SPEECH OF HON. OWEN LOVEJOY, OF ILLINOIS,
Within the last five lustrums, a strange fanaticism has made its appearance in this country — a fanaticism at once monstrous and malign. Twenty-five years ago, by the universal sentiment of the country. Slavery was deemed a [unknown], social, and political evil a wrong to the [unknown], and injury to the owner, a blight on the [unknown] detriment to all the best interest of the [unknown] or States where it was found, and, [unknown] reflex influence, a reproach and damage to the whole country. By many, it may be, this was considered incurable, but still and evil. [unknown] within the period indicated, a different [unknown] has sprung up. This fanaticism deems [unknown] not an evil, but a blessing.
Formerly by all, and still by all right thinking men, Slavery was regarded as a bag, ugly, informed, wrinkled, and covered with the daub and paint of harlotry; but now we are told it is an angel of beauty, a virgin decked in bridal [unknown] to be gazed on with complacency and [unknown]. Candidates who aspire to gubernatorial [unknown] are made to renounce opinions held a [unknown] to this new dogma, to wit that Slavery is a blessing, It is not any longer the question [unknown] cancer can be cured — whether by knife or music, or other remedial agencies — but to cure a cancer is now proclaimed to be a sound and normal condition of the human system, the [unknown] type of health and, if on the face, an [unknown] and beauty spot. Every one, to [unknown] perfect health, must have this form if [unknown] gnawing at his vitals. The spirit of this fanaticism has taken possession of the Democratic party, and worked therein a wonderful and almost incredible transformation; for, since the Ages drew up the reins and started on their journey, I do not suppose they have witnessed such a stupendous Lie as the Democratic party now is. I speak of the organization, without any reference to the individuals who compose the party. "From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment" — unmedicated and unbandaged, it drips with its fetid putrescence.
Look at the President's message, now under discussion. It is instinct with simulation and deceit. Professedly he deprecates the discussion and agitation of the Slavery question, and yet the whole message is engrossed with it. Not a leading topic of that state paper that has not a direct or remote bearing on it. What do we want for another slice from Mexico? Is our population pressing against our boundaries? Let the vast regions within our present limits yet occupied, and which will not be occupied for the next half century, answer that question. Why, then, does the Executive urge the acquisition of more of the Mexican domain? It is that Slavery and Disunion, twin-born of Darkness, may have a rail car in which to ride. This is openly avowed, in the other end of the Capitol. What is that part of the message relating to Kansas, but the quenulous last word of an old man, whose Pro-Slavery policy has been condemned by the country? What occasion os there for the doleful tone of the message in regard to the future decadence of the Republic, which has given rise in Europe to so many
2prophecies of ill omen in regard to our future? How eagerly the advocates of despotic government catch up this Democratic slander, and fortell the downfall of our free institutions!
But what is the trouble? Is there any disloyalty, to the Union among the Republicans, or indeed among any class in the free States? No. Any disaffection toward our principles of Government? None. What then has excited the fears of this urbane and hospitable old gentleman? Did the Chief indite the message under the influence of too deep potation from the distillations of Rye? No one believe this. The Slavery-extending policy of the Administration had received a terrible rebuke from the people. They had repudiated the President's Sancho Panza, the auocrat of the dinner table; and the poor man, shocked and bewildered, and tearing his locks like King Lear, thought the Government was falling to pieces, because Slavery Propagandism had been reprobated by the popular vote. Hinc lachrymae! Be comforted, venerable Chief! It is now the free institutions of our country, but the Pro-Slavery Democracy, that is falling assunder like apiece of limestone when water poured upon it. So also in regard to Cuba. The real object of its purchase is not the avowed one. It is governed by a race who do not speak our language — who are unsued to self-government — who have, and is annexed as States will continue to have, and established from the religion, or Church and State united; but, in spite of all, we are asked to purchase this island, and to place thirty millions in the hands of the Executive, to begin the negotiations — that is, to buy up the officials! Does any one believe that it is for the benefit of commerce, or the safety of navigation, that we are asked to do all this? If so, why not seek to purchase the British West Indies? Have we not as much to fear from England as from Spain? And where is Canada and the other British possessions, that stretch all along our Northern frontier, from the Atlantic to the Pacific? No; it is not for the benefit of commerce, not to guard against invasion, that we are asked to purchase Cuba; but it is for the benefit of slave-breeders and human-flesh mongers. And yet these Democrats profess that they want to get Slavery out of national politics. Would to Heaven this beast of prey would take the carcass of the slain into its lair! It might gnaw the flesh and craunch the bones without molestation from me! But instead of that, its asks me to hold its victim while it sucks the blood. But this, God helping me, I never will do. Take your pound of flesh, if it is so nominated in the bond, but do not ask for the blood as well.
