Online Library of Liberty

A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.

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Quotations about Liberty and Power Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Tocqueville on Centralised Government in Canada and Decentralised Government in America (1856) Alexis de Tocqueville 2014-05-19
John Stuart Mill on “the sacred right of insurrection” (1862) John Stuart Mill 2011-04-17
Frederick Douglass makes a New Year’s resolution to gain his freedom from slavery (1836) Frederick Douglass 2009-12-28
Emerson on the right of self-ownership of slaves to themselves and to their labor (1863) Ralph Waldo Emerson 2009-12-14
Sir William Blackstone declares unequivocally that slavery is “repugnant to reason, and the principles of natural law” and that it has no place in English law (1753) Sir William Blackstone 2009-01-05
Harriet Martineau on the institution of slavery, “restless slaves”, and the Bill of Rights (1838) Harriet Martineau 2008-08-25
John Stuart Mill on the “atrocities” committed by Governor Eyre and his troops in putting down the Jamaica rebellion (1866) John Stuart Mill 2007-10-15
Jeremy Bentham relates a number of “abominations” to the French National Convention urging them to emancipate their colonies (1793) Jeremy Bentham 2007-08-06
Thomas Clarkson on the “glorious” victory of the abolition of the slave trade in England (1808) Thomas Clarkson 2007-03-12
Jean-Baptiste Say argues that home-consumers bear the brunt of the cost of maintaining overseas colonies and that they also help support the lavish lifestyles of the planter and merchant classes (1817) Jean Baptiste Say 2007-02-23
J.B. Say argues that colonial slave labor is really quite profitable for the slave owners at the expense of the slaves and the home consumers (1817) Jean Baptiste Say 2007-02-22
John Millar argues that as a society becomes wealthier domestic freedom increases, even to the point where slavery is thought to be pernicious and economically inefficient (1771) John Millar 2006-07-24
Adam Smith notes that colonial governments might exercise relative freedom in the metropolis but impose tyranny in the distant provinces (1776) Adam Smith 2006-06-19
Less well known is Thomas Jefferson’s First Draft of the Declaration of Independence in which he denounced the slave trade as an “execrable Commerce” and slavery itself as a “cruel war against nature itself” (1776) Thomas Jefferson 2005-07-04

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