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David M. Hart, Anti-Slavery Tracts. Second Series, nos. 1-25 (1860-62) [2018]

Edition used:

David M. Hart, Anti-Slavery Tracts. Second Series, nos. 1-25 (New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1860-62).

About this Title:

The second of two collections of anti-slavery tracts published by the American Anti-Slavery Society between 1860-62. It consists of 25 pamphlets written by William Lloyd Garrison, Daniel O'Connell, Maria Child, Wendell Phillips, and others. The first collection of 20 pamphlets appeared in 1855-56.

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The text is in the public domain.

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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.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]


  • 1. Lydia Maris, “Correspondence between Lydia Maria Child and Gov. Wise and Mrs. Mason, of Virginia”, 27 pp.
  • 2. Victor Hugo et al., “Letters on American Slavery from Victor Hugo, de Tocqueville, Emile de Girardin, Carnot, Passy, Mazzini, Humboldt, O. Lafayette, etc.,” 23 pp.
  • 3. Joshua Coffin, “An Account of some of the Principal Slave Insurrections, and others, which have occurred, or been attempted, in the United States and Elsewhere, during the last Two Centuries. With Various Remarks. Collected from Various Sources by Joshua Coffin,” 36 pp.
  • 4: Anon. (William Lloyd Garrison), “The new ‘Reign of Terror’ in the Slaveholding States, for 1859-60”, 144 pp.
  • 5. Daniel O’Connell, “Daniel O’Connell upon American Slavery: with Other Irish Testimonies,” 48 pp.
  • 6. L Maria Child, “The Right Way the Save Way, proved by Emancipation in the British West Indies, and Elsewhere,” 95 pp.
  • 7. Anon., “Testimonies of John Brown, at Harper’s Ferry, with his Address to the Court,” 16 pp.
  • 8. Wendell Phillips, “The Philosophy of the Abolition Movement,” 46 pp.
  • 9. L. Maria Child, “The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act: An Appeal to the Legislators of Massachusetts” 35 pp.
  • 10. William Lloyd Garrison, “The “Infidelity” of Abolitionism,” 12 pp.
  • 11. John Hossack, “Speech of John Hossack. convicted of a Violation of the Fugitive Slave Law, before Judge Drummond, of the United States District Court, Chicago, Ill.”, 12 pp.
  • 12. L. Maria Child, “The Patriarchal Institution, as described by Members if its Own Family”, 55 pp.
  • 13. Wendell Phillips, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, and Charles C. Burleigh, “No Slave Hunting in the Old Bay State: An Appeal to the People and Legislature of Massachusetts,” 22 pp.
  • 14. Anon., “A Fresh Catalogue of Southern Outrages upon Northern Citizens”, 71 pp.
  • 15. Anon., “The Fugitive Slave Law and its Victims. Revised and enlarged edition,” 168 pp.
  • 16. Anon., “Tribute of William Ellery Channing to the American Abolitionists, for their Vindication of Freedom of Speech,” 24 pp.
  • 17. Wendell Phillips, “Argument of Wendell Phillips against the Repeal of the Personal Liberty Law, before the Committee of the Legislature, Tuesday, January 29, 1861,” 24 pp.
  • 18. Anon., “The Loyalty and Devotion of Colored Americans in the Revolution and War of 1812,” 24 pp.
  • 19. “The Abolition of Slavery the Right of Government under the War Power,” 24 pp.
  • 20. Anon., “The War and Slavery; or, Victory only through Emancipation,” 8 pp.
  • 21. Garrison, Phillips, May, “In Memoriam. Testimonials to the Life and Character of the Late Francis Jackson,” 36 pp.
  • 22. “The Spirit of the South towards Northern Freemen and Soldiers defending the American Flag,” 24 pp.
  • 23. “Southern Hatred of the American Government, the People of the North, and Free Institutions,” 36 pp. [mispagination between pp. 24-37]
  • 24. “Extract from a Speech by Alexander H. Stephens”, 4 pp.
  • 25. E.L. Pierce, “The Negroes at Port Royal. Report of E.L. Pierce, Government Agent, to the Hon. Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury,” 36 pp.
Edition: current; Page: [1]

Anti-Slavery Tracts. Second Series, Nos. 1-25 (New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1860-62)

Lydia Maris
Maris, Lydia

Lydia Maris, “Correspondence between Lydia Maria Child and Gov. Wise and Mrs. Mason, of Virginia”, 27 pp.









Edition: current; Page: [3]


L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria
Oct. 26th, 1859
Wayland, Mass
Henry A. Wise
Wise, Henry A.


Governor Wise:

I have heard that you were a man of chivalrous sentiments, and I know you were opposed to the iniquitous attempt to force upon Kansas a Constitution abhorrent to the moral sense of her people. Relying upon these indications of honor and justice in your character, I venture to ask a favor of you. Enclosed is a letter to Capt. John Brown. Will you have the kindness, after reading it yourself, to transmit it to the prisoner?

I and all my large circle of abolition acquaintances were taken by surprise when news came of Capt. Brown’s recent attempt; nor do I know of a single person who would have approved of it, had they been apprised of his intention. But I and thousands of others feel a natural impulse of sympathy for the brave and suffering man. Perhaps God, who sees the inmost of our souls, perceives some such sentiment in your heart also. He needs a mother or sister to dress his wounds, and speak soothingly to him. Will you allow me to perform that mission of humanity? If you will, may God bless you for the generous deed!

I have been for years an uncompromising Abolitionist, and I should scorn to deny it or apologize for it as much as John Brown himself would do. Believing in peace principles, I deeply regret the step that the old veteran has taken, while I honor his humanity towards those who became his prisoners. But because it is my habit to be as open as the daylight, Edition: current; Page: [4] I will also say, that if I believed our religion justified men in fighting for freedom, I should consider the enslaved every where as best entitled to that right. Such an avowal is a simple, frank expression of my sense of natural justice.

But I should despise myself utterly if any circumstances could tempt me to seek to advance these opinions in any way, directly or indirectly, after your permission to visit Virginia has been obtained on the plea of sisterly sympathy with a brave and suffering man. I give you my word of honor, which was never broken, that I would use such permission solely and singly for the purpose of nursing your prisoner, and for no other purpose whatsoever.

Yours, respectfully,
Henry A. Wise
Wise, Henry A.
Oct. 29th, 1859
Richmond, Va.
L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria



Yours of the 26th was received by me yesterday, and at my earliest leisure I respectfully reply to it, that I will forward the letter for John Brown, a prisoner under our laws, arraigned at the bar of the Circuit Court for the county of Jefferson, at Charlestown, Va., for the crimes of murder, robbery and treason, which you ask me to transmit to him. I will comply with your request in the only way which seems to me proper, by enclosing it to the Commonwealth’s attorney, with the request that he will ask the permission of the Court to hand it to the prisoner. Brown, the prisoner, is now in the hands of the judiciary, not of the executive, of this Commonwealth.

You ask me, further, to allow you to perform the mission “of mother or sister, to dress his wounds, and speak soothingly to him.” By this, of course, you mean to be allowed to visit him in his cell, and to minister to him in the offices of humanity. Why should you not be so allowed, Madam? Virginia and Massachusetts are involved in no civil war, and Edition: current; Page: [5] the Constitution which unites them in one confederacy guarantees to you the privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States in the State of Virginia. That Constitution I am sworn to support, and am, therefore, bound to protect your privileges and immunities as a citizen of Massachusetts coming into Virginia for any lawful and peaceful purpose.

Coming, as you propose, to minister to the captive in prison, you will be met, doubtless, by all our people, not only in a chivalrous, but in a Christian spirit. You have the right to visit Charlestown, Va., Madam; and your mission being merciful and humane, will not only be allowed, but respected, if not welcomed. A few unenlightened and inconsiderate persons, fanatical in their modes of thought and action, to maintain justice and right, might molest you, or be disposed to do so; and this might suggest the imprudence of risking any experiment upon the peace of a society very much excited by the crimes with whose chief author you seem to sympathize so much. But still, I repeat, your motives and avowed purpose are lawful and peaceful, and I will, as far as I am concerned, do my duty in protecting your rights in our limits. Virginia and her authorities would be weak indeed—weak in point of folly, and weak in point of power—if her State faith and constitutional obligations cannot be redeemed in her own limits to the letter of morality as well as of law; and if her chivalry cannot courteously receive a lady’s visit to a prisoner, every arm which guards Brown from rescue on the one hand, and from lynch law on the other, will be ready to guard your person in Virginia.

I could not permit an insult even to woman in her walk of charity among us, though it be to one who whetted knives of butchery for our mothers, sisters, daughters and babes. We have no sympathy with your sentiments of sympathy with Brown, and are surprised that you were “taken by surprise when news came of Capt. Brown’s recent attempt.” His attempt was a natural consequence of your sympathy, and the errors of that sympathy ought to make you doubt its virtue from the effect on his conduct. But it is not of this I should speak. When you arrive at Charlestown, if you go there, it will be for the Court and its officers, the Commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and jailer, to say whether you may see and wait on the prisoner. But, whether you are thus permitted Edition: current; Page: [6] or not, (and you will be, if my advice can prevail,) you may rest assured that he will be humanely, lawfully and mercifully dealt by in prison and on trial.

L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria
Henry A. Wise
Wise, Henry A.


In your civil but very diplomatic reply to my letter, you inform me that I have a constitutional right to visit Virginia, for peaceful purposes, in common with every citizen of the United States. I was perfectly well aware that such was the theory of constitutional obligation in the Slave States; but I was also aware of what you omit to mention, viz.; that the Constitution has, in reality, been completely and systematically nullified, whenever it suited the convenience or the policy of the Slave Power. Your constitutional obligation, for which you profess so much respect, has never proved any protection to citizens of the Free States, who happened to have a black, brown, or yellow complexion; nor to any white citizen whom you even suspected of entertaining opinions opposite to your own, on a question of vast importance to the temporal welfare and moral example of our common country. This total disregard of constitutional obligation has been manifested not merely by the Lynch Law of mobs in the Slave States, but by the deliberate action of magistrates and legislators. What regard was paid to constitutional obligation in South Carolina, when Massachusetts sent the Hon. Mr. Hoar there as an envoy, on a purely legal errand? Mr. Hedrick, Professor of Political Economy in the University of North Carolina, had a constitutional right to reside in that State. What regard was paid to that right, when he was driven from his home, merely for declaring that he considered Slavery an impolitic system, injurious to the prosperity of States? What respect for constitutional rights was manifested by Alabama, when a bookseller in Mobile was compelled to flee for his life, because he had, at the special request of some of the citizens, imported a few copies of a novel that every body was curious Edition: current; Page: [7] to read? Your own citizen, Mr. Underwood, had a constitutional right to live in Virginia, and vote for whomsoever he pleased. What regard was paid to his rights, when he was driven from your State for declaring himself in favor of the election of Fremont? With these, and a multitude of other examples before your eyes, it would seem as if the less that was said about respect for constitutional obligations at the South, the better. Slavery is, in fact, an infringement of all law, and adheres to no law, save for its own purposes of oppression.

You accuse Captain John Brown of “whetting knives of butchery for the mothers, sisters, daughters and babes” of Virginia; and you inform me of the well-known fact that he is “arraigned for the crimes of murder, robbery and treason.” I will not here stop to explain why I believe that old hero to be no criminal, but a martyr to righteous principles which he sought to advance by methods sanctioned by his own religious views, though not by mine. Allowing that Capt. Brown did attempt a scheme in which murder, robbery and treason were, to his own consciousness, involved, I do not see how Gov. Wise can consistently arraign him for crimes he has himself commended. You have threatened to trample on the Constitution, and break the Union, if a majority of the legal voters in these Confederated States dared to elect a President unfavorable to the extension of Slavery. Is not such a declaration proof of premeditated treason? In the Spring of 1842, you made a speech in Congress, from which I copy the following:—

“Once set before the people of the Great Valley the conquest of the rich Mexican Provinces, and you/might as well attempt to stop the wind. This Government might send its troops, but they would run over them like a herd of buffalo. Let the work once begin, and I do not know that this House would hold me very long. Give me five millions of dollars, and I would undertake to do it myself. Although I do not know how to set a single squadron in the field, I could find men to do it. Slavery should pour itself abroad, without restraint, and find no limit but the Southern Ocean. The Camanches should no longer hold the richest mines of Mexico. Every golden image which had received the profanation of a false worship, should soon be melted down into good American eagles. I would cause as much gold to cross the Rio del Norte as the mules of Mexico could carry; aye, and I would make better use of it, too, than any lazy, bigoted priesthood under heaven.”

When you thus boasted that you and your “booted loafers” would overrun the troops of the United States “like a herd of Edition: current; Page: [8] buffalo,” if the Government sent them to arrest your invasion of a neighboring nation, at peace with the United States, did you not pledge yourself to commit treason? Was it not by robbery, even of churches, that you proposed to load the mules of Mexico with gold for the United States? Was it not by the murder of unoffending Mexicans that you expected to advance those schemes of avarice and ambition? What humanity had you for Mexican “mothers and babes,” whom you proposed to make childless and fatherless? And for what purpose was this wholesale massacre to take place? Not to right the wrongs of any oppressed class; not to sustain any great principles of justice, or of freedom; but merely to enable “Slavery to pour itself forth without restraint.”

Even if Captain Brown were as bad as you paint him, I should suppose he must naturally remind you of the words of Macbeth:

  • “We but teach
  • Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
  • To plague the inventor: This even-handed justice
  • Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
  • To our own lips.”

If Captain Brown intended, as you say, to commit treason, robbery and murder, I think I have shown that he could find ample authority for such proceedings in the public declarations of Gov. Wise. And if, as he himself declares, he merely intended to free the oppressed, where could he read a more forcible lesson than is furnished by the State Seal of Virginia? I looked at it thoughtfully before I opened your letter; and though it had always appeared to me very suggestive, it never seemed to me so much so as it now did in connection with Captain John Brown. A liberty-loving hero stands with his foot upon a prostrate despot; under his strong arm, manacles and chains lie broken; and the motto is, “Sic Semper Tyrannis;” “Thus be it ever done to Tyrants.” And this is the blazon of a State whose most profitable business is the Internal Slave-Trade!—in whose highways coffles of human chattles, chained and manacled, are frequently seen! And the Seal and the Coffles are both looked upon by other chattels, constantly exposed to the same fate! What if some Vezey, or Nat Turner, should be growing up among those apparently quiet spectators? It is in no spirit of taunt or of Edition: current; Page: [9] excitation that I ask this question. I never think of it but with anxiety, sadness, and sympathy. I know that a slaveholding community necessarily lives in the midst of gunpowder; and, in this age, sparks of free thought are flying in every direction. You cannot quench the fires of free thought and human sympathy by any process of cunning or force; but there is a method by which you can effectually wet the gunpowder. England has already tried it, with safety and success. Would that you could be persuaded to set aside the prejudices of education, and candidly examine the actual working of that experiment! Virginia is so richly endowed by nature that Free Institutions alone are wanting to render her the most prosperous and powerful of the States.

In your letter, you suggest that such a scheme as Captain Brown’s is the natural result of the opinions with which I sympathize. Even if I thought this to be a correct statement, though I should deeply regret it, I could not draw the conclusion that humanity ought to be stifled, and truth struck dumb, for fear that long-successful despotism might be endangered by their utterance. But the fact is, you mistake the source of that strange outbreak. No abolition arguments or denunciations, however earnestly, loudly, or harshly proclaimed, would have produced that result. It was the legitimate consequence of the continual and constantly-increasing aggressions of the Slave Power. The Slave States, in their desperate efforts to sustain a bad and dangerous institution, have encroached more and more upon the liberties of the Free States. Our inherent love of law and order, and our superstitious attachment to the Union, you have mistaken for cowardice; and rarely have you let slip any opportunity to add insult to aggression.

The manifested opposition to Slavery began with the lectures and pamphlets of a few disinterested men and women, who based their movements upon purely moral and religious grounds; but their expostulations were met with a storm of rage, with tar and feathers, brickbats, demolished houses, and other applications of Lynch Law. When the dust of the conflict began to subside a little, their numbers were found to be greatly increased by the efforts to exterminate them. They had become an influence in the State too important to be overlooked by shrewd calculators. Political economists began to Edition: current; Page: [10] look at the subject from a lower point of view. They used their abilities to demonstrate that slavery was a wasteful system, and that the Free States were taxed, to an enormous extent, to sustain an institution which, at heart, two-thirds of them abhorred. The forty millions, or more, of dollars, expended in hunting Fugitive Slaves in Florida, under the name of the Seminole War, were adduced, as one item in proof, to which many more were added. At last, politicians were compelled to take some action on the subject. It soon became known to all the people that the Slave States had always managed to hold in their hands the political power of the Union, and that while they constituted only one-third of the white population of these States, they held more than two-thirds of all the lucrative, and once honorable offices; an indignity to which none but a subjugated people had ever before submitted. The knowledge also became generally diffused, that while the Southern States owned their Democracy at home, and voted for them, they also systematically bribed the nominally Democratic party, at the North, with the offices adroitly kept at their disposal.

Through these, and other instrumentalities, the sentiments of the original Garrisonian Abolitionists became very widely extended, in forms more or less diluted. But by far the most efficient co-laborers we have ever had have been the Slave States themselves. By denying us the sacred Right of Petition, they roused the free spirit of the North, as it never could have been roused by the loud trumpet of Garrison, or the soul-animating bugle of Phillips. They bought the great slave, Daniel, and, according to their established usage, paid him no wages for his labor. By his coöperation, they forced the Fugitive Slave Law upon us, in violation of all our humane instincts and all our principles of justice. And what did they procure for the Abolitionists by that despotic process? A deeper and wider detestation of Slavery throughout the Free States, and the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an eloquent outburst of moral indignation, whose echoes wakened the world to look upon their shame.

By fillibustering and fraud, they dismembered Mexico, and having thus obtained the soil of Texas, they tried to introduce it as a Slave State into the Union. Failing to effect their purpose by constitutional means, they accomplished it by a Edition: current; Page: [11] most open and palpable violation of the Constitution, and by obtaining the votes of Senators on false pretences.*

Soon afterward, a Southern Slave Administration ceded to the powerful monarchy of Great Britain several hundred thousands of square miles, that must have been made into Free States, to which that same Administration had declared that the United States had “an unquestionable right;” and then they turned upon the weak Republic of Mexico, and, in order to make more Slave States, wrested from her twice as many hundred thousands of square miles, to which we had not a shadow of right.

Notwithstanding all these extra efforts, they saw symptoms that the political power so long held with a firm grasp was in danger of slipping from their hands, by reason of the extension of Abolition sentiments, and the greater prosperity of Free States. Emboldened by continual success in aggression, they made use of the pretence of “Squatter Sovereignty” to break the league into which they had formerly cajoled the servile representatives of our blinded people, by which all the territory of the United States south of 36° 30′ was guaranteed to Slavery, and all north of it to Freedom. Thus Kansas became the battle-ground of the antagonistic elements in our Government. Ruffians hired by the Slave Power were sent thither temporarily, to do the voting, and drive from the polls the legal voters, who were often murdered in the process. Names, copied from the directories of cities in other States, were returned by thousands as legal voters in Kansas, in order to establish a Constitution abhorred by the people. This was their exemplification of Squatter Sovereignty. A Massachusetts Senator, distinguished for candor, courtesy, and stainless integrity, was half murdered by slaveholders, merely for having the manliness to state these facts to the assembled Congress of the nation. Peaceful emigrants from the North, who went to Kansas for no other purpose than to till the soil, erect mills, and establish manufactories, schools, and churches, were robbed, outraged, and murdered. For many months, a war more ferocious than the warfare of wild Indians was carried Edition: current; Page: [12] on against a people almost unresisting, because they relied upon the Central Government for aid. And all this while, the power of the United States, wielded by the Slave Oligarchy, was on the side of the aggressors. They literally tied the stones, and let loose the mad dogs. This was the state of things when the hero of Osawatomie and his brave sons went to the rescue. It was he who first turned the tide of Border-Ruffian triumph, by showing them that blows were to be taken as well as given.

You may believe it or not, Gov. Wise, but it is certainly the truth that, because slaveholders so recklessly sowed the wind in Kansas, they reaped a whirlwind at Harper’s Ferry.

The people of the North had a very strong attachment to the Union; but, by your desperate measures, you have weakened it beyond all power of restoration. They are not your enemies, as you suppose, but they cannot consent to be your tools for any ignoble task you may choose to propose. You must not judge of us by the crawling sinuosities of an Everett; or by our magnificent hound, whom you trained to hunt your poor cripples, and then sent him sneaking into a corner to die—not with shame for the base purposes to which his strength had been applied, but with vexation because you withheld from him the promised bone. Not by such as these must you judge the free, enlightened yeomanry of New England. A majority of them would rejoice to have the Slave States fulfil their oft-repeated threat of withdrawal from the Union. It has ceased to be a bugbear, for we begin to despair of being able, by any other process, to give the world the example of a real republic. The moral sense of these States is outraged by being accomplices in sustaining an institution vicious in all its aspects; and it is now generally understood that we purchase our disgrace at great pecuniary expense. If you would only make the offer of a separation in serious earnest, you would hear the hearty response of millions, “Go, gentlemen, and

  • ‘Stand not upon the order of your going,
  • But go at once!’ ”
Yours, with all due respect,
Edition: current; Page: [13]
L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria
Nov. 10, 1859.
Henry A. Wise
Wise, Henry A.


To the Editor of the New York Tribune:

I was much surprised to see my correspondence with Governor Wise published in your columns. As I have never given any person a copy, I presume you must have obtained it from Virginia. My proposal to go and nurse that brave and generous old man, who so willingly gives his life a sacrifice for God’s oppressed poor, originated in a very simple and unmeritorious impulse of kindness. I heard his friends inquiring, “Has he no wife, or sister, that can go to nurse him? We are trying to ascertain, for he needs some one.” My niece said she would go at once, if her health were strong enough to be trusted. I replied that my age and state of health rendered me a more suitable person to go, and that I would go most gladly. I accordingly wrote to Captain Brown, and enclosed the letter to Governor Wise. My intention was to slip away quietly, without having the affair made public. I packed my trunk and collected a quantity of old linen for lint, and awaited tidings from Virginia. When Governor Wise answered, he suggested the “imprudence of trying any experiment upon the peace of a society already greatly excited,” &c. My husband and I took counsel together, and we both concluded that, as the noble old veteran was said to be fast recovering from his wounds, and as my presence might create a popular excitement unfavorable to such chance as the prisoner had for a fair trial, I had better wait until I received a reply from Captain Brown himself. Fearing to do him more harm than good by following my impulse, I waited for his own sanction. Meanwhile, his wife, said to be a brave-hearted Roman matron, worthy of such a mate, has gone to him, and I have received the following reply.

Respectfully yours,
Edition: current; Page: [14]
L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria
Oct. 26, 1859
Wayland, Mass.
John Brown
Brown, John


Dear Capt. Brown:

Though personally unknown to you, you will recognize in my name an earnest friend of Kansas, when circumstances made that Territory the battle-ground between the antagonistic principles of slavery and freedom, which politicians so vainly strive to reconcile in the government of the United States.

Believing in peace principles, I cannot sympathize with the method you chose to advance the cause of freedom. But I honor your generous intentions—I admire your courage, moral and physical. I reverence you for the humanity which tempered your zeal. I sympathize with you in your cruel bereavement, your sufferings, and your wrongs. In brief, I love you and bless you.

Thousands of hearts are throbbing with sympathy as warm as mine. I think of you night and day, bleeding in prison, surrounded by hostile faces, sustained only by trust in God and your own strong heart. I long to nurse you—to speak to you sisterly words of sympathy and consolation. I have asked permission of Governor Wise to do so. If the request is not granted, I cherish the hope that these few words may at least reach your hands, and afford you some little solace. May you be strengthened by the conviction that no honest man ever sheds blood for freedom in vain, however much he may be mistaken in his efforts. May God sustain you, and carry you through whatsoever may be in store for you!

Yours, with heartfelt respect, sympathy and affection,
Edition: current; Page: [15]
John Brown
Brown, John
L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria


Mrs. L. Maria Child:
My Dear Friend

Such you prove to be, though a stranger—your most kind letter has reached me, with the kind offer to come here and take care of me. Allow me to express my gratitude for your great sympathy, and at the same time to propose to you a different course, together with my reasons for wishing it. I should certainly be greatly pleased to become personally acquainted with one so gifted and so kind, but I cannot avoid seeing some objections to it, under present circumstances. First, I am in charge of a most humane gentleman, who, with his family, has rendered me every possible attention I have desired, or that could be of the least advantage; and I am so recovered of my wounds as no longer to require nursing. Then, again, it would subject you to great personal inconvenience and heavy expense, without doing me any good. Allow me to name to you another channel through which you may reach me with your sympathies much more effectually. I have at home a wife and three young daughters, the youngest but little over five years old, the oldest nearly sixteen. I have also two daughters-in-law, whose husbands have both fallen near me here. There is also another widow, Mrs. Thompson, whose husband fell here. Whether she is a mother or not, I cannot say. All these, my wife included, live at North Elba, Essex county, New York. I have a middle-aged son, who has been, in some degree, a cripple from his childhood, who would have as much as he could well do to earn a living. He was a most dreadful sufferer in Kansas, and lost all he had laid up. He has not enough to clothe himself for the winter comfortably. I have no living son, or son-in-law, who did not suffer terribly in Kansas.

Now, dear friend, would you not as soon contribute fifty cents now, and a like sum yearly, for the relief of those very poor and deeply afflicted persons, to enable them to supply themselves and their children with bread and very plain clothing, and to enable the children to receive a common English education? Will you also devote your own energies to induce Edition: current; Page: [16] others to join you in giving a like amount, or any other amount, to constitute a little fund for the purpose named?

I cannot see how your coming here can do me the least good; and I am quite certain you can do immense good where you are. I am quite cheerful under all my afflicting circumstances and prospects; having, as I humbly trust, “the peace of God which passeth all understanding” to rule in my heart. You may make such use of this as you see fit. God Almighty bless and reward you a thousand fold!

Yours in sincerity and truth,
M. J. C. Mason
Mason, M. J. C.
Nov. 11th, 1859
Alto, King George’s Co., Va.
L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria


Do you read your Bible, Mrs. Child? If you do, read there, “Woe unto you, hypocrites,” and take to yourself with two-fold damnation that terrible sentence; for, rest assured, in the day of judgment it shall be more tolerable for those thus scathed by the awful denunciation of the Son of God, than for you. You would soothe with sisterly and motherly care the hoary-headed murderer of Harper’s Ferry! A man whose aim and intention was to incite the horrors of a servile war—to condemn women of your own race, ere death closed their eyes on their sufferings from violence and outrage, to see their husbands and fathers murdered, their children butchered, the ground strewed with the brains of their babes. The antecedents of Brown’s band proved them to have been the offscourings of the earth; and what would have been our fate had they found as many sympathizers in Virginia as they seem to have in Massachusetts?

Now, compare yourself with those your “sympathy” would devote to such ruthless ruin, and say, on that “word of honor, which never has been broken,” would you stand by the bedside of an old negro, dying of a hopeless disease, to alleviate his sufferings as far as human aid could? Have you ever watched the last, lingering illness of a consumptive, to soothe, Edition: current; Page: [17] as far as in you lay, the inevitable fate? Do you soften the pangs of maternity in those around you by all the care and comfort you can give? Do you grieve with those near you, even though their sorrows resulted from their own misconduct? Did you ever sit up until the “wee hours” to complete a dress for a motherless child, that she might appear on Christmas day in a new one, along with her more fortunate companions? We do these and more for our servants, and why? Because we endeavor to do our duty in that state of life it has pleased God to place us. In his revealed word we read our duties to them—theirs to us are there also—“Not only to the good and gentle, but to the froward.”—(Peter 2: 18.) Go thou and do likewise, and keep away from Charlestown. If the stories read in the public prints be true, of the sufferings of the poor of the North, you need not go far for objects of charity. “Thou hypocrite! take first the beam out of thine own eye, then shalt thou see clearly to pull the mote out of thy neighbor’s.” But if, indeed, you do lack objects of sympathy near you, go to Jefferson county, to the family of George Turner, a noble, true-hearted man, whose devotion to his friend (Col. Washington) causing him to risk his life, was shot down like a dog. Or to that of old Beckham, whose grief at the murder of his negro subordinate made him needlessly expose himself to the aim of the assassin Brown. And when you can equal in deeds of love and charity to those around you, what is shown by nine-tenths of the Virginia plantations, then by your “sympathy” whet the knives for our throats, and kindle the torch that fires our homes. You reverence Brown for his clemency to his prisoners! Prisoners! and how taken? Unsuspecting workmen, going to their daily duties; unarmed gentlemen, taken from their beds at the dead hour of the night, by six men doubly and trebly armed. Suppose he had hurt a hair of their heads, do you suppose one of the band of desperadoes would have left the engine-house alive? And did he not know that his treatment of them was his only hope of life then, or of clemency afterward? Of course he did. The United States troops could not have prevented him from being torn limb from limb.

I will add, in conclusion, no Southerner ought, after your letter to Governor Wise and to Brown, to read a line of your composition, or to touch a magazine which bears your name Edition: current; Page: [18] in its lists of contributors; and in this we hope for the “sympathy,” at least of those at the North who deserve the name of woman.

L. Maria Child
Child, L. Maria
Dec. 17th, 1859
Wayland, Mass.
M. J. C. Mason
Mason, M. J. C.


Prolonged absence from home has prevented my answering your letter so soon as I intended. I have no disposition to retort upon you the “two-fold damnation” to which you consign me. On the contrary, I sincerely wish you well, both in this world and the next. If the anathema proved a safety valve to your own boiling spirit, it did some good to you, while it fell harmless upon me. Fortunately for all of us, the Heavenly Father rules His universe by laws, which the passions or the prejudices of mortals have no power to change.

As for John Brown, his reputation may be safely trusted to the impartial pen of History; and his motives will be righteously judged by Him who knoweth the secrets of all hearts. Men, however great they may be, are of small consequence in comparison with principles; and the principle for which John Brown died is the question at issue between us.

You refer me to the Bible, from which you quote the favorite text of slaveholders:—

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”—1 Peter, 2: 18.

Abolitionists also have favorite texts, to some of which I would call your attention:—

“Remember those that are in bonds as bound with them.”—Heb. 13: 3.

“Hide the outcasts. Bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee. Be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.”—Isa. 16: 3, 4.

“Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee where it liketh him best. Thou shalt not oppress him.”—Deut. 23: 15, 16.

“Open thy mouth for the dumb, in the cause of all such as are appointed Edition: current; Page: [19] to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”—Prov. 29: 8, 9.

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”—Isa. 58: 1.

I would especially commend to slaveholders the following portions of that volume, wherein you say God has revealed the duty of masters:—

“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”—Col. 4: 1.

“Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”—Matt. 23: 8, 10.

“Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.”—Matt. 7: 12.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”—Isa. 58: 6.

“They have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.”—Joel 3: 3.

“He that oppresseth the poor, reproacheth his Maker.”—Prov. 14: 31.

“Rob not the poor, because he is poor; neither oppress the afflicted. For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those who spoiled them.”—Prov. 22: 22, 23.

“Woe unto him that useth his neighbor’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work.”—Jer. 22: 13.

“Let him that stole, steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands.”—Eph. 4: 28.

“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.”—Isa. 10: 1, 2.

“If I did despise the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, when they contend with me, what then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer Him?”—Job 31: 13, 14.

“Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken. Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee; and darkness, that thou canst not see.”—Job 22: 9, 10, 11.

“Behold, the hire of your laborers, who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter; ye have condemned and killed the just.”—James 5: 4.

If the appropriateness of these texts is not apparent, I will try to make it so, by evidence drawn entirely from Southern sources. The Abolitionists are not such an ignorant set of fanatics as you suppose. They know whereof they affirm. They are familiar with the laws of the Slave States, which are alone sufficient to inspire abhorrence in any humane heart Edition: current; Page: [20] or reflecting mind not perverted by the prejudices of education and custom. I might fill many letters with significant extracts from your statute-books; but I have space only to glance at a few, which indicate the leading features of the system you cherish so tenaciously.

The universal rule of the slave State is, that “the child follows the condition of its mother.” This is an index to many things. Marriages between white and colored people are forbidden by law; yet a very large number of the slaves are brown or yellow. When Lafayette visited this country in his old age, he said he was very much struck by the great change in the colored population of Virginia; that in the time of the Revolution, nearly all the household slaves were black, but when he returned to America, he found very few of them black. The advertisements in Southern newspapers often describe runaway slaves that “pass themselves for white men.” Sometimes they are described as having “straight, light hair, blue eyes, and clear complexion.” This could not be, unless their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers had been white men. But as their mothers were slaves, the law pronounces them slaves, subject to be sold on the auction-block whenever the necessities or convenience of their masters or mistresses require it. The sale of one’s own children, brothers, or sisters, has an ugly aspect to those who are unaccustomed to it; and, obviously, it cannot have a good moral influence, that law and custom should render licentiousness a profitable vice.

Throughout the Slave States, the testimony of no colored person, bond or free, can be received against a white man. You have some laws, which, on the face of them, would seem to restrain inhuman men from murdering or mutilating slaves; but they are rendered nearly null by the law I have cited. Any drunken master, overseer, or patrol, may go into the negro cabins, and commit what outrages he pleases, with perfect impunity, if no white person is present who chooses to witness against him. North Carolina and Georgia leave a large loophole for escape, even if white persons are present, when murder is committed. A law to punish persons for “maliciously killing a slave” has this remarkable qualification: “Always provided that this act shall not extend to any slave dying of moderate correction.” We at the North find it difficult to Edition: current; Page: [21] understand how moderate punishment can cause death. I have read several of your law books attentively, and I find no cases of punishment for the murder of a slave, except by fines paid to the owner, to indemnify him for the loss of his property: the same as if his horse or cow had been killed. In the South Carolina Reports is a case where the State had indicted Guy Raines for the murder of a slave named Isaac. It was proved that William Gray, the owner of Isaac, had given him a thousand lashes. The poor creature made his escape, but was caught, and delivered to the custody of Raines, to be carried to the county jail. Because he refused to go, Raines gave him five hundred lashes, and he died soon after. The counsel for Raines proposed that he should be allowed to acquit himself by his own oath. The Court decided against it, because white witnesses had testified; but the Court of Appeals afterward decided he ought to have been exculpated by his own oath, and he was acquitted. Small indeed is the chance for justice to a slave, when his own color are not allowed to testify, if they see him maimed or his children murdered; when he has slaveholders for Judges and Jurors; when the murderer can exculpate himself by his own oath; and when the law provides that it is no murder to kill a slave by “moderate correction”!

Your laws uniformly declare that “a slave shall be deemed a chattel personal in the hands of his owner, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever.” This, of course, involves the right to sell his children, as if they were pigs; also, to take his wife from him “for any intent or purpose whatsoever.” Your laws also make it death for him to resist a white man, however brutally he may be treated, or however much his family may be outraged before his eyes. If he attempts to run away, your laws allow any man to shoot him.

By your laws, all a slave’s earnings belong to his master. He can neither receive donations nor transmit property. If his master allows him some hours to work for himself, and by great energy and perseverance he earns enough to buy his own bones and sinews, his master may make him pay two or three times over, and he has no redress. Three such cases have come within my own knowledge. Even a written promise from his master has no legal value, because a slave can make no contracts.

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Your laws also systematically aim at keeping the minds of the colored people in the most abject state of ignorance. If white people attempt to teach them to read or write, they are punished by imprisonment or fines; if they attempt to teach each other, they are punished with from twenty to thirty-nine lashes each. It cannot be said that the anti-slavery agitation produced such laws, for they date much further back; many of them when we were Provinces. They are the necessities of the system, which, being itself an outrage upon human nature, can be sustained only by perpetual outrages.

The next reliable source of information is the advertisements in the Southern papers. In the North Carolina (Raleigh) Standard, Mr. Micajah Ricks advertises, “Runaway, a negro woman and her two children. A few days before she went off, I burned her with a hot iron on the left side of her face. I tried to make the letter M.” In the Natchez Courier, Mr. J. P. Ashford advertises a runaway negro girl, with “a good many teeth missing, and the letter A branded on her cheek and forehead.” In the Lexington (Ky.) Observer, Mr. William Overstreet advertises a runaway negro with “his left eye out, scars from a dirk on his left arm, and much scarred with the whip.” I might quote from hundreds of such advertisements, offering rewards for runaways, “dead or alive,” and describing them with “ears cut off,” “jaws broken,” “scarred by rifle-balls,” &c.

Another source of information is afforded by your “Fugitives from Injustice,” with many of whom I have conversed freely. I have seen scars of the whip and marks of the branding-iron, and I have listened to their heart-breaking sobs, while they told of “piccaninnies” torn from their arms and sold.

Another source of information is furnished by emancipated slaveholders. Sarah M. Grimke, daughter of the late Judge Grimke, of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, testifies as follows: “As I left my native State on account of Slavery, and deserted the home of my fathers to escape the sound of the lash and the shrieks of tortured victims, I would gladly bury in oblivion the recollection of those scenes with which I have been familiar. But this cannot be. They come over my memory like gory spectres, and implore me, with resistless power, in the name of a God of mercy, in the name of a Edition: current; Page: [23] crucified Saviour, in the name of humanity, for the sake of the slaveholder, as well as the slave, to bear witness to the horrors of the Southern prison-house.” She proceeds to describe dreadful tragedies, the actors in which she says were “men and women of the first families in South Carolina;” and that their cruelties did not, in the slightest degree, affect their standing in society. Her sister, Angelina Grimke, declared: “While I live, and Slavery lives, I must testify against it. Not merely for the sake of my poor brothers and sisters in bonds; for even were Slavery no curse to its victims, the exercise of arbitrary power works such fearful ruin upon the hearts of slaveholders, that I should feel impelled to labor and pray for its overthrow with my latest breath.” Among the horrible barbarities she enumerates is the case of a girl thirteen years old, who was flogged to death by her master. She says: “I asked a prominent lawyer, who belonged to one of the first families in the State, whether the murderer of this helpless child could not be indicted, and he coolly replied that the slave was Mr. ———’s property, and if he chose to suffer the loss, no one else had any thing to do with it.” She proceeds to say: “I felt there could be for me no rest in the midst of such outrages and pollutions. Yet I saw nothing of Slavery in its most vulgar and repulsive forms. I saw it in the city, among the fashionable and the honorable, where it was garnished by refinement and decked out for show. It is my deep, solemn, deliberate conviction, that this is a cause worth dying for. I say so from what I have seen, and heard, and known, in a land of Slavery, whereon rest the darkness of Egypt and the sin of Sodom.” I once asked Miss Angelina if she thought Abolitionists exaggerated the horrors of Slavery. She replied, with earnest emphasis: “They cannot be exaggerated. It is impossible for imagination to go beyond the facts.” To a lady who observed that the time had not yet come for agitating the subject, she answered: “I apprehend if thou wert a slave, toiling in the fields of Carolina, thou wouldst think the time had fully come.”

Mr. Thome, of Kentucky, in the course of his eloquent lectures on this subject, said: “I breathed my first breath in an atmosphere of Slavery. But though I am heir to a slave inheritance, I am bold to denounce the whole system as an outrage, a complication of crimes, and wrongs, and cruelties, that make angels weep.”

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Mr. Allen, of Alabama, in a discussion with the students at Lane Seminary, in 1834, told of a slave who was tied up and beaten all day, with a paddle full of holes. “At night, his flesh was literally pounded to a jelly. The punishment was inflicted within hearing of the Academy and the Public Green. But no one took any notice of it. No one thought any wrong was done. At our house, it is so common to hear screams from a neighboring plantation, that we think nothing of it. Lest any one should think that the slaves are generally well treated, and that the cases I have mentioned are exceptions, let me be distinctly understood that cruelty is the rule, and kindness is the exception.”

In the same discussion, a student from Virginia, after relating cases of great cruelty, said: “Such things are common all over Virginia; at least, so far as I am acquainted. But the planters generally avoid punishing their slaves before strangers.

Miss Mattie Griffith, of Kentucky, whose entire property consisted in slaves, emancipated them all. The noble-hearted girl wrote to me: “I shall go forth into the world penniless; but I shall work with a light heart, and, best of all, I shall live with an easy conscience.” Previous to this generous resolution, she had never read any Abolition document, and entertained the common Southern prejudice against them. But her own observation so deeply impressed her with the enormities of Slavery, that she was impelled to publish a book, called “The Autobiography of a Female Slave.” I read it with thrilling interest; but some of the scenes made my nerves quiver so painfully, that I told her I hoped they were too highly colored. She shook her head sadly, and replied: “I am sorry to say that every incident in the book has come within my own knowledge.”

St. George Tucker, Judge and Professor of Law in Virginia, speaking of the legalized murder of runaways, said: “Such are the cruelties to which a state of Slavery gives birth—such the horrors to which the human mind is capable of being reconciled by its adoption.” Alluding to our struggle in ’76, he said: “While we proclaimed our resolution to live free or die, we imposed on our fellow-men, of different complexion, a Slavery ten thousand times worse than the utmost extremity of the oppressions of which we complained.”

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Governor Giles, in a Message to the Legislature of Virginia, referring to the custom of selling free colored people into Slavery, as a punishment for offences not capital, said: “Slavery must be admitted to be a punishment of the highest order; and, according to the just rule for the apportionment of punishment to crimes, it ought to be applied only to crimes of the highest order. The most distressing reflection in the application of this punishment to female offenders is, that it extends to their offspring; and the innocent are thus punished with the guilty.” Yet one hundred and twenty thousand innocent babes in this country are annually subjected to a punishment which your Governor declared “ought to be applied only to crimes of the highest order.”

Jefferson said: “One day of American Slavery is worse than a thousand years of that which we rose in arms to oppose.” Alluding to insurrections, he said: “The Almighty has no attribute that can take side with us in such a contest.”

John Randolph declared: “Every planter is a sentinel at his own door. Every Southern mother, when she hears an alarm of fire in the night, instinctively presses her infant closer to her bosom.”

Looking at the system of slavery in the light of all this evidence, do you candidly think we deserve “two-fold damnation” for detesting it? Can you not believe that we may hate the system, and yet be truly your friends? I make allowance for the excited state of your mind, and for the prejudices induced by education. I do not care to change your opinion of me; but I do wish you could be persuaded to examine this subject dispassionately, for the sake of the prosperity of Virginia, and the welfare of unborn generations, both white and colored. For thirty years, Abolitionists have been trying to reason with slaveholders, through the press, and in the halls of Congress. Their efforts, though directed to the masters only, have been met with violence and abuse almost equal to that poured on the head of John Brown. Yet surely we, as a portion of the Union, involved in the expense, the degeneracy, the danger, and the disgrace, of this iniquitous and fatal system, have a right to speak about it, and a right to be heard also. At the North, we willingly publish pro-slavery arguments, and ask only a fair field and no favor for the other side. But you will not even allow your own citizens Edition: current; Page: [26] a chance to examine this important subject. Your letter to me is published in Northern papers, as well as Southern; but my reply will not be allowed to appear in any Southern paper. The despotic measures you take to silence investigation, and shut out the light from your own white population, prove how little reliance you have on the strength of your cause. In this enlightened age, all despotisms ought to come to an end by the agency of moral and rational means. But if they resist such agencies, it is in the order of Providence that they must come to an end by violence. History is full of such lessons.

Would that the veil of prejudice could be removed from your eyes. If you would candidly examine the statements of Governor Hincks of the British West Indies, and of the Rev. Mr. Bleby, long time a Missionary in those Islands, both before and after emancipation, you could not fail to be convinced that Cash is a more powerful incentive to labor than the Lash, and far safer also. One fact in relation to those Islands is very significant. While the working people were slaves, it was always necessary to order out the military during the Christmas holidays; but, since emancipation, not a soldier is to be seen. A hundred John Browns might land there, without exciting the slightest alarm.

To the personal questions you ask me, I will reply in the name of all the women of New England. It would be extremely difficult to find any woman in our villages who does not sew for the poor, and watch with the sick, whenever occasion requires. We pay our domestics generous wages, with which they can purchase as many Christmas gowns as they please; a process far better for their characters, as well as our own, than to receive their clothing as a charity, after being deprived of just payment for their labor. I have never known an instance where the “pangs of maternity” did not meet with requisite assistance; and here at the North, after we have helped the mothers, we do not sell the babies.

I readily believe what you state concerning the kindness of many Virginia matrons. It is creditable to their hearts: but after all, the best that can be done in that way is a poor equivalent for the perpetual wrong done to the slaves, and the terrible liabilities to which they are always subject. Kind masters and mistresses among you are merely lucky accidents. Edition: current; Page: [27] If any one chooses to be a brutal despot, your laws and customs give him complete power to do so. And the lot of those slaves who have the kindest masters is exceedingly precarious. In case of death, or pecuniary difficulties, or marriages in the family, they may at any time be suddenly transferred from protection and indulgence to personal degradation, or extreme severity; and if they should try to escape from such sufferings, any body is authorized to shoot them down like dogs.

With regard to your declaration that “no Southerner ought henceforth to read a line of my composition.” I reply that I have great satisfaction in the consciousness of having nothing to lose in that quarter. Twenty-seven years ago, I published a book called “An Appeal in behalf of that class of Americans called Africans.” It influenced the minds of several young men, afterward conspicuous in public life, through whose agency the cause was better served than it could have been by me. From that time to this, I have labored too earnestly for the slave to be agreeable to slaveholders. Literary popularity was never a paramount object with me, even in my youth; and, now that I am old, I am utterly indifferent to it. But, if I cared for the exclusion you threaten, I should at least have the consolation of being exiled with honorable company. Dr. Channing’s writings, mild and candid as they are, breathe what you would call arrant treason. William C. Bryant, in his capacity of editor, is openly on our side. The inspired muse of Whittier has incessantly sounded the trumpet for moral warfare with your iniquitous institution; and his stirring tones have been answered, more or less loudly, by Pierpont, Lowell, and Longfellow. Emerson, the Plato of America, leaves the scholastic seclusion he loves so well, and, disliking noise with all his poetic soul, bravely takes his stand among the trumpeters. George W. Curtis, the brilliant writer, the eloquent lecturer, the elegant man of the world, lays the wealth of his talent on the altar of Freedom, and makes common cause with rough-shod reformers.

The genius of Mrs. Stowe carried the outworks of your institution at one dash, and left the citadel open to besiegers, who are pouring in amain. In the church, on the ultra-liberal side, it is assailed by the powerful battering-ram of Theodore Parker’s eloquence. On the extreme orthodox side is set a Edition: current; Page: [28] huge fire, kindled by the burning words of Dr. Cheever. Between them is Henry Ward Beecher, sending a shower of keen arrows into your entrenchments; and with him ride a troop of sharp-shooters from all sects. If you turn to the literature of England or France, you will find your institution treated with as little favor. The fact is, the whole civilized world proclaims Slavery an outlaw, and the best intellect of the age is active in hunting it down.



    • A man there came, whence none could tell,
    • Bearing a touchstone in his hand,
    • And tested all things in the land
    • By its unerring spell.
    • A thousand transformations rose,
    • From fair to foul, from foul to fair;
    • The golden crown he did not share,
    • Nor scorn the beggar’s clothes.
    • Of heirloom jewels, prized so much,
    • Were many changed to chips and clods,
    • And even statues of the gods
    • Crumbled beneath its touch.
    • Then angrily the people cried,
    • “The loss outweighs the profit far,
    • Our goods suffice us as they are,
    • We will not have them tried.”
    • But since they could not so avail
    • To check his unrelenting quest,
    • They seized him, saying, “Let him test
    • How real is our jail.”
    • But though they slew him with their swords,
    • And in the fire the touchstone burned,
    • Its doings could not be o’erturned,
    • Its undoings restored.
    • And when, to stop all future harm,
    • They strewed his ashes to the breeze,
    • They little guessed each grain of these
    • Conveyed the perfect charm.
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Victor Hugo
Hugo, Victor

Victor Hugo et al., “Letters on American Slavery from Victor Hugo, de Tocqueville, Emile de Girardin, Carnot, Passy, Mazzini, Humboldt, O. Lafayette, etc.,” 23 pp.









published by the american anti-slavery society.


Edition: current; Page: [3]


Victor Hugo
Hugo, Victor
Dec. 2d, 1859
John Brown
Brown, John


To the Editor of the London News:

When our thoughts dwell upon the United States of America, a majestic form rises before the eye of imagination. It is a Washington!

Look, then, to what is taking place in that country of Washington at this present moment.

In the Southern States of the Union there are slaves; and this circumstance is regarded with indignation, as the most monstrous of inconsistencies, by the pure and logical conscience of the Northern States. A white man, a free man, John Brown, sought to deliver these negro slaves from bondage. Assuredly, if insurrection is ever a sacred duty, it must be when it is directed against Slavery. John Brown endeavored to commence the work of emancipation by the liberation of slaves in Virginia. Pious, austere, animated with the old Puritan spirit, inspired by the spirit of the Gospel, he sounded to these men, these oppressed brothers, the rallying cry of Freedom. The slaves, enervated by servitude, made no response to the appeal. Slavery afflicts the soul with weakness. Brown, though deserted, still fought at the head of a handful of heroic men; he was riddled with balls; his two young sons, sacred martyrs, fell dead at his side, and he himself was taken. This is what they call the affair at Harper’s Ferry.

John Brown has been tried, with four of his comrades, Stephens, Coppic, Green and Copeland.

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What has been the character of his trial? Let us sum it up in a few words:—

John Brown, upon a wretched pallet, with six half gaping wounds, a gun-shot wound in his arm, another in his loins, and two in his head, scarcely conscious of surrounding sounds, bathing his mattress in blood, and with the ghastly presence of his two dead sons ever beside him; his four fellow-sufferers wounded, dragging themselves along by his side; Stephens bleeding from four sabre wounds; justice in a hurry, and overleaping all obstacles; an attorney, Hunter, who wishes to proceed hastily, and a judge, Parker, who suffers him to have his way; the hearing cut short, almost every application for delay refused, forged and mutilated documents produced, the witnesses for the defence kidnapped, every obstacle thrown in the way of the prisoner’s counsel, two cannon loaded with canister stationed in the Court, orders given to the jailers to shoot the prisoners if they sought to escape, forty minutes of deliberation, and three men sentenced to die! I declare on my honor that all this took place, not in Turkey, but in America!

Such things cannot be done with impunity in the face of the civilized world. The universal conscience of humanity is an ever-watchful eye. Let the judges of Charlestown, and Hunter and Parker, and the slaveholding jurors, and the whole population of Virginia, ponder it well: they are watched! They are not alone in the world. At this moment, America attracts the eyes of the whole of Europe.

John Brown, condemned to die, was to have been hanged on the 2d of December—this very day.

But news has just reached us. A respite has been granted to him. It is not until the 16th that he is to die. The interval is a brief one. Before it has ended, will a cry of mercy have had time to make itself effectually heard?

No matter! It is our duty to speak out.

Perhaps a second respite may be granted. America is a noble nation. The impulse of humanity springs quickly into life among a free people. We may yet hope that Brown will be saved.

If it were otherwise, if Brown should die on the scaffold on the 16th of December, what a terrible calamity! The executioner of Brown, let us avow it openly (for the day of Edition: current; Page: [5] the Kings is past, and the day of the peoples dawns, and to the people we are bound frankly to speak the truth)—the executioner of Brown would be neither the attorney Hunter, nor the judge Parker, nor the Governor Wise, nor the State of Virginia; it would be, though we can scarce think or speak of it without a shudder, the whole American Republic.

The more one loves, the more one admires, the more one venerates that Republic, the more heart-sick one feels at the contemplation of such a catastrophe. A single State ought not to have the power to dishonor all the rest, and in this case there is an obvious justification for a federal intervention. Otherwise, by hesitating to interfere when it might prevent a crime, the Union becomes a participator in its guilt. No matter how intense may be the indignation of the generous Northern States, the Southern States force them to share the opprobrium of this murder. All of us, no matter who we may be, who are bound together as compatriots by the common tie of a democratic creed, feel ourselves in some measure compromised. If the scaffold should be erected on the 16th of December, the incorruptible voice of history would thenceforward testify that the august Confederation of the New World, had added to all its rites of holy brotherhood a brotherhood of blood, and the fasces of that splendid Republic would be bound together with the running noose that hung from the gibbet of Brown!

This is a bond that kills.

When we reflect on what Brown, the liberator, the champion of Christ, has striven to effect, and when we remember that he is about to die, slaughtered by the American Republic, the crime assumes an importance co-extensive with that of the nation which commits it—and when we say to ourselves that this nation is one of the glories of the human race; that, like France, like England, like Germany, she is one of the great agents of civilization; that she sometimes even leaves Europe in the rear by the sublime audacity of some of her progressive movements; that she is the Queen of an entire world, and that her brow is irradiated with a glorious halo of freedom, we declare our conviction that John Brown will not die; for we recoil horror-struck from the idea of so great a crime committed by so great a people.

Viewed in a political light, the murder of Brown would be Edition: current; Page: [6] an irreparable fault. It would penetrate the Union with a gaping fissure which would lead in the end to its entire disruption. It is possible that the execution of Brown might establish slavery on a firm basis in Virginia, but it is certain that it would shake to its centre the entire fabric of American democracy. You preserve your infamy, but you sacrifice your glory. Viewed in a moral light, it seems to me that a portion of the enlightenment of humanity would be eclipsed, that even the ideas of justice and injustice would be obscured on the day which should witness the assassination of Emancipation by Liberty.

As for myself, though I am but a mere atom, yet being, as I am, in common with all other men, inspired with the conscience of humanity, I fall on my knees, weeping before the great starry banner of the New World; and with clasped hands, and with profound and filial respect, I implore the illustrious American Republic, sister of the French Republic, to see to the safety of the universal moral law, to save John Brown, to demolish the threatening scaffold of the 16th of December, and not to suffer that beneath its eyes, and I add, with a shudder, almost by its fault, a crime should be perpetrated surpassing the first fratricide in iniquity.

For—yes, let America know it, and ponder on it well—there is something more terrible than Cain slaying Abel: It is Washington slaying Spartacus!

Victor Hugo
Hugo, Victor
6 Juillet, 1851


to mrs. maria weston chapman.

I have scarcely anything to add to your letter. I would cheerfully sign every line of it. Pursue your holy work. You have with you all great souls and all good hearts.

You are pleased to believe, and to assure me, that my voice, in this august cause of Liberty, will be listened to by the great Edition: current; Page: [7] American people, whom I love so profoundly, and whose destinies, I am fain to think, are closely linked with the mission of France. You desire me to lift up my voice.

I will do it at once, and I will do it on all occasions. I agree with you in thinking that, within a definite time—that, within a time not distant—the United States will repudiate Slavery with horror! Slavery in such a country! Can there be an incongruity more monstrous? Barbarism installed in the very heart of a country, which is itself the affirmation of civilization; liberty wearing a chain; blasphemy echoing from the altar; the collar of a negro chained to the pedestal of Washington! It is a thing unheard of. I say more, it is impossible. Such a spectacle would destroy itself. The light of the Nineteenth Century alone is enough to destroy it.

What! Slavery sanctioned by law among that illustrious people, who for seventy years have measured the progress of civilization by their march, demonstrated democracy by their power, and liberty by their prosperity! Slavery in the United States! It is the duty of this republic to set such an example no longer. It is a shame, and she was never born to bow her head.

It is not when Slavery is taking leave of old nations, that it should be received by the new. What! When Slavery is departing from Turkey, shall it rest in America? What! Drive it from the hearth of Omar, and adopt it at the hearth of Franklin? No! No! No!

There is an inflexible logic which develops more or less slowly, which fashions, which redresses according to a mysterious plan, perceptible only to great spirits, the facts, the men, the laws, the morals, the people; or better, under all human things, there are things divine.

Let all those great souls who love the United States, as a country, be re-assured. The United States must renounce Slavery, or they must renounce Liberty. They cannot renounce Liberty. They must renounce Slavery, or renounce the Gospel. They will never renounce the Gospel.

Accept, Madame, with my devotion to the cause you advocate, the homage of my respect.

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Alexis de Tocqueville
de Tocqueville, Alexis


I do not think it is for me, a foreigner, to indicate to the United States the time, the measures, or the men by whom Slavery shall be abolished.

Still, as the persevering enemy of despotism everywhere, and under all its forms, I am pained and astonished by the fact that the freest people in the world is, at the present time, almost the only one among civilized and Christian nations which yet maintains personal servitude; and this, while serfdom itself is about disappearing, where it has not already disappeared, from the most degraded nations of Europe.

An old and sincere friend of America, I am uneasy at seeing Slavery retard her progress, tarnish her glory, furnish arms to her detractors, compromise the future career of the Union which is the guaranty of her safety and greatness, and point our beforehand to her, to all her enemies, the spot where they are to strike. As a man, too, I am moved at the spectacle of man’s degradation by man, and I hope to see the day when the law will grant equal civil liberty to all the inhabitants of the same empire, as God accords the freedom of the will, without distinction, to the dwellers upon earth.

Emile de Girardin
de Girardin, Emile


I seize the occasion now offered me to accuse myself of having too long believed, on the faith of American citizens and French travellers, that the slavery of the blacks neither could nor ought, for their own sakes, to be abolished, without a previous initiation to liberty, by labor, instruction, economy, and redemption—an individual purchase of each one by himself.

But this belief I end by classing among those inveterate errors, which are like the rings of a chain, that even the Edition: current; Page: [9] freest of men drag after them, and even the strongest find it difficult to break.

What I once believed, I believe no longer.

Of all the existing proofs that Liberty is to be conquered or gained, not given, or dealt out by halves, the strongest proof is that, in the United States, the freest of all countries, the maintenance of Slavery is not made a question of time, but of race. Now if the reasons there alleged for the perpetuating and the legalizing of Slavery are true, they will be no less true a thousand years hence than to-day; if they are false, they have no right to impose themselves for a day, for an hour, for a moment. Error has no right against truth; iniquity has no right against equity, for the same reason that the dying have no right against death.

I hold, then, as false—incontestably and absolutely false,—all that blind self-interest and limping common-place are continually repeating, in order to perpetuate and legalize Slavery in the United States; just as I hold as false all that was said and printed before 1789, to perpetuate and legitimate serfdom; and all that is still said in Russia, in favor of the same outrage of men against the nature of man. The slavery of the blacks is the opprobrium of the whites. Thus every wrong brings its own chastisement.

The punishment of the American people is to be the last of the nations, while it is also the first. It is the first, by that Liberty of which it has rolled back the limits, and it is the last by that Slavery whose inconsistency it tolerates; for there are no slaves without tyrants. What matter whether the tyrant be regal or legal?

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M. Carnot
Carnot, M.


The question of Slavery is intimately connected with questions of general policy.

The Pagan republics had Slavery for their basis. They were so organized that they could not subsist without it; and so when Slavery was shaken down, they perished. Liberty for the few, on condition of keeping the many in servitude—such was the principle of the ancient societies.

Christianity bids another morality triumph,—that of human brotherhood. Modern societies recognize the principle that each citizen increases the domain of his own liberty by sharing it with his fellows. Republican France put this principle in practice; at her two great epochs of emancipation, she hastened to send Liberty to her colonial possessions.

North America presents a sad anomaly—a contradiction to the general rule with which we have prefaced these reflections, and thence the enemies of Liberty try to justify their departure from it.

They pretend to believe that the Republic of the United States rests on a basis analogous to that of the Pagan republics; and that the application of the new morality will be dangerous to it. But it is not so. Liberty in the United States is founded on reason, on custom, on patriotism, and on experience already old. She can but gain by diffusion even to prodigality. In the United States, Slavery is more than elsewhere a monstrosity, protected only by private interests. It is a source of corruption and barbarism which delays America in the path of European civilization. It is a fatal example that she presents to Europe, to turn her from the pursuit of American independence.

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M. Passy
Passy, M.
January 28th, 1855


Humanity is governed by laws which continually impel it to extend, without ceasing, the sphere of its knowledge. There is no discovery which does not conduct it to new discoveries; each generation adds its own to the mass which it has received from the past, and thus from age to age are the strength and riches of civilization augmented.

Now it is one of the numerous proofs of the benevolent purposes of the Creator, that every step of mental progress strengthens the ideas of duty and justice, of which humanity makes application in its acts. Human society, as it gains light, does not merely learn thereby the better to profit by its labors. It gains, at the same time, clearer and surer notions of moral order. It discerns evil where it did not at first suspect its existence; and no sooner does it perceive the evil than it seeks the means to suppress it.

This is what, in our day, has awakened so much opposition to Slavery. Thanks to the flood of light already received, society begins to comprehend, not only its iniquity in principle, but all the degradation and suffering it scatters in the lands where it exists. A cry of reprobation arises, and associations are formed to hasten its abolition.

We may, without fear, assert that it will be with Slavery as with all the other remnants of ignorance and original barbarism. The day will come when it must disappear, with the rest of the institutions which have been found inconsistant with the moral feelings to which the development of human reason gives the mastery.

Let those reflect who, at this day, constitute themselves the defenders of Slavery. They have against them the most irresistible of all powers—that of moral truth becoming more and more distinct—that of human conceptions necessarily rising with the growth in knowledge of the divine will. Their defeat is, sooner or later, inevitable.

How much wiser would they be, did they resign themselves to the preparation for a reform, the necessity for which presents itself with such inflexible urgency. It is, doubtless, a work of difficulty. Freemen require other conditions than Edition: current; Page: [12] those to which they were subjected by the lash; but the requisite changes may be effected. Wise precautions and temporary arrangements, united with the injunctions of authority, will not fail of success. Proprietors who dread emancipation! show to your people a little of that benevolence which so promptly subdues those who are unaccustomed to it, and you will find them docile and industrious as freemen. It is Slavery which corrupts and deteriorates the faculties which God has given to all for the amelioration of their destinies and the enjoyment of existence. Liberty, on the contrary, animates and develops them. Human activity rises to extend its conquests, more ingenious and energetic at her reviving breath.

May such assertions as these, conformable as they are to the experience of all ages, no longer meet in America the contradictions which are long extinct in Europe. May those States of the Union where Slavery still counts its partizans, hasten to prepare for its abolition. Storms are gathering over the seat of injustice. Prosperity, gained at the expense of humanity, flows from a source which time will necessarily dry up. There can exist no durable prosperity on earth, but in consistency with the laws of God; and his laws command men to love and serve each other as brethren.

Joseph Mazzini
Mazzini, Joseph
May 1, 1854
Dr. Beard
Dr. Beard


Dear Sir:

I have delayed to the present moment my answering your kind invitation, in the hope that I should, perhaps, be enabled to give a better answer than a written one; but I find that neither health nor business will allow me to attend. I must write, and express to you, and through you to your friends, how much I feel grateful for your having asked me to attend the first meeting of the “North of England Anti-Slavery Association;” how earnestly I sympathize with the noble aim you are going to pursue; how deeply I Edition: current; Page: [13] shall commune with your efforts, and help, if I can, their success. No man ought ever to inscribe on his flag the sacred word “Liberty,” who is not prepared to shake hands cordially with those, whoever they are, who will attach their names to the constitution of your association. Liberty may be the godlike gift of all races, of all nations, of every being who bears on his brow the stamp of man, or sink to the level of a narrow and mean self-interest, unworthy of the tears of the good and the blood of the brave. I am yours, because I believe in the unity of God; yours, because I believe in the unity of mankind; yours, because I believe in the educatibility of the whole human race, and in a heavenly law of infinite progression for all; yours, because the fulfilment of this law implies the consciousness and the responsibility of the agent, and neither consciousness nor responsibility can exist in slavery; yours, because I have devoted my life to the emancipation of my own country. And I would feel unequal to this task, a mean rebel, not an apostle of truth and justice, had I not felt from my earliest years that the right and duty of revolting against lies and tyranny were grounded on a far higher sphere than that of the welfare of one single nation; that they must start from belief in a principle, which will have sooner or later to be universally applied: “One God, one humanity, one law, one love from all for all.” Blessed be your efforts, if they start from this high ground of a common faith; if you do not forget, whilst at work for the emancipation of the black race, the millions of white slaves, suffering, struggling, expiring in Italy, in Poland, in Hungary, throughout all Europe; if you always remember that free men only can achieve the work of freedom, and that Europe’s appeal for the abolition of slavery in other lands will not weigh all-powerful before God and men, whilst Europe herself shall be desecrated by arbitrary, tyrannical power, by czars, emperors, and popes.

Ever faithfully yours,
Rev. Dr. Beard, Manchester.
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Joseph Mazzini
Mazzini, Joseph
March 21st, 1859


Dear Sir:

I beg to apologize for being so late in acknowledging the receipt of $112 09, subscribed by you and others at the end of the lecture delivered at your institution by my friend, Mm. Jessie M. White Mario, toward our Italian school, &c.

I am very much pleased at my honored friend’s first success and response to her efforts in the United States, coming from Young America, to whom Young Italy looks for sympathy and support in her approaching struggle, and my thanks are the thanks of all the members, both teachers and pupils, of our Italian school.

We are fighting the same sacred battle for freedom and the emancipation of the oppressed—you, Sir, against negro, we against white slavery. The cause is truly identical; for, depend upon it, the day in which we shall succeed in binding to one freely accepted pact twenty-six millions of Italians, we shall give what we cannot now, an active support to the cause you pursue. We are both the servants of the God who says, “Before Me there is no Master, no Slave, no Man, no Woman, but only Human Nature, which must be everywhere responsible, therefore free.”

May God bless your efforts and ours! May the day soon arrive in which the word bondage will disappear from our living languages, and only point out a historical record! And, meanwhile, let the knowledge that we, all combatants under the same flag, do, through time and space, commune in love and faith, and strengthen one another against the unavoidable suffering which we must meet on the way.

Believe me, my dear Sir,
Very gratefully yours,
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N. Tourgueneff
Tourgueneff, N.
September 29, 1855
Henry Grafton Chapman
Chapman, Henry Grafton


An admirable work, bearing the title, “Russia and the Russians,”—on the condition and prospects of Russia,—was published in Paris, in 1847, by Monsieur Tourgueneff. This accomplished gentlemen is a Russian Noble, (exiled and under sentence of death since 1825,) for having cast in his lot with the Serfs by advocating their emancipation while minister of Finance and member of the Imperial Council of State. He is one of those truly wise and good men whose opinions cannot fail to have great influence wherever they are known. With him, Freedom is a question of fundamental right, as well as of national policy. His testimony, therefore, in regard to the Anti-Slavery struggle in America and its advocates, is deserving of the highest consideration.


Seeing you on the point of departing for America, I cannot forbear entreating you to be the bearer of my tribute of respect and admiration to one of your compatriots. Need I add that I have in view our holy cause of human freedom, and one of its most eminent defenders, Mr. Garrison? Every word he utters is dictated by the deepest sense of justice; but his recent discourse on the anniversary of British Colonial Emancipation is distinguished not only by its profound feeling of sympathy for the emancipated, but by that rigorously just reasoning, and that clear, firm, and above all, moral logic which leads him to prefer the separation of the States to the continuance of Slavery. It is by this trait that I recognize the true Abolitionist, and the truly worthy man. It was with the truest joy that I read those strong and noble words, each going straight to its end, acknowledging no law superior to the sentiment of right engraven in the human conscience by its divine Creator, and disdaining all the common-place sophistry of weakness and hypocrisy that is so often employed in these discussions.

Deeply touched by this discourse of Mr. Garrison, I feel that a Cause so holy, defended by such advocates, could not fail to triumph, if urged forward without delay. Every action, every word, which brings nearer the time of this triumph, is a blessing to millions of unfortunate beings.

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May Almighty God crown with success the generous labors of all these noble men, who, after all, are but following the commands and walking in the ways traced by his holy will!

May I entreat of you, Madame, the kindness of presenting to Mr. Garrison the accompanying copy of my work, by which he will see that a co-laborer in another hemisphere has long wrought in the same vineyard of the Lord; if not with the same renown, I may, at least, venture to say with the same disinterestedness, with the same self-abnegation, with the same love for the oppressed. Even the efforts I made in their behalf they could never directly know, for exile and proscription have compelled me to live far from my own land, and to plead the cause of human rights in a language which is neither theirs nor mine. I am thoroughly persuaded that all success obtained in America in the cause of the colored race will be eminently serviceable to my poor countrymen in Russia. It is then, first as a man, and secondly as a Russian, that I hail the efforts of Mr. Garrison and his fellow-laborers for the deliverance of their country from the hideous plague-spot of Slavery.

Receive, Madame, my earnest good wishes for your voyage. May Heaven grant that in again beholding your native country, you may there find new consolations and fresh encouragements to persevere in the great Cause which you have made the principal object of your life.

Accept, at the same time, the expression of my high respect.

To Mrs. Henry Grafton Chapman.
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In 1856, Baron von Humboldt caused the following letter to be inserted in the Spenersche Zeitung:

Alexander von Humboldt
von Humboldt, Alexander
July, 1856

“Under the title of Essai Politique sur l’ Isle de Cuba, published in Paris in 1826, I collected together all that the large edition of my Voyage aux Regions Equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent contained upon the state of agriculture and slavery in the Antilles. There appeared at the same time an English and a Spanish translation of this work, the latter entitled Ensayo Politico sobre la Isle de Cuba, neither of which omitted any of the frank and open remarks which feelings of humanity had inspired. But there appears just now, strangely enough, translated from the Spanish translation, and not from the French original, and published by Derby and Jackson, in New York, an octavo volume of 400 pages, under the title of The Island of Cuba, by Alexander Humboldt; with notes and a preliminary essay by J. S. Thrasher. The translator, who has lived a long time on that beautiful island, has enriched my work by more recent data on the subject of the numerical standing of the population, of the cultivation of the soil, and the state of trade, and, generally speaking, exhibited a charitable moderation in his discussion of conflicting opinions. I owe it, however, to a moral feeling, that is now as lively in me as it was in 1826, publicly to complain that in a work which bears my name, the entire seventh chapter of the Spanish translation, with which my essai politique ended, has been arbitrarily omitted. To this very portion of my work I attach greater importance than to any astronomical observations, experiments of magnetic intensity, or statistical statements. “I have examined with frankness (I here repeat the words I used thirty years ago) whatever concerns the organization of human society in the colonies, the unequal distribution of the rights and enjoyments of life, and the impending dangers which the wisdom of legislators and the moderation of freemen can avert, whatever may be the form of government.

It is the duty of the traveller who has been an eye-witness of all that torments and degrades human nature to cause the Edition: current; Page: [18] complaints of the unfortunate to reach those whose duty it is to relieve them. I have repeated, in this treatise, the fact that the ancient legislation of Spain on the subject of slavery is less inhuman and atrocious than that of the slave States on the American continent, north or south of the equator.

A steady advocate as I am for the most unfettered expression of opinion in speech or in writing, I should never have thought of complaining if I had been attacked on account of my statements; but I do think I am entitled to demand that in the free States of the continent of America, people should be allowed to read what has been permitted to circulate from the first year of its appearance in a Spanish translation.



“For thirty years—for thirty years (and he counted them on his fingers)—you have made no progress about slavery; you have gone backward—very far backward in many respects about that. I think especially of your law of 1850, that law by which a man in a free State, where he ought to be free, can be made a slave of. That I always call the Webster law.

“I always before liked Mr. Webster. He was a great man. I knew him, and always till then liked him. But, ever after that, I hated him. He was the man who made it. If he wanted to prevent it, he could have done it. That is the reason why I call it the Webster law. And ever after that, I hated him.”

I made some remarks about Mr. Webster’s influence on that point not being confined to a political sphere, but of his also carrying with him that circle of literary men with whom he was connected. “Yes,” said he, “it was he who did it all; and those very men not connected with politics, who Edition: current; Page: [19] ought to have stood against it, as you say, he moved with it. You came from New England, where there is so much anti-slavery feeling, and where you have learned to think slavery is bad. While you are here in Europe, you may see things which you think bad; but I know Europe, and I tell you that you will find nothing here that is one half so bad as your slavery is.”

These were the opinions of Baron Humboldt, a Christian philosopher of world-wide renown, whose views of men and of nations went further to establish their character, than any man now living. As Humboldt thought, the Christian world would think. Mr. Webster, as one of Fillmore’s Cabinet, approved the Fugitive Act, and lent his personal and official influence to sustain it. By doing that, he let down his own moral nature. He not only disgraced himself, but the nation who placed him in that conspicuous position. We would not speak unkindly of any man; but who that reads and reflects can be ignorant of the fact, that all who sustain or sanction that infamous enactment must tarnish their own characters, and degrade themselves in their own opinion, and in the opinion of all good men?

O. LaFayette
LaFayette, O.
April 26, 1851
M. Victor Schœlcher
Schœlcher, M. Victor


To M. Victor Schœlcher, Representative of the People.
My Dear Colleague,

You have been so obliging as to ask for my views and impressions respecting one of the most important events of our epoch,—the Abolition of Slavery in the French Colonies. I know well that you have an almost paternal interest in this question. You have contributed more than any one to the emancipation of the blacks, in our possessions beyond the seas, and you have enjoyed the double pleasure of seeing the problem completely resolved, and resolved by the Government of the Republic. At the present time, wearied by controversy, the mind loves to repose upon Edition: current; Page: [20] certain and solid progress, which future events can neither alter nor destroy, and which are justly considered as the true conquests of civilization and humanity. In examining the Emancipation of the Slaves in the French Antilles, from the point of view of the material interests of France, it may be variously appreciated; but the immense moral benefit of the act of Emancipation cannot be contested.

In one day, and as by the stroke of a wand, one hundred and fifty thousand of human beings were snatched from the degradation in which they had been held by former legislation, and resumed their rank in the great human family. And we should not omit to state, that this great event was accomplished without our witnessing any of those disorders and struggles which had been threatened, in order to perplex the consciences of the Friends of Abolition.

Will the momentary obstruction of material interests be opposed to these great results? When has it ever been possible in this world to do much good, without seeming at the same time to do a little harm?

I have sometimes heard it said that the conditions of labor in the Colonies would have been less disturbed, if the preparation and the accomplishment of the Emancipation had been left to the colonists themselves; but you know better than I, my dear Colleague, that these assertions are hardly sincere.

We cannot but recollect with what unanimity and what vehemence the colonial councils opposed, in 1844 and 1845, the Ameliorations that we sought to introduce into the condition of the Slaves.

Is it not evident that this disposition would have rendered impossible the time of a system of transition, which indeed was attempted without success in the English colonies? For myself, I am quite convinced that it would have been impossible to effect the emancipation otherwise than as it was effected, that is to say, in one day, and by a single decree. I would add also, that in my opinion the Abolition of Slavery in our colonies would have remained a long time unaccomplished, if France had not been in Revolution: and if it be easy to understand why all men of the white race do not consent to the Revolution of 1848, I cannot conceive that a single man of color can be found, who does not regard it with benedictions.

Furthermore, my dear Colleague, this great question of the Edition: current; Page: [21] Abolition of Negro Slavery, which has my entire sympathy, appears to me to have established its importance throughout the world. At the present time, the States of the Peninsula, if I do not deceive myself, are the only European powers who still continue to possess Slaves; and America, while continuing to uphold Slavery, feels daily more and more how heavily this plague weighs upon her destinies.

In expressing to you, my dear Colleague, how much I rejoice in these results, I do not gratify my personal feelings alone. I obey also my family traditions.

You know the interest which my grandfather, General LaFayette, took in the emancipation of the negroes. You know what he had begun to do at the Habitation de la Gabrielle, and what he intended to do there. It was not among the least regrets of his life, that he was stopped in that enterprise.

Pardon, my dear Colleague, the details into which I have been led. I know well that I can hardly be indiscreet in speaking on this subject to you. I rely upon those sentiments of friendship which you have always testified for me, and which differences of opinion respecting other political questions cannot weaken.

With fresh assurances of my friendship and consideration,

Your obedient servant and devoted Colleague,
Representative of the People, (Seine et Maine.)

Testimony of Gen. LaFayette. ‘When I am indulging in my views of American liberty, it is mortifying to be reminded that a large portion of the people in that very country are slaves. It is a dark spot on the face of the nation.’ ‘I never would have drawn my sword in the cause of America, if I could have conceived that thereby I was helping to found a nation of slaves.

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Edward Baines
Baines, Edward
Nov. 9th, 1856


To what source shall we trace the heroic deeds and immortal productions of the ancient Greeks, but to the fount of Liberty? In what mould were those men cast who made Rome the mistress of Italy, and the world but the mould of Liberty? Among whom did art, letters, and commerce revive, after the sleep of the dark ages, but among the citizens of free republics? Where was the Reformation cradled but among the sons of Liberty? What passages of the history of England are held in the fondest remembrance, if not Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, and the charters and statutes which secure civil and religious freedom? In the history of the United States, what event yet awakens the proud enthusiasm of a whole people, in comparison with the Declaration of Independence? Among the colonies of England, what Act arouses a joy the deepest and most universal but that of Slave Emancipation? Does not every oppressed nation groan in its bondage? Does not every free nation exult in its freedom? Would not every slave leap to break his chains?

If in any nation, slavery is the most monstrous of inconsistencies, it is in a free republic; and if in any community it is the most flagrant of sins, it is in a Christian community.

Nothing is more notorious than the tendency of self-interest to blind the judgment; and it is, therefore, the part of wisdom for those who are interested, to ask in any question of difficulty the judgment of those who are disinterested. If American Christians will accept the opinion of English Christians, they will learn that it is unanimously and unhesitatingly adverse to slavery. Without distinction of party or sect, Englishmen condemn the system of slaveholding; but if any are more earnest than others in expressing this condemnation, it is those who rejoice in the establishment of American Independence, and who have most sympathy with free institutions. It is not assumed that all masters are cruel, or all slaves miserable. But it is known that masters may be cruel with impunity, and that slaves are, to the last hour of life, devoid of security for person, property, home, wife, or children. To reflect on these things shocks the understanding and heart of Edition: current; Page: [23] all English Christians. They feel deeply for their Christian brethren and sisters in bondage, and it is difficult for them to believe that other Christian brethren can be the means of so great an injustice. A Christian inflicting the lash, as it is inflicted in the Slave States of America, or selling his fellow man for money, seems to them an incomprehensible thing. Be it remembered, there is no national or political prejudice in this. English Christians felt the same when the slave owners were their own countrymen, and so strongly did they feel it as to buy the freedom of the slaves at a great price. May they not, then, appeal to the Christians of the United States, to declare uncompromising hostility against the slave system? Let slavery be abolished, and the United States would rise higher in the estimation of the Old World, than if all the New World were embraced in their Union, and all were one golden California.



I will now turn to a subject of congratulation: I mean the Anti-Slavery Societies of America—those noble-hearted men and women, who, through difficulties and dangers, have proved how hearty they are in the cause of abolition. I hail them all as my friends, and wish them to regard me as a brother. I wish for no higher station in the world; but I do covet the honor of being a brother with these American abolitionists. In this country, the abolitionists are in perfect safety; here we have fame and honor; we are lauded and encouraged by the good; we are smiled upon and cheered by the fair; we are bound together by godlike truth and charity; and though we have our differences as to points of faith, we have no differences as to this point, and we proceed in our useful career esteemed and honored. But it is not so with our anti-slavery friends in America: there they are vilified, there Edition: current; Page: [24] they are insulted. Why, did not very lately a body of men—of gentlemen, so called—of persons who would be angry if you denied them that cognomen, and would even be ready to call you out to share a rifle and a ball—did not such “gentlemen” break in upon an Anti-Slavery Society in America; aye, upon a ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society, and assault them in a most cowardly manner? And did they not denounce the members of that Society? And where did this happen? Why, in Boston—in enlightened Boston, the capital of a non-slaveholding State. In this country, the abolitionists have nothing to complain of; but in America, they are met with the bowie-knife and lynch law! Yes! in America, you have had martyrs; your cause has been stained with blood; the voice of your brethren’s blood crieth from the ground, and riseth high, not, I trust, for vengeance, but for mercy upon those who have thus treated them. But you ought not to be discouraged, nor relax in your efforts. Here you have honor. A human being cannot be placed in a more glorious position than to take up such a cause under such circumstances. I am delighted to be one of a Convention in which are so many of such great and good men. I trust that their reception will be such as that their zeal may be greatly strengthened to continue their noble struggle. I have reason to hope that, in this assembly, a voice will be raised which will roll back in thunder to America, which will mingle with her mighty waves, and which will cause one universal shout of liberty to be heard throughout the world. O, there is not a delegate from the Anti-Slavery Societies of America, but ought to have his name, aye, her name, written in characters of immortality. The Anti-Slavery Societies in America are deeply persecuted, and are deserving of every encouragement which we can possibly give them. I would that I had the eloquence to depict their character aright; but my tongue falters, and my powers fail, while I attempt to describe them. They are the true friends of humanity, and would that I had a tongue to describe aright the mighty majesty of their undertaking!—[Extract from a speech of Daniel O’Connell, at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840.]

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Joshua Coffin
Coffin, Joshua

Joshua Coffin, “An Account of some of the Principal Slave Insurrections, and others, which have occurred, or been attempted, in the United States and Elsewhere, during the last Two Centuries. With Various Remarks. Collected from Various Sources by Joshua Coffin,” 36 pp.





and others, which have occurred, or been attempted,

in the united states and elsewhere, during

the last two centuries.





published by the american anti-slavery society.