Read over the whole message, and you will find its entire texture to be Slavery. Every topic is discussed with reference to its bearings on the subject of Slavery. And yet the Democrats, with an impudence that challenges our admiration for its sublimity, turn to me and say, "Do not agitate this subject." Do not keep up this sectional strife! To agitate, to [unknown] to make treaties, to annex territory, to purchase empires for Slavery, is all right, but to do [unknown] thing against Slavery is wrong and sectional.
And here is another phase of this fanaticism spirit, which has taken up its dwelling place in the Democratic party. It identifies Slavery with the nation, and especially with the South.
Now, I am reckoned as ultra and extreme as most on this subject, and yet, no one has ever heard me say anything against the South. It is only against Slavery that I have spoke, and I propose to assail that only in those [unknown] justified by the Constitution; yet I am [unknown], and Republicans are sectional. When they only seek to prevent the extensions of a system which is under the ban of the civiled world, they are charged with being sectional. In Illinois, we have supped full of this honor. And what is the proof? Oh, we have no delegates from slave States to attend our National Nominating Conventions. Why have we [unknown] Mark; because if delegates attend these Conventions they are mobbed and driven into exile. What if we, in the free States, should say to the Democrats, "If you attend the Charleston Convention, we will hand you," and thus keep them all at home, and then reproach them with being a sectional party, because only the slave states were represented? "Well, you have no [unknown] the slave States; your principles do not circulate with is at all; you dare not even [unknown] your doctrines among us." And why do our principles circulate in the slave States? They used, for they are the principles of Washington, and Franklin, and other founders of the Republic. The reason why our principles do not circulate in the slave States is, that this despotism has, like another Napoleon, [unknown] out the freedom of speech and of the [unknown] slaveholders of the South, and in one year we would have more Republican votes in [unknown] in the slave States, than there are Democratic votes in the free States. Your principles do not circulate down here," boast the Slavery propagandist. Sacred history tells us of a certain rich man who died, and who was very unfortunate in the selection of a future home; but, though an impassable gulf spread itself between him and a better world, it seems he could converse with those more happily situated. Supposing, now, this man should lift up his voice, and send it booming across the chasm that yawns between heaven and hell, and say "Ho, Abraham, Issac, Gabriel, and you celestials generally, you are a sectional party up there; your principles do not circulate down here." And why does not Heaven's truth circulate down there? Because the lamates are so wicked that they will not [unknown] the presence of any angel preacher. This [unknown] must have been a good, sound, national Democrat.
And so, I suppose, was that illustrious personage whom Milton has described as bridging the chasm that spread between earth and the place of his exile, and who claimed the right of carrying the local institutions of his realm into Paradise.
