A BAND OF MORAL HEROES OF WHOM THEIR COUNTRY IS NOT WORTHY,
THE FOLLOWING LINES REFERRING TO SOME OF THE SUBJECTS OF THEIR ARDUOUS LABORS,
AND EMBODYING MANY OF THEIR PRINCIPLES IN THE FORM OF RHYME,
ARE MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.
No reflecting mind can have carefully watched the progress of events in the United States, or have mingled intimately with its social, political, or religious circles, without clearly perceiving a rapid deterioration of morals during the last few years; nor can a dispassionate observer, intent on tracing the sad change to its true source, fail to perceive that American slavery is the overflowing fountain of American pollution and crime. Its pestilential streams are daily spreading — conveying moral disease and death to every portion of this republic. Its powers of mischief are so subtle and all-pervading, that every individual member of this community begins to feel its approach to his own business and bosom.
6upon the hearts and consciences of all honest unbiased observers, by the events of every day and hour. Each human being, therefore, within the sphere of this awful and wide spreading plague, is bound by the most sacred obligations to himself and to his race, to use every possible effort to slay its progress. In view of such an evil, indifference and inaction are crimes.
In the moral strife now raging between liberty and despotism, every man must choose his side. This choice should be made with deliberation, intelligence, and inflexible decision. Despots are always decided, and so must be the free. lt is deeply to be regretted that many have taken their stand in this great controversy under the influence of prejudice, passion, and self-interest. Hence thousands, who claim high consideration as humane and religious persons, have really, and to all intents and purposes, enrolled themselves among the enemies of God and man, to the great scandal of the christian faith, and to the deep injury of the human race; and hence, too, (oh tell it not in Gath!) in this enlightened age, and in this far-famed land of religious light and perfection, the Bible is conspicuously held up in the hands of christian Doctors and flaming christian professors, and unblushingly proclaimed by them to be the manstealer's warrant I the slaveholder's charter! Thousands upon thousands of renewed hearts and holy hands are constantly employed in whitewashing the vilest, blackest system of iniquity the world ever saw. Troops of spiritual persons of every sect
7They have given to the contest between liberty and despotism a distinct and substantive form. They do not deal in abstractions, nor fight with shadows. The slaveholder keeps one sixth part of the native born men, women, and children of this republic, in brutal bondage. He buys, sells, works and feeds them just as he does his horses or oxen. He not only claims and exercises the right of binding and brutalizing two and a half millions of human beings and their descendants for ever, but sternly interdicts his fellow citizens from questioning or canvassing that right; and denounces even the exercise of sympathy, or the expression of pity towards these unhappy slaves, as incendiary and treasonable. These arrogant assumptions the abolitionists disallow and resist. They hold them to be as inconsistent with the liberties of the whites as of the blacks; and, if submitted to, as equally fatal to both. They do, therefore, resist them at all hazards. Clothed in the "armor of righteousness," and wielding the "sword of the spirit," they throw themselves into the breach, wherein they mean to conquer or die. By their writings they demonstrate that opposition to the practices and claims of slavery is the imperative duty of every christian who wishes to maintain his consistency and integrity; of every man who desires the amelioration and happiness of his species; of every American who means to be free. These conclusions and convictions must universally prevail, simply because they are true; and because they are enforced by right reason, by right feeling, and by true religion. Hence it is invariably the
8and degree — "Ambassadors of Jesus Christ," "Bishops," "Priests," "Deacons," "Elders," "Evangelists," "Pastors," "Teachers," &c. &c. are all firmly banded, and skillfully drilled as the bodyguard of American slavery — and, shut out, as they necessarily must be, from all hope of succor from above, in their blindness and desperation loudly invoke it from beneath. And truly "legion," in great power and wrath, hath come at their bidding — sits enthroned on all the high places of the Christian church — rules her children with a rod of iron — until, at length, the "faithful" in her midst, after long mourning and sighing over these abominations in vain, have been compelled to commence a NEW REFORMATION, which may the Almighty, in his great mercy, abundantly confirm and prosper!
And how do we stand in regard to our civil affairs? Is not the same pestilence blighting the fairest inheritance of freemen? Into all our cherished institutions does not slavery "eat as doth a canker?" Hath it not preyed voraciously upon the very heart and core of freedom; threatening to leave us the mere crust and shell robbed of its precious substance? Is it not come to pass that a public man spurning the fear and service of slavery, is looked upon as a political phenomenon of ill omen, and avoided as a sort of rabid animal? Would not an aspirant to public trust and honor, refusing to sing the praises of slavery and slaveholders, be deemed an enemy to the republic, and be almost universally denounced? Let answers to these questions be sought at the lips of our
9present race of Presidents, whether of the southern or northern breed; in those copious effusions of gubernatorial wisdom, patriotism, and benignity, with which we are annually inflicted; in those revelations of sentiment and spirit vouchsafed by southern patriots in our halls of Congress, and suitably expounded by gladiatorial exhibitions in their committee rooms; in the ferocity and impunity of mobs in all parts of the Union; in the outrages and butcherings of Judge Lynch; in the rampant and bloody spirit of revenge and assassination stalking fearlessly abroad; in the gross corruption and prostitution of the political press; in the dastardly subserviency of American authors and publishers to southern sentiment and censorship; in the merciless spirit of prejudice, and in the manifold oppressions, universally and systematically exercised towards the Indian and colored man; and in the perfect ruffianism of political parties towards each other from Maine to Mississippi. Inquirers at these oracles will receive a response of no uncertain sound. With trumpet tongue they one and all proclaim slavery to be fatal to liberty; and more than this, they declare that, under its influence, even now little of American liberty remains except its forms; and that those will be tolerated only until the slaveholder shall have wrought and rivetted the last link of that chain, with which he seeks to bind this once free and glorious republic.
The despised and denounced abolitionists of the United States are leading the greatest moral enterprize of the age.
10case that men influenced by truth and right alone (however deeply prejudiced and strongly opposed before) when they bring the subject to the test of Scripture, feel a "necessity laid upon them" to adopt the faith of abolitionism — and, like the Apostle Paul, usually become the most strenuous defenders and successful propagators of the faith they once sought to destroy. Thus the cause is progressing — gathering increasing impetus from every triumph, until even now, in its early infancy, amidst bitter reproaches and persecutions, exposed to demoniac violence and wrong, it is overleaping the strong entrenchments raised by a nation's prejudices, and consolidated by a nation's power — is scaling the barriers of ecclesiastical domination, treachery and pride; and forcing the truth upon the attention of the church through all her sections and divisions, the furious efforts of General Assemblies, Convocations, Conventions, and Conferences to the contrary notwithstanding. In a word, nearly one thousand organized societies, the fruit of a very few years vigorous toil, place the actual success of the glorious doctrine of immediate abolition beyond all doubt; and give the most cheering assurance of a speedy, perfect, and universal triumph.
Animated by so large a measure of actual success, and having before them the heroic example of the European reformers who, though few and despised, triumphed gloriously over the spiritual slaveholders of a former age — and of the puritans of their father land who, (amidst a storm of contumely
11and persecution unequalled in modern history, except by that which assails the abolitionists in the present day) rescued the ark of liberty from the grasp of a tyrant race, and through their sufferings and writings transmitted the precious seeds of civil and religious freedom to all succeeding generations; and above all, fixing their eyes upon the glorious issue of the long protracted struggles of the British abolitionists, they will doubtless persevere; and, as certainly as they persevere, they will ultimately triumph. The clouds of obloquy and prejudice under which they now labor will pass away, and their holy cause emerge in perfect purity and splendor. The historian of a future age will mark the period of their labors and triumphs, as one of those memorable epochs in the world's annals for ever distinguished by the settlement of great principles; and as permanently and beneficially affecting the destinies of mankind. And as regards the immediate theatre of their toils, their noble work will be recorded as a SECOND REVOLUTION, in which the errors of the FIRST were obliterated, and its brightest glories totally eclipsed.
The following lines are designed as a mite of encouragement and assistance from one who has nothing better to offer. They are simply what their title imports, viz. Slavery Rhymes. To authorship, in the ordinary sense of the term, or for ordinary ends, the writer makes no pretensions. Feeling strongly on the subject of slavery, and peculiarly abhoring that form of it prevailing in the Southern States of this Union, he expresses those feelings honestly and ardently. He is
12aware that the sentiments put forth are new in the form of expression rather than in substance. But thinking that well known and oft repeated truth when embodied in rhyme, would probably strike some minds more forcibly than when conveyed in prose, he has ventured to throw this small contribution into the common stock. For this he expects the bitter scorn and vituperation of all slaveholders and their abettors, whose eyes may chance to fall upon these lines. Be it so: much as he prizes the good will of every reputable individual of his species, he wishes neither the smiles nor fellowship of menstealers, nor of their accessories before or after the fact. But he does hope to receive the welcome of the friends of humanity and equal rights as a sincere, though humble and unknown co-worker in their glorious cause. If he obtains this — or if he succeeds in arousing one mind to consider and succor the cause of the oppressed; or if he be the means of enlisting one heart and hand on the side of justice and mercy; or of strengthening and encouraging one individual already engaged therein — he will have reaped an ample reward.
April 10, 1837.
How large the chapter is of human guilt!
How vast the monument that crime hath built!
Founded in Paradise, its base extends,
Deep laid and broad, to earth's remotest ends:
Upward, through every age, the pile hath risen,
Until its impious height aspires to heaven!
Ponder its deep inscriptions. First, you see
The record of fair Eden's fatal tree:
Cain's deed of blood is there — oh! fearful sign
Of grace departed from man's ancient line!
