"The Barbarism of Slavery"
Sen. Charles Sumner, LL.D.
(Washington, DC: 4 June 1860)

Welcome to this site, the scholarly 4 June 1860 lecture, "The Barbarism of Slavery," by Charles Sumner, LL.D., in the Senate, 36th Congress, 1st Session, pages 2590-2603 of the Congressional Globe (presented from about 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.).
Sumner (1811-1874) later became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, during the Civil War (1861-1865).
The speech was reprinted in 1863, and in Charles Sumner: His Complete Works, Vol. VI (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1900), pp 119-238; both its and Cong. Globe page numbers are used here, for more complete reference purposes.
Note his fact-analysis including John Wesley's description of slavery; the 1772 precedent of Somerset v Stewart declaring slavery unauthorized by law; and the Constitution incorporating this anti-slavery concept.
As a matter of scholarly completeness, he provided footnotes for references.
This site is one in the series of abolitionist writings being presented here. The goal is to provide you the original words, not century-later revisionists' claims of what was said. Here you can see what was actually said at the time.
Senate speeches as officially published lack a table of contents and photos; these have been added for modern readers' reference purposes.

Table of Contents
The Barbarism of Slavery
Introduction 119
The Crime Against Kansas120
The Larger Issue121
Pro-Slavery Assumptions Are Being Made122
First Assumption126
Rebuttal: Slavery's Barbarism 127
Character of Slavery129
Slavery's Five Characteristics
      1. Blasphemy
      2. Anti-Marriage
      3. Family-Destroying
      4. Anti-Education
      5. Mass Theft
Slavery Degrading Humanity137
Southern Slave Law Origin in Barbarism138
Practical Results of Slavery142
Property Values
Manufactures, Mining, Mechanic Arts
Railroads and Canals
Geographical Character: Like Barbary Pirates159
Character of Slave-Masters161
Personal Authority
Philosophic Authority
The Law of Slavery167
Slave-Masters' Relations with Slaves168
Slave-Masters' Relations with Each
Other and with Society
At Home
Widespread Lawlessness
Street Fights
Georgia vs. Freedom of Press
South Carolina vs. Massachusetts Sailors
In Congress
Slave-Masters in Their Unconsciousness211
Summary of Part I, and Transition214
Slave-Masters' Character In Europe
Second Assumption217
Rebutting Jefferson Davis' Racial Claims220
Anti-slavery Constitution223
The Somerset Anti-Slavery Precedent223
The So-Called 'Fugitive Slave' Clause229
The 'Three-Fifths' Clause230
So-Called 'Popular Sovereignty'230

Mr. President, undertaking now, after a silence of more than four years [May 1856-June 1860], to address the Senate on this important subject, I should suppress the emotions natural to such an occasion, if I did not declare on the threshold my gratitude to that Supreme Being, through whose benign care I am enabled, after much suffering [from having been assaulted and beaten in May 1856] and many changes, once again to resume my duties here and to speak for the cause [ANTI-SLAVERY] which is so near my heart.

The May 1856 Assault in the Senate
Where Sumner Had Been At Desk Writing
After His Speech "The Crime Against Kansas,"
Congressional Globe, 34d Cong, 2d Sess,
19-20 May 1856 [Excerpts]
Here, pro-slaver Preston Brooks violently attacks Sen. Sumner for his pro-freedom activism on behalf of oppressed people deemed by slavers as untermenschen, who could be assaulted or killed at will. Likewise, Nazis with their same untermenshchen attitude, attacked Jews and others, and individuals like Sumner who defended the victims of Nazis. Sumner was defending slaves from the South and its psychotic untermenschen views, thus was attacked.
The attack was in the workplace. Assaults and battery are of course, criminally prosecuted, and the attacker's defense of holding bizarre beliefs is of course invalid. Only an insanity defense would suffice. “It is difficult today to comprehend the psychosis of the southern mind. . . .” says Prof. Clement Eaton, The Freedom-of-Thought Struggle in the Old South (Duke Univ Press, 1940, and New York: Harper & Row, 1964), p 384.

To the honored Commonwealth [Massachusetts], whose representative I am, and also to my immediate associates in this body, with whom I enjoy the fellowship which is found in thinking alike concerning the Republic,1 I owe thanks which I seize this moment to express for the indulgence shown me throughout the protracted seclusion [May 1856-Dec 1859] enjoined by medical skill [advice on what to do to recover from his injuries caused by Brooks' assault]; and I trust that it will not be thought unbecoming in me to put on record here, as an apology for leaving my seat so long vacant [on sick leave convalescing from the assault], without making way, by resignation, for a successor, that I acted under the illusion [hopefulness] of an invalid [person expecting to recover], whose hopes for restoration to [return of] his natural health constantly triumphed over his disappointments.

When last I entered into this debate [pre-assault May 1856], it became my duty to expose the Crime against Kansas, and to insist
1 "Eadem de Republica sensisse."—Cic. [Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.], Orat. in Pisonem, c. 32.


upon the immediate admission of that Territory as a State of this Union, with a Constitution forbidding Slavery. Time has passed; but, the question [still] remains [of admitting Kansas as a state]. Resuming the discussion precisely where I left it [pre-assault May 1856], I am happy to avow that rule of moderation, which, it is said, may venture even to fix the boundaries of wisdom itself.

I have no personal griefs to utter [concerning the assault]; only a barbarous egotism could intrude these into this chamber.

I have no personal wrongs to avenge [concerning the assault]; only a barbarous nature could attempt to wield that vengeance which belongs to the Lord.

The [four] years that have intervened [May 1856-June 1860] and the tombs1 that have opened since I spoke have their voices too, which I cannot fail to hear. Besides, what am I—what is any man among the living or among the dead, compared with the Question before us? It is this alone which I shall discuss, and I open the argument, with that easy victory which is found in charity.

The Crime against Kansas [the term used in that era to refer to the South's effort to unconstitutionally legalize slavery in Kansas] stands forth in painful light. Search history, and you cannot find its parallel. The slave trade is bad; but even this enormity is petty compared with that elaborate contrivance by which, in a Christian age and within the limits of a Republic, all forms of constitutional liberty were perverted; by which all the rights of human nature were violated, and the whole country was held trembling on the edge of civil war; while all this large exuberance of wickedness, detestable in itself, becomes tenfold more detestable when its origin is traced to the madness for Slavery.

  • The fatal partition between Freedom and Slavery, known as the Missouri Compromise [1820];

  • the subsequent [1854-1857] overthrow of this partition, and the seizure of all by Slavery;

  • the violation of plighted
1 Mr. [Preston] Brooks [who had violently assaulted Sumner 22 May 1856, disabling him for years] and Senator [Andrew] Butler [a pro-slavery advocate on whose behalf Rep. Brooks had done the attack] were both dead.



  • the conspiracy to force Slavery at all hazards [costs] into Kansas;

  • the sucessive invasions by which all security there was destroyed, and the electoral franchise itself was trodden down [by massive pro-slavery voter fraud];

  • the sacrilegious seizure of the very polls, and, through pretended forms of Iav, the imposition of a foreign Legislature upon this Territory;

  • the acts of this Legislature, fortifying the Usurpation, and, among other things, establishing test-oaths, calculated to disfranchise actual settlers friendly to Freedom, and securing the privileges of the citizen to actual strangers friendly to Slavery;

  • the whole crowned by a statute—"the be-all and the end-all" of the whole Usurpation—through which Slavery was not only recognized on this beautiful soil, but made to bristle with a Code of Death such as the world has rarely seen;

  • all these I have fully exposed on a former occasion.

    Ed. Note: This refers to his speech, "The Crime Against Kansas: The Apologies for the Crime; The True Remedy" (19-20 May 1856). It was for this speech that he had been assaulted by Rep. Brooks.
  • And yet, the most important part of the argument was at that time left untouched; I mean that which is found in the Character of Slavery. This natural sequel, with the permission of the Senate, I propose now to supply. Motive is to Crime as soul to body; and it is only when we comprehend the motive that we can truly comprehend the Crime. Here, the motive is found in Slavery and the rage for its extension.

    Therefore, by logical necessity, must Slavery be discussed; not indirectly, timidly, and sparingly, but directly, openly, and thoroughly, it must be exhibited as it is; alike in its influence and in its animating character, so that not only its outside but its inside may be seen.

    This is no time for soft words or excuses. All such are out of place. They may turn away wrath; but what is the wrath of man? This is no time to abandon any advantage in this argument. Senators some


    times announce that they resist Slavery on political grounds only, and remind us that they say nothing of the moral question. This is wrong. Slavery must be resisted not only on political grounds; but on all other grounds, whether social, economical, or moral.

    Ours is no holiday contest; nor is it any strife of rival factions; of White and Red Roses; of theatric Neri and Bianchi; but it is a solemn battle between Right and Wrong; between Good and Evil. Such a battle cannot be fought with excuses or with rosewater. There is austere work to be done, and Freedom cannot consent to fling away any of her weapons.

    If I were disposed to shrink from this discussion, the boundless assumptions now made by Senators on the other side would not allow me. The whole character of Slavery as a pretended form of civilization is put directly in issue, with a pertinacity and a hardihood which banish all reserve on this side. In these assumptions, Senators from South Carolina naturally take the lead.

    Following Mr. [John] Calhoun [1782-1850], who pronounced

    "Slavery the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the world,"1

    and Mr. [George] McDuffie [South Carolina Governor], who did not shrink from calling it

    "the corner-stone of the republican edifice,"2

    the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. HAMMOND] insists that

    "its forms of society are the best in the world,"3

    and his colleague [Mr. CHESNUT] takes up the strain.

    One Senator from Mississippi [Mr. {Jefferson} DAVIS {1808-1889}] adds, that Slavery
    1 Speech in the Senate, Works, Vol. II. p. 632. See Miscellaneous Writings on Slavery, by William Jay, p. 509.

    2 Message to the Legislature of South Carolina, November, 1835.

    3 Speech in the Senate, March 4, 1858: Congressional Globe, 35th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 961.


    "is but a form of civil government for those who are not fit to govern themselves";1

    and his colleague [Mr. BROWN] openly vaunts that it

    "is a great moral, social, and political blessing—a blessing to the slave and a blessing to the master."2

    One Senator from Virginia, [Mr. HUNTER,] in a studied vindication of what he is pleased to call "the social system of the slaveholding States," exalts Slavery as

    • "the normal condition of human society;"

    • "beneficial to the non-slave-owner as it is to the slave-owner"—"best for the happiness of both races," and, in enthusiastic advocacy, declares,

    • "that the very key-stone of the mighty arch, which by its concentrated strength is able to sustain our social superstructure, consists in the black marble block of African slavery. Knock that out," he says, "and the mighty fabric, with all that it upholds, topples and tumbles to its fall."3 These were his very words, uttered in debate here.

    And his colleague, [Mr. {James M.} MASON,] who has never hesitated where Slavery was in question, has proclaimed that it is "ennobling to both master and slave"—a word which, so far as the slave was concerned, he changed, on a subsequent day, to "elevating," assuming still that it is "ennobling" to the whites4—which is simply a new version of an old assumption, by Mr. McDuffie, of South Carolina, that "Slavery supersedes the necessity of an order of nobility."5
    1 Speech in the Senate, February 29, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 917.

    2 Speech in the Senate, March 6, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 1004.

    3 Speech in the Senate, January 31, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, pp. 104-109.

    4 Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., pp. 557, 596: January 23, 26, 1860.

    5 Message to the Legislature of South Carolina, November, 1835.


    Thus, by various voices, is the claim made for Slavery, which is put forward defiantly as a form of civilization, as if its existence were not plainly inconsistent with the first principles of anything that can be called Civilization, except by that figure of speech in classical literature, where a thing takes its name from something which it has not, as the dreadful Fates were called merciful because they were without mercy.

    And pardon the allusion, if I add, that, listening to these sounding words for Slavery, I am reminded of the kindred extravagance related by that remarkable traveler in China, the late Abbé Huc, of a gloomy hole in which he was lodged, pestered by mosquitoes and exhaling noisome vapors, where light and air entered only by a single narrow aperture, but styled by Chinese pride the Hotel of the Beatitudes.

    [According to a Hindoo proverb, the snail sees nothing but its own shell, and thinks it the grandest palace in the universe. This is another illustration of the delusion {of slavery beneficience as alleged by southern leaders} we are called to witness.]

    It is natural that Senators thus insensible to [delusional about] the true character of Slavery, should evince an equal insensibility to [delusion about] the true character of the Constitution. This is shown in the claim now made, and pressed with unprecedented energy, degrading the work of our fathers, that by virtue of the Constitution, the pretended property in man is placed beyond the reach of Congressional prohibition even within Congressional jurisdiction, and that the Slave-master may at all times enter the broad outlying Territories of the Union with the victims of his oppression, and there continue to hold them by lash and chain.

    Such are the two assumptions, the first an assumption of fact, and the second an assumption of constitutional law, which are now made without


    apology or hesitation. I meet them both.
    • To the first [slavers' claim of slavery's goodness] I oppose [by citing] the essential Barbarism of Slavery, in all its influences, whether high or low, as Satan is Satan still, whether towering in the sky or squatting in the mud.

    • To the second [the slaver claim that slavery is constitutional] I oppose [respond by citing] the unanswerable, irresistible truth, that the Constitution of the United States nowhere


    recognizes property in man [allows slavery].

    These two assumptions naturally go together. They are "twins" suckled by the same wolf. They are the "couple" in the present slave-hunt. And the latter cannot be answered without exposing the former. It is only when Slavery is exhibited in its truly hateful character that we fully appreciate the absurdity of the assumption, which, in defiance of express letter in the Constitution, and without a single sentence, phrase, or word upholding human bondage yet foists into this blameless text the barbarous idea that man can hold property in man.

    On former occasions, I have discussed Slavery only incidentally: as,

    • in unfolding the principle that Slavery is Sectional and Freedom national;

    • in exposing the unconstitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Bill;

    • in vindicating the Prohibition of Slavery in the Missouri Territory;

    • in exhibiting the imbecility, throughout the Revolution, of the Slave States, and especially of South Carolina; and,

    • lastly, in unmasking the Crime against Kansas.

    On all these occasions, where I spoke at length, I said too little of the character of Slavery,—partly because other topics were presented, and partly from a prevailing disinclination to press the argument against those whom I knew to have all the sensitiveness of a sick man. But, God be praised, this time has passed, and the debate is now lifted from details to principles. Grander debate has not occurred in our


    history,—rarely in any history; nor can it close or subside, except with the triumph of Freedom.

    First Assumption.

    OF course I begin with the assumption of fact, which must be treated at length.

    It was the often-quoted remark of John Wesley [1703-1791], who knew well how to use words, as also how to touch hearts, that Slavery is "the sum of all villanies." The phrase is pungent; but it were rash in any of us to criticise the testimony of that illustrious founder of Methodism, whose ample experience of Slavery in Georgia and the Carolinas seems to have been all condensed in this sententious judgment.

    [Ed. Note: e.g., adultery, atrocities, commandment-breaking, degradation, extortion, genocide, making infidels, mass abuses, rape, robbery, violence.

    Language is feeble to express all the enormity of an institution which is now exalted as in itself a form of civilization, "ennobling" at least to the master, if not to the slave. Look at it as you will, and it is always the scab, the canker, the "barebones," and the shame of the country,—wrong, not merely in the abstract, as is often admitted by its apologist, but wrong in the concrete also, and possessing no single element of right.

    Look at it in the light of principle, and it is nothing less than a huge insurrection against the eternal law of God, involving in its pretensions the denial of all human rights, and also the denial of that Divine Law in which God himself is manifest, thus being practically the grossest lie and the grossest atheism.

    Ed. Note: Rev. John G. Fee had elaborated these concepts in An Anti-Slavery Manual (1851), pp 122-125.

    Founded in violence, sustained only by violence, such a wrong must by sure law of compensation blast master as well as slave,—blast the lands on which they live, blast the community of which they are part, blast the govern-


    ment which does not forbid the outrage; and the longer it exists and the more completely it prevails, must its vengeful influences penetrate the whole social system.

    Barbarous in origin, barbarous in law, barbarous in all its pretensions, barbarous in the instruments it employs, barbarous in consequences, barbarous in spirit, barbarous wherever it shows itself, Slavery must breed Barbarians, while it develops everywhere, alike in the individual and the society to which he belongs, the essential elements of Barbarism. In this character it is conspicuous before the world.

    Undertaking now to expose the BARBARISM OF SLAVERY, the whole broad field is open before me. There is nothing in its character, its manifold wrong, its wretched results, and especially in its influence on the class claiming to be "ennobled" by it, that will not fall naturally under consideration.

    I know well the difficulty of this discussion, involved in the humiliating truth with which I begin. Senators, on former occasions, revealing their sensitiveness, have even protested against comparison between what were called "two civilizations"—meaning the two social systems produced respectively by Freedom and Slavery. The sensibility and the protest are not unnatural, though mistaken. "Two civilizations!"

    Sir, in this nineteenth century of Christian light there can be but one Civilization, and this is where Freedom prevails. Between Slavery and Civilization there is essential incompatibility. If you are for the one, you cannot be for the other; and just in proportion to the embrace of Slavery is the divorce from Civilization.

    [As cold is but the absence of heat, and darkness but the absence of light, so is Slavery but the absence of]


    justice and humanity, without which Civilization is impossible. That slave-masters [disproportionately tobacco farmers] should be disturbed, when this is exposed, might be expected. But the assumptions so boastfully made, while they may not prevent the sensibility, yet surely exclude all ground of protest, when these assumptions are exposed.

    Nor is this the only difficulty. Slavery is a bloody Touch-Me-Not, and everywhere in sight now blooms the bloody flower. It is on the wayside as we approach the National Capitol; it is on the marble steps which we mount; it flaunts on this floor. I stand now in the house of its friends. About me, while I speak, are its most jealous guardians, who have shown in the past how much they are ready to do or not to do, where Slavery is in question. Menaces [assaults and threats of additional violence] to deter me have not been spared. But I should ill deserve the high post of duty here, with which I am honored by a generons and enlightened people, if I could hesitate.

    Idolatry has been exposed in the presence of idolater, and hypocrisy chastised in the presence of Scribes and Pharisees. Such examples may impart encouragement to a Senator undertaking in this presence to expose Slavery; nor can any language, directly responsive to Senatorial assumptions made for this Barbarism, be open to question. Slavery can be painted only in sternest colors; nor can I forget that Nature's sternest painter has been called the best.

    THE BARBARISM OF SLAVERY appears, first, in the character of Slavery, and, secondly, in the character of Slave-Masters.

    Under the first head we shall properly consider


    tical results of Slavery [pp 142-161], as shown in comparison between the Free States and the Slave States.

    Under the second head we shall naturally consider

    The way will then be prepared for the consideration of the assumption of Constitutional Law [pp 217-233].


    IN presenting the CHARACTER OF SLAVERY, there is little for me [to do], except to make Slavery paint itself. When this is done, the picture will need no explanatory words.

    (1.) I begin with the Law of Slavery and its Origin; and here this Barbarism sketches itself in its own chosen definition. It is simply this: Man, created in the image of God, is divested of the human character, and declared to be a "chattel,"—that is, a beast, a thing, or article of property.

    That this statement may not seem made without precise authority, I quote the statutes of three different States, beginning with South Carolina, whose voice for Slavery has always unerring distinctiveness. According to the definition supplied by this State, slaves

    "shall be deemed, held, taken, reputed, and adjudged in law to be chattels personal in the hands of their owners and possessors, and their executors, administrators, and as-


    signs, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever."1

    And here is the definition suppied by the Civil Code of Louisiana—

    "A slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of his person, his industry, and his labor. He can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what must belong to his master."2

    In similar spirit the law of Maryland thus indirectly defines a slave as an article:—

    "In case the personal property of a ward shall consist of specific articles, such as slaves, working beasts, animals of any kind, . . . the court, if it shall deem it advantageous for the ward, may at any time pass an order for the sale thereof."3

    Not to occupy time unnecessarily, I present a summary of the pretended law [Ed. Note: meaning, unconstitutional] defining Slavery in all the Slave States, as made by a careful writer. Judge [George M.] Stroud [1795-1875], in a work of juridical as well as philanthropic merit:—

    "The cardinal principle of Slavery—that the slave is not to be ranked among sentient beings, but among things, is an article of property, a chattel personal—obtains as undoubted law in all of these [Slave] States."4

    Out of this definition, as from a solitary germ, which in its pettiness might be crushed by the hand, towers our Upas Tree and all its gigantic poison. Study it, and you will comprehend the whole monstrous growth.

    Sir, look at its plain import, and see the relation which it establishes. The slave is held simply for the
    1 Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. VII. p. 897, Act No. 670, sec. 1.

    2 Civil Code, Art. 35.

    3 Laws of Maryland, Acts of 1798, Ch. CL xii. 12.

    4 Stroud, Law Relating to Slavery [Philadelphia: Kimber and Sharpless, 1827], pp. 22, 23.


    use of his master, to whose behests his life, liberty, and happiness are devoted, and by whom he may be bartered, leased, mortgaged, bequeathed, invoiced, shipped as cargo, stored as goods, sold on execution, knocked off at public auction, and even staked at the gaming-table on the hazard of a card or a die,—all according to law.

    Nor is there anything, within the limit of life, inflicted on a beast, which may not be inflicted on the slave. He may be

    • marked like a hog,

    • branded like a mule,

    • yoked like an ox,

    • hobbled like a horse,

    • driven like an ass,

    • sheared like a sheep,

    • maimed like a cur, and

    • constantly beaten like a brute,—all according to law.

    And should life itself be taken, what is the remedy? The Law of Slavery, imitating that rule of evidence which in barbarous days and barbarous countries prevented the Christian from testifying against the Mahometan, openly pronounces the incompetency of the whole African race, whether bond or free, to testify against a white man in any case, and thus, after surrendering the slave to all possible outrage, crowns its tyranny by excluding the very testimony through which the bloody cruelty of the Slave-Master might be exposed.

    Thus in its Law does Slavery paint itself; but it is only when we look at details, and detect its essential elements, five in number, all inspired by a single motive, that its character becomes completely manifest.

    Summary of Slavery's Five Characteristics
  • 1. A "blasphemy" as it "claims property in man" (referring to the slaver claim that a human being can own another human being, contrary to the fact that "every human being has complete title to himself direct from the Almighty)."

  • 2. A "complete abrogation of marriage," opposing marriage being "recognized . . . by the Church, and as a contract."

  • 3. A "complete abrogation of the parental relation, provided by God in his benevolence for the nature and education of the human family" (family destruction due to selling children away from parents, and even selling parents).

  • 4. A ban on education, "closing the gates of knowledge," forbidding reading, even reading the Bible.

  • 5. Mass theft, stealing workers' pay, "in the appropriation of all the toil of its victims, excluding them from that property in their own earnings" contrary to Biblical principles.
  • Foremost, of course, in these elements, is the impossible pretension, where Barbarism is lost in impiety, by which man claims property in man. Against such blasphemy the argument is brief. According to the Law of Nature, written by the same hand that placed the planets in their orbits, and, like them, constituting part of the eternal system of the Universe, every human being


    has complete title to himself direct from the Almighty.

    Ed. Note: In refusing a fugitive slave case, Vermont's Judge Harrington cited this concept. Rev. John Rankin provided background on it. See also Parker Pillsbury, Acts of Anti-Slavery Apostles, p 72, and Edward Rogers, Slavery Illegality, p 93.

    Naked he [a human] is born; but this birthright is inseparable from the human form. A man may be poor in this world's goods; but he owns himself. No war or robbery ancient or recent,—no capture—no middle passage,—no change of clime,—no purchase-money,—no transmission from hand to hand, no matter how many times, and no matter at what price, can defeat this indefeasible, God-given franchise.

    “Quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalescet. That which is bad in its commencement improves not by lapse of time. Quod initio non valet, tractu temporis non valet. A thing void in the beginning does not become valid by lapse of time.”—Black's Law Dictionary (5th ed, 1979), pp 1126-1127.

    And a divine mandate, strong as that which guards Life, guards Liberty also.

    Even at the very morning [earliest stage] of Creation, when God said, "Let there be Light" [Genesis 1:14],—earlier than the malediction against murder [Exodus 20:13],—he set [in his "original intent"] the everlasting difference between man and chattel [by] giving to man

    "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" [Genesis 1:28].