And this reminds me to say the Democratic party, led on this insane fanaticism, which holds Slavery to be morally right, under the guidance of a political harlequin and trickster, has proclaimed the constitutional right of Slavery to go into the Territories without let or hindrance. Plighted national faith is broken and dishonored! Principles once declared sacred by this very leader, and said to be canonized in the hearts of the American people, are ruthlessly and recklessly trampled under foot. We had an angel of Liberty stationed at the portals of our Territories. For thirty years, this sentinel had kept watch and ward, and guarded that magnificent domain as the heritage of Freedom, and with the flaming sword of the ordinance of the patriots if the olden time, kept out Slavery from this Eden. Who chased away this angel, and broke down the walls that enclosed that empire, consecrated to the sons and daughters of Freedom as a dwelling place and home, as long as the sun and moon should endure? Who did this ruthless, reckless, damnable work? The Democratic party, under the leadership of the individual I have indicted. Under what plea was Slavery thus allowed to enter in and ravage the heritage of Freedom? On the same ground that the madman opens the pest house to let leprosy, plague, and cholera, rush forth, as did the winds from the fabulous cave, to walk at midnight and waste at noon-day. A man with a contagious disease must not stay in his own house, not be confined in the hospital, but must be allowed to roam [unknown] to spread disease and death among his fellow men! What is this, but the veriest madness that ever raved in Bedlam! I know it is said that there are two wings to the Democratic party. I am aware of that, and I know, also, that both wings belong to the same vulture, sad, although one has been slightly out of joint, it has now got back to its place, and both will [unknown] in unison, to bear the carrion bird back to gorge and fattened so long.
But the strangest and most impious phase of this fanaticism is, that it claims the sanction of the Bible for American Slavery, I have neither time nor disposition to enter a philological argument on this question. I shall not ransack Greek lexicons and musty manuscripts to ascertain the precise etymological force of the Greek words translated servant in the Bible. And as for the grand old Hebrew, in which the ancient described or recognises a human being as a piece of property, Before quoting chapter or verse, I desire to say a few words having a general bearing on this subject. The Theocratic charter granted to the Jews was exclusive, and constituted them a kind of close corporation, with peculiar privileges as a commonwealth. But all those unusual franchises were bestowed upon the, on the express condition that they should comply with a prescribed ritual, God explicitly declared that he would slay every native born Jew that did not comply with the provisions of their charter. Now, I desire to inquire of those who claim the right to hold slaves under this old charter given to the Jews, Have you complied with the requisitions of that charter? Do you abstain from Virginia ham and other swine's flesh? Do you observe the new moons, the sabbaths, circumcision, and the appointed feast? If you, are no Jew, and are entitles to the franchises of a Jew; but on the other hand you belong to the Gentile race, who, according to your theory, were of right made slaves. If the advocates of Slavery choose to go back and place themselves under a code of laws given to a race of men evidently yet in a state of barbarism, let them take the whole code, and abide by it, and obey it. Another statement, If the Bible sanctions Slavery at all; it is the enslavement of white men. No one pretends that the servants spoken of in the Bible were blacks. The Roman slave was not a black man. The Hebrew servant was not a black man. The question is, whether the laboring man, white or black, may rightfully be enslaved.
I may as well notice, here, that worn-out quotation erroneously placed on Ham, Noah planted a vineyard, raised some grapes, made some wine, and got drunk. When he waked up, still fuddled with the fumes of the wine, sotto voce, so confused he did not know his son from his grandson, he uttered the malediction, "cursed be Canaan," not Ham, who had been guilty of the wrong. And now, the blaze of the nineteenth century, with the radiance of Christianity shining around, Democrats go mousing back five thousand years to learn the basis of human rights from the lips of a man still half drunk. "Cursed be Canaan" is evermore the refrain of Democratic minstrelsy.
