|Welcome to the anti-slavery book, Address to the Non-slaveholders of the South:
on The Social and Political Evils of Slavery (1843), by Lewis Tappan.
Lewis Tappan (1788-1863) was an abolitionist, involved in activism to free slaves. Two years earlier, in 1841, he had aided in freeing the slaves on the slave-ship Amistad.
It was now 1843. Perhaps the message of freedom could be spread nation-wide.
This site is one in a series making again available, the long out-of-print anti-slavery writings of the pre-Civil War era.
Examples include the writings of George Mellen (1841), Alvan Stewart (1845), Lysander Spooner (1845), Benjamin Shaw (1846), Joel Tiffany (1849), William Goodell (1852), Abraham Lincoln (1854), Edward C. Rogers (1855), and Frederick Douglass (1860).
Our fore-fathers had this information. Now you can too.
The printing custom of the time omitted a table of contents. One has been added for modern reader convenience. The text then follows. Editor notes, on obscure references and circumstances, are included to clarify for modern readers.
on The Social and Political Evils of Slavery
(New York: S.W. Benedict, 1843)
THE NON-SLAVEHOLDERS 0F THE SLAVE STATES.
We ask your attention to the injuries inflicted upon you and your children, by an institution which lives by your sufferance, and will die at your mandate. Slavery is maintained by you whom it impoverishes and degrades, not by those upon whom it confers wealth and influence. These assertions will be received by you and others with surprise and incredulity. Before you condemn them, ponder the following considerations and statistics.
We all know that the sugar and cotton cultivation of the South is conducted, not like the agriculture of the North, on small farms and with few hands, but on vast plantations and with large gangs of negroes, technically called “the force.” In the breeding States, men, women and children form the great staple for exportation; and like other stock, require capital on the part of those who follow the business of rearing them.
It is also a matter of notoriety, that the price of slaves has been and still is such as to confine their possession almost exclusively to the rich. We might as well talk of poor men owning herds of cattle and studs of horses, as gangs of negroes. When an infant will bring one hundred, and a man from four hundred to a thousand dollars in the market, slaves are not commodities to be found in the cabins of the poor.
You are moreover aware that the great capitalists of the South have their wealth chiefly invested in plantations and slaves, and not as with us in commerce and manufactures.
It has been repeatedly stated that Mr. Carroll, of Baltimore, the former president of the Colonization Society, was the owner of 1,000 slaves. The newspapers, in announcing the death of Mr. Pollock, of North Carolina, remarked that he had left 1,500 slaves.
In the account of Mr. [James] Madison's funeral, it was mentioned that he was followed to the grave by 100 of his slaves, and it is probable that the women and children were not included.
At the North a farmer hires as many men as his work requires; at the South the laborers cannot be separated from the women and children. These are property, and must be owned by somebody.
Now when we take this last circumstance into consideration, and at the same time recollect that the very value of the slaves debars the poor from owning them—and connect these two facts with the character of the cultivation in which slave labor is employed; we must be ready to admit that those who do employ this species of labor, cannot on an average hold less than ten slaves, including able-bodied men, their wives and children.
It appears by the census, that of the slave population, the two sexes are almost exactly equal in number; and tbat there are two children under ten years of age, for every male slave over that age. Hence, if a planter employs only three men, we may take it for granted that his slave family consists of at least 12 souls, viz.: 3 men, 3 women, and 6 children. We of course estimate the number of children too low, since there will be some over ten years of age.
It thus appears that the average number of slaves we assign to each slaveholder is probably far below the truth; but we purposely avoid even the approach to exaggeration.
Now the number of slaves in the United States by the last census , was 2,487,113; of course according to our estimate of ten slaves to one master, there can be only 248,711 slaveholders.
We are not forgetful that our enumeration must embrace some who are the sons of slaveholders, and who are therefore interested in upholding the [slavery] system,—but we are fully convinced that our estimate of the number of slaveholders is far beyond the truth, and that we may therefore safely throw out of account the very moderate number of slaveholders' sons above 20 years of age, and not themselves possessing slaves.
a majority of 518,885 over the slaveholders; and now we repeat, that with a numerical majority of more than half a million [non-slaveholders], slavery lives or dies at your behest.
We know [said Tappan a decade before Stowe's analysis] that this [non-slaver majority] result is so startling and unexpected, that you will scarcely credit the testimony of figures themselves. It is so commonnly taken for granted, that every white man at the South is a slaveholder, that many will doubtingly inquire, where are these non-slaveholding citizens to be found?
We answer, everywhere. Is poverty of rare occurrence in any country? Has it ever happened that the mass of any people were rich enough to keep, for their own convenience, such expensive laborers—as soutbern slaves?
Slavery moreover is monopolizing in its tendency, and leads to the accumulation of property in few hands. It is also to be observed, that the high priee of slaves, and the character of the cultivation in which they are employed, both conspire to concentrate this class of laborers on particular spots, and in the hands of large proprietors.
Now the census shows that in some districts the slaves are collected in vast numbers, while in others they are necessarily few. Thus, for instance, in Georgetown district, S. Carolina, there are about 7.5 slaves to every white man, woman and child, in the district. Now if from the white population in this district we exclude all but the slaveholders themselves, the average number of slaves held by them would probably exceed one hundred.
On the other hand, we find all through the slave States, many districts where the slaves bear a very small proportion to the whites, and where, of course, the non-slaveholders must form a vast and overwhelming majority. A few instances must suffice.
There is not a State or Territory in the Union in which you, [non-slaveholding] fellow-citizens, have not an overwhelming majority over the slave-
holders; and the majority is probably the greatest in those in which the slaves are the most numerous, because in such they are chiefly concentrated on large plantations.
It has been the policy of the slaveholders to keep entirely out of sight their own numerical inferiority, and to speak and act as if their interests were those of the whole community. They are the [unconstitutional] nobility of the south, and they find it expedient to forget that there are any commoners. Hence with them slavery is the INSTITUTION of the SOUTH, while it is in fact the institution of only a portion of the people of the south.
This [murderous] gentleman, like most demagogues, while professing great zeal for the PEOPLE, whose interests were for the most part adverse to slavery, was in fact looking to his own aggrandizement. He was, at the very time he uttered these absurd and murderous sentiments, a great planter, and his large “force” was said to have raised in 1836, no less than 122,500 lbs. of cotton.*
In the same spirit, and with the same design, the Report of a Committee of the South Carolina Legislature, made in 1842, speaks of slavery
The slaveholders form a powerful landed aristocracy, banded together for the preservation of their own privileges, and ever endeavoring, for obvious reasons, to identify their private interests with the public welfare. Thus have the landed proprietors of England declaimed loudly on the blessings of dear bread, because the corn laws keep up rents and the price of land.
The wealth and influence of your aristocracy, together with your own poverty, have led you to look up to them with a reverence bordering on that which is paid to a feudal nobility by their hereditary dependents.
Hence it is, that, unconscious of your own power, you have permitted them to assume, as of right, the whole legislation and govemment of your respective States.
We now propose to call your attention to the practical results of that control over your interests, which, by your sufferance, they have so long exercised. We ask you to join us in the inquiry how far you have been benefitted by the care of your guardians, when compared
vith the people of the North, who have been left to govern themselves. We will pursue this inquiry in the following order:
The ratio of increase of population, especially in this country, is one of the surest tests of public prosperity. Let us then again listen to the impartial testimony of the late census [of 1840]. From this we learn that the increase of population in the free States from 1830 to 1840, was at the rate of 38 per cent., while the increase of the free population in the slave States was only 23 per cent. Why this difference of 15 in the two ratios? No other cause can be assigned than slavery, which drives from your borders many of the virtuous and enterprising, and at the same time deters emigrants from other States and from foreign countries from settling among you.
The influence of slavery on population is strikingly illustrated by a comparison between Kentucky and Ohio. These two States are of nearly equal areas, Kentucky however having about 3000 square miles more than the other.* They are separated only by a river and are both remarkable for the fertility of their soil; but one has, from the beginning, been cursed with slavery, and the other blessed with freedom. Now mark their respective careers.
In 1792, Kentucky was erected into a State, and Ohio in 1802.
* American Almanac for 1843, p. 206.
The representation of the two States in Congress, has been as follows:
The value of land, other things being equal, is in proportion to the density of the population. Now the population of Ohio is 38.8 to a square mile, while the free population of Kentucky is but 14.2 to a square mile—and probably the price of land in the two States is much in the same proportion.
You [Southern non-slaveholders] are told, much of the wealth is invested in negroes—yet it obviousiy is a wealth that impoverishes; and no stronger evidence of the truth of this assertion is needed, than the comparative price of land in the free and slave States. The two principal cities of Kentucky and Ohio are Louisville and Cincinnati; the former with a population of 21,210, the latter with a population of 46,338. Why this difference? The question is answered by the Louisville Journal. The editor, speaking of the two rival cities, remarks,
In 1840, Mr. C. M. Clay, a member of the Kentucky Legislature, published a pamphlet against the repeal of the law prohibiting the importation of slaves from the other States. We extract the following:
Mr. Thomas F. Marshall, of Kentucky, in a pamphlet published the same year, and on the same subject, draws the following comparison between Virginia and New York:
These statements were made before the results of the last census were known. By the census of 1840, it appears that in the ten preceding years,
New let it be recollected that Maryland is nearly double the
size of Massachusetts. In the last there are 98.3 free inhabitanta to the square mile; in the former only 27.2.