And sad presage of dark and deepening wo,
Destined o'er every land and race to flow!
Those early seeds of human guilt and blood
Brought forth a harvest which provoked the flood,
Whose angry waters swept away the race,
But fail'd their guilty records to efface.
Another race succeeds: before their eyes
A world for sin destroy'd in ruin lies
Whose beacon light in mercy streams abroad,
O'er every downward path that leads from God —
But streams in vain! not past nor present wrath
Restrains from sin — men crowd its devious path;
Still higher raise the pile their fathers built,
And ceaseless swell the chronicles of guilt!
Of all Protean shapes by sin assumed,
Since to its sway this groaning earth was doom'd,
Thy form, O Slavery! is the most abhorr'd —
Loathed of men — accursed of the Lord!
Made up of bloodiest crimes, thy annals show
Man's deepest guilt in man's extremest wo!
Slavery! foul child of cruelty and vice,
Cherish'd and nursed by grinding avarice —
Guarded by brutal violence, that spurns
Truth, justice, mercy — heaven and earth by turns;
Its emblems, torturing whips, the galling chain,
Brands, racks, and gibbets, in an endless train;
Pregnant with every ill — devoid of good,
Its ends complete all guilt, all tears, all blood!
Mark well the monster's course: beneath his tread
All human virtue, joy, and hope are dead.
Where'er he breathes, the pestilential air
Is fill'd with groans and echoes of despair;
Whene'er he speaks, 'tis in the withering tone
Of tyrants, utter'd from a heart of stone;
Where'er he moves, his track is stain'd with blood,
Deep human misery forms his daily food!
Thou modern Moloch! at thy impious shrine,
Lust, tyranny, and avarice, combine
In fearful orgies; millions of victims bleed,
Whilst Christian voices justify the deed;
And bring God's sacred Book to feed the fire
On which thy human hecatombs expire.
Black is the record which, in every age,
Slavery hath writ upon the historic page:
16Grecian and Roman story both disclose,
In colors deep and dark, its tragic woes;
Its stream of misery, steadfast in its course,
Gathering with growing length increasing force,
Swept o'er one hemisphere — then cross'd the flood,
And steep'd this Western world in tears and blood.
Before high heaven this giant sin hath pass'd
In varying phase; transcending each the last
In deeper hues of guilt, till rolling time
Cull'd through six thousand years each blackest crime,
And gave them form and substance, fierce and rife,
When unbless'd Negro Slavery sprang to life.
How foul was its beginning! brutal force,
Urged on by lust of gain, first mark'd its course;
Whilst base hypocrisy, to hide the deed,
In Virtue's name and guise stood by to plead:
Pretending mercy to a darken'd race,
It spoke of heavenly light, of Christian grace,
And threw its mantle o'er the destined prey,
Whilst savage pirates bore their prize away!
That was a fatal day, whose fav'ring gales
Sped the first ship to Afric's peaceful vales,
17Laden with demons in the form of man,
Whose felon hearts and hands this work began:
More fatal still the hour which saw that ship
Freighted with human flesh first tempt the deep,
And heard, o'er ocean's solitudes arise,
The fearful burst of human agonies:
And when that bark, in awful judgment, bore
Its guilty load to Western India's shore,
Vocal with shrieks, and groans, and wild despair,
And pour'd its living victims writhing there —
Fever's malignant train — tornadoes dire —
The sweeping hurricane — heaven's scathing fire,
All rush'd with fury from the Almighty's hand,
And fix'd their empire o'er the fated land:
Swift messengers of wrath! they represent
The white man's awful guilt and punishment!
The Slave Trade who can paint? what pen portray
The countless horrors scatter'd in its way?
By treachery vile, by midnight fire and sword,
By brutal force, its floating hells are stored.
Nor age nor sex is spared: the ruffian band
Sweeps like a pestilence o'er Afric's land.
Ruthless as death, they sunder every tie —
But, worse than death, their victims do not die!
18Doom'd to a wretched life of toil and wo,
To distant lands and endless bonds they go.
And whence their sufferings? from their crimes — or skins —
Or fate — or fortune? No; the white man's sins,
Cool, callous, Heaven-defying — thence have sprung
A storm of human griefs, whose notes have rung
Through earth and heaven, and echoing back to hell,
Have fill'd with joy malign each demon cell!
Eternal infamy attends the name
Of those who first pursued this path of shame;
Who, moved by avarice foul, first bought and sold
Afric's defenseless race for worthless gold.
A blight from heaven has sear'd their guilty land;
Freedom, with horror struck, abhors its strand;
Arts, Science, Learning, following in her train,
Consigns the race to priestcraft's withering reign:
So Lusitania stands — so ever be
The fate of those who murder Liberty!
High on the list, swift in the guilty race,
Proud England reap'd preeminent disgrace.
As the bright sun of freedom first arose
O'er her horizon, Britain joined its foes,
And, struggling for her rights, with maniac hands
Forged chains and manacles for other lands:
Freedom, with blighted hope and gathering frown,
Withdrew her cheering beams — her sun went down;
Whilst coming ills their lengthening shadows threw,
And tyranny's dark night commenced anew.
Amidst the fiendish scourges of their race,
The name of HAWKINS holds conspicuous place,
Basely enroll'd the first of England's sons
Leading the van of Slavery's myrmidons:
20Cut-throat and pirate — murderer — despot — all
Combined, condensed, sublimed, that can appal
The stoutest heart, or make the tenderest bleed —
Man's better nature startled for a time,
Rebuked the atrocious act, denounced the crime:
Humanity, all bleeding and distress'd,
Wept o'er her children, kidnapp'd and oppressed,
And plead the sufferers' cause with fervent zeal,
That made e'en hearts of stone their wrongs to feel:
But Mammon, bold, insatiate, grasp'd his prize —
Held forth large golden baits — recoin'd his lies —
Moved earth and hell to draw within his toils
The opposing elements, and keep his spoils:
Complete was his success: the public mind
First wink'd at guilt, and soon became stone-blind;
Slurr'd o'er the felon wrong, then shared its gains,
Till mighty Britain stood herself in chains,
And Slavery stretch'd his desolating wand
O'er freedom's grave, in freemen's chosen land!
As when foul leprosy man's frame invades,
Swift through his veins the circling poison speeds,
21Transforming beauty, health, and gracefulness,
To hopeless sickness — loathsome rottenness;
So nations, smit by Slavery's poisonous breath,
By sure transitions pass to moral death:
All honor, justice, purity, and peace,
Beneath its reptile touch must ever cease.
There never has, there never will be found
True Liberty where slaves and chains abound:
Perish the monstrous thought! darkness with light —
Water with fire — can easier far unite,
Than Freedom's pure, benign, and holy reign,
Acceptance meet in Slavery's foul domain.
'Twas thus with Britain: Slavery struck its roots
Deeply, and fill'd her land with noxious fruits.
Hidden by kings and priests, what scenes of wo,
Through long and dreary years, her annals show!
Religion, clad in pure and heavenly grace —
Philosophy, in grave and serious face;
Science, with piercing eye — and law divine,
And human too, all bent at Slavery's shrine:
Each race of men, the polish'd and the rude,
By its seductive wiles alike subdued,
Nurtured and guarded with a jealous eye
This sin of sins — Hell's foulest progeny!
22Recreant to freedom, heaven in justice sent
With base apostacy due punishment:
Shadows of tyranny portentous gloom'd,
Whose gathering blackness spoke a nation doom'd,
Whilst Britons, Samson-like, were shorn of might,
To smite the oppressor, and maintain the right.
In vain her patriots toil'd, and strove to raise
The noble spirit of her earlier days,
When Magna Charta's glorious roll appear'd,
(A splendid monument to freedom reared!)
Speaking a tyrant's fears, a people's might,
Wrought out and raised in England's deepest night;
In vain the glorious scenes of Eighty-eight
Revived the waning fortunes of the state,
Radiant with cheering hopes of liberty,
To England's millions, panting to be free:
The spirit of Slavery, like malignant fate,
Chased every generous purpose from the state, —
Through every rank diffused its loathsome leaven,
With'ring and wasting like a blight from heaven, —
Fell like a canker on the nation's heart,
Spreading corruption vile through every part,
Till Britain's boasted freedom gasp'd for breath,
And struggled in the agonies of death.
23In that dark hour of England's gloom and shame,
There shone in glory bright one honor'd name,
Raised, qualified, and led by heavenly grace,
That gloom to dissipate, that shame to efface.
On Britain's soil, SHARP heard the clanking chain
Of Negro servitude — nor heard in vain.
The hapless bondman in that brother found
Warm sympathy, as though himself were bound.
His country's honor and his brother's good
He nobly pleaded, and his foes withstood;
Nor ceased, until he spread the blessed sound
From Britain's sea-girt shores through earth around,
That ev'ry slave was free who touch'd her hallow'd ground!
O blessed era! hope's bright jubilee!
Thenceforth one spot of earth at least was free!
One place of refuge stands, wherein the oppress'd
Of every caste and clime may safely rest;
One sacred nook, where bond and free can raise
Altars to Liberty, and chaunt her praise!
Amidst thy sons, Philanthropy benign!
Two kindred sainted spirits brightly shine —
24HOWARD and SHARP undying honors claim,
Embalm'd in purest, holiest, endless fame.
One age produced them both — their bosoms fired
To noblest deeds — the purest zeal inspired.
The poor, oppressed, forsaken, and forlorn,
Bereft of all of earth except its scorn,
Whom priests and pharisees swept proudly by,
To rescue such these Christian heroes fly.