And not to the Bible. I will not detain the Committee long, for I have no patience with the impiety that attempts to throw the sanction of this holy book around the diabolical system of American Slavery. What says this inspired volume? "Thou shalt not steal!" Brief, comprehensive, and to the point. This must be taken from the Bible, before it can be made to sanction Slavery. Does this forbid my taking my neighbor a horse, but allow me to reduced the man to a slave, and then claim them both? How much better is a man than a sheep? If I am told that Slavery is not theft, because the felonious intent is not there, I reply, as the gentleman from Georgia replied, who has in former years on this floor attempted to justify Slavery on the authority of the Scriptures. He declared that the act of Paulding in arresting
4the marauder, Walker, was an act of robbery. Some one replied, that it could not be robbery, for there was no felonious intent. The gentleman from Georgia rejoined, "I said robbery; I did not say legal robbery." So I say theft; or theft in the legal sense. We are talking about the moral, not the legal sense. We are talking about the moral, not the legal, character of Slavery. The title, to every slave originated in violence and robbery, and its continuance has no other moral character. There can be no mistake about the rightful ownership of a human being. He belongs to himself. Because my father or mother was reduced to the condition of brutism? Does the continuance of wrong take away its guilt? I repeat, there can be no doubt as to the ownership of any human being. The title is in himself. To take it from his robbery. But we have a specific, statute on this subject. "He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hands," that is, in his possession, "he shall surely be put to death." This enactment takes this transaction out of the catalogue of ordinary crime, and brands it with peculiar reprobation. Other forms of theft could be atoned for by returning four-fold; this claimed the forfeiture of life itself, thus making it a capital offence. No squirming of sophistry can get round this. There is stands, the estimate of the Jewish scriptures of the crime of trafficking in human flesh. So once thought the Presbyterian church, when they declared slaveholding to be a violation of the eight commandment. So thought President Edwards, when he declared the slaveholder guilty of man-stealing every day. This was the constitutional law of the Jewish Commonwealth. No other statute could contravene it, any more than a State or Territorial law could annul a provision of the Constitution of the United States. All the instances of buying and selling relied upon by the advocated of Slavery are confined to the person bought and the person sold. A person "falling into decay," sold himself, not as a chattel or slave, but as a servant for a term of years; and when the jubilee came round, liberty was proclaimed throughout all the land, to all the inhabitant thereof. When there was a failure on the part of the people to proclaim this liberty, promised and secured by law, then God proclaimed a liberty to them to the sword, and to the pestilence, and those other judgments that fell swift and terrific from the hand of an incensed God. It was this providential retribution which made Jefferson tremble for his country, when he remembered that God was just, and that his justice would not sleep forever. In the uprising of these oppressed millions, he averred that no attribute of Jehovah could take side with the oppressor.
Honor thy father and thy mother, is the requirement of the Bible. Slavery utterly annuls this command. The owner claims honor and obedience, to the utter disregard of parental authority and parental claims. Whoever [unknown] of a slave child obeying his parent in [unknown] to his master? The very suggestion is preposterous. Does the Bible sanction a system that abrogates its own child to her [unknown] To whom does it belong? Is it not [unknown] against the universe? Is there any being, [unknown] side the throne of God, that has the right to take it from her? Has the master the right to come and tear it away from her embrace, and claim it as his property? And is this robbery sanctioned by the Bible, and that Bible the word of God? I know the people are [unknown] this by a ministry that I dislike to characters as I think they deserve.
"Wealth, lust and fashion bid them still to bleed, and Holy men quote Scripture for the deed."
But these men do not truly interpret the Bible. They teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and make the word of God of none effect through their traditions, How do these men make the Bible lend its sanction in a system that abrogates parental authority and filial duty?
So, also with the conjugal relation. The Bible everywhere represents this as the most sacred, inviolate, and indissoluble of all human relations. Father and mother are to be forsaken, in obedience to the claims of this still higher and holier relation. Now, what does Slavery do with this domestic institution? Leave God and the parties perfectly free to regulate it in their own way? No; with impious [unknown] brazen front, it steps in and utterly annihilates the marriage relation, so far as, its victims are concerned. There is no more any legal marriages among the three or four millions of slaves is cattle. Slaves in the eye of the law are cattle, and their union is that of brutes. They are declared to be good, chattels personal, to all intents, constructions, and purposes, whatever. The civil law which prevails in some of the States takes them pro nullis, pro mortuis, pro quadrupedibus.