    "That right we hold
    By his donation; but man over men
    He made not lord: such title to himself
    Reserving, human left from human free."1

    Ed. Note: For more on the "original grant" concept, see
  • Rev. James Rankin, Letters (1823), p 100
  • Rev. Theo. D. Weld, Bible Against Slavery (1837), pp 28-30
  • Deacon James Birney, Bulwarks (1840), p 29
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Forlorn Hope (1847), p 8
  • Lysander Spooner, Slavery (1845), p 14
  • Rev. John G. Fee, Non-Fellowship (1849), p 6
  • Rev. John G. Fee, Sinfulness of Slavery (1851), p 10
  • Rev. John G. Fee, Anti-Slavery Manual (1851), p 116
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 365.
  • Slavery tyrannically assumes power which Heaven denied,—while, under its barbarous necromancy, borrowed from the Source of Evil, a man is changed into a chattel, a person is withered into a thing, a soul is shrunk into merchandise. Say, Sir, in lofty madness, that you own the sun, the stars, the moon; but do not say that you own a man, endowed with soul to live immortal, when sun and moon and stars have passed away.

    Secondly. Slavery paints itself again in its complete abrogation of marriage, recognized as a sacrament by the Church, and as a contract by the civil power, wher-
    1 [John] Milton [1608-1674], Paradise Lost, Book XII, 68-71.


    ever civilization prevails. Under the Law of Slavery no such sacrament is respected, and no such contract can exist.

    Ed. Note: This was one of the issues in the Dred Scott case.
    For other objections to the South's anti-marriage policy, see, e.g.,
  • Deacon James Birney, Bulwarks (1840), pp 26-27.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853), p 205
  • Rep. Owen Lovejoy, "The Barbarism of Slavery" (5 April 1860), p 204b
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles (1883), p 53.
  • The ties formed between slaves are all subject to the selfish interests or more selfish lust of the master, whose license knows no check. Natural affections which have come together are rudely torn asunder: nor is this all. Stripped of every defence, the chastity of a whole race is exposed to violence, while the result is recorded in tell-tale faces of children, glowing with a master's blood, but doomed for their mother's skin to Slavery through descending generations.

    Ed. Note: example: 588,000 mulatto women (1860 census).

    The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. BROWN], is galled by the comparisen


    between Slavery and Polygamy, and winces. I hail this sensibility as the sign of virtue. Let him reflect, and he will confess that there are many disgusting elements in Slavery, not present in Polygamy, while the single disgusting element of Polygamy is more than present in Slavery.

    By license of polygamy, one man may have many wives, all bound to him by marriage-tie, and in other respects protected by law. By license of Slavery, a whole race is delivered over to prostitution and concubinage, without the protection of any law. Surely, Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

    Thirdly. Slavery paints itself again in its complete abrogation of the parental relation, provided by God in his benevolence for the nurture and education of the human family, and constituting an essential part of Civilization itself. And yet by the Law of Slavery—happily beginning to be modified in some places—this relation is set at nought, and in its place is substituted the arbitrary control of the master, at whose mere command little children, such as the Saviour called unto


    him [Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16], though clasped by a mother's arms, are swept under the hammer of the auctioneer. I do not dwell on this exhibition. Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

    Fourthly. Slavery paints itself again in closing the gates of knowledge, which are also the shining gates of civilization. Under its plain, unequivocal law, the bondman, at the unrestrained will of his master, is shut out from all instruction; while in many places—incredible to relate—the law itself, by cumulative provisions, positively forbids that he shall be taught to read!

    Ed. Note: For more on Southern reading ban, see
  • Deacon James Birney, Bulwarks (1840), p 6
  • Rev. Stephen Foster, Brotherhood (1843), p 35
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), pp 21-23
  • Rev. John Fee, Antislavery Manual (1851), p 144
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 436
  • Rep. Horace Mann, Slavery and the Slave-
    Trade . . . . (Washington, D.C.: 1849), p 24
  • Rev. Wm. Goodell, Slavery and Anti-Slavery
    (1852), pp 20, 189-190 and 210-213
  • Harriet B. Stowe, Key (1853), pp 244-250
  • Abraham Lincoln, Peoria Speech (1854), p 221.
    The basis for slavers' banning reading by slaves includes the slaver / creationist dogma that blacks were not human but instead a separate species.
  • Of course the slave cannot be allowed to read: for his soul would then expand in larger air, while he saw the glory of the North Star, and also the helping truth, that God, who made iron, never made a slave; for he would then become familiar with the Scriptures, with the Decalogue [Exodus 20:1-17] still speaking in the thunders of Sinai,—with that ancient text,

    "He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death"1—with that other text, "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal,"2
    —with that great story of Redemption, when the Lord raised the slave-born Moses to deliver his chosen people from the house of bondage,—and with that sublimer story, where the Saviour died a cruel death, that all men, without distinction of race, might be saved [I Timothy 2:4], leaving to mankind a commandment which, even without his example, makes Slavery impossible.

    Ed. Note: Additional reasons for the South banning slaves reading and writing, was lest they learn slavery's unconstitutionality, their right to be free, road location and direction-sign reading, travel-pass writing, etc., enabling successful escaping.

    Thus, in order to fasten your manacles upon the slave, you fasten other manacles upon his soul. The ancients maintained Slavery by chains and death: you maintain it by that infinite despotism and monopoly through which human nature itself is degraded. Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

    Ed. Note: Vile clergy taught a false gospel, deleting spiritual aspects—H. B. Stowe's Key (1853), p 244, see details at pp 193-223.
    Patrick Henry had been shocked by American Churches being pro-slavery.
    Methodist Founder John Wesley gave an overview.
    James G. Birney did an exposé.
    Rev. William Patton cited infidel-producing effects.
    Rev. Parker Pillsbury by 1841 excommunicated the mass of American clergy as unchristian.
    1 Exodus, xxi. 16.

    2 Colossians, iv. 1.


    Fifthly. Slavery paints itself again in the appropriation of all the toil of its victims, excluding them from that property in their own earnings which the Law of Nature allows and Civilization secures. The painful injustice of this pretension is lost in its meanness. It is robbery and petty larceny under garb of law.

    And even the meanness is lost in the absurdity of its associate pretension, that the African, thus despoiled of all earnings, is saved from poverty, and that for his own good he must work for his master, and not for himself. Alas, by such fallacy is a whole race pauperized!

    And yet this transaction is not without illustrative example. A sombre poet, whose verse has found wide favor, pictures a creature who

    "with one hand put
    A penny in the urn of poverty,
    And with the other took a shilling out.''1

    And a celebrated traveller through Russia, more than a generation ago, describes a kindred spirit, who, while devoutly crossing himself at church with his right hand, with the left deliberately picked the pocket of a fellow-sinner by his side.2

    Not admiring these instances, I cannot cease to deplore a system which has much of both, while, under affectation of charity, it sordidly takes from the slave all the fruits of his bitter sweat, and thus takes from him the mainspring to exertion. Tell me, Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

    Such is Slavery in its five special elements of Barbarism, as recognized by law:

  • first, assuming that man can hold property in man;

  • secondly, abrogating the relation
    1Pollok, Course of Time, Book VIII., 632-634.

    2 Clarke, E. D., Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa (London, 1816,) Vol. I. pp. 72, 73.


              of husband and wife;
    • thirdly, abrogating the parental tie;

    • fourthly, closing the gates of knowledge; and,

    • fifthly, appropriating the unpaid labor of another.

    Take away these elements, sometimes called "abuses," and Slavery will cease to exist; for it is these very "abuses" which constitute Slavery. Take away any one of them, and the abolition of Slavery begins.

    And when I present Slavery for judgment, I mean no slight evil, with regards to which there may be reasonable difference of opinion, but I mean this fivefold embodiment of "abuse," this ghastly quincunx of Barbarism, each particular of which, if considered separately, must be denounced at once with all the ardor of an honest soul, while the whole fivefold combination must awake a fivefold denunciation.

    The historic pirates, once the plague of the Gulf whose waters they plundered, have been praised for the equity [equality] with which they adjusted the ratable shares of spoil [share and share alike], and also for generous benefactions to the poor, and even to churches, so that Sir Walter Scott could say,—

    "Do thou revere
    The statutes of the Buccaneer"1

    In our Law of Slavery, what is there to revere? what is there at which the soul does not rise in abhorrence?

    But this fivefold combination becomes yet more hateful when its single motive is considered; and here Slavery paints itself finally. The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS] says that it [slavery] is

    "but [merely] a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves."
    The Senator is mistaken. It is an outrage, where five different pretensions all concur in one single object, looking only to the profit
    1 Rokeby, Canto I. st. 21.

    of the master, and constituting its ever-present motive power, which is simply to compel [extort] the labor of fellow-men without wages. If I pronounce this object [intent, purpose, motive] not only barbarous, but brutal, I follow the Judgment of [Martin] Luther's Bible, in the book "Jesus Sirach," known in our translation as Ecclesiasticus, where it is said:
    "He that giveth not his wages to the laborer, he is a bloodhound."1

    Slavery Degrading Humanity

    Slavery is often exposed as degrading Humanity. On this fruitful theme nobody has expressed himself with the force and beautiful eloquence of our own [Rev. William Ellery] Channing [1780-1842]. His generous soul glowed with indignation at the thought of man, supremest creature of earth, and first of God's works, despoiled of manhood and changed to a thing.

    But earlier than Channing was Jean Jacques Rousseau [1712-1778], who, with similar eloquence and the same glowing indignation, vindicated Humanity. How grandly he insists that nobody can consent to be a slave, or can be born a slave!

    Believing Liberty the most noble of human attributes, this wonderful writer will not stop to consider if descent to the condition of beasts be not to degrade human nature, if renunciation of the most precious of all God's gifts be not to offend the Author of our being; but he demands only by what right those who degrade themselves to this depth can subject their posterity to this same ignominy, renouncing for them goods which do not depend upon any ancestors, and without which life itself is to all
    1"Wer dem Arbeiter seinen Lohn nicht gibt, der ist ein Bluthund." (Cap. xxxv. 27.) Our less energetic version pictures the same enormity: "The bread of the needy is their life: he that defraudeth him thereof is a man of blood." (Ecclesiasticus, xxxiv. 21.) The prophet Jeremiah unites in this judgment: "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work." [Chap. xxii. 13].


    worthy of it a burden; and he justly concludes, that, as, to establish Slavery, it is necessary to violate Nature, so, to perpetuate this claim, it is necessary to change Nature. His final judgment, being the practical conclusion of this outburst, holds up jurisconsults, gravely pronouncing that the child of a slave is born a slave, as deciding, in other terms, that a man is not born a man,1 — thus exposing the peculiar absurdity of that pretension by which Slavery is transmitted from the mother to her offspring, as expressed in the Latin scrap on which the Senator from Virginia [Mr. {James} MASON] relies: Partus sequitur ventrem.

    Ed. Note: English law specified child follows father, the opposite of Roman law. Sen. Mason thus ignored what the U.S. was supposed to do.

    If the offence of Slavery were less extended, if it were confined to some narrow region, if it had less of grandeur in its proportions, if its victims were counted by tens a«d hundreds instead of millions, the five-headed enormity would find little indulgence; all would rise against it, while Religion and Civilization would lavish choicest efforts in the general warfare. But what is wrong when done to one man cannot be riglit when done to many. If it is wrong thus to degrade a single soul, if it is wrong thus to degrade you, Mr. President, it cannot be right to degrade a whole race.

    And yet this is denied by the barbarous logic of Slavery, which, taking advantage of its own wrong, claims immunity because its usurpation has assumed a front of audacity that cannot be safely attacked.

    Ed. Note: It is not allowed to take advantage of one's own wrong. See precedents such as Glus v Eastern District Terminal, 359 US 231, 232; 79 S Ct 760, 762; 3 L Ed 2d 770, 772 (1959), and Stephenson v Golden, 279 Mich 710, 737; 276 NW 848 (1938) ("No one may take advantage of his own wrong").

    Southern Slave Law Origin in Barbarism

    Unhappily, there is Barbarism elsewhere in the world; but American Slavery, as defined by existing law, stands forth [as John Wesley said] as the greatest organized Barbarism on which the sun now looks. It is without a single peer. Its author, after making it, broke the die.
    1 [Rousseau], Discourse sur 1'Origine de 1'Inégalité parmi les Homines, 2nde Partie; Œuvres, Tom. IV. p. 179.


    If curiosity carries us to the origin of this law,—and here I approach a topic often considered in this Chamber,—we shall again confess its Barbarism.

    • It is not derived from the Common Law, that fountain of Liberty; for this law, while unhappily recognizing a system of servitude known as villeinage, secured to the bondman privileges unknown to the American slave,—guarded his person against mayhem, — protected his wife against rape,—gave to his marriage equal validity with the marriage of his master,—and surrounded his offspring with generous presumptions of Freedom, unlike that rule of yours by which the servitude of the mother is necessarily stamped upon the child.

    • It is not derived from the Roman Law, that fountain of Tyranny, for two reasons:

      • first, because this law, in its better days, when its early rigors were spent, like the Common Law itself, secured to the bondmman privileges unknown to the American slave,—in certain cases of cruelty rescued him from his master, presented separation of parents and children, also of brothers and sisters, and even protected him in the marriage relation; and,

      • secondly, because the Thirteen Colonies were not derived from any of those countries which recognized the Roman Law, while this law, even before the discovery of this continent, had lost all living efficacy.

    • It [Southern slavery] is not derived from the Mohammedan Law; for, under the mild injunctions of the Koran, a benignant service, unlike yours, has prevailed,—where the lash is not allowed to lacerate the back of a female,—where no knife or branding-iron is employed upon any human being to mark him as the property of his fellow-man,—where the master is expressly enjoined to favor the desires of his slave for emancipation,—and where the blood of


      the master, mingling with that of his bondwoman, takes from her the transferable character of chattel, and confers complete freedom upon their offspring.

      Ed. Note: See Rev. William Patton's 1846 verifying example.

    • It is not derived from the Spanish Law; for this contains humane elements unknown to your system, borrowed, perhaps, from Mohammedan Moors who so long occupied Spain; and, besides our Thirteen Colonies had no umbilical connection with Spain.

    • Nor is it derived from English statutes or American statutes; for we have the positive and repeated averment of the Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON], and also of other Senators, that in not a single State of the Union can any such statutes establishing Slavery be found.

    From none of these [non-barbaric sources] does it [Southern slavery] come.

    No, Sir, not from any land of Civilization is this Barbarism [Southern slavery] derived. It comes from Africa, ancient nurse of monsters,—from Guinea, Dahomey, and Congo. There is its origin and fountain.

    This benighted region, we are told by Chief-Justice [John] Marshall in a memorable judgment,1 still asserts a right, discarded by Christendom, to enslave captives taken in war; and this African Barbarism is the beginning of American Slavery.

    The Supreme Court of Georgia, a Slave State, has not shrunk from this conclusion.

    "Licensed to hold slave property," says the Court, "the Georgia planter held the slave as a chattel, either directly from the slave-trader or from those who held under him, and he from the slave-captor in Africa. The property of the planter in the slave became thus [derived from] the property of the original captor."2

    It is natural that a right thus derived in defiance of Christendom, and openly founded on the
    1 The Antelope, [23 US] 10 Wheaton, 66 [6 L Ed 268 (1825)].

    2 Neal v. Farmer, 9 Georgia Reports [555], 580 [1851].


    most vulgar Paganism, should be exercised without mitigating influence from Christianity,—that the master's authority over the person of his slave, over his conjugal relations, over his parental relations, over the employment of his time, over all his acquisitions, should be recognized, while no generous presumption inclines to Freedom, and the womb of the bondwoman can deliver only a slave.

    From its home in Africa, where it is sustained by immemmorial usage, this Barbarism, thus derived and thus developed, traversed the ocean to American soil.It entered onboard that fatal slave-ship,

    "Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,"

    which in 1620 landed its cruel cargo at Jamestown, in Virginia; and it has boldly taken its place in every succeeding slave-ship from that early day till now,—helping to pack the human freight, regardless of human agony,—surviving the torments of the middle passage,—surviving its countless victims [tens of millions] plunged beneath the waves; and it has left the slave-ship only to travel inseparable from the slave in his various doom, sanctioning by its barbarous code every outrage, whether of mayhem or robbery, lash or lust, and fastening itself upon his offspring to the remotest generation.

    Thus are barbarous prerogatives of barbarous half-naked African chiefs perpetuated in American Slave-Masters, while the Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON], perhaps unconscious of their origin, perhaps desirous to secure for them the appearance of a less barbarous pedigree, tricks them out with a phrase of the Roman Law, discarded by the Common Law, which simply renders into ancient Latin an existing rule of African Barbarism, recognized as an existing rule of American Slavery.


    Such is the plain juridical origin of the American slave code, now vaunted as a badge of Civilization. But all law, whatever its juridical origin, whether Christian or Mohammedan, Roman or African, may be traced to other and ampler influences in Nature, sometimes of Right and sometimes of Wrong.

    Surely the law which stamped the slave-trade as piracy punishable with death had a different inspiration from that other law which secured immunity for the slave-trade throughout an immense territory, and invested its supporters with political power. As there is a nobler law above, so there is a meaner law below, and each is felt in human affairs.

    Thus far we have seen Slavery only in pretended law, and in the origin of that law. Here I might stop, without proceeding in the argument; for on the letter of the law alone must Slavery be condemned. But the tree is known by its fruits, which I shall now exhibit: and this brings me to the second stage of the argument.

    Practical Results of Slavery

    (2.) In considering the practical results of Slavery, the materials are so obvious and diversified that my chief care will be to abridge and reject: and here I put the Slave States and Free States face to face, showing at each point the blasting influence of Slavery.

    Before proceeding with these details, I would for one moment expose that degradation of free labor, which is one of the general results. Where there are slaves, whose office is work, it is held disreputable for a white man to soil his skin or harden his hands with honest toil. The Slave-Master of course declines work, and his pernicious example infects all others. With impi-


    ous resolve, they would reverse the Almighty decree appointing labor as the duty of man, and declaring that in the sweat of his face shall he eat his bread [Genesis 3:19; cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:10]. The Slave-master says,
    "No! this is true of the slave, of the black man, but not of the white man: he shall not eat his bread in the sweat of his face."

    Thus is the brand of degradation stamped upon that daily toil which contributes so much to a true Civilization. It is a constant boast in the Slave States, that white men there will not perform work performed in the Free States. Mr. [John C.] Calhoun and Mr. Waddy Thompson made this boast.

    Let it be borne in mind, then, that, where Slavery prevails, there is not only despair for the black man, but inequality and ignominy for the white laborer. By necessary consequence, the latter, whether emigratingfrom our Free States or fleeing from oppression and wretchedness in his European home, avoids a region disabled by such a social law.

    Hence a twofold injustice: practically he is excluded from the land, while the land itself becomes a prey to that paralysis which is caused by a violation of the laws of God.

    Ed. Note: For details, see
  • Rev. John Rankin (1823)
  • Lewis Tappan (1843)
  • Alvan Stewart (1849)
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1853)
  • Abraham Lincoln (1854)
  • Rev. George Cheever (1857)
  • Prof. Charles Slocum (1909)
  • Prof. Dwight Dumond (1961)
  • p 158, infra.
  • And now for the testimony.

    The States where this Barbarism exists excel the Free States in all natural advantages.


    Their territory is more extensive, stretching over 851,448 square miles, while the Free States, including Califomia, embrace only 612,597 square miles. Here is a difference of more than 238,000 square miles in favor of the Slave States, showing that Freedom starts in this great rivalry with a field more than a quarter less than that of Slavery.

    In happiness of climate, adapted to productions of special value,—in exhaustless motive power distributed throughout its space,—in natural


    highways, by more than fifty navigable rivers, never closed by the rigors of winters—and in a stretch of coast, along Ocean and Gulf, indented by hospitable harbors,—the whole presenting incomparable advantages for that true Civilization, where apiculture, manufactures, and commerce, both domestic and foreign, blend,—in all these respects the Slave States excel the Free States, whose climate is often churlish, whose motive power is less various, whose navigable rivers are fewer and often sealed by ice, and whose coast, while less in extent and with fewer harbors, is often perilous from storm and cold.

    But Slavery plays the part of a Harpy, and defiles the choicest banquet. See what it does with this territory, thus spacious and fair.


    An important indication of prosperity is in the growth of population. In this respect the two regions started equal. In 1790, at the first census under the Constitution, the population of the present Slave states was 1,961,372; of the present Free States, 1,968,455, showing a difference of only 7,083 in favor of the Free States.

    This difference, at first merely nominal, has been constantly increasing since, showing itself more strongly in each decennial census, until, in 1850, the population of the Slave States, swollen by the annexation of three foreign Territories, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, was only 9,612,969, while that of the Free States, without such large annexations, reached 13,434,922, showing a difference of 3,821,953 in favor of Freedom.

    But this difference becomes still more remarkable, if we confine our inquiries to the white population, which at this period was only 6,184,477 in the Slave States, while it was 13,238,670 in the Free States, showing a difference


    of 7,054,193, in favor of Freedom, and showing also that the white population of the Free States had not only doubled, but, while occupying a smaller territory, commenced to triple, that of the Slave States.

    The comparative sparseness of the two populations furnishes another illustration. In the Slave States the average number of inhabitants to a square mile was 11.29, while in the Free States it was 21.93, or almost two to one in favor of Freedom.

    These results are general; but if we take any particular Slave State, and compare it with a Free State, we shall fnd the same marked evidence for Freedom. Take Virginia, with a territory of 61,352 miles, and New York, with a territory of 47,000, or over 14,000 square miles less than her sister State.

    • New York has one seaport, Virginia some three or four;

    • New York has one noble river; Virginia has several;

    • New York for 400 miles runs along the frozen line of Canada, Virginia basks in a climate of constant felicity.

    But Freedom is better than climate, river, or seaport. In 1790 the population of Virginia was 748,308, and in 1850 it was 1,421,661. In 1790, the population of New York was 340,120, and in 1850 it was 3,097,394. That of Virginia had not doubled in sixty years, while that of New York had multiplied more than nine-fold.

    A similar comparison may be made between Kentucky, with 37,680 square miles, admitted into the Union as long ago as 1792, and Ohio, with 39,964 squae miles, admitted into the Union in 1802. In 1850, the Slave State had a population of only 982,405, while Ohio had a population of 1,980,329, showing a difference of nearly a million in favor of Freedom.

    Property Values

    As in population, so also in the value of property, real


    and personal, do the Free States excel the Slave States. According to the census of 1850, the value of property in the Free States was $4,102,162,098, while in the Slave States it was $2,936,090,737; or if we deduct the asserted property in human flesh, only $1,655,945,137,—showing an enormous difference of billions in favor of Freedom.

    In the Free States the valuation per acre was $10.46, in the Slave States only $3.04. This disproportion was still greater in 1855, when, according to the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, the valuation of the Free States was $5,770,197,679, or $14.71 per acre; and of the Slave States, $3,977,354,046, or, if we deduct the asserted property in human flesh, $2,501,186,446, or $4.59 per acre. Thus in five years from from 1850 the valuation of property in the Free States received an increase of more than the whole accumulated valuation of the Slave States in 1850.

    Looking at details, we find the same disproportions. Arkansas and Michigan, nearly equal in territory, were organized as States by simultaneous Acts of Congress; and yet in 1855 the whole valuation of Arkansas, including its asserted property in human flesh, was only $64,240,726, while that of Michigan, without a single slave, was $116,593,580.

    The whole accumulated valuation of all the Slave States, deducting the asserted property in human flesh, in 1850, was only $1,655,945,137; but the valuation of New York alone, in 1855, reached the nearly equal sum of $1,401,285,279.

    The valuation of Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, all together, in 1850, deducting human flesh, was $559,224,920, or simply $1.96 per acre,—being less than that of Massachusetts alone, which was $573,342,286, or $114.85 per acre.

    Ed. Note: For background, see Alvan Stewart, Legal Argument (1845), pp 49-51; also the allusion by Rev. John G. Fee, Antislavery Manual, (NY: 1851), p 144.



    The Slave States boast of agriculture; but here again, notwithstanding superior natural advantages, they must yield to the Free States at every point,—in

    • the number of farms and plantations,

    • in the number of acres improved,

    • in the cash value of farms,

    • in the average value per acre, and

    • in the value of farming implements and machinery.
    Here is a short table.

