Front Page Titles (by Subject) UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF SLAVERY. PARTS FIRST AND SECOND. - A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850
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UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF SLAVERY. PARTS FIRST AND SECOND. - Lysander Spooner, A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850 
A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850 (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1850).
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UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF SLAVERY. PARTS FIRST AND SECOND.
Published and for sale by BELA MARSH, No. 25 Cornhill, Boston. Price 50 cents, (25 cents for either part separately). Postage on the book for any distance is but 12 cents. A person remitting to the Publisher $1, post-paid, can have two copies sent by mail. A liberal discount will be made to Booksellers and Agents who buy to sell again.
☞ Will the publishers of Anti-Slavery papers please to keep a supply on hand for sale?
Mr. Garrison, disagreeing to its conclusions on the ground that the words of the Constitution do not fully express the intentions of its authors, yet says:—“His logic may be faultless, as a merely legal effort.” “We admit Mr. Spooner’s reasoning to be ingenious—perhaps, as an effort of logic, unanswerable.” “It impresses us as the production of a mind equally honest and acute.” “Its ability, and the importance of the subject on which it treats, will doubtless secure for it a wide circulation and a careful perusal.”
Mr. Joshua Leavitt says:—“It is unanswerable. There will never be an honest attempt to answer it. Neither priest nor politician, lawyer nor judge, will ever dare undertake to sunder that iron-linked chain of argument, which runs straight through this book from beginning to end.”
Mr. Gerrit Smith, in a letter to the Liberty Press, (Utica,) says:—“It is admirable, I warmly commend it to you and your readers.” “High as were my opinions of his ability, they are higher now that I have read his argument in favor of his position that there is no legal or constitutional slavery in this nation.”
Mr. N. P. Rogers, agreeing with some of its positions, and disagreeing with others, says:—“It is a splendid essay. If the talent laid out in it were laid out in the bar, it would make the author distinguished and rich.” “This essay should give the author a name at the Boston bar. It will at the bar of posterity.”
Samuel E. Sewall, Esq., says:—“It merits general attention, not merely from the importance of the subject, but from the masterly manner in which it is handled.” “It everywhere overflows with thought.” “We regard it as a great arsenal of legal weapons to be used in the great contest between liberty and slavery.” “I hope it will receive the widest circulation.”
J. Fulton, Jr., (Penn.,) says:—“Now that I have read it, I feel bound to say that it is the most clear and luminous production that I have ever read on the subject. It begins without a line of preface, and ends without a word of apology. It is a solid mass of the most brilliant argument, unbroken, as it seems to me, by a single flaw, and treads down as dust everything which has preceded it upon that subject. Let every friend of the slave read the work without delay. I believe it is destined to give a new phase to our struggle.”
Richard Hildreth, Esq., says:—“No one can deny to the present work the merit of great ability and great learning.” “If anybody wishes to see this argument handled in a masterly manner, with great clearness and plainness, and an array of constitutional learning, which, in the hands of most lawyers, would have expanded into at least three royal octavos, we commend them to Mr. Spooner’s modest pamphlet of one hundred and fifty-six pages.”
Elihu Burritt says:—“It evinces a depth of legal erudition, which would do honor to the first jurist of the age.”
The True American, (Cortland county, N. Y.,) says:—“It is an imperishable and triumphant work.” “A law argument that would add to the fame of the most famed jurist, living or dead.”
The Bangor Gazette says:—“It is indeed a masterly argument.” “No one, unprejudiced, who has supposed that that instrument (the Constitution) contained guarantees of slavery, or who has had doubts upon the point, can rise from the perusal without feeling relieved from the supposition that our great national charter is one of slavery and not of freedom. And no lawyer can read it without admiring, besides its other great excellences, the clearness of its style, and its logical precision.”
The Hampshire Herald (Northampton) says:—“It is worthy the most gifted intellect in the country.”
The Worcester County Gazette says:—“Mr. Spooner, we think, has clearly shown that it (slavery) has no constitutional foundation.”
The Liberty Press, (Utica,) says:—“The author labors to show, and does show, that slavery in this country is unconstitutional, and unsustained by law, either state or federal.”
The Granite Freeman says:—“We wish every voter in the Union could have the opportunity to read this magnificent argument. We should hear no more, after that, of the ‘compromises of the Constitution’ as an argument to close the lips and palsy the hands of those who abhor slavery and labor for its removal.”
The Charter Oak says:—“Of its rare merit as a controversial argument, it is superfluous to speak. It may, in fact, be regarded as unanswerable, and we are persuaded that its general circulation would give a new aspect to the Anti-Slavery cause, by exploding the popular, but mistaken notion, that slavery is somehow entrenched behind the Constitution.”
The Albany Patriot says:—“This effort of Mr. Spooner is a remarkable one in many respects. It is unrivalled in the simplicity, clearness and force of style with which it is executed. The argument is original, steel-ribbed, and triumphant. It bears down all opposition. Pettifogging, black-letter dullness and pedantry, special pleading and demagogism, all retire before it. If every lawyer in the country could have it put into his hands, and be induced to study it, as he does his brief, it would alone overthrow slavery. There is moral force enough in it for that purpose.”
The Chronotype calls it “One of the most magnificent constitutional arguments ever produced in any country.” “It needs such a work as Mr. Spooner’s on constitutional law to make the Constitution of the least value to us as a shield of rights.”
The Liberty Gazette (Burlington, Vt.) says:—“This work cannot be too highly praised, or too extensively circulated. Its reasoning is conclusive, and no one can read it without being convinced that the Constitution, instead of being the friend and protector of slavery, is a purely Anti-Slavery document.”
The Indiana Freeman says:—“Every Abolitionist should have this admirable work, and keep it in constant circulation among his neighbors.”
The Worcester Ægis says:—“This work is one of the ablest, perhaps the ablest review of all the arguments, pro and con, upon the subject of slavery, that has yet emanated from the American press. No one who feels the least interest whatever in this great question should fail to possess himself of a copy.”