"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" — Thomas Jefferson.
"I have no hope that the stream of general liberty will for ever flow unpolluted through the mire of partial bondage."
"That the dangerous consequences of this system of bondage have not as yet been felt, does not prove that they never will be. To me, nothing, for which I have not the evidence of my senses, is more clear than that it will one day destroy that reverence for liberty, which is the vital principle of a Republic." — WILLIAM PINKNEY, of Maryland, in 1789.
"Is it not amazing, that at a time when the rights of humanity are defined with precision, in a country above all others fond of liberty, that in such an age, and in such a country, we find men, professing a religion the most humane and gentle, adopting a principle as repugnant to humanity, as it is inconsistent with the Bible, and destructive to liberty? I could say many things on this subject, a serious view of which gives a gloomy prospect for future times." — Letter of PATRICK HENRY, of Virginia.
"Slavery is inconsistent with the genius of republicanism, and has a tendency to destroy those principles on which it is supported; as it lessens the sense of the equal rights of mankind, and habituates us to tyranny and oppression." — LUTHER MARTIN, of Maryland, in 1787.
"It is a fact too well known, at least by the poor, to admit of successful controversy, that the man who will oppress and abuse his own slaves, will also, when an opportunity is afforded, oppress his indigent neighbor, or any one else, over whom he may have gained an advantage. This principle strikes at the root of our Republican institutions, and if suffered to become sufficiently strong, it will overturn even our liberty itself." — Address of WILLIAM SWAIM, Guildford Co., N. C., 1830.
Southern Fullfilment of the Preceding Prophecies.
"I do not believe in the fanfaronade that all men are by nature equal." — Mr. ROANE, of Virginia Debate in Legislature, 1832.
"Many in the South once believed that slavery was a moral and political evil; but that folly and delusion are gone. We now see it in its true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable basis for free institutions." — Hon. JOHN C. CALHOUN, of S. C., U. S. Senate, 1838.
"The substance of the wild and extravagant notions which many seem to entertain respecting liberty is contained in that rhetorical flourish of Mr. Jefferson, in which he says: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Upon this proposition, false as it is, rests the wild theories of liberty held by so many. We are told that men are not only born equal, but free. The very reverse of this is true." — The Southern Christian Herald, Columbia, S. C.
"The eminent advantage of slavery over free institutions is that the continuance of the association is systematic. The hireling's association is a variable one, whose functions are climates, soils, idiosyncracies, race, education, morality, and religion. The free laborer thus works when he pleases, for whom he pleases, and for what he pleases. But the slave works not as he pleases but as his master pleases. Indeed, slavery is nothing more than labor obeying unchecked, unregulated
5and irresponsible capital." — Report of the Southern Commercial Convention, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, May, 1859.
"In all social systems, there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life; a class requiring but a low order of intellect, and little skill. It constitutes the mud-sill of society and of political government. * * * Your whole class of manual hireling laborers at the North, and your ‘operatives,’ as you call them, are essentially slaves." — Mr. HAMMOND, of South Carolina — Speech in Congress.
"Domestic slavery is the only institution I know of which can secure the spirit of equality among freemen, so necessary to the true and genuine feeling of republicanism, without propelling the body politic into the dangerous vices of agrarianism, and legislative intermeddling between the laborer and the capitalist — GEORGE McDUFFIE, Governor of South Carolina, 1835.
"Slavery is the corner-stone of our Republican edifice. * * * It supersedes the necessity of an order of nobility." — GOV. McDUFFIE.
"I endorse, without reserve, that much-abused sentiment of Gov. McDuffie, that ‘Slavery is the corner-stone of our Republican edifice’; while I repudiate, as ridiculously absurd, that much-lauded, but nowhere accredited, dogma of Mr. Jefferson, that ‘all men are born equal’" — Gov. HAMMOND, of South Carolina.
"I had as lief be bitten by a black mule as a white one. When petitions come from the white slaves of the North, then it is that I feel excited and alarmed." — HENRY A. WISE, of Virginia, in Congress.
"The Declaration of Independence is exuberantly false and arborescently fallacious. Life and liberty are not unalienable. Men are not born entitled to these rights. It would be far nearer the truth to say, that some are born with saddles on their backs, and others booted and spurred to ride them; and the riding doe them good; they need the reins, the bit, and the spur." — GEORGE FITZHUGH, of Virginia.
"He that holdeth the plough cannot get wisdom." — Prof. DEW, of Virginia.
"Two hundred years of liberty have made white laborers a pauper banditti. Free society is a failure. We slaveholders say you must recur to domestic slavery, the oldest, the best, and the most common form of socialism."
"Free society is a monstrous abortion, and slavery is the healthy, beautiful, and natural state of being." — "Sociology for the South; or the Failure of Free Society"; published at Richmond, Virginia, 1854, by George Fitzhugh.
"Human experience shows the universal success of slave society, and the universal failure of free society. * * * The little experiment of free society in Western Europe has been, from the beginning, a cruel failure, and symptoms of failure are abundant in our North. * * * Free society, in the long run, is an impracticable form of society; it is every where starving, demoralized, and insurrectionary." — Richmond Enquirer, Virginia.
"The principle of slavery is in itself right, and does not depend on difference of complexion." — Richmond Enquirer.
"Make the laboring man the slave of one man, instead of the slave of society, and he would be far better off." "Slavery, black or white, is right and necessary." "Nature has made the weak in mind or body for slaves." — "Sociology for the South," by George Fitzhugh, of Virginia.
"The great evil of Northern Society is, that it is burdened with a servile class of mechanics and laborers, unfit for self-government, and yet clothed with the attributes and powers of citizens. Master and slave is a relation in society as necessary as that of parent and child, and the Northern States will yet have to introduce it. The theory of free government is a delusion. Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man, white or black." — A Democratic paper in South Carolina, 1856.
"Free society! We sicken of the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, small fisted farmers, and moon-struck theorists? All the Northern States, and especially the New England States, are devoid of
7society fitted for well-bred gentlemen. The prevailing class one meets with is that of mechanics struggling to be genteel, and small farmers, who do their own drudgery; and yet who are hardly fit for association with a gentleman's body servant. That is your free society!" — The Muscogee Herald, a Democratic paper in Alabama.
"Free society has failed; and that which is not free must be substituted." — Senator MASON, of Virginia.
"We have got to hating every thing with the prefix free; from free negroes, down and up: through the whole catalogue. Free farms, free labor, free society, free will, free thinking, free children, and free schools, all belong to the same brood of damnable isms. But the worst of all these abominations is the modern system of free schools. The New England system of free schools has been the cause and prolific source of the infidelities and treasons that have turned her cities into Sodoms and Gomorrahs, and her land into the common nestling-places of howling bedlamites. We abominate the system, because the schools are free." — Richmond Examiner, Virginia, 1856.
"The Northern States, in dispensing with slavery, have destroyed order, and removed the strongest argument to prove the existence of Deity, the author of that order." — Richmond Enquirer, 1855.
In 1818, the Rev. Mr. Gruber, a Methodist minister in Maryland, was tried for an attempt to incite insurrection, because he preached a sermon against slavery, in which he quoted from the Declaration of Independence. Roger A. Tancy, Esq., of Maryland, contemporary with William Pinkney, was employed as his attorney. In his defence, he said: "Mr. Grubner did quote the language of our great act of national independence; he did insist on the principles contained in that venerated instrument; and we are prepared to maintain the same principles, and if necessary to use the same language, here in the temple of justice. * * Slavery is a blot upon our national character, and every real lover of freedom confidently hopes that it will be effectually wiped away. And until it shall be accomplished, until the time shall come when we can point without a blush to the language
8held in the Declaration of Independence, every friend of humanity will seek to lighten the galling chain of slavery, and better, to the utmost of his power, the Wretched condition of the slave."
In 1856, when the same Roger A. Taney was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he made the famous Dred Scott decision, in which he said: "The enslaved African race were not intended to be included in the Declaration of Independence." * * "They have never been supposed to possess any political rights which the dominant race might not withhold or grant at their pleasure."
Southern Statements of the Happiness of Slaves.
"Our slaves are well compensated. There is no starvation, no begging, no want of employment, and not too much employment either." "The status in which we have placed them is an elevation. They are happy, contented, and unaspiring." — Mr. HAMMOND, of South Carolina, in Congress.
"It is now almost universally believed, in the South, that slavery is ennobling to both races, white and black." — Mr. MASON, of Virginia, in U. S. Senate, [He subsequently stated that elevating would have been a more appropriate word than ennobling.]
"Civilization and Christianity have spread over slavery their humanizing influence." — Charleston Courier, South Carolina.
"The slave population of the South are peculiarly susceptible to religious influences. Their mere residence among Christian people has wrought a great and happy change in their condition. They have been raised from the night of heathenism to the light of Christianity." — Judge BAKER, of Virginia.
"Under this relation of master and slave, the two races have long lived in peace and prosperity." — Hon. J. C. CALHOUN, of South Carolina, U. S. Senate, 1836.
"Among no people in the world are the affections of the heart more cherished and more gratified, than among the slaves at the South." — Mr. PRESTOS, of South Carolina.
"Domestic slavery contributes to form and preserve the chivalrous and high-minded character of our people, and gives to the African race, domesticated among us, Christianity, civilization, and peace." — Charleston Courier, South Carolina.
"Slavery is with us a parental relation." — Ditto.
"The tender care and protection of the master elicit an affectionate attachment from the slave, which will be looked for in vain from the hired servant of a more Northern clime." — Ditto.
"The slaves are governed far better than the free laborers of the North. Our slaves are not only better off as to physical comfort than free laborers, but their moral condition is better." — Richmond Enquirer, Virginia.
"Contracting the condition of white slaves in New England with our slaves in the South, is like comparing Egyptian bondage with millennial glory. Mild slavery at the South is heaven on earth, compared to the tyranny of the spindle at the North." — Rev. J. C. POSTELL, of South Carolina.
Southern Proofs that Slaves are "Happy and Contented."
"In case any person shall willfully cut out the tongue, put out the eye, cruelly scald, burn, or deprive any slave of any limb, or member, or shall inflict any other cruel punishment, otherwise than by whipping, or beating, with a horsewhip courskin, switch or small stick, or by putting on irons, or confining, or imprisoning such slave, every such person, for every such offence shall forfeit one hundred pounds, current money." — Law of South Carolina.
In the laws of North Carolina, the murder of a slave is pronounced punishable the same as the murder of a free man, except when the slave offers any resistance to his owner; or
10when his owner publicly proclaims him outlawed as a runaway; or when he "dies under moderate correction." The laws of Tennessee and Georgia make the same proviso concerning "dying of moderate correction." Throughout the Slave States, slaves are forbidden, by law to testify against any white man, under any circumstances. "Vicinity to non-slaveholding States must for ever render this sort of property precarious and insecure. — Judge Upshur, of Virginia, in Convention, 1829.
