspected nor dreaded. But, on the Missouri question, there
was a fair trial of strength between the friends of Slavery and the
friends of the Constitution. The former triumphed, and by the prime
agency of one whose raiment, the remainder of his days, ought to be
sackcloth and ashes,--because of the disgrace he has continued on the
name of his country, and the consequent injury that he has inflicted on
the cause of Freedom throughout the world. Although all the different
Administrations, from the first organization of the government, had, in
the indirect manner already mentioned, favored slavery,--there had not
been on any previous occasion, a direct struggle between its pretensions
and the principles of liberty ingrafted on the Constitution. The friends
of the latter were induced to believe, whenever they should be arrayed
against each other, that _theirs_ would be the triumph. Tremendous
error! Mistake almost fatal! The battle was fought. Slavery emerged from
it unhurt--her hands made gory--her bloody plume still floating in the
air--exultingly brandishing her dripping sword over her prostrate and
vanquished enemy. She had won all for which she fought. Her victory was

[Footnote A: Mr. Clay, in conducting the Missouri compromise, found it
necessary to argue, that the admission of Missouri, as a slaveholding
state, would aid in bringing about the termination of slavery. His
argument is thus stated by Mr. Sergeant, who replied to him:--"In this
long view of remote and distant consequences, the gentleman from
Kentucky (Mr. Clay) thinks he sees how slavery, when thus spread, is at
last to find its end. It is to be brought about by the combined
operation of the laws which regulate the price of labor, and the laws
which govern population. When the country shall be filled with
inhabitants, and the price of labor shall have reached a minimum, (a
comparative minimum I suppose is meant,) free labor will be found
cheaper than slave labor. Slaves will then be without employment, and,
of course, without the means of comfortable subsistence, which will
reduce their numbers, and finally extirpate them. This is the argument
as I understand it," says Mr. Sergeant; and, certainly, one more
chimerical or more inhuman could not have been urged.]

[Footnote B: See Appendix, E.]

Immediately after this achievement, the slaveholding interest was still
more strongly fortified by the acquisition of Florida, and the
establishment of slavery there, as it had already been in the territory
of Louisiana. The Missouri triumph, however, seems to have extinguished
every thing like a systematic or spirited opposition, on the part of the
free states, to the pretensions of the slaveholding South.

Arkansas was admitted but the other day, with nothing that deserves to
be called an effort to prevent it--although her Constitution attempts to
_perpetuate_ slavery, by forbidding the master to emancipate his bondmen
without the consent of the Legislature, and the Legislature without the
consent of the master. Emboldened, but not satisfied, with their success
in every political contest with the people of the free states, the
slaveholders are beginning now to throw off their disguise--to brand
their former notions about the "_evil_, political and moral" of slavery,
as "folly and delusion,"[A]--and as if to "make assurance double sure,"
and defend themselves forever, by territorial power, against the
progress of Free principles and the renovation of the Constitution, they
now demand openly--scorning to conceal that their object is, to _advance
and establish their political power in the country_,--that Texas, a
foreign state, five or six times as large as all New England, with a
Constitution dyed as deep in slavery, as that of Arkansas, shall be
added to the Union.

[Footnote A: Mr. Calhoun is reported, in the National Intelligencer, as
having used these words in a speech delivered in the Senate, the 10th
day of January:--

"Many in the South once believed that it [slavery] was a moral and
political evil; that folly and delusion are gone. We see it now in its
true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable basis for free
institutions in the world."

Mr. Hammond, formerly a Representative in Congress from South Carolina,
delivered a speech (Feb. 1, 1836) on the question of receiving petitions
for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. In answering
those who objected to a slaveholding country, that it was "assimilated
to an aristocracy," he says--"In this they are right. I accept the
terms. _It is a government of the best._ Combining all the advantages,
and possessing but few of the disadvantages, of the aristocracy of the
old world--without fostering, to an unwarrantable extent, the pride, the
exclusiveness, the selfishness, the thirst for sway, the contempt for
the rights of others, which distinguish the nobility of Europe--it gives
us their education, their polish, their munificence, their high honor,
their undaunted spirit. Slavery does indeed create an aristocracy--an
aristocracy of talents, of virtue, of generosity, of courage. In a slave
country, every freeman is an aristocrat. Be he rich or poor, if he does
not possess a single slave, he has been born to all the natural
advantages of the society in which he is placed; and all its honors lie
open before him, inviting his genius and industry. Sir, I do firmly
believe, that domestic slavery, regulated as ours is, produces the
highest toned, the purest, best organization of society, that has ever
existed on the face of the earth."

