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A Visit To The United States In 1841 by Joseph Sturge

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engaged; and I therefore cannot join in affirming such transfer
to be 'a flagrant breach of trust;' and their answer in
justification of their course, 'an attempt to defend which
betrays an utter disregard of the rights of abolitionists.'

"Believing in the intellectual equality of the sexes, I go fully
for women's rights and duties. They possess a moral force of
immense power, which they are bound to exert for the good of
mankind; including emphatically so, those who are in the
hopeless and most wretched condition of slaves. The belief of
the value of female co-operation is common to the anti-slavery
community; and the only question regarding it which has arisen,
is, whether it shall be exerted in societies and conventions of
women, or in societies and conventions of men and women,
irrespective of sex. The question is of recent date, not even
coeval with the modern anti-slavery enterprise; and the
practice, at the origination of this enterprise, that of
separate action. We can all bear testimony to the powerful
impression upon the public mind, made by women, acting singly or
in societies and conventions, before it was thought of merging
their influence in a joint stock community with their brethren.
Where can we find an anti-slavery organization more potential,
and so dignified, as was the convention of American women? Is it
therefore surprising that the question has not been conclusively
settled by American abolitionists, that women ought to act
identically on the same platform and in the same society with
men; and that the practice, founded on this plan, still remains
measurably local, and, by many conforming to it, is deemed

"In convening a World's Convention, no innovation upon the
general social usages was contemplated by our brethren in
England who called it. The convention was meant to be a
convention of men; and what was deficient of explicitness in the
first notice was amply made up in the reiteration of the call.
It was fully known before the appointment of delegates by the
American Anti-Slavery Society that the intention of the
committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was
such as is above explained. The views of the inviting party
being known, it was competent to the invited to accept or reject
the invitation, but not to modify its terms. The American
Society, however, in face of the invitation, with a knowledge of
the extreme sensitiveness of that portion of the British people
whom the Convention would deem it important to conciliate, to
any innovation upon established forms, and itself not united in
discarding the distinctions of sex, resolved to send female
delegates to the Convention, and thus, in effect, to appeal from
the Committee to the paramount authority of the Convention, and
with it to settle the American question.

"In exercising this authority we are to suppose, from the high
moral, intellectual, and philanthropic standing of its members,
the Convention, in adhering to the general usages of society,
meant to perpetuate no injustice; and we know, from their very
respectful attention to the rejected delegates, that they were
influenced by no want of courtesy--I am satisfied that they
acted according to their best impressions of duty, the carrying
out of which was their high aim; and that the Convention was not
the less a World's Convention because it did not embrace both
sexes as its members, or any reforms without the scope of its
call. I cannot unite, therefore, in the resolutions declaring
the proceedings of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
'arbitrary and despotic;' or the act of the London Conference,
excluding the female delegates of the American Society appointed
in contradiction to the terms of the invitation, as 'highly
disrespectful to the delegates, and to us, their constituents,
tyrannical in its nature, mischievous in its tendencies, and
unworthy of men claiming the character of abolitionists.'

"Thus my views not being in harmony with the action of the
society, in the particulars above referred to, my duty to it and
myself is, to tender you this as my resignation of the office of
Vice President for Pennsylvania, and not to await another
election for withdrawing from it.

"With no heart for the controversies which have got in among my
brethren, the common friends of the enslaved, and which are
sadly wasting their anti-slavery strength, but with a warm heart
for the legitimate objects of the American Anti-Slavery Society,
I shall not cease anxiously to desire its prosperity and speedy
triumph with these just limitations.

"Your friend,


"_Haverford, 6th Month 28th_, 1841."



_Extract of a Letter from James Cannings Fuller to Joseph Sturge_.

"DEAR FRIEND,--Doubtless thou hast often thought of the visit to
our mutual friend, Gerrit Smith, and dwelt on the recollection
with pleasure. As thou requested me to furnish thee with the
result of the case which was brought under our notice from the
correspondence in the case of Sam and Harriet, I cheerfully
comply, by giving thee a somewhat detailed account, believing it
may be interesting to thee, and not unproductive of benefit to

"There are in America no small number of individuals whose
circumstances, by parental gift or marriage endowments, are
similar to those of our dear friend, Ann Carroll Smith. I would
there were a host prepared, like her and her noble husband, to
do sacrifice of their substance on the altar of human rights.

"Ann Carroll Fitzhugh is the daughter of the late Col. Wm.
Fitzhugh, a slaveholder, who formerly resided in Hagerstown,
Maryland. About twenty-three years ago, he removed to Geneseo,
New York. Twenty human chattels, whom he brought with him,
became free by the law of 1817; the remainder were left on his
plantation, in Maryland. Mammy Rachael, who nursed the Colonel's
wife, on the births of James Fitzhugh and his sister Ann, gave
to the former a boy, who was named Sam; and to the latter a
girl, called Harriet. They grew up together, and ultimately
formed a strong attachment. When Ann Fitzhugh was about eighteen
years old, her brother wrote to inquire if she would give him
Harriet, that she might become Sam's wife. When it is considered
that Ann was young and inexperienced; that she had been educated
to consider slavery right; that the doctrine of inalienable
personal ownership had not then been urged; and that the idea of
bestowing a wife on her brother's slave was naturally pleasing,
it is no marvel that she cheerfully granted the request.