If we turn to the new States, we find that slavery and freedom have the same influence on population as in the old. Take, for instance, Michigan and Arkansas. They came into the Union about the same time—
The ratio of increase of white inhabitants, for the last ten years, has been in Arkansas as 200 per cent; in Michigan, 574 per cent. In both instances the increase has been chiefly owing to immigration; but the ratio shows the influence of slavery in retarding immigration. Compare also Alabama and Illinois—
We surely need not detain you with farther details on this head [subject], to convince you what an enormous sacrifice of happiness and prosperity you are offering on the altar of slavery. But of the character and extent of this sacrifice you have as yet had only a partial glimpse. Let us proceed to examine
The maxim that “Knowledge is power,” has ever more or less influenced the conduct of aristocracies. Education elevates the inferior classes of society, teaches them their rights, and points out the means of enforcing them. Of course, it tends to diminish the influence of wealth, birth, and rank. In 1611, Sir William Berkley [1608-1677], then Governor of Virginia, in his answer to the inquiries of the Committee of the Colonies, remarked,
The [anti-education] spirit of Sir William seems still to preside in the councils of his own Virginia, and to actuate those of the other slave States.
The power of the slaveholders, as we have already showed
you, depends on the acquiescence of the major part of the white inhabitants in their domination. It cannot be, therefore, the interest or the inclination of the sagacious and reflecting among them, to promote the intellectual improvement of the inferior class.
In the free States, on the contrary, where there is no caste answering [comparable] to your slaveholders—where the People literally partake in the government, mighty efforts are made for general education; and in most instances, elementary mstruction is, through the public liberality, brought within the reach of the children of the poor. You have lamentable experience, that such is not the case where slaveholders bear rule.
But you will receive with distrust whatever we may say as to the comparative ignorance of the free and slave States. Examine then for yourselves the returns of the last  census on this point. This document gives us the number of white persons over twenty years of age in each State, who cannot read and write. It appears that these persons are [in ratio] to the whole white population in the several States as follows, viz.:
It will be observed by looking at this table, that Indiana and Illinois are the only free States, which in point of education are surpassed by any of the slave States: for this disgraceful circumstance three causes may be assigned, viz., their recent settlement, the influx of foreigners, and emigration from the slave States.
The returns [1840 census results] from New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are greatly affected by the vast number of foreigners congregated in their cities, and employed in their manufactories and on their public works. In Ohio, also, there is
a large foreign population; and it is well known that comparatively few emigrants from Europe seek a residence in the slave States, where there is little or no employment to invite them. But what a commentary on slavery and slaveholders is afforded by the gross ignorance prevailing in the old States of South Carolina, Virginia, and North Carolina! But let us proceed. The census gives a return [count] of “scholars at public charge.”
Ohio alone has 51,812 such scholars,—more than are to be found in the 13 slave States! Her neighbor Kentucky has 429!! Let us compare in this particalar the largest and the smallest State in the Union.
But we have some official confessions, which give a still more deplorable account of Soutbern ignorance. In 1837, Governor Clarke, in his message to the Kentucky Legislature, remarked,
Governor Campbell reported to the Virginia Legislature, that from the returns of 98 clerks, it appeared that of 4614 applications for marriage licenses in 1837, no less than 1047 were made by men unable to write.
These details will enable you to estimate the impudence of the following plea in behalf of slavery:
Whatever may be the leisure enjoyed by the slaveholders, they are careful not to afford the means of literary improvement to their [white-trash] fellow-citizens who are too poor to possess slaves, and who are, by their very ignorance, rendered more fit instruments for doing the will, and guarding the human property of the wealthier class.
* See American Almanac for 1842, page 226.
In a community so unenlightened as yours, it is a matter of course, that the arts and sciences must languish, and the industry and enterprise of the country be oppressed by a general torpor. Hence multitudes will be without regular and profitable employment, and be condemned to poverty and numberless privations.
The very advertisements in your newspapers show tbat, for a vast proportion of the comforts and conveniences of life, you are dependent on Northern manufacturers and mechanics. You both know and feel that slavery has rendered labor disgraceful among you; and where this is the case, industry is necessarily discouraged.
The great staple of the South is cotton; and we have no desire to undervalue its importance. It is however, worthy of remark, that its cultivation affords a livelihood to only a small proportion of the free inhabitants; and scarcely to any of those [non-slaveholders] we are now addressing. Cotton is the product of slave labor, and its profits at home are confined almost exclusively to the slaveholders.
Yet on account of this article, we hear frequent vaunts of the agricultural riches of the South. With the exception of cotton, it is difficult to distinguish your agricultural products arising from slaves, and from free labor. But admitting, what we know is not the fact, that all the other productions of the soil are raised exclusively by free labor, we learn from the census, that the agricultural products of the North exceed those of the South, cotton excepted, $226.219,714. Here then we have an appalling proof of the paralyzing influence of slavery on the industry of the whites.
In every community a large portion of the inhabitants are debarred from drawing their maintenance directly from the cultivation of the earth. Other and lucrative employments are reserved for them. If the slaveholders chiefly engross the soil, let us see how you are compensated by the encouragement afforded to mechanical skill and industry.
In 1839 the Secretary of the Treasury reported to Congress, that the tonnage of vessels
Or less than one-fifth of the whole! But the difference is still more striking, when we take into consideration the comparative value of the shipping built in the two regions:
* See American Almanac for 1843, page 153.
It would be tedious and unprofitable to compare the results of the different branches of manufacture carried on at the North and the South. It is sufficient to state that, according to the census, the value of the manufactures
Having already compared Ohio and Kentucky in reference to population and education, we will pursue the comparison as to agricultural and mechanical industry. On account of contiguity, and similarity of extent, soil and climate, no two States can perhaps be so aptly contrasted for the purpose of illustrating the influence of slavery. It should also be borne in mind that Kentucky can scarcely be called a cotton State, having in 1840 raised only 607,456 lbs. of that article. Hence the deficiency of agriculture and other products in Kentucky arises, not from a peculiar species of cultivation, but solely from the withering effects of slavery.
In one species of manufacture the South apparently excels the North, but unfortunately it is in appearance only. Of 9657 distilleries in the United States, no less than 7665 were found in the slave States and Territories; but for want of skill and capital these yield 1992 gallons less than the other.
Where there is so much ignorance and idleness, we may well suppose that the inventive faculties will be but little exercised; and accordingly we find that of the 545 patents granted for new inventions in 1846, only 80 were received by the citizens of the slave States.
We have thus, fellow-citizens, offered you the testimony of figures, as to the different state of society under freedom and slavery; suffer [allow] us now to present you pictures of the two regions, drawn not by abolitionists, but by Southem artists, in unguarded hours. Mr. Clowney, of South Carolina, thus portrayed his native State, in the ardor of debate on the floor of Congress:
This gentleman chose to attribute the decline of South Carolina to the tariff; rather than to the obvious cause, that one-half of the PEOPLE of South Carolina are poor, ignorant, degraded SLAVES, and the other half suffering in all their faculties and energies, from a moral pestilence which they insanely regard as a blessing and not a curse. Surely it is not owing to the tariff, that this ancient member of the Union bas 20,615 white citizens over twenty years of age who do not know their letters; while Maine, with double her population, has only 3,241.
Now look upon a very different picture. Mr. Preston, of South Carolina, not long since [ago] delivered a speech at Columbia in reference to a proposed rail-road. In this speech, in order to stimulate the efforts of the friends of the road, he indulged in the following strain [analysis]:
Yet this same Mr. Preston, thus sensitively alive to the superior happiness and prosperity of the free States, declared in the United States Senate,
In other words, the slaveholders, rather than part with their slaves, are ready to murder, with all the formalities of law, the very men who are laboring to confer on them the envied blessings of the North.
TOWARDS THE LABORING CLASSES.
Whenever the great mass of the laboring population of a country are reduced to beasts of burden, and toil under the lash, “bodily labor,” as Chancellor Harper expresses it, must be disreputable, from the mere influence of association. Hence you know white laborers at the South are styled “mean whites.”
At the North, on the contrary, labor is regarded as the proper and commendable means of acquiring wealth; and our most influential men would in no degree suffer in public estimation, for holding the plough, or even repairing the highways. Hence no poor man is deterred from seeking a livelihood by honest labor from a dread of personal degradation.
The different light in which labor is viewed at the North and the South is one cause of the depression of industry in the latter.
Another cause is the ever-wakeful jealousy of your aristocracy. They fear the PEOPLE; they are alarmed at the very idea of power and influence being possessed by any portion of the com-
munity not directly interested in slave property. Visions of emancipation, of agrarianism, and of popular resistance to their authority, are ever floating in their distempered and excited imaginations.
They know their own weakness, and are afraid you should know it also.
Do you deem these assertions uncharitable? Listen to their own declarations:
So the way to prevent plundering mobs, is to enslave the poor! We shall see presently, how far this expedient has been successful in preventing murdering mobs.
This same gentleman [Calhoun] delivered an oration on the 4th of July, 1840, reviewing the principles of the two great political parties, and although he supported Mr. [Martin] Van Buren's administration [1837-1841], in consideration of its devotion to the slave interest, he frankly inquires:—
Had the gentleman looked across the river, he might have
found an answer to his question, in the wealth, power, intelligence and happiness of Obio.
In reading the foregoing extracts, it is amusing to observe how adroitly the slaveholders avoid all recognition of any otber classes among them than masters and slaves. Who would suspect from their language, that they were themselves a small minority of the white inhabitants, and that their own “white negroes” could, if united and so disposed, outvote them at the polls?
It is worthy of remark that in their denunciations of the populace, the rabble, those who work with their hands, they refer not to complexion, but to condition [job]; not to slaves, but to the poor and laborious of their own color. It is these haughty aristocrats who find in Northern democrats “allies,” who in Congress and out of it are zealous in obeying their mandates, and who may justly be termed their “white negroes.”