    Free States.Slave States.
    Number of farms873,608569,201
    Acres of improved land57,720,49454,970,327
    Cash value of farms $2,147,218,478$1,117,649,649
    Average value per acre$19.17$6.18
    Value of farming implements$85,840,141$65,345,625

    Such is the mighty contrast. But it does not stop here. Careful tables place

  • the agricultural products of the Free States, for the year ending June, 1850, at $888,634,334, while those of the Slave States were $631,277,417;

  • the product per acre in the Free States at $7.94, and the product per acre in the Slave States at $3.49;

  • the average product of each agriculturist in the Free States at $342, and in the Slave States at $171.
  • Thus the Free States, with a smaller population engaged in agriculture than the Slave States, and, with smaller territory, show

  • an annual sum total of agricultural products surpassing those of the Slave States by two hundred and twenty-seven millions of dollars,

  • while twice as much is produced by each agriculturist, and

  • more than twice as much is produced on an acre.
  • The [South's] monopoly of cotton, rice, and cane-sugar, with a climate granting two and sometimes three crops in the year, is thus impotent in competition with Freedom.

    Manufactures, Mining, Mechanic Arts

    In manufactures, mining, and the mechanic arts, the failure of the Slave States is greater still. It appears


    at all points,—in
    • the capital employed,

    • in the value of the raw material,

    • in the annual wages, and

    • in the annual product.
    A short table will show the contrast.

    Free States.Slave States.
    Capital$430,240,051$ 95,029,877
    Value of raw material465,844,09286,190,639
    Annual wages195,436,45333,247,560
    Annual productl842,586,058 165,423,027

    This might be illustrated by details with regard to different manufactures,—as shoes, cotton, woollens, pig iron, wrought iron, and iron castings,—all showing the contrast. It might also be illustrated by comparison between different States,—showing, for instance, that the manufactures of Massachusetts, during the last year, exceeded those of all the Slave States combined.


    In commerce the failure of the Slave States is on a yet larger scale. Under this head the census does not supply proper statistics, and we are left to approximations from other sources; but these are enough for our purpose. It appears,

    • that, of products which enter into commerce, the Free States had an amount valued at $1,377,199,968; the Slave States an amount valued only at $410,754,992;

    • that, of persons engaged in trade, the Free States had 136,856, and the Slave States 52,622; and

    • that, of tonnage employed, the Free States had 2,791,096 tons, and the Slave States only 726,284.
    This was in 1850.

    But in 1855 the disproportion was still greater, the Free States having 4,320,768 tons, and the Slave States 855,510 tons, being a difference of five to one,—and the tonnage of Massachusetts alone being 979,210 tons, an amount larger than that of all the Slave States together. The tonnage built during this year by the Free States was 528,844 tons, by the


    Slave States 52,938 tons. Maine alone built 215,905 tons, or more than four times the whole built in the Slave States.

    The foreign commerce of the Free States, in 1855, as indicated by exports and imports, was $404,365,503; of the Slave States, $132,062,196.

    The exports of the Free States were $167,520,693; of the Slave States, including the vaunted cotton crop, $107,475,668.

    The imports of the Free States were $236,844,810; of the Slave States, $24,586,528.

    Ed. Note: At the time of secession, Southern leaders said the issue was slavery. After they lost, they changed story, said the 'tariff on Southern commerce' was the problem! This data on the South's small amount of commerce, helps refute their after-the-fact fabrication.

    The foreign commerce of New York alone was more than twice as large as that of all the Slave States; her imports were larger, and her exports were larger also.

    Add to this evidence of figures the testimony of a Virginian, Mr. Loudon, in a letter written just before the sitting of a Southern Commercial Convention. Thus he complains and testifies: —

    "There are not half a dozen vessels engaged in our own trade that are owned in Virginia; and I have been unable to find a vessel at Liverpool loading for Virginia within three years, during the height of our busy season."

    Railroads and Canals

    Railroads and canals are the avenues of commerce; and here again the Free States excel. Of railroads in operation in 1854, there were 13,105 miles in the Free States, and 4,212 in the Slave States. Of canals there were 3,682 miles in the Free States, and 1,116 in the Slave States.


    The Post-Office, which is the agent not only of commerce, but of civilization, joins in the uniform testimony. According to the tables for 1859, the postage collected in the Free States was $5,581,749, and the expense of carrying the mails $ 6,945,545, leaving a deficit of


    $1,363,796. In the Slave States the amount collected was only $1,936,167, and the expense of carrying the mails $5,947,076, leaving the enormous deficit of $4,010,909,—the difference between the two deficits being $2,647,113.

    The Slave States did not pay one third of the expense in transporting their own mails; and not a single Slave State paid for transporting its own mails, not even the small State of Delaware. Massachusetts, besides paying for hers, had a surplus larger by one half than the whole amount collected in South Carohna.


    According to the census of 1850, the value of churches in the Free States was $66,177,586; in the Slave States, $20,683,265.

    Ed. Note: Such conditions had begun early in the South. See Edward C. Rogers, Illegality of Slavery in All Agbes and Nations (Boston: B. Marsh, 1855), p 78.


    The voluntary charity contributed in 1855, for certain leading purposes of Christian benevolence, was, in the Free States, $955,811; for the same purposes in the Slave States, $193,885. For the Bible cause the Free States contributed $321,365; the Slave States $67,226. For the Missionary cause the former $502,174; and the latter, $101,934. For the Tract Society the former contributed $131,97 ; and the latter $ 24,725. The amount contributed for Missions by Massachusetts was greater than that contributed by all the Slave States, and more than eight times that contributed by South Carolina.

    Nor have the Free States been backed in charity for the benefit of the Slave States. The records of Massachusetts show that as long


    ago as 1781 at the beginning of the Government, there was a contribution throughout the Commonwealth, under the particular direction of that eminent patriot Samuel Adams, for the relief of inhabitants of South Carolina and Georgia.1
    1 Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, Vol. III., pp. 138. 139.


    In 1855 we were saddened by the prevalence of yellow fever in Portsmouth, Virginia; and now, from a report of the Relief Committee of that place, we learn that the amount of charity contributed by the Slave States, exclusive of Virginia, the afflicted State, was $12,182; and including Virginia, it was $33,398; while $42,547 was contributed by the Free States.


    In all this array we see the fatal influence of Slavery. But its Barbarism is yet more conspicuous, when we consider its Educational Establishments, and the unhappy results naturally ensuing from their imperfect character.

    Ed. Note: See background by
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), pp 65-66
  • Lewis Tappan, Address (1843), pp 8-10.
  • Of colleges, in 1856, the Free States had 61, and the Slave States 59; but the comparative efficacy of the institutions assuming this name may be measured by certain facts.

    • The number of graduates in the Free States was 47,752, in the Slave States 19,648;

    • the number of ministers educated in Slave colleges was 747, in Free colleges 10,702;

      Ed. Note: The South's Rev. A. H. H. Boyd, of Virginia, had lamented this lacking in the South's seminary facilities, cited at page 164 of Rev. William Goodell's book, Slavery and Anti-Slavery (1852).

    • and the number of volumes in the libraries of Slave colleges 308,011, in the libraries of Free colleges 668,497.

    If materials were at hand for comparison between these colleges, in buildings, cabinets, and scientific apparatus, or in standard of scholarship, the difference would be still more apparent.

    Of professional schools, teaching law, medicine, and theology, the Free States had 65, with 269 professors, 4,417 students, and 175,951 volumes in their libraries; while the Slave States had only 32 professional schools, with 122 professors, 1,816 students, and 30,796 volumes in their libraries. The whole number educated at these institutions in the Free States was 23,513, in the Slave States 3,812.

    Of these, the largest number in the Slave


    States study medicine, next Theology, and lastly Law.

    According to the census, there are only 808 students in the Slave theological schools, and 747 studying for ministry in Slave colleges; and this is the education of the Slave clergy.

    In the law schools of the Slave States the number of students is only 240, this being the sum-total of public students in the land of Slavery devoted to that profession which is the favorite stepping-stone to political life, where Slave-Masters claim such a disproportion, of office and honor.

    Of academies and private schools, in 1850, the Free States, notwithstanding multitudinous public schools, had 3,197, with 7,175 teachers, 154,893 pupils, and an annual income of $2,457,372; the Slave States had 2,797 academies and private schools, with 4,913 teachers, 104,976 pupils, and an annual income of $2,079,724. In the absence of public schools, to a large extent, where Slavery exists, the dependence must be upon private schools; and yet even here the Slave States fall below the Free States, whether we consider the number of schools, the number of pupils, the number of teachers, or the amount paid for their support.

    In public schools, open to all, poor and rich alike, the preëminence of the Free States is complete. Here the figures show a difference as wide as that between Freedom and Slavery. Their number in the Free States is 62,433, with 72,621 teachers, and with 2,769,901 pupils, an annual expense of $6,780,337. Their number in the Slave States is 18,507, with 19,307 teachers, and with 581,861 pupils, supported at an annual expense of $2,719,534.

    This difference may be illustrated by details. Virginia, an old State, and more than a third larger than Ohio, has 67,353 pupils


    in her public schools, while the latter State has 484,153.

    Arkansas, equal in age and size with Michigan, has only 8,493 pupils at her public schools, while the latter State has 110,455.

    South Carolina, nearly four times as large as Massachusetts, has 17,838 pupils at public schools, while the latter State has 176,475. South Carolina spends for this purpose, annually, $200,600; Massachusetts, $1,006,795.

    Baltimore, with a population of 169,054, on the northern verge of Slavery, has school buildings valued at $105,729; Boston, with a population of 136,881, has school buildings valued at $729,502. Baltimore has only 37 public schools, with 138 teachers, and 8,011 pupils, supported at an annual expense of $32,423; Boston has 203 public schools, with 353 teachers, and 20,369 pupils, supported at an annual expense of $237,100.

    Even these figures do not disclose the whole difference; for there exist in the Free States teachers' institutes, normal schools, lyceums, and public courses of lectures, unknown m the region of Slavery. These advantages are enjoyed by the children of colored persons; and here is a comparison which shows the degradation of the Slave States.

    The South was/is anti-education, see their excuses at, e.g.,
  • amprpress.com/public_schools.htm
  • www.geocities.com/mosouthron/education3.html
  • www.christianaction.org.za/uca/newsletters/uca_parentalresponsibility.htm.
    The South's anti-education view eventually conquered the North, pervading the entire nation, deteriorating education nationwide.
  • It is their habit particularly to deride free colored persons. See, now, with what cause. The number of colored persons in the Free States is 196,016, of whom 22,043, or more than one ninth, attend school, which is a larger proportion than is supplied by the whites of the Slave States. In Massachusetts there are 9,064 colored persons, of whom 1,439, or nearly one sixth, attend school, which is a much larger proportion than is supplied by the whites of South Carolina.


    Among educational establishments are public libraries; and here, again, the Free States have their cus-


    tomary eminence, whether we consider libraries strictly called public, or libraries of the common school, Sunday school, college, and church. The disclosures are startling. The number of libraries in the Free States is 14,893, and the sum-total of volumes is 3,883,617; the number of libraries in the Slave States is 713, and the sum-total of volumes is 654,194: showing an excess for Freedom of more than fourteen thousand libraries, and more than three millions of volumes.
    • In the Free States the common-school libraries are 11,881, and contain 1,589,683 volumes; in the Slave States they are 186, and contain 57,721 volumes.

    • In the Free States the Sunday-school libraries are 1,713, and contain 474,241 volumes; in the Slave States they are 275, and contain 68,080 volumes.

    • In the Free States the college libraries are 132, aind contain 660,573 volumes; in the Slave States they are 79, and contain 249,248 volumes.

    • In the Free States the church libraries are 109, and contain 52,723 volumes; in the Slave States they are 21, and contain 5,627 volumes.

    • In the Free States the libraries strictly called public, and not included under heads already enumerated, are 1,058, and contain 1,106,397 volumes; those of the Slave States are 152, and contain 273,518 volumes.
    Turn these figures over, look at [analyze] them in any light, and the conclusion is irresistible for Freedom. The college libraries alone of the Free States are greater than all the libraries of Slavery; so, also, are the libraries of Massachusetts alone greater than all the libraries of Slavery; and the common-school libraries alone of New York are more than twice as large as all the libraries of Slavery.

    Michigan has 107,943 volumes in her libraries; Arkansas has 420; and yet the Acts for


    the admission of these two States into the Union were passed on the same day.


    Among educational establishments, one of the most efficient is the press; and here again all things testify for Freedom. The Free States excel in the number of newspapers and periodicals published, whether daily, semi-weekly, weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly,—and whatever their character, whether literary, neutral, political, religious, or scientific.

    The whole aggregate circulation

    • in the Free States is 334,146,281, in the Slave States 81,038,693;

    • in Free Michigan 3,247,736, in Slave Arkansas 377,000;

    • in Free Ohio 30,473,407, in Slave Kentucky 6,582,838;

    • in Slave South Carolina 7,145,930, in Free Massachusetts 64,820,564,—a larger number than in the twelve Slave States, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, combined.

    This enormous disproportion in the aggregate is also preserved a the details. In the Slave States political newspapers had more favor than all others together; but even of these they publish only 47,243,209 copies, while the Free States publish 163,583,668.

    Numerous as are political newspapers in the Free States, they form considerably less than one half the aggregate circulation of the Press while in the Slave States they constitute nearly three fifths.

    • Of neutral newspapers the Slave States publish 8,812,620, the Free States 79,156,733.

    • Of religious newspapers the Slave States publish 4,364,832, the Free States 29,280,652.

    • Of literary journals the Slave States publish 20,245,360, the Free States 57,478,768.

    • And of scientific journals the Slave States publish 372,672, the Free States 4,521,260.
    Of these

    last the number of copies published in Massachusetts alone is 2,033,260,—more than five times the number in the whole land of Slavery.

    Thus, in contributions to science, literature, religion, and even politics, as attested by the activity of the periodical press, do the Slave States miserably fail,—-while darkness gathers over them, increasing with time. According to the census of 1810, the disproportion in this respect between the two regions was only as two to one; it is now more than four to one, and is still darkening.

    The same disproportion appears with regard to persons connected with the Press.

    • In the Free States the number of printers was 11,812, of whom 1,229 were in Massachusetts; in the Slave States there were 2,625, of whom South Carolina had only 141.

    • In the Free States the number of publishers was 331; in the Slave States, 24. Of these, Massachusetts had 51, or more than twice as many as all the Slave States; while South Carolina had but one.

    • In the Free States the authors were 73; in the Slave States, 6,—Massachusetts having 17, and South Carolina none.
    These suggestive illustrations are all derived from the last official census. If we go to other sources, the contrast is still the same.
    • Of the authors mentioned in Duyckinck's "Cyclopædia of American Literature," 434 are of the Free States, and only 90 of the Slave States.

    • Of the poets mentioned in Griswold's "Poets and Poetry of America," 122 are of the Free States, and only 16 of the Slave States.

    • Of the poets whose place of birth appears in Read's "Female Poets of America," 71 are of the Free States, and only 11 of the Slave States.

    If we try authors by weight or quality, it is the same as when we try them by numbers. Out of the Free States come all whose


    works have a place in the permanent literature of the country,—
    • [Washington] Irving [1783-1859],

    • [William H.] Prescott [1796-1859],

    • [Jared] Sparks [1789-1866],

    • [George] Bancroft [1800-1891],

    • [Ralph Waldo] Emerson [1803-1882],

    • [John Lothrop] Motley [1814-1877],

    • [Richard] Hildreth [1807-1865],

    • [Nathaniel] Hawthorne [1804-1864]; also,

    • [William Cullen] Bryant [1794-1878],

    • [Henry Wadsworth] Longfellow [1807-1882],

    • [Richard Henry] Dana [1815-1882],

    • [Fitz-Greene] Halleck [1790-1867],

    • [John Greenleaf] Whittier [1807-1892],

    • [James Russell] Lowell [1819-1891],
    —and I might add indefinitely to the list. But what name from the Slave States can find entrance there?


    A similar disproportion appears in the number of Patents, during the last three years, 1857, 1858, and 1859, attesting the inventive industry of the contrasted regions. In the Free States there were 9,557; in the Slave States, 1,306: making a difference of 8,251 in favor of Freedom.

    • The number in Free Massachusetts was 1,351; in Slave South Carolina, 39.

    • The number in Free Connecticut, small in territory and population, was 628; in Slave Virginia, large in territory and population, 184.

    From these things we might infer the ignorance prevalent in the Slave States; but this shows itself in specific results of a deplorable character, authenticated by the official census. In the Slave States there were 493,026 native white adults, persons over twenty years of age, unable to read and write; while in the Free States, with double the native white population, there were but 248,725 persons of this class in this unhappy predicament: in the Slave States the proportion being 1 in 5 of the adult native whites; in the Free States 1 in 22.

    • The number in Free Masachusetts, in an adult native white population of 470,375, was 1,055, or 1 in 446; the number in Slave South Carolina, in a like population of only 120,136, was 15,580, or 1 in 8.

    • The number in Free Connecticut was 1 in 256, in Slave Virginia 1 in 5;

    • in Free New Hampshire 1 in 192; and in Slave North Carolina 1 in 3
    Ed. Note: Bad results came of such illiteracy.


    Before leaving this picture, where the dismal colors all come from official sources, there are two other aspects in which Slavery may be regarded.

    1. The first is its influence on emigration. The official compendium of the census (page 115) tells us that inhabitants of Slave States who are natives of Free States are more numerous than inhabitants of Free States who are natives of Slave States. This is an egregious error. Just the contrary is true. The census of 1850 found 606,139 in the Free States who were born in the Slave States, while only 206,624 born in the Free States were in the Slave States.

    And since the white population of the Free States is double that of the Slave States, it appears that the proportion of whites moving from Slavery is six times greater than that of whites moving into Slavery. This simple fact discloses something of the aversion to Slavery which is aroused even in the Slave States.

    Ed. Note: For details, see
  • Lewis Tappan (1843)
  • Alvan Stewart (1849)
  • Abraham Lincoln (1854)
  • Prof. Charles Slocum (1909)
  • Prof. Dwight Dumond (1961)
  • p 143, supra.
  • 2. The second is furnished by the character of the region on the border-line between Freedom and Slavery. In general, the value of lands in Slave States adjoining Freedom is advanced, while the value of corresponding lands in Free States is diminished. The effects of Freedom and Slavery are reciprocal. Slavery is a bad neighbor; Freedom is a good neighbor.

    In Virginia, lands naturally poor are, by nearness to Freedom, worth $12.98 an acre, while richer lands in other parts of the State are worth only


    $8.42. In Illinois, lands bordering on Slavery are worth only $4.54 an acre, while other lands in Illinois are worth $8.05. As in the value of lands, so in all other influences is Slavery felt for evil, and Freedom felt for good; and thus is it clearly shown to be for the interest of the Slave States to be surrounded by a circle of Free States.


    At every point is the character of Slavery more and more manifest, rising and dilating into an overshadowing Barbarism, darkening the whole land. Through its influence, population, values of all kinds, manufactures, commerce, railroads, canals, charities, the post-office, colleges, professional schools, academies, public schools, newspapers, periodicals, books, authorship, inventions, are all stunted, and, under a Government which professes to be founded on the intelligence of the people, one in five of native white adults in the region of Slavery is officially reported as unable to read and write.

    Never was the saying of Montesquieu [1689-1755] more triumphantly verified, that countries are not cultivated by reason of their fertility, but by reason of their liberty.

    To this truth the Slave States testify perpetually by every possible voice. Liberty is the powerful agent which drives the plough, the spindle, and the keel,—opens avenues of all kinds,—inspires charity—awakens love of knowledge, and supplies the means of gratifying it. Liberty is the first of schoolmasters: nay, more; it is the Baconian philosophy of Civilization, through which the powers and activities of man are enlarged beyond measure or imagination.

    Geographical Character: Like Barbary Pirates

    Unerring and passionless figures thus far are our witnesses. But their testimony will be enhanced by a final glance at the geographical character of the Slave States; and here there is a singular and instructive parallel.

    [Thomas] Jefferson [1743-1826] described Virginia as "fast sinking" to be "the Barbary of the Union,"1 — meaning, of course, the Barbary of his day, which had not yet turned against Slavery.

    And [Benjamin] Franklin [1706-1790] also wrote, that he did

    "not wish to see a new Barbary rising in America, and our
    1 Letter to Joseph C. Cabell, Nov. 28,1820: Writings, Vol. VII. p. 187.


    long extended coast occupied by piratical states."1

    In this each spoke with prophetic voice. Though on different sides of the Atlantic and on different continents, our Slave States and the original Barbary States occupy nearly the same parallels of latitude, occupy nearly the same extent of longitude, embrace nearly the same number of square miles, enjoy kindred advantages of climate, being equally removed from the cold of the North and the burning heat of the tropics, and also have similar boundaries of land and water, affording kindred advantages of ocean and sea, with this difference, that the boundaries of the two regions are precisely reversed, so that where is land in one is water in the other, while in both there is the same extent of ocean and the same extent of sea.

    Nor is this all. Algiers, for a long time the most obnoxious place in the Barbary States of Africa, once branded by an indignant chronicler as "the wall of the Barbarian world,"2 is situated near the parallel of 36° 30' north latitude, being the line of the Missouri Compromise, which once marked the wall of Slavery in our country west of the Mississippi, while Morocco, the chief present seat of Slavery in the African Barbary, is near the parallel of Charleston.

    There are no two spaces on the surface of the globe, equal in extent, (and careful examination will verify what I am about to state,) which present so many distinctive features of resemblance, whether we consider the common regions of latitude in which they lie, the common nature of their boundaries, their common productions, their common climate,
    1 Letter to David Hartley, May 8, 1783: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. IX. p. 521.

    2 Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. p. 1565.


    or the common Barbarism which sought shelter in both. I do not stop to inquire why Slavery-banished at last from Europe, banished also from that part of this hemisphere which corresponds in latitude to Europe-should have intrenched itself, in both hemispheres, in similar regions of latitude, so that Virginia, Carolina, Mississippi, and Missouri are the American complement to Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis.

    But there is one important point in the parallel which remains to be fulfilled. The barbarous Emperor of Morocco, in the words of a treaty, so long ago as the last century, declared his desire that "the odious name of Slavery might be effaced from the memory of men";1 while Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis, whose tenacity for the Barbarism was equalled only by that of South Carolina, have renounced it one after another, and delivered it over to the indignation of mankind.

    Following this example, the parallel will be complete, and our Barbary will become the complement in Freedom to the African Barbary, as it has already been its complement in Slavery, and is unquestionably, its complement in geographical character.


    FROM the consideration of Slavery in its practical results, illustrated by contrast between the Free States and Slave States, I pass to another stage of the argument, where Slavery appears in its influence on the
    1 "Deseando ademas S. M. Marroqui que se borre de la memoria de los hombres el odioso nombre de esclavitud," etc.—Treaty between Spain and Morocco, March 1, 1799, Art. XIII.: Martens, Recueil des Traités, 2de Édit., Tom. VI. p. 590.


    CHARACTER OF SLAVE-MASTERS. Nothing could I undertake more painful, and yet there is nothing more essential to the discussion, specially in response to pretensions of Senators on this floor, nor is there any point on which the evidence is more ample.

    St. John ChrysostomIt is in the Character of Slavery itself that we are to find the Character of Slave-Masters. I need not go back to the golden mouth of [St. John] Chrysostom [345 A.D. - 407 A.D.] to learn that

    "Slavery is the fruit of covetousness, of
    extravagance, of insatiable greediness";1

    for we have already seen that this fivefold enormity is inspired by the single [demonic] idea of compelling men to work without wages. This spirit must naturally appear in the Slave-Master.

    But the eloquent Saint [Chrysostom] did not disclose the whole truth. Slavery is founded on violence, as we have already too clearly seen; of course it can be sustained only by kindred violence, sometimes against the defenceless slave, sometimes against the freeman [e.g., himself] whose indignation is aroused at the outrage.

    It [Southern slavery] is founded on brutal and vulgar pretensions, as is unhappily too apparent; of course it can be sustained only by kindred brutality and vulgarity.

    The denial of all rights in the slave can be sustained only by disregard of other rights, common to the whole community, whether of the person, the press, or speech. Where this exists there can be but one supreme law, to which all other laws, statute or social, are subordinate,—and this is the pretended law of Slavery. All these things must be manifest in Slave-Masters; and yet, unconscious of their true condition, they make boasts which reveal still further the unhappy influence.

    Barbarous standards of conduct are unblushingly avowed. The swagger of a bully is called
    1 In Epist. ad Ephes. Homil. XXII. 2.


    chivalry; a swiftness to quarrel is called courage; the bludgeon is adopted as substitute for argument; and assassination is lifted to be one of the Fine Arts.