Howard the white man's prison-house explored,
Which law, divorced from mercy, thickly stored;
The abyss of human suffering deeply guaged,
Its borrows lighten'd, and its woes assuaged;
Whilst Sharp his sable brethren sought to win
From deeper ills — their only crime their skin!
Chain'd, hunted, brutified, o'erwhelm'd with grief,
He mourn'd their cruel wrongs, and brought relief.
Fragrant are their memorials — ne'er to die,
Their faith and toils are registered on high!
Theirs are the triumphs that illume the page
Of history, and shed glory on all age:
They are a nation's treasures, rich in gain,
For Heaven's best blessings follow in their train.
And such are England's glories — such the salt
Which purifies her state — her hopes exalt.
25Her days of guilt are past, and now we see
Fruits of repentance crowd her history.
Slavery and priestcraft long had weighed her down,
Robb'd her of half her glory, dimm'd her crown;
Repress'd her noblest energies, and threw
O'er all her rising hopes a gloomy hue.
Those shadows all are gone! with quicken'd pace,
Worthy the free, she runs a glorious race;
Breaks every fetter through her wide domains,
And cheers both hemispheres with freedom's strains;
For whips, and manacles, and mental night,
Gives equal laws, and pours instruction's light;
Transforming slaves to freemen, foes to friends,
And curses into praise, where'er her realm extends.
Enshrined in glory is each patriot's name,
Who to the rescue of his country came;
Who, spurning ease, and wealth, and courtly smiles,
The mob's opprobrium, and the devil's wiles,
Enter'd the field of strife — defied the foe —
And struck at Slavery's root a mortal blow;
Tore off the monster's law-perverted guise —
Chased him from all his refuges of lies —
26Dash'd tyranny's proud fabric to the dust,
And forced reluctant senates to be just.
In vain the combined hosts of hell opposed —
The conflict, long and fierce, was nobly closed:
Oppression, fraud, hypocrisy, vile lust,
(Slavery's allies and props,) all bit the dust;
All fled before truth's penetrating light,
And sought concealment in congenial night.
Most blessed consummation! worthy to bring
Angels to earth again, its joys to sing;
Worthy of note on mercy's roll above —
Bright midst the splendors of those deeds of love!
O'er Slavery, hunted from its fav'rite lair,
Demoniac lamentations rent the air;
All hell was moved this scourge of earth to shield
From threat'ning death, and keep it in the field;
But moved in vain — the powers of darkness quail'd,
Truth in its might and majesty prevail'd;
One mighty empire, disenthrall'd, set free,
Was lost to Satan — gain'd to Liberty!
Banish'd from England's realm, where, long enthroned
Beneath their cruel sceptre, millions groan'd —
Abash'd before the effulgent light of day
Pour'd on their deeds — foul Slavery's legions lay,
Mourning their broken spells — cursing the hour
Which loosed imperial Britain from their power —
Yielding to furious rage and deep despair —
Gnashing at blessings they could never share.
The prince of darkness then address'd his crew:
"Arise! dismiss your fears! your zeal renew!
Though much indeed is lost, all is not gone:
Far in the West fresh triumphs may be won.
Thither direct your steps — there glory leads —
Our triumphs there shall shame all former deeds:
There shall the standard of the pit be rear'd,
Amidst a people for our sway prepared;
Deep in that soil each plant of hell shall grow,
And bear on earth the fruits matured below!"
The Angel of Mercy heard — nor heard in vain:
Swiftly to heaven he bore the impious strain;
Low at the Almighty's footstool bent to plead,
For millions yet unborn to intercede;
Implored a respite for Columbian's race —
A space for penitence — a day of grace!
The Accusing Angel Mercy's suit withstood:
He spake of light abused — of slighted good —
Of tyrants, trampling millions in the dust —
Of rulers, partial, prejudiced, unjust;
Of priests, perverting truth, upholding guilt;
Of churches, by unrighteous mammon built;
29Of heavenly truth, by man from man withheld;
Of men by men, to unpaid toil impelled;
God's image rudely spoil'd — immortals driv'n
And bought and sold like beasts before high heav'n;
Of fiendish passions bearing direful sway —
Grim murder stalking in the face of day;
Deep tragedies of wrong by millions done;
Foul revellings of lust before the sun;
Hand joined in hand, in fierce confederacy,
To crush the rising foes of Slavery —
To bind afresh his adamantine chains,
And urge the monster on by cheering strains!
He ceased, and silence reigned — thou from the throne
The solemn flat came — Let them alone
To reap the harvest which in guilt they've sown!
The angelic pleaders bowed with awe profound:
Amen! amen! in solemn cadence round
Rose through all heaven: — then burst a song of praise,
Holy art thou, O Lord, in all thy ways!
Thy grace abounding hath thy mercy shown;
Thy awful judgments make thy justice known!
30The listening demons heard the fateful strain,
And Slavery's legions rushed across the main —
Where Lust, Hypocrisy, Oppression, Fraud,
Stretched their vile wings and spread themselves abroad —
Blighting all grace and virtue — quickening vice,
In monstrous forms — not Egypt's plague of lice,
Nor frogs, nor murrain, nor the avenger's rod,
Gave signs so fearful of an angry God!
Oh fatal advent of the powers of hell,
To guard and garnish Slavery's citadel!
Whilst Satan triumphs, and his hosts prevail,
Columbia's fortunes tremble in the scale!
Columbia — hear stern truth's unwelcome sound —
Weighed in the balance, thou art wanting found!
The mystic writing flashes on thy walls —
"Glory departing," rings amid thy halls —
Throughout thy Church and State, the fruitful seeds
Of fiercest despotism Slavery breeds —
Which thickly sown, matured by Southern skies,
O'er every generous plant malignant rise,
A Upas forest — shedding poisons round —
Eden transforms to pestilential ground —
31And moral desolations mark the scene
Where peace, and purity, and grace have been!
Oh that some prophet, as of old, inspired
By heavenly grace — with holy ardor fired,
Would seize the sacred lyre and loud proclaim,
In thrilling notes, Columbia's guilt and shame:
Force on her callous heart, and heavy ear,
The danger and destruction lurking near:
Show to this nation, madly bent on sin,
The yawning gulf, and raging fires within —
Proclaim in Sodom's fate, sin's just award —
A nation's madness, and its sure reward!
Already retribution hath begun
Its fearful course, and onward it will run.
The hand of ruthless tyranny that binds
A suffering race, a swift avenger finds —
And many a despot's heart is doomed to feel
Deep plunged, a fellow despot's murdering steel.
Whilst all who pander to a tyrant's lust,
Themselves enslaved, shall own the judgment just.
"Land of the brave, and refuge of the free,"
How art thou fallen from thy high degree?
32A swelling horde of slaves thy guilt attest,
Thy "glorying in thy shame" reveals the rest.
From south to north, from west to east these states,
With depots swarm, or despot's advocates.
A thousand pens record that slavery binds
This "Union" — fires its patriots' ardent minds —
Forms the cement that holds the "only free" —
The tie of transatlantic Liberty!
Our fathers did not so: — with solemn face,
They dealt with Slavery as a foul disgrace;
And when, by dangers pressed, in compact bold
With those who clutched it with a miser's hold
They gulped the giant Sin — they changed its name,
And Slavery "Service" in their creed became!
The trade in Afric's sons, on Afric's coast,
They all denounced inhuman and unjust,
And doomed its certain death: — 'tis true they gave
Twenty-one years to dig the monster's grave;
And then (fit offering to the unhonored dead)
Left a domestic slave trade in its stead:
But still to virtue's form they paid respect,
Nor dared a fair appearance to neglect.
They said "all men" were born to equal rights,
Which, to themselves explained, means all the whites!
33Their banner thus inscribed, and wide unfurled,
Splendid deception! cheats one half the world —
Abroad 'tis freedom's sign — at home it waves
Its spangled folds o'er truth and freedom's graves!
Columbia's present race, inured to crime,
Disdains those guises of the olden time;
The world's approving voice no longer woos,
But virtue's self and semblance both eschews!
To mammon wedded, and by mammon led,
To every charm but gold their souls are dead.
For that they scour the earth, explore the sea,
Tax patience, cunning, ingenuity;
Chace smallest "notions," or mature that plan
Ferocious, which enslaves their fellow man;
Spurn every wholesome check of law or grace;
Landmarks remove, and ancient lights efface;
Christen their charter's sacred verities,
"Fanfaronades!" "splendid absurdities!"
For gold and slavery, heedless of disgrace,
Rush forth in one grand, reckless steeple-chase!
"When nations are to perish in their sins,
'Tis in the church the leprosy begins:"
This sign of doom breaks forth throughout this land,
So plain that he who runs may understand.
In ancient times, the church oppressed with grief,
Fled to this western world, and sought relief.
Her God and Saviour heard her anxious prayer,
And wrought deliverance for his servants here.
The vine transplanted on a heathen shore,
Took root, and precious fruits luxuriant bore;
Grapes, rich as Eshcol's, cheered the gloomy wild,
And Sharon's fairest roses bloomed and smiled:
Then blessed with purity, enrobed in grace,
Her good report was heard in every place:
In vain the "gates of hell" her peace assailed,
Strong in her "power with God," the church prevailed.
How is the fine gold changed! its glory gone!
How robbed and spoiled the church we look upon!
Strange gods are worshipped now — strange fires ascend,
And priests unsanctified her shrines attend:
Mammon and Moloch's hated rites appear,
And Baal's worshippers assemble there!
And whence this change — this desecration dire,
Of Zion's temple, and her sacred fire?
The watchmen on her walls have faithless been —
In evil hour they let foul slavery in!
35They rashly parleyed with the hateful fiend,
And "Legion" entered in sheep's clothing screened.