Hon. Bushrod Washington, nephew of Gen. Washington, and Supreme Judge of the United States, sold fifty-four slaves, to be carried to Louisiana, in 1831. In a letter published in the Baltimore Telegraph, Sept. 18, 1831, he says:
"I had good reason to anticipate the escape to the Northern States of all the laboring men of any value, as soon as I should leave home."
In the Convention that framed the Constitution of Virginia, Mr. Campbell said: "In 1814, all the militia east of the Blue Ridge were chiefly employed in patrolling the counties on the sea-board, and generally east of the Ridge, to prevent insurrection among your own discontented population."
"For the past month, the journals from different Southern States have been filled with numberless alarms respecting contemplated rising of the negro population. In Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, and Alabama, the danger has been deemed so imminent, that the most severe measures have been adopted to prevent their congregating, or visiting after night; to suppress their customary attendance at neighborhood preachings; and to keep a vigilant watch upon all their movements by an efficient, patrolling system. This is assuredly a most lamentable condition for the slave States, for nothing causes such terror upon the plantations as the hard suspicion of these insurrections." — Missouri Democrat, Dec. 4, 1856.
"$100 REWARD. Ranaway from my plantation, a negro man, copper colored, very straight, has some scars on his back that show above the skin plain, caused by the whip. JAMES H. COUSAR, Victoria, Mississippi. From the Jefferson Enquirer, Nov. 27, 1852.
"$25, with the payment of all necessary expenses, for the tip apprehension of my man Charles; about twenty-seven years old, a well-proportioned mulatto, very active and sensible. He has a mild, submissive look, and if taken, will no doubt show the marks of a recent whipping." R. H. DeJarrett. From the South-Side Democrat, Virginia, Oct. 25, 1852.
"$100 Reward for my negro Glasgow, and Kate, his wife. Glasgow is twenty-four years old; has marks of the whip on his back. Kate is twenty-six years old; has a scar on her cheek, and several marks of the whip." L. E. COONER. From the Macon Messenger, South Carolina, May 25, 1837.
"Committed to jail, a negro boy named John, about seventeen years old; his back badly marked with the whip; under lip and chin severely bruised." JOHN H. HAND, Jailer. From the Francisville Journal, July 6, 1837.
"Committed, a mulatto fellow. His back shows lasting impressions of the whip, and leaves no doubt of his being a slave." JOHN A. ROWLAND, Jailer. From the Fayetteville (N. C.) Observer, June 20, 1838.
"Ranaway from the plantation of James Surgette, the following negroes: Randal — has one ear cropped; Bob — has lost one eye; Kentucky Tom — has one jaw broken." F. L. C. EDWARDS. From the Southern Telegraph, Sept. 25, 1837.
"Runaway, a negro man, named Henry; his left eye out; scars from a dirk on and under his left arm; much scarred with the whip." WILLIAM OVERSTREET, Benton, Mississippi. From the Lexington Observer, Ky., July 22, 1838.
"Ranaway, Ben. He ran off without any known cause. I suppose he is aiming to go to his wife, who was carried from the neighborhood last winter." JOHN HUNT. From the Richmond Compiler, Va., Sept. 8, 1837.
"Ranaway, my negro man Frederic, about twenty years of age. He is no doubt near the plantation of G. W. Corprew. Esq. of Noxubee Co., Mississippi, as his wife belongs to that gentleman, and he followed her from my residence." — KERKMAN LEWIS. From the Southern Argus, Ala., Oct. 31, 1837
"$25 REWARD. Ranaway from the Eagle Tavern, a negro fellow, named Nat; a carpenter by trade, and has an intelligent countenance. He is a shrewd, sensible negro, and is no doubt attempting to follow his wife, who was sold to a speculator named Redmond." Mrs. LUCY M. DOWNMAN, Sussex Co., Va.
"$50 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, his negro man Paul. Gen. R.Y. Hayne has purchased his wife and children, and has them now on his plantation at Goose Creek, where no doubt the fellow is frequently lurking." T. DAVIS, Charleston, S. C.
"Ranaway, a negro fellow named Ben, eighteen years of age, rather thin in flesh. As I have traced him out in several places in town, I am certain he is harbored. This notice is given that I am determined, whenever he is taken, to punish him till he informs me who has given him food and protection; and I shall apply the law of Judge Lynch, to my own satisfaction, on those concerned in his concealment." A. WATSON, From the Florida Herald, June 23, 1838.
"If any person, or persons, shall cut or break any iron collar, which any master of slaves shall have used, in order to prevent the running away, or escape, of any such slave or slaves, such person or persons, so offending, shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $200, nor more than $1000, and suffer imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, nor less than six months." — Louisiana Act of Assembly, 1819.
"Was committed to jail, a negro boy; had on a large neck iron with a huge pair of horns, and a large bar or band of iron on his left leg" — H. GRIDLEY, Sheriff, Adams Co,, Mississippi. From the Memphis Times, Tenn., Sept., 1834.
"Ranaway, the negro George. He had on his neck an iron collar, the branches of which hod been taken off." FERDINAND LEMOS. From the New Orleans Bee,, Jan. 29, 1838.
"Committed to jail, a man who calls himself John; has a clog of iron on his right foot, which will weigh four or five pounds" — B. W. HODGES, Jailer. From the Montgomery Advertiser, Sept. 20, 1837.
"25 REWARD. Absconded from the subscriber, a negro man named Ned. He is branded on the forehead with the letters A. M., and on each cheek with the letters J. G." — ANTHONY M. MINTER. From the Free Press, Ala., Sept. 18, 1846.
"Committed to jail, a negro man; says his name is Josiah; much scarred by the whip, and branded J. M. on the thigh and hips, in several places. The rim of his right ear has been bit or cut off." J. L. JOLLEY, Sheriff. From the Clinton Gazette, Mississippi, July 23, 1836.
"NEGRO DOGS. The undersigned, having bought the entire pack of negro dogs, (of the Hays and Allen stock,) he now proposes to catch runaway negroes. His charge will be $3 per day for hunting, and $15 for catching a runaway." WM. GAMBREL. From the Alabama papers, Nov. 6, 1845.
"NEGRO DOGS. The undersigned having an excellent pack of hounds for trailing and catching runaway slaves, informs the public that his prices will be," &c. P. BLACK. From the Dadeville Banner, Ala., Nov. 10, 1852.
"NEGRO DOGS. The undersigned respectfully informs the citizens of Ouachita and adjacent parts, that he has a fine pack of dogs for catching negroes." M. C. GOFF. From the Ouachita Register, La., June 1, 1852.
"Was committed, a negro man; has a scar on his right side, by a burn; one on his knee, and one on the calf of his leg, by the bite of a dog." STEPHEN M. JACKSON. From the Vicksburg Register, March 10, 1827.
"Ranaway, Isham; has a scar upon the breast and upon the under lip, from the bite of a dog." SAMUEL RAGLAND. From the Huntsville Advocate, Dec. 23, 1837.
"Ranaway, Bill; has a scar over one eye; also, one on his leg, from the bite of a dog; has a burn on his buttock, from a piece of hot iron, in shape of a T." — JOHN L. DILLAHUNTY. From the New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, July 21, 1837.
"Committed to the jail of Shelby County, a negro boy of bright complexion, about twenty-five years of age; says his name is James W. Loyd; claims to be free He has three
14scars on his left leg, caused by a dog bite. If he has any master, he is notified to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.
"Any person may lawfully kill a slave who has been outlawed for running away, lurking in swamps," R. C. — Haywood's Manual of the Laws of North Carolina.
FORM OF OUTLAWRY. "Whereas, complaint upon oath hath this day been made to us, by William D. Cobb, of Jones Co., that two negro slaves belonging to him, named Ben and Rigdon, have absented themselves from their master's service, and are supposed to be lurking about in this County, committing acts of felony, or other misdeeds, these are to command said slaves to surrender themselves and return home to their master. And we do hereby, by virtue of the Act of Assembly, in such cases made and provided, declare that if the said slaves do not return home immediately, any person or persons may kill and destroy said slaves, by such means as he or they may think fit, without incurring any penalty or forfeiture thereby." B. COLEMAN and JAMES JONES, Justices of the Peace, Lenoir County. From the Newbern Spectator, North Carolina.
"$200 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, about three years ago, a negro man named Ben; also, another negro, by the name of Rigdon, who ranaway on the 8th of this month. I will give $100 reward for each of the above negroes, to be delivered to me, or confined in the jail of Lenoir or Jones Co., or for the killing of them, so that I can see them." W. D. Cobb. From the Newbern (N. C.) Spectator, Nov. 12, 1836.
"TO THE OWNERS OF RUNAWAY NEGROES. A large mulatto man, between thirty-five and forty years old, six feet in height, having a high forehead, and hair slightly grey, was
15killed near my plantation. He would not surrender, but assaulted Mr. Bowen, who killed him in self-defence. If the owner desires further information, he can obtain it from the subscriber." EDMUND S. McGEHEE. From the Macon Messenger, Georgia, June 14, 1838.
"About the 1st of March last, the negro man Ransom left me, without the least provocation whatever. I will give $20 for said negro, if taken, dead or alive." BRYANT JOHNSON, From the Macon Telegraph, Georgia, May 28, 1838.
"Ranaway, my negro man Richard. A reward of $25 will be paid for his apprehension, dead or alive. Satisfactory proof will only be required of his having been killed. He has with him, in all probability, his wife, Eliza, who ran away from Col. Thompson, now a resident in Alabama." DURANT H. RHODES. From the Wilmington Advertiser, July 13, 1838.
"$100 will be paid to any person who may apprehend a negro man named Alfred. The same reward will be paid for satisfactory evidence of his having been killed. He has one or more scars on one of his hands, caused by his having been shot." The Citizens of Onslow. From the Wilmington (N. C.) Advertiser, July 13, 1838.
"$300 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, his two negro men, Billy and Pompey. Billy is twenty-five years old, and known as the patroon of my boat for many years. In all probability, he may resist; in that event, $50 will be paid for his head," From the Charleston (S. C.) Courier, Feb. 20, 1836.
"A negro's head was picked up on the railroad yesterday, which the owner can have by calling at this office and paying for advertisement." From the Mississippi Daily Free Trader, Feb. 12, 1838.
"Ranaway, my man Fountain. He has holes in his ears, a scar on his forehead, has been shot in the hind part of his legs, and is marked on the back by the whip." ROBERT BEASLY. From the Georgia Messenger, July 27, 1837.
"Ranaway, Mary, a black woman; Has a scar on her back and on the right arm, near the shoulder, caused by a rifle
16ball. Asa B. METCALF. From the Natchez Courier, June 15, 1832.
"Ranaway, my negro man, Dennis; said negro has been shot in the left arm, between the shoulders and elbow, which has paralyzed the left hand." R. W. SIZER. From the Grand Gulf Advertiser, Mississippi, July 8, 1837.
$20 REWARD. Ranaway, a negro man named Harrison. It is supposed he will make for South Carolina, in pursuit of his wife, in possession of Capt. D. Bird. CORNELIUS BEAZLY. From the Florida Watchman, May 12, 1838.