    Long ago it was fixed certain that the day which makes man a slave "takes half his worth away,"—words from the ancient harp of Homer [fl 850 B.C.], sounding through long generations. Nothing here is said of the human being at the other end of the chain. To aver that on this same day all his worth is taken away might seem inconsistent with exceptions which we gladly recognize; but, alas! it is too clear, both from reason and from facts, that, bad as Slavery is for the Slave, it is worse for the Master.

    In making this exposure I am fortified at the outset by two classes of authority, whose testimony it will be difficult to question: the first personal, and founded on actual experience; the second philosophical, and founded on everlasting truth.

    Personal Authority

    First, Personal Authority. And here I adduce words, often quoted, which dropped from the lips of Slave-Masters in those better days, when, seeing the wrong of Slavery, they escaped from its injurious influence. Of these, none expressed themselves with more vigor than George Mason, a Slave-Master from Virginia, in debate on the adoption of the National Constitution. This is his language:—

    "Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor, when performed by slaves. They prevent the emigration of whites, who really enrich and strengthen a country. They produce the most pernicious effect on manners. EVERY MASTER OF SLAVES IS BORN A PETTY TYRANT. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country."1

    1 "Debates in the Federal Convention," August 22, 1787: Madison Papers, Vol. III. p. 1391.


    Thus, with a few touches, does this Slave-Master portray his class, putting them in that hateful list which, according to every principle of liberty, must be resisted so long as we obey God. And this clear testimony received kindred support from the fiery soul of [Thomas] Jefferson [1743-1826]. Here are his words:—

    "There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of Slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a pergetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, THE MOST UNREMITTING DESPOTISM on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it. . . . . The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part and the amor patriæ of the other! . . . . With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed."1

    Philosophic Authority

    Next comes the Philosophic Authority. Here, while the language which I quote may be less familiar, it is hardly less commanding. Among names of such weight I shall not discriminate, but simply follow the order of time. First is John Locke [1632-1704], the great author of the English system of Intellectual Philosophy, who, though once unhappily indulgent to American Slavery, in another place describes it, in words which every Slave-Master should know, as—

    "The state of war continued between a lawful conqueror and a captive." "So directly opposite to the generous temper and courage of our nation, that 't is hardly to be con-

    1 Notes on Virginia, Query XVIII. [Excerpt].


    ceived that an Englishman, MUCH LESS A GENTLEMAN, should plead for 't.1

    Then comes Adam Smith [1723-1790], the founder of the science of Political Economy, who, in his work on Morals, thus utters himself:—

    "There is not a negro from the coast of Africa who does not possess a degree of magnanimity which the soul of his sordid master is too often scarce capable of conceiving. Fortune never exerted more cruelly her empire over mankind than when she subjected those nations of heroes to the refuse of the jails of Europe, to wretches who possess the virtues neither of the countries which they come from nor of those which they go to, and whose levity, brutality, and baseness so justly expose them to the contempt of the vanquished."2

    This judgment, pronounced just a century ago, was repelled by the Slave-Masters of Virginia in a feeble publication, which attests at least their own consciousness that they were the criminals arraigned by the distinguished philosopher.

    This was soon followed by the testimony of the great English moralist, Dr. Johnson, who, in a letter to a friend, thus shows fis opinion of Slave-Masters:—

    "To omit for a year, or for a day, the most efficacious method of advancing Christianity, in compliance with any purposes that terminate on this side of the grave, is a crime of which I know not that the world has yet had an example, except in the practice of the planters of America, a race of mortals whom, I suppose, no other man wishes to resemble."3
    1 Of Government, Book II. ch. 4, Book I. ch. 1.

    2 Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part V. ch. 2.

    3 Letter to William Drummond, August 13, 1766: Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. Croker, (London, 1835,) Vol. III. p. 11.


    These are British voices. There are French also of equal character, whose is the same implacable judgment. First I name [Jean Antione] Condorcet [1743-1794], who did so much to develop the idea of Human Progress. Constantly he testifies against Slavery. His brand of it as Barbarism is sententiously expressed in a letter to Voltaire, descnbing a successful Slave-Master:—

    "L'Éprénesnil is a little American, who, by dint of plying his negroes with the lash, has succeeded in getting enough sugar and indigo to buy an office of King's Councillor in the revenue service."1

    Voltaire adds to this expression other words kindred in scorn:—

    "The America savage of whom you speak does not astonish me; but he frightens me, for I know beyond doubt that he is of the horde of other French savages who have sworn immortal hate to reason."2

    In harmony with these is that famous irony of Montesquieu [1689-1755], where, speaking of the Africans, he says:—-

    "It is impossible that we should suppose these people men, because, if we supposed them men, the world would begin to think that we ourselves were not Christians."3

    Other countries might testify; but this is enough.

    With such authorities, Personal and Philosophic, American and Foreign, I need not hesitate in this ungracious task; but Truth, which is mightier than Mason and Jefferson, than John Locke, Adam Smith, and Samuel Johnson, than Condorcet, Voltaire, and
    1 Condorcet, Œuvres, ed. O'Connor. Tom. I. p. 88, Décembre. 1776.

    2 Ibid., p. 98, 6 Février, 1776.

    3 Esprit des Lois, Liv. XV. ch. 6.


    Montesquieu, marshals the evidence in unbroken sucession.

    Proceeding with the argument, broadening as we advance, we shall see Slave-Masters

    • (1) in the Law of Slavery,

    • (2) in relations with Slaves,

    • (3) in relations with each other and with Society, and

    • (4) in that unconsciousness which renders them insensible to their true character.

    The Law of Slavery

    (1.) As in considering the Character of Slavery, so in considering the Character of Slave-Masters, we must begin with the Law of Slavery, which, as their work, testifies against them. In the face of this unutterable abomination, where impiety, cruelty, brutality, and robbery all strive for mastery, it is vain to assert humanity or refinement in its authors.

    Full well I know that the conscience, which speaks so powerfully to the solitary soul, is often silent in the corporate body, and that, in all ages and countries, numbers, when gathered in communities and States, have sanctioned acts from which the individual revolts. And yet I know no surer way of judging a people than by its laws, especially where those laws have been long continued and openly maintained.

    Whatever may be the eminence of individual virtue,—and I would not so far disparage humanity as to suppose that offences so general where Slavery exists are universal,—it is not reasonable or logical to infer that the body of Slave-Masters are better than the Law of Slavery. And since the Law itself degrades the slave to be a chattel, and submits him to irresponsible control,—with power to bind and to scourge, to usurp the fruits of another's labor, to pollute the body, and to


    outrage all ties of family, making marriage impossible,—we must conclude that such enormities are sanctioned by Slave-Masters; while the refusal of testimony, and the denial of instruction, by supplementary law, complete the evidence of complicity. And this conclusion must stand unquestioned, just so long as the Law of Slavery exists unrepealed.

    So mild and philosophical a judge as [Alexis de] Tocqueville [1805-1859] says, in his authoritative work:

    "The legislation of the Southern States with regard to slaves at the present day exhibits such unparalleled atrocities as suffice to show that the laws of humanity have been totally perverted, and to betray the desperate position of the community in which that legislation has been promulgated."1

    All of which is too true. Cease, then, to blazon the humanity of Slave-


    Masters. Tell me not of the lenity with which this cruel Code is tempered to its unhappy subjects. Tell me not of the sympathy which overflows from the mansion of the master to the cabin of the slave. In vain you assert such "happy accidents." In vain you show individuals who do not exert the wickedness of the law.

    The Barbarism still endures, solemnly, legislatively, judicially attested in the very SLAVE CODE, and proclaiming constantly the [demonized] character of its authors. And this is the first article in the evidence against Slave-Masters.

    Slave-Masters' Relations with Slaves

    (2.) I am next brought to Slave-Masters in their relations with Slaves; and here the argument is founded on facts, and on presumptions irresistible as facts. Only lately has inquiry burst into that gloomy world of bond-
    1 Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Chap. XVIII.: "Situation of the Black Population."


    age, and disclosed its secrets. But enough is already known to arouse the indignant condemnation of mankind. For instance, here is a simple advertisement—one of thousands—from the Georgia Messenger:—

    "RUN AWAY.—My man Fountain; has holes in his ears, a scar on the right side of his forehead; has been shot in the hind parts of his legs; is marked on bis back with the whip. Apply to Robert Beasley, Macon, Ga."

    Holes in the ears; scar on the forehead; shot in the legs; and marks of the lash on the back! Such are tokens by which the Slave-Master identifies his slave.

    Here is another advertisement, revealing Slave-Masters in a different light. It is from the National Intelligencer, published at the capital; and I confess the pain with which I cite such an indecency in a journal of much respectability. Of course it appeared without the knowledge of the editors; but it is none the less an illustrative example.

    "FOR SALE.—An accomplished and handsome lady's-maid. She is just sixteen years of age; was raised in a genteel family in Maryland; and is now proposed to be sold, not for any fault, but simply because the owner has no further use for her. A note directed to C. D., Gadsby's Hotel, will receive prompt attention."

    A sated libertine, in a land where vice is legalised, could not expose his victim with apter words.

    These two instances illustrate a class.

    In the recent [1857] work of Mr. [Frederick L.] Olmsted, a close observer and traveller in the Slave States, which abounds in pictures of Slavery, drawn with caution and evident regard to truth, is another, where a Slave-Master thus frankly confesses his experience:—


    "I can tell you how you can break a nigger of running away, certain,' said the Slave-Master. 'There was an old fellow I used to know in Georgia, that always cured his so. If a nigger ran away, when he caught him, he would bind his knee over a log, and fasten him. so he could n't stir; then he'd take a pair of pincers, and pull one of his toe-nails out by the roots, and tell him, that, if he ever run away again, he would pull out two of them, and if he run away again after that, he told him he'd pull out four of them, doubling each time. He never had to do it more than twice; it always cured them.'"1

    Like this story, from the lips of a Slave-Master, is another, where tn^ master, angry because his slave sought to regain his God-given liberty, deliberately cut the tendons of his heel, thus horribly maiming him for life.

    In vain these instances are denied. Their accumulating number, authenticated in every possible manner, by the press, by a cloud of witnesses, and by the confession of Slave-Masters, stares us constantly in the face.

    Here we are brought again to the Slave Code, under the shelter of which these things, and worse, are done with complete impunity. Listen to the remarkable words of Mr. Justice Ruffin, of North Carolina, who, in a solemn [court] decision, thus portrays, affirms, and deplores this terrible latitude. The obedience of the slave, he says [Ed. Note: like in a Nazi concentration camp],—

    "is the consequence only of uncontrolled authority over the body. . . . . The power of the master must be absolute, to render the submission of the slave perfect. I most freely confess my sense of the harshness of this proposition. I feel
    1 Journey through Texas, by Frederick Law Olmsted [New York: Dix, Edwards and Co., 1857], p. 106.


    it as deeply as any man can. And, as a principle of moral right, every person in his retirement must repudiate it. But in the actual condition of things it must be so. There is no remedy. This discipline belongs to the state of Slavery. . . . . It is inherent in the relation of master and slave."1

    This same license is thus expounded in a recent judicial decision of Virginia:—

    "It is the policy of the [unconstitutional] law in respect to the relation of master and slave, and for the sake of securing propey subordination and obedience on the part of the slave, to protect the master from prosecution, even if the whipping and punishment be malicious, cruel, and excessive."2

    Can Barbarism further go? Here is irresponsible power, rendered more irresponsible still by the seclusion of the plantation, and absolutely fortified by supplementary law excluding the testimony of slaves. That under its shelter enormities should occur, stranger than fiction, too terrible for imagination, and surpassing any attested experience, is simply according to the course of Nature and the course of history. Antiquity has illustrations which are most painful.

    • From [Publius] Ovid [43 B.C. - 17 A.D.] we learn how the porter was chained at his master's gate;3

    • by [Titus Maccius] Plautus [254 B.C. - 184 B.C.] we are introduced to the various instruments of punishment, in fearful catalogue;4

    • and in the pages of the philosopher [Lucius Annaeus] Seneca [4 B.C. - 65 A.D.] we are saddened by the cruelties of which the slave was victim.5

    • A later writer, the great teacher of medicine, Galen [130 A.D. -200 A.D.], describes men
    1 The State v Mann, 2 Devereux, [13] North Carolina Reports [263], 266, 267 [1829].

    2 Souther v The Commonwealth, 7 Grattan, 680 [48 Va 673 (1851)].

    3 Amorum Lib. I. Eleg. VI. 1.

    4 Asinaria, Act. III. Sc. ii. 4, 5.

    5 Epist, XLVII.


      knocking out the teeth of slaves with the fist, falling upon them not only with fist, but with the heels, and gouging the eyes with a pen, if at hand, as did the Emperor Adrian on one occasion;1

    • while [Cornelius] Tacitus [55-c. 117] shows how four hundred slaves in the house of an assassinated master were handed over to vindictive death.2

    • St. [John] Chrysostom [345 A.D. - 407 A.D.] portrays a mistress dragging a slave-girl by the hair, and herself applying the whip, until the cries of her bruised victim filled the whole house and penetrated the street.3
    All this is ancient Barbarism, according to the evidence; but the analogies of life show that such things must be [natural and probable consequences], where Slavery prevails. The visitation of the abbeys in England disclosed vice and disorder in startling forms cloaked by the irresponsible privacy of monastic life. A similar visitation of plantations would disclose more fearful results, cloaked by the irresponsible privacy of Slavery.

    Every Slave-Master on his plantation is a Bashaw, with all the prerogatives of a Turk. According to [Thomas] Hobbes [1588-1679], he is a "petty king." This is true; and every plantation is of itself a petty kingdom, with more than the immunities of an abbey. Six thousand skulls of infants are reported to have been taken from a single fish-pond near a nunnery, to the dismay of Pope Gregory.4

    Ed. Note: For background on medieval church abortions, see "Proofs that the Sexual Sins of Roman Catholicism Have Existed Long Before the 40 Years Admitted to by Priests of Today."
    The 1860 census showed 588,000 mulatto women, says Barbara Goldsmith, Other Powers (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), p 154. Sumner's point was that the Bible-Belt South was behaving worse than the depraved Medieval Church.

    Under the Law of Slavery,
    1 De Animi Affectuum Dignotione et Curatione, Cap. IV.: Opera, ed. Kühn, Tom. V. p. 17.

    2 Annal. Lib. XIV. capp. 42-45. See the memoir of M. de Burigny, Sur les Esclaves Romains: Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, 1764-1766, Tom. XXXV. pp. 328-359.

    3 In Epist. ad Ephes. Homil. XV. 8.

    4 "Memorabile quod Ulricus epistola refert, Gregorium, quum ex piscina quadam allata plus quam sex mille infantum capita vidisset, ingemuisse."—[Robert] BURTON [1577-1640], Anatomy of Melancholy [Oxford: Lichfield, Short & Cripps, 1624; reprinted, Birmingham, Ala.: Classics of Medicine Library, 1986], Part III. Sec. 2, Mem. 5, Subs. 6. He quotes Kemnicius, Examen Concil. Trident., Pars III., De Cœlibatu Sacerdotum.


    infants, the offspring of masters "who dream of Freedom in a slave's embrace," are not thrown into a fish-pond, but something worse is done. They are sold. This is a single glimpse only.

    Slavery, in its recesses, is another Bastile, whose horrors will never be known until it shall be razed to the ground; it is the dismal castle of Giant Despair, which, when captured by the Pilgrims, excited their wonder, aa they saw "the dead bodies that lay here and there in the castle-yard, and how full of dead men's bones the dungeon was."

    The recorded horrors of Slavery are infinite, and each day, by the escape of its victims, they are still further attested, while the door of the vast prison-house is left ajar.

    But, alas! unless examples of history and lessons of political wisdom are alike delusive, its unrecorded horrors must assume a form of more fearful dimensions. Baffling all attempts at description, they sink into that chapter of Sir Thomas Browne [1605-1682] entitled "Of some Relations whose Truth we fear," and among kindred things whereof, according to this eloquent philosopher, "there remains no register but that of HelL"

    If this picture of the relations of Slave-Masters with their slaves could receive any darker coloring, it would be by introducing figures of the congenial agents through which the Barbarism is maintained,—the Slave-Overseer, the Slave-Breeder, and the Slave-Hunter, each without a peer except in the brothers, and the whole constituting a triumvirate of Slavery, in whom its essential brutality, vulgarity, and crime are all embodied.

    There is the Slave-Overseer, with bloody lash,—fitly described, in his Life of Patrick Henry, by Mr. Wirt, who, born in a Slave State, knew the class, as


    "last and lowest, most abject, degraded, unprincipled,"1—and his hands wield at will the irresponsible power, being proper successor to "the devil," described by the English dramatist, who appeared

    in Virginia, and commanded
    With many stripes; for that's his cruel custom."2

    There is next the Slave-Breeder, who assumes a higher character, even entering legislative halls, where, in unconscious insensibility, he shocks civilization by

    • denying, like Mr. Gholson, of Virginia, any alleged distinction between the "female slave" and the "brood mare,"

    • by openly asserting the necessary respite from work during the gestation of the female slave as the ground of property in her offspring, and

    • by proclaiming that in this "vigintial" crop of human flesh consists much of the wealth of his State,
    —while another Virginian, not yet hardened to this debasing trade, whose annual sacrifice reaches twenty-five thousand human souls, confesses the indignation and shame with which he beholds his State "converted into one grand menagerie, where men are reared for the market, like oxen for the shambles."

    Verily the question may be asked, Have we a Guinea among us?

    And, lastly, there is the Slave-Hunter with the bloodhound as his brutal symbol, who pursues slaves as the hunter pursues game, and does not hesitate in the public prints to advertise his Barbarism thus:—

    "BLOODHOUNDS.— I have TWO of the FINEST DOGS for CATCHING NEGROES in the Southwest. They can take the trail TWELVE HOURS after the NEGRO HAS PASSED, and catch him with ease. I live four miles
    1 Life and Character of Patrick Henry, Sec. II. p. 34.

    2 [Philip] Massinger [1583-1640], The City Madam, Act V. sc. 1.


    south-west of Bolivar, on the road leading from Bolivar to Whitesville. I am ready at all times to catch runaway negroes.

    "March 2, 1853."1

    The bloodhound was known in early Scottish history; it was once vindictively put upon the trail of Robert Bruce [1274-1329], and in barbarous days, by cruel license of war, was directed against the marauders of the Scottish border.

    Walter Scott [1771-1832] makes one of his heroes "cheer the dark blood-hound on his way"; but more than a century has passed since the last survivor of the race was seen in Ettrick Forest.2

    The bloodhound wag employed by Spain against the natives of this continent, and the eloquence of [William Pitt] Chatham [1708-1778] never touched a truer chord than when, gathering force from the condemnation of this brutality,.he poured his thunder upon the kindred brutality of the scalping-knife, adopted as an instrument of war by a nation professing civilization.

    Tardily introduced into this republic some time after the Missouri Compromise [1820], when Slavery became a political passion and Slave-Masters began to throw aside all disguise, the bloodhound has become the representative of our Barbarism, when engaged in the pursuit of a fellow-man asserting his inborn title to himself; and this brute becomes typical of the whole brutal leash of Slave-Hunters, who, whether at hom« on Slave Soil, under the name of Slave-Catchers and Kidnappers, or at a distance, under politer names, insult Nature by the enforcement of this Barbarism.
    1 West Tennessee Democrat.

    2 Scott, Lay of the Last Minstrel, Notes, Canto V. st. 29.


    Slave-Masters' Relations with Each Other and with Society

    (3.) From this dreary picture of Slave-Masters with their slaves and their triumvirate of vulgar instruments, I pass to another more dreary still, and more completely exposing the influence of Slavery: I mean the relations of Slave-Masters with each other, also and Government,—or, in other words, the Character of Slave-Masters, as displayed in the general relations of life.

    Here again I need your indulgence. Not in triumph or in taunt do I approach this branch of the subject. Yielding only to the irresistible exigency of the discussion, and in direct reply to the assumptions on this floor, especially by the Senator from Virginia [Mr. {James M.} MASON], I proceed.

    If I touch Slavery to the quick, and make Slave-Masters see themselves as others see them, I shall do nothing beyond the strictest line of duty in this debate.

    One of the choicest passages of the master Italian poet, Dante [Alighieri] [1265-1321], is where we are permitted to behold a passage of transcendent virtue sculptured in "visible speech" on the long gallery leading to the Heavenly Gate. The poet felt the inspiration of the scene, and placed it on the wayside, where it could charm and encourage.

    This was natural. Nobody can look upon virtue and justice, if only in images and pictures, without feeling a kindred sentiment.

    At Home

    Nobody can be surrounded by vice and wrong, by violence and brutality, if only in images and pictures, without coming under their degrading influence.

    Nobody can live with the one without advantage; nobody can live with the other without loss.

    Who could pass life in the secret chamber vhere are gathered the impure relics of Pompeii, without becoming indifferent to loathsome things? But if these loathsome things are not merely sculptured and


    painted,—if they exist in living reality,—if they enact their hideous, open indecencies, as in the criminal pretensions of Slavery,—while the lash plays and the blood spurts,—while women are whipped and children are sold,—while marriage is polluted and annulled,—while the parental tie is rudely torn,—while honest gains are filched or robbed,—while the soul itself is shut down in all the darkness of ignorance, and God himself is defied in the pretension that man can have property in his fellow-man,—if all these things are "visible," not merely in images and pictures, but in reality, the influence on character must be incalculably deplorable.

    According to irresistible law men are fashioned by what is about them, whether climate, scenery, life, or institutions. Like produces like, and this ancient proverb is verified always. Look at the miner, delving low down in darkness, and the mountaineer, ranging on airy heights, and you will see a contrast in character, and even in personal form. The difference between a coward and a hero may be traced in the atmosphere which each has breathed,—and how much more in the institutions under which each is reared!

    If institutions generous and just ripen souls also generous and just, then other institutions must exhibit their influence also. Violence, brutality, injustice, barbarism, must be reproduced in the lives of all living within their fatal


    sphere. The meat eaten by man enters into and becomes part of his body; the madder eaten by the dog changes his bones to red; and the Slavery on which men live, in all its fivefold foulness, must become part of themselves, discoloring the very soul, blotting the character, and breaking forth in moral leprosy. This language is


    strong, but the evidence is even stronger. Some there may be of happy natures—like honorable Senators—who can thus feed and not be harmed. Mithridates [132 B.C. - 63 B.C.] fed on poison, and lived. It may be that there is a moral Mithridates, who can swallow without bane the poison of Slavery.

    Instead of "ennobling" the master, nothing is clearer than that the slave [slavery] drags his master down; and this process, beginning in childhood, is continued thrmgh life. Living much in association with his slave, the master finds nothing to remind him of his own deficiencies, to prompt his ambition or excite his shame. He is only a little better than his predecessor in ancient Germany, as described by Tacitus, who was distinguishable from his slave by none of the charms of education, while the two burrowed among the same flocks and in the same ground.1

    Without provocation to virtue, or elevating example, he naturally shares the Barbarism of the society he keeps. Thus the very inferiority which the Slave-Master attributes to the African explains the melancholy condition of the communities in which his degradation is declared by law.

    A single false principle or vicious thought may debase a character otherwise blameless; and this is practically true of the Slave-Master. Accustomed to regard men as property, the sensibilities are blunted and the moral sense is obscured. He consents to acts from which Civilization recoils. The early Church sacrificed its property, and even its sacred vessels, for the redemption of captives. On a memorable occasion this was done by St. Ambrose [340 A.D. - 397 A.D.],2 and successive canons confirmed
    1 "Dominum ac servum nullis edncationis deliciis dignoscas. Inter eadem pecora, in eadem humo degunt."—Germania, c. 20.

    2Butler, Lives of the Saints, Vol. XII. p. 114.


    the example. But in the Slave States all is reversed [demonized]. Slaves there are hawked as property of the Church1; and an instance is related of a slave sold in South Carolina to buy plate for the communion-table. Who can estimate the [vile] effect of such an example?

    Surrounded by pernicious influences of all kinds, positive and negative, the first making him do that which he ought not to do, and the second making him leave undone that which he ought to have done,—through childhood, youth, and manhood, even unto age,—unable, while at home, to escape these influences, overshadowed constantly by the portentous Barbarism about him, the Slave-Master naturally adopts the bludgeon, the revolver, and the bowie-knife. Through these he governs his plantation, and secretly armed with these enters the world. These are his congenial companions. To wear these is his pride, to use them becomes a passion, almost a necessity.

    Nothing contributes to violence so much as wearing the instruments of violence, thus having them always at hand to obey a lawless instinct. A barbarous standard is established; the duel is not dishonorable; a contest peculiar to our Slave-Masters, known as a "street fight," is not shameful; and modern imitators of Cain have a mark set upon them, not for reproach and condemnation, but for compliment and approval.