Where'er they tread, defilement marks the place,
Glory departs, and wrath succeeds to grace;
Altars are overthrown — the voice of prayer
No more ascends to bring down mercies there:
Deep muttering thunders drown the "still small voice;"
Demoniacs rave where saints did once rejoice;
Unerring signs proclaim an absent God;
Unearthly hands have written — Ichabod!
Amidst divisions infinite, we see
One rallying point, where all the sects agree.
The churches leave their high and holy ground,
And stoop where earthly pride and pelf abound:
Their pure celestial robes no more display,
But in the world's adornings flaunt away —
Open their arms and clasp in warm embrace,
Those satires on humanity and grace,
Servants of Baal, and Jehovah too,
A base slave holding — driving — dealing crew!
Those are the men who fill the chairs of state,
Where Christians meet and churches congregate;
36Who guide our youth in academic halls,
And stand, chief sentinels, on Zion's walls —
Those cherished Achans every camp infest,
Most mischievous, and yet the most carest!
Those modern Judases have basely sold
Christ and his Truth, for Slavery and Gold!
Once Zion's "wisdom" coming from above
Was "pure," the offspring of eternal love;
'Twas "peaceable," as far removed from strife,
As that blest region whence it drew its life;
'Twas "gentle" as the pure celestial dove,
True harbinger and sign of grace above;
'Twas "full of mercy," gushing fresh and free;
Full of "good fruit," borne for eternity;
"Impartial" as the gracious gifts of heaven —
"Without hypocrisy" those gifts to leaven:
NOW earth born wisdom governs and prevails;
Truth stands hoodwinked — expedience holds the scales;
At Dagon's feet the Christian virtues fall;
Slave-holding heathen ethics banish Paul.
To slavery bound and pledged, all who oppose
Its dire dominion, she esteems her foes;
Her gentle virtues hold precarious sway —
Touch Slavery and you scare them all away!
37Harsh sounds of anger through her temples rise;
Whirlwinds of fury sweep her sanctuaries —
The serpent's hiss drives off the peaceful dove,
And wrath's full ebbless tide rolls over love!
Behold our Zion's mercy and its fruits,
In man, immortal man, transformed to brutes!
See it in her philanthropy, which can
Weep o'er the woes of China or Japan,
Yet treat with heartless tyranny and scorn
Millions on millions in her bosom born!
See it in that o'erflowing vaunted zeal
To spread the book of life — unloose its seal;
To shed its glorious light on all mankind,
And yet consents her colored poor to blind!
Behold her heralds — see how wide they roam
To banish ills abroad, she shields at home!
Or go on mad crusades to Britain's Isle
To check the mercy that on all would smile;
Or failing, basely to vituperate
Virtues they dare not praise nor imitate!
Is this impartial wisdom? Is it free
From base, degrading, black hypocrisy?
Ye reverend Slaveites who this course assume,
These questions wait you in the day of doom!
Truth on her glowing canvass justly paints
As less than human, those pretended saints,
Who fix their rule of Christian sanctity,
Below the standard of humanity;
And illustrate — not Christian piety,
But its base counterfeit — hypocrisy!
Like ancient Pharisees, they seek to win
Converts without, when all is wrong within;
They compass sea and land to proselyte,
But leave the poor at home in pagan night!
Preach these repentance to a guilty world?
Physician heal thy self! must back be hurled;
Pluck from your clouded eyes the fatal beam,
E'er of the worldling's mote ye dare to dream;
Save,save yourselves! a thousand tongues exclaim,
Then to a world in sin extend your aim;
Then YE shall cease to be the scoffer's theme,
Make angels weep no more — nor infidels blaspheme!
Talk YE of leanness — of declensions deep —
Hands hanging down, and consciences asleep?
Oh marvel not at these! but lift your eyes
In wonder that no bolt hath left the skies
With vengeance winged: — that earth itself should stand
Faithful, yet firm beneath your treacherous band;
That hell hath been restrained from gathering in
The fearful harvest of your guilt and sin!
If mercy suffering long — if lingering wrath
Can stay proud rebels in their downward path —
If free and rich, tho' long contemned grace,
Can move repentance in a hardened race,
There still is hope! the grace that saved the thief,
Extended and eclipsed, may bring e'en you relief!
To aggravate and seal Columbia's fate
The press, cheer'd by the church, lends all its weight;
Alike enslaved, it joins its pious guide,
And renders humble service side by side;
In Slavery's badge and collar, leads the strife,
Wielding the tomahawk and scalping knife
With savage fury; and with Indian yell,
Throughout the land rings freedom's funeral knell.
A venal herd of scribblers basely work
In servile garb that would disgrace a Turk.
With "liberty" and "freedom" on their pen,
Dash those rich blessings from their fellow-men;
Vociferous in praise of "human rights,"
With one accord restrict them to the whites;
And, when explained, o'en to the favored caste.
Teach base subservience to the mob at last.
41Wherever Slavery reigns, there brutal might,
Usurps the throne of reason and of right.
Turn round pro-slavery ethics as you will,
They teach pure mobocratic doctrine still;
For, whether few or many join to rob
The weaker party, it is still a mob.
Whether compounded of the vulgar herd,
Or "property and standing" be preferred;
Whether assuming legislative guise,
Or, stripped of legal forms, it meets our eyes;
Whether convened beneath art's splendid domes,
Or in our towns and highways wildly roams —
ln all its varied acts, its every form,
The sneer, the calumny, the whirlwind's storm,
'Tis still the mob's blind, senseless, brutal rule;
The freeman's foe — the wily despot's tool!
Search through creation, there cannot be found
Pens dipped in gall so deep as here abound;
Search though again — no eagle eye can find
Such base attempts to chain immortal mind;
To fetter thought — to scorn truth's just reproof,
And trample law beneath each despot's hoof
The South demands that free-born souls be led,
And shaped to Slavery's Procrustean bed;
That Northern rights be ticketed and sold
To Southern lust of power — her smiles and gold;
42And Northern pens respond the haughty call;
And Northern souls as humble vassals fall;
Bartering their precious birthright for the bread
And wretched pottage offered in its stead!
The Press approves the base inglorious deed;
Prepares the sacrifice and bids it bleed;
Shouting vile peans as the victims die,
And, strangely base, the fatal torch apply!
At freedom's shrine once bent a glorious race
Offering pure sacrifice: thence truth and grace,
Letters and liberty in union bright,
Shed through the earth a pure soul-cheering light.
The heavenly vision shot across the flood;
Radiant with hope, and majesty it stood;
Delighted millions, gazing from afar,
With rapture hailed sweet freedom's western star;
No clouds obscured its light — no doubtful form,
Of change or ill, foretold a gathering storm;
This western world disclosed a portion fair
For all the oppressed: a sacred refuge, where
No fratricidal head, nor heart, nor pen,
Had framed foul treasons 'gainst the rights of men.
That vision, like heaven's bow, too soon withdrew;
Affair, alas, as evanescent too!
43And, as it faded on the aching sight,
Gave place to scaring meteors of the night!
The beauteous tints that lit the western sky
Are chased by clouds of darkest augury!
Columbia's morn so fair, has brought to light
A noon of storms, and threatens fearful night!
Her moral atmosphere with tempests fraught,
Reveals the bitter curse by Slavery wrought.
Her sentinels who watch at freedom's gate,
Have joined its foes, and basely sold the state.
The melancholy tale is quickly told —
Her household troops have taken Southern gold!
Themselves enslaved, to quench their burning shame,
They ceaseless toil to make us all the same;
And madly wield their recreant pens to write
The doom of law, of liberty, of light!
Slavery's light troops, the venal daily Press,
Lead in the strife and every point possess,
Followed by caterers of weekly news —
Whilst sager Magazines, and grave Reviews,
Sacred and secular, bring up the rear,
"Go with the South," and servile banners bear:
Confederate with these a fierce array
Of motley scribbling skirmishers display
44Vile tactics taught in old despotic schools,
Enforced by weapons stolen from their tools:
Tactics and weapons, tried on every field,
Where tyrants triumph, and their victims bleed.
And last, not least, is one conspicuous corps,
In Slavery's gilded garb bedizened o'er,
Whose ranks peculiar guile and guilt compress,
Its strange misnomer, the RELIGIOUS PRESS —
Beneath the banner of our Saviour led
To fight for crimes by which that Saviour bled;
Claiming the sanction of his blessed name,
Where craft, hypocrisy, and venom reign.
45The obsequious Press now humbly wears, enslaved,
Chains it so oft for others basely craved;
No longer leads the public mind, but stands
Obedient to receive a lord's commands:
It creeps, not soars — crawls on with serpent guile;
With trembling mien, waits its task-master's smile;
Fearful lest aught ill said, or left untold,
Bring down the lash, or worse — the loss of gold.
Go on, ye trembling vassals, and display
Your chains and muzzles in the face of day!
Already are ye called to bear at home
A censorship more vile than curses Rome;
And further infamy awaits your race,
A tighter muzzle, and more deep disgrace;
'Till, of all freedom shorn, each state shall note
In mind enslaved, the bane and antidote;
And with a giant's might, at once unbind,
All heavy burthens, and unchain mankind!
A Church unfaithful, and a Press in chains,
Clearly reveal why brutal slavery reigns.
46Fountains of thought and action thus defied,
To deep pollutions men get reconciled;
Confound all morals — darkness put for light;
Passion for principle, and wrong for right;
Make fearful havoc of the rights of men,
Till frightful chaos rules o'er earth again.
Columbia, hence, is rotten at the heart,
Foul poison courses thence through every part.
The body politic in heart and head,
Is deeply tainted — all its beauty fled.
