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Title: An Address to Free Coloured Americans
Author: Women, An Anti-Slavery Convention of American
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                               AN ADDRESS

                                   TO

                        FREE COLORED AMERICANS.


               ISSUED BY AN ANTI-SLAVERY CONVENTION OF
                            AMERICAN WOMEN,

           Held in the City of New-York, by adjournments from
                         9th to 12th May, 1837.


                               NEW-YORK:
                      PRINTED BY WILLIAM S. DORR,
                         123 FULTON STREET.

                                 1837.



                               AN ADDRESS

                                   TO

                        FREE COLORED AMERICANS.


BELOVED BRETHREN AND SISTERS--

The sympathy we feel for our oppressed fellow-citizens who are enslaved
in these United States, has called us together, to devise by mutual
conference the best means for bringing our guilty country to a sense of
her transgressions; and to implore the God of the oppressed to guide and
bless our labors on behalf of our "countrymen in chains."

All of us have some idea what slavery is: we have formed some faint
conceptions of the horrors of a system based on irresponsible power,
violence, and injustice; but _to know_ what slavery is, we must see it
worked out in practice--we must see the heart-strings severed one by
one, and witness all the refinement of cruelty which is exercised on the
body, soul, and mind of the enslaved. "Let any man of feeling," says a
Southern gentleman, "cast his thoughts over this land of slavery, think
of the nakedness of some, the hungry yearnings of others, the wailings
and wo, the bloody cut of the keen lash, and the frightful scream that
rends the very skies--and all this to gratify lust, pride, avarice, and
other depraved feelings of the human heart. THE WORST IS NOT GENERALLY
KNOWN. Were all the miseries and horrors of slavery to burst at once
into view, a peal of seven-fold thunder could scarce strike greater
alarm." (Swain's Address, 1830.)

We can readily believe this testimony to the physical sufferings of the
slave: we apprehend these most easily, because all of us are alive to
bodily pain, whilst few comparatively appreciate the mental and
spiritual degradation to which our oppressed brethren are subjected; yet
this is the most appalling feature of American bondage. Slavery seizes a
rational and immortal being crowned by Jehovah with glory and honor, and
drags him down to a level with the beasts that perish. It makes him a
thing, a chattel personal, a machine to be used to all intents and
purposes for the benefit of another, without reference to the good, the
happiness, or the wishes of the man himself. It introduces violence and
disorder, where God established harmony and peace. It would annihilate
the individual worth and responsibility conferred upon man by his
Creator. It deprives him of the power of self-improvement, to which he
is bound by the unchangeable laws of his Maker. It prevents him from
laboring in a sphere to which his capacities are adapted. It abrogates
the seventh commandment, by annulling the obligations of marriage, and
obliging the slaves to live in a state of promiscuous intercourse,
concubinage, and adultery; thus setting at nought an institution
established by Jehovah himself, and designed to promote the happiness
and virtue of his creatures. It dooms its victims to ignorance, and
consequently to vice. "I think I may safely assert," says Mr. Moore,
"that ignorance is the inseparable companion of slavery, and that the
desire of freedom is the inevitable consequence of implanting in the
human mind any useful degree of intelligence: it is therefore the policy
of the master that the ignorance of his slaves should be as profound as
possible; and such a state of ignorance is wholly incompatible with the
existence of any moral principles or exalted feeling in the breast of
the slave. (Speech of Mr. Moore, House of Delegates, Va., 1832.)

"How horrible must be that system which demands as the necessary
condition of its existence, that knowledge should be shut out from the
minds of those who live under it--that they should be reduced as nearly
as possible to the level of brutes, or living machines--that the powers
of their souls should be crushed! Let each one of us ask, Can such a
system be aided, or even tolerated, without deep criminality?" (Ad. to
the Pres. of Ken. by a committee of the synod of Kentucky.)

But even if slavery could be divested of all its horrible
accompaniments, its ignorance, licentiousness, and other nameless
abominations, we should still regard the circumstance of man holding his
brother man as property as one of the blackest crimes which corrupt
human nature ever invented. Mr. Moore, in the speech from which we have
already quoted, is compelled to acknowledge the iniquity of this system.
"It cannot be denied," he says, "as a general principle, that it is an
act of tyranny, injustice, and oppression, to hold any part of the human
race in bondage against their consent.... The right to the enjoyment of
liberty is one of those perfect, inherent, and inalienable rights which
pertain to the whole human race, and of which they can never be
divested, except by an act of gross injustice." If we would rightly
estimate the wretchedness in which the perpetration of this "act of
gross injustice" has involved one sixth part of the population of
Republican America, we must compare the condition of our slaves with
that of the freemen of their own age and country. "Things are estimated
by comparison; and the man who is deprived of every natural, civil, and
social right, while all around him are basking in the sunshine of
freedom, must feel the fangs of slavery much more poignantly than the
one who, though subjected to similar privations, beholds his lot but
little below that of those who surround him." We must not, therefore,
compare the situation of slaves in the United States with that of the
slaves of heathen Greece and Rome, where equal laws never existed, and
where the beams of liberty and Christianity never shone; but to form a
correct judgment of the miseries endured by our slaves, we must compare
them with the laboring class of our population in the free states, and
we may then comprehend the debasing influence of a system which produces
such dreadful results as are exhibited on almost every Southern
plantation, where the lash is the principal, if not the only stimulus.

You are, dear friends, in a peculiar manner fellow-sufferers with those
who are in bondage; because the whites, having reduced their colored
brethren to slavery, with a cruelty proportioned to their unjust
usurpation of power, have labored to impress on the mind of the
community, the unfounded calumny that the people of color are unfit for
freedom: this assertion is designed, on the part of slaveholders, as a
salve for their consciences, and a plea for the continuation of slavery,
and is used by the adversary of all good for the diabolical purpose of
shielding from merited infamy the system of American slavery.

Nothing will contribute more to break the bondman's fetters, than an
example of high moral worth, intellectual culture and religious
attainments among the free people of color--living epistles known and
read of all men--a standard of exalted piety, of dedication to the works
of righteousness, of humble-mindedness, of Christian charity; to which
abolitionists may confidently point, and ask those who are forging the
manacles of hopeless servitude for our countrymen, what they can answer
to the Judge of all the earth for thus robbing him of his immortal
creatures; and demand of them, in view of what their slaves might be, to
restore their victims to themselves, to the human family, and to God.

We know, and we rejoice in the knowledge, that the gift of intellect is
co-extensive with the human race, and that our brethren and sisters, who
are writhing under the lash of worse than Egyptian taskmasters--whose
minds are beclouded by ignorance and enfeebled by suffering, need only
to have the same advantages which Europeans and their descendants have
enjoyed, triumphantly to refute the unfounded calumny that they are
inferior in the powers of intellect, and less susceptible of mental
improvement. We maintain, that the people of color are not in any
respect inferior to the white man, and that under favorable
circumstances they would rise again to the rank they formerly held.