    In kindred spirit, the Count of Eisenburg, presenting to [Desiderius] Erasmus [1466-1536] a handsome dagger, called it "the pen with which he used to combat saucy
    1 This is a natural [and probable consequences] incident of Slavery. Bishop Warburton, in a sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, recounts how "a very worthy benefactor bequeathed unto us in trust, for the propagation of the Gospel, a plantation stocked with slaves," and he exclaims, "An odd legacy to the promulgators of the Law of Liberty!"—Sermon XX.: Works, (London, 1811,) Vol. X. p. 58.


    fellows."1 How weak that dagger against the pen of Erasmus!

    I wish to keep within bounds; but unanswerable facts, accumulating in fearful quantities, attest that the social system so much vaunted by honorable Senators, which we are now asked to sanction and extend, takes its character from this spirit, and, with professions of Christianity on the lips, becomes Cain-like. And this is aggravated by the prevailing ignorance in the Slave States, where one in five of the adult white population of native birth is unable to read and write.

    "The boldest they who least partake the light,
    As game-cocks in the dark are trained to fight."

    There are exceptions, which we all gladly recognize; but it is this spirit which predominates and gives the social law. Again we see the lordlings of France, as pictured by Camille Desmoulins,

    "ordinarily very feeble in arguments, since from the cradle they are accustomed to use their will as right hand and their reason as left hand."2

    Widespread Lawlessness

    Violence ensues. And here mark an important difference.

    • Elsewhere violence shows itself in spite of law, whether social or statute; in the Slave States it is because of law, both social and statute.

    • Elsewhere it is pursued and condemned; in the Slave States it is adopted and honored.

    • Elsewhere it is hunted as a crime; in the Slave States it takes its place among the honorable graces of society.

    Let not these harsh statements stand on my authority. Listen to the testimony of two Governors of Slave States in messages to their respective Legislatures.

    Said the Governor of Kentucky, in 1837:—
    1 Jortin, Life of Erasmus, A. D. 1532, Ætat. 65, Vol. II. p. 31.

    2 Louis Blanc, Histoire de la Révolution Française, Tom. V. p. 200.


    "We long to see the day when the law will assert its majesty, and stop the wanton destruction of life which almost daily occurs within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. Men slaughter each other with almost perfect impunity. A species of Common Law has grown up in Kentucky, which, were it written down, would, in all civilized countries, cause it to be re-christened, in derision, the Land of Blood."

    Such was the official confession of a Slave-Master Governor of Kentucky. And here is the official confession made the same year by the Slave-Master Governor of Alabama:—

    "We hear of homicides in different parts of the State continually, and yet have few convictions, and still fewer executions. Why do we hear of stabbings and shootings almost daily in some part or other of our State?"

    A land of blood! Stabbings and shootings almost daily. Such is official language. It was natural that contemporary newspapers should repeat what found utterance in high places. Here is the confession of a newspaper in Mississippi:—

    "The moral atmosphere in our State appears to be in a deleterious and sanguinary condition. Almost every exchange paper which reaches us contains some inhuman and revolting case of murder or death by violence."1

    Here is another confession, by a newspaper in New Orleans:—

    "In view of the crimes which are daily committed, we are led to inquire whether it is owing to the inefficiency of our laws, or to the manner m which these laws are administered,
    1 Grand Golf Advertiser, June 27, 1837.


    that this frightful deluge of human blood flows through our streets and our places of public resort."1

    Ed. Note: Lewis Tappan, Address (1843), pp 22-35, has background

    And here is testimony of a different character:—

    "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 may not, cannot be."2

    These are the words of a Southern lady, daughter of the accomplished Judge Grimké, of South Carolina.

    Ed. Note: Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), pp 56 - 59, has background.

    Street Fights

    A catalog of affrays between politicians, commonly known as "street fights,"—I use the phrase furnished by the land of Slavery,—would show that these authorities are not mistaken. That famous Dutch picture, admired particularly from successful engraving, and called The Knife-Fighters,3 presents a scene less revolting than one of these. Two or more men, armed to the teeth, meet in the streets, at a court-house, or a tavern, shoot at each other with revolvers, then gash each other with knives, close, and roll upon the ground, covered with dirt and blood, struggling and stabbing, till death, prostration, or surrender puts an end to the conflict. Each instance tells its shameful story, and cries out against the social system tolerating such Barbarism.

    A catalog of duels would testify again to the reckless disregard of life where Slavery exists, while it exhibited Violence flaunting in the garb of Honor, and prating of a barbarous code disowned equally by reason and re-
    1 New Orleans Bee, May 23, 1838.

    2 "Narrative and Testimony of Sarah M. Grimké," found in the remarkable contribution to the Antislavery cause by Theodore D. Weld, American Slavery as it is, Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, p. 22.

    3 There are two different pictures of this early scene,—one by Terburg, and the other by Adrian van Ostade,—both engraved by Suyderhoef.


    ligion. But you have already surfeited with horrors, and I hasten on.

    Ancient Civilization did not condemn assassination. Statues were raised to Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who slew Hipparchus. Brutus and Cassius were glorified. Modern Civilization judges otherwise; but Slavery, not content with the Duel, which was unknown to Antiquity, rejoices in assassinations also,—rejoices in both.


    Pardon me, if I stop for one moment to expose and denounce the Duel. I do it only because it belongs to the brood of Slavery. Long ago an enlightened Civilization rejected this relic of Barbarism, and never was one part of the argument against it put more sententiously than by [Benjamin] Franklin [1706-1790]. "A duel decides nothing," said this patriot philosopher; and the person appealing to it "makes himself judge in his own cause, condemns the offender without a jury, and undertakes himself to be the executioner."1

    To these emphatic words I add two brief propositions, which, if practically adopted, make the Duel impossible:

    • first, that the acknowledgment of wrong, with apology or explanation, can never be otherwise than honorable; and

    • secondly, that, in the absence of such acknowledgment, no wrong can be repaired by gladiatorial contest, where brute force, or skill, or chance must decide the day.
    Iron and adamant are not stronger than these arguments; nor can any one attempt an answer without exposing his feebleness. And yet Slave-Masters, disregarding its irrational character, insensible to its folly, heedless of its impiety, and unconscious of its Barbarism, openly adopt the Duel as
    1 Letter to Thomas Percival, July 17, 1784: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. p. 108.


    regulator of manners and conduct. Two voices from South Carolina have been raised against it, and I mention them with gladness as testimony from that land of Slavery.
    • The first was Charles Cotesworth Pinckney [1746-1825], who, in the early days of the Republic, after asking if there were "no way of abolishing throughout the Union this absurd and barbarous custom," invoked the clergy of his State, "as a particular favor, at some convenient early day, to preach a sermon on the sin and folly of duelling."1

    • The other was Mr. Rhett, who, on this floor, openly declared, as his reason for declining the Duel, "that he feared God more than man."2
    Generous words, for which many errors will be pardoned. But these voices condemn the social system of which the Duel is a natural product.


    Looking at the broad surface of society where Slavery exists, we find its spirit actively manifest against freedom of speech and the press, especially with regard to this wrong. Nobody in the Slave States can speak or print plainly about Slavery, except at peril of life or liberty; and a curious instance shows how this same spirit is carried by our Slave-Masters into foreign lands. As early as 1789, and in Paris, a poor play,3 where Slavery was painted truthfully, excited the hostility of what Baron Grimm, who reports the incident, calls "an American cabal," so that its failure was attributed by some to this influence, being the early prototype of that [taboo] so strong among us.

    Ed. Note: Slavery involved tobacco. The taboo then opposed printing slavery weffects. A related taboo, against reporting tobacco effects, continues nowadays.

    St. Paul could call upon the people of Athens to give up the worship of unknown
    1 Sabine, Notes on Duels and Duelling, pp. 322, 324.

    2 Speech in the Senate, February 28, 1852: Congressional Globe, 32d Cong. 1st Sess., p. 655.

    3 "L'Esclavage des Nègres, on l'Heureux Naufrage." See Grimm, Correspondance, Tom. XVI. pp. 328, 329, Décembre, 1789.


    gods; he could live in his own hired house at Rome, and preach Christianity in this Heathen metropolis; but no man can be heard against Slavery in Charleston or Mobile.

    We condemn the Inquisition, which subjects all within its influence to censorship and secret judgment; but this tyranny is repeated in American Slave-Masters. Truths as simple as the great discovery of Galileo [1564-1642] are openly denied, and all who declare them are driven to recant. We condemn the "Index Expurgatorius" of the Roman Church; but American Slave-Masters have an Index where are inscribed all the generous books of the age. One book, the marvel of recent literature, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," is treated thus by the Church as by Slave-Masters, being honored by the same suppression at the Vatican as at Charleston.

    Not to dwell on these instances, there is one which has a most instructive ridiculousness. A religious discourse of the late Dr. [William Ellery] Channing [1780-1842] on West India Emancipation—the last effort of his beautiful life—was offered for sale by a book agent at Charleston. A prosecution by the South Carolina Association ensued, and the agent was held to bail in the sum of one thousand dollars. Shortly afterward, the same agent received for sale a work by Dickens, "American Notes" freshly published; but, determined not to expose himself again to the tyrannical [South Carolina] Inquisition, he gave notice through the newspapers that the book would

    "be submitted to highly intelligent members of the South
    Carolina Association for inspection, and if the sale
    is approved by them, it will be for sale,—if not, not."1

    Ed. Note: See also Rev. Beriah Green's 1836 discussion of censorhip in the South.
    1 Address to the Inhabitants of New Mexico and California, by William Jay: Miscellaneous Writings, p. 536.


    Listen also to another recent instance, as recounted in the "Montgomery Mail," a newspaper of Alabama.

    Rev. C. H. Spurgeon"Last Saturday we devoted to the flames a large number of copies of [Rev. Charles H.] Spurgeon's [1834-1892 anti-slavery] 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 eockney 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."

    Very recently we had the opportunity of reading in the journals, that the trustees of a college in Alabama resolved against Dr. Wayland's admirable work on Moral Science, as containing "Abolition doctrine of the deepest dye," and proceeded to denounce "the said book, and forbid its further use in the Institute."

    The speeches of [William] Wilberforce [1759-1833] in the British Parlliament, and especially those magnificent efforts of Brougham, where he exposed "the wild and guilty fantasy that man can hold property in man," were insanely denounced by the British planters in the West Indies; but our Slave-Masters go further. Speeches delivered in the Senate are stopped at the Post-Office; booksellers receiving them have been mobbed; and on at least one occasion the speeches were solemnly proceeded against by a Grand Jury.1

    All this is natural, for tyranny is condemned to be consistent with itself. Proclaim Slavery a permanent institution, instead of a temporary Barbarism, soon to
    1 This was the case with Mr. Sumner's speech, "The Crime Against Kansas" [Congressional Globe, 34d Cong, 2d Sess, 19-20 May 1856]. More than one person found with a copy of this speech was compelled to flee. [Ed. Note: Sumner himself was assaulted.]


    pass away, and then, by the unhesitating logic of self-preservation, all things must yield to its support. The safety of Slavery becomes the supreme law. And since Slavery is endangered by Liberty in any form, therefore all Liberty must be restrained. Such is the philoso-


    phy of this seeming paradox in a Republic. And our Slave-Masters show themselves apt.

    Violence and brutality are their ready instruments, quickened always by the wakefulness of suspicion, and perhaps often by the restlessness of uneasy conscience. The Lion's Mouth of Venice is open everywhere in the Slave States; nor are wanting the gloomy cells and the Bridge of Sighs.

    This spirit has recently shown itself with such intensity and activity as to constitute what is properly termed a Reign of Terror. Northern men, unless recognized as delegates to a Democratic Convention, are exposed in their travels, whether for business or health. They are watched and dogged, as in a land of Despotism,—are treated with the meanness of disgusting tyranny,—and live in peril always of personal indignity, often of life and limb.

    Complaint is sometimes made of wrongs to American citizens in Mexico; but the last year witnessed outrages on American citizens perpetrated in the Slave States exceeding those in Mexico. Here, again, I have no time for details, already presented in other quarters. Instances are from all conditions of life and in various quarters.

    • In Missouri, a Methodist clergyman, suspected of being an Abolitionist, was taken to prison, amidst threats of tar and feathers.

    • In Arkansas, a schoolmaster was driven from the State.

    • In Kentucky, a plain citizen from Indiana, on a visit to his friends, was threatened with death by the rope.

    • In Alabama, a simple person from Connecticut, peddling


      books, was thrust into prison, amidst cries of "Shoot him! Hang him!"

    • In Virginia, a Shaker, from New York, peddling garden-seeds, was forcibly expelled from the State.

    • In Georgia, a merchant's clerk, Irish by birth, who simply asked the settlement of a just debt, was cast into prison, robbed of his pocket-book containing nearly one hundred dollars, and barely escaped with life.

    • In South Carolina, a stone-cutter, also an Irishman, was stripped naked, and then, amidst cries of "Brand him!" "Burn him!" "Spike him to death!" scourged so that blood came at every stroke, while tar was poured upon the lacerated flesh.

    These atrocities, calculated, according to the words of a great poet, to "make a holiday in Hell," were all ordained by Vigilance Committees, or that swiftest magistrate, Judge Lynch, inspired by the demon of Slavery.

    "He let them loose, and cried, Halloo!
    How shall we yield him honor due?"1

    In perfect shamelessness, and as if to blazon this fiendish spirit, we have this winter had an article in a leading newspaper of Virginia, offering twenty-five dollars each for the heads of citizens, mostly Members of Congress, known to be against Slavery, with fifty thousand dollars for the head of [Senator] William H. Seward [1801-1872].

    In still another paper of Virginia we find a proposition to raise ten thousand dollars for the kidnapping, and delivery at Richmond, of a venerable citizen, Joshua R. Giddings, "or five thousand dollars for the production of his head." These are fresh instances, but not alone.

    At a meeting of Slave-Masters in Georgia, in 1836, the Governor was recommended to issue a proclamation offering five thousand dollars as a reward for the ap-
    1 [Samuel T.] Coleridge [1772-1834], "Fire, Famine, and Slaughter."


    prehension of either of ten persons named in the resolution, citizens of New York and Massachusetts, and one a subject of Great Britain,—neither of whom was it pretended had ever set foot on the soil of Georgia.

    The Milledgeville "Federal Union," a newspaper of Georgia in 1836, contained an offer of ten thousand dollars for kidnapping a clergyman residing in the city of New York.

    A Committee of Vigilance in Louisiana, in 1835, offered, in the "Louisiana Journal," fifty thousand dollars to any person who would deliver into their Arthur Tappan, a liberty-loving merchant of New York; and during the same year a public meeting in Alabama, with a person entitled "Honorable" in the chair, offered a similar reward of fifty thousand dollay for the apprehension of the same Arthur Tappan, and of [Rev.] La Roy Sunderland, a clergyman of the Methodist Church in New York.

    These manifestations are not without example in the history of the Antislavery cause elsewhere. From the beginning, Slave-Masters have encountered [moral, factual] argument by brutality and violence. St. [Eusebius] Jerome [340 A.D. - 420 A.D.] had before him their type, when he described certain persons "whose words are in their fists and syllogisms ia their heels."1

    If we go back to the earliest of Abolitionists, the wonderful Portuguese preacher, Vieyra, we find that his matchless eloquence and unquestioned piety did not save him from indignity. The good man was seized and imprisoned, while one of the principal Slave-Masters asked him, in mockery, "where were all his learning and all his genius now, if they could not deliver him in this extremity?"2 He was of the Catholic Church. But
    1 "Quorum verba in pugnis sunt, et syllogismi in calcibus."

    2 Southey, History of Brazil, Vol. II. ch. 27, p. 536.


    the spirit of Slavery is the same in all churches. A renowned Quaker minister of the last century, Thomas Chalkley, while on a visit at Barbadoes, having simply recommended charity to the slaves, without presuming to scathe a word against Slavery itself, was first met by disturbance in the meeting, and afterward, on the highway, in open day, was shot at by one of the exasperated planters, with a fowling-piece "loaded with small shot, ten of which made marks, and several drew blood."1

    In England, while the Slave-Trade was under discussion, the same spirit raged. [William] Wilberforce [1759-1833], who represented the cause of Abolition in Parliament, was threatened with personal violence; [Thomas] Clarkson [1760-1846], who represented the same cause before the people, was assaulted by the infuriate Slave-Traders, and narrowly escaped being hustled into the dock; and Roscoe, the accomplished historian, on return to Liverpool from his seat in Parliament, where he had signalized himself as an opponent of the Slave-Trade, was met at the entrance of the town by a savage mob composed of persons interested in the traffic, armed with knives and bludgeons, the distinctive arguments and companions of the partisans of Slavery.

    Even in the Free States, these same partisans from the beginning acted under the inspiration of violence. The demon of Slavery entered into them, and through its influence they have behaved like Slave-Masters. Public meetings for the discussion of Slavery have been interrupted; public halls, dedicated to its discussion, have been destroyed or burned to the ground. In all our populous cities the great rights of speech and of the press have been assailed precisely as in the Slave
    1 Journal of Thomas Chalkley, p. 274.


    States. In Boston, an early and most devoted Abolitionist [William Lloyd Garrison] was dragged through the streets with a halter about his neck; and in Illinois, another [Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy] , while defending his [printing] press, was ferociously murdered. The former yet lives to speak for himself, while the latter lives in his eloquent brother, a Representative from Illinois in the other House.1 Thus does Slavery show its natural character even at a distance.

    Nor in the Slave States is this spirit confined to outbreaks of mere lawlessness. Too strong for restraint, it finds no limitations except in its own barbarous will. The Government becomes its tool, and in official acts does its bidding. Here again the instances are numerous. I might dwell on the degradation of the Post-Office, when its official head consented that for the sake of Slavery the mails themselves should be rifled. I might dwell also on the cruel persecution of free persons of color, who, in the Slave States generally, and even here in the District of Columbia, are not allowed to testify where a white man is in question, and now in several States are menaced by legislative act with the alternative of expulsion from their homes or of reduction to Slavery. But I pass to two illustrative transactions, which a son of Massachusetts can never forget.

    1. The first relates to a citizen of purest life and perfect integrity, whose name is destined to fill a conspicuous place in the history of Freedom, William Lloyd Garrison [1805-1879]. Born in Massachusetts, bred to the same profession with Benjamin Franklin [1706-1790], and like his great predecessor, becoming an editor, he saw with instinctive clearness the wrong of Slavery, and, at a period when
    1 Hon. Owen Lovejoy, who died March 25, 1864.


    the ardors of the Missouri Question [1820] had given way to indifference [1830] throughout the North, he stepped forward to denounce it. The jail at Baltimore, where he then resided, was the earliest reward. Afterward, January 1st, 1831, he published the first number of "The Liberator," inscribing for his motto an utterance of Christian philanthropy,

    "Our country is the world, our countrymen are mankind,"

    and declaring, in the face of surrounding apathy:

    "I am in earnest, — I will not equivocate,—I will
    not excuse,—I will not retreat a single inch,—AND

    In this sublime spirit, he commenced his labors for the Slave, proposing no intervention by Congress in the States, and on well-considered principle avoiding all appeals to the bond-men themselves.

    Georgia vs. Freedom of Press

    Such was his simple and thoroughly constitutional position, when, before the expiration of the first year, the legislature of Georgia, by solemn act, a copy of which I have before me, "approved" by Wilson Lumpkin, Governor, appropriated five thousand dollars

    "to be paid to any person or persons who shall arrest,
    bring to trial, and prosecute to conviction under the
    laws of this State, the editor or publisher of a certain
    paper called The Liberator, published in the
    town of Boston and State of Massachusetts."1

    This infamous statute, touching a citizen absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of Georgia and in no way amenable to its laws, constituted a plain bribe to the gangs of kidnappers engendered by Slavery. With this barefaced defiance of justice and decency Slave-Masters inaugurated the system of violence by which they have sought to crush every voice raised against Slavery.
    1 Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, 1831, December 26, p. 256.


    South Carolina vs. Massachusetts Sailors

    2. Here is another illustration, of a different character. Free persons of color, citizens of Massachusetts, and, according to the institutions of this Commonwealth, entitled to equal privileges with other citizens, being in service as mariners, and touching at the port of Charleston, in South Carolina, have been seized, and, with no allegation against them, except of entering this port in the discharge of their rightful business, have been cast into prison, and there detained during the stay of the vessel. This is by virtue of a statute of South Carolina, passed in 1822, which further declares, that, in the failure of the captain to pay the expenses, these freemen "shall be deemed and taken as absolute slaves," one moiety of the proceeds of their sale to belong to the sheriff.

    Against all remonstrance,—against the official opinion of Mr. Wirt, as Attorney-General of the United States, declaring it unconstitutional,—against the solemn judgment of Mr. Justice Johnson, of the Supreme Court of the United States, himself a Slave-Master and citizen of South Carolina, also pronouncing it unconstitutional,1—this statute, which is an obvious injury to Northern ship-owners, as it is an outrage to the mariners whom it seizes, has been upheld to this day by South Carolina.

    Massachusetts, anxious to obtain for her people that protection which was denied, and especially to save them from the dread penalty of being sold into Slavery, appointed a citizen of South Carolina as her agent for this purpose, and in her behalf to bring suits in the Circuit Court of the United States to try the constitutionality of this pretension. Owing to the sensitiveness
    1 Report of Committee of U. S. House of Representatives, 27th Cong. 2d Sess., No. 80, January 20, 1843.


    of the people in that State, the agent declined to render this simple service.

    Massachusetts next selected one of her own sons, a venerable citizen, who had already served with honor in the other House of Congress, and was of admitted eminence as a lawyer, the Hon. Samuel Hoar, of Concord, to visit Charleston, and there do what the agent first appointed shrank from doing. This excellent gentleman, beloved by all who knew him, gentle in manners as he was firm in character, with a countenance that was in itself a letter of recommendation, arrived at Charleston, accompanied only by his daughter. Straightway all South Carolina was convulsed.

    According to a story in Boswell's Johnson, all the inhabitants at St. Kilda, a remote Island of the Hebrides, on the approach of a stranger, "catch cold"1; but in South Carolina it is fever that they catch.

    The Governor at the time, who was none other than one of her present Senators [Mr. HAMMOND], made his arrival the subject of special message to the Legislature, which I have before me; the Legislature all caught the fever, and swiftly adopted resolutions calling upon his Excellency the Governor "to expel from our territory the said agent, after due notice to depart," and promising to "sustain the Executive authority in any measures it may adopt for the purpose aforesaid."

    Meanwhile the fever raged in Charleston. The agent of Massachusetts [Samuel Hoar] was first accosted in the streets by a person unknown to him, who, flourishing a bludgeon in his hand,—the bludgeon always shows itself where Slavery is in question,—cried out:

    "You had better be travelling, and the sooner the better for you, I can
    1 Boswell's Life of Johnson, October 2, 1773, ed. Croker, (London, 1835,) Vol. IV. p. 311. See also, anno 1768, Vol. III. pp. 41, 42.


    tell you; if you stay here until to-morrow morning, you will feel something you will not like, I'm thinking."



    • threats of attack during the following night on the hotel where he was lodged;

    • then a request from the landlord that he should quit, in order to preserve the hotel from the impending danger of an infuriate mob;

    • then a committee of Slave-Masters, who politely proposed to conduct him to the boat.
    Thus arrested in his simple errand of good-will, this venerable public servant [Samuel Hoar], whose appearance alone, like that of the "grave and pious man" mentioned by Virgil, would have softened any mob not inspired by Slavery, yielded to the ejectment proposed, precisely as the prisoner yields to the officers of the law, and left Charleston, while a person in the crowd was heard to declare that he

    "had offered himself as a leader of a tar-and-feather gang, to
    have been called into the service of the city on the occasion."

    Ed. Note: For more on the situation, see, e.g., Samuel Hoar, South Carolina Enslaving Massachusetts Free Black Sailors (1844).

    Nor is this all. The Legislature a second time caught the fever, and, yielding to its influence,

    • passed a statute, forbidding, under severe penalties, any person within the State from accepting a commission to befriend these colored mariners, and,

    • under penalties severer still, extending even to unlimited imprisonment, prohibiting any person, "on his own behalf, or under color or in virtue of any commission or authority from any State or public authority of any State in this Union, or of any foreign power," to come into South Carolina for this purpose; and

    • then, to complete its work, by still another statute took away the writ of Habeas Corpus from all such mariners.1
    1 Massachusetts Senate Documents, 1846, No. 4. Acts of the General Assembly of South Carolina, 1844, December 18: Statutes at Large, Vol. XI., pp 292, 293.