E'en in the centre of our guilty State,
Where federal power and glory congregate,
Men-stealers clad in purple now prevail —
Strike down the flag of freedom — rend the veil
Which long concealed the rottenness within;
Boldly avow and glory in its sin;
Till not a sign or sound remains to tell
Its pristine fame as freedom's citadel —
It stands revealed in crime, nor more deceives —
A HOUSE OF BONDAGE, AND A DEN OF THIEVES!
Within its halls, beneath its towering dome,
Whose name and splendor apes imperial Rome,
Oppression riots fierce and uncontrolled;
Freedom for Southern smiles and votes is sold;
Base cringing slaves of mammon crouch around;
The lash and fetters of the mind abound,
47With gags and muzzles for the restive few,
And, if need be, the assassin's dagger too!
Unless thy nerves are brass, brave not the din
Of fierce debate and strife which roars within;
Where passion rides o'er right and reason too;
Where prejudice its hateful fires renew;
Where Southern pride in furious storms prevail;
Where Northern dummies meekly, meanly quail!
And where, if bolder spirits bravely dare
The muzzle spurn, and freeman's rights declare;
Or, more audacious still, presume to crave
A gracious hearing for the suppliant slave —
Babel, with all its strife of tongues, is peace,
And hell's demoniac ravings perfect grace!
Such scenes adorn Columbia's annals now, —
Such are the yokes to which her children bow:
The precious bond to which our fathers swore,
For which they shed their blood, exists no more.
Compacted with oppressors, freemen die —
Right kicks the beam upborne by tyranny.
Spurn'd from the footstool of a lordly train,
The "only free" demand their rights in vain;
In vain approach the halls themselves have rear'd,
And humbly ask their masters to be heard.
Slave-drivers there bear undisputed sway,
Insult, deny, and chase the "free" away —
And all for Liberty! whose praise is rife
Amidst the treacherous band which takes its life!
The minds which now Columbia's counsels guide
The slave-mart and the senate-house divide:
With them, slave-driving labors alternate
With legislative wranglings and debate.
The lash, the thumb-screw, and the galling chain,
(Instructive symbols!) teach them how to reign.
Most precious school for freemen! there they see,
And almost feel, earth's direst tyranny.
The worth of liberty must well be known
By those who daily see it overthrown:
Admonish'd from WITHOUT, by rattling chains,
How eloquent WITHIN are freedom's strains!
How is each freeman's heart to action call'd,
By human "chattels" bought, and sold, and stall'd!
The struggling Pole, the vassal'd Greek receives,
Unsought, their earnest, ardent sympathies:
For Liberty, (no longer wooed at home,)
O'er earth and sea, their fond affections roam: —
So strong their love of freedom, so refined,
They rob themselves to give it to mankind!
50In all high places, Slavery presides —
From South to North the hugo Colossus strides,
Shaking malignantly, from either hand,
Chaotic elements throughout the land;
Sending corruption forth with every breath,
To waste this Western world with moral death:
His hand dominion holds, and all who bear
Inferior rule abject allegiance swear.
Train'd in those classic schools of liberty,
Slave-marts and slave-plantations of the "free,"
Each office-bearer is a willing slave,
Whose road to power lies over Freedom's grave;
Whose treach'rous hands despotic laws enforce,
To speed the car of Freedom in its course;
Restrain one race in bonds and mental night,
To aid another in its upward flight!
Behold the present ruler of the State,
Columbia's chosen idol magistrate.
Nursed in the lap of Slavery and pride,
Where might makes right, and fiercest passions guide
In opening manhood, helping on the trade
In human souls, as "things," as "chattels" made;
Driving in coffles forth, with lash in hand,
His droves of human cattle through the land;
This "greatest and the best," thus train'd and skill'd,
"The measure of his country's glory fill'd:"
In driving slaves he qualified to be
The chosen chieftain of the "only free,"
Defender of the faith of modern liberty!
This is the Oracle whose voice went forth
To calm the South and captivate the North;
Which, at his bidding, echoed back the cry
Wild from the South, and rife with tyranny,
Demanding gags, and censorships, and spies,
To stop all Northern mouths, or pens, or eyes,
That dared to speak, or write, or even look
On Southern tyranny with stern rebuke;
Who soil'd the honors of his high estate,
By meanly stooping to calumniate
A faithful band, heroically just
Pleading for millions trampled in the dust:
The truths they utter'd, like Ithuriel's spear,
Pierced to the quick, and made the fiend appear:
52Show'd the slaveholder through his thin disguise,
And stamp'd him deep an oracle of lies!
Vain as the transient vapor are the sounds
Of praise which thy ephemeral state surrounds!
Soon will thy day of power and glory close,
Thy toils and cares be hush'd in deep repose;
Whate'er thy hands have wrought, or left undone,
Be adamant, reveal'd before the sun; [driven,
The poor whom thou hast bought, or sold, or
Stand with thee at the judgment-seat of heaven;
Stripp'd of all outward state, and form, and hue,
SOULS ONLY there will pass the dread review —
Reap, as they've sown, the rich rewards of grace,
Or sink in deathless misery and disgrace!
O cursed Slavery! to thy altars led,
How many noble victims there have bled!
Thy temples stand black monuments of shame,
Strew'd with our ruin'd hopes, our blasted fame,
Loud echoing many a patriot's blighted name!
In every state these impious fanes arise,
Whence rolling incense foul pollutes our skies:
E'en on that hallow'd soil where Freedom's sound
First rose, and sent its glorious voice around,
The chilling blasts of despotism drear
Sweep through the chamber once to patriots dear;
And there, where nature's nobles sacrificed
Ease, wealth, and life, as blessings lightly prized,
Compared with liberty, their sons invoke
Slaveholders' smiles, and pass beneath their yoke:
Tear the green living laurel from their brow —
Most base subservience to the South avow;
Pollute New England's bright and cherish'd fame,
And fix their dastard doings on her name!
There "property and standing" both combined
With wreaths of infamy their names have twined;
There learning, genius, taste, and eloquence,
Raised to the civic chair, pronounceth thence
A full response to tyranny and pride; —
Cheer despots on, but struggling freemen chide —
Join in the bloodhound chase 'gainst human right,
And, by perverted law, extinguish light!
When heads of Commonwealths in duty fail,
Who can expect obedience in the tail?
When rank and wealth united, basely rob
The weaker of their rights, who blames the mob?
When head and tail together prowl, we see
New England's glory full — hail, land of Liberty!
Old Massachusetts' modern annals glow
With stranger records than the past could show:
The page that once her stirring story told
Of patriot effort, darker scenes unfold;
The cradle where her infant rights were nursed,
Now teems with children who devour the first;
The PILGRIMS sow'd for freedom, but we reap,
E'en on their graves, fruits which make angels weep:
Their rallying cry was "Liberty!" their aim
Pure, noble, generous — hence their deathless fame;
They dared a mighty foe, they would be free;
We crouch to despots, bow to slavery;
They stood erect, the noblest of mankind,
We stoop so low, that others' slaves we bind:
The lion's share to bolder culprits fall,
New Englanders enact the mere jackal!
Is the free spirit of the Pilgrims dead,
And buried with their bones? hath virtue fled
Their children's hearts and hearths? to Southern pride,
Shall woman's sacred rights be sacrificed?
56Is there no master spirit, at whose voice
The Pilgrims' sons will make a nobler choice?
No Patriot, who will burst the fatal spell
Which binds his kindred to the cause of hell?
None, who have power the vulgar herd to sway,
Whom "property and standing" will obey?
Or, shall the ruffian mob, by slaveites led,
With rank and fashion marshalled at its head,
Sweep the proud monuments of freedom down,
Unchecked, unchallenged, and almost unknown?
Where is that giant intellect, that waits
Chief sentinel among discordant States —
Whose all commanding mind, and patriot voice,
Makes listening Senates tremble or rejoice?
When mobs o'er peaceful citizens prevail,
And woman's peace and privity assail —
When magistrates withhold protection due,
Or basely sanction all the ruffians do —
Has he for such no intellectual steel,
No scathing flash — no thundering appeal?
Or, with a giant's strength, does he succomb,
Mids't freedom's strife indifferent and dumb?
'Twould well become the leaders of the age,
To breast the storm and mitigate its rage;
Its signs of deep import with wisdom read,
Content to follow if they dare not lead:
57But if, through pride or fear, they basely wait,
And leave the cause of freedom to its fate —
Or if, seduced by Southern smiles and gold,
With freedom's foes they still more basely hold —
Freedom shall triumph whilst their names will rot,
Or, if retained, be writ, "Their country's blot!"
In Slavery's train the Empire State we see
Dragged on the adverse side of liberty.
Its Chief — allegiance to the South avows,
Down in the very mire to slavery bows.
The civic chair of dignity despoiled —
By its Incumbent desecrated — soiled;
His "messages" abhorrent to the free.
Come forth all redolent of slavery:
No breathing thoughts nor burning words are there
The onward course of liberty to cheer —
With serpent-craft he crawls and seeks to sting
The faithful few who still to freedom cling;
Lie smiles on those who strike our honors down,
Most humbly fawns, where he should sternly frown;
Like a hired advocate, his specious tongue,
In special pleading takes the side of wrong,
In close communion with their worthy head
The sharers in the "spoils" compactly tread —
Assume the collar, and obey the rein,
In hope a larger portion to obtain;
Merge soul and conscience, feeling and desire,
In one devout pursuit — a larger hire;
Most humbly echo all their leaders say,
One word comprising all their creed — obey!