Republished by

Negro History Press - P. O. Box 5129 - Detroit, Michigan 48236

Edition: current; Page: [2]


The subsequent collection of facts is presented to your notice, with the hope that they will have that effect which facts always have on every candid and ingenuous mind. They exhibit clearly the dangers to which slaveholders are always liable, as well as the safety of immediate emancipation. They furnish, in both cases, a rule which admits of no exception, as it is always dangerous to do wrong, and safe to do right. Please to examine carefully the whole account of the revolution in St. Domingo, beginning in March, 1790, and ending in 1802. That exhibits a different picture from that presented in a speech made at the Union-saving meeting lately held in Boston. A part of the truth may be so told as to have all the effect of a deliberate lie.

Paper used in this edition is

a fine acid-free, permanent durable paper

of the type commonly referred to as

“300-year” paper

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And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

Gen. 42: 21.

Thus saith the Lord my God, Feed the flock of the slaughter, whose pastors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty; and they that sell them say, Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich; and their own shepherds pity them not.

Zech. 11: 4, 5.

He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Ex. 21: 16.

The late invasion of Virginia by Capt. John Brown and his company has, with all its concomitant circumstances, excited more attention and aroused a more thorough spirit of inquiry on the subject of slavery, than was ever before known. As this is pre-eminently a moral question, and as there is no neutral ground in morals, all intelligent men must ultimately take sides. Every such man must either cherish and defend slavery, or oppose and condemn it, and his vote, if he is an honest man, must accord with his belief. On a question of so momentous importance, “Silence is crime.” It demands and will have a thorough investigation, and all attempts to stifle discussion will only accelerate the triumph of the cause they were designed to crush. Thus the denunciation in Congress of Mr. Helper’s book, which is in substance only an abstract of facts taken from the last census of the United States, has operated as an extensive advertisement, and will be the means of circulating thousands of copies, where, without such denunciation, it would never have been known. There is in the North, as well as the South, a class of Edition: current; Page: [4] men who act, apparently, on the supposition that those who foresee and foretell any calamity are as guilty as those who create it, and that the only way to obviate any impending danger is not to see it. Such persons not only refuse to see and hear themselves, but do what they can to keep their neighbors in like ignorance.

It has been truly said that “the power of slavery lies in the ignorance, the degradation, the servility of the slaves, and of the non-slaveholding whites of the South, and of the corresponding classes in the Free States. It is through this ignorance and servility that the slaveholders manage to dictate to ecclesiastical bodies, to have power to control pulpits, presses, Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and Missionary and Tract Societies.” To keep the blacks and non-slaveholding whites in ignorance is, doubtless, the reason why such pains are taken in Congress to prevent the circulation of Helper’s book at the South, which was compiled by a non-slaveholder for the special benefit of the men of his class. The population of the Free States is now about eighteen millions; of the Slave States, eight millions. The slaves number about four millions, who are held as property by only 347,545 persons, men, women and children. This number, small as it is, constituting about one sixth part of the United States, have thus far controlled the legislation of the country. How this power has been acquired is easily understood when we examine the false ideas respecting slavery which are everywhere prevalent; such as the weakness of the public conscience, in the absence of a practical and experimental knowledge of the truth of God’s word—in the atheistic notion, prevailing even in the Church and in the ministry, that the unrighteous enactments of wicked men are paramount in authority to the commandments of the Great Jehovah. Hundreds of clergymen, in all parts of the Union, profess to believe that the Bible sanctions American slavery,—a system which, of necessity, cannot exist without a continual violation of every commandment of the Decalogue.

If the Bible sanctions slavery, (as many profess to believe,) why does not the God of the Bible sanction it? In other words, if slavery is sanctioned by the revealed will of God, why are not the dispensations of his providence in accordance with that will? Could it be fairly proved that slavery is in Edition: current; Page: [5] accordance with the will of God, it must necessarily follow that obedience to his will is not only highly advantageous, but perfectly safe; for, surely, no Christian can, for a moment, believe that the providence of God ever militates against the precepts of his word. As, however, the consequences of slavery have been, in all cases, when not averted by timely repentance, disastrous in the extreme, it is therefore undeniably evident that slavery is in direct opposition to the revealed will of God, and, consequently, that those who so violently oppose the abolition of slavery, for fear of supposed dangerous consequences, may truly be said “to know not what they do.” The truth on this subject is so plain, and the facts so abundant, that he who runs may read, and know to a certainty the entire safety of immediate emancipation; and that danger arises from liberty withheld, and not from liberty granted. The general opinion seems to be, that the moment you proclaim “liberty to the captive,” and make the slave a freeman, be the conditions and restrictions what they may, that moment you make him a vagabond, a thief, and a murderer, whom nothing will satisfy but the blood of those who had been so “fanatical and insane” as to treat him like a human being. Whence this opinion is derived, no one can tell; for it is in direct opposition to reason, common sense, the nature of the human mind, and is entirely unsustained by facts. Indeed, so far as the evidence of facts is concerned, the advocates of immediate abolition have a complete monopoly. All experience proves two things, viz., the entire safety of immediate emancipation, and that all danger has arisen from its indefinite postponement; for this is really the true definition of gradual emancipation.

We all know the results of slavery in Greece and Rome. Troy perished by her slaves in a single night; and as like causes always produce like effects, our obligations to our slaveholding brethren imperiously demand that we should urge on them, in the most earnest manner, the duty of immediately abolishing slavery as their only hope of safety,—the only means by which they can escape the just judgments of God. The safety of immediate emancipation has been proved by Buenos Ayres in 1816, Colombia in 1821, Guatemala in 1824, Peru and Chili in 1828, Mexico in 1829, and especially on the 1st of August, 1834, when 800,000 slaves were Edition: current; Page: [6] set free in a single day in the British West India Islands; and thus far, not a single life has been lost, not a drop of blood shed, in consequence of that beneficent and righteous act. The consequences of holding slaves in bondage, and refusing to emancipate them, have always been disastrous. In our present exemption from slavery in the Free States, we have no cause of boasting, but rather of deep humiliation. We are all involved in the guilt, and must share in the punishment, unless timely and thorough repentance avert the impending blow. To do this effectually, information must be spread, the spirit of inquiry aroused, the temple of God be purified, and “the book of the law be read in the ears of all the people,” that thus the gross mistakes and misapprehensions which everywhere exist on the subject of slavery and its abolition may be corrected.

Of these mistakes, no one is more prevalent or more dangerous than the one just mentioned, that insurrection, rapine and bloodshed are the necessary consequences of immediate emancipation; and that the only way to avert the evils and the curse of slavery, is to continue in the sin for the present, promise future repentance, and in the meantime, whilst we are preparing to get ready to begin to repent, do every thing that in us lies to extinguish every good feeling, and cultivate and bring into action every bad feeling of the human heart. That such is the belief, and consequent practice, to an alarming extent, throughout our country, and that such a course is impolitic, because it is wicked and dangerous, because it is unjust, facts abundantly show.

Since the abolition of slavery in the British dominions, no trouble has arisen, no danger been feared or apprehended. A thousand John Browns, each with nineteen white men and five black men, could not cause any tumult in any part of the British West Indies. Why is it, then, that one John Brown and company have created so wide-spread an alarm and consternation throughout the Slave States? The Governor of South Carolina has sent a dispatch (Nov. 21) to Gov. Wise, tendering any amount of military aid to the defence of Virginia! Gov. Wise had several companies of the military present on the day of the execution of John Brown and others, and assured the Governor of South Carolina that Virginia is able to defend herself. What causes all this tumult and apprehension? Edition: current; Page: [7] Slavery! And yet, strange as it may seem, the Virginians, with a stupidity and infatuation which no language can describe, are seriously discussing the propriety of enslaving the free negroes of that State. Such a proceeding would resemble a physician who should order a dose of arsenic to cure a patient who had taken strychnine, or attempt to extinguish a conflagration by throwing oil on the flames.

How the consequences of abolishing slavery would be dreadful and horrible, neither history nor experience informs us. Let us, then, see what they tell us of the consequences of holding men in bondage. In every instance which has fallen under my notice, insurrections have always been projected and carried on by slaves, and never (with the exception of Denmark Vesey in 1822, in Charleston, S. C.) by the free blacks.

The contest between truth and falsehood, right and wrong, justice and injustice, has always continued from the earliest ages to the present moment. More especially is it true concerning American slavery, that “sum of all villanies,” a crime which involves the continual violation of every one of the Ten Commandments. I propose, therefore, to give, with other incidents, an abstract of some of the attempts of the oppressed to throw off the yoke which held them, or threatened to hold them, in bondage.

The first instance which has come to my knowledge in this country of an insurrection on a small scale, occurred on Noddle’s Island, now East Boston, in 1638. In John Josselyn’s account of his first voyage to New England may be found the following. Having previously stated that he was a guest of “Mr. Samuel Maverick, the only hospitable man (as he says) in all the country, giving entertainment to all comers gratis,” he thus writes:—

“The second of October about 9 of the clock in the morning Mr. Maverick’s negro came to my chamber window, and in her own Countrey language and tune sung very loud and shrill. Going out to her she used a great deal of respect towards me, and willingly would have expressed her grief in English, but I apprehended it by her countenance and deportment, whereupon I repaired to my host to learn of him the cause, and resolved to intreat him on her behalf for that I Edition: current; Page: [8] understood before that she had been a Queen in her own Countrey, and observed a very dutiful garb used toward her by another Negro who was her maid. Mr. Maverick was desirous to have a breed of Negroes, and therefore seeing she would not yield by persuasion to company with a Negro young man he had in his house, he commanded him, will’d she, nill’d she, to go to bed to her, but she kickt him out again. This she took in high disdain beyond her slavery, and this was the cause of her grief.”

From this statement it appears that Maverick had at least three slaves; but of the number held in the Province, no record informs us. In 1641, the Massachusetts Colony passed the following law:—

“There shall never be any bond slaverie, villinage or captivitie amongst us unless it be lawfull captives taken in just warres, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves. And these shall have all the liberties and christian usuages, which the law of God established in Isreal concerning such persons doth morally require. This exempts none from servitude, who shall be judged thereto by authority.”

“He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”

—Ex. 21: 16.

In 1646, one James Smith, a member of Boston church, brought home two negroes from the Coast of Guinea, and had been the means of killing near a hundred more. In consequence of this conduct, the General Court passed the following order:—

“The General Court conceiving themselves bound by the first opportunity to bear witness against the heinous and crying sin of man-stealing, as also to prescribe such timely redress for what is past and such a law for the future, as may sufficiently deter all others belonging to us to have to do in such vile and odious courses, justly abhorred of all good and just men, do order that the negro interpreter with others unlawfully taken, be by the first opportunity at the charge of the country for the present, sent to his native country (Guinea) and a letter with him of the indignation of the Court thereabouts, and justice thereof desiring our honored Governor would please put this order in execution.”

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From this time till about 1700, the number of slaves imported into Massachusetts was not large. In 1680, Governor Simon Bradstreet, in answer to inquiries from “the lords of his Majesties privy council,” thus writes:—

“There hath been no company of blacks or slaves brought into the country since the beginning of this plantation, for the space of 50 years, only one small vessell about two yeares since after 20 month’s voyage to Madagasca brought hither betwixt 40 and 50 negros, most women and children, sold for £10, £15 and £20 apiece, which stood the merchants in near £40 apiece one with another: now and then two or three negros are brought hither from Barbados and other of his majesties plantations, and sold here for about £20 apiece, so that there may bee within our government about 100 or 120, and it may bee as many Scots brought hither and sold for servants in the time of the war with Scotland, and most now married and living here, and about halfe so many Irish brought hither at several times as servants.”

The number of slaves at this period in the middle and southern colonies is not easily ascertained, as few books, and no newspapers, were published in North America prior to 1704. In that year, the Weekly News Letter was commenced, and in the same year the “Society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts opened a catechising school for the slaves at New York, in which city there were then computed to be about 1500 negro and Indian slaves,” a sufficient number to furnish materials for the “irrepressible conflict,” which had long before begun. The catechist, whom the Society employed, was “Mr. Elias Neau, by nation a Frenchman, who, having made a confession of the Protestant religion in France, for which he had been confined several years in prison, and seven years in the gallies.” Mr. Neau entered upon his office “with great diligence, and his labors were very successful; but the negroes were much discouraged from embracing the Christian religion upon account of the very little regard showed them in any religious respect. Their marriages were performed by mutual consent only, without the blessing of the Church; they were buried by those of their own country and complexion, in the common field, without any Christian office; perhaps some ridiculous heathen Edition: current; Page: [10] rites were performed at the grave by some of their own people. No notice was given of their being sick, that they might be visited; on the contrary, frequent discourses were made in conversation, that they had no souls, and perished as the beasts,” and “that they grew worse by being taught, and made Christians.”

In 1711, May 15, Gov. Gibbes, of South Carolina, in his address to the Legislature of that Province, thus speaks:—

“And, gentlemen, I desire you will consider the great quantities of negroes that are daily brought into the government, and the small number of whites that comes amongst us: how insolent and mischievous the negroes are become, and to consider the Negro Act already made, doth not reach up to some of the crimes they have lately been guilty of, therefore it might be convenient by some additional clause of said Negro Act to appoint either by gibbets or some such like way, that after executed, they may remain more exemplary than any punishment that hath been inflicted on them.”

In the next month, June, the Governor thus writes:—

“We further recommend unto you the repairs of the fortifications about Charleston, and the amending of the Negro Act, who are of late grown to that height of impudence, that there is scarce a day passes without some robbery or insolence, committed by them in one part or other of this province.

“In the year 1712,” says the Rev. D. Humphreys, “a considerable number of negroes of the Carmantee and Pappa Nations formed a plot to destroy all the English, in order to obtain their liberty; and kept their conspiracy so secret, that there was no suspicion of it till it came to the very execution. However, the plot was by God’s Providence happily defeated. The plot was this. The negroes sat fire to a house in York city, and Sunday night in April, about the going down of the moon. The fire alarmed the town, who from all parts ran to it; the conspirators planted themselves in several streets and lanes leading to the fire, and shot or stabbed the people as they were running to it. Some of the wounded escaped, and acquainted the Government, and presently by the firing of a great gun from the fort, the inhabitants were called under arms and pretty easily scattered the negroes; they had killed Edition: current; Page: [11] about 8 and wounded 12 more. In their flight some of them shot themselves, others their wives, and then themselves; some absconded a few days, and then killed themselves for fear of being taken; but a great many were taken, and 18 of them suffered death. This wicked conspiracy was at first apprehended to be general among all the negroes, and opened the mouths of many to speak against giving the negroes instruction. Mr. Neau durst hardly appear abroad for some days; his school was blamed as the main occasion of this barbarous plot. On examination, only two of all his school were so much as charged with the plot, and on full trial the guilty negroes were found to be such as never came to Mr. Neau’s school; and what is very observable, the persons, whose negroes were found to be most guilty, were such as were the declared opposers of making them Christians. However a great jealousy was now raised, and the common cry very loud against instructing the negroes.”

From the Boston Weekly Journal, of April 8th, 1724, I make the following extract:—

“Every reasonable man ought to remember their first villanous attempt at New York, and how many good innocent people were murdered by them, and had it not been for the garrison there, that city would have been reduced to ashes, and the greatest part of the inhabitants murdered.”

On the 6th of May, 1720, the negroes in South Carolina murdered Mr. Benjamin Cattle, a white woman, and a negro boy. Forces were immediately raised, and sent after them, twenty-three of whom were taken, six convicted, three executed, and three escaped.

In October, 1722, about two hundred negroes near the mouth of the Rappahannock river, Virginia, got together in a body, armed with an intent to kill the people in church, but were discovered, and fled.

On the 13th of April, 1723, Gov. Dummer issued a proclamation with the following preamble, viz.:—

“Whereas within some short time past, many fires have broke out within the town of Boston, and divers buildings have thereby been consumed: which fires have been designedly and industriously kindled by some villanous and desperate Edition: current; Page: [12] Negroes, or other dissolute people, as appears by the confession of some of them (who have been examined by authority) and many concurring circumstances; and it being vehemently suspected that they have entered into a combination to burn and destroy the town, I have therefore thought fit, with the advice of his Majesty’s Council, to issue forth this Proclamation,” &c.

On the 18th of April, 1723, Rev. Joseph Sewall preached a discourse, particularly occasioned “by the late fires yt have broke out in Boston, supposed to be purposely set by ye Negroes.”*

On the next day, April 19th, the Selectmen of Boston made a report to the town on the subject, consisting of nineteen articles, of which the following is No. 9:—

“That if more than Two Indians, Negro or Molatto Servants or Slaves be found in the Streets or Highways in or about the Town, idling or lurking together unless in the service of their Master or Employer, every one so found shall be punished at the House of Correction.”

So great at that time were the alarm and danger in Boston, occasioned by the slaves, that in addition to the common watch, a military force was not only kept up, but at the breaking out of every fire, a part of the militia were ordered out under arms to keep the slaves in order!!

The report of nineteen articles, submitted to the town of Boston, was finally embodied in a Negro Act of fifteen sections, of which the 15th was as follows:—

“That no Indian, negro or mullatto, upon the breaking out of fire and the continuance thereof during the night season, shall depart from his or her master’s house, nor be found in the streets at or near the place where the fire is, upon pain of being forthwith seized and sent to the common gaol, and afterwards whipt, three days following before dismist, &c.”

From the N. E. Courant, Nov. 1724, I take the following extract:—

“It is well known what loss the town of Boston sustained Edition: current; Page: [13] by fire not long since, when almost every night for a considerable time together, some building or other and sometimes several in the same night were either burned to the ground or some attempts made to do it. It is likewise well known that those villanies were carried on by Negro servants, the like whereof we never felt before from unruly servants, nor ever heard of the like happening in any place attended with the like circumstances.”

Like causes produce like effects. Since the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts, no one has felt alarmed at seeing “two or more colored men lurking together” in Boston. Prior to the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, the militia were always called out under arms on the Christmas holidays, in order to prevent any attempts at insurrection among the slaves. Since that time, there has been no apprehension of any disturbances, and, of course, no calling out of the militia.

In 1728, an insurrection of slaves occurred in Savannah, Georgia, who were fired on twice before they fled. They had formed a plot to destroy all the whites, and nothing prevented them but a disagreement about the mode. At that time, the population consisted of 3000 whites and 2700 blacks.

In January, 1729, the slaves in Antigua conspired to destroy the English, which was discovered two or three days before the intended assault. Of the three conspirators, two were burnt alive!!’Twas admirable,” says the account, “to see how long they stood before they died, the great wood not readily burning, and their cry was water, water!

In August, 1730, an insurrection of blacks occurred in Williamsburgh, Va., occasioned by a report, on Col. Spotswood’s arrival, that he had direction from his Majesty to free all baptized persons. The negroes improved this to a great height. Five counties were in arms pursuing them, with orders to kill them if they did not submit.

In August, 1730, the slaves in South Carolina conspired to destroy all the whites. This was the first open rebellion in that State, where the negroes were actually armed and embodied, and took place on the Sabbath.

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In the same month, a negro man plundered and burned a house in Malden, (Mass.) and gave this reason for his conduct, that his master had sold him to a man in Salem, whom he did not like.

In 1731, Capt. George Scott, of R. I. was returning from Guinea with a cargo of slaves, who rose upon the ship, murdered three of the crew, all of whom soon after died, except the captain and boy.

In 1732, Capt. John Major, of Portsmouth, N. H., was murdered, with all his crew, and the schooner and cargo seized by the slaves.

In December, 1734, Jamaica was under martial law, and two thousand soldiers ordered out after the “rebellious negroes.”

In the same year, an insurrection occurred in Burlington, (Pa.) among the blacks, whom the account styles “intestine and inhuman enemies, who in some places have been too much indulged.” Their design was as soon as the season was advanced, so that they could lie in the woods, on a certain night, agreed on by some hundreds of them, and kept secret a long time, that every negro and negress should rise at midnight, kill every master and his sons, sparing the women, kill all the draught horses, set all their houses and barns on fire, and secure all their saddle horses for flight towards the Indians in the French interest.

In 1735, the slaves of the ship Dolphin, of London, on the coast of Africa, rose upon the crew; but being overpowered, they got into the powder room, and to be revenged, blew up themselves with the crew.

In 1739, there were three formidable insurrections of the slaves in South Carolina—one in St. Paul’s Parish, one in St. Johns, and one in Charleston. In one of these, which occurred in September, they killed in one night twenty-five whites, and burned six houses. They were pursued, attacked, and fourteen killed. In two days, twenty more were killed, and forty were taken, some of whom were shot, some hanged, and some gibbeted alive! This “more exemplary” punishment, as Gov. Gibbes called it, failed of its intended effect, for the next year there was another insurrection in South Carolina. There were then above 40,000 slaves, and about twenty persons were killed before it was quelled.

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In 1741, there was a formidable insurrection among the slaves in New York. At that time the population consisted of 12,000 whites and 2,000 blacks. Of the conspirators, thirteen were burned alive, eighteen hung, and eighty transported.

Those who were transported were sent to the West India islands. As a specimen of the persons who were suitable for transportation, I give the following from the Boston Gazette, Aug. 17, 1761:—

“To be sold, a parcel of likely young negroes, imported from Africa, cheap for cash. Inquire of John Avery. Also, if any person have any negro men, strong and hearty, though not of the best moral character, which are proper subjects of transportation, they may have an exchange for small negroes.

In 1747, the slaves on board of a Rhode Island ship commanded by Capt. Beers, rose, when off Cape Coast Castle, and murdered the captain and all the crew, except the two mates, who swam ashore.

In 1754, C. Croft, Esq., of Charleston, S. C., had his buildings burned by his female negroes, two of whom were burned alive!!

In September, 1755, Mark and Phillis, slaves, were put to death at Cambridge, (Mass.) for poisoning their master, Mr. John Codman of Charlestown. Mark was hanged, and Phillis burned alive! Having ascertained that their master had, by his will, made them free at his death, they poisoned him in order to obtain their liberty so much the sooner.

In August, 1759, another insurrection was contemplated in Charleston, S. C.

In October, 1761, there was a rebellion among the slaves in Kingston, Jamaica; and in the next December, the slaves in Bermuda rebelled, and threatened to destroy all the whites. All were engaged in the plot, which was accidentally discovered. One was burned alive, one hanged, and eleven condemned.

In the same year, Capt. Nichols, of Boston, lost forty of his slaves by an insurrection, but saved his vessel.

In 1763, the Dutch settlement at Barbetias was surprised and destroyed by the negroes.

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In 1764, the slaves in Jamaica projected a rebellion, and intended to destroy all the whites on the island.

In 1767, there was a rebellion among the slaves in Grenada.

In 1768, when Gen. Gage was in command of the British troops in Massachusetts, one Capt. John Wilson, of the 59th regiment, made an attempt to excite the few slaves in Boston [about 300] to rise against their masters. He assured the slaves that the foreign troops had come to procure their freedom, and that “with their assistance, they would be able to drive the Liberty Boys to the devil.” In October, the Selectmen made a complaint against him; had him arrested, and bound over for trial, but by the influence of British officials, the indictment was quashed, and Wilson fled, satisfied that Boston would not be a safe place for him.

In 1765, symptoms of a rebellious and insurrectionary spirit were manifested in various parts of the thirteen colonies, then nominally at least subjects of King George. This spirit was aroused by the passage, by the British Parliament, of the Stamp Act on the 22d of March of that year. As the British government were unable to enforce this Act, it was graciously repealed on the 22d of February, 1766, but coupled with the declaratory Act, that “the Legislature of Great Britain had authority to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever.” On the 20th of November, 1767, the Act previously passed, imposing a duty of three pence per pound on tea, was to take effect. From this Act, with other causes combined, many commotions were excited anew among the people. On the 5th of March, 1770, the Boston massacre occurred. The skirmish at Lexington and Concord on the 19th of April, and the battle on Breed’s hill on the 17th of June, 1775, greatly increased the excitement. About the middle of July, the year Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, ceased to exercise the functions of his office, having with his wife and children, for fear of the people, taken refuge on board the Fowey man of war. With the hope that he should succeed in reducing the Virginians to subjection, Lord Dunmore gave out that he should instigate the slaves, who were extremely numerous, to revolt against their masters. The dread of the consequences of such a revolt decided the Virginians to form a convention, in which they Edition: current; Page: [17] placed great confidence. The governor expected, but in vain, that the people would rise, and take arms in favor of the king. Hoping, however, that with such force as he had, and with the frigates on that station, he should make some impression on the surrounding country, he surprised the town of Hampton, situated on the bay of the same name, and devoted it to the flames. He then proclaimed martial law, “declared free all slaves or servants, black or white, belonging to rebels, provided they would take up arms and join the royal troops.” The governor again came on shore at Norfolk, where some hundreds of loyalists and negroes joined the governor. With this motley force, aided by two hundred soldiers of the line, he made an unsuccessful attack on the provincials on the 9th of December. He again repaired on board of one of the ships, and on the first of January, 1776, the frigate Liverpool, two corvettes and the governor’s armed sloop, opened a terrible fire on the city; and at the same time, a detachment of marines landed, and set fire to the houses. In this manner was destroyed one of the most opulent and flourishing cities of Virginia.

On the 4th of July, 1776, after eleven years of unavailing negotiation and some fighting, the delegates of the thirteen Colonies, not believing the modern dogma that, however bad the laws may be, they must be obeyed till they are repealed, raised the standard of rebellion, and bade defiance to the colossal power of Great Britain, declaring that they were, and of right ought to be, free and independent, and making the following declaration, viz.:—

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This was an insurrection on a great scale; and as the insurgents were white men, and were successful, they were, of course, right. Says Jefferson, in 1814, “What an incomprehensible machine is man! who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself, in vindication of his own liberty; and the next moment be deaf to all those motives, whose power supported him through his trials, and inflict on his fellow-man a bondage, one hour of which is Edition: current; Page: [18] fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.

The insurrection of the people of France against their king, which is generally called the French revolution, is with all its horrors too well known to require notice.

The scenes of St. Domingo next claim our attention. The incidents are given in the language of an author, whose name I do not recollect.

When the French Revolution, which decreed equality of rights to all citizens, had taken place, the free people of color of St. Domingo, many of whom were persons of large property and liberal education, petitioned the General Assembly that they might enjoy the same political privileges as the whites. At length, in March, 1790, the subject of the petition was discussed, when the Assembly adopted a decree concerning it. The decree, however, was worded so ambiguously, that the two parties in St. Domingo—the whites and the people of color—interpreted each in their own favor. This difference of interpretation gave rise to animosities between them, which were augmented by political party spirit, according as they were royalists, or partisans of the French revolution, so that disturbances took place, and blood was shed.

In the year 1791, the people of color petitioned the Assembly again, but principally for an explanation of the decree in question.

On the 15th of May, the subject was taken into consideration, and the result was another decree in more explicit terms, which determined that the people of color in all the French islands were entitled to all the rights of citizens, provided they were born of free parents on both sides. The news of this decree no sooner arrived at the Cape, than it produced an indignation almost amounting to frenzy among the whites. They directly trampled under foot the national cockade, and with difficulty were prevented from seizing all the merchant ships in the roads. After this, the two parties armed against each other. Even camps began to be formed. Horrible massacres and conflagrations followed, the reports of which, when brought to the mother country, were so terrible that the Assembly rescinded the decree in favor of the people of color in the same year.

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In 1792, the news of this new decree reached St. Domingo, and produced as much irritation among the people of color, as the news of the former had done among the whites; and hostilities were renewed on both sides.

As soon as these events became known in France, the Conventional Assembly, which had then succeeded the Legislature, seeing no hope of reconciliation on either side, knew not what other course to take than to do justice, whatever the consequences might be. They resolved accordingly, in the month of April, that the decree of 1791, which had been first made and reversed by the preceding Assembly, should be made good; thus restoring to the people of color the privileges which had been before voted to them; and they appointed Santhonax, Polverel, and another to repair as Commissioners to St. Domingo, with a large body of troops, in order to enforce the decree, and to keep the peace.

In the year 1793, the same division and bloodshed continuing, notwithstanding the arrival of the commissioners, a very trivial matter, a quarrel between a mulatto and a white man, (an officer in the French marines,) gave rise to new disasters. The quarrel took place at Cape Francois on the 20th of June. On the same day, the seamen left their ships in the roads, and came on shore, and made common cause with the white inhabitants of the town. On the other side were ranged the mulattoes and other people of color, and these were afterwards joined by some insurgent blacks. The battle lasted nearly two days. During this time, the arsenal was taken and plundered, some thousands were killed in the streets, and more than half of the town was burned. The commissioners, who were witnesses of the horrible scene, and who had done all that they could to restore peace, escaped unhurt; but they were left upon a heap of ruins, and with little more power than the authority which their commission gave them. They had only about a thousand troops left in the place. They determined, therefore, under these circumstances, to call in the slaves in their neighborhood to their assistance. They issued a proclamation in consequence, by which they promised to give freedom to all the blacks who were willing to range themselves under the banner of the republic.

This was the first proclamation made by public authority Edition: current; Page: [20] for emancipating slaves in St. Domingo, and was usually called the proclamation of Santhonax. The result of it was, that a considerable number of slaves came in, and were enfranchised.

Soon after this transaction, Polverel left his colleague, Santhonax, at the Cape, and went in his capacity of commissioner to Port au Prince, the capital of the West. Here he found every thing quiet, and cultivation in a flourishing state. From Port au Prince he visited Aux Cayes, the capital of the South. He had not, however, been long there, before he found that the minds of the slaves began to be in an unsettled state. They had become acquainted with what had taken place in the North; not only with the riots at the Cape, but the proclamation of Santhonax. Polverel, therefore, seeing the impression which it had begun to make on the minds of the slaves in these parts, was convinced that emancipation could neither be prevented, nor even retarded; and that it was absolutely necessary, for the personal safety of the white planters, that it should be extended to the whole island. He was so convinced of the necessity of this, that in September, 1793, he drew up a proclamation without further delay to that effect, and put it into circulation. He dated it from Aux Cayes. He exhorted the planters to patronise it. He advised them, if they wished to avoid the most serious calamities, to concur themselves in the proposition of giving freedom to their slaves. He then caused a registry to be opened at the government house, to receive the signatures of those who should approve of his advice. It was remarkable that all the proprietors in these parts inscribed their names in this book. He then caused a similar registry to be opened at Port au Prince for the West. Here the same disposition was found to prevail. All the planters, except one, gave in their signatures. They had become pretty generally convinced, by this time, that their own personal safety was connected with the measure. We may now add that, in the month of February, 1794, the Conventional Assembly of France passed a decree for the abolition of slavery throughout the whole of the French Colonies. Thus the government of the mother country confirmed freedom to those, on whom it had been bestowed by the commissioners. This decree, therefore, put the finishing stroke Edition: current; Page: [21] to the whole. It completed the emancipation of the whole slave population of St. Domingo.

With regard to the conduct of those who were emancipated by Santhonax in the North, I find nothing particular to communicate. With respect to those emancipated in the South and West by Polverel, we are enabled to give a pleasing account. Colonel Malenfant, who was residing in the island at the time, has made us acquainted with their general conduct and character. “After the public act of emancipation,” says he, (by Polverel,) “the negroes remained quiet, both in the South and in the West, and they continued to work on all the plantations. There were, indeed, estates which had neither owners nor managers resident on them. Some of these had been put in prison by Mount Brun; and others, fearing the same fate, had fled to the quarter which had just been given up to the English. Yet on these estates, though abandoned, the negroes continued their labors, where there were any (even inferior) agents to guide them; and on those estates where no white men were left to direct them, they betook themselves to the planting of provisions; but on all the plantations where the whites resided, the blacks continued to labor as quietly as before.

A little further on, in the same work, ridiculing the notion entertained in France, that the negroes would not work without compulsion, he takes occasion to allude to other negroes who had been liberated by the same proclamation, but who were more immediately under his own eye. “If,” says he, “you will take care not to speak to them of their return to slavery, but talk to them about their liberty, you may, with this latter word, chain them down to labor. How did Toussaint succeed? How did I succeed also, before his time, in the plain of the Cul de Sac, and on the plantation Gouraud, more than eight months after liberty had been granted (by Polverel) to the slaves? Let those who knew me at the time, and even the blacks themselves, be asked. They will all reply that not a single negro on that plantation, consisting of more than 460 laborers, refused to work; and yet this plantation was thought to be under the worst discipline, and the slaves the most idle in the plain. I, myself, inspired the same activity into three other plantations, of which I had the management.”

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The above account is far beyond any thing that could have been reasonably expected; indeed, it is most gratifying. We find that the liberated negroes, both in the South and West, continued to work on their old plantations, and for their old masters; so that there was also a spirit of industry among them; for they are described as continuing to work as quietly as before. Such was the conduct of the negroes for the first nine months after their liberation, up to the middle of 1794. Of the conduct of the negroes during the year 1795, and part of 1796, I find no account. Had there been any outrages, they would have been mentioned. Let no one connect the outrages, which assuredly took place in St. Domingo in 1791 and 1792, with the effects of the emancipation of the slaves. The great massacres and conflagrations which at that time made so frightful a picture in the history of this unhappy island, occurred in the days of slavery, before the proclamation of Santhonax and Polverel, and before the great conventional decree of the mother country was known. They had been occasioned, too, not originally by the slaves themselves, but by quarrels between the white and colored planters, and between the royalists and the revolutionists, who, for the purpose of wreaking their vengeance on each other, called in the aid of their slaves; and as to the insurgent negroes of the North, who filled that part of the colony in those years with terror and dismay, they were originally put in motion, according to Malenfant, by the royalists themselves, to strengthen their own cause, and to put down the partisans of the French revolution.

When Jean Francois and Brasson commenced the insurrection, there were many white royalists among them, and the negroes were made to wear the white cockade.

I now come to the latter part of the year 1796, and we shall find that there was no want of industry or of obedience in those who had been emancipated. “The colony,” says Malenfant, “was flourishing under Toussaint; the whites lived happily on their estates, and the negroes continued to work for them.” Now, Toussaint came into power, being General-in-chief of the armies of St. Domingo, near the end of the year 1796, and remained in power till the year 1802, or till the invasion of the island by the French expedition by Bonaparte, under Le Clerc. Malenfant, therefore, means to Edition: current; Page: [23] state that from 1796 to 1802, a period of six years, the planters and farmers kept possession of their estates; that they lived on them peacefully, and without interruption or disturbance; and that the negroes, though they had all been set free, continued to be their laborers.

Gen. La Croix, who published his “Memoirs for a History of St. Domingo” at Paris in 1819, informs us that when Santhonax returned to the colony in 1796, “he was astonished at the state in which he found it on his return.” This, says La Croix, was owing to Toussaint, who, while he had succeeded in establishing perfect order and discipline among the black troops, had succeeded in making the black laborer return to the plantation, there to resume the drudgery of cultivation.

But the same author tells us that, in the next year, 1797, the most wonderful progress had been made in agriculture. He uses these remarkable words:—“The colony marched as by enchantment to its former splendor; cultivation prospered; every day produced perceptible proofs of its progress. The city of the Cape and the plantations of the North rose up again visibly to the eye.” To effect this wonderful improvement, many circumstances conspired, but principally the fact that the negroes, being free, had a powerful motive to be industrious and obedient.

The next witness is Gen. Vincent, who was a colonel, and afterwards a general of brigade of artillery at St. Domingo, and was there during the time of Santhonax and Toussaint. He was called to Paris by Toussaint, where he arrived just at the moment of the peace of Amiens, and found, to his inexpressible surprise and grief, that Bonaparte was preparing an immense armament, to be commanded by Le Clerc, for the purpose of restoring slavery in St. Domingo! Against this expedition, the General remonstrated with the First Consul, telling him that, though the army destined for this purpose was composed of the brilliant conquerors of Europe, it would do nothing in the Antilles, and would assuredly be destroyed by the climate of St. Domingo, if not destroyed by the blacks. He stated that every thing was going on well in St. Domingo and therefore conjured him, in the name of humanity, not to attempt to reverse this beautiful order of things. His efforts were ineffectual. The armament sailed, and, arriving on the Edition: current; Page: [24] shores of St. Domingo, a scene of blood and torture followed, such as history had seldom if ever before disclosed, which, though planned and executed by whites, all the barbarities said to have been perpetrated by the insurgent blacks of the North amounted comparatively to nothing. At length, the survivors of that vast army were driven from the island, with the loss of sixty thousand lives. Till that time, the planters had retained their estates; and then it was, and not till then, that they lost their all. The question may be asked, why did the First Consul make this frightful invasion? It was owing, not to the emancipated negroes, who were peaceful, industrious, and beyond example happy, but to the prejudices of their former masters—prejudices common to almost all slaveholders. Accustomed to the use of arbitrary power, they could not brook the loss of their whips. Accustomed to look down on the negroes as an inferior race of beings, as mere reptiles of the earth, they could not bear, peaceably as these had conducted themselves, to come into that familiar contact with them as free laborers, which the change in their condition required. They considered them, too, as property lost, and which was to be recovered. In an evil hour, they prevailed on Bonaparte, by false representations and promises of pecuniary support, to undertake to restore things to their former state; and the result is before the world as an example and a warning. When will our slaveholding brethren learn that the advocates of immediate emancipation are the only true friends of both slaveholders and slaves, and that the only path of safety is the path of duty, which demands the immediate repentance of all sin, and especially that “sum of all villanies,” slavery?

In the year 1800, the city of Richmond, Va., and indeed the whole slaveholding country were thrown into a state of intense excitement, consternation and alarm, by the discovery of an intended insurrection among the slaves. The plot was laid by a slave named Gabriel, who was claimed as the property of Mr. Thomas Prosser. A full and true account of this General Gabriel, and of the proceedings consequent on the discovery of the plot, has never yet been published. In 1831 a short account, which is false in almost every particular, appeared in the Albany Evening Journal under the head of “Gabriel’s Defeat.” It was the same year republished in Edition: current; Page: [25] the first volume of the Liberator, and during the last year (1859) has been extensively republished in many other papers. The following is the copy of a letter dated Sept. 21, 1800, written by a gentleman of Richmond, Va., and published in the Boston Gazette, Oct. 6th:—

“By this time, you have no doubt heard of the conspiracy, formed in this country by the negroes, which, but for the interposition of Providence, would have put the metropolis of the State, and even the State itself, into their possession. A dreadful storm with a deluge of rain, which carried away the bridges and rendered the water courses every where impassable, prevented the execution of their plot. It was extensive and vast in its design. Nothing could have been better contrived. The conspirators were to have seized on the magazine, the treasury, the mills, and the bridges across James river. They were to have entered the city of Richmond in three places with fire and sword, to commence an indiscriminate slaughter, the French only excepted. They were then to have called on their fellow negroes and the friends of humanity throughout the continent, by proclamation, to rally round their standard. The magazine, which was defenceless, would have supplied them with arms for many thousand men. The treasury would have given them money, the mills bread, and the bridges would have enabled them to let in their friends, and keep out their enemies. Never was there a more propitious season for the accomplishment of their purpose. The country is covered with rich harvests of Indian corn; flocks and herds are every where fat in the fields; and the liberty and equality doctrine, nonsensical and wicked as it is, (in this land of tyrants and slaves,) is for electioneering purposes sounding and resounding through our valleys and mountains in every direction. The city of Richmond and the circumjacent country are in arms, and have been so for ten or twelve days past. The patrollers are doubled through the State, and the Governor, impressed with the magnitude of the danger, has appointed for himself three Aids de Camp. A number of conspirators have been hung, and a great many more are yet to be hung. The trials and executions are going on day by day. Poor deluded wretches! Their democratic deluders, conscious of their own guilt, and fearful of the Edition: current; Page: [26] public vengeance, are most active in bringing them to punishment.Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi”! Two important facts have been established by the witnesses on the different trials. First, that the plan of the plot was drawn by two Frenchmen in Richmond, and by them given to the negro General Gabriel, who is not yet caught; and secondly, that in the meditated massacre, not one Frenchman was to be touched. It is moreover believed, though not positively known, that a great many of our profligate and abandoned whites (who are distinguished by the burlesque appellation of democrats) are implicated with the blacks, and would have joined them if they had commenced their operations. The particulars of this horrid affair you will probably see detailed in Davis’ paper from Richmond, but certainly in Stewart’s paper in Washington. The Jacobin printers and their friends are panic struck. Never was terror more strongly depicted in the countenances of men. They see, they feel, the fatal mischiefs that their preposterous principles and ferocious party spirit have brought upon us.”

The Virginia Gazette of Sept. 12th thus writes:—“The public mind has been much involved in dangerous apprehensions concerning an insurrection of the negroes in several of the adjoining counties. Such a thing has been in agitation by an ambitious and insidious fellow named Gabriel, the property of Mr. Thomas Prossor. * * * * Yesterday a Court was held at the Court House in this city, when six of them were convicted, and condemned to be executed this day, Sept. 12th.”

“On Thursday, Sept. 18th,” says the New York Spectator, “five more were executed near the city of Richmond, who were concerned in the insurrection.”

These eleven negroes were executed before the apprehension of Gen. Gabriel, for whose arrest Gov. Monroe offered a reward of $300. The following is a copy of a letter dated Norfolk, Sept. 25th, 1800:—

“Last Tuesday, on information being given that Gen. Gabriel was on board the three-masted schooner Mary, Richardson Taylor skipper, just arrived from Richmond, he was committed to prison in irons. It appeared on his Edition: current; Page: [27] examination that he went on board on the 14th inst., four miles below Richmond, and remained on board eleven days; that when he went first on board, he was armed with a bayonet and bludgeon, both of which he threw into the river.”

“On Saturday last,” (Sept. 27th,) says a Richmond paper, “the noted Gabriel arrived here by water, under guard from Norfolk, and was committed to the Penitentiary for trial. We understand that when he was apprehended, he manifested the greatest marks of firmness and composure, showing not the least disposition to equivocate, or screen himself from justice. He denied the charge of being the first in exciting the insurrection, although he was to have had the chief command, but that there were four or five persons more materially concerned in the conspiracy, and said that he could mention several in Norfolk; but being conscious of meeting with the fate of those before him, he was determined to make no confession.”

“It was stated,” says a New York paper, “to be the best planned and most matured of any before attempted.” “Gabriel was condemned,” says another paper, “on the 3d of October, and executed on the 7th, (having been respited from the 4th,) without making any useful confession. On the 3d of October, ten more negroes were executed, and on the 7th, fifteen more—viz.: five at the Brook, five at Four Mile Creek, and four with Gabriel at the Richmond gallows.”

These fifteen, as far as we have any account, were the last who were either executed or tried. The Court, in their eager haste to apprehend and punish the conspirators, of whom five, six, ten and fifteen at a time were executed, and that only the day after trial, of whom not one had committed any overt act, and against whom no testimony appears to have been furnished by any white witness, found, after the apprehension of General Gabriel, that they had made some sad mistakes. This fact, with others, caused such a revulsion of feeling, and excited so great a sympathy in behalf of the poor creatures, that they were obliged, by a moral necessity, to pause in their course.

Under date of Oct. 13th, the Commercial Advertiser thus writes:—

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“The trials of the negroes concerned in the late insurrection are suspended until the opinion of the Legislature can be had on the subject. This measure is said to be owing to the immense numbers, who are implicated in the plot, whose death, should they all be found guilty and be executed, will nearly produce the annihilation of the blacks in this part of the country.

The next day, Oct. 14th, a correspondent from Richmond makes a similar statement with this addition:—

“A conditional amnesty is perhaps expected. At the next session of the Legislature of Virginia, they took into consideration the subject referred to them, in secret session, with closed doors. The whole result of their deliberations has never yet been made public, as the injunction of secrecy has never been removed. To satisfy the Court, the public, and themselves, they had a task so difficult to perform, that it is not surprising that their deliberations were in secret.”

From 1800 till 1816, nothing was divulged. In the spring of 1816, the Hon. Charles Fenton Mercer, in a speech delivered by him in 1833, says, “The intelligence broke in upon me, like a ray of light through the profoundest gloom, and by a mere accident, which occurred in the spring of 1816, that, upon two several occasions, the General Assembly of Virginia had invited the United States to obtain a territory beyond their limits, whereon to colonize certain portions of our colored population. For the evidence of these facts, then new to me, I was referred to the Clerk of the Senate; and in the private records I found them verified.”

On the 21st of December, 1800, the Virginia House of Delegates passed, in secret session, the following resolution:—

“Resolved, That the Governor [Monroe] be requested to correspond with the President of the United States, on the subject of purchasing land without the limits of this State, whither persons obnoxious to the laws, or dangerous to the peace of society, may be removed.

The General Assembly of Virginia, having through their agent, Mr. Jefferson, failed in 1800, 1802 and 1804, to obtain a place of banishment for that portion of their colored population whom they were afraid to hang, and unwilling to pardon, passed on Jan. 22, 1805, still in secret session, the following resolution:—

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“Resolved, That the Senators of this State in the Congress of the United States be instructed, and the Representatives be requested, to exert their best efforts for the obtaining from the General Government a competent portion of territory in the country of Louisiana, to be appropriated to the residence of such people of color as have been, or shall be, emancipated, or may hereafter become dangerous to the public safety,&c.

[See African Repository, June, 1832, and November, 1833.]

The Legislature of Virginia having failed in all their attempts to find a suitable Botany Bay, to which the free people of color, convicts, and other dangerous persons could be banished, passed in 1805 a law prohibiting emancipation, except on the condition that the emancipated should leave the State; or, if remaining in the State more than twelve months, should be sold by the overseers of the poor for the benefit of the Literary Fund.

Here we see another consequence of the attempt of slaves to obtain their freedom, viz., an increased persecution of the free people of color, a law to prevent their increase, and a desire to banish all of them from the State. The conspiracy of Gen. Gabriel and his coadjutors was, therefore, the occasion, if not the cause, of the formation, in 1817, of the Colonization Society, whose great object was, by removing all disturbing causes, to make slavery secure, lucrative, and perpetual. Another noticeable fact, made manifest by the intended insurrection, is the state of fearful insecurity in which the residents of a slaveholding community must feel that they are living. The late assertion of Gov. Wise, that “We, the Virginians, are in no danger from our slaves or the colored people,”—or that of Senator Mason, “We can take care of ourselves,”—or that of Miles, of South Carolina, “We are impregnable,”—betrays the depth and extent of their fear by the very attempt to conceal it; like timid boys “ejaculating through white lips and chattering teeth,” Who’s afraid? In the wide-spread panic of 1800, the slaveholders appear to have been excessively puzzled to ascertain what could have induced their slaves to engage in such a conspiracy. They, of course, could not have originated such a plot, and had been, in their opinion, so well-treated that they could have no motive to wish for their freedom. It was at first rumored that Gabriel had in his possession letters written by white men; then, that the conspiracy of the negroes was “occasioned by the circulation of some artfully written hand-bills, drawn Edition: current; Page: [30] up by the noted Callender in prison, and circulated by two French people of color from Guadaloupe, aided by a United Irish pretended Methodist preacher”; then, “that the instigators of the diabolical plan wished thereby to insure the election of Adams and Pinckney, and that the blacks, as far as they were capable, reasoned on the Jeffersonian principles of emancipation.” They were, at last, unwillingly compelled to believe that the whole plot originated with slaves, and was confined to them exclusively, and that, like all other human beings, deprived by arbitrary power of all their just rights, they were determined to be free.

In a letter written in 1800, by Judge St. George Tucker, of Virginia, and published in Baltimore, he thus speaks:—

“The love of freedom is an inborn sentiment, which the God of nature has planted deep in the heart. Long may it be kept under by the arbitrary institutions of society; but, at the first favorable moment, it springs forth with a power which defies all check. This celestial spark, which fires the breast of the savage, which glows in that of the philosopher, is not extinguished in the bosom of the slave. It may be buried in the embers, but it still lives, and the breath of knowledge kindles it into a flame. Thus we find there never have been slaves in any country, who have not seized the first favorable opportunity to revolt. These, our hewers of wood and drawers of water, possess the power of doing us mischief, and are prompted to it by motives which self-love dictates, which reason justifies. Our sole security, then, consists in their ignorance of this power, and their means of using it—a security which we have lately found is not to be relied on, and which, small as it is, every day diminishes. Every year adds to the number of those who can read and write; and the increase of knowledge is the principal agent in evolving the spirit we have to fear. * * * By way of marking the prodigious change which a few years have made among that class of men, compare the late conspiracy with the revolt under Lord Dunmore. In the one case, a few solitary individuals flocked to that standard, under which they were sure to find protection. In the other, they, in a body, of their own accord, combine a plan for asserting their freedom, and rest their safety on success alone. The difference is, that then they sought freedom merely as a good; now they also claim it as a right. * * * Ignorant and illiterate as they yet are, they have maintained a correspondence, which, whether we consider its extent or duration, is truly astonishing.”

Thus far Judge Tucker.

Monday, Sept. 1st, was the day set by General Gabriel and his associates to make the attack on Richmond with fire and sword. The plot was, however, discovered only the day previous, and, as I have been informed, was made known by a slave named Ben, who was unwilling that his master (a Mr. W. who had been very kind to him) should lose his life.

Edition: current; Page: [31]

The incidents of this conspiracy were embodied in a song, and set to a tune, both of which were composed by a colored man. The song is still sung.

In the New York Spectator, of Sept. 24th, 1800, is a letter dated Charleston, S. C., Sept. 13th, which says that “the negroes have rose in arms against the whites in this country, and have killed several. All the troops of light horse are ordered out by the Governor to suppress the insurrection. Some reports state the number of insurgents, who were embodied about thirty miles from the city, to be about four or five thousand strong. Others decreased this number to seven or eight hundred.”

In June, 1816, a conspiracy was formed in Camden, South Carolina; but information of the intent was given by a favorite and confidential slave of Col. Chesnut.

On May 30th, 1822, a “faithful and confidential slave” disclosed to the Intendant of Charleston, S. C., that, on Sunday evening, June 16th, the slaves had determined to rise in rebellion against the whites, “set fire to the Governor’s house, seize the Guard-house and Arsenal, and sweep the town with fire and sword, not permitting a white soul to escape.” Of the supposed conspirators, one hundred and thirty-one were committed to prison, thirty-five executed, and thirty-seven banished. Of the six ringleaders, Ned Bennet, Peter Poyas, Rolla, Batteau, Jesse, and Denmark Vesey, all were slaves, except Vesey, who had been a slave thirty-eight years, a free man twenty-two years, having in 1800 purchased his freedom.

On July 12th, two slaves were executed; July 26th, twenty-two; July 30th, four; and August 9th, one.

In 1826, the inhabitants of Newbern, Tarborough and Hillsborough were alarmed by insurrectionary movements among their slaves. The people of Newbern, being informed that forty slaves were assembled in a swamp, surrounded it, and killed the whole party!!

In August, 1831, there was an insurrection of slaves in Southampton, Virginia, headed by a slave, who called himself Gen. Nat. Turner, who declared to his associates that he was acting under inspired directions, and that the singular appearance of the sun at that time was the signal for them to commence the work of destruction; which resulted in the murder of sixty-four white persons, and more than one hundred slaves Edition: current; Page: [32] were killed. The excitement extended throughout Virginia and the Carolinas. “Another such insurrection,” says the Richmond Whig, “will be followed by putting the whole race to the sword.” In the same year, insurrections occurred in Martinique, Antigua, St. Jago, Caraccas, and Tortola.

In January, 1832, James McDowell, Jr., in reply to a member who called the Nat. Turner insurrection a “petty affair,” thus spoke in the Virginia House of Delegates:—

“Now, sir, I ask you, I ask gentlemen, in conscience to say, was that a ‘petty affair’ which startled the feelings of your whole population; which threw a portion of it into alarm, a portion of it into panic; which wrung out from an affrighted people the thrilling cry, day after day, conveyed to your executive, ‘We are in peril of our lives—send us an army for defence!’ Was that a ‘petty affair,’ which drove families from their homes; which assembled women and children in crowds, without shelter, at places of common refuge, in every condition of weakness and infirmity, under every suffering which want and terror could inflict, yet willing to endure all, willing to meet death from famine, death from climate, death from hardships, preferring any thing rather than the horrors of meeting it from a domestic assassin? Was that a ‘petty affair,’ which erected a peaceful and confiding portion of the State into a military camp; which outlawed from pity the unfortunate beings whose brothers had offended; which barred every door, penetrated every bosom with fear or suspicion; which so banished every sense of security from every man’s dwelling, that, let but a hoof or horn break upon the silence of the night, and an aching throb would be driven to the heart? The husband would look to his weapon, and the mother would shudder, and weep upon her cradle! Was it the fear of Nat. Turner and his deluded, drunken handful of followers, which produced such effects? Was it this that induced distant counties, where the very name of Southampton was strange, to arm and equip for a struggle? No, sir, it was the suspicion eternally attached to the slave himself; the suspicion that a Nat. Turner might be in every family—that the same bloody deed might be acted over at any time, and in any place—that the materials for it were spread through the land, and were always ready for a like explosion. Nothing but the force of this withering apprehension, nothing but the paralyzing and deadening weight with which it falls upon and prostrates the heart of every man who has helpless dependants to protect, nothing but this could have thrown a brave people into consternation, or could have made any portion of this powerful Commonwealth, for a single instant, to have quailed and trembled.”

In the same year and month, Henry Berry, Esq., another delegate, thus spoke:—

“Sir, I believe that no cancer on the physical body was ever more certain, steady and fatal in its progress, than this cancer on the political body of Virginia. It is eating into her very vitals. And shall we admit that the evil is past remedy? Shall we act the part of a puny patient, suffering under the ravages of a fatal disease, who would say the remedy is too painful? Pass as severe laws as you will to keep these unfortunate creatures Edition: current; Page: [33] in ignorance, it is in vain, unless you can extinguish that spark of intellect which God has given them. Sir, we have, as far as possible, closed every avenue by which light might enter their minds. We have only to go one step further—to extinguish the capacity to see the light—and our work will be completed. They would then be reduced to the level of the beasts of the field, and we should be safe; and I am not certain that we would not do it, if we could find out the necessary process, and that under the plea of necessity. But, sir, this is impossible; and can man be in the midst of freemen, and not know what freedom is? Can he feel that he has the power to assert his liberty, and will he not do it? Yes, sir, with the certainty of Time’s current, he will do it whenever he has the power. The data are before us all, and every man can work out the process for himself. Sir, a death-struggle must come between the two classes,* in which one or the other will be extinguished forever. Who can contemplate such a catastrophe as even possible, and be indifferent?”

In an essay written by Judge St. George Tucker, and published in 1796, he expresses similar sentiments, in language equally forcible, and concludes by saying:—

“I presume it is possible that an effectual remedy for the evils of slavery may at length be discovered. Whenever that happens, the golden age of our country will begin. Till then,

  • —————“Non hospes a hospite tutus
  • Non Herus a Famulis, fratrum quoque gratia rara.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever,” and “that the Almighty has no attribute that can take sides with us in such a contest,” viz., “an exchange of situation” [with the slaves,] are the well-known words of Jefferson.

In 1832, a general insurrection of the slaves occurred in Jamaica, when between two and three thousand slaves were killed, and a large number of whites. The loss occasioned by the rebellion was estimated at five millions of dollars, a part of which was occasioned by the burning of one hundred and fifty plantations. Now, the British West Indies are forever exempted from all danger of insurrection, while the danger of a servile war in America will, until slavery is abolished, every year increase.

In the month of June, 1839, a vessel, called the Amistad, Ramon Ferrer, Captain, sailed from Havana for Principe, about one hundred leagues distant, with fifty-four negroes and two white passengers, (Spaniards,) viz., Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, one of whom claimed to be the owner of the negroes, Edition: current; Page: [34] who were all natives of Africa. While on board, they “suffered much from hunger and thirst.” In addition to this, there was much whipping, and “the cook told them that, when they reached land, they would all be eaten.” This “made their hearts burn.” To avoid being eaten, and to escape the bad treatment, they rose upon the crew with the design of returning to Africa. This was on June 27th, four days after leaving Havana. After killing the captain and cook, and permitting the crew to escape, they under command of Cinque, who compelled Montez to steer the ship for Africa, which he did in the day time, because the negroes could tell his course by the sun, but put the vessel about in the night. In this manner, the vessel drifted about till August 26th, when she was taken possession of by Capt. Gedney, U. S. N. After an interesting trial in Connecticut, the negroes were set free, and, under the American Missionary Association, were sent to their native country, Africa, and of whom many are now receiving religious instruction by means of missionaries who accompanied them to the Mendi country. It is in relation to these blacks that President Buchanan, in his late message, thus speaks:—“I again recommend that an appropriation be made to be paid to the Spanish Government for the purpose of distribution among the claimants in the Amistad case”!!

On the 27th of October, 1841, the Creole sailed from Richmond with one hundred and thirty-five slaves, bound for New Orleans. On November 7th, they rose on the crew, killed a passenger named Howell, and on November 9th, arrived at Nassau, New Providence, where they were all set free by the British authorities. The leader in this successful attempt to secure their freedom was Madison Washington. “The sagacity, bravery and humanity of this man,” says the Hon. William Jay, “do honor to his name, and, but for his complexion, would excite universal admiration.”

In 1846, the slaves in Santa Cruz rose in rebellion against their masters, took possession of the island, and thus obtained their freedom, but did no injury to any white person. This was remarkable, as the whites numbered 3,000, and the blacks 25,000.

Now, what is the inference from this list of conspiracies and insurrections, and scores of others which could be collected? Edition: current; Page: [35] Why, (1,) that all danger arises from the continuance of slavery, and not from its abolition. And, (2,) that if the Bible sanctions slavery, the God of the Bible does not. The language of God’s providence is one and uniform, and too explicit to be misunderstood. It assures us, and writes the assurance in lines of blood, that the way of the transgressor is hard, and that though hand join in hand, the violators of God’s law shall not go unpunished. All history, ancient and modern, is full of examples and warnings on this point. Shall we slight these warnings, shut our eyes against the light, and madly rush on our own destruction? Let us remember that slavery is an unnatural state; that Nature, when her eternal principles are violated, always struggles to restore them to her true estate; and that the natural feelings accord with the sentiment of the poet,

  • “If I’m designed yon lordling’s slave,
  • By Nature’s laws designed,
  • Why was an independent wish
  • E’er planted in my mind?”

“If the Bible,” says the Rev. Albert Barnes, “could be shown to defend and countenance slavery as a good institution, it would make thousands of infidels; for there are multitudes of minds that will see more clearly that slavery is against all the laws which God has written on the human soul, than they would see that a book, sanctioning such a system, had evidence of divine origin.”

Says Charles Alcott, of Medina, Ohio, in his very able lectures on slavery:—“It is easy to show that slavery has, from first to last, been supported directly and solely by crimes, and that the commission of nearly every crime in the Bible calendar, and many crimes against the common law, are absolutely necessary to support it, and give it full effect. It is a fact equally curious and true, that crime of any kind can only be supported by crime; and that, in order to persevere in the commission of one crime, and prevent its detection and punishment, it is necessary to commit still further crimes.”

This being true, it follows conclusively that immediate repentance of the sin of slavery is the duty of every master, and immediate emancipation the right of every slave. Says Charles Alcott, “A man cannot stir, or move, or begin to act, either in support of slavery, or in opposition to its immediate Edition: current; Page: [36] abolition, without committing crimes or sins of some sort or other.” He cannot be neutral. Therefore, gentle reader, in the “irrepressible conflict” that is now agitating the country, and will continue to agitate it till slavery is abolished, which side have you chosen, or do you intend to choose? Will you take the “higher law,” which is in harmony with God’s providence and his word, or act in favor of the “lower law,” which opposes both? If slavery is right, sustain, defend and justify it; but if it is a crime, do all in your power, by moral means, to overthrow the execrable system. If you are a professed Christian, remember the words of Rev. Albert Barnes:—“There is not vital energy enough, there is not power of numbers and influence enough, out of the Church, to sustain it. Let every religious denomination in the land detach itself from all connection with slavery. All that is needful is, for each Christian man, for every Christian church, to stand up in the sacred majesty of such a solemn testimony, and to free themselves from all connection with the evil, and utter a calm, deliberate voice to the world, and the work is done.

Published at the Office of the American Anti-Slavery Society, No. 5 Beekman Street, New York. Also, to be had at the Anti-Slavery Offices, No. 21 Cornhill, Boston, and No. 107 North Fifth Street, Philadelphia.

Edition: current; Page: [ii]

4:: Anon. (William Lloyd Garrison), “The new ‘Reign of Terror’ in the Slaveholding States, for 1859-60”, 144 pp.




in the





published by the american anti-slavery society.


Edition: current; Page: [iii]


“There exists,” says the New York Tribune, “at this moment, throughout the Southern States, an actual Reign of Terror. No Northern man, whatever may be his character, his opinions, or his life, but simply because he is a Northern man, can visit that region without the certainty of being subjected to a mean espionage over all his actions, and a rigid watchfulness over all his expressions of opinions; with the risk of personal indignity, and danger even to life and limb. This mortifying necessity of submission to a contemptible despotism, or suffering the penalty of any assertion of an independent and manly spirit, is confined to no condition of life, but is enforced upon every visitor, whether he be a poor mechanic like Powers, who hammers stone for a living, a merchant’s clerk like Crangale, who is paid with imprisonment for asking the settlement of a just debt, a peddler who sells books as harmless as a dictionary, or a Member of Congress, who, for words spoken in debate, may be, by the bludgeon of a bully, incapacitated for the rest of his life for following any honorable or useful career. Nor is it necessary even to cross Mason and Dixon’s line to come under this degrading compulsion. Northern merchants who sell goods for Southern consumption are called upon to square their opinions according to the plantation standard, and any recusancy on their part is visited with the discipline of the loss of trade. Editors of petty Southern newspapers hardly capable of forming an intelligent notion upon any subject, and quite incapable of writing two consecutive sentences of even tolerable English, form their Black Lists and White Lists, and compel the obedience and subsidy of large commercial houses of a great, and wealthy, and powerful city, a thousand miles distant. And, worst of all, this state of things seems accepted rather as in the natural order of events, than as a monstrous growth of an insolent tyranny on the one hand, and the subserviency of an infinitely mean, and sordid, and peddling poltroonery on the other.

And here is its latest development. A morning paper of yesterday publishes ‘a card,’ signed ‘James P. Hambleton, editor of the Southern Confederacy.’ The Black List of the Confederacy had included the name of Davis, Noble & Co., No. 87 Chambers street, and the purpose of the card is to exonerate this firm from the charge implied in that publication, the Edition: current; Page: [iv] editor being now satisfied, on ‘the best evidence, that the aforesaid firm are true, constitutional men, having never been tainted with any of the Anti-Slavery isms of the day, either directly or indirectly, and that we hereby recommend them to their former patrons at the South, as a concern in every respect deserving their continued patronage and support.’ We neither know nor care what the evidence may be which has produced this change—whether it be a suit of clothes, a pair of shoes, a hat, a bill of dry goods, a bill of wet goods, or fifty dollars in current bills—the fact itself is enough. The disgraceful fact is enough that this Hambleton is at this moment in New York; that he is, while we write, making a round of calls upon tradesmen, receiving sometimes money, sometimes goods, and always the evidence of the most despicable subserviency, on condition that he will certify to that fact; and that nowhere, among all these tradesmen—men who on Sunday go to church, who are not hissed when they appear in public, who look their wives in the face, who meet their children unabashed, who go into the streets by daylight—men, moreover, whose legs have the ordinary muscular development, whose boots have the ordinary thickness, to all whose stores there is a front door—have not one of them, as yet, indignantly ejected Mr. James P. Hambleton from their premises! We honestly and sincerely think that this is a fact not to be laughed at, but one which demands our most serious consideration.”

Let us suppose the tables to be turned; suppose there existed here a little of the spirit of ’76, such as our fathers manifested in their treatment of the tories at that time, and we should catch, and tar and feather, every slaveholder coming into the North, by way of retaliation, and to show our jealous appreciation of the sacred cause of freedom—how long would “our glorious Union” hold together? How many victims would be subjected to Northern Lynch law, before the South would bring this matter to a head? And yet, there are scores of Northern men so treated at the South,—not one of them an Abolitionist, or in sympathy with their movement,—and the intelligence excites no popular indignation among us, and scarcely elicits a comment from the press. In one half of the country, there is, practically, no Constitution or Union now; there, all constitutional rights are ruthlessly violated in the persons of those who believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Golden Rule; there, a bloody usurpation holds undisputed sway. And for such atrocities there is no remedy; at least, none is looked for, none even attempted. The submission to them, on the part of the North, is as absolute as that exacted of the scourged and cowering slaves on the plantation!

People of the North! read and ponder the following record of the high-handed measures and lawless deeds referred to, and decide the question,—Of what value is the Union?

Edition: current; Page: [5]


J. R. Tucker
Tucker, J. R.
Nov. 28th, 1859
Richmond, Va.


A Postmaster in the county of Doddridge, in this State, wrote recently to Gov. Wise, asking information as to what disposition he should make of such incendiary newspapers as the New York Tribune, and others of that stamp from Ohio, received in that county. The Governor referred the matter to John Randolph Tucker, Esq., the Attorney-General for this State, and probably the ablest constitutional lawyer in the Commonwealth, for his opinion. Mr. Tucker examined the subject very carefully, and, as will be seen by his opinion, which I herewith transmit, disposed satisfactorily of the apparent conflict of jurisdiction between the State and Federal authorities involved in this question:—

J. R. Tucker
Tucker, J. R.
Nov. 26th, 1859

The question is submitted to me for an opinion as to the effect of the law of Virginia upon the distribution of mail matter when it is of an incendiary character. A newspaper, printed in the State of Ohio, propagating abolition doctrines, is sent to a person through a post office in Virginia. What is the duty of the Postmaster in the premises?

The law of Virginia (Code of Va., chap. 198, sec. 24) provides that “If a Postmaster or Deputy Postmaster know that any such book or writing (referring to such as advise or incite negroes to rebel or make insurrection, or inculcate resistance to the right of property of masters in their slaves) Edition: current; Page: [6] has been received at his office in the mail, he shall give notice thereof to some Justice, who shall inquire into the circumstances, and have such book or writing burned in his presence; if it appear to him that the person to whom it was directed subscribed therefor, knowing its character, or agreed to receive it for circulation to aid the purposes of abolitionists, the Justice shall commit such person to jail. If any Postmaster or Deputy Postmaster violate this section, he shall be fined not exceeding two hundred dollars.”

This law is obligatory upon every Postmaster and Deputy Postmaster in the Commonwealth; and it is his duty, upon being aware that such book or writing is received at his office, to notify a Justice of the fact, that he may take the proceedings prescribed in the section quoted.

This State law is entirely constitutional, and does not, properly considered, conflict with the Federal authority in the establishment of post offices and post roads. This Federal power to transmit and carry mail matter does not carry with it the power to publish or to circulate. This last is a great State power, reserved and absolutely necessary to be maintained as a security to its citizens and to their rights. If the States had surrendered this power, it would, in these important particulars, have been at the mercy of the Federal authorities.

With the transmission of the mail matter to the point of its reception, the Federal power ceases. At that point, the power of the State becomes exclusive. Whether her citizens shall receive the mail matter, is a question exclusively for her determination. Whatever her regulation upon the subject, is for her decision alone, and no one can gainsay it. Her sovereign right to make it closes the door to cavil and objection.

It is true the Postmaster is an officer of the Federal Government, but it is equally true he is a citizen of the State. By taking the Federal office, he cannot avoid his duty as a citizen; and the obligation to perform the duty of his office cannot absolve him from obedience to the laws of his Commonwealth, nor will they be found to conflict. The State, in the case supposed, holds the hand of her citizen from receiving what is sent to him, and takes it herself. No citizen has the right to receive an invitation to treason against the commands of his State, and her law forbidding it and commanding Edition: current; Page: [7] it to be burned, refers to the right of the citizen to receive, not to the right of the Federal power to transmit and carry mail matter intended for him, which he does not receive, only because the law of the State forbids it.

I have no hesitation in saying that any law of Congress, impairing directly or indirectly this reserved right of the State, is unconstitutional, and that the penalty of the State law would be imposed upon a Postmaster offending against it, though he should plead his duty to obey such unconstitutional act of Congress.

If there be a conflict, therefore, between the postal regulations of Congress and this law of Virginia, it is because the former have transcended their true constitutional limits, and have trenched upon the reserved rights of the State. In such a case the citizen, though a Postmaster, must take care to obey the legitimate authority, and will not be exempt from the penalty of the State law by reason of any obligation to perform the duties of a Federal office, which are made to invade the reserved jurisdiction of the State in matters involving her safety and her peace.

It is eminently important that the provisions of the law in question should be rigidly adhered to by all the Postmasters in the State, and that the Justices to whose notice the matter may be brought should firmly execute the law, whenever a proper case presents itself for their decision.

With high respect, your obedient servant,
For the Governor.
J. Holt
Holt, J.
Dec. 5th, 1859



I am in receipt of your letter of the 2d inst., in which, after referring to the opinion of the Attorney-General of Virginia sustaining the constitutionality of the statute of that State, denouncing, under heavy penalties, the circulation Edition: current; Page: [8] of books, newspapers, pamphlets, &c., tending to incite the slave population to insurrection, you ask to be instructed as to your duty in reference to such documents, should they be received through the mails for distribution at the post office of which you have charge.

The statute alluded to is in the following words:—

Sec. 23. If a free person write, print, or cause to be written or printed, any book or other writing, with intent to advise or incite negroes in this State to rebel or make insurrection, or inculcating resistance to the right of property of masters in their slaves, or if he shall, with intent to aid the purposes of any such book or writing, knowingly circulate the same, he shall be confined in the Penitentlary, not less than one nor more than five years.

Sec. 24. If any Postmaster or Deputy Postmaster know that any such book or other writing has been received at his office in the mail, he shall give notice thereof to some Justice, who shall inquire into the circumstances, and have such book or writing burned in his presence; if it appear to him that the person to whom it was directed subscribed therefor, knowing its character, or agreed to receive it for circulation to aid the purposes of Abolitionists, the Justice shall commit such person to jail. If any Postmaster or Deputy Postmaster violate this section, he shall be fined, not exceeding two hundred dollars.

The point raised by your inquiry is, whether this statute is in conflict with the act of Congress regulating the administration of this Department, which declares that “if any Postmaster shall unlawfully detain in his office any letter, package, pamphlet or newspaper, with the intent to prevent the arrival and delivery of the same to the person or persons to whom such letter, package, pamphlet or newspaper may be addressed or directed, in the usual course of the transportation of the mail along the route, he shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, and imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months, and shall moreover be forever thereafter incapable of holding the office of Postmaster in the United States.”

The question thus presented was fully decided by Attorney-General Cushing in the case of the Yazoo City post office. (Opinions of Attorney-Generals, vol. 8, 489.) He there held that a statute of Mississippi, in all respects analogous to that of Virginia as cited, was not inconsistent with the act of Congress quoted, prescribing the duties of Postmasters in regard to the delivery of mail matter, and that the latter, as good citizens, were bound to yield obedience to such State laws. Edition: current; Page: [9] You are referred to the luminous discussion of the case for the arguments urged by that distinguished civilian in support of the conclusion at which he arrived. The judgment thus pronounced has been cheerfully acquiesced in by this Department, and is now recognized as one of the guides of its administration. The authority of Virginia to enact such a law rests upon that right of self-preservation which belongs to every government and people, and which has never been surrendered, nor indeed can it be. One of the most solemn constitutional obligations imposed on the Federal Government is that of protecting the States against “insurrection” and “domestic violence”—of course, none of its instrumentalities can be lawfully employed in inciting, even in the remotest degree, to this very crime, which involves in its train all others, and with the suppression of which it is specially charged. You must, under the responsibilities resting upon you as an officer and as a citizen, determine whether the books, pamphlets, newspapers, &c., received by you for distribution, are of the incendiary character described in the statute; and if you believe they are, then you are not only not obliged to deliver them to those to whom they are addressed, but you are empowered and required, by your duty to the State of which you are a citizen, to dispose of them in strict conformity to the provisions of the law referred to. The people of Virginia may not only forbid the introduction and dissemination of such documents within their borders, but, if brought there in the mails, they may, by appropriate legal proceedings, have them destroyed. They have the same right to extinguish firebrands thus impiously hurled into the midst of their homes and altars, that a man has to pluck the burning fuse from a bombshell which is about to explode at his feet.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Edition: current; Page: [10]
R. H. Glass
Glass, R. H.
Dec. 2d, 1859
Lynchburg, Va.
Horace Greeley
Greeley, Horace
Mr. Horace Greeley—Sir,

I hereby inform you that I shall not, in future, deliver from this office the copies of the Tribune which come here, because I believe them to be of that incendiary character which are forbidden circulation alike by the laws of the land, and a proper regard for the safety of society. You will, therefore, discontinue them.

R. H. GLASS, P. M.

Life in Virginia.—A private letter from a Postmaster in Virginia, whose locality we dare not indicate, for fear of exposing him to mob violence, says:—

“We are in the midst of a Reign of Terror here. There is no certainty that letters duly mailed will not be opened on their way. All men of Northern birth now here are under surveillance by the so-called Vigilance Committee; and any one suspected of thinking slavery less than divine is placed under care. Those who have been taking the New York Tribune are objects of especial ban. A company of ten came into the office last Monday, and gave notice that I must not give out any more Tribunes to the subscribers here. The law of Virginia punishes by fine and imprisonment a Postmaster who gives out what are denounced as incendiary journals. The law of the United States punishes by fine and imprisonment, and further incapacitates from ever holding the office again, any Postmaster who shall withhold or refuse to deliver any paper sent to a regular subscriber at his office. So here I am in a pretty fix.”

John C. Underwood, Esq., writing to Horace Greeley under date of “Occoquan, Prince William Co., Va., Dec. 21st, 1859,” says—“There are some ten or twelve copies of the Tribune taken at this office, and the Postmaster refuses to deliver them to the subscribers! The Attorney-General of this State has pronounced them incendiary!”

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Harper’s Magazine and Weekly Proscribed.—The North Carolinian, of Fayetteville, N. C., says: “We notice these periodicals upon our streets as numerous as ever, after it is ascertained that G. W. Curtis, one of the editors, is an infamous Abolitionist, and that one of the Harpers has given a large sum of money to the Brown sympathizers. Should these papers be allowed to circulate so profusely in our midst? We notice that his Honor, Judge Saunders, put a stop to the sale of these papers in Raleigh. We would like to know why they are not stopped here. Are we to see these Abolition sheets upon our street without a word of rebuke?”

More Mob Spirit.—On Friday evening, of last week, the editor of the Peninsular News, a most excellent anti-slavery paper, published at Milford, Delaware, received an intimation that a mob of violent men were making arrangements to attack his office, and destroy the press and type. The matter having leaked out, several substantial citizens of Milford repaired to the office, and volunteered to assist in its defence. The mob collected around the office in considerable numbers, but concluded that the movement was not popular enough in that town, and retired. The attempt has created much indignation among the best portion of the citizens of Milford, who know that the News is telling the truth about slavery, and that mobs and all the efforts of Slavery-ridden Democrats will not stop the spread of such truths as it publishes.

Norris F. Stearns, of Greenfield, Mass., a straight-out Democrat, was recently driven from Georgetown, S. C., where he went to sell maps, because he was from the North; and a subscriber to the Greenfield Gazette, in Georgia, has been obliged to discontinue his subscription on account of the anti-Northern feeling there. Nothing sectional in these and similar incidents, of course! The South is composed of national men!

Edition: current; Page: [12]


The Cincinnati Commercial of Dec. 31st, says that thirty-six persons arrived in that city from Kentucky, on the 30th, having been warned to leave the State for the crime of believing slavery to be a sin. They are from Berea and vicinity in Madison county, neighbors, co-workers and friends of Rev. John G. Fee.

Among the exiles are Rev. J. A. R. Rogers, principal of a flourishing school at Berea, and his family; J. D. Reed and family; John S. Hanson and family. Mr. Hanson is a native of Kentucky, and a hard-working, thrifty man. He had recently erected a steam saw-mill, and owns five hundred acres of land in Madison county, Ky. The Rev. J. F. Boughton; E. T. Hayes and S. Life, carpenters; A. H. Toney, a native of Tennessee; John Smith, a native of Ohio, a farmer, who has lived in Kentucky some years. Mr. Smith is described by Mr. Fee as a gray-haired father, a man of prayer, indeed of eminent piety and usefulness. More than half of the exiles are natives of Southern States, and several are native Kentuckians. The only offence charged against any of them is that of entertaining abolition sentiments.

The movement for expelling these men arose from the excitement of the John Brown foray. At a pro-slavery meeting held at Richmond, at which, according to the Kentucky papers, the “oldest, most respectable, and law-abiding citizens were in attendance,” it was resolved on the ground of “self-preservation,” to appoint a committee of sixty-five, to remove from among them J. G. Fee, J. A. R. Rogers, and so many of their associates as in their best judgment the peace and safety of society may require. The committee were instructed to perform this duty “deliberately and humanely as may be, but most effectually.” At the meeting, a letter of J. A. R. Rogers was read, inviting any gentleman of the county who, from rumor or otherwise, has formed an unfavorable opinion of the community of Berea, to visit it, and learn its true character. He says:—

“We do not profess to be faultless, but hope that the compliments for industry, probity and good citizenship, that have been paid us by those of Edition: current; Page: [13] the first rank in the county for wealth and influence, who have made our acquaintance, may be more and more deserved.

It is universally known that most of us, in common with Washington and a host of others, whom we all delight to honor, believe that slavery is a moral and political evil; that it is the duty and privilege of those holding slaves to free them at the earliest consistent moment, and in such a way as to promote the general good; and that complexion is not the true test for the regard or privileges that should be extended to a man. We believe, too, that moral and political means only should be used to remove slavery. Insurrection finds no favor here. Brother Fee never has, and if his words be known, I doubt not does not now give the least countenance to the use of force in hastening the end of slavery.

Hoping that our confidence may be fully and intelligently placed in Him who once was despised, but is now exalted to be a Prince and Saviour, I remain yours respectfully.”

The committee were ordered to carry out the designs of the meeting within ten days, and Mr. Rogers thus describes the warning which he received:—

“He was in his cottage, when a summons for him to appear was heard. On going to the door, he discovered an imposing cavalcade, sixty-five well-mounted men being drawn up in warlike array. He was informed that he had ten days in which to leave the State. This was on the 23d of December. He told them that he had not consciously violated any law of the Commonwealth, and that, if he had unconsciously done so, he would be most happy to be tried according to law. He was informed that they did not know that he had violated any law, but that his principles were incompatible with the public peace, and that he must go. The charge against him was abolitionism—the penalty, expulsion from the State.

No harsh or personally disrespectful language was used. He was even told with much courtesy of word and manner, that he was esteemed as a gentleman, but his presence was offensive on account of his principles. They laid it down as an axiom, that such sentiments as he entertained were not to be tolerated by a slaveholding people—that abolition doctrines and slaveholding were not to be permitted together—that one or the other must go under, and that they were resolved he and his friends must go. They warned him peaceably, but any amount of force necessary to carry out the objects of the Richmond meeting would be unhesitatingly employed. They appeared now in peace, but if he did not heed the warning, they would re-appear for war.”

The committee represented the wealth and respectability of Madison county, and was sustained for the most part by public sentiment. There were, however, quite a number of slaveholders residing in the vicinity, who were opposed to the proceedings of the higher law pro-slavery zealots.

The Commercial in continuation says:—

“A paper was circulated through the county for signatures, (over seven hundred of which were obtained,) endorsing the action taken by the Richmond Edition: current; Page: [14] meeting, and expressive of the sense of the community, that the abolitionists must be driven out. Those who had charge of this paper do not seem to have had any objections to procuring signatures under false pretences. A slaveholder was called on, and asked whether he approved of the John Brown foray. Of course he said he did not. He was then told to sign that paper. He did so, and when he found out the nature of the document, and the real object of obtaining his signature, he was indignant, and wished to withdraw his name, but was deterred by threats from doing so. No signatures to this paper were obtained in the immediate vicinity of Berea, except in this way, a fact which indicates that the neighbors of the Free Soilers did not think them dangerous citizens.

There were some friends of the proscribed persons willing to risk everything and stand by them, but knowing that fighting would be unavailing, they concluded to be without the State within the time assigned for their removal. And they are consequently exiles in our midst, and afford a lesson of the nature of the intolerant despotism of the Slave Power, which should not be lost upon those who are solicitous as to the status of the American States.”

Before leaving, they made an appeal to Gov. Magoffin for protection, and a committee of them presented the Governor the following petition:—

J. A. R. Rogers
Rogers, J. A. R.
J. G. Hanson
Hanson, J. G.
I. D. Reed
Reed, I. D.
Jas. S. Davis
Davis, Jas. S.
John F. Boughton
Boughton, John F.
Swinglehurst Life
Life, Swinglehurst
John Smith
Smith, John
E. T. Hayes
Hayes, E. T.
Chas. E. Griffin
Griffin, Chas. E.
A. G. W. Parker
Parker, A. G. W.
W. H. Torrey
Torrey, W. H.
Dec. 24th, 1859
Berea, Madison Co., Ky.
To His Excellency the Governor of the State of Kentucky:

We, the undersigned, loyal citizens and residents of the State of Kentucky and county of Madison, do respectfully call your attention to the following facts:—

1. We have come from various parts of this and adjoining States to this county, with the intention of making it our home, have supported ourselves and families by honest industry, and endeavored to promote the interest of religion and education.

2. It is a principle with us to “submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake; unto governors as unto them that are sent by Him for the punishment of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well,” and in accordance with this principle, we have been obedient in all respects to the laws of this State.