Slavery, although considered by Mr. Calhoun “the most stable basis of free institutions in the world,” has, as we shall presently show you, in fact, led to grosser outrages in the social compact, to more alarming violations of constitutional liberty, to more bold and reckless assaults upon “free institutions,” than have ever been even attempted by the much-dreaded agrarianism of the North.
The deplorable ignorance and want of industry at the South, together with the disrepute in which honest industry is held, cannot [help] but exercise, in connection with other causes, a most unhappy [bad] influence on the morals of the [Bible-Belt] inhabitants. You have among you between two and three millions of slaves, who are kept by law in brutal ignorance, and who, with few exceptions, are virtually heathens.*
If evil communications corrupt good manners [I Cor 15:33], the intimate intercourse of the whites with these people must be depraving: nor can the exercise of despotic power by the masters, their wives
* “From long continued and close observation, we believe that their (the slaves') moral and religious condition is such that they may justly be considered the HEATHEN of this Christian country, and will bear comparison with heathen in any country in the world. The negroes are destitute of [forbidden by law] the Gospel, and ever will be [so] under the present state of [Bible-Belt] things.”—Report published by the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, Dec. 8, 1833.
† Speech before the American Colonization Society.
and children be otherwise than unfavorable to the benevolent affections.
It is with pain we are compelled to add, that the conduct and avowed sentiments of the [Bible-Belt] Southern clergy in relation to Slavery, necessarily exert an unhappy influence. Most of the clergy are themselves slaveholders, and are thus personally interested in the system, and are consequently bold and active in justifying it from Scripture, [falsely] representing it as an institution enjoying the divine sanction.
An English author, in reference to these efforts of your [vile] clergy, forcibly remarks:
And well has John Quincy Adams said,
Your ministers live in the midst of slavery, and they kmow that the system on which they bestow their benedictions, is, in the language of Wilberforce,
Surely, we have reason to fear that the denunciation of Scripture against false prophets of old, will be accomplished against the [Bible-Belt] Southern clergy,
Under such ministrations it cannot be expected that Christian zeal and benevolence will take deep root and bear very abundant fruit. This is a subject on which few statistics can be obtained. We have no means of ascertaining the number of churches and ministers throughout the United States of the various denominations.
Some opinion, however, may be formed of the religious character of a people, by their efforts for the moral improvement of the community. In the United States there are numerous voluntary associations for religious and benevolent purposes, receiving large contributions and exercising a wide moral influence. Now, of all the large benevolent societies professing to promote the welfare of the wbole country, and asking and receiving con-
tributions from all parts of it, we recollect but one that had its origin in the slave region, and the business of which is transacted in it, and that is the AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY. Of the real object and practical tendency of this Society it is unnecessary to speak—you understand them.
In the 10th Report of the American Sunday School Union [p. 50] is a table showing the number of Sunday School scholars in each State for the year 1834. From this table we learn that
And is it possible that the literary and religious destitution you [in alleged Bible-Belt] are suffering, together with the vicious habits of your colored population, should have no effect on the moral character of the whites?
We entreat your patient and dispassionate attention to the remarks and facts we are about to submit to you on the next subject of inquiry.
Christianity, by controlling the malignant passions of our nature, and exciting its benevolent affections, gives a sacredness to the rights of others, and especially does it guard human life. But where her blessed influence is withdrawn, or greatly impaired, the passions resume their sway, and violence and cruelty become the characteristics of every community in which the civil authority is too feeble to afford protection.
No society is free from vices and crime, and we well know that human depravity springs from another source than slavery. It will not, however, be denied that circumstances and institutions may check [reduce] those evil propensities to which we are all prone; and it will, we presume, be admitted that in forming an opinion of the moral condition and advancement of any community, we are to be guided in our judgment, not by insulated facts, but by the tone of public opinion. Atrocities occur in the best regulated and most virtuous States, but in such they excite indignation and are visited with punishment; while in vicious communities they are treated with levity and impunity.
In a country where suffrage is universal, the representatives will but [generally] reflect the general character of their constituents. If we are permitted to apply this rule [principle] in testing the moral condition of the [Bible-Belt] South, the result will not be favorable.
In noticing the public conduct of public men, we are not sen-
sible [aware] of violating any principle of courtesy or delicacy; we touch not their private character or their private acts; we refer to their language and sentiments, merely as one indication of the standard of morals among their constituents, not as conclusive proof apart from other evidence.
On the 15th February, 1837, R. M. Whitney was arraigned before the House of Representatives for contempt in refusing to attend when required before a Committee. His apology was that he was afraid of his life, and he called, as a witness in his behalf, one of the Committee, Mr. Fairfield, since Governor of the State of Maine. It appeared that in the Committee, Mr. Peyton of [Bible-Belt] Virginia had put some interrogatory to Whitney, who had returned a written answer which was deemed offensive. On this, as Mr. Fairfield testified, Peyton addressed the Chairman in these terms,
Whitney rose and said he claimed the protection of the Committee, on which Peyton exclaimed,
Soon after, Peyton observing that Whitney was looking at him, cried out,
The newspaper reports of the proceedings of Congress, a few years since [ago], informed us that Mr. Dawson, a member from [Bible-Belt] Louisiana, went up to Mr. Arnold, another member, and said to him,
In a debate on the Florida war, Mr. Cooper having taken offence at Mr. Giddings of Ohio, for some remarks relative [hostile] to slavery, said in his reply,
In the session of 1841, Mr. Payne, of [Bible-Belt] Alabama, in debate, alluding to the abolitionists, among whom he insisted the Postmaster-General [delivering the mail including abolitionist views!!] ought to be included, declared that he would proscribe [ban] all abolitionists [contary to the First Amendment], he
Mr. Hammond, of [Bible-Belt] South Carolina, at an earlier period thus expressed himself in the [U.S.] House [of Representatives]:
In 1848, Mr. Hale, a Senator from New Hampshire, introduced a bill for the protection of property in the District of Columbia, attempts having been made to destroy an anti-Slavery press. Mr. Foote, a Senator from Mississippi, tbus expressed himself in reply:
And now, fellow-citizens do these men, with all their profanity and vulgarity, breathing out threatenings and slaughter, represent the feelings, and manners, and morals of the [Bible-Belt] slaveholding community? We have seen no evidence that they have lost a particle of popular favor in consequence of their ferocious violence.
Alas! their language has been re-echoed again and again by public meetings in the [Bible-Belt] slave States; and we proceed to lay before you overwhelming proof that in the expression of tbeir murderous feelings towards the abolitionists, they have faithfully represented the sentiments of their constituents.
We have already seen that one of the blessings which the slaveholders attribute to their favorite institution, is exemption from popular tumults, and from encroachments by the democracy [average voting public] upon the rights of property. Their argument is, that political power in the hands of the poor and laboring classes is always attended with danger, and that tbis danger is averted when these classes are kept in bondage.
With these gentlemen, life and liberty seem to be accounted as the small dust of the balance, when weighed against slavery and plantations; hence, to preserve the latter they are ever ready to sacrifice the former, in utter defiance of laws and constitutions.
We have already [p 4, supra] noticed the murderous proposition in relation to abolitionists, made by Governor M'Duffie to the South Carolina Legislature in 1835:
In an address to a legislative assembly, Governor M'Duffie refrained from the indecency of recommending illegal murder; but we will soon find that the public sentiment of the South by no means requires that abolitionists shall be put to death with legal formalities; but on the contrary, the slaveholders are ready, in the language of Mr. Payne, to “hang them like dogs.”
We hazard little in the assertion, that in no civilized Christian community on earth is human life less protected by law, or more frequently taken with impunity, than in the [Bible-Belt] slave States of the Federal Union. We wish to impress upon you the danger and corruption to which you and your children are exposed from the institution, which, as we have shown you, exists by your sufferance [voting consent].
But you [gullible Southerners of lower morals] have been taught [propagandized] to respect this institution [slavery]; and hence it becomes necessary to enter into details, however painful, and to present you with authorities which you cannot reject.
What we have just said of the insecurity of human life, will probably be deemed by you and others as abolition slander. Listen, then, to slaveholders themselves.
The present Bishop of the Episcopal Ohurch in Kentucky* a few vears since [ago], publisbed an article on the murders in that State. He states that some [people] with whom he had conversed, estimated them at 80 per annum; but that he had rated them at about 30; and that he had ascertained that for the last three years, there had not been
Governor McVay, of Alabama, in his message to the Legislature, November 15, 1837, thus speaks,
* It is belived this gentleman is not a slaveholder.
At the opening of the Criminal Court in New Orleans, November 4th, 1837, Judge Lansuque delivered an address, in which, speaking of the prevalence of violence, he used the following language:
While the slaveholders are terrified at the idea of the “great democratic rabble [typical middle-class voters],” and rejoice in human bondage as superseding the necessity of
appendages of a hereditary government,”
they have established a reign of terror, as insurrectionary and as sanguinary [bloodthirsty] in principle, as that created by the sans culottes of the French revolution. We indulge in no idle declamation, but speak the words of truth and soberness.
A public meeting, convened in the church!! in the town of Clinton, Mississippi, 5th September, 1835—
It would be tedious to copy the numerous resolutions of similar import, passed by public meetings in almost every slave State. You well know that the promoters of those lawless and sanguinary [bloodthirsty] proceedings, did not belong to the “rabble”—they were not “mean whites,” but rich, influential slaveholders.