Another class, the opposite of these,
In all things else their true antipodes —
Aristocrats by instinct — ranged aside —
Nurtured in prejudice and steeped in pride;
All other men they scornfully contemn,
Viewing the race as chiefly made for them;
Too proud for politics, yet, with the last
"Go with the South," idolators of caste, —
And join e'en Democrats to glorify
That "patriarchal" blessing — slavery.
Banded with these are multitudes who drive
A golden traffic and by southrons thrive —
Who measure men and things by orders sent,
Praise all pursuits which yield them cent-per-cent,
Hold to the system that hath heaped their store,
Nor quit it but for one which heaps it more:
They heed not though their gainful traffic feeds
Slavery's voracious appetite — and speeds
The downward course from virtue and from heaven,
Of millions by unhallowed passion driven:
60A nation's liberties, and moral health,
Are trifles if compared with glittering wealth;
The poor man's rights they one and all esteem
As phantom's of a wild enthusiast's dream;
Their gratitude for favors heretofore
Much quickened by the hope of many more —
With lungs distended, and wide opened mouth,
They lift their caps and shout, "The South, the South!"
Talk of their country whilst they think of pelf,
Their patriotism only — love of self!
The mob completes the mass, wherein we see
Another proof how strange extremes agree:
One principle the most discordant bind —
Blind sordid selfishness, the curse of human kind!
Behold the motley phalanx! on it waits
Mayors, judges, senators, and magistrates.
See how it sweeps all law and order down —
And see! its grave attendants dare not frown.
Frown on the mob? ah, no! if moved at all,
Their honors on the "vile fanatics" fall;
On them their frowns and curses deep descend,
Their smiles and sympathies the mob attend:
New-York and Utica these truth's avow —
Names branded deeply in the burning brow
61Of patriot's flushed with mobocratic fame,
Emblazoned in the heraldry of shame!
If such the Northern States, the boasted "free,"
What must the Southern dens of slavery be?
There breathing tyranny o'er all hath past,
And mind and morals die beneath the blast!
Or if a wreck remain, the fearful blight
Creates a moral desert to the sight,
With here and there a spot of living green
To show what desolation there hath been!
Oh scenes which God hath blessed, but man hath curst,
Where nature smiles but sin hath done its worst;
Where passions dark and reckless fiercely sway;
Where tyrants drive and wretched slaves obey!
Rich harvests deck the soil, but those who sow
And reap those fields inherit only woe;
By fraud and force corrupting wealth flows in
Bearing on every stream a taint of sin;
Base wealth! wrung from a brother's unpaid toil,
Forged into chains fresh victims to encoil —
Man, blind and avaricious, calls it "good" —
In heaven's record 'tis writ, "The price of blood!"
And blood that will corrode — a canker dire —
A slow, pervading, all-consuming fire —
Before whose influence all of fair, or great,
Or pure, or holy, must degenerate —
'Till scenes once fair as Eden's, represent
In awful ruins, slavery's punishment!
Slaveholding counsels through the South prevail —
A fierce defiance floats on every gale.
The foe entrenched, prepared for mortal strife,
On bond's interminable stakes his life.
Hear! Carolina's chief takes up the strain,
Entering the lists in true Quixotic vein;
In Freedom's sacred name and cause, invokes
For Afric's children — everlasting yokes!
In idiot frenzy, thus the Southron raves:
"A freeman's dearest heritage is — Slaves!
Slavery, extreme, eternal, is the best
Of corner-stones — there only can we rest
Our liberties, our lives, our peaceful homes,
Our patriot temples, and our Christian domes!
O God! forbid that we should ever be,
Or our descendants, from our slaves set free.
We love the patriarch institute; we plead
Antiquity to sanctify the deed;
64In Christ's own name, we claim undoubted right
To make all black men labor for the white:
Yea, more — bleach'd or unbleach'd in skin, the poor
Are doom'd to toil — to crowd the rich man's door —
To bend obsequious to his sovereign will,
And only live his cup of bliss to fill!"
Hail, brave M'Duffie! worthy thou to be
Chief leader in the ranks of slavery;
Worthy to bear that flag, whose stripes and stars
Wave ominous of chains, and whips, and scars.
Thou pink of Southern grace and chivalry —
Thou pattern true of modern slavery —
Thou petty tyrant, spitting forth thy hate,
A MONKEY NERO, at thy best estate —
Go, and enjoy thy passing day of power;
Go, bluster and blaspheme, in this thy hour;
Go, sway the symbol of thy tribe, the rod,
Recreant to justice, mercy, and thy God:
But know, the cry of unrequited toil —
Of human souls, whom thou hast made thy spoil —
Of human hearts, which thou hast fill'd with wo —
Of human tears, that thou hast caused to flow —
Each bursting agony — each stifled groan —
Each secret pang — all, all to heaven have flown;
All join in solemn witness round that throne
Whose mandate strikes the proud oppressor down!
M'Duffie, hail! Hark! how the echoes sound,
Responsive to thy praise, the South around!
Bombastic eulogies pervade the air —
Sinners and saints alike glad tribute bear.
M'Duffie's gospel, and Judge Lynch's law,
(The Southern Bible!) hallelujahs draw;
Slavery's Millenium day (the reign of might,
Dear to slave-holders) rises on the sight;
Men-stealers gloat in lively hope again —
And pious clergymen respond Amen!
Warm'd by these hopes — much cheer'd by ghostly aid,
The "Chivalry," fresh nerved, drive on the trade
In human chattels, quicker urge the lash,
The last sweet hope of freedom rudely dash
From every bondman, and more fiercely strain
The fragile links of slavery's "silken" chain.
Freebooters on the rights of man — BEWARE!
Tempt not that desperate spirit, fierce Despair:
66There is a point at which the trembling slave
Will crouch no more, but all your terrors brave;
Quicken'd and madden'd by oppression, turn,
Burst every bond, your strongest fetters spurn:
One spark of manhood, kindled into flame,
May fire your magazines of guilt and shame,
And hurl their long-pent stores of wrong and wrath,
Pregnant with fearful ruin, o'er your path!
And must the faithful canvass only mark
Repulsive scenes, portray'd in colors dark?
Are there no mingled tints of brighter hue —
No rising beams of light to cheer the view?
Ye Christian Patriots, whose bosoms feel
Your Maker's honor and your country's weal,
Say, shall the sun of liberty arise,
And ride in cloudless splendor through your skies —
Or shall rank exhalations, dense and damp,
From slavery's realm, (that moral Dismal Swamp!)
Repress his quickening beams and glorious light,
Turning your day of hope to darkest night?
Shall the fair tree of freedom, planted here,
Verdant and rich in clustering fruits appear?
Or shall vile parasitic plants ascend
From root to branch, o'er leaves and fruit extend,
Till premature decay and death succeeds —
Leaves, flowers, and fruits, destroy'd by noxious weeds?
Will ye redeem the pledge your fathers gave —
For "equal rights" the loss of all things brave —
Or, in your midst, without a struggle, see
Color and skin the rule of liberty?
And, freemen though in name, in fact become
The oppressor's tools, obedient and dumb?
Or, more than all — Shall Christ and Belial meet
In forced communion, at slaveholders' feet —
Slavery be in the Christian faith comprised —
Its fetters, tortures, whips, and gags baptized?
Momentous questions! from their fate must flow
To countless millions much of weal or wo:
On their solution, as decrees of fate,
Breathless with hope and fear, the nations wait;
Hoping, — in you a beacon-light to find,
Towards perfect liberty to guide mankind;
Fearing, — lest adverse elements prevent,
And mar your glorious work — self-govenment.
Thank Heaven all is not dark: a ray of light
Came o'er the Eastern wave, and, beaming bright
On Massachusetts' hills, thence swiftly spread,
And far and wide its cheering glories shed;
68And blessed voices sounded on the gale,
Bearing from East to West the thrilling tale
Of fetters broken, Afric's sons unbound;
Of slavery vanquish'd on its favorite ground;
Of freedom's battle, nobly fought and won —
A nation will'd it, and the work was done!
Thus, moral light and glory spreading round,
In many a bounding heart a shrine hath found;
And, to the vision fair, from Britain's isle
Ten thousand eyes and hearts responsive smile.
O blessed change! the father-land forswears
All false and cruel gods, and richly bears
The golden fruits of justice, mercy, peace,
Breaks every bond, and bids oppression cease.
Her bright example calls us to relent;
With her we've sinn'd, with her may we repent!
Her former guilt no longer imitate,
But rise, her glorious deeds to emulate.
Great eras form the men of might and mind,
To work the purposes by heaven design'd.
A quick'ning power on times and seasons wait,
Whose magic touch fit instruments create,
The rust and rubbish of the world to clear,
And purify earth's moral atmosphere.
Like spectral forms these moral heroes rise,
Breaking the slumbers of the worldly wise,
69Pouring through darkest dens unwelcome day,
Scaring the flocks of unclean birds away;
Shocking the age by its own image shown,
Despite the impassion'd cry, "Let us alone!"
Let us alone! thus tortured demons wail'd,
When at the voice of God their legions quail'd:
Let us alone! so heathen idols cried,
When the Apostles preach'd "Christ crucified:"
Let us alone! the Papal beast exclaim'd,
When Luther's gallant band the monster maim'd;
Let us alone! all human beasts of prey
Have ever scream'd o'er victims snatch'd away.
Let us alone! the felon slaver hail'd,
When Sharp and Wilberforce the wretch assail'd:
Let us alone! the callous, guilty crew
Of base slave-holders in our day renew;
And every form of wrong the earth hath known,
Dreading the light, responds — Let us alone!
Ye proud transgressors of the law of love,
Well may ye waft, that impious prayer above!