The everlasting architecture of Africa still exists--the wonder of the
world, though in ruins: her mighty kingdoms have yet their record in
history; she has poured forth her heroes on the field, given bishops to
the church, and martyrs to the fires. And for African physiognomy, as
though that should shut out the light of intellect, go to your national
museum, contemplate the features of the colossal head of Memnon, and the
statues of the divinities on which the ancient Africans impressed their
own forms, and there see, in close resemblance to their features, the
mould of those countenances which once beheld as the creatures of their
own immortal genius the noblest and most stupendous monuments of human
skill, and taste, and grandeur. In the imperishable porphyry and
granite, is the unfounded and pitiful slander publicly and before all
the world refuted: there we see the African under _cultivation_. If he
now presents a different aspect, cultivation is wanting--that solves the
whole case: for, even now, where education has been expended upon the
pure and undoubted descendants of Africans, it has never been bestowed
in vain. Modern times have witnessed, in their persons, Generals,
Physicians, Philosophers, Linguists, Poets, Mathematicians, and
Merchants--all eminent in their attainments, energetic in enterprise,
and honorable in character; and the Mission schools in the West Indies
exhibit a quickness of intellect, and a thirst for learning, to which
the schools of this country do not always afford a parallel." (Sermon by
Richard Watson, pp. 7, 8, Butterworth, 1824.)

Sacred history bears ample testimony to the learning of the Egyptians.
"Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the East
country and all the wisdom of Egypt." Even in our own country, under the
oppressive system which slavery and prejudice have reared to crush the
people of color, the superiority which occasionally shines out,
notwithstanding all the disabilities by which we have surrounded them,
proves beyond dispute that they are the gifted children of our Heavenly
Father. In proof of this, we shall adduce from numerous testimonies,
that of F. A. Sayre, for nine years a teacher of one of the public
schools in Cincinnati.

"Facts have been developed in the progress of the day schools and Sunday
schools here, which have made me believe that the colored people are not
only equal to white people in natural capacity to be taught, but that
they exceed them: they do not receive instruction; they seize it as a
person who has long been famishing for food--seize the smallest crumb."

I several times visited the different schools for colored children and
have always been gratified to observe the good order and attention to
study which the pupils manifest, and particularly with the affection
with which they regard their teachers. I have, however, known more
particularly the school for boys which brother W---- teaches, there I
have seen boys of from 9 to 12 years of age, who had learned the
alphabet within a year, who were able to exhibit to advantage, in
reading and spelling, to write legibly, to recite long lessons in
History, which they had been a short time studying, and to undergo an
examination in Arithmetic, which when I first witnessed it, perfectly
astonished me. I have taught common schools for about 15 years at
intervals, and have visited many taught by others, and I must candidly
say, that I have never been acquainted with one which for rapid progress
in the different studies pursued, and for the interests manifested by
the pupils could be compared with this, nor have I ever seen so much
good feeling in the intercourse of teacher and pupils."

And, in corroboration of the above position, we shall mention a few out
of many instances in which persons of color have surmounted every
obstacle to mental and moral improvement. James Derham, who was
originally a slave, was skilled in the languages, and became the most
distinguished Physician at New Orleans. Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, says,
"I conversed with him, and found him very learned: I thought I could
give him information concerning the treatment of diseases, but I learned
more from him than he could expect from me." Benjamin Bannaker was a
slave in Maryland: he obtained his freedom, and removed to Philadelphia.
Without any encouragement but his passion for acquiring knowledge, and
with no other books than the works of Ferguson and the tables of Tobias
Mayer, he applied himself to the study of Astronomy. In 1794 and '95, he
published Almanacs at Philadelphia, in which are calculated and
exhibited the different aspects of the planets, a table of the motions
of the sun and moon, their risings and sittings, and the courses of the
bodies of the planetary system. Bannaker sent his Almanac in manuscript
to Thomas Jefferson, previous to its publication, accompanied by a long
and interesting letter on the condition of his brethren; and the
following extracts are taken from Jefferson's reply:--"Sir, I thank you
sincerely for your letter, and for the Almanac it contained. Nobody
wishes more than I do, to see such proofs as you exhibit, that nature
has given to our black brethren talents equal to those of the other
colors of men; and that the appearance of the want of them is owing
merely to the degraded condition of their existence, both in Africa and
America. I have taken the liberty of sending your Almanac to Monsieur de
Condorcet, Secretary of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, and Member of
the Philanthropic Society, because I considered it a document to which
your whole color had a right for their justification against the
opinions which have been entertained of them." A late West India paper
mentions the death of Mr. Watkis, a colored lawyer in Jamaica, "by which
the bar was deprived of one of its brightest ornaments." In the Island
of St. Kitts, the proportion of colored members is increasing every
year, and several of the special magistrates are colored men. The Editor
of the St. Christopher Weekly Intelligencer and Advertiser is a colored
man, who has been a bold advocate of liberal principles. He is described
as a thorn in the side of the planters, and a great blessing to the
Island. And in the United States of America, there are men and women now
living whose talents, piety, and worth, are undeniable.

If we contemplate the moral character of the colored man we shall meet
with even more frequent demonstrations of the kind care of our
beneficent Creator who hath made of one blood all nations, and bestowed
upon his rational creatures those qualities of the heart which are the
brightest ornament of human nature. "In maternal, filial and fraternal
affections," says Wadstrom, "I scruple not to pronounce them superior to
any Europeans I was ever among." "Of all the people I have ever met I
think they are the kindest, they will let none of their people want for
victuals, they will lend and not look for it again, they will even lend
clothes to each other if they want to go any where, if strangers come to
them they will give them victuals for nothing, they will go out of their
beds that strangers may sleep in them."--We not unfrequently have the
evidence of slaveholders themselves to the faithfulness and tender
attachment of their slaves. In a sermon preached by George W. Freeman,
Rector of Christ Church, Raleigh, North Carolina, in which he endeavors
to prove that slavery is a Bible institution we find the following
testimony to the moral worth of those whom he calls a different race of
men." "To _many_ of our servants, to _them_ who serve us faithfully, who
are ever attentive to our wants, who cheerfully fulfil our commands, who
labor abroad for us when we are in health, and who come at our call to
nurse us in our sickness, and who, laying aside, as it were, all regard
to their own comforts, submit without murmuring, or impatience to the
most wearying and exhausting of all employments, complying with our most
unreasonable whims, and meekly bearing with our fretfulness and
caprices; _to them_, and I must do this class of people the justice to
say there are _many such_ among us--_to such of our domestics as these
we surely owe a debt of gratitude, which all our kindliest acts, should
we even live beyond the age of man would scarce suffice to discharge_.