"Ranaway, Sam. He was shot through the hand a short time since, and has several shots in his left arm and side." O. W. LAINS. From the Helena Journal, Arkansas, June 1, 1833.
"Dealing in slaves has become a large business. Establishments are made at several places in Maryland and Virginia, at which they are sold like cattle. These places are strongly built, and well supplied with thumbscrews, gags, cowskins, and other whips, oftentimes bloody. But the laws permit the traffic, and it is suffered." — Niles's Register, published in Baltimore, vol. 35, p. 4.
"Avarice alone can drive, as it does drive, this infernal traffic, and the wretched victims of it, like so many post horses whipped to death in a mail coach. Ambition has its cover-sluts, in ‘the pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war;’ but what are the trophies of avarice? The handcuff, the manacle, the blood-stained cowhide! What man is worse received in society for being a hard master? Who denies the hand of a sister or a daughter to such monsters?" — JOHN RANDOLPH, of Virginia, in Congress.
"The master may, and often, does, inflict upon his slave all the severity of punishment that the human body is capable of bearing." — Mr. RICE, in the Kentucky Convention, 1790.
"The situation of the slaves is insupportable. Misery inhabits their cabins and pursues them into the field. Inhumanly beaten, they often fall sacrifices to the turbulent tempers of their masters." Dr. GEORGE BUCHANAN, of Maryland. Oration at Baltimore, July 4, 1791.
"No one, who has not been an integral part of a slaveholding community, can have any idea of its abominations. It is a whited sepulchre, full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness" — ANGELINA GRIMKE, daughter of Judge Grimke, of South Carolina — 1839.
"In the ordinary course of the business of the country, the punishment of relations frequently happens on the same farm, and in view of each other. The father often sees his beloved son, the son sees his venerable sire, the mother sees her much-loved daughter, the daughter sees her affectionate parent, the husband sees the wife of his bosom, and she sees the husband of her affection, cruelly bound up, without delicacy or mercy, and punished with all the extremity of incensed rage, and all the rigor of unrelenting severity, while they dare not interpose in each other's behalf. All is silent horror." From the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, May 30, 1788.
"The laws confine the slave in misery." * * * "He is consigned to a bottomless gulf of wretchedness." — Mr. RICE, of Kentucky, 1790.
"The condition of slaves in the Southwestern States is second only to that of the wretched creatures in hell." From the Maryville Intelligencer, Tenn., Oct., 1835.
"No man ever yet depicted the wretchedness of the situation of slaves in colors too dark for the truth. I know that many good people are not aware of the treatment to which slaves are usually subjected; nor have they any just idea of the extent of the evil." — NATHAN COLE, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2, 1834.
"There are now in our land two millions of human beings exposed, defenceless, to every insult and every injury, short of maiming or death, which their fellow-men may choose to inflict. They suffer all that can be inflicted by wanton caprice, grasping avarice, brutal lust, malignant spite, and insane anger. Their happiness is the sport of every whim, and the prey of every passion; that may occasionally, or habitually, infest the master's bosom. If we could calculate the amount of woe endured by ill-treated slaves, it would overwhelm every compassionate heart, and move even the
18obdurate to sympathy. Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives, are torn asunder, and permitted to see each other no more. These acts are daily occurring in the midst of us. The shrieks and the agony often proclaim, with trumpet tongue, the iniquity and cruelty of our system." — Address of the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky, 1836.
"In the slave system, the laborer himself is property. The man himself is a negotiable chattel. His soul is ignored. He is a brute. He can be sheared like a sheep, branded like a mule, yoked like an ox, hobbled like a horse, marked like a hog, and maimed like a cur; he can be butchered like a beef, skinned like a buck, or scalded like a shoat; he can be hurled into a fish-pond, to fatten and flavor lampreys or smeared with tar and set on fire to light ungodly lances." — Report of the Southern Commercial Convention, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 10, 1859.
"It is slavery itself, and not cruelties merely, that makes slaves unhappy. Even those that are the most kindly treated are generally far from happy. The slaves in my father's family are almost as kindly treated as slaves can be; but they pant for liberty." — WILLIAM T. ALLEN, son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Huntsville, Ala., 1839.
"The slave entails his own miserable condition on the endless generation proceeding from him." — THOMAS JEFFERSON, in his published Correspondence.
"When the measure of their tears is full, when their groans have involved heaven itself in darkness, doubtless a God of justice will awaken to their distress." — THOMAS JEFFERSON, Notes on Virginia.
Southern Proofs of the "Chivalrous and High-Minded Character" Produced by Slavery.
"A slave shall be deemed a chattel personal, in the hands of the owner, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever." — Stroud's Laws of the Slave States.
"I have lately purchased four women and ten children, in whom I thought I had a great bargain; for I supposed they were my own property, as were my brood-mares." — Mr. GHOLSON, of Virginia, in the Legislature, 1832.
"The gentleman has spoken of the increase of female slaves as a part of the profit. It is an increasing practice, in parts of Virginia, to rear slaves for market. How can an honorable mind, a patriot, and a lover of his country, bear to see this Ancient Dominion, illustrious by the noble devotion of her sons in the cause of liberty, converted into one grand menagerie, where men are reared for the market, like oxen for the shambles?" — THOMAS JEFFERSON RANDOLPH, grandson of President Jefferson, in the Virginia Legislature, 1832.
"For sale, a girl about twenty years of age, raised in Virginia; remarkably strong and healthy; with her two female children, one four years old, the other two years; fine, healthy children. She is very prolific in her generating qualities, and affords a rare opportunity to any person who wishes to raise a family of strong and healthy servants." From the Charleston Mercury, South Carolina, May 16, 1839.
"RAFFLE. The celebrated dark bay horse, Star, age five years, square trotter, and warranted sound; with a new, light trotting-buggy and harness; also, the stout mulatto girl, Sarah, age about twenty; general house-servant; valued at $900; will be raffled for, at any hotel selected by the subscribers." JOSEPH JENNINGS. From the True Delta, New Orleans, Jan. 11, 1853.
"The subscriber has just arrived from Petersburg, Virginia, with 120 likely young negroes; among them, several women with children; small girls, suitable for nurses; and
20small boys without their mothers." BENJAMIN DAVIS, Hamburg, S. C., Sept. 28, 1838. A standing advertisement in the Charleston papers.
"$10 reward for Lilby, about thirty years old; very much scarred about the neck and ears, occasioned by whipping. She had a handkerchief tied round her ears, as she commonly wears it, to hide the scars." ROBERT NICOLL. From the Commercial Advertiser, Mobile, Ala.
"LOST CHILD. Came to the brick house, corner of Third and Elm street, a black female child, about seven or eight years of age; marked and branded on its head; face, nose, ears, lips, chin, breast, back, sides, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, hips, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, feet, heels and toes, marked by what appears to have been a cowhide, or some other humane instrument. If not called for soon, it will be turned over to the Court, to be dealt with as the law directs." [That is, sold at auction.] — St. Louis paper, June 18, 1845.
"NOTICE. Committed to the jail of Washington Co., D. C., as a runaway, a negro woman, by the name of Polly Leiper, and her infant child, William; says she was set free by John Campbell, of Richmond, Va., in 1818. The owner of the above-mentioned woman and child, if any, is requested to come and prove them, and take them away, or they will be sold for their jail fees, and other expenses, as the law directs." TENCH RINGGOLD, Marshal. From the National Intelligencer, Washington, May 19, 1827.
"A negro woman, belonging to George M. Garrison, of Polk Co., killed four of her children, by cutting their throats while they were asleep. Her master knows of no cause for the horrid act, unless it be that she heard him speaking of selling her and two of her children, and keeping the others." This paragraph went the rounds of the Southern papers in 1853.
"$20 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro woman and two children. A few days before she went off, I burnt her with a hot iron on the left side of her face; I tried to make the letter M. Her children are both boys; the oldest in his 7th year; he is a mulatto, and has blue eyes. The youngest is black, and is in his 5th year." — M. CAJAH
21RICKS, Nash Co. From the North Carolina Standard, July 18, 1838.
"$20 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro girl named Molly, sixteen or seventeen years of age; lately branded R on the left cheek; a piece taken off of her ear, on the same side; the same letter on the inside of both her legs." ABNER, Ross. From the Charleston (S. C.) Courier, 1825.
"Ranaway, the negro wench, Betsy, about twenty-two years of age; handsome faced and good countenance; has the mark of the whip behind her neck and several others on her rump." P. ADDIE. From the New Orleans Bee, Jan. 29, 1838.
"$500 for Celia, a bright, copper-colored negress, fine figure, and very smart. On examining her back, you will find marks caused by the whip." JAMES T. DEJARNETT. From the Pensacola Gazette, Florida, July 14, 1838.
"Ranaway, Maria, about eighteen years old; very far advanced with child." A reward offered for whoever will commit the young girl, in that condition, to jail. JOHN C. BEASLY. From the Huntsville Democrat, Alabama, Aug. 1, 1837.
"Eloped from my residence, a young negress, twenty-two years old, of a brown color. She had a very singular mark, which, to the best of my recollection, covered a part of her breasts body and limbs. When her neck and arms are uncovered it is very perceptible." WILLIAM ROBINSON. From the National Intelligencer, Washington, D. C., Oct. 2, 1837.
"Detained at the police jail, the negro wench, Myra; has several marks of lashing, and has irons on her feet." P. BAYHI, Captain of Police. From the New Orleans Bee, June 9, 1838.
"$50 REWARD. Ranaway, a negro girl named Caroline, eighteen years of age; far advanced in child-bearing. The above reward will be paid for her delivery at either of the jails of the city." J. H. LEVERICK & Co. From the New Orleans Bulletin, Jan. 22, 1839.
"Ranaway, Betsy. When she left, she had on an iron collar." CHARLES KERNIN. From the New Orleans Bee, Aug. 11, 1837.
"Ranaway, a negro girl, called Mary; has a small scar over her eye, a good many teeth missing, and the letter A branded on her cheek and forehead." J. P. ASHFORD. From the Natchez Courier, Mississippi, Aug. 24, 1838.
"In Staunton, Va., at the house of Mr. Robert McDowell, a merchant of that place, I saw a colored woman, of intelligent and dignified appearance, who appeared to be attending to the business of the house, with an iron collar round her neck, with horns or prongs extending out on either side, and up, until they met at something like a foot above her head, at which point there was a bell attached. This yoke, as they called it, I understood was to prevent her running away, or to punish her for having done so. I had frequently seen men with iron collars, but this was the first instance I recollect of having seen a woman thus degraded." — JOHN M. NELSON, Esq., a native of Virginia, 1839.
SALE OF WOMEN. "Girl is sound, I suppose?" carelessly inquired a purchaser. "Wind and limb," responded the trader; "but strip her naked and examine every inch of her, if you wish; I never have any disguises with my customers." Conversation in Mr. Corbin Thompson's negro yard, at St. Louis, Missouri, June, 1856.