A Spirit walks the earth ye cannot lay;
Omnipotence alone its course can stay:
Too often driven from the rich man's door,
It seeks the cottage of the humble poor:
Denied admission at the oppressor's gates,
It humbly turns, and on his victim waits:
70It shares the heavy burdens of the oppress'd —
Weeps with the wretched, blesses the unbless'd;
Remembers those in bonds, as though 'twere bound;
Where deepest misery is, its home is found:
Ask ye its origin? from heaven it came,
DIVINE PHILANTHROPY its honor'd name.
This blessed spirit, deck'd in robes of grace,
Hastes to the rescue of man's down-trod race;
And, as ye tighter draw your bondmen's chains,
With glowing energy their right sustains;
Nor earth and hell confederate can impede
Its deathless efforts, till your slaves be freed;
Till earth no more sends forth the captive's groan,
Nor his tormentor's cry — Let us alone!
'Gainst Slavery's hosts, marshall'd in proud display,
Philanthropy sets forth a firm array.
Though few and feeble in the world's esteem,
And their high enterprise an idle dream,
Immortal truth and heavenly love impel
Their onward course against the powers of hell.
Strong in the Lord, they spurn all doubt or fear;
His WORD THEIR SWORD, no other arms they bear.
That sacred truth they faithfully unfold —
Its flashing light, like Gideon's lamp of old,
71Affrights the modern Midianitish host,
Brings down their haughty mien and impious boast;
Scatters their much loved darkness, and reveals
High heaven's descending Judge, speeding his chariot wheels.
Honor and praise be to that gallant band,
Who, midst unfaithful millions, faithful stand;
Who boldly rush, with more than Spartan grace,
To shield our sacred hearths, and save our race!
"Observed of all observers," on your course
Eyes, hearts, and intellect spend all their force;
Not self nor party hath your flag unfurl'd,
Its holy symbols rouse and cheer a world.
Onward! still onward! let your motto be;
Onward! till stopp'd by death or victory.
The stake you toil for gold cannot compute,
Nor India's richest stores its worth dispute:
The glorious prize, if won, snaps every chain;
If lost, confirms oppression's cruel reign.
Your notes of triumph, as they sweetly swell,
Earth's jubilee, will ring each tyrant's knell.
Oh! cease hot, quail not, till the goal be won,
"Ye are immortal till your work is done."
The despots of the South may rage and rail;
The recreants of the North may basely quail,
72The Spirits of the Pit with both conspire,
To blow up persecution's fiercest fire —
Vain phantasies! the Bible will not burn,
JEHOVAH'S WORD will not to ashes turn:
It came to earth to cheer and bless mankind,
To save the lost, the captive to unbind;
To preach glad tidings to the suffering poor,
And life and liberty to all secure.
Behold your glorious warrant! there you read
Your duty, and your sure success decreed.
Friends of humanity and heirs of grace,
Fly to the rescue of a groaning race;
Speed, speed the Chariot of the truly free,
Give to each crimeless bondman liberty!
And, as ye free the bodies of mankind,
Pour heavenly light on ev'ry darken'd mind:
Not muscles only, but the soul within,
Groans for redemption from the power of sin.
Let Freedom's perfect work and praise be yours,
Freedom which heaven and earth alike secures,
And, as the throne of God itself endures!
Slavery must die! so wills a wakening world,
Rising in might with freedom's flag unfurl'd.
EMANCIPATION, with a sunbeam's light,
Streams from the banner, terrible and bright:
73By mercy wing'd, and truth's resistless force,
Swiftly it wends its onward glorious course;
Millions on millions to its gathering throng,
Respond and speed its thrilling call along;
Its note of doom scares the foul tyrant's den,
And swelling myriads echo back Amen!
Slavery must die! those scenes of peace and joy,
When nothing more may hurt, nor more destroy;
When swords, the source and signs of wrong, shall cease,
Beaten to ploughshares, implements of peace;
When spears no more shall arm a tyrant's hand,
But, turn'd to pruning hooks, bless every land;
When knowledge of the Lord o'er earth shall be
Deep, boundless, chainless, as the flowing sea:
These cheering hopes, these visions from on high,
Give bless'd assurance, SLAVERY SHALL DIE!
ZION, ARISE AND SHINE! purge guilt away;
Cast from thy arms polluting Slavery: —
Then shall thy light break forth, and joy and peace
Thy borders cheer, and all thy sorrows cease;
Then converts, countless as the drops of dew,
Shall crowd thy temples, and thy strength renew —
Then shall the sum of prophecy be told,
And ALL MANKIND be sheltered in thy fold!
Appendix. Gross Outrage Upon the Rights of a Free-Born American.
In submitting to our readers the annexed plain and straightforward narrative of an outrage at Savannah, of the most intolerable kind, against the person, the rights, and — if the ferocious banditti could have had their way — against the life of an unoffending and respectable young merchant of this city, we will restrain, as much as possible, any expression of indignant feelings, to the end that our readers may calmly judge the matter.
John Hopper, the young man who so narrowly escaped the fury of the Savannah mob, led on by a marshal of the City of New York, is the son of a well-known and respectable quaker here — Isaac T. Hopper — and was at the South in the prosecution of ordinary business.
With these preliminary remarks, we subjoin the narrative.
"I respectfully ask of my fellow-citizens an attentive perusal of the following statements, which obliged me, on a late occasion, to appear in the character of a fugitive, as the only possible means of escape from disgraceful torture and violent
76death. I should have availed myself of an earlier opportunity of publication, had not my flight been attended with suffering and privations, which for some subsequent time rendered me incapable of taking a calm survey of the past; and I yet shudder, when I call to mind the hideous yells that sounded in my ears, as the mob which surrounded the prison where I was immured attempted to wrest my person from the protection of the civil power, and glut their rage by the sacrifice of my life.
In the ordinary course of business, I remained at Charleston nearly two months, before going farther South; and during that time I experienced all the courtesy and kindness which usually attend the relations of mercantile employment. Nor did I suffer the slightest interruption of any description whatever, until assailed in person at Savannah, by a marshal of this city, who was there on official business.
I wish it to be distinctly understood that I have never had any connexion with anti-slavery societies, and did not utter a sentiment on Abolition while at the South. My object was wholly mercantile; and my fellow-citizens will observe that the Mayor of Savannah consented to my release only on this ground, That there could not be detected ‘the slightest evidence’ (his own words) of my being an abolitionist!!
(Signed) John Hopper.
On the morning of the 38th of 1st month, I arrived at Savannah, and took lodgings at the City Hotel. After tea in the evening, I retired to my room, and had been there but a few minutes, when the door was suddenly forced open, and a dozen or more individuals, in a state of intoxication, rushed into the apartment. They were led on by a ruffian of the name of Nash,
77exclaimed, "Well, Hopper, how, under God's heaven, you ever had the impudence to show your face at the South, I can't tell. Damn you! you had not been in the city five minutes before we knew it! But we are glad to see you, Mr. Hopper — we are well prepared for you!" Then, addressing his companions, he said, "This same Hopper, his brother, and damned old father, Arthur Tappan, Barney Corse, and David Ruggles, a damned nigger, who they treat as a brother — I'd give my own life to have him here — are the very leaders of abolition in New-York City." At this moment, I received a severe blow in the face from a person whom I believed to be a brother of J. F. Collier, the claimant of a man of the same name, whom he had caused to be arrested in New York last fall, as his slave. My brother and myself produced several highly respectable witnesses, who testified that they had known him as a resident of New-York several years prior to the time of his alleged elopement. I received also a severe kick, and a boy about fifteen years of age spit in my face. I was directed to draw out from under the bed a box that I had brought with me, and which they no doubt expected to find stocked with "incendiary publications." The lid was forced off; and they were much disappointed on finding it empty. They then told me to unlock my trunk. While feeling for my keys, a person said, "Come, damn you! you don't move fast enough — I'll do it for you;" and thrusting his hands into my pocket, he drew out my keys, opened the trunk, and commenced a regular search, which he continued, throwing my clothes, &c. over the floor, until he discovered a small bundle of pamphlets. These had been gratuitously loaned to me by a clergyman of Charleston, and not having examined them, I was myself ignorant of their character. Among them was a tract published in 1824, by the Society of Friends in Philadelphia, describing the colony at Sierra Leone, and
78giving an account of the Foreign slave trade. They said this was what they wanted — here was abolitionism. A number immediately left the room, went down stairs, and cried out to those who were crowding the bar-room and the halls of the hotel, that they had found a trunk full of abolition pamphlets. My pockets were searched, and I was directed to "say my last prayers," and go with them. They then seized me, and were taking me out of the room, when the bar-keeper, whose name is Oates, came to the door. I told him that I was an inmate of his house, and it was his duty to protect me — at least, until there should be some evidence produced of my being an abolitionist. "Damn you, sir, you must not appeal to me for protection — what better evidence do we want, than your trunk full of abolition pamphlets?" I denied that any had been found in my possession. "Well," said he, "I will go for the sheriff and we will examine your papers." He returned in a few minutes with that officer, and commenced reading my letters which I had received since leaving home, requiring me to explain many passages which they professed not to understand. At this juncture, Captain Wilteberger, the proprietor of the hotel, entered the room in a great passion, and cried out, "Why don't you bring him down? My property will be destroyed — I can do nothing with the mob below. If you don't take him down immediately, they will do it themselves." Then turning towards me, he continued, "Young man, you are in a very unfortunate situation. You should never have left your home — but it is your own doing, and you deserve your fate." I demanded his protection from the violence of the mob; to which he replied, "Good God! you must not appeal to me for protection: this is a damned delicate matter. I shall not be able to protect my own property; but I will go for the Mayor." Shortly after he left the room, a note was handed
79in to Oates, who examined it, and gave it to me, saying that it was in the handwriting of one of his confidential friends. I read, "His only chance of escape is by jumping out of the window!!" We were in the third story: the street below was thronged with a drunken and infuriated mob, who were clamorous for my person, having already prepared such means of torture as their bloodthirsty wickedness suggested. The principal and the abettor in this intended scheme of worse than savage butchery, were worthy of each other. Over and over again did Oates urge me to "profit by this only chance of escape." His earnest professions of regard for my personal safety, enabled me to form a high estimate of his hypocrisy. When I afterwards related this circumstance to the Mayor, he exclaimed, "Ah! he is a vile, wicked wretch!"