    Such is a simple narrative, founded on authentic documents. I do not adduce it for preent criticism, but simply to enroll it in all its stages—beginning with the earliest pretension of South Carolina, continuing in violence, and ending in yet other pretensions—among the special instances where the Barbarism of Slavery stands confessed even in official conduct.

    And yet this transaction, which may well give to South Carolina the character of a shore "where shipwrecked mariners dread to land," was openly vindicated in all its details, from beginning to end, by both the Senators from that State, while one of them [Mr. HAMMOND], in the same breath, bore testimoriy from personal knowledge to the character of the public agent thus maltreated, saying,

    "He was a pleasant, kind old gentleman, well informed, and I had a sort of friendship for him during the short time that I sat near him in Congress."1

    Thus, Sir, whether we look at individuals or at the community where Slavery exists, at lawless outbreaks or at official conduct, Slave-Masters are always the same. Enough, you will say, has been told. Yes, enough to expose Slavery, but not enough for Truth.

    Ed. Note: See also the reaction cited by Lewis Tappan, The Fugitive Slave Bill (New York: William Harned, 1850), p 29.
    Compare the 1948 abuse of Senator Glenn Taylor. Senator "Taylor had gone to Alabama to address a [1 May 1948] meeting of the Southern Negro Youth Conference. . . . the city's police chief, Eugene 'Bull' Connor, later to gain national notoriety for his treatment of civil rights workers, . . . made it clear he [Sen. Taylor] was unwelcome. 'There's not enough room in town for Bull and [him],'" say John C. Culver and John Hyde, American Dreamer: A Life of Henry Wallace (New York: W. W. Nortion & Co, 2000), p 469. Police ordered Sen. Taylor to use only the "rear entrance reserved for 'Whites.'" Taylor however "prepared to enter the hall through an entrance marked 'Colored.'" Taylor later wrote, "I was a United States senator, and . . . I wasn't going to slink down a dark alley to get to a back door for Bull Connor or any other bigoted [SOB]. I'd go in any . . . door I pleased. . . ." Result: "In a flash he was shoved against the building by a burly policemen. Taylor came back swinging but several other policemen knocked him to the ground, tearing his suit on a strand of barbed wire and smashing his head on a concrete sidewalk. Soon the dazed senator found himself being driven slowly around town in a squad car while the police taunted him. . . . Eventually Taylor was taken to the city jail and thrown into a stinking holding pen with the evening's catch of drunks, pimps, and pickpockets. . . . At length Taylor was . . . . fined $50 and given a 180-day suspended sentence . . . The sentence was upheld by the Alabama supreme court. . . . Taylor never paid the fine, and the matter ended quietly more than a year later [1949] when Governor James Folsom refused to ask for Taylor's extradition to Alabama," p 470, supra.

    In Congress

    The most instructive and most grievous part still remains. It is the exhibition of Slave-Masters in Congressional history.

    Of course, the representative reflects the character as well as the political opinions of the constituents whose will it is his boast to obey. It follows that the passions and habits of Slave-Masters are naturally represented in Congress,—chastened to a certain extent, perhaps, by the requirements of Parliamentary Law [Procedure], but breaking out in fearful examples. And here, again, facts speak as nothing else can.
    1 Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 595, January 26, 1860.


    In proceeding with this duty, to which, as you will perceive, I am impelled by the positive requirements of this debate, I crave indulgence of the Senate, while, avoiding all allusions to private life or private character, and touching simply what is of record, and already "enrolled in the Capitol," I present a few only of many instances, which, especially during these latter days, since Slavery became paramount, have taken their place in our national history.

    [Edward Hyde] Clarendon [1609-1674] has mildly pictured successive Congresses, when, recounting what preceded the Civil War in England, he says:

    "It is not to be denied that there were in all those Parliaments . . . . several passages and distempered speeches of particular persons, not fit for the dignity and honor of those places."1

    But Congress, under the rule of Slavery, has been worse than any Parliament.

    Here is an instance. On the 13th of February, 1837, R. M. Whitney was arraigned before the House of Representatives for contempt, in refusing to attend, when required, before a committee investigating the administration of the Executive office [under President Andrew Jackson]. His excuse was, that

    "he could not attend without exposing himself thereby to outrage and violence"
    in the committee-room; and on examination at the bar of the House, Mr. Fairfield, a member of the Committee, afterward a member of this body, and Governor of Maine, testified to the actual facts. It appeared that Mr. Peyton, a Slave-Master from Tennessee, and a member of the Committee, regarding a certain answer in writing by Mr. Whitney to an interrogatory propounded by him as offensive, broke out in these words:
    "Mr. Chairman, I wish you to inform this witness that he is not to insult me in his
    1 History of the Rebellion, Book I. Vol. I. pp. 8, 9, Oxford, 1826.


    answers; if he does, God damn him, I will take his life upon the spot!"

    Mr. Wise, another Slave-Master, from Virginia, Chairman of the Committee, and latterly Governor of Virginia, then intervened, saying,

    "Yes, this damned insolence is insufferable."

    The witness, thereupon rising, claimed the protection of the Committee; on which Mr. Peyton exclaimed:

    "God damn you, you shan't speak; you shan't say a word while you are in this room; if you do, I will put you to death!"

    Soon after, Mr. Peyton, observing that the witness was looking at him, cried out:

    "Damn him, his eyes are on me; God damn him, he is looking at me; he shan't do it; damn him, he shan't look at me!"

    These things, and much more, disclosed by Mr. Fairfield, in reply to interrogatories in the House, were confirmed by other witnesses; and Mr. Wise himself, in a speech, made the admission that he was armed with deadly weapons, saying: "I watched the motion of that right arm [of the witness], the elbow of which could be seen by me; and had it moved one inch, he had died on the spot. That was my determination."

    All this will be found in the thirteenth volume of the "Congressional Debates," with the evidence in detail, and the discussion thereupon.

    Here is another instance, of similar character, which did not occur in a committee-room, but during debate in the Senate Chamber. While the Compromise Measures were under discussion, on the 17th of April, 1850, Mr. Foote, a Slave-Master from Mississippi, in the course of remarks, commenced personal allusion to Mr. Benton. This was aggravated by the circumstance that only a few days previously he had made this distinguished gentleman the mark for most bitter and vin-


    dictive personalities. Mr. Benton rose at once from his seat, and, with angry countenance, but without weapon of any kind in his hand, or, as appeared afterward before the Committee, on his person, advanced in the direction of Mr. Foote, when the latter, gliding backward, drew from his pocket a five-chambered revolver, full-loaded, which he cocked. Meanwhile Mr. Benton, at the suggestion of friends, was already returning to his seat, when he perceived the pistol. Excited greatly by this deadly menace, he exclaimed:
    "I am not armed. I have no pistols. I disdain to carry arms. Stand out of the way, and let the assassin fire."

    Mr. Foote remained standing in the position he had taken, with pistol in hand, cocked. "Soon after," says the Report of the Committee appointed to investigate this occurrence, "both Senators resumed their seats, and order was restored."

    This will be found at length in the twenty-first volume of the "Congressional Globe."1

    I cite yet another instance from the same authentic record. Mr. Arnold, of Tennessee, had proclaimed himself as "belonging to the Peace party," when Mr. Dawson, of Louisiana, coming to his seat, called him "a damned coward," "a damned blackguard," and then said, that, if Mr. Arnold did not behave better, "he would cut his throat from ear to ear."2

    The Duel, which at home in the Slave States is "twin" with the "street fight," is also "twin" with these instance. It is constantly adopted or attempted by Slave-Masters in Congress. But I shall not enter
    1 See also Senate Reports, 81st Cong. 1st Sess., No. 170.

    2 Speech of Mr. Arnold, January 27, 1841: Congressional Globe, Vol. XI. p. 182. See also "Address to the Inhabitants of New Mexico and California," by William Jay: Miscellaneous Writings, p. 515.


    upon this catalogue. I content myself with showing the openness with which it has been menaced in debate, and without any call to order.

    Mr. Foote, the same Slave-Master already mentioned, in debate in the Senate, the 26th of March, 1850, thus sought to provoke Mr. Benton. I take his words from the "Congressional Globe," Vol. XXI. p. 603.

    "There are incidents in his [Mr. Benton's] history, of somewhat recent occurrence, which might well relieve any man of honor from the obligation to recognize him as a fitting antagonist; yet is it, notwithstanding, true, that, if the Senator from Missouri will deign to acknowledge himself responsible to the laws of honor, he shall have a very early opportunity of proving his prowess in contest with one over whom I hold perfect control; or, if he feels in the least degree aggrieved at anything which has fallen from me, now or formerly, he shall, on demanding it, have full redress accorded him, according to the said laws of honor.

    "I do not denounce him as a coward, such language is unfitted for this [Senate] audience, but, if he wishes to patch up his reputation for courage, now greatly on the wane, he will certainly have an opportunity of doing so, whenever he makes known his desire in the premises. At present he is shielded by his age, his open disavowal of the obligatory force of the laws of honor, and his Senatorial privileges."

    With such bitter taunts and reiterated provocations to the Duel was Mr. Benton pursued; but there was no call to order [under Vice-President Millard Fillmore], nor any action of the Senate on this outrage.

    I give another instance. In debate in the Senate on the 27th February, 1852, Mr. Clemens, a Slave-Master of Alabama, thus directly attacked Mr. Rhett for undertaking to settle their differences by argument in the Senate rather than by the Duel. "No man,"


    said he, "with the feeling of a man in his bosom, would have sought redress here. He would have looked for it elsewhere. He now comes here, not to ask redress in the only way he should have sought it."
    1 There was no call to order.

    Here is still another. In the debate on the Bill for the Improvement of Rivers and Harbors, 29th July, 1854, the Senator from Louisiana [Mr. BENJAMIN], who is still a member of this body, ardent for Slavery, while professing to avoid personal altercation in the Senate, especially "with a gentleman who professes the principles of non-resistance, as he understood the Senator from New York does," proceeded most earnestly to repel an imagined imputation on him by Mr. Seward, and wound up by saying, "If it came from another quarter, it would not be upon this floor that I should answer it."2

    During the present session, the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS], who speaks so often for Slavery, in a colloquy on this floor with the Senator from Vermont [Mr. COLLAMER], maintained the Duel as a mode of settling personal differences, and vindicating what is called personal honor,—as if personal honor did not depend absolutely upon what a man does, and not on what is done to him. After certain refinements on the imagined relations between an insult and the obligation to answer for it, the Senator declared, in reply to the Senator from Vermont, that, in case of insult, taking another out and shooting him might be "satisfaction."3

    I do not dwell on this instance, nor on any of these
    1 Congressional Globe, 32d Cong. 1st Sess., p. 647.

    2 Ibid., 33d Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 1163.

    3 Ibid., 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 1686.


    instance except to make a single comment. These declarations have all been made in open Senate, without any check from the Chair. Of course, they are clear violations of the first principles of Parliamentary Law [Procedure], and tend directly to provoke a violation of the law of the land.

    Here, in the District of Columbia, all duels are prohibited by solemn Act of Congress.1 In case of death, the surviving parties are declared guilty of felony, to be punished by hard labor in the petiitentiary; and even where nothing has occurred beyond the challenge, all the parties to it, whether givers, receivers, or bearers, are declared guilty of high crime and misdemeanor, also to be punished by hard labor in the penitentiary. Of course, every menace of duel in Congress sets this law at defiance.

    And yet Senators, who thus openly disregard a law sanctioned by the Constitution and commended by morality, presume to complain on this floor because other Senators disregard the Fugitive Slave Bill, a statute which, according to the profound convictions of large numbers, is as unconstitutional as it is offensive to the moral sense. Let Senators, whose watchword is "the enforcement of laws," begin by enforcing the statute which declares the Duel to be felony.

    At least let the statute cease to be a dead letter in this Chamber, where the watchword is so often heard. But this is too much to expect while Slavery prevails here; for the Duel is part of that System of Violence which has its origin in Slavery.

    It is when aroused by the Slave Question in Congress that Slave-Masters have most truly shown themselves; and here again I shall speak only of what has already passed into history. Slavery is a perpetual
    1 Act of February 20, 1839 Statutes at Large, Vol. V. p. 318.


    fever-and-ague under which Congress has shaken with alternate heats and chills. Even in that earnest debate, in the first Congress after the Constitution, on the memorial of Dr. [Benjamin] Franklin [1706-1790], simply calling upon Congress to

    "step to the verge of its power to discourage every
    species of traffic in the persons of our fellow-men,"1

    the Slave-Masters became angry, indulged in sneers at "the men in the gallery" being Quakers and Abolitionists, and, according to the faithful historian, [Richard] Hildreth [1807-1865],2 poured out "torrents of abuse," while one of them began the charge so often since directed agaiast all Antislavery men, by declaring his astonishment that Dr. Franklin had

    "given countenance" to "an application which called
    upon Congress, in explicit terms, to break a solemn
    compact to which he himself had been a party,"


    when it was obvious that Dr. Franklin had done no such thing. The great man was soon summoned away by death, but not until he had fastened upm this debate an undying condemnation, by portraying, with matchless pen, a scene in the Divan at Algiers, where a Corsair Slave-Dealer, insisting upon the enslavement of White Christians, is made to repeat the Congressional speech of an American Slave-Master.3

    These displays of Violence naturally increase with the intensity of the discussion. Impelled to be severe, but with little appreciation of debate in its finer forms, they cannot be severe except by violating the rules of debate,—not knowing that there is a serener power than any found in personalities, and that all severity transcending the rules of debate becomes disgusting as the utterance of a Yahoo, and harms him only who
    1 Annals of Congress, 1st Cong. 2d Sess., col. 1198.

    2 History of the United States [New York: Harper & Brothers, 1850], Vol. IV. Ch. 2.

    3 Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. II., pp. 517-521.


    degrades himself to be its mouthpiece. Of course, on such occasions, amidst all seeming triumphs, the cause of Slavery loses, and Truth gains. If men cannot afford to be decent, they ought to suspect the justice of their cause, or at least the motives with which they sustain it; but our Slave-Masters, not seeing the indecency of their conduct, know not their losses. There is waste as well as economy of character; but the latter is found only in the cultivation of those principles which make Slavery impossible.

    John Quincy Adams Against John Quincy Adams [1767-1848] this violence was first directed in full force. To a character spotless as snow, and to universal attainments as a scholar, this illustrious citizen added experience in all the eminent posts of the Republic, which he had filled with an ability and integrity now admitted even by enemies, and which impartial history can never forget.

    Having been President of the United States [March 1825 - March 1829], he entered the House of Representatires at the period when the Slave Question, in its revival, first began to occupy public attention. In all the completeness of his nature, he became the representative of Human Freedom. The first struggle occurred on the Right of Petition, which Slave-Masters, with characteristic tyranny, sought to suppress. This [petition ban] was resisted by the venerable patriot, and what he did was always done with his whole heart. Then was poured upon him abuse "as from a cart," according to a famous phrase of Demosthenes. Slave-Masters, "foaming out their shame," became conspicuous, not less for the avowal of sentiments at which Civilization blushed than for an effrontery of manner where the accidental legislator was lost in the natural overseer, and the lash of the plantation resounded in the voice.


    In an address to his constituents, September 17, 1842, Mr. Adams thus frankly describes the treatment he experienced: —

    "I never can take part in any debate upon an important subject, be it only upon a mere abstraction, but a pack opens upon me of personal invective in return. Language has no word of reproach and railing that is not hurled at me."

    And in the same speech he shows us Slave-Masters:—

    "Where the South cannot effect her object by browbeating, she wheedles."

    On another occasion, he announced, with accustomed power:—

    "Insult, bullying, and threat characterize the Slave-holders in Congress; talk, timidity, and submission, the Representatives from the Free States."

    Nor were the Slave-Masters content with violence of words, or with ejaculation of personalities by which debate became a perpetual syringe .of liquid foulness, and every one seemed to vie with Squirt the apothecary, according to the verse admired by Pope,—

    "Such zeal he had for that vile utensil."1

    True to the instincts of Slavery, they threatened personal indignity of every kind, and even assassination. And here South Carolina naturally took the lead.

    The "Charleston Mercury," which always speaks the true voice of Slavery, said in 1837:—

    "Public opinion in the South would now, we are sure, justify an immediate resort to force by the Southern dele-

    1 Garth, The Dispensary, Canto II. 223.


    gation, even on the floor of Congress, were they forthwith to seize and drag from the Hall any man who dared to insult them, as that eccentric old showman, John Quincy Adams, has dared to do."

    And at a public dinner at Walterborough, in South Carolina, on the 4th of July, 1842, the following toast, afterwards preserved by Mr. Adams in one of his speeches, was drunk with unbounded applause:—

    "May we never want [lack] a Democrat to trip up the heels of a Federalist, or a hangman to prepare a halter for John Quincy Adams! [Nine cheers.]"

    A Slave-Master from South Carolina, Mr. Waddy Thompson, in debate in the House of Representatives, threatened the venerable patriot with the "penitentiary"; and another Slave-Master, Mr. Marshall, of Kentucky, insisted that he should be "silenced." Ominous word! full of incentive to the bludgeon-bearers of Slavery.

    But the great representative of Freedom stood firm. Meanwhile Slavery assumed more and more the port of Giant Maul in "Pilgrim's Progress," who continued with his club breaking skulls, until he was slain by Mr. Great-Heart, soon to join the congenial pilgrims, Mr. Honest, Mr. Valiant-for-Truth, and Mr. Standfast.

    Next to John Quincy Adams, no person in Congress has been more conspicuous for long-continued and patriotic services against Slavery than Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio; nor have any such services received in higher degree that homage found in the personal and most vindictive assaults of Slave-Masters. For more than twenty years he sat in the House of Representatives, bearing his testimony austerely, and never shrinking,


    though exposed to the grossest brutality. In a recent address at New York he has recounted some of these instances.

    On his presentation of resolutions affirming that Slavery was a local institution and could not exist outside of the Slave States, and applying this principle to the case of the "Creole," the House caught the South Carolina fever. A proposition of censure was introduced by Slave-Masters, and under the previous question ['no-debate-allowed' rule] pressed to a vote, without giving him a moment for explanation or reply. This glaring outrage upon freedom of debate was redressed by the constituency of Mr. Giddings, who without delay returned him to his seat. From that time the rage of the Slave-Masters against him was constant. Here is his own brief account.

    "I will not speak of the time when Dawson, of Louisiana, drew a bowie-knife for my assassination. I was afterward speaking with regard to a certain transaction in which negroes were concerned in Georgia, when Mr. Black, of Georgia, raising his bludgeon, and standing in front of my seat, said to me, 'If you repeat that language again, I will knock you down.' It was a solemn moment for me. I had never been knocked down, and, having some curiosity upon that subject, I repeated the language. Then Mr. Dawson, of Louisiana, the same who had drawn the bowie-knife, placed his hand in his pocket and said, with an oath which I will not repeat, that he would shoot me, at the same time cocking the pistol, so that all around me could hear it click."

    Listening to these horrors, ancient stories of Barbarism are all outdone; and the "viper broth," which was a favorite decoction in a barbarous age, seems to be the daily drink of American Slave-Masters. The blas-


    pheming madness of the witches in "Macbeth" is renewed, and they dance again round the caldron, dropping into it "sweltered venom sleeping got," with every other "charm of powerful trouble."

    Men are transformed into wolves, as according to early Greek superstition, and a new lycanthropy has its day. But Mr. Giddings, strong in consciousness of right, knew the dignity of his position. He knew that it is always honorable to serve the cause of Liberty, and that it is a privilege to suffer for this cause. Reproach, contumely, violence even unto death, are rewards, not punishments; and clearly the indignities you offer can excite no shame except for their authors.

    Besides these eminent instances, others may be mentioned, showing the personalities [ad hominem attacks] to which Senators and Representatives are exposed, when undertaking to speak for Freedom. And truth compels me to add, that it would be easy to show how these are grossly aggravated towards individuals who notoriously reject the Duel; for then they can be offered with personal impunity.

    Here is an instance. In 1848, Mr. Hale, the Senator from New Hampshire, who still continues an honor to this body, introduced into the Senate a bill for the protection of property in the District of Columbia, especially against mob-violence, when, in the debate that ensued, Mr. Foote, a Slave-Master from Mississippi, thus menaced him:—

    "I invite the Senator to the good State of Mississippi, and will tell him beforehand, in all honesty, that he could not go ten miles into the interior before he would grace one of the tallest trees of the forest with a rope around his neck, with the approbation of every virtuous and patriotic citizen, and that, if necessary, I should myself assist in the operation."1
    1 Congressional Globe, 30th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 502.


    That this bloody threat may not seem to stand alone, I add two others.

    In 1836, Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, now a Senator, is reported as saying in the House of Representatives:—

    "I warn the Abolitionists, ignorant, infatuated barbarians as they are, that, if chance shall throw any of them into our hands, he may expect a felon's death!"1

    In 1841, Mr. Payne, a Slave-Master from Alabama, in the course of debate in the House of Representatives, alluding to the Abolitionists, among whom he insisted the Postmaster-General ought to be included, declared that

    "He would put the brand of Cain upon them,—yes, the mark of Hell; and if they came to the South, he would hang them like dogs."2

    And these words were applied to men who simply expressed the recorded sentiments of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.

    Even during the present session [1860] of Congress, I find in the "Congressional Globe" the following interruptions of the eloquent and faithful Representative from Illinois, Mr. Lovejoy, when speaking on Slavery. I do not characterize them, but simply cite the language.

    By Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi: —

    "Order that black-hearted scoundrel and nigger-stealing thief to take his seat."

    By Mr. Boyce, of South Carolina, addressing Mr. Lovejoy:—

    "Then behave yourself."
    1 Congressional Globe, 24th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 567.

    2 Ibid., 27th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 387.


    By Mr. Gartrell, of Georgia (in his seat):—

    "The man is crazy."

    By Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, again:—

    "No, Sir, you stand there to-day an infamous, perjured villain."

    By Mr. Ashmore of South Carolina:—

    "Yes, he is a perjured villain; and he perjures himself every hour he occupies a seat on this floor."

    By Mr. Singlebin, of Mississippi:—

    "And a negro thief into the bargain."

    By Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, again:—

    "I hope my colleague will hold no parley with that perjured negro-thief."

    By Mr. Singleton, of Mississippi, again:—

    "No, Sir! any gentleman shall have time, but not such a mean, despicable wretch as that!"

    By Mr. Martin, of Virginia:—

    "And if you come among us, we will do with you as we did with John Brown,—hang you up as high as Haman. I say that as a Virginian."1

    But enough,—enough; and I now turn from this branch of the great subject with a single remark. While exhibiting the Character of Slave-Masters, these numerous instances—and they might be multiplied indefinitely—attest the weakness of their cause. It requires no special talent to estimate the insignificance of an argument that can be supported only by violence. The scholar will not forget the ancient story of the collo-
    1 Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, pp. 203-207.


    quy between Jupiter and a simple countryman. They talked with ease and freedom until they differed, when the angry god at once menaced his honest opponent with a thunderbolt. "Ah! ah!" said the clown, with perfect composure, "now, Jupiter, I know you are wrong. You are always wrong, when you appeal to your thunder."

    And permit me to say, that every appeal, whether to the Duel, the revolver, or the bludgeon, every menace of personal violence and every outrage of language, besides disclosing a hideous Barbarism, also discloses the fevered nervousness of a cause already humbled in debate. And then how impotent!

    Truth, like the sunbeam, cannot be soiled by outward touch, while the best testimony to its might is found in the active passions it provokes. There are occasions when enmity is a panegyric.

    Slave-Masters in Their Unconsciousness.

    (4.) Much as has been said to exhibit the Character of Slave-Masters, the work would be incomplete, if I failed to point out that unconsciousness of its fatal influence which completes the evidence of the Barbarism under which they live. Nor am I at liberty to decline this topic; but I shall be brief.

    That Senators should seriously declare Slavery "ennobling," at least to the master, and "the black marble keystone of our national arch," would excite wonder, if it were not explained by examples of history. There are men who, in the spirit of paradox, make themselves partisans of a bad cause, as Jerome Cardan wrote an Encomium on Nero. But where there is no disposition to paradox, it is natural that a cherished practice should blind those under its influence; nor is there any end to these exaggerations.