WOMAN AT AUCTION. Early in March, 1833, there was, within ten feet of the Richmond Enquirer, in Virginia, an auction flag, on which was the following advertisement: "By virtue of an order of the Hustings Court for the city of Richmond, pronounced on the 22d of February, will be sold, in front of the high constable's office, on Monday, the 11th, one bright mulatto woman, also some empty barrels, and sundry old candle boxes, &c., to satisfy the above attachment, and all costs attending the same." This was dated March 1st, and regularly signed. "Do you want to buy a woman?" was the question pressed upon every passer by. "Very likely woman; stout and healthy; good cook; excellent seamstress; as fine a woman as was ever under the hammer. Who bids? Speak quick!" &c.
"A negro woman, twenty-four years old, with her two children, one eight years old, the other three years; said negroes will be sold together, or separately, as desired. The woman is a good seamstress. She will be sold low for cash or exchanged for groceries." MAYHEW BLISS & Co. From the New Orleans Bulletin, June 2, 1838.
"Will be sold before the Court House door, in the town of Irwinton, one negro girl, about two years old, named Rachel belonging to the estate of William Chambers, deceased. Sold for the benefit of the heirs and creditors of said estate," SAMUEL BELL and JESSE PEACOCK, Executors. From the Milledgeville Journal, Geo., Dec. 26, 1837.
"To be sold, one negro girl, eighteen months old, belonging to the estate of William Chambers, deceased. Sold for the purpose of distribution." JETHRO DEAN and SAMUEL BEALL. Executors. From the Georgia Journal, Nov. 7, 1837.
"Will be sold, the following property, to wit: one child, by the name of James, about eight months old; levied on as the property of Gabriel Gunn." From the Georgia Journal. Jan. 2, 1838.
"The subscriber will give $20 for the apprehension of his negro woman, Maria. She is known to be lurking in or about Chuckatuch, in the County of Nansemond, where she formerly belonged, and where she has a husband." From the Norfolk Beacon, Virginia, March 31, 1838.
"Mr. Hedding, of Chatham County, held a slave woman in order to prevent her running away, a child about seven years of age was connected with her by a long chain fastened to her neck. In this situation, she was compelled, all the day, to grub up the roots of herbs and saplings, to prepare ground for the plough. I travelled past Heddings as often as once in two weeks, in the winter of 1828, and I always saw her," HIRAM WHITE of Chatham Co. North Carolina.
"My uncle used to tie his house-wench to a pear tree in the yard, and whip her till there was no sound place to lay another stroke and he repeated it so often that her back was continually sore. Whipping females round the legs was
24a favorite mode of punishment with him. They must stand and hold up their clothes, while he plied his hickory." WILLIAM LEFTWICH, of Virginia, now in Ohio.
"Taken and committed to jail, a negro girl, named Nancy. She is about thirty years old, and is a lunatic. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or she will be sold to pay her jail fees." FREDERIC HOME, Jailer. From the Fayetteville Observer, North Carolina, June 27, 1838.
"A handsome mulatto woman, eighteen or twenty years of age, whose independent spirit could not brook the degradation of slavery, was in the habit of running away. For this offence, she had been repeatedly sent by her master and mistress to be whipped by the keeper of the Charleston Work House. This had been done with such inhuman severity as to lacerate her back in the most shocking manner. A finger could not be laid between the ruts. But the love of liberty was too strong to be annihilated by torture. As a last resort, she was whipped at several different times, and kept a close prisoner. A heavy iron collar, with three long prongs projecting from it, was placed round her neck, and a sound front tooth was extracted, to serve as a mark to describe her, in case of escape. Her sufferings were agonizing. She could lie in no position but on her back, which was sore from scourgings, as I can testify from personal inspection; and her only place of rest was the floor, on a blanket. Those outrages were committed in a family where the mistress daily read the Scriptures, and assembled the family for worship. She was a charitable woman, tender-hearted to the poor, so far as alms-giving was concerned. Yet this suffering slave, who was the seamstress of the family, was sitting in her chamber, with her bleeding back, her blood filled mouth, and her heavy iron collar, without, so far as appeared, exciting any feelings of compassion." Sarah M. GRIMKE, daughter of Judge Grimke, of South Carolina.
Southern Proofs that Slavery is a "Parental Relation."
"The child shall follow the condition of the mother." — Laws of the Slave States.
"Detained in jail, Maria; pretending herself free; round face, clear white complexion." — P. BAYHI, Captain of the Watch. From the New Orleans Bee, July 4, 1837.
"Ranaway, a light mulatto woman; has long, black, straight hair, and usually keeps it in good order. She generally dresses neatly, is very intelligent, converses well, and can read print." — U. MCALLISTER. From the Southern Standard, Mississippi, Oct. 16, 1852.
"Ranaway from the subscriber, a very bright mulatto boy, twenty-two years old, named Wash. He might pass himself for a white man, as he is very bright, has sandy hair, blue eyes, and a fine set of teeth." GEORGE O. RAGLAND. From the Chattanooga Gazette, Tenn., Oct. 5, 1852.
"Ranaway, Joe, a yellow man, about twenty years of age; has a Roman nose; was raised near New Orleans, and speaks French and English." From the Capitolian Vis-a-Vis, La., Nov. 1, 1852.
"Ranaway, a bright mulatto woman, named Julia, about twenty-five years old. She is nearly white, and very likely may attempt to pass for white. She is a good seamstress, dresses fine, and can read a little. $200 reward, if caught in any Free State, and put into any good jail in Kentucky or Tennessee." A. W. JOHNSON. From the Republican Banner and Nashville Whig, Tenn., July 14, 1849.
"$100 reward will be given for my negro, Edmund Kenny. He has straight hair, and a complexion so nearly white that it is believed a stranger would suppose there was no African blood in him. A short time since, he was in Norfolk with my boy Dick, and offered him for sale. He was apprehended, but escaped under pretence of being a white man." ANDERSON BOWLES. From the Richmond Whig, Va., Jan. 6, 1836.
"Ranaway, a bright mulatto man named Alfred; about eighteen years old;has blue eyes, light flaxen hair, and skin disposed to freckle. He will try to pass himself as free born." — S. G. STEWART, Green Co., Ala.
"Ranaway from me, a negro woman, named Fanny. She is as white as most white women ; with straight light hair, and blue eyes, and can pass herself for a white woman. She is very intelligent; can read and write, and so forge passes for herself. She is very pious, prays a great deal, and was, as supposed, contented and happy. I will give $500 for her delivery to me." — JOHN BALCH, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, May 29, 1845.
"Ranaway from the subscriber, a bright mulatto slave, named Sam; light sandy hair, blue eyes, ruddy complexion. He is so white as to pass very easily for a free white man." EDWIN PECK, Mobile, Ala., April 22, 1837.
"$500 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, the quadroon girl, Elizabeth; sixteen years old; very bright color; has a handsome head of hair, and is very likely." — ISAAC F. WOOD, Laurel Hill, La., March 20, 1837.
"$10 reward for the apprehension of William Dubberly, a slave belonging to the estate of Sacker Dubberly, deceased. He is about nineteen years old, quite white, and would not be readily taken for a slave." JOHN J. LANE. From the Newbern Spectator, N. C., March 13, 1837.
"Ranaway, a white negro man, about thirty-five years old; has blue eyes, very fair skin, and yellow woolly head." From the New Orleans Picayune, Sept. 2, 1846.
"$25 REWARD. Ranaway from the plantation of Madame Duplantier, a bright mulatto, named Ned, about thirty-five years old; speaks French and English. He may try to pass himself for a white man, as he is of a very clear color, and has sandy hair." From the New Orleans Picayune, Sept. 2, 1846.
"$25 REWARD. Ranaway from the chain-gang in New Orleans, a negro boy, named Stephen; a very light mulatto, with blue eyes, and brownish hair; very strongly built and muscular. He is an habitual runaway, and was shot in the
27ankle, while endeavoring to escape from Baton Rouge jail." — A. L. BINGAMAN, New Orleans.
"Two very bright mulatto girls, one belonging to Mr. John Churchman, and the other to the estate of Col. Crawford, deceased, took the cars at Staunton, on the morning of Dec. 30th, and made their way successfully to Baltimore, en route for a Free State. At Baltimore, they were detected, just as they were about to take the train for Philadelphia; and information of their arrest was immediately forwarded to D. Churchman, of this place. On the following Friday, they were taken back to Virginia. They were so nearly white, that their success in imposing upon the conductors of the cars is not astonishing. The only wonder is, that they were detected at all. Since their return, the negro girls have been sold; Mr. Churchman's for $1050, the other for $950." From the Staunton Spectator, Va., Jan., 1856.
"On my way from Washington to Richmond, not long since, I found in the cars a negro trader, with half a dozen sons and daughters of the descendants of Ham, whom he had purchased in Maryland, and was on his way with them to the New Orleans market. I was particularly struck by the beauty of a white girl, about seventeen years old, with white, rosy, transparent complexion, finely chiseled features, and auburn tresses. I concluded she must be the young and handsome daughter of the trader; but he told me he had paid $1200 for her up in Maryland, to a man whose wife had become jealous of her. This story fully explained the mystery of the gold rings that hung from her ears and encircled her fingers." — Correspondent of the Wheeling Intelligencer, Va., Jan., 1860.
"A steamer, on her way from this place to Natchez, had, on her last trip, forty-seven slaves on board. Our informant states that among these was a beautiful young girl of thirteen, who, he learned with astonishment and pity, was a slave; as hopelessly in slavery as the blackest of her companions, all of whom were in charge of traders, on their way to New Orleans. The girl was nearly white, with straight hair, blooming complexion, attractive shape, and gentle bearing. She is the daughter of a merchant on Missouri river, whose well-known intention was to emancipate her. But he died,
28and his executors, or heirs, thought it would not do any longer to bring her up together with the merchant's other daughter, her white sister; therefore she has been sold away into the South." — The St. Louis Democrat, Mo., Feb., 1860.
"We had, not long since, a striking illustration of the Patriarchal Institution of Slavery. A Mississippi gentleman came to this State to supply his plantation, and made his head-quarters in this city. Among the two or three dozen he bought was a little girl, about nine years old, whose complexion was as fair as the average of white children. She attracted some attention, and the purchaser related her history. She was the child of a handsome mulatto woman, and her father was the Hon. Mr. —,
"It is impossible to deny that amalgamation prevails to a fearful extent throughout the South. The testimony is of too positive and personal a character to be overcome. Neither is it to be found only in the lower order of the white population. It pervades the entire society. Its followers are to be found among all ranks, occupations and profusions. The female slave, however fair she may have become by various commingling of her progenitors, or whatever her
29mental and moral acquirements may be, knows that she is a slave, and, as such, powerless beneath the whims or fancies of her master. If he casts upon her a desiring eye, she knows that she must submit; and her only thought is, that the more gracefully she yields, the stronger and longer hold she may perchance retain upon the brutal appetite of her master. Still, she feels her degradation, and so do others with whom she is connected. She has parents, brothers, sisters, a lover, perhaps, who all suffer through her and with her. White mothers and daughters of the South have suffered under this custom for years; they have seen their dearest affections trampled on, their hopes of domestic happiness destroyed. I cannot use too strong language on this subject, for I know it will meet a heartfelt response from every Southern woman. They know the fact, and their hearts bleed under its knowledge, however they may have attempted to conceal their discoveries." — Mrs. MARGARET DOUGLASS, born in the city of Washington, long resident in Charleston, S. C., whence she removed to Norfolk, Va.