3. Within a few weeks, evil and false reports have been put into circulation, imputing to us motives, words and conduct calculated to inflame the public mind, which imputations are utterly false and groundless. These imputations we have publicly denied, and offered every facility for the fullest investigation, which we have earnestly but vainly sought.

4. On Friday, the 23d inst., a company of sixty-two men, claiming to have been appointed by a meeting of the citizens of our county, without any shadow of legal authority, and in violation of the Constitution and laws of the State and United States, called at our respective residences and places of business, and notified us to leave the county and State, and be without this county and State within ten days, and handed us the accompanying document, in which you will see that, unless the said order be promptly complied with, there is expressed a fixed determination to remove us by force.

In view of these facts, which we can substantiate by the fullest evidence, we respectfully pray that you, in the exercise of the power vested in you Edition: current; Page: [15] by the Constitution, and made your duty to use, do protect us in our rights as loyal citizens of the Commonwealth of the State of Kentucky.


Gov. Magoffin, says the Commercial, received the bearers of the petition (Reed and Hayes) courteously, and advised them, for the sake of preserving the peace of the State, to leave it! He said that the public mind was deeply moved by the events in Virginia, and that until the excitement subsided, their presence in the State would be dangerous, and he could not engage to protect them from their fellow-citizens who had resolved that they must go.

He promised them security while taking their departure, and that their property should be protected. They say that, for the most part, they were treated politely by those who have driven them from their homes, and they have hopes that presently the people of Kentucky will take a sober thought, and allow them to return to their several places of abode and accustomed avocations.

It is certainly not a light matter to drive out of a State men who build steam saw-mills, improve farms, keep schools, and labor faithfully as ministers of the Gospel, and who give no provocation to any in any way—who offend against no law—who make no war upon society—and who merely hold that slavery is a sin, and teach that it should come to an end in God’s own good time. The steam-mill of Mr. Hanson was doing well until he was constrained to abandon it. The school of Mr. Rogers was in a flourishing condition, having nearly a hundred pupils during the last term, a great portion of them the children of slaveholders. Kentucky cannot afford to drive beyond her borders the men who build mills and academies.

The exiles seem in good spirits. They do not indulge even in unkind words about those who have made them homeless. They seem to be divided in opinion as to their course in future. They all hope to go back to Old Kentucky, and live, labor, and die on her soil. Some fear they cannot go back, and Edition: current; Page: [16] think of looking out for employment in the free States; and they have vague ideas of appealing for protection in their rights and immunities as citizens to the Federal Government.

John G. Fee
Fee, John G.


The following is an extract from a letter of Mr. Fee to one of the Secretaries of the American Missionary Association, dated Germantown, Bracken County, Ky., Jan. 25th:—

“I am enduring a great trial. The floods come over me. I am again to be driven out, by a more overwhelming force than was in Madison county. Last Monday, it was supposed there came from eight hundred to a thousand people at the county seat. With almost unanimous rush, the mass gathered from the two counties, (I am near the Mason county line,) and resolved to drive me out. Some ten or twelve days are given us to leave. A committee of one hundred men are appointed to come, and warn us to go. I have sought counsel of the Lord, and of friends. There can be no human protection. I am to be driven out from one of the best communities in the State.

A few days since, I went to Germantown, to talk with the leading influential citizens. I desired to meet them face to face to talk over the positions I assume, and the evils of mob violence. Brother Humlong, a man of true excellence, went with me.

We called, and talked freely with many. A physician, of commanding position in society, speaking of the people of Bethesda, friends of the Church, said, “I wish to Heaven all Kentucky was as that neighborhood.” “The people,” said he, “are industrious, quiet, upright citizens,” and then repeated his wish! Now from this scene of thrift I must be driven, from relatives, from the dear brethren and sisters in the Church, and friends around. Also from the plan or prospect of building up churches in Kentucky, and, still harder, from the prospect of carrying to the people of Kentucky the only Edition: current; Page: [17] Gospel that can save. I can understand, now, why the Saviour wept over Jerusalem, as he saw that people about to push the cup of Salvation from them. Oh, how I wish I could be with you, to tell the anguish of my heart for others, and to plan for the future! The giving up of property, home, all earthly considerations, are not so painful as the idea of giving up these churches, and the privilege of laboring directly with and for the people of Kentucky. How shall I go away, and give up this work? I cannot give it up. I must only change my place of labor for a time. For years I have had unceasing care and toil to get things so established here, that I could have a prospect of their standing. Other brethren have toiled for a like object. We hoped then to have rest of spirit, and to rejoice in that reaped growth, which we then expected to see when we should have lived down much of the opposition, and seen confidence secured. The rest has not yet come. The viper that now stings, has been nurtured into strength in the bosom of the denominations around us. Church and State have been warming into life that which is now poisoning their vitals, and ruthlessly destroying all law and order. The abomination of desolation is working. Can, oh, can this nation be roused to the work of exterminating this monster, Slavery? It can be done by means peaceful and legitimate, if Christians and philanthropists will only, at once, do their duty, in Church and State.

Brother Hanson, Griffin, Mallett, Holman, and Robinson, are ordered to leave here. Brother Davis (Rev. J. S. Davis, of Cabin Creek, Lewis Co.,) is also driven out. A tremendous meeting for that purpose preceded the one held here.”


Some of the persons lately expelled from Berea, Madison County, Kentucky, having manifested an intention of taking up their abode in Bracken and Lewis Counties, strong manifestations of displeasure have been exhibited by a portion of the inhabitants of those localities. The excitement has been Edition: current; Page: [18] growing more intense for a week or two past, and at last found its vent in meetings, the proceedings of which we annex.

On Saturday, the 21st, a public meeting was held at Orangeburg, Mason County, where the following resolutions were passed:—

Whereas, Our fellow citizens of the county of Madison have recently expelled therefrom the Rev. John G. Fee—a radical Abolitionist and zealous agent and emissary of the Anti-Slavery Societies of the North—and many confederates in the dissemination of his principles, and the accomplishment of the illegal and dangerous purposes of his mission; be it, therefore,

1. Resolved, That we approve of the action of the citizens of Madison county, rendered, as we believe, necessary and justifiable by a proper regard for the protection of their property, and the safety and security of their families.

2. That no Abolitionist has a right to establish himself in the slaveholding community, and disseminate opinions and principles destructive of its tranquillity and safety.

3. That forbearance ought nor will not by us be extended to those persons who come hither with intent to, and who do actually interfere with our rights of property or domestic institutions. Our own peace, and the good of the slaves, alike demand their expulsion.

4. That Kentucky has never assailed, openly or covertly, the rights or institutions of the North, nor will she suffer, silently or unrepelled, any aggression upon those guaranteed to her, either by her own or that of the Constitution of the United States.

5. That we desire and demand to be “let alone,” leaving our officious and philanthropic friends at the North and elsewhere to work out their personal and social “salvation with fear and trembling.”

6. That the Rev. James S. Davis (a co-worker with the Rev. John G. Fee, and one of those expelled from Madison) is, as we understand, now resident on Cabin Creek, in Lewis County, Ky., and has, as we are informed, recently received for circulation a large number of “Helper’s Compendium of the Impending Crisis of the South,” a book, in the estimation of this meeting, dangerous in its spirit and tendencies. Be it, therefore, further resolved, That his presence and residence among us are highly objectionable, and that he be and is hereby advised and requested to remove from Kentucky, and that Charles Dimmitt, John R. Bean, James Francis, Samuel Hord, James Hise, Garrett Bradley, and Leonard Bean are hereby appointed a committee to inform Mr. Davis of the purpose and object of this meeting, and that he comply with said request within seven days next after the same is made him, or suffer the consequences of non-compliance therewith. Duty, safety, and the interest of the community compelling us, in the event of non-compliance, to resort to means alike painful to us and hazardous to him.

7. In case Mr. Davis does not leave, that the committee hereinbefore appointed call another public meeting to consider and determine what action shall be had in the premises.

8. That these proceedings be signed by the President and Secretary, and published in the Maysville papers.

On Monday, the 23d inst., a meeting was held at Brooksville, Edition: current; Page: [19] Bracken County, the proceedings of which we give below:

A meeting of the citizens of Bracken and Mason Counties, Kentucky, called for the purpose of considering the propriety of allowing John G. Fee & Co., and others of like character, to settle among us, was held at Brooksville, Bracken County, Ky., January 23d, 1860.

On motion of John H. Boude, Col. W. Orr was elected President, and Gen. Samuel Worthington and Rudolph Black, Vice Presidents. Arthur Fox, James W. Armstrong, and J. A. Kackley were appointed Secretaries.

On motion of Judge Joseph Doniphan, a Committee of twelve were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of this meeting. The following persons were appointed as said Committee: Dr. J. Taylor Bradford, Col. A. Bledsoe, W. P. Delty, Dr. John Coburn, Judge Joseph Doniphan, Isaac Reynolds, Henry Anderson, John E. French, A. J. Coburn, Robert Coleman, R. P. Dimmitt, and Col. A. Soward.

The Committee, through their Chairman, Judge Joseph Doniphan, presented the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:—

William Orr
Orr, William
Arthur Fox
Fox, Arthur
James W. Armstrong
Armstrong, James W.
J. A. Kackley
Kackley, J. A.

Whereas, John Gregs Fee and John G. Hanson, lately expelled from Madison County, Kentucky, are now in Bracken County, preparing to make it their home. And whereas, that both Fee and Hanson are enemies to the State, dangerous to the security of our lives and property, we, the citizens of Kentucky, deem it our duty to protect our lives and property from enemies at home as well as abroad, do now solemnly declare the said John G. Fee and John G. Hanson must, by the 4th day of February next, leave this county and State.

1. That we earnestly entreat them to do so without delay, but in the event of their failure to do so by that time, they shall do so, even should it require physical force to accomplish the end.

2. That J. B. Mallett, a school teacher in District No. 27, and Wyatt Robinson and G. R. Holeman, must leave this county and State at the same time; and in the event of their failing or refusing, they shall be expelled by force; and that for the purpose of carrying out these resolves, a Committee of fifty of our citizens be appointed to notify the said Hanson, Fee, Mallett, Robinson and Holeman of the action of this meeting, and said Committee be also empowered to give notice to any other persons of like character to leave the State, and report the same to the meeting to be held in Germantown on the 6th day of February next.

3. That Dr. J. Taylor Bradford, Chairman; Rudolph Black, W. H. Reynolds, Henderson Anderson, Jonathan Hedgecock, C. A. Soward, W. Orr, Sr., John W. Terhune, Washington Ward, Jesse Holton, John Taylor, J. W. Armstrong, James Booth, W. Winter, Marcus Ware, E. W. Chinn, R. S. Thomas, John M. Walton, R. P. Dimmitt, Wm. Dougherty, J. A. Kackley, John M. Pearl, Robt. Coleman, David Brooks, Thurman Pollock, Joseph Edition: current; Page: [20] Doniphan, A. D. Moore, Riley Rout, D. R. Cinville, J. H. Murry, Sen., of Bracken; A. Killgore, Gen. Samuel Worthington, J. E. French, Benjamin Kirk, Chas. Gordon, Isaac Reynolds, Col. A. Bledsoe, James Y. Reynolds, Evan Lloyd, Dr. John A. Coburn, Jacob Slack, B. W. Woods, Sr., Gen. Samuel Foreman, A. J. Coburn, C. A. Lyon, Samuel Frazee, A. Fox, R. C. Lewis, John D. Lloyd, Thornton Norris, Thomas Worthington, J. W. Reynolds, J. G. Bacon, and A. Hargot, of Mason, shall compose that Committee. That said Committee, in the event of said Fee, Hanson, Mallett, Robinson, and Holeman, failing to remove, that then the Committee report the result to a meeting to be held in Germantown, Ky., on the 6th day of February next.

4. That we deprecate the use of a church, known as the Free Church, by Abolition preachers; and we now solemnly declare that we will resist, by all possible means, the occupying said church, by such incendiary persons.

5. That the Secretaries be requested to prepare copies of the proceedings of this meeting, and furnish, one each, to The Mountain Democrat, The Richmond Messenger, The Augusta Sentinel, The Maysville Eagle, and The Maysville Express.

The meeting then adjourned.

WILLIAM ORR, President.
Arthur Fox, James W. Armstrong, J. A. Kackley, Secretaries.

In accordance with the resolutions adopted at the Bracken county meeting, a Committee representing the organized mob proceeded on Thursday, the 25th inst., to the work assigned them, and notified Fee, Hanson, Mallett, Holeman, Robinson, Griggson, and Griffin that they must be without the State on or by the 4th of February next.

They assumed an astonishing amount of pomposity. Such was the power assumed by them, that they passed through the toll-gate, and informed the keeper that “this company paid no toll.”

They first met in Germantown, and proceeded in a body to the residence of Mr. John Humlong, and called for J. B. Mallett.

He came out within a few steps of the company, when the Chairman, Dr. Bradford, called out in a stern voice, as follows: “Walk this way, Mr. Mallett; don’t have any fears, we don’t intend to hurt you.” Mr. Mallett replied, “No, he expected not; he was in the company of gentlemen, he supposed.” Dr. Bradford read the resolutions, and asked, “Do you intend to leave?” Mr. Mallett replied that he had said he intended to do so.

Mr. Mallett asked the privilege of making a few remarks, but was told that the mob had no time to listen. Mr. Humlong asked, and was also denied this privilege. However, he Edition: current; Page: [21] made the inquiry, what was this for? They replied, for teaching incendiary and insurrectional sentiments. Mr. H. said he would say, to the contrary, the teaching had always been that of peace.

They then proceeded to G. G. Hanson’s, and in the same pompous manner notified his son to leave.

Mr. J. G. Hanson endeavored to get a hearing, but to no purpose. In this mob were some of his relations.

They next called at Mr. Vincent Hamilton’s, father-in-law of John G. Fee. Mr. Fee told them he had intended to leave, yet in their notice he recognized no right to require him to leave. He asked the mob to pause a moment, but the Chairman ordered them to proceed. He was previously told that he was smart enough to keep out of the hands of the law, and this was the only course to get him out. As one of the mob passed, Mr. Fee extended his hand and said:

“Do you approve of this action?”

“Yes, I do,” was the reply.

“Well,” said Mr. Fee, “we took vows together in the same Church. I expected different things of you.”

In that mob were school-mates, parents of school-mates, and life-long acquaintances.

From this they proceeded to the residence of Mr. John D. Gregg, where Mr. Holeman was stopping, in feeble health, and notified him, without a show of authority from any previous meeting, and ordered him, peremptorily, to be without the State by the 4th of February next.

J. G. Fee is a minister, and well known as being an earnest man, and esteemed by all who love and admire an honest man. J. G. Hanson is a citizen of Berea, from whence he had been driven, and was visiting at his father’s. He had never been charged with a crime, unless it was his honesty! C. E. Griffin is also a Bereau, and is noted for his quiet, peaceable character. Mr. Griffin is a quiet, unpretending laborer, and has always been noted for his amiable disposition. He is a poor man, and this blow is felt severely by him and his family. He is driven from the land of his nativity, the scenes of his childhood, and all his friends. G. R. Holeman has formerly been employed as a school-teacher, but has not been engaged in teaching this winter, on account of poor health. He is a native of Ohio. J. B. Mallett has taught Edition: current; Page: [22] Locust Academy school for nearly three years. The school has the reputation of being one of the best in the country. Notwithstanding the school closed most abruptly, he received a certificate of respect, signed by the patrons of the institution. An enraged mob could not accuse, or sustain the accusation, that he was even aggressive in his teachings upon the subject of Slavery. Scholars who had attended the school six months, say they never heard the subject mentioned in the school. Yet he has ever acknowledge himself in the social circle to be an anti-slavery man. He is a native of New York State.

The people have for years sustained the reputation of being among the most honest and reliable men in the State. A prominent citizen and slaveholder said, “Would to God all Kentucky was like that neighborhood!”

The exiles left Germantown on Saturday morning. Eighteen, including women and children, made up the company of the expelled, and some of these persons arrived in this city last night. Legal advice was taken, prior to their leaving home, as to the best course to be pursued. It was found that they could only remain by resisting the mob, and this was not deemed advisable. It was therefore decided to withdraw quietly.

At Felicity, on Saturday night, a part of the exiles were present at a large meeting held in the M. E. Church.

The names of those who arrived here last night are as follows: C. E. Griffin and lady; the Rev. John G. Fee, J. G. Hanson, G. R. Holeman, J. B. Mallett, and Oliver Griggson.—Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, Jan. 31st.

A Tar and Feathering Case.—A Scotchman named Sandy Tate, having expressed himself rather too freely upon the slave question and Harper’s Ferry affair, in the village of Salisbury, North Carolina, was recently seized by a mob, and tarred and feathered, after which he was placed upon a fence rail, and carried to a neighboring duck pond, where, in the presence of an immense throng of people, he was ducked until he recanted. Upon being released, the poor fellow took to his heels, and has never been seen since.

Edition: current; Page: [23]


On Friday, the 23d inst., Daniel Worth, a Wesleyan Methodist preacher, a native of this State, but who has been residing until within two years past in Indiana, where he was formerly a member of the Legislature of that State, was arrested by the Sheriff of this county on a charge of selling and circulating “Helper’s Impending Crisis,” and also of uttering language in the pulpit calculated to make slaves and free negroes dissatisfied with their condition, thereby offending against the laws of the State. He was brought before the magistrates of the town, and a partial hearing had, when the case was adjourned until the following afternoon at one o’clock, for the purpose of procuring the attendance of witnesses for the prosecution. The prisoner was taken to jail, bail having been refused by the magistrates.

On Saturday, at the appointed hour, the Court met. The examination was held in the old Court-House, which was crowded.

The prisoner had no counsel, but managed his own case. Messrs. Scott, Dick and McLean, of the Greensboro’ bar, were engaged in the prosecution.

Over a dozen witnesses were examined, and it was conclusively proved that Worth had on many and various occasions uttered such sentiments in the pulpit against slavery as the State of North Carolina declared to be unlawful to be uttered. It was also proved by a witness that he (the witness) had purchased from Worth a copy of “Helper’s Impending Crisis.”

Worth acknowledged during the examination that he had been engaged in circulating Helper’s book, and also a work on the “War in Kansas,” but that he did not consider it any harm to circulate them; that at first he did not intend to admit having circulated the former, but that he wanted to make them, as a lawyer would, bring evidence to substantiate the charge.

During the examination, various extracts were read from “Helper’s Impending Crisis,” some showing the modus operandi Edition: current; Page: [24] by which slavery was to be got rid of in the South, and others pretending to give facts, all of which were commented on by the various counsel for the State.

It was also proved that Worth had, in the pulpit, on the Sabbath day, applied the most opprobrious epithets to the legislators of the State of North Carolina, saying that the laws ought not to be obeyed; that “they were made by a set of drunkards, gamblers and whoremongers.”

The prosecution was opened by Wm. Scott, Esq., who, in his remarks, eloquently described the inhuman tendency of the doctrines inculcated and taught in this work of Helper’s, which this traitor to the State of his birth had been engaged in circulating. He read many extracts from the book, and showed how grossly perverted were the facts pretended to be therein set forth—that they were base lies and calumnies on the South.

Robert P. Dick, Esq., made some highly effective and stirring remarks; he was glad that this case of Worth’s had come up here in old Guilford county—a county that had the reputation of being an Abolition county; that a warrant had already been issued from Raleigh for this Daniel Worth, but that this was the best place for him to be tried, that the result of this examination might now go forth as a vindication from the foul aspersion cast upon it. He spoke of Helper as a traitor to the State that had once claimed him as a North Carolinian, adding that this man who sought, in his “Impending Crisis,” to array the South against slavery, and bring about bloodshed and anarchy, and to desolate and lay waste the beautiful South, to dissolve the glorious Union, which had been given us by the wisdom of our forefathers, was obnoxious to the law under other criminal charges. He prayed and trusted that the Union would never be dissolved.

Robert McLean, Esq., took up the question at issue. The very doctrines that the prisoner had been disseminating in his remarks from the pulpit, and which were contained in “Helper’s Impending Crisis,” which book he had been proved to have circulated, were at utter variance with the laws of the State of North Carolina, and it was upon this charge that he was now undergoing his examination. He read several extracts from Helper’s work, commenting on them in a clear, forcible and telling manner. His remarks on the ways and Edition: current; Page: [25] means of abolishing slavery, as set forth in the “Impending Crisis,” were very sarcastically commented on, and were much applauded by the large audience present.

He read from the “Impending Crisis,” the names of Cheever, Chapin and Bellows, of the clergy of the North, as being engaged in the advocacy of those principles which were to dismember this Republic, and the name of the Rev. Daniel Worth as a Southern co-laborer.

It was extremely difficult to restrain the applause during the delivery of the remarks of all the legal gentlemen who spoke—the Court frequently interfering, and insisting upon order being observed.

Previous to the remarks of Robert McLean, Esq., the prisoner delivered his defence. He attempted to argue the evil of slavery, and to try and convince the Court that he was right in preaching against it. He was twice requested by the Court to stick to the point at issue; that they were not here to listen to a discussion on slavery, but to hear what he had to say in reply to the charges brought against him of violating the laws of North Carolina.

The prosecution requested the Court to let him go on.

The prisoner then continued his remarks at considerable length on Abolition, until the Court told him that it had listened long enough to that strain, and desired him to speak as to the charges brought against him. The prisoner then spoke as to his course having been consistent with his calling as a preacher and as a man; that when he heard there was a warrant out for his arrest, he had started for this place to surrender himself; that in his preaching and practice, he had only been doing what others in the State had long ago been doing unmolested; that he was a peace man and a Union man; that he sought not to dissever the Union; that he did not endorse all the sentiments contained in Helper’s work; that he had formerly been a magistrate in this county; that he had been living in Indiana many years, and came back to North Carolina about two years since, to benefit the health of an invalid wife; that that wife had died, and he had married again, and had been engaged in preaching in several counties since; he was not conscious of having violated the laws of the State, either in his calling as a preacher, or as a circulator of “Helper’s Impending Crisis.”

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The Court ordered him to find bail in $5,000 for his appearance at the next term of Court, and the same amount to keep the peace until that time. Bail for the first was offered, but up to the present time of writing, the other bail has not been obtained. It is said that should the prisoner be released on the above bail, he will be taken before his Honor, Judge Dick, who will refuse to take bail for him.

At the close of the examination, remarks were made by Ralph Gorrell, Esq., and Robert P. Dick, Esq., to the effect that the public mind was much excited by this examination, and that threats had been made as to a disposition of the prisoner; but that they would recommend the people to let the law take its course, and not to do any thing to militate against its authority, now that the prisoner was in its hands.

The Rev. Daniel Worth is a large, portly man, with a fine head, an intellectual and expressive countenance, and a large, commanding eye. He is fluent in speech, and the general style and manner of his speaking are calculated to win attention. He did not appear to be at all embarrassed or frightened at his position; on the contrary, he expressed his ideas and opinions with boldness and fearlessness. He complained to the Court of the unfitness of the jail for a prison, it being extremely cold weather, and no fire in the building; he had passed one night there, and was fully competent to express an opinion on the subject.

Mr. Worth was a man raised in this county, is sixty-five years old, and emigrated to Indiana and Ohio, and no doubt to Kansas. He was in the Legislature of the first-named State, acting as sub-chairman in the Convention that nominated Fremont for President.

I was glad to see that mob law was not exercised on him; but there is no doubt that the punishment prescribed for this offence by the laws of North Carolina will be fully meted out to him, which he and all others deserve who engage in such hellish work.

This man has been an eyesore to this community for eighteen months. Nothing but good feelings for the respectable family who bear his name has prevented him from incurring the same fate months ago. A clean sweep may now be expected by all who advocate such vile doctrines as those disseminated. Any man who is found with a volume of the Edition: current; Page: [27] “Impending Crisis,” or the sequel to it, will be held strictly accountable how he came by it. I am fully satisfied that if the course is persisted in which has already been attempted by our Northern Abolitionists, the North will suffer much in her trade with the Southern States, to say nothing of the political consequences attending it. It is as well to state that the punishment for the first offence of this kind under the statute laws of North Carolina is thirty-nine lashes; for the second, it is death, as meted out to John Brown and his fellow-associates at Harper’s Ferry.—Correspondence of the New York Herald.


At present, we are circumstanced something like the children of Israel, when they started for the Land of Promise, pursued by Pharaoh and his host, with the Red Sea before them, and mountains on either hand. Still we hope to see the salvation of the Lord, relying on the arm of Jehovah for protection.

I suppose, ere this, you have seen some account of the Rev. D. Worth’s arrest and commitment to prison, in Greensboro’, Guilford County, N. C., charged with circulating incendiary books, &c., principally the “Impending Crisis,” by Helper, which seems to be attracting more attention, at present, than all other books put together.

Brother Worth was arrested on the 23d of last month, had a preliminary trial before three magistrates on the 24th, which resulted in his commitment to prison to await further decision at the Spring Term of the Superior Court. There was great excitement during his trial; three lawyers appeared in behalf of the State; the prisoner pleaded his own cause in an able manner—his enemies themselves being judges. Since then, there have been five other arrests of citizens of Edition: current; Page: [28] this county for circulating “Helper,” most of them under heavy bonds, but all admitted to bail except the first. The nature of the bonds required of him was considered unreasonable. The first was a bond of $5,000 for his appearance at the Spring Term, which was complied with; the other was $5,000 also, requiring him not to preach at all. This is not complied with, yet. Not content with the above, he was arrested again, in prison, and brought out yesterday before Judge Dick, and bound in the sum of $5,000 to appear at the Spring Term, in Randolph county, in March. His enemies seem determined to push the law to the furthest extremity, but the old veteran has been happy beyond description, and filled with joy unspeakable.

His keepers observe the strictest vigilance, not allowing even his wife to speak a word to him without witnesses being present; nor do they suffer him to write a word to any person, only what passes under their inspection. They made an attempt yesterday, during his trial, to deprive him of the means of writing at all; but finally concluded to let him have two or three sheets of paper at a time, by his giving an account to the Sheriff what disposition he made of it. One object seems to be to cut off all correspondence with friends, and indeed all the friends of liberty here must suffer likewise. They say that it is against the law to say slavery is wrong, and they have pronounced the woe; the decree has gone forth against all such offenders. I trust and believe there is a remnant who will trust and fear God more than man, even in this land of intolerance and usurpation; and I hope that all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity will remember us at the Throne of Grace, that we may be able to withstand all the fiery darts of the wicked; also, that our aged minister may be delivered from wicked and unreasonable men.

Rev. Daniel Worth.—We have just heard from Mr. Worth, through his nephew, Rev. A. Worth. He is still in jail. His bail bonds would have been filed, but there were several Sheriffs hanging around the jail door from other counties, to arrest him as soon as he should come out of Greensboro’ jail. His wife and friends are not permitted to visit him. His cell is wholly unsuitable for any person to live in. Edition: current; Page: [29] His only bedding is a dirty pallet. The jail is strongly guarded. Some of the Quakers who were imprisoned have given bail, and are now out of jail. Several of them were leading and influential men.—Randolph Co. (Ind.) Journal.

Whipping a Preacher.—The Christian Luminary, Cincinnati, January 12th, publishes an account, in three columns, of the whipping of Solomon M’Kinney. Mr. M’Kinney left Bloomfield, Iowa, last April, for Texas. He is about sixty years old, and has been a preacher thirty years. He is a Kentuckian, a Democrat, and understands slavery to be authorized by the Bible. While living in Texas, he boarded with Thomas Smith, a slaveholder, of Dallas Co., Texas, who was also a member of the church. Having been requested by T. Smith to preach on the relative duties of master and slave, Bro. M’Kinney did so, and reflected severely on the inhuman treatment servants sometimes receive. This resulted in the calling of a meeting, which, after having determined to “mobilize” all preachers of Mr. M’Kinney’s type, appointed a committee to whip Mr. M’Kinney and a companion of his, both having previously been lodged in jail. Mrs. M’Kinney wanted to enter the jail with her husband, but was forced back by the mob, and compelled to await the result outside of the town. After dark, seven men came and opened the jail, and took the prisoners out; then, after divesting them of all their clothing, except shirt and pantaloons, they bound their wrists firmly with cords, and one held the cords while a second took a cowhide, and administered ten lashes; then another and another, till they had administered seventy lashes. The other, William Blunt, was next taken in hand, and served in the same way, receiving eighty lashes. The shirts of both were cut into ribbons by the raw hide. They were then unbound, and left to seek their company. Bruised, mangled, and bleeding, these wretched men staggered to the place where Mrs. M’Kinney was waiting for them. Their backs were one mass of clotted blood and gore, and bruised and mangled flesh.

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Mr. Blunt, it appears, is a licensed minister of the Campbellite persuasion, and for twenty-four years has been a citizen of Green County, Wisconsin. The old Democrat has sent a long memorial to the Wisconsin Legislature on the subject of his experience among his Southern brethren, and asking redress for the wrongs and outrages received at the hands of the authorities of Texas. The Madison State Journal publishes the document, which created quite a flutter on the Democratic side of the Senate when read; and no wonder, for in Wisconsin the excoriated Reverend had distinguished himself by the blatant character of his advocacy of slavery. The Journal says:—

“He was particularly ‘gifted’ in the Biblical argument in favor of slavery; and, at Republican meetings, was wont to confront the speakers with long and flatulent speeches based upon Mosaic regulations. For more than thirty years, as he tells us in his memorial, the truth of which he attests under oath, he has voted the Democratic ticket.

“Last year he went down to Texas in quest of health, expecting a cordial welcome and a comfortable stay among the Democratic brethren, whose cause he had so faithfully advocated.

“The sequel is not calculated to quicken the ardor of Northern Democrats. The Rev. William Blunt was asked by an old friend and brother to fill some of his appointments; and, not knowing that his friend had been suspected of secretly cherishing Abolition sentiments, he acceded to the request. The result was, that he too fell under the suspicion of being an Abolitionist in disguise—he, the ardent, uncompromising Blunt, a Democrat of thirty years’ standing—and therefore, as he relates with due particularity, he was set upon, arrested, his money taken from him, thrown into jail, taken out and treated to eighty lashes, and with other indignities and ‘spurnings a posteriori not to be named,’ told to leave that portion of this free and gel-lorious Republic forthwith without delay, which suggestion he proceeded to act upon with alacrity.

“In view of all the facts, he demands that the State of Wisconsin take such action as will enable him to obtain redress for the outrages perpetrated upon him.”

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We are continually receiving information, through private sources, from different parts of the South, which we shall from time to time publish, showing the fearful state of things now prevailing in all the Southern States, growing out of the popular excitement against the North and against Liberty. A Reign of Terror is prevailing. The despotism of Russia does not parallel the despotism of South Carolina. A stranger with a passport can freely travel in any part of the Czar’s dominions; but no passport will guarantee safety to a Northern traveller between Richmond and New Orleans. It is no longer necessary that a man should speak against slavery to warrant his expulsion from a slave State. It is enough if he has simply been in the North, or sends his children to a Northern school, or buys his goods in New York or Boston. In almost every city, town and village south of the border slaveholding States, vigilance committees have been appointed, to put to inquisition every Northern man who makes his appearance in the place, whether as foe or friend. Even harmless young women, who have gone from Northern boarding-schools to be teachers of Southern children, have been waited upon by respectable and even clerical gentlemen, with the polite hint that the sooner they leave the State, the better for their safety. Our correspondents inform us that it is impossible to convey by description an adequate idea of the public sentiment in the extreme Southern States. The bitterness against the North is unparalleled. The common topic of talk is disunion, and the common threat of vengeance is to hang the Abolitionists. An Abolitionist, with the masses of the Southern people, is any man who does not live in a slaveholding State. If this definition were true, and the sentiment of the North were so unanimous in favor of freedom, the institution of slavery could not exist for half a year in the face of such an enlightened public opinion. We trust that the time may soon come when this shall be the strong and generous sentiment of all the free States. Such a sentiment would be a moral power for the overthrow of slavery, without violence or blood. The conduct of the South is exciting everywhere throughout the North a more intelligent, earnest and conscientious Edition: current; Page: [32] anti-slavery feeling. The frenzy of the Southern leaders, and of the Southern masses who follow and urge on their leaders, is only working the destruction of the system which they are seeking to defend. The providence of God was never more visible in human affairs than in the present state of the nation. We believe that the present excitement, while it will have the incidental evils common to all excitements, will in the end produce great good in the cause of the freedom of the enslaved.

We prefix to the array of facts which our correspondents have furnished us, the following brief but significant article from the Constitution of the United States, on the rights of citizens:—

“The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.”

The following incidents and statements will afford a commentary:—

The Northern newspapers have recently republished a brief paragraph from the Charleston Mercury, announcing, in a very nonchalant style, that a workman engaged in the State House, in Columbia, S. C., was recently seized by a mob, on account, as was alleged, of holding anti-slavery opinions, and that he received twenty-nine lashes, and was tarred and feathered, and escorted out of the State!

It took a very few lines to tell this story, according to the style of the Southern press; for it is a trait of Southern chivalry, first to practise cruelty, and then to suppress the facts.

We have seen this unfortunate man, and heard his story, and looked at his wounds. His name is James Power. He is an intelligent young man, about twenty-three years of age, a native of Wexford, Ireland, and a stone-cutter by trade. He went from Philadelphia to the South, and obtained employment in Columbia, where he had worked for nine months. The only opinion he ever expressed against slavery was that it caused a white laborer in the South to be looked upon as an inferior and degraded man. But this was enough! The remark was reported to the Vigilance Committee, (composed of twelve members,) who immediately ordered the police to arrest him. He was seized two miles away from town, in Edition: current; Page: [33] attempting to escape. He was brought back, and put in a cell, where he remained for three days, during which time he was denied the use of pen and ink, and all communication with his friends outside.

At length he was taken before the Mayor. Four persons appeared and bore testimony to the remark which he had made. The evidence was conclusive. He was returned to prison, and kept locked up for six days. During this time, he was allowed only two scanty meals a day, and the food was carried to him by a negro. He was then taken out of jail in the custody of two marshals, who said to him: “You are so fond of niggers that we are going to give you a nigger escort.”

He was led through the main street, amid a great crowd, hooting and yelling, the marshals compelling two negroes to drag him through the puddles and muddy places of the street, and of the State House yard! As he was taken past the State House, three members of the Legislature, including the Speaker, stood looking on and laughing! The crowd gradually increased, until it numbered several thousand persons, headed by a troop of horse.

After a march of three miles out of the city, to a place called “the Junction,” the procession was stopped, and preparations were made for punishment. The populace cried, “Brand him!” “Burn him!” “Spike him to death!” and made threats against his life by pointing pistols at his head, and flourishing sticks in his face.

The Vigilance Committee ordered him to strip himself naked, and forced a negro to assist in taking off the clothes. A cowhide was then put into the negro’s hands, who was ordered to lay on thirty-nine lashes, (not twenty-nine, as reported,) and to draw blood with every stroke. Our informant describes the pain of this infliction as exceeding in severity any thing which he ever suffered before. His back and lower limbs are still covered with the scars of the wounds!

A bucket of tar was then brought, and two negroes were ordered to rub it upon his bleeding skin, and to cover him from head to waist. His hair and eye-brows were clotted with the tar. After this part of the ceremony was concluded, he was covered with feathers. His pantaloons were then drawn up to his waist, but he was not allowed to put on his shirt or coat. He was conducted, in this exposed condition Edition: current; Page: [34] amid the shouts of the populace, to the railroad train, and was put on board the negroes’ car. The engineer blew a continuous blast on his whistle to signalize the performance.

A citizen of Charleston on the train, who saw the poor fellow’s unhappy condition, stepped into a neighboring hotel, before the starting of the cars, and brought a cup of coffee and some biscuits to relieve the sufferer’s faintness. It was a timely gift, and gratefully received. But the Southern chivalry gathered around the Southern gentleman, and threatened him with summary vengeance if he repeated his generosity. The exasperated crowd detained the train, and called for more tar and feathers, for a further infliction upon their bleeding victim. More tar was brought, but more feathers could not be found; and after fresh tar was applied, cotton was stuck upon it instead!

When the train started for Charleston, the mob bade him good-bye, and told him that when he reached this city, he would receive 130 lashes! At every station between Columbia and Charleston, the engineer blew a prolonged whistle, and gathered a mob to add fresh insults to the wounded man. At length, on arriving, he was met by the police, conveyed to prison, and detained in his cell for an entire week. Here he received, for the first time, soap and water to wash off the tar, and oil to soften his sores. A mob several times threatened to break into the prison to carry him out into the street, and make a public spectacle of him a second time. But he was kept closely confined. A physician called to see him, to examine his wounds, who told him that his case was a mild one, comparing it with that of a man who was then lying in the City Hospital from the effects of 500 lashes, which had almost put an end to his life!

On Saturday morning last, at seven o’clock, the poor workman was taken from prison, and conducted quietly on board the steamer for New York. He arrived in this city on Monday last, where he is still staying, recovering from the effects of his ill-treatment, and looking for work, which we hope he may find.

We have only one comment to make on this case. This man informed us that, in common with the great mass of Irishmen in this country, he had always voted with the Democratic party. He had long known in Philadelphia that the Democratic Edition: current; Page: [35] party upheld slavery, but he never learned, until he went to South Carolina, that slavery crushed the white laborer, and that the Democratic party, in upholding slavery, is therefore the enemy of Irishmen, who are a nation of laborers. In the Southern States, work is looked upon as dishonorable, and workmen as degraded. This is what an Irish stone-cutter learned while cutting stone in South Carolina. We hope the lesson of his experience may reach the ears of his countrymen!—New York Independent.


In the Augusta (Ga.) Evening Dispatch of the 29th ult. is the following editorial paragraph:—

Arrested. A man named James Crangale, hailing from Columbia, S. C., was arrested by the police, last night, for giving vent to Abolition sentiments, while in a state of intoxication, and is now in durance.”

A second edition of this story is published in the Charleston (S. C.) Mercury of Dec. 31st, two days later, and is as follows:—

Vigilance. Passengers from Augusta report that an Abolitionist was tarred and feathered in that city on Friday. His name is represented to be James Crangale, recently from Columbia.”

Mr. Crangale arrived in this city, from Charleston, on Saturday last, in the steamer Nashville. His story we have from his own lips, and we think it may be repeated to the edification of Mr. O’Conor’s countrymen who believe slavery to be an excellent institution, and who vote the Democratic ticket, and for the information of those Union-saving gentlemen who have debts to collect on account, or under judgments, at the South.

Mr. James Crangale is by birth an Irishman, educated to the law, who emigrated to this country about two and a half years since. Being under the necessity of earning a livelihood, he made an engagement, soon after his arrival in this city, to Edition: current; Page: [36] go as clerk into the establishment of Messrs. Gray & Turley, Dry Goods Merchants of Savannah and Augusta. After a brief stay in the former place, in the employment of Messrs. Gray & Turley, he was sent by them to the establishment at Augusta, when they refused to retain him longer in their service. He returned to Savannah, where he soon obtained the place of Deputy Clerk to the Court of Ordinary of Chatham County, Ga. Since that time, he has lived quietly, unobtrusively and inoffensively, busy with the duties of his office, and in qualifying himself to be admitted to the bar. With the subject of slavery he never meddled, and never, in any way, expressed an opinion in regard to it.

Feeling, however, that he had been unjustly dealt with by Messrs. Gray & Turley, who had induced him to go to the South, and had then broken the engagement between them, without regard to the consequences that might ensue to him, a stranger and friendless in a strange land, he sued them for his salary under the contract. The suit was brought in a Justice’s Court, and a decision given in his favor. Appeal was made by Messrs. Gray & Turley to the Superior Court, where the decision of the Court below was confirmed, and judgment granted against the defendants. This end, however, was not gained without some difficulty. Three lawyers successively threw up his case, after delaying it for several months, and he at length carried his suit through, and brought it to a successful issue, by acting as his own counsel. But even here was not an end to the legal obstacles in the way of justice. With the judgments in his hand, he went to one after another of the officers of the law in Savannah, but could find none who would execute the duties of their office against a well-known, influential and wealthy house, in behalf of a poor and friendless Irishman. He appealed to the Solicitor-General, Julian Hartridge, to lay the conduct of these delinquent officials before the Grand Jury, but it was only to meet with a refusal from that gentleman, on the ground that an indictment against them would also involve one against the attorneys for the defendants.

Hopeless of redress in Savannah, Mr. Crangale went to Augusta, trusting that in that place, where Messrs. Gray & Turley are holders of property, he should be able to find officers who would serve the judgment of the Court against Edition: current; Page: [37] them. On his arrival, he went to the United States Hotel, kept by Messrs. Dobey & Mosher, and took a room. In the course of the evening, he was waited upon by a man, calling himself John Neilly, who invited him out upon the sidewalk in front of the hotel, and there said to him that, understanding him to be an Abolitionist, he, Neilly, on behalf of the Vigilance Committee, directed him to leave town immediately. Mr. Crangale at once refused to act on this order. He was there, he said, for the purpose simply of collecting money due him on a judgment of the Superior Court, and for nothing else; and that if they could prove him to be an Abolitionist, they were welcome to hang him. He was permitted, then, to return to the bar-room of the hotel, where he presently related the summons that had been served upon him, and the conversation that ensued. Thereupon, James Hughes, the bar-keeper, came forward and stated that he knew that Crangale was an Abolitionist; that he had this information from Andrew Gray, who said that “Crangale was a damned Abolitionist and rascal, and ought to be put out of the way.” Mr. Crangale again denied the allegation. He understood now, however, the source and meaning of the accusation, for Andrew Gray is a brother of the senior partner in the house of Gray & Turley.

About two o’clock that night, when asleep in bed, his room was broken into by three constables, named Everett, King and Ramsay, accompanied by about twenty of the Vigilance Committee, who arrested him. They dragged him out of bed, and, after taking from him his overcoat and valise, hurried him off to jail. The next day he was waited upon by another constable, one Ford, who demanded his keys, which he refused to give up. Ford assured him that if no Abolition documents were found in his possession, he would be discharged; but if the charge against him should be proved, he would be hung up at the prison gates by the Vigilance Committee. To persist in refusing to give up his keys, Ford assured him, would be considered as equivalent to a confession of guilt, and he should call the committee to execute speedy judgment. Under these threats, he had no alternative but to comply with the demand for the keys, and surren lered them. In the evening of that day, Mr. Olin, a Justice of the Peace, called upon him, and informed him that Mr. Foster Blodget, Jr., the Edition: current; Page: [38] Mayor of Augusta, had filed an affidavit against him, which was sufficient to swear away ten lives, if he had so many. This formidable document, which Mr. Olin showed him, asserted that he, the Mayor, had been informed and believed that the errand of Crangale at the South was to stir up an insurrection among the slaves, and that he was doing so; that he had asserted that the slaves would be justified in rising against their masters; that the people of the North would be justified in putting arms into the hands of the slaves; that the people of Massachusetts were justified in aiding and arming the “niggers” at Harper’s Ferry; and that he, the Mayor, was prepared to prove these assertions. Mr. Crangale met these charges with a flat denial. He assured Mr. Olin that the whole story was a falsehood, a fiction from beginning to end; that he had never held and had never uttered any such sentiments. Mr. Olin thereupon informed him that his trial would take place the next day, and advised him to send for and engage as his counsel Col. Cumming, a well-known lawyer, and one of the most respectable and influential citizens of Augusta. The advice was taken, and Col. Cumming applied to. He called that evening, and, after listening to Mr. Crangale’s statement, to his honor be it said, consented to defend the case.

All this time, it should be remembered, the prisoner was held under no legal process, but, though confined in the City Prison, and visited by the officers of the law, was simply in the custody of the Vigilance Committee. The next morning, he was ordered into Court, and on his way thither was arrested at the suit of the State, on a charge of endeavoring to incite an insurrection among the slaves, and was arraigned before Justices Olin and Piquet. The statute of the State which provides the penalty of death for the crime with which the prisoner was charged was read, when Col. Cumming moved that the case be carried to the Superior Court, which would sit the latter part of January, and that the prisoner be remanded to take his trial at that time. He gave as his reasons for this motion, that the present trial was held, in fact, by the Vigilance Committee, who alone constituted the audience, and who would hang the accused then and there, if the slightest shadow of suspicion could attach to him. Mr. Crangale himself, however, arose and opposed this motion. Strong in his Edition: current; Page: [39] own innocence, he wished the trial to proceed, and did not fear the result. The witnesses were then called and examined. They were Charles M’Calla, John Neilly, Allen Davy, Thomas T. Fogarty, and James Hughes, the bar-keeper at the United States Hotel. Their evidence, however, was only hearsay. Not one of them knew any thing, of his own knowledge, of the prisoner; not one of them had ever heard him utter a single Abolition opinion, or any opinion whatever, upon the subject of slavery, and none of them knew any thing about him, good, bad or indifferent. The only evidence of any moment was that of Hughes, who testified, on a cross-examination, that Andrew Gray had pointed out the prisoner to him as an Abolitionist; and that of Neilly, who acknowledged that he had agreed and proposed that the prisoner should be hanged, without the formality of a trial, at the time of his arrest, upon the lamp-post opposite the United States Hotel. This admission passed even without rebuke from the Court. But the Court was more vigilant when Hughes admitted that Gray had pointed out the prisoner to him as an Abolitionist, and ruled out the evidence, on the ground that the trade of Augusta with the North would be injured should it become known that such was their method of dealing with creditors. After the witnesses had been examined, Col. Cumming addressed the Court, in a speech evidently so fearless as to have exercised a strong influence over the minds of the Court and audience, and marked by a degree of sound common sense hitherto unheard of under such circumstances. He denounced these Vigilance Committees as self-made tribunals, constituting themselves at once witnesses and judges, and as actuated by no higher motive than a determination to denounce all Northern men of property as Abolitionists, for the purpose of ruining them and dividing the spoils among themselves. The statute of Georgia, providing the penalty of death for inciting the slaves to insurrection, he said, on the other hand, though severe, was none too much so. It behooved the South to keep both its eyes and ears open to protect their property against incendiaries. But the innocent, he declared, should not be accused and subjected to persecution. Under the effect of this speech, and as no tittle of evidence could be produced against Mr. Crangale, the Court had but one course to pursue, and the prisoner was acquitted. He Edition: current; Page: [40] was nevertheless condemned to pay the costs of prosecution, the fees of the Vigilance Committee who had arrested him without legal process, and the cost of the imprisonment which he had been compelled to suffer, and was remanded to jail till payment was made. On arriving at the hotel, his coat and valise, which the committee had taken from him, were produced, but the pocket-book, containing nearly a hundred dollars, and which he had left in the coat-pocket, was not to be found. Again he was taken to the Court, where he stated the circumstances to Justice Olin. But that gentleman refused to believe him. “I have,” he said, to the prisoner, “acquitted you simply for want of evidence; but I still believe you are an Abolitionist, a God d——d Abolitionist, and you had better confess it. You are,” he continued, “a fool, a God d——d fool. Have not your friends told you so? Do you not know it yourself?” He then ordered him to open his valise, declaring that if any thing was found in it to convict him, there were enough of the “boys” present to string him up. The prisoner at first refused to obey this order. The valise and the keys, he said, had been out of his possession for two days; he did not know what might have been put in the valise, and he did not choose to take the chance of being hanged on such a contingency. On the threats being repeated, however, he consented to open the valise, which fortunately had not been tampered with, and where nothing was found but his clothing and some papers relative to the debt which he had come to Augusta to collect. Word was then sent to Col. Sneed, the President of the Vigilance Committee, of the inability of the prisoner to discharge the bill of costs, and to demand its payment of him, as the representative of the party making the arrest. Col. Sneed refused. The Mayor was then sought for to make the same demand of him as prosecutor, but he could not be found. It seemed perfectly clear to the Justice that the bill had to be paid by somebody, and, as those from whom it was rightfully due could not be compelled to, he chose to act on the principle that possession is nine points of the law, and hold him responsible whom he had in his power. A new committal was made out, and Mr. Crangale returned to jail till he could pay the costs of his own false imprisonment. After suffering a further confinement of thirty-three hours, and it being evident Edition: current; Page: [41] that there was no relenting on the part of his persecutors, he wrote to Col. Cumming to thank him for his generous services, and to ask for another interview on his behalf. Soon after, Mr. Alfred Cumming, a son of Col. Cumming, appeared at the jail, paid the fees demanded, and the prisoner was released. Mr. Olin had advised him to be off the moment he was out of jail, as there were “boys enough about,” he said, “to string him up.” As he had every reason to believe in the soundness of this counsel, he left immediately, and arrived, as we have already stated, in this city on Saturday.

We subjoin a copy of the bill for the non-payment of which Mr. Crangale was detained in the Augusta jail thirty-three hours; and had not this sum been generously advanced by Col. Cumming, he would, no doubt, have been still in confinement, unless, indeed, the old cry of “a la lanterne” had been fulfilled in his case, in this modern Reign of Terror.

Uriah Slack
Slack, Uriah
Dec. 31, 1859
Augusta, Ga.
James Crangale
Crangale, James
Mr. James Crangale,
To Richmond County Jail, Dr.
For three days’ board, of self, at 50c., $ 1 50
Turnkey’s Fee, 1 20
Committing, Marshal and Constable cost, 11 58
Jailer, R. C., 1 25
Received Payment, $15 33

It will be observed that Mr. Crangale still owes Richmond County, Georgia, twenty cents, if he ever owed it any thing, as Mr. Uriah Slack made an error to that amount in adding up the items. It is all he has gained to carry to the credit of his account against Messrs. Gray & Turley.—New York Tribune.

The Charleston Mercury publishes a letter signed “A Merchant,” in which the paper’s New York correspondents are requested to give the names of the leading Abolition houses in New York and elsewhere. For one, the writer pledges himself not to purchase one dollar’s worth of goods from such parties as shall be designated.

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Every day, fresh instances of banishment are occurring in all parts of the South. Northern men are coming away in armies—driven out of sixteen States, and made exiles in their own country. A purser on one of the Southern steamers which arrived a few days ago in this city said, “We are having crowds of passengers, for we are bringing home all the Abolitionists.” The men who are driven away are not generally Abolitionists until they become so after their expulsion. A peaceable workman in South Carolina, who never has had a thought about slavery until a mob tars and feathers him, and sends him to New York, becomes very naturally a strong Abolitionist by the time he reaches Sandy Hook. In this way, South Carolina is now doing more to make genuine anti-slavery men than all the North together.

Since our last issue, we have been called upon at our office by a fresh exile, who was recently driven away, in a very elegant and polite style, from a very aristocratic circle of society in Alabama. The manner of the expulsion was so dainty and chivalrous, that we cannot forbear to relate the circumstances.

Dr. Meigs Case, an intelligent and educated gentleman, formerly of Otsego county, in this State, went to Salem, Alabama, in September last, to take charge of the Alabama Female College. This institution, which had formerly been prosperous, had for some years past been running down, under the inefficient management of Southern teachers. Dr. Case, on arriving at Salem, found himself welcomed by the most intelligent part of the community, who said to him, “We have to look to the North for teachers, for we never yet have found a Southern man who was not too lazy to teach a school!” Dr. C. found that the old “field-school,” or the “ten-hour” system, was in vogue in that town, as in many other parts of the State. According to this system, the scholars and teachers go to school at daylight, and stay all day in or around the school-buildings. Each scholar recites, not in a class with others, but by himself. After his lesson is over, he roams about the grounds and indulges himself in a pleasing variety of idle amusements. This constitutes, in Alabama, “a day’s schooling.”

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Dr. C., after receiving assurances of aid from the chief citizens of the place, agreed to undertake the management of the institution. He immediately began making arrangements for the thorough reorganization of the establishment. His design was to begin the first term with the beginning of the New Year. To this end, he wrote to the North, and engaged the services of assistant teachers, ordered from Northern publishers the necessary school-books, and sent for other members of his family. But while the teachers, the books, and the family were just on the point of starting for the South, he was waited on by a “Committee on the safety of the Union,” who politely informed him that public opinion, during the last few months, had undergone such remarkable changes, that it was now no longer expedient to permit the residence of a Northern man in a Southern community. The time had come, they said, when Southern men must be watchful of their institutions, and must rid themselves promptly of all persons whose influence was likely to be cast, in however faint a degree, against the system of slavery. Dr. C. had never made any expression of views on either side of the question; but the fact that he was a Northern man was a sufficient pretext for his banishment. The gentlemen who had given him the most cordial welcome to the place were now the most active in procuring his summary dismissal. They stated, with true chivalric politeness, that they regretted to compel him to leave, but apologized by adding that the state of the times demanded prompt expulsion. They concluded their interview by urging him to quit the place at once, intimating that they could not be responsible for his safety if he remained longer than twenty-four hours. A leading physician in the town, who had professed great friendship for Dr. Case, said to him, in parting, “If you had been introduced to our citizens by the Governor of the State, and were as stanch a Democrat as any in Alabama, you still could not be sustained amid the excitement that now pervades all classes of the community.”

At this time, a bill was before the lower house of the Legislature, entailing a fine of $500 on any school commissioner who should give a certificate of qualification to any Northern man who had not resided ten years within the State, and who was, moreover, not an owner of slave property!

Dr. Case, perceiving that to attempt to carry out his projected Edition: current; Page: [44] enterprise would not only be useless but hazardous, determined to take the most prudent course, which was to leave the State within the required time. He is now in this city, where he is in negotiation with several institutions of learning from which he has had application since his return.

If Southern men shall succeed in banishing all Northern teachers, the next generation of the chivalry will scarcely know how to read and write.—New York Independent.


Two young men of this State—James J. Miller, of Hartford, seventeen years old, (large of his age, and looking older,) and Emmons J. Coe, of Meriden—have just returned from North Carolina with a rather uncomfortable experience of the manner in which some of the people of that region observe the guarantees of the Constitution.

They went to Salisbury, Rowan county, about four weeks ago, as travelling agents for L. Stebbins, publisher, of this place, to sell two large and handsomely illustrated volumes, “The History of the North American Indians,” and “The History of Christ and His Apostles.” They took a room at the Mount Vernon House, and, after thoroughly canvassing Salisbury and the vicinity, they went to Gold Hill on Monday, Nov. 22, and returned on the evening of the 23d.

On their way back, in the evening, they met two men returning from court, who asked, “Do you know Old Brown, the insurrectionist?” “No.” “Well, you look out, or you will be in jail pretty soon.” They heard nothing more until Wednesday morning, when, as they were looking at a fire which broke out in the Methodist church, Coe heard the Mayor say to a man standing by: “Yes, that’s the very man; he stops at the Mount Vernon House.” “Are you speaking of me?” said Coe. “Yes.” He handed them his card, and, with Miller, returned to the hotel, whither they Edition: current; Page: [45] were followed by the man to whom the Mayor spoke. In a short time, an officer with five patrolmen, carrying heavy canes, came to their door. Miller opened it, and politely asked them in. He also offered them his trunk, his keys, papers, books, letters, &c., and invited them to satisfy themselves as to his character and business. They chose to take the young men directly to the police court.

Arriving there, accompanied by a great crowd, a scene ensued supremely ludicrous to any bystander who could have dared to laugh. Three magistrates presided. The trunks were brought in, the leaves of the books turned over and over, and laid aside for more careful study. The crowd questioned a good deal, and then swore a great deal, and then questioned and swore more. They opened carefully and shook out every shirt and pair of trowsers, but no treason appeared.

The presiding magistrate said that there was nothing against them but suspicion, yet he thought it better to bind them over for trial before the Superior Court, requiring $500 bail! They asked Miller and Coe if they were ready to give bail? “Certainly not,” said Miller; “take us to jail.”

So they went to jail, with a solemn procession of six officers around them, and ten couples in front, and six more in the rear. They sent for a lawyer, R. B. Moore, who proved himself a frank, generous, sensible friend throughout. They had crowds of visitors daily asking to see the “d—d Yankees,” or the “d—d Abolitionists.”

On Tuesday, the 29th, they were brought into the Superior Court, and the prosecuting attorney told the Court that “these young men were ignorant of the laws, and, so far as ascertained, had committed no intentional offence,” &c. The judge lectured them, for what nobody knew, and told them that on paying their jail fees, $4.12 each, they should be discharged. They paid the bill, but returned to the jail for protection from the mob of “lewd fellows of the baser sort,” who manifested great anxiety to use tar and feathers.

In the evening, the sheriff escorted them to the hotel, where they kept close. Crowds gathered at the depot, hoping to get a chance at them as they took the cars. On Wednesday evening, November 30, gatherings in the street indicated a disposition to mob them, and they armed themselves, with a Edition: current; Page: [46] determination to resist, and the landlord told them, “If they tar and feather you, they shall tar and feather me also.” On Thursday at noon, they quietly took a buggy for Lexington, a station some miles distant, where they waited, appearing not to know each other, for the night train. Excepting some close questioning at Portsmouth, they met no further difficulty, and took the steamer for New York.

Among the ridiculous and wholly baseless stories against them, it was said that they had called slaves into gin shops, talked two hours with them privately, sold them books, and told them that if they would only run away somewhere “across the river,” the invading army that came to rescue Brown would take them off, and also promised to correspond with, &c. &c. They heard threats in abundance daily, but escaped without serious loss, aside from the breaking up of their business and the expenses of their defence.

We trust that the outrages of which this is but one sample out of hundreds will receive a decided rebuke on Wednesday evening from our “Union-savers.”—Hartford Press, Dec. 12.


On Monday, a man from New York, by the name of Cregar, was taken up by a committee, who waited on him, and brought him before a meeting of our citizens in the court-house, upon the charge of being an Abolitionist. He was called upon to state his own case, and he did so by saying that he had been forced to leave Asheville upon a short notice; that he was an anti-slavery man; had rode in a wagon with a slave near Asheville, and had told the negro what wages were at the North, &c. According to his own version, he is an Abolitionist; but he said that he had not tampered with any slaves—did not believe it right to run negroes out of the South, and he was opposed to getting up insurrections. His business was to sell fruit trees and shrubbery for an extensive establishment at Rochester. The excitement was very great, the crowd was large, and at one Edition: current; Page: [47] time, the consequences threatened to be serious. Rev. James Park opened the meeting with a sensible address, in which he counselled moderation, and expressed the hope that the citizens would preserve their dignity, and calmly listen to reason, and not to the suggestions of passion. We considered his remarks well-timed, and his sentiments proper, and we stated to the meeting that we endorsed the sentiments of Mr. Park, and urged upon the citizens to act in keeping with their magnanimity of character, and not to inflict personal violence upon the man, unless they had other and stronger testimony against him. At this stage of the game, the sentiment of the crowd was that Cregar ought to be required to leave the State in a reasonable length of time, but that he ought not to be treated with violence. But Gen. Ramsay, the lately defeated candidate for Congress, came down upon the stand, and delivered one of the most uncalled-for, ill-timed, not to say infamous, speeches we ever listened to under the circumstances. He was for crucifying the man, as an example to others. He was grossly insulting to all who counselled moderation; he made the political party issue, and placed all who were not for violence in the attitude of hostility to the South, and launched out against the Union and in favor of dissolution.

Col. O. P. Temple followed Gen. Ramsay, and gave him a most severe, but merited, castigation for the speech he had delivered, denouncing his sentiments as worthy alone of scorn and contempt, and was loudly cheered by the audience.

Speeches were also made by James R. Cooke, Esq., and Will L. Scott, Esq., who took the proper view of the subject, and counselled moderation, deprecating the great evil of mob law prevailing to a dangerous extent in the South, and hoped that reason, moderation and justice would be acted out on this occasion.

After these speeches were delivered, the committee of three, who were out, brought in a report requiring Cregar to leave in twenty-four hours. This was, as we understood it, so amended as to allow him three days to wind up his business, and this, we are inclined to think, met with the approval of the meeting. But an unfortunate debate sprang up between Messrs. Park and Charlton, and the consequences threatened, for a time, to be fearful, as the friends of these Edition: current; Page: [48] gentlemen drew weapons. But, by the interference of friends, peace was restored, the crowd dispersed, and the New-Yorker has left for his congenial North, where he ought to remain.—Knoxville (Tenn.) Whig.


A case of applying these two commodities to the epidermis of an individual was practised in this city, Thursday night, under the following circumstances: Sewall H. Fisk, a dealer in boots and shoes, on Market square, of several years’ standing, has been the object of suspicion for some time, in consequence of his known abolition proclivities, which he has taken, as we are informed, some trouble to make known to our slave population. His latest acts are, enticing negroes into his cellar at night, and reading them all sorts of abolition documents, and last Sunday night was devoted especially to the history of the trial of John Brown, and a general exhortation upon the institution of slavery and the advantages of freedom. These facts, as we hear, were sworn to before a Justice of the Peace by his nephew and his clerk; and coming to the ears of some parties who have constituted themselves a quasi-vigilance committee, Mr. Fisk’s store, over or in which he sleeps, was visited, and he was called out and gagged before he could make either noise or resistance. He was then placed in a carriage, and driven a short distance from the city, and the application, as above, made to his nude person; he was then left to find his way back as best he could. His first appearance in the limits was near the hospital, where he came in sight of a watchman, who was so alarmed at the sight, that he gave a spasmodic jerk at his rattle, and took to his heels, not willing to face so dreadful an apparition. A reinforcement, however, was brave enough to approach him, when he was conducted home, the most pitiable object it is possible to imagine. Not a spot of his skin was visible, and his hair was trimmed close to his head.—Savannah (Ga.) Republican, Dec. 3d.

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In the Maryland Legislature, in January last, Mr. Jacobs, of Worcester, offered the following:—

“Whereas, at the 21th anniversary of the American Abolition Society, held in the City Assembly Rooms, in New York city, in May, 1857, a certain Francis Jackson, of Boston, Treasurer of the Society, reported that during the current year the receipts of the Society were $19,200, and of the auxiliary societies of New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan, $18,856; making a total of $38,162 from those sources; and,

Whereas, said American Abolition Society also received for the same year, as appears from said report, the further sum of $158,750 from the Exeter Hall Emancipation Society, in the city of London, Great Britain, and both of said two sums make an aggregate of $196,912; and,

Whereas, the London Times, a newspaper of high repute on all questions involving the policy of England towards this country, distinctly declares that this money was given as a bounty on slaves—i. e., to decoy them from their owners, and induce them to run away; and,

Whereas, a certain Hiram K. Wilson, of Worcester, in Massachusetts, did go into Canada, and take a census of all such runaway slaves during the winter of 1856, and reported their number at 35,000, since augmented to 45,000; and,

Whereas, a certain Thomas Garrett, of the city of Wilmington, in the State of Delaware, did attend the anniversary meetings as aforesaid in the city of New York, in May, 1857, and did there show by his books of record and entry, where he had stolen 2,059 slaves, and forwarded them North, per underground railroad; and,

Whereas, said Garrett did attend a meeting of Abolitionists held at the Assembly Buildings, in the city of Philadelphia, on the 17th December, 1859, whereat he stated, that by his books of entry and record, he had stolen and conveyed North by the underground railroad the further number of 386 slaves, since the report in May, 1857, making a total of 2,445 slaves stolen by said Garrett; and,

Whereas, the said sum of $196,912, bestowed upon said Garrett in May, 1857, and his large annual receipts per capita for every slave he can so steal, have made him rich in wealth, and marked him as a wicked and base traitor to man and God; and,

Whereas, most of the slaves so stolen by said Garrett belong to citizens of this State, whose rights of property the State is sacredly pledged to secure inviolate—therefore, be it

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Maryland. That the Treasurer pay, upon the order of the Comptroller, the sum of —— to any person or persons who may secure said Thomas Garrett in some one of the public jails in this State; and that the Governor of this State, on information of such fact, is hereby requested to employ the best legal ability of the State to prosecute said Garrett to conviction and punishment.”

Mr. Jacobs then entered into a detailed explanation of the resolution; of the manner in which slaves are stolen from Worcester and other counties in that vicinity. He dwelt at Edition: current; Page: [50] some length upon peddlers, their tricks of trade, and the insinuating way they have of ingratiating themselves into the good-will of negroes. He was particularly hard on Garrett; said he was a traitor, and should be hung.

About having slaves run of, Mr. Jacobs had experienced loss from that cause. He now had a man in Canada who often wrote home begging for money and to be brought back. The poor devil was nearly starved, but could not come back, although he wanted to do so. Mr. Jacobs verily believed he was run off by “Old Brown.” Garrett, who sent his minions, the peddlers, throughout the country, pocketed the money for running them off. Mr. Jacobs denounced Garrett as an archtraitor, a villain, and guilty of every horrid crime. There were men that he knew who could convict the scoundrel, and he wanted him caught. As a matter of course, under the rules of the House, the resolutions of Mr. Jacobs lie over for another reading.

Subsequently, Mr. Jacobs asked a suspension of the rules, so as to call up his resolutions providing for the capture of Thomas Garrett, for running off slaves from Maryland. The rules were suspended.

Mr. Jacobs moved that the blank in his resolutions for the capture of Garrett be filled with $2,000.

Mr. McCleary moved to amend with $500.

Mr. Chaplain moved to amend the amendment by $5,000.

Mr. Gordon thought it best first to change the resolution of Mr. Jacobs, so that the bounty would not be paid until Garrett was convicted.

Mr. Dennis asked, if this man was in the State, what could be done with him?

Mr. Jacobs. Hang him. (Laughter.)

Mr. Dennis resumed. According to the gentleman’s statement yesterday, Garrett was never in Maryland. If a citizen of another State receives slaves from Maryland, and forwards them to Canada or elsewhere, he cannot be touched for violating the soil of Maryland. The thing is out of the question.

Mr. Gordon, of Allegany, said that without an examination of the questions, he was not prepared to coincide with the gentleman from Somerset. If a man stands on the Virginia bank of the Potomac, and shoots another in Maryland with a rifle, is he not amenable to the Maryland laws? Certainly. Edition: current; Page: [51] If by means of emissaries, he, on the borders of another State, steals a horse, and runs him off, is he not just as amenable to the laws of the State which he violates in that manner? And so it was with negroes.

Mr. Dennis, of Somerset, replied that there was no analogy in the cases. In the one instance, there is a direct violation of the soil of the State; in the other, it is asserted that a man in another State has gotten rich from the per capita of slaves run off, as the resolutions say, from this State. Allowing that it could be proved that they were run off from Maryland, he could not be harmed. He had never been in the State. We do not know that he had emissaries, and if he had, it is a question not for decision by this House.

Mr. Gordon rejoined. He said it was admitted that Garrett sent emissaries into the State; that he had publicly boasted of having, through their instrumentality, run off slaves from Maryland. That gave the question another aspect, and it should be well considered.

Mr. Jacobs said he had no doubt but that Thomas Garrett could be convicted, if taken. He cited several instances in which the fact that he ran off slaves could be proved.

Mr. Dennis asked why Mr. Jacobs or some other gentleman had not gone before the Grand Jury and had him presented, if these statements were so notorious.

Mr. Jacobs spoke warmly; denounced the London Times and the New York Courier, and declared that before he would have Maryland become secondary to the North, he would go in for a dissolution of the Union.

Mr. Long, of Somerset, moved to refer to Committee on Judiciary.

Mr. Jacobs. Will that kill it, or not? (Laughter.)

Mr. Long. The resolutions embrace important considerations, and should be referred to the Committee. They were the creatures of the House, and their action, therefore, could either be adopted or not by the body creating them.

Mr. Jacobs. You are Chairman of that Committee, ain’t you? (Laughter.)

Mr. Long. No, sir. I am, however, on the Committee. Mr. Gordon is Chairman.

Mr. Jacobs. Ah, well, I will trust it to him. (Laughter.)

Edition: current; Page: [52]

After some debate as to the propriety of referring the matter, Mr. Jacobs consented to the reference. The whole matter—resolutions and amendments—was then referred.(1)

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J. C. Hazelton
Hazelton, J. C.
Feb. 23, 1860
New York


To the Editor of the New York Tribune:

As I observe that your statements as to the risk of travelling at the South are doubted by your neighbors of the Times and Herald, permit me to relate a fact in my own experience of very recent occurrence.

Edition: current; Page: [54]

For fifteen years past I have been in the habit of visiting the South, having certain interests in Tennessee which require my personal attention. In the latter part of January; I was on my way to Tennessee, with Judge Platt, of Yonkers, and Mr. Lewis Edwards, of Orient, L. I. When passing through Virginia, I fell into conversation, somewhere between Lynchburg and Bristol, with a fellow passenger. After some talk upon indifferent matters, this person asked me “if New York merchants did not feel the withdrawal of Southern trade.” I replied that it was too early in the season as yet to judge whether there had been any diminution of trade from such a cause. “I am,” he continued, “interested in two mercantile firms, and I have given orders to both that they shall purchase no goods north of Baltimore, and not even there, except of direct importation.” “You have,” I answered, “a perfect constitutional right to buy your goods where you please. We are, however, glad to deal with you as long as you pay your notes. The South,” I remarked further, on some allusion on his part to Northern sympathy for John Brown, “does not understand the feeling of the North in regard to that affair. Not a hundred people among us knew of Brown’s intention, or approved of his acts when known, however much they might admire the character of the man. And on that point,” I added, “no one has paid him a higher compliment than Gov. Wise, who said he was the pluckiest man he ever saw.”

“Sir,” said my interrogator, with a good deal of emphasis, “before having any further conversation with you, I wish to know what you think of Helper’s book.”

“I have never read it,” I replied.

“At any rate,” said he, “you cannot be ignorant of its contents. But I will tell you what it advises: it advises non-slaveholders to cease all intercourse with slaveholders; not to employ them either as physicians or lawyers, not to trade with them, nor to go to communion with them. Now, what do you think of it?”

“Have you ever read that work yourself?” I asked.

“I have not,” said he.

“Then,” said I, “I think that you are not the proper person to interrogate me upon this work, nor am I the proper person to criticise it, when we have neither of us read it.”

But this did not satisfy him. He wanted and insisted upon having a more positive answer. At length I said: “I acknowledge Edition: current; Page: [55] that Virginia has a perfect constitutional right to continue or to abolish slavery as she shall see fit, and that we of the North have nothing to do with it. This should satisfy you as to my opinions of the Helper book.”

But this was not enough. He wanted a more positive expression of opinion on the book itself.

“It seems to me,” said I, “that the question is one that belongs to you alone. It is simply a quarrel among cousins. The book was written by the South, in the South, and for the South, and we commercial men at the North care very little about the matter any way.”

He burst out here with great violence and vehemence: “Sir, I believe you are a d——d Yankee Abolitionist! I am a member of the Vigilance Committee, and I will have you arrested and examined!”

“I am,” I answered, “a merchant of New York, passing through the State on my way further South, where I have large interests, and am on my lawful business.”

He continued his abuse, reiterating, “You are a d——d Abolitionist! I will have you arrested and examined!”

Presently he asked me for my address, which I gave him without hesitation. “I,” said he, “am Fayette McMullen. I have been for eight years a member of Congress from this State, and two years the Governor of Washington Territory. And you,” he repeated, “are a d——d Yankee Abolitionist, and no gentleman.” Here I turned my back upon him and took up a newspaper. Then he left me; but going through the car, he pointed me out to a number of persons as an Abolitionist. My fellow passengers were some of them Southern men, and some Northern. With many of these passengers I had travelled from Washington, and we had been together for four and twenty hours. It was to this circumstance, perhaps, that I owed it that Mr. McMullen’s attempt to get up an excitement against me was a failure. There were some muttered remarks, it is true, undoubtedly intended for me, such as “that any Abolitionist going through the South ought to be tarred and feathered;” but I was not molested. My assailant went through the other cars of the train, with the amiable intention, I presume, of having me mobbed. He failed, however, there also, and finally returned to his seat near me, and went to sleep after his labors.

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Yesterday, (says the Quincy (Illinois) Whig, of February 25th,) a respectable German citizen of LaGrange, Missouri, Mr. Frederick Schaller, (a brother-in-law of Mr. H. Dasbach, of this city,) who has resided in LaGrange for the last twelve years, was brought to Quincy a victim to the horrors of a pro-slavery outrage, the recital of which is enough to make the blood of any man, who has a soul, boil in his veins. We called upon Mr. Schaller and obtained the statement which we publish below. We saw the bloody evidence of the horrible treatment he had undergone, heard the story of the affair as given by him, and could not help believing every word of his statement. He is a respectable and intelligent man, and his plain and simple account of the dastardly outrage, was, we venture to say, implicitly credited by the hundreds of our citizens who called at Mr. Dasbach’s yesterday.

Mr. Shaller has always voted the Democratic ticket, and we are assured by German citizens of Quincy, that in his visits to this city, he has defended the institution as it existed in Missouri. That he is innocent of the charge of assisting negroes to escape—as he asserts—we have no doubt.

We trust that our German citizens, especially those who have been in the habit of voting the Democratic ticket, will ponder well this flagitious outrage, and then determine whether they can continue to vote with a party whose cardinal principle is the spread and extension of that institution which is the parent of such damnable and brutal lawlessness.

We are under obligations to the editors of the Tribune for the translation of Mr. Schaller’s statement:—


I have been a resident of Missouri for twelve years, having resided a part of the time in Palmyra and part of the time in LaGrange. In the latter place I have property. I have never meddled with slaves or slavery, and have always been a Democrat.

Late last fall or early in the winter, I heard that ten slaves Edition: current; Page: [57] had run off; I knew nothing about it till I heard of it, and do not recollect of ever having seen them. I could therefore not have aided their escape. Nobody in LaGrange ever suspected me of tampering with slaves, till last Sunday. I went on that day to Canton, to invite some friends to a party that was to take place last Tuesday. On my arrival there, I was waited upon by three persons, Jim Ring, Josh. Owens and Bill Webster, who informed me of my being under suspicion of having aided the escape of a slave of Mr. —— Harris, and that I would have to return with them. At first I took the matter for a joke, but soon found that they were in earnest. On the night on which the slave ran off, who was caught again, at ten o’clock, I can prove by twelve or fourteen persons that I was in my house till twelve o’clock, consequently could not have aided the negro.

I returned with the three, satisfied of my innocence, and asked for a fair trial only, as I easily could have proven my innocence. I was taken to the LaGrange House, and asked to be tried next day, (Monday.) but was refused. Monday night an armed posse of twenty-five or thirty men came, tied our (my brother William’s, Nob. Mattis’s, who had been taken before my return from Canton) and my hands, and put us into a hack. Two others, Frank Gerlach and a Mr. Holmes, were set free, but ordered to leave town. Our hands were tied, and we were driven in the hack about three miles on the Memphis road, where the hack stopped, and I was taken out. To my question where they were taking me to, I got the answer that I was to be hanged. I asked them what for, and received as an answer, that I should tell them all about the nigger scrapes, about Vandoorn, etc.

As I knew nothing about them, had never seen or heard of Mr. Vandoorn, I could not give the answer they wanted. They took me about a quarter of a mile into the woods and hanged me. I caught the tree, but, by beating my hands with sticks, they compelled me to let go my hold. Soon I was senseless. When I came to again, I felt two persons, one on each side, whipping me with whips or cowhides. My hands were tied to the tree above my head, and I was entirely naked. The night was very cold, and soon my back was covered with a crust of frozen blood. I became weaker, and when they untied me, I fell to the ground. I heard one of them say, Edition: current; Page: [58] “Now you can go, you son of a bitch!” When I put on my clothes again, I found my money ($128 in gold) and watch gone. As I could not stand, I crawled, as well as possible, to the house of my father-in-law, where Dr. Niemeyer treated me.

My brother, whom they had released, told me that they must have abused me for more than an hour.

I again say that I am as innocent of the charge as a child, and have never aided the escape of slaves.

The American (Mattis) is still in LaGrange, sick from a similar treatment.


Banishment of a School-Mistress. Within the last few days, an occurrence took place in one of the young ladies’ schools of this city, which shows that even Yankee school-teachers, who come South to make money, cannot keep a discreet tongue in their head. Abolition is in them, and it will gush out one way or another.

In the case in point, some of the young lady scholars were talking over the excitement of Harper’s Ferry, and one or more of them expressed an opinion, saying, “Old Brown ought to be hanged!” The teacher from down East, who, we understand, gave lessons in music and French, rebuked the young pupils for calling the Kansas murderer and robber “Old Brown,” and stated that they should name him as “Mr. Brown,” that he was engaged in a meritorious cause, and was a good and brave man, whose object was not evil, &c.

The young daughters of the South did not relish this laudation of the old sin-dyed rascal, who would incite, pay and arm negroes to maltreat or murder them; they made known the expressions of the Yankee teacher to the Principal of the Academy, who, after investigating the matter, immediately discharged the offending teacher. She made tracks for the North the same evening, but will, doubtless, make capital out of the occurrence somewhere down in Maine or Massachusetts, where every feminine, who is just able to spell “c-a-t,” thinks she can teach all Southern children.—Richmond Enquirer.

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Our attention has just been called to a copy of the Clarke Journal, (a weekly sheet, published at Berryville, Clarke Co., Va.,) bearing date the 11th inst. This journal is professedly Democratic in politics, and now keeps the following ticket at the head of its leading columns:—

For President—R. M. T. Hunter, of Va.

For Vice President—D. S. Dickinson, of N. Y.

Under color of this show of conservatism, the editor of the paper, Alexander Parkins by name, publishes as an advertisement the full prospectus of the New York Tribune, occupying an entire column, and for which, doubtless, Mr. Parkins receives a considerable moneyed compensation. That our readers may properly appreciate the nature of the inflammatory article thus paid for and published within a few miles of Harper’s Ferry, we reproduce the following sample of Greeley’s prospectus:—

“The ‘irrepressible conflict’ between Darkness and Light, Inertia and Progress, Slavery and Freedom, moves steadily onward. Isolated acts of folly and madness may for the moment give a seeming advantage to Wrong; but God still reigns, and the Ages are true to Humanity and Right. The year 1860 must witness a memorable conflict between these irreconcilable antagonists. The question, ‘Shall Human Slavery be further strengthened and diffused by the power and under the flag of the Federal Union?’ is now to receive a momentous, if not a conclusive answer. ‘Land for the Landless versus Negroes for the Negroless,’ is the battle-cry of the embodied millions, who, having just swept Pennsylvania, Ohio and the North-West, appear in the now Congress, backed by nearly every free State, to demand a recognition of every man’s right to cultivate and improve a modicum of the earth’s surface, wherever he has not been anticipated by the State’s session to another. Free Homes, and the consecration of the virgin soil of the Territories to Free Labor—two requirements, but one policy—must largely absorb the attention of our Congress through the ensuing session, as of the People in the succeeding Presidential canvass; and, whatever the immediate issue, we cannot doubt that the ultimate verdict will be in accord at once with the dictate of impartial Philanthropy and the inalienable rights of man.”

We merely suggest to the good people of Jefferson and Clarke counties that the squad of Yankee peddlers lately ordered away from their borders are emissaries of a much less dangerous description than that to which Mr. Alexander Parkins Edition: current; Page: [60] belongs. A hired disseminator of Abolition treason is the very man of all others to tamper with slaves, to run them off, or, if he had the courage to do so, to lead the van of servile insurrection. Whether Mr. Parkins has not already laid himself liable to fine and imprisonment in the county jail for his complicity with Horace Greeley’s incendiary efforts, is a question which we recommend to the careful consideration of the prosecuting attorney of Clarke county. But there can be no doubt whatever that the people of Clarke and the surrounding counties owe it to their own safety to suppress this incendiary sheet. A respectful request to Mr. Parkins to leave the community, signed by all his subscribers, would perhaps prove efficacious; but don’t lynch him. The friends and supporters of Messrs. Hunter and Dickinson should especially attend to this matter. The impudence with which Parkins attempts to shelter his treason behind the names of these worthy gentlemen deserves especial reprobation.—Richmond (Va.) Enquirer, Nov. 15th.


Every body in Virginia knows or ought to know that she has a set of laws for the especial government of her negro population, bond and free, one of which makes it an indictable offence, punishable by fine and imprisonment, to give utterance to Abolition language and sentiments. We know that in the so-called free States this interdict is severely commented upon; but if they will persist in sending their emissaries among us to corrupt our negroes and entice them away from their owners, they deserve themselves whatever odium may be attached to such a law, the necessity for enacting which they have enforced upon us. All we ask of strangers coming among us from those States is implicit obedience to our laws, be they good or evil in their eye; if they are not prepared to yield it, let them pack up and quit our borders; otherwise they are to expect no immunity for their disobedience. The thing is very simple, and cannot possibly be misunderstood, we should think, even by a crazy Abolitionist. Yet instances Edition: current; Page: [61] of a disregard of this provision of our municipal code are by no means unfrequent; and two have occurred here since that of S. Danneberg, which we mentioned a few days ago. One was that of a clerk in a store, a young Scotchman, who strongly advocated the conduct of Old Barabbas Brown. His employer, having more compassion for him than Old Barabbas had for the wives, mothers and children of Virginia, gave him his discharge without subjecting him to an arrest, and, following the advice of a friend, he “took out in the first boat” for the North.

The other was that of a resident on Ferry Point, opposite this city, John Fletcher by name, who came from Washington City some five years ago. On Tuesday last, in the grocery store of his neighbor, Mr. James P. Jones, in the presence of ten creditable witnesses, while in conversation about the Harper’s Ferry affair, “he avowed himself an Abolitionist, and asserted that there were many in Norfolk and Portsmouth, but that they were afraid to say so; but he was free, white and twenty-one, and had no hesitation in declaring that if he had five thousand dollars, he would give one-half of it for the release or rescue of John Brown.”