A meeting was held in 1835 at Williamsburgh, Virginia, which was harangued by no less a personage than JOHN TYLER, once Governor of the State, and since [then] President of the United States [1841-1845]: under this gentleman's auspices, and after his address, the meeting resolved [voted]—
The profligacy [moral depravity] of this [pro-slavery] resolution needs no comment. Mr. Tyler well knew that the laws of Virginia, and every other State were abundantly sufficient to punish [genuine] crime: but he and his fellow lynchers wished to deter the [few moral Southern] people from receiving and reading anything adverse to slavery; and hence, with their usual [psychotic] audacity [insane delusions of grandeur], they determined to usurp the prerogative of courts and juries, and throw down all the bulwarks which the law has erected for the protection of innocence.
Newspapers are regarded as the mirrors of public opinion. Let us see what opinions are reflected in those of the South.
The Charleston Courier, 11th August, 1835, declared that “the gallows and tke stake” awaited the abolitionists who should dare to “appear in person among us.”
This, it will be noticed, is a threat addressed, not to the Northern abolitionists, but to you, fellow-citizens, to the great majority of the white inhabitants of the South; and you are warned not to express an opinion offensive to your aristocracy.
Here, again, is a threat directed against any of you [moral Southerners], who may happen to have the command of [access to] types and printer's ink [and printing press].
Now, we ask what must be the [moral] state of society, where the public journals [media] thus justify and stimulate the public thirst for blood? The very idea of [fair] trial is scouted [ridiculed], and the mob, or rather the slaveholders themselves, are acknowledged to be the arbiters of life and death.
The question we put to you as to the state of society, has been already answered [pp 23-24, supra] by the official declarations of the Governors of Kentucky and Alabama, and of Judge Lansuque, of New Orleans; as well as by the extracts we have given you from some of the southern journals, relative to the frequency of murders among them.
We could farther answer it, by filling sheets with accounts of fearful atrocities. But we purposely refrain from referring to assassinations and private crimes; for such, as already remarked, occur in a greater or less degree in every community, and do not necessarily form a test of the standard of morals.
But we ask your attention to a test which cannot be questioned. We will present for your consideration a series of atrocities, perpetrated, not by individuals in secret, but in open day by the slaveholding populace.
We have seen that two of the Southern papers we have quoted, threaten abolitionists with THE STAKE. This awful and horrible purnshment has been banished, by the progress of civilization, from the whole of Christendom, with the single exception of the American [bible-Belt] Slave States. It is scarcely necessary to say, that even in them, it is unknown to the laws, although familiar to the people. It is aiso deserving of remark, that the two joumals which have made this atrocious threat were published, not among the rude borderers of our frontier settlements, but in the populous cities of Charleston and New-Orleans, the very centres of [alleged] Southern refinement.
On the 28th of April, 1836, a free negro was arrested in [Bible-Belt] St. Louis (Missouri) and committed to jail on a charge of murder. A mob assembled and demanded him of the jailor, who surrendered him. The negro was then chained to a tree a short distance from the Court House, and burned to death.
The Natchez Free Trader, 16th June, 1842, gives a horrible account of the execution of the negro, Joseph, on the 5th of that month for murder.
Thus we see that burning negroes alive is treated as a [Bible-Belt] spectacle, and strangers are invited to witness it. The victim of this exhibition was the negro Enoch, said to have been an accomplice of Joseph, and was burned a few days after the other.
We have thus given you no less than six instances of human beings publicly burned alive in four [Bible-Belt] slave States, and in each case with entire impunity to the miscreants engaged in the horrible murder. But these were cases which happened to be reported in the newspapers, and with which we happened to become acquainted. There is reason to believe that these executions are not of rare occurrence, and that many of them, either through indifference or policy, are not noticed [reported] in the Southern papers.
A recent traveller remarks,
But the murderous spirit deplored by the Governors of Kentucky and Alabama [p 23, supra], and the “frightful deluge of human blood” complained of by the New Orleans editor [p 24, supra], had no reference to the murder of negroes. Men who can enjoy the sight of negroes writhing in flames, and are permitted by the civil authorities to indulge in such exhibitions, will not be very scrupulous in taking the lives of each other.
You well know how incessantly the work of human slaughter is going on among you; and no reader of your public journals [media] can be ignorant of the frequent occurrence of your deadly street fights. But, for the reason already given [p 26, supra], we meddle not with these.
We charge the slaveholding community, as such, with sanctioning [approving] murder, and protecting the perpetrators, and setting the laws at defiance. This we know is a grievous charge, and most grievous the proof of it.
But mistake not our meaning. God forbid we should deny that many of the community to which we refer, utterly abhor the atrocities we are about to detail.
We speak of the murderous feelings of the slaveholding community, just as we speak of the politics, the manners, and the morals of any other community, freely acknow-
ledging that there are numerous and honorable exceptions.
For the general truth of our assertion, we appeal to the authorities and the facts we have already laid before you, and to those we are about to offer.
You have already seen [pp 25-26, supra] that the pro-slavery press [media] has recommended the murder of such nortbern abolitionists as may be caught in the South; we now ask your attention to the efforts made by the slaveholders to get prominent abolitionists into their power.
In 1831, a citizen of Massachusetts [William Lloyd Garrison] established a newspaper at Boston, called the Liberator, and devoted to the cause of negro emancipation. The undertaking was perfectly legal [including pursuant to the First Amendment], and he himself, having never been in Georgia, had of course violated none of her laws. The [Georgia] legislature, however, forthwith passed a law, offering a bribe of $5000 to any person who would arrest and and bring to trial and conviction, in Georgia, the editor and publisher of the Boston paper. This most atrocious law was “approved” on the 26th Dec., 1831, by WILLIAM LUMPKIN, the Governor. The object [purpose] of the bribe could have been no other than the abduction and murder of the conductor of the paper—his trial and conviction under Georgia laws being a mere pretence: the Georgia courts have as much jurisdiction over the Press in Paris as in Boston. A Lynch court was the only one that could have taken cognizance of the [alleged] offence [of Garrison following the First Amendment], and its proceedings would undoubtedly have been both summary and sanguinary [bloodthirsty].
The horrible example thus set by the Georgia Legislature was not without its followers.
At a meeting of slaveholders at Sterling, Sept. 4, 1835, it was formally recommended to the Governor to issue a proclamation, offering the $5000 appropriated by the Act of 1831, as a reward for the apprehension of either of ten persons named in the resolution, citizens of New York and Massachusetts, and one a subject of Great Britain; not one of whom it was even pretended had ever set his foot on the soil of Georgia.
The Milledgeville [Ga.] Federal Union, of Feb. 1, 1836 contained an offer of $10,000 for kidnapping A. A. Phelps, a clergyman residing in the city of New York.
The Committee of Vigilance of the Parish of East Feliciana, offered in the Louisiana Journal of 15th Oct., 1835, $50,000 to any person who would deliver into their hands Arthur Tappan, a New York merchant [brother of this book's author Lewis Tappan].
At a public meeting of the citizens of Mount Meigs, Alabama, 13th August, 1836, the Honorable [!] Bedford Ginress in the chair, a reward of $50,000 was offered for the apprehension of [abolitionists] Arthur Tappan, or Le Roy Sunderland, a clergyman of the Methodist Church residing in New York.
Let us now witness the practical operation of that murderous spirit which dictated the foregoing villainous bribes. We have already seen the conduct of the slave-holding community to negro offenders; we are now to notice its tender mercies to men of its own color.
In 1835, there was a real or affected apprehension of a servile insurrection [rescue] in the State of Mississippi. The slaveholders, as usual on such occasions, were exceedingly frightened, and were exceedingly cruel. A pamphlet was afterwards published, entitled “Proceedings of the Citizens of Madison County, Miss., at Livingston, in July, 1835, in relation to the trial and punishment of several individuals implicated in a contemplated insurrection in this State.—Prepared by Thomas Shuckelford, Esquire. Printed at Jackson, Miss.”
This pamphlet, then, is the Southern account of the affair; and while it is more minute in its details than the narratives published in the newspapers at the time, we are not aware that it contradicts them. It may be regarded as a sort of semi-official report put forth by the slaveholders, and published under their implied sanction [approval]. It appears, from this account, that in consequence of "rumors" that the slaves meditated [planned] an insurrection—that a colored girl had been heard to say that
a meeting was held at which resolutions were signed, organizing a committee, and authorizing them
This was certainly a most novel mode of erecting and commissioning a Court of judicature, with the power of life and death, expressly authorized to act independently of “the laws of the land.”
The Constitution of the State of Mississippi, which no doubt many of the honorable Judges of the Court had on other occasions taken an oath to support, contains the following clause:—
Previous to the organization of this [alleged] Court, FIVE slaves had already been HUNG by the people. The Court, or rather, as it was
modestly called by the meeting who erected it, “the committee,” proceeded to try Dr. Joshua Cotton, of New England. It was proved to the satisfaction of the committee that he had been detected in many low tricks—that he was deficient in feeling and affection for his second wife—that he had traded with negroes—that he had asked a negro boy whether the slaves were whipped much, how he would like to be free? &c. It is stated that Cotton made a confession that he had been aiming to bring about a conspiracy. The committee condemned him TO BE HANGED IN AN HOUR AFTER SENTENCE.
William Saunders, a native of Tennessee, was next tried. He was convicted “of being often out at night, and giving no satisfactory explanation for so doing”—of equivocal conduct—of being intimate with Cotton, &c. Whereupon, by a unanimous vote, he was found guilty and sentenced to be HUNG. He was executed with Cotton on the 4th of July.
Albe Dean, of Connecticut, was next tried. He was convicted of being a lazy, indolent man, having very little pretensions to honesty—of “pretending to make a living by constructing washing machines”—of “often coming to the owners of runaways, to intercede with the masters to save them from a whipping.” He was sentenced to be HUNG, and was executed.