Noble instances are recorded of their self-denial and
liberality.--"Jasmin Thoumazeau was born in Africa, brought to St.
Domingo and sold for a slave when he was 22 years of age, but afterwards
obtaining his freedom he established a Hospital at the Cape, in 1756 for
poor persons of color. More than forty years were devoted by himself and
his wife to this benevolent institution, and his fortune was subservient
to their wants. The only regret they felt, while their time and
substance was devoted to these destitute objects, arose from a fear that
after they were gone the Hospital might be abandoned." Joseph Rachel, a
trader, who resided in the island of Barbadoes went to a man who had
lost his property and to whom in the early part of his life he owed some
obligations and gave him the fragment of his burnt bond for £60 and his
discharged account for a considerable sum, telling him he was sensibly
affected with his misfortunes and releasing him from all obligation to
pay the debts. The philanthropists of England take pleasure in speaking
of him. Having become rich by commerce, he consecrated all his fortune
to acts of benevolence. The unfortunate without DISTINCTION OF COLOR had
a claim on his affections. He gave to the indigent, lent to those who
could not make a return--visited prisoners, gave them good advice and
endeavored to bring back the guilty to virtue." Two slaves in New
Orleans who by industry and economy had purchased their freedom and laid
up about $400, bought with their earnings the freedom of another
slave.--One day as the wife was sitting in the door of her cottage she
said to herself "I have so much money and if I can make it the
instrument of redeeming one of my fellow-beings from slavery, then I can
say to my soul 'depart in peace.' She accordingly purchased one for $250
and in order to place her in a situation where she would hear the gospel
preached, she brought her to the city of New-York. A more noble instance
of genuine benevolence does not adorn the annals of philanthropy than is
exhibited in this illiterate daughter of Africa, who gave nearly her all
to redeem one captive sister. We have in this city a colored sister well
known and beloved who by the labor of her own hands has ransomed eleven
slaves.--But for her they would probably have dragged out their lives in
hopeless bondage.--Her "witness is in heaven, her record is on high.[1]
Similar accounts might be multiplied but enough has been said to prove
to any candid mind the truth of our position, we will therefore only add
the testimony of some of our Southern sisters who affirm that they have
known slaves of exalted piety, high intelligence and warm affections,
who under circumstances the most trying have exhibited a degree of
practical Christianity they have rarely witnessed.

    [1]  In citing these instances of benevolence we wish it
        understood, that while we approve of _redeeming_ a captive
        from bondage, we utterly deny the _right_ of the master to
        _sell_ or _hold_ the slave as property, just as we deny the
        right of the Corsair to the persons of his prisoners, or the
        ransom which may be offered for their redemption.

We cannot forbear mentioning in connection with this subject the noble
example which the colored slaveholders of Martinique have set to their
white brethren by petitioning the French Chamber of Deputies to
abolish slavery in that island, stating that they regarded it as an
act not only of justice but of policy.--This is the only record on the
page of history of such an act of mercy but we hope it may stimulate
slaveholders in these United States to petition Congress to exert her
influence in destroying the horrible system of American Slavery by
abolishing it in the District of Columbia and in Florida, and by
exterminating the interstate slave trade.

We earnestly entreat you to emulate the conduct of your brethren in
Martinique by letting your righteousness exceed the righteousness of our
white fellow-citizens. "That whereas they speak evil against you as evil
doers, they may by your good works which they shall behold glorify God.
For so is the will of God that with well doing ye may put to silence the
ignorance of foolish men." Your situation is in some respects more
favorable to the growth of piety than that of the whites, you are in the
furnace of affliction, and adversity has a much more salutary influence
on the mind than prosperity. We believe that our Almighty Father has
permitted your unparallelled sufferings, because he designs to bring you
up to his assistance in regenerating our guilty country--he has been at
infinite pains to refine you as silver is refined, that you may reflect
more perfectly in your conduct and conversation the image of Jesus
Christ. "Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which
is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but
rejoice in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." You have
the advantage of standing aloof from the political chicanery and
wickedness which seem inseparable from public life, you are shielded
from many of those temptations which encircle the fashionable world, and
in a measure from the love of money, which is the root of all evil,
because the acquisition of wealth is not with you as with your paler
brethren, the certain means of worldly distinction. You may examine with
a philosophic and impartial eye, the baneful effect of all these
influences upon our white population, and as you rise from under the
unhallowed prejudice which now crushes you to the earth, remember the
solemn responsibilities which rest upon you and keep yourselves
unspotted from the world, that your praise may be of God and not of men.

With deep regret we have heard that some of our colored brethren and
sisters in our great cities frequent the theatre. This is a sink of vice
from which we earnestly beseech you to keep yourselves entirely
separate. Let the language of every one amongst you be, "Oh my soul,
come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly mine honor, be not
thou united." Sometimes in these scenic representations, your
"countrymen in chains" are held up to the scorn and derision of an
unfeeling multitude; the poor slave is introduced to be the object of
heartless mirth. Can any colored man or woman voluntarily witness these
dreadful pictures of the degradation of their brethren, and does not
your presence identify you with the oppressors, who thus wantonly hold
up to public contempt those whom they have first debased, and then
despised.

Permit us to offer you a few remarks on the subject of personal
decoration--this is a snare which Satan still triumphantly lays, even
for professing Christians who indulge in fashionable and extravagant
apparel, forgetful of the apostolic injunction, "Let your adorning not
be that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold,
or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." Our hearts have
been comforted in our intercourse with you, by observing that there is
little gaudy or superfluous dress to be seen, in such places of worship
as we have visited; we regard it as one evidence of the purity of your
morals, and your just sense of that decorum which ought to characterise
every Christian assembly. A Christian legislator has said that the
trappings of the vain world would clothe the naked, and we
affectionately entreat you to cultivate such a sense of your
accountability to God, and the allegiance you owe to Him, that your
dress may be such as becomes men and women professing godliness. To you
this branch of religious duty is of double importance. A large
proportion of you are obliged to obtain a subsistence by your daily
labor; some of you are filling the responsible office of teachers, and
it is of great consequence that you expend in the most judicious and
profitable manner what is thus hardly earned, and that you set an
example of Christian moderation and simplicity to your companions and
your pupils.