Would it not be an interesting spectacle see one of these clergymen, who teach that the Bible sanctions Slavery, called in to attend the wedding of a bureau and chest of drawers? The chairs, and shovel and tongs, are invited as guests. After a fervent prayer for the divine blessing, the clergyman says:
"By the old Levitical laws, I join the bureau to the drawers." Quid Rides? Muttato nominee, de te fibula narrator.
Absolutely, there can be no more a legal marriage between two slaves, than between two articles of furniture or between two brutes. They "take up together;" they do not marry. No clergyman dare pronounce two slaves husband and wife till death shall separate them. The will of the master is their fate. The Bible says: "what God hath joined together, let not man
5put asunder." The slave system says: Who cares for God? I will separate them when I please. A slave who is a church member is thought by his religious teachers, that it is his duty, on being sold from one plantation to another, leaving a so-called wife behind, to take another mate; and the reason assigned by these pious instructors is, that in this way he can be most profitable to his master, which is his first and paramount duty. Thus he may, as a good Christian, take up with new woman on every plantation to which he is sold. This has been formally so decided by an ecclesiastical council. And yet these blasphemers seek to make God a partner in this revolting practice.
The Bible everywhere requires an equivalent to be given for services rendered. "Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work." "Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which by you is kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them that have reaped are entered into the ears if the Lord of Sabboth." Slavery were allows any wages at all to those who garden in its harvest. To sat that the clothing and the food that the slave receives are wages, to say that the hay, grain, and stabling of the [unknown] are wages. These constitute the keeping of the horse and the slave; wages they are not.
It is frequently said, that although individuals may do wrong, yet the system is right. [unknown] it is against the system that I speak. The truth is, the individuals are better than the system. The humanity — and in my charity, perhaps, I ought to say the Christianity — of the [unknown] often triumphs to a great extent over a system. If every master exemplified the extreme capability of the system for outrage and diabolism, and indignant world would rise and wipe it out.
Suppose, now, this system, all reeking with [unknown] crime, and cruelty, is brought out and placed under the blaze if Christianity. Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto [unknown] do ye even so unto them; for this is the [unknown] and the prophets. This is the condensed [unknown] of the whole Bible. Who has the [unknown] to say that the practice of slaveholding consistent with this junction? What the New Testament, is the classification of slaveholders? It places them with murdered of fathers and murdered of mothers.
Everywhere the Bible inculcates spirit of [unknown] magnanimity. "Ye that are strong [unknown] to bear the infirmities of the weak, and to please yourselves." Slavery, I know, and this attributes and talks about its chivalry and magnanimity. And is it not magnificent to heat a poor, ignorant, degraded man, [unknown] of the entire earnings of his whole life — robbery of his wife and children, and then justify it saying that they are an inferior race? Admit the fact of inferiority — does it therefore follow that it is right to oppress them? Every page of the Bible flashes its anathemas against the oppression of the poor and helpless. The chivalry of the Bible is to help the weak, to protect the defenceless, and rescue those in peril. This, indeed, is the idea of the olden chivalry. Witness the incident in the romance of Ivanhoe. The true knight, enfeebled by sickness, rides into the lists to meet a powerful antagonist — and in whose defence? For one belonging to a race as despised and degraded then as that of the African now is. This chivalry we recognize as having something manly and noble in it. But, from the chivalry that robs mothers of their children; that applies the scourge to helpless women, to secure their labor or make them surrender their chastity; which sells a boy got a harlot and a girl for a pair of shoes; which by superior knowledge, combination, and legal enactment, reduced millions of human beings to the condition of brutism, and then by false teaching seeks to delude their conscience, and cause them to believe that their enslavement is in accordance with the will of God — from all such chivalry I ask to be delivered.