    Ed. Note: Example: Tobacco

    According to Thu-


    cydides, piracy in the early ages of Greece was alike wide-spread and honorable; and so much was this the case, that Telemachus and Mentor, on landing at Pylos, were asked by Nestor if they were "pirates,"1 — precisely as in South Carolina the stranger might be asked if he were a Slave-Master. Kidnapping, too, a kindred indulgence, was openly avowed, and I doubt not held to be "ennobling."

    Next to the unconsciousness of childhood is the unconsciousness of Barbarism. The real Barbarian is unconscious as an infant; and the


    Slave-Master shows much of the same character. No New-Zealander exults in his tattoo, no savage of the Northwest Coast exults in his flat head, more than the Slave-Master of these latter days—always, of course with honorable exceptions—exults in his unfortunate ftondition.

    The Slave-Master hugs his disgusting practice as the Carib of the Gulf hugged Cannibalism, and as Brigham Young [1801-1877] now hugs Polygamy.

    The delusion of the Goitre is repeated. This prodigious swelling of the neck, nothing less than a loathsome wallet of flesh pendulous upon the breast, and sometimes so enormous, that the victim, unable to support the burden, crawls along the ground, is common to the population on the slopes of the Alps;2 but, accustomed to this deformity, the sufferer comes to regard it with pride,—as Slave-Masters with us, unable to support their burden, and crawling along the ground, regard Slavery,—and it is said that those who have no swelling are laughed at and called "goose-necked."3
    1 Thucydides, Hist. Belli Pelop., Lib. I. cap. 6. Odyssey, III. 73.

    2 "Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus?" —Decimus JUVENAL [60 A.D. - 140 A.D.], Sat. XIII., 162.

    3 [John] Murray's Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland [London], 8th ed., Introduction, § 18 [An oft-published travel guide, e.g., 1838, 1851, 1854, 1856, 1858, etc.].


    With knowledge comes distrust and the modest consciousness of imperfection; but the pride [anosognosia] of Barbarism has no such limitation. It dilates in the thin air of ignorance, and makes boasts. Surely, if the illustrations which I have presented to-day are not entirely inapplicable, then must we find in the boasts of Slave-Masters new occasion to regret that baleful influence under which even love of country is lost in love of Slavery, and the great motto of Franklin is reversed, so as to read, Ubi Servitudo, ibi Patria.

    It is this same influence which renders Slave-Masters insensible to those characters which are among the true glories of the Republic,—which makes them forget that [Thomas] Jefferson [1743-1826], who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and [George] Washington [1732-1799], who commanded our armies, were Abolitionists,—which renders them indifferent to the inspiring words of the one and the commanding example of the other.

    Of these great men it is the praise, well deserving perpetual mention, and grudged only by malign influence, that, reared amidst Slavery, they did not hesitate to condemn it. Jefferson, in repeated utterances, alive with the fire of genius and truth, has contributed the most important testimony to Freedom ever pronounced in this hemisphere, in words equal to the cause; and Washington, often quoted as a Slave-Master, in the solemn dispositions of his last will and testament, has contributed an example which is beyond even the words of Jefferson. Do not, Sir, call him Slave-Master, who entered into the presence of his Maker only as Emancipator of his slaves.

    The difference between such men and the Slave-Masters whom I expose to-day is so precise that it cannot be mistaken. The first looked down upon Slavery; the second look up to


    Slavery. The first, recognizing its wrong, were at once liberated from its insidious influence; while the latter, upholding it as right and "ennobling," must naturally draw from it motives of conduct.

    The first, conscious of the character of Slavery, were not rnisled by it; the second, dwelling in unconsciousness of its true character, surrender blindly to its barbarous tendencies and, verifying the words of the poet,—

    "So perfect is their misery,
    Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
    But boast themselves more comely than before." 1

    Summary of Part I, and Transition

    Mr. President, it is time to close this branch of the argument. The Barbarism of Slavery has been exposed,

    From this exposure I proceeded to consider the influence on Slave-Masters, whose true character stands confessed,— ____________
    1 [John] Milton [1608-1674], Comus,78-76.


    home, under the immediate influence of Slavery,

    while the whole gloomy array of unquestionable facts is closed by the melancholy unconsciousness which constitutes one of the distinctive features of this Barbarism.

    Such is my answer to the assumption of fact in behalf of Slavery by Senators on the other side.

    Slave-Masters' Character In Europe

    But before passing to that other assumption, of Constitutional Law, which forms the second branch of this discussion, I add testimony to the influence of Slavery on Slave-Masters in other countries, which is too important to be neglected, and may properly find place here.

    Among those who have done most to press forward in Russia that sublime act of emancipation by which the present Emperor [Alexander II] is winning lustre, not only for his own country, but for our age, is M. Tourgueneff. Originally a Slave-Master himself, with numerous slaves, and residing where Slavery prevailed, he saw, with the instincts of a noble character, the essential Barbarism of this relation, and in an elaborate work on Russia, which is now before me, exposed it with rare ability and courage. Thus he speaks of its influence on Slave-Masters:—


    "But if Slavery degrades the slave, it degrades the master more. This is an old adage, and long observation has proved to me that this adage is not a paradox. In fact, how can that man respect his own dignity, his own rights, who has not learned to respect either the rights or the dignity of his fellow-man?

    "What control can the moral and religious sentiments have over a person who sees himself invested with a power so eminently contrary to morality amd religion? The continual exercise of an unjust claim, even when moderated, ends in corrupting the character of the man, and perverting his judgment. . . .

    "The possession of a slave being the result of injustice, the relations of the master with the slave cannot be otherwise than a succession of wrongs. Among good masters (and it is agreed so to call those who do not abuse their power as much as they might) these relations are invested with forms less repugnant than among other masters; but here the difference ends. Who can remain always pure, when, induced by disposition, excited by temper, influenced by caprice, he may with impunity oppress, insult, humiliate his fellow-men?

    "And be it remarked, that enlightenment, civilization, do not avail here. The enlightened man, the civilized man, is nevertheless a man; that he may not oppress, it is necessary that it should be impossible for him to oppress. All men cannot, like Louis the Fourteenth [1643-1715], throw the cane out of the window, when they feel an inclination to strike."1

    Another authority, unimpeachable at all points, whose fortune it has been, from extensive travels, to see Slavery in the most various forms, and Slave-Masters under the most various conditions,—I refer to the great African traveller, Dr. [David] Livingstone [1813-1873],—thus touches the character of Slave-Masters:—

    "I can never cease to be most unfeignedly thankful that I was not born in a land of slaves. No one can under-
    1 La Russie et Les Russes, Tom. II. pp. 157, 158.


    stand the effect of the unutterable meanness of the slave system on the minds of those who, but for the strange obliquity which prevents them from feeling the degradation of not being gentlemen enough to pay for services rendered, would be equal in virtue to ourselves. Fraud becomes as natural to them as 'paying one's way' is to the rest of mankind."1

    And so does the experience of Slavery in other countries confirm the sad experience among us.


    DISCARDING now all presumptuous boasts for Slavery, and bearing in mind its essential Barbarism, I come to consider that second assumption of Senators on the other side, which is, of course inspired by the first, even if not its immediate consequence, that, under the Constitution, Slave-Masters may take their slaves into the National Territories, and there continue to hold them, as at home in the Slave States,—and that this would be the case in any territory newly acquired by purchase or by war, as of Mexico on the South or Canada on the North.

    Here I begin with the remark, that, as the assumption of Constitutional Law is inspired by the assumption of fact with regard to the "ennobling" character of Slavery, so it must lose much, if not all of its force, when the latter assumption is shown to be false, as has been done to-day.

    When Slavery is seen to be the Barbarism which it is, there are few who would not cover it from sight, rather than insist upon sending it abroad with the flag
    1 Missionary Travels, Chap. II. p. 89.


    of the Republic. Only because people have been insensible to its true character have they tolerated for a moment its exorbitant pretensions. Therefore this long exposition, where Slavery stands forth in fivefold Barbarism, with the single object of compelling men to work without wages, naturally prepares the way to consider the assumption of Constitutional Law.

    This assumption may be described as an attempt to Africanize the Constitution by introducing into it the barbarous Law of Slavery, originally derived, as we have seen, from barbarous Africa,—and then, through such Africanization of the Constitution, to Africanize the Territories, and Africanize the National Government. In using this language to express the obvious effect of this assumption, I borrow a suggestive term, first employed by a Portuguese writer at the beginning of this century, when protesting against the spread of Slavery in Brazil.1

    Analyze the assumption, and it is found to stand on two pretensions, either of which failing, the assumption fails also. These two are, first, the peculiar African pretension of property in man,—and, secondly, the pretension that such property is recognized in the Constitution.

    With regard to the first of these pretensions, I might simply refer to what has been said at an earlier stage of the argument. But I should do injustice to the part it plays in this controversy, if I did not again notice it. Then I sought particularly to show its Barbarism; now I shall show something more.

    Property implies an owner and a thing owned. On the one side is a human being, and on the other side a thing. But the very idea of a human being necessarily
    1 [Henry] Koster, Travels in Brazil [Philadelphia: M. Carey & Son, 1817, reprinted 1969], p. 449. [Reprinted, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1966].


    excludes the idea of property in that being, just as the very idea of a thing necessarily excludes the idea of a human being. It is clear that a thing cannot be a human being, and it is equally clear that a human being cannot be a thing. And the law itself, when it adopts the phrase, "relation of master and slave," confesses its reluctance to sanction the claim of property. It shrinks from the pretension of Senators, and satisfies itself with a formula which does not openly degrade human nature.

    If this property does exist, out of what title is it derived? Under what ordinance of Nature or of Nature's God is one human being stamped an owner and another stamped a thing? God is no respecter of persons [Acts 10:34]. Where is the sanction for this respect of certain persons to a degree which becomes outrage to other persons?

    God is the Father of the Human Family, and we all are his children. Where, then, is the sanction of this pretension by which a brother lays violent hands upon a brother? To ask these questions is humiliating; but it is clear there can be but one response. There is no sanction for such pretension, no ordinance for it, no title.

    On all grounds of reason, and waiving all questions of "positive" statute, the Vermont Judge [Harrington] was nobly right, when, rejecting the claim of a Slave-Master, he said,

    "No, not until you show a Bill of Sale from the Almighty."

    Nothing short of this impossible link in the chain of title would do.

    Ed. Note: This case was still being cited in 1883.

    I know something of the great judgments by which the jurisprudence of our country is illustrated; but I doubt if there is anything in the wisdom of [John] Marshall [1755-1835], the learning of [Joseph] Story [1779-1845], or the completeness of [James] Kent [1763-1847], which will brighten with time like this honest decree.


    Rebutting Jefferson Davis' Racial Claims

    Senator Jefferson DavisThe intrinsic feebleness of this pretension is apparent in the intrinsic feebleness of the arguments by which it is maintained. These are twofold, and both were put forth in recent debate by the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS].

    The first is the alleged inferiority of the African race,—an argument instructive to the Slave-Master. The law of life is labor. Slavery is a perpetual effort to evade this law by compelling the labor of others; and such an attempt at evasion is naturally supported by the pretension, that, because the African is inferior, therefore he may be enslaved.

    But this pretension, while surrendering to Slavery a whole race, leaves it uncertain whether the same principle may not be applied to other races, as to the polished Japanese who are now the guests of the nation,1 and even to persons of obvious inferiority among the white race.

    Indeed, the latter pretension is openly set up in other quarters. The "Richmond Enquirer," a leading journal of Slave-Masters, declares,

    "The principle of Slavery is in itself right, and
    does not depend on difference of complexion."

    And a leading writer among Slave-Masters, George Fitzhugh, of Virginia, in his "Sociology for the South" [Richmond: A. Morris Pub, 1854], declares,

    "Slavery, black or white, is right and necessary.
    Nature has made the weak in mind or body for slaves."

    In the same vein, a Democratic paper of South Carolina has said,

    "Slavery is the


    natural and normal condition of the laboring man, black or white."

    Ed. Note: Such comments widely concerned Northerners.

    These more extravagant pretensions reveal still further the feebleness of the pretension put forth by the
    1 A considerable embassy [delegation] with a numerous suite was received at Washington about this time.


    Senator, while instances, accumulating constantly, attest the difficulty of discriminating between the two races. Mr. Paxton, of Virginia, tells us that "the best blood in Virginia flows in the veins of the slaves" ; and more than one fugitive has been advertised latterly as possessing "a round face," "blue eyes," "flaxen hair," and as "escaping under the pretence of being a white man."

    This is not the time to enter upon the great question of race, in the various lights of religion, history, and science. Sure I am that they who understand it best will be least disposed to the pretension which, on an assumed ground of inferiority, would condemn one race to be the property of another. If the African race be inferior, as is alleged, then unquestionably a Christian Civilization must lift it from degradation, not by the lash and the chain, not by this barbarous pretension of ownership, but by a generous charity, which shall be measurd precisely by the extent of inferiority.

    The second argument put forward for this pretension, and twice related by the Senator from Mississippi, is, that the Africans are the posterity of Ham, the son of Noah, through Canaan, who was cursed by Noah, to be the "servant"—that is the word employed—of his brethren [Genesis 9:25], and that this malediction has fallen upon all his descendants, who are accordingly devoted by God to perpetual bondage, not only in the third and fourth generations, but throughout all sucpeeding time.

    Surely, when the Senator [Jefferson Davis] quoted Scripture to enforce the claim of Slave-Masters, he did not intend a jest. And yet it is hard to suppose him in earnest. The Senator is Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, where he is doubtless experienced. He may, perhaps,


    set a squadron in the field; but, evidently, he has considered very little the text of Scripture on which he relies. The Senator assumes that it has fixed the doom of the colored race, leaving untouched the white race. Perhaps he does not know, that, in the worst days of the Polish aristocracy, this same argument was adopted as excuse for holding white serfs in bondage, precisely as it is now put forward by the Senator, and that even to this day the angry Polish noble addresses his white peasant as "Son of Ham."

    It hardly comports with the gravity of this debate to dwell on such an argument; and yet I cannot go wrong, if, for the sake of a much injured race, I brush it away.

    Ed. Note: Rev. John Rankin, Letters on American Slavery (1823), pp 73-76, had written a similar rebuttal as Sumner here correctly elaborates.

    To justify the Senator in his application of this ancient curse, he must maintain at least five different propositions, as essential links in the chain of the Afric-American slave:

    • first, that by this malediction Canaan himself was actually changed into a "chattel,"—whereas he is simple made the "servant" of his brethren;

    • secondly, that not merely Canaan, but all his posterity, to the remotest generation, was so changed,—whereas the [Genesis 9:25] language has no such extent;

    • thirdly, that the Afric-American actually belongs to the posterity of Canaan,—an ethnological assumption absurdly difficult to establish;

    • fourthly, that each of the descendants of Shem and Japheth has a right to hold an Afric-American fellowiman as a "chattel,"—a proposition which finds no semblance of support; and,

    • fifthly, that every Slave-Master is truly descended from Shem or Japheth,—a pedigree which no anxiety can establish.
    This plain analysis, which may fitly excite a smile, shows the fivefold absurdity of an attempt to found this pretension on any


    "successive title, long and dark,
    Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah's ark."1

    From the character of these two arguments for property in man, I am brought to its denial.

    Anti-slavery Constitution

    It is natural that Senators who pretend, that, by the Law of Nature, man may hold property in man, should find this pretension in the Constitution. But the pretension is as much without foundation in the Constitution as it is without foundation in Nature.

    It is not too much to say that there is not one sentence, phrase, or word, not a single suggestion, hint, or equivocation, even, out of which any such pretension can be implied,—while great national acts and important contemporaneous declarations in the Convention which framed the Constitution, in different forms of language, and also controlling rules of interpretation, render this pretension impossible.

    Partisans, taking counsel of their desires, find in the Constitution, as in the Scriptures, what they incline [want] to find [eisegesis]; and never was this more apparent than when Slave-Masters deceive themselves so far as to find in the Constitution a pretension which exists only in their own minds.

    Looking for one moment juridically at this question, we are brought to the conclusion, according to the admission of courts and jurists, first in Europe and then in our own country, that Slavery can be derived from no doubtful word or mere pretension, but only from clear and special recognition.

    "The state of Slavery," said Lord Mansfield, pronouncing judgment in the great case of Somerset, "is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but

    1 John Dryden [1631-1700], Absalom and Achitophel, Part I. 301, 303.


    only by positive law. It is so odious that nothing can be suffered to support it but POSITIVE LAW,"

    —that is, express words of a written text; and this principle, which commends itself to the enlightened reason, is adopted by several courts in the Slave States.

    Of course every leaning must be against Slavery. A pretension so peculiar and offensive, so hostile to reason, so repugnant to the Laws of Nature and the inborn Rights of Man, which, in all its fivefold wrong, has no other object than to compel fellow-men to work without wages,—such a pretension, so tyrannical, so unjust, so mean, so barbarous, can find no place in any system of government, unless by virtue of positive sanction. It can spring from no doubtful phrase. It must be declared by unambiguous words, incapable of a double sense.

    At the adoption of the Constitution [1787-1789], this [English anti-slavery] rule, promulgated [in Somerset v Stewart] in the Court of King's Bench by the voice of the most finished [learned] magistrate [Lord Mansfield] in English history,

    • was as well known in our country as any principle of the Common Law;

    • especially was it known to the eminent lawyers in the [1787 Constitutional] Convention;

    • nor is it too much to say that the Constitution was framed with this rule on Slavery as a guide.

    This view parallels that of George Mellen, Unconstitutionality of Slavery (Boston: Saxton & Pierce, 1841), pp 30-33; and Alvan Stewart, Speech on Slavery Unconstitutionality (New York: Finch & Weed, 1845), p 42.
    In law, the framers of a constitution are presumed to have knowledge of judicial construction of existing constitutional provisions. Jones v Ypsilanti, 26 Mich App 574; 182 NW2d 795 (1970).
    And in fact, "Chief Justice Marshall (12 Wheat. 653, 654 [1827)]) lays great stress on the framers of the constitution having been acquainted with the principles of the common law, and acting in reference to them. Most of them were able lawyers; and certainly able lawyers drew up, and revised the instrument. Are we, then, to believe, that if they had any design to take away the common law right, or to authorize congress to take it away or to impair it; they would, knowing the rules of construction cited, and like common law maxims, have used the language they have? There is the strongest reason to believe, from the language, it was adopted for the purpose of preserving it [the right], and to reserve from congress any power over it. This probability arises, almost irresistibly, from the language used; and under the circumstances that it was used. . . . This case, and all the law on this subject, discussed and decided by it, must have been known to the lawyers of the [constitutional] convention." Wheaton v Peters, 33 US 591, 602; 8 Peters, 8 L Ed 1055, 1059 (1834).

    And the Supreme Court of the United States, at a later day, by the lips of Chief Justice [John] Marshall [1855-1835], promulgated this same rule, in words stronger even than those of Lord Mansfield, saying:

    "Where rights are infringed, where fundamental principles are overthrown, where the general system of the laws is departed from, the legislative intention must be expressed with irresistible clearness, to induce a court of justice to suppose a design to effect such objects."1

    It is well known, however, that these two declarations are
    1 United States v. Fisher et als., 2 Cranch, 390 [6 US 358, 390; 2 L Ed 304, 314 (1804)].


    little more than new forms for the ancient rule of the Common Law,
  • as expressed by Fortescue: Impius et crudelis judicandus est qui Libertati non favet: "He is to be adjudged impious and cruel who does not favor Liberty,"1—and

  • as expressed by Blackstone, "The law is always ready to catch at anything in favor of Liberty."2
  • But, as no prescription runs against the King, so no prescription is allowed to run against Slavery, while all the early victories of Freedom are set aside by the Slave-Masters of to-day. The prohibition of Slavery in the Missouri Territory, and all the precedents, legislative and judicial, for the exercise of this power, admitted from the beginning until now, are overturned.

    At last, bolder grown, Slave-Masters do not hesitate to assail that principle of jurisprudence which makes Slavery the creature of "positive law" alone, to be upheld only by words of "irresistible clearness." The case of Somerset, in which this great rule was declared, is impeached [ridiculed by slavers] on this [U.S. Senate] floor, as the Declaration of Independence is also impeached [ridiculed by them].

    Ed. Note: See Abraham Lincoln's comment on such Southern ridicule of the Declaration of Independence.

    And here the Senator from Louisiana [Mr. BENJAMIN] takes the lead, with the assertion, that in the history of English law there are earlier cases, where a contrary principle was declared.

    Permit me to say that no such cases, even if hunted up in authentic reports, can impair the influence of this well-considered authority. The Senator knows well that an old and barbarous case is a poor answer to a principle brought into activity by the demands of advancing Civilization, and which, once recognized, can never be denied. Pardon me, if I remind him that Jurispru-
    1 De Laudibus Legum Angliæ, Cap. XLII.

    2 Commentaries, Vol. II. p. 94.


    dence is not a dark-lantern, shining in a narrow circle, and never changing, but a gladsome light, which, slowly emerging from original darkness, grows and spreads with human improvement, until at last it becomes as broad and general as the Light of Day. When the Senator, in this age, leaguing all his forces, undertakes to drag down that immortal principle [Ed. Note: the "positive law" concept cited in the Somerset v Stewart decision] which nade Slavery impossible in England, as, thank God! it makes Slavery impossible under the Constitution, he vainly tugs to drag down a luminary from the sky.

    The enormity of the [false Southern] pretension that Slavery is sanctioned by the Constitution becomes still more flagrant, when we read the Constitution in the light of great national acts and of contemporaneous authorities. First comes the Declaration of Independence, the illuminated initial letter of our history, which in familiar words announces

    "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
    Nor does this Declaration, binding the consciences of all who enjoy the privileges it secured, stand alone.

    There is another national act, less known, but in itself a key to the first, when, at the successful close of the Revolution, the Continental Congress, in a solemn Address to the States, grandly announced:

    "Let it be remembered that it has ever been the pride and boast of America, that the rights for which she contended were the Rights of Human Nature. By the blessing of the Author of these rights on the means exerted for their defence, they have prevailed against all opposition, and form THE


    BASIS of thirteen independent States."1

    Now whatever may be the privileges of States in their individual capacities, within their several local jurisdictions, no power can be attributed to the nation, in the absence of positive, unequivocal grant, inconsistent with these two national declarations. Here is the national heart, the national soul, the national will, the national voice, which must inspire our interpretation of the Constitution, and enter into and diffuse itself through all the national legislation. Such are commanding authorities which make "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," and, in more general words, "the Rights of Human Nature," as the basis of our national institutions, without distinction of race, or absurd recognition of the [purported] curse of Ham. [Details by Cheever and others including Sumner.]

    In strict harmony with these are the many utterances in the Convention vhich framed the Constitution:

    • of Gouverneur Morris [1752-1816], of Pennsylvania, who announced that "he never would concur in upholding Domestic Slavery; it was a nefarious institution";2

    • of Elbridge Gerry [1744-1814], of Massachusetts, who said that "we had nothing to do with the conduct of the States as to slaves, but ought to be careful not to give any sanction to it";3

    • of Roger Sherman [1721-1793] and Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut, and Mr. Gorham, of Massachusetts, who all concurred with Mr. Gerry;4

    • and especially of Mr. [James] Madison [1751-1836], of Virginia, who, in a phrase which cannot be quoted too often, "THOUGHT IT WRONG TO ADMIT IN THE CONSTITUTION THE IDEA THAT THERE COULD BE PROP-
    1 Address to the States, April 26, 1783: Journal of Congress, Vol. VIII., p. 201.

    2 Madison's Debates in the Federal Convention, August 8, 1787.

    3 Ibid., August 22.

    4 Ibid., August 21, 22, 25.


    ERTY IN MEN."1

    And, lastly, as if to complete the elaborate work of Freedom, and to embody all these utterances, the word "servitude," which had [earlier, preliminarily] been allowed in the clause on the apportionment of Representatives, was struck out, and the word "service" substituted. This final and total exclusion from the Constitution of the idea of proparty in man was on the nation of Mr. Randolph, of Virginia; and the reason assigned for the substitution, according to Mr. Madison, in his authentic report of the debate, was, that

    "the former was thought to express the condition of slaves, and the latter the obligations of free persons."2

    Thus, at every point, by great national declarations, by frank utterances in the Convention, and by positive act in adjusting the text of the Constitution, was the idea of property in man unequivocally rejected.

    This [contrary] pretension [by slavers], which may be dismissed as utterly baseless, becomes absurd, when it is considered to what result it necessarily conducts. If the Barbarism of Slavery, in all its fivefold wrong, is really embodied in the Constitution, so as to be beyond reach of prohibition, either Congressional or local, in the Territories, then, for the same reason, it must be beyond reach of prohibition, even by local authority, in the States themselves, and, just so long as the Constitution continues unchanged, Territories and States alike must be exposed to all its blast-


    ing influences.