The bystanders were highly indignant at such language, and immediately had information of it lodged with T. Portlock, Esq., J. P., who thereupon issued his warrant for the apprehension of Fletcher. The warrant was given to officer John M. Drury to execute, who proceeded to Fletcher’s dwelling, and knocked for admittance at the front door; but he made his appearance at a side door, and, being told by the officer that he must go with him, said he would do so, and retired to get his coat and hat; but on his return, said he had changed his mind, and was determined not to be taken. The officer then attempted to seize him, when he held the door nearly closed with one hand, while with the other he drew a knife, which he held up in a threatening manner, and said, “d——n you, if you attempt to enter, I will kill you.” Mr. Drury then went and summoned persons to his assistance; and on his return, Fletcher, after consulting with members of his family, and being threatened with a forcible entrance by the posse without, quietly surrendered and was taken off to jail, to undergo an examination.—Norfolk (Va.) Herald.

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Slavery has taken another advancing step, and this time it is free speech which has been stricken down in the capital of the country. I allude to the case of Dr. Breed, referred to in my last letter. The main facts, agreed to by all parties, are as follows: A gentleman who has lived in peace and respectability in Washington for the last seven years—who has had high office under successive administrations—a Quaker—calls upon a neighbor upon business. He there meets a stranger, and is introduced to him. The two gentlemen talk of John Brown—get excited—both say extravagant things—get cool afterward—make up—shake hands, and part. The next day, one of the parties is arrested for the expression of his sentiments respecting slavery, and he is forced to take his choice of a prison, or give $2000 bond, to keep the peace for a twelvemonth! No man swore that he was afraid Dr. Breed would attack him; not only that, but the man (one Dr. Camp) who instigated the arrest of Dr. Breed, himself threatened the life of Dr. Breed if he dared to utter certain sentiments respecting slavery.

Your correspondent attended the trial before Justice Down, and is forced to say that it was a farce from beginning to end. The two witnesses covered each other’s tracks in their testimony; one of them swore positively that he did not believe either of the gentlemen (Van Camp and Breed) knew what they said—that they were much excited—and that he did not suppose Dr. Breed meant what it is alleged he said. It was evident to every body present that it was simply an angry private discussion between two persons who call themselves gentlemen. Dr. Breed utterly denied, before Justice Down, the utterance of the sentiments imputed to him; and none of his friends here, who know him to be a Non-Resistant on principle, for a moment credited the statement of Van Camp. Justice Down seemed to have no idea of law or justice, for he bound Dr. Breed to keep the peace in the sum of $2000, on the ground that, if he had uttered his sentiments before Edition: current; Page: [63] slaves, or a white audience, it would have endangered the peace of the community! What an insolent defiance of all law and justice!

In the court-room, a gang of ruffians was gathered, and threats were openly and loudly made to take the life of Dr. Breed on the spot. One man cried out in open Court: “Let’s hang him up when he goes out!” and no man reprimanded the scoundrel for his offence. The Star very candidly admits that if the police had not been present in strong numbers, Dr. Breed would have been in danger. This affair did not occur in Virginia or Naples, but in the capital of the United States! Henceforth, Washington is to be set down as a spot where freedom of speech is not allowed. Any member of Congress may be thrown into prison by this so-called Justice Down, for words uttered in private conversation, and left there till he will give bonds.

Brooks was fined three hundred dollars for making a murderous assault upon a United States Senator in his Senatorial seat; while a Northern man is held to bail in the sum of two thousand dollars, and but for the presence of a friend, would have gone to jail, upon a charge of using “seditions language.” He might have blasphemed God, or threatened to dissolve the Union, with impunity; to speak against slavery is the unpardonable sin.—Correspondence of the N. Y. Evening Post.


We have authentic information, that a gentleman who has resided for nine years in Georgia and Alabama was driven away from home a few days ago, and forced to take a hurried passage to the North, leaving behind him his wife and children, and a thriving business, which must now go to wreck. What was his crime? He had not only never spoken against slavery, but always in favor of it. He honestly held Southern sentiments, and was always ready to avow the same, although he could never persuade himself to own a slave. Edition: current; Page: [64] His profession was that of a teacher of vocal and instrumental music.

A fortnight ago, a book agent was arrested in a town in Alabama for soliciting subscribers to “Fleetwood’s Life of Christ,” published by a Northern publisher. The Methodist Conference was in session at that time, and the case was noticed on the floor of that body. The members advocated the unfortunate agent’s immediate expulsion from the place, on the ground that his continued presence would be dangerous to the existence of Southern institutions! A paper was drawn up, adopted, and published in the newspapers, setting forth the ground of their action, substantially as follows:—

“We have examined this man’s case. We find no evidence to convict him of tampering with slaves, but as he is from the North, and engaged in selling a book published at the North, we have a right to suspect him of being an Abolitionist, and we therefore recommend, in order to guard ourselves against possible danger, that he be immediately conducted by the military out of this county into the next adjoining.”

Accordingly, the militia were called out, and the poor book-peddler was summoned to receive military honors. But this was not all. The musician of whom we have spoken, a nine years’ resident, whom nobody ever suspected of being an Abolitionist, was called upon to ride at the head of the procession, and play the flute! He immediately declined, and took occasion to express his opinion that the agent had done nothing worthy of his expulsion. The procession accordingly marched without the flute player. In the evening, greatly to his surprise, he received an anonymous letter (whose source, however, he could not fail to detect) commanding him, under penalty of tar and feathers, to leave the State immediately. He knew the people too well not to be wise enough to take the hint. His wife, who was a Southern lady, and had never been in the North, was thrown into great grief on reading the letter, but advised her husband to leave before daylight, as she feared for his safety if he remained longer. So at three o’clock in the morning he saddled his horse, and taking with him what clothes he could put in his saddle-bags, galloped away—an exile from home and friends! He has since reached a Northern city, and is now making arrangements to bring his family to a place where they can breathe freer air.—N. Y. Independent.

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Wm. Shreve Bailey
Bailey, Wm. Shreve


The many reports thrown into circulation since the ungallant attacks made upon me and my principal office by certain individuals in our city, have moved many of my friends, and the friends of common justice, to inquire into the cause of such an unlawful procedure.

The cause, so far as made known to me on Friday night, October 25th, when they carried off the inside forms and destroyed them, was, that they wanted a charter for a bank in Newport, and that the Legislature would not grant them one while my paper was printed here. But it is hardly likely that the Kentucky Legislature will grant a bank charter to a party of house-breakers and sackers, to strengthen them in such fearful acts of violence.

Not a word was spoken to me on the subject until the first night of attack—the combination being a dead secret, unknown to me or any of my friends.

The next day, (Saturday, 29th,) no excuse was offered, but a demand made to enter my office again, to carry off the remainder of my printing material. I expostulated with them; told them it would be an injury to their own standing as men, a disgrace to the city of Newport, and no credit to the cause espoused, viz.: slavery. But all the pleadings of myself and family were in vain. They procured a heavy plank, and battered in the door with the end of it, entered, and took out all they could get out, and left the house a perfect wreck.

The heart-rending sorrow of my family, working so many years, night and day, so long as our physical strength would allow, and being harassed by the law for debt, (after the destruction of my former office and machine shop by incendiarism,) sued for slander because I published the truth upon a man who had acted unjustly in his official capacity as sheriff—wading through all these trials and troubles of six years duration, and beginning to live a little more comfortable, mobocratic violence has fallen upon us again, and our whole means of subsistence been destroyed. To stand by and behold these ravages filled the hearts of my family with irrepressible grief.

It is well known by the citizens of Newport that I have been among the foremost in the encouragement of all our Edition: current; Page: [66] public improvements, and have spent much time and money to that end. * * * * *

The stories told about me as having correspondence with Brown at Harper’s Ferry, and the officers there having a letter from me to him, are without foundation or truth. I never saw Mr. Brown—never wrote to or received a line from him in my life, nor knew any thing about his movements until the difficulty was published in the newspapers.

Falsehoods have been thrown into circulation here by persons professing the most frantic terror at the “horrible” thing I was about to do; that I contemplated the capture of the United States Barracks of this place, intending to arm the negroes here (although there are none to arm) and commence war upon the slaveholders in the State; but how any person could be so credulous as to believe such an extravagant story is alone with the wicked plotters who destroyed my office to conceive. * * * *

On the first night of attack, a pocket-book, containing one hundred and fifty dollars, which I handed to my wife, was lost in the confusion, and has not been heard of since.

My loss in printing material and damage to the house is about three thousand dollars.

I have transgressed no law of Kentucky, nor do I intend to do so; but I ask protection from lawless violence in the legitimate publication of my paper. I dislike the taking up of arms, even in self-defence; but, for the righteousness of my cause, the dignity of my State, and the honor of my people, I shall maintain my position, and labor, and I ask the friends of true American liberty to aid me. The spirit of freedom and true greatness is beginning to be planted upon Kentucky soil, and it illy becomes the legal authorities to stand aloof and suffer the freedom of speech and of the press to be trampled under foot, to stifle that liberty which tyrants in all ages have sought to overthrow.


Note. The Grand Jury of Campbell county found bills against about a score of persons for a riot, in the destruction of Mr. Bailey’s paper, the Free South. The State’s Attorney, hearing of this, argued the matter before them, taking the ground that it was the law that where a nuisance existed which could not be reached by law, the people had a right to abate it. The jury sought the opinion of Judge Moor on the question, and he told them that it was the law; whereupon they reconsidered and quashed the indictments!

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Some years since, Mr. Reuben Salisbury, then of Sandy Creek, in this county, and brother of Mason Salisbury, Esq., disposed of his property, and, with his family, removed to Virginia, where he engaged in the business of farming, and where he led a peaceable and peaceful life, until the unfortunate occurrence at Harper’s Ferry. He was a quiet man, a member of the Baptist Church, and estimable in all the relations of life. Though not an advocate of, nor an apologist for, the institution of slavery, he was a man who attended to his own business, meddling with nobody’s slaves, and questioning no man’s privilege to hold them, if he was satisfied that it was right to do so. He was a man of rare integrity and moral worth, charitable, tolerant—in short, a good man.

Well, a short time since, a complaint was lodged against this gentleman, who is now about sixty years of age, some kind of a process obtained, and about twenty of Virginia’s chivalric sons deputed to execute it. They were all armed, and, visiting the premises in a body, they had no serious difficulty in capturing Mr. Salisbury. A search was then instituted for evidence to sustain the charge that had been preferred against him. His house was ransacked from cellar to garret; every nook and cranny was peered into, and his private papers fumbled over, and the hunt had well-nigh proved fruitless, when a few copies of the Albany Evening Journal, which had been sent him by his friends in Sandy Creek, were discovered, and the venerable old man was hurried off to jail. Here he remained several days, but was finally admitted to bail, and by the advice of friends, was induced to quit his home in the Old Dominion and the State of his adoption. He returned to Sandy Creek last week. His farm in Virginia he advertises for sale at auction, and expects it will go at a sacrifice of from $2,000 to $3,000.

So much for Virginia justice. We ought to add, that the magistrate before whom Mr. Salisbury was arraigned belonged to the same church with that gentleman, for that will show the kind of Christianity they have down in that section.

This occurrence has created considerable sensation and no little indignation among Mr. Salisbury’s former neighbors and Edition: current; Page: [68] friends. And is it remarkable that it should? Turning to the Constitution of the United States, and learning that the object of that instrument, according to the preamble, was to “establish justice” and “secure the blessings of liberty,” they very naturally ask themselves if “liberty” and “justice” have not, in this instance, been ruthlessly trodden under foot? John Brown and four others were adjudged guilty of murder, and have been executed, for their attempts to run black men out of Virginia; what is the offence of those other men who are engaged in running white men out of the State? If it be a high crime to seek to deprive slaveholders of their property, is it a justifiable proceeding to divest non-slaveholders of theirs? Are doings of this sort calculated to increase our respect for the Union, to allay the anti-slavery feeling at the North, and bring us over to the faith of those who are opposing what they term “sectionalism”? Has the time indeed come when people living South must stop reading Northern newspapers? Shall we of the free States be denied the privilege of sending papers to our friends who have gone South to reside? Shall we stop corresponding with them, lest we get them into difficulty?

We cannot reconcile these things with our notions of justice. If a man leaves New York and takes up his residence in Virginia, we expect he will conform to the laws of the latter State, and in so doing he ought to be protected in his person and property, and we think he would be, if the head of the Government cared as much for the rights of freemen as for the wishes of the slaveholding oligarchy; in other words, if our Federal Executive was an impartial ruler. Such a ruler may we not hope to elect in 1860?—Pulaski (N. Y.) Democrat, Dec. 29.

A mob of pro-slavery men recently broke up a school taught by Robert Milliken, at Kirksville, Mo. He was conceded to be a good teacher, and personally unobjectionable, but was guilty of having a father who had incautiously expressed anti-slavery sentiments in a letter to a friend in New York!

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Among the many ludicrous incidents consequent upon the raid of the eccentric and fanatical man, the late John Brown, upon the unsuspecting and peaceable citizens of Harper’s Ferry, there was one in which a resident of this county bore a very conspicuous part.

One of the peaceable and exemplary Shakers from New Lebanon, in this county, was on his yearly tour through south-western Pennsylvania and the adjacent parts of Virginia, peddling his garden seeds, or rather, supplying his old customers with their usual stock for the ensuing spring demand. While quietly moving along the highway with his horses and wagon, with a close box (painted green, probably) in which his seeds were packed, secure from rain and fogs, and without even knowing that he had passed the boundaries of Pennsylvania, and entered into the land of chivalry, he was suddenly arrested in his progress, and charged with being an incendiary Abolitionist. His vigilant captors were informed that though his closed wagon-box contained materials that would expand, if properly sowed in their gardens in the spring, they were not really of an explosive nature.

The Virginia vigilants were incredulous, strongly suspected that he was a very dangerous character, and proceeded with due care and caution (probably fearing that some “infernal machines” were mixed up with the small boxes containing seeds) to overhaul and examine the contents of the wagon. Though finding neither powder, nor Sharp’s rifles, nor warlike pikes, they were far from being satisfied that all was right—pronounced him to be a very suspicious and dangerous character, and lodged him in jail, or some other safe “lock-up,” for the night.

On the following morning, a company of brave and chivalrous militia was assembled, with muskets and bayonets in hand, and, with the soul-inspiring music of life and drum, he was safely escorted and guarded back from “Old Virginia’s shore” into the State of Pennsylvania, and the agitation and alarm caused by his presence in that part of the “Old Dominion” Edition: current; Page: [70] quieted and allayed; and then did the chivalry breathe calmly and freely again.

This incident is regarded as eminently worthy of being recorded in history as the first occasion on which it was found necessary to call out a military company for the protection of the citizens of any community from the evil designs of an unoffending, unwarlike and non-combatant Shaker.—Kinderhook Rough Notes.


A public meeting (says the Kingstree (S. C.) Star) of a portion of the citizens of Williamsburg District, S. C., was held at Boggy Swamp, at Mr. McClary’s store, on Tuesday, the 22d inst., for the purpose of taking the preliminary steps of ridding the community of two Northern Abolitionists, who have been for some time teaching school in said district. The two characters are W. J. Dodd and R. A. P. Hamilton.

Nothing definite is known of their Abolition or insurrectionary sentiments, but being from the North, and therefore necessarily imbued with doctrines hostile to our institutions, their presence in this section has been obnoxious, and, at any rate, very suspicious; therefore the meeting was called. On motion, Samuel W. Maurice was called to the chair, and James Potter acted as Secretary. On taking the chair, the Chairman explained the object of the meeting, whereupon, on motion, it was

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, the presence of W. J. Dodd and R. A. P. Hamilton in this community, under the present critical condition of public affairs, touching the institution of slavery, is obnoxious; and although we entertain great respect for the persons in whose employment they have been, yet we deem their longer continuance here as being so dangerous and suspicious as to be our sufficient apology for taking some coersive measures for their removal.

Resolved, That a committee of twelve be appointed to proceed forthwith to the whereabouts of said Dodd and Hamilton, and give them notice that they will have until Saturday, the 26th, to leave the District.

The chair appointed the following as a Committee to wait upon them:

R. C. Logan, Chairman; T. S. Chandler, Dr. W. L. Wallace, Edition: current; Page: [71] John M. McClary, T. A. McCrea, W. H. Griggs, R. H. Shaw, James Potter, S. J. Strong, Wm. McCullough, Enoch Dudley, James C. Murphy.

Resolved, That another public meeting of all citizens in the District favorable to the move is hereby called in the court-house at Kingstree, on Saturday, the 26th, M., to hear the report of said Committee; and if said gentlemen do not quietly leave, pursuant to notice, by that time, that then such measures of a coersive character will be adopted as in the opinion of said meeting may be necessary to put them off by force.

Resolved, That these proceedings be published in the Kingstree Star.

On motion, the meeting adjourned, and the Committee proceeded to the performance of their duty instanter.

S. W. MAURICE, Chairman.
James Potter, Secretary.
G. S. C. DeSchamps
DeSchamps, G. S. C.
T. W. Dinkins
Dinkins, T. W.


At a public meeting (says the Sumter (S. C.) Watchman) of the citizens assembled on Wednesday afternoon last, at the Town Hall, Col. G. S. C. DeSchamps was called to the chair, and T. W. Dinkins, Esq., requested to act as Secretary. The Chairman having stated the object of the meeting, asked if gentlemen had prepared business for the consideration of the meeting; whereupon the Chair (in conformity with a motion to that effect) appointed the following Committee to report on business: T. W. Dinkins, D. J. Winn, H. L. Darr, A. Anderson and W. L. Pelot. The Committee, in a few minutes, reported the following preamble and resolution. After discussion, they were unanimously adopted:—

Whereas, disclosures of an inflammatory character are brought to our notice by every mail, showing that it is time for every slaveholding community to be on the alert for its own security and protection of its interests; and whereas, notwithstanding the warnings from the press growing out of the present state of the country, stragglers from the North continue to visit and tarry in our town as agents for books, medicines, &c., whose real object may be to act as spies and Abolition emissaries; therefore,

Resolved, That we, the citizens of Sumter, in public meeting assembled, do call upon and request our Town Council to institute a rigid surveillance on all such transient persons; and where full satisfaction is not given, to notify such persons that their presence in our community is not to be tolerated.

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It was further moved and adopted, that a committee of five be appointed to lay the foregoing preamble and resolution before the Town Council. In accordance with which motion, the Chair appointed Messrs. W. E. Dick, L. P. Loring, H. Haynesworth, A. A. Nettles and Dr. J. L. Haynesworth a committee.

It was also resolved, that the meeting, when adjourned, be adjourned to meet again on Wednesday next, 23d inst., at 11 o’clock, and that an invitation be extended to the citizens of the District to attend and co-operate in measures for the public safety.

G. S. C. DeSCHAMPS, Chairman.
T. W. Dinkins, Secretary.


A large meeting of the citizens of Barbour and adjoining counties was held at the Court House in Phillippi, Virginia, on the 7th ult., the same being court day for said county, to express a public sentiment concerning the late insurrection at Harper’s Ferry. Among the resolutions passed were the following:—

“Whereas, we contemplate with shame and detestation the late deadly affray at Harper’s Ferry, from which it appears that a treasonable scheme has been for some time in preparation by certain instigators and emissaries of ‘Irrepressible Conflict,’ ‘Higher Law,’ and Abolition doctrines, whose end and aim is an assault and warfare upon the constitutional and guaranteed rights of the Southern States of our great confederacy; and whereas, by this attack on an arsenal of the United States, in the heart of the nation, and on the soil of our beloved Virginia, encouraged by advices and counsels from individuals in various of the Northern States, and emboldened by the appliances of money, and stores of arms and ammunition, furnished by accessories to this treacherous scheme of plunder and murder, it is evidenced to our belief Edition: current; Page: [73] that no mere riot of deluded fanatics was intended, but that a great, bloody and destructive project of civil war was contemplated, in which our servants and citizens, in co-operation with their Northern leaders and abettors of this rebellion, were expected to join in the plunder and butchery of their masters and brothers; therefore,

Resolved, That we will, at all times, as Virginians and citizens of the United States, hold ourselves ready, as one man, to bear arms, even to death, if necessary, in defence of our constitutional rights, our liberties, and our homes.

Resolved, That while we deprecate this invasion of Harper’s Ferry as the ebullition of a blind and misguided fanaticism, which has resulted in bloodshed and the loss of the lives of valuable citizens of our State and country, we, notwithstanding, assert a confidence in the conservative element and spirit of the mass of the Northern people, and that our brethren there will unite with us in strengthening the bonds of government, the preservation of law and order, and in suppressing the incendiary movements and purposes of an infuriated and misguided portion of their population, who blindly plot the destruction of the Union.

Resolved, That a committee of thirteen be appointed, whose duty it shall be to notify all persons in our county, known to be Abolitionists, to leave the county of Barbour in sixty days, if there should be any in our county.”

Six Salesmen Sent Back to New York. A large and well-known business house in New York (who carry on a large trade with the South in the two articles of liquors and Union-saving) were greatly surprised to find that their great zeal in getting up the recent Union meeting had profited them nothing among their Southern customers. Six of their salesmen and agents were summarily forced to leave the South, and recently returned to their employers. Perhaps the firm will think twice before they sign a call for another meeting at the Academy of Music.

Edition: current; Page: [74]

The New York Journal of Commerce says that the following incendiary handbill was received, a few days since, “by a highly respectable citizen, an American by birth, a patriot and a Christian, to whom it was addressed through the post-office. The envelope was post-marked Montgomery, Alabama, Nov. 25. The carrier who delivered it remarked to our informant that he had several others of the same appearance, addressed to other persons in his beat. It is probable that a large number of the same have been forwarded to different places at the North and West.”




You who have always been true to the Constitution and the South—who have never degraded yourselves to the level of the African race, as the dirty Free-Soilers do—you are aware that the borders of Virginia have been profaned by the tread of the Free-Soil assassin. The South looks to its Irish friends in the large free cities to effect a diversion in its favor, and for this purpose the United Constitutional Irish Association has been formed, of which some of you are (and doubtless all will be) members. In the great cities, prominent Free-Soilers and Abolitionists own large factories, stores and granaries, in which vast sums (made out of the South) are invested. This fact furnishes a means of checking their aggressions on the South; and the Irish friends of the South are relied on to make the check effective. Property is proverbially timid. Whenever a hay-stack or cotton-gin is burned at the South by Free-Soil emissaries, let a large factory, or a plethoric store, or an immense granary, in New York or Boston, be given to the flames. To make this course safe, your Association must be true to itself and its principles; method, caution, your double secrecy, will insure the safety of the actors. Southern gentlemen will be constantly among you, amply supplied with means to remove those whose patriotism has subjected them to suspicion. Besides, many friends will be found, both among Southern steamers’ crews, railway conductors, and the police. In fact, you will find friends and funds on every hand. Be energetic, Edition: current; Page: [75] therefore; go at once to your Foreman, and see if he cannot introduce you to the Association, if you are not already a member.

Let us urge you to disseminate among your fellow-laborers the idea that you have not wages proportioned to the present high scale of prices. When once the mass of your countrymen are filled with the notion that the Free-Soil capitalists are withholding the price of Irish labor, while trying to incite the negro of the South to rebellion, it will be easy enough to gather large mobs of your brethren, and when large mobs assemble, ware-houses may be burst open or fired. Be careful, however, that only the property of Abolitionists is harmed; every where protect those who are friendly to the South and true to the Constitution.

Irishmen! the South relies on you! Depend on it, that for every dollar’s worth of injury to our enemies in the Northern factories, &c. &c., by riot or the torch, the South will amply compensate, and, besides, furnish you a safe refuge and a homestead. rightpointing1 Remember to apply at once to your Foreman, for particular instructions. If he should not be able (which is not likely) to inform you, show this privately to some Irish gentleman of intelligence, after ascertaining his feelings towards the South. Thousands of copies of this confidential circular will be sent by Irish people in the South to their friends at the North.

F. Snow
Snow, F.
Dec. 28th, 1859
Glastenbury, Conn.


The Rev. Mr. Alberton was brought to his home—three miles from here—last Friday, with one leg broken and his head and arm bruised, by a fall from the cars, on his way home from Alabama, where he went a few weeks since, in the employ of Mr. Stebbins, of Hartford, peddling books. He was arrested after the John Brown invasion, on suspicion of evil designs, and imprisoned twelve days. The suspicion was Edition: current; Page: [76] founded on a passage found in a letter to another person, in the same business, from Mr. Stebbins. The suspicious sentence was this: “Take the best men, be faithful, do your work thoroughly; my agent in this section is the Rev. Mr. Alberton, whose head quarters is at ———.” I don’t recollect the name of the place. On this expression they founded a suspicion of treason, and sent forthwith to the place and arrested Mr. A., and the mob gathered around and cried out, “Shoot him, shoot him!” “hang him, hang him!” He was searched, tried, and false charges were brought against him, and he was thrust into prison. He was so excited that he finally had turns of derangement.

His case being reported to Mr. Stebbins, he procured the testimony of persons in Hartford, Gov. Seymour and others, who could be trusted, and he was released, and paid $60 for false imprisonment. He was put on board of a steamer on the Alabama river to Montgomery, and thence by cars came home. In a fit of derangement, he jumped out of the cars this side of New Haven, and lay from 6, P. M., Thursday, to 3, A. M., Friday, when he was found, and accompanied to Hartford.

I saw him on Monday of this week. He is very feeble, and lies prostrate, bruised and mangled, like the “man who went from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves.” He is unable to talk much yet, he is so exhausted and excited. He has a family consisting of a wife and six children; is an Englishman by birth; has preached in this part of the town five years, and has preached in this country about ten years. He owns a house in Manchester, and suspends preaching on account of the inconvenience of moving about with a family of small children. He is a whole-souled, large-hearted Englishman and Christian; a man of unblemished moral character, and in good standing. He spent last winter in North Carolina, and preached at times on the Sabbath to his own and all other denominations.

Yours, &c.,

Helper, the author of the Impending Crisis, had a lot of his books burned at Maysville, Ky., a short time since.

Edition: current; Page: [77]
Nov. 20, 1859
Salisbury, N. C.


Correspondence of the Newbern (N. C.) Daily Progress.

A few days ago, two Abolitionists of the most flagrant kind, from Connecticut, under the guise of book agents, were put in jail here. At their examination before Mayor Shaver, many damning facts were elicited in connection with their prowlings through Salisbury and neighborhood, in the shape of tampering variously with slaves, pulse-feeling of non-slaveholding whites, confabing with free negroes, &c.; indeed, they were arrested in a free negro house, in which it was stated they had sojourned, a la Hotel de Dumas! All this, together with the incoherent and contradictory statements made by themselves, relative to their business and movements, warranted the Mayor in ordering them to jail to await a trial. The indignation of the citizens was so wrought up that the miscreants begged piteously for protection, from the office to the jail.

On Saturday forenoon, an Irishman, named Tait, was loudly announcing to a crowd in front of the post-office that he was an Abolitionist, and that he hoped before long every slaveholder’s throat would be cut; he has been in this vicinity some eight years, and, by those who know him, is said to possess a fine school education—to have been a bookkeeper at one time here. Since I have been here, two years, he has been a common laborer, very low in his conduct and associations, and habitually drunken; he is also said to be very quarrelsome, very cowardly, and, covertly, very malicious, spiteful and revengeful. I mention these facts that you may understand the rather culpable leniency of the people here in this case. Well! continuing to express his worse than seditious sentiments and wishes, a crowd soon gathered, by whom he was seized and carried down to the yard of the Mansien Hotel, where, I really believe, had he retracted, they would have let him go, in consideration of his having been in their midst and known to them so long (an aggravation of his crime, in my mind); but when questioned, he repeated what he had before said in a mocking and spiteful manner; also acknowledged Edition: current; Page: [78] to and glorified in having wrote passes for the slaves of Mr. J. Clark (one of his examiners) and others, to trade with, &c. They then proceeded to remove a luxuriant crop of dirty red hair from his head, after which they peeled him to the waist. The day being rather cold, and it being resolved to ride him out, “without horse, saddle or bridle,” they humanely replaced the articles of covering of which they had divested him with a very neat-fitting garment of North Carolina manufacture—tar is the name; but this was not enough, for the more fastidious and tasteful J. B., who, resolving to combine the ornamental with the useful, rushed into my neighbor C.’s room, seized one of his pillows, and soon had its contents all artistically attached to Tait’s new coat; it was a complete success; and I remarked to some one that, with their limited practice, they could “tar and feather” with neatness and dispatch. Now, to a man of mind, principle and honor, such a degradation would be worse than death, and he would die rather than submit to it, but of such men Abolitionists are not composed, particularly those who have been living any length of time in the South, where they have ample opportunity to know the negro and his position; their sentiments are caused by that malignant and jealous hatred and envy which is too often found to exist in the hearts of the ignorant and vicious poor towards the good, the intellectual or the wealthy, or to all combined. When they rode Tait out, he did every thing like a buffoon, to attract attention; this disgusted me so much that I did not follow. I thought that his thus glorifying in his disgrace as well as his crime would incense the parties who were carrying him out of town to such an uncontrollable degree that they would hang him, and he richly deserved it, for the necessities of the times imperatively demand terrible examples, through short trials and condign punishments, in such cases. They only ducked him two or three times in a creek, however, and let him go, he refusing to leave the State or retract any thing he had said, and, when at a safe distance, turned and threatened several of the parties with a speedy and terrible vengeance. A crowd of us went down to see the upshot of the affair, and finding him gone, and learning particulars, blamed them for their forbearance in thus letting him go, worse than he was before. Some then started after him on horseback. It was twenty-four Edition: current; Page: [79] hours before they recaught him. He is now in jail, with the two precious villains from Connecticut. All irresponsible (i. e., non-property holding) parties from the North, at the present time, are naturally enough looked on with distrust by the people here, and all of them who have deeply pondered on the subject of slavery, and are still anti-conservative, should immediately leave. The peace of society here and their own personal safety require it; for the criminal suggestions of the higher law delirium, which they attribute to inspiration in their unprincipled leaders, will be viewed here as something worse than the oozing out of distempered natures and the vapors of spleen, which are the mildest terms possible by which to designate their diabolical rhodomontade.



To the Editor of the New York Times:

I see in your Times of Monday last, I am put down as one of the unfortunate individuals lately sent away from South Carolina with a “new coat of tar and feathers.” Not quite so bad as that, but, nevertheless, I was sent away, and without the least shadow of a reason. I had gone down there like any other honest Northerner, with trunk and books, and recommendations, and, having got a place in a little village by the name of Orangeburg, went to teaching. Thinking myself perfectly secure, and having got a very good place, I began to be considerably satisfied, when suddenly my quiet was broken up, and I was ordered to take my books and recommendations and trunk, and start for the North. It was a week ago on Saturday last, about two o’clock in the afternoon. I thought it best not to confine myself too much to my room, but take a walk. Accordingly, I took a short tour of the village, stopped at the post-office, and then called on one of my friends. To avoid suspicion of being thought an insurrectionist or an emissary of John Brown, as the Southerners think Edition: current; Page: [80] all the Northerners among them are, I had been especially careful not to say or do any thing that would at all alarm, not even whispering that slavery was an abominable thing, nor attending any of their “nigger meetings,” except once or twice by special request, and in company with some of my friends.

Such being the case, one would naturally think himself safe enough in any place, especially in one that professes to have reasonable men. So I thought, but, having stayed awhile at my friend’s, and read his papers, I was on my way back to my boarding-house, thinking, I believe, about Coleridge—something or other of his speculations—“Stop a minute, if you please; going up to your room?” and before me were standing Capt. Salley, Maj. Glover, and one or two others I did not know. Meaning to pass the time of day, and not expecting any such visitors, I was unprepared for receiving company; nevertheless, I gladly accompanied them to my room, and, as politely as I could, gave them seats. “Hem! We might as well commence business,” said Capt. Salley. The rest assented, and then he went on to say that they had been appointed a committee, by the citizens of Orangeburg, to inform me that I must leave the place in the next train. If he had said, Take a trip in the New York City across the Atlantic, I could not have been more astonished. “You surprise me,” I said, and wanted to know the reason of such a course. This was the contemptible thing offered as such: “They had come to the conclusion I was not exactly a proper person to be allowed among them, on account of my political sentiments.” How they knew my political sentiments was, of course, a mystery; for no one there knew them. But they chose not to reason further; “the exigencies of the times demanded it.” I “might be innocent for aught they knew; but the case was such, the innocent had to suffer with the guilty.” I asked them for a chance to vindicate myself; I asked them for time to collect my bills; I asked them to lend me money to get away with. They granted neither. I then appealed to them as men endowed with reason; showed the cruelty and foolishness of what they were doing; but the only answer to every thing was: “You must expect the consequences, or leave town by the next train,” which would be in about two hours. They did, however, at last agree to collect Edition: current; Page: [81] my bills, and give me money enough to get to Charleston; and having assured me I should not be troubled by a mob, left the room.

I left it, too, a short time afterwards, considering it best to go where my own will might control the ways and means of my own body—this flesh and bones that troubled them so, because it came from the far North. I thought it best to take care of it, and not let it get broken, or bruised, or covered over with Southern slime, mixed up with prickly quills. This is the sum and substance of the affair, though I might say a good deal more of other men who were sent out in the same way, and some, alas! who got the “tar and feathers.” I do not blame all the Southerners. A good many I found whole-hearted, noble souls, whose memory I shall always cherish; but those men who sent me away, and the brainless hotheads, generally, there, I hardly know what to think of. I would have said nothing about them—not wishing myself to be connected with their little, silly, villanous affair—but they have already put it in the papers; and it is only justice to myself and friends prompts me to give as much as I have, merely a plain statement of facts.


Resolutions of a public meeting at Beaver Dam Depot, composed of citizens of Hanover, Louisa, Spotsylvania and Carolina Counties, Va.:—

1. Resolved, That all classes in our community have one common interest in opposing the wicked intermeddling of the Abolitionists in our affairs.

2. Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to each other to keep a strict eye on all suspicious persons, particularly on all strangers whose business is not known to be harmless, or any one whatever who may express sentiments of sympathy or toleration with Abolitionists, either directly or indirectly.

3. Resolved, That Vigilance Committees, twenty-five in number, be appointed to act in the 4th and 6th magisterial Edition: current; Page: [82] districts, whose especial duty it shall be to carry out the foregoing resolutions, in which all our citizens are expected to cooperate; all suspected persons are to be brought before the chairman of each committee, who, with any two members, may act, and either bring them to trial or drive them from the neighborhood, as may be determined.

4. Resolved, That the Delegate and Senator from this county be requested to endeavor to have the law of criminal trials so amended that a Justice of the Peace may be authorized to require the Sheriff in this county to empanel a jury for the trial of any person brought before him on a charge of encouraging or promoting insurrection or insubordination among the slaves; and also to have the sentence of the jury executed without delay.

Wm. S. Demott
Demott, Wm. S.
Dec. 20th, 1859.
Cove Spring, Mercer Co.
B. R. Sulgrove
Sulgrove, B. R.


Mr. B. R. Sulgrove:
Dear Sir,

I will endeavor to write you a few lines, and I know it will surprise you and my friends. I started from Indianapolis last Monday, the 14th. Little did I think, when I got here, that I would be notified to leave the State, or take a coat of tar and feathers for being an Abolitionist. On Saturday, I went up to Harrodsburg from here; and when I came back, there was a company of slaveholders here to arrest me for being a negro-stealer from the North, and they notified me to leave the State. I told them I was ignorant of the laws of Kentucky, but I thought the law of the land was that before they could hang a man, they must find him guilty, and therefore I should not go until I got ready; and if they chose to apply the tar and feathers, they could pitch in; but I thought they would have a warm time of it before they got through. That is what they call Democracy here—the man that can scare and catch the most men from the North here Edition: current; Page: [83] is the man they intend to run for the next Congress. But I told them I did not come from Indiana here to be run off by a pack of ruffians. I told them I lived in a free State, and was a Republican; that every man spoke his sentiments there, and, thank God, I was glad of it. They may hang me yet—I can’t say what they will do—but I want it distinctly understood that I am no negro-lover.

I was going to start back to-morrow, but I shall remain longer, to let them know that they can’t scare me: and if any thing worse occurs, I will try and let you know.


Since the above letter was put in type, we have seen Mr. Demott himself, who has returned home. He says he was arrested on Monday following the writing of his letter, and put in jail till the next day, when he was released on $500 bail. The charge against him was that he was tampering with some body’s slave. He was on a visit to some of his relatives, and his guilt has just the extent, and no more, of being an Indianian. His attorneys, Hon. J. F. Bell, the Opposition candidate for Governor last fall, and Mr. Fox, certify that there was no evidence of the truth of the charge. The fact is that the feeling in Kentucky, as in all the other slave States, makes criminal purposes of the mere presence of free State men; and while this feeling lasts, it is actually useless for an Indianian to visit the interior of Kentucky, unless he chooses to play the lick-spittle to their prejudices. The arrest of Mr. Demott, from all that we can learn, was nothing, and was intended to be nothing, but the most offensive mode of insulting and outraging his Republican opinions. He made no concealment of them, though he did not offensively parade them, and his imprisonment shows the appreciation that Kentuckians have of freedom of speech and opinion. People from that State will never be molested here for an expression of their opinions. May be they may learn some time that it will be wisest for them to show equal liberality.—Indianapolis Journal, Dec. 24th.

Edition: current; Page: [84]


The Belfast (Me.) Age publishes a letter from a correspondent in Georgia, giving the revolting particulars of a gross outrage committed upon a ship’s crew near Jeffersontown, in that State. The writer says:—

“The brig B. G. Chaloner, of East Machias, Me., was chartered in New York to come to Statilla Mills, on the Statilla river, to load lumber. Capt. A. V. Kinney was master, who had with him his wife, Mr. Patterson the mate, and a crew of four men.

Mr. Patterson was well acquainted with the river, having once been wrecked up White Oak Creek. At that time, while stripping the vessel, he lived with a wealthy planter, who became much attached to him. No sooner had his planter friend—Mr. Morrissey—learned that he was again on the river, than he sent a negro to conduct him to the house. Mr. Morrissey, learning that the Captain had his wife with him, sent a pressing invitation by Mr. Patterson for the Captain to come, and bring his wife with him, to take a Christmas dinner with his family.

On Sunday morning, Dec. 25th, the Captain, with his wife and mate, took the crew in the boat and started for Mr. Morrissey’s plantation, having to go about fifteen miles by water to his place of landing, from which, to the plantation, was five miles. After landing, he sent his men to Mr. Peters’ house, (he being acquainted with Mr. P.,) to tarry until his return. The crew had been in the house but a short time when six armed men came there, by the names of David Brown, and his two sons, Burrill Brown and Nathan Brown, with their brother-in-law, Thomas Harrison, and two others whose names I don’t recollect, and told them they must go to jail. The sailors, believing their innocence would appear the more apparent if they yielded, concluded to obey their orders, supposing they were authoritative. They were then taken into the woods, tied to a tree, and a negro made to give three of them fifty lashes apiece. The reserved one was a tall man, of the height of six feet three inches, whom they called ‘the captain of the crowd.’ Upon his back, they dealt one Edition: current; Page: [85] hundred lashes. After he was taken down, they asked him if he would run as fast as the others had—they having been compelled to run as fast as released. As he did not at once start, one of the gang raised his gun, saying, ‘—— you, you won’t run, won’t you?’ and fired, the ball passing near his head, and lodging in a tree. With what strength remained, the suffering man then started, hastened by the profane threats of his menacing tormentors. By the kindness of Burrill Brown’s wife, the men were shown the way down, and a boat was provided to take them on board the vessel.

On Monday morning, as Capt. Kinney, his wife, and Mr. Patterson were coming down toward the landing, they were met by the men who took the sailors aboard, and told what had happened, and advised to go back to Mr. Morrissey’s and leave the woman, and then go round the other way and send a sheriff for the boat. This advice was acted upon. They had not gone more than half a mile before they were overtaken by a man on horseback, who pointed a double-barelled gun at the captain’s head, and told him to stop. Presently, old Brown and his gang came along, armed with pistols and guns, and ordered the captain and mate to take off their coats, which they refused to do. Guns were at once cocked and levelled at their heads, and compliance demanded by threatening to blow out their brains.

After they had divested themselves of their outer garments, a negro was ordered to give them fifty lashes apiece. The captain’s wife piteously interceded in behalf of her husband and companion, but they coarsely told her to stop her d—d crying, or they would give her the same number of lashes they were now giving her husband. After the negro had completed his task, old Brown, who was unable to walk without a cane, came hobbling along, and commanded the slave to give them four more for tally.

The six inquisitors then marched the sufferers before their guns to the boat, and shoved it off, leaving them to row fifteen miles, against the tide, to their vessel.

A few days after the transaction, the mate showed me his back, which was bruised and cut from his neck to his knees, as was also the case with the others who were flogged.

The only reason given for committing this outrage was, that the captain and his men were ‘damned Northerners.’ ”

Edition: current; Page: [86]


We have to-day to add another to the already long catalogue of outrages on the liberty of speech committed in behalf of slavery.

Rev. Mr. Howe, a Methodist clergyman in Harrison Co., Missouri, was challenged by a Kentuckian neighbor to debate the slavery question. He accepted the challenge in good faith, and the debate took place, with no unusual circumstances, about six miles from Bethany, the county seat. Immediately afterwards, Mr. Howe was arrested. A man owning $3,000 worth of slaves had made affidavit that he was “an Abolitionist,” and demanded his incarceration in the penitentiary. A prosecution so evidently malicious and absurd did not alarm Mr. Howe until his return to town, when he found that all the lawyers, with one exception, had combined to refuse to defend him. Out of this combination were selected W. G. Lewis, Circuit Attorney, and J. W. Wyatt, to conduct the prosecution. The one exception was O. L. Abbott, Esq., a native of this State, and a graduate of the Albany Law School. He undertook Mr. Howe’s defence, but was allowed no time for preparation. Notwithstanding he offered, in behalf of the prisoner, any amount of bail, and asked that the examination might be postponed, he was compelled to go on immediately, without having had an hour’s time to ascertain the nature of the case or obtain evidence, and that, too, in regard to an offence hitherto unknown to the record of crime!

During the examination, the court sustained every objection made by the prosecuting attorneys to questions which were all-important to the interests of the defence. The defendant was required to produce all the testimony in his behalf in court at midnight! At one o’clock, however, the judge, for his own convenience, having other business coming on in the morning, consented to a postponement for two days. In the mean time, all the influences that could be exerted to embarrass the defence were resorted to.

When the trial was resumed, the town was filled with people from all parts of the county. The large court room was densely crowded. The evidence closed late in the afternoon. Edition: current; Page: [87] Mr. Abbott summed up his case, assisted, since no lawyer would assist him, by Rev. John S. Allen, who, though a slaveholder himself, was not willing to see his own disgraced by such tyranny against free speech. Judge Lewis followed in a fanatical pro-slavery tirade against the prisoner, his counsel, “incendiaries” and “Abolitionists” in general, and the case was submitted for decision.

That decision will be looked for with interest, even at this distance from the scene. The crime with which Mr. Howe is charged is defined as “uttering words, the tendency of which is to excite any slave to insolence and insubordination,” [Missouri R. S., vol. 1, p. 536,] although it was shown in evidence that there was not a negro, bond or free, within two miles of the place of debate! The penalty for this offence is five years’ imprisonment at hard labor in the penitentiary.

During and since the trial, threats have been freely made of “tar and feathers” against the prisoner’s counsel, and various attempts made to intimidate and drive him from the place.—Albany Evening Journal, March 7.

Jas. P. Milliken
Milliken, Jas. P.
Jan. 28, 1860


To the Editor of the New York Tribune:

In the Tribune of Jan. 6, you publish a letter of mine to Mr. Anthon, of New York, which has caused great excitement here, and subjected me and others to much abuse.

My son, Robert Milliken, graduated last June at Antioch College, in Ohio, and established a school here the 6th day of last month, and was doing well. He gave general satisfaction until my letter to Mr. Anthon was published in the paper here. Suspicion was fastened on him as the author of the letter, and the pro-slavery men, alias the Democrats, commenced threatening to break up his school. His assistant, a young man by the name of Ira Chamberlain, was violently Edition: current; Page: [88] assaulted at a public meeting, and struck a blow on the head. Notwithstanding I came out and avowed myself the author of the letter, and they poured out a flood of abuse on me, they do not abate their persecution of my son.

Yesterday, a Methodist clergyman called upon him, and told him that money would not hire him (the clergyman) to stand in my son’s place; for, said the clergyman, your life is in danger. I hope and trust that he was mistaken. I am sure that if whiskey were let alone, there would be no danger. I have been informed by some Free-State men, who have not openly avowed their Free-State sentiments, and consequently mingle with the pro-slavery squads who are engaged in discussing this matter, that the pro-slavery men threaten to make me leave the State. What the result will be is difficult to conjecture, but I think they will hardly carry matters thus far. Still, it is hard to say what men will not do when intoxicated with modern Democracy and pro-slaveryism.

I live out of town, and have had nothing to say on political matters since I came here, for the reason that all my time has been employed in improving my farm, having made improvements costing over $2,000. It is true, when asked what party I acted with, I have answered, with the Republican, which is nearly enough to forfeit all rights as a citizen. So, there is no feeling against me except for my politics, and this letter to Mr. Anthon.

At a public meeting held at the court-house in Kirksville, the Democrats read extracts from the “Compend,” and denounced the book and me in no measured terms. What I regretted the most was, they read extracts that I could not endorse. When I get the book and read it for myself, and not have it dealt out to me in garbled extracts, it may put a different face on these passages. They could hardly find words strong enough to show their hatred to that part of the book that advises non-slaveholders not to patronize slaveholders, and all who endorsed such procedure by circulating the book. Now, the very next morning, these same men went to work in good earnest to break up my son’s school, who had circulated no Compends, but simply because I had written that letter, and that he was an anti-slavery man. They have succeeded in driving half of his scholars from his school. Edition: current; Page: [89] To show the strong efforts they made to break up his school, I will here copy a letter that he received from one of his patrons:—

Robert Milliken
Milliken, Robert
Mr. Robert Milliken:
Dear Sir,

It is with regret that I take my son from your school. It is not because of your political views, or any disrespect I have for you or any of the family, but I want to live in friendship with all men, and my friends are falling out with me. I could not send him much longer any how. To save difficulty with other men, I will take him away. Don’t think hard of me.

“Yours, with respect,

The author of the letter told a neighbor that he was in danger of being mobbed if he did not take his son out of school. Look into these statements, and you can see the men who are so shocked and outraged at Helper’s advice to non-slaveholders not to patronize slaveholders.

Slavery has crushed the spirit of ’76 in all the slave States. Since I came to Missouri, I have been astonished to see the restraint it exercised over free-labor men from the free States. To hear them say, “I know that slavery is a curse, but it will not do to say so publicly,” makes one feel that the patriots of the Revolution bled in vain for the rights secured to us in the Constitution of the United States, for their unworthy posterity are about to yield them up to satisfy the demands of slavery.

Yours, truly,

Exclusion of Free Negroes from Mississippi. The bill for excluding free negroes from the State of Mississippi passed the House on the 7th December, by a vote of 75 to 5. It provides that they shall leave the State on or before the 1st of July, 1860; or, if they prefer to remain, that they shall be sold into slavery, with a right of choice of masters at a price assessed by three disinterested slaveholders, the proceeds to go into the treasury of the county in which the provisions of the bill may require to be executed.

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The Hon. Mr. Edmundson, of Virginia, is well known as a most courteous and unexceptionable gentleman. But under a very quiet demeanor, he carries a chivalrous estimate of the respect due to his own personal honor and the good name of the State to which he belongs.

So it chanced a few days since, as the Hon. Mr. Hickman was leaving the House of Representatives, he was followed and accosted by Mr. Edmundson, who held him to account for the slanders uttered by him against the State and people of Virginia.

Just as Mr. Hickman said, “I did not mean to”———his disclaimer was cut short by a slap in the face from Mr. Edmundson, accompanied with the emphatic assertion that Mr. Hickman was a “d——d scoundrel.” At this moment, Messrs. Keitt and Clingman, who were leaving the Capitol at the same time, seeing from Edmundson’s manner that he intended to chastise Hickman, and knowing that they would be placarded in the Tribune next day for a conspiracy to beat an unprotected free-soiler, ran up and seized Mr. Edmundson, who struggled very violently to inflict further indignities upon the affrighted Timour.

According to our information, Hickman’s hat had been knocked off, and he had staggered back with an aspect and attitude of the most abject alarm. Mr. Keitt cried out in a loud voice to Mr. Hickman, “Pick up your hat and go away; we can’t hold this man all day!” and added to Mr. Breckenridge, who was passing at the moment, “Take him along.” The bewildered Hickman collected his hat and mechanically obeyed the conservative counsel, and soon, like one of the discomfitted heroes in Homer, “ascended the Black ships,” or took refuge in some Republican stronghold. Nor has he been since heard from, so far as we are advised, by cartel, military proclamation, or otherwise.—Washington States.

The Washington correspondent of the New York Evening Post gives the following account of this disgraceful affair:—

“The attack upon Mr. Hickman on Friday evening by Edmundson, of Virginia, creates a good deal of excitement Edition: current; Page: [91] among the opposition members. The attack was entirely unprovoked, and was made by a large, stout man, accompanied by two of his friends, upon a weak, slight, sick man, who was alone. Mr. Hickman was walking down the Capitol steps, when Edmundson approached him, saying: ‘You made a speech the other night at Willard’s Hotel.’ ‘I did,’ replied Mr. Hickman. ‘And d——n you, you slandered my State, you liar and coward,’ continued Edmundson, at the same moment striking him with his cane across the head. Mr. Hickman was about to repel the assault, when he was caught by Vice President Breckenridge, who led him away; Keitt, and Bouligny, of New Orleans, taking care of Edmundson. It is reported that Keitt called out to Breckenridge, alluding to Hickman, ‘Take the hound away!’

It will be remembered that both Keitt and Edmundson were the instigators of the attack upon Sumner, and stood sentinel while Brooks did his bloody work. No one thinks Mr. Keitt had any thing to do with the recent outrage except to separate the parties. I understand that Mr. Hickman bled at the lungs freely the night and morning after the brutal attack upon him. It was remarked yesterday that Mr. Breckenridge was in the House for half an hour, and all the time he sat laughing with Edmundson, who, overcoat on and cigar in his mouth, sat upon one of the sofas in the extremity of the hall, and finally the Vice President went out with his Virginia friend, as if he meant to testify to the House his approbation of the attack on Mr. Hickman. It must be remembered that the brutal attack was unprovoked, and if the excuse be offered for Edmundson that he was tipsy, it will be replied that when sober he offered no apology. I think it is safe to say that the offence will not again be repeated this winter, for every Republican member will henceforth be prepared for any assault, at any time, even at the breakfast and dinner table; for Southern gentlemen choose most singular places and occasions to attack Northern representatives.”

A Blacksmith Driven Away. Benjamin F. Winter, a blacksmith by trade, has been ordered to leave the town of Hamilton, Harris County, Ga., by a meeting of citizens, for avowing Abolition and incendiary sentiments.

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On Monday last, Marshal McDonald brought before the Vigilance Committee two men, named Manchester and Bishop. About the first of December last, the Vigilance Committee examined two young men who were procuring subscriptions to the American Cyclopædia. It was charged on them that they had been tampering with slaves. The Committee not deeming the evidence against them sufficient to authorize summary punishment, they were discharged, with the injunction to leave the State, and to abandon their agency, and inform the publishers or their agents that the book should not be delivered in this county, the Committee at that time thinking they were agents for Appleton’s “New American Cyclopædia,” which had been condemned by Mr. Pryor, and which was regarded by the Committee as being incendiary in its tendency.

The two men, Manchester and Bishop, notwithstanding the warning given to Smith and Tilden, undertook to sell them, whereupon they were arrested, and upon examination, a book was found in their possession entitled “Cotton is King,” which, after a careful perusal by Dr. W. S. Price, R. S. Wier, and ourself, who were appointed a Committee for that purpose, was reported as being incendiary and of a dangerous character.

It was further shown in evidence against them, that they had sold and circulated said book in this county and Newton. After much discussion as to what action the Committee should take in the premises, the vote was taken, when six present voted to turn them over to the authorities, and five voted to treat them to a coat of tar and feathers. The majority ruling, they were then turned over to R. T. Kennedy, Esq., who committed them to the county jail, to answer at the spring term of our Circuit Court.

A strong feeling on the part of the citizens to tar and feather them was manifested, and, as for our part, we think that the proper way to deal with such men. The books were burned in the street.—Enterprise (Miss.) News.

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Albertis Patterson, a citizen of West Finley township, in this county, happened to be at Haineytown, a small village in Virginia, situated near the line that divides that State from this county, on or about the 25th ult., and was accosted by three of the chivalrous citizens of that region, named Seaton, Caldwell and Wherry, and interrogated as to his political opinions. He replied that he was a Know-Nothing, when his interrogators charged him with being a “Black Republican or Abolitionist,” and asked him if he did not sympathize with John Brown. To this he answered that he was a Republican; and as for John Brown, he “believed that Gov. Wise was as big a fool as he was.” Upon making this declaration, he was violently seized by Seaton and Caldwell, a rope was procured, looped and thrown around his neck, and the desperadoes immediately proceeded to strangle him, which they most unquestionably would have succeeded in doing had it not been for the interference of two men, named Armstrong and Bemer, who happened to be on the street at the time. When Patterson was rescued from his brutal assailants, his face was black from strangulation, and his neck bruised and discolored by the abrasion of the rope.

The scoundrels, we are sorry to say, escaped unpunished; but should any such demonstrations be made in future by the chivalry of that region, we are assured the ruffians will be hanged to the nearest limb. They will find that Haineytown is not Charlestown, although both villages are within the jurisdiction of the Old Dominion, where every petty postmaster and country squire is, ex officio, inquisitor of the opinions of his neighbor. But Haineytown catches some of the healthy breezes of independence from our western boundary, and it is not quite a safe experiment there to choke people to death, even for believing that his late Excellency, Gov. Wise, is a little weak in the upper story.—Washington (Pa.) Tribune.

In Charlottesville, Va., a man from the North, named Rood, has been arrested on suspicion, and papers found on him sufficiently important to warrant his imprisonment.

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Two Young Ladies Driven Out of Richmond. Two intelligent young ladies, formerly well known in the choirs of churches in Boston and Hartford, went to Richmond in September last with a view of establishing a private school. They soon gained the confidence of many friends, and succeeded in starting an enterprise which gave fair prospect of speedily prospering. As soon as the recent excitement began, they were waited upon by some very respectable gentlemen, who informed them that Northern school-mistresses, however amiable and competent, were not the proper persons to teach the children of Southern parents and guardians! The ladies were forced immediately to break up their school. Wishing, on account of their health, to remain in a Southern climate, and hearing of a vacancy in a school in another city in Virginia, they made application and presented their letters. They received a reply from a clergyman, who wrote to them as follows:—

“The Board of Trustees met yesterday, and passed upon the various applications, yours among the rest. I deeply regret to say, that although your recommendations were altogether the most favorable, your proposal was immediately rejected, as soon as the fact became known that you were both from the North. The feeling is so strong, and the foolish excitement has run so high, on the subject of Northern people, that the community here seem almost blind; and if they continue in their present policy, they will lay themselves open to severe criticism, if not to censure.”

Accordingly, the ladies, being compelled to leave Richmond, and unable to find a place for the soles of their feet any where else in Virginia, and knowing the uselessness of going further south, took an early train to New York. One of them still remains in this city, where she is anxious to procure a situation as soprano singer in a choir, or as a teacher of music to private pupils. Any application sent to her through the office of the Independent, addressed “Richmond,” will be immediately forwarded to her. The name of Mr. Horace Waters, music publisher, is among her references.—New York Independent.

Pushed Off a Railroad Car. A passenger on the Mississippi Central Railroad was pushed off the train while it was in full motion, for denouncing Gov. Wise and lauding John Brown.

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Expulsion of Free Negroes from Arkansas. At the late session of the Arkansas Legislature, an act was passed giving the free negroes of that State the alternative of migrating before January 1st, 1860, or of becoming slaves. As the time of probation has now expired, while some few individuals have preferred servitude, the great body of the free colored people of Arkansas are on their way northward. We learn that the upward bound boats are crowded with them, and that Seymour, Ind., on the line of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, affords a temporary home for others.

A party of forty, mostly women and children, arrived in this city last evening by the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad. They were welcomed by a committee of ten, appointed from the colored people of the city, by whom the refugees were escorted to the Dumas House, on McAllister street, at which place a formal reception was held. They were assured by the Chairman of the Reception Committee, Peter H. Clark, that if they were industrious and exemplary in their conduct, they would be sure to gain a good livelihood and many friends. The exiles, as before stated, are mostly women and children, the husbands and fathers being held in servitude. They report concerning the emigration, that hundreds of the free colored men of Arkansas have left for Kansas, and hundreds more are about to follow.—Cincinnati Gazette, Jan. 4th.

Two Heads Half-Shaven. The steamer Huntsville, which arrived in New York from Savannah, on Monday, Dec. 19th, brought several passengers who had been driven away from different parts of the South. Among them were two gentlemen whose heads were shared on one side! They had been exiled from the chivalrous State of South Carolina! One of the victims avowed his determination speedily to return to execute vengeance on his maltreaters.

At Danville, Va., a clerk in the Post Office saw a man throw a letter, which he had just gotten, into the stove, and, on taking it out, found it to be a proposition for running off slaves. The man was arrested.

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How Two Organ-Grinders were Tarred and Feathered.—We have private intelligence from a friend in Alabama of a case of tar and feathering which is both serious and comical. Two Italian organ-grinders, who could scarcely speak a word of English, made their way from Mobile into the interior of the State, to earn a livelihood by itinerating with their poor tunes. After playing in a bar-room in a small town, and gathering all the pennies which Southern generosity was likely to bestow upon such entertainment, they asked to be directed to the next town. Whereupon, a wag took a piece of paper, and, under pretence of writing down the necessary direction, gave the poor men a fatal letter, somewhat as follows:—

John Brown
Brown, John
To the Knowing Ones:

Pass my Italian friends. All right. Mum’s the word.

(Signed) JOHN BROWN, of Osawatomie.”

The music peddlers, on reaching the next town, faint and weary with the weight of their organs on their backs, went immediately to a tavern, and unwittingly presented their letter of recommendation! They were at once taken by the whiskey drinkers, stripped, threatened until they were terrified out of their wits, tarred and feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail! Such is Southern chivalry!

The New York Independent Outlawed. A correspondent in Texas, who has for years received the Independent, has written to us to stop it, as the continued sending might cost him his business and possibly his neck. No Northern publications but the New York Herald and the Nassau street Tracts are now considered safe reading on the other side of the line.—New York Independent.

Narrowly Escaped Lynching. An Italian grocer, named John Ginochio, narrowly escaped being lynched by the citizens of Petersburg, Va., last Monday, for saying that John Brown was a good and very useful man, and, instead of being hung, he ought to have been made President of the United States.

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Mr. J. P. Gillespie, of New Albany, Indiana, publishes a card in the Ledger, of that city, in which he explains the circumstances connected with a recent visit which he made to Franklin, La., for the purpose of practising his profession. On his arrival there, it became noised about that he was an Abolitionist. A committee waited on him and advised him to leave the place forthwith if he wished to escape lynching. Mr. G. denied the accusation. A large crowd assembled around the hotel to carry out the threat, and Mr. G. armed himself and walked out into the crowd, demanding to know the person who made the accusation. Capt. Atkinson was given as the author, who had said that he (Gillespie) had gone into Kentucky, with an armed band of men, to rescue a “nigger” thief by the name of Bell, and that they had carried off some slaves at the same time. Mr. Gillespie left on the following day on a steamer for Berwick Bay, and then for New Orleans, accompanied by a number of persons from Franklin, who pointed him out as an Abolitionist. Immediately on his arrival at New Orleans, he took passage on an up-river boat.

We learn that Rev. George Candee, Rev. Wm. Kendrick, and Robert Jones, missionaries of the American Missionary Association, in Jackson County, Ky., (Jones, a colporteur,) were recently, near Laurel, where they were preaching, waited upon by a committee of five, and requested to leave. They were engaged to preach the next morning, but were prevented by a mob, which took them a half mile and interrogated them, then took them five miles further and left them, after shaving their hair and beards, and putting tar on their heads and faces. Mr. Kendrick was in the Union Theological Seminary of this city last year.—New York Independent.

The Sylvania (Georgia) News reports that two book agents were treated to thirty-nine lashes each, after the style of “Russian executioners,” by a planter in that vicinity, recently, because they had visited his plantation and rendered themselves not only disagreeable by their volubility, but suspicious by their conduct.

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They have a most iniquitous way of legislating on some subjects in the State of Maryland. The Commmittee on Corporations of the House of Delegates recently had an investigation into alleged frauds in the passage of the City Passenger Railway Ordinance of the city of Baltimore. Among the witnesses was Mr. Jonathan Brock, and he was questioned after the following manner. We are not able to see exactly what this has to do with railroads, but we suppose the Maryland Legislature could tell:—

Q.—Will you state whether you have any Black Republican proclivities? A.—I have not. I do not belong to that crowd. Q.—Did you ever know Passmore Williamson? A.—I do not. I would not know him, if I saw him. Q.—You never, of course, engaged in any effort to rescue him from the grasp of the law, or from punishment? A.—No, sir. Q.—Do you know whether your associates, or any of them, are Black Republicans? A.—I do not think they are; they are not politicians. Mr. Grove is an American, and sometimes takes part with the opposition. Q.—To what party do you belong? A.—The old line Whig. I have not meddled with polities since 1844; it would not do well. I am engaged in business in Florida. Q.—You mentioned Mr. Miller, of Pennsylvania. What is he; an American, or a Democrat? A.—A Democrat. He was Clerk of the Senate. Q.—No Black Republican? A.—I don’t think he is. Q.—And none of your people are tainted with it? A.—They are all Union men. Q.—It has even been charged that your wife is some connection of Lucretia Mott; did you ever see her? A.—I have seen her. Q.—Does she know you? A.—No, sir. Q.—Does your wife know her? A.—She knows her in the street, but she is no connection of hers, and no acquaintance. Q.—Your road is never used to run off negroes from Baltimore? A.—No, sir, and never shall. Q.—Has Simon Cameron directly or indirectly any interest in this road? A.—He has not. Q.—Is it understood that he is to have any, or his friends? A.—There is no promise; no understanding. He is with the other side. Q.—He and you are not friendly? A.—No, sir. Q.—You are antagonistic? Edition: current; Page: [99] A.—He is here, endeavoring to get this grant after the passage of it. Q.—Is the party of which the counsel spoke known as the Black Republican or Republican party? A.—In some States, it is called the Opposition party. Q.—When was the last State election in Pennsylvania? A.—In October. Q.—Where were you at the time? A.—I do not recollect whether I was in Pennsylvania, or not. Q.—Did you vote? A.—I do not recollect that; I am not positive. Q.—Who were the candidates for State officers? A.—I do not know; I took no part in politics. Q.—Did you vote in 1856? A.—I did not vote for President, in 1856. Q.—Have you voted since the party, known as the Republican party, has been in existence? A.—It is not called the Republican party in our State. Q.—The Opposition, then? A.—I have. Q.—How did you vote then? A.—I voted a mixed ticket—for my personal friends—I did not care whether they were Americans or Democrats. Q.—Have you voted for a Congressman since that time? A.—I presume I have, but really, I do not know who the candidates were, I tell you plainly. Q.—If a Democratic Congressman were running, and an Opposition candidate, which one would you vote for? A.—Whichever was my personal friend. Q.—Suppose neither was? A.—I can’t tell; I have no decided politics. Q.—Was, or was not one of your associates elected to the City Council in a Black Republican ward? A.—I do not know that one was elected.

White Families Leaving Virginia. The New York Times says that it has reliable information when it states that, in consequence of the Harper’s Ferry affair, the heavy property-holders of Virginia begin to see that the subject of slavery is destined to produce interminable strife in that State in the future, and materially decrease the value of property. Families are accordingly preparing to leave the State; panic pervades all classes of citizens; there is no freedom of speech; suspicion and distrust are abroad; the last resort to check the progress of crime, the jury system, has become weak and corrupt; the spirit of religion is dying out, and infidelity taking its place. The country, according to this representation, is in fact but one degree removed from anarchy.

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H. T. Tewksbury
Tewksbury, H. T.
Feb. 15th, 1860
Aurora, Illinois


Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.

With your permission, I will occupy a small space in your paper, as a witness against the tyranny and oppression in the South. I have resided in Louisiana and Arkansas over ten years, was engaged in teaching, and am an official member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Since the Harper’s Ferry affair, the Southern people have a peculiar hatred against Northern and Eastern people, irrespective of party.

In January, a spy was sent to me to ascertain my political views, endeavoring to extort from me a confession that “slavery was a social, moral and political blessing,” (or sentiments to that amount,) and also to have me enlist in a military company, to be ready “to fight the North, and particularly the Yankees, in the next expected outbreak”; to “be ready to fight for the dissolution of the Union,” &c.

I informed the spy that “I could not, consistently with my convictions of right and wrong,” and further, “I would not!” that “I was proud of Yankeedom as the land of my nativity, and that I would sooner die than take up arms against my parents, brothers and sisters.”

Three days after, I was waited upon by a gentleman slaveholder, showing me resolutions, signed by nearly all the planters in that vicinity, resolving themselves into a “Vigilance Committee, for the security of their slaves, pledging themselves one to another to examine every non-slaveholder, and satisfy themselves beyond a doubt of the soundness of every person; and should they find any one of whom they should have the slightest suspicion, they would communicate at once one with another.”

The gentleman then accused me of receiving Abolition literature, saying that a Congregational Herald was found at the post-office addressed to me, and that I had correspondence and associations in the North and East. This I admitted; also that “I was anti-slavery from the bottom of my heart.” He then notified me “to leave within thirty-six hours; that Edition: current; Page: [101] he would protect me that length of time, but he would not promise me my life to be safe any longer.” I consented to leave rather than lose my life. I was obliged to leave all my property, library and all, not being allowed time to collect my claims or pay my debts, or to talk with any non-slaveholder—breaking up my school, and throwing me out of employment.

I have reason to praise God that I am once more free, in a land where the truth is not muzzled, where free discussion is tolerated, and that I have emerged from that savage wilderness where reigns the prince of darkness, whose haunts are commanded by slaveholders and dealers in human flesh, where, as long as life shall last, and I have the power of expression, and as long as I can wield a pen, I shall bear testimony against that debasing system which is oppressing so many millions of our human race.

Thanks be to God that there is a party in the North, the great Republican party, that great terror to the South, who are riding forth to conquer, whose great moral influence is being felt in all the remotest parts of slavedom.


Frightened by a Blind Girl. The Wheeling (Va.) Intelligencer publishes the statement of a blind girl, who was recently expelled from Martinsburgh, Va., on suspicion of being an Abolitionist. She says: “Some of the people treated me kindly enough, but the lady of the house insisted that I was an Abolitionist; that coming as I did from Indiana, I was not entitled to belief. A gentleman came into my room uninvited and questioned me in an impudent manner. I applied to a minister, who said he would be glad to assist me, but would advise me not to stay during the excitement. It was in consequence of this that I was compelled to leave.” In addition to this, the conductor of the train upon which the blind lady and her sister arrived, told us, in the presence of a number of gentlemen, that the ladies were not permitted to remain. He was asked if he knew them, and upon replying that he did not, was told that “they could not stay there.”

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A correspondent of a Richmond paper makes the following offer:—

“$100,000 Reward.—Messrs. Editors,—I will be one of one hundred gentlemen, who will give twenty-five dollars each for the heads of the following traitors:

Henry Wilson, Massachusetts; Charles Sumner, Massachusetts; Horace Greeley, New York; John P. Hale, New Hampshire; Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn; Rev. Dr. Cheever, New York; Rev. Mr. Wheelock, New Hampshire; Schuyler Colfax, Anson Burlingame, Owen Lovejoy, Amos P. Granger, Edwin B. Morgan, Galusha A. Grow, Joshua R. Giddings, Edward Wade, Calvin C. Chaffee, William H. Kelsey, William A. Howard, Henry Waldron, John Sherman, George W. Palmer, Daniel W. Gooch, Henry L. Dawes, Justin S. Morrill, I. Washburn, Jr., J. A. Bingham, William Kellogg, E. B. Washburn, Benjamin Stanton, Edward Dodd, C. B. Tompkins, John Covode, Cad. C. Washburn, Samuel G. Andrews, A. B. Olin, Sidney Dean, N. B. Durfee, Emory B. Pottle, DeWitt C. Leach, J. F. Potter, T. Davis, Massachusetts; T. Davis, Iowa; J. F. Farnsworth, C. L. Knapp, R. E. Fenton, Philemon Bliss, Mason W. Tappan, Charles Case, James Pike, Homer E. Boyce, Isaac D. Clawson, A. S. Murray, Robert B. Hall, Valentine B. Horton, Freeman H. Morse, David Kilgore, William Stewart, Samuel B. Curtis, John M. Wood, John M. Parker, Stephen C. Foster, Charles J. Gilman, C. B. Hoard, John Thompson, J. W. Sherman, William D. Braxton, James Buffington, O. B. Matteson, Richard Mott, George K. Robbins, Ezekiel P. Walton, James Wilson, S. A. Purviance, Francis E. Spinner, Silas M. Burroughs. And I will also be one of one hundred to pay five hundred dollars each ($50,000) for the head of William H. Seward, and would add a similar reward for Fred. Douglass, but regarding him head and shoulders above these traitors, will permit him to remain where he now is.


An exhibition of wax figures, including the Savior and the Apostles, and John Brown, was burned by a mob at Milton, Florida, recently.

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Expulsion of Two Mechanics. The Lafayette (Ia.) Journal has the following incident: “Two well known citizens of Lafayette, Freeman Patt and Henry Frounfelter, were driven out of Louisiana, a few days ago, on suspicion of entertaining Abolition sentiments. The two were brickmasons, and had gone there to build a sugar-house for a planter living sixty miles from New Orleans. After having worked about two weeks, they were waited upon by the planter and informed that their services were no longer required. They inquired the cause of dismissal, but received no satisfaction, further than a request to leave as soon as possible. It being near evening, and the steamboat landing about five miles from the plantation, they requested the privilege of remaining until morning, which was refused. They then proceeded to the landing, escorted by a number of persons armed to the teeth, who waited until a boat came along, when they were hurried on board, and admonished to leave the State, and not return. The hint was taken, and the two gentlemen arrived here on Wednesday night, thoroughly disgusted with life at the South.

A Philadelphia Drummer Menaced. The Griffin (Ga.) Democrat says: “A drummer from the house of H. Bancroft & Co., Philadelphia, by the name of Gonnally, insulted a gentleman connected with one of our business houses, a few days since, by the use of language not altogether understood, but, interpreted, meant opposition to slavery. The drummer, finding he had picked up the wrong customer, made an apology satisfactory to the injured party, and thereby escaped a severe flagellation, which he, no doubt, deserved. Some of these drummers have the impudence of Old Nick. It will do no harm to watch them all. Our motto, when one of them insults a Southern man, upon Southern soil, is to show him no mercy, under any circumstances, until he learns to treat with respect the rights and property of those he seeks to make money out of by a regular system of espionage in divers ways. For ourselves, we are sick and tired of submission in such cases. One or two examples of the right kind would produce a radical change in a short time. The ‘Q. V. X. Q.’s’ should be on the look out. They may have some fun.”

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Treasonable Linen. We have seen a private correspondence from a Northern gentleman now travelling in the Southern States, which states that a very worthy and quiet mechanic from New England was driven away from a village in Georgia, because his valise contained a clean shirt, wrapped up in a copy of the New York Sun, containing Henry Ward Beecher’s sermon on the Harper’s Ferry affair. Whether the Georgians objected to the clean shirt or the paper is not stated; but as the Sun is in the interest of the pro-slavery Democracy, we presume the shirt was the occasion of their anger. The test of party affiliation appears to be the same at the South as at the North—clean linen being prima facie evidence of Republicanism, and the contrary of Democracy.—Grand Rapids (Mich.) Eagle.

A Trap to Catch Hon. Joshua R. Giddings. A correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, who has lately visited Richmond, writes from Mayfield, Ky., that while in Kentucky, he learned of a deep-laid scheme to capture J. R. Giddings, for the purpose of trying him for treason, etc., in view of his connection with the Harper’s Ferry insurgents. This scheme is founded upon the reward offered recently, anonymously, for the bringing of his person to Virginia. This amount has been raised for this purpose, and the object will be to seize him and cross the line into Kentucky and Virginia immediately. The correspondent, who writes anonymously, says further: “I would have addressed Mr. Giddings directly, but do not know his post-office. I would advise him to be ever on his guard, and keep as far from the Ohio river as possible. I offer no apology for not giving my name, living as I do in the South.”

A young man named Baker, formerly an organist and daguerreotypist at Rome, New York, and son of Rev. Mr. Baker, of Utica, was lately driven from Augusta, Georgia. Mr. Baker went to Augusta to take the position of organist in an Episcopal Church, and had played but one Sabbath, when he was warned to leave, or submit to a coat of tar and feathers.

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Summary Lynching at Chappell’s Depot, South Carolina. A fearful tragedy was enacted at Chappell’s Depot, South Carolina, on the morning of February 6th. It seems that a man calling himself James C. Bungings was observed prowling about the vicinity for several days, having apparently no recognized business to detain him in the place. The Vigilance Committee watched his movements closely.

He was finally tracked, on Sunday night (the 5th), and the Committee, being satisfied of his evil intentions, arrested him: and upon examination, found any quantity of papers, showing that he was one of Brown’s associates, with a commission to go into all the South, with a view of corrupting the minds of the negroes to make as many converts as possible to the Abolition faith, and to induce as many negroes as possible to decamp for the North.

The evidence was deemed sufficient, and he was taken into custody and detained for the night. In the morning, he was led forth in front of Chappell’s Railroad Depot, and told to prepare for immediate execution. There were about fifty persons present, but not one voice was raised to save him from his terrible doom.

After offering up a long prayer, the wretched man asked to see a clergyman, but there being none present, he called on God to forgive the Vigilance Committee, if they were in error; or if he was the one who erred, to have mercy on his soul.

He was then mounted on a ladder, a rope with a slip-knot put round his neck, the other end of which was drawn over the limb of a tree. At nine o’clock, A. M., the ladder was knocked from under him, his neck was broken, and in a few minutes he was dead! The body was left hanging to the tree until twelve o’clock, the time at which the passenger train is due from Columbia. It was then cut down, and the mortal remains of James C. Bungings were given to the medical students for dissection.

The Rockville (Md.) Journal says that a man was arrested near the Great Falls, in that county, on Wednesday last, for the expression of a feeling of sympathy with the late rebellion at Harper’s Ferry. He is now in the county jail.

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A Southern Outrage. A German peddler, named Moses Schlosstein, well known in this place, and who has pursued his business in this region, was the victim recently of a gross outrage in Georgia. He was selling his wares in Merriweather, one of the western counties of the State, about sixteen miles from Greenville, the county seat. He was passing a blacksmith shop, where there was a crowd gathered, and saluted them politely, as traders generally do. But the “non-intercourse” fever forbade them to reciprocate the civility. They seized him, and proceeded to beat him unmercifully. This assault was an outburst of chivalrous feeling, and then, feigning a suspicion of his having “incendiary documents” in his possession, they followed and caught him again. With their knives, they ripped open his pack, cutting his goods to pieces; they then stripped him, beat him outrageously, and left him insensible. When he returned to consciousness, he found that he was cut about the face and body, and that the thumb of the right hand was broken. He gathered together his ruined goods, and fortunately found a fearless and hospitable man, who kept him ten days, when he was able to travel. He is now staying with Mr. Myerson, his relative, in this place. Mr. Schlosstein has been in the habit of voting the Democratic ticket, but he thinks the treatment he has received from his brother Democrats has about induced him to change his mind in that regard.—Norristown Herald.

It will be remembered that we published, some weeks since, an account of the sacking of the house of John C. Underwood, of Clarke County, Va., and the assault and wounding with a bayonet of one of the women of that neighborhood, who resisted the entrance of the brutal soldiery into her house, and was thus disabled, in defence of herself and daughters from the licentious and drunken forces of Gov. Wise, in the absence of her husband. We now learn that this woman was the wife of Martin Feltner, a tenant of Mr. Underwood, a most worthy member of the Methodist Church, and the mother of fourteen living children—ten sons and four daughters. We are glad to learn that a contribution is to be made by our citizens as a testimonial to her courage and virtue.—New York Tribune.

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Another Outrage. Mr. David Fuld, clothing dealer, of West Chester, having a claim to collect in Warwick, Cecil county, Md., went down, taking a free colored man, David, along as a carriage driver, when an excited crowd gathered about the house, exclaiming, “Hang the d——d northern nigger,” “shoot him,” “fine him $150,” “fine him $500,” and other expressions peculiar to that latitude. A “squire” was in the crowd, and informed Mr. Fuld that the legal fine was $20, and the costs 25 cents. (As no warrant was issued, we suppose this was for the use of the mob.) Mr. Fuld paid the fine, and took a receipt, which the constable endorsed good for five days for the “negro.” But his prompt payment seemed to annoy them. They used abusive and insulting language, and swore he should not take the “nigger” back to Pennsylvania. One man offered him $800 for the negro, and he was told that he had better take that than nothing, for he would have to go home without him. Some one suggested that it would be safest to leave, when Mr. F. and his man left, without finishing his business, and returned to Pennsylvania with exalted notions of our “ga-lo-rious” Union!—Norristown (Pa.) Republican.

Methodism Dangerous in Kentucky. It appears by the Cynthiana News, that the members of the Methodist Church, North, in Kentucky, are considered dangerous members of society. The News calls the Conference which is to meet at Germantown, Ky., on the 8th of March, Bishop Simpson to preside, an “Abolition Conference,” and quotes a denunciation of the Fugitive Slave Law from the Western Christian Advocate, when Bishop Simpson was the editor, as evidence that he is a dangerous man, at the head of a dangerous abolition association!

The Methodist Episcopal Church, North, has an Annual Conference in Kentucky, with 24 travelling preachers from Ohio, according to the News, and 31 local preachers, and 2,496 laymen, scattered along the Ohio river, from one end of the State to the other. The News insists that slaveholders should desist from driving out such small fry as Fee & Co., until they can manage “one of the most powerful abolition associations in the world, in our midst!” What next?

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A few days ago, two or three gentlemen from Philadelphia took a jaunt to the home and grave of the father of his country, and were studiously watched, as if they had come armed with fire and sword, or as if they were resolved to poison the entire State. On their return, having purchased three canes cut from the homestead of Washington, which they had wrapped in a blanket shawl, they soon discovered that they had become objects of suspicion, and it became necessary for them to explain that they carried no deadly weapons. Bear in mind that the large Mount Vernon fund has been begged principally out of the North.

Georgia. The Legislature of Georgia has passed a law, making it unlawful hereafter for any itinerant person or persons to vend or sell in that State any article of value, not manufactured in Georgia, by sample or otherwise, without a license. The license is “one hundred dollars, or other sum, at the discretion of the Inferior Court of the county” in which the peddling or sales are made. An additional tax of one per cent. on one hundred dollars sold is imposed. The penalty is fine and imprisonment.

A law has also been passed providing that free negroes, wandering or strolling about, or leading an idle, immoral, or profligate course of life, shall be sold into slavery for a period not exceeding two years for the first offence; but upon conviction of a second offence, they must be sold into perpetual slavery.

The Montgomery (Ala.) Mail, of Tuesday last, says:—“Last Saturday, we devoted to the flames a large number of copies of Spurgeon’s Sermons, and the pile was graced at the top with a copy of ‘Graves’s Great Iron Wheel,’ which a Baptist friend presented for the purpose. We trust that the works of the greasy cockney vociferator may receive the same treatment throughout the South. And if the Pharisaical author should ever show himself in these parts, we trust that a stout cord may speedily find its way around his eloquent throat. He has proved himself a dirty, low-bred slanderer, and ought to be treated accordingly.”

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A Methodist Preacher Driven from His Work. Benjamin Brown, a colored Methodist preacher, sent by the Conference to labor among the colored people of Milford and Slaughter Neck, was arrested, on Friday last, at the instigation of some of the citizens of Slaughter Neck, for being a non-resident. He was taken before Esq. Revill, who was compelled by the law to fine him fifty dollars. He was also ordered to leave the State in five days, or again be subject to fine and imprisonment. It seems, that besides preaching on the Sabbath, he had opened a school, in which free colored children, in great numbers, were learning to read and write; and this excited the opposition that was manifested in enforcing an inhuman law. The preacher is said to be a quiet, peaceable man. His work among the free negroes of this vicinity was elevating and improving them; but to this many white men are opposed, never seeming, while they abuse the negroes for their immoral and vicious practices, to consider that it is their ignorance and degradation that make them so, and to remove which, intelligence and moral elevation is absolutely necessary. Ignorance is the mother of vice, and knowledge is the father of virtue, among all classes of men.

Many of our citizens have since signed a petition to the Judge for this county, for a permit to allow Brown to remain and attend to the duties to which he has been assigned by Bishop Scott; but the Judge has not yet granted it. Brown was ordained a deacon in the church by Bishop Waugh, late of Baltimore, and to Elder’s orders by Bishop Baker.

A son of Brown was also engaged in teaching in Milford, but on receiving notification, he left the town, and probably the State.

“Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”—News and Advertiser, Delaware.