Another reason for the practice of Christian economy in all your
expenditures, is, that extravagance either in living or in apparel, has
a deleterious influence on the poorer classes of our community, both
colored and white; it draws a line of division between the rich and the
poor, which is destructive of that equality, that sweet fellowship of
feeling, which God designed should exist among his creatures; it creates
factitious distinctions in society, which are utterly at variance with
the law of love that Christ gave as a governing principle to his
disciples. When he designed to do us good, he took upon himself the form
of a servant--surely we should love and honor this office, He took his
station at the bottom of society, He voluntarily identified himself with
the poor and the despised, He manifested a peculiar interest in those
classes which we are wont to treat as our inferiors, because He designed
to elevate them, to give a moral impulse to their character, and to make
them new creatures. He wanted them to behold in Him a model to imitate,
as well as to give them the unspeakable advantage of mingling with Him
in near and intimate communion. This was no doubt a powerful incentive
to them to emulate their divine friend, and render themselves worthy
companions of the Lord Jesus. None of us can stoop as low as our Saviour
did, because the same infinite distance cannot exist between created
beings; but we may as far as our frailty admits, imitate His blessed
example; we may like Him, make ourselves of no reputation; we may, like
Him, sit down at the table of the despised publican and sinner, and
cheer the abodes of the humble and the poor by our presence and our
love. This interchange of social visits, this meeting together as
suppliants at a throne of grace, will form a bond of union stronger than
any that can exist, while the rich and the educated stand at a distance
from the poor, and invite them to come up, without advancing near enough
to stretch forth the hand to assist their efforts. Our minds are
solemnly impressed with the necessity of practising this duty, both
among the colored and white population, and it would gladden our hearts
to see you taking the lead in this Christ-like enterprise. We are
persuaded that if we would labor effectually for the moral and
intellectual elevation of the poor, we must condescend to men of low
estate; we must identify ourselves with them, and place ourselves on
their level; we must, by our example as well as our precepts, teach them
that moral worth is our standard of excellence, and that we are living
in the practical acknowledgement of that sublime precept "One is your
master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren." Whilst we press this duty
upon our colored brethren and sisters, we feel that it is equally
incumbent upon all, and desire through divine assistance to be
strengthened to perform it.

We wish also to suggest the importance of cultivating the virtue of
personal and domestic neatness; we believe it contributes essentially to
the purity of the heart, and that attention to the neatness of our
persons, and the order of our habitations, has a happy influence on the
temper and the understanding, as well as the morals. We are aware that
it is often difficult, where necessity compels us to use one apartment
for every purpose, to preserve that order and cleanliness which is
desirable, but we believe where the wish prevails, much may be
accomplished, even in very unfavorable circumstances. Many of you
sustain the relations of servants in families; this places you in a very
responsible situation, because it brings you under the daily observation
of those, who have been educated with deep-rooted prejudices against
you, and it affords the best opportunity of proving that these
prejudices are as unfounded, as they are unjust--of exhibiting in your
deportment, that moral loveliness which will constrain those who regard
themselves as your superiors, to acknowledge that worth can neither be
determined by the color of the skin, nor by the station occupied. You
have it in your power, by a faithful and conscientious discharge of your
duties, to secure the highest wages for your services, and by a prudent
and economical use of those wages, to obtain for your children, if not
for yourselves, the blessing of a good education, but we affectionately
exhort you not to enter into any engagements as domestics, which will
deprive you of the privilege of reading the Scriptures, and attending a
place of worship, this being a duty which is imperatively called for as
an evidence of our allegiance to the King of kings. Carefully avoid
families which pay little or no respect to the Sabbath, that you may
escape the contamination arising from such intercourse. We have
regretted seeing so many of our colored friends engaged as servants in
hotels and steam-boats; these places are not calculated to cherish moral
and religious feeling, and they afford few facilities for the
cultivation of the mind. Agricultural pursuits would contribute more to
independence and elevation of character, and however much we may be
disposed to aid you, it will be after all by your own exertions that you
will rise to that situation in society, which we desire to see you
occupy.

The establishment of good schools is another very important means of
aiding in the great work of moral and intellectual elevation; to promote
this object every exertion should be made. On the rising generation
depends in a great measure the success of that enterprise, which aims at
establishing Christian and Republican equality among the citizens of
these United States. Let us then labor to implant in the minds of our
children a love for useful learning, to imbue them thoroughly with
religious feeling, to train them to habits of thinking, of industry and
economy, to lead them to the contemplation of noble and benevolent
objects, that they may regard themselves as responsible beings upon whom
high and holy duties devolve. Let them come up to the help of the Lord
in the mighty work in which we are engaged, prepared by education and
enlightened piety to aid in the great moral conflict between light and
darkness, which now agitates our guilty country. Anti-Slavery Societies,
embracing in their Constitutions, abstinence from slave labor products,
as far as this can be done. Peace Societies, based on the principle that
all war is inconsistent with the gospel. Temperance Societies, on the
principle of abstinence from all that can intoxicate, and Moral Reform
Societies should be organized throughout our land wherever it is
practicable. The formation of Maternal Associations, Dorcas Societies,
Reading & Conversation Companies, and above all, Meetings for Prayer
will have a salutary influence in combining efforts for improvement.
Whenever you can unite with white associations, it will be productive of
reciprocal benefit, because it will tend to remove that unchristian
prejudice which "bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder." You
may have to suffer much in thus commingling, but we entreat you to bear
hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, that your children, and your
children's children, may be spared the anguish you are compelled to
endure on this account. To carry forward these various schemes of
elevation and improvement, money is absolutely requisite, and if all
that is saved from unnecessary expenses be lent to the Lord to advance
the great work of Reformation, as well as devoted to charitable purposes
it will be treasure laid up in heaven, which neither moth nor rust can
corrupt.

Another subject which is worthy of your consideration is the consistency
of abstaining, as Abolitionists, from the use of slave labor products,
as far as is practicable. The conviction that this is a duty, is gaining
ground among the friends of emancipation, and we doubt not that the
self-denial which it will probably demand on our part, will arouse the
conscience of the slaveholder, by demonstrating that we are willing to
sacrifice interest and convenience to principle. To the toil-worn slave,
it will minister unspeakable consolation, to hear, while bending over
the rice, or sugar, or cotton field, and writhing under the lash, that
his friends at the North feel a sympathy so deep for his sufferings,
that they cannot partake of the proceeds of his unrequited toil. Think
you not it would cheer his agonized heart, and impart renewed strength
to endure his affliction, to know that his blood was not spilt for the
gratification of those who are trying to obtain for him the blessing of
liberty. We entreat you to give this evidence of your love to those who
have emphatically fallen among thieves, then, although you cannot pour
the wine and the oil into their corporeal wounds, nor dress with
mollifying ointment, the bloody gash of the drivers' whip, you may
minister to their mental comfort, and soothe their broken hearts. Let
it not be imagined that the slaves of the South are destitute of
intelligence, or ignorant of what is doing at the North; many a noble
mind is writhing there in bondage, and panting for deliverance, as the
hart panteth after the water brooks. Mr. Goode, in the legislature of
Virginia in 1832, when he brought in the resolution which produced the
celebrated debate in that body, "earnestly pressed upon the House, the
effect of what was passing upon the minds of the slaves themselves. Many
of them he represented as wise and intelligent men, constantly engaged
in reflection, informed of all that was occurring, and having their
attention fixed upon the Legislature." And we have been informed on good
authority, that a slave in one of the Southern states, one of those
whose soul never bowed to the yoke of bondage, said, that himself and
his fellow sufferers spent many a midnight hour in discussing the
probable results of the abolition movements, and were firmly persuaded
that their redemption from bondage would finally be effected, though
they knew not exactly by what means it would be accomplished. Every
fugitive slave who is carried back, bears to his unhappy countrymen an
account of all that is doing. Every freeman who falls into the ruthless
fangs of the kidnapper, spreads information at the South, of all our
efforts for the abolition of slavery, and we put it to any one of
ourselves, whether, if we were wasting our energies, and toiling in
cheerless bondage, it would not be some alleviation to know, that there
were those who loved us so tenderly, and felt for us so keenly, that
they would not participate in the luxuries which were the fruit of our
extorted and unrequited labor.