A. L. Donavan, of Kentucky, was then put on his trial. He was suspected of having traded with the negroes—of being found in their cabins, and enjoying himself in their Society. It was proved that “at one time he actually undertook to release a negro who was tied, which negro afterwards implicated him,” and that he once told an overseer “it was cruel work to be whipping the poor negroes as he was obliged to do.” The committee were satisfied, from the evidence before them, that Donavan was an emissary of those deluded fanatics of the North, the abolitionists. He was condemned to be HUNG, and suffered accordingly.
Ruel Blake was next tried, condemned and HUNG. “He protested his innocence to the last, and said his life was sworn away [convicted by pro-slavery perjury].”
Here we have a record of no less than TEN men, five black and five white, probably all innocent of the crime alleged against them, deliberately and publicly put to death by the slaveholders, without the shadow of legal authority.
The Maysville, Ken. Gazette, in announcing Donavan's murder, says,
A letter from Donavan to his wife, written just before his execution, and published in the Maysville paper,
And now, did these butcheries by the Mississippi PLANTERS excite the indignation of the slaveholding communities? Receive the answer from an editor of the Ancient Dominion [Virginia], replying to the [anti-lynching editorial] comments of a Northern newspaper.
About the time of the massacre in Clinton County, another awful tragedy was perfonned at Vicksburg in the same State. FIVE men, said to be gamblers, were HANGED by the mob on the 5th July, in open day.
The Louisiana Advertiser, of 13th July, says,
The sympathy of the Louisiana editor, so different from his brother of Richmond, was probably owing to the fact, that the murdered men were accused of being gamblers, and not abolitionists.
When we said these five men were hung by the mob, we did not mean what Chancellor Harper calls “the democratic rabble.” It seems the Cashier of a Bank, a man to whom the slaveholders
entrust the custody of their money, officiated on the occasion as Master of Ceremonies.
A few days after the murders at Vicksburg, a negro named Vincent was sentenced by a Lynch club at Clinton, Miss., to receive 300 lashes, for an alleged participation in an intended insurrection. We copy from the Clinton Gazette.
Thus, SIXTEEN human beings were deliberately and publicly murdered, by assembled crowds, in different parts of the State of Mississippi, within little more than one WEEK, in open defiance of the laws and Constitution of the State.
And now we ask, what notice did the chief magistrate of Mississippi, sworn to support her Constitution, sworn to execute her laws—what notice, we ask, did he take of these horrible massacres? Why, at the next session of the Legislature, Governor Lynch, addressing them in reference to abolition, remarked,
The iniquity and utter falsehood of this declaration, as applied to the transactions alluded to, are palpable. If the victims were innocent, no necessity required their murder. If guilty, no necessity required their execution contrary to law. There was no difficulty in securing their persons, and bringing them to trial.
The fact that this atrocity was perpetrated in “our little village,” and by a rural population, affords an emphatic and horrible indication of the [depraved] state of morals in one of the oldest and best of our [Bible-Belt] slave States.
Would that we could here close these fearful narratives; but another and more recent instance of that ferocious lawlessness which slavery [disproportionately by tobaccoists] has engendered, must still be added. The following facts are gathered from the Norfolk (Va.) Beacon of 19th Nov., 1842.
George W. Lore was, in April, 1842, convicted in [Bible-Belt] Alabama, on circumstantial evidence, of the crime of murder. The Supreme Court granted a new trial, remarking, as is stated in another paper, that the testimony on which he was convicted was
In the mean time, Lore escaped from jail, and was afterwards arrested. He was seized by a mob, who put it to vote, whether he should be surrendered to the civil authority or be hung. Of 132 votes, 130 were for immediate death, and he was accordingly hung at Spring Hill, Bourbon County, on the 4th November.
And now, fellow-citizens, what think you of Mr. Calhoun's [p 16, supra]
Do you number TRIAL BY JURY among free institutions?
You see on what basis it rests—the will of the slaveholders. You see by what tenure you and your children hold your lives.
In New York, you are told by high Southern authority [John Calhoun, p 17, supra],
But we ask you, where would your life be most secure if charged with crime, amid the rabble of New York or that of Clinton, Vicksburg, and Williamstown?
We think we have fully proved our assertion respecting the disregard
of human life felt by the slaveholding community; and of course their contempt for those legal barriers which are erected for its protection.
Let us now inquire more particularly how far slavery is indeed a stable basis, on which free institutions may securely rest.
[Pro-slavery] Governor [George] McDuffie, in his speech of 1834 to the South Carolina Legislature, characterized [ridiculed] the Federal Constitution as
Judging from their conduct, the slaveholders, while fully concurring with the [politician] Governor in his contempt for the national parchment, have quite as little respect for their own State Constitution and Laws.
The “tattered parchment” of which Mr. [George] McDuffie speaks, declares that
Notwithstanding this express provison, there are in almost every slave State, if not in all, laws for seizing, imprisoning, and then selling as slaves for life, citizens having black or yellow complexions, entering within their borders. This is done under pretence that the individuals are supposed to be fugitives from bondage.
When circumstances forbid such a supposition, other devices are adopted, for nullifying the provision we have quoted.
Truly indeed have the slaveholders rendered the Constitution a blurred, obliterated, and tattered parchment.
But whenever this same Constitution can, by the
grossest perversion, be made instrumental in upholding and perpetuating human bondage, then it acquires, for the time, a marvellous sanctity in their eyes, and they are seized with a holy indignation at the very suspicion of its profanation.
The readiness with which Southern Governors prefer the most false and audacious claims, under color of Constitutional authority, exhibits a state of society in which truth and honor are but little respected.
case, which, in a subsequent correspondence, he was compelled to admit. It turned out that the woman, instead of being stolen, went voluntarily, and no doubt joyfully, on board the vessel; and that the wearing apparel, &c., were tho clothes and ornaments worn by her; nor was there a pretence that Greenman had ever touched them, or ever had them in his possession.
“late of the County of Tuscaloosa,” for endeavoring to excite insurrection among the slaves, by circulating a seditious paper [under the First Amendment]; and on this indictment the Governor had the impudence to make a formal requisition for the surrender of the publisher, as a fugitive from justice, although he had never breathed the air of [been in] Alabama.
We have said that the slaveholders hold their own laws and Constitutions in the same contempt as those of tho Federal Government, whenever they conflict with the security and permanency of slavery.
One of the most inestimable of constitutional privileges is TRIAL BY JURY; and this, as we have seen, is trampled under foot with impunity, at the mandate of the slaveholders. Even JOHN TYLER, as it appears [p 24, supra], is for inflictmg summary punishment on abolitionists, by a Lynch club, “without resorting to any other tribunal.”
We now proceed to inquire how far they respect the liberty of speech and of the press.
The whole nation witnessed the late successful efforts of the slaveholders in Congress, by their various gag resolutions, and through the aid of recreant Northern politicians, to destroy all freedom of debate adverse to “the peculiar institution.” They were themselves ready to dwell, in debate, on the charms of human bondage; but when a member [of Congress] took the other side of the question, then, indeed, [pro-slaver congressmen said] he [any anti-slavery speaker] was out of order, the constitution was outraged, and the Union endangered.
We all know the violent threats which have been used, to intimidate the friends of human rights from expressing their sentiments [views] in the national legislature [Congress].
The Charleston Mercury is, on this subject, very high authority; and in 1837 its editor announced that
When so much malignity [hatred] is manifested [by slavers] against the freedom of speech, in the very sanctuary of American liberty, it is not to be supposed that it will be tolerated in the house of bondage. We have already quoted [p 25, supra] a Southern paper, which declares that the moment
In Marion College, Missouri, there appeared some symptoms of anti-slavery feeling among the students. A Lynch club assembled, and the Rev. Dr. Ely, one of the professors, appeared before them, and denounced abolition, and submitted a series of resolutions passed by the faculty, and among them the following:
The Lynchers were pacified, and neither tore down the college nor hung up the professors; but before separating they resolved that they would oppose the elevation to office of any man entertaining abolition sentiments [views], and would withhold their countenance and support from every such member of the community. Indeed, it is obvious to any person attentive to the movements of the South, that the slaveholders dread domestic far more than foreign interference with tbeir darling system. They dread you, fellow-citizens, and they dread converts among themselves.
The Constitutions of all the slave States guarantee, in the most solemn and explicit terms, the Liberty of the Press; but it is well undcrstood that there is one exception to its otherwise unbounded license—Property in human flesh is too sacred to be assailed by the press.
The very instant the press ventures beyond its prescribed limits, the constitutional barriers crected for its protection sink into the dust, and a censorship, the more stern and vindictive for being illegal, crushes it into submission. The midnight burglary perpetrated upon the Charleston Post-office, and the conflagration of the anti-slavery papers found in it, are well known. These [news] papers had been sent to distinguished citizens, but it was deemed inexpedient [by slavers] to permit them to read facts and arguments against slavery.
Pains will be taken to prevent you
from reading this address, and vast pains have been taken to keep slaveholders as well as others ignorant of every fact and argument that militates against the system.