A correspondent of the Missouri Republican says that F. P. Blair was near being arrested by the gensdarmes of Virginia, while eating his dinner at Martinsburg. He was let off, he adds, on giving assurances that he was going to Washington as fast as the locomotive would carry him.

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A New Test. The Galena (Ill.) Advertiser states that a former resident of that city, a bricklayer, had just returned from Mississippi, where he had found employment at his trade, under the following circumstances. He determined, when settled at the South, to keep his own council with regard to his views upon slavery. Acting upon this course, he managed to glide along smoothly for some time, without molestation. At last, a new test was applied to his “sympathies:”

“One rainy day, when the hands were detained in the house, a slave having failed to build as good a fire from green wood as the overseer wanted, the slave was ordered to be thrown down by the latter, and to receive one hundred and fifty lashes, as a punishment. As there was but one room for shelter, our friend was compelled to stand by and see the inhuman cruelty inflicted, or go out and stand in the rain. He promptly chose the latter, and at the end of half or three-quarters of an hour, came in, drenching wet. He was met by a laugh, and a remark by the overseer, that perhaps he did ‘not like to see such fun.’ His only reply was, that he did not, and nothing more was said on the subject. The next day, a saddled horse was brought up to the door, and he was informed that he could leave that part of the country. He was informed that he could ride into Natchez, and leave the horse and saddle at a particular livery stable. With true British pluck, he refused the service of the animal, and walked to Natchez on foot, and soon made his way back to Galena.”

A young lady from one of the hill towns of Massachusetts is now teaching in Virginia. After the John Brown affair, notice was given out that she could not have any of her letters from the post-office, until they had been opened and read, in the presence of witnesses, to see if they contained any “incendiary matter.” She immediately went to the office, and demanded that her letters should be delivered to her unopened. The Postmaster looked at her a moment, saw that she meant what she said, and delivered her letters to her. She still remains there teaching, unmolested, but says that all that saves her from a coat of tar and feathers is the fact that she is a woman.

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Feb. 18, 1860
West Chester
Mr. Walter,

As it is two days’ journey (sometimes) from this to old Chester, and as long back again, how does it happen that you have beaten all of the four newspapers here, and furnished the Athenians with an account of some of their own doings, before they could tell it themselves? not to speak of giving such fresh news to the benighted “aboriginees” just outside, where your paper circulates pretty extensively. I leave this for you to answer at leisure.

A gentleman who left New Orleans in December, told me, a few days ago, that in coming up the great river on a steamboat, they picked up a man who has been a school-teacher, at a certain place in Kansas, for six years past. He had been kindly placed on a log, (to save his life, of course,) and was comfortably furnished with clothing suited to the times, namely, a close-fitting jacket and pants of a dark material you rarely hear of in that direction, and a well-wadded overcoat of that article sometimes treated of in works on ornithology—I like to be brief. His friends had been thus thoughtful to reward him for his sincere endeavors to teach the dark skins how to read and write, as well as in consideration of his six years’ faithful services. This gentleman also stated that in passing the mayor’s office in Macon, Georgia, he saw about a dozen rails, cushioned at the ends and sharpened in the middle, ready for use at the shortest notice, one with the mayor’s mark upon it—doubtless a two-edged one. But enough—as I want to go South some day, I had better close here.


Wholesale Proscription. In the Oxford (Miss.) Mercury, of last week, we find the following:—

“We believe that if the excitement gets much higher, all Northern-born people, of whatever grade, standing, or time they have been living here, will be forced to leave. They never can hope to be considered or treated in the social circle here with the respect once shown to all people of respectability. An Englishman, or any foreign gentleman, is now more highly respected by the people of the South than a Yankee.”

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Another Expulsion from Kentucky. Mr. D. B. Hamilton, of Trumbull county, removed from Ohio to Kentucky, last October, for the purpose of keeping school. He received the Western Reserve Chronicle regularly, and the New York Tribune occasionally. Mr. H. was in Medina on Thursday, having been driven out of Kentucky by the pro-slavery mobites, for a high misdemeanor, thus related by the Gazette:

“He, on one occasion, took the New York Tribune in his pocket into the school room, and laid it on his desk, and some of the larger scholars seeing the paper in the school room, informed the citizens of the fact. The result was, that Mr. H. was arrested and tried, for introducing incendiary reading matter into the public schools, fined one hundred and fifty dollars and costs of prosecution, and warned to leave the State immediately. They kept his wages back to pay his fine, and drove him off with one dollar in his pocket, leaving his wife and children behind, not having the means to take them with him. Mr. H. is now on his way to Trumbull county, to raise the means to send for his family. He has walked all the way from Kentucky, near five hundred miles, and came into our town pretty badly used up. It is not necessary to make many comments of any kind on such proceedings, but they will show the freemen of the North what their rights are, and how much they are respected by the men-drivers of the southern part of this great republic.”

Two Days to Leave the State. An Abolitionist in Clayton, Alabama, was brought before a meeting of the citizens, whose sentence was to array him in tar and feathers, and then ride him on a rail around the town. The resolution was carried into effect, and the Abolitionist was ordered to leave the State within two days.

A correspondent of a Charleston (S. C.) paper is highly indignant at what he calls “a clear case of impertinence,” viz.: A Yankee peddler canvassing that city “with the Constitution of the United States in bronze, with gilt frame!” It is not the market for any such document as that.

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Arrest of a Suspicious Character in Charlestown, Virginia. A man, who gives the name of Otis, and claims to hail from the town of Yonkers, New York, was arrested on Saturday, under suspicious circumstances. He made his appearance in the town at a late hour on Friday evening, and put up at the Carter House, and on Saturday he called on Rev. Mr. Waugh with a letter of introduction, which not being satisfactory to the reverend gentleman, he handed him over to the Mayor of the town, who had him placed under guard in one of the rooms of the hotel, where he still remains, but will probably be “shipped” to-day. He has made a variety of statements, one of which is that he had been in Washington on business, and wishing to be present at the execution, left Alexandria for Leesburg, Va., and from that place he came here in a buggy; that he came through curiosity alone, having determined not to discuss the subject of slavery while here. He also says he was not aware that the Union had been dissolved, and was under the impression that he was still in the United States, until he reached this town. Whilst conversing with the guard in relation to the hanging of Brown, he burst into a flood of tears, and on being asked the cause of his grief, he said he had lost his father a few months ago. In appearance and conversation, he is very gentlemanly, and bears up under his confinement with patience.

Men of Business Obliged to Abandon their Business.Washington, Dec. 8th. Thirty-two gentlemen, agents of New York and Boston houses, arrived here to-day from the South, and report the feeling of indignation so great against Northerners, that they were compelled to return and abandon their business. These gentlemen have been known for years as traders in the South. They also report that Northerners of long residence in the South have been disfigured, and driven from their homes.

Eleven business men who were on their way South returned last night, after having reached a station in Virginia, being turned back by a Vigilance Committee. They say the feeling in six of the States through which they have passed is very intense against the North, and against the continuance of the Union.

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The Way Abolition Emissaries are Treated in South-Western Virginia. A philanthropic pilgrim from the land of wooden nutmegs, supposed to be an agent of some Abolition Aid Society or underground railroad, was arrested the other day in the neighboring county of Pulaski, and dealt with in the most summary manner by his captors; one of the most influential and worthy citizens of the county acting as judge, jury, and executioner. After ordering him to be hung by the neck, he very coolly proceeded to execute the sentence. Having hung him up until the “vital spark” was nearly extinct, he cut him down and gave him a breathing spell. When sufficiently restored to undergo another swinging, he was again haltered, and suspended for a few moments. After having undergone this process five times, (once each for old Brown, Coppick, Cook, Stevens, and Hazlett,) he was kindly permitted to retrace his steps to a more congenial clime, but not until he had been fairly admonished that if ever caught in Virginia again, he would have to take the sixth and fatal leap. It is said by those who witnessed the whole proceeding, that when the fellow got loose, he ran like a quarter nag.—Wytheville (Va.) Telegraph.

A Man Indicted for Expressing Sympathy with Brown.—The Grand Jury of Norfolk, Va., have found a true bill on an indictment against S. Daneburg, who keeps a clothing and shoe store in that city, for seditious language, calculated to incite insurrection. The Day Book says:—

“The first count charged him with having used the words, ‘John Brown was a good man, and was fighting in a good cause, and did nothing but what any honest man would do.’ And the second count charged that he had used the following expressions: ‘John Brown was fighting in a good cause,’ (meaning that he was fighting in the cause of the slave against the master,) ‘and that owners have no right of property in their slaves’; and said that ‘Brown did nothing but what any other honest man would do.’ Daneburg left the city a few days ago, having an intimation that he had got himself into trouble. His case will come on early in the present term of the Superior Court, now in session.”

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A Conservative Minister Driven from North Carolina. The Rev. B. C. Smith, of Prattsburgh, is sojourning temporarily in the “Old North State,” having the double object in view of benefitting his health, and laboring in his calling with such ability as is left to him. He went out under the auspices of the Southern Aid Society, after having correspondence with a prominent public functionary of North Carolina. At Washington he was warmly welcomed by Hon. John A. Gilmer, of that State, and furnished with kindly passports to the confidence of that gentleman’s family and friends. He carries with him the earnest hope of troops of friends that the mild Southern skies may be beneficial to him, and that there, as here, he may have strength to proclaim those essential doctrines of Christianity which he so well understands, and which alone constitute “the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.”

We copy the above from the last Advocate. Before its publication, the Rev. B. C. Smith had returned from the “Old North State,” without “having proclaimed” to its citizens “those essential doctrines of Christianity which he so well understands,” and without having materially benefitted his health. Notwithstanding he went thither under the auspices of the Southern Aid Society, and with “passports” from Hon. John A. Gilmer, the fact that he had breathed the air of freedom was an insuperable objection, and he was not allowed to enter a pulpit. Learning that a Methodist brother was in “durance vile” across the way, on suspicion of entertaining anti-slavery sentiments, the Rev. B. C. Smith bade adieu to “mild Southern skies,” and returned to his Northern home. Mr. Smith was regarded here by a portion of his congregation as “pro-slavery,” and would have been the last man in the world to give offence to the advocates of the peculiar institution, but he has returned the victim of, if not a firm believer in, the “irrepressible conflict.”—Northern Christian Advocate.

A suspicious man is in jail at Union, Monroe Co., Virginia. He has but one arm, says he is from Baltimore, and that his name is Nicholas Mitchell.

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The Virginia Fright. The panic has seized all classes of the people, and most exaggerated reports are in circulation. Some think that hordes of Northerners are on their way to invade the State which has given birth to Presidents and statesmen. Petersburg has been divided into patrol districts, and fines of $25 and $50 are to be imposed upon those who disobey orders to perform patrol duty whenever Major Davenport, the officer left to protect the city, may call for their services. Seven men each from eight companies were on patrol duty last night, and a special detachment was sent to guard the powder magazine on the other side of the river Appomatox. These warlike preparations are, of course, a serious interruption to all business in the city, and the suspicions which are excited by them contribute to the same result.

If five or six negroes are seen talking together, they are speedily magnified by rumor into a hundred, armed with pitchforks and scythe blades. Beggars are arrested and put into jail, and strangers, if they happen to be poorly dressed, are accosted by the police and examined. Two of this class, who were found a night or two ago, had in their possession a tin cup and a whiskey-flask, with a little spirits in it, supposed to be of Northern manufacture, an old jack-knife, and a piece of string. They were ordered to leave the city immediately; but before they had time to comply with the injunction, they were again taken into custody.—Letter from Petersburg, Va.

In North Carolina, Rev. Alfred Vestal has been forced to leave his work, by the spirit of violence which has recently broken out there. He is now in Indiana. A Christian sister in North Carolina writes that the immediate cause of his leaving was his having learned that warrants for his arrest, on charges similar to those against Mr. Worth, were issued, both in Randolph and Guilford counties.

At Charlestown, Virginia, the military authorities not only held possession of the telegraph, but also interfered with the mails. Letters directed to certain of the New York papers were not forwarded; and packages of newspapers from New York were suppressed.

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Vigilance Committees are being organized in every county, town and village of the Commonwealth. The following preamble and resolutions, adopted at a highly respectable meeting of the citizens of the counties of Madison and Culpepper, held recently at a place called Locust Dale, will suffice to show the object of these Vigilance Committees. The sentiments they express may be esteemed a fair index of those uttered at meetings held elsewhere for a similar purpose, and, in fact, of the general sentiment of the State:—

Whereas, in view of the present troubled state of the times, and the outrageous inroad made upon our peace and happiness by recent occurrences in our midst, and in view of the fact that we have reason to believe that our country is traversed throughout its whole extent by Abolition emissaries in the guise of peddlers and venders of patent rights, qunck nostrums, &c., we, a part of the citizens of Madison and Culpepper, deem it a duty to ourselves, to the welfare of our country, and more especially to the protection of our peculiar institutions, to adopt the following resolutions, to wit:—

1. That a Vigilance Committee be appointed, whose duty it shall be to examine all suspicious persons who cannot give a satisfactory account of themselves, and to dispose of said persons as may seem to them to be expedient.

2. That it be considered the duty of each member of this meeting to exercise the utmost vigilance in arresting every individual of suspicious character, and in handing him over to the Vigilance Committee, and that every citizen be requested to co-operate with them. A third resolution, naming twenty-six gentlemen as a Vigilance Committee, was then adopted.

A similar meeting was held in Luray, Page county, and a Vigilance Committee, consisting of thirty-two, appointed for the same purpose. Meetings have also been held in Rockingham, Shenandoah, Orange, and several other counties, each of which has organized its Vigilance Committee. Volunteer companies are also being rapidly organized in every town and village of the State—Virginia correspondent of New York Herald.

Personal. Several Cincinnati ladies were travelling down the Mississippi, and while the steamer was letting off freight at a station, went ashore for a walk. Dr. Horton, the owner of the plantation, sent a negro to order them off, to which they paid no attention, when the chivalric Doctor himself informed the ladies that he “didn’t want people, male or female, from so abolition a hole as Cincinnati, prowling about his premises.” The ladies retired.

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First be sure of public opinion before you express your own in a free country! Because he did not keep this sound maxim in mind, Mr. T. A. Salvo has had his head shaved gratis on one side, been treated to a coat of tar and feathers, ridden on a rail, and compelled to listen to a lecture. All this happened at Hamburg—not in Germany, for they are not enlightened there, but in—South Carolina. Mr. Salvo’s offence was his expression of the opinion that slavery was not a good thing. Strong as were the arguments made use of to convince him of his error, we doubt if his sentiments have undergone any change. What a terrible cry there would be if a Palmetto man should be tarred and feathered in Massachusetts for saying slavery is a good thing! Yet the deed would be in no respect different from what has just been done in South Carolina, because a man said he thought slavery was not a good thing.—Boston Traveller.

A correspondent of the Charleston Mercury, writing from Blackville, in that State, after narrating the circumstance connected with the tarring of Salvo, says: “On the 14th, we sent off a foot-traveller, who was passing through the country with an air-gun, a dice-box, and some stereoscopic views; and last night we started back to Charleston a man named Jones, who came here with his wife direct from Vermont, for the professed purpose of taking ambrotypes. Having no use for such vagabond characters, when they hail from Abolition territory, we advise them to keep away.”

Two persons, whose presence was considered undesirable on account of Abolitionism, were ridden on a rail at Kingstree, South Carolina, not long since. One was an old man, and the other a young man of good personal appearance. They were carried about the village, borne by negroes, and compelled to sing while travelling in this manner. They were then turned loose. They took the noon train for Charleston, but the other passengers refusing to ride with them, they were put out of the cars at St. Stephen’s station.

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More Incendiarism. The States and Union keeps up its vile and incendiary appeals against this office, in its issue of Monday, as follows:—

“The police should have a scrutinizing eye on all suspicious, evil-looking persons who may take shelter in the city. The railroad depot should be closely observed. The incendiary printing offices should be closely watched. The ‘devil’s den,’ or Black Republican Association Lodge, should not escape attention.

If Black Republicanism had in its service John Brown, who risked so much upon an expedition to take Harper’s Ferry, what may not be undertaken with such shelter as may be afforded by the league of Black-Brown spirits who infest this community? The price of public security, like that of public liberty, is eternal vigilance.”

National Era, Wash.

An Abolitionist Caught in Alabama. We heard on Saturday that an Abolitionist emissary had been detected at Prattville, in Autauga County, on the previous day, and rather summarily dealt with by the citizens of that village. He was immediately arrested and put upon his trial, which resulted in his being bound over in the sum of $10,000. It is stated that this fellow had in his possession several letters from some of Brown’s men in the North, relative to the plans of that infamous band of rebellionists, and containing advice as to how he should act—what point to fix upon as headquarters, &c. &c. He was first arrested on suspicion of being the murderer of McCrabb, and, on examination, these incendiary documents were found about his person. We hope to be able to give full particulars of this affair in our issue of Tuesday. The plot, indeed, seems to thicken.—Montgomery Advertiser, Nov. 28th.

The Warrentown (Va.) Flag, having been informed that over twenty copies of the New York Tribune are taken at the post-offices of Prince William county, suggests that those receiving them should not only be presented before the Grand Jury and fined heavily, but dealt with even more severely.

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Sent Away. No less than four men, suspected of being Abolition emissaries, were arrested in our city on Friday and Saturday, examined before a committee appointed by the citizens, and finally discharged, with an injunction to leave, with their faces turned Northward—which injunction they seemed to obey, not only readily, but thankfully. We understand that there was no strong, positive evidence of very improper conduct on the part of any of them, and, therefore, we refrain from giving a description of them. It is best for all transient Northern men to have a known and honest business when they come South just now, and we do not condemn the disposition to expel them if they cannot exhibit such “credentials;” nevertheless, we trust that the people of this and every other Southern community will continue to act coolly and cautiously—that they will not inflict personal violence without sufficient proof that it is deserved—Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer.

Arkansas has been extending her pro-slavery courteous hospitalities to a Democratic citizen of Clark county, Ohio, who was on a visit to that State, in connection with the sale of fruit trees. He registered himself at Napoleon from Springfield, Ohio. This was enough to excite suspicion. The mob gathered, he exhibited letters from prominent Democrats of Ohio, among them Hon. W. S. Groesbeck, but these, and his tree talk, were no go. His credentials were returned, he was escorted to the boat, and the nursery agent hurried up the Mississippi as a “d—d abolitionist!”

Mr. Ashley, a Republican member of Congress from Ohio, went to Charlestown, Va., and witnessed the execution of John Brown. Some hours before the execution, he was discovered to be a spy, and he plainly avowed himself to the crowd to be a Republican member of Congress. His intrepidity alone saved his life. He was insulted, his life was threatened a hundred times, but by cool bearing, he put his panic-stricken foes to shame, and they did not venture to attack him.

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The “Irrepressible Conflict” a Two-Edged Sword.—The South is laying about with its anti-abolition weapons with such blind fury that friends as well as foes are struck down. An incident illustrative of this recently occurred at Columbus, Mississippi. The agent of a Northern mercantile house visiting the city was suspected of being an Abolitionist in disguise, and having left town for a day or two, Mr. James Blair searched his trunk for proof of his treasonable character. He found, on opening the trunk, a copy of a letter to a friend, which commenced by saying that it was “all right with him and the Brown family;” then Mr. Blair’s excitement was reported to have been very great, and he threw down the letter, confident that he had detected treason.

A bystander picked up the letter, and upon a further perusal, discovered that the “Brown family” in question was not that of Osawatomie, but was the family of old Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who had a certain daughter that had captivated the unfortunate drummer; then followed an overhauling of the correspondence of the unfortunate swain, which resulted in some very interesting developments in the way of soft sentiments. At this juncture of affairs, Dr. Shepherd came up, and pronounced the procedure an outrage; Mr. Blair replied with a curse, saying that if he took sides with the Northern agents, he was no better than one of them. Shepherd then told him that he would have to answer for his remarks, or something to that effect, and, arming himself with a walking-stick, for a day or two was on the watch for Blair to show himself in the streets. That individual, however, kept out of the way until the second night after the words were passed, when they met, and Shepherd commenced caning Blair, whereupon Blair drew a pistol, and shot him three times, Shepherd continuing to cane him until he fell dead. Thus was the Doctor’s life sacrificed to a blind rage against Abolitionists. Dr. Shepherd formerly resided in Texas, and held the position of Secretary of the Navy under Gen. Houston, in the time of the Texan Republic. He was the special friend of Commodore Moore, of the Texan Navy.

Two alleged Abolitionists have been arrested in Mobile, Alabama, and compelled to give bonds or leave the State.

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More Arrests and Expulsions. The Charleston Mercury, of the 17th ult., says that a man, supposed to be an Abolitionist, of dark complexion, with black hair and a scar over the left eye, about five feet eleven inches in height, and calling himself James W. Rivers, was taken up on the 13th by the Vigilance Committee, tarred and feathered, and the right side of his head shaven.

We learn that two men arrived in this city yesterday morning, having been dismissed from Sumter. Confident in the honesty of their intentions, and feeling innocent of any misdemeanor, they will endeavor to regain their residence at Sumter.

During last week, a few young men, in a frolicking spirit, agreed to play Vigilance Committee, and cause the first man they should meet to give a strict account of himself. They had not proceeded far ere they met a Charleston gentleman, who, surmising that nothing but sport was at the bottom of it, submitted to their catechism, and told them distinctly that he was a South Carolinian and a Charlestonian. One of the self-constituted Vigilants, in the pride of his position, hinted that the matter might be all right; but that an unprejudiced evidence, other than the examined gentleman, was necessary to satisfy him. This was too much, even for the good nature of the impressed gentleman, who squared off, and, by a well-directed blow, landed his persistent examiner in the middle of the street. As his comrades picked him up, he exclaimed, “I reckon he’s a Southerner; let’s go along!” This was the end of that Vigilance Committee.

Itinerant teachers, peddlers, drummers, &c., are so numerous in Frederick County, Md., that the people fear a second Harper’s Ferry affair, and have set a watch over the barracks, where seven hundred stand of arms are deposited, lest they should be broken into or taken possession of.

In South Easton, Pa., on the 22d of February, an itinerant peddler of the “Life of John Brown” was treated to a dozen lashes on the back, and ordered out of town!

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Another Mechanic Driven from the South. Mr. Perley Seaver, of Oxford, a year ago last May, went to South Carolina to superintend a steam saw mill, his employer also being an Oxford man. By industry and economy, he accumulated sufficient funds to purchase a house, and he thought himself settled for life. Mr. Seaver, says the Worcester (Mass.) Transcript, was a quiet, religious man, and as there was no preaching or other religious exercises in the place, he was wont to call his neighbors together on the Sabbath to read the Bible and hear a sermon. A rumor got round the village that “Seaver preached Abolition sermons,” but nothing was done about it until Saturday night, Christmas Eve. At 1 o’clock in the morning, he was waited upon by a large delegation, who, after ransacking his papers and books, and obtaining from him an admission that five negroes had attended his meetings—how many whites attended is not stated—ordered him to leave within twenty days. Seaver offered to go at once, if they would buy his place, but this they refused, and he came away within the specified time, finding it impossible to dispose of his property.

Arrest of Suspected Emissaries. A correspondent of the Baltimore Sun, writing from Rockville, Md., under the date of Nov. 25, says:—

“We have one of Brown’s sympathizers with us, a man calling himself Wm. McDougal, or Dougal. He was committed to our jail on the 23d inst., and had a second hearing on the 24th, before Squire Braddock, of our town, after which he was recommitted, for uttering sympathy sentiments for ‘Old Brown.’ The language used was that he thought Brown was doing right, and that he ought to free every negro in the South. He says he was born in Franklin County, Pa., but for the last twelve or fifteen years, has been working in Maryland and Virginia. His wife and child are in Cumberland, Maryland, and his brothers and sisters live in Monroe county, Ohio. He says he had no idea of doing any harm in saying what he did. He was arrested on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, near Seneca. I suppose he is about 30 or 35 years of age, about 5 feet, 6 or 7 inches high, and not very stoutly made.

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Another Alarm—Torpedoes Discovered. The Richmond Enquirer reports another important discovery:—

“Among the thousand rumors which we have heard daily of revengeful acts, as being in contemplation by the hardened sinners, the friends, admirers and abettors of Old Brown and Company, is the following:

When all chances for making a successful rescue fail the Abolitionists, they will strive to get satisfaction for the deaths of the miserable beings at Charlestown by sending parcels of death-dealing and explosive materials to the most prominent parties in Virginia, who were in favor of the letter of the law being strictly carried out in regard to the condemned prisoners.

These ‘torpedoes,orinfernal machines,are generally made up in most deceptive packages, and labelled so as to prevent all suspicion of danger on the part of the receiver. The latter naturally undoes the package in a hurry, and, in pulling off the lid or cover, starts some concealed spring, or other igniting contrivance, and the whole affair explodes, with the sound and fury of a bomb-shell, dealing death and destruction around.

Such a killing conception is truly worthy of the demons who would lend money, means and succor, to incite our Southern slaves to rise in rebellion, with midnight dagger, poison and incendiary’s torch, to destroy their owners and protectors, with our wives and children!”

Sent. Off. We learn from a gentleman just arrived from Unionville, that the citizens of that place are exercising a commendable vigilance with regard to suspicious characters among them. At a meeting of the Town Council, on Wednesday last, three persons, whose movements have been regarded with some suspicion, were ordered to leave the place, within twenty-four hours, or be dealt with summarily. Our informant states that they complied with the order immediately, without even bidding their landlord adieu.

We also learn from the Kingstree Star that two printers, caught in the company of some negroes at the depot in that place, were treated to a ride on a rail, and sent out of town.—Columbia (S. C.) Guardian.

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A Fulmination from Virginia. The Richmond Whig publishes the following amiable exhortation:—

To the Editor of the Whig:

In yesterday’s Whig, I notice a paragraph, about eight lines in length, which I do think is worth all that I have seen about Harper’s Ferry altogether. You have hit the nail exactly on the head! The article is headed “Abolition Emissaries,” and the part which pleases us most is this:

“The truth is, we have no longer any use for the vagabond tourists or itinerant peddlers, of unknown characters, who have heretofore found free course among us. And it becomes our citizens to hold all such to account.”

Now, that’s sense. Them’s my sentiments, and I go in for getting rid of the whole crew. A plague upon their whole mas! Don’t encourage them; don’t buy any thing from them; don’t employ them in any way—I mean the whole of them, of every description, style, caste and color. If they don’t leave, why, starve them out! Any thing, any way to get rid of them. Amen!


Two young men (brothers) took letters from —— ——, a noted Democrat of Woodstock, Connecticut, to Governor Letcher, of Virginia, stating that they were all right, i. e., “sound on the goose” in regard to slavery. But, (mark this!) they were mechanics—carpenters—and, of course, “had no rights that slaveholders were bound to respect”; consequently, they were watched in words and actions. One day, some of the butterfly troops of Virginia were on parade, and a remark was made by one of the brothers that they were a fine-looking set of men! The other replied, Yes, they were; but twenty Yankees would drive them all into the swamp; which observation was overheard by a slaveholder, who instantly had the mob upon them, and they barely escaped with their lives, glad to get home to old Woodstock—changed in their views in regard to the peculiar institution and Democracy.—Correspondent of the Boston Liberator.

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Two Trenton Mechanics Driven from Virginia. Two tinsmiths of Trenton, who had been hired to go to the vicinity of Charlestown, Va., to do some roofing, returned a few days ago, having been prevented from doing their work, and driven by threats of arrest to leave the place. An account of the affair, which appears to be authentic, is as follows:—

“A wealthy gentleman of New Jersey, understood to be a Mr. H. J. Garrison, formerly a dry goods merchant at Trenton, who removed to a locality near Charlestown in 1854, or about that time, having concluded to remain permanently at the latter place, had partly built a house, which he designed to cover with a metallic roof. Preferring the work of Northern mechanics, or finding it impracticable to get it done without incurring the considerable expense of bringing them so great a distance, he came on to Trenton and engaged two tin-workers, who had been employed in the hardware establishment of G. Brearly & Co., of that city. Taking them with him, he returned to his Southern home, and the work was about being commenced. But the Virginians had no idea of allowing any such proceeding; nobody knew but that this was a contrivance of the Abolitionists—at any rate, it could not be permitted. So they threatened the tin-workers they would arrest them and deal summarily with them, if they did not forthwith depart, and the mechanics, to avoid trouble, concluded to go home. Their employer was at the same time informed that his house might remain for ever uncovered, if he could not get it roofed without sending to the North for Abolitionists to do the work.”

Not a Safe Place for Yankees. On the day that John Brown was in possession of Harper’s Ferry, the Superintendent of the Harper’s Ferry Armory was in Springfield, Mass., to get a new master armorer for that establishment, and engaged Mr. Salmon Adams, the clerk and assistant of the master armorer at the Government shops in Springfield. But since he has got home, he writes back cancelling the engagement, for the reason that the people there are so exasperated with the Yankees, that they would not stand one of them in the place of master armorer. They would butcher him, he says, should Mr. Adams come on and take the place!

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Excitement in Talbot County, Md. On Sunday last, an incendiary letter was picked up in St. Michael’s, which purports to give the outlines of an extended insurrectionary movement in Maryland and Virginia. It states the very improbable fact, that over 12,000 men are engaged in the crusade, who can instantly recognize each other by a look in the eyes whenever they meet. The plot contemplates the capture of the city of Baltimore, by the aid of 40,000 men from the North, the time to be fixed by a State Convention of the crusaders, to be held in this city. The name and date of the letter were both torn off. This ridiculous document created great excitement among the good people of Talbot. Patrols were immediately formed in the St. Michael’s district, and a strong guard placed in Easton on Sunday night. A public meeting of the citizens of the county took place in the court-house at Easton, yesterday afternoon, to take into consideration the existing state of affairs, but we have not learned the result of their deliberations.—Baltimore Republican, November 30.

Col. S. A. Cooley, of this city, was in Charlestown, Va., last week. Mr. Penfield, agent of Sharpe’s Rifle Company, was also there. Both were placed under arrest, but were treated kindly. Mr. Penfield showed a letter of introduction from the Secretary of War, Mr. Floyd. Col. Cooley protested that he was no Abolitionist. But all availed nothing. The officer said, “Gentlemen, we have no reason to believe that either of you meditate harm; but the authorities have directed that the movements of all strangers shall be guarded; this is absolutely necessary for our safety; persons pretending to be friendly have been among us for some time, and our horses and cattle have been poisoned at night; our barns and sheds and haystacks have been destroyed by fire; the property of some of the jurors in John Brown’s case has been burnt by incendiaries; we have only stopped these alarming proceedings by the most decided action in permitting no strangers to be staying about here in idleness.” Messrs. Cooley and Penfield, seeing the absolute necessity for the regulations which had been established, then left the place.—Hartford Times, Dec. 14th.

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A Reward Offered for the Head of Mr. Giddings.—The following advertisement appears in the Richmond Whig:

Ten Thousand Dollars Reward.—Joshua R. Giddings, having openly declared himself a traitor in a lecture at Philadelphia, on the 28th of October, and there being no process, strange to say, by which he can be brought to justice, I propose to be one of one hundred to raise $10,000 for his safe delivery in Richmond, or $5,000 for the production of his head. I do not regard this proposition, extraordinary as it may at first seem, either unjust or unmerciful. The law of God and the Constitution of his country both condemn him to death.

For satisfactory reasons, I withhold my name from the public, but it is in the hands of the editor of the Richmond Whig. There will be no difficulty, I am sure, in raising the $10,000, upon a reasonable prospect of getting the said Giddings to this city.

The Providence Journal says:—“We lately mentioned that a twelve pound cannon ball had been found here in a bale of cotton, and we then took occasion to remark, that the substitution of iron for sand as an article to increase the weight of the bale showed a slight moral improvement in the dishonest packers. But something worse even than sand has been found in a bale which recently arrived. That is, lucifer matches. They were in a pine box, which was partially broken, so that they could not fail to ignite in passing through the picker. Had they not been accidentally discovered, they might have caused the destruction of one of the most valuable mills in this State.”

A dentist, who has advertised himself for the last eighteen months in Charleston, S. C., as desiring to cure tooth-ache without pain, was waited upon, on the 17th ult., by a committee, who were fortified by the oaths of two reliable citizens before a magistrate, and notified that, considering his avowed Abolitionism, he must select another residence. He left.

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In a Dilemma. A young gentleman, whose parents reside in a neighboring county in an adjoining State, is just now in rather an unpleasant dilemma in Kentucky, the result of the jealousy induced by the persistent attempts of Abolitionists to excite a servile insurrection, which culminated by the invasion at Harper’s Ferry. The facts came to our knowledge to-day, and are vouched for by men of veracity, though the name of the young man was not given. He was, it seems, employed as a teacher, and was in the full tide of success, and quite popular among the patrons of his school, until the fact became known that he frequently received letters from Oberlin, about which he was extremely shy. The excitement about the Harper’s Ferry invasion, and rumors of contemplated attempts in Kentucky, awakened so much suspicion, that the young man was finally taken into custody, and placed in the hands of a committee of citizens to investigate his case, about which suspicion was very much increased upon his refusal to divulge the nature of his correspondence with Oberlin.—Adrian (Mich.) paper.

Literature in Leechville. Somewhere down in the tar and rosin State is a shambling sort of a hamlet called Leechville. They have a post-office in Leechville. The man who overhauls the mails at this out-of-the-way spot is one Augustus Latham. From the Blue Book, it appears that the annual receipts of this post-office are thirty-one dollars, whereof Latham pockets twenty-one for his salary, leaving ten to replenish the Federal Treasury, which probably pays some Democratic contractor a hundred dollars per annum for going off the main road in search of Leechville, and stopping long enough for the contractor’s horse to catch breath, and the contractor’s driver to imbibe a draught of whiskey, while Latham peers into the half-dozen letters and newspapers, more or less, in the mail bag. One would suppose that the arrival in this desolate locality of a half-dozen speeches, bearing the frank of some U. S. Senator, would be hailed as a godsend, even if only for the novelty of the thing. It seems that there is a resident in Leechville, permanent or temporary, who is pursuing knowledge under difficulties—one Thomas Dunbar, the Edition: current; Page: [130] senior of that name. Hearing (we confess we are at a loss to guess how) that Senator Wilson had delivered a speech exposing the Disunion schemes of the Democracy, Mr. Dunbar wrote to that gentleman, requesting him to send him two or three copies of that speech; which, of course, Mr. Wilson did. The return mail brings to the Senator a missive from Mr. Holt’s man Latham. We print it as an average specimen of Southern respect for law, Southern manners and Southern grammar:—

Augustus Latham
Latham, Augustus
Feb 16 1860

Sir Your speeches and your Black Republican friends cannot circulate your Abolition speeches through this Post office so you need not send any more to Thomas Dunbar senr

Yours &c

Latham’s orthography is inimitable; so, in that particular, we fall back upon Webster.

In all seriousness, there has been quite enough of this sort of mail robbery under the rule of Mr. Holt. If he does n’t stop it promptly and peremptorily, he should be impeached. Such creatures as this Latham should be dismissed instanter. If Mr. Holt, on due notice, refuses to have this done, then the House of Representatives should immediately take the initial step toward degrading him from office.—New York Tribune.

Dr. Mulroe, of South Carolina, the owner of two plantations, and negroes sufficient to work them, was arrested a few days ago, as a suspicious character, by a Vigilance Committee, in Eufala, Ala. The Doctor was peddling ploughs, and it was hard to believe that so wealthy a man would turn “travelling Yankee.” A friend, who knew the Doctor at home, happened to be in town, however, and hearing of the difficulty he was in, went to the place where the committee were trying him, and when he entered, and found Dr. M. occupying a chair, and undergoing an examination, under such peculiar circumstances, he was so astonished that he exclaimed, “Why, Dr. Mulroe!” and burst out in a loud laugh, while the Doctor, overcome with his feelings, burst into tears, and the sympathy was so intense, that the whole committee were soon in tears! As a finale, all pledged themselves to sell as many ploughs as they could.

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The Excitement Against Northern Men in Virginia.—The Richmond correspondent of the New York Herald, writing on the 18th, says:—

“A gentleman from Baltimore, who was on his way South upon a tour for the benefit of his health, informed me, last evening, that however great might be the advantages of the trip, he would forego it, sooner than submit to the suspicions and scrutinies of which he was the object at various points upon his passage through Virginia. He travelled through some portions of the interior of the Commonwealth, before reaching here. I know an instance in which the presentation of a Massachusetts bank note at a tavern in the country, by a gentleman who resides in Virginia, and is sound upon the State, was nearly subjecting him to serious indignities and inconveniences. His recognition by a gentleman of the locality, as he emerged from the tavern, was the only thing that saved him from a disagreeable overhauling. The gentleman assured me that he was well armed, and determined that the first man who laid hands upon him should die. I have had myself some little experience in this sort of treatment, and I can therefore appreciate its disadvantages. While standing in the hall of a hotel, in North Carolina, some year or two ago, awaiting the meeting of an assembly whose proceedings I had gone to report for the Herald, I was rudely seized by two ruffians, who planted themselves on each side of me, and carried me into the street, there to ascertain what my purpose in coming to town was, and to administer due punishment, if it was not in keeping with their views. By this time, we were approached by several persons, amongst whom, most fortunately for me, was a distinguished gentleman of that State, who instantly recognized me. The observance of the recognition by these ruffians caused them immediately to release me. Being then without any means of defence, I was forced to submit to this indignity.”

The surest way, and perhaps the only way, to prevent such resorts to that justly reprobated code—lynch law—is, for those philanthropists who cannot restrain the expression of their anti-slavery sentiments, to leave the benighted communities of the South, and make their homes in more congenial regions.—Savannah News.

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There is a College at Roanoke, Va., and, of course, its students had to improve John Brown’s raid. ’Twas thus they did it, on the 3d of December:—

“Forasmuch, as the sacred soil of Virginia has been invaded, her citizens incarcerated, and innocent blood shed by a band of monomaniac fanatics, instigated to the desperate deed by individuals beyond the reach of law and justice, therefore,

Resolved, 1st, That we, the students of Roanoke College, under the protection of the laws of Virginia, do express our sentiments towards Wm. H. Seward, Joshua R. Giddings, and Wendell Phillips, by casting upon them the infamous stigma of burning them in effigy.

Resolved, 2d, That we fire a cannon as each image is consumed by the flames, and give three cheers for our intrepid, indefatigable, vigilant Governor, Henry A. Wise.

Resolved, 3d, That we shall ever be ready to enlist under the standard of our State, to defend Virginia and her rights, under all emergencies.”

John Brown in Florida. A gentleman, who is spending the winter in Florida for the benefit of his health, writes:—

“The news of the John Brown affair reached Florida before we did, and a party of chivalrous citizens had an indignation meeting, and threatened to tar and feather any Abolitionist who might venture among them. I understood from one of the residents of the place, that not one of the indignant citizens aforesaid owned a slave, or had money enough to buy one. They appointed a committee to wait on a poor Jersey minister, half dead with bronchitis, but the only thing they could find against him was, that he had been seen to shake hands with a nigger, so they only warned him.”

A book agent, named Day, who made his appearance in the village yesterday afternoon, was ordered to leave on the one one o’clock train for Columbia. Before the arrival of the cars, however, he was seen giving leg bail along the railroad, in the direction of Charleston.—Orangeburg (S. C.) Southron.

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“Let us prepare for disunion; not precipitate it. Between this and the 4th of March, 1861, the Union cannot harm us. In the meanwhile, let us enact laws of retaliation and non-intercourse, and establish a direct trade, and, consequently, friendly relations, with Europe. Let us charge heavy license for the sale of all goods from the North, whether produced there, or imported from abroad; let us send our cotton, rice and tobacco, directly to Europe; let us establish a stricter espionage over all visitors from the North, and a stricter espionage over all Virginians who deal or associate with them.

We may treat such Northerners as we please as persons of ill fame, improper company for Virginians, and recognize, fine and imprison our own citizens, who deal or associate with them. Thus we might expel all the itinerant quacks and peddlers and teachers from the most inimical Northern States,—and from all of those States, if experience proved it necessary to our safety. We might also punish our citizens who shipped grain by Yankee vessels, or procured goods of any sort by them.

The election of a Black Republican as President in 1860, unless that party adopts new leaders and a new platform, will render disunion inevitable on the 4th of March, 1861. We should delay it until that time, preparing for its consequences.”—Richmond Enquirer.

The Cincinnati Commercial states that anonymous letters in mourning envelopes are being sent through the Newport (Ky.) post-office, to Republican residents of that town, warning them to take their leave of the soil of Kentucky. Mr. J. R. Whittemore, a gentleman who resides in Newport, and does business in Cincinnati, recently received notice to leave, on or before the first day of December, 1859.

Four individuals, who were regarded as “rather noxious to the community,” have recently been ordered to leave Orangeburg, S. C. The first was a school teacher, a young man calling himself D. Heagle, from New York. The next were two young men, house painters, one by the name of Mahon, who also hailed from the State of New York, and the other, who signed his name as Clarkson, from North Carolina. The fourth was a book agent, named Day. Each was compelled to take the first train which left town after the warning.

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A Kentucky Sympathizer in Trouble. The Cincinnati Commercial, of Nov. 29, has the following:—

“We learn that a man by the name of Brown, late a conductor on the Lexington and Danville Railroad, happening to be in May’s grocery in Lexington, last week, was bantered by the proprietor on his name, and asked whether he was ‘any relation of old Osawatomie.’ He replied that he was not, but took occasion to say that he endorsed his sentiments as to slavery. Thereupon the bystanders put him out of doors by violence. Shortly after, he was called on by some pretended friends, who invited him to go to Beard’s stable, in Lexington, which he did, and there found a lot of men, who demanded that he should repeat what he had said about slavery. On doing so, the crowd became very much excited, and told him he had better leave Lexington, and the State.

We are also told that he received an anonymous letter, signed, ‘Many Citizens,’ warning him to leave within three days, with a threat of summary measures being used to eject him, if he failed to comply. He left and came to Covington, on Saturday, where he met some of the employees of the railroad, who pretended to sympathize with him, but soon advised him not to stay longer in Kentucky.

He has left for the West, although he would have preferred remaining in Kentucky, had it not been for this intolerant and persecuting spirit. Brown is spoken of by the Superintendent of the Lexington and Danville Railroad, as a sober intelligent and steady man.”

An Abolitionist Arraigned. The Charlotte (N. C.) Carolina Bulletin says: “We learn that on yesterday, before the county court, now in session, a Mr. Franklin Davis, residing in Farrelltown, about ten miles north of Charlotte, sitting as grand juryman, was, on motion of Solicitor D. B. Rea, expelled from the jury, for having expressed sentiments in opposition to the institution of slavery, and he was immediately bound over in the penal sum of one thousand dollars for his appearance at the next sitting of the Superior Court. The facts will all appear at the trial in May next. We take great pleasure in commending Mr. Rea for the prompt and faithful manner in which he has discharged his duty.

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Excitement at Abbeville, Mississippi. The Oxford Mercury of Thursday, Jan. 24th, says:—

“Considerable excitement was produced in our neighboring town of Abbeville, last Sunday and Monday, by a gang of ten peddlers. Some stories represent them to us as having been Irish or German, and others that they were Abolitionists, endeavoring to stir up an insurrection. The neighborhood became greatly alarmed when they appeared, as so many of that kind of traders do not often travel together. They were, the whole ten, arrested on Monday, and taken to Abbeville and examined, but no proof was elicited against them, except that several were operating without license. They were ordered to leave the State within a given time.

One of Brown’s Map Men. A book peddler, named Albritton, was arrested in Marion, Ala., on the 3d inst. The American says: “He was arrested about 8 o’clock this morning, and carried to Cahaba, where, it is reported, they have the documents showing him to be one of the original men to be stationed on the line of the published Brown Map. We learn from Marshal Curtis, that there is sufficient proof, found in the prisoner’s trunk, to convict him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of being an emissary. If so, the Lord have mercy on his soul (?), for we know the people of Cahaba well enough to feel confident that they will give him full justice, terrible as it may be.”—Richmond Dispatch.

A negro barber, named Wilson, went, a few days since, from his home in Chattanooga to Knoxville, Tenn., to make a few purchases. He was followed closely and keenly watched by two men of stern visage, one of whom finally drew a fearful knife, and rushed at him, exclaiming, “You’re Fred Douglass!” In peril of his life, Wilson took to his heels, hotly pursued by a constantly increasing rabble, and barely escaping a terrible fate by dodging behind a fence and permitting his followers to pass by. He went home by the first train. The next morning, the two gentlemen addressed the Mayor for papers for the arrest of Fred. Douglass.

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A Political Refugee.—Is this a Free Country? A gentleman of good address, bearing the evidences of sincerity and respectability, called upon us yesterday, saying that he was an exile from Kentucky. His name is E. J. Dean, and his story is as follows:—

“I have been a resident of Kentucky for the last seven years, all of which time I have been engaged in teaching. Latterly, say since September, I have been living near Richmond, the county seat of Madison county, where I had a school, in which I supposed I gave my patrons good satisfaction. I do not know that during the whole time that I lived in the State, I ever said a single word in condemnation of slavery. Certainly I have never been a brawler about that or any other political matter. To the best of my ability, I discharged the duties which I had undertaken for pay; and I declare that never have I tampered with any slave or in any way attempted to make a negro dissatisfied with his lot. What then was my surprise, on Saturday morning last, to receive from a man who represented himself as the chairman of the County Vigilance Committee, a warning to immediately give up my employment and quit the State. In answer to my inquiry—‘Of what crime am I accused, that I should be punished thus?’ I had only this answer, ‘None, only that you are a d——d Abolitionist!’ Pleading my inability to settle my little affairs in five minutes’ time, I was graciously permitted to remain in Richmond until Monday, when, in obedience to the mandate which I was not at liberty to disobey, without bringing upon myself great indignity and peril, I set out, and arrived here this morning. This is a plain and perfectly truthful account of my expulsion, and, so far as I have been informed, of the causes which led thereto. In conclusion, I have only this inquiry to make—Is this a free country? If so, where and what is despotism?”

Madison is one of the wealthiest, most populous and civilized counties in Kentucky, but mob law is administered there with a degree of vigor that is without parallel in all the United States. From that county, Rev. John G. Fee and his associates—twenty-eight in all—as peaceable, orderly, industrious, Christian men and women as there are in Kentucky—were driven out. In that county, C. M. Clay—brave Cassius—has Edition: current; Page: [137] been subjected to dangers which have more than once put his life in peril, and to a series of petty annoyances which have for years made that life a perpetual torture. The people of Madison are naturally kind and hospitable; but the majority are possessed of that purely American devil—the intolerant, rampant, persecuting spirit of slavery; and under its influence, all within its reach are subjected to a despotism, compared with which the rule of King Bomba at Naples was a government of which his subjects might be proud.

Well may Mr. Dean ask—“Is this a free country?”—Chicago Press and Tribune.

How the South Respects the Constitution. An ebullition of Southern chivalry was witnessed at Demossville, Pendleton county, on Saturday last, which resulted in the driving away of a peaceable citizen, for no other crime than possessing convictions, and having the manhood to express them.

According to Mr. Payne’s version of the singular proceeding, he was at the depot when the cars were detained by an accident, a few days since, when a gentleman from Covington approached him, and questioned him as to his politics. Mr. Payne replied that he was a Republican. “Of what kind?” continued his interrogator. “One of the blackest,” was the reply. During this conversation, several of Mr. P.’s friends were present, and the matter rested until Saturday morning, when he received the following notice, handed him by Dr. Cummins:—

Dec. 10, 1859
Demossville, Ky.
Charles Payne
Payne, Charles
Mr. Charles PayneDear Sir:

You having declared yourself an Abolitionist of the blackest character, we give you the limit of twenty minutes to leave this town; if not, you will be dealt with as we think proper.

Citizens of Demossville,
Pendleton Co., Ky.

A large and excited mob gathered around at the same time, and he was compelled to leave, in obedience to the warning. He has long been known as a Republican, and was the candidate of that party for Congress, two years ago. He has a family, who are yet in Demossville. He purposes returning home in a day or two, there to await the progress of the “irrepressible conflict.”—Cincinnati Commercial.

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Arrest and Imprisonment of a Kentucky Pioneer in Virginia. We received a visit, yesterday, from a gray-haired Kentuckian, just from the “inhospitable shores” of Virginia, where he has been incarcerated in jail for two weeks, for having the presumption to be an American citizen, and attempting to cross the State by way of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The old gentleman is a citizen of Oldham county, Ky.,—73 years of age,—had been on to Washington to see about some land, which fell to him under the act of Congress making provision for the soldiers of 1812, and on his return, was seized at Martinsburg (as the train West stopped at that place) by the vigilant military stationed at that place, and incarcerated in the jail. He was suspected of having conceived the “deep design” of rescuing “Old Osawatomie” Brown, and accordingly, this regiment of soldiery, aided by two or three “peace officers,” instituted a vigilant search of the old man’s wardrobe. Each boot-leg, in the heated imagination of the Virginians, contained a knife or pike, and every pocket a revolver. The only article that was left him was a cake of soap, which he had thoughtfully provided himself with, having been duly advised of the impurity of the Federal city.

He remained in jail two weeks, and on the 2d of December, after the last ghost of fear of a rescue of old John Brown—that is to say, after the hour of 11 o’clock and 15 minutes, A. M.—he was released, first being graciously furnished with a pass, of which the following is a verbatim copy:—

H. Murphy
Murphy, H.
Dec. 2d, 1859
To Capt. of any patrol or military company in Virginia:

You will pass James C. Gardner through the State of Virginia without molestation. He has been under arrest here for two weeks, and is all right. He was dis charged this morning, by order of the Commandant of the battalion stationed at this point.

Attorney for the Commonwealth for Berkley Co.

How the blood in the veins of this pioneer on the “Dark and Bloody Ground” boiled at such indignity, those who still have faith in the existence of chivalry, generosity, and honesty of purpose, can best imagine. The old gentleman arrived in our city last evening. Through the kindness of the officers of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, he has been furnished with a pass over the road to Louisville, for which place he will depart this morning.—Cincinnati Gazette.

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Incendiary Documents in Virginia. In our last paper, under the head of “Political and Personal,” we briefly noticed the arrest of John H. Gargas and Thomas Cruix, in Fairfax County, Virginia, charged with circulating incendiary documents, Helper’s book particularly. They were held to bail in large sums to answer at court. We learn from the last number of the Fairfax News, that Mr. Gargas was tried for the offence before a “called court,” consisting of five justices. It appears that Mr. Gargas is a Postmaster in Fairfax county, and handed out one of Helper’s books, received by mail, to a citizen of the neighborhood, being of course ignorant of what it was. This coming to the ears of the Virginians, they determined to act at once in the spirit of Postmaster General Holt’s decision, authorizing the robbery of the mails. However, at the trial, after hearing the testimony, the court concluded to discharge Mr. Gargas. Mr. G. is nearly connected with the Geil and Gargas families, living near Doylestown, being a nephew of Abraham Gargas, of Warrington. His father moved to Fairfax county many years ago, and held a post-office, in which he was succeeded by his son. The other suspected person, Mr. Cruix, who was held in $2,500 to appear at court, has forfeited his bond by making his escape from the Commonwealth.—Bucks County (Pa.) Intelligencer.

Sergeant Birney Driven out of the South. The Virginia panic, since the shooting of the cow, seems to have extended into other States. Sergeant Birney, whose career in this city, as a policeman, was brought to a termination some months since, has just arrived on the Columbia, from Charleston.

It seems that the sergeant has been pursuing the business of a merchant, in the State of Georgia, and that, since John Brown’s capture of Harper’s Ferry, the people of his neighborhood have been coasting about to discover any enemies lurking in among them, and suspicion fell upon the sergeant. He was questioned, and, his answers not proving satisfactory to his inquisitors, he was notified to leave. Our informant states that the alternative was a coat of tar and feathers.—Evening Post.

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Gov. Wise Warns the South to Rouse—Yankee Peddlers, &c. The following brief letter from Gov. Wise shows what he considers the necessity of the times. We learn that very stringent measures have been adopted in South Carolina, Alabama, and in some portions of our State, against peddlers, showmen and others, who are reasonably suspected of hostility to our institutions. Scarcely a day passes, that we do not hear of some itinerant, unable to prove himself to be of reliable character, having been expelled from Southern communities. Here is the letter of the Virginia Governor:—

Henry A. Wise
Wise, Henry A.
Nov. 25th, 1859
Richmond, Va.
William Scott
Scott, William
My Dear Sir:

I have time only to acknowledge yours. Say to your father, and all others, that there are serious times here. We are arming, and have need to do so; and the Southern States all had better be rousing. Drive out peddlers and schoolmasters (not well known) from Yankeedom.

Yours, &c.,
William Scott, Esq.

Atlanta (Ga.) News.

As an illustration of the annoyance and persecution to which strangers are subjected in the sacred district of Virginia, it is stated that a Mr. Charles Grattan, of Easton, Md., hired a house and shop at Harper’s Ferry, and he went there with his wife and family, and with goods to open a millinery shop. On his arrival, he was dragged at once to the arsenal, and kept in custody, and was subjected to such annoyances for several days, that he concluded Harper’s Ferry was not a pleasant place to live in, and packed up his goods again and retreated back to Easton, cursing the stupidity and cowardice of the Virginians.

The Columbus (Geo.) Sun mentions the arrest, in that city, of Wm. Scott, a member of the firm of Charles Scott & Co., dealers in embroideries, linens, &c., New York. An open expression of sympathy for “Old Brown,” and the possession of Beecher’s incendiary sermons, were the occasion of the arrest. He received “notice to quit,” and took his departure by the first train.

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The Norristown (Pa.) Republican says:—“Christian Stout, a good Democrat, long a resident of Upper Dublin, and for a year or two of Plymouth township, removed to Maryland a few years ago, to work a farm for Wm. Earnest, Hon. John McNair, and others, and has resided there ever since. About two weeks ago, he appeared amongst us again, and informed us that he was a fugitive from his home. He says that a short time after the opening of Congress, and the introduction of Clark’s resolution, a wealthy Englishman, his neighbor, handed him Helper’s book to read. He read it, and then seeing his neighbor, he told him that he was done with it, and desired him to take it; but he said, ‘No, never mind giving it to me, hand it to one of your neighbors.’ He did so, and shortly afterwards the Englishman was arrested, as were some others. He was then informed that the slaveholders had sixty-two names on their paper of persons who were to be arrested for circulating Helper’s book, uttering Abolition sentiments, and sympathizing with Brown. As his name was among the proscribed, he suddenly left for Pennsylvania. The Englishman was bailed in the sum of $2,500, and immediately left for New York, intending to forfeit the bail, and abandon the State. Before Stout left, he consulted a lawyer, who told him that although they might perhaps not convict him, they would probably keep him in jail a year or two, and put him to much cost, so he concluded he had better leave. He is now waiting the result of the trial of others.”

A Southern Opinion of the Rev. Mr. Spurgeon. A newspaper published at Jacksonville, Florida, has a very savage attack upon the New York publishers of Mr. Spurgeon’s works, apropos to the statement that “they stand ready to publish any thing that he may say on the subject of slavery.” The following language, which is more forcible than elegant, is applied to Mr. Spurgeon and his publishers:—“If Messrs. ——— intend to publish the insane conceits of a beef-eating, puffed-up, vain, over-righteous, pharisaical, English, blab-mouth, ranting preacher of doctrine not found in the Bible, and worse, if possible, than the infamous book of Helper, then we think the South should know it, and bestow their patronage accordingly.”

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The Harper’s Ferry raid demonstrates the necessity of the Northern people, in a body, and with one voice, putting down and crushing out such miserable, incendiary Abolition wretches as Giddings, Garrison, Fred. Douglass, Wendell Phillips, Seward, Wilson and Sumner. These are all schemers and conspirators against the peace of the Union.

All the powers of the Federal Government and the Government of Virginia should be employed in bringing them to a speedy justice. If there is evidence showing the complicity of Giddings, Douglass, or Thayer, or any other person in this affair, let them be arrested, tried and convicted, and punished.

As to the prisoners who were caught in the act, let them be hung, and that forthwith. There should be no temporizing and no fiddling on the part either of the President or of Governor Wise. The insurgents are nothing more nor less than pirates and murderers, entitled to none of the courtesies of war nor clemencies of law. Immediate shooting or hanging, without trial, is the punishment they merit, and the only punishment which will have the desired effect, either at the North or the South. In regard to such offenders, a just and safe principle is to hang them, and try them afterwards.—Richmond Whig.

The Staunton Virginian tells this story:—“One of our townsmen, Mr. George W. Dilliard, was involved in great danger at Harper’s Ferry. He had gone there on business on the day after the capture of Old Brown and his party, and in walking along in the vicinity of the Ferry, enjoying the splendid scenery, with one of the pikes in his hand, and two or three blank commissions in his pocket, taken from the insurgents, and which Gov. Wise had given him the day before, he was pursued and captured by a party who were hunting for Cook. Mr. Dilliard was immediately charged with being one of Cook’s men; the pike was satisfactory evidence, and the cry was raised of ‘shoot him! shoot him!’ and several loaded guns were pointed at his breast. Fortunately, Mr. Dilliard retained his self-possession so well that the party at last yielded to his request that he should be taken to the Superintendent at the Ferry, and there be permitted to prove his innocence. Mr. Dilliard said it was about the most trying half hour or more he ever spent.

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The Charleston Mercury, of Tuesday, says that two Abolitionists left town on that day for the North, by steamer. One of them was taken in charge several weeks since, and has been earning his living for a month, by cracking stones for the city, agreeable to sentence imposed by the Mayor. He has acquired his trade, and leaves without a single regret. The other was received from Georgetown, where he had expressed obnoxious sentiments.

We learn from the Auburn Signal, that some short time ago, near Society Hill, Macon County, Alabama, a man named L. Stearns, claiming to be from Montgomery, was caught tampering with a Mr. Richardson’s negroes. He was driven off, and a party of citizens caught and whipped him. Two or three nights afterwards, Mr. Richardson had a lot of cotton set on fire.

Abolitionists. As it is becoming evident that we have numerous Abolitionists in our midst, tampering with our slaves, it will behoove the planters to be strict with their servants, and not allow them too much latitude during the coming holidays. We are not alarmists, and would not create unnecessary excitement, but we warn the people to be on the alert, and hope that “a word to the wise will be sufficient.”—Vicksburg (Miss.) Southern Sun, Nov. 22.

The Western Christian Advocate publishes the following from a Postmaster in Virginia:—

J. M. Ferguson
Ferguson, J. M.
Feb. 28, 1860
Wayne, C. H. Va.
To the Editor of the Western Chreston Advocate.

Sir you will Please Discontinue sending your paper to this office as it has bin found to contain incindary matter, and burnt.

Yours &c

The porter of the steamship Marion, named Francis Mitchell, has been tried at Charleston, S. C., for aiding a slave in trying to escape, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged!

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A New York Captain Fined. The Richmond Enquirer, of Nov. 30, says: “The schooner L. Waterbury, Capt. S. A. Swinnerton, of New York, last July violated the inspection laws of Virginia, and escaped, doubtless believing inspection laws were the greatest of humbugs. She returned to our port last week, when that ever-vigilant Yankee-hunter, W. H. Parker, Chief Inspector, pounced upon the L. Waterbury, at this port, and her captain was compelled to pay $528 fine. The L. Waterbury’s cargo was about $750 in lumber from Florida. Rather an unprofitable voyage for an “enterprising” Yankee.

“This, added to the previous line, swells the amount to $3,000, besides the costs, recovered since last October, for violations of Inspection laws.”

A letter from a Boston gentleman who has gone South for his health, states that on the first day out from Washington, he had a pistol held to his head, and that he was dogged by four Southern men for hundreds of miles, annoyed and insulted until he challenged the whole crowd of them to fight him, whereupon they backed out. All his newspapers from Boston have been withheld from him, and his letters have been broken open before they reached the post-office to which they were sent.

Louisville, March 27th.

A man named Hanson, who was recently expelled from Berea, Madison county, Ky., with J. G. Fee, returned to Berea, whereupon a committee waited upon him, for the purpose of again ordering him from the county. Hanson, with twenty-five or thirty associates, armed with rifles, fired upon the committee, but without injuring any one. Hanson’s party then retreated, and barricaded themselves in a house. The committee, which is composed of twenty-five or thirty men, are armed with revolvers.

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Daniel O’Connell
O’Connell, Daniel

Daniel O’Connell, “Daniel O’Connell upon American Slavery: with Other Irish Testimonies,” 48 pp.










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Among all the distinguished and eloquent advocates of negro emancipation, on either side of the Atlantic, perhaps no one has ever surpassed in earnestness of zeal, or potency of speech, the late Daniel O’Connell, the “Irish Liberator.” Especially was his soul filled with horror and disgust in view of the existence and rapid growth of slavery in America. Whenever he heard our boasts of freedom and equality, and read our Heaven-attested Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and then saw us shamelessly putting millions of an unfortunate race under the lash of the slave-driver, trafficking in their bodies and souls, and depriving them of every human right, a mighty moral conflagration instantly kindled within him! It was then that the flames of his indignation burst out in awful grandeur and with consuming power, the intensity of which, spreading over the vast Atlantic, was felt in every section of our guilty land. To quote his own words:—“It is not England alone that is stained with the crime of oppression: the democratic republic of America shares in the guilt. Oh, the inconsistency of these apostles of liberty, talking of freedom, while they basely and wickedly continue the slavery of their fellowmen! A republican is naturally proud and high-minded, and we may make the pride of the North American republicans the very weapon with which to break down slavery.” Such, too, was the spirit of Ireland’s native poet, Thomas Moore, as expressed in the following lines, descriptive of this terribly paradoxical republic:—

  • “Who can, with patience, for a moment see
  • The medley mass of pride and misery,
  • Of whips and charters, manacles and rights,
  • Of slaving blacks and democratic whites,
  • And all the piebald policy that reigns
  • In free confusion o’er Columbia’s plains?
  • To think that man, thou just and gentle God!
  • Should stand before thee with a tyrant’s rod,
  • O’er creatures like himself, with souls from thee,
  • Yet dare to boast of perfect liberty!
  • Edition: current; Page: [4]
  • Away! away! I ’d rather hold my neck
  • By doubtful tenure from a Sultan’s beck,
  • In climes where liberty has scarce been nam’d,
  • Nor any right but that of ruling claim’d,
  • Than thus to live where boasted Freedom waves
  • Her fustian flag in mockery over slaves!
  • Where motley laws, (admitting no degree
  • Betwixt the basely slav’d and madly free,)
  • Alike the bondage and the license suit—
  • The brute made ruler, and the man made brute!”

There was something sublime in the attitude maintained by O’Connell upon the question of American slavery. If he had courted popularity in this country, he would either have flattered our vices or extenuated our crimes; but he loved uncompromising justice more than he did the transient reputation which general corruption bestows upon its apologist, and impartial liberty more than fame. Every effort was made by the leading Irishmen in the United States, through their “Repeal Associations,” to bribe or to bully him into silence on this subject; but he nobly defied their malice, rebuked their baseness, and spurned their blood-stained money. He rightly predicted that the real friends of freedom on this side of the Atlantic would sympathize with him, and rejoice that he had the moral courage to “tear down the image of liberty from the recreant hand of America, and condemn her as the vilest of hypocrites, the greatest of liars.”

Such was the spirit of Daniel O’Connell—brave, ingenuous, disdaining every trammel, scorning every bribe, soaring above all national and all personal considerations!—“I do not hesitate,” he said, “to declare my opinions. I never faltered in my own sentiments. We might have shrunk from the question of American slavery, but I would consider such a course unworthy of me. We may not get money from America after this declaration; but we do not want blood-stained money. Those who commit, and those who countenance the crime of slavery, I regard as the enemies of Ireland, and I desire to have no sympathy or support from them. I am not bound to look to consequences, but to justice and humanity. Wherever slavery rears its head, I am the enemy of the system. I will take my part in the anti-slavery meeting; and though it should be a blow against Ireland, it is a blow in favor of human liberty, and I will strike that blow. In America, let them execrate me—let their support be taken from Ireland—slavery, I denounce you, wherever you are! Come freedom, come slavery to Ireland—let Ireland be as she may—I will have my conscience clear before my God.”

In the following pages are embodied numerous extracts from the speeches of O’Connell, in reprobation of American slavery, and of all its abettors. Irishmen of America! will you not give heed to these testimonies, and unite as one man in espousing the cause of those in bondage?

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I now come to America, the boasted land of freedom; and here I find slavery, which they not only tolerate but extend, justified and defended as a legacy left them by us. It is but too true. But I would say unto them, you threw off the allegiance you owed us, because you thought we were oppressing you with the Stamp Act. You boasted of your deliverance from slavery. On what principle, then, do you now continue your fellow-men in bondage, and render that bondage even more galling by ringing in the ears of the sufferers from your tyranny, what you have done, what you have suffered, for freedom? They may retaliate upon us. They may reply by allusions to the slaveries we have established or encouraged. But what would be thought of that man who should attempt to justify the crime of sheep-stealing, by alleging that another stole sheep too? Would such a defence be listened too? Oh, no; and I will say unto you, freemen of American and the press will convey it to you almost as swift as the wind, that God understands you; that you are hypocrites tyrants and unjust men; that you are degraded and dishonored; and I say unto you, dare not to stand up boasting of your freedom or your privileges, while you continue to the men, redeemed by the same blood, as the mere creatures of your will; for while you do so, there is a blot upon your escutcheon which all the waters of the Atlantic cannot wash out.

* * * * * *

Of all men living, an American citizen, who is the owner of slaves, is the most despicable. He is a political hypocrite Edition: current; Page: [6] of the very worst description. The friends of humanity and liberty, in Europe, should join in one universal cry of shame on the American slaveholders! “Base wretches,” should we shout in chorus—“base wretches, how dare you profane the temple of national freedom, the sacred fane of republican rites, with the presence and the sufferings of human beings in chains and slavery?”—Speech delivered at an Anti-Slavery Meeting in 1829.

I speak of liberty in commendation. Patriotism is a virtue, but it can be selfish. Give me the great and immortal Bolivar, the savior and regenerator of his country. He found her a province, and he has made her a nation. His first act was to give freedom to the slaves upon his own estate. (Hear, hear.) In Colombia, all castes and all colors are free and unshackled. But how I like to contrast him with the far-famed northern heroes! George Washington! that great and enlightened character,—the soldier and the statesman,—had but one blot upon his character. He had slaves, and he gave them liberty when he wanted them no longer. (Loud cheers.) Let America, in the fullness of her pride, wave on high her banner of freedom and its blazing stars. I point to her, and say, There is one foul blot upon it; you have negro slavery. They may compare their struggles for freedom to Marathon and Leuctra, and point to the rifleman with his gun, amidst her woods and forests, shouting for liberty and America. In the midst of their laughter and their pride, I point them to the negro children screaming for the mother from whose bosom they have been torn. America, it is a foul stain upon your character! (Cheers.) This conduct, kept up by men who had themselves to struggle for freedom, is doubly unjust. Let them hoist the flag of liberty, with the whip and rack on one side, and the star of freedom upon the other. The Americans are a sensitive people; in fifty-four years they have increased their population from three millions to twenty millions; they have many glories that surround them, but their beams are partly shorn, for they have slaves. (Cheers.) Their hearts do not beat so strong for liberty as mine. * * * * * I will call for justice, in the name of the living God, and I shall find an echo in the breast of every human being. (Cheers.)—Speech delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Cork Anti-Slavery Society, 1829.

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Ireland and Irishmen should be foremost in seeking to effect the emancipation of mankind. (Cheers.) * * * * * The Americans alleged that they had not perpetrated the crime, but inherited it from England. This, however, fact as it was, was still a paltry apology for America, who, asserting liberty for herself, still used the brand and the lash against others. (Hear.) He taunted America with the continuance of slavery; and the voice with which he there uttered the taunt would be wafted on the wings of the press, until it would be heard in the remote wilds of America; it would be wafted over the waters of the Missouri and those of the Mississippi; and even the slaves upon the distant banks of the Ohio would make his words resound in the ears of their heartless masters, and tell them to their face, that they were the victims of cruelty, injustice, and foul oppression. (Cheers.) Bright as was the page of American history, and brilliant as was the emblazonment of her deeds, still, negro slavery was a black, a “damning spot” upon it. Glorious and splendid as was the star-spangled banner of republican America, still it was stained with the deep, foul blot of human blood.—Speech delivered at a Meeting of the Dublin Anti-Slavery Society, 1830.

Man cannot have property in man. Slavery is a nuisance, to be put down, not to be compromised with; and to be assailed without cessation and without mercy by every blow that can be levelled at the monster. * * * * * Let general principles be asserted. And as it is the cause of religion and liberty, all that is wanted is the unwearied repetition of zealous advocacy to make it certainly triumphant. Let every man, then, in whatever position he may be placed, do his duty in crushing that hideous tyranny, which rends the husband from the wife, the children from their parents; which enables one human being, at his uncontrolled will, to apply the lash to the back of his fellow-man.—Speech delivered at the London Anti-Slavery Society, 1830.

We are responsible for what we do, and also for the influence of our example. Think you that the United States of America would be able to hold up their heads among the nations,—the United States, who shook off their allegiance to Edition: current; Page: [8] their sovereign, and declared that it was the right of every man to enjoy freedom—of every man, whether black, white, or red; who made this declaration before the God of armies, and then, when they had succeeded in their enterprise, forgot their vow, and made slaves, and used the lash and the chain,—would they dare to take their place among the nations, if it were not that England countenances them in the practice?—Speech delivered at the General Meeting of the British Anti-Slavery Society, 1831.

My claim to be heard on this occasion is included in one sentence—I am an Abolitionist. (Cheering.) I am for speedy, immediate abolition. (Renewed cheers.) I care not what caste, creed, or color, slavery may assume. Whether it be personal or political, mental or corporeal, intellectual or spiritual, I am for its total, its instant abolition. (Great applause.) I enter into no compromise with slavery. I am for justice, in the name of humanity, and according to the law of the living God.

* * * * * *

The time has now come, when every man who has honest feelings should declare himself the advocate of abolition. He who consents to tolerate crime is a criminal; and never will I lose the slightest opportunity, whether here or in the legislature, or any where else, to raise my voice for liberty,—for the extinction of slavery. (Great applause.) Humanity, justice and religion combine to call upon us to abolish this foul blot. But it is not England or Britain alone that is stained with the crime. The democratic Republic of America shares in the guilt. Oh! the inconsistency of these apostles of liberty talking of freedom, while they basely and wickedly continue the slavery of their fellow-men, the negroes of Africa! A republican is naturally proud and high-minded, and we may make the pride of the North American republicans the very weapon by which to break down slavery; for, if the example of England were gone, they could not, in the face of the world, continue the odious and atrocious system one moment longer. (Cheers.) Abolish it throughout the British colonies, and away it goes in America. (Renewed cheers.)

* * * * * *

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Slavery is a crime, a high crime against Heaven, and its annihilation ought not to be postponed. We have lately heard a good deal of the iniquity of the East India Company getting money from the poor, infatuated wretches who throw themselves beneath the wheel of Juggernaut’s car. This is lamentable indeed; but what care I, whether the instrument of torture be a wheel or a lash? (Applause.) I am against Juggernaut, both in the East Indies and West Indies, and am determined, therefore, not to assist in perpetuating slavery. Is it possible, that where humanity, benevolence and religion are combined, there can be doubt of success? The priests of Juggernaut are respectable persons compared with those who oppose such a combination (applause); and I entreat you to assist in the great work by becoming its apostles.—Speech delivered before the London Anti-Slavery Society, 1831.

I will now go to America. I have often longed to go there, in reality; but, so long as it is tarnished by slavery, I will never pollute my foot by treading on its shores. (Cheers.) In the course of my Parliamentary duty, a few days ago, I had to arraign the conduct of the despot of the North, for his cruelty to the men, women and children of Poland; and I spoke of him with the execration he merits. But, I confess, that although I hate him with as much hatred as one Christian man can hate another human being, viz.: I detest his actions with abhorrence, unutterable and indescribable; yet there is a climax in my hatred. I would adopt the language of the poet, but reverse the imagery, and say,

  • “In the deepest hell, there is a depth still more profound,”

and that is to be found in the conduct of the American slave-owners. (Cheers.) They are the basest of the base—the most execrable of the execrable. I thank God, that upon the wings of the press, the voice of so humble an individual as myself will pass against the western breeze—that it will reach the rivers, the lakes, the mountains, and the glens of America—and that the friends of liberty there will sympathize with me, and rejoice that I here tear down the image of Liberty from the recreant hand of America, and condemn Edition: current; Page: [10] her as the vilest of hypocrites—the greatest of liars. (Long continued cheers.)

When this country most unjustly and tyrannically oppressed its colonies, and insisted that a Parliament of borough-mongers in Westminster should have the power of putting their long fingers across the Atlantic into the pockets of the Americans, taking out as much as they pleased, and, if they found any thing, leaving what residuum they chose—America turned round, and appealed to justice, and she was right; appealed to humanity, and she was right; appealed to her own brave sword, and she was right, and I glory in it. At that awful period, when America was exciting all the nations of the world; when she was declaring her independence, and her inhabitants pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, and invoked the God of charity (whom they foolishly called the God of battles, which he is not, any more than he is the God of murder)—at that awful period, when they laid the foundation of their liberty, they began with these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thus the American has acknowledged what he cannot deny, viz., that God the Creator has endowed man with those inalienable rights. But it is not the white man, it is not the copper-colored man, nor is it the black man alone, who is thus endowed; it is all men who are possessed of these inalienable rights. The man, however, who cannot vote in any State assembly without admitting this as the foundation of his liberty, has the atrocious injustice, the murderous injustice, to trample upon these inalienable rights; as it were, to attempt to rob the Creator of his gifts, and to appropriate to himself his brother man, as if he could be his slave. (Cheers.) Shame be upon America! eternal shame be upon her escutcheon! (Loud cheers.)

Shortly there will not be a slave in the British colonies. Five lines in an Act of Parliament, the other night, liberated nearly 500,000 slaves in the East Indies, at a single blow. The West Indians will be obliged to grant emancipation, in spite of the paltry attempts to prevent it; and we will then turn to America, and to every part of Europe, and require emancipation. Edition: current; Page: [11] (Cheers.) No! they must not think that they can boast of their republican institutions—that they can talk of their strength and their glory. Unless they abolish slavery, they must write themselves down liars, or call a general convention of the States, and blot out the first sentence of their Declaration of Independence, and write in its place, “Liberty in America means the power to flog slaves, and to work them for nothing.” (Loud applause.) * * * *

The voice of Europe will proclaim the slave’s deliverance, and will say to him, “Shed no blood, but take care that your blood be not shed.” I tell the American slave-owner, that he shall not have silence; for, humble as I am, and feeble as my voice may be, yet deafening the sound of the westerly wave, and riding against the blast as thunder goes, it shall reach America, telling the black man that the time for his emancipation has come, and the oppressor that the period of his injustice is soon to terminate! (Cheers.)—Speech delivered at the Great Anti-Colonization Meeting in London, 1833.

Mr. O’Connell presented himself to the meeting, amid the most enthusiastic cheers. After some remarks of a general nature, the Hon. and learned gentleman proceeded to speak in terms of severe censure of the conduct of the Americans, in continuing to keep in bondage the black population in many of their States. He did not wonder at the death-plagues of New Orleans, or the devastation of its people, many of whom enjoyed health and vigor at morn, and were lifeless at noon, when they had committed or countenanced crimes which could only be registered with the annals of Nicholas and the curses of Poland.

The Hon. and learned gentleman read several extracts from an American slaveholding Act, in which it was enjoined that no judge, legislative member, barrister or preacher, should speak or write any thing against slavery, under the pain of being sentenced to not less than three years, and not more than twenty-one years’ imprisonment, or death, at the discretion of the court!!! And that no American should teach a slave to read or write, under pain of not less than three months, and not more than twelve months’ imprisonment. (Hear, hear.) The Hon. and learned gentleman flung this Edition: current; Page: [12] black dishonor on the star-spangled banner of America—in vain did it wave over every sea, proclaiming the honor of the boasted republic of modern times—those who fought under it were felons to the human race, (hear, hear,) traitors to liberty, to their own honor, and blasphemers of the Almighty. “The red arm of God,” continued the Hon. and learned gentleman, “is bared; and let the enemies of those whom his Son died to save, the black man as well as the white man, beware of its vengeance! The lightning careers through the troubled air resistless, amidst the howling of the tempest and rolling of the thunder. Oh, for one moment of poetic inspiration, that my words, with the fire of indignation with which my bosom burns, may be borne on the western breeze across the wide Atlantic, light on their shores, reverberate among their mountains, and be wafted down the rivers of America!”—Speech delivered at an Anti-Slavery Meeting in London, 1835.

He had given the Americans some severe but merited reproofs; for which they had paid him wages in abuse and scurrility. He was satisfied that they had done so. He was accustomed to receive such wages in return for his labors. He had never done good but he was villified for his pains; and he felt that he could not sleep soundly were such opponents to cease abusing him. (Cheers.) He would continue to earn such wages. (Cheers.) By the blessing of God, he would yet trample on the serpent of slave-owning cupidity, and triumph over the hiss of the foul reptile, which marked its agony, and excited his contempt. The Americans, in their conduct towards their slaves, were traitors to the cause of human liberty, and foul detractors of the democratic principle, which he had cherished throughout his political life, and blasphemers of that great and sacred name which they pretended to reverence. In reprobation of their disgraceful conduct, his public voice had been heard across the wide Atlantic. Like the thunder-storm in its strength, it had careered against the breeze, armed with the lightning of Christian truth. (Great cheering.) And, let them seek to repress it as they may; let them murder and assassinate in the true spirit of lynch law; the storm would wax louder and louder around them, till the claims of justice became too strong to be withstood, Edition: current; Page: [13] and the black man would stand up, too big for his chains. It seemed, indeed—he hoped what he was about to say was not profanation—as if the curse of the Almighty had already overtaken them. For the first time in their political history, disgraceful tumult and anarchy had been witnessed in their cities. Blood had been shed without the sanction of law, and even Sir Robert Peel had been enabled—but he was here in danger of becoming political. (Cries of No, no—Go on, and cheers.) Well, then, even Sir Robert Peel had been enabled to taunt the Americans with gross inconsistency and lawless proceedings. He differed from Sir Robert Peel on many points. (Laughter.) Every body knew that. (Renewed laughter.) It was no doubt presumption in him to differ from so great a man, but yet such was the fact. (Laughter.) On one point, however, he fully agreed with him. Let the proud Americans learn, that all parties in this country unite in condemnation of their conduct; and let them also learn that the worst of all aristocracies is that which prevails in America—an aristocracy which had been aptly denominated that of the human skin. The most insufferable pride was that shown by such an aristocracy. And yet he must confess that he could not understand such pride. He could understand the pride of noble descent. He could understand why a man should plume himself on the success of his ancestors in plundering the people some centuries ago. He could understand the pride arising from immense landed possessions. He could even understand the pride of wealth, the fruit of honest and careful industry. Yet when he thought of the color of the skin making men aristocratic, he felt his astonishment to vie with his contempt. Many a white skin covered a black heart; yet an aristocrat of the skin was the proudest of the proud. Republicans were proverbially proud, and therefore he delighted to taunt the Americans with the superlative meanness, as well as injustice, of their assumed airs of superiority over their black fellow-citizens. (Cheers.) He would continue to hurl his taunts across the Atlantic. And, oh!—but perhaps it was his pride that dictated the hope—that some black O’Connell might rise among his fellow slaves, (tremendous cheers,) who would cry, Agitate, agitate, (renewed cheering,) till the two millions and a half of his fellow-sufferers learned the secret of their Edition: current; Page: [14] strength—learned that they were two millions and a half. (Enthusiastic cheers.) If there was one thing which more than another could excite his hatred, it was the laws which the Americans had framed to prevent the instruction of their slaves. To be seen in company with a negro who could write, was visited with imprisonment, (shame!) and to teach a slave the principles of freedom was punished with death. Were these human laws, it might be asked? Were they not laws made by wolves of the forest?—No—they were made by a congregation of two-legged wolves—American wolves—monsters in human shape, who boast of their liberty and of their humanity, while they carry the hearts of tigers within them. (Cheers.)—Speech delivered at the Presentation of the Emancipation Society’s Address to Mr. O’Connell, 1835.