"James Fitzhugh removed from Maryland to Kentucky. In the course
of events, his pecuniary affairs became embarrassed, and
creditors grew clamorous for the adjustment of their claims. His
effects were likely to be sold by the sheriff, and it was
reported he had no legal title to Harriet. Under these
circumstances, Gabriel Jackson prevailed on him to transfer Sam,
his wife, and first-born child, to him, in payment of his debt.
This man afterwards sold them to Samuel Worthington, a cotton
planter of Mississippi; whose letter, in reply to Gerrit Smith,
arrived the day we were at his house; and he being in doubt how
to effect the redemption of the family, and their safe
transportation, thou wilt remember that I agreed to effect both,
to what I shall call the Elysian Fields, or, more properly,
Eden. I started on the 26th of Seventh Month, via Lake Erie and
the Erie Canal, which extends from north to south three hundred
and nine miles through the State of Ohio. From the canal I took
steam-boat down the Ohio, to Maysville, Kentucky. The mistress
of the Eagle Hotel sat at her table as a queen, surrounded by
many slaves. There seemed to be twice as many hands to do the
work as were needful.

"From Maysville to Lexington (sixty-five miles) is the best road
I ever travelled, not excepting the English roads. It is made
and repaired with whitish limestone, from beginning to end. They
told me the repairs were principally made by Irishmen, as slaves
were not to be trusted to do the work. At starting, I observed
that the mail bags were nearly empty; and the driver being
questioned, informed me, that I could carry the whole mail in my
coat pockets. When he told me he was a Pennsylvanian, I asked
whether he could not earn as much in a free, as in a slave
State. He said that eighteen dollars a month was the most he
ever received for driving a team in a free State, and that now
he received thirty dollars a month. This opened the way for a
little anti-slavery talk. 'Last Sunday night,' said he, 'I saw a
big black man making the best of his way for Canada; I might
have stopped him, and had the reward of two hundred dollars,
which was offered.'

"I asked him whether it was best to have God's blessing, with
the fruits of his honest industry, or his curse, with two
hundred dollars blood money. He answered, with moistened eyes,
'I wish all the slaves were free,' to which I responded, 'Amen.'

"Some incidents connected with the escape of this negro, go to
prove that slaves can 'take care of themselves,' by a little
ingenuity, when occasion requires. Thinking it would be more
expeditious, as well as more agreeable, to ride from slavery
than to run from it, he took a horse; whether his master's or
not, I did not ascertain. The turnpike gates were a great
hindrance, and greatly increased the risk of apprehension. To
avoid this, just before reaching a turnpike gate, he let down a
fence, carefully put it up again, to avoid pursuit, passed round
the back of the keeper's house, and came out through the fence
beyond. As he was remounting his horse on one of these
occasions, the driver came up with him. Supposing him to be one
of the keeper's family, he wished him good night, but instantly
discovered by his voice that he was a colored man, putting his
horse to full speed. When he returned to Paynestown, he heard
people talking about a runaway, and told Dr. Whitehead he
believed he had seen the man the night before: 'I hope that
he'll get safe into Canada,' was the reply.

"'How can you say that, and be a slave-holder?' asked the

"'I wish there were no slaves,' replied he; 'and as soon as
others will liberate theirs, mine shall go free.'

"Stage coaches afford no facilities to the poor fugitives. By
the law of the United States' Government, no colored man can
drive a mail stage; neither can any colored man ride on one,
unless he is known to be free, or is a slave travelling with his
master. Stage owners incur heavy penalties if they infringe
these rules. A verdict of one thousand six hundred dollars was
lately recovered by a slave-master against the company.

"At Washington the stage was stopped to know if a colored boy
could be put on. 'Yes; where is he?' 'Up at the jail yonder.'
The querist took a seat inside; and soon after I spied a colored
man on the outside, with keepers. He was a re-captured runaway,
who had taken a horse with him, and imitated the Israelites, in
borrowing various other articles, when he escaped from bondage.
He assumed false whiskers and a pair of spectacles; and on
reaching the Ohio river, produced free papers duly stamped with
the county seal. But, unfortunately, when questioned where he
had staid the preceding night, he foolishly attempted to
describe the place, and was thus detected; two hundred dollars
had been offered for him if taken out of the State, and one
hundred dollars if taken in the State. To ride in a stage, with
a man behind, whose legs and arms were fastened together with
rivetted chains and padlocks, was enough to make one feel the
force of Patrick Henry's exclamation, 'Give me liberty, or give
me death!' It was a poor consolation to administer to the
gnawings of his hunger, while beholding his manly frame thus
manacled: but I thought he seemed to eat my gingerbread with a
better relish, when I told him it was made where colored men
were free. At Payne's tavern, in Fairview, the poor fellow had
to undergo an examination from the landlord, and listen to a
homily about truth-telling; so little do slave-holders seem
aware that stealing and lying are constituent parts of their own
system. In the stage office at Lexington, we encountered the man
who claimed this poor fugitive. The driver, who had come with us
the two last stages, was a native of Duchess Co., N.Y.; and he
began to plead with the slave-holder in behalf of the slave. I
heard of another case where the angry master threatened to flog
and sell a recovered runaway, whom he had with him; but the
stage driver remonstrated with him so effectually, that he wept
like a child, and promised forgiveness to his slave.