Hence Mr. Calhoun's famous [infamous] bill [Senate resolution], authorizing every Southern post-master to abstract [seize, confiscate] from the mails every paper relating to slavery. Hence the insane efforts constantly made to expurgate the literature of the world of all recognition of the rights of black men. Novels, annuals, poems, and histories, containing sentiments [views] hostile to human bondage, are proscribed at the South, and Northern publishers have had the extreme baseness to publiish mutilated editions for the Southern market.*
In some of the slave States laws have been passed establishing a censorship of the press, for the exclusive and special benefit of the slaveholders. Some time [ago] since an anti-slavery pamphlet was mailed at New York, directed to a gentleman in Virginia. Presently a letter was received from William Wilson, post-master at Lexington, Va., saying—
The Rev. Robert J. Breckenridge, a well-known zealous opponent of abolition, edited, in 1835, “The Baltimore Religious Magazine.” A number [an issue] of this magazine contained an article from a correspondent, entitled “Bible-Slavery.” The tone of this article not suiting the slave-breeders of Petersburg (Virg.), the subscribers were deprived of the numbers [issues] forwarded to them through the post-office of that town. The magazines were taken from the Office, and on the 8th May, 1838, were burnt in the street, before the door of the public reading-room, in the presence and by the direction of the Mayor and Recorder!!
It is surely unnecessary to remark, tbat this Virginia law is in
contemptuous violation of the Constitution of Virginia, and of the authority of the Federal Government. The act of Congress requires each post-master to deliver the papers which come to his office to the persons to whom they are directed, and they require him to take an oath to fulfil his duty. The Virginia [politicians] law imposes duties on an officer over whom they have no control, utterly at variance with his oath, and the obligations under wbich he assumed the office. If the postmaster must select, under a heavy penalty, for a public bonfire, all papers bearing on slavery, why may he not be hereafter required to select, for the same fate, all papers hostile to Popery? Yet similar laws are now in force in various slave States.
Not only is this espionage exercised over the mail, but measures are taken to keep the community [especially, Southern non-slaveholders] in ignorance of what is passing abroad in relation to slavery, and what opinions are elsewhere held respecting it.
On the 1st of August, 1842, an interesting address [speech] was delivered in Massachusetts, by the late Dr. Channing, in relation to West India emancipation, embracing, as was natural and proper, reflections on American slavery.
This address was copied into a New York weekly paper, and the number [issue] containing it was offered for sale, as usual, by the agent of the periodical at Charleston. Instantly the agent was prosecuted by the South Carolina Association, and was held to bail in the sum of $1,000, to answer for his CRIME.
Presently after, this same agent received for sale a supply of [Charles] “Dickens' Notes on the United States,” but having before his eyes the fear of the slaveholders, he gave notice in the newspapers, that the book would
And so the population of one of the largest cities of the slave region were not permitted to read a book they were all burning with impatience to see, till the volume had been first inspected by a self-constituted board of censors! The slaveholders, however, were in this instance afraid to put their power to the test—the people might have rebelled if forbidden to read the “Notes,” and hence one of the most powerful, effective anti-slavery tracts yet issued from the press was permitted to be circulated, because people would read [insist on reading] what Dickens had written.
Surely, fellow-citizens, you will not accuse us of slander, when we say that the slaveholders have abolished among you the liberty of the press. Remember the assertion [p 26, supra] of the editor of the Missouri Argus:
A distinguished foreigner, after travelling in the Southern States, remarked that the very aspect [nature, conditions, character, population] of the country bore testimony to the temerity of the nullifiers, who, defenceless and exposed as they are, could not dare to hazard a civil war; and surely no people in the world have more cause to shrink from an appeal to arms. We find at the  South no one element of military strength.
Slavery, as we have seen [pp 5-18, supra], checks [impairs] the progress of population, of the arts, of enterprise, and of industry. But above all, the laboring class, which in other countries affords the materials of which armies are composed, is regarded among you as your most deadly foe; and the sight of a thousand negroes with arms in their hands, would send a thrill of terror through the stoutest hearts, and excite a panic which no number of the veteran troops of Europe could produce.
During our revolutionary war [1776-1783], when the idea of negro emancipation had scarcely entered the imagination of any of our citizens—when there were no “fanatic abolitionists,” no “incendiary publications,” no “treasonable” anti-slavery associations; in those palmy days of slavery, no small portion of the Southern militia were withdrawn from the defence of the country to protect the slaveholders from the vengeance of their own bondmen!
This you would be assured was abolition slander, were not the fact recorded in the national archives. The Secret Journal of Congress (Vol. I., p. 105) contains the following remarkable and instructive record:—
At the first census, in 1790, eleven years after this report [the 1779 Report], and
when the slaves had unquestionably greatly increased their numbers, there were only 107,094 fewer than the whites. If, then, these slaves exposed their masters “to great danger,” and the militia of South Carolina were obliged to stay af home to protect their families, not from the foreign invaders, but the domestic enemies, what would be the condition of the little blustering nullifying State, with a foreign army on her shores, and 335,000 slaves ready to aid it, while her own white population, militia and all, is [in 1843] but as two whites to three blacks [40% white, 60% black]?
You well know that
It is natural that we should fear those whom we are conscious of having deeply injured, and all history and experience testify that fear is a cruel passion. Hence the shocking severity with which, in all slave countries, attempts to shake off an unrighteous yoke are punished. So late even as 1822, certain slaves in Charleston were suspected of an intention to rise and assert their freedom [constitutional rights]. No overt act was committed, but certain blacks were found who professed to testify against their fellows, and some, it is said, confessed their intentions.
On this ensued one of the most horrible judicial butcheries on record. It is not deemed necessary, in the chivalrous Palmetto State, to give grand and petit juries the trouble of indicting and trying slaves, even when their lives are at stake. A [pretended] court, consisting of two Justices of the Peace and five freeholders, was convened for the trial of the accused, and the followiug were the results of their [murderous kangaroo court] labors:—
Now, let it be remembered, that this sacrifice of human life was made by one of the lowest tribunals in the State; a tribunal consisting of two petty magistrates and five freeholders, appointed for the occasion, not possessing a judicial rank, nor professing to be learned in the law; in short, a tribunal which would not be trusted to decide the title to an acre of ground—we refer not to the individuals composing the court, but to the court itself;—a
[Bible-Belt] court which has not power to take away the land of a white man, hangs black men by dozens!
Listen to the confessions of the slaveholders with regard to their happy dependents; the men who are so contented under the patriarchial system, and whose condition might well excite the envy of northern laborers, “the great democratic rabble.”
Governor Hayne, in his message of 1833, warned the South Carolina Legislature, that
So it seems the happy slaves are to be kept from insurrection [rescue] by a state of military preparation. We have seen that, during the revolutionary war, the Carolina militia were kept at home watching the slaves, instead of meeting the British in the field; but now it seems the same task awaits the militia in a season of profound peace. Another South Carolinian* admonishes his countrymen thus:
In a debate in the Kentucky Legislature, in 1841, Mr. Harding, opposing the repeal of the law prohibiting the importation of slaves from other States, and looking forward to the time when the blacks would greatly out-number the whites, exclaimed:
* The author of “A Refutation of the Calumnies inculcated against the Southern and Western States.”
Such are the terrific visions which are constantly presenting themselves to the affrighted imaginations of the slaveholders; such the character which, among themselves, they attribute to their own domestics.
Attend to one more, and that one an extraordinary confession:
And now we ask you, fellow citizens, if all these declarations and confessions be true—and who can doubt it—what must be your inevitable condition, should your soil be invaded by a foreign foe [or the Union Army?!!], bearing the standard [flag, slogan, message, program] of EMANCIPATION?
In perfect accordance with the above confession, that to the non-slaveholding States the South is indebted for a permanent safeguard against insurrection, Mr. Underwood, of Kentucky, uttered these pregnant words in a debate, in 1842, in Congress,
The action of the Federal Government is, we know, controlled by the slave interest [power]; and what testimony does that action bear to the military weakness of the South? Let the reports of its high functionaries answer.
The Secretary of War, in his report for 1842, remarked,
The Secretary's fears had been evidently excited by the organization of black regiments in the British West Indies, and the threats of certain English writers, that a war between the two countries would result in the liberation of the [U.S.] slaves.
The report from the Quarter-Master, General Jessup, a Southern man, betrays the same anxiety, and in less ambiguous terms:
The Secretary of the Navy, a slaveholder, hints his fears in cautions circumiocution. Speaking of the event of a war with any considerable maritime power, he says,
He [the pro-slavery U.S. Secretary of the Navy] then proceeds to show that the enemy would seek success
and he admits, that
In plain language, an invading enemy would strike the first blow at the slave system, and thus aim at revolution,—a revolution that would give liberty to two and a half millions of human beings; and that such a war would be very embarrassing to the slaveholders, and the more horrible, because, as formerly in South Carolina [p 42, supra], a large share of their military force would necessarily be employed, not in fighting the enemy, but in guarding the SOCIAL, that is, the “patriarchal system.”
No persons are more sensible of their hazardous situation than the slaveholders themselves, and hence, as is common with people who are secretly conscious of their own weakness, they attempt to supply the want [lack] of strength by a bullying insolence, hoping to effect by intimidation what they well know can be effected in no other way. This game has long been played, and with great success, in Congress. It has been attempted in our negotiations with Great Britain, and has  signally failed.
Your [Southern slaver] aristocracy, whatever may be their vaunts [bragging], are conscious of their military weakness, and shrink from any contest which may cause a foreign army to plant the standard [flag, slogan, message, program] of emancipation
upon their soil. The very idea of an armed negro startles their fearful imaginations [pp 42 and 46, supra].
This [Souhern fear of armed blacks] is disclosed on innumerable occasions, but was conspicuously manifested in a debate in the Senate. In July, 1842, a Bill to regulate enlistments in the naval service being under consideration, Mr. CALHOUN proposed an amendment, that negroes should be enlisted only as cooks and stewards. He thought it a matter of great consequence not to admit blacks into our vessels of national defence. Mr. [Thomas Hart] BENTON [Missouri Senator] thought all arms, whether on land or sea, ought to be borne by the white race.
Mr. [Senator] BAGBY [said].