I hate slavery in all countries—the slavery of the Poles in Russia under their miscreant tyrant, and the slavery of the unfortunate men of color under their fellow-men, the boasted friends of liberty in the United States. Let the slave leap up for joy when he hears of the meeting of this day (cheers); let him have the prospect of freedom to cheer him in the decline of life. (Cheers.) We ought to make our exertions strongly, immediately, and unanimously. (Cheers.) Remember what is taking place elsewhere. Only cast your eyes across the Atlantic, and see what is taking place on the American shores. (Cheers.) Behold those pretended sons of freedom—those who declared that every man was equal in the presence of his God—that every man had an inalienable right to liberty—behold them making, in the name of honor, their paltry honor, an organized resistance in Southern Slave States against the advocates of emancipation. Behold them aiding in the robbery committed on an independent State. See how they have seized upon the territory of Texas, taking it from Mexico, Mexico having totally abolished slavery without apprenticeship, (loud cheers,) in order to make it a new market for slavery. (Shame!) Remember how they have stolen, cheated, swindled, robbed that country, for the audacious and horrible purpose of perpetuating negro slavery. (Cries of “Shame!”) Remember that there is now a treaty on foot, in contemplation at least, between the Texians and the President of the United States, and that it is only postponed till this robbery Edition: current; Page: [15] of Texas from Mexico can be completed. Oh! raise the voice of humanity against these horrible crimes! (Cheers.) There is about republicans a sentiment of pride—a feeling of self-exaltation. Let us tell these republicans, that instead of their being the highest in the scale of humanity, they are the basest of the base, the vilest of the vile. (Tremendous cheers.) My friends, there is a community of sentiment all over the world, borne on the wings of the press; and what the humble individual who is now addressing you may state, will be carried across the waves of the Atlantic; it will go up the Missouri—it will be wafted along the banks of the Mississippi—it will reach infernal Texas itself. (Immense cheering.) And though that pandemonium may scream at the sound, they shall suffer from the lash of human indignation applied to their horrible crime. (Cheers.) If they are not arrested in their career of guilt, four new States in America will be filled with slaves. Oh, hideous breeders of human beings for slavery! Such are the horrors of that system in the American States, that it is impossible, in this presence, to describe them; the mind is almost polluted by thinking of them. Should the measures now contemplated by the Americans be accomplished, these horrors will be increased fourfold; and men, with the human soul degraded, will be in a worse state even than the physical degradation of human bodies. (Cheers.) What have we to look to? Their honor—their generosity! We must expect nothing from their generosity. (Cheers.) Sir, I cannot restrain myself. It was only the other day, I read a letter in The Morning Chronicle, from their Philadelphia correspondent. A person, whose Indian name I forget, (a voice, “Osceola,”) but who was called Powell, had carried on a war at the head of the Seminoles, and other Florida tribes, against the people of Florida. He behaved nobly, and bravely fought for his country; and he would have been deified as a hero had he fought in a civilized nation, and testimonials would have been reared to commemorate his deeds, as great and numerous as those which have been raised to a Napoleon or a Wellington. But what happens to this warrior? Why, these Americans, having made a truce with him, invited him to a conference. He comes under the protection of that truce. Thus confiding in their honor, is he allowed to return? Oh no! He is not Edition: current; Page: [16] allowed to return, but is taken prisoner, and carried captive to the fort. (Shame, shame!) Oh, cry out shame, and let that cry be heard across the waves of the mighty ocean! (Cheers.) We are the teachers of humanity, we are the friends of humanity. What does it signify to us, that the crime is not committed on British soil? Wherever it is committed, we are its enemies. (Cheers.) The American, it is true, boasts of having been the first to abolish the slave trade carried on in foreign vessels. Why, he was. But what was the consequence? Every one of his own slaves at home was made of more value to him. It was a swindling humanity. It was worse than our twenty millions scheme. It had the guise of humanity, but had really the spirit of avarice and oppression. (Cheers.) I, perhaps, ought to apologize for detaining you (No, no! Go on!); but we are all children of the same Creator, heirs to the same promise, purchased by the blood of the same Redeemer, and what signifies of what caste, color or creed we may be? (Cheers.) It is our duty to proclaim that the cause of the negro is our cause, and that we will insist upon doing away, to the best of our human ability, the stain of slavery, not only from every portion of this mighty empire, but from the face of the whole earth. (Cheers.) If there be in the huts of Africa, or amidst the swamps of Texas, a human being panting for liberty, let it be proclaimed to him that he has friends and supporters among the great British nation. (Cheers.)—Speech delivered at a Public Meeting of Anti-Slavery Delegates in London, 1837.

It is utterly impossible that any thing should exist more horrible than the American slave-breeding. The history of it is this: The Americans abolished the foreign slave trade earlier than England, but with this consolation—no small comfort to so money-loving a race as the slaveholders—that by such abolition, they enhanced the price of the slaves then in America, by stopping the competition in the home market of newly imported slaves. Why, otherwise, was not the home trade stopped as well as the foreign? The reply is obvious.

To supply the home slave trade, an abominable, a most hideous, most criminal, and most revolting practice of breeding negroes exclusively for sale, has sprung up, and especially, we are told, in Virginia. There are breeding plantations for Edition: current; Page: [17] producing negroes, as there are with us breeding farms for producing calves and lambs. And as our calf and lamb breeders calculate the number of males of the flock to the females, similar calculations are made by the traffickers in human flesh. One instance was mentioned to me of a human breeding farm in America, which was supplied with two men and twelve women. Why should I pollute my page with a description of all that is immoral and infamous in such practice? But only think of the wretched mothers, whom nature compels to love their children—children torn from them for ever, just at the period that they could requite their mother’s love! The wretched, wretched mother! Who can depict the mother’s distraction and madness? “But their maternal feelings are,” says a modern writer, “treated with as much contemptuous indifference, as those of the cows and ewes whose calves and lambs are sent to the English market.”

That it is which stains the character of the American slaveholder, and leaves the breeder of slaves the most detestable of human beings; especially when that slaveholder is a republican, boasting of freedom, shouting for liberty, and declaring, as the charter of his liberal institutions, these are self-evident truths, “that all men are created equal—that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights—that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

My sole object in my speech at Birmingham, and present object, is to rouse the attention of England and of Europe to all that is cruel, criminal, and, in every sense of the word, infamous, in the system of negro slavery in North America. My deliberate conviction is, that until that system is abolished, no American slaveholder ought to be received on a footing of equality by any of the civilized inhabitants of Europe.—Letter of Mr. O’Connell to the Editor of the London Morning Chronicle, 1838.

I have no superfluous tears to shed for Ireland, and shall show my love of my country by continuing my exertions to obtain for her justice and good government; but I feel that I have something Irish at my heart, which makes me sympathize with all those who are suffering under oppression, and forces me to give to universal man the benefit of the exertions Edition: current; Page: [18] which are the consequence. (Cheers.) And what adds peculiarly to the claim of Ireland for sympathy and support is, that in the great cause of suffering humanity, no voice was ever raised, but Ireland was found ready to afford relief and succor.—Speech delivered at a Meeting of the British India Society, London, 1839.

He then came to North America, and there, thank God, he found much reason for congratulation. There were now present forty representatives of American Abolition Societies to aid them in the great struggle for human liberty. Let them be honored, in proportion as the slaveholders were execrated. Oh! they had a hard battle to fight! In place of being honored as they were in this land, they had to encounter coolness and outrage; the bowie-knife and lynch law threatened them; they were Abolitionists at the risk of their lives. (Cheers.) Glory to them! A year or two since, he made some observations upon the conduct of the American Minister; he charged him with breeding slaves for sale; he denied it; and, in order to prove who was right, he sent him [Mr. O’Connell] a challenge to fight a duel. (Laughter.) He did not accept it. Nothing would ever induce him to commit murder. God had forbidden it, and he would obey him. (Cheers.) The American Minister denied the charge, but he admitted that he had slaves, and he admitted that he did afterwards sell some; so let him have the benefit of such a denial. (A laugh.) He added, however, that he did not believe that slaves were bred for sale in Virginia. Now, he would read some few extracts from Judge Jay’s book, published in New York, in 1839. He would call Mr. Stevenson’s attention to page 88 of that book, and that would prove to him, not only that slave-breeding existed in Virginia, but within twenty-five miles of his own residence. [The Honorable Gentleman read several extracts, proving the practice; also several advertisements of lots of slaves wanted for ready money, for shipment to New Orleans, and dated in Richmond, the very place of Mr. Stevenson’s residence.] He had established against the Ambassador, that slave-raising did exist in Virginia. Yet all these things took place in a civilized country—a civilized age—advertisements of human flesh for sale, and written in even a more contemptuous manner than if the subjects of Edition: current; Page: [19] them were cattle. The traffic in slaves from the North to the Southern States was immense. In the latter, they were put to the culture of sugar—a horrible culture, that swept off the whole in seven years—every seven years there was a new generation wanted. This was in a community calling themselves civilized. Why, they were worse than the savage beasts of the desert, for they only mangled when driven to it by hunger; but this horrible practice is carried on by well-fed Americans for paltry pecuniary profit—for that low and base consideration, they destroy annually their tens and twenty thousands.

These scenes took place in a country, which, in all other respects, had a fair claim to be called civilized—in a country which had nobly worked out its own freedom—in a country where the men were brave and the women beautiful. Amongst the descendants of Englishmen—even amongst such was to be found a horrible population, whose thirst for gold could only be gratified at the expense of such scenes of human suffering; a population who were insensible to the wrath of God, who were insensible to the cries and screams of mothers and children, torn from each other for ever. But there was one thing they would not be insensible to—they dare not, they would not be insensible to the contempt of Europe. (Loud cheers.) While they embraced the American Abolitionists as friends and brothers, let none of the slave-owners, dealers in human flesh, dare to set a foot upon our free soil. (Cheering.) Let them call upon the Government to protest to America, that they would not receive any slaveholding ambassador. (Loud cheering.) Let them declare that no slave-owner can be admitted into European society; and then Calhoun and Clay, and men like them, who stand up putting forth their claims to be President of the great Republic, must yield to the public, universal opinion. He had made mention of those two men—he would only say that Calhoun was branded with the blood issuing from the stripes of the slave, and Clay drowned in the tears of the mothers and the children. (Cheers.) Let the people of Europe say to slave-owners, “Murderers, you belong not to us! Away to the desert, and herd with kindred savages!” (Cheers.) He begged pardon of the savage. (Laughter.) Sometimes in anger he committed heinous crimes, but he was incapable of Edition: current; Page: [20] coolly calculating how long or how hard he could work a human being with a profit,—sometimes granting him a boon for the purpose of obtaining a year or two more of labor out of him. Well, are we to remain passive as hitherto? (Loud cries of “No, no!”) Let our declaration also go abroad. Let this Society adopt it—let the benevolence and good sense of Englishmen make that declaration. If an American addresses you, find out at once if he be a slaveholder. (Hear, hear.) He may have business with you, and the less you do with him, the better (a laugh)—but the moment that is over, turn from him as if he had the cholera or the plague (cheers)—for there is a moral cholera and a political plague upon him. (Cheers.) He belongs not to your country or your clime—he is not within the pale of civilization or Christianity. (Cheers.) Let us rally for the liberty of the human race (applause)—no matter in what country or in what clime he is found, the slave is entitled to our protection; no matter of what caste, of what creed, of what color, he is your fellow-man—he is suffering injustice; and British generosity, which has done so much already, ought to be cheered to the task by the recollection of the success it has already attained. (Cheers.) * * * I am zealous in the cause, to be sure, but inefficient—acknowledging the humility of the individual, I am still swelled by the greatness of the cause. My bosom expands, and I glory in the domestic struggle for freedom which gave me a title to stand among you, and to use that title in the best way I can, to proclaim humanity to man, and the abolition of slavery all over the world.—Speech delivered at the Anniversary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840.

From this spot, I wish to rouse all the high and lofty pride of the American mind. Republicanism necessarily gives a higher and prouder tone to the human mind than any other form of government. I am not comparing it with any thing else at present; but all history shows there is a pride about republicanism, which, perhaps, is a consolation to the republican for any privations he may suffer, and a compensation for many things in which he may possibly be inferior; but from this spot, I repeat, I wish to rouse all the honesty and pride of American youth and manhood; and would that the voice Edition: current; Page: [21] of civilized Europe would aid me in the appeal, and swell my feeble voice to one shout of honest indignation; and when these Americans point to their boasted Declaration of Independence, exclaim, “Look at your practice!” Can there be faith in man, or reliance placed in human beings, who thus contrast their action with their declarations? * * * That was the first phrase of their boasted Declaration of Independence. What was the last?—“To these principles we solemnly pledge our lives,” (invoking the name of the great God, and calling for his aid,) “we solemnly pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” It has the solemnity without the profaneness of an oath; it speaks in the presence of the living God; it pledges life, fortune, and sacred honor to the principles they assert. How can they lay claim to “sacred honor,” with this dark, emphatic, and diabolical violation of their principles staring them in the face? No! America must know that all Europe is looking at her, and that her Senate, in declaring that there is property in human beings, has violated her oath to God, and “sacred honor” to men. Will the American come down upon me, then, with his republicanism? I will meet him with the taunt, that he has mingled perjury with personal disgrace and dishonor, and inflicted both with a double barb into the character of any man who claims property in any human being. France, and even England, might possibly adopt such a resolution without violating their national honor, because they have made no such declarations as America, and therefore she is doubly dyed in disgrace by the course she has taken, in open opposition to her own charter of Independence. * * * I rejoice to hear the present agitation is striking terror into the hearts of the slave-mongers, whose selfish interests, vile passions, and predominant pride, with all that is bad and unworthy commingled, make them willing to retain their hold of human property, and to work with the bones and blood of their fellow-creatures; whilst a species of democratic aristocracy, the filthiest aristocracy that ever entered into civilized society, is set up in the several States—an aristocracy that wishes to have property without the trouble and toil of earning it, and to set themselves above men, only to plunder them of their natural rights, and to live solely upon their labor. Thus, the gratification of every bad passion, and every base emotion of the human Edition: current; Page: [22] mind, is enlisted in defence of the slaveholder’s right. When we turn our eyes upon America, we see in her Declaration of Independence the display of the democratic elements of popular feeling against every thing like tyranny or oppression. But when I come to the District of Columbia, there I see in the capital and temple of freedom, the negro chained to his toil, and writhing beneath the lash of his taskmaster, and the negress doomed to all the horrors of slavery. There I see their infant, yet unable to understand what it is that tortures its father, or distracts its mother; while that mother is cursing its existence, because it is not a man, but a slave; and almost wishing—oh! what a wringing thought to a mother’s heart—that the child might sink into an early grave, rather than become the property of an excruciating tyrant, and the instrument of wealth to others, without being able to procure comfort and happiness for itself. That is America; that is the land of the free; these are the illustrations of the glorious principles laid down in the Declaration of American Independence! These evils, inflicted as they are by the democratic aristocracy of the States, are worse than ever were inflicted by the most kingly aristocracy, or the most despotic tyranny. I do not mean any thing offensive to our American friends present, but I do say, there is written in letters of blood upon the American escutcheon, robbery and murder, and plunder of human beings. I recognize no American as a fellow-man, except those who belong to anti-slavery societies. Those who uphold slavery are not men as we are, they are not honest as we are; and I look upon a slaveholder as upon a pickpocket, who violates the common laws of property and honesty.

They say that, by their Constitution, they are prevented from emancipating the slaves in the slaveholding States; but I look in the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of 1787, and I defy them to find a single word about slavery, or any provision for holding property in man.

No man can deny the personal courage of the American people. With the recollection of the battles of Bunker’s Hill and Saratoga,—of which, indeed, I might be reminded by the portrait which hangs opposite to me, of one of the officers who took an active part in those conflicts, (the Earl of Moira,)—with the recollection, I say, of those battles, it would be disgraceful and dishonest to deny to the American people personal Edition: current; Page: [23] courage and bravery. There exists not a braver people upon the face of the earth. But, amongst all those who composed the Convention of 1787, there was not one man who had the moral courage—I was about to say the immoral courage—to insert the word slavery in the Constitution. No! they did not dare pronounce the word; and if they did not dare to use the word slavery, are they to be allowed to adopt the thing? Is America to shake her star-spangled banner in the breeze, and boast of liberty, while she is conscious that that banner floats over the heads of slaves? Oh, but they call it “persons held to labor”—that is the phrase they use in their Constitution; but dare any one say that slavery is implied in those words? The term applies to any person who enters into a contract to labor, for a given period, as by the month or year, or for an equivalent; but his doing so does not constitute him a slave, surely; the very term is disgraceful to nature, and an affront to nature’s God. No wonder the word was not in their Declaration; you would not look to find words of injustice and cruelty in a declaration of honesty and humanity. I repeat it, they have not used the word. They meant slavery: they intended to have slaves, but they dared not employ the word; and “persons held to labor” was as near as they dared approach to it. Can you conceive of a deeper crime than slavery? A crime which includes in it injustice and cruelty, which multiplies robberies and murders! Ay, there is one thing worse even than this, and that is hypocrisy added to it. Let hypocrisy be superinduced on injustice, and you have, indeed, a character fit to mingle with the murky powers of darkness; and the Americans (I speak not of them all, there are many noble exceptions) have added hypocrisy to their other accomplishments. They say they have no power to emancipate their slaves: is that the real reason? It may be, that they have not power to do so in some particular States; but then, what shall be said of the District of Columbia? There they are not bound by any restriction; yet in that District there are slaves, and there they furnish further proof of their hypocrisy. Oh, say they, we are the finest gentlemen, the wisest statesmen, the most profound legislators in the world. We are ardent lovers of liberty, we detest slavery, and we lament that we have not the power to make all free. Then I whisper, Columbia! Edition: current; Page: [24] Columbia! You have the power there, you have the authority there, to remove this foul blot; you have the means and opportunities; you have, in short, every thing but the will: the will alone is wanting; and, with all your professions, you are hypocrites.

But I will now turn to a subject of congratulation: I mean the Anti-Slavery Societies of America—those noble-hearted men and women, who, through difficulties and dangers, have proved how hearty they are in the cause of abolition. I hail them all as my friends, and wish them to regard me as a brother. I wish for no higher station in the world; but I do covet the honor of being a brother with these American Abolitionists. In this country, the Abolitionists are in perfect safety: here we have fame and honor; we are lauded and encouraged by the good; we are smiled upon and cheered by the fair; we are bound together by godlike truth and charity; and though we have our differences as to points of faith, we have no differences as to this point, and we proceed in our useful career esteemed and honored. But it is not so with our anti-slavery friends in America: there they are villified, there they are insulted. Why, did not very lately a body of men—of gentlemen, so called—of persons who would be angry if you denied them that cognomen, and would even be ready to call you out to share a rifle and a ball—did not such “gentlemen” break in upon an Anti-Slavery Society in America; aye, upon a ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society, and assault them in a most cowardly manner? And did they not denounce the members of that Society? And where did this happen? Why, in Boston—in enlightened Boston, the capital of a non-slaveholding State. In this country, the Abolitionists have nothing to complain of; but in America, they are met with the bowie-knife and lynch law! Yes! in America, you have had martyrs; your cause has been stained with blood; the voice of your brethren’s blood crieth from the ground, and riseth high, not, I trust, for vengeance, but for mercy, upon those who have thus treated them. But you ought not to be discouraged, or relax in your efforts. Here you have honor. A human being cannot be placed in a more glorious position than to take up such a cause under such circumstances. I am delighted to be one of a Convention in which are so many of such great and good men. I trust that Edition: current; Page: [25] their reception will be such as that their zeal may be greatly strengthened to continue their noble struggle. I have reason to hope that, in this assembly, a voice will be raised which will roll back in thunder to America, which will mingle with her mighty waves, and which will cause one universal shout of liberty to be heard throughout the world. Oh, there is not a delegate from the Anti-Slavery Societies of America, but ought to have his name, aye, her name, written in characters of immortality! The Anti-Slavery Societies in America are deeply persecuted, and are deserving of every encouragement which we can possibly give them. I would that I had the eloquence to depict their character aright; but my tongue falters, and my powers fail, while I attempt to describe them. They are the true friends of humanity, and would that I had a tongue to describe aright the mighty majesty of their undertaking! I love and honor America and the Americans. I respect their great principles; their untiring industry; their lofty genius; their social institutions; their morals, such morals as can exist with slavery—God knows they cannot be many—but I respect all in them or about them that is good. But, at the same time, I denounce and anathematize them as slaveholders, and hold them up to the scorn of all civilized Europe. I would that the government of this country would tell the United States of America, that they must send no more slaveholding negotiators here!

I will tell you a little anecdote. Last year, I was accosted with great civility by a well-dressed, gentleman-like person, in the lobby of the House of Commons. He stated that he was from America, and was anxious to be admitted to the House. “From what State do you come?” “From Alabama.” “A slaveholder, perhaps?” “Yes.” “Then,” said I, “I beg to be excused;” and so I bowed and left him. Now, that is an example which I wish to be followed. Have no intercourse with a slaveholder. You may, perhaps, deal with him as a man of business, but, even then, you must act with caution, as you would with a pickpocket and a robber. You ought to be very scant of courtesy towards him, at least until he has cleared himself of the foul imputation. Let us beware of too much familiarity with such men; and let us plainly and honestly tell them, as a Convention, what we think of them. I am not for the employment of force; no—let Edition: current; Page: [26] all be done by the statement of indisputable facts; by the diffusion of information; by the union of benevolent minds; by our bold determination to expose tyranny and cruelty; by proclaiming to the slaveholders that, so long as they have any connection with the accursed traffic in human beings, we hold them to be a different race. Why should it not be so? Why should we not shrink from them, as we would with shuddering from the approach of the vilest reptiles? The declaration of such views and feelings from such a body of men as are now before me, will make the slaveholders tremble. My voice is feeble; but I have no doubt that what I say will reach them, and that it will have some influence upon them. They must feel that they cannot much longer hold the sway. One of the great objects of my hope is to affright the Americans by laying hold upon their pride, their vanity, their self-esteem, by commending what is excellent in them, and by showing how very far they come short in those proprieties upon which they boast themselves. I would have this Convention avail themselves of all such aids, and to urge them by every possible argument to abandon the horrid vice by which their character is so foully disfigured. * * * We have proof this day that there are those who love the cause of freedom in every part of the globe. And why should it not be so? Why should not all unite in such a glorious cause? We are all formed by the same Creator; we are alike the objects of the same watchful Providence; we are all the purchase of the same redeeming blood; we have one common Savior; and our hearts beat high with the same immortal hopes. And why should any portion of the human race be shut out from our affection and regard? * * * O, let our word go forth from this place, that we do not deem the Americans Christians, by whatever name they are called, whether Episcopalians, or Baptists, or Independents, or Methodists, or whatever other name,—that we regard them not as Christians at all, unless they cordially unite with us in this great work. We honor all that is really good in America, and would have it all on our side in this glorious struggle—in this holy cause. Let us unite and persevere, and, by the blessing of God, and the aid of good men, freedom will, ere long, wave her triumphant banner over emancipated America, and we shall unite with the whole world to rejoice in the result.—Speech at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention, held in Freemason’s Hall, London, June, 1840.

Edition: current; Page: [27]

At a special meeting of the Loyal National Repeal Association, held in the Great Room, Corn Exchange, Dublin, May 9, 1843,—James Haughton, Esq., in the chair,—

Mr. O’Connell said—The Association had adjourned to that day for the purpose of receiving a communication with which they had been honored from the Anti-Slavery Society of America—a body of men whom they most entirely respect—whose objects should be cherished in their hearts’ core—whose dangers enhanced their virtues—and whose persevering patriotism would either write their names on the pages of temporal history, or impress them in a higher place, where eternal glory and happiness would be the reward of their exertions. (Cheers.) His impressions were so strong in favor of the Anti-Slavery Society of America, that he thought it would not be so respectful as he would desire, if he brought forward that document in the routine of business on the last day, when it could not be so much attended to as it deserved. (Hear, hear.) It was out of respect to the people who sent that document, that they had adjourned; and he might say, that personal respect for the Chairman was mixed up with that consideration. (Cheers.) They could not have sent a better message, or a more sincere one; and, if he now had the kindness to make the communication, they would receive it with the respect it deserved. (Cheers.)

The Anti-Slavery Address having been read,—

Mr. O’Connell then said:—I rise with the greatest alacrity to move that that most interesting document be inserted on the minutes, and that the fervent thanks of the Repeal Association of Ireland be by acclamation voted to the writers of it. I never in my life heard any thing read that imposed more upon my feelings, and excited a deeper sympathy and sorrow within me. I never, in fact, before knew the horrors of slavery in their genuine colors. It is a production framed in the purest effort of simplicity, but, at the same time, powerful in its sentiments, so at once to reach the human heart, and stir up the human feelings to sorrow and execration,—sorrow for the victims, and execration for the tyrants. (Loud cries of hear, hear, and cheers.) It will have its effect throughout Ireland; for the Irish people did not know what Edition: current; Page: [28] was, alas! familiar to you, Sir, and to me,—the real state of slavery in America, and of the unequalled evils it inflicts; for slavery, wherever it exists, is the bitterest potion that can be commended to the lips of man. Let it be presented in any shape, and it must disgust, for a curse inherent to it grows with it, and inflicts oppression and cruelty wherever it descends. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) We proclaim it an evil; and though, as a member of this Association, I am not bound to take up any national quarrel, still, I do not hesitate to declare my opinions; I never paltered in my own sentiments. (Cheers.) I never said a word in mitigation of slavery in my life; and I would consider myself the most criminal of human beings if I had done so. (Hear, and cheers.)

Yes, I will say, shame upon every man in America, who is not an anti-slavery man; shame and disgrace upon him! I don’t care for the consequences. I will not restrain my honest indignation of feeling. I pronounce every man a faithless miscreant, who does not take a part for the abolition of slavery. (Tremendous cheering for several minutes.) It may be said that offence will be taken at these words. Come what may from them, they are my words. (Renewed applause.) The question never came regularly before us until now. We had it introduced collaterally; we had it mentioned by persons who were friends of ours, and who were endeavoring to maintain good relations between us and the slaveholders, but it is only now that it comes directly before us. We might have shrunk from the question by referring the document to a committee; but, I would consider such a course unworthy of me, enjoying as I do the confidence of the virtuous, the religious, and the humane people of Ireland; for I would be unfit to be what I desire to consider myself, the representative of the virtues of the people, if I were not ready to make every sacrifice for them, rather than to give the least sanction to human slavery.

They say that the slaves are worse treated, since the cry of the Abolitionists has been raised in their favor, as it has made their masters more suspicious of them, and more severe against them; but has that any weight with me? How often was I told, during our agitation, that “the Catholics would be emancipated but for the violence of that O’Connell”! (Laughter.) Why, one of the cleverest men in the country wrote a Edition: current; Page: [29] pamphlet in 1827, in which he stated that the Protestants of Ireland would have emancipated their Catholic countrymen long before, but for me, and fellows of my kind; and yet, two years after, I got emancipation in spite of them. (Cheers.) But it is clearly an insult to the understanding to speak so. When did tyranny relax its gripe merely because it ought to do so? (Hear.) As long as there was no agitation, the masters enjoyed the persecution of their slaves in quietness; but the moment the agitation commenced, they cried out, “Oh, it is not the slaves we are flogging, but we are flogging through his back the anti-slavery men.” (Laughter.) But the subject is too serious for ridicule. I am afraid they will never give up slavery until some horrible calamity befalls their country; and I here warn them against the event, for it is utterly impossible that slavery can continue much longer. (Hear, hear.) But, good Heaven! can Irishmen be found to justify, or rather to palliate, (for no one could dare attempt to justify,) a system which shuts out the book of human knowledge, and seeks to reduce to the condition of a slave, 2,500,000 human beings;—which closes against them not only the light of human science, but the rays of divine revelation, and the doctrines which the Son of God came upon the earth to plant! The man who will do so belongs not to my kind. (Hear, hear.) Over the broad Atlantic I pour forth my voice, saying, “Come out of such a land, you Irishmen; or, if you remain, and dare countenance the system of slavery that is supported there, we will recognize you as Irishmen no longer.” (Hear, hear, and cheers.) * *

I say the man is not a Christian,—he cannot believe in the binding law of the Decalogue. He may go to the chapel or the church, and he may turn up the whites of his eyes, but he cannot kneel as a Christian before his Creator, or he would not dare to palliate such an infamous system. No, America! the black spot of slavery rests upon your star-spangled banner; and no matter what glory you may acquire beneath it, the hideous, damning stain of slavery rests upon you, and a just Providence will sooner or later avenge itself for your crime. (Loud and continued cheers.) Sir, I have spoken the sentiments of the Repeal Association. (Renewed cheers.) There is not a man amongst the hundreds of thousands that belong to our body, or amongst the millions that Edition: current; Page: [30] will belong to it, who does not concur in what I have stated. We may not get money from America after this declaration; but even if we should not, we do not want blood-stained money. (Hear, hear.) If they make it the condition of our sympathy, or if there be implied any submission to the doctrine of slavery on our part, in receiving their remittance, let them cease sending it at once. But there are wise and good men every where, and there are wise and good men in America,—and that document which you have read, Sir, is a proof, among others, that there are; and I would wish to cultivate the friendship of such men; but the criminals and the abettors,—those who commit, and those who countenance the crime of slavery,—I regard as the enemies of Ireland, and I desire to have no sympathy or support from them. (Cheers.)

I have the honor to move that this document be inserted in full upon our minutes, and that the most grateful thanks of the Repeal Association be given to the Anti-Slavery Society of America who sent it to us, and, in particular, to the two office-bearers, whose names are signed to it.

At a meeting of the Loyal National Repeal Association, in Dublin, August 8, 1843, Mr. O’Connell, in the course of a powerful Anti-Slavery speech, said—

A disposition was evinced in America to conciliate the opinion of that Association in favor of the horrid system of slavery, but they refused, of course, to show any sanction to it. (Hear, and cheers.)

He had taken an active part in the Anti-Slavery Society from the moment that he was competent to discover any one body of men acting for the extinction of slavery all over the world; and he stood in that Association as the representative of the Irish people, who had themselves suffered centuries of persecution, because they were attached to humanity, and to what justice and reason demanded; for if they had chosen to be silent, and had bowed to authority—if they had acquiesced in the dictation of their masters and tyrants, they would have escaped many temporary sufferings, but they would not have acquired the glory of having adhered with religious fidelity to their principles. Standing as their representative, Edition: current; Page: [31] he could not act otherwise than he had done, though the liberty of Ireland, the repeal of the Union itself, were to abide the result. He was bound not to look to consequences, but to justice and humanity; and come what would, he did not hesitate to throw heart and soul into his opposition to the system that would treat human beings as brute beasts of the field. He spoke distinctly and emphatically, for as he wanted to make an impression, he used harsher words than he would have done, if he did not know that harsh words were necessary to rouse the selfish temperament of the domineering master of slaves. And he did make that sensation, and he was glad of it.

At a meeting of the Loyal National Repeal Association, held in Conciliation Hall, Dublin, Sept. 29th, 1845, Mr. O’Connell, speaking on the subject of American slavery, said—

I have been assailed for attacking the American institution, as it is called, negro slavery. I am not ashamed of that attack—I do not shrink from it. I am the advocate of civil and religious liberty all over the globe, and wherever tyranny exists, I am the foe of the tyrant; wherever oppression shows itself, I am the foe of the oppressor; wherever slavery rears its head, I am the enemy of the system, or the institution, call it by what name you will. (Great cheering.) I am the friend of liberty in every clime, class, and color:—my sympathy with distress is not confined within the narrow bounds of my own green island—no, it extends itself to every corner of the earth—my heart walks abroad, and wherever the miserable is to be succored, and the slave is to be set free, there my spirit is at home, and I delight to dwell in its abode. (Enthusiastic cheering.) It has been asked, What business has O’Connell to interfere with American slavery? Why, do not the Americans show us their sympathy for our struggles, and why should we not show a sympathy in efforts for liberty amongst themselves? (Cheers.) But I confess I have another strong reason for desiring to abolish slavery in America. In no monarchy on the face of the earth is there such a thing as domestic slavery. It is true, in some colonies belonging to monarchies, slavery exists; but in no European Edition: current; Page: [32] country is there slavery at all—for the Russian serf is far different from the slave of America, and therefore I do not wish that any lover of liberty should be able to draw a contrast between the democratic republic of America and the despotic States of Europe. (Hear, hear.) I am in favor of the democratic spirit, and I wish to relieve it from the horrors of slavery. (Cheers.) I do not wish to visit America with force and violence—I would be the last man in the world to consent to it. I would not be for making war to free the negro—at least, not for the war of knife, and lash, and sword; but I would be for the moral warfare—I would be for the arms of argument and humanity to procure the extinction of tyranny, and to hurl contempt and indignation on those who call themselves freemen, and yet keep others in slavery. I would bring elements of that kind to bear upon the system, until the very name of slavery should be regarded with horror in the republic of America. (Cheers.) * * *

In the year ’25, when I left my profession and went over to England, there was an anti-slavery meeting, at which I was present and spoke; and afterwards, when I went to Parliament, another meeting was appointed, greater in magnitude. The West India interest was 27 strong in the House of Commons—the Algerine bill was carried through the House by a majority of 19—therefore, the emancipation bill was in the power of the West India interest; but when they sent a respected friend of mine—the Knight of Kerry—to me, to ask why I did not take a certain course with regard to it, what was my answer? “I represent the Irish people here, and I will act as the Irish people will sanction. Come liberty, come slavery to myself, I will never countenance slavery, at home or abroad!” (Cheers.) I said I came here on principle; the Irish people sent me here to carry out their principles; their principles are abhorrent of slavery; and, therefore, I will take my part at that anti-slavery meeting; and though it should be a blow against Ireland, it is a blow in favor of human liberty, and I will strike that blow. (Cheers.) So far was I from cultivating the slavery interest, that I adopted that course, though I regretted to lose their votes. But I must do them the credit to say, that I did not lose them. They acted nobly, and said they would not revenge upon Ireland my attack upon them. (Cheers.) * * * * Edition: current; Page: [33] Let them blame me—in America let me be execrated by them—let their support be taken from Ireland—Slavery, I denounce you wherever you are! (Loud cheers.) Come freedom, come oppression to Ireland—let Ireland be as she may—I will have my conscience clear before my God. (Continued cheers.) * * * *

They were told that the speech he made in that room would put an end to the remittances from America, and that the Americans would not again contribute to the funds of the Association. If they should never get one shilling from America, his course was plain, his path was obvious. He was attached to liberty; he was the uncompromising hater of slavery wherever it was to be found. (Cheers.)

Have I traduced the Americans, when I talked of the horrors of domestic slavery? I happened to receive a New Orleans paper, published in the centre of domestic slavery—it is called the Jeffersonian Republic, and I shall read an extract from it. By that I perceive that, in connection with the institution of slavery in New Orleans—for I find that, in America, they call it an institution—there are public whipping places—men are licensed to keep shambles of torture, (Hear, hear,)—the master sends his slave to those shambles, there to get one hundred lashes, and the man gets the hundred lashes, or whatever degree of punishment his master desires. (Hear, hear.) There are actually shambles kept there for the torture of slaves, and there are persons who earn a livelihood—what a hideous livelihood!—by flogging human beings at the instance of those who are called their masters. (Hear, hear.) Am I to blame if I attack a system of that kind? (Hear, hear.) Male or female—young or old—whipped at the discretion of a man whose only limit is not actually killing the individual! (Hear, hear.) They would thus make the slave declare whether he is guilty of a theft or not. Are they, I ask, Christian men who endure to see these scenes going on around them? (Hear, hear.) Recollect that this is not the statement of a calumniator, or a libeller, or foreign emissary, but it is the statement published in the darkest hole of slavery, New Orleans itself. (Hear, hear.)—Speech before the Dublin Repeal Association, September, 1844.

Edition: current; Page: [34]


Extract from a speech delivered by John O’Connell, M. P., at a meeting of the Loyal National Repeal Association, held in Dublin, Nov. 23d, 1840:—

He had to perform a duty which he had imposed upon himself, and a duty in which he was sure he would have their concurrence that he ought to discharge, to bring before the Association the atrocities practised upon the miserable slaves in the United States of America. He was of opinion they would think he ought to discharge it, because it was right that, when putting forward their claims to become a nation, they should be able to put forth a claim upon this ground also, that they had shown their sympathy for the slaves.

[Here Mr. O’Connell read to the meeting several cases of slaveholding barbarity in America.]

He thought, when he produced such details of atrocity as these, he would be acquitted of the charge of bringing forward a subject which was not well worthy the attention of the Association. Nothing could be more shameful—nothing more unjust—nothing more cruel—nothing more atrocious and demoralizing—than the treatment of the black slaves in America, while the people boasted of their adhesion to universal liberty. But, not only did they suffer such enormities to be perpetrated against slaves, but against free people also. In the Northern States, where slavery did not exist, the free people of color were subject to the greatest indignities. In the railway trains, there were separate places for them; in the churches, they were not permitted to sit in the same pews; nay, in the grave-yards, (for they carried their dislike and contempt for the negro even there, where one would suppose all distinctions should cease,) there were separate places for the interment of negroes. (Hear.) And yet the country which did this called itself free. He alluded to this matter at present, because the American journals which arrived that day had brought intelligence that the Irish in America, and Edition: current; Page: [35] their descendants, were joining in the rally for repeal, and that meetings had been held, at which subscriptions were collected to aid the objects of that Association. (Cries of “hear, hear,” and cheers.) Every testimony of sympathy in their struggles was grateful to their feelings; and it was delightful to know that, among the new associations which Irishmen formed in other lands, they and their descendants were not forgetful of the older associations they had left at home. (Hear, hear.) But while they hold out to us the hand of brotherhood, we tell them that they come from a suspected land,—a land that holds man in bondage; and if they have any connection with, or if they approve of that bondage, then we reject their proffer: we have neither kindred nor sympathy for them, if they participate in the most degrading, demoralizing, wicked, and atrocious system which ever was maintained by man. (Hear, hear.) Talk of freedom, indeed! they spurned their association, if they had any thing to do with this system,—nay, if they were passive observers of the atrocity; for, if it was incumbent upon this nation to express their abhorrence at what they did not themselves witness, it was doubly incumbent upon those who were witnesses of it to oppose the system, and to take part with the Abolitionists. If they did not take part against the system, they were equally culpable with those who upheld it. (Hear, hear.) Therefore, if they wish us to receive their aid and sympathy, let them join with the Abolitionists; if not, we shall reject and refuse all connection with them. (Hear, hear.) It has been attempted to mix up Catholicity with the system, and the name of a distinguished individual in the Southern States had been alluded to. But he would not now speak of him more than to express a hope that the allegation was untrue; but there was no one who knew what Catholicity was, that did not know, not only that its tenets did not allow of slavery, but proclaimed that it was criminal in those who had any participation in the system. (Hear, hear, and loud cheers.)

Reply of John O’Connell, M. P., to a letter from James Haughton, Esq.:—

John O’Connell
O’Connell, John
27th Jan., 1842
James Haughton
Haughton, James
My Dear Sir,

I beg to assure you, and the other gentlemen of the Committee, that there is no abatement of zeal on Edition: current; Page: [36] the part of the Repeal Association in the blessed cause of negro freedom. You would have easily seen this, had you been at our meeting of Monday week, when my father alluded, in strong terms, to slavery in America, and met the warmest approbation of the assembly. The most effectual means, too, of spreading abroad the knowledge and the detestation of that hideous system have been taken, by the collection together, by order of the Association, of all the extracts I read at former meetings on the subject of negro slavery, with a view to publish them in the form of a report, and to distribute them with our reports. I have prepared a short introduction to be prefixed to these extracts, and I think you will find it to speak the Association’s sentiments as to slavery, in terms not to be mistaken. * * *

I trust we now stand acquitted of the charge, that our “cry for liberty is a mere selfish affair.” We do not and did not deserve this charge. Our warmest exertions are ready to be given, and, whenever the occasion offers, are given, freely and heartily, to every movement in favor of the liberty and happiness of any and all the branches of the universal family of man. If we have been more before the public in our particular character as Repealers of the legislative union between England and Ireland, it is because our first duty is to our native land; but, we have never refused nor neglected an opportunity of raising our voices in support and vindication of the rights of others; and one of the strongest incitements that we have to labor for the restoration of our country’s legislative independence is, that hers will then be the potential voice of a nation, and no longer the unheeded cry of a mendicant province, upraised in the cause of liberty and of Christianity.

I remain, my dear sir, ever faithfully yours,
James Haughton, Esq.
Edition: current; Page: [37]
John Spratt
Spratt, John
James Haughton
Haughton, James
February, 1847


To Irishmen in America:

From recent information that we have received on the subject of slavery, as it exists in the country of your adoption, our hearts have been warmed afresh with zeal on behalf of freedom, and our sympathies re-kindled in favor of the American slave, who is deprived of all his rights, and subjected to the irresponsible will of his master.

Countrymen! our hearts burn with indignation at the thoughts of this injustice to our fellow-creatures, who are children of the same God as we are, and destined to a similar glorious end.

We have heard, fellow-countrymen, with feelings of deep sorrow, that many of you are indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, and that some are to be found even in the ranks of those who chain, and whip, and lacerate him; and who, without pity or remorse, forcibly separate husbands and wives, parents and children, selling them at the auction-table to the highest bidder!

By all your memories of Irishmen, by all your love of Fatherland, we entreat you not to disgrace the land of your birth, by aiding the tyrant in the land of your adoption to rivet the chains on his victim!

What right have you to enslave the colored man? Did not God create him in His own image, as well as you? If you are authorized to keep him in bondage, show us your license from the Lord of earth and heaven!

God has placed an instinct within your bosoms, which tells you that “man is created free and equal, and that all are alike entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Countrymen! we appeal to you, in the name of the Declaration of Independence, which guarantees to every inhabitant of the United States of America the priceless boon of liberty, Edition: current; Page: [38] but which instrument has been basely trampled under foot, in relation to three millions of the people of that republic.

On the fourth day of July, every year, you and every citizen of America celebrate your freedom from political servitude. Perform this act of hypocrisy no more, until the colored man can unite in the joyful hymn of thanksgiving.

In a word, countrymen, we call upon you to be true to the principles of Liberty and Justice. Pursue a contrary course, and you will disgrace your country, and impede her advancement on the road of freedom.

We need your sympathy, as you need ours, for the promotion of the principles of Truth and Justice at home and abroad; and neither of us can help the other, if we are false to God’s light in our own hearts.

We remain, Countrymen and Friends,
Faithfully yours,
JOHN SPRATT, D. D., President of the Society,
Chapel House, Angier St., Dublin.
JAMES HAUGHTON—and 881 others.
Daniel O’Connell
O’Connell, Daniel
Theobald Mathew
Mathew, Theobald


Dear Friends:

You are at a great distance from your native land! A wide expanse of water separates you from the beloved country of your birth—from us and from the kindred whom you love, and who love you, and pray for your happiness and prosperity in the land of your adoption.

We regard America with feelings of admiration: we do not look upon her as a strange land, nor upon her people as aliens from our affections. The power of steam has brought us nearer together; it will increase the intercourse between us, so that the character of the Irish people and of the American people must in future be acted upon by the feelings and dispositions of each.

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The object of this address is to call your attention to the subject of slavery in America—that foul blot upon the noble institution and the fair fame of your adopted country. But for this one stain, America would indeed be a land worthy your adoption; but she will never be the glorious country that her free constitution designed her to be, so long as her soil is polluted by the foot-prints of a single slave.

Slavery is the most tremendous invasion of the natural, inalienable rights of man, and of some of the noblest gifts of God, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What a spectacle does America present to the people of the earth! A land of professing Christian republicans, uniting their energies for the oppression and degradation of three millions of innocent human beings, the children of one common Father, who suffer the most grievous wrongs and the utmost degradation, for no crime of their ancestors or their own! Slavery is a sin against God and man. All who are not for it must be against it. None can be neutral. We entreat you to take the part of justice, religion, and liberty.

It is in vain that American citizens attempt to conceal their own and their country’s degradation under this withering curse. America is cursed by slavery! We call upon you to unite with the abolitionists, and never to cease your efforts until perfect liberty be granted to every one of her inhabitants, the black man as well as the white man. We are all children of the same gracious God; all equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We are told that you possess great power, both moral and political, in America. We entreat you to exercise that power and that influence for the sake of humanity.

You will not witness the horrors of slavery in all the States of America. Thirteen of them are free, and thirteen are slave States. But in all, the pro-slavery feeling, though rapidly decreasing, is still strong. Do not unite with it: on the contrary, oppose it by all the peaceful means in your power. Join with the abolitionists every where. They are the only consistent advocates of liberty. Tell every man that you do not understand liberty for the white man, and slavery for the black man: that you are for liberty for all, of every color, creed, and country.

The American citizen proudly points to the National Edition: current; Page: [40] Declaration of Independence, which declares that all mankind are born free and equal, and are alike entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Aid him to carry out this noble declaration, by obtaining freedom for the slave.

Irishmen and Irishwomen! treat the colored people as your equals, as brethren. By all your memories of Ireland, continue to love liberty—hate slavery—cling by the abolitionists—and in America you will do honor to the name of Ireland.


And sixty thousand other inhabitants of Ireland.

A large and overwhelming meeting of citizens of Boston was held in Faneuil Hall, on the evening of Friday, January 28, 1842, at which this Address was read, and received by the immense assemblage with cheers and loud acclamations of applause. A large number of the Irish inhabitants of Boston and vicinity were present, who responded to the sentiments of the Address, and to those which were uttered by the various speakers, in the most enthusiastic manner.

Wendell Phillips, Esq. offered the following resolutions, which he very eloquently advocated, and which were adopted by acclamation:—

Resolved, That the voice of O’Connell, which now shakes the three kingdoms, has poured across the waters a thunder-peal for the cause of Liberty in our own land; and that Father Mathew, having lifted, with one hand, five millions of his own countrymen into moral life, has stretched forth the other—which may Heaven make equally potent!—to smite off the fetters of the American slave.

Resolved, That we receive, with the deepest gratitude, the names of the sixty thousand Irishmen, who, in the trial-hour of their own struggle for liberty, have not forgotten the slave on this side of the water; that we accept with triumphant exultation the Address they have forwarded to us, and pledge ourselves to circulate it through the length and breadth of our land, till the pulse of every man, and especially every man who claims Irish parentage, beats true to the claims of patriotism and humanity.

Among those who eloquently addressed the meeting was James Cannings Fuller, a highly esteemed Quaker, of New York, who said—My heart is too full of emotion to permit me to speak. I am an old countryman myself, and the hope of meeting you here to-night has brought me several hundred Edition: current; Page: [41] miles. (Cheers.) Irishmen! I stood in our Irish House of Peers when Castlereagh took the bribe for the betrayal of Ireland, (groans, and cries of “Yes, and went home and cut his throat!”) and I know what feelings and sufferings bring an Irishman to America. What did you come from the other side for? Oppression drove you here, and you came for universal liberty. (Great cheering.) I must be a radical reformer here, as I was in the old country. My Irish friends know what that means. (Cheers, and cries of “Yes, yes!”) Hard-handed laborers! see to it that not one of you bows down to this deadly influence of slavery. You will labor for the Anti-Slavery cause. (An Irish hand was stretched up to his from the dense crowd. Shaking it warmly, Mr. Fuller said)—I knew you would! (Deafening cheers.)

James Haughton
Haughton, James


To Irishmen in America:

My heart often prompts me to address you in a few words of kindly remonstrance. I wish you so to conduct yourselves in the distant land you have made your home, as that your conduct may reflect honor on the loved country you have left behind you, and cause you to be really respected by the people among whom you now dwell. These advantages can be secured only by a steady adherence, on your part, to the principles of truth and honor, which you should make the guiding star of your life.

You love liberty for yourselves. Be consistent in your advocacy of this universal right of the human race; and claim it as the inalienable privilege of all men,—of the colored man, as well as the white man.

I fear too many of you have forgotten your duty, in this respect, and that thus the fame of Ireland—which we should shield from the breath of dishonor—is sullied in the eyes of those who should only see reflected in your conduct, evidence of the firm determination of your countrymen to stand fast by the noble principles of Christian rectitude.

In the twelfth century, the synod of Armagh proclaimed Edition: current; Page: [42] liberty to every captive in Ireland, and since then, a slave has never polluted our green isle.

Remember the faithfulness of O’Connell. Let his memory, which is embalmed in many of our hearts, and his whole life, which was a consistent course in favor of civil and religious liberty, be a beacon-light guiding you in your career. Demand, as he did, that freedom for all which you claim as your own birthright.

Thus, and thus alone, can you secure true respect for yourselves, and cause the stranger to say of your country, “If I were not an American, I should be proud to be an Irishman.”

By all your pleasant memories of Ireland; by her glorious mountains and her beautiful valleys; by her verdant plains, which are watered by the streams in which you loved to disport yourselves in childhood; by your love of these things; by your affection for your kindred and friends, and by your reverence for Almighty God,—I appeal to you, and I ask you to love your fellow-men of all complexions and of all creeds, and to demand for them all, the exact measure of justice you claim for yourselves.

The sad moan of four millions of slaves comes across the broad ocean, and it sounds painfully in our ears. I ask you to aid in turning their sorrow into joy—to aid in enabling the fathers and mothers of the colored race in America to clasp their little ones, and feel all the happiness and all the responsibility of being their guardians and their guides, from infancy up to manhood. Turn not a deaf ear to the cry of the slave, but let him feel, in future and for evermore, that in every Irishman he has a friend.

Whatever may be your rank or condition in the land of your adoption, believe me, countrymen, you can only acquire and maintain an honorable reputation there, by such a course of conduct as I recommend; and whatever may be your practice, whether in consonance with, or in opposition to these sentiments, I feel assured that you will say in your hearts, “He is right.” I entreat you to act manfully in accordance with your convictions, and I beg to subscribe myself,

Faithfully yours,
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A great Anti-Colonization Meeting was held at Exeter Hall, London, July 13, 1833, at which Daniel O’Connell was one of the speakers. In the course of his speech, he said:

When reflecting on the subject, I formerly had some consolation. I thought there were humane men in America, employed in mitigating these evils, and establishing the principles of universal emancipation. I heard of the Colony of Liberia; I read puffs of it in the newspapers; I saw, day after day, declarations of its importance towards liberating the slave. (Hear, hear.) I was waited upon by grave personages, who appeared to detest slavery as much as I did. They told me of the principles of the American Colonization Society—that it aimed at the destruction of slavery—and I took them at their word, and was glad to have another corps in the cause of humanity. I had not then read the real history, nor the real character of the Society; but you, Mr. Chairman, have enlightened me, and I thank you for it. I find one passage that answers my purpose, and I will refer you to the work from which I make the quotation. It will be found in the third volume of the African Repository, page 107, and is in these words: “It is no Abolition Society; it addresses, as yet, arguments to no master.” What harm would it do to argue with the master? (Cheers.) What an admirable Society is this, that will not, for fear of offending the gentility of the master, tell him that he ought not to have a slave! It is too polite for that. (A laugh.) And this is the Society that has the insolence to come before the British public, and represent itself as an instrument of humanity! (Hear, hear.) Words, it is said, break no bones; and what mischief could they do to these fellows by arguing with them? They might, to be sure, by shewing them that they were neither honest men nor Christians, make them sleep the worse until their consciences became case-hardened. (Cheers.) “And disavows with horror the idea of offering temptations to any slave”—temptations to be free! to have a right to go with Edition: current; Page: [44] his wife and family where he pleases! to have a right to remain together, and to work for themselves, and not for any body else! (Cheers.) O! the poor Negro, who toils from rising sun to sun-down; who labors in the cultivation of a crop, the profits of which he shall never reap; who comes home weary, and faint, and distressed, and heart-sick, to find in his little hut creatures that are to run in the same career as himself—will they not tell him of the arrival of a period when his toil shall be at an end? Will they not tell him of the love of Him who sustained creation’s curse, that he might soften their pillow on their journey to the skies? (Cheers.) O! no, not a word! “Offering temptations to any slave! They will yet have temptations enough! “It denies the design of attempting emancipation, either partial or general.” This is the Society we are called upon to support! We are told that men who can endure slavery, cannot endure freedom. The West Indians tell us that the moment the negroes get their freedom, that moment they will rebel. They do not rebel while they are tortured by the whip, but the instant you attempt to mitigate their sufferings, they will evince a disposition to rebellion. (Hear, hear.) The West Indians say, they will not have sudden emancipation; but this Society is worse—for, “It denies the design of attempting emancipation, either partial or general.

Now, am I right in asking you to disclaim the agent of the American Colonization Society? In this country, the aristocracy and the oligarchy have got up an admirable scheme for transporting the peasants of England. They do not like to have them standing between “the wind and their nobility”—(a laugh)—and accordingly, you have the emigration scheme. The press has been teeming, for the last eight or ten years, with publications containing the most beautiful descriptions of Canada—just as if no man can enjoy health who is not six months out of the twelve in the snow, and as if going into the woods and wilds of a desert is better than inhabiting the great towns of England! (Laughter and cheers.) You read of parishes every day transporting Englishmen for the crime of being poor; and the American Colonization Society is taking up the same principle. “We have done injustice,” it says, “to the black man—we are doing injustice to him—shall we now do him justice? O, no; we will transport him to Africa!” That is just the scheme they have got up. (Cheers.)

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The American Colonization Society has been branded with many names already. There is, however, one which it has not yet received, but which it richly deserves. I knew a gentleman, of an imaginative mind, who went out to Sierra Leone; and on his return, he told a friend of mine that a cargo of bars of iron, which had been sent to that Colony, was found, after it had lain in a store two months, to be completely worm-eaten. (Laughter.) “Why,” said my friend, “what kind of worms eat iron?” “Oh,” said he, “they were as like bugs as any worms you can see.” My friend, who had a little Irish drollery about him, remarked, “We have bugs of that kind in Ireland, but we call them humbugs.” (Loud cheers.) Now, the American Colonization Society is a bug of that description—it is a humbug. (Renewed and long-continued cheers.) It will eat iron like any thing; it will digest it like an ostrich; there is nothing too hard for the stomach of the American Colonization Society. (Cheers.) It is the most ludicrous Society that ever yet was dreamed of. Am I to be told that my talented and reverend friend, (the Rev. Mr. Paul,) who stood where I stand, and became the advocate of the rights of his own race—the man who would draw the veil of humanity over the crimes of others—is to be persecuted on account of his sable hue? It reminds me of an anecdote respecting the celebrated Burckhardt, who, in the course of his travels, penetrated into the depths of Abyssinia, In the heart of that country he went to market, where he met a young woman—of course, perfectly black—who had a basket of eggs for sale. The moment she saw the white man, she exclaimed, “How ugly! The devil! the devil!” (A laugh.) She dropped her basket, broke her eggs, and ran away at the sight of a white man. There is no reason for removing the negro from America but his color; and I wish the American Colonization Society may meet with a few black girls, who will exclaim regarding it (and which they may do with more propriety) as the black girl did with respect to Burckhardt—“The devil! the devil!” (Cheers.)

I told you that there was, in my native music, a mixture of melancholy and of joy—that when sorrow saddens our minds, there is a revulsion in favor of nobler sentiments—and I trust that revulsion is seldom or never mixed with Edition: current; Page: [46] any other feelings than those which soothe that sorrow, and advance that principle, which would extinguish it for ever.

By my humble advocacy here, I come before the British public to tell them of a wretched delusion—of a scheme which, instead of emancipating the slave, would transport him from that which has become his native clime to a distant colony, without the party having been guilty of any crime. I come to proclaim the absurdity of giving credit to men who are not for emancipation, either partial or general. I come to stop the ever open hand of charity, which, when appealed to in this country, pours out the horn of plenty in aid of the wretched and distressed, no matter what their clime may be. I wish not to have it deluded or mistaken: I wish to have it directed to a proper object—the object of obtaining liberty for every one of the human race. As we have now arrived at a period when the Genthoo in India is about to have a government that shall cease to be terrific; as we have arrived at a period when the first effort in civilization is making for hundreds of millions of the inhabitants of that country who are entrusted to our care; I trust our exertions, on behalf of the black man in the East Indies, will be like the stream that flows from one of my own native mountains, which, though insignificant and trivial at the commencement, as it descends the mountain unites with other springs, until in the valley it spreads itself abroad, diffusing beauty and fertility to every approaching object. [Cheers.] The words I throw out here may be instrumental in forming a Society in this country, which shall see that the East, as well as the West Indies, have justice done them; and as future ages will trumpet forth the glory of the Anti-Slavery Society in this country, so another Anti-Slavery Society, springing up as another mighty oak of the same stock, may shed its branches over the American States, and work for the black man there, as we have worked for him in the West Indies. As we, by an act of justice, are striking off the fetters from 800,000 of our fellow-creatures; so, in the name of justice, I stand before you as arraigning America for her crime in perpetuating slavery, and as arraigning, above all, the American Colonization Society, as ludicrous and absurd, and as diverting from their legitimate course those streams of benevolence which flow around us in such munificent splendor. [Long-continued cheering.]

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An American gentleman waited upon me this morning, and I asked him, with some anxiety, “What part of America do you come from?” “I came from Boston.” “Do me the honor to shake hands. You came from a State that has never been tarnished with slavery—a State to which our ancestors fled from the tyranny of England, and the worst of all tyrannies, the odious attempt to interfere between a man and his God; a tyranny that I have in principle helped to put down in this country, and wish to put down in every country upon the face of the globe. (Cheers.) It is odious and insolent to interfere between a man and his God; to fetter with law the choice which the conscience makes of its mode of adoring the eternal and adorable God. I cannot talk of toleration, because it supposes that a boon has been given to a human being, in allowing him to have his conscience free. (Cheers.) It was in that struggle,” I said, “that your fathers left England, and I rejoice to see an American from Boston; but I should be sorry to be contaminated by the touch of a man from those States where slavery is continued.” (Cheers.) “Oh,” said he, “you are alluding to slavery: though I am no advocate for it, yet, if you will allow me, I will discuss that question with you.” I replied, that if a man should propose to me a discussion on the propriety of picking pockets, I would turn him out of my study, for fear he should carry his theory into practice. (Laughter and cheers.) “And, meaning you no sort of offence,” I added, “which I cannot mean to a gentleman who does me the honor to pay me a civil visit, I would as soon discuss the one question with you as the other.” The one is a paltry theft:

  • “He who steals my purse, steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
  • ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands”—

but he who thinks he can vindicate the possession of one human being by another—the sale of soul and body—the separation of father and mother—the taking of the mother from the infant at her breast, and selling the one to one master and the other to another—is a man whom I will not answer with words—nor yet with blows, for the time for the latter has not yet come. (Cheers.)—Daniel O’Connell.

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[From the Annual Report of the Massachusetts A. S. Society, 1847.]

The last year has been marked in the annals of Ireland, and of the world, by the death of the great O’Connell. This is no place to recount his history or to pronounce his eulogy. It is for others to tell his labors in behalf of the great movements for the Relief of his Religion, for the Reform of Parliament, and for the Repeal of the Union. But to his earnestness in the cause of West Indian Emancipation, his readiness to denounce the Colonization imposture when exposed to him by Mr. Garrison, his indignant contempt of slaveholders and their apologists, and his consistent hatred of Slavery and readiness to coöperate with the Abolitionists, we may be permitted to pay the tribute of our admiration and gratitude. He died at Genoa, on the 15th of May, 1847, in the 72d year of his age, while upon a pilgrimage to the metropolis of his ancient Faith, of which he was ever a zealous votary and a duteous son. But his frame was too much shattered by his toils and sufferings to permit him to reach the Head of his Church. Few men have left behind them a more famous name, or one that excites more opposite emotions in the hearers’ minds. No one of his times was better hated and better loved than he. No man’s character was submitted to such opposite constructions. But when the evil and the good that he has left behind him shall be pondered in the impartial balance of posterity, we believe that his services in the cause of civil and religious liberty, his recognition of moral power and the renunciation of violence and bloodshed of his later years, will be found to outweigh his errors, and that he will be recognized as among the foremost of the friends of mankind.

Published at the Office of the American Anti-Slavery Society, No. 5 Beekman Street, New York. Also, to be had at the Anti-Slavery Offices, No. 21 Cornhill, Boston, and No. 107 North Fifth Street, Philadelphia.

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L Maria Child
Child, L Maria

L Maria Child, “The Right Way the Save Way, proved by Emancipation in the British West Indies, and Elsewhere,” 95 pp.



proved by




“The world is beginning to understand, that injuring one class, for the immediate benefit of another, is ultimately injurious to that other; and that to secure prosperity to a community, all interests must be consulted.”

Dr. Davy.




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It is a common idea that the British West Indies were a mine of wealth before the abolition of slavery, and since that event have been sinking into ruin. To correct those erroneous impressions, I have carefully collected the following facts from authentic sources:—

Official Reports, returned to the British Parliament, prove that the outcry about ruin in the West Indies began long before the abolition of slavery, and even before the abolition of the slave trade; and we ought, moreover, never to forget that this outcry related solely to the ruin of the masters; nobody expended a thought upon the ruin of their 800,000 laborers.

As early as 1792, a Report to Parliament stated that, in the course of the preceding twenty years, one hundred and seventy-seven estates in Jamaica had been sold for the payment of debts; the cultivation of fifty-five had been abandoned; ninety-two were in the hands of creditors; and 80,021 executions, amounting to £22,500,000 sterling ($109,012,500), had been lodged in the provost marshal’s office. In 1805, the Reports described the condition of the West India planters as one of “increasing embarrassment, and impending ruin.” The Reports in 1807, 1808, 1812, 1830, and 1832, were still more lamentable. In 1830, four years before emancipation, Lord Chandos presented to Parliament a petition from West India planters and merchants, setting forth “the extreme distress under which they labored.” In his speech, in support of the petition, he said, “They are reduced to a state in which they are obliged earnestly to solicit relief from Parliament. It is not possible for them to stand up against such a pressure any longer.” Mr. Bright said: “The distress of the West India Colonies Edition: current; Page: [4] is unparalleled in the country. Many families, who formerly lived in comparative affluence, are reduced to absolute penury.” The West India Reporter also quoted thus from a Report on the commercial state of the Colonies: “There are strong concurrent testimonies and proofs that, unless some speedy and efficient measures of relief are adopted, the ruin of a great number of the planters must inevitably take place.” An able writer in the Edinburgh Review informs us that, “In the small island of St. Lucia an Encumbered Estate Court was established in 1833, and, small as that island is,* in the first eighteen months, liabilities were recorded to the enormous amount of £1,089,965 ($5,280,880); all debts incurred under slavery. Nor did that island stand alone. In each one of them the same state of things prevailed.” The laborers were decreasing rapidly. The Edinburgh Review declares: “What gave the death-blow to slavery, in the minds of British statesmen, was the appalling fact that the Population Returns, from only eleven of the Colonies, showed that, in the course of twelve years, the slaves had decreased 60,219. Had similar returns been procured from the other seven Colonies, they must have shown a decrease of little, if at all, less than 100,000. Had the same rate of decrease gone on, one century would have seen the extinction of slavery by the extinction of the slaves.” Production was also decreasing. A table of exports, in the Appendix to Mr. Bigelow’s work on Jamaica, shows that, in the ten years ending 1830, there was a decrease in that island, of 201,843 hogsheads of sugar, from the amount in the ten years ending with 1820. In view of these, and similar facts, the Edinburgh Review says: “Plainly, the artificial, arbitrary interference of law with the freedom of man, and freedom of trade, was bringing about the extinction of the working-class, and was whirling their masters along to utter ruin.”

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At the time when the planters were complaining of such excessive embarrassments, they had a monopoly of the sugar market in Great Britain, so close that not even the East India Colonies were allowed to compete with them; a monopoly, which cost the comsumers $25,000,000 annually. They paid no wages to their laborers; and furnished them merely with rags to tie about their loins, and enough of coarse food to keep them in working condition. Yet while they produced from a prolific soil the great staples of commerce, without paying for the labor, and with an enormous premium from the consumers in Great Britain, they were so nearly reduced to “ruin,” that they were compelled “earnestly to solicit relief from Parliament.”

A few facts will help to explain this apparent anomaly. In the first place, the system of slavery contravenes all the laws of human nature, and therefore contains within itself the seed of ultimate ruin. It takes away the motive power from the laborers, who naturally desire to shirk as much as possible of the work, which brings them no pay; consequently, overseers and drivers must be hired to force out of them their unwilling toil. It makes them indifferent to the destruction of property on estates, in whose prosperity they have no interest. It stimulates them to theft, by perpetual privations, from which they have no prospect of relief. It kills their ingenuity and enterprise, by rendering them utterly unavailing for any improvement in their own condition; while all their faculties are stupefied by the extreme ignorance in which they must necessarily be kept in order to be held in slavery. The effects on the white population are quite as injurious, though in a different way. Slavery unavoidably renders labor a degradation, and consequently, it is a matter of pride with them to live in idleness. Extravagance and dissipation follow of course. All, who have examined into the subject, are aware that intemperance, licentiousness, and gambling, are fearfully prevalent in slave-holding countries. One hint will suffice to suggest the immoral condition of the West Indies, during slavery. It is a well-known fact that the white subordinates employed by planters were very liable to lose their situations if they married; because it was for the interest of the proprietors to have them live with slaves, and raise up laborers for the Edition: current; Page: [6] estates. As for the slaves, being regarded as animals, and treated like live-stock, they unavoidably lived like animals. Modesty and self-respect were impossible to their brutalized condition. In this Tract, I merely aim at presenting a business-view of the subject. Therefore, I will not describe the cruelties, which were continually practised, and which kept the worst passions of both masters and slaves in perpetual excitement. The barbarities recorded were the same that always must prevail, under a system of coerced labor and irresponsible power.

In addition to the unavoidable expenses, and inevitable deterioration involved in the very nature of slavery, the West India planters had another difficulty to contend with. “Nearly the whole of the sugar estates were owned by absentees, the greater part of whom never set foot in the islands.” This involved the necessity of hiring managers and attorneys to look after the property. Mr. Bigelow computes the average annual expense of an estate to have been $3,000, solely to pay for the absence of the proprietor. The Rev. Henry Bleby, who was a missionary in the West Indies before emancipation, and has resided there ever since, says: “Let us look at the condition of a West India estate under slavery. There were four or five hundred slaves. True, there was little expended for their food; but their masters had to supply them with so many yards of cloth a year, and several other small articles. That was one item of expense. Then, to superintend the labor of these slaves, there must be four bookkeepers, as they were called; one to superintend the still, another the boiling-house, another the cattle on the estate, and another, sometimes two or three others, to superintend the people in the field. All these had to be fed and salaried. Then there was the overseer, with his harem, living at considerable expense out of the estate, and at a high salary. Over all these was the attorney, who took his commission out of every thing the estate produced, and lived in the great house with his servants and harem. Then there was the proprietor living with his family in princely style, in France or England. All this was to be drawn out of the produce of one estate! I should like to know whether there is any property that would not be brought to ruin, with so many living upon it, and out of it.”

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Everybody knows how property is cared for, when there are none but hirelings to look after it. All accounts of the West Indies abound with the complaints of proprietors concerning the neglect, wastefulness, and fraud of their subordinates. Accumulation of salaries being the principal object in view, one manager often superintended many estates. Dr. Davy, in his work on the West Indies, speaks of twenty-three estates in Montserrat, managed by one agent. He reports nineteen of them as “imperfectly cultivated,” or “abandoned;” which is by no means surprising, under the circumstances. Mr. Bigelow met in Jamaica, a gentleman who had come from England to ascertain why he was always sinking more and more money upon his estate. Upon inquiry, he discovered that his manager lived sixty miles from the property, and had never seen it.

With such drains upon their income, the proprietors were, of course, obliged to borrow money continually. Year after year, a gambling game was carried on between them and the merchants of London. The merchant would advance money to the planter, on condition that all the produce of the estate should be consigned to his house, and that whatever was needed on the estate, in his line of business, should be bought of him. The merchant charged what price he pleased for his own articles, and took what commission he pleased for selling the produce. “Thus,” says Mr. Bigelow, “the planter’s candle was burning at both ends.” If there was a hurricane, or a severe drought, or an insurrection of the slaves, which caused a failure of the crops, the proprietor was obliged to mortgage his lands to get the necessary supply of money. Thus a great many of the estates passed into the hands of British merchants, and had a heavy interest to pay in addition to other expenses.

Such was the state of things, when the British people, ignorant of this financial chaos, and actuated solely by motives of justice and humanity, started the idea of abolishing slavery. When the planters became aware that the measure might be carried, they met it with a furious storm of opposition. They characterized it as an “impertinent interference with their rights,” and threatened to withdraw from the British government, unless the project were relinquished. Still they petitioned for relief; any kind of relief, Edition: current; Page: [8] except from the destructive system, which had brought them to the verge of ruin. To that they swore they never would submit. Missionaries, who went to the West Indies to impart religious instruction to the slaves, were assaulted with brickbats and imprisoned on false pretences. Their houses were attacked, and their chapels demolished. A Colonial Union was formed, the object of which was to drive away every instructor of the negroes. Those in England, who sought to help on the cause of emancipation, were hated with inconceivable intensity. Women in the West Indies expressed a wish to get hold of Wilberforce “that they might pull his heart out.” With these wrathful vociferations were mingled every form of lamentable prediction concerning the ruin “fanatical philanthropists” were bringing on the Colonies. They said if their mad designs were carried into execution, the masters would all have their throats cut, and their houses burned. What they seemed especially concerned about was that “the negroes could not possibly take care of themselves.” They were too lazy to work without the whip. They would abscond to the woods, and live there like animals. The few, who might be willing to work, would be robbed by the others; that would lead to continual fighting, and there would be prodigious slaughter. Thousands also would die of disease, from want of the fostering care of their masters. In short, blacks and whites would all be swallowed up in one great gulf of swift destruction.

The Colonial press was, of course, on the side of slavery. There was all manner of suppression of truth, and propagation of every sort of falsehood on the subject. But through all these obstacles, the work of reform went slowly and steadily on. It took twenty years of hard labor and violent agitation to abolish the slave-trade; then eleven years, still more stormy, to abolish the system. But, at last, the Act of Emancipation was passed, and went into effect in 1834. The slaves received nothing from the British government for centuries of unrequited toil. But £20,000,000 ($96,900,000) were paid to the masters, for ceasing to extort labor by the lash. That was called Compensation. With the idea of preparing the bondmen for freedom, the Act of Emancipation was unfortunately clogged with an Apprenticeship Edition: current; Page: [9] System, by which it was ordained that the emancipated laborers were to work six years for their masters, without wages, as before. But they were to work nine hours a day, instead of twelve; and were to have half of Friday, and the whole of Saturday, for themselves. The power of punishing was also taken from masters, and transferred to magistrates. Household slaves were to become entirely free in 1838, and field slaves in 1840.

Men long accustomed to arbitrary power are not easily convinced that it is both right and politic to relinquish the exercise of it. Moreover, we are all, more or less, the creatures of custom and prejudice. Therefore, it is not surprising that the great body of the planters were opposed to emancipation, until the eventful crisis had actually passed. Up to the last month, they remonstrated, and threatened, and entreated the Home Government not to consign them to such inevitable destruction. Many judicious and kindly men among them thought otherwise. They were convinced that the present system was certainly bringing ruin upon the Colonies, and they felt persuaded that nothing worse could come in its place. Their belief in the safety of emancipation was partly founded upon general principles of human nature, and partly upon their experimental knowledge of the docility of the negroes, when justly and humanely treated. But very few of these individuals dared, however, to express such opinions; for the community was in such an excited state, that they were sure to suffer for it, in some form or other.

Mr. James Scotland, of St. John’s, Antigua, said to Mr. Thome: “Whoever was known or suspected of being an advocate for freedom, became an object of vengeance, and was sure to suffer by a loss of business, if in no other way. Every attempt was made to deprive my son of business, as a lawyer; and I was thrown into prison, without any form of trial, or any opportunity of saying one word in my own defence. There I remained, till discharged by the peremptory orders of the Colonial Secretary, to whom I appealed for relief. The opinions of the clergymen and missionaries, with the exception of a few of the clergy, were favorable to emancipation; but neither in their conduct, preaching, nor prayers, did they declare themselves openly, until the measure Edition: current; Page: [10] of abolition was determined on. The missionaries felt restrained by their instructions from home; and the clergy thought it did not comport with their order to take part in politics. I never heard of a single planter, who was favorable, until about three months before emancipation took place; when some few of them began to perceive that it would be advantageous to their interest.”

Mr. Thome, in his work on the West Indies, says: “We were informed that, some time previous to the abolition of slavery, a meeting of the influential men in Antigua was called at St. John’s, to memorialize Parliament against the measure of abolition. When the meeting convened, the Hon. Samuel O. Baijer, who had been the champion of the opposition, was called upon to propose a plan of procedure. To the consternation of the pro-slavery meeting, their leader rose and spoke to the following effect: ‘Gentlemen, my previous sentiments on this subject are well known to you all. Be not surprised to learn that they have undergone an entire change. I have not altered my views without deliberation. For several days past I have been making calculations with regard to the probable results of emancipation; and I have ascertained, beyond a doubt, that I can cultivate my estate at least one-third cheaper by free labor, than by slave labor.’ The honorable gentleman proceeded to draw out the details of his calculations, and he presented an array of pecuniary considerations altogether new and imposing to the majority of the assembly. After he had finished his remarks, Mr. S. Shands, Member of Assembly, and a wealthy proprietor, observed that he entertained precisely the same views with those just expressed; but he thought the honorable gentleman had been unwise to utter them in so public a manner; for should these sentiments reach the ear of Parliament, it might induce them to withhold compensation. Colonel Edwards, Member of Assembly, rose and said he had long been opposed to slavery, but had not dared to avow his sentiments.”

When the question came before the Colonial Assembly similar discussions ensued. The abolition of slavery was now seen to be inevitable. The only alternative presented to the colonists was the apprenticeship system, or immediate, unconditional emancipation. When the question came to Edition: current; Page: [11] this issue in the Antigua Assembly, both bodies unanimously passed a bill in favor of immediate emancipation; on the ground that it was the wisest policy.

The first of August, 1834, was the day fixed by Parliament for the Abolition Act to go into effect. As the time approached, a heavy cloud lowered over the minds of most of the white population. A merchant of St. John’s told Mr. Thome that several American vessels which had lain in the harbor, weighed anchor on the 31st of July, through actual fear that the island would be destroyed on the following day; and they earnestly entreated the merchant to escape with them, if he valued his life. Many planters believed it would be unsafe to go out in the evening, after emancipation. Some timid families did not venture to go to bed on the night of the 31st. They waited anxiously for the hour of midnight, fearing that the same bell which proclaimed “Liberty throughout the land, to all the inhabitants thereof,” would prove the signal for general conflagration, and massacre of the white inhabitants.*

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When the clock began to strike twelve, on the 31st of July, 1834, there were nearly 30,000 slaves in the island of Antigua; when it ceased to strike, they were all freemen!

I extract from Thome’s West Indies the following account of that glorious transition: “The Wesleyans kept ‘watch-night’ in all their chapels. One of the missionaries gave us an account of the watch-meeting at the chapel in St. John’s. The spacious house was filled with the candidates for liberty. All was animation and eagerness. A mighty chorus of voices swelled the song of expectation and joy; and, as they united in prayer, the voice of the leader was drowned in the universal acclamations of thanksgiving, and praise, and blessing, and honor, and glory to God, who had come down for their deliverance. In such exercises the evening was spent, until the hour of twelve approached. The missionary then proposed that when the cathedral clock should begin to strike, the whole congregation should fall on their knees, and receive the boon of freedom in silence. Accordingly, as the loud bell tolled its first note, the crowded assembly prostrated themselves. All was silence! save the quivering, half-stifled breath of the struggling spirit. Slowly the tones of the clock fell upon the waiting multitude. Peal on peal, peal on peal, rolled over the prostrate throng, like angels’ voices, thrilling their weary heart-strings. Scarcely had the last tone sounded, when lightning flashed vividly, and a loud peal of thunder rolled through the sky. It was God’s pillar of fire! His trump of Jubilee! It was followed by a moment of profound silence. Then came the outburst! They shouted ‘Glory! Hallelujah!’ They clapped their hands, they leaped up, they fell down, they Edition: current; Page: [13] clasped each other in their free arms, they cried, they laughed, they went to and fro, throwing upward their unfettered hands. High above all, a mighty sound ever and anon swelled up. It was the utterance of gratitude to God, in broken negro dialect.

“After this gush of excitement had spent itself, the congregation became calm, and religious exercises were resumed. The remainder of the night was spent in singing and prayer, in reading the Bible, and in addresses from the missionaries, explaining the nature of the freedom just received, and exhorting the people to be industrious, steady, and obedient to the laws, and to show themselves in all things worthy of the high boon God had conferred upon them.

“The first of August came on Friday; and a release from all work was proclaimed, until the next Monday. The great mass of the negroes spent the day chiefly in the churches and chapels. The clergy and missionaries, throughout the island, actively seized the opportunity to enlighten the people on all the duties and responsibilities of their new relation. We were assured that, in every quarter, the day was like a sabbath. A sabbath indeed! when ‘the wicked ceased from troubling, and the weary were at rest.’ Many of the planters informed us that they went to the chapels where their own people were assembled, and shook hands with them, and exchanged hearty good wishes.

“At Grace Hill, a Moravian missionary station, the emancipated negroes begged to have a sunrise meeting on the first of August, as they had been accustomed to have at Easter; and as it was the Easter Morning of their freedom, the request was granted. The people all dressed in white, and walked arm in arm to the chapel. There a hymn of thanksgiving was sung by the whole congregation kneeling. The singing was frequently interrupted by the tears and sobs of the melted people, until finally, they were overwhelmed by a tumult of emotion. The missionary, who was present, said the scene was indescribable.

“Planters and missionaries, in every part of the island, told us there was not a single dance, by night or day; not even so much as a fiddle played. There were no drunken carousals, no riotous assemblies. The emancipated were as Edition: current; Page: [14] far from dissipation and debauchery, as they were from violence and carnage. Gratitude was the absorbing emotion. From the hill-tops and the valleys, the cry of a disenthralled people went upward, like the sound of many waters: ‘Glory to God! Glory to God!’

“Dr. Daniell, who has been long resident in Antigua, and has the management of several estates, told us that after such a prodigious change in the condition of the negroes, he expected some irregularities would ensue. He anticipated some relaxation from labor, during the week that followed emancipation. But on Monday morning, he found all his hands in the field; not one missing. The same day, he received a message from another estate, of which he was proprietor, that the negroes, to a man, had refused to go into the field. He immediately rode to the estate, and found the laborers, with hoes in their hands, doing nothing. Accosting them in a friendly manner, he inquired, ‘What is the meaning of this? How is it that you are not at work this morning?’ They immediately replied, ‘It’s not because we don’t want to work, massa; but we wanted to see you, first and foremost, to know what the bargain would be.’ As soon as that matter was settled, the whole body of negroes turned out cheerfully, without a moment’s cavil. Mr Bourne, manager of Millar’s estate, informed us that the largest gang he had ever seen in the field, on his property, turned out the week after the emancipation.”

In the days of slavery, it had always been customary to order out the militia, during the Christmas holidays, when the negroes were in the habit of congregating in large numbers, to enjoy the festivities of the season. But the December after emancipation, the Governor issued a proclamation, that, “in consequence of the abolition of slavery,” there was no furtherneed of taking that precaution. And it is a fact that there have been no soldiers out at Christmas, from that day to this. The Legislature of Antigua subsequently passed “an Act for the better organizing of the militia, the preamble of which reads thus: “Whereas the abolition of slavery, in this island, renders it expedient to provide against an unnecessary augmentation of the militia,” etc. The public security and confidence were also strikingly indicated by the following military advertisement in 1836: “Recruits Edition: current; Page: [15] wanted! The freed men of Antigua are now called upon to show their gratitude to King William, for the benefits he has conferred on them and their families, by volunteering their services as soldiers in his First West India Regiment. By doing this, they will acquire a still higher rank in society, by being placed on a footing of perfect equality with the other troops in his majesty’s service, and receive the same bounty, pay, clothing, rations, and allowances.”


The Rev. James A. Thome, son of a slaveholder in Kentucky, visited the British West Indies in the autumn of 1836, and returned to this country in the summer of 1837. He published a book, soon after, from which I quote the following extracts:—

“We delivered a letter of introduction to Mr. James Howell, manager of Thibou Jarvis’ estate. He told us that before emancipation took place, he had been strongly opposed to it; being exceedingly unwilling to give up his power of command. ‘But,’ said he, ‘I shall never forget how differently I felt when freedom took place. I rose from my bed exclaiming, “I am free! I am free! I was the greatest slave on the estate; and now I am free.” ’ He said that planters, who retained their harsh manner, did not succeed under the new system; but he never had any difficulty in managing his people. He found by experience that kindness and forbearance armed him with sufficient authority. The laborers on the estates he managed had been considerably reduced,* but the grounds had never been in a finer state of cultivation than at present. He said there would be a failure of crops, not from any fault of the laborers, but on account of a drought more prolonged, than he had known for thirty-six years. He said, ‘When my work is backward, I give it out in jobs; and it is always done in half the usual time. Emancipation has almost wholly put an end to sulking, or pretending to be sick. That was a thing which Edition: current; Page: [16] caused a vast deal of trouble during slavery. Every Monday morning, regularly, I used to find ten or a dozen round the door, waiting for my first appearance, to beg that they might be let off from work, on account of sickness. It was seldom that one-fourth of them were really unwell; but every one maintained he was sick; and, as it was hard to contend with them, they were sent off to the sick-house. Now, that is done away with. The hospitals on many estates are put to other uses. Mine is converted into a chapel. At first, the negroes showed some disposition to put on airs of independence; but that soon disappeared. They are always respectful in their manners. In that particular, there has been mutual improvement. Planters treat their laborers more like fellow-men, and that leads them to be respectful, in their turn. They have now a growing regard for character; a feeling unknown to them in the days of slavery. Their religious and moral condition was formerly very low, notwithstanding the efforts of the missionaries; but now it is rapidly improving.