"Having a great desire to see the imported cattle on Henry
Clay's plantation, I went thither. On approaching the house I
saw a colored man, to whom I said, 'Where wert thou raised?' 'In
Washington.' 'Did Henry Clay buy thee there?' 'Wilt thou shew me
his improved cattle?' He pointed to the orchard, and said the
man who had charge of them was there. As I followed his
direction, I encountered a very intelligent-looking boy,
apparently eight or nine years old. I said to him, 'Canst thou
read?' 'No.' 'Is there a school for colored people on Henry
Clay's plantation?' 'No.' 'How old art thou?' 'Don't know.' In
the orchard I found a woman at work with her needle. I asked
'How old art thou?' 'A big fifty.' 'How old is that?' 'Near
sixty.' 'How many children hast thou?' 'Fifteen or sixteen.'
'Where are they?' 'Colored folks don't know where their children
is; they are sent all over the country.' 'Where wert thou
raised?' 'Washington.' 'Did Henry Clay buy thee there?' 'Yes.'
'How many children hadst thou then?' 'Four.' 'Where are they?'
'I don't know. They tell me they are dead.' The hut, in which
this '_source of wealth_' lives, was neither as good, nor as
well floored as my stable. Several slaves were picking fruit in
the orchard. I asked one of the young men whether they were
taught to read on this plantation, and he answered, 'No.' I
found the overseer of the cattle with a short handled stout
whip, which had been broken. He said it answered both for a
riding whip, and occasionally 'to whip off the slaves.'

"What, my friend, is to be learned from these gleanings at
Ashland?--from the doings of our mutual friend, Joseph John
Gurney's 'dear friend,' Henry Clay: the man who boasts that
'every pulsation of his heart beats high for liberty,' yet is
not ashamed to buy men and women at the Capitol!--that place
which, above all others, ought not to be cursed by the footsteps
of a slave. Yet I fear there are not wanting in the abolition
ranks men so wedded to political party, that they may be tempted
to vote for Henry Clay; serving their party and themselves
thereby, and perchance thinking they serve their country.

"Do not think Clay a sinner above all other men. His slaves
appeared to be well fed and well clothed. Indeed, the general
superiority of condition in Kentucky slaves, over those of
Maryland and Virginia, cannot fail to strike the most
superficial observer.

"Pursuing my journey, I came to Blue Lick, whose waters are
celebrated throughout the United States. At the spring I found
several men, white and colored. I asked if I could have a drink.
A white man said the waters were free to all. I asked, 'Will
they make all free?' They again replied that the spring was free
to all. 'I perceive thou dost not understand my question,' said
I. But the countenances of the colored men brightened, and, with
a cheerful tone, they answered significantly, 'We know what you

"I found Samuel Worthington quite a different person than his
letters had led me to imagine. When I introduced myself he
appeared nervous and embarrassed. He was a Kentuckian by birth,
but having met with reverses in fortune he went to Mississippi,
and became an overseer; first on a salary of six hundred
dollars, and afterwards two thousand dollars. He now owns a
cotton plantation, with about one hundred and twenty slaves, and
is reputed wealthy. He is considered an accomplished gentleman,
of sound, discriminating, and feeling mind. I believe he is a
kind master, in the common acceptation of the term; that is, he
feeds and clothes his slaves well, and does not overwork them,
though the overseer's whip is the stimulus to labor. He gave me
some account of provision; but the only item I remember is, that
he cured twenty-five thousand pounds of pork annually, for his
slaves. Far be it from me to say any thing disrespectful of him,
except that he is a slave-holder; a word which, in my view,
comprises 'the sum of all villany,' In my transactions with him,
I found him fair and honorable, as far as it can be honorable to
sell human flesh.

"He said he had long since received a letter from J. Fitzhugh,
concerning Sam's family; but as he knew their situation would
not be bettered by being transferred to him, he had taken no
notice of the application. When Gerrit Smith's letter came, he
supposed that the writer was not in earnest, 'that it was all
done for effect, and would end in smoke.' He was surprised to
learn, by G. Smith's reply to him, that it was my intention to
come to Harrodsburg; he regretted that it was so, as it
disturbed him, and might break up his family arrangements. His
wife had three small children, one of them a babe, and the
proposed arrangements would leave her without assistance. He
told me he was not a man to be driven; and I answered that we
were well matched on that point, it would, however, be better
for us both to ascertain coolly how far we could agree. He began
by saying that he did not feel bound to sell the family, in
consequence of what he had written to G. Smith; for he had only
said that he might be induced to take four thousand dollars for
them. After some preliminaries, he proposed that I should have a
conversation with Sam; for he did not think he could be
prevailed upon to leave him. I assured him I should do no such
thing, until he and I had settled the question of dollars and
cents. I had no idea of presenting the cup of freedom to Sam's
lips, and then having it dashed to the ground. 'I do not
believe,' said I, 'that there is a man on these grounds whom I
could not induce to go with me from slavery; but if Sam has
objections, let me talk with his wife.'

"'No, that will not do,' replied he; 'she would go with you.'
'Yes,' said I, 'let me talk to your women of a mother's right to
herself and her offspring, and then see how many of them you
would find willing to remain in bondage!'