On the motion of Mr. PRESTON, the bill was so amended as to include the army.
And think you that men, thus in awe [fear] of their own dependents [slaves], shuddering at a musket in the hands of a black, and with a population of two millions and a half of these dreaded slaves, will expose themselves to the tremendous consequences of a union between their domestic and foreign enemies? Of the four who voted against the British treaty, probably not one would have given the vote he did, had he not known to a certainty that the treaty would be ratified.
Think not we are disposed to ridicule the fears of the slaveholders, or to question their personal courage. God knows their perils [from the threat of freedom] are real, and not imaginary: and who can question, that with a hostile [anti-slavery] British army in the heart of Virginia or Alabama, the whole slave region would presently become one vast scene of horror and desolation [mass rescue by tyrannicide of slavers]?
Heretofore the invaders of our soil were themselves interested in slave property [pro-slavery]: now they would be zealous emancipationists, and they would be accompanied by the most terrific vision which could meet the eye of a slaveholder, regiments of black troops, fully equipped and disciplined. Surely such a state of things might well appal the bravest heart, and palsy the stoutest arm.
But, fellow-citizens, what, in such a catastrophe, would be your condition? Your fate and that of your wives and chiidren would then be linked to that of your lordly neighbors. One indiscriminate ruin would await you all. But you may avert these accumulated horrors. You may change two and a half millions of domestic and implacable enemies into faithful friends and generous protectors. No sooner shall the negroes cease to be oppressed, than they will cease to hate.
The planters [slavers] of Jamaica were formerly as much afraid of their slaves, as your planters now are of theirs. But the Jamaica slaves, now
freemen, are no long dreaded; on the contrary, they form the chief military force of the island; and should a foreign foe attack it, would be found its willing and devoted defenders.
It rests with you [Southern non-slaveholding readers] to relieve your country of its most dangerous enemy, to render it invulnerable to foreign assaults, and to dissipate that fearful anticipation of wrath and tribulation, which now broods over and oppresses the mind of every white who resides in a slave country.
We have called your attention to the practical influence of slavery on various points deeply affecting your [Southern] prosperity and happiness. These are:
You [non-slaveholding readers] will surely agree with us, that in many of these particulars, the [Southern] States to which you belong are sunk far below the ordinary condition of civilized nations. The slaveholders,
are, as a civilized and professedly a Christian community [Bible-Belt], without a parallel, unless possibly among some of the anarchical States of South America.
When compelled to acknowledge the superior prosperity of the free States, the slaveholders are fond of imputing the difference
Let us then inquire, whether the inferior and unhappy condition of the slave States can indeed be ascribed to any natural disadvantage under which they are laboring, or to any partial or unjust legislation by the Federal Government?
In the first place, the slave States cannot pretend that they have not received their full share of the national domain, and that the narrowness of their territorial limits have retarded the development of their enterprise and resources. The area [size, territory] of the slave
States is nearly double that of the free. New York has acquired the title of the Empire State; yet she is inferior in size to Virginia, Missouri, Georgia, Louisiana, or North Carolina.
Nor can it be maintained that the free States are in advance of the slave States, because from an earlier settlement they had the start in the race of improvement. Virginia is not only the largest, but the oldest settled State in the confederacy [U.S.A.]. She, together with Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, were all settled before Pennsylvania.
Nor will any slaveholder admit, for a moment, that Providence has scattered his gifts with a more sparing hand at the South than at the North. The richness of their soil, the salubrity of their climate, the number and magnitude of their rivers, are themes on which they delight to dwell; and not unfrequent is the contrast they draw between their own fair and sunny land, and the ungenial climate and sterile soil of the Northern and Eastern States.
Hence the moral difference between the two sections of our republic must arise from other than natural causes. It appears also that this difference is becoming wider and wider. Of this fact we could give various proofs; but let one suffice.
Thus it appears that in 1790 the free population of the South was 72 per cent. of that of the North, and that in 1840 it was only 49 per cent.; while the difference in 1840 is more than nine times as great as it was in 1790.
Thus you perceive how unequal is the race in which you are contending. Fifty years have given the North an increased preponderance of about four and a half millions of free citizens. Another fifty years will increase this preponderance in a vastly augmented ratio.
And now we ask you, why this downward course? Why this continually increasing disparity between you and your Northern brethren? Is it because the interests of the slaveholders are not represented in the national councils? Let us see.
We have already shown you that your free population is only 49 per cent. of that of the Northern States; that is, the inhabitants
of the free States are more than double the free inhabitants of the slave Siates. Now, what is the proportion of members of Congress from the two sections?
In the Senate, the slave States have precisely as many as the free; and in the lower House, their members are 65 per cent. [not 49%] of those from the free States.*
The Senate has a veto on every law; and as one half of that body are slaveholders, it follows, of course, that no law can be passed without their consent. Nor has any bill passed the Senate, since the organization of the government, but by the votes of slaveholders. It is idle, therefore, for them to impute their depressed condition to unjust and partial legislation, since they have from the very first controlled the action of Congress. Not a law has been passed, not a treaty ratified, but by their votes.
Nor is this all. Appointments under the federal government are made by the President, with the consent of the Senate, and of course the slaveholders have, and always have had, a veto on every appointment. There is not an officer of the federal government to whose appointment slaveholding members of the Senate have not consented.
Yet all this gives but an inadequate idea of the [disproportionate Electoral College] political influence exercised by the people of the slave States in the election of President, and consequently over the policy of his administration.
In consequence of the peculiar apportionment of Presidential Electors among the States, and the operation of the rule of federal numbers—whereby, for the purpose of estimating the representative population, five slaves are counted as three white men—most extraordinary results are exhibited at every election of President. In the election of 1848, the Electors chosen were 290: of these 169 were from the free, and 121 from the slave States.
Even this disproportion, enormous as it is, is greatly aggravated in regard to particular States.
† South Carolina had 9 electors, chosen by the Legislature. These are deducted in the calculation.
These facts address themselves to the understanding of all, and prove, beyond cavil [objection], that the slave States have a most unfair and unreasonable [excess] representation in Congress, and a very disproportionate [overly large] share in the election of President [by excess Electoral College votes].
Nor can these States complain that they are stinted [short-changed] in the distribution of the patronage [federal jobs] of the national government. The rule of federal numbers, confined by the Constitution to the apportionment of representatives, has been extended, by the influence of the slaveholders, to other and very different subjects. Thus, the distribution among the States of the surplus revenue, and of the proceeds of the public lands, was made according to this same iniquitous rule.
It is not to be supposed that the slaveholders have failed to avail themselves of their influence in the federal government. A very brief statement will convince you, that if they are now feeble and emaciated [as Southerners alleged, blaming tariff, etc.], it is not because they have been deprived of their share of the loaves and fishes [national resources and revenues].
By law, midshipmen and cadets, at West Point, are appointed accordiug to the Federal ratio [the Electoral College ratio]; thus have the slaveholders secured to themselves an additional number of officers in the Army and Navy, on account of their slaves.
Reflect for a moment on the vast patronage wielded by the President of the United States, and then recollect, that should the present incumbent (General Taylor) serve his full term, the office will have been filled no less than fifty-two years out of sixty-four by slaveholders!*
Of 21 Secretaries of State, appointed up to 5th March, 1849, only six have been taken from the free States.
For 37 years out of 60, the chair [Speaker] of the House of Representatives has been filled and its Committees appointed by slaveholders.
Of the Judges of the [U.S.] Supreme Court, 18 have been taken from the slave, and but 14 from the free States.
In 1842, the United States were represented at foreign Courts [governments] by 19 Ministers and Charges d'Affaires [ambassadors]. Of these fat Offices, no less than 13 were assigned to slaveholders!
Surely, surely, if the South be wanting [lacking] in every element of prosperity—if ignorance, barbarity and poverty be her characteristics, it is not because she has not exercised her due [undue] influence in the general govemment, or received her share of its honors and emoluments.
If, fellow-citizens, with all the natural and political advantages we have enumerated, your progress is still downward, and has been so, compared with the other sections of the country, since the first organization of the Government, what are the anticipations of the distant future, which sober reflection authorizes you to form? The causes which now retard the increase of your population must continue to operate, so long as slavery lasts.
In the meantime, especially in the cotton States, the slaves will continue to increase in a ratio far beyond the whites, and will at length acquire a fearful [significant] preponderance [thus enable successful rescue].
At the first census, in every slave State there was a very large majority of whites—now, the slaves out-number the whites in South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana, and the next census will unquestionably add Florida and Alabama, and probably Georgia, to the number of negro States.
And think you that this is the country, and this the age [historical time-frame], in which the republican maxim that the MAJORITY must govern, can be long and barbarously reversed?
Think you that the majority of the PEOPLE in the cotton States, cheered and encouraged as they will be by the sympathy of the world, and the example of the West Indies, will forever tamely submit to be beasts of burden for a few lordly planters? And remember, we pray you, that the number and physical strength of the negroes will increase in a nmch greater ratio tban that of their masters.
Maryland and Virginia, the great [slave] breeding States, have reduced their stock within the last few years, having been tempted, by high prices, to ship off thousands and tens of tbousands to the markets of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. But these markets are already glutted, and human flesh has fallen in value from 50 to 75 per cent.
Nor is it probable that the great staple of Virginia and Maryland will hereafter afford a bounty on its production. In these States slave labor is unprofitable, and the bondman is of but little value, save as an article of exportation.
The cotton cultivation in the East Indies, by cheapening the article, will close the markets in the South, and thus it guarantees the abolition of slavery in the breeding States. When it shall be found no longer profitable to raise slaves for the market, the stock on hand will be driven South and sold for what it may fetch, and free labor substituted in its place. This process will be attended with results disastrous to the cotton States.