It has been urged, and with some plausibility, that the use of the
products of slave labor, is one of the "little things" connected with
the great cause of abolition. Admitting it to be little, is it therefore
unimportant? Does not the reproof of our Redeemer exactly apply to this
case, when in speaking of the tithe of mint, annise and cummin, and the
weightier matters of the law, he says, "This ought ye to have done, and
not to leave the other undone;" but however small it may appear, it
involves a great principle, because it really encourages the traffic in
human flesh, by offering to the slaveholder an inducement to perpetuate
the system of oppression from which he derives his unrighteous gains.
Another hackneyed objection is, that our abstaining will not lessen the
quantity grown, and other consumers will soon be found. With this we
have nothing to do; we might on the same premises, purchase and hold
slaves, because if we do not, others will. No doubt much inconvenience
and some privation must be endured, but this will be continually
decreasing, as West India productions will furnish a substitute. In some
instances the use of cotton cannot perhaps be avoided by the poor, but
still much may be done, and those of us who have made the experiment can
testify that our abstinence has strengthened us for the work we are
engaged in, and that there is a sweet feeling of conscious integrity
that gladdens our hearts. "I will wash mine hands in innocency, so will
I compass thine altar, oh Lord." In proportion as the demand for free
labor products increases, the supply will increase, and the greater the
quantity of such articles which is thrown into the market, the more
their price will lessen. Besides "allowing the labor of a slave for six
years, to produce all the various slave-grown products which anyone may
use during the course of his life, would not he who was so occupied be
in effect the slave of such an one during the time he was thus
employed?" This is a solemn and affecting consideration, and can be most
correctly weighed when we are on our knees before God; it is a matter
between Him and every individual soul, and he alone can settle it.

We believe it was the want of that principle which we have been
endeavoring to inculcate, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,"
that gave birth to the scheme of expatriating our colored brethren to
Africa. We do not design to attribute unhallowed motives to all who
engaged in this crusade against the rights and happiness of free
American citizens; many, we believe, like our beloved brother, Gerrit
Smith, embarked in this enterprise without examining the principles of
the Society, deluded by the false, though plausible assertion, that the
colored man could not rise in his native land to an equality with his
white compatriots, and desirous to do them all the good that
circumstances admitted. Nevertheless, we are constrained to believe what
you have so often asserted, and so keenly felt, that "The Colonization
Society originated in hatred to the free people of color." We rejoice
that you early detected the fallacy and the iniquity of this scheme;
that you arose in the dignity of conscious rights, in the majesty of
moral power, in the boldness of injured innocence, and exposed the
cruelty and unrighteousness of a project, which, had it been carried
fully into execution, would have robbed America of some of her best and
most valuable citizens, and exiled from our shores, those whose hearts
are bound to their country by no common bonds, even by the holy bonds of
sympathy for their "countrymen in chains." A project which would have
poured upon the shores of Pagan Africa, a broken hearted population,
prepared by mental suffering to sink into a premature grave. A band of
exiles, who had been exposed against their judgment and their will, to
all the nameless trials which belong to the settlement of colonial
establishments, and all that anguish which must have been endured under
the reflection that they had been banished from the land of their birth,
merely to gratify an unhallowed prejudice when their country needed
their services, when there was abundant room in the land, though not in
the hearts of their countrymen. We admire your noble and uncompromising
resistance to this scheme of oppression, and your children will thank
you to the latest generation. We honor you for the undaunted and
generous resolutions which you passed soon after the Colonization
Society came into existence, when the spontaneous language of your
hearts was embodied in the following sentiments:

"Whereas, our ancestors (not of choice) were the first successful
cultivators of the wilds of America, we their descendants, feel
ourselves entitled to participate in the blessings of her luxuriant
soil, which their blood and sweat manured, and that any measure, or
system of measures, having a tendency to banish us from her bosom, would
not only be cruel, but would be in direct violation of those principles
which have been the boast of this republic.

_Resolved_, That we view with deep abhorrence the unmerited stigma
attempted to be cast upon the reputation of the free people of color, by
the promoters of this measure, "that they are a dangerous and useless
part of the community." When in the state of disfranchisement in which
they live, in the hour of danger they ceased to remember their wrongs,
and rallied round the standard of their country.

_Resolved_, That we will never separate ourselves from the slave
population in this country: they are our brethren by the ties of
consanguinity, of suffering, and of wrong; and we feel that there is
more virtue in suffering privations with them, than enjoying fancied
advantages for a season.

_Resolved_, That having the strongest confidence in the justice of God,
and in the philanthropy of the free states, we cheerfully submit our
destinies to the guidance of Him who suffers not a sparrow to fall to
the ground without his special Providence."

We praise the Lord, that while the white man slumbered over the wrongs
of his enslaved countrymen, or stretched out his hands to rivet the
bondman's chains, or to thrust his brother from his side, your sympathy
and your compassion, like that of the beneficent Redeemer, was wakeful
and active, and called forth from the depths of your souls the following
soul-stirring appeal. Where, oh! where were the hearts of Americans,
that they responded not to your call?

"We _humbly_, respectfully, and fervently entreat and beseech your
disapprobation of the plan of colonization now offered by the
"American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color of the
United States." Here, in the city of Philadelphia, where the voice of
the suffering sons of Africa was first heard--where was first
commenced the work of abolition on which heaven has smiled (for it
could have success only from the great Master); let not a purpose be
assisted which will stay the cause of the entire abolition of slavery
in the United States, and which may defeat it altogether--which
proffers to those who do not ask for them what it calls _benefits_,
but which they consider _injuries_--and which must ensure to the
multitude, whose prayers can only reach you through us, _misery_,
_sufferings_, and _perpetual slavery_."

