Front Page Titles (by Subject) RECOMMENDATIONS. - A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850
Return to Title Page for A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
RECOMMENDATIONS. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
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.”
ALSO FOR SALE AS ABOVE.
THE TRIAL AND IMPRISONMENT OF JONATHAN WALKER, at Pensacola, Florida, for aiding slaves to escape from bondage; with an Appendix, containing a sketch of his life. Price 25 cents.
Mr. Sumner’s Fourth of July Oration, on the TRUE GRANDEUR OF NATIONS. Price 25 cents.
Mr. Parker’s SERMON ON WAR, preached at the Melodeon on Sunday, June 7, 1846. 15 cents.
Lincoln’s ANTI-SLAVERY MELODIES. 25 cents.
NARRATIVE of the sufferings of LEWIS and MILTON CLARKE, among the Slaveholders of Kentucky. 25 cents.
THE WATER CURE FOR DEBILITATED YOUNG MEN; addressed to Fathers as well as Sons. Translated from the German of Christian Ritter, M. D., with Notes critical and explanatory, by Dr. Alcott. 20 cents.
DR. GRAHAM’S LECTURES TO YOUNG MEN ON CHASTITY. Intended also for the serious consideration of Parents and Guardians. 50 cents.
MRS. CHILD’S LETTERS FROM NEW-YORK. 75 cents.
MRS. CHILD’S HISTORY OF WOMEN, 2 vols. 75 cents.
All the works of Combe and Fowler, on PHRENOLOGY, PHYSIOLOGY, &c.
POVERTY.—Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cure, by Lysander Spooner. 25 cents.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF MESMERISM, by J. B. Dods. 25 cents.
THE COMPLETE PHONOGRAPHIC CLASS BOOK, containing a strictly inductive exposition of Pitman’s Phonography. 37 1-2 cents.
THE PHONOGRAPHIC READER. 25 cents.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE WATER CURE. 25 cents.
DR. ALCOTT ON THE USE OF TOBACCC. 12 1-2 cents.
DR. ALCOTT ON THE USE OF TEA AND COFFEE. 15 cents.