That this _retraxit_ of former _follies and delusions_ is not confined
to the mere politician, we have the following proofs:--

The CHARLESTON (S.C.) UNION PRESBYTERY--"Resolved. That in the opinion
of this Presbytery, the holding of slaves, so far from being a sin in
the sight of God, is nowhere condemned in his holy word; that it is in
accordance with the example, or consistent with the precepts, of
patriarchs, prophets, and apostles; and that it is compatible with the
most fraternal regard to the good of the servants whom God has committed
to our charge."--Within the last few months, as we learn from a late No.
of the Charleston Courier, the late Synod of the Presbyterian Church, in
Augusta, (Ga.) passed resolutions declaring "That slavery is a CIVIL
INSTITUTION, with which the General Assembly [the highest ecclesiastical
tribunal] has NOTHING TO DO."

Again:--The CHARLESTON BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, in a memorial to the
Legislature of South Carolina, say--"The undersigned would further
represent, that the said Association does not consider that the Holy
Scriptures have made the FACT of slavery a question of morals at all."
And further,--"The right of masters to dispose of the time of their
slaves, has been distinctly recognised by the Creator of all things."

Again:--The EDGEFIELD (S.C.) ASSOCIATION--"Resolved, That the practical
question of slavery, in a country where the system has obtained as a
part of its stated policy, is settled in the Scriptures by Jesus Christ
and his apostles." "Resolved, That these uniformly recognised the
relation of master and slave, and enjoined on both their respective
duties, under a system of servitude more degrading and absolute than
that which obtains in our country."

Again we find, in a late No. of the Charleston Courier, the following:--

"THE SOUTHERN CHURCH.--The Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, at a recent meeting in Athens, passed resolutions, declaring
that slavery, as it exists in the United States, is not a moral evil,
and is a civil and domestic institution, with which Christian ministers
have nothing to do, further than to meliorate the condition of the
slave, by endeavoring to impart to him and his master the benign
influence of the religion of Christ, and aiding both on their way
to heaven."]

The abolitionists feel a deep regard for the integrity and union of the
government, _on the principles of the Constitution_. Therefore it is,
that they look with earnest concern on the attempt now making by the
South, to do, what, in the view of multitudes of our citizens, would
amount to good cause for the separation of the free from the slave
states. Their concern is not mingled with any feelings of despair. The
alarm they sounded on the "annexation" question has penetrated the free
states; it will, in all probability, be favorably responded to by every
one of them; thus giving encouragement to our faith, that the admission
of Texas will be successfully resisted,--that this additional stain will
not be impressed on our national escutcheon, nor this additional peril
brought upon the South.[A]

[Footnote A: See Appendix, F.]

This, the present condition of the country, induced by a long train of
usurpations on the part of the South, and by unworthy concessions to it
by the North, may justly be regarded as one of the events of the last
few years affecting in some way, the measures of the abolitionists. It
has certainly done so. And whilst it is not to be denied, that many
abolitionists feel painful apprehensions for the result, it has only
roused them up to make more strenuous efforts for the preservation of
the country.

It may be replied--if the abolitionists are such firm friends of the
Union, why do they persist in what must end in its rupture and
dissolution? The abolitionists, let it be repeated _are_ friends of
_the_ Union that was intended by the Constitution; but not of a Union
from which is eviscerated, to be trodden under foot, the right to
SPEAK,--to PRINT--to PETITION,--the rights of CONSCIENCE; not of a Union
whose ligaments are whips, where the interest of the oppressor is the
_great_ interest, the right to oppress the _paramount_ right. It is
against the distortion of the glorious Union our fathers left us into
one bound with despotic bands that the abolitionists are contending. In
the political aspect of the question, they have nothing to ask, except
what the Constitution authorizes--no change to desire, but that the
Constitution may be restored to its pristine republican purity.