"After various pros and cons, we concluded a bargain, subject of
course to the parties being _willing_ to leave the 'patriarchal
institution.' Three thousand five hundred dollars were to be
paid, and both of us together were to have an opportunity of
conversing with Sam and his wife. The master probably felt so
confident that his slave would not leave him, that he had not
patience to wait the promised interview; for he popped the
delicate question to him alone. Sam had been informed of the
whole progress of the affair, from the time of G. Smith's first
letter; and he answered promptly that he would go so that before
I met him, that _difficult_ part of the business had 'ended in

"S. Worthington's disappointment was the greater because I had
told him that I had felt like one of old: 'If the woman will not
be _willing_ to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from
this;' that I could go back with a quiet mind; and that the
consciences of my friends in Peterboro' would doubtless be
satisfied, having given Harriet and her family the liberty of
choice, and thus made all the reparation in their power for
having ever held her in slavery.

"The large price paid for the redemption of this family may
surprise thee, especially if thou hast not forgotten that
passage in Worthington's letter where he says, 'I am, to some
extent, opposed to slavery; nor do I object to the efforts of
abolitionists when done in a good spirit.' It is, however, but
justice to say that the description he gave of the family is
strictly correct 'They are all sprightly, remarkable for good
character, and of course most valuable for house servants.' He
said he had repeatedly been offered two thousand dollars for
Sam, and he believed he would command that sum any day from
those who knew his worth; that his old master prised him very
highly, particularly for his moral excellence; and, speaking of
his conduct, described him as a 'gentleman.' Yet he talked as if
he were certain that Sam and his family would be reduced to
beggary if left to themselves at the North! The children, it is
true, have had little preparation in slavery for self reliance;
for the most favored of them cannot spell their own names.

"S. Worthington said many had inquired of him what business
brought me there; and being informed of the object of my
mission, they advised him to have nothing to do with me. 'But,'
said he, 'though I am certain the condition of Sam and his wife
cannot be bettered, I do not think the same with regard to their
children; and as Mr. Smith seems disposed to do a kind action, I
cannot, in conscience, attempt to frustrate it. If I were to
send you home without this family, I should have a troubled

"One of Worthington's greatest difficulties in parting with
these slaves was, that it would leave his wife destitute of
servants. I pitied her, and felt it right to express my
sympathy. I told her my compassion was increased, because I
apprehended there was a struggle in her own breast between duty
and interest; and I appealed to her whether she did not know it
was a duty to let them go, though personal interest would induce
her to keep them in her service. I was glad to perceive that
these remarks enabled her to relieve herself of a weight--her
countenance brightened up, and she appeared quite willing I
should take them away. She showed great kindness to Harriet and
her children, and evidently felt deeply moved at parting with
the nurse, who had thrice been with her through nature's sorest
trials. She appeared to me to be a nice lady-like person; and,
if I judge aright, she knows what estimate ought to be placed
upon slavery in a woman's mind.

"Those who know me will not suspect that I sought to conceal my
abolition, even in the hot-bed of slavery. Yet I assure thee I
had no intention of making it a common topic of conversation,
unless the way appeared to open; but thy experience, I doubt
not, as well as mine, proves that it is ever opening. The most
we need to do is to embrace opportunities, without seeking to
make them. I had not expected to say as much as I did, but it
was such a curiosity for a Quaker to be seen in such company,
that it was soon universally known why I had come and what I had
done. This gave rise to many conversations with slave holders,
which I trust did some good. I was astonished at their extreme
ignorance concerning the laboring population of the North. Thou
wilt perhaps be surprised to hear me assert that slave holders
do not know what slavery is. Still more strange will it seem
when I tell thee that thy old friend was highly complimented by
them for his prudence and discretion! The story had become
current that I would not talk to Sam till I had settled the
business with his master; and as they generally professed to
believe that abolitionists wished to incite the slave against
their master, by every mischievous incentive they could devise,
my conduct naturally enough seemed to them remarkable. I told
them I must honestly abjure such complimentary language; for, so
far from being what they would consider discreet, I was in fact
an abolitionist of the most ultra school. I assured them that
most of my associates at the North would have proceeded as I had
done, and some of them probably with more discretion. I like
much better to talk to a southerner on slavery than with a
northern apologist. I regard him as far less mean. There is a
mind to be appealed to for _facts_, and there is a feeling that
can be reached by a simple testimony of republican truth. In
this, the slave holder sometimes 'sees his face as in a glass;
but he goeth away and forgetteth what manner of man he is.'

"As my prudence and discretion had excited observation, I
ventured to remark that it would be a great gratification to me,
if the slave holders would meet together and let me occupy an
hour or so in defining the true position and principles of the
abolitionists; but this, as I had expected, was declined.

"When I paid the money, I felt constrained to testify that I
could in no degree sanction the principle that man could hold
property in man; that the slaves were our equals by creation,
and for their salvation, equally with ours, did Christ leave the
right hand of the Father to suffer on the cross. I told them
that contradictory as it might seem to them, the man who was now
paying money for slaves, had such a detestation of the system,
that he deemed it a duty to abstain from eating or wearing any
of the products of slavery. This seemed to them wondrous
strange, and they inquired if there were many at the North who
agreed with me in this scruple. I told them yes; that the number
was increasing, and that my friend, Gerrit Smith, had abstained
from slave produce for many years.

"A few hours previous to my final departure one after another
gathered around me, and as we stood in the open piazza, I said
what I could to explain the principles and practice of
abolitionists. I think S. Worthington felt a little hurt at my
being thus engaged, for when the stage drove up, he came in
great haste to inform me that it was ready. I found it
surrounded by many persons, principally colored, who had
assembled to bid farewell to the objects of my charge. Their
master shook each slave by the hand and bade them farewell. I
observed him as we moved away, and thought he seemed to be a
good deal moved from some cause or other.