The Bible sanctions Slavery, and if the Bible, then God. What kind of an ideal of Deity has that religionist who holds this doctrine? The ancients divided their vices, and made one of their gods the divinity of each. The advocate of Bible Slavery takes system that concentrates in itself crime, and makes Jehovah its patron Deity. I do wish that Slavery would leave us an ideal of the Supreme Being that is not polluted with its slimy touch. It is said of Goldsmith, as a writer, that there was nothing that he did not touch and nothing that he touched that he did not beautify. And it can truly be said of Slavery, that there is nothing that it does not touch, and nothing that it touches that it does not defile. It has perverted the Government, violated the national faith, muzzled the press, debauched the church, corrupted Christianity, and seeks to change the glory of the invisible God into a Moloch, and transform the eternal and loving Father into a patron of cruelty, lust, and injustice; and then, with the impudence of the strange woman, wipes its mouth, and says, I have committed no sin. I should be ashamed of such a God as that! It is to me utterly incomprehensible that any one can sincerely believe that the Bible sanctions the system of American Slavery, and I leave that point.
But this fanaticism goes still farther, and arrogates to itself prerogatives which God himself never claimed, and what, be it spoken with reverence, the Supreme Being himself cannot do and that is, to make right and wrong. Before all law and above all law, human and divine, is the idea of right and wrong, eternal indestructible. The Omnipotent does not claim the right or power to annihilate this distinction. He himself bows to this idea, which sits enthroned
6absolute and supreme, higher than the Highest. The supreme Legislator never undertook, by mere arbitrary enactment to obliterate this distinction, and put darkness for light, and light for darkness — bitter for sweet, and sweet fir bitter. His own conduct is controlled by His perceptions of what is right and what is wrong? Human statutes cannot so what Divine legislation never attempted to achieve. Can you, by a Congressional enactment, change the laws that govern the material world? Can you make the Potomac roll back to its sources amid those far off hills, or calm the ocean, when, moved from its depths, it lifts its crested waves on high, and dashes them in broken spray against the beetling crags? Much less can you annul the eternal distinction between right and wrong. The attempt is and must forever remain utterly vain and impotent.
The gentleman from Georgia the other day called our attention to the sublime spectacle of State after State emerging from a Territorial condition, and wheeling into line as sovereign States in this Confederacy. In this process, according to the gentleman, were united the twp principles of expansion and population sovereignty, and the gentleman was reminded of that grand chorus which an ancient exile heard when there was poured upon his ear the voice of many waters, and the voice of the thunders, and the voice of the Almighty, and the utterance of oceans and thunder and of Jehovah was, "Vox Populi vox Dei." Sir, I claim that the voice of truth, and justice, and liberty, is the voice of God. When I hear the voice of thousands, swelling upward, like the voice of many waters and the voice of the mighty thunders and the voices of the Almighty, it is that other and better sentiment, "Let justice prevail, though the universe crumbles." Aye, sir; I too heard the voice of the people, and it went surging through the streets of Judea's proud metropolis. It swept through the portals of Pilate's Judgment's Hall, and echoed along its arches, crying, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Was "Vox Populi vox Dei" then? Did the gentleman from Georgia hear the voice of the Almighty, responsive to the popular will, demanding the crucifixion to the popular will, demanding the crucifixion of his own Son? Did their cry of blood have the Divine sanction, simply because they had voted it, and because they had a law by which the Man of Nazareth must be put to death? What an impious dogma!
But let us follow this expansion and vox populi, doctrine. We already embrace Utah; there the voice of the people sanctions and demands a multiplicity of wives. Is it the voice of God? We acquire Cuba; and there the voice of the people demands the union of Church and State, and forbids a prayer to be uttered by the open grave of a friend who breathed out his soul beyond the pale of the Papal church; and the voice of the people is the voice of God! Expansion! We sweep onward, and take in Mexico; and in some questered vale there is a remnant of the Aztec race, with their Teocalli surrounded with human skulls. The voice of the people here leads forth a pampered young man, the fairest and best of the nation, decorated with flowers, up the consecrated hill, laying him as the sacrifice stone, and with breast raised, the priest seizes the knife, and drags it craunching through the ribs, and tears out the heart, and reeking and quivering; and this is the voice of God!