But they have well considered the "dissolution of the Union." There is
no just ground for apprehending that such a measure will ever be
resorted to by the _South_. It is by no means intended by this, to
affirm, that the South, like a spoiled child, for the first time denied
some favourite object, may not fall into sudden frenzy and do herself
some great harm. But knowing as I do, the intelligence and forecast of
the leading men of the South--and believing that they will, if ever such
a crisis should come, be judiciously influenced by the _existing_ state
of the case, and by the _consequences_ that would inevitably flow from
an act of dissolution--they would not, I am sure, deem it desirable or
politic. They would be brought, in their calmer moments, to coincide
with one who has facetiously, but not the less truly remarked, that it
would be as indiscreet in the slave South to separate from the free
North, as for the poor, to separate from the parish that supported them.
In support of this opinion, I would say:

First--A dissolution of the Union by the South would, in no manner,
secure to her the object she has in view.--The _leaders_ at the South,
both in the church and in the state, must, by this time, be too well
informed as to the nature of the anti-slavery movement, and the
character of those engaged in it, to entertain fears that, violence of
any kind will be resorted to, directly or indirectly.[A] The whole
complaint of the South is neither more nor less than this--THE NORTH
TALKS ABOUT SLAVERY. Now, of all the means or appliances that could be
devised, to give greater life and publicity to the discussion of
slavery, none could be half so effectual as the dissolution of the Union
_because of the discussion_. It would astonish the civilized world--they
would inquire into the cause of such a remarkable event in its
history;--the result would be not only enlarged _discussion_ of the
whole subject, but it would bring such a measure of contempt on the
guilty movers of the deed, that even with all the advantages of "their
education, their polish, their munificence, their high honor, their
undaunted spirit," so eloquently set forth by the Hon. Mr. Hammond, they
would find it hard to withstand its influence. It is difficult for men
in a _good_ cause, to maintain their steadfastness in opposition to an
extensively corrupt public sentiment; in a _bad_ one, against public
sentiment purified and enlightened, next to impossible, if not quite so.

[Footnote A: "It is not," says Mr. Calhoun, "that we expect the
abolitionists will resort to arms--will commence a crusade to deliver
our slaves by force."--"Let me tell our friends of the South, who differ
from us, that the war which the abolitionists wage against us is of a
very different character, and _far more effective_. It is waged, not
against our lives, but our character." More correctly, Mr. C. might have
said against a _system_, with which the slaveholders have chosen to
involve their characters, and which they have determined to defend, at
the hazard of losing them.]

Another result would follow the dissolution:--_Now_, the abolitionists
find it difficult, by reason of the odium which the principal
slaveholders and their friends have succeeded in attaching to their
_name_, to introduce a knowledge of their principles and measures into
the great mass of southern mind. There are multitudes at the South who
would co-operate with us, if they could be informed of our aim.[A] Now,
we cannot reach them--then, it would be otherwise. The united power of
the large slaveholders would not be able longer to keep them in
ignorance. If the Union were dissolved, they _would_ know the cause, and
discuss it, and condemn it.

[Footnote A: There is abundant evidence of this. Our limits confine us
to the following, from the first No. of the Southern Literary Journal,
(Charleston, S.C.):--"There are _many good men even among us_, who have
begun to grow _timid_. They think, that what the virtuous and
high-minded men of the North look upon as a crime and a plague-spot,
cannot be perfectly innocent or quite harmless in a slaveholding

This, also, from the North Carolina Watchman:--

"It (the abolition party) is the growing party at the North. We are
inclined to believe that there is even more of it at the South than
prudence will permit to be openly avowed."

"It is well known, Mr. Speaker, that there is a LARGE, RESPECTABLE and
INTELLIGENT PARTY in Kentucky, who will exert every nerve and spare no
efforts to dislodge the subsisting rights to our Slave population, or
alter in some manner, and to some extent, at least, the tenure by which
that species of property is held."--_Speech of the Hon. James T.
Morehead in the Kentucky Legislature, last winter_.]

A second reason why the South will not dissolve the Union is, that she
would be exposed to the visitation of _real_ incendiaries, exciting her
slaves to revolt. Now, it would cover any one with infamy, who would
stir them up to vindicate their rights by the massacre of their masters.
Dissolve the Union, and the candidates for "GLORY" would find in the
plains of Carolina and Louisiana as inviting a theatre for their
enterprise, as their prototypes, the Houstons, the Van Rennsselaers, and
the Sutherlands did, in the prairies of Texas or the forests of Canada.

A third reason why the South will not dissolve is, that the slaves would
leave their masters and take refuge in the free states. The South would
not be able to establish a _cordon_ along her wide frontier sufficiently
strong to prevent it. Then, the slaves could not be reclaimed, as they
now are, under the Constitution. Some may say, the free states would not
permit them to come in and dwell among them.--Believe it not. The fact
of separation on the ground supposed, would abolitionize the whole
North. Beside this, in an economical point of view, the _demand for
labor_ in the Western States would make their presence welcome. At all
events, a passage through the Northern States to Canada would not be
denied them.