"I took care that coachman and passengers should be informed of
the history of Sam and his wife; and some one or other of them
was sure to make it a subject of conversation wherever we
stopped. At Lawrenceburg, where we put up for the night, the
landlord was also stage proprietor and a slave holder. He tried
to make me believe that his slaves were much better off than
himself. He enumerated his troubles and perplexities in contrast
with the blessed freedom from care enjoyed by his slaves. I told
him he had made out his case very well; but to test his
sincerity, I merely wished him to declare candidly, whether he
should be altogether willing that himself and family should
exchange places with a slave family. The test was too severe,
and he walked off. Two young men at table then took up the
conversation. The tyranny which slavery exercises over the
entire community, was illustrated by the assertion that the head
of a certain college did not dare to acknowledge himself an
abolitionist; for if he did he would lose his office, which
brought him in a good salary; and, moreover, the people of D----
would dismiss him from his pastoral charge. I of course took the
ground that he could not be a truly Christian minister, who
would purchase his bread and cheese at the expense of denying
his own belief, or suppressing his own convictions.

"My host inquired whether I would sit at table with colored
people; and he seemed much surprised when I answered, 'I do not
judge persons by their complexion, but by moral worth. At my own
table I sit with colored people, and I shall with these.'

"The South, however, is much more free from prejudice against
color than the north; provided the distinction between the
classes is understood.--A gentleman may seat his slave beside
him in a stage coach, and a lady makes no objection to ride next
a fat negro woman, even when the thermometer is at ninety
degrees; provided always that her fellow travellers understand
she is her _property_.

"At Shelbyville the stage was likely to be crowded with new
passengers, when I said to some young men who were about to get
in, that I had a family with me who must not be turned out of
the seats they had occupied. Samuel and his family took their
accustomed seats, and those who could not find room rode on the
roof of the coach; among them was a member elect of the
Legislature. As we started, a well dressed man, among the crowd
at the tavern-door, called out, 'Go it abolition!'

"A crowd at this place attracted my attention, and I found it
was an executor's sale; comprising 'lands, houses, furniture,
horses, cows, hogs, and twenty likely negroes.' Slaves must,
however, be more of a cash article than other commodities; for
they were to be sold on four months' credit; real estate, on
twelve and twenty four months, and all other property, six

"At Louisville, we fell in with Elisha, brother of Samuel
Worthington, on his return to Arkansas, where he had a cotton
plantation. He manifested much openness and good will, and
pressingly invited me to visit him, should I ever go down the
Mississippi. After considerable conversation on slavery, he
asked me what I thought would be the effect of my late visit. I
replied, it was a subject I had often contemplated myself, but I
did not know whether it had entered the heads of others. For my
own part, I thought I had taught the slaveholders a lesson. They
maintained that the slaves did not want their freedom; yet here
was one, well fed and well clothed, and in fact living in
clover, as far as a slave could do so, ready, without my asking
him, to go with me among strangers. If he would leave such a
kind master, what might not be expected of the oppressed field

"'Perhaps a quotation from Latimer would furnish you with a more
direct reply to your question,' said I, 'You know he said at the
stake--"We shall this day light such a fire in England, as I
trust, by God's grace, will never be put out." And I believe my
visit has kindled a flame of liberty in Harrodsburg, that shall
burn for years to come; and, by its light, I trust, that many
will find their way into Canada.'

"I told him, too, I had a question to ask, and I wanted a direct
answer--yes, or no. 'Were the slaves any worse off, since the
question of abolition has been agitated?'

"He said they were not, excepting in one respect. Formerly, when
a preacher came among them to hold meetings with the slaves,
they had no objection; but now, they feared that slaves from
different plantations might thus congregate together and plot
mischief. I asked him if slaves in Mississippi were aware of
abolition efforts in the North; and he said he believed they

"We parted with Samuel at Louisville, we taking the steam boat
for Cincinnati, and leaving him to proceed to Worthington
plantation for his boys. He stood and watched the departure of
our boat with a soul full of emotion. He felt himself a
connecting link between his sons in distant Mississippi, and his
wife and daughters on their way to Peterboro'; and I was glad to
see nature and affection gush forth in tears. They say colored
people cannot take care of themselves, but I assure thee I had
hard work to make these people move a step, till a safe plan was
arranged for their absent children.

"When I went to pay the captain my fare, he asked whether the
colored woman and girls were my property. I answered yes; but
explained to him my peculiar situation, and I told him I
detested the very name of slavery. He said they usually asked
for a reference, but he felt sure that a person of my appearance
would not tell him a falsehood. I told him I would show him my
bill of sale, as soon as the hurry had subsided; not because I
acknowledged his right to demand it, but because he was civil
and polite, and I was willing to satisfy him. When I showed him
the bill, he knew both the seller and the witness, as I had
expected. I asked him whether, if I had brought a barrel of lard
on board, he would have troubled me to prove property? He
apologized by saying, that they had been imposed on by white
men, who put slaves on board, under the pretence that they were
free; and that the owners of the line had been obliged to pay
six thousand dollars for fugitive slaves. I noticed there were
no colored hands on board.

"On arriving at Buffalo, we put up at the Mansion House; and the
first object that caught my eye was an advertisement, dated
LIBERTY, in Missouri, offering three hundred dollars reward for
three fugitive slaves. This is a free state with a vengeance! No
stage riding for colored people here; moreover, it was with
great difficulty I could obtain breakfast for my companions,
though I had paid for it. I hope abolitionists will keep clear
of such a pro-slavery atmosphere as surrounds the Mansion House.