"It is not the character of the mistress alone that is injured by the possession and exercise of despotic power; nor is it merely the degradation and suffering to which the slave is continually subject; but another important consideration is, that in consequence of the dreadful state of morals at the South, the wife and the daughter sometimes find their homes a scene of the most mortifying, heart-rending preference of the degraded domestic, or the colored daughter of the head of the family. Then are, alas! too many families of which the contentions in Abraham's household are a fair example. But we forbear to lift the veil of private life any higher. Let these few hints suffice to give you some idea of what is daily passing behind that curtain, which has been so carefully drawn before the scenes of domestic life in slaveholding America." — ANGELINA GRIMKE, daughter of Judge Grimke, of South Carolina.
Southern Proofs That "The Moral Condition of Slaves is Better Than That of Northern Laborers."
LAWS OF VIRGINIA. Section 31. "Every assemblage of negroes for the purpose of religious worship, when such worship is conducted by a negro, and every assemblage of negroes for the purpose of instruction in reading or writing, shall be an unlawful assembly. Any Justice may issue his warrant to any officer, or other person, to enter any such assemblage and seize any negro therein; and he or any other Justice may order such negro to be punished with stripes."
Section 32. "If a white person assemble with negroes for the purpose of instructing them to read or write, or if he associate with them, in an unlawful assembly, he shall be confined in jail not exceeding six months, and fined not exceeding one hundred dollars."
"Mrs. Margaret Douglass, formerly of Charleston, S. C., was arraigned one day last week and tried before Judge Baker, at Norfolk city, on a charge of teaching negro children to read and write, contrary to the statute made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." From the Petersburg Express, Va., Nov. 30, 1853.
Mrs. Douglass, from motives of benevolence, instructed, at her own house, a few free colored children, who greatly desired to learn to read and write. For that offence "against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth," she was imprisoned a month in Norfolk jail; the term prescribed by law being shortened, in consideration of her being a woman.
While South Carolina was yet a British Province, a fine of one hundred pounds was imposed upon any person who should attempt to teach a slave to read or write. It is provided by the laws of that State, that "any religious assembly, not consisting of a majority of white persons." may be broken in upon by police officers and "twenty-five lashes" inflicted upon every slave who is present. There are similar laws in all the Slave States. The necessity for such laws is explained, with great simplicity, in the following preamble to one of the laws of North Carolina: "Whereas, teaching slaves to
31read and write has a tendency to excite dissatisfaction in their minds, and to produce insurrection and rebellion, &c.
No places of worship are built for negroes. By sufferance of indulgent masters, when no peculiar cause for alarm exists in the community, religious slaves meet at each other's cabins to sing and pray; or they listen to the rude eloquence of some brother slave, preaching from a stump in the fields. In pious white families, there is sometimes a chaplain employed, part of whose duty it is to give oral instruction to the slaves on the plantation; to teach them to read, would be offensive to the community. House servants are not unfrequently allowed a place in the same church where their masters attend. How carefully the instruction they receive is adapted to their peculiar circumstances, is shown by the following extracts from the published Sermons of Bishop Meade, an Episcopal clergyman in Virginia: "You are to be obedient and subject to your masters in all things * * When correction is given you, whether you deserve it or not, it is your duty, and God Almighty requires, that you bear it patiently. * * Your masters and mistresses are God's overseers. If you are faulty toward them, God himself will punish you severely for it in the next world, unless you repent of it, and strive to make amends by your faithfulness and diligence for the time to come. * * Almighty God hath been pleased to make you slaves here, and to give you nothing but labor and poverty in this world, which you are obliged to submit to, as it in His will that it should be so. Your bodies, you know, are not your own; they are at the disposal of those you belong to. But your precious souls are still your own, which nothing can take from you, if it be not your own fault. Think within yourselves what a terrible thing it would be, after all your labors and sufferings in this life, to be turned into hell in the next life, and after wearing out your bodies in service here, to go into a far worse slavery when this is over, and your poor souls lie delivered over into the possession of the Devil, to become his slaves for ever in hell, without any hope of ever getting free from it!"
What is the practical result of the mental and moral instruction obtainable by slaves may be inferred from the following extracts: "The negro children cannot be hearers of the law, for oral instruction is but sparingly afforded to the
32mass of them; and, on the other hand, they cannot search the Scriptures, for a knowledge of letters they have not and cannot legally obtain. The remarks on the religious instruction of children apply with equal force to adults." * * * "They are a nation of heathen in our very midst." * * "Their depravity, their spiritual ignorance and destitution are amazingly and awfully great." * * * "When the charge of the intellectual and moral degradation of the negroes is preferred against us, we are inclined to put the best face on affairs, knowing that this is the darkest feature and the most vulnerable point. That they are in a degraded state is a fact universally conceded, so far as my knowledge extends." * * "As a class, the negroes are overlooked by us in our benevolent regards and efforts." * * * "Such a general corruption of morals as would blast the reputation of any white community is known to exist among them; yet how unaffected we are by it! Indeed, the habit of our minds is to consider them in a state of moral degradation." * * "Whatever is idle, dissolute, criminal and worthless, attaches to them." * * "We are surprised to find Christianity in absolute conjunction with a people, yet conferring so few benefits." * * "To say they fare as well as their masters does not settle the question; for great numbers of their masters have very few or no religious privileges at all." — Rev. C. C. JONES, of Savannah, Ga.
"In our State, many Christians no more think of instructing their slaves, than they do their horses. This may seem a strong expression, and it is; but it just contains the simple truth, and nothing more." — From the St. Louis Observer, Missouri, May 7, 1835.
"Who would credit it, in these years of benevolent and successful Missionary effort, that there are in this Christian Republic over two millions of human beings in the condition of heathen, and in some respects in a worse condition? From long-continued and close observation, we believe that their moral and religious condition is such that they may justly be regarded as the heathen of this Christian country." — Report of the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, 1833.
"After making all reasonable allowances, our colored population can be considered, at the best, but semi-heathen." — Kentucky Circular to Ministers in that State, 1834.
"After all, what is the utmost amount of instruction given to slaves? Those who enjoy the, most of it are fed but with the crumbs of knowledge which fall from their master's table. * * Slavery deranges and ruins the moral machinery of man; it cuts the sinews of the soul; it extracts from human nature the salt that purifies and preserves it, and leaves it a corrupting mass of appetite and passion. * * It diffuses a moral pestilence among its subjects, tending to wither and blight every thing that is naturally beautiful and good in the character of man." — Address of the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky, 1836.
"Seeing his master wholly engrossed by his own advantage, the slave naturally pursues the same selfish course, and, when not restrained by higher principle, becomes deceitful and thievish. The master takes no pains to conceal that he takes it for granted the negro will steal and lie; and when the slave is tempted to do either, he feels that he has no character to lose." — THOMAS CLAY'S Address before the Presbytery of Georgia.
"Thousands of fellow-creatures within our State are destitute of every real protection afforded them by law, either in their persons or property; without any law to guard their marriage rights, and without the law's having any knowledge of marriage among them. Such is the fact with regard to the whole slave-population among us." — Oration by AMOS WEAVER, of North Carolina, 1829.
"Negro marriages are neither recognized by law nor protected by law. The negroes receive no instruction on the nature, sacredness, or perpetuity of the system," — Rev. C. C. JONES, of Savannah, Ga.
"Legal marriage is unknown among the slaves. They sometimes have a marriage form; generally, however, none, at all. The pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Huntsville, Ala., had two families of slaves, when I left there. One couple were married by a negro preacher; but, a number of months afterward, the man was robbed of his wife by her owner. The other couple took up together without any form of marriage. They are both members of the church; the man is a Baptist Deacon, sober and correct in his deport
34ment. They have a large family, all children of concubinage, living in a minister's family." — Rev. WILLIAM T. ALLEN, son of a slaveholder in Alabama.
"How important for Southern Sultans that the objects of their criminal passions should be kept in utter ignorance and degradation! They must not read the Bible, because that teaches them the sin of their masters. They must not learn to read and write, for every mental and moral improvement tends to bring out and improve those feelings and emotions that already repel this gross system of sensuality and licentiousness. Is it to be supposed that the ordinary teachings of nature do not tell the sable sons and daughters of the South that this custom is inhuman and ungodly? Will not the natural impulses rebel against what becomes with them a matter of force? For the female slave knows she must submit to the caprices of her master; that there is no way of escape. And when a man, black though he be, knows that he may be compelled, at any moment, to hand over his wife, his sister, or his daughter, to the loathed embraces of the man whose chains he wears, how can it be expected he will submit without feelings of hatred and revenge taking possession of his heart?" — Mrs. MARGARET DOUGLASS, of South Carolina.
"I say nothing of the baneful effects of slavery on our moral character, because I know you have long been sensible of this point." — JUDGE TUCKER, of Virginia; Letter to the Legislature, 1801.
"Slavery, even in its mildest form, is cruel and unnatural. Its injurius effect on our morals and habits is mutually felt" — WILLIAM H. FITZHUGH, of Virginia.
"In December, 1830, a report was raised that the slaves were going to rise on Christmas day. In consequence of this, patrolling captains were appointed in every district. I went two nights, and then refused to patrol, for this reason: Orders were given to search every negro house for books or prints of any kind. Bibles and Hymn Books were particularly mentioned; and should we find any, orders were given to whip the slave till he informed who gave them to him, or how he came by them." — HIRAM WHITE, of North Carolina.
"I may paint the agony of kindred torn from each others arms, to meet no more in time; I may depict the inflictions of the blood-stained lash; but I cannot describe the daily, hourly ceaseless torture endured by the heart that is constantly trampled under the foot of despotic power. It mocks all power of language. Who can describe the anguish of that mind, which feels itself impaled upon the iron of arbitrary power, a living, writhing, helpless victim? Every human susceptibility tortured, its sympathies torn, and stung, and bleeding! Always feeling the death-weapon in its heart, and yet not so deep as to kill that humanity which is made the curse of its existence!" — ANGELINA GRIMKE, daughter of Judge Grimke, of South Carolina.
Southern Proofs That "The Physical Condition of Slaves is Better Than That of Northern Laborers."
LAWS. "All that a slave possesses belongs to his master. He possesses nothing of his own, except the sum of money, or the moveable estate, which his master chooses he should possess." "The earnings of slaves, and the price of their service, belong to their owners." The law prescribes a fine for any master who permits a slave to hire himself out for his own benefit; and it is "made the duty of the Sheriff to apprehend such slave." Slaves have no legal right to any bequest or donation. Slaves can make no contract; and no contract with them is binding by law. "The testimony of no colored person, bond or free, is ever received against any white person." — Stroud's Law's of the Slave States.