Nor can we pass by unnoticed the noble conduct of our sister in Ohio,
who, when her father proposed to bring her to the North, where she might
pass for a white woman, and settle upon her a comfortable independence,
replied that she would never forsake her people--that she would rather
suffer with them than enjoy all the advantages he promised. We do homage
to the virtue which preferred to endure affliction with the oppressed,
rather than to bask in the sunshine of worldly prosperity and popular
favor.

But for the dignified opposition which you manifested--but for the
developments which you made of the real designs and fearful consequences
of colonization, your guilty country would probably have added to her
manifold transgressions against the descendants of Africa, the
transcendant crime of banishing from her shores those whom she has
deeply injured, and whom she is bound by every law of justice and of
mercy to cherish with peculiar tenderness. But for your virtuous and
uncompromising hostility to the Colonization Society, a portion of our
countrymen might never have been disabused of the idle and fallacious
expectation, that this scheme would cure the moral evil of slavery, and
put an end to the horrible slave traffic carried on on the coast of
Africa. You saw that the root of the evil was in our own land, and that
the expatriation of the best part of our colored population, so far from
abolishing slavery, would render the condition of the enslaved tenfold
more hopeless. You saw that the only means of destroying the slave
trade, was to destroy the spirit of slavery; and how just have been
your conclusions, let the following testimonies declare--we extract
from an official communication to the secretary of the Navy, by
Captain Joseph J. Nicholson of the Navy:--"The slave trade, within the
last three years, has seriously injured the colony. Not only has it
diverted the industry of the natives, but it has effectually cut off
the communication with the interior. The war parties being in the habit
of plundering and kidnapping for slaves all whom they meet, whether
parties to the war or not, the daring of the slaver increases with the
demand for slaves, which could not of late be supplied by the usual
means; and within a year four slave factories have been established
almost within sight of the Colony."

The following statement is taken from the "Colored American:"--A vessel
arrived at Halifax on the 12th ult., from Kingston, Jamaica, which
reports, that when two days out she fell in with a Spanish slaver bound
to Havana, having four hundred poor wretched beings on board, in a state
of starvation. Forty had died for want of food. The captain stated that
the poor creatures had, during the past month, subsisted on rice water."
Had we not been blinded by interest and by prejudice, our reason might
have taught us that as long as the republic of the U. S. is a mart where
human flesh and souls of men are bought and sold, so long will European
and American cupidity furnish human merchandise for this detestable
commerce. Thousands of slaves have been introduced into the United
States through the island of Cuba, since the slave trade was declared
piracy by our national legislature. We stand before the world as a
nation of hypocrites, and you are equally concerned, as American
citizens, to labor to bring your country to a sense of her crimes. You
are equally concerned to do all that can be done, to arrest the progress
of the spirit of colonization, which takes our countrymen from their
native land without their consent, by giving them the cruel alternative
of slavery or banishment, breaks up the tenderest ties of nature and
casts them on a foreign soil. And what is our international slave trade,
but compulsory colonization. "There have been transported--doubtless
without their consent--from the older slave states to Alabama,
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, during the year 1836, the enormous
number of two hundred and fifty thousand slaves."--_Eman._

We deeply deplore the situation of our free colored citizens in the
slaveholding states, we sympathize in their trials, we know that the
oppressive laws enacted against them are to use the language of a writer
in the Richmond Whig of March 21, 1832, "A code of penal laws in many
respects worthy the temper of Draco, written indeed in blood.... By this
code information to them is proscribed, social intercourse interdicted,
religious worship in most of its forms prohibited." We know that these
unrighteous decrees have driven many of our Southern brethren to a
foreign land in the hope of finding on the shores of heathen Africa, a
degree of liberty, independence and happiness which they saw no human
probability of enjoying in Christian America, but while we sympathize
with them in their sufferings, of which the free people of color in the
non-slaveholding States largely participate, yet we believe that patient
submission to these cruel inflictions, would have identified their
interests more with that portion of our countrymen who are toiling in
bonds, and would have advanced the cause of emancipation. The cruel
policy of the slaveholder to separate as much as possible the free
people of color from the slaves, to prevent all coalition between them,
to destroy all sympathy of feeling and oneness of interest, has
succeeded but too well--the free colored people of the South stand by
themselves, unacknowledged as men by their haughty superiors, unknown as
brethren by their down-trodden "countrymen in chains," a few of them
have even been tempted to join hands with the oppressor and rivet bonds
on those for whose deliverance they should have toiled and wept and
prayed. One of the results of this crafty policy has been, that many
have been seduced to abandon their country and their enslaved brethren,
to seek for themselves and their families an asylum from the
_oppression_ of Christian, Republican, America. These, however
unintentionally, have, we believe, fully answered the designs of the
subtle politicians of the South and have bound more firmly around the
quivering limbs of their kindred the manacles of slavery.--The desertion
of such has added strength to the Colonization interest, and cherished
the insane hope that all our valuable free colored citizens might in
time be transported to Africa. We, therefore, deprecate the departure of
every free colored American, _unless impelled by a sense of duty_,
because it is injurious to the interests of the slave and contributes to
foster in the bosoms of their white fellow-citizens that prejudice which
Satan created and which he is now using as one of the most powerful
engines to prevent the elevation of the free and the enfranchisement of
the enslaved.

Our brethren and sisters in bondage have their eyes fixed with the
deepest intensity of interest upon their friends in the Northern States,
they are looking unto us as unto "Saviours who shall come up on Mount
Zion" to deliver them out of the hand of the spoiler. Jehovah has
entrusted us with a high and holy commission he has commanded us to
"Defend the poor and fatherless, to do justice to the afflicted and
needy, to deliver the poor and needy; to rid them out of the hand of the
wicked" and we believe God will bless our efforts in this righteous
cause, if we are willing to endure the reproach, the calumny, the
self-denial which is involved in this Reformation, but beloved friends
let us keep ever in mind, that unless we are men and women of prayer, we
shall not be able to effect what we profess so earnestly to desire,
viz., that God would melt the hearts of the slaveholders thro' the
powerful influence of his Holy Spirit that they may "let their captives
go," "not for price nor reward," but for their own peace sake and
because the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts. When the
Redeemer of men was about to ascend to the bosom of the Father and
resume the glory which he had with Him before the world was, he promised
his disciples that the power of the Holy Ghost should come upon them,
and that they should be witnesses for Him to the uttermost parts of the
earth. What was the effect upon their minds?" "They all continued with
one accord in prayer and supplication with the women." Stimulated by the
confident expectation that Jesus would fulfil his gracious promise, they
poured out their hearts in fervent supplications, probably for strength
to do the work which he had appointed them unto, for they felt that
without Him they could do nothing and they consecrated themselves on the
altar of God, to the great and glorious enterprize of preaching the
unsearchable riches of Christ to a lost and perishing world. Have we
less precious promises in the Scriptures of Truth, may we not claim of
our God the blessing promised unto those who consider the poor, the Lord
will preserve them and keep them alive and they shall be blessed upon
the earth. Does not the language "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the
least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me," belong to all who are
rightly engaged in endeavoring to unloose the bondman's fetters? Shall
we not then do as the Apostles did, shall we not in view of the two
millions of heathen in our very midst, in view of the souls that are
going down in an almost unbroken phalanx to utter perdition, continue in
prayer and supplication that God will grant us the supplies of his
Spirit to prepare us for that work which he has given us to do. Shall
not the wail of the mother as she surrenders her only child to the grasp
of the ruthless kidnapper, or the trader in human blood, animate our
devotions. Shall not the manifold crimes and horrors of slavery excite
more ardent outpourings at the throne of grace to grant repentance to
our guilty country and permit us to aid in preparing the way for the
glorious second Advent of the Messiah, by preaching deliverance to the
captives and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound.