"On board the cars, Colorophobia again began to rage; but the
agent soon quelled it, by finding other seats for two persons,
who thought better of themselves than others did of them. In the
stage to Auburn, difficulty again occurred, and the driver
wanted to return my money, when some of the passengers objected
to the complexion of some of my companions. I told him the stage
was too crowded to hold us at any event; but unless he sent us
on to Auburn in good season, I should teach the company a lesson
they would not soon forget. He did so; and I arrived safely at
my own house, after an absence of twenty-six days, and a travel
of one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five miles. The whole
cost of redemption, including our travelling expenses, was three
thousand five hundred and eighty-three dollars and eighty-one
cents. (L807.)

"We had not been long there before Harriet said to my wife,
'Madam, I return you a thousand thanks for letting your
gentleman fetch us;' and I believe she said no more than she
felt, and I felt the force of her grateful acknowledgments.

"After two days' rest, we proceeded to Gerrit Smith's; where, as
thou mayest well believe, we received the friendly welcome which
those are wont to receive who visit his house.

"_Skaneateles, 9th Month 14th, 1841._"


_The Society of Friends in America and the Colonization Society_.

The "Friends" alluded to in the text as supporting the Colonization
Society in a collective capacity, are those of North Carolina. In 1832
two influential "Friends" appeared at the Annual Meeting of the
Colonization Society, as delegates from the Society of Friends in North
Carolina. One of the resolutions passed at the time, is as
follows:--"That the thanks of this Meeting be presented to the Society
of Friends in North Carolina, for the aid they have liberally bestowed
and repeatedly rendered to the cause of African Colonization." The
Yearly meeting of Friends in North Carolina stands among the donors of
that year, as having contributed five hundred dollars to the
Colonization Society. I fear no change has since taken place in the
favorable disposition of "Friends" of that region towards this
institution, for during one of my visits to Philadelphia, I was informed
by a "Friend," just returned from North Carolina, that an agent of the
Colonization Society had been recently permitted to make an appeal
before the members of the "Meeting of Sufferings" of that Yearly
Meeting, which had afterwards granted him two hundred dollars out of the
common stock of the Society. Nothing is more certain than that
approbation of the principles and measures of the Colonization Society,
cannot co-exist with any lively desires for the extinction of slavery,
by the only practical means--_emancipation_; and accordingly I was not
surprised to find it urged by some prominent individuals as a reason for
their own inactivity, and that of the Society at large, on this subject,
that "Friends" living within the slave States, urged their brethren at
the North not to unite with the Anti-slavery Societies. It appears,
however, that "Friends" of North Carolina do not, at all events, object
to uniting or co-operating with those of other denominations, in
promoting an object which they approve. Their objection to abolition
societies evidently rests on quite different grounds.

I must here be permitted to say a few words, respecting the character
and objects of the society, thus officially patronized by the Friends of
North Carolina.

The greatest objection to this society, is its representing slavery, and
the prejudice against color, as necessary and incurable evils, for which
its own mockery of a remedy is the only palliative; and thus
administering an opiate to the consciences, not only of slave-holders,
but of others who are unwilling to part with their sinful prejudices,
and to enter into that fellowship of suffering with the enslaved,
without which no efforts for the removal of slavery will be effectual.

The following extracts, elucidating this subject, are from a printed
letter written by a friend of high station and extensive influence, then
residing in North Carolina, but now of the State of Indiana, in defence
of the Colonization Society. It is dated "Third Month 4th, 1834," and I
suppress his name, because time and reflection have, I believe, in some
degree modified his views.

Speaking of the opposition of Friends in England to the Colonization
Society, he says, "I have supposed that they would think it more
consistent with Christian principles to emancipate them in the Southern
States, and let them remain there, as they have done in the Northern
States. I apprehend that Friends in England are not fully apprised of
some important circumstances, which place the Southern States in a very
different situation from the Northern. In the first place, there never
were so many people of color in the Northern States, as there are in the
Southern; and another circumstance that diminished them there, and
increased them greatly here, was while the Northern States were
legislating on the subject of gradual emancipation, avaricious masters
sent them by thousands to the Southern markets, before the emancipating
laws were actually passed, which left a small proportion in those
States, in comparison to the whites; not many more, perhaps, than they
were willing to have for laborers, waiting men, waiting women, et cet.
And notwithstanding they have freed their slaves, for which they are
entitled to applause, yet they never dreamed of raising them to equal
citizenship and privileges with the white people. No, my friend, they
can no more reconcile to themselves the idea of sitting down by the side
of a colored African, (American?) in any legislative or judiciary
department, than the high spirited Southern slaveholder; _and not only
so, they never intend to admit them to these privileges, while the State
Government, and the United States' Government continue in existence_."
Again, after stating various objections to emancipation, he goes on to
say, "I need not dwell much upon the subject of universal emancipation,
in stating the best, or the worst, or most probable results of such a
measure, because the Southern people have no more idea of the general
emancipation of slaves, without colonizing them, than the Northern
people have of admitting the few among _them_ to equal rights and
privileges. Not even the friends of humanity here, think that a general
emancipation, to remain here, would better their condition," et cet.