    [Do we not witness this result in open attempts now made by Slave-Masters to travel with their slaves in the Free States? Calling the slave-roll in the shadow of Bunker Hill, according to well-known menace, will be the triumph of this
    1 Madison's Debates in the Federal Convention, August 25, 1787.

    2 Ibid., September 13.



    And yet this pretension, which in natural consequences overturns State Rights, is announced by Senators who profess to be special guardians of State Rights.

    The So-Called 'Fugitive Slave' Clause

    Nor does this pretension derive any support from the much debated clause in the Constitution for the rendition of fugitives from "service or labor," on which so much stress is constantly put. I do not occupy your time now on this head for two reasons:

    • first, because, having on a former occasion exhibited with great fulness the character of that clause, I am unwilling now thus incidentally to open the question upon it; and,

    • secondly, because, whatever may be its character—admitting that it confers power upon Congress,—and admitting, also, what is often denied, that, in defiance of commanding rules of interpretation, the equivocal words there employed have that "irresistible clearness" which is necessary in taking away Human Rights,—
    yet nothing can be clearer than that the fugitives, whosoever they be, are regarded under the Constitution as persons, and not as property.

    Ed. Note: For a fuller analysis of this clause, see Lysander Spooner, Unconstitutionality of Slavery (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1845), pp 67-73 and 279-289.

    I disdain to dwell on that other argument, brought forward by Senators, who, denying the Equality of Men, speciously assert the Equality of the States, and from this principle, true in many respects, jump to the conclusion, that Slave-Masters are entitled, in the name of Equality, to take slaves into the National Territories, under solemn safeguard of the Constitution. This argument comes back to the first pretension, that slaves are recognized as "property" in the Constitution. To that pretension, already amply exposed, we are always brought, nor can any sounding allegation of State Equality avoid it. And yet this very argument be-


    trays the inconsistency of its authors.

    The 'Three-Fifths' Clause

    If persons held to service in the Slave States are "property" under the Constitution, then under the provision known as "the three-fifths rule," which founds representation in the other House on such persons, there is a property representation from the Slave States, with voice and vote, while there is no such property representation from the Free States. With glaring inequality, the representation of Slave States is founded, first, on "persons," and, secondly, on a large part of their pretended property, while the representation of the Free States is founded simply on "persons," leaving all their boundless millions of property unrepresented.

    Ed. Note: For a fuller analysis of the 'three-fifths' clause, see Lysander Spooner, Unconstitutionality of Slavery (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1845), pp 73-81, and 238-247.
    For a fuller analysis of impact, the South attaining a disproportionate role in the Electoral College, see Lewis Tappan, Address to the Non-slaveholders of the South: on The Social and Political Evils of Slavery (New York: S.W. Benedict, 1843) pp 50-52.

    Thus, whichever way we approach it, the absurdity of this pretension becomes manifest. Assuming the pretension of property in man under the Constitution, you upset the whole theory of State Equality, for you disclose a gigantic inequality between the Slave States and the Free States; and assuming the Equality of States, in the House of Representatives as elsewhere, you upset the whole pretension of property in man under the Constitution.

    So-Called 'Popular Sovereignty'

    Nor will I deign to dwell on one other argument, which, in the name of Popular Sovereignty, undertakes to secure for the people in the Territories the wicked power—sometimes, by confusion of terms, called "right"—to enslave their fellow-men: as if this pretension was not crushed at once by the Declaration of Independence, when it announced that all governments "derive their just powers from the consent of the governed"; and as if anywhere within the jurisdiction of the Constitution, which contains no sentence, phrase, or word sanctioning this outrage, and which [as per the Somerset decision] carefully excludes the idea of property in man, while it surrounds all persons with


    the highest safeguards of a citizen, such pretension could exist. Whatever it may be elsewhere, Popular Sovereignty within the sphere of the Constitution has its limitations. Claiming for all the largest liberty of a true Civilization, it compresses all within the constraints of Justice; nor does it allow any man to assert a right to do what he pleases, except when he pleases to do right. As well within the Territories attempt to make a king as attempt to make a slave. Beyond all doubt, no majority can be permitted to pass on the question, whether fellow-men shall be bought and sold like cattle.

    There are rights which cannot be "voted up" or "voted down," according to phrases of the Senator from Illinois [Mr. {Stephen} DOUGLAS {1813-1861}], for they are above all votes.

    Ed. Note: Sumner is correct. The Supreme Court agreed, people cannot vote to violate others' constitutional rights.
    "The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.

    "One's right to life, liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no election." West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, 319 US 624, 638; 63 S Ct 1178; 87 L Ed 1628 (1943). And Romer v Evans, 517 US 620; 116 S Ct 1620; 134 L Ed 2d 855 (1996).

    The very act of voting upon the question of reducing men to bondage is a heinous wrong, for it assumes that we may do unto others what we would not have them do unto us [Matthew 7:12]. But this pretension,—rejected alike by every Slave-Master and by every lover of Freedom,—

    "Where I behold a factious band agree
    To call it Freedom, when themselves are free,"1

    proceeding originally from vain effort to avoid the impending question between Freedom and Slavery,—assuming a delusive phrase of Freedom as a cloak for Slavery,—speaking with the voice of Jacob, while its hands are the hands of Esau [Genesis 27:22],—and, by plausible nickname, enabling politicians sometimes to deceive the public, and sometimes even to deceive themselves,—may be dismissed with other kindred pretensions for Slavery; while the Senator from Illinois [Mr. DOUGLAS], who, if not inventor, has been its boldest defender, will learn that Slave-Masters, for whom he has done so
    1 Goldsmith, The Traveller, 383, 384.


    much, cannot afford to be generous—that their gratitude is founded on what they expect, and not on what they receive,—and that, having its root in desi« rather than in fruition, it necessarily withers and dies with the power to serve them. The Senator, revolving these things, may confess the difficulty of his position and perhaps

    "remember Milo's end,
    Wedged in that timber which he strove to rend."1

    Ed. Note: Sumner here alludes to the fact that Douglass, nominated for President in 1860, was being deserted by slavers, in favor of candidates of their own, despite Douglas' trying to curry their favor by compromising the Bill of Rights, by letting people vote on whether to obey it! Douglas, especially once the Civil War began, did come to realize Sumner had been right.

    The pretension that in the Territories Slavery may be "voted up" or "voted down," as the few people there see fit, is a novelty, and its partisans, besides a general oblivion of great principles, most strangely forget the power of Congress "to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States," limited only by temporary exception in favor of "the migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit" until 1808.

    Ed. Note: For a better analysis of the 'migration or importation' clause, see Lysander Spooner, Unconstitutionality of Slavery (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1845), pp 81-87.

    These express words, solemnly accepted as part of the Constitution, attest the power of Congress to prevent "the migration" of slaves into the Territories. The migration or importation of slaves into any State existing at the adoption of the Constitution was tolerated until 1808; but from that date the power of Congress became plenary to prohibit their "importation" from abroad or "migration" among existing States, while from the beginning this power was plenary to prevent their "migration" into the Territories.

    And as early as 1804 Congress exercised this power, by providing that no slave should be introduced into the Territory of Orleans, except by a citizen of the United States removing thither for actual settlement, and at
    1 Roscommon, Essay on Translated Verse, 87, 88.


    the time bona fide owner of such slave; and every slave imported or brought into the Territory, contrary to this provision, is declared free.1

    In this unquestioned exercise of a beneficent power, at a time when the authors of the Constitution were still on the stage, and the temporary exception in favor of existing States was in force, we have a precedent of unanswerable authority, establishing the power of Congress to exclude Slavery from the Territories, even if it be assumed, that, under the Constitution, this five-headed Barbarism can find place anywhere within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Nation.

    Here I close this branch of the argument, which I have treated less fully than the first, partly because time and strength fail me, but chiefly because the Barbarism of Slavery, when fully established, supersedes all other inquiry. Enough is done on this head.


    At the risk of repetition, I gather it together. The assumption, that Slave-Masters, under the Constitution, may take their slaves into Territories and continue to hold them as in States, stands on two pretensions,—

    • first, that man may hold property in man, and,

    • secondly, that this property is recognized in the Constitution.

    But we have seen that the pretended property in man stands on no reason [evidence], while the two special arguments by which it is asserted—first, an alleged inferiority of race, and, secondly, the ancient curse of Ham—are grossly insufficient to uphold such pretension.

    And we have next seen

    • that this pretension has as little support in the Constitution as in reason;
    1 Acts of 8th Cong. 1st Sess., Ch. 38, sec. 10, March 26, 1804: United States Statutes at Large, Vol. II. p. 286.


    • that Slavery is of such an offensive character, that it can find support only in "positive" sanction, and words of "irresistible clearness";

    • that this benign rule, questioned in the senate, is consistent with the principles of an advanced Civilization;

    • that no such "positive" sanction, in words of "irresistible clearness," can be found in the Constitution,

    • while, in harmony with the Declaration of Independence, and the Address of the Continental Congress, the contemporaneous declarations in the [Constitutional] Convention, and especially the act of the Convention substituting "service" for "servitude," on the ground that the latter expressed "the condition of slaves,"

    • all attest that the pretension that man can hold property in man was carefully, scrupulously, and completely excluded from the Constitution,

    • so that it has no semblance of support in that sacred text;

    • nor is this pretension, which is unsupported in the Constitution, helped by the two arguments, one in the name of State Equality, and the other in the name of Popular Sovereignty, both of which are properly put aside.

    Sir, the true principle, which, reversing all assumptions of Slave-Masters, makes Freedom national and Slavery sectional, while every just claim of the Slave States is harmonized with the irresistible predominance of Freedom under the Constitution, was declared at Chicago.1

    Not questioning the right of each State, whether South Carolina or Turkey, Virginia or Russia, to order and control its domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, the Convention there assembled has explicitly announced Freedom to
    1 By the [16-19 May 1860] Republican Convention, which nominated Abraham Lincoln and adopted a platform of principles.


    be "the normal condition of all the territory of the United States," and has explicitly denied
    "the authority of Congress, of a Territorial Legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States."

    Such is the triumphant response by the aroused millions of the North to the assumption of Slave-Masters, that the Constitution, of its own force, carries Slavery into the Territories, and also to the device of politicians, that the people of the Territories, in the exercise of a dishonest Popular Sovereignty, may plant Slavery there.

    This response is complete at all points, whether the Constitution acts upon the Territories before their organization, or only afterward; for, in the absence of a Territorial Government, there can be no "positive" law in words of " irresistible clearness" for Slavery, as there can be no such law, when a Territorial Government is organized, under the Constitution. Thus the normal [free] condition of the Territories is confirmed by the Constitution, which, when extended over them, renders Slavery impossible, while it writes upon the soil and engraves upon the rock everywhere the law of impartial Freedom, without distinction of color or race.

    Mr. President, this argument is now closed. Pardon me for the time I have occupied. It is long since [May 1856 when] I [last] made any such claim upon your attention. Pardon me, also, if I have said anything I ought not to have said. I have spoken frankly and from the heart,—if severely, yet only with the severity of a sorrowful candor, calling things by their right names, and letting historic facts tell their unimpeachable story. I have spoken in patriotic hope of contributing to the wel-


    fare of my country, and also in assured conviction that this utterance to-day will find response in generous souls. I believe that I have said nothing which is not sustained by well-founded argument or well-founded testimony, nothing which can be controverted without direct assault upon reason or upon truth.

    The two assumptions of Slave-Masters are answered. But this is not enough. Let the answer become a legislative act, by the admission of Kansas as a Free State. Then will the Barbarism of Slavery be repelled, and the pretension of property in man be rebuked.

    Such an act, closing this long struggle by assurance of peace to the Territory, if not of tranquillity to the whole country, will be more grateful still as herald of that better day, near at hand, when Freedom will find a home everywhere under the National Government, when the National Flag, wherever it floats, on sea or land, within the national jurisdiction, will cover none but freemen, and the Declaration of Independence, now reviled in the name of Slavery, will be reverenced as the American Magna Charta of Human Rights.

    Ed. Note: See Abraham Lincoln's comment on Southern reviling of the Declaration of Independence.

    Nor is this all. Such an act will be the first stage in those triumphs by which the Republic, lifted in character so as to become an example to mankind, will enter at last upon ite noble "prerogative of teaching the nations how to live."

    Thus, Sir, speaking for Freedom in Kansas, I have spoken for Freedom everywhere, and for Civilization; and as the less is contained in the greater, so are all arts, all sciences, all economies, all refinements, all charities, all delights of life, embodied in this cause. You may reject it, but it will be only for to-day.

    Ed. Note: They did reject statehood for Kansas; it was not admitted until after the Civil War began when no Southern pro-slavery senators remained in the Senate to vote 'no.'

    The sacred animosity of Freedom and Slavery can end only with the triumph of Freedom. The same question will


    be carried soon before that high tribunal [the upcoming November 1860 election], supreme over Senate and Court, where the judges are counted by millions, and the judgment rendered will be the solenm charge of an awakened people, instructing a new President [Abraham Lincoln], in the name of Freedom, to see that Civilization receives no detriment.

    Ed. Note: Here the Speech proper ends. However, there then occurred the following ad hominem comment by Sen. Chesnut, then Sumner's response to that comment.

    When Mr. Sumner resumed his seat, Mr. Chesnut, of South Carolina, spoke as follows.

    "Mr. President, after the extraordinary, tbough characteristic, speech just uttered in the Senate, it is proper that I assign the reason for the position we [pro-slavery senators] are now inclined to assume. [We plan to overthrow the U.S. government to prevent Lincoln taking office.]

    After ranging over Europe, crawling through the back doors to whine at the feet of British aristocracy, craving pity, and reaping a rich harvest of contempt, the slanderer of States and men reappears in the Senate. We had hoped to be relieved from the outpourings of such vulgar malice [that he would shut up after being beaten savagely for his last speech].

    We had hoped that one who had felt, though ignominiously he failed to meet, the consequences of a former insolence would have become wiser, if not better, by experience. In this I am disappointed, and I regret it.

    Mr. President, in the heroic ages of the world men were deified for the possession and the exercise of some virtues,—wisdom, truth, justice, magnanimity, courage. In Egypt, also, we mow they deified beasts and reptiles; but even that bestial people worshipped their idols on account of some supposed virtue.

    It has been left for this day, for this country, for the Abolitionists of Massachusetts, to deify the incarnation of malice, mendacity and cowardice. Sir, we do not intend to be guilty of aiding in the apotheosis of pusillanimity and meanness. We do not intend to contribute, by any conduct on our part, to increase the devotees at the shrine of this new idol.

    We know what is expected and what is desired. We are not inclined again to send forth the recipient of PUNISHMENT howling through the world, yelping fresh cries of slander and malice.

    These are the reasons, which I feel it due to myself and others to give to the Senate and the country, why we have quietly listened to what has been said, and why we can take no other notice of the matter."


    In these words Mr. Chesnut refers to the assault upon Mr. Sumner, with a bludgeon, on the floor of the Senate, by [Preston Brooks] a Representative from South Carolina, snce dead, aided by another Representative from that same State, and also a Representative from Virginia, on account of which Mr. Sumner had been compelled to leave his seat vacant [sick leave], and seek the restoration of his health by travel [to medical experts in treating the type injuries he had received].

    As Mr. Chesnut spoke, he was surrounded by the Slave-Masters of the Senate, who seemed to approve


    what he said. There was no call to order by the Chair, which was occupied at the time by Mr. [William] Bigler, [D] of Pennsylvania. Mr. Sumner obtained the floor with difficulty, while a motion was pending for the postponement of the question, and said:—

    2603 cont'd"Mr. President, before this question passes away, I think I ought to make answer to the Senator from Carolina,—though perhaps there is no occasion for it. ["No!" from several Senators.] Only one word. I exposed to-day the Barbarism of Slavery. What the Senator has said in reply I may well print as an additional illustration. That is all."

    Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, said:—"I hope he will do it."


    The first pamphlet edition of this speech contained a note which is preserved here.

    "The following letter, from a venerable citizen, an ornament of our legislative halls at the beginning of the [19th] century, and now the oldest survivor of all who have ever been members of Congress, is too valuable in testimony and counsel to be omitted in this place.

    "'BOSTON, June 5, 1860.

    "'DEAR SIR,—I have read a few abstracts from your noble speech, but must wait for it in a pamphlet form, that I may read it in such type as eyes in the eighty-ninth year of their age will permit. But I have read enough to approve, and rejoice that you have been permitted thus truly, fully, and faithfully to expose the 'Barbarism' of Slavery on that very floor on which you were so cruelly and brutally stricken down [assaulted] by the spirit of that Barbarism.

    "I only hope that in an Appendix you will preserve the vera effigies of that insect that attempted to sting you. Remember that the value of amber is increased by the insect it preserves.

    "'Yours, very truly,

    [Speech: The End]

  • Copy at Library of Congress

    Ed. Note: This 4 June 1860 speech was widely circulated as a campaign pamphlet, in the summer and autumn of 1860, to aid in the November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.
    It was later reprinted, in July 1863, in book form. Here, from pages 4-5 of the book, is the 1863 Dedication:


    To The Young Men of the United States, I dedicate this New Edition
    of a Speech on the Barbarism of Slavery, in token of Heartfelt
    Gratitude to Them for Brave and Patriotic Service Rendered in
    the Present War for Civilization:

    It is now more than three years since I deemed it my duty to expose, in the Senate, the Barbarism of Slavery. This phrase, though common now, was new then. The speech was a strict and logical reply to the assumptions of Senators asserting the "divine origin" of Slavery, its "ennobling" character, and that it was the "black marble keystone" of our national arch.

    Listening to these assumptions, which were of daily recurrence, I felt that they ought to be answered. And, considering their effrontery, it seemed to me that they should be answered frankly and openly by exhibiting Slavery as it really is, without reserve; careful that I should "nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice." This I did.

    In that debate the issue was joined which is still pending in the Trial by Battle. The inordinate [outrageously false] assumptions for Slavery naturslly ripened in Rebellion and War. If Slavery were, in reality, all that it was said to be by its representatives, they must have failed in duty if they did not vindicate and advance it. Not easily could they see a thing so "divine" and so "ennobling"—constituting the "black marble keystone" of our national arch—discredited by a popular vote even if not yet doomed to sacrifice.

    The election of Mr. Lincoln [on the Republican Party platform] was a judgment against Slavery, and its representatives were aroused [enraged].

    Meanwhile, for more than a generation, an assumption of constitutional law, hardly less outrageous, had become rooted side by side with Slavery, so that the two had shot up in rank luxuriance together. It was assumed that any State was privileged, under the Constitution, at any time, in the exercise of its own discretion, to withdraw from the Union. This absurdity found little favor at first, even among the representatives of Slavery. To say that two and two make five could not be more irrational. But custom and constant repetition gradually produced an impression, until, at last, all who were maddest for Slavory were equally mad for this disorganizing ally.

    It was under the shadow of this constitutional assumption that the assumption for Slavery grew into virulent vigor, so that, at last, when Mr. Lincoln was elected [in November 1860], it broke forth in open war; but the war was declared in the name of State Rights.

    5Therefore there are two apparent rudiments to this war. One is Slavery and the other is State Rights. But the latter is only a cover for the former. If Slavery were out of the way there would be no trouble from State Rights.

    The war, then, is for Slavery; and nothing else. It is an insane attempt to vindicate by arms the lordship which had been already asserted in debate. With mad-cap audacity it seeks to install this Barbarism as the truest Civilization. Slavery is declared to be the "corner-stone" of the new edifice. That is enough.

    The question is thus presented between Barbarism and Civilization; not merely between two different forms of Civilization, but between Barbarism on the one side and Civilization on the other side. If you are for Barbarism, join the Rebellion, or, if you can not join it, give it your sympathy. If you are for Civilization, stand by tbe Government of your country with mind, soul, heart, and might!

    Such is the issue simply stated.

  • On the one side are women and children on the auction-block; families rudely separated; human flesh lacerated and seamed by the bloody scourge; labor extorted without wages; and all this frightful, many-sided wrong is the declared foundation of a mock commonwealth.

  • On the other side is the Union of our Fathers, with the image of "Liberty" on its coin and the sentiment of Liberty in its Constitution, now arrayed under a patriotic Government, which insists that no such mock Commonwealth, having such a declared foundation, shall be permitted on our territory, purchased with money and blood, to impair the unity of our jurisdiction and to insult the moral sense of mankind.
  • Therefore, the battle which is now waged by the Union is for Civilization itself, and it must have aid and God-speed from all who are not openly for Barbarism. There is no word of peace, no tone of gentleness, no whisper of humanity, which does not become trumpet-tongued against the Rebellion. War itself seems to “smooth its wrinkled front” as it undertakes the championship of such a cause. The armed soldier becomes a minister of mercy.

    “The Cid was in the midst, his shout was heard afar;
    I am Rui Diaz, the champion of Bivar;
    Strike amongst them, gentlemen, for sweet mercy's sake.”
    [—From “Cantar del mio Cid” (12th Century Liberation Poem),

    a reference in that era that “young men,” potential
    recruits, could understand and be motivated by]

    In the name of mercy, strike, young men, so that the revolting Barbarism, which began the war, shall disappear forever. Any thing less than this will be an abandonment of duty.

    WASHINGTON, 4th July, 1863.

    Other Writings and Actions
    by Sen. Sumner
    "Union of Men of all Parties Against the Slave Power and the Extension of Slavery," Speech of June 28, 1848, in The Works of Charles Sumner, 2:74.
    “Freedom National, Slavery Sectional,” Cong Globe, 32d Cong, 1st Sess, App, 26 Aug 1852, pp 1102-1114
    “The Landmark of Freedom,” Cong Globe, 33d Cong, 2d Sess, 21 Feb 1854
    "The Crime Against Kansas," Cong Globe, 34th Cong, 2d Sess, 19-20 May 1856; and Works, vol. IV (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1870-1873), pages 125-249
    Full Text of "The Crime Against Kansas"
    An Excerpt of "The Crime Against Kansas"
    Excerpts from Others (1840's - 1870's)
    More Excerpts (1850-1871)
    Biography Per Encyclopædia Britannica (1911)
    Another Biography By Afr. Am. Registry (2004)
    Sarah C. Roberts v City of Boston, 59 Mass (5 Cushing) 198 (November 1849) School Segregation Ban Case (Co-Attorney Citing Principles Later Followed in
  • Wysinger v Crookshank, 82 Cal 588; 23 P 54 (Cal, 27 January 1890) (public schools must be open to all ages 6-21, cannot refuse black applicant admission despite existence of separate black only schools)
  • Brown v Board of Education, 347 US 483 (1954)
    "Charles Sumner Made the Case Against Segregated Schools a Century Before Brown," by Suzanne Sataline (Boston Globe, 9 May 2004)
  • For more information on Charles Sumner,
    A.B. 1830, LL.B. 1834, LL.D. 1859,
    see Archibald Henry Grimké, B.A. (Lincoln, 1870), M.A. (Lincoln, 1872), LL.B. (Harvard, 1874),
    The Life of Charles Sumner,
    the Scholar in Politics

    (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1892)
    A Schoolnet Biography
    Biography in Johnson Impeachment Context

    Rev. B. Green's 1836
    Advice to Anti-Slavery Activists

    Slavers' 1837-1839
    Testimony of Slavery Conditions

    Summary of the Overview Material
    on The Unconstitutionality of Slavery

    G. W. F. Mellen's 1841
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery

    A. Stewart's 1845
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery

    L. Spooner's 1845
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery

    T. Corwin's 1847
    Anti-Mexican War Speech

    A. Lincoln's 1848
    Anti-Mexican War Speech

    J. Tiffany's 1849
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery

    Rev. J. Fee's 1851
    Anti-Slavery Manual

    Rev. Wm. Goodells' 1852
    Slavery and Anti-Slavery

    H. Stowe's 1853
    History of Slavery aka Key

    A. Lincoln's 1854
    Peoria Speech

    E. C. Rogers' 1855 Slavery
    Illegality in All Ages and Nations

    Rev. Geo. Cheever's 1857
    God Against Slavery

    F. Douglass' 26 March 1860
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery

    Rep. C. H. Van Wyck's Despotism of Slavery, 29 Cong Globe Appx. pp 434-439, 36th Cong, 1st Sess (16 June 1860)
    H. Wilson's 1877
    History of Slavepower

    Rev. P. Pillsbury's 1883
    Anti-slavery History