This man, I was informed, was sheriff about the year 1820. He it was who kidnapped Rowland Stephenson from Savannah, and delivered him to his creditors, upon which occasion he escaped the law by becoming a "fugitive from justice." He is how universally despised.
The tumult below increased to such an extent that I considered my fate inevitable; and I determined to meet it with as much fortitude as possible. Having refused to jump out of the third story window, my only alternative was, to go down stairs, and give myself up to the violence of the mob, who were maddened by liquor — which, I believe, was gratuitously furnished at the bar of the hotel. At the foot of the stairs I was met by the Mayor and several of the aldermen — their timely arrival saved my life. After some general observations and questions from the former, I stated to him that Nash, who had been the means of creating this excitement against me, was a man of very bad character, being at that moment present in a state of beastly intoxication; and that
80his enmity towards me originated from the fact that I had exerted myself on behalf of a colored man who was arrested as a slave in New York; that I had come to Savannah on business, and had no connection with anti-slavery societies, of which I would convince him, if he would allow me an opportunity. He, with the aldermen, myself and others, then repaired to my room, where my papers and private letters underwent a partial examination. Finding no evidence against me, the Mayor went down, and told the mob that I should be detained that night, and in the meantime he would hear any charges that could be brought forward, also examine my papers more closely, and if there could be produced the slightest evidence of my being an abolitionist, I should remain in custody. I was then conducted to the guard house, the presence of the mayor and a large body of officers and citizens scarcely sufficing to protect me from the grasp of the multitude which surrounded us. The guard was increased, and other precautions taken for my security, notwithstanding which, the mayor was sent for several times during the night to restore order. I remained immured in a noisome cell until near 8 o'clock next morning, when a further examination was commenced. Nash in the meantime had presented many charges against me, which had no other effect, however, than to expose the infamy of his own character, and to render him an object of deserved contempt. He accused my father of being a great friend to the niggers, and called my brother a "nigger amalgamator," &c. I was required to render an exact account of myself from the first moment that I entered the city, but no evidence of my being an abolitionist could be discovered. The Mayor remarked, that "the pamphlet found in my trunk was positive evidence in my favor, being decidedly for colonization, and the colonizationists were the most deadly enemies of the abolitionists."
He then told me I was at liberty to depart, and added, "you may consider it a miracle that you have escaped with your life." A heavy rain had dispersed the mob, and under the protection which it still afforded, I happily made my escape.
To Capt. Nichols, of the ship Angelique, of New York, then at Savannah, I am indebted for many acts of kindness, extended at a time, and under circumstances, which render it imperative upon me to offer him this public expression of my sincere and lasting gratitude. His noble conduct on that occasion can never be erased from my remembrance.
I wish also to express my thankfulness for the measure of protection extended by the Mayor and other civil officers of Savannah, without whose intervention, as I have already stated, escape would have been impossible.
I cannot conclude this narrative, without referring again to the part which Daniel D. Nash, a civil officer of the city of New York, acted in those disgraceful proceedings. It will appear in the following statement, published by himself, that he sought to render me a victim of the lawless violence which our southern countrymen have threatened to inflict on northern abolitionists. His assertion that I called on him, to sustain my character is, wholly false. He attempted to inflame the public mind against me, by asserting, in front of the Court House, that nine-tenths of the northern men were abolitionists, but were ashamed to own it. Having failed to substantiate his charges, and appearing in a state of continual intoxication, his real character was developed; and the storm that he conjured up, I have reason to believe, would have spent its fury upon himself, if he had not secretly decamped early on the ensuing morning.
I learned soon after my arrival in New York, that this same Nash, with some worthy confederates, made an attack on David Ruggles, of this city, on the evening previous to his
82departure for the South, and calling to mind the expression, that he "would give his life to have that damned nigger in Savannah," I was led irresistibly to the conclusion, that his object was to have kidnapped him, and to sell him at the South, as "one of the leaders of abolition in New York city." Doubtless "the hope of reward sweetened his labor."
(Signed) John Hopper.
Annexed is the statement of Nash, which appeared as an advertisement in the Savannah Georgian of 31st January.
I, Daniel D. Nash, of the city and county of New York, before leaving the city of Savannah, in order to remove any erroneous impressions relative to the affair of Mr. John Hopper of the city of New York, make the subjoined statement. Mr. Hopper, as I am informed and believe, attempted previous to his departure, to impress upon the minds of many, or at least some residents of the city of Savannah, that I dogged him from the city of New York to this city, for the intent and purpose of rendering him an object of aversion to the people of the South, and also to gratify lurking prejudices, that I entertained against him. The truth is, that on the 2d day of the present month, I left the city of New York, on business of the utmost importance, and never knew that Mr. John Hopper was about visiting the South, or that he intended to do so. Further, I am charged as entertaining unkind feelings and unwonted prejudices against Mr. John Hopper — on the contrary, I have never evinced any feelings of hostility towards Mr. Hopper, which the occasion or circumstances did not justify.
Upon my arrival in this city, from the city, of Macon, I met Mr. Hopper at the City Hotel, and was requested by several people to introduce them to Mr. Hopper, and upon the wish
83of several I was desired to inform the proper authorities that I believed Mr. Hopper to be friendly to the cause of abolition, and this I believed to be so, from the fact, that I knew him to have taken an active part in slave cases in the city of New York. I did not, in my disclosures, wish or intend to draw down upon the person of Mr. Hopper any violence or injury, and so stated. At the very time of the difficulty, I was called upon by Mr. Hopper to sustain his character. I, at that time, stated publicly to Mr. Hopper, that I knew nothing against his character as to honesty — but that I believed him to be an abolitionist, and still believe him to be one. In all my doings in this affair, I have acted under a sense of that duty which should guide the conduct of every true American citizen. At some future period, I may make some further exposition.
D. D. Nash.
Savannah, 30th January, 1837.
And now, having read these statements, what must be the reflections of every right-thinking man at this spectacle of a free-born American, in the land of professed liberty and security, without offence, without warrant of law, and without the intervention of any of those forms of justice devised for the protection of the citizen — violently assailed in his own apartment, his person insulted, his life threatened, his papers seized upon and searched, and finally himself dragged to a prison and kept in a cell during the whole night — whence he was only liberated, that he might flee from the city where his business called him, and where the Constitution guarantees his right to be in equal safety, and upon an equal footing with any of its residents?
As for this Nash, if he still hold a warrant as marshal of this city, we call upon the Mayor at once to examine into the matters here charged, and if the conduct ascribed to him be correctly slated, to revoke that warrant without delay.
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume; And we are weeds without it."
Around and upon the original wrong there accumulates, in the case of every bondman, an unbroken series of acts of injustice — the most flagrant violations conceivable of those golden rules of the Gospel, "Love your neighbor as yourself" — "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Despotism, pure and unmixed — robbery and wrong the most attrocious — are the household deities (or rather demons) of every hearth trodden by the foot of a slave.
Portugal and Spain, the great leaders in the chivalric enterprises of men-stealing in Africa, and Indian oppression and murder in America, exhibit to the world striking and fearful examples of retributive justice. Truly, God in just. Let all who are in the same guilt tremble; lest, if they repent not, they also fall into the same unfathomable gulph of ruin.
Impartial history will do justice to the character and pretensions of the race of slave-holding and slave-trading politicians, who have played the hypocrite on so grand and audacious a scale in this land of liberty, of whom General Jackson may be regarded as the most finished specimen. The credit given by the world to the assumptions of these men, as the advocates and guardians of liberty, will be regarded hereafter as the most wonderful instance of bold imposture on one side, and credulity on the other, ever exhibited in the history of man.
"Resolved, That Congress, having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia, possess the right to abolish slavery and the slave-trade trade threrein; and that the early exercise of such right is demanded by the enlightened sentiment of the civilized world, by the principles of the revolution, and by humanity.
"Resolved, That slavery being an admitted moral and political evil, whose continuance, wherever it exists, is vindicated mainly on the ground of necessity, it should be circumscribed within the limits of the states where it has been already established; and that no new state should hereafter be admitted into the Union whose constitution of government shall sanction or permit the existence of domestic slavery."
At Utica the matter was even worse. A judge actually headed the mob there; and a number of citizens, designated "respectable" by the false usage and courtesy of society, because possessed of its vulgar attribute — wealth — were his associates.
In both cases the men who ought to have been conservators of the public peace, became its disturbers; setting up examples in the land which they and their children will bitterly repent. Urged by blind and cruel prejudices, with the immediate view of subserving party ends, they called into action a power they are utterly unable to control; a power which threatens to overwhelm, in its fearful progress, the rights, liberties, and laws of every part of this republic.
The leaders in these transactions in both cities are of too mean a stamp even for an immortality of infamy. For a few years they will be remembered and scorned; but their names will speedily rot. Not so the remembrance of their work. That will probably remain in the ruins of one of the noblest structures ever raised by human hands, long after the insignificant and contemptible reptiles who labored in undermining its foundations shall have utterly perished.