But we have taken in the continent, from Esquimaux to Patagoniam, and still we [unknown] expand. We ride forth on the Pacific waves, and annex the Feejee Islands, and the voice of the people here is to feast on human flesh and the voice of the people is the voice of God: Is this insane asylum? Is the Democracy struck with lunacy as well as filled with fanaticism?
The Slavery Democracy prates and chatters about "negro equality," "Black Republicans," and "nigger stealing," to use its classic phrase and improved orthography. It has or affects to have a great horror of "niggers." And say one who advocates the principle of human Freedom, as they were enunciated and [unknown] down in enduring forms by the fathers of the Republic, is a "woolly head," and these same Democrats have learned to speak of them with a peculiar nasal twist. Naso Contemnere [unknown]. You would suppose that these gentlemen, whose olfactories are so sensitive and acute, [unknown] saw a nigger, unless in a menagerie. And yet would you believe it! The very first series ordered him on earth is performed by a nigger as an infant, he draws the milk which makes his flesh and blood and bones from the [unknown] of a nigger; looks up in her face and smiles and calls her by the endearing name of "mammy,"
(Incipe prve puer. Cognoscere risu matre.)
and begs, perhaps, in piteous tones, for the privilege of carrying "mammy" to the Territories: he is undressed and put to bed by a nigger, and nestles during the slumbers of infancy in the bosom of a nigger; he is washed, [unknown] and taken to the table, by a nigger, to [unknown] food prepared by a nigger; every services that childhood demands is performed by a nigger, except that of chastisement, which from the absence of good manners in many cases it is to be feared is not performed at all. When down appears on his lip, the tonsorial service is performed by a nigger; and when he reaches manhood, he invades the nigger quarters, to place himself in the endearing relations of paternity to half niggers. Finally, if he should be ambitious, it may occur that he will [unknown] to Congress to represent a constituency, three fourths of whom are niggers, and talk about "Black Republicans," amalgamation," "nigger equality,"
7"nigger stealing," and the offenave odor of niggerism.
I insist upon it, we have had enough of this unfoolery. Let members from the slave States treat us with the courtesy done due from one gentleman to another, and they will receive the same in return. But till then, if God pleases, they shall have a Roland for an Oliver. I call gentlemen to witness, that during all last session I endured this kind of abuse. Scurrilous letters were read from the Clerk's desk, and I held my peace. Again this session, old Mose is exhumed, and served up in a Democratic rehash. And who is this old Mose, that is to form the pabulum of an interesting chapter, when some Democratic historian shall give us the history of the United States? A poor, old septgenarian negro, whom I never saw, and of whom. I never heard till he came to my door — free by the admission of the blackguard who had owned him. I gave him a meal of victuals; he remained a few hours till the cars came, when I secured the payment of his passage to Chicago, and he went on his way rejoicing, like the Ethiopian of old. By the way, ought there not to be an ecumenical council of the Democratic church, to get out an expurgated edition of the Bible? What a scandalous thing, that Philip should ride with the Ethiopian? It is asked why I did not state these [unknown] before. I answer, I will not hold myself [unknown] to explain every abullition of black-guardism, either in or out of Congress. When a boy, I used to strike back at every dog that barked at me as I rode along the highways; [unknown] I have ceased doing so, long since, and let them bite the iron that encircles the wheel.
And now, what about this negro equality of which we hear so much, in and out of Congress? It is claimed by the Democrats of to-day, that Jefferson has uttered an untruth in the declaration of principles which underlie our Government. I still abide by the Democracy of Jefferson, and vow my belief that all men are created equal. Equal how? Not in physical strength; not in symmetry to form and proportion; not in gracefulness of motion, or loveliness of feature; not in mental endowment, moral susceptibility, and emotional power; not [unknown] equal; not of necessity politically equal — not this, but every human being equally entitled to his life, his liberty, and the fruit of his toil. The Democratic party deny this fundamental doctrine of our Government, and say that there is a certain class of human beings that have no rights. If you maliciously kill [unknown], it is no crime; if you deprive them of their earnings, it is no theft. No rights which [unknown] is bound to regard! Was there ever such diabolism compressed into one [unknown].