But not alone for the down-trodden slave should we be engaged to labor,
our country from Maine to Florida is more or less connected with, and
involved in, the awful sin of slavery, "the blood of the poor innocents
is found in our skirts," the free states are partakers with those who
rob God of his creatures, for although most of them have nominally no
slaves on their soil, they do deliver unto slaveholders the servant that
is escaped from his master, in direct violation of the command of
Jehovah "Hide the outcasts: bewray not him that wandereth.--Let mine
outcasts dwell with thee; be thou a covert to them from the face of the
spoiler."--The unhappy fugitive goaded almost to madness by oppression
finds no resting place for the sole of his foot until he reaches the icy
shores of Canada. An exile from his native land, because his soul cannot
bow down to the unbridled passions of his fellow-worm; because he nobly
dares to take the freedom which Jehovah gave him with the first
inspiration of his vital breath, because rather than be a slave he
braves the storm and plunges through the flood and suffers hunger and
thirst and nakedness and cold. For thus magnanimously recoiling from
unjust usurpation he is branded as a fugitive, and hunted through our
free states with all the fierceness of savage barbarity, while no
measures are adopted to procure the repeal of these unrighteous decrees.
Oh when in this proud republic God maketh inquisition for blood, when he
remembereth the cry of the humble--where shall we appear? will not the
language be uttered against us "the land is full of blood; the iniquity
is exceeding great, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity,
but I will recompense their way upon their head."

Nor is the church less corrupt than the state, she exhibits now just
such a departure from primitive purity as is described by the prophet
Ezekiel in speaking of the Jewish Church.--"Thou didst trust in thine
own beauty, because of thy renown. Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels
of my gold and my silver which I had given thee, and madest to thyself
images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them. And tookest thy
broidered garments and covered them, and thou hast set mine oil and mine
incense before them." Is it not the fear and the _idolatry of man_ which
makes so many of those who fill the sacred office of ministers of Jesus
Christ stand dumb on the watch-tower; so many unclose their sacrilegious
lips to stigmatize the God of Love as the founder of the system of
American slavery--what but the deep corruption of the church could tempt
her to cast over this bloody moloch her broidered garment, and try by
snatching a few jewels to adorn her diadem from Ceylon and the Sandwich
Islands, from Burmah, and from the Rocky Mountains, to turn away the
public gaze from the leprosy which consumes her vitals.

Let us not be deceived by the seeming prosperity of our country. Babylon
was filled with gold and with silver, and Belshazzars impious feast was
crowned with wine and luxurious delicacies, yet even then the
hand-writing on the wall was appointed, the doom of that great empire
was decided in the court of heaven, and the irreversible sentence was
soon pronounced upon her haughty monarch, "Thou hast lifted up thyself,
God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it." Let us not be deceived
by the fair appearances of the church, her efforts, and her revivals.
Slavery is the master sin of our country; it is twined around the horns
of the altar--it is couched beneath the table on which are laid the
sacramental elements--it rises rampant in our pulpits--its spirit may
be seen stalking with unblushing effrontery through almost every temple
of benevolence, every seminary of learning,[2] every Church of God
where the white and the colored are as carefully separated as though
the one was washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, and the
other was an unclean thing, whose very touch was contamination. We feel
constrained to enter our solemn protest against this unrighteous
practice in all its forms.--"God has created of ONE BLOOD all the
nations to dwell on all the face of the earth," and whoever interposes
a barrier to their living as brethren, breaks the harmony which He has
established. Let the Church in America deck herself as she may with the
Lord's jewels, so long as she cherishes the Hydra-headed monster
slavery in her bosom, so long will her oblations on heathen shores be
vain, her incense an abomination, her solemn meetings a mockery. Our
souls are drawn out in tender sympathy to our dear brothers and sisters
who are the victims of this cruel prejudice, may you experience that
peace which the world can neither give nor take away, and rejoice in the
promise that the last shall be first.

    [2]  We mention as an example worthy of imitation the noble
        individuals who took the lead at Lane Seminary in contending
        for the rights of our colored citizens, and when their work
        there was accomplished, went among their colored brethren
        and sisters, and met them as equals bearing the impress of
        that God who stampt his image on his creature man. If each
        of our seminaries could boast of such champions of Human
        Rights, our colleges and schools might soon be regenerated,
        and our temples of science be thrown open to all our
        citizens irrespective of color or condition.

Let us turn our eyes on God's chosen people and learn a lesson fraught
with fearful instruction.--As the time of their downfall approached,
when for their manifold transgressions they were to be blotted out for a
season, as a nation, God multiplied the number of his witnesses among
them. Most of the prophets whose writings have come down to us, lived
either a short time before, or were cotemporary with the destruction of
Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar; the warning voices of Jeremiah and Ezekiel
were raised at this juncture, to save if possible their guilty
nation--with the women as well as the men they expostulated, and
admonished them of impending judgments, but the people scornfully
replied to Jeremiah--"As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in
the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee, but we will
certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our mouth." "Therefore,
thus saith the Lord--ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming
liberty every one to his brother, and every one to his neighbor--behold
I proclaim a liberty for you saith the Lord, to the sword, to the
pestilence and to the famine." Are we not virtually as a nation adopting
the same impious language, and are we not exposed to the same tremendous
judgments? Shall we not in view of those things use every laudable means
to awaken our beloved country from the slumbers of death, and baptize
all our efforts with tears and with prayers, that God may bless them.
Then should our labor fail to accomplish the end for which we pray; we
shall stand acquitted at the bar of Jehovah, and although we may share
in the national calamities which await unrepented sins, yet that blessed
approval will be ours.--"Well done good and faithful servants, enter ye
into the joy of your Lord."