“Mr. Armstrong, manager of Fitch’s Creek estate, said to us: ‘During slavery, I often used to lie sleepless in my bed, thinking of my dangerous situation; the only white person on the premises, far from help and surrounded by slaves. I have spent hours devising plans of defence, in case my house should be attacked by the negroes. I said to myself it would be useless to fire upon them. My only hope was to frighten the superstitious fellows, by covering myself with a white sheet, and rushing into the midst of them, like a ghost. But now I have the utmost confidence in my people. They have no motive now to prompt them to insurrection. They show great shrewdness in every thing that concerns their own interest. They are very exact in keeping their accounts with the manager. To a stranger, it must be incredible how they contrive to live on such small wages.’ Mr. A. informed us that the spirit of enterprise, formerly dormant in Antigua, had been roused since emancipation. Planters were now beginning to inquire as to the best modes of cultivation, and to propose measures of general improvement. One of these measures was the establishment of Free Villages, in which the laborers from all the neighboring estates might dwell, by paying a small rent. Real estate has Edition: current; Page: [17] risen, and mercantile business greatly improved. Several missionaries were present while we talked with Mr. A.; and the whole company heartily joined in assuring us that a knowledge of the actual working of abolition in Antigua would be altogether favorable to the cause of freedom. They all agreed that the more thorough was our knowledge of the facts in the case, the more perfect would be our confidence in immediate emancipation.

“Dr. Ferguson, of St. John’s called on us. He is a Member of Assembly, and one of the first physicians on the island. He said it had always appeared to him that if a man is peaceable while he is a slave, he would certainly be so when he was a freeman. But though he had anticipated beneficial results from the abolition of slavery, the reality had exceeded his most sanguine expectations. Had it not been for the unprecedented drought, the island would now be in a state of prosperity unequalled in any period of its history. The mercantile business of the town had increased astonishingly. He thought stores and shops had multiplied in a ratio of ten to one. Mechanical pursuits were likewise in a flourishing condition. A general spirit of enterprise was pervading the island. The streets and roads, in town and county, were much improved. The moral character of the white population was brightening; one proof of it was that the old custom of concubinage was becoming disreputable. Emancipation was working admirably; especially for the planters. The credit of the island had decidedly improved. Immediate freedom was infinitely better policy than slavery, or the apprenticeship either.

“We visited Green Castle estate, about three miles from St. John’s. The manager, Samuel Barnard Esq., received us kindly. He had been on the island forty-four years, engaged in the management of estates. He is now the owner of one estate, the manager of two, and attorney for six. He has grown old in the practice of slave-holding, and has survived the wreck of the system. Stripped of arbitrary power, he now lives among the freed people, who were once his slaves, in the house where his grandfather was murdered in his bed by his slaves. The testimony of such a man is invaluable. He said the transition from slavery to freedom was like passing suddenly out of a dark dungeon into the sunlight. Edition: current; Page: [18] He thought the Assembly had acted wisely in adopting immediate emancipation. The endless altercations and troubles of the apprenticeship system had thus been avoided. The negroes made no riot or disturbance when they received their freedom; and he had no difficulty about their working. Some estates had suffered for a short time. There was a pretty general fluctuation, for a month or two, owing to the laborers leaving one estate and going to another; but that was because the planters overbid each other, to get the best hands. The negroes had a very strong attachment to their homes, and would rarely leave them, unless harshly treated. Very few of his people had left him. There were some inconveniences connected with the present system, but they were incomparably less than those connected with slavery.

“Dr. Daniell, manager of the Weatherill estate, has long been a resident of Antigua, and is thoroughly acquainted with its internal policy. He is a Member of the Council, owns an estate, manages another, and is attorney for six. Being a prominent member of one branch of the body which gave immediate emancipation to the slaves, his testimony is entitled to great weight. He said, ‘We all violently resisted abolition, when it began to be agitated in England. We regarded it as an outrageous interference with our property and our rights. But now we are rejoiced that slavery is abolished.’ He did not think the system of apprenticeship had any tendency to prepare the slaves for freedom. The arbitrary control of a master could never be a preparation for freedom. Sound, wholesome legal restraints were the only preparation. Apprenticeship vexed and harrassed the negroes, and kept them in a state of suspense. The reflection that they had been cheated out of their expected liberty six years would sour their minds; and when they at last obtained freedom, they would be less likely to be grateful. The planters in Antigua had secured the attachment of their people by conferring upon them immediate emancipation. There had been no deficiency of labor. Estates throughout the island were never in more advanced condition. Nothing was wanted but rain. He frequently employed his people by the job, for short periods, and always with gratifying results. The negroes accomplished twice as much as when they worked for daily wages, because they made more money. Edition: current; Page: [19] On some days they made three shillings; three times the ordinary wages. He managed them altogether by mildness, and found it extremely easy. He had quite as much influence over them, as he ever had during slavery. But where managers persisted in habits of arbitrary command, they failed. He had been obliged to discharge a manager from one of his estates, on account of his overbearing disposition. If he had not dismissed him, the people would have abandoned the estate. Love of home was such a passion with negroes, that nothing but bad treatment could force them away. He did not know of more than one or two planters on the whole island, who did not consider emancipation a decided advantage to all parties.

“Dr. Nugent, manager of Lyon’s estate, has long been Speaker of the Assembly, and is favorably known in Europe as a man of science. No man in Antigua stands higher. He owns one estate and manages another. He told us that, previous to emancipation, no man dared to express opposition to slavery, if he wished to maintain a respectable standing. Planters might have their hopes but they could not make them public, without incurring general odium, and being denounced as enemies of their country. The most general prediction was that the negroes would not work after they were free; but time had proved there was no foundation for that apprehension. The estates were never in better order than at present. On account of the stimulus of wages, there was far less feigned sickness, than during slavery. The sick-house used to be thronged with real or pretended invalids; now the negroes don’t go near it. The one on his estate was now used for a stable. He thought the capabilities of the blacks for education and for trades, were conspicuous. Emancipation had proved a blessing to the masters, and as for the advantages to the slave, they were too obvious to need to be pointed out. Insurrection or revenge was in no case dreaded; not even by those planters who had been most cruel. After slavery was abolished, there remained no motive for rebellion. The expenses of cultivation were greatly diminished, and machinery and cattle more generally used than formerly.

“Mr. Hatly, manager of Frey’s estate, told us the improved industry and efficiency of his people had encouraged Edition: current; Page: [20] him to bring several additional acres under cultivation. They did not require such constant watching as formerly. They took much more interest in the prosperity of the estate, than they did when they were slaves. He showed us his accounts for the last year of slavery, and the first year of freedom; they proved a reduction of expenses more than one-third. He said, ‘The old habit of feigning sickness is broken up. During slavery, this was more or less the case every week, sometimes every day, and it was exceedingly annoying. One would come, carrying his arm on his hand, declaring it had such a mighty pain in it, he couldn’t use the hoe no way; another would make his appearance with both hands on his breast, and, with a rueful look, complain of a great pain in his stomach; a third came limping along, with a dreadful rheumatiz in his knees; and so on, for a dozen or more. It was in vain to dispute with them, though it was often manifest that nothing on earth ailed them. They would say, “Ah, me, massa, you no tink how bad me feel. It’s deep in, massa.” But we have no feigned sickness now, and much less actual illness than formerly. My people now say they have no time to be sick. We formerly had strong prejudices against the plough; but now it is beginning to be extensively used, and we find it greatly reduces the necessary amount of labor. I have already seen such decided benefits growing out of the free labor system, that I never wish to see the face of slavery again. We are relieved from the painful task of flogging. Formerly, it was nothing but whip, whip, whip. Now we know no more of the lash.’

“David Cranstoun, Esq., manager of Athill’s estate, and a magistrate, said to us: ‘I get my work done better than formerly, and with incomparably more cheerfulness. I employ fewer laborers, but my estate was never in a finer state of cultivation. My people are always ready and willing to work. I occasionally employ them at jobs, and always with great success. When I give out a job, it is accomplished in half the time it would have taken, if paid by the day. On such occasions, I have known them turn out before three o’clock in the morning, and work by moonlight: and when the moon was not shining, they sometimes kindled fires among the dry cane leaves to work by. They would continue Edition: current; Page: [21] working all day, till four o’clock; stopping only for breakfast, and dispensing with the usual intermission from twelve to two. During slavery, the weekly expenses on the estate averaged £45 ($218.02). After emancipation, they averaged £20 ($96.90). The negroes are a remarkably temperate people. I have rarely seen one intoxicated. We have no cause to fear insurrections now. Emancipation has freed us from all danger on that score. Among the advantages of the present system is the greater facility of managing estates. It saves us from a world of trouble and perplexity. I have found that the negroes are easily controlled by law; more so, perhaps, than the laboring classes in other countries. I do not know of a single planter, who would be willing to have slavery restored. We feel that it was a great curse; a curse to the planter, as well as the slave.’

“We breakfasted at the Villa estate, within half a mile of St. John’s. We found the manager less sanguine in his views of emancipation, than the planters generally were. This is easily accounted for. The estate is situated so near the seaport town, that his people have many temptations to leave their work, from which those on more distant estates are exempt. He admitted, however, that the danger of insurrection was removed, that crime was lessened, and the moral condition of society rapidly improving.

“Mr. Bourne, manager of Millar’s estate, said: ‘Fearing the consequences of emancipation, I reduced my cultivation in 1834; but soon finding that my people would work as well as ever, I brought it up to the customary extent, the next year; and this year, I have added fifteen acres of new land. I have no hesitation in saying that, if I have a supply of cash, I can take off any crop it may please God to send. Nothing but bad treatment ever makes the negroes leave estates on which they have been accustomed to live; and in such cases, a change of management has almost uniformly proved sufficient to induce them to return. They are decidedly less prone to be insolent now, than during slavery. The expense of managing estates has diminished one-third. Before emancipation, very little was thought about expedients for saving manual labor; but many improvements have already been introduced, and more are suggested. Emancipation has proved an incalculable blessing Edition: current; Page: [22] to the planters, by releasing them from an endless complication of responsibilities, perplexities, temptations, and anxieties; especially, because it has relieved them from the bondage of the whip. It was hard work to be a Christian in the days of slavery. Yes, I assure you, sir, it was very hard to be a Christian in those days.’

“Ralph Higinbotham, Esq., U. S. Consul at Antigua, in 1837, bore the following testimony: ‘The general conduct of the negroes has been worthy of much praise; especially considering the sudden transition from slavery to unrestricted freedom. Their demeanor is peaceable and orderly. Whatever may have been the dissatisfaction of the planters at the commencement of the present system, they are now well satisfied that their properties are better worked, and their laborers more contented and cheerful, than in the time of slavery.’ ”

Some difficulties always attend every change in the structure of society; but if the change is based on true principles, the difficulties are always temporary. They are like a stony pathway from a cavern into sunlight. So it proved in Antigua. Mr. James Scotland, the venerable merchant already alluded to, said to Mr. Thome: “The troubles attending emancipation resulted almost entirely from the perseverance of the planters in their old habits of dominion. Their pride was wounded by seeing their slaves elevated to equal rights, and they were jealous lest they should aspire to be on the same footing in all respects. In the early stage of freedom, they frequently used their power as employers to the annoyance and injury of their laborers. For the slightest misconduct, and sometimes without any reason whatever, the poor negroes were dragged before magistrates (who were planters, or the friends of planters), mulcted in their wages, fined otherwise, and committed to jail, or the house of correction. Yet those harrassed people remained patient, orderly, and submissive. Their treatment has now much improved; for the planters have happily discovered that they sacrificed their own interests by keeping the cultivators of their lands in agitation and suffering.”

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Mr. Thome says: “The governor spoke to us unreservedly of the past and present condition of Antigua, and stated various particulars in which the Colony had been greatly improved by emancipation. He said planters from every part of the island assured him that the negroes were industriously disposed. They all conceded that emancipation had proved a blessing to the island, and he did not know a single individual who wished to return to the old system. He said that, during the recent Christmas holidays, the Police Reports did not return a single case of arrest. He had been acquainted with the country districts in England, and travelled extensively in Europe; and he had never yet found such a peaceable, orderly, law-abiding peasantry, as those of Antigua. The great crime of the island, and indeed, of all the West India Colonies, had been licentiousness; but they were certainly fast improving in that particular.

“By invitation of the Governor, we attended him to the annual examination of the parochial school in St. John’s. He requested that all the children emancipated on the first of August, 1834, might be called up. It was a most interesting and beautiful sight. Nearly one hundred children, from black to the clearest white, who two years ago were slaves, stood there before us free. When we spoke to them of emancipation, their animated looks and gestures, and their lively tones in answering our questions, showed that they felt it was a blessing to be free. There was as much respectfulness, attention, and general intelligence, as we ever saw in scholars of the same age. His Excellency expressed himself highly pleased with the appearance and proficiency of the school. Turning to us, he said, in a tone of pleasantry, ‘You see, gentlemen, those children have souls.

“Teachers, missionaries, clergymen, and planters, uniformly testified that the negroes were as capable of receiving instruction as any people in the world; and it was confirmed beyond all doubt by facts we ourselves witnessed. We were happy to learn that the emancipated negroes manifested great anxiety for the education of their children. They encouraged them to go to school, and labored to support Edition: current; Page: [24] them, though they had strong temptation to detain them at home to work. They also contributed a small weekly sum for the maintenance of schools.”

Concerning the moral condition of Antigua, Mr. Thome furnishes a quantity of Police Reports, from which I quote the following, as fair samples of the whole: “St. John’s, Sept. 1835. Capital offences have much decreased in number, as well as all minor ones. The principal crimes lately submitted for the investigation of the magistrates seem to consist chiefly in trifling offences, and breaches of contract.

“Oct. 1835. Although instances do occur of breaches of contract, they are not very frequent; and, in many cases, I have been induced to believe that the offence has originated more in want of a proper understanding of the time, intent, and meaning of the contract into which the laborers have entered, than from the actual existence of any dissatisfaction on their part.

“Jan. 1836. (Immediately after the Christmas holidays.) At this period, when several successive days of idleness occur among the laboring classes, I cannot but congratulate your Honor on the quiet demeanor and general good order, which has happily been maintained throughout the island. During the holidays I had only one prisoner committed to my charge, and his offence was of a minor nature.

“Feb. 1836. I beg leave to congratulate your Honor on the vast diminution of all minor misdemeanors, and the total absence of capital offences.

“Sept. 1836. The agricultural laborers continue a steady and uniform line of conduct, and, with some few exceptions, afford general satisfaction to their employers. Every friend to this country, and to the liberties of the world, must view with satisfaction the gradual improvement in the character and behavior of this class of the community, under the constant operation of the local enactments.

“Jan. 1837. (After the Christmas holidays.) I cordially congratulate your Excellency on the regular and steady behavior maintained by all ranks of society, at this particular season of the year. Not one crime of a heinous nature has been discovered. I proudly venture to declare my opinion that in no part of his Majesty’s dominions has a population of 30,000 conducted themselves with more strict Edition: current; Page: [25] propriety, at this annual festival, or been more peaceably obedient to the laws.

“Feb. 1837. Crimes of any heinous nature are very rare among the laborers. I may venture to say that petty thefts, breaking sugar canes to eat, and offences of the like description, principally swell the calendars of our Quarterly Courts of Sessions. In general, the laborers are peaceable, orderly, and civil; not only to those who move in higher spheres of life, but also to each other.”

The foregoing Reports are all signed by “Richard S. Wickham, Superintendent of Police.”


Rev. Mr. Jones, Rector of St. Phillips, said to Mr. Thome:—“The planters have always been opposed to improvements, until they were effected, and the good results became manifest. They first said that the abolition of the slave-trade would ruin the Colonies; next they said the abolition of slavery would be the certain destruction of the islands; and now they deprecate the education of the emancipated children, as a measure fraught with disastrous consequences. But emancipation has proved a great blessing to the people, and the planters in this part of the island are gratified with the working of the system. The benefits of education are extending, and religious privileges greatly increasing. There has been manifest improvement in the morals and manners of the children, since education has become general. With regard to marriage, there has been a complete revolution in the habits of the people.

“The Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission informed us that the collection in the several Wesleyan Chapels, in 1836, independent of occasional contributions to Sunday Schools, missionary objects, etc., amounted to more than $6,000. Besides giving liberally, according to their small means, to the Bible Society, the emancipated slaves formed several Branch Associations among themselves, for the circulation of the Scriptures. The contributions from Antigua and Bermuda, the only two islands which had then adopted entire freedom, were double those from any other two islands. Edition: current; Page: [26] Among the Wesleyans, the freed negroes had formed four Friendly Societies, to help the aged and infirm, nurse the sick, and encourage sobriety and industry. In 1836, they raised money themselves and expended for those objects £700 currency ($2,100). In 1837, they had £600 ($1,800) in their treasury.” To estimate this liberality properly, it must be remembered that the wages of these poor people was only a shilling a day, about twenty-four cents: and that they boarded themselves; also, that, until the last three years, they had received no wages at all for their labor. There was no public poorhouse in Antigua; a fact highly creditable to the emancipated people.

A Report published by the Wesleyan Brethren, alluding to the emancipated slaves, says: “They always show a readiness to contribute to the support of the Gospel. With the present low wages, and the entire charge of self-maintenance, they have but little to spare. Parham and Sion Hill (taken as specimens) have societies composed almost entirely of rural blacks; about 1,350 in number. In 1836, these contributed above $1,650, in little weekly subscriptions; besides giving to special objects occasionally, and contributing for the support of schools.”

The West India Association for Advancement of Christian Faith, in its Report for 1836, makes a statement which shows that marriages in one year, at that time, were twice as numerous as in ten years, during slavery.


Mr. Thome says: “A young negro, who had been a slave, rowed us across the harbor of St. John’s. We asked him about the first of August, 1834. He said: ‘Dar was more religious on dat day, dan you can tink of.’ When we questioned him about the laws, he said the law was his friend. If there was no law to take his part, a strong man might knock him down; but now everybody feared the law. The masters would sometimes slash a fellow, let him do his best; but the law never hurt anybody that behaved well.

“We asked an old negro what he did on the first of August. Edition: current; Page: [27] He replied: ‘Massa, we went to church, and tank de Lord for make a we all free.’

“We asked two men, who were masons on an estate, how they liked liberty. They replied: ‘O sir, it is very comfortable; very comfortable indeed. The day when freedom come, we was as happy as though we was just going to Heaven. We used to think very much about being free; but we did not hope it would ever be, till death delivered us from bondage. Now we’ve got free we wouldn’t sell ourselves for any money. The money would soon be gone; but freedom will last as long as we live.’ We asked if they wouldn’t be willing to sell themselves to a man they were sure would treat them well. They immediately replied: ‘We should be willing to serve such a man; but we wouldn’t sell ourselves to the best man in the world.’ They said they were very desirous to have their children learn all they could, while they were young; for education was a great thing.

“On our way to Grace Bay, we met some negro men at work on the road, and stopped to chat with them. We asked them if they danced on the first of August. They quickly replied, ‘Oh! oh! no fiddling den! No, me massa. All go to church dat day.’ One of them said, ‘I always thought much about freedom, but I no hope eber to be free. One morning, bout four o’clock, I was walking along de road, all lone, and I prayed dat de Saviour would make me free; for den I could be so happy! I don’t know what made me pray so; for I wasn’t looking for de free; but in one month de free come.’ They told us they worked a great deal better, since they were paid for it. I asked one of them whether he wouldn’t be willing to be a slave again, if he could always be sure of a good master. He exclaimed: ‘Heigh! me massa! Me nebber be slave, no more! A good massa a bery good ting; but freedom till better.’ They told us it was a great blessing to have their children go to school.

“An intelligent colored gentleman informed us that while the negroes were slaves, they used to spend, during the Christmas holidays, all the money they got during the year; but now they saved it carefully, to buy small tracts of kind for their own cultivation.”

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At the examination of one of the schools, several women who worked on the estates, who had children in the school, put on their Sunday’s best, and went to hear the classes recite. When Mr. Thome spoke to one of them about the privileges her children enjoyed, her eyes filled with tears, and she replied, “Yes, massa, we do tank de good Lord for bring de free. Never can be too tankful.” She said she had seven children present, and it made her feel happy to have them learn to read. Another said, when she heard the children reading so well, she wanted “to take de words out of da mouts, and put ’em in her own.” She added, “I tell you, massa, it do my old heart good to come here.”

“Old Grandfather Jacob, who had been a deacon in one of the Moravian churches, told us of the dungeons in which the slaves used to be confined; and with much feeling, said his wife had once been put into a damp dungeon. Some got sick there, and were never well afterward. He knew one that died there. He had been flogged twice for leaving his work to bury the dead. ‘Can’t put we in dungeon now!’ exclaimed Grandfather Jacob, with a triumphant look. ‘No lick we! If dey no like we, tell we to go away; dat’s all.’ We asked if he was provided for by the manager. He said no, his children supported him. ‘Now, when ole man die, him children make coffin, and put him in de ground!’ We asked whether it was not better for an old man to be a slave, so as to get food and clothing from the manager. He darted a quick look at us, and said, ‘Radder be free.’

“Mr. and Mrs. Möhne, Moravian missionaries, told us that, though the low rate of wages was scarcely sufficient to support life, they had never seen a single individual, who desired to be a slave again. Even the aged and infirm, who sometimes suffered, from neglect of the planters, and the inability of their relatives to provide adequately for them, expressed the liveliest gratitude for the great blessing the Lord had given them. They would often say, ‘Missus, ole sinner just sinkin in de grave; but de good Lord let me ole eyes see dis blessed sun.” ’

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Mr. Thome says: “Soon after we arrived in Barbadoes we visited Mr. C., manager of Lear’s estate, about four miles from Bridgetown. He had been a planter for thirty-six years. He was attorney for two other large estates, and had under his superintendence more than a thousand apprenticed laborers. He said, ‘I often wished that slavery might be abolished, and other planters of my acquaintance had the same feelings; but we did not dare to express them. Most of the planters were so violently opposed to emancipation, that even up to the 31st of July, they declared it could not and should not take place. Now, these very men see and acknowledge the benefits which are resulting from the new system. Slavery was a reign of terror. I have often started up from a dream in which I thought my room was filled with armed slaves. But all such fears have passed away. There is no motive for insurrection now. On the first of August, 1834, the people labored on the estates the same as usual. If a stranger had gone over the island, he would not have suspected that any change had taken place. I told my people, the day before, that under the new laws they were to turn out at six o’clock in the morning, instead of at five, as formerly. I did not expect they would go to work that day; but, at the appointed hour, they were all in the field; not one was missing. They do more work in the nine hours required by present laws, than they did in the twelve hours, exacted under slavery. They are more faithful, than when they were slaves. They take more interest Edition: current; Page: [30] in the prosperity of the estate, and in seeing that things are not destroyed. There is less theft, because they begin to have some respect for character. They can now appeal to the law for protection; and their respect for law is very great. They are always willing to work for me during their own time, for which I pay them twenty-five cents a day. I have planted thirty additional acres this year, and have taken a larger crop than I have ever taken. The island has never been under such good cultivation, and it is becoming better every year. Real estate has increased in value more than thirty per cent. Emancipation was a great blessing, to the master, as well as the slave. It was emancipation to me. You cannot imagine the responsibilities and anxieties that were swept away with the extinction of slavery. There are many annoying circumstances connected with slavery, which have a pernicious effect on the master. There is continual jealousy and suspicion between him and his slaves. They look upon each other as natural enemies. A perpetual system of plotting and counterplotting is kept up. Flogging was a matter of course throughout the island, while slavery existed. It was as common to strike a slave, as to strike a horse. Very often, it was merely because the master happened to be in an irritable mood, and the slave had no idea what he was punished for. I have myself, more than once, ordered slaves to be flogged, when I was in a passion, and after I was cool I would have given guineas not to have done it. I believe emancipation will save the souls of many planters. If it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, it is much harder for a planter. I sometimes wonder at myself, when I think how long I was connected with slavery; but self-interest and custom blinded me to its enormities. I lately met with a planter, who, up to the last of July, had maintained that the mother country could not be so mad as to take a step that would inevitably ruin her Colonies. Now, he would be the last man to vote for the restoration of slavery. He even wants to get rid of the apprenticeship, and adopt immediate, unconditional emancipation, as they did in Antigua. Such changes of opinion are very common among the planters. I think the expenses under apprenticeship are about the same as during slavery; but calculations Edition: current; Page: [31] I have made convince me that under an entirely free system, I could cultivate this estate for $3,000 a year less than it formerly cost. I have no doubt the negroes will work, when their freedom comes in 1840. There may be a little excited, experimenting feeling, for a short time, but I am confident that things generally will move on peaceably and prosperously. The slaves were well acquainted with the efforts made in England for their emancipation. They used to watch the arrival of every packet with extreme anxiety. If Parliament had refused to abolish slavery, there would have been a general insurrection. While there was hope, they waited peaceably for release; but if hope had been destroyed, slavery would have been buried in blood. The apprenticeship caused some dissatisfaction among them. They thought they ought to be entirely free, and they suspected that their masters were deceiving them. At first, they could not understand the conditions of the new system; and there was some murmuring among them; but they concluded it was better to wait six years more for the desired boon, than to lose it by revolt.’

“Samuel Hinkston, Esq., manager of Colliton estate, and one of the local magistrates, gave an account similar in all respects, to that given by the manager of Lear’s. He had been a planter for thirty-six years, and was universally esteemed for his humane character, and close attention to business. He said his apprentices never refused to work in the hours required by law, and during their own time, they were always ready to work for him, for wages, whenever he needed them. When he had no occasion for them, they often let themselves out to work on other people’s grounds. Real estate had risen very much, and it was universally conceded that the island had never been under better cultivation. In every respect, the new system worked better than the old; but he looked forward with pleasure to the still better change that would come in 1840. He believed unconditional freedom would remove all annoyances. His only regret was that it could not come sooner.

“We were invited to visit Col. Ashby, an aged and experienced planter, who resides in the southernmost part of the island. He told us he had been a practical planter ever since 1795. He had violently opposed abolition, and regarded Edition: current; Page: [32] the anti-slavery members of Parliament with unmingled hatred. He thought no punishment, either in this life, or the life to come, was too bad for Wilberforce. When he told us this, he exclaimed, ‘But, oh, how mistaken I was about that man! I am convinced of it now. The abolition of slavery has proved an incalculable blessing.’ He dwelt much on the trustiness and strong attachment of the negroes, when they were well treated. They were never disposed to leave their employer, unless he was intolerably passionate and hard with them. He said he avoided, as much as possible, carrying his apprentices before a special magistrate; and he always found it easy to settle difficulties himself by a conciliatory course.”

Mr. Thome was introduced to one planter, whose name he does not mention, probably because his neighbors gave him the character of having been a cruel master, during slavery. He retained the prejudices natural to that class of men. “He complained that the negroes were an ungrateful, perverse set; the more they were indulged, the more lazy and insolent they became. He said he knew that by his own experience. One fault he had to find with all his apprentices, both in the house and in the field; they all held him to the letter of the law, and were always ready to arraign him before a special magistrate for any infraction of it. He also considered it a great grievance that women with young babies were unwilling to work in the field, as they did formerly; now ‘they spent half their time taking care of their brats.’ He however acknowledged that his apprentices were willing to work, that his estates were never under better cultivation, and that he could say the same for estates all over the island.”

Dr. Bell, a planter from Demerara, was on a visit to Barbadoes, and Mr. Thome made some inquiries concerning the results of abolition there. “He said the Colony was now suffering for want of laborers; but after the apprentices were free, in 1840, there would doubtless be increased emigration thither, from older and less productive Colonies. The planters were making arrangements for cultivating sugar on a larger scale than ever before, and estates were selling at very high prices. Every thing indicated the Edition: current; Page: [33] fullest confidence that the prosperity of the country would be permanent and progressive.”

Mr. Thome says: “We had repeated interviews with gentlemen, who were well acquainted with the adjacent islands; one of them was proprietor of a sugar estate in St. Vincent’s. They all assured us that in those islands there reigned the same tranquillity that we saw in Barbadoes. Sir Evan McGregor, Governor-General of all the Windward Colonies, and of course thoroughly informed respecting their internal condition, gave us the same assurances. From these authentic sources, we learned enough to satisfy ourselves, that in all the Colonies, conciliatory and equitable management has never failed to secure peace and industry.”


Mr. Thome says: “The Governor, Sir Evan McGregor, told us he had been five years in the West Indies, and had resided at Antigua and Dominica before he received his present appointment; he had also visited several other islands. He said that in no place he had visited had things gone on so quietly and satisfactorily, to all classes, as in Antigua. The apprenticeship system was vexatious to both parties. It kept up a constant state of warfare between master and apprentice, and engendered bitter feeling on both sides. To some extent, that was the case in Barbadoes; but it would doubtless pass away with the present impolitic system. He was so well satisfied that unconditional freedom was better, both for the masters and the laborers, that, if he had the power, he would emancipate every apprentice to-morrow.

“Hon. R. B. Clarke, Solicitor General, candidly owned that while abolition was pending in Parliament, he had declared, publicly and repeatedly that it would ruin the Colonies; but the results had proved so different, that he was ashamed of his forebodings. He said there were many fears about the first of August. He rose early that morning, and rode twelve miles over the most populous part of the island; and when he saw all the negroes peaceably at their work, he felt satisfied that all would go well.”

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Major Colthurst, Special Magistrate, gave a written testimony to Mr. Thome, from which I extract the following: “The number of apprenticed laborers in my district, is 9,480. In consequence of its vicinity to the large seaport of Bridgetown, it is perhaps the most troublesome district in the island. In the more rural districts, not above half as many complaints are made to the magistrates. There has been no trouble in my district, occasioned by the apprentices refusing to work. They work manfully and cheerfully, wherever they are treated with humanity and consideration. I have never known an instance to the contrary. When the conductor of the estate is wanting in this respect, disinclination to perform their duties is the natural consequence; but the interference of the magistrate soon sets matters right. The number of complaints brought before me are much fewer than last year, and their character is also greatly improved. Nine complaints out of ten are for small impertinences and saucy answers; which, considering the former and present condition of the parties, is naturally to be expected; but the number even of such complaints is much diminished. It is amazing how few material breaches of the law occur in so extraordinary a community. Occasionally, there are a few cases of crime; but when it is considered that the population of this island is nearly as dense as that of any part of China, and wholly uneducated, either by precept or example, this absence of frequent crime excites our wonder, and is highly creditable to the negroes. I do not hesitate to say that perfect tranquillity exists in this Colony, though passing through one of the most momentous changes, that ever took place in any age, or country; the passage of nearly 80,000 slaves from bondage to freedom. The apprentices are inclined to purchase their discharge; especially when misunderstandings occur with their masters. When they obtain it, they generally labor in the trades and occupations, to which they were previously accustomed, and conduct themselves well. They seldom take to drinking. Indeed, the black and colored population are the most temperate people I ever knew. The experience of nearly forty years, in various public situations, confirms me in this very important fact.”

Testimony similar to the above is adduced from a number Edition: current; Page: [35] of magistrates and police officers. They all agreed that vice and crime had diminished, and were disminishing; that the feeling of security was universal; that land was rising; and that even the most prejudiced planters would not return to the old system, if they could.


Mr. Thome says: “Rev. Edward Elliott, the Archdeacon at Barbadoes, informed us that the number of clergymen and churches had increased since emancipation; religious meetings were more fully attended, and the instructions given manifestly had greater influence. Increased attention was paid to education also. The clergy, and the Moravian and Wesleyan Missionaries had put forth new efforts, and were opening schools in various parts of the island. Before emancipation, the planters opposed education, and, as far as possible, prevented teachers from coming on their estates. Now, they encouraged it in many instances, and where they did not directly encourage it, they made no opposition. He said the number of marriages had very much increased. He was convinced that no bad results would have followed, if entire freedom had been granted in 1834, as in Antigua. While slavery continued, people did fear insurrections; but he did not think five planters on the island had any fear now.

“Rev. Mr. Fidler, Superintendent of the Wesleyan Missions, told us the Methodists had been violently persecuted in Barbadoes, during the reign of slavery. Their chapel in Bridgetown had been utterly demolished by a mob, and some of the missionaries obliged to fly for their lives. But things had very much altered since emancipation. Several estates were now open to the missionaries, and churches were being built in various parts of the country. One man, who helped to pull down the chapel, had now given land to build a new one, and had offered the free use of one of his buildings, for religious meetings and a school, until it could be erected.

“Rev. Mr. Cummins, Curate of St. Paul’s, in Bridgetown, Edition: current; Page: [36] told us his sabbath school had greatly increased since emancipation. The negroes manifested an increasing desire for religious instruction, and he was convinced they had as much capacity for learning, as the whites. All the churches were now crowded, and there was an increasing demand for more. Their morals had greatly improved; especially with respect to marriage.

“We visited an infant school, connected with the Episcopal church, established two weeks previous, for the children of the apprenticed laborers. The teacher, who has been for many years an instructor, told us he found them as quick to learn, as any children he ever taught. He had been surprised to see how soon the instructions of the schoolroom were carried home to the parents. The very first night, after the school closed, he heard the children repeating what they had been taught, and the parents learning the songs from their lips.

“Rev. Mr. Walton, from Montserrat, told us the planters on that island were getting tired of the apprenticeship, and, from mere considerations of interest and comfort, were adopting free labor. There had been repeated instances of planters emancipating all their apprentices. He said a new impulse had been given to education. Schools were springing up in all parts of the island. Marriages were occurring every week. The planters now encouraged missionaries to labor among their people, and were ready to give land for chapels, which were fast multiplying.”


Mr. Thome says: “The tender of the sugar-mill at Lear’s was an old negro, with furrowed brow and thin gray locks. We asked him how they were getting along under the new system. He replied, ‘Bery well, massa, tank God. All peaceable and good.’ ‘Then you like apprenticeship better than slavery?’ ‘Great deal better, massa. We’se doing well, now.’ ‘You like apprenticeship as well as freedom, don’t you?’ ‘Oh, no, me massa. Freedom till better.’ ‘What would you do, if you were entirely free?’ ‘We mus work, massa. All hab to work, when de free come. Edition: current; Page: [37] ‘How are you treated now?’ ‘Bery well, tank God.’ No flogging, no shutting up in dungeon, now.’ ‘But what makes you want freedom? You are so old, you couldn’t enjoy it long.’ ‘Me want to die free, massa. It good ting to die free. And me want to see children free, too.’ ”

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Joseph J. Gurney, of England, visited the British West Indies in 1840. At St. Christopher’s, the Solicitor General of the Colony told him that a small estate on the island sold shortly before emancipation, with all the slaves on it, for £2,000. He said, six years afterward, it would sell, without the slaves for £6,000. Mr. Gurney adds: “This remarkable rise in the value of property is by no means confined to particular estates.” “In this island, the negroes perform a far greater amount of work in a given time, than could be obtained from them under slavery. One of my informants said, ‘They will do an infinity of work for wages.’ ”

Sir William Colebrook, Governor of Antigua, and Mr. Gilbert, a clergyman, both gave the following testimony to Mr. Gurney: “At the lowest computation, the land, without a single slave upon it, is fully as valuable now, as it was, including all the slaves, before emancipation.” Mr. Gilbert told Mr. Gurney that the compensation he received for his slaves, from the British government, was “a mere present put into his pocket; a gratuity, on which he had no reasonable claim. For his land, without the slaves, was at least of the same value that it formerly was with the slaves; and since emancipation, his profits had increased.”

At Dominica, Mr. Gurney found the emancipated laborers “working cheerfully, and cheaply to their employers, as compared with slavery.”

Concerning the islands he visited, Mr. Gurney says: “The change for the better, in the dress, demeanor, and welfare of the people, is prodigious. The imports are vastly increased. The duties on imports in St. Christopher’s Edition: current; Page: [39] were £1,000 more in 1838 than they were in 1837; and in 1839, they were double what they were in 1838, within £150. This surprising increase is owing to the demand, on the part of the freed laborers for imported goods; especially for articles of dress.”

In May, 1846, Dr. John Davy, author of a work on the West Indies, and brother of the celebrated Sir Humphrey Davy, wrote from Barbadoes, where he was residing, in official and professional employment, to the well-known Mr. George Combe, of Edinburgh. The letter was published in The Liberty Bell, for 1847, and I make the following extracts from it:—

“I could wish that those who still approve of slavery, or who may consider it a necessary evil, would pay a visit to the West Indies, especially to this island, and witness the effects of emancipation. I am much mistaken if they would not go back satisfied that the abolition of slavery has here been, in every respect, advantageous; to the negroes, to the planters, and to the population generally. I have been in Barbadoes very nearly a year, and I have conversed on the subject with proprietors of estates, who formerly owned slaves, with merchants, and with colored people, who had been slaves. Among them all, there seemed to be but one feeling; that emancipation was a blessing, and that were it possible to bring back slavery, all would be opposed to it.

“When slavery existed, there was always fear of insurrection, especially in times of danger, whether connected with war, or other calamities, such as fires and hurricanes. Then, it was necessary to have a standing militia, always ready to act. It was necessary to have beacons and forts, to give the alarm and afford defence. Now, there is a perfect feeling of security. The population is considered as one; bound together by common rights and common interests. The militia has been disbanded, and is not likely to be re-organized, except on a threatening of war. Forts are no longer required. Some of them have been dismantled and are forgotten. Some are converted into stations for the police; a body chiefly composed of colored men. Prior to abolition, from what I can learn, crime of every kind was more prevalent; especially robbery. Then, there was always at large a certain number of runaway slaves, who Edition: current; Page: [40] supported themselves by nightly depredations, and, occasionally collecting into large parties, broke into and plundered the houses of the opulent. Since the abolition of slavery, I have not heard of the murder of a white man, nor of any instance of revenge taken by the liberated for cruel treatment inflicted before liberation. I have not heard of any instances of house breaking, or of robbery, except of a petty kind, commonly designated as pilfering. The security, as to property, in which the opulent live here is remarkable. But it is not surprising, when we reflect on the easy condition of the people generally. Want is almost unknown, beggars are almost unknown; yet there are no poor laws, and no provision made by law for the support of paupers.

“The freed laborers are contented with a shilling sterling (twenty-four cents) a day for their work, men and women alike. This is sufficient to supply their wants, and to enable them to have some comforts, and even luxuries, where the ordinary articles of diet are cheap, and where most laborers have a portion of land, for which they pay rent. Commonly, on every estate requiring over a hundred laborers, there is a village, where those who work on the estate reside. To be near their work is an advantage to both laborers and proprietors; and it being for the interest of the latter to attach the former to them, they are dealt with kindly and liberally. If other treatment is experienced, the laborers seek employment elsewhere, and have no difficulty in finding it. This, it must be admitted, is a happy change, and worth some pecuniary sacrifices; but it is doubtful whether it entailed any such. I have been assured by many managers of estates, well acquainted with the minute details of expenditure under the former and the present systems of slave labor and free labor, that free labor is more economical. I admit that in some of the islands, especially the smaller ones, the landed proprietors have been great sufferers, and their estates have become depreciated in a remarkable manner, owing to a new direction of labor. But I am disposed to think that their misfortunes have, in great part, been brought on themselves, by their injudicious conduct. In the first instance, they paid the freed laborers at a low rate, and thus tempted them to emigrate to the Edition: current; Page: [41] larger Colonies, where higher remuneration was offered for labor; as in Trinidad and Demerara. Next, they endeavored to keep them at home, by allowing them to have as much land as they chose, and to keep as many cattle as they chose, without payment. This did, indeed, keep them at home; but its tendency was to keep them from laboring on the estates of the proprietors. They found it more for their interest to cultivate land on their own account.

“Sometimes, a single fact will prove more convincing than a multiplicity of arguments. I will state one fact, of which I am assured on the best authority. The value of land in Barbadoes is so much increased since emancipation, that an estate will now sell for as much as it did formerly, when the slaves necessary for its cultivation were included in the purchase. Who would have believed this to be possible, before slavery was abolished?

Now let us compare the moral condition of the population with what it was previous to emancipation. It is admitted that, in the time of slavery, planters, attorneys, managers, merchants, etc., were licentious. Concubinage was common, and not held in discredit. There was a looseness of conduct and conversation, which could not fail to have an injurious effect on the mind. Youth was particularly exposed to this degrading and enervating influence, when there was no check to indulgence, no call to exercise control; when too often a gentleman’s house was a kind of brothel, and when instances occurred of planters keeping in slavery their own offspring by slave mothers. From what I have seen and heard, the higher classes of the white population now appear to be exemplary in their conduct. A natural change has also taken place with regard to the emancipated race. Formerly, a colored woman esteemed it an honor to be the kept mistress of a white man. Now, she considers it disreputable; and few such connections are found. Marriage is more common among the black and colored people. The understanding is, that marriage is right, and concubinage wrong. There is still a good deal of irregular connection among them; the marriage tie is loose, and the senses little under the control of principle. But these remarks apply to the older portion of the population, whose habits were formed in slavery, when the marriage ceremony was not Edition: current; Page: [42] permitted, and when chastity was not known, even by name. I believe they do not apply to the rising generation, a certain proportion of whom have come under the influence of moral and religious training. The children of the laborers manifest great facility in learning at school; and the men have great aptitude in learning whatever they take an interest in, belonging to their trades and occupations; such as the use of implements in husbandry, and improved methods in the useful arts.”

Dr. Davy states that three-fourths of the laborers in Antigua had cottages of their own, and small freeholds. Small as that island is, there were, at the time he wrote, about eighty-seven villages, all built by emancipated laborers, near the estates on which they were formerly chattels. He says: “It is a mistake, often committed, to suppose the African is by nature indolent, less inclined to work than the European. He who has witnessed, as I have, their indefatigable and provident industry, will be disposed perhaps to overrate, rather than underrate, the activity of the negroes.”

In 1857, the Governor of Tobago published this statement: “I deny that the peasantry are abandoned to slothful habits. On the contrary, I assert that a more industrious class does not exist in the world; at least, when they are working for themselves.”

When Louis Philippe sent Commissioners to the British West Indies, to inquire into the state of things, with a view to emancipation in the French Colonies, they published a Report, from which I translate the following extract: “In Guiana, some planters declare the impossibility of getting along with the existing system. Others, on the contrary, assure us that they never want for laborers; they praise the assiduity of the blacks, and say they produce as much as under the former system. So much for the old planters. But when we consult the new planters, men who know coerced labor only by tradition, we find among them entire unanimity. They all tell us that the labor is satisfactory, and that their agricultural operations succeed well.”

Rev. Henry Bleby has been a missionary in the West Indies for thirty years. He resided there before emancipation and since. On the 1st of August, 1858, he delivered Edition: current; Page: [43] an address at Abington, Mass., from which I extract the following: “Since I have been here, I have heard that emancipation is understood to have been a failure. I am prepared to give that statement an unqualified contradiction. In no sense whatever has the emancipation of the slaves in the British Colonies proved a failure. I am at present laboring as a minister among the colored churches in Barbadoes, and I can tell you that never, even in the most palmy days of slavery, was there such prosperity as now. This year, a long drought has lessened the crop of sugar; yet they have raised more than double the amount of produce they ever raised under slavery; and with no greater amount of labor, than in the time of slavery. You cannot get an acre of land, in any part of the island, for less than four or five hundred dollars. In my own neighborhood an estate of not more than two or three hundred acres was sold for nearly $90,000 in your money; paid in cash. The case is the same in Antigua, where I lived three years. A member of my own church there bought an estate, which was sold under a decree of Chancery for $24,225. He has taken off three valuable crops, which have more than repaid the original purchase money; and he has been offered $48,450 for the property, and refused to take it. That is the kind of ruin that has come upon the West Indies because of emancipation!

“As for the moral condition of Barbadoes, I believe the criminal statistics, for the last five or six years, would compare, without disadvantage, with any country under heaven. We seldom hear of any thing like serious crimes. Intemperance is not prevalent among the people. I have a membership of seventeen hundred colored persons, and, during the last two years, I have not had one single case of intemperance reported to me. Every sabbath our churches are crowded with people anxious to receive instruction. I know of no people in the world who will make such efforts, and exercise such self-denial, to obtain education for their children, as the people of Barbadoes. One of my colored church members had just finished manufacturing his little portion of sugar, grown on part of the half-acre of land on which his house stood, and on which he raised provisions for his family; and he brought me six dollars in advance, as Edition: current; Page: [44] school fees for his four children the next twelve months. It is the only instance I ever knew of a man in his condition pre-paying the education of his children for a year. It is a falsehood that emancipation has failed to improve the condition of the colored race. Throughout the West Indies, in every island, the condition of the people is incomparably superior to what it was in slavery. Some say if it has not ruined the laborers, it has ruined the planters. I deny that statement, as plainly as I deny the other. Emancipation proved a blessing, instead of a curse, to the proprietors. What I have told you concerning the prices of land are facts that speak volumes in regard to the sort of ruin brought upon British planters by emancipation.”

Lord Stanley, now Earl of Derby, in a despatch, dated February, 1842, says: “Experience has shown, what reason would anticipate, that the industry of the negro, like that of all mankind, is drawn out just in proportion to the interest he has in his labor.” Lord John Russell declared in one of his public speeches: “None of the most inveterate opponents of our recent measures of emancipation allege that the negroes have turned robbers, or plunderers, or bloodthirsty insurgents. What appears from their statements is that they have become shopkeepers and petty traders, hucksters, and small freeholders. A blessed change this, which Providence has enabled us to accomplish!”

Sir Francis Hincks, formerly Prime Minister of Canada, is Governor of the Windward Islands, which comprise Barbadoes, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Tobago. He is distinguished for financial ability, and practical good sense as a statesman. Being on a visit to England, he was present at an anniversary meeting in London, August 1st, 1859; on which occasion, he offered the following resolution: “That, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies, this meeting joyfully records its satisfaction in the retrospect of that great act of national justice and sound policy; and emphatically affirm that the emancipated population of those Colonies have triumphantly vindicated their right to freedom, and the justice of the Act of Emancipation, by the signal progress they have since made, morally, religiously, and politically.”

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In speaking to this Resolution, His Excellency said: “It is not denied by anybody in the West Indies that the good results of emancipation on the social condition of the people have been very great. In Barbadoes, the progress has been especially marked. I know of no people of the laboring class anywhere, who have done so much for the education of their children, as the people of Barbadoes; and results of the most gratifying character are to be seen in the social habits and mental acquirements of the people. I believe the planters themselves are convinced of the good results of emancipation. There can be no doubt in the minds of any, who investigate the subject, that slave labor is much dearer than free labor. I wish it to be understood that I have formed my opinion after full inquiry into the circumstances of every British Colony, regarding which I could obtain information.

“Let me deal at once with the popular delusion that the African Creole is naturally indolent; for that it is a delusion, I have no doubt whatever. My opinion is in accordance with all that I have heard from the clergymen of the various Protestant churches, as well as from those of the Church of Rome. It is likewise in accordance with the opinions expressed by the stipendiary magistrates generally, as I have found them in official documents. A Barbadoes proprietor, who stands high in the estimation of all who know him, writes to me thus: ‘There never was a greater mistake, than to suppose the negro will not work for hire. No man is more sensitive to that stimulus, or works more readily, more cheerfully, or more effectually, for the hope of reward. It is perfectly astonishing how much a negro can do, when he is under the influence of a wholesome stimulus; and how little he will do, when that is removed.’ ” Gov. Hincks said: “I willingly admit that there has been a considerable withdrawal of labor from sugar cultivation in some of the Colonies, owing to a variety of causes. Among those causes, I am inclined to think that, next to the tenure of land, the insolvency of the proprietors has been the chief. I have never been able to trace an instance in which an estate has gone out of cultivation owing to want of labor; but I have heard of many cases in which estates have been abandoned for want of capital; and of some estates on which the laborers Edition: current; Page: [46] have been dismissed with wages several months in arrear. The only wonder is, that with such a land-tenure as that which exists in the West Indies, a single laborer has remained on the sugar estates. It is a tenure by the month, subject to ejectment by the owner. If the tenant has notice to quit, while his crops are growing, he is obliged to take for them whatever price the proprietor appraises them at. If the tenant himself gives notice of intention to leave, he is obliged to sacrifice his crops altogether. The obvious tendency of this is to drive laborers from sugar cultivation to places where they can get land of their own. If I were proprietor of a sugar estate, I would devote one-fourth, or one-third, of the cane land on the estate to the laborers. I would give them a good tenure; for instance, leases renewable forever, with a right to buy, at such a number of years’ purchase as might be agreed upon. I would make it the interest of my laborers to occupy, or buy, land near my cane lands, instead of at a distance. I would trust to their admitted sagacity to cultivate the product that would pay them best. I would have a labor market at my door; and I would have the spare time of my laborers employed in growing a a product, which must be brought to my works to be manufactured. Even if the result should be that all my land was rented or sold, I should still make ample profit by my manufactory. Such, however, in my opinion, would not be the case. The large proprietor would still be the principal cultivator of the land, and the small one would combine labor on the estates with labor on his own land in growing the cane; as is the case in Barbadoes. But this common-sense view of the subject has not been generally taken. In Barbadoes alone, so far as my knowledge extends, the laborers on the large estates cultivate the sugar cane on their own grounds; and this is one of the reasons why the laborers in Barbadoes cannot be attracted elsewhere. There, the laborer is dependent on the proprietor for the manufacture of his little crop of canes, while the proprietor is dependent on him for labor, when it is required. This mutual dependence has produced the best results.”

When Gov. Hincks visited Canada, April, 1859, he received an address from the Association for the Education of the Colored People. I make the following extract from Edition: current; Page: [47] his reply: “While it is my own deliberate opinion that a very large amount of labor now wasted in the West Indies, or less profitably employed, could be obtained for the cultivation of sugar, I am not prepared to admit that the success of the great measure of emancipation is to be tested in this way. The true test, it seems to me, is the progress of the African race. The best proof of the industry of that race is that large numbers have acquired, and are acquiring, large properties. They are amenable to the laws, anxious for the education of their children, and good and loyal subjects to the queen. There is still vast room for improvement; but I certainly concur in the following statement by the Lord Bishop of Barbadoes, a prelate esteemed and respected by all who have the advantage of his friendship: ‘I certainly think we have great reason to say, especially in Barbadoes, that the advantages resulting from the abolition of slavery have been quite as great as we could reasonably expect, in so short a time; much greater, indeed, than the most sanguine among us, I believe, ever anticipated.’ ”

Mr. Charles Tappan, of Boston, visited the West Indies, in the autumn of 1857; and in January, 1858, Gov. Hincks wrote him a letter, dated Barbadoes, in answer to some questions that had been addressed to him. It was published in the National Era, and some other papers. I make the following extracts from it. “With regard to the complaint against the negroes, that they are indolent, and have abandoned the sugar plantations, I admit that, in several of the British Colonies, the planters would generally vehemently maintain the correctness of the charge. I am, however, bound to affirm that, after a most patient investigation, I have been unable to arrive at such a conclusion. There is no doubt that the condition of the laboring class in Barbadoes ought to be worse than in any of the other Colonies; for land is exorbitantly dear, being from $400 to $600 an acre; while wages are from tenpence to a shilling (twenty-four cents) a day. There are only five working days in the week, except during crop time. With all these disadvantages, the small proprietors in Barbadoes, those holding less than five acres of land, have increased in sixteen years, from about 1,100 to 3,537. I doubt very much whether such a proof of industrious habits could be furnished with regard to a Edition: current; Page: [48] similar class of laborers in any other country in the world. I adduce this remarkable fact to prove that there has been no want of industry in this island, on the part of the Creoles of African descent.

“In all those Colonies where the sugar estates have been partially abandoned, we must look to other causes than the indolence of the laborers. In all those Colonies, land is abundant and comparatively cheap; and I need not remind any one acquainted with the settlement of land in America, that where land is abundant and cheap, labor will be scarce and dear. The negroes in Guiana and Trinidad pursue the same course as poor Irish emigrants in Canada, or the United States; they endeavor to get land of their own, and to become proprietors instead of laborers. Unfortunately, the planters have never adopted a policy calculated to retain laborers on their plantations. At least, such is my opinion. I am fully convinced that the abandonment of the estates is more owing to the tenure, on which alone planters would lease land, than to any other cause.

“In this island, there can be no doubt whatever, that emancipation has been a great boon to all classes. The estates are much better cultivated, and more economically. Real estate has increased in price, and is a more certain and advantageous investment, than in the time of slavery. The proprietor of an estate, containing three hundred acres of land, twelve miles from the shipping port, informs me that the estate, during slavery, required two hundred and thirty slaves, and produced on an average, one hundred and forty hogheads of sugar. It is now worked by ninety free laborers, and the average product the last seven years has been one hundred and ninety hogheads. During slavery, this estate was worth £15,000 ($72,675); under the apprenticeship, it was sold for £25,000 ($121,125); the present proprietor purchased it a few years ago, for £30,000 ($145,350), which I have no doubt he could obtain for it at any moment. I could multiply instances, where the results have been similar.

“The improvement which has taken place in the religious condition of all classes, and the progress of education, are quite equal to what could have been reasonably expected. You have yourself made the acquaintance of men, who were Edition: current; Page: [49] once slaves, who are now in independent circumstances, and enjoying a large share of public respect. It is impossible to compare the present statistics of crime with those during slavery; for then the great bulk of ordinary offences, such as petty thefts and assaults, were not brought before magistrates, but summarily punished by managers and overseers on the estates. That there is much greater security for person and property now, than during slavery, does not admit of a doubt.”

Never was an experiment more severely tested, than that of emancipation in the West Indies. It seems as if God intended to prove to the world that the vitality of freedom was indestructible. In addition to the general state of insolvency to which slavery has reduced the planters, and the difficulties attending the commencement of all great changes in the social system, there were an unusual number of fortuitous calamities. In 1843, an earthquake made dreadful devastation in the Leeward Islands. Out of one hundred and seventy-two sugar mills in Antigua, one hundred and seventeen were demolished, or nearly so. A third of the houses in St. John’s were flung down, and the remainder too much injured to be habitable. Then came a hurricane which blew down churches, uprooted trees, destroyed a great many houses and huts, did immense damage to the sugar canes. And the crowning misfortune of all, was a series of severe droughts, year after year. Between 1840 and 1849, there were only two seasons when the crops did not suffer terribly for rain. Under such a combination of disasters the anxieties and sufferings of West India proprietors must have been very severe indeed; and there, as elsewhere, there were plenty of people ready and eager to attribute all their troubles to emancipation. Yet such is the recuperative power of freedom, that Commissioners who went to Guiana in 1850, to inquire into the condition of things, reported: “Every symptom of change for the better is apparent. Cultivation has extended and crops increased. The laboring population are working more steadily, and evince signs of speedy improvement.”

In the first part of this Tract it has been mentioned that in twelve years, during slavery, the laboring class in eleven of the islands had decreased more than 60,000. In the Edition: current; Page: [50] twelve years following emancipation, in ten Colonies there was an increase of more than 54,000. That fact alone is a significant indication of the vast change for the better in their condition.

The following statistics I copy from an able article in the Edinburgh Review, April, 1859. They are quoted from the Colonial Reports:—

Barbadoes. In ten years, “between 1842 and 1852, increase of sugar exported, is 27,240 hogheads.” The Report for 1851, states, “There has been more sugar shipped from this island this year, than in any one year since it has been peopled; and it is a remarkable fact that there will be more laborers’ sugar made this year, than previously. By laborers’ sugar is meant that raised by the negroes on their own patches of ground, and sent to the proprietor’s mill for manufacture.” The Report for 1853 announces “vast increase in trade. So far the success of cultivation by free labor is unquestionable.” Report for 1858: “A great increase in the value of the exports.” “The large proportion of land acquired by the laboring classes furnishes striking evidence of their industry.”

Bahamas. In 1851, the Governor reports, “a great and important change for the better,” in the condition of the people; which he mainly attributes to “improved education.” The rapidity with which these islands are advancing is indicated by the fact that the exports and imports increased in one year, from 1854 to 1855, £102,924 ($498,666.78).

Grenada. Returns in 1851 and 1852, show an increase of trade, amounting to £88,414 ($428,355.83). Report of 1858: “Contentment appears to pervade all classes of the community.” “A proprietary body, of considerable magnitude and importance, has already risen from the laboring class.” “State of the finances most satisfactory.” “A greatly extended surface is covered by sugar cultivation.” A considerable increase is noted in the exports of sugar, rum, and cocoa. Some remarks on the want of labor.

Antigua.—Reports for 1858: “Satisfactory evidence is afforded, by the Revenue Returns, of increase of trade and mercantile business, consequent upon the revival of agricultural prosperity.” (There had been a depression in consequence of a great fall in the price of sugar in 1847.)

Dominica.—Report for 1853: “The steady maintenance of production is full of promise as to the future.” Report for 1857: “The exports show a considerable increase.” “Very considerable increase in revenue, and an equally marked improvement in the amount of imports.” In the Report for 1858, the Governor speaks of the growing independence of the laborers, manifested Edition: current; Page: [51] “in the small patches of canes, and little wooden mills here and there dotting the plains around.”

Guiana.—In 1852, the Governor reports that the fall in the price of sugar, in 1847 and 1848 (owing to the repeal of the tariff), was “so sudden and enormous, as to have almost annihilated the Colony, at that crisis.” But he goes on to state that “the revenue is now flourishing, population augmenting, education spreading, crime diminishing, and trade increasing.”

Montserrat.—In 1853, the Governor reports “increase of confidence, enterprise, and industry.” “The improved and improving state of the community is allowed on all hands.” “No island in these seas exhibits a more decisive tendency to social and moral regeneration and improvement. The rural population are quiet, contented, and orderly.”

Nevis.—(This is a very small island; about the size of a common New England town.) Report for 1857: “The roads appear as if the greater part of the population had new clothed themselves; and in the harbor, so often deserted, I now count ten ships of considerable burden.” “There appears now to be at work an industrious spirit of improvement.”

St. Kitts.—Report for 1856: A larger quantity of sugar is produced now than in the time of slavery” (though on a smaller area). Report for 1858: “The agricultural prospects of the island are most encouraging. Its financial condition continues satisfactory; so do the education returns. Attendance in schools is steadily increasing. Crime is steadily diminishing. In one year, from 1856 to 1857, trade increased £106,233” ($514,642.88).

St. Lucia.—Report for 1853: “At no period of her history, has there been a greater breadth of land under cultivation, than at the present moment.” Between the four years ending 1842, and the four years ending 1856, the increase of sugar exported was 1,803,618 pounds.

St. Vincent.—In 1857, the Governor describes “a really sound and healthy state of the Colony at present, and a cheering and promising prospect for the future.” He describes the rising villages, the growing number of freeholders and leaseholders, and the steady progressive increase in the value of imports. In one year, from 1856 to 1857, imports and exports increased £156,633 ($758,886.88); and he expressly attributes it to “increased cultivation and prosperity.” In 1858, he describes the Colony as “in a most satisfactory state.” “Agricultural operations largely extended.” “Anticipations of continued progress and prosperity fully realized.”

Tobago.—The accounts had been dismal in 1852 and 1853; but an improved financial system was adopted in 1856, the result of which was a Report in 1858 announcing a “marked improvement Edition: current; Page: [52] in the revenue returns.” The Governor describes the laborers as “well-behaved and industrious.”

Tortola.—This island, under slavery, exported 15,559 cwt. of sugar. Now it exports none at all. But the change is wholly an advantage. It is remarkably well adapted for the raising of stock. “The people, with few exceptions, are owners of cattle, which they dispose of to great advantage.” “The laborers appear fully sensible of the advantages of education to their children, and the latter manifest a great desire to benefit by the opportunities offered them.”

Trinidad is highly flourishing. In 1852, the crop was the largest ever shipped from the island; and it has been extending since. The whole trade greatly increased since slavery. The Report for 1853 speaks of “marked improvement in the cultivation of the sugar estates.” Export of sugar rose from an average of 310,797 cwt. under slavery, to 426,042 cwt. in the seven years ending 1854.

The writer in the Edinburgh Review says: “These specific accounts of the several islands are borne out by the statistics and Reports that relate to our West Indies en masse. Lest it should be thought that these extracts are carefully culled, to produce a particular impression, and that if the reader had the whole Reports before him, he would find complaints and lamentations, we may at once say that they appear to us to be fair samples of the views entertained by the Governors, and also by other gentlemen acquainted with the West Indies. The language of complaint is no longer heard. Throughout these Colonies, hope and congratulation seem to have taken the place of irritation and despair. In all cases, the later the Report, the more gratifying it is found to be.

“To men of business, one fact will seem almost enough by itself to show the sound commercial state of these Colonies; viz., that, in the year 1857, the Colonial Bank received bills from the West Indies to the amount of more than £1,300,000 ($6,298,500); and less than £8,000 ($38,760) were returned. Nor was there a single failure in the West India trade, during the severe commercial crisis of that year. Furthermore, coffee, cotton, wool, sugar, rum, and cocoa, are all exported in increasing quantities. The total exports from Great Britain to the West Indies in 1857 were valued at Edition: current; Page: [53] half a milliom more ($2,422,500) than the average of the preceding ten years.”

Mr. C. Buxton made a speech in the British House of Commons, March, 1859, in which he said: “Because labor is free, and trade is free, the West Indies are now rising to a pitch of wealth and happiness unknown before. It would be impossible for me to lay before the House the immense mass of evidence, which demonstrates that fact. I am assured of it by mercantile men, I find it strongly set forth in the Reports from the Governors of the Islands, and in the statistics furnished by the Board of Trade. In the four years between 1853 and 1857, there has been an increase in the exports and imports of the West Indies and Guiana of £4,500,000 ($21,802,500). Considering what mere specks these islands look on the map of America, it is astonishing that their trade to and fro, in the year 1857, should actually amount to £10,735,000 ($52,011,075). It is altogether absurd to suppose this prosperity is owing to the immigration of a few thousand laborers; and in fact the islands which have received no immigrants are quite as flourishing as those that have. Interested parties describe the negroes as barbarous and idle; but I find ample evidence that they are living in a high degree of industry and comfort; though I admit that they somewhat prefer working on freeholds they have purchased, to laboring for hire.”

The Edinburgh Review concludes its array of evidence, by saying: “A long and thorough investigation of the case has borne us irresistibly to the conclusion that, merely as a dry question of economy, emancipation has paid; that it was an act of prudence, for which we, as a nation of shopkeepers, need not blush before that golden god, whom we are thought to worship so eagerly. Slavery and monopoly were bearing the West Indies to ruin. Under free labor and free trade they are rising to wealth. They are yearly enriching us more and more with the wealth of their fertile soil. Instead of being the plague of statesmen and the disgrace of England, they are becoming invaluable possessions of the British crown. Never did any deed of any nation show more signally that to do right is the truest prudence, than the great deed of Emancipation.”

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I have placed Jamaica in a section by itself, because emancipation has there worked less prosperously than elsewhere, and the reasons for it need some explanation. I have already mentioned causes which were bringing all the West Indies to ruin, previous to emancipation. These operated as powerfully in Jamaica as elsewhere. They were cursed with the same coercive system, which seems ingeniously contrived to make laborers lazy and shiftless, and to array them in the most stubborn opposition to their employers. There was among the white population the same haughty contempt for useful occupations, which inevitably brings extravagance and dissipation in its train. There was the same expensive retinue of attorneys, managers, and bookkeepers, with their mistresses, servants, and horses, to be supported out of the estate. There was the same neglect and fraud, arising from the absence of proprietors; for “nine-tenths of the land in Jamaica was owned by absentees, mostly residing in England.” There was the same injudicious system of apportioning the soil into large plantations, to the utter exclusion of small farmers; for slavery always renders the existence of a middling class impossible. There was the same desperate game of borrowing and mortgaging, ending in universal insolvency. Mr. Bigelow, one of the editors of the New York Evening Post, visited Jamaica in 1850, and carefully examined into the state of things. He says: “The island was utterly insolvent the day the Emancipation Bill passed. Nearly every estate was mortgaged for more than it was worth, and was liable for more interest than it could possibly pay. It will not be disputed Edition: current; Page: [55] by any, who are at all informed on the subject, that the whole real estate under culture in Jamaica, in 1832, would not have sold for enough to pay off encumbrances. This fact must have been disclosed sooner or later, even if slavery had been permitted to continue. Bankruptcy was inevitable; and the rapid depreciation of real estate would, of course, have been one of the first fruits of such a catastrophe. The Emancipation Act did not cause, it only precipitated, a result, which was inevitable. It compelled a balance to be struck between the debtors and the creditors, which revealed, rather than begat, the poverty which now no effort can conceal.”

The Export Tables show a decrease of sugar, in ten years, ending 1830, of 201,843 hogsheads.

These drawbacks Jamaica had in common with the other Colonies; except, perhaps, that the load of debt was somewhat heavier there than elsewhere. Why then have her complaints been so much louder and more prolonged, than those of her neighbors? I think the strongest reason is to be found in the fact that the spirit of slavery was more violent and unyielding there than in the other Colonies. There was more bitter hostility between masters and slaves; manifesting itself in shocking barbarities on one side, and frequent riots and insurrections on the other. There was a more furious opposition to abolition, and a more stubborn determination to make it operate badly, if possible. The great body of the planters had predicted ruin, and they seemed resolved that they would be ruined, rather than prove false prophets. Dr. Coke, one of the missionaries, says: “The persecutions we have experienced in Jamaica far exceed, very far, all the persecutions we have experienced in all the other islands unitedly considered.” Those who opened their houses to these religious teachers, in many instances, narrowly escaped being stoned to death. Rev. Mr. Bleby says: “Being determined to perpetuate slavery, they resolved to do all they could to get rid of Christianity, and keep their people in heathen darkness. The whole white population of Jamaica banded themselves together in an Association, which they called The Colonial Union; the avowed object of which was to drive every instructor of the negroes from the island. Eighteen of our Edition: current; Page: [56] churches were levelled with the ground. They dragged the missionaries to prison, got false witnesses to swear against them, treated them with brutal violence, and did every thing they could to put an end to their labors.” One of the Methodist missionaries died in a dungeon, in consequence of the brutal treatment he had received from violent pro-slavery men.

Another cause for the slow progress of improvement in Jamaica is assigned by the writer in the Edinburgh Review; viz., “the superlative badness of its government.” Taxation has been, and is oppressive, and the financial arrangements are said to be very injudicious. As late as 1854, the Governor, Sir Charles Grey, declared, “There is no system or consistency whatever in the conduct of the financial affairs of the Colony; nor any recognized organ of government, or legislature, which has the power to bring about effective and comprehensive changes.”

There was a small minority of planters and merchants, who regretted the violence and blind policy of the majority; but they would have risked their property, if not their lives, by venturing to express disapprobation. The excitement was prodigiously increased in 1832, by a formidable attempt at insurrection, in consequence of the numerous meetings and inflamed speeches of the planters, from which the slaves got the idea that the British government had made them free, and that their masters were acting in opposition to it.

Such was the community into which the modified freedom called apprenticeship was ushered on the 1st of August, 1834. In an address delivered in Massachusetts, 1858, the Rev. Mr. Bleby said: “I was in Jamaica when slavery was abolished. This day twenty-four years ago, I stood up late at night in one of the churches under my charge. It was a very large church; and the aisles, the gallery stairs, the communion place, the pulpit stairs, were all crowded; and there were thousands of people round the building, at every open door and window, looking in. It was ten o’clock at night, on the 31st of July. We thought it right and proper that our Christian people should receive their freedom, as a boon from God, in the house of prayer; and we gathered them together in the church for a midnight service. Our mouths had been closed about slavery up to that time. Edition: current; Page: [57] We could not quote a passage that had reference even to spiritual emancipation, without endangering our lives. The planters had a law of ‘constructive treason,’ that doomed any man to death, who made use of language tending to excite a desire for liberty among the slaves; and they found treason in the Bible, and sedition in the hymns of Watts and Wesley; and we had to be very careful how we used them. You may imagine with what feelings I saw myself emancipated from this thraldom, and free to proclaim ‘liberty to the captive, and the opening of prison doors to them that were bound.’ I took for my text, ‘Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof! It shall be a jubilee unto you.’ A few minutes before midnight, I requested all the people to kneel down in silent prayer to God, as befitting the solemnity of the hour. I looked down upon them as they knelt. The silence was broken only by sobs of emotion, which it was impossible to repress. The clock began to strike. It was the knell of slavery, in all the British possessions! It proclaimed liberty to 800,000 human beings! When I told them they might rise, what an outburst of joy there was among that mass of people! The clock had ceased to strike, and they were slaves no longer! Mothers were hugging their babes to their bosoms, old white-headed men embracing their children, and husbands clasping their wives in their arms. By and by, all was still again, and I gave out a hymn. You may imagine the feelings with which these people, just emerging into freedom, shouted—for they literally shouted,

  • “ ‘Send the glad tidings o’er the sea!
  • His chains are broke, the slave is free!’ ”


Three years after this event, Mr. Thome visited Jamaica. He constantly encountered men full of the old slave-holding prejudices. They gave doleful pictures of the ingratitude and laziness of the negroes. Things were bad enough, they said, but they were sure they would be much worse when the laborers were entirely free, in 1840. It was in vain to try to comfort them by telling them how well immediate emancipation Edition: current; Page: [58] had worked in Antigua. They listened incredulously, and returned to their old statement, that negroes would not work, unless they were flogged. When they were freed, they would, of course, rob, murder, starve, do any thing, rather than labor. “There would be scenes of carnage and ruin, unparalleled in modern times.” Mr. Thomson, one of the local magistrates of St. Andrews, belonged to this old school, who up to the last moment had resisted any change of system. Yet he wound up his direful predictions by denouncing slavery. He said man was naturally a tyrant, and it could not be denied that under slavery the most horrible cruelties had been practised. He admitted that he had formerly been very averse to sleeping on any of his estates in the country. If circumstances compelled him to spend a night there in the midst of his slaves, he not only bolted the door, but took the precaution to barricade it. Now, he had no fears. One thing he was ready to say in favor of negroes; they were a very temperate people; it was a rare thing to see one of them drunk. Similar admissions were made by other planters of the old school; but they all persisted in the opinion that there would be trouble, in 1840, when the masters lost what restraining power they now had. The very best thing to be expected was that the negroes “would all retire to the woods, plant merely yams enough to keep them alive, and before long all retrograde into African barbarism.”

It is obvious that men so completely under the dominion of passion and prejudice were not likely to use power judiciously; and, unfortunately, the apprenticeship system, which was intended as a salutary preparation for freedom, proved nothing but a source of exasperation to both parties. It took from the slaves certain privileges, which the laws and customs had previously secured to them, and it did not compensate for this by giving them the stimulus and the advantages of wages. On the other hand, the new system fettered the masters, to a degree that kept them in a state of irritation, while it left them power enough to manifest their ill-temper by perpetual annoyances to their servants. In the preceding pages I have given the opinion of various planters and magistrates, that this system worked badly in all the Colonies; but it was pre-eminently mischievous in Edition: current; Page: [59] Jamaica, because there the disease of slavery was of a peculiarly malignant type. The laborers were no longer property; and, with hard masters, no other claim to consideration remained when that was gone. They had made up their minds that the negroes would all quit work in 1840, and all they cared for was to get all they could out of their bones and sinews before that time. All children under six years old were unconditionally free. What consequence was it to the planters, whether “the little black devils” (as they called them) lived or died? Among the apprenticed laborers was a mother, who was let out by her master. Her child became alarmingly ill; and her employer said it was not his business to provide doctor or nurse. With the little sufferer in her arms, she went to her master for aid; but he turned her into the streets. It was the business of the people to take care of their own “brats,” now. She obtained shelter in the house of a colored man, and there the child died before morning.

A continual system of provocation was kept up. Masters and their white subordinates would take produce from the provision-grounds of the apprentices without paying them. In fits of anger, they would sometimes destroy their little gardens, or take them away when the crops were growing. The magistrates were overwhelmed with complaints, most of them of a petty character. An overseer would call out, “Work faster, you black rascal! or I’ll strike you.” If the apprentice answered, “You can’t strike me now,” he was dragged before a magistrate, and punished for insolence. The fact that the power of punishment was transferred by law from master to magistrates proved very insufficient protection; for the magistrates were generally planters, or the friends of planters. If one of them manifested a disposition to be humane, or even just, toward the apprentices, machinations were immediately on foot to get him turned out of office. The result was, that a large proportion of them were unprincipled men, the mere selfish tools of despotism. The negroes expressed it concisely by saying: “If massa say flog ’em, he flog ’em; if massa say send ’em to de tread-mill, he send ’em.” Their common complaint of magistrates was, “Dey be poisoned wid massa’s turtle-soup;” that being their way of defining the influence of good dinners. One of Edition: current; Page: [60] the missionaries complained to Mr. Thome, of a whipping machine ingeniously contrived for torture, and placed very near his house. He said when news came that the Governor was about to visit the village, the magistrate caused the machine to be removed and hidden among the bushes. Mr. Thome was present at a weekly court, where a just and humane magistrate presided. He says: “Managers, overseers, and bookkeepers, all set upon him like bloodhounds on a stag. They seemed to gnash their teeth upon him in their impotent rage. He assured us that he met with similar indignities on most of the estates, every time he held his courts. From what we saw that day, we were convinced that only very fearless and conscientious men could be faithful magistrates in Jamaica.” Mr. Thome tells an anecdote related to him by the special magistrate in whose presence it occurred. It shows how hard it was, for men long accustomed to arbitrary power, to submit to the salutary restraints of law. The magistrate had fined a manager $108 for various acts of oppression complained of and proved by his apprentices. The culprit requested permission to speak; which being granted, he broke forth, in an agony of passion, “O my God! Has it come to this? Is my conduct to be questioned by these people? Is my authority to be interfered with by strangers? O my God! my God!” He fell back into the arms of one of his bookkeepers, and was carried out of court in a convulsion fit.

The Rev. James Phillipo, who was a Baptist Missionary in Jamaica for twenty years, says: “During the short period of two years, 60,000 apprentices received in the aggregate one quarter of a million of lashes; and fifty thousand other punishments by the tread-wheel, the chain-gang, and other modes of legalized torture. Instead of diminution of the miseries of the negro population, there was a frightful addition to them; inducing a degree of discontent and exasperation never manifested even under the previous system. Had it not been for the influence of the Governor, the missionaries, and some of the special magistrates, it would probably have broken out into open and general rebellion.”

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While Mr. Thome was travelling in the rural districts, he talked with many of the apprentices. He says: “They all thought the apprenticeship very hard; but still, on the whole it was rather better than slavery. Then they were ‘killed too bad.’ It was all slash, slash! Now, they couldn’t be flogged unless the magistrate said so. Still, some masters were very hard; and many of the apprentices were so badly used, that they ran away into the woods. They should all be glad when freedom came.

“They gave a heart-sickening account of the cruelties of the tread-mill. Sometimes their wives were tied on the wheel when they were in a state of pregnancy. They suffered a great deal from that; but they couldn’t help it. We asked why they didn’t complain to the magistrates. They replied, that the magistrates wouldn’t take any notice of their complaints; and besides, it only made the masters treat them worse. One of them said, ‘We go to de magistrate, and den, when we come back, massa do all him can to vex us. He wingle (tease) us, and wingle us, and wingle us; de bookkeeper curse us and treaten us; de constable he scold us and call us hard names; and dey all try to make we mad; so we sometimes say someting wrong, and den dey take we to de magistrate for insolence.’

“We asked them what they thought of the household slaves being free in 1838, while they had to remain apprentices two years longer. They said, ‘It bad enough; but we know de law make it so; and for peace’ sake, we will be satisfy. But we murmur in we minds.’ One of the magistrates told us that on several estates the house servants announced their determination to remain apprentices until the field hands were all free; giving as a reason, that they wanted all to have a jubilee together.

“We inquired whether they expected to do as they pleased when they were free. They answered, ‘We couldn’t live widout de law. In other countries, where dey is free, don’t dey have de law?’ We asked what they expected to do with the old and infirm. They said, ‘We will support dem. Dey brought us up when we was pickaniny, and now we come trong, we must take care of dem.’ We asked Edition: current; Page: [62] whether they would work when they were free. They replied, ‘In slavery time, we work, even wid de whip; now we work till better; what tink we will do when we free? Wont we work when we get paid!’ It was said so earnestly, we couldn’t help acknowledging ourselves convinced. Some of them had to travel too far to market, to get back till Sunday. One of them said to us with tears in his eyes, ‘I declare to you, massa, if de Lord only spare we to be free, we be much more ’ligious. We be wise to many more tings.’ ”


“At Amity Hall, Mr. Kirkland, the manager of the estate, introduced us to his wife and several lovely children. It was the first and the last family circle we saw in that licentious Colony. The motley groups of colored children which we found on other estates, revealed the domestic manners of the planters. Mr. Kirkland considered the abolition of slavery a great blessing to the Colony. He said the apprenticeship was a wretchedly bad system; but things moved smoothly on his estate. He said the negroes of Amity Hall had formerly borne the character of being the worst gang in the parish; and when he came to the estate, he found that half the truth had not been told of them. But they had become remarkably peaceful and subordinate. He said he looked forward to 1840, with the most sanguine hope. He believed complete freedom would be the regeneration of the island. Forty freemen would accomplish as much as eighty slaves. If any of the estates were abandoned by the laborers, it would be on account of the harsh treatment they received. He knew many cruel overseers, and he shouldn’t be surprised if they lost a part of their laborers, or all of them.

“Mr. Gordon, the manager of Williamsfield estate, is among the fairest specimens of planters. He has a naturally generous disposition, which, like that of Mr. Kirkland, has outlived the witherings of slavery. He informed us that his people worked as well as they had done under slavery; and he had every reason to believe they would do still better after they were completely free. He said he often hired his people on Saturdays, and it was wonderful, Edition: current; Page: [63] with what increased vigor they worked when they were to receive wages. Fifty free men would do as much as a hundred slaves. He condemned the driving system, which was resorted to by a great many planters.

“Andrew Wright, Esq., proprietor of Green Wall estate, was described to us as a very amiable, kind man, who was never known to quarrel with any person in his life. He had a hundred and sixty apprentices at work, and said they were as peaceable and industrious as he could wish. He said where there was trouble with the people, he believed it was owing to bad management. He was quite confident that his laborers would not leave him after 1840.

“Mr. Briant, manager of Belvidere estate, said he had had no trouble with his apprentices. They did as much work, for the length of time, as they did during slavery; but the law allowed them a day and a half for themselves, and did not require them to work so early in the morning, or so late at night. He said the apprentices were not willing to work for their masters on Saturday, for the customary wages, which were about a quarter of a dollar. Upon inquiry, we ascertained that the reason was, they could make twice or three times as much by cultivating their provision-grounds and carrying the produce to market. At night, when they couldn’t work on their grounds, he said they worked very cheerfully for their masters. Where there was mild management, he had no doubt the negroes would remain and work well.

“In Bath, we met with the proprietor of a coffee estate, who gave a very favorable account of his laborers. He said they were as orderly and industrious as he could desire; he had their confidence, and had no doubt he should retain it after they were entirely free. He felt assured that if the planters would only conduct in a proper manner, emancipation would prove a blessing to the whole Colony.”


William H. Anderson, Esq., Solicitor General, made a written statement, from which I extract the following: “A very material change for the better has taken place in the sentiments of the community, since slavery was abolished. Edition: current; Page: [64] Religion and education were formerly opposed, as subversive of the security of property; now, they are encouraged, in the most direct manner, as its best support. Many proprietors give land for schools and chapels; also subscriptions to a large amount. Had the negroes been entirely emancipated in 1834, they would have been much further advanced in 1840, than they can be at the end of the apprenticeship, through which both masters and servants are laboring heavily. That the negroes will work, if moderately compensated, no candid man can doubt. Their endurance for the sake of a very little gain is quite amazing; and they are very desirous to procure for themselves and families as large a share as possible of the comforts and decencies of life. I have not heard one man assert that it would be an advantage to return to slavery, even if it were practicable; and I believe the public begin to be convinced that slave labor is not the cheapest. In my opinion, the negroes are very acute in their perceptions of justice and injustice. They fully appreciate the benefits of equitable legislation, and would unreservedly submit to it, where they felt confidence in the purity of its administration. They are ardently attached to the British government, and would be so to the Colonial, were it to indicate any purposes of kindness or protection toward them; but hitherto the enactments with reference to them have been almost wholly coercive. They are very desirous for education and religious instruction; no man who has attended to the matter can gainsay that. Marriage was formerly unknown among them. Their masters considered them as so many brutes for labor and increase, and I fear they came to regard themselves so. But now concubinage is becoming quite disreputable, and many are marrying those with whom they formerly lived in that relation. The partial modification of slavery has been attended with so much improvement in all that constitutes the welfare and respectability of society, that I cannot doubt there would be an increase of the benefits, if there were a total abolition of all the old restrictions.”

“Cheney Hamilton, Esq., one of the Special Magistrates for Port Royal, said there were three thousand apprentices in his district. They were as quiet and industrious as they ever were, and were always willing to work in their own time Edition: current; Page: [65] for wages. The district was never under better cultivation. The masters were doing nothing for the education of the apprentices. Their only object seemed to be to get as much work out of them as possible. The complaints brought before him mostly originated with the planters and were of a trivial nature, such as petty thefts and absence from work. He said if we would compare the complaints brought by overseers and apprentices against each other, we should see for ourselves which party was the most peaceable and law-abiding. Real estate is more valuable than before emancipation. Property is more secure, and capitalists, consequently, more ready to invest their funds.”