Why do the Democrats come to us with their complaints about negroes? I, for one, feel are responsibility in the matter. I did not create them — was not consulted. Now, if there is any one dissatisfied with the fact, that there is a whole race of human beings, with the rights of human beings, with the rights of human beings, created with a skin not colored like our own, let him go mouth the heavens, and mutter his blasphemies in the ear of the God that made us all. Tell Him that He had no business to make human beings with a black skin. I repeat, I feel no responsibility for this fact. But, inasmuch as it has pleased God to make them human beings, I am bound to regard them as such. Instead of chattering your gibberish in my ear about negro equality, go look the Son of God in the face, and reproach him with favoring negro equality because he poured out his blood for the most abject and despised of the human family. Go settle this matter with the God who created, and the Christ who redeemed.
"He that despiseth the poor, reproacheth his Maker."
A single word as to this charge of negro stealing. I suppose I have a right to speak on this subject, having a right to speak on this subject, having been made the object of this allegation. So far as any personal abuse, is concerned, it may go for what it is worth. If the object is ascertain whether I assist fugitive slaves who come to my door and ask it, the matter is easily disposed of. I march right up to the confessional, and say, I do. I recollect the case of a young woman, who came to my house, who had not a single trace of African descent either in feature or complexion. According to her own story, she was betrothed to a man of her race, though not of her color, and was, before her marriage, sold to a libertine from the South, she being in St. Louis. She escaped, and, in her flight from a life of infamy and a fate worse than death, she came and implored aid? Was I to refuse it? Was I to bewray the wanderer? Was I to detain her, and give her up a prey to the incarnate fiend who had selected her as a victim to offer up on the altar of sensualism?
Who would do it? I would not, did not. No human being, black or white, bond or free, native or foreign, infidel or Christian, ever came to my door, and asked for food and shelter, in the name of a common humanity, or of a pitying Christ, who did not receive it. This I have done. This I mean to do, as long as God lets me live. I shall never "bewray him that wandereth." I shall never become a slave catcher. Any one who chooses may transform himself into a blood-hound — snuff, and scent, and howl, along the track of the fugitive — loll out his tongue, and lap up the dirty water that stands in muddy pools by the way side — overtake the rifle-scarred and lash-excoriated slave, (a mother, it may be, with her infant, the love of whom has nerved her for the flight,) thrust his canine teeth into the quivering flash, brace out his fore feet, and hold the captive till the kidnapper comes, with fetters and handcuffs, to load down ankles and wrist, and then receive, as a reward of this
8brutism, a pat on the head from the slave catcher, and the plaudit, "Good dog, Bose."
Sir, I never will do this. I never will degrade my manhood, and stifle the sympathies of human nature. It is an insult to claim it. I wish I had nothing worse to meet at the judgment day than that. I would not have the guilt of causing that wail of man's despair, or that wild shriek of woman's agony, as the one or the other is captured, for all the diadems of all the stars in heaven.
Is it desired to call attention to this fact? Proclaim it them upon the house tops. Write it on every leaf that trembles in the forest, make it blaze from the sun at high [unknown] shine forth in the milder radiance of every [unknown] that bedecks the firmament of God. Let it shine through all the arches of heaven, and [unknown] rate and bellow along the deep gorges of [unknown] where slave catchers will be very likely to [unknown]. Owen Lovejoy lives at Princeton, Illinois, share-quarters of a mile east of the village, and [unknown] aids every fugitive that comes to his door and asks it. Thou invisible demon of Slavery, [unknown] thou think to cross my humble threshold, and forbid me to give bread to the hungry and shelter to the houseless! I BID YOU DEFIANCE IN THE NAME OF MY GOD!]