The inferences plainly to be drawn from all this, and from much besides
to the same purport, are, that the wicked determination of the white
people to retain their sinful prejudices, is, like the laws of the Medes
and Persians, immutable; and must, therefore, be accommodated by the
transportation of the unoffending objects of their intense dislike. On
this point I will observe that, if it be so, the remedy is worse than
the disease; but that Christian principle is powerful enough, as daily
experience testifies, to combat and destroy this unholy prejudice. The
next inference is, that because the slave population in the Southern
States is much more numerous than it was in the Northern, _therefore_
the same reasons for emancipation do not exist. Is not the true
conclusion from such premises, the very reverse of this? The motives to
abolition increase, both in weight and number, in proportion to the
absolute and relative increase of the slave population. The British West
Indies present an example of the safety and advantages of the measure in
a community, where the whites are a mere handful compared to the colored

That state of feeling from which the Colonization Society sprung, is
well illustrated by this writer, in giving, in natural language, a
picture of his own mind. After again repeating his statement of the vast
proportion which the colored population bears to the white, in the Slave
States, he says, "Now, my friend, the general emancipation of such a
number of these poor, degraded creatures, say more than two millions,
always to remain here with the white people, even if the Government
should take the necessary care for their education and preparation for
freedom and civilized life, which to be sure it ought, they must or will
be a degraded people, while the reins of government remain in the hands
of the whites. Supposing the very best consequences that could follow
such a measure, even that both classes should generally exercise
Christian feelings towards each other, which is very improbable, if not
morally impossible, the peculiarly marked difference of features and
color, will be always an insurmountable barrier to general
amalgamation." Again, "Were they of the same color and features that we
are, in an elective republican government like this, where talents and
merit are the common footsteps to esteem and preferment, there would be
no difficulty in universal emancipation, without a separation. I have no
idea that they are at all inferior to the white people in intellect;
give them the same opportunity for enterprise and improvement." Their
only sin, it appears, after all, is being "guilty of a skin not colored
like our own." I may observe, in passing, that amalgamation, the bugbear
of anti-abolitionists, is the necessary result of slavery, not of

The preceding extracts present a faithful picture of colonization
principles, though it is not every colonizationist who would avow them
with so much simplicity. The writer notwithstanding, manifests some
benevolent feeling towards the slaves. His conscience cannot be
satisfied with the present state of things, and he, like too many
others, takes refuge in the pleasing delusion that it would be
practicable to convey these colored Americans across the Atlantic and
make them comfortable in Africa, because their ancestors were born
there. As reasonably and as justly might he talk of transporting the
white Americans to England because their ancestors removed from this

It is very easily demonstrable, that this could not possibly be
accomplished--that neither the means of transport could be found, nor
the means of settlement provided; and were these impossibilities
removed, it might also be shown, very easily, that it would be suicidal
policy to remove the entire laboring population of the Southern States
from a soil and climate for which they only are adapted. Yet
emancipation by removal is the theory of the Colonization Society, and
in this point of view that Society must be characterized as a grand
imposture. What must be the power of that delusion which can render
intelligent and philanthropic men the victims of such a fallacy? If the
whites, who hold the reins of government, could but be brought to
exercise Christian feelings towards the people of color, which this
worthy friend thinks is perhaps "morally impossible," how rapidly would
all difficulties vanish? To accomplish this desirable end is the object
of the abolitionists; they feel it to be difficult, but they know it to
be not impossible.

The writer of this pamphlet uniformly couples "ultra slaveholders" and
"northern manumissionists" in the same censure. They are the two
objectionable extremes; colonizationists and moderate slave-holders
being, I suppose, the golden mean. One illustration more of the animus
with which he regards a black population.

"And so it is with the New England immediate manumissionists; they have
so few people of color that they do not consider them an evil; and hence
they conclude that the Southern States may do as they have done--free
them at once; but I have no doubt at all, if there was as large a
proportion of colored people in the New England States as in the
Southern, there would be but one voice, and that would be for colonizing
them somewhere."

The following passage is historically interesting:

"The Yearly Meeting of Friends of North Carolina have sent several
hundreds of those they have had under their care to Liberia, for whose
emancipation in this State they could never obtain a law, though they
petitioned for it oftentimes for the space of fifty years, always
finding the chief objection of the legislature to be that of the great
number and degraded and low character of the free persons of color
already in the State. We prefer sending them to Africa rather than to
any of the free States or to Canada--because we believe _that_ is their
proper home. We sent some to the State of Ohio; and since then hundreds
of blacks have been in a manner compelled, by the laws of that State, or
the prejudices of some of its citizens, to leave it and go to Canada. We
have sent some to Indiana, but that State has passed laws, we hear, to
prevent any more coming. We have sent some to Pennsylvania, but, about
two years ago, we shipped near one hundred from Newbern and Beaufort to
Chester; they were not suffered to land, neither there nor at
Philadelphia, nor yet on the Jersey shore opposite, but had to float on
the Delaware river until the Colonization Society took them into
possession; then they were landed in Jersey, ten miles below
Philadelphia, and re-shipped for Africa. North Carolina Yearly Meeting
has contributed thousands of dollars to the Colonization Society; it has
probably done more for it than any other religious community has in
America, not merely because it has provided us an asylum for the people
of color under our care, but upon the ground of our belief that it is a
great, humane, and benevolent institution. I am not informed of a single
member of the Society of Friends in this country, not even in any of the
slave States, who is not in favor of colonizing them in Africa. We
believe generally that colonizing them there gradually is the most
likely way to put a peaceful end to slavery, and place them in the great
scale of equality with the rest of the civilized world."