A fourth reason why the South will not dissolve is, that a large number
of her most steady and effective population would emigrate to the free
states. In the slave-_selling_ states especially, there has always been
a class who have consented to remain there with their families, only in
the hope that slavery would, in some way or other, be terminated. I do
not say they are abolitionists, for many of them are slaveholders. It
may be, too, that such would expect compensation for their slaves,
should they be emancipated, and also that they should be sent out of the
country. The particular mode of emancipation, however crude it may be,
that has occupied their minds, has nothing to do with the point before
us. _They look for emancipation--in this hope they have remained, and
now remain, where they are_. Take away this hope, by making slavery the
_distinctive bond of union_ of a new government, and you drive them to
the North. These persons are not among the rich, the voluptuous, the
effeminate; nor are they the despised, the indigent, the
thriftless--they are men of moderate property, of intelligence, of
conscience--in every way the "bone and sinew" of the South.

A fifth reason why the South will not dissolve, is her _weakness_. It is
a remarkable fact, that in modern times, and in the Christian world, all
slaveholding countries have been united with countries that are free.
Thus, the West Indian and Mexican and South American slaveholding
colonies were united to England, France, Spain, Portugal, and other
states of Europe. If England (before her Emancipation Act) and the
others had at any time withdrawn the protection of their _power_ from
their colonies, slavery would have been extinguished almost
simultaneously with the knowledge of the fact. In the West Indies there
could have been no doubt of this, from the disparity in numbers between
the whites and the slaves, from the multiplied attempts made from time
to time by the latter to vindicate their rights by insurrection, and
from the fact, that all their insurrections had to be suppressed by the
_force_ of the mother country. As soon as Mexico and the South American
colonies dissolved their connexion with Spain, slavery was abolished in
every one of them. This may, I know, be attributed to the necessity
imposed on these states, by the wars in which they engaged to establish
their independence. However this may be--the _fact_ still remains. The
free states of this Union are to the slave, so far as the maintenance of
slavery is concerned, substantially, in the relation of the European
states to their slaveholding colonies. Slavery, in all probability,
could not be maintained by the South disjoined from the North, a single
year. So far from there existing any reason for making the South an
exception, in this particular, to other slave countries, there are
circumstances in her condition that seem to make her dependence more
complete. Two of them are, the superior intelligence of her slaves on
the subject of human rights, and the geographical connexion of the slave
region in the United States. In the West Indies, in Mexico and South
America the great body of the slaves were far below the slaves of this
country in their intellectual and moral condition--and, in the former,
their power to act in concert was weakened by the insular fragments into
which they were divided.

Again, the depopulation of the South of large numbers of its white
inhabitants, from the cause mentioned under the fourth head, would, it
is apprehended, bring the two classes to something like a numerical
equality. Now, consider the present state of the moral sentiment of the
Christianized and commercial world in relation to slavery; add to it the
impulse that this sentiment, acknowledged by the South already to be
wholly opposed to her, would naturally acquire by an act of separation
on her part, with a single view to the perpetuation of slavery; bring
this sentiment in all its accumulation and intensity to act upon a
nation where one half are enslavers, the other the enslaved--and what
must be the effect? From the nature of mind; from the laws of moral
influence, (which are as sure in their operation, if not so well
understood, as the laws of physical influence,) the party "whose
conscience with injustice is oppressed," must become dispirited,
weakened in courage, and in the end unnerved and contemptible. On the
other hand, the sympathy that would be felt for the oppressed--the
comfort they would receive--the encouragement that would be given them
to assert their rights, would make it an impossibility, to keep them in
slavish peace and submission.

This state of things would be greatly aggravated by the peculiarly
morbid sensitiveness of the South to every thing that is supposed to
touch her _character_. Her highest distinction would then become her
most troublesome one. How, for instance, could her chivalrous sons bear
to be taunted, wherever they went, on business or for pleasure, out of
their own limits, with the cry "the knights of the lash!" "Go home and
pay your laborers!" "Cease from the scourging of husbands and wives in
each others presence--from attending the shambles, to sell or buy as
slaves those whom God has made of the same blood with yourselves--your
brethren--your sisters! Cease, high minded sons of the 'ANCIENT
DOMINION,' from estimating your revenue by the number of children you
rear, to sell in the flesh market!" "Go home and pay your laborers!" "Go
home and pay your laborers!" This would be a trial to which "southern
chivalry" could not patiently submit. Their "high honor," their
"undaunted spirit" would impel them to the field--only to prove that the
"last resort" requires something more substantial than mere "honor" and
"spirit" to maintain it. Suppose there should be a disagreement--as in
all likelihood there soon would, leading to war between the North and
the South? The North would scarcely have occasion to march a squadron to
the field. She would have an army that could be raised up by the
million, at the fireside of her enemy. It has been said, that during the
late war with England, it was proposed to her cabinet, by some
enterprising officers, to land five thousand men on the coast of South
Carolina and proclaim liberty to the slates. The success of the scheme
was well thought of. But then the example! England herself held nearly a
million of slaves at no greater distance from the scene of action than
the West Indies. _Now_, a restraint of this kind on such a scheme does
not exist.