We are aware that few of our colored brethren and sisters are actively,
or directly promoting the continuation of slavery; we mourn indeed that
a single instance can be adduced, of one colored person betraying
another into the fangs of those merciless wretches who go about seeking
whom they may devour; we mourn, not because the act is more diabolical
on account of the complexion, but because our enemies seize every such
instance of moral delinquency, to prove that the people of color are
lost to the feelings of humanity for each other.

Our hearts have been filled with sorrow at the transactions which have
lately disgraced the city of New York; the forcible seizure and
consigning to cruel bondage native American citizens. In the emporium of
our commerce, in a city filled with Bibles and with churches, we behold
the revolting spectacle of rational and immortal beings, arraigned
before their fellow men, not for any crimes which they have committed,
but because they dare to call their vital breath their own, and to take
possession of that body, soul, and mind, which their Creator gave them.
We behold them manacled and guarded by officers armed with weapons of
death--guiltless of crime and accused of none, but forced to prove that
they are men and not beasts. We marvel, as we behold these reproachful
scenes, that the God of Justice has held back his avenging sword.--"Thus
saith the Lord--execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is
spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire
that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings."

But although we believe that the accumulated wrongs of our colored
friends are had in remembrance before God, and that he will assuredly
visit this nation in judgment unless she repent, yet we entreat you in
the name of the Lord Jesus, to forbear any attempts violently to
rescue your brethren. Such attempts can only end in disappointment;
they infuriate public sentiment still more against you, and furnish
your blood-thirsty adversaries with a plausible pretext, to treat you
with cruelty. They bring upon all your brethren unmerited odium, and
render doubly difficult the duties of those who have been called by
Jehovah to assert the colored man's right to freedom, and to vindicate
his character from those calumnies which have been heaped upon him.
Independent, however, of all these reasons, we beseech you to possess
your souls in patience, because present duty is unresisting submission,
in accordance with the apostolic precepts.--"Be subject not only for
wrath, but for conscience sake." "For this is thankworthy, if a man for
conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." "For even
hereunto are we called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us
an example that we should follow his steps."

Let us keep in mind, that Jesus Christ was arraigned before an earthly
judge, that he endured indignity, violence and contempt. Every innocent
man who is brought before a human tribunal, and condemned to perpetual
bondage, when his judge can find no fault in him, may be regarded as the
representative of Him, who replied to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no
power against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he
that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." Suffer us to mingle
our sighs, and our tears with yours over these heart-rending scenes,
these ruthless inflictions of nameless and unutterable woes; but let us
remember, that when the Redeemer of men was taken by a band of armed
ruffians, he acted out his own sublime precept--"Resist not evil;" and
when Peter with intemperate zeal cut off the servant's ear, Jesus healed
the wound, and commanded his disciple to put up his sword again into its
place.

If we recur to the history of God's chosen people, whom he permitted to
be in bondage in the land of Egypt, we shall find that it was not when
Moses killed the Egyptian because he smote an Israelite, that the God of
the oppressed arose for their deliverance. No, dear friends, it was when
"the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried,
and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard
their groaning and God remembered his covenant." Shall we distrust him
now that his covenant of mercy has been sealed with the blood of his
only begotten son--shall we resort to weapons forged by Satan, and used
by our enemies, when the Lord God omnipotent is our king, and it
behoveth his subjects to be "shod with the preparation of the gospel of
peace, praying always with all prayer, and supplication in the Spirit."

The eyes of the community are fixed upon you with an intensity of
interest; many watch for your halting, saying, "peradventure they will
be enticed and we shall prevail against them." Many while they have a
kind of sentimental desire for your welfare, are anxious to keep you as
they term it, in your proper place, or in other words, are so much under
the dominion of prejudice, that they shrink at the thought of receiving
you as brethren beloved; they try to persuade themselves that God has
created us with an instinctive alienation from each other, and excuse
their own sin, by casting a reproach on the character of Jehovah; they
repel the idea that you are in every respect our equals, and
pertinaciously deny you the privileges of social, religious, and
domestic intercourse. We can feel for them, for most, if not all of us
have had to combat these feelings, and such of us as have overcome them,
have abundant cause to sing hallelujah to our God, and bless his holy
name for our abolition principles; they have opened a source of heavenly
joy in our bosoms, which we would not exchange for all the gold of
Ophir. Let us then cherish the apostolic precept, "Brethren if a man be
overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the
spirit of meekness." There is another class beloved friends, who are
watching you with the most tender solicitude, whose daily petitions for
themselves are mingled with supplications for you, who feel poignantly
the indignities which are heaped upon you, who ardently desire your
elevation in every way, who rejoice that they are found worthy to suffer
with you, who feel that their interests are one with yours as
Christians, and as Americans, and who supplicate the Father of Mercies
for an increase of that hallowed feeling, which receives and welcomes
you with joy as brethren and sisters dearly beloved, and loses in the
sense of your manhood, in the remembrance that we are all one in Christ
Jesus, those unhallowed and factitious distinctions which are eating out
the very vitals of Christianity. This class long for that blessed and
glorious era, when the brother of low degree will rejoice in that he is
exalted, and the brother of high degree in that he is made low; because
then and not till then the command may go forth to the Church of Christ
in our land "Arise, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the
Lord is risen upon thee."

In contemplating the abolition of slavery, we feel that you are equally
concerned with ourselves, and we entreat your co-operation, believing
that you can and will labor in it as efficiently as any portion of the
community. We ask you in the name of Him whose precious blood was shed
for us, to come up to the help of the Lord, in whose work we are
engaged. We ask you, in the name of bleeding humanity, to assist in this
labor of love. We ask you, for the sake of the down-trodden and defiled
image of God, to arise for the help of the poor, and aid in restoring
our brother and our sister to that exalted station, only a little lower
than the angels, which their gracious Creator assigned them.
True--obloquy, reproach, and peril, must be encountered by all who stem
the torrent of popular iniquity, the tide of supercilious prejudice, and
the arrogant pretensions of unfounded superiority; but these we can
endure, and count it joy. We are sensible that our brethren of color
have a more difficult and delicate part to act in this reformation, than
their white fellow-citizens; but we confidently believe, that as their
day is, so their strength will be; and we commend them and the cause of
human rights, in which we are engaged, to Him who is able to save unto
the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. May he strengthen us to
pursue our holy purposes with the zeal of the Apostles and the spirit of
the Martyrs, consecrating ourselves to this work of faith, and labor of
love, "that we may be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness
which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ--the
righteousness which is of God by Faith."



                           Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

Errors in punctuation and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected
unless otherwise noted.

Specifically, inconsistencies in the use of quotation marks were not
corrected, primarily because it wasn't always clear where quotation
marks should be added.

On page 5, "salvo" was replaced with "salve".

On page 20, "useles" was replaced with "useless".

On page 30, "uo" was replaced with "no".

On page 30, "begotton" was replaced with "begotten".

On page 30, a period after "Satan" was replaced with a comma.





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