From the written testimony of E. B. Lyon, Esq., Special Justice, I extract the following: “The estates of the Blue Mountain Valley, over which I preside, contain 4,227 apprentices. When I assumed the duties of a special magistrate, they were the most disorderly on the island. They were almost desperate from disappointment in finding their trammels under the new law nearly as burdensome as under the old, and their condition in many respects much more intolerable. But they submitted, in many instances, with the most extraordinary patience, to evils which were the more onerous, because inflicted under the affected sanction of a law, whose advent they expected would have been attended with a train of blessings. I succeeded in making satisfactory arrangements between the masters and apprentices; and no peasantry, in the most favored country on the globe, can have been more irreproachable in morals and conduct, than the majority of apprentices in that district, since the beginning of 1835. It has been my pleasant duty to report to the Governor, month after month, improvement in their manners and condition, and a greater amount of work than during slavery. That proprietors have confidence in the future is evinced by the expensive repair of buildings on various estates, the enlargement of works, and the high prices given for land, which would scarcely have commanded a purchaser at any price, during slavery. In my district, the apprentices are invariably willing to work on the estates for hire, during their own time. In no community in the world, is crime less prevalent. The offences brought before me are mostly of a trivial description; such as turning out Edition: current; Page: [66] late, or answering impatiently. In fact, the majority of apprentices on estates have quietly performed their duty and respected the laws. The apprenticeship has, I fear, retarded the rapidity with which civilization should have advanced, and sown the seeds of a feeling even more bitter than that which slavery had engendered.”


Rev. Mr. Crookes, of the Wesleyan Mission, said to Mr. Thome: “In many respects there has been a great improvement since the abolition of slavery. The obstacles to religious effort have been considerably diminished; but we owe that mainly to the protection of British law. I believe many of the planters would still persecute the missionaries, and tear down their chapels, if they dared. I abominate the apprentice system. At best, it is only mitigated slavery. I am convinced that immediate and entire emancipation would have been far better policy.” The Rev. Jonathan Edmonson, and Rev. Mr. Wooldridge agreed in testifying that the planters generally, were doing “comparatively nothing to prepare the negroes for freedom.” “Their sole object seemed to be to get as much work as possible out of them before 1840.” “Their conduct was calculated to make the apprentices their bitter enemies.”

The Wesleyan Missionary at Bath said: “There are some bad characters among the negroes, as there are everywhere, among all classes of people. But generally they are docile and well behaved. They are eager for instruction. After working all day, they come several miles to our evening schools, and stay cheerfully till nine o’clock. Mothers with sucking babes in their arms stand, night after night, in our classes, learning the alphabet. If they can obtain even the leaf of a book they make it their constant companion. They are very easily won by acts of kindness. Sometimes they burst into tears and say to the missionaries, ‘Massa so kind! Me heart full.’ ”

Mr. Thome says: “While we were at Garden River Valley, we attended service in the Baptist Chapel, on the summit of a high mountain, overlooking the sea. Seen from the valley below, it appears to topple on the brink of a Edition: current; Page: [67] frightful precipice. As we ascended the steep and winding road, we saw throngs of apprentices, coming from many miles round, in every direction. The men halted in the thick woods to put on their shoes, which they brought in their hands up the mountain, and the women to draw on their white stockings. Mr. Kingdon, the pastor asked us to address his people, and we cannot soon forget the scene that followed. We had scarcely uttered a sentence, expressive of our sympathy with their condition, and our interest in their temporal and spiritual welfare, before the whole audience began to weep. Some sobbed, others cried aloud; insomuch that for a time we were unable to proceed. When we spoke of it afterwards to their pastor, he said, ‘The idea that a stranger and a foreigner should take an interest in their welfare stirred the deep fountains of their hearts. They are so unaccustomed to hear such language from white people, that it fell upon them like rain on the parched earth.’ ”


As time passed on, the conviction deepened in the minds of magistrates, missionaries, and the more reflecting among the planters, that slavery, by its very nature, did not admit of any modification. The apprenticeship system proved “hateful to the slave, obnoxious to the master, and perplexing to the magistrates.” Some of the apprentices bought their time; and their orderly, industrious habits afterward confirmed the growing impression that entire emancipation was the best policy. The Marquis of Sligo, the humane and just Governor of Jamaica, was a large proprietor, and he manifested his sentiments by liberating all his apprentices. His example had great influence. Public opinion was again roused in England. Petitions from all classes poured into Parliament, begging that the apprenticeship might be abolished; on the ground that the planters had violated the contract; that they did not use the system as a preparation for freedom, but for purposes of continued oppression. The result of these combined influences was that the field-laborers were not held in apprenticeship till 1840, but were entirely emancipated, with the household slaves, on the first day of August, 1838. Rev. James Phillippo, Baptist Missionary Edition: current; Page: [68] in Jamaica, thus describes the day: “On the preceding evening, the missionary stations throughout the island were crowded with people, filling all the places of worship. They remained at their devotions till the day of liberty dawned, when they saluted it with joyous acclamations. Then they dispersed through the towns and villages, singing ‘God save the queen’ and rending the air with their shouts: ‘Freedom’s come!’ ‘We’re free! We’re free!’ ‘Our wives and children are free!’ During the day, the places of worship were crowded to suffocation. The scenes presented exceeded all description. Joyous excitement pervaded the whole island. At Spanish Town, the Governor, Sir Lionel Smith, addressed the emancipated people, who formed a procession of 7,000, and escorted the children of the schools, about 2,000 in number, to the Government House. They bore banners and flags with various inscriptions, of which the following are samples. ‘Education, Religion, and Social Order.’ ‘August First, 1838; the Day of our Freedom.’ ‘Truth and Justice have at last prevailed.’ The children sang before the Government House, and His Excellency made a speech characterized by simplicity and affection, which was received with enthusiastic cheers. The procession then escorted their pastor to his house. In front of the Baptist Chapel were three triumphal arches, decorated with leaves and flowers, and surmounted by flags, bearing the inscriptions, ‘Freedom has come!’ ‘Slavery is no more!’ ‘The chains are broken, Africa is free!’ The enthusiasm of the multitude was wound up to the highest pitch. They wanted to greet all the flags; many of which bore the names of their benefactors, ‘Sturge,’ ‘Brougham,’ ‘Sligo,’ etc. The flags were unfurled, and for nearly an hour the air rang with exulting shouts, in which the shrill voices of the 2,000 children joined: ‘We’re free! We’re free!’ ‘Our wives and our children are free!’ ”

Several of the kindly disposed planters gave rural fêtes to the laborers. Long tables were spread in the lawns; arches of evergreens were festooned with flowers; and on the trees floated banners, bearing the names of those who had been most conspicuous in bringing about this blessed result. Songs were sung, speeches made, prayers offered, and a plentiful repast eaten. Mr. Phillippo says: “The conduct Edition: current; Page: [69] of the newly emancipated peasantry would have done credit to Christians of the most civilized country in the world. They were clean in their persons, and neat in their attire. Their behavior was modest, unassuming, and decorous in a high degree. There was no crowding, no vulgar familiarity, but all were courteous and obliging to each other, as members of one harmonious family. There was no dancing, gambling, or carousing. All seemed to have a sense of the obligations they owed to their masters, to each other, and to the civil authorities. The masters who were present at these fêtes congratulated their former dependents on the boon they had received, and hopes were mutually expressed that all past differences and wrongs might be forgiven. Harmony and cheerfulness smiled on every countenance; and the demon of discord disappeared, for a season. On some of the estates where these festivals were held, the laborers, with few individual exceptions, went to work as usual on the following day. Many of them gave their first week of free labor as an offering of good-will to their masters. Thus the period, from which many of the planters had apprehended the worst consequences, passed away in peace and harmony. Not a single instance of violence or insubordination, of serious disagreement or of intemperance, occurred in any part of the island.”

After this safe transition to a better state of things, the public were informed of no troubles in Jamaica for several years, except deficiency of labor, and diminished production of sugar. Pro-slavery presses, both in England and America, eagerly proclaimed these deficiencies as the results of emancipation. But enough has been already said to prove, to any candid and reflecting mind, that these effects were attributable to other causes. First. Emancipation found nearly all the estates on the island heavily mortgaged; most of them for more than they were worth. The compensation money, received from the British government, was soon swallowed up, the planters hardly knew how. It helped them to pay off a portion of their long-accumulating arrears, but left them still involved in pecuniary difficulties. Many of them had not money to pay for labor; and some, who had it, retained too much of the spirit of slave-holding to be scrupulous about paying the negroes for their work. Edition: current; Page: [70] Rev. Mr. Bleby says: “I know hundreds of colored laborers in Jamaica, who labored on the sugar plantations, and were defrauded of their wages. I knew a man who had a salary of one thousand pounds ($4,845) from an office under government, who employed two or three hundred laborers several months, then took the benefit of the Insolvent Act, and never paid them a cent. One of those great planting attorneys, who had fifty or sixty estates under his management, boasted to a friend of mine, that he made them profitable, by cheating the laborers out of half their wages, by one method or another. It is surprising that the colored people should prefer to raise produce on a few acres of their own, to working on the plantations without wages? I was in Kingston when the railroad was made. It was done entirely by the colored people. The manager told me he could not desire laborers to work better. And what was the reason? Every Saturday night he paid them their wages.”

Second. The tenure by which land was held was very precarious, as has already been explained by Governor Hincks. Planters in such a perverse state of mind as many were in Jamaica, were, of course, not slow to avail themselves of this instrument of oppression. When the emancipated laborers hired a hut and a bit of land on the estates where they had been accustomed to work, they were required to pay rent several times over. According to the statement of the Rev. Mr. Bleby, “The employer, would say to the husband, ‘You must pay in labor, for the rent of your house.’ Then he would say the same to the wife; and perhaps to other adult members of the family. Thus they manageed to get rent paid twice, and sometimes four times over.” If the tenant expressed dissatisfaction, or gave offence in any way, or if his capricious landlord merely wanted to make him feel that he was still in his power, he was ejected at once, and obliged to take for his crops whatever the despotic employer saw fit to value them at. Such tyrannical proceedings were common all over the island. If a majority of the planters had intended to drive the negroes away from their estates, and force them “to skulk in the woods and live upon yams,” as they had predicted, they could not have adopted a policy better suited to their purpose. Edition: current; Page: [71] The negroes, notwithstanding their strong local attachments, were driven from the sugar estates by these persecutions; but they did far better than “skulk in the woods, and retrograde to barbarism,” as I shall presently show.

Rev. Mr. Phillipo, writing in 1843, says: “The planters persisted in their designs, and, at last multitudes of laborers were compelled to sacrifice their feelings of attachment to their domiciles, and to establish themselves in freeholds of of their own. Hence, and from no other cause, arose those reports of insolence and idleness, so widely and perseveringly circulated against the peasantry. It is delightful to add that the injustice and impolicy of such conduct have now become generally manifest; so that the causes of mutual dissatisfaction are now, to a considerable extent, extinct.”

An intelligent gentleman in St. Thomas said to Mr. Thome, “The planters have set their hearts upon the ruin of the island, and they will be sorely disappointed, if it shouldn’t come.” But this disappointment was in reserve for them, and no ingenuity of theirs could prevent it. As individuals, they suffered for their blind and narrow policy; but public prosperity began to move steadily onward.

The Lord Bishop of Jamaica, in a circular recommending the establishment of schools for the emancipated peasantry, dated November, 1838, makes the following statement: “The peaceable demeanor of the objects of our instruction, and their generally acknowledged good behavior, are the natural fruits of being made better acquainted with the saving truths of the gospel; and no stronger proof can be given of their desire to obtain this knowledge than the fact that their choice in fixing their settlements is often influenced by the opportunities afforded for acquiring moral and religious instruction for themselves and their children.”

Early in 1839, Sir Lionel Smith, Governor of the island, made the following statement, in an official document: “I have sent numerous testimonies to England, to show that where labor has been encouraged by fair remuneration and kind treatment, it has nowhere been wanting.”

A part of the outcry concerning want of labor, and the depreciation of property arose from managers and attorneys, who conducted affairs for absentee proprietors. They Edition: current; Page: [72] wanted to buy estates themselves, at a low price; therefore, they irritated and discouraged the laborers, with the intention of driving them from the estates; and in some cases, they burned the sugar cane after it was gathered; giving as a reason that, from scarcity of labor, they could not convert it into sugar, except at prices which would entail a loss. The statements of such interested and unprincipled men were eagerly republished by pro-slavery papers in England and America; but, in this country, it was impossible for friends of freedom to procure any extensive republication of such testimony as the following, from the Rev. D. S. Ingraham, pastor of a church near Kingston, Jamaica, who visited the United States in 1840, and gave the following written testimony for publication: “Emancipation has greatly improved the value of all kinds of property. Land near my residence, which sold for fifteen dollars an acre a short time before emancipation, has been sold recently for sixty dollars an acre; and had there been ten times as much for sale, it would have sold readily for that price. I know of much land that now leases for more money in one year, than it would have sold for under slavery. Peace and safety have been promoted by emancipation. It was formerly thought necessary to have six regiments of soldiers, to keep the slaves in subjection, and also for the militia to meet monthly in each parish. Since freedom was declared, half of the soldiers have been removed; and where I live, the militia have entirely ceased to muster.* Emancipation has diminished crime. Jails formerly well filled, and often crowded, now have few tenants. A part of the house of correction in my parish is converted into a hospital, and the bloody old treadmill is incrusted with rust. Emancipation has promoted industry. A gentleman, who has been a planter in Jamaica for twenty years, told me there was undoubtedly far more work done in the island now than ever before. Indeed, any one can see that such is the case. Wherever you look, you see the forests giving place to gardens and cornfields, and numbers of comfortable houses growing up under the hand Edition: current; Page: [73] of industry and perseverance. Many villages have been built up entirely since freedom by those who were formerly slaves. A spirit of improvement has been called forth. Roads and streets are being McAdamized; there are many new markets in different parts of the country. Agricultural Societies are forming; and ploughs are coming into use. An overseer lately told me that he now ploughed upland for canes at one dollar and seventy-five cents per acre, instead of paying fifteen dollars an acre, to have it dug up, as formerly. There is a universal desire for knowledge among the emancipated people. They often send twenty miles in search of a preacher, or teacher. They have come to me and pleaded with an eloquence that no Christian could resist, saying: ‘Minister, do come and see we! We all ignorant; and so much big pickaniny, that don’t know nothing. Do try for get we a teacher! We will take care of him.’ ”

Joseph J. Gurney, who visited Jamaica in 1840, says: “The imports of the island are rapidly increasing; trade improving; towns thriving; new villages rising up in every direction; property is much enhanced in value; well-managed estates are productive and profitable; expenses of management diminished; short methods of labor adopted; provisions cultivated on a larger scale than ever; and the people, wherever they are properly treated, are industrious, contented, and gradually accumulating wealth. Above all, the morals of the community are improving, and education is rapidly spreading.

“Under slavery, two hundred slaves were supported on the Papine estate; it is now worked by forty-three laborers. The estate of Halberstadt used to support one hundred and seventy slaves; now fifty-four laborers do all the work required. The support of the slaves on this estate cost £850 annually; the annual wages of the free laborers amount to £607 10s. 3d.

“ ‘Do you see that excellent new stone wall round the field below us?’ said a young physician. ‘The necessary labor could not have been hired under slavery, or the apprenticeship, at less than thirteen dollars per chain; under freedom it cost only four dollars per chain. Still more remarkable is the fact that the whole of it was built, under the stimulus of job-work, by an invalid negro, who, under Edition: current; Page: [74] slavery, had been given up to total inaction.’ Such was the fresh blood infused into the veins of this decrepit person by the genial hand of freedom, that he had executed a noble work, greatly improved his master’s property, and realized for himself a handsome sum of money.”

Dr. Stewart said to Mr. Gurney, “I believe, in my conscience, that property in Jamaica, without the slaves, is as valuable as it formerly was with them; and I believe its value would be doubled by sincerely turning away from all relics of slavery to the honest free working of a free system.”

A despatch from Sir Charles Metcalfe, read in the House of Commons, 1842, declares: “The present condition of the peasantry of Jamaica is very striking. They are much improved in their habits, and are generally well-ordered and free from crime. They subscribe for their respective churches, and are constant in their attendance on divine worship, wearing good clothes, and many of them riding on horses. They send their children to school, and pay for their schooling.” “It appears wonderful how so much has been accomplished in the island, in building, planting, digging, and making fences. The number of freeholders, who have become freeholders by their own industry and accumulation, amounted in 1840 to 7,340.”

The Jamaica Morning Journal in February, 1843, says: “It is gratifying to observe the impetus which has been given to agricultural and literary societies. We do not recollect ever to have seen such vigorous efforts put forth for the improvement of the people and of agriculture, as have been within the last few months.”

Rev. Mr. Phillippo, writing in the same year, says: “The term indolent can only be applied to the black population in the absence of remunerating employment; and even then they worked on their own provision-grounds. Jamaica peasants are seldom seen lounging about, loitering along the roads, or spending their money at taverns and other similar places of resort. As for the great bulk of the people, making allowance for climate, no peasantry in the world can display more cheerful and persevering industry. In the time of slavery, unrestrained licentiousness was the order of the day. Every estate and every negro hut was a Edition: current; Page: [75] brothel. Now, marriage is the rule and concubinage the exception. Although every trifling infraction of the laws (contrary to former usage) is now publicly known and punished by magistrates, empty jails, and the absence of serious offences from the calendar of the courts, are sufficient evidence of the general decrease of crime.”

The Jamaica Morning Journal, March, 1843, says: “Our readers will be surprised and pleased to learn that for the last five days not a single prisoner has been committee to the cage in this city [Kingston]. We record this fact with great pleasure, as we believe such a circumstance never before occurred since the building of the city.”

Rev. Mr. Bleby says: “Before I left Jamaica (which was previous to 1848), no less than 50,000 colored people had become freeholders, as the fruit of their own industry. We are told these people will not work. How did they obtain these freeholds then? Some of them have mahogany bedsteads and side-boards in their houses. How do they get such furniture, except as the result of their own toil?”


Now we are coming upon sad times. It has been stated that the West Indies had the monopoly of sugar in the British market, at an immense cost to the consumers. This had frequently called out remonstrances from the British people; and in 1846 government repealed the tariff, which excluded other countries from competition. The result was a sudden and great fall in the price of sugar. “In 1840, sugar sold in bond at 49s. a cwt. ($11.86.) In 1848, it had sunk to 23s. 5d. ($5.65.”) The result was many millions of dollars less in the receipts for their crops; and that was far from being the worst feature in the case. Business in the West Indies had for generations been carried on upon credit; and now credit was gone. The writer in the Edinburgh thus states the case: “The vast capital requisite for the production of sugar had been annually advanced by merchants in London, on the security of the crops. But, of course, when it was known that sugar had fallen so enormously in value, the merchants took fright, and the credit of the planter was gone. He was embarked in Edition: current; Page: [76] transactions on which a vast capital had been laid out, and which required a vast capital to carry them on; and capital he could not obtain.” The suffering was dreadful. Thousands of families accustomed to the luxuries of wealth were reduced to poverty, without any of the habits that would have enabled them to bear it bravely. Their cry of distress resounded through the world. Pro-slavery presses in England and America exultingly proclaimed, “Behold the effects of emancipation?” and people without examining the subject, echoed the railing accusation. But one very important circumstance was overlooked; viz., that when this cry of distress arose, slavery had been abolished fourteen years, and the apprenticeship had been abolished ten years. By a little examination they might have ascertained that, previous to the repeal of the tariff, things were going on prosperously in the West Indies; which is sufficiently indicated by the fact that just before the blow came, they had been making an outlay to produce larger crops; a circumstance which rendered the blow all the heavier. Even Jamaica, with all her wretched mismanagement and financial disorders, was beginning to be prosperous, in consequence of emancipation, as we have shown.

Of the fall of property, subsequent to the repeal of the tariff some estimate may be formed from the following item. In 1838, the La Grange estate was sold for £25,000 ($121,125); and in 1840 the Windsor Forest estate sold for £40,000 ($193,800). In 1850, both those estates sold together for £11,000 ($53,295).

Mr. Bigelow, of the New York Evening Post, who visited Jamaica in 1850, says: “It is difficult to exaggerate, and still more difficult to define the poverty and industrial prostration of Jamaica. The natural wealth and spontaneous productiveness of the island are so great, that no one can starve, and yet it seems as if the faculty of accumulation were suspended. The productive power of the soil is running to waste; the finest land in the world may be had almost for the asking; labor receives no compensation; and the product of labor does not seem to know the way to market.”

The soil still continued to be owned chiefly by absentees; an unincumbered estate of any size or value was hardly to Edition: current; Page: [77] be found; and since the depreciation of property, it was impossible to borrow money, to any considerable extent, on Jamaica estates.

Mr. Bigelow informs us that “Jamaica imports, annually, 70,000 barrels of flour; 90,000 bushels of corn; 300,000 pounds of tobacco; and 10 or 12,000,000 feet of lumber and sawed stuff. They have magnificent forests, but not a sawmill on the island. Even their bricks they import. They pay extravagant prices for articles, which could be cultivated in Jamaica with the utmost ease and abundance. Butter is 371/2 cts. a pound; milk 183/4 cts. a quart; flour from sixteen to eighteen dollars a barrel; etc. Nothing apparently can be more unnatural than for the people of this island, in their present poverty-stricken condition, to be paying such prices for daily food; yet nothing is more inevitable, so long as the land is held in such large quantities, and by absentee landlords. Till recently, such a thing was never known as a small farm of fifty or a hundred acres to be put under culture for profit.”

As the planters and their advocates were continually complaining that wages were ruinously high, Mr. Bigelow made it a subject of special inquiry. He says: “To my utter surprise, I learned that the wages of men on the sugar and coffee plantations ranged from eighteen to twenty-four cents a day; and proportionably less for women and children. Out of these wages the laborers have to board themselves. Now, when it is considered that flour is eighteen dollars a barrel, eggs from three to five cents a piece, and ham twenty-five cents a pound, does not this cry of high wages appear absurd? Was the wolf’s complaint of the lamb, for muddying the stream below him, more unreasonable? Are wages lower in any quarter of the civilized world? Four-fifths of all the grain consumed in Jamaica is grown in the United States, on fields where labor costs more than four times this price, and where every kind of provision, except fruit, is less expensive. The fact is, the negro cannot live on such wages, unless he ekes them out by stealing, or owns a lot of three or five acres. He is driven by necessity to purchase land and cultivate it for himself. He finds such labor so much better rewarded than that he bestows on the lands of others, that he naturally takes care Edition: current; Page: [78] of his own first, and gives his leisure to the properties of others.

“Of course, it requires no little energy and self-denial for a negro, upon such wages, to lay up enough to purchase a little estate; but if he does get one, he never parts with it, except for a larger or better one. I was greatly surprised to find the number of these colored proprietors already considerably over 100,000, and continually increasing. When one reflects that only sixteen years ago there was scarcely a colored landholder on the island, it is unnecessary to say that this class of the population appreciate the privileges of free labor and a homestead far more correctly than might be expected; more especially when it is borne in mind that seven-tenths of them were born in slavery, and spent many years as bondmen. Their properties average, I should think, about three acres. They have a direct interest in cultivating them economically and intelligently. The practice of planning their own labor, encouraged by the privilege of reaping its rewards, exerts upon them the most important educational influence; the results of which will soon be much more apparent than they now are.”

Pro-slavery writers declare that these negro farmers have not raised five pounds of sugar a year for exportation. But does that prove they are lazy? Where butter is 371/2 cts. a pound, eggs from three to five cents a piece, onions 121/2 cts. a pound, and other provisions at the same rate, they can turn their land to better account, than to enter into competition with sugar makers. When the same system is introduced that Gov. Hincks mentions in Barbadoes, they will doubtless turn their attention to raising sugar canes.

There is much evidence that there is no actual want of labor in Jamaica, though it has doubtless been alienated from the large sugar plantations. Firstly, by the harsh and unjust treatment of many of the planters. Secondly, by the state of bankruptcy in which emancipation found them, and which rendered them unable to pay for work. Thirdly, and probably the strongest cause for all, was the inability of the laborers to hire land on their estates, with any degree of security. Mr. Charles Tappan, of Boston, who visited Jamaica in 1858, says: “The alleged want of labor is a false cry. Where labor is said to be deficient, it can be Edition: current; Page: [79] traced to causes within the planters’ control to remove. Of these, insufficient wages, unpunctual payment of the same, or no payment at all, are stated to be the chief.” “In conversing with planters, I learned that laborers can easily be obtained for a fair compensation and kind treatment. But it is a fact that the emancipated much prefer to work on their own few acres of land.” Mr. S. B. Slack, an old native resident of Jamaica, writes thus to Mr. Tappan in 1858: “With few exceptions the planters now acknowledge that emancipation was a blessing. Some soreness was felt at the commencement; and it was manifested in the injudicious acts of ejecting laborers from the cottages they had occupied since infancy, and destroying their provision-grounds, which led them to purchase freeholds of their own, and thus become independent of their labor on the estates. But if the negroes are as lazy as they are represented, how is it that in the construction of a new road across the island more laborers can be obtained than are required? How is it that the Water Works Company are sure to have competitors for employment? How does it happen that the Railway Company are equally well off for labor? The answer is, because the laborers are liberally and punctually paid; and they are willing to work, when they are sure to obtain the reward.”

Sir Charles Grey, who was Governor of Jamaica, in 1850, says: “There are few races of men who will work harder, or more perseveringly, than the negroes, when they are sure of getting the produce of their labor.”

The Free Villages, which have sprung up since emancipation are described by all travellers as a new and most pleasing feature in the scenery of the West Indies. In the days of slavery, laborers generally lived in thatched hovels, with mud walls, thrown together without any order or arrangement. A few calabashes, a water jar, and a mortar for pounding corn, mainly constituted their furniture. As the women were driven into the fields to toil early and late, they had no time for household cleanliness. These negro dwellings looked picturesque in the distance, nestling among palm-trees and tamarind groves; but, like slavery itself, they would not bear a close inspection. As you come near them, the senses were offended by decaying vegetables, and Edition: current; Page: [80] nauseous effluvia. Now, the laborers live in Free Villages, regularly laid out. The houses are small, many of them, built of stone or wood, with shingled roofs, green blinds, and verandahs, to shield them from the sun. Most of them are neatly thatched, and generally plastered and whitewashed outside and in. They now have looking-glasses, chairs, and side-boards decorated with pretty articles of glass and crockery. Each dwelling has its little plot of vegetables, generally neatly kept, and many of them have flower-gardens in front, glowing with all the bright hues of the tropics. In 1843, Mr. Phillippo said that, by a rough estimate, the number of these villages in Jamaica was about two hundred, and the number of acres of land purchased was not less than 100,000. It was estimated that in the course of four years, the emancipated apprentices had paid £170,000 ($823,650) for land and buildings. And that was done when wages were from eighteen to twenty-four cents a day, out of which they boarded themselves! And these were the people who, the slave-holders were so sure would “skulk in the woods, and live on yams,” rather than work, after they ceased to be flogged!

The names of these villages give pleasant indication of the gratitude of the colored people toward their benefactors. They are called Clarkson, Wilberforce, Buxton, Brougham, Macaulay, Thompson, Gurney, Sligo, etc. The names given to their own little homes have almost a poetic interest, so touching and expressive is their simplicity. The following are samples: “Happy Retreat;” “Thank God for it;” “A Little of my Own;” “Liberty and Content;” “Thankful Hill;” “Come and See.”

Joseph J. Gurney visited Clarkson Town in the winter of 1839, and has recorded that he was “delighted with its appearance, and with the manners, intelligence, and hospitality of the people.” Mr. Phillippo, who was familiar with these villages, says: “The groups often presented are worthy of the painter’s pencil, or the poet’s song. Amid the stillness of a Sabbath evening, many families, after their return from the house of God, may be seen gathered together in the shadow of the trees, which overhang their cottages, singing hymns, or listening to the reading of the Scriptures, with none to molest or make them afraid.”

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Mr. Charles Tappan says: “On landing at Kingston, I must confess I was half inclined to believe the story so industriously circulated, that the emancipated slave is more idle and vicious than any other of God’s intelligent creatures; but when I rode through the valleys and over the mountains, and found everywhere an industrious, sober people, I concluded all the vagabonds of the island had moved to the sea-shore, to pick up a precarious living by carrying baggage, begging, etc.; and such, upon inquiry, I found to be the fact. Wherever I went in the rural districts, I found contented men and women, cultivating sugar cane, and numerous vegetables and fruits, on their own account. Their neat, well-furnished cottages compared well with the dwellings of pioneers in our own country. I found in them mahogany furniture, crockery and glass ware, and shelves of useful books. I saw Africans, of unmixed blood, grinding their own sugar cane in their own mills, and making their own sugar. I attended a large meeting called to decide the question about inviting a schoolmaster to settle among them. There was only one man who doubted the expediency of taking the children from work and sending them to school. One said: ‘My little learning enabled me to see that a note, given to me in payment for a horse, was not written according to contract.’ Another said: ‘I should have been wronged out of forty pounds of coffee I sold in Kingston, the other day, if I hadn’t known how to cipher.’ Another said: ‘I shall not have much property to leave my children, but if they have learning, they can get propperty.’ Another said: ‘Those that can read will be more likely to get religion.’ All these people had been slaves, or were the children of slaves. I saw no intoxicated person in Jamaica; and when it is considered that every man there can make rum, it strikes me as very remarkable.”

Here we have the germ of that middling class, which is the best reliance in every community, and which can never co-exist with slavery.

The fall of sugar as we have said prostrated the West Indies for a time; and no Colony was so badly situated to sustain it as Jamaica, with her overwhelming debts, her wretched management, her financial disorders, and her laborers alienated from the sugar estates by persistence in Edition: current; Page: [82] treating freemen as if they were slaves. Lord Sligo stated, in an official report, that many of the planters threw estates out of cultivation in 1832, because they were so sure that the negroes would not work after the Act of Emancipation had passed. Then, when the fall of sugar came in 1847 a great many planters were obliged to abandon their estates, from inability to borrow money to carry them on. Mr. Bigelow states that, in 1850, there were 400,000 acres of sugar and coffee plantations abandoned to weeds and underbush.

But there is a recuperative power in Free Trade, as there is in Free Labor. The West Indies soon began to rise from the severe but temporary pressure, occasioned by the repeal of the Tariff. In some cases property passed out of the fettered hands of bankrupts to those, who being unincumbered, could take a fair start; while some of the old proprietors learned wisdom from experience, and managed more judiciously. Even Jamaica is coming in for her share in these beneficial changes. That her waste places are beginning to be restored is indicated by the following article from the Kingston Morning Journal, 1857: “On Monday last, the roads leading to Great Valley estate presented a lively appearance. Men and women, old and young, strong and weak, were all hastening toward a common point of attraction. Gaudy handkerchiefs were flying from flagpoles, the people were singing and dancing, and every thing gave token of a day much honored by the peasantry. It was no wedding or merry-making. They were in working clothes, with hoes and pickaxes on their shoulders. From every track and by-path came individuals to increase the crowd. All seemed happy and in haste. All were sweeping toward the gate of the Great Valley works. We said to an old man, whose head was white with the frost of eighty winters: ‘Hallo! where are all these people going?’ Taking off his cap, he answered, ‘Me good buckra, me neber expect to see him Great Valley da rise. Him goin’ for ’tablish cane; make sugar agin. Good for we all. Eberybody for help.’ ‘But you are too old to do any thing.’ ‘Da true, me massa. Me no hab trong. But me must do someting. Me fetch water. Me heart trong, do me han’ weak.’ To another we said: ‘Where are you taking that Edition: current; Page: [83] cart-load of cane-tops to, my man?’ ‘To the Great Valley, sir. They are going to establish the sugar estate again; and I am carrying them all the cane-tops I have, to plant.’ We said to a woman with a great bundle of cane-tops on her head, ‘Are you going to the Great Valley, too?’ ‘Yes, sir. It’s a great day for us all. Everybody must help.’ To another, who headed a group of seventy or eighty children, we said, ‘Where are you going, my friend?’ ‘I am the master of Pondside school, sir. The girls and boys all begged a holiday, to carry cane-tops to the Great Valley, and help them dig cane-holes. A new proprietor has bought the estate, and everybody wants to help him.’ ‘But don’t you think there will be difficulty in procuring labor?’ ‘No, sir, not a bit; if the people are treated honestly and kindly. The new proprietor has a kindly way with him, and treats the people encouragingly; and a kind word goes a great way with our people. But I must follow my scholars. You can hear by their noise that they have already joined the digging party, there where the flags are flying.’ And sure enough the ringing sound of children’s shouts and laughter was borne joyously on the breeze.

“Great Valley is a noble estate of 4,000 acres, pleasantly situated between hills. It was formerly considered the second estate in the parish of Hanover. Now the works looked like some venerable ruin. Windows broken, chimneys tumbling, roofs falling in, lightning-rod swinging to and fro, carts and trucks rotting in the middle of the yard, the noble tank filled up with weeds, among which wild ducks were floating. But these ruined walls are to be rebuilt. The solitary places, now musty with mould and decay, will soon be filled with a busy throng, and the pleasant perfume of sugar-boiling will replace the unwholesome vapors. It is a pleasant prospect; and seems an omen of more prosperous days for our Island of Jamaica.”

Between 1853 and 1855, there was an increase in exports to the amount of £166,049 ($804,507.40).

The Governor, in his report for 1855, says: “I feel more confident of the ultimate restoration of prosperity than I ever did before.”

The Governor, in his speech at the opening of the Legislature, 1858, says: “A still progressive increase, both in Edition: current; Page: [84] the quantity of the staple exports, and in the amount of revenue derived from duties on articles of consumption, indicate a gradual improvement in the productive industry of the Colony.” He alludes to a succession of dry seasons, that have diminished the crops; and yet with that very serious drawback, the exports were increasing. He admits that complaints still came from the old plantations of a deficiency of continuous labor; which he says he can readily believe, from the “admitted fact that the portion of the agricultural peasantry, who, with their families, industriously and systematically apply themselves to the independent production of sugar, and other staples, is day by day increasing.”

When Lord Belmore, the Governor in 1832, said to the Jamaica Assembly, “Depend upon it, gentlemen, the resources of this fine island will never be fully developed, until slavery is abolished,” he gave them very great offence. The grandsons of the men he offended will see his prediction verified. Even amid all the desolation and discouragement in 1850, Mr. Bigelow says: “I made extensive inquiry, but I did not find a man upon the island who regretted the Emancipation Act, or who, if I may take their own professions, would have restored slavery, if it had been in their power.”

Ernst Noel, who writes from Jamaica to the New York Times, in the winter of 1860, says: “It is an undoubted fact that the exportation of coffee in Jamaica has declined from twenty-five and thirty millions to five and six millions; but it is also an undoubted fact that where one pound was used in the island prior to emancipation ten are used now. [Every laborer has his cup of coffee now.] It is my firm conviction that there is no such great discrepancy between the amount grown at the time of emancipation, and the amount now grown; especially when the extent of exhausted coffee land is taken into account. The same statement will apply with much greater force to provisions of every description. It is undoubtedly true that most of the large coffee properties formerly in cultivation have been abandoned, or turned to other uses. Coffee requires new land; and the clearance of fifty acres of wood is a Herculean enterprise for coffee planters, among whom want of capital Edition: current; Page: [85] prevails as much as among sugar planters. But whatever large coffee planters may say about their profits and losses, it is a notorious fact that thousands and thousands of settlers grow the delicious berry to advantage; as any merchant engaged in the trade will be able to testify. They come to the towns and villages with one, two, six, or a dozen bags, and in this way many a cargo is made up for foreign ports.”

The same writer says that several experienced planters, to whom he proposed questions concerning investment of capital in that island, assured him that profits from ten to twenty per cent might be securely counted upon.

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“Right never comes wrong.”

Old Maxim.

Whenever immediate emancipation is urged, the “horrors of St. Domingo” are always brought forward to prove it dangerous. This is one of numerous misstatements originating in prejudice, and afterward taken for granted by those who have not examined the subject. The first troubles between the white and black races in St. Domingo were the result of oppressive and unlawful treatment of the free colored population, who were numerous, and many of them wealthy proprietors. The whites were determined to wrest from them certain rights which the French government had secured to them. The next troubles were occasioned by an attempt to restore slavery, after it had been for some years abolished. It was never the granting of rights to the colored people that produced bloodshed or disturbance. All the disasters to the whites came in consequence of withholding those rights, in the first instance, and afterward from a forcible attempt to take them away, after they had long been peacefully and prosperously enjoyed under the protection of French laws.

In 1793, the National Assembly proclaimed liberty to all slaves under the dominion of France; more than 600,000 in number; and history shows that the measure proved safe. In St. Domingo emancipation was both peaceful and prosperous in its results. Col. Malenfant, a slave-holder resident in the island at the time, published “A Historical and Political Memoir of the Colonies,” in which he says: “After this public act of emancipation the negroes remained quiet, both in the south and west. There were estates which had Edition: current; Page: [87] neither owners nor managers upon them; yet upon those estates, though abandoned, the negroes continued their labors, where there were any of the inferior agents left to guide them; and where there was no white man, in any capacity, to take direction of affairs, they betook themselves to planting provisions. Several of my neighbors, proprietors or managers, were in prison; and the negroes on their plantations were in the habit of coming to me to direct them in their work. If you will take care not to talk to them of the restoration of slavery, but to talk to them of freedom, you may with that word chain them to their labor. In the plain of the Cul de Sac, on the plantation Gouraud, I managed four hundred and fifty laborers for more than eight months after liberty had been granted them. Not one of them refused to work. Yet that plantation was reputed to have been under the worst discipline, and the slaves the most idle of any in the plain. I inspired the same activity into three other plantations, of which I had the management. Ninety-nine out of a hundred blacks are perfectly well aware that labor is the process by which they can obtain means to gratify their wants and their tastes; and therefore they are desirous to work.” In describing the latter part of 1796, Col. Malenfant says: “The Colony is flourishing. The whites live peacefully and happily upon their estates, and the negroes continue to work for them.” Gen. Lecroix, who published “Memoirs for a History of St. Domingo,” speaks of wonderful progress in agriculture in 1797. He says: “The Colony marched, as by enchantment, toward its ancient splendor; cultivation prospered, and every day furnished perceptible proofs of progress.”

Such was the effect of Emancipation in St. Domingo!

In 1801, Gen. Vincent, a proprieter of estates in St. Domingo, went to France to lay before the government the plan of a new Constitution for the island. He found Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul, preparing to send out an armament to restore slavery in St. Domingo. General Vincent earnestly remonstrated against the expedition. He assured the Consul that the negroes were orderly and industrious, and that every thing was going on peacefully and prosperously for all parties; that it was unnecessary, and Edition: current; Page: [88] therefore cruel, to attempt to reverse this happy state of things. But there was a class of old despotic planters who clamored for the restoration of the arbitrary power, which they had most cruelly abused. Unfortunately, Bonaparte considered it good policy to conciliate that class; and he persisted in his purpose. He tried to restore slavery, by military force, and the consequence was that the French were driven out of the island, with great bloodshed.

In Guadaloupe, where liberty was proclaimed at the same time as in St. Domingo, the sudden transition took place with perfect safety. The reports from the Governors, for successive years, bear testimony that the emancipated laborers were universally industrious and submissive to the laws.

Gen. Lafayette, the consistent friend of human freedom, made a practical experiment of emancipation, as early as 1785. In the French Colony of Cayenne, most of the soil belonged to the crown, and he was able to obtain it on easy terms. He expended $30,000 in purchasing land and slaves. He employed an amiable and judicious gentleman to take the management. The first thing the agent did, when he arrived in Cayenne, was to call the slaves together, and in their presence burn all the whips and other instruments of punishment. He informed them that their owner, Gen. Lafayette had bought them for the purpose of enabling them to obtain their freedom. He then stated to them the laws and regulations by which the estate would be governed, and the pecuniary advantages that would be granted, according to degrees of industry. This stimulus operated like a charm. The energy of the laborers redoubled, and they were obedient to the wishes of their managers. He died from the effects of the climate. But when the slaves in all the French Colonies were emancipated in 1793, the laborers on this estate in Cayenne waited upon the new agent, and said if the land still belonged to Gen. Lafayette they wished to resume their labor for him on the old terms, giving as a reason that they were “desirous to promote the interests of one who had treated them like men, and cheered their toil by making it a certain means of freedom.”

In 1811 the British authorities emancipated all the slaves in Java. This also proved a complete success; as any one Edition: current; Page: [89] can ascertain by examining the account given by Sir Stamford Raffles, who was Governor of the island.

At successive periods, between 1816 and 1828, the South American Republics, Buenos Ayres, Chili, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Guatemala emancipated all their slaves. In some of those States means were taken for the instruction of young slaves, who were enfranchised on arriving at a certain age. In other States, slaves of all ages were emancipated after a certain date, fixed by law. In no one instance were these changes productive of any injury to life or property.

In 1828 the British government emancipated all the slaves in Cape Colony. 30,000 Hottentot Helots were admitted by law to all the rights and privileges of the white inhabitants. The slave-holders in the Colony remonstrated vehemently against this measure. They declared that the Hottentots were stupid, sensual, brutal, vicious, and totally incapable of taking care of themselves. They predicted awful outrages, as the consequence of emancipating a horde of such degraded wretches. But the event proved quite otherwise. The poor creatures were grateful for their freedom, and tried to behave as well as they knew how. All went on as peaceably as before, as concerned the white inhabitants, and much more peaceably, as concerned the blacks, who had previously suffered shocking barbarities at the hands of their masters. In the sunlight of freedom even the Hottentots have been gradually emerging out of barbarism. Year by year they pay more for British manufactures, because they wear calico and woollen cloth, instead of sheepskin mantles. They have horses and wagons, and flocks of their own, and their small weekly contributions to the Missionary Societies at the Cape amount to many hundreds of dollars.

From the time that Mexico became independent of Spain, in 1821, there was an increasing conviction in the public mind, that the existence of slavery was inconsistent with their professed principles as a Republic. This feeling soon manifested itself in laws. The prices of slaves were fixed by magistrates, and they were required to work, at stipulated wages, till they had paid for themselves. Protective laws were passed, enabling the servants to work for others, Edition: current; Page: [90] if they were not justly and humanely treated by their masters. Transfers of service might also take place to accommodate the masters; but never without consent of the servants. Mr. Ward, the British Minister to Mexico, in his work on that country, speaks very highly of the beneficial effects produced by these regulations. He says they gave a powerful stimulus to industry, and rapidly increased agricultural prosperity. A Mississippi slave-holder, who went to reside in Matamoras, was also so much pleased with the results of this experiment, that he wrote of it with enthusiasm, as an example highly important to the United States. He declared that the value of plantations was soon increased by the introduction of free labor. He says: “No one was made poor by it. It gave property to the servant, and increased the riches of the master.” Free labor commended itself so much in this process, that, in 1859, the government of Mexico published the following proclamation: “Slavery is forever abolished in this Republic. Consequently, all those individuals, who, until this day have been considered slaves, are free!” No interruption of public peace or prosperity followed this just decree.

In 1831, the South African Commercial Advertiser gave an account of 3,000 prize negroes, taken from slave traders. It says: “They all received their freedom; 400 in one day. No difficulty or disorder occurred. Servants found masters; masters hired servants; all gained homes; and at night scarcely an idler was to be seen.”

In 1848, the French government, after careful examination into the state of things in the British West Indies, decreed immediate emancipation to all the slaves in their Colonies. M. Arago, formerly member of the Provisional Government, wrote thus, in 1851: “Much has been said of the ruin which the Act of Emancipation has scattered over our Colonies. But it should be remembered that they were in a deplorable condition for a long time previous-The Chamber of Deputies resounded daily with their lamentations. Extreme and utterly inadmissible measures for their relief were continually proposed. The Act of Emancipation cut peacefully one of the most complicated questions our social state afforded. Free labor has taken the place of slave labor without much resistance. So far, it has been Edition: current; Page: [91] attended with results sufficiently favorable, and these cannot fail to grow better.” O. Lafayette, grandson of General Lafayette, member of the Chamber of Deputies, wrote thus, in 1851: “In one day, as by the stroke of a wand, 150,000 human beings were snatched from the degradation, in which they had been held by former legislation, and resumed their rank in the great human family. And this great event occurred without any of those disorders and struggles, which had been threatened, in order to perplex the consciences of the friends of abolition.”

In 1857, the Dutch abolished slavery in their West India Colonies. The government paid a certain sum to the masters, and took the entire control of the slaves, who were to work till they repaid the sum advanced for their freedom. Children under five years were free at once, and moderate prices were fixed by law for all the slave population, graduated according to their ages. As soon as the stipulated price was offered by any slave, he became a freeman. Wages were also fixed by law; and in case any planters refused to submit to the prescribed regulations, rural settlements were formed where the colored people could find employment, under the superintendence of managers appointed by government, aided by colleagues who were elected by the laborers. Of course, the success of this experiment will greatly depend on the good-temper and good judgment of the men who manage it. I have no means of ascertaining the degree of financial prosperity in the Dutch West India Colonies since emancipation began to take effect; but I know that before the abolition of slavery, they were complaining of “ruin” and begging for “relief.” The Colony of Surinam, under slavery, made this statement. “Out of nine hundred and seventeen, plantations, six hundred and thirty-six have been totally abandoned. Of the remainder, sixty-five grow nothing but wood and provisions.” The small balance of estates not included in this description, were declared to be on the road to destruction. Whether free labor works better results, time will show. But one thing is already certain; the transition was made with perfect safety. In 1859, the Dutch abolished slavery in all their East India possessions; where it had existed under a comparatively mild form. There was one very remarkable and Edition: current; Page: [92] beautiful feature in this transaction. The government offered an assessed compensation to the masters; but many of them refused to take it, while others took it and gave it to the emancipated slaves, who had worked so many years without wages.

History proves that emancipation has always been safe. It is an undeniable fact, that not one white person has ever been killed, or wounded, or had life or property endangered by any violence attendant upon immediate emancipation, in any of the many cases where the experiment has been tried. On the contrary, it has always produced a feeling of security in the public mind.

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I appeal to candid readers whether I have not, in the preceding pages, fairly made out a case in favor of immediate emancipation. I have not advanced opinions, or theories; I have simply stated facts. In view of these facts, is it not unjust and irrational to persist in calling immediate emancipation a “fanatical” idea? Leaving the obvious considerations of justice and humanity entirely out of the question, I ask whether experience has not proved it to be a measure of plain, practical good sense, and sound policy. The trouble in forming a correct estimate on this subject arises mainly from our proneness to forget that negroes are men, and, consequently, governed by the same laws of human nature, which govern all men. Compulsion always excites resistance; reward always stimulates exertion. Kindness has upon the human soul an influence as renovating as sunshine upon the earth; and no race is so much and so easily influenced by it as the negroes. Jamaica overseers, blinded by the long habit of considering slaves as cattle, said to them, after they became apprentices, “Work faster, you black rascal! or I’ll flog you.” That excited the apprentice to remind them they had no power to do it. The retort enraged the overseers; and the magistrate was called upon to punish the laborer for his insolence in expressing the feelings of a man. The Antigua planters acted with more enlightened policy. They wisely gave up their power into the hands of the law. If they chanced to see a laborer rather dilatory, they said, “We expect better things of freemen:” and that simple appeal to their manhood, we are told, invariably quickened their motions, while it gratified their feelings.

Free labor has so obviously the advantage, in all respects, over slave labor, that posterity will marvel to find in the history Edition: current; Page: [94] of the nineteenth century any record of a system so barbarous, so clumsy, and so wasteful. Let us make a very brief comparison. The slave is bought, sometimes at a very high price; in free labor there is no such investment of capital. The slave does not care how slowly or carelessly he works; it is the freeman’s interest to do his work well and quickly. The slave is indifferent how many tools he spoils; the freeman has a motive to be careful. The slave’s clothing is indeed very cheap, but it is provided by his master, and it is of no consequence to him how fast it is destroyed; the hired laborer pays more for his garments, but he has a motive for making them last six times as long. The slave contrives to spend as much time as he can in the hospital; the free laborer has no time to spare to be sick. Hopeless poverty and a sense of being unjustly dealt by, impels the slave to steal from his master, and he has no social standing to lose by indulging the impulse; with the freeman pride of character is a powerful inducement to be honest. A salary must be paid to an overseer to compel the slave to work; the freeman is impelled by a desire to increase his property, and add to the comforts of himself and family. We should question the sanity of a man who took the main-spring out of his watch, and hired a boy to turn the hands round. Yet he who takes from laborers the natural and healthy stimulus of wages, and attempts to supply its place by the driver’s whip, pursues a course quite as irrational.

When immediate emancipation is proposed, those who think loosely are apt to say, “But would you turn the slaves loose upon society?” There is no sense in such a question. Emancipated slaves are restrained from crime by the same laws that restrain other men; and experience proves that a consciousness of being protected by legislation inspires them with respect for the laws.

But of all common questions, it seems to me the most absurd one is, “What would you do with the slaves, if they were emancipated?” There would be no occasion for doing any thing with them. Their labor is needed where they are; and if white people can get along with them, under all the disadvantages and dangers of slavery, what should hinder their getting along under a system that would make them Edition: current; Page: [95] work better and faster, while it took from them all motive to rebellion?

It is often asked, “What is your plan?” It is a very simple one; but it would prove as curative as the prophet’s direction, “Go wash, and be clean.” It is merely to stimulate laborers by wages, instead of driving them by the whip. When that plan is once adopted, education and religious teaching, and agricultural improvements will soon follow, as matters of course.

It is not to be supposed that the transition from slavery to freedom would be unattended with inconveniences. All changes in society involve some disadvantages, either to classes or individuals. Even the introduction of a valuable machine disturbs for a while the relations of labor and capital. But it is important to bear in mind that whatever difficulties might attend emancipation would be slight and temporary; while the difficulties and dangers involved in the continuance of slavery are permanent, and constantly increasing. Do you ask in what way it is to be accomplished? I answer, That must finally be decided by legislators. It is my business to use all my energies in creating the will to do it; because I know very well that “Where there is a will there is a way;” and I earnestly entreat all who wish well to their country to aid me in this work.

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7.: Anon., “Testimonies of John Brown, at Harper’s Ferry, with his Address to the Court,” 16 pp.







with his


He, being dead, yet speaketh.




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“I feel quite cheerful in the assurance that God reigns, and will overrule all for his glory and the best possible good. I feel no consciousness of guilt in the matter, nor even mortification on account of my imprisonment and irons; and I feel perfectly assured that very soon no member of my family will feel any possible disposition to ‘blush on my account.’ Already, dear friends at a distance, with kindest sympathy, are cheering me with the assurance that posterity, at least, will do me justice. I shall commend you all together, with my beloved, but bereaved, daughters-in-law, to their sympathies, which I have no doubt will soon reach you. I also commend you all to Him ‘whose mercy endureth for ever’—to the God of my fathers, ‘whose I am, and whom I serve.’ ‘He will never leave you nor forsake you,’ unless you forsake Him. Finally, my dearly beloved, be of good comfort. Be sure to remember and to follow my advice, and my example too, so far as it has been consistent with the holy religion of Jesus Christ, in which I remain a most firm and humble believer. Never forget the poor, nor think any thing you bestow on them to be lost to you, even though they may be as black as Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian eunuch, who cared for Jeremiah in the pit of the dungeon, or as black as the one to whom Philip preached Christ. Be sure to entertain strangers, for thereby some have —— ‘Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them.’ I am in charge of a jailer like the one who took charge of Paul and Silas, and you may rest assured that both kind hearts and kind faces are more or less about me, whilst thousands are thirsting for my Edition: current; Page: [4] blood. ‘These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ ”

“When and in what form death may come is of but small moment. I feel just as content to die for God’s eternal truth, and for suffering humanity, on the scaffold, as in any other way. And I do not say this from any disposition to ‘brave it out.’ No; I would readily own my wrong, were I in the least convinced of it. I have now been confined over a month, with a good opportunity to look the whole thing as ‘fair in the face’ as I am capable of doing; and I now feel it most grateful that I am counted in the least possible degree worthy to suffer for the truth. I want you all to ‘be of good cheer.’ This life is intended as a season of training, chastisement, temptation, affliction, and trial, and ‘the righteous shall come out of’ it all. O, my dear children, let me again entreat you all to ‘forsake the foolish and live.’ What can you possibly lose by such a course? ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.’ ‘Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land; and verily thou shalt be fed.’ I have enjoyed life much; why should I complain on leaving it? . . . ‘To God and the word of his grace I commend you all.’ ”

“It is solely my own fault, in a military point of view, that we met with our disaster—I mean, that I mingled with our prisoners, and so far sympathized with them and their families, that I neglected my duty in other respects. But God’s will, not mine, be done.

“You know that Christ once armed Peter. So also in my case; I think he put a sword into my hand, and there continued it, so long as he saw best, and then kindly took it from me. I mean when I first went to Kansas. I wish you could know with what cheerfulness I am now wielding the ‘sword of the Spirit’ on the right hand and on the left. I bless God that it proves ‘mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.’ ”

“I do not feel conscious of guilt in taking up arms; and had it been in behalf of the rich and powerful, the intelligent, Edition: current; Page: [5] the great,—as men count greatness,—of those who form enactments to suit themselves and corrupt others, or some of their friends, that I interfered, suffered, sacrificed and fell, it would have been doing very well. But enough of this.

“These light afflictions, which endure for a moment, shall work out for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. . . . God will surely attend to his own cause in the best possible way and time, and he will not forget the work of his own hands.”

“I am quite cheerful, having, as I trust, the peace of God, which ‘passeth all understanding,’ to ‘rule in my heart,’ and the testimony (in some degree) of a good conscience that I have not lived altogether in vain. I can trust God with both the time and the manner of my death, believing, as I now do, that for me at this time to seal my testimony for God and humanity with my blood, will do vastly more towards advancing the cause I have earnestly endeavored to promote, than all I have done in my life before. I beg of you all meekly and quietly to submit to this; not feeling yourselves in the least degraded on that account. Remember, dear wife and children all, that Jesus of Nazareth suffered a most excruciating death on the cross as a felon, under the most aggravating circumstances. Think, also, of the prophets, and apostles, and Christians of former days, who went through greater tribulations than you or I, and (try to) be reconciled. May God Almighty comfort all your hearts, and soon wipe away all tears from your eyes! To Him be endless praise! Think, too, of the crushed millions who ‘have no comforter.’ I charge you all never, in your trials, to forget the griefs of ‘the poor that cry, and of those that have none to help them.’

“ ‘Finally, my beloved, be of good comfort.’ May all your names be ‘written on the Lamb’s book of life’—may you all have the purifying and sustaining influence of the Christian religion—is the earnest prayer of your affectionate husband and father.

“I cannot remember a night so dark as to have hindered the coming day, nor a storm so furious or dreadful as to prevent the return of warm sunshine and a cloudless sky. But, Edition: current; Page: [6] beloved ones, do remember that this is not your rest, that in this world you have no abiding-place or continuing city. To God and his infinite mercy I always commend you.”

“I am gaining in health slowly, and am quite cheerful in view of my approaching end, being fully persuaded that I am worth inconceivably more to hang than for any other purpose.

“Say to my poor boys never to grieve for one moment on my account; and should many of you live to see the time when you will not blush to own your relation to Old John Brown, it will not be more strange than many things that have happened. I feel a thousand times more on account of my sorrowing friends than on my own account. So far as I am concerned, I ‘count it all joy.’ ‘I have fought the good fight,’ and have, as I trust, ‘finished my course.’ My love to all; and may God, in his infinite mercy, for Christ’s sake, bless and save you all.”

“I do certainly feel that through divine grace I have endeavored to be ‘faithful in a very few things,’ mingling with even these much of imperfection. I am certainly ‘unworthy even to suffer affliction with the people of God;’ yet in infinite grace he has thus honored me. May the same grace enable me to serve him in a ‘new obedience,’ through my little remainder of this life, and to rejoice in him for ever. I cannot feel that God will suffer even the poorest service we may any of us render him or his cause to be lost or in vain. I do feel, ‘dear brother,’ that I am wonderfully ‘strengthened from on high.’ May I use that strength in ‘showing his strength unto this generation,’ and his power to every one that is to come.”

“I have many opportunities for faithful plain dealing with the more powerful, influential, and intelligent classes in this region, which I trust are not entirely misimproved. I humbly trust that I firmly believe that ‘God reigns,’ and I think I can truly say, ‘Let the earth rejoice.’ May God take care of his own cause, and of his own great name, as well as of those who love their neighbors.”

“Notwithstanding ‘my soul is amongst lions,’ still I believe that ‘God in very deed is with me.’ You will not, therefore, Edition: current; Page: [7] feel surprised when I tell you that I am ‘joyful in all my tribulations’; that I do not feel condemned of him whose judgment is just, nor of my own conscience. Nor do I feel degraded by my imprisonment, my chain, or prospect of the gallows. I have not only been (though utterly unworthy) permitted to ‘suffer affliction with God’s people,’ but have also had a great many rare opportunities for ‘preaching righteousness in the great congregation.’ I trust it will not all be lost. The jailer in whose charge I am, and his family and assistants, have all been most kind; and, notwithstanding he was one of the bravest of all who fought me, he is now being abused for his humanity. So far as my observation goes, none but brave men are likely to be humane to a fallen foe. Cowards prove their courage by their ferocity. It may be done in that way with but little risk.”

“Christ, the great Captain of liberty as well as of salvation, and who began his mission, as foretold of him, by proclaiming it, saw fit to take from me a sword of steel, after I had carried it for a time; but he has put another in my hand, ‘the sword of the Spirit’; and I pray God to make me a faithful soldier wherever he may send me—not less on the scaffold, than when surrounded by my warmest sympathizers.

“My dear old friend, I do assure you that I have not forgotten our last meeting, nor our retrospective look over the route by which God had then led us; and I bless his name that he has again enabled me to hear your words of cheering and comfort at a time when I, at least, am on the ‘brink of Jordan.’ (See Bunyan’s Pilgrim.) God in infinite mercy grant us soon another meeting on the opposite shore. I have often passed under the rod of Him whom I call my Father; and certainly no son ever needed it oftener; and yet I have enjoyed much of life, as I was enabled to discover the secret of this somewhat early. It has been in making the prosperity and the happiness of others my own; so that really I have had a great deal of prosperity. I am very prosperous still, and looking forward to a time when ‘peace on earth and good will to men’ shall every where prevail; I have no murmuring thoughts or envious feelings to fret my mind. ‘I’ll praise my Maker with my breath.’ ”

“As I believe most firmly that God reigns, I cannot believe that any thing I have done, suffered, or may yet suffer, Edition: current; Page: [8] will be lost to the cause of God or of humanity. And before I began my work at Harper’s Ferry, I felt assured that in the worst event, it would certainly pay. I often expressed that belief, and can now see no possible cause to alter my mind. I am not as yet, in the main, at all disappointed. I have been a good deal disappointed as regards myself in not keeping up to my own plans; but I now feel entirely reconciled to that, even; for God’s plan was infinitely better, no doubt, or I should have kept to my own. Had Samson kept to his determination of not telling Delilah wherein his great strength lay, he would probably never have overturned the house. I did not tell Delilah; but I was induced to act very contrary to my better judgment; and I have lost my two noble boys, and other friends, if not my two eyes.

“But ‘God’s will, not mine, be done.’ I feel a comfortable hope that, like that erring servant of whom I have just been writing, even I may, through infinite mercy in Christ Jesus, yet ‘die in faith.’ As to both the time and manner of my death, I have but very little trouble on that score, and am able to be, as you exhort, ‘of good cheer.’ ”

“Let me say a word about the effort to educate our daughters. I am no longer able to provide means to help towards that object, and it therefore becomes me not to dictate in the matter. I shall gratefully submit the direction of the whole thing to those whose generosity may lead them to undertake it in their behalf, while I give anew a little expression of my own choice respecting it. You, my wife, perfectly well know that I have always expressed a decided preference for a very plain, but perfectly practical, education for both sons and daughters. I do not mean an education so very miserable as that you and I received in early life, nor as some of our children enjoyed. When I say plain, but practical, I mean enough of the learning of the schools to enable them to transact the common business of life comfortably and respectably, together with that thorough training to good business habits which best prepares both men and women to be useful, though poor, and to meet the stern realities of life with a good grace. You well know that I always claimed that the music of the broom, wash-tub, needle, spindle, loom, axe, scythe, hoe, flail, &c., should first be learned at all events, and that of the piano, Edition: current; Page: [9] &c., afterwards. I put them in that order as most conducive to health of body and mind; and for the obvious reason that, after a life of some experience and of much observation, I have found ten women, as well as ten men, who have made their mark in life right, whose early training was of that plain, practical kind, to one who had a more popular and fashionable early training.”

“Tell your father that I am quite cheerful; that I do not feel myself in the least degraded by my imprisonment, my chains, or the near prospect of the gallows. Men cannot imprison, or chain, or hang the soul. I go joyfully in behalf of millions that ‘have no rights’ that this great and glorious, this Christian Republic is ‘bound to respect.’ Strange change in morals, political as well as Christian, since 1776! I look forward to other changes to take place in God’s good time, fully believing that the ‘fashion of this world passeth away.’ ”

“I am ‘joyful in all my tribulations,’ even since my confinement, and I humbly trust that ‘I know in whom I have trusted.’ A calm peace, perhaps like that which your own dear mother felt, in view of her last change, seems to fill my mind by day and by night. Of this, neither the powers of ‘earth or hell’ can deprive me. Do not, dear children, any of you, grieve for a single moment on my account. As I trust my life has not been thrown away, so I also humbly trust that my death shall not be in vain. God can make it to be a thousand times more valuable to his own cause than all the miserable service, at best, that I have rendered it during my life. . . . I know of nothing you can any of you now do for me, unless it is to comfort your own hearts, and cheer and encourage each other to trust in God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. If you will keep his sayings, you shall certainly ‘know of his doctrine, whether it be of God or no.’ Nothing can be more grateful to me than your earnest sympathy, except it be to know that you are fully persuaded to be Christians.”

“I am not a stranger to the way of salvation by Christ. From my youth, I have studied much on that subject, and at Edition: current; Page: [10] one time hoped to be a minister myself; but God had another work for me to do. To me it is given, in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. But while I trust that I have some experimental and saving knowledge of religion, it would be a great pleasure to me to have some one better qualified than myself to lead my mind in prayer and meditation, now that my time is so near a close. You may wonder, are there no ministers of the gospel here? I answer, No. There are no ministers of Christ here. These ministers who profess to be Christian, and hold slaves or advocate slavery, I cannot abide them. My knees will not bend in prayer with them while their hands are stained with the blood of souls.

“The subject you mention as having been preaching on, the day before you wrote to me, is one which I have often thought of since my imprisonment. I think I feel as happy as Paul did when he lay in prison. He knew if they killed him, it would greatly advance the cause of Christ; that was the reason he rejoiced so. On that same ground ‘I do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.’ Let them hang me; I forgive them, and may God forgive them, for they know not what they do. I have no regret for the transaction for which I am condemned. I went against the laws of men, it is true; but ‘whether it be right to obey God or men, judge ye.’ Christ told me to remember them that are in bonds as bound with them, to do towards them as I would wish them to do towards me in similar circumstances. My conscience bade me do that. I tried to do it, but failed. Therefore I have no regret on that score. I have no sorrow, either, as to the result, only for my poor wife and children. They have suffered much, and it is hard to leave them uncared for. But God will be a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless.”

“I have had many interesting visits from pro-slavery persons, almost daily, and I endeavor to improve them faithfully, plainly and kindly. I do not think I ever enjoyed life better than since my confinement here. For this I am indebted to Infinite Grace, and kind letters from friends from different quarters. I wish I could only know that all my poor family were as composed and as happy as I. I think Edition: current; Page: [11] nothing but the Christian religion could ever make any one so composed.

  • “ ‘My willing soul would stay
  • In such a frame as this.’ ”

“Although I have not been at all low-spirited nor cast down in feeling since being imprisoned and under sentence, which I am fully aware is soon to be carried out, it is exceedingly gratifying to learn from friends that there are not wanting in this generation some to sympathize with me and appreciate my motive, even now that I am whipped. Success is in general the standard of all merit. I have passed my time here quite cheerfully, still trusting that neither my life nor my death will prove a total loss. As regards both, however, I am liable to mistake. It affords me some satisfaction to feel conscious of having at least tried to better the condition of those who are always on the under-hill side, and I am in hope of being able to meet the consequences without a murmur. I am endeavoring to get ready for another field of action, where no defeat befalls the truly brave. That ‘God reigns,’ and most wisely, and controls all events, might, it would seem, reconcile those who believe it to much that appears to be very disastrous. I am one who has tried to believe that, and still keep trying. Those who die for the truth may prove to be courageous at last; so I continue ‘hoping on,’ till I shall find that the truth must finally prevail. I do not feel in the least degree despondent nor degraded by my circumstances, and I entreat my friends not to grieve on my account.”

“I will add, if the Court will allow me, that I look upon it as a miserable artifice and pretext of those who ought to take a different course in regard to me, if they took any at all, and I view it with contempt more than otherwise. Insane persons, so far as my experience goes, have but little ability to judge of their own sanity; and if I am insane, of course I should think I knew more than all the rest of the world. But I do not think so. I am perfectly unconscious of insanity, and I reject, so far as I am capable, any attempts to interfere in my behalf on that score.”

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“The great bulk of mankind estimate each other’s actions and motives by the measure of success or otherwise that attends them through life. By that rule, I have been one of the worst and one of the best of men. I do not claim to have been one of the latter; and I leave it to an impartial tribunal to decide whether the world has been the worse or the better for my living and dying in it. My present great anxiety is to get as near in readiness for a different field of action as I well can, since being in a good measure relieved from the fear that my poor, broken-hearted wife and children would come to immediate want. May God reward, a thousand fold, all the kind efforts made in their behalf!

“I have enjoyed remarkable cheerfulness and composure of mind ever since my confinement; and it is a great comfort to feel assured that I am permitted to die for a cause, not merely to pay the debt of nature, as all must. I feel myself to be most unworthy of so great distinction. The particular manner of dying assigned to me gives me but very little uneasiness. I wish I had the time and the ability to give you, my dear friend, some little idea of what is daily, and, I might almost say, hourly, passing within my prison-walls; and could my friends but witness only a few of those scenes, just as they occur, I think they would feel very well reconciled to my being here just what I am, and just as I am. My whole life before had not afforded me one half the opportunity to plead for the right. In this, also, I find much to reconcile me both to my present condition and my immediate prospect. I may be very insane (and I am so, if insane at all); but if that be so, insanity is like a very pleasant dream to me. I am not in the least degree conscious of any ravings, of any fears, or of any terrible visions whatever; but fancy myself entirely composed, and that my sleep, in particular, is as sweet as that of a healthy, joyous little infant. I pray God that he will grant me a continuance of the same calm, but delightful, dream, until I come to know of those realities which ‘eyes have not seen, and which ears have not heard.’ I have scarce realized that I am in prison, or in irons, at all. I certainly think I was never more cheerful in my life.”

“I am waiting the hour of my public murder with great composure of mind and cheerfulness, feeling the strong Edition: current; Page: [13] assurance, that in no other possible way could I be used to so much advantage to the cause of God and of humanity, and that nothing that either I or all my family have sacrificed or suffered will be lost. The reflection that a wise and merciful, as well as a just and holy God, rules not only the affairs of this world, but of all worlds, is a rock to set our feet upon under all circumstances—even those more severely trying ones into which our own feelings and wrongs have placed us. I have now no doubt but that our seeming disaster will ultimately result in the most glorious success. So, my dear shattered and broken family, be of good cheer, and believe and trust in God with all your heart, and with all your soul, for he doeth all things well. Do not feel ashamed on my account, nor for one moment despair of the cause or grow weary of well doing. I bless God I never felt stronger confidence in the certain and near approach of a bright morning and glorious day than I have felt, and do now feel, since my confinement here. I am endeavoring to return, like a poor prodigal as I am, to my Father, against whom I have always sinned, in the hope that he may kindly and forgivingly meet me, though a very great way off.

“O, my dear wife and children, would to God you could know how I have been travailing in birth for you all, that no one of you may fail of the grace of God through Jesus Christ; that no one of you may be blind to the truth and glorious light of his Word, in which life and immortality are brought to light.”

“My dear young children, will you listen to this last poor admonition of one who can only love you? O, be determined at once to give your whole heart to God, and let nothing shake or alter that resolution. You need have no fears of regretting it. Do not be vain and thoughtless, but sober-minded; and let me entreat you all to love the whole remnant of our once great family. Try and build up again your broken walls, and to make the utmost of every stone that is left. Nothing can so tend to make life a blessing as the consciousness that your life and example bless and leave you the stronger. Still, it is ground of the utmost comfort to my mind to know that so many of you as have had the opportunity have given some proof of your fidelity to the great family of men. Be faithful unto death; from the exercise of Edition: current; Page: [14] habitual love to man, it cannot be very hard to love his Maker.”

“Be sure to owe no man any thing, but to love one another. John Rogers wrote to his children, ‘Abhor that arrant whore of Rome.’ John Brown writes to his children to abhor, with undying hatred also, that sum of all villanies, slavery. Remember, he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Remember, also, that they, being wise, shall shine, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.”

“I am very cheerful, in hopes of entering on a better state of existence in a few hours, through infinite grace in ‘Christ Jesus, my Lord.’ Remember the ‘poor that cry,’ and ‘them that are in bonds as bound with them.’ ”

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I have, may it please the Court, a few words to say.

In the first place, I deny every thing but what I have all along admitted—the design on my part to free the slaves. I intended certainly to have made a clear thing of that matter, as I did last winter, when I went into Missouri, and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either side, moved them through the country, and finally left them in Canada. I designed to have done the same thing again, on a larger scale. That was all I intended. I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.

I have another objection: and that is, it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty. Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved—(for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case)—had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right, and every man in this Court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

This Court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the Law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or, at least, the New Testament. That teaches me that all things “whatsoever I would that men should do unto me, I should do even so to them.” It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done, as I have always freely admitted I have done, in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children, and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by Edition: current; Page: [16] wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit: so let it be done!

Let me say one word further.

I feel entirely satisfied with the treatment I have received on my trial. Considering all the circumstances, it has been more generous than I expected. But I feel no consciousness of guilt. I have stated from the first what was my intention and what was not. I never had any design against the life of any person, nor any disposition to commit treason, or excite slaves to rebel, or make any general insurrection. I never encouraged any man to do so, but always discouraged any idea of that kind.

Let me say, also, a word in regard to the statements made by some of those connected with me. I hear it has been stated by some of them that I have induced them to join me. But the contrary is true. I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness. There is not one of them but joined me of his own accord, and the greater part at their own expense. A number of them I never saw, and never had a word of conversation with, till the day they came to me, and that was for the purpose I have stated.

Now I have done.

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Wendell Phillips
Phillips, Wendell

Wendell Phillips, “The Philosophy of the Abolition Movement,” 46 pp.




of the





published by the american anti-slavery society.


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Mr. Chairman,

I have to present, from the Business Committee, the following resolution:—

Resolved, That the object of this Society is now, as it has always been, to convince our countrymen, by arguments addressed to their hearts and consciences, that slaveholding is a heinous crime, and that the duty, safety and interest of all concerned, demand its immediate abolition, without expatriation.

I wish, Mr. Chairman, to notice some objections that have been made to our course, ever since Mr. Garrison began his career, and which have been lately urged again, with considerable force and emphasis, in the columns of the London Leader, the able organ of a very respectable and influential class in England. I hope, Sir, you will not think it waste of time to bring such a subject before you. I know these objections have been made a thousand times; that they have been often answered; though we have generally submitted to them in silence, willing to let results speak for us. But there are times when justice to the slave will not allow us to be silent. There are many in this country, many in England, who have had their attention turned, recently, to the Anti-Slavery cause. They are asking, “Which is the best and most efficient method of helping it?” Engaged ourselves in an effort for the slave, which time has tested and success Edition: current; Page: [4] hitherto approved, we are, very properly, desirous that they should join us in our labors, and pour into this channel the full tide of their new zeal and great resources. Thoroughly convinced ourselves that our course is wise, we can honestly urge others to adopt it. Long experience gives us a right to advise. The fact that our course, more than all other efforts, has caused that agitation which has awakened these new converts, gives us a right to counsel them. They are our spiritual children: for their sakes, we would free the cause we love and trust from every seeming defect and plausible objection. For the slave’s sake, we reiterate our explanations, that he may lose no tittle of help by the mistakes or misconceptions of his friends.

All that I have to say on these points will be to you, Mr. Chairman, very trite and familiar; but the facts may be new to some, and I prefer to state them here, in Boston, where we have lived and worked, because, if our statements are incorrect, if we claim too much, our assertions can be easily answered and disproved.

The charges to which I refer are these: That in dealing with slaveholders and their apologists, we indulge in fierce denunciations, instead of appealing to their reason and common sense by plain statements and fair argument;—that we might have won the sympathies and support of the nation, if we would have submitted to argue this question with a manly patience; but instead of this, we have outraged the feelings of the community by attacks, unjust and unnecessarily severe, on its most valued institutions, and gratified our spleen by indiscriminate abuse of leading men, who were often honest in their intentions, however mistaken in their views;—that we have utterly neglected the ample means that lay around us to convert the nation, submitted to no discipline, formed no plan, been guided by no foresight, but hurried on in childish, reckless, blind and hot-headed zeal—bigots in the narrowness of our views, and fanatics in our blind fury of invective and malignant judgment of other men’s motives.

There are some who come upon our platform, and give us the aid of names and reputations less burdened than ours with popular odium, who are perpetually urging us to exercise charity in our judgments of those about us, and to consent to argue these questions. These men are ever parading Edition: current; Page: [5] their wish to draw a line between themselves and us, because they must be permitted to wait—to trust more to reason than feeling—to indulge a generous charity—to rely on the sure influence of simple truth, uttered in love, &c. &c. I reject with scorn all these implications that our judgments are uncharitable,—that we are lacking in patience,—that we have any other dependence than on the simple truth, spoken with Christian frankness yet with Christian love. These lectures, to which you, Sir, and all of us, have so often listened, would be impertinent, if they were not rather ridiculous for the gross ignorance they betray of the community, of the cause, and of the whole course of its friends.

The article in the Leader to which I refer is signed “Ion,” and may be found in the Liberator of December 17, 1852. The writer is cordial and generous in his recognition of Mr. Garrison’s claim to be the representative of the Anti-Slavery movement, and does entire justice to his motives and character. The criticisms of “Ion” were reprinted in the Christian Register, of this city, the organ of the Unitarian denomination. The editors of that paper, with their usual Christian courtesy, love of truth, and fair-dealing, omitted all “Ion’s” expressions of regard for Mr. Garrison and appreciation of his motives, and reprinted only those parts of the article which undervalue his sagacity and influence, and endorse the common objections to his method and views. You will see in a moment, Mr. President, that it is with such men and presses, “Ion” thinks Mr. Garrison has not been sufficiently wise and patient, in trying to win their help for the Anti-Slavery cause. Perhaps, were he on the spot, it would tire even his patience and puzzle even his sagacity to make any other use of them than that of the drunken Helot—a warning to others how disgusting mean vice is. Perhaps, were he here, he would see that the best and only use to be made of them is to let them unfold their own characters, and then show the world how rotten our Politics and Religion are, that they naturally bear such fruit. “Ion” quotes Mr. Garrison’s original declaration, in the Liberator:

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.

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It is pretended that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question, my influence, humble as it is, is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years—not perniciously, but beneficially—not as a curse, but as a blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God that he enables me to disregard ‘the fear of man which bringeth a snare,’ and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power.”

He then goes on to say:—

“This is a defence which has been generally accepted on this side of the Atlantic, and many are the Abolitionists among us whom it has encouraged in honesty and impotence, and whom it has converted into conscientious hindrances. * * *

We would have Mr. Garrison to say, ‘I will be as harsh as progress, as uncompromising as success.’ If a man speaks for his own gratification, he may be as ‘harsh’ as he pleases; but if he speaks for the down-trodden and oppressed, he must be content to put a curb upon the tongue of holiest passion, and speak only as harshly as is compatible with the amelioration of the evil he proposes to redress. Let the question be again repeated: Do you seek for the slave vengeance or redress? If you seek retaliation, go on denouncing. But distant Europe honors William Lloyd Garrison because it credits him with seeking for the slave simply redress. We say, therefore, that ‘uncompromising’ policy is not to be measured by absolute justice, but by practical amelioration of the slave’s condition. Amelioration as fast as you can get it—absolute justice as soon as you can reach it.”

He quotes the sentiment of Confucius, that he would choose for a leader “a man who would maintain a steady vigilance in the direction of affairs, who was capable of forming plans, and of executing them,” and says:—

“The philosopher was right in placing wisdom and executive capacity above courage; for down to this day, our popular movements are led by heroes who fear nothing, and who win nothing. * * *

There is no question raised in these articles as to the work to be done, but only as to the mode of really doing it. The platform resounds with announcements of principle, which is but asserting a right, while nothing but contempt is showered on policy, which is the realization of right. The air is filled with all high cries and spirited denunciations; indignation is at a premium; and this is called advocacy. * * * But to calculate, to make sure of your aim, is to be decried as one who is too cold to feel, too genteel to strike.”

Further on, he observes:—

“If an artillery officer throws shell after shell which never reach the enemy, he is replaced by some one with a better eye and a surer aim. But in the artillery battle of opinion, to mean to hit is quite sufficient; and if you have a certain grand indifference as to whether you hit or not, you may count on public applause. * * *

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A man need be no less militant, as the soldier of facts, than as the agent of swords. But the arena of argument needs discipline, no less than that of arms. It is this which the Anti-Slavery party seem to me not only to overlook, but to despise. They do not put their valor to drill. Neither on the field nor the platform has courage any inherent capacity of taking care of itself.”

The writer then proceeds to make a quotation from Mr. Emerson, the latter part of which I will read:—

“Let us withhold every reproachful, and, if we can, every indignant remark. In this cause, we must renounce our temper, and the risings of pride. If there be any man who thinks the ruin of a race of men a small matter compared with the last decorations and completions of his own comfort—who would not so much as part with his ice-cream to save them from rapine and manacles—I think I must not hesitate to satisfy that man, that also his cream and vanilla are safer and cheaper by placing the negro nation on a fair footing than by robbing them. If the Virginian piques himself on the picturesque luxury of his vassalage, on the heavy Ethiopian manners of his house servants, their silent obedience, their hue of bronze, their turbaned heads, and would not exchange them for the more intelligent but precarious hired services of whites, I shall not refuse to show him that when their free papers are made out, it will still be their interest to remain on his estates; and that the oldest planters of Jamaica are convinced that it is cheaper to pay wages than to own slaves.”

The critic takes exception to Mr. Garrison’s approval of the denunciatory language in which Daniel O’Connell rebuked the giant sin of America, and concludes his article with this sentence:—

“When William Lloyd Garrison praises the great Celtic Monarch of invective for this dire outpouring, he acts the part of the boy who fancies that the terror is in the war-whoop of the savage, unmindful of the quieter muskets of the civilized infantry, whose unostentatious execution blows whoop and tomahawk to the devil.”

Before passing to a consideration of these remarks of “Ion,” let me say a word in relation to Mr. Emerson. I do not consider him as endorsing any of these criticisms on the Abolitionists. His services to the most radical Anti-Slavery movement have been generous and marked. He has never shrunk from any odium which lending his name and voice to it would incur. Making fair allowance for his peculiar taste, habits and genius, he has given a generous amount of aid to the Anti-Slavery movement, and never let its friends want his cordial “God-speed.”

“Ion’s” charges are the old ones, that we Abolitionists are hurting our own cause—that, instead of waiting for the Edition: current; Page: [8] community to come up to our views, and endeavoring to remove prejudice and enlighten ignorance, by patient explanation and fair argument, we fall at once, like children, to abusing every thing and every body—that we imagine zeal will supply the place of common sense—that we have never shown any sagacity in adapting our means to our ends, have never studied the national character, or attempted to make use of the materials which lay all about us, to influence public opinion, but by blind, childish, obstinate fury and indiscriminate denunciation, have become “honestly impotent, and conscientious hindrances.”

These, Sir, are the charges which have uniformly been brought against all reformers in all ages. “Ion” thinks the same faults are chargeable on the leaders of all the “popular movements” in England, which, he says, “are led by heroes who fear nothing and who win nothing.” If the leaders of popular movements in Great Britain for the last fifty years have been losers, I should be curious to know what party, in “Ion’s” opinion, have won? My Lord Derby and his friends seem to think Democracy has made, and is making, dangerous headway. If the men who, by popular agitation, outside of Parliament, wrung from a powerful oligarchy Parliamentary Reform, and the Abolition of the Test Acts, of High Post Rates, of Catholic Disability, of Negro Slavery and the Corn Laws, did “not win any thing,” it would be hard to say what winning is. If the men who, without the ballot, made Peel their tool and conquered the Duke of Wellington, are considered unsuccessful, pray what kind of a thing would success be? Those who now, at the head of that same middle class, demand the separation of Church and State, and the Extension of the Ballot, may well guess, from the fluttering of Whig and Tory dovecotes, that soon they will “win” that same “nothing.” Heaven grant they may enjoy the same ill success with their predecessors! On our side of the ocean, too, we ought deeply to sympathize with the leaders of the Temperance movement in their entire want of success! If “Ion’s” mistakes about the Anti-Slavery cause lay as much on the surface as those I have just noticed, it would be hardly worth while to reply to him; for as to these, he certainly exhibits only “the extent and variety of his mis-information.”

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His remarks upon the Anti-Slavery movement are, however, equally inaccurate. I claim, before you who know the true state of the case, I claim for the Anti-Slavery movement with which this Society is identified, that, looking back over its whole course, and considering the men connected with it in the mass, it has been marked by sound judgment, unerring foresight, the most sagacious adaptation of means to ends, the strictest self-discipline, the most thorough research, and an amount of patient and manly argument addressed to the conscience an