To Virginia and Maryland, it will open a new era of industry, prosperity and wealth; and the industrious poor, the “mean whites” of the South, will remove within their borders, thus leaving the slaveholders more defenceless than ever.
But while the white population of the South will be thus diminished, its number of slaves will be increased by the addition of the stock from the [slave] breeding States.
And what, fellow-citizens, will be the condition of such of you as shall then remain in the slave States? The change to which we have referred will necessarily aggravate every present evil. Ignorance, vice, idleness, lawless violence, dread of insurrection [rescue], anarchy, and a haughty and vindictive aristocracy will all combine with augmented energy in crushing you to the earth.
And from what quarter do you look for redemption? Think you [that] your planting nobility will ever grant freedom to their serfs, from sentiments of piety or patriotism? Remember that your clergy of all sects and ranks, many of them “Christian brokers in the trade of blood,” unite
Do you trust to their [slavers'] patriotism?
Remember that the beautiful
and affecting contrast between the prosperity of the North and the desolation of the South, already presented to you, was drawn by W. C. Preston, of hanging notoriety [pp 13-14, supra].
No, fellow-citizens, your great slaveholders have no idea of surrendering the personal importance and the political influence they derive from their slaves. Your Calhouns, Footes, and Prestons, all go for everlasting slavery.
Unquestionably there are many of the smaller slaveholders who would embrace abolition sentiments, were tbey permitted to examine the subject; but at present they are kept in ignorance [by media censorship, pp 38-41, supra, preventing information dissemination].
If then the fetters of the slave are not to be broken by the master, by whom is he to be liberated? In the course of time, a hostile army, invited by the weakness or the arrogance of the South, may land on your shores.
Then, indeed, emancipation will be given, but the gift may be bathed in the blood of yourselves and of your children.
Or the People—for they will be THE PEOPLE—may resolve to be free, and you and all you hold dear may be sacrificed in the contest.
Suffer us, fellow-citizens, to show you “a more excellent way.”
We seek the welfare of all, the rich and the poor, the bond and the free. While we repudiate all acknowledgment of property in human beings, we rejoice in the honest, lawful prosperity of the planter. Let not, we beseech you, the freedom of the slave proceed from the armed invader of your soil, nor from his own torch and dagger [rescue]—but from your peaceful and constitutional interference in his behalf.
In breaking the chains which bind the slave, be assured you will be delivering yourselves from a grievous thraldom. Ponder well, we implore you, the following suggestions.
Without your co-operation, the slaveholders, much as they despise you [Southern non-slaveholders], are powerless. To you they look for agents, and stewards, for overseers, and drivers, and patrols. To you they look for votes to elevate them to office, and to you they too often look for aid to enforce their Lynch laws.
Feel then your own power; claim your rights, and exert them for the deliverance of the slave, and consequently for your own happiness and prosperity.
Let then your first demand be for LIBEBTY OF SPEECH. Your Constitution and laws guarantee to you this right in the most solemn and explicit tenus; and yet you have permitted a few slaveholders to rob you of it. Resume it at once. Be not afraid to speak openly of your wrongs, and of the true cause of them. Dread not the Lynch clubs. They [cannot enforce their]
own sentences, if you resist them. They shrank, in Charleston, from prohibiting the sale of Dickens' Notes, because they believed the people were determined to read them [p 41, supra].
Had the same curiosity been felt in Petersburg, to read the article on Bible Slavery in Breckenridge's Magazine, the slaveholders there would not have dared to purloin them from the post-office and burn them in the street [p 40, supra].
In the one place they strained at a gnat, in the other they swallowed a camel.
Be assured, your bullies are timid bullies; not that they are wanting in individual courage, but because they are aware that their authority rests, not on their physical strength, but on your habits of deference and obedience.
Speak then boldly, and without disguise; and be assured that no sooner will your tongues be loosed on the forbidden subject, than you will be surprised to find what a coincidence of thought exists in relation to it.
Discussion once commenced, the enemies of slavery will multiply faster with you than they do elsewhere for the obvious reason, that with you tbere is no dispute about facts. You all know and daily witness the blighting influence of the curse which overspreads your land; and believe us, that just in proportion as your courage rises, will the arrogance of your oppressors sink.
By conversing freely among yourselves, and proclaiming your hostility to slavery in public meetings, you will create an influence that will soon reach the PRESS. The [censorship] bands with which the slaveholders have bound this Leviathan will then be snapped asunder. Once establish a FREE PRESS, and the fate of slavery is sealed. Such a press
Having gained the liberty of speech and of the press, you will go on, conquering and to conquer. Political action on your part will lead to new triumphs. The State legislatures and the public offices will no longer be the exclusive patrimony of the holders of slaves.
Having once obtained a footing in your legislative halls, you will have secured in a quiet, peaceable, constitutional mode, the downfall of slavery, the recovery of your rights, and the prosperity and happiness of your country.
Think us not extravagantly sanguine [optimistic]. The very horror manifested by the slaveholders of the means we recomend, is evidence of their efficacy.
We advise you to exercise freedom of speech. Have they not endeavored to bully you into silence by the threat [p 25, supra], that
and that the moment any private individual talks
about the means of terminating slavery [p 25, supra],
Promote a free press. Is not the wisdom of the recommendation verified by the proclamation made [p 41, supra] of “instant death” to the abolition editors in the slave States, if “they avow their opinions?”
Your Constitutions have indeed been rendered [p 35, supra] by the slaveholders “blurred and obliterated parchments;” be it your care to restore them to their pristine beauty, and to make them fair and legible charters of the rights of man.
But we doubt not, fellow-citizens, that although you give your cordial assent to all we have said respecting the practical influence of slavery, you have, nevertheless, some misgivings about the effect of immediate emancipation.
Shut up as you are in [censored] darkness on this subject, threatened with death if you talk or write about it; while the utmost pains [censorship actions] are taken to prevent books or papers, which might enlighten you, from falling into your hands, it would be wonderful [amazing] indeed, were you at once prepared to admit the safety and policy of instant and unconditional emancipation [per the Constitution].
You are [falsely] assured, and probably believe, that massacre, and conflagration, and universal ruin would ensue on “letting loose the negroes;” but you are kept in ignorance of the fact, that in various parts of the worid, negroes have been let loose, and in no one Instance have such consequences followed; and you are not permitted to learn, in discussion, the reasons why such consequences never have followed, and never will follow the immediate abolition of slavery.
What think you would be the fate of the man who should attempt to deliver a lecture in Charleston or Mobile on the safety of emancipation? Yet such a lecture might be delivered with perfect safety, were the lecturer to be accompanied by one or two hundred of your [Southern non-slaveholder] number, declaring their determination to maintain freedom of speech and to protect the lecturer.
colonies, among the liberated slaves, ten, twenty, thirty times as numerous as the whites, a degree of tranquility and good order and security is enjoyed, utterly unknown in any Southern or Western slave State.
The complaints, grossly exaggerated, if they reach you through the medium of a pro-slavery press) of the want of labor and the diminution of production, arise not from the idleness, but the industry of the enfranchised slaves. Their wives and children, no longer toiling under the lash, are now engaged in the occupations of the family and of the school; while many of the fathers and husbands have become landholders, and raise their own food, and also articles for the market. Substantial and honest prosperity is gradually taking the place of that wealth, which, as in all other slave countries, was concentrated in the hands of a few, and was extorted from the labor of a wretched, degraded and dangerous population.
If you admit the greatest happiness of the greatest number to be the true test of national prosperity, then, beyond all controversy, the British West Indies are now infinitely more prosperous than at any previous period of their history.
Despots and aristocrats have, in all ages, been afraid of “turning loose” the PEOPLE, no matter of what hue was their complexion. You have seen that your own [South Carolina Governor George] McDuffie does not scruple to intimate, that, were not the Southern laborers already shackled, an order of nobility would be required to keep them in subjection; and a shudder seizes Chancellor Harper, when he reflects that the Northern allies of the slaveholders are democrats and agrarians.
A glorious career opens before you. In the place of your present contempt, and degradation, and misery, honor, and wealth, and happiness court your acceptance. By abolishing slavery you will become the architects of your own fortune, and of your country's greatness. The times are propitious for the great achievement.
You will be cheered by the approbation of your own consciences, and by the plaudits of mankind. The institution which oppresses you is suffering from the decrepitude of age, and is the scorn and loathing of the world. Out of the slave region, patriots and philanthropists, and Christians of every name and sect abhor and execrate it.
Do you pant for liberty and equality, more substantial than such as is now found only in your obliterated and tattered bills of right? Do you ask that your children may be rescued from the ignorance and irreligion to which they are now doomed, and that avenues may be opened for you and for them to honest and profitable employment? Unite then, we beseech you, with one heart and one mind, for the legal,
constitutional abolition of slavery. The enemy is waxing faint and losing his courage. He is terrified by the echo of his own threats, and the very proposal to dissolve the Union and leave him to his fate, throws him into paroxysms. The North, so long submissive to his mandates [the “slave-power”], and awed by his [slaver] insolence, laughs at his impotent rage; and all his hopes now rest upon a few profligate politicians whom he purchases with his votes, while their baseness excites his contempt, and their principles his fears. Mow is the time, fellow-citizens, to assail the foe. Up—quit yourselves like men: and may Almighty God direct and bless your efforts!
|Ed. Note: Lewis Tappan attended the Radical Abolitionist Convention, 26-28 June 1855, deeming slavery unconstitutional.
See also Prof. Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Lewis Tappan and the Evangelical War Against Slavery (Cleveland: Case Western Reserve Univ Press, 1969).