"One of the Acts of South Carolina contains the following preamble: "Whereas, by reason of the extent and distance of plantations in this Province, the inhabitants are far removed from each other, and many cruelties may be committed on slaves, because no white person may be present to give evidence of the same, &c.
"Benjamin James Harris, a wealthy tobacconist of Richmond, Va., whipped a slave girl, fifteen years old, to death. The verdict of the Coroner's Inquest was, ‘Died of excessive whipping.’ He was tried in Richmond, and acquitted. I attended the trial. Some years after, this same Harris whipped a slave man to death. He was tried, and again acquitted, because none but blacks saw it done." — Testimony, in 1839, of WILLIAM POE, a native of Virginia.
The amount of labor performed by a slave practically depends on the master's will; but there is a law imposing a line on any master who keeps a slave at work "more than fifteen hours" a day in summer, or "more than fourteen hours" a day in winter. The law has the following preamble: "Whereas, many owners of slaves, and others who have the management and overseeing of slaves, do confine them so closely to hard labor, that they have not sufficient time for natural rest," &c.
In North Carolina, the law prescribes "a quart of corn a day" for the food of a field slave. In Louisiana, if a master does not allow his slaves a bit of land to cultivate on their own account, the law requires him to give each of them "one shirt and pair of pantaloons for summer, and one shirt, one pair of woollen pantaloons, and a woollen great coat for winter." In most of the States, food and clothing are not regulated by law, but left to the will of the master. Some laws have been passed to guard against an insufficient supply of food and clothing; but there are two obstacles in the way of carrying such laws into effect: No colored person is allowed to testify; and if a man is accused by his white neighbors of starving his negroes, the law allows him, in the absence of evidence, to exculpate himself on his own oath.
"A single peck of corn a week, or the like measure of rice, is the ordinary quantity of provision for a hard-working slave; to which a small quantity of meat is occasionally, though rarely, added," — Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, May 30, 1788.
"The usual allowance of food was a quart of corn a day, with a modicum of salt; kind masters allowed a peck of corn a week." — Capt. WILLIAM LADD, formerly a slaveholder in Florida.
"From March till August, the subsistence of the slaves consists of corn ground into grits, or made into hominy, or baked into corn bread. The other six months, they are fed upon sweet potatoes. Meat, when given, is only by way of indulgence or favor." — Hon. ROBERT TURNBULL, S. C.
"The corn is ground in a hand-mill by the slave, after his task is done. Generally, there is but one mill on a plantation, and, as but one can grind at a time, the mill is going sometimes very late at night." — W. C. GILDERSLEEVE, a native of Georgia.
"The quantity of food allowed by custom is a peck of corn a week. * * The present economy of the slave system is to get all you can from the slave, and give in return as little as will barely support him. Even where there is no direct intention to abridge his comforts, they are but little consulted. * * From various causes, the slave's allowance of food is often not adequate to the support of a laboring man." — THOMAS CLAY'S Address to the Presbytery of Georgia, 1833.
"In the eastern part of North Carolina, the slaves considerably outnumber the free population, and their situation is wretched beyond description. The master, impoverished by mismanagement, unable to support his own grandeur and maintain his slaves, puts the unfortunate wretches upon short allowance, scarcely sufficient for their sustenance; so that a great part of them go half-naked and half-starved much of the time. Generally, throughout the State, the African is an abused and a monstrously outraged creature." — MOSES SWAIN, of S. C.
"The slaves, naked and starved, often fall victims to the inclemency of the weather." — Dr. GEORGE BUCHANAN, of Maryland; Oration at Baltimore, 1791.
"I know that many negroes die from exposure to bad weather. They are clad in a flimsy fabric, that will turn neither wind nor water." — Hon. T. T. BOULDIN, of Va., in Congress, 1835.
"I have frequently seen those who had not attained the age of twelve go naked." — LEMUEL SAPINGTON, of Maryland.
"It is an every-day sight to see women, as well as men with no other covering than a few filthy rags fastened above the hips, reaching midway to the ankles. Children of both sexes, from infancy to ten years, are seen in companies, on the plantations, in a state of perfect nudity. This was so common, that the most refined and delicate beheld them unmoved. * * I know the slaves are overworked. It was customary for the overseer to call out the gangs long before day; say three o'clock, in the winter, while dressing out the crops. Such work was provided as could be done by firelight." — W. C. GILDERSLEEVE, a native of Georgia.
"From dawn till dark, the slaves are required to bend to their constant toil, wrung out by fear. Their food is scanty, and taken without comfort. The young children, until they can work, often go naked until warm weather. The dwellings of the slaves are log huts, ten or twelve feet square, often without windows, doors, or floors. They have neither chairs, table, nor bedstead. I have lived in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, and I know the condition of the slaves to be that of unmixed wretchedness and degradation; and on the part of the slaveholders there is cruelty untold." — WM. LEFTWICH, a native of Virginia.
"The dwellings of the slaves were huts of stakes and poles, thatched with palmetto leaf. They built them themselves, after task, or on Sundays. They had no floors, and no separate apartments." — Capt. WM. LADD, formerly of Florida.
"The negro quarters are without floors, and not sufficient to keep off the inclemency of the weather." — LEMUEL SAPINGTON, of Maryland.
"Their huts are sometimes comfortable, but generally they are miserable hovels, where males and females are herded promiscuously together. Their clothing is in many cases comfortable, but in many cases it is far from being so. I have very often seen slaves, whose tattered rays were neither comfortable nor decent." — Rev. WILLIAM T. ALLEN, a native of Alabama.
"When they return to their miserable huts at night, they find there no means of comfortable rest. They must lie on
39the cold ground, and shiver while they slumber." — Rev. JOHN RANKIN, a native of Tennessee.
"I have seen almost nothing of slavery on plantations. My testimony relates exclusively to house-servants. The utter disregard of the comfort of the slave can scarcely be conceived by those who have not been a component part of slaveholding communities. Bedsteads and bedding are rarely provided for any of the slaves. They commonly lie down at night on the bare floor, with a small blanket wrapped round them in winter, in summer, a coarse sheet, or nothing. Only two meals a day are allowed to house slaves; the first at twelve o'clock. I am sure there must be a good deal of suffering from hunger, particularly the children. Besides this, they are often kept from their meals by way of punishment. I never saw slaves seated round a table to partake of any meal. Each takes his tin pan and iron spoon, and holds it in the hand or on the lap." — ANGELINA GRIMKE, of South Carolina.
"Let any man of spirit and feeling cast his thoughts for a moment over the land of slavery; think of the nakedness of some, the hungry yearnings of others; the flowing tears and heaving sighs of parting relations, the wailings of lamentation and woe; the bloody cut of the keen lash, and the frightful scream that rends the very skies! and all this to gratify ambition, lust, pride, avarice, vanity, and other depraved feeling of the human heart. Indeed, the worst is not generally known. Were all the miseries, the horrors of slavery, to burst at once into view, a peal of seven-fold thunder could scarce strike greater alarm." — BENJAMIN SWAIM, a distinguished lawyer of North Carolina, 1830.
Southern Prospects for Northern Laborers and Mechanics.
"Wanted to purchase, two first-rate seamstresses, not over twenty-two years old." DOUGLASS & PHILPOT. From the Morning Chronicle, Mobile, Ala., June 8th, 1838.
"GREAT BARGAINS! A full set of first-rate mechanics; a large stock of horses, mules, &c." H. STIDGER. From the Vicksburgh Register, Mississippi, Sept. 26, 1836.
"For sale, a man who is well acquainted with running a steam saw-mill." THOMAS H. MERRILL. From the North Alabamian, May 11, 1838.
"The subscriber will pay the highest price for mechanics, such as blacksmiths and carpenters." SETH WOODROOF. From the Daily Virginian, Nov. 19, 1852.
"The subscriber will sell, by public auction, stock of all kinds, belonging to the estate of William Galt, deceased. Some carpenters and blacksmiths, 33 mules, 200 hogs," &c. JAMES GALT. From the Richmond Whig, Virginia.
"Will be sold at auction, Andrew, twenty-four years of age, bricklayer and plasterer; a thorough workman. George, twenty-two years of age, one of the best barbers in the State. James, nineteen years of age, an excellent painter. These boys are sold for no fault whatever." From the South Carolinian, Dec. 4, 1852.
"The undersigned has just arrived from Virginia with a very likely lot of field hands, men and women; also, house servants; three cooks and a carpenter. A fine buggy horse. Call and see. THOMAS G. JAMES, Natchez, Mississippi, Sept. 28, 1852.
"The subscriber will sell at auction, &c., able-bodied field hands, good cooks, house servants, an excellent blacksmith, boys, mules, and neat cattle." M. C. GRAY. From the Newberry Sentinel, South Carolina.
"Ranaway, my boy George, about thirty-five years old; a bright mulatto, tall and quite likely; very intelligent; a
41good carpenter. He was brought, about three Years ago, from St. Mary's, and had a wife there. $250 reward for his confinement in some jail in the State." W. J. SASSNET. From the Savannah Georgian, Sept. 6, 1852.
"Ranaway, Harry, forty years old; yellow complexion, stout built; a carpenter by trade. He has a free mulatto woman for a wife who lives in that part of Wilmington called Texas, where he will be likely to be Iurking. $125 will be given for his confinement in any jail, or $150 for his head." GUILDFORD HORN.
"If said Harry does not return to his master immediately, any person may kill said slave, by such means as he may think fit," &c. JAMES T. MILLER and W.C. BETTENCOURT, Justices of the Peace. From the Wilmington (N. C.) Journal, Dec. 13, 1850.
Southern Testimony Concerning the Effects of Slavery on States.
"If there be one who believes in the harmless character of this institution, let him compare the condition of the slaveholding portion of this Commonwealth, barren, desolate, and seared as it were by the avenging hand of Heaven, with the descriptions we have of this country from those who first broke its soil. To what is the change ascribable? Alone to the withering and blasting effects of slavery; to that vice in the organization of society, by which one half of its inhabitants are arrayed in interest and feeling against the other half. Let me refer the incredulous to the two States of Kentucky and Ohio. No difference of soil, no diversity of climate, no diversity in the original settlement of those two States, can account for the remarkable disproportion in their national advancement. Separated by a river alone, they seem to have been purposely and providentially designed to exhibit in their future histories the difference which necessarily results from a country free from the curse of slavery,
42and a country afflicted with it. The same may be said of the two States of Missouri and Illinois." — C. J. FAULKNER, of Virginia, in the Legislature, 1832.
"The most potent cause of the more rapid advancement of Cincinnati than Louisville is the absence of slavery. The same influences that have made Ohio the young giant of the West, and are advancing Indiana to a higher grade than Kentucky, have operated in the Queen City. They have no dead weight to carry, and consequently have the advantage in the race." — Louisville Gazette, Kentucky.