It seems plain beyond the power of argument to make it plainer, that a
slaveholding nation--one under the circumstances in which the South
separated from the North would be placed--must be at the mercy of every
free people having neither power to vindicate a right nor avenge
a wrong.[A]

[Footnote A: Governor Hayne, of South Carolina, spoke in high terms, a
few years ago, of the ability that the South would possess, in a
military point of view, because her great wealth would enable her, at
all times, to command the services of mercenary troops. Without stopping
to dispute with him, as to her comparative wealth, I would remark, that
he seemed entirely to have overlooked this truth--that whenever a
government is under the necessity of calling in foreign troops, to keep
in subjection one half of the people, the power of the government has
already passed into the hands of the _Protectors_. They can and will, of
course, act with whichever party will best subserve their purpose.]

A sixth reason why the South will not dissolve the Union, is found in
the difficulty of bringing about an _actual_ separation. Preparatory to
such a movement, it would seem indispensable, that _Union_ among the
seceding states themselves should be secured. A General Convention would
be necessary to adjust its terms. This would, of course, be preceded by
_particular_ conventions in the several states. To this procedure the
same objection applies, that has been made, for the last two or three
years, to holding an anti-abolition convention in the South:--It would
give to the _question_ such notoriety, that the object of holding the
convention could not be concealed from the slaves. The more sagacious in
the South have been opposed to a convention; nor have they been
influenced solely by the consideration just mentioned--which, in my
view, is but of little moment--but by the apprehension, that the
diversity of sentiment which exists among the slave states, themselves,
in relation to the _system_, would be disclosed to the country; and that
the slaveholding interest would be found deficient in that harmony
which, from its perfectness heretofore, has made the slaveholders so
successful in their action on the North.

The slaveholding region may be divided into the _farming_ and the
_planting_--or the slave-_selling_ and the slave-_buying_ districts.
Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri and East Tennessee constitute the
first. West Tennessee is somewhat equivocal. All the states south of
Tennessee belong to the slave-_buying_ district. The first, with but few
exceptions, have from the earliest times, felt slavery a reproach to
their good name--an encumbrance on their advancement--at some period, to
be cast off. This sentiment, had it been at all encouraged by the action
of the General Government, in accordance with the views of the
convention that formed the Constitution, would, in all probability, by
this time, have brought slavery in Maryland and Virginia to an end.
Notwithstanding the easy admission of slave states into the Union, and
the _yielding_ of the free states whenever they were brought in
collision with the South, have had a strong tendency to persuade the
_farming_ slave states to continue their system, yet the sentiment in
favor of emancipation in some form, still exists among them. Proof,
encouraging proof of this, is found in the present attitude of Kentucky.
Her legislature has just passed a law, proposing to the people, to hold
a convention to alter the constitution. In the discussion of the bill,
slavery as connected with some form of emancipation, seems to have
constituted the most important element. The public journals too, that
are _opposed_ to touching the subject at all, declare that the main
object for recommending a convention was, to act on slavery in
some way.

Now, it would be in vain for the _planting_ South to expect, that
Kentucky or any other of the _farming_ slave states would unite with
her, in making slavery the _perpetual bond_ of a new political
organization. If they feel the inconveniences of slavery _in their
present condition_, they could not be expected to enter on another,
where these inconveniences would be inconceivably multiplied and
aggravated, and, by the very terms of their new contract, _perpetuated_.

This letter is already so protracted, that I cannot stop here to develop
more at large this part of the subject. To one acquainted with the state
of public sentiment, in what I have called, the _farming_ district, it
needs no further development. There is not one of these states embraced
in it, that would not, when brought to the test, prefer the privileges
of the Union to the privilege of perpetual slaveholding. And if there
should turn out to be a single _desertion_ in this matter, the whole
project of secession must come to nought.

But laying aside all the obstacles to union among the seceding states,
how is it possible to take the first step to _actual_ separation! The
separation, at the worst, can only be _political_. There will be no

Book of the day: