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Title: William Jay and the Constitutional Movement for the Abolition of Slavery
Author: Tuckerman, Bayard, 1855-1923
Language: English
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[Illustration]



  WILLIAM JAY
  AND
  THE CONSTITUTIONAL MOVEMENT FOR
  THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY

  BY
  BAYARD TUCKERMAN

  WITH A PREFACE BY
  JOHN JAY

  NEW-YORK
  DODD, MEAD & COMPANY
  1893


  Copyright by
  DODD, MEAD & COMPANY,
  1893.

  University Press:
  JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.



PREFACE

BY JOHN JAY.


A prolonged illness, added to other causes, has disappointed my hope of
completing an elaborate biography of my father.

This memoir by Mr. Tuckerman is devoted chiefly to the part borne by
Judge Jay in the antislavery work, to which his time and thoughts were
so long given. In this connection the memoir develops his personal
characteristics, with the constitutional principles and national policy
advocated by him in that historic contest; while of necessity it touches
but lightly on his home life, his varied correspondence, and his
judicial charges, one of which assisted to avert the passage of a
pro-slavery legislative act infringing the liberty of speech and of the
press; and the scope of the volume forbids its dwelling on his writings
on other topics, some of which are still subjects of discussion.

Judge Jay's memoir on the formation of a National Bible Society, which
in 1816 so warmly encouraged the hopes of the venerable Boudinot, was
followed by spirited controversial pamphlets with an antagonist as able
and eminent as Bishop Hobart. The correspondence after Jay's first
letter was marked by an unusual sharpness, which happily did not prevent
my cherished and lamented friend, the son and namesake of the Bishop,
from becoming in later years sincerely attached to his father's
antagonist. It was a contest in which Jay vindicated the right of
Churchmen to assist in the distribution of the Bible, and anticipated in
this his similar efforts for a lifetime to secure the united action of
all good citizens, without regard to creed or politics, in practicable
schemes for the elevation and happiness of mankind. Among his earlier
essays were two on "Sunday: Its Value as a Civil Institution, and Its
Sacred Character"; while a third, upon "Duelling as a Relic of
Barbarism," was honoured, when the authorship was still unknown, by a
medal from an anti-duelling association at Savannah.


THE LIFE OF JOHN JAY.

Judge Jay, in the life of his father, which was welcomed as an important
addition to our American biography of the Revolution, vindicated, by a
careful presentation of the historical evidence then available, the
soundness of the judgment of Jay and Adams, as peace commissioners at
Paris in 1782-83, regarding the policy of the French court as unfriendly
to the American claims to the boundaries, the fisheries, and the
Mississippi. That judgment, afterwards acquiesced in by Dr. Franklin in
the joint violation by the commissioners of the instructions of
Congress--a violation that enabled them to obtain from England
boundaries and concessions far greater than either Congress or France
expected--had been roughly criticised and denied, even in volumes of
diplomatic correspondence claiming an official sanction. Its vindication
by Judge Jay has recently been more than confirmed by the ample proofs
published by M. de Circourt in the secret correspondence of the Count de
Vergennes with his able corps of diplomatic agents, as well as by the
interesting revelations in Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice's "Life of Lord
Shelburne"; and these volumes have dissipated a cloud of error which for
half a century travestied the facts and dimmed the glory of the closing
act of the American Revolution.[A]


JAY'S "WAR AND PEACE," AND INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION.

Judge Jay's little book on "War and Peace," with a plan of stipulation
by treaty for international arbitration which subsequently led to his
becoming the president of the American Peace Society, and which before
its publication attracted the attention of that sturdy advocate for
peace, Joseph Sturge, during his visit at Bedford, seems entitled to
special notice as one whose scheme is still agitated in the governmental
and national councils of Europe. The plan promptly received the approval
of the Peace Society of London, and of English statesmen like Richard
Cobden and the indefatigable Henry Richard. It exercised a European
influence in the highest quarters when its spirit, under the leadership
of Lord Clarendon, received the sanction of the great powers of Europe
who signed the Treaty at Paris in 1856. Its endorsement, while
cautiously expressed, was recognized as having a new and profound
significance. The Protocol No. 23 declared the wish of the signatory
governments that states between which any serious misunderstanding might
arise should, before appealing to arms, have recourse, as far as
circumstances might allow, to the good offices of a friendly power; it
being understood that the wish expressed by Congress should not in any
case oppose limits to that liberty of appreciation which no power could
alienate in questions that touched its dignity. With that limitation the
recommendation, in advance of a resort to war to have recourse to a
friendly power, was introduced by the Congress to the International Code
of Europe; and among those great diplomatists were the Count Walewski
and Baron Bourgueny, on the part of France; Count de Buol-Schauenstein
and Baron de Hubner, on the part of Austria; Lord Clarendon and Lord
Cowley, on the part of Great Britain; Count Orloff and Baron de Bruno,
on the part of Russia; and Count Cavour and the Marquis de Villamarina,
on the part of Sardinia. The action of the Congress was subsequently
confirmed by that of the lesser states of Europe. Mr. Gladstone
pronounced the protocol "a very great triumph, a powerful engine in
behalf of civilized humanity." The late Earl of Derby referred to it as
"the principle which to its immortal honour was embodied in the
protocols of the Conference at Paris"; and the Earl of Malmesbury
pronounced the act "one important to civilization and to the security of
the peace of Europe." The idea that this scheme is more and more
regarded as widely applicable to international disputes, as easily
practicable and profoundly important to the peace of nations, would seem
probable from the extent to which, as the century approaches its
completion, the scheme has occupied more and more the attention of both
the statesmen and of the masses who are the most interested in
discovering a substitute for war.

For a time after the Geneva award, the moral weight and value of
international arbitration seemed to be more doubted than ever. It was
said that while the scheme had in that case avoided war, it had
suggested the probability of claims so extravagant and inadmissible as
almost to force the opposing party to break the treaty under the cover
of which they were advanced, even at the risk of increased hostility and
a resort to war; and that the escape of both nations from such a
catastrophe by the action of the Genevan Court in dismissing without
argument the American claims for indirect damages was but a happy
accident. But this idea seems to have been succeeded by the happier
thought that an appeal to international arbitration is an appeal to the
fairness of the world, and that the question for the parties, judges,
and spectators is so clearly one of honour, that no nation can afford to
ask what the justice of the world candidly disapproves. In the case of
the Geneva Congress, while the rejected claims were presented in the
name of the President, General Grant himself subsequently denied their
justice and approved their rejection. Sir Lyon (now Lord) Playfair, who
perhaps appreciates the entire subject of arbitration as thoroughly as
any living statesman, gave an interesting sketch of its recent progress,
both in Europe and America, in a paper entitled, "A Topic for
Christmas," in the _North American Review_ for December, 1890. Three
years before, Sir Lyon had headed a deputation of members of the English
Parliament who came to present to the President of the United States a
memorial from 234 members of the House of Commons, with delegates from
English Trades Unions representing 700,000 workingmen. Congress in
response concurrently resolved to invite from time to time, as fit
occasion might arise, negotiations with any government with which the
United States has or may have diplomatic relations, to the end that any
differences or disputes arising between the two governments which cannot
be settled by diplomatic agency may be referred to arbitration and be
peacefully adjusted by such means. Although Europe is supposed by many
to be awaiting a war of gigantic magnitude, Sir Lyon, referring to the
approval of arbitration by the Pan-American Congress by continental
parliaments and international assemblies at Paris and London, said that
the legislatures which had already passed resolutions in favor of
arbitration represented 150,000,000 of people, and remarked that the
extension of that feeling would be a better force than an international
police to secure the observance of treaties. The excess of war
preparation already endangering national credit and threatening national
bankruptcy is quoted as proving that the arbitration idea will be
insisted upon, and in the anticipated movement the United States is
described as fitted to be the leading champion of arbitration. Sheridan
is quoted among others as saying: "I mean what I say when I express the
belief that arbitration will rule the world." The scheme is now
represented as likely to be accepted by thinkers who reject the thought
of Kant, Bentham, and Mills for an international Congress; and Sir Lyon
Playfair, in connection with the idea of arbitration, quotes the remark
of Mazzini that "thought is the action of men and action the thought of
the people."


"THE WAR WITH MEXICO," AND ANTISLAVERY PAPERS.

The "Review of the War with Mexico" stands among Judge Jay's volumes
unexcelled by exactness of congressional, diplomatic, and, to some
extent, military research; and by plainness of speech in regard to
national outrages and perfidy without a name, perpetrated in the cause
of slavery; and his writings generally on this subject show the same
accurate inquiry and outspoken frankness. It was on the varied phases
of our treatment of the coloured people, free and slave, at our own
doors, the cruel wrong so full of injustice to the blacks, of scandal to
Christendom, and of menace to the republic, that Jay wrote with deepest
earnestness, the most exacting research, and a fearless pen. His inquiry
into "The American Colonization and the Antislavery Societies" and "The
Action of the Federal Government in Behalf of Slavery," developed facts
which implicated prominent politicians of both parties, and aroused at
once their surprise and indignation, while the disclosure directly
appealed to the pride and conscience of the American people. The same
judicial, dauntless, and defiant spirit marked the appeals which he
prepared for the Antislavery Society against the calumnies of the press,
and the dignified protest against the libellous charges so unworthily
made by President Jackson in his message to Congress. The same spirit
animated his address on "The Condition of the People of Colour in the
United States"; the "Appeal to the Friends of Constitutional Liberty, on
the Violation by the House of Representatives of the Right of Petition";
his supplement to "The Reproof of the American Church," by Bishop
Wilberforce of Oxford; the exposure in the letter to Bishop Ives of the
clerical efforts to sanctify slavery and caste; and his earnest demand
for the equal admission of the coloured churches to the Diocesan Council
of New York. So, too, with the critical analysis of Mr. Clay's
"Compromise Bill," including the Fugitive Law and Mr. Webster's "Theory
of Physical Geography"; his address to the inhabitants of New Mexico and
California, so timely distributed in English and Spanish, and so happily
followed in California by a free constitution, urging them to resist the
domination of slavery with its ignorance and degradation, and to secure,
by their own manly independence and just statesmanship, a glorious
future of power and happiness; his address to the antislavery
Christians; and his plain reminders to the Protestant Episcopal Church,
and to the Tract and other societies, of the inconsistency and evil
influence of their compromising pro-slavery policy.


CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES--AN HISTORIC PARALLEL.

The part of Jay's life pictured by Mr. Tuckerman not only exhibits these
characteristics, but shows the Antislavery Society to have been founded
by his care, in 1833, on constitutional principles so just and so
clearly defined, that in 1839 sixteen hundred and fifty auxiliary
societies had been established on the same basis, educating the rising
generation, on whom was to rest the destiny of the country in the near
future. It was an education of the quiet and effective influence of
which the pro-slavery leaders seemed unconscious, although to some it
may recall the thought of Dr. Storrs, when he said:--"When I think of a
millennium in our time, in our civilization, my thought rests and
fastens on the promise, 'a little child shall lead them.'" The charge
had already been made against the opponents of slavery of a disregard
of constitutional obligations--of a desire to dissolve the Union and to
encourage slave insurrection. The society declared the exclusive right
of each slave State to legislate in regard to slavery; the
constitutional right of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of
Columbia, to prohibit it in the Territories and new States, and to
control the domestic as well as the foreign slave trade; and it
disclaimed the idea of countenancing the slaves in vindicating their
rights by resorting to physical force. And here is suggested, by the
action and the anticipation of the Slave Power, an interesting historic
parallel. The formation of the Antislavery Society in December, 1833,
followed closely upon Mr. Calhoun's Nullification in South Carolina in
1832, when, as Mr. Pollard tell us, a medal was struck inscribed, "John
C. Calhoun, First President of the C. S. A." A counterpart of this medal
in gold is said to exist at Richmond, with the name of Jefferson Davis
as the first president of the Southern Confederacy, and "1861" on the
reverse side.

These incidents seem to emphasize the fact that the constitutional
principles adopted by the Antislavery Society in 1833, and so widely
circulated by the press and its auxiliaries before the war, although
often assailed, were, in 1854, made the basis of the Republican party,
which, as Americans of all sections may now with mutual regard and
affection thank God, maintained the Union and abolished slavery. Such a
revolution in public opinion is a forcible reminder of the truth that
every principle contains within itself the germ of a prophecy, and it is
a thought fraught with hope and confidence to reformers even when they
seem to be threatened with disaster and defeat.


THE EARLY SCHEME FOR A SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY.

The determination to found a confederacy with slavery as its cornerstone
appears as a fundamental feature in the policy of the Slave Power for
some thirty years before the outbreak of the Civil War. Mr. Calhoun's
idea of secession, apparently suggested by the tariff, General Jackson
predicted would be renewed on the question of slavery. The novel of
Prof. Beverly Tucker in 1835, entitled, "The Partisan Leader; or, Twenty
Years After," foreshadowed the steps at home and abroad which were taken
in forming the new confederacy; and in the South Carolina Convention in
1860, Southern politicians like Rhett, Parker, Keith, and Inglis said
that the matter had nothing to do with Mr. Lincoln or the Fugitive Law,
but had been culminating for a long series of years. The thought of a
Southern Confederacy may have stimulated the policy of using the power
of the Republic, while it lasted, in the interest of the Confederacy
that was to succeed it; supplying a motive for the Texan Rebellion, the
War with Mexico, the effort to secure Cuba, the filibustering
expeditions to Central America, the determination to reopen the African
slave-trade, and the pro-slavery action of the Buchanan administration.


NORTHERN AND EUROPEAN SYMPATHY WITH SLAVERY.

It would be hardly fair to the Southern leaders to assume that they
found no reason for their hope of effecting the dissolution of the Union
in the sympathy and aid promised from the North and from Europe. The
secret conferences with Lord Lyons of Northern sympathizers with slavery
were disclosed by the despatches of that eminent diplomatist. Mayor
Fernando Wood's proposition that New York should become a free city,
independent both of the States and the nation, showed in no slight
degree the temper of the citizens whom he represented; while the later
appeal of so eminent and popular a leader as Governor Horatio Seymour to
the citizens of the State was equally significant when he said, "In the
downfall of the nation, and amid its crumbling ruins, we will cling to
the fortunes of New York." Such utterances enforced by leaders of the
prominence of Franklin Pierce and Vallandingham; the political action of
sympathizers with slavery and the anti-draft riots in New York,
supplemented by the unfriendliness of European governments; and the
escape of the "Alabama"--all these circumstances tended to encourage the
hopes that were doomed to disappointment. Nor in considering the
antislavery movement should we overlook the effect of the antislavery
opinion of our country in ending the danger of European intervention,
which had been unwittingly encouraged by Mr. Seward's too hasty
assurance to our minister in France (April 22, 1861), that "the
revolution was without a cause, without a pretext, and without an
object; and that the condition of slavery in the several States would
remain just the same, whether it should succeed or fail." The
antislavery policy, first of enlistment and then of emancipation, so
earnestly urged upon Mr. Lincoln and adopted by him with conscientious
caution, enlightened Europe as to the true meaning of the contest in our
recognition of the equal right to freedom and the equal dignity of
labour, and forbade its rulers to assist in the establishment of a slave
confederacy; and the historian Lessing, when alluding to the cordial
reception by his holiness the Sovereign Pontiff of the diplomatic agents
of Mr. Jefferson Davis, and the Papal letter recognizing and commending
"the illustrious President of the Southern Confederacy," remarks that
this was "the only official recognition of the chief conspirator by the
head of any government." Nor should the right appreciation by the
abolitionists of the prospect of freedom for the slaves be forgotten.
The fidelity of the negroes during the war, both to the families with
whom they lived, to which Vice-President Stephens bore distinct
testimony, and to the Northern army, from which they expected
emancipation, was no less honourable and conspicuous than the devotion
and gallantry they constantly exhibited in the war, as at Fort Hudson
and Fort Wagner, at Milliken's Bend and Lake Providence, at Newbern and
at Olustee, where their rear-guard saved the army. Their conduct,
whether at home or in the field, justified the conviction of their
steadfast friends in the safety of immediate emancipation, and added
untold force to the sacredness of the pledges so often given during the
war, and still, to the national discredit, unfulfilled--of national aid
to State education, so as to secure to every child of our coloured
citizens the ability to read his Bible and the Constitution, to fulfill
his duties and protect his rights.

As time and reflection impress upon the American mind a clear
comprehension of the changes, national, social, and political, that a
triumph of the Slave Power would have brought to America and its effect
as a set-back to the civilization of the world, an increased interest
will be felt in the beginnings of the contest, and in the men and causes
that shaped its end.


THE LESSON FOR TO-DAY.

I cordially recommend Mr. Tuckerman's memoir to the students of the
antislavery contest, as throwing light on that interesting and but
partially written chapter of American history, in which my father bore a
part; and on the character and policy of the sturdy band with whom he
was associated, including Arthur and Lewis Tappan, Joshua Leavitt, James
G. Birney, Gerrit Smith, and their true-hearted compatriots; while a
wider view would include a group of noble women, who, if differing as to
means, were united in devotion, headed by the honoured names of Maria
Weston Chapman and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucretia Mott, Lydia Maria
Child, and the sisters Grimké.

Among our citizens who will be long remembered as early and fearless
opponents of slavery, leading and acting with energy and independence,
according to their personal convictions and occasionally in differing
ways, were the venerable Isaac T. Hopper, William Lloyd Garrison, whose
life has been so faithfully recorded by his sons, John Greenleaf
Whittier, whose old Huguenot spirit lives in his verse as in his name,
Ellis Gray Loring, Lovejoy, the martyr of the west, Wendell Phillips,
with his matchless eloquence, Theodore D. Weld, with his trenchant pen,
Elizur Wright, Jr., Samuel R. Ward, William Goodell, S. S. Jocelyn,
Gamaliel Bailey, Jr., Edmund Quincey, S. H. Gay, Oliver Johnston, James
S. Gibbons, and others, who opened the way--sometimes by devious and
diverging paths--for the party of the Union and Emancipation.

As the contest advanced from the field of politics to that of war, came
Union men from different points whose names will live in our history
with those of John A. Andrew, John C. Fremont, John P. Hale, Chase,
Sumner, Seward, Preston and John A. King, Wilmot, Giddings, Wade, Holt,
and Edwin D. Stanton. In New York, where mob law had prevailed, the
Union League Club upheld the loyalty of the city, the credit of the
nation, and the sanitary commission; raised troops for Hancock in
addition to its own coloured regiments; stimulated the ardour of our
soldiers and the patriotism of the country; welcomed, of the army, Grant
and Sherman, Mead and Sheridan, Hancock and Hooker, Warren and Burnside,
and of the navy, Farragut, Dupont and Rogers, Winslow and the youthful
Cushing; verifying in its spirit and action the remark of Vice-President
Colfax that on the Union League Club Lincoln had leaned in the darkest
hours.

The Club did not forget, neither will the truthful historian forget,
that amid the European plots and intrigues in the interest of slavery,
we had friends high and low, from Alexander of Russia, the emancipator
of twenty millions of serfs--who, like Lincoln, fell by
assassination--to the humble peasants, who instinctively recognised the
hostility to the rights of labor inherent in the slavery system, whose
vicious features had been exposed by John Bright with such masterly
effect.

Goldwin Smith, the historic scholar of Oxford, who at home had denounced
those who would have made England an accomplice in "the creation of a
great slave empire, and in its future extension from the grave of
Washington to the Halls of Montezuma," in his reply to the greetings of
the eminent citizens who had asked him to the club and who assembled to
meet him,[B] said, "Your cause is ours; it is the cause of the whole
human race." The same idea, in almost the same words, was expressed by
the Count de Cavour a few days before his death, in a despatch to the
Italian Minister at Washington, when he said "that ours was the cause
not only of constitutional liberty, but of all humanity."

The antislavery story from the Calhoun medal, struck to commemorate the
supposed birth of a slave empire to the constitutional abolition of
slavery, concerned humanity, and has lessons of warning and
encouragement for the men and women of to-day, on whom rest the hopes of
the country, and who, against odds that seem as formidable as those
presented by the Slave Power at its culmination, are bravely striving
for the advance of humanity, the purification of our politics, and the
preservation of American institutions. They may well adopt the
inspiriting legend of Geneva to which the antislavery contest of America
has given a new radiance, "Post tenebras lux." Our institutions, no
longer endangered by slavery, are assailed with skilful intrigue in
their own strongholds, the public school and the polls, especially of
our great cities, where a corrupt, irresponsible, secret rule recalls
the Council of Ten and the Lion of Saint Mark, and now it is charged
that our very legislation at times is not simply partisan but
fraudulent. The incompatibility of such proceedings with American
principles and American rights recalls with emphatic force the warning
so distinctly and repeatedly given us by Dr. Orestes A. Brownson, that
eminent and philosophic representative of our citizens of the Roman
Catholic faith who stand squarely by the American constitution and
American institutions, of the danger of allowing foreigners to meddle
with our public schools when he said that American civilization was "the
farthest point in advance yet reached by any age or nation, and that
foreigners who come to educate according to their civilization
necessarily educate for a civilization behind the times and below that
of this country."

The enlightening effect of an impartial study of the antislavery contest
on an independent and philosophic critic can be read in the interesting
and instructive pages of Von Holst; and a review of that contest, from
the first presentment of the principles of the Antislavery Society to
the parting scene of Grant and Lee at Appomatox, and the adoption of the
constitutional amendment of emancipation, affords, step by step, amid
whatever mistakes and blunders, evidence which becomes the more striking
and conclusive, as time passes, of what was accomplished in the
antislavery struggle for humanity and the world in shaping the future of
the Republic, by calm resolve, a faithful adhesion to truth and
principle, patient perseverance, unflinching courage, faith in the
triumph of right, American manliness, and far-sighted Christian
statesmanship.

  BEDFORD HOUSE, Katonah,
    New York, May, 1893.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.
                                                                    PAGE
Birth and Education of William Jay.--His Early Philanthropic
  Interests.--Appointed Judge of Westchester County.                   1

CHAPTER II.

Early Opposition to Slavery.--Growth of the Slave Power.--The
  Missouri Compromise.--Jay begins Political Agitation for the
  Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia.                   18

CHAPTER III.

Development of the Antislavery Movement.--Organization of
  Antislavery Societies.--Anti-Abolition Riots.--Jay publishes his
  "Inquiry."                                                          39

CHAPTER IV.

Continued Efforts to suppress the Antislavery Movement by Force and
  Intimidation.--Favourable Effect upon the Public Mind produced by
  Jay's Writings.                                                     63

CHAPTER V.

Gradual Decline of Riotous Demonstrations against the
  Abolitionists.--Changes occur in the Doctrines and Methods of the
  American Antislavery Society.--Judge Jay resigns his Membership,
  while continuing his Efforts on Behalf of Emancipation.             82

CHAPTER VI.

Judge Jay continues to support the Antislavery Cause by his Advice
  and Writings.--In Consequence of his Opinions he is deprived of his
  Seat on the Bench.--His Visit to Europe.--His Views on the Liberty
  Party.--On the Annexation of Texas.--His "Review of the Mexican
  War."--His Advocacy of International Arbitration as a Remedy for
  War.--His Work in the Episcopal Church.                            112

CHAPTER VII.

Unpopularity of the Abolitionists.--The Compromises of 1850 and the
  Fugitive-Slave Law.--Jay's Reply to Webster's 7th of March
  Speech.--The Attitude of the Episcopal Church.--The Abrogation of
  the Missouri Compromise.--Disunion.                                135

CHAPTER VIII.

Death of Judge Jay.--His Position among Antislavery Men.--His other
  Public and Philanthropic Interests.--His Private Life.--His
  Character.                                                         156

Bibliography                                                         171

Index                                                                175

Appendix                                                             184



ILLUSTRATIONS.


William Jay, from a crayon by Martin                     _Frontispiece._

View of Bedford House, the home of Judge Jay                           9

Chief-Justice Jay, from a painting by Gilbert Stuart                  39

William Jay, from a painting by Vanderlyn                             81

William Jay, from a painting by Wenzler                              135

Mrs. William Jay, from a painting by W. E. West                      164



WILLIAM JAY.



CHAPTER I.

BIRTH AND EDUCATION OF WILLIAM JAY.--HIS EARLY PHILANTHROPIC
  INTERESTS.--APPOINTED JUDGE OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY.


William Jay, the second son of John Jay, the first Chief-Justice of the
United States, and his wife, Sarah Van Brugh Livingston, was born in the
city of New York the 16th of June, 1789. New York was then the seat of
the Federal Government, and the year is memorable as that in which the
National Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation, while
the inauguration of Washington marked a new era in American history.

During the absence of John Jay in England, while negotiating the "Jay
treaty," he was elected Governor of New York, and returned home to
assume that office in 1795.

William, then eight years old, was placed at school with the Rev. Thomas
Ellison, the rector of St. Peter's Church, Albany. There he received an
old-fashioned training. In 1801 he wrote to his father: "Mr. Ellison
put me in Virgil, and I can now say the first two eclogues by heart, and
construe and parse and scan them." And later on: "I learn nothing but
Latin." Among his schoolmates was J. Fenimore Cooper, who afterwards
drew a portrait of their old instructor in one of his "Sketches of
England," addressed to Jay:

"Thirty-six years ago you and I were schoolfellows and classmates in the
house of a clergyman of the true English school. This man was an epitome
of the national prejudices and in some respects of the national
character. He was the son of a beneficed clergyman in England, had been
regularly graduated at Oxford and admitted to orders; entertained a most
profound reverence for the King and the nobility; was not backward in
expressing his contempt for all classes of dissenters and all
ungentlemanly sects; was particularly severe on the immoralities of the
French Revolution, and though eating our bread, was not especially
lenient to our own; compelled you and me to begin Virgil with the
eclogues, and Cicero with the knotty phrase that opens the oration in
favour of the poet Archias, 'because these writers would not have placed
them first in the books if they did not intend people to read them
first'; spent his money freely and sometimes that of other people; was
particularly tenacious of the ritual and of all the decencies of the
Church; detested a democrat as he did the devil; cracked his jokes daily
about Mr. Jefferson, never failing to place his libertinism in strong
relief against the approved morals of George III., of several passages
in whose history it is charitable to suppose he was ignorant; prayed
fervently on Sunday, and decried all morals, institutions, churches,
manners, and laws but those of England from Monday to Saturday."

Still, Jay and Cooper were indebted to Ellison's thoroughness in the
classics for much of the mental training, the correct taste, and the
pure English which marked their subsequent intellectual efforts.

Jay was prepared for college by Henry Davis, afterwards president of
Hamilton College. The boy as he appeared at this time was thus described
by his cousin, Susan Sedgwick: "As I look back to that fresh spring-time
of life, there rises clearly before me a vigorous, sturdy boy, full of
health and animation, with laughing eyes, cheeks glowing and dimpled,
and exhibiting already marked traits: with a strong will, yet easily
reduced by rightful authority; in temper quick, even to passion, but
never vindictive; the storm easily raised as soon appeased, thus
foreshadowing him at that later period, when, however capable of
self-control, his fearless resistance to wrong and uncompromising
advocacy of right partook of the same vehement character, happily
expressed by his friend, Mr. Fenimore Cooper, who, in reference to his
then recently published denunciation of the evils of war, addressed him
playfully, 'Thou most pugnacious man of peace.'"

William entered Yale College in January, 1804, in his fifteenth year.
Upon the college roll during his four years were names afterwards well
known in our history. There were trained side by side boys who were soon
to be arrayed against each other in religion, politics, and in the
momentous conflict of slavery with freedom, which, passing from the
senate to the field, their sons and grandsons were to terminate by the
sword. From the State of South Carolina came John C. Calhoun, who
significantly chose for the subject of his graduating oration, "The
Qualifications Necessary for a Perfect Statesman;" Christopher Edward
Gadsden, afterwards bishop of his native State; and Thomas Smith Grimké,
eminent at the bar, in scholarship and philanthropy. Among the Northern
students was the Rev. John Pierpont, known as the reformer and poet, who
at the age of seventy-six went to the front during the Civil War as
chaplain of a Massachusetts regiment; Hon. Henry Randolph Storrs, of New
York, the jurist; Rev. Dr. Nathaniel William Taylor, of the Calvinistic
school of Edwards and Dwight; Dr. Thomas H. Gallaudet, of Huguenot
descent, who devoted himself to the education of deaf-mutes; Dr.
Alexander H. Stevens, of New York; Rev. Dr. Samuel Farmer Jarvis, the
learned professor of oriental literature; Rev. Dr. Gardiner Spring, of
New York, the famous Presbyterian divine; the Hon. William Huntington,
of Connecticut; Jacob Sutherland, of New York; and James A. Hillhouse,
of New Haven, one of the most scholarly of our poets, whose generous
hospitality at his beautiful home, Sachem's Wood, with its avenue of
stately elms planted by his father and himself, was for many years the
delight of his friends. At Yale Jay met Cooper again, and strengthened a
friendship which lasted through life. It was during a visit at Bedford,
about 1825, while sitting on the piazza with Chief-Justice Jay, smoking
and talking of the incidents of the Revolution, that Fenimore Cooper
learned the adventures of a patriotic American, who was apparently
attached to the royal cause, but who constantly warned of danger the
Continental Army in Westchester and was especially useful during the
sitting of the State convention at White Plains. The services and
escapes of this man were reproduced in "Harvey Birch, the Spy of the
Neutral Ground," which achieved so great a success at home and in
Europe, where it still holds its place, having been honoured by more
translations, including the Persian and Arabic, than any similar work
written in English until the appearance of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

In a letter to his grandson, William Jay, in 1852, Judge Jay gave some
particulars of his college course, which show the simplicity of life in
those days and the still lingering influence of English habits: "Through
the influence of a professor with whom I had previously lived, I was
placed in the room of a resident graduate. The resident graduates were
denominated 'Sirs'; they had a pew in the chapel called the Sirs' pew;
and when spoken of in college always had Sir prefixed to their names.
My room-mate was Sir Holly (Dr. Horace Holly). As a mere freshman I
looked up to my room-mate with great respect and treated him
accordingly. We had no servants to wait on us, except that a man came
every morning to make our beds and sweep the room, and once a week to
scatter clean white sand on the floor. I rose early--generally before
six in winter--made the fire, and then went, pitcher in hand, often
wading through snow, for water for Sir Holly and myself. At that time
the freshmen occupied in part the place of sizers in the English
universities, and they were required to run errands for the seniors. Our
meals were taken in a large hall with a kitchen opening into it. The
students were arranged at tables according to their classes. All sat on
wooden benches, not excepting the tutors; the latter had a table to
themselves on an elevated platform whence they had a view of the whole
company. But it was rather difficult for them to attend to their plates
and to watch two hundred boys at the same time. Salt beef once a day and
dry cod were perhaps the most usual dishes. On Sunday mornings during
the winter our breakfast-tables were graced with large tin milk-cans
filled with stewed oysters; at the proper season we were occasionally
treated at dinner with green peas. As you may suppose, a goodly number
of waiters were needed in the hall. These were all students, and many of
them among the best and most esteemed scholars. About half-past five in
winter the bell summoned us from our beds, and at six it called us to
prayers in the chapel. We next repaired to the recitation-rooms and
recited by candle-light the lessons we had studied the preceding
evening. At eight we had breakfast, and at nine the bell warned us to
our rooms. At twelve it called us to a recitation or a lecture. After
dinner we recommenced our studies and recited for the third time at four
o'clock. During study hours the tutors would frequently go the rounds,
looking into our rooms to see that we were not playing truant. Before
supper, we all attended evening prayers in the chapel."

The presidency of the college was then occupied by Dr. Timothy Dwight,
who also gave instruction in _belles-lettres_, oratory, and theology. To
him Jay wrote in 1818: "I retain a grateful recollection of your kind
attention to me, and I have, and trust will ever have, reason to
acknowledge the goodness of Providence in placing me under your care,
when many of my opinions were to be formed and my principles
established." Still later, he wrote to a college friend: "Your remarks
on Dr. Dwight are grateful to my heart. I cherish his memory as one of
the best friends I ever had."

In his senior year Jay took part in debates among the students, presided
over by Dr. Dwight. Some of the subjects discussed were: "Ought infidels
to be excluded from office?" "Ought religion to be supported by law?"
"Would a division of the Union be politic?" "Would it be politic to
encourage manufactures in the United States?" On the last question Dr.
Dwight remarked: "We shall always buy things where we can get them the
cheapest; we will never make our commodities so long as we can buy them
better and cheaper elsewhere." Jay displayed his natural inclination for
the law by contributing a series of articles on legal subjects, over the
signature of "Coke," to the _Literary Cabinet_, the students' paper. He
took his degree in September, 1807, having injured his eyesight in his
efforts to attain a high standing in his class. "During the winter of my
junior year," he wrote in warning to his grandson William, "I was
struggling hard for honours, and trying to make up for lost time; I used
to rise about four o'clock, light my fire, and sit down to the study of
conic sections. I brought on a weakness in my eyes which lasted several
years. Be sure you never rise before the sun and study your Latin and
Greek by candle-light or gas-light."

After graduation Jay went to Albany and began the study of the law in
the office of John B. Henry. On the 3d of September, 1812, he married
Augusta, daughter of John McVickar, a merchant of New York, and
vestryman of Trinity Church. The difficulty with his eyesight, which had
seriously interfered with his legal studies, became so pronounced as to
compel him to abandon his profession for some years. During this period
he retired with his wife to his father's country seat, "Bedford," in
Westchester County, and there devoted himself with energy to
agricultural pursuits. The farm included about eight hundred acres, part
of a tract purchased by Jacobus van Cortlandt from Katonah Sagamore and
other Indian chieftains in 1700, and confirmed by patent of Queen Anne
in 1704. It had come to Chief-Justice Jay partly through his mother,
Mary van Cortlandt, the wife of Peter Jay, and partly through her
sister, Eve van Cortlandt, the wife of Judge John Chambers.

[Illustration: The Jay House at Bedford.]

Of the forty fields into which the farm was divided, Jay kept a separate
account: showing the tillage and produce, the drainage and fencing, the
dates of planting and reaping. A volume of this kind, begun in 1816,
contained entries as late as 1857, the year before his death. He
perfected himself in grafting and budding, and was particularly
successful with peaches, with cherries, pears and plums, some of them
with Huguenot names and memories, and with muskmelons from Persian seed,
brought to him from the East by a friend. He raised horses from imported
stock, Merino sheep, and superintended the curing of hams from a
Westphalian recipe, furnished by an old Hessian farm hand--one of the
hirelings who had come to conquer and remained to cultivate the country.
In 1818 Jay and Fenimore Cooper drafted the constitution for an
agricultural society of which Governor Jay was the first president and
General Pierre van Cortlandt the second--an institution of great use in
the development of Westchester County.

In 1815, when twenty-six years of age, Jay entered upon that course of
active philanthropy which for the next forty years employed his thoughts
and pen. His first effort was directed to the improvement of his native
town of Bedford in the organization of the Society for the Suppression
of Vice. By means of this society, of which he was the secretary, he did
much to restrain the liquor traffic and to diminish intemperance. Later
on, as a judge, he used all the power of the law to the same end; and it
was he who suggested the law, still in force, which forbids a
tavern-keeper to supply drink on credit.

An interesting incident in this early period of his life was the part
which he bore in founding the American Bible Society, in organizing its
machinery for the immense work it had to perform, and in vindicating the
principles of the society against the attacks of the opposing party in
his own church. In this struggle Jay proved the independence of
character and courage of conviction which afterwards distinguished him
through the seemingly hopeless years of antislavery effort. The general
distribution of Bibles in our day makes it difficult to appreciate the
limited supply, the high cost, and the consequent rarity of the Bible
when this society began its work. The High-Church party in New York were
opposed to the association of Episcopalians with other Christians to
circulate the Bible, and opposed even to the distribution of the Bible,
unless accompanied by the Prayer-book as an interpreter. In these views
they were vigorously supported by their distinguished leader, Bishop
John Henry Hobart. Jay, who had inherited with his Huguenot blood a
faith in the Bible not to be restrained by ecclesiastical assumption,
was an officer of the Westchester Bible Society and deeply interested in
the work. On the appearance of a pastoral letter from Bishop Hobart in
which the High-Church views were expressed, he published a pamphlet
showing that it was "the interest and duty of Episcopalians to unite
with their fellow-Christians of all denominations in spreading the
knowledge of the Word of God." This pamphlet brought him into an active
conflict with the eminent bishop which lasted for several years, and
taught him that a philanthropic cause, even so plainly meritorious, was
not to be carried on without the opposition of powerful conservative
interests.

Convinced that a national society could accomplish more than the local
and scattered State Bible societies, Jay published a pamphlet in 1816
which showed the imperative importance of the work, and urged united
action. At the same time the venerable Elias Boudinot of New Jersey was
exerting himself to the same end. When he received a letter from Jay
enclosing the pamphlet, he thus welcomed his youthful ally: "These
precious moments I have devoted to a full consideration of one of the
greatest and most interesting subjects that has ever concerned the
children of men. Weak and feeble and scarcely able to think or write,
my efforts promised but little in the cause, when your welcome and
unexpected letter was brought in. My drooping spirits were raised and my
mind greatly revived. I could not help giving glory to God for the great
encouragement afforded me to press on in this glorious cause, when I
thus beheld His special mercy in raising up so powerful a support in
this joyous work and labour of love." In the same year the American
Bible Society was formed with the assistance of the best names in the
country. Elias Boudinot was chosen president, with John Jay and Matthew
Clarkson, a gallant officer of the Revolution, as vice-presidents.
Others on the roll were: John Langdon, the statesman of New Hampshire;
William Gray, the eminent merchant of Boston; the scholarly John Cotton
Smith, of Connecticut, with the blood of the Cottons and the Mathers of
colonial history; William Tighlman, the jurist of Pennsylvania; William
Wirt and Bushrod Washington, of Virginia; Charles Cotesworth Pinckney,
of South Carolina; Governor Worthington, of Ohio; John Bolton, of
Georgia; Felix Grundy, of Tennessee; and of New York: Dr. John B.
Romeyne; Colonel Richard Varick, Washington's aide; Daniel D. Tompkins,
the Governor who obtained the abolition of slavery in the State; John
Pintard, John Aspinwall, Jeremiah Evarts, Frederic de Peyster, George
Griffin, De Witt Clinton, the Patroon Stephen van Rensselaer, and
Colonel Henry Rutgers.

Notwithstanding the honourable support given to the society, it had to
resist a carefully organized assault on the part of Bishop Hobart and an
influential portion of his clergy aimed at the vital principle on which
the success of the movement depended--the cordial union of all
Christians. Jay's previous training in the same field of controversy,
his staunch devotion at once to his cause and to his church, designated
him as the proper person to carry on, in behalf of the society, the war
of letters and pamphlets which ensued. Although pitted against an
adversary to whom age, experience, and station gave great advantages, he
acquitted himself with credit, displaying literary and reasoning powers
which were soon to exert a potent effect upon the great moral issue of
our time.

Other questions of a philanthropic character occupied his pen. The Synod
of Albany having offered a prize for the best essay on the observance of
the Sabbath, Jay competed for it with success. A more notable incident
of the same sort occurred in 1828. The Savannah Anti-duelling
Association offered a medal for the best argument against duelling. The
committee appointed to judge the essays were: John Cummings; James M.
Wayne, subsequently appointed by President Jackson a justice of the
Supreme Court; R. W. Habersham, afterwards Governor of Georgia; William
Law; and Matthew Hall McAllister, mayor of Savannah and an opponent of
Nullification in 1832. That in 1828 these Southern men were seeking to
root out the habit of duelling, and that the prize should have been
awarded by them to William Jay, is a curious commentary on the
connection between slavery and duelling. At this time both practices had
their opponents at the South who were allowed to express their opinions.
As the grip of slavery increased in strength and closed the mouth of
every objector, anti-duelling sentiment was simultaneously extinguished.
Both barbarous practices were to increase and to perish together. Jay's
essay could then find praise among men who a few years later would not
tolerate in their homes any product of his pen.

In May, 1818, Jay was appointed one of the judges of Westchester County.
The mention of the fact in his diary closed with the words, "May I have
grace to discharge with fidelity the duties of the station." Two years
later a commission from Governor Clinton made him the first judge of the
county, an office which he held until 1823, when the adoption of the new
constitution terminated all offices under the old one. Fenimore Cooper
then wrote to him, "I see that you are unhorsed with other clever
fellows." But in response to a general demand, Governor Clinton
reappointed him under the new constitution, and he continued to hold
office under successive governors of different parties until 1843, when
he was displaced by Governor Bouck at the demand of the pro-slavery wing
of the democracy. A decision of Jay's, rejecting a witness who declared
his un-belief in God, occurred when De Tocqueville was in the United
States, and was commented upon by the distinguished Frenchman as having
been accepted by the press without comment, and as showing that the
American people combined the notions of Christianity and of liberty so
intimately that it was impossible to make them conceive of the one
without the other, and that they held religion to be indispensable to
the maintenance of republican institutions. In 1862, soon after Jay's
death, when an attempt was made by a pro-slavery faction in the county
to remove his portrait from the court-house at White Plains, it was
defeated by a protest of the members of the bar. "Many of us," they
said, "were well acquainted with Judge Jay, and can speak from personal
knowledge of those high qualities which have given him an historic
celebrity. Whilst he entertained and vigorously vindicated decided
opinions on certain questions which have much divided society and
produced much acrimony of feeling--in which many of us did not
sympathize with him--yet we can all bear testimony to the noble
frankness and sincerity of his nature, to his deep interest in all
questions tending to advance the interest of the race, and to the
extraordinary intellectual strength displayed by him on all occasions in
giving expression to his convictions."

In the early years of Jay's life, it appears that his mind turned
naturally toward philanthropic subjects. His moral sense was largely
developed, his conscience active, his humanity aggressive. His own
comfortable circumstances did not close his heart to the sufferings of
others. His generous nature longed to replace evil by good. And in the
cause which his conscience approved, no obloquy nor social unpopularity
could impede his progress. At the same time, there was about him nothing
of the intemperate agitator. He was a judge and brought to his
philanthropic labours a judicial habit of mind. Indeed, it was this
habit of mind which distinguished him among his fellow-workers in the
antislavery cause. It was his mission to urge emancipation with the
Constitution in his hand; to meet in conflict that portion of society
which silenced its uneasy conscience by a repetition of constitutional
provisions, and at the same time to combat those who were inclined to
seek emancipation by unconstitutional means.

His quiet country life, in which healthful out-of-door pursuits were
mingled with the study and reflection of his library, particularly
fitted him to look at this all-important question with calmness, with
consideration for both sides, and yet with the vigour of a mind free to
work exhaustively on a subject involving many conflicting theories and
duties. He brought to his task real talents, literary and polemic; a
style ready and concise; a reasoning enlivened by an effective vein of
irony. He had a refined and benevolent countenance, a pleasing manner,
a temper even, but easily roused to indignation at the sight of
injustice. Before considering his first connection with the antislavery
movement, we may glance at its situation in the early manhood of William
Jay.



CHAPTER II.

EARLY OPPOSITION TO SLAVERY.--GROWTH OF THE SLAVE POWER.--THE
  MISSOURI COMPROMISE.--JAY BEGINS POLITICAL AGITATION FOR THE
  ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.


The movement which culminated in the Civil War and the total abolition
of slavery in the United States was first humanitarian, and subsequently
political. Philanthropists prepared the way for the statesman and the
soldier.

The humanitarian movement had begun before the time of William Jay and
his fellow-workers. To find its beginnings, we must look back into the
colonial days of the eighteenth century. There, among the first, was
George Keith, of Pennsylvania, denouncing the system on grounds of both
Christianity and public policy. And Samuel Sewall, Chief-Justice of
Massachusetts, who, in his pamphlet, "The Selling of Joseph," quaintly
testified to the truth. "These Ethiopians," he said, "as black as they
are, seeing they are the sons and daughters of the first Adam and the
offspring of God, they ought to be treated with respect agreeable."
Ralph Sandiford, Benjamin Lay, William Burling, Anthony Benezet, the
Huguenot, were men who spoke as sincerely as later abolitionists and
whose words were heard. There was John Woolman, of New Jersey, who
pointed out "the dark gloominess overhanging the land, the spirit of
fierceness and love of dominion," resulting from this iniquity; and Dr.
Samuel Hopkins, of Newport, R. I., whose eloquent exhortations banished
the slave trade from a congregation growing rich on its spoils; and Dr.
Benjamin Rush, of Philadelphia, who foretold that "future ages will be
at a loss which to condemn most, our folly or our guilt in abetting this
direct violation of nature and religion." The legislatures of Virginia,
South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts in turn attempted to
restrict the slave-trade; but their efforts were annulled in England,
where the slave interest, through its champion, Lord Sandwich, forbade
any interference with "a traffic so beneficial to the nation."

The colonies had no sooner achieved their independence than they found
themselves face to face with the great question, and on the threshold of
their national life a great change was perceptible in the attitude of
the people towards slavery. The old seventeenth century idea, that to
drag a negro from his heathen wilds to labour unrequited in a Christian
community tended to the benefit of his soul, had passed away. The
slave-trade was generally recognized as indefensible. There were men who
denounced slavery itself as an abominable evil. Even those most
determined to maintain the institution took the ground that it was an
unfortunate necessity, but that it must be preserved to avoid greater
evils. In 1787, through the noble efforts of Thomas Jefferson, Timothy
Pickering, Rufus King, Nathan Dane, William Grayson, and Richard Henry
Lee, Congress passed the great ordinance which forbade slavery to cross
the Ohio River into the Northwest Territory.

The struggle between right and wrong had begun, but the opposing forces
were very unequal. On one side was humane sentiment; on the other was
deeply rooted habit, pecuniary interest, the pressure of political
questions of seemingly overriding importance. Among the great leaders of
the time there are two whose opinions and practice give an excellent
illustration of the prevailing antislavery feeling: John Jay of New
York, Patrick Henry of Virginia. There is no disagreement as to the
moral elevation of John Jay's character. Abroad and at home, officially
and unofficially, he was always the opponent of slavery. Yet Jay
purchased and held men as slaves. To obtain domestic servants otherwise
was extremely difficult. After his slaves had served him sufficiently
long and faithfully to return to him what he considered the value of his
outlay, he gave them their freedom. He believed that slavery in
principle was wrong, but he yielded so far to convenience and custom.
Patrick Henry was an antislavery man and placed his position on record
in the following words: "Is it not amazing that, at a time when the
rights of humanity are defined and understood with precision, in a
country above all others fond of liberty, in such an age, we find men
professing a religion the most humane, mild, meek, gentle, and generous
adopting a principle as repugnant to humanity as it is inconsistent with
the Bible and destructive of liberty? Every thinking, honest man rejects
it in speculation, but how few in practice, from conscientious motives!
Would any one believe that I am a master of slaves of my own purchase? I
am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I
will not, I cannot, justify it; however culpable my conduct, I will so
far pay my _devoirs_ to duty as to own the excellence and rectitude of
her precepts and lament my want of conformity to them. I believe a time
will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable
evil; everything we can do is to improve it, if it happens in our own
day; if not, let us transmit to our own descendants, together with our
slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery."

Such being the character of antislavery sentiment, its chances of
success seem hopeless enough when we hear the other side. When Congress
was considering the Articles of Confederation, Wilson, of Pennsylvania,
said: "Dismiss your slaves, freemen will take their places." The reply
of Lynch, of South Carolina, showed the existence of men willing to
sacrifice everything to the preservation of slavery. "Our slaves are our
property," said he; "if that is debated, there is an end to
confederation."

Thus, at this crisis in the national history, there first distinctively
appeared that aggressive, uncompromising party, afterwards to be known
as the Slave Power--an association of men then forming a minority even
in the South, but determined to carry its point at all hazards; men who
were willing to sacrifice every consideration of the public good to the
permanence of a system profitable to themselves, but which reduced human
beings to the level of beasts. Against a party so resolute, antislavery
opinion of the Patrick Henry variety could not prevail. Moreover, the
distracted state of the country, the imperative necessity for union,
made every other question seem secondary to the majority of patriotic
statesmen. In the Constitutional Convention, the Slave Power, then
chiefly represented by South Carolina and Georgia, by threatening to
defeat the establishment of a stable government and by making the
preservation of slavery a _sine qua non_ to the Union, obtained the
concessions so big with future disaster.

The struggle over this subject in the days of the formation of the
government was the beginning of the "irrepressible conflict." The Slave
Power had come into being as a distinct force, aiming to dominate the
rest of the community in the interest of property in man. On the other
hand, the opposition began to organize. Several abolition and
manumission societies were formed. The oldest of these was that of
Pennsylvania, which in 1787 chose Franklin for its president. A society
was formed in New York in 1785 with John Jay as president and Alexander
Hamilton as secretary; in Rhode Island in 1789, under the lead of Dr.
Hopkins. In 1791, before the Connecticut society, Jonathan Edwards the
younger maintained the doctrine of _immediate emancipation_. Similar
associations were at work in New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.
Antislavery men were thus uniting in their cause, but unfortunately they
were, with rare exceptions, devoid of the earnestness which
characterized their opponents. Their hostility to the system was a
sentiment rather than a principle. It could hasten somewhat emancipation
at the North; but it had no force to contend against the pecuniary
interests which were daily binding tighter the bonds of the negro in the
South. There, in the early years of the present century, the cotton-gin,
which had been invented in 1793, gave an impetus to the production of
cotton which nearly doubled the value of slaves. At the North the
profits of the African trade which supplied this increased demand for
negroes gave to the Slave Power allies almost as determined as
themselves.

The year 1808, fixed by the Constitution as the limit of the duration of
the slave-trade, witnessed the next contest. The result was a definite
prohibition of the trade by law. But it was a barren victory for the
cause of humanity. The interests involved in both Northern and Southern
States had grown so large and influential as to make the law a dead
letter. The trade continued with unabated vigour, and marked by even
greater cruelties to the wretched cargoes. The Slave Power was growing
in strength and determination, bent on controlling the national
government, influencing our foreign relations, reaching out already to
grasp new slave territory.

From 1818 to 1821 continued the great contest over the admission of
Missouri as a slave State, in which was involved the question whether
the extension and encouragement of slavery was to be the permanent
policy of the United States government. Men and words were not wanting
to expose and condemn the contemplated evil. But the Slave Power had
grown to too great proportions. Henry Clay, who had believed "slavery to
be a wrong, a grievous wrong, which no contingency can make right," now,
at the behest of slaveholders, threw his great influence against the
cause of humanity. As in the days of the Constitutional Convention the
Slave Power had secured the perpetuation of its system by threats of
preventing a union of the States, so in 1821 it obtained the principle
of the extension of slavery by threats of dissolving the Union. Thomas
Jefferson, so faithful an advocate of freedom, was now appalled by the
sound of a strife which, "like the fire-bell at midnight," announced
disaster, and he counselled concession. Even John Quincy Adams was on
the same side, "from extreme unwillingness to put the Union in hazard."
So passed the so-called Compromise, which allowed slavery to break its
bounds and to spread over Arkansas and Missouri. The Slave Power had won
a great victory and had shown immense growth. The old apologetic
position that the system, although wrong, could not be abolished without
entailing greater evils, was now exchanged for the bold doctrine that
slavery was a good thing, to be extended and strengthened.

The struggle was growing fiercer and was becoming more clearly an issue
between North and South, but the bone of contention was yet the
extension, not the abolition, of slavery. The Slave Power, warned by the
opposition it had met with in Congress, that a new spirit was arising in
the North, instinctively felt that its position could be maintained only
by further aggression. None but slaveholders were allowed to represent
the South in Congress, where every public measure was considered first
in the light of its effect upon the institution of slavery. At home,
such humane laws regarding the blacks as still existed were repealed,
new and more cruel enactments were passed, the manumission of slaves by
grateful or repentant masters was prohibited.

While at the South opinion tended towards united and vigorous action,
the sentiments of the people at the North were divided. The majority,
although disliking slavery "in the abstract," were so fearful of the
outcome of the contention, were so anxious to see some settlement which
would put an end to agitation, that they were disposed to accept the
line drawn by the Missouri Compromise as the best solution possible, and
to resent any further antislavery expression as an element of profitless
disturbance. In this class there grew up a dislike of the negroes, a
hatred of the questions involved in their existence among us, a general
prejudice against colour, which tended greatly to the support of the
Slave Power. Many persons who preserved abolition views were lulled into
repose of conscience by support of the Colonization Society, an
organization formed in the South to get rid of free coloured persons by
shipping them to Africa, but skilfully made to appear as a philanthropic
scheme to solve the slavery problem. Men of the highest character and
with the best intentions had joined this society in the belief that
therein might be found the means of uprooting slavery. The ten years
following the Missouri Compromise were unpromising for the cause of the
slave. The Southern States were ceaselessly strengthening themselves.
Race prejudice, the fear of business disturbance, apathy, made the North
acquiescent. Cotton was king, and to that authority conscience
submitted.

Still there were signs of light and materials for improvement. In 1822
the exciting struggle for the establishment of slavery in Illinois
resulted in favour of freedom. There existed in the country one hundred
and forty antislavery societies, of which one hundred and six were in
the South. In 1826 was held in Baltimore a convention at which
eighty-one of these societies were represented. There was not enough
"fight" among these antislavery men to make much impression. Their views
were directed towards preventing the extension of slavery, towards its
abolition in the District of Columbia (where its existence involved
recognition by the United States government) and its "gradual" cessation
elsewhere. The fact of their holding the convention in Baltimore
indicates the still lingering sympathy of a considerable party in the
South, and it shows also that the Slave Power did not look upon them
with much concern. It is not until antislavery stands upon the platform
of abolition as an _immediate duty_ that it is swept from the face of
the Southern States.

There were earnest men already engaged in a new and more vigorous
crusade: Elias Hicks, the Quaker, who proclaimed boldly the sin of
owning men or condoning the practice in others; Rev. John Rankin, of
Tennessee, who removed with his congregation across the Ohio River,
rather than acquiesce in slavery; William Goodell, of Providence,
beginning a career of forty years; above all, Benjamin Lundy, who
sacrificed to the cause all that men hold dear. Between 1815 and 1818
four abolition papers were being published, _The Emancipator_ in
Tennessee, _The Abolition Intelligencer_ in Kentucky, _The Liberalist_
in Louisiana, and, most important, Lundy's _Genius of Universal
Emancipation_ in Maryland. All of these papers were published in the
South, and the majority of the manumission societies were there. Thus,
in 1826, when William Jay began his labours, the line between freedom
and slavery was not yet drawn. A few slaves were still held in New York.
Many antislavery people were to be found at the South and many
pro-slavery people at the North. The United States was a slaveholding
nation.

Jay was a deeply interested observer of the contest in Congress which
resulted in the Missouri Compromise. In 1819, when he was thirty years
of age, his attitude towards the extension of slavery was stated in a
letter to Elias Boudinot:

"I have no doubt that the laws of God, and, as a necessary and
inevitable consequence, the true interests of our country, forbid the
extension of slavery. If our country is ever to be redeemed from the
curse of slavery the present Congress must stand between the living and
the dead and stay the plague. Now is the accepted time, now is the day
of salvation. If slavery once takes root on the other side of the
Mississippi, it can never afterwards be extiminated, but will extend
with the future Western Empire, poisoning the feelings of humanity,
checking the growth of those principles of virtue and religion which
constitute alike the security and happiness of civil society."

In the year 1826 occurred an incident which marks the beginning of a new
phase in the antislavery struggle--the movement which demanded abolition
in the District of Columbia. There, on territory exclusively under the
jurisdiction of the National Congress, it could be claimed justly that
the question of States rights was not involved and that the
constitutional provisions did not apply. In this movement, which
continued until its object was accomplished in April, 1862, William Jay
was a pioneer.

In August of the year 1826 John Owen, the proprietor of a paper-mill at
Croton Falls, near the Jay farm at Bedford, received a parcel from New
York which happened to have been wrapped in a Washington newspaper, _The
National Intelligencer_, of the 1st of August. On looking it over his
eye was caught by the following advertisement:

  "Was committed to the jail of Washington County, District of
  Columbia, on the 22d of July last, a runaway negro man by the name
  of Gilbert Horton. He is five feet high, stout made, large full
  eyes, and a scar on his left arm near the elbow; had on when
  committed a tarpaulin hat, linen shirt, blue cloth jacket and
  trousers; says that he was born free in the State of New York near
  Peekskill. The owner or owners of the above-described negro man, if
  any, are requested to come and take him away, or he will be sold for
  his jail fees and other expenses, as the law directs."

There is a sort of grim humour about this advertisement, appearing, as
it did, according to law, in the capital of the great free republic of
the world, under a flag supposed to typify human liberty. It declared
that a man who claimed to be and actually was a citizen of the State of
New York was held in jail without any charge and would be sold into
lifelong slavery unless claimed as a slave by an owner who did not
exist. It declared, in short, that a free citizen of the United States
who had any negro blood in his veins would be reduced to slavery by the
act of setting foot in the capital of his country. Here was an issue
which involved the rights of the State of New York, but could not be
said to be an attack on those of Virginia or South Carolina.

Mr. Owen recognized in the Gilbert Horton thus described a free man who
had worked in his neighbourhood. He lost no time in mounting his horse
and riding over to Bedford to submit the matter to Judge Jay. By the
latter's advice a letter was despatched at once to the marshal of the
District of Columbia, giving proofs of Horton's freedom, and a meeting
was called of the citizens of Westchester County to take action on the
subject. This meeting, held on the 30th of August, with Oliver Green in
the chair and William Jay as secretary, passed the following
resolutions:

  "I. That this meeting view this procedure with the indignation
  becoming men who have a just sense of the value of personal
  liberty, and a proper abhorrence of cruelty and oppression.

  "II. That the evidence affords unequivocal proof of the freedom of
  Horton.

  "III. That the secretary is hereby desired to transmit to his
  Excellency the Governor the evidence above referred to, and, in the
  name of this meeting, to request his Excellency to demand from the
  proper authorities the instant liberation of the said Horton as a
  free citizen of the State of New York.

  "IV. That by the fourth article of the Constitution of the United
  States the citizens of each State are entitled to all the privileges
  and immunities of the several States, and that it is the duty of the
  State of New York to protect its citizens in the enjoyment of these
  rights without regard to their complexion.

  "V. That the law under which Horton has been imprisoned, and by
  which a free citizen without evidence of crime and without trial by
  jury may be condemned to servitude for life, is repugnant to our
  republican institutions, and revolting to justice and humanity; and
  that the representatives of this State in Congress are hereby
  requested to use their endeavours to procure its repeal.

  "VI. That the secretary, with John Owen, Esq., be a committee to
  prepare and to present to the citizens of this county, for their
  signatures, a petition to Congress for the immediate abolition of
  slavery in the District of Columbia.

  "VII. That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the chairman
  and secretary, and published."

On receiving from Judge Jay the Westchester resolutions, Governor
Clinton submitted them immediately to President John Quincy Adams, who
was paying a summer visit to his home at Quincy, Mass., with a
respectful demand for the liberation of Gilbert Horton as a free man and
a citizen. The President sent the papers with a letter from himself to
Henry Clay, then Secretary of State. Henry Clay was absent at the time,
and the Chief Clerk of the department wrote to Governor Clinton that the
instructions of the President had been anticipated by the discharge of
Horton by the marshal of the District. The committal had taken place
under an old law of Maryland, "which was adopted by Congress with the
other general laws then in force in that State for the county of
Washington upon its assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the territory."

This disposal of the case left the principle at issue untouched, and Jay
could not be satisfied with such a result. His views are expressed in a
letter written in September to Hon. Charles Miner, a member of Congress:
"Since I read a resolution introduced by you in relation to slavery in
the District of Columbia, the subject has been scarcely absent from my
mind, and the late imprisonment in Washington of a citizen of this
county afforded an opportunity which I gladly embraced of obtaining an
expression of public opinion. I do not entertain the slightest hope that
our petition will be favourably received, nor the slightest apprehension
that the cause we espouse will not finally triumph. The history of the
abolition of the slave-trade teaches us the necessity of patient
perseverance, and affords a pledge that perseverance will be ultimately
crowned with success. We have nothing to fear, but much to hope, from
the violence and threats of our opponents. Apathy is the only obstacle
we have reason to dread, and to remove this obstacle it is necessary
that the attention of the public should be constantly directed to the
subject. Every discussion in Congress in relation to slavery, no matter
how great may be the majority against us, advances our cause. We shall
rise more powerful from every defeat."

Jay's next step was to draft the memorial to Congress ordered by the
Westchester resolutions. It declared:

  "The outrage offered to a citizen of this county, and a violation of
  the constitutional rights involved in that outrage, affords to the
  meeting new and strong evidences of the impropriety of the
  continuance of slavery in the District of Columbia. As citizens of
  the republic, professing to acknowledge that all men are created
  equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
  inalienable rights, and that among them are life, liberty, and the
  pursuit of happiness, your petitioners cannot but regard it as
  derogatory to the government of the country that its laws should
  violate any of these rights in a territory under its exclusive
  jurisdiction. To your honourable body was given by the Constitution
  the exclusive jurisdiction in all cases whatever over that District,
  and your right and ability to grant the prayer of these petitioners
  cannot be called in question, and the confined limit of the District
  and the comparatively small number of slaves it contains obviates
  the objections sometimes urged against sudden emancipation.

  "Your petitioners therefore earnestly entreat your honourable body
  that the government of this great republic, glorying as it does in
  acknowledging and protecting the rights of mankind, diffusing the
  blessings of freedom, may no longer by law withhold these rights and
  blessings from any portion of the inhabitants of its own immediate
  territory, but in the exercise of your prerogative you will
  immediately provide for the abolition of slavery in the District of
  Columbia in such manner as in your wisdom may seem best."

The publication of the Westchester resolutions elicited no unfavourable
comments at the North, but it gave no little disquietude to Southern
editors, two of whom declared that black persons travelling in the South
should carry proofs of their freedom, as whites in Europe were compelled
to carry passports. The introduction of the subject into Congress, even
at that day, when there was no excitement at the North on the subject of
slavery, brought out the susceptibility and dictatorial tone of the
slaveholding interest which marked all subsequent debates up to the
election of Lincoln.

Soon after the assembling of Congress in 1827, Mr. Aaron Ward,
representing Westchester County, introduced the resolution: "That the
committee on the District of Columbia be directed to enquire whether
there be in force in the said District any law which authorizes the
imprisonment of any man of colour and his sale as an unclaimed slave for
gaol fees, and if so to enquire into the expediency of repealing the
same." Mr. Ward accompanied his resolution with remarks of a moderate
character, referring to the circumstances of Horton's arrest, the fact
of his being a citizen of New York, and the danger in which he stood of
being sold as a slave; he contrasted the law under which such
proceedings could be had with the provisions of the national
Constitution; and he concluded by saying: "The jurisdiction of the
District, sir, ought to be exhibited to the country and to the world
without a stain. Its object should be not to oppress but to vindicate
the rights of freemen, and if there is a spot on earth where these
rights are to be held sacred that place is the District of Columbia."

For a Northern man merely to touch upon the rights of coloured persons
was enough to arouse the leading Southern members of the House to angry
opposition. John Forsythe, who as minister to Spain had arranged the
session of Florida, James Hamilton, already an extreme advocate of
States rights and afterwards Governor of South Carolina, Charles A.
Wickliffe, afterwards Postmaster-General under President Tyler, and
George McDuffie, of Georgia, all took pains to throw ridicule upon the
resolution, or to oppose its consideration. They considered, no doubt
correctly, that to have any negroes spoken of in Congress otherwise than
as property was an indirect blow at slavery. W. L. Brent, of Maryland,
said that the resolution as it stood was calculated to excite only angry
debate and irritated feelings. If the mover would omit the words "being
a citizen of any State," the most objectionable part would be removed.
Mr. Ward consented to this emasculation and his resolution was then
carried. The committee reported on the 16th July, that in the District
of Columbia, "if a free man of colour should be apprehended as a
runaway, he is subjected to the payment of all fees and rewards given by
law for apprehending runaways; and upon failure to make such payment, is
liable to be sold as a slave." "That is," said Judge Jay, "a man
acknowledged to be free and unaccused of any offence is to be sold as a
slave to pay fees and rewards given by law for apprehending runaways. If
Turkish despotism is disgraced by an enactment of equal atrocity, we are
ignorant of the fact." The committee thought the law rather hard, and
recommended such an alteration of it as would make such charges payable
by the corporation of Washington. But even this alteration was never
made. "The code of Washington," Jay said some years later, "is yet
polluted by unquestionably the most iniquitous statute in Christendom."
And the fact continued that a coloured citizen of a free State could be
sold into slavery if found in Washington. Convinced that no reform could
be expected except by the total abolition of slavery on United States
territory, convinced, too, that this was the first necessary step in a
campaign against slavery itself, Jay set on foot a movement for popular
petitions to Congress and for legislative expression in behalf of their
consideration. The Pennsylvania Legislature passed such resolutions in
January, 1829; the New York Assembly followed soon afterwards, when Jay
wrote to his friend Charles Miner: "The mail this evening brings the
news that resolutions instructing our representatives in Congress to
vote for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia have
passed our Assembly by a vote of 57 to 39. In the fulness of my heart I
thank God and take courage." Among his co-workers at this time was Henry
D. Sedgwick, to whom he wrote in 1831: "I have read your pamphlet with
much interest; your ideas on the abolition of slavery correspond with
those I have long entertained and expressed. Duty is the only safe rule
of expediency. No nation ever has suffered, and none ever will, for
doing justice and loving mercy. But moral considerations apart, I have
no doubt it would be wise policy in the Southern States immediately to
emancipate their slaves. The period must arrive when slavery must cease
on this continent. The progress of knowledge and religion, the example
of St. Domingo, the abolition of slavery in Mexico and South America,
the decreasing value of slave labour, and the rapidly augmenting
coloured population in the South, all combine in rendering this event
inevitable. But the slaves will either receive their freedom as a boon,
or they will wrest it by force from their masters; and the evils
attending these two modes of emancipation certainly bear no proportion
to each other. You remark, 'Our country fought for justice and should
be ready to render the justice which it demanded.' I observe a similar
sentiment in a letter written by my father from Spain to Judge Benson
during the contest to which you allude. Speaking of the abolition of
slavery, he says, 'Till America comes into this measure her prayers to
Heaven for liberty will be impious.' This is a strong expression, but it
is just. Were I in your Legislature I would prepare a bill for the
purpose with great care, and would never cease moving it till it became
a law or I ceased to be a member. I believe that God governs the world,
and I believe it to be a maxim in His Court, as in ours, that those who
ask for equity ought to do it. I do not think the free States guiltless
of upholding slavery while, through their representatives, they tolerate
it in the District of Columbia. Were the free States to will it, slavery
would cease at the capital of the republic, and an example would be set
that could not fail of having a salutary influence."

[Illustration: After Gilbert Stuart.       A. W. Elson & Co., Boston
John Jay]



CHAPTER III.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE ANTISLAVERY MOVEMENT.--ORGANIZATION OF
  ANTISLAVERY SOCIETIES.--ANTI-ABOLITION RIOTS.--JAY PUBLISHES HIS
  "INQUIRY."


Chief-Justice Jay died at Bedford in 1828, and his son William occupied
his leisure during the following five years in preparing "The Life and
Letters of John Jay." This work was published in two octavo volumes in
1833, and was highly praised for both thoroughness and impartiality.

Meanwhile events were occurring which raised antislavery sentiment from
the torpor in which it had fallen after the excitement of the Missouri
Compromise, and which brought the whole question before the people as a
live issue which compelled attention. Between the years 1829 and 1832
took place a remarkable series of debates in Virginia on the subject of
slavery, brought about by dissatisfaction with the State constitution
and by the Nat Turner massacre, in which a number of slaves had risen
against their masters. In these debates the evils of slavery were
exposed as clearly as they were afterwards by the Abolitionists, and
with an outspoken freedom which, when indulged in by Northern men, was
soon to be denounced as treasonable and incendiary. These Southern
speakers were silenced by the Slave Power. But there were men in the
North who thought the same and who would not be silenced. Chief among
these was William Lloyd Garrison. He had begun his memorable career by
circulating petitions in Vermont in 1828 in favor of emancipation in the
District of Columbia. Having joined Lundy in Baltimore in editing the
_Genius of Universal Emancipation_, he had suffered ignominy in the
cause in a Southern jail; drawing from persecution and hardship only new
inspiration, he began the publication of the _Liberator_ at Boston in
January, 1831. In the following year, under his leadership, was formed
the New England Anti-Slavery Society, which placed itself on the new
ground that _immediate, unconditional emancipation, without
expatriation, was the right of every slave and could not be withheld by
his master an hour without sin_. In March, 1833, the _Weekly
Emancipator_ was established in New York, with the assistance of Arthur
and Lewis Tappan, and under the editorship of William Goodell. In the
same year appeared at Haverhill, Mass., a vigorous pamphlet by John G.
Whittier, entitled "Justice and Expediency, or Slavery considered with a
View to its Rightful and Effectual Remedy, Abolition." Nearly
simultaneously were published Mrs. Lydia Maria Child's "Appeal in Behalf
of that Class of Americans called Africans," and a pamphlet by Elizur
Wright, Jr., a professor in the Western Reserve College, on "The Sin of
Slavery and its Remedy."

These publications and the doctrines of the _Liberator_ produced great
excitement throughout the country. The South had been able to hear the
words "gradual emancipation" with a confident equanimity, and only a few
years before had tolerated a convention in Baltimore gathered to forward
that object. But the word "immediate" now prefixed to emancipation acted
as a firebrand to gunpowder. Southern newspapers and politicians could
not find epithets strong enough to denounce the fanatical incendiaries
who said that slavery, being wrong in itself, should cease at once. A
reward was offered by a Southern Legislature for the person of Garrison,
dead or alive. For lending Whittier's pamphlet to a white man Dr. Reuben
Crandall was tried for his life at Washington on the charge of
"circulating Tappan, Garrison & Co.'s papers encouraging the negroes to
insurrection."

The lives of the abolitionists were safer at the North, but their
principles were condemned there in terms quite as decided. To say that
slavery ought to be immediately abolished was sufficient cause for the
clergyman to lose his pulpit and the merchant his credit. The new
doctrine was too sound to be ignored, and its agitation was
disorganizing, vexatious, injurious to business, destructive of private
and political peace. The North agreed with the South that slavery was
not a subject to which the right of free speech applied. The
abolitionists were accused of injuring the cause of the blacks by their
proceedings. And indeed, at the South the treatment of the slave became
harsher, and at the North the prejudice against the free negro was
intensified. In 1833 Miss Crandall, a Quaker lady, endeavoured to
establish a boarding-school for the education of coloured girls in
Canterbury, Conn. A committee of the inhabitants waited upon her, who
represented "that by putting her design into execution she would bring
ruin and disgrace upon them all." Three town meetings were held in one
week to discuss ways and means to suppress a scheme which would render
"insecure the persons, property, and reputation of our citizens." The
State of Connecticut passed a special law to forbid the establishment of
such a school. Under it, Miss Crandall was tried and convicted. The
constitutionality of the law was called in question and the case was
appealed. But the inhabitants of Canterbury thought the crisis too
serious to depend on legal technicalities. Miss Crandall was driven from
the town by persecution. The shops would sell her no food; her well was
filled with manure, and water from other sources refused; her house was
smeared with filth and finally set on fire. The trustees of the Noyes
Academy in Plymouth, N. H., having consented to the admission of
coloured pupils, the respectable people of the town avoided the
contemplated disgrace by moving the school building from its
foundations and depositing it in a swamp. In 1835 a wealthy coloured
man bought a pew on the floor of Park Street Church in Boston. His
neighbours nailed up the door of the pew, and so many "aggrieved
brethren" threatened to leave that the trustees were obliged to prevent
the threatened contamination of the sanctuary by excluding the coloured
pew-holder. A hundred similar cases might be cited to show that before
the emancipation of the slaves could gain even a hearing, the North had
to be educated to consider the negro race as human beings capable of
improvement and deserving of humane encouragement.

In May, 1833, Judge Jay contributed to the first number of the
_Emancipator_ a letter which sets forth his own views of the problem of
American slavery at that time and also some of the difficulties in the
path of the emancipationists:

  "The duty and policy of immediate emancipation, although clear to
  us, are not so to multitudes of good people who abhor slavery and
  sincerely wish its removal. They take it for granted, no matter why
  or wherefore, that if the slaves were now liberated they would
  instantly cut the throats and fire the dwellings of their
  benefactors. Hence these good people look upon the advocates of
  emancipation as a set of dangerous fanatics, who are jeopardizing
  the peace of the Southern States and riveting the fetters of the
  slaves by the very attempt to break them. In their opinion the
  slaves are not fit for freedom, and therefore it is necessary to
  wait patiently till they are. Now, unless these patient waiters can
  be brought over to our side, emancipation is hopeless; for, first,
  they are an immense majority of all among us who are hostile to
  slavery; and, secondly, they are as conscientious in their opinions
  as we are in ours, and unless converted will oppose and defeat all
  our efforts. But how are they to be converted? Only by the
  exhibition of Truth. The moral, social, and political evils of
  slavery are but imperfectly known and considered. These should be
  portrayed in strong but true colours, and it would not be difficult
  to prove that, however inconvenient and dangerous emancipation may
  be, the continuance of slavery must be infinitely more inconvenient
  and dangerous.

  "Constitutional restrictions, independent of other considerations,
  forbid all other than moral interference with slavery in the
  Southern States. But we have as good and perfect a right to exhort
  slaveholders to liberate their slaves as we have to exhort them to
  practice any virtue or avoid any vice. Nay, we have not only the
  right, but under certain circumstances it may be our duty to give
  such advice; and while we confine ourselves within the boundaries of
  right and duty, we may and ought to disregard the threats and
  denunciations by which we may be assailed.

  "The question of slavery in the District of Columbia is totally
  distinct, as far as we are concerned, from that of slavery in the
  Southern States.

  "As a member of Congress, I should think myself no more authorized
  to legislate for the slaves of Virginia than for the serfs of
  Russia. But Congress has full authority to abolish slavery in the
  District, and I think it to be its duty to do so. The public need
  information respecting the abominations committed at Washington with
  the sanction of their representatives--abominations which will cease
  whenever those representatives please. If this subject is fully and
  ably pressed upon the attention of our electors, they may perhaps
  be induced to require pledges from candidates for Congress for their
  votes for the removal of this foul stain from our National
  Government. As to the Colonization Society, it is neither a wicked
  conspiracy on the one hand nor a panacea for slavery on the other.
  Many good and wise men belong to it and believe in its efficacy."

In the summer of 1833 the abolitionists of Great Britain succeeded in
obtaining the act of emancipation for the 800,000 slaves in the West
Indies. In June Arthur Tappan wrote to Judge Jay asking for his "opinion
as to the expediency of forming an American Antislavery Society and of
doing it now. The impulse given to the cause by the movement in England
would, it appears to me, aid us greatly here." Jay replied very
cautiously. A New York society, he thought, might be desirable
immediately. The constitutions and proceedings of such societies
demanded great caution and prudence; they must blend the wisdom of the
serpent with the harmlessness of the dove. The Southern people affected
to apprehend an unconstitutional interference with their property, as
they called it, by the Northern abolitionists, and no ground for such
pretended fear should be given. With this view, he suggested the
incorporation into the constitution of antislavery societies a distinct
declaration, such as the following: "We concede that Congress, under the
present National Compact, has no right to interfere with any of the
slave States in relation to this momentous subject. But we maintain
that Congress has a right and is solemnly bound to suppress the domestic
slave-trade between the several States and to abolish slavery in those
portions of our territory which the Constitution has placed under its
exclusive jurisdiction." He further suggested that the two subjects, the
Colonization Society and the political condition of the free blacks,
should be avoided. "Duty and policy," he said, "in my opinion demand the
emancipation of our slaves, but they do not demand that immediately on
their emancipation they shall be invested with the right of suffrage."

On the 2d of October the New York City Antislavery Society was
successfully organized, despite an active and organized effort to
prevent it. A call had been issued for a meeting of the friends of
immediate emancipation at Clinton Hall. A counter-notice was published,
signed "Many Southerners," inviting a meeting at the same time and
place. The proprietors of Clinton Hall, alarmed at the situation,
refused to let it to the abolitionists, who then applied to the Clinton
Hotel, where they were also refused. The Southerners and their Northern
sympathizers, finding Clinton Hotel closed, held a meeting at Tammany
Hall, with General Bogardus, the United States Marshal, in the chair,
with speeches and resolutions against the abolitionists, when a report
that the abolitionists were in session at Chatham Street Hall sent them
there in haste, only to find the Hall closed and dark. An eye-witness
described the crowd assembled by the Southern call as "a genuine
drunken, infuriated mob of blackguards of every species, some with good
clothes, and the major part the very sweepings of the city." The public
was amused the next morning by a leading editorial in the _Courier and
Enquirer_, congratulating the country on the failure of the
"disorganizing fanatics to organize a society fraught with danger to the
Union and based upon an open violation of the United States
Constitution;" while the advertising column of the same sheet contained
the official proceedings of the abolitionists at the Chatham Street
Chapel, where with promptness, energy, and order they had received the
report of a committee, adopted a constitution, elected officers,
adjourned and closed the building before the arrival of the rioters from
Tammany. The successful management of the affair was due chiefly to the
coolness and skill of Lewis Tappan, to whose devotion and energy the
antislavery cause was from this time constantly indebted. The peaceful
and lawful aims of the society, its frank acknowledgment of the rights
of the Southern States were set forth in its constitution:

  "While it admits that each State in which slavery exists has, by the
  Constitution of the United States, the exclusive right to legislate
  in regard to its abolition in said State, it shall aim to convince
  all our fellow-citizens, by arguments addressed to their
  understandings and consciences, that slaveholding is a heinous crime
  in the sight of God, and that the duty, safety, and best interest
  of all concerned require its immediate abandonment, without
  expatriation. The society will also endeavour in a constitutional
  way to influence Congress to put an end to the domestic slave-trade
  and to abolish slavery in all those portions of our common country
  which come under its control, especially in the District of
  Columbia, and likewise to prevent the extension of it to any State
  that may hereafter be admitted to the Union.

  "The society shall aim to elevate the character and condition of the
  people of colour, by encouraging their intellectual, moral, and
  religious improvement, and by removing public prejudice, that thus
  they may _according to their intellectual and moral worth_ share an
  equality with the whites of civil and religious privileges; but this
  society will never in any way countenance the oppressed in
  vindicating their rights by resorting to physical force."

Notwithstanding the distinct and moderate language in which the society
set forth its lawful objects, pro-slavery prejudice was aroused to
violent opposition. A week later a meeting was called to protest against
the "reckless agitations of the abolitionists." Theodore Frelinghuysen,
United States Senator from New Jersey, declared that "nine tenths of the
horrors of slavery were imaginary," that "the crusade of abolition" was
"the poetry of philanthropy," that emancipationists were "seeking to
dissolve the Union." Chancellor Walworth came down from Albany to say
that they were "reckless incendiaries" and their efforts
unconstitutional. David B. Ogden declared the doctrine of immediate
emancipation to be "a palpable and direct nullification of the
Constitution."

On the 29th of October, 1833, a circular invitation was addressed to
Judge Jay and others to attend a convention at Philadelphia on the 4th
December to form a National Antislavery Society. This step was taken in
concurrence with the views of the friends of immediate emancipation in
Boston, Providence, New York, and Philadelphia. Among the motives for
organizing such a society without delay it was argued that union is
strength; that the advocates of the immediate abolition of slavery,
though comparatively few and much scattered, were many in the aggregate,
and could act, when combined, with irresistible power; that the cause
was urgent, public expectation excited, its friends to some extent
committed to such a movement during the present year; that they had the
example of similar organizations, which, though feeble and condemned by
public opinion in the outset, had speedily risen to great influence, and
had been the means under God of immense benefit to the human race,
especially in the case of the National Antislavery Society of Great
Britain, and of the American Temperance Society. The invitation was
signed by a committee consisting of Arthur Tappan, Joshua Leavitt, and
Elizur Wright, Jr., all officers of the New York Antislavery Society.

At the same time Judge Jay received a letter from Rev. Samuel J. May
urging him to be present. "This is a cause," wrote May, "in which our
wisest and best and most prudent men ought to engage. There never has
been in our country so great a demand for the exertions of true patriots
and real Christians.... Let me beg of you to be there, at the
convention. I have heard the hope that you will be there expressed most
fervently by many."

Jay replied to the committee that he could not be present. "It would
perhaps be uncandid to conceal from you," he said, "that the expediency
of the proposed attempt to form a National Society at the present time
seems to me to be at least questionable. May it not increase the
irritation and hostility extensively felt towards abolitionists without
promoting their objects more effectually than local societies? If,
however, a National Society is to be formed, it is to be hoped its
proceedings will be marked with great prudence and moderation. The great
objection made to antislavery associations is that they aim at an
unconstitutional interference with slavery. This objection, false as I
am persuaded it is, has nevertheless an extensive and injurious
influence, and unless it be removed success will be hopeless. It seems
to me, therefore, of the utmost importance that correct constitutional
principles on this subject should not only be entertained, but
explicitly and unequivocally avowed by every antislavery society. This
avowal might be made in the preamble of their constitution in some form
like the following:

  "'The object of this society is to promote the abolition of slavery
  in the United States. As all legislation relative to slavery in the
  several States in which it exists can be constitutionally exercised
  only by their respective Legislatures, this society will endeavour
  to effect its object, so far as relates to these States, by argument
  addressed to the understanding and conscience of their citizens. But
  inasmuch as the Federal Constitution confers on Congress the
  exclusive right to legislate for the District of Columbia, this
  society will use all such lawful and constitutional means as may be
  deemed advisable to induce Congress to abolish slavery in that
  District without delay.'

"I am very sensible that the friends of emancipation hold these
principles, but not having given them sufficient prominence in their
writings they have subjected themselves to much injurious suspicion."

Judge Jay's letter was read on the first day of the Antislavery
Convention held in Philadelphia in December, 1833; and in the
declaration of principles, reported by William Lloyd Garrison, John G.
Whittier, and Samuel J. May, and unanimously adopted by the convention,
appeared the following clauses, by which the abolitionists were enabled
to repel the charge, so persistently made, that they sought to
accomplish their ends by unconstitutional means, by asking Congress to
exceed its power by meddling with slavery in the States:

  "We fully and unanimously recognize the sovereignty of each State to
  legislate exclusively on the subject of slavery which is tolerated
  within its limits; we concede that Congress under the present
  National Compact has no right to interfere with any of the slave
  States in relation to this momentous subject.

  "But we maintain that Congress has a right and is solemnly bound to
  suppress the domestic slave-trade between the several States, and to
  abolish slavery in those portions of our territory which the
  Constitution has placed under its exclusive jurisdiction."

In 1838 an energetic attempt was made by Alvan Stewart, of Utica, to
strike out the clause in the constitution of the American Antislavery
Society which recognized the rights of the Southern States under the
United States Constitution. Jay perceived the injury that such a course
would inflict on the position of the abolitionists. It would, indeed,
have committed the society to the doctrine that Congress could continue
slavery in the States. He opposed the change with vigour during a debate
of two days and succeeded in maintaining the all-important clause.

Looked at by the light of subsequent events, the importance of placing
the antislavery movement on a strictly constitutional basis cannot be
overrated. Upon the principles thus distinctly avowed rested the moral
and political strength of the movement during a struggle of nearly
thirty years. And these principles became, in 1854, under the guidance
of the founders of the Republican party, the chief plank in the platform
of that great organization, under whose sturdy lead, aided by citizens
of all parties, the supremacy of the national Constitution was
maintained, the integrity of the national territory was preserved,
slavery was ended, and the republic saved.

Judge Jay was not yet officially connected with the antislavery
societies, but his sympathy was close with them and their officers. At
the request of the Executive Committee of the New York society, he
drafted a petition for abolition in the District of Columbia for
circulation in New York, in which he again distinctly drew the line
between the power of Congress over the District and its want of power as
regarded the States. This careful discrimination had no weight with the
many who were unwilling to admit that anything said or done by the
abolitionists was right. But it succeeded with more liberal men, among
them the good Chancellor Kent. The Chancellor, whose reputation as a
jurist was second to none, signed the petition, which he declared to
contain "no unconstitutional doctrine."

The first anniversary of the American Antislavery Society was held at
the Chatham Street Chapel in the beginning of May, 1834. Arthur Tappan
presided, and addresses were made by Elizur Wright, Jr., Rev. Amos A.
Phelps of Boston, James A. Stone of Kentucky, a delegate from the Lane
Seminary, Robert Purvis of Philadelphia, Rev. Henry G. Ludlow, Wm. Lloyd
Garrison, and Charles Stewart. The meeting met with disorderly
interruptions; the newspapers contained abusive attacks upon the
abolitionists and appealed against them to the passions of the lowest
and most ignorant class in the community. "All this violence and
obloquy," remarked Judge Jay, "are not without an object, and that
object is intimidation." The truth of this observation was soon
disgracefully verified. When the Fourth of July was celebrated at the
Chatham Street Chapel by an antislavery oration from David Paul Brown of
Philadelphia, the disorderly elements evoked by the press against the
blacks and abolitionists responded in large force and with increased
lawlessness. On the 9th of July a mob assembled at the Chapel, broke
open the doors, passed resolutions in favor of the Colonization Society
and by a suggestive vote adjourned until the next meeting of the
Antislavery Society. The mob then proceeded to the Bowery Theatre to
avenge some expressions attributed to an English actor, and next to the
house of Mr. Lewis Tappan, which was attacked with bricks and stones,
the furniture broken up and burned in the street. The riots continued
for several days with little hindrance from the city authorities. Six
churches were attacked and a large number of houses occupied by
abolitionists or by coloured people. Against the latter the fury of the
mob was especially directed. The same scenes of riot and cruelty toward
the helpless blacks occurred in Philadelphia, where forty-five houses
were destroyed. It was evident that the arguments of the abolitionists
could not be met except with violence. The mobs, as usual, were
cowardly. In some cases the determined action of the abolitionists
afforded them the protection refused by the police. It was announced
that among the houses to be attacked was that of Dr. Abraham L. Cox, in
Broome Street, a few doors east of Broadway. John Jay, then a student at
Columbia College, was living in the house. Some members of the New York
Young Men's Antislavery Society, with guns and pistols, were gathered
within and notice was given publicly that an attack would be repelled by
force. Late that night the mob in its lawless career passed close to Dr.
Cox's house, but did not dare to molest it. Similar preparations for
defence saved the store of Arthur Tappan.

While the New York mob, as the _Commercial Advertiser_ said, were "now
nightly engaged in deeds of violence," the same paper distinctly took
the ground that the abolitionists should not enjoy "the protection of
the law and the aid of the military," except "on condition that the
causers of these mischiefs shall be abated and the outrages upon public
feelings from the forum, the pulpit, and the press shall no more be
repeated by these reckless incendiaries." The _Courier and Inquirer_ of
the same day said: "Now we tell them [the abolitionists] that when they
openly and publicly promulgate doctrines which outrage public feelings,
they have no right to demand protection of the people they insult," and
they must understand "that they prosecute their treasonable and beastly
plans at their own peril." Such was the view taken of American freedom
of speech by the pro-slavery party. The manly traits of American
character seemed to be lost in the prevailing atmosphere of race
prejudice, cowardice, and injustice. Politicians of both parties,
representatives of the commercial and professional classes of the North,
acquiesced in a policy which they thought would advance their views, but
which was destructive of the fundamental principles of American liberty.
The highest and the lowest had joined hands to assail the coloured
people and their friends. Names honoured in the Church and the State,
which should have helped to elevate public opinion and to guide it in
the path of justice, obeyed the mandates and echoed the denunciations of
the Slave Power. For a time was presented an alliance in behalf of
slavery of the highest classes with the scum of politicians and
criminals. The intrepid William Leggett was one of the few who dared to
publish the truth. "The fury of demons," he wrote in the _Evening Post_,
"seems to have entered into the breasts of our misguided populace. The
rights of public and private property, the obligations of law, the
authority of its ministers and even the power of the military are all
equally spurned by these audacious sons of riot and disorder." Candid
and cautious thinkers began to take alarm at the disregard for law which
seemed to be spreading through the country. "These mobs," wrote Dr.
Channing, "are indeed most dishonourable to us as a people, because they
have been too much the expression of public sentiment, ... because
there was a willingness that the antislavery movement should be put down
by force."

The conduct of the mobs, and the encouragement given to them by the
press, aroused the spirit and stimulated the energy of the
abolitionists. "These crimes," said Judge Jay, "abundantly prove the
extreme cruelty and sinfulness of that prejudice against colour which we
are impiously told is an ordination of Providence. Colonizationists,
assuming the prejudice to be natural and invincible, propose to remove
its victims beyond its influence. Abolitionists, on the contrary,
remembering with the Psalmist 'that it is He that hath made us, and not
we ourselves,' believe that the benevolent Father of us all requires us
to treat with justice and kindness every portion of the human family."

Although he had been an earnest emancipationist for ten years, Judge Jay
had had doubts of the wisdom of forming antislavery societies at so
early a period in the movement. He had feared that unmeasured and
unconstitutional doctrines might be adopted which would set the cause in
a false light before the country. His advice had been sought and
followed, as we have seen, and there was no longer any reason why he
should not become an active member. In 1834, immediately after the riots
and when the outlook seemed darkest, he took a place on the Executive
Committee of the National Society.

"In that season of feverish excitement," wrote Hon. Henry Wilson,
"Judge William Jay, inheriting not only the honoured name, but the
principles and purity of the illustrious Chief-Justice, at first
declined an office in the new society, deeming its organization
premature," but now "sought to take his share of its labours and
responsibilities. His name gave prestige; his talents, learning, and
integrity afforded strength, while his cautious and ready pen laid
precious gifts upon its altar."

In February, 1835, was published Jay's "Inquiry into the Character and
Tendency of the American Colonization and American Antislavery
Societies." The book bore upon its title-page the words of Milton, "Give
me liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely, according to my
conscience, above all liberties"--a sentiment considered treasonable in
America by the Slave Power. This work had a powerful effect upon public
opinion, not only on account of the arguments it contained, but largely
on account of the character and position of its author. It was the
policy of the pro-slavery party to represent the abolitionists as
ignorant and reckless agitators, with nothing to lose. But here was a
man of family and fortune, a judge on the bench, high in the counsels of
the Episcopal Church, who set forth the detested doctrines with judicial
moderation and unanswerable logic.

Jay began by an exposure of the Colonization Society. He showed that it
was merely a scheme to get rid of the free blacks at the South, where
they were regarded as a nuisance; that its officers represented it at
the North as a solution of the slavery question to quiet
emancipationists and to obtain their subscriptions. He set forth the
constitutional and merciful objects of the American Antislavery Society.
He showed that abolitionists were neither acting in opposition to law,
nor were in any manner exciting the slaves to insurrection; that the
opinions they professed were such as had been freely uttered by
Jefferson, Franklin, and numerous Southern statesmen within fifty years.
He exposed the cruel character of American slavery, the beastly
degradation, physical, moral, and mental, to which it condemned the
blacks; the horrors of the interstate slave-trade, tearing husband from
wife and children from their mothers to be sold into distant places; he
pointed out the national disgrace involved in the fact that in the city
of Washington, under the stars and stripes, slave-dealers were licensed
to ply their trade in human flesh, leading the chained "coffles" of
black wretches about the streets. The concluding chapters were devoted
to showing that emancipation could be accomplished with safety, and that
the real danger to the country lay in the continuation of slavery.

The welcome extended to this book by the avowed abolitionists is
illustrated by the following extract from the annual report of the
Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1836: "We know it will not be
thought invidious towards others who have greatly contributed by their
excellent writings to help on our glorious enterprise, if we make
especial mention of the volume from the pen of the Hon. William Jay of
New York. His 'Inquiry' was published in the early part of last year.
Coming from him, a man extensively known, and highly respected and
beloved by all who know him, it could not fail to command the public
attention. The very rapid sale of the first and second editions evinced
the eagerness of thousands to know the results of his inquiry into the
sentiments and plans of the two societies which had stood from the birth
of the latter in the attitude of opposition. It is a book so full of
pertinent facts and carefully drawn conclusions that it could not fail
to impart the convictions of its author to other minds. No book on the
subject has probably been read by more persons, nor has any one been
instrumental to the conversion of more."

The importance of the "Inquiry" to the antislavery cause is illustrated
by the diverse character of the men whose attention was attracted by
it--men whose conservative habits of mind, whose business and
professional interests caused them to ignore if not to condemn the
abolitionists. "Your book," wrote Rev. Beriah Green, who presided at the
organization of the American Antislavery Society in Philadelphia, "will
command a large circle of readers who could not be persuaded to examine
a paragraph written by any of us who have so long been known and hated
and execrated as abolitionists. To many of these, your arguments, so
skilfully arranged, so powerfully described, so happily conducted to so
triumphant a conclusion, must prove convincing. They must abandon their
'miry clay,' and, aided by your hand, take a position 'on the rock.'"
Among leading men influenced by Jay's "Inquiry" may be mentioned Dr.
Alonzo Potter, afterwards Bishop of Pennsylvania, and Peter G.
Stuyvesant, a representative of the solid Knickerbockers of New York.
Edward Delavan, of Albany, wrote: "You have done the cause of humanity
an incalculable amount of good by the work." Mrs. Theodore Sedgwick
wrote from Stockbridge: "We are reading your book on American slavery
with great interest. You have rendered an invaluable service to the
country and to the cause of humanity." The approbation most welcome to
Jay was probably that of the eminent Chancellor Kent. "I have read the
volume," he said, "with equal interest and astonishment. You have
accumulated a mass of facts of which a great part were to me unknown,
and they are of a surprising kind. I do not well see how your argument
on any material point can be gainsaid. You have amply vindicated the
character and intentions of the American Antislavery Society from all
injurious imputations. The details of the slave-trade and its
accompanying atrocities, as carried on at Washington, are horrible, and
your work must go far towards opening the eyes and disabusing the minds
of the public. I have, from the very beginning, had doubts and
misgivings as to the efficacy and results of the American Colonization
Society, and for some years past I have become satisfied that the scheme
was in reality but an Utopian vision, though I had supposed until now
that its fruits were better. Permit me to add that I have been much
pleased, not only with the clearness, force, simplicity, and precision
of the style, but with your fearless, frank, and manly, but courteous
vindication of the cause of Truth and Justice, and with your striking
appeals to the conscience and responsibilities of the Christian
reader."



CHAPTER IV.

CONTINUED EFFORTS TO SUPPRESS THE ANTISLAVERY MOVEMENT BY FORCE AND
  INTIMIDATION.--FAVOURABLE EFFECT UPON THE PUBLIC MIND PRODUCED BY
  JAY'S WRITINGS.


The second anniversary of the American Antislavery Society was held at
the Presbyterian Church at Houston and Thompson Streets in New York on
the 12th of May, 1835. James G. Birney, of Kentucky, George Thompson, of
England, and William Lloyd Garrison made addresses. Judge Jay was
appointed foreign corresponding secretary, and instructed to convey to
the Duc de Broglie, president of the French Society for the Abolition of
Slavery, the sympathy of American abolitionists.

The increasing activity and strength of the antislavery movement were
not unnoticed by the partisans of the Slave Power, both North and South,
and an incident occurred at Charleston, S. C., on the night of July
29th, which illustrated the temper and methods of the party. The
American Antislavery Society had directed their publishers to forward a
number of their periodical papers presenting facts and arguments on the
subject of slavery to various Southern gentlemen of distinction in the
hope of inspiring a spirit of inquiry among persons of influence and
character. "But it was precisely this spirit of inquiry," said Judge
Jay, "that the advocates of perpetual bondage feared might be fatal to
their favourite institution. Hence they affected to believe that the
papers sent to the masters were intended to incite the slaves to
insurrection." The fact that a considerable number of antislavery
publications had arrived at Charleston became known, and a mob broke
into the post-office and burned the mail in the streets. Arthur Tappan,
William L. Garrison, and Rev. Samuel H. Cox were burned in effigy. Mass
meetings were held at Charleston and Richmond to approve the action of
the mob, and aroused great excitement throughout the country. A
committee was appointed at Charleston to take charge of the Northern
mail on its arrival and to see that no antislavery papers should reach
their destinations. The postmaster advised the postmaster-general that
under existing circumstances he had determined to suppress all
antislavery publications, and asked for instructions. Amos Kendall,
Jackson's postmaster-general, whose sworn duty it was to preserve the
sanctity of the mails, was only too willing to act as the tool of the
Slave Power. "We owe," he replied, "an obligation to the laws, but a
higher one to the communities in which we live, and if the former be
perverted to destroy the latter, it is patriotism to disregard them.
Entertaining these views, I _cannot sanction and will not condemn the
step you have taken_." These novel and dangerous doctrines, by which the
laws of the republic were to be set aside by public officers for
political purposes, received the sanction of President Jackson.

The postmaster at New York, Samuel L. Gouverneur, proposed to the
American Antislavery Society that it voluntarily desist from sending its
publications by mail, but the Executive Committee properly refused to
yield the legal rights which they possessed in common with their
fellow-citizens. The postmaster announced that antislavery papers would
not be forwarded until further notice, and wrote to Washington for
instructions. Kendall replied that he was "deterred from giving an order
to exclude the whole series of antislavery publications from the
Southern mail only by a want of legal power." Such a power, he admitted,
vested in the head of the post-office department, would be fearfully
dangerous and had been withheld properly; but he added, with more regard
to the public opinion of the moment than to the principles of the
Constitution, "If I were situated as you are, I would do as you have
done." Some members of the Executive Committee wished to test the action
of the New York postmaster in the United States courts, but Judge Jay
opposed the plan for reasons which he gave in a letter to Elizur Wright,
Jr.: "The action must be brought and tried in the city of New York--in
that city in which this same gentleman, after his offence had been
publicly proclaimed by himself in the newspapers, addressed thousands of
the citizens in the Park and was received by their applause. Nor is this
all. His conduct is commended by his superior, who is a member of the
President's cabinet and probably acts with the approbation of General
Jackson. Under such circumstances, I think it improbable that a
prosecution would be attended with any result beneficial to our cause.
We have not surrendered our rights, but they have been violently wrested
from us.... _Festina lente_ is sometimes a safe maxim. Fidelity to our
principles and prudence in our conduct will, in time, through the
blessing of God, crown our labours with success. You think it is hardly
to be supposed that the people of the North are willing to give up the
right of the post-office. Certainly they are not willing to give up
their own, but they are willing _at present_ to give up _our_ right to
it."

The South, recognizing the growing strength of antislavery opinion,
began its appeals to the North to save the Union by suppressing the
abolitionists. A public meeting in Virginia requested that this might be
done "by strong yet lawful, by mild yet constitutional means"--terms
which recalled the inquisitor of the Holy Office handing over condemned
heretics to the executioner with the ironical request that he would
deal with them tenderly and without blood-letting. In deference to the
Slave Power the post-office had been made to nullify the freedom of the
press, and freedom of speech was now to be suppressed, if possible, by
mob violence. The situation of abolitionists in this year may be
inferred from letters written from Brooklyn during the summer by Mrs.
Lydia Maria Child: "I have not ventured into the city, nor does one of
us dare to go to church to-day, so great is the excitement here. You can
form no conception of it. 'Tis like the times of the French Revolution,
when no man dared trust his neighbour. Private assassins from New
Orleans are lurking at the corners of the streets to stab Arthur Tappan;
and very large sums are offered for any one who will get Mr. George
Thompson into the slave States. I tremble for him. He is almost a close
prisoner in his chamber, his friends deeming him in eminent peril the
moment it is ascertained where he is.... Five thousand dollars were
offered on the Exchange in New York for the head of Arthur Tappan on
Friday last. Elizur Wright is barricading his house with shutters, bars,
and bolts. Judge Jay has been with us two or three days. He is as firm
as the everlasting hills."

The popular feeling against the abolitionists was growing daily, and
from every quarter they were charged with "unconstitutional,
insurrectionary, and diabolical designs." To attempt to disabuse the
community of the false impressions received from pro-slavery speakers
and newspapers seemed the most important duty at this time. The
following anonymous letter, signed "A Returning Southerner," was
received by Arthur Tappan, and placed the necessity for such action in a
strong light:

  "Though we are unknown to each other, yet the friendship I feel for
  you induces me to address you. I have been where you have not, and
  have heard what you have not, and believe that great prudence is
  requisite on your part. I do not ask you to remit your philanthropic
  efforts. Heaven and future ages, if not the present, will appreciate
  them.

  "I do not pretend to advise, but have often thought that you and
  your friends do not take sufficient means to disabuse the public of
  the ceaseless charges of a multitude of papers.

  "A vast majority in this city have never seen one of your papers,
  and countless multitudes, not only here but through our vast
  republic, believe without a doubt, for they have seen it unceasingly
  asserted and never contradicted, that you ardently wish your
  incendiary publications to excite the slaves to rebellion and
  bloodshed, massacre and rapine in their worst forms. While this
  impression is so common, or rather so universal, I was glad to see
  in circulation, as tending in some measure to your safety and the
  safety of this association, that you address not the slave but his
  master--a fact well enough known by your vengeance-seeking foes, but
  not known by those whom they intend to use as instruments of
  violence. I only presume further to suggest a card, to be inserted
  at least a week in the _Courier and Inquirer_, stating in brief
  terms that you do not advocate the violence imputed to you; that you
  address the reason of white men, not the passions of slaves."

The Executive Committee of the American Antislavery Society resolved to
ask Judge Jay to prepare such a statement as the crisis called for. Jay
was on a tour through the White Mountains at the time, but immediately
on his return he prepared the following address, which was published in
September, 1835, and was widely circulated in America and Europe:

  "_To the Public._

  "In behalf of the American Antislavery Society we solicit the candid
  attention of the public to the following declaration of our
  principles and objects. Were the charges which are brought against
  us made only by persons who are interested in the continuance of
  slavery, and by such as are influenced solely by unworthy motives,
  this address would be unnecessary; but there are those who merit and
  possess our esteem, who would not voluntarily do us injustice, and
  who have been led by gross misrepresentations to believe that we are
  pursuing measures at variance not only with the constitutional
  rights of the South but with the precepts of humanity and religion.
  To such we offer the following explanations and assurances:

  "1st. We hold that Congress has no more right to abolish slavery in
  the Southern States than in the French West India Islands. Of course
  we desire no national legislation on the subject.

  "2d. We hold that slavery cannot be lawfully abolished except by the
  Legislatures of the several States in which it prevails, and that
  the exercise of any other than moral influence to induce such
  abolition is unconstitutional.

  "3d. We believe that Congress has the same right to abolish slavery
  in the District of Columbia that the State governments have within
  their respective jurisdictions, and that it is their duty to efface
  so foul a spot from the national escutcheon.

  "4th. We believe the American citizens have the right to express and
  publish their opinions of the constitutions, laws, and institutions
  of any and every State and nation under heaven; and we mean
  never to surrender the liberty of speech, of the press, or of
  conscience--blessings we have inherited from our fathers, and which
  we intend, so far as we are able, to transmit unimpaired to our
  children.

  "5th. We have uniformly deprecated all forcible attempts on the part
  of the slaves to recover their liberty; and were it in our power to
  address them we would exhort them to observe a quiet and peaceful
  demeanour, and would assure them that no insurrectionary movement on
  their part would receive from us the slightest aid or countenance.

  "6th. We would deplore any servile insurrection, both on account of
  the calamities which would attend it and on account of the occasion
  which it would furnish of increased severity and oppression.

  "7th. We are charged with sending incendiary publications to the
  South. If by the term 'incendiary' is meant publications containing
  arguments and facts to prove slavery to be a moral and political
  evil, and that duty and policy require its immediate abolition, the
  charge is true. But if this term is used to imply publications
  encouraging insurrection and designed to excite the slaves to break
  their fetters, the charge is utterly and unequivocally false. We beg
  our fellow-citizens to notice that this charge is made without
  proof, and by many who confess that they have never read our
  publications, and that those who make it offer to the public no
  evidence from our writings in support of it.

  "8th. We are accused of sending our publications to the slaves, and
  it is asserted that their tendency is to excite insurrections. Both
  the charges are false. These publications are not intended for the
  slaves, and were they able to read them, they would find in them no
  encouragement to insurrection.

  "9th. We are accused of employing agents in the slave States to
  distribute our publications. We have never had one such agent. We
  have sent no packages of our papers to any person in those States
  for distribution, except to five respectable resident citizens at
  their own request. But we have sent by mail single papers addressed
  to public officers, editors of newspapers, and clergymen. If,
  therefore, our object is to excite the slaves to insurrection, the
  masters are our agents!

  "10th. We believe slavery to be sinful, injurious to this and to
  every other country in which it prevails; we believe immediate
  emancipation to be the duty of every slaveholder, and that the
  immediate abolition of slavery, by those who have the right to
  abolish it, would be safe and wise. These opinions we have freely
  expressed, and we certainly have no intention to refrain from
  expressing them in future, and urging them upon the consciences and
  hearts of our fellow-citizens who hold slaves or apologize for
  slavery.

  "11th. We believe that the education of the poor is required by
  duty, and by a regard for the permanency of our republican
  institutions. There are thousands and tens of thousands of our
  fellow-citizens, even in the free States, sunk in abject poverty,
  and who, on account of their complexion, are virtually kept in
  ignorance, and whose instruction in certain cases is actually
  prohibited by law. We are anxious to protect the rights and to
  promote the virtue and happiness of the coloured portion of our
  population, and on this account we have been charged with a design
  to encourage intermarriage between the whites and the blacks. This
  charge has been repeatedly and is now again denied; while we repeat
  that the tendency of our sentiments is to put an end to the criminal
  amalgamation that prevails wherever slavery exists.

  "12th. We are accused of acts that tend to a dissolution of the
  Union, and even of wishing to dissolve it. We have never 'calculated
  the value of the Union,' because we believe it to be inestimable,
  and that the abolition of slavery will remove the chief danger of
  its dissolution; and one of the many reasons why we endeavour to
  preserve the Constitution is that it restrains Congress from making
  any law 'abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.'

  "Such, fellow-citizens, are our principles. Are they unworthy of
  Christians and of republicans? Or are they in truth so atrocious
  that in order to prevent their diffusion you are yourselves willing
  to surrender at the dictation of others the invaluable privilege of
  free discussion, the very birthright of Americans? Will you, in
  order that the abominations of slavery may be concealed from public
  view, and that the capital of your republic may continue to be as it
  now is, under the sanction of Congress, the great slave-mart of the
  American continent, consent that the general government, in
  acknowledged defiance of the Constitution and laws, shall appoint
  throughout the length and breadth of your land ten thousand censors
  of the press, each of whom shall have the right to inspect every
  document you may commit to the post-office, and to suppress every
  pamphlet and newspaper, whether religious or political, which in his
  sovereign pleasure he may adjudge to contain an incendiary article?
  Surely we need not remind you that if you submit to such an
  encroachment on your liberties the days of our republic are
  numbered, and that although abolitionists may be the first, they
  will not be the last victims offered at the shrine of arbitrary
  power.

  "(Signed)

    "ARTHUR TAPPAN,
    "JOHN RANKIN,
    "WILLIAM JAY,
    "ELIZUR WRIGHT, JR.,
    "ABRAHAM L. COX,
    "LEWIS TAPPAN,
    "JOSHUA LEAVITT,
    "SAMUEL E. CORNISH,
    "SIMEON S. JOCELIN,
    "THEODORE S. WRIGHT.

  "NEW YORK, September 3d, 1835."

The effect of Jay's address to the public was thus described by Elizur
Wright, Jr.: "The Southern papers are copying it extensively, and most
of them charge us with having disclaimed in it our real motives--a proof
that our real sentiments were before misunderstood. In a large number of
Northern papers it is copied with more or less approbation. Indeed, none
but the determined pro-slavery presses fail to speak of it as a candid,
firm, and honourable if not convincing document." "It has had a most
beneficial effect," wrote Lewis Tappan. "What a contrast to the
ebullition of public meetings!"

A movement was begun in the year 1835, on the part of the Southern press
and Southern Legislatures to induce penal legislation in the North
against the expression of antislavery sentiments. The _Richmond Whig_
revealed its opinion of its Northern allies when it said: "Depend upon
it, the Northern people will never sacrifice their lucrative trade with
the South so long as the hanging of a few thousands will prevent it." In
obedience to these demands, pro-slavery men in the North were actually
to be found proposing legislation intended to destroy the freedom of the
press and to make antislavery expression a criminal offence. Judge Jay
took occasion to meet this movement in a charge which he delivered to
the Westchester Grand Jury, in which he said: "Any law which might be
passed to abridge in the slightest degree the freedom of speech or of
the press, or to shield any one subject from discussion, would be
utterly null and void; and it would be the duty of every genuine
republican to resist with energy and decision so palpable an outrage on
the declared will of the people." These remarks were widely published
and did much to discourage the pro-slavery agitators.

But other illegitimate and violent schemes to reduce to silence
antislavery men were soon brought into play. South Carolina having
inaugurated the assault upon the constitutional rights of the North
through the post-office, Alabama followed in a yet bolder step against
the personal security of abolitionists. Governor Gayle, of that State,
demanded of the Governor of New York that Ransom G. Williams, the
publishing agent of the Antislavery Society, should be surrendered to
him to be tried under the laws of Alabama on an indictment found
against him by the Grand Jury for publishing in the _Emancipator_, in
the city of New York, the following sentiment: "God commands and all
nature cries out that man should not be held as property. The system of
making men property has plunged two and a quarter millions of our
fellow-countrymen into the deepest physical and moral degradation, and
they are every moment sinking deeper." This expression was the most
offensive which the Alabama Grand Jury could discover in the documents
of the society on which to base the indictment and demand, and as the
one which came nearest to anything resembling an attempt to incite the
slaves to insurrection. Williams had never been in the State of Alabama,
was never subject to its laws, had never fled from its jurisdiction, and
these facts were admitted by the Governor when he made requisition for
Williams as a "fugitive from justice." While the American Antislavery
Society was considering what action it should take for the protection of
its agent, Lewis Tappan wrote to Judge Jay (8th September) suggesting
that he should get the opinion of two or three eminent lawyers on the
subject to be circulated by the society. Jay replied: "The Southern
papers have intimated that Northern abolitionists may be indicted in the
courts and then demanded of the State executives, and you request my
opinion whether it would be advisable to obtain and publish the legal
opinion of eminent counsel on this novel doctrine. The doctrine is so
monstrous, so utterly at variance with all our ideas of constitutional
and State rights, that it shocks the understanding and moral sense of
the community, and I verily believe that there is not one Northern
governor who would dare to arrest a citizen on such a demand. But if we
manifest alarm at this doctrine and get lawyers to controvert it, there
will be found rival presses, venal lawyers, and corrupt politicians to
support the other side of the question; the community will begin to
discuss the subject, passion and interest and prejudice will believe
whatever they want to believe. My opinion, therefore, is that the less
we say on this subject the better, and that we should not give a
factitious importance to the doctrine." Jay's advice was followed and
proved to be wise. Governor Marcy could do nothing but refuse the
request of Governor Gayle, although he softened his refusal by abuse of
the abolitionists.

Under the leadership of Alvan Stewart a convention was called to meet at
Utica on October 21, 1835, to form a New York State Antislavery Society.
About six hundred delegates were present. The spirit of mob violence,
which was being encouraged by pro-slavery orators and presses throughout
the country to suppress the abolitionists by force, was relied upon to
prevent the meeting of the convention. The mob having occupied in
advance the room in the court-house prepared for the meeting, the
delegates repaired to a Presbyterian Church, where they had barely
enough time to organize and elect officers before the riotous
supporters of slavery broke into the church and violently dispersed the
convention. The lawless tyranny to which the delegates were subjected
and their courageous conduct attracted to their cause many persons who
had held aloof hitherto. Chief among these was Gerrit Smith, who from
this time gave to the antislavery movement unstinted contributions of
money and intelligent labour. Judge Jay, notwithstanding his unavoidable
absence from the convention, was elected president of the society then
formed.

At about the same time as the Utica riots occurred the mobbing of
William Lloyd Garrison, in Boston, by "gentlemen of property and
standing." And all over the North were enacted scenes of violence,
encouraged by a large portion of the press, which were intended to
gratify the Southern demand that abolitionism should be put down at all
hazards. The sanctity of the mails, the constitutional right of free
speech and of lawful assemblage, were forgotten by a large portion of
the people. And they were forgotten by the President of the United
States himself. In December, 1835, Andrew Jackson, in his message to
Congress, gave a tacit approval to mob rule, to the suppression of the
freedom of the press, and to the oft-exposed falsehood that the
abolitionists distributed documents among the slaves intended to incite
them to insurrection; and he recommended the closing of the mails to
antislavery people.

The position taken by President Jackson was so unjust, so
unconstitutional, and so calculated to aggravate the situation, that the
American Antislavery Society determined to make an official reply to it.
Judge Jay was chosen to answer the President on behalf of the society,
and he prepared an address which was signed by all the officers. This
document was a complete exposure of the falsity of the charges made and
of the unlawfulness of the restrictive measures which Jackson proposed
to Congress.

  "You have accused," said Jay, "an indefinite number of your
  fellow-citizens, without designation of name or residence, of making
  unconstitutional and wicked efforts, and of harbouring intentions
  which could be entertained only by the most depraved and abandoned
  of mankind; and yet you carefully abstain from averring _which_
  article of the Constitution they have transgressed; you omit stating
  when, where, and by whom these wicked attempts were made; you give
  no specification of the inflammatory appeals which you assert have
  been addressed to the passions of the slaves. You well know that
  the 'moral influence' of your charges will affect thousands and
  tens of thousands of your countrymen, many of them your
  political friends--some of them heretofore honoured with your
  confidence--most, if not all of them, of irreproachable character;
  and yet, by the very vagueness of your charges, you incapacitate
  each one of this multitude from proving his innocence.... It is
  deserving of notice that the _attempt_ to circulate our papers is
  alone charged upon us. It is not pretended that we have put our
  appeals into the hands of a single slave, or that in any instance
  our endeavours to excite a servile war have been crowned with
  success. And in what way was our most execrable attempt made? By
  secret agents, traversing the slave country in disguise, stealing by
  night into the hut of the slave, and reading to him our inflammatory
  appeals? You, sir, answer this question by declaring that we
  attempted the mighty mischief by circulating our appeals _through
  the mails_! And are the Southern slaves, sir, accustomed to receive
  periodicals by mail? Of the thousands of publications mailed from
  the antislavery office for the South, did you ever hear, sir, of one
  solitary paper being addressed to a slave? Would you know to whom
  they were directed, consult the Southern newspapers, and you will
  find them complaining that they were sent to public officers,
  clergymen, and other influential citizens. Thus, it seems, we are
  incendiaries who place the torch in the hands of him whose dwelling
  we would fire! We are conspiring to incite a servile war, and
  announce our design to the masters and commit to their care and
  disposal the very instruments by which we expect to effect our
  purpose!... To repel your charges and to disabuse the public was a
  duty we owed to ourselves, to our children, and, above all, to the
  great and holy cause in which we are engaged. That cause we believe
  is approved by our Maker; and while we retain this belief, it is our
  intention, trusting to His direction and protection, to persevere in
  our endeavours to impress upon the minds and hearts of our
  countrymen the sinfulness of claiming property in human beings, and
  the duty and wisdom of immediately relinquishing it. When convinced
  that our endeavours are wrong, we shall abandon them, but such
  conviction must be produced by other arguments than vituperation,
  popular violence, or penal enactments."

In 1836 Judge Jay resigned the presidency of the New York State
Antislavery Society. The distance of his home from the headquarters of
the society made the office nearly nominal, and he thought that it
should be filled by a person more favourably situated for usefulness.
"We commenced the present struggle," he wrote in his letter of
resignation, "to obtain the freedom of the slave; we are compelled to
continue it to preserve our own. We are now contending, not so much with
the slaveholders of the South about human rights, as with the political
and commercial aristocracy of the North, for the liberty of speech, of
the press, and of conscience. Our politicians are selling our
constitutions and laws for Southern votes. Our great capitalists are
speculating, not merely in land and banks, but in the liberties of the
people. We are called to contemplate a spectacle never, I believe,
before witnessed--the wealthy portion of the community striving to
introduce anarchy and violence on a calculation of profit; making
merchandise of peace and good order! In Boston we have seen the editor
of a newspaper led through the streets with a halter by gentlemen 'of
property and standing.' The New York mobs were excited, not by the
humble penny press, but by the malignant falsehood and insurrectionary
appeals of certain commercial journals. Rich and honourable men in
Cincinnati have recently at a public meeting proclaimed lynch law, and
through their influence a printing-press devoted to freedom has been
destroyed, and the whole affair, we are coolly and most truly told,
was a _business transaction_.

[Illustration: William Jay]

"... It cannot be, it is not in human nature that judges and lawyers and
rich merchants will long enjoy the exclusive privileges of trampling on
the laws. These men are sowing the wind and they will reap the
whirlwind. They may see the buddings of their harvest in the recent
assaults upon the Holland Land Company. When the tempest of anarchy they
are now raising shall sweep over the land it will not be the humble
abolitionist, but the lofty possessor of power and fortune, who will
first be levelled by the blast.... The obligations of religion and of
patriotism; the duties we owe to ourselves, to our children, the cause
of freedom, and the cause of humanity--all require us to be faithful to
our principles, to persevere in our exertions, and to surrender our
rights only with our breath. Duties are ours and consequences are God's,
and while we discharge the first we may be confident that the latter
will be entirely consistent with our true welfare."



CHAPTER V.

GRADUAL DECLINE OF RIOTOUS DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST THE
  ABOLITIONISTS.--CHANGES OCCUR IN THE DOCTRINES AND METHODS OF THE
  AMERICAN ANTISLAVERY SOCIETY.--JUDGE JAY RESIGNS HIS MEMBERSHIP,
  WHILE CONTINUING HIS EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF EMANCIPATION.


The effort to suppress the antislavery movement by force, which was
carried on by Northern people at the instigation of the South, continued
through the years 1837 and 1838. The incidents which attracted the most
attention were the murder of Lovejoy at Alton and the burning of
Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia by a mob. By assassination and arson a
considerable portion of the American people sought to destroy the right
to free speech and free assemblage guaranteed by the American
Constitution and cherished hitherto as a birthright. The right of free
discussion, wrote Alexander H. Everett at the time, "is not only
endangered, but for the present, at least, is actually lost." "The
newspapers of every day," he continued, "bring to our view the account
of some new case in which a printing-press has been seized and thrown
into the river; a public meeting broken up; a citizen tarred and
feathered, scourged--too often, I add with horror, put to a violent
death by a lawless mob for no other cause or crime than the free
discussion of the subject of slavery." The impunity with which these
crimes were committed, the connivance or leniency of the authorities
whose sworn duty it was to uphold the laws, made this time a critical
one for the security of American liberties. In pursuing their lawful
course undaunted through this "reign of terror," when so large a portion
of their fellow-countrymen seemed to have forgotten the obligations of
citizens to established law, the abolitionists not only maintained the
existence of their cause, but they preserved those rights which
Americans value above all others. That free speech continued to exist in
the United States was duo to their indomitable courage. Such a state of
affairs could not endure long. Lawless feeling exhausted itself in
fruitless violence. Antislavery societies increased in numbers and
membership. Comparative order and toleration gradually displaced the
disgraceful passions which had placed the liberties of the country in
hazard.

As opposition diminished and their path became easier, abolitionists
began to differ among themselves as to the best means to attain their
ends and as to the fundamental principles of their cause. In New York
State a tendency was developed, under the leadership of Gerrit Smith, to
adopt political methods. In Boston moral agitation remained the accepted
means. But here novel theories on other subjects were being adopted by
leading antislavery people and thus associated in the public mind with
antislavery itself. Garrison adopted and recommended in the _Liberator_
his no-government and non-resistance doctrines. He put forth new and not
generally accepted views regarding the observance of Sunday. He took
pains to declare that he adopted these theories in his private capacity,
and not as an abolitionist. But he had many followers who did not
discriminate so carefully. The public mind became confused and began to
associate abolitionism with a variety of novel and unpopular opinions.
The cause was thus obstructed and divisions occurred among those who
laboured for the emancipation of the negro. Up to this time women had
not taken part in public meetings, and to many persons the idea of their
doing so was repugnant. The admission of women to membership and office
in the same societies as men was determined in Boston in 1838, after a
struggle and amidst much objection.

"I have observed," wrote Jay in a private letter in 1838, "frequent
attempts to use abolition as a pack-horse to carry forth into the world
some favourite notion having no legitimate connection with the
antislavery cause; and have witnessed the dissensions caused in our
ranks by such inconsiderate and dishonest assumptions. Thus I have known
an official document, under the signature of a secretary of a State
society, pass a high eulogium on a particular form of Church government;
and I have seen an editorial article in an official antislavery
periodical recommending a decoction of dried currants as a substitute
for the fermented juice of the grape in the observance of the Lord's
Supper! All such perversions of antislavery influence appear to me to be
dishonest in their character, and dangerous in their consequences to the
continuance and efficiency of our organization. No one is more strenuous
than myself for the right of opinion and discussion; but common justice
and fairness require that we should not make others responsible for our
peculiar opinions, nor seek to propagate them by means entrusted to us
for very different purposes.

"The practice of passing numerous resolutions at our antislavery
meetings strikes me as a growing and pernicious evil. Too many seem to
think that all our objects are to be effected by resolutions; and amid
the vast multitude that are proposed and adopted with little reflection,
it is not surprising, yet deeply to be deplored, that some are false _in
fact_, more false in sentiment, and very many coarse and vulgar in
expression. Falsehood is not the less immoral for being employed in a
good cause, and it is very unwise to impair the charms of Truth by
arraying her in vulgar attire. It is to be wished that our meetings may
in future be less prodigal of their resolutions, and more circumspect as
to the matter and language."

Judge Jay looked with dismay upon the novel doctrines on other subjects
which were becoming associated with antislavery in the public mind. He
deplored the loss of strength which must result from a departure from
the singleness of purpose announced in the declaration of principles at
the founding of the American Antislavery Society. And there were
differences of opinion arising on the fundamental principles of the
cause which troubled him still more. As has been shown in these pages,
he had joined the American Antislavery Society only after a deliberate
examination of its constitution and the conviction that its principles
were in strict accordance with the Constitution of the United States. He
was as strong an advocate of emancipation as lived, but to him the
Constitution was the supreme law under which all benefits could be and
must be obtained. Efforts to seek the abolition of slavery by arguments
or conduct in violation of the Constitution seemed to him wicked in
themselves and fatal to the cause. Such efforts he had now to combat.

At the sixth anniversary of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society, held
in January, 1838, the business committee, composed of Messrs. Garrison,
Phelps, May, and Fairbanks, reported the following resolution:

  "_Resolved_, That in order to bring our coloured friends within the
  brotherhood of this nation, we will encourage them in petitioning to
  Congress, in their own names, for the redress of their grievances,
  and, if not successful, then we will lend them our aid in bringing
  their cause before the court of the United States to ascertain if a
  man can be held in bondage agreeably to the principles contained in
  the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of our country."

Judge Jay wrote a letter to Mr. Ellis Gray Loring, March 5th, asking for
more definite information as to the true intent of the society in
passing the resolution.

  "Who are the _coloured friends_ alluded to?" he asked. "Obviously
  _slaves_, because if Congress does not redress their grievances,
  then the society is to lead them into the court of the United States
  to ascertain whether a man can be held in _bondage_.

  "What grievances are the slaves, under the encouragement of the
  society, to petition Congress to redress? Obviously those they
  suffer as slaves, because if Congress does not redress them, redress
  is to be sought in the court, by demanding if a man can be held in
  _bondage_, that is, as a slave.

  "What slaves are intended by the resolution? No qualification or
  limitation whatever is expressed or implied. The Society, no doubt,
  recognizes the slaves of Georgia as its coloured friends as well as
  the slaves of the District of Columbia. The resolution is the tenth
  of a series of resolutions reported by the committee, and in none of
  them is any mention made of the District of Columbia, and, moreover,
  the question to be decided by the court is not whether an inhabitant
  of the District can be held as a slave, but whether a man can be
  held in bondage agreeably to the principles of the Declaration of
  Independence and the Constitution of our country, and the tribunal
  to decide this question is not the court of the District but the
  court of the United States.

  "Members of Congress take an oath to support the Constitution of
  the United States. If, therefore, the society believe the
  Constitution does not authorize Congress to redress the grievances
  of its coloured friends, it has pledged itself to encourage those
  friends to petition Congress to commit perjury. Hence it appears to
  me that the true meaning of this resolution, expressed in plain
  language, is, '_Resolved_, That in our opinion Congress possesses
  the constitutional power to abolish slavery throughout the United
  States, and that we will encourage the slaves to petition Congress
  for an act of emancipation, and should no such an act be passed we
  will aid them in suing for their freedom in the Supreme Court of the
  United States.'

  "It is to be regretted that the society did not announce the means
  they intend to employ to encourage the slaves to send petitions to
  Congress. The pledge has been solemnly given. Is it to be redeemed
  by sending among them secret or avowed agents? It is singular also
  that if the society believes the 'court of the United States' can
  give liberty to the slaves, it should not make an _immediate_
  application for its beneficent interposition, but should resolve to
  postpone such application not only until it has succeeded in
  prompting them to petition Congress for a redress of their
  grievances, but also until a sufficient time has elapsed to learn
  the result of this moral experiment. Permit me now, sir, to call
  your attention to the past professions of some of the gentlemen who
  reported this resolution, and of the society which adopted it.

  "On the 4th December, 1833, Messrs. Phelps, Garrison, and May, as
  members of the Philadelphia Convention, signed the following
  declaration: 'We fully and unanimously recognize the sovereignty of
  _each State to legislate exclusively_ on the subject of slavery
  which is tolerated within its limits. We concede that Congress has
  no _right to interfere_ with any slave State in relation to the
  momentous subject.'

  "Mr. Garrison afterwards, in an editorial article in the
  _Liberator_, thus expresses himself: 'Abolitionists as clearly
  understand and as sacredly regard the constitutional powers of
  Congress as do their traducers, and they know, and have again and
  again asserted, that Congress has _no more rightful authority to sit
  in judgment upon Southern slavery than it has to legislate for the
  abolition of slavery in the French colonies_.'

  "On the 17th of August, 1835, at a meeting of the Massachusetts
  Antislavery Society, duly held in Boston, an address to the public
  was adopted, professing to set forth the _true principles and
  objects_ of the society; and to give this statement a stronger claim
  to the confidence of the community it was authenticated by the
  signatures of _thirty-one_ of the principal officers and members of
  the society, including _your own_ and those of three of the
  committee who reported the late resolution, viz., Messrs. Garrison,
  May, and Fairbanks. The opinion of the society at that time on the
  power of Congress was in that document thus explicitly stated: 'We
  fully acknowledge that no change in the slave laws of the Southern
  States can be made unless by the Southern Legislatures. Neither
  Congress nor the Legislatures of the free States have authority _to
  change the condition_ of a single slave in the slave States.' Yet
  the society now stands prepared to encourage the slaves to petition
  Congress for a redress of their grievances! And now, sir, the object
  of this letter is to ascertain whether the resolution I have quoted
  does in truth represent the present opinion held by your society on
  the power of Congress, or whether the resolution was intended to be
  confined to slaves in the District of Columbia and the territory of
  Florida.

  "It cannot be necessary to dwell on the vast importance of an
  explicit declaration by your board on this subject. Independent of
  the deep concern I feel in the harmony, integrity, and consistency
  of the abolition party, I have a personal interest in the inquiry I
  now make of you. An _enlarged_ edition of my book is ready for the
  press, but the late resolution of your society compels me to suspend
  its publication. I had treated the charge that abolitionists desired
  Congress to interfere with slavery in the States as calumnious, and
  in refutation of it had appealed to their solemn disclaimers. I need
  not say, sir, that until the late resolution is satisfactorily
  explained, or its doctrine disavowed by your society, I cannot in my
  new edition deny the charge, but must as an honest man substitute
  for my confident assertions and triumphant appeals most painful and
  humiliating confessions. Permit me to suggest that it is highly
  desirable that your board should act explicitly on this subject
  before the meeting of the American Antislavery Society, that, if
  possible, no inquiries or investigation may then arise to mar the
  harmony of the meeting and retard the progress of abolition.

  "I flatter myself, sir, that your sentiments on the constitutional
  question remain the same as when you signed the address of 1835, and
  that you comprehend and appreciate the motives which have prompted
  this letter. I shall await your answer with extreme anxiety."

On receipt of this letter Mr. Loring communicated with a number of the
members of the board of managers and endeavoured to hold a meeting of
the board for the purpose of rescinding or repudiating the resolution;
but it was not until the 14th that he succeeded in getting a quorum
together. After Mr. Loring had read Judge Jay's letter to the board,
they promptly passed the following resolution:

  "_Resolved_, That as said resolution was submitted to the meeting
  just at its close, when but few delegates were present, and was
  adopted without deliberation or discussion, this board recommend its
  reconsideration at the next quarterly meeting of the society.

  _"Resolved_, As the sense of this board, that Congress has no power
  to abolish slavery in the several States of this Union."

In a letter dated the 15th of March, enclosing a copy of the above
resolution, Mr. Loring said: "I can hear of but one or two persons here
who believe in the power of Congress over slavery in the States, viz.,
the Misses Grimké, Mr. Alanson St. Clair, and perhaps Mr. May and Mrs.
Chapman. Several, however, and those influential persons (Mr. Garrison
among them), think slavery unconstitutional, and believe it would be so
pronounced by the Supreme Court of the United States if the point should
ever be made. In this opinion I can by no means agree."

The "unfortunate resolution," he continued, was offered by a "silly
officious person" at a moment of much haste and confusion just as the
meeting was breaking up, and had been approved without proper
consideration by the committee whose duty it was to revise all
resolutions. "It seems, however, to have been understood by those who
voted for it as applying only to free coloured persons whose rights
might be infringed by Southern laws or to slaves in the District of
Columbia; and the pledge given to try the question of slavery in the
United States Courts seems to have arisen from the notion that the
question of the accordance of slavery with the Constitution might be
incidentally raised and determined even in a case in which the party
whose rights are to be vindicated is free."

In conclusion Mr. Loring said that this question would assume an
important aspect at the future meetings of the Antislavery Society, and
earnestly hoped wise and honest counsel would prevail. He thought it
would be sufficient ground for dissolving the Union were the United
States Supreme Court to assume power over slavery in the several States.
"The honesty and common sense of the nation," he wrote, "would revolt
against such a doctrine and against those who should maintain it."

In his reply, dated the 29th of March, Judge Jay congratulated Mr.
Loring on the service he had rendered the cause of abolition by
procuring the passage of the resolutions from the board of managers. "In
the fulness of our zeal," he wrote, "we are all liable occasionally to
stray beyond the line of propriety, and it evinces more devotion to duty
to acknowledge and correct errors than to avoid committing them."

At the fifth annual meeting of the American Antislavery Society, held at
the Broadway Tabernacle on the 2d of May, 1838, Alvan Stewart of Utica,
N. Y., offered a resolution, vigorously supported by himself and others,
to the following effect:

  "That the clause of the second article of the constitution of this
  society be struck out which admits 'that each State in which slavery
  exists has, by the Constitution of the United States, the exclusive
  right to legislate in regard to its abolition in said State.'"

This motion was equivalent to a declaration on the part of the society
that Congress had the right, under the Constitution, to abolish slavery.
Judge Jay had previously declared that Stewart's doctrine was false,
untenable, and hurtful to the cause. The arguments by which it was
supported he considered absurd. For two days of continued debate he
exposed its fallacy and danger and was rewarded by the defeat of the
resolution. But such attempts to change the original articles of belief
upon which the society was founded gave him great uneasiness for the
future. His feelings upon this subject were shown in a letter to the
secretary of the Young Men's Antislavery Society who had invited him to
preside at its convention:

  "On uniting with the American Antislavery Society some years since I
  remarked, with the letter requesting that my name might be enrolled
  among its members, that I had attentively considered its
  constitution, and expressed my conviction that in joining the
  society I was acting consistently with my obligations as a Christian
  and a citizen. The great moral principles advanced in the
  constitution perfectly accorded, in my opinion, with the precepts of
  the Gospel, and the measures proposed, by which those principles
  were to be carried into practice, equally accorded with the
  obligations of the oath I had taken to support the Constitution of
  the United States. I embarked in the antislavery cause with a firm
  determination to support the principles and measures avowed by the
  society at the hazard of obloquy, persecution, and, if necessary,
  even life itself; and never in advocating the cause to sacrifice
  truth and principle to expediency. How far I have acted up to this
  determination others must judge. I am not myself conscious of having
  departed from it.

  "The constitution of the society contains an express admission that
  'each State in which slavery exists has, by the Constitution of the
  United States, the exclusive right to legislate in regard to its
  abolition;' and the object of the society in regard to slavery
  in the States is declared to be to effect its abolition by
  'arguments addressed to the understandings and consciences of our
  fellow-citizens.' Notwithstanding these explicit declarations we
  were accused of aiming to effect our object by inducing Congress to
  invade the rights of the States by abolishing slavery within their
  limits; and it was justly argued that such an attempt was
  unconstitutional, and would, if successful, lead to civil war and a
  severance of the Union. So gross and unfounded were the calumnies
  circulated against us, that it was deemed expedient by the executive
  committee of the society, of which I was one, to publish an address
  to the public, pledging our individual characters and responsibility
  as to the real objects and principles entertained by our
  association. This address bore my signature among others, and
  contained, as nearly as I can recollect, the following passage: 'We
  hold that Congress has no more right to abolish slavery in the
  States in which it exists than it has to abolish slavery in the
  French West India Islands; consequently we desire no national
  legislation on the subject.' We were justified in giving this pledge
  by the declaration of the convention which formed the society, by
  the constitution of the society itself, by the constitutions of the
  several State societies, and by the uniform language of antislavery
  publications. Few persons have been more conversant with the
  writings of abolitionists than myself; yet I can truly aver that
  until the appearance of Mr. Stewart's extraordinary argument I was
  not aware that there was a man or woman belonging to an antislavery
  society who entertained a different opinion. This gentleman, holding
  the responsible station of chairman of the executive committee of
  the State society, avowing in its constitution the inability of
  Congress to abolish slavery in the States, published an article in
  the official paper of the society, asserting the constitutional
  power of Congress immediately to emancipate every slave in the
  United States, declaring that abolitionists had 'but one thing to
  do'--which was to petition Congress to exercise this power; thus
  repudiating the moral means they had prescribed for themselves,
  viz., 'arguments addressed to the understandings and consciences of
  our fellow-citizens'; and virtually recommending the employment of
  _force_, the power of the general government as the sole agent in
  effecting the abolition of slavery.

  "I had supposed that sentiments so utterly at variance with the
  solemn asseverations of abolitionists, so repugnant to the
  constitutional pledges of their societies, would have excited
  universal indignation; but I was mistaken. After the publication of
  these sentiments, Mr. Stewart was selected as one of the orators of
  the American Society at their ensuing anniversary. At the annual
  meeting in May last he moved to purge from the constitution the
  concession I have quoted, thus giving the society the constitutional
  right of discharging what he had proclaimed the sole duty of
  abolitionists, that of petitioning Congress to abolish slavery in
  the States; and in supporting his motion he ridiculed the idea of
  effecting our object by addresses to the understanding and
  consciences of slaveholders. On taking the question a majority of
  the society was in favour of expunging; and the admission respecting
  the power of Congress still stands in the constitution only because
  it required a vote of two thirds to cancel it. Mr. Stewart was
  afterwards elected a manager of the society. A State society since
  organized has by a formal vote refused to insert the usual admission
  into its constitution, and another previously organized has since
  stricken it from its constitution.

  "From this state of facts it is apparent that the pledges given to
  the public in our constitution, and in the address of the executive
  committee to which I have referred, that abolitionists admitted that
  Congress had no right to interfere with slavery in the States, that
  hence arguments were the only means they intended to use for its
  abolition, have been flagrantly falsified. So far as I was
  concerned, and unquestionably many more, the pledge was given in
  good faith, and however others may belie it, I mean honestly to
  abide by it. In my opinion, Congress has no more right to pass a
  general emancipation law than to direct how Broadway shall be paved;
  and without intending to impeach the motives of others, I must take
  the liberty to say that I would regard such a law as a most wicked
  and detestable act of usurpation--an act that would inevitably and
  properly sever the Union and necessarily result in bloodshed and
  national calamity.

  "It seems to me, moreover, inconsistent with Christian sincerity and
  plain dealing for our societies to profess in their constitution a
  belief in great and important principles, and to promise to regulate
  their measures in accordance with those principles, and at the same
  time to retain in communion with them and elevate to office men who
  openly repudiate and ridicule those principles and avow a wish to
  introduce a course of action utterly repugnant.

  "On discovering from the proceedings of last May that the American
  Society and its auxiliaries no longer considered their avowed
  principles binding on their members, but that they might be treated
  with insult and ridicule without incurring a loss of either
  confidence or office, and that in the bosom of the society opinions
  were entertained utterly at variance with public and solemn
  professions, and in their practical consequences hostile to the
  welfare of the country and inconsistent with the oath I had taken to
  support the Constitution of the United States, I deemed it my duty
  no longer to share in the responsibilities of their measures. I have
  not since taken part in the meeting of any antislavery society, and
  the recklessness with which the pledge given by myself and other
  officers of the society has been falsified, warns me to be cautious
  how I again become identified with the promises and declarations of
  these associations. These considerations induce me very respectfully
  to decline your kind invitation.

  "My attachment to the cause of abolition, and to the principles
  avowed in the constitution of the American Society, was never
  stronger than at this moment; and I shall ever regard it a duty and
  a privilege to labour for the abolition of slavery in every manner
  consistent with propriety and my moral and political obligations.

  "Although my confidence in the integrity and singleness of purpose
  of antislavery societies is weakened, I have not the most distant
  wish to interrupt their harmony or impede their usefulness. I have
  thus, sir, frankly but with much pain stated my sentiments. These
  sentiments I have no desire to conceal or to obtrude upon others;
  and you are at liberty to suppress this letter or make any use of it
  you may think proper."

The annual meeting of the Connecticut Antislavery Society was held at
New Haven in May, 1840, commencing on the 20th. The society considered
this meeting to be of vital importance to the prosperity of the cause in
that State on account of the Legislature being in session there at that
time, many of the members of which were expected to attend.

In April Judge Jay received an invitation from the Committee of
Arrangements to deliver an address on the "Action of the Federal
Government in Behalf of Slavery," on which subject the Committee felt
convinced that Judge Jay could "give the society as well as our
legislators some valuable information."

Other engagements compelled Judge Jay to decline the invitation. In his
letter to the Committee of Arrangements informing them of his inability
to comply with their request, Judge Jay assured them that the interest
he had theretofore professed to feel in the antislavery cause had
suffered no diminution; and his conviction of the truth of the great
principles set forth in the constitution of the American Society had, if
possible, grown stronger from continued reflection and observation; but
as to the singleness of purpose and the efficiency and integrity of the
present antislavery organization his opinion had undergone a change.

  "In joining the organization," he wrote, "I had good cause to
  believe that I would not be called upon to co-operate with men who
  condemned any of its avowed principles, or with men who would seek
  to render it an instrument for promoting other objects than the
  abolition of slavery.

  "One of the principles laid down in the constitution of the
  American Society, and a most important one as limiting its
  operations, is that by the Constitution of the United States
  Congress has no right to legislate for the abolition of slavery in
  the several States in which it exists. Yet a gentleman was in 1838
  chosen by the society one of its officers after having both in print
  and in the presence of the society denied this doctrine and
  contended that it was the duty of abolitionists to petition Congress
  to pass a law for the immediate emancipation of all the slaves in
  the United States. The expulsion of this gentleman from the society
  was in my opinion required by the respect it owed itself, and by the
  good faith it owed both to the public and to its members. The course
  pursued was an emphatic declaration on the part of the society that
  its professed principles, however useful they might be in
  conciliating public confidence and in acquiring funds, were by no
  means binding on its members. Having sworn to support the
  Constitution of the United States, and regarding the proposed mode
  of emancipation a most palpable violation of it, and seeing that the
  avowed principles of the society were in fact no security for its
  conformity to them in its conduct, I then determined never again to
  take a part in its meetings or in those of its auxiliaries.
  Subsequent events have given me no cause to regret this
  determination.

  "One of the great objects for which the American Society was
  avowedly formed was to effect the abolition of slavery in the
  District of Columbia and of the American slave-trade by
  Congressional legislation. Yet men belonging to the society, and
  even some of its officers, are now publicly maintaining that all
  compulsory laws are sinful, and of course that it would be a
  usurpation of the divine prerogative for Congress to suppress by
  penal law the abomination of slavery in the capital of the republic,
  and the nefarious traffic in human flesh of which the capital is
  the great depot. I cannot as an abolitionist act with those who
  reprobate all enactments, not merely for the abolition of slavery
  where it exists, but even for preventing its re-establishment on
  soil from which it has been extirpated; and also for protecting the
  poor coloured man, his wife, and children from the merciless
  kidnapper.

  "Certainly the founders of the society did not intend to effect by
  it any alteration in the social relations of the sexes; and not the
  most distant hint of such a design can be found in the Constitution;
  yet it is in vain to deny that an attempt is now making to render
  antislavery societies instrumental in advancing certain theories
  respecting the rights of women.

  "The American Society was intended as a central organization by
  which the contributions and efforts of abolitionists were to be
  concentrated and directed; and for some years it discharged its
  functions with wonderful zeal, energy, and success. But at last the
  managers of certain local societies imagined that the vitality of
  the extremities of the system would be quickened by arresting the
  pulsations of the heart; and accordingly measures were adopted, and
  with perfect success, to paralyze the parent institution.

  "For a while abolitionists exhibited a pattern of Christian and
  disinterested benevolence in behalf of the oppressed which commanded
  the secret admiration even of their enemies, and conciliated the
  favour of the good. Latterly a strong desire has been evinced to
  change the antislavery enterprise from a religious into a political
  one, and a scramble for the loaves and fishes has already commenced.

  "Unwilling to take a part in the bitter feuds which now divide
  abolitionists, and not choosing to assume any responsibility for
  principles and measures I cannot approve, I deem it most consistent
  with my obligations as a Christian and a citizen to absent myself
  from an arena in which I can do no good and in which I can no
  longer appear without being engaged in unprofitable conflict. But
  most cheerfully will I again enlist in a new antislavery
  organization (if any such can be devised) that will offer a fair
  promise of avoiding the errors which have destroyed the efficiency
  and moral character of the present.

  "I beg you to be assured that in the preceding remarks I have had no
  particular reference to the Connecticut Society, not being aware
  that it is open to censure.

  "I have no desire either to conceal or to obtrude my opinions
  respecting the existing state of the antislavery enterprise, but I
  deemed it due to myself to state frankly and without reserve the
  considerations which induce me to pursue a course apparently at
  variance with my former public vindication of the American
  Antislavery Society."

Among abolitionists there was a great diversity of opinion as to whether
women should be admitted to membership in antislavery societies and
permitted to hold office and generally to enjoy the same privileges as
men. This question was the cause of much feeling and was destined to
create an unfortunate division in the antislavery ranks.

The subject was first voted upon in the New England Society, where, in
1838, it was resolved to permit all persons, whether men or women, who
agreed with them on the subject of slavery to participate in the
meetings as members. An attempt having been made in vain to rescind this
vote, a protest was drawn up by Amos R. Phelps, Charles T. Torrey, and
five others, disclaiming all responsibility for it, and denouncing the
action of the society as injurious to the cause of the slave by
connecting with it an entirely foreign subject and by establishing a
dangerous precedent.

At the sixth annual meeting of the American Antislavery Society, held in
New York, May 7, 1839, it was voted, 180 ayes to 140 nays, "that the
roll of the convention be made up by placing upon it the names of all
persons, male or female, who are delegated from any auxiliary society,
or members of this society."

The seventh annual meeting of the American Society was fixed for the
12th of May, 1840. It was generally realized that on this occasion a
definitive settlement of the woman question would be made. The board of
managers of the Massachusetts Society made strenuous efforts to insure a
large attendance of members sharing their views. A large steamboat was
chartered which conveyed Garrison and his party to New York, and it was
soon manifest that they had mustered a majority sufficient to carry
their point.

Arthur Tappan, the president of the society, anticipating "a recurrence
of the scenes witnessed last year, and resolved not to be found
contending with his abolition brethren," did not attend the meeting, and
Francis Jackson presided in his place. Among the persons nominated by
the chairman as a business committee was Miss Abby Kelley. After a long
and exciting debate Miss Kelley was elected by a vote of 557 to 451.
Immediately after the result was announced, Lewis Tappan, Charles W.
Denison, and Amos Phelps, members of the business committee, asked to be
excused from serving upon it.

After the meeting had adjourned those members who had voted against the
admission of women met and organized a new society under the name of the
"American and Foreign Antislavery Society." Arthur Tappan was chosen
president, James G. Birney and Henry B. Stanton, secretaries, and Lewis
Tappan, treasurer. The Executive Committee was composed of Gerrit Smith,
Judge Jay, John G. Whittier, Joshua Leavitt, and other leading
abolitionists.

On June 1st Judge Jay wrote a note to Mr. J. C. Jackson, the recording
secretary of the American Antislavery Society, asking that his name be
stricken from the roll as a member. In stating his reasons for
resigning, he said that the proceedings at the late meeting of the
society had convinced him that the institution was being used, by those
who had recently acquired control of it, as an instrument for advancing
the doctrine of the equality of the sexes in all the relations of life.
"Married women without their husbands," he said, "were associated with
men in the Executive Committee--a committee to which is confided the
management of the society, and whose meetings have hitherto been, and
will probably continue to be, both frequent and private."

The principle thus officially avowed by the society Judge Jay declared
had not the remotest connection with the true objects for which the
society was formed, nor was it sanctioned by the constitution. "However
grievous some women may find the yoke imposed upon them by the opinions
usually entertained on the subject," he continued, "that is not the yoke
which abolitionists associated to break." The claims now set up by the
society in regard to "the rights of women" appeared to him necessarily
to involve their participation in the sacred ministry, their exercise of
the elective franchise, and their entire independence in the conjugal
relation. Irrespective of the soundness of these claims, it did not
appear by what right the society called upon its members to support
them. Judge Jay contended that "any association for the professed
purpose of abolishing negro slavery may with as much propriety prescribe
the form of baptism and the Lord's Supper as it may insist that women
are authorized to administer these ordinances." Fully convinced that the
society as thus managed was exerting an influence not only very
injurious to the antislavery cause, but contrary to domestic order and
happiness and inconsistent with the precepts of the Gospel, Judge Jay
deemed it his duty to sever his connection with it.

In our time, when the admission of women to participation in nearly
every form of activity is universally accepted, it may seem
extraordinary that the American Antislavery Society should have divided
upon such an issue. But what is now a familiar custom was then a
strange doctrine, the consequences of which were unknown and were
dreaded by conservative people. The abolitionists whose votes admitted
women to equal rights with men contended that women were among the most
useful and influential workers for the cause and that they should have a
corresponding position in the councils of the party. It was denied that
active participation in the meetings of the societies was inappropriate
to their sex. On the other hand, it was believed by many persons
earnestly and usefully engaged in the cause of emancipation that the
antislavery society should pursue its end unimpeded and undisturbed by
outside issues. The emancipation of woman might be a highly desirable
reform, but it should be sought separately from the emancipation of the
negro. An individual should be allowed to labour for the slave without
being forced to support untried theories regarding woman's rights and
the sinfulness of human government.

At this period Judge Jay was especially active with his pen. In 1839 was
published his "View of the Action of the Federal Government in Behalf of
Slavery." This work was the first effective exposure of the manner in
which the United States Government had been used for many years by
pro-slavery statesmen to carry out their own ends. Judge Jay showed the
shameful position in which the National Government had been placed
before the nations of the world when the President and his diplomatic
representatives were forced by the Slave Power to demand the return of
fugitive slaves and compensation for their loss when shipwreck had
allowed them to attain liberty on a foreign shore; when the armies of
the United States were sent to Florida at enormous expense to capture
alleged runaway private property; when the power of the Government was
strained to prevent abolition in Cuba and to introduce slavery into
Texas. The efforts to suppress the right of petition and freedom of
debate in Congress were thoroughly described. An account, humiliating to
every American, was given of the condition of the national capital
itself, converted by the fostering protection of the United States
Government into the chief slave-market of the Union.

Judge Jay's next publication was entitled, "On the Condition of Free
People of Colour in the United States." He showed that they were denied
the right to the franchise, to liberty of locomotion, to the lowest
employment in the public service; that their education was impeded
almost to prohibition and that even their industry was hampered by cruel
restrictions. Worst of all, they might at any time be seized and sold
into slavery without recourse to law. In 1840 appeared his pamphlet on
"The Violation by the House of Representatives of the Right of
Petition." These writings had a wide circulation among persons not
reached by the ordinary antislavery literature, and their influence was
highly beneficial.

Although the woman question was the ostensible cause of the schism of
1840, there were several other differences which tended quite as much to
divide the abolition camp. While the Garrison party continued to depend
solely upon moral agitation and opposed all political effort, a numerous
and powerful body in the antislavery ranks began to look to the
ballot-box as the instrument of reform. In 1840, under the leadership of
Gerrit Smith, Alvan Stewart, Myron Holley, Elizur Wright, Joshua
Leavitt, and William Goodell, a convention at Albany organized the
Liberty party by the nomination of James G. Birney, of Kentucky, for
President, and of Thomas Earle, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-President. Out
of a total of about two and a half million votes cast at this election,
the candidates of the Liberty party received a little over seven
thousand. W. H. Harrison, the whig candidate, defeated his democratic
opponent, Martin Van Buren. Although the abolition vote was not large,
it gave the party great encouragement, and an address was issued
congratulating the friends of the slave that a new power to overthrow
slavery had been found in "the terse literature of the ballot-box."

Judge Jay's attitude towards the formation of the Liberty party appears
in a correspondence which took place between him and Gerrit Smith in
July, 1840. "I suppose you have come, as well as myself," wrote Smith,
"to the conclusion that whilst American slavery exists our national
political parties will be essentially and irrevocably pro-slavery
parties, and that abolitionists cannot, therefore, vote consistently
for the candidates of such parties. If you have come to this conclusion,
you of course admit that we are under the necessity of designating our
own candidates for law-makers and that the object of the Freeman's State
Convention to be held in Syracuse the first Wednesday in August is
proper. Now, when we come together in that convention there is one thing
which, next to the blessing of Heaven, we shall need far more than any
other. I mean your consent that we shall put you in nomination for
governor. Will you enable me to insure the convention of that consent?
If you will, you will in so doing render a very great service to our
holy cause--a service which I see not how we can well dispense with. If
there be anything selfish in your heart, we have, of course, nothing to
address to it. We do not expect to elect you, and we are well aware that
your nomination would expose you to pro-slavery ridicule and hatred. If
you give your consent to the nomination, we know that such consent must
proceed from your disinterested and self-sacrificing love for the
antislavery cause. Do, my dear sir, give us your name; we can rally
about it those who will be dead to the power of any other name."

To this strong appeal Jay gave the following reply:

  "I was last evening favoured with your letter of the 20th inst.
  asking me to consent to be the abolition candidate for governor at
  the ensuing election. The request implies a confidence in the
  strength and sincerity of my attachment for the abolition cause that
  demands my acknowledgments. I cannot now embrace the opportunity
  afforded by your letter of entering at large into the question of a
  distinct abolition party; but justice to myself and respect for you
  induce me to mention some general principles which I think
  applicable to the present case.

  "An abolition political party supposes a union for the election of
  rulers without regard to the sentiments of the associates or their
  candidates on any other subject than that of slavery. Of course the
  party and the rulers elected by them may have the most opposite and
  irreconcilable opinions on every topic but one of local and national
  interest; yet it is supposed such discordant materials will form one
  homogeneous mass. Abolitionists give but little promise of such
  wonderful unity in the future. I doubt the practicability of forming
  such a party; and I moreover question whether such a party would be
  consistent with our obligations as citizens. It is evident that this
  party could effect its professed object, the abolition of slavery,
  only in a course of years, and in the meantime it is _to neglect and
  disregard every other interest_. The party as such can have no
  opinion and exert no influence either in elections or elsewhere in
  relation to the trade, the finances, internal improvements, foreign
  affairs, or the military power of the nation, and no inquiry is to
  be allowed into the opinions of candidates on these most important
  topics.

  "I fear the very attempt to form such a party will prove injurious
  to the antislavery cause. It excites dissensions among ourselves. On
  this point I will not enlarge. It will present in its results a
  false and disheartening estimate of the number of abolitionists;
  because as many antislavery men will refuse to support the abolition
  candidates, the canvass will represent us as far less numerous than
  we really are. Moreover, the abolitionists who are thus called out
  of the political parties can of course exercise no more influence in
  them. We are depriving the parties of the little salt that keeps
  them from utter putrefaction. Had the whig abolitionists in the last
  Legislature been nominated by an abolitionist party they would not
  have been elected and we should not now have the glorious and
  blessed jury law.

  "I have never approved under present circumstances of any further
  organized interference by abolitionists with elections than the
  official questioning of candidates. Under that system every
  abolitionist might exert a powerful influence merely by withholding
  his vote, without giving his suffrage for one to whom he was
  politically opposed. The experiment failed, but by whose fault?
  Seward and Bradish, Marcy and Tracy, dealt frankly with us. Yet
  abolitionists made but little difference between the friends and
  foes. Had Bradish had 20,000 votes more than Seward the conversion
  of our politicians to abolition would have been general and
  instantaneous, and slavery would have received an irremediable
  wound. And can we believe that if abolitionists would not then
  refrain from voting for the party, they will now consent to vote
  against it?

  "I am very far from thinking that it can never be right and proper
  to set up abolition candidates without regard to party preferences.
  Had the question of emancipation been almost equally poised in the
  British Parliament it would have been patriotic to turn the scale by
  a temporary abandonment of the contested objects and the election of
  antislavery members. And so also I can readily conceive of
  circumstances in which it may be the duty of the abolitionists of a
  particular State or district to suspend for a time their labours for
  the slave in order to unite with the friends of temperance to carry
  some great point. But taking into consideration the existing
  circumstances of the antislavery cause, I am not clear that the
  formation of an abolition political party, disregarding all the
  other interests of the country, is consistent with either duty or
  policy, and of course it becomes me to decline the request with
  which you have honoured me. May God enlighten and direct us, and
  when we cannot think alike may He give us the graces of meekness and
  charity."



CHAPTER VI.

JUDGE JAY CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE ANTISLAVERY CAUSE BY HIS ADVICE
  AND WRITINGS.--IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIS OPINIONS HE IS DEPRIVED OF HIS
  SEAT ON THE BENCH.--HIS VISIT TO EUROPE.--HIS VIEWS ON THE LIBERTY
  PARTY.--ON THE ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.--HIS "REVIEW OF THE MEXICAN
  WAR."--HIS ADVOCACY OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION AS A REMEDY FOR
  WAR.--HIS WORK IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH.


After the division in the ranks of the antislavery societies in 1840,
Judge Jay ceased to take an active part in their proceedings, preferring
to support the cause independently by his writings. But he was
continually applied to by the societies to assist them by his advice, to
give legal opinions on the positions which they wished to take, and to
prepare documents which required special judgment and ability.

In April, 1842, Jay prepared an address to the British Antislavery
Society, at the request of Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, who wrote on behalf
of the American Antislavery Society. A little later, again by request of
Mrs. Child, he gave a legal opinion on the advisability of carrying to
the Supreme Court the cases of three men who had been condemned in
Missouri to twelve years' imprisonment for aiding slaves to escape.

He continued his membership in the American and Foreign Antislavery
Society in New York. Here he laboured unceasingly to keep the society
fast to its declared purpose, and to prevent it from adding new
doctrines and objects which he believed must result in further divisions
injurious to the cause.

In April, 1841, he wrote on this subject to Lewis Tappan:

  "I am glad the society will not be concerned in establishing a
  missionary station in Africa. The great vice of our antislavery
  societies has been, and is, meddling with things they have no right
  to meddle with, and this they have done on a most vicious principle,
  that the end sanctifies the means. In general, abolitionists mean
  well; but they grievously mistake when they think themselves
  authorized to pursue, in their associated capacity, whatever
  benevolent or religious plan they individually approve. They unite
  for certain specified purposes, and receive money expressly to
  forward those purposes; and to employ their associated influence or
  their common funds for other distinct purposes is not, in my
  opinion, consistent with strict morality."

In August, 1841, Judge Jay was requested by the Executive Committee of
the American and Foreign Antislavery Society to allow his name to be
announced as a regular contributor to the society's organ, the
_Reporter_. He took this opportunity to repeat his warnings against the
departure of the abolitionists from the line of action which they had
marked out for themselves in the early days of the agitation.

  "As an abolitionist I have deeply deplored the dissensions which
  have marred our harmony and almost annihilated our moral influence;
  and I have constantly and resolutely abstained, as far as my sense
  of duty would permit me, from aggravating those dissensions by
  partaking in them. The obvious tendency of the _announcement_
  contemplated by your resolution is to impress the public with the
  belief that the gentlemen who are held forth as the future
  contributors to the _Reporter_ maintain the principles and approve
  the course of that paper. Such an impression, so far as regards
  myself, would be most strictly accurate were the principles and
  course of the paper to continue such as they have hitherto been. To
  the American and Foreign Antislavery Society I did fondly look as a
  refuge for such abolitionists as had been expelled from the old
  society by the faithlessness of those who converted it into an
  instrument for spreading other than antislavery doctrines. I did,
  notwithstanding past experience, regard the constitution of the new
  society as affording a guarantee that its members would not be
  required to support any other principles and measures than such as
  were indicated in that instrument. In consequence of this belief I
  did not decline office in the society, and I aided in defraying the
  expenses and in filling the columns of the _Reporter_. The paper was
  conducted with ability and honesty, promised to exert a happy
  influence in restoring peace and harmony to our ranks. The society
  was pledged by its constitution 'carefully to abstain from all the
  machinery of party political arrangements in effecting the objects,'
  and the _Reporter_ faithfully conformed itself to this pledge. But
  in the very last number we are informed that at the last meeting a
  vote of the society, '_nearly unanimous_,' was taken in favour of
  striking this pledge from the constitution, but that inasmuch as the
  notice required by Article X. had not been given, the amendment was
  not _constitutionally_ adopted. The pledge is therefore virtually,
  although not formally, withdrawn; and we have every reason to
  believe that at the next meeting it will be expunged from the
  constitution. It is therefore obvious that the society, instead of
  being a rallying point for abolitionists, is henceforth to be a mere
  partisan organization, excluding from its fellowship multitudes of
  honest, zealous, and consistent abolitionists because they cannot
  adopt the maxim now promulgated in certain quarters, that the
  friends of immediate emancipation should labour to secure for
  themselves all the loaves and fishes in the gift of the
  republic--the power and emoluments of _every office_, from that of
  President of the United States to that of Path Master of a ward
  district. The vote of the society just mentioned is tantamount to a
  declaration that it will as soon as possible employ all the
  machinery of party political arrangement for the exclusive elevation
  of abolitionists to political power. This is not an object for which
  I have associated with abolitionists, nor is it one in which I
  intend to co-operate with them. But the _Reporter_, I am bound to
  believe, will be used as an instrument to effect this object,
  because I am bound to believe that the official organ of the society
  will not fail to advocate and pursue its avowed policy. Hence I
  cannot and ought not to give it in advance my confidence and
  countenance by complying with the request with which you have
  honoured me.

  "I have thus frankly stated my sentiments without intending to
  impeach the motives of others, and without meaning to assume a
  hostile attitude towards the friends and supporters of what
  is denominated the Third party. With that party I cannot
  conscientiously and consistently unite, but I have purposely
  abstained from publicly mingling in the controversies to which it
  has given rise, and I have now expressed my dissent from it only
  because I could not otherwise explain my refusal of your polite
  invitation.

  "In justice to myself, permit me to remark that my opinions on
  slavery and abolition have undergone no change, and that every
  principle I have ever avowed as an abolitionist is still cherished
  by me with no other difference than possibly a stronger conviction
  than formerly of its truth and importance.

  "That we may all be guided by wisdom from above and be enabled not
  merely to break the bonds of the slaves, but in our conduct to adorn
  our Christian profession, is my fervent wish."

The antislavery societies, by the admission into their proceedings of
projected reforms having no connection with their ostensible object, had
gradually become divided and weakened. Jay had protested unceasingly
against this course, but the tendency had been irresistible. "Our
antislavery societies," he wrote in 1846, "are, for the most part,
virtually defunct. Antislavery conventions are whatever the leaders
present happen to be; sometimes disgustingly irreligious, and very often
Jacobinical and disorganizing; and frequently proscriptive of such of
their brethren who will not consent to render abolition a mere
instrument for effecting certain political changes having no relation
whatever to slavery."

The antislavery societies had accomplished the noble and seemingly
hopeless task of arousing the national conscience from its lethargy.
Their labours had started and given irresistible impulse to a movement
on behalf of the slave which was not to rest until emancipation was
attained. But the active conduct of this movement was now passing from
their hands into the domain of politics. The contest had become a
national issue, to be fought out in legislative halls and to be
determined at the polls.

In August, 1843, the national convention of the Liberty party was held
at Buffalo. This convention was more largely attended than the first,
every free State excepting New Hampshire having sent delegates. James G.
Birney was again nominated for President, and Thomas Morris, of Ohio,
for Vice-President. The canvass was carried on with great vigour and
spirit. The Birney vote in 1843 showed a large increase, amounting to
60,000. It caused the election of Polk and gave to the abolitionists the
balance of power in New York and Michigan.

Judge Jay had never considered himself as belonging to either the Whig
or the Democratic party. He believed that his judicial position should
debar him from active partisanship. Above all, his disapproval of the
policy adopted by both political parties towards the slavery question
disinclined him to be a member of either. His attitude towards the
Liberty party, on its formation in 1840, was set forth in the letter
written to Gerrit Smith declining the nomination for governor, which was
quoted at length in the last chapter. Judge Jay then doubted the
expediency of a separate political party making abolition its article
of faith and test of membership. But as events proceeded, as both the
great parties seemed irrevocably pledged to the support of slavery,
above all, as both favoured the annexation of Texas, Jay became a
pronounced and active member of the Liberty party.

He viewed the annexation proceedings with horror, as the death-knell of
emancipation and as a scheme of wicked injustice which must react
injuriously upon the whole nation. In March, 1843, he wrote to Dr. H. J.
Bowditch, of Boston: "The full and entire triumph of the antislavery
cause is near and certain, provided that Texas is kept out of the Union.
On this point are centred all my fears. I am not disheartened by the
corruption of politicians, nor the deathlike apathy of the community, so
long as we remain independent of the renegade republic. Give us time and
we can arouse the community from its stupor, we can change public
opinion, and politicians will bellow aloud for abolition the moment they
find it popular. The danger is that before this change is effected the
slaveholders will demand the annexation of Texas as the price of the
presidency and that one or more of the candidates will consent to pay
it."

When Birney was nominated in 1843, Jay wrote to Gerrit Smith: "I
congratulate you upon this result. Birney is a man for whom Christians
and patriots can consistently vote. He shall have my cordial support. In
my opinion, the selection is creditable to the Liberty party, and if it
continues to give us candidates of this character, it will be a blessing
to our country.... To that party I shall be true so far, and so far
only, as it shall be true to itself. May God direct its measures for the
protection of our own rights and for the ultimate liberation of the
slave."

Judge Jay was as anxious that the Liberty party should keep faithfully
to its antislavery purpose as he had been in the case of the antislavery
societies. He believed that the party must end in failure if it allowed
extraneous and dividing policies to be admitted to its platform. On this
subject he wrote in September, 1845, to Henry B. Stanton, who had
invited him to a convention in Boston:

  "Notwithstanding the annexation of Texas, great good may result from
  the Liberty party, provided it be faithful to itself, and be wisely
  conducted. Hence I am distressed by whatever threatens to impair its
  integrity and usefulness. You are not ignorant, I presume, of the
  strenuous efforts now making to change its character and to convert
  it from an antislavery party into one for matters and things in
  general.

  "It is proposed by men of talents, energy, and influence that the
  party shall in future maintain:

  "That the Federal Government has the Constitutional power to abolish
  slavery in the _States_.

  "That the clergy shall be subject to all the burdens and enjoy all
  the privileges of other citizens. This is aimed at the clergy of New
  York who are not eligible to office, but exempted, to a great
  extent, from taxation. No man is hereafter to be acknowledged to
  belong to the Liberty party unless he objects to the State showing
  any indulgence to the ministers of religion. They must be enrolled
  in the militia, and, like others, called out to work on the highway.

  "That custom-houses be abolished, and with them all protective
  duties.

  "That the salaries of the President and Congressmen be reduced.

  "That the legal profession is a privileged caste and should be
  abolished.

  "That the public lands be given away.

  "That all monopolies, by which I understand incorporated companies,
  banks, railroads, etc., be abolished.

  "That women should exercise the right of suffrage and be eligible to
  office, etc., etc., etc.

  "It is needless to say that if these tests of membership of the
  Liberty party be adopted, we shall drive from us all whose judgment
  or whose consciences revolt at them, while those who remain in the
  party will regard the removal of slavery as a very subordinate
  object of their labours. My purpose of troubling you with this
  letter is to suggest to you the expediency of the convention
  adopting a resolution in which, without alluding to the efforts
  making to change the character of the party, it shall declare that
  the sole objects of the party are the abolition of slavery, the
  deliverance of the Federal Government from its influence, and the
  elevation of the coloured race to equal rights with the whites; and
  inviting all who approve of those objects to co-operate with us,
  whatever may be their opinion on questions of State or national
  policy."

At the Liberty party convention held at Newburg in October, 1845, Judge
Jay was unanimously nominated as a candidate for Senator. In his letter
accepting the nomination, he took occasion again to urge the exclusion
of irrelevant subjects from the platform of the party.

  "Recent circumstances induce me to accompany my acceptance of this
  nomination with some remarks. Attempts are making to render the
  Liberty party subservient to other objects than the overthrow of
  slavery and the elevation of the coloured people. To these attempts
  I can lend no aid. While I most explicitly accord to every
  abolitionist the right of expressing his own opinions on every
  political and religious subject, I as explicitly deny the right, and
  shall strenuously resist the attempt, to make me and other members
  responsible for opinions not necessarily involved in the great
  objects for the attainment of which the party was formed. In the
  pursuit of those objects I will cordially and honestly co-operate
  with others from whose sentiments I dissent; but I cannot co-operate
  with them in promoting religious and political changes which I
  believe to be wrong, in order to increase the influence and hasten
  the triumph of the Liberty party. To do so would be to act upon the
  principle, as wicked and detestable as slavery itself, that the end
  justifies the means. The fact that many good men who unite in
  abhorrence of slavery entertain conflicting views of the expediency
  and morality of various proposed reforms seems to me a sufficient
  reason why the Liberty party should not permit itself to be
  distracted by the other questions which agitate the community, and
  which in truth are of but little moment compared with the great evil
  with which we are struggling."

In 1846 Jay wrote again on this subject: "I shall leave the Liberty
party whenever it makes abolition a pack-horse to carry favourite
measures unconnected with slavery, whether those measures are of whig or
democratic origin."

Early in the year 1843 the antislavery opinions and labours of Judge Jay
caused the loss of his seat on the bench of Westchester County, which he
had occupied for more than twenty-five years with such general approval
as to cause his steady reappointment term after term by governors of the
State who were his political opponents. The circumstances of his removal
are described in a letter which he wrote to Mr. Minot Mitchell, in May,
1843:

  "I thank you for your friendly letter in relation to my removal from
  the bench. The loss of an office which I had held for about a
  quarter of a century (and which I had contemplated resigning in the
  course of the present year) is not a matter of personal regret. My
  motive in holding for so long a time a situation which subjected me
  to no little inconvenience and yielded no emolument was a desire to
  be useful, and a belief that I could exert on the bench a wholesome
  moral influence. How far that belief was well founded is for others
  to decide. To myself, it is grateful to know that my official
  conduct, whatever mistakes I may have made, has been pure, unbiased
  by personal partialities, and uninfluenced by any fear except that
  of my Maker.

  "To the gentlemen of the Westchester bar generally, as well as to
  yourself in particular, I am deeply indebted for the uniform
  kindness and courtesy with which I have been treated; and had I
  known at the December term that we were not to meet again, I would
  have embraced the opportunity of publicly acknowledging my
  obligations to them, and of bidding them an affectionate farewell.

  "Under the circumstances of the case, it would be an affectation of
  humility to ascribe my loss of office to any dissatisfaction with my
  official conduct on the part of the bar or the public. The _New York
  Plebeian_, amid all its vituperative clamour for my dismissal, does
  not even hint a charge against me as a judge, and the editor of the
  _Westchester Herald_, notwithstanding his blind devotion to his
  party, bears a flattering testimony to my ability as a 'jurist,' and
  admits that my 'moral worth' is not questioned, as he believes, 'by
  any man in the country.'

  "Nor have I been proscribed on account of my political opinions.
  Those opinions belong to the old Washington school--I have never
  concealed them; and they are the same now as they were when I
  received office from Governors Tompkins, Clinton, Throop, and Marcy,
  and when President Jackson tendered to me an important and lucrative
  appointment.

  "For twenty years or more I have had no connection with party
  politics, and have attended no party meeting. It appeared to me
  unbecoming a judge to be a political partisan; and I, moreover,
  observed so much profligacy, venality, and hypocritical profession
  in both parties, that I could not conscientiously identify myself
  with either. I have for years voted for those I believed to be the
  most honest of the candidates offered for my suffrage, without
  regard to the party dogmas they professed.

  "That the people of Westchester had lost their confidence in me and
  wished me to descend from the bench is not pretended. On the
  contrary, I have the most abundant and gratifying proofs of the
  correctness of your remark, that my removal has occasioned in the
  county, with all political parties, unusual dissatisfaction and
  complaint.

  "If, then, my removal has been effected contrary to the wishes of
  the county, and not because I lacked in ability or integrity, nor
  even on account of my politics, it becomes a matter of public
  interest to inquire with what motives and with what views the chief
  magistrate of New York dispenses the patronage intrusted to him by
  the constitution for the good of the State.

  "Governor Bouck has, in this instance, as in another far more
  important, only acted as the instrument of a faction which, while
  prating about _equal rights_, is ever ready and eager to barter the
  welfare, honour, and freedom of the North for Southern votes.

  "You may recollect that previous to my last appointment I was
  permitted to hold over for a year after my term of office had
  expired. This extraordinary delay in filling a vacancy on the bench
  was not the result of accident or inadvertency. It arose from doubts
  entertained by the leaders at Albany whether the party would gain
  more at the South than it would lose in Westchester by my removal.
  Mr. Van Buren was then a candidate for the presidency, and I was
  shown a confidential letter from one of his particular friends at
  Albany to an influential democrat of this county, discussing the
  expediency of my removal. The letter was put into my hands by the
  gentleman to whom it was addressed. It was admitted by the writer
  that my conduct as a judge was irreproachable, and that there were
  no other objections to my reappointment than my antislavery
  sentiments. My only fault in the eyes of this champion of equal
  rights was that I was opposed to converting men and women into
  beasts of burden. Still, he was apprehensive that my removal for
  _such_ a cause might savour of persecution for _abstract opinions_;
  in other words, might be unpopular; and he wished to know what the
  party in Westchester deemed most expedient. After a year's
  deliberation and hesitation, I was reappointed. Mr. Van Buren is
  again a candidate, but _now_ he has a Southern democrat for a
  competitor; and his party in the State being so strong that he can
  well afford to risk a little dissatisfaction in Westchester, it is
  deemed prudent to propitiate the demon of slavery by offering a
  victim, however humble, on his altar. The _Plebeian_, devoted to Mr.
  Van Buren's election, avowed with unblushing frankness that my
  reappointment would be calculated to prejudice the Democratic party
  'in the eyes of our Southern brethren.'

  "Thus, it seems that in order to elevate Mr. Van Buren to the
  presidency the magistrates of the free, sovereign, and independent
  State of New York are to be selected with reference to the good
  pleasure of Southern slaveholders.

  "Pardon, my dear sir, the egotism of this letter. I have been
  compelled to speak of myself in order to expose the canting
  profligacy of our demagogues, and to illustrate one of the
  numberless accursed influences of slavery. This abhorred system,
  which in the South makes merchandise of the souls and bodies of men,
  is at the same time trafficking in the politics, the religion, and
  the liberties of the North, and putrefying whatever it touches.
  Against this system I have contended, as did my father before me,
  and the leisure Governor Bouck has given me shall be faithfully
  devoted to a continuance of the warfare."

The "leisure" given to him by Governor Bouck had first to be used by Jay
in an attempt to restore his health, which for several years had been
failing. In the autumn of 1843 he determined upon a visit to Egypt, and
on the 1st of November he sailed from New York in the "Victoria," of
1100 tons, accompanied by his wife and his daughters Maria and Augusta.
After a short visit to London, the party sailed from Southampton for
Malta in the "Great Liverpool" of the Oriental Line, with passengers and
mail bound to India. At Malta Jay was interested in meeting the famous
wit, scholar, and diplomatist, John Hookham Frere, who entertained him
at his house outside the walls of the city.

While in England, Jay had been requested by John Beaumont, on behalf of
the British and Foreign Antislavery Society, to take charge of a
quantity of antislavery tracts printed in the Arabic language, and to
insure their distribution. After his arrival in Cairo, Jay gave packages
of the tracts to several persons whose facilities for distributing them
in Egypt were greater than his own. Others he disposed of himself.
"During the short time I was in Egypt," he said in a letter, "I
distributed tracts in the slave market, in the bazaars, in a public
coffee-house, in the hotels, and to persons in the streets." And he was
much struck with the fact that what he could do peacefully in Egypt, in
a portion of his own country would have endangered his life.

On his return home, Jay visited Paris, and while there communicated to
the Duc de Broglie the motives of the Southern statesmen in seeking the
annexation of Texas, and made no secret of his hope that France would
oppose the proceedings.[C]

The events leading up to the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War
were followed by Jay with the closest attention. The injustice and
cruelty with which Mexico was treated throughout these proceedings by
the United States Government excited his warmest indignation. He was
deeply grieved at events which seemed to postpone indefinitely the
emancipation of the slaves; his fears were aroused for the security of
free institutions in the North by the great impetus given to the
Southern spirit of domination. But above all he felt the disgrace
incurred by his own country in forcing upon a weak and friendly power a
desolating war for the sole object of wresting from it a territory to be
peopled by slaves. The result of Jay's minute knowledge of this dark
page in American history was embodied in a volume entitled "A Review of
the Causes and Consequences of the Mexican War," which was published in
1849. In this searching "Review" Jay exposed the parentage of the
movement for the acquisition of Texas in the desire of the South to
extend the territory devoted to slavery, with the twofold object of
creating a new market for slave-breeders and of giving to the slave
States an overwhelming control of Congress. He traced the devious paths
of intrigue by which a rebellion was fomented in Texas by Americans
settled there for that express purpose; the encouragement and aid given
secretly to the rebels by the United States; the recognition of their
independence; and finally the subterfuges adopted to achieve the
annexation in violation of international rights and the Constitution
itself. Jay set forth plainly the fact that hostilities were begun by
the United States troops; he described the military operations by which
a weak and defenceless people were reduced to consent to a dismemberment
of their country; he showed the enormous cost in life and money involved
in this war undertaken to furnish a new market for slaves and new power
to slaveholders. Jay's "Review of the Mexican War" is a contribution to
the history of the country which students cannot afford to pass unread.
The views expressed in it are painful to patriotism for the reason that
they are dictated by the pure patriotism which would make known the
whole truth as a warning to posterity.

The book on the Mexican War was written originally for the American
Peace Society, which had offered a prize for the best work on the
subject. The committee appointed to pass judgment on the dissertations
presented in competition awarded the prize to Jay's book on condition
that he should expunge from it all "general censures on the Whig party."
Jay refused to comply with this condition and the prize went to another.
But the Peace Society recognized that the value of Jay's book lay in its
impartial character and caused it to be published as the exposition of
the society's views.

As nearly all the newspapers of both parties had supported the war, they
were loth to notice a book which placed the object of their encomiums in
so unpleasant a light. But many private letters were received by Jay
which showed him that he had the approval of the best minds. Joshua R.
Giddings wrote: "Thanks be to Him who rules the destiny of nations that
we have among us competent and faithful men who possess the moral
courage to stand forth and chronicle, in the language of truth, the
barbarities of which the nation is guilty. The history of this age will
speak to those who come after facts which will cause our descendants to
blush. Your 'Review of the Mexican War' is faithful and just.... In
writing it you have performed a service to your country and to mankind
infinitely greater than was ever performed by any military officer."

"Every portion of it," wrote Charles Francis Adams, "commands my
unqualified assent. That in the course of God's providence good may be
ultimately educed out of evil is the only compensating reflection which
we can draw from the observation of so much wrong. It may be that out of
the very measures so wickedly devised to sustain a system of crime may
come the means by which it will be overthrown. That your book will do
great service in combining and perpetuating the evidence bearing upon
this portion of American history, I do not for a moment doubt. It is my
profound conviction that there never was a more wicked and unjustifiable
war, promoted by one party and connived at by the other, than the late
war with Mexico."

The prevention of war was a subject which had occupied the mind of Judge
Jay for a number of years. The result of his reflections was that system
of international arbitration which has become since his death so
efficacious a method of settling international disputes. A pamphlet
entitled "War and Peace: the Evils of the First and a Plan for
Preserving the Last" was still in manuscript in his desk when, in 1841,
Joseph Sturge, the celebrated English philanthropist, visited Bedford.
Jay read the pamphlet to Sturge, who was so much struck by the work that
he embodied a portion of it in a book which he published on his return
to England. The views of Jay attracted the attention of the English
Peace Society, who published the whole pamphlet in London in 1842. Jay's
plan for the prevention of war was exceedingly simple. It provided that
a stipulation should be made in every treaty that future international
differences should be referred first to arbitration, to attempt a
peaceful settlement. The idea was heartily approved by Cobden, who wrote
to Judge Jay: "If your government is prepared to insert an arbitration
clause in the pending treaties I am persuaded that it will be accepted
by our government." The scheme of arbitration thus proposed by Jay, and
supported by Joseph Sturge and his friends of the English Peace Society,
was approved by peace congresses held in Brussels in 1848, in Paris in
1849, and in London in 1851. Having thus attracted general attention, it
was recommended by protocol No. 23 of the Congress of Paris held in 1856
after the Crimean War, which protocol was unanimously adopted by the
plenipotentiaries of France, Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia,
Sardinia, and Turkey. These governments declared their wish that the
States between which any serious misunderstanding might arise should,
before appealing to arms, have recourse, as far as circumstances might
allow, to the good offices of a friendly power. The honour of the
introduction of this measure in the first Congress belongs to Lord
Clarendon, whose services had been solicited by Joseph Sturge and Henry
Richard. It was subsequently referred to by Lord Derby as worthy of
immortal honour. Lord Malmsbury pronounced it an act "important to
civilization and to the security of the peace of Europe." The protocol
was afterwards approved by all the other powers to which it was
referred, more than forty in number. The plan thus suggested by Judge
Jay for the prevention of war bore fruit during his life, and was
destined in after-years to become established in the mind of the
civilized world as the true remedy for the greatest scourge of
nations.[D]

Judge Jay was an earnest and active member of the Episcopal Church, but
he was never blind to its imperfections. He deplored as much as any man
the countenance given by the church to slavery, but he believed that
reformation must and would come from within. He had no sympathy with the
"come-outers." Concerning them he wrote in 1846: "Infidelity is now
vigorously availing itself of the conduct of the clergy in relation to
this subject to assail the blessed religion of which they are the
ministers. A sect is forming who profess to believe that the church is
so corrupted by slavery that good men are required to separate from her.
These people call themselves 'come-outers.' Lecturers are enlisted in
their service, and the clergy, as identified with the cause of human
bondage, are daily held up to public detestation as heartless
hypocrites." Jay would not deny the justice with which the attacks on
the clergy were made, and he laboured to place the church where it
belonged, in the front rank of the great humanitarian movement. To his
efforts were largely due the admission of coloured clergy to the
conventions of the church, and the gradual abolition of that spirit of
caste which prevented a white clergyman from recognizing a black one as
fit to deliberate with him on matters relating to their common
religion. To destroy this race hatred, so contrary to the spirit of
Christianity, and to arouse the church to its duty of active opposition
to slavery, were Jay's constant endeavours in the conventions of the
church. His pen also was frequently occupied with the same subject. His
"Letter to Bishop Ives" of North Carolina was a severe yet just
arraignment of clergymen who justified slavery from the Scriptures, and
it exposed the wickedness of their course in language and with arguments
to which they and their sympathizers were unable to reply.

When a "History of the American Church," by Samuel Wilberforce, was
published in England, there was naturally in America much curiosity to
see the work. Two American publishers announced their intention of
reprinting it. But time passed and no reprint appeared. The explanation
is given in the words of Jay: "The author of the 'History' in the course
of his work advances certain doctrines on the subject of 'slavery' and
of 'caste in the church' which it is thought inconvenient to discuss,
and which cannot be admitted in this republic without sealing the
condemnation of almost every Christian sect among us and overwhelming
our own church with shame and confusion. There are, it is to be feared,
but few among our twelve hundred clergymen who, on reading the
'History,' would not find their consciences whispering, 'Thou art the
man,' and who would not be anxious to conceal the volume from their
parishioners. Hence its suppression." Jay was determined that the
truths regarding the Episcopal Church in America set forth by the
celebrated Dr. Wilberforce should not be quite unattainable by the
clergy and laity especially concerned. In 1846 he caused those passages
of the "History" relating to slavery to be printed, and introduced them
with forcible remarks of his own in the pamphlet entitled "A Reproof of
the American Church by the Bishop of Oxford."

[Illustration: William Jay]



CHAPTER VII.

UNPOPULARITY OF THE ABOLITIONISTS.--THE COMPROMISES OF 1850 AND THE
  FUGITIVE-SLAVE LAW.--JAY'S REPLY TO WEBSTER'S 7th OF MARCH
  SPEECH.--THE ATTITUDE OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH.--THE ABROGATION OF
  THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE.--DISUNION.


The prospect was dark for the antislavery cause in 1850. Its friends had
increased steadily in numbers and in earnestness. But the Slave Power
had mustered all its forces in an aggressive campaign which aimed to
make slavery a national instead of a local institution, to introduce it
into territory hitherto free, and to browbeat the North into submission
to every demand of the slaveholder. The compromise measures adopted this
year in Congress--above all, the Fugitive-Slave Law--marked the
successful advance of arrogant Southern dictation. In the North, the
dislike of antislavery men and the willingness to satisfy the South at
the expense of conscience was expressed in such scenes as the attack of
the Rynders mob on the meeting of the American Antislavery Society in
New York and the passive attitude towards it adopted by the authorities.
Although the plan of putting down the abolitionists by force had proved
impracticable, no efforts were spared to make their lives uncomfortable
by the attacks of the press and by the pressure of social disapproval.
"Our politicians," wrote Jay to Charles Sumner, "may pride themselves on
their adroitness in pandering to popular prejudices, and in acquiring
power and influence by seasonable changes of opinion and conduct. But a
day is coming when their motives and actions will be judged by a very
different tribunal than public opinion, and when a single act of
benevolence, a single sacrifice of personal consideration to the cause
of truth, will outweigh a whole life of obsequiousness and political
trickery.

"The truths we advocate are unpalatable to the two extremes of society.
We shock the coarse, vulgar prejudices of the rabble, while the
disinterested benevolence we profess is to them an enigma to be solved
only by the imputation of fanaticism. At the same time we disturb the
tranquil consciences of the rich, thwart the calculations of politicans,
and interrupt the harmony subsisting between our merchants and their
Southern customers. Hence the upper classes look upon us as impertinent
and exceedingly ungenteel, and unfit to move in the higher circles. I
cannot tell how far your personal experience coincides with mine, but
_I_ know whereof I affirm. I have advanced no ultra-fanatical doctrines
in politics or religion. On the subject of slavery I have but reiterated
the opinions of many of the best and greatest men in England and in our
own country. I have advocated no congressional action except such as
Mr. Webster, in his better days, pronounced constitutional, and I have
condemned all forcible resistance to the Fugitive-Slave Law. Yet solely
on account of my antislavery efforts, I find myself nearly insulated in
society."

The Compromise measures of 1850 were repulsive and disheartening to the
antislavery men in the North. And no circumstance connected with them
was more discouraging than the change of front made by Daniel
Webster--his abandonment of the Wilmot Proviso and his concession to the
Southern demand for the extension of slavery into the new territory
acquired by the Mexican War. Webster's speech of the 7th of March was
answered by Judge Jay in a letter to the _Evening Post_ of March 20th,
and was afterwards published as a pamphlet and widely circulated. In
this letter Jay recalled the eloquent and positive declaration of
Webster made in the Senate on August 10, 1848, after New Mexico and
California had been acquired:

  "My opposition to the increase of slavery in this country, or to the
  increase of slave representation, is general and universal. It has
  no reference to the lines of latitude or points of the compass. I
  shall oppose all such extension at all times and under all
  circumstances, even against all inducements, against all supposed
  limitation of great interests, against all combinations, against all
  compromises."

These words were contrasted by Jay with Webster's present excuse for
abandoning opposition to the extension of slavery on the ground that the
laws of "physical geography" made slavery impossible in the new
territory and to forbid its existence there was merely "to re-enact the
will of God."

  "To what," asked Jay, "did this solemn, emphatic, unqualified
  asservation refer? Did he then know that there was a foot of
  territory in the United States over which it was morally and
  physically impossible to extend slavery? Was he promising in these
  impressive terms to oppose what he was conscious would never be
  attempted? Did he make this pledge before his country with a mental
  reservation to unite hereafter with General Cass and the
  slaveholders in denouncing and scorning the Proviso? Did he mean to
  deceive his own party? Did he desire to keep up an angry agitation
  throughout the nation for electioneering purposes, and did he thus
  intimate his belief in the danger of the extension of slavery and
  slave representation, when he well knew that the fiat of the
  Almighty had rendered such extension impossible? Was he then
  acquainted with the law of physical geography which would render the
  Proviso 'a re-enactment of the will of God?' And did he purposely
  conceal the secret of this law in his own breast, when by revealing
  it he might have stilled the raging billows of popular passion which
  threatened to ingulf the Union? To suppose all this would be to
  impute to Mr. Webster a degree of trickery and turpitude rarely
  paralleled even among politicians. Hence we are bound to assume that
  the law of nature on which he _now_ relies is a recent discovery,
  subsequent at least to the 10th August, 1848. It is, however,
  extraordinary that a gentleman of his acquirements did not sooner
  become acquainted with '_this law of physical geography--the law of
  the formation of the earth, that settles forever, beyond all terms
  of human enactment, that slavery cannot exist in California or New
  Mexico_.' It is to be regretted that Mr. Webster did not condescend
  to demonstrate the existence of this law and to explain the mode of
  its operation. He indeed tells us that our new territories are
  'Asiatic in their formation and scenery'; but this fact does not
  prove his law, since slavery has existed for ages amid the scenery
  of Asia; it exists in the deserts of Africa, has existed in every
  country of Europe, and now exists in the frozen regions of Russia.
  This law, moreover, must have been enacted by the Creator since
  1824, or its operation must have been suspended in deference to the
  Spanish government; for under that government negro slavery did
  exist in California and New Mexico, and it ceased in 1824, not by
  the 'law of physical geography,' but by a Mexican edict. Thousands
  of slaves are employed in the mines of Brazil, and Mr. Webster does
  not explain how his law forbids their employment in the mines of
  California....

  "He pays a sorry compliment to the common sense of the people in
  offering to them at the eleventh hour a new and unheard-of law of
  'physical geography,' together with the 'Asiatic scenery and
  formation' of the conquered territories, as an _excuse_ for
  violating the faith he had plighted in behalf of the Proviso. He has
  shocked the moral sense of a large portion of the community by
  giving in advance his sanction to the Fugitive-Slave Law, which
  makes the liberty or bondage of a citizen depend on the affidavit of
  a slaveholder and the judgment of a post-master--a law which
  converts sympathy for guiltless misery into crime, and threatens to
  tenant our jails with our most estimable men and women. But Mr.
  Webster underrates the intelligence and sensibilities of the masses.
  Relying on the Southern affinities of our commercial cities, on the
  subserviency of politicians, on the discipline of party, and on his
  own great influence, Mr. Webster looks _down_ upon the people; but
  the time is probably not far distant when the people will cease to
  look up to him. Parties will accept of any leaders who can acquire
  for them the spoils of the day, but in the political history of our
  country the people have never placed their affections upon any man
  in whose stability and consistency they did not confide."

To give such assistance as he could to a fugitive slave had always been
regarded by Judge Jay as a duty. "The slaveholders," he had written,
"with their accustomed impudence and mendacity, apply the term _theft_
to the humane and Christian efforts to assist a slave in escaping from
his home of bondage. In their sense of the expression, I glory in being
a slave-stealer, and I inculcate upon my children the duty, the
Christian duty, of this kind of theft." He had sheltered and aided many
runaways at his home at Bedford, and his will contained a bequest of a
thousand dollars to be used for this purpose. His son John gave his
services as a lawyer constantly and successfully to prevent the return
of fugitive slaves.

When the Fugitive-Slave Bill became a law Judge Jay was applied to by
many individuals, societies, and periodicals to give his views
concerning it. "The law," he said in a private letter, "is an outrage
upon the Constitution of our country and the precepts of our religion.
It is a burlesque on justice and on all the acknowledged rules of
evidence in the trial of issues. The demand it makes upon individual
citizens to aid in hunting and enslaving their fellow-men is diabolical.
I have made up my mind to suffer imprisonment and the spoiling of my
goods rather than hazard my soul by rendering any active obedience to
this sinful law. It is horrible that so many of our fashionable cotton
divines are now preaching up the supremacy of human law and virtually
dethroning Him whose ambassadors they profess to be."

"In my opinion, every Northern slave-catcher is a base man, and every
lawyer who takes reward against the innocent is a disgrace to a noble
profession. I myself shall offer no forcible resistance against the
execution of this most wicked law, but I trust that, through the grace
of God, I would go to the scaffold sooner than obey it."

Concerning the constitutionality of the law, Judge Jay wrote to Josiah
Quincy: "The fugitive-slave clause in the Constitution is of course
obligatory, but there is a wide distinction between the fugitive-slave
_clause_ and the fugitive-slave _law_. The Constitution gives no power
to Congress to legislate on the subject, but imposes on the States the
obligation of rendition. Chief-Justice Hornblower, of New York, and
Chancellor Walworth, of New York, long since pronounced the fugitive law
of '93 unconstitutional on this very ground."

The demoralization caused by the execution of the law was described by
Jay in a letter to Gerrit Smith: "It is scoundrelizing our people.
Cruelty and injustice are cultivated as virtues, Christian love and
sympathy with human suffering are treated as prejudices to be conquered,
and zeal in hunting slaves is made the test of patriotism and of fitness
for office. But the most diabolical effect of the law is the competition
it has excited among our politicians to offer the blood of their
fellow-citizens in exchange for Southern votes."

To a committee of free coloured men who asked Judge Jay's advice
regarding the propriety of arming themselves to prevent being kidnapped
under the law, he said: "Most deeply do I sympathize with you in your
unhappy state. With your wives and children, you are now placed at the
disposal of any villain who is ready to perjure himself for the price
you will bring in the human shambles of the South. With less ceremony
and trouble than a man can impound his neighbour's ox, you may be
metamorphosed from a citizen of the State of New York into a beast of
burden on a Southern plantation. On leaving your house in the morning
you may be enticed into another, where one of the newly appointed
commissioners, after reading one affidavit, made a thousand miles off,
and another that you are the person named in the first, or on the bare
oath of the kidnapper himself, may inform you, to your amazement and
horror, that you are a _slave_. The fetters previously prepared are
placed on your limbs, and in a few minutes you are travelling with
railroad velocity to a Southern market. Never again will you behold your
wife and children, nor will any tidings from them ever reach your ear.
The remainder of your life is to be one of toil and stripes.... Yet," he
continued, "leave, I beseech you, the pistol and the bowie-knife to
Southern ruffians and their Northern mercenaries. That this law will
lead to bloodshed I take for granted, but let it be the blood of the
innocent, not of the guilty. If anything can arouse the torpid
conscience of the North, it will be our streets stained with human blood
shed by the slave-catchers."

The Fugitive-Slave Law, in Jay's opinion, was the natural sequence to
the attempt to put down the antislavery movement by force: "For years,
most strenuous efforts, prompted by commercial and political views, were
made to deprive the opponents of slavery of their constitutional
privileges by lawless violence. The right of petition was suspended, the
freedom of debate interrupted, the sanctity of the post-office violated,
public meetings dispersed, printing-presses destroyed, furious mobs
excited, churches sacked, private houses gutted, and even murder
perpetrated. All this violation of rights was regarded with complacency
by many who had much at stake, so long as abolitionists alone were the
victims. But the spirit of aggression thus raised and fostered is
seeking new subjects on which to exercise its power. 'Gentlemen of
property and standing' are now beginning to feel alarmed about
socialism, anti-rentism, agrarianism, etc. Hence, of late we hear much
of the importance of conservatism, as it is called. The political
movements of the last few months seem to indicate that our landlords and
cotton lords and merchant princes regard an alliance with the
aristocracy of the South as at least in some degree a security against
the violation of vested rights, sequestration of rents, oppressive
taxation, unequal laws, etc. To the influence of gentlemen of this class
the late slave law owes its passage.

"And is it indeed believed that the rights of the rich will be protected
by familiarizing the populace with the practice of injustice and cruelty
towards the poor? Will the sight of innocent men seized in our streets
and sent in fetters to till the broad fields of great landowners
increase the reverence felt for land titles? Is it wise to give the
people practical lessons in the demolition of all the barriers raised by
the common law for the protection of the weak against the strong? Is it
true conservatism to obliterate in the masses the sense of justice, the
feelings of humanity, the distinction between right and wrong?"

The tacit support given to slavery by the Episcopal Church at large and
the active support given to it by many individual clergymen was a source
of constant grief to Judge Jay and a frequent subject of his thoughts.
"You well know," he wrote to Joseph Sturge, "what a mighty effort has
been made by our Northern traders in Southern votes and merchandise,
under the leadership of Daniel Webster, to roll back the antislavery
tide. To a certain extent they have succeeded. The commercial interest
in the great towns, through a rivalry for the Southern trade, has
professed great alacrity in slave-catching, and political aspirants for
office under the Federal Government find it expedient to make
slave-hunting the test of patriotism. But the religious feeling of the
commonalty--that is, of those who are not pre-eminently gentlemen of
property and standing--is shocked by the enormous cruelty and injustice
of the fugitive law. To overcome this feeling, which in its
demonstrations is exceedingly inconvenient to our merchants and
office-seekers, the clergy have been urged by the press and other
agencies to come out in support of the law--in other words, to give the
sanction of the gospel of Christ to the enslavement of innocent men.
Some pastors who preach in fine churches to rich and fashionable city
congregations have complied. You must understand that many of our
brokers, merchants, lawyers, and editors were exceedingly scandalized by
the opposition of religious people to this vile law, and they have
trembled for the honour of our holy religion when some of its professors
contended that an impious law was not binding on the conscience."

The position of the church was strongly stated by Jay in a letter to
Rev. Hiram Jelliff: "It is one of the most melancholy circumstances of
the condition of the coloured people that so many of the ministers of
the Lord Jesus Christ are among their most influential enemies. The
church of the living God is the great buttress of slavery and caste in
the United States. If any plea can be urged in behalf of infidelity, it
is that Christianity as represented by multitudes of its official
teachers authorizes the abrogation of all its precepts of humility,
justice, and benevolence in the treatment of persons to whom God has
given a coloured skin. Look at the conventions of New York and
Pennsylvania excluding ministers and disciples of the crucified Redeemer
merely because they are poor and despised! I confess, my dear sir, that
were I a young man, with no early religious impressions and about to
decide on the truth or falsehood of revelation, I fear I should be
strongly tempted to believe that a religion such as it is practically
exhibited by your cotton-parsons could not and did not proceed from a
just and benevolent being. I have had great opportunities of knowing the
effect produced by the countenance given to slavery and caste by the
church on the faith of many kind-hearted and conscientious people, and
in all sincerity I declare that our pro-slavery clergy, our negro-hating
clergy, our slave-catching clergy, are the most successful apostles of
infidelity in the country. I write thus freely to you because your
course is in direct opposition to those I condemn. The Saviour eat,
drank, and lodged with the Samaritans, who were the negroes of Judea, a
despised, degraded caste, from whom a Jew disdained to receive even a
cup of water.... May God bless and reward your labours."

Occupying, as Judge Jay did, a position of leadership in both the
Episcopal Church and the antislavery movement, it was to him that men
most frequently turned for advice on subjects relating to the connection
between the church and slavery. From mature minds, such as that of
Senator Salmon P. Chase, from divinity students and young men
contemplating connection with a religious body, came inquiries
regarding the duty of joining the church or of remaining a member. To a
young man Jay wrote in 1854: "I shall say nothing of the claims of the
Episcopal Church as arising from her doctrines, forms, and government,
except that I know of no church which, judged _by its authorized
standards_, is more scriptural and more conducive to holiness in this
life and to salvation in the next. You desire to enter this church but
have not been able to overcome the objection arising from its connection
with slavery, and would like to know, for your information, how I
reconcile my continuance in this church with my antislavery opinions.
Assuredly I could not belong to a church which exacted of its members an
admission of the lawfulness of human bondage. Of such a sin and folly
the Episcopal Church is guiltless. No sanction of slavery can be found
in any of her standards, and hence I can very consistently hold the
doctrines of the church and join in its prayers and rites and at the
same time regard American slavery as the sum of all villainies. There
are in the church slaveholding bishops, clergymen, and communicants,
_plenty of them_. But I am not responsible for their presence.... There
never has been, and I suppose there never will be, a widely extended
church without unworthy pastors and members. A _pure_ church composed of
fallible and sinful men is a figment of the imagination.... Many popish
doctrines and practices are occasionally advocated by our Puseyites. But
I, as a private member of the church, am in no degree responsible for
the heresies of Puseyism nor the more disgusting heresies of
cotton-divinity.... In my opinion, in nine cases out of ten an
antislavery Christian can do more good to his own soul, to the cause of
Christ, and to the interests of the slave by remaining in his church and
there battling for truth and justice, than by going in search of a pure
church. It often happens when an abolitionist abandons an alleged
pro-slavery church he finds no other that suits him. Hence the public
worship of God and the Sacraments are neglected. Gradually he and his
family learn to live without God in the world, and finally enter upon
that broad road which leads to destruction."

The position assumed by the Episcopal Church towards the rights and
elevation of the blacks was indicated by the refusal of the Diocesan
Council of New York to admit the coloured church of St. Philip, although
the parish was constitutionally entitled to be represented and her
minister and delegates were entitled to seats and votes. Judge Jay
opposed earnestly a majority report from a committee on the question of
their admission, which contended that the applicants belonged to a race
"socially degraded, and improper associates for the class of persons who
attend our conventions." Such an apology for the violation of the
constitutional rights ordained by the State, and such a presentation of
the theological views entertained by the committee on the unity of the
church and the catholic brotherhood of its members, was not calculated
to strengthen the opposition to St. Philip's; and the Christian world
breathed more freely when, after a nine years' struggle to obtain a vote
on the question maintained by Judge Jay and his son, the coloured parish
was admitted by a large majority of both orders.

In 1854 Southern aggression had nearly reached its culminating point.
The Missouri Compromise was abrogated; the Kansas-Nebraska Bill threw
open to slavery an immense territory hitherto free, under the subterfuge
invented by General Cass and Senator Douglas of "popular sovereignty."
Slavery was thus to extend over the vast regions in the centre of the
continent. An indefinite number of new slave States were to be admitted
into the Union, which would give the control of the Senate, and
consequently of all legislation, forever to the Slave Power.

In February, 1854, Judge Jay received an invitation to address the
Anti-Nebraska Convention of the Free Democracy of Massachusetts. His age
and health prevented a journey to Boston, but he wrote to the committee
of invitation as follows:

  "It is meet and right that the stupendous iniquity now about to be
  perpetrated should be resisted by the true-hearted citizens of that
  State which, more than any other in the confederacy, has debauched
  the moral sentiment of the nation and prepared the community for
  submission to the most insolent usurpation yet attempted by the
  Slave Power. The present effort to extend the dominion of the whip
  to the northern limits of the United States is the legitimate
  consequence of the disastrous and disgraceful concessions of 1850.
  Those concessions were effected more through the ability and
  labours of the late distinguished senator from Massachusetts
  than of any of his coadjutors. Mr. Webster, avowing the entire
  constitutionality of the Wilmot Proviso and having voted for it in
  relation to Oregon, objected to its application to the newly
  conquered territories on the ground that their _Asiatic scenery_ and
  _geographical conformation_ rendered it _physically impossible_ for
  negro slavery ever to exist in them. Unhappily for his novel and
  extraordinary theory, numerous slaves were at the time he spoke held
  in California.... Slaves are at this day held in New Mexico.

  "Mr. Webster, in giving his earnest and cordial support to the
  atrocious Fugitive-Slave Act, candidly acknowledged on the floor of
  the Senate that in 'his judgment' Congress had no constitutional
  power to legislate on the subject, the obligation of surrendering
  fugitives resting on the States. Yet he scrupled not in his
  subsequent addresses to speak in terms of unmeasured obloquy of
  every lawyer who presumed to deny the constitutionality of that
  horrible law. He admitted the right of Congress to grant the
  fugitive a trial by jury, yet was unwearied in his advocacy of a law
  denying to the most helpless of mortals that important safeguard of
  personal liberty....

  "The course of this gentleman at a moment when the dearest
  principles of liberty, justice, and humanity were vehemently
  assailed was rapturously applauded by the monied, the literary, and
  the ecclesiastical aristocracy of Massachusetts, and the New England
  Church has to a great extent canonized his memory.

  "The ardour evinced by the city of Boston in the surrender of Simms,
  and the intense servility and degradation accompanying that
  surrender, together with the emphatic endorsement of Mr. Webster's
  conduct, have exerted an influence in behalf of human bondage and
  in derogation of Christian obligation far beyond the bounds of
  Massachusetts. The moral bulwark raised at the North against slavery
  in times past by the religious sentiment and the respect for the
  rights of man is nearly demolished.

  "The Slave Power, taking advantage of the present paralysis of the
  Northern conscience and the frantic cupidity of our demagogues and
  merchants for Southern votes and Southern trade, is about placing
  its yoke on willing and bending necks.

  "Think not that Nebraska is to be the terminus of slaveholding
  encroachments. New slave States are from time to time to be carved
  out of Mexico. Cuba is to be wrested from Spain and St. Domingo
  re-enslaved and annexed. As the field for slave labour widens and
  widens, the supply will be found inadequate to the demand. The
  discovery will then be made that both religion and policy require
  the repeal of the prohibition of the African slave-trade. We shall
  be told of the Christian duty of bringing the pagans of Africa to
  our own civilized shores and of preparing them for heaven by the
  discipline of the whip and the teachings of slave-drivers, while
  politicans and political economists will insist on the removal of
  the restriction as essential to the development of our national
  wealth and enterprise. In vain will Virginia and the other breeding
  States strive to retain their present lucrative monopoly of the
  human shambles. The cotton and sugar States, together with the newly
  acquired slave States, aided by Northern politicians, will establish
  free trade in the bodies and souls of men.

  "The Southern Church is almost without exception the unblushing
  champion of slavery, while the Northern Church, adopting a
  time-serving, heartless, and often hypocritical neutrality, and
  holding in its fraternal embrace slave-breeders and slave-traders,
  has virtually taught that the vilest outrages on both the civil and
  religious rights of the black man are perfectly compatible with the
  highest sanctity in his white oppressor. Some of our religious
  journals are sadly grieved and scandalized by the alleged discovery
  that certain opponents of slavery are infidels. For my own part, I
  know of no form of infidelity so hideous as that which impiously
  claims the authority of Almighty God for abrogating all His laws in
  behalf of justice and mercy in reference to our conduct towards
  millions of our countrymen not of the same colour as ourselves. This
  cutaneous Christianity, so insulting to the Deity, so disastrous to
  man, is fast becoming the national religion.

  "The present crisis is indeed an awful one. While various causes
  have aided in producing it, its immediate origin is to be traced to
  the lamentable defection, in 1850, of so many of the rich and
  influential from truth and justice, liberty and humanity, under the
  fallacious plea of saving the Union. Well may the Free Democracy of
  Massachusetts, with their hands and consciences undefiled by
  oblations on the altar of the American Moloch, now strive to avert
  the calamity impending over the country. May a long-suffering God
  bless their efforts and rescue a guilty nation from the punishment
  it seems anxious to inflict upon itself."

"As to the wickedness of the whole Kansas business," Jay wrote to
Charles Sumner, in March, 1856, "I most fully agree with you, and I do
not wonder that amid such abounding iniquity you are at a loss what
atrocity to assail first. I am very much inclined to look upon every
Northern member of Congress who voted for the repeal of the Missouri
Compromise as a rascal. This may seem harsh--it is certainly not
polite--and yet I am utterly unable to assign a good, honest, religious
motive for the vote, or to reconcile it with the fear of God or with
love to man.... Let us fight on, with all our heart and mind and soul.
God is with us, approves our efforts, and whether He shall crown them
with success or not, He will not forget our work of faith and labour of
love. I have full faith in an ultimate triumph, although you and I may
not live to enjoy it. My belief is, that as soon as the North ceases to
tremble before the slave-drivers, the non-slaveholders of the South will
proclaim their independence and insist upon free speech and a free
press, and as soon as these are obtained the doom of slavery is sealed."

The repeal of the Missouri Compromise was the beginning of the end, the
fatal step of the South on its road to destruction. Throughout the North
the conviction grew that Union and slavery could not exist much longer
together. On the 4th of July, 1854, Garrison publicly burned a copy of
the Constitution of the United States with the words, "The Union must be
dissolved!" He represented only an extreme sentiment. But the people at
large began to calculate the value of this Union for which so many
sacrifices had been made. Slavery became odious to many persons hitherto
indifferent to the subject, on the ground that it persistently and
selfishly placed the Union in peril.

In the summer of 1857 Judge Jay received a circular calling for a
National Disunion Convention, to be held at Worcester, signed by T. W.
Higginson, Wendell Phillips, Daniel Mann, and W. L. Garrison. To this
circular he replied at length, giving his views on the question of
separation as it then appeared to him.

  "The subject you propose for consideration," he said, "has long been
  to me one of deep and painful interest. Although fully conscious of
  the many social, commercial, and political advantages derived from
  the Federal Union, I am nevertheless convinced that it is at present
  a most grievous moral curse to the American people. To the people of
  the South it is a curse by fostering and strengthening and
  perpetuating an iniquitous, corrupting institution. To the millions
  of African descent among us it is a curse by riveting the chains of
  the bondman and deepening the degradation of the free man. To the
  people of the free States it is a curse by tempting them to trample
  under foot the obligations of truth, justice, and humanity for the
  wages of iniquity with which the Federal Government has so
  abundantly rewarded apostates from liberty and righteousness.

  "In my opinion, while the Union continues to be thus a curse it will
  be indissoluble; if it ever ceases to be a curse, it will be
  converted into a blessing.

         *       *       *       *       *

  "What possible reason have you to expect that those in church and
  state who have surrendered their consciences to the seductions of
  the Union will listen to your call and aid you in breaking a power
  which they glory in saving? While I believe you are doomed to
  disappointment, I nevertheless rejoice in every exposure of the
  demoralizing influence of the Union. I rejoice in such exposure, not
  as tending to bring about dissolution, but to render it unnecessary.
  When the people of the North cease to idolize the Union, they will
  cease to offer on its altar their rights and their duties. When
  released from their thraldom to the Slave Power, they will cease to
  place its minions in office. When no longer covetous of the votes
  and the trade of the South, they will no longer be bullied into all
  manner of wretchedness and all manner of insult by the idea and
  ever-repeated threats of dissolution. But when this happy time
  arrives, the Union will be converted from a curse into a blessing.
  Our divines, instead of vindicating cruelty and oppression, and
  denouncing as fanatics those who consider the will of God a higher
  law than an accursed act of Congress, will become preachers of
  righteousness. Democrats, seeing the Federal patronage wielded by
  the opponents of slavery, will, in the rapidity and extent of their
  conversion to truth and justice, eclipse all the marvels of New
  England revivals; and men who for years have been bowed to the earth
  by spinal weakness will as by miracle stand erect. When all this
  happens, the North will continue its Union with the South; and you
  yourselves will have no wish to see that Union severed.

  "At the close of the war, Washington, solicitous that the divine
  favour might rest on the new-born nation, publicly offered the
  prayer that God would dispose us all to do justice and love mercy.
  May the Union, when exerting an influence in accordance with this
  prayer, be indissoluble; but may God forbid that it may ever be
  saved by promoting, extending, and perpetuating injustice and
  cruelty, by invoking the wrath of Heaven, and becoming a proverb and
  a reproach among the nations of the earth."



CHAPTER VIII.

DEATH OF JUDGE JAY.--HIS POSITION AMONG ANTISLAVERY MEN.--HIS OTHER
  PUBLIC AND PHILANTHROPIC INTERESTS.--HIS PRIVATE LIFE.--HIS
  CHARACTER.


Judge Jay was not destined to live to see the triumph of the antislavery
cause and of the constitutional principles to which he had devoted his
life. Several years of failing health preceded his death, which took
place at Bedford, October the 14th, 1858.

His career in the antislavery cause, dating from the Missouri Compromise
in 1821, was in several respects unique, and among the leaders of the
movement his position continued to be distinctive.

His first active efforts in favour of the slave, the presentation to
Congress in 1826 of petitions for the abolition of slavery in the
District of Columbia, were marked by a careful regard to the provisions
of the United States Constitution. At the first formation of antislavery
societies he feared that philanthropic enthusiasm might place the
movement in a wrong position by a failure to recognize those provisions.
His advice was asked by the men who organized the American Society in
Philadelphia, and it was carried into effect by the insertion into the
constitution of the society of a complete recognition of the supreme
national law, in strict accordance with which, only, the objects of the
society should be sought. To maintain the abolitionists in the
impregnable position thus adopted was the constant and characteristic
labour of Jay's life. This position, consistently held by him against
unconstitutional doctrines advanced by both abolitionists and
slaveholders, was the position adopted by the Republican party in 1854,
and maintained until real union and real liberty were won together.

The antislavery movement was begun and supported by those whom Lincoln
called "the plain people." Men of "property and standing" were generally
passively if not actively hostile. It received little help from the
churches, from the learned professions or the wealthy mercantile
classes. It was a very unpopular cause, denounced by politicians,
merchants, and lawyers, despised by many of the clergy, certain to bring
social and business injury, if not active persecution, to whomsoever
adopted it. Hence the championship of William Jay derived a special
importance. His judicial and social position, his independent means, his
active membership in the most aristocratic of churches, made him a
leader of peculiar value. His advocacy of the cause could be attributed
neither to ignorant fanaticism nor to disorganizing tendencies. He set
an example to the class most able and least willing to oppose the curse
of slavery.

A third peculiarity of Jay's position among antislavery men was the
nature of the work which he performed. Without health sufficient to make
long journeys at a time when travelling was difficult, seldom leaving
his country home, he was rarely seen at the meetings and conventions of
the abolitionists. He was a voice, speaking words of reason, moderation
and authority in times of blind excitement; a voice which spoke at the
right moment and was always heard with respect. Jay's activity lay in
his pen. In a crisis when the judicious course of action or the accurate
view of events was obscured by doubt and passion, a pamphlet or a public
letter from Judge Jay cast a clear and steady light. His writings were
consulted by the most eminent men when considering subjects connected
with slavery. Of this a notable instance was the use made of Jay's
argument on the "Amistad" case by John Quincy Adams when addressing the
House of Representatives in that celebrated cause. These writings form a
continuous and lucid commentary on the history of the long and varied
struggle between the forces of slavery and of freedom.

The published works of Judge Jay present but a part of the fruits and
the influence of his pen. His correspondence was voluminous and extended
to the rank and file as well as to the leaders of the antislavery
movement. Constant resort was made to him for information and advice,
which was always given with frankness and care.[E]

We may close appropriately our review of Jay's antislavery work with
remarks made after his death to the coloured people of New York by
Frederick Douglass, who escaped from the slave-driver to urge with
native eloquence the emancipation of his race: "In common with you, my
friends, I wear the hated complexion which William Jay never hated. I
have worn the galling chain which William Jay earnestly endeavoured to
break. I have felt the heavy lash, and have experienced in my own person
the cruel wrongs which caused his manly heart to melt in pity for the
slave.... In view of the mighty struggle for freedom in which we are now
engaged, and the tremendous odds arrayed against us, every coloured man
and every friend of the coloured man in this country must deeply feel
the great loss we have sustained in this death, and look around with
anxious solicitude for the man who shall rise to fill the place now made
vacant. With emphasis it may be said of him, he was our wise counsellor,
our firm friend, and our liberal benefactor. Against the fierce onsets
of popular abuse he was our shield; against governmental intrigue and
oppression he was our learned, able, and faithful defender; against
the crafty counsels of wickedness in high places, where mischief is
framed by law and sin is sanctioned and supported by religion, he was a
perpetual and burning rebuke."

Besides his work for the negro race, William Jay had various public and
philanthropic interests. Prominent among these were the duties of judge
of Westchester County, which he exercised for more than twenty-five
years. Jay revised the rules of the court, which had been handed down
almost unchanged since 1728; and he introduced a strict observance of
forms, which, combined with his prompt and explicit decisions, made the
Westchester court one of the most dignified in the country. The sittings
were held alternately at White Plains and at Bedford, the half-shire
towns of the county. Jay also attended to chamber business in other
towns. At that period the Westchester bar embraced many lawyers of
marked ability, such as R. R. Voorhis, Aaron Ward, William Nelson, Peter
Jay Munro, J. W. Strong, Minot Mitchell, and James Smith; and from New
York, Alexander McDonald, William M. Price, and Peter Augustus Jay
frequently appeared among them. It has been said of Judge Jay's charges
to grand juries that "they commanded attention, from their clear
exposition of the law without the slightest concession to the popular
currents of the day and with careful regard to constitutional rights,
morality, and justice." These charges were frequently requested for
publication as timely reminders of legal and moral truths, the relation
of which to current events was being overlooked. Judge Jay's conduct on
the bench caused his reappointment term after term by governors of
opposing political parties; and after his death, when a pro-slavery
faction endeavoured to remove his portrait from the court-house at White
Plains, members of the bar who disagreed with Jay's abolition opinions
were foremost in preventing any act of disrespect to his memory.

Jay's philanthropy was religious in its motive and practical in its
activity. A life-long worker in the cause of temperance, his efforts
produced substantial results, as in the legislation proposed by him
which forbade the sale of intoxicating liquors on credit.

For many years a member and president of the Peace Society, he was not
satisfied with exposing the evils of war. His mind sought and found a
remedy for it in the system of international arbitration, of which the
practicability was immediately acknowledged, and towards which the
civilized world has since turned with constantly growing confidence.

The organization of the American Bible Society in the face of the
opposition of the authorities in his own church displayed in Jay's early
life the self-reliance and independence of character which gave so much
strength to his later career. Always true to his church, he never
compromised his convictions to fit a position in which that church was
untrue to itself. During the antislavery movement the churches were
hostile. Fearful of alienating their Southern members and the Northern
men whose business interests demanded subserviency to the Slave Power,
hardly any ecclesiastical organization was guiltless of lending a
passive support to slavery. Theological students, on leaving their
seminary, were cautioned by their instructors to avoid the troublesome
topic if they would be successful ministers of Christ. Clergymen who
preached that property in man was sinful were disciplined by
ecclesiastical superiors or cast off by outraged Christian
congregations. An orthodox religious newspaper was the safest printed
matter for a Northern man to have in his possession when travelling in
the South. The Episcopal Church had its slaveholding bishops and
ministers, not a few of whom justified slavery from the Scriptures. It
had in the North its "cotton divines," who enjoined from the pulpit
obedience to the odious law which sought to make slave-catchers of
Christian men and women. It went so far as persistently to infringe its
own laws by shutting the doors of its conventions upon legally chosen
delegates of congregations composed of free coloured men. The church of
Christ was turned into a social club which did not hesitate to exclude a
black man as an "unfit associate." Shocked at this attitude, many
conscientious men withdrew from the communion. But such a course was
inconsistent with Jay's character. False and repulsive as was to him
such a conception of the Christian religion, he refused, as a churchman,
to accept it. He remained in the ranks, striving by his own conduct to
show that a man could be a good churchman and hate slavery at the same
time. Fearless in his expression of Christian truth, he was for twenty
years a thorn in the side of pro-slavery churchmen, and a rallying-point
for those who understood better the spirit of Christianity and
recognized the brotherhood of man before God.

Jay's private life was happy and peaceful. The library at Bedford, with
its book-shelves crowded to the ceiling and its windows looking out over
the hills of Westchester to the blue outlines of the Catskills, claimed
a considerable portion of every day. The hours there passed in
reflection and in literary labour were hours of pleasure, enhanced by
the desire and the hope of usefulness.

Out-of-doors were the avocations of a country life, which Jay was well
constituted to enjoy: the farm, with its interesting record of crops and
growing livestock; the garden, where a great variety of flowers and
vegetables flourished within hedges of old box; the lawn, with its trees
planted by his father and himself--all these gave occupation in pleasing
contrast to that of the library. The public roads in the neighbourhood
of the Jay farm are now adorned and shaded by noble trees planted by the
Judge. Along these roads and over the Westchester hills he loved to ride
on horseback, an exercise and pleasure which he enjoyed until the last
year of his life. Judge Jay preferred to consider Bedford as a farm
rather than as a country seat, and he observed to Bishop Coxe in this
regard that a farm without a gate or a fence out of repair was more to
his taste than an ornamental estate. The weak eyesight and somewhat
delicate health which in his youth seemed a misfortune as debarring him
from a career of activity in the city turned in the end to his
advantage. A happier life than that at Bedford could hardly have been
devised for him; and it is probable that the studious retirement of his
country library gave to his views on public questions a thoroughness and
moderation greater than could have been attained amidst the hurry and
distraction of a great city.

In his family relations, Jay was still more fortunate. His wife lived to
be his sympathetic companion until 1856, when he himself was near his
end. Her accomplishments, especially in reading and drawing, her grace,
gentleness, and goodness, her natural charity, added immeasurably to the
happiness of Jay's life. "I have always regarded her," said the late
Rev. J. W. Alexander, "as one of the happiest specimens of a Christian
lady that it has been my lot to meet. Intelligent, graceful, pious,
gentle, sportive in the right place, generous and catholic, she awakened
a sincere respect and attachment, and our memory of her is blessed." The
late Bishop Horatio Potter of New York, speaking of her later life,
said: "The serene composure, the sweet simplicity and dignity, bespoke a
peaceful and elevated spirit, and made an impression on the most
transient visitor never to be effaced." Dr. John Henry Hobart, son of
the Bishop, wrote to John Jay: "Your mother, always gentle, placid, and
cheerful, with an unfailing smile and pleasant words for her young
guests, sympathizing with their boyish enthusiasm for poetry and
romance, and tempering their ardour with counsel and caution, which her
own sensitive spirit conveyed in the most delicate forms--of her I must
speak thus feelingly; it only indicates the debt of gratitude I owe to
her memory."

[Illustration: Augusta Jay]

Judge Jay had one brother, Peter Augustus Jay, who was thirteen years
his senior. Between the brothers there continued through life an
uninterrupted affection and confidence. Peter Augustus led an active
professional and social life in New York City, holding office as judge,
as recorder, and as a member of the State Assembly. On his death, in
1843, high tributes to his ability as a jurist and to his character as a
public-spirited citizen were paid by Chancellor Kent, Chief-Justice
Samuel Jones, and David B. Ogden. As a member of the Assembly, he was
conspicuous in the advocacy of various important measures, among which
may be mentioned his efforts to extend the right of suffrage to black
citizens of the State. Peter Augustus Jay was not himself prominent in
the antislavery cause, but he was generally in sympathy with his
brother's work.

The Right Reverend A. Cleveland Coxe, Bishop of Western New York, was a
frequent visitor in his youth at Bedford. Some extracts from a letter
written by him to John Jay afford an interesting view of the domestic
life of the Judge's home:

"William Jay was one of those true sons of the Republic who inherited
sound views of its constitutional system from your illustrious
grandfather, and from personal acquaintance with some other fathers of
the nation who were high in the confidence of Washington and shared his
just and lofty ideas of national policy. Your father was one of those
born statesmen who breathed under the inspiration of such ideas, and was
animated by them to efforts for the preservation of the Constitution
itself in degenerate days. Those were the days when the 'spoils-system'
had begun to act with corrosive effect on public affairs and public men.
The science of true statesmanship seemed ready to perish. The country
fell into the hands of mere politicians, with whom legislation was a
trade and a struggle for personal aggrandizement. The epoch had little
use for men of pure patriotism, but your father, incapable of ambition
or the pursuit of personal ends, stood aside and devoted himself with
intrepidity to unpopular principles, of which he foresaw the utility,
while he was hardly less prophetic of the cruel war which must be the
consequence of popular indifference and blindness to the national
perils. He was little seen, but greatly felt, and has left a mark on the
diplomacy of his time which is a gain to humanity and to civilization.

"I cannot forget the charms of that domestic life which he made so
attractive to his children and to the large circle of kindred and
friends who were admitted to its enjoyments. It was in 1836 that, with
our beloved friend Hobart, I was invited to spend the Christmas
holidays at Bedford. We were boys together at that time, and I remember
to what hours we prolonged our recreations, with no other restriction
than your father's cheerful injunction, as he bade us good-night: 'Young
gentlemen, please remember not to laugh too loudly; it might deprive
some of us of the sleep which you seem not to require for yourselves.'
How merrily we 'saw the old year out and the new year in,' that
Christmas-tide! I often thought of Irving's 'Bracebridge Hall' as
realized in America, in the home of your happy boyhood. Year after year,
winter and summer, through college life, you led me to renew my holidays
in Bedford. How much I learned from your father's condescension to
boyhood in conversing with his boy-visitors as if they were men! He drew
out our opinions and encouraged us to state them frankly when he
suspected that we had the boldness to prefer our crude ideas to his own
judicial and grave conceptions of fact and principle. He played chess
with his youthful guests, but never permitted them to beat him, as that
would have been no compliment to lads who worked hard and wished to win
in a fair game.

"I have rarely seen a household in which family life was ordered more
particularly with reference to religion. There was much of the Huguenot
in the piety of the Judge, but nothing of the Puritan. Family prayers
were observed twice a day, the servants attending and sharing in the
responses. After-evening prayers in those early days, we enjoyed a few
cotillons and contra-dances, Mrs. Jay presiding at the piano. And when
the ladies had withdrawn, chess-playing and other games occupied us, not
infrequently until after midnight. Sundays in the old homestead, after
church-going, were like other days, save in the chastened cheerfulness
of conversation and employment. A feature of Sunday evenings was the
custom for every member of the family to recite something in prose or
poetry, and the Judge often closed such recitals by reading selections
from Bishop Heber, Mr. Milman, and other favourites of those times. In
the third decade of this century, the daughters of 'the governor,' Mrs.
Banyer and Miss Jay, were often the guests of their brother. They would
have been interesting figures in any society, and were eminent in New
York for their Christian virtues and devotion to every good work. The
elder sister, born in Spain, seemed to preserve in her face and carriage
something borrowed from her native climate, while Mrs. Banyer, born in
France, was not less conspicuously marked by characteristics of her
French ancestry. While the only son of Judge Jay is a recognized type of
his father's principles and character, his daughters not less resembled
their mother--a lady whose memory I hold in very great respect, with an
affectionate estimate of her worth as a beautiful example of her
gracious sex, in all characteristics 'wherein there is virtue and
wherein there is praise.'

"I feel, at this distance of time, that I owe much to the friendship of
Judge Jay, apart from the pleasures it conferred upon me. How much he
taught me! How often his maxims led me to correct my faults, though he
never seemed to instruct, much less to rebuke! Even in his decline, and
when he was nearing the end, he favoured me with an occasional letter.
Need I say that, while entirely free from cant and pharisaic
professions, such letters were models of Christian submission, and not
less of 'faith, hope, and charity'? I have frequently reflected upon
them as I find myself approaching the end. His lofty example leads me to
say with the inspired moralist: 'Mark the perfect man and behold the
upright, for the end of that man is peace.'"



BIBLIOGRAPHY.


THE LIFE OF JOHN JAY. With Selections from his Correspondence and
  Miscellaneous Papers. In two volumes, 1833.

WAR AND PEACE. The Evils of the First and a Plan for Preserving the
  Last. London, 1842.

A REVIEW OF THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE MEXICAN WAR, 1849.

MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS ON SLAVERY, 1853. In which are collected:

  Inquiry into the Character and Tendency of the American
    Colonization, and American Antislavery Societies.

  A View of the Action of the Federal Government in Behalf of Slavery.

  On the Condition of the Free People of Colour in the United States.

  Address to the Friends of Constitutional Liberty, on the Violation
    by the United States House of Representatives of the Right of
    Petition.

  Introductory Remarks to the Reproof of the American Church contained
    in the recent "History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in
    America" by the Bishop of Oxford.

  A Letter to the Right Reverend L. Silliman Ives, Bishop of the
    Protestant Church in the State of North Carolina.

  Address to the Inhabitants of New Mexico and California, on the
    Omission by Congress to provide them with Territorial Governments,
    and on the Social and Political Evils of Slavery.

  Letter to Hon. William Nelson, M. C., on Mr. Clay's Compromise.

  A Letter to the Hon. Samuel A. Eliot, Representative in Congress
    from the City of Boston, in Reply to his Apology for voting for the
    Fugitive-Slave Bill.

  An Address to the Antislavery Christians of the United States.
    Signed by a number of clergymen and others.

  Letter to Rev. R. S. Cook, Corresponding Secretary of the American
    Tract Society.

  Letter to Lewis Tappan, Esq., Treasurer of the American Missionary
    Society.


PAMPHLETS.

  Report of the Bedford Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1815.

  Letter to Venders of Ardent Spirits, 1815.

  Answer to Bishop Hobart's Pastoral Letter on the Subject of Bible
    Societies, by an Episcopalian, 1815.

  Memoir on the Subject of a General Bible Society, by a Citizen of
    New York, 1816.

  Appeal in Behalf of the American Bible Society, by a Lay Member of
    the Convention, 1816.

  Dialogue between a Clergyman and a Layman on the Subject of Bible
    Societies, by a Churchman, 1817.

  Remarks on a Petition to the Legislature praying for the Repeal of
    the Acts for Improving the Agriculture of this State, by a
    Westchester Farmer, 1821.

  Letter to Bishop Hobart occasioned by the Strictures on Bible
    Societies contained in his late Charge to the Convention of New
    York, by a Churchman, 1823.

  Letter to Bishop Hobart in Reply to the Pamphlet addressed by him to
    the Author under the Signature of "Corrector," by William Jay, 1823.

  Reply to a Second Letter to the Author from Bishop Hobart, with
    Remarks on his Hostility to Bible Societies, by William Jay, 1823.

  Essay on the Importance of the Sabbath considered merely as a Civil
    Institution, 1826.

  Essay on the Perpetuity and Divine Authority of the Sabbath.
    Published by the Synod of Albany, 1827.

  Remarks on the Proposed Changes in the Liturgy and Confirmation
    Service, 1827.

  The Office of Assistant Bishop inconsistent with the Constitution of
    the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1829.

  Essay on Duelling, 1830.

  Address to the Inhabitants of Westchester County on Temperance,
    1834.

  Addresses to the Westchester County Auxiliary Bible Society, 1836,
    1839, 1841, 1845, and other years.

  Address before the New York Female Bible Society, 1840.

  Letter of Hon. William Jay to Hon. Theodore Frelinghuysen on
    Slavery, 1844.

  Address before the American Peace Society, 1845.

  Trial by Jury in New York, 1846.

  Address to the Non-Slaveholders of the South, on the Social and
    Political Evils of Slavery, 1849.

  The Calvary Pastoral, with Comments, a Tract for the Times, 1849.

  Reply to Mr. Webster's 7th of March Speech, 1850.

  Reply to Remarks of the Rev. Moses Stuart in his pamphlet entitled
    "Conscience and the Constitution." J. A. Gray, New York, 1850.

  The Kossuth Excitement, 1852.

  The Bible against Slavery. J. K. Wellman, Adrian, Michigan, 1852.

  Petition of the American Peace Society to the United States Senate
    in behalf of Stipulated Arbitration, 1853.

  An Examination of the Mosaic Law of Servitude, "The Statutes of the
    Lord are right--Psalm xix. 8." M. W. Dodd, New York, 1854.

  "The Eastern War," an Argument for the Cause of Peace. Address
    before the American Peace Society, 1855.

  A Letter to the Rev. Wm. Berrian, D.D., on the Resources, Present
    Position, and Duties, of Trinity Church, occasioned by his late
    Pamphlet, "Facts against Fancy." A. D. Randolph & Co., New York.

  Judge Jay left in Manuscript an elaborate Commentary, the work of
    many years, on the Old and New Testaments.



INDEX.


  _Abolition Intelligencer_, the, 28.

  Abolition movement, its early history, 18 _et seq._

  Abolition societies, early, 23, 27.

  Abolitionists, hatred of, 41, 42, 56, 67, 135, 136.

  ----, differences among, 83, 103.

  Adams, Charles Francis, 129.

  ----, John Quincy, 25, 31, 158, 159.

  Alexander, George W., 159.

  ----, J. W., 164.

  American and Foreign Antislavery Society, formation of, 103.

  American Antislavery Society, formation of, 49, 50;
    division in, 103.

  Anderson, W. W., 159.

  Anti-Annexation Meeting, in New York, 126.

  Antislavery movement, development of, 39 _et seq._

  Antislavery societies, formation of, 45.

  Antislavery Society of New York City, 46, 47.

  Aspinwall, John, 12.


  Bailey, G., Jr., xvii, 159.

  Banyer, Mrs., 125, 167.

  Bedford, 8, 9, 163.

  Benezet, Anthony, 19.

  Benson, Judge, 38.

  Bible Society, iii, 10, 11, 12.

  Birney, James G., xvi, 63, 103, 107, 117, 118, 159.

  Bogardus, General, 46.

  Bolton, John, 12.

  Bouck, Gov., 14, 124, 125.

  Boudinot, Elias, iii, 11, 12, 28.

  Bourgueny, Baron, vi.

  Bradish, Luther, 110.

  Brent, W. L., 35.

  Broglie, Duc de, 63, 126.

  Brown, David P., 54.

  Brownson, Dr. Orestes A., xix.

  Brune, Baron, vi.

  Buol-Schauenstein, Count, vi.

  Buren, Van, Martin, 107, 124.

  Burling, William, 18.


  Calhoun, John C., xii, 4.

  Canterbury, persecution at, 42.

  Cass, Lewis, 149.

  Cavour, Count, vi, xviii.

  Chambers, John, 9.

  Channing, W. E., 56.

  Chapman, Mrs., xvi, 91.

  Chase, Salmon P., 146, 159.

  Chatham Street Chapel, 47, 53.

  Child, Mrs. Lydia Maria, xvii, 40, 67, 112, 159.

  Circourt, M. de, v.

  Clarendon, Lord, vi, 131.

  Clarkson, Matthew, 12.

  Clarkson, Thomas, 159.

  Clay, Henry, 24, 32.

  Cleveland, C. D., 159.

  Clinton, De Witt, 12, 14, 31, 32.

  Clinton Hall, 46.

  Cobden, R., vi.

  Colebrook, Sir W., 159.

  Colonization Society, 26.

  _Commercial Advertiser_, 55.

  Compromise of 1850, 137.

  Constitutional questions, xi, 86, 87, 89, 91, 99.

  Cooper, J. Fenimore, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14.

  Cornish, Samuel E., 73.

  Cortlandt, Van, Eve, 9.

  ----, Jacobus, 9.

  ----, Mary, 9.

  ----, Pierre, 9.

  Cotton-gin, the, 23.

  _Courier and Inquirer_, 47, 55.

  Cowley, Lord, vi.

  Cox, Abraham L., 55, 73.

  Cox, Samuel H., 64.

  Coxe, A. Cleveland, 165.

  Crandall, Miss, 42.

  ----, Reuben, 41, 159.

  Cummings, John, 13.


  Dane, Nathan, 20.

  Davis, Henry, 3.

  ----, Jefferson, xii.

  Delavan, Edward, 61.

  Denison, Charles W., 103.

  Derby, Lord, vii.

  Disunion, 153, 154, 155.

  Douglas, Senator, 149.

  Douglass, Frederick, 159.

  Duelling, essay on, 13.

  Dwight, Timothy, 7.


  Earle, Thomas, 107.

  Edwards, Jonathan, 23.

  Ellison, Thomas, 1.

  Emancipation, gradual, 41.

  ----, immediate, 23, 40, 41, 43.

  ----, in West Indies, 45.

  _Emancipator_, the, 28, 75.

  Episcopal Church, its attitude towards slavery, 132, 133, 144, 145,
    147.

  Evarts, Jeremiah, 12.

  Everett, Alexander H., 82.


  Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond, v.

  Forsythe, John, 35.

  Franklin, Benjamin, iv, 23.

  Frelinghuysen, Theodore, 48.

  Frere, John Hookham, 126.

  Fugitive-Slave Law, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144.


  Gadsden, Christopher Edward, 4.

  Gallatin, Albert, 127.

  Gallaudet, Thomas H., 4.

  Garrison, William L., xvii, 40, 51, 53, 63, 64, 77, 84, 86, 89, 102,
    153, 154.

  Gay, S. H., xvii.

  Gayle, Gov., 74.

  _Genius of Universal Emancipation_, 28.

  Gibbons, James S., xvii.

  Giddings, Joshua R., 129.

  Gladstone, W. E., vi.

  Goodell, William, xvii, 27, 40, 107, 159.

  Gouverneur, Samuel L., 65.

  Gray, William, 12.

  Grayson, William, 20.

  Green, Rev. Beriah, 60, 159.

  Green, Oliver, 30.

  Griffin, George, 12.

  Grimké, Misses, xvii, 91, 159.

  ----, Thomas Smith, 4.

  Grundy, Felix, 12.


  Habersham, R. W., 13, 159.

  Hale, John P., 159.

  Hamilton, Alexander, 23.

  ----, James, 35.

  Hammond, J. D., 159.

  Harrison, W. H., 107.

  Henry, John B., 8.

  ----, Patrick, 20, 21.

  Hicks, Elias, 27.

  Higginson, T. W., 154.

  Hillhouse, James A., 4.

  Hobart, Bishop, iv, 11, 13.

  ----, John Henry, 164.

  Holley, Myron, 107.

  Holly, Horace, 6.

  Hopkins, Samuel, 19, 23.

  Hopper, Isaac T., xvii.

  Hornblower, Chief-Justice, 159.

  Horton, Gilbert, case of, 29, 30, 31.

  Hubner, Baron, vi.

  Huntington, William, 4.


  Immediate Emancipation, first proclaimed as a duty, 23.

  International arbitration, v, 130, 131.

  Ives, Bishop, x.


  Jackson, Andrew, 77.

  ----, Francis, 102.

  ----, J. C., 103.

  Jarvis, Samuel F., 4.

  Jay, John, iv, 1, 5, 9, 12, 20, 23, 38, 39, 127.

  ----, John, 2d, 55.

  ----, Miss, 125, 167.

  ----, Peter Augustus, 160, 165.

  ---- Treaty, iv.

  ----, William, his birth, 1;
    education, 2;
    at Yale College, 4, 6;
    studies law, 8;
    marriage, 8;
    begins life at Bedford, 8, 9;
    begins philanthropic work, 10;
    advocates Bible Societies, 10;
    conflict with Bishop Hobart and High-Church party, 10, 11, 13;
    organizes American Bible Society, 11, 12;
    takes prize for essay on the Sabbath, 13;
    for essay on duelling, 13;
    appointed judge, 14;
    early adoption of antislavery cause, 28;
    espouses cause of Gilbert Horton, 29;
    begins movement for abolition of slavery in District of Columbia,
      29, 32, 34, 36, 37;
    writes "Life of John Jay," 39;
    his view of slavery problem in 1833, 43, 44;
    consulted regarding formation of American Antislavery Society, 45;
    advises acknowledgment of constitutional provisions, 45, 46;
    invited to join in organizing the American Antislavery Society, 49;
    his views on such an organization, 50;
    suggests a definite avowal of constitutional principles, 50, 51;
    becomes a member of Executive Committee of American Antislavery
      Society, 57;
    publishes his "Inquiry," 58;
    its influence, 60, 61;
    appointed foreign corresponding secretary, 63;
    gives advice on right to use the mails, 65;
    his "Address to the Public," 69;
    elected president of New York State Antislavery Society, 77;
    his reply to President Jackson's message, 78;
    protests against the introduction of irrelevant doctrines into
      antislavery societies, 84, 86, 100;
    protests against unconstitutional doctrines, 87, 90;
    defeats Alvan Stewart's resolution, 93;
    his opinion of the danger of unconstitutional doctrines, 90, 94;
    his opinion of Stewart's position, 95;
    his loss of faith in the usefulness of antislavery societies, 97,
      100;
    placed on Executive Committee of American and Foreign Antislavery
      Society, 103;
    resigns membership in American Antislavery Society, 103;
    views on the woman question, 103, 104;
    his "View of the Action of the Federal Government," 105;
    his "Condition of the Free People of Colour," 106;
    his "Violation of the Right of Petition," 106;
    his attitude towards Liberty party in 1840, 107, 108, 109;
    his attitude towards antislavery societies after the schism, 112,
      113, 114, 115, 116;
    his attitude towards Liberty party in 1843, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121;
    his views on the annexation of Texas, 118, 127, 128;
    nominated for Senator by the Liberty party, 120;
    deprived of his seat on the bench, 122;
    his visit to Europe, 125;
    his "Review of the Mexican War," 127, 128;
    his "War and Peace," and plan for International arbitration, 130,
      131;
    his attitude towards the "come-outers," 132;
    his work in the Episcopal Church in favour of the slave, 132, 133,
      144, 145, 147, 162;
    "Letter to Bishop Ives," 133;
    reply to Webster, 137, 138;
    attitude towards the Fugitive-Slave Law, 140, 141, 142, 143;
    views on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 149, 150, 152;
    views on disunion, 153, 154, 155;
    his death, 156;
    his distinctive position among antislavery men, 156, 157, 158;
    his writings, 158;
    his conduct as judge, 160;
    other philanthropic work, 161;
    his position as a churchman, 161, 162;
    his life at Bedford, 163, 164;
    his family life, 164, 165, 166.

  ----, William, 2d, 5, 8.

  ----, Mrs. William, 8, 164.

  Jefferson, Thomas, 20, 24.

  Jelliff, Hiram, 145.

  Jocelyn, Simeon S., xvii, 73, 158.

  Johnston, Oliver, xvii.

  Jones, Samuel, 165.


  Katonah, 9.

  Keith, George, 18.

  Kelley, Miss Abby, 102.

  Kendall, Amos, 64, 65.

  Kent, James, 53, 61, 127, 165.

  King, Rufus, 20.


  Langdon, John, 12.

  Law, William, 13.

  Lay, Benjamin, 18.

  Leavitt, Joshua, xvi, 49, 73, 103, 107, 159.

  Lee, Richard H., 20.

  Leggett, William, 56.

  _Liberalist_, the, 28.

  _Liberator_, the, 40.

  Liberty party, 107, 117, 118, 119.

  Lincoln, Abraham, xiii, xviii, 157.

  Loring, Ellis Gray, xvii, 87, 90, 91.

  Lovejoy, Elijah P., 82.

  Ludlow, Henry G., 53.

  Lundy, Benjamin, 27, 40.

  Lyons, Lord, xiv.


  McAllister, Matthew H., 13.

  McDonald, Alexander, 160.

  McDuffie, George, 35.

  McVickar, John, 8.

  Mails, destruction of, 64.

  Malmsbury, Lord, vii, 131.

  Mann, Daniel, 154.

  Marcy, Governor, 76, 110.

  May, Samuel J., 50, 51, 86, 91, 159.

  Miner, Charles, 32, 37.

  Missouri Compromise, 24.

  Mitchell, Minot, 122, 160.

  Mobs, 56, 82, 135.

  Morris, Thomas, 117.

  Morrison, Dr., 159.

  Mott, Lucretia, xvii.

  Munro, Peter Jay, 160.


  Nelson, William, 160.

  Noyes Academy, 42.


  Ogden, David B., 48, 165.

  Orloff Count, vi.

  Owen, John, 29.


  Palfrey, J. G., 159.

  Peyster, de, Frederic, 12.

  Phelps, Amos A., 53, 86, 103, 159.

  Phillips, Wendell, xvii, 154.

  Pickering, Thomas, 20.

  Pierpont, John, 4.

  Pinckney, Charles C., 12.

  Pintard, John, 12.

  Playfair, Sir Lyon, viii, 132.

  Potter, Alonzo, 61.

  ----, Horatio, 164.

  Purvis, Robert, 53.


  Quincy, Edmund, xvii.

  Quincy, Josiah, 141.


  Rankin, John, 27, 73.

  Rensselaer, Van, Stephen, 12.

  _Reporter_, the, 113.

  Republican party, 52.

  "Review of the Mexican War," ix.

  Richard, Henry, vi, 131.

  Riots, pro-slavery, 46, 54.

  Romeyne, John B., 12.

  Rush, Benjamin, 19.

  Rutgers, Henry, 12.


  St. Clair, Alanson, 91.

  St. Philip's Church, 148.

  Sandiford, Ralph, 18.

  Sandwich, Lord, 19.

  Scoble, John, 159.

  Sedgwick, Henry D., 37.

  ----, Susan, 3.

  ----, Theodore, 127, 159.

  ----, Mrs. Theodore, 61.

  Sewall, Samuel, 18.

  Seward, W. H., xiv, 110, 159.

  Simms, 150.

  Slade, William, 159.

  Slave Power, growth of, 135.

  Smith, Gerrit, xvi, 77, 83, 103, 107, 118, 141, 159.

  ----, Goldwin, xviii.

  ----, James, 160.

  ----, John Cotton, 12.

  Spring, Gardiner, 4.

  Stanton, Henry B., 103, 119.

  Stephens, A. H., xv.

  Stevens, Alexander H., 4.

  Stewart, Alvan, 52, 76, 92, 95, 96, 99, 107.

  ----, Charles, 53.

  Stone, James A., 53.

  Storrs, Henry R., 4.

  Stowe, Harriet B., xvii.

  Strong, J. W., 160.

  Sturge, Joseph, v, 130, 131, 144, 159.

  Stuyvesant, Peter G., 61.

  Sumner, Charles, 136, 152, 159.


  Tabernacle, the Broadway, 92.

  Tappan, Arthur, xvi, 40, 45, 49, 53, 55, 64, 67, 68, 73, 102, 103,
    158.

  ----, Lewis, xvi, 40, 47, 54, 73, 75, 103, 113, 158.

  Taylor, Nathaniel W., 4.

  Thompson, George, 63, 67.

  Tighlman, William, 12.

  Tocqueville, de, A., 15.

  Tompkins, Daniel D., 12.

  Torrey, Charles T., 101.

  Tucker, Beverly, xiii.


  Utica Convention, 76.


  Varick, Richard, 12.

  Vaux, Robert, 159.

  Vergennes, Count de, v.

  Villamarina, Marquis de, vi.

  Voorhis, R. R., 160.


  Walewski, Count, vi.

  Walworth, Chancellor, 48.

  "War and Peace," v, 130, 131.

  Ward, Aaron, 34, 160.

  ----, Samuel R., xvii.

  Washington, Bushrod, 12.

  ----, George, 155.

  Wayne, James M., 13.

  Webster, Daniel, 137, 139, 144, 150.

  _Weekly Emancipator_, 40.

  Weld, Theodore D., xvii.

  Whittier, John G., xvii, 40, 51, 103.

  Wickliffe, Charles A., 35.

  Wilberforce, Samuel, 133, 134.

  Williams, Ransom G., 74, 75.

  Wilson, Henry, 58.

  Wirt, William, 12.

  Woman question, the, 103, 104, 105.

  Woolman, John, 19.

  Worthington, Governor, 12.

  Wright, Elizur, Jr,, xvii, 40, 49, 53, 65, 67, 73, 107, 159.

  ----, Theodore S., 73.



APPENDIX.


REPRESENTATIVES OF ANTISLAVERY OPINION IN NEW YORK IN 1864.

A complimentary breakfast was given to Professor Goldwin Smith at
the rooms of the Union League Club, on Union Square, New York, on
Saturday morning, the 12th November, 1864.

The following gentlemen joined in the invitation:

Jonathan Sturges, _President of Union League Club_, _New York_;
Charles Butler; John C. Hamilton; Wm. Curtis Noyes, LL.D.; Hon.
Horace Greeley, _Editor of the New York Tribune_; Hon. H. J.
Raymond, Editor of the New York Times; Rev. H. W. Bellows, D.D.,
_President of United States Sanitary Commission_; Francis Lieber,
LL.D., _Professor of History in Columbia College_; Vincenzo Botta,
Ph.D.; Elliot C. Cowdin; Col. James McKaye; Wm. H. Webb; Geo. C.
Ward; Isaac Ferris, D.D., _Chancellor of the University_; Wm. Allen
Butler; Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles, LL.D.; Hon. Wm. E. Dodge; Wm. H.
Osborn; A. Gracie King; C. A. Bristed; Cyrus W. Field; T. B.
Coddington; Wm. J. Hoppin; Charles H. Marshall; Alfred Pell; Horace
Webster, LL.D., _Principal of the Free Academy_; John Jay; Wm.
Cullen Bryant; Wm. M. Evarts; Parke Godwin, _Editor of the Evening
Post_; F. A. P. Barnard, LL.D., _President of Columbia College_; W.
T. Blodgett; Geo. Griswold; Hon. Chas. P. Kirkland; James Brown;
John E. Williams; A. A. Low, _President of the Chamber of Commerce_;
John Austin Stevens, Jr., _Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce_;
Geo. T. Strong; John C. Green; Richard M. Hunt; Geo. W. Blunt; John
A. Weeks; Otis D. Swan; Col. L. G. B. Cannon; Theodore Roosevelt; C.
E. Detmold.

Among the distinguished guests invited to meet Professor Goldwin
Smith, the following gentlemen were present:

Rev. Dr. Thompson; John A. Stevens; Prof. John W. Draper; Maj.-Gen.
B. F. Butler, U. S. A; M. Auguste Laugel, of France; Hon. Geo.
Bancroft; Geo. P. Putnam; Dr. Willard Parker; Rev. S. Osgood, D.D.;
Hon. E. D. Morgan; Rev. H. Ward Beecher; Rev. A. P. Putnam; Rev. A.
Cleveland Coxe, D.D., _Assistant Bishop-elect of the Western Diocese
of New York_; Prof. H. B. Smith, D.D., _Professor of Systematic
Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York_; Chas. King,
LL.D.; Peter Cooper, _Founder of the Cooper Union_; G. W. Curtis;
Geo. L. Schuyler; Prof. Theo. W. Dwight, LL.D., _Law Professor in
Columbia College_; Rev. G. L. Prentiss, D.D.

Among the letters of regret were notes from Lincoln, Fessenden,
Major-General Halleck, and Attorney-General Bates.



FOOTNOTES:

[A] The title of M. de Circourt's work is:--"_Histoire de l'action
commune de la France et de l'Amerique pour l'Indépendence des États
Unis._" Paris, 1876.

[B] In view of their historic significance, their names are given in
the Appendix.

[C] During Judge Jay's absence in Europe a striking anti-annexation
Texas meeting was held at the Tabernacle in New York, on the 24th of
April, 1844. It had been called by members of the King, Duer,
Townsend, Goodhue, Sedgwick, Field, Griswold, and Hyslop families
and many leading merchants of New York. The call was subsequently
presented by John Jay to the New York Historical Society, for
preservation in its records. A letter was read from Chancellor Kent
denouncing the annexation of Texas without the consent of Mexico as
a breach of national faith which would be universally condemned.
Speeches were made by Theodore Sedgwick and D. D. Field. But the
most imposing feature of the manifestation was the presence in the
chair of Albert Gallatin, the last survivor of Jefferson's cabinet,
who, despite his age and infirmities, had been carried to the
meeting to protest in his own name and in that of his historic chief
against so flagrant a violation of national honour and public faith.
The appeal of Gallatin for a time promised to be successful. Van
Buren, whose views had been doubtful, wrote, under its influence,
his letter to Hammett objecting to annexation. But an annexation
meeting was held in Richmond to counteract that at New York, and
when the Democratic Convention met at Baltimore an adroit change of
policy in regard to nominations displaced Van Buren and nominated
Polk.

[D] The later history of international arbitration is set forth by
Sir Lyon Playfair in the _North American Review_ for December, 1890.

[E] Among those with whom Judge Jay was most often in communication
may be mentioned: Arthur and Lewis Tappan, Rev. S. S. Jocelyn, Rev.
A. A. Phelps, Robert Vaux, E. Wright, Jr., Joshua Leavitt, Samuel J.
May, Reuben Crandall, James G. Birney, Theodore Sedgwick, Beriah
Green, Gerrit Smith, John Scoble of England, Mrs. L. M. Child, Miss
Grimké, Wm. Goodell, G. Bailey, Jr., Rev. Dr. Morrison of England,
Gov. R. W. Habersham, W. W. Anderson of Jamaica, W. I., Joseph
Sturge of England, Jabez D. Hammond, Geo. W. Alexander of England,
William Slade, John Quincy Adams, Wm. H. Seward, S. P. Chase, Prof.
C. D. Cleveland, Thomas Clarkson of England, Sir W. Colebrook,
governor of New Brunswick, Charles Sumner, Chief-Justice Hornblower,
J. G. Palfrey, and John P. Hale.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:


  Text in italics is surrounded with underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained from
    the original.

  Punctuation has been corrected without note.





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