"As I descended the Chesapeake, the other day, I thought of the early descriptions of Virginia, by the followers of Raleigh and Smith, and I said to myself, how much it has lost of its primitive loveliness! Does the eye dwell with most pleasure on its wasted fields, or its stunted forests of secondary growth of pine and cedar? Can we dwell but with mournful regret on the temples of religion sinking into ruin, and those spacious dwellings, whose doors, once opened by the hand of liberal hospitality, are now fallen upon their portals, or closed in tenantless silence? Except on the banks of its rivers, the march of desolation saddens this once beautiful country. The cheerful notes of population have ceased. The wolf and wild deer, no longer scared from their ancient haunts, have descended from the mountains to the plains. They look on the graves of our ancestors, and traverse their former paths." — Hon. C. F. MERCER, in the Virginia Convention, 1829.
"The evils of this system cannot be enumerated. They glare upon us at every step. When the owner looks to his wasted estate, he knows and feels them. When the statesman examines the condition of his country, and finds her moral influence gone, her physical strength diminished, her political power waning, he sees and must confess them." — Mr. SUMNER, in the Virginia Legislature, 1832.
"Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when it is performed by slaves. They prevent the emigration of whites, who really enrich and strengthen a country. They produce a most pernicious effect on manners." — Col. GEORGE MASON, in the Virginia Convention, 1829.
"Slavery is ruinous to the whites. It retards improvement, roots out an industrious population, banishes the yeomanry of the country, deprives the spinner, the weaver, the smith, the shoemaker, the carpenter, of employment and support." — THOMAS MARSHALL, in the Virginia Legislature, 1832.
"It is slavery which, more than any other cause, keeps us back in the career of improvement. It stifles industry, and represses enterprise; it is fatal to economy and providence; it impairs our strength as a community; it poisons morals at the fountain-head." — Address of JUDGE GASTON, of North Carolina.
"Within the pestilential atmosphere of slavery, nothing succeeds. Progress and prosperity are unknown; inanition and slothfulness ensue; every thing becomes dull, dismal and unprofitable; wretchedness and desolation stand, or lie, in bold relief, throughout the land; an aspect of most melancholy inactivity and dilapidation broods over every city and town; ignorance and prejudice sit enthroned over the minds of the people." — H. R. HELPER, of North Carolina.
"I can show you, with sorrow, in the older portions of Alabama, and in my native County of Madison, the sad memorials of the artless and exhausting culture of cotton. Our small planters, after taking the cream off their lands, unable to restore them by rest, manures, or otherwise, are going further West and South, in search of other virgin lands, which they may and will despoil in like manner." — Hon. C. C. CLAY, U. S. Senator from Alabama.
"Slavery is a mildew, which has blighted every region it has touched, ever since the creation of the world. Illustrations from the history of other countries and other times might be instructive; but we have evidence nearer at hand in the short histories of the different States of tins confederacy, which are impressive in their admonitions and conclusive in their character." — Mr. BROADNAX, in the Virginia Legislature, 1832.
"Of the multitude who seek an asylum in the empire of liberty, how many turn their steps to the region of the slave? None. There is a malaria in the atmosphere of those regions, witnessed in a sparse population of freemen, deserted habitations,
44and fields without culture. Even the wolf, after the lapse of a hundred years, returns to howl over the desolations of slavery." — Mr. CUSTIS, in the Virginia Legislature, 1832.
"We have been outstripped by States to whom nature has been far less liberal. It is painful to consider what might have been, under other circumstances, the amount of general wealth in Virginia." — THOMAS M. RANDOLPH, Governor of Virginia; Address to the Legislature, 1820.
"We have found that this evil has preyed upon the very vitals of the Union, and has been prejudicial to all the States in which it has ever existed." — PRESIDENT MONROE, in the Convention of Virginia.
General Washington, in a letter to Sir John Sinclair, speaks of the exhausted condition of much of the land in Maryland and Virginia, particularly in the vicinity of Mount Vernon where plantations were not worth more than five dollars an acre. He states that the price of land in Pennsylvania averaged more than twice that amount; giving as a reason, that emigrants were attracted thither, "because there are in Pennsylvania laws for the gradual abolition of slavery, which neither Maryland nor Virginia have at present; but which nothing is more certain than that they must have, and at a period not remote."
"The value of land per acre in New Jersey, which is a second-rate Free State, is $28.70. The value of land in South Carolina, which is, par excellence, the model Slave State, is $1.32" — H. R. HELPER.
"Let it be admitted that the white inhabitants of the Slaveholding States are amply competent to hold the slaves in secure and pacific subjection. Are we to sit down content because, from our own vigilance and courage, the torch of the incendiary and the dagger of the midnight assassin may never be applied? Impossible! No people can live in a state of perpetual excitement and apprehension, although real danger may be long deferred. Such a condition of the public mind is destructive of all social happiness, and consequently must prove essentially injurious to the prosperity of a community that has the weakness to suffer under a continual panic." — Report of the Legislature of South Carolina, 1835.
"If slavery can be eradicated, let us get rid of it. If it cannot, let that melancholy fact be distinctly ascertained, and let those who are now awaiting, with painful solicitude the result of your deliberations, pack up their household goods, and find among the prairies of the West that security and repose which their native State does not afford." — Mr. McDOWELL, in the Virginia Legislature, 1832.
At a Convention held in Philadelphia, in 1856, Mr. John C. Underwood, of Western Virginia, after drawing a deplorable picture of the consequences of slavery in that State, said: "This is the work which Virginia is doing to-day. Shall the same infamous work curse the future States to spring up in the West, which were destined to be the homes of freemen? Shall these homes, dedicated to you and your children, and your children's children for ever, become the habitations of freedom and happiness, or the habitations of cruel oppression and misery? I appeal to you to let the fate of Virginia be a warning. Let us all remember the admonitions of Jefferson. Let us remember that the curse of Heaven ever is, and must be, upon oppression."
Southern Opinions Concerning the Extension of Slavery.
"I have long considered negro slavery a most serious evil, both socially and politically, and I should rejoice in any scheme to get rid of such a burden. The Congress of 1787 adopted an ordinance which prohibits the existence of involuntary servitude in our North West Territories for ever. I consider it a wise measure. It met the assent and approval of nearly every member from the States more immediately interested in slave labor. The prevailing opinion of Virginia is against the spread of slavery in our new Territories; and I trust we shall have a confederacy of Free States." — Gen. WASHINGTON, to Lafayette.
In an Address before the Colonization Society, the Hon. Henry Clay, speaking of an attempt, more than sixty years ago, to adopt gradual emancipation in Kentucky, said: "We were overpowered by numbers, and submitted to the decision of the majority. But I never have, and never shall, cease to regret a decision, the effect of which has been to place us in the rear of our neighbors, who are exempt from slavery, in the state of agriculture, the progress of manufactures, the advance of improvement, and the general prosperity of society."
In the year 1850, he said in the U. S. Senate: "Coming from a Slave State, as I do, I owe it to myself, I owe it to truth, to say that no earthly power shall compel me to vote for the introduction of slavery, where it had not previously existed. While we reproach, and justly too, our British ancestors for the introduction of this institution upon the continent of America, I, for one, am unwilling that the posterity of the present inhabitants of California and New Mexico shall reproach us for doing just what we reproach Great Britain for doing to ourselves. So long as God allows the vital current to now through my veins, I will never, never, never, by word or thought, by mind or will, aid in admitting one rood of Free Territory to the everlasting curse of human bondage!"
"One of the occasions on which I saw Henry Clay rise higher than I ever saw him before, was in the debate on the admission of California, when he declared that for no earthly consideration would he carry slavery into places where it did not exist before. It was a great and proud day for Mr. Clay. I could have wished that I had spoken the same words. I speak them now, telling you they were his, and adopting them as my own." — Hon. THOMAS H. BENTON, of Missouri.
Southern and Northern Democrats Now Leagued for the Extension of Slavery.
"The determination of the South is fixed and unalterable, that they will have an expansion of Slave Territory." * * "There is but one mode by which, in my humble judgement, the institution of slavery can be perpetuated for any considerable number of years. That mode is by expansion" — Hon. Mr. SINGLETON, of Mississippi.
"Free society has failed, and that which is not free must be substituted." — Senator MASON, of Virginia.
"Policy and humanity alike forbid the extension of the evils of free society to new people and coming generations." — Richmond Enquirer, Virginia.
"Slavery should pour itself abroad without restraint, and find no limit but the Southern Ocean." "I would introduce it into the very heart of the North." — Hon. HENRY A. WISE, of Virginia.
"We will call the roll of our slaves on Bunker Hill." — Hon. Mr. TOOMBS, of Georgia.
"I want Cuba, I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two others of the Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason: for the planting and spreading of slavery. I would spread the blessing of slavery, like the religion of the Divine Master, to the uttermost ends of the earth. Rebellious and wicked as the Yankees have been, I would extend it even to them" * * "I would make a refusal to acquire territory, because it was to be slave-territory, a cause for disunion. — Hon. Mr. BROWN, of Mississippi.
"There is no hope for the South, other than the Democratic party." — Hon. Mr. TOOMBS, of Georgia.
"The Democrats of the South, in the present canvass, cannot rely on the old grounds of defence and excuse for slavery; for they seek not merely to retain it where it is, but to extend it into regions where it is unknown. Much less can they rely on the mere Constitutional guarantees of slavery; for such reliance is pregnant with the admission that
48slavery is wrong, and, but for the Constitution, should be abolished. If we stop there, we weaken our cause; for we prosper to introduce into new Territory human beings, whom we assert to be unfit for liberty, self-government, and equal association with other men. We must go a step further. We must show that African slavery is a moral, religious, natural, and probably, in the general, a necessary institution of society. This is the only line of argument that will enable Southern Democrats to maintain the doctrines of State equality and slavery extension." * * "Northern Democrats need not go thus far. They do not seek to extend slavery, but only to agree to its extension, as a matter of right on our part." — Richmond Enquirer, Virginia.
"Shall the Democratic Party fear this issue? No indeed! There is not a single Democrat in the North who is opposed to the extension of Southern society, or so-called extension of slavery." — N. Y. Day Book, a Democratic paper.
"I trust that the day will come when the principles of Democracy, as understood and practised at the South, will prevail over the entire country." — Senator EVANS, of S. C.
"We rejoice in our candidates as national; in our principles as national; the same every where." — Senator BRIGHT, of Indiana.
"The platform on which we have placed our candidates is broad enough to cover, and does cover, the whole Union, Its principles are the same in the Free States as in the Slave States." — Senator HUNTER, of Virginia.
"The Democracy is the same every where — North, South, East and West. It seeks the ascendancy of the same principles, and the success of the same measures, in all sections." — The Washington Union, D. C.
"The Democracy is national. It is the same in Maine and Massachusetts, that it is in Virginia and South Carolina." — The Albany Argus, New York.