I have devoted a space to this letter for several reasons; first,
because the writer is a man of note and influence in his own country,
and has plainly uttered what many of the Society of Friends even now
feel, secondly, he has shown what was the prevalent sentiment among
Friends not longer than seven years since, though I hope and believe a
considerable change has taken place in the interval; and lastly,
because, within a few months past, a well-known American, a zealous
agent of the Colonization Society, has privately employed this very
letter to induce abolitionists in England to look favorably on that

I would add, also, that I learn, on the authority of an English
"Friend," who has lately visited the various Yearly Meetings in America,
that in those parts of the slave States in which "Friends" chiefly
reside, their influence is very perceptible in mitigating the treatment
of the slaves in their neighborhood. This, I willingly believe; indeed
the example of a body who refuse to hold slaves, cannot but be highly

APPENDIX L.--Page 96.

"_Memorial of citizens of Boston, United States, to the Lords of the
Admiralty, Great Britain_.

"To the Right Honorable the Lords of the Admiralty of Great

"The undersigned, the citizens of Boston, in the United States
of America, of different religious denominations, respectfully

"That by existing arrangements for the sailing of the Cunard
line of steamers between Boston and Liverpool, it becomes
necessary for them to leave this port on the Sabbath, whenever
that happens to be the regular day appointed for sailing; and
that this occurs a number of times in the course of a year. That
the sailing of a steamer on that day is a source of deep regret
to many good citizens, who are compelled, whenever the event
happens, either to defer their departure to a future day, or to
yield to an arrangement which violates their Christian feelings.
And what is still more to be lamented, as a consequence growing
out of the present regulation, is that aside from the tumult
necessarily attendant on the sailing of these vessels on the
Lord's day, it furnishes an occasion for the needless
profanation of the day by thousands who assemble as spectators
on our wharves to witness their departure.

"The undersigned regard a proper observance of the Sabbath as
vital to the general peace, good order, and welfare of society;
and they are deeply impressed with the belief that nothing of a
secular or worldly nature should be done on that day by
individuals, by governments, or by any of their departments,
Which is not in the strictest sense a work of necessity or
mercy; and they most respectfully represent, that they are
unable to perceive any reasons which render the sailing of
steamers from this port on the Lord's day such a work. And
believing as they do, that it will be the pleasure of your
lordships at all times to cherish and promote, so far as you may
be able, a due observance of the Sabbath, they respectfully and
earnestly request your lordships so to vary the present
arrangements as to the times for the sailing of these steamers,
that their departure from this port shall be changed to another
day, whenever the appointed day for sailing shall fall upon the
Christian Sabbath. And they venture to express their confident
belief that not only the public welfare, but also the private
advantage of individuals concerned in the enterprize, would be
ultimately promoted by the arrangements here prayed for.

"The undersigned cannot conclude their memorial without
adverting to the high and responsible station that has been
assigned by Providence to the English and American people, in
the great work which they and we rejoice to know is now so
rapidly progressing, of improving the moral and religious
character and condition of the world; nor can they be unmindful
of the fact, that to the same extent as their standing before
the world in this respect is permanent, so will be the influence
of their example on the nations around them, whether it be good
or bad.

"That the subject here presented may receive your Lordship's
favorable and Christian consideration is the sincere and earnest
desire of your Lordships' most respectful memorialists."

The signatures to this document included the late mayor and one of the
former ones, who was also Lieutenant-Governor of the State of
Massachusetts, one bishop, upwards of forty clergymen of different
denominations, nine gentlemen, upwards of one hundred and twenty
merchants, seventeen presidents of insurance companies, the postmaster
of Boston, five physicians, seven members of the legal profession, two
editors of newspapers; and it was accompanied by the following
memorandum from one of the gentlemen who had taken it round for

"The undersigned having been personally engaged in obtaining the
signatures to the memorial, asking a change in the sailing of
the Cunard steamers, when the regular sailing day occurs on the
Sabbath, hereby certifies that the memorialists are among the
most respectable and influential of their respective
professions, that the memorial was received with almost
universal favor, and that, had time been allowed, and had it
been deemed necessary to do it, thousands of names might have
been obtained.


"Boston, July 31, 1841."

On my arrival in this country, I found that Lord Melbourne's
administration was about to resign; I therefore deferred forwarding the
memorial until the present ministers had entered upon the duties of
their respective offices; when I called at the Admiralty, and placed it
in the hands of the Secretary, having little doubt the application would
have been at once granted; but a few days after it was presented I
received the following reply:--

"Admiralty, September 21, 1841.

"Sir,--Having laid before my Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty the communications of the citizens of Boston, United
States, representing their wish that the departure of Mr.
Cunard's steamers on a Sunday, from their port, should, for the
future be discontinued; I am commanded by their lordships to
acquaint you, that after having given that attention to the
subject, which their respect for the citizens of Boston, and for
the religious opinions expressed by them, could not fail to
dictate, my lords have, upon mature consideration, come to the
conclusion, that, with a due regard to the exigencies of the
public service, the proposed alteration cannot be carried into
effect. My lords, therefore, beg you will have the goodness to
convey their decision to the citizens of Boston, together with
the assurance of their respect for the opinions they have
expressed, and their consequent regret at being unable to comply
with their request.

"I am, Sir,

"Your most obedient humble servant,


"Joseph Sturge, Esq., Birmingham."

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