Human nature is essentially the same in all nations and ages; being modified only by the laws that control and regulate it, and the social conditions under which it is developed. Hence laws and social institutions are of immense importance. In all countries, there are men who do not scruple to build up their own fortunes at the expense of their neighbors. Anger, lust and avarice are powerful passions, and glaring manifestations of them abound every where. But every intelligent and reflecting reader of the preceding pages will readily perceive that countries blest with the institution of slavery have an advantage peculiar to themselves. In all such communities, capital is irresponsible by law. Encroachments on the laborer cannot be punished by law for the simple reason that the laborer is a chattel, and having no legal rights, he can have no wrongs that can be legally redressed. It is true that the degree of Patriarchal discipline is regulated by law, when it is administered in public; that inconvenience is, however, trifling; for history shows that Judge Lynch rides over all such regulations, whenever he sees fit; and as for discipline in private, over that the law assumes no control whatsoever. Slaves cannot testify in court, even if murder is committed in the presence of a dozen of them. This circumstance renders the regulation of labor exceedingly convenient; it being placed entirely in the hands of "unchecked, unregulated, and irresponsible capital."
Communities incommoded by free institutions cannot enjoy these inestimable advantages. The enlightened and chivalrous minority have no such facilities for compelling "greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, and small-fisted farmers," to toil for them without wages. Doubtless, some of them would like such facilities extremely well; nor would they object to including within their privileges the possession of their neighbors' wives and daughters, as "brood mares." But, unfortunately, in Free States, the laws come in the way of such arguments and when such experiments are attempted, both law and public opinion become troublesome. No wonder that state of society is pronounced a "complete failure," where there are so many impediments in the way of "capital,"
50that seeks to be "unchecked, unregulated, and irresponsible"!
To laborers, also, the "Patriarchal Institution" offers many inducements, though they are not so obvious as the advantages to capitalists. In the first place, the South sets a high value upon them. The Greenville Enterprise, a paper published in South Carolina, lately announced that "George, a likely fellow, said to be a good joiner and carpenter, was bought by the Rev. J. P. Boyce for $3,500; and Mr. Boyce was afterward offered $4,000 for him." How satisfied and proud laborers must be in a community that estimates them so highly!
Don't your mouth water for the situation? It is true you would receive no wages for your valuable services; but, to balance that, you would be relieved from all the cares and responsibilities entailed upon property. Your dwellings might not be the most comfortable; but then you would have neither rent nor taxes to pay. If you should happen to have a generous master, you might be dressed as fine as "Dandy Jim"; and if your owner deemed a "few tattered rags about the loins" sufficient, you would at least have the advantage of having no tailor's bills to pay. "A peck of corn a week " half the year, and sweet potatoes the other half, might seem rather monotonous provender; but then you would be almost sure not to die of repletion, or dyspepsia. The frequency and severity of your floggings would depend entirely on the temper and disposition of your master and mistress, or of the overseer they employed; but if you should happen to be killed in the course of customary discipline, it would be a great satisfaction to surviving friends to know that you "died of moderate correction." A chattel has also the advantage of being relieved from all family cares and expenses. He who is allowed to hold no property will not be troubled with bills for crinolines or new-fashioned bonnets. It might be a little unpleasant to see your wife examined on the auction block; but you would soon conquer prejudices on that point, knowing that the proceeding was according to law. She might happen to be sold into a State far distant from the place where your own lot was cast; but the separation would offer advantages to both. The proverb says, "Varierty is the spice of life"; and you could both forthwith form new connections,
51without the formality or expense of weddings. You would have neither law nor public opinion to trouble you; for you would not be "persons," in the eye of the law, and your characters would belong to your masters. It would be for his interest to lend you one of his handmaids, that you might raise up a crop of children, whose market value would be increased by the infusion of Anglo-Saxon blood. This would be peculiarly the case if they were girls; for the virtuous horror of amalgamation is entirely overcome by the consideration that "crossing the breed" often produces specimens of rare beauty. It might at first pain you a little to see your daughters held as property; but if they were good-looking, they might find so much favor in the eyes of the master, that he would bestow upon them gold rings for ears and fingers; symbols of a connection "ennobling to both" parties. If this arrangement should excite the jealousy of his wife, the worst that could happen would be the having your daughter sold to some trader, making up a herd of "brood mares" for the market; and he would be sure to treat her respectfully and kindly, modesty and tender-heartedness being the inevitable results of his dignified vocation. Your grand-children might be sold by the sheriff, at "eight months old"; but then the blessings of involuntary servitude would be just as safely secured to them, as if they remained with their mothers. As for scruples on any of these subjects, you would soon be effectually taught that the whole of religious and moral obligation is comprised in the injunction, "Servants, obey your masters in all things." What a convenience to have all questions of conscience thus simplified to a unity! It might at first trouble you to have your children forbidden to learn to read and write, under penalty of "twenty lashes"; but you know it is a time-honored maxim that "ignorance is bliss"; and in their situation, they would have no use for knowledge. If they knew how to read about free countries, It might excite "dissatisfaction in their minds"; for, to the young and inexperienced, freedom appears to be a blessing, though in reality it is not. If they know how to write, they might be tempted to forge permissions from their masters to go and see their mother or sister: and it is a great inconvenience to have mechanics, laborers, or house servants, form a taste for travelling about; they might carry it too far.
52You of course perceive there would be no need of their learning arithmetic; for those who can make no contracts, and hold no property, are released from all necessity of ciphering.
Don't despair because it happens to be your misfortune to be born under free institutions! That can be remedied; if not for yourselves, at least for your children; and measures are actively in train for it. Neither your complexion nor your intelligence need to be any hindrance. The Power that rules the nation has announced its decision, that the right to hold slaves "does not depend on difference of complexion"; and advertisements show that "very intelligent" men and women, with "clear white complexions, blue eyes, and sandy hair," are continually sold upon the auction-block. In 1834, I talked with a blue-eyed Irish girl, named Mary Gilmore, who was claimed as a slave, and was with difficulty proved to have been free-born. A few weeks ago, I saw a notice in the papers of an Irishman in the Western States, who was claimed as a slave, and was foolishly trying to prove himself free. In 1855, a white girl, fourteen years old, daughter of Mr. Samuel Goodshall, of Downington, Chester Co., Penn., while walking in the road, was seized by two men, a plaster put upon her mouth, hurried into a carriage, and driven furiously toward Maryland. They threatened to kill her if she made any noise. But she was taken from them by a company of colored men on the road, and was restored to her parents. About the same time, an attempt was made to carry off, by violence, a white lad of fifteen; but he succeeded in making his escape, after the darkness of evening came on.
It is very possible that our opportunities for enjoying the beneficent institution of slavery will not long be limited to the chances of kidnapping successfully. The blessing seems to be in a fair way to be universally disseminated. Gov. Wise, of Virginia, wants it to have "no limit but the ocean," and kindly wishes to carry it into "the heart of the North." Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, holds out to us the cheering prospect of "calling the roll of his slaves on Bunker Hill"; and Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, is so benevolent, that, "rebellious and wicked as the Yankees have been, he would extend the blessings of slavery even to them." We know
53also the encouraging fact that the Democratic Party, North and South, are leagued together, to "stop the extension of the evils of free society."
But those who are impatient to become slaves need not wait for the result of political movements. I dare say Gov. Wise and Mr. Brown would kindly raise a subscription for paying their expenses South. Would it not be a judicious move for our "greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, and small-fisted farmers," to apply to them immediately for the privileges of the auction-block? How happy they would be, having enlightened owners to vote for them, and with no necessity of troubling their own heads about laws or elections! With no wives to clothe, and no families to care for! Knowing that their children will be sure to grow up in blessed ignorance, and that their daughters will be cared for as tenderly as "brood mares!" How enviable would be their situation, working in those sunny fields from dawn till dark, with the fragrance of orange blossoms on the air, and the varied melodies of the mocking-bird, occasionally accompanied by the quick staccato movement of a kind driver's whip!
The question is fairly before the American people. It is for them to decide whether our fathers were mistaken in considering Freedom a blessing; whether our Declaration of Independence embodies eternal principles, or is a mere "rhetorical flourish." Slavery and Freedom are antagonistic elements. One must inevitably destroy the other. Which do you choose? Momentous issues are at stake on your decision.
"Once, to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Mesiah, offers each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by for ever 'twixt that darkness and that light."
Appendix. What a Southern LL.D. Thinks of Slavery.
The Southern statesman vindicates the institution of slavery on the ground that it finds the negro race already so degraded as to unfit it for a state of freedom. He does not argue that it is right to seize those who, by the possession of cultivated intellects and pure morals, (!) are fit for freedom, and debase them in order to prepare them for social bondage. He does not imagine that it is ever right to shoot, burn, or corrupt, in order to reduce any portion of the enlightened universe to a state of servitude. He merely insists that those only who are already unfit for a higher and nobler state than one of slavery, should be held by society in such a state. This position, although it is so prominently set forth by every advocate of slavery at the South, is almost invariably overlooked by the Northern Abolitionists. They talk, and reason and declaim, indeed, just as if we had caught a bevy of black angels, as they were winging their way to some island of purity and bliss here upon earth, and reduced them from their heavenly state, by the most diabolical cruelties and oppressions, to one of degradation, misery and servitude, They forget that Africa is not yet a paradise, and that Southern servitude is not quite a hell. They forget — in the heat and haste of their argument they forget — that the institution of slavery is designed by the South not ftor the enlightened and the free, but only for the ignorant and the debased. They need to be constantly reminded that the institution of slavery is not the mother, but the daughter of ignorance and degradation. It is, indeed, the legitimate offspring of that intellectual and moral debasement which, for so many thousand years has been accumulating and growing upon the African race. And it the Abolitionists at the North will only invent some method by which all this frightful mass of degradation
55may be blotted out at once, then will we most cheerfully consent to "the immediate abolition of slavery." * *
The precept which requires us to do as we would be done by, was intended to enlighten the conscience. It is used by Abolitionists to hoodwink and deceive the conscience. This precept directs us to conceive ourselves placed in the condition of others, in order that we may the more clearly perceive what is due to them. The Abolitionist employs it to convince us that, because we desire liberty for ourselves, we should extend it to all men, even to those who are not yet qualified for its enjoyment, and to whom it would prove "the greatest possible injury." He employs it, not to show us what is due to others, but to persuade us to injure them! He may deceive himself; but so long as we believe what even he; admits as highly probable — namely, that the "abolition of slavery would be the greatest possible injury to the slaves themselves — we shall never use the divine precept as, an instrument of delusion and of wrong. What! inflict the greatest injury on our neighbor, and that, too, out of pure Christian charity? — From "An Essay on Liberty and Slavery by ALBERT TAYLOR BLEDSOE, LL.D., Professor of Mathematics in the University of Virginia.
The New York Tribune briefly states that the greatest issue of the campaign is as follows: "Shall human slavery be, or not be, further extended and fortified under the protection and by the virtual sanction and aid of the government. This is the question with the Republicans. They would reduce the labor system of the South to the same degrading standard with that of the North. They view slavery in the abstract, when even a casual observer cannot fail to see that the white slavery of these Abolitionists is infinitely worse than the black slavery of the Southerners. They do not recognize that they are the very worst of slaveholders, and that their system of labor is infinitely more oppressive to the laboring classes than any thing that is known at the South. These Linconists would not extend negro slavery into the territories, but they would perpetuate the slavery of the poor white race in all the States. Beautiful philanthropy! Adorable philosophy! — Baltimore Clipper.